Light Novel: Volume 14 Episode 17
Little did anyone know that beneath Jo Yuseol’s delicate and graceful appearance, there hid such immense ambition. The ambition she currently displayed was so intense that it couldn’t be dismissed as the whims of an ignorant woman regarding worldly affairs.
Most men dared not meet her gaze, as her eyes burned with an intensity that was almost unbearable. But, Pyo-wol silently met her gaze.
Their gazes heatedly intertwined in the air for a while.
At that moment, Zhao Yuseol’s blood ran cold.
It was because Pyo-wol’s gaze, as he looked at her, held no trace of emotion.
He did not possess the look of a man who had been seduced.
As if that weren’t bad enough, his following words were exactly what she expected.
“I don’t want to live as someone else’s man.”
“Think about it one more time.”
“No, I’ve already thought about it enough.”
“It’s not like there’s love between us.”
“Well, fine, then just kill Yiguang.”
Zhao Yuseol’s expression changed drastically when Pyo-wol didn’t give in.
The passionate gaze and wounded expression she had shown a moment ago vanished, replaced by a cold and composed face.
This current expression was her true self.
It was a waste of time to maintain a pretense when seduction didn’t work on an unyielding opponent. That’s why she quickly changed her demeanor.
“Do you really want me to kill Zhao Yiguang?”
“Once you do, then the Zhao family will be mine.”
“Let me think about it.”
“What is there to think about? With your abilities, it shouldn’t be a difficult task.”
“You’re not the only one who wants him dead.”
“Wishing for his death and having the ability to actually kill him are two different things. If merely desiring his death could kill him, why would I even ask you for your help? I may not know who wants Yiguang dead, but it’s impossible for them to kill him, not unless they’re in the same level as you.”
“You underestimate a person’s tenacity.”
“Hoho! Aren’t you the one overestimating a person’s determination? It’s merely a mindset that has turned toxic. Determination without action is useless. Just be honest and say if you don’t want to or if you’re afraid.”
Zhao Yuseol thought that Pyo-wol was making excuses because he didn’t want to fulfill her request.
Her eyes also turned cold as she looked at him.
Unperturbed by her gaze, Pyo-wol continued,
“Just wait a few more days.”
“Then what happens after that? If there’s still no movement, what will you do?”
“I will decide then.”
“Really? That’s how you’re going to do it? How can a man be so irresponsible? Am I just a one-night stand to you?”
“Do you think that just because we spent one night together, you can take advantage of me and use me as you please?”
“Whether Zhao Yiguang lives or dies, I will be the one to decide. And it would be best for you to stop thinking that you can intervene and manipulate my judgment, because if you continue to do so, Zhao Yiguang may end up outliving you.”
Zhao Yuseol bit her lip.
Pyo-wol’s words didn’t sound like a simple threat.
He was a man who bore the title of Reaper.
It might sound ridiculous for a man to have such a grandiose title, but when it was bestowed upon someone with such abilities, the weight they carried was different.
Pyo-wol possessed the abilities befitting the title of the God of Death.
A man who had reached the level of a god when it came to killing people.
There was no one whom he didn’t manage to kill before, which is why Zhao Yuseol had tried to use him to her advantage by ensnaring him under her control.
If he was on her side, there would be no one more reliable. But if he became her enemy, he would be the most fearsome presence in the world.
Zhao Yuseol regretted revealing her true intentions too soon.
She had made Pyo-wol wary by exposing her ambition too early.
‘I made a mistake. I should have waited a little longer to draw him in.’
But regrets, no matter how fast, were always too late.
“I’m sorry. I made a mistake. My narrow-mindedness has gone too far.”
She quickly apologized.
When it comes to apologizing, one should do it wholeheartedly.
It would be foolish to think of one’s pride and be stubborn.
Although she made a mistake because of her impatience, it would bid her well to try to fix it as soon as she realized her mistake.
“Please understand with an open mind.”
Zhao Yuseol bowed to Pyo-wol.
As Pyo-wol gazed at her, his eyes sank into the depths.
‘A Jianghu Empress…’
There was a strong scent of danger coming from the woman who dreamed of ruling.
* * *
Zhao Yiguang left the Bluefield Estate and headed towards the downtown area of Lake Tai.
‘Nothing seems to be going my way.’
Everything went awry when Zhao Jakyung entered the Bluefield Estate yesterday.
Because he was cautious of Zhao Jakyung, Zhao Yiguang couldn’t focus on the things he needed to do.
One of them was finding Zhao Yuseol.
In the end, he never figured out where Zhao Yuseol was hiding.
She was like a thorn stuck in his fingertips.
While thorns aren’t that painful enough to kill him, they still caused enough discomfort to bother him.
Although she had always acted cautiously in front of their father, Zhao Sumok, Zhao Yiguang instinctively sensed that she had something up her sleeve, which is why he had assigned guards to watch her, but she slipped past them and disappeared without a trace.
Just the thought of what kind of scheme she might be plotting while she was gone annoyed him. It wouldn’t change anything, but just the fact that something was happening in a place he didn’t know made him uneasy.
Zhao Yiguang thought that he should increase the surveillance by more than double as soon as Zhao Yuseol returned.
Lost in thought, he walked on, and before he knew it, he found himself in the downtown area of Lake Tai.
The place he was heading to was the busiest square in Lake Tai.
During the day, the square was empty, but at night, merchants opened their stalls, forming a night market.
There was a large well in the center of the square, and all the merchants who opened the night market drew water from this well to prepare food. Because of that, they paid great attention to the management of the well.
He decided to meet Bok Hojin here.
Zhao Yiguang would have originally slept in the Bluefield Estate, but he chose to sleep outside because Zhao Jakyung’s presence felt burdensome.
The fact that he had to be cautious even in his own residence, Bluefield Estate, annoyed Zhao Yiguang even more.
“Looks like he’s not here yet.”
“Isn’t Master Bok’s personality a bit laid-back in the first place? I’m sure he will come out if we wait a little longer.”
At the words of his subordinate who was by his side, Zhao Yiguang nodded in agreement.
Zhao Yiguang rarely had his subordinates travel with him.
This was because he was confident that no one would be capable enough of harming him. However, due to the recent situations, he brought his subordinates with him.
There were dozens of skilled warriors around him.
And all of them were elite members of the Nanjing clan.
They were all fiercely scanning the area where Zhao Yiguang was.
Those who saw them would either turn away or kept their distance. After all, they didn’t want to be caught up and receive unnecessary trouble.
They knew that getting tangled up with martial artists rarely ended well.
It was better to avoid the danger altogether.
As a result, Zhao Yiguang and his men could sit back and wait for Bok Hojin comfortably.
As time passed, the sunlight shining on the square grew hotter.
A hint of annoyance began to appear on Zhao Yiguang’s face.
No matter how skilled he was in martial arts, being out in the sun for such a long period of time made him uncomfortable.
Nowhere in the square was there a place to get out of the sun.
That was why the street vendors didn’t open during the day and only operated the night market after sunset.
Zhao Yiguang inwardly cursed Bok Hojin for choosing such a place to meet.
It was then.
He heard the sound of something rolling towards them.
Zhao Yiguang and his men naturally turned their attention to where the sound was coming from.
Where their gazes were directed, a young boy was struggling to pull a cart.
Whatever it was carrying, the cart’s wheel seemed to scream with each roll on the stone pavement as if it were going to break at any moment. It was a clear sign that the cart had heavy objects loaded onto it.
Such a sight was not unfamiliar or uncommon in this place.
People living nearby often came here to fetch water, and among them were many children of the boy’s age.
Not many had the luxury of receiving abundant care from their parents at such a young age. As soon as children started to walk, and were old enough to think for themselves, the children would all help their parents with their work and prepare for independence.
That was the reality of the current Jiangsu Province.
The boy seemed to be one of those children.
A common existence that could be seen anywhere.
Normally, such a person would not attract their attention. However, Zhao Yiguang and his subordinates couldn’t easily divert their gaze from the boy.
There was something about the boy that drew people’s attention, which was why they began to pay attention to his every move.
The boy took something out of the cart.
At first, it seemed like he was taking out a container to hold water. But upon closer inspection, it was not a container.
The black, blunt object was undoubtedly a large stone.n–𝔬–𝒱.-𝑒./𝑙./𝒷./I..n
The boy threw the stone into the well.
Zhao Yiguang raised an eyebrow.
“What is he doing?”
It was a well that everyone used.
It was extremely disrespectful to throw a stone like that into such a well.
Zhao Yiguang was not a righteous man.
He did not have a broad enough mind or a big heart to involve himself in matters unrelated to him. However, he was sensitive enough to be alert to matters related to him.
The water from the well where the boy had thrown the stone would end up in the food of any food stall or inn, and that food would enter his own stomach.
So, he couldn’t simply overlook the boy’s actions as mere mischief.
Even after throwing the stone into the well, the boy did not leave. He just continued to gaze at the well.
His posture seemed as if he was waiting for something to happen.
Zhao Yiguang ordered his men.
“Bring that brat here.”
Without hesitation or questioning his command, two of his men immediately sprang into action.
The two men who approached the boy by the well were among his youngest warriors.
Zhao Yiguang and the others believed that they would soon bring the boy to them without any difficulties.
But, that’s when something unexpected happened.
The men who had approached the boy suddenly collapsed as if they had been shot.
They lay on the ground, motionless.
“Why did they collapse?”
Zhao Yiguang and the rest of his men’s eyes widened.
They strained their eyes to see, but it was difficult to assess the situation near the well from where they were.
They caught sight of the boy, who seemed startled, then tried to run away in a panic.
“Don’t let that boy get away!”
Zhao Yiguang urgently ordered.
His subordinates rushed toward the boy, with him following behind.
The boy ultimately failed to escape from the well area. It didn’t take long for the boy to be surrounded by Zhao Yiguang’s men.
The boy aimlessly shuffled his feet, unsure of what to do.
He was clearly terrified.
“Who are you? What have you done to them?”
At that moment, Zhao Yiguang pushed his way through his men.
He examined the condition of the fallen warriors on the ground.
They were already dead.
Their faces were pale, and there was no trace of warmth that a living being should have.
Zhao Yiguang’s eyes turned ferocious.
There were no visible wounds on the bodies of his subordinates. But there was no way they could have suddenly lost their lives for no reason.
All of them were highly skilled experts who had trained in martial arts for many years.
They were naturally much healthier and physically stronger than the average person, so the chances of them suddenly dying were almost nonexistent.
It was obvious that the boy had done something.
Zhao Yiguang stood up and glared at the boy.
“You bastard! Did you kill them?”
“Master Zhao Yiguang, right?”
“Do you know me?”
“Of course I do. Who in this region would not know about Master Zhao Yiguang?”
“You! Who are you?”
Zhao Yiguang furrowed his brow.
It was a name he had never heard before.
Upon seeing his reaction, the young boy, Do Yeonsan, looked at him and smiled.
“As I expected, you don’t recognize me. Then, how about if I say it like this, I’m the older brother of the girl you murdered not long ago.”
“You now know me, right?”
Do Yeonsan smiled brightly.
In contrast, the expression on Zhao Yiguang’s face became as stiff as a stone statue.
“You’re the brother of that girl?”
“You crazy bastard–”
“Well, you’re the one who drove me mad, heh heh!”
Do Yeonsan chuckled.