Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 7
Namgung Wol glanced at Yeom Hee-soo’s tired face and tilted his head. In just one night, her face had become noticeably pale.
Her eyes were swollen, and her pupils seemed bloodshot, as if she hadn’t slept properly all night.
“It doesn’t seem like nothing.”
“I just had a little trouble sleeping.”
Even with Yeom Hee-soo’s excuse, Namgung Wol didn’t believe her.
The Yeom Hee-soo he knew was someone who never lost her vitality under any circumstances. She had the same free-spirited aura that was characteristic of the Nokrim faction. To see her like this, completely drained of energy, was definitely not normal. However, unless she admitted it herself, it was difficult to press further.
“What about Master Yong?”
“He’s probably somewhere in Poyang Lake.”
“Could he be at the brothel?”
Namgung Wol shrugged his shoulders.
Ever since Yong Hasang came to Poyang Lake, he had been going to the brothel without taking a day off.
Since he was officially the successor of Dragon Sky Valley, he couldn’t openly engage in illicit activities near the vicinity of his sect. He had to consider his reputation. But this place was different.
No one here knows that he is the heir to the Dragon Sky Valley, and even fewer know his face.
Here, he was free.
As if to vent his frustrations and unwind, he indulged in alcohol and women.
That’s why there had been no progress between Namgung Wol and Yong Hasang.
Yeom Hee-soo asked,
“By the way, where are you going?”
“I’m going to see Master Pyo.”
Suddenly, Yeom Hee-soo tightly pressed her lips together.
Her eyebrows were deeply furrowed, indicating her unfavorable thoughts towards Pyo-wol.
Namgung Wol asked,
“Did anything happen between you and Master Pyo?”
“I just have a headache.”
“It’ll be better if I walk a bit, so I’ll come with you.”
“So, Lady Yeom is also going to meet Master Pyo?”
“Why? Am I not allowed to see him?”
“No, let’s go together then.”
Namgung Wol sensed that something had happened with Yeom Hee-soo’s reaction. However, since he had no grounds to refuse, they headed towards Pyo-wol together.
Fortunately, Pyo-wol happened to be at the restaurant on the first floor of the inn.
Namgung Wol greeted Pyo-wol, cupping his fist,
“Pyo Master! Have you finished eating your meal just now?”
“If I hadn’t, would you be joining me?”
“I already had my meal. What about Lady Yeom?”
“I don’t have an appetite. Thanks to someone.”
Yeom Hee-soo said, glancing at Pyo-wol as she took her seat.
Namgung Wol sensed the sharpness in her voice, but since he didn’t know the circumstances, he couldn’t say anything.
Yeom Hee-soo glared at Pyo-wol with ice-cold eyes. However, Pyo-wol ignored her gaze and silently continued his meal.
That sight infuriated Yeom Hee-soo even more. However, she exercised superhuman patience and suppressed her emotions.
This morning, she got to know how terrifying of an existence Pyo-wol was.
Wol Gwi, whom she had assigned to monitor him, was by no means an ordinary warrior. If he had made up his mind to hide, not even Yeom Hee-soo could have found his whereabouts. And yet, one of Wol Gwi’s arms got severed and sent to her.
Even without confirming the body, she could surmise that Wol Gwi was dead.
Seeing Pyo-wol calmly having a meal despite killing Wol Gwi, something surged inside her.
In her heart, she wanted to strike Pyo-wol’s face with a blow right away, but it was a fight she had no chance of winning, so she had no choice but to endure. However, she couldn’t prevent herself from speaking bluntly.
“You’re truly impressive.”
When Pyo-wol looked up and met her gaze, Yeom Hee-soo pursed her lips.
“I don’t know who gave it to you, but the nickname ‘Reaper’ really suits you.”
“Being the Reaper is far better than being a rat that blindly follows others. Both are nauseating, though…”
“Is that so?”
“On second thought, Master Pyo’s words seem to be right. There won’t be any more instances of a rat annoying Master Pyo. I promise.”
Pyo-wol nodded silently and resumed using his chopsticks. Yeom Hee-soo stared intently at him.
Namgung Wol finally realized what was going on.
‘So Lady Yeom has been keeping tabs on Master Pyo. What a foolish thing to do…’
Pyo-wol was the most perceptive person in the world.
It was impossible to deceive his senses and get close to him.
Yeom Hee-soo might have taken on the task of monitoring Pyo-wol’s movements, but from Namgung Wol’s perspective, it was a remarkably foolish move.
He knew how terrifying Pyo-wol was, which is why he showed him respect by calling him Master, even though they were the same age.
He hoped that Yeom Hee-soo would also act in the same way.
While Namgung Wol was lost in thought, Pyo-wol finally finished his breakfast.
He placed down his chopsticks and poured tea into his cup.
Yeom Hee-soo found Pyo-wol’s demeanor to be incredibly elegant.
Pyo-wol’s gaze, gestures, and even slight movements had the power of captivating and mesmerizing people. If she had been an ordinary woman, she would have fallen into his arms without reservation.
But her free-spirited nature would not allow her to be content with merely being a man’s wife.
She was a Nokrim to the bone.
‘What matters is his behavior and purpose.’
If Pyo-wol was a simple individual, she wouldn’t have been so troubled or concerned.n((𝔬-.𝒱.(𝓮/-𝑙//𝑩()1–n
But, he was a man for whom everything was unclear.
His origins, his purpose, his inner workings– none of it was revealed. It was impossible to trust such a person.
Not knowing whether or not Pyo-wol understood Yeom Hee-soo’s feelings, he looked out the window and sipped his tea.
At that moment, Namgung Wol spoke up,
“I’m planning to create the Anti-Golden Heavenly Council.”1
“Anti-Golden Heaven Society? Are you trying to oppose the Golden Heaven Society?”
“Because of Jang Mugeuk, I assume.”
Namgung Wol nodded.
Jang Mugeuk’s behavior in Runan had alerted Namgung Wol.
Jang Mugeuk had swallowed the entire Golden Heaven Society created by Jin Geum-woo.
He became the leader of the organization and brought many of its members under his influence.
If Jang Mugeuk had been a righteous person like Jin Geum-woo, Namgung Wol wouldn’t have cared about his actions. However, Namgung Wol detected a dangerous scent emanating from Jang Mugeuk.
Jang Mugeuk’s ambition was great enough that it could swallow up the entire Jianghu.
Namgung Wol decided to prepare in advance before it was too late.
One of those preparations was to establish the Anti-Golden Heaven Society.
To create a coalition of those opposing the actions of the Golden Heaven Society, Namgung Wol invited Yong Hasang and Yeom Hee-soo, with who he was on friendly terms, to Poyang Lake.
Fundamentally, both of them shared Namgung Wol’s thoughts. However, their opinions diverged when it came to the organizational structure and operation methods.
That was why the establishment of the Anti-Golden Heaven Society was progressing slowly.
“Jang Mugeuk took over the Golden Heaven Society without exerting much effort. Now his influence has expanded to the entire Jianghu. If things continue this way, those who follow him will occupy the highest positions in Jianghu, and when that happens, Jianghu will naturally fall under his feet. I want to prevent that from happening.”
“You’re about to walk through a thorny path. It won’t be easy.”
“I’m aware of that. That’s why I plan to request Master Lee Geumhan to become our central figure.”
“Lee Geumhan of the Frenzied Warrior Sect. He’s the son of the Sword King Lee Cheong, and he stands as Jang Mugeuk’s rival. If we can get him to join the Anti-Golden Heaven Society, we can gain power in no time.”
“He must be an exceptional individual.”
“He is the most feared figure by Jang Mugeuk in the entire world of Jianghu. They have been at odds since childhood. So, he would readily take on the role of the leader of the Anti-Golden Heaven Society.”
“That would be good if it works out.”
Pyo-wol replied as if it was someone else’s business.
Namgung Wol realized that Pyo-wol had no interest in the affairs of the Anti-Golden Heaven Society.
For Pyo-wol, power struggles within Jianghu like the Golden Heaven Society and the Anti-Golden Heaven Society were of no interest to him. His attention was solely focused on the Kowloon Assassin Guild.
Namgung Wol originally intended to persuade Pyo-wol to join the Anti-Golden Heaven Society. However, he immediately dropped the thought due to Pyo-wol’s indifferent expression and tone.
It was a little disappointing, but he knew that Pyo-wol wasn’t someone who would change his mind easily, so Namgung Wol gave up.
Yeom Hee-soo’s thoughts were similar to Namgung Wol’s.
‘The moment we let him into the Anti-Golden Heaven Society, we will lose our dominance.’
She, too, was an ambitious martial artist.
She didn’t want to share or have her power taken away by someone else.
* * *
“So you’re saying that about ten people stayed here ten days ago?”
The innkeeper of Cheolyang Inn cautiously replied to the stranger’s question.
Cheolyang Inn was a very old inn.
It used to be a bustling area, but now it was situated in a dilapidated neighborhood that had turned into a slum.
The building was extremely old, worn-out, and dirty, making it an inn that ordinary customers didn’t frequent.
It became a lodging place for people in the back alleys, such as beggars, criminals, or those who couldn’t freely show their faces.
The man asked again,
“Do you know where the ten guests came from?”
“How would I know such things? All we ask is that they pay for their stay. It’s none of our business to inquire about their backgrounds or purposes.”
“Are you sure? If you’re hiding something intentionally, I won’t let it go.”
“Oh my! What do I have to gain from hiding anything?”
From the innkeeper’s demeanor, the man decided there was nothing more to find out. However, knowing that ten people had stayed here served as a starting point for tracking.
‘I should go back to the headquarters and report.’
The man was none other than a person working for the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
This morning, the members of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group received a specific order.
It was to find a group of at least ten people who had recently arrived at Poyang Lake. The order came from none other than Noh Tae-tae.
Although she had stepped back from the frontlines, everyone in the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group still held great respect for her.
Orders issued under her name took priority over all other tasks. Because of this, the man disregarded everything else and focused on carrying out Noh Tae-tae’s command.
“Now that we know that they had stayed here, we can concentrate our efforts here–”
However, the man’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted.
Suddenly, a sword flew toward the man.
The man cried out as he swung his sword.
Though the attack was unexpected, he was still a formidable expert.
He blocked the attack by a narrow margin.
The attacker was a person whose face was covered by a mask.
The man blocked him with his sword and shouted,
“Who are you? Reveal your identity!”
“Hehe! If I wanted to share my identity, why would I bother wearing a mask?”
At that moment, the masked man chuckled darkly and attacked the man.
“It’s impossible. Do you think you can defeat me with just this level of skill?”
“If it were just me, maybe.”
Suddenly, an arrow flew from behind with a piercing sound.
The man failed to respond properly and was hit in the shoulder by the arrow.
With a groan, the man staggered.
At that moment, the masked man’s companions, hiding in the darkness, jumped out.
They attacked the staggering martial artist.
The man tried desperately to counterattack, but his body felt sluggish from the arrow. Above all, the coordinated assault from the masked individual and his comrades was overwhelming.
They attacked like a pack of wolves targeting their prey. Relentlessly biting and tearing, their combined assault left the man with little chance to respond. In the end, the man allowed a sword strike to land on his back and succumbed to it.
The masked individual and their comrades took advantage of the opportunity and thrust their swords into the man’s body.
The man quickly collapsed, resembling a hedgehog.
The masked individual finally removed his mask.
He was none other than Oh Shin-pyeong, the loyal subordinate of Deung Chol-ung, the leader of the Blood Ant Gang.
Oh Shin-pyeong spoke to his subordinates,
“This guy was looking for the people who stayed at Cheolyang Inn, right?”
“Yes! We confirmed it with the innkeeper.”
“Damn it! Fucking asshole!”
Oh Shin-pyeong spat on the man’s corpse.
One of his subordinates examined the man’s face and said,
“This is a big problem.”
“This guy! He’s a member of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.”
“I’ve seen him before. He’s definitely a person of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.”
“Fuck! Does that mean that the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group is tracking us?”
No matter how powerful the Blood Ant Gang was, they couldn’t compare to the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
If the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group set their sights on the Blood Ant Gang, they would be helpless.
“What’s going to happen now? I’ll report to the boss. Make sure to dispose of this bastard’s body.”
Thank you for reading!
Anti-Golden Heaven Society. Raws: 반금천회(反金天會). 反 fǎn – contrary / in reverse / inside out or upside down / to reverse / to return / to oppose / opposite / against / anti- / to rebel / to use analogy / instead 金 jīn – gold / chemical element Au / generic term for lustrous and ductile metals / money / golden 天 tiān – day / sky / heaven 會 huì – to get together / meeting / gathering / union / group / association