Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 358
Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 8
“Gu Changhae has not returned.”
Upon hearing his subordinate’s report Ju Seolpung raised his head.
“Which area was he assigned to?”
“The western slum district. It’s commonly known as Dog Road.”
Ju Seolpung stroked his chin with his hand.
Dog Road was literally a street where stray dogs roamed a derogatory term used to refer to impoverished residents.
It was the dirtiest and most disgusting place in the slums.
Gu Changhae a martial artist working for the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group went there to investigate.
Ordinary people usually avoided approaching Dog Road but since Gu Changhae was born and raised in the alleyways he had no reservations about entering and investigating the said place.
“What about the others?”
“They have all returned. Only Gu Changhae hasn’t come back.”
“Then it’s clear that he went missing in Dog Road.”
Ju Seolpung’s face hardened.
Gu Changhae was not only his subordinate but also someone he cherished.
Although he went missing while carrying out his great-grandmother’s orders it was still Ju Seolpung who was responsible for his well-being.
“Gather the Shadow Strike Squad.”2
“The Shadow Strike Squad?”
The subordinate looked up in surprise.
The Shadow Strike Squad was one of the strongest forces of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
It was a division in charge of guarding the group’s caravans in remote areas and retrieving lost goods. Because of this it was rare for them to be mobilized unless there was a very big problem.
The subordinate’s surprise was not unwarranted. However Ju Seolpung was resolute.
“Summon them quickly. We will go to Dog Road right away.”
The subordinate hurriedly left the room.
Ju Seolpung grabbed his own sword from the wall and walked out heading towards the training ground.
As soon as he arrived several men appeared each of them emitting an extraordinary aura.
They were the members of the Shadow Strike Squad.
An elderly man in his early sixties approached Ju Seolpung.
He was the commander of the Shadow Strike Squad.
“I heard you summoned us Young Master!”
“Gu Changhae has gone missing in Dog Road.”
“Missing? He’s likely dead at this point.”
“The longer we wait the lower the chances of finding his body and clues.”
“I understand. We shall go quickly!”
The commander of the Shadow Strike Squad nodded and started walking.
The entire Shadow Strike Squad was well-versed in the geography around Poyang Lake. They swiftly displayed their qinggong skills and headed towards Dog Road.
The sight of Ju Seolpung and the Shadow Strike Squad running together left the onlookers in a tense atmosphere.
“Isn’t he the Young Master of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group?”
“Something must have happened for him to be traveling with a lot of warriors.”
“Someone must have provoked the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group. Tsk!”
Although they were not as well-known as the powerful factions like the Two Factions Three Sects and Three Clans the people living in this area knew the strength of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
To them the group was like a hidden giant. Therefore witnessing the group move in earnest instilled a strong sense of crisis.
Ju Seolpung and the Shadow Strike Squad quickly arrived at Dog Road.
At the sight of them the poor people living in the slums instinctively hide.
The commander of the Shadow Strike Squad gave orders to his subordinates.
“Spread out and search for any trace of Gu Changhae. Don’t miss even the slightest clue.”
“Leave it to us!”
With their response the members of the Shadow Strike Squad scattered in all directions.
Ju Seolpung watched in silence.
There was nothing for him to do now.
He had faith in the Shadow Strike Squad.
They might not be the most powerful group in the world but at least in this region they exert absolute power.
They were familiar with the area and knew how to efficiently find people and objects.
All Ju Seolpung had to do was wait for the Shadow Strike Squad to return with good results.
His patience was soon rewarded.
“We found him.”
A member of the Shadow Strike Squad appeared bringing the news Ju Seolpung wanted to hear.
“How is he?”
“Not in a good state.”
“If it’s not good–”
“We found only a part of his body in the sewage canal. It seems that those who killed him dismembered him.”
Ju Seolpung’s face hardened.
He had expected Gu Changhae to be killed but he hadn’t expected his body to be mutilated in such a brutal manner.
“I will see for myself.”
“I advise against it–”
“He is one of my men. Since such a thing happened to him while carrying out my orders even if only traces of him remain I have the responsibility to witness it with my own eyes.”
In the end the Shadow Strike Squad member led Ju Seolpung to the location where Gu Changhae’s body was.
In the sewage canal where all the filth from the slums accumulated there was a pair of legs believed to belong to Gu Changhae. The leg which had been cut off below the knee had a pair of shoes that were usually worn by members of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
Perhaps in their haste they had forgotten to remove the shoes.
With Gu Changhae’s legs in his embrace Ju Seolpung commanded the commander of the Shadow Strike Squad
“Find the people responsible for making Gu Changhae this way. There’s a high chance they are the ones we were looking for.”
The commander of the Shadow Strike Squad gestured to his subordinates. Then they scattered in all directions once again.
“W-Why are you doing this?”
After a while cries of agony began to erupt from various places in the slums.
* * *
“So you’re saying that the man who was tracking the group we have been hiding is a member of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group?”
“Just my luck…”
Deung Chol-ung’s expression contorted at Oh Shin-pyeong’s report.
Even though Deung Chol-ung was someone who feared nothing in the world he still had reservations about the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
“What about the body?”
“It was disposed of in a hurry.”
“Are you sure?”
“We had dismembered the body and scattered the pieces everywhere so his identity couldn’t be determined.”
Deung Chol-ung let out a snort of frustration.
He trusted Oh Shin-pyeong to handle things meticulously but given that they were dealing with the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group he couldn’t help but feel uneasy. He knew how persistent and relentless they could be.
It was then.
“Ma Master! Something big has happened.”
One of his subordinates burst in calling him loudly.
Deung Chol-ung felt his heart sink. And his intuition was proven right.
“The Imperial Yuan Merchant Group has discovered the body of the person we killed in Dog Road!”
“Son of a b*tch!”
“They’re currently turning Dog Road upside down. It won’t be long before they find out what we’ve done.”
The Blood Ant Gang had only suppressed the slums by force and reigned through fear. The slum dwellers have no sense of loyalty to the Blood Ant Gang.
For now they were keeping their mouths shut aware of the Blood Ant Gang’s watchful eyes. But if the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group comes after them like this it was only a matter of time before they expose and confess everything.
Deung Chol-ung said to Oh Shin-pyeong
“Tell everyone to stop what they are doing and lay low. They may be causing havoc right now but it won’t last long. Once their anger subsides we’ll resume our activities.”
“And get in touch with them.”
“The ones who caused this mess. You said you’d be here for a few more days. They’re the ones who made the mess. They’re the ones who have to clean it up.”
“The ones responsible for this mess. They said they would stay here for a few more days. They should be the ones to clean up the mess they made.”
* * *
Pyo-wol sat on a large rock gazing at Poyang Lake.
The spot where he sat was a famous place with a clear view of Poyang Lake. Though it was late at night numerous boats floated on the lake. On the boats men and women could be seen having a good time drinking together.
The red lanterns hanging from the boats cast a crimson hue on the surface of Poyang Lake. The reddish reflection on the water was so beautiful that it evoked admiration.
A small red snake wriggled between Pyo-wol’s fingers. Gwiya seemed to consider Pyo-wol’s fingers as a playground.
Pyo-wol didn’t mind Gwiya who playfully toyed with his fingers.
Gwiya was a good companion to pass some free time.
Pyo-wol wiggled his fingers synchronizing with Gwiya’s movements.
And so the two spent some time alone together like that. However their peace didn’t last long.
A boat that had been floating on Poyang Lake drifted towards Pyo-wol’s location.
Gwiya flicked its red tongue a few times seemingly displeased with the situation before returning to rest on Pyo-wol’s forearm.
Pyo-wol looked up and gazed at the approaching boat.
A figure appeared above the boat adorned with red lanterns.
“By any chance are you the famous Master Pyo?”
The man who revealed himself was none other than Yong Hasang.
Pyo-wol slightly furrowed his brow and answered
“Haha! It was so dark so I wasn’t sure but my eyes weren’t wrong after all.”
Yong Hasang burst into hearty laughter.
His upper garment was partially open exposing his chest and courtesans clung to his sides wrapping their arms around him.
He must have been frolicking with the courtesans for a while when he spotted Pyo-wol and approached.
“Who is this gentleman?”
“Oh my! Look at his face!”
The courtesans exclaimed in excitement as they looked at Pyo-wol’s face.
Besides the courtesans accompanying Yong Hasang on the boat there were four more courtesans aboard.
Each of them was as beautiful as a fairy.
Yong Hasang had swept away the courtesans famous for their beauty in Poyang Lake and brought them aboard his boat.
This caused dissatisfaction among the other patrons but both the brothel and courtesans did not mind.
Yong Hasang was a good-looking man with a dignified appearance. He was very generous with his money too so much so that the courtesans eagerly competed for a place on his boat.
As a result his boat was always filled with the laughter of courtesans.
Yong Hasang said to Pyo-wol
“If you don’t mind why don’t you join me? I want to treat you generously today.”
Yong Hasang’s gaze was very intense as he looked at Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol nodded his head in response to Yong Hasang’s eyes which showed no signs of intoxication.
“Haha! As expected of Master Pyo I knew you wouldn’t refuse my offer. Come on up.”
Pyo-wol lightly kicked the rock.
Though there was still quite a distance between him and the boat Pyo-wol effortlessly leaped aboard.
As Pyo-wol landed on the boat the courtesans let out sighs of admiration.
“How could he be so handsome…”
“Look at his skin it’s better than mine.”
The courtesans looked at Pyo-wol with ecstatic expressions.
Though they had encountered numerous men before they have never seen a man as beautiful as Pyo-wol.
They realized for the first time today that they could be ecstatic just by looking at him.
The courtesans argued amongst themselves on who would get to sit next to Pyo-wol.
“I’ll be the one to serve him.”
“Big sister please give way to me today.”
“I’ve found the love of my life.”
Witnessing this scene Yong Hasang couldn’t help but be dumbfounded.
Just a moment ago the courtesans had been arguing amongst themselves about who would serve him. But as soon as Pyo-wol appeared they changed their expressions as if it had always been that way eagerly vying for Pyo-wol’s attention instead.
Yong Hasang couldn’t help but laugh at how plastic and ridiculous the situation was.
Yong Hasang offered Pyo-wol the seat opposite him.
“Please have a seat here.”
As Pyo-wol took his seat the courtesans who had been eagerly waiting for an opportunity quickly sat on either side of him.
“Ho-ho! Let me serve you.”
The courtesans sat on either side of Pyo-wol trembling in excitement.
Pyo-wol paid no attention to the courtesans and instead looked at Yong Hasang.
Yong Hasang personally poured liquor from a bottle into the glass in front of Pyo-wol and spoke
“As a gesture of apology for my previous rudeness I will pour the liquor first.”
With a swift motion Pyo-wol’s glass was filled to the brim with liquor.
Pyo-wol silently stared at the glass. Then Yong Hasang smirked and said
“I already know that Master Pyo doesn’t drink. This is just my way of apologizing. You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to. I just want to drop everything and have a heart-to-heart talk with you today. Isn’t this how men get to know each other?”
Yong Hasang’s gaze shone more intensely than ever before.
Thank you for reading!
Dog Road. Raws: ???(便犬路). 便 biàn – plain / informal / suitable / convenient / opportune / to urinate or defecate / equivalent 犬 quǎn – dog 路 lù – road / journey / route Shadow Strike Division. Raws: ???(切影隊). 切 qiē – to cut / to slice / tangent (math) 影 yǐng – picture / image / film / movie / photograph / reflection / shadow / trace 隊 duì – squadron / team / group