Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 9
Yong Hasang did not care that Pyo-wol was sitting in front of him and freely fondled the courtesans’ breasts.
The courtesans seemed to welcome Yong Hasang’s actions as they pressed their bodies closer, moaning.
The courtesans next to Pyo-wol also fawned over him, feeding him snacks.
Pyo-wol didn’t refuse the courtesans’ hospitality, but his gaze never strayed from Yong Hasang.
Suddenly, Yong Hasang forcefully placed his glass on the table, causing the liquid inside to splash in all directions, but he paid it no mind.
Yong Hasang had been drinking since Pyo-wol boarded the ship, but his face showed no sign of intoxication.
Yong Hasang looked at Pyo-wol and said,
“I’m curious about your thoughts on the Anti-Golden Heaven Society.”
“You must have seen Jang Mugeuk, the new leader of the Golden Heaven Society yourself. I’m curious about your thoughts on him when you saw him.”
“He seems very ambitious.”
“How big do you think his ambitions are?”
“Perhaps greater than yours.”
Yong Hasang’s face stiffened at Pyo-wol’s unexpected words.
He glared at Pyo-wol with an intense gaze and asked,
“Why do you think that?”
“Because he doesn’t pay attention to you, yet you pay attention to him. That’s the difference between you two, and the gap is quite big.”
Yong Hasang bit his lip in frustration at Pyo-wol’s harsh remarks.
His pride was hurt. But it was hard to retaliate.
It was Pyo-wol who spoke, not just anyone.
The weight he carried in Jianghu was no small thing.
“Damn it! That hurts my pride.”
“It’s the truth.”
“Fine! If it’s the truth, then I’ll accept it. Let me ask you one more thing. What do you think will happen to Jianghu in the future?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“I want to know your thoughts.”
“Are my thoughts that important?”
“I think they are. Whether you like it or not, you are clearly a prominent figure in Jianghu.”
“Prominent figure? How amusing. To make a big deal about a mere assassin–”
“I told you, whether you like it or not, Jianghu thinks that way. Jianghu’s flow has changed significantly since you appeared. That’s why I’m asking.”
Yong Hasang’s eyes gleamed intensely.
Pyo-wol could read the immense ambition contained within them.
Yong Hasang was not someone who would be under someone else’s control.
Pyo-wol honestly expressed his thoughts.
“People like you will rise up.”
“What makes you think so?”
“We’ve had a long period of peace.”
“Is that so?”
“Long enough for the patience of ambitious individuals to run out.”
Yong Hasang nodded in agreement with Pyo-wol’s words.
His own thoughts were similar to Pyo-wol’s.
The Dragon Sky Valley had survived in Jianghu for quite a long time.
Initially, they ruled Jianghu as one of the Ten Clans. However, after a bloody conflict, seven of the ten clans collapsed, causing the surviving clans to be called Three Clans.
Of the ten clans, only three survived.
Having witnessed the rise and fall of Jianghu, they were more cautious than anyone else. They chose to remain on the sidelines as spectators rather than intervene in the affairs of Jianghu.
It was a choice his sect had no choice but to make, but to an ambitious individual like Yong Haosang, it felt like a heavy shackle.
He had longed for a chance to break free of the suffocating shackles. That’s why the offer he received from Namgung Wol was too sweet and tempting to pass up.
It seemed like a legitimate opportunity to escape from the confines of his sect. That’s why he left everything behind and came all the way to Poyang Lake.
However, when he finally met Namgung Wol, there was one thing that bothered him.
Namgung Wol’s disposition was subtly different from his own, and while it was only a minor difference of opinion at the moment, he couldn’t predict how wide the gap would grow in the future.
That’s why he couldn’t easily make a decision even with Namgung Wol’s offer, and he wasted time contemplating.
Even drinking with the courtesans didn’t resolve his conflict, which led him to consult with Pyo-wol.
Now, Yong Hasang’s thoughts were starting to come together in his mind.
‘A time when the patience of ambitious individuals runs thin. A turbulent period is about to begin.’
This was what he had felt since he left the Dragon Sky Valley and arrived here.
Although it seemed peaceful on the surface, signs of turbulent times could be seen everywhere. Until now, he couldn’t be certain of his own feelings, but after conversing with Pyo-wol, he felt more certain.
The chaotic era had already begun.
It was just that people didn’t know it yet.
The path regarding Jang Mugeuk also became clear.
If his ambition was truly that immense, Yong Hasang could never stand on the same side as him. His own ambition would surely be engulfed and disappear in the face of Jang Mugeuk’s.
In that case, there was only one option left.
Organize the Anti-Golden Heaven Society together with Namgung Wol.
That way, he could solidify his position.
Once he organized his thoughts in this way, his mind became clearer.
Even though it was difficult to make a decision, once he made up his mind, there was no need for hesitation.
“Master Pyo-wol– No, Brother Pyo-wol!”
Yong Hasang changed the way he addressed Pyo-wol. The title of ‘master’ seemed too distant.
“Come with me.”
“Join the Anti-Golden Heaven Society. I want to entrust you with the role of leader. Please lead us.”
Pyo-wol sensed Yong Hasang’s true intentions.
‘Entrust me with the role of the leader? You simply want to use me as a shield.’
The Anti-Golden Heaven Society hadn’t even been properly organized yet. It was ridiculous to discuss who should assume the leadership role in such a disorganized group.
Pyo-wol wasn’t foolish enough to fall for Yong Hasang’s wordplay.
“Would you perhaps reconsider in the future?”
“If that’s the case, I won’t force you.”
At this point, Yong Hasang backed off.
There was no point in continuing the conversation as it would only hurt each other’s feelings.
He knew better than anyone that turning someone like Pyo-wol into an enemy would become a headache.
Although he had been defeated by Pyo-wol in the past, he hadn’t exerted his full power back then.
He was confident that he would not be defeated by Pyo-wol if he gave it his all. However, he also didn’t want to become enemies with Pyo-wol.
Now was the time to maintain a reasonable distance and friendship with him.
Yong Hasang lifted his glass once again and spoke to Pyo-wol.
“Please forget what I said. Let’s just drink today and have a good time.”
He downed the drink in one gulp. Then, a courtesan fed an appetizer into his mouth.
Yong Hasang deliberately created a spicier atmosphere, and the courtesans responded in kind.
One courtesan took a sip of alcohol into her own mouth and kissed Yong Hasang, passing the alcohol from mouth to mouth.
After savoring the taste of the liquor and the courtesan’s tongue, Yong Hasang murmured,
“Mmm, this feels good.”
His eyes were now red and bloodshot.
Pyo-wol silently watched him.
The courtesans also approached him, saying,
“Young master, please take a look at us too.”
The courtesans intertwined with each other in an intimate manner.
Pyo-wol entrusted himself to the courtesans, thinking,
‘Hero of the turbulent times. Can Namgung Wol really take control of such an era?’
Pyo-wol sincerely wondered.
The future of the Anti-Golden Heaven Society.
How long would the alliance between Yong Hasang and Namgung Wol last?
* * *
Pyo-wol opened his eyes.
A white hand gently caressed Pyo-wol’s chest.
It was the hand of a courtesan lying next to him.
The courtesan was naked and sound asleep.
The drinking session that had started on the ship continued in the brothel.
Yong Hasang, who was slightly intoxicated, took the two courtesans and disappeared into another room, while Pyo-wol spent the night with the courtesan lying beside him.
Pyo-wol didn’t just engage in physical relations with the courtesan.
The night was long, and there was much to talk about. And the courtesan who had fallen deeply for Pyo-wol told him everything she knew. Thanks to her, Pyo-wol gained a clear understanding of the situation around Poyang Lake.
That alone was a significant gain for Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol sat up and got dressed.
The courtesan still hadn’t woken up. Pyo-wol left her sleeping and walked out alone.
It was still early in the morning, so the brothel was quiet.
As Pyo-wol came out, the servants working in the brothel bowed their heads in greeting. Paying them no attention, Pyo-wol left the brothel.
Pyo-wol headed towards his lodging, the Southern Heaven Pavilion.
The Southern Heaven Pavilion was bustling with guests from early in the morning. When the guests saw Pyo-wol, they looked surprised.
They recognized Pyo-wol’s identity.
There wasn’t a single sect or person along the shores of Lake Poyang who didn’t know him.
Pyo-wol had become nothing less of a celebrity.
It was then.
“There you are, I’ve been looking for you.”
A young man among the guests approached Pyo-wol from inside the private room.
He was none other than Ju Seolpung of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
“You came to look for me? This must mean that you have made some progress.”
“Yes, let’s take a seat inside first.”
The two of them sat in a corner of the private room.
“Well, for starters, I still haven’t been able to find the people Master Pyo is looking for. But, I did find the people responsible for providing them with a hiding place.”
“Who are they?”
“The Blood Ant Gang.”
“The force that has recently grown like poisonous mushrooms around Poyang Lake?”
“I see that you are aware of them. Yes, that’s right. We have obtained evidence of the Blood Ant Gang’s involvement in hiding them.”
“Yes! Disgustingly, however, they discovered that we were tracking them and killed one of my men.”
Ju Seolpung’s face was filled with anger.n𝓸𝚟𝔢-𝗅𝓫)In
It wasn’t difficult to find those who had killed Gu Changhae.
The Shadow Strike Squad had control over the slums to the extent that they were feared.
They eventually located the inn where Gu Changhae had last visited and tortured the innkeeper to find out the truth.
“It was an inn associated with the Blood Ant Gang. The people Pyo-wol is looking for also stayed in that inn. We also found out that the Blood Chamber was behind all of this. Unfortunately, the Blood Ant Gang realized that we were on their trail and went into hiding.”
“The leader of the Blood Ant Gang is quite cunning, as rumored.”
“How did you know about that?”
“Somebody told me.”
The courtesan with whom Pyo-wol had spent the previous night had told him such information.
The courtesan referred to the Blood Ant Gang leader, Deung Chol-ung, as a fox wearing a bear’s disguise.
From the outside, Deung Chol-ung looks like someone who would only charge forward without caring about anything, but in reality, he had a sharp and cunning mind that makes quick calculations.
That’s why she said if one were to underestimate him based on his appearance, they would get struck on the back of the head.
“I suppose nothing has been discovered about why the Blood Ant Gang helped them?”
“Yes, but it shouldn’t take us too long to find out.”
Ju Seolpung’s voice was filled with confidence.
It was true that the Blood Ant Gang had a stronghold over the shady areas along the shores of Lake Poyang.
Ordinary people, especially the poor and weak merchants, dared not disclose the Blood Ant Gang’s whereabouts. They were afraid of the gang’s retaliation so they have no choice but to protect and cooperate with the Blood Ant Gang.
Even the factions in Poyang Lake considered the Blood Ant Gang as a nuisance, but they could not do anything about them. But the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group was different.
Even before the Blood Ant Gang established its presence around Poyang Lake, the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group had already established itself there. Furthermore, they spent a considerable amount of money every year for the benefit of the common people in accordance to Noh Tae-tae’s intentions.
Above all, they had the ability to protect their own interests from the gang’s retaliation. They could also offer substantial financial rewards.
Until now, the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group had looked the other way because the Blood Ant Gang had not done anything that could be considered as threat to their interests. However, now that the Blood Ant Gang had killed one of their people, they couldn’t simply overlook it.
Although the Blood Ant Gang were a lower-level group, killing Gu Changhae was a direct challenge to the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group.
Ju Seolpung couldn’t stand doing nothing about that.
“As of now, all elite members of the Imperial Yuan Merchant Group, including the Shadow Strike Squad, have been mobilized to find the Blood Ant Gang. No matter how well they hide, we will eventually find them.”
His confidence was not unfounded.
Ju Seolpung and the Shadow Strike Squad possessed that level of ability.
In fact, at this very moment, there were reports of commotion coming from businesses associated with the Blood Ant Gang.
They might try to keep their mouths shut and resist, but they couldn’t withstand torture and interrogation.
Raising his index finger, Ju Seolpung spoke,
“Just one day. If you wait just one day, we will capture the leaders of the Blood Ant Gang and hand them over to Pyo-wol. Dispose of them as you please.”