Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 366
Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 16
At the entrance to the vertical cave a gigantic pulley and a large box that could accommodate people could be seen. The size of the box was so huge that it looked like it can hold ten or more people at once.
Judging by the length of the rope attached to the basket the depth of the underground cave must be at least a hundred meters deep.
Even if someone had managed to reach this place they would not dare to descend.
This was because the moment they descend if someone else cuts the rope from above they would never see the light of the world again. There were only a few people in the world who would dare take such a risk and descend into the vertical cave.
One of them was Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol was not afraid of the vertical cave of unknown depth.
After all this place was awfully similar to where he was reborn as an assassin.
The dreary wind blowing from underground and the musty smell were all too familiar to him.
He could tell what kind of environment was unfolding even with his eyes closed.
To him this environment was no different from home.
Therefore without a moment’s hesitation he threw himself down the vertical cave.
Pyo-wol injected internal energy into his Black Dragon Robe. The cloak then opened wide catching the wind.
This significantly slowed down his descent. However it was still not a speed a common person could handle.
Furthermore an ordinary person would not have dared to even open their eyes due to the rough wind blowing from below. Yet despite facing the harsh wind Pyo-wol opened his eyes wide and looked down at his feet.
Everything beneath his feet was shrouded in darkness to the point that even he couldn’t distinguish where the void or floor was.
Even if Pyo-wol slowed down his descent with the Black Dragon Robe if he crashed to the ground like this he would get seriously injured.
But Pyo-wol himself seemed utterly composed.
He was counting in his mind.
‘Two hundred forty two hundred sixty two hundred eighty now–’
Pyo-wol released the Soul-Reaping Thread consecutively.
The Soul-Reaping Thread stuck to the wall slowing down his fall.
Every time the Soul-Reaping Thread was unable to withstand his speed and weight it would snap into two so he would emit another.
After emitting the Soul-Reaping Thread more than a dozen times Pyo-wol was able to come to a complete stop.
Pyo-wol looked down still holding on to the Soul-Reaping Thread.
He could see the darkness and the faint edge of the floor about a dozen meters down.
Pyo-wol estimated the depth by the length of the rope hanging from the pulley. He also estimated the depth by counting numbers while falling.
His instincts were spot-on.
He had stopped at the precise moment.
Pyo-wol collected the Soul-Reaping Thread and descended along the walls of the vertical cave.
At the bottom of the vertical cave four warriors were standing guard.
One of them looked up at the top of the vertical cave. However all he could see was total darkness.
His companion looked at him strangely.
“Nothing. I just thought I heard something from up there.”
“Must be the wind.”
“It sounded like the fluttering of a clothing though?”
“You probably misheard. Isn’t the wind quite strong?”
In the end the warrior who had looked up scratched his head and looked at his companions.
One of his companions then said
“If you stay here long enough you’ll start hearing things. Even the wind would sometimes sound like a ghost’s wailing.”
“Do you hear that too? Because I do as well.”
“I don’t understand why they set up a guard post here when we already have the Thousand-Section Illusionary Formation1 set up outside.”
“Shouldn’t you know our leader’s personality by now? Anyway stop whining and stand guard. If word gets out that we’re slacking off we’ll be whipped.”
The warriors stopped talking and stood guard again.
They would never have imagine the fact that a black shadow was crawling above their heads.
With such an unparalleled grip strength and a hardened body Pyo-wol was crawling upside down on the ceiling.
Only when Pyo-wol was out of the warriors’ sight did he descend to the floor.
Descending over three hundred meters underground without the help of any equipment was no easy feat for him either.
It was so difficult that even he felt exhausted for a moment.
He stopped for a moment to catch his breath.
Fortunately after a while his body condition had somewhat recovered.
Only then did Pyo-wol start moving again.
‘They utilized a naturally formed cave.’
The scene was strikingly similar to the underground cave where he honed his assassination skills.
The underground cave was like an ant’s nest. It was clear that at some point the underground passages would eventually converge into a large underground cavern at some point.
‘Are they raising assassins here too?’
It was entirely possible.
After all such an environment was optimal for raising assassins.
Pyo-wol walked cautiously wary of any mechanisms or traps.
Perhaps because they trusted the thorough security outside there were no guards inside.
Thanks to that Pyo-wol could move freely.
Pyo-wol walked the tunnel for a good while.
The pitch-black tunnel without even a torch to light the way maximized human fear. But for someone who had grown up in such an environment like Pyo-wol it didn’t give any thrills.
An ordinary man would need a torch to see ahead but Pyo-wol’s eyesight could see through the darkness.
After walking for a while just as Pyo-wol expected a massive underground cavity appeared.
In the center of the underground cavity about ten military tents were set up and many martial artists were moving around busily.
Around the tents numerous torches were brightly lit.
The shadows of the people illuminated by the torchlight stretched long making their movements look extremely bizarre.
Pyo-wol naturally infiltrated among them.
They never once considered the fact that someone from the outside would infiltrate so they weren’t on guard.
Pyo-wol changed his face to an average-looking one and changed the color of his Black Dragon Robe to a similar color to their clothes.
That alone was enough.
The martial artists moving around the camp didn’t feel any sense of incongruity with Pyo-wol and recognized him as a member of the group.
A middle-aged martial artist casually looked over his men and said
“If you’re ready let’s go! It’s time to feed the pigs.”
The subordinates responded and loaded a large barrel onto the cart.
Inside the large barrel was a gruel made from an unknown substance. It smelled so foul that it seemed impossible for a human to eat.
As they said it was food for pigs.
The warriors pushed the cart to the north side of the underground cavity where a large iron gate stood.
They unlocked a gigantic padlock as big as an adult’s body and entered then a pitch-black tunnel appeared where not a speck of light existed.
On either side of the tunnel were dozens of iron doors just wide enough for a person to enter.
Terrible stench was leaking through the gaps in the iron doors.
The men pulling the carts grimaced as they opened a small window in the first iron door. After opening the window a man crouched in the cramped space was revealed.
His hair was matted his body was awfully thin and malnourished. He was also only wearing a piece of cloth that barely covered his private parts.
With no place to relieve himself the man’s surroundings were filled with excrement. He looked no different from a beast.
The middle-aged warrior Hwang Ak-chu knocked on the iron door and said
A subordinate put an unidentified gruel in a bowl and threw it into the iron door.
The bowl shook and gruel splashed in all directions. The man crouching inside the cell quickly cradled the bowl into his arms.
Even though there was nothing else inside the iron door he hurriedly ate the given food as if it would be snatched away by someone.
Seeing this Hwang Ak-chu’s mouth curled into a sickly smile.
“Heh! Would you look at that. Even though you’ve made a name for yourself in Jianghu you’re nothing more than a beast right now.”
“Hehe! Wouldn’t anyone be the same? No matter how great a person is they won’t be able to do anything in this place.”
Hwang Ak-chu nodded his head.
The man imprisoned beyond the iron door was a martial artist who had earned the nickname ‘Lightning Flying Sword’2 in Jianghu.
He was a wandering warrior a man of martial prowess with a competitive spirit who used to roam around Jianghu proving his own strength. But now he was living a life worse than a beast locked up like this.
At first he didn’t take a single bite of the gruel they served.
But there was no one could withstand hunger for so long.
To survive he had to eat gruel and eventually he was tamed like a pig.
Hwang Ak-chu and his subordinates went around giving gruel to the others who were trapped in different cells. Those who received the gruel ate it hurriedly as if someone would steal it.
Hwang Ak-chu and his men sneered at such a sight.
Pyo-wol stood behind them looking at the people trapped in the iron cells.
Each and every one of them had been eroded by despair.
Judging from the conversation between Hwang Ak-chu and his men it was clear that all of the imprisoned men were martial artists who had quite a reputation in Jianghu.
It was unknown how they had ended up here. However judging by their conditions it was clear that such things had been happening for quite some time.
“Heuk! Please save me!”
“AHH! A A spider is biting me–!”
Hearing Hwang Ak-chu and his men passing by caused the men trapped inside the iron cells to desperately scream out.
Some pleaded while others screamed in agony. As they heard these sounds Hwang Ak-chu and his men chuckled.
Even the most hardened and toughest one would go insane after being trapped in a place like this for such a long time.
The men who were screaming now were in the process of mental breakdown slowly losing their minds.
The desperation in their screams was palpable.
Their cries and howls echoed off the cave walls amplifying massively like the screams of those who had fallen into the depths of hell.
If there was a hell on earth it would look something like this.
A normal person would go insane just by stepping into a place like this for a moment. Yet Hwang Ak-chu and his subordinates moved along calmly.
Even though they had delivered food to each cell Hwang Ak-chu and his men had yet to stop moving.
When they reached the end of the tunnel another large iron gate stood in their way.
They once again unlocked the gate and entered.
Hwang Ak-chu and his men who had been mocking the people imprisoned so far pulled out cloths from their bosoms and covered their mouths and noses.
Their faces showed visible signs of tension.
Hwang Ak-chu said to his men
“Do not inhale even a single whiff of smoke that comes out of this place. If you do you will die.”
With their noses and mouths thoroughly covered they entered the space beyond the gigantic iron gate.
Pyo-wol followed them covering his nose and mouth as well.
As soon as he stepped inside the iron gate he understood why Hwang Ak-chu had warned them so seriously.
An enticing scent that could stimulate one’s soul was wafting in the air inside the iron gate.
The moment he smelled it he felt as if his mind was flying away.
There’s no way a drug that gives off such a scent could be normal.
It was not just a simple narcotic.
It was clear that it was a prohibited drug that is capable of destroying the human mind.
In the Jianghu those who use these kinds of drug were officially targeted by officials.
Even the Tang clan which was a byword for terror for its use of hidden weapons and poison didn’t handle these types of drugs.
Hwang Ak-chu frowned heavily and said
“If we stay here too long we will also become addicted. Let’s finish serving the food quickly and get out.”
His subordinates answered in unison and moved swiftly.
While they had previously laughed leisurely at the trapped ones in the previous sections the expressions on their faces now were filled with urgency.
They might be blocking the intrusion of the poison with the cloths for now but if they stayed long they would inevitably be affected by the poison.
There were only a few people imprisoned here and they all had great poison tolerance which is why they wanted to destroy their minds with prohibited drugs.
“First this one–”
Hwang Ak-chu opened the window of the first cell.
Then a man sitting huddled in the narrow space where he couldn’t even stretch his legs became visible.
As soon as the window was opened he glared with a look full of madness.
The madness in his eyes like a demon crawling up from the depths of hell frightened Hwang Ak-chu and his men.
“–Kill you. I will kill you. I will tear you apart.”
He kept repeating the same words over and over.
Hwang Ak-chu gritted his teeth.
Despite constantly inhaling the drug that would make anyone lose their mind with just a single breath the imprisoned man’s mind hadn’t completely collapsed yet.
Rather his hatred for those who imprisoned him here was growing. This sight made Hwang Ak-chu and his men fearful.
From behind Hwang Ak-chu and his men Pyo-wol looked at the man inside the iron cell.
Coincidentally at that moment the man’s gaze also landed on Pyo-wol.
Their gazes met in midair.
Thank you for reading!
Thousand-Section Illusionary Formation. Raws: ?????(千節幻影陣). 千 qiān – thousand 節 jié – joint; node / (bound form) section; segment 幻影 huànyǐng – phantom / mirage 陣 zhèn – disposition of troops / wave / spate / burst / spell / short period of time / classifier for events or states of short duration Lightning Flying Sword. Raws: ????(閃電飛劍). 閃電 shǎndiàn – lightning 飛 fēi – to fly 劍 jiàn – double-edged sword