Reaper of the Drifting Moon Light Novel Chapter 369

Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 19

Manhwa: N/A

Squeak!

The pulley strained as it rotated, gradually lowering a massive basket onto the vertical cave floor.

Hwang Ak-chu and his subordinates raised their heads to look up.

A giant box emerged, piercing through the thick darkness where not a speck of light was visible.

About twenty warriors were riding in the box.

The box was overloaded, beyond its maximum capacity of only ten.

Hwang Ak-chu frowned.

‘Damn fools! What are they going to do if the rope breaks?’

That very rope was the only means of exiting this place.

If the rope snapped, they would have to wait indefinitely until a new one was lowered from above. Given the chance of being stuck here forever, Hwang Ak-chu could only respond nervously.

Yet, Hwang Ak-chu desperately hid his expression.

If they had been allowed into the basket to enter the underground cave, it was clear these visitors held no ordinary status.

After all, most would be stopped right at the entrance of the Thousand-Section Illusionary Formation.

‘Who are they?’

Thud!

Finally, the large box landed on the ground, and the twenty or so warriors began to disembark one by one.

At the front was a man wearing tattered clothes, with three spears stuck in his back. He was unusually barefoot, wearing no shoes.

His appearance was reminiscent of a bloodthirsty wolf starved of prey.

Hwang Ak-chu recognized the man’s identity and gasped.

“Ah! Bloodhound Wolf, Lee Hogwan!1 What brings you here?”

“Hwang Ak-chu! So you were here?”

Upon recognizing Hwang Ak-chu, Lee Hogwan grinned.

At his creepy smile, Hwang Ak-chu shivered slightly.

Lee Hogwan was a powerful figure who was in no way inferior to Gu Ja-hwang, the warden of the Prison of No Return.

While Gu Ja-hwang gained fame with his fierce punching power, Lee Hogwan was notorious for his three spears.

Lee Hogwan was a hunter.

He was known best for hunting down any target in exchange for gold.

Those who accompanied him were all masters of tracking and hunting. No one was more proficient than them when it came to hunting humans.

Lee Hogwan’s main area of activity was outside the Central Plains.

He was not someone to be seen here.

“How did you get here? No, I mean, when did you enter Jianghu?”

“You don’t seem pleased to see me.”

“That’s not what I mean–!”

“Haha! I’m joking. No need to be so tense.”

Lee Hogwan laughed as he patted Hwang Ak-chu’s shoulder.

“Ugh!”

Each time Lee Hogwan’s palm hit Hwang Ak-chu’s shoulder, the latter felt a shock as if being struck by a sledgehammer.

“You seem to have become weaker from not seeing the sun for a long time. Screaming over such a small thing.”

“No, that’s not it.”

“I’ve heard the conditions of the Prison of No Return aren’t great. Now that I’m seeing it myself, it’s indeed truly poor. To think that you’d lock up criminals in such a place.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Well then, put this guy in too.”

At Lee Hogwan’s gesture, his followers in the back dragged a man forward by the arms.

“Heu!”

The man held by the subordinates could only pant heavily, unable to regain his senses.

“Who is he?”

“The Ninth Underworld Yin Demon.”2

“Ah!”

Hwang Ak-chu unintentionally let out a gasp.

The Ninth Underworld Yin Demon was a notorious lecherous man active in the south of Yunnan.

With him learning and practicing a special cultivation method, he needed to regularly supplement and replenish his energy with the yin energy of women. Because of this, he would often kidnap women from brothels, satisfy his lust, and then kill them in cold blood.

His vile acts came to light when he kidnapped and killed the youngest daughter of the Dan family, one of the powerful clans in Yunnan.

The youngest daughter of the Dan family was loved by all for her beauty and kind heart. Her disappearance caused the Dan family to take action, eventually discovering that she was kidnapped by the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon.

Enraged, the Dan family chased after the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon.

Feeling the crisis, the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon cunningly escaped out of the Central Plains, leaving the Dan family in a futile chase. Yet, they didn’t give up.

They offered a hefty bounty to the sects and wandering mercenaries operating beyond the Central plains.

Numerous factions and mercenaries pounced at the opportunity, but no one could catch the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon.

Not only was the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon skilled in martial arts, but he was also proficient in the art of disguise, allowing him to change his appearance and form at will. So he continued his evil deeds while making a mockery of his pursuers.

“Is this guy really the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon? Why didn’t you kill him then–”

“The Dan family wanted it that way. Rather than granting him a swift and painless death, they insisted on keeping him alive for as long as possible so that he would experience hellish torment. That’s why I brought him here.”

“Hmm!”

Hwang Ak-chu nodded his head.

If that was the reason, then it made sense that Lee Hogwan had traveled all the way to this faraway place.

Moreover, Lee Hogwan and Gu Ja-hwang knew each other.

If Gu Ja-hwang had not become a prison warden, Lee Hogwan would have been the one who got that position instead.

“Where is Ja-hwang?”

“He’s inside.”

“Lead the way! Ah, put this guy in prison first.”

“Understood.”

Hwang Ak-chu took custody of the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon from Lee Hogwan’s subordinates.

The moment he took a close look at the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon’s face, Hwang Ak-chu frowned. The Ninth Underworld Yin Demon was in terrible shape.

His face was crushed beyond recognition, and the muscles of his limbs were severed, causing it to flail around.

But, the most gruesome part of it all was his lower body.

His nether region, which had once raped countless women, had been severed at the root, causing his crotch to be drenched in blood.

“Tsk!”

Hwang Ak-chu clicked his tongue.

The Ninth Underworld Yin Demon’s sins were unforgivable, but having the lower part cut off meant the end of a man’s life.

They even cut off the root of his tongue and stopped the bleeding, to prevent him from committing suicide.

Now, the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon was destined to live an existence worse than death in this place forever.

Hwang Ak-chu said to his subordinates,

“Lock him up in prison.”

“Yes!”

The subordinates responded in unison before dragging the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon away.

As the Ninth Underworld Yin Demon was being dragged away like a sack, Lee Hogwan said to Hwang Ak-chu,

“Take me to Gu Ja-hwang.”

“Please follow me.”

Hwang Ak-chu led Lee Hogwan and the subordinates to the underground common area where the tents were located.

Lee Hogwan whistled as he looked around the interior.

“Whew! How impressive. For there to be a prison in a place like this. This is beyond imagination.”

“I was also quite surprised when I first came here.”

“The Prison of No Return, huh? What an appropriate name. If a person is imprisoned here, it would be impossible for them to see the outside world again.”

“That’s because there’s only one entrance. Block that, and no one can get out.”

“Hmm! Should I give up being a hunter and stay here instead? Sounds like a lot of fun. Are there any female prisoners?”

“There used to be.”

“Used to be? Sounds like there aren’t any now.”

“How could a woman survive here? When incidents of men having relations with each other are common.”

“Well… If that’s the case, then it’s no wonder why no woman would survive in a place like this.”

Lee Hogwan conceded.

In such an isolated environment, where countless men were locked up– and all of them were vigorous and hardened warriors to be exact– it would be no surprise if such things happened here.

Lee Hogwan continued on his way with a smirk on his face.

When he reached the front of the camp, he saw a tall and imposing figure standing. Seeing the man reminiscent of a massive iron tower, Lee Hogwan’s face stiffened.

“Gu Ja-hwang!”

“I was wondering why it was noisy at the entrance, turns out it was you.”

“Heh heh! Now that I’ve come all the way here, I should at least take a look inside.”

“Why? Are you interested in this place?”

“I was, but I’ve changed my mind. I prefer places where there are women.”

“That’s why your martial arts has stagnated. You’re too obsessed with women.”

“What?”

“Isn’t it true?”

“Don’t talk nonsense with your loose tongue, Gu Ja-hwang!”

“Why? Did I strike a nerve?

“For someone who’s been pushed out of active duty and relegated to guarding a prison, you sure have a lively mouth!”

Crack! Crack! Crack!

The atmosphere around them trembled menacingly as the two confronted each other.

Even when Gu Ja-hwang was active in the outside world, the two were always at odds and hostile to each other. They recognized each other’s strength, but their values were too different.

Gu Ja-hwang would do whatever it took to get the job done without question, while Lee Hogwan would only do what suited his taste.

For this reason, they often clashed when they worked together.

Of course, that didn’t mean that they tried to take each other’s lives.

It was Lee Hogwan who was first to back down.

“Your nasty temper hasn’t changed.”

At his grumbling, Gu Ja-hwang also eased his aggressive stance.

“Phew!”

Only then did Hwang Ak-chu breathe a sigh of relief.

He didn’t really think they were going to fight, but seeing them confront each other so intensely, his heart couldn’t help but tighten.

Gu Ja-hwang asked,

“When are you going to leave?”

“Why don’t you just tell me to leave?”

“Leave.”

“What? Really?”

“If outsiders stay here for far too long, the troops get uneasy.”

“You’re as strict as ever.”

Lee Hogwan grumbled, but his expression had softened compared to before. He understood Gu Ja-hwang’s point.

Those who guarded the Prison of No Return were strictly restricted from having contact with the outside world in order to maintain its secrecy. That’s why there is a high chance for those living in such a closed-off environment to become restless when they come into contact with outsiders.

He personally didn’t like it, but he understood.

“Alright! I’ll just take a quick look around and leave. You would at least allow that, right?”

“As long as you’re just looking around.”

As Gu Ja-hwang gave his permission, Lee Hogwan began to explore every nook and cranny of the underground area.

Gu Ja-hwang and Hwang Ak-chu watched Lee Hogwan roam around freely with disgruntled expressions.

“I didn’t expect to see that hound again.”

“At least he’s leaving soon, which is fortunate.”

It was then.

“Hey! Look over here!”

Lee Hogwan suddenly waved at them.

Gu Ja-hwang furrowed his brow and muttered,

“What is he up to now?”

“Shouldn’t we go check anyway?”

“Hmm!”

At Hwang Ak-chu’s words, Gu Ja-hwang started walking.

Even though they had different personalities and would growl at each other whenever they met, Gu Ja-hwang knew that Lee Hogwan was not someone who would act without a reason.

Although he was reluctant, he went to where Lee Hogwan was.

It was the same place where Hong Yushin was being held.

Lee Hogwan stood in front of a large iron gate.

“Why did you call me here?”

“There is something weird about this place, or has it always been like this?”

“What do you mean?”

“This lock. It shows signs of being forced open.”

“What?”

At that moment, Gu Ja-hwang felt the blood in his body turn cold.

He remembered the uneasy feeling he had just a moment ago.

He quickly examined the lock Lee Hogwan had pointed out.

Sure enough, there were scratches where the key was inserted.

Such marks weren’t there until yesterday.

Gu Ja-hwang shouted with all his might.

“There’s an intruder!”

Immediately, warriors rushed out of the tents.

Gu Ja-hwang turned to them and said,

“Form groups and thoroughly search the inside!”

“Yes, sir!”

The men answered in unison and then dispersed.

There were no objections or questions.

This indicated their trust in Gu Ja-hwang.

Creak!

Gu Ja-hwang twisted the lock, and the lock, the size of a man’s torso, broke as easily like a twig.

The two men stepped into the prison cell.

Soon enough, they arrived in front of the room where Hong Yushin was being held.

Opening the iron door, they were greeted with an empty space.

Grit!

When their speculation turned out to be true, Gu Ja-hwang gritted his teeth.

Lee Hogwan asked,

“Do you have any suspects?”

“No.”

“So, someone managed to infiltrate a place like this? Definitely not an ordinary fellow.”

“Even then, he’s a rat caught in a trap. There’s no way he would be able to get out of here.”

“Hmm! Shall I help?”

At the unexpected proposal, Gu Ja-hwang looked at Lee Hogwan in surprise.

Lee Hogwan, who had always been playful, now had a serious look on his face.

Although they always bickered and fought like sworn enemies, Gu Ja-hwang knew best how great Lee Hogwan’s abilities were.

“Please do.”n((O𝓋𝗲𝗅𝒷1n

“Good! To think I’d get to have an exciting hunt after a long time. You guys keep watch outside and make sure he doesn’t escape.”

SoundlessWind21’s notes:

Thank you for reading!

Bloodhound Wolf. Raws: 추혈랑(追血狼). 追 zhuī – to chase / to pursue / to look into / to investigate / to reminisce / to recall / to court (one’s beloved) / to binge-watch (a TV drama) / retroactively / posthumously 血 xuè – blood 狼 láng – wolf Ninth Underworld Yin Demon. Raws: 구유음마(九幽陰魔). 九 jiǔ – nine 幽 yōu – remote / hidden away / secluded / serene / peaceful / to imprison / in superstition indicates the underworld / ancient district spanning Liaonang and Hebei provinces 陰 yīn – overcast (weather) / cloudy / shady / Yin (the negative principle of Yin and Yang) / negative (electric.) / feminine / moon / implicit / hidden / genitalia 魔 mó – (bound form) evil spirit; devil / (prefix) supernatural; magical

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