Light Novel: Volume 15 Episode 21
One of the Three Clans and the overlord of the South Sea, the Martial Sword Alliance.
Jeon Mu-ok, the Sword King of the Sea,1 was the sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance and the strongest martial artist in the South Sea.
He had as many as ten disciples.
He encouraged rivalry among his students, declaring that he would pass on the position of sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance to the winner.
His declaration threw the entire South Sea martial arts community into extreme turmoil.
The Martial Sword Alliance was a union of the South Sea martial arts community.
Each of his ten disciples came from an extraordinary background.
They had drawn their patrons, or at least the factions they came from, into the succession battle.
Thus, it turned into a civil war within the South Sea martial arts community, not just a simple succession battle.
The winner would become the sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance and have everything.
The future of the Martial Sword Alliance and the control of the South Sea martial arts community would fall into their hands.
And, all that’s left for the loser is death.
There could be no exceptions.
Because Jeon Mu-ok, the sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance, had stirred up the atmosphere in such a way.
Yu Suhwan was the only disciple who did not participate in the succession battle.
Even though he was the second disciple Jeon Mu-ok had taken, he had no interest in becoming the sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance. But the others did not think so.
It was because of Yu Suhwan’s talent.
His talent in the sword was excellent, something no other disciple could keep up with.
So much so that even his master, Jeon Mu-ok, was envious of his swordsmanship talent.
“If Suhwan had the slightest bit of ambition, I would have handed over the Martial Sword Alliance to him without going through this cumbersome process. Based solely on swordsmanship talent, Suhwan is even better than me.”
People became shocked because these words were coming out of Jeon Mu-ok’s mouth himself, the strongest martial artist in the South Sea.
The reason Jeon Mu-ok did not give Yu Suhwan the position of sect leader was that he was generous and free-spirited.
He had no ambition to become the sect leader of the Martial Sword Alliance.
His nature was that of a man of pleasure who enjoyed mastering the sword, loved alcohol, and loved the vast sea.
The people gave him the title of Blue Sword Ascetic.2
He kept his distance when Jeon Mu-ok encouraged competition among his disciples resulting in numerous bloody struggles.
Other disciples tried hard to attract Yu Suhwan to their side, but he remained neutral and did not take anyone’s side.
In the end, Dok Gohyang, the fifth disciple of Jeon Mu-ok, became the winner and rose to the position of sect leader.
Shortly thereafter, Yu Suhwan disappeared from the Martial Sword Alliance and the South Sea martial arts community.
Gossips said that Yu Suhwan left the South Sea martial arts community on his own so as not to burden Dok Gohyang.
Many people applauded, praising Yu Suhwan for making such a great decision.
Yu Suhwan never appeared in the South Sea again and was forgotten from people’s memories.
Yu Suhwan looked very thin, as if he hadn’t eaten properly for a long time, and his bones looked like they were merely covered in skin, but his eyes were surprisingly clear.
“Have you been trapped here for a long time?”
“I’ve only been imprisoned here for a few months. I was imprisoned for a long time before being transferred here.”
“Does this have something to do with Dok Gohyang?”
“Have you met the child?”
“Five months ago.”
“That would have been when I was trapped in a narrow box and moved to Runan. Hoo!”
Yu Suhwan let out a sigh.
There were many emotions contained in his sigh.
“How was he?”
“He looked good.”
“Is that so? Um Soso, is that child still with him?”
Yu Suhwan closed his eyes for a moment.
Pyo-wol watched Yu Suhwan in silence.
Even without asking, Pyo-wol could tell that Yu Suhwan’s feelings were incredibly complicated.
After a while, Yu Suhwan opened his eyes.
His gaze was clear and clean like a bright mirror.
He asked again,
“How was it? The look in Gohyang’s eyes.”
“Was his ambition still there?”
“It was huge.”
“His ambition was not any less than Jang Mugeuk of the Celestial Martial Sect.”
“So, you’ve seen Jang Mugeuk too?”
“He was with him.”
“Oh… So he was still with him.”
Yu Suhwan’s voice trembled slightly.
“He has joined the Golden Heaven Society.”
“Haha! So, that still happened in the end?”
“I have a favor to ask. Can you release me? With your ability to infiltrate this place, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to release me.”
“And what do I get in return for doing that?”
“I have nothing to offer you but my body.”
“I’m not interested in men.”
“Neither am I. I’ll become your tool. Although I am like this now, if I regain some of my old skills, I will still be useful.”
Even though he was the one asking for a favor, Yu Suhwan did not act servile.
Yu Suhwan’s appearance reminded Pyo-wol of a pine tree.3
An old pine tree, always green and majestic.
Pyo-wol did not know what kind of situation Yu Suhwan was in, but he felt that it would not be bad to have him owe him a favor.
Pyo-wol called out, and the little snake that had been coiled around his arm woke up.
Seeing Gwiya slithering down Pyo-wol’s forearm, Yu Suhwan murmured,
“A spiritual beast, no, a strange beast.”
Yu Suhwan stretched out his arm.
Then, Gwiya bit his arm with its small teeth.
At the stinging sensation, Yu Suhwan closed his eyes.
He could feel the poisons that had been gnawing at his body for so long being drawn out like the ebb tide.
His mind became clearer, and he could feel the senses all over his body becoming sharper.
He hadn’t felt this way in a long time.
His body, which had been as heavy as a soaked sponge, felt energized for the first time in a long while.
Even though it was just a feeling of exhaustion disappearing, Yu Suhwan felt as if he was being reborn.
When Gwiya finally sucked up all the poison, it let go of Yu Suhwan’s arm.
Yu Suhwan rubbed his forearms and pushed himself up.
Having been locked up for so long, he staggered, but he eventually found his balance and stood up on his own.
Suddenly, Yu Suhwan’s gaze fell on the man behind Pyo-wol.n/-0𝐯𝑬𝗅𝑏1n
“Who are you? Looking at your complexion, it seems like you were in the same condition as me.”
“That’s right, I was also imprisoned here. I arrived approximately the same time Master Yu came in.”
“I am Hong Yushin, the chief inspector of the Hao clan.”
“You must be an important man.”
“How can I compare to a disciple of the Martial Sword Alliance?”
“It’s a mere status.”
“But depending on how you use it, it can be a powerful justification.”
“Is that so?”
“Isn’t justification most important for people like us?”
“I suppose so. No, you’re right.”
Yu Suhwan nodded his head as if he had come to a great realization.
Hong Yushin looked at Yu Suhwan and thought,
‘He must have been in the box that the Heavenly Flower Variety Theater Troupe transported. Yu Suhwan, the Blue Sword Ascetic. I never expected to see him here.’
As the chief inspector of the Hao clan, he was well-informed about Yu Suhwan.
He knew about his extraordinary talent and impeccable character.
If he had genuinely desired to become the sect leader, many would have followed him.
There was only one reason for his imprisonment here in the Prison of No Return. It was because he did not participate in the succession battle.
‘It must be Dok Gohyang’s doing. Even if Master Yu did not participate in the succession battle, his mere presence would have stirred up trouble.’
Hong Yushin was familiar with the inner workings of Jianghu better than anyone, so it wasn’t hard for him to guess the situation.
Dok Gohyang must have considered Yu Suhwan an eyesore.
Yu Suhwan stepped out of the room.
Although he had only stepped out of one iron gate, he had a relieved look on his face.
Hong Yushin understood the feelings Yu Suhwan must be experiencing at this moment.
Because he himself had been trapped for the same amount of time as Yu Suhwan.
Hong Yushin said to Yu Suhwan,
“Let us get out of here now.”
“It won’t be easy to get out. Everyone here possesses strong martial arts.”
“It won’t be that difficult.”
“Because we have Master Pyo-wol.”
Hong Yushin glanced at Pyo-wol.
Yu Suhwan also turned his gaze towards Pyo-wol.
“Must be quite a character.”
“A remarkable person indeed. You may not know because you’ve been trapped for a long time, but Master Pyo’s nickname is the Reaper.”
“Reaper? Sounds fierce.”
“Once you see him in action, you’ll understand why he’s called that.”
“Hmm, is that so?”
Yu Suhwan looked at Pyo-wol with his characteristically clear and deep eyes.
Yu Suhwan didn’t need Hong Yushin to tell him that Pyo-wol was different from everyone else.
‘I can’t feel any darkness or estrangement.’
It was Yu Suhwan’s first time ever seeing someone who seemed to be one with jet-black darkness.
“Let’s leave now.”
He started walking towards the outside.
Hong Yushin and Yu Suhwan quietly followed behind him.
As they opened the giant iron gate that divided the sector and stepped out, another prison cell appeared.
The moment they stepped into the new sector, they felt a damp sensation under their feet.
An unidentifiable liquid was pooled on the floor.
It hadn’t been there when they entered earlier.
Hong Yushin smelled the scent of blood from the liquid.
He quickly channeled qi to his eyes and looked around.
He saw a figure leaning against the wall.
The figure had his head bowed, with no signs of breathing. Blood was also trickling down his neck, pooling on the floor.
It was clear that he had been killed with a single blow.
Hong Yushin examined the corpse’s wounds and muttered,
“Yes. The beast that Master Pyo-wol had let loose…”
Even in the pitch-darkness, he had accurately severed the opponent’s breath.
With just a single sword.
Only those who are skilled in the art of assassination could perform such a skill even in the dark.
It was So Gyeoksan’s doing.
He had been imprisoned for a long time and had been drugged with the Demonic Soul-Exchange Poison, which had weakened him to the point of exhaustion, and yet he was still capable of demonstrating such terrifying skills.
If he were to regain his full strength, one could hardly dare to imagine how dreadful it would be.
The three of them moved forward again.
Another corpse appeared.
He was killed in the exact same way as the first one.
This, too, was also So Gyeoksan’s doing.
More and more bodies appeared.
By now, So Gyeoksan must have been exhausted as he could no longer kill with a single blow.
Some of the bodies had three or four wounds.
It was a clear sign that he was struggling.
The sound of weapons clashing could be heard from ahead.
Both of them strained their eyes, but neither Hong Yushin nor Yu Suhwan could see beyond. However, judging from the sound of clashing weapons, they could tell that the situation was urgent.
While the two of them could only guess, Pyo-wol could clearly see what was happening ahead.
He could see So Gyeoksan hanging from the stalactites like a bat.
Lee Hogwan was relentlessly chasing and attacking him.
So Gyeoksan was using the stalactites as cover to protect himself and to counterattack.
He did not kill all of Lee Hogwan’s men without suffering damage. His body had as many wounds as the number of men he had killed.
Moreover, he had been weakened from long confinement. If the fight dragged on, he would be at a disadvantage.
So Gyeoksan knew this too.
So, he took a risk.
He kicked off a stalactite and threw himself at Lee Hogwan.
He was trying to deliver a blow with all his might to Lee Hogwan.
But Lee Hogwan was not an easy opponent.
Lee Hogwan unfolded his spear.
From his spear, spear qi exploded like fireworks, attacking So Gyeoksan.
The spear qi embedded itself in So Gyeoksan’s shoulder and leg.
An ordinary man would have screamed and fallen to the ground, but not So Gyeoksan.
He ignored the pain and increased his speed instead.
Lee Hogwan’s look of astonishment grew closer. He hadn’t expected So Gyeoksan to charge so recklessly.
So Gyeoksan’s sword pierced through Lee Hogwan’s throat.
Finally, So Gyeoksan coughed up the breath he had been holding.
Blood was mixed with his breath.
Thank you for reading!
Sword King of the Sea. Raws: Haewanggeom, 해왕검(海王劍). 海 hǎi – sea, ocean; maritime 王 wáng, wàng, yù – king, ruler; royal; surname 劍 jiàn – sword, dagger, saber Blue Sword Ascetic. Raws: 청검수사(靑劍修士). 靑 qīng – blue 劍 jiàn – double-edged sword 修 xiū – study; repair; cultivate 士 shì – scholar, gentleman; soldier Pine tree. Raws: 청송(靑松). 靑 qīng – blue 松 sōng – pine