Chapter 98 - The Unknown Trial (1)
“Are you not going to report it”
Cho Sung-won asked me this as if he couldn’t understand my decision.
Sima Young had briefed him of all that had happened once we returned to the dorm where he had waited.
After hearing it, he wanted to report to Hae Ack-chun to insist on changing the plan and seizing the sword.
Like me, he, too, had become a real member of the Blood Sect.
The goal was to reclaim the Blood Demon Sword, after all.
Everyone in the sect would react the same way he did if they heard that the sword was being moved.
“What do you want to do”
When I continued to say nothing, Cho Sung-won became visibly frustrated.
What would I do
I was listening to Short Sword recount the conversation that had happened in the room after we left.
I had planned to head back and retrieve it, but Jang Myung had brought it to us.
-So that happened.
The thin-eyed kid then said that I belonged to So hyung…
Short Sword spoke with excitement.
Thanks to this, I managed to learn some good information.
I almost fell into a trap.
‘… Zhuge Won-myung.’
The military commander… I didn’t know he was capable of creating such a trap.
Leaving Short Sword to eavesdrop on their conversation saved my life.
Short Sword metaphorically raised her shoulders at my compliment.
No matter how smart of a man he was, he would never have guessed that Short Sword could overhear him, right
Iron Sword chimed in as the two of us spoke.
-Everything happened as planned, but wouldn’t it be faster to just look through her memory
If I had done that, there would have been no need to hear her words.
I would have to do that in the future.
I looked at Cho Sung-won, who was addressing me and said.
“It is a trap.”
“Isn’t it strange that such important information was leaked to us We’re not even part of the Murim Alliance.”
He frowned at my words.
I couldn’t say that Short Sword had told me the truth, so I had to explain it to him convincingly.
Still, it was easy to put together a story since I had rough approximate knowledge of the situation.
However, as I began my explanation, a thought popped up.
‘… couldn’t they have leaked the information to that side too’
-That side Do you mean that fox
If it was the military commander, he must be suspicious of quite a few others besides us.
It would be inevitable that spies on the other side had also been spotted.
Of course, they would have everything prepared, but Zhuge Won-myung must also be using this bait to test her.
-Isn’t this good Isn’t it a chance to get them taken down
Short sword wasn’t wrong.
But the problem was, if she was caught in the trap, then the Murim Alliance could use it as an excuse to mobilize their whole force towards the Blood Sect.
-Still, if the fox is caught, wouldn’t it be possible to unite the sect as one without even getting the Blood Demon Sword
I’ve been chased a lot in my day, and my insight has also developed a lot.
That line of thinking could pan out, but the worst could always happen.
The critical factor was the loyalty of those who supported Baek Hye-hyang.
If their loyalty was stronger than we thought, they would try to save her even at the cost of their deaths.
Seeing this, that could be right.
But from another angle, both candidates for sect leader were akin to a single body.
Only by ending this internal war without much damage could a perfect state be achieved.
-I have been influenced a lot.
In a way, Baek Hye-hyang could grasp the Blood Sect in her hands without much effort.
It was only because of me that she had to go down a difficult path similar to Baek Ryeon-ha’s.
I wanted to see the fox in trouble.
Did you think I didn’t also want to see that
It wouldn’t be good for me to weaken her by getting her captured.
If her identity was unintentionally revealed in a place filled with the Blood Sect’s enemies, then even we would be at risk.
‘He said five days later’
According to Zhuge Won-myung’s words, the trap would be ready in five days.
We had to make contact with Baek Hye-hyang before then.
We need to at least inform them to not fall into the trap, so how could we find them All of them must be hiding extremely carefully to avoid capture, so how
That evening, we went outside the castle.
Our purpose wasn’t to find Baek Hye-hyang.
We were headed towards the blacksmith’s forge and nowhere else.
Since it was a place not involved with the Murim Alliance, we were free to wander.
Didn’t the First Sword of Mount Hyeong also come out here to buy pork for the others in his retinue
‘But, it is hard to even catch a glimpse of Yong-yong’s face.’
I tried to find their dorm’s location, but I couldn’t see her anywhere.
There had been a meeting with the disciples of the Nine Great Sects, so we were unable to meet.
To tell the truth, she seemed like a child who was even busier than the First Sword of their sect.
As soon as we left the castle and entered the village, Sima Young gently grasped my collar and said.
She called me sahyung to try and get my attention.
What kind of request did she have to call for me so cutely
“Why don’t you go to the forge and send us to pack more pork”
“Huh! I like it.”
Cho Sung-won also became excited at her request.
Clearly, he liked it.
The pork was quite delicious even when it was cold after we took it to the dorm.
Eating the chewy meat while sipping alcohol felt like a glimpse of paradise in hell.
Even my own mouth watered as she mentioned it.
“If all of you want it, then sure.”
Cho Sung-won smiled brightly as he heard my words.
“Eh~ Be honest! You were also tempted, but you’re trying to act so cool! Haha.”
Look at this jerk.
Was he trying to make a joke of me Well, if he didn’t cross the line, then this kind of relationship was more convenient.
Sima Young then said.
“Uh But don’t we have to make a reservation in advance to get the pork before it runs out It is dinner time now.”
The Dongpa pork was so popular that it ran out in the evenings.
Sima Young then said.
“You go ahead and make the reservation.
Sahyung and I will head to the forge.”
I saw her eyes twinkling strangely! It was like a hawk that had caught its prey.
The corner of her lips was raised as if she was excited about something.
Was she aiming for us to be alone
This time sajae can head there and make the reservation.
I will go and be back soon.”
Sima Young seemed a bit confused.
Cho Sung-won, who had keen eyes, immediately nodded.
It is better if you do that.
If we go ahead and make a reservation and wait, you can come there.”
At those words, she turned to look at Cho Sung-woon.
It was as I expected.
Whenever we were alone lately, she kept saying stuff like, ‘Vice commander, what kind of woman do you like’ and ‘Vice commander, when you get married later, do you not like a scary person as a father-in-law’
Short Sword mumbled.
-You can never get rid…
Don’t say strange **.
I am a small one.
Which is why I know better than you!
Short Sword had returned to her rebellious age.
Uh… I also noticed that she clearly likes me.
All of her words were all directed at me.
-Don’t want to have a scary father-in-law.
Who would even dare to have a relationship with the daughter of Sima Chak One of the Four Great Evils
I am an ordinary person.
Iron Sword intervened.
-Wonhwi, do not worry.
My former master had a sago in the past.
He told his junior, who was about to marry, about whether or not in-laws could be killed based on how much hatred was present.
Enough, arguing with him was even more confusing.
In a situation where it was difficult to keep myself safe, having someone would be too much of a luxury for me.
At my words, Short Sword mumbled.
-I don’t like it.
You are unnecessarily…
I said stop.
Anyways, Cho Sung-won went together with Sima Young, and I headed to the forge.
It was getting dark, and many of the forges had closed for the day.
Right, the working day was done.
‘As I thought.’
I was a little too optimistic.
After disposing of the Fifth Blood’s disciple, the craftsman had woken up and misunderstood that I had saved him.
He then offered to give me something I wanted in return.
When I asked if he could make Short Sword faster and better, he promised to make something by melting the iron powder I had made out of his failed swords.
Now that there were just five more swords left to destroy, the blacksmith had to find a way to use them.
But something felt strange.
Cho Sung-won felt it too.
“I feel nothing from inside.”
We hurriedly moved and went inside.
Once we entered, almost all of the tools inside the forge and the weapons hanging on the wall were missing.
They had vanished as if the forge had shut down.
‘What is this…’
There were some traces left on the ground of broken blades and other useless things.
All of the important tools were gone.
Just in case, we moved closer to the forge.
Even the five swords that I had to destroy were also gone.
All the other broken swords were thrown away, yet it was strange that the imitations of the Murim Alliance leader’s sword were missing.
Cho Sung-wun searched the place and came out shaking his head.
“There are no clothes.
Looking at the living room, it seems like he left in a hurry.
I don’t know what could have happened.”
It was strange.
Does it make sense for a person to suddenly get up and leave in just a day Besides, I wasn’t the only one who had made a request.
The alliance leader had as well.
It was a possibility that couldn’t be ruled out.
But it was strange for this man to be kidnapped.
-Could the Alliance Leader have taken him Wonhwi
Iron Sword’s words rang true.
All of the broken swords had been thrown away, and the imitations were missing.
Perhaps he had used his hand to clean off any traces.
But was there any reason for him to do it
Come to think of it, the Alliance Leader had considered this to be a secret task.
He wouldn’t have given this task to some random blacksmith on the street.
As I wondered about this problem further…
Hearing Short Sword’s shout of warning, I bowed my head without another thought and felt something flash over my head.
I quickly threw myself forward and turned around.
Cho Sung-won was lying on the ground as if he had fainted, yet no one was around.
I couldn’t even feel any presence until Iron Sword said.
-Wonhwi… right now behind you, a black warrior.
You don’t feel him
His words made my spine shiver.
They were right behind me, and I couldn’t feel anything.
How did such a warrior appear here
And then I heard a voice.
“Do not look back.”
A voice that sounded inhumane.
If I moved just a little, I felt like I would be stabbed from behind.
This was my first time feeling such threatening energy.
“Who… are you”
I asked in a tense voice.
But no answer came.
-Wonhwi, he is looking around.
I felt a moment of conflict.
The moment he decided to kill me, I would fall.
But it wasn’t like just turning around would give me a winning chance, either.
There was only one way out of the situation: to run away from the enemy with all my might.
But… Cho Sung-won.
If I ran away, he would end up being captured by this person, and anything could happen.
‘… this is insane.’
That was my only conclusion.
After all, wasn’t this place right in front of the Alliance’s castle Yet this person didn’t seem to be scared of any potential conflict.
If I could run, I should go to the roof and shout.
Hae Ack-chun couldn’t be too far away.
I began to tap into my mid dantian.
I then pulled out Short Sword and swung it behind me.
But at that moment, something unbelievable happened.
I couldn’t even see the moment Short Sword was deflected back as I crashed into the ground.
A handwritten note was on the ground, and I hadn’t noticed it.
At that moment, I jumped back and drew Iron Sword.
But I couldn’t see the opponent.
As soon as he had blocked Short Sword, the person moved behind me again.
He was too fast.
I couldn’t even imagine what his next move would be.
“It seems like you don’t value your life.”
The voice said from behind.
I couldn’t feel any killing intent, yet my heart pounded.
This unknown person then said.
“You cannot see my face with your skills, so give up.”
I couldn’t see his face At that moment, an idea popped into my head.
I turned Iron Sword so that my face would be visible on it.
In the process, I saw the black-robed man reflected behind me.
The faint eyes that could be seen through the black mask visibly narrowed as he said.
“You are one sly ki…um That sword…”
His voice was puzzled.
I rotated my body without missing the moment.
My body turned rapidly as my sword soared in the wind like a whirlwind.
This was the technique of the Returning Dragon Sword.
It was the only sword technique that could work when dealing with an enemy at the rear.
I did it.
I soared high and headed right for the roof.
As I thought of escaping, the technique suddenly stopped.
My heart pounded again.
Suddenly, I saw that the black-robed man had caught my blade with his two fingers.
He then swung it away like flicking a bug.
My body was slammed down to the floor with heavy force.
The wood flooring had cracked open as my body fell down grotesquely.
It felt like my body was breaking, yet I had to endure it and jump up.
In front of me stood the man in a black robe and bamboo hat.
He was holding Iron Sword and looked like he no longer cared about hiding his body.
My shock at my sword being snatched away as I unleashed my technique hadn’t disappeared.
Seeing this, the man asked.
“You are the successor of the South Heavenly Swordsman.”
He recognized me as he saw the sword.
I then asked him cautiously.
“… senior recognizes me”
“How can I not know I wanted to see you.”
With those words, the man flicked Iron Sword with his finger.
This made it fly at great speed, as if an arrow was shot toward me.
The sword shivered at the force, but the floor below was fine.
Such incredible skill.
I was then sure of something.
‘… he is stronger than teacher.’
This man was an expert who had far exceeded Hae Ack-chun.
Only a couple of people came to mind.
The man then said.
“Take your sword and try to attack.”