Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 102

February 22, 2024 • 11 min read • 398 views

Siege Fortress(2)

Novel-Martial Artist Lee Gwak

The ten powers that currently dominate the jianghu are known as the Ten Sects.

Collectively, the leaders of these Ten Sects are referred to as the Ten Great Overlords. They are, in both name and reality, the supreme masters of jianghu and are recognised by the world as champions.

  • Limitless Sword Emperor, Ja Hong Cheon of the Jade Heaven Alliance.
  • Blood Sea Divine Sword, Gyeong Un Cheon of the Nine Dragons Sect.
  • Southern Sea Martial Emperor, Yu Mun Sang of the Martial Sword Troupe.
  • Dark Heavenly Lone Star, Namgung Jin-geom of the Thousand Kingdom School.
  • Seven Colors Martial Emperor, Muk Jin Yeong of Dragon Heaven Valley.
  • Solitary Soul Warrior, Yeom Jun-gak of Self-Path Sect
  • Green Forest Great Emperor, Po Cheon Wol of Sky High Castle.
  • Merchant King, Eun Won Ho of the Myriad Merchant Troupe.
  • World Lord, Won Gong-yeo of White Light Sect.
  • Lastly, the unknown leader of Hidden Hegemon, a coalition formed by inactive sects like Mount Hua, Shaolin, and Wudang.

These ten individuals truly stand at the pinnacle of the Jianghu.

With personal martial prowess and the backing of their powerful sects, these perfect martial artists lacked nothing.

The Eight Great Martial Artists, though not commanding vast forces like the Ten Great Overlords, referred to eight absolute masters whose martial arts prowess was second to none.

Dark Soul Assassin, Eum Ji Mun.

Drifting Wind Beggar, Lee Se Hong.

Moon Shadow True Demon, Yang Su Cheon.

Five Yin Demon Hand, Jang Hwak.

Phantom Fairy, Yu Sa Hee.

Spirit Granny, Jeung Wi Hyeon.

Nine Nether Demon Husband, Buk Ri Seong.

Unrivaled Lone Sword, Ja Seol Gyeong.

Eight absolute masters who could threaten the stronghold of the Ten Great Overlords if they had the backing of a force.

Yeom So So’s master, Spirit Granny Jeung Wi Hyeon, is one of these eight.

Jeung Wi Hyeon, in particular, was notorious for her cruelty across Jianghu. Her temper was unrestrained and she was capable of killing anyone she didn’t like.

It was said that the number of skilled martial artists who fell by her hand numbered in the hundreds. There were rumors that had she been supported by a force as powerful as any of the Ten Great Sects, the jianghu would have faced an unprecedented catastrophe.

Fortunately, no sect or group was willing to accept her vile personality, so she wandered the world alone with her disciple.

Yeom So So was the disciple taken in by Spirit Granny Jeung Wi Hyeon in her later years. She inherited her master’s wayward nature, becoming infamous for her unpredictable behavior.

Yeom So So asked again.

“Have you heard of my master’s nickname before?”

“Yes.”

“And yet you stand so boldly. Aren’t you afraid!”

Yeom So So licked her red lips with her tongue and made an amused face. In response, Lee Gwak’s eyebrows twitched.

Yeom So So burst into laughter.

“Ha, don’t look so scared, I’m just kidding.”

She stomped her feet as if in pain from laughter, but no one in the Vagrant market dared join in.

Only Yeom So So laughed and chatted away, creating a bizarre scene. But with Spirit Granny Jeung Wi Hyeon standing firmly behind her, no one dared to express their displeasure.

Spirit Granny then asked Lee Gwak.

“You seem skilled. Who taught you martial arts?”

“I have no master.”

“So, you learned on your own?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm!”

Her already grim gaze turned even colder.

“That’s strange, very strange!”

Spirit Granny gazed at Lee Gwak, puzzled. The flow of energy around him was somehow irritating to her.

Given how easily he had subdued the Mad Blood Trio, his internal energy seemed extraordinary, but upon closer inspection, it didn’t appear all that impressive.

The discord between the two piqued Spirit Granny’s curiosity.

Being unable to resist her curiosity, Spirit Granny was tempted to torture the truth out of him. However, she was stopped before she could act.

“Stop right there!”

“How dare you commit murder within the Siege Fortress.”

A group of martial artists entered the Vagrant Market and quickly surrounded Spirit Granny. They were martial artists from the Jade Heaven Alliance stationed in the city, who had been alerted to the murder.

“Tsck!”

Spirit Granny clicked her tongue and glared at them.

The martial artists of the Jade Heaven Alliance pointed their weapons at Spirit Granny and Yeom So so. A middle-aged martial artist walked out from amongst the martial artists of the Jade Heaven Alliance

The man, known as Shark Sword Jo Han-sul, was responsible for the city’s security. His formidable martial skills and ruthless nature made him a figure of fear within the Siege Fortress.

Jo Han-sul addressed Spirit Granny.

“Are you unaware that murder within the city is strictly prohibited?”

“Of course, I know.”

“Even though you know murder is strictly prohibited within Siege Fortress, you still committed it?”

Jo Han-sul’s gaze sharpened, taking Spirit Granny’s response as a direct challenge to Jade Heaven Alliance’s authority.

Under normal circumstances, Jo Han-sul would have ordered his subordinates to subdue Spirit Granny by now. However, the situation was different this time. The aura emanating from Spirit Granny was unnervingly potent.

“Reveal your identity.”

“My name is Jeung Wi Hyeon. Child!”

“Jeung Wi Hyeon? Are you truly the Spirit Granny in person?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm!”

Jo Hansul let out a murmur.

If the opponent was truly Spirit Granny, she was too significant a figure even for him.

Spirit Granny was on par with the Jade Heaven Alliance’s leader, Ja Hong Cheon, a titan whose authority couldn’t be easily challenged, especially not by enforcing the Jade Heaven Alliance’s laws on her.

Making Spirit Granny an enemy, especially during the ongoing war with the Celestial Demon Troupe, could bring endless trouble. That was a disaster Jo Han-sul was keen to avoid.

Reading Jo Han-sul’s thoughts, Spirit Granny grinned, revealing her yellow teeth.

“Still wish to punish me?”

“I apologize. We were unaware that Spirit Granny had entered Siege Fortress. May I ask the reason for your visit?”

“I have heard that the one I seek is near this area. I have come to gather information.”

“May we know who it is you’re looking for?”

“Why should I tell you that?”

“You never know, we may have information on the person you seek, and Jade Heaven Alliance is always ready to cooperate with you.”

“I thought your eyes were sharp, but your tongue is quite sharp as well.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m searching for Gwang Noh ya.”

“Hmm!”

Jo Han-sul couldn’t help but murmur again, understanding why she might be looking for Gwang Noh ya.

‘She still hasn’t forgotten that day’s defeat?’

Almost everyone in the Jianghu knew of Spirit Granny’s crushing defeat to Gwang Noh ya, a shocking and well-known event.

“Is Gwang Noh ya really in this vicinity?”

“There were reports of him being seen around here.”

A sinister madness flickered in Spirit Granny’s eyes.

Even after many years, she hadn’t forgotten the humiliation of that day.

It was the first defeat of her life, a memory so shameful that she shuddered to recall it. That’s why she had been wandering the lands in search of Gwang Noh ya.

Only by killing Gwang Noh ya could she escape the nightmare that haunted her.

Jo Han-sul bowed slightly.

“If he’s really nearby, we will find him for you.”

“And the price?”

“How can we ask for anything in return from Spirit Granny? We only wish you to have a peaceful stay in the Siege Fortress”.

Though he phrased it diplomatically, the underlying request was for her to refrain from committing further murders during her stay.

“If you truly find Gwang Noh ya for me, I will gladly abide by Jade Heaven Alliance’s rules.”

“Thank you.”

“I will stay at the Western Wind Inn for a while, so if you get information about Gwang Noh ya, you can come there.”

“Western Wind Inn? Understood. Then we will take our leave, please rest comfortably.”

Jo Han-sul bowed to Spirit Granny and disappeared with his subordinates.

A satisfied smile appeared on Spirit Granny’s face. She had achieved the desired outcome.

The reason she caused such a commotion was to gain the cooperation of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

Turning around, she saw Yeom So So standing with a blank expression.

Seeing her reminded her of something she had forgotten.

Spirit Granny asked about Lee Gwak’s whereabouts.

“Where did that fellow go?”

“He’s gone.”

Lee Gwak had discreetly disappeared the moment Jo Han-sul appeared. Even Yeom so so noticed his disappearance only afterward.

“Hmm!”

Spirit Granny frowned for a moment but didn’t pay it much mind.

Compared to her desperate search for Gwang Noh ya, the existence named Lee Gwak was trivial.

Spirit Granny reached out her hand to Yeom So so.

“Let’s go to the Western Wind Inn. I’ve heard rumors that the food there is really delicious.”

“Yes!”

Yeom So so gladly took Spirit Granny’s hand.

*****

Lee Gwak left the Vagrant Market and walked quietly through the streets. He had discreetly escaped the Vagrant Market by taking advantage of the moment Jo Han-sul and his men arrived. He preferred not to get entangled in the incident any further.

“Was Gwang Noh ya really around here?”

Spirit Granny’s words before leaving the Vagrant Market came to mind.

A complex expression appeared on Lee Gwak’s face.

If there was anyone who had the most significant influence on his life, it was undoubtedly Gwang Noh ya. His words had shaped the Lee Gwak of today.

-Do not turn the wolf inside you into a dog

The existence that made Lee Gwak aware he was a wolf and had a profound impact on his life’s direction.

He never dreamed he would hear Gwang Noh ya’s name so far from the front lines of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

“Ha!”

Lee Gwak sighed.

His mind had become unnecessarily complicated.

He shook off his thoughts and returned to the residence of the 13th squad.

“Welcome back, leader!”

“You’re late.”

Ki Jin Hwi and Seok Yi Cheon were among the first to greet him.
“I took a detour, so I was late.”

“Really? You must be tired, you should get some rest now.”

“That was exactly my plan.”

Lee Gwak smiled and sat down on the platform.

He was indeed very tired, more mentally than physically.

Lee Gwak lay down on the platform and closed his eyes.

Numerous thoughts flashed through his mind like a lantern slide show.

The day he lost his parents to the plague and left his hometown.

The world was too harsh for a young boy to live in alone. The world was not friendly to him, and people looked at him with wary eyes as a street boy.

He barely managed to fend off hunger by begging for food, and after enduring countless hardships, he arrived at the Jade Heaven Alliance.

Even after joining the Jade Heaven Alliance, his struggles didn’t end. No matter how hard he tried, his life didn’t improve, and he continued to live a bottom-tier life.

He felt frustrated and despairing over the reality that no matter how hard he tried, it didn’t get better. A ray of hope shone on him when he met a woman.

Geum Yul-seon.

The woman who became a light for Lee Gwak.

With her, he could dream and navigate through the harsh reality.

It was like a dreamy period.

He worked to death to live in the same house as her. He dreamed of buying a house with the little money he earned, bit by bit.

Although his body was extremely weary, his heart was always happy during that time.

If he could go back to those times, he would sell his soul if possible.

But he couldn’t recall Geum Yul-seon’s face.

The woman he loved so much, but now her face was so vague that it couldn’t be clearly imagined.

“Why?”

Lee Gwak found it strange but tried hard to recall her face.

The black eyes that gazed at him deeply, the red lips that whispered words of love, and even her sweet fragrance.

The face he struggled to recall belonged to an entirely different person.

“So Cheon!”

Lee Gwak opened his eyes with a bewildered expression.