Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 107

March 18, 2024 • 12 min read • 138 views

When the Thread of Fate is Reconnected… (1)

Novel-Martial Artist Lee Gwak

Boom!

Spirit Granny slammed her palm down on the table, shattering it and sending shards flying in all directions. The people eating nearby were stunned by the blow, but not a single one of them protested.

Intense Killing intent filled Spirit Granny’s eyes as she questioned her disciple.

“What did you just say?”

“Lunatic Pugilist has appeared, Master!”

“Is… is that true?”

Spirit Granny’s voice rose involuntarily with excitement.

She had traveled the world in search of Gwang Noh ya. She was more eager for this moment than anyone.

“Tell me in detail. Is it really the Lunatic Pugilist?”

“This morning, the patrol team of the Jade Heaven Alliance caught a bandit wandering in the wilderness. He claimed to be from the Black Dragon Fortress and said that a mad old man had attacked them, leading to the annihilation of the Black Dragon Fortress.”

“The mad… old man!”

“A madman of unimaginable martial prowess. With a single wave of his hand, he destroyed the fortress leader and dozens of houses. Who else in the world could it be, if not the Lunatic Pugilist?”

“Hmm!”

Yeom So So’s explanation caused Spirit Granny’s eyes to redden with bloodlust, increasing the killing intent in the inn.

All the martial artists inside trembled under Spirit Granny’s killing intent, but her disciple looked at her with a grin, showing no sign of fear.

“His appearance, martial arts, everything matches with the Lunatic Pugilist, Master!”

“Where is this survivor bandit? I must interrogate him myself.”

“He’s locked up in the Siege fortress’s prison.”

“Let’s go!”

Spirit Granny stood up, but a striking young girl blocked her path.

“You can’t just leave like this.”

The girl, who fearlessly stood in front of Spirit Granny, was Bang Ye-in.

Spirit Granny’s face twisted maliciously at her appearance.

“Move aside, Girl!”

“You can’t just leave like this.”

“What?”

“You need to pay for the broken table.”

Bang Ye-in pointed at the table Spirit Granny had destroyed, which only deepened the killing intent in Spirit Granny’s eyes.

“How dare you insult me?”

“Oh my! Insult? I’m just stating the obvious.”

Bang Ye-in widened her eyes, seemingly unafraid of Spirit Granny’s killing intent, smiling at her. This only fueled Spirit Granny’s rage further.

“Do you even know who I am?”

“It doesn’t matter who you are. This is Big Bear’s inn, and everything here is his precious property. How can you ruthlessly destroy someone else’s hard-earned assets with no intention of compensating them? What kind of principle is that?”

“How dare you bitch!”

Just as Spirit Granny was about to act on her rage,

“That’s enough, customer!”

With a heavy voice, a large man appeared behind Bang Ye-in’s back. It was Iron Butcher Cheol Dae-San, the owner of the Western Wind Inn. He was in the kitchen, tending to the meat, when he heard the commotion outside.

The figure of Cheol Dae-San holding the blood-dripping knife was reminiscent of a butcher.

“You?”

“If you don’t wish to be at odds with the Bang Clan’s Inn, I suggest you stop now. Spirit Granny.”

“Bang Clan’s Inn? Could it be?”

Spirit Granny’s eyes wavered.

“Yes, the Western Wind Inn is an affiliate of the Bang Clan’s Inn.”

“And this girl?”

“She is the future leader of the Bang Clan’s Inn.”

“Hmm!”

A muffled sneer escaped the Spirit Granny’s lips.

No matter how much of an absolute master she was among the Eight Great Martial Artists with a wilful nature, she couldn’t overlook the Bang Clan’s Inn.

Although not a formal martial arts sect, Bang Clan’s Inn influence in the Jianghu was no less significant than that of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

She herself, being a powerful martial artist and with not much time left to live, could afford to face threats head-on. However, her only disciple, Yeom So So, was not in the same position.
Yeom So so was still at an age where she needed protection and required many years to become stronger. For Yeom So so’s sake, it was crucial not to make an enemy of the Bang Clan’s Inn, at least not at the moment.

Spirit Granny glared at Bang Ye-in.

“How much for the table?”

“Big Bear, how much?”

Instead of responding, Bang Ye-in asked Cheol Dae-San, who sighed and replied,

“Ah! It’s not really something that can be priced. I made it myself with wood I collected.”

“So, how much?”

“Just consider it my labor cost and give me one silver nyang.”

“Did you hear?”

Bang Ye-in shrugged and looked at Spirit Granny.

Spirit Granny pulled out a silver nyang from her pouch and tossed it to Bang Ye-in.

“Here.”

“Thank you.”

Despite Spirit Granny imbuing her catch with considerable power, she caught it effortlessly.
Spirit Granny noticed that Bang Ye-in’s internal energy was surprisingly profound. To think that a young girl like Bang Ye-in was not much inferior to Spirit Granny in terms of internal energy.

‘After all, Bang Clan’s Inn is a place that enhances internal energy with food, so I guess this level of energy is to be expected?’

Spirit Granny bit her lip for a moment but then spoke as if it didn’t bother her.

“May I go now?”

“Of course.”

Bang Ye-in smiled and made way for her.

As Spirit Granny passed by her, she whispered in a low voice.

“The influence of the Bang Clan’s Inn is quite remarkable. Let’s see how long it can stay that way.”

“Please come again. Our Bang Clan’s Inn always puts our customers first.”

“Hmph!”

Spirit Granny snorted and left. Yeom So So quickly followed her.

Once Spirit Granny and her disciple had left the inn, Cheol Dae-San let out a sigh of relief.
Even though he was known as “Iron Butcher” for his great martial skills, he could not compare to Spirit Granny, one of the Eight Great Martial Artists.

If she had not backed down, he could not have ensured Bang Ye-in’s safety.

“Phew! My heart nearly dropped because of you, miss. Why didn’t you just let her go? It’s just a table, why pick a fight with Spirit Granny over it?”

“Big Bear!”

“Yes!”

“You don’t have to charge for the food. You can give food to those in need anytime. Cooking is about saving lives, and kindness should extend even to the poor.”

This was an old tradition of the Bang Clan’s Inn.

The first owner, Bang Jinbo, did not take payment for food from the poor, and this tradition had continued to this day.

“But Miss, it’s just a table. There’s no need for you to risk your life over something worth less than a silver nyang.”

“It’s not just any table. I know how much thought and excitement you put into making this table. How could I not understand the significance of one’s first inn, first table, first chair? How many people have found comfort eating at this table that she broke? This seemingly insignificant piece of wood carries so many stories. They are truly priceless. That’s why we must at least receive a minimal payment, Big Bear!”

“Ah… Miss!”

Cheol Dae-San’s voice trembled.

“You said it yourself when you were training at the Bang Clan’s Inn. Having your own inn was the dream of a lifetime. This place is where your dreams are housed, and no one should trample on another’s dreams so carelessly, not even Spirit Granny.”

Bang Ye-in’s voice was filled with a deep resonance that moved Cheol Dae-San.

“Miss!”

****

Lee Gwak and Cheon-wol walked together through the streets of the Siege Fortress.

They were headed to the artisan district within the Siege Fortress. Cheon-wol’s sword, which he had received from the Jade Heaven Alliance, had been badly damaged and needed repair at the forge.

With so many martial artists residing here, there was a steady demand for weapons, so the artisan street had formed.

As they entered the street with the forges, they immediately felt the intense heat. The forges had opened their doors for business, and they were emitting a tremendous amount of heat.

KANG KANG KANG!

The sound of the hammer striking iron enticed the passing martial artists.

Lee Gwak looked around to see if Eun Family Steelsmith was present, but he didn’t see any sign with Eun Family Steelsmith written on it.

“It seems it hasn’t made its way here.”

Although he felt slightly disappointed, Lee Gwak didn’t show it.

Instead of the non-existent Eun Family Steelsmith, he chose a small workshop without a signboard.

The owner of the workshop, an elderly craftsman, upon seeing the sword from Cheon-wol, commented that buying a new one would probably be cheaper. The sword from Cheon-wol was severely damaged.

Lee Gwak agreed with the workshop owner.

The sword provided by the Jade Heaven Alliance was not that good.

For a martial artist, a good sword was akin to an extra life, especially here at the frontline, far from the safety of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

It was a place where fierce battles took place every day, and it wouldn’t be surprising to be swept up in a battle at any time. So, acquiring a sword made of high-quality steel now was much better.

Cheon-wol followed Lee Gwak’s opinion.

Although he was just a low-ranking martial artist of the outer hall, he had saved almost all of his salary. The price of a new sword was expensive, but not to the extent that he couldn’t afford it.
Cheon-wol carefully chose a sword.

He meticulously examined the weight, sharpness of the blade, balance, and grip.

When he first received a sword from the Jade Heaven Alliance, he was nothing but a newbie, but now he was a swordsman who could fully play his part.

His understanding of swords had deepened through learning the Hidden Sword Arts, allowing him to discern which sword suited him best.

Clang! Clang!

Cheon-wol tapped the blade with a small steel hammer to test its strength before making a decision.

“I’ll take this one.”

The sword Cheon-wol chose was much thinner than typical swords. It was specialized for thrusting rather than slashing. Swords like this were often used by assassins.

Cheon-wol hugged his newly purchased sword, clearly very pleased with it. Knowing his feelings, Lee Gwak naturally smiled.

Suddenly, Cheon-wol said to Lee Gwak.

“Brother, thank you for coming with me. I’ll buy lunch.”

“Sure!”

Lee Gwak did not refuse.

“But where should we go?”

At Cheon-wol’s question, Lee Gwak thought of the West Wind Inn.

“I know an inn where the food is delicious.”

“Then let’s go there.”

As they walked shoulder to shoulder toward the Western Wind Inn, a commotion erupted from the direction of the Siege Fortress’s main gate.

“A courier hawk has arrived. Open the gate quickly.”

“Hurry and call a doctor. Damn it!”

Suddenly, there was commotion near the fortress’s main gate.

The atmosphere looked serious as nearby martial artists started moving urgently.

Lee Gwak and Cheon-wol exchanged glances.

Without needing to speak, they understood each other and headed straight for the main gate.

By the time they reached the gate, a crowd of martial artists had already gathered.

Lee Gwak and Cheon-wol pushed through the crowd and moved forward, then they saw the fortress’s gate wide open.

Outside the gate, there were many martial artists who looked anxiously towards the front.

Then, someone outside the fortress shouted.

“They’re coming.”

Far down the road leading to the fortress gate, dust clouds billowed. A group of riders were galloping toward them.

The riders, clad in black cloaks and hoods, were completely covered, making it impossible to discern their true identities.

They charged towards the fortress gate with a fearsome momentum. To the uninformed, it might have seemed like an enemy invasion.

As they neared the gate, they shouted.

“Where is the doctor?”

“Here.”

A person among those gathered at the gate stepped forward in response. It was the resident doctor of the fortress.

The riders in black cloaks stopped their horses in front of the doctor and quickly brought down someone from their horse.

The man was covered in blood from head to toe.

The leader of the black-cloaked riders grabbed the doctor by the collar and said,

“You must save him.”

“What? But…”

“If you can’t save him, you die too. So, make sure you save him.”

“Ah, understood.”

The frightened doctor quickly nodded. Only then did the leader let go of the doctor’s collar.

The doctor hurried over to the injured man to check his pulse, which was faint, as if it could stop at any moment. The doctor quickly took out a life-saving pill from his bag, placed it in the injured man’s mouth, and shouted,

“His condition is critical. We must take him inside immediately.”

Following his shout, several martial artists rushed over, placed the injured man on a stretcher, and moved him inside.

The leading martial artists then said to the others in black robes.

“I will report to the prince; you all rest at the lodging.”

“Yes!”

The black-robed martial artists responded in unison.

A sharp, sword-like aura emanated from their entire being, making the martial artists near the gate hesitant to even speak to them.

They all wore their hoods low, concealing their true faces, so the martial artists at the gate could not even guess their identities.

They passed by where Lee Gwak and others were standing.

As they passed by Lee Gwak and the rest, a spark of recognition flashed in Lee Gwak’s eyes.

His gaze was fixed on one of the smaller-statured martial artists.