Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 116

March 28, 2024 • 11 min read • 123 views

The Endless Entanglement of Grudges (1)

Novel- Martial Artist Lee Gwak

Gwang Noh ya gazed at the dagger stuck in his side before shifting his gaze to the girl.

The girl who had stabbed him was none other than the disciple of Spirit Granny, Yeom So So.
She was smiling mischievously, as if she had never been sad.

“Kek kek! I was nervous thinking you were my master’s enemy, but you’re nothing special. I was nervous for nothing.”

“What do you care about? It was my master who raised me.”

Yeom So So mocked Gwang Noh ya.

“Your master is…”

Gwang Noh ya couldn’t continue and looked at Spirit Granny with a gloomy expression.
Spirit Granny glared at Gwang Noh ya with murderous eyes.

“Did you really think you could humiliate me and get away with it? Foolish old man!”

“I wasn’t in my right mind back then.”

“Silence, old man! Don’t even dream that such a feeble excuse will save you now.”

“An excuse… This too must be my karma.”

Gwang Noh ya looked down at his hands with a bitter expression.

He didn’t know how many people’s blood was on his cracked hands.

When he was in a frenzy, he was not in his right mind. It was as if he was raging madly.

It was like having a nightmare where everything was blurred, and he couldn’t remember anything clearly. But when he woke up from the madness and regained his senses, all that surrounded him was death.

He had lived like a madman for hundreds of years.

His original name was forgotten, and only the nickname Gwang Noh ya remained.

Spirit Granny was one of Gwang Noh ya’s victims. The difference was that her martial arts were so strong she survived, unlike the others.

After being brutally defeated by Gwang Noh ya, Spirit Granny waited only for the day she could take her revenge.

Slamming the ground with her Dragon Head Staff, Spirit Granny shouted.

“Next year on this day will be your death anniversary, old man.”

“With your martial arts, that’s impossible.”

“Hmph! We shall see about that.”

At Gwang Noh ya’s confident words, Gwang Noh ya looked at the dagger embedded in his side.

“If you think this will be enough for me, you’re mistaken. A wound like this has no effect on me.”

His body had long surpassed human limits.

No matter how severe his injuries, as long as he had a trace of internal energy, he could heal naturally. He couldn’t even take his own life if he wanted to because of this resilience.

That was the reason he allowed Yeom So So to strike him. There was no point in defending himself if he couldn’t die even when he wished to.

Suddenly, Spirit Granny burst into clear laughter.

“Kuhuhu! Old man. I already know you possess a body close to immortality. That’s why I suffered at your hands.”

“Knowing that, you still dare to challenge me?”

“Don’t you feel it yet? The poison should be spreading by now.”

“Poison?”

Gwang Noh ya’s complexion changed slightly.

The area where he was stabbed began to itch, a typical symptom of poisoning. But he wasn’t overly concerned. His body was immune to all poisons.

If poison could kill him, he would have died a long time ago. And by his own hand.

“It’s useless, Spirit Granny!”

Gwang Noh ya pulled out the dagger.

It came out effortlessly. But there was something strange about the dagger. Only the handle remained; the blade itself was gone.

“Did you think I just coated the dagger with poison?”

“Then what?”

“The blade itself was condensed poison. God’s Blood Tear. Remember that name. It’s the deadly poison that will send you to the underworld.”

“God’s Blood Tear?”

Gwang Noh ya frowned at the unfamiliar term.

“Yes, God’s Blood Tear! A poison so deadly it would make even the gods weep. It’s the ultimate poison, created in a faraway land.”

Spirit Granny smiled, showing her yellow teeth.

She knew she could never defeat Gwang Noh ya with her martial arts alone.

Although she was a top master in the Jianghu, Gwang Noh ya was far beyond her level.

Even if she dedicated more time to improving her martial arts, surpassing Gwang Noh ya was nearly impossible.

So, she chose poison.

She traveled the world seeking a poison potent enough to kill Gwang Noh ya. Eventually, she heard of a deadly poison in a distant land, said to be capable of killing even gods, and managed to obtain the God’s Blood Tear.

“Kuh!”

Suddenly, Gwang Noh ya’s expression contorted.

The poison from God’s Blood Tear attacked his heart.

Normally, his formidable internal energy would have burned away any poison before it could spread throughout his body. However, the fact that the poison was attacking his heart meant it was so vicious that not even his internal energy could stop it.

Gwang Noh ya’s mind began to fade, and his eyes bloodshot.

The dispersion of his internal energy due to the attack of God’s Blood Tear was causing his suppressed madness to erupt.

His red, bloodshot eyes were suddenly filled with madness. Spirit Granny pounced on him.

“Die, you mad monster!”

Her Dragon Head Staff flew towards Gwang Noh ya, shimmering with a clear energy.

Boom!

The collision between Gwang Noh ya and the Dragon Head Staff caused a thunderous explosion that resonated throughout the area, and the aftermath swept across thirty zhang, uprooting large trees and shattering boulders into pieces.

“Ah!”

Yeom So So, startled by the oncoming blast, hastily retreated.

The ground shook as if an earthquake had struck, a testament to the fierce clash between the two.

“Ah!”

Yeom So So’s mouth fell open in shock, not having realized Gwang Noh ya was such a formidable opponent.

Even poisoned with the God’s Blood Tear, Gwang Noh Ya fought on a par with Spirit Granny, never losing ground despite bleeding black blood from his nose and mouth. His demonic resilience reminded Yeom So So of a fierce spirit.

Spirit Granny had only mentioned Gwang Noh ya as her enemy, never revealing the extent of his strength.

Witnessing Gwang Noh ya’s prowess firsthand, she realized the gravity of whom she had brazenly provoked.

‘Still, my master will win. She must.’

Yeom So So’s eyes gleamed with a cunning light, always seeking an opportunity to aid her master.

***

Lee Gwak lifted his head and looked ahead.

Far in the distance, a woman in white leading the delegation caught his eye. She was a guide dispatched from the Celestial Demon Troupe.

Under her guidance, the delegation had left the Crimson Blood Fortress early in the morning.

“We must follow the path I lead. Straying from it could lead to unforeseen consequences.”

“Is that a threat?”

Yong Cheon-myeong’s gaze turned icy.

Despite the intimidating glare that would normally deter the average person, the guide’s expression did not change.

“I’m stating a fact. Unlike the Jianghu, dangers are scattered everywhere here.”

“It seems the Celestial Demon Troupe is unable to control these dangers.”

“We revere the strong.”

“So, as long as one is strong, they are free to act as they please?”

“As long as they fulfill their duties.”

“Hmm!”

Yong Cheon-myeong touched his chin, clearly displeased, while the Guider’s eyes sparkled above her veil, curving like a crescent moon in amusement.

“Perhaps it’s hard for Young Master Yong to understand. It’s not that there’s no order here; it’s just more violent and free than the Jianghu.”

The land currently under the Celestial Demon Troupe’s control was once known as the Yunnan Province, a territory where the Diancang Sect, one of the nine major sects, exercised its influence. However, everything changed when the Celestial Demon Troupe entered the area a hundred years ago. The Diancang Sect fell, and the Celestial Demon Troupe grew stronger, perfectly dominating not only Yunnan but also the surrounding regions.

Even if the delegation represents Jianghu, without Celestial Demon Troupe’s protection, there are plenty willing to cause harm.

That’s why she joined the delegation.

Yong Cheon-myeong’s lips twisted.

“I fear no one.”

“Of course, Master Yong has no need to fear anyone. I’ve heard your martial arts skills are exceptional, almost reaching the pinnacle of Jianghu. But what about the others? Do all those you lead feel the same?”

Her gaze drifted towards the back.

She knew that those lagging behind were likely the ones with inferior martial arts skills.

She noticed the outer hall martial artists walking far behind. A flicker of interest crossed her eyes as she scanned them, for only one person was looking directly back at her.

It felt as if someone was scrutinizing her face, causing an inexplicable itch.

She dismissed it as an absurd illusion.

The veil she wore, made of the finest silk, was impervious to even the sharpest eyes, and the distance between them spanned dozens of yards. It was impossible for anyone, no matter how skilled in martial arts, to see through her veil from such a distance, especially since the person was at the very end of the envoy, indicating a lower status.

She turned her head away, disconnecting from the entity that had caught her attention.

It was Lee Gwak who had locked eyes with her.

She was confident Lee Gwak could not possibly see through her veil, but Lee Gwak had discerned her true appearance, a feat made possible because his heart eye had been opened.

Through his heart eye, the guide appeared exceedingly beautiful, more so than any other woman Lee Gwak had seen.

However, Lee Gwak did not find her beauty particularly interesting.

The guide, undoubtedly a possessor of a stunning visage, felt somewhat cold to Lee Gwak.
Lee Gwak thought of her as the embodiment of the saying, “a knife hidden behind a smile.”

“What are you looking at?”

Ki Jin Hwi approached Lee Gwak, stretching his neck to look in the same direction as Lee Gwak. However, he couldn’t spot anything unusual.

“Nothing.”

“From here, we’re entering the Celestial Demon Troupe’s territory, so we need to be extremely cautious. Though we, the juniors, might not draw much attention, any lapse could lead to unforeseen incidents.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“To think we’ve entered the Celestial Demon Troupe’s domain. Life indeed brings a range of unique experiences.”

Ki Jin Hwi scanned the surroundings with a curiosity-filled gaze.

Years had passed since the war with Celestial Demon Troupe, but no martial artist from the Jade Heaven Alliance had officially ventured this far into their territory.

They were the first official guests to enter Celestial Demon Troupe’s domain.

People often regarded the region under Celestial Demon Troupe’s control as a hellish place, Squeezed dry by Celestial Demon Troupe’s martial artists, utterly inhospitable for living. Thus, many martial artists felt a duty to liberate those suffering under the Celestial Demon Troupe.

Yet on their journey here, they rarely saw faces bearing the rage or deadened eyes of the exploited. If nothing else, it was proof that not everyone living here was miserable.

This place, too, was inhabited by humans, only under the rule of the Celestial Demon Troupe instead of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

Curious eyes watched the passing delegation through the main road. There were old men whose days seemed numbered, as well as children.

They murmured among themselves, seeing the delegation enter the Celestial Demon Troupe’s territory for the first time in a hundred years.

Then, from the front, the Guide’s voice rang out.

“To enter the Celestial Demon Troupe, we must pass through here.”

She pointed towards a towering seven-story pagoda. The plaque on the pagoda read “Eastern Heavenly Pavilion”.

“Eastern Heavenly Pavilion?”

Lee Gwak’s eyes deepened with contemplation.

It was because he recalled the information he had read in the Hao Clan’s notes.

[At the entrance to the Celestial Demon Troupe, there are five large pagodas, collectively known as the Five Pavilions. Each housing a supremely skilled gatekeeper tasked with eliminating the Celestial Demon Troupe’s enemies. Only by passing through them can one truly say they have set foot in the Celestial Demon Troupe’s stronghold.]

How Hao Clan had obtained information about the Celestial Demon Troupe’s inner workings was unclear, but if their information was accurate, then a formidable martial artist also resided in the Eastern Heavenly Pavilion.

Suddenly, from the top of the seven-story pagoda, a figure leaned out.

It was an elderly man in unusual golden robes, with a golden sword at his waist.
Geum Chu Myeong.

He was the guardian of the Eastern Heavenly Pavilion.