Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 120

March 28, 2024 • 11 min read • 149 views

The Struck Remember, But the Striker Forgets Easily (2)

Novel- Martial Artist Lee Gwak

The first emotion Lee Gwak felt when he saw Ohn Ja Wol was fear.

It was as if he was looking at an enormous wall with no openings.

A wall that seemed to be insurmountable and would never break down…… and that made the onlooker feel hopeless and frustrated.

The moment he saw Ohn Ja Wol, his Eight Serpents began to move on their own. It was an instinctive feeling of a great crisis. Therefore, Lee Gwak had to desperately try to calm them.

It was uncertain how many more martial artists like Ohn Ja Wol could be in the Celestial Demon Troupe.

Now Lee Gwak understood why the Jade Heaven Alliance had been so afraid of the Celestial Demon Troupe and had tried to keep them in check.

“Sigh!”

Lee Gwak took a deep breath.

Only then did his head, which had been racing with excitement and fear, calm down a bit.

‘Jianghu is vast and there are many masters.’

The appearance of Ohn Ja Wol had shattered Lee Gwak’s complacency and woke him up.

Lee Gwak thought it was rather a good thing.

What he needed at this moment was not pride or arrogance, but awareness.

Ohn Ja Wol entered the inner court, accompanied only by Yong Cheon Myeong.

Thud!

Finally, the massive door of the inner court closed, and the delegation was guided to a guest house in the outer court.

The guide who had guided the delegation to the guesthouse spoke,

“Please rest here until Young Master Yong returns.”

After informing the delegation of a few precautions, she left. Then, Jwa Ryoon stepped forward.

“Don’t let your guard down just because we’ve reached our destination. We don’t know what tricks they might pull, so remain vigilant until the Young Master returns.”

“Yes!”

“Remember that this is the Celestial Demon Troupe. Everything here is our enemy.”

Jwa Ryoon’s voice held a strong note of hostility

Jwa Ryoon, who had lost his subordinates in an ambush by the Celestial Demon Troupe, trusted nothing about the Celestial Demon Troupe.

Even though they had arrived at the Celestial Demon Troupe, the delegation could not rest easy. They remained on standby and waited for Yong Cheon Myeong to return.

It was late at night when Yong Cheon Myeong returned to the guesthouse.

He summoned Seo Jong Myeong and Jwa Ryoon with a serious expression and discussed matters throughout the night.

As a result, the martial artists of the delegation had to stay up all night on guard.

Lee Gwak and his squad guarded the north gate of the guesthouse.

A comical situation unfolded, a thin doorway separated the Celestial Demon Troupe’s martial artists on the outside and the Jade Heaven Alliance’s martial artists on the inside.

Seok Yi Cheon whispered to Lee Gwak.

“It seems the young master doesn’t look too happy, does he?”

“Yes!”

“Does that mean the negotiations have broken down?”

“It’s the first day; they’ve probably just been acquainted with each other.”

“So the negotiations haven’t even started yet?”

“Probably.”

“Hmm! But why does the young master look so unhappy?”

Seok Yi Cheon turned his head to look at the guesthouse.

Despite the approach of dawn, the lights in Yong Cheon Myeong’s quarters were still brightly lit. It was evidence that the meeting had not yet ended.

For now, it was impossible to know what Yong Cheon Myeong had discussed with the Celestial Demon Troupe’s leader, Jin Gwang Hon..

‘Hopefully, the negotiations will go well.’

Lee Gwak’s expression darkened.

The thing that had weighed on his mind the most during the journey here was Han So Cheon, who had disappeared along with the explosion of the wall-breaking bomb.

He didn’t care what happened to the Hidden Blood Squad, but Han So Cheon was different.
She had said she wanted to live. But she was dying.

He couldn’t ignore her, who couldn’t sleep peacefully except in his arms.

‘So Cheon!’

Lee Gwak, with his arms crossed, looked over the wall at Celestial Demon Troupe’s architectural complex.

A cold wind blew from somewhere, brushing over his entire body.

***

Lee Gwak and his companions were only able to rest long after the sun had risen.

Exhausted to their limits, the squad members almost passed out as soon as they entered the room.

Unlike his deeply sleeping companions, Lee Gwak used his Eight Sects Sword Art to relieve the fatigue in his body.

As if a large snake had writhed through his body, vitality returned to his exhausted flesh.

Leaving the sleeping squad members behind, Lee Gwak quietly stepped outside.

The guesthouse was submerged in silence, with only a minimum number of people standing guard, everyone else was deep in sleep.

As Lee Gwak stepped outside, one of the Swordless Squad’s martial artists recognized him.

“Squad Leader Lee! Why aren’t you sleeping?”

“I can’t seem to fall asleep.”

“You should sleep when you can.”

His name was Ji Gyeon-chang, Seo Jong Myeong’s most trusted aide.

Ji Gyeon-chang, who had also passed through the Steel Hell Blood Training Hall at Mount Sohua, was not only powerful in martial arts but also possessed a strong will.

Unlike other martial artists of the Swordless Squad, he took special care of Lee Gwak and his squad. He knew that Seo Jong Myeong had a particular fondness for Lee Gwak.

Lee Gwak stood beside Ji Gyeon-chang and said,

“I keep waking up due to the tension.”

“I see!”

Ji Gyeon-chang nodded his head.

They were in the heart of enemy territory. Everything around them posed a threat. It would be impossible for any martial artist to maintain calm in such a situation.

Even for them, seasoned on the battlefield, it was difficult, let alone for Lee Gwak, who was merely associated with the Outer Hall, to bear such pressure was unimaginable.

After looking at him with a sympathetic expression for a moment, Ji Gyeon-chang’s eyes lit up as if he had made a decision.

“Look, Squad Leader Lee.”

“Yes!”

“You need to stay alert. You never know what could happen here. You must look after your own life. Trust no one but your own judgment.”

“Understood.”

Lee Gwak felt that Ji Gyeon-chang knew something. However, Ji Gyeon-chang seemed unwilling to share more. He turned away with a stern expression, avoiding Lee Gwak’s gaze.

Lee Gwak’s gaze deepened in contemplation.

Even without Ji Gyeon-chang’s warning, the moment Lee Gwak entered this place, he had felt a strong sense of crisis.

As Ji Gyeon-chang said, in times of crisis, the only ones they could truly rely on were themselves and their fellow members.

‘I just have to hope the worst doesn’t happen…….’

Without realizing it, Lee Gwak reached for the sword at his waist. When his hand touched the handle of the sword, he could feel the tension in his heart loosen a little.

That’s when it happened.

Lee Gwak’s senses detected a group of people approaching the empty guest house. However, Lee Gwak was conscious of Ji Gyeon-chang and stared straight ahead.

Soon after, the group arrived at the main entrance of the guesthouse opened the door and entered.

“Who’s there?”

Only then did Ji Gyeon-chang and his men, noticing their presence, grab their weapons and go on alert.

‘That man is…’

The moment Lee Gwak saw the group that had entered the guesthouse, his eyes flickered.

His gaze fixed on the man standing proudly in the center, hands clasped behind his back.

A young martial artist dressed in black. An immense aura of bravado radiated from his entire being. His gaze and arrogant demeanour matched the man Lee Gwak knew all too well.

‘Gwan Il Hyeon.’

How could he forget him?

The man who had mercilessly beat Lee Gwak, leaving him almost paralyzed.

Just because he was in a bad mood and had nowhere else to vent his frustration, Gwan Il Hyeon had trampled Lee Gwak until he was a complete mess. As a result, Lee Gwak had been
confined to bed for an entire year.

Although he miraculously learned the Yoga Secret Manual and recovered his body, not a single day went by when he forgot about Gwan Il Hyeon.

To Lee Gwak, Gwan Il Hyeon was a source of indelible wounds, humiliation, and nightmare. Even years later, he still remembered Gwan Il Hyeon’s face clearly.

The moment he saw Gwan Il Hyeon, Lee Gwak bit his lip so hard it bled. Flesh tore, and his mouth filled with blood.

Had this not been the Celestial Demon Troupe, had he not come as part of the delegation, he would have drawn his sword at him long ago. But he had to hold back now.

Lee Gwak needed to summon superhuman patience to suppress his killing intent towards Gwan Il Hyeon.

Whether Gwan Il Hyeon was aware of Lee Gwak’s feelings or not, he looked around with a leisurely gaze.

His gaze briefly lingered on Lee Gwak but then indifferently turned away, clearly not remembering him.

Then, one of Gwan Il Hyeon’s men spoke up.

“This is Lord Gwan Il Hyeon of the Celestial Demon Troupe, he has come especially to meet Young Master Yong today. So please inform him.

“Gwan Il Hyeon?”

Ji Gyeon-chang’s pupils wavered.

He, too, knew the name Gwan Il Hyeon. No, he couldn’t not know.

Gwan Il Hyeon was the first person from the Celestial Demon Troupe that the Jade Heaven Alliance had contacted in a hundred years. Although Ji Gyeon-chang was not a member of the Jade Heaven Alliance at the time and had not seen his face directly, he certainly remembered his name.

“Is it truly Gwan Il Hyeon?”

“Yes. You should inform your master of this.”

“Understood.”

With that response, Ji Gyeon-chang quickly sent one of his men inside to inform the higher-ups.

Although he did not know why Gwan Il Hyeon had come, it was necessary to notify the leadership.

Gwan Il Hyeon did not exchange a single word with Ji Gyeon-chang. He deemed him unworthy of his level.

He was inherently arrogant. Except for his master, the supreme leader of the Celestial Demon Troupe, Jin Gwang Hon, and his sworn elder brother, the elder disciple, he placed everyone beneath him.

Everyone else was beneath his feet. There was no need to remember or pay attention to them individually.

The only person here worthy of conversing with him was Yong Cheon Myeong, the head of the delegation. He had no intention of speaking to anyone else.

‘Worthless vermin.’

Contempt flickered in Gwan Il Hyeon’s eyes.

He disliked everything about this situation.

He was displeased that the Jade Heaven Alliance had dared to step foot on the Celestial Demon Troupe’s sacred land, and he was equally displeased to have come here himself to meet Yong Cheon Myeong.

He would have liked to kill everyone who dared enter the Celestial Demon Troupe, but he couldn’t due to his master. It was Jin Gwang Hon himself who had ordered him to conduct the negotiations.

‘Damn it!’

Negotiating with Yong Cheon Myeong wasn’t the problem. The real issue was that the negotiations tied him down, preventing him from attending to other matters.

What made him particularly anxious was the recent return of one man.

A man who had been away from the Celestial Demon Troupe for a very long time.

His return to the Celestial Demon Troupe wasn’t long ago, but he was rapidly expanding his influence.

The man Gwan Il Hyeon respected yet felt the need to keep in check.

He was Jin Gwang Hon’s eldest disciple and Gwan Il Hyeon’s older brother.

Whenever he thought of him, Gwan Il Hyeon felt a strong sense of competition and, simultaneously, a sense of inadequacy.

Feeling downhearted was inevitable, being dragged to such a place for negotiations when he should be focusing all his efforts on keeping that man in check.

Then, his gaze fell on a man standing quietly behind Ji Gyeon-chang and the Swordless Squad.

This man’s attire and aura subtly differed from the Swordless Squad. He looked at Gwan Il Hyeon with a settled gaze.

‘Presumptuous!’

Something about that gaze irked Gwan Il Hyeon, yet it strangely felt familiar. Gwan Il Hyeon wondered if he knew the man, but nothing came to mind. Eventually, he dismissed it as a mistaken impression and looked away.

In the meantime, the messenger Ji Gyeon-chang had sent to report their visit had come back.

He told Gwan Il Hyeon,

“You’re invited inside.”

“Hmm!”

Gwan Il Hyeon moved, expecting this response.

Lee Gwak silently watched Gwan Il Hyeon’s retreating figure.

The Struck Remember, But the Striker Forgets Easily

He would dredge up his sunken memories.

If necessary, even by force.