Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 129

April 1, 2024 • 12 min read • 149 views

Everyone Carries a Grudge in Their Heart (1)

Novel- Martial Artist Lee Gwak

Han So Cheon raised her head and looked around.

She saw a lush green forest. The forest, densely packed with beautiful trees, barely let in any sunlight even during the day, making the atmosphere particularly eerie.

It was called the Green Emperor Forest.

It was a vast forest south of Celestial Demon Troupe, stretching for more than a thousand li. The trees were so dense that even in broad daylight there was little sunlight, and the presence of marshes and poisonous grounds made it a land of death that was rarely approached.

Only those in the Celestial Demon Troupe who sought to master the art of poison ventured into it, with most martial artists choosing to avoid the Green Emperor Forest altogether.

Han So Cheon’s choice of the Green Emperor Forest as an escape route was no coincidence. She had obtained information about the forest when she had assassinated the Iron Monarch, Go Jin Rak, in the past.

After learning that even the martial artists of Celestial Demon Troupe were wary of approaching it, she thoroughly investigated the area, considering it as a potential escape route should she find herself in a dire situation.

The investigation results were not promising, but she never forgot the existence of the Green Emperor Forest.

When she saw the words “Each man for himself”, the Green Emperor Forest was the first place that came to her mind. So, as soon as she realized she had been abandoned, she didn’t look back and entered the Green Emperor Forest immediately.

Even after entering the Green Emperor Forest, Han So Cheon’s expression was not bright.

‘The hounds are following me’

She hadn’t seen their forms or heard any sounds. Yet, instinctively, Han So Cheon knew that hounds were on her trail.

They were of the same kind.

The damp smell, the tracking technique of the hounds and the foul stench that could only come from rotting animal carcasses.

Those who made a living by killing others could instinctively sense their kind.

Han So Cheon’s senses were particularly sharp.

They had followed the faint traces she left behind to this place, and at almost the same speed.
Considering that the speed of the fugitive was much faster than the pursuer, it was hard to believe.

‘They must know the terrain here completely.’

It was clear they had guessed her direction from the traces she left and used shortcuts to save time.

It was when Han So Cheon’s expression darkened.

Swoosh!

A sharp sound of cutting air accompanied by something invisible flying at terrifying speed.
Han So Cheon almost instinctively swung her sword to protect her entire body.

Clang clang!

Hidden weapons struck her sword and fell to the ground. However, Han So Cheon was not given a moment to catch her breath. A group of martial artists burst out of the forest right after she blocked the Hidden weapon.

“We’ve caught up.”

“Bitch!”

The ones radiating killing intent towards Han So Cheon were the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad.

Yang Sangwol was their responsibility to protect.

Even though Yang Sangwol had ordered them to stay away, his death ultimately fell on their shoulders.

Their fury for losing the one they were supposed to protect pierced the heavens.

They immediately attacked Han So Cheon.

Han So Cheon, gritting her teeth, charged at them as well.

These were not men she could shake off by simply fleeing. It was far better to eliminate them all here, even if it meant wasting some time.

Her judgment was swift, and the attack was executed quickly.

Swoosh!

Her sword sharply cut through the air.

“Argh!”

One of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad’s martial artists fell, a hole gaping in his forehead.
Han So Cheon’s sword was sharp.

After emerging from the Iron Steel Hell Blood Training Hall of Mount Sohua and being deployed to the battlefield, Han So Cheon had accomplished countless missions that bordered on the impossible. As an assassin, her abilities were among the best in the world.

Through numerous killings, Han So Cheon had carved out her own unique technique in assassination. She had created her own original sword technique by integrating the martial arts she learned at the Iron Steel Hell Blood Training Hall with her personal insights gained over time.

The Soundless and Shapeless Sword.

It had no sound and no set form.

She relied solely on her senses to thrust her sword in the shortest possible distance to lethally strike her opponent.

A sword technique specialized in assassination that other martial artists wouldn’t even dare to learn.

Han So Cheon gave it her all.

There was no time to think about what was behind her.

If she couldn’t completely destroy them here and now, it would be impossible for her to escape from the Green Emperor Forest.

“Gah!”

“Urgh!”

The assassins of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad fell with cries of agony.

They had tried their best to subdue Han So Cheon, but their resolve was different.

It was only after the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad was killed by Han So Cheon’s hand that their leader made a decision.

“Abandon capturing her. Kill that bitch.”

Swoosh!

Their momentum shifted.

To capture someone, inevitably, one must hold back in their movements, making their sword strikes somewhat restrained. However, if there’s no need to capture, the situation changes.

They unleashed their killing moves without restraint.

Consequently, Han So Cheon could not avoid getting injured. She received deep wounds on her shoulder and back. Yet, Han So Cheon did not utter a single scream.

She had suffered countless injuries like this during her assassinations. She was so accustomed to pain that she clenched her teeth and endured it.

“This crazy bitch!”

The leader of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad trembled with rage at the sight of Han So Cheon.

The sight of her, covered in blood and slaughtering her subordinates, seemed inhuman.

Even in that moment, the sacrifice of his subordinates continued. Already, two-thirds of his men had lost their lives to her. He could not afford to lose more.

“Bitch!”

Swish!

The leader charged at Han So Cheon.

The kusarigama he wielded, a chain-sickle, flew towards Han So Cheon’s neck.

The kusarigama, a unique weapon consisting of a sickle attached to a chain, was expertly used by the leader. With just a flick of his fingers, the trajectory of the kusarigama changed.

Slash!

Ultimately, Han So Cheon received a deep wound on her thigh.

Han So Cheon’s expression twisted hideously. Even for her, accustomed to pain, the agony was unbearable. Yet, she did not scream.

The fight of an assassin was a silent battle.

It was the rule of assassins not to make a sound until the moment of death.

The only time they could make noise was when they were dying.

Han So Cheon was more deeply versed in the assassin’s rule than anyone.

Her gaze sank deeply.

The White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad leader’s chain-sickle technique was persistently targeting her vital points. No matter how she moved, it tenaciously followed her.

Han So Cheon realized she couldn’t defeat the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad leader by ordinary means.

‘Give flesh to take bone.’

Her judgment was decisive, and her action swift.

Thud!

Instead of dodging the kusarigama, she offered her shoulder. The sickle buried itself into her shoulder.

The White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad leader then pulled the kusarigama, attempting to sever Han So Cheon’s entire shoulder.

Click!

At that moment, Han So Cheon, enduring the fiery pain, grabbed the chain. The sickle did not move any further, and the leader’s weapon was immobilized.

The eyes of Han So Cheon and the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad leader met in mid-air.

At that moment, the squad leader felt a chill throughout his body.

Han So Cheon’s eyes, devoid of any emotion and eerily empty, felt strangely terrifying.

“Yikes!”

The squad leader, trying to hide his fear, shook his hand. He was attempting to retrieve the kusarigama. But Han So Cheon’s movement was faster.

In no time, she had closed the distance between them.

Ultimately, the leader gave up on retrieving the chain scythe and drew a short sword from his back.

“Come!”

Splurt!

At that moment, blood sprayed in all directions.

It was impossible to tell whose blood it was, whether it belonged to the leader of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad or to Han So Cheon.

The leader’s face was smeared with blood, as was Han So Cheon’s. The only difference was that the leader’s body was collapsing like a rotten tree trunk, whereas Han So Cheon was still charging at the remaining members of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad.

“Argh!”

Someone let out a muffled groan at the sight of her demon-like appearance. They thought they had eradicated the emotion of fear through harsh training, but the sight of Han So Cheon’s fiendish figure evoked terror.

“Gah!”

The last of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad’s martial artists had Han So Cheon’s sword embedded in his chest. She had finally brought down the entire squad.

The last martial artist’s eyes gradually dimmed.

Han So Cheon silently observed the life fading from him, a sight she had seen countless times during her killings.

Then, it happened.

“You will… never be able to escape.”

The last of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad mustered his remaining strength to speak just before his breath ceased.

As Han So Cheon frowned, he revealed his blood-stained teeth with a smile.

At that moment, Han So Cheon detected a very faint scent coming from her body.

“Thousand Mile Pursuit Scent?”

It was one of the items she frequently used.

A special scent used for tracking targets. Once it clung to the body, no effort could remove it before a month had passed.

The last martial artist of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad had smeared the Thousand Mile Pursuit Scent on Han So Cheon’s body just before dying.

That was his mission.

To smear the Thousand Mile Pursuit Scent in his final moments, leaving a trail for others to follow.

Thud!

He died with a smile.

Conversely, Han So Cheon’s eyes deepened.

All the effort she took to kill the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad felt in vain.

With the Thousand Mile Pursuit Scent on her, no method could remove it. Her enemies would follow the scent on her body to the ends of hell if necessary.

It was the worst situation she had wanted to avoid.

“Sigh!”

Han So Cheon let out a sigh unknowingly.

A wave of excruciating pain hit her belatedly.

She had received seven deep wounds inflicted by the leader of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad. There was no shortage of blood flowing from the wounds.

Han So Cheon quickly pressed on her acupoints to stop the bleeding, then took the Nine Life Elixir.

To maximize the effect of the elixir, one had to practice Qigong, but unfortunately, she was not afforded such leisure.

“Ha!”

With a deep sigh, Han So Cheon moved forward.

Each step was painful, but she gritted her teeth and endured.

She couldn’t afford to rest or express her pain.

To survive, she had to keep moving endlessly.

Red blood pooled in the spot where she had once walked.

***

Plop!

Grasses as tall as a person were cut down, revealing a group of martial artists.

Each of them was clad in black armor, exuding a killing aura so intense it seemed capable of slicing through the sky.

Among the numerous martial artists of Celestial Demon Troupe, only one group bore such attire and emitted such a lethal presence.

The Phantom Armored Cavalry.

A direct force under the Celestial Demon Troupe’s leader, Jin Gwang Hon, known for their unmatched prowess on horseback. However, now they were on foot, pushing through the underbrush.

The dense trees in the Green Emperor Forest had made it impossible for them to ride.

At the head of the Phantom Armored Cavalry stood a young man who appeared to be in his mid to late twenties.

This man, with his somber expression and piercing eyes, was Gwan Il Hyeon, a disciple of Jin Gwang Hon.

The killing intent emanating from Gwan Il Hyeon surpassed even that of the Phantom Armored Cavalry.

Yang Sangwol, who had been killed by Han So Cheon, was the martial artist he respected the most. His death had enraged Gwan Il Hyeon.

The bodies of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad appeared before Gwan Il Hyeon.

His eyebrows twitched.

If the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad had been annihilated, it meant that the enemy had safely escaped from here.

One of the martial artists of the Phantom Armored Cavalry, after examining the bodies of the White Mist Ghost Phantom Squad, spoke,

“The Thousand Mile Pursuit Scent has been used.”

“It has served its purpose then. Track it!”

“At your command!”

The martial artists of the Phantom Armored Cavalry began their pursuit.

Following them, Gwan Il Hyeon murmured,

“You dare to kill Master Yang, I will hunt you down and rip you to pieces.”

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