Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 134

April 9, 2024 • 11 min read • 282 views

I Am Needed (3)

People were gathering at the Divine Demon Temple.

There were young martial artists as well as aged ones. Some wore luxurious attire, while others were in simple hemp clothes.

Despite their varied appearances and ages, they had one thing in common: each emitted an extraordinary aura and demeanor.

Once inside, they found their seats and sat down without a word. There were twenty people in the room, but not a single one spoke.

The atmosphere was tense, like a volcano on the verge of eruption.

The last to enter the Divine Demon Temple was a martial artist in his early fifties. At first glance, he looked like an ordinary martial artist, with docile eyes and an appearance that could be found anywhere.

As he appeared, the martial artists already seated stood up in unison and said,

“We, the subordinates, greet the Lord.”

“We pay our respects to the Lord.”

The ordinary-looking man was Jin Gwang Hon, the leader of the Celestial Demon Troupe.

And those greeting him were the leaders of the Celestial Demon Troupe.

The Lord of Origin Demon Palace, Yang Guang-baek, the Ten Blood Demons, the Lord of the Blade Grove, Yuk Jin-hon, Lord of the Blood Heaven Institute, Jin Ui-hon…

There was not a single one of them who was not an absolute master, and if just one of them went out into the world, the entire Jianghu would be overturned.

The Ten Blood Demons, let alone Yuk Jin-hon and Jin Ui-hon, were the kind of people who would gather together like this.

The fact that all of them had gathered here was proof of the gravity of the situation.

Jin Gwang Hon sat down silently on the Lord’s seat.

His face, which usually wore a faint smile, was unusually set in a hard expression, and his eyes were deeply contemplative.

At the sight of him, the leaders fell silent.

The silence that reigned in the Divine Demon Temple was shattered by the voice of an unattended guard outside.

“Master Gwan’s body has arrived.”

Following that, the door opened, and a group of martial artists entered, carrying someone’s body on a stretcher.

As soon as Jin Gwang Hon saw the body on the stretcher, his eyes turned icy.

“Gwan…Hyeon!”

The body brought into the hall was that of Gwan Il Hyeon.

Jin Gwang Hon rose from his seat and approached Gwan Il Hyeon’s body. He looked at the body silently for a moment.

Gwan Il Hyeon’s pitifully distorted expression showed how much he had suffered before he died.

“Who is responsible?”

Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze was directed at the Phantom Armored Cavalry martial artist who had brought Gwan Il Hyeon’s body.

The Phantom Armored Cavalry martial artist knelt down and answered,

“It was someone who came to save the female assassin.”

“His identity?”

“He revealed himself as Lee Gwak. It seems he was a secret master of the Jade Heaven Alliance hidden among the delegation. He killed Master Gwan after obscuring our vision.”

The Phantom Armored Cavalry martial artist detailed the incident.

Jin Gwang Hon and the leaders listened to his story in silence.

“That is all I know. And…”

Suddenly, a faint sound of something bursting came from the body of the Phantom Armored Cavalry martial artist , followed by blood streaming from his seven orifices. He had triggered his own death by rupturing his heart meridian.

“I failed to protect Master Gwan… I will pay with my death.”

With those final words, the Phantom Armored Cavalry martial artist collapsed. He was dead, but no one in the hall showed any sign of pity for him.

Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze flickered.

“Lee Gwak, a secret master of the Jade Heaven Alliance…”

His lips twisted.

Even if Gwan Il Hyeon didn’t fully meet his standards, he was still his disciple.

He personally chose him in his youth, imparted martial skills, and raised him. Naturally, he had developed deep affection for him, at times feeling like his own child.

The profound sense of loss he felt was akin to a parent’s rage at the loss of a child.

Then, an elderly martial artist who had been silent until now stood up and approached Gwan Il Hyeon’s body.

His hair shimmered with a unique shade of blue.

Blue hair, blue eyebrows, blue beard.

In the Celestial Demon Troupe, there was only one person with such distinct characteristics.
Yang Guang-baek, the Broken Lunar Demon Sword.

He was the lord of Origin Demon Palace and the leader of the Ten Blood Demons. He was also the brother of Yang Sangwol, who lost his life to Han So cheon, and he cherished Gwan Il Hyeon greatly.

“In just one day, I’ve lost both my brother and a child dear to me.”

Sadness and anger filled Yang Guang-baek’s eyes.

Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze turned towards him.

“Do you wish to avenge him yourself?”

“If Lord permits…”

Yang Guang-baek looked at Jin Gwang Hon with earnest eyes.

Jin Gwang Hon could not ignore his gaze. Just as he was about to nod,

Thud!

Suddenly, footsteps echoed distinctly inside the hall, drawing everyone’s attention to the entrance.

Someone was entering the hall.

Given that it was a gathering of the Celestial Demon Troupe’s leadership, unauthorized entry was impossible. The fact that someone had entered meant they had the right to do so.

The newcomer was a young man.

He was strikingly beautiful.

His beauty was like that of a painting, with a decadent charm that was enough to bewitch everyone in the hall.

The gaze of the martial artists in the hall shifted.

“The Crown Prince!”

“Hm!”

He was the recently returned Crown Prince.

Jin Gwang Hon’s first disciple and the only elder brother to the deceased Gwan Il Hyeon.

The true genius that made Gwan Il Hyeon live with an inferiority complex all his life.
Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze settled on the young man.

“Geom Wol!”

“Master!”

The man bowed his head to Jin Gwang Hon in greeting.

Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze deepened as he looked at his disciple.

The man’s name was Go Geom Wol.

Jin Gwang Hon’s first disciple.

He was the man destined to rule over the Celestial Demon Troupe after him.

Not satisfied with just Jin Gwang Hon’s teachings, Go Geom Wol roamed the world seeking the secrets of the Full Sword Essence, one of the Thirteen Divine Clans.

He was the only one who could make his master, Jin Gwang Hon, feel anxious. His arrival made everyone hold their breath.

Go Geom Wol looked at Gwan Il Hyeon’s body with eyes filled with sorrow.

“Il Hyeon!”

In his youth, Gwan Il Hyeon had greatly admired him, and Go Geom Wol had cared for him like a younger brother.

The rift between them began when Gwan Il Hyeon realized the difference in their talents. Knowing that no matter how hard he tried, he could never catch up to his older brother, Go Geom Wol, he fell into despair. And he grew jealous of Go Geom Wol. That’s why they grew apart.

Go Geom Wol looked upon Gwan Il Hyeon with pity but made no effort to mend their relationship. For him, completing his martial arts was the priority.

Growing up, he spent most of his time away, leaving no opportunity to reconcile with Gwan Il Hyeon.

Only recently had he returned, hoping to reconnect with Gwan Il Hyeon, only to hear of his death.

After caressing Gwan Il Hyeon’s body for a moment, Go Geom Wol spoke.

“Who is it? Who killed Il Hyeon?”

“A man named Lee Gwak. The Phantom Armored Cavalry is currently tracking him.”

“So, following the Phantom Armored Cavalry will lead me to him.”

“Do you intend to take action yourself?”

“Isn’t it my duty to avenge my brother? I must do it personally.”

Go Geom Wol’s calm response made Jin Gwang Hon furrow his brows slightly.

Despite being his disciple, Go Geom Wol had an aura that made it difficult for even Jin Gwang Hon to casually address him.

As Yang Guang-baek had expressed a desire to avenge Gwan Il Hyeon himself first. Jin Gwang Hon looked at Yang Guang-baek with a ‘confused’ look.

Receiving Jin Gwang Hon’s gaze, Yang Guang-baek quietly sat down and said,

“If Geom Wol is involved, I can trust the outcome.”

“Are you sure?”

“If Geom Wol will take revenge on our behalf, then yes, Lord.”

Yang Guang-baek answered without hesitation, showing his trust in Go Geom Wol.
Jin Gwang Hon then said to Go Geom Wol,

“Very well! I entrust Il Hyeon’s revenge to you.”

“I will return shortly, Master.”

Go Geom Wol bowed to Jin Gwang Hon before leaving.

Jin Gwang Hon and the leaders silently watched his departing figure.

Geom Wol murmured to himself.

“Lee Gwak! Lee Gwak, not him right?”

He knew someone with the same name. There was a feeling that the person who killed his fellow disciple, Gwan Il Hyeon, might be the same person he knew.

“I wonder if we were fated to be adversaries from the start.”

His sigh dispersed in the wind.
***
Lee Gwak glanced back.

He saw Han Socheon, whom he was carrying on his back, continuing her cultivation.
She looked better than when he first rescued her, but the situation was still far from safe.

Her injuries were severe. The daggers still embedded in her body had not yet been removed. They could only be safely extracted once her condition improved somewhat.

“Uhmm!”

A moan escaped Han So cheon’s lips, indicating her struggle with the cultivation.

The Black Abyss Heart Technique she practiced certainly had the advantage of being usable in any situation. However, the effectiveness of cultivating in a calm and focused manner could not be matched.

Whether to keep fleeing with Han So Cheon or find a hidden place to help improve her condition was the choice Lee Gwak faced.

He chose the latter.

Before setting out to rescue Han So Cheon, he had noticed a small cave beneath a cliff. The entrance was overgrown with bushes, making it virtually invisible unless searched for deliberately.

Without hesitation, Lee Gwak entered the cave and set Han So Cheon down.

She stopped cultivating and opened her eyes.

“Oraboni?”

“Stay here and continue your cultivation.”

“And you?”

“I will lead the pursuers away and return.”

“…”

Han So Cheon bit her lip.

She wished Lee Gwak would stay by her side, but she knew that was not feasible.

She nodded with difficulty.

“Understood!”

“I’ll be back soon. Try to heal some of your injuries in the meantime.”

“Will do.”

Before leaving, Lee Gwak gently caressed Han So Cheon’s cheek. She closed her eyes, feeling his warmth for a moment.

After confirming that Han So Cheon had resumed her cultivation, Lee Gwak left the cave.
Lee Gwak didn’t leave the cave immediately.

He set up simple traps using silk threads and metal spikes, erasing all traces before finally departing.

Once outside, Lee Gwak moved quickly.

He touched his side, where he had been wounded by Yong Cheon Myeong. Not having treated it properly, the wound worsened with each movement.

“Sigh!”

Lee Gwak inhaled deeply, enduring the pain.

It was not the time to care for his injuries. It was time to fight.

The Phantom Armored Cavalry was not yet in sight, but Lee Gwak knew they were not far.

The Phantom Armored Cavalry was relentlessly tracking him even now. He could never shake them off while carrying Han So Cheon. That’s why he had left her in hiding.

Lee Gwak unsheathed his sword.

There were cracks on its surface.

It had been damaged during the clash with Gwan Il Hyeon. It was only because of the special care from Eun Gwang Ho at the Golden Sword Pavilion that it was still holding up; otherwise, it would have already broken.

Lee Gwak moved on, hoping that the sword would last as long as possible.

How far had he gone?

Thud thud thud!

He felt vibrations in the ground beneath his feet.

‘The Phantom Armored Cavalry!’

He didn’t need to see them to know. Such phenomena only occurred when a large cavalry moved.

He had to reduce their numbers here.

Once they reached the open fields beyond the Green Emperor Forest, the cavalry’s advantage would increase. He had to make his stand before then.

Quietly, Lee Gwak proceeded.