Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 136

April 9, 2024 • 10 min read • 354 views

Cause and Connection Come Together in Bad Fate (2)

Thud!

“Ugh!”

A martial artist clad in red martial attire met his end with a blade embedded in his chest.

The one who appeared right after the martial artist fell was none other than Lee Gwak.

Lee Gwak extracted the blade from the martial artist ‘s chest and sighed softly.

As Sang Gwan Cheong had said, a vast net was indeed spread out.

It was unclear who was operating this net, but it was precisely closing in on Lee Gwak and Han So cheon.

The man Lee Gwak had just killed was part of a scouting squad, essentially the eyes and ears of the net. Besides him, five other martial artists lay bleeding on the ground.

So far, Lee Gwak had eliminated over five scouting squads.

He had deliberately left traces to lure them into a trap and annihilate them.

Lee Gwak exhaled deeply.

His face was etched with fatigue.

Battling the scouting squads without a chance to properly cultivate his internal energy had pushed his body to its limits.

‘At least I’ve bought us some time.’

It was now time to quietly retreat.

Lee Gwak moved away carefully, ensuring he left no trace behind.

After walking for a while, he arrived at a large, ancient tree hidden in a secluded area.

Bushes thickly surrounded the base of the tree. When Lee Gwak pushed the bushes aside, a hidden space under the tree was revealed. Inside, Han So Cheon was cultivating her internal energy.

Sensing someone approaching, Han So cheon immediately opened her eyes.

“Oraboni.”

“We should be safe for a while. Let’s rest here tonight.”

“Okay!”

Han So cheon was visibly delighted.

For days, they had barely rested, only managing to alleviate their fatigue through sporadic cultivation.

They desperately needed proper rest.

The space inside the tree was cramped. With both of them inside, they couldn’t avoid physical contact.

Han So cheon said,

“Oraboni, you should cultivate too.”

“I’m fine.”

“I know you’re not okay. I’ll keep watch, so you should cultivate as well.”

Her gaze was resolute.

Acknowledging her concern, Lee Gwak quietly nodded.

In truth, he was on the verge of collapse. Since rescuing her, he had been pushing on without much rest.

It was only the occasional use of the Eight Snakes Art that kept him going, otherwise he would have collapsed.

Now was the time for proper internal cultivation.

Lee Gwak immediately began his cultivation.

Han So cheon Tian looked at Lee Gwak’s face without saying a word, and tears suddenly formed in her eyes.

Tears streamed down her face as if a dam had burst. Han So Cheon wiped her tears with her sleeve.

No matter how much she wiped, her face was quickly stained with tears again.

It took a while for the tears to stop. By then, her eyes were significantly swollen.

Lee Gwak opened his eyes after finishing his cultivation and saw Han So Cheon’s swollen eyes frowning slightly.

“Why are you like this? Have you been crying?”

“It’s nothing.”

“So cheon!”

“I’m just happy… just so happy…”

“Happy about what?”

“Just the fact that someone would come running for me…”

“So cheon!”

“Thank you! Oraboni, for coming to save someone as insignificant as me.”

“You are not insignificant. Don’t say that again.”

“Okay! But did you properly cultivate? Didn’t I disturb you?”

“I managed to give first aid. I couldn’t do much for the external wounds, but I prevented the internal injuries from getting worse”.

“That’s a relief.”

A look of relief appeared on Han So cheon’s face.

She reached out and gently touched Lee Gwak’s face, feeling the strong line of his jaw.

“How did you… How did you learn such powerful martial arts?”

“It’s all thanks to you.”

“Thanks to me?”

“Yes! Thanks to the Yoga Secret Manual you gave me, I was able to recover.”

Lee Gwak didn’t hold back anything from his story, from learning the Yoga Secret Manual’s secret techniques to stealthily acquiring martial arts in Mount Sohua.

Han So Cheon was both astonished and relieved as she listened to Lee Gwak’s story.

It was an astonishing life journey.

It was amazing that a person could go through so much and not give up on learning martial arts.

When Lee Gwak finished telling his story, he looked at Han So Cheon.

Facing Lee Gwak’s gaze, Han So cheon calmly began to share her story.

“After a few days of entering the Jade Heaven Alliance, I, along with other children who had been recruited by the Blue Dragon Squad, were taken to the underground prison beneath the inner court. There, the Inner Court Master, the Main Court Master, and the Sect Leader were present. They threw swords at us and ordered us to kill the people imprisoned there.”

Han So cheon’s lips trembled as she spoke.

The musty smell, the damp air, and the oppressive and terrifying atmosphere.

That’s how she remembered it.

When she came to her senses, she was holding a blood stained sword in her hand, and there were dead bodies scattered at her feet.

She later found out.

The person she killed was a prisoner of the Celestial Demon Troupe.

“They told me I had talent. They sent me to Mount Sohua to learn martial arts. And they made me kill people.”

She killed countless individuals.

Her sword never dried of blood, and her body never rid itself of the smell of blood.

Murder eroded her soul, and at some point, she could hardly sleep anymore. Whenever she closed her eyes, the faces of those she had killed haunted her.

There was a time when she disobeyed an order.

The price was harsh.

Her closest companion in the Hidden Blood Squad was sent on a mission with almost no chance of return. In the end, he never returned.

Their message was clear.

If she didn’t carry out her missions, her companions would be in danger. She had no choice but to continue following their orders for the sake of the Hidden Blood Squad.

Lee Gwak listened with his eyes closed, absorbing her story.

Han So cheon’s life was incomparably harsher than his. That she had survived through such a brutal journey seemed nothing short of miraculous.

Exhausted from telling her story, Han So cheon fell asleep in Lee Gwak’s arms. He, too, fell asleep holding her.

Only the soft sound of their breathing echoed in the empty tree trunk.

Suddenly, Lee Gwak awoke.

His entire body was drenched in sweat from a nightmare he had just had.

Lee Gwak blinked for a moment. The dream had been so vivid it confused him with reality.

Something didn’t feel right.

He quickly woke Han So cheon.

“Wake up.”

“Oraboni?”

“Let’s move.”

Han So cheon, momentarily disoriented, shook her head but quickly sensed that something was amiss with Lee Gwak’s mood and got up.

They exited the tree trunk.

Proving it was still before dawn, the surroundings were engulfed in darkness, making it hard to discern any direction in the pitch black.

Having rested a bit, they felt somewhat reinvigorated and moved quickly.

Then they saw torches moving in the distance. The martial artists of the Celestial Demon Troupe had been tracking them nearby. If Lee Gwak had reacted even a moment later, their hideout would have been discovered soon.

Han So cheon felt a chill in her heart.

They moved to avoid the torches.

“They must be hiding nearby.”

“Search thoroughly for any possible hiding spots.”

Voices came from the distance.

Luckily, it was night, and the searchers had yet to discover where they had been hiding. However, it was only a matter of time before they would be found.

They needed to get as far away as possible before then.

In the darkness, Lee Gwak’s eyes trembled with unease.

It wasn’t just the fear of their hiding place being discovered.

Something more unnerving was unsettling him. Although he couldn’t pinpoint what it was, something was fundamentally shaking Lee Gwak’s composure.

‘What is it?’

Lee Gwak couldn’t understand his own reaction.

He had faced and overcome numerous crises before, feeling a strong sense of danger, but nothing compared to this moment.

His instincts were whispering.

Escape from here as soon as possible. Run as far as you can.

Lee Gwak followed his instincts.

Dawn was breaking, making the surroundings clearer.

‘The Thousand Li Net is almost complete.’

The martial artists of the Celestial Demon Troupe had almost completely blocked the paths through which Lee Gwak and Han So Cheon could escape.

‘There’s only one place left.’

There was only one place where the net was not yet complete.

It was the tallest and most rugged mountain nearby.

It was named Sword Mountain because it looked like a sword stuck upside down. It was so rugged that even the natives who lived nearby wouldn’t approach it.

Lee Gwak didn’t want to choose the mountain as an escape route if he could avoid it. The physical exertion was too great. But now he had no choice.

The sense of imminent danger was growing.

Something was rapidly approaching, bringing with it a sense of crisis not just a hunch but a premonition.

Lee Gwak and Han So Cheon began climbing the mountain.

The Sword Mountain was even more treacherous than it appeared. Steep cliffs and gorges were layered, making the ascent challenging.

“Phew!”

Suddenly, a look of dismay appeared on their faces.

A vast gorge blocked their path. The gap was nearly fifty zhang across.

Even for a master of qigong, crossing it in one leap was impossible.

“Phew!”

Lee Gwak let out a deep sigh.

After all their efforts to reach this point, all their work threatened to be undone.

Lee Gwak and Han So cheon looked at each other.

Suddenly, a tremendous qi wave was felt.

Their faces hardened.

The source of the qi was still unseen, but their hair stood on end, and goosebumps covered their skin.

Han So cheon looked at Lee Gwak, perplexed.

“What’s happening?”

“Jump, So cheon!”

“Oraboni?”

“Jump! I’ll provide a foothold.”

“And you?”

“After you cross, throw stones back.”

“Okay! You’ll follow, right?”

“Yes!”

Lee Gwak nodded, and a look of relief crossed Han So cheon’s face. Before leaping into the void towards the daunting gap, she stared intently at Lee Gwak’s face as if memorizing every detail.

With her whole body, Han So Cheon leaped towards the vast expanse.

She utilized all her recuperated internal energy for her qigong.

She flew like a large bird across the sky. However, she was not a real bird.

When she reached the middle of the gorge, her body began to fall.

At that moment, Lee Gwak threw a small rock beneath her feet. The rock flew like lightning, precisely landing below her feet.

Han So cheon stepped on the rock and leaped again.

Lee Gwak continued to throw rocks, and Han So cheon stepped on them three more times before finally reaching the other side of the gorge.

“Now it’s your turn, Oraboni.”

Han So cheon, having landed, immediately shouted back to Lee Gwak.

Lee Gwak stared at her from afar. Although she appeared as a mere dot in the distance, strangely, her features were vivid in his eyes.

She was gesturing for him to hurry.

Lee Gwak tentatively leaped towards the cliff.

Suddenly, a peculiar force emerged from behind, grasping his body.

‘As expected!’

Someone was using a force manipulation technique to pull him back. Ultimately, Lee Gwak was dragged back before he could even cross a third of the gorge.

“Phew!”

Lee Gwak let out a sigh and turned around. That’s when he saw him.

A beautifully decadent man stood before him.

Lee Gwak knew him.

“Go Geom Wol!”