Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 152

May 23, 2024 • 11 min read • 335 views

It’s Natural to Repay a Favor (2)

“What did you just say?”

Yu San-ok looked at Lee Gwak with disbelief.

He could guess that Lee Gwak’s martial arts skills were strong. After all, not many in the world could deflect a sword with their bare hands. But Yu San-ok had not yet put forth his full effort.

No martial artist would use his full strength just to kill a merchant. Yu San-ok was no different. He hadn’t even used his internal energy. He couldn’t forgive Lee Gwak for being so arrogant towards him.

“I’ll give you a taste of death.”

Yu San-ok snorted and charged towards Lee Gwak, infusing his sword with his internal energy.

Swoosh!

The sword, filled with internal energy, flew towards Lee Gwak with terrifying force.

At that moment, Lee Gwak swung his hand.

Clang!

With a metallic sound, Lee Gwak’s palm deflected Yu San-ok’s sword.

“Insane!”

Yu San-ok’s eyes wavered.

This time, he had infused his sword with his internal energy. Still, he couldn’t believe that his sword had been deflected by Lee Gwak’s hand again without a single scratch.

“You brat!”

Yu San-ok roared and executed his special technique, the Eighteen Wind Swords.

Whoosh!

A fierce gust of wind rushed towards Lee Gwak. But even under the ferocious wind, Lee Gwak’s eyes never wavered.

Lee Gwak had learnt from Gwang Noh-ya how to condense qi in the palm of his hand.

He called this technique ‘Leaf Hand Sword’ because the shape of his hands when joined resembled falling leaves.

Lee Gwak had reached a level where he could execute sword techniques without a sword.

No matter how fiercely Yu San-ok unleashed the Eighteen Wind Swords, the Leaf Hand Sword was enough to protect himself.

Clang, clang, clang!

The sound of metal clashing echoed continuously.

“‘This bastard really…….'”

Yu San-ok gritted his teeth. Veins bulged on his neck, indicating he was exerting his full strength.

He infused his sword with a great deal of internal energy, and a faint mist rose around it. It was the sword qi.

The fact that Yu San-ok could produce sword qi alone qualified him as a top-tier expert.

Yu San-ok swung his sword with all his might. He was certain he could sever Lee Gwak’s limbs in an instant.

Sword qi could only be countered with sword qi or similar energy. That was his understanding. However, the Jianghu sometimes witnessed individuals who defied common knowledge.

Lee Gwak was one such individual.

Clang!

The qi enveloped sword was deflected by Lee Gwak’s palm.

“Argh!”

Yu San-ok groaned under the strong counterforce.

His armor was torn, and blood flowed.

The pain was nothing. What horrified Yu San-ok was that Lee Gwak had deflected the sword qi with his bare hands.

“Where did you learn such techniques…”

Yu San-ok yelled, trying to shake off his fear, and once again unleashed his full power with the Eighteen Wind Swords. But this time, Lee Gwak did not just stand by and let Yu San-ok rampage.

Swoosh!

His body moved low to the ground, like a swallow, diving straight for Yu San-ok’s chest.
Lee Gwak’s palm, which had been clenched, opened up like a blooming flower.

His palm struck Yu San-ok’s abdomen directly.

Thud!

“Ugh!”

With a single outcry, Yu San-ok’s massive body was sent flying backward, rolling several times on the deck before stopping at the railing.

Yu San-ok slumped over, unconscious.

“…”

Silence fell on the deck.

The deck was so quiet, it was hard to believe a fierce battle had just taken place.

The first to break the silence were the pirates from the Nine Shadows Fleet.

“What the…”

“The deputy leader has…”

They looked back and forth between Lee Gwak and the unconscious Yu San-ok with disbelief.

The martial artists and the crew of the Azure Maritime Company felt the same.

Yu San-ok, who at a glance seemed no ordinary man, had been swiftly subdued by Lee Gwak, who until now had seemed completely unremarkable.

Although they knew that Lee Gwak was a martial artist, he had never shown any signs of his true ability during their time together. This made Lee Gwak’s incredible display of martial arts all the more astonishing to them.

“This bastard…….”

“Die!”

Some pirates nearby attacked Lee Gwak, trying to save Yu San-ok. However, their weapons couldn’t even graze Lee Gwak’s clothing.

Lee Gwak’s Leaf Hand Sword struck their throats. The pirates fell unconscious without even a chance to scream.

That was just the beginning.

Swoosh!

Lee Gwak kicked off the deck.

His figure vanished from their sight in an instant, moving across the deck at a speed too fast for the naked eye to distinguish.

His fingers struck vital points, and the palm executing the Leaf Hand Sword hit the pirates’ bodies.

Those hit in their vital points stiffened like statues, while those struck by the Leaf Hand Sword fell unconscious.

No one could stop Lee Gwak’s swift actions.

In an instant, half of the pirates who had boarded the ship were subdued by Lee Gwak.

Just as Lee Gwak was about to deal with the rest,

“Stop there.”

Swoosh!

With a lazy voice, a fierce sword qi flew towards Lee Gwak from the flagship.

The attack, bursting with incredible power that far surpassed Yu San-ok’s sword qi, made Lee Gwak’s eyes narrow.

Dodging would have been the simplest option, but it would have caused significant damage to the ship and endangered the people of the Azure Maritime Company

Lee Gwak concentrated the internal energy in his hand and executed the Leaf Hand Sword.

The incoming sword qi was deflected into the sea by the Leaf Hand Sword.

Boom!

With a loud noise, a column of water shot up from the sea, rising high into the sky and spraying over the deck and disappearing back into the sea.

Lee Gwak frowned slightly. He could feel the pain in his hand from where he’d deflected the sword qi.

Using his hand as a sword was not easy. However, Lee Gwak was not worried.

Although it was clumsy now, time would solve it.

Just as Gwang Noh-ya had perfected the Blood Light Hand, Lee Gwak believed that someday he too would master the Leaf Hand Sword.

Lee Gwak flexed and relaxed his hand as he looked towards the flagship where the sword qi had come from.

Someone was moving towards this ship from the flagship with the grace of a leopard.

He was a young and handsome man in his mid to late twenties. His sun-tanned, dark skin, strong features, and fierce eyes naturally exuded an intimidating presence.

‘A leopard,’

The man reminded him of a black panther.

Fierce, strong, and arrogant…

Finally, the man who had boarded the Azure Maritime Company’s ship looked at Lee Gwak with his arms crossed.

“Who are you? I haven’t heard of a master like you on board the Azure Maritime Company’s ship.”

“And who might you be?”

“Me?”

The man frowned slightly as if displeased but then revealed his identity.

“My name is Dam Il-cheon. As you see, I lead the Nine Shadows Fleet.”

Upon Dam Il-cheon’s introduction, everyone from the Azure Maritime Company, including An Yu-san, was surprised. They had not anticipated that the notorious leader of the Nine Shadows Fleet would be such a young martial artist.

Dam Il-cheon then said to Lee Gwak.

“Now, tell us who you are. Unidentified Master.”

“Lee Gwak.”

“Do you have a nickname?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Hmm! So, you’re new to Jianghu?”

Dam Il-cheon’s eyes cast a cold light, resembling a predator eyeing its prey.

“I have a proposal for you. Join the Nine Shadows Fleet. You’ll be treated well.”

“Why would I join the Nine Shadows Fleet?”

“Because if you don’t, you’ll die by my hand. Wouldn’t it be better to be a member of the Nine Shadows Fleet than to become fish food?”

“…”

“Is the proposal too sudden for you? Do you need time to think?”

“No, there’s no need. I have no intention of becoming a pirate.”

“Is that so? You’ll regret it.”

The corners of Dam Il-cheon’s mouth curled up.

His smile was as cold as his gaze. The people of the Azure Maritime Company felt a chill at that moment. They sensed the killing intent in his smile.

Seeing Dam Il-cheon so easily emitting killing intent, Lee Gwak sighed. It seemed apparent how he usually regarded people.

“Do you intend to kill everyone on board this ship?”

“That’s our way.”

Dam Il-cheon answered nonchalantly.

Murderous intent was already boiling in his eyes.

Dam Il-cheon, leading the Nine Shadows Fleet, had never encountered a worthy opponent. Initially, there had been resistance, but no one proved to be a match for Dam Il-cheon.

Thus, he had no choice but to spend his time in boredom.

He left the plundering to his deputy, Yu San-ok, and spent his free time with wine and women. For him, Lee Gwak was a tempting prey.

For the first time in a long time, the blood of a martial artist was boiling within him.

From just one clash, he knew.

Lee Gwak was strong.

The way Lee Gwak had deflected his sword qi with his bare hands was extraordinary. If left alone, Lee Gwak would undoubtedly make a name for himself in the Jianghu.
Greed and envy blossomed in his heart.

It was the jealousy of someone whose wings had been clipped.

He too had vowed to roam the Jianghu and make a name for himself when he first learned martial arts. However, his ambitions were crushed, and he had to settle for being the leader of the Nine Shadows Fleet.

If he couldn’t soar, then no one else should either.

His pride couldn’t tolerate it.

Swoosh!

He drew his sword.

The sunlight shattered against his blade, casting shards of cold light
It was too good to be in the hands of a mere pirate.

Dam Il-cheon pointed his sword at Lee Gwak and said,

“Draw your weapon.”

Lee Gwak slightly furrowed his brow. He had entrusted his only weapon to Ahn Yu-san.

It was now too late to ask Ahn Yu-san to return the sword

Glancing around, Lee Gwak spotted an iron rod on the ground and picked it up, a weapon previously wielded by a pirate

Dam Il-cheon’s expression twisted. He took Lee Gwak’s action as an insult.

‘How dare you!’

His eyes narrowed. His already fierce expression grew even more menacing.

“I’ll give you a lesson.”

Whoosh!

He launched off the deck and charged at Lee Gwak.

Dam Il-cheon’s sword flew towards Lee Gwak like lightning.

Clang!

But his sword was blocked and deflected by Lee Gwak’s iron rod.

At that moment, Dam Il-cheon’s body executed an exquisite spin, altering his sword’s trajectory to strike at Lee Gwak once more

Bang!

Sparks flew as the iron rod and sword collided.

“Cha!”

Dam Il-cheon shouted as he fiercely swung his sword.

His sword moved so fast that it seemed to multiply into ten swords in an instant.

The Nine Life Stealing Sword.

Composed of nine forms and nine changes, creating a total of eighty-one dazzling variations.

Ordinary martial artists would be dazzled by the rapid changes and unable to respond
effectively. However, Lee Gwak calmly deflected Dam Il-cheon’s attacks without so much as blinking

Clang, clang, clang!

The sound of metal clashing echoed endlessly.

Shockwaves rippled across the deck as the sword and the iron rod collided.

“Argh!”

“Ouch!”

People were knocked around the deck by the shockwaves.

Dam Il-cheon’s martial prowess was tremendous.

No martial artist of the Azure Maritime Company could confidently withstand Dam Il-cheon’s sword strike, which boasted formidable power. Yet, even this tempestuous onslaught was halted before the barrier that was Lee Gwak

“You?”

Dam Il-cheon stopped his attack and glared at Lee Gwak.

Lee Gwak remained still, just as he had been from the start. To an outsider, it would appear that he hadn’t moved at all, so calm and steady was his breathing

But there was something else that enraged Dam Il-cheon.

‘He hasn’t moved a single step’