Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 17

October 31, 2023 • 10 min read • 377 views

Episode 17(When the ties are severed, no regrets remain. (2))

Novel- Martial Artist Lee Gwak

A sorrowful sound came, clear yet with a touch of hoarseness in the voice. The soul-stirring voice, combined with the mournful notes, intensified the emotions even more.

I, who was full of worries, suffer by myself at night alone. I lay down after blowing off the candle. With the moonlight shining in, I am afraid it would show me where I lay down

It was a song that didn’t seem to fit in with the martial sect known as the Jade Heaven Alliance.

The song was called “Night Song” and had been passed down in folklore for a very long time.

It wasn’t the title or the lyrics of the song that mattered, but the fact that this song was a favorite of someone Lee Gwak knew well.

Lee Gwak stepped into the Clear Pavilion.

“Phew! What a surprise…….”

Seok Yi Cheon sighed softly, opening the door for him.

Ordinarily, Lee Gwak wouldn’t be permitted inside the Clear Pavilion. However, Seok Yi Cheon, who knew the full story, had no choice but to allow him in.

The source of the song came from the main hall inside the pavilion.

The main hall could easily hold hundreds of people, and there were just as many people gathered inside. However, none of these faces registered in Lee Gwak’s vision.

All he could see was the beautiful woman on the grand stage in the center, strumming a pipa and singing.

Dressed in bright red silk adorned with ornate golden patterns, her bare, porcelain shoulders were barely exposed.

Her snow-white skin contrasted sharply with her vivid lips, from which flowed that hauntingly beautiful voice.

“Numerous people were entranced by her voice and looked at her in a daze.”

Among them was a man in his early to mid-twenties, exuding an extraordinary presence.

Underneath his thick eyebrows, his gaze was fierce, reminiscent of a tiger. A stubble adorned his angular jaw. The robe on his arm was engraved with the image of a soaring black dragon.

His imposing aura was so overwhelming that it dwarfed the presence of everyone else in the hall. In fact, the martial artists around him seemed to barely breathe.

His name was Woo Mun Pae.

He was the young master of the Martial Sword Troupe and was known by the alias “Berserk Dragon,” a name that sent tremors across the Jianghu.

Beside Woo Mun Pae sat a man and a woman, both of whom emitted an aura nearly as formidable.

“Clad in a sleeveless outfit made of white tiger skin and with a white heroic scarf wrapped around his head, the man radiated confidence as if he had the power to split the heavens.”

“The gaze that shone through his dishevelled hair, like that of a lion, was fierce. His broad nose and firmly closed lips made him look even more valiant.”

His name was Yong Cheon Myeong.

He was the first disciple of Ja Hong Cheon, the fierce lord of the Jade Heaven Alliance, and a man who shook the world with the nickname Indestructible Steel Blood

Beside Yong Cheon Myeong sat a peculiar woman draped in dark attire. She had jet-black hair and a black cotton veil covering her face.

Their gazes were fixed on the woman singing in the centre of the stage.

After watching her for a while, Woo Mun Pae finally spoke,

“Heh! Now I understand why Brother Yong insisted on leaving the inner court to bring me to this banquet in the outer court. I’ve met many singers in my life, but I’ve never met one whose voice captivates the audience like hers does.”

His voice was laden with genuine admiration. Yong Cheong Myeong responded with a subtle smile,

“I told you, didn’t I? I was sure Brother Woo Mun would like it.”

“If I could, I’d want to bring her to our Martial Sword Troupe. What do you think, Brother Yong?”

“Sorry, Woo Mun. Many here desire her voice as well.”

“Are you among them, Yong?”

Instead of answering, Yong Cheon Myeong responded with a cryptic smile. But that alone was a clear answer for Woo Mun Pae.

Woo Mun Pae clicked his tongue in slight disappointment.

‘Ah, if Yong Cheon Myeong has already set his sights on her, there’s no point in hoping.’

It was at that moment Woo Mun Pae decided to put aside such distractions.

He had come here to negotiate important matters on behalf of the Martial Sword Troupe’s leader, Yu Mun Sang, not to be entranced by a mere performer.

“Bravo!”

“Amazing!”

The singer began her next song amidst thunderous applause.

Both men halted their conversation, their attention solely on the woman’s voice.

The woman in the black veil thought to herself,

‘So, the rumors were true about the enchanting performer who mesmerizes countless men at the Musical Performance Hall.’

Even to another woman, her allure and voice were intoxicating. Most of the martial artists in the hall were captivated by her.

She never intended to attend this event. However, she was here because Yong Cheon Myeong asked her to join him in greeting Woo Mun Pae.

Her name was Dan Li Yeon, the third disciple of Ja Hong Cheon, just like Yong Cheon Myeong.

Dan Li Yeon was a natural martial arts fanatic. She immersed herself in martial arts training every day. Earning the title “Dark Martial Empress”.

TL/N- In ROTDM I added her as Black Martial Empress

She dreamt of becoming the strongest martial artist in the murim.

Bored, she scanned the crowd.

While most shared the same reactions as Yong Cheon Myeong and Woo Mun Pae, one man stood out.

“Hmm!”

A spark ignited in her eyes veiled behind the black robe.

Her gaze landed on a shadowy figure at the far end of the hall. Though obscured, a man met her gaze, his eyes familiar yet somehow different.

Staring deeply at the singer was Lee Gwak.

‘Yul Seon!’

The glamorous woman in the red silk dress, who captivated the audience with her song, was none other than his beloved, Geum Yul Seon.

Lost in her performance, the world seemed to fade, leaving only her.

Lee Gwak stared at her, entranced by her presence on the grand stage.

He thought he’d gotten over her, but seeing her made his heart ache.

She was the woman he once loved to death.

They whispered sweet nothings, shared a passionate love, believing it would last forever. He felt he could give up his own life for her.

Now she was in full bloom on the stage of her dreams.

“You are so….”

Lee Gwak closed his eyes.

His time with her flashed before his eyes.

The day they first met, the moments they whispered love, the times their hearts raced holding hands, and the day they made love for the first time..

When he opened his eyes again, they were red and bloodshot. But his heart didn’t hurt as much.

He thought that seeing Geum Yul Seon again would be unbearably painful, so he tried to
avoid her and forced himself to forget. But the pain wasn’t as strong as he thought.

Her eyes, which had been shaking like a ship in a turbulent sea, were steady as ever.

Lee Gwak was also unfamiliar with his own reaction. But as he thought about it, he realised why.

During the year he lay immobile, he gradually let go of his lingering feelings for Geum Yul Seon one by one.

The final note of Geum Yul Seon’s song ended then.

“Bravo!”

A thunderous applause echoed, and she bowed to the audience. Her radiant smile bloomed like a red rose.

Then her eyes swept over the crowd. Her captivating eyes momentarily paused on Yong Cheon Myeong.

Lee Gwak recognized that look. It was the same look she used to give him.

He turned away, feeling there was no longer a reason for him to be there.
***
Geum Yul Seon’s gaze, which momentarily rested on Yong Cheon Myeong, returned to the audience, thanking them one last time.

The hall was filled with martial artists, who would lay down their lives for justice. They were cheering solely for her.

“Countless martial artists were cheering for Geum Yul Seon. These passionate martial artists, who would readily sacrifice their lives for justice, were cheering solely for her.”

This was the dream she had always longed for.

Suddenly, she spotted the back of a man walking away.

Despite the crowd, his figure seemed distinct.

‘Could it be?’

Her eyes wavered.

Her gaze followed the man’s back as he exited the ballroom. Even though she couldn’t see his face, she was certain it was him. She knew him.

Anxiety filled her.

Rushing off the stage, she headed his way.

“No way, no way!”

Once out of sight of the crowd, she began to run, following the direction in which the man had disappeared.

It wasn’t long before she caught up.

“Excuse me…”

She called out desperately. He stopped.

“Phew!”

“Whew!”

The moment she heard him exhale, she knew her suspicions weren’t wrong.

“Ah… Oraboni.”

“Yul Seon!”

The man, Lee Gwak, turned to face her.

The moment Yul Seon saw Lee Gwak’s face, she felt her heart drop heavily.

“How? I heard you were paralyzed.”

“…”

“Oraboni! Can you really move?”

“As you can see!”

Lee Gwak gave a slight shrug of his shoulders, causing a shiver to run through Yul Seon.

Moments ago, she felt fine, but now a chill enveloped her body.

“You… Why didn’t you come to me after recovering?”

“To find you?”

“Well…”

Words failed Yul Seon.

She hadn’t gone to Lee Gwak after hearing about his paralysis. She had felt that by doing so, she would be bound to him forever.

What Yul Seon needed was a strong protector, not a patient requiring her care.

She longed to rise to greater heights.

She desired to be admired and not to live the mundane life she had led so far. With that resolute heart, she avoided seeking out Lee Gwak.

She severed their emotional ties and immersed herself only in her singing.

Eventually, she made a name for herself at the Musical Performance Hall and connected with another man who recognized her true value.

Unlike Lee Gwak, this man was nearly at the pinnacle of power. The real man Yul Seon had been searching for. He was a noble presence, incomparable to Lee Gwak, who was merely a lower-ranked martial artist.

He extended his hand to Yul Seon, and she took it, forgetting all about Lee Gwak.

Their shared memories, their days of love — she thought she had left them all behind.

But seeing Lee Gwak’s face brought back a flood of memories and a pang of guilt.

“Oraboni, I…”

She wanted to explain, but words failed her.

Lee Gwak looked at her coldly, a stark contrast to the passion that once burned in his eyes.

A chill ran down Yul Seon’s spine.

The coldness of the moment was unbearable.

She cried out,

“Oraboni, you understand, right?”

“…”

“People might not know, but you understand me, right? Please say you do.”

“What is there for me to understand? Live well, Yul Seon.”

“Oraboni!”

“I hope we never cross paths again.”

Lee Gwak turned away.

Yul Seon reached out, almost close enough to grasp him, but she couldn’t.

“Sob!”

Her cries echoed, but Lee Gwak didn’t look back.

The crystal-clear blue sky filled his view.

“Fate has run its course, and I have no regrets left.”

His soft murmur dispersed into the wind.