Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 60

December 27, 2023 • 10 min read • 280 views

The War of the Nonexistent (1))

Lee Gwak’s eyes narrowed.

This is because the woman who opened the door of the estate was someone he knew.

It was Dan Li Yeon, the Dark Martial Empress herself.

Dan Li Yeon strode confidently towards Maa Doo Won. She was so imposing that he bowed slightly in greeting.

“Miss Dan Li,”

“I’m sorry for the rush,”.

“Not at all, it’s only natural for the Creation Pavilion to assist,”

“I appreciate your understanding. I won’t forget this favour,”

Dan Li Yeon smiled gently at Maa Doo Won. In return, Maa Doo Won wore a pensive expression.

It was then that Lee Gwak realised that Dan Li Yeon had asked to inspect the estate.

Finally, Dan Li Yeon’s gaze shifted to Lee Gwak.

“Leader Lee?”

She recognized him instantly.

“I am honoured to meet you, Miss Dan Li,”

Lee Gwak greeted her with a respectful bow.

A look of curiosity appeared on Dan Li Yeon’s face.

“What brings Leader Lee here?”

“This fellow has a knack for mechanics, so I asked him to help me.”

“Is that true?”

Dan Li Yeon looked surprised at Maa Doo Won’s explanation. She hadn’t expected the head of the outer hall to be skilled in mechanics.

Most martial artists focused solely on martial arts, avoiding the deep and intricate studies of mechanism and formations.

It was hard for her to believe that Lee Gwak, who was merely a squad leader of the outer hall, could be so well versed in such a subject, so there was a hint of disbelief in her eyes as she looked at him.

“It’s just a little knowledge I’ve gained from Scholar Ma. Nothing remarkable,”

“But Leader Lee is certainly more capable than many scholars of the Creation Pavilion. I can vouch for that,”

Lee Gwak didn’t want to reveal himself if he could help it, but Maa Doo Won was talking without even noticing.

Dan Li Yeon’s eyes sparkled with intrigue.

“Truly impressive, Leader Lee. You have my renewed respect.”

“It’s nothing, really.”

“No need to be so modest. A person of your ability deserves recognition. It seems a waste for someone like you to remain in the outer hall. Have you considered joining the inner or main court?”

“I am content with my current position.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm, if that’s your wish. But if you ever change your mind, feel free to seek me out”

“Thank you for your kind words. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

After bidding farewell, Lee Gwak left the room. Dan Li Yeon watched him go, her gaze intense.

‘He’s not just an ordinary man, is he?’

Dan Li Yeon was not interested in the power struggles and political battles within the Jade Heaven Alliance. She was a martial artist by birth, and she only wanted to walk the path of martial arts in the future. However, that didn’t mean she could completely shut herself off from the world.

Dan Li Yeon needed people to handle tedious tasks so she could focus on her martial arts. She considered Lee Gwak a potential candidate for such roles.

She turned her attention back to the estate.

Outside, the great elders would gather for the great elders’ meeting, but inside, the Chamber of Heroes was to be prepared for a gathering of the world’s greatest talents.

With a sigh, she inwardly cursed her lazy second brother, Woon Dae Yeon, whose responsibilities had been left to her.
***
In the dead of night, a shadowy figure dashed through the streets outside the Jade Heaven Alliance’s outer walls.

Dressed in black from head to toe, the man’s face was etched with concern.

” Kkat!”

A puzzled expression appeared on the man’s face as he ran at a terrifying speed.

He glanced back.

All he could see was an empty street, not a human being in sight. But the man knew. Someone was stealthily tracking him.

“Damn it!”

He clenched his teeth in frustration.

He was an assassin.

An experienced assassin who had planned and executed countless assassinations.
He was a man who inspired fear in others, never a man who felt fear, yet here he was, running through the streets, looking terrified.

His mission was to infiltrate the Jade Heaven Alliance that night.

Everything had been perfectly prepared.

He had an inside man and the ideal route for infiltration. Never had he doubted his ability to infiltrate, and never had he failed.

But that night, as he moved to meet his contact, he sensed danger for the first time. The insider didn’t show up. Sensing something was amiss, he immediately retreated.

His decision was quick and decisive. It was this intuition that had kept him alive through countless missions.

His belief was clear: at the slightest sense of unease, halt all operations and reassess from scratch.

He planned to return to his safe house and review his plans. However, during his return, he felt the piercing gaze of someone tracking him. A pursuer had latched onto him.

Immediately, he accelerated, trying to shake off the tracker using his light-footed skills. But
the prying eyes didn’t go away. He couldn’t shake them off.

That’s when he realised. His pursuer was of his kind. And they were trying to lead him back to his safe house.

‘Think you can outsmart me?’

The Assassin gritted his teeth, a determined gleam in his eyes.

There was nothing more humiliating than being chased by another assassin and having your safe house exposed.

Reaching a dead end, he stopped. He could leap over the high wall in front of him, but he chose not to.

‘We’ll settle this here.

Swoosh!

Drawing his sword, he stood ready, his back to the wall.

It was a thin, long sword, optimised for silent assassinations. The blood of its countless victims had imbued it with a faint red hue.

He stood motionless, sword in hand, signalling he wouldn’t lead them to his hideout.

“Show yourself!”

The assassin’s eyes glowed eerily in the darkness.

Suddenly, a silent black shadow appeared opposite him. Another assassin. But the figure seemed to be a woman.

He pointed his sword at her.

“Who are you?”

Silence.

Assassins were bound by an unspoken rule of silence.

Regardless of her identity, his priority was to subdue her.

Shick!

He lunged at her without warning.

His sword, swift as a ray of light, aimed at her shoulder. He was certain it would pierce through.

Clang!

At that moment, a metallic sound erupted and the assassin’s body was thrown backwards.

The assassin felt a fiery pain in his side.

“When?”

His eyes wavered in shock.

A long gash had opened in his side, blood spurting out like a fountain.

He couldn’t see what kind of blade the woman had used. She had fought back with speed beyond his perception and senses.

Realising she was far superior in the art of killing, he chose to flee instead of fight.

He tried to retreat, but before he could take a step, his left ankle was severed.

“Argh!”

Overwhelmed by excruciating pain, he involuntarily groaned.

Even a seasoned assassin, accustomed to enduring pain, could not remain silent when his leg was cleanly severed.

“What is this monstrous wench?”

For the first time, a gleam of fear appeared in the assassin’s eyes.

Using his thin sword as a support, he glared ahead.

Step by step, the female assassin who had taken his ankle approached silently.

Her face was obscured by darkness, making her seem even more monstrous.

Proud of his extensive experience as an assassin, he had never been so utterly dominated. In tracking, reaction speed, swordsmanship, and all aspects of assassination, he was completely overwhelmed.

‘There’s such an assassin in the Jade Heaven Alliance?’

He bit his lip until it bled.

Despite realising she was far stronger, he couldn’t just surrender.

“Chaaat!”

With a battle cry, he exerted all his strength, thrusting his sword forward.

This was the One Point Strike technique.

Turning into a streak of light, he charged at her with his sword, not even touching the ground with his severed left foot. He concentrated all his internal energy into his right foot to gain incredible speed.

“Die!”

He launched his attack, using every last drop of his energy. He was certain that, even if he couldn’t kill her, he would at least inflict a significant wound.

He was ready to sacrifice his life. He had already resigned himself to death.

Then, a flash of light.

He collapsed forward, stuck in the pose of executing the One Point Strike. A coin-sized hole pierced through his forehead.

‘What?’ Confusion filled his face.

He couldn’t comprehend why he was falling, why he had lost grip of his sword.

Thud!

His body hit the ground, never to rise again. He had no more time to solve the mystery, his life extinguished.

That was the end of the assassin.

“Sigh.”

The female assassin, Han So Cheon, exhaled softly as she retrieved her sword.

Her weapon, like the dead assassin’s, was a thin, long sword, optimised for silent assassinations, a favourite of hers.

She approached the corpse of the assassin she had killed.

Under the moonlight, her face became visible. She had thick eyebrows, eyes filled with melancholy as dark as her brows, and small lips reminiscent of plum blossoms, blood-red in colour.

She was Han So Cheon.

Silently, she gazed at the dead assassin’s body, his eyes seemingly glaring at her.

The Hidden Blood Squad, based on the information gathered, was discreetly eliminating known assassins.

Despite the risk of alarming others, they had to act to stop the problems escalating.

For a while, Han So Cheon couldn’t take her eyes off the dead man’s gaze.
Suddenly, a sharp horn sound pierced the night. It was a signal from a colleague requesting assistance.

Only then did Han So Cheon avert her gaze from the corpse.

She leapt away to assist her colleague, quickly disappearing into the darkness.

Left behind was the lifeless body of the assassin, lying alone under the cold night wind.
After some time, when the moon was no longer visible, a figure silently appeared beside the assassin’s body.

It was a middle-aged man in blue robes, the Dark Emissary.

Rising from the darkness, he laid the assassin’s body straight. The hole in the assassin’s forehead caught his eye.

The Dark Emissary touched the hole, indifferent to the blood that started to stain his hand.

A cold smile appeared on his lips.

“Found it.”

The same mark that was left on the body of his friend, Go Jin Rak.

He had used some of his assassins as bait, hoping for a big catch, and it worked.

“Friend! Finally, I can avenge you. Just wait a little longer. It won’t take much time.”