Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 88

February 2, 2024 • 11 min read • 257 views

A Sharp Awl is Bound to Pierce Through the Pocket Eventually (1)

Novel-Martial Artist Lee Gwak

“You, you?”

Yul Cheon Ak looked at Lee Gwak with disbelief.

His face turned pale as blood poured out of the hole in his neck.

His body shook as if it would collapse any moment, but Yul Cheon Ak managed to hold on and glared at Lee Gwak.

“To think that I, of all people, would fall to a mere Outer Hall martial artist”

Had Lee Gwak been a renowned master, Yul Cheon Ak might not have felt so humiliated.

Despite walking the path of evil, he prided himself on being a martial artist who staked his life on his sword.

He had always assumed that if he were to die someday, it would be at the hands of a great martial artist.

But reality was cruel.

The person who had pierced his neck was not a famous martial artist but merely a martial artist from the Outer Hall.

Yul Cheon Ak didn’t even know his name.

Thud!

Finally, he fell to his knees. The reaper of death began to encroach upon his body. Yet, the ferocity in his eyes had not yet faded.

Lee Gwak quietly observed Yul Cheon Ak.

The remnants of the fight were still strong in his entire being.

The thrill of having led the fight from start to finish, just as he had pictured it in his head, was engulfing him.

But he shook his head to clear it, and looked at Yul Cheon Ak.

Yul Cheon Ak forced a smile.

His yellow teeth stained with blood were fully exposed.

“Heh…heh! You still won’t be able to save Lim Sobo…”

There were dozens of Black Ghost Mist Squad members who had entered the formation with him. By now, they would have broken through the formation and reached Lim Sobo.

“Hehe!”

That’s why Yul Cheon Ak could smile.

Lee Gwak, who had been observing Yul Cheon Ak, finally spoke.

“Lim Sobo will be safe.”

“Bluff… Are you bluffing?”

“It’s not a bluff. The people you brought with you won’t be able to lay a finger on Sobo.”

“Lies…”

With those words, Yul Cheon Ak breathed his last.

Until his dying moment, he did not believe Lee Gwak’s words. However, Lee Gwak was not lying.

The one who had revealed his true nature here was not just Lee Gwak.

Like Lee Gwak, another man who had been hiding his true self until now was revealing his true face. That’s why Lee Gwak was not worried about Lim Sobo.

***
The martial artists of the Black Ghost Mist Squad, sharing their senses, moved cautiously forward. It was only possible because they had mastered the Heart and Spirit Unity Technique.

The formation laid out by Lim Sobo had no lethal power. Still, they did not rush because they didn’t know where the steel needles might be.

“We’re almost through.”

Instinctively, they felt they were nearly past the formation.

Just a little further to go.

They hurried their steps. But strangely, the formation seemed to have no end.

“What’s going on?”

For the first time, doubt crept in.

The man in the lead looked back, but his colleagues were nowhere to be seen.

The martial artist’s eyes momentarily flickered. But he soon regained composure, as their spirits were still connected.

Even if he couldn’t see them, he knew they were there.

“The young girl has a profound understanding of formations. If we weren’t connected by spirit, we might have been completely deceived.”

The essence of the formation was to twist nature’s harmony and disrupt the senses. Basic formations like illusions or mazes also began by shaking human senses, inducing delusions.

If Lim Sobo had more time, she might have created an even more perfect formation. The thought of what could have been sent chills down his spine.

A questioning look appeared on the martial artist’s face. It was a phenomenon he hadn’t experienced in any of the four formations they had passed through.

Then he heard a rustling sound behind him. He expected it to be his colleague, but his eyes widened in shock. It was a man he had never seen before.

A short man, missing a front tooth, giving him a somewhat comical appearance.

“Who are you?”

As he asked, the martial artist attacked the short man with his sword. It was a treacherous move, but also efficient.

Swoosh!

Caught off guard, the short man was unable to dodge and was stabbed in the chest.

Blood dripped down the sword that had pierced the man’s chest. He flailed his hands in disbelief of his impending death.

“Hmph!”

The martial artist snorted and withdrew his sword.

He had thought that the ragtag group protecting Lim Sobo might be hiding in the formation to ambush them, and his prediction was spot on.

With a smug smile, he looked at the fallen man. But then, his expression changed.

The face of the man lying on the ground had transformed.

The new face was someone he knew very well. It was one of his colleagues who had been following him.

“Could it be…?”

His voice trembled involuntarily.

The martial artist touched his colleague’s face with his hand. It wasn’t an illusion; it was truly the face of his comrade.

He then realized he had been deceived by the illusion and had killed his own colleague with his hands.

“How can this be!”

He wore a look of utter disbelief.

He had carried out many missions and killed many people. He was ruthless, but the thought of killing his own colleagues was horrifying. They had built camaraderie through shared trials.

His eyes shook with confusion. The colleague he had killed was connected to him spiritually. He couldn’t understand how he had failed to recognise his comrade and used his sword on him.

Then, rustling sounds came again, and someone appeared.

The martial artist quickly raised his sword but then relaxed. It was clearly one of his colleagues.

He hastily explained to him.

“It wasn’t me who killed him, it was an illusion…”

Stab!

Suddenly, the appeared colleague stabbed him with a sword.

“Kuhk!”

The martial artist coughed up blood and fell to his knees.

‘Why?’

A look of confusion appeared on his face.

But the expression of the colleague who stabbed him was strange.

It was as if he had seen something he shouldn’t have. The martial artist then realized that his expression was similar to his own after he had stabbed his colleague.

‘So, you too…’

Just as he saw his colleague as an enemy, his colleague must have seen him as an enemy too.

‘What kind of monster…’

The martial artist’s eyes widened in shock as his life ended. His face held an unresolved question as he died.

The same scenario repeated itself.

Colleagues mistaking each other for enemies, stabbing each other, weeping, and then being killed.

It was like a wheel of death turning.

The Black Ghost Mist Squad ended up killing their own trusted comrades by their hands. This horrific scene continued until only one survivor remained.

“Come out!”

The last survivor of the Black Ghost Mist Squad screamed.

At his feet lay the body of a colleague he had just killed. He too had mistaken his colleague’s face for an enemy and killed him.

Then, the short man with a missing front tooth appeared, cutting through the darkness.

The moment the last survivor saw him, his eyes widened. The dead colleague he had killed bore the same face as this man. He couldn’t be sure.

The short man looked at him with a pitiful expression.

He was neither an illusion nor one of the Black Ghost Mist Squad.

He was Ki Jin Hwi.

A bitter smile appeared on Ki Jin Hwi’s lips.

He was the one who had cast illusions on the faces of the Black Ghost Mist Squad, leading them to slaughter each other.

Unbeknownst to the martial artists of the Black Ghost Mist Squad, each of them had a small talisman attached to their body, crafted by Ki Jin Hwi.

His talisman invoked chaos and illusions, preventing proper thinking and severing the connection of spirits.

It was a simple spell, but when combined with the formation laid out by Lim Sobo, its power was amplified several times over, much to even Ki Jin Hwi’s surprise.

“Tsk!”

Ki Jin Hwi clicked his tongue.

It was a necessary action to protect Lim Sobo and the 13th squad, but it left him feeling uneasy.

“Uaaa!”

Suddenly, the last surviving member charged at him.

His eyes wide with rage, he rushed forward indiscriminately, like a wild boar.

“Die, monster!”

His sword flew towards Ki Jin Hwi.

Ki Jin Hwi shook his head and stepped aside, disappearing as if by magic, utilizing the formation to hide his presence.

Swoosh!

The martial artist’s sword cut through the air in vain.

Then, Ki Jin Hwi reappeared behind him, reaching out his hand.

Thump!

His fingers penetrated the enemy’s cervical spine as if digging into tofu.

“Kuuuh!”

The last of the Black Ghost Mist Squad trembled and then died.

Ki Jin Hwi shook his head and withdrew his hand. The last martial artist’s body crumbled away like a sandcastle.

Ki Jin Hwi looked down at the corpse with a heavy heart.

“You might be right about me being a monster. But what can I do? To not die myself, I had to kill you.”

As he shook his head, Lee Gwak emerged from the darkness. Ki Jin Hwi greeted him without surprise.

“Leader!”

“You’ve dealt with everyone.”

“Well, it just happened… It seems like you’ve taken care of the enemy leader as well.”

“Yes!”

“Well done. And I’m sorry. It’s unfortunate that I dragged you into this.”

“It’s alright.”

Lee Gwak shook his head.

Ki Jin Hwi might think he had pushed Lee Gwak into this, but in reality, Lee Gwak had chosen this place himself.

This was Lee Gwak’s battlefield.

Today, he had stepped onto the path of a true martial artist.
***
Lim Sobo’s eyebrows quivered slightly.

A moment later, she fully opened her eyes, and her retina filled with the blue sky.

“……”

As Lim Sobo blinked, she suddenly jolted up in shock, then a familiar voice reached her.

“It’s okay! Just lie down.”

Turning to the side, she saw Cheon-wol looking at her with a worried expression.

“Oraboni?”

“It’s alright now, just lie down.”

“What happened?”

Lim Sobo quickly scanned her surroundings. She saw the 13th squad and some unfamiliar martial artist on horseback beside her.

She couldn’t understand the scene before her eyes. Before losing consciousness, she was certain she had been at the Steel Crown Gorge. But now, she was in a roofless carriage.

Her gaze fell on Lee Gwak.

“What’s going on?”

“These people saved us.”

“What?”

“When we didn’t hear from you for two days, as you said, the Jade Heaven Alliance asked for cooperation from the White Heaven Sect and dispatched troops. They dismantled the last remaining formation and rescued us.”

Despite Lee Gwak’s explanation, Lim Sobo still looked confused.

“So, I was unconscious for more than two days?”

“Precisely, three days.”

This time, Ki Jin Hwi answered.

“Three days?”

“Well, that makes sense. You set up five formations in such a short time; how could you maintain consciousness throughout? You’ve done well, Miss Lim Sobo. Thanks to you, we survived.”

“What about those who tried to kidnap me?”

“It seems they fled when these people arrived with only the last formation remaining.”

“They fled?”

“Yes!”

Ki Jin Hwi lied effortlessly.

Lim Sobo frowned, sensing something amiss. But she couldn’t dwell on it for long.

A stranger approached her.

“I am Yoon Hwak, the leader of White Heaven Sect, Miss Sobo. I’m relieved you are safe. We were so worried when we lost contact with you. I’m glad we were able to rescue you in time.”

“Leader Yoon, what happened to the Stealth Sword Squad?”

“They’re all dead. We’ve collected their bodies and sent them back to the Myriad Merchant Troupe, so there’s no need to worry.”

“Oh!”

“From now on, the White Heaven Sect will take responsibility for your protection. I, Yoon Hwak
, will ensure your safe return to the Jade Heaven Alliance with my life. Hahaha!”

Yoon Hak laughed heartily, but Lim Sobo wasn’t listening.

Her suspicious gaze was fixed on Lee Gwak and Ki Jin Hwi. However, they just kept their mouths shut and continued riding.

Hey Folks,

It takes a lot of time and effort to translate each of these chapters, so if someone wants to help me out. Try to become my Patreon here or buy me a coffee here, You get instant access to all the chapters I have translated at once + chapter updates every day.

I use the funds I receive to maintain the website, buy raws, buy tools and add free chapters for the community. So please consider helping if you can.