Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 96

February 10, 2024 • 11 min read • 200 views

Uncomfortable Company (3)

Novel-Martial Artist Lee Gwak

The Poseidon sailed into a tributary of the Yangtze, navigating for about an hour before a narrow gorge appeared before them.Sheer cliffs lined both sides of the river like a folding screen, but the river’s flow was surprisingly slow, so they had no trouble passing through.

As they emerged from the gorge, they encountered a landscape reminiscent of an hourglass.

The area was surrounded by cliffs, with a large waterfall cascading down from the top into a vast swamp. The cascading water formed a huge pool with a wide basin on one side.

There were dozens of large and small buildings built in the basin, blending in with the surrounding scenery and creating a picturesque atmosphere.

This was Green Forest, one of the six mountain clans under the Sky High Castle. Although technically a water clan, no one contested its classification.

At Green Forest’s dock, there were about twenty ships, each optimized for battle.

“Is this the Green Forest?”

“Truly a hidden fortress. If the entrance is blocked, no amount of troops could breach it.”

The martial artists aboard the Poseidon were impressed.

As martial artists themselves, they recognized the strategic value of the terrain.

Green Forest had emerged as the victor among the eighteen river clans. Yet, even this formidable stronghold was merely one branch of the Sky High Castle.

Hundreds of Green Forest’s elite martial artists lined up at the dock, ready to receive the young master of the Jade Heaven Alliance.

At the center stood a young martial artist in his late twenties.

With his black hair neatly combed back and dressed in green martial attire, he appeared ordinary at first glance. One look into his eyes, however, and any thought of his ordinariness would vanish.

His eyes were unusually white. Where the pupils should be, there was only white.

There were countless martial artists in the world, but only one with such a stark feature.
White Eye Blood Hand, So Gun-myeong.

A young martial artist whose genius had been acknowledged early on, earning him the position of young master in the Sky High Castle.

So Gun-myeong’s white eyes could instill fear in anyone. The ambiguity of his gaze made it even more intimidating.

Thump!

Finally, a gangplank was extended from the Poseidon, and Yong Cheon Myeong descended.

He walked straight towards So Gun-myeong, ignoring the martial artists lined up on either side. So Gun-myeong, in turn, did not wait and walked towards Yong Cheon Myeong.

Thus, the two met in the middle.

The first to perform a fist salute was So Gun-myeong.

“I, So Gun-myeong of the Sky High Castle, am honored to meet Yong Cheon Myeong of the Jade Heaven Alliance. I’m sincerely grateful that such a renowned hero has graced our humble abode with his presence.”

“I, Yong Cheon Myeong, am honored to meet So Gun-myeong of Sky High Castle. I’m truly grateful for your invitation to someone as unremarkable as myself.”

“Ha! If Yong Cheon Myeong considers himself unremarkable, then who in the world can be deemed a true martial artist? Excessive humility is also discourtesy. It seems to me, Yong Cheon Myeong could afford to be a bit more generous with himself.”

At So Gun-myeong’s lavish praise, the corners of Yong Cheon Myeong’s mouth rose.

“It feels like I’ve found a friend whose heart resonates with mine. From now on, I’ll consider Brother So a close friend.”

“Ha! The feeling is mutual.”

“It would be a shame to let a day like today pass by unnoticed.”

“I thought as much and have prepared a modest feast in the fortress. Please don’t refuse and enjoy the day with us”

“Really? I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“I am only ashamed that this is all I can do for you, who are going to the Frontlines for the sake of Jianghu. Please consider it a gesture of goodwill from me and spend the day here.”

“I’ll gladly spend time here then. I’m sure those accompanying me will be delighted as well. Thank you, Brother So. I wish to get drunk with you tonight.”

“Likewise.”

Yong Cheon Myeong and So Gun-myeong, as if long-time acquaintances, were in perfect accord. They exchanged pleasantries and headed deeper into Green Forest.

Shin Soo-myeong, lord of the Green Forest, addressed the martial artists aboard the Poseidon.

“As our lord So Gun-myeong mentioned, we’ve prepared a feast for you. Please don’t be critical of its simplicity and enjoy yourselves to the fullest today.”

“Wow!”

A cheer erupted from the Poseidon.

The martial artists, having been confined to the ship for several days, were eager to stretch their legs. Even though the ship was spacious, nothing compared to standing on solid ground.

The martial artists of the Jade Heaven Alliance quickly disembarked and headed towards the Green Forest.

The 13th squad also made their way off the ship.

“To think I’d see Green Forest with my own eyes.”

“Indeed.”

Seok Yi Cheon and Ki Jin Hwi looked around with curiosity, as Green Forest had never before opened its gates to outsiders.

Lee Gwak, following behind, also took in the sights of Green Forest.

The scenery was undeniably breathtaking.

He had not expected such a picturesque place to exist. However, what caught Lee Gwak’s attention was not the scenery of Green Forest but its martial artists.

Historically, the Green Forest martial artists were not regarded as true martial artists. In the eyes of the Jianghu, they were considered mere bandits, not warriors.

They were undisciplined, mindless plunderers, living day-to-day through looting. But now, the martial artists of the Green Forest had a strict discipline and refined aura.

Such an ambiance couldn’t be achieved in a day or two. Green Forest possessed the solid foundation that could only be found in long-established prestigious families.

“Strong.”

If Green Forest was this formidable, Lee Gwak could well imagine the atmosphere of Sky High Castle, considered the main branch.

If Green Forest’s aura was this formidable, he could well imagine what the aura of the Sky High Castle would be like.

Lee Gwak felt the depth of the Ten Great Sects.

The ten supreme forces currently dominating the world.

Regardless of their beginnings, over a century they had solidified their foundations and cultivated countless human resources. The depth of their power was not something an individual could face alone.

Shaking his head, Lee Gwak took his seat as directed by one of Green Forest’s martial artists.

Inside, there was a large training ground where the Green Forest had set up tents and prepared food. The quality of the dishes was beyond imagination.

Even in the Jade Heaven Alliance, such a variety of exquisite dishes and delicacies were rare. Though he hadn’t tasted them yet, the mere aroma was intoxicating.

“Wow!”

“What is this?”

The martial artists of the Jade Heaven Alliance exclaimed.

Yong Cheon Myeong was no exception.

“It seems the Green Forest has a remarkable cook. Truly impressive.”

“Ha! For today, I specially invited a friend of mine. She prepared all these dishes.”

“A friend?”

“It was a bit of a hassle to convince her, but seeing how much you and the warriors of the Jade Heaven Alliance are enjoying it makes it worthwhile.”

“Who is this cook? If possible, I’d like to invite her to the Jade Heaven Alliance.”

“I’ll introduce her to you later.”

“Is that a promise?”

“It’s a promise.”

“Ha! I’m really looking forward to it.”

Yong Cheon Myeong laughed and took his place at the head of the table, and the banquet began.

“Wow, this is really delicious.”

“Whoever the cook is, she’s amazing. I’ve never had food of this caliber at the Jade Heaven Alliance. Amazing!”

Those who tasted the food couldn’t help but praise it.

Lee Gwak and the 13th squad were also amazed by the flavors. Seok Yi Cheon and others eagerly devoured the dishes.

Lee Gwak thought the food was like a drug. It was so delicious that he kept reaching for more. He had intended to eat just one bite, but before he knew it, his plate was empty.

Thud!

At some point, Lee Gwak put down his chopsticks. He felt if he continued, he would eat endlessly.

He believed too greasy food was like poison to a martial artist. Thus, Lee Gwak resisted the temptation of the food and stood up.

Seok Yi Cheon asked.

“Hey, where are you going?”

“Just full, thinking of taking a walk.”

“Why don’t you eat more? It’s so delicious.”

“I’ve already had enough.”

Lee Gwak left with a gentle smile on his face.

He looked around for a moment, then started walking towards the waterfall.

Kwakwakwa!

As he approached, the first thing he heard was a thunderous roar that seemed to shake the earth. Faced with the tremendous force that seemed to pierce through the ground, Lee Gwak was momentarily overwhelmed.

No matter how great human strength may be, it pales in comparison to the power of nature.
Lee Gwak was no exception. He stared at the waterfall, mesmerized. Hen novel

“Hm?”

That’s when something unusual caught his eye.

He spotted something moving behind the waterfall. Though it was obscured by the heavy flow of water and hard to see clearly, it was undoubtedly human.

The faint figure moved around the back of the cliff with the agility of a monkey.

A misstep could lead to a fall into the unfathomably deep marsh below. But the figure had been moving behind the waterfall for a long time without any sign of fear.

Lee Gwak frowned, observing the figure moving behind the cliff. It wasn’t long before the figure revealed itself.

Shoo!

A small figure flew through the waterfall and landed right in front of Lee Gwak.

“Ah! I’m soaked.”

Grumbling as she shook her wet hair and clothes, the figure turned out to be a girl who looked to be around eighteen or so.

She was ordinary in appearance, but her expressions were rich and varied, full of life. She was carrying a large basket on her arm, filled with some unidentified moss.

“Well, at least I got a bunch of Ice Cold Immortal Moss that can’t be bought for money, so it’s not a loss, Hehe!”

The girl looked at the moss filling her basket with a satisfied grin. Her smile was so refreshing it could clear the hearts of those who saw it.

“Whoa! Who are you?”

The girl, noticing Lee Gwak belatedly, hid the basket behind her and became wary.

“Sorry! Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“An unfamiliar face… Are you a martial artist from the Jade Heaven Alliance?”

“Yes, I’m Lee Gwak.”

“Thought so. Nice to meet you. I’m Bang Ye-in.”

“Bang Ye-in?”

“Yes! I’m here helping out with some work at Green Forest, at the invitation of a brother I know.”

“I see!”

Lee Gwak nodded absently, and Bang Ye-in gave him an amused look.

“Why are you out here alone? Didn’t like the food?”

“No, it was very delicious.”

“Then why didn’t you eat more?”

“If I kept eating, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.”

“Hmm! You must have strong willpower. Or maybe my cooking skills still need improvement? I exerted myself for the first time in a while, and to think there would be someone who could resist.”

Bang Ye-in looked somewhat disappointed.

As Lee Gwak pondered her words, he realized something new.

“Exert your skills? You mean you made the food at Green Forest?”

“Of course. The chefs at the Green Forest helped, but I was the one who brought out the flavors.”

Bang Ye-in spoke as if it was the most natural thing in the world, her words filled with undeniable pride.

“Hmm!”

Lee Gwak unconsciously murmured, surprised that such a young girl could prepare so much delicious food.

Bang Ye-in looked at him with a playful smile, making him feel somewhat awkward.

Lee Gwak changed the subject.

“What were you doing here?”

“As you can see, I was collecting Ice Cold Immortal Moss. It’s quite rare, and not easy to find, but surprisingly, there was a lot behind the waterfall.”

“Ice Cold Immortal Moss?”

“Yes! Normally, it can only be found in extreme regions. Consuming it regularly can enhance inner strength and promote longevity. It also enhances the flavor of food, making it quite versatile.”

“I see.”

“See, it pays to live kindly. Helping others like this, heaven naturally rewards you.”

Hugging the large basket, Bang Ye-in giggled happily, looking very adorable.

Just as Lee Gwak was about to smile,

“Ye-in!”

A gentle voice called out from behind.

“Ah! Brother.”

Bang Ye-in, seeing the person behind Lee Gwak, beamed with joy.

“Did you collect the Moss alone? I told you I’d send someone to help, but you couldn’t wait and risked yourself.” Hen novel

The man’s voice carried a mild reproach, but Bang Ye-in’s smile remained unfazed.

‘Who?’

Lee Gwak turned cautiously to look behind him.

His expression stiffened at the sight of the unexpected figure.

‘So Gun-myeong!’

The man with neatly combed hair and eyes as white as snow.

It was none other than So Gun-myeong, the young master of the Sky High Castle.