Martial Artist Lee Gwak Episode 98

February 15, 2024 • 10 min read • 223 views

Birds of a Feather Flock Together (2)

Novel-Martial Artist Lee Gwak

Bang Ye-in smiled as if she found Lee Gwak’s reaction amusing.

“Why are you so surprised? You’re making me feel awkward.”

“Why are you on the boat?”

“I was sold. Brother So, no, that man sold me to Prince Yong.”

“What do you mean you were sold?”

“Ha! Just kidding. I can’t believe you took that seriously. You’re too earnest.”

“……”

“Actually, I asked Prince Yong to give me a ride. It just so happened I needed to go somewhere nearby.”

Last night, So Gun-myeong introduced Bang Ye-in to Yong Cheon Myeong.

Yong Cheon Myeong was surprised that the person who made such delicious food was a young girl and even more surprised to learn that she was a descendant of the Bang Clan’s Inn.

Tl/N- Bang Family is changed to Bang Clan’s Inn, i am following the manhwa’s name

Yong Cheon Myeong was well aware of the influence of the Bang Clan’s Inn, so he gladly accepted Bang Ye-in’s request.

Hearing the entire story, Lee Gwak frowned.

“So, are you also heading to the battlefield?”

“Not exactly to the battlefield, but to a mountain nearby. I heard there’s a rare mushroom growing there.”

“You’re going to such a dangerous place just to pick mushrooms?”

“It’s our family’s business. Finding good ingredients is the most important thing in our household.”

“Hm!”

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. Everyone has their own stories.”

“It’s not that I don’t understand, it’s just unexpected. I’m curious.”

At Lee Gwak’s response, Bang Ye-in leaned against the railing and smiled. Lee Gwak thought her smile somehow resembled Lim Sobo. Hen novel

‘This child must be smart, too.’

She had the distinct aura of someone who could play tricks on others.

“Anyway, it looks like we’ll be together for a while. I hope we get along. Mister!”

“Hm!”

“You don’t need to be so tense. I won’t be a bother.”

Bang Ye-in was relaxed throughout. Her ease was somehow enviable.

“I’ll head to my cabin now. I stayed up all night and am quite tired.”

“Alright!”

After nodding slightly to Lee Gwak, Bang Ye-in entered her cabin.

As she disappeared, Ki Jin-hwi quickly approached and asked.

“What’s that young lady doing having such a deep conversation with the Squad Leader?”

“She’s Miss Bang Ye-in from the Bang Clan’s Inn.”

“Ah! The Bang Clan’s Inn?”

“Do you know of it?”

“Although many people nowadays see it as just another inn, the Bang Clan’s Inn of the past was truly extraordinary. Anyone with some wealth or fame would flock there with their money.”

“It seems her cooking skills are indeed remarkable.”

“Not just remarkable. If she truly is a direct descendant of the Bang Clan’s Inn, then the food we tasted yesterday is only a fraction of her skills.”

“How is that possible?”

“I’m not sure how, but the Bang Clan’s Inn has methods of enhancing one’s internal energy or curing illnesses through food. In fact, a hundred years ago during the Great Heavenly Blood War, the founder of the Bang Clan’s Inn, Grandmaster Bang Jin-bo, significantly enhanced the internal energy of the Jade Heaven Alliance’s experts with his cooking.”

“That’s unbelievable…”

Lee Gwak looked at Ki Jin-hwi with skeptical eyes, finding the story hard to believe.

Ki Jin-hwi did not blame him. Anyone hearing this for the first time would react like Lee Gwak.

Looking towards the cabin Bang Ye-in had entered, Ki Jin-hwi muttered quietly.

‘Now that I think about it, she is not a stranger to me.’

*****
After leaving the Green Forest, the journey proceeded smoothly.

The Poseidon, which had sailed smoothly up the Yangtze, reached its destination. From here the currents were too strong and the river too narrow for the ship to continue, so it had to travel by land.

“Mystic Martial Squad, check the schedule and route, and Outer Hall Squad, help the workers unload the cargo to the shore,” ordered Jwa-Ryeon, the leader of the Mystic Martial Squad, his voice booming over the dock.

“Damn! Now we have to do this kind of work too?” grumbled Cho Mu-tak.

His eyes were filled with discontent, but he didn’t have the courage to openly rebel.

“Hurry up, 12th squad. Otherwise, you’ll be punished.”

“13th squad, help the 12th squad unload the cargo,”

Lee Gwak also gave orders to his squad.

Thus, the martial artists of the Outer Hall busily assisted the workers.

The splendid carriage was the first to leave the ship. It was to carry Yong Cheon Myeong.

Horses and carts loaded with luggage were then brought ashore. In less than an hour, a huge amount of cargo had been transferred from Poseidon to the land.

Yong Cheon Myeong spoke to Bang Ye-in.

“The road ahead is rough; you should come with me in the carriage.”

“I’d rather ride a horse. It’s more comfortable for me.”

“It will take a few more days to reach the front lines, and the path is perilous. Riding in the carriage would be much safer.”

Upon Bang Ye-in’s refusal, Yong Cheon Myeong slightly furrowed his brow. Then, Bang Ye-in smiled and explained.

“In a carriage, I can’t see the herbs and other things along the way, so my family prefers to walk whenever possible, and ride horses when we have no choice.”

“Hmm! It seems that the reputation of the Bang Clan’s inn is not unfounded. All right, I’ll provide a horse for you to ride. But if you get tired, you can always join me in the carriage.

“Thank you for your consideration.”

Bang Ye-in nodded slightly to Yong Cheon Myeong, expressing her gratitude, which softened his stern expression.

Once all preparations were complete, Yong Cheon Myeong boarded the carriage. Then, Jwa-Ryeon loudly commanded,

“Let’s depart.”

Hearing his gruff voice, the outer hall martial artist cursed in low voices.

“Damn it, we haven’t even had a break.”

“Aren’t we humans too? Always the higher-ups…”

Having helped unload the cargo alongside the workers, their entire bodies were drenched in sweat, and they were gasping for breath. Yet, Jwa-Ryeon ordered them to depart without considering their situation.

Unable to defy the command, they departed. Moreover, they had to move on foot since they were not provided with horses.

“This feels terrible. Damn it!”

Cho Mu-tak cursed as he walked alongside Lee Gwak. Even as a squad leader, he was frustrated at not being provided a horse.

Lee Gwak was just as astonished. They had been promised horses before the departure, but those were taken away for the sake of transporting goods.

As they were walking, Seo Jong Myeong dismounted his horse and approached Lee Gwak.

“Are you okay?” Hen novel

“I can manage,”

Lee Gwak trailed off, glancing back at his squad members.

Unlike him, the rest of the squad members showed clear signs of exhaustion. It was only natural to feel this way after the transition from comfortable shipboard travel to sudden walking.

Seo Jong Myeong lowered his voice.

“Did you, by any chance, offend the prince?”

“Excuse me?”

“The prince was the one who ordered that the horses provided to the Outer Hall be used to transport the cargo. I was wondering if you might have done something to displease him.”

“How could that be?”

“True! You have no connection with the prince. It seems I was overthinking.”

Seo Jong Myeong absentmindedly smacked his head with his hand, and Lee Gwak frowned at him. For some reason, his words bothered him.

Lee Gwak looked at the carriage moving at the front.

Since entering the carriage, the prince had not shown himself even once. Instead, his close aides were busily moving in and out of the carriage.

It was clear even without seeing that a meeting was taking place inside the carriage.

Lee Gwak asked Seo Jong Myeong,

“Aren’t you going into the carriage?”

“Later! I have something to say, but I need to wait for them to conclude their matter first.”

A cold smile appeared on Seo Jong Myeong’s lips, and a chilling intent filled his eyes.

Knowing his bitter resentment towards the Celestial Demon Troupe, Lee Gwak was unable to say anything. It had been a long time since he had lost his valuable comrades, but his grudge was still unquenchable.

There was a time at the Steel Hell Blood Training Hall when Seo Jong Myeong came in drunk, completely vulnerable. That night, he talked about his past, something he had never done before.

Although Lee Gwak learned about Seo Jong Myeong’s hidden past, he never brought it up.
Lee Gwak sympathized with Seo Jong Myeong but also felt sorry for him, seeing how the severe grudge was consuming him.

After talking for a while, Seo Jong Myeong climbed back onto his horse, freeing Lee Gwak to rejoin his squad.

“Is everyone alright?”

“We can manage.”

“It’s bearable…”

Seok Yi Cheon and Ki Jin-hwi responded positively, seemingly having adjusted to the walk.

Just then, the leading procession halted, forcing those behind to stop as well.

“What’s happening?”

“Why have we stopped?”

A puzzled look appeared on the faces of the group, not knowing why the front had stopped.
Suddenly, a urgent voice from the front announced,

“There are corpses ahead. Dead bodies are lying in front.”

“Everyone, be on guard.”

The mounted martial artists immediately drew their weapons and kept a vigilant lookout.
Lee Gwak also prepared for any possible danger.

The prince and his entourage dismounted from the carriage to inspect the situation, then quickly returned to the carriage. Soon after, a command came from the front,

“Let’s move out.”

“Keep your guard up.”

The martial artists resumed their march, still on high alert.

Lee Gwak and his squad followed at the rear. They soon reached the spot where the procession had stopped.

Their faces hardened at the sight, understanding why the group had paused.

Three bodies lay on the side of the road, each bearing the gruesome marks of sword wounds.

Ki Jin-hwi approached Lee Gwak,

“Seems like bandits attacked travelers. I’ve heard about bandits running rampant near the front lines, but I didn’t expect them to be this cruel. It would be decent to tend to the bodies, but it seems the prince has no intention of doing so.”

His gaze turned somber.

In times of war, heroes are born, but their emergence often requires the sacrifice of many. Those who suffer the most are ordinary people like the ones lying dead before them.

Ki Jin-hwi closed his eyes for a moment, praying for their souls,

“May heaven acknowledge your grievances. May you find peace and be reborn in paradise.”

His sincere prayer momentarily sobered the Outer Hall martial artists, but they soon quickened their pace to catch up with the main group.

As much as they pitied the dead, falling too far behind could lead to punishment.

“We don’t have time to look away. Let’s move quickly.”

When they began to lag, sharp rebukes came from the front.

Lee Gwak sighed quietly.

He wasn’t afraid of the rebukes. What truly frightened him was the era they were living in—a mad era where the death of countless people seemed normal.

This journey, marked by the sight of unattended corpses becoming prey to wild animals, heavily weighed on him.

Throughout their journey, they witnessed similar scenes multiple times, casting a heavy pall over the group. Hen novel

On the fifth day after disembarking from the ship, they finally reached their destination.

The Siege Fortress.

An unfortunate city, once home to thousands of people living in peace, but now a center of warfare, with thousands of martial artists entering simply because of its proximity to the front.