Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 507

September 19, 2023 • 12 min read • 552 views

Lee Jo-myung hastily looked around.

His subordinates were blankly staring at the sky. They too had seen the sight of Jo Gu-su being hoisted up.

Lee Jo-myung asked them.

“What just happened? Why was the Valley Master lifted up?”

“We, we don’t know.”

“That is….”

The subordinates also had no clue.

Lee Jo-myung was infuriated.

“Climb up the mast quickly. We must find the Valley Master.”

“Yes!”

With that, the crew began to climb the towering mast.

Engulfed by darkness, the situation atop the mast was unknown. However, the only place Jo Gu-su could have been lifted to from the deck was the mast.

The crew was scrambling to climb the slippery mast. An anxious look crossed Lee Jo-myung’s face.

He was unsure what had happened to Jo Gu-su, who was drawn up to the mast.

“Damn it! Move aside. I’ll go up.”

Unable to bear it any longer, Lee Jo-myung stepped forward to climb the mast himself, when suddenly.

Thud!

Something fell from the mast onto the deck.

The moment he saw the fallen object, Lee Jo-myung’s eyes widened.

“Ma, Master?”

The object, drenched in blood to the extent of being unrecognizable, was none other than Jo Gu-su, who was drawn up to the mast.

Jo Gu-su was covered in blood and didn’t move at all.

There was a large wound on his neck.

Blood gushed from the wound in copious amounts.

“No, this can’t be! Valley Master!” Lee Jo-myung rushed to Jo Gu-su’s side.

With one hand pressing against the gash on Jo Gu-su’s neck, he lifted the Valley Master’s upper body.

“Master! Master!”

Lee Jo-myung called out to Jo Gu-su as if his throat would burst, but there was no response.

As he channeled his internal energy into Jo Gu-su’s body, Lee Ju-myung pressed his ear against his chest.

If he were alive, he should definitely hear the sound of a heartbeat. However, he heard no sound from his chest. He had already died.

“Master! Master!”

Lee Jo-myung cried out, shaking Jo Gu-su’s body. However, Jo Gu-su’s body was only growing cold.

Lee Jo-myung raised his head and glared at the mast.

“Who did this? Show yourself!”

He yelled, amplifying his voice with internal energy, but there was no response.

Clink!

The sound of clashing teeth came from the mouths of the martial artists of Hundred Mountain Valley.

It was because an unbearable fear was creeping in.

It was Jo Gu-su, whom they revered as the sky.

Although he was modest and without ambition, his martial arts skills were so remarkable that
they were recognized even in kangho. There were fewer than thirty martial artists in the entire
Kangho who could be considered superior to him.

Being within the top thirty in the entire Kangho was indeed remarkable.

At the very least, it meant having the capability to challenge any leader of a province.

Such a great martial artist lost his life without even putting up a fight. The problem was that no one on board saw the monster that took Jo Gu-su’s life so easily. They didn’t even know how Jo Gu-su was killed.

Something was lurking in that darkness.

Something dangerous and powerful enough to kill Jo Gu-su, their revered leader, in an instant.
Goosebumps ran up their spines.

It seemed like something unknown was breathing behind them. Yet, they couldn’t turn around.

The moment they turned around, the unknown being would cut off their breath in an instant.

“Uh!”

Some people peed their pants in extreme fear.

Despite the shameful display, Lee Jo-myung couldn’t blame them. He too was in a state of extreme fear.

“Who is it? Who….”

Thick teardrops fell from his eyes.

Whether it was from grief at the loss of his master, or fear, only he knew.

“Who on earth killed the lord….”

Then it happened.

Boom!

From the site where the intense battle was taking place on the small boats, a particularly powerful blast echoed.

Someone could be seen flying through the air, and plummeting into the river.

Although the figure was too far away to make out, Lee Jo-myung recognised the face of the man who fell into the river. It was strangely clear.

“Han…. Pyeong?”

It was Jo Han-pyeong, the son of Jo Gu-su.

Jo Han-pyeong, like Jo Gu-su, showed no signs of life.

Splash!

Jo Han-pyeong crashed into the river and never resurfaced.

“Uh!”

A beast-like cry flowed from Lee Jo-myung’s mouth.

He had lost his lord and now his successor.

He had lost the captain who could steer the ship of Hundred Mountain Valley.

Now, Hundred Mountain Valley had become a force without a master.

Lee Jo-myung raised his head.

A determined light rose on his face.

“Retrieve the bodies and return to Hundred Mountain Valley.”

“Huh?”

“Don’t we have to avenge?”

His subordinates asked cautiously. But Lee Jo-myung was adamant.

“Revenge? Against whom?”

“Obviously against the monster who killed our lord…”

“Do you know who the monster is?”

“……”

His subordinate tightly closed his mouth.

They had no idea what the monster’s face was, or its name, or even whether it was a man or a woman.

To dream of revenge, or to plan for the future, they needed to know their enemy, but they knew nothing.

They didn’t even know whether the enemy was still on the mast, or had left the ship.

They had never realized that knowing nothing about the opponent could cause such intense fear.

Lee Jo-myung spoke.

“If he had intended to kill us, we would already be dead. Can you handle someone like that?”

“……”

“I can’t either. I don’t have the confidence to handle him. That’s why I want to retreat. Does anyone object?”

“……”

Naturally, not a single person objected.

Lee Jo-myung, holding the body of Jo Gu-su, rose from his seat.

“We will return to the Hundred Mountain Valley. And we will gather the strength to avenge the
monster. Until then, the Hundred Mountain Valley will not appear before the world.

“Yes!”

“Until then, I, Lee Jo-myung, will lead the Hundred Mountain Valley.”

“Please lead us.”

The warriors on the ship spoke in unison.

With the death of Jo Gu-su and his son, the only person left to lead the Hundred Mountain Valley was Lee Jo-myung.

He was the strongest expert after Jo Gu-su and had gained the most trust from the people.
Lee Jo-myung forced a smile.

He was saddened by Jo Gu-su’s death, but his death had created the possibility of becoming the supreme leader of Hundred Mountain Valley.

This was something he had never dreamed of while Jo Gu-su was alive, so he was content to be second best, and had decided to live and die for him. But now that he was dead, someone else had to lead the Hundred Mountain Valley.

The only suitable person was himself.

The joy of finally becoming a master made his body tremble. But he couldn’t show his joy in front of everyone.

Now was the time to show his sadness.

“Quickly retrieve the bodies and return.”

“Yes!”

His subordinates moved in response.

After collecting the bodies, the snake king ship disappeared as if it had never existed.

***

Swoosh!

Pyo Wol appeared just as suddenly as he had disappeared.

It was only after Pyo Wol appeared that Hong Ye-seol and Sal-no even noticed his existence.
Hong Ye-seol and Sal-no frowned at the same time.

It was because they sensed a faint smell of blood from Pyo Wol.

It was clear that he had killed someone.

Sal-no looked puzzled.

Pyo Wol had undoubtedly not intervened in the fights involving Eun-yo and the others. Although he watched with wide eyes, he did not see Pyo Wol get involved.

This meant that he had killed someone elsewhere. Moreover, someone outside the scope of their perception.

How sensitive and expansive must one’s awareness be to exhibit such ability? It was difficult to imagine.

Hong Ye-seol asked.

“Where have you been?”

“The boat that the Old Man was on.”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t worry about it now that it’s over.”

“Got it.”

Even as Hong Ye-seol answered, she couldn’t relax her furrowed brows.

The thought that something had happened unbeknownst to her was not a pleasant one. If it were anyone other than Pyo Wol, she would have interrogated them thoroughly to uncover the secret. But Pyo Wol was neither the type to answer just because she asked, nor was he the type to succumb to intimidation.

She felt better giving up instead.

Just then.

Tap tap!

With light footsteps, Eun-yo, Do Yeonsan, Nam Shin-woo, and Chae Mu-ook landed on the
deck.

Their bodies were soaked with sweat and blood.

It seemed a lot of blood had splattered during their fight in the confined space of the boat

“We’re back.”

Eun-yo spoke on behalf of everyone.

Pyo Wol looked over their bodies and asked.

“Are you okay?”

“I’ve got some minor injuries, but nothing that hinders my movement.”

“Good job. Go in and wash up, then rest.”

“Yes!”

With her response, Eun-yo headed for the cabin.

Being a woman, she likely wanted to wash off the blood and bodily fluids of others from her body as soon as possible.

“Brother, I’ll wash up too.”

“I’ll also wash up and change my clothes.”

Do Yeonsan and Nam Shin-woo followed Eun-yo into the cabin, and Chae Mu-ok, who had been watching Pyo Wol until the end, also left his place.

Despite the fierce battle they had waged, there was no trace of exhilaration on their faces.

What would have been a lifelong boast for others was an everyday occurrence for them.

There was nothing to brag about, no reason to think it was anything special.

Rather, Sal-no was the one who was surprised.

The more he looked at them, the more extraordinary they seemed.

He had secretly prepared the Black Shadow Assassins.

If the four people were at risk, he planned to send the Black Shadow Assassins to help them quietly. But, there was no need to do so, and he didn’t think there would be in the future.

“This is really amazing.”

Sal-no smacked his lips.

He wondered why he hadn’t found them sooner.

If he had found them earlier, the Hundred Wraith Union would have grown several times more than now. But it was already a thing of the past.

Reaching out to them would not go unnoticed by Pyo Wol now.

He wanted to avoid that.

“Tsk!”

Sal-no smacked his lips again and turned around.

Pyo Wol, Hong Ye-seol, and Sal-no all returned to their rooms, and the ship continued to sail in silence.

The other passengers on the Unmado Riverboat had no idea that something tremendous had happened while they were asleep.

There were a few sailors who had seen Eun-yo and the others fly out of the ship the night before, but they couldn’t understand what had happened due to their limited eyesight.

Because of this, they only knew that something had happened, but they didn’t know exactly what had happened around them.

Thanks to that, the atmosphere inside the Unmado Riverboat was very peaceful.

The boat moved along the river without much happening, to the point of being boring, and finally, it was able to enter a massive lake.

Dongting Lake, almost as large as their destination, Poyang Lake, was famous for its beautiful scenery, attracting many poets and artists since ancient times.

At one point, Jade Heaven Alliance, who had once dominated Kangho, had set up its base in Yueyang on the shores of Dongting Lake.

Although it has lost its former glory, Dongting Lake was once the center and the peak of Kangho.

After the fall of the Jade Heaven Alliance, smaller sects sprang up around Dongting Lake like mushrooms after rain. All of them claimed to be successors of the Jade Heaven Alliance, but these were merely hollow cries.

They were simply claiming to be the heirs of the Jade Heaven Alliance in order to steal its halo, but in reality, they had no connection to it. Still, the rise of so many sects has revitalized Dongting Lake.

As if to prove that fact, numerous boats were floating in Dongting Lake.

There were fishing boats and flower boats carrying the prostitutes to enjoy river parties, but there were more river boats carrying martial artists.

This is because the rushing waters of the Yangtze River passes through Dongting Lake and leads to Poyang Lake.

Many of the martial artists seen in Dongting Lake were on their way to Poyang Lake to participate in the Kangho Great War.

A light of excitement and anticipation coexisted on their faces.

They considered participating in a massive fight where they could make a name for themselves to be an honor.

Sal-no approached Pyo Wol, who was watching the martial artists.

“There is a faction here called the Sea Hawk Pavillion. On the surface, it looks like an ordinary faction living off Dongting Lake, but in reality, it’s a killer gate. It is the first place you, master Pyo, have to suppress.”

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