Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 528

September 22, 2023 • 12 min read • 569 views

It was an unbelievable pace.

They had barely been on the move for ten days, and yet they had managed to secure the allegiance of seventy percent of the assassin guilds that had gathered for the Kangho Great War.

This was a testament to the incredible abilities of the Black Shadow Assassins and the Ten Blood Assassins.

Thunder Eye, Blood Rain, Death Shadow and Hong Ye-seol conquered the other assassin guilds at an impressive rate, as if in a competition.

Sal-no’s idea was that there must be a sense of rivalry between them.

It was unprecedented in the history of the Hundred Wraith Union for so many of the Ten Blood Assassins to be deployed on the same mission.

It would have been strange if they hadn’t felt competitive.

They wanted to prove their capabilities by subjugating the assassin guilds before anyone else.

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they were caught up in a competition of loyalty.

Pyo Wol declared full control over the assassin guilds.

There was no word that resonated more with the assassins than that.

Thunder Eye, Blood Rain, and Death Shadow all had strong-willed personalities. Knowing that they had reached their limits and that no one could control them, they acted as they pleased.

Now, they had a goal.

A lofty goal, worthy of all their efforts, sparked an unprecedented enthusiasm in them.

The result was the submission of nearly seventy percent of the assassin guilds.

Sal-no said,

“The problem is that the remaining assassin groups are all far from easy targets. There’s no group like the Hundred Wraith Union that can encompass the world, but instead they are tightly knit, organized, and difficult to see.”

“Among them, the most dangerous?”

“Nine Shadows Sect.”

“Nine Shadows Sect?”

“An assassin group that originated from the northeastern borderlands. As you would expect from a group born in the borderlands, its members are quite diverse. As far as we know, there are central plainsmen, Yeojin people, Hae Dong people, and even Japanese from across the sea.”

“Incredible.”

Pyo Wol genuinely admired it.

This was the first time a group like Nine Shadows Sect, excluding Martial Sword Alliance and Guryongsalmak, had such a diverse membership. If diversity was the sole criterion, Nine Shadows Sect seemed to be even more complex than the other two groups.

“Indeed. It’s hard enough to gather such a diverse group of people, but they’ve managed to unite as one and form a sizable force. To be honest, it’s a stretch to call them a pure assassin group. It’s more appropriate to think of them as a group of vagabonds who will take on any job. They’re a source of terror in the northeastern region.”

“So, they’ve remained unknown because they are too far away?”

“Since the northeastern region is a remote area, news doesn’t travel well to this side. So, most people don’t even know about the Nine Shadow Sect’s existence. However, the Nine Shadows Sect is not to be underestimated. We too would have to brace for significant bloodshed if we were to confront Nine Shadows Sect.”

The caution against Nine Shadows Sect was strongly echoed in Sal-no’s voice.

It was the first time since meeting Sal-no that he had shown such vigilance towards another assassin’s guild. This made Pyo Wol even more curious.

Pyo Wol asked,

“Who is the leader of the Nine Shadows Sect?”

“A man named Yeo Tae-ryang,”

“Yeo Tae-ryang?”

“From what I’ve heard, he’s from the Yeojin lineage on his mother’s side. He grew up in the borderlands, so he’s known to be rough, and his martial arts skills are so strong that there’s no one in the northeast region who can stand up to him.”

Yeo Tae-ryang was a very famous figure in the borderlands.

He had gathered up the rogue fighters and martial artists scattered throughout the borderlands and formed a powerful group, the Nine Shadows Sect.

The Nine Shadows Sect wasn’t a pure assassin guild.

They had extended their reach into the domain of the assassin guilds as they were willing to undertake any task if it meant making money. Thus, they were treated as one of the assassin guilds, but in reality, they were closer to a group of ruffians.

“Recently, it’s been said that the funds of the Nine Shadows Sect have dried up. Unable to raise money in the borderlands where they’re based, they’ve come down to the capital, Poyang Lake.

“So, they’re here to make a big score?”

“That’s right. The problem is, because they are not a pure assassin guild, they openly take on assignments. They do not adhere to even the basic codes of conduct, and no blade of grass survives where they have passed.”

“So, what then?”

“Personally, I think it would be better to remove them rather than win them over. They are the type who would rather choose death over submission.”

It was the first time Sal-no had expressed such sentiments.

Pyo Wol crossed his arms and said,

“I’ll see it for myself and judge.”

“You intend to move personally?”

“It is said to be the most dangerous place, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Then it’s only fitting that I should go.”

“I’ll accompany you, my lord.”

“Go ahead.”

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”

With a bow, Sal-no answered.

He was genuinely delighted at the prospect of accompanying Pyo Wol.

Pyo Wol put on the equipment Tang Sochu had made for him.

He wore the black blood robe, possessing the abilities to resist water and fire. He buckled an impressive dagger with wave patterns, to his waist.

Finally, with the addition of a full set of gauntlets, he was fully prepared.

In contrast, Sal-no’s attire was modest.

He wore his everyday clothes and carried only a single staff.

Tl/N- Sal-no doesn’t need no armour.

“Shall we go? Hehe!”

Tents that are rarely seen in Kangho were lined up.

These were usually used by nomads in the borderlands.

Tall flag poles were attached to the ceiling of the tents. A banner with the three letters ‘Nine Shadows Sect’ fluttered in the wind.

In front of the largest tent sat Yeo Tae-ryang, the chief of Nine Shadows Sect.

Seated on a rough wooden chair, with arms crossed, Yeo Tae-ryang emanated an aura as fierce as a wolf.

He wore a sleeveless shirt that revealed his shoulders, on the exposed arms writhed countless scars like earthworms.

Two large leopards sat beside Yeo Tae-ryang.

These leopards, almost the size of calves, were on alert, as if guarding Yeo Tae-ryang.

Grrrr!

The leopards growled softly as they glared at the man sitting before Yeo Tae-ryang.

The man sitting opposite Yeo Tae-ryang appeared to be in his late thirties.

He was a man in plain scholar’s robes. His face was pale, and a cold smile hung at the corner of his mouth, making a strong impression.

The man looked at the leopards and spoke,

“Such adorable cats.”

“Cats?”

“It’s a pretty big cat, isn’t it?”

“If you get bitten by that cat, it would hurt quite a bit.”

“Well, we’ll see about that.”

“Enough chit-chat, speak up why you’ve come.”

“Ah, right. The cats were so cute that they stole my attention.”

The man scratched his head with a bashful expression.

Despite his innocent look, Yeo Tae-ryang was not fooled by this man.

The man sitting in front of him had introduced himself as Seo Woo-il.

Had he not claimed to come from Heavenly Martial Sect, Yeo Tae-ryang would have killed Seo Woo-il immediately.

Such was the extent to which Seo Woo-il’s manner irritated Yeo Tae-ryang.

He did not particularly favor men like Seo Woo-il who were full of ambiguous aspects.

He thought there was nothing more dangerous than people who approached him with concealed intentions. But the other party declared that he came from the Heavenly Martial Sect.

Even though the Nine Shadows Sect was a group of wild men, they had not lost their fear to the point of impulsively murdering an emissary from the Heavenly Martial Sect.

“What business does the Heavenly Martial Sect have in seeking me?”

“Haha! Why else would one seek out a group of assassins? To get a job done, of course.”

“A commission? From Heavenly Martial Sect, no less?”

“Isn’t the Heavenly Martial Sect a place where people live? Of course, If there’s a task to be done, a commission can be given.”

Yeo Tae-ryang glared at Seo Woo-il instead of responding.

Despite his intense gaze, the faint smile did not fade from Seo Woo-il’s face.

Yeo Tae-ryang finally gave up trying to glean any answers from his expression. It was really not easy to deal with people who concealed their intentions with smiles.

It was healthier for his mind to ask directly, rather than twist his words to discern intentions naturally.

“Alright, the Heavenly Martial Sect can give a commission too. What’s the job?”

“Please secretly support the Golden Heavenly Hall.”

“Golden Heavenly Hall? Ah!”

For a moment, Yeo Tae-ryang let out a gasp.

It was a known fact that Jang Mugak, the leader of the Golden Heavenly Hall, was a vassal of the Heaven’s Martial Sect.

As the crowned prince of Heavenly Martial Sect, they had no choice but to protect Jang Mugak. However, out of respect for his dignity, they couldn’t do so openly. Hence, they decided to discreetly assist him by entrusting the task to groups like Yeo Tae-ryang’s.

“The task is simple. Take care of minor threats without alerting the Crown Prince.”

“It’s easy for you to say minor threats, but from our standpoint, it’s quite a burden.”

“Did you come all the way here with no intention of taking on such a burden?”

A smirk twisted Seo Woo Il’s lips.

To anyone, it was a clear mockery. However, Yeo Tae-ryang could not easily lose his temper.

The man before him was an envoy from the Heavenly Martial Sect.

Although he wasn’t sure about his exact position within the Sect, the fact that he was handling such affairs on their behalf was indicative of his high rank.

Seo Woo Il continued, “You’ve come this far, risking danger to make money, haven’t you? I’m going to make you a lot of money.”

“Alright! I accept the request.”

“An excellent decision.”

“The payment?”

Seo Woo Il gestured behind him. Then, the young martial artist who had accompanied him brought over a large chest.

Thud!

He set the chest in front of Yeo Tae-ryang.

“Please, check it.”

“Hmm!”

Yeo Tae-ryang cleared his throat and opened the chest. It was full of silver ingots.

“Silver?”

“It should be sufficient as a down payment.”

“Good!”

Yeo Tae-ryang smiled.

With that much silver, he could lead the Nine Shadows Sect without financial worries for a while.

“I will send someone to inform you of the instructions later.”

“Got it.”

“It was an honor to do good business with you. Please take care until we meet again….”

Seo Woo Il bowed to Yeo Tae-ryang and turned around.

Growl!

The sound of a leopard’s roar echoed from behind.

“Truly adorable cats.”

Seo Woo Il genuinely thought so.

To others, a leopard might be a great threat, but to a martial artist of his calibre, it was no different from a house cat.

Seo Woo Il asked the martial artist who had carried the chest a while ago.

“Where to next?”

“Well…”

“Why the hesitation?”

“We were originally planning to visit the Thousand Suns Sect.”

“But?”

“Suddenly, we’ve lost contact with the Thousand Suns Sect.”

“Huh?”

Seo Woo Il frowned.

The Thousand Suns Sect was the next guild on their list to visit.

Unlike the Nine Shadows Sect, they were a genuine assassin’s guild – a pure band of assassins.

They were just the group for handling dirty work.

In fact, the best option was to hire the Hundred Wraith Union. No assassin’s guild in the current Kangho was more reliable than the Hundred Wraith Union. But for some reason, they had stopped taking any external commissions a while ago.

Hence the troublesome process of separately commissioning various groups.

The man continued to speak.

“It’s not just the Thousand Suns Sect. Other assassin guilds seem to be avoiding our commission as well.

“What on earth is happening?”

“We’re trying to figure that out, but it might take some time to find the truth.”

“Hmm.”

Seo Woo Il stroked his chin.

He too instinctively sensed danger.

If only the Hundred Wraith Union had broken off contact, this could be dismissed. But if all the other bands of assassins have also broken off contact, there must be some serious problem that he is unaware of.

“Is there some undercurrent we’re not aware of?”

He was feeling agitated.

The fact that something was happening beyond their sight, beyond their grasp, was a grave threat in itself.

“How many men are available right now?”

“About fifty in total.”

“Stop all other tasks and devote everyone to this. Find out what’s happening in the shadows.”

“Understood.”

The man answered and disappeared.

Left alone, Seo Woo Il muttered.

“I don’t know what’s happening, but ultimately, it won’t escape my hands.”

Seo Woo Il’s nickname in the Heavenly Martial Sect was ‘ the Devil’s Eye’.

He was a problem solver who saw through the truth like a demon.

“Is it a good thing that we managed to snag the Nine Shadows Sect at least?”

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