Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 532

September 23, 2023 • 11 min read • 596 views

Seo Woo-il had a very regular routine.

He would wake up at dawn, drink a cup of tea and then practice his martial arts.

It was only after the end of his martial arts training that his day would officially begin.

After washing and having his meal, he would review the information gathered during the night.

Even after leaving the Heavenly Martial Sect, he had maintained his routine, a testament to his extraordinary calmness.

Never prone to excitement and always maintaining his composure, he could manage any event calmly.

That’s why the Heavenly Martial Sect entrusted him with important tasks and sent him on missions.

Only those with high trust and reputation could provide covert support to Jang Mugak.

“Huh! What is this?”

A look of disbelief appeared on Seo Woo-il’s face as he stepped outside.

In the courtyard of the guest house where he was staying, three chests were placed.

Upon opening the boxes, silver ingots were revealed.

All three boxes were filled to the brim with silver.

On the lid of one of the chests was a sealed letter.

Seo Woo-il picked up the letter and read it.

“Huh!”

An exclamation of disbelief slipped out.

The letter inside read:

[We refuse your commission. Herein, we send thrice the penalty fee. Regards, leader of the Nine Shadows Sect].

“How dare the Nine Shadows Sect revoke the order of the Heavenly Martial Sect?”

A light of fury emerged on Seo Woo-il’s face.

Once the absurd moment passed, anger bubbled up from deep within him.

He had worked all his life for the Heavenly Martial Sect, but this was the first time he had experienced such a ludicrous situation.

He couldn’t believe that a mere assassination guild would dare to refuse the commission of Heavenly Martial Sect.

“He must be craving death, the leader of Nine Shadows Sect!”

He didn’t even care that Nine Shadows Sect had sent thrice the penalty fee.

After all, this amount wouldn’t affect the Heavenly Martial Sect in the slightest.

The fact that a mere band of assassins dared to revolt against the Heavenly Martial Sect was the crux of the matter.

That’s when it happened.

“Sect Master!”

Suddenly, one of his subordinates burst through the door.

He knelt before Seo Woo-il and spoke.

“We’ve received a message from Soul Separation Gate. They won’t accept the commission from the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

“What?”

“They’ve also sent thrice the penalty fee.”

“Did this truly come from the Soul Separation Gate?”

“Yes.”

At the servant’s regretful reply, Seo Woo-il’s face contorted. Just then, another servant rushed in.

“Sect Master!”

“What is it? Don’t tell me another assassination guild has withdrawn their commission?”

“H-How did you know?”

“Are you saying it’s true?”

“Yes! They’ve also sent three times the fine.”

At his subordinate’s response, Seo Woo-il was momentarily speechless.

These were Assassin guilds that were already difficult to deal with. Contracts had been made for large amounts of silver, all of them were canceling their deals and paying triple the penalty.

“This isn’t a coincidence. Something is happening in the world of assassination guilds.”
Seo Woo-il had a gut feeling that something was wrong.

He despised the assassins.

He didn’t even consider them as fellow humans.

They were heartless killers, devoid of any principles or justice, who murdered for money.

He saw them as mere objects to be used, not as people to be respected.

And yet, these very guilds had, in unison, refused his offers and sent back penalties.

“Something is definitely stirring beneath the surface.”

A sense of crisis was creeping up.

In such situations, nine times out of ten, something was amiss.

“The Assassin Guilds, with their loose cohesion like grains of sand, wouldn’t have come together voluntarily, would they? Could it be that someone moved them by force?”

The worst-case scenario naturally caused a crease in his brow.

He usually considered the assassins of the Assassin Guilds to be less than vermin, but if they somehow united, there could be no greater disaster.

“It can’t be… It won’t be! But it is worth investigating.”

Gathering his thoughts, Seo Woo-il turned his gaze to his subordinates.

“From now on, stop all other tasks and concentrate on detecting the movements of the Assassin guilds.”

“Understood, Master.”

“Hurry!”

“Yes, Master!”

His orders echoed with the departing steps of his subordinates.

Left alone, Seo Woo-il muttered to himself,

“I need to handle this quietly without informing the grandmaster.”

He knew well how strong Jang Mugak’s pride was. If he discovered Seo Woo-il’s secret intervention, he would be furious.

That’s why he had always done things behind Jang Mugak’s back in the Heavenly Martial Sect.

This was no exception.

Although he had unexpectedly run into a snag, he was confident he could handle it without Jang Mugak knowing.

***

Do Yeonsan and Eun-yo emerged from the ant tunnels.

The place they exited wasn’t a dilapidated warehouse, but the undergrowth behind a large tree, some distance from the warehouse.

“So, it leads to here.”

Do Yeonsan was impressed,

He had expected the ant tunnel to be expansive, but he didn’t anticipate it reaching this far.

Do Yeonsan held out his hand downwards. Eun-yo took his hand and stepped out into the daylight.

She took a moment to catch her breath and take in the surroundings.

She felt the fresh air and warm sunlight.

Just being on the ground made her feel rejuvenated.

She’d spent her entire life in the depths of Xiaoleiyin Temple. As a result, she was more accustomed to life underground than on the surface. But after being rescued by Pyo Wol, she had adapted to life on the surface.

She did not want to give up this stimulating air and sunlight. She was prepared to fight any enemy to preserve her present life.

Just then, Do Yeonsan tightened his grip on her hand.

“Hm?”

“It’s them.”

He whispered into Eun-yo’s ear.

He pointed towards the abandoned warehouse in the distance.

Two men were hiding in the bush with a clear view of the warehouse, keeping watch.

They were spies sent by Namgung Seol.

“They reek of dampness.”

Eun-yo commented.

In her eyes, she could see the sinister aura flowing along their bodies.

Those who operated in the shadows rather than in the light often had such an aura.

Do Yeonsan agreed with her observation.

“They seem damp and rough around the edges. They don’t seem like experienced spies either. What should we do?”

“Let’s quietly retreat. There’s no need to stir up trouble unnecessarily.”

“Got it!”

Without a word more, Do Yeonsan followed Eun-yo’s advice.

Not that Do Yeonsan was an idiot, but he knew that Eun-yo was far superior to him, so he followed her instructions without question.

The two of them quietly slipped out of the forest unnoticed by the watchers.

Once out of the forest, they took a different route to the one they had taken to get there.
After walking for some time,

“Huh?”

Do Yeonsan suddenly muttered in alarm.

“What?”

Eun-yo looked at him with a confused expression. Do Yeonsan replied with an awkward grimace.

“Up ahead… there’s one of those people from earlier.”

“From Snow Flower Swords?”

“Yes!”

Specifically, it was Ahn Ji-san, the leader of Snow Flower Swords, leaning against a tree by the roadside.

He was looking straight at them.

Just by looking at Ahn Ji San’s eyes, it was clear.

He was waiting specifically for them.

Ahn Ji-san murmured,

“I had a feeling, so I waited here…..”

Having his watchers in place wasn’t enough to assure him, so he decided to guard another crossroad himself.

Do Yeonsan and Eun-yo may have chosen a path less known to others, but Ahn Ji-san was familiar with it.

To help Namgung Seol effectively, he had a thorough knowledge of the local geography. He knew every tiny path in the Duchang region like the back of his hand.

If Eun-yo and Do Yeonsan took another route, they could only come through here. And just as he predicted, they appeared.

The pair calmly approached Ahn Ji-san, and tried to pass him as if nothing had happened.

Ahn Ji-san called out to them.

“Wait! Let’s talk.”

“You’re the gentleman we met earlier. What can I do for you?”

Do Yeonsan responded coolly.

“Did you happen to see my men?”

“Why would I know anything about your men?”

“Really, you haven’t seen them?”

“We said our goodbyes earlier, didn’t we? How could I have seen them?”

Ahn Ji-san looked intently at Do Yeonsan’s face.

The fact that his men were following them was supposed to be a secret. So Do Yeonsan’s reactions weren’t surprising.

At least if he didn’t know he was being followed.

Ahn Ji-san’s eyes sharpened like a blade.

He had been enchanted by Namgung Seol, which led him to become the leader of the Snow Flower Swords, and he had received much criticism as a result.

The reason being that a promising martial artist had been enchanted by a frivolous woman and had abandoned the ambition that a man should naturally have.

Despite being the target of scorn by many, Ahn Ji-san had no regrets about his decision.

He may have been tied to Namgung Seol, but he still retained his keen sense from his earlier days.

‘Something’s off!’

The absence of his men was strange, as was their excessive calm. More than anything else, he felt uncomfortable while dealing with them. It was the first time he had had that feeling in a long time.

Do Yeonsan spoke up.

“If there’s nothing else, we’ll be on our way.”

He and Eun-yo moved to pass Ahn Ji-san.

Ahn Ji-san watched the two of them, biting his lower lip.

Conflict flickered in his eyes.

“Hold on! Stop.”

“Why should we?”

The moment Do-Yeonsan turned around, Ahn Ji-San’s sword struck out like lightning.

It was his specialty, Quick Sword.

Sssshhh!

With a chilling sound of air splitting, Ahn Ji-san’s sword shot towards Do Yeonsan’s throat.

“What is the meaning of this?”

Thud!

Do Yeonsan gathered his qi on the back of his hand and parried Ahn Ji-san’s sword.

His reflexive response was imperfect, causing a long cut on the back of his hand. Still, considering he parried a sword with his bare hand, it was a minor wound.

“So you did have a hidden trick up your sleeve. Reveal your true identity.”

“Insane man! You attacked us out of nowhere…”

“Humph! If you won’t speak, I’ll make you.”

“Who says I’ll let you?”

Whoosh!

Do Yeonsan countered by swinging both his fists.

His powerful qi targeted Ahn Ji-san’s chest.

Ahn Ji-san, unable to underestimate it, defended against Do Yeonsan’s attack by swirling his sword.

Just as Ahn Ji-san repelled Do Yeonsan’s attack and was about to counter,
Boom!

“Argh!”

Suddenly, an explosive sound erupted from his back.

Eun-yo, who had been standing still, seized the opportunity to land a powerful blow on Ahn Ji-san’s back.

Ahn Ji-san rolled on the ground several times.

Luckily, he had concentrated his qi just before Eun-yo’s ambush, thus avoiding severe internal injuries. But he couldn’t escape a certain amount of internal shock.

It was a mistake to assume she was blind because of her unfocused eyes. He hadn’t expected a blind woman to be hiding such a martial prowess.

“How dare a woman…”

Swish!

Ahn Ji-san attacked Eun-yo.

However, Eun-yo was no easy opponent.

In fact, she was superior to Ahn Ji-san in terms of the destructive power of martial arts.

At first, Eun-yo planned to pass by Ahn Ji-san quietly.

She didn’t want to attract attention by causing a scene. But Ahn Ji-san’s aggressive act ruined her plans.

If she couldn’t pass by unnoticed, she needed to subdue Ahn Ji-san as quickly as possible.

“Cough!”
Ahn Ji-san was cornered in no time under their combined attack.

He hadn’t expected such young individuals to possess such advanced martial arts.

He regretted his rash decision to attack. Fortunately, there were people rushing to his rescue.

“Leader!”

“These brats!”

The ones running towards him, shouting, were the martial artists of the Snow Flower Swords.

They noticed Ahn Ji-San’s crisis and were rushing in to assist.

“Damn it! Let’s run.”

Do Yeonsan told Eun-yo.

Eun-yo nodded and retreated.

Boom!

After landing a powerful blow on Ahn Ji-san, Do Yeonsan followed her and fled.

“Chase them.”

Ahn Ji-san’s desperate voice echoed from behind.