Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 540

September 24, 2023 • 13 min read • 657 views

“Phew!”

Hong Yushin let out a sigh as he stared at the river.

There was a mysterious emptiness in his sigh.

“I did ask him, but I never thought he’d actually do it.”

Hong Yushin shook his head in disbelief.

He picked up a stone at random and threw it into the river.

Thunk, thunk, thunk!

The flat stone bounced across the water, leaving a ripple in its wake.

Countless ripples were created where the stone hit the water’s surface.

Hong Yushin, his arms folded at his waist, looked at the marks left by the stone.

“What a baffling man. I thought he would just scare them to curb the assassin guilds, but he has gone and accomplished the unthinkable.”

The complete subjugation of the assassin guilds.

It was an achievement no martial artist could even dream of.

For now, he has taken care of the assassin guilds that have flocked to Poyang Lake, but in time, he would be able to bring all the assassin guilds in the world under his control.

If that truly happened, another power threatening the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall would be born.

He felt a sudden chill, thinking that all this happened due to the favor he asked Pyo Wol.

Brr!

Hong Yushin vigorously rubbed his shoulders with both hands. Yet, the chill wouldn’t go away.

“Huh, I don’t even know anymore.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

Just then, a voice echoed from behind him.

Hong Yushin turned cautiously when he heard the familiar voice. There was the man he had been talking about a while ago

“Pyo… Grandmaster?”

Before he knew it, a man with a hat pinned to his black blood robe was standing behind him.
Despite his face being obscured by the deeply worn hat, Hong Yushin immediately recognized him.

Only Pyo Wol had such a distinctive and incongruous aura about him.

Pyo Wol spoke.

“It’s been a while.”

“You came here personally?”

“Why? Is there something wrong with me coming?”

“No, it’s not that… Ah!”

Hong Yushin stammered.

He was being cautious about how to address Pyo Wol due to the change in his status.

After a moment’s hesitation, he decided to speak as comfortably as he used to.

“Shouldn’t you be handling the internal affairs of the assassin guild? Since you’ve gathered the fiercest among them, I imagine establishing the hierarchy would be the first issue?”

“No need to worry.”

“Huh?”

“Just let them sort it out.”

“What do you mean?”

“Eventually, the strong will seize the top ranks.”

Pyo Wol gave a slight smile.

He knew exactly what Hong Yushin was worried about. But there was no need for worry.
Pyo Wol had crammed all the Assassin Guild assassins he had recruited into a single room.

He’d forced them into an environment similar to the underground cave where he’d spent his childhood.

From now on they would compete and fight until they bled. The strong would naturally rise to the top and the weak would be crushed beneath them.

Some might call it harsh.

To maintain an organization for a long time, not only bloody competition was needed, but also a proper policy of harmonization. An organization that failed to do so would crumble like a sandcastle in no time.

Pyo Wol was aware of this fact.

However, he used this method because he had no desire to maintain the unified assassin guild for a long period.

Once the turmoil in Kangho ends, the unified Assassin Guild will be disbanded.

Until then, he intended to rule them with an iron fist.

Pyo Wol had set up the broad framework, and left the details to Sal-no and Hong Ye-Seol.They were now responsible for organizing the consolidated Assassin guild and building up its strength.

Do Yeonsan, Eun-yo and Nam Shin-woo had decided to take advantage of the opportunity to train in isolation.

They had the foundation to become much stronger than they were now.

They would undoubtedly achieve great things if they put their hearts into it.

After organizing everything, Pyo Wol left the Sol Family Pavilion and sought out Hong Yushin.

Hong Yushin asked Pyo Wol,

“Have you eaten yet?”

“No!”

“That’s good. I haven’t eaten either. There’s an inn by Poyang lake that serves good food. Let’s eat there and talk.

“Let’s do that.”

“Let’s go.”

Hong Yushin led the way.

Pyo Wol followed him.

The wind was getting chilly, signaling the end of fall.

“Brr! It’s cold.”

Hong Yushin shivered exaggeratedly on purpose.

Pyo Wol knew it was a gesture to shake off the awkward atmosphere.

As he followed Hong Yushin, they soon arrived at the city on the banks of Lake Poyang.

Poyang Lake was a gigantic lake, so large that it resembled the sea.

The huge lake made the nearby land fertile, and the arable land attracted people.

These settlers eventually built several large cities along the lake’s edge.

There were several cities built like that along Poyang Lake.

The city to which Hong Yushin brought Pyo Wol was one of these.

The atmosphere in the city was terribly menacing. Almost no people were seen on the streets, and those who were seen were all armed martial artists.

Ordinary people simply locked their doors and avoided going outside.

Hong Yushin spoke.

“The atmosphere was already bad due to the Kangho Great War, but after the incident at Duchang, it has completely gone downhill”

Duchang was among the largest cities by lake Poyang. The city had suffered immense damage due to the bloody power struggle involving the Snow Flower Swords, the Ten Thousand Swords Unit, and various martial artists.

Crucially, it was the assassins of Pyo Wol and the assassin guild that had the most to do with the public’s feelings.

The assassin guild’s assassins had completely suppressed the martial artists.

The problem was that not a single person from the ten thousand swords unit, Snow Flower Swords, or the martial artists had been killed.

It was a common sense in the martial world that it was harder to suppress without killing than to kill.

Especially when dealing with martial artists who were trained in martial arts, it was far more challenging not to kill.

Nevertheless, the assassins of the Assassin guild led by Pyo Wol perfectly took control of the chaos in Duchang and suppressed the martial artists.

They accomplished what everyone thought was impossible.

All these incidents caused great fear among the people living near Poyang Lake. And even in broad daylight, people stayed inside their homes, avoiding going outside.

At least the inns that catered to the martial artists had their doors open so that meals could be arranged.

Hong Yushin brought Pyo Wol to a rather shabby inn.

The inn, run by an elderly couple, wasn’t large.

It was small enough to be run by just two people, so there weren’t many customers.

Whenever possible, martial artists would seek out larger, more glamorous inns; they rarely visited shabby inns like this one. However, those who knew about it knew how delicious the food was at this humble inn.

“Old man, bring us some red chicken meat and rice.”

Hong Yushin ordered as soon as he sat down.

The old innkeeper gave Hong Yushin a quick glance before nodding and heading inside.
Hong Yushin spoke.

“The red chicken meat here is excellent. Paired with a drink, it’s pure bliss. Would you like a drink?”

“No!”

“Then I’ll drink alone. Is that alright?”

“Do as you please.”

“Thank you. Hehe.”

Hong Yushin chuckled softly.

He seemed to have finally loosened up a bit.

Despite being indoors, Pyo Wol did not take off his hat to avoid attracting attention.

His distinctive appearance was well known, and showing his face would instantly reveal his identity.

At times like these, his striking appearance felt burdensome. Yet, he couldn’t spend his whole life with a different face through reverse bone technique, so he had to endure some degree of discomfort.

Pyo Wol silently looked at the street while waiting for the food. Following him, Hong Yushin also looked at the street.

Pyo Wol, who had been watching the deserted street, spoke.

“What’s the situation with the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall?”

“Both are in shock and taking a cautious stance.”

“Because of the incident in Duchang?”

“It must have been a bone-chilling event for them. They never imagined that the assassins, whom they had been overlooking and belittling, would band together and pull off such a feat.”

Until now, assassins were nothing more than a disposable tool to them. Hand over a bit of money, and they could control them at will. There was no better instrument than this.

But the incident in Duchang had changed their perception.

The martial clans began to perceive the assassin guilds not as a partner to exploit but as a threat to themselves.

What’s more, Pyo Wol was the undisputed leader of the assassin guilds.

The union of Pyo Wol and the Assassin Guild was perceived as a significant threat to the existing martial clans, causing them to curtail their external activities and devise strategies against the Assassins.

Hong Yushin said,

“Now, they will also begin to exercise some restraint.”

Before, they would’ve fought each other with no regard for collateral damage, but now, with the emergence of a third force, Pyo Wol and the Assassin’s Guild, they had no choice but to be cautious.

The fear of being potentially devoured by Pyo Wol brought a sense of crisis that enveloped them.

It was precisely the outcome that Hong Yushin had wished for.

While it was premature to predict how the situation would develop from here, the fact that he could take a breather for now was satisfying enough.

Soon, the food was served.

The soup was a deep red, promising a fiery taste.

Hong Yushin scooped some Red Chicken Meat into Pyo Wol’s bowl, saying,

“Give it a try. You’ll have the intriguing experience of sweating from all over your body.”

He then filled his own bowl with a hearty serving of the Red Chicken Meat.

Pyo Wol cautiously took a bite.

A deep wrinkle formed on his forehead.

It was due to the fierce spiciness assaulting his tongue.

It wasn’t just the color that was red. The Red Chicken Meat packed a powerful punch of spiciness, as though it was directly hitting his brain.

Hong Yushin gave a sly smile.

“Impressive, isn’t it? Initially, it feels like your tongue is getting numb, but as you continue eating, you’ll become addicted to its taste.”

He then started devouring his serving of Red Chicken Meat voraciously.

Thick beads of sweat poured down Hong Yushin’s face like a waterfall.

Pyo Wol looked at his face for a moment, then went back to eating the red chicken meat. Thick beads of sweat formed on his face as well.

It was a painfully spicy yet addictive taste.

He understood why Hong Yushin had spoken so highly of the food from this place.
After eating a decent amount, Pyo Wol put down his chopsticks. He had intentionally stopped eating midway.

Such an intense taste could dull the senses of a martial artist. Therefore, Pyo Wol deliberately left some of his food uneaten.

Hong Yushin, however, was different.

He finished the Red Chicken Meat without leaving a single drop of soup. His entire body was
drenched in sweat, but his expression was one of immense satisfaction.

Hong Yushin washed it all down with alcohol.

The fiery sensation in his mouth was intensified by the strong alcohol, making his stomach feel like it was on fire. Yet he never let go of his satisfied smile.

Having finished his meal, Hong Yushin tilted his liquor glass and began to tell Pyo Wol about the
current state of the martial arts world.

Even though Pyo Wol had already received reports via the booklets from Do Yeonsan and Eun-yo, hearing it from Hong Yushin gave it a different feel.

It felt more vivid, and the situation in Poyang Lake was clearly summarized.

While Pyo Wol listened attentively to Hong Yushin’s words, he gazed out of the window.

“Hmm?”

Suddenly, his eyes lit up.

Outside their inn, he spotted a group of martial artists walking down the street.

A boisterous group of young martial artists, seemingly of the same age as Do Yeonsan, were strolling by, joyously chattering.

Among them, he noticed a familiar face.

‘Chae Mu-ok!’

It was none other than the young martial artist, Chae Mu-ok, who had journeyed with Pyo Wol up to Xiangyin.

Chae Mu-ok, who had rescued Gomujin from the pursuit of the patrol unit in Xiangyin and escaped with him, had shown up near Poyang Lake.

It wasn’t just Chae Mu-ok. Gomujin, whom he had saved, was also walking at the front of the group.

At that moment, Hong Yushin spoke up.

“Do you happen to know someone in the Righteous Sky Group?”

“The Righteous Sky Group?”

“The group that you are looking at right now is the Righteous Sky Group. Led by Gomujin, the junior master of the Seven Absolute Doors, they’ve recently come into prominence at the Silver Lotus Hall. They’re known for their loyalty, and they have a good reputation, so there’s a considerable number of followers. Especially that young boy.”

Hong Yushin pointed at none other than Chae Mu-ok.

“Why him?”

“He’s a boy named Chae Mu-ok, renowned for his formidable martial arts skills and upright character. He’s one of the new stars born from the Poyang Lake’s Great Kangho War.”

“Is that so?”

Just then, by coincidence, Chae Mu-ok glanced toward where Pyo Wol was.
Pyo Wol pulled his hat down lower.

Seeing this, Chae Mu-ok tilted his head in curiosity.

Gomujin, who was walking ahead, asked,

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing. I just thought I saw someone I know.”

“Why don’t you go and greet them?”

“No, it’s just a mistake. There’s no way that person could be here.”

“Who is it?”

“It’s nothing. Let’s go.”

With a smile, Chae Mu-ok led the way forward.

Pyo Wol watched Chae Mu-ok’s retreating figure for a long time. His lips, visible under his hat, were drawn into a faint smile.

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