Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 541

September 24, 2023 • 12 min read • 630 views

Hwang Cheol had devoted thirty years of his life to working on the boat.

“It took him twenty years, from his humble beginnings as a deckhand on the Unmado riverboat, to serving as a lowly sailor, and then getting his own ship.

He became the captain of a large Unmado riverboat with the support of a reliable landowner, and for ten years he sailed safely without a single major accident.

His skin, baked under the fierce sun, turned rough and dark, making him look older than his peers.

But Hwang Cheol didn’t mind. He had worked hard and managed to establish all his children independently.

“Only a few more days left of this job now,”

Hwang Cheol muttered, looking out at the vast Yangtze River.

He was now over fifty.

The strenuous work at the boat was becoming too much for him.

Of course, if he were greedy, he could probably carry on for a few more years. But Hwang Cheol decided it was time to retire.

Operating an Unmado riverboat and traveling the length of the Yangtze meant leaving his home for a month or two. When he was raising his children, he hadn’t realized how hard it was to be away from home. But now, with the birth of his grandchildren, he often found his thoughts wandering back home.

He had managed to save a decent amount of money and now he wanted to spend the rest of his life at home, resting comfortably and looking after his grandchildren. So, he told the ship owner he was retiring, and he received permission to do so.

His thirty-year career as a boatman would come to an end when they reached their destination, Lake Poyang.

It felt both refreshing and bitter.

At that moment, a man who looked to be in his mid-forties, Jang Han, came to his side.

Jang Hans, or Jang Duson as he was widely known, was the man who would succeed Hwang Cheol as captain of the Unmado River boat. An experienced boatman, Jang Duson had worked alongside Hwang Cheol for nearly two decades.

Having learned from Hwang Cheol, Jang Duson had an exceptional ability to read the waterways, as well as excellent leadership skills. That’s why Hwang Cheol didn’t hesitate to designate Jang Duson as his successor.

With a smile, Jang Duson said,

“Why the monkish look? You look as though you’ve accepted fate. Hehe!”

“I suppose I have. Accepted my fate, with this river…”

“Damn!”

“Hmph! Isn’t it true? Now I have to let go of the river and live on the land, it feels complicated”.

“I understand. You’ve lived all your life on water, and now you have to adapt to a foreign environment. It must be hard. But you’ll do well, brother.”

“It’s reassuring to have you here. Thanks to you, I can retire in peace.”

“And you too, brother…”

“Do you want to take a shot at steering? It won’t be long before you’re the captain.”

“May I?”

Steering was a privilege reserved for the captain.

Without the captain’s permission, no one dared to steer the boat.

But over the years, whenever time allowed, Hwang Cheol would let Jang Duson steer. It was part of preparing him for the captain’s role.

Even though steering was familiar to him, it felt different now that he was on the verge of becoming the captain.

Hwang Cheol looked around the Unmado Riverboat and said, “She’s your ship now. Take good care of her.”

“Don’t worry, brother!”

“Then I’ll leave it to you to sail it to Lake Poyang.”

“You’re not going to do the final stretch yourself?”

“Will a few more days of steering the ship change anything? It’s time to let go of the past.”

With a smile, Hwang Cheol descended to the deck.

Jang Duson watched Hwang Cheol’s retreating figure with a bittersweet expression.

The fact that his brother, who was like the sky to him, was retiring made his heart ache. And the responsibility of taking over this huge ship overwhelmed him.

To be a man and to have the opportunity to command such a great ship was an extraordinary thing.

“From now on, I am responsible for this ship.”

Jang Duson murmured, staring forward.

Fortunately, it had not rained recently and the current of the Yangtze was not strong. As a result, sailing upstream was not too difficult.

Nevertheless, Jang Duson remained alert.

He had learned from Hwang Cheol that the most dangerous things happen when you let your guard down. He had taken this lesson to heart and made sure that he never let his guard down.

And then he noticed.

“Huh?”

An odd scene unfolded before his eyes.

A massive ship appeared in the distance.

“What? A sea-going ship here of all places?”

Jang Duson, a long-time sailor, knew that the ship in the distance was out of place on the Yangtze.

It was sleek and high-bowed, designed to cut through high waves. It was excessively well-built for a freshwater environment like the Yangtze River, where the current was gentle and waves were nearly non-existent.

Though there were some ships that sailed upstream on the Yangtze, they were indeed a rare sight.

The issue was that this massive ship was heading straight for their vessel, the “Unmado River Boat”.

If they continued on this course, a collision was inevitable.

Jang Duson quickly turned the steering wheel and shouted out.

“A large ship is approaching from ahead. All crew, prepare for a potential collision.”
Startled by his outcry, the crew started moving frantically.

“A collision?”

Hwang Cheol, who had been enjoying himself among the passengers, turned his gaze to the front.

In his view, the huge ship was barreling towards them at an alarming speed.

To anyone watching, it was clear that the “Unmado River Boat” was the target.

“Pirates, now of all times….”

He expressed his confusion.

Kangho was in the midst of a great war amongst the martial arts factions.

The Golden Heavenly Hall, the Silver Lotus Hall, and all the factions associated with them clashed. Among them were many of the great powers of the Green Forest. There was no room for pirates to interfere.

When the Unmado River Boat altered its course, the giant ship did the same, continuing to pursue.

It was now clear.

The behemoth of a ship was undoubtedly pursuing the Unmado River Boat.

Dong-dong-dong!

The bell rang out to signal the emergency.

Still, there were those who remained unfazed.

“The audacity of these pirates…”

“What bad luck. To target the ship we’re on.”

These were the fearless martial artists on their way to participate in the Kangho Great War taking place in Poyang Lake.

They were rushing into the battle to make a name for themselves.

In fact, they welcomed the present situation as an opportunity to make their names known.

On the other hand, there were those who watched these fearless warriors with a mixture of concern and worry.

“Hmm!”

“Was there a conflict near Poyang Lake?”

At first glance, they seemed like ordinary warriors, but they were, in fact, Taoists from the Wudang Sect.

To grasp the situation triggered by the clash between the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall in the Kangho Great War, the Wudang Sect had secretly dispatched these Taoists.

They were Tae Won, the first generation disciple, and Yun Kwang and Han Kwang, the third generation disciples.

The Wudang Sect had currently locked their gates, disconnecting from the outside world. However, they were not entirely idle.

With the pride of being equal to Shaolin as the two pillars of Kangho, they always kept an eye on Kangho’s movements.

To Wudang Sect, the situation in Kangho was far from normal.

The damage was much greater than they had anticipated, and it was affecting the whole of Kangho.

They had hit a wall with their limited second-hand information. So the Wudang sect had sent one of their first-generation disciples and two of their third-generation disciples to Poyang Lake to get a first-hand understanding of the situation.

Tae Won eyed the approaching ship with a sharp gaze.

“It doesn’t seem like a regular vessel.”

“What shall we do, Sasuk?”

“We observe for now, and if the situation worsens, we intervene.”

“Intervene? That could reveal our identities.”

“Saving people’s lives is more important than exposing our identities. Most of the passengers on this ship are ordinary people. How can we turn a blind eye to them?”

“I didn’t think of that.”

Yun Kwang immediately apologized.

Tae Won nodded, gazing into the distance.

Meanwhile, the enormous ship had significantly closed in on them.

The sailors shouted.

“Change course.”

“We’re going to collide.”

Despite their frantic calls, the massive ship, undeterred, continued to charge full speed, finally ramming into them.

Ka-Bang!

With a deafening noise, the prow of the Unmado river boat was shattered into pieces.

“Aahhh!”

“Help!”

The deck of the Unmado River boat transformed into a pandemonium within moments.
Passengers were flung in all directions, screaming in terror.

Just one collision had most passengers suffering severe injuries, while others were thrown into the water due to the shock of the impact.

“Bastards!”

“What the hell are they doing?”

The martial artists aboard the Unmado river boat, filled with rage, drew their swords.

Just then, from the enormous ship that had rammed into the Unmado River Boat, sailors armed
with hooks, harpoons, knives, and swords rushed out.

They began a ruthless slaughter of the passengers aboard the Unmado River Boat.

Thump!

“Argh!”

“Pl-please, spare me!”

Passengers screamed, fleeing in every direction. But the invaders from the enormous ship chased them down relentlessly, ensuring none survived.

“These madmen!”

“Stop!”

The warriors on the Unmado River Boat fought valiantly against the intruders from the large ship.

Clash, clank, clang!

The tumultuous sounds of weapons colliding resonated far and wide.

Seething with rage, the martial artists stood their ground and bravely battled the invaders.

Their martial arts skills were closely matched.

The warriors who had leaped from the large ship were formidable, but those on the Unmado River Boat were no pushovers.

The issue was their numerical inferiority.

The warriors from the massive ship numbered over a hundred, whereas those on the Unmado River Boat were barely around twenty.

Being vastly outnumbered, they were inevitably forced back.

“Ugh!”

“Argh!”

One by one, both passengers and warriors met their ends.

Among them was Captain Hwang Cheol, close to his retirement.

‘Damn wife. Should have retired earlier as she nagged. Instead, I chose to keep working….’

The pudgy, homely face of his wife swirled in his fading vision, the last memory he would hold in his life.

Swoosh!

A merciless sword of steel severed his lifeline.

Beside him lay his successor, Jang Duson, also lifeless.

Unable to bear the tragedy, Tae Won ordered Yun Kwang and Han Kwang.

“We join the fight.”

“Yes!”

“Understood.”

Yun Kwang and Han Kwang drew their swords in response.

“Let’s go!”

Leading the charge was Tae Won, followed closely by Yun Kwang and Han Kwang.

As the disciples of the renowned Wudang Sect, their martial prowess was exceptional.

Their mere entrance into the fray was enough to completely shift the atmosphere of the battlefield.

“Halt the massacre.”

“Stand down.”

The trio unleashed their martial arts techniques from the Wudang Sect, driving back the warriors who had leaped from the large ship.

Their fearsome martial prowess caused those who had been ruthlessly slaughtering the passengers and warriors to falter.

Tae Won, wielding his sword, yelled.

“Who are you to carry out such a massacre?”

His single sword strike sent an opponent sprawling.

As Tae Won was searching for his next target…

“Ah, a Taoist from the Wudang Sect.”

A heavy voice resounded out of nowhere.

Tae Won turned his head towards the source of the voice.

The owner of the voice was a towering man standing at the prow of the large ship.

His long, beast-like hair reaching down to his shoulders, and his clothing made from animal skin were striking.

With his arms folded, he was staring at Tae Won.

Tae Won yelled out…

“You must be the mastermind behind all this. Won’t you reveal your identity?”

“A Taoist, acting rather spirited, isn’t he?”

“What?”

Taken aback, Tae Won sprung towards the prow of the large ship.

Pointing his sword at the man, he yelled.

“If you don’t reveal your identity, I will cut you down.”

“If you can, by all means, try.”

“Very well….”

Enraged, Tae Won launched his Taoist martial arts.

Shiiiiik!

His sword multiplied into dozens, attacking the man.

As the eldest disciple of Wudang Sect, Tae Won’s swordsmanship was exceptionally advanced, far beyond what an average martial artist could handle. Unfortunately for him, the man was no ordinary martial artist commonly found in Kangho

Boom!

With a slight stamp of his foot, a harpoon lying on the deck rose and fell into his grasp.

The man hurled the harpoon straight at Tae Won.

Shwaak!

“Hmph! This piece of….”

Tae Won aimed to slice the oncoming harpoon in mid-air, a fierce wave of energy erupting from his blade.

Clang!

But with a metallic clash, his sword was deflected.

“What?”

Thud!

The harpoon that had deflected his sword pierced straight through his chest.

“Aargh!”

With a desperate scream, Tae Won collapsed.

With disbelief etched on his face, he looked up at the man.

“Who… Who are you?”

“My name is Go Il-won.”

“Go… Il won?”
Ppl
“I am the leader of the Ghost Fleet.”

Crack!

Go Il won’s hefty foot came down, crushing Tae Won’s head.

Tae Won’s head exploded like a rotten pumpkin.

Having killed Tae Won in an instant, Go Il won turned to his subordinates.

“Don’t leave a single one alive.”

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