Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 544

September 25, 2023 • 12 min read • 636 views

Pyo Wol gazed at the door through which Lee Geomhan had left.

Sounds of a heated argument between Lee Geomhan and Namgung Seol briefly filled the air, before disappearing. The presence of the warriors surrounding the inn also faded away.

“It worked out well.”

Pyo Wol muttered in a soft voice as he rose from his seat.

Namgung Seol and her Snow Flower Swords weren’t that terrifying.

The real issue was Lee Geomhan.

Lee Geomhan’s martial prowess was formidable, and if he combined forces with Namgung Seol and the Snow Flower Swords, even Pyo Wol couldn’t guarantee a victory.

He felt relieved that such a scenario hadn’t unfolded.

Avoiding troublesome situations was always the best policy.

Even if it wasn’t Lee Geomhan, Pyo Wol had enough problems to worry about. Among them, he was most concerned about the perpetrators of the Unmado Riverboat massacre.

The remnants left on the Unmado Riverboat seemed oddly familiar. It troubled him.

Over the past few days, Pyo Wol, through Hong Yushin, had been trying to track down those who had attacked the boat. Yet, even with the help of the Hao Clan, they failed to locate the culprits.

All the sects owning large ships were investigated.

Hong Yushin examined the sects who owned the ships based on the information provided by the Hao Clan. but none of them showed any signs of moving their ships at the time when the Unmado Riverboat was attacked.

In the end, they could only assume that someone outside of the known forces had sabotaged the ship.

‘And they have enough power to slaughter all the warriors, including the disciples of the Wudang Sect.’

The Wudang Sect had temporarily chosen seclusion. It was certain that they possessed strong forces if they could secretly send such powerful warriors .However, even those warriors had been brutally murdered.

Looking at the remaining scars on the body, it was clear that at least four martial artists had ganged up on one.

Their coordinated attacks were incredibly precise.

They had torn apart the vital points of the Wudang Sect disciples like a rag.

Such wounds could not be inflicted without a synergistic movement that did not interfere with each other.

The types of weapons used were also diverse.

At first glance, it looked like they had used a single weapon, but in reality, a wide variety of weapons had been used.

‘Swords, axes, and even harpoons…’

These were tools primarily used by sailors.

A deep wrinkle formed between Pyo Wol’s eyebrows.

‘Could it be the Ghost Fleet?’

Among the sailors he knew, the most vicious and terrifying group was the Ghost Fleet.

The Ghost Fleet was an organisation under the jurisdiction of Guryongsalmak, and they had plenty of reasons to hold a grudge against Pyo Wol.

“Could they be targeting me?”

He needed to know if his suspicions were correct.

Pyo Wol quietly picked himself up and exited the inn.

The martial artists from the Snow Flower Swords who had surrounded the inn were nowhere in sight.

Pyo Wol unfolded his qigong and made his way out of the city of Poyang Lake.

His destination was precisely the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the site of the disaster that befell the Unmado Riverboat.

Leaving a trace in a flowing river, especially the vast Yangtze, renowned for its width, was unlikely. Yet, Pyo Wol was determined to reach the site where the Umado Riverboat was attacked. Every tracking starts from the source, after all.

It didn’t matter if no traces remained.

By observing the place of the disaster, he was certain to gain something.

Pyo Wol exerted his full strength to expand his Qigong.

Swish!

With every touch of the ground, he shot forward at a terrifying speed.

Pyo Wol’s self-taught Qigong skill was indeed unique.

It was not just fast, but it left virtually no trace on the ground. It was akin to a dandelion seed floating in the wind, yet as swift as a hawk. It was as if a ghost was racing.

After running for half a day, Pyo Wol arrived at the site where the Umado Riverboat had met with its tragedy.

Standing on the riverside, Pyo Wol gazed into the center of the Yangtze River.

The distance from where he stood to where the Unmado riverboat met its tragedy was over 300 li.

No matter how great Pyo Wol’s qigong was, he couldn’t jump a distance of over 300 li in one go. Even if he could, he couldn’t stand in the middle of the river without a foothold.

Walking along the river, Pyo Wol came across a small boat.

It belonged to an old fisherman, and it looked like it would sink at any moment.

Pyo Wol bought the old boat for five silver pieces. With that money, he could have bought several new boats with change to spare.

Kee-eek! Kee-eek!

Rowing the boat, Pyo Wol reached the site where the Umado Riverboat had been attacked.

As expected, there was nothing left in the river.

Pyo Wol stopped the boat in place and surveyed the surroundings.

The terrain of the area was in plain sight.

The Ghost Fleet predominantly operated at sea.

Therefore, their ships were naturally larger and sturdier.

The construction of these sea-going ships differed greatly from those that navigated rivers.

To sail stably among high waves, a ship with a deep and slender keel was advantageous.

On the other hand, river boats, which had to navigate in shallow waters, were often flat-bottomed

What Pyo Wol focused on was a place deep enough for a ship with a slender keel to pass.

Without physically entering the river, measuring the depth was impossible. However, he could infer it by observing the flow of the water and the topography.

Pyo Wol stood on the small boat, looking for a suitable place for a ship with a slender keel to pass.

“The upper reaches of the river are unlikely. There would be too many boats there, it would have been noticeable. Also, it can’t be too far downstream. The boat that brought the Unmado Riverboat must have come up from the downstream.”

The eyes of the sailors were sharp, not ordinary.

They would find it strange to see a ship designed for the sea navigating the river.

There must have been an approach to the Unmado Riverboat that did not catch their eyes.

‘It must have approached from a tributary, not the main stream of the Yangtze.

The Yangtze wasn’t a single river. Numerous tributaries and smaller rivers intertwined like a spider’s web.

Creak! Creak!

Pyo Wol began to row downstream.

A tributary of the Yangtze, with a river deep and wide enough for a ship with a narrow keel to pass, that’s what he was looking for.

Not long after he started rowing, a small tributary appeared. But it looked too shallow for a ship with a slender keel to pass.

Pyo Wol boldly bypassed the spot.

As he traveled downstream for about half an hour, two more tributaries appeared. However, they seemed too shallow for a large ship to pass through, much like the first tributary.

It was after bypassing the third tributary and rowing for another hour.

Pyo Wol’s eyes shone sharply.

Once again, he spotted a confluence of a tributary and a mainstream. But this tributary was different from the others.

It was conspicuously murky and black, and appeared to be very deep. It was also wide enough for a large ship to navigate easily.

Pyo Wol steered his boat into the tributary without a moment’s hesitation.

The tributary had exceptionally strong currents. It was no easy task to row upstream against the strong current with his small boat.

Pyo Wol abandoned his boat.

After mooring his boat in a nearby reed field, he used his Qigong to sprint up the tributary. After running for a while, Pyo Wol came to a halt.

The tributary split into two.

Left and right. Both channels were broad and deep enough to navigate a large ship without trouble.

Pyo Wol had to make a decision. And his decision was left.

There was no particular reason.

It was just that his intuition pointed him to the left.

Again, Pyo Wol ran upstream against the current for quite a while.

The sun had already set, and twilight was creeping in.

Then a pot-like terrain appeared.

On one side of the tributary, enclosed by a gorge, there was a space where a ship could dock.
It was a naturally formed wharf-like terrain.

Without hesitation, Pyo Wol launched his body towards it.

There were clear signs that many people had lingered in this wharf-like terrain.

It was clear that a considerable number of people had been here for some time, although their identities were unknown.

Then a peculiar sight caught Pyo Wol’s eyes.

The surface of a large rock beneath the gorge was vertically and horizontally chiseled.
They were characters.

To examine the characters in detail, Pyo Wol moved closer to the rock.

As he reached close to the rock, the characters became clearer.

[The Grave of Pyo Wol, bearing Heaven’s grudge not shared with others ]

The characters, seemingly engraved with a sword or blade, were clearly referring to Pyo Wol.

‘My grave?’

Thud!

At that moment, he felt an unusual sensation around his ankle.

An intense sense of danger engulfed Pyo Wol in an instant.

Without a second thought, Pyo Wol launched his body backwards.

That’s when it happened.

Boom!

Suddenly, a massive explosion erupted around the rock with the engraved characters.

Blasting mines were buried around the rock, and the broken thread on Pyo Wol’s ankle had triggered the detonator.

Ka-boom!

The explosions occurred sequentially, even reaching the naturally formed wharf.

Pyo Wol clenched his teeth and threw himself into action.

The Flames were approaching at an incredible speed. The slightest hesitation or misstep could result in him being consumed by the flames.

But the flames were not the only problem.

Crash!

The massive gorge could not withstand the shock of the explosion and began to crumble.
Rocks the size of houses filled the sky as they fell. The sight of them tumbling was terrifying.

Pyo Wol was no exception.

The feeling of fear that he thought had long since disappeared came back with the shock of the scene.

“Huff!”

Pyo Wol inhaled and sped up even more.

His agility skill drew a long parabola in the air, like a meteor, as he escaped the gorge.

Boom!

Right after, the huge boulders crashed into the bottom of the gorge.

Rocks crashed into each other, causing loud bangs and scattering debris everywhere. Amid the chaos, bright red flames and smoke erupted and grey dust rose into the sky.

The time it took for the colossal gorge to collapse entirely was only a blur.

“Huff! Huff!”

Barely escaping from the gorge, Pyo Wol gasped for breath.

The situation was so intense that even Pyo Wol, who always remained calm, looked pale.

Catching his breath, Pyo Wol stared at the gorge.

The ravine was so brutally ravaged that it bore no resemblance to how it appeared when Pyo Wol first entered.

Flames were still bursting from the crevices of the rocks, and the sky was filled with dust and ash.

It looked like a scene from hell.

Pyo Wol muttered,

“Did they know I’d come?”

If so, then his opponent clearly knew him very well.

Without understanding his relentless disposition, tracking skills, psychological state, and behavioral patterns, they couldn’t have set such a trap.

“Ha!”

A fighting spirit he hadn’t felt for a long time bubbled up within him.

He had faced numerous enemies till now, but none like this one.

His adversary was clearly targeting him.

Then it happened.

Swish!

Suddenly, a sharp whistling noise echoed out.

Something was flying toward Pyo Wol at a terrifying speed.

It was too late to avoid it.

Pyo Wol drew his threaded serpent qi and swung it in a wide arc.

Swoosh!

With a faint whistling noise, the incoming object was neatly cut in mid-air.

Clang!

The object that thudded at Pyo Wol’s feet was a harpoon broken in two.

Pyo Wol looked in the direction the harpoon had come from.

The harpoon had come from the other side of the collapsed canyon, from another tributary.

A pointed object loomed in the distance. It wasn’t hard to identify it as a ship’s mast.

Atop the mast stood a man.

The man, a giant figure with long, flowing hair, was wearing a cape made of some unknown animal’s skin.

A truly intimidating aura emanated from him.

The moment Pyo Wol saw him, he recognized his identity.

“The Ghost Fleet Leader.”

He had encountered him a long time ago.

Even then too, the Ghost Fleet leader had kept Pyo Wol at bay by throwing a harpoon from a great distance.

The Ghost Fleet’s Leader was Go Il-Won, the son of the Guryongsamak’s leader whom Pyo Wol had killed.

He was a half-sibling to So Yeowol, the one Pyo Wol was chasing.

It made sense for the Ghost Fleet’s lLeader to target Pyo Wol.

Regardless of the situation, Pyo Wol was the enemy who had killed Go Il-won’s father and stepmother.

Go Il-won casually gazed at Pyo Wol from atop the mast.

Pyo Wol glared back at him.

Despite the distance between them, both could feel each other’s intense gaze.

At that moment, Go Il-won drew his thumb across his throat.

After this death threat, Go Il-won’s figure gradually disappeared as the ship carrying him sailed away.

Pyo Wol silently watched him disappear.