Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 545

September 25, 2023 • 11 min read • 642 views

Gong Sun-Hwan, also known as the Scholar of Martial Arts, was a martial artist affiliated with the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Given his exceptional talent since childhood, it was only natural that he joined the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Despite the word ‘Scholar’ in his nickname, he was far from an ordinary pen-pusher.

His single-stroke calligraphy technique, performed with a pair of pan-shaped brushes, was recognized as a top-tier martial art in Kangho.

Captivated by the ideals of Jang Mugak, he joined the Golden Heavenly Hall, becoming one of its members and fulfilling his duties faithfully.

To the outside world, Gong Sun-Hwan was nothing short of an impeccable scholar.

His handsome appearance won him the favor of many.

Women in particular flirted with Gong Sun-Hwan a lot.

Using his appearance as a weapon, Gong Sun-Hwan managed to extract a great deal of information from the women of the Silver Lotus Hall.

As a result of the huge amount of information leaking out in advance, the Silver Lotus Hall suffered considerable damage at the hands of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

By the time the Silver Lotus Hall discovered this fact, a lot of information had already been transferred to the Golden Heavenly Hall.

From that moment on, Gong Sun-Hwan became the primary target of the Silver Lotus Hall. However, once his identity was exposed, Gong Sun-Hwan confined himself to the territory of the Golden Heavenly Hall and did not come out.

“Heh heh!”

Gong Sun-Hwan swept back his hair and flashed a smile.

The woman who was with Gong Sun-Hwan had an ecstatic expression.

Gong Sun-Hwan had seduced the woman on a street corner with his charming speech. The woman was of ordinary status, but extremely beautiful and popular. However, even such a woman was captivated by Gong Sun-Hwan’s good looks and eloquence and was incapable of rational judgment.

Gong Sun-Hwan held the woman’s hand tightly and headed towards his dwelling.

Although the sun was still high in the sky, there was no problem in sharing an intimate moment.

Thinking that they would soon be able to share their intimacy, Gong Sun-Hwan’s eyes and face reddened with excitement, and his breathing became naturally ragged.

Just then, a chilling voice interrupted his excitement.

“Scholar of Martial Arts Gong Sun-Hwan. Is that right?”

“What’s this?”

Gong Sun-Hwan felt his blood run cold.

He sensed the icy emotions and hostility embedded in the voice.

A man was blocking his path, about ten yards ahead.

“Who the hell are you?”

“Are you Gong Sun-Hwan?”

“Reveal your identity first.”

“Seems like it’s you.”

“Don’t dodge my question. Who are you?”

“Lee Geomhan!”

“What?”

Gong Sun-Hwan narrowed his eyes.

At first, he thought he had misheard.

There was no one in Kangho who did not know the name Lee Geomhan.

Lee Geomhan of the Mad Martial Sect.

A young martial artist who, along with Jang Mugak, Grandmaster of the Golden Heavenly Hall, was considered to possess the most outstanding martial arts skills in the world.

There were rumours that he had already formed his own sect.

Gong Sun-Hwan furrowed his brow and asked,

“Are you really Lee Geomhan of the Mad Martial Sect?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Fine! Let’s say you really are Lee Geomhan. But why are you blocking my way? We have no grudge between us.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a grudge to block someone’s way”.

“What do you mean?”

“I have no personal feelings, but I need you to be my stepping stone.”

Heh!”

Gong Sun-Hwan looked around with a cynical expression, looking for any reinforcements Lee Geomhan might have brought. But he could not see anyone who could help Lee Geomhan.

A smile played on Lee Geomhan’s lips.

This was the territory of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Most of the martial artists on this street were supporters of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Facing Lee Geomhan was indeed daunting, but in the territory of the Golden Heavenly Hall, the story changes.

Even a bastard would win half the battle at home, let alone him, a key figure of the Golden Heavenly Hall. There was no reason for Gong Sun-Hwan to feel intimidated. He pulled out a pair of calligraphy brushes and gripped them in his hands.

“So, you’re challenging me now. Lee Geomhan, of all people…”

“Take it as an honor. I don’t challenge just anyone.”

“Good! I accept it as an honor. But you will pay for this challenge with your life.”
Clang!

Gong Sun-Hwan hoisted his calligraphy brushes and took a combat stance.

The single stroke calligraphy technique was a martial arts technique derived from the art of calligraphy itself.

It required a strong flow and momentum, like writing a calligraphy stroke in one fluid movement.

“Ha!”

With a shout, Gong Sun-Hwan charged towards Lee Geomhan.

He did not make the foolish mistake of yielding the first move due to pride.

The other had declared a challenge, and he had no intention of backing down.

While Lee Geomhan’s reputation was a bit daunting, he didn’t believe he was much inferior.

If he attacked first and held out until other martial artists from the Golden Heavenly Hall arrived, it would be his victory.

Swish!

With a single stroke, a pair of calligraphy brushes painted a word in the air.

Every character written in the air became a deadly weapon, aiming at Lee Geomhan’s vitals.

“Wow!”

“What’s happening?”

People nearby were taken aback and shouted in astonishment.

The people’s eyes widened and they cheered at the sudden duel between the warriors.

Also, Gong Sun-Hwan’s martial arts were very graceful, a pleasure to watch.

They thought Gong Sun-Hwan’s calligraphy brushes would pierce Lee Geom-Han’s body. That’s how sharp and powerful they were.

‘This is nothing. Was he just impersonating Lee Geomhan?’

Gong Sun-Hwan thought as he watched Lee Geomhan, who didn’t move until the brushes were about to touch him.

Whish!

Suddenly, the piercing sound of a blade slicing through the air echoed through the streets.

“Cough!”

“Ugh!”

The chilling sound pierced through the eardrums of bystanders, shaking their brains to their very core.

People screamed, covering their ears, and the street instantly turned into a scene of pure chaos.

It took a while for people to come to their senses.

What caught the eye of those who managed to get up was a body lying on the floor.

“No way!”

“Ah!”

The people were shocked.

The corpse lying on the ground was none other than Gong Sun-Hwan.

Pieces of broken calligraphy brushes were scattered near the body.

People were shocked at the unbelievable outcome.

“W-what happened?”

“Clearly, he was split by a single sword strike.”

“Oh my God!”

Gong Sun-Hwan’s corpse was split horizontally from the chest.

It was evident that both the weapon and the body were severed by a single stroke.

It was supposed to be Gong Sun-Hwan’s advantageous fight.

Everyone thought so.

He had gained an advantage by striking first. Yet he failed to put up a proper fight and lost his life.

It was truly a shocking result.

“Is this the true skill of the Sword Maniac?

“He’s insane! Absolutely insane!”

People looked nauseated as they stared at Gong Sun-Hwan’s corpse.

The rumor that Gong Sun-Hwan of the Golden Heavenly Hall had been defeated by a single stroke of the Sword Maniac, Lee Geomhan, quickly spread throughout the Poyang Lake region.
***
Yong Ha-Sang’s eyebrows twitched.

“What did you say?”

“Lee Geomhan cut down Gong Sun-Hwan with a single stroke.”

“Is that true?”

“That’s the report we received.”

Namgung Wol calmly answered Yong Ha-Sang’s question.

He was also quite surprised while reporting. However, the reason why he could maintain such a calm expression was because he believed that Lee Geomhan’s appearance was a good omen for the Silver Lotus Hall.

Wherever there is accumulation of water, it’s bound to rot.

The current situation of the Silver Lotus Hall was the same.

Ever since Yong Ha-Sang became the leader, the Silver Lotus Hall had stagnated, and sounds of rupture could be heard from various places.

Yong Ha-sang did not show a clear will to win against the Golden Heavenly Hall. He seemed to be trying to strengthen his position by confronting the Golden Heavenly Hall.

That’s why he couldn’t get the upper hand in the battle against the Golden Heavenly Hall.
Yong Ha-Sang asked,

“Do you know why Lee Geomhan killed Gong Sun-Hwan? Was there any previous enmity?”

“I’m not sure about that.”

“Hmm.”

Yong Ha-Sang stroked his chin, wearing a frown.

Gong Sun-Hwan had been the number one assassination target designated by the Silver Lotus Hall. He should have felt relieved that such a person was dead, but for some reason, it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

He was not sure why, but it meant that something was bothering him deep inside.

“Where is Lee Geomhan now?”

“I don’t know!”

“He must be somewhere around Poyang Lake, right? And you still haven’t found him?”

“We’re looking into it now. It’s going to take some time.”

“Huh! You call that an explanation? No matter how vast the Poyang lake region is, are you telling me that with all the resources of the Silver Lotus Hall, we can’t track down Lee Geomhan? Are you expecting me to believe that?”

“Whether you believe it or not, what I said is true.”

“Enough! Find him right now and bring him to me. This is an order from the Leader of the Silver Lotus Hall.”

“Understood…”

Namgung Wol replied, licking his lips.

His face was twisted with humiliation.

As Namgung Wol left Yong Ha-sang’s residence, he murmured to himself while looking at the Leader’s Residence.

“I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have raised him to the position of leader”.

With Yong Ha-Sang as the figurehead leader, Namgung Wol had planned to run the Silver Lotus Hall himself.

He thought it was the best way to serve the Silver Lotus Hall and the world at large. But as Yong Ha-sang’s autocracy deepened, he began to question and regret his judgment.

But now, it was too late to depose Yong Ha-sang from the leadership position.

Yong Ha-Sang had already seized the reins of power.

Those who have tasted power never step down willingly. The same was true for Yong Ha-sang.

“Phew.”

Namgung Wol let out a sigh as he moved.

He felt stifled as if a massive rock was placed on his chest.

The fact that he had no one to share such an oppressive feeling with tormented him more.

In any case, he had to obey because Yong Ha-sang, the leader, had given the order.

He was busy relaying the leader’s orders to the subordinates when…

“You seem busy.”

Suddenly, a cold woman’s voice echoed.

At the familiar voice, Namgung Wol stopped in his tracks.

“Sister!”

The woman who had spoken was none other than his sister, Namgung Seol.

Her appearance caused Namgung Wol’s already grim expression to darken further.

“How did you get in here?”

“Is that the right way to greet your blood relative after such a long time?”

“You were the first to disregard me as a blood relative, sister. You haven’t forgotten that, have you?”

“Ugh! Why should I bother talking to you?You’re always so prickly, it’s frightening to even start a conversation.”

“I don’t behave like this with others. I do this because you are my sister.”

Namgung Wol’s voice and manner were so cold that it was hard to believe he was talking to his blood relative.

Knowing that his demeanor was because of her, Namgung Seol could no longer argue.

Namgung Wol spoke.

“Speak! How did you get in?”

“I let her in.”

It wasn’t Namgung Seol who answered.

The one who answered instead of Namgung Seol was a woman her age.

She was Yeom Hee-Su, the young mistress of the White Fox Clan.

She was a martial artist of the Kangho, known by the nickname Hundred-Faced Flower.’

“Why would Mistress Yeom…?”

“Because of Leader Yong.”

“What?”

“You, Young Master Namgung, are greatly disappointed in Leader Yong’s recent behavior, right? I feel the same. Leader Yong is not fit to lead a large group.”

“What does that have to do with you letting my sister in?”

“You’ll know when you hear her out.”

Yeom Hee-Su’s words further confused Namgung Wol.

The one who was closest to Yong Ha-sang was Yeom Hee-soo. He never expected her to suddenly change her stance like this.

Namgung Wol looked at Namgung Seol.

“What kind of scheme are you plotting?”

“A scheme… I just want to tell you something.”

“What?”

“That soon, a powerful contender will emerge against Leader Yong. He will defeat the martial artists of the Golden Heavenly Hall one after another, and spread his reputation throughout the Kangho. After a series of victories, he will challenge Leader Yong.”

“The contender… Is it the Sword Maniac, Lee Geom-han?”

“Huhuhu!”

“Crazy…”

“If it’s him, he certainly qualifies to be the leader of the Silver Lotus Hall, doesn’t he?”