Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 546

September 25, 2023 • 12 min read • 627 views

Rumors about Lee Geom-han had spread beyond the shores of Poyang Lake, engulfing the entire Kangho.

Day after day, Lee Geom-han challenged the martial artists of the Golden Heavenly Hall. And the results were a series of consecutive victories.

Even the most prominent experts and masters within the Golden Heavenly Hall were forced to kneel before Lee Geom-han.

Previously, Lee Geom-han was highly regarded as the potential rival of Jang Mugak, the Grandmaster.

He was so dedicated to his swordsmanship that he earned the nickname “Sword Maniac,” but he rarely showcased his skills in Public.

People tend not to believe in things they haven’t seen with their own eyes. This was also the case with Lee Geom-han.Thus, some secretly thought that he might be overrated.

But his deeds at Poyang Lake were enough to dispel their doubts.

Now that the Great Kangho War had reached a lull, it felt like he was the only one bravely fighting against the Golden Heavenly Hall.

People were fascinated by Lee Geom-han’s actions.

It was as if a hero, who had been enduring patiently, could no longer bear the chaos of Kangho and had drawn his sword of justice.

The unexpected and dramatic emergence of such a hero sent the crowd into cheers.

“Who will he challenge next?”

“Indeed, it’s the Mad Martial Sect. Who would have thought that their sole heir would be such an incredible swordsman?”

“At the rate he is going, isn’t he practically the best swordsman in the world?”

Whenever two or more people gathered together, they would talk about Lee Geom-han.

Pyo Wol looked around the streets and murmured,

“It’s like watching a well-orchestrated drama. It must be the work of Namgung Seol, right?.”

Under normal circumstances, an individual’s martial prowess, no matter how extraordinary or unconventional, wouldn’t become such a hot topic.

“Someone intentionally had to reproduce and spread the topic to make it possible.”

Pyo Wol suspected that this person was Namgung Seol.

She had the capacity, and above all, the determination.

She was prepared to brave all odds for Lee Geom-han.

Lee Geom-han’s actions were certainly remarkable, but so were the skills of Namgung Seol, who promoted him.

Those who are unaware of their relationship would never understand this abnormal situation.

“So Geoksan would have loved it. He always enjoyed a good show.”

Since their parting, there had been no news of So Geoksan.

Although there hadn’t been any communication, Pyo Wol believed So Geoksan was doing well and hoped it was the case.

Pyo Wol suddenly looked up and surveyed the surroundings.

An oddly familiar scene stretched out before his eyes.

There were rows and rows of large mansions.

At a glance, it was clear that this was not a neighborhood for ordinary people.

It was a street where dignitaries and powerful people lived.

Among them, a huge manor house stood out in particular.

“Together Old Manor?”

It was the name of the manor written on the signboard.

Just as Pyo Wol was about to turn back,

“Why are you leaving after coming all this way?”

A muffled old woman’s voice called out.

Pyo Wol turned around and saw an old woman leaning on a walking stick.

The old woman’s back was bent, and she was looking at Pyo Wol with muddy eyes.

Slowly, she approached Pyo Wol.

“You’re grandmaster Pyo, aren’t you?”

“That’s right!”

“Indeed, my eyes didn’t deceive me. I had my doubts because of that hat you were wearing. Hehe!”

The old woman looked at Pyo Wol and laughed.

Pyo Wol asked as he took off the hat on his head.

“How did you recognize me?”

“Didn’t I tell you? I have a good eye.”

“Remarkable. At your age…”

“Hehe! Honestly, I was lucky. My eyesight has become blurry and I can hardly see, but you felt familiar so I took a guess.”

The elderly woman was none other than Noh Tae-tae, the owner of Together Old Manor.

Noh Tae-tae, who had met Pyo Wol by chance, couldn’t stop smiling, but then she ran out of breath and coughed.

“Cough! Cough!”

Pyo Wol quickly supported Noh Tae-tae.

Noh Tae-tae coughed as if she was about to lose her breath any moment. To calm her down, Pyo Wol gently channeled his internal energy into her.

“Are you okay?”

“Thank you! You’ve saved me once again.”

“Why are you out here alone?”

“It’s in front of my house, so I just came out by myself.”

“Let’s get you inside.”

“Will you help me?”

At Noh Tae-tae’s words, Pyo Wol nodded.

Pyo Wol supported Noh Tae-tae as they entered the Together Old Manor.

As soon as they entered the Together Old Manor, the manager rushed over, alarmed by Noh Tae-tae’s pale complexion.

“Are you okay?”

“Hehe! I’m fine. Grandmaster Pyo here took care of me.”

“Ah!”

Only then did the manager recognize Pyo Wol, and he was shocked. However, he quickly composed himself and bowed in gratitude.

“Thank you for looking after Noh Tae-tae.”

“She seems much weaker than before?”

“Yes! Recently her vitality has dropped considerably. She needs care, but she’s stubborn about going for walks alone”.

Noh Tae-tae was over a hundred years old.

It wouldn’t be strange if she passed away at any time given her age. However, compared to others her age, she had taken good care of her health and remained relatively vigorous.

Noh Tae-tae’s vitality began to decline just before the outbreak of the Kangho Great War, right after her great-grandson, Jo Seolpung, joined the Silver Lotus Hall.

Since then, her vitality had dropped rapidly, causing everyone in the Je-won merchant group to worry.

The biggest problem was that Noh Tae-tae rejected people’s care.

Pyo Wol looked at Noh Tae-tae.

‘Is she preparing for her death alone?’

Among those who were nearing death, there were individuals who, in subtle ways, pushed away the people around them.

The purpose was to cut off affection in advance, so that there was less grief for those left behind.

Perhaps Noh Tae-tae was sensing her own death and preparing for it.

On closer look, Noh Tae-tae’s eyes were filled with white cloudiness.

The spark she had at the time of their first meeting was no longer there.

Noticing Pyo Wol’s gaze, Noh Tae-tae laughed and said,

“I’m perfectly fine, it’s just that these people fuss too much over me. No need to worry. As you can see, I’m still quite healthy.”

“So it seems.”

“Well, since we’ve met, why don’t we have a cup of tea?”

“Sounds good.”

“Hehe! Come here. I’ve been yearning for someone to share tea with.”

Noh Tae-tae grabbed Pyo Wol and led him to the garden.

The hand that held him felt brittle yet warm.

After a while of clinking and clattering, Noh Tae-tae placed the teacup in front of Pyo Wol.

“Have a drink.”

“Mmm!”

Pyo Wol raised the teacup to his lips.

The fragrant aroma stimulated his sense of smell.

“Excellent tea.”

“To be honest, my taste buds aren’t what they used to be, and I can’t really taste food anymore. The only thing I can feel is the taste of this tea.

“For someone in your condition, you brew excellent tea.

“Do I? If the Reaper himself says so, I can’t help but feel flattered”.

Noh Tae-tae broke into a broad smile.

All her teeth were gone, leaving only her gums visible. Yet, she didn’t look ugly.

Pyo Wol took a sip of the tea and put the cup down.

“And what about Jo Seolpung?”

“Hehe! Haven’t seen him since.”

“You must miss him.”

“I do miss him. Of all my great-grandchildren, none was dearer to me than him.”

“Don’t you regret letting him go?”

“What choice did I have? I would have liked to support him, but if things went wrong, it could have jeopardized the entire Je-Won merchant group. This was the best course of action. It’s only right that I set things right on this end, so that he can go his own way”.

Noh Tae-tae wore a smile.

The warmth was still there, but her smile held an inexplicable loneliness.

She and the Je-Won merchant group had completely cut ties with Jo Seolpung.

If the Silver Lotus Hall, the group Jo Seolpung had joined, won the Great Kangho War, their relationship would be restored. But if the Silver Lotus Hall lost and the Golden Heavenly Hall won, they would remain strangers forever.

Some might condemn such a cold-blooded decision between blood relatives, but both parties had agreed to this.

Noh Tae-tae wanted to protect the Je-Won merchant group, and Jo Seolpung consented to his great-grandmother’s decision.

Noh Tae-tae looked up at the sky and said,

“The Je-Won merchant group is nothing more than a shackle to him. What could be more pitiful than someone with a great destiny being confined to such a narrow cage, unable to spread his wings?”

“So, are you satisfied?”

“What is there to be satisfied or dissatisfied about? Just hearing that he’s flying on his own is enough satisfaction for me.

“Is that so?”

“Indeed.”

A faint smile still lingered on Noh Tae-tae’s lips.

Pyo Wol silently lifted his teacup.

Slurp!

Although a bit cooled, the tea was still enjoyable.

Suddenly, Pyo Wol turned to her and spoke.

“If you have any leftover tea leaves, could you share some with me?”

“Did it catch your fancy?”

“Jo Seolpung liked this tea, didn’t he? I’ll take some to him.”

“Uh-huh!”

Noh Tae-tae’s eyebrows twitched in surprise at Pyo Wol’s unexpected response.

Pyo Wol, with his blunt expression, kept drinking his tea.

Looking at him, a bright smile appeared on Noh Tae-tae’s lips.

“Okay, then. Just wait a bit.”

Noh Tae-tae and the Je-won merchant group were conscious of the Golden Heavenly Hall’s gaze and didn’t make any contact with Jo Seolpung.

Jo Seolpung, too, hadn’t made a single move towards the Je-won merchant group.

They acted as if they were complete strangers, even though they lived on the same side of Poyang Lake. Even if they wanted to pass on something, they had to hold back. But if Pyo Wol intervened, the situation changed.

In Kangho, Pyo Wol’s standing was truly remarkable.

Not only had he reached the pinnacle as an assassin, but he was not affiliated with any faction in the political arena.

Depending on which side he took, the tide of the battle could shift.

Pyo Wol didn’t clearly side with anyone.

If someone rashly provoked Pyo Wol and he took the opposing side, the problem would be serious.

For this reason, both powers had been refraining from making rash advances towards Pyo Wol.

In a way, the most secure and trustworthy person in the world was Pyo Wol.

Noh Tae-tae packed some tea leaves and a few other items into a bojagi. The rough knot of the bojagi seemed to contain the warmth of Noh Tae-tae.

TL/N- Bojagi is a kind of Wrapping cloth

She handed the bojagi to Pyo Wol.

“Then I’ll leave it to you.”

“Any message to pass along?”

“Just… doing well. Just say that for me.”

“I’ll do so.”

Pyo Wol replied as he took the bojagi.

Satisfied, Noh Tae-tae stared at Pyo Wol and suddenly said as if she remembered something,

“Oh, by the way! Do you need anything?”

“Nothing!”

“Abeom told me that some useful items arrived at the warehouse. Do you want to check it out?”

“I’m good! I don’t want to feel obligated because of such small things.”

“Whenever you need the merchant group’s help, let us know. The doors are always open for Grandmaster Pyo Wol.”

“I’ll come by.”

“Really?”

“I’ll visit again later.”

“Hehe! I’ll be waiting.”

With her teeth missing, Noh Tae-tae revealed her gums as she smiled.

Pyo Wol stared at her for a moment, then stepped outside.

As soon as he stepped out, he tightened the hat affixed to his black blood robe.

Pyo Wol held a small bundle in his hand as he left the old manor.

He headed towards the Silver Lotus Hall.

Like the Golden Heavenly Hall, the Silver Lotus Hall also utilized a vast estate as their base.

The large estate had undergone numerous expansions, transforming into a fortress.

There had never been a situation like this in Kangho, with two factions facing each other across a vast lake.

Despite the late hour, the streets around the Silver Lotus Hall were bustling.

Most people here were martial artists.

Some of them were members of the Silver Lotus Hall, while others were waiting to enter the Silver Lotus Hall.

Among them were spies keeping a watch on the Silver Lotus Hall’s movements.

Thus, numerous people with concealed desires were staying on the same street.

Pyo Wol entered a large inn in front of the main gate of the Silver Lotus Hall.

As he took a seat by the window overlooking the Silver Lotus Hall, a waiter rushed over.

“Welcome. Would you like to order a meal?”

“Bring me some simple food.”

“Pork stir-fry and rice, then?”

“Yes! Also, run an errand for me.”

“An errand?”

The waiter looked at him, puzzled.

Pyo Wol spoke.

“There should be a man named Jo Seolpung in the Silver Lotus Hall. Tell him a guest has arrived.”

“Why would I?”

“Because you’re a member of the Hao Clan.”

“How did you…?”

The waiter’s pupils trembled. His hidden identity had been detected by Pyo Wol.

“My name is Pyo Wol.”

“Oh! Please wait a moment. I’ll deliver the message right away.”

Just the name ‘Pyo Wol’ explained everything.

The waiter rushed out, leaving Pyo Wol alone, staring at the Silver Lotus Hall.