Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 553

September 25, 2023 • 11 min read • 742 views

Yong Geom-sang clenched his jaws.

Seeing this, the leaders of the Dragon Mountain Manor all bowed in unison.

Their faces were filled with a somber light.

In Yong Geom-sang’s hand was a crumpled letter.

He unfolded the letter and read it again.

“Ha-Sang is dead? The successor who will lead the Dragon Mountain Manor has tragically passed away? They expect me to believe this?”

Just a fortnight ago, he had received a letter from his son, saying he was well. But now, a letter announcing his son’s death was in his hand.

Crunch!

Unable to contain his emotion, Yong Geom-sang crumpled the letter again.

His eyes were bloodshot, filled with unshed tears.

A killing intent unfurled like a thread from Yong Geom-sang’s entire body, pressing down on the leaders.

The faces of the leaders turned ghostly pale.

“Please calm down, Master.”

“Lord of the Manor!”

The leaders pleaded with Yong Geom-sang.

Only then did Yong Geom-sang slowly retract the formidable aura he was emitting.

Yong Geomp-sang spoke, addressing the leaders.

“Is this true? Could this be a wrong message?”

“The confirmation shows it is indeed from the Silver Hall.”

“So you’re telling me, my son is dead. My son, the heir of Dragon Mountain Manor.”

“Our apologies.”

“I cannot believe this. I need to verify this with my own eyes. Summon the elites from the main Manor immediately.”

“Your command will be obeyed.”

The leaders echoed in unison.

The elite forces of the Dragon Mountain Manor numbered over a thousand.

Such a force invading the murim world would certainly cause havoc.

Inevitably, martial sects like the Heavenly Martial Sect, the Mad Martial Sect, and the Shaolin Temple would surely challenge them. For this reason, Dragon Mountain Manor was extremely cautious about using more than a certain amount of force.

Although Yong Geom-sang was known as the Iron Tyrant Dragon, symbolizing his domineering nature, he never recklessly relied on power alone.

Knowing that he could not stop ten hands with one, he had been extremely restrained in entering Kangho. However, he could not maintain his rationality in the face of his son’s death.

Although his words denied his son’s death, his mind considered the possibility that the contents of the letter might be true.

“If my son is indeed dead, I will kill all those involved without leaving a single one alive.”

At his roar, a colossal shockwave threatened to shatter the great hall.

“Cough!”

“Ugh!”

Even though the leaders of Dragon Mountain Manor possessed formidable martial arts, they couldn’t withstand the enraged roar of Yong Geom-sang.

His roaring continued for a considerable time.
***
A group of people gathered in an abandoned house in the remote mountains.

The long-deserted house with only its walls remaining, barely shielded them from the wind.

Those gathered in the house had kindled a bonfire in the center for warmth.

In the middle of the group sat a man with notably dark hair and thick eyebrows.

The man, warmed by the bonfire and draped in a leather mantle made from kyohair, was none other than Dokgo Hwang.

Those surrounding Dokgo Hwang were the elites of the Martial Sword Alliance.

Although more than ten men had gathered, no one spoke. Everyone remained silent, waiting for Dokgo Hwang to break the silence.

Dokgo Hwang, with his mouth firmly shut, stared at the blazing bonfire.

The bright flame cast deep shadows on his face.

Suddenly, he opened his mouth.

“Soso!”

She had always been by his side.

A woman who lived solely for him, who saw only him.

It was only now, when the thought of her absence came, that he felt as if a part of his heart had been hollowed out, and a profound sense of loss washed over him.

Now he realized.

How significant she had been to him.

Eom Soso no longer existed in this world.

It was Pyo Wol who took her from him.

Grit!

Dokgo Hwang gritted his teeth.

At his fury, his subordinates held their breath.

No one dared to speak up. They only stared at Dokgo Hwang.

That’s when it happened.

Thud!

Someone from outside rushed into the abandoned house.

It was a martial artist who seemed to be in his late thirties.

The martial artist knelt on one knee before Dokgo Hwang.

“I’ve found his trace.”

“Really?”

Dokgo Hwang sprang to his feet.

“Yes!”

“Where did you find it?”

“Not far from the Poyang Lake, it seems he’s been hiding.”

“Speak clearly.”

“It’s something I discovered while surveilling Namgung Wol from the Silver Lotus Hall.”

“Namgung Wol?”

“Yes! He’s close to Pyo Wol. He recently left the Silver Lotus Hall and I’ve been keeping a close eye on him. He left Poyang Lake and headed towards the upper stream of the Yangtze. So, I tracked him.”

“And the result?”

“I lost him. He suddenly disappeared in the forest upstream…”

“So?”

Dokgo Hwang’s eyes flickered with a Killing intent. Still, the subordinate’s face remained calm as he reported.

It was evidence of his confidence.

He continued speaking.

“After a whole day, he showed up again outside the forest.”

“Which means, during the time he disappeared, he must have made contact with Pyo Wol?”

“That’s right.”

“You’re not just guessing that Pyo Wol is there simply because of that, right?”

“I have information that there is a place called Sol Family Pavilion in the forest where Namgung Wol hid.”

“Sol Family Pavilion?”

“Yes! It seems like an ordinary manor, but it’s actually one of the assassin guilds.”

“Assassin Guild?”

“There’s a rumor that he has recently taken over the assassin guilds. If so, there’s a high probability that he’s using one of the assassin guilds as his base.”

“It makes sense.”

Dokgo Hwang nodded.

Over the past few days, he had left no stone unturned in his search for Pyo Wol. Despite that, Pyo Wol’s elusive nature meant that he still hadn’t found him.

“What’s the exact location of the Sol Family Pavilion?”

“I only found out that it’s in the forest, the precise location is unknown.”

“We’ll need to surround the entire forest and conduct a search then.”

“It might be worth a try.”

“The number of people we can mobilize currently?”

“About seven hundred.”

“That’s not enough.”

“What about asking the Golden Heavenly Hall for assistance?”

His subordinate cautiously proposed.

Dokgo Hwang, who had been contemplating for a moment, shook his head.

“No, we won’t inform the Golden Heavenly Hall. I don’t want to burden Mugak, who already has so much on his plate”.

“Understood.”

“We’ll handle this matter ourselves. Get everything ready.”

“Yes, I’ll arrange it.”

As he replied, the subordinate stood up.

Dokgo Hwang looked around at the other subordinates and spoke.

“Our rest time is over. From now on, we are hunting the reaper. He’s a cunning and cruel devil. A moment’s inattention and his blade will be at your throat. Never lower your guard. Understand?”

“Yes!”

The subordinates answered in unison.

Dokgo Hwang sharply swept his sleeve, and the burning campfire was instantly extinguished.

Leaving the abandoned house, Dokgo Hwang muttered to himself.

“Pyo Wol, I’ll grind your bones to dust.”

***

Pyo Wol left the front gate of the Sol Family Pavilion and walked to the edge of the cliff.

The majestic Yangtze River flowed below the sheer cliff.

Numerous boats were passing by on the river.

Most of them were small fishing boats, but some were relatively large.

They were cargo ships for transport, such as the Unmado river boat and the grain transport ship.

After staring at the boats for a while, Pyo Wol murmured.

“Yong Ha-sang is dead, huh?”

From the moment Namgung Wol mentioned the cause of Yong Ha-sang’s death, a face lingered in Pyo Wol’s mind.

“Go Il-won.”

Apart from Jang Mugak, the master of Golden Heavenly Hall, the only martial artist who came to mind as being capable of killing Yong Ha-sang was Go Il-won.

Lee Geom-han could do it too, but he had no reason to kill Yong Ha-sang and create chaos.

The first time he met Go Il-won, he had fired a harpoon at Pyo Wol from Hundreds of Zhang away.

If Pyo Wol’s martial arts had been any weaker or his reaction slower, the harpoon would have pierced his chest.

That’s why, when he heard about the puncture wound in Yong Ha-sang’s chest, he immediately thought of Go Il-won.

“Is he targeting me with this act?”

Go Il-won’s ultimate goal would undoubtedly be him. However, the problem was the method. Instead of attacking him directly, he chose to use the chaos of Kangho to turn the world into hell.

It was a wicked scheme beyond imagination.

But Pyo Wol wasn’t surprised or found it strange.

The identity of Guryongsalmak was exactly like Go Il-won’s personality.

They never expose themselves in the open.

They meticulously hide their appearance, causing chaos and profiting from it.

That’s how they’ve been sowing chaos in Kangho, and reaping enormous profits.

Although the leaders of Guryongsalmak and Noh Tae-tae died at Pyo Wol’s hands, their forces were still intact.

A considerable portion of the remaining power was taken by So Yeowol, and the core Ghost
Fleet was perfectly controlled by Go Il-won.

Although power was divided between the two, the basic tendencies didn’t change.

The same was true for Go Il-won.

Despite possessing a formidable force called the Ghost Fleet, he refrained from taking the front line.

He instigated chaos in the murim world and waited for the optimal moment to strike.

Pyo Wol’s gaze was fixed on the gently flowing Yangtze River.

‘Somewhere along that river, they are hiding.’

Pyo Wol’s eyes narrowed.

The Ghost Fleet’s ships were fundamentally large.

It was impossible for such massive ships to go unnoticed by the people.

‘There must be a hidden place that escapes people’s sight.’

Somewhere along the Yangtze river, there must exist a blessed harbor where several ships can anchor without being seen.

To catch Go Il-won, he must find their hideout first.

Then, there was a gentle touch that embraced Pyo Wol’s neck from behind.

The owner of the snow-white hand was none other than Hong Ye-Seol.

She whispered,

“What are you thinking about so deeply?”

“The one who killed Yong Ha-sang.”

“Do you know the person?”

“We’ve met once.”

“Does he hold a grudge against you?”

“I killed his family.”

“It’s enough reason to hold a grudge.”

Hong Ye-Seol stated flatly.

Being an assassin inevitably leads to garnering the resentment of others.

“If someone makes a profit by killing someone’s family and acquaintances without any grudge following, then that was actually a strange occurrence.”

“Seems like a dangerous individual. If you are thinking so deeply about it.”

“He possesses martial arts strong enough to kill Yong Ha-Sang and a powerful force that rivals the massive factions in the martial world.”

“Like the supreme leader of the Assassins’ Guild, even those who bear you a grudge are formidable.

Hong Ye-Seol’s red lips curved into a faint smile.

Any female martial artist of Kangho would have gone weak in the knees upon hearing Pyo Wol’s words. But Hong Ye-Seol was no ordinary woman.

She was a unique existence that reached the pinnacle of assassins with a woman’s body.

Having cut through the most ferocious battlefield, her courage was exceptional. That’s why she was neither intimidated nor frightened by Pyo Wol’s words.

Pyo Wol chuckled and grabbed the hand Hong Ye-seol had wrapped around his neck.

Then it happened.

Whooosh!

Suddenly, intense flames erupted from the other side of the forest.

Pyo Wol and Hong Ye-Seol looked at each other.

It was a distant blaze, but they felt as if someone had set fire to the Sol Family Pavilion with malicious intent.

Such an intense flame occurring naturally was by no means common.

Moreover, this place was extremely deserted.

Unless someone intentionally set the fire, there was no reason for such intense flames to rise.

Pyo Wol muttered.

“An attack.”

“Do you think it’s the one who killed Yong Ha-Sang?”

“It can’t be.”

“Why do you think so?”

“It’s not their style.”

Specifically, it wasn’t the style of Guryongsalmak or the Ghost Fleet.

They revealed themselves when the opponent was cornered and had no strength left to resist, not by launching an aggressive attack from the start.

The fire rapidly spread throughout the forest and approached the Sol Family Pavilion.

Pyo Wol spoke to Hong Ye-Seol.

“Gather everyone who’s left in the Sol Family Pavilion.”

“Yes!”