Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 563

September 27, 2023 • 11 min read • 647 views

King Gujin’s head lost its body and flew into the air.

The head hovering in the air met Pyo Wol’s gaze for a moment.

King Gujin wore a look of confusion.

He didn’t even realize what had happened to him.

That was the end of King Gujin.

Thump! Tumble!

King Gujin’s head rolled like a ball on the ground and stopped at Pyo Wol’s feet.

Pyo Wol looked to where King Gujin’s body lay.

A small boy appeared from behind King Gujin’s large torso.

The boy waved at Pyo Wol.

“Brother!”

The boy waved both hands and ran like a puppy.

A glint appeared in Pyo Wol’s eyes as he watched.

The boy appeared to be no more than seventeen or eighteen, yet he was rushing over with an innocent smile.

“Brother!”

“So…ma.”

Pyo Wol quickly identified the boy.

It was Soma.

In a flash, Soma, who had approached Pyo Wol, hugged him tightly.

While stroking Soma’s head, Pyo Wol asked.

“What happened? When did you come down from Mt. Wudang?”

“A few days ago. I rushed here as soon as I came down from Wudang Mountain. How have you been, brother?”

“As you can see…”

Heehee! You’ve been well? Oh, wait a second…”

Soma slipped out of Pyo Wol’s arms and ran back to King Gujin’s corpse, snatching the Gongpo from his hand.

“Heehee! I finally found it.”

Soma happily held up the Gongpo.

He had finally reclaimed what King Gujin had stolen from him so long ago.

Pyo Wol told Soma,

“While you’re at it, bring the other sword as well.”

“Okay!”

Nodding, Soma took the Golden Emperor from King Gujin’s corpse.

The Golden Emperor was as good as the Gongpo. However, Soma didn’t even give it a glance.

It wasn’t his to covet in the first place.

“Here!”

Soma readily handed over the Golden Emperor to Pyo Wol.

Pyo Wol asked Soma,

“How did you find King Gujin? Did you know he’d be here?”

“No, I came looking for you, brother.”

“How?”

“I asked around at Hao Clan.”

“Really?”

“Yep! Big brother Hong said that you might be somewhere around Poyang Lake. So, I kept my eyes wide open, watching the night street.”

“Did you know when I would show up?”

“I didn’t know! But we met, didn’t we? Isn’t that enough?”

“Right! That’s enough.”

“Hehe!”

Soma laughed with a happy heart. He strapped the Gongpo to his waist as if vowing never to lose it again.

Despite being apart for quite a while, Soma hadn’t changed a bit.

Pyo Wol asked,

“What about the One Sword master?”

“Still the same!”

“What is?”

“Still nagging a lot, always correcting.”

“Really?”

“You wouldn’t believe how energetic he is; he still flies around.”

“So, did you learn a lot?”

“Heehe! He said I won’t go crazy and die now.”

“That’s good.”

Pyo Wol nodded.

Il-Geom Jin was the highest-ranking elder in the Wudang Sect.

He had taken pity on Soma and taken him under his wing.

Although he wasn’t formally accepted into the Wudang sect, he taught him the martial arts he knew and helped to discipline Soma’s mind.

As a result, Soma’s killing intent was greatly diminished. His temperament hadn’t changed completely, but he had a much softer aura than before.

Pyo Wol stared at Soma for a while before picking up King Gujin’s head.

Even though he was dead, King Gujin’s face was still fearsome.

Pyo Wol put the head in a leather bag he had prepared in advance.

“Let’s go!”

“Where to?”

Soma asked with a puzzled look.

Pyo Wol, holding the leather bag, replied,

“To the Je-won merchant group.”

“May Noh Tae-tae’s soul rest in peace.”

“She must have gone to a better place.”

Visitors at the Je-won merchant group were unceasing.

Although they had recently become completely isolated from the Kangho, their influence and network in the Poyang Lake region hadn’t completely disappeared.

Noh Tae-tae, in particular, had secretly done many favors after retiring from the front line.

She distributed wealth to those in need, and sent doctors to the sick.

For children who needed work, she sent them to the Je-won trading group and the courier station to do various jobs.

There were countless people who benefited from her kindness.

As soon as the news of Noh Tae-tae’s death spread, those who had received her favors came to pay their respects.

The procession was over ten li long.

The Je-won merchant group did not hold a formal funeral. They wanted to wait for Pyo Wol’s return before starting any funeral rites. Nevertheless, people kept coming to pay their respects.
In the end, the Je-won merchant group had to open their main gates to receive those who came to mourn.

“Sob!”

“To think she would leave us so abruptly…”

Sobs burst out among those queuing to pay their respects.

The crying quickly spread and infected the others.

“Noh Tae-tae! You can’t leave us like this.”

“What is happening? Those filthy martial artists. To have killed Noh Tae-tae like this…”

“Why does someone as noble as Noh Tae-tae have to die because of the quarrels of those martial artists?”

Those who had been crying blamed the martial artists.

Ever since the Great War of Kangho, people living near Po-yang Lake had not slept soundly for even a single day.

The fear of being caught and killed in a battle between the martial artists tormented them.

Fear of the martial artists’ influence had kept them silent until now. But with Noh Tae-tae’s death, their anger exploded.

Now people no longer paid attention to martial artists.

Instead, the martial artists who had come to mourn had to watch the reactions of the people.

No matter how powerful the martial artists were, they couldn’t live alone.

The world that the martial artists lived in was called Kangho, but it was not entirely separate from the world where ordinary people lived.

A world where only martial artists lived, without ordinary people, did not exist.

So even the mightiest sects had to consider the mood of the people and act accordingly.

The martial artists who had come to mourn lowered their heads or looked elsewhere under the sharp gazes of the people.

“Sigh!”

“It’s like sitting on a bed of thorns.”

The mourning martial artists muttered in secret.

This was the first time they’d been stared at like this.

On any other day, they would have been angry, but they couldn’t argue with others while paying their respects to the revered Noh Tae-tae.

Just then,

“Huh?”

“What’s going on?”

Suddenly a commotion arose from the back of the morner’s procession.

All eyes turned to the back of the line.

Two young martial artists with an extraordinary aura and a dozen troops escorting them.

The moment people recognized them, their eyes widened in surprise.

Because they were so unexpected.

“The leader of the Golden Heavenly Hall, Jang…Grandmaster?”

“The one next to him is the young master of the Rain Mountain Manor, Jang Ho-yeon.”

“Wow! They came to pay their respects?”

The crowd was taken aback.

Jang Mugak and Jang Ho-yeon were pivotal figures in the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Jang Mugak, the leader of the Golden Heavenly Hall, was a man who needed no introduction, and even Jang Ho-yeon was so vital that it was said that the Golden Heavenly Hall could not function without him.

Both of them, unsurpassed in martial arts as well as their backgrounds, could be considered the cream of the martial arts world.

The crowd held its breath at the arrival of these two important figures.

Their direct involvement meant that the condolence visit was an official stance of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Until now, the Je-won merchant group had drawn a clear line between itself and the murim world, maintaining a policy of non-interference. However, it was evident that, using the condolence visit as a pretext, they intended to exert their influence.

Upon hearing the news of their arrival, the Chief Steward of the Je-won merchant group rushed out in a hurry.

His face was a mask of bewilderment.

He had never expected them to appear.

At best, he thought that the Golden Heavenly Hall would send their chief steward; he had no idea that the Grandmaster and Jang Hoyeon would make the trip themselves.

But the surprises were not over yet.

“What!”

“What, what’s happening?”

There was a commotion from the opposite direction.

Everyone’s gaze naturally drifted that way.

“Hmm!”

The Chief Steward’s eyes shook wildly.

A young martial artist with a hearty appearance and a young woman who exuded an elegant and mysterious aura.

It was none other than Lee Geom-han, the Grandmaster of the Silver Lotus Hall, and his lover, Namgung Seol.

The two casually strolled in, drawing everyone’s attention.

Their appearance made everyone, including the chief steward, gulp down their dry saliva.

Because the protagonists of the Great Kangho War at Lake Poyang were all gathered in one place.

It was the first time they had gathered in one place since the Great Kangho War began.
Lee Geom-han and Namgung Seol approached Jang Mugak and Jang Ho-yeon.

The first to speak was Lee Geomhan.

“What brings you here?”

“The most respected person in the Poyang Lake region has passed away, so of course I had to come and pay my respects. Isn’t that why you’re here too?”

“I couldn’t just pass by.”

At Lee Geom-han’s response, Jang Mugak nodded his head.

Everyone in Kangho knew that they had been rivals for a long time.

They were each backed by the Heavenly Martial Sect and the Mad Martial Sect, the top two
martial arts sects, and led the massive forces of the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall.

They were two individuals who could not help but be compared in various ways.

The appearance of the two left people on edge.

If they lost control and engaged in a sword fight, it would undoubtedly spell disaster.

Even without their backgrounds, they had the martial prowess to compete for the title of the world’s strongest.

If the two fought, there would be no one to stop them.

That’s why people watched their confrontation with tense expressions.

With everyone’s attention, Lee Geom-han spoke.

“Shall you go in first? Or shall I?”

“Let’s just go in together and not bother anyone else”.

“That doesn’t sound bad.”

At Jang Mugak’s suggestion, Lee Geom-han nodded his head.

Though he wanted to challenge Jang Mugak on the spot, it was inappropriate to cause a ruckus at someone else’s funeral.

The two men, side by side, entered the Je-won merchant group.

A long line of mourners stood there, but no one dared to tell them to wait their turn.

To incur their wrath here, they wouldn’t be able to live in Poyang Lake ever again.

Gulp!

People just swallowed their dry saliva as they watched the retreating figures of Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han entering the Je-won merchants’ group.

With Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han entering shoulder to shoulder, this time Jang Ho-yeon and Namgung Seol faced each other.

Jang Ho-yeon looked at Namgung Seol and said,

“It’s an honor to meet the legendary Thousand-Year Fox, Ms. Namgung.”

“I, too, am pleased to meet Jang Ho-yeon, the young master of the Rain Mountain Manor.”

The looks they exchanged were sharp as blades.

Their gazes piercing each other as if to bore right through each other.

Everyone knew that Jang Ho-yeon was essentially the operator of the Golden Heavenly Hall.
Similarly, ever since Lee Geom-han had become the new head of the Silver Lotus Hall,

Namgung Seol had risen to power.

They saw each other as fated enemies.

Thus, a subtle hostility was contained in their glances at each other.

However, given the occasion, they couldn’t show their true colors.

Namgung Seol spoke,

“Although our relationship may be strained, I hope we can put aside our long-standing emotions for today and honor the deceased.”

“I feel the same way.”

“Then let’s just leave the escorts behind and go inside.”

“Let’s do that.”

Jang Ho-yeon readily agreed.

Namgung Seol offered another proposal.

“How about a three-day truce in remembrance of Noh Tae-tae? What do you think?”

“A three-day truce, you say…”

“That’s at least enough to blur the suspicious eyes of the people, don’t you think?”

“I share your thoughts. Agreed.”

“Master Jang, you are similar to me in many ways. It would be much better if we were on the same side.”

“If that’s the case, how about switching sides from the Silver Lotus Hall to the Golden Heavily Hall?”

“Leaving Geomhan, I have no reason to go to the Golden Heavenly Hall.”

“Ha ha! Remember, the love between a man and a woman isn’t eternal. Think about it when your heart cools.

With a smirk, Jang Ho-yeon entered inside.

Namgung Seol, with a cold stare, watched his retreating figure.

‘Hmph! Let’s see how long you can maintain that smug attitude.’