Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 564

September 27, 2023 • 12 min read • 638 views

The appearance of Jang Mugak, Lee Geom-han, Jang Ho-yeon, and Namgung Seol turned the Je-won merchant group upside down.

They had expected a quiet procession of mourners, but unexpectedly these high-profile people came together.

Furthermore, these four, who could never coexist, visited as though they had an arranged agreement, all arriving at the same time.

The Je-won merchant group was inevitably thrown into an emergency.

Left with no other choice, the leader of the Je-won merchant group, Joo Jang-hwan, had to personally come forward.

He took the lead and said

“I am Joo Jang-hwan, the master of the Je-won merchant group. I sincerely thank you four for coming despite your busy schedules.

“A great star of the Murim world has fallen, how could we not pay our respects? I apologise for our late arrival.”

The first to respond was Lee Geom-han.

Namgung Seol, standing beside him, added,

“Moreover, wasn’t Noh Tae-tae the great-grandmother of Jo Seolpung, a key figure in our hall? Given such an important person has passed, how could we, his associates, simply pass by? May her soul rest in peace.”

“Ah, yes!”

Joo Jang-hwan made a troubled expression.

There was no need to explicitly mention that Jo Seolpung belonged to the Silver Lotus Hall.

If Jang Mugak of the Golden Heavenly Hall bore resentment towards the Je-won merchant group because of this, it could become problematic.

Fortunately, neither Jang Mugak nor Jang Ho-yeon seemed visibly upset.

Jang Mugak took his turn to speak,

“I am Jang Mugak, the head of the Golden Heavenly Hall. Losing such a venerable figure in your clan must be heartbreaking. I hope she rests in peace.”

“Thank you, Master Jang.”

“We are here purely to offer our condolences today. Don’t mind us. There will be no disturbances, at least not here.”

“Ah!”

“But when do you plan to hold the funeral?”

“Well, about that…”

Joo Jang-hwan hesitated, unable to answer clearly.

Then, someone among the crowd stepped forward and spoke,

“I don’t plan to bury her until I’ve avenged my great-grandmother.”

“Hmm!”

Everyone fell silent at the unexpected reply.

The owner of the voice was Jo Seolpung, the grandson of Joo Jang-hwan and the great-grandson of the deceased, Noh Tae-tae.

Jo Seolpung looked at the four with bloodshot eyes.

Jang Mugak opened his mouth.

“The Wolf King, King Gujin is known to be a monster, is it possible to take revenge on him? If you want, I can help you.”

“He is a martial artist of the Silver Lotus Hall. It should be me, not you, who takes revenge.”

Lee Geom-han stepped forward to counter Jang Mugak.

If Jang Mugak were to avenge Noh Tae-tae, Jo Seolpung and the Je-won merchant group would owe him a debt. That would be a substantial loss for the Silver Lotus Hall.

The revenge must be taken by the Silver Lotus Hall: they couldn’t afford to provide a reason for the Golden Heavenly Hall to intervene.

Jang Mugak smiled and said.

“Is there a reason to distinguish between your side and mine in front of revenge? Everything is his choice.”

“You’ve really become quite the smooth talker since I last saw you. To be able to spin such sophistry without flinching.”

“You have become timid since we last met. How can a man who cannot even take revenge for his subordinate lead a great power?”

“Silver Lotus Hall is already tracking King Gujin.”

“So, you’re saying you haven’t caught him yet? I can see how incompetent Silver Lotus Hall is.”

“I’m curious to know how capable the Golden Heavenly Hall is. Did you perhaps shelter King Gujin?”

“Mind your words.”

Jang Mugak’s eyes became fierce.

In an instant, a tremendous surge of qi erupted. It caused all the objects in the hall to shake as if there had been an earthquake.

“Ugh!”

“Cough!”

The faces of the workers of the Je-won merchant group went pale.

They didn’t have the ability to withstand the qi of someone who had attained the level of Jang Mugak.

That’s when Lee Geom-han stepped forward and directly blocked Jang Mugak’s Qi.

“That’s enough.”

“Did you forget that you were the one who provoked me first?”

“If you hadn’t touched a nerve first, there would be no need to provoke.”

“You’re lucky this isn’t a battlefield, but a funeral hall.”

“If it had been, you would have died by my hands.”

Sparks seemed to fly between the two men.

No one dared to intervene.

At that moment, Jang Ho-yeon and Namgung Seol stepped next to them.

“It would be better to stop now.”

“This is a place to mourn the dead. Continuing this confrontation won’t earn you any praise”.

They each persuaded Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han.

Only then did the two men withdraw their Qi and stepped back.

The heated tension in the room began to cool down.

“Huuh!”

“That was close.”

The workers let out sighs of relief.

Namgung Seol whispered to Lee Geom-han.

“You were too hasty. You need to be a bit more composed.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just that seeing him after such a long time made my blood boil.

“I know. But now is the time to mourn, not to throw punches. We have agreed to a three-day truce with the Golden Heavenly Hall, so save your punches for after.”

“Three days, huh?”

“We must at least pretend to mourn for that period. That way, we won’t lose the people’s favor.”

“I understand.”

“Good.”

Namgung Seol smiled and looked forward.

Jang Ho-yeon was also smiling, having successfully persuaded Jang Muguk.

Joo Jang-hwan spoke to the four of them.

“Since you’ve come this far, please stay for a meal.”

“Thank you.”

“Let’s do that.”

Joo Jang-hwan instructed the workers to take the four of them to separate tables, well away from each other.

Only when they were seated far apart did Joo Jang-hwan let out a sigh of relief.

“Huuh! What on earth…”

His forehead was drenched in sweat, a testament to the tension he felt.

He had never imagined that the leaders of the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall would visit at the same time.

They had such a hostile relationship that it wouldn’t be strange if they got into a confrontation.

“Phew! Maybe I shouldn’t have accepted mourners at all.”

If he hadn’t received mourners, none of this would have happened. But it was hard to completely block out visitors who came without warning.

Jo Seolpung supported Joo Jang-hwan and asked.

“Are you alright?”

“Shouldn’t I be asking you this? Shouldn’t you be the one to go to the leader of the Silver Lotus Hall?”

“I can’t do that.”

“Hmm!”

“If I have a private conversation with the leader of the Silver Lotus Hall here, the Golden Heavenly Hall will think we have a close relationship. Unfortunately, I have to keep my distance.

“It must be tough for you.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Huh! Let’s gather our strength.”

“Yes!”

It felt as if they were sitting on a bed of thorns.

Just as they were about to return to their seats with a sigh,

“Master Joo!”

Suddenly, the chief steward burst into the room.

Their hearts sank as they wondered what issue had arisen now.

“What is it?”

“So-someone has come.”

“Who are you saying has come?”

Instead of answering, the chief steward turned his gaze towards the main gate.

Everyone present, including Joo Jang-hwan, directed their attention to the entrance.

It was strangely quiet.

There were so many people in and around the manor, but not a single one of them breathed a word.

While this was quite unusual, no one had the mind to think about it.

The energy flowing within the hall forced them into silence. They were too focused to even perceive this fact.

The eyes of Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han shone with a particularly icy light.

Of all the people there, they were the only ones who sensed and responded to this strange atmosphere.

It had been a long time since they had felt that tingling sensation in their fingertips.

Whoever it was, the person entering through the main gate was making them tense.

‘Who is it?’

‘What sort of person?’

A moment later, a black shadow revealed itself.

It was a figure, wearing a black hat pressed down over a dark robe.

Jang Mugak and Lee Geomhan froze the moment they saw him.

They recognized his identity at a glance.

‘The Reaper?’

‘Pyo Wol!’
Even though his face was obscured by the hat, they instinctively sensed it was Pyo Wol.

In the murim world, there was no other man who emanated such a unique, yet foreign aura.

“That man is…”

“Pyo Wol!”

Jang Ho-yeon and Namgung Seol also recognized Pyo Wol.

The moment they identified Pyo Wol, they tensed and prepared to move.

Not to mention Jang Ho-yeon, even Namgung Seol was on guard against Pyo Wol.

They both considered Pyo Wol a major hindrance to the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall, and thought the quickest path to self-preservation was his elimination.

At that moment, if Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han hadn’t intervened, they would have attacked Pyo Wol right away.

Jang Mugak raised his hand to stop Jang Ho-yeon’s movement, and Lee Geomhan grabbed Namgung Seol’s hand to calm her down.

‘Why?’

They looked at Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han with puzzled expressions. However, the two men merely shook their heads without saying a word.

In the meantime, Pyo Wol had made his way through the crowd and arrived at the platform where Noh Tae-tae’s memorial tablet was hung.

“Grandmaster…..Pyo!”

Jo Seolpung approached Pyo Wol with a hushed voice.

Pyo Wol silently handed him a leather pouch.

“What’s this?”

“Open it.”

At Pyo Wol’s quiet command, Jo Seolpung carefully opened the pouch. The face of the bulging-eyed King Gujin emerged.

“Could this be King Gujin?”

“Yes!”

“Thank you. I truly thank you. Now, my great-great-grandmother can rest in peace.”

Jo Seolpung bowed his head to Pyo Wol.

His shoulder, holding the leather pouch, started to tremble with a slight tremor.

Everyone’s gaze was fixed on Jo Seolpung.

They were curious as to why this man, who hadn’t changed his expression even in the face of giants such as Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han, was so shaken.

On the other hand, they also wanted to know the identity of the person who handed him the leather pouch.

They felt, from the atmosphere, that he was no ordinary person. Yet, his face, hidden under a hat, made it impossible to know his true identity.

Pyo Wol silently observed No Tae-tae’s memorial tablet.

No Tae-tae’s image was still vivid in his mind, and he found it hard to believe that she was gone from this world.

After a long gaze at the memorial tablet, Pyo Wol turned around to leave. As he did so, Jo Seolpung, Joo Jang-hwan, and all the members of the Je-won merchant group assumed a bowing posture towards his back. Then, on behalf of all, Joo Jang-hwan spoke.

“We are sincerely grateful for your assistance. We of the Je-won merchant group will never forget your kindness. Should you call upon us, all our warriors are ready to rush even to the depths of hell.”

Joo Jang-hwan refrained from mentioning Pyo Wol’s name.

He wanted to declare Pyo Wol as their benefactor, but he knew that it was not what Pyo Wol wanted.

Pyo Wol, unlike others, was not fond of publicizing his name.

He had intervened for No Tae-tae, not for the sake of gaining fame.

Knowing Pyo Wol’s mind, Joo Jang-hwan and Jo Seolpung silently uttered his name in their hearts.

Amidst everyone’s attention, Pyo Wol exited the Je-won merchant group.

As he disappeared, Jo Seolpung went to Noh Tae-tae’s memorial tablet with the leather pouch.

After briefly looking at the tablet, he took out the object from the pouch and placed it.

“What’s that?”

“It’s… it’s a human head.”

“What?”

The mourners were shocked.

They had never expected that the object in the leather pouch was a human head.

Placing a dead person’s head on the memorial of another dead person.

They were speechless.

Then someone spoke.

“It’s King Gujin. It’s definitely King Gujin’s head.”

“The Wolf King? Oh my God!”

“So, he brought the head of King Gujin, who killed Noh Tae-tae?”

“That’s unbelievable!”

Only then did the people understand what had happened and began to chatter.

Joo Jang-hwan and the members of the Je-won merchant all knelt before the tablet and spoke.

“We’ve avenged our mother. Please rest in peace now.”

“Rest in peace.”

“Sob!”

Only then did the Je-won merchant group clan members let out their pent-up tears.

Their cries transformed the atmosphere in the hall into one of solemnity.

All eyes were focused on the Je-won merchant group clan members and the offering on the tablet. Because of this, no one noticed that Jang Mugak, Lee Geom-han, and others had quietly slipped away.

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