Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 565

September 27, 2023 • 11 min read • 672 views

“Brother!”

When Pyo Wol left the headquarters of Je-won merchant group, Soma greeted him with a smile.

“Let’s go!”

“Yeah!”

Shoulder to shoulder, the two walked down the street.

Aside from the Je-won merchant group, bustling with mourners paying respects, the night streets were quiet.

“Hehe!”

Soma burst into laughter.

He was delighted to see Pyo Wol after such a long time. But, his laughter soon faded.

It was because of the people silently blocking their path.

Ten martial artists, all exuding extraordinary presence.

They stood, blocking Pyo Wol and Soma’s path.

As Pyo Wol silently observed them, one man stepped forward.

“There’s someone who wishes to see you.”

“……”

“We don’t want any trouble. So, it would be best if you followed us quietly.”

The man’s voice was incredibly deep, causing psychological pressure to anyone who heard it.

Not only was his voice deep, but the aura that subtly emanated from his body was also intense.

The aura was so potent that it felt like an iron wall standing in front of them.

The only reason the pressure didn’t cause them to buckle was that the opponents were Pyo Wol and Soma. Anyone else would have been unable to stand against the man’s aura.

Pyo Wol asked the man,

“What’s your name?”

“You wouldn’t know it, even if I told you. I haven’t been active in Kangho.”

“I still want to hear it.”

“My name is Lee Gi-myeong.”

“Are you from the Heavenly Martial Sect?”

“I have a connection, but I’m not from the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

“Looks like you were raised to protect Jang Mugak.”

“……”

Lee Gi-myeong remained silent.

His silence served as an answer.

The Heavenly Martial Sect had a tremendous force befitting its reputation. Yet, it couldn’t move freely.

This was because another superpower, the Mad Martial Sect, was keeping them in check.

If Heavenly Martial Sect made a move, Mad Martial Sect would correspondingly respond.

Unless willing to engage in an all-out war, mobilizing a large force was impossible.
The same applied to the Mad Martial Sect.

Their every move was monitored by the Heavenly Martial Sect. Therefore, they could not display their power recklessly in Kangho.

To evade the Mad Martial Sect’s surveillance, Heavenly Martial Sect established multiple decoy sects.

They sent key personnel and funded these decoy sects to nurture them.

Lee Gi-myeong was one such martial artist brought up in these decoy factions.

Recognized early on for his talent, he received the best nourishment and teachings. As a result, he could achieve accomplishments comparable to the brightest talents within the Heavenly Martial Sect.

For that reason, he held considerable pride in himself.

He asked,

“What will you do? I hope you will quietly comply.”

“If I refuse, will you force me to comply?”

“I truly hope it doesn’t come to that.”

His words were gentle, but they implied a readiness to resort to force if necessary.

Pyo Wol glanced at Lee Gi-myeong for a moment and then nodded.

“Alright! We’ll follow.”

“You’ve made a wise decision. I will take you to where the leader is.”

He led the way, and Pyo Wol and Soma followed. Then they walked on, with Lee Gi-myeong’s men surrounding them in a circle.”

Though surrounded by Lee Gi-myeong and his men, Soma’s expression showed no fear.

Instead, he chuckled and whispered to Pyo Wol.

“Why do these guys seem so angry?”

“You wouldn’t know since you’ve been with the Wudang Sect. Most martial artists in Kangho these days are like that.”

“Must be tiring. Tsk, tsk!”

Soma clucked his tongue and shook his head.

Unconsciously, the martial artists following them looked irritated by Soma’s attitude, but they bit their lips to suppress their emotions.

The destination they arrived at following Lee Gi-myeong was a small pavilion by the banks of Poyang Lake.

Jang Mugak and Jang Ho-yeon were standing in the pavilion.

Jang Mugak said to Pyo Wol,

“Welcome, it’s been a while.”

“So it has.”

Pyo Wol responded, removing his hat.

Looking at his face, now bathed in moonlight, Jang Mugak commented with a slight frown.

“You haven’t changed.”

“Neither have you.”

“Why did you kill King Gujin?”

“Do I have to tell you the reason?”

“I’m just personally curious. Your relationship with the Je-won group made me curious.

“I see no reason to share my personal affairs with you.”

“Hmm!”

Jang Mugak stroked his chin.

It had been a long time since he had seen Pyo Wol after their encounter at Jin Manor.

The Pyo Wol of then and the Pyo Wol of now were entirely different.

Even though Pyo Wol had always concealed his presence, Jang Mugak could always sense him.

Though Pyo Wol thought he had hidden everything, his sharp existence pierced through like a dagger. But things are different now.

Despite standing right before him, he couldn’t feel any presence at all.

It felt like a ghost was standing there.

His martial prowess had been transformed into another realm since their encounter at Jin Manor.

The fact that Pyo Wol made such progress in such a short time undoubtedly made him a dangerous existence.

At that time, Jang Mugak thought that Pyo Wol should be eliminated.

It was unthinkable that a man of Pyo Wol’s temperament, gaze and talent would serve under another. And even if he did serve, Jang Mugak considered it impossible to control him completely.

‘Tsk! If only that friend Dokgo Hwang hadn’t…’

Dokgo Hwang had tried to make Pyo Wol his subordinate.

That’s why Jang Mugak was unable to take decisive action.

Now, looking at the ever-evolving Pyo Wol, he somewhat regretted his decision back then.

Then Pyo Wol asked,

“What’s the reason for calling me here?”

“I have a proposal.”

“If it’s to join the Golden Heavenly Hall, I refuse.”

“Why? It won’t be a loss for you.”

“How will Dokgo Hwang take it? His woman died by my hand; do you think he’ll accept that?”

“If you give it time, I can persuade him. After all, he’s someone who can easily let go of personal feelings for the greater cause.”

“Can human emotions be controlled so easily?”

“What can’t be done? Aren’t you living like that? It all depends on your mindset. Especially for people like us who can control our emotions well, it’s not that difficult.”

“I refuse.”

“So, you won’t reconsider?”

“You didn’t expect me to accept in the first place, did you?”

At Pyo Wol’s words, Jang Mugak slightly nodded his head.

“You’re as blunt as ever.”

“Some things should never change.”

“I’ll ask once more. What’s your relationship with the Je-won merchant group?”

“I thought I had already answered that. Why are you asking again?”

“Depending on your answer, I need to adjust my response.”

“You seem burdened by the Je-won merchant group?”

“It’s natural for those who have accumulated wealth to be a burden to those in power. Especially in times of chaos like now”.

The immense wealth of the Je-won merchant group was a great threat to the Golden Heavenly Hall.

With such immense wealth, a resource-rich group like the Je-won merchants combining forces with a mercenary assassin like Pyo Wol was cause for concern for Jang Mugak.

Pyo Wol spoke,

“I had a personal relationship with Noh Tae-tae.”

“Personal, you say?”

“That’s right!”

“Can you prove it?”

“No! Nor do I see a reason why I must.”

“I’ve always thought this, but you don’t seem to fear much, do you?”

“No, I fear a lot.”

“Really? That’s surprising.”

“That’s why I test the waters before I cross the bridge. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have survived until now”.

“A wise man indeed. I hope you will continue to make such wise decisions in the future.

“Whatever choices I make, it’s none of your concern.”

“That’s true. But you’d be wise to heed my words. If not for your own sake, then for the sake of those around you…”

Jang Mugak’s tone was very calm. But the content it carried was far from ordinary.

Pyo Wol could feel the hidden intent in his words, even the killing intent.

A chill ran down his spine.

Very few people had ever made him feel this way, and they were all the top masters of Kangho.
Jang Mugak had long been ranked among them. As to the exact extent of his achievements, only a direct confrontation could tell.

Without a change in expression, Pyo Wol replied.

“I’ll remember that.”

At his bland reply, Jang Mugak slightly furrowed his brows.

“That sword, is it Gongpo?”

Jang Ho-yeon’s voice reached their ears.

His gaze was fixed on the longsword hanging from Soma’s waist.

Soma replied cheerfully.

“Yeah! You’re right, brother! It was snatched away by Grandpa King Gujin, but I got it back this time.”

“Hand over the Gongpo to me. Then I’ll consider all past debts cleared.”

Jang Ho-yeon extended his hand towards Soma.

Looking back, all this started because of the sword Gongpo, which fell into Soma’s hands.

His father and the Master of Rain Mountain Manor, Jang Pyeongsan had a hobby of collecting famous swords.

To satisfy his insatiable desire for famous swords, his half-brother Jang Muyeon attempted to snatch Gongpo and lost his life in the process.

In order to avenge Jang Muyeon and retrieve Gongpo, Jang Ho-yeon entered Kangho, which eventually led him to connect with Jang Mugak and join the Golden Heavenly Hall.

All these absurd events occurred just because of that one sword. So he had to get his hands on it.

“Hand over the Gongpo to me.”

“I don’t want to.”

His face contorted at Soma’s single word.

“What did you just say?”

“I said I don’t want to. Gongpo is mine.”

“You seem to be unaware of the gravity of the situation. If you hand over the sword to me, you can live in peace. You won’t be dragged into the world of Kangho anymore, and you can live a comfortable life. Don’t you understand?

“I do! But I still don’t want to.”

“You!”

Jang Ho-yeon’s face turned purple with rage.

“How embarrassing it is for the heir of Rain Mountain Manor to try to snatch a sword from a child. If the people of Kangho found out, they would laugh heartily”.

A cheerful voice echoed out of the blue.

Jang Mugak and Jang Ho-yeon looked in the direction the voice came from.

A man and a woman were walking towards them.

“Lee… Lee Geom-han!”

“Namgung Seol!”

The newcomers were none other than Lee Geom-han and Namgung Seol, who had previously paid a visit to the Je-won merchant group.

At their appearance, Jang Ho-yeon quickly regained his composure.

Jang Mugak spoke as he looked at them.

“You’ve come as well, I see.”

“If he sides with you guys, we’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

Lee Geom-han replied casually.

“So the world-renowned Lee Geom-han moves for a mere assassin?”

“Isn’t that the same for you?Let’s not hide our intentions from each other. We both know too well what a disgrace this is.”

“Disgrace, you say.”

“Let’s fight a fair battle. Isn’t the conflict between the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Silver Lotus Hall enough?”

“You are confident.”

“Before you, I can always be.”

Lee Geom-han leaned back, staring at Jang Mugak.

His laid-back demeanor irritated Jang Mugak, but he did not lash out or raise his voice in disgrace.

Lee Geom-han was his destined nemesis, chosen by the heavens.

He couldn’t afford to look bad in front of him.

Jang Mugak wore a cold smile.

“I wonder if that confidence will remain once the Silver Lotus Hall falls.”

“There’s no chance of that happening.”

Sparks seemed to fly between the two men.

Every exchange of words seemed to send ripples through the surrounding air.

Not only Jang Ho-yeon, but even Namgung Seol could not relax amidst the clash of their auras.

Pyo Wol glanced between the two men and opened his mouth.

“It seems this is no place for me. I will take my leave.

“Remember my words, Pyo Wol!”

“Don’t worry about this friend.”

Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han each threw in their parting words.

Pyo Wol retreated back with Soma.

Jang Ho-yeon and Namgung Seol looked on with regret.

‘I needed to take the Gongpo.’

‘I lost an excellent opportunity to get rid of that man.’

If they let Pyo Wol go now, who knows when such an opportunity would come again?

It was rare for Pyo Wol to expose himself in public like this.

But they couldn’t move rashly while Jang Mugak and Lee Geom-han were in the midst of their battle with the Auras.

And so, in their moment of hesitation, Pyo Wol and Soma disappeared into the darkness.

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