Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 587

October 3, 2023 • 11 min read • 722 views

The economy of Sea Gate City was devastated by the fall of the Red Turban Association.

Ships full of cargo were coming in, but there were no workers to unload them.

The Red Turban Association was destroyed. However, not all the workers who belonged to it died. In fact, those who died were only a fraction of the total workforce.

Nevertheless, this happened because there was no governing body to manage the workers.

They had to send the appropriate number of workers to the docks and assign warehouses for the unloaded goods, but with the entire administration having evaporated, there was no control at all.

Where ten workers would have been enough, there were thirty, and some warehouses were overflowing with goods.

Unloading stopped and ships at sea were forced to wait endlessly for other ships to unload.

With neither people nor goods being unloaded from the ships, the economy of Sea Gate City was dealt a severe blow.

It was the greatest crisis Sea Gate City had faced in a century.

Therefore, the previously passive Sea Dragon Manor had to personally step forward to lead the workers.

For Tarha, it was a choice with no alternative.

Having settled in Sea Gate City, he had to ensure the economy functioned somehow.

As many warriors were mobilized to fill the void left by the Red Turban Association, the number of people available to Sea Dragon Manor was cut in half.

If it weren’t for the warriors dispatched by the Mara Law Sect, the situation would have been far more dire.

Pyo Wol left the Sea Dragon Manor alone.

The clutter in the manor made his head spin.

He needed a quiet place to organize his thoughts.

Soma stayed at Sea Dragon Manor to help Taemu Sang and Geom Yeong.

He wandered alone through the streets of Sea Gate City.

Since he had been here before, he knew the geography well.

Pyo Wol entered a guesthouse with a view of the sea.

“Welcome!”

The innkeeper greeted Pyo Wol cheerfully.

“Get me something simple to eat.”

“Yes! Just wait a moment.”

The innkeeper replied and dashed into the kitchen.

Pyo Wol took a seat by the window.

Beyond the window, the vast horizon was visible.

The sea was lined with ships waiting to unload their cargo at the harbor.

It was almost spectacular.

Pyo Wol had never seen so many ships lined up before. He had visited sea gate city before, but never this many ships so close to the dock.

Soon after, The innkeeper brought out the food.

“Here’s some fish soup and rice from today’s catch. Please eat it before it gets cold.”

“Thank you.”

“Hehe!”

The innkeeper giggled and returned to his place.

Pyo Wol picked up his chopsticks and began to eat.

The fish soup was extremely delicious.

Sea Gate City had long been famous for its fish dishes. Naturally, various cooking methods had developed, and fish soup was one of them.

Pyo Wol ate the fish soup little by little. But his mind was elsewhere.

‘Why, of all things, the Red Turban Association?’

He could understand why someone would target the Red Turban Association to blind and deafen Sea Dragon Manor.

If the Red Turban Society remained intact, they wouldn’t be able to operate freely in Sea Gate City.

The problem was that by attacking the Red Turban Association, they had revealed their existence.

Right now, Sea Gate City was in chaos, so no one would dare to look for them. However, once things calmed down, they would search with all their might. It would only be a matter of time before their hideout was discovered.

No matter how vast Sea Gate City’s coastline was, if searched thoroughly, their hideouts would eventually be found.

‘They must know this, too?’

Pyo Wol’s brows furrowed even deeper.

Something was stuck in his mind, like a tiny fish bone in his mouth.

His expression turned rigid, as if armored with an impenetrable shell.

That’s when it happened.

“Heh heh! What are you worrying about so much? It doesn’t suit you…”

A sudden and ominous voice intruded upon Pyo Wol’s ears.

Then, someone took a seat in front of Pyo Wol.

It was a man with a slightly hunched back.

The moment Pyo Wol recognized his face, his expression relaxed.

“So Geoksan?”

“You’re so engrossed in your thoughts that you didn’t even notice someone approaching? Had I been an enemy, you’d be dead by now.”

The one who sat down so naturally in front of Pyo Wol was So Geoksan.

Pyo Wol chuckled lightly.

“Had you shown the slightest hostility, you’d have been dead before even stepping into this inn.”

“Unlucky bastard.”

Despite his words, So Geoksan didn’t look offended at all.

So Geoksan’s appearance was unexpected for Pyo Wol as well.

Pyo Wol asked, “What brings you here?”

“I heard news in Taizhou that you had come here.”

“Taizhou?”

Pyo Wol wore a puzzled expression.

Taizhou was a city several hundred li up the Yangtze River from Sea Gate City.

It was a fairly large city. However, it was far from the area where So Geoksan was active.

Reading Pyo Wol’s thoughts, So Geoksan chuckled and said,

“I found traces of the Guryonsalmak there.”

“Guryonsalmak? Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

So Geoksan answered with confidence.

He had lost the Heavenly Flower Troupe, which was like his family to him, to Guryonsalmak.

Having sworn revenge, So Geoksan had been independently tracking Guryonsalmak.

“I found their tracks in Taizhou. I don’t know what they were doing there, but it’s clear that they were there until a month ago.

“You mean they’re not there now?”

“They’re elusive. Just when you think you’ve got their tail, they slip away.”

So Geoksan sighed in frustration.

Though New Moon Manor had fallen to Pyo Wol, Guryonsalmak’s power was not completely gone.

The remnants of Guryonsalmak were still scattered in various parts of Kangho.

So Geoksan was tracking them.

Having tracked them persistently, he came to Taizhou, where he learned that Pyo Wol had come to Sea Gate City.

That’s how So Geoksan came here.

He asked,

“Why are you here? The Red Turban Association suffered a great loss; does it have anything to do with you?”

“It’s the work of the Ghost Fleet.”

“The Ghost Fleet?”

“Yes! It’s one of Guryonsalmak’s organizations. It may even be related to the Guryonsalmak remnants you were chasing in Taizhou.”

“I want to hear more.”

Geoksan’s eyes glowed fiercely, like a predator stalking its prey.

Since losing the Heavenly Flower Troupe, he had become a hunter obsessed with revenge.

He would not let go of anyone even remotely connected to Guryonsalmak.

What surprised him most was that there were actually quite a few people who were related to the Guryongsalmak. And yet, the fact that they weren’t known to the rest of the world gave him the creeps.

Pyo Wol told So Geoksan about everything that had happened.

After hearing the entire story, So Geoksan exclaimed,

“New Moon Manor was Guryonsalmak’s headquarters? It’s astonishing.”

“They were hiding that well.”

“So So Yeowol escaped safely?”

“Yes! She’s probably collecting remnants of the Guryongsalmak as we speak.”

“That’s likely. Her ambition is immense. We should have killed her when she was in the underground chamber.”

“It wouldn’t have been easy. Song Cheonwoo was always by her side.”

“I don’t fear him. If I ever encounter that scoundrel, I will tear him apart with my own hands.”

“I wish it to be so as well.”

“The innkeeper!”

So Geoksan suddenly called out to The innkeeper.

“Yes?”

“Bring a bottle of the strongest liquor here…”

“Understood.”

The innkeeper complied and brought the most potent liquor from the inn.

So Geoksan poured the poison-like alcohol into his cup and gulped it down.

Pyo Wol silently watched So Geoksan as he drank.
***
A massive ship was making its way to Sea Gate City’s harbor.

“Wow!”

“What ship is that…”

The workers at Sea Gate City harbor were overwhelmed by the ship’s immense size.

It had been a long time since a ship of this magnitude had docked there.

The ship stretched over thirty zhang in length and over fifteen zhang in width. With a little exaggeration, it seemed like a small island was approaching.

“It’s… the Martial Sword Alliance.”

“My goodness!”

The workers were surprised to see the flag fluttering atop the mast.

The three prominent characters for “Martial Sword Alliance” were inscribed on the flag.

On the deck, formidable warriors emanated an extraordinary aura.

The laborers swallowed their dry spit.

“Why has the Martial Sword Alliance come here?”

“The Red Turban Association has just suffered a catastrophe, and now the Martial Sword Alliance is coming. Isn’t this a sign of real disaster?”

Even the workers in Sea Gate City knew how powerful the Martial Sword Alliance was.

The Martial Sword Alliance was the undisputed overlord of the southern martial world.

Their base, Haenam Island, was on a major shipping route frequented by many ships, so it was impossible not to know about them.

Although there were many ships waiting to dock at Sea Gate City’s harbor, no one dared to complain if the Martial Sword Alliance’s ship was given priority.

Anyone who displeased the Martial Sword Alliance might have to give up their business in the Southern Seas altogether.

And there, standing proudly at the bow of the Martial Sword Alliance ship, was a man.

The man, arms crossed, surveyed the pier below, his very presence exuding authority.

It was Dokgo Hwang.

Dokgo Hwang’s eyes were aflame, as if they could scorch the Sea Gate City with their fiery glow.

He opened his mouth.

“He is here, isn’t he?”

“We believe so,” a close aide cautiously responded.

They had come to Sea Gate City, chasing Pyo Wol.

Frankly, there was no evidence that Pyo Wol was in Sea Gate City.

Pyo Wol, disguising his route, had taken a ship and left no trace behind.

Because of that, even the Martial Sword Alliance had difficulty tracking him.

Then, they heard of the disaster that had befallen the Red Turban Association.

There was no evidence linking Pyo Wol to the incident, but Dokgo Hwang was immediately convinced that Pyo Wol was involved. So they went straight to Sea Gate City.

Boom!

Finally, the Martial Sword Alliance ship docked at Sea Gate City’s harbor.

Dokgo Hwang issued a command.

“Spread out and search for him. Miss not a single clue and bring back any information.”

“Yes!”

The martial artists replied and scattered across the Sea Gate City.

Dokgo Hwang watched them for a moment before returning to his cabin.

His private cabin was furnished with a wool-covered bed and a table with a bottle of liquor on one side.

Dokgo Hwang sat at the table and uncorked the bottle.

The thick scent of alcohol flowed from the bottle’s mouth.

It was a potent liquor, not commonly available in the market.

Glug, glug!

Dokgo Hwang poured the poison-like liquor into a cup.

Drinking three cups in quick succession without any side dishes, he started to feel the buzz.

“Pyo Wol, Jang Mugak!”

As the warmth of the alcohol washed over him, he thought of the two men.

Both had caused him an unbearable sense of humiliation.

Pyo Wol—it was somewhat understandable.

After all, they had never been on the same side to begin with.

Driven by his own ambition, he had tried to make Pyo Wol his subordinate, but Pyo Wol had never walked the same path as him.

But Jang Mugak was different.

Dokgo Hwang had thought of him as his most reliable comrade, someone who would stand by his side even if the sky fell, and someone he considered an equal.

Although he had taken control of the Martial Sword Alliance with Jang Mugak’s help, he still thought of himself and Jang Mugak as equals.

Such was his immense pride in himself. But that pride was shattered to pieces in his confrontation with Jang Mugak.

Jang Mugak had possessed martial prowess that was one level above his own.

The reason he had ever felt like an equal was only because Jang Mugak had been considerate of him.

This made him feel even more miserable.

It was a chilling, unbearable realization that he, of all people, had been the recipient of someone else’s consideration.

To drown out his misery, the Dokgo Hwang drank even more.

Soon the bottle was empty.

Just as Dokgo Hwang reached for a new bottle from the shelf,

“I’d like to share that drink with you.”

Suddenly, a voice came from outside the window.

Dokgo Hwang’s eyebrows twitched for an instant.

His cabin was facing the sea, and there was nowhere to stand outside. Yet, he had heard a voice.

He opened the window and there was a man with a sturdy figure, gripping the hull with his fingers and leaning against it.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Go Il-won,” the man replied.