Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 607

October 5, 2023 • 11 min read • 1573 views

Pyo Wol’s body soared into the air like a wild goose.

Just before falling off the top, he stepped on a protruding part of the cliff and jumped up again.

Whoosh!

Once more, Pyo Wol’s body flew into the air, and before falling, he used the cliff as a springboard to leap up again.

Pyo Wol climbed up the cliff and reached the top of the ravine in a flash. It was the same canyon that the Seven Stars Trading Group had passed through today.

Upon arriving at the top of the gorge, Pyo Wol looked straight ahead.

He was there.

A martial artist, standing casually with his arms folded.

He was the one who threw the sword into the place where the Seven Stars Trading Company was staying.

The moment Pyo Wol saw him, he felt a weight pressing down on him, and he was unable to breathe properly.

It was an overwhelming presence and pressure that he had never felt since he first appeared in Kangho.

The fact that an individual could have such a presence was unbelievable.

Compared to the martial artist before him, all the masters he had met so far were mere children.

“Who are you?”

Pyo Wol’s eyes narrowed.

He was fully prepared to unleash his Ghost Blades and the Soul Reaping at any moment.

By contrast, his opponent was relaxed.

Regardless of what he was thinking, his expression and demeanor were as relaxed as someone out for a stroll.

The martial artist extended his hand.

Squeak!

At that moment, from far away, the blade flew into his hand.

It was the same blade that Pyo Wol had deflected and sent crashing down earlier.

The blade had returned to the Martial Artist’s hand once again.

This was an incredible feat of Void Retrieval.

The distance from here to where the blade had crashed was over ten miles.

To retrieve his blade from such a distance with Void Retrieval was a technique so advanced that other martial artists wouldn’t even dare to attempt it.

Pyo Wol did not have the confidence to perform such a level of Void Retrieval.

Infinite Qi, a profound state of mind, and an unimaginable level of skill in manipulating one’s internal energy.

Naturally, Pyo Wol’s alertness had to increase.

Then the martial artist spoke.

“There’s no need to be so guarded. I just called you here for a casual chat.”

“You call this a mere invitation? We almost died because of it.”

“I knew you’d be able to stop it.”

“What if I hadn’t?”

“You did, didn’t you?”

Pyo Wol almost cursed at the martial artist’s nonchalant response.

He had to summon all his strength to block the blade he had thrown. If his internal energy had been mismanaged or lacking, he wouldn’t be standing here at all.

Seeing a flash of anger in Pyo Wol’s eyes, the martial artist chuckled, saying,

“Don’t strain your eyes like that. It’s scary.”

“You’re not used to lying.”

“Seems like you can see right through me. You’re as good as the rumors say. Haha!”

“You, who are you?”

“Who do you think I am?”

The mysterious martial artist approached Pyo Wol with a smile, walking as naturally as if he were strolling through the mountains at night.

Pyo Wol watched him in silence.

The man entered Pyo Wol’s space effortlessly, intruding into the territory Pyo Wol commanded.
Entering another master’s domain was possible only if one was equal or superior in martial skill.

In the current Kangho, only two individuals could enter Pyo Wol’s space so naturally.

One of them was the master of the Heavenly Martial Sect, Jang Cheon-hwa.

And the other…

“The Sword King, you must be the Sword King.”

“Correct. I am Lee Cheong.”

The martial artist nodded.

Pyo Wol felt a chill run down his spine.

He was facing one of Kangho’s most formidable figures.

The head of the Mad Martial Sect, one of the strongest sects, known as the Sword King, a peerless master who overshadowed even Jang Cheon-hwa and perhaps possessed even more superior martial arts.

A living calamity stood right before him.

“What brings the Sword King to this remote place?”

“I came to see you.”

“Me?”

“Yes. You are the reason I came here. I won’t harm you or the Seven Stars Trading Company, so there’s no need to be so guarded.”

“Considering you unleashed a blade that could have killed us, your words lack credibility.”

Pyo Wol’s sharp voice didn’t erase Lee Cheong’s smile.

“I wanted to know your abilities, so I pushed a bit.”

“So, have you learned what you wanted?”

“Definitely. It’s more than I could have imagined. Your skill is…….”

Pyo Wol frowned,

It wasn’t mockery but genuine admiration that radiated from his opponent.

This unexpected reaction left Pyo Wol disconcerted.

He would’ve understood if there was animosity, but instead, the other seemed to bear him goodwill.

Perhaps reading the turmoil in Pyo Wol’s gaze, Lee Cheong chuckled softly.

“No need to be puzzled. Seeing such an exceptional junior martial artist gives me joy.”

There was no trace of pretense in his voice or expression.

“Are you saying that you came all this way just to test my abilities?”

“That I did.”

“You seem to have quite a bit of free time.”

“There’s but one task for me. All else I’ve left to Geomhan and others, hence the leisure.”

Despite Pyo Wol’s sarcastic comment, Lee Cheong remained unfazed.

“The grandmaster of the Mad Martial Sect, and you say you only do one thing?”

“That’s right. Believe it or not, there’s only one thing I do.”

“And what’s that?”

“What do you think? You of all people should be able to guess.”

“…”

“If you know the reason why the Mad Martial Sect was established, the answer should be clear.

“To keep… Cheon-hwa. To keep Jang Cheonhwa in check.”

“Exactly. You’re smart.”

Lee Cheong wore an expression of genuine admiration, but Pyo Wol took no pleasure in the compliment.

“So you are only concerned with keeping Jang Cheon-hwa in check and do not care about the state of Kangho or its people?”

“Exactly.”

“Isn’t that neglect of duty?”

“Maybe, but I really can’t afford it. Even keeping him in check is overwhelming.”

“Why face him alone? Mobilizing the Mad Martial Sect would make things easier, wouldn’t it?”

“This would lead to a full-blown war. The skirmishes of the Golden Heavenly Hall or the Silver Lotus Hall would pale in comparison. I don’t want the world to fall into such chaos.”

“So you’ve been countering Jang Cheon-hwa on your own all this while?”

Instead of replying, Lee Cheong turned and began walking.

He headed straight for the end of the cliff.

There, amidst the gusting wind, Lee Cheong stood undeterred, surveying the world.

The world, immersed in darkness, was silent.

Were it not for the stars flooding the skies, one might have felt suffocated by the stillness.
Pyo Wol quietly watched Ichung.

After a long while of gazing at the world, Lee Cheong finally spoke…

“My father, Lee Gwak, was a hero who stopped the rebellion of the Celestial Demon Troupe. But he never thought of himself as a hero. He didn’t do anything extraordinary to earn that title, nor did he want to. He fought to survive and found himself in a position that others considered heroic. His attitude was closer to that of an ordinary citizen. That’s why even when he had the chance to kill Jang Cheon-hwa in his youth, he passed on the responsibility of keeping him in check to the next generation. And that responsibility fell to me”.

Lee Cheong’s voice was filled with respect for his father.

Starting as an ordinary martial artist, the journey to become a great hero was so brutal that ordinary people could not even imagine it.

Lee Gwak, like any other hero, overcame all adversity and stood tall at the peak of the martial world.

He was a colossal tree.

His influence dominated the entire Kangho for a long time.

During Lee Gwak’s prime, Jang Cheon-hwa did not dare to reveal his ambitions. It was only after Lee Gwak completely disappeared from Kangho that he showed his suppressed desire.

From then on, it became Lee Cheong’s responsibility to keep Jang Cheon-hwa in check.
Pyo Wol asked,

“Was the silence of Jang Cheon-hwa and the Heavenly Martial Sect because you had won so far?

“I fought seven times, won six, and lost once.”

Each time he lost, Jang Cheon-hwa chose to retreat and cultivate in seclusion.

Every time he came out of seclusion, he became stronger.

His talent was monstrous.

Lee Cheong thought himself talented, but Jang Cheon-hwa’s talent was downright demonic.

During his seclusion, Jang Cheon-hwa paid no attention to Kangho.

The one who acted in his place was Jang Mugak.

Lee Cheong, like his father Lee Gwak, did not worry about his children’s affairs. He believed the next generation should handle their own issues.

No, just dealing with Jang Cheon-hwa was so overwhelming that he couldn’t even pay attention to anything else.

He spent most of his life keeping Jang Cheon-hwa in check.

Naturally, he couldn’t pay attention to the Mad Martial Sect or Lee Geom-han.

“I briefly thought about it. What if my father had killed Jang Cheon-hwa at that time? Would my life have been very different?”

“Are you still acting childish at this age?”

“Childish? Perhaps. Anyway, this is why I have been unable to get involved in Kangho.”

“Why are you telling me this? I have nothing to do with you or Mad Martial Sect.”

“Because there is no one else to talk to about this, shall I say?”

Lee Cheong looked at Pyo Wol and gave a bitter smile.

He had many people around him. Trustworthy sons as well. But paradoxically, he could not say these words to them.

Pyo Wol, who had been looking at Lee Cheong for a moment, opened his mouth.

“You must be lonely.”

“Don’t you already feel it? The loneliness of standing alone at the peak…”

“…”

“Haha! Meeting you makes me sentimental for some reason. This was not what I came to say.”

“So what’s the real thing you want to say?”

“I want to ask you to take care of what comes next.”

“What comes next?”

“Yes, I want to ask for your help with what comes next,” said Lee Cheong, approaching Pyo Wol.

Pyo Wol looked at Lee Cheong without a word, seeing a hidden expression on his face that he hadn’t seen before.

Lee Cheong’s expression seemed very desperate.

It might have been Pyo Wol’s imagination, but he felt that his intuition was correct.

“Do you think you will lose in the fight against Jang Cheon-hwa?” Pyo Wol asked.

“We’ve fought seven times, and I’ve won six and lost once, right? I lost the last fight. He kept getting stronger, and in the end, he surpassed me. But back then, I managed to injure him enough to stop him. Now… I’m not sure.”

“So you’re asking me to do it for you, in case you lose.”

“I’m ashamed to admit it, but yes,” Lee Cheong answered honestly.

Pyo Wol thought this was unexpected.

Like himself, those who have risen to a high position in Kangho would never expose their weaknesses.

Revealing a weakness in Kangho is tantamount to handing over one’s lifeline to someone else.

Lee Cheong should know this fact.

Nevertheless, his words indicated that Lee Cheong felt a great sense of crisis.

The absolute martial artist who had created the blade imbued with Sword Qi and wielded the Victory Sword couldn’t guarantee victory, and was considering what might come next.

‘Does that mean Jang Cheon-hwa is that strong?’ Pyo Wol thought, suddenly feeling goosebumps on his arm.

The feeling came because Jang Cheon-hwa’s martial skills were beyond measure.

A fear underlined with excitement had taken control of Pyo Wol.

Lee Cheong looked intently at Pyo Wol and thought,

‘Young man! So young that he can overcome even his fears. My eyes were indeed correct.’

Admitting and accepting one’s fear was never easy, but Lee Cheong knew that these were the very people who could reach true heights.

It was a strength he himself lacked.

He might be weaker now, but he would eventually become stronger.

Lee Cheong asked, “Have your thoughts changed?”

“About what?”

“About thinking of yourself as an assassin.”

“That can never change. It’s my identity.”

“I thought so.”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because I want to hire you.”

“To hire me?”

“Yes! A formal request to the assassin Pyo Wol.”

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