Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 620

November 6, 2023 • 10 min read • 1395 views

Crackle! Flicker!

In a clearing in the middle of the forest, a bonfire was burning.

Facing each other in front of the fire were a woman with a cold demeanor and a man with an icy aura. They were none other than So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo.

As the flames began to die down, Song Cheonwoo threw in some twigs he had gathered earlier. This rekindled the fire’s power.

Gazing into the flames, Song Cheonwoo said,

“This brings back memories.”

“By memories, you mean the time we learned our survival skills in the underground cave?”

“Yes.”

“Not the fondest memory, so why think of it?”

So Yeowol looked at Song Cheonwoo with curiosity.

Poking the campfire with a large branch, Song Cheonwoo replied,

“Not a happy memory indeed, but lately I find myself thinking about it. If only we had had a better relationship with Pyo Wol back then. Or had we even joined forces, we might have had the full power of Guryongsalmak by now?

“Your premise is flawed.”

“Hmm?”

“Even if we had extended our hand, Pyo Wol would never have taken it. You know his nature.”

“I do, that’s why I said ‘if only’.”

“Under that assumption, our current situation would indeed be better. After all, he is the best assassin. We would have undoubtedly acquired the sharpest blade in the world.”

If they could have absorbed all of Pyo Wol’s achievements, the power of Guryongsalmak would have at least doubled.

With that kind of power, they wouldn’t be lurking around creating havoc in the land.

With Pyo Wol’s abilities, previously impossible tasks would become achievable.

Song Cheonwoo sighed deeply,

“It’s regrettable. Had I known, I would have tried harder to improve our relationship then.”

“It wouldn’t have made any difference. He never intended to work with us. To someone who’s perfectly adapted to the darkness like a snake, we must have seemed like a mere nuisance.

“A snake? Right, Pyo Wol is exactly like a snake. No, he IS a snake.”

“Exactly! A snake doesn’t understand the concept of allies or friends. Everything in its sight is just prey. You don’t shake hands with a snake. It’s better to throw it into the fire.

Thud!

So Yeowol tossed another branch into the campfire, staring blankly at the soaring flames.

A heavy silence enveloped both of them.

The silence was finally broken by a man who suddenly emerged from the darkness.

Without a sound, the man knelt in front of So Yeowol, announcing,

“Master! The target has entered the inn we prepared.”

“Which inn?”

“The one run by the old man, Gam. We have taken control of it now.”

“That inn? You’re saying Pyo Wol is there?”

“Yes. He dined there and has now retired for the night.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes! One of our men, disguised as the innkeeper instead of Old Man Gam, confirmed it.”

“And he doesn’t suspect anything?”

“There’s no sign of suspicion.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!”

The man lowered his head as he responded.

So Yeowol furrowed her brows, deep in thought.

Song Cheonwoo asked her,

“Why the concern? He doesn’t doubt you at all.”

“That makes it even more suspicious. Would such a snake-like man just accept it?”

“Even he is human. Every human has flaws.”

“Hmm!”

“Didn’t you prepare thoroughly so that he wouldn’t suspect anything? No matter how keen his insight, it’s not easy to see through to the truth.”

Despite Song Cheonwoo’s reassurance, So Yeowol’s furrowed brow showed no sign of relaxation.

It was only a few days ago that they had learned of Pyo Wol’s whereabouts.

She never anticipated that Pyo Wol would be staying near the Shaolin Temple in Deng Feng County.

By the time she and her followers arrived nearby, Pyo Wol and his group were about to leave Deng Feng county.

There was no time for preparations.

Fortunately, Soma moved very slowly to balance his physical imbalances.

This gave them a slight chance to spread out the Heavenly Net.

Her intention with the Heavenly Net was to eliminate Pyo Wol.

So Yeowol didn’t just gather a large group of people for a simple chase; she planned to use a specialized Heavenly Net, tailored only for Pyo Wol.

She had thoroughly studied Pyo Wol’s personality, martial arts skills, and habits.

Perhaps So Yeowol knew even more about him than Pyo Wol himself did.

The only problem was the lack of time to set the trap perfectly.

She painstakingly set the surveillance network at the crossroads, but if Pyo Wol changed his route midway, all would be in vain.

So she had him closely watched.

Methods like distant, close, and direct observation were employed.

One of her subordinates spoke,

“So far, there has been no sign of him noticing anything. Please don’t worry too much.

“Our opponent is Pyo Wol.”

“But still…”

“Tell the innkeeper, who is acting as our contact, to just observe and not to rush in.

“Understood. Also…”

“What now?”

“The young boy who was with him suddenly left the inn.”

“Why?”

“I couldn’t determine the exact reason, but it seemed to be an urgent matter. The hasty departure suggests it wasn’t just a minor disturbance.”

“Hmm! Are you talking about the boy named Soma?”

So Yeowol rubbed her chin with her pale fingers.

She had already gathered ample information about Soma.

She was aware of his lineage and his connection to Pyo Wol. However, the answer from her subordinate was unexpected.

“I don’t think so.”

“What?”

“Soma looks about eighteen years old, but the boy who was with him looked around sixteen.”

“What do you mean?”

“It seems that he parted ways with Soma at some point and is now traveling with a different child.”

“Are you sure?”

“It’s the only explanation that makes sense.”

“Hmm!”

So Yeowol’s face was etched with confusion.

The new information didn’t align with what she knew so far.

“Check on that again. Confirm whether the child he’s traveling with is indeed someone different, and if so, find out why the switch occurred.”

“Understood.”

“By the way!”

“Yes?”

“What did Pyo Wol have for dinner?”

“Why do you ask?”

The subordinate looked at So Yeowol with a questioning expression. But when he saw the coldness in her eyes, he quickly lowered his head and answered.

“Fruits, rice, and Dongpo Pork.”

“Dongpo Pork? He ordered Dongpo Pork?”

So Yeowol leapt up from her seat.

The suddenness of her action startled her subordinate.

“Yes! Is something amiss?”

“Are you certain Pyo Wol ordered Dongpo Pork?”

“Yes!”

“And the innkeeper provided it?”

“Yes.”

“Ah!”

So Yeowol let out a deep sigh.

Song Cheonwoo looked at her, puzzled.

“What’s wrong?”

“He’s onto us.”

“What do you mean? Aren’t you overreacting? How could he have realized?”

“Dongpo Pork!”

“What about it?”

Song Cheonwoo blinked, not understanding. The frustration in So Yeowol’s eyes was obvious.
Suppressing her irritation, she explained,

“Dongpo pork is a dish that takes a long time to prepare. It’s also greasy, the kind of food an assassin would avoid. Especially someone as meticulous about his health as Pyo Wol would never crave it. And yet he orders it?”

“So, you mean…”

“He did it on purpose.”

“My God!”

Only then did Song Cheonwoo grasp the gravity of the situation,

His face turned grave.

The realization of the situation’s gravity finally dawned on Song Cheonwoo, causing his expression to darken.

Who would have thought that the simple act of ordering Dongpo pork would carry so much meaning?

Whether it was Pyo Wol, who seemingly ordered Dongpo pork as a calculated move because he noticed something wrong, or So Yeowol, who perceived the hidden narrative from the mere mention of the dish, both seemed almost superhuman in their insights.

It was a testament to their extraordinary acumen and perception.

With a grave expression, Song Cheobwoo said,

“So, you think Pyo Wol has caught on?”

“Yes! Right now, he’s probably assessing the owner’s reaction and plotting his next move.”

“Damn it!”

With a surge of emotion, Song Cheonwoo kicked the campfire, sending embers flying in all directions.

In contrast, So Yeowol was deep in thought, her pale fingers gently caressing her chin.

Her ability to think rationally without being overwhelmed by emotion was one of her defining traits.

‘Pyo Wol definitely suspects something is off. But he likely doesn’t know of my involvement yet.’

She hadn’t even used enough of her power to reveal herself and Guryongsalmak.

Even if he knew there was something strange about the innkeeper, he probably hadn’t connected it to her.

‘However, he will certainly be on guard.’

Pyo Wol was naturally a suspicious character.

It was this very trait that allowed him to survive alone in the treacherous underground cave.

‘After all their precautions, he still noticed it. Pyo Wol, you are truly formidable!’

But there was no time for admiration. The more time they wasted, the more time they inadvertently gave Pyo Wol to prepare.

A decision needed to be made quickly.

Turning to Subordinate, So Yeowol instructed,

“Leave the innkeeper for now.”

“Shouldn’t we evacuate him?”

“No! Doing so would only reveal that we’re onto them. Pyo Wol doesn’t know we’re aware. We should use this to our advantage.”

“Hmm!”

“Accelerate the establishment of the Heavenly Net. Double check the deployment of our forces, and put those sent from the Golden Heavenly Hall in the front.”

“Understood.”

As Song Cheonwoo nodded in response, So Yeowol ordered her subordinate,

“From now on, no direct observations or encounters with Pyo Wol. Monitor him from a distance and pass the word to the rest.”

“Yes, Chief!”

The subordinate disappeared after acknowledging the order.

So Yeowol murmured to herself, looking up at the night sky,

“Even if you’ve noticed, Pyo Wol, nothing will change.”
***
Pyo Wol and Hong Ye-seol lay together on the bed, bare-skinned.

Hong Ye-seol was breathing heavily, covered only by a thin quilt.

Pyo Wol, cradling Hong Ye-seol, gazed at the ceiling.

Suddenly, a hint of realization flashed in his eyes.

‘He’s gone.’

Not long ago, there was a prying gaze from a hole in the wall, intensely watching the inside of his room.

The innkeeper was behind that gaze.

Although the innkeeper tried his best to be discreet, Pyo Wol had immediately noticed his surreptitious stare.

The peephole was strategically placed for optimal viewing.

However, by strategically placing his belongings in front of it, Pyo Wol had obstructed most of the view.

Thus, the innkeeper could only see the upper halves of Pyo Wol and Hong Ye-seol.

The innkeeper had involuntarily become aroused by the sounds and sights, his breathing betraying his excitement.

From that breathing, Pyo Wol deduced his emotional state and actions.

So engrossed was the innkeeper that he failed to realize Pyo Wol had noticed his spying.

The intense gaze that had been on them moments ago had disappeared.

‘Did he receive new orders?’

Voyeurism, especially witnessing intimate acts, wasn’t easily controlled.

The innkeeper had been clearly engrossed. It was unlikely he left of his own volition.

So Yeowol must have given him some directive.

‘Did she catch on?’

The possibility crossed his mind.

After all, So Yeowol’s perception was as keen as his own

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