Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 629

November 27, 2023 • 9 min read • 1002 views

The deaths of So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo led to the disintegration of Guryongsalmak.

The survivors of Guryongsalmak, having lost their leader, scattered in all directions.

The martial artists of the Golden Heavenly Hall, who had played a part in building the Grand Heavenly Net, were also thoroughly defeated. They fled without looking back, and there weren’t many survivors left.

It was a total defeat.

Pyo Wol watched as the members of Guryongsalmak and the martial artists of the Golden Heavenly Hall fled.

They had lost all their influence.

Reuniting the scattered martial artists of Guryongsalmak was impossible, and the surviving Golden Heavenly Hall martial artists were few.

They posed no threat to Pyo Wol and his party.

However, the Blood Demon Corps was different.

The Blood Demon Corps was a group of assassins nurtured with great care by So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo. Naturally, their loyalty to the two was unmatched.

Driven by a thirst for revenge for their leader, they attacked Pyo Wol and the assassins of Black Sect with fury.

Silence ensued.

Many fell.

Yet not a single scream was heard.

Blood splattered, and bodies piled up.

The blood of the fallen assassins formed streams on the ground.

The last Blood Demon was decapitated, and the battle of the Assassins came to an end.

There were no more living members of the Blood Demon Corps.

Though the battle ended, the losses suffered by Black Sect Assassins were enormous. Almost more than half of the assassins died in the conflict.

Pyo Wol issued orders to the ten blood assassins,

“Gather the dead and tend to the wounded.”

“As you command,”.

Pyo Wol then turned to Hong Ye-seol,

“Are you alright?”

“Some minor injuries, but nothing life-threatening,”.

A deep wound was evident on her left elbow, which, if any deeper, could have rendered her arm useless.

She tore off her sleeve and tied up the wound, then moved to inspect the other assassins.

It was an unexpected battle.

Even though they had won, the damages suffered by Black Sect Assassins were significant.

It would take a lot of time to gather the deceased and tend to the wounded.

After a brief pause, Pyo Wol approached Soma, Hwangbo Chiseung, and Nam Shin-woo,

“Is everyone alright?”

“We are, my lord!”

“I’m good, bro!”

“We’re fine,”

The three responded, though visibly in pain.

They had survived but sustained notable injuries and would need time to recuperate.

Pyo Wol let out a sigh.

But it was only for a moment before he returned to his usual cold face.

He walked over to where the bodies of So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo lay.

Their faces were exactly as they were in their final moments.

Even though he had ended a long-standing enmity, he did not feel at peace. Trapped in a whirlwind of complex emotions, Pyo Wol could only silently gaze at the two faces before him.

***
A tall man in his early to mid-thirties and an elderly man with a full beard sat around a campfire.

The middle-aged man, dressed in a deep crimson robe, exuded an enigmatic aura of dominance. As the old man looked at him, a myriad of emotions swirled in his eyes.

Suddenly, the middle-aged man lifted his head to look at the elderly man,

“Why aren’t you eating? Isn’t it to your taste?”

The skewered meat was cooking on the campfire, but neither touched it.

“Brother!”

“It seems you’re indeed full. When we were young, we often went hungry…”

The man mockingly addressing the elderly man was Jang Cheon-hwa, while the bearded elder was the revered Wind Saint Jang Cheon-sa.

Thanks to Jang Cheon-hwa’s rejuvenation technique, he looked much younger than Wind Saint.

Several jars of liquor lay at Wind Saint’s feet, but he didn’t touch a single one.

He bought them to get drunk, but he couldn’t bring himself to drink them.

All because he’d witnessed Jang Cheon-hwa’s relentless path of bloodshed.

Another martial arts expert had fallen to Jang Cheon-hwa’s might.

This expert, who rarely showed himself to the world, had no ambitions and deeply avoided worldly affairs. Hence, few even knew of his existence.

Jang Cheon-hwa sought him out and executed him.

For one simple reason: he might pose a threat in the future.

Wind Saint tried to dissuade Jang Cheon-hwa, but couldn’t halt his determination.

Ultimately, the expert lost his life at Jang Cheon-hwa’s hands, and the two were now camping not far from his abode.

Jang Cheon-hwa nonchalantly bit into a piece of freshly hunted wild boar.

Chew! Chew!

Wind Saint silently observed him, an almost suffocating silence enveloping them.

It was shattered by an unexpected voice,

“May I join you in this meal, Brother?”

Wind Saint, startled by the unfamiliar voice, leaped to his feet.

In contrast, Jang Cheon-hwa remained calm, seemingly anticipating the newcomer.

A martial artist in light attire, with a sword at his waist, had appeared by the fire, unnoticed.
Wind Saint looked at him in disbelief.

He had not sensed his approach, an unthinkable oversight given his expertise.

‘Could he be a more skilled martial artist than me?’

As Wind Saint squinted, the stranger smiled,

“It’s been a while, Wind Saint.”

“You know me?”

“How could I not recognize the renowned Wind Saint?”

The man’s smile deepened. Only then did Wind Saint recognize him.

“Could it be… Grandmaster Lee Cheong?”

“Indeed.”

Smiling, the man responded.

He was the legendary Sword King, Lee Cheong,

Accompanied by the Heavenly Martial Sect, he was the leader of Mad Martial Sect, famously known as the supreme martial artist of the land and the world’s greatest swordsman.

Jang Cheon-hwa’s lifelong nemesis had appeared.

“How did you?”

Wind Saint was speechless, his mouth agape in shock.

On the other hand, Jang Cheon-hwa remained nonchalant.

It was almost as if he knew that Lee Cheong would appear. He gestured to the seat across from him.

“Sit.”

“Thank you, brother!”

“Brother? What do you…”

Jang Cheon-hwa smirked.

Lee Cheong sat opposite him. Jang Cheon-hwa then passed him a skewered piece of meat.

“It’s good. Eat.”

“I was getting quite hungry anyway.”

“Why are you rushing around on an empty stomach?”

“It’s because of you, brother. You’re always elusive, making it hard for me to find time to eat.”

“Hmph! Why chase me? I’ll come to you when the time is right.”

“If I left you alone, wouldn’t more people perish?”

“So you’re personally intervening to prevent their deaths? You’re still so sentimental.”

Jang Cheon-hwa sneered at Lee Cheong, but the latter retorted without hesitation.

“But you, brother, are too desensitized.”

“In the Kangho filled with dangers, one can’t survive on sheer sentimentality alone.”

“With people like you, seeing everyone as enemies, is it any wonder that the Kangho is so dangerous?”

“Tsk!”

Jang Cheon-hwa clicked his tongue.

After a brief moment of observing Lee Cheong, he reached out. Two jars of liquor flew from Wind Saint’s feet to his grasp.

“Would you like a drink?”

“If it’s available, why not?”

“Let’s drink then.”

Jang Cheon-hwa handed one jar to Lee Cheong.

Lee Cheong unsealed the jug, releasing a strong aroma of alcohol.

He gulped it down without taking a breath.

So did Lee Cheong, guzzling it down as if he had been thirsty for ages.

“Ah, a fine liquor indeed.”

“My junior brother, Wind Saint, went through a lot to get this.”

“Thanks to Wind Saint, my thirst is quenched.”

Lee Cheong nodded appreciatively at Wind Saint.

“What..?”

Wind Saint stammered, struggling to grasp the situation.

Jang Cheon-hwa and Lee Cheong were adversaries.

They had been at odds for decades, sometimes fiercely.

Seeing his perplexity, Jang Cheon-hwa remarked,

“There’s no need to be so bewildered. Lee Cheong and I may be old foes, but we understand each other profoundly. Our battles have, strangely, fostered mutual respect. There might not be anyone else who knows Lee Cheong as I do, and the same goes for him knowing me.”

“Brother!”

“When my Master was defeated by Lee Gwak, if it weren’t for his mercy, I would not be here today. Despite knowing the truth, he spared my life. If he had harbored malice then, I would not exist now. Therefore, I too respect both him and Cheong, separate from my public stance.”
Jang Cheon-hwa’s face lit up with reverence as he mentioned Lee Gwak. He genuinely respected and feared Lee Gwak at the same time.

Lee Gwak’s legacy was indeed monumental, commanding respect even from his foes.

Lee Gwak once said that he would leave the affairs of future generations to those generations. Indeed, he never interfered in the matters of the times that followed him.

Out of respect for Lee Gwak, Jang Cheon-hwa refrained from showing any ambition until Lee Gwak fully retired from Kangho. Of course, to say he had no fear would be a lie.

It was only after this that Jang Cheon-hwa clashed with Lee Cheong.

They battled seven times; Jang Cheon-hwa was defeated six times and won only once.

Except for the two of them, only Pyo Wol knew of this secret of the martial world.

“And our next fight will be the eighth. Whichever the outcome, it will be our final duel,”

Jang Cheon-hwa gazed intently at Lee Cheong’s face.

Lee Cheong nodded, and replied,

“The loser will not be granted life.”

“You always had a way with words, which I appreciate.”

“I’ve always had a fondness for you too.”

“I’ve always been grateful to you. While my unworthy siblings turned their backs on me, you always showed concern for me.”

“Do you really think I did it because I genuinely cared? I kept an eye on you because I was unsure of what trouble you might cause.”

“Just like this time?”

“Exactly like this time.”

“Either way, what does it matter? With you around, my life was never lonely.”

“Same for me.”

“Without you, who will be by my side?”

“Don’t talk as if I’m already dead. It spoils the taste of the drink.”

With that, Lee Cheong glared at Jang Cheon-hwa and finished his drink. Jang Cheon-hwa also responded by emptying the jug of alcohol he held.

The moment the jug was emptied, Jang Cheon-hwa threw it to the ground.

Crash!

The jug shattered, scattering fragments everywhere.

Lee Cheong did the same.

Wiping his lips with his sleeve, he stood up,

“Now that we’re out of drinks, let’s begin our final duel.”

“Yes! Let’s get started, I was getting bored of it otherwise.”

Jang Cheon-hwa rolled up his sleeves and stood up as well.

The Wind Saint could only watch in silence, the sole witness to the duel of the two ultimate warriors.