Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 637

December 5, 2023 • 11 min read • 971 views

The scorching sun was shining down.

It felt like winter was turning into spring, but the season was already in preparation for the leap into summer.

Though it was the same sun, it felt particularly more intense at the seaside.

The sun’s rays reflected off the water and irritated people’s eyes.

Because of this, people living by the sea always squinted, otherwise the sun would damage their eyes.

People walking up and down the street frowned and looked up at the high wall of the manor blocking their path.

The manor didn’t even have a signboard.

The wall was at least three or four times the height of a man and stretched as far as the eye could see.

The manor had recently been built.

It was so vast that it would take at least an hour to walk around its wall.

“When did this manor get built?”

“I’m certain it wasn’t here just a few months ago.

“Unbelievable!”

People looked at the suddenly erected manor with a mix of curiosity and wonder.

They were aware that a new manor was being built, but they never imagined it would be completed in such a short time.

“Who could the owner be?”

“He doesn’t show his face…”

No one knew who owned the mansion or even who lived in it.

Rumors spread that a high official had taken up residence there, while others whispered that it was a deserted place. But nothing was certain.

The only thing they knew for sure was that the mansion was supported by Sea Dragon Manor, the most powerful maritime figure.

For some reason, Sea Dragon Manor had borne a significant cost in building the mansion.

At first, people thought that Sea Dragon Manor would move there. However, even after the estate was completed, the associates of Sea Dragon Manor didn’t leave their current residence.

This meant the new inhabitants of the estate weren’t from Sea Dragon Manor but other people.

People were extremely curious about the inhabitants of the new estate, but no one managed to find out who they were.

In the absence of any signboard, people began calling it the”Nameless Estate”, hoping someday its owner would reveal themselves.

Then, a man approached the main gate of the Nameless Estate.

He wore a bamboo hat that hid his face, but his build and glimpses of his skin suggested he was a young man.

Passersby expected him to be chased away, as everyone who approached out of curiosity was chased away in humiliation.

Contrary to expectations, the great gates of the mansion swung open and the man entered unhindered.

“What’s happening?”

“Who on earth is he?”

The onlookers were puzzled as they stared at the man’s retreating back.

Thud!

The gates of the Nameless Estate firmly shut again.

It was only then that the man removed his bamboo hat.

“Wow! This place is huge.”

It was Hong Yushin who admired the vastness of the estate.

He had seen many estates in his time wandering around Kangho, but none as vast as this one.

However, the estate seemed eerily vacant.

While other estates were adorned with grand pavilions, ponds, and carefully cultivated plants, with dozens of buildings, the Nameless Estate had almost none of these.

There were only about four structures that seemed inhabitable, and the rest of the space was filled with various facilities whose purposes were hard to discern.

The most notable of these was a structure that appeared to be an entire street of a city.

There were not just one or two of these replicated streets.

Hong Yushin was amazed,

“Did they replicate the streets of Poyang lake?”

“Why be amazed by that? If you see the underground, you’ll probably faint.”

At that moment, a woman in red silk approached him.

“Ah! Young Master Hong.”

Hong Yushin instantly recognized her.

It was Hong Ye-seol.

“Welcome. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“It feels like it’s been months since we last met. Have you been well?”

“As you can see, I’ve been doing well.”

“That’s a relief. But what are all these things? Why have you created such installations in the garden?”

“Because they’re needed, so I set them up.”

“Do you perhaps have more of these installations underground?”

“Maybe.”

Hong Ye-seol smiled ambiguously at the end of her sentence. But just from her expression, Hong Yushin could tell that his guess was correct.

“What in the world…”

He shook his head as he followed Hong Ye-seol.

Although it was broad daylight, there was no sign of anyone in the garden. But Hong Yushin knew.

He knew there were people inside the garden.

And quite a number of them were residing within the garden.

The fact that there was no sign of them indicated that they were moving discreetly.

Hong Ye-seol led Hong Yushin to the main hall.

“You must step only where I step. Otherwise, the mechanism will activate.”

“You’ve installed mechanisms?”

“I’ve only installed simple ones. There wasn’t much time.”

“You’ve built such a place in such a short time.”

“If it wasn’t for the support of the grandmaster, it would’ve been impossible.”

Hong Ye-seol smiled.

While Pyo Wol and Hong Ye-seol and others were passing through Shaolin and the Wudang Sect, the Grandmaster of Sea Dragon Manor, Tarha, gave them this magnificent estate on the outskirts of Sea Gate City.

There was an existing estate, but it was too small for the Black Sect’s assassins to reside. Hence, a new vast estate was built.

Pyo Wol brought all the assassins of the Black Sect here, and they’ve stayed ever since. They’ve been training and honing their martial arts skills underground.

That’s why, despite visiting several times, Hong Yushin had never seen Pyo Wol’s face.

“Will I be able to see him today?”

“You came at the right time. He came out today.”

“Really?”

Hong Yushin was excited.

Pyo Wol’s quarters were inside the largest hall, but it didn’t occupy the entire space.

As soon as Hong Yushin entered the hall, he felt a suffocating atmosphere, as if he had stepped into a sealed room.

Although he was the chief inspector of the Hao Clan and possessed formidable martial arts skills, even he felt considerable pressure in the silence of the hall.

The hall was pitch black without any lanterns, and there was no sound.

It felt as if no one was there.

But Hong Yushin knew better.

Although invisible, many eyes were watching him.

It wasn’t a mere suspicion, but a certainty.

The tingling sensation on his skin only strengthened his conviction.

He suddenly became curious.

‘Just how many of these assassins are hidden within this place?’

That was when the moment came.

“We’ve arrived.”

Hong Ye-seol’s voice broke his trance.

Regaining his focus, he looked ahead to see a firmly closed door.

Hong Ye-seol addressed someone within.

“Master Hong has arrived.”

“Come in!”

Immediately after, Pyo Wol’s voice echoed.

For a brief moment, Hong Yushin felt chills run down his spine.

Just hearing Pyo Wol’s voice made his body involuntarily react.

It was a plain voice, without any hint of aggression or dominance. Yet, his body instinctively felt fear.

Although he had encountered Pyo Wol countless times, this was the first time he felt this way.

‘What’s happening?’

A shiver passed through Hong Yushin’s eyes.

He hadn’t even seen Pyo Wol yet. But he could sense a change in him.

He couldn’t tell what exactly had changed, but something definitely had.

Finally, the door opened, revealing Pyo Wol seated inside.

Pyo Wol was reclined on a bed covered with documents.

Swirling around him was an entity.

The being, covered entirely in red scales, was Gwia.

Over time his scales had grown redder and his body larger, and the horns on his head had grown even larger.

It now looked more like an Imoogi than a snake.

‘A spirit beast.’

Seeing Gwia, Hong Yushin felt a chilling sensation.

There was a strange energy emanating from it, something one wouldn’t feel from an ordinary creature.

Pyo Wol no longer hid Gwia.

Everyone in his entourage now knew that he was carrying it with him.

Trying to maintain composure, Hong Yushin greeted.

“It’s been a while.”

“You seem to have lost weight?”

“I haven’t been eating my meals on time lately, so I’ve lost a bit.”

“You must be very busy.”

“Indeed! With the current state of affairs, I can’t divert my attention from Kangho even for a moment.”

“I see.”

Pyo Wol nodded thoughtfully.

Months had passed since the Golden Heavenly Hall seized control over Kangho.

Traditional sects like the Shaolin and Wudang Sect had ceased their activities, replaced by sects that cooperated with the Golden Heavenly Hall.

With each passing day, the influence of Golden Heavenly Hall grew, leaving no sects or powers to oppose them.

It was truly the era of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

A world ruled and dominated by Jang Mugak.

That was the current state of Kangho.

Every day, more and more people pledged their loyalty to Jang Mugak without him even trying.
Hong Yushin kept a close watch on those who joined Golden Heavenly Hall from the shadows, trying to identify their backgrounds. He was spread so thin that he felt like he could use ten bodies.

“What about the Golden Heavenly Hall?”

“They’re monstrous.”

“Monstrous?”

“It’s possible that an unprecedentedly large faction is emerging in Kangho.”

“Is it that serious?”

“There’s no power to restrain them now. They’re expanding their influence unchecked. They haven’t encroached on the territories of traditional sects yet, but if they grow any stronger, they might even swallow them whole.”

A hint of fear was palpable in Hong Yushin’s voice.

It was the first time he had displayed such an emotion.

That was how grave the situation felt.

Pyo Wol asked,

“And Jang Cheon-hwa?”

“He’s taken the elites of the Heavenly Martial Sect and stationed them at Poyang Lake.”

“And?”

“He’s doing nothing. He’s delegated all matters to Jang Mugak and secluded himself.”

It would’ve been less vexing if Jang Cheon-hwa had shown his ambition to dominate Kangho.

At least then, they could’ve identified him as an enemy and acted accordingly.

The problem was that Jang Cheon-hwa truly took no action.

He seemed utterly disinterested in the affairs of the outside world.

This made it hard to discern a strategy to deal with him.

That’s why Hong Yushin had sought out Pyo Wol.

He wanted to vent his frustration, even in this manner.

He couldn’t show this vulnerable side to others.

After all, he was the chief inspector of the Hao Clan.

While there was a leader of the Hao Clan, no one wielded influence like Hong Yushin.

He was highly respected among the sect’s members. On the flip side, the Hao Clan leader was ill-suited for navigating these tumultuous times.

That’s why he had sought out the distant Pyo Wol to confide his worries.

“You seem quite distressed.”

“Do you think it’s okay for you to just stay holed up in this place, Pyo Wol?”

“I’m used to it.”

“I suppose…”

From Pyo Wol’s perspective, there was nothing to complain about.

Compared to living in a sunlight-deprived underground chamber hundreds of layers deep, his current circumstances felt like a relaxing vacation.

Of course, the assassins living with him probably didn’t feel the same way.

Pyo Wol said,

“You’ve traveled far, so rest for now. We can continue our discussion tomorrow.”

“Can’t we talk today?”

“I’ve already made plans.”

“In the underground?”

“…”

Pyo Wol just smiled without saying a word.

Hong Yushin realized his speculation was correct.

“Can I accompany you?”

“If you go, you’ll die.”

“What?”

“If you’re willing to risk death, then follow me.”

Hong Yushin’s face stiffened in an instant.

He knew Pyo Wol was serious.

Seeing his shocked reaction, Pyo Wol smiled.

“If not, then stay here. Personally, I’d recommend the latter.”

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