Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 640

December 7, 2023 • 11 min read • 1066 views

The sun broke through the surface of the water, scattering light in all directions. The refracted light tickled people’s eyes.

Many boats floated on Poyang Lake, illuminated by the breaking sunlight.

It had been a long time since these many ships had gone fishing.

All this was due to the end of the Kangho Great War.

The war ended with the victory of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

They swiftly ambushed and overtook the stronghold of the Silver Lotus Hall.

The Silver Lotus Hall faced a devastating defeat and retreated.

Those who survived and retreated were far fewer than those who perished. The influence of the Silver Lotus Hall in Poyang Lake had all but disappeared.

The battle at Poyang Lake ended with the victory of the Golden Heavenly Hall. Although this came as a great shock to the people of Kangho, it was of no consequence to the ordinary people.

In fact, they cheered the end of the conflict at the lake. The fishermen, in particular, were the most relieved.

During the Kangho Great War, they couldn’t fish, causing them significant losses.

Unable to fish, their primary means of livelihood, many days were spent in hunger.

Therefore, they welcomed the victory of the Golden Heavenly Hall more than anyone.

“Pull it this way.”

“Be careful, if you pull too hard, it’ll tear.”

“We’ve hit the jackpot.”

The fishermen’s faces beamed with joy as they hauled in their nets.

The nets were full of fish because they hadn’t fished for a long time.

Their joyful laughter could be heard all the way to the shore of Poyang Lake.

Jang Cheon-hwa stood by the lake, silently observing the fishermen at work.

It was a scene of pure tranquility.

The setting sun added to its beauty, painting an even more mesmerizing tableau.

Despite the breathtaking view that would evoke admiration from most, Jang Cheon-hwa remained expressionless.

He was someone who saw through the superficiality of the world.

He wasn’t the type to get lost in mere appearances.

With the sunset behind him, he made his way back to the Golden Heavenly Hall.

The place that had once been the headquarters of the Silver Lotus Hall was now in the hands of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

“Lord Jang has returned.”

The guards at the entrance greeted him loudly as he approached.

Jang Cheon-hwa acknowledged them with a nod and continued inside.

“Father!”

Upon reaching his quarters, Jang Mugak greeted him.

Though they appeared of similar age, they were father and son.

Looking at his spitting image, Jang Cheon-hwa asked,

“What is it?”

“I have something to report.”

“Report? Didn’t I tell you to handle matters yourself?”

“But I thought you should know.”

“It seems quite serious, then.”

“Yes.”

“Let’s go inside.”

Bypassing Jang Mugak, Jang Cheon-hwa walked into the main hall.

Jang Mugak cautiously followed.

As Jang Cheon-hwa settled into his throne, he inquired,

“So, what is it?”

“We’ve detected movements from the remnants of the Silver Lotus Hall.”

“Remnants?”

“They’re not just ordinary remnants. It seems that some factions, including the Shaolin Temple, are working with them.”

“Hmm! Just as I expected. These martial artists always fight among themselves, but when faced with a greater threat, they unite.”

Jang Cheon-hwa’s face showed no surprise.

He had first-hand experience of martial artists joining forces to resist a common enemy.

At that time, he was too young to influence the political landscape. But he had keenly observed how the martial artists had united against the threat. He assumed that this time would be no different.

Jang Cheon-hwa told his son,

“You will handle this matter.”

“You trust me with this?”

“If I can’t trust my own son, who can I trust? I grant you full authority.”

“Thank you.”

“But I want you to handle it perfectly. Once you’ve decided to use your hands, there can be no half measures or compassion.”

“Understood.”

Jang Mugak bowed slightly in acknowledgment.

“If you have drawn your sword, then wield it proqperly.”

“I’ll keep your advice in mind.”

“If necessary, you may utilize the full force of the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

“That’s…….”

“Your pride is not the most important thing. What really matters is winning by any means necessary. No matter how honorable the process, if you lose, you’ll eventually be forgotten. History only remembers the victors, and no one remembers the process.”

“Understood. I shall then borrow the strength of the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

“Do so.”

“I’ll take my leave.”

After giving a formal bow, Jang Mugak exited.

Left alone, Jang Cheon-hwa closed his eyes.

With his eyes closed, he thought of his old master.

The man who gave him and his brother, both orphans, a chance and guided them in a harsh world.

People still remembered him as the ‘Demonic Person.’ But in Jang Cheon-hwa’s memory, Go Geom Wol was more dignified and respectful than anyone.

One day, Go Geom Wol had quietly told him,

“If I lose my life in this war, it’ll be because of Lee Gwak. But you must not bear any grudge against him.”

“Why would you say that?”

“It’s his nature. He is upright and shows compassion to the weak. You must use his nature to your advantage. Regardless of the outcome, never resent him.”

“Such wisdom is difficult for a disciple like me.”

“You’ll understand in time.”

“Master!”

“If things go as planned and the Heavenly Martial Sect establishes itself in Kangho, you will have to assimilate and live quietly among the masses. You’ll have to do this for at least two or three generations.”

With those words, Go Geom Wol closed his eyes.

His anguished expression was still vivid in Jang Cheon-hwa’s mind.

“Master!”

Whenever he was alone, he yearned for his master.

He had killed his master with his own hands.

It was a sin the world wasn’t aware of.

He sometimes wondered.

What would’ve happened if he had defied Go Geom Wol’s order and simply watched?

“I’m sorry, Master. I suppose living in hiding isn’t my way. I apologize for failing to uphold your teachings.”

As if turned to stone, dust began to gather on his motionless shoulders.

Namgung Jin led his troops out of Thousand Kingdom School.

After his father’s death, Namgung JinYugeom had ascended to the leadership of the sect.

His siblings, Namgung Seol and Namgung Wol, had issues with the Silver Lotus Hall, making him the sole candidate for the leadership.

Even if his siblings had stayed with the Thousand Kingdom School, he would have inevitably become the leader.

His abilities were unmatched.

Namgung Jin, surrounded by the leaders of the Thousand Kingdom School, spoke,

“We need to reach Poyang Lake in three days. Let’s hurry.”

“We’re pressed for time. I’m not sure if we’re moving too hastily.”

Upon the elder’s cautious words, Namgung Jin firmly replied.

“The remnants of the Silver Lotus Hall and the Shaolin sect are expected to reach Poyang Lake within three days. We cannot arrive after them.”

“Hmm!”

“For my father’s revenge and the safety of Kangho, we must reach there within three days. Only then can we ally with the Silver Lotus Hall to destroy the despicable Golden Heavenly Hall. Who would’ve thought they were successors of the Celestial Demon Troupe, so vile…”

Namgung Jin clenched his jaws.

He had only recently learned that the Heavenly Martial Sect was the successor to the Celestial Demon Troupe that had turned Kangho upside down decades ago.

Hearing this from Namgung Wol had left him flabbergasted.

It was so unrealistic that he thought Namgung Wol was lying. But Namgung Wol had also heard the story from Lee Geom-han, and there was no reason for him to lie. In a way, it was the original sin of the Mad Martial Sect.

If the Mad Martial Sect hadn’t let Jang Cheon-hwa live, this mess wouldn’t have started in the first place.

Fury surged at the Mad Martial Sect for allowing this situation, but now was not the time for vengeance.

First, the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Heavenly Martial Sect had to be crushed.

This was the reason he accepted the proposal from the Silver Lotus Hall.

“Let’s march.”

Upon Namgung Jin’s command, the elite forces of Thousand Kingdom School began to move.

The journey to Poyang Lake went smoother than expected.

Namgung Jin wasn’t surprised.

The movement and paths of the Thousand Kingdom School were highly secretive.

To hide the movement of thousands of warriors, they discreetly divided the troops into groups of hundreds.

Some traveled by boat, while others disguised themselves as merchants or couriers.

Namgung Jin chose a boat as his means of transportation.

He rented a massive cargo ship, boarding it with 300 of Thousand Kingdom School’s finest martial artists.

These troops, led by him, were the elite of the Thousand Kingdom School.

His father, Namgung Yugeom, personally selected and trained them. Each boasted formidable martial prowess.

All of them were burning with the desire for revenge.

Due to their direct training from Namgung Yugeom, their loyalty to him was profound. Their anger towards the Golden Heavenly Hall and the Heavenly Martial Sect was palpable.

‘Despicable Heavenly Martial Sect.’

‘We will surely kill them and avenge our clan leader.’

In their hearts, they vowed to avenge Namgung Yugeom.

The ship steadily sailed up the Yangtze.

Their journey towards the Golden Heavenly Hall was without hindrance.

It seemed that the Golden Heavenly Hall had not gathered any information yet, as there was no movement from their side.

Two days passed without any sign of action from the Golden Heavenly Hall, and the tension among the martial artists on the ship gradually eased.

Namgung Jin had warned them against complacency. While the martial artists vowed to remain alert, hut like cotton soaking up water, their hearts had become vulnerable.

Disaster struck then.

Boom!

With a loud bang, the boat they were on shook violently.

The unprepared martial artists of the Thousand Kingdom School were thrown around the deck.

“Damn it!”

“What happened?”

Warriors rushed to the bow of the ship, which seemed to have collided with something.

“What’s this?”

“Why is there an empty ship here?”

The culprit was a considerably large ship, seemingly abandoned and drifting, which collided with their vessel.

But instead of passengers, the ship was laden with heavy objects like rocks and logs, exacerbating the damage to their vessel.

Water gushed through the broken bow.

“Quickly, bail out the water!”

“We need to steer the ship to the riverbank while it’s still afloat.”

The warriors of the Thousand Kingdom School scrambled to contain the situation, but despite their efforts, the water level inside the ship didn’t decrease.

If the situation persisted, the ship would soon sink.

Namgung Jin had to make a decision.

“Steer the ship to the riverbank.”

“Yes!”

The crew obeyed, directing the ship towards the shore.

Namgung Jin’s face darkened.

“Such a ship doesn’t appear by chance. Someone orchestrated this.”

The ship that had collided with them, loaded with rocks and logs, had already sunk, and there was no sign of anyone jumping off to escape the sinking vessel.

This meant the ship was deliberately sent unmanned.

The chances of an empty boat traveling down the river and accidentally bumping into the Unmado river boat were slim to none.

Someone must have intentionally sent it into the Unmado river boat’s path.

“Damn, I let my guard down.”

None of this would have happened if he had just looked ahead. All he had to do was see the empty ship coming and change course slightly.

It was then that they noticed.

From the riverbank a group of martial artists suddenly appeared.

“It’s… it’s the warriors of the Heavenly Martial Sect!”

“They’ve been waiting for us.”

There were more than a few hundred warriors, all emanating a menacing aura. The Thousand Kingdom School warriors recognized them by the banners they carried.

The three words “Heavenly Martial Sect” were clearly written on their banners.
Namgung Jin gritted his teeth.

“It was indeed the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

His gaze shifted to the middle of the group of warriors, to one exuding the strongest aura.

It was a middle-aged man, with a beard covering most of his face.

His built upper body hinted at his prowess in martial arts.

“I knew you’d come here. Allow me, the Evil Martial Artist, to be your opponent.”

The middle-aged man’s name was Akmoo Sang.

He was one of the top martial artists of the Heavenly Martial Sect.

Grinning maliciously, he looked at Namgung Jin.

Namgung Jin’s face darkened, not out of fear for the Akmoo Sang.

What worried him was the possibility that not only the Thousand Kingdom School, but also other factions on their way to Poyang Lake might face similar ambushes.

If the enemies had already set up these strategies, the odds were against the allied factions, including the Silver Lotus Hall.

Namgung Jin shouted,

“We must warn the other factions of these ambushes. Engage them with full force!”