Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 642

December 15, 2023 • 11 min read • 875 views

“What?”

Instinctively, Lee Se-mun raised his spear, aiming straight ahead. But there was no one in his sight.

All he could see were corpses.

The bodies of the Thousand Swords martial artists, who were ambushed and killed by them, and the bodies of Lee Se-mun’s own followers from the Shadow Unit.

No one was alive.

Yet, someone was definitely there.

Just hidden from his sight.

“Who’s there?”

Lee Se-mun shouted, gathering his internal energy.

His roar resonated throughout the area.

Leaves fluttered in the wind, and a thick cloud of dust arose. Still, no movement was detected.

Lee Se-mun’s eyes narrowed.

‘They are definitely nearby.’

He suspected it was a group, not just an individual.

It is impossible for one person to kill so many in such a short time, no matter how skilled a martial artist is.

The time he had battled with Gong Jimon was barely a moment.

To take out the Shadow Unit in such a short time, it would have taken at least three or four highly skilled martial artists. And they had to be of extraordinary caliber.

Moreover, not one of the Shadow Unit members let out a scream in their death. It was clear they had been caught off-guard by a stealthy surprise attack.

In Kangho, only one group was known to be this stealthy.

‘Assassins?’

Just then.

Lee Se-mun suddenly felt an eerie sensation around his neck.

Chilled to the bone, he felt an intense sense of danger.

Whoosh!

At that moment, his body shot up into the air like meat on a fishing hook.

‘A wire?’

Lee Se-mun recognized what was constricting his neck.

He swung his spear overhead.

Clang!

The sound of metal echoed as the thin wire was severed.

Regaining his freedom, Lee Se-mun landed and unleashed consecutive strikes with his Chaos
Spear.

Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!

Numerous spear auras emerged around him.

The auras formed a protective barrier, guarding Lee Se-mun’s body.

Finally regaining his composure, Lee Se-mun shouted,

“Show yourself instead of ambushing cowardly…”

Whoosh!

In that instant, Lee Se-mun felt a burning pain in his vital point.

A black shadow, silent and swift, had penetrated his protective barrier and embedded a dagger, no larger than a child’s palm, into his vital point.

“Gah! What the…?”

Lee Se-mun’s face showed disbelief.

The barrier of his protective spear aura was perfect.

It was dense, allowing not even a droplet of rain to seep through. He couldn’t believe something had pierced it without resistance.

Whoosh!

The dagger dug deeper into his flesh.

With his mouth agape, Lee Se-mun trembled.

With his vital point damaged, there was no chance of his survival.

“Who… who are you?”

Struggling, he turned to look at the black shadow clinging to his back like a cicada.

The black shadow lifted its head to meet his gaze, revealing its face clearly.

Skin whiter than a maiden’s and a stunningly beautiful face.

An otherworldly presence, as if not of this realm.

Upon seeing the face, a name immediately came to Lee Se-mun’s mind.

“Pyo Wol! You are Pyo Wol, aren’t you? How did you…”

Lee Se-mun couldn’t finish his words.

He drew his last breath.

Thud!

His body crumpled to the ground.

Pyo Wol stepped back and sheathed his Ghost Dagger into his leather belt. Silently, from their hiding places, Salno and Hong Ye-seol emerged.

“Master!”

“You did well.”

Despite their stealthy elimination of the Shadow Unit, not a single drop of blood stained them.

The three of them had killed the Shadow Unit while Lee Se-mun was completely engrossed in his duel with Gong Jimon.

However, they were unable to save the Thousand Swords. By the time they arrived, they had already been destroyed.

Salno spoke,

“The situation is more serious than we anticipated. If it continues this way, all the sects collaborating with the Silver Lotus Hall will suffer heavy losses.”

“If we’re not careful, we could exhaust our forces before the actual war begins.”

Hong Ye-seol spoke with concern.

The Silver Lotus Hall’s strategy was sound, but the problem was that the Golden Heavenly Hall had already figured out their intentions.

At this rate, there would be countless casualties before they even reached Poyang Lake.

Clashing with the Golden Heavenly Hall with a weakened force would undoubtedly result in a predictable outcome.

“We were too hasty after all…”

Pyo Wol furrowed his brow.

The saying goes that a gentleman’s revenge can wait ten years if necessary.

If ordinary people heed this advice, then martial artists should be even more cautious.

Lee Geom-han and Namgung Seol had acted too hastily.

If they really wanted a direct confrontation, they should have moved their troops in a consolidated manner instead of spreading them thin for a surprise attack. This would at least have protected them from such a crushing ambush.

Pyo Wol spoke to Salno,

“We have no choice. Proceed as planned and relay the message.”

“Understood.”

Salno set down his pack and took out a messenger pigeon.

The well-trained pigeon remained silent and still, even within its cage in the pack.

Salno tied Pyo Wol’s instructions to the pigeon’s leg and released it.

Flap!

It flapped its wings above them for a moment, then took off in one direction.

Neung Gwan-yeong was a young martial artist of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

From a young age, he was highly ambitious.

He vowed to do great things and make a name for himself.

During the Kangho Great War, he weighed the pros and cons between joining the Silver Lotus Hall and the Golden Heavenly Hall.

He evaluated which side was more likely to win.

He chose the Golden Heavenly Hall.

It seemed the Golden Heavenly Hall had a better chance of winning, so he joined them.

Once a part of the Golden Heavenly Hall, he achieved numerous feats.

Dozens of Silver Lotus Hall martial artists met their end at his hands.

Recognized for his contributions, he rose to a mid-level leadership position in the Golden Heavenly Hall.

His title was the Iron Spirit Leader.

He led a unit of 150 martial artists of the Iron Spirit Squad.

Though he had attained a significant position in the Golden Heavenly Hall, his ambitions were not yet satisfied.

He yearned for even greater power.

To achieve his goal, he needed to accomplish even more.

That’s why Neung Gwan-yeong was hiding in the forest.

He and the Iron Spirit Squad lay in wait in the woods, keeping an eye on the main road.

They anticipated the passage of the Silver Lotus Hall martial artists.

They believed they were moving stealthily, but they couldn’t deceive the intelligence network of the Golden Heavenly Hall.

Having received information early on, they had secured this advantageous position.

If they launched an ambush here, the martial artists of the Silver Lotus Hall wouldn’t stand a chance and would be wiped out without putting up a real fight.

Neung Gwan-yeong shouted to the Iron Spirit Squad,

“From now on, remain absolutely silent and wait. The Silver Lotus fools will pass through here shortly.”

“Yes!”

The members of the Iron Spirit Squad responded in hushed voices.

Neung Gwan-yeong cast a satisfied smile, once again focusing on the main road.

Then it happened.

Swish!

An eerie slashing sound echoed.

Neung Gwan-yeong initially thought that one of his subordinates, perhaps restless, had unsheathed their sword.

Such a minor disturbance could be overlooked.

Slice!

But then, a second slashing sound resonated.

Neung Gwan-yeong could no longer contain his irritation.

“Who the hell is…….”

Just as he was about to yell, his eyes widened in shock.

Behind the hidden members of the Iron Spirit Squad, he saw dark shadows moving.

They swung their swords and cut off the breathing of the martial artists.

The assassins moved so discreetly that the deaths of their companions went unnoticed by the group.

Neng Gwan-yeong roared,

“Assassins!”

“What?”

“Argh!”

Only then did the Iron Spirit Squad realize the ambush and retaliated. However, their reaction was belated.

Several of them had already lost their lives.

“Where did these assassins come from?”

“Attack!”

The Iron Spirit Squad engaged the assassins. But the forest terrain was problematic.

The assassins took advantage of the thickets to hide and launch sneak attacks.

“Argh!”

“Gah!”

One by one, members of the squad fell.

“You bastards, can’t you stop?”

Neung Gwan-yeong charged forward, swinging his sword. But after merely five strides, his advance was halted.

A shadow sprang out from the side, launching a surprise attack.

Its attack was as discreet as it was lightning-fast.

Instinctively, Neung Gwan-yeong swung his sword in defense, but he couldn’t completely block the ambush.

Slash!

“Gah!”

His left arm bore a deep gash, nearly severing it.

Blood gushed from the wound like a waterfall. But Neung Gwan-yeong had no time to staunch the bleeding; he had to swing his sword again.

The assailant launched another attack.

‘I just need to fend off this one strike.’

The reason Assassins are so terrifying is that they put everything on the line with their first strike.

A single lethal strike; if it failed, the attacker faced a high risk of a deadly counter strike.

With this in mind, Neung Gwan-yeong was determined to fend off the assassin’s initial attack and retaliate. However, the prowess of the assassin exceeded his expectations.

Swish!

The assassin charged at him faster than a lightning strike.

By the time Neung Gwan-yeong realized what was happening, a blade was already deep into his chest.

Thud!

The assassin’s sword pierced through Neung Gwan-yeong’s heart.

“Cough!”

Blood spewed from his mouth as he crumpled to his knees, his chin and chest stained with his own blood.

“You… you?”

With faltering eyes, he looked up at his attacker. The assassin’s face was clearly visible, unmasked.

It was Thunder Eye, one of the Ten Blood Assassins. He led the Black Sect’s assassins and ambushed Neung Gwan-yeong and his elite warriors, the Iron Spirit Squad. They had been hiding with the intention of ambushing the Silver Lotus Hall, never suspecting they’d be the ones ambushed.

This was the downfall of Neung Gwan-yeong and the Iron Spirit Squad.

In their arrogance, they forgot a simple truth: just as they could ambush someone, they too could be ambushed. This oversight cost them their lives.

As the dust settled, Thunder Eye surveyed the area. The chaos had subsided, and all of the Iron Spirit Squad were defeated by the Black Sects’ assassins. They might have been formidable in direct combat, but when it came to surprise attacks, none could match these assassins.

It was now time to finish what they started.

Thunder Eye looked towards the forest and called out,

“Come forth.”

A man in ragged clothes emerged, looking around in admiration.

“You’ve done exceptionally well. I didn’t think you’d subdue them so quickly.”

This man had been dispatched by Hong Yushin from the Hao Clan. He shuddered at the sheer might of the assassins. Despite their sneak attack, he hadn’t expected the elite forces of the Golden Heavenly Hall to be defeated so easily. Their skills were beyond his wildest expectations.

He thought to himself,

‘No wonder the Chief Inspector is wary of Pyo Wol.’

Thunder Eye urged,

“We are short on time. Hurry.”

“Understood.”

The Hao Clan’s martial artist began searching the fallen Iron Spirit Squad and soon found a messenger pigeon and a piece of paper. It was meant for communicating with the Golden Heavenly Hall.

He scribbled a false report on the paper and tied it to the pigeon’s leg.

“Return to your home!”

Releasing the pigeon into the sky, it soon sped off in the direction of Golden Heavenly Hall’s base.

He assured Thunder Eye,

“I’ve used Golden Heavenly Hall’s cipher. They won’t doubt the authenticity of the message.”

“Well done.”

As the Hao Clan martial artist managed a slight smile, another report came.

“The Silver Lotus Hall warriors are passing by.”

One of the assassins announced.

Looking in the direction, the Silver Lotus Hall martial artists were marching.

Unaware of the concealed forces nearby, they continued on their path.

Had it not been for Thunder Eye and his assassins, they would’ve met a disastrous fate.

Thunder Eye muttered,

“Oblivious to their brush with death here. Lucky fellows.”

Throughout the pathways leading to Poyang Lake, similar incidents unfolded.

Black Sect’s assassins launched surprise attacks, neutralizing hidden martial artists, while Hao Clan agents sent off deceptive messages via messenger pigeons.