Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 646

December 25, 2023 • 10 min read • 843 views

Pyo Wol left the battlefield and arrived at Poyang lake.

At the vacant dock, a small boat floated gently.

A familiar figure stood aboard.

“Welcome.”

The man who greeted Pyo Wol was none other than Hong Yushin, the chief inspector of the Hao clan.

“You arrived early.”

Pyo Wol stepped onto the boat.

Holding the oar, Hong Yushin spoke,

“I came ahead yesterday and waited.”

“The surveillance from Golden Heavenly Hall would have been tight.”

“It took quite an effort to divert their attention. Many of our men were sacrificed.”

Hong Yushin had entered Poyang Lake the previous night.

At that time, the area around Poyang Lake was full of martial artists from the Golden Heavenly Hall.

To distract them, many of their men had been sacrificed.

Thanks to their sacrifices, Hong Yushin was able to infiltrate safely.

Upon entering Poyang Lake, Hong Yushin analyzed the information he had gathered and waited for Pyo Wol.

Pyo Wol inquired,

“What about Jang Cheon-hwa?”

“He’s staying at the old headquarters of Silver Lotus Hall.”

Jang Cheon-hwa was staying at Silver Lotus Hall, which was now under Golden Heavenly Hall’s control.

Although the Silver Lotus Hall and Golden Heavenly Hall were embroiled in conflict, he remained elusive.

Not even the crucial Kangho Great War, which would determine the destiny of Kangho, seemed to capture his attention.

He had entrusted the entire war to his son, Jang Mugak, sending only warriors from his own sect to assist but remaining uninvolved himself, almost as if he had nothing to do with it.

This was incomprehensible to a normal person.

Hong Yushin tried to understand him but ultimately gave up.

He came to one conclusion.

“He is not a typical culprit. His way of thinking is very different from most people.”

“I suppose.”

Pyo Wol nodded thoughtfully.

A smirk suddenly appeared on Hong Yushin’s face.

‘This man is no different in that aspect.’

Pyo Wol also thought differently from the average person.

Hong Yushin prided himself on being able to read people’s minds, but he couldn’t read Pyo Wol’s.

Squeak! Squeak!

Hong Yushin rowed the boat.

With each stroke, the boat slid smoothly through the water.

Fortunately, there were no other boats on Poyang Lake.

Due to the imminent Kangho Great War, people had chosen not to set sail.

Not only the Unmado river boat but even small fishing boats had disappeared from view.

This allowed Hong Yushin to focus solely on rowing, without concern for other boats

Creak! Creeeak!

As Hong Yushin rowed, the sound of wood scraping against wood reverberated across Poyang Lake.

Perhaps because the surroundings were so quiet, the sound of the oars seemed especially loud.

Channeling his internal energy into every stroke, the boat moved forward with astonishing speed.

As Hong Yushin rowed, he asked a question.

“What do you think will happen if Golden Heavenly Hall succeeds?”

“In what regard?”

“Kangho. If the end result is Golden Heavenly Hall’s victory, what will be the fate of Kangho?”

“Hmm, would anything change?”

“So you’re saying nothing will change? Isn’t the Golden Heavenly Hall now under the leadership of the Heavenly Martial Sect, the successor to the Celestial Demon Troupe?”

“And?”

“Pardon?”

“Were people happy when the Silver Lotus Hall and the existing sects ruled? On the other hand, if the Heavenly Martial Sect becomes the leader of Kangho, will people be unhappy? For most, it’s just a change of leadership; their lives won’t change dramatically.

“But then, why go to Jang Cheon-hwa? If there’s no significant change, why not just ignore it?”

“I was commissioned.”

“Who commissioned Grandmaster Pyo Wol?”

“Lee Cheong.”

“You can’t mean the leader of the Mad Martial Sect, Grandmaster Lee Cheong?”
Hong Yushin’s eyes widened in astonishment.

He never even dreamt that Lee Cheong might have approached Pyo Wol with a request.

“Did Grandmaster Lee Cheong really commission you?”

“…”

“My God! Lee Cheong commissioned you while he was still alive? That means he had already foreseen his own death.”

Hong Yushin’s hands trembled as he rowed.

It was that shocking.

He knew that Pyo Wol had met with Lee Cheong, but he couldn’t imagine that Lee Cheong, anticipating his own death, would commission Pyo Wol.

Despite this bombshell, Pyo Wol remained stoic, his expression unchanged.

“How can this be…”

Hong Yushin shook his head vigorously.

He thought he understood Pyo Wol to some extent, but perhaps he was mistaken.

Pyo Wol seemed to possess an endless array of secrets, and trying to fathom them was exhausting.

“Sigh.”

Giving up on understanding, Hong Yushin let out a deep sigh.

For a moment, a thick silence enveloped the small boat.

It was when they were about halfway across Poyang Lake.

Suddenly, a colossal ship emerged from the opposite side.

It was incomparably larger than the boat that Hong Yushin was on. It was as if a small island was moving.

Numerous martial artists stood atop this enormous vessel.

Hong Yushin’s eyes widened in recognition.

“That’s a ship operated by the Heavenly Martial Sect.”

The ship of Heavenly Martial Sect headed straight for Pyo Wol’s boat. It was clear that Pyo Wol was their target.

If they collided head-on with the Heavenly Martial Sect’s ship, the boat Hong Yushin was on would instantly shatter and sink.

“What should we do?”

“Just keep moving straight ahead.”

“But…”

As Hong Yushin hesitated, a roaring sound approached from behind.

To his astonishment, another massive ship was quickly advancing from their rear.

“Is that… the Martial Sword Alliance?”

“It’s a ship sent by Yoo Soo-hwan. We’ll leave the Heavenly Martial Sect to them and continue on our course.”

“Understood. If that’s the case…”

Originally, the Martial Sword Alliance had allied with the Golden Heavenly Hall. But after Yoo Soo-hwan became its leader, they shifted their allegiance to Silver Lotus Hall.

The captain of the Martial Sword Alliance’s ship shouted.

“Everyone, brace yourselves.”

Even though the Heavenly Martial Sect’s ship was coming straight at them, he did not change course or slow down, but instead picked up speed.

“Is he…mad?”

“Do they intend to go down together?”

Panic erupted on Heavenly Martial Sect’s ship.

In their eyes, the Martial Sword Alliance ship was on a kamikaze run.

But the captain of the Martial Sword Alliance ship wasn’t acting recklessly. He trusted in the sturdiness of his ship.

Ships at sea and freshwater ships are built differently. Ships at sea are built many times stronger than their freshwater counterparts to handle the rough seas.

In addition, the wood of the ships themselves was pickled in salt water and could not be compared in strength.

Hong Yushin’s boat quickly changed course to avoid the impending collision.

Crash!

The two behemoths collided.

It was the Heavenly Martial Sect’s boat that was shattered.

The sails flew off, and water from the sea flowed into the boat.

“Shit! Board their ship.”

“Charge!”

“Prevent any of them from getting on board.”

As the Martial Sword Alliance and Heavenly Martial Sect’s martial artists clashed, Pyo Wol’s boat glided calmly across Poyang Lake.

The screams and yells behind them reached their ears, but Pyo Wol did not look back, concentrating only on what lay ahead.

This was his promise with Yoo Soo-hwan.

Yoo Soo-hwan had told him:

Don’t look to the sides or behind. Head straight for where Jang Cheon-hwa is.

At least within the confines of Poyang Lake, they would ensure no enemy could get close to him.

Yoo Soo-hwan had sent his sturdiest ship to fulfill that promise.

Now, it was Pyo Wol’s turn to keep his end of the bargain.

Gritting his teeth, Hong Yushin rowed vigorously.

Their boat was now almost to the opposite shore of Poyang Lake.

In the distance, the old buildings of the Silver Lotus Hall came into view.

Pyo Wol spoke to Hong Yushin,

“You should head back. From here on, I will proceed alone.”

“You really mean to go alone?”

“I am grateful to you. Thanks to you, I safely arrived here. But from now on, I must go alone.”

For an assassin to successfully carry out a single assassination, the help of many is required.

Collecting information on the target, creating a strategy, and planning an escape route are tasks too big for one to handle alone.

The stronger the assassination target, the more help is needed. But in the end, executing the assassination itself is the sole responsibility of the assassin.

Hong Yushin was well aware of this fact.

He stopped rowing and looked at Pyo Wol.

“May you successfully carry out your mission and return safely.”

“Thank you.”

Pyo Wol flashed a fleeting smile.

It was the first time he had shown a smile to Hong Yushin, making it seem all the more unfamiliar.

“Are you sure you’ll come back…”

Whish!

Before Hong Yushin could finish, Pyo Wol silently dived into the water.

Without making a splash, he disappeared beneath the surface and was not seen again.

Hong Yushin remained motionless on the boat for a long time.
***
On the surface, the Poyang seemed to be at a standstill.

It wasn’t like the sea with its crashing waves, nor did it flow visibly like a river.

However, the waters of Poyang Lake were constantly moving, albeit so slowly that it seemed stationary. The deeper one went, the faster the current flowed.

Pyo Wol utilized his diving skills and let the currents carry him.

There was no need to swim.

The currents effortlessly took him to the lake’s edge.

All he needed was the patience to hold his breath for an extended period.
Finally, he reached the shore he had aimed for.

Emerging from the water, Pyo Wol found the lakeshore silent.

There were no signs of people. But nothing could elude Pyo Wol’s senses.

‘Three!’

Hidden within the reeds of the lakeshore were three martial artists.

Assassins skilled in concealing their presence.

‘So, assassins.’

Pyo Wol created the Black Sect by bringing together many assassins, but not all of them joined him.

Some assassins didn’t follow Pyo Wol, and other groups worked for big sects on their own.

For a faction as powerful as the Heavenly Martial Sect, having its own group of assassins for covert operations was essential.

Although these assassins weren’t on par with the elites of the White Ghost Sect or the Black Realm.

Even if they weren’t at the level of the Hundred Wraith Union or the Black Sect.

Their main job was to find and remove anyone coming near where Jang Cheon-hwa lived.

The perfect role for assassins.

But despite their keen surveillance, Pyo Wol effortlessly evaded their gaze, merging with the environment, and approached them from behind.

Near the assassins lay signal fireworks, to alert the main base in case of any suspicious activity.

However, they never got the chance to light them.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

Three strikes, and the back of their heads were pierced.

The assassins never even felt their deaths approaching.

In mere moments, Pyo Wol had dispatched all three. He scanned the reed beds.

Soft breaths echoed from various spots. More assassins lay in wait.

Pyo Wol began hunting them down.

A storm of blood began to stir within the tranquil reed beds, yet none of the other assassins detected its arrival.