Reaper of the Drifting Moon novel - Chapter 603
This is a novel from the same author of Reaper of the Drifting Moon, and the They share the same universe:
“Ha ha ha!”
When he saw Pyo Wol, Hong Yushin burst out laughing.
He was glad to see him, but he was also amazed at the feats Pyo Wol had accomplished.
When he realized the full extent of what had happened at Sea Gate, he was speechless with amazement.
He was well aware of the skills of the assassins under Pyo Wol.
They were certainly threatening, but not to the extent that they could display such prowess against the Ghost Fleet warriors.
There was only one thing this meant.
Pyo Wol had improved his skills alarmingly since they had sworn allegiance to him.
Previously, the Hundred Wraith Union was the only threatening group of assassins, but now all the assassins under Pyo Wol were dangerous.
“Their power is not below the Golden Heavenly Hall or the Silver Lotus Hall, at least not at night.”
Perhaps he overestimated them, but there was no doubt that they were threatening.
Hong Yushin took a seat before Pyo Wol, hiding his inner thoughts.
He looked at Pyo Wol and said, “It’s been a while.”
“How have you been?”
“Busy with the Guryongsalmak. You?”
Although their statuses were different, they shared a common goal, the Guryongsalmak and thus felt a camaraderie with each other.
Pyo Wol asked Hong Yushin,
“What brings you here?”
“Oh, I have something to tell you.”
At Hong Yushin’s reply, Pyo Wol’s face hardened slightly.
Hong Yushin was holding one of the most important positions in Hao Clan. If he was personally here, it must be something serious.
After hesitating for a moment, Hong Yushin spoke,
“The Wudang Sect and Dragon Mountain Manor have battled to a draw. Were you aware of this?”
Pyo Wol shook his head.
The event occurred thousands of miles away at Mt. Wudang, so it was natural that the news hadn’t reached here yet.
“Yes. Both sides suffered great losses and had to choose a truce.”
“It seems that the Wudang sect will recover somewhat in time, but Dragon Mountain Manor will have a hard time. The Manor Lord and the Young Master are both dead, and there are no competent figures to lead them. The vice lord is there, but he is far less capable compared to them.”
Ultimately, it was the competence of the leader that determined the rise and fall of a sect.
It was not uncommon for a sect to fall when its leader was incapacitated. Of course, the sects that were sustained by the overwhelming presence of Yong Geom-sang of Dragon Mountain Manor were more likely to suffer in his absence.
In addition, many important people had died fighting against the Wudang Sect. All of them were the core martial artists of Dragon Mountain Manor.
The Vice Manor Lord would try to rebuild, but it was hard to believe that they could regain their former strength.
The Wudang Sect also lost many.
Especially the elders and the first-generation disciples.
However, the Wudang Sect still had a strong base with the third-generation disciples being intact, and they had stored secret formulas and various elixirs in their arsenal, preparing a foundation to recover again at any time.
Still, the damage was too great, so it was uncertain when they would be able to regain their former strength. However, it was clear that their situation was better than that of Dragon Mountain Manor.
“The Wudang Sect will face difficult times.”
“Perhaps the worst times.”
“If One Sword Master, ll Geom, had survived, they could have recovered faster, but since he died, they will have to struggle for a while.”
“So, you came to deliver the news of their devastation?”
“There is one more thing I wanted to inform you about. In fact, this is the reason I came.”
Hong Yushin’s voice dropped.
Pyo Wol, Hong Ye-seol, and So Geoksan gaze focused on his face.
“Shaolin Temple is looking for Grandmaster Pyo.”
“Why all of a sudden?”
“It is not yet known to the world, but the Shaolin Temple has suffered a great loss. Everyone who went to mediate between Wudang Sect and Dragon Mountain Manor was wiped out, leaving only one survivor.”
“They weren’t swept up in the fight between the two sects, they were attacked by a third party?”
“You are correct.”
Hong Yushin nodded vigorously.
Pyo Wol had deduced the truth with just a few words, and he was impressed.
“Who was it?”
“That would be…”
Hong Yushin hesitated for a moment.
It was a delicate matter.
Pyo Wol watched him in silence. After a moment, Hong Yushin reluctantly spoke.
“It was… Jang Cheon-hwa.”
“Jang Cheonhwa? The lord of Heavenly Martial Sect?”
“Are you sure?”
“If I was wrong, I wouldn’t have come to you, Grandmaster Pyo. Shaolin Temple told me directly. Along with the request to find you.
Pyo Wol closed his mouth tightly.
Hong Yushin was the chief inspector of Hao Clan.
He was well informed about the intelligence of the world. It was unlikely that someone like him could not distinguish between truth and falsehood.
“But how did they find out Jang Cheon-hwa annihilated the mediation group? Surely, he would have tried to obliterate the evidence.”
“There appears to have been a survivor.”
“A second-generation disciple named Ji Gyeong. He said he was able to escape with the help of an old man. The old man had disheveled hair and possessed strong martial arts.”
“Who is the old man?”
“Even Ji Gyeong does not know that. Anyway, with his help, he escaped and informed Shaolin Temple. The temple is now in a state of emergency.”
The incident was orchestrated by none other than Jang Cheon-hwa, the master of the Heavenly Martial Sect, the epitome of power in Kangho.
The only figure that could possibly equal or even surpass his presence in Kangho was Lee Cheong alone.
It was an incident in which a martial artist, who could rightly be called the best in the world, destroyed the martial artists of the Shaolin Temple.
It couldn’t be overlooked easily.
Had Ji Gyeong not survived, Shaolin Temple would have never found out about Jang Cheon-hwa’s involvement.
‘The one who saved Ji Gyeong must have been Wind Saint.’
The appearance described by Hong Yushin precisely matched that of Wind Saint.
The Wind Saint was indeed someone who could help a Shaolin disciple while avoiding Jang Cheon-hwa.
The question was why Jang Cheon-hwa wanted to kill the mediators of Shaolin Temple.
No matter how he thought, there was no reason for Jang Cheon-hwa to be at odds with Shaolin.
Why did he go to such lengths? What is he hiding? Was he involved in the clash between Wudang Sect and Dragon Mountain Manor?
That would make sense.
The Wudang Sect and the Taoists he knew were not the kind to ambush the wounded returning home. But with Jang Cheon-hwa’s intervention, everything made sense.
What Pyo Wol couldn’t understand the most was the death of One-Sword Master.
One-Sword Master’s martial arts skills were extraordinary, and he could always save himself no matter what the situation. Pyo Wol couldn’t accept that he had been killed after parting with Yong Geom-sang.
An image formed in Pyo Wol’s mind.
One-Sword Master, wounded after the duel with Yong Geom-sang, and Jang Cheon-hwa appearing before him.
Pyo Wol felt a chill run through his entire body.
It was no longer a matter of imagination.
It was a reconstruction of an event that had already happened and the hidden truth behind this incident.
‘Jang Cheon-hwa is fanning the flames of chaos in the world.’
With his son, Jang Mugak, already involved, and now his father as well, the world was only becoming more chaotic.
Hong Yushin looked at his expression and cautiously spoke.
“Shaolin Temple wishes to see you, Grandmaster Pyo.”
“Yes! They have requested a secret meeting. So they asked me.”
“Did the Abbot himself say this?”
“Yes! Abbot Unji himself has requested it.”
Abbot Unji, a towering figure in Kangho, wielded influence comparable to Jang Cheon-hwa and Lee Cheong.
His direct request to meet Pyo Wol meant that he took the matter very seriously.
Pyo Wol murmured.
It was over a thousand miles from Sea Gate City to where Shaolin was located. Even with fast travel, it would take at least ten days.
“What’s happening with the Great Kangho War?”
“They’re still fighting fiercely, but the scales are slowly tipping in the direction of the Silver Lotus
“Is that so?”
“Thank you, Grandmaster Pyo. By dealing with Dokgo Hwang and his followers, you’ve created
a significant gap in the strength of the Golden Heavenly Hall.”
The roles of Dokgo Hwang and the Martial Sword Alliance Martial Artists in the Golden Heavenly Hall were not insignificant.
Their absence was not something that could be easily filled.
Above all, the massacre that Dokgo Hwang committed in Sea Gate City damaged the moral reputation of the Golden Heavenly Hall. It dealt a fatal blow to its prestige.
Because of this incident, many martial artists who had been watching or maintaining neutrality in Kangho joined the Silver Lotus Hall.
As a result, the power of the Golden Heavenly Hall dwindled, while the Silver Lotus Hall grew in strength.
Pyo Wol didn’t want to directly intervene in the struggle between these two forces.
By wiping out the assassins alone, he felt he had done his part. The rest was their responsibility.
However, the matter of Jang Cheon-hwa was different.
If Jang Cheon-hwa truly had killed Il Geom Jin and instigated the battle between the Wudang Sect and Dragon Mountain Manor, Pyo Wol couldn’t remain still.
Il Geom Jin had not only shared a special connection with him but also bestowed a great favor upon Soma.
“I will go to the Shaolin Temple myself.”
“You’ve made a wise decision.”
Hong Yushin’s face brightened.
Pyo Wol was one of the key figures moving the era.
Although he himself disliked revealing his presence and preferred to operate from the shadows, he was undeniably one of the few in the current Kangho who had the qualification and ability to keep Jang Cheon-hwa in check.
Hong Ye-Seol said, “I will go with you.”
“Do as you please. Let Sal-no stay here to recuperate, and I’ll take Soma with me.”
“I will deliver the message.”
Hong Ye-seol answered with a smile.
Pyo Wol’s gaze turned to So Geoksan, as if seeking his opinion.
“I’ll pass. I need to track down So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo.”
“If you need help, feel free to use the assassins of the Black Sect.”
“I can do that?”
“Use them as you like.”
So Geoksan grinned.
Being a former assassin, he knew better than anyone how to command assassins.
Moreover, the targets of his pursuit, So Yeowol and Song Cheonwoo, were also from an assassin background.
There was nothing more effective than using assassins to track down assassins.
So Geoksan assured, “I will definitely find those two scoundrels.”
Tarha and Sal-no sat side by side, looking out at the garden.
Tarha had also suffered considerable injuries in the confrontation with Dokgo Hwang, and Sal-no had lost one arm and one leg.
Both needed extensive recuperation.
Tarha asked Sal-no,
“How’s your wound?”
“Heh heh! It hurts.”
“Do assassins feel pain too?”
“Aren’t assassins human too?”
“It doesn’t seem so, looking at your lord.”
“He is special.”
Among all the people he’d met, Pyo Wol was the most exceptional being.
Without him, the Sea Dragon Manor would have already been obliterated.
It was only because Pyo Wol had intervened that he could save his one and only granddaughter’s life.
This favor was no trivial matter.
“I heard there’s a lot of treasure on the Ghost Fleet’s ship.”
“Is that so?”
“I don’t know how much they looted, but the amount is beyond imagination. As soon as I dispose of it, I’ll send it to the Black Sect.”
“Shouldn’t I return the favor? The riches on board the Ghost Ship would be enough to run the Black Sect for decades without any income.”
“No matter how steadfast one’s heart is, without wealth, it’s bound to waver in the face of various temptations. I hope he always maintains his current mindset. So you’ll have to accept it on his behalf.”
“Tsk! Just when I thought I could rest a bit, you’re saddling me with another bothersome task.”
“Rest can wait until after death, can’t it? While alive, we should work hard.”
“You sound like someone I know.”
Sal-no closed his eyes, but a smile lingered at the corner of his mouth.