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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!

Jin Mu-Won was awoken by the strange feeling of something on his neck. He opened his eyes and saw a girl holding a dagger to his throat.

He couldn’t help but smile resignedly.

“This again?”

The first time they met, she had held a dagger to his throat too. It seemed that she was still wary of him even though he had been kind enough to save her. Perhaps she was used to living a dangerous lifestyle.

“You’re awake now?”

“Did… you save me?”

“You saw that?”

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“Why did you do it?”

“I couldn’t let you die right in front of me. It would also be unpleasant if someone died in my house.”

The girl bit her lip at Jin Mu-Won’s answer.

“How long was I out for?”

“Three days. You wouldn’t wake up, so I was already prepared to bury your corpse.”

“You mean, I’ve been unconscious for three days?”

Jin Mu-Won nodded. A light flashed in the girl’s eyes.

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Jin Mu-Won did not know the girl’s circumstances, but at the rate her condition had been deteriorating, he might have really needed to bury her corpse. Even after swallowing the Heart-Protecting Detoxification Pill, her health didn’t improve and her fever remained high.

In an attempt to reduce her fever, Jin Mu-Won had constantly changed the cool, wet cloth on her forehead without rest for three whole days.

The fact that she managed to wake up despite all that is a miracle, he thought.

The girl mused over Jin Mu-Won’s words for a while, then put away the dagger.

“I’ll be staying here for some time until my wound heals completely.”

Her tone sounded more like she was giving orders and not at all like she was making a request, but Jin Mu-Won felt that a haughty attitude suited her very much.

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“What’s your name?”

“Why do you need to know it?”

“I feed you and let you sleep in my room. Shouldn’t you at least tell me your name?”

The girl bit her lip and remained silent for a while, before saying, “Eun…Han-Seol (恩寒雪).” 1


“That’s such a nice-sounding name. Well, my room is the best room in this place, so you should keep staying here. Also, you need to rest now.”

Jin Mu-Won got up from the chair and began to pack his stuff.

Although he had lived here for a few years, he didn’t have much luggage. Eun Han-Seol watched as he moved his things out of the room, a confused look on her face.

She had basically just threatened him. She couldn’t understand why Jin Mu-Won was so eager to do whatever she’d asked of him.

This guy isn’t normal…

Suddenly, she felt a sharp twinge in her shoulder and closed her eyes, trembling uncontrollably as her wound throbbed painfully.

After giving his room to Eun Han-Seol, Jin Mu-Won moved into the Tower of Shadows.

He laughed out loud. She was interesting, so he decided to give his room to a girl he had just met, despite knowing that taking in a mysterious girl with an unknown background was an extremely risky thing to do.

He knew that she probably had a very dangerous enemy who could give her a terrible wound like that. He knew that doing this would make the mercenaries suspicious of him. He knew that he was still too weak to resist them. He was also painfully aware that if he showed the slightest weakness, or let the mercenaries see through the smallest crack, that he would be completely devoured by the beasts.

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Even so, Jin Mu-Won chose to let Eun Han-Seol stay with him.

“Am I really that lonely?”

Maybe I’ve gotten tired of this lifestyle. Maybe I’m just childishly craving human interaction. I don’t know.

Jin Mu-Won was only sixteen. He wasn’t an adult yet.



Eun Han-Seol went outdoors and took a deep breath. As the cold air entered her lungs, she finally felt alive again.

She had spent the last three days diligently tending to her wound inside Jin Mu-Won’s room. If not for that, she would still be lying down in bed. Still, she had to be careful.

Jin Mu-Won had managed to bring her back from the brink of death using the Heart-Protecting Detoxification Pill, but a lot of poison remained in her body. This poison was just too strong, leaving her with no choice but to slowly expel it from her body over a very long period of time.

I wonder how long this is going to take.

“First, I must regain my strength. Only then can I use my qi to slowly expel the poison.”

She looked around the Northern Army Fortress.

All she saw were empty snow-covered pavilions, towers, and castles. It was an eerie sight.

So this is the Northern Army Fortress…

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“It seems that you can move around now.”

Eun Han-Seol spun around to face the owner of the voice. She saw Jin Mu-Won, who was holding up a torch.

Noticing Eun Han-Seol’s surprise, Jin Mu-Won smiled and said, “As you can see, there’s nothing here. This place was once prosperous, but now it’s just a miserable wreck. I wouldn’t live here if I had a choice.”


“Oh, and if possible, use the resources wisely. I probably have barely enough food for the two of us to survive the winter.”

Eun Han-Seol’s eyes lit up.

Please don’t ask me about my true identity.

She was curious why the young man had accepted her despite not knowing anything about her.

“Come with me. I’ll show you around. You’ll be staying here for quite some time, right?” welcomes you.

Jin Mu-Won finished saying what he wanted to say, and then immediately turned around and walked away. Eun Han-Seol chased after him.

Two different sets of footprints appeared on the white snow of the fortress and were slowly covered up by the falling snow in the order they had formed.

Above their heads, a bird flew past.

“A messenger hawk?”

Jang Pae-San appeared puzzled to see the large bird flying above the Northern Army Fortress. He reached out and the messenger hawk landed gently on his arm. It must be quite an important message.

Heaven’s Summit often used highly-trained messenger hawks to dispatch important orders to their branches in the Central Plains. However, this was the very first message that Jang Pae-San had received after arriving at the Northern Army Fortress last year. This was a place that Heaven’s Summit didn’t give a shit about, after all.

A small bamboo tube was attached to the hawk’s leg using a red cloth. The red cloth meant that there would be a paid job for Jang Pae-San.

He hurriedly opened the tube and took out the rolled-up letter inside.

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“Honored guests will be arriving in spring, so be prepared to welcome them? What the fuck…”

The corners of Jang Pae-San’s lips twitched as he spouted off a string of profanities.

Truth be told, he had hoped that it would be good news. He had literally been praying that he would be summoned back to the Central Plains. Unfortunately for him, the contents of the letter were about something else entirely.

“What’s so fucking interesting about this place, is this supposed to be some kind of a tourist resort? Why the heck are these ‘honored guests’ coming all the way here just to freeze to death?”

Mt. Jang Pae-San finally erupted after being dormant for so long.

I didn’t want to be exiled, it’s not fair! On top of all that, now they’re telling me to turn this shithole into a hotel for distinguished guests? By the start of spring? thought Jang Pae-San, heart thumping with indignation.

Still, orders were orders. He didn’t dare disobey orders from the higher-ups, regardless of whether they wanted him to face danger or dirty his hands. In the eyes of the mighty Heaven’s Summit, he was a mere insect who could be crushed at any time.

“Goddamnit! We’ll have to fix up one of the empty castles.”

From the fact that Heaven’s Summit had sent him the order by messenger hawk, he knew that these ‘honored guests’ were no ordinary guys. They were definitely people of high standing or came from privileged families. He would have to prepare a proper place for them to stay.

“Oi, Vice-Captain!”

Jang Pae-San summoned Seo Mu-Sang and informed him that there would be esteemed guests arriving in spring. Upon hearing the news, Seo Mu-Sang initially reacted in the exact same way as Jang Pae-San.

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It would be one thing for these guests to visit the fortress once, but it seems that they actually want to live here for a year or more?

“Hmm, this might seem annoying, but it might actually be a good thing. We should take advantage of this opportunity,” said Jang Pae-San.

“Opportunity? What opportunity?”

“These guys are VIPs. If they take a liking to you, you might be able to leave this place sooner than you think.”

Seo Mu-Sang’s eyes lit up at Jang Pae-San’s suggestion. He had gotten sick and tired of these boring, uneventful days. A month here felt like a year in the Central Plains. Most importantly, he had a reason to return to the Central Plains as soon as he could.

“I think it’s about time we renovate the Lofty Sky Manor (華天閣). 2

“I agree. The Lofty Sky Manor is the nicest-looking building in this ruin.”

“I will inform Young Master Jin.”

“What for?”

“He is technically the owner of this fortress. We should make sure that he at least makes a show of hospitality.”

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“I’ll leave that up to you, then.”


“A real man should turn a crisis into an opportunity, huh. I’m such a genius! Alright, this is my chance! I’m gonna end this boring mission and return to the Central Plains.”

Jang Pae-San roared with laughter. Looking at things from a different perspective had made him feel a lot better about the situation.

Seo Mu-Sang was about to ask Jang Pae-San for permission to take his leave when he realized that the man had become completely absorbed in a world of his own imagination. Thus, he simply left and headed to where Jin Mu-Won was.

Jin Mu-Won always followed a regular schedule. After more than a year together, Seo Mu-Sang knew exactly where he would be at this time of day.

Seo Mu-Sang went to the Wall of Ten Thousand Shadows. He wasn’t surprised to find Jin Mu-Won there. But he was very surprised to see a girl standing next to him, emanating an aura that screamed “I am an extremely suspicious person”.

Seo Mu-Sang was dumbfounded.

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He approached Jin Mu-Won and called out, “Young Master Jin.”


Seo Mu-Sang quietly stared at Eun Han-Seol and waited for an explanation.

“She is Hwang Cheol’s niece. Both of her parents passed away when she was young, so Uncle Hwang raised her. He brought her with him last time, and she decided to stay here until the next time he comes back,” said Jin Mu-Won, who had made up a false identity for Eun Han-Seol in advance.

Seo Mu-Sang examined the girl’s appearance closely as Jin Mu-Won was talking. As he locked gazes with the girl’s obsidian-like eyes, he felt faint for a moment, like he had been struck by lightning.

Her eyes…

Eun Han-Seol’s eyes were blindingly pure and crystal clear. Any man who saw those eyes would be bewitched by their perfection. Seo Mu-Sang couldn’t believe that eyes like that could belong to a real, living person. welcomes you.

“A-Are you really Hwang Cheol’s niece?”

“I will be staying here for a while, so please take good care of me.”


Seo Mu-Sang sighed. He was familiar with Jin Mu-Won’s one and only loyal servant, Hwang Cheol. Since the girl was Hwang Cheol’s niece, there was nothing more he could say.

“Why did you come looking for me? Did you have something to say to me?” asked Jin Mu-Won.

“Ah, that’s right! Several honored guests from Heaven’s Summit will be coming here in the spring. Is it okay if we renovate the Lofty Sky Manor for them?”

“Go ahead. No one’s using it now, anyway.”

Jin Mu-Won gave his permission without hesitation. The Lofty Sky Manor was the building situated right opposite his mansion. It had been abandoned for a long time, and he himself hardly went there. Therefore, he didn’t really care if someone used it for their own purposes.

The guests were the bigger problem. Seo Mu-Sang had referred to them as ‘honored guests’, which meant that they were people of rather high status. The thought of having to associate with such tiresome people gave Jin Mu-Won a headache.

It was not like he had a choice, though. The vice-captain had acted like he was making a request, but he was actually just informing Jin Mu-Won about something that had already been decided.

Jin Mu-Won left, with Eun Han-Seol following behind him. Seo Mu-Sang silently looked at Eun Han-Seol’s rear profile as she walked away.


  1. Eun Han-Seol (恩寒雪): Her first name “Han-Seol” means “Freezing Snow.” 

  2. Lofty Sky Manor (華天閣): Literal translation – Majestic Sky Manor/Villa. Manhwa TL: Hwacheon Palace. 

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Chapter 10: That Year, In Winter… (1)