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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
Im Jin-Yeop and Dam Jin-Hong drank and chatted with the armed escorts all night long. In just two hours, they had completely blended in with the group, and the escorts began treating them as their own. Their social skills were admirable.
In contrast, Jin Mu-Won mostly kept to himself. Several of the escorts expressed interest in talking to the nephew of Hwang Cheol, but most of them ignored his existence.
That was human nature. People simply didn’t care much about things that didn’t concern them. Jin Mu-Won understood that fact well and didn’t blame these people for being heartless and unsympathetic.
He lay down on Hwang Cheol’s bed for a while, but countless thoughts ran through his mind, preventing him from falling asleep. At first, he was filled with worry for Hwang Cheol. However, unconsciously, his thoughts slowly turned toward the girl he hadn’t seen in years.
Ever since that day, Eun Han-Seol had vanished completely, as if she had never existed before.
Not only her, the Silent Night has also laid low since the events of that day. Have their internal affairs been resolved, or are they still in the progress of sorting themselves out?
It would be great if I could confirm that Han-Seol is still alive, but unfortunately, Uncle Hwang hasn’t been able to find out anything about her or the Silent Night. The only fact I can take comfort in is that Heaven’s Summit doesn’t know what the Silent Night is planning either.
Seven years ago, the Northern Army Fortress was wiped off the face of the map. Heaven’s Summit launched an investigation into the truth, but they found nothing.
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Instead, they constructed a new garrison right where the fortress used to be. Unlike previously, they did not simply send a few weak mercenaries to guard it. This time, they stationed a proper army there.
However, even then, the Silent Night did not show themselves anywhere. It was as if the events of that day were a hallucination. The only outcome of that battle was that Heaven’s Summit heightened their defensive and surveillance measures.
If the Silent Night tries anything now, it definitely won’t go undetected by Heaven’s Summit information network.
If that was the case, the answer was simple. He needed to plant a spy inside Heaven’s Summit. Fortunately, he did have one promising candidate.
Right now, he had no idea where Seo Mu-Sang was or what he was doing. His First Sword hadn’t contacted him even once in the last seven years. However, Jin Mu-Won strongly believed in Seo Mu-Sang’s patience and cool-headedness, and wasn’t too worried that he would betray him or land himself in trouble.
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In time, I’ll definitely meet him again. For now, I need to focus on finding Uncle Hwang, Jin Mu-Won concluded.
There was no need to overthink things. As long as he concentrated on getting one task done at a time, he would eventually obtain the result he desired most.
The hardest part would be holding on to his desires while tirelessly waiting for the perfect time to strike. However, Jin Mu-Won was confident in himself. He had already lived this way for more than a decade.
After sorting out his thoughts, Jin Mu-Won felt a lot better. He smiled and opened his eyes, only to find that the escorts were still busy partying and hadn’t returned to their rooms. Even so, he wasn’t lonely at all.
“I like the quiet anyway.”
He was used to loneliness. Ever since his father passed away, he had always been alone, except for the brief time that he had spent together with Eun Han-Seol.
Just as he was just beginning to enjoy the solitude, Gong-Son Chang, the Seven Skills Swordsman of the Iron Brigade, opened the door and entered the room.
Gong-Son Chang looked around for a moment, then collapsed onto an empty bed. He tightened his grip on a sword with a very thin blade, like it was more precious to him than his own life.
Other people might not get it, but Jin Mu-Won understood just how Gong-Son Chang felt.
To a swordsman, their sword was their life; it was an integral part of their very being. Some people thought that a swordsman’s sword was just a piece of metal, but real swordsmen knew that swords had a life of their own, and always needed to be kept within arm’s reach.
Suddenly, Gong-Son Chang turned to look at Jin Mu-Won, or rather, the sword next to him.
“Do you also use the sword?”
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Jin Mu-Won quietly nodded.
Gong-Son Chang’s voice immediately took on a friendly tone, saying, “That’s a good decision. There are many weapons in the world, but the sword is the king of all weapons. Learn it well, and I believe that you will become an excellent swordsman.”
“What’s your name?”
“I’ll remember that.”
Although Gong-Son Chang said that, he did not expect much of Jin Mu-Won. The young man was probably an escort, and being an escort was no privileged position. It would be difficult to obtain any martial arts better than third-rate ones, and as if to reinforce his presumption, he could not sense much chi in the young man’s body.
The truth was, Jin Mu-Won’s shadow chi was nigh undetectable by normal methods. All the chi that Gong-Son Chang could sense, was what he had deliberately allowed him to sense. He felt that as a martial artist, having no chi at all was abnormal, so he’d usually emit a little bit of “chi” for other people to detect. The chi he emitted was just enough that people would not suspect him of hiding his true strength, and yet weak enough that most would write him off as just another third-rate martial artist.
Gong-Son Chang quickly lost interest in Jin Mu-Won, leaned against the wall, and closed his eyes. On the other hand, Jin Mu-Won decided to get up and head outside.
He could still hear the noisy sounds of partying in the training plaza, so he decided to walk in the opposite direction. Although it wasn’t fully dark out yet, the torches around the White Dragon Merchant Association were already lit, and workers were still busy moving goods around. It was as if the people in the Association had no idea that nights were meant for sleeping.
Jin Mu-Won strolled along the path, but no one paid him any mind. As long as he did not attempt to enter any of the important buildings, to them, he was just another one of the Association’s employees.
Everyone was calm despite seeing someone they didn’t know because it was almost impossible to recognize every single one of the several hundred employees in the Association Headquarters. Furthermore, the branch employees would sometimes visit the Association Headquarters, and there were thousands of them spread out all over the Central Plains.
All of a sudden, Jin Mu-Won stopped in his tracks. A man and a woman were arguing in front of the twenty-wagon caravan that he had seen earlier in the day.
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The man was Yoon Hoo-Myung, the Association Director, and the woman was his younger sister Yoon Seo-In.
Yoon Hoo-Myung frowned and yelled, “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re planning to do. What I don’t understand is, why are you doing this!?”
Yoon Seo-In pouted, replying, “Both you and I know that Department Head Gong alone wouldn’t be enough to ensure that the search for Ja-Myung proceeds smoothly. It’s far too much work for one person! That’s why, I’m going to help him.”
“Hah? What kind of bullshit excuse is that!? We don’t even know if Ja-Myung is still alive. It’s too dangerous, I absolutely can’t let you go to Yunnan!”
“I don’t care what Orabeoni says. My heart is set on going.”
“Argh! You really…”
Yoon Seo-In got along very well with her younger brother, Yoon Ja-Myung. He was the youngest among the siblings, and she had always doted on him.
“Orabeoni, did you forget? I learned martial arts from the Kongtong Sect. I can take care of myself.”
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“Why on earth would you willingly put yourself in danger like this?”
“I’m doing it for the sake of a precious family member.”
Yoon Hoo-Myung was stunned speechless by his younger sister’s answer, as well as the unwavering determination in her eyes.
He sighed. He was aware that Yoon Seo-In was no pushover. In fact, she was so talented in martial arts that she had been scouted and trained by the most prominent sect in Gansu, the Kongtong Sect.
Although she wasn’t quite at the level of the Seven Young Skies, she was nevertheless a genius that the Kongtong Sect had placed their hopes on. Thus, even though she was a part of the White Dragon Merchant Association, the Kongtong Sect still taught her some of their strongest martial arts, including the Divine Palm of Dark Heaven (玄天神掌) and the Demon Subjugating Sword (伏魔劍).1 Yoon Seo-In prided herself on being able to learn these martial arts, and was confident in her strength.
Suddenly, Yoon Seo-In drew the urumi2 wrapped around her waist and injected her chi into it. The flexible blade, which had initially trailed along the ground like a snake, instantly became as straight as a steel rod.
Even Yoon Hoo-Myung, who didn’t know many martial arts, could feel the cold killing aura emanating from the urumi.
“Even after seeing this, will you still try to stop me? I am perfectly capable of defending myself!”
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This is no way to convince someone. My head hurts just thinking of what would happen if she keeps behaving like this, thought Yoon Hoo-Myung. I have no choice but to surrender to her, but I should at least add some conditions…
“Okay, okay, I get it. However, I’ll only allow you to go as far as the Tyrant Fist Sect. There, you’ll have to wait quietly while the Iron Brigade and Department Head Gong rescue Ja-Myung. In addition, if you sense any danger, you must immediately pull out of this operation. Promise me that you’ll follow these instructions, and I’ll allow you to go to Yunnan.”
Yoon Seo-In nodded happily in agreement, saying, “Okay, I promise. Also, you’re worrying too much!”
No, I’m not! This is normal! Yoon Hoo-Myung sighed. He didn’t know how he was going to explain this to the Old Matriarch.
Unfortunately for Yoon Hoo-Myung, Yoon Seo-In did not notice her brother’s frustration. She beamed and said, “Then, I’ll go back now and prepare for the journey!”
Having accomplished her aim, Yoon Seo-In skipped back toward her lodgings. On the way, she briefly paused in front of Jin Mu-Won. The two people stared at each other for a while, before it finally dawned on Jin Mu-Won that he was blocking her way.
“Ah, I’m sorry!” he apologized, stepping to the side. As soon as he was out of the way, Yoon Seo-In took a large step forward and continued on her way, leaving Jin Mu-Won to stare at her blankly.
This spunky young mistress is going to be one of my traveling companions!?
Jin Mu-Won didn’t know why, but he had a feeling that this journey wouldn’t go as smoothly as he’d hoped.
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Divine Palm of Dark Heaven (玄天神掌), Demon Subjugating Sword (伏魔劍): Wuxia nerd time! These two techniques have names that are extremely similar to techniques originating from Jin Yong’s “Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber”, but neither of them belong to Kongtong Sect! The “Divine Palm of Dark Abyss (玄冥神掌)” belonged to a pair of villains (Two Elders of Dark Abyss) and the “Demon Subjugating Sword of Skanda (韋陀伏魔劍)” to Shaolin Temple. In the novel, Kongtong Sect’s most well-known techniques are: Seven Harms Fist (七傷拳), Soaring Phoenix Hand (飛鳳手), and Yin Yang Grind (陰陽磨). ↩
Urumi: Following the Witch of the White Night’s Moonlight Chakras is yet another Indian weapon, known as the Urumi. The urumi is a sword with a flexible, whip-like blade, and it is probably the most terrifying sword ever invented. If you thought getting hit by a leather whip would hurt, imagine what would happen if said whip was made out of STEEL, with sharp edges. I know I wouldn’t go within a hundred feet of anyone holding such a weapon… ↩
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