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

“DAD!” Ham Seo-Ryung shrieked as she dashed toward her father, who was coughing up blood and trembling uncontrollably. With a distraught look on her face, she hugged her father tightly.

Ham Ji-Pyung had once been a genius martial artist, but right now, he was but an ordinary man. It was impossible for him to defend against Mu-Hae’s sudden attack.

Mu-Hae stood over Ham Ju-Pyung and said, “How dare you insult the Kongtong Sect!? You asked for this!”

“That’s enough! Stop bullying my father!” Ham Seo-Ryung cried, looking up at Mu-Hae. Tears dripped down her face, but Mu-Hae only mercilessly stared down at the father and daughter pair.

At the frenzied combination of joy, arrogance, rage, and dissatisfaction on Mu-Hae’s face, the Ham family could only shiver in fear.

“Karma is real, after all. You reap what you sow, you arrogant bastard!”

“Lies!” screamed Ham Seo-Ryung. Mu-Hae frowned, but Ham Seo-Ryung continued, “Everything you’ve said is a lie! My dad’s food is the best! How could there be any rocks left in the meat and vegetables after he washed them multiple times? You’re a dirty liar!”

“Stop talking nonsense, you little bitch! What do you know, huh? Just keep your mouth shut and stay there quietly.”

“I know everything! I know that you’re harassing my dad on purpose!”

Ham Seo-Ryung turned to face Seol-Goong, who was standing next to Mu-Hae, and added, “Why did you lie? We didn’t do anything wrong.”


“Was there really a rock in the food? Is that the truth?”

Seol-Goong furrowed his brows, but did not reply. When she saw his response, Ham Seo-Ryung was even more convinced that she was right.

“LIARS! So what if you’re Taoists from Kongtong Sect? I’ll report you! I’ll report you even if I have to crawl my way up Mount Kongtong!” Ham Seo-Ryung’s voice echoed throughout the inn.

Seol-Goong’s face flushed with rage. No one had ever insulted him to his face before!

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Not only was he talented, he had also worked hard to earn both the respect of his senior brothers and the adoration of the elders. He didn’t deserve to be slandered like this!


Before he knew it, his hand had already moved. Ham Seo-Ryung’s eyes widened in shock as her head was slapped to the side. Seol-Goong didn’t feel like he had put much strength behind that strike, but to the young girl, even a careless slap from a martial artist was enough to knock her unconscious.

“Huh? I…”

The members of the Iron Brigade, who had been quietly observing this scene, sighed in unison. Im Jin-Yeop and Dam Jin-Hong, the two most hot-blooded mercenaries, wanted to stand up and interfere, but Jongri Mu-Hwan quickly stopped them, saying, “Don’t forget, they are disciples of Kongtong Sect.”


“Kongtong Sect may be one of the weakest among the large sects, but they are still capable of erasing the Iron Brigade from the face of this world.”


Jongri Mu-Hwan clearly understood the Iron Brigade’s position in the gangho. They were famous, but compared to the old martial arts sects, they were nothing. That was the unfortunate reality of things. The only way he could protect the Iron Brigade was to ensure that they stayed out of conflicts with people and factions stronger than themselves.

After all, revenge was a cycle that never ended. In this kind of situation, he had to be the one to act rationally, even if it went against his better judgment. He couldn’t allow the Iron Brigade to become swept up in a wave of hatred.

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Im Jin-Yeop and Dam Jin-Hong reluctantly sat back down. They were infuriated, but they weren’t about to go against Jongri Mu-Hwan’s decision, because they understood that his cold rationality was what protected the Iron Brigade from destruction.

Chae Yak-Ran was no less furious than the two men, but she too held herself back. In the end, the mercenaries could only watch the Taoists’ actions with bated breaths.

However, not everyone could turn a blind eye to what was happening right in front of them.


Kwak Moon-Jung sprung up from his seat and ran toward Ham Seo-Ryung. He hugged the injured girl and glared at Seol-Goong, shouting, “Hey, don’t you think you’ve gone too far?”

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The young man’s voice pierced through the silence.


Mu-Hae was shocked speechless. Although he knew that there were others in the inn, he’d assumed that those people wouldn’t dare interfere with their business knowing that they were disciples of the Kongtong Sect.

Seol-Goong glared at Kwak Moon-Jung irritably, asking, “Who are you?”

“Me? I-I’m an escort.”

“An escort? You work for the White Dragon Merchant Association?”


“Hah! Do you not know about the relationship between Kongtong Sect and the White Dragon higher-ups? Is that why you’re sticking your nose into our business?”

Kwak Moon-Jung lowered his head, unable to maintain his courage under Seol-Goong’s murderous gaze.

In truth, he was terrified. When he saw Seo-Ryung being bullied, he had dashed forward without a second thought, but now that he was asked to take responsibility for it, he didn’t know what to do. However, as he looked at the trembling, unconscious girl in his arms, he bit his lip in determination.

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“C-Could you please forgive her just this once? I’m not entirely sure what happened, but she’s just a child!”

“Tsk! Do you think you’re a hero of justice?” Seol-Goong clicked his tongue. He looked toward the Iron Brigade mercenaries, as if confirming whether they would step forward to help Kwak Moon-Jung. When they only stared back quietly, he knew that Kwak Moon-Jung wasn’t anyone important to them.

Mu-Hae said, “Kid, the crime of interfering with the Kongtong Sect’s business is severe, but seeing as we are kind Taoists, we will forgive you if you immediately step down.”

“I-If you’re so kind, can’t you find it in your heart to forgive her as well?”

“Argh! You don’t get it at all, do you!?” roared Mu-Hae, releasing an aura so powerful that the plates and bowls on the tables vibrated in resonance.

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“AHHH!” Kwak Moon-Jung covered his ears with his hands, but even then, his ears were ringing and he began to see double.

If Mu-Hae’s qi had been just a little bit stronger, Kwak Moon-Jung would have sustained internal injuries. Even so, the trauma he was currently suffering wasn’t anything to scoff at. His lower body was shaking uncontrollably, as if he would urinate any moment now. His lips were dry, and all the hair on his body was standing up…but still, Kwak Moon-Jung did not let go of Ham Seo-Ryung.

His unyielding tenacity only made Seol-Goong even angrier.

“You! You’re just an escort!”


Seol-Goong kicked Kwak Moon-Jung with all his strength, causing him to throw up blood.


“Do you know who I am? I am the future Sect Leader of Kongtong Sect! And yet! A lowly escort who works for money dares to get in my way!”

“TAKE THAT BACK…!” Kwak Moon-Jung yelled at the top of his lungs. Seol-Goong and Mu-Hae’s jaws dropped in shock at his sudden outburst, and Kwak Moon-Jung seized the opportunity to continue shouting, “Don’t you dare insult us escorts! You said that we work for money? We’re just taking what we rightfully deserve for our work! Quit talking as if you don’t need us! We give our lives to protect the people you don’t want to sacrifice your pompous selves for. We take pride in our work, so don’t you dare call us trash.”

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Although Kwak Moon-Jung’s shoulders were trembling, it wasn’t because he was afraid. It was because he was furious at his weak and helpless self.

“Oppa…” Ham Seo-Ryung, who had been woken up by Kwak Moon-Jung’s outburst, reached up and touched the young man’s face.

Mu-Hae squatted down in front of Kwak Moon-Jung and said, “See? You just proved that escorts are trash. Real martial artists would never behave as recklessly as you just did. That’s why, kid, allow me to make you an offer.”

“What offer?”

“Hahaha! All you have to do, is admit that escorts are not real martial artists.”


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“If you don’t say it, I will kill this pair of father and daughter. Think carefully before you speak, because their lives are now in your hands.”

Mu-Hae’s eyes glittered with malice. He saw the Ham Ji-Pyung of fifteen years ago in Kwak Moon-Jung, and he detested the determination and pride in the young man’s demeanor.

I want to let the world know that pride and determination are worthless in the face of absolute strength. I want to teach these naive kids that justice does not exist, and that they should bow down in front of someone superior to them.

“Now, why don’t you try saying it? Is your pride as an escort worth more than their lives? Can you protect them with just that silly pride of yours?”


“Justice without strength is just the meaningless babble of children.”

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Kwak Moon-Jung bit his lip again in consternation.

“You need only say one line: ‘Escorts are not real martial artists.’ If you refuse, then not only will I take the lives of these two, I will also chop off one of your arms as punishment for interfering with the justice of the Kongtong Sect.”


Mu-Hae drew the sword at his waist. The sword was named “Bamboo Blade (竹文劍)1”, after the green bamboo pattern engraved on the scabbard. It was the sword that represented the most senior disciple of the Kongtong Sect.

Mu-Hae pointed the Bamboo Blade at Kwak Moon-Jung and focused his killing intent, making Kwak Moon-Jung’s face turn as white as a sheet.

I have to say it. How else can I save Seo-Ryung and her father?

It was only six words, but if Kwak Moon-Jung said those words, it would be equivalent to denying everything his father had stood for. What was the point of living if one could not even raise their head proudly?

“I, I…” Kwak Moon-Jung’s voice trembled. Tears flowed down his cheeks and dripped onto Ham Seo-Ryung’s face.

“E-Escorts are not t-true…” Kwak Moon-Jung stumbled over his own words. It was hard for him to speak in between sobs. Mu-Hae and Seol-Goong smiled cruelly as they watched him struggle.

“Hoo…” Jin Mu-Won sighed and stood up. He didn’t like butting into other people’s business, but this time, the Taoists had crossed the line. He picked up Snow Flower, which was leaning against the table.

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Just then, he felt someone grab his shoulder. He turned around only to see Jongri Mu-Hwan shaking his head and whispering, “Don’t be a fool. The Kongtong Sect is large and powerful, and their influence extends outside Gansu Province, all the way to Sichuan. If you make an enemy out of them now, they will hunt you down.”

Jin Mu-Won understood what Jongri Mu-Hwan meant. The gangho was a place where a seemingly minor conflict could lead to large, severe repercussions. It was wise to keep one’s hands to themselves. Furthermore, the opponent this time had a solid background in the Kongtong Sect.

The Kongtong Sect called themselves Taoists and preached peacefulness, but in order to become one of the largest murim factions, just how much blood had they spilled over the years? Their sect was undoubtedly built on top of a mountain of corpses.

It was impossible for them to get along with everyone, and they surely had many enemies who fervently wished for their annihilation. For them to remain strong, they had to be firm towards those who opposed them, even slaughtering their enemies mercilessly.

The moment they revealed any kind of weakness, was the moment the Kongtong Sect would begin falling into decline. For that reason, they absolutely could not allow anyone who blatantly clashed with them to live, unless they too had the backing of another powerful sect or clan.

“Please, just bear with it. That kid’s pride might be shattered, but at least he won’t be harmed,” Jongri Mu-Hwan explained, analyzing the situation rationally. It was humiliating, but Jongri Mu-Hwan felt that Kwak Moon-Jung would quickly forget about what happened today and return to his life as an escort without problems.

Contrary to his expectations, Jin Mu-Won shook his head and replied, “There is something very wrong with what you said.”

“Huh? What was I wrong about?”

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“Something like humiliation can simply be endured. As for pride? Hah, that can be fed to the dogs. However, there is one thing that a human being must never give up on.”

“What…is that?”

“Conviction. A person must never give up on their most fundamental conviction.”


“Right now, those Taoists intend to break that child’s conviction. They’re forcing him to betray everything he has ever believed in.”

Jin Mu-Won looked directly into Jongri Mu-Hwan’s eyes, but for some reason, Jongri Mu-Hwan felt like he couldn’t face the other man.

“If a child loses his conviction, then what do you think will happen to him? What kind of future do you envision for a child who has nothing to believe in?”

“T-That… Aren’t you exaggerating this a little too much…”

“Am I?”


Jongri Mu-Hwan, the man known as the “Methodical Strategist”, was left utterly speechless by Jin Mu-Won’s reasoning.

“That child is an armed escort. Didn’t you hear him declare it? No matter what the world thinks of him, he vowed to become a true escort. For us to stand by and do nothing is plain cowardice. Are the heroic adventures that you guys talked about during the party just drunken fabrications?”

Chae Yak-Ran and the other mercenaries hung their heads in shame. They greatly outnumbered Jin Mu-Won, but none of them could bring themselves to rebut his words.

Jin Mu-Won stepped forward. Behind him, he could hear Jongri Mu-Hwan muttering, “You’re a fool…how could you even consider making an enemy out of the Kongtong Sect over something so trivial…”

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Jongri Mu-Hwan simply couldn’t understand what spurred Jin Mu-Won on. It defied his idea of rationality.

Suddenly, Jin Mu-Won shot him a glance, saying, “What’s wrong with that?”


“Wouldn’t the world would be a better place if more fools like me existed?”

Translator’s Note: Double release today! With a cliffhanger! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Proofreader’s Note: Damn! What a chapter!


  1. Bamboo Blade (竹文劍): Literal translation – Bamboo-engraved Sword. 

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