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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
Yoon Seo-In’s eyes widened in disbelief. She was watching the battle from afar, and seeing Jin Mu-Won overwhelm six of her senior brothers to the point where they could not even touch the hem of his clothes hit her like a ton of bricks.
“How? What? Why?” she blurted.
“The gangho is a large place with many hidden masters who hide their abilities and blend into the common folk. The Old Matriarch knows this well, and has always been wary of people who appear to be normal at first glance.”
“So what you’re saying is: He’s a hidden master?”
“……” Gong Jin-Sung did not answer. No, he couldn’t answer, because just like Yoon Seo-In, he was also guilty of underestimating Jin Mu-Won.
It seems that everything Escort Hwang boasted about his nephew was true.
Every time Gong Jin-Sung went drinking with Hwang Cheol, the middle-aged man would always boast about his nephew’s greatness. Unfortunately, back then, no one had ever taken him seriously.
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Where was Hwang Cheol from again? I can’t remember his background… Now that I think of it, I know next to nothing about that man’s past. I’ve never thought of him as anything more than a simple escort.
Why is his nephew Jin Mu-Won so damn scary!? For a normal warrior like me, just the thought of taking on a first-class disciple of the Kongtong Sect frightens me to no end, and yet right now, I’m watching six of those disciples get their asses handed to them by Jin Mu-Won!!!
“Stop dodging, you bastard!”
Mu-Hae and Mu-Wol increased the pressure on Jin Mu-Won, but it was useless. Even after being driven into a corner, he would always somehow wriggle his way out of their encirclement with a relaxed look on his face.
“What the hell!?” one of the Taoists exclaimed. He and his fellow disciples were the strongest among the first-class disciples of the Kongtong Sect, and had all been acknowledged as peak-level experts.1 Furthermore, Mu-Hae and Mu-Wol were swordmasters. However, none of them could graze Jin Mu-Won’s clothes, which meant that Jin Mu-Won’s strength was far beyond theirs.
To make things worse, Jin Mu-Won hadn’t drawn his sword yet. Instead, he’d sometimes stick out his fingers with a face like he was about to poke something, causing the six Taoists to panic and draw back.
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As he watched all of this, Gong Jin-Sung couldn’t help but wonder what the rationale behind the Taoists’ strange actions was. In the end, he figured that he was probably just too weak to understand the battle.
Suddenly, at the edges of Jin Mu-Won’s All-Encompassing Cognizance, he sensed a presence that wasn’t supposed to be here heading in a certain direction.
“Of all the…” he mumbled to himself. He couldn’t delay this fight any longer. If he did, he’d regret it for the rest of his life. His eyes began flickering with a strange light.
Shivers ran down the spines of the six Taoists, and goosebumps broke out all over their bodies. The air around them felt like it had frozen solid.
For the first time since the fight began, Jin Mu-Won stopped moving around. Sensing an opportunity, the Taoists charged at him, fists blazing and swords swinging.
When he saw this, however, Mu-Jin shouted, “No! Everyone, retreat!”
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Regrettably, Mu-Hae and the others ignored him. Their eyes were filled with a frenzied desire to kill Jin Mu-Won.
We have to kill him!
The Taoists unleashed their killing techniques, the “Soul Annihilation (追魂滅殺)” and the “Golden Dragon Destroyer (黃龍殺天)”. Sword qi surrounded the area around Jin Mu-Won, sealing off his escape routes. The Taoists were confident that they’d be able to shred Jin Mu-Won into pieces with this attack.
Much to their surprise, Jin Mu-Won did not attempt to dodge this move. Instead, he charged toward them.
SLASH! BAM! WHAM!
One by one, the Taoists’ attacks were knocked aside. Jin Mu-Won took advantage of the momentary opening created by their confidence in this final attack to execute one of the basic techniques of the Shadow Blade of Destruction, Meteor Soul (流星魂), except he was using knifehand strikes2 instead of his sword.
Struck on the chests and necks, the Taoists screamed and fell to the ground rolling. Although Jin Mu-Won had used his hand instead of his blade, the sword technique was no less polished. If he hadn’t held back, the Taoists would already be dead. His seven years of hard training in Mount Cinnabar were finally showing results.
Mu-Hae lay on the ground, concussed. His vision seemed to have doubled, or even tripled, and he felt like throwing up. He tried to stand up, but couldn’t summon any strength back into his limbs.
In the meantime, Jin Mu-Won leaped over them and broke into a run.
“Stop!” yelled Mu-Jin, chasing after him.
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Mu-Jin drew his Bamboo Blade.
A few dozen brilliant rays of light spilled from Mu-Jin’s Bamboo Blade as he prepared the Metallic Radiance (鐵極光輝) technique of Kongtong Sect’s Demon-Slaying Sword (伏魔劍). The rays of light took on the forms of Bamboo Blades, making it difficult to tell which one was real and which one was a feint.
Without turning around, Jin Mu-Won swung the sheathed Snow Flower, defending against Mu-Jin’s sword technique with pinpoint accuracy. He then used the force of the blow to leap forward and increase the distance between himself and Mu-Jin, all the while sprinting at breakneck speed.
“Are you trying to escape from me?” Mu-Jin roared. As he chased after Jin Mu-Won, his killing intent intensified.
Mu-Jin swung his sword again and again, shooting out his sword qi as countless rays of light at Jin Mu-Won. However, as if he had eyes at the back of his head, Jin Mu-Won dodged all of his attacks without looking back.
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Exasperated, Mu-Jin gathered his qi and executed one of the Kongtong Sect’s movement techniques, the Soaring Phoenix Steps (飛鳳身法). Like a phoenix soaring into the sky, Mu-Jin spread his arms wide and accelerated, quickly closing in on Jin Mu-Won.
He brought his sword crashing down on Jin Mu-Won’s back, but the young man responded in the same way he did before, moving Snow Flower to intercept the attacks without looking back or slowing down.
CLANG! CLANG! KA-CLANG!
Fireworks erupted in the darkness, and Jin Mu-Won’s body shook from the impact. Even so, he did not allow a single slash to reach him.
Enraged, Mu-Jin injected more qi into his Bamboo Blade and spat, “Are you going to keep running away? Do you not have any pride as a warrior?”
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Mu-Jin charged his sword qi and released it all at once in a technique known as the “Soul-Shattering Thunderbolt (霹靂碎魂)”, one of the final moves of the Demon-Slaying Sword. It was a technique that required one to split the qi in their body into five threads, then wind the threads into a condensed rope and launch it like a spinning arrow with the power to crush a target’s soul.
To Mu-Jin’s delight, this was indeed not an attack that Jin Mu-Won could dodge or block carelessly. Unlike before, Jin Mu-Won was forced to stop, turn around, and face him seriously.
As the condensed sword qi was about to hit him, Jin Mu-Won spun Snow Flower with grace and finesse. Without drawing his blade from the scabbard, he struck the side of Mu-Jin’s qi and knocked it to the side.
The Soul-Shattering Thunderbolt crashed into the wall of a nearby building.
“Force Deflection (移花椄木)3?” Mu-Jin exclaimed, eyes trembling in shock.
Like grafting a flower onto a tree, Force Deflection was a parrying technique that changed the direction of an opponent’s attack, splitting and transferring the force. It was something that any martial arts expert could do.
However, the technique that most people knew of as Force Deflection could only be used on physical attacks. Mu-Jin had never heard of anyone using this technique on an intangible qi attack before.
Most importantly, Jin Mu-Won had used such a technique on a finishing move executed by him, a peak-level expert. Mu-Jin did not dare to imagine how precise Jin Mu-Won’s control over his qi must be in order to pull off something so insane.
Jin Mu-Won stopped fleeing and glanced at Mu-Jin expressionlessly.
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A shiver ran down Mu-Jin’s spine. Only now did he finally realize that Jin Mu-Won was a much more formidable swordsman than he’d previously predicted.
Why on earth would a person like this use a cowardly surprise attack on Mu-Hae and my other junior brothers? That doesn’t make any sense.
Suddenly, Mu-Jin realized that Jin Mu-Won’s eyes weren’t focused on him, but on the damaged building. He turned to see what had caught the attention of the younger man.
The sight that greeted him left him utterly confused. The wall of the building had collapsed, exposing the interior and the people inside. There, he saw his junior brother Seol-Goong holding a sword with a panicked look on his face.
…Huh? What is Junior Brother Seol-Goong doing here?
Desperate for answers, Mu-Jin’s gaze naturally shifted to the people opposite Seol-Goong. The first person he saw was the boy from earlier, Kwak Moon-Jung, spreading his arms wide as if to protect someone behind him. As for the people the boy was protecting…
“M-Mu…Gung? Junior Brother Mu-Gung?” Mu-Jin shouted, trembling uncontrollably.
“Mu-Gung” was the Taoist name that Ham Ji-Pyung had abandoned when he was excommunicated from the Kongtong Sect.
Inside the damaged building that used to be the South Sea Inn, Ham Ji-Pyung and his daughter also noticed Mu-Jin. As the initial shock melted away, tears began to flow from Ham Ji-Pyung’s eyes.
Ham Ji-Pyung cried in reply, “Senior Brother Mu-Jin!”
“Mu-Gung, why are you here…”
Mu-Jin instantly forgot about Jin Mu-Won and slowly tottered towards Ham Ji-Pyung.
Translator’s Note: The terror of the “Poke Attack” will haunt Kongtong Sect forever… Traumatized Taoists ROFL
Peak-level: Not a cultivation realm but a classification of strength created by bored murim dudes who like ranking lists. The accuracy is naturally dubious since only famous people are on it. ↩
Knifehand strike: i.e. the karate chop. I just wanted to avoid the word “karate” since it comes out of nowhere… ↩
Force Deflection (移花椄木): Literal translation – Grafting a Flower Onto a Tree. I chose to TL it using the meaning and physical description rather than an abstract name, but you know, murim logic… ↩
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