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

Jin Mu-Won was surrounded by more than a dozen fierce-looking, ripped hoodlums. If a normal person were to be placed in his position, they would most certainly be intimidated, but unfortunately, Jin Mu-Won was no ordinary man.

He coolly observed the giant dao-wielding ruffians around him and asked, “Is there a problem?”

“Are you asking us that because you really don’t know?”

A man who appeared to be the boss thug stepped forward and glared sharply at Jin Mu-Won. He had a large beer belly and a long scar across his face, giving him a threatening appearance.

Jin Mu-Won shrugged casually and replied, “I’m quite sure that I’ve never met any of you before.”

“You came here to find the swindler, Ha Jin-Wol, right?”

“Is that a problem?”

“Of course it’s a problem. Bring this punk to his knees!”

Before the boss had even finished giving out his orders, the thugs had already swung their blades at Jin Mu-Won.


The sight of a rain of blades falling down upon them would have scared off most people, but Jin Mu-Won was the worst possible opponent to try to scare.

He simply held out two fingers on one hand and reached out toward the incoming blades.

“Are you out of your mind?” one of the attackers laughed, but the next moment, the smile was wiped off his face. welcomes you.


The instant Jin Mu-Won fingers touched his dao, it shattered like glass. The young man had used his Weapon-Shattering Finger (碎兵指).

After that, Jin Mu-Won continued poking the rest of the weapons, and one-by-one, they shattered into pieces and clattered onto the floor.

The beer-bellied boss’s jaw dropped as he groaned, “Ooo…!!”

He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. This scene defied common sense. How could a human being destroy steel weapons with their bare fingers?

“You? You’re…” he mumbled.

Jin Mu-Won turned toward the boss, who suddenly lost strength in his legs and fell on his butt as he watched the two deadly fingers close in on his forehead. Around them, the other men, whose weapons had all been destroyed, could only stand as still as statues, their eyes filled with terror.

Shit! We picked on the wrong guy.

He’s a master, he’s a master…

Although there were many murim warriors in Kunming, over the last decade, none of them had ever visited the slums. For that reason, it didn’t occur to the thugs that Jin Mu-Won was a martial artist. They even failed to notice the sword hanging on the young man’s waist till after they were beaten silly.

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Fuck! Why did a master come to a place like this…

Jin Mu-Won had destroyed a blade with his bare hands, no, with just the touch of a finger. That could only be the ability of a supreme master.

As the same thought crossed the thugs’ minds, they couldn’t help but gulp in fear.

Jin Mu-Won squatted down in front of the boss thug and asked, “Do you still have a problem with me?”

“No, no problem at all.” The boss thug desperately shook his head.

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“Then, is now a good time for a chat?”

“Of course! We can chat anytime. Heehee!”

“Good.” Jin Mu-Won smiled.

However, to the boss thug, the young man’s smile was like the grin of a devil. He was smiling, but if those diabolical fingers poked his forehead…


Just imagining it made him tremble like a leaf in the wind.

“So, why did the mere mention of Ha Jin-Wol’s name trigger you guys off like that?” welcomes you.

“That son of a bi…” The boss thug wanted to swear, but when he saw Jin Mu-Won’s face, he immediately shut his mouth. Best not to upset the man when he didn’t yet understand the relationship between him and Ha Jin-Wol.

With a sigh, the boss thug told Jin Mu-Won his side of the story. His name was Ma Deung, and he was both the owner of the gambling den and the leader of the slum residents. One might think that building a gambling den in a poor slum was a bad idea, but as most government informants and constables tended to avoid the squalid slums, the gambling den’s clientele ended up being mostly made up of high-ranking officials and the wealthy elite who wanted to have fun while hiding their identities. Thus, Ma Deung’s profit margin was high and business was good, leading him to accumulate a significant amount of wealth, to the point where he planned to attempt expanding his business to the merchant center of Kunming.

However, his grand ambition was unexpectedly shattered by a person named Ha Jin-Wol.

Ha Jin-Wol was a destitute-looking scholar, so when he first visited the slums with only a single silver in hand, no one had bothered him. He quickly lost that one silver, then proceeded to borrow money from the gambling den.

That was when things quickly went downhill.

Ma Deung didn’t know if Ha Jin-Wol was simply hiding his original skills or if his skills had suddenly improved, but Ha Jin-Wol’s win rate started increasing at a rapid pace, until even his best dealers couldn’t do anything to stop the scholar. As such, it wasn’t long before Ha Jin-Wol won so much money from his best customers that it became a problem.

Naturally, Ma Deung couldn’t just sit back and ignore the problem. He immediately mobilized his men to rob Ha Jin-Wol of all his money and chop of one of the scholar’s arms.

“However, do you know what that guy did? He simply grinned and wiggled his fingers randomly in the air. At first, I thought he was going to do something, so I just watched and waited, but…” As if recalling a terrible memory, Ma Deung ground his teeth and his entire body shook with rage.

“But?” Jin Mu-Won urged, his interest piqued by this memory that Ma Deung didn’t seem willing to remember.

“All of a sudden, I felt really dizzy, and then…an army of beautiful fairies descended from heaven and appeared in front of me.”

Numerous alluring ladies in light, fluttering robes made of skylight had appeared and stolen his heart. Their silky white skin, deep black eyes, angelic voices, and seductive moves were so mesmerizing, Ma Deung and all of his men had been bewitched and completely forgotten where they were, or what they were doing.

“It was like a dream, no, not even in my dreams had I ever thought that I would meet such gorgeous women. At that moment, I felt like something wilder than my wildest dreams had come true.”

And so, Ma Deung and his men had made love with the lovely fairies…until they woke up from their sweet dreams and entered the nightmare that was reality.

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The first thing Ma Deung had seen when he’d opened his eyes was the big rock in his arms. To make things worse, he was getting it on with the big rock, butt naked, in full view of everyone else in the slum.

His reputation had flown straight out the window, never to be repaired in this lawless jungle of a slum. Overnight, the feared tyrant had turned into a pitiful laughingstock.

Could it have been an illusion formation? Jin Mu-Won narrowed his eyes.

According to those who had witnessed Ma Deung’s fall from grace, Ha Jin-Wol had remained at the scene of the event for a very long time, all the while staring unblinkingly at the thugs and mumbling to himself. His musings had apparently gone something like this: “As expected, are humans more instinctual than logical? Or are these thugs just naturally immoral? If that’s the case, what makes them any different from animals?”

Jin Mu-Won tried to picture the scene in his mind, and couldn’t help but burst out laughing, “Pfft, hahaha…so, what happened next?”

“While we were…indisposed, that motherfucker made off with all the money in my gambling den. He took everything! All the money I’ve been saving up for years! Ugggh…”

Ma Deung sobbed for a bit, then continued telling the rest of his tale. After the daylight robbery incident, he had quickly mobilized all his men to capture Ha Jin-Wol. However, although catching the scholar himself wasn’t hard, Ha Jin-Wol had a tendency to escape right away like a slippery eel, which somehow made things even more frustrating than if they hadn’t caught him at all…!

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“Do you know where he is now?”

“He recently appeared at the cattle market at the end of Shining Street, but I can’t be sure if he’ll go there again.”1

“I see.” Jin Mu-Won stood up.

“Are you going to leave now?”

“Do you want me to stay?”

“No, please go ahead, and I hope you never come back.”

Jin Mu-Won turned and left, shaking his head.

Only when Ma Deung was sure that the young man was out of sight and out of earshot did he yell at his lackeys, “Oi, you guys! Bring the salt! And then sprinkle it EVERYWHERE!”2


Tracking the man named Ha Jin-Wol turned out to be a surreal experience.

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Ha Jin-Wol had first bought a dozen sturdy cows at the cattle market and shooed the cows to a nearby village. He then held a bullfighting competition, and observed the bullfighting for two days. After that, he held a feast for the villagers, gave the bulls to them for free and left for a monastery at one of the nearby hills.

There, he spent ages arguing with an old monk. It was said that their debate was so fierce and intense, it was no different from a death match between two martial artists. In the end, the monk quit the monkhood in tears and returned to normal society. Jin Mu-Won found the former monk and asked him about the contents of the debate, but the monk adamantly refused to say anything.

Judging by his actions, it seemed that Ha Jin-Wol was just as crazy as the waiter had described him. There was no pattern to his behavior and no sign of a clear goal. He simply spontaneously did whatever he felt like doing.

It was probably understandable if one gave up searching for the man at this point, but Jin Mu-Won didn’t feel like it. For some reason, he kind of liked this cute lunatic. And so, he kept following the mad scholar’s tracks…all the way to the Stone Forest (石林).3

As its name suggested, the Stone Forest was literally a forest made up of stones. All kinds of strangely shaped rocks lined up side-by-side there, making it a highly appealing tourist site since ancient times.

Even Jin Mu-Won was impressed by its grandeur and magnificence.

“There was a place like this in the world?”

There was a rock that looked like a sword and one that resembled the Buddha, but simply the fact that all these countless different rocks could come together perfectly to form an interlocking forest made one realize just how mysterious and harmonious nature could be.

Jin Mu-Won slowly strode through the Stone Forest, marveling its splendor.

This was the last place Ha Jin-Wol had been spotted, and in order to come here, he had spent an entire day traveling without rest. He should have been extremely annoyed, but for some reason, Jin Mu-Won’s expression was relaxed.

His curiosity about the strange character that Mu Jin had introduced to him far overwhelmed his annoyance. He seriously wanted to know what kind of eccentric person Ha Jin-Wol was, to go on such a wild and whimsical trip.

Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks. Puzzled, he stared at the sword-shaped rock right in front of him. He was sure he had seen this exact same rock not too long ago!

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“…No way?”

Jin Mu-Won moved on past the sword-shaped rock. Previously, he had turned left at this point, but this time he chose to turn right instead. Nevertheless, after some time, he found himself back in front of the sword-shaped rock.

He was dumbfounded.

“When did I enter a formation?”

Even though his All-Encompassing Cognizance was still active, he’d walked into a formation without noticing it.

“Is this your idea of a welcome ceremony?”

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He was trapped in a formation that distorted one’s senses to create an illusion. It was indeed a very “dreamy” welcome. Fortunately, the formation didn’t seem to have been set up with murder in mind, but if he kept walking around in circles like this, sooner or later, he would tire himself out.

Jin Mu-Won observed his surroundings for a while, then looked up at the sky beyond the towering stone trees.


Jin Mu-Won kicked off from the ground and leapt high up into the air. Just when he thought he would escape from the formation, everything around him turned pitch black, and he couldn’t see anywhere he could safely jump to. Once again, his senses were distorted, and he had no choice but to land in the same spot where he had jumped.

“Looks like there isn’t a loophole I can exploit by jumping, huh?” he said thoughtfully.

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He felt that Ha Jin-Wol was testing him, and was actually watching him from somewhere close by, happily clapping while admiring the results of his masterpiece.

“Hmm, I don’t really enjoy being in situations like these…”

There were two ways to deal with highly intelligent people. One, be smarter than them, or two, just use brute force.

Jin Mu-Won decided on the latter method.

He knew very well that dancing in the palm of his opponent’s hand in their field of expertise was about as dumb as dumb could get. Well, if that was how Ha Jin-Wol wanted to play it, then all he’d have to do was face the scholar using his own specialty.

He placed a hand on Snow Flower, then drew the blade in one swift movement.


Following a bright flash of light like a meteor falling from the heavens, Snow Flower’s whistle as it cut through a certain scholar’s welcome present rang soundly throughout the Stone Forest.


Like the opening of stage curtains at the start of a play, the formation split apart, revealing the man behind it.


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FoodieMonster007’s Note: Ha Jin-Wol, the deuteragonist of Northern Blade, finally makes his appearance after 80+ chapters! APPLAUSE APPLAUSE

FYI if you ever plan a vacation to China, Yunnan is a great destination, much better than Beijing or Shanghai. They have great bbq, tea, and cheese, which you can enjoy while viewing the breathtaking landscapes. Although trips there do demand a ridiculous amount of hiking, at least the hiking helps work up an appetite so you can you know, have an excuse to eat some more mushrooms with pan-fried goat cheese…


  1. Shining Street: The name of a random street, 광명로, Kwangmyung Street. According to google maps, it’s a real street name. 

  2. Salt is believed to ward off evil spirits, in case you didn’t already know that, but I feel like this is one common superstition that crosses continents… 

  3. Stone Forest (石林): The Shilin, or more literally the “Stone Forest” is located in Yunnan Province, about 100 km or 60 mi from the capital city of Kunming. There are several other stone forests around the world including the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park (Madagascar) and Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia). 

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