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


CLANG!

The sound of metal being struck rang out along with a huge tremor caused by the killing intent contained within the vibrating sound waves.

Both Jin Mu-Won and Nam Goon-Wi were pushed back by the force of the clash, but they soon kicked off the ground again and rushed toward each other.

CLANG! THUD! CRASH!

As Snow Flower and the sky-piercer halberd collided again and again, their combined killing intent quickly sent shockwaves of death spreading out all over the battlefield. After their previous duel, each fighter fully understood how terrifying the other was.

Right at the start of the fight, Nam Goon-Wi unleashed everything he had. This was his first time giving it his all after learning the True Blazing Halberd of the Fire Dragon. He put his heart and soul into every strike and focused his senses like never before.

WHOOSH!

Like a roaring dragon, his halberd radiated its spirit in every direction, gathering the threads of energy it previously dispersed and twisting them into the distinct shape of a sky-piercer halberd. That was Halberd Flux, the enhanced version of regular halberd qi.

“Soul-Sealing Fire Dragon!” he shouted, shooting the halberd flux at Jin Mu-Won.

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However, Jin Mu-Won simply took one step to the side and stretched out Snow Flower as if smacking away a minor annoyance.

THWACK!

Snow Flower hit the side of the giant qi halberd, sending it veering off toward the fighting Crimson Ghost and Blizzard Squad warriors.

BOOM!

The unlucky warriors who stood in the qi halberd’s path instantly exploded like human bombs without getting even a chance to scream.

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Was that Energy Redirection (借力彌氣)? That’s the advanced, more energy efficient form of Force Deflection (移花椄木)!1 The attack also isn’t wasted since he can control its direction rather than just deflecting it randomly! Nam Goon-Wi scowled. He wasn’t surprised that Jin Mu-Won could use such a technique, however, he was exasperated at himself for letting it be used on him.

“How dare you!” He ground his teeth and leapt at Jin Mu-Won, swinging his sky-piercer halberd savagely and ominously like a bear baring its fangs. At first glance, his swings appeared wild, but in reality, they were calculated and highly precise strikes which took into account every direction in which his opponent could dodge. Until now, no one had ever successfully stood up to this chained attack.

The moment one blocked the first attack, a stronger one would follow, and if that was also blocked, then the next one would be even more forceful. It was a strategy that had always worked for Nam Goon-Wi…until now, that is.

Unfortunately for him, Jin Mu-Won had the All-Encompassing Cognizance. He had eyes that would not miss a single minute muscular movement, ears that could accurately grasp his opponent’s breathing, and skin that could detect faint air currents. Put all these together, and Jin Mu-Won could literally predict all of his opponent’s attacks. Moreover, he had trained his body well to minimize the delay between his thought and reaction speed, giving him the ability to deal with every attack with pinpoint accuracy.

The resulting exchange between the two warriors was thus so intense and rapid that if any one of them so much as made a single mistake, the battle would be over. It was such a close fight that no one dared to intervene.

In the midst of battle, Nam Goon-Wi suddenly roared, “Who the hell are you?!”

Hearing the hidden meaning in Nam Goon-Wi’s question, Jin Mu-Won chose not to answer and simply concentrated on his battle with Nam Goon-Wi.

Grasp the opponent’s breathing, predict their movement, and block it in advance. He repeated the same pattern over and over and, in the process, honed his swordsmanship.

CLANG! CLANG! BAM!

The sound of Nam Goon-Wi’s sky-piercer halberd and Snow Flower striking against each other at blinding speed echoed throughout the hall, and even though Snow Flower’s blade appeared thin and delicate compared to the halberd, Nam Goon-Wi couldn’t leave any scratches on it.

The two men fought from the west side of the underground hall to the eastern end, then headed north. Every time the other warriors saw them coming, they would immediately disengage and run away from them, not wanting to die from random stray attacks.

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“YAAAAARGH!”

BAM!

Whenever Nam Goon-Wi struck the floor, a large crater would form, scattering broken pieces of rock everywhere. However, Jin Mu-Won was always nowhere to be seen even though he had been standing there just a moment ago.

Still, Nam Goon-Wi did not fall into despair. He already knew that he would never be able to scratch Jin Mu-Won using ordinary techniques, because like water flowing through a winding river, Jin Mu-Won’s movement constantly changed, making it unpredictable.

He clenched his teeth. Never in his life had he dreamed that he would be forced to fight with every last ounce of his strength. I won’t be able to catch that guy without taking any risks. At this very moment, I will give up on being human.

CRACK!

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He broke the seal within his body, and woke up the sleeping beast.

sep

While Jin Mu-Won and Nam Goon-Wi engaged in battle, Yeop Pyung and Yul Gyeong-Cheon approached Geum Dan-Yeop. Compared to the unimportant chaos happening all around them, subduing the leader was far more crucial to ending this battle.

Rather than avoid being surrounded, Geum Dan-Yeop smiled gently as if welcoming them.

On the contrary, Yeop Pyung’s face was frozen stiff as he threatened, “I’ll ask you one last time. I know that you’re not capable of doing all this without help. Where is the true mastermind?”

“You’re curious too, aren’t you?”

“Answer me, and I will kill you as painlessly as possible.”

“Hahaha! Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke? You’re funny,” Geum Dan-Yeop laughed as if he were having fun.

Yeop Pyung was livid. “Don’t think it’s over once you’re dead. I’ll find your parents, your siblings, your relatives, everyone you ever cared for, and torture them to death. You can trust that our Tyrant Fist Sect absolutely has the power to do so.”

“I know that. If your lord, Jo Cheon-Woo, weren’t an asshole like that, he wouldn’t have betrayed the Northern Army.”

Geum Dan-Yeop’s words hit Yeop Pyung’s sore spot. Ten years had already passed, but people still hadn’t forgotten about the Northern Army. Everyone knew that the Four Northern Pillars were able to expand into the Central Plains in exchange for betraying the Northern Army. They just didn’t say it to their faces.

Yeop Pyung accepted that it was their karma, and something they would have to endure for the rest of their lives. However, he did not enjoy hearing something like that from the mouth of an enemy.

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He nodded at Yul Gyeong-Cheon, who stepped forward and pointed his sword at Geum Dan-Yeop.

“Don’t think about dying easily, punk. I’ll carve your flesh from your bones bit by bit.”

“What a coincidence! I don’t intend to kill you easily either.”

“Hmph! Let’s see how long you can stay so relaxed! CHAAAARGE!”

Yul Gyeong-Cheon and Yeop Pyung rushed at Geum Dan-Yeop in unison. Yul Gyeong-Cheon aimed for Geum Dan-Yeop’s head, while Yeop Pyung circled behind his back.

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However, Geum Dan-Yeop casually sidestepped and thwarted their attack. He then smiled at them, took a silvery flute2 out of his chest pocket, and raised it to his mouth.

Yul Gyeong-Cheon snorted at the sight, saying, “How ridiculous. What are you going to do with that toy?”

He unleashed a killing technique at Geum Dan-Yeop, but in response, the young man very calmly started playing a forlorn melody on his flute.

Yul Gyeong-Cheon and Yeop Pyung came to a grinding halt as the music sent their minds reeling.

“Keuk! Is that Sound Arts (音功)?”

HISSSSSSSS!

The tinnitus symptoms were the first to show. Yul Gyeong-Cheon and Yeop Pyung began to see double, and maintaining their balance got harder and harder. Although both of them were experts and quickly protected their hearts and minds with their inner energy, the unexpected attack still alarmed them immensely.

As Sound Arts experts were almost unheard of in the Central Plains, the last thing they expected was for Geum Dan-Yeop to be a rare master of the Sound Arts who could affect them just by playing a few notes.

Geum Dan-Yeop closed his eyes and immersed himself in his playing.

"”Keuak!”” Several of the warriors nearby shrieked as their hearts exploded, having failed to defend against Geum Dan-Yeop’s sound attack in time.

When he saw his collapsing Blizzard Squad subordinates, Yul Gyeong-Cheon bathed his blade in sword qi and swung it at Geum Dan-Yeop, roaring, “Stop playing, damn it!”

The true terror of Sound Arts lay in its ability to launch an unblockable attack on a large group of targets. Since sound waves were transmitted through air, except for the few victims who were skilled enough to protect themselves with qi, most were defenseless against it.

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If Geum Dan-Yeop were allowed to run free, the damage he caused would inevitably increase exponentially. Knowing this, Yul Gyeong-Cheon promptly gave up on capturing Geum Dan-Yeop and decided to kill him as quickly as he could.

SWOOSH!

He thrust his blade at Geum Dan-Yeop and prepared five kinds of follow-up techniques, thinking that the young man would block his attack with the flute, but that did not happen.

BOOM!

Yul Gyeong-Cheon’s sword bounced off an invisible wall surrounding Geum Dan-Yeop.

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“Gah!”

STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!

The recoil sent him three or four steps back, and in order to halt his momentum, his feet left deep footprints in the stone floor as he retreated. A stream of blood flowed down from his mouth, and his eyes trembled with shock and disbelief. “It can’t be…the Intangible Sound Barrier (無形音膜)?” he muttered.

Only a master of the Sound Arts could use the Intangible Sound Barrier. Technically, it was similar to the self-defense field created by a normal martial artist, but created with sound instead of qi, which made it much harder to learn and use.

Yeop Pyung was equally startled at Geum Dan-Yeop’s mastery of the Sound Arts. He’s an absolute master. Are there any organizations that can hire someone like him? More importantly, the two of us are no match for him. Our liege Jo Cheon-Woo is the only person in the Tyrant Fist Sect who is qualified to face him.

Suddenly, a daring idea struck him. “W-What if…he belonged to the Silent Night?”

No matter how hard he thought about it, the Silent Night was the only place that could train such a master, and if that was true, then the news of the Silent Night’s return circulating around the Northern Army ten years ago were not a hoax. Everyone simply dismissed it as a rumor because there were no new reports about their movements since then.

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No, perhaps it was the other way around. No information was obtained about the Silent Night because there was no Northern Army to monitor them.

Still, after eliminating everyone else, the Silent Night was the only possible organization capable of planning and executing the Yunnan conspiracy.

Yeop Pyung looked at the smiling Geum Dan-Yeop, and a shiver ran down his spine. For some reason, the young man’s scholarly appearance and graceful smile made him seem even scarier than his brutish friend.

“Have you finally realized who we are? As expected, we’ve been inactive for so long that we have basically faded into obscurity.”

“Wait, you really are from the Silent Night?” Yeop Pyung tried to stay as calm as he could, but his trembling voice betrayed his true feelings. As a former warrior of the Northern Army, the mere mention of the Silent Night bothered him a lot.

Geum Dan-Yeop met Yeop Pyung’s gaze and flatly said, “I understand how you must feel, as someone who doesn’t belong to the generation that fought the Silent Night directly.”

Those who have never personally felt fear always laugh at others’ terrors, thinking they would fare better. As such, fears tended to diminish with the passing of time.

Similarly, the fear of the Silent Night was forgotten by the people of the Central Plains. To them, the Silent Night was a part of history, not reality.

Geum Dan-Yeop’s eyes turned red as he growled, “This time, I’ll make sure you guys never forget it again.”

He had sacrificed everything to prepare this stage. There was no stopping him now.

He placed the flute back in his mouth.


Footnotes:

  1. Force Deflection (移花椄木): Jin Mu-Won used this technique in chapter 64 against Mu-Jin, the Kongtong Sect guy. 

  2. Flute: I translated it as a flute, but Geum Dan-Yeop actually uses a Chinese end-blown flute called a Xiao (簫). The more common, side-blown Chinese flute is the Dizi (笛子). 

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