Chapter 103: The Return of the Legends (3)
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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
There was a good reason why Geum Dan-Yeop had chosen an enclosed space like the underground hall as the battleground, since the curved walls optimized the acoustics of the area.
Once again, he started playing the flute.
As the sound waves struck the walls and reflected off them, they were amplified to the point where they didn’t even sound like a flute anymore. All of the fighting sounds in the hall were quickly drowned out.
“AHHHHHHHH!” everywhere, people screamed and rolled on the floor, blood flowing from their eardrums. Several of the weaker warriors’ eyeballs were also affected by the sonic vibrations, causing them to turn red and eventually burst.
In a mere instant, Geum Dan-Yeop had turned the hall into a terrible sea of madness and death.
“Keuk!” Yeop Pyung, whose arteries were crushed by the attack, coughed up blood. His attempt at protecting his cardiovascular system with chi was a failure, as he had not taken into account the soundwaves directly transmitted to his brain through his eardrums.
Next to him, Yul Gyeong-Cheon was in a similar situation. He had also fought back by raising his chi as much as possible, but going by the redness of his eyes, he hadn’t completely blocked the attack either.
All around them, the Tyrant Fist Sect warriors were dropping to the ground like flies. In contrast, though, the Crimson Ghost Squad seemed unaffected even though they were also caught in the attack.
Yeop Pyung’s face paled. How are they unhurt even though they heard the same sounds as us? I don’t understand… No, there’s only one possible reason. Geum Dan-Yeop is much scarier than we originally thought.
As Geum Dan-Yeop’s solo concert reached its climax, the number of Tyrant Fist Sect warriors collapsing increased exponentially. The sounds penetrating their eardrums echoed within their skulls, turning their brains to mush. It was a slow, painful death.
Geum Dan-Yeop expressionlessly looked down upon the horror he had unleashed. The dying people were looking at him with eyes full of resentment and hatred. He could hear the curses they hadn’t voiced out. This is my karma, he thought.
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He played his flute with even more vigor than before.
“KEUUAAAH! Please…just kill me,” the warriors begged.
The Tyrant Fist Sect warriors weren’t the only ones affected by Geum Dan-Yeop’s unexpected sonic attack. A trickle of blood flowed down the side of Jin Mu-Won’s mouth as he hurriedly protected himself with the Art of Ten Thousand Shadows and surveyed his surroundings. All around him, people lay dead and dying.
Only now did Jin Mu-Won realize the full extent of the threat posed by Sound Arts, especially if the user was a determined master like Geum Dan-Yeop. However, he had no time to think leisurely. Nam Goon-Wi was still attacking him at full force.
“Huhuhu! Where are you looking? Don’t get distracted!”
Nam Goon-Wi’s strikes were several times stronger and more violent than before. Everything that got in the way of his sky-piercer halberd was blown to smithereens.
Are they expending their life forces? Both Geum Dan-Yeop and Nam Goon-Wi are fighting recklessly, as if they have nothing left to lose. I don’t know what’s making them go this far, but a lot of people are dying because of them!
Then again, I’m sure I just heard them mention that they belonged to the Silent Night. Is there some sort of internal conflict going on within the Silent Night…?
Jin Mu-Won’s face darkened. There was someone he could never forget within the Silent Night.
First it was Hwang Cheol, and now Eun Han-Seol. The two people he was closest to were somehow involved in this mess, and he had no intention of continuing to be dragged around like this without knowing anything.
He tightened his grip on Snow Flower until his veins could be seen popping out.
A glimmer of panic flickered in Nam Goon-Wi’s eyes. His instincts were warning him that something about Jin Mu-Won had changed. He immediately squeezed out all of his energy, causing his clothes to flap around.
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“Let’s end this,” he said, charging toward Jin Mu-Won like a mad bull while his sky-piercer halberd glowed blindingly.
The air itself was set alight, and a blast of flames like a dragon’s breath threatened to engulf Jin Mu-Won. However, in the face of heat that would easily burn one’s lungs, Jin Mu-Won did not bat an eyelid.
His gaze was not directed at the burning sky-piercer halberd, but at Nam Goon-Wi behind it. When the two warrior’s eyes met, Jin Mu-Won pointed Snow Flower at Nam Goon-Wi and unleashed the fifth stance of the Shadow Blade of Destruction, “Blood Flash (閃光血)”.
Snow Flower, which was synchronized with Jin Mu-Won’s will, let out a bone-chilling cry as a shining arrow of light pierced through Nam Goon-Wi with a sound like that of tearing silk.
“……” As if time had come to a complete standstill, Nam Goon-Wi stopped mid-movement, his sky-piercer halberd still raised.
Then, all of a sudden, a large crack appeared on his wide-eyed face, and his arms convulsed involuntarily. He smiled, revealing blood-stained teeth, and said, “You’re indeed the Sword…Demon…”
The sky-piercer halberd fell to the floor and rolled away, and Nam Goon-Wi’s huge body followed suit.
Jin Mu-Won wiped away the blood around his mouth with his sleeve as he stared at Nam Goon-Wi’s corpse. He had sacrificed some of his chi defense to swiftly take down Nam Goon-Wi, and as a result, he’d suffered some internal damage from Geum Dan-Yeop’s ongoing sound wave attack.
However, he did not have the leisure to tend to his wounds right now. He needed to stop Geum Dan-Yeop’s madness.
Jin Mu-Won shouted at Geum Dan-Yeop, “Stop! Enough!”
Contrary to stopping, though, Geum Dan-Yeop put even more effort into his playing.
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Like a tiger’s roar, the sound of the flute was amplified tens of hundreds of times by the acoustics of the underground hall. Yeop Pyung and Yul Gyeong-Cheon, who had already been struggling, finally reached their limits and fell to the ground.
Moments later, they were dead, leaving Jin Mu-Won as Geum Dan-Yeop’s only remaining target.
Jin Mu-Won felt his mind blank out momentarily as the intense sonic waves were focused on him, causing his clothes and hair to flap around like crazy even though there was no wind.
“Keuk!” He groaned as he was pushed back by an invisible force, leaving two deep furrows in the ground from digging his feet in. It was only then that a long-forgotten legend resurfaced in his mind.
This is the Celestial Sound Demon’s (天空音魔) Serenade to the Apocalypse (天崩滅絶音)! A Sound Arts technique created for the sole purpose of mass destruction!
At the height of the war between the Northern Army and the Silent Night, a sound arts master known as the Celestial Sound Demon had appeared on the battlefield. Every time he played his pipa1, dozens of warriors would die, and throughout the whole war, the total number of lives he had taken were in the thousands.
Although he wasn’t as strong in single combat as the Four Great Demon Lords, who were known as “human calamities”, he was just as notorious as they were for his ability to dominate any battlefield and decimate cannon fodder far more swiftly and efficiently. Things got so bad that Heaven’s Summit was forced to sacrifice the lives of countless people just to trap him, and even more to ultimately kill him.
The Serenade to the Apocalypse was the ultimate sound arts technique of that Celestial Sound Demon. It was said that whenever the Serenade started playing, a 300m radius around the Celestial Sound Demon would turn into a land of death.
Suddenly, Geum Dan-Yeop stopped playing the flute and sadly gazed down upon Nam Goon-Wi’s corpse, mumbling, “Goon-Wi…”
Nam Goon-Wi had been his only friend and confidant, and it was impossible for him not to grieve for his death.
A short while later, Geum Dan-Yeop looked back up at Jin Mu-Won, saying, “Jin Mu-Won… I’ve heard that name before, and not just once or twice. However, until now, I just couldn’t remember who it was. After all, Jin Mu-Won, the last Lord of the Northern Army, was said to have passed away ten years ago.”
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“Are you a descendant of the Celestial Sound Demon?”
“Yes, and I am also the current Celestial Sound Demon.”
Jin Mu-Won and Geum Dan-Yeop, the descendants of the Northern Army and the Silent Night, stood facing each other just like their ancestors had many years ago. To most, the factions they belonged to had already been lost to the sands of time, but somehow, they had still wound up in the same situation.
“As expected, rumors are just rumors. Did you know? Ten years ago, when I heard the news of your death, all I felt was despair. After all, if anyone was to remember who we were, it would be you, the last heir to the Northern Army. It sucks to be forgotten, invisible, as if I never existed. I was terrified of that feeling, and it drove me insane.”
“Is that why you did all this crazy bullshit? Just because you wanted the world to know you existed? Because you wanted to leave your mark in history?”
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“Of course not, the world isn’t that simple. My circumstances are rather more…complicated that you would think.”
“Are you talking about the Silent Night’s infighting?”
“Wow, you even know about that?” Geum Dan-Yeop’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Are the…Four Great Demon Generals alive and well?”
“Although there were some minor problems, yes, they’re still alive and kicking.”
Jin Mu-Won clenched his fists tightly to hide his agitation and inwardly heaved a sigh of relief. Phew… That means that Han-Seol is safe.
Geum Dan-Yeop smiled and said, “You know, our meeting here today is truly a miraculous coincidence. Both the Silent Night and the Northern Army have pretty much been wiped out, and yet here we are, gathered in one place. I guess this is part of what makes the world so interesting.”
Unlike Geum Dan-Yeop, Jin Mu-Won could not bring himself to smile. He was not amused. He had come here to find Hwang Cheol, but the middle-aged escort was nowhere to be seen.
“Why did you kidnap the merchants and make them go berserk? And where are the rest of the missing people…?”
“To answer your first question, it was a warning, Master Jin.”
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“Yes, a warning to Heaven’s Summit.”
“What in the world…”
“That’s all I can tell you. Find out the rest on your own.” Geum Dan-Yeop raised the flute to his mouth to continue playing the Serenade to the Apocalypse.
Sensing that Geum Dan-Yeop wasn’t willing to talk further, Jin Mu-Won drew Snow Flower without hesitation.
The remaining Crimson Ghosts leapt at him in a giant wave, while Geum Dan-Yeop focused his sound attacks on him. At the same time, Snow Flower drew an arc through the air as he charged forward and dived right into the fray.
A rain of swords fell from above as the fourth stance of the Shadow Blade of Destruction, Storm Forest (暴雨林), was unleashed.
Cheong-In and Kwak Moon-Jung stood outside the entrance to the underground hall, visibly baffled. Lucky for them, they were outside of Geum Dan-Yeop’s attack range and hence unaffected by the Serenade to the Apocalypse, or they would be in the same state as the Tyrant Fist Sect warriors.
“OHMYGAWD! They were from the Silent Night?!”
“Hyung-nim was a descendant of the Northern Army?!”
Not one, but two long-forgotten legends were being revived right before their eyes and were already at each other’s throats.
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Just looking at the fight, they could tell. The era of peace was over, soon to be replaced by a new era of chaos and change.
In a trembling voice, Cheong-In whispered, “Is this the start of a war for supremacy?”
Translator’s Note: I f*cked up the title. Korean doesn’t distinguish singular/plural nouns.
Pipa (琵琶): A traditional Chinese musical instrument that looks like a guitar. ↩
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