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


Cut them down.

With that single thought in mind, Jin Mu-Won’s Shadow Qi emerged from the Shadow Core hidden behind his qi center and raced through his entire circulatory system, converging into Snow Flower.

SCREEECH!

Snow Flower screamed.

In Jo Cheon-Woo’s eyes, the world suddenly became bathed in a pure white light.

“AHH!” Jo Cheon-Woo widened his eyes to see through the sudden flash blindness, only for a razor-sharp black blade to fill his vision.

The world split in two.

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CHWAAK!

The raging and clashing qi that had dominated the mountaintop a moment ago vanished as if it had never been there. There was no more world-destroying rain, sword qi, or terrifying aura.

In the wake of the destruction, only Jin Mu-Won and Jo Cheon-Woo were left standing.

Suddenly, Jin Mu-Won staggered. His shirt had disappeared without a trace, revealing a scarred upper body, the most horrifying of which was a spiral-shaped wound on his left flank. Around the wound, his skin was charred and blackened, and bits of bone were jutting out.

He leaned on Snow Flower for support and struggled to stay on his feet.

“Keuak!”

With a loud cough, Jo Cheon-Woo fell to his knees, blood flowing from his mouth. A long, deep, gruesome gash split his torso nearly in two, and cracked ribs could be seen through the bloodied flesh.

Jo Cheon-Woo looked up at Jin Mu-Won. “What kind of sword technique was that…?” he asked.

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“It’s called the Shadow Blade of Destruction.”

“Haha! What an audacious name! But…it suits you.”

“Uncle…”

“Don’t look at me with those eyes. I don’t regret anything I did.” Jo Cheon-Woo forced his broken body to stand up, causing even more blood to pour out, but he didn’t care. He didn’t want Jin Mu-Won to see him on his knees. He might have lost the battle, but he still had his pride.

“Uncle, why didn’t you use the Demonic Cross of Blood?” Jin Mu-Won asked hesitantly. He knew that Jo Cheon-Woo and the Tyrant Fist Sect were responsible for wiping out the nearby tribes, so he had been on the lookout for Jo Cheon-Woo’s possible use of the Demonic Cross of Blood throughout the battle.

“Hmph! The Fist of Heavenly Domination is enough for me. I would never… stoop so low…” Jo Cheon-Woo’s voice trailed off as the light faded from his eyes forever.

“Uncle!”

Jo Cheon-Woo passed away standing upright, still staring at Jin Mu-Won like a rock, unshakable even in death.

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Jin Mu-Won looked at him for a long time. Suddenly, the blood on Snow Flower and the weight of the lives it had taken felt like a mountain on his shoulders. It was said that if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you, and right now, his mind was trapped in the abyss.

“Hoo…” Jin Mu-Won sighed.

“Holy shit, is that guy really human? Haha…” Cheong-In laughed weakly, his mind still reeling from the unbelievable sight he had just witnessed. He was the only one who had watched the fight between Jin Mu-Won and Jo Cheon-Woo from start to finish, having run into them after eliminating the spies sent by Heaven’s Summit.

He was familiar with Jo Cheon-Woo’s strength. The giant was an absolute master and was always at the top of the Black Moon’s list of most important people to watch out for. Not only was he a force to be reckoned with, he was also impossible to reason with, so much so that the Black Moon only monitored his movements loosely and dared not place their spies near him.

However, the living legend that seemed to be as steadfast as an iron fortress was now crumbling right before him. No, it wasn’t just the fall of an old legend, it was the beginning of a new one, and he had witnessed it all.

A strange feeling of excitement filled him.

What should I do now? One of the pillars supporting the current gangho has been shattered. Once this news gets out, the world order will change.

…I can’t clean up after this guy alone anymore. I’ll need to call for backup.

Never before in the history of the Black Moon had a single individual caused so much trouble.

Cheong-In looked at Jin Mu-Won with a very complicated expression.

sep

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The Tyrant Fist Sect warriors approached Yong Mu-Sung. They couldn’t do anything about the people inside the formation, so they wanted to vent their anger on him.

However, Hwang Cheol stood in their way.

The Tyrant Fist Sect warriors released their killing intent to intimidate him into stepping aside, but the current Hwang Cheol was a master of the Three Origins Meditation Technique and was immune to their veiled threats.

Even then, deep down, Hwang Cheol was wavering. Most of the Tyrant Fist Sect martial artists standing before him were strangers that Jo Cheon-Woo had trained after settling down in Yunnan, but there were a few familiar faces among them.

They were the former warriors of the Northern Army. Back then, when they were at the height of their fame, Hwang Cheol was merely a third-rate martial artist, and they naturally would not have taken any notice of him, but what mattered now was that he knew them.

“Long time no see, Master Seo Chang-Hwe, Master Oh Geum-Ho, and Master Son Mu-Hyung.”

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The three men Hwang Cheol mentioned stepped forward. They were all in their early to mid-fifties and ranked among the strongest fighters in the Tyrant Fist Sect.

“You know who we are?”

“You may not remember me, but I was also a part of the Northern Army.”

“Ahh!” The three of them gasped involuntarily. Over the last decade, they had followed Jo Cheon-Woo unquestioningly and lived a life completely different from their time in the Northern Army. This effort to distance themselves from the past paid off, as the connection between the Tyrant Fist Sect and the Northern Army faded until it was only a memory shared by a few founding members of the sect.

Seo Chang-Hwe observed Hwang Cheol carefully, then said, “You must be Hwang Cheol. I remember you being very dear to Lord Jin.”

“Thank you for remembering me, Master Seo.”

“Hah, this is the last place I expected to meet an old acquaintance.” The corners of Seo Chang-Hwe’s lips turned up slightly, although he couldn’t show his joy openly due to the circumstances.

“What business do you have here? If possible, I hope that you can just turn around and leave quietly, as I have no wish to kill a former comrade with my own hands.”

“The same goes for me, Master Seo. Could you please take your men and go?”

Even though they had never spoken to each other when they were in the Northern Army, the two men had a strange feeling that they shared a bond and were reluctant to fight.

“I can’t. We must follow our master’s orders,” Seo Chang-Hwe replied. He served Jo Cheon-Woo now, and his current master’s orders took precedence over everything else, including Jin Kwan-Ho.

Hwang Cheol looked at the trio with pity. “Don’t you realize that what you’re doing is wrong?”

“Still, what can we do? This is the path we have chosen.” Seo Chang-Hwe smiled bitterly.

Similar smiles appeared on the faces of the other two. They had chosen Jo Cheon-Woo ten years ago, and to go against him now was tantamount to an admission that their choice back then was wrong.

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“I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with these people, but please forget about them and leave. Do that, and at least you can keep your life.”

“Sorry, but I won’t abandon them.”

“You’re willing to risk your life for them?”

Hwang Cheol shook his head. “Not them, but someone else.”

“Who?”

Hwang Cheol looked at Seo Chang-Hwe for a moment, then pursed his lips and sent them a message using sound transmission.

“Is that true?” The trio’s faces paled.

“Yes. I can guarantee it on my life.”

”"”What?!””” The three men gasped in unison.

The martial artists of the Tyrant Fist Sect looked at each other, puzzled. What on earth are they talking about… they wondered, but it was impossible to tell as none of those taking part in the conversation felt like elaborating.

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The three former warriors of the Northern Army closed their eyes to let the shocking news sink in.

He’s alive? Jin Mu-Won is alive…

Jin Mu-Won. A name they couldn’t forget.

From the moment they had heard the Northern Blade’s name, they had prayed with all their hearts that it was someone else with the same name, so that they would not have to live with the guilt of ending the life of the child they once knew.

However, it seemed that the merciless God of Fate was forcing them to tread a path of thorns as punishment for their crimes.

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Seo Chang-Hwe said, “I’m relieved that he’s alive. I mean it.”

“Then…”

“Still, we can’t back down. That would negate everything we’ve done until now,” Seo Chang-Hwe concluded. This was the path he and the others had chosen, even if it meant being labeled as traitors. There was no turning back now.

“……” Sadness filled Hwang Cheol’s eyes, but somehow, he could understand their decision. They had come too far for a few words and Jin Mu-Won’s presence to break their determination.

Seo Chang-Hwe clenched his fists. “If by chance you survive, I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”

“This may sound shameless of me, but let’s both give this fight our all,” Oh Geum-Ho added.

“…It was truly a pleasure seeing you again,” Son Mu-Hyung mumbled.

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Hwang Cheol bowed politely at his opponents. “It was an honor meeting the three of you as well. I, Hwang Cheol, will defeat you in the name of the Northern Army.”

He drew his sword and released his qi.

SHIIIING!

Seeing Hwang Cheol’s intense aura, the three Tyrant Fist Sect elites finally understood that their enemy was not to be underestimated.

“Excellent. So this is why Lord Jin was so fond of you.” A sense of relief washed over Seo Chang-Hwe. For a moment, he was worried that their past ties would affect their battle, but it seemed that Hwang Cheol was ready to set all of that aside.

This was a fight without reservations, martial artist to martial artist.

“Then let’s get started.”

The three of them charged at Hwang Cheol.

Just as the other Tyrant Fist Sect warriors were about to follow, the Dark Phantom Illusion Formation, which was as solid as an iron fortress, lifted, and the Iron Brigade rushed out.

WHIZZ! SWOOSH!

Dam Jin-Hong’s arrow tore through the air, and despite having only one leg, the Red Leg Devil weaved through the enemy formation with such speed that it gave the illusion that they were motionless.

Behind them, Gongson Chang, Chae Yak-Ran, and the White Dragon Merchant Association escorts followed.

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The sudden attack caught the Tyrant Fist Sect unawares and shattered their defenses.

Ha Jin-Wol, the mastermind behind the unexpected maneuver, grinned. Unlike everyone else who was distracted by Hwang Cheol, he never took his eyes off the Tyrant Fist Sect warriors and was always on the lookout for an opening. As soon as he saw his chance, he took action.

Under his command, the Tyrant Fist Sect warriors fell one after another. When he finally had one moment to spare, he muttered, “All the Tyrant Fist Sect martial artists who participated in today’s assault must die. Only the dead tell no tales.”

“Is there any need for that? Why not spare those who surrender?” Tang Gi-Mun cautiously stated his opinion. He was a man of moderation, and it pained him to see so many people die.

Ha Jin-Wol immediately refuted his argument. “Do you know what it is that one must avoid at all costs in the gangho?”

“……”

“It is the illusion of strength. It makes those in high places feel threatened, and those at the bottom feel challenged. Before one has absolute strength, they are nothing more than tempting prey for both sides, and will all too easily be deemed a public enemy.” Ha Jin-Wol continued, looking at the distant horizon.

Tang Gi-Mun couldn’t imagine how far into the future the scholar was seeing.

“It is not the time to reveal ourselves yet, so we must eliminate the possibility of it happening, because in this gangho, a half-hearted acknowledgment is worse than no acknowledgment at all.”


Translator’s Note: Just recovered from the flu, ugh. So many people around me getting sick lately…

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