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

“Are you deaf?! Get over here right this instant, Grandma!”

We went downstairs to find a drunkard throwing things everywhere and making a mess. Next to him, a group of men who should have worn a label saying “neighborhood fallen noble” on their foreheads laughed frivolously as they teased the women.

“H-Heo Il, please don’t be like this, you’re troubling our guests.”

The drunkard was Heo Il, the son of the recently deceased Old Man Heo. In front of him, the manager of the Scarlet Palace, a short middle-aged man, waved his arms frantically, trying to stop Heo Il.

However, Heo Il only smirked and stared at the manager, asking, “How long have you been working here, Manager Jang?”

“More than twenty years. This was my first job, and I haven’t left this place ever since. But you already know that, don’t you?”

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Heo Il couldn’t be more than forty. If he’d known the Scarlet Palace manager for twenty years, then that could only mean that he’d been in and out of the brothel since what, six years of age? So that was the kind of guy he was.

“Of course. That’s why, you should also already know where that damn old man’s inheritance is going, right? Who do you think this brothel will soon belong to? Huh?”


Heo Il poked at Manager Jang’s forehead with a finger and despicably laughed, “Fool, if you wish to continue working here in the future, then you’d better stay in line. Understood?”

“ENOUGH!” shouted Madam Son scornfully as she followed us downstairs.

When he saw her, Heo Il ambled over to us, bringing with him the reek of alcohol.

“Wow, look what we have here. Grandma, why did you pretend you were absent?”

“…If drinking is what you’re here for, then just quietly drink. Why are you making a ruckus?”

“Huhu, I was just livening up the atmosphere. You got a problem with that?”

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“Livening up the atmosphere? How dare you…the Scarlet Palace belongs to me!”

“That was when the old man was alive. Do you still not understand the situation?”

“…Where are my bouncers…HEY! Throw this bastard out right away!” Madam Son screamed, looking around for the brothel bouncers. However, all of them were either busy doing something else, or didn’t want to get into a conflict with the owner’s son and his fallen noble friends.

“Who’s going to throw out who? Are you seriously saying that? You, a mere employee, wants to throw out your employer?”

Although the issue of the inheritance had not yet been resolved, Heo Il was Old Man Heo’s only son after all. There was a high probability that the government would eventually hand the inheritance over to him, and Heo Il knew it. That was the main reason why he was being so smug and pretentious right now, even grabbing a random woman by the waist and pulling her into his embrace.

“Heeheehee, come here, my little pretty.”

“Please stop this, I’m not a prostitute.”1

“Are you going to continue refusing me even if I fire you right away?”

“Tsk…” I clicked my tongue at Heo Il’s dirty behavior. If this asshole takes over the brothel, this business is doomed.

The deceased Old Man Heo might have been a notorious loan shark, but the son was even more trashy than the father. It was no wonder he was disowned. Even with us watching, Heo Il and his cronies quickly became more and more barbaric, pinching food from the other customers and openly sexually harassing the women, even threatening them with weapons if they tried to put up a struggle.

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“Mr Constable, are you going to keep standing idly by and do nothing?” Ak Yeon-Ho said coldly, even as his eyes burned with flames of rage.

“…I don’t think the government should butt in when it comes to family matters.”

“For that kind of reason…!”

“But…” Constable Cheong-Cheon glanced at the swords hanging on Heo Il and the nobles’ waists for a moment, then continued, “It is fine if murim warriors are the ones who stand up for injustice.”


Unlike the confused Ak Yeon-Ho, I immediately understood the meaning behind the constable’s words.

“The government never interferes in murim affairs. That means, they will turn a blind eye to murim people who start a fight. Now, see the swords on these bastards’ waists? We could technically consider them as murim people.”

“I guess so…”

Constable Cheong-Cheon nodded expressionlessly, his face seeming like it wouldn’t change a bit even if he were stabbed.

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That was basically him hinting that he was giving us permission, so I grinned and told Ak Yeon-Ho, “Hear that, Yeon-Ho? As members of the orthodox sects, can we honorably stand by and do nothing as powerless civilians and innocent women are bullied by these thugs?”

“Of course not.”

Finally, Ak Yeon-Ho nodded in understanding. He then charged into the mess, yelling, “DIE, BASTARDS!”


Ak Yeon-Ho’s sent a flying kick at the tip of a man’s chin, followed by a one-sided beat down. He seemed to be enjoying himself with every strike.

“Hey, what’s with this guy?”

“What the fuck…!”

“S-Save me…”

As I watched the rapidly progressing fight from the sidelines, Constable Cheong-Cheon asked, “Aren’t you going to join the fray?”

“My body is a little sickly, and fighting is not my field of expertise.”

“…Wait, weren’t you from the Murim Alliance?”

“Just because I’m a murim person, does that mean that all I can do is fight? No no no, my assets are my intelligence and experience with many different martial arts.”

“Ah, yes…”

Not even five minutes later, Heo Il and his cronies were respectfully kneeling down before us.

“Oi.” I squatted down in front of Heo Il and poked his forehead.

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“J-Just who are you people…” Heo Il, whose head had turned into a swollen over-steamed bao, stammered. Seeing the sheer terror written all over his face, I guess the beating helped sober him up a little.

“Were you the one who murdered Old Man Heo?”

“W-What are you talking about? What kind of crap is that!?”

I stared straight into the panicking Heo Il’s eyes and coldly laughed, “Just from observing what you did today, you’re the one who benefits the most from Old Man Heo’s death.”

“No way! Why would I murder an old man who’s going to die in a few years anyway?”

“Because you hate him for disowning you, and because you were running out of pocket money. As expected…you’re the culprit, aren’t you?”

“No, I didn’t kill him!”

“It would be good for you to confess before suffering is unleashed upon your body.”

“I-It wasn’t me! Really!”

I deliberately created an atmosphere of fear and pressed him hard. During my long career as an instructor, I’ve seen countless people telling all kinds of lies. I thus learned to take note of their eye movements, hand movements, speech and vocal changes. Some people could even consciously control their bodily movements when they were lying. However, Heo Il was a total amateur at lying, and I could see through him easily.

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He’s definitely hiding something, but…

The changes to his behavior were too subtle, and more characteristic of a person who was being framed. If he were the murderer, his reaction would have been far more pronounced and exaggerated than this.

“Besides, I’m not the only person who benefits from the old man’s death!”

“I heard that you’re his only child, though. Are you trying to say that you have other siblings?”

Heo Il snorted in derision for his deceased father, then replied, “Not officially, but do you seriously think that it’s possible for a scoundrel who slept with prostitutes all the time to only have one child?”

“You! How could you, to your own father…”

Madam Son trembled with fury, and even the forever expressionless face of Constable Cheong-Cheon seemed to harden a little. As for Ak Yeon-Ho…if I hadn’t sent him a warning look, the man would have already given Heo Il a second beating.

“How could I say that!? Grandma, you’ve also seen them lots of times, haven’t you? Father’s illegitimate children come here asking for money all the time!”

“JUST SHUT UP! Please!”

“YOU shut up, Grandma!”

I interjected between the quarrelling bitch and son of a bitch, saying, “Shut up, both of you.”

““……”“ They snapped their mouths shut.

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I looked alternatingly at the two frenzied people and sighed, “I suppose this is enough for today. Both of you, stay at home and don’t go anywhere.”

“Who the hell are you, anyway…”


I smacked the back of Heo Il’s head and he fell down sideways, unconscious. Nice, I’d actually been wanting to hit him for a while!

“You don’t need to know, punk.”

I turned around and found Constable Cheong-Cheon looking at me incredulously, while Ak Yeon-Ho stared down at the fallen Heo Il like he was a disgusting bug.

“I think I’ve heard everything I wanted to hear from the people here, so we should be leaving now. Madam Son, please remain here until we return.”


We left the pale-faced Madam Son behind and walked out of the Scarlet Palace.

Between clenched teeth, Ak Yeon-Ho growled, “How could a child say that about his father?”

“It’s all about the money.”

Most of the problems humans face in life were, after all, related to money. Some parents would sell their children for money, and some children would kill their parents for money. Even couples who had sworn to love each other forever could become sworn enemies and tear each other apart over money.

“The only way for one to escape from the prison of money, is to have a lot of money.”

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“What makes you think that? You could choose to marry a girl who doesn’t care about money.”

“You’re such a child. No woman like that exists!”

“They exist! I’m sure of it!”

“Yeah, good luck looking for one, then.”

Anyway, my first step to earning loads of money was to pass the entrance exam for the Azure Dragon Academy. To do that, I needed to catch the culprit of this murder case and score myself some bonus interview points.

“Hoo…” I sighed, strolling down the dark streets of the city. Before I knew it, dusk had fallen.

“Let’s go see the last suspect.”


“I didn’t kill him.”

The deceased Old Man Heo’s bodyguard was a tall and fierce-looking middle-aged man with a very distinctive eye-patch worn over his left eye.

I’m pretty sure this guy has killed lots of people over the course of his life. The countless scars he has is proof of that.

I knew that one really shouldn’t judge people by their appearances, but this guy’s looks just screamed suspicious.

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He’s also the strongest fighter among our three suspects, being the one and only first-class martial artist.

Suddenly, as if noticing my suspicious gaze, the one-eyed warrior nervously said, “Please don’t judge me by my face.”

“Mr Bok Man-Chun, you seem to have had quite the illustrious career as a freelancer in the past.”

Freelancers were basically wandering, solo mercenaries. To put it nicely, they were romanticists living by the sword. To put it not so nicely, they were armed hoodlums. Among these freelancers, a martial artist like Bok Man-Chun would be considered quite the expert.

“…I’ll admit that I used to be a freelancer.”

Due to the nature of their work, freelancers were often involved in crimes and did all kinds of dirty shit. As a result, whenever a crime occurred, freelancers were always first on the suspects list.

“However, that ended when I got married a few years ago and settled down here. I’ve since turned over a new leaf and am now living my life to the fullest.”

“You’ve ‘turned over a new leaf’? By working for a loan-shark?”

I tried deliberately provoking Bok Man-Chun with sarcasm, but all the man did was nod anticlimactically, a wistful look on his face.

“I know it’s not the most reputable job, but as you can see, with a face like this and at my advanced age, it’s not easy to find a job. Even though I worked hard, I always ended up scaring my fellow workers and then getting fired by my former employers.”


“It was then that Old Man Heo offered me a job as his bodyguard. He was my benefactor. Why would I murder someone I owed so much to?”

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Well, you never know…I also have no guarantee that everything you’ve told me is true.

Still, if my eyes weren’t fooling me, Bok Man-Chun was definitely the most honest of the three suspects.

“I swear, I would never do anything that would put my wife and children in jeopardy.”

“Where were you at the time of the incident?”

“I went straight home after work, and stayed at home. In my contract with Old Man Heo, I only had to accompany him whenever he went out…”

“Is there anyone besides your family members who can confirm your alibi?”

I asked Bok Man-Chun a few more questions, and the man answered me with absolute sincerity.

Suddenly, one of the things he said caught my interest.

“By the way…finding the culprit is one thing, but did you find the old man’s will? It seems he wrote down the name of the one who would inherit his fortune in there.”


  1. Some of the higher-class women in ancient Chinese brothels only sold their craft (singing, dancing, playing of musical instruments, chess, calligraphy, painting, counseling), and not their bodies. These women were much more highly valued as potential wives/concubines (they’d still be bought from the brothels by customers) due to their education, skills, and virginity. The most popular ones were basically medieval pop idols, complete with fan clubs. 

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