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


Confused, Cheong Cheon asked, “You want the will…?”

“Yes, in exchange I will keep quiet about this case and help you eliminate the side effects of the Blood Rain Demonic Art.”

“……”

“You haven’t ripped it or burned it already, have you?”

That would ruin all of my efforts till now…

Fortunately, Cheong Cheon shook his head. He had only hidden the will, not destroyed it. However, he then firmly refused my request, saying, “I have no intention of revealing the contents of the will. I’d rather die than reveal the fact that he is my biological father…”

“Tsk tsk, how could you be so naive?”

“…Naive?”

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I clicked my tongue in annoyance and asked, “Is your name clearly written on the will?”

“…No. That man wrote that he would leave all of his possessions to ‘Heo Cheon’…”

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

I clapped my hands and smiled broadly, saying, “Really? That’s even better.”

“What’s so good about it? He replaced the last name that I got from my mother without permission…!” Cheong Cheon choked.

However, he had completely missed the point I was trying to make.

“Your name is Cheong Cheon, not Heo Cheon, right?”

“…Yeah. So?”

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I smirked. What? I couldn’t help it, don’t judge me. I was just too happy that the chances of my plot’s success had increased tenfold.

“Actually, it doesn’t matter if even it says Cheong Cheon. Do you honestly think that you’re the only person named Cheong Cheon in the world?”

With Cheong Cheon’s intelligence, he should figure out my aim now that I’ve already given him so many hints.

“Wait, don’t tell me… You’re going to pretend to be me and get the inheritance?”

Ding! Correct answer! My plan was to claim to be ‘Heo Cheon’ and take the inheritance that the rightful heir abandoned.

“It’s not that difficult. All I need is an ID card and a human face mask for disguise.”

“…You’re wrong, it isn’t that easy. Do you think those two would easily believe a stranger they’re meeting for the first time? Especially when the inheritance is at stake? They’ll definitely do a background check…”

Those two meaning Madam Son and the bodyguard Bok Man-Chun, I suppose. They’re the ones most closely connected to the Old Man Heo inheritance case, and also the people who had been closest to him. If I fail to deceive them, then I can pretty much wave the money goodbye.

Well, that was impossible, since I possessed the ultimate weapon against them, and that weapon was standing right in front of me.

I decided to give Cheong Cheon’s troubled mind a few more hints, saying, “Sigh… Please think it over again, starting with who you are.”

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“Who I am…?” Cheong Cheon bowed his head and sank into deep thought. After some time, he raised his head and stared at me blankly.

“I wasn’t asking you to ponder the nature of human existence! Now tell me, what do you do for a living?”

“…I-I’m a constable,” Cheong Cheon replied hesitantly.

Unlike him, though, I was overjoyed, because his job was the answer to all of my problems. Although many martial artists looked down upon constables, their real value lay not in martial strength but something else: political power.

“That’s right! You’re a government official who passed the martial arts exam.”

“……”

The Superintendent was the highest-ranking official in the precinct, followed by several Deputy Chiefs, and then the Constables. From one perspective, constables seemed fairly insignificant, but on the other hand, they were also the ones who visited the scenes of crimes and solved cases, leading a team of even lower ranking officers.

To put it simply, the constables were the people personally responsible for law enforcement in the city.

The reason Old Man Heo had first approached Cheong Cheon was probably to bribe him, but it was then that he discovered how alike they were.

Anyway, back to the conversation. Regardless of how upright Constable Cheong Cheon had been before murdering Old Man Heo, he had undoubtedly formed a lot of connections while working in a large city like Nanchang.

“Forging an ID card should be child’s play to you, right?”

“Such a thing…”

“You can be my guarantor, too.”

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“Uh…”

If he decided to accept my offer, Cheong Cheon would become my partner in crime. Well, he was already a criminal, but now his crimes would increase.

“Choose,” I pestered. I didn’t want to give him time to think and reconsider. “Will you work with me and receive treatment for the side effects of the Blood Rain Demonic Art? Or….”

I smiled coldly and threatened, “Will you die after having your deepest secret revealed to the world? Oh, I’m sure the Murim Alliance will also torture you to get information on the black-robed man who gave you that demonic art.”

“…You’re not even giving me a choice to begin with.”

Cheong Cheon looked at me with a pale face and nodded slowly.

sep

At the top floor of the Scarlet Palace, Madam Son smiled happily, stroking the jewels and gold bars currently filling her safe.

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“Beautiful, just beautiful.”

She had seen countless beautiful women and men over the years, but they all ultimately grew old and withered. Only gold and treasures would never age or betray her.

That was why, as a person who appreciated beauty, she had naturally fallen in love with gold.

It’s all mine. Not just this Scarlet Palace, but also that old man’s inheritance!

As she recalled the face of the dead Old Man Heo, Madam Son’s expression hardened.

That cunning old snake finally got his just deserts!

Although she had been his mistress for more than thirty years, things weren’t always smooth sailing, especially in the beginning when Old Man Heo had often whipped her humiliatingly. Fortunately, his temper had mellowed out with age, and his mind often drifted off, calming some of her resentment against him.

CLINK, CLINK.

“…If that stupid son hadn’t killed him, I would have eventually killed him with my own hands.”

However, she wouldn’t have done it in such a flashy way. One drop of poison in his wine, and that would be the end.

Ahh, if only I could have seen his tormented face as he died…! It’s a shame, but at least I didn’t get my hands dirty.

She caressed the gold and treasures gently, muttering, “…Now all I have to do is find the will.”

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Old Man Heo’s only son Heo Il was dead, his wife was long dead, and being an orphan, he didn’t have any other relatives either. She didn’t know how many illegitimate children he had, but it didn’t matter.

There were no legitimate heirs to his inheritance left, which meant that as long as she found the will, she would be able to do whatever she wanted with it.

No, even if she couldn’t find the real will, she could just forge one.

All I need is his official stamp and a sample of his handwriting. After that, I’ll hire a forger from the Ignoble Sect and bribe the officials with my prettiest girls…

All straight men suffered from two fatal flaws: women and money. For her, the proprietor of one of the top ten brothels in Nanchang, obtaining those two was as easy as pie.

“Ho ho ho!” she roared with laughter, feeling so thrilled that her heart was about to leap out of her chest and take flight.

However, just as she was fantasizing about what she would do with Old Man’s Heo’s money, Constable Cheong Cheon knocked on her door. She opened it, only to discover that Cheong Cheon was accompanied by the bodyguard Bok Man-Chun and a man she had never seen before.

Suddenly, an unexpected wave of anxiety hit her. She nervously asked, “Why are you here…?”

“I’d like to talk to you in private. Can you send the others away?”

At Cheong Cheon’s request, all the employees were sent away, leaving only Cheong Cheon, Madam Son, Bok Man-Chun, and an unknown man behind.

Cheong Cheon then delivered the groundbreaking news with his trademark expressionless face, saying, “I found Old Man Heo’s will.”

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“Eh?” Madam Son exclaimed.

“WHAAAAAT?” Bok Man-Chun bellowed, abruptly jumping to his feet.

Cheong Cheon beckoned him to sit back down and continued, “I thought that I should first discuss this with the two people closest to the victim, so I gathered everyone here for a meeting.”

Hmm, his expression is even stiffer than usual today, I observed.

Meanwhile, Madam Son felt like she just had a heart attack. She suddenly had a hunch that something bad was going to happen. Of all people, why did it have to be the incorruptible Constable Cheong Cheon who found the will? If Old Man Heo wrote something unfavorable to me in there…

“All of a sudden, you found the will…” Bok Man-Chun was equally nervous, but for different reasons. Now that his employer was dead, he was unemployed. Therefore, depending on what was written in the will, he might or might not still have a job waiting for him.

Bok Man-Chun’s eyes slowly shifted to the unknown young man next to Cheong Cheon. “By the way, who is this person? Is it alright for him to hear all of this…?” he asked.

“According to the will, he is Old Man Heo’s heir.”

“WHAT?”

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

Madam Son and Bok Man-Chun shouted at the same time and turned to stare at the man. His facial muscles seemed to be as stiff as Constable Cheong Cheon’s, which was to say, he was completely expressionless. He was also taller and gave off a colder impression than the constable.

“Nice to meet you,” the man greeted, before slightly raising the edges of his mouth and dropping a bombshell, “My name is Heo Cheon, and I have brought my father’s will.”

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sep

Cheong Cheon summed up the contents of Old Man Heo’s will, which stated that he would hand over all his property to his son, “Heo Cheon”, when he died.

Madam Son’s face reddened as she stood up and shrieked, “That’s nonsense! I won’t accept a man I’ve never seen before as his son!”

As expected, she had no intention of giving up the Scarlet Palace. On the other hand, Bok Man-Chun appeared to be in deep thought.

Madam Son continued ranting, “We don’t even know if he’s real or fake in the first place! And the will could be fake too…”

Cheong Cheon cut her off firmly, saying, “I checked the authenticity of the will myself. The will is real.”

“B-But…”

“I told you I that I have already confirmed it.”

“……”

Ahh, the tyranny of a civil official over them poor plebeians.

“B-But…” Madam Son stuttered, but she was interrupted by Cheong Cheon yet again.

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“The authenticity of the will has already been confirmed. I also checked his identity myself. If you continue to doubt them, I will have no choice but to treat it as you rebelling against the government.”

“T-That’s not what I meant.”

Madam Son was practically withering under Cheong Cheon’s icy gaze… It seemed that he was putting much more effort into his acting than I thought he would, although perhaps that had something to do with how Madam Son had thrown his mother out of the house.

Well, it’s about time for me to step up.

I politely asked Cheong Cheon, “Constable Cheong Cheon, would you mind excusing yourself for a moment? I’d like to have a word with these people.”

“…Alright.” Cheong Cheon nodded reluctantly and left the room.

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I waited for him to go out of earshot, then whispered, “My mother was a maid who used to work at my father’s house.”

“……”

“……”

I told Madam Son and Bok Man-Chun Cheong Cheon’s life story, but I changed the location to another city, omitted the job details, and said that my first time meeting Old Man Heo was when I visited Nanchang a few months ago.

“Oh no… You must have had a hard time,” Bok Man-Chun said, shaking his head sadly at Heo Cheon’s (fake) sob story. He was a very emotional man and a romanticist.

“So… I have a proposal for the both of you.”

The two people’s expressions changed at the word “proposal”. Madam Son looked wary, while Bok Man-Chun appeared half apprehensive and half excited.

“I don’t know much about business, and I’m not confident in managing the businesses that my late father left behind.”

Old Man Heo had been a big-time loan shark, but that wasn’t his only foray into business. He also owned several brothels, inns, restaurants, and trading companies. He even had an escort agency under his name, albeit nominally.

Obviously, that was too much for a former martial arts instructor like me to swallow. That was why I came up with a certain idea.

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“I need professional help,” I said.

“……”

I’d rather have these two on my side than make enemies out of them, as even a mouse will bite a cat when you back them into a corner. Therefore, I figured that if I dangled a carrot in front of them, their greed and future prospects would take priority over any concerns about my identity.

“Also, I’d like to fold the moneylending business.”

That was my agreement with Cheong Cheon. Profiting off the commonfolk’s suffering was not something he could stomach, and I agreed with him.

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After all, my goal in this life was to avoid being hated as much as possible. I know that sometimes I would have no choice, but in those situations, I was resolved to eliminate all seeds of grudges before they could grow strong enough to threaten me.

Other than that, I had no plans on interfering with the other businesses.

Of course, I could also just sell everything and use the money to buy spiritual herbs, but…giving up a stable income for immediate gain is the epitome of foolishness.

I looked directly at the two and said, “Will you help me? You’ll pretty much just be continuing whatever it is you’re doing now.”

If you refuse, then I’ll just kick you out! I didn’t voice my thoughts out loud, but everyone present was smart enough to guess what would happen if they rejected me.

“Alright, leave it to me!” Bok Man-Chun was the first to answer. My proposal was a good one for him, and he knew it.

“…I understand. I’ll work with you.” It took a little longer, but in the end, Madam Son also agreed.

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