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

It took several days just to put Old Man Heo’s inheritance in order. Madam Son still seemed to doubt my identity, but Cheong Cheon abused his authority as a civil official and kept her busy.

“Madam Son, I received a report that the Scarlet Palace’s alcohol was watered down.”

“T-That’s nonsense! Who is the one falsely accusing me of such things?”

“I cannot reveal the identity of the whistleblower for their protection. May I inspect the liquor storeroom?”

“…Mr. Constable, would you mind speaking to me in private for a bit?” Madam Son whispered seductively, but inside, she was thinking: To hell with this incorruptible constable and his perpetually expressionless face! This man’s bad news for all merchants!

“Madam Son, when I came in just now, I noticed that many of the girls here were badly bruised. Was there an assault on the brothel?”

“No, it’s not like that…”

“Looking at the kitchen, I suspect there may be hygiene lapses in this place. Please summon the person in charge of kitchen cleanliness.”

“W-Why are you suddenly doing this to me…!”

If that isn’t a perfect use (abuse) of power, then I don’t know what else would qualify. To make things worse for Madam Son, Cheong Cheon has been plotting to make her life miserable for a very, very long time. She won’t shake him off that easily!

Madam Son was the culprit who had kicked out Cheong Cheon’s mother while she was pregnant, and I understood that Cheong Cheon was hell bent on getting revenge on her. That was why, even though I was still using her for the time being, I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to exploit her for much longer.

Cheong Cheon even gave me a preemptive warning, saying, “Madam Son will be thrown into prison soon. The charges include multiple instances of tax evasion, assault and coercion, among others. If I sum up all of her crimes, I’m quite sure she’ll be sentenced with life imprisonment.”

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“How soon is soon? I need some time to find a replacement for her.”

“…Would five or six months be enough?”

I thought about it for a while and nodded, saying, “Yes, it’s enough. She’s too greedy anyway, and I was already thinking of getting rid of her when the time was appropriate.”

One of the crimes Madam Son was guilty of was embezzlement, and only an idiot would keep an employee like that. However, if she was arrested too abruptly, the Scarlet Palace brothel would also be shut down. Heo Cheon (that is, my fake persona) needed at least a few months to establish himself as Old Man Heo’s successor and train Madam Son’s replacement.

“Also, about the Scarlet Palace…” Cheong Cheon’s voice trailed off as he hesitated, wondering if what he wanted to say would antagonize me.

I finished his sentence for him, saying, “I will get rid of the whorehouse and leave only the hostess club. Not right now, but eventually. The girls need to earn a living even while learning new skills, right? If you’re really against it though, I can send them temporarily to the inns, taverns, and restaurants.”

In general, brothels had two different types of operations: a whorehouse where prostitutes sold their bodies, and a hostess club where courtesans sang, danced, and played music while serving and conversing with men without crossing the line.

Of course, the whorehouse made a lot more money, but I didn’t want to get myself involved in illegal businesses.

Cheong Cheon stared wide-eyed at me and said, “…Thank you.”

“Don’t bother. I’m not doing this out of the goodness of my heart. I just don’t want to ruin my reputation and make enemies unnecessarily.”

As one of the biggest loan sharks in the city, Old Man Heo had a lot of enemies and was involved in many scandals. I wanted his inheritance, but I really didn’t want to inherit all the negative stuff as well.

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Earning more money is good, but not at the expense of my life, or that of my family’s.

As I said earlier, it is my motto in this life that I should avoid making enemies as much as possible.

I also have to think about my future relationship with Cheong Cheon. Right now, he owes me his life (I’m helping him treat the side effects of the Blood Rain Demonic Art) and I’m blackmailing him, but I don’t see that kind of one-sided relationship lasting for very long. I also don’t intend to make him my subordinate, so…

I grinned and held out my hand to Cheong Cheon, saying, “Let’s get along well from now on. Also, don’t talk to me so politely. I think we’re about the same age.”


Cheong Cheon stared at my outstretched hand in bewilderment for a while before reaching out and shaking it. “You know, I feel rather relieved now,” he added.

“Eh? Relieved? About what?”

“That you’re the one managing that man’s inheritance.”

Cheong Cheon did not want Old Man Heo’s inheritance, but at the same time, he also felt responsible for it. He did not want Heo Il or Madam Son getting their hands on the businesses and making the ordinary citizens miserable. That was the reason why he didn’t burn the will in the end, since he couldn’t have either of those two attempting to forge it.

“I can tell…that unlike those two, you’re not someone who would resort to dirty deeds just for profit.”

“As you can see, my hands are neat and clean.”

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“Except for the bad luck smeared all over them.”

We grinned at each other, and it was probably then that we became friends. After all, if I consider it as me gaining a connection with a civil servant in exchange for saving his life, I’d say we were pretty even. It wasn’t like I was continually exploiting him for my own needs, right?

All in all, everything about this case had turned out for the best, except for one tiny little detail.

Who on earth was that black cloaked man who gave Cheong Cheon that flawed Blood Rain Demonic Art?

I thought about who that person could me, but nothing came to me. The Blood Rain Demonic Art, though not one of the most powerful demonic arts, was most definitely sufficient to create a master as long as the practitioner had the talent and put in the effort. It wasn’t one that should be spreading around the streets randomly.

The only people who can get their hands on the manual for the Blood Rain Demonic Art are the martial arts instructors and people above the squad leader (military)/division head (management) rank…

That brings me back to the question, has the Blood Cult really been annihilated? If so, then where did all its treasures and martial arts knowledge go? welcomes you.

And what about the (faulty) manuals I wrote describing the four absolute masters’ martial arts?

“See you,” I waved Cheong Cheon goodbye.

“About the solution to my problem, if there’s anything I don’t understand, I’ll go look for you.”

“Sure, I’ll answer any question you have.”

With that, I left Cheong Cheon and went to meet Bok Man-Chun.

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“Greetings, Young Master.”

Perhaps because Bok Man-Chun was from Nanchang, he was very quick to adapt to his new circumstances. He gave me a quick report even though I didn’t ask him to, saying, “This is a list of inns, taverns, and shops owned by the deceased Old Man Heo. He also invested in a farm and an escort agency. If you look here…”

As Old Man Heo’s bodyguard, Bok Man-Chun had followed him around everywhere and did much of his dirty work, especially the ones that needed force. However, this had also given him the opportunity to study how Old Man Heo conducted his business, and gain an interest in it himself.

“You organized it well. Thank you for your hard work,” I said politely. Although Manager Jang was the current administrator of the Scarlet Palace as well as Old Man Heo’s other businesses, I planned to pass that position onto the more trustworthy Bok Man-Chun soon, which meant that I needed to build up a good rapport with him.

“Haha, you’re welcome.”

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I discussed Old Man Heo’s inheritance with Bok Man-Chun for a while before bringing up the real reason for organizing this meeting, namely, “Bodyguard Bok, could you help me procure some spiritual herbs?”

“Spiritual herbs? What kind of herbs are you interested in…?” Bok Man-Chun blinked repeatedly in confusion.

“I need spiritual herbs with the Yang element. The more potent the drug, the better, even if its poison.”

“Hmm…” Bok Man-Chun thought for a moment, then continued, “I don’t think I’ll be able to obtain those right away, but I still have connections with several people in the Nanchang Mercenary’s Guild. If I pull some strings, getting those herbs shouldn’t pose much of a problem.”

The Nanchang Mercenary’s Guild was originally a place where people could hire fighters, but over time, it gradually also doubled as a black market where you could buy just about anything as long as you had money. Thus, as a former freelance mercenary, Bok Man-Chun was naturally very familiar with such a place.

If it’s the Mercenary’s Guild, then they should also deal with the weapons trade, and speaking of weapons…

I recalled the Meteor Iron still uselessly sitting in my luggage and asked, “Can you introduce me a tightlipped and talented blacksmith?”

“A blacksmith? Are you going to make a weapon?”

“I don’t really want to discuss it in detail…” I shot Bok Man-Chun a cryptic smile.

The quick-witted Bok Man-Chun immediately understood my point and lowered his head, saying, “Ahh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked… I’ll look into it for you.”

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“Please make absolutely sure that they can keep a secret, because many lives might be at stake here. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time.”

“…Got it, I’ll keep that in mind.” Bok Man-Chun nodded firmly.

I stood up from my seat and said, “Then, I have a lot of work to do, so I’ll be leaving now.”

“Already? How ‘bout having a drink first…”

“Sorry, but my schedule is fully packed today. If it’s alright with you though, we can go drinking together next time?”

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“No, I’m the one who should apologize for not taking your situation into consideration. Please, go ahead with your work and don’t mind me.”

I left Bok Man-Chun, took off my mask, and headed to the Jiangxi Branch of the Murim Alliance to meet Go Ju-Yeol.

“I can’t believe the son was the culprit! That unfilial bastard should be struck down by lightning…!” Go Ju-Yeol exclaimed, before patting me on the shoulder and saying, “You’ve been through a lot.”

“I didn’t do much, seeing as the culprit confessed and committed suicide all by himself. I also couldn’t find any clues about the Demonic Arts he was practicing.”

To the world, Old Man Heo had been murdered by his son Heo Il, which naturally also made Heo Il the Demonic Arts practitioner in question. I felt no need to inform the Murim Alliance about their mistake, as explaining how I knew of the Blood Rain Demonic Art would bring me more trouble than it would solve.

I feel a little sorry for them, but…

Sensing my disappointment, Go Ju-Yeol immediately guessed what I was thinking and comforted me, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it. Tracking down a demonic art with only an autopsy as evidence was a near impossible task to begin with.”


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“Don’t worry about the entrance exam, because your Uncle Go here will inform the academy how helpful you were in this investigation. I’ll even have the Murim Alliance prepare you a thank you plaque.”

I didn’t really need something superficial like that anymore, but I still appreciated Go Ju-Yeol’s kindness. I smiled and replied, “Thank you very much, Uncle.”

Although he promised to treat me to a meal before, Go Ju-Yeol was again busy with his work, so we postponed to another time and I left the Murim Alliance.

While walking back to the inn, I organized my thoughts about the current state of things.

With the inheritance from one of the city’s top loan sharks, the worst of my money problems has been solved. However, I won’t be able to profit much for the time being due to the closures of the unsavory businesses. The future is definitely looking up, though.

Should I just give up on the Azure Dragon Academy and go learn to run a business?

I pondered the idea for a while, then shook my head.

Rather than learn a completely new trade, I’m probably better off sticking to what I do best: Teaching martial arts. If the business fails and I run out of money to cure my condition, my life will be in jeopardy. I absolutely cannot afford to take that risk.

I’ll just have someone skilled in running a business take over until I learn enough from them to do it myself. That way, I won’t have sleepless nights over it.

The good thing is, even if I fail the Azure Dragon Academy instructor exam, I still have some form of income to fall back on. I can even use the money to start my own martial arts academy in the city, then invite Dad here to help me out. Since this is a big city, we’ll earn more from the students, and Dad also won’t be as lonely…

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Wait, should I just go ahead and do that anyway?

I somehow made it back to the inn while lost in thought, and flopped on my bed.


“Phew, I’m beat.”

I lay down and stared blankly at the ceiling, but I didn’t get to rest for long before Ak Yeon-Ho opened the room door and stuck his head in, pouting.

“Where were you the last few days?”

“There are some things you shouldn’t ask, because something might happen to you.”

“Is that so…?” Ak Yeon-Ho narrowed his eyes, entered my room, and sniffed. “Didn’t you go get a girlfriend without me? I smell perfume…”

Some of the perfume smell from the Scarlet Palace must have clung to my clothes. I didn’t really want to go to the trouble of explaining what I was doing there, though, so I just waved my hand dismissively and said, “It’s not what you think. Anyway, I’m going to sleep now, so go away and stop disturbing me.”

“I don’t care if you want to sleep, but I think you should read this first. I saw it posted on the market street today and took a copy.” Ak Yeon-Ho handed me a piece of paper.

<The Azure Dragon Academy is Hiring!>

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I quickly scanned through the contents of the recruitment poster…

And then I read it all over again, more carefully this time.

Nah, I must have read that wrongly. I’ll read it again.

…No, I didn’t misread it.

I pointed at a certain line on the recruitment poster and asked Ak Yeon-Ho, “Are you sure this is correct? This line that says that the students will vote to choose their instructors?”


Just like that, before I knew it, the day of the Azure Dragon Academy instructor exam had arrived.

Translator’s Note: Sorry for the 1 month disappearance, my in-laws were making life all kinds of miserable… Things are better now, though! I hope…

If you see this, you are at the wrong site!

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Chapter 21: I Need Professional Help
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Chapter 23: They Pass!