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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
“Underage drinking?” Peng Sa-Hyuk stared at Cheong Cheon, dumbfounded. For a moment, he thought he’d heard the man wrongly.
Cheong Cheon ignored him and surveyed the mess in the inn. With a slight frown on his face, he said to the students, “There are definitely traces of drinking. Everyone, please turn in your student IDs.”
Youths under the age of eighteen were forbidden by law to drink except when a guardian was present.
“Is this some kind of a joke…?”
The Azure Dragon Academy students weren’t ordinary people, they were martial artists who were taught to wield weapons from the moment they took their first steps. It was an “unwritten law” that ordinary laws did not apply to martial artists.
Something about the government not messing with the murim, and in turn the murim would not interfere in government business.
“Constable, as a government agent, you shouldn’t stick your nose in murim business,” Peng Sa-Hyuk said, stepping forward. He subtly drew upon his qi to pressure Cheong Cheon, but the constable was unmoved.
I guess the brat of the Peng Clan is nothing compared to the constable who knows demonic arts.
Most constables would be intimidated by a towering, heavily muscled, and armed martial artist, but not Cheong Cheon. He looked at Peng Sa-Hyuk and snorted, “You claim it’s murim business, but…I don’t see any martial experts or demonic practitioners here. Why is that?”
“What?” Peng Sa-Hyuk blurted, flabbergasted.
Cheong Cheon coldly continued, “All I see are drunk and injured youths, adults shaking in their boots, and a lot of broken furniture. There also aren’t any wanted criminals here, so pray tell me, how is this official murim business?”
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“I didn’t mean it that way…”
“Do you think you can get away with any crime as long as you claim the ‘murim’ is involved?”
“……” Peng Sa-Hyuk, who had tried to downplay the situation by citing the non-interference of the government and the murim, was left speechless. As the heir to one of the Five Great Clans of the orthodox faction, he couldn’t bring shame to his family by associating a drunken party with “official murim business”.
Cheong Cheon expressionlessly picked up the remains of a broken chair. “Inns exist to serve customers, but there is such a thing as going too far. Although I only received a report about underage drinking…it looks like I’ll also have to press charges on obstruction of business, property damage, assault, and perhaps even more. A thorough investigation will be necessary.”
Peng Sa-Hyuk gritted his teeth. “Who made the report?” he asked.
“That’s confidential information…”
“I did,” I confessed, raising my hand.
Peng Sa-Hyuk shot me a death stare. If eyes could kill, he would have murdered me on the spot.
[How dare you call the cops? Do you have no pride as a martial artist?]
His telepathic message was so loud that I thought my eardrums would burst. I shrugged and smirked at him, silently mouthing the words ‘So what if I don’t?’
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I wasn’t sure if he could read my lips, but Peng Sa-Hyuk’s shoulders shook like a wild boar striving to control its frenzy. As the organizer of this party, he was in much bigger trouble than me or the other instructors.
“Would you mind coming with me to the precinct while we complete the investigation?”
“…We had a small scuffle while we were drunk, but it wasn’t serious. I’ll pay double for any damages caused. Also…” Peng Sa-Hyuk desperately made up excuses, hoping to salvage his own situation while dragging the prospective instructors down with him.
Even now, he thinks about manipulating others to his benefit, I thought, but I didn’t feel like taking him to task just yet. That was a story for another time.
If news of this gets out, he won’t be able to avoid losing honor and dignity… It won’t end with just a temporary inconvenience.
Honor and Dignity. In the orthodox sects, sometimes that was all that mattered, especially the more prestigious ones. If Peng Sa-Hyuk was arrested and branded as a troublemaker, it wouldn’t end with just a scolding from the family elders. His future prospects would be ruined.
That was why he would do anything to get himself out of this mess, and sure enough…
“…Head Constable, if you would forgive me for my youthful indiscretion, I will sincerely repay you in the future.”
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Even as Peng Sa-Hyuk spoke politely, he discreetly hinted at a bribe. Unfortunately for him, what kind of constable was our dear Cheong Cheon?
Answer: The most impartial, incorruptible official ever. A man who was so upright that he would learn demonic arts just to murder his biological father. Money would never move such a person.
Wait, something about that statement seems weird… But whatever.
“What did you just say?” Cheong Cheon furrowed his brows. Then, in an even colder voice, he added, “I think I now need to add charges of bribery and obstruction of justice to your list of crimes.”
“Keuk…” Peng Sa-Hyuk gagged, his face flushing even redder than when I slapped him. He had never been treated like this in his life.
This was the last straw.
“…Mr. Constable, I am Peng Sa-Hyuk of the Peng Clan.”
“Is that so? I’ll need to verify your identity through your ID plaque. Please hand it to me.”
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I stifled the laughter that threatened to burst out and looked at Cheong Cheon. Our gazes met, but we both pretended not to know each other.
Oh? His acting has improved!
The old Cheong Cheon had to try his hardest just to maintain his poker face, but the current him was a natural at being icy cold, as if he wouldn’t bleed even if he were poked with a needle. Moreover, his qi was much more stable.
It seems that he has succeeded at eliminating the side effects of the fake martial art after practicing the complete Blood Rain Demonic Art that I taught him.
Cheong Cheon assessed the students standing nervously in front of and behind him. “Since no one seems willing to turn in their ID plaques, can I consider this open defiance of the authorities?”
“Mr. Constable, do you really want to continue down this path?”
“I’ve barely even gotten started.”
Cheong-Cheon had no intention of backing down, and Pang Sa-Hyuk had no intention of getting arrested.
In the end, it was Peng Sa-Hyuk who made the first move. He pointed a finger at me and accused, “I don’t think you should arrest everyone, just the one troublemaker who did all this. None of us are demonic practitioners, but…that guy got drunk and sexually harassed a female student, then beat up the other students when they tried to stop him. All the furniture was broken during the course of that brawl.”
Peng Sa-Hyuk turned toward the mob. With the slightest hint of a threat, he asked, “You all saw that, didn’t you?”
“It’s just as Young Master Peng said.”
The students and several of the prospective instructors stepped forward in agreement with Peng Sa-Hyuk, while the rest nodded or lowered their eyes in tacit agreement.
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I watched the drama in silence, then glanced at Cheong Cheon. There was no way he would believe Peng Sa-Hyuk, and even if I really was guilty, he would take my side.
Tsk tsk, dumb brat. You’re digging your own grave. I clicked my tongue and looked back at Peng Sa-Hyuk. To be honest, as long as he apologized, I would have let him off the hook. If he insisted on being stubborn though, then some punishment was in order.
He’s trying to frame me and proclaim his innocence, but…he’s just walking right into my trap. I quickly organized my thoughts and prepared my rebuttal.
However, before I could say anything, Ak Yeon-Ho stepped forward and grimly said, “He’s lying. It’s a false accusation.”
He looks ready to sacrifice himself. That isn’t like him at all.
“It wasn’t Su-Ryong-hyung who tore the girls’ skirts and beat up the boys, but Peng Sa-Hyuk! He dug a trap for us and lured us here!”
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“Ha, that’s ridiculous. Why would I do such a thing?”
“To blackmail the new instructors!”
“What for? As the heir of the Hebei Peng Clan, do you think I need to worry about my future after graduation?”
“T-That’s…!” Ak Yeon-Ho was left speechless. He simply couldn’t imagine that Peng Sa-Hyuk would go to such extremes just for fun.
He’s too naive, and thus took the wrong approach to the problem. It’s unfortunate, but most people associate overly emotional reactions with guilt.
I grabbed Ak Yeon-Ho by the shoulders and dragged him behind me, then said, “Thanks for the help, but I can take care of myself, so just stay quiet…”
“No, I can’t leave it to you every time, Hyung-nim. I’ll handle this.”
“You may be a powerful martial artist, but this isn’t something that can be solved by force.”
“I know,” Ak Yeon-Ho insisted confidently, before turning his attention back to the crowd.
What is he trying to do…? I wondered, when he revealed an unexpected secret weapon.
Ak Yeon-Ho took a deep breath and clearly declared,
“I swear by the name of the Shandong Ak Clan that everything I’m about to say is true.”
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The Clan Head of the Shandong Ak Clan was the Spear King Ak Bi, was one of the murim’s Ten Masters. As a result, despite the fact that the Shandong Ak Clan was not one of the Five Great Families, their power and influence was at least equal to that of the Hebei Peng Clan.
Therefore, the moment Ak Yeon-Ho invoked his family’s name, Pang Sa Hyuk’s face paled. “You’re crazy. Are you seriously putting your family’s reputation at stake? Do you even realize what you’re doing?” he cried.
“Yes, I’m putting my family’s honor and history on the line.”
“You know it, and yet you…!”
Depending on who said it, to wager a clan’s honor and history was to risk starting a war between two clans.
“What’s wrong, Peng Sa-Hyuk? Where did all your confidence from just now go?”
“…My words carry more weight than yours.”
“You’re scared. You shouldn’t have made fun of me.”
“Aren’t you afraid of being punished by your clan? You should know about the fate of the Hyonwon Clan.”
“I’ll probably be executed, but by then I would have already achieved my goal.”
“You’re just bullshitting now.”
“Why is a youngster like you talking to me as an equal? Use some respect, punk.”
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Neither of them had drawn their weapons, but Peng Sa-Hyuk and Ak Yeon-Ho were glaring at each other with eyes that could kill.
Cheong Cheon sighed and mumbled, “Fuck murim people…”
He then shot me a quick glance and sent me a telepathic message, saying, [What now? Do I still arrest him? I think it’s about time to just wrap it up and go…]
If Cheong Cheon stepped down now and capitulated, Peng Sa-Hyuk would also likely give up on his current attempt to blackmail the instructors. Unfortunately, I had no intention of letting the brat go scot-free. I had to kill his momentum today, or he would never change for the better.
I mouthed to Cheong Cheon, ‘Wait.’
[For how long?]
Fuck, I need to quickly raise the Heaven Defying Divine Art to the three star level. Not being able to use telepathy is annoying as hell.
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With everyone’s attention was focused on Peng Sa-Hyuk and Ak Yeon-Ho, I muttered in a low voice, “Until my grandfather arrives.”
Cheong Cheon wasn’t the only person I asked the waiter to contact earlier. There was another one.
Suddenly, a cold wind like the freezing blizzards of the North blew in from somewhere, causing Ak Yeon-Ho and Peng Sa-Hyuk to shiver. All heads immediately snapped around to face the source of the wind.
An old man with even footsteps that wouldn’t falter in the middle of a raging storm, hair as white as snow and deep green robes stood at the doorway and asked the constable guarding the entrance, “I received a dinner invitation at this inn…but did something happen inside?”
The old man curiously peered over the constable’s shoulder.
Having recognized the old man, one of the students yelped in terror, “H-Headmaster…”
With just that one word, the boiling tension in the room dispersed, replaced by a wintry cold.
I raised my hand and shouted, “Grandpa, over here!”
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