Chapter 38: If You Have Nowhere To Go, Why Don't You Come With Me?
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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
I walked over to the fallen Wiji Cheon.
He finally fainted.
My First Unlimited Slash had pierced the back of his hand, not his heart. My aim was to make him lose his grip on the sword, but he never let go of it, even though his hand was bleeding profusely, and even when he was unconscious and stunned.
“Tsk, it’s great that you didn’t let go of the sword, but what’s the point of hanging on to it if you pass out?” Clicking my tongue, I pulled the sword out of the kid’s hand and treated his wounds to stop the bleeding.
Wiji Cheon had poured all his inner qi into his final attack, aiming for mutual destruction.
Luckily, I was familiar with all of his techniques, or I would be crossing the Sanzu River1 right now.
I smacked Wiji Cheon on the head with my sword sheath, then strapped it back to my waist. After making sure that there was no immediate danger to his life, I carried him back to the straw hut, laid him down on the bed, and stripped off his ragged clothes, revealing a body so thin and malnourished that I couldn’t believe it belonged to a martial artist.
However, all of his major meridians were ruptured, resulting in internal bleeding.
Fuck, the Qi Deviation is quite severe.
Suddenly, I noticed a book stuffed inside the boy’s clothes.
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There was no title on the outside of the book, but as soon as I glanced at the first page, I knew it was the manual for the fake Unlimited Sword that I had made to fool the Blood Cult. At the same time, I remembered what the black-cloaked man had said when he handed the manual to the boy.
“Do you want to take revenge on the world? Then learn this martial art. If you practice it for ten years, I assure you that you will become the strongest in the world.”
When I thought about it again, I realized something very wrong about that statement. Ten years? If one learns from this fake manual, they’ll die from Qi Deviation within five years. Did that black-cloaked man not know that, or… did he hand it to Wiji Cheon knowing exactly what would happen? If he did, then he must be a very evil man.
However, I understand his intentions. Wiji Cheon is the ideal guinea pig to perfect an incomplete martial art…
Very occasionally, a genius would complete an incomplete martial art on their own. The black-cloaked man had probably seen that possibility in Wiji Cheon and given this incomplete martial art to him.
After that, he would often visit, observe from afar, and then leave again, just like an experiment.
…I wonder if something similar is happening elsewhere? As I thought about the seeds of destruction I had sown, I felt a little guilty.
I looked down at the innocent-looking boy’s face and muttered, “…You’ve mastered this much on your own, without a teacher.”
The Unlimited Sword was a profound and esoteric martial art. Moreover, this manual was an extremely elaborate fake. Unless he was a genius on par with the Sword Saint, it was impossible to realize where he had gone wrong while practicing.
Still, to be able to accomplish this much without dying after practicing a fake martial art for three years, that alone was a testament to Wiji Cheon’s tremendous talent.
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Suddenly, I thought back to Hyonwon Kang, whom I had met at the Azure Dragon Academy Festival.
Wiji Cheon is just as talented as that kid, no, maybe even better. He’s a raw diamond that would shine brightly if someone were to polish it.
I stretched out my hands, placing my left hand on Wiji Cheon’s stomach and my right hand on his forehead. Then, I gently pushed the energy of the Heaven Defying Divine Art into Wiji Cheon’s body.
Wiji Cheon squirmed and groaned in pain, but I held him down firmly and continued to probe inside his insides with my qi.
The contaminated qi from Qi Deviation has spread throughout his entire body, including his brain.
As the culprit who had made that fake Unlimited Sword manual, I could easily tell what kind of condition Wiji Cheon was in.
At this level of contamination… there might still be a chance of curing him.
TAP TAP TAP!
I quickly poked a few of Wiji Cheon’s acupuncture points, then increased the intensity of the Heaven Defying Divine Art. The stream of inner qi I sent out traveled around his body, gathered the contaminated qi, and slowly began guiding the contaminated qi into his heart.
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“Mmph…!” Wiji Cheon broke out in a cold sweat and shivered as chills ran down his spine. Blood began to trickle from his nose.
You’d better endure this, it’s your only chance of survival!
The contaminated qi in Wiji Cheon’s body was the accumulation of three years of incorrect cultivation, and had already seeped into his bone marrow, causing him to go insane. In order to cure him, I needed to absorb all of the contaminated qi into my body using the Heaven Defying Divine Art.
I guess there are times when even the Heavenly Yin Blocked Meridians can come in useful.
The Heaven Defying Divine Art required me to gather the contaminated qi within my body and condense it into a qi center, much like how a spirit beast creates an inner pill. To do that, I needed to borrow the power of many powerful elixirs, and right now, there was still some of the Seven Stem Nine Leaf Grass’s medicinal power within my body that I hadn’t yet fully absorbed.
“Ahh, Ugh, Uwargh…!” Blood flowed out from Wiji Cheon’s nose, ears, and eyes. The blood vessels all over his scrawny body popped out like they were about to burst, and he started foaming at the mouth.
Even then, I couldn’t afford to be gentle with him and continued using the Heaven Defying Divine Art to clean every inch of his body, starting with the legs and slowing sweeping toward his brain.
“Hoo…” I took a deep breath and sat cross-legged on the floor. Absorbing Wiji Cheon’s contaminated qi was much easier than I’d thought.
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Not to brag, but this body has endured contaminated qi for almost thirty years thanks to the Heavenly Yin Blocked Meridians, after all. Compared to that, the contaminated qi of a child who has only accumulated it for three years is nothing… Hmm?
Suddenly, I panicked as the two different types of contaminated qi collected in my qi center intertwined and fused together, and my qi center started to expand.
Luckily, it wasn’t a bad thing. My Heaven Defying Divine Art, which had been stuck at Two Stars, finally broke through to Three Stars.
I sat in shock for a while, dumbfounded by this unexpected benefit. Then, I slowly opened my eyes and muttered, “…I never imagined that I could ever get so lucky.”
I clambered to my feet and looked down at Wiji Cheon, who was still unconscious.
He was covered in blood and looked like a corpse, but his breathing had stabilized and his expression was relaxed.
“Looks like the worst is over.” I wiped the blood off the brat’s face and body with his own clothes.
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Just then, I heard Wiji Yeol’s shouting urgently, “Cheon! Cheon! Argh, where the hell have those two gone?”
I walked out of the cave to greet him, and Wiji Yeol immediately accosted me, “What’s going on? Where’s my grandson? Why were you inside his house?”
I didn’t know how to explain what had happened, but I decided to report the results of his request first. “Sir, I’m sorry, but I failed your request.”
“Oh…” Finally noticing the mess I was in, Wiji Yeol let out a long sigh.
Well, my injuries were pretty minor, but I probably didn’t look okay to others, since I was covered in tears, cuts, and stab wounds.
“Did you fail and run away…? Well, I suppose you’re lucky to have survived at all… But where is my grandson?” Wiji Yeol asked, looking around anxiously. He had requested me to to kill his grandson, but the boy was nowhere to be seen.
“I hope he hasn’t gone outside the formations, because if he has, something terrible will happen…” he mumbled.
“…What?” Wiji Yeol stared at me, stupefied.
I kindly pointed to the straw hut behind me and explained, “…What nonsense are you spouting? Ever since that child lost his mind, he hasn’t left his parents’ graves.”
“If you don’t believe me, go inside and take a look for yourself.”
Wiji Yeol didn’t seem to believe me, but he went inside the hut as if in a stupor. There, he was greeted by his grandson’s soundly sleeping face.
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Although the boy was bandaged all over and horrifying pale from the blood he had lost during my treatment procedure, he appeared to be at peace, with no trace of the madness that had afflicted him.
Wiji Yeol’s worried expression gradually morphed into shock. “N-No way… C-Can it be…?”
“I didn’t have to kill him. Now that I’ve drained the contaminated qi from his body and brain, it shouldn’t be long before he returns to his senses.”
“R-Really?” The old man looked at me in disbelief.
I responded with a gentle smile. “Unfortunately, he’ll lose a good portion of his inner qi, but he’ll definitely regain his sanity.”
“That kind of side effect is trivial! How on earth am I supposed to repay this favor…”
Suddenly, Wiji Cheon slowly opened his eyes, looked up at his grandfather with a drowsy face, and muttered, “Grandpa…?”
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Unlike before, his voice was polite, and his eyes gleamed with innocence rather than malice. However, when he saw me, he was startled and immediately tried to scramble to his feet.
Wiji Yeol quickly stepped forward and supported his beloved grandson. “Ch-Cheon, you’re awake?”
“Why am I here? Who is he…?”
“Don’t you remember anything?
“Uhh, I remember practicing a certain sword technique, and then my mind started to get hazy…” Wiji Cheon shivered and his mind spun. He unconsciously leaned towards his grandfather and whispered, “Grandpa, I-I think I had a nightmare…”
The old man hugged his grandson, who had gotten thinner over the years, tightly and wept, “Ooh..ugh…sniff…”
Wiji Yeol, who I first thought was a man as solid and sturdy as a rock, broke down in tears.
“……” I watched the two of them for a moment, then quietly walked out of the hut.
Wiji Yeol kneeled down before me and loudly declared, “Savior, I will grant you anything you want. Even if it costs me my life!”
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“G-Grandfather!” Beside him, Wiji Cheon gave me a pitiful, pleading look.
I was tempted to tease him, but I was worried that he might actually take me seriously and hurt himself, so I answered him tactfully, “I don’t need your life. I just need you to make me a sword.”
“I will do my best and use every technique that I know of. I will surely make you a sword that will satisfy you…”
“I don’t want just any sword,” I interrupted. “I want a sword as good as the Blood Demon Sword.”
“T-That’s…” Wiji Yeol was speechless. If I wasn’t his grandson’s benefactor, he would have thrown something at me right away.
Fortunately, he was a gracious old man who repaid his debts, so he only bowed his head and sighed, “…I’m sorry, sir, but the Blood Demon Sword is not something that can be made. First of all, I can’t even get the materials…”
“Would you be able to do it if you had this?” I took out the Meteor Iron that I kept in my chest pocket and showed it to him.
Wiji Yeol’s eyes widened in shock as he stared blankly at the Meteor Iron.
“M-M-M-Meteor Iron…!” he stammered as he took the piece of metal from me with trembling hands.
I wasn’t surprised at his response. For an ironworker, Meteor Iron was a treasure even greater than the Shaolin Great Elixir or Sky Blue Stone Extract.2
With a serious tone, I asked, “Can you make me a sword even better than the Blood Demon Sword?”
Instantly, the proud craftsman’s eyes became as hot as a furnace. “Would you believe me if I told you that the sword you want is also my lifelong goal?”
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These words were more trustworthy than any oath of gratitude.
However, Wiji Yeol’s expression quickly darkened as he added, “There’s just one problem. In order to work with Meteor Iron, I need a proper forge. Only a large smithy in a big city would have something like that…”
Wiji Yeol proceeded to explain the facilities he needed to work with Meteor Iron and why he couldn’t do it right away.
After listening for a while, I said, “Hmm, if that’s all you need, then I have good news for you.”
“I happen to have recently inherited a smithy from Old Man Heo.”
And I also have a constable friend who can forge identity plaques for these two.
“If you have nowhere else to go, why don’t the two of you come with me?” I offered.
That night, I hit the road with an old blacksmith who’d been a fugitive for years and a boy who needed a proper teacher.
Sanzu River: The Korean/Japanese version of the River Styx. ↩
Shaolin Great Elixir or Sky Blue Stone Extract: Shaolin Great Elixir aka Dahuandan, a miracle panacea commonly seen in murim and cultivation novels. Sky Blue Stone Extract is also a fantasy miracle elixir made of dissolved rock found by protagonists in caves, usually guarded by some kind of ferocious spirit beast. ↩
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