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


“This can’t be happening…” Shadowless muttered, unable to believe what he was seeing.

The Skyshadows, the intelligence and assassination network he had led for over ten years, was being decimated. Though largely unknown in the murim, the imperial organization prided itself on being equal to the top three assassins’ guilds in the murim.

Yet here they were, being butchered by one man.

SPLAT!

One assassin was split in half from his left shoulder to his right waist, spilling blood and intestines all over the place.

THUD!

Baek Suryong kicked the corpse into another assassin who was approaching him. The assassin, momentarily blinded, froze for a second. Seizing the moment, Baek Suryong struck like lightning, impaling both the corpse and the assassin.

THWACK!

Even with his stomach skewered, the assassin, trained to fire hidden weapons instead of screaming even at the brink of death, spat out a poisoned dart.

However, Baek Suryong simply tilted his head and dodged the dart effortlessly. At the same time, he slashed sideways, severing the assassin’s waist, then turned around and extended his left arm toward another assassin launching a surprise attack from the ceiling.

BOOM!

The falling assassin crashed into the wall so hard that the stone cracked. Baek Suryong, catching the sword his opponent had just dropped with his left hand, murmured to himself, “Hmm… I haven’t dual wielded swords in a while.”

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A few seconds later, the assassins couldn’t help but scream in silence. You fucking liar!

Despite claiming to be rusty, Baek Suryong swung two swords with such skill that he might as well have been ambidextrous all along. The dance of the twin blades coated with fiery crimson sword qi was as mesmerizing as it was deadly, for with each swing, someone would lose a limb, yet amazingly, not a single drop of blood stained Baek Suryong’s bright blue clothes.

The suffocating stench of blood soon filled the room, and the assassins paused to regroup.

“Assassins are scary only when they catch you by surprise. If you know they’re coming, they’re not much of a threat. Anyway, it’s my turn now.” Baek Suryong smiled, then charged into the fray.

Shadowless gulped. That man… His martial arts are definitely impressive, but he’s far too comfortable with killing.

Most martial artists, even those from unorthodox sects, would be repulsed by the sight of so many corpses and the overwhelming stench of blood, but not only was this man’s expression unchanged, he swung his sword without a hint of hesitation, seemingly more desensitized to killing than the assassins themselves.

He might even be enjoying this. Damn it, where on earth did such a monster come from? If I lose any more assassins, the very existence of the Skyshadows will be threatened!

Grinding his teeth, Shadowless harnessed his shadow arts and began to merge with his surroundings, turning hazy.

[Create an opening. I’ll finish this,] he commanded his subordinates telepathically.

[Understood!]

Assassins swarmed Baek Suryong from every conceivable angle—front, rear, and even diving down from above—each one willing to lay down their life. The cramped quarters caused a lot of friendly fire, yet it mattered little to them. Even as they lay dying, they held onto their blades tightly, their bodies obstructing Baek Suryong’s view.

They were but decoys for their leader, Shadowless, to strike the decisive blow.

“Be careful! The other assassins’ attacks are just a diversion!” Shadow shouted, her eyes widening in alarm.

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While Baek Suryong was dealing with the assassins, she hadn’t just waited idly with her eyes closed. She had focused her energy and managed to break the seals on her acupuncture points. Now able to move again, she stood up and yelled, “The real attack is from Shadowless!”

“Too late,” Shadowless said, suddenly appearing behind Baek Suryong like a ghost. With a cold smile, he plunged his sword into Baek Suryong’s back. “It’s over.”

“Over?” Baek Suryong laughed.

”!!” Shadowless’s eyes widened in shock. A torn blue robe fluttered in the air, but Baek Suryong was not there. Realizing that his attack had missed, he quickly thrust his left arm behind him to block an attack from the rear.

CRACK!

Baek Suryong grabbed Shadowless’s left arm and dislocated it. “You’re so predictable,” he complained.

Yet, Shadowless did not give up. Instead, a sinister smile spread across his lips. “Fufu, you’ve fallen into my trap!”

Extending his left arm first was part of Shadowless’s plan. As his left arm was being twisted, he aimed for Baek Suryong’s chest with his right arm.

Shadow screamed as she ran toward them, “Be careful! Shadowless’s right arm is…”

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CLICK.

Suddenly, a hole opened in Shadowless’s palm and dozens of steel needles shot out.

“Try bragging about how you predicted this, too!” Shadowless shouted. This was his final ace. His victory was certain. In a moment, Baek Suryong would be reduced to a lifeless corpse riddled with needle holes.

However, Baek Suryong’s next words plunged him into the depths of despair.

“What made you think I wouldn’t notice your prosthetic arm? Of course I knew you had a trick up your sleeve, literally. Didn’t expect needles, though.” With a mocking laugh, Baek Suryong’s form blurred.

An afterimage! Shadowless thought as the needles pierced right through their target and embedded themselves in the wall.

SWISH!

At the same time, Shadowless’s prosthetic arm was severed at the shoulder and fell to the ground. Thrown off balance, he staggered, and a cold blade touched his neck.

“If you’ve got nothing else to show, let’s call it a day. I need to get back before the afternoon exams begin.”

Facing such overwhelming skill, Shadowless could do nothing but kneel in surrender.

sep

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“Elder Gong is the Prime Minister?” Baek Suryong’s jaw dropped. He had guessed that Gongson Su was a high-ranking politician, but to think the old man was none other than the Prime Minister himself.

The Prime Minister, the most powerful man in the country after the Emperor.

“Uh… I didn’t make any mistakes in the past month, did I?”

“Shall I start from the first day?”

“Ahem!”

Shadow chuckled at the sight of Baek Suryong awkwardly clearing his throat. It was hard to believe that this was the same man who had coldly slaughtered dozens of assassins only moments before.

However, she quickly composed herself and said, “Elder Gong is in danger.”

The imperial intelligence network had intercepted secret letters between the Emperor and Gongson Su, and, fearing the prime minister’s return, conspired with corrupt officials to assassinate him.

Shadowless tried to force me to kill Elder Gong and pass it off as a natural death, but… Would those power-hungry monsters in the Imperial Palace have relied on the Skyshadows alone? No, that’s too risky. If they failed, they would risk their own destruction.

“Kukuku…” Shadowless, bound and kneeling, let out a soft chuckle and looked up at Baek Suryong with bloodshot eyes. “Now I know who you are. Baek Suryong, the martial arts instructor who filled the Prime Minister’s head with ideas…”

“When did I ever do such a thing? Besides, Elder Gong was the one who came looking for me first,” Baek Suryong corrected, but Shadowless seemed uninterested in the truth.

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“Fufu, I never imagined that you were such a skilled master… I made a grave mistake when I focused only on Shadow.”

“Shadowless, are you the only one sent to kill the Elder?” Shadow asked, glaring at her former master.

Shadowless smiled faintly. “I wish that were the case, but… you don’t really think the royalists are that stupid, do you?”

“I knew it! Who else is involved?” Shadow desperately grabbed Shadowless by the collar, but there was no fear in the man’s eyes. He knew that even if he survived the interrogation, he would eventually be killed.

“All three major assassins’ guilds in the murim have been mobilized.”

“What!?”

Serves you right for thwarting my plans. Seeing Shadow’s despair, Shadowless felt a surge of joy. “Shadow, you fool. Accepting my offer was the only way for the Prime Minister to die peacefully. Do you think the murim assassins will be as considerate as I was? They will use any means necessary.”

“……”

“My failure means the Prime Minister knows he’s been targeted. Kukuku. Now, the royalists have been backed into a corner. They must kill the Prime Minister before the Emperor finds out, because if they fail, they’ll be executed…”

“……”

“Do you understand now? Even if I hadn’t sided with them, the Prime Minister was doomed. You idiot. If only you had listened to me…!”

POW!

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Shadowless’s head snapped to the side.

Wiping the blood from his fist, Baek Suryong mumbled, “Fuck, I accidentally got blood on me.”

Shadowless glared at Baek Suryong, blood dripping from his nose. “The assassins’ guilds will soon learn of my failure as well. Now that they’re taking over the mission, the Prime Minister will die today, but don’t worry, you’re next! With the Prime Minister dead, the Emperor will demand accountability. Who do you think the royalists will blame? The man who taught a sixty-year-old martial arts, the academy that accepted him, and the county officials that let it happen… Framing all of you is too easy! The Nanchang government will be wiped out and the Azure Dragon Academy will burn! Hahaha!”

Shadowless’s maniacal laughter echoed in the blood-soaked room. Realizing he had no way out after failing his mission, he had lost his mind.

“I’ve heard enough.”

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SWISH! THUNK!

Shadowless’s decapitated head rolled on the floor.

“So…” he said, glancing at the rolling head on the floor. “The situation seems a lot worse than I thought. What’s your plan?”

If the Prime Minister died, Azure Dragon Academy would burn and everyone involved would be captured and killed. It wouldn’t be difficult for Baek Suryong to escape even in the worst case scenario, but he would lose everything he had worked so hard to gain.

“…We must protect Elder Gong from the assassins. At the same time, we need to contact the Emperor,” Shadow said, retrieving an antidote from Shadowless’s body and swallowing it.

“Can we trust the military?”

“Given the situation… there’s a good chance they’ve already been compromised.”

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“Is there any place he can hide?”

“All the hiding places I know have already been discovered by the Skyshadows.”

Baek Suryong sighed. “So… we can’t trust the authorities, and there’s nowhere to hide. Is there a way to discreetly contact the palace?”

“It’s possible, but it will take time for them to take action.”

“How long?”

“At best, a few days…”

In other words, we have to protect Gongson Su until then. It was a grim prospect, but Baek Suryong nodded calmly. “Let’s figure it out as we get out of here.”

The two of them quickly exited the building, formulating their plan as they went.

“First, we need to suspend the Azure Dragon Academy entrance exam and ensure the elder’s safety…”

“No,” Baek Suryong interrupted. “Let’s continue with the entrance exam as planned.”

“What? You want to expose the Elder in public?” Shadow protested.

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However, Baek Suryong had a different idea. “If we keep Elder Gong under strict surveillance, the assassins won’t attack openly. Instead, they’ll resort to dirty tricks.”

Poison, concealed weapons, explosives, hostage-taking—these were just a few of the methods that went through Baek Suryong’s mind as he put himself in the assassins’ shoes.

“It’s better to limit their options,” he concluded. “Why don’t we do this instead? Let’s use Elder Gong as bait to lure out the assassins and hunt them down.”

This was a strategy that Shadow could not even begin to imagine. It was something only Baek Suryong could devise.

Baek Suryong’s eyes gleamed like a predator eyeing its prey.


Translator’s Note: Baek Suryong the dual lightsaber wielding Sith Lord. Kekek.

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