“Isn’t that so cool? Look at sahyung doing all that!”
Sima Young, who had watched it all, spoke excitedly to Cho Sung-won.
But Cho Sung-won’s gaze was on a different place. He was looking at the other side of the podium at a dirty beggar who had a smirk on his face as he took a stance.
“A beggar from the Beggars Union?”
Cho Sung-won nodded with a stiff face.
“And that man is?”
If those who knew saw how the man’s arms were crossed, they would understand that this man was the successor of the Beggars Union.
Cho Sung-won, who saw this, became confused.
‘… did he learn everything?’
Cho Sung-won could see at a glance that Hong Gal-gae had mastered all 18 techniques required to take up the successor position.
The Eighteen Methods of Subduing a Dragon was a method that was only known to some and made for only the leader of the union.
Even Cho Sung-won learned only some of it. He was shocked at this.
“Ohh! That is the famous Eighteen Methods!”
“It is a great skill.”
Cho Sung-won’s eyes turned cold. He should be the one there.
‘Damn it… just because he likes him…’
He didn’t understand when the Beggars Union had become something like this.
The Beggars Union was usually led by one who was most qualified.
Only a hero who fitted their ideology of patriotism and justice was hailed. However, the Beggars Union had changed to the point of being unrecognizable.
Hong Gal-gae was enjoying the cheers from the audience, which made Cho Sung-won become filled with rage.
‘What am I doing?’
He had felt so pathetic when he saw that man.
What was he even trying to do by supporting the Blood Sect and becoming entangled there?
He couldn’t even resent So Wonhwi.
If that man hadn’t noticed him, he might have still been struggling to leak information to the Beggars Union.
‘But can I get my revenge?’
People said that ten years of dissatisfaction would turn into revenge. However, the future was a tricky thing to predict.
Even if this mission to recover the sword failed, he would end up becoming a traitor and a failure in the history of Murim.
‘Fuck. This isn’t the time to go around having fun.’
He had to ensure that So Wonwhi got this task right. That was the only way he could survive and get closer to his revenge.
With that thought, he got up from his seat.
“Where are you going?”
Sima Young asked him.
[Leader Sima, please check out those who might be a threat to the vice commander, I will go around and collect more information.]
He had to do what he knew best, and he knew that information was power.
[Ah! Leader Cho! One thing!]
[Can you find out if someone from the Sima family is participating here? There are so many people here that I cannot find them.]
Cho Sung-won nodded at her request.
Knowing that it was her family name, he didn’t ask further why she would make such a request. He just smiled and wondered what kind of past she held.
Moyong Soo’s expression was as if he had just eaten shit.
He tried to raise himself by using me, but since the opposite happened, his stomach must feel twisted.
Other people would enjoy the moment and raise their hands at the cheers, but that wasn’t my purpose. So I simply bowed my head to the audience and to Moyong Soo.
The people showered me with affection.
“As expected of the disciple of the South Heavenly Swordsman. I look forward to the next test.”
“Thank you for your support.”
Everyone greeted me happily.
I could show off my skills as much as I wanted, but it was necessary to let the people know that I am also well-mannered.
“As expected of the disciple of the South Heavenly Swordsman.”
Judging by their response, the crowd seemed to like it. I then gracefully descended from the podium.
This was just acting, which was something that I am good at. I then looked over at Moyong Soo.
He went down the podium silently after he worked hard to calm his emotions.
He knew how to control himself in front of people. And that was also how he killed me.
-When are you going to get your revenge?
-You are speaking rather vaguely.
‘It is too early now.’
If it was possible, my sword would have already pierced his heart, but I needed to focus on the mission at hand.
There was nothing good about catching suspicion by acting oddly around him.
We were told that those who passed could return to the dorms, so I headed to Sima Young and Cho Sung-won.
I looked up at the podium as I made my way through the participants.
That was a sword that cut straight into the stone.
With just one hit, that sword didn’t hesitate to cut down the stone until it stopped at the edge. With just a little bit of extra strength, the stone was split.
The people once again cheered after seeing this. The face of the contestant was that of a normal young man.
“Did you see that?”
“The stone was cut again.”
It was the second time the stone was cut after Lee Jung-gyeom for this side. It was only natural that they were surprised.
The man wore a red silk robe and a dissatisfied expression.
I knew why he was making such a face.
‘His sword stopped at the end.’
The man had tried to cut through the stone in one slash. His failure meant that he was below Lee Jung-gyeom in strength.
However, the fact that he somehow succeeded meant that he wasn’t much different from him.
‘… who is he?’
I listened to the people around the podium.
“I didn’t know the Wind Spirit Sect had such a monster.”
“What is with this tournament?”
“Aren’t they all giving off the same feeling as if they could win it all?”
Wind Spirit Sect?
This was my first time hearing about it.
It had to be a small or medium-sized sect, but I don’t remember them being talked about in my past life.
I was quite a skilled spy then. Considering his skill level, I would have thought that he was one of Baek Hye-hyang’s men.
‘It is difficult.’
Baek Hye-hyang also aimed to win, so they wouldn’t put in this kind of person. This man looked like someone we should watch out for right after Lee Jung-gyeom.
I need to remember… but at that moment.
It came from the podium.
The message came from the young man in the red silk. I definitely thought he was a spy now.
[Do not look this way. There are two men around you.]
I didn’t think this was how our first conversation would go.
I turned away to the other side and replied.
[I know that much.]
How could I not have known?
The spies that had been placed around me after we left the military office weren’t just two but four.
They were cleverly disguised as warriors from the Alliance, but they were definitely spies.
I might not have been skilled in fighting before I died, but I didn’t survive just because of luck.
As a result, I have better insight than most.
[Are you on Lady Baek Hye-hyang’s side?]
The answer to my question came after a few moments.
[Well… that is the correct expression. Right. My teacher is supporting Lady Baek Hye-hyang.]
So he was the disciple of an Elder or one of the Stars behind her.
He wasn’t the disciple of the Fifth Blood Star since the sword skills didn’t match. Sword skills weren’t things that could be learned in such a short time.
And then came the surprising words.
[Sorry for the late introduction. I am Kwan Young-ha, the disciple of the First Elder.]
The Broken Blood Sword Emperor, Da Wei-kang.
A monster of advanced age and considered as the best warrior in the Blood Sect. It wasn’t anyone but his own disciple participating in this!
This showed how important the Blood Demon Sword was to them. The man even boldly revealed his identity.
[I heard about you while having a drink with the lady. She seems to like you very much.]
… Was this guy also similar to the sahyung who had come to cheat us?
Did he, too, want to have Baek Hye-hyang as his wife? Being her husband meant that you would become the center of the sect.
[If it is a talented person like you, you are qualified to stand next to my lady.]
What did he just say? And he then continued.
[Personally, I think it is pointless to fight from the perspective of the sect. Even in the situation where we might have to deal with the Murim, we are still fighting. We need to be more sympathetic to each other.]
I never knew that crazy woman had reasonable people on her side.
But why did he speak to me?
Was he making an offer?
[I will speak in short words. Come to our side. It is even better if you come with your teacher.]
Ah, it was an offer.
[Did you think I would accept your offer when I turned down one from your lady?]
[Just as I was told, you are stubborn.]
[How can a disciple go against the will of his teacher?]
[Isn’t it better to advise your teacher when there is no chance of winning?]
[Why do you think there is no chance of winning?]
[I do not mean to look down on your skills. You and that friend Song Jwa-baek cannot beat me, let alone the other people here.]
[… you seem quite confident.]
[This is just based on facts. Furthermore, there is another monster here that you cannot even fathom. Even I cannot guarantee a win against him.]
He seemed to be speaking of Lee Jung-gyeom.
He tried to show off his skills to compare and realized he was below that man.
[The sword will end up in our hands.]
He was simply speaking the words that Baek Hye-hyang would say.
[Once that happens, the people who follow Lady Baek Ryeon-ha will have to support us.]
[It is the same even if our side gets the sword.]
[… so stubborn.]
[Please consider the circumstances.]
[There’s nothing else that can be done..]
I glanced at him, and then I heard his voice again.
[I wish you good luck. There is a guy who desperately wants your life]
Was the Fifth Blood Star’s disciple possibly still after me?
It felt like when persuasion didn’t work, then they would come and attack me directly.
Kwon Young-ha, the disciple of the First Elder.
He was quite good.
He had his own self-esteem.
It wasn’t worth continuing the conversation, so I headed straight into the audience stand. I could only see Sima Young there.
“Sahyung! You were great!’
Sima Young spoke with excitement.
And I then asked her.
[He said he would gather information by going around the hall.]
I didn’t even ask him to do it, and he was already doing work on his own accord.
It was rewarding to take him in.
[Did you find him?]
I had asked them both for one thing during the first round. It was a personal request.
[There is one in three different areas. I thought my eyes would fall out looking for someone with an eye patch.]
She immediately looked away when I praised her. As I looked at the area she mentioned, I saw one person still waiting to take the test.
A tall man with two swords on his back.
I was skeptical since things were changing from my past life, but there he was.
The man who had left a deep cut walked down the podium with his two swords.
He had a black eye patch over his left eye, and the qi that could be felt from his working eye was unusual.
He came down from the podium and tried to move through the gaps in the crowd. I then blocked his path.
As he tried to move, I matched his movements, which made him frown. I then greeted him.
“Long time no see.”
I tried to get close, but he moved back while looking for an exit.
[If you don’t want people to think we are suspicious, you better act like you know me.]
At these words, the man made a face as if he didn’t understand.
[What is this?]
And I then said.
[Aren’t you on Myung Kyung’s side?]
As soon as I said that, he hurriedly grabbed me by the collar and hugged me.
“Ahhh! I didn’t realize how long it had been!”
Contrary to his friendly words, his hand kept going toward the center of my chest.
[Who are you?]
[Didn’t you admit it too easily?]
[Didn’t you approach me after being sure?]
I didn’t deny him. I had talked to him because I knew him, after all.
[You are quite daring. A person over the age of 30 is wearing a human skin mask and participating in a kid’s tournament.]
The man’s eyes fluttered, and he tried hard to smile, which looked clumsy.
[How do you know?]
[The last successor of the Kunlun sect…]
The man pressed his fingers firmly against my chest before I could finish.
It stung a bit until I grabbed his wrist and smiled.
[I will not do any harm to you, so take your hand away.]
[Why should I…]
His hand went down against his will. I tried to ensure he couldn’t put his hand on my chest again.
[Who are you?]
He must have thought that this was absurd.
What made this worthwhile was that this man’s level was beyond that of a first-rate warrior.
It was a natural reaction when someone as young as me managed to overpower him.
[If you continue to act like this, people will get good reasons to be suspicious.]
I blinked at him and then shifted my glance in another direction.
I looked at the spies from the military office that were monitoring me. His eyes trembled as he thought that they were onto him.
And I told him.
[They are watching you.]