The top floor of Cheonhwaru.
“This is the information you requested.”
Cheonhwacheonnyeo Baek Hye-un handed me a letter wrapped in a silk cloth.
I unwrapped the wrapping cloth on the spot and looked at the contents of the letter.
Information about the Guizhou branch.
Branch Head – Namgung Baek. Former member of the White Tigers. He is called by the nickname ‘Hakgeom (劐劍)’. He joined the family fifteen years ago as a collateral of the Namgung family. Appointed to the Guizhou branch ten years ago. Promoted to triad leader eight years ago. Promoted to deputy manager five years ago. Promoted to branch manager after the previous branch manager died a year ago.
Deputy Manager – Vacancy. The position became vacant when Namgung Baek was promoted to branch manager. It is believed that the headquarters did not have room to dispatch replacement personnel. In the future, if San Hung-gyeong, the secretary, is promoted, there is a strong possibility that he will rise to the position of Deputy Director.
Secretary – Sanhungyeong. From Rongin. Was assigned to the Guizhou branch six years ago. Byeol-ho…….
The first page of the letter was filled with information about the members of the Gwiju branch.
Members under the command of the branch manager, deputy manager, secretary, and accountant.
Even information about handymen such as gardeners, cleaners, and servants was included.
Among the information about the branch leader, the information that he was a ‘former member of the White Tigers’ caught my attention.
The White Tigers, one of the Four Gods and the main combat unit of the Murim Alliance.
A person who belonged to such a great group was assigned to a branch?
It was a mere appointment in words, but in reality it was no different from a demotion.
My guess is that there must have been some twists and turns.
Like being hated by a powerful person in the military or making a big mistake during a mission.
‘A total of fifty-two people. ‘The number is quite large.’
Compared to other regions, the branch was large and had a large number of people, perhaps because it was a place where the influence of evil factions flourished.
There was a clear comparison with the Sacheon branch, where the number of people reduced due to lack of work was not properly replenished.
I tilted my teacup to quench my thirst and then looked at the next page of the letter.
Information about the Blue Blood Sword Gate.
-A prestigious gate in Gwiju with a tradition of 120 years.
-The master of the Moon, Hyeokjeokdo (血積刀), is renowned as a skilled person comparable to the world’s greatest masters. The presumed state is the peak of maturity or the beginning of flowering.
-Currently, there are frequent conflicts with the Gwiju branch of the Murim League. Expanding our area of control at a rapid pace. It appears that they see the rise of the Demonic Cult as an opportunity and are working to expand their power.
It was a name I had heard several times in my past life.
One of the few proper Sado sects that existed in the central martial arts world was the Cheonghyeoldo sect.
There were many martial arts forces in the world who called themselves Sapa.
For example, Zhejiang’s calligraphy room.
Not only the calligraphy school, but also the large families and sects of Heukdo used to refer to themselves as Sapa.
From the beginning, whether it was a black school or a sad school, they were all the same, sucking the blood and blood of the people.
Most of the Sapa martial arts forces had a past where they were treated as black people.
‘In the end, it can be said that the roots of Sapa are the Black Island.’
As a result, there was no clear reference point to distinguish between the two sides.
For reference, in the case of the Murim Alliance, most of the Murim forces that claimed to be part of the Four factions were referred to as Black Island.
Even though Amman Seo Do-bang and Oh Gwi-bang insisted that they were Apostle Bangpa, there was a reason why people in the world referred to them as Black Dao.
Presumably, there were three main criteria by which the Murim League distinguished between the Black Islands and the Four Schools.
First, the history and tradition of the force in question.
Second, the size of the force and the level of warriors belonging to it.
Thirdly, the degree of damage caused to the general public.
Of course, even this was not an absolute standard.
In the case of Salma Bang, which Seo Ho-seon was a member of in the past, it had a short history as it was a Bangpa that made assassination a business, and did not hesitate to cause harm to the general public.
However, they were nevertheless classified as Safa.
Although the level of the warriors involved was high, their notoriety played a bigger role.
The fear and fear that spread to the people of the world led them to be called the Four Schools rather than the Black Islands.
Going back to the story.
Cheonghyeoldomun was a true sado sect recognized by everyone.
History, tradition, power, relationships with government officials, etc.
There wasn’t a single thing missing.
If such a large group of martial arts forces decided to move, the Gwiju branch would have no choice but to face difficulties.
It would be a different story if the headquarters sent reinforcements, but with the Great War breaking out, there was no way the headquarters had any spare power left.
Probably, if there is no special incident, Cheonghyeoldomun will soon be crowned the loser of Gwiju.
‘But the area of control is expanding at a rapid pace…’
I tilted my head as I scanned the contents written at the end of the letter.
At first glance, it didn’t seem like there was anything strange about it.
By subduing the nearby martial arts sects and families by force, he absorbs their interests and grows in size.
What was being done was nothing more or less than ordinary expansion of power.
Looking at it up to this point, it didn’t seem much different from the battles of interest that often take place in other regions.
What made me feel uncomfortable was the speed with which I was expanding my territory.
‘It’s too fast.’
I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in too much of a hurry.
The Battle of Jeongma was still going on in real time.
Kunlun eventually lost their home to the Demonic Cult, and the warriors who retreated, vowing revenge, joined the front line established by the Meng elite and prepared for a battle.
According to my memories of my past life, even that would fall apart in the not too distant future.
The day is not far when the Demonic Cult will completely engulf Cheonghae.
Since the situation of the war was going in favor of the Demonic Church, it could be said that there was virtually no possibility of Meng sending reinforcements to the Guizhou branch.
As a Cheonghyeoldomun, there was absolutely no reason to be impatient.
It is a self-evident fact that sooner or later they will become the losers of Gwiju.
In fact, the history of my previous life went like that.
If I were the lord of the Blue Blood Blade, I would have adjusted my speed to minimize the damage incurred in the process of expanding my power.
A simple invasion using military force was not the answer.
Pressure, threats, cajoling, etc.
There were many easier and simpler methods.
‘If possible, it would be better to take care of not only practicality but also a cause.’
The ideal picture was to expand the sphere of influence leisurely and step by step, keeping in mind the future when the Great War was concluded.
The tactic of just pushing through force was bound to cause various problems and conflicts.
They would become a good reason for the Murim Alliance to punish Cheonghyeoldomun in the future.
‘If the war between the political and evil forces ends with the victory of the martial arts faction, the Cheonghyeoldomun will definitely face a backlash. There’s no way even the Blue Blood Demon Master wouldn’t know that.’
I rubbed my chin and was lost in thought.
Perhaps Cheonghyeoldomun is not taking that approach of its own volition.
What if an outside force tried to focus the attention of Baekdo martial arts forces in the region on Cheonghyeoldomun?
‘There are quite a few things that can be considered overthinking.’
I folded the letter and put it away in my arms, putting a smile on my face.
It occurred to me that there might be some kind of connection between the Iron Blood Demon Lord and the Blue Blood Demon Master.
* * *
“Then, I would like to ask you to join the branch for a while.”
“Don’t worry, just go.”
The main gate of the Sacheon branch.
I said goodbye to Hong Seong-hyeon, a new member from Hyeonsamun, who inevitably came to see me off at the entrance.
I have instructed Hong Seong-hyeon to supervise the affairs of the branch while I am away.
One could say that the new leader was given too heavy a task, but unfortunately, there was no one else he could entrust as acting branch leader.
There are currently nine people working at the Sacheon branch.
Damun and I decided to go on a business trip to the Gwiju branch together, and the four existing people had experience but had no credibility.
In the end, I had to choose one of the three people newly assigned to the branch, and the most trustworthy person was none other than Hong Seong-hyeon.
“Then let’s leave.”
I said, looking back at the group that was leaving for the trip together.
Damun Seohoseon Bangcheoksam and Dangseoyeon.
Bang Cheok-sam decided to act as my guard as promised, and Dang Seo-yeon asked me to accompany him separately, so she joined the group.
[I am planning to go on a business trip to the Gwiju branch this time, but there is something I need Sojeo’s help with. Would you like to come with us?]
[Why are you at the Gwiju branch…?]
[The external justification is to help keep the Cheonghyeoldomun in check. However, the real purpose is different.]
[We have found out that one of the disciples of the Demonic Cult in Guizhou is working secretly.]
[Is that true?]
[Really. You can trust this information as it is obtained from a trustworthy person.] [
You are planning to carry out a subjugation operation like when you caught the assassination army in Honam.]
[That is correct. I hope you can help me with that. There will come a time when knowledge about Sojeo’s poison and memorization mechanism will be needed.] [
[If you help me with this task, I will definitely repay you.] [
I cannot get the family’s support. There may not be, but I can help you personally.]
[That is enough.]
[I understand. I guess I should prepare for the trip.]
[Aren’t you curious? What kind of reward will I promise?]
[Have you been blocked by a wall recently?]
[……Yes. As expected, you recognize the small cooperatives.]
[We will help you overcome that wall. Promising with your name is too cliché, so I promise with all my money.]
[It’s probably not something I can say so confidently. I’ll help you get over the wall.]
[I can guarantee it.]
[I’ll believe it if the Yeon Sohyeop says so.]
Five people, including me, headed straight to a large pyoguk nearby.
“welcome. “Branch manager.”
Pyo-doo, who was checking my luggage for the last time before leaving for the trip, politely bowed to me.
I already stopped by Pyoguk a few days ago and left an escort request.
It’s strange to see someone as high as a branch head requesting escort from the bureau, but what can you do?
The Sacheon branch was short of personnel.
Shortly after boarding the spacious four-horse carriage, the carriage wheels began to roll with a clattering noise.
Seo Ho-seon asked me as I was lost in thought while looking out the window of the carriage.
“I want to ask you one thing.”
“Ask as much as you want.”
“Why are you taking me with you? I don’t think it will be of much help because my skills are still lacking…”
“Warrior Seo has already achieved considerable accomplishments. It’s finally time to experience real combat.”
“And there is an important role that you must play, Warrior Seo.”
“What is that role?”
“I’ll tell you when I arrive.”
“…I feel uneasy.”
“If you want to live, don’t play along and practice hard.”
“What on earth does that mean?!”
“I mean it literally.”
Seo Ho-seon’s face turned earthy.
I smiled and comforted Seo Ho-seon.