“……What did you say just now?”
“A gunman broke into Seonhojang last night.”
“What a monster! “Who on earth broke into there and for what purpose?”
“It is said that not only the guard warriors but also all the servants were found with their blood blades suppressed.”
“Hojin! “Did you say Hojin is safe?”
“It looks like he disappeared.”
Namhakgeom’s face was distorted miserably.
He was breathing heavily with a red face and asked, glaring at his subordinate with a look that threatened to devour him.
“What about pleural effusion?”
“It has not been revealed. However, given that there were no witnesses and all of the escort warriors fell victim to the same method, it is highly likely that it was the work of one person rather than multiple people.”
“Are you saying that you single-handedly suppressed all of Seonhojang’s warriors? “Without leaving any trace?”
“There wouldn’t be that many experts like that in the entire world.”
“Looking at the revealed circumstances, it appears that he is one of the highest level of skill among the 100 great masters. And one more thing. “It is presumed that Prince Hwang was not kidnapped, but voluntarily followed the beast.”
“…What does that mean?”
“They said there was no trace of Confucius having engaged in combat with the beast.”
“Isn’t he strong enough to single-handedly overwhelm all the warriors employed by Seon Seon-jang? “It wouldn’t be surprising even if there were no battle scars left.”
“Prince Hwang is a master who is on the verge of reaching his peak. “No matter how great the beast was, it is unlikely that someone as powerful as Confucius could have resisted even once and been subdued.”
“Was Hojin that bad?”
“Among the warriors employed by Seonhojang, there is no one who can predict the odds of victory in a one-on-one fight with Prince Hwang. “The reason why we have recently sent several petitions requesting additional staff is also related to this.”
“Not only that. “There were no traces of a fight, but it is said that a phrase that appeared to be a message from Prince Hwang was engraved on the wall.”
“I heard it said Daejeon Hwangdo.”
Daejeon Hwangdo (大展宏图).
Expand your big intentions.
It was a phrase that warriors who had just appeared in the Gangho would enjoy using.
Namhakgeom, with his hand on his forehead, slumped down in his chair.
He stared at the floor in silence and spoke in a low voice.
“Find it. “Hojin and the guy who lured him away.”
After finishing the report and leaving the palace, the subordinate let out the breath he had been holding and glanced back.
I almost fainted from being crushed by the deadly force that spewed out.
‘You seem quite angry.’
It was the first time that Namhakgeom looked so angry.
I had a gut feeling that if I couldn’t resolve the situation quickly, I would be in trouble.
‘First, we must check the safety of Prince Hwang.’
The most urgent task is to make sure that there are no problems with Hwang Ho-jin’s health.
Executing the beast was the second problem.
‘It’s difficult. ‘What to do in a situation where there is no clue.’
It was fortunate that Hwang Ho-jin left the field on his own.
What if the villain’s purpose was to kidnap or kill Hwang Ho-jin?
I didn’t know that Namhakgeom might have let go of the strings of reason and gone on a rampage.
The man, who was crossing the garden with a deep sigh, muttered.
“First, I’ll have to release someone and gather information.”
* * *
Contrary to concerns, it was not that difficult to follow Hwang Ho-jin’s movements.
The problem was what he did while he was gone.
Namhakgeom asked, staring at his subordinate with a blank expression.
“Hojin took the entrance test?”
“What kind of nonsense is that? “The entrance exam isn’t something you can just take just because you want to.”
“This is something that normally cannot happen. Unless you ignore the order and procedures.”
“That’s what I said. “How on earth can a guy who has only disappeared for half a day appear as a martial arts leader?”
“Given the circumstances, it appears that the identity of the person who cheated on Prince Hwang was Cheonryong.”
“Heavenly Dragon? “Are you talking about the Sichuan branch leader?”
Namhakgeom’s eyes widened as if torn.
Why does the Sacheon branch manager’s nickname stick out here?
“It seems that Prince Hwang has made preparations in advance so that he can take the entrance exam right away.”
Namhakgun, who was laughing, suddenly stumbled over Shinhyeong.
He hurriedly approached and pushed away the subordinate who was helping him, shouting and waving his hands.
The subordinate’s head turned.
My cheek, where I had been hit by the palm of my hand, was swollen and blood was flowing from the corner of my mouth.
“What on earth did you do to make things like this!”
Suha swallowed the blood that had accumulated in his mouth and lowered his head, biting his lip tightly.
I felt aggrieved, but there was nothing good about rebelling here.
Namhakgeom, who had been huffing and puffing for a long time without being able to control his anger, grabbed the back of the neck and knocked Shinhyeong down.
A dignified subordinate picked up his body and carried it to the bed.
Nam Hak-geom, who barely came to his senses, spoke in a dying voice like a patient suffering from lung disease.
“Heavenly Dragon. “Find out for what purpose that guy contacted Hojin.”
“No, the important thing is not the purpose. Send someone to him. “Tell them I want to meet you.”
* * *
Daru (茶樓) located near Dongdong Lake (洞庭湖).
I sat across the table from Cheon Ga-ryeong.
Cheon Ga-ryeong took off his bamboo hat and said in a laughing voice.
“I persuaded you more easily than I thought?”
“It is a natural result. Prince Huang wanted freedom, and I wanted his power. “It means our understanding is aligned.”
“What you really want isn’t the ability he has, is it? “It’s revenge on Namhakgeom.”
“It is true that I highly admired Prince Hwang’s abilities. “The more capable subordinates you have, the better.”
“I wonder what Namhakgeom is feeling right now.”
“Already around the new hour, Namhakgeom sent someone. “He said he wanted to meet me.”
“I refused. “There’s no reason why you should blush in person.”
The face of a warrior who was demanding to accompany him, citing the authority of an elder, appeared in my mind.
It would be better to just follow along.
Do you have the confidence to handle the rest?
That you will regret it.
Thinking about him showing such an overbearing attitude, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Are you okay? “I feel like I’ve crossed a river that I can’t turn back from.”
“It doesn’t matter. “Is this the one holding the sword hilt?”
Hwang Ho-jin was scheduled to be assigned to the Sacheon branch.
I asked Manjung Prosecutor in advance and went through all the relevant procedures.
Would Namhakgeom just watch it quietly?
I can assure you that there was no choice but to watch.
No matter how Namhakgeom is, it won’t be easy to interfere with what Manjunggeom is pursuing.
More than anything, you want to avoid a situation where suspicions arise about your relationship with Hwang Ho-jin.
“Sometimes I doubt whether you belong to a political faction.”
“Samurai said the same thing.”
Cheon Ga-ryeong accepted the teaware brought out by Jeomsoi and poured tea into the cup with elegant movements.
Jeomsoy, who had been staring at her as if fascinated, caught my gaze and left in shock.
I took the steaming glass and muttered to myself with a faint smile on my face.
‘Respected senior. I will make sure to take Prince Hwang to Nanman.’
Cheon Ga-ryeong, who cleared her throat once, put down her teacup and asked.
“Are you planning to return to Sacheon soon?”
“yes. “I have finished all my business in Honam, so I guess I should head back.”
“I don’t know when I’ll see you again.”
“You said you were ordered to close the training center. “There is no exact deadline set?”
“huh. He told me not to leave the training center until I entered the next realm. You may finish it quickly and come out, or you may not be able to come out even after several years.”
I narrowed my eyes and played with the teacup.
There was a question I had for quite some time.
What exactly is Hao Wen-ju’s intention?
Presumably, the reason he made Cheonnyeo the branch leader of Seongdo was because he had Cheon Ga-ryeong’s absence in mind.
In other words, it was a plan that foresaw several moves prepared for me.
‘There are many strange things besides the promotion of Cheonnyeo to branch manager. For example, why did I appoint Cheon Ga-ryeong as my exclusive handler?’
In the past, there was a time when I could not yet fully embody the White Thunder Godkong.
My relationship with Hao Wen was not very good.
Because in order to become a customer of Hao Mun, I took the risk of divulging the secrets of the clan.
It was a time when we did not trust each other and were wary.
At that time, there were quite a few people in Haomun who had antipathy towards me.
The reason why the Haomen who came to Sacheon to escort Cheon Ji-ryeong showed hostility towards me was also unrelated to that.
Despite this, Hao Wen-ju made the incomprehensible decision to appoint me as the person in charge.
Now I have become an influential figure in my own right, but at the time I was just a trainee.
From Hao Wen-ju’s point of view, he would have been nothing more than an insignificant boy.
[I don’t know why, but Lord Moon seems to have decided that you are someone worthy of special treatment. Considering that he dispatched me despite internal opposition.]
Why on earth does Hao Wen-ju show such favor to me?
What is the purpose of attaching Cheon Ga-ryeong to me, even at the risk of internal opposition?
I’m saying this now, but until recently, my relationship with Hao Wen wasn’t equal.
Should I say it was tilted and horizontal?
‘If it’s natural, it’s natural.’
It would be even more strange if the relationship between an individual and a large martial arts force was equal.
There are even many people within the sect who have antipathy towards me.
Nevertheless, the reason why I did not show any discomfort to Cheon Ga-ryeong was simple.
Because she was one of the few people in Haomun who had favor with me.
Because I knew that she defended and supported me when other leaders were pouring out negative opinions about me.
Therefore, I tried to maintain a good relationship with her as much as possible.
I thought there was nothing wrong with increasing intimacy.
‘If you think about it, the heavenly maiden is also someone who has favor with me. ‘Because you were saved by me when you were kidnapped by the poisonous snake sword.’
Cheon Ga-ryeong and Baek Hye-un were also people who were indebted to me.
Is this a coincidence?
Did Hao Wenju pick out these two people and place them around me for no reason?
‘That can’t be possible.’
There had to be some purpose.
For some purpose I don’t know.
It could have just been an investment based on my prospects.
But for some reason, I had an unfounded intuition that it might not be such a simple reason.
After thinking about it for a while, I shook my head slightly.
If you think about it in a situation where there is insufficient information, you will not come up with a great answer.
He pushed the teacup into the corner and placed his chin on his clasped hands.
He then proposed it to Cheon Ga-ryeong, who was looking at us with a puzzled expression.
“There is a way to significantly shorten the time it takes to close a building. Would you like to hear it?”