I burst into laughter.
He was indeed a person whose attitude changed quickly.
I was prepared to start a verbal war, but when the other side bowed and came in, I felt like steam was escaping.
The effect of the Poison King joining the group was certainly significant.
As the head of the Yunnan branch, he would not have the courage to give orders to Tang Sang-jin to do this or that.
“Can we expect full cooperation from the Yunnan branch?”
“of course. “Just say the word.”
Zhuge Yuan nodded vigorously as if he had been waiting.
I fiddled with the teacup and thought about it for a moment.
What should you ask for first?
There was no particular need for military support.
The power was already full and overflowing.
Increasing the number of people beyond this level would not have been of much help.
‘Rather, it’s a situation where we need to consider reducing the number of people. If you increase your size unnecessarily, the Beast Palace may feel wary.’
I decided that getting information was the priority.
Information about Nanman could not be obtained through Hao Wen.
Hao Wen was a highly influential faction within the Central Plains, but he was not active outside of China.
After clearing my throat once, I leaned back on the chair and asked.
“What is the current situation in Namman?”
“Nothing much has changed. “The five factions are still competing fiercely.”
After hearing all of Zhuge Yuan’s explanations, I rubbed my chin and was lost in thought.
‘The fight between the successors, which began when the lord of the Beast Palace lay down due to old age, is becoming more intense as time passes. But…’
That’s just a comment about the secret struggle behind the scenes.
A full-scale war has not yet occurred once.
The reason was simple.
This was because each faction was similar in size and had equal power.
A structure in which the one who makes the first move is bound to suffer a loss.
It seemed that all five factions targeting the palace were only watching each other’s thoughts and were reluctant to take any active action.
‘I had some expectations, though.’
It was truly a situation with no answer.
From the perspective of the entire Jungwon martial arts group, it was a good thing.
If the situation in the South becomes unstable, you can focus on the political war with peace of mind.
The problem was that, from my personal perspective, it was the worst possible situation.
‘If my memories from my past life are to be believed, the civil war in South Korea will continue for more than ten years.’
I could not leave Yunnan until I completed the mission given to me by the lord.
If I didn’t take active action, I would have wasted time.
“Do you have any more detailed information? For example, the relationship between brothers. A person supported by the current Beast Palace lord. Or else…”
“There is some information that may be helpful. “I will tell you step by step.”
* * *
“After I finish preparing, I plan to head straight to the Beast Palace.”
A conference room in the Yunnan branch.
I called the group together and informed them of the future schedule.
Gamwon, the head of the Shaolin Temple’s Eight Great Houses, rolled his prayer beads and asked.
“Are you okay? Given the situation, Namman’s warriors must also be sensitive. “You might end up provoking them.”
“I’m worried too. Wouldn’t it be better to wait and see the situation for now and then move on? If you rush too much, you might end up making a mistake. “It’s not a mission with a specific deadline.”
Hwang Bo-gyeong, an elder of the Hwang Bo-sega family, spoke in a condescending manner.
It was exactly the reaction I expected.
I shook my head and gave a prepared answer.
“There is limited information that can be obtained without setting foot in Nanman directly. Even if you stay here and watch the developments, you won’t gain much.”
“Also, the sooner you complete the mission, the better. “At least in order for the Murim Alliance to fully focus on the war against demons.”
Footnotes from Botaam Biryonggak Geomhu nodded and gave strength to my argument.
“I also think the same way. Aren’t all of you here holding important positions in your respective shrines? “I can’t be stranded here forever, so it would be better to hurry up with my schedule if possible.”
I thanked Geomhu with a wink and continued my explanation.
“You don’t have to worry that you might come into conflict with the Nanman warriors. “I plan to formally contact you and visit you as an envoy.”
“Is there any way to contact the Beast Palace?”
“The head of the Yunnan branch said that the elder of the Beast Palace is doing business with the Jianchang Sect on a regular basis.”
“Well, even if it’s a transaction, it’s just an exchange of things we need. Anyway, with the help of the Jumchang Sect, we will be able to visit the Beast Palace without unnecessary conflict.”
Yang Ho-gon, an elder of the Shinchang Yang family, who was quietly listening to the conversation, raised his hand and asked.
“Speaking of which, I want to ask you something. “What is the purpose of the branch manager?”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t there a purpose for forming a delegation to visit the Beast Palace? “I’m asking this out of curiosity, but you’re not planning to overthrow the leader of the faction supported by the Demon Cult, right?”
I answered sharply and shook my head.
In a way, Yang Ho-gon’s worries could be said to be natural.
The surest way to crush the Demon Cult’s plan is to collapse the faction that joined hands with the Demon Cult.
‘It may not be entirely impossible, though.’
There were a few methods that came to mind.
Obtain evidence that the faction was in cahoots with the Demonic Cult and report it to the Beast Palace Lord, or join other factions and give them power.
However, using this method inevitably led to deep involvement in the civil war.
The already dangerous journey will become several times more dangerous.
‘There is no need to take such risks.’
They were not allowed to form alliances or pretend to be allies with specific factions or people.
Not only was the risk to be taken great, but if done incorrectly, the balance of power could have been disrupted and the civil war could have ended early.
“I will tell you in advance at this time. When you arrive at the Beast Palace, never mention anything about the Demonic Cult. “We are only visiting the Beast Palace for the purpose of making peace.”
“yes. Therefore, you must not become involved in any way with the five factions that are aiming for the palace. There is only one person to whom you have business. “This is the Beast Palace lord who is bedridden due to old age.”
“I plan to meet the Beast Palace lord directly and negotiate. “The ultimate goal is to conclude an agreement not to invade each other’s territory for the next ten years.”
“In one word, you are saying that you will conclude a non-aggression pact.”
“Is that as easy as it sounds? “The faction supported by the Demon Cultist will not stand by and watch it.”
“You have to take some risk.”
All that was needed was to prevent the Beast Palace from invading the central plains.
There was a need to keep the power of the five factions as even as possible.
That will prolong the civil war.
There was one reason why I decided to go to South Manchuria.
The purpose was to conclude a peace agreement and deliver the documents to the main body of the League of Nations.
It was the most ideal way to complete the mission without significantly distorting history.
Dang Sang-jin, the leader of the Dang family, who had been silent throughout the meeting, suddenly spoke.
“First of all, I guess I’ll have to ask for cooperation from the Jeomchang faction.”
“I will go to Jeomchangpa myself.”
“Well, I guess it’s right for you, the leader of the group, to take charge of that matter. “Don’t you need a companion?”
“I think it would be of great help if Senior Poison King comes with us.”
A faint smile appeared on Tang Sangjin’s lips.
From the beginning, he must have been expecting this answer and asking if I needed a companion.
After finishing the meeting.
As I left the branch, I straightened up and stretched.
I wanted to get some fresh air outside for a moment.
The climate in Yunnan was mild.
Even though winter had just passed, the clothes worn by passers-by were quite thin.
‘Come to think of it.’
Suddenly, a face flashed through my mind.
Changin Dojo, one of the disciples of the Jeomchang school.
I made a bet with him during the Yongbong branch meeting and won.
‘Due to the intervention of Commander-in-Chief Zhuge Huan, no compensation was received and the work fell apart.’
Afterwards, Zhuge Huan came to see me in person and promised to accommodate me.
[I will send a brief letter to the Jeomchang faction. It contains the content that you and Changin Dojang made a bet, and Changin Dojang, who lost the bet, has an obligation to pay the price.]
‘I guess I can collect the debt at this point.’
I felt hopeful.
What kind of expression will Changin Dojang make when he sees me?
* * *
Changin Dojang greeted me with an uneasy expression.
A laugh came naturally.
It was a completely different reaction than expected.
“I will guide you to the Jangmunin’s room. “Please come this way.”
Despite the wary look in his eyes, Changin Dojang’s attitude was very polite.
The heavy weight on his shoulders reminded me of the way Zhuge Yuan had looked recently.
‘You seem quite nervous.’
It was a natural reaction.
Because the Dog King of the time visited Jeomchangsan Mountain with me.
I was able to indirectly feel what position Dang Sang-jin holds in Danggeum Wurim and how he is treated.
I followed behind the Changin Dojo and spoke in a light tone.
“Long time no see. “Changin Dojo.”
“……Long time no see. “Sacheon Branch Manager.”
“Do you remember the bet you made with me before the Yongbong Branch started?”
“Of course I remember.”
“I think it’s time to pay for the bet.”
“I don’t think this is a story to share here. “We will discuss private matters later.”
Changin Dojang looked like he had chewed shit.
I stared at him as he turned his head and avoided my gaze, then slowly raised the corner of my mouth.
Dang Sang-jin, who was walking next to me, asked with a puzzled expression.
-You look quite happy. It looks like something happened between them. Can I ask about the circumstances?
-It wasn’t that big of a deal. There was a time when I made a small bet.
-……Hanging a fence? I don’t think it was a light bet.
In a voice filled with laughter, I explained to Dang Sang-jin how I ended up making a bet with Chang-in Dojang.
Dang Sang-jin, who heard the whole story, couldn’t help but burst into laughter.
-You seem to have fallen into your own trap.
After traveling for a while, Dang Sang-jin and I were able to reach Jang Mun-in’s residence located halfway up Jeomchang Mountain.
Should we really say that this is the building where the chief scholar of the Jeomchang faction, who occupied the uppermost part of the Old Daemun faction, resides?
As I looked at the large and magnificent pavilion, I was filled with admiration.
Even after wiping my eyes, I couldn’t find the frugality that Taoist monks often regard as a virtue.
“You can go in here.”
As we entered Jang Mun-in’s private office under the guidance of Chang-in Dojang, an elderly man came out and welcomed Dang Sang-jin.