“Are you experiencing any inconveniences?”
“yes. “There is nothing particularly inconvenient.”
Jeolyounggaek, a man sitting across from me across the table, sipped his tea with a dry smile.
Currently, he was banned from performing internal exercises and had shackles on his ankles.
Originally, he should have been more severely detained, but I allowed him convenience at my discretion.
Since he couldn’t use his inner strength anyway, there was no place for him to escape to within the palace.
“How are you feeling?”
“It has improved a lot.”
A Jeolyeong guest responds insincerely and puts down his teacup.
Contrary to what he said, he didn’t look good at all.
Even though no special torture was applied to him, he was becoming emaciated day by day.
Compared to when I first saw him, he became noticeably thinner.
‘It’s not unreasonable.’
I was told that my entire family had died.
The subordinates he led also died after being brutally tortured by the warriors of the Harel tribe.
If it were a normal person, it wouldn’t be surprising if their mind collapsed.
‘It’s not good.’
If I had been consumed by a desire for revenge and run wild, I wouldn’t have been this worried.
All you had to do was adjust the direction of that desire for revenge.
‘It is difficult to fall into despair and lose the will to live.’
There was a need to somehow cheer up the guests.
The problem was how.
Jeol Young-gaek’s family has already passed away.
There was no way to make up for the loss he felt.
No matter how much I did, I did not have the ability to resurrect the dead.
‘In the end, the only way is to increase the desire for revenge.’
There are many ways to incite revenge, but it would be better to postpone the provocation until a little later.
At the very least, Jeolyounggaek should have been given time to compose himself.
Because if you do it wrong, it can have the opposite effect.
“I heard that you are refusing to eat.”
“Even if it’s hard, eat some food. “Once you live, shouldn’t you be able to take revenge?”
I sighed and got up from my seat.
I was concerned that he might end up committing suicide, but the situation was not so relaxed that he was only focusing on the prisoners.
There were a lot of people I had to meet, and I also had to train for the upcoming competition.
I also had to consistently devote time to refining the inner strength I gained by taking Gongcheong Petroleum.
“I’ll be back soon.”
No answer came back.
I left the room, leaving behind Jeolyoung-gaek, who was staring blankly at the ceiling with eyes like dead fish.
* * *
“So what is the purpose of calling me out on this late night?”
A dark secret room.
Two people sat across from each other at a table with a candle in the center.
On one side was an old man with a wrinkled face, and on the other was a middle-aged man with a small build.
“There is one thing I would like to suggest.”
“proposal? That sounds interesting. Didn’t I come to the wrong person? “I am not the representative of the delegation.”
The middle-aged man wiggled his eyebrows.
I knew in advance that he was a person with an authoritarian personality and discriminatory values, but I had no idea that he was a thoughtless person who would immediately look down on himself, the palace owner’s blood relative, within the Beast Palace.
“no. “It is true that I have something to say to Elder Hwang Bo-kyung, not to the Sacheon Branch Manager.”
“Good. “Let’s listen first.”
However, the man’s discipline was not low enough to express his displeasure to this extent.
He opened his mouth with a faint smile on his lips.
“Did you know that the Sichuan branch manager will be participating in the secret martial arts competition that will be held soon?”
“Judging by that reaction, it seems like you haven’t heard about it. “It seems like the Sacheon branch leader has decided to exclude you from the plan.”
“…Tell me in more detail.”
“Not long ago, my father, the Lord of the Beast Palace, gathered the executives of the palace and declared this. “We will hold again the secret martial arts competition that was postponed indefinitely due to internal strife.”
“Also, if there is a faction that produces a winner of the competition, I will give strength to the leader of that faction so that he can rise to the position of palace lord in the future.”
Old man Hwang Bo-kyung’s eyes opened wide.
It was as if he had never thought that such an inside story existed.
“Finally, you also added this. The Sacheon branch manager plans to participate in the competition while hiding his identity. “If he wins, a non-aggression pact will be signed between the Murim Alliance and the Beast Palace.”
“Is that really true?”
“Why would I bother to lie to the elder?”
A furrow was carved between Hwang Bo-kyung’s eyebrows.
It seemed like he was feeling quite uncomfortable with the current situation.
“That sneaky b*stard…”
A low murmur.
Confucius Lee, a middle-aged man who was observing the other person’s reaction, slowly raised the corner of his mouth.
It was an extremely satisfying response.
This was the reason why I chose Hwang Bo-kyung among the many members of the delegation to contact him.
‘I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t know what’s right and continues to be rude.’
I was able to overlook that level as a result of his cuteness.
No, on the contrary, it was even more rewarding to embrace him because he had that kind of personality.
“Elder. “Won’t you join hands with me?”
“Let’s hold hands?”
“What will be the benefit of me joining hands with you?”
“The Sacheon branch manager is overly optimistic about the situation. I guarantee you, he won’t win the competition.”
“Why are you so sure?”
“All kinds of powerful people participate in the martial arts competition hosted by the Beast Palace. Talents comparable to the top 100 players in the midfield also appear from time to time.”
“That’s a gross exaggeration.”
“This is not an exaggeration. It is a completely different event from the Yongbong branch held in Jungwon last year. “The participants are not young, late fighters but fighters whose names are known throughout southern Manchuria.”
“Moreover, the palace lord’s declaration sparked this tournament, and all five factions expressed their intention to participate. The level of participants will be so high that it cannot be compared to previous competitions. “I can guarantee that even if Geomhu participates, it will be difficult to win.”
“No matter how outstanding the Sacheon branch manager is, he is only a young man who has just passed his contract. I’m sure the elder knows this too. “You cannot overcome the wall of time with talent and effort alone.”
“So what do you want to say?”
“It is true that the Sacheon branch manager is working hard to achieve his mission. The problem is that the direction is wrong. If you didn’t know at all, the elder now knows it. As a member of the delegation, do you plan to just watch it happen?”
“The purpose of the mission is to conclude a non-aggression pact with the Beast Palace. “The person who plays a decisive role in achieving that goal does not necessarily have to be the Sacheon branch president.”
“You’ve been going around talking since a while ago. “I asked what would be the benefit of joining hands with you.”
“There is no need to say what will happen next if the Sacheon branch leader, who was so blinded by his achievements that he acted without properly consulting with his group, is eliminated from the competition.”
“In all likelihood, you will be criticized by your companions and will have to resign from your position.”
“It’s not just the Sichuan branch manager who is in trouble. The mission that trusted the Sacheon branch leader and entrusted everything to him will also be in great confusion.”
“Shouldn’t the elder have pioneered a way out in advance to prepare for that time?”
“So, are you saying that if you and I join hands, there will be a way out?”
“That’s an alliance proposal whose intentions are blatantly revealed.”
“I think it’s a mutually beneficial proposition.”
Hwang Bo-kyung couldn’t hold back and burst into laughter.
This Confucius took out a bundle of documents from his pocket, placed them on the table, and continued his conversation.
“Please help me climb to the top of the palace. I would greatly appreciate your help. We will also take steps to ensure that the elder, who has become the representative of the delegation, can safely complete his mission and return to Jungwon.”
“What is this again?”
“It is a non-aggression pact. “I will place a seal symbolizing the palace lord on this document in the near future.”
Confucius pushed the document forward and handed it to Hwang Bo-gyeong.
Although it was just a simple piece of paper with no practical effect, I thought it would be enough to move the greedy old man’s heart.
After carefully examining the contents of the document, Hwang Bo-kyung nodded and said.
“I will consider it positively for now.”
“You don’t give a definite answer.”
“Isn’t this an issue that can be taken lightly? Come see me again in three days. “Let me think about it for a while.”
Although his attitude was extremely ambiguous, this Confucius was certain.
Hwang Bo-kyung’s heart has completely changed.
Acting cautiously and taking a step back was nothing more or less than an underpinning to increase his own value.
“I’ll just go back now.”
“I’m looking forward to a good answer.”
* * *
Time passed quickly.
Finally, the day arrived for the preliminary round of the competition hosted by the palace.
“It’s a little frustrating.”
When I saw myself reflected in the mirror, I smiled bitterly.
No matter where I looked, he seemed like nothing but a suspicious person.
He covered his face with a fox mask and covered his skin with tight-fitting clothes.
In addition, I was wearing a long robe and gauntlet, so no one would be able to tell that I was a member of the Central Plains just by looking at my appearance.
“Thank you Soger.”
For reference, I also painted my face with powder just in case.
Seoyeon Dang, who is skilled in makeup, helped.
I entered the arena with light steps.
Likewise, Changin Dojang, who had finished dressing up with the help of Dang Seoyeon, acted as a servant and followed behind me.
As I looked at the young Taoist monk with bronzed skin and wild clothes, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You look quite powerful.”
Changin Dojang just frowned and didn’t respond in any particular way.
Inside the huge arena, numerous people were crowded around.
They were all warriors who flocked to participate in the competition.
As they participated as representatives of each tribe, each person had considerable skills.
The path to the player waiting room.
Changin Dojang asked me a question in a telephonic voice.
-Why did you bring me here?
-Warriors participating in the competition can each bring a squire to do miscellaneous tasks for them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t come along, but most participants hire a squire because they don’t want to waste valuable break time receiving supplies or making lists.
-You know I didn’t ask that. What I’m curious about is why they chose me over the leaders of the Sacheon branch.
-There is no special reason. They just picked the person who seemed the most leisurely.
-The leaders of the Sacheon branch are currently busy carrying out their duties.