Embroidered Uniform Guard (錦衣衛)
On my way to the Blue Dragon Martial Club, I decided to refrain from murder and robbery.
Of course, it is necessary to clean up the past to enter the Blue Dragon Martial Club, where I have to train for a long time. It’s not the reason that the good conscience inside me wakes up suddenly. My current goal is neither to make much money nor to be honored. It is important to create an environment in which I can concentrate on one thing simply because it requires sufficient time to improve my martial arts.
I sighed briefly.
“Why are you dragging my feet when I have been thinking that way?”
Five bandits, who heard me talking to myself, shook and knelt.
Five minutes before now…
They swung a knife to kill me when I came across them. They were classical murder robbers, and the number was twelve, so the average civilian would have died without being able to resist them. At least four to five escorts could safely defeat them.
I hit their heads by Lightning Cloud Palm and instantly knocked out four men unconscious, and swung a short knife to cut three hands. I was unarmed and had only a dagger, but it was a piece of cake to deal with bandits nonetheless.
“Please, save us …”
At the sight of their struggling and wiggling comrades on the floor, they were sitting on their knees in horror. I looked at them with cold eyes and said, “I am now pondering whether I’ll kill you or I’ll save you.”
The bandits were terrified and began to throw their noses into the ground.
“Young Hero… Please save our lives.”
“Save us …”
They were whining about it.
I stared at them and said, “Tell me if you heard anything useful. If I like, I’ll save you.”
It’s so easy to kill them. Even if I waived just Lightning Cloud Palm, I would end them up like a fried chicken. But I thought I would refrain from killing, and decided to listen to the information before killing.
The bandits then looked desperate. Meanwhile, a bandit with bushy beards hurriedly raised his hands to shout.
“Sir! The mistress of the boss of Gold Wolf is a beautiful lady!”
“If you get her …”
This bastard was a real morass. I was so dumbfounded that I stretched my hand to his ear while looking at him. And I tore it off with the same force.
His ears were torn alive, and he screamed and rolled to the ground. He was so full of blood that he almost fainted. The bandits, who struggled to give the “useful information,” hardened like rabbits. I threw the ear into the near stream and snarled.
“Speak carefully. What information would be really helpful?”
“Sir, what do you want? Please give me a hint.”
“Tell me about Moorim.”
The bandits looked perplexed. Well, the muggers were not so smart to know the news about Moorim.
“If you do not know well, it’s okay.”
As I saw their hesitant faces, I slowly raised my hand in the killing intent. As they were bound to kill people on the street, and I would kill them at ease.
It was then. One of the skinny bandits opened his eyes wide as he cried.
“Sir! I have really good information!”
“What is it?”
“I’ve heard of a Moorim person named Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, Nangong Huan who was staying in the village thirty-two kilometers away from here. I heard he was going around with his fiancé. I’m not sure about that now …”
I was startled.
Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon(蒼天劍龍), Nangong Huan (南宮桓)!
‘Was he here when he was young?’
His nickname was famous. Of course, it was not a “big name” at this time, but he is a figure who will become one of the ‘ten masters in the world’ (天下十代高手) after decades. Nangong Huan will be known to be the Clan Leader of Nangong (南宮世家), and he will take possession of dominance of Anhui Province (安徽省) and will be called Sword-King.
Even as an escort, I used to feel his existence like a great giant. Even a single clan could influence on Anhui province and he made his reputation as a great righteous Hero of Anhui province. After several decades, he became a Clan Leader, but he now seems to be living as a young successor of Righteous Factions.
I asked out of curiosity, “Why is Nangong Huan here?”
“They say that Nangong Huan came to meet someone. We don’t know that… I heard it from the inn owner …”
“By the way, did you guys rob while Nangong Huan was walking around?”
The bandits couldn’t answer anything.
‘I wonder. Shall I go see what he looks like?’
It is a day and a half from where I stand to the Blue Dragon Martial Club in Guanzhong. In the past, this way was used as a path as being all alone in the world. However, it is possible to arrive within half a day if I run with my Internal Energy. As such, there is ample time to meet Nangong Huan.
“Hey. Where is Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, Nangong Huan?”
“I’ve heard of Gangwol village.”
“I think I heard of that village.”
Certainly, it is not a village far from the government road. Rather, it is a medium-sized village on a street leading to Guanzhong. I knew about it because I once dropped by Gangwol village and slept near the building.
I said to the robber who gave me the information.
“Okay, you told me good information, so I would save you. “Don’t the others have anything to say?”
“Well, there is a good painting at the storage of …”
The bandits scrambled to give me the good information they knew. Some of them were worthless, but they talked about the location of Gold Wolf near here, the location of the slave market, and the best way to contact with the kidnappers who abducted and sold the children. It was a big piece of information, and I organized them because I thought it would be useful someday.
After I put the story together, I concluded.
“It’s time to break up.”
“I am not your boss and don’t call me, sir.”
I crushed the scattered bandits to death. And I glided to the four thieves who gave me the good information. When they heard the words “save you,” they showed hope in their faces, but their faces soon changed into despair, as my dagger was swing at a great speed.
“What the hell …”
At the next moment, four necks were flying in the air. I disposed of them without a drop of blood and then landed on the ground again. The necks fell to the ground late. I took the money out of their belongings and it was more than twenty silver coins.
Though I said I would save them, I just changed my mind. So I killed them all. I stood in a pool of blood, but I had no sense of guilt. Who could say anything about killing a man who was useless at all? Because I got rid of those robbers, people would come to life. More precisely to speak, I just wanted to kill them.
I started walking after putting the silver coins in my bundle.
“Let’s visit Gangwol village and see what Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, Nangong Huan is doing.”
I wanted to get some information about one who would become one of the ten masters in the world in the future, if possible.
I ran fast and headed for Gangwol village. It took two hours to get there and it was getting dark when I arrived. I ate enough with travel expenses, and I searched for an inn to sleep.
Gangwol village was a village attached to the government road, and the distribution of goods was active. So it was very crowded and lively unlike the small village, when I came into the inn. At that time, I saw the prostitutes selling themselves to tourists, but I felt that there was no way to do anything about it.
The owner of the inn looked surprised when I said I wanted to stay. It would not be natural as I was too young. However, not wanting to know whether the money was a gangster’s, he gave me a key to the room without any word.
While I was doing check-in, I asked the owner of the inn, “Is there a famous a Moorim person in this village by any chance?”
“Oh, do you come to meet Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon? You look like a child of a martial clan who is traveling alone.”
The owner of the inn said with a smile, “He left the town at noon with his fiancée.”
“What? Do you happen to know where to go?”
“How can the owner of the inn ask about that?”
I had nothing to say because he was right. The owner of the inn said, feeling sorry for me to travel alone at a young age.
“I have a hunch. If you walk northward from the village, you’ll come to Guanzhong. Maybe he’ll go into the castle.”
“I guess so.”
There was a point in the speculation of the owner of the inn. The young successor of Moorim, who was renowned as Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, would not travel around the mountain small villages in circles. In addition, as he was accompanied by his fiancée, it would be normal to travel around the large villages on horseback along the comfortable government road. It seemed to be almost certain that Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon had headed to Guanzhong.
‘Let’s take a break and go after him.’
My destination was also Guanzhong.
‘If I leave tomorrow morning and look for the traces of Nangong Huan, I’ll be able to see the face sometime tomorrow. If I don’t see it, I will not be able to do anything about it.’
“Have some chicken.”
The owner came to my room after a while and served some chicken dishes. He said softly when I looked at him in a strange look.
“It’s free. Eat and be strong.”
I felt indebted on my journey again. I was uncomfortable while eating warm chicken after the owner of the inn left. Coming to think of it, I was helped by many people during my past years’ traveling.
Mr. Song of a dry goods store, Jang Chul from Samsong escort agency…
I couldn’t even think about it because I was busy doing my job. There was a paradox in my life that my debt was piling up, but I couldn’t repay it all.
“But I can’t go around to repay the kindness in my past life, and it’s a big problem.”
After eating chicken, I washed myself and fell asleep pleasantly. The next morning after I got up and thanked the owner of the inn, I helped clean up the room tables and chairs. My mind was relieved because the owner said, “That’s more than enough.”
I left Gangwol village to reach Guanzhong. When I came to Guanzhong after breaking through the rough journey, I remembered I was homeless by digging in the ground and shivering with cold. I didn’t know how many years had passed, but the difficulties of that time were still vivid in my memory.
“Well, I don’t have to be homeless anymore.”
I started to look around the castle for Nangong Huan that would be there. I didn’t know about the days when I was in training at the Blue Dragon Martial Club in the past, but the castle was as big as any other castle. Of course, it was not comparable to the capital city, but many people walked around and it had wide roads.
While trying to find Nangong Huan, I thought it would be a good idea to use Qi Sense (氣感). Having taken the Elixir three times, my Internal Energy became extremely high and I could detect the Qi at a far distance away.
“I’ll find him easily.”
I was looking for Nangong Huan because I would like to meet him. It was from my personal curiosity about a celebrity in the future.
‘How about him in the past?’
I walked through the busy streets and perceived with Qi sense, and in six hundred meters I found some big energies. All five energies were more than First-class experts. Although the streets were wide, it was very unusual for the experts to flock like this. In addition, they were much stronger than the general First-class martial artists.
Since the level difference even in the First-class martial artists was great, it was hard to denigrate them as below the Peak-class. As for me, I had a lot of Internal Energy, but the level of the martial arts was low.
‘Well … there must be Nangong Huan among these people anyway.’
I decided to visit each of the five First-class experts. The first time I encountered a man, and he was sitting with a wooden saber on his shoulders in a back alley. He had a hollow impression, and it appeared that he was just over twenty years old. However, the man said, being annoyed when he found me.
“Who are you? I want to be quiet, so get out of this alley …”
“I think you are a First-class expert. What are you doing here?”
The man shook his eyebrows and said, “You’re not a normal kid. Are you a disciple of Gaibang (丐幇: beggars’ association)?”
I looked down at my dress. Apparently due to the long journey, clothes were worn out and dirty. There was ample room to mistake me for a beggar of Gaibang. I shook my head.
“That’s not true. So, let me go.”
“Wait a minute. Are you looking for Nangong Huan too?”
‘What was he talking about?’
When I looked at him in a minute, the man smiled and introduced himself.
“I am Saber-ghost (戰刀鬼), Wei Zhong (緯鐘). If you’re a person of Gaibang, you should give me some information about his fiancée, Murong Yan (慕容演).”
Saber-ghost, Wei Zhong rose from his seat with the killing intent.
I made a face at the thought that I had to fight with a top-class expert all of a sudden.
‘What’s this son of a bitch doing?’
But it was okay. It seemed like a good match to test my strength. I slowly started pulling up my Internal Energy.
“You can try…”
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