Embroidered Uniform Guard (錦衣衛)
I could hear the horse running in front of me.
The escape was smooth. Hangu Pass was visible in the far distance, and the pursuers who were lagging behind seemed to be struggling to catch up.
Murong Yan who the pursuers had to catch was running fast on the horse, and this side was now checking without giving a distance easily. As it was so uncomfortable at night, I had to be careful that I would run over and fall.
When I had broken the land with Vibration Foot, three people had become unconscious and only five people came after us. One of the remaining men was an expert of fist martial arts, but he was not chasing us since he had been afflicted much by Senior Brother, Jin So-Chung. I looked at their numbers.
“Three to five, that’s worth a shot.”
“It is not so. Among them, there is one expert of hidden weapons (暗器) that you should not accept a face-to-face confrontation.”
“He’s called Can Long. Be careful.”
There was a strong note of vigilance in the words of Jin So-Chung.
The confrontation before was a very dangerous situation.
It was in the situation that Jin So-Chung, who wanted to avoid the direct confrontation because Can Long hid weapons, had to endure the forced joint attack. I was a little horrified at the idea that they might have had a bad situation if I had been late for battle. Whoever Can Long was, if he used hidden weapons, I would definitely avoid a face-to-face confrontation. Hidden weapons could be a way to change the situation at any time because it could bury poison.
The man named Can Long was chasing us and seemed to be looking for an opportunity without wasting his hidden weapons. It would be better to aim at the loopholes rather than throwing it now, until our physical strength was consumed.
“Soon, the mountain road will appear, so from there you have to be careful of hidden weapons from behind.”
“Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, don’t you carry your clan guards?” I turned my question to Nangong Huan while I was running.
“There’s an internal situation, but it’ll be alright if we get to Hangu Pass.”
Nangong Huan gave a bitter laugh to my question.
“Are you sure?”
I wanted to hear what was going on with Nangong Huan, but I could not waste my strength talking while I was running in pursuit. I realized that one of the five pursuers from behind was scrambling down the road, and I span the dagger in my arms, throwing it fast.
An expert with a steel chain blocked my dagger, and with a shriek he bounced away. Then the iron chain was broken and crashed into the ground. The four other men who followed him slowed down, and their eyes widened because the power of my Internal Energy on the dagger exceeded the strength of the steel chain.
Nangong Huan said with frustration, “You’re a monster. No one in my family has more Internal Energy than you.”
“Internal Energy is not everything.”
“You are humble.”
Nangong Huan admired me for being humble, but I actually knew, “Internal Energy is not everything.”
‘As we move up to the high level of martial arts, the understanding of Qi and the high-leveled skills of martial arts, become more important than the pure working force caused by Internal Energy.
There is a master somewhere who can shed all of my attacks and counterattack even if I hit with the power to cover the world, and there will be another master above the master, and even the master who will be an absolute high. That’s why I have to learn martial arts deeply from Blue Dragon Martial Club.
There are many ways simply to eat well and live well. But if I lack the power, I will feel the limit somewhere. In order to conquer it, it is necessary to explore the origin of the martial arts I have learned.’
It was then.
Suddenly, Murong Yan’s horse, which was leading off about twenty-one meters, started to slow down. As the horse’s hips grew larger and narrower to us, the three of us could feel the gut. Now that the smooth plain road was over, we reached the entrance to the mountain path leading to Hangu Pass.
Fortunately, the mountain path was a well-polished government road, and it was not too difficult to climb it with a fairly low-grade cut. The problem was that she had to get off the horse at a time.
When Murong Yan got off the horse, Nangong Huan asked her anxiously, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Darling, your sweat…”
“Haha … It’s okay.”
We came running so fast that from our brow and back were dripping sweats. Nangong Huan, who wiped the sweats from his forehead, glanced behind him.
“Now I think we have to deal with those guys.”
The distance was now so narrow that we could not run away. Looking at Nangong Huan covering for Murong Yan from earlier on, her martial arts seemed to be somewhat weak. It was three to four, but I felt it would be a little more disadvantageous if we kept fighting with Murong Yan.
Silence reigned between us and the First-class experts.
At that time, one of the First-class experts, a handsome man, who looked like a parasitic duck and had high Yin Qi, grinned forward. That man had been slipped by in broad daylight.
“Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon! As I said, wouldn’t it be too much to monopolize Heavenly Yin Qi Body (天陰之體) on your own?”
Nangong Huan’s face became stiff and he said angrily, with clenched fists.
“Shut up, adulterous enemy (淫敵)! How dare you, sex fiend (色魔)…”
“Sex fiend? That fellow’s appearance seems little different from the common people. Because sex fiends usually grind Yin and Yang Technique, they often go around with makeup because they become more feminine in appearance, and strange smell comes out of their body.
Yin and Yang Technique (採陰補陽術)!
The term collectively refers to the technique of absorbing a woman’s Yin Qi while having sex with a woman to strengthen his own Yang Qi or to control a runaway of Yang Qi. A woman subjected to this suffers severe side effects such as losing her internal affairs or rapidly aging regardless of age. Usually, kidnapping or aphrodisiac is essentially used to get a woman.
Sex fiends are naturally sexual perversions, so if the women in the common house or the women in Moorim are caught or attracted by the sex fiends, the women often ruin their lives. In addition, it is not easy to catch them because the sex fiends have more Internal Energy than the normal martial artists according to the characteristics of Yin and Yang Technique.”
Jin So-Chung looked around at the three men and said, “Can Long, Wei Zhong, and Duan Gang-Fu, you are all famous First-class experts in Anhui Province. By the way, do you come here to force a woman following a sex fiend?”
Can Long turned his head and could not answer whether he felt ashamed of the accusation made by Jin So-Chung. However, Wei Zhong pointed his wooden saber to our side, which had been bent by my Internal Energy before.
“Haha! Heavenly Yin Qi Body deserves such shame. If we take her, our Internal Energy will be increased several times at once. I will risk my life for that!”
On the other hand, an ax expert, Duan Gang-Fu, agreed with that. He was a big-looking man with a ferocious look on his face. He glanced over Murong Yan’s curvy body and said, “How many ships are passing through the harbour anyway?”
“Hahaha! You are a great talker, Duan Gang-Fu!” Sex fiend laughed at the loud, dirty talk of Duan Gang-Fu.
Murong Yan’s complexion turned pale after being insulted.
Her fiancée, Nangong Huan, had a reddish face, and he gritted his teeth.
“In Anhui province, you are the people who cannot even look up…”
“Of course, in Anhui province, even royal families and noble men have to give up. But what are you going to do when you shout back at the place out of your influence?”
Sex fiend laughed.
‘That’s right. No matter how powerful the noble clan or the big sect is, it only affects the area, and the sect that can influence the whole central continent is not really many. For this reason, the Moorim people, who have grudge against the big sect, use all kinds of means and methods to escape the area somehow.
I have no idea how the conclusion will come when I have a head-to-head match. I have been beyond many death paths so far, but this is almost the first time for a group of people to engage in such a full-scale war of death. Especially, since I have never experienced hidden weapons, I would be able to suffer a fatal injury regardless of my Internal Energy.
Of course, I do not think it would be easy, but even so, I have to think a lot ahead of the difficult hurdle. It’s because there would be an irreversible result with a single choice mistake. Then, what do I do to break this?’
I was thinking, and moved forward, and everyone’s attention was on me, especially the First-Class experts looked at me with a little fear. They could not help it because they saw my tremendous Internal Energy. I decided to try a little bluff, “You’re gonna die in one shot, and you’re not afraid of me?’
Sex fiend and Duan Gang-Fu took a step back, who have been so strong until now, and they were afraid that I would rush and kick the Vibration Foot again with my Internal Energy. In particular, Can Long, was obviously preparing for the hidden weapons between his fingers while guarding me.
Then, Saber-Ghost, Wei Zhong looked at me and said, “Huh! Baek Woong, your Internal Energy was enormous, but the operation of Internal Energy and styles was poor, and you did not defend Vital Acupuncture-points (要穴) at all last time. Therefore, if I do not hit you directly, I can deal with you somehow.”
No matter how strong my Internal Energy would be, it would be no use if I failed to catch up. The Lightness Skill and Footwork of Wei Zhong were so good, and if he fought for a long time and checked against me, he could hold me alone.
“Even so, it will be a burden for you to deal with me, but is she worth to risk your life?”
I had already figured out the situation through conversation.
Heavenly Yin Qi Body, Murong Yan!
‘I don’t know about it, but a man who has sex with her seems to be able to have the special energy of Internal Energy called Heavenly Yin Qi. For this reason, it is likely that more than ten First-class experts are chasing after her.
Of course, I don’t feel like having sex with her, or rape her. Even without her, my Internal Energy has increased enormously, after having eaten Millennium Snow Ginseng three times. I am worried about my Internal Energy which will be disturbed by the uncertain power of Heavenly Yin Qi that I can hardly afford to take Murong Yan.’
So, I berated Saber-Ghost, Wei Zhong.
“In short, you are a group of rapists who are flocking because you cannot handle it on your own. If you want to sex, go to Red Brothel. Is that what your parents taught you, or are you a son of a bitch?”
The place was thrown into silence for a moment.
“Oh, my God.”
When the simple task of bringing Senior Brother back to Blue Dragon Martial Club was twisted and turned into a death task, I became so irritated that I used the swear words I had learned during the time as an escort. At that time, I had had no choice but learned the offensive words that had been rough and coarse as I had struggled with the bandits.
The First-class experts, however, were the Moorim people who have trained in martial arts from childhood with basically proper teachers. They would not have heard such a vulgar swear in their lives. In particular, unlike sex fiend and Duan Gang-Fu, Saber-Ghost Wei Zhong was less resistant to the offensive swear words, as he showed strong signs of studying in the official sect. As a result, Wei Zhong lost his composure when his face turned purple after being out of his mind.
“You, you, you, son of a bitch!”
He attacked with a swing of the wooden saber much faster than he had been playing in broad daylight. It was so fast that his body was thrown back and forth, as if it created two alter egos, and it was barely recognizable in the night.
I kept my mouth shut as he came to me. I couldn’t see through his techniques at all during the battle, so I just decided to focus on my vision and put all my Internal Energy on it. The body’s vision rose instantly, as Internal Energy became concentrated on the eyes, and the effect was used to watch the attacks of Wei Zhong.
I got a cut on my shoulder, but I turned my body a little and avoided the attacks by a narrow margin.
In the meantime, Wei Zhong was shocked that he had never thought of me to avoid his attacks so neatly – It must have been impossible for me to do it.
I could see his lacuna in the air when his self-satisfying attack hit me. And I swung the sword horizontally, using my right foot as the axis.
At the next moment, his body was broken into two pieces, and its upper body was poured into the air with its guts sprinkled over. Blood was poured like a river, leaving the deceased on his knees. Until his death, Wei Zhong’s eyes were glaring in disbelief that he had lost. His upper body fell off with a thud.
I wiped my face first because it became uncomfortable when my clothes were full of fresh blood. I then laughed at his body.
“I am sorry, I killed you.”
The other three seemed to be backpedaling in dismay.
They must have thought that they could win by the power of hidden weapons because their calculations were enough to be counted on.
“I will definitely get Heavenly Yin Qi Body later!”
Unsurprisingly, sex fiend expressed reluctance to do it, but ran away after making a single effort. His Lightness Skill was great, but it looked faster than Wei Zhong’s. Perhaps the martial arts of sex fiend were the highest of those men.
Duan Gang-Fu tried to pull himself out of the awkward situation.
At that time, however, Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, Nangong Huan was moving, who was still watching the situation.
His sword shot up like lightning, before Duan Gang-Fu could even take two steps.
Duan Gang-Fu was forced to block the first attack with an ax. However, it was already difficult to escape. The performance of Duan Gang-Fu was clearly lower than that of Blue-Sky-Sword-Dragon, Nangong Huan. Duan Gang-Fu, who had been pushed back and forth, cried out in a roar.
“Can Long! Now!”
But nothing changed.
Nangong Huan said like chewing something, “Blame your cheap mouth.”
He used Imperial Swordsmanship (帝王劍法), a martial arts of Nangong Noble Clan, and he removed the upper part of Duan Gang-Fu with the five Moves (招式).
Duan Gang-Fu, who was stabbed in the neck, stared at Nangong Huan with straight eyes, but collapsed slowly after Nangong Huan’s sword was taken out.
When Duan Gang-Fu died in Nangong Huan’s hands, things seemed to be settling down.
Can Long stood still without any action, as he only remained in the place.
Nangong Huan said with a sword aiming at Can Long, “Can Long, I have been wary of you the most because you have been a renowned expert of hidden weapons even in the land of Anhui province. But you didn’t do anything when you had a chance. What are you thinking about?”
Can Long hesitated and replied to Nangong Huan, “I felt ashamed at the words of Jin So-Chung. I came all the way here because I wanted to be stronger by fair means or foul, but I wasn’t motivated to realize what I was trying to do was to rape a girl.”
“That doesn’t mean your sins will be lost.”
“Hell, do I beg for my life?”
Can Long continued to talk with a strained laugh.
“The fact is that I didn’t move, but I couldn’t move. If I had moved a bit, I would have been attacked. If I had risked my life, I could have avoided, but fatal injuries with me.”
In the words of Can Long, I could see that Senior Brother Jin So-Chung, who seemed to stand still, was holding in charge of Can Long. Because of that, Nangong Huan and I could easily slaughter our enemies.
Can Long turned his head to me and said, “Is your name Baek Woong?”
“Don’t do such a rash thing from now on.”
“If it had not been for your Senior Brother, I could have killed you more than five times in no time. No matter how much Internal Energy you had, your dead points were opened, and don’t be so careless in front of an expert of hidden weapons again. Make sure your defense first.”
I was shocked to see Can Long giving advice to me like a kind senior, but I could realize with his eyes that he was speaking in a sincere tone of voice. My Senior Brother did not say anything, but he also agreed with the advice of Can Long. Even the instant anger was forgotten, and his advice was helpful.
‘Right… I’m too vulnerable to hidden weapons and poison. I’m going to train for this.’
When I answered, Can Long smiled back.
“Thank you for waiting until I have finished speaking. Well…”
Suddenly, Can Long took out a long needle from his chest and stuck it in his forehead. It was so fast that there was no room for action. Surprisingly, there was little blood even though the long needle penetrated the cerebrum, and he collapsed and died after shaking his body for a while. Already, he volunteered to protect the pride of the martial artist in Moorim, because he had no intention of surviving. It sounded like a very cruel way of suicide, but he, an expert of hidden weapons, chose to die quickly without pain.
Nangong Huan, who looked down on Can Long’s body, said bitterly, “He had a conscience unlike others.”
“Then, we must protect Can Long’s honor.”
If Nangong Huan cross the Hangu Pass and be safe in pursuit, and all the attackers of today will be hanged on the order of Nangong Noble Clan. And by declaring them as an adulterous enemy (淫敵) and a sex fiend (色魔) in Moorim, they would be branded as a prey. However, Can Long chose his conscience at the end, and Nangong Huan will take the secret to the grave, which will be helpful to the remaining acquaintances or the own sect of Can Long.
“Now, let’s go before the other pursuers come.”
Then, we took a step towards Hangu Pass.
“Is it really good?”
I thought about what just happened.
If Can Long had thought a little more and acted cruelly, he would have saved his life and driven us to the point of annihilation. Nevertheless, he chose his conscience and his death seemed to be wonderful and cool, but I did not think it was, so I shook my head.
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