Heavenly Inquisition Sword (Novel) Chapter 16

Chapter 16: Hold No Grudge

Hwang Yomyung got up with a grunt.

"I think it’s time… Should I go talk to the boss?"

Shim Yanggak snorted enigmatically.

Shim Yanggak’s cold and unexpected reaction made Hwang Yomyung hesitate. He wasn’t sure whether he should proceed or not.

‘Cunning old men. Pretending to be indifferent, huh? Fine, I'll set the stage for them.’

Hwang Yomyung started waking up the men who were lazing around.

Three men who had been huddled together got up reluctantly and went outside.

Hwang Yomyung, now in the courtyard, shouted loudly.

“What a cold day! On a day like this, we need to move around a bit. What are you waiting for? Call everyone! If we’re going to fight, let’s do it soon! At this rate, the sun will set!”

Grudgingly, the men began to disperse.

Soon after, the bandits came out one by one from the five cabins.

Hwang Yomyung, with a cunning smile, locked eyes with Jang Sobong.

“Brother, do you know what day it is today? These matters need to be resolved quickly to avoid gossip. The longer it drags on, the worse it will be. Isn’t that right?”

“Uh… yes…”

Jang Sobong nodded reluctantly.

“But I don’t see boss Pung.”

“He’s talking with the seventh right now. He’ll be out soon, don’t worry.”

“Haha! Don’t tell me they’re backing out before even drawing their swords.”

At that moment, Yeon Jeokha and Pung Yeoncho made their appearance.

Hwang Yomyung, who had been boasting, discreetly stepped back upon seeing Yeon Jeokha.

Yeon Jeokha glared at him before losing interest. Anyway, today he planned to confront everyone who bothered him.

Pung Yeoncho, scratching his head with a nonchalant expression, spoke slowly.

“Everyone knows why we’re here today, right? I’ll be clear. Those who are satisfied with their position, stand to my left. Those who are not satisfied, to my right.”

The bandits, hesitant, divided into two groups.

Most stood to Pung Yeoncho’s left, having experienced Yeon Jeokha’s skills in their raids.

As expected, the five bandits, including Shim Yanggak, stood to Pung Yeoncho’s right.

Pung Yeoncho, who had been observing patiently, continued speaking.

“I, Tak Gomyung, Ma Hyeongdo, Heo Imdal, Gok Sancheng, and Jang Sobong are sworn brothers of the seventh, Yeon Jeokha.”

Upon hearing these words, Han Chaeyeon pursed her lips.

That was just an excuse to keep Yeon Jeokha close and protect their own positions.

Glancing at Yeon Jeokha, she saw him nodding with an indifferent expression.

Well, she understood. After all, it was the boss and the sub-leader who saved him when he was on the brink of death. They were his saviors, so pledging loyalty for life wasn’t wrong.

But the distinction between sworn brothers and ordinary members was unfair.

‘Ah! If I had arrived a few months earlier, my name would be there…’

Han Chaeyeon sighed softly.

As long as the camp continued, those seven would be treated as a unit.

The difference of a few months meant she couldn’t stand by Yeon Jeokha’s side, and that was frustrating.

Meanwhile, Pung Yeoncho kept talking.

“That’s why we’ve decided to leave everything in the hands of the seventh, Yeon Jeokha. In short, whoever defeats him will be the leader of the Five Peaks Camp.”

Pung Yeoncho paused and looked around.

Those on the left nodded in agreement. The same went for the five on the right.

With no objections, Pung Yeoncho turned to Yeon Jeokha.

“Brother Yeon, go ahead.”

“Yes.”

Yeon Jeokha responded briefly and walked to the center of the courtyard.

Shim Yanggak’s eyes gleamed.

Despite the winter cold, Yeon Jeokha wore light clothing. That indicated he had either a naturally warm body or had reached the state of resistance to cold and heat.

‘Which one is it?’

Given his young age, the idea of him reaching the state of resistance to cold and heat was absurd.

He glanced at Baek Kyo and saw that he was also worried.

Their eyes met, and both pursed their lips.

Even after fifty years of training, wearing warm clothes in winter was normal.

The state of resistance to cold and heat was only within reach of the leaders of the main martial arts schools.

Yeon Jeokha looked towards the five gathered on his right.

“Hey, newcomers. What are you doing? Let’s start. At this rate, the sun will set.”

Hwang Yomyung’s eyebrows twitched.

He had definitely heard his earlier comment.

The young man’s audacity made him nervous. In the martial arts world, it is said one must be careful of children, the elderly, and women.

Unconsciously, he turned his head to Baek Kyo and Shim Yanggak.

But even at that crucial moment, the two elders pretended to be indifferent, letting someone else test the waters first.

Hwang Yomyung didn’t want to be the first to act.

He pushed the man in his forties who was in front of him.

Caught by surprise, Chun Ilbo stepped forward with an awkward smile.

“I am Chun Ilbo. Do we fight barehanded or with weapons?”

“If you use bare hands, so will I. If you use weapons, I’ll do the same.”

“Bare hands, then. We are not mortal enemies, we just want to test our skills.”

“As you wish.”

The young man’s disdainful tone irritated Chun Ilbo, but he said nothing. Although the boy was rude, he was in a superior position.

‘If we avoid weapon combat, we’ll have already won.’

He was also better with the sword, but wanted to avoid weapon combat due to the rumors about his opponent.

Chun Ilbo accumulated ten years of internal energy with the Samjae Technique.

His body relaxed, and his spirit rose.

It was the fruit of ten years of training.

Chun Ilbo launched his attack.

Bam!

With a dull sound of bones clashing, Chun Ilbo’s body was flung into the air.

Thud.

Chun Ilbo fell to the ground, eyes rolling back, unconscious.

Hwang Yomyung, who had been watching tensely, couldn’t even let out a sigh. Chun Ilbo’s figure had blocked the view of Yeon Jeokha’s movements.

Even so, for Chun Ilbo to fall with a single strike…

Chun Ilbo was clearly inferior to him, but honestly, Hwang Yomyung wasn’t sure he could take down Chun Ilbo with one blow.

‘This is not good.’

Unconsciously, Hwang Yomyung looked at Shim Yanggak and Baek Kyo.

Their expressions were also unusual.

Meanwhile, two bandits on the left came out and dragged Chun Ilbo away.

Hwang Yomyung, thinking frantically, kicked Yeom Sa-woong.

It was a signal for him to go next.

Yeom Sa-woong looked resentfully at Hwang Yomyung, but didn’t dare defy his will. Although they had never fought, the pressure from Hwang Yomyung was overwhelming.

Yeon Jeokha, who had been standing idly, asked indifferently.

“Do we fight with fists or weapons?”

Like most bandits, Yeom Sa-woong was more skilled with the Dao. Since he had wielded a sword, he rarely fought with his fists.

However, Yeom Sa-woong couldn’t say he wanted to fight with weapons.

If fists were this deadly, what would an armed fight be like?

Yeom Sa-woong shook his head vigorously.

“No, let’s fight with fists.”

“Go ahead.”

But Yeom Sa-woong didn’t charge like Chun Ilbo.

He gathered his internal energy and began circling Yeon Jeokha.

As he moved quickly, Yeon Jeokha remained still, arms hanging.

When Yeon Jeokha didn’t even turn his head, Yeom Sa-woong’s face turned red.

This was the height of indifference.

Not moving was fine.

But at least he should follow him with his head, right?

‘Damn brat!’

Fixing his gaze on the small back of Yeon Jeokha’s head, he held his breath and lunged forward.

Crack!

Yeom Sa-woong’s robust body was lifted and then fell heavily.

Hwang Yomyung’s eyes turned cold.

Thanks to Yeom Sa-woong facing away, he could see Yeon Jeokha’s movements this time.

There didn’t seem to be any special technique in his movements.

He simply turned and threw a punch, which connected with Yeom Sa-woong’s jaw.

‘Idiot.’

Even if he wasn’t good with fists, why offer his jaw to his opponent’s punch?

Yeon Jeokha had won because he was a bit faster than Yeom Sa-woong.

Though it was surprising that a single punch from the brat could knock Yeom Sa-woong down.

‘It seems his internal energy is deeper than I thought.’

Hwang Yomyung found a strategy to face Yeon Jeokha.

When the bandits on the left removed Yeom Sa-woong, Hwang Yomyung walked decisively forward. He didn’t want to appear hesitant when he knew it was his turn.

And he said boldly.

“We’ll use weapons.”

An ironic smile appeared on Yeon Jeokha’s face.

At that moment, Hwang Yomyung thought: ‘Oh, no.’

He had chosen the Dao because it was faster than fists, but he realized the same was true for his opponent.

Before he could change his mind, one of the bandits handed Yeon Jeokha a Dao.

‘It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ve eaten more rice with Dao.’

He was known in five nearby counties as the Venomous Vagabond, Hwang Yomyung. By comparison, his opponent had no nickname in the Murim.

Hwang Yomyung calmed down and drew his Dao.

“The Dao has no eyes, so don’t blame me if you get hurt.”

Originally, he wanted to say it firmly, but Yeon Jeokha’s indifferent attitude made him hold back.

Yeon Jeokha nodded and responded.

“It’s okay. I’m still clumsy, so I might cut you somewhere. Let’s not hold a grudge.”

Hwang Yomyung’s expression became complicated.

When fighting an expert, it’s essential to consider the degree of injury.

That’s why, before a fight, one tries not to irritate the opponent. It was embarrassing, but that’s also why he had softened his tone.

But to say he might cut him because he was still clumsy…

Although rumors said he was an expert, what kind of nonsense was this?

Hwang Yomyung shook his head vigorously, clearing all thoughts.

‘Phew! I almost fell for the brat’s tricks. I’ll kill him.’

With his mind firm, Hwang Yomyung’s eyes gleamed with murderous intent.

He wasn’t called the venomous vagabond for nothing. In his time as a vagabond, he had killed as if it were routine. Among his victims had been many of Yeon Jeokha’s age.

Hwang Yomyung decided to use a deadly technique from the start.

He planned to take advantage of the opponent’s carelessness, who thought this was just a test.

‘I’ll go with the deep death technique from the start.’

Cut down, then horizontally, and finally diagonally; the deep death technique was a compilation of the best Dao techniques.

Hwang Yomyung took a big step forward and raised his Dao like lightning. To others, it might seem like a falling mountain, but the deep death technique was much more subtle.

Swoosh.

The sharp Dao descended on Yeon Jeokha’s head like a bolt of lightning.

At the sight of this dangerous technique, some of the weaker bandits let out low exclamations.

Han Chaeyeon, who felt sympathy for Yeon Jeokha, let out a scream and turned her head away.

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