Heavenly Inquisition Sword (Novel) Chapter 19

Chapter 19. They Will Run Surprised

Hwang Yomyeong, the Poisonous Wanderer, asked again, as if to confirm.

"Oh! So we only need to take down the leader?"

"If we manage to bring out the Grand Daeju, the fight will be practically won."

With those words, Shim Yanggak, the Immortal Sword Demon, closed his mouth like a clam.

Pung Yeoncho, the Boss, smiled awkwardly and said:

"Did everyone hear that? There's nothing to be afraid of. When they arrive, close the base gate and hold your ground. The rest..."

As he spoke, Pung Yeoncho cast a furtive glance at Yeon Jeokha.

Yeon Jeokha nodded his head.

"Yeon Jeokha will take care of the rest. We will win!"

"Hurrah!"

The bandits' shouts echoed through Five Peaks Mountain.

------------------

When the meeting ended, the bandits dispersed into small groups.

Shim Yanggak, the Immortal Sword Demon, Baek Kyo, the Phantom Fist, Hwang Yomyeong, the Poisonous Wanderer, Yeom Saung, and Cheon Ilbo headed to the same hut. Perhaps because they had all been defeated by Yeon Jeokha, the atmosphere was tense.

As soon as they entered the room, Hwang Yomyeong lowered his voice and asked:

"Brother Shim, are we really okay with this?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean the Namyang Commerce Association. There are eighty or ninety of them. Are we fine staying here...?"

"And if we’re not? Are you suggesting we run away?"

"…"

Hwang Yomyeong stared at Shim Yanggak as if trying to read his intentions.

Baek Kyo, who had lost his front teeth in a fight with Yeon Jeokha a month ago, intervened with slurred speech.

"Shim is right. Even though they are many, there’s nothing to worry about. If things get bad, we can flee. None of them can follow us except the Grand Daeju. What are you worried about?"

"Yeah, that makes sense."

Finally, Hwang Yomyeong's face relaxed.

Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo also nodded, confident in their ability to escape.

Shim Yanggak looked at Baek Kyo.

His nose was sunken and he had lost so many teeth that his face looked pitiful.

"Brother Baek, are you planning to retreat like this?"

"Ah! There's no other choice."

"It's not that there’s no other choice..."

Shim Yanggak responded with an ambiguous expression.

"Do you have a plan?"

Baek Kyo asked, and Shim Yanggak directed his gaze to Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo.

"Being strong doesn’t only mean being skilled in martial arts. What do you two think? Are you willing to follow a brat as your leader?"

Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo shook their heads.

"No, to me, you two are my only brothers."

"For me too."

Perhaps due to their shared experience of being defeated by Yeon Jeokha, the five had developed a kind of camaraderie.

Satisfied with their response, Shim Yanggak pulled a folded paper from his pocket and threw it in front of Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo.

"What is this?"

Yeom Saung asked, and Shim Yanggak replied indifferently.

"It's dispersing energy powder."

Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo blinked in surprise.

Dispersing energy powder is a powder that disperses internal energy even in small amounts, a treasure among dark martial arts masters. What was such a thing doing here?

"…"

"Hehe. If used at the right time, it’s more effective than invisible poison. Give this to the brat before the fight with Lee Muryang begins. If they weaken each other, we will intervene."

"Ah..."

Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo looked at the paper but didn’t dare to pick it up. The thought of using dispersing energy powder against Yeon Jeokha gave them chills.

Despite his youth, Yeon Jeokha was known for not discriminating against anyone when angry. The shattered face of the old demon Baek Kyo was living proof of this. With that evidence in front of them, picking up the paper wasn’t easy.

Yeom Saung and Cheon Ilbo looked at each other, not daring to act.

Baek Kyo, observing the situation, pushed the paper with his foot towards Yeom Saung.

When the paper reached his feet, Yeom Saung swallowed hard.

"Do I have to do it?"

"Last time, he did it first. This time it’s your turn, to be fair."

Yeom Saung couldn’t refuse and picked up the paper.

If he had known this would happen, he would have preferred to be hit first a month ago. The decision weighed on him.

-----------

The warriors of the Namyang Commerce Association arrived in Haga at dusk. There weren’t enough houses in Haga to accommodate eighty people, so they had to spend the night at the Earth Deity Shrine at the village entrance.

The Grand Daeju (Grand Leader) and two Daejus (Leaders) stayed inside the shrine, while the others settled within the shrine's walls.

Although it was late March, it was still cold at night, so the two Daejus lit a fire inside the shrine.

As the fire started to burn, the three took out jerky from their backpacks and began to eat.

While chewing the jerky, So Gunpyeong, the Daeju of Gyeongcheondae, glanced at Wang Ingeol, the Daeju of Pungundae.

"Wang Daeju, about that young bandit who handles the sword well..."

"Yes?"

Both, in their early forties, used honorifics with each other.

Wang Ingeol was from Cheongungwan and So Gunpyeong from Hongbang, so they maintained a respectful distance. Cheongungwan and Hongbang silently competed for the position of escort for the Namyang Commerce Association.

"Don't you find it a bit strange?"

"What do you mean?"

"That his name is mentioned as much as the Immortal Sword Demon or the Phantom Fist. Wang Daeju, have you ever seen that young bandit?"

"No."

A bitter smile appeared on Wang Ingeol's face. He had been so surprised by an arrow attack that he voluntarily paid a toll. Naturally, he didn’t have the chance to face the young bandit who had recently emerged.

"Is it true that Daeju Kang was defeated?"

"Well, if that’s true, there must be some unknown reason."

It's an open secret that Daeju Kang, the leader of Baekrangdae of the Mansu Commerce Association, was defeated by a young bandit. Although few literally believe the rumor.

So Gunpyeong, who nodded, directed his gaze to the Sky Shaker Swordsman Lee Muryang.

"Grand Daeju, what do you think?"

"What do you mean?"

Lee Muryang, with a piece of jerky in his mouth, looked So Gunpyeong in the eyes.

"I mean the young bandit of Five Peaks Mountain who handles the sword well. Is he as formidable as the rumors say?"

"When I was training at Mount Hua Sect, I heard a phrase so many times that it stuck with me: 'Destroy demons and eliminate evil.'"

"…"

Wang Ingeol and So Gunpyeong didn’t say anything for a moment.

Clearly, the Grand Daeju thought differently, like a true disciple of the Mount Hua Sect.

"Our mission is to eradicate the bandits from Five Peaks Mountain. What does the enemy's age matter? If an enemy faces us with a sword, we simply cut him down."

So Gunpyeong felt his question was irrelevant and changed the subject.

"By the way, we are close to Five Peaks Mountain. How do you plan to deploy the warriors?"

"The terrain is narrow, so it will be difficult to maintain formation. We will advance together, with Pungundae on the left and Gyeongcheondae on the right. I will hold the center with the main group’s warriors."

"And the Cheongungwan experts?"

"I told them to stay in the center. They won’t be of much help, but..."

The Grand Daeju Lee Muryang also believed, like the Bangju, that the warriors of the Namyang Commerce Association would be enough for the fight.

Nodding, Wang Ingeol asked:

"In Haga Village I heard there are more than thirty bandits. It seems they are more than we thought, and I'm a bit worried."

"Although they are many, most are former farmers. How many of them would have learned internal and external martial arts like the Immortal Sword Demon or the Phantom Fist? When we advance and fire some arrows, they will be surprised and flee."

"Of course!"

"That's right."

The words of the experienced Lee Muryang reassured the two Daejus.

------------------

Finally, the day of the battle dawned.

The Grand Daeju of the Namyang Commerce Association, Lee Muryang, led seventy warriors of the association and eleven from Cheongungwan, eighty-one men in total, towards Five Peaks Mountain.

However, midway, they encountered a road blocked by dozens of logs.

Shortly after, the heads of the bandits appeared over the pile of logs.

"Commerce dogs! Who do you think you are to come here?"

"Idiots! Why don't you get out of here?"

"From now on, the Namyang Commerce Association will never pass through Five Peaks Mountain!"

"Do you think Nokrim is easy to conquer?"

From a distance of about ten meters, Grand Daeju Lee Muryang gestured with his hand.

As if waiting for this, a dozen archers advanced.

Swi, swi, swi, swi!

When the archers started shooting arrows, the bandits' heads disappeared.

Even so, the archers kept shooting.

When the arrows in the archers' quivers began to run out, Lee Muryang shouted.

"Climb immediately over the log wall! Pungundae to the front! Gyeongcheondae follows!"

"Yes!"

Pungundae's Daeju, Wang Ingeol, led his twenty subordinates uphill. Twenty Gyeongcheondae experts followed closely behind.

At that moment, two or three arrows flew from inside the log barrier. However, as they weren’t well-aimed, no one was hit.

Pungundae quickly reached the log barrier.

The first to reach the top was Daeju Wang Ingeol, who lunged forward.

But as soon as he arrived, he quickly retreated.

Three spears barely grazed his feet as he jumped back.

Wang Ingeol spun several times in the air before landing gracefully on the ground.

Then, Pungundae's warriors climbed the logs. But if Daeju Wang Ingeol himself couldn’t withstand the spear attack, it was even less likely that ordinary warriors could.

Pungundae's warriors were pushed back by the spear attack.

When injuries started to appear, Lee Muryang ordered the warriors to retreat.

Wang Ingeol, enraged, shouted from in front of the log barrier.

"Nokrim, you talk so arrogantly! But you hide like rats? Can you call yourselves men?"

Shortly after, the bandits' heads began to appear one by one over the logs.

The third, Ma Hyeongdo, responded.

"What nonsense! Are you going to say it’s okay to come here like a pack of dogs? Idiot! Do you think your words will make us come out?"

"Shameless! What nonsense do you say coming here like a pack?"

"Get lost, fool! We won’t come out."

"Ha! Do you think we’re stupid?"

Unable to endure the bandits' taunts, Wang Ingeol turned away helplessly.

Lee Muryang, who had been observing the surroundings, called the Gyeongcheondae's Daeju, So Gunpyeong.

"Go to Haga Village and bring oil."

"Fire?"

"Yes. If we burn the logs, where will they hide?"

"Understood."

So Gunpyeong descended with his subordinates and returned at noon with three barrels of oil.

However, Lee Muryang didn’t immediately start the fire attack.

Instead, he withdrew the warriors and reinforced the watch, wasting time.

Wang Ingeol, who had sent five wounded to Haga Village, asked impatiently.

"Grand Daeju, when do you plan to attack?"

"If we prepare the fire attack during the day, the enemy might counterattack or defend. I plan to eliminate the logs under the cover of darkness, so don't be impatient."

It made sense. However, Wang Ingeol didn’t feel comfortable. He felt that, due to continuous failures, the position of Cheongungwan in the Namyang Commerce Association was diminishing.

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