Heavenly Inquisition Sword (Novel) Chapter 20

Chapter 20. Have You Ever Seen a Sword that Discriminates Against People

This time, So Gunpyeong, the Daeju of Gyeongcheondae, intervened.

"Wang Daeju, the Great Daeju is right. The fight hasn’t even started, and we already have five injured in Pungundae. It’s better to move forward slowly and reduce unnecessary casualties."

These words hurt Wang Ingeol's pride.

Unlike Pungundae, Gyeongcheondae had no injuries yet. Although it might be an illusion, he felt that So Gunpyeong was belittling him.

Losing his temper, Wang Ingeol growled and turned away. He had thought the expedition would be easy, but now his mind was in turmoil.

---------

As the sun set, the mountain quickly darkened.

Pung Yeoncho placed torches on top of the log wall and organized guards in shifts of five.

Most of the accesses to the bases of Nokrim were secret and narrow. Five Peaks Mountain was no exception. Thanks to this, five spears were enough to defend the log wall.

As time passed, the darkness became complete.

The bandits lit a bonfire in the yard and began preparing dinner.

The cooks took out some vegetables and a hard loaf of bread.

Despite everything, no one complained.

After dinner, the bandits did not return to their huts. With the enemies camped behind the log wall, they couldn’t rest easy.

Even without Pung Yeoncho calling them, the bandits gathered in the yard with their weapons in hand.

The same happened with Yeon Jeokha.

He retreated to a corner of the yard to silently sharpen his knife.

Someone approached him timidly.

It was Yeom Saung.

Sensing the presence, Yeon Jeokha raised his head.

Yeom Saung, with a nervous smile, carefully offered him a jug full of water.

"I brought some water in case you were thirsty."

Yeon Jeokha, without much thought, accepted the jug and drank the water in one gulp.

"Were you thirsty?"

"Not really."

Returning the jug, Yeon Jeokha continued sharpening his knife with a stone.

Shhh. Shhh.

The sound was disturbing, and Yeom Saung trembled slightly.

"Why are you sharpening your knife so much? True masters can cut someone with a blade of grass, can't they?"

It was an attempt to ease the tension with a joke.

But for someone like Yeon Jeokha, who had spent a decade in a warehouse, jokes had no effect. Most trivial conversations were foreign to him.

"This is the first time I’ve heard that."

Depending on how it was heard, it could seem like a firm response.

Yeom Saung, not fully understanding, thought that Yeon Jeokha did not want to talk to him.

"Then, I’ll get back to my own business."

When Yeom Saung left, Yeon Jeokha murmured seriously.

"Masters can cut with a blade of grass? Impressive. Enviable."

It was surprising to know what the standard for being a true master was.

When could he use a blade of grass as a sword?

Sighing, Yeon Jeokha continued sharpening his knife with more dedication. This was the best he could do at the moment.

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

As time passed, the bandits began returning to their huts one by one.

However, a dozen cautious bandits remained in the yard, worried about what was to come.

Around midnight, suddenly, flames rose from the log wall.

"Fire!"

"They’ve set us on fire!"

One of the bandits guarding the log wall ran into the yard shouting.

The bandits hurried to extinguish the fire with buckets and jugs of water.

But the fire, fueled by oil, spread quickly. In no time, the entire log wall was in flames.

The commotion woke all the bandits, who ran into the yard.

The bandits looked desperately at Pung Yeoncho, the Boss, awaiting instructions.

Fortunately, Pung Yeoncho had anticipated a possible fire and did not hesitate.

"Build a second wall behind the one that’s burning!"

"Yes!"

The bandits began moving logs from inside the base to build a new barrier.

But the logs were not enough to completely block the path.

Finally, they had to use planks from the huts to cover the gaps.

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

The second day dawned.

The warriors of the Namyang Merchant Guild, armed to the teeth, gathered in front of the blocked path.

The burnt log wall looked like it would collapse with just a touch.

Soon after, the warriors threw hooks tied to ropes at the charred logs.

Thump. Thump.

With a few pulls, the log wall collapsed.

At the same time, the improvised second barrier was revealed.

"Wow, they’re desperate!"

The Sky Shaker Swordsman, Lee Muryang, frowned.

Three thick logs were placed horizontally, with rudimentary planks filling the gaps.

It seemed that a few blows would be enough to dismantle it.

The problem was that through the gaps, those damned spears could be seen.

Wang Ingeol, the leader of Pungundae, and So Gunpyeong, the leader of Gyeongcheondae, cursed at the sight of the spears.

"Damn bastards!"

"They’re still resisting to the end!"

So Gunpyeong, who would lead the attack this morning, asked Lee Muryang.

"Great Daeju, what do we do?"

"Can you avoid the spears and break the planks?"

At Lee Muryang's question, So Gunpyeong scratched his neck.

Honestly, with his skills, avoiding the spears and breaking the planks was difficult.

Lee Muryang, as if understanding, nodded and began walking slowly while saying:

"I’ll clear the way. Be ready to attack immediately."

"Yes, thank you."

Lee Muryang directed his gaze toward Wang Ingeol.

"Today you will support Gyeongcheondae along with the people of Cheongungwan."

"Yes."

Although it hurt him to be told to "support," Wang Ingeol responded calmly. The Great Daeju had given him the same opportunity the previous day, so he couldn’t complain.

Lee Muryang took an axe from one of Gyeongcheondae's warriors and began to walk firmly.

But this was his mistake.

If he had run instead of walking, the future might have been different.

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

Baek Kyo, the Phantom Fist, due to the nature of his profession, had been to many places.

Observing ahead through the planks, Baek Kyo murmured.

"What? Why is Lee Muryang carrying an axe? Does he really intend to break this?"

At that moment, the voice of Shim Yanggak, the Immortal Sword Demon, rose.

"Is that guy really the Great Daeju, the Sky Shaker Swordsman? The heavens are helping us! We just need to eliminate that guy..."

The bandits lined up behind the planks unanimously looked at Yeon Jeokha.

Yeon Jeokha rested his knife on his shoulder.

He was ready to fight.

Then, the bandits in front of the planks quickly moved aside.

As Yeon Jeokha approached the planks, Yeom Saung approached him, waving a bottle of liquor.

"Brother, at least have a drink before you go!"

Yeon Jeokha looked disdainfully at Yeom Saung's palm, soaked with liquor, and responded harshly.

"Drink it yourself."

Who would offer something so dirty?

Yeon Jeokha glared at Yeom Saung, who awkwardly laughed and took a few sips from the bottle to show him.

"Well, I will. This is good liquor... Glug, glug."

"Tsk, tsk!"

Clicking his tongue, Yeon Jeokha forcefully kicked the plank wall with his right foot.

Boom!

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

Lee Muryang, who was walking firmly, suddenly stopped when the improvised barrier broke.

Lee Muryang did not understand the situation.

Were they trying to commit suicide?

Why destroy their own barrier?

Honestly, Lee Muryang was not afraid of the bandits charging at him.

Does a tiger fear a pack of dogs?

But what came out of the broken barrier was not a pack of dogs, but a single pup.

"Are you fleeing? Or have you come to face me?"

Without waiting for an answer, Lee Muryang threw the axe aside. Seeing the knife on the young man’s shoulder, he assumed he didn’t come with good intentions.

Yeon Jeokha struck the ground with the knife and replied.

"An old man told me that if you take down the leader of the Merchant Guilds, everyone flees."

"That might be true. Are you the famous bandit swordsman of Five Peaks Mountain?"

"I suppose so."

"What happened to the Immortal Sword Demon and the Phantom Fist? Why is a young man like you here?"

"Those old men are behind. Are you friends with them? Should I call them?"

Lee Muryang's face hardened at hearing "those old men."

He couldn’t believe the young man in front of him had defeated the Immortal Sword Demon and the Phantom Fist.

"I am Lee Muryang, the Great Daeju of the Namyang Merchant Guild, known as the Sky Shaker Swordsman. What is your name?"

"Yeon Jeokha. They say it means 'red sunset.' When do we fight?"

At Yeon Jeokha’s provocative words, Lee Muryang frowned.

"When I climbed Five Peaks Mountain, I decided to cut down anyone who stood in my way, regardless of their age or gender. That’s what I learned in the Mount Hua Sect..."

"That’s obvious. Have you ever seen a sword that discriminates between people? Swords don’t distinguish between men and women, do they?"

Yeon Jeokha's words eased the weight in Lee Muryang's heart.

"You’re right. A sword has neither eyes nor heart."

Nodding, Lee Muryang slowly drew his sword.

Only then did Yeon Jeokha stop and let the tip of his knife drop to the ground.

Lee Muryang’s eyes sparkled.

Yeon Jeokha's posture was full of openings.

There were so many gaps that it was hard to decide where to attack first.

Lee Muryang decided to test his opponent's skill with the Mount Hua Sect's Liuhe Sword Technique.

Swoosh. Swish. Swish.

The Mount Hua Sect's Liuhe Sword Technique, despite its simple name, was a series of complex movements.

In simple terms, Liuhe refers to the combination of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac into yin and yang, forming other five elements. By combining two zodiac signs, six combinations are formed, which is what Liuhe means. In summary, it represents the four directions and the upward and downward movements of heaven and earth.

While he mentally reviewed the movements of the Liuhe technique, Lee Muryang moved swiftly.

"Chaah!"

The secret of the Liuhe technique was in the final move, Wu Wei Wubian. This was the pinnacle of motion in stillness, seemingly a simple thrust but filled with a thousand variations.

That’s why the Mount Hua Sect taught the Liuhe Technique to both main and secular disciples. Martial arts masters even said, "The Liuhe Technique is the root of the Plum Blossom Swordsmanship."

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