See, summer vacation just started, and I was planning on doing at least a chapter a day to start building up a reasonable amount of stock chapters (for a mass mass release in the far future). But then what does my computer go decide to do? It decided to break. Sigh… 3 days gone down the drain…
Chapter 93. Request
The old man with the cold face was the previous master of the Black Moon Guild and the member of the Three Sovereigns, the Night Emperor Neng Mu Gi.
He, who had been quietly meditating in his home at the Qilian Mountains, slowly opened his eyes.
He then opened the door and went outside.
The place where Neng Mu Gi resided was at the very peak of the Qilian Mountains, the Tuanjie (團結) peak.
His house was built on its dangerously steep cliffs.
Once he stepped outside his house, the first thing he could see were the clouds that gathered down the floor.
Neng Mu Gi’s gaze pierced through the sea of clouds and focused on a single spot.
When he did so, he could see.
Far away from him, someone was beginning to climb the mountain.
It was a giant man wearing a golden robe, walking confidently upwards.
Neng Mu Gi’s eyes narrowed as he saw this from the cliffs.
‘It’s an expert.’
Who is it?
He had never seen such a person before.
As Neng Mu Gi tried to see through the identity of the man, the gold-robed man looked up.
The man looked up and smiled faintly.
That smile contained the confidence and leisure of a conqueror.
When Neng Mu Gi looked down at the man with a calm face, he was able to hear the man’s voice in his head.
[I apologize for coming without notifying you in advance, but we are in a troublesome situation here so please understand.]
[My surname would be Chuk, and I work for the palace. I walk a different path from you, so you do not have to be so wary of me.]
Neng Mu Gi frowned when he heard the man’s name.
He realized who the man was.
‘General Chuk Gye Gwang.’
The expert of the Imperial Palace.
He was a harmonious expert that was still hidden to the world.
And surprisingly enough, this Chuk Gye Gwang happened to be on the same level as he, one of the Three Sovereigns.
[Is it possible for us to talk for a moment?]
What shall he do?
The man was an unexpected guest.
Even so, the man’s identity alone made Neng Mu Gi think that the man’s actions were not rude at all.
After thinking for a moment, Neng Mu Gi nodded.
He was curious as to why Chuk Gye Gwang came all the way here.
[Well then, please excuse me.]
Chuk Gye Gwang’s body began to speed up.
His giant body turned faint for a second, then it got enveloped in golden light and began to move with extreme speed.
The man, who was climbing the mountain with extreme speed, saw the cliff in front of him, but didn’t slow down.
Instead, he began to speed up.
He stepped on one of the stones that poked out of the cliff with his feet, and like a golden bird, flew straight upwards to the top.
He did this about three or four times.
In an instant, Chuk Gye Gwang had reached the top.
Neng Mu Gi went into his home and brought teacups and a teapot.
He put them on his table.
After he breathed about two times, something came up from the cliffs.
It was something that was filled with golden light.
That something fell to the ground, and left a deep, clear footprint.
A loud, heavy sound rang out.
At the same time, Chuk Gye Gwang had appeared on the top of the cliff, wreathed in a golden light.
He dispersed his energy easily by moving his arms around a bit and smiled.
“It is nice to meet you. My name would be Chuk Gye Gwang. Are you Neng Mu Gi, the Night Emperor?”
Neng Mu Gi nodded.
Then, he threw the teacup filled with tea towards Chuk Gye Gwang.
Chuk Gye Gwang received the teacup lightly and smiled.
“What a surprise. I didn’t expect the Night Emperor himself to treat me a tea.”
“I didn’t know that a guest would come. The tea might not taste that great.”
“Does taste matter? The heart is what matters the most, and I’m too dumb to even recognize what is good tea and what is bad tea, anyway.”
Neng Mu Gi did not say anything, and simply looked straight at Chuk Gye Gwang.
Chuk Gye Gwang quietly looked at Neng Mu Gi as well, then spoke as he took the teacup to his mouth.
“In any case, thank you for treating me as a guest. I was afraid that you might try to turn me away.”
“Your identity is too great for me to simply ignore you.”
“A wise decision.”
Chuk Gye Gwang drank the contents of the teacup in one fell swoop and sat down on the opposite side of the table form Neng Mu Gi.
He glared at Neng Mu Gi.
Neng Mu Gi did not look away, and opened his mouth.
“What do you want?”
Chuk Gye Gwang licked his lips in disappointment when he found that Neng Mu Gi wasn’t fazed one bit by his glare. He opened his mouth.
“I have a request.”
“Yes, a request.”
Neng Mu Gi smiled.
It was a mocking smile.
“You came to the wrong place.”
“……You didn’t even hear me out.”
“I already know what you’re trying to ask me to do.”
Neng Mu Gi brought the teacup to his mouth, and looked straight at Chuk Gye Gwang.
“Gongson Chun Gi isn’t someone you can assassinate in the first place.”
Chuk Gye Gwang closed his mouth.
That was exactly what he was about to talk about.
An awkward silence emerged between the two.
But to Neng Mu Gi, this silence was as natural as the air itself.
Within that silence, Neng Mu Gi quietly put down his teacup and opened his mouth.
“There is one good thing that comes out of getting old, I guess.”
“What are you talking about.”
Neng Mu Gi didn’t respond immediately and quietly looked at Chuk Gye Gwang.
Once Chuk Gye Gwang’s burning eyes and Neng Mu Gi’s cold eyes met midair, Chuk Gye Gwang’s eyebrows twitched.
Chuk Gye Gwang felt the leisure and infiniteness from the eyes of Neng Mu Gi.
As Chuk Gye Gwang began to frown from those eyes, Neng Mu Gi began to talk slowly.
“I realize that you have a different motive other that to request me to do something.”
“But I have already retreated from the martial world. Do not try to make me move. I do not have neither the desire nor the power to help you.”
Chuk Gye Gwang’s eyes shone at that moment.
He couldn’t give up.
“I need your help desperately. Although you have retreated, your fame still pierces through the heavens.”
“If it has anything to do with Gongson Chun Gi, I cannot help you.”
“It would be hard with just you alone, but how about five?”
Neng Mu Gi paused at the number ‘five’.
He instantly realized who these people were.
Chuk Gye Gwang proceeded to confirm his suspicions.
“The former chief of the Alliance, Baek Mu Ryang. The master of the Nanman Beast Gate, Gu Ma Byuk. The palace lord of the North Sea Ice Palace, Dam Chun Hoo. You, and I. Even Gongson Chun Gi will be ground to dust if us five attack, don’t you think?”
This truly was a frighteningly large plan.
Gongson Chun Gi wasn’t someone that couldn’t be overpowered with numbers.
A small number of elites were needed to face him.
Elites that could block his attacks and kill him.
If the five that Chuk Gye Gwang spoke of were to gather, Gongson Chun Gi would just be a small obstacle.
When Neng Mu Gi thought that much, he slowly opened his mouth.
“Again, I refuse.”
When Chuk Gye Gwang asked this with a frown, Neng Mu Gi spoke.
“Like I said before, I have already left the martial world. I do not have the desire to interfere with anything that happens there.”
Neng Mu Gi nodded.
He then closed his eyes.
Neng Mu Gi was clearly chasing out his own guest.
Chuk Gye Gwang looked at Neng Mu Gi with a complicated gaze then stood up.
He turned around and spoke.
“I’ll trust that you were speaking the truth just now.”
“If you happen to come out into the martial world in the future, I will not treat you as kindly as before.”
It was a clear threat.
Neng Mu Gi didn’t say anything.
Chuck Gye Gwang spoke again with his back to Neng Mu Gi.
“Although there have been some changes to the initial plan, Gongson Chun Gi will still die.”
“Then, I shall leave.”
Chuk Gye Gwang walked forward and jumped off the cliff.
His body was once again enveloped with a golden light and fell down with great speed.
Right before his body hit the ground, he stopped.
This wasn’t some low-class technique he showed Neng Mu Gi earlier.
He had been hiding his strength on purpose.
As Chuk Gye Gwang slowly descended down onto the ground, Neng Mu Gi spoke.
“I do not think that even if five experts from five different forces were to work together, Gongson Chun Gi could be killed that easily.”
Neng Mu Gi thought of Chuk Gye Gwang and smiled faintly.
“That arrogant man of the Heavenly Demon Church has reached the peak of power already. No matter what you do, it would be impossible for you to kill him unless you know of his weakness.”
Neng Mu Gi knew of the weakness Gongson Chun Gi possessed very well.
He saw the battle between Gongson Chun Gi and Baek Mu Ryang and noticed it.
That overbearing martial arts technique had a frightening side effect.
The user would become mad from all the blood once it is used.
The Shura Environment was an evil technique.
In order to kill Gongson Chun Gi, one would have to make him exhausted after using the Shura Environment.
But Neng Mu Gi really didn’t want to tell anyone that.
’I repaid you for the meal you got me last time.’
Neng Mu Gi thought of Gongson Chun Gi’s face from the past and smiled.
He thought that the price of the meal was far too large.
* * *
Cho Ryu Hyang checked up on Un Hui in the morning, and went straight to work.
The first thing he had to do was to deal with the problem that occurred due to Gal Mun Hyuk.
’This is annoying.’
He needed a new seller.
Salt wasn’t something one couldn’t sell easily.
As the country controlled almost all the salt, people who weren’t licensed couldn’t even sell it, and even if they could, they could only sell a small amount.
Therefor, the best way to sell salt was to use other sellers as a proxy, or to get a license, but none of these methods were possible.
Many of these sellers were related to Gal Mun Hyuk in one way or the other, so it was going to be extremely hard to do anything that had to do with them.
Getting a new license took about half a year. This took far too much time.
He needed to either make a new seller, or make connections with one that wasn’t related to Gal Mun Hyuk.
This was the assignment Cho Ryu Hyang had been given, and it was something he had to solve as the leader of this place.
After thinking a bit, Cho Ryu Hyang moved to the underground storage.
Normally, underground areas were extremely humid, but this was not the case for this one.
It was far too dry.
There were torches lined up to no end, and the storage was extremely large.
This place had enough security to rival the security at the actual church itself.
Just what was here?
Cho Ryu Hyang was able to go down to the storage easily thanks to his position in the church.
It almost seemed that he knew exactly what was under the place.
Behind him was No Jin Nyung, and the Mara’s Heavenly Wind Division.
They were extremely alert as they had to fill the position that Un Hui had been taking as well.
’This would be the best time for the enemy to make a move.’
Cho Ryu Hyang knew this well.
But he was too busy to just stay holed up in a safe place.
The underground storage had, in its centre, not gold, but white rocks. Cho Ryu Hyang stared at this with a concerned face.
He took his finger to one of the rocks, scraped off the powder from it, and licked it.
He could then feel the saltiness from the powder.
This was it.
This was the salt that the church had discovered.
This was not the salt that came from the sea.
It was the kind that could be occasionally found in the mountains.
The Heavenly Demon Church managed to find a giant salt mine in the mountains.
‘About a hundred year’s worth…….’
It was worth a huge amount of money.
It wasn’t low-quality salt, either.
Normal stone salt was far inferior to the salt from the common salt.
But the salt the church discovered was different.
The degree of salinity in one of these rocks were enough to paralyze the tongue.
Its taste and quality outranked the normal salt by quite a bit.
’The problem is, there’s no place where we can sell it…….’
So what if it was tasty?
If there was no place to sell it, it was the same as any other rock.
Cho Ryu Hyang punched lightly at these stones and growned.
Normal salt sellers were too exposed.
He needed to find a seller that was hidden well.
As Cho Ryu Hyang thought this,
No Jin Nyung tried having a taste of the salt as well.
“Ugh…… ptui! This is way too salty!”
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled lightly when he saw No Jin Nyung frown from the salt.
Unlike the Mara’s Heavenly Wind Division, No Jin Nyung seemed extremely loose and leisurely.
Cho Ryu Hyang made a dazed face for a moment.
Was he thinking too hard?
Perhaps the answer was easier than he had thought?
When he thought this, something came into his mind like lightning.
Perhaps it was a coincidence, or a stroke of genius. Cho Ryu Hyang had managed to think of a plan to solve all his problems.
Cho Ryu Hyang grasped the hands of No Jin Nyung and spoke.
“I found it!”
“It’s all thanks to you. Thank you.”
No Jin Nyung looked at Cho Ryu Hyang with a confused face.
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled like a child in response.
Although Cho Ryu Hyang himself did not realize it, this was the first childish smile he had shown in a while.
Cho Ryu Hyang seemed to have forgotten how to smile brightly at some point in the past.
But after he arrived at Sichuan, he seemed to be changing slowly.