Usually, I don’t do double releases. But there was a cliffhanger this time.
Chapter 96. Maksu’s Identity
Naming a living being is basically a declaration that one would take responsibility for that being.
As parents become responsible for their children after naming them, every living thing becomes tied to the one that names them.
However, there was one being that simply refused to accept that.
It was a dark, moonlit night.
Cho Ryu Hyang woke up in the middle of that night with a splitting pain in his head.
After standing up and doing several stretches, Cho Ryu Hyang became confused of the strange feeling in his head.
‘What was that?’
He felt that somebody had called him during his sleep.
The call was far too clear for it to be a mere dream.
After thinking for a while, Cho Ryu Hyang put on his glasses and went outside.
Cho Ryu Hyang held his glasses in one hand and rubbed his eyes with the other. As he came out to the garden, he soon frowned.
It was too quiet.
He couldn’t feel the presences of No Jin Nyung nor the Mara’s Heavenly Wind Division.
No, that wasn’t all.
He couldn’t even feel any life from the plants around him.
Was it because of his headache?
Or was he just imagining things?
Whatever the reason was, something was off.
Cho Ryu Hyang looked around with a cautious gaze, and a man in white entered his sight.
“Yo, it’s been a while.”
The man talked with a friendly tone to Cho Ryu Hyang, and he looked at the man confusedly.
He had never seen the man before.
Even so, there was a strange sense of familiarity about him.
When Cho Ryu Hyang felt two conflicting emotions at once, he became extremely confused.
“You have responsibility over me. That’s why you’re feeling two conflicting feelings at once. Don’t be so confused.”
Cho Ryu Hyang looked at the white-clothed man with a suspicious gaze.
The man almost seemed to be able to read his mind.
“What a clever child. You’re right. I am reading your mind. Here, something like that is indeed possible.”
The man took something out from behind him, and struck it in the ground.
It was something Cho Ryu Hyang had seen before, and at the moment he saw it, he was able to see who the person was.
“Do not call me by that name. My name is Pian Mu. This is my true form, and that is my true name.”
The man in white frowned deeply as he said this.
“You wouldn’t know, but I paid much in order to get back to this form. This is only temporary, but I definitely have to check something from you.”
Cho Ryu Hyang saw the man’s eyes slowly begin to turn of a scarlet color.
“I need to check if you are actually worthy enough to name me.”
Naming something means that one is taking responsibility over that thing.
And to a nonhuman beings like Pian Mu, naming something that someone had to have greater importance than the one been named.
It means that they would acknowledge that the one who named them is above them.
In truth, when Cho Ryu Hyang first called him ‘Maksu’, Pian Mu was able to feel a powerful energy oppress him.
However Pian Mu was unable to accept this.
The one who would name him needed to have strength.
No, even if that person didn’t have strength, the person should at least be influential enough to affect many.
‘I can’t accept it.’
Pian Mu wanted to confirm if Cho Ryu Hyang was truly a powerful human.
Right then, Cho Ryu Hyang put on his glasses and spoke.
“Is it fine if you break the promise between us? I thought you nonhuman beings treated promises with great importance?”
“Of course we do. That’s why I came to you like this.”
The man in white, who had two names, grinned a toothy grin.
“Right now, I am Pian Mu. The one who made the promise with you was Maksu.”
Cho Ryu Hyang frowned.
He didn’t know Pian Mu would be like this.
He immediately tried to find some kind of a hole in Pian Mu’s statement.
Pian Mu’s pestle flew right past Cho Ryu Hyang’s face and struck the ground.
“Let’s stop the useless talk. We have to decide who is stronger right now, don’t we? Something like this can’t be decided with words.”
The floor that the pestle struck had cracked as if a bomb had gone off on that spot. Several rocks flew out from the shock, one of which had scratched Cho Ryu Hyang’s cheek.
Cho Ryu Hyang felt something warm flow from his cheek, and when he touched it, his face soon stiffened.
Cho Ryu Hyang had been assuming that this place might actually be an illusion.
He thought that this place was something similar to the ‘dream’ that Gongson Chun Gi had shown him before.
But when he actually got injured and felt pain, he began to feel more and more nervous.
He wouldn’t be able to feel pain like this in a mere dream.
Pian Mu, once again, smiled and opened his mouth.
“This is a place that’s between dreams and reality. It’s somewhere inside your head. I forcefully expanded that place in your head and made this place.”
Cho Ryu Hyang’s face stiffened again.
He had no idea what that bastard was about to do.
“I can always kill you in this place. Also, if you die here, you die in real life as well.”
Cho Ryu Hyang shook his hands lightly as he listened.
Then, for some reason, he smiled.
‘There are actually a lot of people who are out to kill me.’
There were people looking to kill him in the church and outside, well… that part didn’t really need any explanation.
But to think that even a nonhuman being would come and try to kill him….. it was almost comical.
It was almost like everyone wanted his life.
‘Come to think of it, how strong is he?’
Pain Mu was extremely powerful just as a rabbit. How strong would it be now?
‘Why am I not afraid?’
The emotion of fear appears when one encounters the unknown.
But Cho Ryu Hyang’s opponent wasn’t something that he didn’t know anything about.
Was it because of that?
Cho Ryu Hyang felt unafraid.
On the contrary, his opponent seemed extremely small.
Cho Ryu Hyang became confused.
Why was he not afraid?
Did he go crazy?
That didn’t seem to be the case.
While Cho Ryu Hyang was carefully thinking about his strange mental state, Pian Mu spoke.
“It is possible to do anything you want here. Use all your strength to fight me. If you manage to survive before the red moon sets, I will accept you.”
The red moon?
Cho Ryu Hyang looked up at the sky.
There was a red moon floating there.
When he looked at this moon, he began to get calmer.
After taking a look at the moon for a moment, Cho Ryu Hyang looked at Pian Mu for a bit, and then he opened his mouth.
Pian Mu nodded as he stretched out his hand and took back his pestle.
“Yeah. There must’ve been some things you wanted to do, right? Things you were unable to do because of your underdeveloped body. Here, you are able to do all that.”
Cho Ryu Hyang immediately thought of the heartfelt thought. He had been doing it since a while back. (TL Note: Heartfelt thought appears in chapter 88. Basically it’s a form of training where you can perform all kinds of moves w/o restriction in your brain.)
When he thought of this, he smiled.
He had just realized why he was so unafraid of Pian Mu.
“Maksu…… no, Pian Mu, was it?”
“Right. That’s my name.”
“It seems you made a huge mistake today.”
If he was able to do whatever he wanted like he did in his heartfelt thought training, he was completely unafraid of any enemies.
Everything that Cho Ryu Hyang possessed were extremely powerful, after all.
Cho Ryu Hyang grinned.
He needed to confirm something before they started.
“Anything within my imagination, you say?”
“As long as it’s not something that exceeds your inborn talent.”
Cho Ryu Hyang nodded and stepped forward.
There was something he needed to do before they started.
The moment he thought that, his body quickly began to change.
He began to get much taller, and his body got thicker.
Muscles began to grow from his limbs, and at the same time, his bones became extremely hard.
Pian Mu simply smiled when he saw this.
“You heightened your growth rate? You wouldn’t be able to get used to your new body.”
“No, I did that a long time ago already.”
Cho Ryu Hyang looked down at his new body and smiled.
It was the perfect body to create formations, and at the same time, make full use of the Shura Environment and the Moon Edge Blade Technique.
‘This is good.’
He wasn’t as muscular as Gongson Chun Gi at his height of power, but instead, he was thin and well-balanced.
It was the body he wanted to have when he grew up.
‘Seven years…… no, the me in eight years.’
Cho Ryu Hyang looked down at his hands.
He could then feel something extremely powerful surge inside him.
It was the power of the Shura Environment and the Moon Edge Blade Technique.
“……You say I needed to survive till the moon sets?”
“Right. Child, can you do it?”
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled.
“I told you that you made a mistake, right?”
“I’ll show you why.”
Cho Ryu Hyang made a simple punching motion.
It seemed like a simple, harmless move.
But when Cho Ryu Hyang did this, Pian Mu made a blocking motion with his pestle.
With a giant sound, the ground around Pian Mu broke to pieces, and the air trembled.
Pian Mu began to complain when he felt a throbbing pain on his wrist.
“Humans can have this much power? No way, this doesn’t make sense.”
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled.
He really was able to do anything he wanted here.
“Surprised already? That’s not good. See, my teacher’s even more of a monster than me.”
The punch from before seemed simply, but in truth, it was the single most powerful punch in the world.
It was the same technique Gongson Chun Gi used on Baek Mu Ryang in the past.
The technique that took down Baek Mu Ryang in an instant.
‘Dominating Shura Fist.’
One would expect the technique to be extremely weak due to the simple action performed by its user, but that would be a huge mistake.
The Dominating Shura Fist was one of the more powerful moves in the Shura Environment. The action from before concentrated an immense amount of energy and made it explode.
But of course, something like this didn’t work on Pian Mu.
Cho Ryu Hyang began to focus his power on his leg this time.
He needed something stronger.
Cho Ryu Hyang pulled out the power of the Moon Edge Blade Technique.
He then condensed it all into one part of his body.
His leg shot out with extreme speed and struck the air.
Air condensed into a giant lump and shot out towards Pian Mu’s stomach.
They were 30 meters away, but distance didn’t really matter between them.
Pian Mu calmly looked at the lump of energy that came towards him, then struck it with his fist.
The invisible lump of energy and Pian Mu’s fist struck each other.
Energy dissipated along with an ear-splitting sound.
Pian Mu’s arm trembled.
The pain on his arm showed him just how strong Cho Ryu Hyang’s kick just now was.
How can a human even have this much power?
Pian Mu was extremely irritated inside, but he acted fine on the outside.
“What the hell? You were so confident with just this? Or are you just trying to test me?”
The child really was quite amazing.
But that was it.
He was only amazing among humans.
The child still lacked something. He didn’t meet Pian Mu’s expectations.
Cho Ryu Hyang shook his head.
Although he knew that he didn’t damage Pian Mu much, he had a smile on his face.
Unlike what Pian Mu expected, Cho Ryu Hyang was actually enjoying his situation very much.
“I didn’t test you. I tested myself, and I managed to get a satisfactory result from that test.”
“Hoh? What was your result?”
Cho Ryu Hyang had calculated the power difference between him and Pian Mu.
He repositioned his glasses and grinned.
Surprisingly enough, this grin resembled Gongson Chun Gi’s evil grin very much.
“I’ll be going all out now.”
The Shura Environment and the Moon Edge Blade Technique.
They were two forms of martial arts that dominated the heavens.
However, they would not be able to beat Pian Mu by themselves.
That was Cho Ryu Hyang’s conclusion.
‘But if I manage to mix the two?’
The answer he got after much thought.
He was about to try out his newfound solution.