Chapter 453

    Chapter 453

 

Pyo Wol and Baek Ho-gyeong sat facing each other with a bonfire between them. At Pyo Wol's side were Eun-yo and Do Yeonsan.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong asked,


 

"What kind of relationship is this? Is the blind woman your mistress?"


 

"Your face looks fine, but you have a dog's mouth."


 

"What are you talking about?"


 

"You're spewing nonsense with great effort."


 

"You?"


 

A subtle murderous intent flashed in Baek Ho-gyeong's eyes.


 

It was a look that would have scared the piss out of a normal person, but it couldn't make a crack in Pyo Wol's face.


 

Looking at Pyo Wol's unchanging expression, Baek Ho-gyeong said,


 

"Who is your master?"


 

"None!"


 

"None? Then how did you learn martial arts? It's impossible to acquire that level of skill without learning from a proper master."


 

"You're curious about a lot of things."


 

"Ha! I must have really mellowed down. In the old days, I would have ripped out your tongue and torn you to pieces......."


 

Baek Ho-gyeong clicked his tongue.


 

It was the first time he had encountered someone as stiff as Pyo Wol.


 

He wanted to settle this once and for all right away, but he couldn't because of the uncomfortable feeling.


 

There was something about Pyo Wol that made people instinctively nervous.


 

The higher the martial arts skills of a warrior like Baek Ho-gyeong, the more sensitive their senses become. The more sensitive their senses, the greater the anxiety they felt.


 

Suddenly, Baek Ho-gyeong looked at Do Yeonsan.


 

His gaze intensified.


 

"What are you?"


 

"Me?"


 

"I've never seen such a discordant existence like you. You clearly don't have a body trained in martial arts, but I can feel considerable strength. Even traces of an incompatible soul. What on earth are you? Why are you such a mixed bag?"


 

Baek Ho-gyeong was no ordinary warrior.


 

He could tell just by glancing at Do Yeonsan that he was not normal.


 

His words continued.


 

"In a way, he's similar to that guy..."


 

"Which guy?"


 

Pyo Wol expressed his curiosity.


 

"There's someone like that. A monster-like person who won't die as I wish."


 

"Are you talking about the ghost king?"


 

"Do I care if that old man lives or dies?"


 

"Then?"

 

 

 

"You're pestering me without giving me a single answer, so if you want to know, tell me about yourself."


 

Baek Ho-gyeong shot back at Pyo Wol.


 

"Enough!"


 

"You're such a devious bastard. You look suspicious, and your behavior is irritating. I don't know how someone like you came into this world. If I had time, I would have split open your belly and examined your insides. What a shame."


 

Despite Baek Ho-gyeong's murderous tone, Pyo Wol's expression remained unchanged.


 

This made Baek Ho-gyeong feel even worse.


 

He really wanted to fight Pyo Wol right away, but he had other urgent matters to attend to.


 

Now was the time to focus on his work, not to increase enemies.


 

The one with endless consequences if turned into an enemy was Pyo Wol.


 

If Pyo Wol's martial arts skills were as incredible as the rumors suggested, Baek Ho-gyeong couldn't be at ease.


 

He was confident that he could overpower Pyo Wol in a head-to-head confrontation. However, Pyo Wol's true nature was that of an assassin.


 

An existence that naturally thinks of fleeing or hiding when at a disadvantage.


 

If Pyo Wol hid in the darkness, waiting for an opportunity to ambush, Baek Ho-gyeong couldn't feel safe.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong said to Pyo Wol,


 

"I will also stop caring about your party. So, you should stop caring about me too. Then there will be no problems."


 

"Suit yourself."


 

"With a tongue as sharp as a parrot's. You truly possess a character that would attract abundant affection."


 

"Let's both stop caring about each other, huh?"


 

"Yes! Let's do that."


 

It was at that moment.


 

Lee Shin-pil approached them, holding a bowl of porridge in his hand.


 

He spoke to Baek Ho-gyeong,


 

"If you haven't eaten yet, please have this."


 

"What is it?"


 

"It's the leftover porridge from our dinner."


 

"Hmm!"


 

"This is all we have to offer. If it doesn't suit your taste, I'll throw it away."

 

 

 

"It's fine. Give it to me."


 

Baek Ho-gyeong reached out to take the bowl of porridge.


 

He hadn't had a proper meal all day as he had been wandering around.


 

There wasn't much in the bowl, but it was enough for a meal.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong quickly finished the porridge.


 

He handed the empty bowl back to Lee Shin-pil and asked,


 

"What's the name of your trading group?"


 

"It's called Zigong Trading Group."


 

"Good! I'll personally keep an eye on Zigong Trading Group. If there's any problem, feel free to use my name."


 

"Th-thank you."


 

Lee Shin-pil's expression was filled with gratitude.


 

Although they were under Pyo Wol's protection during this trip, he couldn't always be with them.


 

There weren't many forces in Kangho that could ignore Baek Ho-gyeong's name.


 

If they could use Baek Ho-gyeong's name to overcome a crisis in an unexpected situation, there would be nothing more reliable.


 

A bowl of porridge in exchange for Baek Ho-gyeong's support was a deal worth a hundred thousand times more.


 

Lee Shin-pil bowed his head once again.


 

"Thank you very much."


 

"It's fine. I want to rest, so you may leave."


 

"Yes!"


 

Lee Shin-pil retreated, carrying the empty bowl.


 

As he disappeared, Baek Ho-gyeong crossed his arms and leaned against a small rock.


 

He closed his eyes, but sleep didn't come.


 

It was because he was aware of Pyo Wol right in front of him.


 

The same went for Pyo Wol.


 

Normally, he would have closed his eyes and slept by now, but he couldn't do that at this moment.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong gave off a dangerous scent.


 

A strong smell of blood was ingrained in his whole body, just like Pyo Wol's.


 

He had killed many people.


 

Moreover, it was difficult to read his thoughts.


 

In Kangho, there was nothing more dangerous than a master whose thoughts could not be read.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong possessed both of these qualities.


 

That was the reason Pyo Wol could never let his guard down.


 

He placed a small rock behind his back and leaned back, closing his eyes but keeping his senses open so that he could react at any moment if Baek Ho-gyeong should sneak up on him.


 

The night passed like this.


 

It felt longer than any other night.


 

As dawn approached, Baek Ho-gyeong got up from his spot.


 

He looked around with cold eyes.


 

All of the Zigong Trading Group's martial artists were fast asleep.


 

If he wanted to, killing them would be easier than flipping a coin.


 

He had told Lee Shin-pil last night that he could use his name, but he didn't feel ashamed at all about going back on his word.


 

They had done nothing wrong to him.


 

If he was offended, he killed; if he was greedy, he stole.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong was a warrior who roamed the world without a care.


 

To him, worldly evaluations or reputation were of no value.


 

He had lived that way until now, and he would continue to live that way in the future.

 

That's when it happened.


 

Pyo Wol, who had been leaning against the rock, opened one eye and looked at him.


 

It was as if he could sense the killing intent in Baek Ho-gyeong's heart.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong chuckled.


 

'Such a sensitive guy!'


 

He was no pushover when it came to detecting the faintest hint of killing intent.


 

That brief murderous intent was his test.


 

Pyo Wol's senses were sharp enough to pass his test with ease. His actual martial arts skills must be far more impressive.


 

"Let's call it a day for now. We'll meet again later."


 

"It would be better for both of us if we didn't."


 

"I'd like that too, but I have a feeling we'll meet again soon."


 

"Same here."


 

"Then we'll see each other again soon."


 

For those like Baek Ho-gyeong and Pyo Wol who had reached such heights, their premonitions were almost like foresight.


 

If both of them felt the same premonition, it was only a matter of time before it came true.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong disappeared silently.


 

Pyo Wol silently stared at the spot where Baek Ho-gyeong had vanished.


 

That's when Do Yeonsan and Eun-Yo opened their eyes simultaneously.

 

 

 

They looked at the spot where Baek Ho-gyeong had been with puzzled expressions. After blinking their eyes for a moment, they realized that Baek Ho-gyeong had disappeared and quickly got up from their spots.


 

Do Yeonsan looked around and asked Pyo Wol.


 

"Brother, what happened to that old man?"


 

"He left!"


 

"He just left?"


 

Do Yeonsan looked at Pyo Wol with a disbelieving expression.


 

Although he hadn't said anything due to being crushed by the might of Baek Ho-gyeong, he had also sensed that the aura underlying Baek Ho-gyeong was unnerving.


 

Because of this, he had also been on guard against Baek Ho-gyeong and had spent a considerable amount of time unable to sleep. He couldn't be tired after only that much, but it was true that his nerves were on edge and he wasn't comfortable.


 

Eun-Yo said.


 

"That's a relief. His aura was really unusual..."


 

As she was blind, her other senses were more developed.


 

Her intuition, in particular, was unparalleled.


 

Since Baek Ho-gyeong had joined them the day before, she had struggled to regain her composure. She had been tormented by the sharp, blade-like waves of energy he had unintentionally emitted.


 

Because of this, she had forcibly shut down all her senses and fallen asleep to escape the pain.


 

Now that Baek Ho-gyeong had disappeared, her frantic senses gradually calmed down.


 

Eun-Yo looked at Pyo Wol.


 

"Do you think he's related to the incident yesterday?"


 

"I'm not sure."


 

Although he answered that way, Pyo Wol thought it was unlikely.


 

When one reached Pyo Wol's level, one could roughly tell what kind of martial arts techniques the opponent used just by looking at their body.


 

Baek Ho-gyeong's hands, in particular, were abnormally developed.


 

They weren't just calluses, but every single finger was shaped like bamboo.


 

He was either born with it, or he had definitely mastered a special technique.


 

It didn't match the wounds on the bodies he'd seen yesterday.


 

That was the reason Pyo Wol didn't think Baek Ho-gyeong was the murderer.


 

At that moment, Do Yeonsan muttered.


 

"I hope we never see that old man again."


 

Eun-Yo nodded her head, agreeing with his opinion.

 

***

 

 

 

Even though Baek Ho-gyeong suddenly disappeared, the people of Zigong Merchant Group were not surprised. On the contrary, they were relieved.


 

Traveling with a self-centered expert like Baek Ho-gyeong was a huge mental burden for them as well. They couldn't be more relieved to have him leave on his own.


 

Lee Sin-pil shouted.


 

"Let's pack up quickly and leave this place."


 

"Yes!"


 

The workers began to move busily in response.


 

They put out the bonfire, tied the horses to the carriage, and prepared to leave.


 

In the meantime, the others checked their physical condition while chewing on the dried meat they had been given earlier.


 

Finally, when all preparations were complete, the Zigong Merchant Group left their sleeping place.


 

Do Yeonsan also took the reins of a horse and sat on the driver's seat.


 

They rode for a long time along the road, but no villages or cities appeared.


 

Having no other choice, they slept outdoors when the sun went down.


 

After several days of sleeping outdoors, they looked quite disheveled.


 

Their hair was unkempt, and their faces and bodies were covered with dust. If a stranger saw them, they could be considered beggars.


 

The only decent-looking people were Pyo Wol and Eun-Yo.


 

Pyo Wol always maintained the best physical condition and wore a hat tied to his black blood robe, which prevented dust from settling.


 

Eun-Yo kept herself clean by washing every time she passed by a stream. But she grew increasingly impatient in the face of continued outdoor sleeping


 

The biggest problem was the bandits targeting the trade group's goods.


 

There seemed to be a lot of them in the area.


 

Despite one bandit group being annihilated by unidentified experts, they still attacked the Zigong Merchant Group without hesitation. However, they couldn't achieve their goal.


 

Just before the collision with the Zigong Merchant Group, Do Yeonsan stepped in and knocked them all down.


 

Do Yeonsan subdued the bandits, and took all the horses they had ridden. It was a worse fate for the bandits than death.


 

Bandits without horses could no longer be called bandits.


 

The Zigong Merchant Group tied the horses stolen by Do Yeonsan to the rear of the procession and moved on.


 

Then, a large city appeared before their eyes.


 

It was a city called Yueqing.


 

"Phew!"


 

"Wow! It's a city!"


 

The martial artists and workers cheered.

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