Chapter 501 novel Reaper of the Drifting

 




Chapter 501


Chae Mu-ok was a young warrior in his early twenties.



His school was the Four Suns Clan.



Despite the title of student, the clan was quite small, with barely thirty members, and Chae Mu-ok was the eldest among them.



Originally, the Four Suns Clan was not this small.



The Four Suns Clan was a middle-tier sect that was quite recognized in the area. However, it had clashed with other sects over regional dominance, and lost.



The decline of a defeated clan was inevitable.



Numerous disciples had left, and the master became disabled. Only about twenty disciples remained in the Four Suns Clan.



The remaining disciples stayed not out of loyalty to Four Suns Clan, but because they had


nowhere else to go.



Despite the reduction in size due to their defeat, the Four Suns Clan still had quite a bit of wealth left. Maintaining the remaining disciples was not an issue.



The real problem was that they couldn't see a future.



They might be able to get by for a while with the remaining wealth, but as a martial arts sect, the Four Suns Clan was virtually over.



Chae Mu-ok knew well how wretched the end of a martial arts sect, whose life span had run out, could be.



The Four Suns Clan would end like a frog in a pot of cold water, which gradually heats up until it dies without realizing it.



So, he left the Four Suns Clan.



Chae Mu-ok prided himself on being a true warrior.



The place where he would meet his end was the rough battlefield, not the crumbling Four Suns Clan.



Despite the dissuasion of his master and fellow disciples, he didn't even pretend to listen.



"I will earn fame and revive the Four Suns Clan."



With this bold declaration, he set out with his sword.



His destination was Poyang Lake, where the great martial arts war had been raging for some time.



Poyang Lake, where the martial arts war had broken out, had now become a battlefield.



The sects supporting the Golden Heavenly Hall and those supporting the Silver Lotus Hall were fiercely fighting, with Poyang Lake in between.



Poyang Lake was a place where countless people died every day.



While there were countless casualties, there were also heroes.



Unknown martial artists who were unheard of until yesterday would kill peak-level experts, rapidly gaining reputation. This was happening again and again.



The war produced one hero after another, and their fame spread like wildfire throughout Kangho.



The martial arts world was enthralled by the newly emerged heroes. They said a new era was dawning.



Chae Mu-ok also wanted to become a hero of the new era. He wanted to revive the fallen Four Suns Clan. To do this, he first had to earn fame.



"Hoo!"



However, the journey to Poyang Lake was not easy.



He had been walking on the official road for several days already.



The thick dust on Chae Mu-ok's head and shoulders seemed to tell the story of the hardships he had endured so far.



Chae Mu-ok was a terrible pathfinder.



Even the paths others found easily took him several rounds to find.



Because of this, his journey was getting longer and longer.



At this rate, he would collapse from exhaustion before he reached Poyang Lake.



"This can't go on!"



Chae Mu-ok gritted his teeth.



It was because a sense of crisis was looming over him.



Just then, he heard the sound of hooves behind him.



Someone was approaching on a horse.



When Chae Mu-ok turned around, he saw a group of people coming on horses.



Three people were on horseback, and behind them was a fairly large carriage.



Instantly, an intense desire to ride in the carriage welled up in Chae Mu-ok's heart.



He stood in the middle of the road and waved his hand in the air.



"Ex, excuse me for a moment."



Soon, the line of horses and carriage gradually stopped in front of him.



One of the men on horseback approached him.



He was an old man with a face full of black moles.



"What is it?"



"I, I am a warrior named Chae Mu-ok from the Four Suns Clan."



"And?"



"If it's not too much trouble, could you give me a ride in your carriage?"



"Why?"



"Oh, well... I'm not very good with directions. I've been wandering around this area for two


days."



"Ho! Is that so?"



"Yes! If you could just give me a lift to the next city, I will never forget this kindness."



"That's a sad story. To be so directionally challenged..."



"I'm... I'm sorry."



"What do you have to apologize for? You were born this way."



"Thank you for understanding."



Tears welled up in Chae Mu-ok's eyes.



For the first time, he had met someone who understood him.



Seeing the old man smile, Chae Mu-ok harbored hope. He thought that since the old man understood his situation, he would naturally give him a ride in the carriage.



"So, you will give me a ride?"



"Huh? Why?"



"Because you understand my situation......"



"Understanding your situation and granting your request are two different things."



"Ah......"



Chae Mu-ok's shoulders slumped.



The old man laughed, maybe because it was amusing.



"But I can ask my master. But don't get your hopes up. Our master really dislikes inconvenience."



"I appreciate your consideration anyway."



Chae Mu-ok looked at the old man with eyes full of gratitude.



"Pfft!"



At that moment, a boy behind the old man burst into laughter.



It was because Chae Mu-ok's expression was quite funny.


Normally, when someone laughed like this, one would feel humiliated and get angry, but Chae Mu-ok couldn't even think of that. He was that exhausted.



The old man nudged the man sitting next to the boy.



Despite the warm day, the man was wearing a hat deep down his face.



The old man whispered to him in a soft voice.



'Please!'



Chae Mu-ok looked at the man with a desperate wish.



He couldn't see the man's face through his hat, but he prayed that he was a good man, and that he would let him into his carriage.



Whether his desperate wish worked or not, the man nodded his head. Then the old man spoke on his behalf.



"Luckily, my master has allowed it. But you can't ride inside the carriage, only on the roof. Is that okay?"



"Thank you. Thank you very much."



Chae Mu-ok repeatedly bowed his head in gratitude.



"Get on."



"Yes! Then, I'll be in your care."



Chae Mu-ok moved past the old man and the other man, heading towards the carriage.


In the driver's seat was a boy who looked only slightly younger than him.



"Welcome, brother!"



"Eh? Oh!"



"Hurry up and get on the roof."



"Thank you."



"But, you can't make noise. The people inside don't like loud noises."



"Okay......."



Chae Mu-ok responded with a crawling voice.



It was because he felt an inexplicable sense of intimidation from the boy who called him 'brother'. Still, he felt grateful that the boy, whom he had never seen before, called him brother.




Only then did Chae Mu-ok realize that he knew nothing about them.



In his haste, he had gotten a ride on their carriage without even inquiring about their identities or destination.



'Did I make a rash decision?'



If the group he had joined was an enemy of the Four Suns Clan, his life could be in danger.



"Gulp!"



He swallowed dryly and took a good look at the group. But it was impossible to tell who they were from their appearance.



It was then.



The boy sitting in the coachman's seat spoke with a smile, as if he had read his mind.



"You don't need to be so nervous. We're not bad people."



"Uh!"



"My name is Do Yeonsan, and I'll be traveling with you until we reach the next city, so feel free to call me by my first name."



"Do Yeonsan? My name is Chae Mu-ok."



"I heard earlier. You're from the Four Suns Clan, right?"



"Yes."



"Let's get along during our journey."



"Oh, thank you."



Chae Mu-ok was very grateful to Do Yeonsan for treating him so kindly.



The sense of caution he had just a while ago felt like it was melting away.



'What a naive elder brother.'



Do Yeonsan glanced at Chae Mu-ok's face and smiled.



Had he known who was riding inside the carriage, he would not have climbed onto the roof so readily.



Inside the carriage were Eun-yo and Hong Ye-seol.



Eun-yo, who had trouble with her eyes, preferred to ride in a carriage driven by Do Yeonsan than to ride a horse herself.



Hong Ye Seol also chose to rest comfortably in the carriage instead of struggling to ride a horse.



The two women, initially quite distant, had grown quite close after a few days of shared carriage travel.



The two women were discussing their future course, their heads close together.



If one listened closely, snippets of their conversation could be heard through the windows. Do Yeonsan picked out Eun-yo's voice from the murmurings, a smile of happiness spreading on his face.



Riding horses in front of the carriage were Pyo Wol, Nam Shin-woo, and Sal-no.



For some reason, Sal-no claimed to be Pyo Wol's servant.



At first, it had been a joke, but now it had become quite natural, almost like a habit.



Pyo Wol looked at Sal-no and opened his mouth.



"Are you using him?"



"He's perfect for diverting attention."



"You seem to know about the Four Suns Clan."



"Yes! The clan's ambition led to a disaster. They waged war rashly without recognizing their real ability. Now they are paying the price. Most of the disciples have left, leaving only a few. They are barely surviving thanks to their wealth, but once they spend all of it, they will completely fall."



"But?"


"Any clan with a decent amount of information would know this. In their eyes, Chae Mu-ok joining the Poyang lake wouldn't be strange at all."



"So you want to disguise ourselves as his companions?"



"A man trying to be a hero to save a falling clan. And the people who are with him. That should be enough to pass through the surveillance without suspicion."



"Carefully planned."



"Thank you. Hehe!"



Sal-no smiled broadly.



He genuinely appreciated Pyo Wol's compliment.



As Sal-no drove the horse, he spoke.



"We'll be reaching the mouth of Cold Water Lake soon. If we take a boat from there, we can easily get to Poyang Lake via Dongting Lake. However...."



"However?"



"Poyang Lake is easy to access, so many clans have sent spies to watch it. If we do anything


suspicious, we will be caught by them."



Of course, if they moved the Hundred Wraith Union, they could manipulate Pyo Wol's information perfectly and avoid their surveillance. But that was a very troublesome task.


"It's like killing two birds with one stone, isn't it? He can comfortably reach his destination, and we can easily deceive their eyes."



"That's not enough."



"Huh?"



Thud!



Suddenly, the sound of bones resonated from Pyo Wol's face.



He was performing the reverse bone technique, which changes the face.



Bones shifted minutely, the placement of muscles slightly adjusted, and the overall shape of his face changed.


A moment later when Pyo Wol removed his hat, Sal-no had to doubt his eyes. A completely different face had appeared.



Pyo Wol's original face was enchanting. It was more than simply beautiful; it had a captivating charm. So, anyone could recognize him at first sight.



Despite mastering the reverse bone technique, Pyo Wol always acted in his original form.



That's why only a very few people knew that Pyo Wol had mastered the reverse technique.


Others didn't know that Pyo Wol could change his face at will. Now, no one could identify him by looking at Pyo Wol's face. It was that natural.



Even Sal-no would not have believed the extent of Pyo Wol's reverse bone skill if he had not seen it directly.



"We need to go this far to avoid their suspicion."



"It certainly seems so. The Union leader might dislike it, but this face is much better to look at."


Pyo Wol's new face was incredibly ordinary.



It was a face that you could see anywhere on the street.



Identifying Pyo Wol just by his appearance was now impossible.



Even Sal-no wouldn't have believed it unless he had directly seen Pyo Wol performing the reverse technique.



Sal-no said,



"From now on, the identity of Pyo Wol is Jin So-myeong, a scholar from the three Blue Pavilions."



"Jin So-myeong?"



"He lost his life in a rural area two months ago, but nobody knows about it yet. His personality was extremely introverted, with minimal interaction even when he was alive. If you steal his identity, no one will know."



"Good! Did the Hundred Wraith Union kill him?"



"Well..."



Instead of answering, Sal-no smiled meaningfully.

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