The Undefeatable Swordsman

Chapter 60. The Cold Glint of a Well-Polished Sword (7)
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Chapter 60. The Cold Glint of a Well-Polished Sword (7)

Seop Un-Ha, who hated the word “monster,” had an angry look on his face. He knew very well that Jeong I-Moon had been following him. He had been avoiding their meeting not because he was afraid of the Saber Emperor but because he didn’t feel the need to risk fighting an opponent on the same level as himself. However, he had delayed things for too long after meeting Woo-Moon and ended up being caught by Jeong I-Moon.

Although he was enraged at Jeong I-Moon for interfering with his plans, there was something else, something more important, holding him back right now—the fact that Woo-Moon was still here.

‘You may be just a brat, but if you help the Saber Emperor attack me, it’ll become a big problem.’

If it had been some random martial artist instead, the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor wouldn’t have had to worry at all, as no martial artist who valued his life would dare to intervene in a confrontation between him and the Saber Emperor.

However, at his young age, Woo-Moon had already reached a level where he could slightly influence a battle between Absolute Masters.

‘This isn’t good. That dog of the government knows no shame and doesn’t consider joint attacks or hidden strikes shameful.’

When he collected his thoughts, the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor kicked the ground and launched himself into the air.

“See you next time, you government mongrel!”

As he left, the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor also shouted at Woo-Moon.

“Remember! Three years! At that time, even the Palm Martial Emperor won’t be able to save you!”

Although the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor disappeared, the Saber Emperor didn’t follow the chase and instead stood eerily still, as if he were a jiangshi.[1]

In truth, Jeong I-Moon was also in poor physical condition, as he had been ordered to chase after the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor without rest. The Blood Cloud Devil Emperor had killed a relative of the imperial family three months ago, and he had been tracking the villain non-stop since then. Thus, he understood that on this day, he would have to be satisfied with cutting off the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor’s arm and injuring him.

Among fourteen known Absolute Masters, three were associated with the Imperial Government: the Battle Emperor Lee Jong-Gwang, the Saber Emperor Jeong I-Moon, and the Formless Flying Sword Yoon Ha-Rin—a member of the Six Rising Challengers rather than the Eight Heavenly Martial Emperors.

The Battle Emperor, Lee Jong-Gwang, was Commander in Chief of the Rear Army, overseeing the provinces of Gansu, Ninghe, Northern Shanxi, and Hefei. Meanwhile, Jeong I-Moon was an official who could act freely as the First Imperial Magistrate, only subject to the Emperor and none other.

Lastly, the Intangible Flying Sword Yoon Ha-Rin was the head of the Imperial Guard.

Woo-Moon bowed at Jeong I-Moon.

“Thank you for your help, great Sab—uh, I mean, great hero.”

Just as he was about to call him “Saber Emperor,” something he had heard from his grandfather came to mind.

—The Saber Emperor and the Battle Emperor absolutely abhor the titles of the Eight Heavenly Martial Emperors. From their perspective, no matter how strong a person is, how could they just randomly take the title of Emperor? So if you get a chance to meet those two in the future, be careful.

Jeong I-Moon, who was looking toward where the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor had fled, turned his gaze toward Woo-Moon.

Grrrrrrr!

Suddenly, a huge roar echoed from his stomach.

“Oh, it seems I am hungry. I’ve been chasing him so hard I forgot to eat and rest. Please take me to the nearest inn.”

***

Jeong I-Moon, still wearing his magistrate uniform that had once been black but now was a dirty gray, was now inhaling food in a manner completely unbefitting either an imperial official or an Absolute Master. He held a chicken leg in one hand and tore into it with his teeth; in the other, he held a bottle of wine from which he took generous swigs.

Even though his hands were dripping with chicken grease and they were so dirty that the dirt was mixing into the grease and dripping onto the chicken on his plate, he continued to eat without hesitation.

“Ha! This is delicious! This place is better than I thought it would be.”

There were more than ten different dishes on the table, and that was not counting the empty plates. However, Jeong I-Moon’s stomach seemed to be on par with his combat abilities, and he showed no signs of being full.

‘I'm not even mad, that’s incredible. He’s had ten servings and he looks like he hasn’t even started.’

Jeong I-Moon took some time to finish everything, but finally, he patted his stomach with a satisfied smile.

“Thank you very much. Thanks to you, my tongue has enjoyed a real treat today. However...”

As the Saber Emperor paused for quite some time, Woo-Moon smiled, understanding what was causing his hesitation. There was still more than enough money left from what he had received from the Iron Sword Baek Family to give a man like him some face.

“Please don’t worry, senior. You saved me, so I’ll handle the bill.”

Hearing it, Jeong I-Moon laughed happily.

“What a good kid! Thank you, son. As you can see, I’m just a simple magistrate, and my government salary wouldn’t cover even a mouse’s daily meals.”

Jeong I-Moon spoke in a relaxed and hearty manner, which was in fact befitting of his status. He patted Woo-Moon vigorously on the shoulder.

“You’re pretty good, aren’t you? I’ve never seen anyone at this level at your age. You really are impressive!”

After touching Woo-Moon’s shoulder and subtly inserting some qi into his body, Jeong I-Moon was secretly surprised at how profound and pure Woo-Moon’s qi was, so much so that it was hard to believe it was the inner qi of someone his age.

‘Hohoho, he really is impressive.’

Taking another gulp of alcohol, Jeong I-Moon threw the bottle at Woo-Moon.

“Drink.”

Woo-Moon, who had intended to grab the bottle without concerning himself about the grease on it, noticed just in time that it was imbued with a mighty amount of qi.

‘I guess he wants to test me again, huh?’

Woo-Moon didn’t just grab the bottle, but instead extended his middle finger, pressed it to the bottom of the bottle, and pushed it to the side. The bottle changed direction according to how he used force. As he moved his hand and drew a large circle, the bottle spun on Woo-Moon’s middle finger, and as it spun, all of the qi contained in the bottle of alcohol dissipated.

He then raised the bottle to his lips and took a sip.

Because of the rapid rotation combined with the qi diffusion, the alcohol was hot even though it hadn’t been heated beforehand.

“Ah~ this is pretty good.”

Kekeke! The more I look at you, the more impressive you are. Tell me, which of the twelve is your master?”

Considering the method that Woo-Moon had used to dissipate the high amount of qi that he had infused into the bottle without breaking the bottle or spilling any alcohol, he could tell that Woo-Moon did not only have outstanding qi, but also outstanding control over it. Naturally, Jeong I-Moon thought that Woo-Moon had to be a disciple of one of the other Absolute Masters.

“I’m not a disciple of any of them, but you might know my grandfather. His name is Baek Sang-Woon.”

Tsk. So you’re the grandson of that Palmy Muppet Error, huh?”

The relationship between the Palm Martial Emperor and the Saber Emperor, who were of the same age, was famously stormy. Although they got along well, they would always snap at each other when they saw each other and thoroughly enjoyed gossiping about their counterpart. f𝐫eewe𝚋nove𝗹.𝗰o𝚖

That was why Woo-Moon didn’t get angry even though the Saber Emperor was insulting his grandfather. When he was with Sang-Woon, Sang-Woon often gossiped about the Saber Emperor as well, and Woo-Moon could feel the affection in his words.

To be truthful, Jeong I-Moon had one thing in mind when he saw Woo-Moon’s strength.

‘Hmph! And here I thought that he would be a good replacement for me.’

Although he wasn’t very diligent in his duties, due to his natural laziness, his loyalty to the imperial family was unquestionable. One of his greatest regrets was that no one in the government could succeed him in the future and stabilize the country using the strength of an Absolute Master.

When he saw Woo-Moon, he thought that he had found the right person. It was a shame that Woo-Moon was the grandson of Sang-Woon, who pathologically hated government officials.

‘If I try to drag this guy into the government office, that bastard would definitely get angry, right? Tsk. And here I was, thinking I may have found someone who can learn my Soul-Chasing Saber Art. Hmm, maybe I should still talk about it.’

“Kid, what did you say your name was?”

“Song Woo-Moon, sir.”

“Good. Woo-Moon. Do you think you’d ever consider following me into government service?”

“The... government?”

Without having to think for a long time, Woo-Moon shook his head.

“I apologize. I’m not very interested in any government positions.”

“Damn it. You damned brat, piss off. I need to get some sleep. I haven’t been able to sleep properly because of that bastard Blood Cloud Devil Emperor. I have to chase after him again after I take a nap.”

“Don’t you think you’ll lose track of him like that?”

“Heh, as if. There’s no need to worry about that. I have this guy, you see.”

Jeong I-Moon opened the wooden locket hanging over his left breast, and a tiny mouse poked its head out from there.

“This is a spirit animal, the red-nosed mouse. Once it smells something, it can find where it is no matter where it's hiding.”

After saying that, Jeong In-Moon got up to go into his rented room. Suddenly, however, he looked down at Woo-Moonagain.

“Just in case, don’t ever think about learning the Merciless Blood Devil Art. Fortunately, the transmission of the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor’s skills wasn’t complete, so at the very least, the Merciless Blood Devil Art won’t continue to develop on its own within you.”

Jeong I-Moon had roughly grasped the situation before he attacked the Blood Cloud Devil Emperor earlier.

“Of course. I don’t have any intention of ever learning it.”

“Good. I hope you know your place. If you ever learn the Merciless Blood Devil Art... even if I feel guilty toward that old Baek asshole, I’ll have no choice but to kill you.”

In his last words, Woo-Moon could feel a tinge of bloodlust. However, he did not falter; instead, he nodded proudly.

With an indecipherable smile, Jeong I-Moon left for the guest room.

Ater paying for the food and leaving the inn, Woo-Moon headed to another inn not far away.

“Ah! Senior brother!”

Coincidentally, Si-Hyeon was also standing in front of the inn with Mu-Jae.

“What’s going on? Are you going somewhere?”

“They say even tigers would come if we call, so we were looking for you, senior brother. We are going to handle...” Si-Hyeon’s voice dropped. “...the Luminous Night Pearl together. Do you think we could do that now?”

Although there weren’t many people around, Si-Hyeon was careful, as she was well aware of the greed that an item like the Luminous Night Pearl could bring.

Although it wasn’t yet comparable to the efficacy of the Merciless Blood Devil Art, Woo-Moon’s Forbidden Divine Art also had a fantastic efficacy in healing one’s body. Thus, all of his internal injuries had completely improved as he ate with the Saber Emperor, so he was in good shape.

“Of course. If not me, who else, junior sister? Let’s go.”

“Thank you, senior brother!”

Si-Hyeon smiled.

Mu-Jae took the lead and led the way. He had been making plans for the re-establishment of the Leebi Guild and had been looking for a suitable place to handle the matter of the Luminous Night Pearl.

Until the very end, he had been torn between two banks and a merchant guild, and eventually, he ended up choosing the Hefei branch of the Golden Dragon Bank, the second-best bank in the entire continent.

***

One of the two women who were practically the most influential figures of the Iron Sword Baek Family, the eldest of the three siblings who were the children of the previous family head, Baek Hye-Ryeong, was meeting with the head of the Hefei Branch at the heart of the Golden Dragon Bank.

“Fine. So you’re saying that the income for the quarter is really only this much?”

“Yes. The thing is... there aren’t many usable slaves these days...”

“You know how much money we invested in this business, right? If you don’t achieve better results soon...”

Bloodlust flashed in Hye-Ryeong’s eyes.

The Hefei Branch manager trembled like a frog before a poisonous snake. He was more afraid of this woman than anyone else. She was bitter and vicious, and not only was she an influential figure in the Iron Sword Baek Family, but her personal cultivation was also incredibly high.

He had started to do business with her without knowing the scale of her power, and now, the Hefei Branch manager found himself unable to escape the terror that was Baek Hye-Ryeong.

“P-please believe me. This quarter, we definitely...”

“Trust you one more time? Fine. But there’s only so many times you can use this phrase. If this ‘one more time’ is not the last time, someone might end up lying forever in a cold place.”

Ending the discussion with these cruel words, Hye-Ryeong quickly walked out of the secret passage and returned to the Baek Estate. As she had left through the back exit of the Golden Dragon Bank, there was no chance of her running into Woo-Moon, who was now heading toward the front door.

***

When Woo-Moon and his party arrived at the main gate of the Golden Dragon Bank, they were stopped by a gatekeeper who asked them about their identity.

“This person is from the Iron—”

As Mu-Jae was about to explain, Woo-Moon cut him off with a voice transmission.

—Don’t tell them I’m from the Iron Sword Baek Family. I have a good idea.

The bank was a place where gold, silver, and other valuables were exchanged for the bank’s internal currency known as “vouchers.” In addition, the bank lent money to those who needed it... and collected interest.

Although the bank looked gorgeous on the outside, Woo-Moon knew very well what it was like on the inside. While working at the inn, he had heard many, many stories.

“We’ve come to entrust you with an item.”

The three people's clothes, although not flashy, still looked luxurious. Naturally, the gatekeeper knew that he was dealing with wealthy people; he opened the door without a word and allowed them inside under the guidance of a manager.

After walking down a long hallway, they arrived at a counter.

An elderly man wearing glasses and working hard on his abacus, looked at Woo-Moon through his lenses.

“What sort of item were you looking to entrust us with?”

1. Chinese corpse puppets. They stick their hands out like a mummy but stand rigid and tall instead of slightly off-kilter. ☜

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