The heater from the Fire of Purification was in Cale’s hand.
He waited for the Namgung Clan’s people to enter the deserted house and turned on the mirror’s screen for the first time in a long while.
He then turned toward Beacrox.
“What is it?”
Beacrox asked brusquely and Cale responded with a question.
“Is Central Plains okay?”
Beacrox opened the small bag he had on his back next to his greatsword.
The young monk stone statue was still there.
“What is it?”
Cale shook his head at the team leader’s question.
“It’s nothing much. You can just ignore it.”
“…But you are getting notifications? Aren’t those for messages?”
“They are fine to ignore.”
Ding, ding, ding!
The mirror was showing previews of the newest message and a few others.
Looking at them from the oldest message…
– Cale-nim, sob sob. I am contacting you like this because my clone turned into stone! You must have been very worried about me.
– Cale-nim, I, Central Plains, am doing fine…! Don’t you miss me?
– Cale-nim, you’re so cool! You’re the best! Please use those annoying Namgung Clan punks as much as you want!
– …I, I’m fine and well! You were curious about that, right? I’ll go see you soon in a clone!
-…Are you seeing my messages and ignoring them right now? How could you?!
Cale turned the screen off and pushed it into his pocket.
He then casually commented.
“Are you curious about what that is?”
The Fist King immediately nodded his head.
“I thought it was a mirror but I feel a mysterious aura from it.”
Cale was amazed.
This was the first time someone said something like this about this mirror.
“What kind of aura did you feel?”
“It seems subdued despite its luxurious appearance, and… I also feel a heavy aura. Can I ask you what that is?”
Cale answered normally as he did not think it was anything much.
“There is this annoying god named the God of Death. He gave it to me. I can travel through worlds with this mirror.”
Elder Ho gasped.
‘The God of Death?
Travel through worlds?’
His pupils were shaking.
“I see. You definitely have what it takes to converse with gods like that.”
Elder Ho was even more astonished at the Fist King’s extremely calm response.
‘…Is he really an immortal or something?’
He could not fathom this young master Kim’s identity at all.
Furthermore, the Fist King…
‘His aura has changed.’
He truly seemed like a regular old man now. That was why he could not scope out how high his martial arts level might be.
“I can tell now that I have gotten to this point. You truly are amazing.”
And how strong must young master Kim be if that Fist King was talking about him like this?
“…But I’m not that amazing?”
Young master Kim seemed embarrassed as he scowled and mumbled back. Elder Ho could sense young master Kim’s martial arts level from his casual demeanor.
‘Amazing. He has reached such a level but is always respectful and speaks formally to others.’
His body and mind… Both seemed highly disciplined.
It was at that moment.
“They have arrived.”
Chief Eunuch Wi opened the door to the deserted house.
The Sword Saint let out a fake cough as he walked in.
He still did not seem too pleased about this.
– I have brought him.
Cale heard the Sword Saint’s sound transmission in his mind.
Cale stood up and extended his hand toward the Sword Saint.
“Thank you for listening to our request.”
“…It is not something to be thankful for.”
The Sword Saint grabbed his hand before quickly letting go.
“Tae Wi. You do it.”
He then stepped back and motioned toward Namgung Tae Wi with his eyes.
“Yes, Ancestral Patriarch-nim.”
Namgung Tae Wi gently smiled as he walked forward. The Heavenly Guardians. As one of the squad leaders of that tenacious martial artist organization, he gave off a gentleness that was not visible.
“I have heard from the Ancestral Patriarch-nim. The Imperial family wishes to work with the Martial Arts Alliance to capture the Sword Demon?”
Chief Eunuch Wi responded.
“…Is it that you desire the Sky Sword?”
Namgung Tae Wi asked gently but there was a sharpness hidden within his words.
His gaze headed toward Cale, who had sat back down.
Cale calmly responded before motioning to Chief Eunuch Wi with his eyes. It was a signal for the two of them to discuss it.
The Sword Saint and Cale… Both of them stepped back.
Both of them then stopped looking at Namgung Tae Wi and Chief Eunuch Wi.
Cale stealthily looked to his left.
– Human, the priest’s face looks funny!
Priest Durst… He was using his baggy sleeves to cover his nose.
While that was going on, Chief Eunuch Wi and Namgung Tae Wi were discussing the cooperation between the Imperial family and the Martial Arts Alliance.
“The wishes of the Martial Arts Alliance may differ from the wishes of the Namgung Clan.”
“Hooooo. Noble Warrior Namgung, can I take that as you wishing to go against the will of the Imperial family?”
– Human, Chief Eunuch Wi is great at acting!
Cale slightly nodded his head at Raon’s comment before making eye contact with Durst.
“What do you think?”
He asked in a low voice.
Of course, he saw Namgung Tae Wi’s gaze head toward them at that moment.
As a martial artist, his senses were better developed and he should have heard Cale’s voice.
It didn’t matter if he heard.
Cale noticed it the moment he saw Durst’s eyes.
Durst didn’t know how to use sound transmission or magic either.
“I can feel it even better smelling it up close.”
Furthermore, this priest had no filter. Especially when he talked.
“I smell a stench that is much worse than that of jiangshis. That guy does seem to be a living jiangshi.”
Chief Eunuch Wi, Elder Ho, the Sword Saint, and Mok Hee…
The four of their eyes opened wide.
– You are saying it so openly?
The Sword Saint shouted through a sound transmission.
– Without even feeling it out? Immediately, like this?!
He was asking in disbelief, however…
“Why waste time beating around the bush?”
Cale just looked at the Sword Saint and responded out loud since he couldn’t use sound transmission.
“Let’s check right away.”
He got up and looked at the blankly standing Namgung Tae Wi. Namgung Tae Wi stopped looking at Cale and turned toward Durst before starting to speak.
“…Are you talking about me? Did you just say that I am a living jiangshi? Living jiangshi, what kind of-”
He looked completely flabbergasted.
His face looked so honest that the Sword Saint’s pupils shook for a moment.
‘Maybe they are wrong?’
The moment he had that thought…
“Hmm. Then there is a way to confirm.”
Durst responded. Cale decided to trust Durst, who seemed most reliable and certain right now since they got to this world, and asked.
“Noble Warrior Do. What way is that?”
Durst calmly commented.
The people from the Central Plains, Ron, Beacrox, Choi Han, and Raon… Even Sui Khan and Cale’s gazes were focused on him.
“The Blood Cult has created living jiangshis.”
It was at that moment.
The Fist King’s sound transmission reached Cale’s ears.
– Young master Kim. Namgung Tae Wi flinched slightly the moment the Blood Cult was mentioned.
Cale recalled a conversation he had with the people of the Central Plains before coming to this deserted house.
‘There are records of living jiangshis, however… We do not know any specifics about their appearances or behaviors.’
‘Basically, we do not know how living jiangshis act. We also don’t know how they look.’
‘That is correct. There may be some information in documents that his Majesty can check, however, it will take too long to return to Beijing to figure that out.’
‘If we assume someone is a living jiangshi and go against them, we should find some peculiarities compared to normal people. The method of creating living jiangshis that the Blood Cult has recovered… I am curious about those results.’
The conversation with Chief Eunuch Wi and the Fist King…
Cale was thinking about that conversation as he heard Durst’s lighthearted voice.
“I heard that the Blood Cult is a religion? The Blood Demon is the leader, right? They treat him as if he is a god? Great.”
Durst addressed Namgung Tae Wi.
“The Blood Demon is a stupid idiot!”
Cale clenched his eyes shut.
“Screw the Blood Cult! The Blood Demon should die! The Blood Demon is the weakest most useless thing in the world! The Blood Demon does not deserve to live!”
Durst then beckoned Namgung Tae Wi.
“Please repeat those words.”
Cale couldn’t help but sigh.
– H, human. T, that is truly an unbelievable method! Is the old priest out of his mind?
He let Raon’s comments in one ear and out the other.
Instead, Cale spoke to Namgung Tae Wi, who looked completely flabbergasted.
“You’ve been found out.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about, sir.”
“Then we just have to check.”
The Fist King flinched and turned his gaze at that moment. He was looking at Cale’s hand.
An extremely small flame was rising from Cale’s palm.
‘He can release the aura of nature so suddenly like that?
A pure aura of nature without any internal ki at that?’
As the Fist King was unable to take his eyes away from the flame…
Namgung Tae Wi looked at the Sword Saint as if he could not believe this situation at all.
“These sirs seem to be saying something weird right now.”
His pupils were shaking.
“It sounds like everybody feels certain that I am a living jiangshi. Is that correct?”
Namgung Tae Wi stepped away from Cale’s group and toward the Sword Saint.
“Living jiangshi? What kind of nonsense is that?! I thought that living jiangshis were gone now, weren’t they? We have not seen any for centuries!”
Namgung Tae Wi’s voice was slowly getting louder. Discomfort was visible on his face.
‘He looks human.’
Cale thought that this guy really looked like a person.
At that moment…
Namgung Tae Wi stopped walking toward the Sword Saint.
“Ancestral Patriarch-nim, no, grandfather. Did you know about this as well?”
He looked at the Sword Saint with disbelief.
“Grandfather! It’s me, Tae Wi! How could I be a living jiangshi?! A jiangshi? I am a person of the Namgung Clan! I know I am not a direct descendant, but do you know how much……!”
The Sword Saint clenched his eyes shut.
‘He’s a person.’
No matter how much he thought about it, this guy in front of him was a person.
He was also his grandson.
Namgung Tae Wi started walking toward the Sword Saint again.
Chief Eunuch Wi and the Fist King were approaching him one step at a time as he did that.
“Grandfather, this doesn’t seem right! Does the patriarch-nim, no, does uncle know about this? No, more importantly, does my father know about this? What about my mother?”
“… Tae Wi.”
The Sword Saint opened his eyes after hearing Namgung Tae Wi bring up his parents.
He saw it at that moment.
He saw Namgung Tae Wi’s teary eyes that were feeling completely betrayed.
He must have still thought that the only person he could trust in here was the Sword Saint as he extended his hand toward the Sword Saint in desperation.
It was at that moment.
Someone suddenly groaned.
Cale turned toward the person.
“The rotten stench……!”
Durst was pinching his nose.
He scowled while pointing at Namgung Tae Wi.
“The rotten stench has gotten worse! We need to check-”
After he said that much… Cale opened his mouth to speak.
The Fist King’s hand was already reaching for Namgung Tae Wi before Cale could even finish.
The Sword Saint’s body reached after seeing the Fist King’s hand reaching toward Namgung Tae Wi.
It was because he saw the internal ki gathered in the Fist King’s hand.
Namgung Tae Wi’s arm might break if that internal ki touched him wrong.
Namgung Tae Wi looked anxious as he reached out toward the Sword Saint.
He truly looked like an extremely shocked person reaching out to someone he could trust for help.
The moment even Cale thought that it did not look like an act…
The Sword Saint grabbed both of Namgung Tae Wi’s hands.
As Namgung Tae Wi smiled in relief toward the Sword Saint for believing him…
The Fist King grabbed the edges of Namgung Tae Wi’s clothes.
He then ripped it.
Cale saw Namgung Tae Wi’s back.
‘He really looks like a person?’
It was too normal.
From the color of the skin to the movement of the muscles… everything looked like a living person.
His complexion was even better than Cale’s.
It was at that moment.
The Sword Saint’s voice was shaking.
As the upper part of the clothes fell down…
His gaze headed toward Namgung Tae Wi’s heart.
On that left chest…
On the spot where the heart should be…
It was black.
A grotesque black heart had opened up the skin and glowed red as it came up.
“Ugh. The stench has gotten even worse!”
Durst tightly pinched his nose as if he was in severe pain now.
The Sword Saint raised his head.
His grand nephew who was slightly taller than him…
He made eye contact with Namgung Tae Wi.
All emotion had disappeared from Namgung Tae Wi’s face.
The now visible grotesque black heart was beating wildly.
Namgung Tae Wi started to speak at that moment.
“If discovered, make completing the final goal the top priority.”
His voice was completely emotionless.
The Sword Saint could see Namgung Tae Wi trying to hug him.
His grand nephew’s hands tightly clenched his.
It was as if he could not let go.
“The final goal.”
The grotesque black heart beat wildly whenever Namgung Tae Wi spoke.
“Murder the Sword Saint.”
The moment the Sword Saint’s pupils shook…
Black threads shot out of Namgung Tae Wi’s black heart and spread out around his body.
The way they resembled veins going red looked quite gross.
Elder Ho subconsciously shouted.
It had not even taken a few seconds. The black threads had covered Namgung Tae Wi’s body that quickly.
He would explode soon.
The martial artists figured that out.
‘There were no records of something like this!’
Chief Eunuch Wi scowled.
They did not know that these living jiangshis could turn to explosion state so quickly.
‘Or maybe the living jiangshis that the Blood Cult has created are like this?’
They were made to explode almost immediately if discovered.
‘If that is the case, this is too dangerous!’
It was highly likely that most people would fall victim if all of the living jiangshis were like this.
‘What do we do?
Wouldn’t young master Kim’s purification go through some sort of process as well?
How could he channel such power instantly?
He needs time to purify the living jiangshi!
That was why we were going to bind Namgung Tae Wi and give young master Kim the time to go through the purification ritual!’
However, they could not do that.
“We need to quickly escape!”
Chief Eunuch Wi shouted and extended his hand toward the Sword Saint.
The old man was blanking out as if he was shocked by Namgung Tae Wi’s appearance.
This old man was a leader of the Orthodox faction. He could not let him die like this.
It was at that moment.
Chief Eunuch Wi saw someone’s hand stop him.
It was the Fist King.
As he was about to complain…
Chief Eunuch Wi flinched.
Something touched his nose.
It was air.
Air was definitely touching his nose but something was different.
He turned his gaze.
Young master Kim.
Young master Kim was standing firm.
The small heater in his hand had turned red.
His two hands had flames that were even clearer than the heater.
They were golden thunderbolts.
Smoke started rising from the heater.
The smoke spread quickly as if to instantly swallow the deserted house.
The moment he breathed in that smoke…
‘It is nature.’
Nature was the only way to describe this aura.
It was extremely clean.
Furthermore, it had gentleness to it as if it would wash away all falsehoods.
It was impossible to believe that this aura was released by someone who had released an aura that felt as if it would dominate over everything.
However, it was impossible to understand the depth of this aura, similar to that dominating aura.
It was clear and beautiful.
Chief Eunuch Wi turned to look at Cale.
His eyes started tearing up without his knowledge.
‘It’s the same-’
He had felt this aura before.
When he first started learning martial arts…
The moment he first felt internal ki on his skin…
That clear aura that had wrapped around him at that time…
Of course, young master Kim’s aura was clear yet hot, as if it would burn everything down.
However, that smoke did not burn them and only embraced them with warmth.
‘It’ll be fine.’
Chief Eunuch Wi relaxed and looked toward young master Kim and Namgung Tae Wi.
Namgung Tae Wi’s body started moving up and down at that moment.
A groan came out of Namgung Tae Wi’s mouth.
100 chapters in! What else is to come…
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