Cale just looked away from Choi Jung Soo, who was warily eyeing him while still shoving stir-fried meat into his mouth.
He then picked up a dumpling.
It was at that moment.
Raon sounded anxious.
“A, are you going to eat more?”
Cale found this to be odd but answered the question.
“Yeah. I’m hungry.”
Beacrox got up from his seat.
“…I will go attempt to make a steak.”
He then put on two pairs of white gloves and then walked out.
“Human, are you okay?”
Raon truly looked concerned as he looked at Cale. Choi Jung Soo stopped eating as well and blankly asked.
“…You’re going to eat more?”
There was a pile of empty plates next to Cale.
It was not just one or two plates. There were at least five or six of them.
Cale answered nonchalantly before telling the truth after receiving some sharp gazes.
“My body is fully recovered, but it keeps asking for food, potentially because it used up a lot of energy. So, it is okay for me to eat.”
Raon poked a dumpling with a pair of chopsticks and placed it in front of Cale.
“Human, you need to recover quickly so eat a lot! You are right! You need to eat a lot to heal!”
“…But I’m fully recovered. No, I was never injured?”
Raon sighed and shook his head before pulling an apple pie out of his spatial dimension and placing it on the table.
It was an apple pie from the Roan Kingdom which was still fresh thanks to the effects of the spatial dimension.
“Human, I have a lot of apple pies. Eat a lot!”
Cale had a lot he wanted to say but just held it in.
Instead, he just silently ate.
And continued to eat… without stopping.
Choi Jung Soo looked at Cale, who looked as if he wouldn’t eat much but continued to eat nonstop, with disgust and stopped moving his chopsticks.
Cale noticed this and asked.
“Are you going to talk now?”
Choi Jung Soo sighed and put his chopsticks down before leaning back on his chair.
Now that Beacrox left, only Cale, Choi Han, Sui Khan, Raon, and Choi Jung Soo were in here.
Of course, outside this room… There were more people than before in the guest house. They all had things to do, so they could not all be together.
Ron was with Chief Eunuch Wi to deal with the Carnage Demon who had stealthily shown up, Durst was with Namgung Tae Wi, and Toonka was still keeping an eye on Number 7.
‘Somehow only the related people remained.’
Cale had that thought before hearing Choi Jung Soo start to speak and focused on him.
“I waited because I heard my dear colleague was about to come.”
Choi Jung Soo then smiled. Cale opened his mouth to speak.
That seemed to make Choi Jung Soo realize something as he pulled an old book out of his pocket.
It was an extremely old book without even a title on it.
That book was placed on the table.
“This is for my paternal cousin once removed.”
Choi Jung Soo then pushed the book toward Choi Han.
He couldn’t make eye contact with Choi Han and just scratched his head as he did that.
“I almost forgot.”
Cale quietly watched before nonchalantly commenting.
“Is that the Sky Sword thing?”
The martial arts that the entire Triumvirate was going crazy to find.
“Oh. You do know about it. There is nothing my colleague does not know!”
Cale looked at Sui Khan. However, Sui Khan was already not looking at either Cale or Choi Jung Soo and was just looking up in the air with his arms crossed.
He didn’t even sigh.
Choi Jung Soo commented, almost as if he was mumbling to himself, at that moment.
“For some reason, I can’t look at him.”
He then peeked toward Choi Han.
Cale was wondering what he was doing, but… Choi Han was also unable to look at Choi Jung Soo and was simply staring at the Sky Sword with a piercing gaze, making Cale keep his mouth shut.
Choi Han mumbled in a low voice.
“…I heard that you were being chased by martial artists because of this.”
“…Well, that is true.”
Choi Jung Soo responded in a quiet voice, which was not like his usual self.
“…But you are going to give this to me?”
“…You could say that.”
The two Chois were silent without being able to look at each other.
“Choi Han, why are you so stiff? And glutton Choi Jung Soo, are you always so concerned about what other people might be thinking?”
Raon tilted his head and asked but the two Chois could not respond.
Cale sighed internally while looking at them.
‘This is unexpected.’
He knew how much Choi Han had longed for Choi Jung Soo and for family.
Furthermore, he had also seen how lonely Choi Jung Soo had been, living on his own.
That was why he had thought that the moment these two met each other might be a bit… emotional.
‘But I guess this is how they are?’
Choi Han looked innocent but he was not the type to show his emotions on his face.
Choi Jung Soo looked a bit looser, but he was also stoic. He was someone who had created graves for his family. Someone like that could not survive without becoming emotionless.
Choi Han also had to survive by becoming emotionless at a young age.
“Choi Jung Soo.”
Cale knew the two of them would keep at this forever if he left them alone, so he got right down to business.
“Are you working for the God of Death?”
Choi Jung Soo’s face instantly looked unsettled.
“…Well, you could say that. There is a contract. Like our team leader-nim.”
He made eye contact with Sui Khan.
“Of course, the team leader-nim has quit now. But this is disappointing. I wanted to see your new reincarnated appearance. You probably look like a cute little bird.”
“Hey Jung Soo.”
Jung Soo laughed at the team leader calling his name in a low voice before looking at Cale and continuing to speak.
“You came to fight the Blue Bloods, right?’
“Yeah. So spill everything you know.”
Choi Jung Soo smiled at Cale’s emotionless comment, as if he had expected this.
“This reminds me of when we used to work together.”
Cale avoided his gaze once Choi Jung Soo mumbled that comment. His smile grew even bigger while looking at Cale and he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket.
“Take a look.”
He opened the crumpled paper.
Cale nonchalantly mumbled after seeing Korean written on it.
“Your handwriting still sucks.”
“People shouldn’t change.”
Cale’s gaze moved toward Choi Jung Soo. Choi Jung Soo laughed as he spoke.
“I’m exactly the same as I used to be. Don’t you think so?”
Cale looked at the paper instead of responding.
Choi Jung Soo’s physical appearance, despite it being long since Cale last saw him, looked exactly the same as the Choi Jung Soo in Kim Rok Soo’s memories.
However, Cale could not agree with that.
It made no sense that team leader Lee Soo Hyuk and Choi Jung Soo were both the same as that time.
Just like Kim Rok Soo had changed, they had changed as well.
Cale calmed himself.
It was because he was reminded of Choi Jung Soo’s last moment. It naturally made him recall Lee Soo Hyuk of that time as well.
He could not think of that.
At least not right now.
Cale slowly closed his eyes before opening them back.
The footage appearing in his mind turned off and his mind emptied.
Cale could finally focus on the terrible handwriting on the paper.
“…Is this true?”
The moment Cale’s gaze headed toward Choi Jung Soo…
Lee Soo Hyuk had moved behind Cale and was looking at the paper.
“Yeah. It is. Finding out this information was my mission.”
Cale smiled as Choi Jung Soo responded while eating more noodles.
“…The Blood Cult is in Sichuan.”
That was where one of the Orthodox faction’s Five Great Clans, the Tang Clan of Sichuan, were located. Furthermore, two of the Nine Sects One Gang, the Emei Sect and the Diancang Sect, were there as well.
In addition to them, the Iron Street Market, one of the Divergent Coalition’s famous major factions, as well as the top demon of the Five Demons were there. Finally, there were other forces from the Unorthodox faction there as well, creating a balance between the Orthodox faction and the Unorthodox faction.
Basically, there were no forces in this world’s Central Plains that controlled Sichuan.
As a result, all sorts of things happened there, making it chaotic.
That was where the Blood Cult was hiding.
“…I thought that they would be in some remote place or deep in the mountains.”
Sui Khan mumbled, thinking this was weird, and Choi Jung Soo nodded his head.
“That was why it was hard to find the location.”
Cale added on.
“It’s even harder to find them when they are disguised as a merchant guild.”
The Pure Silver Merchant guild.
There were currently three major merchant guilds in the Central Plains.
Cale pulled up the information the Imperial family gave him from his records.
“There were originally only two great merchant guilds, but the Pure Silver Merchant guild started growing since about fifty years ago to create three great merchant guilds?”
“That’s right. In addition, the Pure Silver Merchant guild is peculiar in that they have grown in Sichuan, which is a slightly remote area.”
Choi Jung Soo explained further.
“The Pure Silver Merchant guild has established trade with Nanman, an Outlands region beyond Sichuan and Yunnan, allowing them to sell the precious items they get from there.”
The Central Plains had a few places they called the Outlands, regions beyond the Central Plains.
The area to the south was called Nanman.
Nanman had a completely different culture than the Central Plains, and there was a lot of wariness toward each other, making it rare for there to be exchanges.
Cale nonchalantly commented.
“Although the Blood Cult is in Sichuan, their forces may extend to Yunnan and Nanman.”
“I agree with you. It is possible that the main branch of the Pure Silver Merchant guild in Sichuan has ties to the Blood Cult or may even be a part of it.”
Cale nodded his head at Choi Jung Soo’s comment before immediately responding.
“We will first take care of the living jiangshis and get rid of the possibility of the Great War of the Triumvirate.”
They could not charge into the Blood Cult because they had a good idea about where they were located.
‘One of the three great merchant guilds…’
First of all, the Blood Cult had a lot of money.
They probably had a ton of believers as well.
But to charge in immediately?
‘We could get hurt.’
Most importantly, the entire Martial Arts world would fall into chaos and there would be a lot of innocent casualties if they barged into the Blood Cult and they activated all of the living jiangshis around the Central Plains to detonate.
“Even if it is slow, we need to slowly go one step at a time.”
Raon suddenly shouted.
His small and chubby two front paws slammed down on the ground, making the entire room shake.
Raon continued to speak as Cale gulped in fear.
“We need to destroy the Blood Cult right away! It is disappointing that we will do it slowly! I made a promise to stone Central Plains! I said that we will completely destroy the Blood Cult!”
‘…He shouldn’t have been able to talk to Central Plains since he turned into a stone statue… What did he say and what kinds of promises were made?’
Cale found this to be odd but offered a candied fruit to Raon, who seemed disgruntled with his cheeks puffed up.
He then lightheartedly commented.
“We will first go to the Martial Arts Alliance and take care of the living jiangshi in the Orthodox faction. Then we will take care of the Demon Cult followed by the Unorthodox faction. We will take care of the Blood Cult at the end.”
He then evaluated his plan with a casual tone.
He felt that his surroundings had turned oddly quiet and looked around at the others.
“What is it?”
Sui Khan sighed.
“Seeing this and experiencing it in person are different.”
Sui continued to speak to Choi Jung Soo without caring about Cale being confused.
“Hey Jung Soo.”
“Go peck around at the God of Death to see if there are other ways of purifying living jiangshis.”
Choi Han, who had been quietly listening, started to speak.
“We will ask Number 7 one more time as well. Maybe there is a way to take care of the living jiangshis.”
Choi Jung Soo peeked at him and commented.
“T, that is a g, great idea, paternal cousin once removed-nim.”
Cale clenched his eyes shut.
– Cale, do you need to purify? If you die, the hyung-nims and noonims will kill me too.
He heard the crybaby’s voice when he closed his eyes.
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“Let’s call in Chief Eunuch Wi and Elder Ho.”
‘Let’s just work.’
Cale wanted to quickly head back home.
But there was something he needed to confirm before that.
“Choi Jung Soo.”
“When do you need to go?”
Smile. The corners of Choi Jung Soo’s lips curled up.
“Whenever I want to go?”
Cale tapped at the table before asking Choi Jung Soo a question in a casual tone.
“You’re going to leave this world in the end too, aren’t you?”
“That’s right. I’ll probably leave when you do?”
“Then let me make you an offer.”
Sui Khan watched the corners of Choi Jung Soo’s lips twitch as they curled up. His eyes were sparkling.
He looked like a kid who was about to do something fun.
Sui Khan chuckled before shrugging his shoulders at Choi Han when they made eye contact.
They heard Cale’s voice at that moment.
“Let’s spread some rumors that the Sword Demon is a part of the Blood Cult.”
Sui Khan held back a sigh.
“Ohh, me being a part of the Blood Cult? Really?”
“Yeah. I think we need to spread some rumors about the Blood Cult in the Central Plains to start. We will also spread a rumor that the Blood Cult has the Sky Sword.”
“Oh, that sounds fun!”
“The Blood Cult needs to struggle too.”
“Hahaha! The martial artists are going to go crazy not only looking for me but also the Blood Cult!”
Sui quietly watched the youngest members of his team chatting with each other while on the same frequency.
In the end, he made a comment.
“Hey Rok Soo, Jung Soo. You two haven’t changed at all.”
Sui Khan lowered his head after seeing the two youngest of his team finding his slightly tired voice to be odd.
“Hey Sui Khan, do you have a headache? Eat this!”
He silently placed the candied fruit Raon offered him in his mouth.
One of his hands continued to touch his scabbard. It was as if he was itching to pull it out and go fight.
Choi Han observed him and touched his scabbard as well.
“The atmosphere seems weird! I want to see crown prince Alberu for some reason!”
Cale ignored Raon’s words.
* * *
“I will go to the Martial Arts Alliance as well.”
The Sword Saint looked Cale right in the eyes and spoke seriously.
No, he spoke with determination.
“Young master Kim, I will assist you with your needs.”
Cale thought that this was good. Elder Ho, one of the Beggars’ Gang’s elders and the Sword Saint of the Namgung Clan helping him should make everything go smoothly.
“I would have no issues at all if you would be with us, Sword Saint.”
Cale responded as calmly as possible.
The Sword Saint then responded with a solemn look on his face.
“I’m glad that I can be of help. We should stop by the Namgung Clan for a moment to leave Tae Wi there and then head toward the Martial Arts Alliance.
Cale opened his mouth to happily agree.
However, he closed his mouth after what the Sword Saint said next.
“I know you are in a hurry, but I will be very happy if our benefactor could stop by the Namgung Clan for a bit.”
‘…What the hell, why is his gaze like that……’
Cale felt unsettled at the Sword Saint’s burning gaze.
He heard the invisible Raon’s voice in his mind at that moment.
– Human! Are we finally looting the Namgung Clan?
‘…I don’t know. I don’t think looting the Namgung Clan is the issue right now?’
Cale subconsciously looked away from the old man’s burning gaze.
The back of his neck felt oddly cold.
Passionate gaze from the Sword Saint to Cale…hohoho
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