Who was the Sword Saint?
He was the Namgung Clan’s Ancestral patriarch and one of the Orthodox faction’s five saints.
Furthermore, he was famous for his pride.
He basically never lowered his head even toward the Martial Arts Alliance leader or anybody older than him.
That was why seeing the Sword Saint lower his head toward Cale made someone gasp.
However, that person became shocked at his actions and covered his mouth with both hands.
It was because he was scared of the Sword Saint’s cold gaze.
‘Who is he?’
‘Young master Kim? Who is that?’
Everybody just peeked at Cale or openly looked at him to scope him out.
‘I don’t know?’
‘…He doesn’t seem strong?’
However, all they saw was a slightly pale and skinny guy whose martial arts level was terrible.
There were some people with sharp gazes among those spectators.
‘The Sword Saint lowering his head? This is not trivial information.’
‘Benefactor? How long has it been since the Namgung Clan had a benefactor?’
‘I need to inform the boss about this! The Sword Demon is important but we have to look into this as well!’
They stealthily left and went in different directions.
Chief Eunuch Wi slowly motioned with his eyes to the Eastern Depot member standing next to him.
– Follow the movements of the people who just left. Figure out if they are part of the Unorthodox faction, Orthodox faction, or Demon Cult.
If none of the above…
– Or if they are from the Blood Cult. They are definitely people moving to deliver information.
– Yes sir!
The Eastern Depot member slowly moved away. That member had people working for him as well, so Chief Eunuch Wi would soon receive information about the people who just left.
‘I’ll need to report it to young master Kim.’
This information would then be filtered through Chief Eunuch Wi and delivered to Cale.
He turned to look at Cale.
Cale was standing there with a scowl as if he found all of this to be awkward.
‘Based on the messenger-nim’s personality, he probably doesn’t like such an openly respectful treatment.’
Chief Eunuch Wi looked toward the Sword Saint.
‘The Sword Saint is treating the young master-nim like this despite knowing that is the case.’
The reason was simple.
‘He wants to openly let people know that he is the Namgung Clan’s benefactor.’
Messing with young master Kim is messing with the Namgung Clan and the Sword Saint.
Do so only if you are confident that you can handle our sword.
That was probably the meaning behind it.
‘It’s definitely something they would do based on the records we have regarding the Namgung Clan’s benefactors in the past.’
With their extremely high pride, that clan would not stand to watch their benefactor be harmed.
‘However, I don’t think the Sword Saint is showing such care toward young master Kim-nim just because of that.’
The Sword Saint was someone who was more calculative than he looked and focused a lot on the benefits for his clan.
Chief Eunuch Wi looked toward Elder Ho.
The Elder of the Beggars’ Gang. He was looking at this scene as if he had made a mistake.
‘Young master Kim-nim is heading toward the Martial Arts Alliance.’
The Sword Saint was showing that the Orthodox faction’s person standing next to young master Kim was not the Beggars’ Gang of the Nine Sects One Gang but the Namgung Clan of the Nine Sects One Gang. He wanted to show that it was his clan.
‘He’s probably plotting on looking like a victim of the Blood Cult’s schemes while using this opportunity to increase the Namgung Clan’s power in the Martial Arts Alliance.’
The Martial Arts world truly had to be cautious of these old monsters.
‘The Carnage Demon probably has similar thoughts, which led her to agree to escort young master Kim-nim to the Unorthodox faction.’
Chief Eunuch Wi peeked toward Cale again.
‘And I’m sure young master Kim-nim is keeping them by his side despite knowing all of this.’
Furthermore, Chief Eunuch Wi thought that Cale would treat such petty schemes or greed as not important on his path and just go down the most efficient way.
‘This sir is someone who showed that intense aura in front of his Majesty as well.’
These old monsters probably looked like clowns to him.
Chief Eunuch Wi looked at the still silent Cale and slowly smiled. He thought that being able to serve Cale would remain a proud accomplishment of his life.
– H, human! D, did you see that?
At that time, Cale was letting an anxious Raon’s voice in one ear and out the other.
He just gulped without making it visible.
– It’s a golden carriage! That doesn’t look like paint?!
He did not ignore this one.
‘It definitely doesn’t. Can you use gold to create the walls of a carriage?’
There was a golden carriage sparkling behind the 300 or so members of the Heavenly Guardians.
“Please get on.”
Cale seemed to be in a daze as he nodded his head at the Sword Saint’s comment.
‘I heard that the Namgung Clan was wealthy, but it looks like they are even wealthier than I imagined.’
They had to be in order to prepare a golden carriage to take Cale.
– Human, let’s loot the Namgung Clan!
‘Should we really do that?’
Cale heard a sound transmission as he subconsciously had that thought.
– I prepared a carriage because your body did not seem to be fully healed. Tae Wi will be in a different carriage so you can relax with your people.
The Sword Saint stoically commented.
– Once we reach the clan, I will give you an elixir that is good for recovering your health. You ended up like this saving Tae Wi, so shouldn’t it be on the Namgung Clan to heal our benefactor?
An elixir that someone with the Sword Saint’s level of discerning eye was saying was good…
– The elixir should suit you well since you use a power with the aura of fire, young master Kim.
Cale just nodded his head.
He didn’t know how to send sound transmissions.
He started to think.
‘…It looks like they’ll just give things to me even if I don’t loot them.’
It felt as if the Sword Saint would do that.
The Sword Saint was amazed that Cale just gently nodded his head despite the golden carriage and mention of an elixir.
‘I didn’t think he would be extremely excited, but he shows no signs of being happy.’
However, he still accepted it.
‘He is a member of the Imperial family so I guess he wouldn’t be shocked by gold or money.’
Of course, the Sword Saint didn’t know that the truth was that Cale didn’t know how to send sound transmissions and did not want to talk about elixirs in front of so many people.
‘Hmm. But this is still hurting my pride.’
The Sword Saint’s level of pride toward the Namgung Clan was at its peak.
As such, he wanted to do something that could shock this dignified young man.
‘I, the Sword Saint, and our Namgung Clan want to shock this person who has reached the Nature Realm and is the eldest senior of the Imperial family.’
It is also an investment.’
The Anhui Province had fertile land.
The Namgung Clan was famous for being land rich in such a place.
Even with such fertile lands, it was hard to build wealth if they lacked knowledge of commerce.
The Sword Saint had naturally trained a lot in martial arts but also in business.
‘You need to invest big in people like young master Kim. Small things are not important.’
He slowly clenched his fists.
‘I’ll need to get that elixir ready.’
The Sword Saint’s eyes sparkled. He smiled while looking at Cale, who avoided his gaze as if he did not see it.
‘Why is he like this?’
As for Cale, he avoided the Sword Saint’s gaze because it was vicious. He then walked toward the golden carriage as naturally as possible.
Inside the open carriage door…
– Wow. Human, there are delicious candied fruits here!
He heard the invisible Raon’s excited voice.
The Heavenly Guardians had gotten up at some point to shoo away the spectators.
And the leader of the Heavenly Guardians… Namgung Ji Hyuk was attentively looking at Cale.
‘A benefactor all of a sudden?’
He had not heard the details from the Sword Saint.
‘Heavenly Guardians leader, I’ll tell you the details when we are with the patriarch, so send the swiftest member of the Guardians to the clan.’
‘…What message shall I send, sir?’
‘We are going to need a Grand assembly.’
‘…! It is that big of an issue?’
The grand assembly.
This was an assembly where the patriarch, elders, and those who were leaders in the clan all gathered together.
The last grand assembly was when the decision was made for the current patriarch to take over the position from the Sword Saint.
Basically, this assembly only happened when there were big issues related to the Namgung Clan’s future.
‘Yes. It is that big of an issue. However, let the patriarch know. Let him know that it will not be dangerous.’
Namgung Ji Hyuk observed Cale as he got onto the carriage while thinking about his conversation with the Sword Saint.
‘As long as young master Kim is with us… The Namgung Clan’s name might rise to the top of the Martial Arts world.’
Young master Kim.
Who was this person?
“Heavenly Guardians leader.”
“… Ancestral Patriarch-nim.”
Namgung Ji Hyuk urgently lowered his head after being called by the Sword Saint as he thought that his gaze toward Cale had been noticed.
Pat pat. Namgung Ji Hyuk immediately responded after feeling the Sword Saint’s hand pat his shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Ancestral Patriarch-nim. I was just curious… I will make sure something like this does not happen again as we do our best to protect young master Kim-nim.”
“…Did you say protect young master Kim?”
“…Yes sir. I know it is important to return to the clan quickly, but wasn’t our task to protect young master Kim-nim along with Tae Wi?”
Although the Sword Saint had not given such an order… They believed that it was obvious that they would protect the lying down Namgung Tae Wi as well as young master Kim, who looked extremely weak.
– Ji Hyuk.
– Yes, uncle?
The Sword Saint sent a sound transmission at that moment.
– Young master Kim is stronger than I am.
‘What did I just hear?’
The middle-aged Namgung Ji Hyuk questioned his hearing for the first time in his life.
– Young master Kim is in the Nature Realm.
This was the first time Namgung Ji Hyuk did not believe the Sword Saint.
– Your gaze seems to be wondering if I’m going senile.
The Sword Saint chuckled and added on.
– It’s the truth. Even a hundred of me cannot defeat young master Kim.
Namgung Ji Hyuk groaned at this unbelievable fact and bit down on his lips.
– The Sky Sword? The martial arts of an omnipotent being? Is something like that important to grow stronger? Ji Hyuk, it is okay to observe young master Kim. That sir is not someone who cares about things like that. Instead, observe him and learn. You’ve faced a wall, haven’t you? You too will be able to take a step forward if you observe him for a bit.
The Sword Saint walked past Namgung Ji Hyuk as he flinched at the choice of words.
– I have already taken a step.
Namgung Ji Hyuk gasped.
He then looked toward young master Kim.
“Young master Kim-nim.”
As for Cale, he addressed the person who approached the carriage before the door closed.
“Noble Warrior Dokgo.”
Dokgo Chang had approached him.
Cale looked at him and asked.
“You are not going with us?”
“Yes sir. We are thinking about returning to the clan.”
He still did not know that the Sword Demon, Choi Jung Soo, had joined Cale.
This was the case for the rising stars as well.
– We heard from Elder Ho. He thinks that the Noble Warrior Sword Demon has moved from Huángshān to somewhere else.
The Dokgo Clan and the rising stars did not know about the Blood Cult.
It was important information that could not be shared with a large number of people yet.
Of course, that rumor will spread along with the rumor that Choi Jung Soo is a part of the Blood Cult when the time is right.
– The Beggars’ Gang said that they will give us information, so we will return to the clan and wait for that time.
Dokgo Chang spoke openly again after sending all of that via sound transmission.
“That is why we wanted to come and say goodbye before we left.”
Behind him, the Young clan leader, Dokgo Ryeong, as well as the others from the Dokgo Clan all said goodbye.
“I see. It would have been great if you came with us.”
Although the people of the Dokgo Clan were a bit stubborn, they were loyal and skilled in martial arts, which would have made it helpful to have them as allies.
“…That seems to be a bit difficult.”
Dokgo Chang said that and peeked toward the Sword Saint.
Cale understood what he was trying to say.
‘I guess the Dokgo Clan sees the Namgung Clan as their bitter enemies. They probably don’t want to travel with them.’
Cale could understand how riled up the people of the Dokgo Clan were getting.
‘But that is not an issue for me to get involved with.’
The things Cale needed to do here was to destroy the Blood Cult, aka the Blue Bloods, without anybody on his side getting hurt and then safely getting back home. He also needed to make there be as little damage as possible to the Central Plains in the process.
“Umm, young master-nim.”
“Yes sir. Please speak freely.”
“Could you please visit our clan as well when you have the time?”
What Noble Warrior Dokgo cautiously said was unexpected.
“…The Dokgo Clan?”
Dokgo Chang hid his anxiety while looking at young master Kim who looked shocked.
‘Those cunning Namgung Clan bastards! You think you can monopolize young master Kim by saying that he is your benefactor?’
It was obvious that young master Kim would achieve quite a lot of fame in the near future.
His abilities were amazing.
‘I can’t just let that happen!’
He needed to make some sort of relationship between young master Kim and the Dokgo Clan.
‘Since he is Noble Warrior Sword Demon’s friend, we have no reason to question his character either!’
He tensely waited for young master Kim’s response.
Cale answered without much hesitation. Positively at that.
“R, really sir?”
Dokgo Chang was so happy at the fact that a member of the Imperial family so easily said that he would come visit a falling clan like the Dokgo Clan without any hesitation.
“Yes sir. Of course.”
There was a reason Cale willingly nodded his head.
‘The Dokgo Clan is next to Sichuan, isn’t it?’
They were indeed in the neighborhood next to Sichuan.
He needed to go to Sichuan for the Blood Cult, so it would be great if a clan that knows the area well was by his side.
‘I’ll use the Namgung Clan for the Martial Arts Alliance and then the Dokgo Clan for Sichuan.
That’ll make things much easier.’
A gentle smile appeared on Cale’s face.
‘I’ll let them see Choi Jung Soo at that point too.’
He couldn’t let the Dokgo Clan see Choi Jung Soo right now because of the rumors that needed to be spread, but once they were spread to a degree and the situation was more organized, it shouldn’t be an issue showing it to loyal people like the Dokgo Clan.
“I need to head that way anyway, so I will stop by.”
“T, thank you very much, young master-nim!”
Cale found it odd that Dokgo Chang was thanking him, but he just accepted it as is and nodded his head.
“I’ll see you soon.”
“Yes sir! I will look forward to that day!”
Dokgo Chang withdrew without any hesitation.
“Uncle. That’s great!”
He nodded his head at the happy young clan leader Dokgo Ryeong and walked away from the Namgung Clan’s people before whispering.
“We need to inform the patriarch-nim.”
Once the Dokgo Clan’s people walked away, Cale had to address someone else who took their spot.
“…Daoshi Un Seon?”
The Kunlun Sect’s Un Seon was standing in front of Cale with both fists clenched.
‘When can I leave?’
Cale wanted to quickly head toward the Martial Arts Alliance.
‘…Since he easily said that he would stop by at the Dokgo Clan, maybe I should ask him to come to our Kunlun Sect once as well?’
The Kunlun Sect was basically a candle flickering in the wind with the enemy, the Demon Cult, right in front of them.
The weight of asking to visit the Dokgo Clan was completely different from the weight of asking him to come to the Kunlun Sect.
This young master-nim in front of her should know that as well.
She could not ask for such a difficult request.
“I, it’s nothing, young master-nim.”
She stuttered unlike her usual self and tried to turn around.
However, Cale’s voice held her in place.
“I would like to go to the Kunlun Sect once as well.”
Cale had a thought while looking at the shocked Un Seon.
‘Yes, I could visit the Demon Cult as an envoy of the Martial Arts Alliance, but… Wouldn’t it be good to stop by the Kunlun Sect once on my way to the Demon Cult to use them as allies in some way?
Isn’t it better to have more allies?’
Un Seon seemed to have heard his conversation with Dokgo Chang, so Cale thought that it would be okay to casually mention it.
Cale said it as if it was nothing.
“I have something I need to do there. I would like to climb Mount Kunlun once.”
Cale closed the carriage door while looking at the gasping Un Seon.
‘I laid the bait so I should just ask to stop there on our way to the Demon Cult.
Cale closed the carriage door.
Un Seon blankly stared at the closed door.
“D, did you hear that?”
She listened to her junior martial brother’s shocked voice and nodded her head.
The words he said so relaxedly, as if it was common.
Coming to the Kunlun Sect in such a situation…
Of course, young master Kim would know the meaning behind that. However, he said that he had something to do on Mount Kunlun?
He was telling something like that to her, a member of the Kunlun Sect, as if it was nothing?
She realized it.
“This sir is not someone I can make assumptions about.”
She was certain that he truly was a martial artist with desires for justice and cooperation.
This kind of sir was the example of the justice of the Orthodox faction.
“Yes, senior martial sister.”
Un Seon moved away from the carriage.
Soon, Cale’s group, the Namgung Clan’s people, the Beggars’ Gang, and the rising stars quickly left Huángshān and headed toward the Monarchs of the Anhui Province…
The Namgung Clan.
* * *
While that was going on…
The Emperor laughed while looking at the paper in his hand.
“Purifying living jiangshis? Saving them and returning them to human?
His laughter slowly filled the bedroom he was in.
“Are the Embroidered Uniform Guards ready?”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
The Emperor nodded his head and spoke in a jovial voice.
“Yes, I can’t just sit still without doing anything. He wanted them so send them immediately.”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
Chief Eunuch Wi, who had received Cale’s permission, had sent information about the living jiangshis to the Emperor and the Emperor happily sent out a portion of his hands and feet.
The Monarch of not just Anhui Province but the entire Central Plains mumbled to himself.
“…Young master Kim. We can’t let a person of our Imperial family shabbily head toward the Martial Arts Alliance.”
The setting gets even bigger with the Embroidered Uniform Guards!
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