The Harmony and Silence Pavilion.
This was the building where Chief Advisor Zhuge Mi Ryeo resided and completed her duties. People were currently gathered in the Harmony and Silence Pavilion’s secret underground area.
These people were the representatives of the Orthodox faction for the negotiations with the Demon Cult.
As a result, Cale was not here.
Cale was not officially a part of the Orthodox faction.
“Hoho, my goodness. I never expected to see such a day in my life.”
The person laughing was the Wudang Sect’s daoshi Baek San.
He was a collateral relative of the leader of the Wudang Sect and a martial sibling who trained under the same master.
The person who groaned but was sitting up straight was Elder Ho Song Yi of the Beggars’ Gang.
The Beggars’ Gang and the Wudang Sect…
These two factions were the ones within the Nine Sects One Gang who said that conversation and cooperation with the Demon Cult was necessary.
Daoshi Baek San looked at someone and started speaking.
“I had no idea someone from the Namgung Clan would be here?”
He was smiling but a blade was hidden within his smile.
The person who received Baek San’s gaze was Namgung Ma Hee, patriarch Namgung Ma Hyuk’s younger sister who currently resided in the Martial Arts Alliance.
She spoke with a stoic gaze as she had received information regarding this matter in advance.
“Our Namgung Clan moves according to the will of young master Kim-nim.”
She stopped talking after saying that.
Her face was saying that there was nothing else to say.
Next to her was the Hebei Peng Clan’s Peng Yu, who was standing there looking frustrated.
The Hebei Peng Clan and the Namgung Clan were close, which was why, despite not hearing the reason behind it, they also agreed when the Namgung Clan suddenly agreed to the Nine Sects One Gang’s push for negotiating with the Demon Cult.
Daoshi Baek San scoffed in disbelief at Namgung Ma Hee’s comment while Elder Ho just sat straight and let everything go in one ear and out the other.
‘As Namgung Ma Hee mentioned, we just have to follow young master Kim around.’
The answer would be in the path traveled by Young master Kim, the path to peace.
Although the Beggars’ Gang’s Gang Leader had given him a secret mission to gather information about young master Kim on this trip…
‘That is beyond my abilities. I just have to do grunt work.’
He would ignore that secret mission and just conform to whatever young master Kim said.
“…I am curious to know about this young master Kim person.”
Baek San said that and looked around but nobody said anything. He had no choice but to look at his superior.
“Chief Advisor. You have no intention of answering my question?”
“You will naturally find out once you arrive in Kunlun.”
Baek San’s eyebrow slightly rose at her response.
The Harmony and Silence Pavilion. Baek San nonchalantly asked after hearing the proclamation that implied that she could not say it even in this stealthy location reserved for the Chief Advisor.
“Is there a need to be cautious with what we say within the Martial Arts Alliance?”
Baek San crossed his arms and leaned against the chair at her immediate response.
“Then I will wait a little longer.”
Despite grumbling and being very sharp with his words, Baek San did not like fights. That was why he was the type who was extremely patient and preferred stability.
Zhuge Mi Ryeo started to speak.
“Let us reorganize everything about this and start the meeting.”
The other rooms of the Harmony and Silence Pavilion except this one had the members who would head to the Demon Cult being guided around.
“The Martial Arts Alliance has decided to move the Justice Corps, Chivalry Corps as well as some of the top executives and a portion of other departments.”
Peng Yu groaned. Baek San also had a stiff expression on his face as he asked.
“Isn’t that too many people?”
Their goal was to negotiate for the Demon Cult to not invade the Central Plains.
However, the size of their envoy was the size of an average battle brigade.
Baek San cautiously asked the Chief Advisor.
“…Are you planning on fighting them?”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo closed her eyes for a moment.
‘We have no plans on fighting with the Demon Cult.’
In fact, the Alliance leader and the Chief Advisor were including the fighting corps thinking about a fight with the Blood Cult and the potential for living jiangshis to go berserk.
‘The Chivalry Corps, the top executives…and the general affairs department, there are a total of five living jiangshis.’
All five of the living jiangshis currently found in the Martial Arts Alliance were people marked as being important figures in the future.
That was the reason they were able to include them in this important Demon Cult negotiation team.
‘There may be more living jiangshis among the members who are out on missions and have not returned to the Martial Arts Alliance yet.’
That was why Zhuge Mi Ryeo felt as if she was walking on thin ice right now.
They needed multiple experts in the Unrestrained Realm to take down a single living jiangshi.
How many experts would they need to take care of the five living jiangshis in the negotiation team?
She questioned whether she should also include the Alliance leader in the negotiation team for that reason, but they decided to have him stay here to defend against any potential living jiangshis that may still exist in the Alliance.
‘That is why we included the Chivalry Corps and the Justice Corps.’
She also managed to convince skilled veterans with years of experience from the Nine Sects One Gang and the Five Great Clans who were staying in the Martial Arts Alliance right now to join.
The people in front of her right now were those people.
The Wudang Sect’s daoshi Baek San, the Beggars’ Gang’s Elder Ho, Namgung Ma Hee, and Peng Yu. There was also the silently sitting Cleave Saint.
– Chief Advisor. I know what you are worried about.
Elder Ho sent her a sound transmission at that moment.
– We have young master Kim, Senior Fist King, and the Sword Demon. Our young master Kim-nim’s allies are all strong as well. They are the reason I do not think you need to worry about the living jiangshis.
She slowly opened her eyes.
– The living jiangshis figuring out our plan. That should be what we are most worried about, don’t you think so?
He was right.
Zhuge Mi Ryeo started to speak.
“The Demon Cult agreed to negotiate with us; however, they are showing signs of coming over Mount Kunlun and aiming for the Central Plains at any moment. That is why we needed to prepare at least this much as a minimum line of defense to protect us and to help the Kunlun Sect should the negotiations fail.”
Daoshi Baek San just groaned and could not retort after hearing her stern tone.
The Cleave Saint started speaking instead.
“How is that young master Kim person’s side moving?”
His question weighed heavily as he usually did not speak much. The mood sank even lower after hearing what he said next.
“Is the Imperial family trying to meddle with the internal issues of the Martial Arts world?”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo immediately responded.
The Cleave Saint, Baek San, and Peng Yu did not know the details.
“Young master Kim is heading to the Kunlun Sect for personal reasons after being invited by the Kunlun Sect’s daoshi Un Seon. He says that the Imperial family has no wishes to influence the Martial Arts world.”
“However, isn’t he the reason that the Embroidered Uniform Guard is currently in the Martial Arts Alliance?”
The Embroidered Uniform Guard that was currently protecting the guesthouse where young master Kim was residing…
They were preventing anybody from entering by releasing their vicious auras that made it clear that they were the strongest of experts.
“The Embroidered Uniform Guard will not be moving with us.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yes sir. Only young master Kim’s group will be moving with us. The Embroidered Uniform Guard will not join us once we leave the Martial Arts Alliance. They apparently have another task to complete.”
“…Is that information trustworthy?”
“…That young master Kim has no intentions of meddling with our negotiation?”
The Cleave Saint’s mouth finally turned neutral after hearing Zhuge Mi Ryeo respond without any hesitation.
“That is a relief then.”
He was one of the martial artists who truly hated the government.
His memory of his family almost being destroyed because of a greedy administrator made him loathe the government.
“I was worried that a precious member of the Imperial family would intervene and say some unrealistic shit to screw over the negotiation. I’m glad that won’t happen.”
Elder Ho snorted internally at the Cleave Saint who laughed out loud as he said that.
‘Hmph! Our young master Kim needs to step in for everything to be resolved! He doesn’t even know that having someone like young master Kim-nim who is in the Nature Realm is something to be thankful for! Damn it, tsk tsk.’
He had become a spokesperson for Cale without even realizing it. He then heard Zhuge Mi Ryeo’s voice.
“I’m sure some of you may have a lot of questions. However, everything will be revealed through me or naturally after we leave the Martial Arts Alliance and some time passes. So please just trust me and follow me.”
Everybody showed their willingness starting with Elder Ho.
Although the Chief Advisor has made mistakes in the past, she has not done anything wrong.
As a result, she was worth trusting.
Peng Yu cautiously started talking at that moment.
“The Demon Cult is one thing, but… I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumors spreading around these days?”
The atmosphere instantly sank heavily.
Daoshi Baek San scowled as he responded.
“…Are you talking about the Blood Cult?”
“I’m sure it is just nonsense, don’t you think so?”
“For that to be the case…”
Peng Yu turned toward Namgung Ma Hee.
The rumors about the Blood Cult were slowly spreading throughout the Martial Arts world.
This organization that had not been seen for centuries had revived, and…
Namgung Tae Wi. There were rumors of Namgung Tae Wi being killed by the Sword Demon who was a member of the Blood Cult.
Namgung Ma Hee did not say anything.
However, a vicious aura started rising from her body.
Peng Yu urgently closed his mouth and looked away.
There was silence for a moment before Namgung Ma Hee finally said something after a while.
Peng Yu and some of the others realized that the rumors were true.
The Blood Cult had reappeared.
The Sword Demon was a part of the Blood Cult and had killed a member of the Namgung Clan.
The Namgung Clan would soon move to destroy the Blood Cult.
‘I must send this information.’
Peng Yu and the others all thought that they needed to send this information to their sects or clans.
They needed to let it be known that these were not baseless rumors but the truth.
Zhuge Mi Ryeo stealthily smiled at their reactions before quickly returning her face to normal.
She heard Elder Ho’s excited sound transmission.
– Everything is proceeding exactly as our young master Kim-nim thought!
She opened her mouth to speak instead of nodding her head.
“We will discuss the Blood Cult after dealing with this issue with the Demon Cult first. Although we have not caught any signs of the Blood Cult, we are planning on creating a team to investigate it.”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo said something that was different from the truth.
Their response to the Blood Cult had already been determined to a degree and they would need to rely on young master Kim for finding them, but… Young master Kim’s side said that they would soon send information.
Elder Ho thought to himself after seeing the people go stiff at the Chief Advisor’s comment.
‘Our young master Kim-nim’s foresight is amazing!’
Unlike Elder Ho, who had no worries at all, the meeting ended with that tense mood.
It was not because they wanted to do so.
It was because of external issues.
Zhuge Eun So came to find Zhuge Mi Ryeo with an anxious look on her face.
Zhuge Eun So responded with a confused look on her face.
“Coalition leader Sima Pyeong of the Divergent Coalition has sent someone over.”
“Hmm? The Unorthodox faction?”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo and basically everybody who was present were shocked.
“Why did that motherfucking bastard suddenly send a person to our Alliance?”
The Cleave Saint swore as he scowled.
Peng Yu’s face also turned scary.
Zhuge Eun So did not cower at their expressions and immediately reported to Zhuge Mi Ryeo.
However, her face was unable to hide the shock and confusion despite her voice being calm.
To be completely accurate, she could not understand at all.
“They claim that the Martial Arts Alliance has abducted his second son and wishes for us to return him.”
The speaking Zhuge Eun So and the listening Zhuge Mi Ryeo and the rest of the Martial Arts Alliance’s experts looked confused.
Only one person was an exception.
The Beggars’ Gang’s Elder Ho…
He subconsciously gasped before closing his mouth once Zhuge Mi Ryeo looked toward him.
He clenched his eyes shut after hearing Zhuge Mi Ryeo call out to him in a low voice.
* * *
“Is something the matter?”
Chief Eunuch Wi looked confused that Zhuge Mi Ryeo suddenly came over.
She looked toward Cale, who was visible beyond Chief Eunuch Wi’s shoulder, and asked.
“…Young master-nim. Did you perhaps abduct Sima Jung?”
Cale, who was eating candied fruit, immediately responded after hearing her urgent voice.
“Yes ma’am. Why do you ask?”
“Is there a problem?”
Cale answered in a nonchalant voice as Zhuge Mi Ryeo continued to get shocked.
“We have him imprisoned. Why?”
Zhuge Mi Ryeo subconsciously responded with the truth because he was asking in such a relaxed manner while she was completely shocked.
“That trash’s father requested that we return him?”
“Ah, I see.”
Cale nodded his head as she responded.
“That’s great. Please tell him to come to Wuhan. If he wants to see his son that is.”
Cale ate the candied fruit as he thought about Sima Jung.
Sima Jung, whom he had seen not too long ago, was fighting with Toonka with an excited look on his face.
‘I finally met a friend who truly understands me! Kahahaha!’
‘I as well! Kahahaha! Keep it coming!’
‘Great! Let’s go another round and then go get a drink!’
They looked like total lunatics.
Cale shared his honest sentiments.
“We need to go to the Demon Cult so please tell him to hurry up and come get his son so that they don’t hinder our travels.”
Cale sounds like a total thug with the ‘if he wants to see his son’ business.
TCF is currently posted Mondays and Fridays at evening time GMT. Join our discord to be notified as soon as the chapter posts!
If you can’t wait, please subscribe to advanced chapters on our EAP website to get access to up to 8 chapters! Almost all tiers already have access to part 2 of TCF!
You can subscribe (immediate access) through our PATREON