Cale felt a cramp on the back of his head and put his hand on it.
He heard Raon’s voice in his mind at that moment.
– Human…they seem a bit weird.
Cale could not respond to the child’s serious voice.
The funny thing was that everything was being determined without Cale saying anything.
“Hoo hoo. I’ll bet my wrist on second hyung-nim causing seven incidents on the path to Kunlun.”
“I say ten. If I win, go steal some of the Kunlun Sect’s fruit wine for me.”
“Aren’t they Taoists? Taoists brew alcohol?”
“Yeah. They do. One of their elders is a pioneer when it comes to fruit wine. Go steal that. If you won’t, there is no bet.”
Sima Dan wet her lips with her tongue as she mentioned the fruit wine. Her flushed cheeks turned even redder.
– Human! Her gaze is so weird!
“Mm. I guess it will be my head and not my wrist if I get caught stealing it. Hoo hoo, very well, noonim. I will end up winning anyway.
Hoo hoo.” Sima Gong kept touching the frame of his glasses as he laughed in a low voice.
– Human! His gaze is weird too!
Cale could not let Raon’s words in one ear and out the other.
It was at that moment.
The second. The infamous trash of the Unorthodox faction let out a fake cough as he looked at his younger siblings.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
Cale became even more anxious after seeing that he looked fine, which was rare. Based on his experiences until now, this kind of bastard acting normal was when they caused even more issues.
Sima Jung sternly spoke to his younger siblings.
“You have to get our boss-nim’s permission first!”
‘When did I become the boss of the three Sima siblings?’
Cale wanted to ask but had nobody to ask.
Chief Eunuch Wi, Zhuge Eun So, and even Lee Soo Hyuk were looking at them with looks of disbelief.
This was a moment Cale truly felt that he was a regular human being.
‘Something else is the important thing right now.’
There was something Cale had to make sure to confirm before saying anything to these crazy siblings.
Beacrox took a step to the side as if he understood Cale’s gaze.
Durst was standing there.
He was blocking his nose.
Their living jiangshi detector… His role was extremely important.
‘I need to create an environment where he can work properly.’
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“Yes, young master-nim.”
Zhuge Eun So, who had blankly been looking at the three Sima siblings, snapped back to her senses and made eye contact with Cale.
“Shouldn’t you inform Chief Advisor Zhuge Mi Ryeo about this?”
Cale calmly spoke to Zhuge Eun So who seemed to be wondering if it would be okay for her to leave.
“I think that it would be good if the other two escort-nims stay here and you head over, aide-nim. Young lady Zhuge is the Chief Advisor-nim’s ears after all.”
Zhuge Eun So slightly smiled at that comment.
“I understand. Then please allow me to temporarily make my leave.”
She spoke to Sima Dan who happily nodded his head. He didn’t seem concerned that she was openly saying that she was going to make a report.
‘Seeing her like this, it does look like she has quite the ability.’
Seeing Sima Dan not doing any useless battle of mind made Cale reassess his evaluation of her.
“But young lady Zhuge.”
However, she stopped Zhuge Eun So from leaving.
“I heard that there will be no banquet.”
Zhuge Eun So’s face stiffened.
The Martial Arts Alliance was heading toward the Demon Cult. They were unable to hide it because of the increase in the size of the traveling party, making it possible for the Unorthodox faction to know about it as well.
Nonetheless, the Martial Arts Alliance had allowed the Coalition leader’s children inside using the Imperial family as the reason. Asking about a banquet in such a situation made Zhuge Eun So look at her not so kindly.
“…Do you wish for a banquet?”
Zhuge Eun So stopped for a moment at the resolute response.
Sima Dan spoke as if it did not affect her at all.
“But we can have some alcohol, right?”
Zhuge Eun So was silent for a moment before responding with a relaxed look on her face.
“Yes ma’am. As much as you want.”
“Thank you to the Martial Arts Alliance for your show of goodwill.”
Sima Dan bowed politely.
Cale looked at the people standing behind Sima Dan and Sima Gong. They looked calm as if they were used to this.
‘The Unorthodox faction.’
The Unorthodox faction pushed for a more primitive show of force compared to the Orthodox faction that pushed for virtues and justice.
Honestly speaking, this was a nice way to explain the two factions. Unfavorably describing the Orthodox faction would be as hypocrites who touted such values but did wicked things in secret. As for the Unorthodox faction, they went beyond just a primitive show of force and had basically thugs learning martial arts to go around doing bad things.
‘Usually the wuxia novels show the Unorthodox faction in a negative light.’
Zhuge Eun So left while Cale was thinking about the Unorthodox faction. Cale noticed and spoke to Sima Dan, who was looking at him with a piercing gaze.
“The Chief Advisor will give an answer regarding the trip to Kunlun.”
Zhuge Eun So would do a good job reporting the situation.
Cale noticed a gentle smile appearing on Sima Dan’s face. A calm voice flowed out of her mouth.
“Can’t you make the decision as well, young master-nim?”
Cale quietly observed Sima Dan, who still looked drunk. Sima Dan touched the bottle as she continued.
“Based on the Chief Advisor’s personality, she would not allow outsiders to infiltrate if she held the key herself. Especially with an important task in front of her. It would have been impossible for us to even enter the Martial Arts Alliance.”
There was no hesitation in her gentle voice.
“Nonetheless, we made it into the Martial Arts Alliance, young master Kim-nim is in the second party heading toward Kunlun and the fact that Zhuge Eun So was acting as if she was assisting you… Wouldn’t that mean that you hold one of the keys for this trip to Kunlun, young master Kim-nim?”
Sima Gong nodded his head as if he agreed with her.
“What the hell are you saying?”
Only Sima Jung did not understand and looked confused.
‘So this was the reason.’
Cale felt as if he understood why the Unorthodox faction labeled Sima Jung as trash but not Sima Dan or Sima Gong.
‘They are smart.’
Although they were an alcoholic and a gambling addict… Their minds still worked well.
Cale asked with a casual look on his face.
“Do you not have to report to the Coalition leader?”
Sima Gong responded this time.
“The Coalition leader-nim will be even happier if we reported the trip to Kunlun with it.”
This guy’s mind also worked well.
Basically, Sima Gong was saying that they wanted to use Sima Jung’s stubborn wishes to be with Cale to have them be involved in the trip to Kunlun so that they could scope out the negotiation between the Demon Cult and the Orthodox faction.
He was also openly saying that he would report this to the Coalition leader.
The corners of Cale’s lips curled up.
‘They are not hiding anything.’
He liked that they were openly revealing their internal desires.
But that was that and…
“I’m curious to know what I have to gain from this.”
Cale looked at Durst as Sima Dan and Sima Jung flinched at his comment.
Durst had already pulled the plugs out of his nose and was taking deep breaths.
A smile appeared on his face.
“Young master-nim, the air is very refreshing today.”
Cale’s eyes clouded over.
‘There are no living jiangshis in this group from the Unorthodox faction.’
Then it should be fine for him to tell them his goal.
“Will it be possible for me to meet the Coalition leader-nim?”
The Divergent Coalition was currently split into two factions between the current coalition leader, Sima Pyeong, and the leader of the Green Forest.
He could connect with the Green Forest side through the Carnage Demon, so it would be great if he could connect with the Coalition leader through the Sima siblings.
Cale observed Sima Dan who had to think for a moment.
It was at that moment.
“Our father? Of course! Kahahaha! You are my close friend’s close friend so my father will be very happy as well! Kahahahahah!”
Sima Jung happily laughed.
Sima Gong opened his mouth just as Cale was about to scowl.
Sima Gong completely ignored Sima Jung and calmly spoke.
“The Coalition leader-nim has been curious about you as well, young master Kim-nim.”
A subtle smile appeared on his face.
“I was debating whether to ask first, so thank you for bringing it up first. We would have been very disappointed if you only met with the Orthodox faction. We are citizens of the Central Plains as well, are we not?”
‘Hooo.’ This guy used quite the interesting words like Sima Dan.
‘They are anxious because I, who looks like someone from the Imperial family, might connect with the Orthodox faction and the Demon Cult but leave out the Unorthodox faction?’
Cale slowly nodded his head.
‘Maybe he knew that Sima Jung was not abducted by the Martial Arts Alliance and was moving with me but still used the abduction as an excuse to come to the Martial Arts Alliance.’
The Unorthodox faction.
They had more intelligent people than Cale imagined.
Maybe it was to be expected.
– Young master-nim. The Sima Clan is like the Orthodox faction’s Zhuge Clan.
Based on Chief Eunuch Wi’s sound transmission that just came through, the Sima Clan was famous for being intelligent in the Unorthodox faction.
‘Of course, they seem more focused on martial arts than the Zhuge Clan, but… I heard that they are well-versed in strategy as well.’
The Zhuge Clan and the Sima Clan.
Cale thought about what benefits he might get dragging these two families into the fight against the Blood Cult as he started speaking.
“The fact that all of you are citizens of the Central Plains and meeting me will not be very related.”
It was the truth.
‘I’m not really a member of the Imperial family and the Emperor is an authoritative person who doesn’t look like he would listen to my requests.’
The Unorthodox faction would not gain anything by meeting him.
“I’m concerned that the Coalition leader may be very disappointed after meeting me.”
It would be quite bad if the Coalition leader met with him expecting benefits only to be disappointed and become uncooperative with the Blood Cult issue.
Cale looked at Sima Gong who gasped.
“What is it, sir?”
“It’s nothing, young master-nim.”
Sima Gong was saying that it was nothing, but he was continuing to gasp with admiration internally.
‘There won’t be many benefits meeting him?
The Coalition leader might be disappointed?
Someone like that is going around with our second hyung-nim?’
Even if he was the trash of the Unorthodox faction, Sima Jung was quite skilled in martial arts and would be an expert in the Unorthodox faction in the future.
Furthermore, he was the Coalition leader’s son.
Young master Kim kept Sima Jung by his side despite knowing that. All the while treating his hyung-nim so well that his hyung-nim was extremely excited.
‘That should mean that he had plans to meet with the Unorthodox faction as well.’
Their father, Sima Pyeong had sent the two of them after figuring that out.
‘We needed to at least meet the minimum level befitting young master Kim’s position.’
This was because of the Embroidered Uniform Guard.
The reasons that the Unorthodox faction truly learned of young master Kim’s existence were because of the rumors of his being the Namgung Clan’s benefactor and the Embroidered Uniform Guard entering the Martial Arts Alliance.
‘That stubborn Emperor sent around 100 of his personal guards.’
All to protect this young master Kim.
Beijing was probably in a mess because of this.
All sorts of people probably had bloodshot eyes looking into this young master Kim person.
‘It is because a new power figure has appeared in the Central Plains.’
The Emperor had not handed the Embroidered Uniform Guard even to his children.
‘There is actually just one meaning behind that action.’
Either young master Kim was that important to the Emperor, or…
‘What young master Kim is about to do is important to the Emperor of the Central Plains.’
The Unorthodox faction couldn’t help but be tense regardless of which reason it was.
‘There is the answer.’
Young master Kim had just given him the answer through that conversation.
‘If young master Kim was as important as the Emperor, meeting him would have been a benefit for father.’
However, he said that meeting him would not be beneficial.
‘That means that what he is doing right now is so important that the Emperor was willing to lend out his extra life.’
The Martial Arts world was involved with that, and…
‘The Orthodox faction, Demon Cult… And even the Unorthodox faction would have to join him for it.’
Sima Gong’s eyes clouded over.
Coalition leader Sima Pyeong…
This was his evaluation of his youngest son to his trusted subordinates.
‘That child has the talent to put the Sima Clan ahead of the Zhuge Clan in the future.’
Sima Gong could say that he would not lose to anybody when it came to his intellect.
“I have my answer.”
His words made his sister slowly move one hand away from the bottle and place it on his shoulder.
– Do you see the answer?
Sima Gong responded to his noonim’s sound transmission.
– The Imperial family and the Triumvirate. There is only one issue that would make all of these places move together.
– What is it?
Sima Gong looked at his sister’s eyes that were slowly turning sober and sent a sound transmission.
– It seems that the rumors are true, noonim.
His sister was the calmest person among the siblings.
However, their father said the following about when the bottle in her hand was replaced with a sword.
‘If little Dan grows up properly, the title of Sword Demon might move from Choi Jung Soo to little Dan.’
His father had recognized the oddly changing flow of things in the Central Plains and sent two of the cards he could currently use.
Head… And sword.
He, as the ‘head’, shared his discovery with his older sister.
– It seems true that the Blood Cult has reappeared. The Blood Cult also seems to be doing something so big that the Imperial family needs to make a move.
– I see. The Divergent Coalition and our Sima Clan cannot be excluded in such a thing.
Sima Dan calmly responded before speaking to young master Kim.
“We will go to Kunlun as well. We will also prepare a meeting with the Coalition leader, young master-nim.”
She flinched at that moment.
Cale looked at the siblings with an odd gaze before starting to smile.
“You are truly wise people.”
Sima Gong flinched at that comment.
‘…Has he been watching our reaction?’
Sima Gong became certain at that moment.
‘As expected, Zhuge Mi Ryeo is following young master Kim’s will!
Young master Kim has the key!
I’m certain that young master Kim is the brains that the Imperial family has prepared!’
The Emperor must have prepared the Embroidered Uniform Guard to protect that brain.
‘We cannot take him lightly.’
Sima Gong felt tenser than when he made most bets and it made him smile.
Cale had a thought while looking at him.
‘Wow. He’s really smart to think of the Blood Cult right away.’
He had heard the sibling’s conversation.
– Human! I can listen to all sound transmissions if I focus a bit now!
Raon had told him everything.
Dragons really were great and mighty.
* * *
The second party heading to Kunlun left the Martial Arts Alliance in Wuhan and toward Mount Kunlun.
Here we go!
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