– Human, are you excited?
Raon asked in an excited voice after seeing Cale smile.
– Human, can I go up to see if there are any hidden safes?
He nodded his head.
“Yeah. Find any and all of them. I’ll go through them later.”
– I got it, human! Safe searching is fun!
Cale felt a gust of wind brush past him in the air.
Raon seemed to have excitedly flown upstairs.
His gaze headed down.
The administrator was gagged and dragged over by Ron.
The five swordsmen of the Blood Cult were already knocked unconscious.
A shocked Pinnacle Demon came all the way down the stairs and looked at Ron with a blank stare on her face.
Ron calmly commented.
“I moved when they were all focused on the young master-nim.”
He then put on an extremely benign smile and looked at Cale.
‘Scary old man.’
Cale noticed that Ron was feeling quite refreshed right now.
He seemed to enjoy moving his body like this for the first time in a long while.
Choi Han approached Cale. Ron immediately handed the administrator over to Choi Han and spoke to Cale.
“Young master-nim, may I go into the cave?”
“But it’s full of water?”
“I’ll have to remove some water as needed as I go.”
He was smiling so benignly that Cale felt as if he had no choice but to say yes.
Cale saw Ron heading into the cave as soon as he responded in an unsettled tone and looked away.
He did so while praying for the safety of the Blood Cult member in the cave.
But he made sure to add this on.
“Also see where the cave leads to.”
“Yes, young master-nim.”
It would be quite useful to know where the Blood Cult member from the Pure Silver Merchant guild was running away toward.
“What should we do with you?”
Cale crouched down and made eye contact with the kneeling administrator.
The bastard, who could not speak because he was gagged, was glaring at Cale with bloodshot eyes.
“He may try to kill himself if you take out the gag.”
Cale nodded his head at the Pinnacle Demon’s words of caution.
“I have no plans on chatting with him anyway, Pinnacle Demon-nim.”
He looked at the administrator as if he was worried about something before opening his mouth.
“What number are you?”
He just silently glared at Cale.
“It looks like you or the bastard in the cave is the leader of this place. I also think that the two of you have a decently important mission from the Blood Cult.”
The Sichuan branch which was the starting point of the Pure Silver Merchant guild…
The person in charge of a branch that was basically the main location should hold a high position in the Blood Cult.
“But you aren’t as strong as I expected.”
Based on the Martial Arts world’s standards, he thought that someone in the Unrestrained Realm would be in charge of this place.
The Pure Silver Merchant guild was the bridge between the Blood Cult and the Central Plains after all.
Cale stared at the man who was still glaring at him and chuckled.
“I guess none of the important stuff is here.”
The Pinnacle Demon responded.
“What do you mean by that?”
“The Pure Silver Merchant guild’s defenses were more lacking than I expected, Pinnacle Demon-nim.”
Cale shared the things he noticed while his friends were taking over the merchant guild.
“At least half of the workers on the first floor seemed like real merchant guild employees.”
They seemed like they had no knowledge of martial arts.
The strong members seemed too weak as well.
“Also, I don’t think they would have always had this much gunpowder in the building.”
Cale pointed to the wet gunpowder.
“If these gunpowder explode on the smallest of impact, there is even less reason they would keep it in the basement of this busy and chaotic building. Unless they had a death wish of course.”
“…Then you are saying that the gunpowder was recently moved here?’”
“Yes, Pinnacle Demon-nim.”
There were quite a lot of rumors about the Blood Cult in the Central Plains right now.
Of course, no details had been shared. Details about things like living jiangshis were not described.
The only thing that was known was that the Blood Cult was aiming for the Central Plains.
“They must have pulled out as soon as the rumors started spreading.”
The Pinnacle Demon gasped in admiration.
“If what you say is correct, the Blood Cult truly is amazing.”
The rumors mentioned nothing about the Pure Silver Merchant guild at all.
Nonetheless, the Blood Cult had cleared out the Pure Silver Merchant guild.
Cale nodded his head in agreement.
The time that the Blood Cult pulled back their cards all around the Central Plains and tried to hide was probably…
“They probably did it once they realized that they lost contact with their living jiangshis, especially the Heavenly Demon.”
“That sounds quite likely. The Blood Cult must have realized that something was wrong.”
Cale looked at the administrator.
“I’m sure you already moved all of the important stuff. You and the others must have been bait to die together should someone come to target the Pure Silver Merchant guild.”
The administrator’s eyes became even more bloodshot as he continued to glare at Cale.
The Pinnacle Demon clicked her tongue.
“This bastard must not know much either. There’s probably not much we can get out of him.”
“That is probably true.”
Cale nonchalantly agreed before continuing to speak.
“Could you please go upstairs and take care of things?”
The Pinnacle Demon knew that there was nothing for her to do upstairs.
Young master Kim’s subordinates were already taking good care of things.
That meant that young master Kim was asking her to give them some space.
‘I’m curious but I’ll control myself.’
The Pinnacle Demon realized it from this incident.
‘I could have been in some deep shit if I made the wrong move while begging him for a living jiangshi last time.’
She could tell that young master Kim and his people were holding back a lot and going easy on them.
They avoided fights but they were not innocent little lambs.
In fact, they were probably extremely vicious people.
‘Those kinds of bastards are the ones who never reveal themselves and just try to let things get by nicely.’
They would need to take it to the end if they got angry.
The Pinnacle Demon let out a fake cough before walking back upstairs.
She heard young master Kim’s voice behind her.
“What number are you?”
There was no answer this time either.
He asked another question.
“You know Number 7, right?”
There was a change in the administrator’s eyes for the first time.
“As expected, I guess someone at your level does know him.”
The spies captured from the Demon Cult… Some of their numbers were in the hundreds and all of them were very high numbers. That might explain why they did not get shocked after hearing about Number 7.
However, even if this branch of the Pure Silver Merchant guild was to be destroyed, the bastard in charge of this place that was connected to the Blood Cult should know a good amount of things.
“You see, I…”
Cale continued to speak with a smile on his face.
“Came from Xiaolen.”
“Oh. You’ve heard of Xiaolen as well?
Cale was shocked.
However, he looked extremely mischievous and relaxed.
“The world that was almost destroyed by you bastards. I came here from Xiaolen to capture you guys.”
The Pinnacle Demon could not understand what she just heard.
She stopped walking and looked down the stairs.
She made eye contact with Choi Han.
She kept my mouth shut after seeing his cold gaze.
For some reason, Choi Han… Looking at this punk made her feel iffy. It felt really fishy.
‘Let’s just get out of here.’
The Pinnacle Demon rushed out of the basement.
But she flinched at the last thing she heard.
Cale didn’t know that Choi Han and the Pinnacle Demon were making eye contact and smiled brightly toward the administrator.
“I heard that the Blood Cult is choosing a priestess right now?”
‘How does young master Kim know about something like that?
Is it because he is with the Imperial Palace?
…That doesn’t seem to be why?’
For some reason, she felt like this was something she should not know.
Furthermore, she realized that young master Kim was talking as if it didn’t matter that the Pinnacle Demon could hear it.
However, the Pinnacle Demon realized it.
‘I need to hurry out of here.’
Her survival instincts that had been fortified through multiple instances of going between life and death were telling her.
It was saying that she should not hear anymore of this.
The Pinnacle Demon completely left the basement and Cale peeked in that direction before looking back at the administrator.
He seemed quite shocked to hear about that.
“Why are you so shocked? You guys are planning on choosing an heir after selecting the priestess. Isn’t that right?”
The administrator’s eyes were wide open and his body twisted. He looked as if he wanted to remove the gag no matter what it took.
“What is it? Do you have a lot of things you want to say?”
Cale pointed to himself with his finger.
“You must have a lot of things you want to ask me.”
Cale shook his head while looking at the burning bloodshot eyes.
“Too bad. I have nothing I want to hear from you.”
He had no reason to take out the gag.
There were some cautious footsteps as someone approached Cale.
It was Chief Eunuch Wi.
Cale stood up.
“Were you able to contact them?”
“Yes, young master-nim.”
Chief Eunuch Wi handed him a document that was rolled up.
“Here are the observation reports and the things we have learned.”
“You worked hard.”
Cale chuckled at the administrator who was looking up at him with a blank look on his face.
“What are you looking at?”
He opened up the document.
“As I expected. They already pulled out.”
“It seems like the luggage carts that left the Pure Silver Merchant guild for the past few days held the important documents.”
“I see. Did you see which direction these carts moved?”
“They apparently headed toward Yunnan, young master-nim.”
“Hmm. Then they must have gone through Yunnan to get to Nanman. I guess the Blood Cult is really in Nanman.”
“Yes, young master-nim. The people in Yunnan will continue to observe them and report back.”
Chief Eunuch Wi, who had escorted Cale to this branch of the Pure Silver Merchant guild….
He had met with the representatives of the Eastern Depot in Sichuan to receive the report.
The Blood Cult tried to hurry while being thorough to hide themselves, but…
Cale and the Imperial Palace had sent informants to Sichuan long before they got to the Demon Cult and even the Martial Arts Alliance to gather information on the Blood Cult and their movements.
Of course, Cale had not told them about the Pure Silver Merchant guild right away, but the information slowly delivered from Cale’s side since then made it easy for the Eastern Depot, which had already figured out what was going on in Sichuan, to efficiently give information to Cale.
“What is it? You can’t figure out the current situation?”
Cale chuckled while looking at the administrator who seemed as if he might pass out at any moment.
He gave an order to Chief Eunuch Wi.
“Please ask the Beggars’ Gang for their cooperation. The Ignoble School as well.”
“Yes, young master-nim. I understand.”
Things were very easy having the Imperial Palace on their side.
Cale smiled with satisfaction.
Things were going so well.
– Human, human!
It was at that moment.
He could hear Raon’s voice.
He suddenly got the chills.
‘What is going on?’
Then there was a loud explosion.
The ceiling of the basement started shaking.
The gunpowder was still fine because of the shield but Cale immediately scowled.
This kind of rumbling had not happened even when Cale’s group was taking over the building.
This damn Central Plains…
They fight whenever I think it is a bit quiet.
Cale clicked his tongue, handed the administrator to Choi Han, and headed up with Chief Eunuch Wi.
He could see the Pinnacle Demon through the empty area of the door that had turned into dust.
He then saw the people who were fighting against the Pinnacle Demon.
– Young master-nim, it is the Tang Clan.
As Chief Eunuch Wi mentioned through the sound transmission, the Tang Clan was facing the Pinnacle Demon.
– The Emei Sect is here as well.
The Tang Clan wore green robes and the Emei Sect dressed as nuns and martial artists…
– It looks like the Qingcheng Sect is heading over as well.
Most of the martial artists gathered here looked young.
The Tang Clan at least had a few middle-aged people.
– It looks like the Tang Clan was shocked by the sudden chaos and gathered a large group to come check it out.
The Emei Sect and Qingcheng Sect existed not inside Sichuan but in the mountains on the outskirts.
So the people from the two Sects should have been people who came into the city to take care of some things.
Unlike them, the Tang Clan that had a manor in the city, despite on the edges, brought a lot of people over.
– The information about the Pure Silver Merchant guild is still top secret, so I think this happened because they don’t know anything.
The Pure Silver Merchant guild’s association with the Blood Cult was top secret in the entire Triumvirate.
They had not found all of the spies yet.
As a result, the Tang Clan and the others in the Orthodox faction knew that Cale was coming but not why he was coming.
Cale slowly started to walk toward them.
“Pinnacle Demon! What have you done?!”
“I told you that I would explain! Why are you throwing your hidden weapons without hearing me out?!”
“Hmph! You’ve already destroyed everything but will now explain yourself? How can we sit back and listen?!”
“You guys asked me what is going on so of course I have to explain! Haa, it really is impossible to talk to you bastards of the Tang Clan.”
“Did you just mock our Tang Clan?”
“Haaaa. Hey stubborn bastard, why did you have to be the one to show up?”
“Did you just mock me?”
“Ah, come on.”
The Pinnacle Demon was losing this battle of words.
Cale shook his head and walked up next to them.
He could see the middle-aged man confronting the Pinnacle Demon.
He looked extremely stubborn.
“Who are you? Are you on the same side as the Pinnacle Demon?”
The middle-aged man observed Cale almost with a glare.
Cale started to smile.
He then reached his hand out.
“My name is Kim Hae-il. I don’t know if you have heard, but I am scheduled to visit the Tang Clan today.”
“…Kim Hae-il… ah!”
The middle-aged man looked shocked as if he recognized the name.
However, his face soon stiffened.
“…I knew that an esteemed guest was coming from the Martial Arts Alliance. It is an honor to meet you like this, young master-nim.”
“Nice to meet you as well.”
Cale gently responded to his greeting.
However, the middle-aged man’s face was still stiff.
“However, it is very disappointing to meet you in such a situation.”
The Pinnacle Demon groaned. She sent Cale a sound transmission.
– That bastard has an extremely high level of pride for the Tang Clan. He also hates me quite a bit. That is why he is making this issue bigger than it needs to be. His name is Tang Ho. We call him Wall Tang Ho.
Cale ignored the sound transmission.
‘This is quite annoying wherever we go.’
Was this a unique trait of a wuxia world?
The territoriality was quite severe here.
The sects acted as if they were the masters of an area.
Cale, who had nothing to worry about now, decided to take the easy route.
The middle-aged looked at Cale and calmly commented.
“I do not know why you have done something like this, young master-nim, but it would have been great if you stopped by the Tang Clan first to tell us the whole story.”
The middle-aged man flinched at Cale’s relaxed question.
However, he soon sighed. The way he looked at Cale seemed a bit annoyed now.
Anybody would think that he was looking at Cale as if Cale was a troublemaker.
“As the Tang Clan has its roots in Sichuan and protects it… Wouldn’t informing us about such a thing be the respectful thing to do to show that you value our history and our sense of responsibility?”
The Pinnacle Demon sneered.
“Protect it my ass. You only protect those on your side. Tsk.”
“As for the Pinnacle Demon, please shut your mouth.”
The middle-aged man looked at Cale and spoke as the Pinnacle Demon’s eyes filled with anger.
“Most importantly, wouldn’t the right thing have been to do something like this with our Orthodox faction instead of the evil Unorthodox faction?”
The middle-aged man slightly scowled before his face returned to normal.
He sighed and continued to speak.
“Sichuan is our base, and the Tang Clan, as well as the Emei Sect and Qingcheng Sect are protecting Sichuan. As a show of respect for that-”
Cale cut him off and asked.
“Why do I need to get the Tang Clan’s permission for things happening in Sichuan?”
“…What do you mea-”
The middle-aged man tried to say something again but Cale shook his head.
“Is the Tang Clan the government?”
The middle-aged man’s eyes opened wide and he flinched.
“Tsk. To say that the Tang Clan protects Sichuan… You really said something like that in front of someone from the Imperial family?”
The Pinnacle Demon clicked her tongue.
Cale didn’t care and continued with a stoic look on his face.
“I have already informed the government.”
He had informed the administrator of Sichuan when they entered through the gates.
The government would take care of the aftermath of the destroyed Pure Silver Merchant guild as well as the meetings and dealings with the regular employees who were not a part of the Blood Cult.
Cale tilted his head to the side.
“Why do I have to get the Tang Clan’s permission for where I go and what I do?”
Cale approached the middle-aged man and the other people of the Orthodox faction.
“Are the Tang Clan, Emei Sect, and Qingcheng Sect the rulers of Sichuan?”
The middle-aged man clenched his mouth shut. He turned pale.
Answering incorrectly here would be considered a rebellion
Cale stoically commented to the people who had not understood the situation yet.
“You protect Sichuan-”
He then asked.
“The Pure Silver Merchant guild belongs to the Blood Cult. You’ve let this merchant guild stay here until now. What is the reason for that?”
The middle-aged man… Tang Ho’s eyes opened wide.
Cale ignored this and asked.
“Did you turn a blind eye while knowing about it? Or did you not know?”
The former would mean that they were the enemy.
The latter would mean that they were useless.
“Which is the answer?”
Cale asked in a relaxed voice.
It was a lose-lose situation for the Sichuan Tang Clan no matter which answer they chose.
Shouldn’t have put yourself in that mess, you idiot.
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