Standing perfectly horizontally… The chopsticks were floating in the air as if someone was supporting them with their hand.
They were aimed right at Cale.
The sound of someone gulping could be heard through the silence.
The people who had been boisterous, the people who had been looking around…
Everybody had their mouths closed while looking at the chopsticks and the area around them.
– Human! Why is it so quiet? Are they all shocked because of the chopsticks?
Cale quietly sighed.
He started speaking.
“Everybody put your weapons down.”
Choi Han put his sword back into the scabbard.
Sui Khan pulled back his extended hand and chuckled.
Beacrox put his greatsword back into the scabbard on his back after Cale said that one more time.
Finally, Ron placed the dagger in his hand back into his pocket.
“Aw. Too bad. I thought we were going to fight.”
Toonka sounded disappointed as he put the chair in his hand back down.
His rough movements made quite a loud noise, potentially because of his disappointment.
Durst had his hands clasped tightly as he laughed before he made a comment.
“You dare to throw chopsticks at the young master-nim. You must have forgotten what fear is.”
Cale frowned. It was because of this nonsense that Durst, who had been quiet this whole time, suddenly spouted.
However, that was not the problem right now.
The Carnage Demon had her eyes opened wide while looking at him.
Cale got scared at her gaze.
‘The leader of the School of Carnage?’
She was someone like Ron.
Having that thought scared him.
Cale slowly turned his gaze.
‘I need to avoid that old hag and quickly head to the guest house.’
– Human, what should I do with the chopsticks?
– Should it put it back where it came from?
As Cale flinched…
– Nice Beacrox told me! He said you need to return everything once you are done eating! Hehe! I guess I can give it to that worker kid!
Cale looked toward the worker.
He seemed to have returned after escorting the Sword Saint to the room.
The worker looked at Namgung Yoo Hak and Dokgo Ryeong… Then at the broken chairs and table near the rising stars in shock.
‘No. Don’t do that!’
Cale wanted to tell Raon not to do that.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have magic or sound transmissions.
Then the only thing left was to say it out loud. Cale opened his mouth to prevent any greater misunderstandings.
However, Raon was quicker than his voice.
There was a gentle gust of wind.
It was refreshing yet gentle.
The chopsticks moved gently as if they were dancing.
Cale could feel the fluttering of the wings that grazed his back.
Cale was getting a headache.
The chopsticks stopped in front of the worker. The worker didn’t seem to know what to do as he looked back and forth between Cale and the chopsticks. Cale held back a sigh and opened his mouth after seeing the worker’s gaze.
“Yes, yes sir! Yes, young master-nim!”
The worker became shocked and quickly grabbed the chopsticks with both hands. He then carefully held them by his chest.
Cale’s gaze moved toward the broken table and chairs. The container of utensils that had been on the table was rolling on the ground.
One pair of chopsticks that had been in that container seemed to have flown toward Cale.
His gaze moved past Dokgo Chang and focused on Un Seon, Jeong Hye, and Dokgo Ryeong.
Dokgo Ryeong became flustered and urgently tried to speak.
“We weren’t trying to cause a commotion-”
Cale raised his hand.
That made Dokgo Ryeong unable to say anything else.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“I do not care what happened.”
He could still feel the Carnage Demon’s gaze.
He did not want to get involved with the Five Saints and Five Demons, including the Sword Saint.
He needed to quickly run away.
Cale turned around.
He then pulled a gold coin out of his pocket. It was from the money he had gotten from the Imperial family.
He handed it to Choi Han as he spoke.
“Choi Han, hand this to the owner of the inn. It is compensation for the destroyed things.”
Dokgo Chang opened his mouth after hearing that.
“Young master-nim, you do not need to do that. We will take care of-”
“But people who supposedly know how to take care of things are the ones causing the issue?”
Cale had noticed that the people of the Dokgo Clan seemed to be a bit hot-tempered.
Cale thought that there was a need to suppress them a bit.
The issue of rescuing Choi Jung Soo required stealthiness and calmness.
Cale spoke to Dokgo Chang, who could not say anything.
Another voice interjected at that moment.
It was Namgung Yoo Hak.
“The Namgung Clan will take care of the compensation!”
Cale looked at Namgung Yoo Hak for the first time.
The bastard, who had been keeping his mouth tightly shut until a few moments ago from the shock of seeing the chopsticks had suddenly started shouting loudly.
‘It’s obvious that Dokgo Ryeong could not hold his temper because of this Namgung Yoo Hak bastard’s damn mouth.’
He looked at Dokgo Ryeong, who had his head down with his fists tightly clenched, before looking at Namgung Yoo Hak.
His gaze made Namgung Yoo Hak bite down on his lip.
‘Who is that guy?’
Who was this guy that the rising stars and the Dokgo Clan were calling him, ‘young master-nim,’ and treating him like this?
‘He seems to be around my age and looks so weak, but he’s strong?’
Namgung Yoo Hak could not believe it.
However, he still had to say something despite all of the questions on his mind.
“Ahem. The Namgung Clan does not avoid things that have happened! The Namgung Clan will take care of all compensation!”
‘What a funny bastard.’
Based on what Cale had seen, this guy was the one who had started the confrontation and broken things. He found this Namgung Yoo Hak, who was shamelessly saying that they would take care of the compensation, to be annoying.
Based on this and how they had been when they were getting a room, Cale had an idea about the Namgung Clan’s way of doing things.
That was why he could only laugh while looking at Namgung Yoo Hak.
Cale looked away from Namgung Yoo Hak and started walking.
‘That little bastard is not the issue right now! The Carnage Demon’s gaze is getting more and more vicious! Choi Jung Soo landed a blow on the Carnage Demon’s School of Carnage? I need to quickly get out of here.’
Cale opened the door to the inn’s rear yard, the location of the guest house, without any hesitation.
“A, are you ignoring me right now?!”
Namgung Yoo Hak’s face was red as he raised his voice.
However, Cale did not turn back.
Neither did his people.
Choi Han was the only one acting differently, as he handed the gold coin to the innkeeper and chef, who had come out of the kitchen and looked lost.
Everybody followed behind Cale.
The Fist King and his great-granddaughter as well.
“You… You dare to do this to someone from the great Namgung Clan……!”
Namgung Yoo Hak was enraged after being ignored by someone who seemed to be around his age.
This was not a descendant of a famed school in the Orthodox faction nor a promising rising star.
This bastard he had never seen before dared to sneer at and ignore the direct line of the Namgung Clan! This was something that even the leader of the Martial Arts Alliance did not dare to do!
Namgung Yoo Hak could allow it.
However, there was nobody left who paid any attention to him.
“Yes, esteemed uncle?”
Dokgo Ryeong looked at Namgung Yoo Hak with an odd look on her face before she started walking.
She felt guilty after hearing what this young master Kim had said, but felt wronged after thinking that it was Namgung Yoo Hak who had started the issue.
However, the way young master Kim chuckled at Namgung Yoo Hak as if he was nothing and left without giving him a glance…
“Are you not coming?”
Young master Kim, who had continued walking while ignoring Namgung Yoo Hak, stopped in front of the door to the rear yard and was waiting for the Dokgo Clan and the rising stars.
– Ryeong, even if you get angry, you need to hold it in until the evidence regarding what the Namgung Clan has done to our Clan is revealed.
She heard Dokgo Chang’s voice.
– Furthermore, our top priority is rescuing Noble Warrior Choi Jung Soo.
Dokgo Ryeong slightly nodded her head in agreement.
For some reason, potentially because she felt good about what had happened to Namgung Yoo Hak, Dokgo Chang’s advice was easy to accept.
She laughed internally.
Namgung Yoo Hak could not argue despite being ignored by young master Kim.
The reason was obvious.
The strength that came through those puny sticks made that snobby Namgung Yoo Hak, the trash of the Namgung Clan, unable to say anything.
He must have been too scared to use his clan’s name.
The door to the rear yard opened and Cale’s group walked out of the inn.
Namgung Yoo Hak, who was left behind, clenched his fist and glared at the closed door.
“You dare, you dare……!”
Namgung Yoo Hak quickly moved to his approaching older cousin, Namgung Tae Wi, and started speaking.
“Do you remember that weak-looking bastard called young master Kim from earlier?”
Tae Wi stopped Namgung Yoo Hak.
“Let’s go up and talk.”
“Excuse me? No, please listen to me fir-”
Namgung Yoo Hak closed his mouth at that moment.
Namgung Tae Wi had sent a sound transmission.
– That young master Kim from earlier is a person of the Imperial family.
Namgung Yoo Hak’s pupils were shaking.
It was as if he could not believe it.
– That is what Elder Ho said. Kim Hae-il. That person had a golden plaque that was only given to members of the Imperial family.
Namgung Yoo Hak suddenly had a thought.
‘That’s impossible! That bastard is a member of the Imperial family?’
Namgung Tae Wi was not one to speak nonsense. The fact that he said it must mean that Elder Ho’s words were trustworthy.
He then had another thought.
‘Then how, how could he be that strong?’
The power that young master Kim had shown just now was basically the same as the Ki-Controlled Sword.
Yes, Ki-Controlled Sword.
How high of a realm was that?
The former patriarch, the Sword Saint, was the only person who could freely use that technique!
“Let’s go up and talk.”
Namgung Yoo Hak kept his mouth shut and followed behind at Namgung Tae Wi’s urging.
It was because he realized that they were not things to be said right here.
His fists were clenched so hard that his two hands had turned white.
“…Why do you have cold sweats?”
“…It’s nothing, Hyung-nim.”
Namgung Yoo Hak shook his head saying that it was nothing.
However, he clearly remembered what he had just done.
‘…I didn’t mock the Imperial family, did I?
‘Yeah. Although it was only half-respectful, I spoke formally to him.
‘I also didn’t try to attack that young master Kim.
‘I just, yeah, I just shared my disappointment a bit.
‘That Imperial family bastard won’t do anything to me.
‘That must be why he just left.
‘Fuck! A member of the Imperial family?!’
He was a true sun that even the Namgung Clan did not dare to look at!
Namgung Yoo Hak did his best to tell himself that all he did was share his disappointment as he followed behind Namgung Tae Wi.
However, despite thinking that it was okay, his face looked quite uncomfortable.
Peace returned to the inn once they disappeared.
The awkward mood slowly returned to rowdiness.
It could not be helped.
The last remaining strong individual…
The Carnage Demon had disappeared as well.
On top of the inn’s roof…
The Carnage Demon appeared there and looked toward the rear yard when she made eye contact with someone.
Although she was using stealth techniques…
One man was looking right at her.
It was the half-white-haired martial artist who had taken the dagger out while standing next to young master Kim.
“Observing him will be difficult.”
The Carnage Demon moved away from the inn’s roof without any regrets.
However, she kept this young master Kim on her mind.
‘…He didn’t use any internal ki. He just used the power of his surroundings to stop the chopsticks.’
He had done it naturally without any recoil.
The Carnage Demon could easily do something like that if she used her internal ki.
However, the important thing was that he had not used any internal ki.
At first, she had thought that she was mistaken.
However, that refreshing and warm breeze that was used when he returned the chopsticks to the worker…
That gentle power was wind; it was nature itself.
‘Who is he?’
Based on the demeanor of the Namgung Clan and those Beggars’ Gang bastards, this young master Kim definitely had something about him.
The Carnage Demon licked her lips as if she had found something very interesting before disappearing again.
* * *
Cale picked up his cup of tea in the room with nobody but his people.
“Dumplings are delicious!”
Raon’s cheeks were full as he was eating dumplings.
“Toonka! Don’t touch mine!”
“I don’t touch children’s food!”
Right next to Raon was Toonka, who looked grotesque while his cheeks were full of dumplings as well.
Cale sighed but ignored it all.
He filled his stomach with a light meal before taking a moment to rest.
He would start moving to look for Choi Jung Soo once Raon finished eating.
“Excuse me, oh esteemed Purifier-nim.”
“What is it?”
Durst, who had been relatively quiet since coming to the Central Plains, started speaking.
The man, who was called Old Man Do here, smiled benignly before continuing to speak.
“It’s just that…”
Cale nonchalantly motioned with his chin, as if telling Durst to quickly tell him, and Durst continued speaking.
However, the smile had disappeared from his face.
“Didn’t you smell something foul earlier?”
Cale had only smelled deliciousness inside the inn.
Durst started speaking again, with an extremely serious look on his face, as if he was sure that it was a foul stench even after thinking about it again.
“That Namgung? Do you remember the good-natured young man of the Namgung Clan?”
“Yeah. What about him?”
Cale looked toward Chief Eunuch Wi, who was cooling the dumplings with a fan for Raon, commented.
“His name is most likely Namgung Tae Wi. He is from the collateral line, but he is currently a squad leader of the Heavenly Guardians. He is young but people say that his martial arts is said to be as strong as the direct line.”
“I see. But what about him?”
Cale looked at Durst with a confused gaze.
“I smelled that scent from him.”
‘What is going on?’
Cale started to get an ominous feeling.
As he was thinking that this was making him anxious…
Durst spoke cautiously but sternly.
“He smelled like a corpse.”
‘What? A corpse? Perhaps?’
Cale, Choi Han, and Sui Khan all looked at each other.
the Church of the Fire of Purification… A smell that only the bishop of that church managed to smell…
There was something here.
And that something was most likely…
Cale nonchalantly commented.
“…So he’s the living jiangshi?”
His gaze moved back to Durst.
Cale felt as if he could understand why the God of the Fire of Purification had sent his believer, Durst, with him.
Cale had finally realized this old man’s usefulness.
His eyes sparkled.
Scooby dooby Durst.
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