It was a large city comparable to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, and nearby cities such as Kaifeng and Luoyang. In the southeast of Henan, there was no city to follow Runan.
Runan is a key point of transportation given that it’s a city that runs through the north and south of Henan Province. As a result, hundreds of people stopped by Runan every day to relieve their fatigue.
As it is a place where a lot of people gather from the outside, inns, as well as the red light district inevitably developed. The red light district could be found near the place where the guest houses were concentrated.
It was a place called crossroads.
It was the best downtown area for women and men since various inns, brothels, and bars lined up without a break along the crossroads.
The sky looked exceptionally clear thanks to the rain the night before.
It was around sunset when Pyo-wol arrived at the crossroads.
When he asked the people passing by if there was a place to stay, all of them told him about the crossroads. Pyo-wol found the largest and most splendid inn at the crossroads.
Pyo-wol usually disliked the hustle and bustle of a big city, but he wanted to stay and rest in a well-equipped place today. And coincidentally, he got a lot of gold coins from Geum Woo-sin, so he had a lot of money to spend.
The place Pyo-wol chose was a place called Fresh Wind Guest House.
The Fresh Wind Guest House is the largest inn in crossroads. Besides having the standard guest rooms, the inn was also equipped with a quiet and detached house.
Pyo-wol rented the detached house. It cost quite a fair amount of money to rent an outbuilding for a few days, but he didn’t mind the price.
“It’s here. There’s a well, bathtub, and kitchen inside.”
“I want to take a bath, is that possible?”
Pyo-wol took out three coins from his bosom. The servant quickly snatched it from his hands and said,
“Of course. Wait here for a little bit. I’ll warm up the water and fill the bathtub.”
“And buy some clothes for me to wear.”
When Pyo-wol gave him more money, the servant ran out excitedly.
Pyo-wol sat down on the bench for a while and looked around.
The outbuilding was surrounded by a high wall, free from outside gaze. It even has its own stable. Pyo-wol kept his horse in the said stable. This way his horse would not be ridiculously replaced like last time.
After a while, the servant told him that he had filled the bath tub with water.
Pyo-wol took off all his clothes and went into the bathtub.
After soaking in the hot water, he felt his whole body eased. He could feel the fatigue accumulated from the past few days be relieved.
Pyo-wol closed his eyes after immersing himself in the water up to his neck.
Memories during his time in Wudang Mountain suddenly came to mind.
His fight with King Gujin had been tough, but he didn’t feel scared.
King Gujin is a strong man who made a name for himself. It was only natural that he possessed that much power.
However, Il-gum was different.
Although he is said to be the Wudang sect’s Number One Sword of the former generation, he was almost forgotten because he is not active in Jianghu.
People who retire like that are often described as old people in the back room, but Il-gum is not a person to be disparaged with such vulgar expressions.
Although his physical abilities may have declined, his internal energy, experience, and martial arts were enough to compensate for his old body.
‘Will I be able to deal with him the next time I see him?’
His encounter with Il-gum had raised Pyo-wol’s alarm.
He initially thought that he had no need to be afraid of anyone since he had risen to a certain level, but meeting Il-gum had completely shattered Pyo-wol’s confidence.
He used to doubt the saying that Jianghu was wide and there were as many people as grains of sand. But now, he had no choice but to believe it.
Meeting with Il-gum greatly widened Pyo-wol’s perspective and horizons.
And it reminded him that he shouldn’t be satisfied with his current achievements.
He had to be stronger.
So that he wouldn’t be afraid the next time he meets Il-gum.
Pyo-wol had his nose and lips dipped into the water while his eyes remained exposed. His appearance was reminiscent of a snake swimming in the water.
Pyo-wol organized his thoughts in the water like that.
It was almost an hour later when he came out of the bath.
The hot water had already cooled down, and the night temperature had dropped noticeably. But Pyo-wol didn’t feel cold at all.
Originally, he was on the verge of being invulnerable to Hanseo, but after drinking the sake at Wudang Mountain, his body became completely incapable of feeling the cold.
There was a mirror for the women in the annex.
Pyo-wol sat naked in front of the mirror.
A man more beautiful than a woman was looking at him from the other side.
Smooth and pure white skin without a single blemish, dark and clear eyebrows that contrast with the soft facial line, and eyes so deep that you can’t guess the end.
Pyo-wol, who had been looking at his face for a while, lifted the comb in front of the mirror and started combing his hair.
His black hair was smooth.
Pyo-wol pulled back his finely combed hair and tied it tightly with a string prepared in advance. Then his face was completely exposed.
After washing and decorating his face, it seemed that even the beauty of her face was glowing.
Pyo-wol got up from his seat and walked to the door.
There was a blue top and bottom neatly folded in front of the door. The material wasn’t very good, but the fit was just right, as if it was tailored to fit Pyo-wol’s body.
After putting on top and bottom, Pyo-wol wore the Black Dragon Robe.
Because of the rainwater floor last night, the Black Dragon Robe was soaked in water. However, as he traveled to Runan, the robe eventually dried in the sun and looked like new again.
Pyo-wol felt grateful to Tang Sochu for making the Black Dragon Robe. Thanks to it, he didn’t have to worry too much about the rain and wind.
Pyo-wol went to the stable, which is attached to one side of the outbuilding.
Perhaps because he told the servant to feed the horse with plenty of beans and oats, the horse looked pretty good and healthy.
Pyo-wol patted the horse’s neck and said,
“You’ve worked hard. You can rest now.”
The horse also wagged its tail, as if it understood Pyo-wol’s words.
Pyo-wol left the annex and headed to the restaurant on the first floor of the inn.
He hadn’t had a proper meal in the past few days. While he wasn’t picky nor greedy about what he eats, he still missed eating proper food.
On the first floor, quite a number of people were having a meal.
Pyo-wol found a suitable place and sat down.
A servant quickly ran to his side and asked,
“Are you going to eat?”
“Yes. Get me something to snack on.”
“How about alcohol?”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Okay, please wait a bit.”
The servant answered succinctly and ran to the kitchen.
He felt good because he also received a lot of money for running a few errands.
There were many people on the first floor of the inn, but not a single one of them paid attention to Pyo-wol.
Thanks to that, Pyo-wol was able to spend time alone.
After a while, the servant came back with his meal.
The food looked quite neat, probably because of the skill of the chef.
Pyo-wol raised his chopsticks and savored his food little by little. All of the food suited Pyo-wol’s palate.
Pyo-wol pulled down his scarf slightly and ate in earnest.
As he was immersed in his meal,
All of a sudden, the door to the inn opened. A new guest has entered. At that moment, people’s eyes turned to the customer. Because the new guest was a woman.
Her face looked ordinary. But the more people stare at her, they eventually find her more and more attractive. Because of that, many people could not take their eyes off her.
The woman looked around the guest house for a moment.
Then her eyes twinkled. Her gaze was fixed on Pyo-wol who was eating alone.
Pyo-wol raised his head and looked at her.
The eyes of the two met in midair.
In an instant, a smile spread across her face.
The people around her became even more mesmerized when they saw her smile. The woman’s appearance bloomed even more when she smiled.
The woman walked lightly like a butterfly and approached Pyo-wol. Some of the men who saw the scene had jealous expressions on their faces.
The woman spoke to Pyo-wol,
“I didn’t expect to see you here again. Can I sit here?”
“Do as you please.”
The woman sat across from Pyo-wol.
She looked at Pyo-wol with both hands on top of her chin. Her appearance looked lovely and adorable.
“You’re wearing a scarf again. Can’t you just take it off?”
Although Pyo-wol’s nose and mouth were slightly exposed, allowing him to eat, his scarf still covered a large part of his face. Because of that, the people in the inn had not yet seen Pyo-wol’s face.
The woman slowly reached out.
Her white, long, delicate hands touched his scarf. Still, Pyo-wol did not move.
The woman carefully pulled down the Pyo-wol’s scarf.
Then his face became completely exposed.
Antipathetic sighs erupted from the men everywhere while the women smiled.
“As expected, you’re handsome too.”
She seemed genuinely happy to see Pyo-wol again. But unlike her smiling face, her eyes were as cold as ice.
“Thanks to you, I suffered quite a bit. I didn’t expect the Wudang sect disciples to come after me.”
“Still, you managed to escape without being caught.”
“Those taoists’ martial arts are strong, but their tracking skills weren’t a big deal.”
“Is your name, Hong Ye-seol, an alias?”
“No way. It’s really the name given to me by my parents.”
The woman smiled softly.
The woman in front of Pyo-wol is Hong Ye-seol. The same person who stole the Strength Grinding Demonic Martial Arts from the Wudang sect’s warehouse.
Hong Ye-seol dreamed of committing a perfect crime, but because of Pyo-wol, her identity was revealed. This caused her to be pursued by Sang-jin and the Wudang sect’s Seven Swords.
Had it not been for her stealth skills which she had learned since childhood, she would certainly be a cold corpse or beast food by now.
Although she is said to be an assassin who has reached the highest level, Sang-jin is not a warrior who is easy to win against. Especially with the Wudang sect’s Seven Swords by his side, aiding him.
It was an unwinnable fight in the first place.
The absurdity of meeting them for the first time was beyond words.
At that time, Sang-jin inadvertently mentioned Pyo-wol’s name and muttered, “I didn’t expect that he’d be right.”
By then, Hong Ye-seol found out that Pyo-wol was the one who told the Wudang sect about her ‘make a sound in the east, then strike in the west’ operation.
“I didn’t expect to see you again here, which is far away from Wudang Mountain. Isn’t this fate at this point?”
“Don’t you mean bad luck?”
“Is it necessary to take sides so drastically? You know that there are no permanent enemies or allies in Jianghu. I think we could actually be good friends.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Because I looked into you. The reaper. That’s how they call you in Chengdu, right?”‘
Pyo-wol’s pupils flickered for the first time.
“You should have been distracted and focused on running away. How come you still have the time to look into me?”
“I have an assistant.”
“Are you talking about the Hundred Wraith Union?”
This time, it was Hong Ye-seol whose eyes widened.
“Because there is no other organization who has that kind of skill in assassination, stealth, and intelligence other than the Hundred Wraith Union.”
“Hohoho! Just as I’ve heard, you’re really smart. I didn’t completely believe the report, but some of the information is indeed correct.”
Hong Ye-seol broke into laughter.
“What else is written on the report?”
“It says that you might be involved in Baekrok’s disappearance.”
“Baekrok assassination skills aren’t that great, but he’s excellent at using poison, so he’s still quite competent. I even learned some poisoning techniques from him. I confirmed that he had entered Sichuan on his own after receiving a request, but at some point, his whereabouts became unknown. At that point, I was lost. But now, I guess that it’s you who has beaten him, is that right?
“You don’t have to be so wary. I didn’t like Baekrok that much. Even if you killed him, it doesn’t give me any reason to be wary of you.”
“It seems that there is no affection between colleagues.”
“Hoho! Who cares about affection in the world these days? We only work together because it’s mutually beneficial and profitable. Why should I be angry that he died at your hands? He died because he didn’t have the ability. That’s just the fate of an incompetent assassin.”
Hong Ye-seol laughed once again.
“So the Hundred Wraith Union is such a place?”
“Isn’t that just how the world works?”
Hong Ye-seol asked back.
“Hoho! I really didn’t expect those words to come out of your mouth. I can’t believe the person who caused the bloodshed in Chengdu is calling us cold-hearted. Isn’t that you?”
Pyo-wol had already suspected that his identity was known to the world. But he wasn’t upset.
The bloodshed in Chengdu was not an event that could be completely covered up. In addition, he dealt with quite a few people on the way to Wudang Mountain.
It was enough time for his identity to be revealed.
At this point, the general public might know about him yet, but sects who possess intelligence networks, more or less have some information about Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol took off his scarf completely.
There is no reason for him to cover his face anymore.
Hong Ye-seol smiled.
“That looks better. You should continue to do that in the future. Covering up a face like that is like committing a sin against all the women in the world. The same goes for me… By the way, are you by any chance thinking of entering the Hundred Wraith Union? Thanks to you, there is a seat available…”
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I wonder what her future death will look like.
She may end up being a sidekick of some type. Their relationship seems to have started off similarly to Jin. No real conflict, but brought together by circumstance. If something permanent happened to Soma, they they would be enemies.
i’d thought pyo wol’s hair was also white in the novel but i guess its black lol
I remember in a previous chapter that his hair colour remained the same, but it was his skin and aura that got heightened after being thrown in the snake pit. I think the manhwa added the white hair colour for contrast.
Artists took liberty in the manga. I don’t like the manga. not as well done as the novel. Skips a lot of details. 🙁
How’s he supposed to hide his identity with a scarf when he had white hair? Manhwa changes for trivial reasons like making the character wmore distinctwithout real consideration is always annoying.