Chapter 11

Light Novel: Volume 1 Episode 11
Manhwa: Chapter 9

Time passed quickly even in the dark.

The children quickly adapted to their training routine. 

Now most kids have noticed the real intention behind their running practice.

The children tried to find out in advance where the custodians were hiding by spreading their senses as wide as possible.

Of course, not all were successful, but So Yeowol and a few children did stand out and succeed. And finally, they succeeded in building internal qi through the method of cultivation 

As they start to feel qi, their senses become more sensitive. Thanks to this, they were able to excel better during training.

As the number of children who felt the qi increased, the custodians threw them a second cultivation book.

It was a book called the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method (​​毒龍心法).

The Poisonous Dragon Heart Method was a mind cultivation method that could build up inner energy as an attribute. The path to ascension is blocked, but in exchange, it is possible to build up inner strength at a high speed up to a certain line. The efficiency was significantly higher than doing other methods.

It has great destructive power like a dragon with a lot of poison, but since the security is poor, if someone makes a mistake, there is a high possibility that they will get burned.

But the custodians did not tell the children anything about it. They just threw out the booklet and forced them to open and learn it.

The children learned the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method without thinking much about. 

Now the children were addicted to gaining strength. 

As they continued to master cultivation skills, their overall body ability increased dramatically together with their confidence. The children were hell bent on becoming stronger as if they were on drugs.

Madness dominates the mind of the children.

Those who achieved outstanding achievements were rewarded accordingly.

They were given abundant food and good weapons.

These two encouraged children’s competitive spirit and resulted in rapid growth.

Pyo-wol looked at the booklet of the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method with a calm gaze.

There were no children who tried to look and read the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method, quite similar in the case of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. This was because the three swords have already explained the cultivation method in detail.

Because of this, Pyo-wol was able to easily obtain the original copy of the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method.

Pyo-wol compared the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method with the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. The latter method is one that he had read dozens of times already. Thanks to his actions, the booklet has long been in tatters.

Probably, Pyo-wol read the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique many times more than the three swords, who originally introduced and taught the technique. 

Pyo-wol came to one conclusion after reading the Splitting the Mind Method dozens of times.

‘They didn’t fully comprehend this cultivation technique.’

If we compare it to a tree, the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique was a huge tree with very thick branches. However, the three swords and the custodians cut off all the branches, leaving only the core trunk and roots.

Because they thought that was enough.

Actually it was.

Most of the children were able to learn the inner skills through the method of cultivating, using only the core.

It was enough to supplement the branching part with the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method.

That one was much more efficient.

The children here are not the ones who would lead the future as powerhouses like those coming from prestigious clans. 

They were just a knife that was raised to fulfill a single quest.

They wanted a sharp knife that could leave a fatal wound even once, rather than a strong knife that would never break. And the children have steadily grown up as the Blood Phantom Corps wanted.

The children who learned the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method grew quickly. And by a large margin as compared to the children.

On the other hand, the achievement of Pyo-wol, who first felt the qi, was slow.

It’s because he hasn’t tried to learn the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method yet.

The suspicion that arose from the depths of his heart prevented him from learning the method of the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method. Given his reluctance, Pyo-wol postponed learning the method of the  Poisonous Dragon Heart Method and instead immersed himself in analyzing the method of the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method.

The essence of the cultivation method is in its heart. (‘분뢰심법의 요체는 심속(心速)이야.’)

Everything is contained in the name of the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique. 

Lightning strikes from the sky to the earth at a speed that humans cannot perceive. The sight that human beings see is only the finished form after the lightning has penetrated the heavens and the earth, but they could not see the process.

He had to split the lightning (分雷). 

It was impossible to break through lightning with human power. It was the same no matter how stubborn the warrior was. Nevertheless, the person who invented the cultivation technique dared to choose the word thunder splitting. 

Pyo-wol thought that there was no reason to choose such a word.

Every word has its own meaning.

In particular, the gugyeol was added.1 (특히 무공 구결은 더했다.)

Depending on how one interprets the gugyeol, the power and achievement differed from heaven to earth.

Pyo-wol thought that power meant the mind.

It was impossible with the power of the body, but it was possible with the mind.

Usually people think that such a thing is a delusion, but Pyo-wol did not think that the author who created the Thunder-Splitting Cultivation Technique was a dreamer.

With only the key point of cutting all branches, the children were able to quickly recognize the qi and build strength. The person who made such a great martial art couldn’t have been a dreamer.

After much deliberation, Pyo-wol thought that splitting thunder is not meant to be taken literally. Since it’s physically impossible to split thunder, it may be referring to the speed of thought. 

If you can think quickly enough to rival the speed of lightning, you may be able to do many things that are not possible with common sense.

The question was whether Pyo-wol, who did not know the martial arts, could perfectly master the essence of such a method.

Rather, moving on to the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method now would be easier and quicker to achieve. 

It was obvious that the road would be much easier and convenient if the swords or the custodians had already decided on how to lay their foundation. 

However, what Pyo-wol is worried about is that if he follows and walks the way that others have laid down, he also wouldn’t be able to escape the limits that they have set.

Pyo-wol will never be satisfied with that. 

After he passed the crisis of life and death alone in the dark darkness, Pyo-wol had a coming-of-age that no one else had.

Maybe he didn’t know that his well-hidden rebellious tendency was starting to wake up.

He did not want to be ruled by others.

He didn’t want to surrender to the humans who put him in this dark space.

So in order to do that, he had to get off the road they had made. Instead of a safe and flat road, Pyo-wol chose a bumpy and rough road with unexpected dangers.

Pyo-wol put the booklet of the Poisonous Dragon Heart Method  away.

* * *

Now the children were accustomed to their training of running. 

The practice of running made their bodies and stamina stronger than ever before. 

They have strong muscles like wild goats. The combination of an excellent body and the Poisonous Dragon Heart method made their talents bloom.

The growth speed of the children was beyond the expectations of both the First and Second Sword. 

 “They’re growing faster than I thought.”

“If this is the case, I think five years is enough instead of six. In fact, the time period of six years was chosen not because the target is that strong, but to erase traces as much as possible and achieve perfection.”

“You cannot underestimate the target. He possesses the most talent in all of Sichuan Province.”

To deal with such a talent, perfect preparation is not enough, because if we make any sort of mistake, then entire Blood Shadow Group may be annihilated. Isn’t that why the Captain recruits and trains these children who have nothing to do with the Blood Phantom Corps? Even if they fail, there will be no problem.”

That’s also the reason why they never take off their masks. They cannot show their faces to children to hide their identity. 

The sword apologized.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to underestimate the target.”

“I know. Still, you must be fully alert.”

“Yes, sir!”

The Second Sword replied vigorously.

The First sword looked at the Second Sword for a moment without saying a word.

“Now, let’s teach the children assasination techniques (殺法).2

“Alright.”

The Second sword answered immediately.

Assassins are never made overnight.

The method of killing will also vary depending on the opponent’s status, military power, and situation, so one needs to learn as many techniques as possible. 

There seemed to be a mountain of things to learn, from techniques that can actually kill such as through swordsmanship or poison arts, to techniques related to infiltration, such as stealth, and secret techniques. (검법, 도법, 독술, 암기술처럼 실질적으로 숨통을 끊는 수법부터 은신술과 귀식대법, 암행술 같은 침투에 연관된 수법까지 익혀야 할 것이 산더미 같았다.)

The Second Sword said that five years would be enough, but First Sword thought that six years was actually not enough. 

“Push the children even more.”

“A lot of them will die.”

“But the ones to survive will become even stronger.”

“Alright.”

The First sword delivered the command of the one sword to the custodians.  The custodians immediately carried out their orders.

“I will teach you the sword starting today.”

The assassin’s sword is a killing  sword.

They do not pursue virtuous swordsmanship like a taoist or unaffiliated do. (그들은 화산파나 무당파처럼 검술을 통해 선도(仙道)를 추구하지 않는다.)

They focus on only stopping a person’s breath in the shortest time with the least amount of effort.

For that reason, the assassin’s sword is simple yet effective.

The road to ascension is blocked, but it’s enough to quickly cut off a person’s breath that no other person can follow. 

To do this, one has to be familiar with the human body.

Because of that, the assassins were just as knowledgeable about the human body as physicians. Because they only focus on studying how to kill people every day.

“No matter how hard you try, if you get hit in these three places, you can’t avoid death. Those are the head, neck, and heart. If you get stabbed in these three places, no matter how high your defense is, it’s useless. It’s an intensive attack on the enemy. It’s called the Snake Soul Sword (蛇魂剣). It’s a one-hit deadly technique that cuts the opponent’s breath at once, just like how a snake snatches its prey at once.”

“You mean there’s no second attack if it’s a one-hit special?”

It was Pyo-wol who asked the question without fear.

For a moment, the Second Sword looked at Pyo-Wol with numb eyes. His eyes were so cold that it gave me goosebumps.

The children trembled, even though they couldn’t even see their eyes.

The Second Sword said.

“There are no second chances for an assassin. If you can’t get your opponent down on the first hit, then you already lost. So it’s better not to think about a second attack.”

The Second Sword brought up the word assassin for the first time.

Many of the children already realized that they were being raised as assassins and started chattering. But after a moment, when they felt the cold gaze of the three swords, they quickly shut his mouth.

The custodian formed the children into two pairs, and threw them each a dagger.

It was a real sword that was forged with a dark blue blade.

Pyo-wol is paired with a child named Gok Soo-chang.

Gok Soo-chang was a short boy with numerous acne marks on his face. He looked ugly, but his eyes were full of poison.

He said abruptly.

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For everything.”

Pyo-wol frowned at Gok Soo-chang’s words. Then the voice of the custodian was heard.

“We’ll start with the neck first.”

The children aimed their sword towards the opponent’s neck, as the custodian instructed. They used a dagger that was much shorter than a normal sword and pretended to stab through the opponent’s neck.

Not so long ago, they had been hell-bent on killing each other, but after the appearance of the custodians, the children immediately stopped fighting.

They tacitly agreed to a truce when a powerful external enemy emerged.

Because of that, the swords that were swung towards each other did not contain as much energy. Of course, if the circumstances change in the future, then the day will come when they will truly wield the sword, but for now, there was no reason to harbor murderous intent towards each other.

The children repeated several times in order to get used to the swordsmanship taught by the custodians.

They were children who had already slain others with their bare hands, even if no one taught them. As soon as they put the forged weapon in the hands of such children, they quickly got used to it.

The children used the sword skillfully as if they had learned the sword from a young age.

Swish! 

The sound of children swinging daggers echoed in the underground cave. 

The custodians only gave them a sword, but did not correct the posture nor give any detailed instructions.

It was as if they had finished their work just by telling them about the swordsmanship.

Indeed it was.

They were children who had already tasted blood through a hellish situation. There was no need to give detailed instructions to those who are full of madness. Just by opening the door slightly, they instinctively found the way they should go.

The children’s sword grew sharper and sharper.

“Kikiki!”

It was the same with Gok Soo-chang. He swung his dagger freely against Pyo-wol.

Schwing!

It was as if he had been learning swordsmanship for a long time, he stabbed like an island war and receded like the wind.

Pyo-wol also responded accordingly.

It was time for him to pretend to stab a sword in the throat of his opponent and retreat.

But Gok Soo-chang’s eyes suddenly changed.

Although one could not notice any change on the surface, Pyo-wol’s senses did not miss his subtle changes.

‘Hm?’

Whoosh!

At that moment, the dagger of Gok Soo-chang flew at a speed that could not be compared with before. His dagger was aimed precisely at Pyo-wol’s throat.

It wasn’t just a feint stabs like before, but he was actually starting to attack with murderous intent.

Pyo-wol almost instinctively tilted his head back and swung his dagger.

Chae-ang!

Pyo-wol’s sword deflected Gok Soo-chang’s sword. The fight would normally have stopped at this point. But Gok Soo-chang rushed at Pyo-wol like a demon. 

The murderous intent he harbored was real.

He really wants to kill Pyo-wol.

Even the custodian who was watching from nearby knew that fact. But the custodian did not stop the actions of Gok Soo-chang. 

Rather, he looked at them with interest. 

Pyo-wol avoided his dagger and opened his mouth.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Hiiih! It’s not fun to have a fake fight, don’t you think?”

“Is that so?”

“You should go all out too. Otherwise, you will be eaten! Kihihi!”

With a smile full of madness, Gok Soo-chang dug into Pyo-wol’s arms. In a moment of crisis, Pyo-wol threw away his dagger. Because it felt clunky.

Thunk! 

Pyo-wol stretched out his legs and kicked Gok Soo-chang’s stomach. As Gok Soo-chang was swept away due to the strong impact, Pyo-wol immediately went for Gok Soo-chang’s wrist and twisted it. 

Crunch! 

“KAARGH!”

As his wrists rotated, a hollow bone protruded through the flesh.


SoundlessWind21’s Notes:

  1. 구결은 Gugyeol can be rendered as “phrase parting,” and may refer to the separation of one Chinese phrase from another.  
  1. 殺法 Killing method is the direct MTL.
    • 殺 for kill, murder, butcher, slice off 
    • 法 for method, law, rule, principle.

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Reaper of the Drifting Moon
Manhwa = Novel
Chapter 78 = Chapter 125

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Chapter 11
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