Light Novel: Volume 14 Episode 5
The shopkeeper suddenly felt a chill run down his spine. Goosebumps crawled from the nape of his neck to the bottom of his back.
Cautiously turning around, the shopkeeper found Pyo-wol standing right in front of him.
“When… When did you–?”
The shopkeeper was so startled and frightened that he ended up dropping to the floor. But Pyo-wol didn’t even glance at him, and instead, just looked inside the small window.
Through the window, he could see Do Yeonsan sitting down with hunched shoulders.
Do Yeonsan had a look of utter emptiness, as if his world had fallen apart. He was just staring blankly into space, unaware that Pyo-wol was watching him.
Such an expression could only be worn by someone who had experienced a great loss.
Pyo-wol called out to Do Yeonsan, but the latter didn’t respond.
Do Yeonsan was like a person trapped inside a large shell right now. Unless he broke free from it himself, no one could get him out.
Pyo-wol threw a necklace inside the window.
The necklace landed precisely at the top of Do Yeonsan’s foot.
“This necklace was found hanging on the dead body of a girl. Her body was discovered in a river near Lake Tai a while ago.”
“Her body showed signs of assault and torture. I brought the necklace with me since I saw the same pattern engraved on the necklace as the one drawn on the cow hair needle I bought. The girl’s body has now been taken care of by the authorities.”
Still, Do Yeonsan did not answer.
He continued to stare blankly into space, seemingly unable to hear and register Pyo-wol’s words.
Pyo-wol stared at Do Yeonsan’s face for a moment before turning away.
He had done everything he could do at this point.
From now on, everything was up to Do Yeonsan.
Whether he would come back to his senses and deal with the situation, or remained trapped in his own world and never come out of it, was entirely his responsibility.
The shopkeeper, who had been sitting on the floor, had his mouth agape at the sight of Pyo-wol’s retreating figure. He didn’t dare to approach, much less grab onto Pyo-wol.
He knew all too well what would happen if he touched someone like Pyo-wol.
“What should I do?”
The shopkeeper would have normally reported everything that happened in the workshop to Tang Ik-gi. But since Pyo-wol had just left, and nothing significant had actually happened, the shopkeeper became hesitant in reporting such matters.
There was a high probability that the shopkeeper would just stir up Tang Ik-gi’s temper for no reason.
“Surely this is nothing, right?”
The shopkeeper eventually decided to leave today’s events unmentioned.
He closed the small window of the warehouse and returned to his original spot.
As the window closed, the light that was entering the warehouse was completely blocked.
At that moment, tears began to flow down Do Yeonsan’s unfocused eyes.
Do Yeonsan suddenly began to sob.
He carefully held the necklace resting on his instep.
He didn’t need to look at it to know.
That the necklace was something he had made himself. The pattern he could feel on his fingertips proved that fact.
Do Yeonsan curled up in a ball and let out a beast-like cry.
He didn’t know how much time had passed.
He stopped crying.
Instead, he began to think.
When people find themselves in extreme situations, they mostly want to avoid them. That was why in the face of his parents’ death, Do Yeonsan had also been denying reality and seeking refuge in his own world.
But the news of his younger sister’s death dragged him back into reality.
But now his tears had dried up, and he had no more tears left to shed.
“I will get revenge.”
Do Yeonsan stood up from his position.
Having already suffered Tang Ik-gi’s abuse and being hunched over for a long time, even a simple act of getting up caused his entire body to scream in pain. Nevertheless, Do Yeonsan endured the pain and moved.
He didn’t know why his life had turned out this way overnight, but he knew what he had to do immediately.
Do Yeonsan put his sister’s necklace around his neck. Then, he approached the corner of the warehouse.
This place was a storage facility for materials used in the Cheolsan Workshop. Various materials were piled up on one side of the warehouse.
Cleaning up this place had always been Do Yeonsan’s responsibility. The other apprentices had all passed their work onto him.
As a result, Do Yeonsan knew well what materials were stored here. He was also familiar with the layout and structure of the warehouse, as if it was the back of his hand.
And what the others don’t know is that the warehouse could be accessed through places other than the door.
Locking him up here was a bad choice.
Do Yeonsan rummaged through the warehouse. When he found the items he was looking for, he quickly and quietly slipped out of the warehouse.
It wasn’t until the next day at dawn did the people at the Cheolsan Workshop realise that Do Yeonsan was gone.
“What happened? Where did that guy go?”
* * *
Pyo-wol woke up early in the morning and ate his breakfast.
The head chef and the inn servant was in charge of taking care of his meals, so thanks to them, Pyo-wol didn’t need to worry about choosing food.
He ate while enjoying the morning scenery as the sun rose.
No matter how delicious the food was, Pyo-wol never rushed to eat. It was his habit of savoring his food, by taking small bites.
The way he calmly used his chopsticks was elegant. The food on his plate steadily became emptied, albeit slowly.
As Pyo-wol savored his food, he gazed at the surface of Lake Tai, where sunlight was breaking through. It was a scene he had seen many times before, but he still hasn’t gotten tired of it.
Pyo-wol thought he was doing pretty well for himself.
He was able to have a normal meal like everyone else and leisurely appreciate the surrounding scenery. This was something he felt greatly grateful for.
After Pyo-wol finished his meal, the inn servant quickly brought him a cup of tea.
It wasn’t the most famous tea in Jianghu, but the fragrant aroma emanating from it indicated that it was still a decent-quality tea.
Pyo-wol poured the tea into his teacup and brought it to his mouth.
He held the teacup in his mouth for a moment, enjoying its aroma. After doing so, Pyo-wol felt refreshed, his mood vastly improving.
At this moment, Pyo-wol could say that he felt quite satisfied.
Living in an unpredictable and treacherous place like Jianghu, where anything could happen in the next moment, moments of relaxation like this makes Pyo-wol temporarily forget all his worries and troubles.
However, Pyo-wol’s peace didn’t last long.
The door of the inn burst open as if someone forcefully kicked it open.
A group of people entered through the open door.
“It’s the martial artists of the Sword Blossom Pavilion!”
The guests immediately recognized the identity of the intruders who stormed into the inn.
The individuals who entered the room were all female martial artists, which was an unusual sight. Furthermore, every female martial artist had a sword sheathed on their waist, adorned with the same pattern: a blooming rose.
It was the symbol of the Sword Blossom Pavilion.
As if to confirm this fact, Eum Yujeong stood at the forefront of the group of female martial artists, and beside her stood a middle-aged woman with a dignified appearance.
The middle-aged woman was looking at Pyo-wol, observing him with a straightened posture.
Although she was old, the middle-aged woman possessed an indescribable atmosphere and mature beauty. She was none other than Go Yeonsu, the sect leader of Sword Blossom Pavilion.
Go Yeonsu was one of the top martial arts experts in Jiangsu Province.
Even as a woman, she was a formidable martial artist, capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the top masters of Jiangsu Province.
It was said that when Go Yeonsu was young, there were fierce battles among the young male martial artists vying for her affection. In the end, however, Go Yeonsu chose to live alone without embracing any man.
She decided to reside in the Sword Blossom Pavilion, dedicating herself solely to martial arts training, and as a result, she achieved her current accomplishments.
A fierce and frost-like energy emanated from Go Yeonsu’s entire body. Her presence was so strong and intimidating that the guests in the inn could barely breathe.
Some of the guests’ faces even turned pale, with their mouths gaping like a fish.
Go Yeonsu’s gaze was directed straight at Pyo-wol
“Are you Pyo-wol?”
A sharp and thorny voice came out of Go Yeonsu’s mouth.
Pyo-wol put down his teacup and looked at Go Yeonsu.
The expression Go Yeonsu had on her face was of disgust. It was as if she was looking at the dirtiest and lowliest thing in the world.
Pyo-wol was a master at reading people. Just by looking at Go Yeonsu’s eyes, he could tell how she felt about him.
Pyo-wol hid his thoughts and spoke calmly,
“I never knew that the sect leader of Sword Blossom Pavilion would be this rude.”
“How did you know that I am the sect leader of the Sword Blossom Pavilion?”
“It would be strange for me not to know. Is there any other group in Lake Tai that would rush in with only female martial artists in their ranks, apart from the Sword Blossom Pavilion?”
“You’re pretty clever. Well, I suppose that’s why you raped a young woman and tried to cover it up.”
“There’s no point in you denying it. I have witnesses.”
Pyo-wol crossed his arms and looked at the female martial artists of the Sword Flower Pavilion.
He was trying to figure out the situation unfolding before him.
Pyo-wol then caught sight of Eum Yujeong with her head bowed, behind Go Yeonsu. Although Eum Yujeong tried to hide her expression by lowering her head, Pyo-wol could still clearly see the corners of her mouth curling up.
Pyo-wol’s gaze then swept over the other female members.
Some stared at him as if he was an insect, their eyes filled with intense disgust. But there were also others who avoided his gaze, or looked at him with pity.
From that alone, Pyo-wol could sense their moods.
Pyo-wol looked back at Go Yeonsu, and said,
“So, you’re saying I raped a woman?”
“Where’s your proof?”
“I brought the victim with me. Let’s see if you can be so brazen in front of the victim.”
Go Yeonsu gestured, and the female disciples who were outside the door entered with a woman in her late twenties.
The woman who entered was incredibly beautiful. However, her eyes were deeply bruised, as if she had been assaulted last night, and there were traces of violence on exposed parts of her body.
The woman trembled as if she was afraid just by looking at Pyo-wol.
Go Yeonsu pointed to the woman and said,
“This is the woman you raped last night. You sneaked inside her own home and assaulted her while she was sleeping.”
“What evidence do you have that I did it?”
“Her testimony is enough proof.”
Go Yeonsu answered confidently.
Her mouth curled up in a cunning smile.
Go Yeonsu knew very well how far-fetched and forced the situation was. However, she also knew that this method surprisingly worked well.
Right now, it wasn’t just Pyo-wol who was dining in the inn, but others as well. They watched the situation unfold before them, their eyes shining like wolves that have found their prey,
And later on, they would be the ones who would spread what happened here throughout the entirety of Lake Tai.
The news might initially be limited to Lake Tai for now, but soon it would spread beyond Jiangsu Province and then to the entire Jianghu.
The truth didn’t matter.
People only hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see.
Just the rumor of Pyo-wol forcibly raping a woman would be enough to deal a fatal blow to his reputation.
While it was difficult for a person to gain reputation, falling into disgrace could happen in an instant.
Go Yeonsu was well aware of that fact and understood how to maximize its effect.
‘No matter how strong his martial arts skills are, he probably doesn’t have much experience in Jianghu.’
Go Yeonsu licked her lips with her red tongue.
Pyo-wol was a tempting prey.
It wasn’t simply because he was young and handsome.
If the information secretly circulating in the Jianghu was true, then there was no weapon as useful as Pyo-wol.
Depending on how it was used, it could become a tremendous weapon.
Compared to the Nanjing clan or Changjiang Fortress, the Sword Blossom Pavilion was at a disadvantage in terms of power.
A sect with only female disciples would never be at an advantage. Nobody wanted to involve themselves in dirty work.
If the Sword Blossom Pavilion truly wanted to become the leading faction of Jiangsu Province, then they would need someone who would be willing to do the dirty work.
That’s why Go Yeonsu had come to see Pyo-wol this early in the morning.
There were various ways to subdue young, male martial artists.
Among them, the most effective method was the beauty trap. However, since Eum Yujeong had already attempted it and failed, it couldn’t be used again.
That’s why Go Yeonsu chose another scheme.
If a promising young martial artist was known to have raped a woman, then he would never be able to show his face in public again.
The truth didn’t matter.
It didn’t matter even if the truth came out later on.
Once such a perception was engraved, it wouldn’t be erased no matter how many years passed.
Go Yeonsu thought that Pyo-wol would tremble in fear or panic. But, he didn’t tremble or get excited like she expected.
He simply stared at her with deep-set eyes.
Go Yeonsu felt a chilling emotion that couldn’t be expressed in words for a moment.
It felt as if a sharp needle was piercing her chest.
The smile that had been on Go Yeonsu’s face vanished.
At that moment, Pyo-wol asked the woman who claimed to have been raped by him,
“I raped you?”
“Y-You broke into my room last night and r-raped me! I vividly remember your face and breathing.”
“So, you’re saying that I assaulted you, right?”
“I can guarantee it with my honor.”
“It’s amusing to hear a prostitute talk about honor.”
“What did you say?”
The woman’s voice became sharp.
Ngl, was kind of pissed that they’re falsely accusing Pyo-wol like this. Hopefully Pyo-wol teaches them a lesson soon. Anyway, thank you for reading!