Chapter 33: Into the Summer (4)
I was able to receive our final mission for the summer through Kong Su Chan. It was a guard assignment from the Righteous Eastern Merchant Guild. They wanted us to protect them for a day while they were signing an important contract. They were willing to pay two thousand nyang for a single day of protection.
This was a pretty lofty sum for only a single day’s worth of protection, signifying that they were being threatened somehow. Either way, they’ said that the job would be dangerous, thus I’d decided to take that we’d do it.
Before we left, my father gave me some advice. “Don’t be blinded by the your previous success. Accidents can happen at any time.”
“Yes, father. I won’t forget.”
This was one of the things that I liked about my father; he was a righteous and straightforward person. On the contrary, my mother was an extremely carefree person.
“Son, go and make a lot of money!”
How could I not know her true feelings? She was simply hiding her true feelings by saying carefree things such as this.
“Yes, mother. I’ll make sure to bring you back a gift.”
“Bring back something expensive!”
I laughed. “I will.”
When the members of the Lesser Sword Sect and I reached the Righteous Eastern Merchant Guild, the atmosphere was extremely heavy. There were guard everywhere; even the servants were holding knives, clubs, and farming tools with the intention of protecting their master. However, when they saw us arrive, they loosened up a bit.
Once Baek Yeo, the man who’d hired, saw us, he rushed towards us and greeted us as if we were gods from heaven, “Welcome! Thank you for coming here on such a short notice.”
“Why is everyone acting like this?”
“Look at this.”
What he proceeded to show me was a threat letter. It was written such that, ‘If you don’t stop this contract, you and your family will die’.
“Who sent you this?”
“A certain someone who’s looking to stop our contract. They just want to get rid of me and take the contract for themselves.”
“You know, this could be an empty threat. Just to make you scared and step down.”
However, he shook his head.
“One of the relatives of the person who sent this is the guild leader of the Seo Jong Guild.”
“The Seo Jong Guild?”
“The Seo Jong Guild is a pretty famous dark guild. They’re a guild that follows their leader, Seo Ryang, and call themselves the Seo Jong Guild.”
Dark guilds aren’t part of the Murim Alliance nor the Demonic Alliance. They’re independent backwater groups that usually cause trouble wherever they are. They usually take over a region and tax the residents of that area, or become bandits and rob from merchants.
“Since we’re here, you don’t have any need to be afraid of them.”
“They shouldn’t be ignored simply because they’re a dark guild. They’re an evil group with many members. A lot of their members are proficient in martial arts too.”
“All right. Then, let’s prepare to set out.”
“...I’ll trust you.”
After leaving the room that Baek Yeo had led me to after seeing us, I called Kwan He immediately. “Our opponent might be someone from the Dark Guild. Thus, they might rush us at any time. Spread the word to the others that they need to prepare themselves.”
The place that Baek Yeo needed to go to for his business contract was five-hours away from his house. We were only going to escort Baek Yeo since the guards of the Righteous Eastern Guild were staying behind in order to protect their headquarters.
Since we expected to have disturbances, and we knew who was going impede us, I raised my guard and concentrated on my senses. If they decided to shoot arrows at us from far away when they attacked us, there might be some casualties.
I had plenty experience doing this sort of thing,as I’d taken many missions when I was still the Mengju.
I’d heard of quite a few cases like this, but this was my first time both protecting someone and escorting them due to the threat of a dark guild.
Baek Yeo started a conversation with some members of the Lesser Sword Sect while I was gone. “I heard that you guys took down a group of bandits.”
“Yes, we have.”
“Impressive. I’ve also heard that they were pretty famous.”
“That’s why we told you to not worry about a thing. The person sitting next to you was able to take out four bandits by himself.”
“Oh, is that so?”
The person sitting next to Baek Yeo was Kwang Du.
Kwang Du replied in a loud voice, “Don’t worry, we’ll protect you.”
“So, you’re keeping an expert by my side.”
Kwang Du flinched. That wasn’t why he was riding in the carriage. Even though Kwang Du had started practicing horse riding, he still wasn’t comfortable doing it. I’d told him to ride a carriage because of this.
Even though he only had a few days of practice, he’d tried to convince me to allow him to ride a horse. It was obvious that he wanted to impress Do Sun-ee with his horse riding skills since Do Soon-ee still hadn’t attached the decoration to her sword.
We were finally ambushed whilst crossing a flat plain. No one was surprised when the first thirty appeared, but more and more of them continued to show themselves in group of tens and twenties as they proceeded to surround us completely. By the time they’d all shown themselves, their numbers had reached three hundred.
We were completely surrounded by the members of the black guild who’d threatened Baek Yeo, who’d armed themselves with all sorts of weapon, be it spear, sword, or any blunt weapon they could find. This was honestly a pretty intimidating situation.
When Baek Yeo looked out the window of his carriage, he received quite a fright. “Oh my god. We’re all doomed!”
“Don’t worry.” Kwang Du tried to calm him down, but the tremor in his voice just made Baek Yeo even more terrified.
Following Kwan He’s order, the members of the lesser sword sect enveloped the carriage in a circular formation. Even though there were some of them that had plenty of real experience, when they saw the number of enemies in front of them, they couldn’t help but be at least a little nervous.
There was no way that a single organization had this many members. More than likely, they’d asked for assistance from another organization.
However, Baek Yeo was a person who had a conscience. “I can just give up on this deal. There’s no need for you guys to take unnecessary casualties.”
Baek Yeo then yelled, “I’ll give up on the deal! Just let us go.”
Afterwards, someone who seemed to be their leader stepped out of the ocean of people that surrounded. Seeing that the other members of the dark guild had both made way and were respectful to this man, it seemed that he was Seo Ryang.
“Why did someone as reasonable as yourself make such a stubborn decision?”
“It was because of my ignorance. Please let us go.”
“This isn’t something that can be solved that easily.”
When the people around him saw him approach our vanguard, they quickly surrounded him.. The members of the lesser sword sect were all quite nervous because of how many of them there were. We absolutely couldn’t fight them head on, considering the fact that they outnumber us by a large margin. Not only that, but there were many of the enemies who had spears. If they rushed us and simply swung their spears, we wouldn’t be able to do anything—even if we were master martial artists.
They proceeded until they were ten steps in front of us, at which point Seo Ryang said, “How can I trust you after what you’ve done? If I let you go back just like this, you might make plans to meet again tonight. All the people that you see are busy men; we can’t just gather them up for you again tonight.”
“No, I’ll give up on it for sure. I’ll even sign a contract for you.”
“What good will a piece of paper do?”
“Then what can I do?”
“Why don’t you give us one of your hands?”
Baek Yeo turned pale, causing Seo Ryang to burst into laughter.
“I was just joking. You seemed rather scared.” Seo Ryang finally stopped laughing, then gave him a cold threat. “However, if we meet again, you’ll lose more than just your hand. Make way for that elder, he’s going back home.”
But he didn’t forget to insult us. “Simply beingMurim-In and wearing sword at your waist doesn’t mean dog shit to this daddy. Disappear before this daddy changes his mind. This daddy has generously decided to let you live.”
The dark guild’s members all laughed and proceeded to open a pathway for us.
Baek Yeo looked at me and said, “Let’s go back.”
Seeing that I hadn’t responded, he became desperate. “I said let’s go back. If they change their mind, we’re all dead. Let’s hurry!”
I finally decided to open my mouth. “If they’re that scary to you, then you should’ve just hired them instead.”
“What kind of tone is that?!”
“Since you’ve hired us, you should at least trust us a little bit.”
I stared coldly at Seo Ryang and said, “Hey, you worthless piece of dog shit. Do you really think that we’ll leave just because you said to leave, or come just because you said to come?”
How could someone like me, who was once the Mengju, say these words you ask? Well, who were my opponents? If I think about all the curses that I’ve received from the Demonic Alliance …it’s enough to make anyone vomit blood.
Seo Ryang proceeded to ask one of his men, “What’s that little punk saying?”
“I think that he wants to fight us.”
“Is there something wrong with his eyes?”
Everyone around him burst into laughter.
“However, if that’s his wish, then it’s our obligation to grant it.”
When Seo Ryang drew his weapon, everyone around him else readied their weapons. He trusted the three hundred men he was leading.
I quickly gave Kwan He an order. “Make a half circle using the carriage as a wall around Mister Baek and protect him.”
“Look carefully at how I deal with these punks. I’ll show you the difference in class between a Murim-In and these pieces of trash.”
I pulled out my sword and casually walked towards them. They got a bit nervous when they saw me approach them so casually.
What was the way to fight in this situation? Easy.
Step step step step.
I quickly rushed towards Seo Ryang. Just like in every other group fight, getting rid of the enemy leader is key.
The enemies rushed towards me in waves, but I cut them down easily.
Several men quickly lost their heads. I quickly swung my sword and cut down the next wave of men. They were intimidated when they saw me easily cut down their comrades.
The ones with spears started swinging their spears around wildly. However, I was as fluid as water as I dodged their spears. My movement was repetitive, yet extremely elaborate.
Dodge, slash, block. Dodge, slash, block.
With every slash, another man fell. It only took an instant for more than ten corpses to appear. Everyone was shocked. All I’d done was dodge when needed and swing my sword when needed. It was much easier than dealing with a single person. Every time I swung my sword somebody had died; ten more bodies now laid on the ground.
Seo Ryang became flustered and quickly yelled, “Stop him! Kill that bastard!”
His flustered voice lowered his subordinates’ morale.
He should’ve told his men to kill Byeok Yeo. If he’d done that, he would have diverted my attention. Either way, the result would’ve been the same considering the fact that Seo Ryung wasn’t someone capable of something as complex as that. As of now, he’d most likely lost his reasoning.
They all charged at me, but the ones dying were them. It didn’t matter how many of them there were, they were still just a rag tag group of bandits. Even if they had learned some form of martial arts, they still weren’t better than the members of the Lesser Sword Sect. However, I didn’t plan to kill all of them.
I stepped off of one of the corpses around me and leapt forward. I easily passed twenty man, and neared Seo Ryang, who was only about ten paces in front of me. When he saw how close I was to him, he screamed, “Stop him! Block him!”
There were only ten people between him and I. How could just ten men stop me if that many hadn’t been able to previously?
Another five fell to my sword, causing the rest to turn tail and run away.
“Stop him! Stop that bastard!”
However, no one made a single step to help him. Their faces were frozen in fear.
I hadn’t even lost my breath yet.
Seo Ryan stepped away from me in fear. “We’ll withdraw. So…”
Ignoring what he was saying, I launched myself towards him. If I wanted to beat them, I couldn’t let him live.
He drew his weapon and wildly swung it. It might have worked against one of his subordinates, but against me? Ha, don’t even think about it.
When I landed behind him, Seo Ryang’s movements stopped. A red line slowly appeared on his neck.
The next moment...
The next moment his head fell off of his neck.
A fountain of blood proceeded to shoot out of his neck. Everyone was shocked stiff when they saw Seo Ryang’s head hit the ground.
I whipped my sword in the air and said, “Drop whatever’s in your hands and get down on your knees.”
Since my voice was infused with internal energy, it was loud and clear enough for everyone to hear it.
They all looked at each other for a few moments, not knowing what to do. Afterwards, the one closest to me threw down his weapon and dropped to his knees. “Please, spare me!”
This caused everyone else to throw down their weapons and drop down onto their knees.
“Please spare us!”
“Please spare us!”
There was no way three hundred rabbits could take down a tiger. Moreover, they were busy trying to keep themselves alive.
When I saw this, I yelled at the lesser sword sect, “Cut down anyone that opens their eyes and looks up!”
The Lesser Sword Sect members replied in unison.
Hearing this, the members of the dark guild quickly closed their eyes and lowered their heads. Seeing three hundred people bowed down with their eyes closed was quite a sight.
As I approached my subordinates, I said, “This is what Murim-In is. In fact we’re called Murim-In because of things like this. Do you understand?”
The members of the Lesser Sword Sect’s had faces brimming with pride and a desire for strength.
Especially Kwang Du and Kwan He; they looked like they were dreaming.
This was what I wanted. I wanted them to be influenced by this. Even if you’re facing three-thousand enemies, you should never show your back to them. I’m sure that, someday, they will display this sort of thing. That’s something that I’m truly looking forward to.
Baek Yeo stared blankly at me with his mouth wide open. He was so stunned that he didn’t know what to say.
I smiled and said, “Lets go. You still need to finish your contract.”
Seo Ryong, as well as his two vice-leaders who were protecting Seo Ryong to the end, had all been slain by me; the Seo Jong Guild was no more.
Since the rest of them were just subordinates, I let them go after scaring them a bit. I threatened them by saying that, if I ever heard that they were up to no good again, then I’d come back to eliminate them. Even if they go back to their old ways, they’ll at least stay hidden for a while.
The deal that day ended without a hitch, and Baek Yeo gave us the money he owed us.
“I added some extra just for you.”
“You didn’t have to.”
However, since he most likely has a decent amount of money, I didn’t decline. When I opened up the envelope he’d handed me, I saw five one-thousand nyang notes. He’d added three thousand more to our original deal.
“Thank you. We’ll be on our way now.”
“I’ll call you again when I need you.”
But by that time, you won’t be able to hire us with this much money. Our value will have increase by tenfold.