Chapter 232 – Audun (1)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : Lovely Hogu
Quick note : Today’s a double (possibly triple upload day) and I wanted to give a special thanks to some of the people, readers very much included, who have made me truly happy to keep translating. So I’ll be giving some credits to just some of those folks below 🙂 Have a good chapter day! – B
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At a pond located atop a certain mountain peak….
The carps of various colors swam, and a young woman seemingly watched the carp flock together, sprinkling the food on the top of her palm, over the surface of the pond.
The woman hummed a sweet and harmonious melody. And… her eyes were a murky-white, not clear.
The woman was blind. So, she couldn’t see the carp swimming in the pond naturally. However, feeding fish was not something that required sight.
“You look good.”
The woman’s shoulders flinched at the sudden and unexpected murmur behind her back. But, she didn’t bother to look back.
She couldn’t see anything with her eyes anyway, so it was pointless to face the direction of the voice.
Instead, she poured all the remaining sprinkles of fish food in her palm, onto the surface of the pond.
“Are you finally out?”
“I told back then, when my time to leave my training would come.”
The old man answered the woman’s question.
He wore a spacious, comfortable-looking gray robe, and his gray hair was frizzy because he didn’t tidy it up.
However, the only thing that resembled anything of old age, was the man’s white hair and aged eyes.
He turned his back to see the young lady standing there with a disturbed face. After nearly a century of closed door training, the man was not very impressed with his surroundings seemingly.
Even though it was closed-door training, it was not enough time for him to feel satisfied with his strength,
“They’re dead aren’t they.”
“Yes, Qian Zun and Guan Zun are dead.”
“So, that’s what happened. Was it inevitable?”
“I was able to predict Qian Zun’s death to some extent, but I did not expect or anticipate Guan Zun’s.”
“That’s…… I don’t know.”
He wasn’t questioning her. He was just genuinely curious. As the young woman answered, she turned around and faced the old man with her dull and emotionless eyes and continued to speak.
“My visions are only what I see through the Divine Spirit. If the Divine Spirit does not see the vision itself, and does not show me…… I can’t predict the possibility either.”
Musin nodded his head at the Divine Maiden’s answer. Foresight was not always perfect.
Absolute foresight did not exist in the world of Eria. Many sorcerers, wizards, and even astrologers could visualize a fragmented future to some extent if they were skilled enough in their field.
However, there was nothing in the world that could continuously predict the future like a shaman could.
(T/N : This makes a lot of sense, as the Divine Spirit and Divine Maiden were mentioned as the same person by Qian Zun but, are in reality, what seems to be a shaman and a spiritual connection. Pretty interesting.)
“You’re sure about that, aren’t you?”, Musin asked.
“I can’t lie.”
“Maybe… but what are the chances of that being your first lie?”
The old man, Musin, grinned at the Divine Maiden’s answer. He wasn’t truly doubting the Divine Maiden or the Divine Spirit. He was just being mischievous for the fun of it. Musin shook his head and coughed.
“A strong flow of fate has begun to move in the world.”
The Divine Maiden whispered in a low voice.
“Yes, many individuals carrying strong fates are gathering, along with the Divine Spirit’s attention, around the Minor Heavenly Demon.”
“I wish we had secured her involvement with us beforehand.”
“Then there would have been no point in securing her involvement by our side beforehand. The Divine Spirit has already moved and has begun to inject his fate and energy into the Minor Heavenly Demon’s body, recently.”
“The will of the gods of what they saw and what they knew. It’s not supposed to be known to other humans yet.”
The shaman murmured and then asked.
“What about the Ghost Spear?”
“It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but presumably he’s in contact with Sima Ryunju.”
“Sima Ryunju… what a fickle man.”
The Demonic Emperor, Sima Ryunju. The old man, Musin, frowned as he recalled his long-time rival.
Despite nearly a hundred years of closed-door training, Musin did not make much progress in that entire century, due to just how high of a level he had already achieved, prior to entering his closed door training.
Thanks to this, Musin still did not have the confidence that he could defeat Sima Ryunju going head-to-head.
“Didn’t the Divine Spirit say anything about the Ghost Spear?”
Beyond the Heavens, their organization, had many chances to kill Lee Sungmin up to this point. Even if Lee Sungmin was in the South prior to going into hiding, presumably with Sima Ryunju, they didn’t need the Murim Alliance’s shabby influence down there, to reach him. Just by using their direct strength, they could have killed him immediately, had they been vigilant.
If they had only sent two of the 6 divinities simultaneously, they could have dealt with Lee Sungmin, then and there.
But Musin had told the Divine Maiden, not to kill Lee Sungmin yet.
And the Divine Maiden had agreed, since the Heavenly Spirit had not said anything about him.
(T/N : So the author is being inconsistent with the naming sense here, and they were making name-swap mistakes with Jack and Hans last chapter as well. However, I’m not sure if this is intentional this time so, I’ll leave it as is.)
The Ghost Spears’ involvement started in Rubes. Originally, the Heavenly Spirit told them to secure the Minor Heavenly Demon in advance, and the organization had acted according to the Spirit’s will.
Both Musin, and the Divine Maiden, thought it would be better to let her come voluntarily rather than forcefully, so they had sent Qian Zun, who was proficient with curses, to make her weak.
Their original purpose was to make her feel pessimistic about her situation and crave for more strength, thereby joining their organization. But it was foiled by that man, the Ghost Spear.
It was in Rubes that the Heavenly Spirit changed its mind.
To be exact, it was when An Zun almost killed the Ghost Spear, trying to test him and kidnap the Minor Heavenly Demon.
At first, the Divine Maiden wondered if the Heavenly Spirit had changed its words because of interference from Sima Ryunju, but as she thought about it, over and over again… The Ghost Spear was getting suspicious
At that time, it was Sima Ryunju’s incarnation that blocked An Zun. If An Zun had been healthy and decided to risk its life, it would have been able to knock down the incarnation and secure the Minor Heavenly Demon.
And in the process they had expected Lee Sungmin and the Crazy Heavenly Demon to have died then.
‘But the Divine Spirit didn’t mention anything about the Ghost Spear’
The Spirit hadn’t said anything, so the Divine Maiden and Musin agreed not to kill him for now, since he could be a part of the Divine Spirit’s plans later.
Still, the Ghost Spear was being a hindrance as of right now to their plans. So, they limited his movements through manipulating public news through the Murim Alliance.
“Where is the Minor Heavenly Demon right now?”
“Her location has not been identified either.”
The Divine Maiden answered with her head down. At the words, Musin nodded his head with a smile.
“The Black Dragon Association will be hard to move because it is the leading faction of the Murim Alliance……They haven’t been moving due to my lack of presence haven’t they. Hm….. How is Kang Seok?”
“Kang Seok is more interested in the Ghost Spear than he is with fighting the Minor Heavenly Demon.”
“Really? Then tell him that he can do as he pleases. I’ll have to search for the Minor Heavenly Demon myself.”
At the words of the old man, Musin, the Divine Maiden opened her eyes wide, expressing her surprise.
But she didn’t say anything against it. This was because over the past year, it was unpredictable precisely how monstrous the talent of the Minor Heavenly Demon could have grown.
If she decided to send Do Zun or An Zun, they might be the one to be killed.
However, if she sent out Wolhu or Kang Seok, they could definitely defeat her. But Wolhu and Kang Seok were special existences in their own right, within the Six Divinities.
The Divine Maiden knew this and gave exception to their own wills at times like these.
“Then I will tell Kang Seok to do as he pleases. Are you hoping he will kill the Ghost Spear?”
“Let’s leave that to the will of Kang Seok.”
Musin turned around, saying so.
“The one called the Ghost Spear. I’ve never met him before, but…… He appears to be a very strange fellow. Didn’t the Heavenly Spirit change the outcome of the plan due to his interference? Or at least that’s what I seem to think at least. But… It seems like the Heavenly Spirit almost wanted Guan Zun to die by his hands. Or, was that your idea?”
The Divine Maiden shook her head at Musin’s question.
“I couldn’t have possibly wanted that, could I?”
“To prevent Qian Zun’s death, the Heavenly Spirit sent Guan Zun to his death as well…. Was it not preventable……? No, it was probably an avoidable death. I’m not doubting you or the Divine Spirit, but I naturally feel uncomfortable about the situation.”
The Divine Maiden bowed her head deeply to Musin in apologies.
“I also feel sorry for their deaths.”
Musin nodded at the words without responding further. Then, his body disappeared in a blur in front of the Divine Maiden.
The Divine Maiden hadn’t seen Musin disappear, but she did feel the presence of his soul vanish.
She didn’t know what the will of the Divine Spirit was either at this point.
* * *
The world was not a simple place where things were viewed in black and white.
There was a huge gap of knowledge between what was known and unknown.
The truth that most people accepted may actually be false.
It was simply a fact that there were people in this world who were above others and could change the truth as they pleased, if they so wished it to be.
Even before Namgung Heewon had left the Main Branch of the Namgumg Family to chase after Lee Sungmin in the Forest of Temptation; he was aware of this fact.
He was neither stupid nor foolish. He also knew what had been going on truly with the marriage of Zhuge Taeryong and Muron Seoji, It was not something that was normal. There was no way Lee Sungmin truly wished to kill them if he had already spared them.
It was also only a matter of time before Namgung Heewon found out what had happened to the Main Branch while he had escaped his family.
He didn’t even have to ask his agent from Erebrisa what had happened, as if he went into any bar or any city, he could hear exactly what had happened.
It had been more than a year since the Namgung family had been utterly humiliated and attacked by a mysterious ‘C-Class Mercenary, Jeong Hyun-Soo’.
Namgung Heewon would have liked to arrive at Murim Alliance Headquarters much earlier, but he had not done so quite yet.
He didn’t know whether it was a good idea, since for some odd reason, he felt that it might be unsafe to blindly walk in and demand the truth. Something was fishy, and he knew it.
It was clear to him that Lee Sungmin would have never killed Murong Seojin, especially if he knew Namgung Heewon loved her and that he had promised not to. And for that, he knew the Murim Alliance had a hand in their deaths. But… if so, why?
If he charged in, and accused them of their lies and manipulating the public image, it was clear things wouldn’t end well.
He knew that much at least.
But his dilemma was the same. What should he do with that information?
After running away from his family, instead of directly going to the Murim Alliance, Namgung Heewon went to the Shaolin.
The Shaolin Grandmaster, Bulyeong, was one of the few men Namgung Heewon could truly trust in these turbulent times.
Grandmaster Bulyeong accepted Namgung Heewon, who came to him late at night to avoid any suspicious eyes, and accepted him without kicking him out or telling anybody that didn’t need to be told.
Since then, Namgung Heewon had been living in the residence of Grandmaster Bulyeong.
During this time, instead of practicing away with his sword, Namgung Heewon set his mind at ease through countless hours of meditation and review, to help him gather his mind and thoughts to become clearer.
Speaking of Zhuge Taeryong and Murong Seojin’s death, Ambassador Bulyeong was not very surprised.
“I knew it.”
Ambassador Bulyeong said so. Ambassador Bulyeong knew of Lee Sungmin’s character when he had trained with Jihak at the Shaolin. He didn’t believe that Lee Sungmin had truly committed such atrocities.
“I don’t care about the death of the Ironclad, that was not his fault since it was an order from the top to basically kill himself. Murong Seojin and Taeryeong’s death, too. I’m not in the mood to go into it but.…it’s strange. It’s terribly strange.”
Sometimes, Ambassador Bulyeong would say such things, as he fiddled with his Japamala. (T/N: The Buddhist monk beads and necklaces : japamala)
“But I can’t express my discontent openly. I’m sorry I wish I could, I really do. But Heewon, how many hypocrites are filled within the Alliance? I don’t think it’s just the Black Dragon Association or the Namgung Family as you’ve seen. There’s much more and it’s quite dangerous.”
Namgung Heewon clearly remembered how his father changed as he grew older.
As his father, Namgung Baek, grew older and understood more of the world, and instead of abandoning his old-fashioned ways, he took it upon himself to judge Lee Sungmin and paid the price for it.
A year after entering the residence of Grandmaster Bulyeong, Namgung Heewon and Jihak left his residence to carry out an errand for the Grandmaster.
“I don’t have anything to teach you right now, so why are you here to eat for free?”
While kicking out Jihak and Namgung Heewon on an errand, Grandmaster Bulyeong said so.
However, it wasn’t just kicking them out truly, he had sent them to go meet someone. Jihak asked Namgung Heewon as they walked, fiddling with his jampala, while folding the research paper in his arms that Grandmaster Bulyeong had given them.
“Have you ever visited the Wudang Sect?”
When asked by Jihak, Namgung Heewon shook his head.
“But I’ve heard a lot about the Future of the Wudang. However, I’ve more openly heard about Lee Sungmin though, or rather the Ghost Spear these days.”
Jihak laughed at Namgung Heewon’s murmur. The two were on their way to meet with the Martial Alliance Headquarters.
Jihak and Namgung Heewon didn’t know what was written on the paper, but it must have been an important letter because it needed both of them, Jihak and Namgung Heewon together to deliver it.
Jihak stopped rolling the beads at Namgung Heewon’s words.
Jihak of the Shaolin, Chigweol, The Drunkard, and the Future to the Wudang Sect.
Among them, Chigweol had lost much of his fame due to the loss of his left arm in the dungeon with the Silent Flare, Baek Sogo, and many others who had lost their lives.
However, Jihak and the Future of the Wudang were relatively newer or secluded individuals.
In particular, to the public, The Ghost Spear was a very mysterious individual.
What was revealed was that he was the disciple of Sima Ryunju, the Lord of the Order.
Namgung Heewon glanced again at Jihak where he was fiddling with his beads on the jampala.
“Have you ever met the future of the Wudang in person?”
“No, I’m looking forward to it. The future of the Wudang…How great of an individual would he be.”
“You’re also being called the future of the Shaolin, you do realize that, don’t you?”
“It’s a heavy nickname.”
Jihak said with a bitter smile.
“Surely. I’ve mastered all 72 techniques of the Shaolin, but even I don’t know if that would be enough.”
Namgung Heewon nodded as he heard the words. Jihak was strong. Namgung Heewon also acknowledged it.
While living in the residence of Ambassador Bulyeong, he has tried sparring several times with intellectual knowledge, but has never won a single victory over Jihak.
“Lee Sungmin had never defeated me back when he was in the Shaolin. But…Heewon. Didn’t you say that If I fight with him now, I would definitely lose?”
“It’s not unpleasant to hear. However, if I’m only that much, how can I accept the title of being the future of the Shaolin satisfactorily? If I’m truly the future of Shaolin, I shouldn’t lose to anyone that goes for both Lee Sungmin and the Future of the Wudang.”
The words of Jihak, who said so, were full of pride in the Shaolin Martial Arts.
That was why the title of being the future of the Shaolin was so heavy. Even Jihak, a normally very humble individual, had to maintain a pride he didn’t truly want.
Namgung Heewon recalled Lee Sungmin by muttering like that.
He saw Lee Sungmin in the Forest of Temptation, and he also saw him in the square.
Honestly speaking, Namgung Heewon didn’t see any way to become stronger than Lee Sungmin currently was right now. He was monstrous. A wall that couldn’t be passed even if he reached Transcendence.
At that moment however… Lee Sungmin was passing through the gate of Audun.
Chapter 232 – Fin
Special thanks to these people who have made my life feel much better even if it’s just behind a screen :
– DruryLane (realist reader from the beginning of when I picked up the series)
– Sigismund (Amazing supporter and always gives me amazing feedback and cheers me up when I see his comments on discord)
– ch17175 (truly a great friend)
– Hogu (how could we not)
– Imagine (someone I truly respect as an individual)
– Hungryrice/animefan (your regular commenter, memer and novel suggestion lover)
– MZanlorenzi (hungryrice and this guy are two peas in a pod and they both crack me up every single day)
– Pineapples (the silent tl who’s been there for me when things were rough)
– Tridentfrost (great naming sense always hits me with amazing suggestions in the comments section to bounce off naming ideas)
– Ornoth (probably the first hater I ever received, but it was someone who gave me motivation to do better. So, I do wish you well and even thank you for then even if your words did hurt.)
– snowwhite234 (always, ALWAYS thanks me for chapters. Gives me a lot of support you might not even know you’re giving)
– Afghanitia (amazing supporter since day 1 when I picked up the series)
– Mr Fatas (someone who was always commenting when I first started along with afghanitia but I havent seen comment for a while, but wanted to thank you for back then.)
– Hei (always thanking me for chapters, goes a long way…really does.)
– Fellowkyun (literally is reading all the novels I’m tling and always sends a like my way. Makes me appreciate what I do.)
– DZcuberisrael (always right there with fellowkyun, thank you for all the supprot you’ve been giving me till now and I will continue to keep trying my best)
– Kanna Kanna (Thank you for always ALWAYS ALWAYS leaving comments that leave me grateful, happy and overall feeling better as a person. Thanks so much.)
This is everyone I can think of that has shown me a serious impact on my work so far, and I will continue to keep it up. Just wanted to leave a small thanks in the chapter for these people since they do make me love what I do. There are also a lot more people that I probably couldn’t name but please do know what you do, even if it’s the smallest thing in the world, makes a huge difference for people like me just trying to live my life everyday and continue trying to find my way.
Without further ado, I’ll see you in the next one – B