27 – Dark Currents (1)

Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 27 – Dark Currents (1)
Translated by : moonchildkhz

***

Mount Shiwan, also known as the Mountain of One Hundred Thousand [1]. 

There were two known origins for this name. One was from the fact that there were almost 100,000 members in the Demonic Cult. The other reason was that the mountain range was said to have almost 100,000 peaks, cut through by a winding river. 

However, not all of them rose equally tall.

Out of all those peaks, the tallest was known as the Jenkish Chokusu, the Peak Reaching Up to the Heavens [2]. 

It was a peak that lived up to its name as even the clouds were under its summit, with rough slopes that deigned to permit human travel.

On the Jenkish Chokusu, fierce, cold, biting winds raged throughout the seasons. Even through the depth of summer, it was covered in deep snow. A normal martial artist couldn’t even possibly come close to this place of extreme cold. Only those who reached the level of ‘impenetrable to cold and heat’ could climb to the top. In a show of power and selectivity, there were less than 500 martial artists who met that mark in the whole Demonic Cult.  

Except, the people of the Demonic Cult also did not dare climb the Jenkish Chokusu for another reason. 

To them, this peak had another name: the Peak of the Heavenly Demon’s Majesty. 

At the top was where their god resided, the Heavenly Palace. 

That was the place where the Leader of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon, the ‘Moon Cleaving Heavenly Demon’, Chun Hwi, dwelled. 

Some of the high-ranked Great Demons, the thirty Demonic Kings, and the Ten Demonic Masters were allowed to go in and out. However, it was not often that everyone gathered in the Heavenly Palace. Entry was only permitted when there was official business or if there was a summon from the Cult.

Only one of the Ten Demonic Masters, the Senior Strategist, visited frequently due to the nature of his position.

It was the same on this particular day. 

A lone figure was climbing up the steps carved into the snow. As he opened the doors into the palace, his figure could be clearly seen. That old man was the Senior Strategist of the Cult, one of the Ten Demonic Masters. Known as the ‘Brain of the Heavenly Absolute Demon’, he was Sang Gwan-chuk. 

Walking down the entry corridor, he stopped outside another set of doors which led farther inside. He stood there and adjusted his clothes, which had become disheveled during his climb. Once satisfied, he coughed, announcing his presence to those on the other side of the door. 

A “come in” could be heard, emanating from somewhere beyond the set of doors. 

The doors opened, revealing the figure of a woman. Like most members of the Cult, she dressed relatively plainly, but her clothes were neat and clean. Her face was hidden completely by a piece of white cloth. 

“He orders to come in.”

Sang Gwan-chuk nodded to her as he passed through the doors and into another hallway. 

“It’s been a while, ‘Flower of the Dark Night’. 

The Flowers of the Dark Night were the Heavenly Demon’s escorts and security squad. They hid in the shadows, protecting him, but also assisting him with everything he needed to do. It was a secret group, as each of the members had the skills of a Greater Demon, but were not officially titled. No one knew their names or faces; they were simply the ‘Flowers of the Dark Night’.

The hallway was dimly lit and continued on into another space. This area was much larger, both in width and in height. Numerous reddish-brown pillars held up the ceiling. As Sang Gwan-chuk continued down the path that lay in the middle of the room, he stopped at the bottom of a large tower-like structure at the end. 

At the top, a figure could be seen sitting behind a curtain. The room trembled with the pressure that this person emitted. 

“So…Senior Strategist. What brings you here?” 

Sang Gwan-chuk spoke gravely as he bowed. “I have urgent news.”

Behind the curtain, the figure was a bit startled. Urgent news? “You do know that I highly appreciate your capability and loyalty. As a result, over the past several years, I have allowed you to take care of important matters. And yet you have come with news that requires my presence…So what urgent news is it?”

Sang Gwan-chuk hesitated only for a moment, still bowing deeply. “It is related to the Young Lady.”

At his words, it was clear the figure was startled. The person behind the screen was Chun Hwi, the leader of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon… Chun A-young’s father. 

Sang Gwan-chuk took the silence as a sign to continue. 

“As you know, the Young Lady is currently a trainee of the Cave of Latent Demons and is out for real world training as Squad Master of the 2nd Latent Demon Squad. That was a decision made because you explained that the rank of ‘Vice Leader’ is not obtained by heritage but through skill and ability.”

“That is correct.”

The figure behind the screen nodded, agreeing with his words. That was the reason that A-young worked hard in the Cave of Latent Demons: to gain his recognition.

Then he seemed to come to a conclusion, causing him to stand up from his throne. “…Wait, are you saying…?”

“The Young Lady is in danger.” Sang Gwan-chuk stopped bowing and looked up.

“Danger, you say…To be frank, even putting aside the fact that she is my daughter, she is still pretty skilled. Furthermore, I heard she isranked second in the Cave of Latent Demons. Second is a bit of a shame… Is it a mission that would put her in danger?”

The figure’s face was still hidden, but his voice was sinister and mocking. 

“As you are already aware, the missions given to the Latent Demon Squads are no easy ones. Of course, they still are missions that even in the worst cases, the members would have no problem in retreating. The mission for the Young Lady and the 2nd Latent Demon Squad is to eliminate the ‘Nine Vices of Death’.”

“I think I have heard of them, but I cannot quite remember.”

“Yes. They are not worthy of someone like you to remember. They are the nine apprentices raised by one of the elders of the Vile Demons of Heaven. Their master, the elder, was a threat but has already been dead for eight years. They are no match for the 2nd Latent Demon Squad.”

“So what is the problem?”

“Looks like they have a new leader.”

“A new leader?”

The Senior Strategist hesitated again. “Do you know about the ‘Blade Ogre of the Green Mountain’?”

“I think I have heard of him. No, I am sure that I have.”

“The Blade Ogre of the Green Mountain is a powerful martial artist, well on the level of a Great Demon. Even the Cult does not have many members that would be on par against him.”

“But is he not a mountain bandit in Qinghai? Qinghai should be hundreds of miles from where she is doing her mission. Are you saying he lost a power struggle against his men, came to Xinjiang and made the Nine Vices of Death his henchmen?” Chun Hwi stared down at Sang Gwan-chuk, voice powerful.

“That is correct…”

The Cult Leader was silent for a while. His daughter, A-young, was still lacking if she wished to be the Young Leader. However, it wasn’t like he did not regard her as a daughter. Even though it was clumsy, he wished to show his love as a father. It was just a bit hard because he was the Cult Leader and he needed to raise a leader, not a daughter.

“Where is she now?”

“We believe she is currently near Korla.”

Both of the men were now aware of the problem with this situation. The Blade Ogre of the Green Mountain was a powerful martial artist. If they didn’t send the right people, they would only be sending people to their deaths.

“But we cannot simply send one of the Ten Demonic Masters or a Demonic King to do the job.”

Especially since Chun A-young had not been recognized in the Cult yet. 

Sang Gwan-chuk was also aware of this. “There is a lot of suspicious movement internally. Sending them to help the Young Lady, who has yet to become the Young Leader, will only give them an opening to attack you.”

Chun Hwi hummed his agreement. 

“So I came with an idea.” Sang Gwan-chuk opened a paper that he had been holding. “The 1st Latent Demon Squad is returning earlier than expected after successfully finishing their mission. They should be passing by Akesu by now. So if they depart now, I believe they can arrive in Korla in four days.”

“Do you think she can survive until then?”

“Half of the Nine Vices of Death have been slayed and the Blade Ogre is tracking down the Young Lady, but she is with the 2nd Latent Demon Squad. Luckily enough, they were able to keep distance from the Blade Ogre, so four days should be enough.”

“Approved. Command the 1st Latent Demon Squad to move to Korla.” 

After he finished speaking, Chun Hwi closed his eyes. He had given his orders, but the worries didn’t go away.

The Senior Strategist bowed his head and shook it slightly as he retreated.

An internal struggle.

The Leader of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon and the father of a young woman.

It was difficult to be both.


Somewhere in the forest, a hooded figure spoke. 

“Is the Blade Ogre of the Green Mountain good enough?”

The man sitting in front of him was not hooded, but was old with a grey beard. 

“Actually, it doesn’t matter if the Blade Ogre succeeds or not. He’s only doing it because you wanted him to do so.”

“But…!” The hooded figure jumped up. 

“Shh.”

“Ugh.” The hooded figure was unable to move, as a strong force pressed down upon his body. 

“Worry not. I haven’t forgotten the deal I made with you. Besides, what’s the big deal with killing a girl. What’s important is neither the ‘rook’ nor the ‘knight’. It is the ‘king’. Am I wrong?”

The hooded figure stared across the table at the man in front of him. The identity of that man was one of the Ten Demonic Masters of the Demonic Cult, an absolute master that was even one of the top three even amongst them!

“So, show me the item you have brought for the deal.” 

The hooded figure sat down reluctantly and reached into his sleeves, bringing out a small vial filled with dark liquid. “It’s this.”

“Is it? That’s the item you were so confident in? Although, are you sure it’s as effective as you say?”

The hooded man chuckled. “This poison is the poison that slayed the ‘World’s Best Spearman’, the Spear Master, ten years ago.”

“The Spear Master, huh…He indeed was a powerful fellow. But is he comparable to the Cult Leader?”

The other nodded confidently. “Listen to me. This is not the same poison. After the Spear Master died, I took a whole decade to improve it.”

The other man took the vial, observing the liquid. “Very well.”

“I kept my side of the deal, so don’t forget your side of it.”

“Don’t worry. You make me the Cult Leader and fulfill the promise for our Cult and I will keep my promise.”

The two men laughed into the darkness, as if close friends.

“Heh heh heh.”

“Ha ha ha.”


[1] “shi-wan” is 100,000 in Chinese 

[2] The Jenkish Chokusu is a real mountain, being the highest peak in the Tian Shan Mountain Range, also known as ‘Victory Peak’. It can be assumed that the real mountain range is being mixed with a fictional one here.

TN: Thanks for reading, guys! PR is a bit behind at the moment, but I hope the chapters have still been readable! 

☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

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Published by moonchildkhz

Just a place to dump things.

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