41 – Sichuan (2)

Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 41 – Sichuan (2)
Translated by : moonchildkhz

***

This spear, in the hands of the boy, made a difference. It was a very slight difference, but he had felt it clearly just now. The moment Woon-seong had begun to lose control, the spear had sent a signal to the boy as if saying that this was not the way. 

Dragon Fang Spear of the White Night.

Woon-seong looked at the spear. The main question was why, in response to him, this phenomenon was produced. He observed the spear to find what was unusual, but it was just a normal spear. Nothing was out of the ordinary, except for the writing on the tussar silk wrapped around it. 

From Star Absence to Unrecorded’.

There were many nicknames in Murim, but only one person used ‘Star Absence’. 

A former Cult Leader of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon, the ‘Star Absence Heavenly Demon’. 

Then perhaps this spear had been a gift which the Star Absence Heavenly Demon presented to someone. 

The problem was who? 

Woon-seong did not know who or what ‘Unrecorded’ referred to and wondered if it had something to do with the ‘Unrecorded Demonic Group’. 

Soon he determined that this was probably not the case. 

The Unrecorded Demonic Group was a group, not an individual. They would not be presented with a single spear, and even if they were, the spear would be a symbolic wall-hanger rather than a practical weapon. 

The White Night Spear was definitely a practical weapon. Not only was it sturdy and well-balanced, there were no ornamental embellishments. 

The greatest mystery was that the spear felt familiar in Woon-seong’s hands, as if he had tamed it in the forges himself. 

None of this makes sense to me…

For a while, Woon-seong stared at the spear before finally giving up and shaking his head. 

At that time, someone came near with a rustling sound. 

“Lieutenant, is that you?”

A voice came out of the bush. “Yes, Captain. Team One is back from their recon mission.”

Woon-seong sighed to himself, then walked with Gwan Tae-ryang back to the house everyone was staying at. 

Baek Woon-ji, who had returned, reported. “There’s around 300 men in the Martial Alliance’s Sichuan branch. Around 200 of them are combatants.”

200 warriors. This was not a small number, but not all of them would be strong. 

“And out of them, about 150 are third-rate martial artists.”

These people were better than the general public, but considered weak according to Murim levels.

“The rest are either second-rate or first-rate. Out of them, there are three to be especially careful of.”

“I assume one of them is the branch leader.”

This was the Martial Alliance’s branch leader of the Sichuan area. Given the importance of this area, it was safe to assume they were at least first-rate. 

However, Woon-seong believed the Charred Dragon Unit could handle them. 

“Yes. He’s known as the ‘Blood Seeker’, Tang Pae-jong.”

“Is he from the Tang Clan?”

“Yes, but he’s from a collateral line. He’s somewhat skilled in the art of poison and is more capable in the art of assassination.” [1]

Poison and assassination…? He might be a pain but shouldn’t pose a problem for Baek Woon-ji. Even putting the art of stealth aside, she’s one of the best.

Baek Woon-ji nodded, seeing Woon-seong silently signal to her. “I’ll handle him.”

“Who are the other two?”

“It’s the Sword of Heaven and the First Apprentice.”

At her words, Woon-seong’s face immediately hardened. “You mean the successors of the Sword of Blue Clouds and Red Sunset?”

Baek Woon-ji nodded.

The First Apprentice is here?

Woon-seong felt his heart pounding within his chest. It hadn’t been long since he took care of the Sword of Men and yet he was now about to meet the Sword of Heaven and the First Apprentice. 

How fun. 

It felt like the Heavens were helping him. 

“I’ll deal with the First Apprentice. You take care of the Sword of Heaven, Lieutenant.”

“Yes, sir.”

This was natural as the First Apprentice was stronger than the Sword of Heaven, and Woon-seong was stronger than Gwan Tae-ryang. In addition, Woon-seong hated the First Apprentice much more. 

“But this is the worst case scenario. If possible, we must rescue the branch manager undetected.”

It was not good to work too hard. 

This was Sichuan. Although not in the middle of Murim, it was territory occupied by three factions from the Ten Great Sects and the Five Noble Clans. For the Demonic, it was not an ideal place for bloodshed. 

“Fighting should be avoided as much as possible. However, if it happens, the situation should be handled as quietly as possible.”

“Understood,” replied the Charred Dragon Unit. 

This was a warning to Woon-seong himself too. 

The First Apprentice was his enemy, but only one of them. As the current captain of the Charred Dragon Unit, he must not put himself and the whole unit at risk to kill a mere swordsman. 

Perhaps he would not be able to kill the First Apprentice today, but he would only have more opportunities in the future.  As a youth of barely twenty and still gathering his power, he did not need to hurry. Delaying a fight in order to have a surer chance of total annihilation was also a good plan. 

“Baek Woon-ji, continue your report.”

The detailed plan for the operation was based on the information that Baek Woon-ji had gathered. 

Supposedly, Branch Manager Un Un was being held in an underground prison. Since they did not know his exact location, they would have to reach the underground cells and identify him with the picture the Cult gave. 

This would take time.

Woon-seong slowly calculated the time required for the operation. It was important that they had to go in and out quickly and quietly. If possible, they should take less than 30 minutes. 

“I assume there’s a good number of guards.”

Baek Woon-ji nodded solemnly.

“Considering they’re holding a branch manager of the Cult, they’re making sure the place is secure.”

That was a given — the Martial Alliance was just waiting for the Cult to show up.

“They change shifts every four hours. There’s a good number of guards. Going in and out with a large number will be a problem if we want to maintain a low profile.”

Woon-seong nodded thoughtfully.

“The mission requires us to be swift and silent. I’ll only enter with Team One and the Lieutenant.”

“Understood.”

“The rest of the unit will be on standby around the perimeter. Also, in case things go south, let’s decide on a signal before going in. This time, the signal will be red fireworks. Shoot it with an arrow in case of an emergency. Those who are going in will prepare smoke bombs for escaping. Prepare yourselves…” 

Woon-seong looked up at the sky. They needed darkness, and it would be darkest just before sunrise. 

“We’ll move at 0500.”


The darkness was thick. The moon was slowly losing its power, but it was still too early for the sun to rise. 

The Charred Dragon Unit moved silently. 

As discussed earlier, only five people would be heading inside: three people with excellent stealth, Gwan Tae-ryang, and Woon-seong. The rest of the unit was stationed at regular intervals, surrounding the perimeter. 

Woon-seong warned everyone one last time before heading in. “Once again. Our priority is to rescue the branch manager, not fight the enemy. Combat is the last option, only for when things go wrong.”

Four shadows moved with the boy. 

Shh. Shh. 

The shadows zipped along the walls like gusts of wind, merging with the night to hide their forms. 

They hid in the darkness and quickly escaped the guards. 

The footsteps of the quintet, including Gwan Tae-ryang’s, made no sound as they entered. 

In that situation, Woon-seong signalled to Baek Woon-ji. 

‘Where’s the entrance to the underground prison?’

Baek Woon-ji pointed with her finger. ‘Right from the wall beyond.’

Woon-seong moved along the wall, following her directions. How many times did they turn? There were numerous guards, but it was not difficult to deceive their eyes. 

Soon a prison appeared before them. There were only six men guarding the entrance. It seemed that these guards could be stunned quickly and the quintet would be able to enter the prison to easily rescue the manager. 

Woon-seong, however, raised his hand quietly. 

It seems too easy. Their guard seems too loose considering they should be expecting us. The overall surveillance so far also seemed somewhat odd. It’s almost like they intentionally left holes in their security. I have a bad feeling about this.

‘Captain, is something wrong…?’

Woon-seong shook his head and looked inside slowly, calming himself. 

What’s my top priority? The cells are right in front of us. Retreating is not an option at this point. If we’re past the point of no return, moving swiftly is an option. The First Apprentice…the Sichuan branch manager should also be here. But considering things, the First Apprentice should be the one in charge. …! That’s right!

Woon-seong suddenly remembered the personality of the First Apprentice. When that thought came to mind, his lips curled into a sinister smile. 

‘Let’s go.’


Dozens of soldiers were following behind two men. 

“Maybe they’re in by now, Master.”

“A chance to catch some more dogs of the Cult in addition to their branch manager. It seems like luck is on our side.”

“It’s all thanks to your hard work, Branch Manager.” 

The one who responded with a laugh was the First Apprentice. Just that morning, he had arrived at the Alliance’s Sichuan branch to interrogate the prisoner. He remembered what had happened earlier that evening. 

“Branch Manager, I think a rat has come in.”

As he was touring the branch, the swordsman had sensed the signs of the three Charred Dragon Unit members who had hid in the branch to collect information.

“The dogs of the Cult are on the move.”

“Then shouldn’t we find them?”

“Normally, you would. But I have a better idea than wasting this chance to swap a mere three rats. If we’re going to catch them, we should catch them all! Don’t worry, they’re leaving. Seems like they only came for recon. We’ll use this chance to take them down altogether.” 

As the First Apprentice had guessed, they had really come back.

Huh, dogs of the cult. I wonder what breed they are…

Seeing the underground prison, the First Apprentice smiled. Why not take the fish that had leapt into the net themselves for interrogation too?

At that time, the Sword of Heaven shouted. “All the guards have fallen. It looks like they were attacked at the pressure points.”

The First Apprentice slowly looked around, carefully observing the footprints and scuffle marks. 

“There are traces of them going in, but none of them coming out. They should still be inside.” 

After all, there was only one entrance to the prison. 

“Now lets go catch some rats.” 

It wasn’t like the Demonic were actually rats who burrowed into the ground. 

The First Apprentice smiled viciously and entered the prison.


[1] In martial arts novels, the Sichuan Tang Clan is renowned for their knowledge in poison arts and hidden weapons. As a result, they are usually also capable assassins. 

☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

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Published by moonchildkhz

Just a place to dump things.

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