58 – New Beginnings

Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 58 – New Beginnings
Translated by : moonchildkhz

***

Crackle. 

A large flame burned brightly upon its altar. 

After the Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame, the Divine Flame was transferred back into the Divine Maiden’s palace and kept away from the public eye. 

In front of this altar, an old woman was currently kneeling. Naturally, this old woman was the Divine Maiden of the Cult. 

Within the Cult, she was the person most intimate with the Divine Flame. 

Towards this flame, the Divine Maiden neatly bowed and began to pray. 

How much longer can I protect the Divine Flame? I was chosen as the Maiden when I was twenty. 

That was before Chun Hwi, the current Heavenly Demon, ascended the throne.

And it has been over forty years since then…

She smiled with reminisce, wrinkles gathering around her eyes. 

I remember those times. My five little brothers and I couldn’t eat properly or wear nice clothes. If I didn’t become the Maiden, we probably would’ve ended up dead in one of the freezing winter nights. 

Thankfully, the Divine Flame chose me and my brothers were saved.

All five of them have grown to become warriors of the Cult. 

There is no doubt that I owe my life to the Divine Flame.

Thank you very much. 

O’great Divine Flame,  Will of the First Heavenly Demon…and that is why I am worried. Because I know that I don’t have much longer to serve you…

She was the Divine Maiden, carrying part of the Will. It was said that all Divine Maidens thus had a sense of foresight, but it didn’t matter. Many people could feel themselves weakening as they died — even animals could sense death. 

She lifted her head and watched the flame. That vibrant flame that had never been extinguished since the beginning of the Cult. Just looking at it made her feel better. 

She had never learned martial arts, studying only religious mantras and doctrines.

She closed her eyes slowly and kneeled in a kowtow once more.

“O’great Divine Flame, I do not have much time to live. So I desire to choose a Divine Maiden that suits you.”

It was a sincere prayer, Please select a good successor. 

As if in response, the Divine Flame crackled with vigor. 

Whoa, whoa, whoa!


“So this is Lop Nor,” a young woman wearing a large hat sighed. 

This is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Master isn’t helping much either. How am I supposed to find Younger Brother in Lop Nor without any clues? Maybe even Master doesn’t know where he is exactly. 

She shook her head, sighing again. She stuck her hand into a pocket and took out a folded piece of paper, which opened to reveal a drawing of the Sword of Man. 

Hmm… I don’t want to self-praise too much, but I did draw his face pretty accurately. But can I really find him with this facial composite? I should ask around after getting something to eat…

She shook her head once more before stepping confidently into a restaurant on the street. Due to the constant stream of merchants passing by, restaurants in Lop Nor were always bustling with activity. As it was about lunchtime, she decided it was an excellent time to ask around. 

Just as she walked inside, a young boy greeted her. “Welcome!”

“Can you get me something I can eat that is light, like fried rice and vegetables?”

“Yes, ma’am. Fried rice and veggies coming right up.”

The boy was very cheerful and the woman nodded satisfactorily, then handed him the drawing. 

“Also, would you mind taking a look at this if you’re not too busy?”

“Oh, is this a facial comp…Ah!”

The young woman had been watching the boy and was surprised at how he sharply inhaled. That wasn’t shock, it was terror. How unexpected. 

“What’s wrong? Do you recognize this person?”

“Where did you get this sketch? Are you from the authorities?”

She shook her head, “I’m an apprentice of Qingcheng and this is my martial brother.”

“You’re saying that… this man is a warrior of Qingcheng? But he’s the leader of the Sandstorm of Death.”

The boy’s reactions and words were making her surprised and confused. She tilted her head at the unfamiliar name. “The Sandstorm of Death?”

“It’s a famous group of bandits in this area! Although they haven’t been active for a while… but they were very active around a year ago.”

… One of the Three Swords of Qingcheng being a leader of bandits? The young woman was appalled. “That can’t be! There must be a mistake!”

Like she asked, the boy looked at the drawing again. Soon though, he looked up, eyes filled with certainty and he spoke with conviction. “I remember this man raiding our village. The man in this sketch is definitely the leader of the Sandstorm of Death.”

The young woman was furious. If it weren’t for the fact that the boy looked like he was just beginning puberty, she would have drawn her sword for insulting the integrity of Qingcheng.

“Are you sure?” she grit out.

Now the boy was indignant and yelled, “I am sure! And I’m sure everyone here knows that this man is the leader of the Sandstorm of Death!”

Surprised at this confirmation, the young woman stood up. She approached people who were eating and showed them the same drawing. Very soon, she felt her insides twisting. No matter who she asked, everyone answered the same way. 

“Ugh!”

The young woman groaned in frustration and rested her head in her hands. 

“Are… you okay?”

“This… leader of the Sandstorm of Death… where can I find him?”

The young woman did not know for sure that her martial brother was actually a bandit, but was determined to find him. 

Her question was one that no woman would dare to ask, but she wasn’t just some woman. She was a disciple of the First Apprentice and one of the Three Swords of Qingcheng. 

Finding some bandits shouldn’t be a problem.

“I don’t know… They haven’t been active for a year now…”

“But there should be a place they used as a base, right?”

“Uhm…” The boy hummed and hawed, not sure what to do. Should I tell her? There’s no way that they would leave a girl like her untouched…

“So you do know! Please tell me!” She shook his shoulders in agitation. 

“But, they’ll do terrible things to you…”

“You don’t have to worry about that. I’m stronger than you think.”

She drew her blade from its sheath and swung it down, slicing the table in one move. The boy, and many of the other guests, were all surprised. 

“See? I’m an apprentice of Qingcheng. A mere group of bandits is no match for me.” 

Seeing him still hesitate, the young woman took out a lump of silver and placed it in the boy’s hands. “This is for the food and the table I just destroyed. You can keep the change.”

“Ugh…,” the boy wavered some more. This thing alone is worth several months of my salary… and I can use the money to feed everyone at home something better… 

In the end, the boy could not overcome the temptation of money. 

“Go to the old temple, their base is there.”

“Thank you.”

After months of travel, the young young woman had finally gotten a clue about the Sword of Man’s whereabouts. 

However, she did not know that she would be sorely disappointed. 

The man she was looking for was already dead, as was her master, both done in by the hands of one Hyuk Woon-seong.


Walking through the field of grass, the night sky stretched high above Woon-seong. There was a small pond not far from him, where a fountain of some sort caused the water to flow and bubble.

He couldn’t help but be surprised by what he saw.

So this is the Inner Garden of the Divine Palace? 

Following after the Senior Strategist, he had been sure that the was heading inside, yet now he ended up outside

Apparently his sense of direction needed to be checked. 

And all of this is man-made… The power of the Demonic Cult continues to surprise me. 

Woon-seong stuck his tongue out in contemplation. 

The Senior Strategist, who led him here, had already closed the iron gate and left. 

In other words, the only one standing there was Woon-seong himself. 

By the way… I did come in, but where the hell am I supposed to go now?

The only thing the Senior Strategist had told him was to go inside for all the answers. 

The exception to the ‘only family or Demonic Kings and higher’ rule… 

It was at this moment that some force was transmitted over, causing the wind to blow, whipping at his clothes. 

“Hup!”

Cold sweat dripped down Woon-seong’s neck as he watched the energy flow around him.

It’s a force, calling me.

This was the Inner Garden.

There was only one person who could be summoning him here.

Woon-seong shot towards the origin like an arrow, hurtling through the grass. The wind broke around him as he ran, whistling in his ears.

Eventually, he reached a bridge, which led to a pavilion in the middle of the lake. 

It didn’t take long for Woon-seong to cross the bridge and he stopped at the entrance of the pavilion. 

A man spoke as if he had been waiting for Woon-seong to arrive.

“You’re here.”


☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

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Published by moonchildkhz

Just a place to dump things.

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