Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 79 – Allegiance (1)
Translated by : moonchildkhz
From that day on, Demonic Teacher Lee Shin-jung abandoned his position of neutrality.
It didn’t take long for this piece of news to reach the ears of the high-ranking officials of the Cult because Lee Shin-jung now accompanied Woon-seong wherever he went.
At first, some people thought that it was Woon-seong who chased after the Demonic Teacher in the hopes of convincing him.
But it didn’t take long for them to realize the truth.
Lee Shin-jung was very careful of his behavior in front of Woon-seong.
The Demonic Teacher was a man who had never shown such polite actions, even towards the ‘Moon Cleaving Heavenly Demon’ Cheon Hwi.
Yet, there he was, constantly bowing before Woon-seong.
Seeing that, numerous rumors were created. Some even suspected that Woon-seong was actually an old martial artist who had become enlightened and rejuvenated to a younger form.
Of course, most of them were baseless rumors, but they were all pointing towards one fact: the Young Leader had successfully made Lee Shin-jung his ally and was now ahead of Joo Moon-baek’s faction.
It only took two weeks for the news to spread throughout the entire Cult.
“It looks like the Young Leader is doing well, my lord.”
The Senior Strategist was standing before Cheon Hwi’s bed, dutifully reporting.
He can barely remain conscious for twenty minutes a day now, Sang Gwan-chuk noticed.
Nevertheless, the Senior Strategist reported to Cheon Hwi every morning and evening. Whether the Cult Leader could hear or not did not matter.
Of course, it was just reporting. However, it was never easy to maintain such a consistent attitude for so long. Sang Gwan-chuk’s loyalty towards Cheon Hwi was clearly deep-rooted.
“Since the Vice Leader is falling behind, I expect that he will make a move soon.”
Was Cheon Hwi conscious? Sang Gwan-chuk could not tell, but the other’s eyebrows trembled. Thus, the Senior Strategist did a sweep of the Leader’s body.
Traces of the poison now covered the entire body. The fever and rashes were getting worse while a variety of other symptoms were developing, like weird bruises and strange marks.
Instead of getting better over time, Cheon Hwi was deteriorating.
A venom that can poison a martial artist of his caliber… how is it even possible? Other martial artists would’ve been dead long ago.
The Senior Strategist shook his head lightly.
After the Cult Leader had fallen, he had been searching for a method of detoxification everyday.
However, no poison in the world was known to have such symptoms. And without a sample of the poison, there was simply no way for Sang Gwan-chuk to identify its components and create his own antidote.
As the ‘Brain of the Heavenly Demon’, Sang Gwan-chuk also needed to help manage the 100,000 members of the Cult.
While he thought, his forehead wrinkled.
There was something just as pressing as the problem of poison.
There were about ten possible moves that Sang Gwan-chuk could predict the Vice Leader might make. Joo Moon-baek was indeed a meticulous man, but he had not stepped outside predictions yet.
I’m sure he’ll make a move soon… He’ll probably move within a month. Maybe tomorrow, if he’s in a hurry.
It was unknown to Sang Gwan-chuk how the Young Leader had brought the Demonic Teacher to their side, but Joo Moon-baek’s plans couldn’t be more obvious.
Maybe the man would choose the worst of the predicted possibilities…
If so, how many will show themselves, and how many will hide themselves once again?
The Senior Strategist tapped the table with his fingertips.
Whose ‘worst’ will that ‘worst choice’ become?
“The situation has progressed into a rather ridiculous situation. Two of the Ten Demonic Masters who supported me have gone back to being neutral. You’re the only one left on my side, Mo In-ryang.”
“What are you planning to do?”
This was Mo In-ryang’s most important question and his face was full of anxiety.
I would’ve abandoned him myself if I had the chance. However…the unavoidable fight against the Young Leader that happened during a conflict between the factions… If only I didn’t join that… Fortunately, no one was killed then. But if the Young Leader is keeping that incident in mind, going back to being neutral won’t be enough to spare my life…
Like it or not, I’m stuck in the same boat as Joo Moon-baek.
Across from Mo In-ryang, Joo Moon-baek was reclined in his chair with his eyes closed.
The two sat in silence, deep in their own thoughts for a long time. The hot tea before them had long gone cold.
It looks like I’m out of options. There’s no choice but to go with that move.
A part of Joo Moon-baek’s heart sank. This option was his last resort, meaning that his situation was as bad as it could get.
He opened his eyes with a sigh.
“Did you make a decision?” Mo In-ryang asked, rushing the man.
“And what is it?”
“Before that, there are some people I would like to introduce to you, Blade Demon.”
Joo Moon-baek led Mo In-ryang out of the room and towards a secret place within the Cult, one that was not commonly passed by.
“Be right behind me. There are illusions here and there. You might lose your way.”
Finally, Joo Moon-baek stopped once they had arrived at a safehouse.
There’s a safehouse at a place like this? Mo In-ryang asked himself. Looking at its condition, it’s fairly new. About three years old, at maximum.
Hmm. Why did the Vice Leader bring me here? Is he planning something else? Mo In-ryang was starting to feel anxious now. Well, since he brought me this far, I should at least start with seeing what he’s trying to show me…
The duo slowly walked along the corridor of the house, then down another passageway. At the end of that was another door which led underground.
Joo Moon-baek led the way forward without any hesitation and eventually brought them to a large space.
What is this place?
There was the peculiar smell of medicinal herbs.
If someone had the time and knowledge, they could figure out what these herbs were used for.
However, Mo In-ryang did not have such profound knowledge.
And who are those?
Instead, what caught his eyes was the group of men standing in front of Joo Moon-baek. They were all wearing the same uniform of a white mask and a brown fur coat with a sharp sword hanging at the waist.
Other than their coordination, what was more frightening was the power.
Mo In-ryang twitched.
As cultivation increased, the difference between two ranks became greater and greater. As such, there was also great variety among those of the same level.
Some of the Ten Demonic Masters, such as Mo In-ryang, were not in the Absolute Realm, but the pinnacle Transcendence Realm.
For Mo In-ryang, such a crown was anxiety-inducing.
I was too naive… If things went south between us, I assumed I could at least escape safely…Two of those are enough to keep me at bay. Three will surely defeat me.
With cold sweat dripping down his back, Mo In-ryang asked, “Vice Leader, who are those?”
The answer came from somewhere behind him.
“They are martial artists especially trained for the Vice Leader.”
Mo In-ryang turned in surprise. He came so close to me! Where did a man of this caliber appear from?
It was a middle-aged man with sharp features, but gave an overall awkward atmosphere, like he was uncomfortable about something.
Mo In-ryang reached for his sword, ready to strike.
Joo Moon-baek stopped him. “Blade Demon, he’s one of us.”
“You know this man?”
The Vice Leader nodded. “He’s the one who instructed these men.”
Now Mo In-ryang found the situation even more bizarre than before. A man of this level is an instructor?! I can’t guarantee victory against him, unless I’m willing to become crippled. This man is surely at the level of a Demonic Master.
A total of eleven transcendence level martial artists. What is he planning to do with this much force?
More importantly, if the Vice Leader had this much power, why had he been hiding it?
“Vice Leader, what exactly are you planning?”
“Blade Demon. What is it that one needs to become the Leader?”
“I don’t know how that’s supposed to answer my question, but I suppose it’s the legitimacy and the symbol to prove said legitimacy.”
One was the manifestation of the Divine Flame through the Divine Art of the Heavenly Demon, the other was the inheritance of the bloodline.
“I’ve been keeping it a secret so far, but the truth is that I already possess one of them.”
Mo In-ryang was surprised. The Vice Leader either had the Divine Flame or the bloodline? “What do you…”
Suddenly, heavy pressure crushed down on him.
Before him, Joo Moon-baek’s palm was on fire.
It was a ball of flame that made Mo In-ryang want to worship it, even if the color was a little weird.
“The Divine Flame! How did you…?”
When Joo Moon-baek first announced that he would seize the throne of the Leader, I did expect him to have something up his sleeve. But I never imagined him to have learned the Divine Art of the Heavenly Demon.
At this time, the ten masters standing at the front drew their swords and pointed them at Mo In-ryang.
“Moving on. Like I just showed you, I already possess the Divine Shaped Flame… And I play to sieve the remaining other one. Now, I want you to answer me, Blade Demon. Are you in this with us?”
With ten blades pointed at his throat, this was an offer that Mo In-ryang could never refuse, unless he was seeking an immediate death.
The Blade Demon closed his eyes.
It looks like I’m caught in a fix… So in the end, we’re choosing the worst move possible…
There was only one answer anyway.
“With that, it looks like most of those who were on the Vice Leader’s side are now pledging loyalty to you. They’re all just like dogs without tails.”
Lee Shin-jung was assessing those who had come to visit Woon-seong.
Of course, Woon-seong did not let them take advantage of him and did not accept them easily. For their loyalty to the Vice Leader, they had to pay a price.
The price now surrounded Woon-seong.
There was a pill given by the ‘Corpse Master Poison Star’ sitting in the pocket near his chest. It contained poison that could kill a man, but could also be used to strengthen one’s qi and poison resistance.
There were crystal throwing knives — a demonic weapon that was difficult to see once thrown due to being made of crystal cold steel, a transparent metal harder than regular steel — hanging on his waist.
And finally, the flying explosive rings — an assassination weapon that flies at the target and explodes when injected with qi — which Woon-seong wore on his left index finger like regular jewelry.
Every one of those were precious items.
On top of that, he promised to stay low for six months and answer one request from me…
Over to the side, Lee Shin-jung was asking some servants to carry the rest of the items away. “Take them all to the Vault.”
Bringing Lee Shin-jung to my side brought this much influence… it’s all thanks to the Unrecorded.
Woon-seong looked over his shoulder and patted his spear once again. It looks like I owe you a lot, White Night Spear.
At that moment, someone appeared by Lee Shin-jung’s side.