Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 81 – Collision and Reversal (1)
Translated by : moonchildkhz
Martial artists utilized qi.
Then what about the Cult of the Heavenly Demon’s Divine Maidens?
If a woman who never learned martial arts became the Divine Maiden, would they just be an ordinary woman who served the Divine Flame her whole life?
The answer to that was…
The Divine Maiden possessed a special divine power that was different from that of qi.
It was a divine power uniquely inherited from the former Divine Maiden the moment a young woman was selected by the Divine Flame. And unlike qi which gathered in the core, divine power was gathered near the heart. When a new Divine Maiden was chosen, the former Divine Maiden would gradually lose her powers as the new one gained it. It usually took between six months and a year to fully inherit the powers.
Based on how long it had been since the ascension ceremony, it could be assumed that Ah-young had fully inherited the Divine Maiden’s position and powers.
As divine power was completely different from qi, its usage and methods of practice were also different.
And right now…
That divine power was being manifested.
With Ah-young and the bell at the center, a massive sound wave spread out.
At the same time, Ah-young began murmuring some unknown sentence. It was a secret phrase guarded as an important element of the Divine Maiden’s holiness.
The bell rang once more, louder than before.
Suddenly, the situation changed.
The blood jiangshi that had been pushing against the Fist King stopped moving at once, collapsing as corpses should.
Joo Moon-baek’s eyes shook.
“The Divine Maiden took down the blood jiangshi?”
Ah-young nodded primly. “That’s right.”
Blood jiangshi were originally creations of a different cult, not the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
The rumors that had spread about the Demonic Cult being the originators was simply because the Cult had fought and destroyed that lesser cult. That no-name cult had been too weak and small to properly make or use the blood jiangshi, so it can be said that the Demonic Cult restored this horrific art.
The revival of this necromantic art was led by a former Ten Demonic Master who had been a master in necropsy.
At the time, the Cult was preparing for war against the Shaolin and needed great strength.
However, planning related to blood jiangshi was completely abolished.
The reason was a blood jiangshi’s unique characteristics.
While it was known that the creation of blood jiangshi was forbidden, most assumed that this was due to the cruel manufacturing process.
The real reason was the frightening nature of the blood jiangshi themselves.
It was only after Ah-young became the Divine Maiden that she had learned this truth. She remembered what the historical records said: ‘At first they heed their master’s words, but gradually start to disobey. Eventually, they begin to attack everything without discrimination.’
That was the biggest flaw of blood jiangshi.
The same problem was found in the blood jiangshi created at that time, so it was natural for the Demonic Cult to become confused.
Depending on the ingredients used, three blood jiangshi made from peak-level martial artists was enough to defeat a Demonic Master.
It had been the Divine Maiden at the time who had suppressed the rampant blood jiangshi.
Now, that power belonged to Cheon Ah-young!
The moment the bell rang once more, the Fist Master landed heavily one the steps to the Palace. Using his downwards momentum, he gathered qi upon his fasts and punched outwards with all his strength.
Qi and wind blasted outwards, knocking one blood jiangshi far into the distance and shredding the other.
The force swept through the area in front of the Divine Maiden’s Palace, uprooting trees and clearing the rocks.
Soon, the front garden was just an open clearing.
“Huff, huff, huff.”
It was all from the efforts of the Fist King.
“Go back, Vice Leader.”
Along with Ah-young’s words, the bell rang once more with a daeng!
There was now only one blood jiangshi standing before the Fist King.
Seeing that, Joo Moon-baek looked uncomfortable.
Hmm. It looks like I have to do this myself. With that bell and the divine power, the blood jiangshi are basically useless… However, there’s still two Demonic Masters on this side. The Wind Demon Fist King is already at his limit.
With the Fist King basically out of commission, it would be a relatively simple task to subdue Cheon Ah-young.
There’s no reason to hesitate.
Joo Moon-baek glanced over at Mo In-ryang, who was waiting for his orders. Just as a flame rose from Joo Moon-baek’s palm, someone’s voice echoed into his ears.
— Wait. Let me take care of this.
Out of nowhere, a man appeared behind Mo In-ryang and Joo Moon-baek.
It was Hwan Dok, of course. In his hand was a tasseled bell, not a sword. On the bell was an engraving of a howling demon, with the demon’s eyes being the holes from which sound would flow through.
The man held the bell out.
“Who are you?”
At the sudden appearance of a stranger, Cheon Ah-young looked nervous.
Hwan Dok spoke to Ah-young casually, “Ah, the Divine Maiden. I’m quite impressed with how you suppressed the blood jiangshi with such ease.”
“Although, that history lesson of yours… That is a pretty ancient event you’re talking about.”
The blood jiangshi that had been blasted away began to twitch, as if it was about to stand up.
“W-what!” The Fist King was startled and shouted.
Ah-young urgently rang her bell again.
Hwan Dok rang his bell, as if responding to Ah-young.
As such, the divine power had no effect on the blood jiangshi.
It can’t be! He nullified my divine power! What is that bell? Cheon Ah-young bit on her lip, drawing blood. There’s only one blood jiangshi left. What if I take it out with the Fist King and do our best to flee? Maybe I can survive this.
Almost as if Joo Moon-baek had understood her thoughts, he smiled at the Fist King and Ah-young.
“Don’t you dare think you’ll leave this scene easily today.”
As Joo Moon-baek snapped his fingers once, seven more blood jiangshi crawled out of the ground, leaping forward.
A Great Demon and a Demonic Master going against a total of 8 blood jiangshi… How long can they possibly last? On top of that, the Demonic Master is already exhausted. 15 minutes, at best, Mo In-ryang snickered, smiling joyfully to himself as he watched the scene unfold.
As expected, Cheon Ah-young was almost immediately surrounded by five blood jiangshi.
The remaining three pushed the Fist King backwards, towards a wall. The blood jiangshi weren’t very organized and wielded their weapons at random, but it was enough against an already exhausted Demonic Master.
The blast from their weapons threw the Fist King into the wall, where he collapsed onto the floor.
The Fist King coughed up a mouthful of blood, showing just how injured he was. Still, he pushed himself off the ground and wiped away the blood.
He stared intensely at a point behind Joo Moon-baek.
At this moment of desperation, the Fist King who was facing death, suddenly smiled with relief.
Joo Moon-baek’s eyes narrowed.
Relaxing slightly, the Fist King said, “He’s here.”
“Who are you talking about?”
At the end of that question, the shadows of four men rose from the cliff before the Divine Maiden’s Palace.
The man at the forefront fell down before Cheon Ah-young, swinging his spear towards the five blood jiangshi surrounding her.
The spear move scratched the blood jiangshi, but was not enough to dislocate or cut off any limbs.
Still, it was enough to push them away.
“You…!” Ah-young gasped, disoriented by the sudden turn of events.
After pushing away the blood jiangshi surrounding her, Woon-seong picked Ah-young up and carried her a few dozen meters away.
In front of them landed Shadow, who had successfully brought the Fist King to safety, Sang In-hyo, and the Demonic Teacher.
Setting Ah-young down, Woon-seong spat, “Vice Leader…!!!”
“Young Leader…,” returned Joo Moon-baek, before he focused on someone else. “Shadow… So you went to that side?”
Shadow technically used to work under Joo Moon-baek, but he had always been there as an observer for the Unrecorded Demonic Group. Now that the Woon-seong had been recognized as the heir to the Unrecorded, of course he would switch sides.
Though Joo Moon-baek probably didn’t know Woon-seong’s new relations with the Unrecorded Demonic Group.
It was at that moment that Lee Shin-jung became furious.
“You despicable brat! What the hell are you doing?”
Joo Moon-baek’s eyebrows twitched at this reprimand and he opened his mouth as if he were about to say something. But eventually he only sighed.
“Teacher… There was something I’ve always wondered about.”
“Why are only the chosen ones allowed to become the cult leader? The Cult emphasizes the survival of the fittest as our core value, yet only a specific chosen one is allowed to lead the Cult.”
“Is that your justification for all of this?” Woon-seong asked.
Joo Moon-baek nodded.
“Yes. Why? Can I not be the one who rises to that position? And let’s find out why things became this way, too. That was my whole plan.”
It was all just personal greed and ambition.
“I got rid of those stronger than me by all means necessary… and I crushed the weak and arrogant who tried to target me. And once I stopped to look around, I had ended up in the position of Vice Leader.”
Joo Moon-baek clenched his hands into a fist.
“But becoming the leader was not easy! For some reason, just being strong was not good enough. I was left with no choice but to break, destroy, and crush everything getting in my way, like I always did. I simply need to split them with my ‘Soul Splitting Flame Spirit’! I’ll split their souls so they can no longer see the light of day!”
Flames sprang from Joo Moon-baek’s palm.
It was very much like the ‘Soul Splitting Flame Spirit’ that made Joo Moon-baek known as the ‘Soul Splitting Flame King’.
But the color was unusual.
An aura of gray flickered between the red and black hues.
Woon-seong quickly realized it’s identity. The incomplete Unrecorded Divine Flame!
The flame slowly enveloped Joo Moon-baek’s whole body.
“But several years ago, a rat popped out of nowhere and started disrupting my plans.”
Turning his head, Joo Moon-baek glared at Woon-seong.
This pressure… It’s like he’s gripping my heart… Woon-seong felt like his chest was being ripped apart.
But he didn’t take a single step back.
Instead, he glared right back with a valiant expression.
Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump…
The Vice Leader was not an enemy Woon-seong could face with a wavering will.
Moreover, it was not just Joo Moon-baek that had to be dealt with. The other people around the Vice Leader were also dangerous.
Three Demonic Masters and eight transcendence level martial artists…
Fighting here will result in a definite loss! We need to escape here and combine forces with the other Demonic Masters. The problem is that retreating is difficult in and of itself…
“Why are you getting in my way?”
At that moment, Joo Moon-baek suddenly shouted.
A fierce circle of flames appeared, spreading out around the Vice Leader.
Standing amongst the flames, Joo Moon-baek truly gave off the image of a king.
Woon-seong gripped his White Night Spear a little tighter.
“I’ve never been in your way, Vice Leader.”
“Both of us are here for each of our selfish goals… So stop that bullshit about someone getting in someone’s way.”
At that point, everyone’s gaze was on Woon-seong.
“In the end, Murim is all about the survivor being the strongest and the one who achieves what he wants. Don’t you agree?”
Survival of the fittest!
What Woon-seong and Joo Moon-baek were both arguing was fundamentally the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, but their interpretations were different.
According to Joo Moon-baek, it was the strongest that survived.
“Woon-seong. Kangho  isn’t a place where the strongest survives. It’s a place where the survivor becomes the strongest.“
Due to the passage of time, Kangho was a place where the survivors grew stronger.
If a rabbit survived a fight between two tigers, was the rabbit then the strongest?
Joo Moon-baek clutched his stomach burst into laughter, as if Woon-seong’s words were hilarious. His laughter eerily reverberated around him.
Suddenly, he stopped laughing.
“I see… So that’s how you think, eh?”
Joo Moon-baek spread out his arms, revealing his chest.
“Then let’s find out here and now, Young Leader. Who is it that survives?”
Joo Moon-baek smiled brightly, body shrouded in flames.
“And who is truly strong?”
With a snap, the blood jiangshi pounced towards Woon-seong’s group.
 There is some debate over whether Jianghu/Kangho is interchangeable with Wulin/Murim. My interpretation is that Kangho is the world of martial arts while Murim is the martial society.