Absolute Sword Sense - Chapter 101
Chapter 101: The Unknown Trial (4)
It was a vague expression, but the target understood it clearly.
On the contrary, Cho Sung-won’s face was asking if this was okay. The opposite party was Baek Hye-yang, one of the rival candidates to become the sect leader.
Because we didn’t know the future would end, we had to keep this a secret. However, the response was close to what I expected.
She, surprised, smacked her cherry red lips due to learning that the Alliance leader and I clashed using swords.
“You are lucky. To clash blades with that man. I am jealous.”
I felt goosebumps rise on my back as she said this. This was a no-win scenario, but she was serious.
Was she filled up with a passion to fight against one of the Eight Great Warriors?
“But why do you think it was because of me?”
“Because the craftsman is gone.”
“What does his absence have to do with me? Is this a guess?”
She was messing around with me.
“I will inform you of the full situation.”
I glanced around at the broken forge.
“That one over there, he is someone under my lady. I think he called himself the disciple of the Fifth Blood Star? No one other than he or I have ever been here.”
At the words, she smiled and came closer.
“Ahh. I got caught.”
It didn’t seem like she had any intention to hide at all. But I didn’t think it would be this easy.
This was beyond boldness or even arrogance to kidnap a craftsman working for the Alliance leader outside a castle owned by the Murim Alliance.
“… and the cover-up?”
Since they did this, shouldn’t there be a reason? She was now standing right on the tail of the Murim Alliance.
There may only be three months before the actual battle begins, but she was pulling closer.
“Why the cover-up?”
“The alliance leader might request a follow-up investigation.”
At my words, she smiled.
“He cannot find it right away.”
“What do you mean?”
“That is something you don’t have to know.”
Well, there was no reason for her to tell me, but I could make a guess.
Perhaps it had something to do with the swords he was imitating? I suddenly became a bit concerned about breaking those swords.
“Instead, there is something I want to ask.”
Baek Hya-hyang pointed to Sima Young.
“I like her, so I will take her.”
I would have spit water at her face if water was in my mouth. I wasn’t sure how to react, and even Sima Young thought this was absurd.
“Who will accept whom?!”
“I like you. I do not think it will be bad for the three of us to enjoy a night together.”
Cho Sung-won, who heard this, shivered and coughed as his face reddened in confusion.
“You seem to have too much time.”
At my words, Baek Hye-hyang licked her lips.
“Does this sound like a joke?”
Ah, this was confusing and shocking too.
In the meantime, Sima Young’s face was becoming red as she stuttered in anger.
“Who… Who wants to spend a night with you!”
“Are you pretending to be naïve?”
“I am not!”
“No fun. I hate those who are naïve.”
“It’s better than being like you.”
-She’s probably kidding, right?
As Short Sword asked me, Sima Young looked perplexed.
She was a tough woman, but seeing her being teased like this wasn’t normal for us, so I intervened.
“… even if you want to say all this openly, wouldn’t it be dangerous to stay here for too long?”
Baek Hye-hyang then asked.
“Are you afraid that they will chase after me?”
“If we don’t want to die together, it is better to move away right now.”
“You are so ready to move away.”
“Because I need to live.”
“You are honest. Well…”
Baek Hye-hyang pulled something out and threw it at me.
It was wrapped in leather. When I opened it, it was a dagger without a hilt.
“That is yours, right?”
The craftsman had made it.
‘He made it like this.’
The dagger’s blade was made to represent Short Sword.
It looked like he made this to fix Short Sword, considering the holes in her upper half. Having this in her possession confirmed that she did take him away.
“There is no debt between us. The next time we meet outside the castle, it will not be like this.”
Baek Hye-hyang turned around while pressing the bamboo hat to her face.
Contrary to my expectations, she seemed embarrassed at coming out so strongly. I thought she was selfish and jealous, but there was more to her.
As she was stepping out, she said.
“We will deal with the person from our side, but you need to deal with the person who leaked the information.”
“If it were me if I dug a trap and no one was caught, my suspicion would only grow.”
With those words, Baek Hye-hyang left the forge. Seeing her exit, Cho Sung-won clicked his tongue.
“It is not easy.”
Those would be my words as well.
It was becoming difficult to predict whether or not it would be possible to safely take back the Blood Demon Sword, with how many people were becoming entangled.
A chase happened in a dark alley as two masked men were running with warriors wearing bamboo hats hot on their heels.
The warriors in the bamboo hat blocked the path of the masked men after they had run for a while.
They tried to escape through the rooftops, but it was also blocked by more pursuers. One of the warriors wearing a bamboo hat then walked out.
“Stop trying to run. Where is the man you kidnapped?”
Seeing the masked men hold their silence, the man clicked his tongue.
“Tch. Right. You wouldn’t speak so easily.”
Once the order was made, the warriors moved to attack them. At that moment, the masked men proclaimed.
“The Double-Sided Martial Forces will not forget the grudge!”
The masked men cried out and held up their weapons to their throats. It happened so quickly that no one could stop it.
Seeing the masked men collapse, the man in the bamboo hat was shocked.
He never expected them to do such a thing so quickly. It was late in the evening, and the men had shouted, so people were approaching quickly.
The man ordered.
“Bring the bodies.”
The warriors quickly gathered the corpses of the masked men and made their escape.
I pressed Cho Sung-won to clarify his words.
“Where did you hear that?”
“There are rumors around this place.”
“Is this why we went all the way here to have breakfast?”
“The more people, the better the information we get.”
I looked at him. Attendants usually bring out their food for people who were given special treatment.
Only those from the small to medium sects would go to a communal diner.
“It is a good way to hunt for information.”
He’s a great asset with his background in the Beggars Union. I didn’t even ask him to go, but he was already collecting information on his own.
He knew how to search for news, whether it was about the Alliance Leader or Baek Hye-hyang.
“It seems like the Double Sided Martial forces will not forget their grudge…”
I stuck my tongue out.
Normally someone would wonder why they were even acting like this, but I was sure Baek Hye-hyang was behind this.
-Are you going to fool them?
‘It isn’t about fooling them.’
‘It simply adds more confusion.’
Rumor had it that their final cry had been loud. If their prediction was correct, they probably also committed suicide after drawing that much attention.
It was often done by spies who got captured. It was done to draw in a third party. Even if people didn’t believe it, the doubt would always linger.
‘No one knew who kidnapped that man, so this was done to add more confusion.’
However, this method requires sacrifice. She was a scary woman who was capable of killing her own subordinates.
-Isn’t Baek Ryeon-ha the same?
—well. That was true.
She, too, had sacrificed a few of her followers as she had asked them to help face her escape from the Six Blood Valley.
It didn’t feel like the Blood Sect but was closer to the Forces of Evil.
I wasn’t sure about the sacrifice, but their actions would make heads turn.
Baek Hye-hyang’s purpose was to avoid the gaze of her pursuers. If the purpose was to cause a ripple between the relationship of two forces, then her actions were correct.
Still, no one would know the outcome if the fire in the yard was allowed to continue burning. Whether the house or the land, something will end up destroyed.
-Evil. So evil.
Could this be called evil? Well, this wasn’t the time to worry about her.
“Where are you going?”
When I got up, Cho Sung-won also got up.
“To the 1st Military Commander.”
As she said, shouldn’t we avoid further doubts?
After waiting for more than half an hour, I was able to meet Zhuge Won-myung.
I wondered if he was busy because of the workload in the morning. However, there appeared to be an emergency meeting within the Murim Alliance that caused the man to arrive late.
We speculated that this was likely due to last night’s incident. As soon as he saw me, he spoke.
“Sorry for making you wait long. The meeting lasted longer than I thought. We are busy with the tournament, and many people are also gathering. Come. Tell me about what brings you here.”
From the way he spoke, he appeared to be quite busy.
I don’t know if this workload was natural due to the tournament starting in the coming days. As we sat there, tea was served.
I brought up the topic right away.
“I remembered what you said the other day, so I thought about it.”
“What do you mean? About what?”
“You asked us to see if Blood Sect members were in the tournament.”
Hearing this, Zhuge Won-myung looked interested.
“I did say that.”
“I am being careful to say this as I am not a member of the Murim Alliance.”
I acted hesitant and unsure.
First, I needed to get his interest locked in me. This man was unquestionably someone who had seen off thousands of people who had tried to use their wits to prevail against him.
Zhuge Won-myung smiled.
“What about it? Do not be shy and say it. How can we not take the opinion of the young man who will be responsible for our future?”
“Thank you for feeling that way.”
“Come on then, tell me.”
“Didn’t you say that the people of the Blood Sect were here for the Blood Demon Sword?”
As soon as I said it, he narrowed his eyes as if trying to see through my words.
I knew this man had reached a level of insight and wisdom unlike anyone else. There was no room here for mistakes.
Zhuge Won-myung stared at me.
“… right. I did say that.”
“But, wouldn’t it be easier to catch them here rather than throwing bait into a large field?”
“What do you mean?”
“It is about discovering even a slightly suspicious person using an information leak.”
“… information leak?”
Hearing my words, his expression changed, and I continued.
“Yes. For example, the time and place where the Blood Demon Sword is being transferred.”
“The important thing here is that the information is fake.”
“Because we don’t need to risk it.”
“If false information is leaked, the Blood Sect will make its move. Especially if their purpose is the sword.”
The wrinkles around his eyes moved as if he was thinking. There were no significant changes in his expression, but I continued speaking since I was just reciting a pre-made piece.
I speak while clenching my fist as if I am excited.
“At this point, we chase them. If we are lucky, wouldn’t it be a chance to wipe out most of their people in one sweep?”
I told him the plan but didn’t get an answer as he continued staring at me.
After a few moments, a big smile appeared on his face.
“Hahahaha. What a great plan. There will never be a day when I don’t feel envious of warrior Ho Jong-dae.”
“That is just an exaggeration.”
Zhuge Won-myung smiled.
“Actually, I thought of the same thing. With promising people like you, the future doesn’t seem bleak anymore. Okay.”
Fortunately, this had worked.
Even if no one fell into the trap, it would be hard to suspect that I was the one who had leaked the information.
Who would have guessed that a dagger had spied on their conversation and informed me about it?
Shortly after, So Wonhwi left the room.
Zhuge Won-myung then said to the guard.
“From now on, we will need to rebuild all the security and people inside.”
The guard frowned and asked.
“…you think the information was leaked from within?”
“It is a probability.”
“I understand. We will replace all but your escorts. Do you want us to keep an eye on anyone?”
“Put people on the North Brave Star and his disciple. Do not let any hidden moves happen.”
He spoke in doubt of many people. And that wasn’t all.
As the guard moved, Zhuge Won-myung stopped him.
“Add someone to So Wonhwi too.”
“You doubt him?”
“We cannot leave anyone alone.”
It was a weak suspicion. However, it was his duty to not overlook anything.
“I understand. I will get someone to do that.”
“If he is a person from this side…”
“We might have to raise him as a successor to the Alliance leader.”