… ’

Usually, a person shouldn ’t be like that.
Lee Seong-Hwi had beaten countless people up before, but even he couldn ’t break another person ’s bones as easily and nonchalantly as Kang Jin-Ho.

’Just how many hellish events did that guy go through? ’

Lee Seong-Hwi knew that Kang Jin-Ho was a ’returner ’.
However, being a returner didn ’t equal unparalleled strength.
Indeed, living several lives did not guarantee one’s strength.
However, Kang Jin-Ho was a truly, unmistakably powerful individual, someone beyond the comparison of other, more mundane returners.

“…What am I supposed to do here, damn it!”

Lee Seong-Hwi wanted vengeance.
However, there didn ’t seem to be a way.
He couldn ’t win against Kang Jin-Ho when he was still perfectly fine, so how was he supposed to defeat that bastard with only one arm?!


Unable to hold back his frustration, Lee Seong-Hwi screamed at the top of his lungs once more.
But then—

“How noisy!”

The door suddenly flew open, and an unexpected but familiar face waltzed inside the hospital room.

Lee Seong-Hwi ’s eyes widened, and he instinctively backed away.
Why was that man even here?

The uninvited guest chuckled.
“You can relax.
You already know there ’s nothing you can do to protect yourself if I wanted to hurt you, right?”

“…!” Lee Seong-Hwi relaxed his muscles, albeit unwillingly.

This uninvited guest was right.
If he wanted to harm the current Lee Seong-Hwi, the latter wouldn ’t be able to put up any resistance.

Lee Seong-Hwi slowly chewed his words out.
“What brings you here, ’sir ’?”

“If I said I ’m here to ridicule you for your wretched state?”

“…Then, ridicule me all you want and leave, sir.”

“Tsk, tsk…” The guest tutted away.
“To think that the disciple of the Assembly Master would be this weak! I told you, that man ’s method can ’t properly foster a talent like you.
Still remember my offer about joining me?”

Kekeke…” Lee Seong-Hwi cackled softly.
“Are you still telling me to give up on the position of being the disciple of the Korean Martial Assembly ’s Master and join you as some lowly lackey?”

“Of course not.
There ’s no need.
But now…
I ’m sure you ’re beginning to have second thoughts?”

“…!” Lee Seong-Hwi ’s expression crumpled.
“Are you making fun of me, sir?”

“Making fun of you? Don ’t get too full of yourself, Lee Seong-Hwi.
You might think of yourself as some kind of a genius, but that doesn ’t mean you ’re a big enough fish for me to personally shoot the breeze with.
Now, are you?”

Lee Seong-Hwi gritted his teeth, but he couldn ’t bring himself to retort.
The guest’s words made sense since he was indeed insignificant compared to the latter before his eyes.

The Yeongnam Group had surpassed the Korean Martial Assembly to become the number one faction in South Korea.
And the guest, the Yeongnam Group ’s leader, wouldn ’t have given a damn about some weak punk like Lee Seong-Hwi.

The guest, the Yeongnam Group ’s boss Kim Seok-Il, smiled odiously.
“Don ’t you want to avenge your loss?”


“You want vengeance but lack strength.
Don ’t you?”

Lee Seong-Hwi gritted his teeth again while listening.

Kim Seok-Il ’s grin deepened.
“It ’s the same story for us.
We ’ve lost a…
precious pawn, but there doesn ’t seem a good way to counterattack.
Seoul isn ’t our territory, which limits how much we can openly act.
So, let me make a suggestion.
Let us join forces.”

“…You’ve lost your mind! I ’m the Assembly Master ’s disciple!”

“Even now?” Kim Seok-Il tilted his head.
And Lee Seong-Hwi had to clamp his mouth shut.
“Now, now.
Think about this.
You lost your arm, so it ’s only a matter of time before the Assembly Master loses his interest in you.
You ’re not the only disciple, after all.
Besides, Lee Hyeon-Ju hates you, doesn ’t she? You were always going to be used and discarded.
That’s your fate.”


The noise of Lee Seong-Hwi gritting his teeth echoed chillingly inside the room.
He slowly chewed his next words out.
value do you see in me? So much so that you want to join forces?”

“You have plenty of value, Lee Seong-Hwi.
First of all, you can roam around this area without a problem.
On top of that, you ’re sufficiently strong, too.”

“…Even though I ’m a cripple now?”

“That won ’t matter once we fix you up.” Kim Seok-Il chuckled.

Lee Seong-Hwi narrowed his eyes.
Modern medical science couldn ’t heal him.
Even the cultivator ’s natural healing factor was useless.
So, how could Kim Seok-Il heal him?

Kim Seok-Il continued, “I give you power, and you do my bidding.
This sounds like a pretty good trade to me.”

Lee Seong-Hwi ’s eyes powerfully quaked.
Judging from what the Yeongnam Group ’s leader had said, he seemed to be in possession of a method to heal and strengthen Lee Seong-Hwi, but…

’…I don ’t have a reason to doubt him now, do I? ’

In all honesty, Lee Seong-Hwi believed that he was no longer useful.
So, someone as important as Kim Seok-Il wouldn ’t show up here to con him now, would he?

Lee Seong-Hwi cautiously asked, “How will you heal my injury?”

“It ’s fairly simple.”


A lone ’book ’ landed on Lee Seong-Hwi ’s bed.
The distinctive smell of an ancient tome wafted out from this coverless book.
And the faint stench of blood was mixed in that smell, too.
The smell could have only come from the old, dried-up blood.

Lee Seong-Hwi ’s eyes widened.
Could this be…?”

Kim Seok-Il smirked.
This is a good trade, no?”

“…What the f*ck? You want me to cultivate demonic arts?!”

“Do you know of any other way to heal your injury, then?”

Lee Seong-Hwi roared again.
“Who do you take me for?!”

Kim Seok-Il didn ’t reply, simply choosing to stare at Lee Seong-Hwi in amusement with his eyes sunken and unmoving.

The first one to buckle under the uncomfortable silence was Lee Seong-Hwi.
“I… I won ’t cultivate demonic arts!”

Kim Seok-Il muttered, “I won ’t force you to.
But the current you can never get the vengeance you desire against Kang Jin-Ho.
Winning against him is obviously out of question, too.”

Lee Seong-Hwi ’s fingertips began trembling.

“I won ’t mention this again.
However, we all know that you ’ll cultivate the demonic arts.
And you already know the reason why, don ’t you?”

Lee Seong-Hwi ’s face grew paler and paler as he stared at the Yeongnam Group ’s leader.
Just how much did Kim Seok-Il know? Just how far did he foresee?

“Well, then.
It ’s about time I excuse myself.
The second half of that cultivation manual is with me, so give me a call if you ’re interested.
Here ’s my business card.” Kim Seok-Il coolly tossed his business card in Lee Seong-Hwi ’s direction, then leisurely walked outside the hospital room.
Once he was outside the doorway, he muttered something else without even looking back.
“You didn ’t even need thirty minutes to arrive at the cafe after getting that phone call.
Isn ’t that strange? I wonder, why were you hanging around in that area? Mm? Fufufu…”

With that, the door closed shut.
Lee Seong-Hwi was pale as he continued staring at the doorway before a look of determination suddenly formed on his face.
He glared murderously at the cultivation technique manual.

I can ’t escape anymore! ’

Now that Kim Seok-Il had figured out everything, Lee Seong-Hwi wouldn ’t be able to escape from that devious man ’s clutches.
In that case, there was only one way.

Lee Seong-Hwi reached out and grabbed the old book.

“Kang Jin-Ho…!”

A barely-suppressed resentment leaked out from Lee Seong-Hwi ’s mouth.

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