ant it, Lee Jung-Geol would have still given him the Assembly Master position.

“Anyway, sir? We ’ve wasted too much time.
Now, please talk.
Where are you keeping the secret items?”


”Sir, we ’ll find them sooner or later.
If you don ’t tell us now, it ’ll only plunge the Assembly into further chaos and confusion later, ultimately weakening it.
So I ask you to show us your love and deep affection for the Martial Assembly in your final moments.
Demonstrate to us what you often speak of.
And let us not make your final moments any more unseemly than this, shall we? ”

Lee Jung-Geol slowly closed his eyes, realizing that everything was over.
Cheon Tae-Hun was right.
Holding out any further at this point would only fuel the confusion within the Martial Assembly.

His death was already carved in stone.
So it could be better to divulge everything before heading to the netherworld instead of allowing internal strife to beset the Martial Assembly.

“Those items are—”

However, just as he started…

Cheon Tae-Hun suddenly spun his head to look behind him.
His glare was locked on the firmly-shut doorway.
“…What was that noise?”

He heard a faint little noise coming from the outside.
That, in itself, shouldn ’t be too strange.
Noise could be heard literally at all times, after all.
Even an ordinary breeze could force this ancient building to creak and groan loudly.

Of course, Cheon Tae-Hun wouldn ’t drop everything and look behind him for any odd noises.
The reason he turned around was that the noise he had heard wasn ’t ordinary at all.

The noise he had heard couldn ’t have been produced by the house but from a person ’s mouth.
It was the sound made by a person at the height of terror, the kind you would hear in horror movies.
Although it came from so far away, and its volume was rather low, so Cheon Tae-Hun couldn ’t be sure, but—it had to be someone’s screams.

’What is going on outside? ’

Did someone show up to rescue the Assembly Master? But that couldn ’t be right…
Bang Jin-Hun was ’perfectly ’ monitoring the relevant individuals of the Assembly right now.
And he would have already stopped anyone from trying to do something.
Even if he failed to do that, Cheon Tae-Hun would have received a phone call alerting him about the deviation in the plan, at the very least.

In that case, had Cheon Tae-Hun heard it wrongly?

But then, his expression crumpled hideously.
He heard another scream, and it was a little closer than before.
It was truly a scream, and there was no need to even confirm it.

And then…

There was another one, and then another one.

The vivid sounds of tragic screams were gradually getting closer and closer.

‘Outside the door, we have twenty cultivators affiliated with the Yeongnam Group, so…
What is going on? ’

The Martial Assembly hadn ’t made a move.
In that case, who was responsible for creating all the screaming outside? Could the cultivators of the Yeongnam Group be fighting each other for some reason?

If that was also wrong, what was going on then…?

Cheon Tae-Hun ’s confusion didn ’t last for long.
That was because…

The screaming had stopped.
Such loud screams should have led to more commotion outside even after stopping, but everything was eerily still…


Someone swallowing their saliva sounded like a loud thunderclap.
That sound sobered Cheon Tae-Hun up, and he realized that something was weird about this situation.

the hell are we doing right now? ’

The normal reaction after hearing someone ’s scream would be to rush outside and find out what was happening.
Putting aside how that would have been a rational reaction, for now, didn ’t humans have this primal urge to check out what was happening with their own two eyes regardless of the event?

However, not a single person in this room budged an inch after the first scream reached their ears.
How strange.
It was so strange that even Cheon Tae-Hun couldn ’t comprehend his own inaction as well.


But then, a low but distinct noise dug into his ears.
It was someone ’s footsteps.

Clomp, clomp…

Someone was walking closer and closer to them, which made Cheon Tae-Hun ’s body shudder faintly.
Not a single thing about this situation made sense to him.

The folks outside guarding this place were all martial artists.
And one of the basics a martial artist had to remember was to lighten their body.
A martial artist making footsteps was like announcing to the world that they were some third-rate nobody.
So if the ones guarding outside were to approach this room, they wouldn ’t have made any footsteps.

However, it also made no sense that an individual making such a ruckus would be strong enough to break through the cordon of the guards outside.
In that case, what could all this mean?

Just as confusion and frustration threatened to get into a messy tangle inside Cheon Tae-Hun ’s head, the doorknob slowly turned.
The door hadn ’t been locked since there was no need to do so, and it issued a clicking noise as it opened wide.

And then Cheon Tae-Hun saw it…

He saw a lone man standing in the open doorway.

How should Cheon Tae-Hun describe it? He was not smart enough to verbalize the chilling emotion freezing up his chest right now.

The sight of the person beyond the open doorway was more than enough to drop the hearts of all witnesses to the pits of their stomachs.
Because he…
he was covered from head to toe in crimson blood.
A figure…
literally bathed in blood!

His hair was soaked in blood.
The weight of the blood made his hair strands droop low, and below those bloodied hair strands were a pair of chillingly-white eyes and irises darker than darkness itself.

And finally…

The man’s lips parted like a chasm in the crimson face to reveal his white teeth.

“So, this was where you were…”

The moment the blood-covered individual uttered those words, the temperature in the room rapidly cooled down.
Cheon Tae-Hun immediately realized something.
The emotion he felt right at that moment had to be similar to what a regular person would feel after running into a starving predator in an enclosed space with no escape.

The despair of knowing he couldn ’t escape at all!

When those vivid eyes on the blood-soaked face looked straight at Cheon Tae-Hun, he nearly lost all strength in his legs and fell on his butt.

Throughout his life, Cheon Tae-Hun met countless other martial artists like him.
Among them were many individuals incomparably stronger than Cheon Tae-Hun himself.
However, this blood-soaked man was different.
The man emitted this absolute and overwhelming presence that couldn ’t be chalked down to something as simple as having a high cultivation realm.

Cheon Tae-Hun swore that he had never met anyone capable of scaring him to the point of nearly stopping his heart with just a single glare.

The man raised his hand and slowly wiped away the fresh blood running down his face.
After ’cleaning ’ himself up a little, he addressed the trio while a smile infused with bizarre madness remained etched on his lips.

Come at me.”

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