Cheon Tae-Hun failed to keep his twitching facial muscles in check because his expression was distorting against his will.

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What an absurd provocation.
Not even middle schoolers would resort to using such words these days.

That was why Cheon Tae-Hun was so flabbergasted.
This experience taught him that even an immature provocation like that still possessed enough power to freeze people up on the spot, so how could he not be flabbergasted?

The blood dripping down that man ’s face was enough to prove that his provocation wasn ’t just a mere bluff.
There were supposed to be twenty well-trained martial artists outside this room.
Not just any random people either, but the ones the Yeongnam Group had carefully chosen for this particular mission, no less!

Cheon Tae-Hun had already confirmed how strong those individuals were.
Didn ’t they defeat the five bodyguards protecting the Assembly Master as if they were dealing with kindergartners?

However, this blood-soaked attacker had slaughtered those men and waltzed right into the inner sanctum of this residence.
Those twenty martial artists would have never let anyone inside even at the cost of their lives, yet this man still managed to arrive here.
It only meant one thing.

…An utter and complete annihilation.

Not one person out of the group of twenty had survived the battle!

’Just where did someone like this appear from…?! ’

This man was not affiliated with the Martial Assembly.
Obviously, he couldn ’t have been a part of the Yeongnam Group, either.
Cheon Tae-Hun and his colleagues had studied every relevant people in the Martial Assembly down to the minute details, even going as far as to memorize the ages of their favorite pets.
So they would have instantly recognized this blood-covered man if he had been someone from the Martial Assembly.

Of course, that didn ’t mean he belonged to the Yeongnam Group, either.
Why would that organization send someone to slaughter their own martial artists like this? So what other options were left?

Aside from the Martial Assembly and the Yeongnam Group, who else could have sent a martial artist of this caliber here?

Cheon Tae-Hun sucked in a deep breath.
“…Are you a returner?”

The blood-covered man, Kang Jin-Ho, shifted his attention to Cheon Tae-Hun.

”W-why are you doing this, returner? ” Cheon Tae-Hun tried to speak in a relaxed tone, but he ended up gritting his teeth toward the end of his question.
Even he couldn ’t do anything to hide the tremor in his voice.

It had never been a good move to reveal how scared you were of the enemy in front of them.
However, Cheon Tae-Hun’s heart was beating too fast for him to hide his emotions.

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly stared at Cheon Tae-Hun before grinning brightly.
“How did you figure that out?”

“It ’s obvious to me.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho stared at Cheon Tae-Hun in clear amusement before nodding slightly.
“We can always talk about matters like that later.
Before all that, though…”

Kang Jin-Ho suddenly massaged the area around his eyes and the bridge of his nose.

He had just blocked his vision.
Even though his opponents—his enemies—were right in front of him, a cultivator dared to cover his eyes in a nonchalant manner.
And said enemies were capable of crossing such a small distance in the blink of an eye, no less.
This act was basically the same as displaying his utter disregard for his opponents.

However, neither Cheon Tae-Hun nor his colleagues could move an inch.
Cheon Tae-Hun’s mind said that this could have been their only chance to offer up some kind of resistance.
However, his physical body seemed to have been rooted firmly to the ground, as it didn’t budge an inch.

Cheon Tae-Hun didn ’t even dare lift a finger as the bone-chilling premonition of his head flying off his shoulders and the rest of his body getting chopped up into dozens of pieces if he moved ever so slightly filled his mind.

“I let my excitement get to my head just now…” Kang Jin-Ho muttered to himself before turning his head slightly to glance at one of the men surrounding Lee Jung-Geol.

“…?” The said man blinked his eyes in confusion, clearly confused by Kang Jin-Ho ’s demand.

Kang Jin-Ho repeated himself.

It was only then that the man in question understood.
He glared at Kang Jin-Ho as humiliation washed over him, but…

Cheon Tae-Hun felt like laughing tragically at the sight of his colleague lowering his head a little and shuffling away to fetch a chair.
Because this… this had to be a scene in a comedy film.

Up until a few seconds ago, this spectacle was a thriller.
However, the genre switched in an instant to become a comedy.
These three men were hidden weapons trained specifically to take over the Martial Assembly one day, but they couldn ’t oppose the order of some young man intruding on their mission as they acted like obedient little servants.

Cheon Tae-Hun was shocked and dismayed by this situation, but he still couldn ’t bring himself to stop his colleague.
He could tell that ticking off the unknown young man was a terrible idea.
Both his instincts and rational mind agreed on that, and they kept telling him the same thing.

‘Keep your mouth shut.
Don ’t even breathe too loudly!’

‘Do not, under any circumstances, irritate that mad tyrant in front of your eyes!’

Bang Jin-Hun was basically Cheon Tae-Hun ’s martial master, and the former was one scary man.
Some said the Yeongnam Group ’s leader was a terrifying man without equal, but Bang Jin-Ho definitely did not lose out on the piss-your-pants scale to the Yeongnam Group’s leader, at least in Cheon Tae-Hun ’s estimation.

However, Cheon Tae-Hun could only shiver from the oppressive aura gushing out from that young man, even though he had proudly experienced the many sides of his martial master, Bang Jin-Hun for many years now.

His master and this young man were not even in the same realm of terrifying. If Bang Jin-Hun scared others as their fellow human being, this man was like an uncaged wild beast.
Words nor reasoning worked on such a beast.
No, it would simply slice open a person ’s belly and yank out their guts just because it was in a bad mood.
The young man in front of Cheon Tae-Hun ’s eyes was giving off that kind of ominous aura.

Cheon Tae-Hun ’s colleague fetched a chair from somewhere and cautiously placed it on the floor.
Kang Jin-Ho finished getting rid of the blood trickling down his hair, stabbed Crimson Destiny on the floor, then comfortably settled down on the chair.

“Fuu-woo…” Kang Jin-Ho let out a soft sigh while shoving his hand inside his pocket.
A short rummage later, he pulled out a cigarette and mouthed it.
He tried to light it up several times, but his lighter was soaked in blood and was unusable at this point.
So, he tossed that useless lighter away and reached out toward the group.

Cheon Tae-Hun, feeling like he was under hypnosis, pulled out his own lighter and tossed it over to Kang Jin-Ho.


Kang Jin-Ho caught the lighter and lit his cigarette before lightly tossing it back to Cheon Tae-Hun.
When their puzzled gazes landed on him, he muttered, ”Pass it to the old man. ”


Cheon Tae-Hun finally realized it.
This young man—Kang Jin-Ho—couldn ’t care any less about Cheon Tae-Hun or his colleagues.
To him, they were trifling existences that could be snubbed out of life at any time or suppressed without much trouble.

Just like how a lion wouldn ’t particularly care if a puppy were tossed inside its cage, Kang Jin-Ho treated Cheon Tae-Hun and his colleagues as if they were air despite sharing this rather small space with them.

Humiliation and anger instantly rose up in Cheon Tae-Hun ’s head, but those emotions were swiftly beaten down into oblivion by fear.
As a result, he didn ’t protest and did as told by placing the cigarette between Lee Jung-Geol ’s lips.

Cheon Tae-Hun wasn ’t the only one shocked by this situation, as Lee Jung-Geol ’s expression was also ’complicated ’ as he mouthed the cigarette.


Meanwhile, Kang Jin-Ho lit another cigarette, this time for himself, then quietly sucked in the unhealthy smoke before slowly releasing it into the air.
“Looking back, there were times when I desperately longed for a smoke.
That was when I just couldn ’t get rid of the stench of blood from my body.
During those times, just one cigarette would have been great.”

A faint grin slowly formed on Kang Jin-Ho ’s face.
However, Cheon Tae-Hun was in no mood to smile along, as he couldn ’t quite understand the flow of this situation at all.

Just why was this young man so…
relaxed? And why couldn ’t Cheon Tae-Hun do anything in this situation other than pathetically shiver?

He was scared.
That was undeniable.
More specifically, he was too scared of the individual in front of his eyes and could barely keep himself standing.
What he couldn ’t figure out wasn’t the fear itself, but the ’why ’ of it.

Why was he so scared of that young man?

Was it because he was covered in blood? Was it because he was a crazed but skilled murderer who had just killed twenty martial artists outside?

No, those weren ’t the case.
Cheon Tae-Hun had also experienced all kinds of hell to arrive at this point in his life.
He had become far too callous and worn down to get scared by such reasons.
The number of people he had killed with his own hands should be well over twenty by now.
So Cheon Tae-Hun wouldn ’t get scared by being in the presence of another murderer.

In that case, why? Why did Cheon Tae-Hun ’s heart still feel like it was shriveling up?

Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t seem to care what was on Cheon Tae-Hun ’s mind and relaxedly puffed away at his cigarette for a while.
Eventually, he fixed his gaze on Lee Jung-Geol.
“Your granddaughter asked me to save you.”

Lee Jung-Geol ’s irises powerfully quaked at the mention of ’granddaughter,’ then a flicker of light quickly returned to them as if he had seen a distant streetlamp illuminating the inky-black darkness of the night.
“Y-you mean, my Hyeon-Ju?”

“Yes, her.” Kang Jin-Ho took another puff before lazily exhaling the smoke.
“So, I came to ask you.
If I save you, what will you do for me in return?”

Everyone in the room stared at Kang Jin-Ho with their eyes strongly quivering.

wants to negotiate now?! ’

Even though he had already killed twenty men outside? Did that mean the reason for killing all those people and entering this room was that he wanted to negotiate?!

’You insane son of a b*tch! ’

Cheon Tae-Hun barely managed to suppress the only words suitable to describe this situation from coming out of his mouth, and there were no more doubts that the young man was insane.

No one in their right mind would do such a thing.
And it seemed Cheon Tae-Hun wasn ’t the only person thinking that way.
Even the other party in the negotiation, Lee Jung-Geol, could only look on slack-jawed at Kang Jin-Ho.

Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“I ’m a busy man.
Hurry up.”

“I, I…!” Lee Jung-Geol couldn ’t withstand the pressure emitted by Kang Jin-Ho ’s glare, and he gasped before yelling in a hoarse voice, “W-what is it that you want? Tell me! If it ’s within my powers, I ’ll grant anything you want!”

Kang Jin-Ho ’s eyes became withdrawn.
“Looks like you haven ’t understood me.”

Lee Jung-Geol ’s expression was quickly dyed in shades of confusion.

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“I don ’t want anything from you in particular.”

Lee Jung-Geol started shuddering from more shock.
If that was true…
what did this young man want from him then?

Kang Jin-Ho resolved the confusion in the old man ’s mind.
And through perhaps the worst possible way, too.
”Tell me what you can offer me.
Think about an offer that can pique my interest.
Since I don ’t want anything from you, I might as well go home if you can ’t offer me anything enticing enough.
So you better think real hard and fast before I get bored and leave. ”

A powerful realization dawned on Lee Jung-Geol.
This young man wasn ’t joking, and he was definitely not ridiculing him as well.
The young man was being genuine.
This was indeed…
his current thought process!

’In that case, why did he even come here? ’

Lee Jung-Geol couldn ’t make heads or tails of the young man ’s behavior, but this wasn ’t the time to worry about that.
Indeed, instead of debating what was sensible or not in this situation, he should be trying his best to save his neck right now.
If that young man agreed to step up, Lee Jung-Geol was certain that this situation could be reversed in one breath, and the trio of assailants would be suppressed in the blink of an eye.
”I, I— ”

However, just as Lee Jung-Geol was about to say something, someone else acted first.

“Y-you think this is a joke, you punk?!”

Cheon Tae-Hun ’s brows shot up.
One of his colleagues, Bak Cheon-Yong, had stepped forward while pointing angrily at Kang Jin-Ho.
Bak Cheon-Yong’s expression clearly said that he couldn ’t endure this anymore.

“Where the hell do you think you—”

Bak Cheon-Yong couldn ’t finish his words, and it was obvious why he couldn’t continue.
A man with his throat sliced open would not be able to speak, after all.

’…J-just when?! ’

Cheon Tae-Hun ’s figure started shivering like a lone leaf against the winds.
The sword stabbed to the floor seemed to have teleported into Kang Jin-Ho ’s hand, and right at that instant, a slender crimson line manifested in Bak Cheon-Yong ’s throat.

“…Uh?” Bak Cheon-Yong hurriedly touched his own neck as an expression of shock filled his face.

The initially-slender red line resembling a thread rapidly grew thicker.
Cheon Tae-Hun knew very well what that line signified.


As the sound of a wet object splitting apart rang out, Bak Cheon-Yong ’s head rolled off his body and tumbled to the floor like a scene from a movie.
Shortly afterward, his headless body fell to the floor, followed by a fountain of blood gushing out of his neck.


All that gushing blood only served to make this scene feel even more unreal.

Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t even spare a glance at Bak Cheon-Yong ’s headless corpse as he muttered to the rest of the living in the room, “Didn ’t I say this before? I ’m too excited right now.”

His words made the room feel even colder.

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