Chapter 90: Fortune and Misfortune (2)

Jin Mu-Won looked up only to see two familiar faces, Tang Mi-Ryeo and Tang Gi-Mun, getting off the wagon.
Tang Mi-Ryeo strode toward Jin Mu-Won, absolutely delighted to see him.

“What brings you here, Miss Tang?”

“We’re on our way to Yuxi.
I never dreamed that I would be able to meet you on our way there, Master Jin.”

“Yuxi, you say?”

“Yes!” Tang Mi-Ryeo smiled.

Meanwhile, Tang Gi-Mun walked up behind her and asked, “What about you? Weren’t you staying at an inn in Kunming?”

“I also have stuff to do in Yuxi, so it seems we’re headed in the same direction.
By the way, where are the people from Heaven’s Summit? Weren’t you going to meet up with them at the Tyrant Fist Sect?”

“Heaven’s Summit suddenly changed our meeting place to Yuxi instead.”

“Hmm…”

“Fortunately, the warriors from the Tyrant Fist Sect agreed to escort us there.”

Since Tang Gi-Mun had already been attacked en route to Kunming, the Tyrant Fist Sect had dispatched a squad of elites to guard the two Tang Clan members.
He looked toward the leader of the guards and introduced, “That warrior over there is Im Soo-Kwang, the Eight-Armed Heavenly General.
Apparently, he’s one of the top five masters in the Tyrant Fist Sect as well as an expert in fist techniques.
His battle prowess is also said to be unmatched.”

Jin Mu-Won glanced at Im Soo-Kwang, a complicated expression on his face.
However, it was already dark out, and no one noticed his abnormality.

“If I had known that you were also heading to Yuxi, Master Jin, I would have stuck with you since the beginning.
Then again, we can just travel together from now on, right? Haha, I’d feel much more reassured with you around!” Tang Gi-Mun laughed.
From his point of view, Jin Mu-Won was a much more trustworthy person than Im Soo-Kwang, who was a complete stranger to him.

“Come, let’s sit down and talk,” he continued, leading the group toward the campfire, where they sat down in a circle.

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“Do you know what exactly transpired in Yuxi?”

“I heard some rumors, but it was so extreme, I just can’t believe it.”

“Could you tell me?”

“Well… I’m not sure how much I should say, since I haven’t even been able to confirm the truth myself.
We’ll know everything once we enter the city, so would you mind being patient for now?” Tang Gi-Mun asked, a severe look on his face.

“Alright.” Sensing the heavy atmosphere, Jin Mu-Won and Kwak Moon-Jung’s faces darkened.

Suddenly, Im Soo-Kwang approached Tang Gi-Mun, saying, “Master Tang, our camping preparations are complete.”

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“Good work.
This man here is Master Jin, my savior.”

Im Soo-Kwang’s eyes lit up with interest as he quickly sized up Jin Mu-Won, saying, “You may be young, but I can tell that you’re already a powerful martial artist.
I am Im Soo-Kwang of the Tyrant Fist Sect.”

“My name is Jin Mu-Won,” Jin Mu-Won greeted resignedly.

Startled, Im Soo-Kwang exclaimed, “I know someone with the exact same name as you! Would you mind telling me which sect you belong to?”

“It’s just a small sect.
Even if I told you, you wouldn’t recognize it.”

“Hmm…” Im Soo-Kwang fell silent.
He felt that Jin Mu-Won was avoiding the question, but if the young man wasn’t willing to say anything, it would be difficult to continue pursuing the topic.

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The Jin Mu-Won I know died seven years ago, so there’s no way it could be him, right?

The events that had happened many years ago still weighed heavily upon his heart, and although he could no longer recall the face of the boy left behind in the Northern Army Fortress, he remembered his name, Jin Mu-Won.
The same name as the man right in front of him now.

Back then, he’d had no choice but to go with the flow, but he always paid keen attention to any news concerning Jin Mu-Won.
That was why, when he heard about Jin Mu-Won’s death seven years ago, he’d become so overwhelmed with guilt that he couldn’t bring himself to eat or sleep for days.

Im Soo-Kwang carefully observed Jin Mu-Won again.
Come to think of it, the young man did resemble the boy in his memories.
However, this Jin Mu-Won’s demeanor was far too calm.

If he truly were the Jin Mu-Won I knew, he would never look at me this emotionlessly. Im Soo-Kwang sighed and sat down.

Sensing the tension in the air, Tang Mi-Ryeo pouted, not understanding what was going on.
There was a lot she wanted to ask Jin Mu-Won, who was sitting next to her, but the heavy atmosphere made it hard for her to say anything.

That night, after everyone else had fallen asleep, Jin Mu-Won sat alone beside the campfire, holding Snow Flower in his arms.
Next to him, Kwak Moon-Jung slept without a care in the world.

He looked up.
The sea of stars glittering in the night sky reminded him of the North.

Before he was abandoned, he was always surrounded by warm and caring people.
This had given him the mistaken impression that the world was a kind place.

In fact, Im Soo-Kwang had been one of those people.
Every time they had met, the man would greet him with a smile and teach him a lot of things.

However, on that fateful day, Im Soo-Kwang had turned his back on his father and himself more heartlessly than anyone else.
Still, Jin Mu-Won didn’t resent the man very much, as he wasn’t the only one who had betrayed them.

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Although it was impossible to face Im Soo-Kwang without mixed feelings, Jin Mu-Won didn’t want to let himself be bothered by a person like that.
After all, the Central Plains were filled with people just like him.
If he got angry at every single one of the traitors, he would ultimately only ruin himself.

This is yet another injustice that I have to endure, he consoled himself.

Suddenly, he remembered his meeting with Geum Dan-Yeop the night before.
That mysterious man had summoned him out of the blue, said a few words, then disappeared.
The only information he’d gotten out of him was that he was the mastermind behind the events in Yunnan.

Just who is he? What is his goal?

Although that was Jin Mu-Won’s first time meeting Geum Dan-Yeop, he could tell that he was not a man who would do all this over a personal grudge.
Therefore, he had to have some kind of motivation.
Unfortunately, he had no way of finding out what his true aim was.

Still, he had a hunch that they were destined to meet again.

Jin Mu-Won tossed several branches into the dying flames of the campfire, reigniting them.

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What if, he’s…

His expression darkened.

Nam-Goong Wi sat down, shirtless, in a pitch-black secret room.
There was a frightening-looking stab wound right beneath his rib cage.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on circulating his chi.

Every time he inhaled and exhaled, white fog would flow out from his nostrils.
As his meditation reached its peak, large droplets of sweat dotted his brow, and his whole body flushed red.

WHOOSH!

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Suddenly, he shuddered violently, and his face grimaced with pain.
The white fog that he had breathed out swirled around him, but he abruptly sucked all of it back in one gasp.

At last, he’d finished his meditation.
Nam-Goong Wi opened his eyes slowly and gently touched the blade wound in his side.
He then scowled, mumbling, “Cough! Wow! Even though I’ve been meditating all day, the wound hasn’t even closed up yet.”

For him, most normal wounds would close after a round of meditation, so even if they weren’t completely healed yet, he’d still be able to move around without issue.
However, the wounds he’d received from Jin Mu-Won were not like that at all.

Not only did they heal very slowly, they also hurt like hell.
As a result, Nam-Goong Wi had been left with no choice but to hole himself up in a secret room for several days doing nothing but treating his wounds.

He carelessly threw on some clothes and left the room.
Outside, he was immediately greeted by the sight of a picturesque garden surrounded by a high fence.
The large varieties of well-tended trees, flowers, and grasses showed off their most vivid colors as they gently swayed in the breeze.

Nam-Goong Wi strode through the landscape indifferently.
Although the garden was clearly the result of someone’s hard work, he had no interest in superficial things like that; honing one’s martial arts was a much more productive use of time.
However, he understood that not everyone agreed with him.

Soon, he found a man in rags pulling weeds from the garden.

“Dan-Yeop.”

The man shabbily dressed like a poor farmer looked up at his call and smiled.
It was Geum Dan-Yeop.

“Goon-Wi, you look much better now than before.”

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“Are you playing with dirt again? You always do that whenever you have too much stuff to think about.”

“Haha!” Instead of replying, Geum Dan-Yeop simply grinned.
Just as Nam-Goong Wi said, every time he had too much to think about, he would do some gardening.

Suddenly remembering something, Nam-Goong Wi asked, “You went to meet him?”

“Yes.”

“Kekeke! So that’s what happened.
He’s messing up your plans, isn’t he?”

Nam-Goong Wi plopped down on a nearby bench, causing it to creak ominously under the strain of his weight.
Seeing this, Geum Dan-Yeop smiled and sat down next to him.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m not completely healed, but thank the gods, at least I can move now.
Man, back then, I seriously thought that I was fucked…cough! Just my tough luck running into the devil himself, I guess.”

“That’s a relief.”

“What about you?”

Nam-Goong Wi did not explicitly state who he was referring to, but Geum Dan-Yeop instantly understood him, replying, “He’s thrown a wrench into my plans.”

“Is it that bad? Even for you?

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“He’s a really unusual guy.
He gives me the feeling of a huge, unmovable rock.
It’s a total mystery why I haven’t met anyone like him until now.”

Nam-Goong Wi’s jaw dropped.
He had never heard Geum Dan-Yeop give anyone such high praise before.
The man was always highly cynical and critical of others, and the only other praise he had ever heard him give was “somewhat useful”.

Even so, he felt like he could sympathize with Geum Dan-Yeop.
After all, not only had he devastatingly lost one of the Iron Ghost Snipers who he had trained with all his heart, he himself had come within a hair’s breadth of losing his life to Jin Mu-Won.

“There is no room for negotiation with him.”

“As expected.” Nam-Goong Wi lowered his head.
Jin Mu-Won’s gentle appearance was merely a façade.
Inside, he was a man burning with passion and determination.
It was impossible to negotiate with such a person once he had set his mind to something, and as a warrior who had fought the young man directly, Nam-Goong Wi believed that he could personally attest to that fact.

“So, what are we going to do? We can’t be withdrawing now, can we?”

“No, we can’t.
He may be an unpredictable variable, but we cannot call off all of our plans just because of one man.”

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“Yeah!”

“Besides, we’ve already come too far to turn back now.”

Geum Dan-Yeop looked up at the sky, prompting Nam-Goong Wi to also do so.
The cloudless azure sky appeared to stretch out for a thousand miles, but Geum Dan-Yeop was looking at a place even farther than that.

“Anyway, things have gotten much more fun now.
Regardless of how well we plan, it is the unexpected variables that make this boring life worth living.”

“Kukuku! Is that something to laugh about? It’s so depressing that no tears are coming out.”

“No, it has to be like this…”

“Dan-Yeop…”

“If we wish to rouse the Silent Night from its deep slumber,” Geum Dan-Yeop whispered in a low, but powerful voice.

Translator’s Notes: Sorry for the long absence, but I was busy with my engagement, immigration, and then…COVID.
And damn does covid suck.
Updates will now resume, but I am currently experiencing some problems with hosting and might need to take the site down for a day to migrate it.

Proofreader’s Notes: We’re back! Forgot soo many of the character names.
Had to reread some chapters to familiarize myself with the story and immersion.

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