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017————————————————————————————
The Journey of Lightning Dragon (雷龍出道)

I bought some casual clothes at Song’s dry goods store and walked out. There was a plan forming in my head to stop the excessive extortion of Huangshan Faction, and this was an experience-based action rather than any special strategy. I first headed towards the center of the town and then bought a pair of black clothes.

“Let’s move around, then.”

I decided to locate a shabby building first and test my own Neigong. Without the support of Neigong, it would be impossible to carry out this plan. Fortunately, there were many abandoned places in the town, and I slowly lifted my hand in one of the places while the stench of food leftovers lingered in the air.

Koodoodoong…



“Wow… It works.”

My fingers were completely nailed into the stone wall. Like three fingers penetrating tofu, they entered through a thick stone wall. It would not be possible for a normal person to do it, but I merely delivered the real Qi (眞氣) to my fingers along the veins to harden them. That alone turned my hand into an extremely formidable weapon.

The amount of Neigong I received was much higher than the Neigong of the original Millennium Snow Ginseng. When Yang Qi of the lotuses from the white and the black, and Yin Qi of the Millennium Snow Ginseng were mixed together and eventually fused, the harmony of Taiji (太極 – the main body considered as the origin of all things, universe) was accomplished, and I could receive more Neigong than expected with only taking the Millennium Snow Ginseng.

I moved my fingers slowly and began to write letters into the stone wall with confidence, cutting the wall three inches deep. I had learned enough to read the characters and basic documents I needed in my life. Nevertheless, there was no problem at all as I wrote a simple sentence.

[Huangshan Faction is tyrannizing against the common people.]

The sentence was not a metaphor, but an earnest attempt at the naked truth. It was an embarrassing piece of honesty, and after seeing my work, I felt satisfied. At the end of the exercise, I decided to use Palm Energy (掌力) to cover up the traces.

The martial arts I learned in Blue Dragon Martial Hall were Lightning Spirit Eight Spearmanship (雷靈八式), Lightning Spirit Swordsmanship (雷靈劍法), and Lightning Spirit Footwork (雷靈步法). However, in some extreme battles, it would be inevitable that the weapons would be left out of my hands, so the headteacher, Jin So Chung, also taught me Hand Palm Method (拳掌法).

Its name is Lightning Cloud Palm (雷雲掌)!

Jin So Chung stated that it was a martial art which had supported the reputation of Three Absolute (三絶), Lee Kwang, who was his teacher and the master of Blue Dragon Martial Hall. Of course, it was no wonder that Lightning Spirit Eight Spearmanship was one of the most powerful martial arts in the world. Lee Kwang had become a master of the three, as he had learned the spear, the sword, and the fist.

Originally, my achievement of Lightning Cloud Palm was only to a third degree. Because Lightning Spirit Eight Spearmanship and Lightning Spirit Swordsmanship were my main specialties, it was difficult for me to train Lightning Cloud Palm to a higher depth. And I didn’t have that much of talent. At best, I memorized the formula only, and I did not use nor apply it frequently.

Sususu.

“Hmm…!”

I collected Real Qi within the center of my palm, memorizing the formula, but I was excitedly surprised to see the deep-blue light coming from my hand and the lightning rippling through my arm. No matter how much I have focused on it, it have never happened.

“Is it because of Yin Qi of the Millennium Snow Ginseng?

Kwaang!

Hoodoodoong!

“…”

After a while, I maintained my form and just quickly smashed out against the stonewall, utilizing the Lightning Cloud Palm. I was absolutely stunned to see a large hole within the stonewall, that could allow a small child to pass through. Originally, my Lightning Cloud Palm was on a lower level, which could barely manage an effective blow and cause minor internal injury, but it was now a powerful force in another whole dimension.

If this were used on a person, all their bones within the upper body would be broken into pieces. I watched the dust settle before I came to my senses.

‘Oh, my god! I’ll have to leave soon. People will come to investigate the source of the noise.'

I slipped out through the alley under the cover of darkness. I was glad there was no witness, or I would fight with the guards.

'At any rate, it is possible to achieve my idea. Then let’s start at dawn tomorrow.’

I have experienced long periods of searching through the mountains and rivers for a while, and I blissfully took a bath after paying high prices to the owner. I had little money to spare, but I became a very extravagant person in my own way. I climbed to bed early in the evening and slept soundly that day.

I saw my mother who had died, in my dream. I felt good because it was a dream of my mother smiling.

Early the next morning, before the sun rose in sky, I got up and came into the town in my dark outfit. I then started moving cautiously towards the luxurious houses and buildings, which I had seen during the previous day.

There was one thing to do. It’s just a finger cutting into the stone wall of buildings.

[Huangshan Faction is stagnating against the common people.]

Hoodoodoong…

The falling sound of stones.

The smell of rubbles and asbestos came from the tip of the fingers. Even though my Neigong became strong, my fingers could not help but slightly hurt. When I wrote about twenty letters, I had to rest for a little, because of the pain in my fingers.

But today my target was to write a message on at least fifty stone walls. The distance of each building was about thirty meters apart, and now I had a large population of people moving around, and many government officials were walking around.

'Gosh, it’s a guard.’

When I saw three guards coming out on patrol, I pricked up my ears a bit and hid in an alley. Fortunately, they didn’t find my cause, though they were a morning patrol.

'Hmm… I still want to write about ten more times. If I grab Acupuncture Point (點穴 - in the martial world, it is used to hit or seal the acupuncture point of the opponent in order to kill, cripple, immobilize or control.) of the guards and gently drop off their head to sleep, then I’ll be able to earn more time.'

‘No, let’s end it here, with what has been done this far.’

I decided to let it go for today and hid myself in the receding dark places. It’s better to end at the right time than to leave a lot of traces behind.

“Ugh… Ugh.”

“Hey, what’s this?”

“Wang Il! Go and report it to the governor!”

“Yep.”

At that moment, I heard the guards' uproar from discovering the sentence on the stone walls.

As the day dawned bright and sunny, I lay motionless on the sunken bed, regardless of what happened. After all, I rented the room for three days, and I took a royal time leisurely to practice Neigong during the morning.

Woong Woong Woong –

I was turning the Big Circulatory Cycle (大周天) once or twice, and felt the volcanic Neigong move with a wriggle through my body. As the thrilling energy ran through my veins, it tapped all the small veins. Whenever I had the Big Circulatory Cycle, I felt that the energetic and powerful Neigong was accumulated with one more layer.

Since the Gate of Life and Death (生死玄關) was breached, all my small veins was penetrated. It was a great deal. It was a necessary process to get through the deep veins, but it was very difficult to make a way by the Moving Qigong (行功) and blood circulation.

If the potential power of Neigong was not so great, it would normally take a lifetime for the ordinary martial artists to penetrate only three hard pulses in the major meridians.

When the small veins are pierced, the transfer speed of real Qi increases. In addition, if someone hardens his body with Neigong, his defense becomes much stronger. In order to achieve this goal, he has to open the gate of life and death. If it happens, Neigong comes up like a water that rises rapidly every moment.

At this stage, it was clear that my Neigong reached the class of Extreme (絕頂).

When I came out of the room after the morning practice, the owner of the inn made a big fuss.

"Oh, my. There's been big trouble, sir. Don’t just step out of the inn today.”

“What’s going on?”

“Some madman is creating such a commotion out there that the guards are walking around frantically in search of the perpetrator. Don’t come out of the room, or you will be locked up if you get in trouble. I’ll bring the meal to you.”

“What’s the big deal?”

I did it but pretended not to know about it. The owner then made sure that nobody was around before speaking carefully.

"I heard someone wrote a sentence condemning the Huangshan Faction. Well, it was written on the stone walls.”

“Huh… He is a martial artist of Murim."

"…!”

It was quite embarrassing. But, as I pretended to be indifferent, the owner of the inn did not doubt me at all.

“Such a martial artist is not common… But people still approve of it at heart.”

“Why do they like it?”

"Because it’s all true…"

The owner displayed a poor prevarication before saying.

“Get inside anyway!”

“All right.”

The inn owner whipped up a meal, and brought it to my room on purpose. I thought while eating raw eggs, steamed rice, and chicken in the room.

The owner of the inn doesn’t want to report anything for a reward. He has a strong opinion that he doesn’t want to become caught up in this nuisance. It doesn’t seem reasonable, but it is a fully capable idea. Perhaps the owner is suspicious of me. But whether I am the criminal or not, he does not care about it. Because there is no guarantee that he will receive the prize money. And if the guards search his inn, he will not be able to do business.

In a sense, it also means that the local officials are not very respected. They are being treated at a distance, because they give no consideration to ordinary and business people.

My luck seemed to be rather good in a way. If the owner wanted to receive the reward, it would have been quite a hassle by now. What I thought was the right decision to stay put. When he was talking about the occupants of the rooms staying in, the guards outside left me alone.

I felt no need to move any more. Instead, I sat back in the hotel room and thought about what to do next.

‘I’m sure this will work. Huangshan Faction will be bound to slow down.’

The method of sending anonymous contributions on the stone walls works. However, this is not my first idea. It is nothing but a direct reference to the incident, which had been the most intense issue in my memory over the past decades.

In the past, the outer disciples of Diancang Faction (點蒼派) used to extort large amounts of money from their neighbors, and make excessive demands on them. The abuse was so violent that when they raped a woman and killed a civilian, these wanton acts were still buried from the public.

Then, one day, a large number of notices were added to the villages of Diancang Faction. To be exact, an anonymous person wrote and posted the notices on the street. The notice said, "Diancang Faction is one of Evil Factions (邪派), and they steal property from people."

It reached the ear of the lord of Yunnan castle, the brother of the emperor, and Yunnan lord called in the imperial committee to confirm the truth. Diancang Faction denied the allegation, but the group ended breaking up immediately after the violence was uncovered.

Some of Diancang Faction committed suicide, and the elders ran away at night, without being able to overcome the disgrace. One of the Righteous Factions disappeared in the air overnight, and it happened in the southernmost part of the country, but it became a topic of conversation for years.

Until that time, the government and Murim were under the unwritten rule not to interfere in another's business. However, the incident redeveloped the relationship between the government and Murim.

Of course, my method was quite different from the incident of the day. In the incident, there were dozens of simultaneous notices in the villages, but I just worked on the stone walls in the most bustling buildings of the town.

The difference was that I didn’t put my notice in the separate strokes, but I just put my fingers on the stone walls. Nevertheless, it was meaningful to be exposed to the public and the poor, without being able to distinguish it from the government officials.

The lord of Huangshan Faction, who has been known as the most revered master of all time, could not despise the sentence itself, but also the pressure from the allegation.

It was only on the third day that I realized my plan was succeeded.

"Wow…"

“Here they are.”

Suddenly, I could hear the chatter and as I stepped outside, the Murim people wearing yellow clothes were walking around in groups. I soon found out from their clothes and patterns that they were the members of Nine Factions & Gaibang.

At the forefront of Huangshan Faction, there were four people. Since I had absorbed the powerful energy of the Millennium Snow Ginseng, I had become stronger in sensing the abilities of the other party, and I could measure the energy of these four people, who were the masters.

Four masters!

‘I can’t fight them back yet, either.’

One master’s ability is enough to lift the whole country up. It is okay to say that there are four people like Lee Kwang of the Blue Dragon Martial Hall. I still need time to grow into a master based on the benefits of the Millennium Snow Ginseng.

I was watching the procession on the second floor, and I closed the window. The next day, there was a rumor going around.

[In recognition of this shameful event, Huangshan Faction has come up with hundred silver cases for the endless prosperity of the region! The disciples of Huangshan Faction also decided to work very closely with the government office to keep the peace!]

On top of that, a government branch official expressed regret over the incident, saying "The leader of Huangshan Faction is a righteous knight."

It may be true that it will help maintain public order, but during the time, ordinary people will feel the influence of the Huangshan Faction even stronger. There must be a considerable schemer within the Huangshan Faction. Or the leader of Huangshan Faction is a very intelligent person.

When I looked at the whole picture, I could see that there would not be much damage to the Huangshan Faction. The deal of 'one hundred silver cases' was merely a return of the money stolen from the ordinary people, and it was now used as a way to advance further the Huangshan Faction agenda. Furthermore, Huangshan Faction provided additional bribes to the government officials, and it strengthened the bond of the two parties.

I was dumbfounded but it was the way the world was operating on. However, thanks to what I had done, Huangshan Faction would not demand payment from the ordinary people. It seemed to be good for the common people, so I felt I did my best for Mr. Song of the dry goods store.

That day, I left the inn and headed towards Luoyang.

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Translator: Khan
Editors: T0ngan, Calvis

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