Embroidered Uniform Guard (錦衣衛)
I looked at the cliffs and the waterfall across from the water stream, and I was soaked in emotion.
‘Is there anyone else in the world who eats the Elixir twice?’
Since Millennium Snow Ginseng was an Elixir which came out in a thousand years, countless humans fought for the ownership, and Murim was stained with blood. Taking the rare Elixir more than twice was highly unlikely.
I walked into the waterfall, and as I passed through the cave in the waterfall, I came across a snowy field where the Millennial Snow Ginseng was sleeping.
I cleared the snow from the snow field and set aside the buckets and firestones I had stolen from nearby private houses. As I did before, I had to chew the leaves and roots of the black and the white lotuses. Cooking in utensils was required. Then I entered the cave and reinstated the majesty of the Millennium Snow Ginseng. It also showed off its elegant white design without any changes. I started to boil the black and white lotuses like before.
After a while, when I was ready, I began chomping away the roots from the lotuses of the black and the white. I’ve been thinking of it for a long time, but it tasted like potato. It did not taste bad, but I felt nervous thinking of the ordeal which would come back after eating it.
In the Low Dantian (下丹田: point two inches below the navel where one’s Qi resides), a huge amount of Yang Qi (陽氣) came up. I bit my molars in remembrance of the awful pain I had suffered last time, but it didn’t hurt as much as I had thought. Last time, the pain of the intestines being molten from lava had hit my lower abdomen, but now I had only a simple stomach-ache.
‘What? … That doesn’t hurt much?’
My body was already accustomed to the large amounts of energy even though it was running out of steam. But since this huge Yang Qi should not be left alone, I picked up the Millennial Snow Ginseng next to me and chewed it.
The cold drops over the throat, and then a great Yin Qi (陰氣) and Yang Qi collided inside me, and then it started to condense as if it were about to explode. Last time, I had felt a pain like turning my eyes back, breaking my nose, and taking a piece of leather off my body. Therefore, I was nervous and more tension came over the whole body.
But I felt strange. The massive Yin Qi and Yang Qi that were about to spin and burst in the Low Dantian just collapsed naturally like water that has soaked into the ground.
It was embarrassing to see that it melted like snow without pain. I was ready to struggle desperately with Lightning Dragon One Qigong and Horse Stance (馬步) as before, but without having to do so, my body was stabilized by performing the Big Circulatory Cycle (大周天).
I checked Damai (大脈: one of Eight Extraordinary Meridians) on the side of the gate of Life & Death (生死玄關), with a sense of hope, and the gate of Life & Death was still open, and the surrounding vessels were open too. The enormous energy that had entered the inside was rising, but there was no going through the gate of Life & Death.
I waited a long time, but nothing happened except that I was a little muddled.
‘What is it? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?’
I tried to detect my Neigong, but it was not measured. There was no way to measure my own Neigong. I wondered if I had Qi Deviation (走火入魔), but it was not.
Qi Deviation is also known as Qigong Deviation and literally means “to catch fire and be possessed by demons.” It is a dangerously unstable state in which Qi is twisted and out of control, mostly by psychological causes and wrong use of Cultivation Method, resulting internal damage and symptoms of psychosis. People, who practice Cultivation Method and Martial Arts incorrectly, or who rashly use forbidden arts, succumb to their internal demons and are all at risk of falling into this state.
It was that moment
when the air exploded and the Lightning Storm was in the air, and I felt that my Neigong increased because it was more powerful than it had been before. But at the same time, I could see that the crisis had come.
My face became white. As I screamed, I began to wriggle as if the huge amount of snow piled up in various places of the unexplored was alive. The snow here began to tremble with a loud resonance due to the sound and explosion.
I started to run on one side of the road in a hurry to avoid the snow pouring down. I had no time to pack cooking utensils and just ran without looking back. My Haste Skill was very fast, but it wasn’t very fast enough for the avalanche to come down. An ordinary man would have died a long time ago under snow.
I screamed hopelessly at the sight of the avalanche that was coming down the mountain, despite running a hundred and fifty meters. After another ninety-meters run, I found the avalanche was slowing down, and I sat on a nearby rock to breathe.
“Huck huck huck…”
It’s not funny. I had taken the Elixir and tried my Neigong, and I almost died in an avalanche. It was my mistake that I could not think of an avalanche, though this area of Huangshan had a lot of snow.
After I calmed down, I wondered if my Neigong was doubled. Above all, the tremendous pain of eating the Millennium Snow Ginseng disappeared, but I could not confirm whether I was strong or not.
I thought about what I was going to do next. I would like to go to the Blue Dragon Martial Hall, but it would be impossible in realty. I was suddenly annoyed.
‘Let’s just forget about the training and live comfortably.’
If I were a general Murim person, I would be freaked out with this thinking. The Murim person would not think about this. I ate the Millennium Snow Ginseng two times with the retrograde. However, I felt skepticism in the process of coming from the third past life to Huangshan.
‘What’ the point in building up martial arts and stealing Anonymous Ceremonial Book after all these hard times?’
I’ve been through a lot of trouble. If I want to live comfortably, no one can interfere with me. There is enough power already.
I decided while I was worried about my being.
“Let’s live comfortably.”
This time, let’s not worry about any other trouble, let’s do what I want to do.
I decided to forget about the Anonymous Ceremonial Book for a while. And the work was arranged. As soon as I came down to the bottom of Huangshan, I sneaked into the house of a virtually rich person, who had always been known to harass the peasants. Then I took out fifty silver coins from inside.
‘This will cover travel expenses.’
It was a clear theft, but I didn’t care. Certainly, he was condemned to death by the villagers and was harsh to the peasants. It was fortunate that I did not kill him. I left the village and stood in front of the junction of the road.
‘Where should I go from here?’
I was torn about it, but I chose the east direction without hesitation.
This is going back the way I came, back to my hometown, Small Bird.
I can go back to Sagong courier company and see Sagong Lin’s pretty face again.
I can also visit Wangliang to learn more about Formations (陣法) and Extraordinary Gate Disguise (奇門遁甲).
There were several directions, but I went back to the hometown.
It took some time to get back to the village, eating and sleeping comfortably, after leaving Huangshan. Rather than walking along the mountain trails, I only rode the government road, borrowed a wagon from the government’s relay station (驛站), and sometimes rode the horse myself.
I walked into the village gate and smiled coldly.
Why did I come back here?
I came back to revenge.
It’s probably because I had a great deal of shock when the village chief hired a unit of assassins to kill me, and then I got so scared that I put away the revenge. But now after I ate the Elixir twice, I was very relaxed and on the
the other hand I was cold.
‘Who knows if I kill them all?’
Even if the village chief did a background check after revenge, it would be enough for me to just pop out. No one would believe that a cow dung killed a village chief’s family overnight.
‘People should live by doing what they want.’
I walked slowly into the village, giving Real Qi to my arm. My eyes flashed with the murderous spirit. If anyone caught, I would tear off the whole body for an example.
It was then.
“Cow dung, are you back?”
I was surprised to see the person pretending to be nice to me, but I had never spoken to him properly in my entire life. He was just a peasant farmer who paid for the rent fee to the village chief. I didn’t even know his name so I answered in a sulk.
“Haw…, yes, yes.”
My murderous spirit was dead. I essentially hated all the people in this town, and I didn’t think someone would say hello. The village man handed me some potatoes and said, “Why do you come back to the village? Just go out and live.”
He clucked his tongue regretfully.
“I thought your life was so hard that you ran away from the village chief.”
I became dumb as he said it. Wasn’t everyone in the village sue me for being bullied? And I didn’t know what to say to that sympathetic statement. I sat there holding the potatoes in my hands.
“If your parents did not die suddenly when the epidemic was in fashion, you would be growing up like a normal village kid, but there’s nothing you could do about that…”
Yes, my parents died of the disease when I was a child. I became an orphan at that time, and the villagers decided to raise me at the village chief house while arguing who would raise me. And I had to spend my teenage years living like a servant in the village chief’s house.
I took a bite of my potato.
“I came back to kill the village chief.”
“Hahaha, then how good it would be!”
He smiled bitterly, as if he also thought that what I was saying was just a complaint.
Who would think that a teenager had the best Neigong in the world?
Now I had the ability and the will to kill them. I stared at him and said, “I don’t remember what your name is.”
“What a common name.”
“That’s what a guy like me is called.”
“What is the name of your son?
I knew Jang-tae, who had helped hit me as he had been around with the children of the village, and he had usually kicked me when I had been in a hurry. He used to sprinkle cold water on me while I was sleeping in the barn.
As a matter of course, when I came to the village to get revenge in my first life, I kicked the head of Jang-tae to death. I remembered that I had laughed like a madman when I had trampled on the dangling head. The son of a bitch was the son of Jang-su.
‘This man looks good, but why is his son a jerk?’
Indeed, Jang-su was not always good enough. It wasn’t his job, so he pretended not to see it even though I was abused by the chief’s family. Of course, he could not do anything about it because he did not have the practical ability or the authority to interfere with the village chief.
I said after a moment of pondering.
“How would you like to live your life if you could repeat it?”
“Repetition? You mean, going back to the past?”
“Well … I’ll try to live a happy life doing what I want to do, not what I regret.”
I nodded at the reply of Jang-su.
“I intend to do the same.”
The old man collapsed at the moment and fainted. I quickly grabbed his Touch of Death (點穴: in the martial arts world, it is used to hit or seal the acupuncture points or meridians of the opponent in order to kill, cripple, immobilize, control, or sometimes cause immediate or even delayed death). He fell into a coma but his condition was not serious, so he could wake up in two hours. I sat him roughly under a tree
a tree trunk and mumbled something.
Let’s do not anything to regret.
Let’s do what I want.
Let’s live happily.
It may be simple, but it is the most difficult thing in the world.
I cleared my hesitation and headed for the house of the village chief, which was built on the top of the village. The chief’s family seemed to be huddled together for dinner.
The sight of it might please an ordinary person. But the moment I found the chief’s face, I felt something rush up from the inside. It was a combination of the memory of when the captain of the assassin unit cut off my head and the memory of walking around like a madman in my previous life to make a living.
I walked slowly to the chief, and he looked and yelled at me.
“You bastard! You ran away from home and now …”
“The village chief!”
I shouted suddenly. The sound came with Lion Roar (獅子吼) and everyone in the room became stiff with the rumbling sound. He felt something suspicious and stepped back.
I said out of the murderous spirit.
“Choose the one you most want to save at this point. I’ll let him live.”
“Answer me now.”
The chief stopped flinging about whether he cooled down suddenly. He then pointed to himself.
“I knew it.”
At the next moment, the chief’s head was struck by Lightning Cloud Palm (雷雲掌) and flew off. The brain bulged out and the blood spattered. I could have bullied him and killed him, but I was so confused about the earlier story with Jang-su that I just wanted to finish it quickly.
“The village chief!! Arrrrrrrgh!”
There was pandemonium and people screamed. Some sensed the situation was serious and tried to flee, but I ran like a bird and smashed them to death.
One person died in a fist and there was only one living human at the point of ten steps. Even in the blood, I held my fist tightly without a drop of blood.
The remaining, Kim Man Jae stood there in the scene of the sudden massacre without knowing the reality. He looked as if he had no idea what had happened all of a sudden, but he was escaping from reality.
I approached and slapped him on the cheek.
I had loaded my Neigong a little, and his teeth popped out as he collapsed on his face. I made the necessary adjustment so that he couldn’t die. I said that, looking down at the fallen Kim Man Jae.
“You don’t know why this happened, do you?”
“Argh … what the hell …?”
“I tell you what, I hold fifty-year grudge against you, and I’ve never paid you back properly.”
He could not say anything, only shivering with fear and anger. If he had been a man with a strong mentality enough to set his mind in this situation, I would not have had such grudge.
I said with a grin.
“Motherfucker! You have had a good father after birth and lived in clover, dressing well and faring richly, but was it really hard to treat people well?”
Kim Man Jae fell down again, unable to breathe, hugging the belly. I did not carry my Neigong, but it was enough to give him severe pain. I felt that the resentment of the decades was going down when I saw that he was suffering.
The memory of this fellow tormenting me was so vivid. It was the main culprit who had instigated the village children to beat me and assault me in a group, and they treated me as a servant without a break. I was a mere child, and I would shed hundreds of tears in the barn because I was suffering.
The most painful thing about living as a guard in my first life was not that it was hard to eat every day. The guy who harassed me was still eating well, living well, and I had no way of paying back the grudge. However, in this situation, I was able to pay back the grudge, and the unpleasant feeling was boiling up inside.
I didn’t like the look in his eyes as he looked up at me with fear, and I did something I could not understand then.
“You have a fucking eye, and you don’t have to have one.”
At that moment, argh…!”
At that moment, Kim’s eyes were in my hands. When I tore off his eyes, he became a mass of blood and went insane. The worst pain a human could think of must be hanging over him.
“Live with nothing. Kim Man Jae.”
As my vengeance was over, I turned my back on the scene of the murder. Then I went into the chief’s house, opened the security device, and came out with the safe, which contained the silver bullion.
‘This will be enough for a living.’
At the beginning, I was going to destroy all the people of the village, but I decided to quit because of a meeting with Jang-su. If he hadn’t shown a human look, the town would have been covered with blood, and I would have poured oil on the blood-shaped village and set it on fire.
I came out of the town, put down the silver safe, and washed my bloody hands in the stream.
While I was washing my face for a while, I felt my hands shaking badly.
My face was flopping in the stream.
‘Am I happy now?’
I have committed my long-cherished desire today. I did it without even thinking about the consequences.
‘I don’t know if he’ll survive, and I don’t think that he’ll be able to survive with his eyes pulled out.’
However, I paid back the grudge of I had died by the assassin unit and the grudge I had been holding for decades. There was no cause for anxiety over the aftermath.
Perhaps it is possible for Plum Blossom courier company and Gaibang to designate me as the criminal, but they are not loyal to follow through for the chief’s family. At best, the search for a criminal resembling cow dung in one or two years will leave unresolved.
Although I’ve been worrying too much, at the time of the chief’s death, I had nothing to worry about. But inside was not very refreshed. Unlike the violent pleasure of killing the village youths for the first time, the gloomy darkness was collapsing in my mind. It was because of my conscience and remorse that I felt I had done it brutally.
Most awkward of all – the chief and family members did not repent their mistakes sufficiently and just went to hell. It was so easy to kill, but the blood of the icy dead struck me as if I were in a terrible state. It was awkward as if the lumps I had in my mind had been lifted up.
‘I’m not happy now. It’s just annoying.’
I shook my head loudly and took another step.
I was about to vent my frustration of living my entire life torn apart. For some reason, however, right after the murders came to an end, I left my body as it flowed.
After a while, I made a cool mind and began to think about the situation.
‘Well, I shouldn’t change the silver bullion right away. I’ll just let it lie idle for a few years and then change it.’
Now that the family of the village chief has been exterminated, Plum Blossom courier company and Gaibang would move. Of course, they would canvass the suspicious activities of their surroundings, and they would trace me when they heard the little boy suddenly changed a large chunk of silver into money.
I was thinking about where to hide the silver safe, but I buried it in a suitable pine forest. This was a familiar terrain, so I thought I would find it someday. I would dig up the safe three years from now.
And the real problem has come over.
Where should I go now?
I could go anywhere, but it made me harder to choose.
After much thought, I set my destination to the house of Wangliang.
“I need wisdom now.”
‘I have to practice martial arts after entering the Blue Dragon Martial Hall, but I can’t do that now. I am not very bright, so I need to consult Wangliang about my current situation. Maybe he will give me the wisdom to join the Blue Dragon Martial Hall. Of course, I don’t even think about talking about the Anonymous Ceremonial Book this time. For now, it is important to improve my situation first.’
My destination was Jingrang Valley in which the house of Wangliang was.