Chapter 17. Cho Ryu Hyang Knows
The master of the Heavenly Demon Church, Gongson Chun Gi.
He looked at the muscular old man that came to him, and grinned.
“It’s been a while, Guardian Wu. Getting here was troublesome, right?”
The old man called Guardian Wu. (TL: Dharmapala (Protector of the law) → Guardian)
His actual name was Wu Gyu Ho (右揆護).
He was one of the three experts in the harmonious stage in the church, and he was also one of the people that served Gongson Chun Gi ever since the pope was a young boy.
“I’m just happy to see you healthy.”
“I’m always healthy. Now, sit here.”
Guardian Wu sat down on the seat Gongson Chun Gi offered him.
Gongson Chun Gi then took his teapot, and filled Guardian Wu’s cup.
“I heard some things happened while you came here?”
“I know something happened. It’s ok. Just say it.”
“Ah, yeah, err……”
“You can say it.”
“You mean…. You mean the Emei Sect’s female monks.”
“Yeah, what happened? I didn’t really get what the other guys were telling me.”
Guardian Wu anxiously gulped down the steaming tea, and spoke.
“The people over there were insulting the main church, so I kindly educated them, hoho.”
“Educate them? Not go beat them to death?”
“Hak! What are you talking about…..”
When Gongson Chun Gi said that, Guardian Wu widened his eyes and denied it quickly.
“I’m old now, so I don’t just go around killing people anymore, your holiness.”
Gongson Chun Gi glared at Guardian Wu.
When the old man avoided eye contact a little, Gongson Chun Gi opened his mouth.
[Yes, your holiness.]
“Is this old man telling the truth?”
Guardian Wu made a surprised face, then quickly glared at the area behind Gongson Chun Gi.
Lim Hak Gyum sweated a bit when he noticed the glare.
How could he just go on and say that it was a lie, just like that?
[…….Yes. For now….., he’s telling the truth.]
“Hoh? For now? So there’s something he’s not telling me. Oh, and you don’t have to just go and message me like that. In front of this old man, your stealth technique is just fool’s play.”
Guardian Wu was a harmonious expert.
In front of his senses, Lim Hak Gyum’s skills would just be petty tricks.
“Hak Gyum, you’ll have to speak carefully. For all of us.”
When Guardian Wu carefully said this, Lim Hak Gyum made a troubled face.
Wasn’t this a threat?
“Guardian Wu, what are you doing in front of me? Did you go dull or something?”
“O, of course not, your holiness. Uhahahaha.”
When Guardian Wu laughed anxiously and shrunk back a little, Lim Hak Gyum spoke up carefully.
“According to the reports this one got, Guardian Wu didn’t kill anyone, as he said before, but he did personally destroy the dantian of 80 female monks.”
“What? Eighty? He personally destroyed their dantian?”
When Gongson Chun Gi looked at Guardian Wu with a face that said, “I knew it”, Guardian Wu lowered his head and whispered a few words.
“They were insulting the church, so…….”
“You destroyed their dantian just because of a little insult? A full grown adult like you shouldn’t do things like that. Trying being more kind. Because of things like this, the main church just gets insulted by everyone.”
“……I’m sorry, your holiness.”
Gongson Chun Gi sighed at the old man’s response.
“Oh yeah, you brought everyone from the Blood Wolf Corps (血狼隊). Are you trying to fight the Alliance?”
Guardian Wu spoke with a determined face when he heard Gongson Chun Gi’s words.
“I brought them when I heard that a bunch of trash from the Alliance were trying to annoy us. If you just give the word……, I will present you the head of the Dao Emperor.”
One of the three sovereigns, the Dao Emperor.
Gongson Chun Gi chuckled when he heard the old man’s words.
It might be possible.
The Blood Wolf Corps boasted the most power out of all the other corps, after all.
Everyone in the corps were all peak experts.
There were about five hundred of them here.
“You never change. I’m quite surprised.”
Gongson Chun Gi poured tea into his teacup, and spoke.
“The main church mustn’t have blood on our hands any longer. This is just a repeat of the past events. It’s an evil cycle.”
Gongson Chun Gi, unlike all the other popes in the past, belonged to the moderate faction in the church. This was a very revolutionary event, as something like this never happened in the church, where the blood and strength ruled over all.
‘I just don’t understand.’
Guardian Wu just couldn’t understand the pope’s thoughts.
If you compared the military power the church possessed currently to the past, you would see that the church currently was at the peak of its power. Even though this was the case, Gongson Chun Gi still forbade the church from making any major moves in the Martial World.
“Your holiness, weren’t they the ones that provoked us first? The main church simply retaliated a little strongly.”
Gongson Chun Gi nodded.
“Yeah. In most cases, they were the ones to provoke us first.”
“We need to really show the church’s power this time. We need to massacre everyone that comes to the Qilian mountains, and go down to Sichuan to kill everyone in the Alliance.”
Gongson Chun Gi once again nodded at Guardian Wu’s murderous words.
“That’s not a bad option. But if we do that, the balance crumbles.”
“Yeah. The balance between the church, the guild, and the alliance. If this perfect balance crumbles now, everyone would start fighting. If this happens, everyone would suffer quite badly.”
“We can only obtain something bigger if we make great sacrifices, no?”
“Heavenly unification! The main church extending out into the mainland.”
Gongson Chun Gi stared at this excited old man for a while.
And then he spoke.
“It must be good for you, to still be so full of passion.”
“Isn’t the expansion to mainland an old desire of the church?”
“You want to see the people of the church be massacred? If we go out into the mainland, thousands will die. Perhaps even more.”
“The men of the church isn’t that weak, your holiness. I trained them to be stronger than any other in the Martial World.”
Gongson Chun Gi nodded.
“I have to agree with you on that. Most of them are too healthy. That’s what worries me more.”
Guardian Wu realized that this was a crucial chance.
He wanted to persuade the pope for them to expand into the mainland now.
“Aren’t the boys I brought here today the ones that you trained with great care? Didn’t we train them just for a situation like this?”
Why would the pope create the Blood Wolf Corps, especially if he wasn’t going to use them? Guardian Wu just couldn’t understand what was going on in the pope’s mind.
“A powerless justice is nothing but an empty voice. That’s why I brought them up. Well, like you said, I also trained them in case of an emergency.”
“Then what should we do when these people attack us? Shouldn’t we at least strike back?”
Gongson Chun Gi smiled playfully.
“Yeah, I’m worried about that, too. But after thinking for a long time, I reached a conclusion.”
“Just give the word. This one is already ready.”
The pope is definitely going to tell him to defend.
He didn’t like this very much, but the pope’s command was absolute.
‘He wouldn’t tell me to just defend and not retaliate, right?’
Guardian Wu was thinking of taking care of all the experts in the Alliance if the chance came.
The pope issued a weird command.
“If they attack us, let’s just run.”
Guardian Wu wasn’t sure of what he just heard.
“Our boys are fast, right?”
Guardian Wu wasn’t able to close his mouth.
He was sweating all over his forehead.
“Have you ever seen me joke?”
It was true.
The pope seemed playful and lazy, but when it came to matters like this, he wasn’t the type of person to throw a joke.
‘Just tell me it’s a joke instead…….’
The strongest organization in history, the Heavenly Demon Church, just running from the enemy?
With the pope here, at that?
If this were to get out in the public…….
Guardian Wu seemed like he was about to cry.
“Unless they’re idiots, they wouldn’t attack the church carelessly. I’m just telling you to always think of the worst case situation, Guardian Wu.”
‘Is there anything worse than just running away?’
It seemed better to just get massacred.
Guardian Wu just sat there in a daze, listening to the rest of the pope’s orders.
* * *
Inside the moving carriage.
Cho Ryu Hyang was thinking about something.
‘Neng Ha Young, was it?’
What she told him before he got onto the carriage was still lingering in his mind.
[Here’s an advice from big sis. You’re in the Martial World right now. And here, strength is everything. I don’t know how you just found that man, but without strength, it’s just better to pretend you didn’t see him. So be careful, Don’t to anything that would shorten your lifespan.]
She was right.
His chest grew tight because of that.
“What are you thinking about?”
When his teacher asked him a question, Cho Ryu Hyang regained his senses.
“I was thinking about something else.”
“They say we’ll be arriving soon. Aren’t you excited?”
Teacher had an excited expression on his face.
As this was a face he didn’t see often, Cho Ryu Hyang looked at his teacher with a curious face.
The most complicated formation under the heavens.
Was his teacher excited because of that?
But what his teacher said next was something Cho Ryu Hyang didn’t expect to hear at all.
“They say we’ll be meeting the pope of the Heavenly Demon Church right after we arrive.”
The pope of the Heavenly Demon Church?
Was this something to be this excited about?
“He’s someone who never revealed himself to the public so far. Don’t you want to see who he is?”
The pope of the Heavenly Demon Church was the representation of god. (Messenger->representation (A little mistranslation there. Sorry -_-;))
In the Martial World, he was known as an amazing expert, and was the leader of the strongest organization.
It would be a lie to say that one wasn’t excited, but was it really worth getting as excited as his teacher, who was usually extremely calm?
As if he read Cho Ryu Hyang’s expression, Jo Gi Chun spoke.
“A religion holds immense power. Think about it. Even the king himself if reluctant of fighting because of the one person in control.”
It was true.
A situation where too much power was given to a single person.
That was what a religion was, and was what the Heavenly Demon church currently was.
“Did you take a look at Um Seung Do driving the cart?”
What does that mean?
When Cho Ryu Hyang made a confused face, Jo Gi Chun began whispering.
“He’s probably an extremely strong expert. Someone stronger than we might think.”
The fact that Um Seung Do was an amazing expert.
Cho Ryu Hyang knew that best.
“An expert of this caliber is working as a carriage driver. And he has to do our biddings at that. This isn’t something we can just ignore.”
He began to understand what his teacher was saying a little bit.
“It just goes to show how powerful the pope is. That’s why a religion is a scary thing.”
But there was some other factor involved that made Jo Gi Chun really interested in the pope. Since a long time back, the imperial palace declared that the church was a demonic religion, and began to oppress the religion to a scary extent.
But not once was the palace succeed in destroying the religion. They weren’t even able to sneak a peek at the shadow of the pope, even. But the two people here would be able to meet the pope with a method like this.
“We’re here. Please get off the carriage.”
Um Seung Do stopped the carriage, and opened its doors.
They could see a large manor outside the carriage.
This was the Gansu branch of the church, and was also the place where the pope was currently staying at.
‘The pope is here.’
Cho Ryu Hyang was excited, too, it seemed.
It was obvious for a person to be curious about a man that was said to be the strongest in the world.
After going inside for a moment, Um Seung Do walked back out with a complicated face.
Once he saw Jo Gi Chun and Cho Ryu Hyang, he hurriedly organized his expression and spoke.
“Please come inside, sir. The pope is waiting.”
When they went inside, with Um Seung Do as their guide, they encountered two people.
After taking Jo Gi Chun and Cho Ryu Hyang here, Um Seung Do quickly went outside.
He determined that this wasn’t a place for him.
‘Is he the pope?’
The muscular old man whose black robe seemed like it would rip apart at any given moment.
His defining features were his big physique, and his tiger eyes. That old man was wearing the Black Dragon Robe (黑龍布) and was looking at them in the chair placed in the middle of the room.
And behind the old man, stood a middle-aged man who was smiling at them.
The old man in the Black Dragon Robe spoke.
“I am Gongson Chun Gi. Are you the ones that will help us out this time?”
Cho Ryu Hyang’s eyes shined.
He suddenly felt curious.
He began using his special vision to observe the pope.
* * *
At the moment, Guardian Wu just wanted to drop dead.
That was because he had to wear the Black Dragon Robe, and pretend to be the pope of all things.
‘Why can’t he just reveal himself……’
He couldn’t understand why the pope would do all this.
Weren’t they just people who came to destroy a formation? They weren’t even martial artists, so was there even a reason to hide himself?
[Fix your expression. It would be embarrassing if they found out now.]
Guardian Wu made a regal face again, and looked at the people in front of him.
One old guy and one young guy.
After looking at these two people, Guardian Wu began to wonder about something.
The young guy was staring at the pope, instead of him.
Guardian Wu wasn’t the only one that was surprised by this.
It would be hard to say that the boy noticed, but this was still a bit strange.
There was nothing that gave away the fact that the Gongson Chun Gi was actually the pope.
The pinnacle of normalcy.
The man barely had any presence right now.
Compared to that, Guardian Wu really was fit to be a pope. You could feel the aura of a conqueror just by standing near him.
[Don’t do anything that actually gives us away, alright? He probably didn’t notice it.]
Guardian Wu nodded a little, and opened his mouth.
“Please, take a seat. I prepared some snacks.”
The moment Guardian Wu spoke, Gongson Chun Gi brought out tea and snacks at a frightening speed.
Guardian Wu looked at all this anxiously, but Gongson Chun Gi performed everything naturally.
When he was about to leave, Cho Ryu Hyang opened his mouth.
“Um, this person is……..”
“Ah, his hol…, I mean, that person? Haha, he’s called Guardian Wu. I forgot to introduce him. He helps me out quite a bit.”
“I’m Guardian Wu. Please treat me well.”
Gongson Chun Gi easily pretended that he was Guardian Wu and introduced himself.
Jo Gi Chun introduced himself as well, but Cho Ryu Hyang was staring at the man with a very serious face. The boy’s whole body was sweating, as he stared at Gongson Chun Gi.
When Jo Gi Chun began to get a little confused.
Gongson Chun Gi scratched the back of his head, and talked.
“Guardian Wu, an interesting fellow appeared, it seems.”
Gongson Chun Gi took a look at the confused Guardian, and then began staring at the boy.
At this, Cho Ryu Hyang went pale.
“Hey, boy, when did you acquire the Godly Eyes (神眼)? ”
Once he heard this question, Cho Ryu Hyang fainted.