Chapter 33. Nanman Beast Gate
Jo Gi Chun frowned as he tried to lift himself from the bed.
He couldn’t feel anything in his right arm. From the shoulder to the finger. It felt like there was a useless lump of meat stuck to his shoulder.
Jo Gi Chun retraced his memories as he massaged his right arm.
According to his knowledge, there was no way for a living being to live inside a formation.
As a formation was a space created by man, the space inside it was extremely unstable. It wasn’t a place where a creature could live inside for a long period of time.
There was one exception.
‘I need to confirm that.’
He had a reason to go back into the formation.
The right arm that had been taken by that guy. That act gave Jo Gi Chun some hope. If what he thought was right, he should be able to get his arm back.
Jo Gi Chun lifted his stumbling body, and leaned against the bed. And he soon made a confused face, as he didn’t understand what was going on.
‘It’s too quiet.’
From the beginning, this place wasn’t a very noisy spot, but it wasn’t as quiet as this before.
When he stepped outside, he couldn’t see a single person around. This was getting suspicious. Jo Gi Chun quickly walked over to the Building of Righteous Gathering. Thankfully, there was a person there.
“Is it alright if I ask you a question?”
A thin, middle aged man who had been inspecting documents previously, saw Jo Gi Chun and blinked a few times. Soon, the man began to get suspicious of Jo Gi Chun.
“Who are you, and why are you here?”
Jo Gi Chun made a troubled face when the middle aged man became alert towards him. How should he explain this?
After thinking a bit, Jo Gi Chun remembered the necklace he received from Gongson Chun Gi. The necklace shaped like a flame. Gongson Chun Gi told him to use it whenever he needed the church’s help.
“Do you know what this is?”
Once Jo Gi Chun handed the man his necklace, the man’s eyes widened. The man thought about something for a moment, then stood up and bowed respectfully towards Gongson Chun Gi.
“Is there a problem?”
It seems the necklace worked. Jo Gi Chun put the necklace back in his pocket, then opened his mouth.
“I have a question.”
“I will answer it to the best of my ability.”
“I can’t find anyone here, did something happen?”
The middle aged man calmly spoke.
“His Holiness went to the Wisdom Plains today.”
“The Wisdom Plains!”
Jo Gi Chun finally realized why there wasn’t anyone here.
The battle between the Heavenly Demon Church and the Alliance. This battle was to take place at the Wisdom Plains.
‘So it was today.’
Jo Gi Chun began to feel a bit uncomfortable the moment he realized that. That was because he thought of something ominous.
“W.. What happened to Ryu Hyang?”
The middle aged man thought for a second, then quickly responded.
“Could you be talking about Lord Cho Ryu Hyang?”
“The young lord went out to the Black Skull Mountain this morning.”
The Black Skull Mountain. Ak Jung Pae’s grave was there.
Once Jo Gi Chun realized this fact, his face turned pale. The ominous feeling he had from earlier. That feeling seemed to be caused because of this.
“How long has it been since the boy went up the mountain?”
The middle aged man became a little surprised when Jo Gi Chun began acting this urgently.
“H.. He went out after breakfast, so about half a day has passed…….
Is there a problem?”
Jo Gi Chun wasn’t listening any more. He was already dragging his old, tired body towards the Black Skull mountain as fast as he could.
* * *
[I want to be a dragon.]
An expected wish. The Imugi, who was looking down upon Cho Ryu Hyang, had a sort of a desperate look on its face.
[Little human, do you think you can you fulfill my wish?]
The thunder-like heartbeat that was ringing in Cho Ryu Hyang’s ear since a while back.
It wasn’t his heartbeat. The sound was coming from the Imugi’s heart.
[Don’t be scared, greenhorn.]
Don’t be scared? How can he not be scared in front of this giant, tyrannical being? It would be weird if he was actually calm.
[A real dragon is much bigger than this fellow. This guy is cute when compared to a dragon. ]
When Cho Ryu Hyang heard the old man’s words, he smiled. What an unamusing joke the old man was making.
But it seemed that the joke calmed Cho Ryu Hyang down a little. He let go of his chest, and opened his mouth cautiously.
“What should I do for you?”
The promise that Zhuge Liang made a thousand years ago. Cho Ryu Hyang was tasked with fulfilling that promise.
If one thought about it, Cho Ryu Hyang’s first teacher was Zhuge Liang, not Jo Gi Chun. He learned about the Faultless view from Zhuge Liang, and acquired immense knowledge of mathematics. Because of this, Cho Ryu Hyang was actually thankful that he got the chance to repay the old man. This wish, therefore, was one that Cho Ryu Hyang could not afford to decline.
The Imugi slowly opened its mouth while looking at Cho Ryu Hyang.
[In order to become a dragon and ascend, one needs a Dragon Pearl.]
Cho Ryu Hyang nodded when the Imugi said that.
That’s right. If you thought about it, every single one of the stories that has dragons never failed to mention a Dragon Pearl.
That made everything simple. He just had to make a Dragon Pearl out of the Reversed Scale that the Imugi had.
After all, didn’t he have the Seizing Conversion Technique (捉換法)? Cho Ryu Hyang could essentially change the value of objects in this world to his fancy. It was a terrifying technique.
‘But the conditions in order to use it are too harsh…….’
Thankfully, it seemed like the conditions matched perfectly in this situation. He could see a red scale sending light out everywhere in front of his eyes. The Reversed Scale, which lay under the Imugi’s chin. He just had to change the value of the scale, and change it into a Dragon Pearl. It shouldn’t be very hard.
When Cho Ryu Hyang walked forward in a relaxed manner, he was stopped by Zhuge Liang’s voice.
[Don’t take this lightly, greenhorn. Do you even know what a Reversed Scale is?]
Cho Ryu Hyang paused.
What was the old man trying to say? Cho Ryu Hyang didn’t exactly know what a Reversed Scale was.
No, there was no way he’d know it in the first place. What’d he know about a Reversed Scale, when this was the first time even seeing an Imugi in his life?
[Only a dragon can possess a Reversed Scale. And at the same time, a dragon’s only weakness is its Reversed Scale. In short, if you handle the scale without care, this guy might die.]
Cho Ryu Hyang frowned unconsciously.
Why? Why would the old man say this, especially when he just became prepared? Cho Ryu Hyang put on a complicated face.
Then, Zhuge Liang spoke to him with a low voice.
[Since that guy is determined to do this, I’m telling you to do the same, greenhorn.]
Cho Ryu Hyang lifted his head, and took a look at the Imugi.
However, he immediately turned away, as he made eye contact with the Imugi.
Cho Ryu hyang felt that he was suddenly burdened with an immense task.
[I trust you, human. If anything goes wrong, it would be my fate, and not your mistake, so you don’t have anything to worry about.]
Cho Ryu Hyang swallowed his spit.
To be determined. He could really feel what that phrase meant.
The Imugi in front of him was prepared to die. Since Cho Ryu Hyang felt that determination of the Imugi in full force, he felt that he couldn’t really back down now.
[I stayed alive as a monstrosity that wasn’t either a dragon or an Imugi. I want to see an end to this now.]
Cho Ryu Hyang stayed quiet. He closed his eyes, and began to breath slowly.
‘As I thought, nothing is free in this world.’
Yes. Nothing in this world was free.
As he received something from Zhuge Liang, he had to give something back. Equivalent Exchange (等價交換). This was exactly that.
Cho Ryu Hyang forcefully calmed down his anxious heart, and grit his teeth.
His hands slowly took on a watery sheen. He was beginning to use the Seizing Conversion Technique.
* * *
“It’s quite a sight, brother.”
“It’s the Moon Edge Blade Technique, alright. To think that it could make the people of the mainland this active……. This really is a rare sight.”
The two men with coppery skin. The one who seemed to be the older one, the man with an arrogant face, opened his mouth while looking down from the hill.
“We got lucky. We managed to reel in some really big guys. Thanks to that, we got to see a giant battle like this.”
“Big guys…… you mean the Dao Emperor and the Demon Emperor?”
“Does brother really believe that these people are as strong as the rumors say?”
The two men. They weren’t from the central regions. They were from the far south. They were from the mysterious clan that was located in the region of Nanman.
Nanman Beast Gate (南蠻野獸門). They came from that clan.
“I don’t believe in rumors. I only believe what I see with my eyes.”
The man with an arrogant face. He, the one known to have the most talent in the history of the clan, was the heir to the Nanman Beast Gate.
Gu Hui (嶇輝).
He spoke with a small smile on his face.
“I don’t know about the others, but these two are the real deal. I don’t think that even father could win easily against them.”
“Are they really…….”
“They really are that strong. I can’t even measure their power with my eyes. This really got interesting.”
Gu Hui’s younger brother, Gu Mun Ha (嶇紊夏), closed his mouth.
To him, his father was a living god. The living legend of Nanman who was regarded as a god. The man who was treated equally to his father, was his older brother.
The man destined to be the strongest of the world in the next generation.
Since a man like that was the one to say this statement, he could only believe it.
“I will……. confirm it with my own eyes.”
“That will be for the best.”
Gu Hui looked upon the Alliance and the Heavenly Demon Church from afar, and laughed on the inside. The one to find the Moon Edge Blade Technique was neither the Alliance, not the Heavenly Demon Church.
Gu Hui is Nanman Beast Gate. The one who wasn’t even from the central regions, was the one to find traces of the legendary technique.
He even jumped into the formation on the tomb, fully aware of what dangers might lie inside.
‘Well, I managed to see something unbelievable, thanks to that…….’
He managed to go inside after struggling through the formation. The fact that he studied formations quite a bit helped him a lot. But the thing he saw inside was something that really was unbelievable.
‘Should I call it a dragon?’
Gu Hui was used to meeting nonhuman creatures. Thanks to that, he was able to look at the giant being without flinching.
He could see then. That thing wasn’t a holy being like a dragon. It was just an Imugi that failed to ascend. He could remember the conversation he had with the Imugi that time.
[How unfortunate. You lack talent…….]
The thing truly became sad when it looked at Gu Hui.
He was lacking? Gu Hui scowled.
[You were not chosen. And therefore, you do not have the right to be here. Leave.]
Gu Hui stared at the thing with a straight face, and spoke.
“You say that I am lacking?”
[Yes. A little.]
“Then, do you believe that there is a human more talented than I?”
The thing laughed. It seemed to find all this amusing.
[Of course, arrogant human.]
He was destined to be an emperor since the day he was born. Even a person like he was lacking?
Since this kind of a thing was new to Gu Hui, he just stood there looking at the Imugi. He soon laughed.
He thought about killing the Imugi, but that’s not how he worked. Then he thought of a more amusing idea.
“I hope you meet the one you want to meet.”
[I will. Soon.]
Gu Hui began to think after coming out of the formation. And the end result was this.
The Alliance-Demon war.
The reason for everything that was going on here, was the Nanman Beast Gate. The ones who had been hidden in the shadows for so long were finally baring their fangs.