Chapter 157

“You managed to find your way here, huh?”

“The intelligence gathering capability of the palace is not bad. But even though I reached out before coming here, the ambiance here is still truly awful.” 

“Watch your words. You will get very hurt if you act recklessly here.”

“Do you only keep dogs in this house? I keep hearing dogs barking here…” said the man as he tapped the ground with his toes. 

He simply stared at the ground without looking at the person he was talking to. The woman’s facial expression changed - it became venomous; the other people’s fingers gradually inched towards the hilts of their swords. 

“Just as I’ve heard, you have a lot of guts. Even if you are an awakened warrior, I advise you not to act arrogantly here. We have quite a number of awakened warriors ourselves. Your courage to come here all by yourself is commendable. We are different from the Dark Guilds.”

This time the man on the right smiled as he was twiddling with the Dong-Myung Clan’s gun and said, “Whoa, you’ve heard the news about the Dark Guilds?” 

“It’s a pretty famous story in this field. Because of that, Mahaim’s reputation had gotten a lot worse. He pretended to be smart but ended up getting destroyed so easily, isn’t that so? 

“Are the Black Guilds different? I did some digging and apparently, you are nothing special either. In any case, I am looking forward to seeing more.”

“Since you’re here on urgent business, start talking. So, tell me, why did you ask to see me, the great chief commander of the imperial palace, who has a great deal of authority lately? I would like to hear the reason why you have been trying to mess with the Black Guilds…could it be that you wish to die early?” said Marquis Hugot, who was sitting in the middle. 

San turned his head to the left and then to the right. 

“I apologize, but I have no business with you people. More importantly…why don’t you tell the owner of the house to show himself? How can we have a conversation when he’s hiding like a mouse? I purposely came all the way here on a cold day, and yet I was greeted by a bunch of dogs. Isn’t this too much?” 

Marquis Hugot’s facial expression changed slightly. His smiling face stiffened.

“How did you know?”

San grinned and said, “

“I simply looked into it.”

“Oh wow…”

“From the looks of it, a person like you doesn’t seem to fit the bill. I haven’t seen any shady people honorably reveal their face with no shame… It’s actually not an interesting topic.”

The marquis leaned back against his chair. 

“That’s right. He’s not someone who will recklessly reveal himself to a wanderer with unknown origins. Now then! What are you going to do? You can either tell us why you’re here, or you can go back and watch yourself. It’ll be rather troublesome if our relationship with the people in the palace is strained. Things are perfect the way they are right now.”

“How inhospitable… I’d like to hire you guys for a job...will you accept it?”

“A job? Tell me more.” 

“I want you to make somebody disappear.”

“Ho- We charge a lot. Do you have the money?” 

“It’s an easy job, so I want a discount. I think approximately 100 tongbo would be sufficient for you guys…”

“Are you kidding me? Our minimum fee is 1,000 tongbo.”

“That’s expensive. It’s not a big deal, I’ll give it to you. I get paid a high salary.”

“Who is it?”

“Somebody from the Sa-Myung Clan. And it’s a woman. What do you think? It’ll be easy, right?”

Marquis Hugot had an even more serious look on his face. His lips were trembling. 

San added, “Her name is Jiha. Do you want to do it?”

Clunk-

One of the handles of the chair broke, making a loud sound. All the warriors took out their swords and weapons at once. 

“Bastard. What the hell are you trying to do?”

“Is there a problem with my request?”

San shook his head slowly. His eyes were shining like a wild beast’s. The marquis slowly stood up.  

“Shoot him.”

Bang-

A man on the left, who was already aiming with his weapon, pulled the trigger without hesitation. He was aiming for the man’s head. San tilted his head in advance, letting the bullet fly past him. After that, he slid forward and gently pushed his body towards the marquis. At the same time, he tapped the marquis’ shin with his left palm. The movement was too quick and natural for the marquis to dodge. He staggered to the right before collapsing. San gently turned his body and grabbed the marquis by the collar and spun him right in front of him. 

Tatatatatatata-

Almost at the same time, rattling sounds echoed from the ceilings on both sides. 

Shh-shh-shh-

Short poison-coated arrows flew from the left and right at the same time. 

Pyeong-

The capsule burst and yellow smoke started rising. It was a type of nerve gas. 

Swaaeg-

Four iron nets flew in all directions. They were reinforced with hundreds of sharp curved hooks on the inside. If a person were to get caught, he would not be able to free himself. Four awakened warriors quickly retreated before preparing for their next attack. The other people took out their masks and covered their mouths and noses. 

The first shot hit the back of the marquis, who was at San’s mercy. The marquis’ clothes were torn and ripped open. His armor, which was made of dense wire mesh, was revealed underneath the torn clothes. A poison arrow bounced off of it. That meant that he was already prepared for battle. 

San looked at his surroundings calmly and threw the marquis to one side. He stomped his feet one after another and stretched his hands to the front. San caught one end of the first iron net as it opened up in the air. The iron net spun above his head. The other three iron nets that were approaching him were pushed back before bouncing off to the side. 

Tatatata- Shhshhshh-

The iron net flew in the opposite direction of San’s hand. 

Saaeg-

As it sliced through the air, it made a loud sound. The net spread out towards the people firing the weapons from behind; it spun like a disk and swooped over them like a storm. 

Chwaak-

The iron net wrapped around the bodies of those five men and ripped the top part of their waist apart. They opened their mouths as they were caught entirely by surprise. However, they could not afford to be surprised. San’s body became blurry before bouncing to the left. The warriors on the left flinched for a moment, but they quickly swung their swords like experts. The sharp blades flashed in all directions.

San bent his body to dodge the attacks, and at the same time, he threw a punch, crushing the shoulder of the first person who came charging at him. He also stepped on his knee with his right foot concurrently, breaking it. He twisted his body and stepped on the head of the next person with his left foot. Without taking a breather, he stomped the ground once again and twisted his body in the air. The front line collapsed. 

Just like that, San’s bare-handed battle began. As the battle began, San’s entire body had already transformed itself into a deadly weapon. His fingertips, wrists, elbows, knees, and toes moved flamboyantly. The speed at which they moved was so fast that it could not be seen by the human eye. He moved freely across the wide space, from the left to the right, from the ceiling to the ground. Something exploded and crumbled upon getting caught by San’s fingertips. Swords broke and flew; arms were broken, and heads were smashed. The Black Guilds warriors collapsed to the ground like rotten hay. 

All of a sudden, San stopped moving. Nobody around him was standing on their two feet. He defeated all of them in the span of only two breaths of a normal human being. Half of them were sent to another world, and the other half could do nothing but breathe in this world. Now all that was left were the four people next to the marquis. They were probably the actual men of the Black Guilds. San stood tall and brushed through his disheveled hair. He looked as though he had just finished warming up. 

“I’ve been feeling this way for the longest time, but you people really lack imagination. Why don’t you have any fresh new plans that go beyond our lady’s expectations?” 

The four men standing next to the marquis were hovering in front of him. They were the powerful people of the Black Guilds. All of them had serious looks on their faces. 

“I guess we couldn’t hurt him at all…” muttered someone. 

He had contacted them in advance and they worked hard to prepare for his arrival over the course of three days. It was an operation designed by experts who specialized in hunting awakened warriors, and it was also carried out in the courtyard of their house. Even so, they also ordered him to disarm himself at the door just in case, as they were still worried. And yet...they got defeated so easily. Just by observing once, and doing a continuous movement. A chill ran down their spines. San took one step forward. 

“Umm-”

The four men groaned and stepped backward. Combat instinct. Most of the skills the Black Guilds used were executed from a distance and were suitable for assassination and contract killing. They were at an absolute disadvantage in close combat like this.

“What exactly do you want?!” snarled the man on the right. He was the third highest-ranking member of the Black Guilds named Gando, who was also an awakened warrior. His nickname was ‘Gando of the White Face’. His outfit was unusual, with openings for his elbows and shoulders. Perhaps he was someone who did transformations.

“Didn’t I tell you earlier? I have a request.”

“Are you going to cause chaos? You’re going to regret this, though.”

“Says the person who has already fired a gun to kill. In any case, this is something I am risking my life for. Don’t you know?” 

“If you are after someone else’s life, wouldn’t you be risking your lives too? What’s new?”

"You’re crazy..."

The woman on the left glided to the side. She had a thin whip in her hand. The three men spread out, preparing for their own battle. The short and skinny one wore strange gloves, and the man who was dressed in thick layers wore unusual boots that were protruding out. 

The woman, Moire, stepped forward first, bouncing out like a spring. Her nickname was ‘Moire of Life and Death’. As she moved, she stretched out her hands in front of her. The whip branched out into five parts and wrapped itself around San, in all five directions - up, down, left, right, and center. It was impossible to dodge. It was as if it opened its mouth wide open to devour its prey. There were sawtooth blades on both sides of the whip, and anything in the whip’s trajectory would be cut in a precise manner. It was controlled by Moire via her accelerated senses. 

The other two people moved on the left and right, covering the space behind San. Black needles protruded out of the short man’s glove. The needles were fired with precision, after predicting the enemy’s movements. Beads flew out of the bulky boots. The beads broke open on the ground, and a sticky and slippery liquid flowed out. It was a strong acid containing a lubricant. It was a skill that attacked the opponent by shaking the center of his foot, disrupting their mental state. Gando, the captain, leaped into the sky with his arms wide open. He stretched his arms and they were hardened like blades. 

It was a joint attack of the four awakened warriors. It was a classic method used to deal with strong enemies with a high level of acceleration. This method had not failed before, thus far.

San opened up his arms to the sides. He caught Moire’s thin whip, which approached him from the left and right. Moire smiled. The blades on the whip dug into San’s hands. However… 

Crackle-

A dazzling white spark flew out. Moire’s body started shaking. Her head tilted back as millions of volts of lightning coursed through her body. Moire let go of her whip. For a brief moment, she lost the flow of the battle. The man’s palm looked huge in Moire’s hazy vision. She could hear the sound of wind coming from her abdomen area.

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