Chapter 121 - Mission (1)

Bang! “What is the meaning of this, hyung-nim?” The Spear God Flanc opened the door to the conference room roughly. His anger had erupted after discovering that Yeon-woo, Phante, and Edora had gone over to Red Dragon. It was also likely that they’d taken information about the Cheonghwado’s location since they were suddenly being attacked by Red Dragon. He was especially furious because he’d raised Phante and Edora like his own disciples.

The elders in the conference room turned to look at him, all of their faces familiar. The Martial King joked about them being parasites, but they were greatly respected by the tribe.

“Flanc, what are you doing? Even if…no, since you were once a member of the tribe, you should be more respectful! This is an official conference. Behave appropriately,” a scholarly elder raised his head. It was the Head Elder, whose Mugong was rivaled only by the Martial King’s. He’d made the Spear God feel nervous since he was a baby, and only the Martial King didn’t feel intimidated by his strict personality. “With this contract, you’ve completely let go of all royal authority. You have to be treated as the Spear God of the Cheonghwado. Spear God, please be respectful.”

The Spear God bit his lower lip. His anger had made him forget about his position. The reason the One-horned tribe had gotten involved in the Tower’s business was the pledge that the Spear God had made: the Pledge of the Horn, a pledge to let go of his horn.

The One-horned tribe had a lot of pride in their god and ancestor, Shaohao Jintian, and their achievements had come from the benevolence of this god and the vision of Mugong. Because of this, the descendants of the god, the royal family, were highly respected. Even though they didn’t seem particularly privileged in the tribe, the tribe’s deep-rooted respect for the god meant that the family had a lot of responsibilities.

The Spear God hadn’t done as much because the Martial King was the ruler, but his position as the king’s brother had its corresponding requirements. However, with the Pledge of the Horn, he’d promised that he would give up his royal privileges and no longer fight in the name of the One-horned tribe. Since the tribe was taking back his horn, they had to pay a price—and this was why they’d joined the war.

However, it didn’t change the fact that the tribe had basically been blackmailed into war, and that made them look rather unkindly at the Spear God. Also, because he’d abandoned the tribe to join the Cheonghwado in the first place, there were a lot of people who didn’t like him, the Head Elder included.

The Spear God took a big breath to calm himself down. The Martial King was staring at him with a smile, but he didn’t say anything. The Spear God realized the Martial King wasn’t planning to help him. He suddenly remembered what they’d been like as children. He’d respected the Martial King more than anyone else, but he’d always felt a distance between them. However, he’d never revealed his thoughts and only left to found the Cheonghwado with the Sword God, who was good at appeasing him. He didn’t regret that decision, even today, and so he organized his thoughts.

“I’m sorry I interrupted your conference. As the Cheonghwado’s Spear God and the person in charge, I have something to ask the Martial King.” His voice cracked at the end. “Was the Martial King aware of this situation?”

The Martial King laughed in amusement. “Well, of course. Wouldn’t it look bad on me if I didn’t know what my children and disciple were up to.”

The Spear God clenched his fists, his veins popping out. “But how could you just watch—"

“Because I wanted to.”

“You!”

“I said, because I wanted to.”

The Spear God felt like screaming, but he knew that regardless of how much he complained, nothing would move his brother. He was better off trying to find an opportunity here.

The Martial King’s eyes widened as if he was proud that the Spear God was holding back his anger. His brother had matured over the years. “What I do with my disciple and children is up to me. It’s unfortunate that it has affected the Cheonghwado but it’s something for us to take care of, not you.”

The Spear God didn’t reply.

“Also, our tribe doesn’t interfere in people’s choices. Each person is responsible for their own actions, the tribe doesn’t need to be responsible.”

The Spear God was silent for a moment. The Martial King’s words were the same as when he’d left the tribe with the Sword God, but he understood the meaning behind them. The Spear God narrowed his eyes. “So you mean, if we meet them on the battlefield, we can kill them?”

“As I said, each person is responsible for their own actions. We don’t interfere with that.”

“I’ll trust that you won’t take back what you’ve just said.” The Spear God glared at his brother and turned to leave. Bang! The building slightly shook at the impact of the door slamming shut.

The Martial King grinned. “Well, I was thinking that he’d finally matured, but no one can do anything about that temper of his.”

The elders were silent. The Head Elder adjusted his glasses and asked the Martial King, “Tribe leader, are you really planning on leaving Cain, Phante, and Edora alone?”

After Jang had been pathetically destroyed, Phante was now in line to be the next king. He had also shown a lot of growth with the raid on Kuram, but it was a bit worrying that he’d gone over to Red Dragon. However, the Martial King was unruffled. “The rule doesn’t change, old man.”

“Hm.” The Head Elder narrowed his eyes at the Martial King and then he chuckled. “You think he’ll become a better king if he goes through some more experiences.”

The Martial King just smiled mysteriously, but the Head Elder was satisfied. He’d always been able to tell what the Martial King was thinking. “All right. As you wish, we won’t speak about this any longer. Let’s move on to the next item on the agenda. It’s about the—” Their conference continued.

***

“To the left. One step.”

“To the right. Sword.”

“Turn again.”

As Phante sent out commands with his arms crossed, the mercenaries moved as one. It was a grand sight, and even the other mercenaries paused to look. Mercenaries were wild, unfettered creatures who acted as they liked. Even within the Foreign Legion, they sought freedom. However, in just a few days, they’d completely changed, and their eyes had grown sharp.

However, Phante frowned as though he didn’t like something. “Aren’t you going to do it properly? Do you want to roll again? Get in formation again. Strike.”

“Ack!” The scared mercenaries shouted. They thrust their weapons, emanating a strong pressure.

Yeon-woo and Edora sat together in a room with a good vantage point of the mercenaries. However, only Edora watched the training. Yeon-woo was quietly reading a book.

“They’ve improved quite a bit even though it’s only been three days.”

Yeon-woo raised his head at Edora’s words, using Draconic Eyes to observe Phante training Team 2. He nodded. “Definitely. They’ve become quite useful.”

Phante was teaching the soldiers a modified version of the Eight Battle Formations that the tribe taught lower-level warriors. It was called Sword Formation, and it was an easy-to-learn type of Jinbup that had defensive and offensive capabilities. It was especially useful in a battle in which things changed quickly, and Yeon-woo had asked Phante to teach it to Team 2. It was much more effective than he’d ever expected.

‘That guy has the ability to teach people really well without that dirty temper. It’s the talent to lead.’ He finally understood why Phante was a candidate to be king. At first, he couldn’t understand why such a simple and violent person would be considered, but Phante had attributes that outshone his faults—leadership and charisma.

Yeon-woo had led troops in Africa, so he recognized these attributes right away. They were difficult to teach, and Phante had them because he’d been raised with pride and confidence as the Martial King’s son and studied the requirements of the royal family. One had to be sure of oneself before one could lead others. ‘I can relax and just leave it to him from now.’

He figured he could hand over all his authority over Team 2 to Phante during his stay with Red Dragon, although Phante would probably throw another tantrum. However, Yeon-woo was planning on kicking him back to Kuram if he rejected it.

Yeon-woo continued watching the training for a while and looked down at his book again. Edora approached him. “What have you been reading?”

“The middle section of the Eight Extreme Fists.”

Edora’s eyes widened. She knew he’d completely memorized the first section, but she hadn’t know that the Martial King had trusted him so much that he’d given him the other sections. Edora felt proud for some reason. “Is that so? I guess the middle section is hard even for someone like you since you’ve been reading it for four days now.” Edora laughed gently.

The Eight Extreme Fists was one of the most superior Mugong the Martial King had ever made. It grew harder as one learned, and it took several years just to understand it. A few of the elders breathed the Eight Extreme Fists day and night and still couldn’t crack its secrets. The same thing seemed to be happening to Yeon-woo, as well. He had shown rapid growth, but he had only begun Mugong, and it would take him some time to fully learn it.

However, Edora was happy thinking that she could help with something. She already knew all of the Eight Extreme Fists and the Martial King hadn’t forbidden her to help Yeon-woo. She imagined staying close to Yeon-woo’s side and giving him instructions. It was a cozy picture.

“No. I’ve already memorized the form, and I’m learning the steps little by little. But I’m just checking to see that I haven’t missed anything.”

Edora was shocked that she’d completely gotten it wrong. Yeon-woo was a monster. ‘H-he already…finished memorizing?’

The middle and last sections of the Eight Extreme Fists were respectively made up of thirty-two and sixteen steps, but he had memorized it in four days? Edora realized she should have known. After all, Yeon-woo had made a Mugong in just four days. Still, she couldn’t get used to it. ‘Phante is going to pull his hair out again.’ Edora shook her head.

However, she was unaware that Yeon-woo wasn’t memorizing Eight Extreme Fists, he was incorporating it into his Heaven Wing Mana Control. ‘Eight Extreme Fists is incredible as it is, but I need to tweak it for my Magic Circuit.’

Although it would be surprising to anyone else, Yeon-woo thought it was quite obvious. With the help of the trait Dragon’s Knowledge, he was adjusting Eight Extreme Fists according to the imperfections he saw with his Draconic Eyes. Still, it was an arduous feat that couldn’t be completed without motivation and tenacity. As a result, Yeon-woo was seeing the same messages quite frequently lately.

[The gods and demons of the ninety-eighth floor are observing you with interest.]

[A few gods and demons are discussing you with amusement.]

[Hermes is looking at you proudly.]

Among the gods and demons observing him, he’d seen a familiar name. ‘Hermes.’ He thought of Hermes, and shook his head. At first, the attention had been cool, but now it was becoming annoying. Making the Eight Extreme Fists was even more important now, and he was about to return to his book when he felt someone’s presence. “Oh. You seem to be getting on fine.”

Yeon-woo closed his book and turned to look at Bahal, who was smiling at him in satisfaction before looking at the training of Team 2. Everyone was flustered by the Supreme Commander’s sudden appearance. The mercenaries stood up straighter, and the team leaders quickly rushed over to greet him. But Bahal waved his hand as if to say that it was unnecessary and turned back to Yeon-woo. “I heard you had an iron fist with the mercenaries. You seem to be fitting in well.”

“Thank you.”

“How is it going? Do you think you can jump in now?”

Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed in understanding. It was the order to start moving now that he had gotten the legion under control. ‘That means it’s time to continue with the plan.’ Yeon-woo nodded, hiding his thoughts completely. “We can move anytime.”

“Good. There’s a place you secretly—”

“Wait, before that, I have something to say.” Instead of getting mad at Yeon-woo for interrupting, Bahal looked curious. He saw Yeon-woo as a lucky charm that brought interesting things his way, and he wanted to know what he’d pull out this time. “Hm? What is it?”

Yeon-woo slowly said, “Did you know the Saber God’s son is on the sixteenth floor?”

Bahal’s eyes widened.

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