"Gah!" Seol-Hwi managed to climb out of the latrine. His body was covered in a foul stench, but his expression couldn't be brighter.
[Critical hit. The opponent took 1,404 damage.]
The words danced in front of his eyes over and over again. Seol-Hwi turned to Jeok Myung's dead ass.
"Run out of health, you die." The number had changed on his opponent's status window. The internal energy was at 0 as well—since he was dead.
"What I just did—could I do it again?" When the sword moved, a tremendous energy radiated from it without his intervention.
"Huh? It doesn't use internal energy?"
Internal Energy: 240/240
Seol-Hwi examined his status window. For some reason, his internal energy hadn't decreased despite using his swordsmanship.
"Great Sword?" An instantaneous power. He didn't understand it—he was just trying to avoid getting splashed by shit…
"I don't know. Let's just wash off first." The stench was positively clogging his nostrils.
Seol-Hwi dumped Jeok Myung's corpse into the toilet pit and ran out to find his clothes.
"Ahhhh!" Seol-Hwi came to the lakeside to wash himself, avoiding any lurking eyes—but no matter how hard he scrubbed, the stench wouldn't leave him. His entire body itched, too.
"Finally…" Seol-Hwi brightened. New words floated over his head.
Coin 3 [Three chances]
"I can live again!"
Seol-Hwi instinctively dropped his gaze to his right shoulder. Even if he went back, he wouldn't be able to change the situation for the better.
"Should I head back to the Earth Demon?" Now that his target was dealt with, he had to let the Earth Demon know.
"No. I need to think carefully." Seol-Hwi shook his head. He couldn't trust the man just yet—to be precise, he couldn't grasp his intent for giving him such an impossible mission.
"Okay. I need to go to Sama Gwi instead." Assassinating Jeok Myung could put his life in danger here—to say nothing of his missing arm.
He pondered how to plan his future; if only the weak points of the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion could be caught… if only he had information the Earth Demon could use.
Seol-Hwi put on his clothes. The stench still wasn't gone.
He moved to the Supreme Pavilion.
"Who came?" Sama Gwi was rather surprised. An unexpected visitor had come in the night.
"It is because I need to tell…"
Sama Gwi stared at him coldly.
"S-sorry! I can head back…"
"If he came to see me in the middle of the night, he must have a reason." Sama Gwi abruptly smiled and nodded. "Tell him to come."
The messenger left. After a while, Seol-Hwi appeared.
"Officer of the Heavenly Library greets the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion." Seol-Hwi prostrated himself as he had in the beginning and waited for the Lord to speak.
He was met with silence, but he knew the old man hated it if people didn't greet him like this.
"Does this make you feel great?" As expected, his first words were sarcasm. "To step into my place fearlessly. Who do you think you are? You…"
The man stood and approached Seol-Hwi, only to wrinkle his nose.
"It couldn't be helped."
"If not, how could I dispose of the captain of the Black Moon with my own hands?"
Sama Gwi gazed down at Seol-Hwi expressionlessly. That was his character: be it any situation, he would approach it with a calm face.
"Hmm." Sama Gwi eyes Seol-Hwi like he was trying to look into his skull. "I wonder how you killed him, but first…"
The Lord slowly approached—closer and closer, making Seol-Hwi's breath catch in his throat.
"You. Whom did you meet?" Sama Gwi got close enough to touch his face.
"Huh? What—ack!" Sama Gwi grabbed Seol-Hwi by his collar.
"Don't try using your brain. If your mouth says a single wrong thing, you die."
"I ask again: Whom did you meet?" Sama Gwi's eyes bored intently into Seol-Hwi.
Did the Earth Demon sell me out? Although, Seol-Hwi wasn't overly concerned with getting the right answer.
"Isn't it more important to know what the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion is hiding rather than whom I met?"
"What?" Sama Gwi scowled at him and snorted. "After going to the library, it seems like your way of thinking has changed. Do you have a death wish?—you must. Didn't you always want to kill me?"
Sama Gwi sighed. He was flustered enough to crack his calm facade.
"If you are curious, I met with a disciple of the Heavenly Demon—they sent me here." That was a lie. It didn't matter, though; Seol-Hwi had to figure something out.
"Ho-oh…" Sama Gwi moved. Anger flashed through his eyes for a brief moment.
"Well, no wonder. You couldn't have killed Jeok Myung without help."
So that's why! Now Seol-Hwi understood why the old man asked him who he met. The Lord knew that the Earth Demon was in the Heavenly Library, and he'd expected that the Earth Demon had helped Seol-Hwi kill Jeok Myung.
"Right. What does the disciple want to know?" Sama Gwi walked away to stare at a painting.
"He asked when and where you had secret conversations with Goo Jung-Myung of Mount Hua."
Sama Gwi stiffened.
I knew it. Seol-Hwi was observing him. Revealing sect information to an opposed sect was treason.
There was a long silence.
"...The disciple asked that?" Sama Gwi spoke without turning around.
"When and where the next meeting is…"
There was no reply as if the man was struggling to hide his emotions.
"Lord. The fourth disciple has been pondering this issue for a long time. However, since this could be a serious issue, he spoke through me. Answer honestly."
Seol-Hwi was overjoyed. This was information he never could have gotten if he hadn't come back.
"Khmm!" Sama Gwi seemed troubled.
Please tell me. Seol-Hwi had no way of knowing if he would tell him truth or lies—or he could just have Seol-Hwi killed. Seol-Hwi just wanted a clue.
"Early next month. We'll meet at Mount Hwanga."
Got you! Seol-Hwi's eyes glittered. After several regressions, he'd finally got some information!
Huh? Something caught his eyes. Down in the bottom right, exactly in front of the chair: two dim characters, blinking in and out.
Seol-Hwi crawled a little forward to get a better look. He would never dare to do this in the past, but it was different now; it could be something that could help him. What's more, the opportunity buoyed his courage.
There's nothing there? Seol-Hwi shook his head. It was completely empty.
Still, the light blinked. Seol-Hwi decided to reach out towards the light.
Hah! Seol-Hwi's eyes widened. Words appeared again.
[You received a map: Secret Map of the Supreme Pavilion.]
[See details? Accept/Reject]
Accept, of course. The window immediately spread out across his vision.
Description: A book that displays places of interest in the central plains and the Supreme Pavilion. Here is the man on Mount Hwanga, the place where you first encountered Goo Jong-Myung of Mount Hua. Every quarter-year, they meet.
So this is where they meet. Seol-Hwi was delighted by the new information, but there was more.
[Toolbox has been created.]
Medicinal Herb: 1
Confectioner's Bar: 1
Medicinal herb? What is a bar? He could only shake his head at these oddities.
"But…" Sama Gwi suddenly started speaking. "When did the fourth disciple teach you martial arts?"
"Huh? Ah, that…" Seol-Hwi paused for a long moment. "He taught me a few days ago."
"When did you meet?"
"The day I joined the library."
"Ah?" Sama Gwi looked away. However, there was something strange to his face—the calm was gone, replaced by a heated expression.
"It hasn't been long since I sent you… but he trusts you enough to teach you martial arts and kill Jeok Myung? And trusts you enough to go here and gather information?"
Something was wrong. The way he talked, his expression, that gaze. He was getting closer.
"Ahck!" Seol-Hwi fell back and the Lord's sword pierced his abdomen.
"You must think I'm some kind of pushover. Do you know where you went wrong? You see, the Earth Demon doesn't teach anyone martial arts."
"He only uses martial arts bestowed to him by the sect leader." Sama Gwi grinned at his pained expression.
However, Seol-Hwi's eyes glittered.
"What? You're making that kind of expression even now?"
"You don't… know?"
Sama Gwi stared blankly at him.
"You lost… to me."
Sama Gwi stabbed him in the chest again. In his darkening vision, Seol-Hwi saw it once again.
▶ Restart from beginning.
▷ Restart from save point.
He longed for another life, and—
<You chose Restart from beginning>
-Returning to "Before your private meeting with Sama Gwi."
—Eagerly awaited his life.
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