It is quite often considered that the Moorim and eunuchs were unrelated. Some were even under the impression that the eunuchs don’t learn martial arts. However, as the Imperial family underwent a change in power, they appeared to be a group of guards trained in martial arts.
In the Daemyeong Empire, there were said to be four groups of well-trained martial arts users: Alumni, Seochang, Internal Haengchang, and the Imperial Guards, or the Emperor’s guards. These were the official names given to distinguish one organization from another, but they are entirely under the eunuchs.
Unlike any ordinary officials who operate solely under the command of the Emperor, these guards are given complete independent jurisdiction. So, they are given the authority to arrest, detain, and even carry out an execution regardless of the status.
Originally, the Imperial Guards were given the strongest role among them. But, as the duties and outcomes of the eunuchs increased, they were slowly incorporated as an affiliated organization into the Alumni.
All thanks to that outcome, the Golden Council wasn’t very pleased with the eunuchs' rise in power. Especially so after the situation wherein the head of the Golden Council, who was equal to an admiral of a guards unit, was dragged down from power.
Chun Yeowun could clearly feel what Yon Namgun, who was right next to him was expressing. Yon Namgun was visibly displaying a disgusted expression, almost as if he had no intention of hiding it. The eunuch, who seemed like the head of the Alumni, didn’t seem to care about it and approached Yon Namgun with his best smile, with one hand over his mouth.
"We are pleased to greet the family of the Empire. Ho Ho Ho."
Seeing him with a smile and his hand covering his mouth, just like a woman, wasn’t a very good sight. Unlike the words which said they were pleased, their intent felt sly to the core. Zhu Taikhen didn’t seem very pleased to see the face of the eunuch when he greeted him back.
"Oh Tae-Sung, it has been so long."
The name of the eunuch who decorated himself with ornaments is Oh Tae-Sung. One of two people who assisted Admiral Lim in public situations.
Chun Yeowun took a careful look at the one called Oh Tae-Sung, whom he suspected to be a spy of the Blade God Six Martial clan, as he seemed to be one that possesses excellent martial art skills. However, the presence of Oh Tae-Sung appears to be far from being related to any extreme martial artist.
'If this is how things are going to be, it will take more time to find the spies.'
Chun Yeowun was under the impression that very few people in the Imperial Palace would learn martial arts, except for the Golden Council. However, when they walked into the Palace, as he tried to sense their energy, he could feel nearly hundreds of people who learned martial arts. He realized right away that it would be difficult to catch the spies unless there was any kind of confrontation.
"Your Majesty, it must have been excruciating to visit all those places."
“It was His Majesty’s order. It was not a problem carrying out the task handed.”
"Ho ho ho, you came all the way here after being among those uncivilized mines, yet you act bold and fine."
Zhu Taikhun seemed a little taken aback at the words of Oh Tae-Sung, while his eyes lingered to the side. He tried his best not to alter his facial expression as if he was fine. Yet, his eyes, which came back to meet the eunuch’s eyes, displayed disgust.
"Hm, Uhm! Did His Majesty send you here?"
"Ah, even if it wasn't His Majesty’s order, I would have come to see you if I got a report saying you were back."
Fortunately, Zhu Taikhun managed to change the subject without any happenings. Slowly bowing, the eunuch, Oh Tae-Sung, pointed to the inside corridor with his palm.
"From now on, I will take you to the palace. Ho Ho Ho."
Hearing those words made Yun Namgun frown and spoke.
"We, the Golden Council, will take you to the palace and deliver you there safely."
At the words of Yun Namgun, Zhu Taikhun's previously stern face turned into a cold one.
"If you don't belong to the four guards of the Emperor, and you don't work under His Majesty's name, you cannot enter the palace."
Excluding the commanders of the Imperial Guards and other three groups, not even those below, nor anyone, were given permission to enter. In the end, it could be said that almost no one is allowed to cross the threshold.
'Bloody eunuch bastard…'
Yon Namgun couldn’t hide his displeasure. They were all considered to be the arms of the King and had the Guards under them. Blocking their mouths in such a way was no different from showing them that their authority ends there. However, the man that they were serving said it himself, they couldn’t enter, therefore, they had no say.
"Men, return to the envoy."
Yon Namgun ordered the guards who were standing behind him. Chun Yeowun wanted to look at the inside of the Imperial Palace. He didn’t like these eunuchs who are referred as a member of the alumni.
"Even Yon Namgun can head back. Ho Ho ho."
Yon Namgun grunted at the sneaky words of eunuch Oh Tae-Sung. Witnessing this, Zhu Taikhen spoke to the eunuch in a lowered tone.
"It was His Majesty’s order for Yon Namgun to serve and protect me."
"Ahh! I am so sorry, I didn’t realize."
Realizing it would be too much of a hassle to argue with a member of the Imperial family, he quickly bowed his head and apologized. However, his face held a conspicuous smirk.
'Is the damn eunuch trying to say that brother’s position has been confirmed?'
Ever since the title of prince was mentioned last year, the palace was divided into factions. Among them, the alumni faction supported the Emperor’s eldest son as the next in line. Realizing that the Emperor’s favor was placed on the eldest, they began to act disrespectfully towards the other candidates.
'The Imperial family became like this because of the power given to the damn eunuchs.’
It really didn’t feel right. If one could do what they wanted, then they would surely tamper with the Alumni. But, because the Alumni and Guards are under the Emperor and his family, it would be no different from putting a hand in a beehive.
Zhu Taikhan very carefully called him.
[Don’t mind me. During drinking time, I will meet you at your place.]
Chun Yeowun was already given a brief idea about the interior of the Imperial Palace. Zhu Taikhan looked up at the sky. The sun was nearly setting.
'Well, if it is this monster, he will definitely come to find me.'
Zhu Taikhan nodded and followed the eunuch as they headed into the palace. Once they entered, Baek Ho, who was the second-highest in rank, took charge and naturally led the way. There were five guards at the opening where the Gold Guards were stationed in a lane.
All the guards belonged to the Imperial family. As the distance grew and people were no longer visible, the members of the Gold Council complained.
"That bloody Oh Tae-Sung is arrogant as ever."
"They know no bounds!"
Even Chun Yeowun had an unpleasant feeling during the visit with Oh Tae-Sung, but these people sound burdened by it. It didn’t look like it was the first time they were complaining about the situation. Even though they were talking behind their backs, it didn’t seem like the guards would be able to free themselves from the humiliation, no matter how long they talked about it.
However, there was one person observing the guards talk.
He was the only one who didn't get upset with what the Alumni did, he remained silent till the end. The reason why Chun Yeowun easily gave up on the idea of entering the Imperial Palace was because of the guard, Yoon Baek Ho.
[Two of the Golden Guards were identified as spies.]
Elder Chil Hwan-Ui said that, among the Imperial Palace envoys, there were five spies suspected. They acted suspiciously, for seven days, they would constantly wander and inspect the Demonic Cult. The Demonic Cult had loosened their perimeter watch just so the spies could move around freely and make themselves known.
'His martial arts doesn’t seem that great'
Yoon Baek Ho’s gold suit made him a first-class master but without it, he is nothing. He was one of the two Golden Guards who wandered outside the halls, so there must be something he was hiding. Upon arriving at the residence, Baek Ho spoke to the nine Golden Guards.
"You have worked hard all this time escorting His Majesty. Yun Namgun has said that he will suspend the watching duty for four days, so try and enjoy yourselves."
The guards were excited at the unexpected good news. When they were given no special mission, it was their duty to stand guard at the residence. However, being given four days off was like a vacation.
Chun Yeowun was already trying to think of ways to avoid standing guard, as he had disguised himself as a member of the unit. In this way, he would be able to track Baek Ho’s movements and see who he is in contact with. However, he met up with an expected situation.
Once all the other guards entered the garrison close to the residence, Yoon Baek Ho approached him. With a very casual and friendly voice.
"Yihan. Don’t we have a place to go?"
The words caught Chun Yeowun’s attention. It seemed like the person he had disguised as, the one called Lee Yihan, was someone who had a close relationship with Yoon Baek Ho. Never in a million years would he have imagined that such a variable would occur.
If he panicked while trying to pretend, things would turn messy. The person he had currently disguised himself as was Lee Yihan and he was a rank lower than Baek Ho.
At Chun Yeowun’s answer, Baek Ho frowned. Chun Yeowun wondered if he said something wrong, but that wasn't the case.
"We are still in the residence, so answer according to titles."
After that, Chun Yeowun managed to realize what the mistake was.
Only then did Yoon Baek Ho nod. He told Chun Yeowun to follow him as he took the lead while heading somewhere. Baek Ho, who walked away from the garrison moved to someplace in the residence, unlike Chun Yeowun, Baek seemed accustomed to the path.
'Maybe it’s because of others’ attention.'
It looked as if they were deliberately getting the attention of others. As they walked ahead, no one stopped them because of the titles they had. This only solidified the suspicion about them being spies. After moving around the palace for a long time, they arrived at a large building within the palace.
The warehouse was assigned to store the foods for the Imperial Palace. Before arriving at the warehouse, Yoon Baek Ho took a long cloth that was hanging from the laundry of the palace and covered his face with it.
After covering up his face, Yoon Baek Ho moved to avoid the guards. Once the locations were known, they could easily enter the fourth out of the ten large warehouses without being noticed.
As he entered the building, he saw a huge pile of rice towered on the side along with its strong scent enveloping the room. The bales of rice stacked in the warehouse were enough to feed everyone in the Imperial Palace for an entire year.
Chun Yeowun’s eyes narrowed at something. As they went further into the warehouse, the number of energies felt enormous, indicating all of those who are masters in martial arts.
'I knew it.'
Those who acted in secret within the Imperial Palace were most likely members of the Blade God Six Martial clan. He managed to find them faster than he imagined. Following Yoon Baek Ho, he entered the innermost part of the warehouse, there were about twenty people who were covered in long black clothes.
'Is he the boss?'
It was easy to guess since the person was seated on the innermost rice bag. While the rest were all standing as if they were escorts.
Yoo Baek Ho and Chun Yeowun walked to the middle. Yoon Baek Ho who was silently moving opened his mouth.
"Lee Yihan, how did you manage to do it?"
Chun Yeowun was flustered at the unexpected question. That was at that moment when Yoon Baek Ho jumped forward and shouted to the one who seemed to be the leader of the group.
"Lord! He is a spy!"
At his cries, the ten men behind Chun Yeowun blocked the exit of the warehouse.
Everything happened before he could even realize what was going on. So, he decided to play something else. Chun Yeowun asked Yoo Baek Ho, who was standing beside the leader.
"Yoon Baek Ho, sir, what are you talking about?"
"You aren't Lee Yihan. Lee Yihan never uses honorifics when we are the only ones in place."
He got caught because of an unexpected reason. Yoo Baek Ho, who was convinced that Chun Yeowun wasn’t Yihan continued.
"And you even didn’t ask nor doubt anything when I brought you to the warehouse like this. What is your real identity?"
He was thinking that being discreet and laying low would be enough to act as Lee Yihan, but that went wrong. He sighed deeply, realizing that his plan was ruined.
Even with a perfect face and voice as a disguise, deceiving an acquaintance still turned out to be difficult. The method was useless, and a loophole was easily revealed by the person named Yoon Baek Ho.
The head of the spies who was seated on the rice bag rose from his seat.
"Is he really a spy?"
Said in a fearsome voice. Yoon Baek Ho nodded at the question.
"It is true."
That was when the boss shook his head and spoke while revealing his white teeth.
"You are a fool. You jumped right into my trap."
Chun Yeowun was dumbfounded. The boss gave orders to the men behind to siege the spy.
"Make him kneel in front of me this instant! You should already be aware of how strong he is."
At that moment, three men from behind rushed towards Chun Yeowun. They thought that the spy was just an ordinary man that they could capture so they could please the head. But what followed gave them a huge shock.
When Chun Yeowun flicked his finger, a strong gust of air pressure got generated and pushed back the three bodies at the same time.
He was stationary, yet, the three men flew back and bounced off the floor. They seemed hurt enough as they weren't able to get up. They were flinching almost as if they suffered severe internal injuries.
As a result, Yoon Baek Ho and the other men couldn't hide their embarrassment.
"What the hell is this?"
They thought it was a normal spy, but they were very wrong. Biting down on his lip, the leader shouted.
"He isn’t an ordinary guy! Everyone, take him down!"
Once the order was given, his men hesitated before pulling out the blade from their waist.
The thin dagger-like blade came out in a curve. Normally it was a blade used by women and assassins, but it was the perfect kind of weapon to carry or hide for any mission.
The men who took out their swords began to move towards Chun Yeowun. The moment they tried to prove themselves, something shocking happened. While they were still standing, he pointed his palm towards the approaching men.
At that very moment, the men instantly dropped to the ground.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
Forced to touch the ground, they couldn’t move. Intangible dynamics, something beyond imagination arose and crushed them to the ground, literally. One could see the strength by looking at the crack on the floor of the warehouse.
'Wh-what the hell is he? He isn’t just any man.'
A monster, enough to subdue everyone in the warehouse with simple gestures. The leader, who was shocked to the core, stepped back without knowing. But he didn't manage to get that far.
Chun Yeowun lightly stretched out his left hand and pretended to pull on to something, that was when the head of the boss who was walking away got pulled up.
The man who went up tried to strengthen his energy, but everything was useless. For him to rebel, he would have to get back on the ground. And the difference in their power was like heaven and earth.
In an instant, the boss got captured by Chun Yeowun. As his throat was tightly grabbed, in a low voice Chun Yeowun asked.
"Even if you know that I’m a spy, what can you do?”
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