The man with shining golden eyes was dressed as a warrior, and I was shocked to see him.
-Someone you know?
The Blood Demon Sword wouldn’t know about this because he had been keeping my grandfather alive at the time. However, this was strange.
The Blood Demon Sword was born when the Blood Demon became the ruler of the Blood Sect. This was already centuries ago. This man had lived for much too long.
-Perhaps they just resemble each other?
Then their faces would only be a bit similar, yet they looked exactly the same. Even their voices were the same.
Those shining eyes were the proof.
‘Do you know who that person is?’
-I don’t know. I only saw them once, and that was on this day.
‘So this is all you know?’
-Yes. But it is shocking that a human, who couldn’t even live 100 years, is still alive.
That was what I wanted to say too. The effect of the golden eyes might not be limited to just healing wounds quickly.
-Isn’t a life extended beyond normal limits the dream for all humans?
Everyone wished for a long life.
To live life without aging. The man with the golden eyes seemed someone who held what every human desired.
-Just what is the secret behind his birth?
The Blood Demon Sword was right.
If this conversation was accurate, the person behind the Yokai Swords was the golden-eyed man.
I fell into deep thought.
How did a man so close to immortality end up in such a prison? At the same time, it was clear that the man inside the prison was someone with the same golden eye as mine.
-Aren’t you curious about why we were created?
Of course, I was curious.
The more I discovered about things related to the golden eyes, the more complicated it seemed.
At first, I thought it was only related to Mt. Mo. Still, when I learned that he already lived during the Warring States era, a time of havoc and confusion, any guess I made would be futile.
Who was the man with the golden eyes who commissioned the five Yokai Swords?
It would be difficult to find the answer to that question by myself.
Come to think of it, the man with golden eyes said one thing.
He said that he wanted to gather the Yokai Swords.
-Hmm. Come to think of it, I don’t think we ever gathered all of the Yokai Swords in one place, even by coincidence.
I looked at the swords stuck in the sand. Three of them were gathered in a single place now.
‘Can this memory be stopped at this moment?’
As soon as I thought this, Gu Yaja’s movement ceased as if time had stopped.
I approached the swords.
‘What is this?’
Even though Prince Kyung had copied them with ink, he couldn’t discover the secret.
The golden-eyed man said a single sword wouldn’t give up the secret. I slowly turned around and inspected the three swords.
Nothing felt special about them. The only thing they had in common was the unique patterns on them…
Come to think of it, all of their patterns were different. Of course, since they were different swords, this would differentiate them. But why this pattern?
I looked closer.
‘These patterns are too simple to be a secret code.’
I learned to decode many things during my time as a spy. I looked at the pattern and tried to guess. I thought it might be a map, but why would these patterns on the sword’s black surface be more straightforward than I thought they should be?
If we saw these patterns together, would the secret be revealed?
-Should I continue it? Human?
I had to memorize the patterns on the sword. I could see the ones on Blood Demon Sword and True Evil Sword at any time, but not the other one.
Having memorized them all, I resumed the memory, and the illusion dissolved into the normal world.
‘I need to see.’
I immediately took out some ink and drew out the pattern I saw on the Red Chopping Sword. It took me about half an hour to draw everything and ensure no mistakes.
However, the other two patterns were faster since I had those swords on hand.
-What is hidden in there?
I attached the sheets together and checked them. Putting them together didn’t reveal anything, so this wasn’t a map.
‘Should I take a look from further away?’
I placed them on the wall and looked at them from a distance. It was possible to see different things from close and far.
Didn’t people say that one should not look at a tree but rather at the forest?
‘Doesn’t seem like there’s much.’
There were different patterns all over.
So what was in this?
Could it be that the hidden secret would only be revealed when all five Yokai Swords were there? I must have pondered over this for over an hour.
It was becoming frustrating.
‘It’s not about matching the patterns… wait.’
Why didn’t I think of it from that angle?
I thought it was too difficult because I had to work to implement the pattern from the Red Chopping Sword. I applied ink to the patterns of the two swords I had with me.
Could you shut up!
The True Evil Sword made strange sounds when I used the brush to apply ink on her.
-Are there anything missing? Why are you doing it again?
I was changing the method.
I unfolded the paper with the Red Chopping Sword’s pattern again.
The front and back wouldn’t be wrong, so the swords should face the same way. I needed to make sure to note the pattern and then looked at True Evil Sword.
As I pressed her against the sheet, something began to emerge.
As the patterns overlapped, two letters appeared in between them.
-Oh! That is a real letter?
-I didn’t think that overlapping would work. It is shocking.
The swords were also curious. The Chinese characters that appeared through the overlap were Year and Way.
What did this mean?
Year and Way?
-Don’t you think the spacing is a bit off? Wonhwi.
-Huhhh. Doesn’t it seem like there are letters at the end too?
Stop talking out of your ass, True Evil Sword.
However, just like Short Sword observed, a letter at the end seemed to be missing a stroke. However, this much was enough for a guess.
‘… If I draw four more strokes here…’
The character became that for ‘Tomb’.
-Year, Way, and Tomb?
What kind of strange combination was this? These letters do not match at all?
Do we need the other two Yokai Swords to know the whole message?
How could Year, Way, and Tomb fit into a single phrase?
Several thoughts ran through my head.
-I heard you read a lot.
If I could remember everything I’ve read, I would have chosen to go into civil service.
And was that easy?
At least this was made during Gu Yaja’s time or related to something around then…
The past refers to history.
There were thousands of books related to the Warring States Era, a time when numerous famous warriors made their name. Among them, only a few people could be referred to as elders, the most famous of whom was Elder Sima Cheon.
Wasn’t Sima Cheon a historian from the dynasty predating the Han?
He left behind twelve books, ten tablets of the times, eight historical records, thirty books about the world, and seventy books on influential families. He left a total of one hundred and thirty books.
-Eik! Isn’t 130 books too many?
Such was history.
The elder was a scholar of the next emperor’s reign and had completed five volumes.
He then also named them after Sima Cheon.
-What do you mean, human?
If someone was a son of a prestigious family, reading those books was a given. There were also collections of famous folk tales that became known as history. Among them, many were made in relation to the Warring States period.
Coincidentally, I read these books many times when my dantian was broken.
The saying in them was similar.
Year End. Way Long.
-The day is over, but the way is long?
Those are words from those books.
The year and way were words of Murim, but they also had another meaning/
-It’s great that we’ve found this out, but what secrets do they hold?
Most importantly, what was the meaning behind them?
He was originally someone from the state of Chu and served the state of Wu after his father and brother were killed. As a loyal subject of Wu, he went to the king’s tomb to take revenge and whipped a corpse three hundred times.
At that time, Wu Zixu was said to have stated, ‘The day is ending, but the way is open to doing something that goes against human principles.’
I often wondered why he had said these words at the end.
In the end, the words here were a repeat of Wu Zixu’s words.
-Ah! Then what if the ascension is there?
These words then probably referred to Wu Zixu’s tomb. Hearing this, Short Sword clicked her tongue.
-Yah… you really have one amazing head.
I shrugged at her words, and Iron Sword asked,
-But isn’t it usually the king’s tomb that was considered the path of ascension, Wonwhi?
The king’s tomb?
Wu Zixu was not a king.
Since he was a scholar, it would be impossible for him to have a large tomb since he had committed suicide after being framed.
It was also said that an official’s son had become enraged and threw Wu Zixu’s body into a river.
I was a bit confused there.
In those days, only kings had tombs, but things have changed now.
Since it was called a tomb, it was uncertain whether it was a burial mound or a shrine that was put up to honor his name.
-We need to know the other missing characters.
That was what Blood Demon Sword said.
There was space for two or three more characters there. Perhaps they described where the tomb was…
I must be wrong.
The words that stated the days end, but the way is long, referred to Wu Zixu. However, it does not refer to him or the tomb of the king he served.
The secret was the cause of this phrase in the first place.
It referred to the king of the nation that Wu Zixu took his revenge on. In the end, these words refer to the tomb of the king that had been desecrated.
-You use your head better at this than martial arts human.
Blood Demon Sword then said.
-Yah. Then the answer is here. Isn’t this a hidden treasure or the secret of the man with two golden eyes inside the king’s tomb?
Short Sword looked excited.
I did not share her excitement. I didn’t think it would be something so ordinary.
-Yah. We did our best to solve the secret without the other Yokai Swords, so what is with your face?
‘Because it cannot be that easy.’
-What is not easy?
‘Because of the tomb’s location.
-And where is that?
‘It is a place called Yeong, the capital of Chu.’
-Then, if you go there and look around, wouldn’t you find something?
If we went, then finding out anything was possible.
The problem was it would be difficult to go there.
The old capital of Yeong was now under Wuhan’s domain.
-Wuhan…? Murim Alliance!
Wuhan in Hubei was the sacred place of the Murim Alliance. At the center of it was the tomb.
The next morning.
Inside the eastern residence building.
Inside it were Sima Jung-hyun, the second military head of the Murim Alliance, and Elder Man Jong, sect leader of the Jeonjin Sect and 6th Elder of the Murim Alliance.
“Second military head. Is this really alright? Perhaps His Highness Prince Youn would defend the Blood Demon. Wouldn’t it be hard to push Prince Jin against him?”
Elder Man Jong said this out of concern. Sima Jung-hyun simply smiled and took out a book.
“What is that?”
“The news I have been waiting for.”
Hearing this, Elder Man Jong’s face brightened.
“Then, has Elder Jeong Seon arrived?”
“The report states that they are stationed outside Xinning and are joined by the disciples of the Wudang Sect as well as forces from the Hunan branch of the Murim Alliance.”
“Hehehe. That is good. The Blood Sect must be moving around in a rush.”
“That’s right. I also heard the news that the First Venerable Dignity is leading 3,000 Blood Sect members hastily towards the border of Guangxi and Hunan.”
With this, the boundaries of Guangxi were blocked by the Murim Alliance. This has forced the Blood Sect’s most troublesome individual to become tied up.
As a result, the Blood Sect’s leader was now isolated in Guizhou.
“As expected, the military head is skilled. How can the Blood Sect be made to move that easily?”
“That is the duty of a military head. Depending on how we see things, driving an opponent to the brink is simple. The key is to capture the Blood Sect leader alive. If we capture him, the remnants will naturally collapse.”
Hearing Sima Jung-hyun’s words, Elder Man Jong showed a confident look and said,
“Do not worry. For today, my sect’s disciples have prepared their Seventy-Two Star Sword Circle. Even if he decides to fight, we will not be pushed back.”
“So comforting. If so, we have to attend the trial…”
Someone knocked at their door.
Elder Man Jeong then responded.
“What is it?”
A voice came through the door.
“Sect leader. We have a guest.”
It was the voice of a third-class disciple.
Who would come to them even before the morning sun had risen?
Perhaps it was an official from the government.
Sima Jung-hyun then asked.
“Who is it?”
“His name is So Wonwhi, the disciple of the Southern Heavenly Swordsman.”
“The Second New Star?”
Hearing this name, both of them were shocked. This was an unexpected guest.
He was the disciple of one of the realm’s best swordsmen and was ranked just below the future leader of the Murim Alliance. He was also someone they hoped would stop the Blood Sect in the future.
The doors to the room opened, and a young man walked in, greeting the two elders of the Murim Alliance.
“To the seniors of Murim Alliance, I am So Wonhwi.”
“Be at ease, Disciple So. What are you doing here?”
Elder Man Jeong asked him.
In response, So Wonhwi smiled and said,
“I heard that the leader of the Blood Sect has made his way here. As a member of the Justice Faction, I came here to help. Please accept it.”