Murim Login (Novel) Chapter 320

                          


Chapter 320

The elderly man exuded an air of timeless wisdom, his eighty years belied by a visage unmarred by age, his stature ramrod straight, a testament to his status as a Transcendent Master with copious amounts of Qi.

His eyes, dark and penetrating, unsettled all they surveyed. Tai Yi Ruthless Sword Hwang Bo-Eom, the elder, parted his lips to speak.

"An interesting guy has appeared."

Unflinchingly, I met his stare.

"I often hear that."

"You've got guts too."

"That's also true."

Hwang Bo-Eom's mouth twitched upwards.

"You should know who I am. Drop the frivolous banter."

"Who might you be?"

"What did you say?"

"This is my first time meeting you. How do I know who you are? You should tell me. That’s basic courtesy."

My composed response elicited shocked murmurs.

"Youn... Young Master Jin."

The Dragon Phoenix Armed Escort Agency's members, including Ju Hwa-Ran, gaped, while the Southern Edge Sect's disciples instinctively reached for their blades, recognizing the gravity of the moment.

"Such arrogance!"

"Show some respect at once!"

But Hwang Bo-Eom, with a mere gesture, quieted the brewing storm.

In any other, anger would have been palpable, but his composure remained unshaken.

"Is that so."

With a subtle smile, Hwang Bo-Eom scrutinized me, then slowly shifted his focus.

His gaze swept over Cheong Pung and Hyuk Mu-Jin, settling on two others.

"You don't know me? The First Crane of Mount Hua and the Second Beggar should have informed you. Too much jesting can be displeasing."

Taken aback, Baek Mu-Seong and Goong Gi-Bang stepped forward, bowing in respect.

"Murim scholar Baek Mu-Seong greets Hwang Bo-Eom."

"And, and Goong Gi-Bang of..."

"That's enough."

With a flick of his robe, Hwang Bo-Eom dismissed them, returning his attention to me.

"I believe I've indulged all of your childish whims by now... Is there still something lacking?"

Undoubtedly, he was far from a typical elder.

A stark contrast to the Tiger Swordsman, his Sahyung, in both prowess and temperament.

His mastery and character were unparalleled.

'Tricky.'

Yet, this was a scenario I had foreseen.

Concealing my thoughts, I responded nonchalantly.

“No, that’s enough for now, Tai Yi Ruthless Sword Hwang Bo-Eom.”

"You're bold. You could have pretended not to recognize me."

"It’s more fun this way."

"Haha. What an insolent child."

Hwang Bo-Eom erupted in a robust laugh, a mix of amusement and disbelief at my audacity.

But his Southern Edge Sect disciples viewed this not just as ludicrous, but a blatant disrespect.

Ignorance would be one thing, but feigned ignorance was quite another.

Considering Hwang Bo-Eom's eminent role within the Southern Edge Sect, this wasn't a matter to be dismissed lightly.

"Elder!"

So this is who they call the Tai Yi Sword Grandmaster...?

Chaos ensued as the oldest among the Southern Edge Sect disciples shouted, sword drawn.

Cha-cha-chang!

Thirty gleaming swords were aimed at me. As members of one of the Nine Great Sects, each was a formidable First-Rate Warrior.

However...

'Too weak.'

To me, they were no threat at this level.

First-Rate? Peak? Irrelevant.

In my view, they were merely thirty swordsmen.

'I am strong.'

Only the strong are respected.

This is an unyielding truth in the Murim.

Having attained a strength that allowed me to act with ease within this truth, I stepped forward with confidence.

"Since fate has brought us here together, may I join you?"

Ignoring the thirty swords directed at me, I posed the question to Hwang Bo-Eom. The leader, the middle-aged swordsman, seethed with fury.

“How dare you, this wanton bastard!”

“Insolence is quite entertaining.”

“Tai Yi Sword Grandmaster! Take this guy down immediately...!”

In that moment, as Hwang Bo-Eom's silent observation lingered on me, his lips finally moved.

"Should you wish to join, I grant my permission."

“...!”

A wave of astonishment swept over the onlookers at Hwang Bo-Eom's words.

“Sabaek?”

“Sheathe your swords.”

“But- but he...!”

“Is this an act of defiance against me?”

His icy tone caused the middle-aged swordsman to hesitate, eventually sheathing his sword. With the return of thirty reflective swords to their sheaths, the lights inside the teahouse dimmed.

“Thank you. The brightness was rather dazzling.”

Thud, thump.

I strode past the rigid assembly, taking a seat beside Ju Hwa-Ran. A knowing smile played on my lips as I observed her ashen complexion.

“It hasn’t been long... Only two days. But how have you been?”

“Young Master Jin…”

“You don’t have to answer. It was just a greeting. To be honest, just by looking at your expression, you don’t seem to have been doing too well.”

“That’s not it. How did you end up here…”

“I just happened to pass by. Cheong Pung here desperately wanted to have a cup of tea. Of course, that too was a coincidence.”

Baek Mu-Seong, Goong Gi-Bang, and Hyuk Mu-Jin.

In contrast to these three, Cheong Pung, whose guts must be made entirely of gallbladder, eagerly occupied the seat next to me while appearing impatient. [Note: in East Asian cultures, the gallbladder is sometimes associated with bravery or boldness.]

“My Savior, when exactly are you going to bring out the sweets?”

“Just wait a little longer. I’ll pile up a mountain for you.”

“Wow! A mountain of sweets!”

Cheong Pung’s eyes sparkled as if a mountain of sweets already lay before him, while Ju Hwa-Ran’s expression darkened as though a mountain had just collapsed.

Naturally, much of this was likely due to Hwang Bo-Eom seated across from us.

Observing me and Cheong Pung with an enigmatic look, Hwang Bo-Eom finally spoke up.

“You possess an extraordinary boldness, bordering on rashness.”

“I used to be timid. But having endured numerous ordeals, my confidence has grown significantly.”

“Such ordeals, yes. Having gone through the Shaolin Blood History, it’s understandable.”

“...!”

“Why are you so surprised?”

Hwang Bo-Eom's mouth twisted slightly as he continued.

“I’ve long heard the rumors that the Fire King has nurtured a sleeping dragon. Also, that you left the Murim Alliance seven nights ago.”

Cunning as a serpent, the old man. He knew everything from the start.

Unlike Ju Hwa-Ran, who only guessed our identities two days prior, he had been privy to this knowledge from the beginning.

‘How?’

Our operation was executed with swift secrecy. How did he discern it as though it were obvious?

Did the Southern Edge Sect's leader, currently staying within the Murim Alliance, relay the information?

‘Then, does he also know about Grandfather’s condition...?’

At that moment, Hwang Bo-Eom’s gaze briefly lingered on the package I had entrusted to Baek Mu-Seong before sitting.

He then nonchalantly noted,

“I didn’t expect the successor of the Fire King to disguise himself as a leather merchant like this.”

I couldn’t ascertain if he was feigning ignorance or genuinely oblivious.

His unreadable expression offered no clues to his thoughts.

Currently, Jeok Cheon-Gang was in a state mimicking death, his heartbeat and breath barely perceptible, making his presence almost undetectable.

This mirrored Cheong Pung’s earlier mention of the Turtle Breathing Technique.

‘Even for a Transcendent Master, it would be difficult to notice under the pile of leather hides.’

The hides served dual purposes: preserving body heat and obscuring his form, sound, and essence, shielding Jeok Cheon-Gang from detection.

“......”

“What’s the matter?”

“Nothing. Just a bit thirsty.”

I swiftly redirected Hwang Bo-Eom’s focus. With little ado, he reached for the tea set, offering me a cup.

“Take it.”

“Then I won't refuse.”

Sssss.

Hwang Bo-Eom was a formidable adversary. I inwardly marveled at the energy imbued in the tea.

‘This is why he's the First Sword of the Southern Edge Sect.’

The tea, cascading in a delicate curve, held a force so potent, it could cleave stone.

‘But still, he’s not like Grandfather.’

Jeok Cheon-Gang, who has a mischievous personality, has often played the same trick Hwang Bo-Eom attempted now.

I've shattered my share of cups.

Moreover, as a figure ranked among the Ten Kings and often likened to the Three Saints, Jeok Cheon-Gang is a force to be reckoned with.

‘This is nothing.’

Noticing my unflinching demeanor, Hwang Bo-Eom's eyebrows twitched, and the energy within the tea escalated.

“Excuse me, Grandmaster Hwang.”

“Hmm?”

“It’s just that the tea is about to overflow.”

“......”

“You can stop pouring now.”

Indeed, the cup was brimming. I lifted the perfectly intact cup and drank its contents in one gulp.

“Ah. That was refreshing.”

“...You seem to like tea.”

“Not really. Anyway, now let me pour you a cup.”

Reaching out, I guided the teapot through the air into my grasp.

This was Psychokinesis, esteemed among martial artists.

Having assimilated half a gapja of Qi, I had neared Transcendence, unlocking this skill. Despite its substantial energy demands, it was within my means.

‘A bit of showmanship is necessary.’

Jeok Cheon-Gang once casually remarked,

‘Murim is full of idiots. Those guys only listen to you if you show them something flashy. Look at me. I just beat up some Demonic Cult guys in anger, and they still call me a King.’

Typical Jeok Cheon-Gang. Someone who turned Murim upside down by single-handedly achieving a thousand kills.

‘Psychokinesis might not be that significant, but it's still an impressive skill.’

The audience's eyes widened in awe.

“To use Psychokinesis so effortlessly...”

“Wow.”

My casual display of Psychokinesis, especially at my young age, was an uncommon sight.

But I didn't stop there. Channeling more Qi, the potent Yang Qi of my seventh-mastery Scorching Sun Divine Arts flowed into my palms.

Whoosh!

With a surge of heat, the water in the teapot boiled fiercely. I calmly filled Hwang Bo-Eom’s cup, speaking as I did so.

“The tea seemed a bit cool. It’s better to have it warm, especially in this cold weather. Elderly people should be particularly careful.”

“...!”

Hwang Bo-Eom’s expression hardened.

Warming tea with one’s Qi was well within his grasp, given his mastery of the Samadhi True Fire technique. [Note: The Samadhi True Fire, derived from Chinese mythology and prominently featured in "Journey to the West," represents a powerful, mystical fire controlled through high-level spiritual meditation. It symbolizes ultimate purification and transformation, typically wielded by enlightened Taoist or Buddhist practitioners. In martial arts fiction, it is often used metaphorically for profound and intense internal energy or skill, especially related to fire.]

However, the Scorching Sun Divine Arts is renowned as the supreme skill in manipulating Scorching Yang energy.

Even a Transcendent Master like Hwang Bo-Eom could not rival its potency.

But to draw conclusions now would be premature.

Handing over the steaming cup, I paused my thoughts.

“Please, drink.”

“Ahem.”

“The train is entering the tunnel! Choo choo!”

“…I shall drink well.”

“Be careful, it's hot! You don't want to burn yourself!”

“…”

With a piercing glance, Hwang Bo-Eom drained the cup entirely.

Setting it down, his look conveyed a newfound respect compared to when I first arrived.

“Your martial arts are quite good.”

I dismissed it with a wave and a smile.

“Oh, not really.”

“Are you intending to deceive my eyes?”

“No, I meant my martial arts are not just good, but exceptionally excellent.”

“You're too proud...”

“That's what my master told me. You know Jeok Cheon-Gang, the Fire King, right?”

I was the only one smiling now.

No hint of mirth lingered on Hwang Bo-Eom’s face.

After a moment's silence, he spoke abruptly.

“What are you planning?”

“Pardon?”

“Your arrogance knows no bounds. I’ve heard enough of your nonsense about coincidences. Speak the truth.”

“You’re quite straightforward. Well then, if that’s the case…”

I continued with a faint smile.

“I was just passing by and became curious about what the Southern Edge Sect might be up to, so I stopped by.”

At those words, the Tai Yi Ruthless Sword Hwang Bo-Eom's eyes grew cold.

---
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