Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon - Chapter 67
Chapter 67 – Divine Maiden (1)
“So that’s how things turned out… tsk.”
Joo Moon-baek, who had received the report, shook his head and closed his eyes. The assassin had been overconfident in his skills.
Although, it’s still better than him staying alive and giving the Young Leader information. If we left him alive and the information was leaked, it would definitely have worked against us.
“What should I do?” The reporter, who stood in the shadows, asked.
The Vice Leader of the Cult opened his eyes and clasped his fingers. “That should be obvious. We’ll have to ask them to send another partner. Hwa Chung-mong was pretty clumsy, but allying with them was still very helpful.”
The other man nodded at these words. “Then I shall send them a message.”
“No. That’s too dangerous. We have to send someone.”
“You want to send a person instead?”
Joo Moon-baek nodded, looking the other man in the eyes as he spoke. “Is there someone from the Unrecorded Demonic Group that we can trust?”
At the mention of the Unrecorded, the man twitched. However, he soon shook his head. “There are still those who don’t completely believe that you are the Second Advent of the Unrecorded. Commanding them right now might cause them to antagonize us.”
“Hmm.” The Vice Leader grit is teeth. If Shadow, one of the Unrecorded Demonic Group, says so himself, I can’t just ignore his words. “I see. Then I’ll send one of my men. You continue to persuade the Unrecorded Demonic Group.”
The other man, Shadow, bowed his head.
“Glory to the Unrecorded.”
The Heavenly Demon’s training for Woon-seong only became harsher over time.
Shh, shh, shh.
A massive volley of arrows and shadow arrows that are launched between them. Training is becoming more and more difficult.
But the biggest pain in the ass… It’s the one that’s less than half the size, yet faster and more powerful. The pyeon-jeon (short arrow).
Woon-seong quickly twisted to the side. An arrow narrowly grazed his thighs and another his shoulder, though neither drew blood.
He let out a sigh of relief.
And this. The knife that’s launched every time I seem to let my guard down even a little bit.
The knife cut his shoulder, even though Woon-seong had dodged. It left a little trail of blood.
Oops, right after the knife was an arrow.
I can’t dodge this one…
It was lodged at an angle difficult to avoid, so Woon-seong swung his spear.
The arrows were cut mid-flight, thrown to the side broken and splintered.
Just as the arrows were taken care of, a large fishing net fell down from the ceiling, aimed at Woon-seong. That wasn’t all, three chains flew towards his ankles.
Woon-seong took a deep breath and leaped upward, narrowly avoiding the chains. As soon as he was sure that he had avoided them, he swung his White Night Spear upwards forcefully. With this, the falling net was torn apart.
He landed safely on the ground as the entire room lit up with bright lights.
“Excellent.” Chun Hwi appeared above him and smiled slightly. “Change your clothes. We shall start the Second Gate.”
Throughout the training, Chun Hwi advised Woon-seong without rest.
“While the First Gate is a training to build your senses, the Second Gate goes beyond simply sensing the movements of your enemy. It is about training you to read their muscles and predict their movement.”
Like before, Chun Hwi restricted both Woon-seong and himself to a decade of qi and attacked him with a knife.
“If you are against a martial artist of the same level, having better senses and being able to predict movement will put you on the advantageous side. Do not be obsessed with simply wielding your spear with all your might.”
“You need to catch the image of the enemy and strike swiftly and deadly at the correct position. As you know, the basis of any weapon based martial art is to find the enemy’s weak spot and exploit it.”
“If you can stand above the opponent skill-wise, it is not impossible to best a higher level martial artist.”
“Your breathing is important. Similarly, you must also read the opponent’s breath and make them lose focus.”
By the end, Woon-seong was lying down, collapsed in a heap. Chun Hwi, of course, had barely broken a sweat.
It’s oddly amazing. None of this stuff is new to me…, Woon-seong noted. By simply telling me at the exact moment I need it, not only do I understand it better, but it also makes my body learn it faster. My every muscle is learning as though it understands the meaning of each movement.
As Woon-seong had noticed before, the Cult Leader was a kind man towards those within his circle. Woon-seong, as the only apprentice and next-in-line, was given extra special care and attention.
On top of that, he teaches me facts that only a martial artist at his level can know. It’s a level far beyond that of me in my past life or my former master.
Chun Hwi was currently near the exit of the Second Gate. Maybe it was the lighting, but Woon-seong was unable to see what stood beyond. Under the bright backdrop, Chun Hwi stood, wreathed in a warm glow, smiling back at him.
The Leader’s advice… is very constructive and useful. To the point that I can feel that I’m becoming stronger! I can become even stronger. With the Leader’s teachings, I feel like I have no limit to how much stronger I can become.
Woon-seong stared ahead, then grinned.
Under the guidance of the Heavenly Demon, Woon-seong became stronger and stronger over time.
Soon, five months had passed.
“Huff. Huff. Huff.”
Woon-seong panted harshly. He had exhausted himself just to land one blow. Like always, I couldn’t touch him at all…
Chun Hwi glanced at the barely standing Woon-seong. “That is enough for today.”
The young man collapsed to the floor. He did not fall unconscious this time, but it was too hard to stand.
Seeing that, Chun Hwi shuffled closer and tossed him a single pill. “What is making you so impatient?”
“…” Woon-seong stared at the medicinal pill in his hand.
“That’s right. Your breathing is not stable yet.” The Heavenly Demon took his silence as an inability to answer. He waved his hand slightly. Warm energy flowed through Woon-seong’s body, stabilizing his breathing.
Seeing that, Chun Hwi repeated his question.
“Whenever I see you training, you look like you are being chased by something. Why are you being pushed so hard, to the point where you are trying to calm yourself down?”
Woon-seong’s face solidified into a mixture of shock and horror. He slumped his shoulders in resignation, hiding his face. Chun Hwi’s words seemed to stab him.
He knows exactly what I’m thinking… What’s making me so impatient…? I tried so hard to not become anxious, but what can I do when I remember the face of my master whenever I close my eyes? What can I do when I keep remembering the faces of my enemies?
What conclusions had the Heavenly Demon drawn from his apprentice’s expression?
Looking at Woon-seong, Chun Hwi seemed to think that the other was filled with complaints against the world.
“You do not have to tell me if you do not wish to.”
At his words, Woon-seong jolted out of his thoughts and looked up at the other.
“Call me ‘master’.”
Woon-seong continued on, though hesitantly, “Master. Then, why are you being so impatient?”
This time it was Chun Hwi’s face that became stiff. A crushing pressure squeezed Woon-seong and he momentarily panicked, thinking he had gravely overstepped.
Soon however, the pressure receded.
“I said it is not necessary to answer it if you do not wish to, right? Because it it the same for me.”
With this, Chun Hwi smiled.
It was the most unpretentious smile that Woon-seong had ever seen.
A bronze furnace burned roughly in the night.
These were the only traces left of the First Heavenly Demon, the Founder of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
In front of his will, a maiden with an aging body had her hands clasped before her.
She was earnestly praying.
Her voice trembled.
The First Heavenly Demon gave me a revelation last night… that my life has less than a year left. We need a new Divine Maiden… and I need to teach her everything that a Divine Maiden must know. But one year is too short for that.
Please… I wish you to select the next maiden as soon as possible.
Did the remnant understand the prayers?
Either way, the fire seemed to burn even brighter. It rose to a height that reached the ceiling, resembling a pillar. Soon, it passed the ceiling, flooding out of the building. The wind and rain outside did not douse the flame; the flame did not burn people or buildings.
The Divine Maiden was amazed to see the column of flame. She smiled softly.
Throughout my whole life as a Divine Maiden, I have never seen the Divine Flame burn so vigorously. But I think I know why. It’s about to select the new Divine Maiden.
The flame, taking the appearance of a dragon, rushed into the sky. Its presence turned the sky red and orange.
Soon, it could be seen by all the nearby cultivators and believers.
“It’s the Divine Flame!”
The Demonic cultivators who saw this scene knelt to the ground, facing the Palace.
Even then, the flame only momentarily paused in its journey across the sky. The flame seemed to split, burning even more vigorously as it did so. It was as if all the energy in nature was raging inside a ball of fire! The entire will of the Heavenly Demon was contained in a little fireball.
The piece of fire continued on for a long time, soon falling down somewhere on the Cult’s lands.
A huge glow rose from the landing place as every Demonic cultivator turned towards the direction, gazing at the light.
The current Divine Maiden was staring too. Wherever that flame lands will be the location of the next Divine Maiden, the next one to serve the Divine Flame and the Heavenly Demon.
This news was soon reported to the Heavenly Demon.
At the time, Chun Hwi and Woon-seong had just finished their usual training and exited the Inner Garden
As Woon-seong exited the gates, he took a breath in. The air feels especially fresh today.
“You have done well in today’s training.” Chun Hwi patted Woon-seong lightly on the back. “I will see you again tomorrow at the same time as always.”
Woon-seong nodded lightly.
The two slowly walked outside. There, someone was waiting for them.
It was the Brain of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon, Senior Strategist Sang Gwan-chuk.
However, the man looked embarrassed to be there.
The Heavenly Demon’s eyebrows twitched.
Seeing Chun Hwi approaching, the Senior Strategist hurried forward. He immediately began speaking, seeming very flustered.
It did not seem to matter that Woon-seong was standing right next to them. Apparently, the information was that urgent.
“The next Divine Maiden has been decided.”
The Heavenly Demon narrowed his eyes. The next Divine Maiden was indeed a matter of concern for the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
“Good. I was getting worried about the current Maiden getting too old.” Chun Hwi nodded, not seeing the problem.
“But the woman who was selected…”
As the Senior Strategist whispered the name, Chun Hwi’s expression crumpled.