Chapter 6. Chun Ma’s Disciple, Pa Chun! Debuting in the Gae Bong Prefecture
According to the order of Tianshan’s First Sword, the nearby swordsmen formed a surrounding net around Yunmun. These swordsmen were warriors of the outer court, the bottom of the North Swords’ hierarchy. The North Swords took pride in its strict ranking system, which placed emphasis on individual skills rather than background or lineage. Because of this, most disciples come from the Noble Clans and the Minor Schools than from the traditional Nine Great Schools*. Many of them were even from nameless clans.[TN: This is on the structure/hierarchy of Murim. Go read about it in the “Murim” section]
The current state of Murim was chaos itself. Of the Nine Great Schools that serve as Jung Pa’s pillars of support, all except Gae Bang has joined to form the Nine Jung Alliance. There is also the Five Clans Union, focused around the Nangong Clan of the Noble Clans. There is also the South Blades*, made up of blade-using warriors, and the North Swords, who only uses swords and nothing else. With the main powers of Murim concentrated around these 4 Jung Pa Alliances, it was no wonder why the Ma Do is in chaos.[TN: Blade (刀); Sword (劍); Technically it’s a double-edged sword and single-edged sword respectively… I don’t really see the difference but apparently there is.]
It was about ten years ago that the Ma Do Alliance was born from the 32 Noble Clans of Ma Do. Its main forces consisted of powers from the Lulin Clan, the Demon Army Clan, the 18 Strongholds of Cave Hall, the Five Elements Clan, the Hidden Assassins, the Demon Flower Palace, the Sun Palace, and the Black Tiger Clan. Even so, it barely sustained itself under the command of its head. The current age was dominated by forces of Jung Pa, and people of Ma Do had to be careful to stay out of trouble. If a Ma Do clan not affiliated with the Ma Do Alliance caused trouble with a clan of Jung Pa, all of Jung Pa Alliance joined in to exterminate the Ma Do clan in question.
This was precisely what was happening with the 7 Kings of Ma Do. Although they were highly respected within the middle-ranks of Ma Do, they were not part of the Ma Do Alliance. Because of this, even the Minor Schools of Jung Pa harassed them, sparking a major conflict. When the upper-ranks of Jung Pa got a wind of this, they came to deal with the 7 Kings, resulting in the current situation. Even is the face of such grave danger, the Ma Do Alliance did not involve themselves with the 7 Kings, as helping them could be considered rebelling against the 4 Powers of Jung Pa. They knew that as long as they did not provoke them, the 4 Powers would not come to seek trouble.
“I do not know what mercy is, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy killing people meaninglessly. I will simply cut down anyone who dares to oppose me.”
Yunmun’s confidence caused a moment of hesitation within the attackers, but it soon disappeared as the Tianshan’s First Sword instigated them once more.
Although they began charging in attack, they were filled with unknown fear against this mysterious man.
-It’s party time, Pa Chun! Kill them all!
“Who are you calling Pa Chun?”
Yunmun retorted in an annoyed voice.
“F*ck, I can’t believe I have to kill these flies.”
=No, Shizhu! Taking another’s life is a greater sin than any! You will be the one that has to wash out your own sins.
“Is that so? But what else can I do? They’re coming to me to die!”
His figure started to shake. It was the Heavenly Demon’s Domineering Steps, a foot technique stemming from Heavenly Demon’s Concealment Skill. The attacking swordsmen could not keep up with Yunmun’s figure as it appeared and disappeared at will. Before anyone realized, Yunmun was in the middle of them, moving around with no resistance. The sword and the blade in his hand continued to spin, causing something to soar into the air upon contact. This something was of course the heads of the swordsmen who were charging at Yunmun!
In but a moment, Yunmun leaned back on a tree and stared at the Three Swords of Tianshan Mountains. Along with the Blue Faced Demon, they stared back at him with blank expressions. If they were not present, it would not have been wrong to call this place hell.
-You’ve got talent, kid. I wouldn’t believe you haven’t killed before. You killed 1, 2… 37! All without a hint of hesitation! The final product is a work of art as well, hahaha.
“Shut it. If you say anything one more time, I’m going to read that scripture for an entire day….”
“You three… no, four. Come here.”
No answer. No movement. The sword and the blade continued to spin around in his hand, and only the Blue Faced Demon complied.
Like a child following instructions, the Blue Faced Demon performed each of his commands, knowing he had no power to resist. Not only that, he had already been mesmerized by this man’s strength that so effortlessly toyed with the warriors of Jung Pa.
“Are you guys looking to die?”
Just these few words were the most frightening words the Three Swords of Tianshan Mountains had ever heard….
“Listen up. I could have gone my way without killing anyone, but you… you forced me to kill your men. I’m in a terrible mood right now. So? Should I kill you? Or do you want to kill yourselves?”
“…. That is going too far. Even if you are strong, we the leaders of the North Swords will not bow to a man of Ma Do. We may die by your hands now, but you will not be able to escape this place. We already…”
“Ah, stop there. I don’t want to listen to any more of your bullshit.”
-‘Well said. You’re fit to be called the disciple of Chun Ma.”
“Alright, I will kill you. It doesn’t matter whether you are from the Jung Pa or the Ma Pa. What matters to me is whether you are someone to be killed or someone to be ruled! Unfortunately, you’ve been chosen to be killed. So how should I kill you? Should I break you like this?”
A boulder 5 Jang away scattered into the air.
“Or should I split you in half like this?”
A huge tree at least 2 Ja in diameter split in half.
“Or should I crush you into nothingness like this?”
The Three Swords of Tianshan Mountains hurriedly knelt down. The huge boulders behind them split into pieces and scattered everywhere.
‘H-He isn’t human.’
“Make your decision!”
Impossible. How can such a powerful man just pop out of nowhere? How can a top-level expert like him be so young? Their hearts were beating at a unbelievable pace. At this moment, their pride as members of the North Swords and their trust in the swords in their hands had completely vanished. It was total despair. The only thing they could see was death itself.
“M-My Lord, please calm down.”
There was no blocking or dodging. Without knowing when this man had attacked, the arm of Tianshan’s Second Sword was already separately from his body. Along with his arm, the sword that was in his hand had also fallen on the ground. The face of the other two turned yellow in fear.
“You talk too much. If you can’t decide, I will decide for you.”
He lifted his arm up, and the sword and the blade in his hands began to quiver. Seeing this, the Three Swords of Tianshan Mountains began fleeing in terror. The only thing on their mind was joining forces with their allies.
The sword and the blade flew at their backs in a straight line. It was as if he shot two arrows, but their speed was unbelievably fast.
Two heads exploded as their bodies continued to fly forth, falling on their sides soon afterwards. Tianshan’s Second Sword was the only one that escaped.
“I will let you live, since that was my plan all along…. Hey, you!”
“You may go now.”
With these few words, Pa Chun passed by the Blue Faced Demon toward the direction Tianshan’s Second Sword ran to. Whether he likes it or not, Pa Chun will be his name from now on.
“S-Sir! Please take me with you.”
Murim was in a state of complete chaos. 2000 Swordsmen of the North Swords and 500 experts of the Nine Jung Alliance killed 6 of the 7 Kings of Ma Do. This was the first news. But the second… no one could believe the second news….
Chun Ma’s disciple, Pa Chun! It was the appearance of an unknown expert!
By his hands, 528 men of the North Swords and 127 men of Nine Jung Alliance met their deaths.
With a single move, he caused even the sun to lose its light. He was no human, but a demon! Hell’s yaksha wearing a human face! He will turn Murim into a sea of blood.
The rumor spread like wildfire and was even more exaggerated. However, the only one who knew his appearance was Tianshan’s Second Sword. Anyone else who saw him had already been killed and those who opposed him died without even leaving their body behind.
He had already changed his clothes, but his body still smelled of blood. Two days had passed since he came down the Tianshan Mountains. He wandered around aimlessly, resting wherever his feet took him. The only thing he heard on the way were rumors of Chun Ma’s disciple, Pa Chun. The previous concerns of how much longer the head of Ma Do Alliance will stay out of conflicts or when the North Swords will attack the Ma Do Alliance were all but gone. The only concern people had now was of Chun Ma’s disciple, Pa Chun. Where was he from? What was his goal? Where is he now? Both the 4 Powers of Jung Pa and the Ma Do Alliance began organizing its internal structures to prepare for anything that might come in the future. This tension strongly heated up the lands from North to South.
The Gae Bong Prefecture*! It is a famous prefecture in the Mid Lands, located north of Henan Province and south of the Yellow River. The dynasties of Warring States Period’s Wei, the Five Dynaties and Ten Kingdom’s Liang, Jin, Han, Zhou, and Northern Song Empire all used this place as its capital. Upon the fall of Wei, it became dilapidated. After the fall of Han, it continued to exist as just a provincial city until the time of Sui and Tang Dynasty, when they redeveloped the area. Now it was the Holy City of Henan Province. Because of this, there was not a single place within the prefecture that did not carry history with it.[TN: so they gave the Chinese here finally, and the Gae Bong was revealed to be the Kaifeng, but I guess I’ll leave it alone. Also, forgive me if I f*ck up Chinese history/geography.]
As expected of Henan Province’s Holy City, lofty and stately buildings lined the streets as it bustled with people. A youth walked alongside this group. While it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a youth walking by himself through this crowd, the story would be different if this youth had been the cause of recent rumors. Wearing a beautiful white garment and a headband, he tread through the crowd in a majestic form. This was not the only reason why people could not take their eyes off of him. His face did not lack a single feature, seemingly perfect from all angles. His eyes carried an immeasurable depth, his eyebrows were thick and well-defined, his nose was pointed up high like a mountain, his closed lips carried an aura that could attract anyone, and his jaw lines looked tough yet tender. He was a man any woman could only dream of. Not even Pan Yan or Song Yu* would have received such eyes of adoration.[TN: some famously pretty Chinese women… I think.]
-Everyone’s mesmerized by your appearance. Tsk tsk. They don’t realize it’s just a well-done surgery…
=There’s more than what meets the eye. Poor ignorant souls. Amitabul.
It’s too hard to ignore all these gazes. Am I that handsome? We-Noh, it seems you’ve made me too good-looking. It’ll be a pain in the ass if this happens everywhere I go.
He caught sight of a sign that read China Inn, a well-known place in the Gae Bong Prefecture. Without hesitation, Pa Chun walked into the inn. Immediately he was greeted.
The eyes of the guests inside turned to see this man without showing any signs of retreating. People filled the main hall that was at least 100 Ja in area. Even though it was middle of day, men filled the floor to drink and eat, forcing Pa Chun to go upstairs leaving the eyes of women yearning for him.
“What would you like, sir?”
“Get me an appetizer and a drink to go with it.”
“Yes, sir. Umm… are you from around here?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I know it might be rude, but it is the first time in my 10 years of working here that I see someone as handsome as you.”
“Hehe, hold on just a moment. I’ll bring you your food immediately.”
He felt people’s gazes of admiration and envy to be rather annoying. If he were to reveal that he was the infamous Pa Chun, would people still look at him the same way?
As the waiter had said, the food came out almost immediately. Eating the tasty appetizer, his mood turned for the better. When he was the emperor, he did not enjoy alcohol very much. The few that he drank were exceedingly rare, but even those he only drank a cup or two at most. It was clearly that his body had changed. Rather than making him drunk, the drink stuck to his throat with a popping sensation. He had emptied an entire bottle, asking for more. After getting another bottle, he started looking around the inn. Those who met his eyes smiled back or pretended like they weren’t watching him. A few women even sent back seductive gazes. These must be what they call whores.
I can’t believe the looks I’m getting. Do they really think I’ll be seduced by such a thing?
His eyes that had been looking around suddenly sparkled conspicuously. His eyes fell on a group carrying all kinds of weapons. From this, it was obvious that they were warriors of Murim. Not only that, the group consisted of 4 handsome men and 4 beautiful women, all very young. They seemed to be talking about something with a few staring at the direction of Pa Chun. Soon, one of them got up and started walking towards Pa Chun.
“I am Dang Jungwoo from the Sichuan Province. If it’s alright, would you like to join us for a drink?”
Pa Chun hesitated at the sudden question.
“Sure, it was lonely drinking by myself. I’m glad, let’s go.”
His expression turned bright at his unexpected acceptance. While Pa Chun got up and moved his seat, the rest of the guests could not take their eyes off of him.
“Haha. Everyone, I brought him over. Why don’t we introduce ourselves?”
Immediately, everyone stood up to give their introductions.
“I have been given a title called White Sword Dragon, and I am called Nangong Hyuk Ryun.”
He seemed to be about 25 years old. His tall height, tidy clothes, and handsome face gave off an amiable aura. Next to him, a young girl also gave her introductions.
“I am Nangong Ah Yeon. It’s an honor to meet you.”
An eyes sparkled as she looked at Pa Chun. Wearing red all around, it seemed she was Nangong Hyuk Ryun’s sister.
“I am the Iron Blood Fist, Peng Jung Hu.”
He had a solemn expression and a pointy head. With his seemingly huge hands, it was no wonder why he was called the Iron Blood Fist.
As they gave their introductions, Pa Chun cuffed his hands together in respect. However, what he was thinking was completely different….
Haha, I see. They were from the Five Clans Union. But why business do they have in Gae Bong? No matter. They’re soon to become my underlings anyways… ah, but they sure know how to greet someone. How cute. Be careful how you act from now on. Leaders must be careful so that no one may find fault in their actions.
Like Pa Chun thought, they were indeed people from the Five Clans Union. The Five Clans Union was formed by the members of Murim’s Noble Clans, and acted much more justly in comparison to North Swords or South Blades. Because of this, they had more friends than they had enemies.
“Haha, it seems everyone comes from Murim’s Noble Clans… I thank you for treating an unknown man like me so well. I am a wanderer named Munyun. I am honored to be in the presence of the most renowned people of Murim.”
From the respectful attitude and words, who would suspect this man to be the infamous Pa Chun? The name Munyun was only his real name said backwards.
The background of these 8 men and women was nothing to scoff at. The Five Clans Union’s core clans were the Nangong Clan and the Sichuan Clan. Beneath them, the Hebei Peng Clan, Jinzhou Clan, and the Moyong Clan were prominent. Beneath these were the Jangwui Clan, Doryong Clan, Jungwui Clan, Jangbak Clan, and Shaanxi Clan. The western side of the continent was dominated by the forces of the Sichuan Clan and the Shaanxi Clan. Because the headquarters of the Sichuan Clan was located near the schools of Nine Jung Alliance, the relationship between the Five Clans Union and the Nine Jung Alliance was rather close. These 8 were high ranking members of Nangong Clan, Sichuan Clan, Peng Clan, and Moyong Clan.
“What brings you here to Gae Bong? It’s quite a distance from the Sichuan Palace.”
Pa Chun asked this question carefully as he pretending to be unknowledgeable about the world of Murim.
“Haha, that is something you would not understand even if we told you. It’s a matter related to Murim, you see.”
To add to the answer of Iron Blood Fist Peng Jung Hu, Nangong Ah Yeon’s sister, Nangong Hemi, spoke out. Among the group she was the youngest, but it was without a doubt that she was the most beautiful.
“As we told you before, we are part of the Five Clans Union. Gae Bong has the headquarters of Gae Bang, but the head temple of the North Swords is also located here. The North Swords is planning on holding a banquet soon. Because of this, many people of Jung Pa has gathered back to Gae Bong to attend the banquet. Since we left our home a bit early, we had some time to spare. Do you have any other questions?”
“Haha, what question would I have? I didn’t even know Murim was split into so many forces.”
His words were enough to change the expressions of many nearby people, as it could be misconstrued as calling the people of Murim trees*.[TN: Yeah… I don’t know. That’s what it said!]
“As you said, Murim has a lot of fierce competitions. Today’s friend could be tomorrow’s enemy and yesterday’s enemy could be today’s friends. Right now, Murim is divided into two major forces, the Jung Do and the Ma Do. Never before in the history of Murim was there such a clear cut division. If you are from Murim, you have to choose either the Jung Do or the Ma Do. Those who haven’t made a decision will be considered enemies by the two forces. The people of Jung Pa earnestly believe that oppressing those who are on Ma Do’s side is what keeps the spirit of Murim alive. It is truly frustrating. I feel like we’re becoming more like Pae Do than Jung Do*.[TN: Pae Do ~ militant; Jung Do ~ justice]
Not a single person disagreed with Nangong Hyuk Ryun’s words. Not only that, those listening nearby began to nod their head. He had unknowingly gained the approval of people around him.
White Sword Dragon Nangong Hyuk Ryun! He was the son of current head of Five Clans Union’s leader, the Sky Sword God Nangong Hui. Not only that, he was the heir of the Nangong Clan! He made his first appearance in Murim 5 years ago, making a name for himself with his sword skills. Among the latter generation of Murim, he was easily one of the top ten experts!