Reaper of the Drifting Moon novel - Chapter 340
Chapter 340 Reaper of the Drifting Moon novel
“Jo Ik-gwang, whom master Pyo Wol met, is my younger brother.”
“Come to think of it, you do look alike.”
“I hear that quite often. Not a particularly pleasant thing to hear, though.”
“You don’t seem to like your brother.”
“It’s rare to see siblings getting along well. Our family is no exception.”
Pyo Wol noticed the contempt in Jo Yuseol’s eyes when Jo Ik-gwang was mentioned.
For some reason, it was clear that Jo Yuseol had an extreme hatred for her younger brother, Jo Ik-gwang.
“May I join you for a moment?”
Jo Yuseol took a seat with Pyo Wol’s permission.
She exuded an air of dignity that was difficult to approach.
She looked at Pyo Wol with a haughty expression.
Pyo Wol looked around and said, “I don’t see any bodyguards.”
“I had a bit of a hard time getting rid of them.”
“Is there a problem with the bodyguards?”
“They’re the watchdogs that my brother has assigned.”
“Your family situation seems complicated.”
“It’s common in families like ours. Nothing particularly special.”
Jo Yuseol spoke as if it was no big deal.
“Is it like a power struggle between the eldest son and the daughter?”
“That’s right. The problem is that the eldest son wants to become the head of the family just because he is a man, even though he has no skills.”
“It might be interesting to you, but for me, it’s a series of blood-draining days.”
Jo Yuseol bit her red lips.
She was known for her beauty and intelligence since she was young.
Her talent was not just being slightly smart, but boasting a mastery of all ten areas of learning.
The problem was that her intelligence was too exceptional.
Her father and the head of the family, Jo Sumok, was worried that her extraordinary talent would overshadow her brother, Jo Ik-gwang.
That’s why Jo Yuseol was strictly monitored and her activities were restricted so she couldn’t gain prominence.
As a result, Jo Yuseol’s name was hardly known outside, and only Jo Ik-gwang gained prominence.
Whenever Jo Yuseol went out, she was always accompanied by bodyguards.
Their role was to protect her, but more importantly, their mission was to monitor her movements.
As Jo Ik-gwang grew older, he personally appointed Jo Yuseol’s bodyguards.
They were all influenced by him, so her range of activities became even more limited.
That’s why it was not easy for her to come to Taeho.
Jo Ik-gwang constantly doubted her intentions.
After a series of twists and turns, she made it to Taeho, but the guards were still watching her closely.
“If it weren’t for you turning the Jo family1 upside down, it would have been impossible to get rid of them.”
“Did the Jo family get turned upside down?”
“Not only the Jo family but also other factions like the Long River Fortress have been on high alert. Depending on what actions you take, their fate may be decided.”
“I don’t have any intention of exerting influence on them.”
“It’s because you are a powerful figure. The powerful don’t have to care about anyone, but the weak have to watch the powerful in order to survive. And that’s also the reason why I came to see you.”
Jo Yuseol did not hide her true feelings.
In fact, it was a great risk for her to seek out Pyo Wol.
She didn’t know what kind of retaliation would come if her father, Jo Sumok, and her brother, Jo Ik-gwang, found out.
They might even marry her off to a man she didn’t know and drive her out of the house.
Not only her brother Jo Ik-gwang but also her father Jo Sumok could do it.
Jo Sumok always believed that his son should inherit the Jo family. So no matter how talented his daughter Jo Yuseol was, he didn’t even give her a glance.
Rather, he was busy hiding his daughter’s existence for fear of blocking his son’s path.
Jo Yuseol had to live in hiding because of her father and brother.
Ordinary women would have given up and lived with it, but unfortunately, she was too smart.
Her extraordinary talent wouldn’t allow her to live a normal life like this.
Jo Yuseol never wanted to live as someone’s wife.
Even under surveillance by her bodyguards, she secretly built her own power base.
The power she built up over more than ten years was not small. Jo Sumok and Jo Ik-gwang didn’t know that.
That’s how great Jo Yuseol’s ability was.
The problem was that Jo Yuseol had no legitimate cause.
For a daughter to surpass a son and become the head of the family, there must be a good reason, or the son’s mistakes must be significant.
Otherwise, she just needed to have enough power to not worry about anything.
That’s why Jo Yuseol sought out Pyo Wol.
“I won’t bother with unnecessary explanations since you’re a smart person. Please help me. I will definitely repay you.”
“What the Jo family needs right now is not Jo Ik-gwang but me. Jo Ik-gwang is actually ruining the Jo family. My father doesn’t know how malicious he is and how wrong his path is.”
“Tell me. What’s Jo Ik-gwang doing so wrong?”
“I can’t tell you here. It’s a shame for the Jo family.”
Jo Yuseol glanced around.
The guests inside the inn were looking at them secretly.
Pyo Wol stood up from his seat and said, “Then let’s move somewhere else.”
“There’s no need to go far. Let’s just go to your room. It’s currently the safest place in Taeho.”
“Aren’t you worried about being the subject of gossip?”
“Of course not. If I was scared of that, I wouldn’t have come this far.”
Jo Yuseol smiled, and her eyes formed a gentle curve.
Her eyes, filled with a strong ambition, sparkled as she smiled.
The two of them went upstairs to Pyo Wol’s room together.
The murmurs of the other guests could be heard, but Jo Yuseol didn’t change her expression as she climbed the stairs.
As soon as they entered Pyo Wol ‘s room, Jo Yuseol’s eyes lit up.
“Your room is more modest than I thought.”
“Tell me. What is Jo Ik Gwang doing so wrong?”
“Why are you in such a hurry?”
“There’s no need to rush a complicated story like this.”
Jo Yuseol approached Pyo Wol , revealing her bright red tongue between her crimson lips.
Pyo Wol stood still, staring intently at her.
A deep body scent emanated from Jo Yuseol. The closer she got, the more intense the scent became.
Jo Yuseol wrapped her arm around Pyo Wol ‘s neck and locked eyes with him.
“Are you scared, by any chance?”
In an instant, Pyo Wol wrapped his arm around Jo Yuseol’s slender waist and pulled her towards him.
Unintentionally, Jo Yuseol let out a rough breath.
Her confident demeanor had vanished, replaced by a flustered expression.
Despite her bravado, Pyo Wol could see that she was tense.
Although ambitious, she was still a woman.
Being embraced by a stranger was undoubtedly an awkward situation. However, she tried to hide her discomfort and calmly said, “Who’s bluffing?”
“Then you won’t regret this.”
Pyo Wol brought his lips to Jo Yuseol’s red lips.
Jo Yuseol’s eyebrows trembled, but she didn’t avoid Pyo Wol ‘s kiss. Instead, she actively responded to it.
A muscular warrior groaned in pain.
It was because of Jo Ik Gwang’s fist, which had struck his abdomen.
Jo Ik Gwang hit him again.
The warrior clenched his teeth and endured the pain.
“Did I ask you guys for something big? I just told you to follow her diligently and monitor her whereabouts. Was that such a difficult task?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
“Then why did you lose her?”
“How much of a joke do you think I am that you couldn’t carry out such a simple command and caused this mess?”
“We made a mistake.”
“Do you even realize that you made a mistake?”
Jo Ik Gwang started beating the warrior again.
The other warriors watching the scene felt their legs go weak.
The man being beaten by Jo Ik Gwang was the captain of Jo Yuseol’s escort warriors.
It was his duty to monitor Jo Yuseol’s whereabouts and report on her movements.
But today, he and the other escort warriors lost track of her.
Taking advantage of a momentary lapse in their attention, Jo Yuseol had disappeared without a trace, and the captain was now paying the price.
Jo Ik Gwang’s ruthless violence left the captain battered and bruised.
When Jo Ik Gwang’s onslaught finally ended, the captain lay limp on the ground, like a well-tenderized piece of meat.
Breathing heavily, Jo Ik Gwang turned to the remaining escort warriors and said, “Get this bastard out of my sight. And find Jo Yuseol quickly, before she causes any trouble.”
The escort warriors picked up the captain and left.
As they disappeared into the distance, Jo Ik Gwang muttered, “Not a single one of these idiots can do their job properly. A bunch of freeloaders.”
“You seem really angry. How about calming down a bit?”
Someone entered his quarters and spoke.
Frowning, Jo Ik Gwang looked at the intruder. It was forbidden for someone to enter his quarters without permission. But as soon as he saw who it was, his frown disappeared.
“I could hear the sound of your fists from outside.”
The man responding was Bok Ho-jin.
Bok Ho-jin didn’t seem to care much about Jo Ik Gwang’s violent outburst.
He himself had occasionally assaulted his subordinates in order to vent his anger.
Jo Ik Gwang asked, “What brings you here?”
“You sent me a letter, asking to meet.”
“Ah, right. Sorry. I’ve been a bit preoccupied.”
“Get a grip. If you’re not careful, he could swallow you up.”
“He? Pyo Wol?”
“That’s right! Isn’t he the reason why Taeho and the Kangho are in turmoil?”
“If he continues to stay in Taeho, both you and I will suffer great losses. People are already talking about Pyo Wol being above us.”
At Bok Ho-jin’s words, Jo Ik Gwang’s expression grew serious.
He already knew that Pyo Wol’s martial prowess was far superior to their own.
So far, Pyo Wol’s actions had been so extraordinary that they could not even dream of emulating them.
Simply being strong in martial arts wasn’t enough to achieve what Pyo Wol had.
Both Jo Ik Gwang and Bok Ho-jin were ambitious men, but neither had the confidence to show the same martial prowess as Pyo Wol if they were in his shoes.
That’s why they considered Pyo Wol to be superior to them.
The problem was that even people who knew nothing about it thought the same.
If the rumors continued to spread, they would inevitably be compared to Pyo Wol.
Especially as Pyo Wol stayed longer in Taeho, this would only worsen, and people would perceive him as a much more exceptional figure than the two of them.
Even if that was true, it was dangerous for such a perception to take root in people’s minds.
Such perceptions would accumulate and eventually shape that person’s reputation. It was indeed a dangerous situation.
Both Jo Ik Gwang and Bok Ho-jin needed to find a way to deal with Pyo Wol, or they would continue to suffer from the unfavorable comparisons.
Their influence and status could be irreparably damaged if they didn’t act soon.
With this realization, Jo Ik Gwang and Bok Ho-jin began to devise a plan to counter Pyo Wol’s growing influence in Taeho.
They knew that if they failed, their own positions would be at risk, and they were determined to protect what they had worked so hard to achieve.
In other words, no matter how much fameJo Ik-gwang accumulates later on, or how great a person he becomes, people will always think of him as beneath Pyo Wol.
Such perception would undoubtedly be a significant hindrance toJo Ik-gwang in various matters in the future.
That’s why neither Jo Ik-gwangn or Bok Ho-jin liked the idea of Pyo Wol staying in Taeho for long.
The problem was that, for now, there was no way to deal with him.
“With the Sword Flower Pavillion swept away and the Iron Mountain Manor devastated, we could end up like them if we’re not careful.”
“It’s really frustrating that the long river fortress and Namgyeong Clan have to be cautious because of that one person.”
“We have no choice but to be patient and wait for an opportunity.”
“Until our patience runs out.”
Bok Ho-jin’s lips twisted.
Having lived his whole life without caring about anyone else’s opinion, the word ‘patience’ was foreign to Bok Ho-jin.
The vague need to be patient in this situation made him uncomfortable.
Jo Ik-gwang silently watched Bok Ho-jin.
Then, as if Bok Ho-jin had suddenly thought of something, he said, “Oh! I heard some strange rumors.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s about the Iron Mountain Manor. They say that the kidnapper of Tang ik-gi is an apprentice of the Cheolsan workshop.”
“An apprentice kidnapped Tang ik-gi?”
“I also thought it didn’t make sense. Tang ik-gi might be a bit lacking, but he’s not the type to be outdone by an apprentice. However, there are multiple witnesses. We can’t just ignore it.”
“Why would the apprentice kidnap him?”
“A few days ago, the apprentice’s parents died, and his only younger sister went missing.”
Jo Ik-gwang’s eyebrows twitched for a moment.