Reincarnation - Chapter 23
Translator: NovelMultiverse | Editor: NovelMultiverse
The next day after passing Jangsa Gok Valley, the delivery team arrived in Yangju, their first destination.
After handing over the silk of the five carriages to the merchant guild, only nine pieces of the corpse were left to deliver to Mt. Gamak.
Strong demand from Namgoong So-so, the whole team stayed in the guest house for the first time.
The next morning, a merchant commissioned us to transport grain to Mt. Gamak because they heard that our final destination was there.
Since the Cheonryong Pyoguk was highly reputed, people just saw the flag and asked for delivery. It was referred to as ‘hitchhike delivery’.
So we marched again with six carriages of grain and nine corpses.
From that time on, Namgoong So-so took the lead, followed by Ga Bul-yeom and me.
Jang Liang-gi came up and asked.
“How was it?”
“What do you mean?”
“You said you had something to do, so didn’t you skip the noodles for breakfast and go somewhere with Poong Jin-yang and Ga Bul-yeom…….”
“It was good.”
“Your clothes smell chicken.”
Why is this man beating around the bush?
“On the way, the beggars grilled the sick chicken on a bonfire. It was chilly, so we took a moment to enjoy the side fire, and it must have smelled good.”
“You still have oil around your mouth.”
After Ga Bul-yeom and Namgoong So-so wiped the lips with their sleeves, they realized that they were fooled late and became hardened.
The back of my back stiffened awkwardly when I realized that I was doing it.
Look at those fools.
To be honest, I had taken the two to a restaurant and ate a special chicken, which had centipede and jujubes inside and was boiled in red clay.
Namgoong So-so from Yangju had said there was a really good restaurant. I hadn’t known what she would do if I didn’t go. Honestly, I wanted to eat it, too.
“What do you want to say?”
“The bags must have been delivered well?”
“Money bag? What money bag?”
“Two days ago, you said you would settle the dispute between Daebyeol Branch and Gyoryong Group, so I gave you three bags of money.”
“That’s why you settled it down. What’s the problem? Do you think Yeom Wang-do and Dok Gak-mang would have helped us together without getting paid? Do you think that makes sense?”
“I was just wondering…….”
“That’s your problem, Head Jang. You can eat more, but you’d better talk less. Least said soonest mended. You just asked me if I embezzled the money bag.”
“If that’s what you heard, I apologize.”
“Let’s stop it. I’m tired now, as the delivery is almost finishing. I don’t want to fight with you anymore.”
Then I rode the horse forward skillfully.
I then asked, side by side with Namgoong So-so.
“Are you leading us on the right track?
“How long do you think it’ll take?”
“It usually takes five days to get to Mt. Gamak from Yangju, but if I cross where we are going, I can shorten it to three days.”
“Where the hell is that?”
By the word Guigokseong Forest, Ga Bul-yeom and I also had a firm expression on faces. Jang Liang-gi behind me had a serious expression, too.
Guigokseong Forest located on the way from Yangju to Mount Gamak was well-known to experienced messengers and porters.
I asked pretending that I didn’t know about it.
“Do you know what it is like?”
“It’s a thick forest. There’s a vast forest with no end to it, and in the spring beautiful flowers and plants are in full bloom, and in the fall, all kinds of fruits like chestnut and hazelnut are on the ground, so it’s fun to pick them up and eat them.”
“There must be a good reason why people don’t take the way through the forest even though they can shorten the time.”
“Merchants and all the Pyoguks were taking this way. Was it about 20 years ago? More than a thousand members of Yonghwa Church came in and lived in villages, and people stopped using the route.”
Jang Liang-gi answered this question.
“Well, it’s the Yonghwa Church, actually a cult that serves an unidentifiable God. They’re suffering from all sorts of a mysterious disease. They hunt passers-by because of the myth that they’ll get better if they eat the same body part from normal people.”
“They hunt people?”
“Day and night, scouts are hiding all over the place, and when outsiders show up, all the believers in the village run out and start hunting humans, just to eat them.”
“What a tribe of cannibals!”
“Many merchants and people of Pyoguks suffered. There were several bloody battles between the two neighboring Pyoguks, but they failed because of the vastness of the forest, and the tactics and strategies of the religious leader.”
Jang Liang-gi asked Namgoong So-so again.
“Was your suggestion to shorten the time to Mount Gamak to three days passing by the old road of the forest? Then I am asking you to stop this journey right away.”
“The rumor that the Yonghwa Church believers hunt and eat outsiders entering the forest is half true and half wrong. But if I go with you, you’ll be fine, so don’t worry.”
“How can you?”
“To be exact, it’s not me, it’s my grandfather. I just want to tell you that they are very afraid of my grandfather.”
That evening we had dinner in the forest.
There had been no sign of the cult believers yet, perhaps we were lucky.
Namgoong So-so said that it was not easy to meet them because the forest was so vast.
That’s why there were so many scouts hiding all over the place.
I also thought of the forest.
I was just wondering how to get through here, but unexpectedly, Namgoong So-so led us.
We had saved one day passing through Jangsa Gok, and we would save one more day passing through the forest.
It was two days less than the journey of my previous life. Moreover, the roads had completely changed.
Two days later in the previous life, at the entrance to Mount Cheongma, a master in question had appeared at night. He had exterminated messengers and porters and disappeared.
But in this life, tomorrow night, we would arrive at Mount Gamak, our final destination.
In terms of time and place, the probability of the master appearing was very low.
However, we should not let our guard down until the end.
A thousand expected things are not scary, but one out of them is scary.
Today, the last day of my mandate as a leader, I had called all the messengers.
“How’s the guard?”
First, I asked Ga Bul-yeom.
“I’ve looked around a hundred meters, but there’s no sign of doubt. We’ve decided to make a team of two and three, and we’re going to make a half-hour turn.”
“You’ve told everyone that if anyone smokes a torch, a bonfire, and even small embers, you’ll be punished?”
Namgoong So-so, who was listening to the story, suddenly stepped in.
“I’ve told you so many times, but when the believers show up, I can deal with them unconditionally. Why don’t you let us light a fire?”
“We don’t have to go on a quiet road loudly, do we? Besides, there’s no big problem looking ahead under the full moon.”
I wanted to pass through this forest as quietly and secretly as possible without leaving any trace.
Especially I didn’t want to make witnesses. There was nowhere more suitable than this forest.
“It’s too cold to spend the night without fire.”
“Be patient for one day, and so are the others.”
I said again to Ga Bul-yeom.
“Increase the number of guard team to four, look in all directions, east, west, south, north, south. I’ll take the first shift with you.”
Faithful Ga Bul-yeom did not nitpick.
Judging from the fact, he might think any question to me could undermine my authority.
It was a really good attitude to consider the dignity of the man he was protecting. I must make him my man.
“Was the porters’ horseback riding paid off?”
I asked the old porter, Wang Sam-bo. Today I had called him especially on behalf of the porters.
“Everyone’s riding horse very well now.”
“In just three days?”
“It’s only three days, but we’ve been riding horses all day, starting at sunrise till the evening, and it’s better than the people who’ve been practicing for a month.”
“I was thinking I should learn to ride a horse. But I couldn’t make up my mind at the expense and time. I appreciate you for giving me this opportunity.”
Dogs follow men who feed, and men do who know their worth.
In just ten days, all the porters were on my side.
The more the porters like, the more distorted the faces of the messengers were.
Because messengers had to suffer as much as porters felt comfortable.
“You have to messengers instead of me. You must not forget the consideration of the seven messengers in the last three days.”
“Thank you, dear messengers, too.”
Wang Sam-bo rose from his seat and politely bowed to messengers.
I quickly joined, too.
“So do I. Thank you for following a stupid messenger’s orders over the last three days without any complaints. I’ll pay you back one day for sure, especially…….”
I spoke, looking back at Jang Liang-gi.
“I apologize for my rudeness. It’s all because of my bad temper.”
“As promised, please be the leader again from tomorrow, and lead the messengers and the porters well and take them back to Pyoguk safely to the end.”
Jang Liang-gi looked puzzled at my suddenly polite attitude.
But it was not a bad word, so he was just embarrassed, but he didn’t ask why.
The atmosphere had become much softer. I asked Jang Liang-gi quietly.
“By the way, the battle between martial artists in Sunha Pass. The reason for the nine corpses we’re carrying now.”
“Please go on.”
“Do you know anything about it? As far as I know, heads of messengers are provided with high-level information.”
It was believed that the Gaebang group and Haohmun group were the fast pipelines.
People in Gangho referred to the Moorimmun faction, which has excellent information, as the two walls.
In terms of information amount, no other group could be matched for them.
However, the accuracy alone made a different story.
The information of Pyoguk, which was collected from messengers traveling throughout the country, was often more accurate than those two groups.
“Suddenly, why do you……?”
“I overheard what swordsmen were talking in the guest house this morning. The massacre was not only occurred for killing the devil fighter in Sunha Pass.”
Jang Liang-gi paused and looked around.
Not only me, but all the other messengers seemed to have heard the same thing.
There was no reason to hide the open secret.
“It was told that there lives a thousand-year-old mystical worm, called named Cheonjiryeong in Mount Wuzhi.”
“During the day, it sleeps deep in the ground, and at night it comes out to enjoy the moonlight. Because it condensed enormous energy, if someone eats it, he can achieve 100 years of elaboration.”
“Does that really exist?”
“I’m sure there are many more amazing and spiritual creatures in existence. The problem is that someone took it.”
“It’s a once-in-50-years event. If it is taken by a top swordsman, it will be a huge event like changing the list of top 10 swordsmen.”
100 years of elaboration and top 10 swordsmen…….
At the astonishing words, people were surprised.
“But what is the relationship with the case in Sunha Pass?”