Volcanic Age - Chapter 37
On either side of the wall, about thirty wooden dolls were standing.
Additionally, they were all still.
“What’s with the wooden dolls here?”
The warrior who spoke. The warriors were accustomed to wooden dolls. It was because, when they were little, they studied martial arts with them. To identify where the organs were, they swung their fists or swords.
In addition, when they required a foe but had none, they also removed wooden dolls that had been gathering dust in the storeroom.
“That is also a mechanical device.”
Zhuge Seung Kye checked out the ceiling, floor, and walls and then finally at the wooden dolls.
“What kind of mechanism?”
Ju Seo Cheon asked.
“I don’t know either as I haven’t seen it before.”
Zhuge Seung Kye shrugged his shoulders.
“That’s right. I’m sorry brother, I relied too much on you. I will reflect on that.”
Ju Seo Cheon swung his sword and held it right.
“For now, it doesn’t seem like there is any other mechanism in here besides those wooden dolls…but it will be better to be careful.”
Zhuge Seung Kye warned Ju Seo Cheon as he approached the wooden dolls.
“Alright, thank you.”
“Will Captain Ju be fine alone?”
Wang il asked.
“I’m fine, just protect Seung well in case something unexpected occurs.”
Part of the reason he brought Wang il with them was not only to carry their luggage but also to protect Zhuge Seung Kye.
Ju Seo Cheon slowly took a step forward while being cautious. The moment he entered a certain range, the wooden doll that was in front of him reacted like lightning and threw a punch.
Ju Seo Cheon jumped backward quickly and dodged the fist.
He waited for the next attack but it didn’t happen. He advanced once again to see what was happening and then, the same attack came toward him.
This time, he raised his sword to block the punch.
The wooden arm was cut down by the sword.
And Ju Seo Cheon retreated once again. The wooden doll returned to its original position with its arm cut off.
“So it was like that.”
He understood what kind of device this was. It seemed that the device was programmed to act in a certain way when you entered a determined range.
“Can you disarm it?”
Ju Seo Cheon turned back to look at Zhuge Seung Kye.
“No. I can’t see any mechanism nearby.”
Zhuge Seung Kye shook his head sideways.
“I will crush them all then!”
Ju Seo Cheon charged forward.
He first got rid of the wooden doll that got its arm cut off, by swinging his sword.
The doll was cut in half the moment he swung his sword vertically.
Ju Seo Cheon had his doubts about how the wooden doll hadn’t rotten until now but he didn’t think too deeply about it.
He just thought that it was thanks to the power of a mechanical device and danced among the wooden dolls.
The wooden dolls moved along the sound of a device interlocking.
Some moved their arms and legs at the same time and some others only kicked or punched with all their strength.
All of their reaction speed was like lightning so it would have been hard to even block their attacks for the average martial artist.
Most of all, the movements were restricted because the passageway was narrow.
It was certainly impressive but that was all.
Ju Seo Cheon was safe inside the attacks of the wooden dolls even though his movements were restricted. He didn’t allow even one attack to land on him.
He didn’t stop at dodging or blocking. He counterattacked and destroyed the wooden dolls.
Ju Seo Cheon wasn’t facing the wooden dolls just with his swordsmanship. Sometimes, he counterattacked with the Plum Blossom Fist Arts when needed and crushed the dolls.
‘Hm, I’m glad I increased my boundary before coming here.’
His physical abilities and reflexes had increased a few times. That was thanks to having completed the Universal Plum Blossom Breathing Method and increased his boundary.
He had revealed his power about a month ago in the battle against the pirates. There was no need to hide his identity now.
That’s why he trained on the Universal Plum Blossom Breathing Method that he had halted on purpose and reached the peak boundary the instant he completed it.
His sword techniques didn’t change because they were already at grandmaster level but instead, his physical abilities and the total amount of internal energy increased.
The total internal energy he had now was sixty years worth.
Ju Seo Cheon counterattacked the attacks of the wooden dolls with no problem.
The warriors that saw that scene were amazed.
“It’s just like brother Wang said.”
“He really is an expert.”
Humans were creatures with lots of doubts. They would doubt you until the end if they didn’t confirm it with their own eyes. Even if Wang il had said so himself, they were still half in doubt.
“Didn’t I tell you so?”
Wang il also got impressed and followed Ju Seo Cheon’s movements with his eyes.
It was to gain even a little bit from that.
“Are they the so-called geniuses…”
Cho Ryeon looked at Ju Seo Cheon and Zhuge Seung Kye alternatingly.
“I don’t wanna live anymore.”
Zhuge Seung Kye was another matter, however, they felt a sense of deprivation when they saw Ju Seo Cheon.
Some of them were in their middle ages but weren’t able to get close to the peak boundary but someone that had just become a youth was already a peak expert.
They knew that life was unfair but it was that much more painful when they experienced it for themselves.
“Would they know how beings like us feel?”
The warriors shared a conversation with a teary voice.
“I know it fully well.”
Ju Seo Cheon answered their words. He took care of the last wooden doll that remained. All of the wooden dolls that were standing still and looking at each other had become a mess.
“Did you take care of them all?”
Zhuge Seung Kye asked. It seemed like he was holding back something.
“Then, can I go and inspect those?”
Zhuge Seung Kye’s eyes shone with excitement.
“Do it in moderation.”
Ju Seo Cheon nodded.
Zhuge Seung Kye started to check the destroyed wooden dolls as soon as he got permission to do so. He became really bright when it came to things related to machinery.
“It looks like wood but why didn’t it rot… hoh, it was able to move because of this being connected…”
Zhuge Seung Kye was mumbling something while observing the wooden doll.
Joo Seo Cheon waited for about ten minutes.
There weren’t many places where you could see a mechanical device in the current Murim and it was an uncommon opportunity for Zhuge Seung Kye. That’s why he favored him because he knew that.
On top of that, there was nothing wrong with Zhuge Seung Kye obtaining knowledge after inspecting the wooden doll as that knowledge would return as a great help to him.
“Let’s start going.”
Zhuge Seung Kye smacked his lips in regret.
They started to walk in the passageway again after getting rid of the wooden dolls and were able to see the end of the passageway after about half an hour.
The time they relied on their torches also ended.
Bright light entered from the end of the passageway.
However, they could not relax yet.
They had encountered lots of traps in that short time.
It was impossible to count how many mechanism devices were installed and everyone doubted everything they saw.
A room that they couldn’t even think about welcomed the group as soon as they came out of the passageway.
“Wh, what is this….!”
All of them were shocked. The thing in front of their eyes was a mountain of silver coins that they hadn’t been able to see until now.
There was no other expression for this.
The silver coins piled up on the walls and formed a mountain range of coins. They couldn’t grasp how much it would be if they converted it into money.
“Are there only silver coins?”
However, Ju Seo Cheon wasn’t surprised by that. He checked his surroundings with a flat face and checked if there were no other treasures.
“Hey! Don’t touch that!”
Zhuge Seung Kye yelled in the middle of his inspection. When they turned their heads they saw Cho Ryeong trying to grab a silver coin.
Cho Ryeong scratched the back of her head when her eyes met Ju Seo Cheon’s as if she was embarrassed and then apologized.
“Ahem! Sorry for having touched it thoughtlessly. However, all of this will go to the head merchant, can’t you close your eyes just this once?”
“It doesn’t matter to me but it would be better if you didn’t touch it. Think about who was the one that stopped you from doing so.”
Only then did Cho Ryeon remember how Zhuge Seung Kye had been helping them.
“Don’t tell me..?”
Wang il frowned and checked the silver coins.
“Yes. There’s a mechanism installed in it, just like I guessed.
Some don’t, shall I teach you which are?”
The eyes of the warriors shone in greed at Zhuge Seung Kye’s last question, however, they were all aware of Ju Seo Cheon.
“There are other things to prioritize so it’s impossible if it’s only a handful of them. Also, you may activate a trap if you drop coins while moving so if you really want to, take some when we return.”
Ju Seo Cheon spoke as if he had already expected that.
“Are you speaking about that, captain?”
Wang il pointed at a wooden chest that was buried under the mountain of coins.
Ju Seo Cheon looked at Zhuge Seung Kye and Zhuge Seng Kye nodded telling him that it was fine.
He rummaged through the mountain of silver coins and then opened the wooden chest and checked its contents.
A pungent smell pinched his nose as soon as he opened the chest.
There were pills inside, and no doubt about it, they seemed to be miraculous drugs.
Ju Seo Cheon complimented Wang il and handed him the wooden chest.
Wang il looked at the wooden chest as if he was envious but he closed his eyes and stored the chest.
“It will be better to not get greedy. I will give you suitable compensation when we return safely. I’m saying this beforehand but it will be good if you don’t think that you can evade my eyes.”
Ju Seo Cheon warned them in a low tone on purpose. It was to prevent something before it happened.
‘This is only the beginning.’
The silver coins were only the appetizers and they had just passed through the first gateway.
His chest beat wildly at the rewards that would appear from now on.
The group headed towards the next gateway.
At Mount Hua.
Nak Seo Wol swung her sword with all her strength while yelling.
Shim Ok Ryeon’s brows raised ferociously.
Nak Seo Wol lowered her sword and answered the call.
“What do you think I am going to say?”
Shim Ok Ryeon looked down at Nak Seo Wol with strict eyes.
Nak Seo Wol apologized for her mistake while being aware of Shim Ok Ryeon.
Shim Ok Ryeon pressed her forehead and let out a low sigh.
“It’s not that your skills have dropped, but they aren’t getting better either. Is it because of that half-wit?”
She was referring to Ju Seo Cheon when she said, half-wit. It was a nickname that suited his other flashy yet frail one.
“He’s not a half-wit anymore…”
Nak Seo Wol mumbled in a depressed way. It was something that couldn’t be imagined at all by her. To speak back against her master, the Iron Plum Sword.
This had never happened before.
Nak Seo Wol seemed to be surprised that she hurriedly covered her mouth.
“I’m, I’m sorr…”
“No, it’s fine. You are right.”
Shim Ok Ryeon showed an unexpected reaction compared to what she was thinking.
“He had been hiding his skills.
He’s an amazing kid.”
The reason Shim Ok Ryeon didn’t see Ju Seo Cheon in a good light was that she thought that he had been lucky but besides that, he had no skills at all.
But that wasn’t the case anymore. Her perception of him changed into Ju Seo Cheon having great skills and was also excellent in sword techniques.
“But that’s all. He is already dead.”
Shim Ok Ryeon spoke coldly. She wasn’t called the Iron Plum Sword for anything.
“Listen up, kid. In the future, whenever you go to Kang Ho, you will see the passing of those close to you until you become weary of it. Just that you did so a little bit quicker. So stop sobbing and focus on your workout.
She showed sympathy for the death of one of her other brothers. Nak Seo Wol’s heart ached upon hearing that reality.
Tears were already streaming from her eyes by the time she regained control of herself.
“I’m not frigid enough to deny you time to experience sadness, but you can’t cry nonstop. Ignore him right now. Ju Seo Cheon passed away.
He was still breathing and moving.
* * *
Translated by Novel multiverse
Edited by Beetlesme