Cold sweat began trickling down Cai Kechang ’s forehead.
He couldn ’t help it, though, as after listening to his report, the Crimson King inexplicably closed his eyes and said nothing.

If only the Crimson King said something or reacted in some way…

Unable to say anything or move a muscle, Cai Kechang could only wait in tense silence.

The silence seemed to weigh a ton as it continued on for quite some time.
Eventually, though, the Crimson King finished his thoughts and opened his eyes.
He then addressed Cai Kechang in his trademark bassy, weighty voice.
“So, your man was defeated?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Hmm…” The Crimson King skimmed through the written report about Jin Bao.
“With his level of ability, he shouldn ’t have been defeated that easily, so how did it happen, I wonder?”

“…My lord.
All of his muscles were ruined while his meridians were severed.
Without help, he can ’t even lift a spoon properly.
But the biggest issue is…
His mind is no longer with him.”

“His mind…
In other words, his brain is damaged?”

“Yes, my lord.
I can ’t fathom just what kind of an impact it had to be to leave a person in that state…”

His ’naohu ’ acupuncture point must ’ve been attacked.”[1]

Cai Kechang couldn ’t respond to the Crimson King since this knowledge was beyond his realm of understanding.

The Crimson King carried on.
“With ’normal ’ qi, you can ’t turn a perfectly sane person into a drooling idiot no matter how much you stimulate their naohu point, so this…
Tell me again what Jin Bao said.”

“…My lord, he kept repeating, ’I did this ’.”

“Kekekeke…” The Crimson King suddenly let out a barely-suppressed cackle.
“So, that punk intends to warn me? Kekekeke…!”

The suppressed cackle came to an abrupt stop as the Crimson King shot up to his feet.
“A lowly demonic cultivator dares to make fun of me!?”


The Crimson King ’s rage exploded.
The building couldn ’t withstand the flurry of his unleashed aura as it began to rumble and shake from the foundation.

“M-my lord! Please calm your anger!” Cai Kechang cried out in fear.

Unfortunately for him, the Crimson King showed no signs of doing as requested.
“How dare a measly little demonic cultivator punk that cultivates in demonic arts provoke me!”


The Crimson King instinctively unleashed his Thunder Step technique.
The concrete floor caved in, and deep cracks spread out in every direction in the blink of an eye.

“M-my lord! Please!”


“Yes, my lord!” Cai Kechang hurriedly went down on his hands and knees, then planted his head on the floor.
He dared not to face the Crimson King ’s fury head-on.

The Crimson King chewed his next words out in anger.
“Pursue that demonic cultivator bastard and kill him!”

Cai Kechang ’s eyes grew wider.

“I do not care if you have to mobilize everything at our disposal! I will even take on the potential loss when the other two Kings act to suppress me! If you have any contacts in Korea, you are permitted to exhaust them all! So, kill that bastard.
Kill him no matter what, and bring his head to me!”

“B-but, my lord! Our preparations were for the sake of your grand ambition, my lord.
To exhaust our resources this way is…” Cai Kechang spoke in a trembling voice.
He paused in the middle to gulp down nervously before carrying on from where he left off.
“My lord, failing to restrain your anger will surely give birth to regret later in the future.
You must not forget that you represent the very soul of Zhongyuan, my lord! Are you thinking of letting those two wicked Kings wrestle the hegemony of Zhongyuan away?”

“…Kuk!” The Crimson King gritted his teeth before sitting down on his throne.

’Does that mean I have to endure this provocation?! ’

The other two Kings were just too vicious and violent.
They also couldn ’t care any less about righteousness or the law.
If the Crimson King were to lose against those two, the whole world would instantly fall into chaos and utter misery.

With that considered, ignoring Kang Jin-Ho ’s provocation was the right move.
Right now, the balance of power between the three factions, which included the Crimson King ’s, was just too finely poised.
On a knife’s edge, ready to tip over with just a little prod.
Losing just a little strength in this situation could result in a total and complete defeat.
Even so…

’Why does this matter bother me so much…?! ’

The Crimson King had experienced countless dangers and near-brushes with death while climbing to his current position.
He could proudly boast that his path always straddled the border between life and death, so a trifling provocation like this should be just that, trifling.

Yet, the Crimson King couldn ’t free himself from this bizarre, unexplainable foreboding that continued to plague him.
He could pick up a bad ’stink ’ coming from this man named Kang Jin-Ho.
Not simply because he was a demonic arts practitioner, though.
And it also wasn ’t because that man had inherited the teachings of the ancient demon sect, either.

No, the Crimson King sensed a foreboding aura capable of dyeing the world itself in darkness oozing from that man named Kang Jin-Ho.

“…No, this won ’t do!” The Crimson King scowled deeply.
“I shall deal with the fallout.”

“But, my lord!” Cai Kechang prostrated again, hoping to change his liege ’s mind.

However, the Crimson King ’s expression did not change as he shook his head.
“Listen, Cai Kechang!”

“Yes, my lord.”

“I have made my decision.”

“…!” Cai Kechang finally realized that the Crimson King ’s will could not be changed.
However, that didn ’t mean he should stand back and watch as their grand plan fall apart like this.
“In that case, allow me to step up personally and deal with this, my lord.”

When you ’re just trying to make great content at

“You will do that…?”

Cai Kechang nodded.
I have planted sleeper agents in the Korean peninsula, my lord.
I shall mobilize them into action.
Losing a way to exercise our influence in the peninsula from this matter will be a bitter pill to swallow, but it should be better than losing our strength here in Zhongyuan.”

The Crimson King furrowed his brow.
“According to the Art of War…”

“…Yes, my lord.”

“Trying to spare our forces only to increase our expenditure is one of the worst ways to wage our battles.
Remember that even a tiger would use everything it has to hunt a hare.
I will trust you with this matter, but I fear my belief in you could be misplaced.”

“My lord, I swear I shall not fail you.”

“Hmm…” The Crimson King slowly rubbed his beard.

’Feels like we ’re walking on the road to defeat, doesn ’t it…? ’

Generally speaking, one ’s defeat usually began by being too wary of one ’s opponent.
The thing was, though, it wasn ’t the Crimson King being wary of Kang Jin-Ho.
No, it was the current set of circumstances making it impossible for him to go all out, that was all.

When trifling matters like this piled on top of one another to shave away at the accumulated wealth and influence, the inevitable conclusion would be a total defeat.

is not good. ’

The Crimson King ’s complexion grew gloomier.


“What ’s going on here?!”

Kang Jin-Ho and Jo Gyu-Min unhesitantly rushed inside the cafe.
Despite the sharp yell, though, the interior of the cafe turned out to be rather peaceful.
Except for a man sitting in one of the corner booths and the clearly-angry Kang Eun-Yeong standing before that man, of course.

The man was grinning away.
“I only came here to get a cup of coffee, you know? Is there a reason for you to get this angry?”

Kang Eun-Yeong didn ’t back down.
“Didn ’t you hear me say get out of here?!”

“Ahahaha~!” The man relaxedly chuckled away.
“I didn ’t know this cafe chases out customers wanting to buy its coffee.
It ’s not like I ’ve done something wrong, too.
This isn ’t right, you know?”

“I said, leave!”

“Well, that ’s not going to work for me, you see? I need my coffee, you know? Besides, our relationship isn ’t so bad that you can ’t even give me a cup of coffee now, is it?” The man grinned again.

That oily smile only managed to make Kang Eun-Yeong shudder from the sheer creepiness, though! What a leech-like bastard this guy was!

“What ’s going on here?” Kang Jin-Ho asked as he walked up to his sister.

Kang Eun-Yeong ’s expression brightened as if she had finally found her savior, then she quickly clung to him.
“Oppa, that ’s him!”

“Don ’t skip the details like that.
Explain properly.”

Kang Eun-Yeong leaned closer and whispered into Kang Jin-Ho ’s ear, “You know, him! That guy from that dating rumor.
Jun Yeong from the Voice!”

Kang Jin-Ho ’s brows quivered ominously.
He thought that matter had been put to bed, so why did that bastard show up here? Kang Jin-Ho glanced at Jo Gyu-Min and noticed that the latter ’s expression was stiff and cold as well.

Jo Gyu-Min had warned that talent agency before, yet…! If that punk was here in the cafe, it was basically the same as looking down on Jaegyeong ’s prestige.

Jun Yeong quickly observed the two men ’s moods before slickly standing up and offering his hand for a shake.
“Ah, hello.
You must be Miss Se-Ah ’s oppa.
It ’s my pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I ’m Jun Yeong from the Voice.”

Kang Jin-Ho ignored the outstretched hand and silently stared at Jun Yeong.

“Ahaha, well…
That was awkward.” Jun Yeong withdrew his hand and sat back down.
“I thought I was in a cafe? Don ’t you guys sell coffee? I don ’t understand why you still haven ’t taken my order yet.”

He leaned back and spoke in an irritating tone, prompting Jo Gyu-Min to say something.
However, Kang Jin-Ho raised his hand and stopped him.

Kang Jin-Ho then glanced at his sister.
“Take his order.”

“…But, oppa!”

“Remember, this is a cafe.”

No matter how a certain ’customer ’ rubbed you the wrong way, they shouldn ’t be chased out unless they had acted violently or caused a nuisance to other patrons.
Especially when said customer was acting so ’politely ’ like this, too—getting angry at him for no apparent reason would only paint the other party as the victim here.

Not to forget, they weren ’t the only people present in the cafe.
Chasing away a polite ’customer ’ could lead to the story of the cafe poorly treating a customer for no discernible reason spreading around.
Jo Gyu-Min seemed to have agreed with this assessment as well, as he simply turned around with a lengthy groan.

If this matter wasn’t related to Kang Eun-Yeong, perhaps they could have dealt with the situation differently.
That was because the public wasn ’t so tolerant of a celebrity ’s private life.
As an example, a DUI incident involving a regular person would only make the public frown in disapproval.
However, a celebrity causing a DUI incident would mean the end of their career.

Common sense of ’regular ’ people might see Kang Jin-Ho and Kang Eun-Yeong throwing Jun Yeong out of the cafe as nothing to be surprised about.
After applying the filter called the ’World of Celebs,’ though? No one could tell how the story would get embellished or twisted to fit different narratives.

“Get me a cup of macchiato, please.
With lots of whipped cream to make it extra sweet.” Jun Yeong relaxedly ’ordered ’ his drink.
Kang Eun-Yeong could only glare at him murderously before spinning on her heels to walk away.

Kang Jin-Ho also stared at Jun Yeong for a while before heading to the counter.
However, Jun Yeong called out to him for some reason.
“Excuse me, Miss Se-Ah ’s oppa?”

“Yes?” Kang Jin-Ho looked back.

“We ’re gonna see each other plenty more times from now, so let me say this in advance.
Please look after me, okay? I mean, who knows what will happen in the future? At this rate, I think your sister and I will end up getting along fabulously well.
Don ’t you agree?”

Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t reply and just turned around completely to stare at Jun Yeong.

“…?” Jun Yeong saw that strangely piercing glare and began shuddering involuntarily.

’W-what kind of a glare is that? ’

Kang Jin-Ho held that glare for a few seconds more before finally saying something.
“As this is a cafe, you ’re welcome to enjoy our services, dear customer.
However, that does not mean we are duty-bound to humor your attempt at mischievousness.
As such, I ’ll ask you to enjoy your coffee and leave straight away.”


Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t even wait for a response and turned around before walking away.
Jun Yeong continued to shudder while staring at Kang Jin-Ho ’s back slowly moving away from him.

That couldn ’t even be called a threat, so why did it scare Jun Yeong so much?! His body was still shuddering as this strange chilliness crept along his skin.
Unable to withstand it anymore, he suddenly shot up to his feet.
“W-well, then! Please excuse me! I ’ll see you next time!”

Jun Yeong urgently made his way toward the exit, only for Kang Jin-Ho to stop him.
“Dear customer?”

“Y-yes? Yes?”

“You should at least pay for the macchiato you ’ve already ordered, dear customer.”

Jun Yeong hurriedly nodded away.
He managed to yank out a ten thousand won note from his pocket and placed it on the counter before urgently dashing out of the cafe.
He jumped straight into his car parked out front and turned on its ignition.

’Goddammit! ’

When Jun Yeong saw the images of Se-Ah ’s brother online, that dude looked like a dweeb—a loser.
After clapping his eyes on the real deal, though, Jun Yeong had to swiftly revise his impression.
That guy couldn ’t be an ordinary person!

Once the engine came to life, Jun Yeong stomped on the accelerator.
All he could think about right now was escaping.


His car quickly accelerated forward, its tires screeching loudly.
But then…!


Another car seemingly appeared out of nowhere from the side road and crashed straight into Jun Yeong ’s car.
Jun Yeong ’s forehead slammed into the steering wheel, and he began crying out in pain.

Unbearable pain burned his face.
He held his aching face and spewed out all sorts of expletives in the other car ’s direction.
“Argh, you stinking motherf*cker…!”

Jun Yeong raised his head just in time to catch the driver ’s door open on the other car.


A burly man wearing a flashy Hawaiian shirt and sporting short-cropped hair was exiting the car.
He was massaging the back of his neck while making a face of an enraged ax murderer.

Jun Yeong also spied unmistakable tattoos visible under the Hawaiian shirt and muttered helplessly to no one in particular.

“…I ’m f*cked.”

’Naohu ’ point (腦戶穴) is an acupuncture point located behind the human scalp.

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