It has changed a lot here, too.”
Maya commented as they entered the city.
“Have you ever been there?”
Oh, didn’t I tell you? I used to live here.”
That was information that Kim Bongpal didn’t know.
Well, come to think about it, how much did he know about Maya? The two of them had never talked about themselves, Kim Bongpal wasn’t the type to ask such a thing, and Maya wasn’t the kind of being who dared to talk about herself.
Still, Kim Bongpal could guess a little about her from their conversations on the way to Purple Clouds.
Though these were all guesses.
First, she was a supernatural being that had lived for more than 300 years.
She had the sorcery skills to call herself an Arch Sorcerer.
She was once as strong as a vampire called Scherazard, but she’d recently fallen.
Maybe that was why she still acted immature for someone who’d lived for 300 years.
Perhaps her standard of time was different from that of humans.
Finally, she accompanied him with a purpose.
The last one was completely his guess.
He didn’t know how special the magic tool called the compass was, but it didn’t seem precious enough to follow him on his way to the Celestial Demon Cult.
However, from Maya’s attitude he had observed so far, Kim Bongpal thought that her purpose wasn’t to harm him.
Anyway, Maya started walking off in a seemingly random direction.
“It used to be quieter.”
Ten years ago, the Evil Alliance wasn’t here in Purple Clouds.”
Kim Bongpal learned that on their way.
The Evil Alliance was originally located a little further inside than Purple Clouds, around where the present Celestial Demon Cult was.
Around 10 years ago, the Celestial Demon appeared and dueled with the leader of the Evil Alliance for the spot, and they won, and the Evil Alliance was sent packing.
Why did the Celestial Demon Cult want it, and why did the leader of Evil Alliance, defeated in the duel, not leave the area but take on the role of a de facto gatekeeper? Maya said she didn’t know.
Kim Bongpal didn’t even wonder about such a thing.
“Here it is.”
Maya, who was walking along the boulevard, stopped.
Kim Bongpal came to a halt right behind her.
She was proving to be a better travel companion than he first thought to the extent that he felt sorry for ripping her off about that snakeskin robe the other day.
She knew much more about the Shire and, of course, had more acquaintances.
And among those acquaintances, some could help Kim Bongpal’s goal.
Why does it look like a brothel?”
The kind of a place where women come out and pour drinks next to you? Every time I read Wuxia novels…no, never mind.”
“Oh? You’re right.”
Maya answered, tilting her head.
“They give you drinks here, and the girls come out too! But not female humans, female supernatural beings!”
He couldn’t believe his guess was right.
‘It doesn’t have to be something like this….’
Kim Bongpal followed Maya to this place because it was the base of a group called the Frail Night Sect.
She said that among the various types of supernatural beings, some possessed great strength, like the Lesser Dragon, Fox Spirit, and Goblin, but many others did not.
Instead, they had unusual talents, such as attracting people or stealing things.
The Frail Night Gate was an association made of such supernatural beings.
They gathered together because they didn’t have enough strength and used their talents to collect information.
When Kim Bongpal heard about the Frail Night Sect, he thought of the Five Lowers Sect.
The Five Lowers Sect frequently appeared in Wuxia novels as an information sect to which courtesans, pickpockets, and the like belonged.
It was also frequently mentioned that they used brothels as their bases.
Kim Bongpal felt a little disappointed the Frail Night Sect was the same.
No matter how ignorant he was, it wouldn’t be a good sight to walk into a brothel with this woman who looked underaged.
Kim Bongpal shook off his frustrations and went.
“Sorry, but we are still not open…huh? Maya?”
“Hi! Long time no see!”
The several supernatural beings in the brothel glanced toward the entrance when Maya’s name was mentioned.
“What? Maya came to Purple Clouds? What are you doing here?”
“Is that Lady Maya? I’ve never seen her before.”
“Who is the man next to you? He looks like a human, huh?”
When Kim Bongpal was about to be annoyed by that focused gaze, Maya stepped forward.
“I came to meet Sister Young-no.
Is she here now?”
Should I show you?”
“No, I’ll find her on my own.”
Having said so, Maya marched to the stairs and gestured to Kim Bongpal to follow.
Come to think of it, it was rather fortunate that it was daytime, and it wasn’t hard to guess what it would be like when this place was open.
After climbing the stairs, Kim Bongpal discovered where the one Maya called Yeong-no was.
She resided in the innermost part of the building, the most spectacular room.
It was there that he felt the greatest supernatural force emanating, and it was about on par with Shi Wu-yuan.
“Sister! I’m here!”
Maya swung the door open.
No, it looked similar, but it was a little different when he looked closely.
Even so, there were many similarities with the old Korean clothing.
Anyway, the person in the room was a woman wearing Hanbok-like clothes.
“It’s been a long time, Maya.”
In terms of appearance alone, she was completely indistinguishable from humans.
Young-no faced Kim Bongpal.
Then, she smiled.
It’s made of my ex-husband’s skin.”
I gave it to him!”
“Is that so? Oh! I made those clothes myself, too.
He was quite useful when he was alive but very useful after he died.”
Kim Bongpal couldn’t understand the conversation for a moment.
Ex-husband’s skin? So, she must be referring to the clothes made from the snake monster’s skin he was wearing now.
Kim Bongpal now understood why supernatural beings were called Inhuman.
* * *
The Celestial Demon Cult.
Why was it called a cult, unlike the other Moorim groups? It was simply because it was a religion, and religions have leaders.
Originally, it was the Celestial Demon who played the role of Cult Leader.
However, the current Celestial Demon wasn’t the leader of the Celestial Demon Cult.
Since the death of the former Celestial Demon, the position had been vacant for 30 years.
Therefore, one who would otherwise be a mere assistant took over the role of Chen Hua-lin.
Although she ascended to the top, the reason that she couldn’t become the Cult Leader was that she was a woman.
The reason was unknown, but while there might be a female Celestial Demon, there must not be a female Cult Leader.
Of course, Chen Hua-lin wasn’t particularly dissatisfied with it.
Taking on that role was out of her interest.
“O’ Celestial Demon, the Divine Lady is looking for you.”
Chen Hua-lin nodded and slowly stood.
The White-Haired Sword Phantom stood to follow her.
According to the hierarchical order of the Celestial Demon Cult, the Divine Lady should be the one to find the Celestial Demon.
However, Chen Hua-lin moved to her as the Divine Lady couldn’t move from where she was now.
After all, she’d been an old priestess during the time of Chen Hua-lin’s father.
“I don’t like it.”
“What do you not like so much?”
When the hell is that old woman going to die? Shouldn’t it happen any day now if she is over 120 years old?”
Chen Hua-lin grunted as she moved.
The White-Haired Sword Phantom asked with a soft smile.
“But didn’t you follow the Divine Lady when you were young?”
“Ha! What are you talking about, Old Man?”
“It still feels like yesterday to me….”
“Enough! I want that old woman to die soon.”
Chen Hua-lin cursed the old woman, but her body was honest.
Her pointy ears twitched slightly.
The White-Haired Sword Phantom, who spent more than a dozen years with Chen Hua-lin, knew that only happened when she was lying to herself.
Chen Hua-lin’s feelings for the Divine Lady were closer to a love-hate relationship.
It was the Divine Lady who taught Chen Hua-lin her first martial arts technique.
When Chen Hua-lin’s elven mother passed, the only person in the Cult who cared was the Divine Lady.
As the White-Haired Sword Phantom said, Chen Hua-lin followed her as if she were her mother.
But that was a long time ago.
At some point, Chen Hua-lin’s feelings changed.
She didn’t know what the old woman was thinking, and it is instinct to dislike someone you cannot understand.
“I’ll wait here.”
The White-Haired Sword Phantom bowed once and stepped back.
The Divine Lady’s residence was an area he couldn’t enter.
Except for the Divine Lady’s disciple, only the Celestial Demon could come and go.
“Are you here?”
Her disciple, the Divine Lady’s Aide, welcomed Chen Hua-lin.
“Why did the Divine Lady ask for me?”
“Divine Lady wants to be permitted to use the Shadowless Squad again.”
“Ha? Why don’t you send out the Shadowless Squad without my permission like the last time?”
“…Please listen to the details from the Divine Lady.”
The aide politely bowed.
Chen Hua-lin looked down at her for a moment.
Chen Hua-lin didn’t like this one either.
She also wore an expression that hid what was inside.
After all, the teacher and disciple were the same.
‘Damn that old woman.
What is she up to this time?’
Chen Hua-lin frowned and entered the Divine Lady’s residence.
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