Nano Machine - Chapter 352
Chapter 352: The Hidden Power Within The Imperial Palace (1)
Enclosed in the dark sky, the shining full moon was covered by the clouds.
It was still early in the evening when the entire Imperial Palace was lit up. There were numerous buildings located inside the Dragon Palace, beginning with the Empress and the concubines’ Palace, and through the buildings intended for the bureaucrats that are located just at the right spot for work.
A castle on the Eastern side was where the eunuchs of the Eastern Spear live. It is located not far from their dining area. There were about ten people heading towards the innermost section of the east.
Nine of them were all dressed as East Spear eunuchs, and one was wearing a military officer’s uniform inlaid with gold, it was Chun Yeowun.
The eunuchs who were walking along the path would look into Chun Yeowun’s eyes and flinched at his gaze. Everything went well according to Dae Dung-Du’s narrative. But, all were still afraid of the said ridiculous ability that Chun Yeowun possessed.
‘I am not sure if I can take down this person.’
The remaining nine eunuchs shuddered at the thought of how Chun Yeowun killed Yoon Baek Ho. It was hard to believe that Chun Yeowun had the capability to do that. Not realizing what these ten people were going through, someone enthusiastically stated: “The institute will be greatly pleased to know that a master like him is giving us a hand, Hohoho.”
Unlike the other eunuchs, Dae Dang-Du was excited at the thought that he managed to do something for once. He thought that he would be greatly appreciated since he managed to invite a Supreme Master Warrior, which no one had ever achieved.
It was the first time that Chun Yeowun had come across someone who was as talkative as Hu Bong. He tried to ignore the words, but it was difficult to disregard that screeching laugh. As he was getting vexed, he came close to a building. It seemed like that was where the East Spear’s eunuchs stayed and worked.
A large structured manor was seen at the place where Dae Dang-Du had pointed towards. Even within the Imperial Palace, such manor is still considered to be on a huge scale. It proved how inexorable the power of the East Spear has.
‘That manor could accommodate two to three thousand people.’
It seemed like the words which said that the Imperial Palace of the Daemyeong Empire was overflowing with eunuchs wasn’t false at all.
He followed Dae Dang-Du to the entrance of the manor.
Reaching the entrance, Dae Dang-Du asked the guards who watched over the place.
“Did the Gong-Gong return yet?”
“He hasn’t come back yet.”
“It is getting late.”
Normally, he would retire and return before it got dark. But the fact that the person hadn’t come seemed to be related to his workload.
‘Was it because His Highness had just returned?’
Even if that wasn’t the case, it was said that Zhu Taikhan had returned after completing the order for the envoy.
“Then Lord Oh must not have come back yet too.”
It was expected. Lord Oh has always been complimented by East Spear’s commander, Im Gong-Gong. Thus, he could be considered as the right arm of the commander. His absence meant that he was still working.
Dae Dang-Du glanced at Chun Yeowun, who was standing next to him. He insisted that he would be recommended to Im Gong-Gong right away, but the man himself wasn’t even present.
‘How did it all come to this? If Im Gong-Gong isn’t here, he cannot be admitted into our organization.’
If only Lord Oh, the next in power, was present, Chun Yeowun could be granted access to enter.
‘What should I do? Ah…’
Chun Yeowun felt awkward and anxious for no reason. While Dae Dang-Du, who was contemplating, came up with a method.
‘Aee. If so, it would be better to take him to the Khum Elder and let him know. There is no way that Gong-Gong would oppose it.’
Khum Elder was the left arm of Im Gong-Gong and was responsible for the internal affairs of the East House and the Guest House. In the morning he would stay at the East House, but he would end up in the Guest House in the evening.
It would be better for him to talk to the Elder that always stayed at the Guest Hall.
“I’ll…Gong-Gong hasn’t come back yet, so, if you’re comfortable with it, why don’t we go and see Khum Elder in the guest hall?”
Chun Yeowon nodded as Dae Dang-Du cautiously asked. There was no reason for him to refuse since he could get a good look at what was in the guest hall.
Feeling fortunate, Dae Dang-du asked Chun Yeowun to follow him.
“We need to head this way.”
He said that the guest hall wasn’t far. However, Chun Yeowun who was heading towards it suddenly stopped and stared somewhere with a frown.
“What is it?”
Dae Dang-du asked, wondering, but Chun Yeowun who was solemnly looking at something did not bother to answer back.
‘What is it? This mix of energy…’
It is a foreign energy that made him feel extremely disturbed.
On the outskirts of the east lies the East House Manor with ‘East House and Guest House’ written on the signboard. It is a short distance away from the Northern Manor.
From the courtyard to the main hall, 30 people stood while facing each other.
In the highest seat of the main hall was a man, a middle-aged man with a patched eye and a cut on his face that went down until the cheek. Unlike the other eunuchs, he was a man who didn’t disclose himself, but it looked like the energy he was releasing wasn’t unusual.
“…they have been selected as the most outstanding ones. And…”
A eunuch in front of him was reporting. When he listened to the contents, it seemed like they were making a plan to mobilize Masters.
It looked like the ones in the yard were Masters.
They were all wearing official uniforms of low-ranking cadets in the Imperial Palace, but each was said to have an energy better than high ranked warriors. However, there was one person that Chun Yeowun noticed.
A man with a grim and scared face, it was none other than Hu Bong. He was all tensed up and sweating, unlike his usual confident self.
‘Uh uh, what is he up to?’
Hu Bong always managed to follow Chun Yeowun wherever he went. Like the others, he was in charge of entering the Palace as a spy, whether he was lucky or unfortunate, he still managed to enter.
‘Idiot. Always up to something useless.’
Unlike the masters who were keeping an eye from a distance, Hu Bong made direct contact with someone and entered into the palace as a member of the East Spear.
[Are you interested in succeeding?]
For several days, Hu Bong acted like a perfect Imperial guard that checked for spies. He thought that something great was going to unfold and entered the East Spear’s location with excitement.
[I like your martial arts, the impression, the flow, and the well-established structure. Come to the main hall in the middle of the day.]
Unfortunately, Hu Bong got picked up by one of the East Spear before he could even dig up any information about the spies. He wanted to inform Chun Yeowun, but there was no way that they could contact each other with how things were going.
The internal energy of those around him wasn’t normal, and he couldn’t even guess how strong Elder Khum was, the one seated in the middle of the hall.
‘If I could just get out of here.’
Hearing their plans, it seemed like escaping from their grasp was going to be a tough task. Which was why Hu Bong decided to peek at any opportunity and run away. On the other hand, the eunuch called Khum, who seemed to be a bigwig in the main hall was in deep thought.
He kept on touching the cut on his right cheek, which didn’t appear to be an old wound. It seemed fresh as if it happened before the exam.
‘Fuck. I wasn’t even sure about the location, but I need to come up with a plan!’
Originally, his plan was to come up with a solution after finding the real location of spies.
On the other hand, his relationship with the 1st Prince, Zhu Taeyoon was also going strong. But he felt hurt when the Prince objected to his proposal of accelerating the plan. The Prince said that the bookkeeping ceremony was a tradition to be done.
[The location of Su Hochun isn’t clear, and even those before him also lost their lives after acting too vigilant. Are they trying to work in a rush because of the upcoming examinations…?]
[Dojo head Khum. You are currently under the main office’s jurisdiction. As the one in the main seat, you weren’t supposed to be delayed. Accept those who are near the door.]
Eventually, he had to give in to the orders.
‘It was said that he’s the perfect match to be a gatekeeper and one of the craziest among the six.’
Even with the order, he wasn’t sure about taking in someone who had been mobile inside the Imperial Palace.
It made him feel uneasy.
Well, once the mission tonight was done, he would no longer be in the Imperial Palace, and the time he spent will be for naught.
“…that is all. Elder Khum.”
After reporting, the eunuch looked at him. As if he was waiting for some kind of an assurance. However, Elder Khum seemed out of place, making expressions as if he was in anguish.
‘Say something, so I can get out of here already, why is he delaying like that?’
Hu Bong, who began to feel impatient, coughed.
Yet, the moment he coughed, the expressions of the 30 warriors who were looking at Elder Khum went stiff.
‘Huh? Why, what happened?’
Hu Bong was puzzled. But he would soon see the reason. Khum Elder, who garnered his attention, got up, looked around, and opened his mouth with a low voice.
“Who was it? Who coughed right now?”
Around 30 warriors turned their gazes at the elder without saying a word. With that, Hu Bong knew what his mistake was.
He thought that things were going well. He decided to stay silent as things would only get complicated from there. Even so, Elder Khum still shouted this time.
“Who just coughed right now!”
It felt absurd to Hu Bong. He never guessed that someone would get mad at the sound of a cough.
‘No. He is a crazy bastard for sure.’
Still, he tried to pretend as if he didn’t know. But, the 30 warriors quietly turned their heads towards Hu Bong.
‘Ugh! Bastards with no loyalty!’
Thanks to them, Elder Khum gazed at him. Hu Bong began to break out in cold sweat.
One cough messed up his entire plan. Hu Bong, who had been worrying for a while, grieved for the ruined plan. But he still bowed his head to avoid being noticed.
“I, I am sorry. Elder.”
When Hu Bong apologized, the eunuch next to Khum noticed and tried to calm him down. He knew how uncomfortable the warriors were to be there. Khum was the kind who always vent at the subordinates when he got angry.
“…Elder. He is known as Mu Chung, he was invited here for a meal for the first time today, so he is unaware of our manners. Please…”
Before the eunuch could reason for the warrior, Elder Khum cut his words.
“A newbie? Huh, this is bad. An elder is struggling at the moment, how could he even think of coughing? That foolish bastard.”
Hu Bong pretended to apologize, bowed further, and spoke loudly.
“I am sorry, Elder. Please forgive me.”
In fact, he knew that the situation would worsen. Being planted in the unit of elder Khum is the most distressing situation for him. He really wanted to go out and relieve his anger.
“Just because the Elder is staying calm, doesn’t mean that you can get rid of all the military rules in your head. You, mediocre, are truly pathetic. Someone, please tell me that the East Spear isn’t a place where people like that can enter.”
As if something ominous was said. It happened.
Elder Khum, who was in his seat bounced off and flew towards Hu Bong, attempting to blow away his head. It was a swift move. But Hu Bong, who was anxious and fidgety from the beginning moved instantaneously and took a couple steps back.
“How dare he avoid the punishment?”
As he escaped from the blow, Elder Khum’s anger rose. Gathering internal energy in both of his hands, he unleashed it towards Hu Bong.
Hu Bong, who had already reached the highest mark of a warrior, couldn’t comprehend the movement with his naked eye.
His face contorted and seemed like there were sharp nails penetrating his chest.
All of a sudden, someone intervened in front of Hu Bong and dissipated his attack. Despite being revered as someone powerful, his attack got easily blocked, and the man immediately countered back.
Swa! Swa! Swa! Swa!
The Air Sword which moved with profound aerodynamics drew its trajectory and stabbed the heart of Elder Khum.
Elder Khum was shocked at the sudden appearance of an unknown man, but he was still a Supreme Master Warrior.
Without letting himself be too flustered, Elder Khum tried to use the opportunity and utilized a unique step to avoid the trajectory of the Air Sword.
‘Such great sword.’
The splendid swordsmanship, consisting of 24 swords, managed to move Elder Khum without a second to breathe. Inevitably, the last sword ended up brushing past his forehead.
His body, which was already at a weird angle, was further bent back as the swords aimed for his heart.
‘It is my first time coming across such an attack!’
It was generally impossible to hit something and make it bounce back right away. However, Elder Khum displayed such sophisticated moves. Everyone watching the duel were amazed, apart from one, the man who intervened, he just smirked.
‘he is smirking?’
Elder was ready to plunge his nails into the man’s heart.
Shockingly, as if he had already predicted Elder Khum’s intent to pierce his heart, the man aimed for the Elder’s wrist. He raised his right hand to pull him near and strike him down.
Elder Khum was ready to use his right arm to bring down this unknown man who was challenging him. However, the power of that man’s attacks seemed far beyond imagination.
‘Th-this makes no sense! Ugh!’
The attack was strong enough to break an arm and ripped it off the moment it struck. Elder Khum screamed and grunted as the pain of his bones breaking and arm ripped off overwhelmed his body.
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It was excruciating, but elder Khum endured it and moved 10 steps back. Holding onto his bleeding wrist, he glared at the unknown man.
The man was wearing a golden robe. Hu Bong, who almost died, was shocked when he looked at the man before him, his eyes widened at the sight. If it wasn’t for the 24 swords he had seen before, he wouldn’t have guessed it.
The man was none other than Chun Yeowun.