Descent of the Demon Master - C.700. Demonstrating (5)

Descent of the Demon Master

C.700. Demonstrating (5)

“Wow. What a terrible person he is,” said Vator.

“Yes, I agree,” Zhang Dajing nodded slowly.

Both men stared in aghast at Kang Jin-Ho.

Just what time was it now? Wasn't it late at night? Like, nearly dawn? Since China's time zone doesn't differ too much from Korea's, it should be late at night over there, too!

But now, Kang Jin-Ho actually woke that poor guy up in the middle of the night just to translate some Japanese? Wasn't that just the absolute worst?

Vator grunted loudly. “Mm, he's the worst boss anyone could ask for.”

“He's our boss, sir.”

“...Our boss is the worst boss anyone could ask for, then.”

If it was possible, Zhang Dajing—and even Vator too—would have reported Kang Jin-Ho to the Ministry of Labor already! People watching this spectacle from the sidelines found this situation totally absurd, so how much worse would it be for the person on the other side of the line?

Lee Hyeon-Su must be suppressing all the colorful words in his vocabulary from coming out of his mouth. However, his response skirted past their expectations.

-You... need an interpreter? Since you already speak Chinese... Does that mean you're currently in contact with people from another country? Is it Japan?

When Lee Hyeon-Su's grave-sounding voice came from the phone's speaker, Vator and Zhang Dajing nodded contemplatively.

“He's a pro, isn't he?”

“Yes, sir. He's a true salaryman.”

Both men were tempted to applaud Lee Hyeon-Su's dedication to work. Listen to him, not even complaining once and immediately delving into the analysis of the current situation!

Actually, Zhang Dajing had already started applauding, forcing Vator to raise his huge hands and applaud a couple of times while making an awkward expression. Then again, applauding was the right thing to do here, wasn't it!

Zhang Dajing was genuinely impressed. Perhaps as a side effect of witnessing and listening to something monumental, the memories of tumbling inside a wrecked van were long forgotten by now.

Normal people would've already died from the impact of the crash, but Zhang Dajing was still a martial artist despite what he thought of himself. A crash of that severity could be brushed aside with some aches and bruises here and there.

“Whether Mister Lee is a nice guy or he's just dedicated to his work... He sure is an amazing man,” said Zhang Dajing.

“You shouldn't be saying that's amazing, Zhang Dajing. My master is misbehaving this way precisely because Mister Lee is so willing to humor him. Whenever my master creates a mess, people around him always show up to clean up the aftermath. No wonder he has developed a bad habit like this. A good subordinate must be prepared to point out what is wrong and what is right,” Vator loudly tutted in disapproval.

Whatever Kang Jin-Ho and Lee Hyeon-Su did should be no one's business as long as they understood each other's intentions. The problem Vator had, though, was about an organization's culture. The culture at the top inevitably filtered down to the lower ranks.

If a post of 'My boss called me four in the morning to force me to translate' appeared in a rate-your-former-workplace type website, that company wouldn't require any further rating. Because it'd swiftly be branded as the blackest of all black companies, and no prospective job seeker would ever want to work for them.

Of course, that didn't mean the Martial Assembly should be seen as a company, but still!

Unfortunately, it seemed the duo at the center of the current controversy had zero awareness of what they had done!

Kang Jin-Ho nodded slightly. “Yes, they are Japanese.”

-Is everything alright?

That question contained so many meanings. Since it seemed like the Japanese showed up with a plan, could Kang Jin-Ho deal with them? Was the situation dangerous? Did Kang Jin-Ho require assistance? Or was he thinking of a different response?

That question came about because all those things couldn't be asked in that brief window of time. Fortunately enough, though, Kang Jin-Ho's reply was as concise as it could get.

“It's nothing to worry about.”

The phone's speaker went silent for a little while, indicating that Lee Hyeon-Su was guessing the situation through Kang Jin-Ho's 'explanation' and replies.

-...I see. Let me translate what they are saying, then. Tell them to start talking away.

“Okay. You. Repeat what you said.”

When Kang Jin-Ho nonchalantly pushed his phone toward Morigawa Atsushi, the Japanese initially stared at the phone, his expression slightly distorted.

'Does he want me to talk to the man on the phone?'

If he knew this was going to happen, maybe he should've brought an interpreter with him! Who knew they would be holding a conversation like this? All he did was say something after impatience had gotten the better of him during that brief period between parking the car and standing before Kang Jin-Ho.

'Should I just... attack him?'

Before Morigawa Atsushi could decide, the person on the other side of the line spoke in Japanese first.

-I don't know who I am speaking to, but if you have something to say, say it to me. I'll translate for Mister Kang Jin-Ho.

“You're pretty fluent,” muttered Morigawa Atsushi.

He could tell he was talking to a Korean from the pronunciation. No matter how fluent one was with a foreign language, things like unique intonations and ticks couldn't be fully hidden from a native speaker.

Although Morigawa Atsushi wondered why he needed to reveal who was about to attack Kang Jin-Ho to this unknown individual, he realized it ultimately didn't matter.

As long as Kang Jin-Ho died tonight, the aftermath wouldn't be an issue, anyway!

“This is Yamakawa-kai's Morigawa Atsushi. I'm here under the orders of Nakata Yuji-sama to end Kang Jin-Ho's life. To confirm, are you Kang Jin-Ho?”

The interpreter on the phone quickly did his job. And then... Kang Jin-Ho stared at the Japanese with a less-than-impressed expression. “...Why are you asking the obvious here?”

Morigawa Atsushi didn't need an interpreter to figure that one out. His intuition alone was enough to automatically translate Kang Jin-Ho's words! Besides, Kang Jin-Ho's dismayed expression was enough of a confirmation, anyway!

'I also didn't want to ask such a dumb question, you know!'

Kang Jin-Ho was Korean, so he probably couldn't understand. Koreans tended to not care about this thing called 'aesthetics' as much as the Japanese, after all!

Even if the job was to deal with a lone individual, the 'performance' still mattered. Failing to put on a 'dignified' performance tonight would negatively affect not just Morigawa Atsushi, but even Yamakawa-kai's prestige. Which forced him to do something unnecessary like this.

Lee Hyeon-Su asked in Japanese.

-Do I need to translate something that obvious?

'No, you don't have to!' Morigawa Atsushi yelled that in his mind, causing his expression to distort. “...No, not necessary. We got our answer, anyway. Still, you should at least know who is about to take your life tonight, Kang Jin-Ho.”

-Is that how you usually talk, mister? That's way too cringe to translate, you know? Please think about how I might feel while being forced to translate stuff like that!

'Who the f*ck is this b*tch?' Morigawa Atsushi almost blurted that out. While getting genuinely curious about the identity of the individual on the phone, the Japanese warrior coughed to clear his throat. “I don't need your sarcasm. Just do your job or else. If you don't want your master to die without knowing anything, that is!”

-Yes, yes. Sure thing. Before that, though. I want to ask you something.

“What is it?”

-By any chance... Have you heard of a man named Kim Seok-Il?

“Kim Seok-Il? Who is that?”

-It seems you don't know. Hmm... Okay, understood.

When this brief exchange ended, the Korean language quickly came out from the phone's speaker next. It seemed this mystery interpreter was translating what Morigawa Atsushi said to Kang Jin-Ho. After he heard everything, Kang Jin-Ho made a weird face while staring back at the leader of the Japanese expeditionary force.

Morigawa Atsushi could only grimace.

'Seriously, what a stupid tradition this is...'

The culture of committing ritual suicide for creating problems was still alive and well in the Japanese martial society. As for smaller problems, often the punishment was finger severing. In other words, one got their finger or two chopped off for their mistakes!

That was such an insane thing to do. To a martial artist, their physical body was of the utmost importance. In that case, why was the Japanese maintaining such a tradition and shaving away at their own combat strength? Morigawa Atsushi always thought that humoring this tedious aesthetics thing was dumb. However, not sticking to it would only lower the higher-ups' evaluation of him.

To succeed in this profession, he had no choice but to bravely take on the embarrassment with his head held high. Some people probably thought this tradition was pretty cool and all that... But Morigawa Atsushi was not one of them.

“Since we're not here to chat, let's end this conversation here. Although I don't mind listening to your last will and testament, conversing through an interpreter over the phone is too stupid to continue. If you have something to say, say it to your interpreter,” said Morigawa Atsushi in a gruff voice. He wanted to wrap this up as quickly as possible now.

He shouldn't forget that the expeditionary force was standing on thin ice, too. Even if a considerable number of warriors had crossed over the border, this was still China. This number was nothing but a drop in an ocean compared to China's countless martial artists.

If the news of this event somehow reached the ears of the Chinese martial society... Even a moron could predict that Chinese martial artists would flood this place in no time at all. Before the matter ballooned out of the Japanese's control, they needed to wrap this matter up as quickly as possible and leave.

The thing was, though... Morigawa Atsushi wasn't simply wasting time here. He was giving those warriors who had climbed out of the cars before descending the mountain road enough time to surround the area, all for the purpose of eliminating any escape route.

'Still, Kang Jin-Ho is far more relaxed than I thought.'

Just look at how Kang Jin-Ho nonchalantly called an interpreter on the phone or remained calm despite hundreds of headlights intensely illuminating him! For sure, he seemed to possess this remarkable side to him.

Before coming here, Morigawa Atsushi read in a report that Kang Jin-Ho was a bold, courageous man, and that observation seemed to be true. Of course, that courage wasn't enough to influence the flow or outcome of this event.

“So... Shall we get started, then?”

Since this side was on a tight schedule, and the other side wasn't planning to escape, quickly dealing with this situation should be the best for everyone involved.

'At least, let's grant him an honorable death.'

Looking at Kang Jin-Ho helped Morigawa Atsushi understand why the higher-ups were so hung up with the aesthetics. Even he had to acknowledge the bravery and manliness of his target who didn't display a hint of agitation or fear despite facing so many enemies. So much so that Morigawa Atsushi also wanted to welcome his death as heroically as Kang Jin-Ho one day.

In that case... The right thing to do here would be to grant the honorable death to a man of such bravery.


Morigawa Atsushi slowly unsheathed his katana from his hips. That prompted the other Japanese warriors standing near their cars to rush in and stand behind him.

Their enemy tonight was strong. That much needed to be acknowledged when looking at everything he had achieved so far. Even if his achievements were ignored, they should never forget that Nanahoshi-gumi had been annihilated by his hands. That alone proved Kang Jin-Ho's strength.

In that case, the expeditionary force would go all-out to fight him from the get-go. If they fought without letting their guard down, the victory would surely be theirs. That, in turn, would elevate the prestige and renown of Morigawa Atsushi and his organization, Yamakawa-kai, the leaders of this expedition! And Nakata Yuji would obviously be honored for his distinguished service as well.

“Now, atta... Huh?” Morigawa Atsushi was about to issue the command to attack, but then... His mouth clamped shut in a hurry.

The warriors behind him, busy rousing up their qi and getting ready to charge, stumbled and dazedly stared at their leader.

“Leader? What's the matter?”

Morigawa Atsushi heard a confused question coming from somewhere behind him. However, he still couldn't issue the order to attack. That was because he could see 'it' in the distance.

He wasn't talking about Kang Jin-Ho either. No, his attention was robbed away by the flood of lights behind Kang Jin-Ho closing the distance.

'Is that his back-up?'

But... That couldn't be?

The Martial Assembly hadn't mobilized its forces. That much was certain. The Japanese had already cast a tight net of surveillance around the Assembly, after all. At the very least, Morigawa Atsushi hadn't heard any news about the Assembly dispatching its forces before setting off to China. In that case, what was going on here? What could explain all those lights?

A small number of Japanese warriors had been sent to the other side of the road to block the access. They should've been able to contact the main expeditionary force even if China's Public Security agents had suddenly shown up. Knowing this... Morigawa Atsushi couldn't explain the presence of the incoming vehicles. Just who could they be?

Kang Jin-Ho slightly turned his head to look behind him.

He could sense it.

Other people couldn't pick up on it yet, but he definitely could. And that was the insidious whiff of demonic qi coming from the newly-arriving attendees of this party.

Of course, that meant Kang Jin-Ho had a good idea of who was coming.

When looked at from above, this scene must've looked like a figure of a large dragon made out of lights approaching another large dragon. It should look quite spectacular and majestic from up there.

Unfortunately, there was nothing majestic about the loud cry coming from the second 'dragon' of lights.

“My liiiiiiiiiege!”

That loud cry came from someone peeking their head outside the moving vehicle. The only reaction Kang Jin-Ho could offer at that was to groan loudly while his head faltered.

What kind of mess was this event turning into? They were not in some local village's market street, so why was everyone suddenly showing up here unannounced like this?

Vator was the first to figure out the situation and muttered snarkily. “Master, it seems your loyal subjects who are willing to sacrifice their lives for your cause have arrived. Shouldn't you be welcoming them with open arms?”

Kang Jin-Ho inwardly swore to sew Vator's mouth shut once this event was dealt with.

In the meantime, the rows of cars reached Kang Jin-Ho's vicinity and hurriedly stopped. And then... Like a horde of ants, martial artists began flooding out of those cars.

Kang Jin-Ho alternated his gaze between the Japanese and Chinese martial artists to his left and right, then silently looked up at the darkened skies above.

'Not a single peaceful day, huh...'

This must be why people always said they missed home.

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