Descent of the Demon Master - C.716. Choosing (1)

Descent of the Demon Master

C.716. Choosing (1)

Cai Kechang frowned deeply. “A road had been blockaded, and a fight broke out in that area?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Who were they?” Cai Kechang growled as irritation surged in his heart. 'Who would dare?!'

The fight occurred within the Crimson King's territory. To make matters worse, the battleground wasn't located in some remote borderland but deep inside the territory itself! That indicated the complete and utter disregard for the Crimson King's faction by the parties involved.

Such a thing was unforgivable. And it shouldn't be forgiven, either! Overlooking an event of this nature would set a dangerous precedence. Other factions could start underestimating the Crimson King's faction! Their first time might be tough, but once that initial uncertainty was overcome...

Only by capturing the bastards responsible for this insane act and killing them as gruesomely as possible would they prevent similar situations from happening again.

Cai Kechang grimly muttered, “Is it the Azure King's faction? Or the Dark King's?”

“Sir... I believe they weren't Chinese.”

“What? What are you talking about? Are you trying to say foreigners have invaded us? Was it the Russians, then?”

“No, sir. Every bastard we've found so far was Japanese.”

“...Japan?” Cai Kechang narrowed his eyes. His thoughts were getting messy at that revelation. Japanese? Why would Japanese warriors come to China to create this ugly mess? Cai Kechang quietly muttered, “Did those bastards finally let go of their senses?”

He was already having a tough time dealing with the man named Kang Jin-Ho. Realistically speaking, the Crimson King's faction no longer had any methods to restrain and hinder Kang Jin-Ho.

After taking over South Korea, Kang Jin-Ho quickly built up sturdy protective walls all around him. That meant dealing with him had become much more complicated than when he was still acting alone.

To kill Kang Jin-Ho... The Crimson King's faction had to attack the Korean Martial Assembly.

That organization used to be a shabby little gathering of weaklings that posed zero threat. However, its significance went up a lot after Kang Jin-Ho brought it under his wings.

Many experts would have to be dispatched to deal with Kang Jin-Ho, now protected by layers of human shields. Unfortunately, the Azure King and the Dark King would gleefully seize the opportunity presented by many powerful experts leaving the battlefront. And that would signal the end of the Crimson King's faction.

In the end, Cai Kechang realized they had only two options available. One of them was to completely ignore Kang Jin-Ho. Although having a sharp dagger pointing at their backs was never a good feeling, this option seemed the most pragmatic to Cai Kechang.

Thankfully, Kang Jin-Ho was not an aggressive sort. According to the testimonies of those who got into a tussle against him, Kang Jin-Ho was the type to go berserk when a fight occurred. However, he also never actively went around looking for a fight. In other words, he'd stay docile as long as no one provoked him. Hence, leaving him alone seemed the most pragmatic solution.

As for the second option...

'It's forming an alliance with him.'

Personally, Cai Kechang wasn't so keen on this idea. However, this option offered better benefits than the first one. If the Crimson King's faction could join hands with Kang Jin-Ho... They could sweep aside either or both the Azure King or the Dark King in the proverbial blink of an eye.

Treating someone like Kang Jin-Ho as an equal and forming an alliance could be seen as a humiliating act. However, factions with widely-varying levels of strength and influence often formed alliances throughout history.

Cai Kechang ever-so-slightly preferred this option even if he wasn't keen on it. What if they chose the first option only for Kang Jin-Ho to attack from behind when the Crimson King's faction was busy fighting against other Kings? That would cause the total destruction of everything the Crimson King had built. Eliminating this possibility was already worthy of seriously considering an alliance with Kang Jin-Ho.

Unfortunately, there was one big hurdle.

'My liege doesn't even want to entertain this idea...'

Cai Kechang was a man of logic and calculations, but the Crimson King was a dyed-in-the-wool cultivator. The concept of forming an alliance with a suspicious, unknown party just for some practical benefits didn't exist in the Crimson King's mind.

Even now, the Crimson King was raising a whole lot of fuss in his desire to hop on a plane, get to Korea, and confirm what kind of a man Kang Jin-Ho was with his own two eyes! Every time that happened, Cai Kechang used his tears and prostrating skills to deter the mighty Crimson King. After doing that so many times, just the mere mention of 'Kang' was enough to make Cai Kechang shudder in dread!

But now, even the Japanese had decided to show up?

“Why are those Jap bastards suddenly causing trouble in our backyard?!”

Cai Kechang loudly gritted his teeth. He was a born-and-bred Chinese. Obviously, his feelings toward the Japanese weren't so friendly.

Since Kang Jin-Ho had gotten in the way, the Crimson King's faction had been trying to suppress him and even kill him. However, that didn't mean Cai Kechang or anyone else held a grudge or animosity toward Kang Jin-Ho.

If Kang Jin-Ho hadn't become a threat like this, the Crimson King's faction could've even offered a gesture of goodwill, too.

However, the story with the Japanese was quite different. Practically all Chinese harbored some level of ill feelings toward their island neighbor.

Cai Kechang glanced at his subordinate. “Does that mean these Japanese bastards entered China to fight each other? And no other Chinese factions are involved?”

“It seems that way, sir.”

“What are those crazy bastards cooking up this time?”

“Sir. It's not confirmed yet, but we might have another problem on our hands.”

Cai Kechang grimaced at the serious tone of the subordinate's voice. “What is it? Out with it already!”

“It seems the reason for the Japanese presence on our land is to... kill Kang Jin-Ho.”

“What kind of bullsh*t is that? Why are they searching for Kang Jin-Ho in China... Say what?” Cai Kechang reflexively sat up straight.

His brain quickly went into overdrive. If Kang Jin-Ho wasn't in China, the Japanese warriors wouldn't have stayed and simply went home. However, they got into a fight, so... Didn't that mean they were fighting Kang Jin-Ho? In China, no less?

The subordinate continued his briefing. “Sir, their mission seemed to be killing Kang Jin-Ho, but they failed.”

“Okay, so... Those bastards tried to attack Kang Jin-Ho, who is currently in China, and scattered like scared rats after failing their mission? Is that it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I see. Come closer.” Cai Kechang beckoned at the subordinate, prompting the man to close the distance.


Cai Kechang suddenly punched the subordinate's jaw to send the latter flying away. Then he shot up to his feet and loudly yelled, “Why are you only telling me this, you stupid son of a b*tch! Didn't I say all news related to Kang Jin-Ho takes top priority?!”

“M-my apologies, sir!” The subordinate hurriedly prostrated on the ground as blood gushed down his mouth and nose.

Cai Kechang loudly gritted his teeth.

'Kang Jin-Ho is in China? Seriously?'

This absurd news left Cai Kechang momentarily confused about what to do. How should he handle this latest event?

'...Kill him, obviously!'

Was there a need to even think about it? No!

The reason why the Crimson King's faction couldn't touch Kang Jin-Ho was because he ruled the Korean Martial Assembly. However, him being here meant he had basically dumped the absolute protective shield called the Assembly in a scrapyard or something!

He actually entered China on his own?!

'Yes, we must kill him now!'

Who could tell when they would get another golden opportunity like this?

Cai Kechang put his foot down. “Investigate this matter again, much more thoroughly this time, and then report back to me. No, wait. Send me the completed report via email instead. In the meantime, I'll ask for an audience with the Crimson King.”

“Yes, sir!”

Cai Kechang rushed outside his office while licking his lips.

'I don't know what motivated you to carelessly slip into China, but...! You will soon regret your decision, Kang Jin-Ho!'

Cai Kechang's eyes gleamed coldly.


“Assembly Master, listen! What you want to do is unfeasible, sir. No, it's beyond difficult!” Lee Hyeon-Su desperately cried out into the phone's receiver.

-If it was easy, I wouldn't have called you in the first place. I'd have taken care of it myself.

“Assembly Master... I'm genuinely moved that you've placed boundless trust in my capabilities. However, can't you think of me as a rock-for-brains idiot every once in a while? I'm not some Genie in a lamp, you know? We're talking about ten thousand people, sir! Ten thousand! How am I supposed to smuggle that many people into the country?! It's not like we're accepting war refugees or something. And, and! This is not how we're supposed to accept refugees, too!”

-Oh, now that you've brought that up, I need to clarify something about that number. Judging from the overall mood in this place... I don't think it'll be ten thousand people, after all.

Lee Hyeon-Su grew hopeful just then. “R-really? Then, how many people are we looking at, sir?”

-I'm guessing somewhere between two to three thousand. But that's not the problem I want to discuss with you...

“Oh, I see. Then...?”

-Well, if we include these people's family members, the number will really exceed ten thousand. But, uh, I think it shouldn't be a problem to bring the families in later.

“Huh... Huhuhuh, huhuh...” Lee Hyeon-Su hollowly chuckled. What was Kang Jin-Ho even talking about here? Family members? Just what on Earth did he do over there in China!

“Assembly Masteeeeer!” Lee Hyeon-Su's eyes teared up. “Just... Just what have you been doing on that side? Haven't I always, always asked you to do this little favor for me? Haven't I pleaded dozens of times with you to call me first!”

Lee Hyeon-Su was this close to breaking down and sobbing away. He might as well just kill himself. Just jump off a tall bridge or something!

Here was the stark reminder of the dilemma all salary-drawing office workers faced. Even after you somehow barely managed to resolve an unreasonable task, your superior would immediately toss you another assignment just as unreasonable in your way while saying that you should be able to do it since you had experience now!

'No, wait! Even if that's true, isn't this way too crazy?!'

Was it humanly possible to smuggle over ten thousand people into the country at once? That order was practically the same as forcing someone to fly in the air by flapping a pair of folding hand fans!

Even if Lee Hyeon-Su squeezed out every bit of his smarts and effort, some things in this world were still beyond his capabilities to resolve. Kang Jin-Ho should at least consider if his demands could be handled by a human being first!

“This is definitely unfeasible, sir! I'm not saying this as a way to deter you. No, it's completely impossible, no matter how you slice and dice it!”

-Listen, Lee Hyeon-Su.

“Yes, Assembly Master.”

-This is all for the sake of the Martial Assembly.


-Yes, I'm well aware of this task's difficulty. And yes, I also know you'll have to go through another torrid time dealing with it. However, it must be done for the sake of our survival. If we fail... There won't be much future left for us.


-I'll leave it in your capable hands.

“Then... I guess I have to do it, sir.” Lee Hyeon-Su bit down on his lower lip. “I will find a way somehow. Please wait for a little while longer, sir. As soon as we find a way... I'll give you a call.”

-Okay, got it.

The phone line went dead just then. Lee Hyeon-Su leaned against his chair and rapidly pulled a cigarette out of its packet like a gunslinger from the Wild West. After mouthing it, he picked up a lighter.

Click! Click!

He finally managed to light his cigarette after several attempts.

“What the hell, this isn't... This problem can't be solved with a 'You Can Do It!' plucky attitude, you know!”

Lee Hyeon-Su got caught up in the moment and said he'd somehow find a way, but how? He couldn't even figure out where to start.

“Planes? No, that's not gonna work. That leaves us with the option of getting a ship, but... If we source a ship large enough to carry that many people, there's no way the Public Security wouldn't notice it...”

However, getting a smaller ship meant they could only smuggle in a handful of people each trip. Obviously, this tactic would take way too long. Besides, the risk of getting discovered would only increase exponentially the more the ship traveled between the countries. And bringing people like that would pose another problem, too.

When Lee Hyeon-Su thought about it, finding a ship and ferrying all those people might not be difficult. The starting point was China, after all. The total length of China's coastline should be long enough to go around South Korea's a dozen-plus times and then some. So, China's coasts might not be monitored as strictly as Lee Hyeon-Su initially suspected.

However, what about Korea? Leaving China wasn't a problem, but entering Korea was. Since people smuggling was still prevalent in South Korea, the government was hell-bent on monitoring every bit of the country's coastlines to clamp it down. There was no way the Korean government would miss over ten thousand Chinese illegally entering the country.

“...What am I supposed to do here?”

Lee Hyeon-Su couldn't think of a solution by himself. In the end, he was forced to get up and leave the office. He needed to consult someone. Thankfully, he now had someone he could frankly discuss such things with. And that gentleman was a person with common sense, something that was in short supply in the Martial Assembly these days!


“Tell them to swim.”


Nope, Lee Hyeon-Su was wrong. This gentleman was not a person with common sense!

Lee Hyeon-Su dazedly stared at Wiggins, his jaw slightly falling.

However, that only prompted Wiggins to stare back in confusion after failing to see what could be the problem here.

“S-so, master... You want them to swim?”

“That's right.”

“Swimming like, uh, butterfly stroke?”

“What the... Are you making fun of me, you brat?”

“N-no, of course not! T-that isn't it, but...” Lee Hyeon-Su hurriedly shielded his head when Wiggins raised his hand. “Even if China and South Korea are neighbors, how can you expect them to swim across that ocean? That's totally unreasonable, master.”

“Tsk, tsk... How can you be this slow-witted, my disciple?” Wiggins stared disapprovingly at Lee Hyeon-Su. “Is there a need for them to swim across the entire ocean? Just stop the ship in the international waters and then have them swim from there.”

“I-international waters?”

“That's right.”

“But it's about twenty kilometers from the Chinese coast to the international waters, you know? You still want those cultivators to swim that distance?”

Wiggins coolly nodded. “That's right.”

“That doesn't make any sense, master! How can a human being swim twenty kilometers? We have trouble covering that distance on foot, you know!”

“Listen to this brat... Do you know how long the swimming section is in a triathlon?”

“...No, I don't.”

“It's four kilometers. An athlete can cover that distance, so what's stopping the martial artists from doing that? If their stamina isn't enough, tell them to put on a life jacket or something and then start swimming. Even if they arrive late, that's still better than not arriving, wouldn't you say?”

“...” Lee Hyeon-Su dazedly stared at Wiggins once more before saying something. “Master?”

“What is it?”

“I can't figure out whether you're a genius or just another lunatic.”

“And I can't figure out why you keep asking for more ass-whooping, you foolish disciple!” Wiggins raised his cane and smacked Lee Hyeon-Su on the head. However, the joy of finding the solution overrode the horrible pain ringing inside his skull.

“You're smiling?” Wiggins gripped his cane tighter at the sight of Lee Hyeon-Su happily grinning away.

Since time immemorial, the best medicine to cure the crazy was a solid beating!

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