Descent of the Demon Master
a break!” Ju Yeong-Gi shot up to his feet and shouted again, “Where is this damn storage?”
Ju Min-Gi pointed to the rear of the building.
“Eiii!” Ju Yeong-Gi loudly grumbled, but he still walked over to the storage in a hurry.
Park Yu-Min gently smiled while watching this spectacle.
'He's a funny dude…'
Ju Yeong-Gi had a potty mouth, but his hidden affection ran deep.
He could sometimes be a complaint machine, but that was one of his amusing points—he still did what was asked of him despite all the complaints.
From what Kang Jin-Ho said, Ju Yeong-Gi seemed to be a part of a criminal gang in the past.
To think such a man was now working in an orphanage.
What a funny turn of events…
Park Yu-Min rubbed his chin.
'Well, since Min-Gi is a good kid, Yeong-Gi shouldn't be a bad person either.'
Brothers could have differing personalities, but one brother being a noticeably bad person than his sibling rarely happened.
After arriving at Seongsim, Ju Min-Gi started looking after the orphanage's children, and he treated them kindly and gently.
He was also obedient and listened well to the advice of the kids older than him.
Ju Yeong-Gi was the older brother of such a good kid, so it should be safe to assume he was also secretly a kind person.
“Yu-Min?” Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother emerged from one of the rooms and called out.
“Disposables for the girls are about to run out, Yu-Min.
Who should I talk to about getting the new supplies?”
The general manager is in charge of that, Grandma.
But she's gone home for the day, so I'll tell her tomorrow.”
Thank you.” Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother smiled and nodded.
She was supposed to be staying in the hospital to recover, but she often slipped out unnoticed to check up on Min-Gi staying in the orphanage.
Initially, her visits were just that, a visit to see her grandson.
Once her visits became frequent enough, though, she seemed to be getting more and more interested in searching for things she could help out with within the orphanage.
'I'm grateful, of course…'
Seeing her look after the disabled children as her own grandchildren warmed Park Yu-Min's heart, and he felt really grateful for her presence.
However, there was one small problem…
“Yu-Min? There's this unhygienic sour smell coming from the boys' rooms.
That must be from boys not washing themselves frequently enough, Yu-Min.
The teachers here are women, so it must be awkward for them to talk to the boys of certain ages about this matter.”
“In that case, shouldn't you be paying more attention? These kids at least pretend to listen to you, after all.
From what I hear, you aren't doing anything important these days and just wasting the orphanage's food, so why can't you make yourself useful by looking after your younger siblings more? That is the very definition of good-for-nothing, Yu-Min! A good-for-nothing!”
Park Yu-Min flinched.
“Hurry and fill the bath with hot water.
And make sure to wash the kids afterward!”
“And also, tell the kids that anyone who doesn't wash up properly will get chased outside buck-naked! So they better scrub themselves real good, okay? You understand what I mean, don't you?”
The grandmother continued with her nagging, “Starting from between their toes…
If they don't wash up properly…
I'm not gonna let it slide, and…”
Park Yu-Min squeezed his eyes shut.
If he listened to any more of this nagging, his ears might start bleeding!
'How wonderful would it be if she nagged just a little less?'
He couldn't tell whether her age made her prone to worry or if this was her real personality.
One thing was for certain, though—Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother was a living, breathing nag generator.
Such was the intensity of her nagging that not even Ju Yeong-Gi dared to raise the flag of rebellion against her.
Park Yu-Min headed to the boys' room to fetch the 'smelly' kids as he began thinking about Kang Jin-Ho again.
'He isn't answering his phone, is it?'
It shouldn't be anything bad.
After all, just who was Park Yu-Min's friend? It was none other than Kang Jin-Ho, wasn't it? That dude would no doubt walk away just fine even after a tank had run right over him.
'Stay safe and come back soon, Jin-Ho.'
The grandmother scolded him unhappily, “What are you doing, Yu-Min?! Hurry and wash the kids!”
“Y-yes, Grandma!” Park Yu-Min hurriedly rushed inside the boys' rooms.
The old man with his face still kissing the dirt remained prostrating as if the overwhelming emotions had gotten the better of him.
His body faintly trembled as a sign of how powerful the whirlpool of emotions wrapping him up was.
“Arise,” Kang Jin-Ho spoke in a low, weighty voice.
The old man slowly raised his head.
“I offer my greetings to the descendant of the Demon Emperor.”
Kang Jin-Ho chuckled hollowly at that.
'Descendant, is it…'
Then again, this crazy-looking old man would never guess that the so-called 'descendant' was actually the Demon Emperor himself.
“Tell me, what makes you say that?” Kang Jin-Ho threw out a vague-sounding question.
However, the old man still understood the crux of the question and quickly started explaining himself, “I, I was taught that the Demon Emperor's Asura Qi could suppress techniques of every orthodox sect, my liege! The moment when we exchanged moves, I sensed my stored energy scatter into the ether.
That is proof enough, my liege.
I've failed to recognize you, only to learn the noble truth after daring to raise my fists against you! I am deserving of your punishment, oh, my liege!”
“There's no need,” Kang Jin-Ho muttered while slowly shaking his head.
'It sounds like he's been waiting for a long time.'
Judging from the old man's attire, he seemed to have spent most of his life in this mountain's wilderness.
Just what was keeping this man tied to this place, Kang Jin-Ho quietly mused.
“Although I have many things to ask you, it'll have to wait for now.”
Kang Jin-Ho shifted his gaze away from the kneeling old man and stared at the cave's entrance.
Something was calling out to him from somewhere deep inside.
“I'll be back soon,” said Kang Jin-Ho as he stepped towards the cave.
The old man planted his forehead on the ground again in reverence.
Kang Jin-Ho's unhurried steps took him past the cave's mouth.
Unexplainable tension and excitement began to build up inside his heart.
'Calling out to me, is it?'
A faint smile crept up on Kang Jin-Ho's lips.
How long had it been since he last felt such anticipation after his return to the modern world?
He navigated his way past the dark and narrow cave's entrance to arrive at a wide-open space.
'…The Cave of the Heavenly Demon.'
In the past, this place was called the 'Cave of the Heavenly Demon,’ a forbidden area only the leader of the demon cult was allowed to enter.
To be more specific, others could enter as far as where Kang Jin-Ho was standing right now.
However, the interior further in was inaccessible unless one was the demon cult's leader possessing the Asura Qi.
'Mm? It wasn't far?'
It felt like the 'thing' calling out to him was not hidden deep inside the forbidden area but somewhere close by.
Kang Jin-Ho leisurely stepped forward and followed the voice beckoning him.
Eventually, he discovered a huge altar.
His eyes became withdrawn and contemplative at the articles resting on top of this altar – two swords.
A pair of identical swords, save for an antique-style red thread tied to the end of the hilt of one and a blue thread on the other to differentiate them…
“…Azuremourne and Crimson Destiny, huh.”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly reached out and gripped the hilts of the swords.
When he closed his eyes, the memories flitted in and out of his mind.
All those memories from back when he fought alongside this sword…
“…It's about to begin again.”
As it turned out, those days filled with life-or-death struggles weren't over just yet.
The days filled with seemingly endless combat were about to re-enter his life and continue.
A sense of foreboding regarding his fate settled in his heart and coursed throughout his being afterward.
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