The Korean Martial Assembly…

Only a few ’ordinary ’ people knew that such an association existed in South Korea.
But, even if its existence became public, most people would probably think of it as just another senior citizen community center created by folks that wanted to practice antiquated martial arts.
And it wasn ’t far off the truth.
After all, this organization was created by Korea ’s ancient martial technique inheritors.

Even the Assembly ’s HQ looked old and worn down from the outside.
However, rows upon rows of slick black sedans were constantly entering this old-looking building right now.
And the grand conference hall located below the HQ was rapidly filling up with many people.

If the clueless ordinary people saw this spectacle, they would end up feeling quite confused.
First of all, the clean and modern facilities underground didn ’t match the worn-down facade of the HQ.
Secondly, the attires of the participants in the grand conference hall didn ’t match the modernness of the interior.
Their fashion senses were rather carefree, or more correctly, all kinds of clothing styles and color variations could be seen, making the entire area seem very disorganized.

An old gentleman occupying the seat of honor scanned the bustling crowd, then raised his voice.
“The provocation from the east is getting more serious every day.
This year alone, we already had seven actual physical confrontations!”

As his voice reverberated throughout the conference hall, the members of the conference began sighing away, their expressions heavy and somber.

The man continued, “The clashes themselves aren ’t large enough to become open warfare.
However, the provocations have occurred near the roads, which means the danger of the general public learning about us has increased.
As such, I implore you all to strengthen your crackdown on your wayward disciples.”

A middle-aged man with short hair wearing a business suit stared at the man in the seat of honor and raised his voice.
“Will continuously avoiding them resolve our problems?”

“…I ’d like you to be more specific with the point you want to raise.”

“Very well.
Our opponents are openly provoking us.
Yet, all of our responses revolve around avoiding, running away, and not falling for their provocations.
Quite tepid responses, I ’m sure you all agree.
So, I ask of you, our Assembly Master.
Why do we need to keep suffering like this?”

The man in the seat of honor revealed to be the Assembly Master, replied in a solemn voice, “Simply because we have nothing to gain from clashing with them.”

“I disagree.
At the very least, we get to keep our pride,” the middle-aged, short-haired man responded with a harrumph.

His bold words roused up the crowd, and the hall became noisy in no time at all.
The words ’our pride ’ had shaken up their hearts just then.

When the Assembly Master talked about the ’east,’ he meant the Yeongnam Group.
This Yeongnam Group might boast the greatest power and influence among the Korean peninsula ’s martial art factions, but the Korean Martial Assembly didn ’t fall far behind it in those aspects.

However, the Assembly Master continued to issue orders of non-confrontation until now, forcing the Assembly members on the back foot, unable to mount any decent response against the aggression being directed their way.

This situation had been continuing for so long now, Yeongnam ’s Martials openly began treating the members of the Korean Martial Assembly as a group of cowards.
To a martial artist, nothing was more humiliating than being called a coward.

The Assembly Master shook his head.
“I fully understand your feelings.
However, now is not the right time.
We have received information that the Martial Union ’s agents are currently in Korea.”

The mention of the ’Martial Union ’ instantly cooled down the heated atmosphere in the conference hall.

Someone spoke up, “Is this information reliable?”

The agents apparently belong to the Crimson King ’s faction.”


In that case, this was not the time for the Korean factions to be at each other ’s throats.
That was how threatening and powerful the Martial Union was.

The Assembly Master addressed his audience one more time.
“As such, I implore you all to restrain yourselves from engaging the Yeongnam Group ’s people until our next scheduled conference.
Thank you.”

The short-haired middle-aged man in the business suit abruptly stood up.
“I shall respect and abide by your opinion this time, Assembly Master.
However, I must warn you.
If we hear the same plan of action from you during the next conference, I wouldn’t hold myself back anymore.
Please remember that.”

The man harrumphed, then unhappily turned around and exited the conference hall, prompting the rest of the crowd to follow suit and leave.
Once everyone had left, the man referred to as the Assembly Master sitting in the seat of honor deeply groaned.
“…It ’s getting harder to carry on, isn ’t it?”

Gathering and then keeping a whole bunch of martial artists in line wasn’t an easy task at all.
Every single one of them was headstrong to a fault, so they were unwilling to listen to others, while even the smallest provocations could trigger them pretty badly.

Up until now, he soothed, pacified, spread wealth and bribes around, and even resorted to threats by using the authority of the Assembly Master, all in the name of preventing any deadly confrontations.
However, it seemed that his methods had reached their limits.

“…Just what the hell are they planning here?!”

The bastards at the Yeongnam Group were provoking the Korean Martial Assembly as if they wanted frontal warfare.
Of course, the Assembly Master wasn ’t scared by the prospect of war.
However, the war between the two factions would make hiding their existence from ordinary people quite difficult.
And that would give the Martial Union, a Chinese organization, the pretext of performing ’arbitration ’ while butting into Korea ’s affairs.
That had to be prevented at any cost.

As he mulled the way forward, the conference hall ’s door opened, and a woman leisurely stepped inside.
She looked at him and waved her hand.

“…Haven ’t I told you to call me Assembly Master when you ’re in here?!”

“Yes, yes, Assembly Master.
There ’s no one here, though.
No need to be so uptight, you know,” she playfully responded to him.

However, the Assembly Master remained unmoved.
“If you keep pursuing convenience when no one ’s watching, you ’ll end up making mistakes even when there are people around!”

“Yes, yes.” The woman, Lee Hyeon-Ju, briefly shook her head before revealing why she was here.
“I think there will be some ’movements ’ to remove you as the Assembly Master during the next conference.”

The Assembly Master sighed.
“So, that ’s how they want to respond, huh…”

Lee Hyeon-Ju smiled bitterly.
“Well, you ’ve been suppressing them for a while now, after all.”

The Assembly Master ’s sigh deepened as he leaned back on his chair.
“It ’s not like I enjoy suppressing them.
You know very well that I ’m not that kind of a person, Hyeon-Ju.”

Lee Hyeon-Ju nodded.
“Yes, I do.
However, they don ’t…”

The Assembly Master massaged his temples as his migraine seemed to be getting worse.
“…Have you found out more about that ’man,’ Hyeon-Ju?”

Lee Hyeon-Ju began her report.
His name is Jin Bao, a Chaoxianzu.”

“A Chaoxianzu, is it?”

And he ’s a contract killer specializing in unsavory work, too.”

The Assembly Master groaned deeply.
Not anyone could become a contract killer, especially in the world of martial arts.
Without possessing a certain level of strength, a killer would end up getting killed by their targets instead.

“Is this Jin Bao well-known?”

Lee Hyeon-Ju nodded.
“He seems pretty infamous on this side of the pond, actually.”

“Is that right?” The Assembly Master slowly scratched his chin.
He didn ’t like the idea of taking down a killer associated with the Martial Union, but that bastard had caused a serious incident this time.
Just how badly did the Martial Assembly sweat while trying to deal with that situation at the skyscraper?

If left alone, that Jin Bao bastard would no doubt cause an even bigger incident in the future.

The Assembly Master nodded slowly while asking Lee Hyeon-Ju.
“Very well.
Where is he now?”

“In China, Assembly Master.”

“…Mm?” The Assembly Master narrowed his eyes.

Lee Hyeon-Ju shrugged her shoulders.
“Jin Bao is already back in China.”

“He had already completed his contract and returned to China? Damn…” The Assembly Master sighed in lamentation and massaged his face again.
To think that not acting right away due to the lack of casualties in that skyscraper incident would lead to this result…
“How unfortunate that yet another life was snuffed out just like that…”

“…Grandfather, you shouldn ’t just jump to conclusions.
Jin Bao didn ’t go back after completing his contract.
It’s more like he has abandoned it.”

“Abandoned the contract?” The Assembly Master was surprised to hear that.
A contract killer giving up on a job meant they would be liable for a massive breach-of-contract fee.
That was why most contract killers were unwilling to give up or cancel their contracts.
“In that case, what about his target?”

“He ’s unscathed.”

“…Stop beating the bush and tell me the situation straight, will you?”

Lee Hyeon-Ju nodded.
“I think Jin Bao was done in by his target.”

“Really?” The Assembly Master furrowed his brow.
The Martial Union was confident in that Jin Bao ’s abilities to entrust him with a job.
So, for a person like that to lose to his target? That suggested a lot of things.
“Have you investigated the target, then?”

His name is Kang Jin-Ho.
A university student discharged from mandatory military service not too long ago.
Both of his parents are still alive, and he has a younger sister.
His father runs a cafe while his mother helps out.
His sister is a singer.
A really popular one, too.”

“…Is that all?”

“Yes.” Lee Hyeon-Ju nodded affirmatively.

“What about the investigation into which sect or school of martial arts he belongs to? What about his cultivation technique?”

“I couldn ’t find any traces.
Nothing about his sect nor any hints of him mastering any particular cultivation technique.
Actually, we didn ’t even have any records of him prior to that skyscraper incident, Grandfather.”

“Hmm…” The Assembly Master quietly groaned.

’A returner, is it? ’

In that case, the problem was more severe than he thought.

Find the original at

The Assembly Master got up.
“It seems I must meet this young man myself.
What is he doing right now?”

“Well, the thing is…” Lee Hyeon-Ju ’s smile was cramped as if it was a bit troublesome to reply.
Still, she did her job and relayed the information she had on her.


Jo Gyu-Min was a man who didn ’t know the concept of ’giving up ’.
If he were someone who easily threw in the towel just because the going got a little tough, he wouldn ’t have been able to seize the opportunity Hwang Jeong-Hu had granted him, never mind climbing to his current position in the corporation.

Kang Jin-Ho resolutely refused to participate, but too bad for him—Jo Gyu-Min still had an ace up his sleeve.
To earn the title of ’Kang Jin-Ho Whisperer,’ Jo Gyu-Min had perfectly analyzed and understood Kang Jin-Ho ’s tendencies and personality quirks.

Now that every other avenue had been exhausted, Jo Gyu-Min resorted to the oldest, surest method in the book.
Which was the only one left that he could resort to, anyway.
And it was also a method everyone in the world would have to rely on at least once in their life! That was how effective this ace was!

“Mister Jin-Hoooooo!”

“I ’m not doing it, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“Don ’t be like this, Mister Jin-Hoooo!”

“I ’m not doing it.”

“…You ’ll get me fired at this rate!”

Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“You are not going to get fired for something like this.
Even if you do, I ’ll complain directly to the Chairman.”

“Even if I ’m not fired, the Chairman ’s trust in me will take a nosedive!”

“That doesn ’t sound like my business, though.”

“Nooo, Mister Jin-Hoooo!”

“Argh, I said, I ’m not gonna do it!”

Jo Gyu-Min chose to go with the ’frontal assault ’ strategy! In other words, he followed Kang Jin-Ho everywhere and begged him incessantly!

’If logic doesn ’t work, appeal to his emotions! ’

Objectively speaking, what Jo Gyu-Min was doing was closer to being an annoyance rather than appealing to Kang Jin-Ho ’s emotions.
However, he had no leeway to sweat over the details at the moment.

Kang Jin-Ho furrowed his brow.
“I just don ’t have a reason to run a business now, do I? So, why should I?”

“But, it ’ll be fun!”

“Fun? How?”

“Yes, it ’ll be fun! Mister Jin-Ho, haven ’t you always wanted to try out being a business owner? Most people don ’t try because it ’s difficult.
However, treat it like a fun pastime, and you won ’t find anything else as entertaining as being a business owner!”

“Are you seriously telling me that working my butt off is…

“Of course it is! Just take a look at the list of the most popular mobile games! You either serve coffee in a cafe or milk cows on a ranch!”


Jo Gyu-Min continued, his expression full of confidence.
“I ’m telling you, it ’s the issue of funds that holds back people from trying! As long as you don ’t have that issue to worry about, being self-employed is basically the same as one of the most enjoyable pastimes in this world!”

“…I see that you ’ve become a splendid con artist, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“Heol! That hurts my feelings, Mister Jin-Ho.”

Kang Jin-Ho smirked and quickly walked away.
Currently, they were on their way to the Kang family ’s cafe.
Well, it wasn’t like he really did mind giving it a try if Jaegyeong was willing to go this far for him, but there were plenty of hurdles to get past first.
For instance, getting his parents ’ permission.

Jo Gyu-Min curiously asked, “By the way, is Miss Eun-Yeong still working in the cafe? Doesn ’t she have that TV show commitment to fulfill?”

Kang Jin-Ho resolutely nodded.
However, her schedule and her punishment are two separate things.
It ’s the right thing for her to serve out the remainder of her punishment for her wrongdoing.”

“Oh? So, it’s not because your father doesn’t want to see the cafe ’s revenues fall any further? That’s not why he ’s not letting her leave?”

“…Hmph.” Kang Jin-Ho ’s expression turned sheepish; he avoided answering that question.

However, Jo Gyu-Min could already make an educated guess from that awkward expression.

’Gee whiz.
She could ’ve made a killing appearing in various events instead of wasting her precious time in a cafe… ’

Then again, Kang Jin-Ho ’s family wasn ’t exactly hurting for cash, anyway.
Kang Eun-Yeong could work for the rest of her life, and she still wouldn ’t earn as much as all the wealth currently sitting pretty in Kang Jin-Ho ’s bank account.

The duo soon arrived in front of Kang Yu-Hwan ’s cafe.
Before entering, though, Kang Jin-Ho headed to a nearby street corner and mouthed a cigarette first.
Since the cafe was a non-smoking area, he wanted to get his nicotine fix first before going inside.

Jo Gyu-Min sidled up to him.
“Please reconsider, Mister Jin-Hoooo!”

“I ’m not doing it, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“Don ’t be like that, please!”

“Tsk…” Kang Jin-Ho tutted and tried to say something else, but a shrill yell from the cafe stopped him.

“I said, leave!”

Kang Eun-Yeong ’s annoyed voice prompted Kang Jin-Ho to throw away his cigarette and urgently rush inside the cafe.

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