“I’ve assigned the punishment of that man to the Yeongnam Group, my lord.” Cai Kechang bowed his head, tension filling up his face.

Even though this wasn ’t his first meeting with the Crimson King, even the mere idea of standing in the presence of one of the three kings placed a huge burden on Cai Kechang ’s shoulders.
And no, it wasn ’t simply because of the difference in status.

Even in this massive nation called China, there were only two other martial artists boasting a similar level of strength to the Crimson King.
So, how could Cai Kechang not respect someone who had surpassed countless other cultivators in China and reached the pinnacle of martial arts?

Even if the Crimson King were an outsider with no ties to the Martial Union, Cai Kechang ’s respect would still not be any lesser.

The Crimson King rubbed his chin.
Yeongnam Group, is it?”

“Yes, my lord.
It is South Korea ’s strongest organization.”

“The strongest, you say…?” The Crimson King leaned back against his throne and asked in a disinterested voice, “Is that the only group we have ties with?”

Cai Kechang cautiously pressed his forehead to the floor.
“Forgive me, my lord.
Our need to keep an eye on the other kings has imposed an unfortunate limit on how much influence we could exert on the minor nation.”

The Crimson King tutted.
“I ’m not criticizing you, Cai Kechang.”

Cai Kechang kept his head low while swallowing back his saliva.
He wasn ’t a slow-witted man, so he caught the hint of disappointment hidden in the Crimson King ’s tone.
It seemed that the Crimson King was dissatisfied with how Cai Kechang had chosen to handle this matter.

why? ’

They were dealing with one person—just one! If this matter involved the destruction of the Korean Martial Assembly, the representative martial arts organization of South Korea, then Cai Kechang would be far more understanding.
But it was not, and they were just trying to kill a single individual living on a small peninsula.
For such a purpose, mobilizing the Yeongnam Group seemed like overkill, no matter how many times Cai Kechang thought about it.

the Crimson King was disappointed? How come?

Cai Kechang slightly raised his head and stared at the Crimson King sitting on the throne.
It was impossible to glean anything; however, from the Crimson King ’s languid, eyes-closed expression.

“…Cai Kechang!”

“Yes, my lord!”

The Crimson King slowly opened his eyes.
Cai Kechang met those burning eyes and felt his soul instantly freeze up.
All that primal savageness contained within made him feel like he was staring into the eyes of a tiger.
Why was a man possessing such eyes so wary of some random martial living in a minor nation?

“Cai Kechang, have you ever seen a demonic arts practitioner before?”

“…Demonic arts practitioner, my lord?”

“That ’s right.”

Cai Kechang briefly organized his thoughts before replying, “Yes, my lord.
I ’ve met a few.
However, almost every demonic arts practitioner I ’ve encountered did not possess an intact mind.
The overriding impression I got was that, as their mind is not stable, they can ’t even utilize everything at their disposal.”

That ’s what the majority of the demonic arts practitioners are like,” the Crimson King slowly nodded while leisurely muttering away.
“The demonic cultivation methods awaken the latent potential and greatly improve a cultivator ’s strength in a relatively short period.
However, all hasty things have their side effects.
The current-era demonic cultivation methods will raise your strength quickly, but you ’ll have to pay the price of accumulating shoddy internal energy.
Those things are nothing more than poison that will chip your reasoning away and turn you into a madman.”

“Yes, my lord.
That is also what I know about the demonic arts.
There is no reason to even go near a demonic cultivation method if you have the opportunity to master orthodox cultivation techniques.”

“Indeed, that ’s how it should be.
However…” The end of the Crimson King ’s sentence trailed off, prompting Cai Kechang to raise his head again to look.
“If the demonic cultivation methods only amounted to that much, how did they survive so many generations and still get handed down until now?”

That question left Cai Kechang mulling his answer for a while.
Everyone disparaged the demonic cultivation methods and didn ’t want anything to do with them, while those who foolishly cultivated them would surely meet their own destruction sooner rather than later.
In that case, how did such cultivation methods manage to survive until now?

“My lord, I…
have never thought about that until now.”

“Fufufu…” The Crimson King chuckled quietly, which indicated that he liked Cai Kechang ’s reply.
“Without a doubt, those indulging in the demonic arts are no better than human trash.
The real demonic arts practitioner is quite a different breed from the ones you know, Cai Kechang.”

“…Real demonic arts practitioners, my lord?”

“Yes…” The Crimson King nodded, then slowly pushed himself forward off the throne to stand tall.
His previous languid demeanor had disappeared, now replaced by the veil of fighting spirit belonging to a man wishing to dash across the world at full tilt.
Such intense spirit was now slowly but surely enveloping him.
“The real demonic cultivator that has mastered the true demonic cultivation methods should never be underestimated nor left unchecked.
Look through the history of Murim, and you will see that such individuals have thrown our world into chaos many times before.”

Cai Kechang wordlessly looked up at the Crimson King before cautiously speaking up, “My lord, do you…
perhaps think that this Korean individual named Kang Jin-Ho is one such demonic cultivator? One who mastered the true demonic cultivation method?”

“It is a possibility.
A possibility…” The Crimson King muttered, his voice lacking confidence.
Even if it was him, figuring out the origin of a cultivation technique through just its aftermaths was impossible.

“It should not happen.
It must not.
However, if it does happen…” The Crimson King slowly chewed out his next words.
“Those who dare to fight him will learn what it means to have their souls ripped apart.”

Cai Kechang felt a deathly chill run down his spine from that ominous declaration.


“Kuh-uh?” The Fallen began shaking like a leaf.

No, rather than a mere shaking, he was trembling.
The crazed man who acted like he feared nothing in this world was now trembling like a little puppy before its angry owner.


Just like how an animal driven to a corner would start threatening its attacker, the Fallen bared his fangs at Kang Jin-Ho while going down on all fours.
Kang Jin-Ho chuckled quietly at this sight.
However, that chuckle seemed twisted for some reason.

To him, this was like witnessing the ruined hometown ’s aftermath.
He couldn ’t tell just how the flow of history caused the demonic arts to sink this low.
And the Fallen was a clear example of the wretched state the modern-era demonic cultivation had found itself in.

Truth be told, Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t obsessed with the demonic arts.
He didn ’t start off cultivating them, after all.
So, he didn ’t see the demonic arts as his everything or was in a constant state of awe at how wondrous they were.
Even so…

People would still lament how the once-majestic castle had become dilapidated and crumbling through time regardless of its style.
And just like that, Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t feel so good to see how low the demonic cultivation had fallen from its lofty heights where it used to look down on the rest of the world.

Demonic cultivation was simply a branch of martial arts that pursued absolute strength.
It was the result of a somewhat insane devotion toward becoming stronger and reaching an even higher realm regardless of the method.
However, the demonic arts ‘practitioner’ before Kang Jin-Ho ’s eyes didn ’t deserve that label.
No, this man was simply a bloodthirsty murderer.

Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t acting out of his sense of justice that wanted to punish a murderer.
Something like that didn ’t exist inside him, to begin with.
No, his motivating force was…
something far more superficial.
It was a twisted, illogical hatred aimed at the half-baked demonic arts practitioner.
And that was enough of a reason for him.

As for why he was angry or resentful, that didn ’t matter.
The only thing that did matter was his decision to utterly obliterate this crazy individual.


Sounds of bones gritting rang out loudly from Kang Jin-Ho ’s clenching fists.
And that was the signal.

Kang Jin-Ho ’s eyes were quickly dyed in a crimson hue.
And then, he charged straight at the Fallen while maintaining that berserk aura.

The Fallen screeched and dashed toward Kang Jin-Ho.

The distance between the two evaporated in an instant where they could now almost touch each other.
The Fallen suddenly took a huge swing with his right arm at Kang Jin-Ho ’s head.

What a crude attack.
Not a single trace of technique could be found in the Fallen ’s movements.
However, this kind of crude attack was enough when combined with the demonic cultivation methods.
It would be powerful enough to tear steel like pieces of paper and gouge out concrete like mud.

Any reasonable opponent would not choose to face a demonic arts practitioner head-on.
They could utilize the teachings of orthodox martial arts to dodge this kind of attack to gain a huge advantage in the process.
This was one of the reasons why the demonic arts practitioners ultimately lost out to those practicing the orthodox cultivation methods despite the demonic cultivation ’s potential to endlessly amplify one ’s strength.

Kang Jin-Ho bared his fangs in a low cackle as the Fallen ’s hand closed in on his head.

It was a barely-suppressed cackle.
He tried to suppress it but ultimately failed.
He had been patient for far too long, after all.

After his return to the modern era, Kang Jin-Ho never had a chance to freely unleash his strength.
The enemies that were supposed to engage him in life-or-death struggles turned out to be too weak.
And he couldn ’t afford to kill any of those opponents that seemed capable of withstanding his powers to a degree.

However, for the first time in years, an enemy Kang Jin-Ho could do whatever he wanted to do showed up today.
His craving, repressed further and further until it was about to reach its breaking point, was unleashed in the blink of an eye.
Kang Jin-Ho shuddered in delight as he finally released the power he had been suppressing all this time.

Kang Jin-Ho ’s fist flew out like a bolt of lightning toward the Fallen ’s right hand.
The two limbs collided in midair.


The resulting impact noise was far too loud and heavy for something created from the collision of flesh and blood.


The Fallen ’s right hand flew back faster than when he had swung it.
In that blink of an eye, the bones in his right arm were crushed.
Several spots in the arm also exploded, causing a fountain of blood to explode.
His expression distorted from shock and pain.
How did this…?!

Unfortunately for him, he had no time to form his thoughts.

Just as Kang Jin-Ho ’s left hand returned to his side, his right elbow flew up to smash into the Fallen ’s chin.


A human ’s figure became airborne.
Like a powerfully kicked soccer ball, the Fallen ’s body flew up in the air before crashing back to Earth and bouncing around several times.

“Kkuwuuuuk…” The Fallen ’s consciousness nearly abandoned him before rushing back in.
And then, indescribable pain exploded from his chin.

The Fallen used his still-intact hand to touch his chin.
felt like his chin had completely disintegrated.
His mouth was left agape, and his searching fingers felt the half-torn tongue and several broken and missing teeth among the mess of flesh and blood.


The Fallen hurriedly felt around his face, his entire body a shivering wreck.
His headspace was in total chaos.
He couldn ’t figure out what was happening to him right now.

He knew he was strong.
Never mind the powerless regular civilians; most average martial artists couldn ’t even dare to resist him.
The Fallen only decided to rely on the Yeongnam Group because that would make his life that much more convenient, not because he was scared of other martial artists.
But now—

He could hear someone ’s footsteps getting closer.
The Fallen ’s eyes began to quiver and twitch.

He didn ’t want to see.
He had no confidence to look up and confirm the presence of the ’monster ’ slowly closing the distance.
However, the Fallen had no choice but to look.

The unseen fear was several times more asphyxiating than the one that could be seen, after all.
The Fallen instinctively looked up not to confront his fears but to escape from an even greater fear.
And that was when he witnessed it.

He witnessed the figure of Kang Jin-Ho slowly getting closer as the swaying jet-black darkness enveloped his surroundings.
And in the center of this darkness were his eyes burning in an eerie crimson hue.

Euhhhh…?” The Fallen began crawling backward away from Kang Jin-Ho.

He thought his emotions had all withered away, and that not even a hint of them in his heart had remained.
He believed the only emotions that remained were ecstasy and the impulse to murder.
But now, the Fallen realized—he had been mistaken.

The emotion called fear, wrapped under a thick, nearly-impenetrable box and buried deep inside his subconsciousness, began seeping out from the gaps of its container and ruled over him.
That man with an expressionless face walking closer had finally reminded the Fallen what it was like to be scared beyond words.

Kang Jin-Ho leisurely spoke up, “Not yet.”

Search tinyurl.com/2p9emv8w for the original.

‘This is not enough.
This much is insufficient…’

‘…Since I ’ve only just begun!’

“Get up.” Kang Jin-Ho quietly growled.

The Fallen continued to urgently crawl away.
Kang Jin-Ho watched this response with a twisted smirk etched on his face.
He then lightly leaped up and closed the distance in an instant before grabbing the Fallen by his dirty, unkempt hair.

Kang Jin-Ho forced up the Fallen ’s head until it was right in front of his eyes, then whispered, “Ending it like this is no fun, don ’t you agree? After all, we still have a long way to go for you to experience the full course.”

Kang Jin-Ho grinned like the devil.

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