Lee Hyeon-Ju drove her car in tense silence, and her expression was one of nervousness.

Just a bit faster! ’

The vehicle was already traveling at nearly two hundred kilometers per hour, but it still couldn ’t go fast enough for her.
What kind of horrors would her grandfather experience while she was dallying about like this?

At worst, he could be… no longer the part of the living world.
The thought made Lee Hyeon-Ju bite her lip hard enough to draw blood.

’No, I ’m sure that can ’t be… ’

Even if those bastards were working under the Yeongnam Group ’s orders, they wouldn ’t just hand over the Assembly on a platter to the Yeongnam Group with basically nothing for themselves.
After all, people were creatures who wouldn’t want to work unless their own benefits were secured.

Those bastards would definitely try to take over the Martial Assembly, and they had to extract information only the Assembly Master knew before they could do that.
In other words, they needed stuff only her grandfather knew.

Even if the worst-case scenario happened, and her grandfather failed to put up much fight before those bastards subdued him, he was still a tight-lipped individual, so he wouldn ’t have divulged all the information.
Hopefully, his ’usefulness ’ was keeping him alive.

Lee Hyeon-Ju desperately believed that while stomping on the accelerator.


Search bit.ly/3iBfjkV for the original.

The engine let out a loud roar.
Unfortunately, she still had lots of distance left to cover despite how urgently her heart was racing in anxiety.

’…Did I do the right thing, though? ’

Despite the urgency of the situation, she still came all this way to ask for help from Kang Jin-Ho.
However, she had to seriously wonder if that had been the right choice.

Lee Hyeon-Ju sneaked a glance at the passenger seat next to her.
Kang Jin-Ho was sitting there with his eyes closed in a comfortable, nonchalant expression despite the car charging ahead at two hundred kilometers per hour.

’No, I must believe… ’

Lee Hyeon-Ju tried to comfort herself with those words.

If she had more time to spare, she could have thought up a ’better ’ solution to her situation than Kang Jin-Ho.
Indeed, if only she had enough time to cooperate with all the individuals within the Assembly Master ’s faction! She would have found a more realistic and pragmatic solution than charging straight at the enemies with only Kang Jin-Ho in tow.

Unfortunately, she didn ’t have that luxury.
Every second was precious, so it was unfeasible to contact every single ally, choose a meeting point, then plan a strategy to rescue the Assembly Master.

Obviously, some people in the world could probably pull such a trick off.
However, she believed she was rather ill-suited for such a thing.
That was why…

Lee Hyeon-Ju gripped the steering wheel tighter.

’And they say nothing is more fickle-minded than humans… ’

Less than thirty minutes ago, Lee Hyeon-Ju was dying of nervousness, wondering whether Kang Jin-Ho would even agree to help her.
And that was why she even knelt in front of him.
But now?

Just the mere thought of things going better than expected made her focus on how useful Kang Jin-Ho would be as her ally.
Even if the current situation was grave, Lee Hyeon-Ju still felt sickened by her own innate treacherousness.

’By the way…
What are those…? ’

Kang Jin-Ho ’s breathing was calm and steady as if he were fast asleep.
Along with the rising and falling chest were two lengthy scabbards.
Indeed, no matter how many times she glanced at them, they had to be scabbards with swords sheathed inside.

he didn ’t have weapons with him the last time? ’

Kang Jin-Ho easily manhandled Lee Seong-Hwi like a three-year-old baby with nothing but his bare hands back then.
As such, Lee Hyeon-Ju believed that Kang Jin-Ho was a bare-knuckle fighter after witnessing that beatdown, but now, the sight of a pair of swords left a big question mark in her head.

However, her question had to be put aside because Kang Jin-Ho raised his voice.

“How much further?”

“We will arrive in around thirty minutes.”

”I see… ” said Kang Jin-Ho, then closed his eyes again.
Was that being relaxed? Or was it more like unconcerned? Whatever it was, he was different from Lee Hyeon-Ju.
And seeing him like this only made the latter more nervous.

The nervousness meant she could no longer maintain her silence.
”Excuse me… ”

Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes a little after Lee Hyeon-Ju ’s cautious voice reached him.

“I know it ’s strange to ask you this right now, but…”


“Why are you helping me?”

Kang Jin-Ho quietly glanced at her.
She could easily read the ’thought ’ hidden in that gaze.
Well, even Lee Hyeon-Ju thought her question was absurd.
She pleaded with him for help, but now, she was questioning him for agreeing to help her? Anyone would be dismayed and flabbergasted by such a question.

honestly thought the odds of you helping me were less than ten percent.
And even if you agreed to help, I thought I ’d need a lot more time to convince you.
And lots of compensation, too.
But you decided to help me so quickly, and I—. ”

“And you thought it was weird.”

“…In a way, yes.”

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
“Don ’t think that way, Miss Lee.”


”We haven ’t finished our discussion regarding my payment, after all. ”

Lee Hyeon-Ju clamped her mouth shut.
She knew she couldn ’t refuse Kang Jin-Ho ’s demands right now, no matter how unreasonable they could be.

Kang Jin-Ho shifted his gaze away from Lee Hyeon-Ju’s pale face before closing his eyes again.

’My reason, huh… ’

Maybe Kang Jin-Ho should have been more curious about his own reasons than Lee Hyeon-Ju.
He was sitting in the passenger seat and behaving like a good little kid, but he still had no clear idea why he agreed in the first place.

Kang Jin-Ho had no reason to grab every hand reaching out to him for help.
Even the orphanage director surely wouldn ’t have wanted that.
What she wanted instead was for him to be a little more proactive and inviting rather than becoming a saint capable of embracing the whole world.

Objectively speaking, Lee Hyeon-Ju and her grandfather weren ’t even ’weak ’ people as well.
Despite finding themselves in danger, both of them were powerful people by society ’s standards.
Overwhelmingly powerful people, as a matter of fact.

Sure, someone had to be in the position of ’weak ’ in a battle between two powerful entities, but that didn ’t mean Kang Jin-Ho needed to help them out now, did it?

’I guess it could be self-satisfaction. ’

A wry grin floated up on Kang Jin-Ho ’s face.
He should just admit to what he had to admit, and it was the fact that his innards would boil at the mere mention of the Yeongnam Group.

All those emotions he had suppressed through great willpower started running amok the moment he got his hands on Azuremourne and Crimson Destiny.
It was as if all restrictions on him had been lifted, or someone was constantly whispering in his ear.

The voice said he had been patient long enough, so there was no need to let those bastards run free anymore.

All those things Hwang Jeong-Hu had told him earlier? Kang Jin-Ho was already worried about the same thing even before their little talk in the chairman ’s office happened.
Could he truly maintain his current lifestyle after throwing himself into a bloody conflict against the Yeongnam Group?

Would he be able to enjoy a life without daily anxiety and tension like he had been enjoying until now? Would he be able to pursue what would give him joy and happiness by then?

There was an absolute ’law ’ in this world, and it stated that a person could not have everything they wanted in life.
To gain something, they had to lose something else in return.

By fighting the Yeongnam group, Kang Jin-Ho could gain a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in his thirst for vengeance.
He could even sate the savage instincts simmering behind his facade, too.
However, he could very well pay the hefty price of losing his current lifestyle.

It was rather amusing as well, but Kang Jin-Ho had never backed down against strong enemies or against his harsh fate; however, the fear of losing this ’insignificant and small ’ lifestyle made him hesitate.

This ’insignificant and small ’ life was something Kang Jin-Ho had worked so hard and without rest to build since his return to the modern era.
And the thought of his hard work crumbling away like a sand castle in the blink of an eye…

The uncomfortable thought prevented him from making a move.

’What exquisite timing this was, then. ’

While he was hesitating, Lee Hyeon-Ju suddenly appeared before him.
And she brought up the Yeongnam Group, no less.

Why would he help her? Kang Jin-Ho quietly smirked.
The real question should be: who was helping whom here?

Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t helping Lee Hyeon-Ju this time.
Instead, she was unwittingly egging him on.

— Oh? Is that why you ’re having fun?

“…Shut up.” Kang Jin-Ho growled lowly.

”I ’m sorry? ” Lee Hyeon-Ju was taken aback by Kang Jin-Ho ’s sudden remark, so she looked at him.

“No, it ’s nothing.” Kang Jin-Ho coldly shook his head.

’…No need to rush, you hear me? ’

Anyway, he was at his limits.
In a short while, he would unleash his other side without holding him.


’No need to go crazy like a dog in heat, okay? ’

Kang Jin-Ho bit his lip, hard.

’This could be like a type of inner demon, then… ’

This happened sometimes.
There was another voice coming from somewhere deep inside him.
In the past, he thought it was a subconscious backlash against his efforts to suppress his urges in this life.
It had to be an auditory hallucination created by his true nature wanting to break free from the harsh suppression and was screaming to be heard.
Unfortunately, he had to suppress it to stop himself from clashing against the rest of the world.

Lately, Kang Jin-Ho could feel that something was off.
The internal voice was getting more vivid as time went on.
And then, the bizarre feeling that there was something else—a creature that was different from him—was living and breathing inside his head washed over him far more frequently lately.

It was as if two disparate personalities of Kang Jin-Ho and Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor were coexisting inside one body.

Whether this phenomenon would lead to some kind of a headache down the line or it was just a simple psychological issue, he would need more time to figure it out.
However, if this was a side effect of trying to suppress his true nature that was formed while he was adapting to the ways of Zhongyuan…

Lee Hyeon-Ju glancing at Kang Jin-Ho started shuddering in fear.
The corner of Kang Jin-Ho’s lips as he sat on the passenger seat was gradually curling up.

That grin…
His eyes remained dead still, and only his lips were moving up.
It was easily one of the scariest, most chilling grins Lee Hyeon-Ju had ever seen.
What a bizarre grin that was—outwardly, it didn ’t seem anything special—yet merely witnessing it made her heart nearly tumble to the pit of her stomach.

’…Did I really make the right choice? ’

Had she invited a tiger into her home to chase away a pack of wild dogs? Lee Hyeon-Ju wiped away all the sweat trickling down her face.
She could grow to regret her decision in the not-too-distant future, but it was too late to turn back the clock now.
The time she had spent bringing Kang Jin-Ho with her had already robbed her of alternative choices.
More importantly, though…
they were almost at the destination.

Lee Hyeon-Ju turned the lights off in her car and slowed down.
Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes after sensing the deceleration.

She pointed to a structure up ahead.
“It ’s over there.”

“That ’s the Assembly?”

It ’s my grandfather ’s residence. ”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly nodded.

Soon, their car stopped at the roadside.
Lee Hyeon-Ju opened the door to get out, and Kang Jin-Ho followed suit by unhesitantly stepping outside as well.

She made a slightly terrified face while explaining the situation, ”There were around ten people inside the residence, including my grandfather, employees, and bodyguards.
Either they are being suppressed, or… ”


Kang Jin-Ho quietly stared at Lee Hyeon-Ju.
“How did you escape?”

”I wasn ’t here.
I told my grandfather about a suspected rebellion within the Assembly, and then I received a phone call about someone attacking the residence.
I confirmed it through an external CCTV feed. ”

“And then?”

“There are no cameras installed near my grandfather ’s quarters.
That ’s why I haven ’t been able to confirm his state until now.
If you still don ’t believe me, I can show you the CCTV feed—”

“No need,” Kang Jin-Ho cut Lee Hyeon-Ju off.
“That ’s enough for me.”

He turned around, then scanned the structure visible near the summit of a mountain.

It means all those still left standing are enemies.”

As he said those words, a faint grin etched itself on his lips.
His voice contained a trace of a certain creepy emotion, and after hearing it, Lee Hyeon-Ju ’s legs almost lost all of their strength.
The creepy emotion was enjoyment.
Kang Jin-Ho seemed to be enjoying this situation so much that he could barely contain himself.


Kang Jin-Ho tied Azuremourne to his hips, then unsheathed Crimson Destiny.
He didn ’t even bother to look behind as he stepped forward and said with a cold and low voice, “Stay here.
What ’s about to happen won ’t be pretty to look at.”

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