Bang Jin-Hun was taken aback.

’What is up with this guy? ’

‘No, wait.
Don ’t get flustered.’

’Right, this is how it ’s supposed to be. ’

Bang Jin-Hun finally got the sense that things were clicking into their places.
After all, the docile-looking demeanor of Kang Jin-Ho until now had planted a seed of doubt, this sense of incongruity, in Bang Jin-Hun ’s head.
Someone strong and vicious enough to slaughter twenty of the Yeongnam Group ’s elite warriors and turn Cheon Tae-Hun into such a wretched state wouldn ’t be this well-behaved and meek.
Bang Jin-Hun should know that since he had personally trained Cheon Tae-Hun.

Still, that didn ’t resolve all the issues at present.

’Isn ’t this…
a bit too over the top? ’

Beaded sweat quickly formed on Bang Jin-Hun ’s forehead.
How did Cheon Tae-Hun even withstand this without going completely insane? Even Bang Jin-Hun felt strained under the tremendous pressure, so he had to marvel at the fact that his weaker underling managed to survive through it.

’No, wait.
That ’s not really true, is it? ’

Cheon Tae-Hun managed to withstand the pressure because it was him—a mere day-old puppy wouldn ’t know the terror of a growling tiger, after all!

Bang Jin-Hun had attained a high-enough realm of cultivation, which allowed him to make a fairly accurate assessment of how terrifying and horrible Kang Jin-Ho was based on the aura he was emitting.

Bang Jin-Hun sucked in a deep breath.
“My reason for wanting to take over the Assembly, you say?”

“Yes, that.” Kang Jin-Ho lit another cigarette with the loud click of a lighter.

Bang Jin-Hun repeatedly clenched and unfurled his fists below the table to lessen his nervousness and tension.

’Is it even possible to come across as a completely different person by simply changing the air around you? ’

Kang Jin-Ho still had the same face, but he had to be a totally different person right now.

“My reason for wanting to take over the Assembly…? Don ’t you know anything about what ’s happening with us?”

Kang Jin-Hu shrugged his shoulders.
“Is there a reason why I should?”

Kekeke.” Bang Jin-Hun inadvertently chuckled.

The arrogance! Kang Jin-Ho ’s unshakable confidence allowed him to treat Bang Jin-Hun like air! Now that…
that was something Bang Jin-Hun always wanted to possess as well!

Such an attitude could never be faked unless one was fully confident of their own strength.
Strength led to confidence, and strength…
led to arrogance!

“My reason…
My reason, you say?! What other reason would it be other than to survive?!” Bang Jin-Hun chewed those words out as his eyes started to burn fiercely.

The more one tried to press down on a spring, the harder it would try to bounce free.
Bang Jin-Hun was like that.
He wasn ’t the type to shrink back under pressure.
No matter how immense it was!

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“To survive, you say?”

The Yeongnam Group… ” Bang Jin-Hun quenched his throat with a gulp of the milkshake.
”The Yeongnam Group bastards have bared their fangs at us already.
At this rate, the Martial Assembly will submit to them pretty soon.
Regular Assembly members won ’t face many issues surviving under the Yeongnam Group ’s banner, but that does not apply to us.
The master of the Yeongnam Group is well known for swiftly dealing with loose ends, after all! ”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded in understanding.
“What does that have to do with targeting the Assembly Master?”

”It ’s because he was responsible for letting things end up this way! ” Bang Jin-Hun growled in a voice filled with resentment.
”In the past, our Assembly Master had guts.
But his current self does not have it anymore.
He has become indecisive and cowardly.
The Yeongnam Group never had any thoughts of negotiating with us.
What they pursue is hegemony, absolute domination! But our Assembly Master couldn ’t let go of his foolish lingering dreams and tried to resolve everything through dialogue.
However, if only he had actively snipped the bud as it bloomed! Only a minimal level of sacrifice would have sufficed to take care of this problem! But now, after letting things drag on this far, this situation will only conclude after both sides experience significant and painful losses! ”

Bang Jin-Ho took another gulp of the milkshake, then glared straight at Kang Jin-Ho.
”Tell me, do you really think that martial artists can rely solely on dialogues to undo the tangled knots of their fate? ”

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

“It ’s not that straightforward…”

“I ’m not sure about that,” Kang Jin-Ho replied without concern.
“I ’ve never tried to resolve my matters that way, you see.
If there ’s a knot, I cut it off.
If something ’s tangled up, I simply burned it away.”

Bang Jin-Hun started trembling all on his own.
However, it was definitely not because of fear.

“Yes, that ’s what I ’m talking about!” Bang Jin-Hun responded in a voice filled with conviction.
“No matter how many eras appear over the years, that is the true nature of a martial artist! Why would I be cultivating if it ’s not to use my martial arts to suppress my enemies? If dialogues are your way of solving things, you should have become a politician.
If you want to deal with things lawfully, then become a lawyer!”

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
He didn ’t entirely agree with Bang Jin-Hun ’s philosophy, but he still found some parts of the latter ’s argument aligning pretty closely with his opinion.

“It isn ’t just me.
Even the Yeongnam Group ’s master thinks the same.
What our Assembly Master has done is the same as dropping his knife to have a nice conversation with a gun-toting enemy!” Bang Jin-Hun took another large swig of his milkshake.
He seemed to be suffering from an urgent thirst at the moment.
He roughly put the cup down, his hand faintly trembling.
“I thought we ’d get nowhere with his methods.
I thought someone needed to step up before it was too late and reorganize the Assembly! Whether that is me or someone else—however, no one wanted to step up, so I did.”


”And you interfered with that! ” Finally, rage seeped into Bang Jin-Hun ’s expression.
”You, who doesn ’t know anything! Without knowing the severity of our situation, you stopped it simply based on your grudges and friendships.
If this matter solidifies the Assembly Master ’s position even further, pulling him down would need another several years, at least! By then, the Yeongnam Group would be sitting on top of the Assembly ’s grave, getting drunk from our booze! Now, do you understand what you have done?! ”

Bang Jin-Hun ’s voice verged on shouting by the time he asked that question.
His anger hadn ’t subsided even after saying his piece, evidenced by his chest still rising and falling rapidly.

Kang Jin-Ho relaxedly took a sip of his juice.
“Let ’s make one thing clear first.”

“…Go ahead.”

“Do not shout at me.”

We are, find us on google.


Kang Jin-Ho ’s lips parted slightly in a smirk, baring his white fangs in the process.
“Raise your voice at me one more time, and you ’ll never get to speak again.
Do you understand what I ’m saying?”

Humiliation quickly dyed Bang Jin-Hun ’s complexion.
However, his instincts desperately yelled at him not to oppose Kang Jin-Ho right now.

Just where did this man come from?! ’

Kang Jin-Ho was shaking up and destroying what Bang Jin-Hun thought of as yardsticks in martial art attainments.
And there was absolutely nothing he could do in front of Kang Jin-Ho ’s overwhelming and oppressive aura!

Bang Jin-Hun could only mutter, “I ’ll engrave that to my heart.”

Kang Jin-Ho confirmed Bang Jin-Hun ’s new attitude and snorted in satisfaction.
”No need to get agitated over something so minor.
If you want the Assembly Master ’s position, I can give it to you. ”

Bang Jin-Hun ’s eyes powerfully quaked.
Was that even possible? Was that truly possible…?

It is possible! ’

He suddenly became confident of it.
The influence Bang Jin-Hun had managed to build until now still wasn ’t as vast or impressive as the Assembly Master ’s achievements.
On the surface, at least, Bang Jin-Hun seemed to be suppressing the old man ’s faction, but that didn ’t mean he could afford to underestimate the hidden forces the Assembly Master had built over several decades.

If an open confrontation was to break out, people Bang Jin-Hun was counting on as his allies would quickly leave him and side with the Assembly Master.
The hidden forces of the Assembly Master would start making their appearances as well.
Bang Jin-Hun was hesitant to directly pressure the Assembly Master precisely because he didn ’t want to go against them.

However, what if this returner stood by his side? Bang Jin-Hun could already see the completed big picture.

’I guess I should correct my assumption, then. ’

As it turned out, this returner was not a maverick or some hippie.
Even though impulses seemed to be the driving force behind his actions, he had already calculated the gains and losses before making his move.
In other words, Kang in-Ho had already mapped out a potential future by the time he revealed his intention to meet up with Bang Jin-Hun.
So, in that case…

Bang Jin-Hun cautiously asked, ”…If you help me, what will you gain in return? ”

“A soldier.”

Bang Jin-Hun ’s eyes immediately became bloodshot.
”Are you saying that I, Bang Jin-Hun, must become your dog?! ”

“If your voice had been any louder just now, you would have lost your vocal cords.”


”You ’re too quick to lose your temper, I see.
Or are you simply faking your agitation? You should choose your opponent wisely first before using that act of yours, wouldn ’t you agree? ” Kang Jin-Ho coldly grinned.

Bang Jin-Hun saw that chilling grin and sensed the air suddenly getting colder as well.
He got a feeling that, ever since they had entered this room, he had been dancing on this returner ’s palm.

Kang Jin-Ho clarified himself.
”I never told you to become someone ’s dog.
You don ’t even need to follow me.
All you need to do is remain enemies with the Yeongnam Group.
Just like what you have been doing until now. ”

“…However, while standing in the same corner as you, yes?”

An enemy of my enemy is a friend, isn ’t it? ” Kang Jin-Ho laughed while baring his fangs.
That unhesitant laughter that hid nothing only made Bang Jin-Hun feel a different type of fear from before, however.

This returner, he…
was thinking of utterly, completely obliterating the Yeongnam Group! And he would stop at nothing to achieve that goal.
Such as…
handing over the Korean Martial Assembly on a silver platter to a complete stranger like Bang Jin-Hun!

After his laughter had subsided, Kang Jin-Ho became serious once more.
“However, something is still bothering me.
You joined forces with the Yeongnam Group, didn ’t you?”

”Of course! The end justifies the means! ” Bang Jin-Hun ’s glare became sharper and seething.
”If you come to an understanding with the bitter enemy you ’ve been fighting with your life on the line, you stop the hostilities and join hands.
That is the rule of this world, or am I wrong? Once the Assembly Master is dead, we would go our separate ways anyway. ”

Wouldn’t the Yeongnam Group have known that as well? ”

“Of course, they would have known it.”

”Even then, they still tried to help you.
Doesn ’t that mean you ’re easier to handle than the Assembly Master from the Yeongnam Group ’s perspective? Or am I overthinking things? ”

For a moment there, Bang Jin-Hun became dazed and lost for words.
He hadn’t thought of that.

What a cruel quandary this is—to support a dimwit even the enemy underestimates.”

Bang Jin-Hun growled like a wounded beast.
“…It ’s not that I look like a weakling to them.”

“Oh? What then?”

“It ’s simple! They haven ’t analyzed me properly, that is all! I ’m their strongest enemy after all!”

“Kekekeke…” Kang Jin-Ho let out a low chuckle.
How delightful—how incredibly delightful!

It even almost felt like he had traveled back in time…
Back to Zhongyuan! That feeling was so strong that the modern interior fittings and tables in the cafe seemed so wrong and out of place right now!

”Well, a dimwit will operate on dimwitted methods, won ’t he? Very well, ” Kang Jin-Ho addressed Bang Jin-Ho, who still hadn ’t gained control over his emotions yet, in a still voice.
”I will help you as long as your desire to fight the Yeongnam Group remains unchanging.
If you wish for the Assembly Master ’s elimination, I ’ll get rid of him.
As for my compensation, you shall get your people ready as quickly as possible to attack the Yeongnam Group. ”

”Your conditions sure sound truly enticing.
However, you don ’t want anything else besides that? ”

Nothing else.”

“Fufufufu…!” Bang Jin-Hun chuckled meaningfully.
Very good.

Bang Jin-Hun ’s eyes blazed like the midday sun.
Those eyes burning in passion locked on Kang Jin-Ho.

”This negotiation can only move forward after we discuss whether you are worthy or not, wouldn ’t you say? In other words, shouldn ’t you be trying to prove your worth first before we join hands? ”

You ’re not wrong.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
After all, he also preferred a fair trade.
“So, how do you want me to prove my worth?”

“To prove a martial artist ’s worth—what has to be done is obvious, isn ’t it?”

“Kekekeke…!” Kang Jin-Ho chuckled ominously.
He wanted to be neutral in all this, but he couldn ’t help himself.
He was really beginning to like this fool before his eyes.
The way he passionately charged forward without looking back reminded Kang Jin-Ho of someone from the past.

“Yes, I like you.
I really do.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded away slowly, oh-so-very slowly.
“So, I shall let you keep your life.”

Bang Jin-Hun failed to understand what Kang Jin-Ho had just said.
Let him keep his life? What on Earth was he even saying?

”I shall forgive you this once for demanding me to prove my strength.
Maybe it ’s just a whim of mine, but it doesn ’t change the fact that I like you, you see?”

Bang Jin-Hun almost ended up yelling.
He wasn ’t being overly proud here.
What Kang Jin-Ho did was an act of completely disrespecting Bang Jin-Hun as a martial artist.
And a martial artist should never accept such humiliation even at the cost of their life! However, he didn ’t have the chance to yell because…
Kang Jin-Ho slowly got up from his chair.

Crackle, pop!

Bizarre noises then entered Bang Jin-Hun ’s ears.
Those noises sounded like bones being ground or bones clashing against each other.

He needed several moments to realize that those noises were coming from his own jaw.
Even before his head could figure out what was going on, his body reacted by breaking out in incessant tremors.

Like a huge boulder weighing dozens of tons, the presence of the returner standing up bored down on Bang Jin-Hun.

“If you wish to see, I shall show you.
I shall show you…
what kind of a person I am.”

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