A calm-looking middle-aged man.

These details were easy to guess because of his neatly combed hair and trimmed beard. From the outside, he looked like just another middle-aged person.

That was only the impression a normal person would get.

If one lived in Kangho with their swords pointed at others, they would notice the difference.

Green cloth.

A green robe covered his body, and its sleeves were twice as wide as a normal robe.

Everyone in Kangho knew his name.

Jang Il-So stared at the middle-aged man in silence as he paced through the room of the Ten Thousand People Clan’s Lord. This was a terrifying place for most, but this middle-aged man had an eased expression, and this only made Jang Il-So hate him.

“It seems like you lack manners, walking in on your own accord?”

His answer?

“I am a person with manners, but…”

The middle-aged man in his green robe paused before continuing,

“No one stopped me. No one guided me. So don’t take this so seriously.”

At those words, Jang Il-So glared at his subordinate. Catching his gaze, the man could only tremble.


If Jang Il-So were in his normal mood, he wouldn’t have tolerated such actions from his subordinate, but right now, he really couldn’t blame the man.

My men are quick to notice their opponents. Unless they have two lives to live, they won’t dare stand in front of the Poison King.”

The green-robed man…

…Poison King Tang Gunak smiled,

“To think that Jang Il-So would recognize me, it seems like my life wasn’t lived in vain.”


Jang Il-So clicked his tongue with a disapproving look.

‘Tang Gunak.’

Although he seemed calm, even Jang Il-So was anxious. Who would have imagined that the head of the Tang Family, who he had no common contact with, would come right into his room?

“Did you come to give me your head? The head of Poison King Tang Gunak is a good gift for sure.”

“It wouldn’t be too difficult of a task to give it, but would anyone dare to handle my head?”

The two looked at each other and smiled.

Their expressions were so soft, but their eyes emanated pressure so strongly that their audience could feel it.

Jang Il-So was the first to speak,

“So, what is it?”

“I am here to warn you, Lord.”


At those words, Jang Il-So’s eyes turned into arcs.

Ho Ga-Myung bit his lip at this. It was because he knew well what this expression meant.


It wasn’t difficult to kill the Poison King. If they put their mind to it, there was no one who couldn’t be killed. But the real problems come after that.

Losing the head of the Tang Family was a different matter from losing a sect leader to a sect. It was clear that if Tang Gunak suffered anything here, the entire Tang Family would attack them.

“Warning… warning. I don’t think I have ever received a warning from anyone in my life.”

“Then this is your first.”

Jang Il-So smiled,

“Tang Gunak, Tang Gunak. I have heard that you are the best of the best, but you are worse than I imagined. Right, you should speak all you can, and I will listen to it. Right? That way, I will not be curious about why you died.”

Despite those words, Tang Gunak didn’t seem the least bit bothered,

“Keep your hands off Mount Hua.”


Jang Il-So’s eyes twitched at this.

He was ready to shout at whatever words Tang Gunak said, but this was so far from what he had expected.

“… Mount Hua?”


Jang Il-So didn’t understand this.


Scratching his face, looking a bit shocked, he asked back,

“The prideful head of the Tang Family invades the room of the Ten Thousand People Clan Leader and says, ‘Take your hands off Mount Hua’?”


“It isn’t like we are doing this because we are bored. Then… do we seem like such an insignificant clan in the eyes of Lord Tang too? Are you trying to warn us?”

Jang Il-So smiled for a while, and his face went cold as he jumped out of his bed.

At that time, a storm of qi raged from his body. It was a terrifying force, as if a huge snake was slowly rising, its tongue flicking out.

But Tang Gunak didn’t seem to care.

“Calm down.”


“I made sure to tell you to calm down.”

Tang Gunak looked at Jang Il-So with a calm face.


Those in the room were all groaning, feeling the pressure of these two strong people crushing down on them like boulders.

At that time, Jang Il-So, who had been glaring at Tang Gunak, sighed and sat on his bed. His raging qi vanished as if it had all been a lie.

“If you say something that is no fun, I will cut your throat.”

Tang Gunak nodded,

“This isn’t my will, but the will of the Tang Family. If you go after Mount Hua again, from then, you will have to deal with the Sichuan Tang Family and not Mount Hua.”

“…what relationship does the Tang Family have with them?”

“The Tang Family has formed an alliance with Mount Hua. And it is natural that we fight alongside them.”

Ha…. HAHAH? Haha?

Jang Il-So burst into laughter as if this was the most absurd thing he had heard.

“For the sake of that little sect, the Tang Family will fight against us? Was our clan a place that the Tang Family could easily deal with?”

Seeing Jang Il-So speak sarcastically, Tang Gunak smiled,

“If our Sichuan Tang Family isn’t enough, then how about the Nanman Beast Palace?”

At those words, Jang Il-So’s expression hardened,

“…what did you say?”

“The Nanman Beast Palace regards Mount Hua as a close friend, so it will not turn a blind eye to their problems. So how about it? Are you willing to go after Mount Hua with the Tang Family and the Nanman Beast Palace alongside them?”

The smile on Jang Il-So’s face vanished, and his eyes narrowed.

He knew about the conflict between the Five Families and the Nine Sects. All of them claimed to be one, despite being unable to mix like water and oil.

But then Mount Hua formed an alliance with the Tang Family? And in addition to the central plains, they had gone out and formed a friendship with the Nanman Beast Palace, known to be a very scary place?

If someone else had told him this, he would have beheaded them right there. Unfortunately, the person he had heard it from wasn’t the kind to lie. It was the Poison King himself.


Jang Il-So looked at Tang Gunak,

“Since Mount Hua has the Tang Family and the Nanman Beast Palace, you want us to stop here?”

“Pretty much.”

“Interesting. Really interesting. You are suggesting to me, Jang Il-So, not to dare touch it. Hahahaha. Very interesting, right?”

Jang Il-So licked his lips with his tongue as he smiled. He was glaring.

However, Tang Gunak just looked at him, not responding. And how long did this stalemate last?

At the end of this staring contest, Jang Il-So smiled and said,

“Fine. I will do as you said.”

Ho Ga-Myung was startled at how he had backed down.

Jang Il-So backed down?

He was a person who absolutely hated losing profit. He was not someone to back down just because the Tang Family Head had shown up there.

You didn’t even try to hurt the man just because he tried to stop him?

Then what is this?

‘What are you thinking?’

Ho Ga-Myung looked at him with a shocked face. But Jang Il-So just smiled and asked,

“Instead, I should be rewarded. You understand what I mean?”

“What do you want?”

“You are fast like the rumors say.”

Jang Il-So jumped up from his bed and approached Tang Gunak. It was dangerous for such people to get this close, but Tang Gunak didn’t seem to care.

Jang Il-So walked closer and put his hand on Tang Gunak’s shoulder, pulling him closer.

“I heard that there is a lot of tea trade happening these days. How about bringing some of it over to Guangxi? There is a market here, right?”

Jang Il-So, who threatened to kill Tang Gunak, was now acting so nice. He was acting as if they had been friends for decades. It was a sudden change which would be shocking for almost everyone, but Tang Gunak acted as if this was normal.

“It is not difficult.”


After hitting Tang Gunak on the shoulder, Jang Il-So turned around.

“Banquet! We have guests. Let’s drink!”

“Thank you, but I have to refuse. I am not an idle person.”

Ehh, no fun.”

Jang Il-So climbed up his bed again, picked up a bottle of alcohol, and threw it at Tang Gunak.

“Then have this on your way back. This is our famous colorless liquor. Not sure if the taste will be suitable for a noble person, but it isn’t too bad for me.”

Tang Gunak nodded as he caught it,

“I am grateful for the gift.”

And as if he had finished all his tasks, he turned around without regret, but Jang Il-So’s voice rang out once more,

“One more thing.”

Tang Gunak’s steps halted.

“What is Mount Hua to you?”


Tang Gunak turned back, looking straight at Jang Il-So,

“A friend.”


After a short reply, he walked out with confident steps.

A moment of silence passed.


Jang Il-So took out another bottle of alcohol and drank right from it.

A stream of liquor began to drip down his lips.

Ho Ga-Myung looked at his lord, unable to understand,



“I find it hard to understand you, Lord. No matter how profitable the tea of Yunnan is…”


“Yes. This is about the face of…”


Jang Il-So slammed his knee as he laughed,

“You are so dull. Seeing you talk about the tea of Yunnan!”

“… Sorry?”

Jang Il-So stopped laughing and flicked his tongue like a snake,

“Tea is good. But that is only an excuse.”




“Are you scared of the Tang Family?”

“How can that be?”

“Then are you afraid of the Nanman Beast Palace?”

“I am only scared of you, My Lord.”

“Yes. Has to be me.”

“Then why…”


Jang Il-So put down the bottle and shouted,

“Map! Open up the map right now!”

His subordinates rushed into the room with a map, carefully opening it.



Ho Ga-Myung dropped ink on the side of the brush and offered it.

“See! See!”

Jang Il-So walked quickly to the map as if excited and began to mark it.

“Yunnan, Sichuan, and Shaanxi!”

Jang Il-So, who began to dot the areas of Mount Hua, Chengdu, and more tilted his head and then moved again,

“Right, Xi’an too!”

Jang Il-so dotted the map, joining all the places as he connected the four dots. A mad smile soon spread across his face,

Hahaha. Fucking insane.”




“Look. These men are doing quite interesting things.”

What caught Ho Ga-Myung’s eyes were the lines across the central plains.

“See. The farthest west is Kunlun, and the other places are the Lotus Order, Southern Edge, and the Qinchang Sect. But Kunlun will not intervene with the rest of the world and Southern Edge? They handed their influence to Mount Hua, right?”


“Qingcheng doesn’t work much in Yunnan either, and the Lotus Order has no power at all. Then that means…”

Ho Ga-Myung finally spoke up,

“If it is true that Mount Hua, the Tang Family, and the Nanman Beast Palace have joined hands, then the western region is completely under their influence.”


Jang Il-So grabbed the map,

“Power is just a justification! And that is something money can make! They are making a lot of money with the tea trade, and they have the Tang and Beast Palace and Mount Hua, too… right! Mount Hua has power too… they proved that by making us bleed.”


“Then the one thing left is justification. What would happen if there was some justification?”

“…You are saying they want to be the ruler of the Central Plains?”

Tch tch, Ga-Myung, Ga-Myung.”

Jang Il-So waved his hand,

“You are not looking far enough. Look further away.”


“See, Ga-Myung. Those who become the new rulers of that place will be ruling a place that the Nine Sects and the Five Great Families had once held power over. And a new power at that.”


“People always like to divide things. If we start to classify the things that fit well together and call them out for being strong, those who are being called strong will take things for granted. Isn’t that the rule of the strong?”

“Like those wicked Green Forest brats and us all being called the same.”

“Yes, yes. We hate it, but since the world thinks so, it cannot be helped. But see these insane people… they are breaking past the limits of ‘strong’ that had been well defined by the world till now and are making things their own1. The Great Sects, Five Families, and the five of us?”


“All of the existing orders are broken down to form an alliance. Hahaha! This is a new thing! If we need to speak of it… Hmm. Right! The Western Alliance!”

Jang Il-So licked his lips.

“Nice. It is fun. When this alliance gets clear of us all, Kangho will be different from before. A new wind will blow.”


Ho Ga-Myung gulped. Jang Il-So’s eyes were mad.

“I am not sure who did it, but this makes sense. And this was done by an insane person. This smells like blood. Maybe the next war will be between the West and East.”

“But would that be reason enough for us to leave Mount Hua alone?”

“Who will do it?”


There was excitement in Jang Il-So’s voice.

“Those barbarians? No, then will the Tang Family in Sichuan do it? No way!”

Putting the map down, Jang Il-So hit Mount Hua with his palm and grabbed at it.

“These are the ones who are the center of the alliance. If Mount Hua collapses, then the alliance will.”

“…is there a reason to stay still?”

“Is it interesting?”

“… Yes?”

Jang Il-So smiled,

“The smell of blood is followed by the smell of money. It is a good plan, a very good one.”

Ho Ga-Myung still couldn’t understand this, but the man was already giggling.

‘Now everything seems good.’

Face was needed to rule. But, in a world of such chaos, no one would care about that stuff.

The world was in chaos.

‘If the wheel is moving slowly, then we will push it a little faster. Because the chaotic world is the one we enjoy the most.’

Jang Il-So, who thought of the smell of blood, smiled.

“Mount Hua. Mount Hua. You people should stay a little longer… we cannot take down the embers that shine on our world and set others on fire. Hahahah!

He was laughing.

Ho Ga-Myung, who knew that something always happened when Jang Il-So smiled like this, shook his head.

“Let’s play! And have fun! Together! HAHAHAH!

The world had seemed so boring, so he had been indulging in a lot of luxuries, but now… The eyes of Jang Il-So began to shine again, as they had when he had first been given his title.