༺ Black Flame Demon Emperor (1) ༻
The mountain, known as Mount Tai and home to the Wudang, was engulfed in flames.
The dark-hued flames devoured everything in their path.
Amidst the inferno, a man knelt, blood pouring from his wounds.
The sight of the grievous injury on his chest alone conveyed the severity of the situation he was in.
His words were accompanied by splatters of blood.
Before him stood a woman, enveloped in a golden aura.
The Young Sword Saint, Wi Seol-Ah, stared at the man with an icy gaze.
The cold corpses littered around her and the relentless flames, seemingly immune to the rain, all felt like a curse to her.
-You are just a mere girl… but you dare to…!
-Silence! How dare a loathsome demonic human like you speak!
Members of the Murim Alliance, standing behind Wi Seol-Ah, retorted vehemently.
The man, with a quick glance, could discern dozens of people behind her.
Which meant that there were still dozens of Murim Alliance insects left.
This fact filled him with disdain.
‘I could’ve annihilated them all.’
‘But my plans were ruined by that one little girl.’
-You pathetic insects, you wouldn’t even be able to make a sound if you were low in numbers… how dare you address this Sword Demon in such a…!
As the man prepared to raise his sword again, blood dripping down his mouth.
-Shut your mouth, Sword Demon.
Upon the ashen Mount Tai, a colossal presence descended.
Martial artists’ Qi quivered and their breaths caught.
Even the flames that had been consuming the mountain disappeared along with the owner’s voice.
The Sword Demon couldn’t withstand the pressure that stomped him and proceeded to vomit blood once again.
After barely managing to regain his composure, the Sword Demon lifted his head up.
And upon looking up, he saw a man with eyes aglow in blue light, looking down on the Sword Demon, his gaze devoid of emotions.
The Sword Demon, trembling in fear, forced his frozen tongue to move.
-Your tongue speaks too much for a loser. Will you be satisfied if I incinerate you with my own hands?
There were only two demonic humans.
And there were at the very least dozens of people from the Murim Alliance.
Just the difference in numbers should’ve been more than enough to kill the two demonic humans, yet the people of Murim Alliance couldn’t easily act.
Because the sheer presence of the man that stood near the Sword Demon was enough to hold back dozens of fighters.
Wi Seol-Ah let out a sigh.
Her exhaustion was palpable from her battles with the demonic humans.
The primary reason for the Murim Alliance’s hesitation to attack was probably Wi Seol-Ah’s own fatigue.
-You must be tired. You should have let go of the ones you couldn’t save from the beginning.
-Don’t you dare to speak to Master, you mere demonic-!
As one man from the group prepared to shout, Wi Seol-Ah raised her hand to stop him.
Causing further conflict here was something they couldn’t afford, especially with her weakened state.
She didn’t know if she was capable of saving everyone here while fighting back against that man in her current state.
However, there was one thing she wanted to say.
Wi Seol-Ah asked the man with sharp eyes.
-…What will you do?
-Just the fact that you spoke up implies you have a good reason.
-You’re overestimating me. I’m not some great person who needs a reason to speak.
The man took a step forward.
At his slight movement, the Murim Alliance drew their swords, ready to defend themselves.
Preparing themselves, so that just in case anything were to happen, they could at least ensure Wi Seol-Ah’s safe escape.
Upon seeing their touching determination, the man sneered.
Along with a mocking tone, a sinister aura emanated from behind him.
The flames, once on the verge of consuming everything, started to change,
It took on the same hue as the chilling energy within him.
A dark black hue.
As the flames grew even more, someone spoke out with a quivering voice.
-B-Black Flame Demon Emperor.
Had it heard the man?
The flames that were hovering in the air, suddenly charged towards the one who had spoken.
Simultaneously, Wi Seol-Ah’s sword screamed in golden light, slicing through the black flames and saving her crew member.
The man collapsed to his knees, letting out a pitiful cry.
Observing this, the man spoke apathetically.
-I personally detest that title quite a bit. Mention it again, and I’ll tear your throat out right here. So you might want to be cautious.
With a motion of the Black Flame Demon Emperor’s hand, the flames gathered.
The absurdly huge amount of Qi gathering into a single spot to form a sphere was horrifying to look at.
Because everyone knew what would happen if such a thing was aimed right at them.
Besides the Young Sword Saint, everyone would die.
Despite this situation, Wi Seol-Ah only continued to look at the man with the same eyes as before.
The man spoke when their eyes met.
-You still have the same boring expression.
-What do you want?
The man showed confusion after hearing Wi Seol-Ah’s question.
-What do you mean by that?
-What do I need to do for you to let them leave in peace.
After hearing Wi Seol-Ah, members of the Alliance behind her, all looked at her with shocked expressions.
Because what the Young Sword Saint was doing, was basically begging for their lives to a demonic human.
-Master, how could you say such a thing to a traitor trash like him!
-Agreed. Master, I think it’d be better for you to run away instead while we try to stop him-!
The pressure in the area intensified abruptly, forcing many to their knees.
Only Wi Seol-Ah and the Sword Demon remained standing, the latter straining to endure the force.
-If one more person interferes, everyone will die here.
Along with the Black Flame’s words, Wi Seol-Ah put her sword back inside her scabbard.
Watching her, the man spoke to Wi Seol-Ah with a tone of him feeling absurd.
-Why do you think that I’ll let you all leave?
-Because you wouldn’t be talking to me right here like this if that wasn’t your plan.
It was as simple as that – he could easily have killed everyone present.
That was what all demonic humans had done thus far and the one before her eyes was especially used to such acts.
He had annihilated Mount Hua completely by burning it down, and was a Master of the Demonic Cult that had erased the main forces of the Orthodox Faction all by himself.
The Black Flame Demon Emperor, Gu Yangcheon.
-I thought that you would never lower your head to me, but I guess even the almighty Young Sword Saint doesn’t want to lose her life.
Even with the man’s mockery, Wi Seol-Ah remained silent.
She only continued to look at the man standing under the rain.
Her golden hair returned back to its original black color because her Qi had already been scattered away.
The only thing that remained was golden light in her eyes.
The man who was watching her, erased the smile off his face and returned back to his expressionless visage.
The black flame spheres that were floating in the air, disappeared along with the wind after the man’s command.
Watching that, the Sword Demon hurriedly shouted at the man.
-Master…! Are you really planning on letting those insects liv-
Before the Sword Demon could finish, he was kicked in the chin by his Master, which made him lose consciousness.
And when the pressuring power disappeared, the Murim Alliance members also started to stand up one by one.
In the middle of this, the man spoke to Wi Seol-Ah.
-The Heaven of my cult…
Heaven was used to refer to the Heavenly Demon for them.
-Didn’t say anything about your lives.
Demonic humans listened to all of the Heavenly Demon’s commands.
Because that was what was correct. After all, the Heavenly Demon—to them—was like a deity.
And it wasn’t any different for the superhuman called the Black Flame Demon Emperor either.
-My orders only regarded the Sword Demon.
The man calmly started to move, slowly going towards Wi Seol-Ah.
Murim Alliance members quickly tried to move after seeing him, but they all stopped when the man looked at them.
Wi Seol-Ah too had signaled them to stop, but they had stopped simply because they were defeated by fear.
-But that’s not a good reason for me to let you all live.
Killing intent lingered inside his flaming eyes.
Many were bound to be powerless in front of a predator that had shown its fangs.
-Do you want to live?
In the end, as he stood right in front of her nose, the man asked her as his eyes met with her golden eyes.
-Do you really want to let go of the little pride you have left, just to live?
She had to live.
Because there was one thing she needed to do.
When he said pride, was he referring to the fact that she was begging for her life to not just any demonic human, but an official enemy of the Alliance?
But Wi Seol-Ah had no pride left in her to say that was the case.
The only reason why she wanted to keep her life was because she still had things to take care of.
When the man urged her, Wi Seol-Ah spoke.
-…I want to live.
Wi Seol-Ah spoke with an exhausted tone.
The man smirked after seeing her, looking at her with a mocking gaze.
-Whether it’s the pride of the Orthodox Faction, or a new hope, it’s all just pointless words in the end since you too are just a person, yet the idiotic insects of the Alliance don’t realize this.
The man lifted up Wi Seol-Ah’s chin with his hand.
Along with her head being lifted up, her hair that was covering her face was put aside; and now the man was able to see Wi Seol-Ah’s eyes clearly.
The eyes filled with Qi were still glowing brightly in a golden light, yet her eyes seemed empty as if that light had been erased.
Many people behind her tried to move after hearing the man’s harsh words, but they still couldn’t easily take a step.
The man didn’t care about them one bit and only continued to speak.
-The Cult Leader will soon face the Sword Venerable.
When hearing The Sword Venerable being mentioned, Wi Seol-Ah clenched her fist.
The man glanced at Wi Seol-Ah’s reaction.
-Once that happens, that powerless old man will be killed.
-How dare… a nasty guy from the Demonic Cult like you talk about the Sword Venerable like tha-
-…What is it that you want?
The ones that had finally managed to overcome their fears and started to run towards the man, stopped after hearing Wi Seol-Ah.
It was more shocking because those words came from none other than the Young Sword Saint Wi Seol-Ah, the Sword Venerable’s granddaughter and his only disciple.
The man’s eyes brightened after seeing Wi Seol-Ah’s reaction.
Then he spoke as if he was waiting for this moment.
-I wish for you to not go to that spot. I want you to stay here up until the Sword Venerable gets killed miserably by the Cult Leader’s hands, with you not being able to give him any support.
For her to just wait for the death of a person that was her grandfather and master.
That was what the man wanted.
-If you do that, then I’ll let you live.
After he finished, Wi Seol-Ah who was clenching her first, slowly let go of her strength in her hand.
-How could you be so cruel…
-Master! We can’t let that happen… We will in your place-
-I will do it.
Wi Seol-Ah spoke in a calm tone.
-If that’s what you want, I will do that.
-Do you really want to keep your life by doing this? It seems like your eyes have already lost their spirit.
-I already gave you my answer.
As she spoke with a hopeless monotone voice, as if she had already given up everything, the man seemed to lose all interest and grabbed Wi Seol-Ah’s neck.
With his act, everyone tried to charge at him with their swords, but they couldn’t get any closer to him with the flames standing in their way.
The nasty feeling that entered her body.
Wi Seol-Ah knew instantly that this feeling was of her being shackled.
She felt the sensation of her heart being grabbed by the energy.
This energy could’ve been easily stopped if she had tried to, but Wi Seol-Ah didn’t reject it.
-Because you threw away your pride, I’ll keep my promise.
Only after Wi Seol-Ah felt the sensation of her heart being shackled, was she let go.
And because of how the man was grabbing her with a good amount of force, a red hand mark was left on her white neck.
After staring at that mark for a bit, the man turned away from Wi Seol-Ah.
-Next time we meet, I hope that you still look powerless like that. It’ll be easier for me to kill you in that state after all.
Right after he finished speaking, he disappeared after covering himself with flames.
The Sword Demon who had lost consciousness, also disappeared along with the man.
Wi Seol-Ah then suddenly lost her balance, so the members of Murim Alliance hurriedly ran towards her to support her.
-Master…! Are you feeling okay?
-Everyone, continue to stay on guard! There still may be an ambush.
-I’m sorry… If it weren’t for us, Master would’ve easily dealt with a demonic human like that…
She was able to hear the voices of her members, but inside her ears, only silence remained.
After the man had disappeared, the flames that were burning despite the rain, started to scatter away.
While embracing the endless rain, Wi Seol-Ah finally managed to barely get up.
-Let’s go back… They should be waiting for us.
-…Master… We shouldn’t leave ye-
-It’s okay… The Black Flame Demon Emperor is not someone that would lie.
While knowing that believing in a demonic human’s words was extremely stupid and absurd, Wi Seol-Ah had to say those words.
She was reminded of the word ‘Demon’ that was written on the backside of the man’s clothing.
The emotion she had felt after finally facing the man she had wanted to kill so badly seemed more like resentment rather than a desire to kill; moreover, it resembled a feeling of yearning rather than hatred.
She knew that this was extremely pathetic of her.
But she couldn’t help but agree with the man when he called her a foolish bitch.
-…Let us go down. The Meteor Sword must be very worried about us.
Wi Seol-Ah clenched her teeth and frowned after hearing the name that was mentioned.
But as she had her head down, no one was able to see her expression.
The war between the Murim Alliance and the Sword Demon’s army on Wudang’s mountain ended in the defeat of the Orthodox Faction.
The survivors of Wudang had to feel the humiliation of running away to Hanam.
Three days after that day…
The Sword Venerable died at the hands of the Heavenly Demon.
At a late hour, with the moon hanging high in the sky…
Wi Seol-Ah slowly opened her eyes.
She moved her body soundlessly, almost like a ghost.
With her soft, delicate hands, she brushed her fingertips over the two servants slumbering nearby, using acupuncture on them to ensure they wouldn’t wake easily.
Wi Seol-Ah sighed softly and slipped out of the guesthouse.
Gu Yangcheon’s chambers were adjacent to the building, so she needed to be especially discreet to avoid detection.
Though his current martial skills might make it difficult for him to notice her, she erred on the side of caution.
In the dark night, the moonlight failed to reach the ground, but faint glimmers of light began to form around her.
It was because Wi Seol-Ah’s hair was changing its color.
‘Sorry, this is the last time.’
She whispered to herself, though there was no response.
Which was obvious, as the original owner of the body was most likely asleep.
Wi Seol-Ah started running, her steps light and swift.
Despite her graceful movement, her young body moved at the speed of the wind.
The surrounding buildings morphed in her wake, a testament to her incredible speed.
As she sped along, Wi Seol-Ah’s forehead furrowed.
‘There’s not much time left.’
The energy inside of her was running out.
This had been the agreement in the first place, so she already expected this moment.
‘A little more.’
Just a tiny bit more.
That was all Wi Seol-Ah wanted.
She wanted to help clear the path for him.
That was all she wanted if she was allowed to hope.
All of a sudden, Wi Seol-Ah halted abruptly, having reached her destination at breakneck speed.
Hanam, the residence of the Taeryung Clan that lay at the heart of the Murim Alliance, stood before her.
Many martial artists guarded the building, but none of them detected Wi Seol-Ah’s presence.
With her light footsteps, Wi Seol-Ah concealed herself within another building.
She didn’t need to search for her target.
As she could sense his energy way too well.
She only had a few more steps to reach her target.
It was a medical room reserved for the bloodline of the Alliance Leader, so there were a lot more guards than outside, but they all lost consciousness and fell to the floor as Wi Seol-Ah approached them.
Shortly thereafter, she arrived at her target, the place where Jang Seonyeon was located.
Wi Seol-Ah had waited a long time for this moment.
She slowly began to strengthen her grip.
There was no need for a sword.
After all, it had already been a very long time since she had reached a level where a sword was no longer required.
She continued forward, suppressing her killing intent.
This marked the conclusion of their ill-fated connection, as well as her final mission.
Since he obtained what he wanted in this place, she too had to fulfill her purpose.
She intended to leave no trace behind, erasing every remnant of his presence from this world.
With this determination, Wi Seol-Ah opened the door to confront the one she sought.
As she had expected, that bastard was in the silent room.
Jang Seonyeon, instead of being asleep, greeted her with a smile.
“I was waiting for you.”
Upon hearing him, Wi Seol-Ah swung her hand without hesitation.
You can rate/review this series here.