Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – ilafy]

 

Chapter 99: People Don’t Change

 

“What are you talking about?” the young man asked. “Would you really go through the effort of capturing an enemy alive just to kill them?!”

Wei-ling, still standing with one of her feet on the man’s chest, looked down and also couldn’t help but argue. “I disagree.”

“That’s right, Comrade! You understand me!”

“He’ll die when it’s time, but he must be tortured first.”

“What the hell, Comrade?!” The young man looked shocked, almost betrayed.

Wei-ling paid him no heed. “If you do not want to get tortured, confess who your comrades and backers are. If you do, I will cut your torture time in half.”

“That means I’m getting tortured either way?!”

“You should not have trifled with the Seven Dragons Association if you wanted to die with grace.” She looked down on him with a chilling glare. It was clear the young man with slit eyes was one of the culprits behind the Black Dragon Building tragedy.

On top of that, he’d massacred those in the Cheonhwa Department Store, one of the Black Dragon Clan’s subsidiaries. With a crime that heinous, he didn’t deserve to die until he’d been tortured in at least 1,000 of the 36,500 torture techniques the Seven Dragons Association knew of.

[Hey, just kill him and leave it.]

Wei-ling furrowed her brows. She would have thrown a fit like Xue-reung if the lingering sensation of her fight wasn’t affecting her.

“What kind of nonsense is that!?”

“‘Nonsense’, my ass! All humans deserve to die a quick death!” The young man was ecstatic at the thought of dying with grace.

Unfortunately for him, Limon shattered his joy. [Only people have human rights. Who would care about the rights of a son of a bitch like you?]

“What? You don’t even consider me human anymore?!”

“Why are you telling me to kill him?” Wei-ling calmly asked, ignoring the young man’s bewilderment. There was no way Limon, of all people, would have any kind of empathy with the young man.

[Because it’s suspicious.]

“What is?”

[Don’t you think something’s off about this? That guy was like a machine when it came to keeping one step ahead of entire military forces, so how did you capture him so easily?]

“…Are you saying he got caught on purpose?”

[If my instincts are right… Yes.]

“Impossible! What would he get from being caught?” Xue-reung cried out. 

Wei-ling looked sullen. Anyone with a brain would know the culprits would die the worst possible deaths imaginable if they got caught. Not even the most unhinged of lunatics would purposely get caught.

Still, Limon remained sure. There's a lot he can gain.]

“Like what?”

[He could spread a disease, acquire information from the enemy, or even try to sway the torturer and gain an internal spy.]

“That’s a reach! By your logic, all captives should just die!” Xeu-reung immediately countered. Above being an enemy who killed his subordinates, the slit-eyed man was a villain who’d endangered the clan. He couldn’t just be killed off, at least not before they tried to pry more information from him.

If the criminal died there and then, the feat would be credited directly to Guardian, and he would be held responsible for not being able to protect the clan’s subsidiary.

Whether he knew what Xeu-reung was thinking, or whether he just didn’t feel like bothering to answer, Limon was apathetic. [Not all captives, of course. You just have to know which ones would do such things.]

“And how would you know that?!”

[I’m an expert in the field, you know.]

“Hah, I didn’t know the Master of Swords had expertise in such dirty work.”

[I know, right? I wasn’t always like this, but a certain group did it so many times I just naturally became a pro at it.]

“Who would be that batshit insane?!”

[You guys.]

Xeu-reung froze. 

“Who do you mean by ‘you guys’, exactly?” Wei-ling calmly asked in his place.

[Didn’t you know? The Seven Dragons Association uses purposeful capture as one of their base strategies, and that method was a favorite for the Black Dragon Clan in particular back in the day.]

“…” Much to her dismay, Wei-ling found that she couldn’t argue with him. She knew far too well that the Black Dragon Clan, specializing in tricks and schemes, would do more than just that. In fact, learning how to use beauty or misinformation while being held captive was a foundational part of their education.

“Th-this is different from that!”

[You think so?]

“Either way, rather than proof, all you have is your own hunch! We can’t risk losing crucial information for such a trivial reason!”

[Really? Then let me ask you something…]

“What?”

Limon sounded lethargic as he said, [I’ve had this feeling ever since this dummy called me, you know. Hasn’t that son of a bitch been weirdly stalling for time?]

“What…?”

[He tried making useless conversation in the middle of a fight and, instead of going for sure kills, played with his targets instead.]

“…” Xeu-reung flinched. The young man definitely talked a little too much, had waited during Wei-ling’s call, and tried to speak during the fight as well.

What if that was on purpose?

[Well, it is possible he just likes to blabber since he’s a batshit son of a bitch,] Limon said before Xeu-reung could try to argue that point, [but what if he isn’t? Why would he have stalled? It’s not like we sealed everything off like we did for the Black Dragon Building.]

 

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Translator - woni

Proofreader - ilafy

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“Are you saying he was waiting for someone to hold him captive?” Wei-ling asked.

“It can’t be!” Xeu-reung shouted. If what Limon was saying was true, that meant his struggle against the young man had just been a mockery, but Xeu-reung’s reddened face and wavering eyes made it clear that he was being convinced.

“…Let me ask you again, just to make sure. Is there really no need to get information out of him?”

[That’s right. If he planned on his own capture, then he was likely already prepared for torture. Anything we get out of him would be pre-arranged, which would be no different from getting nothing.]

“Alright, then…” Wei-ling said as she came to a decision.

“Alright what? Comrade? Comrade!”

Just when the young man began to cry out after she tightened her grip on her sword…

“Will you please wait for a minute?”

Wei-ling hesitated at the sudden interruption until a middle-aged man with a pointy mustache emerged.

“Chief Wang!” Xue-reung exclaimed.

“…What brought you here?” Wei-ling asked.

“Well, I ran over here as soon as I heard the culprits were here.”

Xeu-reung lightened up, but Wei-ling’s demeanor remained cold. It’d been different when Xue-reung was the only one with her. She simply couldn’t execute the young man with slit eyes on the spot in front of the head of the Shanghai Royal Family.

[You’re here, Chief Wang.]

“Hm? Is that the Master of Swords?”

[Don’t ask what you already know. I’m one of the few who’d dare speak informally to you.]

“Oh, my… excuse me. Of course no one but the Master of Swords would have such an imposing, brilliant voice.” Unsurprisingly for the head of the Shanghai Royal Family, Wang did not forget his usual flattery, but his eyes stayed sharp as they scanned the area. “Did I interrupt your call by any chance, Master of Swords?”

[Nope, this is better.] Limon completely glossed over how Wang interrupted the young man’s execution and instead spoke nonchalantly. [I have a favor to ask of you.]

“A favor?” Wang didn’t know what to expect. 

[That son of a bitch over there. I’d like you to kill him now, Chief Wang,] Limon sluggishly responded. 

“Are you telling me to kill this man?”

[Yep.]

“Why so?”

[‘He helped cause the Black Dragon Building tragedy. It would be awkward if you weren’t the one to finish him off.]

Wei-ling finally understood what Limon was trying to say: The Shanghai Royal Family was after a personal enemy.

Even if she was the one to get there first, it would not be seen as favorable if she finished off one of their enemies on the spot, but that wasn’t a problem if Wang killed the man.

“Indeed… The Master of Swords truly has a heart of gold to give me such an opportunity.”

[Enough of the flattery; just do your job.]

“Yes, Sir. I will make sure he dies after I take him in.” Wang nodded with a wide grin. It was something he’d already planned to do anyway.

[Chief Wang…] A chilling voice rang through the air.

Wei-ling and Xeu-reung felt goosebumps run down their spines.

[What bullshit are you trying to pull?]

“What do you mean, sir?”

[I asked you to kill that son of a bitch ‘now’. I don’t know why you’re trying to ‘take him in’ first.]

Even without physically being there, Limon’s voice was enough to smother everyone with chilling pressure, and even the sound of his voice was enough to make a criminal faint.

Wang did not bat an eye and smiled. “Well, Sir, I am allowed to decide how I deal with my enemies.”

[You’re going to disregard me?]

“Oh, dear! ‘Disregard’ is not the word to use here. The Master of Swords is in charge of our clan's security, but you are not my master,” he said with a smile. Limon was still an outsider to the clan. Until he was officially married to Li Chingwei, he did not have a right to give him orders. 

[Wang Ki-neung…] Limon calmly continued, [you’ll soon know that the chance I gave you to finish that son of a bitch off was me being generous.]

“I greatly appreciate the gesture.”

[Must you take more than the generosity you’ve been given after you told me you wouldn’t forget my grace?]

“You are the one who told me not to worry about it since it was not particularly a favor, Master of Swords.” Wang brought up how Limon did not even accept any payment when he let him take charge of the investigation.

A cheesy smile formed on his face. “Plus, I said I would not forget your grace. I never promised I would repay you, you see.”

Wei-ling unconsciously frowned, while even Xeu-reung, Wang’s supporter, was at a loss for words. He might’ve had a bad reputation, been a renowned apostle-rank martial master, and had a position as the head of a noble clan, but it was still too brazen of a way to speak.

Limon was not angry or surprised. 

[Sure, that’s how the Black Dragon Clan is,] he muttered in a tired voice.

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