Dark and Light Martial Emperor
[Translator – goguma]
[Proofreader – Harley]
Chapter 1 - Prologue
“Is he finally dead…?”
Even a jiangshi dies when its head is cut off. What chance would a human have?
The Tempest Axe slipped from his bloodied hand and fell to the ground. Despite the axe once being a tool he effortlessly swung around like a tree branch, it now felt as heavy as lead.
Yeon Hojeong looked down at his hand.
His hand, which had been tightly wound in chains, was completely crushed. How he was able to swing around an axe the size of a human with such a mangled hand was a mystery.
The broken chains dropped to the floor.
“I knew this would happen.”
Yeon Hojeong had forgotten his pain as well due to the bitterness. He could barely lift a chopstick anymore, let alone an axe.
Even so, he had managed to take down the leader of the Lust Cult, the most wicked of the Three Cults, so wasn’t that more than enough? Well, neither of them could lift their spoons anymore.
“Is he dead?”
Yeon Hojeong turned his head.
In his line of sight was an old man sitting on the ground, leaning against a small rock. He was Mo Yonggun, the leader of the Murim Alliance who led the Orthodox Faction in the current era.
“Did you not see his head fly off?”
“I did not.”
Yeon Hojeong furrowed his brow. Upon closer inspection, he realized that Mo Yonggun's eyes had turned cloudy. Excessive ki consumption and intense internal injuries had left him blind.
Yeon Hojeong lumbered over to Mo Yonggun before falling flat right in front of him.
“You’ve worked hard.”
It was true, they had worked hard.
The Orthodox Faction and the Unorthodox Faction had joined hands to take down the Lust Cult. Despite the centuries of hatred and mistrust that had taken root between the two groups, the actions of the Lust Cult were so atrocious that the two organizations decided to work together.
Their atrocity… and the unprecedented alliance… all came to an end alongside Hojeong’s life.
“Are you alright?”
“Well, you are an incredible man who was the first to ever become the Supreme Leader of the Unorthodox Faction. I should have expected at least that much.”
Expected that much, huh…
Yeon Hojeong did not disclose to the leader of the Murim Alliance that the head of the Lust Cult had damaged his ki vessels.
He also did not mention that he only had a minuscule amount of ki left, which ensured that he too would soon die.
“I’m shocked. What in the world made you compliment me?”
“I’m simply telling the truth. If it weren’t for you, half of the Unorthodox Faction would have been destroyed a decade ago.”
“And if that happened, the Orthodox Faction would have all died before even reaching this place.”
“It is as you say. They say that life is filled with unexpected things. I never would have imagined that we would someday receive help from you all.”
Yeon Hojeong smirked.
Mo Yonggun, who had been silent for a second, slowly opened his mouth.
“Why did you go down that path?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Weren’t you originally from a different faction? You could have been recognized as one of the greatest masters in the world if you simply came over to the Orthodox Faction, why did you have to go over to the Unorthodox Faction and become their leader?”
“Why are you bringing this up now?”
“I want to sate my curiosity before I cross over into the afterlife.”
For some unknown reason, Mo Yonggun’s voice was filled with emptiness.
Yeon Hojeong, who had been blankly staring down at Mo Yonggun, let out a sigh.
“How long are you going to last?”
“Seven… maybe eight minutes.”
Normally, Yeon Hojeong would have been able to deduce a person’s physical condition instantly. However, his ki vessels had been severed, and he had depleted all of his innate ki. As such, his senses were much duller than usual.
‘I guess this is the end for him as well.’
It felt bittersweet.
“Any last words?”
“The life that I have lived will be more than enough.”
“Hah, as expected from the leader of the Murim Alliance.”
“So, what’s your answer?”
“It just turned out that way.”
Obviously, there were reasons that Yeon Hojeong ended up in the Unorthodox Faction. He just did not want to ramble on about his past to someone who was on the verge of death.
Mo Yonggun managed to make a smile.
The sight of a blind man's smile stirred a sense of inexplicable sorrow in Yeon Hojeong.
“As expected from you.”
“I’ll see you off on your final journey.”
‘Clearly, people change when they are on the verge of death. It applied to both him and me.’
“Sorry about what?”
“What a bland…”
Yeon Hojeong’s eyes were shocked open.
Yeon Hojeong coughed up blood, and a noxious smell filled the air as the expelled blood tainted it.
He looked down at his solar plexus. A thin needle, practically invisible to the human eye, was embedded in it.
Yeon Hojeong raised his trembling head and saw the old man’s face covered in blood. The old man breathed heavily in an uneven manner, his face slowly starting to become unusually dark.
Yeon Hojeong’s eyes flashed with anger.
He was the head of the Sichuan Tang Clan and the Murim Alliance’s Vice-Leader.
Yeon Hojeong clearly watched Tang Kuan’s chest be pierced by the Lust Cult Leader’s Shadow Desolation Finger. Even if the attack had avoided Tang Kuan’s heart, his ki vessels should have already been destroyed by the passing force of Gale Finger. So, how was he still alive?
‘No, more importantly… why did he attack me?’
“I won’t ask for your understanding.”
Yeon Hojeong glared at Mo Yonggun.
Mo Yonggun then continued with a bitter voice.
“But who would be able to stop you after I die? The Orthodox Faction as it stands… cannot stop the Black Emperor.”
“I shall apologize to you in the afterlife. Let us go together.”
‘God damn it… I would have died on my own anyway.’
The ki vessels I barely managed to connect snapped off one at a time. The Tang Clan’s lethal poison, the Intestine Melting Powder, began to evaporate my ki and melt all of my organs. It was so painful that Yeon Hojeong could not even scream.
‘This fucking bastard! I can understand using poison, but why use such a painful one?!’
Yeon Hojeong fell to his knees.
At the same time, Tang Kuan fell to his knees. He died first after completing his final mission. It was clear that the relief from accomplishing it had allowed him to finally pass on.
Those words came so naturally out of his mouth.
Mo Yonggun’s face was filled with guilt.
“I really am sorry.”
Yeon Hojeong’s eyes slowly began turning black.
‘Why does everything always end so poorly?’
When faced with challenges, it would always turn into the worst-case scenario. When it seemed like everything was going perfectly, it would always end up falling a little short.
That was always the case. Even though Yeon Hojeong was fortunate at times, his damned luck would always mess things up in the end.
Even though he learned a legendary martial art, he was unable to become the strongest in the world. Even though he had made a name for himself in the world, it was as the leader of the Unorthodox Faction.
It was an exhausting life that demanded he take responsibility for a lot without allowing him to become the best.
Still… He lived my life to the fullest.
‘You better give me a proper apology in the afterlife, Alliance Leader.’
* * *
[Translator – goguma]
[Proofreader – Harley]
Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics
* * *
“Even in our every search for the absolute truth, our loyalty toward the Yeon clan remains unwavering. By the thousands of years we have lived, We pray so that we may stand with the gods.……”
A monotone voice filled the air with a clear, bright voice.
A strong smell accompanied the calming voice.
‘What? Am I at a temple?’
But it wasn’t the sound of a Buddhist recitation.
“Please continue to watch over us. Please assist us so that our clan’s glory may last a thousand years more.”
He sensed something moving with the clear sound.
Yeon Hojeong then opened his eyes.
To his left and his right… everyone was on their knees, bowing.
Yeon Hojeong blinked.
‘What is going on?’
But for some strange reason…
That place felt familiar. Not only had he seen their clothes before, but he had also seen that simple yet elegant altar before, too.
Just then, someone behind him tapped his shoulder. Yeon Hojeong instinctively turned.
His jaw dropped.
He saw a young boy raising his head while still in the bowing position. He also saw that the boy’s face was white in shock.
The boy was hurriedly waving his hands. He was likely telling Yeon Hojeong to bow as well.
However, Yeon Hojeong would never have been able to do that.
A chill breezed through the somber atmosphere.
The air had grown so cold that it was practically freezing. However, Yeon Hojeong wasn’t in the right mind to sense that.
The boy in front of him…
With a vibrant face and eyes resembling the stars, the young boy was Yeon Hojeong’s younger brother. Twenty-six years ago, the clan faced a disaster that not only ended its existence but also claimed his brother's life. Unexpectedly, Yeon Jipyeong stood before him.
‘Is this a dream? An illusion?’
There was no way that would be the case. Yeon Hojeong was not a person who lived such an easy life, there was no way he would mistake anything like that for reality.
But even if it wasn’t real…
The family that Yeon Hojeong longed to see even if only in his dreams, despite their shattered relationship, had appeared before him. He felt a sudden surge of intense emotions welling up from the deepest parts of his heart.
Yeon Hojeong hugged his brother intensely.
The young boy, Yeon Jipyeong, looked confused. He thought his older brother had gone insane.
Yeon Jipyeong quickly whispered something to him.
“H-Hyungnim, let go! We’ll both get in trouble at this rate!”
“You little rascal!”
That warmth… and his subtle trembling…
The young child in front of him was clearly his younger brother. Yeon Hojeong started tearing up.
“Hyungnim! Hyungnim! Argh, why are you doing this, seriously—”
It was at that moment…
Yeon Hojeong’s body quickly stiffened.
His brother’s face and voice were as exactly as he remembered them. That voice, too, was also exactly as he remembered it.
Yeon Hojeong released Yeon Jipyeong and slowly turned around.
A middle-aged man stood in front of the altar and glared at him.
“What are you doing right now?”
He was neither chastising him nor questioning him. His plain voice was simply more than enough weight to overwhelm him.
It was a voice that Yeon Hojeong had feared and despised as a child. He had hated that voice so much that he even avoided his family member to avoid it.
The middle-aged man, Yeon Wei, furrowed his brows.
His son had stood up blankly and walked towards him slowly, trudging along. It was completely different from usual. His son's eyes were not only filled with futility and disbelief but also shock and a feeling that he was moved by something.
It was certainly a memorable scene. After all, his eldest son had never met his eyes, not even when he was little. Yeon Hojeong had never been able to stand tall around him due to the pressure that Yeon Wei exerted.
Yeon Hojeong ran towards Yeon Wei. He clearly was about to hug him.
Yeon Wei moved his hands.
In an instant, he grabbed Yeon Hojeong’s wrists and then gripped them tightly.
Yeon Hojeong immediately fell to his knees. That was because the ki that entered his wrists had relaxed his legs.
“Causing a commotion during the ceremony, have you lost your mind?!”
Even Yeon Wei’s spine-chilling voice felt welcoming to Yeon Hojeong right now.
Yeon Hojeong raised his chin.
Yeon Wei did not know what to do when he saw the look on his son’s face. That was because Yeon Hojeong had an intensely sad look in his eyes.
His eldest son was acting strange for some reason.
“I shall punish you for causing a commotion later. Go wait in my office.”
Yeon Wei’s voice was as cold as always.
However, the voice he received in turn was different from usual.
Wasn’t that a bit too enthusiastic?
Yeon Wei, caught off guard once more, turned around. Yeon Hojeong then stood up and looked around him.
Everyone at the ceremony was looking at him. The twenty-some people at the ceremony were all confused.
Yeon Hojeong smiled as he looked around before stiffening in an instant.
Yeon Hojeong only just realized that it was all strange.
He looked down at his chest.
The needle was not there.
‘Did I not die?’
It wasn’t just that either.
‘No, forget the not dying part, isn’t this…’
Yeon Hojeong looked around once more and his face was filled with shock.
‘Isn’t this my past?’
He looked down at his hands and touched his body. He ran his fingers through his hair and inspected his clothes.
Though this was his body, it was also not his body. His body should have been covered in scars from his countless battles, but the body he was in did not even have a single callous.
His slender frame and clean hands were something that he only had when he was young.
“This can’t be. Is it really possible…?”
“What are you murmuring about?!”
Yeon Wei had finally lost his patience. Yeon Hojeong gave an embarrassed bow and immediately left the area.
After leaving, he inspected his surroundings once more.
“…This really is my house!”
The place he was in belonged to one of the Seven Great Clans, the most prestigious clans in the entirety of murim.
Despite its history only lasting fifty years, the clan of steel had prestige rivaling the other Great Clans.
Yeon Hojeong, the young master of the Green Mountain Yeon Clan, had returned.
Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics