Abolition of the Wicked - Chapter 1
Burn up the incense at the top of Mt. Gumbong until the sentence. You can’t be late, never!
The flame didn’t burn well as the flint was drenched in blood flowing from the hand.
Mt. Gumbong, of an unfathomable depth with its precipitous cliffs and blade-like rocks scattered all over the place, was a very rugged place for an eight-year-old boy to climb.
Yet the boy was climbing by all means.
“Calm down, I still have time left.”
The boy stopped hitting the flint and took a deep breath
Unlike the boy’s murmur when glanced up, the night sky was signaling that the day is ending
He went back to hitting the flint.
The yellow sparks fell on the surface and soon created embers. The boy carefully placed the prepared dried leaves on it.
After running for 1000 miles climbing Mt. Gumbong, his whole body was full of scars, and he was exhausted that he couldn’t breathe, and was also short on time. Nevertheless, the boy was not in a hurry, as he knew that he has to be calm the more he rushes.
It’s a knowledge that is difficult for an eight-year-old kid to have.
The precarious embers finally transferred to the leaves. The boy once again put more leaves and twigs onto it.
Flames and smoke rose from the bronze incense burner of two diameters, and three feet in height which was rusted in blue.
With a sigh of relief, the boy’s body slumped back with a thud. Even the cold rock could not hold the consciousness of the boy leaving his body.
“Grandfather, I kept my promise.”
It seemed that the unconscious boy woke up because of pain as well as nightmares.
The boy who suddenly woke up was still thrown in the darkness on top of the mountain.
Four people, covering that darkness like capes, came into dim view.
The appearance of those looking down at him could not be grasped because of the darkness.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Gum Woo-bin”
“Why did you light the incense burner.”
“Grandfather…… Grandfather Hwa Jeok-san…..”
Although he didn’t see the face he could feel with all his body that they were startled.
“Did you just…. say Hwa Jeok-san?”
The woman’s voice was as cold as ice flakes dripping on the skin.
“Yes. Now, now….. .”
Gum Woo-bin spoke up after wetting his cracked throat with saliva.
“I’m trapped in a dungeon at Baekrim-mun. That’s what Grandfather Hwa Jeok-san told me to tell.
The cold-voiced woman asked once again.
“How do you…. know that?”
Her words were blocked by the voice of a man who was softer than that of a woman.
“Now it’s not the time to argue over it. We have to go quickly and save Master.”
“But we need to make sure if this kid is telling the truth”
“Who else would be knowing Master’s other name besides us?”
The guy with one head larger than the other three nodded.
“Right. The only person who knows Master’s name other than us is him.”
The person who never uttered a word until now suddenly disappeared out of sight.
That’s what it looked like for Gum Woo-Bin.
“The impatient guy left first”
The word ‘left’ was heard right away but the word ‘first’ was heard faintly from a long distance.
“Twenty years. We finally found Master.”
Even the big guy left. The woman left alone asked.
“Do you know Hwang Chang-Hyun?”
“Yes. It’s a village that’s one walk away once you go down the mountain.”
“There is a boarding house there. Stay in that place”
When the pouch with silver coins fell next to Gum Woo-Bin’s ears the woman had already left. Even after they left Gum Woo-bin was looking at the star that was close as he could catch it for a long time.
“Baekrim-mun is a scary place…..”
Wang Do-Seok, the master of Baekrim-mun looked down at the current master Kwak Chun-Su, who came rolling towards his feet.
Kwak Chun-Su, whose heart was hollow, was found dead without having it to confirm it.
“Stop it! There’s only four of us”
Wang Do-Seok’s oldest son Wang Chae-Myeong encouraged the disciples with the number of enemies being ‘four’ but Baekrim-mun was too much to even handle one of them.
Jang Man-dok of Kwon Wang Dok-je, Seo Seok-San of Cheon Eum-Gwi, Do Pyeong-Su of Muyeong Gwi-Do, and Yeon Geum-Hong of Minachal who showed off the skill of killing ten people using five memorizations.
Sixty years ago, five letters appeared like an idiom in Moorim.
Five people who should never hold a grudge at the Moorim, four blood-lions among them showed up at the Baekrim-mun.
No, to be accurate it’s five of them.
Those blood-lions are causing a bloodbath at the Baekrim-mun because their owner Ma Gun-Ja is in the dungeon.
“They say greed brings out anger”
In his 40s, Wang Do-Seok was a man of ambition.
He wanted to develop Baekrim-mun as a clan comparable to the five generations. No, he wanted to make Baekrim-mun the best in the world by surpassing the guardians of Moorim.
That’s why Ma Gun-ja was abducted.
He thought he could achieve the best in the world if he took away the martial arts of the world’s most recognized master Ma Gun-Ja, regardless of the political situation.
A poison that can even subdue an invisible, 500 bulls and the lord of 30 complexes made Wang Do-Seok’s plan successful.
Besides that, he had prepared six other plans but he was caught without even having to utilize the rest of them.
It was surprising that he was caught easier than he expected, but the joy of putting Ma-Gun-Ja in his hands quelled the question.
But that was the plan of Baekrim-mun.
For the past 20 years, Wang Do-Seok has not even gained half a second of Ma Gun-ja’s skills.
Even after using all the torture known to the world and cutting off the fascia of the limbs Ma Gun-ja never told about his skills.
Even the sparsely screams that were heard had already stopped.
The only ones standing perfectly in the eyes of Wang Do-Seok were the blood-lions.
Sixteen shards that had been preserved for hundred years were torn down and all the four-hundred disciples that had moved like limbs turned into corpses.
Not even one person could survive.
The blood-lions didn’t even permit the disciples to escape.
There was none other than a woman and a child who survived from Baekrim-mun. There is one person who hasn’t died yet.
Wang Chae-Myeong, the only child who was caught by the hand of Seo Seok-San.
Though he was alive he didn’t look alive.
Both arms were broken and he was choking and coughing up blood from his stomach.
Although it aches his heart, he has no rage against the blood-lions.
Anger can only burn when there is a spark called hope, but the moment the blood-lions showed up hope was not up to him.
Five shadows slowly approached Wang Do-Seok.
Wang Chae-Myeong’s shadow shook like a wind chime on the middle of Seo Seok San’s shin.
“Our Master is staying here at the dungeon”
Half of his hair had fallen and his face was filled with age spots, yet Seo Seok-Seon’s voice was as clear as that of a youth in his 20s.
Not only the voice but also the skin on his hand was beautiful.
When Wang Do-Seok didn’t answer Seo Seok-Seon’s voice continued.
“If you show me the entrance to the dungeon I’ll save this guy. The martial arts are gone but the battalion will continue.”
“You think we can’t find the entrance for the dungeon by ourselves? I’m trying to save time because our time is more important than the life of a worthless guy.”
The entrance to the dungeon is hidden, but they will eventually find it. There is no way wasting their time can be more important than taking the opportunity to save the son’s life.
“If you lift the straw mat off the warehouse floor……”
Wang Do-Seok’s index finger trembled as he pointed at the shabby warehouse behind him.
Wang Chae-Myeong’s head was broken like a lie.
“Jang Man-Dok! Please do give a signal when it bursts!”
He threw a fit of anger at the sight of Seo Seok-Seon who was shaking off his hands by saying, “Argh! The parts of the brain were smeared on my delicate hands.”
Even without the spark called ‘Hope’, anger sometimes burns on its own. Of course, such anger fades out as quickly as it burns.
Jang Man-Dok, the very first to be hot-tempered had powered down.
Wang Do-Seok, who was famous for being the top in Southern China, shot a blow as well.
The two men’s skills were so clear that both arms of Wang Do-Seok were crushed in a single move.
Then Do Pyeong-Su’s sword chopped both his arms and Yeon Geum-Hong’s hatred struck his eyes. Seo Seok-San who was wiping the bloodstains off his hands on the deceased Wang Chae-Myeong’s clothes clicked his tongue.
“If you’re killing you must kill spotlessly, shouldn’t you” However, Seo Seok-San also went chasing the three people to the warehouse without stopping Wang Do-Seok’s breath. Screams of Wang Do-Seok echoed for a quite long time at the Baekrim-mun, where everyone died.
He was over a hundred years old but had the appearance of an old man and a face that made women’s heart flutter.
But twenty years of torture has taken away all the looks of the old Ma Gun-ja.
The skinny old man’s eyes were filled with jaundice, and he looked like an anchovy covered in clothes.
The blood-lion bowed towards Hwa Jeok-san who was seated on the rock and sat on his knees.
Hwa Jeok-san rubbed his gloomy eyes and gently stared at the four.
His eyes were on Yeon Geum-hong.
“I know the rest but who is this young lady?”
“Sorry? Master! It’s me! Geum-hong!
“Eh? You are the Yeon Geum-hong of Hanseonja? Wait…… Since Geum-hong is 42 years younger than me, she’ll be turning exactly 90 years this year but she looks like around twenty-five or six…… Looks like the make-up mask technology is outstanding. Take off the mask now.
“Master. You even know my age. sob sob!”
Yeon Geum-hong who shed two droplets of tears continued.
“But this is not a make-up mask but my real face.”
“Did you do turn back your age or something?”
“Five years ago.”
“I’m jealous. Indeed, turning the age back doesn’t happen just because you’re good at martial arts.”
“It’s all luck, isn’t it?”
Hwa Jeok-san turned his head towards Seo Seok-san who spoke out.
“Looks like you haven’t been lucky all these times. How do you not have hair more than me?”
Hwa Jeok-san turned his head away from Seo Seok-san who lowered his head in anger and looked at Do Pyeong-su.
“Right, Pyeong-su. What about you? Did you take off Cheonjamun?”
“What? Th-, that…. since I was busy finding you…..”
“Right. It’s the best thing when you learn martial arts at Moorim.”
Hwa Jeok-san looked at Jang Man-dok who was seated at the farthest left.
“You still silent as ever huh. Let’s have a drink that will make that mold in your mouth disappear, shall we? You have drinks, right?”
All four of them pulled out a gourd-shaped bottle from their waist-belts.
Hwa Jeok-san automatically smiled looking at the gourd-shaped bottle.
“Now that I can drink the alcohol made by you guys, even if I die I’ll have no regrets.” Seo Seok-san spoke out.
“Master, what do you mean die? You must drink the alcohol made by your subordinates every day and live another hundred years more.”
Hwa Jeok-san who corked the bottles and drank one after the other, bent down halfway and said.
“How about a disciple than subordinate?”
“What? Di-, disciple?”
“Why? Do you hate to be my disciple?”
“Wh-, what do you mean hate! It’s our lifelong wish! But we had given up since you said you’ll never have a disciple.”
“I thought I’d live for another hundred or two hundred years. It was my selfishness to live more freely. I didn’t want to pass on to you the karma of the evil that has been going on for generations too. But looks like you’ve built your karma finding me throughout the past 20 years. I’m sorry.”
Hwa Jeok-san uttered the word ‘sorry’.
The word ‘sorry’ was uttered by the world’s most confident and powerful supreme being.
“Not at all! How can you be sorry for us! It’s rather us who are…. very sorry for not being able to find you earlier.”
Hwa Jeok-san’s voice dropped at the back of the four who dropped down sobbing.
“Though I didn’t call you for the past 70 years, you four have always been my disciple. I thought that the name Ma Gun-ja was great but after being locked up for the past 20 years, it’s all been false. I hope that these five disciples of this foolish master who lived being devoted in the falsehood, rely on each other and eat & live well.”
“We’ll keep that in m-….. Wait, five disciples?”
When Do Pyeon-su was counting up to three, Yeon Geum-hong poked his side. She probably thought that Hwa Jeok-san was confused.
“But then where’s that kid?”
“I’m talking about your abolition.”
“The kid who told us that we have a master?”
“Right. I accepted him as a disciple one year ago. Though you guys have been my disciples of 70 years by heart, since Geom Woo-bin was accepted as the official disciple first, of course, he’d be your abolition, isn’t it?”
The blood-lion couldn’t help but get flustered.
Though it was a lifetime joy being the disciples of Hwa Joek-san, they couldn’t help but be flustered at the thought of having to bring a kid whose name ink hasn’t even dried on his family register, as an abolition.
“What’s the distance between Baekrim-mun and Mt. Gumbong?”
“It’s around 1000 miles.”
“How long would it take if you don’t use the light technology?”
“It will take about 15 days if we hurry.”
“It was 10 days ago. That I sent Geom Woo-bin to you.”
“What? You mean he went 1000 miles across, climbed the Mt. Gumbong, and lit the incense in just 10 days?”
“He probably ran without eating or sleeping well. To protect the promise, he kept to this master. I’m sure you’re all in your 90s, aren’t you? Though you think it’s good to bring that eight-year-old kid as an abolition at that age, you’ll find out when you spend time together. That the kid is fully entitled to that highest abolition.”
All the alcohol bottles were emptied as he spoke.
“Now that I’ve drunk this and have accepted you as my official disciples as well, looks like there’s nothing else that can be good. Now you can call me ‘Master’.”
All of them either kept their sound low in awkwardness or made a sound smaller than that of a mosquito’s fluttering of its wings, and continued to competitively cough out the title ‘Master’.
“Hohoho! That name, it sounds quite nice to hear!”
“We’ll raise it!”
When the blood-lion stood up, Hwa Jeok-san straightened his back.
“Now I’ll have no regrets even if I die for real.”
Right when they gave their fifth bow, Hwa Jeok-san’s breath was no more.
Though all of them knew it already, they did not stop bowing down while wiping their tears.
Just like that, they became the official disciples of Ma Gun-ja.
And they also had the abolition of an eight-year-old.