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Second Chance Slaughter

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Prologue

81

Drip. Drip. Drip.

 

The sound of blood dripping echoed in the dimness of the room.

 

A sharp blade gleamed in the shadows, held firmly by a figure cloaked in darkness.

 

At his feet lay a man, his body crumpled and lifeless.

 

The victim, probably in his early thirties, wore a once-neat suit now stained with red. Broken glasses lay scattered nearby.

 

Avery, the man in the shadows, didn’t flinch. He exhaled slowly, a mix of relief and resignation on his breath. The deed was done.

 

“How many more do I need to kill?” he murmured to the empty night.

 

But Avery wasn’t just any killer. He was not even truly Avery.

 

Not long ago, another soul had inhabited this body.

 

In the world of Murim, he was a feared assassin, bound by the ruthless laws of his order. His final mission was supposed to bring him freedom, a promise dangled like a carrot before a desperate horse.

 

But fate had a cruel sense of irony.

 

In Murim, assassins were destined to die as assassins. The so-called righteous factions washed their hands of the dirty work by employing people like him, ensuring their hands stayed clean while his were forever stained with blood.

 

He had been given a mission: retrieve the hidden Sutra of the Blood Monk clan.

 

It sounded straightforward, but he knew better. As he fled with the precious scroll, he sensed the trap long before he saw it. The orthodox factions had cast their inescapable net, and there was no way out.

 

He had been betrayed by those he had loyally served.

 

“King of the Night, your reign of terror ends now! You have spilled too much blood, and we are here to bring you to justice!” The voice rang out, clear and commanding. It was the Gentle Swordsman of the Plum Blossom, a hero in the eyes of many.

 

The King of the Night couldn’t help but smirk. Justice? These so-called righteous warriors spoke of it so freely, yet they were just as stained by treachery as he was. After fifty years of service, all he had asked for was freedom. He had been promised it, like a prize just out of reach.

 

In truth, he had no desire to remain entangled in the jianghu’s deadly politics.

 

If granted his freedom, he dreamed of retreating to the countryside, buying a modest piece of land, and living out his days in peace, far from the world’s violence.

 

But reality was a harsh mistress.

 

More than a hundred warriors from various orthodox clans surrounded him now, each ready to strike.

 

“What is justice? What is truly cruel?” he muttered under his breath.

 

“Spouting your last words, King of the Night?” sneered the youngest son of the Namgoong Clan.

 

“No,” he replied. “I’ve just realized something. Perhaps the Demon Faction suits my personality better.”

 

“Confessing your sins, are you?” taunted another voice from the crowd.

 

“No. I’m saying that at least in the Demon Faction, evil isn’t hidden behind false smiles. Their hatred and killing are out in the open. Here, in your so-called righteous sects, you mask your slaughter with talks of honor and justice.”

 

“How dare you slander the names of the righteous sects!” bellowed Gwangmyeong, the leader of the orthodox faction. His voice carried the weight of authority. “As their leader, I, Gwangmyeong, decree the death penalty for the King of the Night. Execute him immediately!”

 

Yeomra, the King of the Night, recognized the voice immediately. It belonged to the one who had orchestrated this entire scheme—the man who had sent him to retrieve the Blood Monk’s Sutra.

 

For a fleeting moment, Yeomra caught a glimpse of the man’s face, twisted into a sinister smile.

 

He masked his true intentions behind a facade of righteousness. All this talk of justice was just a ploy. What he really wanted was the sutra for himself, fearing that Yeomra might expose its secrets once he retired.

 

As the King of the Night, Yeomra was a master of the shadows. His enemies knew this all too well, yet they still dared to challenge him.

 

Ten warriors lunged at him, their weapons slicing through the air with deadly precision. In an instant, they were upon him, their swords and spears poised to strike.

 

But Yeomra was faster. One moment he was there, the next he seemed to dissolve into the darkness, slipping through their grasp like a wraith.

 

The attackers were left momentarily stunned, their confusion turning to horror as they burst into a spray of blood, collapsing into lifeless heaps.

 

“Don’t think I’ll go down without a fight!” Yeomra’s voice echoed.

 

He wasn’t ready to give up—not yet.

 

The dream of freedom, a life of peace away from the bloodshed, was so close.

 

He had envisioned it countless times: a small farm in the countryside, rows of crops swaying gently in the breeze, cattle grazing contentedly in the fields. He had even scouted a piece of land, saved enough money to buy it.

 

A life where he could wake up each morning without the shadow of death hanging over him, where his only concerns were the pests nibbling at his plants or the market price of his harvest.

 

It was a simple life, but one he yearned for more than anything.

 

“What a vile creature!” Gwangmyeong shouted, his voice filled with contempt. “A man who relies on the power of darkness is nothing but a demon incarnate!”

 

Yeomra's eyes flickered with defiance. To them, he was a monster. But all he wanted was to escape their twisted version of justice and find his own path to peace. He wouldn’t let their hypocrisy snuff out his dream. Not today.

 

But there was no time to exchange words with this manipulative puppet master. Yeomra had to escape, and his only ally now was the darkness that enveloped him like a cloak.

 

He moved through the shadows as if they were an extension of himself.

 

Each time his pursuers closed in, he would vanish, pausing just long enough to plan his next move and ambush those who dared to follow.

 

In the darkness, he was a ghost, a whisper, a fleeting shadow that no one could pin down.

 

This cat-and-mouse game continued for hours.

 

Yeomra was certain he could outlast them, that his mastery of the night would see him through.

 

But then, the sky began to lighten, a soft red creeping across the horizon. Dawn was breaking, and with it, his precious cover was slipping away.

 

Fatigue gnawed at his bones, making every step feel like he was wading through thick mud. His sword, usually an extension of his arm, felt heavy and cumbersome, each swing a monumental effort.

 

He was running out of time.

 

“This is as far as you can go, King of the Night,” a voice echoed, cold and triumphant.

 

Yeomra forced a bitter laugh.

 

There, blocking his path, was Gwangmyeong, the leader of the righteous sect—the very man who had betrayed him.

 

“Why?” Yeomra demanded.

 

“You know why,” Gwangmyeong replied smoothly. “Don’t tell me you weren’t curious about the contents of the sutra?”

 

Yeomra clenched his jaw. It was true. The Sutra of the Blood Monk was the stuff of legends. Anyone would be curious about its secrets. But his loyalty had never wavered.

 

“Did you think I’d use it against you?” Yeomra asked.

 

“No, Yeomra. You’re not the type. You’re a loyal dog,” Gwangmyeong sneered.

 

“Then why?”

 

“Because some secrets are too powerful to be shared. It’s better if I alone hold that knowledge,” Gwangmyeong said, unsheathing his sword with a smooth, practiced motion.

 

The last thing Yeomra saw was the blade reflecting the dawn’s first light before his world tilted and darkened. He didn't even have the chance to close his eyes.

 

---

 

The next thing Yeomra remembered was waking up a few weeks ago in a body that wasn’t his own.

 

He was now Avery—a seemingly ordinary guy with a mundane life, working at a convenience store for a meager salary. His new apartment was a cramped, dingy space barely big enough for one person.

 

For a brief moment, he thought he might have found a way out of his old life.

 

But then the call came.

 

It came from a shadowy organization composed of serial killers.

 

The nightmare wasn't over. It was only beginning in a new form, with new faces and old terrors.

 

Avery is a member of a serial killer organization.

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