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For the Downfall of My Beloved Chapter 22

Updated: Feb 21

In a life-or-death showdown, what is the most crucial element? Strength, weight, speed, power, momentum... 

  

Many think of these factors. Indeed, during training, warriors ponder how to quickly subdue an opponent or how to deliver a powerful blow in one strike. 

  

While all these are important, one thing should not be overlooked. 

  

The enemy's true nature. One must discern it. 

  

"Finally, our swords will clash." 

  

"......" 

  

"I've been curious since a hundred years ago. I wondered who was the strongest on the battlefield." 

  

Mad excitement filled the demon's face as he muttered. 

  

As if death was of no concern, the sheer thrill of facing Gion seemed to exhilarate him. It was Jahun, who had been appointed as the Grand Marshal a hundred years ago. 

  

Screech. 

  

As Jahun emitted dark energy, a ghastly sound filled the air, engulfing the surroundings in darkness. 

  

Slash! 

  

Sharp spikes emerged from the dark energy surrounding Gion. 

Like the long branches of a willow tree, countless spikes rapidly enveloped Gion. 

  

Swoosh! 

  

Gion gripped his Chunhwa sword tighter and began to swing. 

  

The skin tore like wet paper, blood spread, and the warmth and pain were almost unnoticeable as the spikes flew at Gion. The encroaching dark energy made even securing space to dodge attacks difficult. 

  

Power, physical endurance, stature, environment... 

  

Nothing was in Gion's favor. 

  

Boom! 

  

Jahun, wielding a black scabbard, charged ferociously at Gion. This demon was on a different level from those Gion had faced before. It wasn't easy to fend off Jahun while cutting through the endlessly thrusting black spikes. Apart from the opponent, the environment also played a crucial role in the showdown. 

  

Gion turned his blade and slashed at Jahun's waist. However, as soon as the blade touched him, Jahun quickly changed direction. Despite his size, his movements were agile. Jahun and Gion exchanged blows, stabs, and scratches, spraying blood. The Chunhwa sword began to flicker with a light green light, sensing the crisis. 

  

Crack. 

  

The larger Jahun pressed down on Gion with his weight while their swords were locked. Gion managed to evade by kicking off the ground, but his Chunhwa sword was on the verge of damage. Jahun smiled as if delighted. 

  

Yes, this was the kind of person he was. 

  

In Biryu, Jahun, the Grand Marshal, had a talent for 'control' rather than leadership. 

  

He would change their environment if the opponent didn't move as he wished. Instead of overpowering them with fear, he would offer what they wanted, making them reluctant to leave his control. Obsessed with proving his dominance over others, he was trapped in the compulsion to be the strongest, wanting to control everything. 

  

One's true nature doesn't change even when turned into a demon. 

  

The situation, engulfed and bound by dark energy, proved this. 

  

Tap tap! 

  

Gion charged directly at Jahun. 

  

Jahun smirked at this seemingly final, desperate determination. 

  

Facing an opponent with a significant size advantage head-on was akin to a suicide attempt. 

  

"This is the end." 

  

Jahun, his body covered in wounds, held a black sword in his hand and pointed it at Gion's neck. The two swords, black and white, crossed, and the distance between them closed. 

  

At that moment. 

  

Boom! 

  

Gion swiftly changed direction, cutting down the willow tree. 

  

As Jahun's blade dug into Gion's shoulder, the severed tree fell onto Jahun's head. 

  

Gion pushed Jahun's blade deeper into his shoulder and grasped it tightly. The sword in Jahun's hand was now in Gion's. 

  

Crunch. 

  

The sound of Jahun gritting his teeth brushed past. 

  

Thud! 

  

Jahun's fist struck Gion's abdomen. With the dull sound and recoil, Gion immediately changed direction. The long, leaf-laden branch obstructed Jahun's view. 

  

Jahun's very nature was an opportunity for Gion. The inherent arrogance of someone who desires to control others would blind Jahun. The very slight difference in the range of vision. That range would determine the outcome. 

  

For one who only knew control as a form of attack, the moment they feel the loss of that control is crucial. 

  

That fleeting moment of agitation is all that's needed. This is the only way to win. 

  

Scrape! 

  

Gion created a gap in the enveloping dark energy. 

  

The situation unraveling beyond his control filled Jahun's eyes with impatience. 

  

Jahun swung a fist larger than Gion's head. 

  

Boom! 

  

Gion's ribs were grazed by the fist. A cracking sound was heard, and his waist seemed to bend on its own. 

  

Thud! 

  

Jahun's fist struck the dark energy and instantly shattered. 

  

In that vibrating space, Gion thrust his sword into the back of Jahun's neck. 

  

"...I, I have... lost..." 

  

Jahun's eyes trembled as if he couldn't comprehend the situation. 

  

"It's not over yet." 

  

Crunch. 

  

Gion didn't listen to Jahun's words to the end. 

  

He just twisted the sword to ensure the sturdy neck bone was thoroughly crushed. 

  

"......" 

  

Jahun knelt, bowing his head. 

  

Thump, thump. 

  

The aftermath of the duel still echoed in his ears, a constant throbbing. 

  

Tinnitus spread as if his ears were about to tear, but Seosan remained as silent as if nothing had happened. 

  

*** 

  

Gion's mission was crystal clear. 

  

For a hundred years, to gather information about what happened in the White Flower Kingdom and correct the distorted history. 

  

To uncover the veiled truth by discovering the accurate history. 

  

However, he had never disclosed this. It was merely a single purpose Gion had set for himself. 

  

"......" 

  

Gion sat cross-legged on the stump of the severed willow tree. 

  

With his ribs broken, he couldn't straighten his waist, and blood continuously flowed from his shoulder where the black scabbard was embedded. 

  

One eye was hard to open due to the trickling blood, and his whole body was so devoid of strength that his muscles didn't even tremble. 

  

His injuries, compounded without a moment of recovery, would have been enough to make an ordinary person faint. 

  

Breathing was difficult, but that wasn't important to Gion right now. 

  

"This is strange…" 

  

Something became certain when he faced Jahun, who had turned into a demon. 

  

His location was being continuously revealed. 

  

And that's not all. Haram came to give Gion the light crystal, and those who had been with him on the battlefield in Biryu came looking for him. As if they knew exactly what Gion was up to. 

  

Swoosh! 

  

Blood spurted as he pulled the black scabbard from his shoulder. 

  

Blood drops fell on the densely packed rings of the tree stump. 

  

The life rings, organically intertwined, seemed to break off as they were stained with dark red blood. 

  

"......" 

  

Every outcome has a cause. This organic chain can never be severed. 

  

But if the cause is not clear… 

  

It might be that one's vision is obscured, just like the life rings seem to break off, covered by blood drops. 

  

"Hey! Have you lost your mind?!" 

  

Hwaran had somehow emerged from the Chunhwa sword and stood before Gion. 

  

In the form of a young child, she yelled sharply, blocking Gion's shoulder with her tiny hands. 

  

"Aren't you the one who's been hit by swords tens, hundreds of times on the battlefield?! If you've got a puncture wound, you should apply pressure to stop the bleeding first, not pull it out! Doing that, you might end up unable to use your shoulder!" 

  

"......" 

  

"Shouldn't the master of the Chunhwa sword know how to use it a bit? Did you hurt your head fighting that guy just now? Does pulling it out recklessly heal the wound?" 

  

While continuously berating Gion, Hwaran didn't put much force into her two hands that were stopping the bleeding. 

  

Whoosh- 

  

A gentle breeze enveloped Gion's shoulder. 

  

A warm sensation spread throughout his body, but Gion's expression remained chillingly cold. 

  

"You were losing your mind, killing everything in sight. I just watched silently, but this can't go on. Take some rest before you act-" 

  

Screech. 

  

That was when a strange noise came from the Chunhwa sword. 

  

"... What are you doing?" 

  

A chilling wind began to sweep through Seosan, and animals that were leisurely enjoying their time hastily retreated deeper into the mountain. 

  

And for a good reason. 

  

Ssssh. 

  

Gion, showing a murderous intent, pointed his sword at Hwaran. 

  

"......" 

  

Right. Why hadn't he thought of that before? 

  

True to Hwaran's words, she hadn't said a word about any of Gion's actions. 

  

Despite the suspiciousness of everything and the difficulty in predicting even a short future. 

  

No advice, no meddling, no involvement. 

  

Not even a question. 

  

"Hwaran." 

  

Gion stared intently at Hwaran with a piercing gaze. 

  

"Should I have killed you too?" 

  

*** 

  

"You've finally lost your mind." 

  

Sihwan clenched his fist tightly, glaring at Rohwa. 

  

It seemed like he could crush her tiny head at any moment, revealing his murderous intent. 

  

Rohwa just quietly peered into the depths of the dark and seemingly endless Hyunhwa Cave. 

  

"Why did you break the promise?" 

  

Sihwan's voice trembled with anger. The wooden token he was holding distorted and creaked. Yet, Rohwa asked without any change in expression. 

  

"So?" 

  

"...What?" 

  

Sihwan's face scrunched up even more, but Rohwa tilted her head and frowned slightly. 

  

"You're saying I broke the promise, but what can you do to me?" 

  

Crack! 

  

In an instant, Sihwan grabbed Rohwa by the collar. 

  

"Curious about what I can do?" 

  

The collar tightened around Rohwa's neck, and the skin began to chafe. 

  

Even as her skin reddened, Rohwa calmly stared at Sihwan. 

  

"Can you?" 

  

There was not a hint of fear in Rohwa's eyes. She looked as if she was observing a passing ant, showing no emotion. Sihwan gritted his teeth. 

  

"I really dislike those eyes of yours. That expression, as if you're not afraid of anything, makes me wonder how much you can endure." 

  

Thump! 

  

Sihwan pushed Rohwa away and straightened his clothes. 

  

"Can you handle this situation?" 

  

At that moment. 

  

Thud. 

  

"......" 

  

Sihwan looked down, feeling a chilling sensation passing through his dantian. 

  

A long sword had pierced through Sihwan's chest. 

  

"You might not be able to do anything to me, but there are things I can do to you." 

  

Rohwa's voice calmly settled. 

  

Sihwan slowly shifted his gaze to the end of the sharp blade. 

  

The hand holding the sword hilt was devoid of blood. 

  

As Sihwan looked up, he saw Rohwa's face splattered with blood. 

  

"You… you…" 

  

Rohwa glanced at the shattered token Sihwan had thrown. 

  

The token was so fragmented that it was impossible to discern any original drawing on it. 

  

"Even with such divination, you couldn't foresee your own death, it seems." 

  

Swoosh! 

  

Blood sprayed as Sihwan collapsed. 

  

"......" 

  

Rohwa casually wiped her face with her collar and handed the sword to the side. 

  

Doa, who had emerged from the shadows, took Rohwa's sword. 

  

With a look of devastation in her eyes, Doa barely managed to speak as she witnessed the scene unfold. 

  

"... Now that it has come to this..." 

  

Rohwa slowly turned her head to face Doa. 

  

"This man was conspiring with Gion, wasn't he?" 

  

"......" 

  

"Eliminating one who could jeopardize our cause is all I did." 

  

At those words, Doa simply nodded quietly. 



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