Reincarnation - Chapter 20
Even if the sailboat was small, it was a sailboat.
Although it was windy good for the sailboats, it was not easy to get thirty pirate boats to sail up the flooded river.
But it was happening before my eyes.
What was more surprising was the flag fluttering at the top of the mast.
On the triangle’s flag was a red Imoogi (monster serpent) as if it were alive.
“Why are they here?”
“It looks like they are coming over here!”
“Call all the remaining members in the den. Come on!”
The last cry came from Yeom Wang-do.
Whiz, boom! Boom! Boom!
Three pieces of firecrackers, soaring tens of meters high, burst with a roar.
Since then, the bandits had been busy checking their armament and forming a unit.
“What the hell is that?”, Namgoong So-so asked me.
“They are Gyoryong Group, pirates ruling River Jangsa.”
“Why are the pirates here?”
“When an Imoogi comes out of the water, it means there is something to catch. I think there will be anything interesting today.”
The target of the boats of Gyoryong Group was so clear that the bandits and delivery group waited with great tension.
After a while, the small boats and sailboat arrived one by one.
The sight of 200 people, armed with all kinds of strange weapons, running out was a threat, regardless of whether they were enemies or not.
One of them was special. He had a thick neck and wide shoulders. He was Dok Gak-mang, the leader of the Gyoryong Group, which had two hundred men.
“Head Jang, long time no see!”
Dok Gak-mang first recognized Jang Liang-gi and greeted him loudly.
“What brought you here, Head of Gyoryong Group?”
“I’m here to help you when I hear that you are struggling to get across the River Jangsa. Hahaha.”
“There must have been a misunderstanding. We don’t have plans to cross the River Jangsa, just to pass the flooded path.”
“Wasn’t the water that covers the road the River Jangsa?”
“What do you mean?”
“Jangsa Gok road will be managed by the Gyoryong Group from now on. If you have any difficulties, you can tell us.”
In other words, from now on, they would receive a toll on the Jangsa Gok road.
Yeom Wang-do, the original owner of Jangsa Gok road, would never sit still.
“What the hell are you talking about!”
Yeom Wang-do walked out carrying a long sword on his waist.
More than two hundred pirates suddenly pulled out the swords for no reason.
Chae Chae Chae Chae Chae Chaeng!
Thirty bandits of the Daebyeol Branch also drew swords.
Chae Chae Chaeng!
In a blink of an eye, the bandits of Daebyeol Branch, the delivery group of Cheonryong Pyoguk, and the pirates of Gyoryong Group confronted each other in a triangular formation around the pot boiling dog.
“You are Yeom Wang-do. I have heard your fame for a long time. I’m Dok Gak-mang, leader of Gyoryong Group…….”
“What is Dok Gak-mang? The Jangsa Gok road has long been the domain of our Daebyeol Branch. The river has blown over the road, and it suddenly became your area. What nonsense.”
“As you know, the Jangsa Gok road is flooded for more than half the year. You can see it was sunk in a single night of heavy rain during the dry season. Then, of course, we, the owner of the River Jangsa, should control it?”
“What nonsense! Treat your men and take out your boats now or you’ll never see a good result.”
As soon as he talked, about thirty bandits who were hiding on the top hillside stood up, pulling their bows.
It was an ambush prepared by gathering the remaining troops.
“Well, there’s an ignorant mountain animal in Mount Kun. You must be the animal! What are you doing, guys?”
This time, the pirates paired 10 people each and suddenly held up the boat that was half pulled onto the land and turned it upside down and used it as a shield.
“I’m sure the ambush on that hillside will only have a couple of shots at most because, in the meantime, we’ll turn this place into a mess.”
“Do you know why this mountain is called Mount Kun? Because the poison called Kun has been found from time to time. We’ve been settled down, so we find it more often than most people do.”
“Poison Kun of Mount Kun!”
“What is the poison Kun of Mount Kun?”, Namgoong So-so asked me.
“It’s a rare poisonous snake inhabiting in Mount Kun, and it’s also called Seven-Step Snake because it kills people before they take off seven steps.”
“How did that make Dok Gak-mang pale?”
“I think the bandits use the poison on their arrows. It’s usually yellowish, but it’s red. Then, it seems that they coated arrows with poison. It’ll kill anyone instantly just by touching.”
“Thieves are thieves. Thugs asking to give up the land for ridiculous reasons. Others using poison on their arrows when things got urgent.”
“That’s why they are called thieves.”
“By the way, they have their own tactics.”
“A thief has better tricks than a gentleman does.”
“By the way, this isn’t going to be a war, is it? If that happens, this place will turn into a pool of blood, and the anger may reach us.”
In his previous life, something feared by Namgoong So-so had happened.
As a result, the DaeByeol Branch suffered a devastating loss, and the Jangsa Gok road had been handed over to Gyorong Group.
The victorious Gyoryong Group had tried to carry the delivery goods and wagons by sailboat.
However, the wooden bridge connecting the sailboat to the ground had broken and everything had gone to waste.
Eventually, the delivery group had had to wait until the water drained the next afternoon before they could barely get through the road.
There had been no need to wage war from the beginning.
But this time, it would be different. No one would die, no one would get hurt.
The delivery group would surely pass this road today, and the thieves would not get a penny.
I gathered the messengers.
“The Jangsa Gok has been the domain of Daebyeol Branch for generations. All of a sudden, since the river was blown and flooded, the pirates are insisting that it is their territory. They are so crazy.”
“For whatever reason, we must not take any sides. If we take one side, the other side will be the enemy to us.”
“Given that they have mobilized all the troops of the pirate den, I don’t think they are just trying to fizzle out. The atmosphere is unusual.”
“What do you think, Gongja?”
Jang Liang-gi asked me, as the messengers expressed their opinions one by one.
He was starting to provoke me again. Let’s hear how he would lead the topic this time.
“I think it’s become disadvantageous.”
“We all know that the situation is bad. I mean, you have to decide because that’s the role of the leader.”
Unlike his worried tone, the corners of his mouth were shaking.
He might think this was a great opportunity to make trouble for me.
He didn’t know the first reason I wanted to be the leader for three days was because of this situation.
“Do you have any guesses, Head Jang? I’m sure there might be a reason when Gyorong Group suddenly comes out like that.”
Namgoong So-so suddenly asked Jang Liang-gi.
She thought there was a way after knowing why Gyoryong Group was like that.
It was true, but why she was asking Jang Liang-gi?
She did not accept me as a leader, either?
“It’s just absurd for me, too.”
“You really don’t know?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m just curious.”
“Do you mean I know something and hide it?”
“Isn’t it also a problem if you do not know anything at all? You have been the leader until just a moment ago, haven’t you? I think you should’ve known what’s going on with bandits or pirates…….”
“The leader is not almighty. There are many dens of bandits and pirates in the world. How can I know all of them?”
“That’s true, too.”
Namgoong So-so simply agreed and ended the conversation.
But the atmosphere became as if all this had been caused by the incompetence of Jang.
Only then did I realize the intention of the Namgoong So-so.
When she felt like I would have a hard time because of this issue, she was trying to shift the responsibility to Jang Liang-gi for later.
She was very clever. If I ever had to fight someone, I’d have to fight with this woman on the same side.
And I could not stand it either.
“I think it’s because of the problem of the River Dongsa.”
I joined slightly. Everyone’s eyes were on me. I spoke slowly.
“Last year, more than fifty bandits paved the road for carriages to go to Mount Hwanggyeong. So all the merchants and delivery groups, that had used River Dongsa to the Hoeyang area, have changed to the Pass of Mount Hwanggyeong. Because they have been able to save a day and a lot of effort for loading and unloading the ship.”
Ga Bul-yeom also added a comment.
“I heard that one of the pirate group in River Dongsa went bankrupt because of it. The Pirate Alliance of River Chang has been watching for a chance.”
Namgoong So-so spoke again.
“They were going to take possession of Jangsa Gok with the Gyoryong Group, and then destroy the Daebyeol Branch. It’s an eye for the eye. It’s an idea unique to them.”
Then she asked me, “How did you know about it, Head Jeong-ryong?”
“Everyone in the Pyoguk knows it, but I just conclude past events. It’s just a guess.”
“It’s probably a truth, not a guess. Because even if I were the leader of the Pirate Alliance of River Chang, I would have done this. It’s a great insight.”
Namgoong So-so praised me more than she needed to, glancing at Jang Liang-gi.
She seemed to mean, ‘This is the way a leader should be.’
I spoke to Jang Liang-gi, “Give me the money bag.”
“We should pay the toll, right?”
Jang Liang-gi pulled one bag out of his clothes.
There would roughly be fifty coins in it.
Every time they passed the den of bandits, they had to pay a toll of fifty coins, so they carried several bags of fifty coins in this way.
“That’s not going to make any difference.”
“That’s the original amount.”
“It could be before. You know, things have changed now. You think you’re going to fuck me with this?”
It was too much for anyone to solve such difficulties with a single money bag.
Mindful of the public gaze, Jang Liang-gi pulled out another bag and said, “Are you thinking of handing over fifty coins to each group? If that’s the way it works, it could not be better.”
This, too, could not be a solution.
That’s why Jang Liang-gi was giving another money bag.
“If it is possible to settle the dispute and cross the road, will you use another one?”
Everyone’s eyes were wide open at my sudden proposal.
This sounded ridiculous to anyone.
Jang Liang-gi stared at me for a while, and eventually took out one more bag and put three in total down on the ground.
But he said, still holding the bags, “I have a condition for you.”
“What is it?”
“I’ll send one messenger to carry them. This is what the protocol says, and when a conflict breaks out, it forces at least one more messenger to come with.”
It was true. When Ga Bul-yeom had gone to meet the faceless enemy general, a messenger Jin-pyeong had carried a bag.
This was a measure to keep one person aware of the work of the head from beginning to end so that he could continue to do so even if there was a problem to the head.
Letting someone carry a money bag was a kind of security.
But now, the purpose of Jang Liang-gi was to get the report of all the conversations by sending a spy with me.
Besides, it was a recommendation, not a must-follow rule.
“I’d have to go, but I’ll give you another messenger because Yeom Wang-do and Dok Gak-mang might confuse me as a leader…….”
The man who came forward was Ga Bul-yeom.
He even showed skill, he snatched the leash beneath the palm of Jang Liang-gi and took all the bags.
Since the bags were taken suddenly, Jang was driven insane.
But he couldn’t say anything.
Ga Bul-yeom was below himself in rank, but Jang couldn’t oppose him recklessly because he knew that Ga was sent to escort me under the orders of the General Head of Messengers.
This wasn’t my plan.
However, taciturn Ga Bul-yeom was better for me than a spy of Jang.
Furthermore, Namgoong So-so was much better than Ga because she was a visitor.
“I will go with Pung Jin-yang.”
I asked, looking back at her, “Will you help me?”
“I will do my best to help you.”