Chapter 532. Coming to a Conclusion (2)

Defeat comes at a cost. No one would dispute that concept, especially those living in the world of martial arts.0

As the victor had the right to everything, the loser must deal with the consequences of their defeat, however heavy it might be. And in a duel where the fighters risked everything to win... The loser must pay the ultimate price: death!0

Indeed, only death awaited the loser. And Vator knew that all too well. The victorious Kang Jin-Ho had the qualifications to press his sword against Vator's throat.0

There was no point in rejecting that notion now. So, Vator silently lowered his head and offered his neck. This was the deserved fate for a loser like him, after all.0

Was there such a thing as a defeat without regret? Of course not. Regret and frustration always accompanied every type of defeat. Even if one gave everything to the fight until there was nothing more left to give, one would still regret not being a little stronger.0

But, people still suppressed their frustration and regret and accepted their loss. That was the sign of their generosity, the greatness of their hearts. Vator was not a small-minded man and had already fully accepted his defeat.0

'If only I had a little more time...'0

What Kang Jin-Ho said about perfection just now...! He said there was no such thing as perfection in this world. Even those things considered perfect still had room to improve.0

Those words left a deep impression on Vator. If only he was given another chance, he wouldn't have been satisfied with his current achievements and tried to improve himself even further... Unfortunately, regret always came too late.0

Since Vator knew that every loser carried the same regret in their heart, he forcibly suppressed his with sheer willpower. At the very least, he didn't want to display a shameful sight during his final moments. That was Vator's last remaining vestige of pride.0

Unfortunately, Vator had no idea. No idea who he was dealing with.0

If he knew what kind of a person Kang Jin-Ho was... Vator wouldn't be this laidback in his thoughts.0


Vator's jaw fell open at the sudden burning pain coming from somewhere in his body.0


Vator tried to endure it, but the pain proved to be too horrifying to ignore. It felt like a scalding-hot iron had dug beneath his skin, and Vator could only writhe in pure agony.0

'What the hell is this?!'0

Vator hurriedly opened his eyes and was rewarded with the sight of Kang Jin-Ho's sword stabbing into his thigh. But that wasn't all. Kang Jin-Ho was deliberately stabbing Vator at an odd angle to cut out his flesh!0

“Huh?!” Vator looked up and stared at Kang Jin-Ho. And he saw a bizarre smirk etched on Kang Jin-Ho's face.0

That smirk immediately reminded Vator of a hateful cat that had cornered a helpless mouse into a dead-end and was leisurely thinking about how to torture the poor thing!0

“W-what are you planning to do?!” Vator cried out after finally realizing the situation he was in.0

As it turned out, Kang Jin-Ho had no desire to cleanly end Vator's life. No, he was thinking of subjecting Vator to every imaginable type of pain!0

Fear crashed into Vator's heart like a tidal wave. After all, they had exchanged moves. They had fought to the death, didn't they! That was why Vator knew. He knew how cruel the man before his eyes could be!0

No one on God's Green Earth should be able to plunge Vator into a pit of terror to this degree. However, Kang Jin-Ho was the sole exception. No matter how much Vator tried to remain dignified, the fear sneakily raising its ugly head from the depths of his heart couldn't be suppressed.0

That was because Vator had seen how gigantic the twisted malice hiding inside Kang Jin-Ho was!0

Vator's jaw fell and quivered. Every muscle in his body tried to curl up and shrink. Even so, he still tried to put up a dignified front. He believed that a man's worth depended on how he died, and that was why his belief was desperately screaming at him to maintain his dignified presence. However...0

“Do you wish to know why I'm doing this?” Kang Jin-Ho snarkily asked.0

“...!” Vator's expression crumpled, his attempt at remaining dignified immediately thrown out the window. “We... We were in a duel!”0

Vator began yelling at a desperate-sounding hoarse voice.0

“We fought in an honorable duel to find the winner! Yes, you have the right to kill me any way you see fit, no matter how cruel it is! However...! This is what a battle of life and death is all about, isn't it? The honor belongs to the winner, while the loser proves themselves through honorable death. All I... can ask you for is sparing me from a humiliating death. Grant me this mercy.”0

Vator wasn't asking this out of cowardice. And it wasn't about avoiding pain, either. Dying this way went against his principles which said experts fighting each other in an honorable duel should accept their fate like a man.0

Torturing the loser to death was an act of a despicable coward, a true villain. And Vator didn't want the shame of dying to a despicable bastard like that.0

Unfortunately for Vator, though... Kang Jin-Ho didn't share that sentiment.0

“It seems you thought of this as a duel,” Kang Jin-Ho casually muttered.0

Vator's irises powerfully quaked after hearing that.0

“Too bad for you... It wasn't for me.” Kang Jin-Ho bared his fangs. “This is why I can never be nice to bastards like you. I try to be as understanding as possible, but things always go sideways at the end. Exactly like this.”0

Vator sucked in a deep breath after noticing all the intense hatred contained in Kang Jin-Ho's voice. But... why?0

Wasn't Kang Jin-Ho the winner? Wasn't he an honorable victor who won even after receiving Vator's full-powered attack? So, why was a victor making a face like that? As if he was a wounded predator?!0

“Victory? Honor?” Kang Jin-Ho's expression grew even more fierce in anger. “Stop spewing dogsh*t.”0


“Bastards who live inside a world of their own always think like that. And you're no different. You think you're fighting for no one but yourself and everything will be over when you die. Unfortunately for you, that's not how the world works. My life is not as simple as yours.” Kang Jin-Ho pulled out his sword from Vator's thigh. “My death won't simply end as that, a death of one person. The world around me will crumble along with my death. That's the weight I carry. You probably want to say I'm your only target. However, you almost drove hundreds of lives into a spiral of despair through your actions.”0

“W-what are you even talking about?!” Vator was deeply taken aback.0

Kang Jin-Ho's eyes became even colder as he glared at the big Mongol. Indeed, a fool like this would never understand.0

A martial artist who had sacrificed everything to polish their cultivation would never understand it! After all, Kang Jin-Ho also failed to understand it back in the past, didn't he?0

Kang Jin-Ho's current life wasn't just his. Not anymore. Just how many people were depending on him now? And what would happen if Kang Jin-Ho had died tonight?0

His family, friends, the kids back in the Seongsim Orphanage, and even the Assembly's martial artists... And countless more people would fall into despair from his passing. And their potential future happiness would've been stolen from them!0

Vator would never understand how grave of a sin that was. Once upon a time, Kang Jin-Ho thought it would be so cool to be like those experts who dedicated everything of theirs to their martial arts.0

Noble warriors who abandoned everything for the sake of their cultivation and dedicated their whole lives to reaching the top! That used to be such a beautiful ideal. Something he wanted to aspire to.0

But now, Kang Jin-Ho didn't think that way. Cultivation... Martial arts always searched for suitable opponents. However, once another's life was mixed up with yours, the so-called duel wouldn't just end as that, a duel between warriors.0

“Vator, you probably think you can take responsibility through your death. But that does not apply to me.” Kang Jin-Ho quietly snarled as the surrounding temperature grew even colder. “In that case, the price you will pay should change too, don't you agree? Your death alone won't be enough to pay for the damages, you see?”0

In Vator's mind, he probably thought his death would be enough to compensate for his defeat. However, Kang Jin-Ho's death wouldn't be enough to compensate for the potential ripples arising from his defeat.0

If the consequences of this screwed-up game had to be equal for both sides... Wouldn't that be too unfair? That was why...!0

At the very least, shouldn't Vator be held responsible for almost driving Kang Jin-Ho's acquaintances into despair? Wouldn't that make things fairer? And the consequences of nearly plunging everyone into despair and unhappiness couldn't be trivial, now could it? After all, this was about Kang Jin-Ho's father. His mother. His little sister...! What about Park Yu-Min? Ju Yeong-Gi? Jo Gyu-Min? And Choi Yeon-Ha, too...!0

Even if Kang Jin-Ho brutally ripped Vator apart piece by piece, his anger would still seethe and rage away!0

“Euh... Euh...!” Vator stumbled back as shock and fright dyed his expression. Even now, he had no idea what Kang Jin-Ho was talking about. However, he could at least understand the level of animosity Kang Jin-Ho held against him. The type of animosity that might explode like a nuke at any given moment!0

This level of animosity was even worse than when Kang Jin-Ho's life had been threatened!0

'But, why? Why did he get this angry?!'0

Vator couldn't figure this one out. And Kang Jin-Ho could see that on Vator's face, which had distorted from confusion and terror. Unless Vator found something more precious than his life, he'd never understand this!0

Kang Jin-Ho cruelly smirked. If Vator was unable to understand... Well, all he needed to do was feel it through his body! As long as the giant idiot could fully understand the severity of his actions, who cared about the methods used?0

“It feels like I'm repeating myself over and over again, but...” Kang Jin-Ho smirked again.0


“I apologize for not killing you painlessly, Vator.”0

It seemed Vator failed to understand those words. However, shouldn't it be easy enough to do so? After all, Kang Jin-Ho was saying Vator would suffer a horrifically painful death!0

“You can look forward to it...!” Kang Jin-Ho slowly raised his Crimson Destiny high up.0

Vator was a truly powerful being. His mind was just as tough as his physique. So, making such a man shiver pitifully in fear of his death might be nearly impossible.0

...If the torturer was someone else other than Kang Jin-Ho, that was.0

Kang Jin-Ho had already dealt with experts more exceptional than this Vator. And he saw them begging to be killed many times, too!0

Vator made a fatal mistake by challenging Kang Jin-Ho to a so-called duel.0

“You see, I have this rule...” Kang Jin-Ho quietly muttered as a truly insidious smirk formed on his face. “I always make the bastards attacking me... pay the price.”0


“The honorable duel between men that you were talking about? That never existed here, to begin with. And you'll realize that soon enough.”0

Vator's complexion paled as he watched the sinister-looking Kang Jin-Ho walk closer and closer.0


“B-blergh...!” Lee Hyeon-Su wretched uncontrollably before turning his head away from the horrific scene playing out in the distance.0

Once upon a time, Lee Hyeon-Su used fear to lord over the Yeongnam Group. Unsurprisingly, he had to involve himself in many unsavory things to maintain his status. And some of them were basically tortures, stuff that no normal person would even dream about doing.0

However, what Kang Jin-Ho was doing... That went beyond torture.0

'Goddamn it! Just what... What did he do before returning to the modern era?!'0

Kang Jin-Ho was composed. So, so bloody composed!0

In a sense, that shouldn't be shocking. A torturer would torture their victims with a clear goal in mind, after all.0

A human torturing another human only happened when they wanted to acquire something. Things like secrets no one must know, the whereabouts of the victim's comrades, hidden plans, etc... To learn more about such things, people tortured their victims. At least, that was how it was supposed to be.0

However, what Kang Jin-Ho was doing had no purpose. No, that wasn't quite true. It did have a goal, and that was to appease Kang Jin-Ho's fury by making his victim pay the price!0

Merely watching the torture of pure rage from the distance nearly made Lee Hyeon-Su wet his pants.0

'I... No matter what, I'll never become that man's enemy! Never!'0

Lee Hyeon-Su finally realized how lucky he had been. Even though he used to antagonize Kang Jin-Ho, he still managed to keep his life and even work under that madman! If that wasn't luck, what was? If things had gone wrong somewhere, even by a little bit... Lee Hyeon-Su would've ended up in the same wretched fate as Vator!0

If he hadn't chosen to pull the rug out from under Kim Seok-Il and handed everything to Kang Jin-Ho on a silver platter back then, and if he tried to beg for his life...!0

Lee Hyeon-Su would've experienced the same horrors as Vator before turning into a cold, rotting corpse.0

That was how wretched Vator's state was. So wretched that Lee Hyeon-Su couldn't stop thinking about such things.0

Vator was practically drenched in blood. It was practically impossible to find an area of his body still intact and undamaged from Kang Jin-Ho's torture.0

“Uh... Euw...”0

Vator used to be so proud of his godly physique, but he must be cursing it by now. Due to how supernaturally tough his body was, Vator was surviving injuries that would've killed a regular person a hundred times over. And that tenacious life force was prolonging Vator's agony.0

Although, it was unknown if Vator was still conscious enough to curse himself at this point...!0

Kang Jin-Ho finally stopped his hands, then reached out to the Azuremourne stabbed to the ground. After pulling the sword loose, Kang Jin-Ho pressed it against Vator's exposed neck. He then whispered quietly into Vator's ear. “Now... Run your mouth off again. What were you saying about your honor?”0

Kang Jin-Ho's icy-cold voice dug into Vator's brain, and the big man's glazed eyes began trembling again from sheer terror.0

“Why aren't you saying anything? Come on, say it. Talk to me about your oh-so-mighty honor.”0

Kang Jin-Ho began cackling like a devil, his expression distorting hideously.0

Even the moon floating close to the horizon decided to hide behind the thick clouds. While looking every bit of Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor that plunged Zhongyuan into endless terror, Kang Jin-Ho... stabbed the Azuremourne straight into Vator's throat.

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