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    Chapter 19: Wongak Pavilion, The Beginning of Change (1)


    The main gate of Wongak Pavilion.

    All members of the special task force, regardless of their usual shifts, gathered at Wongak Pavilion.

    “Captain! The uniform suits you well!”

    “You could get married in that.”

    Clad in their security uniforms, they chattered noisily, teasing each other.

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword, wearing the special task force uniform for the first time in a while, seemed uncomfortable as he tugged at the collar several times before speaking.

    “Anyway, from now on, all of you will have to wear your uniforms too.”

    His words shocked the crowd.

    “Oh, no!”

    “Captain! Are you serious?!”

    For them, who had lived their lives as warriors, the very existence of a uniform was almost a symbol of disdain.

    “Alright, everyone quiet down.”

    Everyone looked at Life-Stealing Devil Sword with faces full of discontent.

    “As you all might have heard, starting this morning with the commencement of official duties, the confinement order imposed on the Eldest Young Master has been lifted.”

    Originally, they had no affection for the Eldest Young Master.

    “What does that have to do with us, having to wear these uncomfortable uniforms…”

    “The Eldest Young Master has never been of any help in my life.”

    “Perhaps it’s time to seriously consider a transfer request.”

    “To be honest, we’ve been enjoying the benefits of being stationed at Wongak Pavilion until now.”

    Their reactions were lukewarm, but Life-Stealing Devil Sword ignored them and continued.

    “The Supreme Operating Council has issued an emergency order to restore the functionality of Wongak Pavilion, and therefore, we must naturally cooperate.”

    “What special tasks do we have that required everyone to assemble?”

    “How long will the emergency order last?”

    Questions flew from all around.

    “For now, the emergency order will end once it’s determined that Wongak Pavilion’s functions have been normalized. It’s uncertain when that will be, but it shouldn’t take too long.”

    As the atmosphere turned more cheerful, Life-Stealing Devil Sword let out a slight laugh.

    “Don’t get too happy. It’s not because of the emergency order that we have to wear uniforms, but because the Eldest Young Master’s confinement has been lifted.”

    It meant they would have to continue wearing uniforms from now on.

    Before the special task force members could voice their complaints, Life-Stealing Devil Sword quickly continued.

    “Therefore, the special task force of Wongak Pavilion, which has been on temporary deployment, is likely to be reorganized to align with this change.”

    “What do you mean by that?”

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword shrugged.

    “I haven’t received any formal orders from the Supreme Operating Council yet, so I don’t know the details.”

    The special task force was a special organization that only carried out orders directly from the Supreme Operating Council, so it was independent of the existing command structure.

    “However, additional personnel will be brought in immediately, and further measures will likely be taken, especially around security weak points.”

    Everyone sighed.

    “The good days are over, it seems.”

    “Not necessarily. Perhaps some useful folks might join us.”

    “Ha, dream on. There’s no way such greenhorns would be part of an outfit like this special task force.”

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword raised his voice to get everyone’s attention.

    “What’s certain is that now that the confinement is over, there must be no security incidents at Wongak Pavilion.”

    At his words, everyone shrugged.

    “Come on, what could possibly happen here at Wongak Pavilion?”

    “Even though the Eldest Young Master’s confinement is over, it’s not like Wongak Pavilion is going to be bustling, right?”

    “Isn’t this just making things more troublesome for us?”

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword ignored them and continued.

    “If anyone asks, just inform them that all visitors unrelated to the emergency order’s duties will be received after the construction is completed.”

    At his words, one of the task force members blinked in surprise.

    “What construction are you talking about?”

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword pointed behind them.

    Everyone turned their gaze.


    “What’s all that?”

    “What in the world is happening?”

    Across the road, a massive number of people were approaching.

    Not only that, but wagons piled high with materials were lined up endlessly, drawing closer.

    “Everyone, snap out of it.”

    As everyone was busy gawking with their eyes wide open, Life-Stealing Devil Sword sent a telepathic message to all.

    “Do you want to be looked down upon by the construction workers?”

    Right after his message, the special task force members quickly fell into rows and columns, straightening their postures.

    As they subtly exuded their aura, the formidable prowess of the special task force members, given their high caliber, was unmistakably intimidating.

    The group in silk clothes, leading the way at a brisk pace, seemed intimidated by the sight of the task force.

    “Ah, this is indeed Wongak Pavilion. It’s an honor to meet the esteemed warriors of the main house.”

    The leader, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief, approached Life-Stealing Devil Sword and greeted him respectfully.

    “I am Tak Mora, the manager of the third division of the clan’s constructions matters. And these are…”

    Life-Stealing Devil Sword cut off his attempt to continue the introductions.

    “I am the captain of the special task force directly under the Supreme Operating Council. There’s no need for introductions.”

    The intimidated group could only nod their heads meekly.

    “The Eldest Young Master is waiting inside Wongak Pavilion; follow me.”


    The young servant was running towards Wongak Pavilion.

    “Wow! It’s completely blocked off…!”

    The back road to Wongak Pavilion was so crowded with coming and going carriages that there was no room to step.

    He quickly turned around and headed for the main road.

    Under normal circumstances, a mere errand runner like him would never be able to use the main road.

    But on a day like today, with a ‘priority’ flag on his back, he too could run along the main road.

    “Make way, please! Priority mail!”

    However, to his dismay.

    As he squeezed through the carriages and entered the main road, he found that the workers were turning over all the paving stones on the main road leading to Wongak Pavilion.

    While one side was left untouched for smooth passage, even that side was filled with carriages and carts laden with materials.

    “No choice, then.”

    He dashed into the construction site where the workers were busy.

    “Priority mail!”

    Navigating through the site where hundreds of workers were digging and pickaxing was perilously dangerous, but delivering the priority mail was an imperative task.

    “Hey! Be careful!”

    “I’m, I’m sorry! It’s urgent mail!”

    He didn’t stop for even a moment.

    Finding himself with nowhere to dash to amidst the dangerous moments, the young servant decided to step over a pile of discarded paving stones.


    But the moment he forcefully kicked off the top, the precariously stacked stones began to crumble.


    Losing his balance and slipping, the boy instinctively crouched and tightly closed his eyes.

    However, the anticipated impact never came.

    He found himself caught by the nape of his neck, able to stand on his own two feet again.

    “Th, thank you…!”

    The boy, turning around in surprise, was taken aback.

    “Hmm. It was good that you crouched down in that brief moment.”

    The one who had caught the boy in mid-air with one hand was a beautiful girl who appeared only a year or two older than the boy.

    A small sword was tied around her waist, indicating she was no ordinary maid.

    “But you shouldn’t close your eyes till the last moment. Keeping them open allows you to react and minimize the impact.”

    Dressed in a neat maid’s outfit, she responded to the surrounding workers’ applause with a wave of her hand.

    “Thank you, beautiful maid!”

    At the boy servant’s sudden compliment, she widened her eyes in surprise, then covered her mouth and laughed.

    “Ha-ha! All the maids at Wongak Pavilion are exceptionally beautiful, but this Il-ryeong is among the most outstanding.”

    Blushing, she pushed the boy servant, who was sneakily glancing at her, on his back.

    “Now! You mentioned urgent mail, so you’d better get on with your mission!”

    “Yes! Understood!”

    He expressed his gratitude a few more times and then started running again.

    Shortly after, he came across another maid dressed similarly to the Il-ryeong he had just met.

    She seemed to be arguing with someone who looked like the site supervisor, apparently displeased with something.

    “Aren’t the colors of these paving stones slightly off?!”

    “But this level of variance is within the permissible range according to the work guidelines…”

    “How dare you apply the same standards to Wongak Pavilion’s main road as you would to any common road?!”

    “No, no, that’s not what I meant…!”

    ‘That beautiful maid’s voice sounds similar…’

    The boy servant glanced at her as he passed by, then suddenly looked back.


    The maid, feeling his gaze, glared back at him.

    “Do you have business with me, servant?!”

    “No, I’m sorry!”

    He hurriedly quickened his pace.

    However, he couldn’t help but look back at her several times, struck by how much she resembled the maid who had saved him earlier.

    Soon after, he was running along the tall, worn-out walls of Wongak Pavilion.

    Workers swarmed along the endlessly long wall.

    “Get rid of all the decayed tiles! No, replace this whole section!”

    Foremen bustled about issuing orders, and the workers’ hands moved even faster.

    “Just tear down this entire wall! It’d be better to build a new one!”

    One foreman, walking atop the wall, also issued warnings.

    “If you fall inside the wall, never venture into the forest! Don’t even try to go around; make sure to calmly grab the rope and climb back up!”

    Wagons constantly came and went along Wongak Pavilion’s wall.

    On one side, plaster was being applied, stones were being cut on another, and tiles were being sorted and piled elsewhere.

    ‘There it is…!’

    The servant eventually spotted a large tent with a flag that read ‘Joint Maintenance, On-Site Command Headquarters.’

    “Shouldn’t you be cooperating properly over there?!”

    “Why hasn’t the material that was supposed to arrive, arrived yet?!”

    But the front of the tent was crowded with various staff members.

    “I have urgent mail!”

    He raised his voice in an attempt, but unlike the workers, the busy staff didn’t spare him a glance.

    With no other choice, he squeezed through, worming his way into the throng.

    “It’s urgent mail, excuse me, sorry, oof! I’ll just get through.”

    As the boy servant squeezed through with his sweaty body, the staff members frowned and grumbled.

    “Every piece of mail reaching Wongak Pavilion under an emergency order is ‘important,’ what’s all this fuss about?”

    “Yeah, if the mail you’re carrying is ‘important,’ then I must be on a ‘most important’ mission.”

    Finally, the servant snapped.

    “This mail was personally entrusted to me by the Chief Steward!”

    At the mention of the “Chief Steward,” the staff members turned away as if nothing had happened.

    Thus, the boy servant barely managed to insert his head into the human wall.

    But the next moment, he froze in his tracks.

    There stood a beauty, her appearance chillingly stunning.

    “Will we be able to complete the maintenance of sections A, B, C, and D by this morning?”

    As the woman’s gleaming golden gaze landed on him, a man in silk clothes, who appeared to be the site supervisor, broke out in cold sweat and replied.

    “We’ll, we’ll make it happen somehow!”

    “There must not be a single flaw, even in the absence of me and the maids.”

    “Of course!”

    The woman’s gaze was not directed at the boy servant, yet he could still feel a chilling sensation.

    “Hm? Is that urgent mail?”

    Startled by a voice suddenly coming from the side, the boy jumped.

    Then, he was surprised once again upon seeing the face of the maid who had spoken to him.


    “Kyaa?! How rude to be startled by someone’s face!”

    There stood a maid, identical to the two he had seen before.

    “I’m, I’m so sorry!”

    After much ado, he managed to deliver the mail to Wongak Pavilion’s housekeeper.

    “This is the urgent mail sent by the Chief Steward!”

    As the housekeeper stamped the receipt, a maid identical to the previous two asked.

    “Are they finally arriving…?”

    The housekeeper smiled.

    “Yes. Finally, the maids you’ll be supervising are coming.”

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