Present world Chang’an, during the fourth of the fifth night watch periods, within Weiyang Palace’s sleeping chambers.
”It is indeed as Your Majesty expected. The Great Chanyu, Shulü Kong, and Chen Xing entered the Feng family this afternoon. In the evening, for some reason, the Feng family swarmed out in full strength and began a search throughout the city,” a military officer said, “To look for what Your Majesty called ‘Xiang Shu’.”
Fu Jian was awakened in the middle of the night. Dressed in an unlined garment as he sat on a couch outside his sleeping chambers, he was suppressing a lot of anger as he looked at the military officer with a face full of doubt.
The military officer continued, “This subordinate dispatched ten covert investigators to question the servants of the Feng family and scouted about along the street, and managed to find Xiang Shu before them. By great fortune, we accomplished our mission; this fellow was pacing back and forth outside a steamed bun shop in the dark.”
In front of Fu Jian stood a mongrel with a small mirror in its mouth, and it was currently wagging its tail in front of Fu Jian.
“Some saliva got on the mirror. Your humble general, I, wanted to wipe it clean, but this dog refused to let go of it no matter what……”
When the military officer found “Xiang Shu”, he saw an antique mirror, so he thought himself clever by inferring the rest of the story himself. Princess Qinghe’s beloved mirror must have been snatched away by a dog called “Xiang Shu”, which was why Fu Jian made such a big fuss over searching the city.
Fu Jian, “……”
The military officer bowed, stepped back, and the dog looked to its left and right with a puzzled expression.
Fu Jian, “Tuoba Yan didn’t instruct you on whether to look for a dog or a person?”
The military officer looked baffled as he answered, “Lord Tuoba just said to find a fellow named Xiang Shu……”
In the Xianbei language, “fellow” could refer to people, dogs, or even objects. Tuoba Yan’s intention was to look for someone called Xiang Shu, so his subordinates thought they were supposed to look for a person at first. They only knew it was a dog after questioning the servants of the Feng family, so they quickly brought it back to Fu Jian after finding it.
Ever since Feng Qianjun grabbed that dog back, he didn’t know its other name and only heard Chen Xing call it Xiang Shu before, so he just always called it “Xiang Shu”, “Xiang Shu”. When Feng Qianyi’s magic weapon got snatched, and he sent their family out to search for it, they were all holding lamps and shouting “Xiang Shu”, “Xiang Shu” as well, which just so happened to be overheard by the imperial military officers.
Fu Jian roared angrily, “Idiots! A bunch of idiots! Where’s Tuoba Yan?!”
The military officer got a fright and quickly said, “General……uh, he’s not back yet.”
Fu Jian seized the mirror in one lightning move, and that dog still bared its teeth as it wanted to snatch it back from him. Fu Jian casually threw the mirror onto the table. He didn’t want to blow up in the middle of the night, so he just dismissed the officer to continue searching.
Princess Qinghe had been awakened by the clamour as well. She stretched lazily from behind the screen, revealing her lithe figure. Fu Jian wrapped an outer robe around him and smoothed out his messy hair. With his rough, hair chest exposed, he exhaled and wore a pair of wooden clogs.
“They haven’t been found yet?” Qinghe came out bleary-eyed and asked, “Where is Your Majesty going?”
Fu Jian answered, “The study. Meeting Wang Ziye to talk about something, I’m awake anyway. Call someone over to send this dog away……”
Princess Qinghe said, “It’s so pitiful though, let it sleep behind the screen for one night bei.”
So Fu Jian just took a robe, threw it behind the screen and chased the dog over. The dog was evidently quite tired too, so it lay behind the screen to sleep.
After Fu Jian left, Princess Qinghe saw the mirror on the table. She frowned and grasped it gently, studying it carefully in her hands.
In the mirror world, the three of them stood at a high ground in the Exorcism Department as they faced the mountain of living corpses. Not a single sound could be heard beyond the canyon.
“They dare not come too close,” Xiang Shu said, “Why?”
Feng Qianjun spread out the bamboo slip and held it up under the sunlight to study it, then he took the bronze mirror and began reading it.
“Because the head is with us?” Chen Xing looked into the distance and guessed.
Xiang Shu frowned, “No, the headless general stopped chasing us when it reached the entrance, remember when we left the palace?”
With this reminder, Chen Xing suddenly recalled that when they left Weiyang Palace, he had felt as if he had passed through an invisible wall, and he had the same sensation when he had rushed into the Exorcism Department.
“Defense Walls,” Chen Xing remembered a record in an ancient text he read, “Defense Walls were established here with the help of magic weapons or sacred tools! Where’s that magic weapon?”
Chen Xing had read about it in a book before — powerful magic weapons and sacred tools, combined with an esoteric exorcism array, can establish invisible walls used to ward off foreign enemies. But they have never seen a single magic weapon ever since they entered the Exorcism Department. After all, it would be very difficult to use the Yin Yang Mirror to create stone rubbings of magic weapons in the present world.
The only thing they saw before that could possibly be a magic weapon or sacred tool would be……
Chen Xing and Xiang Shu looked at the sword that Xiang Shu was holding at the same time.
Xiang Shu weighed the blunt sword in his hands and said in a low voice, “In that case, enemies shouldn’t be able to attack this place for now.”
Yet Chen Xing’s expression changed. He was incredibly anxious as he suppressed his voice, “That’s not necessarily true, Brother Feng! Stop reading! Look!!”
The living corpse soldiers everywhere seemed to have received an invisible signal, and all of them began nocking their bows as they pointed them at the three-storey building of the Exorcism Department Headquarters.
Feng Qianjun looked up and murmured, “Oh that’s not good, find a place to take cover!”
Within a split second, close to 100,000 wooden arrows whooshed into the air and blotted out the sky, then turned and began raining down on the middle of the canyon like a rainstorm!
Xiang Shu lunged at Chen Xing almost at the same time, and they rolled down the stairs. Feng Qianjun followed close behind, running sideways as he went down to the second floor. With a loud rumble, 100,000 flying arrows that carried the force of an arrow cluster weighing more than 10,000 jin instantly crushed the third floor, yet the momentum of the arrows didn’t fade, and it took the second floor down along with the third one as well!
“What do we do?!” Chen Xing Shouted.
Xiang Shu kicked a table, and the table on the first floor flipped into mid air to shield the top of their heads. Feng Qianjun was still looking down at the bamboo slip, and Chen Xing shouted, “Stop reading! Run first!”
Xiang Shu shouted, “Can we stop them if I take this sword out?”
“No!” Chen Xing shouted, “Once it leaves the array here, the Defense Walls will disappear and lose their effectiveness!”
Feng Qianjun finally snapped out of his reverie and shouted, “Go underground!”
Xiang Shu, “No! We’ll get buried alive!”
Chen Xing, “It’s no use! Once the array gets destroyed, then……”
Xiang Shu, “Take the head with you, go!”
On all four sides of the canyon, the second wave of flying arrows pointed to the sky, and then all of them were released at the same time!
The decrepit Exorcism Department collapsed just like that; within the instant when smoke and dust curled into the air, Xiang Shu took Chen Xing along and rushed out along the entrance with Feng Qianjun!
All of the pursuers throughout the entire valley instantaneously turned to look at the same direction at the same time, then began chasing after them.
The scene was truly too spectacular; thousands of living corpses were like a tsunami that swept through the entire valley as they scrambled over one another. Feng Qianjun held the head up with one hand, and Chen Xing‘s feet almost left the ground from being dragged along by Xiang Shu in a mad dash along the street as they ran for their lives.
Feng Qianjun, “I’d suggest throwing this head away or destroying it! Look at how relentless their pursuit is, maybe they want to……”
Xiang Shu, “Do whatever you want! Try destroying it!”
The three of them had just run past an intersection on the street when another thousand or so living corpses suddenly rushed out of an alley. Chen Xing resolutely raised his hand and emitted a burst of bright light, which routed ordinary living corpses dressed in ragged garments with a blast.
Feng Qianjun threw the head away, drew his knife, and was about to hack the living corpse’s head into two when a black vapour suddenly appeared in the air. It shot over like a meteor and curled around the head, then along with a surging black flame, flew back towards the living corpses’ general.
Feng Qianjun, "!!!"
Feng Qianjun had been caught completely unprepared and was stunned on the spot when the head was snatched away.
“What is that?” Xiang Shu looked up at the sky.
Chen Xing stopped, looked up, and murmured, “I don’t know.”
Strangeness pervaded this mirror world at all times. Feng Qianjun said, “Where do we go now?”
Xiang Shu, “The palace.” Then he patted Chen Xing’s back and said in a low voice, “If what you said was right, there should be another wall of some sort in the palace.”
“Yes!” Chen Xing seemed to have awakened from a dream, “Run towards the palace! Quickly!”
The three of them immediately vaulted onto a roof. Feng Qianjun looked up, only to see that the black armoured general had retrieved its head and was currently lining up its troops. The dark mass of troops didn’t seem to have any intention of letting them go.
“What do they want to do?” Feng Qianjun frowned.
Xiang Shu shrugged, then asked Chen Xing, “Why can your light drive away ordinary living corpses but not the shadow warriors?”
“I don’t know ah!” Chen Xing finally couldn’t stand it anymore and blew his top, “Why, what, how, what’s this, what’s that, what does this do, what does that do, I’m very confused too, alright?! Why are you asking me all the questions?!”
Xiang Shu, “......”
Feng Qianjun, “Come on! They’re going to charge!”
So Xiang Shu could only pick Chen Xing up, clasping him under his arms as he leapt across roofs and vaulted over walls with Feng Qianjun. Chen Xing was practically facing the wind with two rows of tears streaming down his face. When will he be able to find the Dinghai Pearl and restore his mana aaaahhhhh! He has just been dragging the other two down the entire way!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.