Editor(s): juurensha, namio
Xie Daoyun checked and found that he was relatively the same as yesterday. He wasn’t drowsy - it wasn’t like he really was infected by the plague. This made them really confused. Not a moment later, yet another visit was paid to Xie An. It was the managers from Dongzhe Bank, but this time it wasn’t Wen Zhe who came, but a number of men.
Xie An’s house really was lively today. They only met with a person carrying a casket, and the inside was filled to the brim with title deeds. They said to Xiang Shu, “Shulü-daren, these are title deeds that our madame ordered for us to bring. There really isn’t enough money in the bank, so we can only bring some balances from the industries we opened in Jiankang, Kuaiji, and such places from the previous year. What do you think?”
Xie An was already stupefied from listening. Chen Xing waved his hands to signal him to not ask at the moment. After seeing the title deeds, it seemed that when Wen Zhe went back to calculate, she found that the bank didn’t have so much. Or perhaps she just didn’t want to empty out all the silver for Xiang Shu, so she thought of this trick.
“Just put it here.” Xiang Shu’s gaze was no different from usual, “How much is still left after calculating?”
The person that came respectfully answered, “The title deeds and industries here are worth one hundred million liang of silver, and there are still two hundred million liang to be paid. The madame has asked Shulü-daren to give us another half a year of time.”
“Hey! Little uncle!” Xie Daoyun hurriedly straightened Xie An’s back. Xie An almost passed out after hearing those words.
“Fine.” Xiang Shu saw that the other party even brought out title deeds; it was sincere enough. It wasn’t good to pressure people too much, so he agreed to extend the time. The person that came may have long guessed that he would say that and hurriedly continued the conversation. He took out a pen and paper and said happily, “Please leave a note here so this lowly one can report back upon return.”
“What I, Shulü Kong, said can’t be relied on?” Xiang Shu coldly asked, “You should go back now, or I might just change my mind.”
That person could only timidly retreat. Just as he was leaving the Xie mansion, yet another person came. It was Feng Qianjun.
Feng Qianjun happened to pass by; he who was well-informed obviously already heard of what was said. He asked as he walked in, “Brother Xiang, are you okay?”
Everybody in the hall signalled at him with their eyes, only Xie An subconsciously wanting to run. Feng Qianjun impatiently said, “I won’t chase your debt anymore Xie-daren, I’m letting you off for another year!”
After half a shichen, in Xiang Shu’s room.
Chen Xing was packing his luggage, and Feng Qianjun was sitting, observing Xiang Shu’s complexion. Xiang Shu frowned and asked, “What are you doing here again?”
“How can I not come?” Feng Qianjun freaked out after Gu Qing finished telling him the happenings last night. He got up early in the morning to send someone to see what was going on, and so he hurried over to check out the situation the moment he saw Xie An return from court. “You were drinking at my house the night before yesterday, then just yesterday you had an accident, how can I not come?”
Xiang Shu answered, “It has nothing to do with your wine, that I’m sure of.”
Feng Qianjun asked, “You guys are going to head to Kuaiji now?”
Chen Xing replied, “We can’t wait much longer for Xie Shixiong’s news, we have to go as soon as possible.”
Feng Qianjun decisively announced, “I’ll go with you guys.”
Chen Xing looked at Xiang Shu and Xiang Shu nodded his head; it was also Feng Qianjun’s goal to find out about Shi Hai’s whereabouts. Currently, Xiang Shu didn’t have any energy, so it should be safer with Feng Qianjun there.
Thus Feng Qianjun first went to take care of some business, and the three set off to Kuaiji that afternoon.
Somewhere under the dark ground, numerous winding underground rivers gathered. When the river waters passed through the lowlands, it held flashes of light, shining in the dark. The banks on both sides of the river were filled with strange glowing flowers.
The sea of flowers reflected the dark space into blue. On the flowers rested butterflies with white light in their wings; the butterflies emitted particles of light, scattering outwards from the center of the sea of flowers.
Within the sea of flowers, on the shoal at the heart of the rivers, appeared an elaborate array that covered nearly an acre of land. This array unremittingly drew power from the thousands of millions of butterflies underground, making their light alternate between suddenly glowing and suddenly paling.
In the center of the array, there lay a huge black snake with a broken horn on its head and an endless flow of black gas coiled around its body. Its eyes were tightly shut.
Wen Zhe stood outside the array with a small clock in her left hand, quietly staring at the snake.
“In accordance with your orders from yesterday, the power of the dragon array has been enhanced.” Wen Zhe raised her slender eyebrow slightly and asked, “But I don’t understand, what use does this have?”
“An experiment,” said the man behind Wen Zhe.
Wang Ziye appeared on the coast outside the outer ring of luminous flowers. Beside him were three black-armoured warriors stepping out of the water. Wen Zhe was startled. She turned her head and glanced back to see three drought fiend kings simultaneously appear, astonishing her.
“What experiment?” Wen Zhe asked again. “It has almost succeeded in refining, to suddenly want to strengthen the dragon array now, Shi Hai-daren, just what do you want to do?”
In Wang Ziye’s hand was a black fan. He waved it with a devil-may-care attitude, saying, “The dragon array is in full power to confirm a person’s identity. The facts have already proven my guess was correct, but things still can’t be taken lightly.”
Wen Zhe asked contemptuously, “Is that necessary? To dispatch three people for me?”
Wen Zhe turned around and looked at the three drought fiend kings before her.
Wang Ziye replied, “To underestimate the enemy is a careless move. This led to Feng Qianyi, Zhou Zhen, and Zhou Yi’s defeat and even the damage of two drought fiend kings. My Lord has issued a command, Wen Zhe, don’t overturn the boat in the gutter."
Wen Zhe: “That’s unlikely. The resentment collected by the Luohun Bell is limited. At this rate, the power the soul flowers draw from the earth’s veins may not be able to last much longer.”
Wang Ziye responded, “Don’t worry, they currently have no mana. What are their movements now?”
Wen Zhe: “The exorcist left Jiankang today.”
Wang Ziye said leisurely, “I know, even though the truth is close at hand, it is always good to confirm carefully. I will go meet them for a bit now.”
“Be careful,” Wen Zhe reminded him.
Wang Ziye made a gesture with his hand and took away the three drought fiend kings, leaving Wen Zhe alone to guard the array. After a while, Wen Zhe entered the dragon array and gently stroked the eye of the giant snake, revealing a warm expression.
Two days later, in the channel leading from Jiankang to Kuaiji.
“Xiang Shu, are you okay?” Chen Xing asked Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu’s sword was tied to the horse’s back. At his side was Chen Xing and Feng Qianjun who led the horse into the mountain forests. Jiannan’s ground was covered in greenery in spring; the hills were covered in terraced fields, making people feel relaxed and happy at the sight.
Feng Qianjun made the horse slow down. He remarked to Xiang Shu, “Remember a little over a year ago, we were also like this on our way to Chang An? Unwittingly, a whole year has already passed.”
Xiang Shu didn’t reply. Chen Xing was afraid of him growing faint again, so he purposely slowed down a little.
“I should’ve stayed in Jiankang,” Xiang Shu remarked, “I dragged you both behind.”
Chen Xing frowned, “How can you say that?”
Xiang Shu replied, “I can’t help feeling a little uneasy about leaving the magical artifacts at Xifeng. But letting you head to Kuaiji alone makes me even more uneasy.”
Feng Qianjun: “Hey, Brother Xiang, I heard all that. Turns out in your eyes, I’m not even a person...”
Xiang Shu: “Money.”
“Don’t!” Feng Qianjun immediately cried out, “Gege, I’m not a person! I will head to the front now and scout the way for you guys!”
Before Chen Xing and Xiang Shu left the city, they temporarily deposited the Yin Yang Mirror and Zheng Drum as well as that set of rings in a secret room of the Xifeng Bank. If there was an accident, they were afraid that the magical artifacts would be lost again.
“Everything will be fine,” Chen Xing calmly expressed. “Sometimes I can also protect you guys. My luck has always been great, just don’t stay too far from me.”
The three people passed through a canyon. Feng Qianjun who walked at the front suddenly slowed his footsteps.
Chen Xing and Xiang Shu stopped from behind Feng Qianjun.
“What did you guess before?” Feng Qianjun asked. “Chen Xing, you thought that it was Shi Hai that made Brother Xiang sick right?”
Chen Xing pondered and said, “Maybe, but it still needs evidence to support it.”
Feng Qianjun questioned again, “What did Xie An say again? What did he send people to Kuaiji to investigate for you?
Chen Xing: “???”
Xiang Shu: “......”
Feng Qianjun urged the horse forward. When they arrived at the depths of the canyon, a pale corpse hung on a tree in front of a stream. The corpse was donned in the Jin people’s apparel, and on the front of its gown hung a waist tag.
The three people dismounted the horse. Feng Qianjun removed the waist tag from the corpse; on it were the words “Jin Dynasty’s Minister of Internal Affairs Lin”.
Chen Xing looked at the waist tag and exclaimed, “This is a person from the Ministry of Internal Affairs? This is Xie An’s subordinate! How did he... die here?!”
Suddenly, the corpse roared madly. It opened its turbid eyes and grabbed at Chen Xing!
“Watch out!” Although Xiang Shu had no martial power, his reaction wasn’t slow in the slightest. He pulled Chen Xing away. Chen Xing was given a big fright, raised his hands, and summoned the Heart Lamp. When the living corpse was illuminated by the light, it suddenly screamed in fear. Its neck was hung from the tree; with no way to escape, it could only wildly struggle, looking extremely frightening!
On the higher parts of the canyon, Wang Ziye who had spectated the scene the entire time seemed to have found this incredibly interesting, causing him to laugh.
The three drought fiend kings behind him were all standing erect with their swords.
Wang Ziye waved his fan and commanded, “Go.”
Immediately afterwards, the drought fiend kings bowed, morphed into shadows, and flew down from the cliff!
The next moment, Feng Qianjun suddenly swerved his left arm behind him and pressed his right arm against his waist; two swords immediately shot out. Xiang Shu turned around and used his shoulder to push Chen Xing aside, making him fall with him to the side.
The three drought fiend kings pulled out their swords at the same time, each going against one person. Feng Qianjun hadn’t turned around yet and used his back that held the double knives to block an attack. Chen Xing was pressed by Xiang Shu to the ground and avoided by rolling!
“An enemy attack!” Feng Qianjun just managed to shout. “Quickly go!”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.