"The pendant’s gone, what do I do now? No, I must calm down, all of my concerns can be resolved by the person in front of me now."
One month later.
In the pitch black night where one couldn’t even see their outstretched fingers, rain was bucketing down on the plains. Thunder boomed, and streaks of lightning would flash across the night sky every once in awhile, brightly illuminating the plains.
“I don’t know where it ran to!” Hongjun wiped his face and looked all around him in the dark. There seemed to be countless dangers lurking in the night. Yao Qi was dispersing everywhere.
“Don’t chase it anymore!” The carp yao followed behind, shouting, “We’ve almost arrived at Chang’an!”
Hongjun shouted back, “We have to get rid of as many as we can!”
Hongjun stood on the plains, drenched from head to toe. Strands of hair were stuck to his forehead as he gasped. After an arduous, month-long journey where he travelled from Taihang Mountains to Guanlong, his clothes were already tattered beyond repair. Half of his body was still bleeding, but the blood was washed away by the rain that streamed down his body before seeping into the mud.
At this moment, his mind was flooded with the scenes of thatched cottages burning on the Qinchuan plains, as well as the wretched images of children having half their heads bitten off.
He watched his surroundings warily. The sound of rain covered the rustling sounds of the yao travelling through the fields on the plain. After a flash of lightning, only a torrential downpour was left in the world. In this darkness, the pendant that hung around his neck was the only source of light that emitted a warm glow.
Then, a loud boom was heard. Suddenly, from the wheat fields sprang out a two zhang-long dark and swarthy yao -- its gaping mouth was filled with rows of eerie, sharp teeth, and it had five bloody eyes on its head. It looked like a catfish that was as big as a house, yet it had four claws, and its claws were still dripping with mucus as it bit down on Hongjun’s head!
“It’s an ao fish!”
The carp yao shouted and Hongjun suddenly turned around. He swept both hands outwards, creating a dreamlike light barrier. That ao fish collided with that barrier head first and let out a pained cry before falling backwards.
Within the blink of an eye, Hongjun spun his Throwing Knife between his fingers and shot it at the ao fish’s main eye, right at the top of its head!
That Zhanxian Throwing Knife was a treasure left behind by the ancient Immortal Luya, divided into the four elements -- wind, lightning, water, and fire. At this moment, the lightning Throwing Knife that was thrown out instantly triggered flashes of lightning in the sky to strike down like a waterfall. The ao fish turned its head to dodge, but an eye on its forehead was stabbed blind by the Throwing Knife. It immediately roared loudly, then started rolling around on the ground before burrowing into the mud and disappearing.
Soon after, mud splattered everywhere on the highway. The ground broke apart like a wave and shot out into the distance. Hongjun immediately grabbed the carp yao and stuffed it into his bag, then mounted a horse and shouted, “Jia--!”
Chang’an City was enshrouded in the darkness brought about by the storm. Many soldiers at the top of the city were wearing bamboo hats as they sat under eaves that blocked the rain. Suddenly, the piercing roar of a monster yao could be heard outside the city.
“What’s happening outside?!”
The soldiers were all startled awake one after another. They gathered at the top of the city. Lightning flashed across the sky, and they saw an extremely strange scene at the end of the highway outside the city -- there was something shining in the mud. Mud splattered everywhere as the earth was split apart, as if there was an invisible chariot rushing furiously towards Chang’an’s city gate along the highway.
Behind it, someone was chasing it in a frenzy while riding a horse, shouting madly, “Where are you running to--!”
“Release the arrows! Release them--!”
“Chang’an has a night curfew-- you cannot enter the city--”
However, the warning came too late, or one could say that the unforeseen event occurred too quickly. Before the leader in charge of the city’s defense could finish talking, the invisible giant enveloped in lightning had already rammed straight into the city moat!
“AO--” With a loud roar, an enormous, black creature rushed out of the city moat and leapt.
All of the soldiers on top of the city stared agape at the gigantic ao fish with four limbs that was wagging its tail. It soared high up into the air, its forehead still flickering with electricity.
It leapt ten feet into the air, bringing with it a slurry of mud and water from the city moat. Then, it drew an arc over the city, smashing the edge of the tiles into pieces before flipping into the city.
City Defense Leader, “...”
In the next moment, the gigantic ao fish rammed into the ground within Chang’an City. Stone bricks were smashed into pieces before flying in all directions. The ao fish burrowed into the ground before rushing into the main road of the city with an electrical light that could be seen on the surface of the earth.
“AH--” Only then did dozens of guards snap out of their reverie and shout in fear.
“Stop chasing it!” A voice shouted in the night.
“My Throwing Knife is still on it!” Another voice shouted back.
“Summon the Throwing Knife back then! Are you dumb?!”
“I can’t summon it back! It can’t escape through the ground because the Throwing Knife is on it. Once I summon it back, it’ll dive into the ground and disappear!”
Immediately afterwards, a hook shot up to the eaves of Chang’an City with a whoosh. A strong and fit figure flew up like a deity, illuminated by a white light. The guards once again could only stare blankly as Hongjun stepped onto the eaves. He swung his arms outwards in the air, then jumped off the ground and flew into the city.
“H-h-hurry...hurry, inform the imperial guards--!” At the top of the city, the leader shouted in panic.
In Chang’an City, Hongjun threw out his hoop again and hooked onto the eaves on one side of the road, which reduced his downward momentum before he rolled on the ground to a halt.
“Where did it run to?” Hongjun said.
“I told you not to chase it…” The carp yao was stuffed in Hongjun’s knapsack. Now it stuck its fish head out, its fish mouth opening and closing as it drank the rainwater.
“But I’ve already chased it!” Hongjun said, “Could you stop nagging?”
“Behind you, behind you!” The carp yao immediately started shouting. It saw a flash of lightning rapidly turning into an alley.
“Who’s committing crimes late at night--!”
“The one who’s emitting light! Catch him!”
The sound of hooves striking the ground could be heard. Patrol soldiers on night duty dashed over, accompanied by a rain of arrows. The carp yao shouted ‘crap!’ and quickly urged Hongjun to withdraw. Hongjun darted into the alley to chase the yao. Shattered tile pieces were littered all over the ground. Not a trace of the ao fish could be seen anymore, and what took its place instead were the blasts in the adjacent alley and the piercing screams of people in the middle of the night.
“Where is this?” Hongjun finally came back to his senses. He looked up to find an eave as he wanted to throw his hook onto it and flip over, but realised that he was deep in the alley and both sides were both bare, and had nothing he could hook onto.
“Someone’s coming,” the carp yao said again from behind.
Hongjun immediately turned around, only to see that the soldiers have already caught up. The one in the lead shouted, “Found them, they’re here!”
Hongjun kept retreating, obviously not knowing how to deal with this situation. He couldn’t kill innocent mortals as if they were yaos ba. However, the guards opposite him didn’t hold back in the slightest -- with a whoosh, arrows that blotted out the sky began raining down on him. Hongjun immediately whipped out his Defensive Sacred Light and blocked them all with a buzz before the arrows ricocheted off the barrier. Someone started shrieking in agony on the spot as they were shot off their horse.
“Are you okay?!” Hongjun was a little frightened, he was afraid of killing a mortal by accident.
“Yao!” A clear voice rang out, “Surrender!”
Immediately after, a military general stirred up the rainwater on the ground as he darted towards Hongjun!
“Stop fighting! Leave!” The carp yao cried.
“Where do I go?!” Hongjun kept dodging his attacks, not daring to use his Throwing Knives as he was afraid of hurting the other party. While doing so, he shouted, “I’m not a yao!”
“You are a yao.” The carp yao behind him corrected, “Your father was a pure-blooded Great Yao, how are you not a yao?”
Although the military general has no mana, his kung fu skills were exceptional. Every time Hongjun tried to rush out of the alley, his path would be blocked by the general’s sword and he would be forced to activate his Pentacoloured Sacred Light for defense.
The heavy rain blotted the sky and covered the earth, while thunder boomed in the distance.
“I’m not fighting you anymore!” Hongjun shouted. He ran up the narrow alley’s high wall in a few steps, then somersaulted and jumped off the opposite wall to flip over the military general’s head in a bid to escape.
But who would have known that the military general would suddenly turn around and let out a loud shout before rushing forward, then knock into Hongjun along with both his body and sword. However, when the blade struck the Pentacoloured Sacred Light, it actually broke through Hongjun’s defensive barrier with a buzz!
Hongjun would have never expected that there would actually be a weapon in this world that could pierce through his defensive sacred light. He immediately flipped over in mid-air, bent his left hand and blocked with his right, and his upper body abruptly arched backward at the same time!
Within an instant, it seemed as if the falling rain droplets froze in midair -- every droplet reflected a lustrous and strange scene.
Within the surging brilliance, his gaze met with the military general’s, but in the next moment, the sword in the military general’s hands jabbed straight at his throat. As the pendant hanging from Hongjun's necklace flew up with his backward arch, it was struck by the blade.
The weapon in his hands isn’t ordinary! Hongjun felt as if he was struck by lightning as this thought flashed through his mind, but it was already too late -- that sword first cut through the necklace, then broke the pendant. The crystal pendant was shattered with a bang into fine powder, then immediately afterwards, a resplendent light that one couldn’t stare straight at exploded within the alley!
In the stormy Chang’an City, a hurricane was formed from white light that illuminated the magnificent capital of the Great Tang, making it seem as if it was daytime--
The glaring light only remained for a fleeting moment. The gust of wind it conjured pushed away both Hongjun and the military general at the same time. Hongjun was sent flying by the air currents and he landed harshly on the ground.
Their surroundings fell silent again, and only the deluge of rain could be heard.
Hongjun groaned as he struggled to get up. He wiped away the water in his eyes and subconsciously touched his neck, and instantly felt like he was struck by ten thousand bolts of lightning.
Where’s the pendant?! It broke?
The sky’s falling!
Hongjun looked like he was about to fall apart. He turned around and looked at the soldiers who were groaning as they lay on the ground, then looked at the general in front of him. The general was motionless, apparently in a coma.
“Are you okay?!” Hongjun patted his face, shouting anxiously, “Wake up! Where did my Heart Lamp go?!”
The military general was wearing a suit of black armour. When the pendant was smashed just now, he was swept away by the hurricane that ensued and had landed in the deepest corner of the alley. The sky was beginning to brighten. Jumbled shouts could be heard outside the alley again -- angry cries, the screams of women…
Crap. A flurry of thoughts ran through Hongjun’s mind -- the pendant’s gone, what do I do now? No, I must calm down, all of my concerns can be resolved by the person in front of me now.
Hongjun exerted his utmost to lift the military general, but his suit of armour was really too heavy. Both this person and his armour weighed nearly 200 jin together, so he carelessly started to strip him and threw all of his armour onto the ground with a clang. He struggled to carry the general on his shoulder, then turned his head to look at the deepest part of the alley.
At the end of the alley, there was a courtyard wall nearly one zhang high, but he didn’t know where it would lead. Hongjun dragged the military general first before carrying him. This guy was at least nine chi tall. With both feet dragging across the ground, he remained unconscious. After dragging him to the wall, Hongjun was so tired he was gasping for breath. He tied his hook around the military general before dragging him up little by little.
Behind the wall was a garden. Inside it, the flower pots were all overturned. Hongjun heard more pursuers coming from the opposite side of the wall, so he quickly grabbed the military general’s hands and dragged him out to the front yard while gasping for breath. At that moment, the first glimmer of light could be seen. There was still a light drizzle. Most of the people in Chang’an City have not woken up yet. Hongjun left this house, only to see a maze of streets and alleys everywhere. After making one turn, there would be another street, and he was instantly struck dumb.
At that moment, the Great Tang’s Chang’an had twelve outer gates and 110 houses within. It was designed by Master Yuwen Kai himself. Along the road, although Hongjun had travelled through many villages, he had never come to such a grand capital before, so he didn’t know where to go.
“Hey! Zhao Zilong! Zhao Zilong!” Hongjun turned around to see the carp that weighed two jin. The carp yao’s eyes protruded out, its fish mouth was agape and it remained motionless for awhile. It was probably unconscious after Hongjun fell and had its head knocked onto the ground.
“Wake up!” Hongjun was helpless in the face of this crisis, yet he couldn’t just leave this person behind and escape by himself, but he didn’t know where to go either.
In the distance, another group of guards passed by. Hongjun didn’t dare make trouble again. He suddenly saw a small door that was open in the alley in front of him. A woman was giggling beyond the door as she sent a plump man out, and after a brief moment of teasing, she led out a horse. The man then mounted the horse and left.
Hongjun dragged the general with him and hid in the dark to observe for a moment. He heard the sound of hooves striking the ground behind him again -- the guards in charge of searching for him were getting closer and closer, so he could only steel his resolve and lift the military general up, then run towards the door that was slightly closed.
//shouts into the void
A group of us have started translating/scanlating Tianbao Fuyao Lu’s manhua, and our translations can be found here. Happy reading!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.