# 134. Plastic Father-Son Relationship
"What's wrong, Heaven Gu Grandma?"
Lina turned her head upon hearing her father's voice and saw a tall, burly middle-aged man with muscles as hard as a rock and a rigid countenance walking over to her.
He was nine feet tall, making him stand out from the crowd, being two heads taller than the surrounding Shamans, and his arms were thicker than Lina's waist.[^1]
As he walked, the surrounding people felt as if they were being stared at by an eagle or a wolf, feeling a stifling, oppressive aura.
The hunchbacked Heaven Gu Grandma looked like a child compared to this one.
Heaven Gu Grandma raised her head, nodded slightly, and turned her gaze back to Lina, as she said in a trembling voice, "Tell me, little girl. Granny is waiting for your answer."
*Grandma's a little too anxious... What's the matter with her? Does she want to pick up money daily like Number Three's friend, too?* Lina felt uncomfortable due to the fierce reaction of Heaven Gu Grandma.
Heaven Gu Grandma refused to move, which caused the group to stop as well. The elites from the Heaven Gu Clan set their sights on Lina. People from the other tribes also exchanged whispers, without knowing what had happened.
Heaven Gu Grandma turned her head and told a young man behind her, "Inform the chiefs of the other tribes to take a break. Come on, little girl. Let's talk over there... Don't follow me, Longtu."
The leader of the Strength Gu Clan, Longtu stopped in his tracks, silently watching his daughter being taken by Heaven Gu Grandma.
The chiefs of the other five departments came together, walked to Longtu's side, and stood by him, watching the old and young leaving.
"What's going on, Longtu?"
The chief of the Strength Gu Clan shook his head, "Perhaps you should ask the people from the Heaven Gu Clan."
The chiefs looked behind them.
"Lina was just joking with Grandma. I don't know why Grandma got so excited."
"What did you say?"
"Lina has a friend who picks up money every day."
Heaven Gu Grandma held a torch, and walked under a tree. The place was already very far from the main group, and only a tiny flame could be seen from there.
A crescent moon was hanging in the sky, casting a pure white radiance. The torch also shone on the wrinkled old face of Heaven Gu Grandma. At that time, she had already calmed down and didn't carry her previous anxiety and excitement.
"Little girl, tell grandma what's going on."
Lina pursed her lips and said, "I recently met a friend. He said that a friend of his has been picking up money for no reason. He was distressed about it because he didn't know the reason."
Heaven Gu Grandma squinted her eyes and asked for more details, "How does he pick up money? How much money does he pick up? Is there anything special about him besides picking up money? Tell me all the details."
Lina naively scratched her head, and said apologetically, "I don't know about this. After all, It's about a friend of a friend. But, According to Three- My Friend, it seems that person can live a prosperous life simply on the money they picked up."
Lina thought that the Heaven Gu Clan could observe anything and knew many secrets, so she asked due to her curiosity.
Who won't be curious about someone picking up money daily?
"Where is that person?"
*Number Three is in the Capital of the Great Feng, and his friend should also be there...* Lina said uncertainly,
"He should be in the capital of the Great Feng."
"Capital of the Great Feng?" Heaven Gu Grandma was taken aback, as she shook her head again and again, "Impossible. It shouldn't be. It's impossible to be in Great Feng Capital... It doesn't make sense..."
Heaven Gu Grandma frowned. Her expression fluctuated frequently, sometimes surprised and sometimes thoughtful.
"What's going on, Grandma?" Lina felt that she was a very smart woman, as she had already noticed the situation. Heavenly Gu grandma wouldn't drag her to a secluded place to chat if it was just a trivial matter like picking up money.
It's not that she was concerned about this.
But she found it absurd that an interesting incident that happened in the capital of the great Feng would make Heaven Gu Grandma care so much.
It was as if she had accidentally made a good friend, only for them to turn out to be the long-lost child of Heaven Gu Grandma.
"That friend of yours should be the one who picks up money every day. Not a friend of that friend." Heaven Gu Grandma glanced at the simple and silly girl.
Lina gaped with her ruddy mouth as her light blue eyes froze up.
Number Three lied to her. She hadn't expected him to be a villain who deceived others. She had even thought of him as a chivalrous scholar.
Hadn't the elders of the tribe said that scholars were all upright and outspoken?
Heaven Gu Grandma sighed softly, looked up at the moon, and said in a deep voice, “Many years ago, two thieves sneaked into a rich family's house and stole a very important item for some reason. The whereabouts of the item is unknown, and the thief who stole the item has never appeared again.
"In the big family, some people knew that something has been stolen, and some people still don't know about it."
Lina blinked, "What was stolen?"
Heaven Gu Grandma didn't explain and just repeated that it was a very important thing.
Soon after, the elite team of the Shamans reached the Abyss, a bottomless great rift.
Poisonous miasma pervaded the rift valley, causing the growth of vegetation rich in toxicity, along with various poisonous insects and beasts. This could be said to be a natural Gu insect breeding farm, one that provided an endless supply of "raw materials" for the Shamans.
Lina had been here many times, but she had always caught Gu worms on the outside and never went in deep.
The team walked in silence, the insect repellent powder on their bodies and the anti-poison medicine making them immune to the dangers of the miasma, and the harassment by the insects.
The clan members from the Poison Gu Clan were like fish in water in the abyss, their radiance showing.
Following the path opened by their predecessors, they went deep into the great rift. Gradually, as they moved deeper, the scenery started to change. The dark brown land begun to be covered in deformed and grotesque plants.
A continuous "swish swish" sound could be heard among the dense branches, leaves, and grass, as the poisonous insects there were disturbed by this group of uninvited guests.
"Ah...", Suddenly, someone screamed. The person screaming was a man in coarse clothes. His skin was red all over, as the crotch of his trousers started being pushed up, the bulge getting bigger and bigger.
"Woman, I want a woman..." He yelled at the male companion who threw himself at him, hugged him tightly, and performed piston movements frantically.
But, his posture was wrong due to his clothes and he couldn't find a path. It made him anxious enough that he almost lost his mind.
Strange cries rang out everywhere, as more and more people began to display strange behaviour. Both men and women. Some men were hugging a tree, there were also some women hugging a tree...
Lina knew that these people had been poisoned by Desire Gu.
The Shamans didn't panic at all, as they moved ahead with determination, with some even pointing at the poisoned while laughing.
Clan members from the Desire Gu Clan dispersed to treat the poisoned clan members. They took out black leech-like invertebrates from cloth bags and sprinkled them on the chest, neck, and crotch of the poisoned people.
The "leeches" stuck to the surface of the skin, and their mouthparts pierced the blood vessels as they devoured blood frantically.
After a while, the "leeches" swelled one by one and fell off the skin with content, and the symptoms of the poisoned clan members also improved immediately after.
Except for those who were particularly fast, who would be completely drained, the ones with better stamina were hardly affected.
The deeper one went in the Rift, the more Gu one will encounter, and the richer they are in variety. Such as a big bug as strong as a cow, a colourful butterfly, a snake with twelve eyes, a group of zombie animals, a wild male dog with three genitals, and so on.
Finally, the team stopped at a section of flat ground, where there weren't any plants, only jagged stones.
In the midst of the poison, Lina saw a tall stone statue. It vaguely looked like a man, wearing a loose robe and a tall Confucian crown. One of his hands was behind his back while the other was on his abdomen. His head was slightly lowered, looking at the gap in the abyss.
The seven chieftains came forward tacitly and walked towards the stone statue.
"Mosang, Who is that man?" Lina tugged at her brother's sleeve.
Mosang, with a scar on his left cheek and an unruly temperament, said in a deep voice, "I don't know his name. But, You should have heard of his title..."
He paused, as his tone became respectful, "The Confucian Sage."
In a small courtyard, the candlelight was like a small bean.
"I have been searching for Hengyuan's whereabouts. But, I only know that he is still in the city, and I don't know his exact location." Daoist Jinlian sat cross-legged on the bed, as he shook his head.
"Can't you locate him through the Earth Book?" Xu Qi'an remembered that "Number Nine" was able to locate himself through the Earth Book, and it didn't even take long.
It had been nearly ten days since Number Six had disappeared, so Daoist Jinlian should have found him by now.
"I guess Number Six, or his Earth Book fragment has been sealed."
*..Ah? What should I do for a seal? You are embarrassing this Fat Tiger.[^2]* Xu Qi'an felt a little lost.
"Unless I can get close to him. But, I have walked through half the outer city on foot these ten days, using the stupidest and safest method to search. I can sense an Earth Book fragment less than 30 meters away from me, even if it's sealed." Daoist Jinlian said, showing a confident smile.
"You don't need to doubt me. This is normal for a Supreme Heavenly Treasure."
*Yeah, Pretentious...* Xu Qi'an silently said and breathed a sigh of relief at the same time.
*Although the method is a little stupid, It's good that it works. I feared that there was nothing we could do.*
"I will notify you immediately if I get any news about Number Six. Hehe, you acting is better than me acting. I also require the help of the Nightwatchers. After all, This is the capital, the territory of the Nightwatchers." Speaking of this, Daoist Jinlian seemed to have remembered something.
"By the way, What is Wei Yuan's opinion on this case?"
"He doesn't have any opinion. He just wants me to work on it." Xu Qi'an shook his head and sighed.
At that time, he found that Daoist Jinlian's expression was very strange, as it was like (¬ ¬)
The corners of Xu Qi'an's mouth twitched, and he gloomily said, "Why does Daozhang look at me like this?"
Daoist Jinlian said, "I'm afraid Wei Yuan wants to turn you into a shadow member of the Nightwatchers or drive you out of the capital."
...Xu Qi'an's eyes widened in surprise.
Very satisfied with Xu Qi'an's reaction, Daoist Jinlian explained, “Handing you the fragment of the Earth Book indicates that he values you. But, he hasn't given you any advice on the case.
"This proves that he wants you to offend Emperor Yuanjing and make it difficult for you to continue to stay in the capital."
Xu Qi'an was still not convinced and wanted to defend Wei Yuan. But, he couldn't get any words out of his mouth, as Wei Yuan had indeed revealed such an attitude.
"Wait, no, Wei Yuan is on the sidelines. But he is letting me do my own thing, neither caring nor interfering."
"You underestimate Wei Yuan too much. this man holds great power as a eunuch and led hundreds of thousands of troops to win in the Campaign of Mountains and Seas. I'm sure he knows more about the Sangpo case than you."
"..." Xu Qi'an sat there for a long time, not speaking.
Was it such a plastic father-son relationship?
Daoist Jinlian looked at him, "But I still can't figure this out: why would Wei Yuan want you to leave the capital? He doesn't lack shadow subordinates."
Silence reigned in the room a while. Jinlian Daozhang, having finished inserting the knife, wanted to leave, “Do you have anything else?”
"Yes!" Xu Qi'an didn't let go of the chance to shear some wool, "I want to go to Earl Pingyuan's mansion, but it is heavily guarded. Even if I have the means to get in, I don't have the means to subdue people silently. So, I want to ask Daozhang for help in this matter."
"You want to find Earl Pingyuan's son." Daoist Jinlian understood.
"Hengyuan said that his junior brother Henghui was abducted by the Broker Organization, and he shouldn't be saying it without reason. Since I can't find Hengyuan, I'll try to find a lead from Earl Pingyuan first." Xu Qi'an said.
"But he's dead."
"He still has a son."
[^1]: Author's Note: Since the Northern Wei Dynasty 1 foot=29.6-31.1cm. Translator’s note: the Imperial foot happens to be 30.5cm.
[^2]: Fat Tiger may be referring to the bully from Doraemon, 刚田武 Takeshi Goda, who also bears that nickname.