# 140. Enter Henghui Hearing this, on the ginger cat’s face appeared a very humanlike “sigh of relief”. “With this Juyuan pill, it won’t take long for me to recover my cultivation.” The ginger cat spoke in human tongue, his voice relaxed. In a place like the capital, to not be able to protect oneself is very dangerous indeed. Who knows if or when you would be spotted by the Court’s hunting dogs, or meet another predator lurking in the shadows. *Is the Juyuan pill’s effect that good? Excellent, if Daozhang can recover quickly, the Earth Book Group Chat can enable private messaging…* Xu Qi’an was very pleased, but also asked in confusion, “You’re all from the same Daoist family, why does Daozhang need to ask the Human Sect for medicine? Is the Earth Sect not also proficient at refining medicines?” The ginger cat fell silent for a moment, before responding in an expressionless voice, “The cost of a Juyuan pill is around a hundred taels of pure gold. As for some ingredients, money can’t buy them.” *It’s not that my Earth Sect is too low in ability, it’s that her Human Sect has no humanity… this really is a tragic tale!* Xu Qi’an wanted to laugh, but also felt bad about doing so. “Do you have any new findings?” The ginger cat leapt onto the table, sitting by the oil lamp, its golden cat eyes seeming eerie and frightening in the darkness. Xu Qi’an told him about what he learned at King Yu’s Manor, as well as his own thoughts. The cat listened with a serious face, instinctively raising a paw, about to lick it, but resisted the urge. Wordlessly putting down its paw, it replied “Your analysis is correct. The elopement of Henghui and Princess Pingyang involves party politics at court… but what I don’t understand, is that given that Henghui is still alive, why has he not appeared yet? Why did he appear only after the Sangpo case happened? Furthermore, with his power and abilities, he doesn’t have the status to be involved in the Sangpo case.” Though his tone was questioning, there was no confusion in his eyes. Xu Qi’an nodded in understanding, “There’s another power behind his back. I originally thought that that power was the Zhenbei King… if it was not for rebellion, why did he let out the thing under Sangpo Lake? After so long, all it did was exterminate a Pingyuan Earl… Daozhang, say, could it be that King Yu is behind this? To release the sealed object and kill those he had a grudge on.” “Your idea is that because of Princess Pingyang’s death, King Yu would take revenge for a woman… this is very unlikely. If King Yu knew about this matter, with his status as a blood relative King, he need not go to such lengths for revenge.” The ginger cat shook its head, “Why are your thoughts always stopped on the royal family?” Xu Qi’an said despairingly, “There’s even less suspicion on the Zhenbei King, I’m really like a little boy’s girlfriend shouting to break up.” “A little boy’s girlfriend shouting to break up?” The cat tilted his head. “All the work before has been for naught.” Xu Qi’an replied. The ginger cat’s expression froze for a moment, “You have a way with words.” If not for the appearance of Henghui, not that the sealed item is still lurking, Xu Qi’an would still have kept his suspicions of the Zhenbei King high, feeling that he was hiding some big move. But the actions of the Monk Henghui, really did not match well with the stature of a sealed item. At least go kill some blood-royals eh? However, Xu Qi’an did not completely put down his suspicion. The Sangpo Case was still shrouded in mist, and he could only barely see half of it. However Xu Qi’an strained his damned 24K Titanium Alloy eyes, he couldn’t see any further. The ginger cat’s tail slowly swished from side to side, as it gave a suggestion: “This poor Daoist thinks that you may have latched onto a wrong idea.” Xu Qi’an frowned, “What does Daozhang mean?” “The Zhenbei King, King Yu, they are all royals. Is the reason that you suspect them because only Emperor Yuanjing alone knows what’s sealed under Sangpo lake?” Xu Qi’an nodded. The ginger cat continued, “Excluding the Jianzheng and Emperor Yuanjing, the Buddhists also know.” Xu Qi’an nodded, “The Buddhists were one of the main participants. After the sealed item broke free, the Abbot of Qinglong Temple, Panshu, left for the west. We can see the severity of the matter.” The ginger cat said, “The Yao.” Two simple words, resounded like a lightning strike in Xu Qi’an’s head. *I’ve always locked onto the royal family as suspects behind this case. If what was sealed was the first generation Jianzheng, then this guess is perfectly reasonable… but, if it’s not him, then Emperor Yuanjing, the Jianzheng, and the Buddhists wouldn’t be the only ones to know about it, there’s one more power I overlooked.* *The original owners of the sealed item…* *Sealed for five hundred years without being destroyed, it must be a terrifying, unfathomably strong someone, and this type of character could not be a human cultivator, but if they were Yao? Mn, this must be investigated further.* Xu Qi’an pulled out the porcelain bottle, and put it beside the cat, saying “I saw the National Teacher today. Hm, she’s different from what I imagined.” The ginger cat lightly gave him a side-eye, “Not the immortal Daoist aura you expected?” Xu Qi’an was about to nod, when he heard the cat continue, “Perhaps even more enticing than the Jiaofangsi’s women, did she make you drool at the mouth?” *What, no! She only made me want to give her my sword handle…* Xu Qi’an said with realisation: “So there is something wrong with her.” At home he had the beautiful motherly Auntie, the graceful young girl Lingyue, and he also had the lively and cute Chu Caiwei, as well as the charming and emotional king of the dance floor Princess Biaobiao, the proud and cold like an iceberg Princess Huaiqing… Xu Qi’an had seen plenty of beauties. But he never had encountered anyone that directly activated his lizard brain, filling his mind with the colour of banana peels.[^1] This could only be explained by the fact that there was something wrong with the National Teacher. The ginger cat did not respond directly, rather asking back, “Why do you think the Human Sect is called the Human Sect? Why is Luo Yuheng the National Teacher?” Pausing, he continued, “Luo Yuheng is the previous Human Sect Leader’s daughter.” *Why are you telling me this? Are you insinuating that that woman can be banged?* Xu Qi’an maintained a light smile, “From what I know, of the three Daoist sects, the Heaven Sect forgoes desire and pleasure, but the Earth and Human sect can marry as usual. Does Daozhang have any children?” The ginger cat shook its head, “When I was younger, I did think of it, but as my years got older, my feelings faded. To the titterings between men and women, it’s far, far too vulgar for me.” *Is it really too vulgar, or is it “a man reaching middle-age, and could not but keep goji berries in his thermal flask?”[^2]* “Daozhang has already left base pleasures behind, very impressive indeed.” *If every other man in the world is like you, then I’ll be happy…* He added silently in his heart. … Deep in the night, the streets of the inner city were empty. A cold wind swirled around the trees, making a mournful cry. Synchronised, uniform footsteps resonated from afar, as a squadron of city guards patrolled over from the end of the street. Yesterday, after the Earl Pingyuan family murder, the security of the city was ratcheted up several times over. A black shadow walked through the inner city. He walked across streets and alleys, seemingly not trying to avoid the patrolling Nightwatchers, the Yudao, and the Jinwu guards, yet whenever one of them would scan their gazes over where he was, there was always something blocking their sight, whether that be a wall, a tree, or roof eaves. Just like this, he came safely to the Minister of Law’s manor. As he raised his head to look at the sign, half a face showed from under the hood. A purple, unhallowed looking mouth curled up in a fierce smile. “Who is it?” Only then did the gate guards notice this black-robed figure, and at the same time as they shouted, they pulled out their service sabres. The black-robed man raised his right arm from beneath the cloak, its blood-red skin bulging with hideous blue-black veins, like the arm of a demon. He faced his palm towards the guard, towards the door, and suddenly grasped. Boom! The great door turned into powder, the guards turned into powder, as the qi energy sent shockwaves rippling out, turning everything surrounding him into powder. Light after light lit up in the Minister of War’s manor, as frightened shouting echoed from all around. All the guards in the manor grabbed their sabres and rushed towards the front door. The black robed man, no longer blocked by any obstacle, stepped into the Manor with wide steps. His dark black eyes under the hood looked around at the lantern lights with a cold, evil gaze. Suddenly, in the instant that he stepped over the threshold, the surrounding scenery suddenly changed. The black cloaked man’s eyes slowly moved, examining his new surroundings. Around him was a desolate part of the city, with cracked streets, weeds growing by the walls, and crude houses vaguely visible in the distance. This was a barren area that not even the poor people came to. There were many such places in the capital, but the capital was too large, and so these types of places were selectively forgotten about by the Crown. “I set a transportation formation in the Minster of War’s Mansion.” someone said lightly. The black-robed man turned, to see a dozen or so *zhang* away stood a figure with white cloak a-waving, facing away from him, his hands behind his back, his long hair billowing alongside his clothes. His pose was striking, giving one the sense that this was not any ordinary man. “Who are you?” The black robed man’s hoarse voice sounded. “Are you telling me, that in the Capital, there is someone who knows not I? You, you have successfully piqued my interest.” The white-cloaked man said. The black-cloaked man snorted coldly, raising his right hand, and lightly grasped in the direction of the white-cloak. In the explosion of qi, the white-cloaked man’s figure disappeared like a reflection on the water. “You thought I was there, but really I am here.” The white-cloak appeared in a different spot, still with his back towards the black-cloaked man. “Fourth rank arcanist?” The black-cloaked man muttered, then laughed coldly, “A mere fourth rank arcanist dares to stop me?” His tone was extremely arrogant, looking down on this high-ranked expert. “A mere fourth rank arcanist dares to stop me…” the white cloak muttered, before praising him: “Well said, those words have a great sense of courage, they give me much inspiration.” Pausing briefly, he laughed, “You mere fourth rank martial artists, dare be worthy of looking on from the sidelines?” The black-cloaked figure stared blankly for a moment, not knowing what he was getting at, but quickly he found out. From north, south, east, west, all four sides appeared a Nightwatcher, wearing their black uniforms, their short cloaks, with gold gongs sewn to their chests. The Gold Gong to the east had a cold, handsome, expressionless face; the Gold Gong to the west was as beautiful as a woman, a dark smile lingering around his mouth; the Gold Gong to the north carried a long sword, rather than a sabre; and the Gold Gong to the south had a gaze as sharp as a knife, with thin lines at the corner of his eyes. “Ratatat…” the rattle of machinery sounded, as to the left of the white-cloaked man, where there was empty space just before was now filled with rows upon rows of repeating ballistae, loading their bolts automatically. To his right were a battery of cannons. Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! Roar! Roar! Roar! Ballista bolts and cannonballs fired at the same time, bearing down on the black-cloaked figure. The cannonballs hit an invisible wall of qi, and exploded in mid-air, sending waves of brilliant flame along the surface of the wall. As the qi wall trembled under the fire of the cannons, the glyphs carved into the ballista bolts suddenly lit up, and easily penetrated through, whistling towards the black-cloaked man. The bolts themselves were a small-scale formation. The black cloaked figure did not panic, calmly raising his right hand, letting the bolts break themselves into pieces on it. The cloak was ripped to shreds, revealing the figure’s true form: a handsome and sinister looking young monk. His right arm was significantly thicker than that of an average man, and was ugly to the point of being frightening. “…Bronze skin and iron bones?” The white-cloak, who had this whole time been facing away from the action, said with surprise. At this time, the four Gold Gongs moved simultaneously. The fierce spear and sword intent burst forth, attacking the black-cloaked man first. Nangong Qianrou and Jiang Lyuzhong did not use weapons, choosing instead to fight in unarmed melee. “Buddha said, be merciful and benevolent.” The black-cloaked man put his hands together, and slowly intoned a teaching. The fierce spear and sword intent showed some hesitation, and became not so sharp. Yet, in a flash they returned to normal. Taking advantage of this hair’s breadth opportunity, the black cloaked man repeatedly struck with his right arm, dissipating the undodgeable spear intent, and that unstoppable sword intent. Then, he twisted his waist and struck back, clashing with Jiang Lyuzhong’s fists. Jiang Lyuzhong grunted indistinctly, some blood seeping out between his lips, as he staggered backwards. The black cloaked man then turned his head, and placed a fist right in Nangong Qianrou’s chest. Thud… as the cloak on his back was blown to pieces. Whoosh… under a frightening attractive force, Nangong Qianrou’s face slowly became whiter and whiter. Scarlet red light flashed in Nangong Qianrou’s eyes, as his beautiful face twisted into a fierce expression. From his throat came an inhuman roar, as his fist crashed onto the black-cloaked man’s face. The two of them simultaneously retreated, and then not willing to back down, came together again. Four martial artists, one strange creature of mysterious origin, fought in this desolate area of the city. Wherever they went, became rubble. Explosion after explosion of qi sent a gale howling in an area several li around them. The white-cloaked arcanist maintained a distance that was not far nor near; in close-quarters melee, martial artists were the undefeated champions in their rank. Arcanist battles were naturally more refined and stylish… the white-cloaked arcanist stamped the ground, and announced “The ground’s killing intent!” Formation lines erupted from beneath his feet, encircling the fighting martial artists, as the broken and uneven ground suddenly trembled, congealing into a terrifying might. He then pointed to the sky, “The heavens’ killing intent!” Dark clouds suddenly gathered in the night sky, as bolts of lightning snaked across it, thunder forming. “Man’s killing intent!” As he said those words, the heavenly power, the earthly power, and the human power came together to form one, piercing towards the black-cloaked figure. Placing him in a situation where the world was his enemy. That fierce and terrifying right arm seemed to be excited, and awoke on its own, as an indescribable, frightening pressure exploded from it, and the bulging veins suddenly lit up. The handsome, sinister monk laughed crazedly, and clenched his fist tight. Roar! As the explosion of qi consumed all. --- [^1]: For those unaware, yellow in China is the colour associated with erotic media. [^2]: Goji berries in TCM are purportedly to help “replenish Yang”, i.e. “male essence”.