# 148. Story (I)
“You found him?” Xu Qi’an could not resist exclaiming, turning his head in excitement to look directly at the ginger cat.
The ginger cat looked cautiously towards the Nightwatchers Constabulary, and said “Not long ago, I sensed Six’s Earth Book fragment… but when I was coming over to find you, the connection between the fragments broke again.”
“Then Six…” Xu Qi’an’s expression turned.
The ginger cat shook his head, “I don’t know details, but what I guessed before was correct; he’s been sealed up, and just then because of some reason, the seal was broken.”
The ginger cat paused, and did not c ontinue.
Why would the seal be broken? There were two main possibilities: Six was moved, or Six was no more.
“Quickly, go find Wei Yuan.” the ginger cat rushed him.
A cat’s face did not have expression, and so it was hard to see, but from his tone of voice Xu Qi’an could tell the anxiety concealed within.
*Even if Daozhang is a LYB, he still cares a lot about the Heaven and Earth Society members… this is good for me, if in the future I come into trouble I can ask him for help…* Xu Qi’an nodded, “I’ll go immediately.”
He quickly ran back into the constabulary.
When his figure had disappeared, the ginger cat snorted lightly, thinking:
*What on earth is Luo Yuheng thinking? From then until now she still hasn’t done anything. With her cultivation and age, her fate shouldn’t have arrived yet, so there’s no reason not to act.*
*On one hand she wants to be the National Teacher, on the other hand not wanting to dual-cultivate with the Emperor, I don’t know what on earth she’s thinking. Ai, let’s save Six first, if he hasn’t died yet.*
As he thought, Jinlian Daozhang heard a cat’s cry. Turning his head, he saw a large grey cat walk over, walking circles around him, sniffing here and there.
Jinlian Daozhang stopped caring about him, continuing to think his thoughts. Suddenly, the big grey cat came to behind him, and then mounted on top…
*Hm?* Jinlian Daozhang was startled at first, before suddenly realising what was going on. A huge anger welled up, as he turned to give the grey cat a beating.
Xu Qi’an sprinted inside the Tower of Noble Spirit, not wasting time waiting for the clerk to send a message. As he ran he showed his golden token, and shouted to the guards, “Incredibly urgent! Away!”
Coming to the seventh floor, he saw Wei Yuan standing by the balcony, and as he entered Wei Yuan immediately asked “What is it.”
“Duke Wei, I may have knowledge of Henghui.” Xu Qi’an immediately got to the point.
“How did you find him?”
“Not long ago Jinlian Daozhang of the Heaven and Earth Society used the connection between Earth Book fragments to track down where Number Six is.” Xu Qi’an said, “Number Six is Henghui’s sect brother, a monk of Qinglong temple, with the dharma name Hengyuan. When searching for his sect brother’s tracks, he suddenly disappeared. I suspect that he was sealed up by Henghui or the Yao.”
Thus implying, where Six was, Henghui or the Yao race were also likely to be. No matter which case was true, this would still be a highly important matter.
Wei Yuan nodded, and came back to the tea room, picking up a pen and quickly writing a letter, before stamping a jade seal on it, “Take this order and go see Yang Yan, make him gather all the Gold Gongs, to gather in fifteen minutes before the constabulary door. As for everything else, that’s not your issue.”
“Jinlian Daozhang is right outside the entrance, we need him to lead the way…” Xu Qi’an said in a low voice.
“I know.” Wei Yuan said.
“I have another problem,” Xu Qi’an hesitated, “Henghui is in the inner city. If a battle were to start, then it would be hard for some common people to get injured.”
To conduct a large-scale investigation of the area’s residents would be immediately found out. The formations of the Sitianjian were mysterious, but if they could not be put down beforehand, then they might as well not exist.
“This is unavoidable,” Wei Yuan stared at him, saying, “I’ve also been intending to talk to you about this. I also loathe those who are callous with human lives, but sometimes we need to know when to let go.
“Henghui is related to the Sangpo case, related to the sealed item, related to the scheming of the Yao race. If we have an opportunity, then we should catch him at all costs, or kill him.
“Never win small and lose big, because of a sudden welling of morality. That will only cause worse issues later down the line.
“I’ve read the dossier on the murder of Earl Pingyuan’s family, that sealed item likes to consume blood and qi to strengthen itself. Henghui hasn’t killed again yet, but that does not mean he will always be laying low. With the sealed item’s strength, if it were to wantonly consume human blood, then it would cause even greater harm and destruction.”
*Wei Yuan is warning me not to make the same mistake as last time… about attacking Silver Gong Zhu, he never said anything on the surface, but he didn’t necessarily approve of my actions… he’s a schemer, and I’m a policeman, even if I’m fond of placating the big sisters in the Jiaofangsi… mn, this isn’t depravity, this is giving them business.*
As his thoughts whirred, he clasped his hands together, “Yes sir.”
Xu Qi’an took the order letter, and left.
He immediately went to find Yang Yan, and saw this stiff faced Gold Gong in front of his Divine Spear Hall. Meeting his questioning gaze, he handed over Wei Yuan’s letter.
Yang Yan finished reading it, and his stiff carved face showed some amount of graveness, “What’s happened? Why is father summoning all of the Gold Gongs?”
“We’ve found a place that may be where Henghui is hiding.” Xu Qi’an replied.
Yang Yan’s gaze suddenly became sharp. He rose, reached out, and the silver spear on the wooden stand flew to his hand with a whoosh.
“Gold Gong Yang…” Xu Qi’an called, asking curiously, “If there are no Gold Gongs guarding the constabulary, won’t Duke Wei’s safety be at risk?”
“I don’t know.” Yang Yan shook his head.
*You don’t know?* Xu Qi’an looked at him blankly, before hearing him explain: “Nobody knows how many people are protecting Father, or how powerful they are.”
*Guard details are secret? So you never know what is true and what is not… Wei Yuan really is a crafty old schemer.*
Very quickly, all the Gold Gongs present were gathered, and assembled in the front hall of the constabulary.
At the same time, thirty Silver Gongs were summoned, with no bronze gongs. If an altercation were to happen, then sending bronze gongs would be sending cannon fodder.
Xu Qi’an ran outside the Nightwatchers Constabulary, looking left and right, and beside a wonton stall some ways away, he saw the ginger cat.
“Jinlian Daozhang, come, come…” Xu Qi’an waved his hand.
The ginger cat did not pay one bit of attention to him, its attention focused entirely on the great pot, smelling the fragrance floating out from within.
*What’s up with Jinlian Daozhang, is he hungry?* Xu Qi’an stared blankly, before hearing a familiar voice come from behind him, “I’m here.”
Turning his head, he saw a big grey cat standing behind him, looking back at him.
“Why did you change cats?” Xu Qi’an asked.
“That was a female cat…” the big grey cat explained tersely, as if he didn’t want to talk about it further, and changed the topic: “What’s Wei Yuan’s attitude on me being with your people?”
“Duke Wei is willing to work with you.”
The grey cat nodded, and lightly hopped onto Xu Qi’an’s shoulder, laughing lighting in his year, “Duke Wei… your reverence towards Azure Cloak Wei is far deeper than towards Emperor Yuanjing.”
“So far, I haven’t seen any flaws in his character that would cause me to dislike him.”
Xu Qi’an walked and talked quietly, “Six is temporarily living in the Welfare home in the eastern city, that place is tattered beyond toleration. The court keeps delaying on its funding, and the children and elderly there can hardly eat any more. When I told Duke Wei of Six’s circumstances, not only did he did not move to take Six, but rather arranged the owed funding to be payed. Yet the welfare home is not in the jurisdiction of the Nightwatchers.”
“Heh, so you did reveal information from our Heaven and Earth Society to Wei Yuan.” Jinlian Daozhang had a half-laughing tone.
*This…* Xu Qi’an’s expression stiffened, feeling the shame of being called out for being a mole by the boss in broad daylight, but he quickly recovered, shrugging,
“I gain Duke Wei’s trust to gain for information, to better our Heaven and Earth Society’s intelligence systems. To reveal a little is still beneficial… why has Daozhang stopped talking?”
“You are too shameless, I don’t want to speak.” The grey cat sneered, “you’re quite suited to an official career.”
“But Wei Yuan said I’m not suited to officialdom.”
“Even though you’re shameless, you still have a bottom line, and so will easily end up with the short end of the stick.” Jinlian Daozhang commented.
“I’ve suddenly thought of something. When the National Teacher saw me, she also detected something special about me. She asked me for my birthdate and horoscope, yet she couldn’t conclude anything specific.” Xu Qi’an said helplessly.
The cat thought for a moment, asking “What do you think?”
Xu Qi’an thought for a moment: “Something special… look over there — [Look at this chapter’s comments]”[^1]
Xu Qi’an rode on his mare, clip-clopping at the front. Behind him followed a group of gold and silver gongs.
The big grey cat sat on his shoulder, giving directions.
After walking for two sticks’ incense time, it suddenly said: “Stop, ahead is… it’s that courtyard, the Earth Book fragment’s aura is coming from that courtyard.”
Xu Qi’an pulled on the reins, as the gold and silver gongs behind him made the same action, the large contingent stopping at once.
He made a gesture behind him, and pointed towards the small courtyard house in front.
The ten Gold Gongs exchanged glances, and in synchrony disappeared from their horses’ backs, their figures appearing all around the small house, blocking all avenues of escape.
The Silver Gongs made a larger circle around them.
Xu Qi’an waited quietly for a while, and after not seeing the Gold Gongs move, looked back towards the courtyard with a frown.
*What’s wrong? Has he escaped?*
He jumped on the roof of the neighbouring house, managing to see into the courtyard from this angle.
The courtyard wasn’t big, two willow trees were growing within it. In the courtyard were sat two monks.
One had his hands together in prayer, chanting quietly.
The other was clad in black, head lowered, making not a sound.
It was the two sect-brothers Henghui and Hengyuan.
*What happened?* Xu Qi’an looked at the grey cat on his shoulder, seeing that it also had confusion in its eyes.
“Let’s go over and see”, the cat with its little head, had great confusion, and urged Xu Qi’an on.
At this time, he saw Yang Yan with his spear advancing closer.
“You’ve come a step too late, he has already gone to Sukhavati, the land of paradise.” Hengyuan’s voice was empty, without joy or anguish, yet an indescribable grief was contained within.
*He’s dead?* This result caught Xu Qi’an off guard. Instinctively he suspected some kind of trap, that this was an illusion, to buy time.
Yang Yan flipped down Henghui’s hood with his spear. Below was a grey face, eyes closed, without any sign of life.
Yang Yan nodded lightly towards the other Gold Gongs, confirming that Henghui was already dead.
“Between my death and his own, he chose the latter, and had his life consumed by the demon hand.” Hengyuan deeply intoned a Buddhist chant.
“Yang Yan, look at his right arm.” Jiang Lyuzhong said solemnly.
Yang Yan shook his spear, as his qi tore apart the black cloak. Empty space appeared where Henghui’s right arm was meant to be; that demon arm was nowhere to be found.
*It’s gone…* Xu Qi’an’s pupils contracted, as he cautiously looked left and right, feeing that the area was no longer safe, and hid an untold number of dangers.
The Silver Gongs who witnessed this all did the same, as they all drew their blades, cautiously looking at the passers-by around.
“It’s already gone…” Hengyuan said deeply, “I remained here to wait for you all.”
*Six is convinced that we would come? Right, Jinlian Daozhang could sense his Earth Book fragment, so he waited…* Xu Qi’an had a realisation.
“Monk, what do you want to say?” Nangong Qianrou put his hand on his sabre, not letting down his guard.
“He did not give up his revenge, but rather handed responsibility to me.” Hengyuan said quietly, “I want to tell everyone a story, a story that happened a year ago.”
[^1]: Yes, the author *literally* wrote this. So I guess, join the discord, comment away what you think.