# 162. Mighty Heavenly Dragon[^1] “Because the house is haunted!” The old manager said in a low voice. His posture straightened, as he leant forwards slightly. “It started about two years ago. Originally, that house belonged to a rich family. One night, they suddenly heard the terrible sound of a woman crying coming from the courtyard. A servant went to look, and saw a woman in all white sat beside the well, covering her face and crying. “The servant asked who she was, but she didn’t answer, and just cried and cried. The servant thought that she was one of the women in the household that had been bullied, and had come to the courtyard to let out her feelings, so he raised his lantern and walked over, only to find…” As he spoke, the old manager’s voice became even lower, as he made a posture as if he had seen the terrifying events personally. “What next?” Chu Caiwei clutched her little fists tightly, her eyelashes quivering, face full of both anxiety and anticipation. Xu Qi’an was reminded of the women in his past life, who were both terrified yet wanted to watch the horror movies. She was a seventh rank Master of Feng Shui though. “At this time…” the old manager’s voice became indistinct, as his expression darkened, “The woman raised her head, her features were mutilated, her eyes hung on her cheeks, and her eye sockets were like two large black holes, with maggots crawling back and forth within. Her lips were dark purple, as black blood dripped from the corner of her mouth…” Xu Qi’an saw goosebumps erupt over Chu Caiwei’s pale skin, as her delicate frame trembled slightly. The old manager was very satisfied with Chu Caiwei’s reaction, and laughed with a sense of pride, “After the first rich family moved away, the several owners of the house afterwards befell the same thing. But scarier than that, afterwards it was as if they had had a curse placed on them, as accidents and problems started happening one after another, whether it be someone in the household injuring themselves, or their business falling off a cliff, but eventually as their family conditions worsened, they had to move out.” *That’s a rather nice ghost all things considered…* Xu Qi’an asked, “Did anyone report this?” “Of course, how could anyone not? But because there were no lives involved, after the officials came a few times, they stopped caring. Oh but the past owners did all invite monks over to look, and things did calm down for a while, but it wasn’t long before the whole ordeal flared up again. The crying started again, driving everyone mad. “And the bad luck didn’t improve either, they were still doomed to it.” Xu Qi’an knocked on the table, smiling, “What an interesting house, we’ll go see this one first.” The manager was taken aback, as he thought *is this young couple not dumb? Young’uns don’t know the world for what it is, always rushing into things with far too much confidence, thinking they’re special.* “Sure, I will take you there immediately. Take your time, there are plenty of properties.” The old manager’s face still presented a subservient smile. … The house was only three li away from the Jiaofangsi. To its east was a meandering stream, to its west a garden, and it was only a few dozen metres from the main street, neither close nor far. In the day there was no clamour and noise, but it was still convenient to go shopping. It was tranquil in a sea of noise, a good place certainly. The old manager unlocked the lock, and vigorously pushed open the heaven doors. He dusted off his hands, whilst simultaneously making an invitational gesture. “Sir, Madam, this way please.” “Mhm!” Xu Qi’an nodded, and stepped inside with Chu Caiwei, looking around. A desolate and decrepit aura emanated from the house, as grey carpeted the floor, paint flaked off the walls. If it was the summer time, the courtyard would likely be full of weeds. The garden gave off an earthy smell. The old manager lead them round the front courtyard and hall. Xu Qi’an was rather satisfied; no matter the layout, or the construction, were all more open and comfortable than Second Uncle’s house. However the old manager absolutely refused to take them into the inner courtyard, as he said “Let’s stop here. We can’t go in there, it’d be bad luck.” *I was just feeling that you were getting in the way…* Xu Qi’an waved his hand, “You wait outside, we’ll come out in a bit. The wife and I will have a look inside.” It was still the morning, and the sun hung high. The manager felt a bit more secure in such conditions, and reminded them, “Don’t tarry too long.” Chu Caiwei only then processed what Xu Qi’an had just said, as she turned to him: “Who’s your wife? Stop talking rubbish.” *It’s only a matter of time…* “You’re very strange you know. Aren’t you supposed to buy land with your savings, why are you buying a house.” “When you have experienced the fear of being controlled by the housing market, you’ll be just like me.” Xu Qi’an said as he scanned around cautiously, “I know that apart from the Daoists, after any cultivator dies, their soul will stay in the world for a long while, how long would depend on how strong their spirit was. Are there fragments of the soul of a particularly strong cultivator here?” Xu Qi’an leisurely took out his jade mirror, and lightly tapped the back, pulling out the black and gold long sabre. Meeting Chu Caiwei’s wide-eyed stare, he laughed “This is my little treasure, and my secret. Don’t spread it around! I’ll treat you to dinner after.” “Oh.” Chu Caiwei only glanced at it curiously, and did not pay it much mind. After all, her deerskin pouch also was a magic item that had the ability to store items bigger than it. Some random mirror in exchange for a delicious meal? Profit. Chu Caiwei lightly leapt onto the room, clear light flashing in her almond eyes. She carefully scanned around every corner of the house, occasionally jumping to new points on the roof and getting new angles, not missing any nook. Finally, her flashing eyes fell on the well hole, as she saw light wisps of black qi emanating from it. “Found it!” Pleased, Chu Caiwei jumped down lightly from the roof, and pulled Xu Qi’an to the well. “There’s resentful energy here, resentful energy that can nourish ghosts and wraiths.” Xu Qi’an was startled by this, and showed a guarded expression, pulling Chu Caiwei away. “It’s fine!” The double-A beauty shook her head, “The resentful energy is really weak, if there is a wraith down there it can’t be strong at all. I can deal with this myself.” As she spoke, she stretched her hand towards her deerskin pouch, and started pulling out item after item: dog’s blood, cinnabar powder, gold metal, as well as multitudes of strange items that Xu Qi’an had never seen before. Then, she walked towards the well, and started writing and drawing on the ground with a dried branch, vaguely forming the shape of a bagua formation. After she had finished the bagua formation, she placed those items that represented the utmost Yang into their correct places. “Formation magic?” Xu Qi’an watched with great interest. “Nope, this is a feng-shui array, strictly speaking it’s not formation magic. With the well mouth as the centre, I made this pure yang feng-shui array, so that everywhere that the bagua covers has it’s feng-shui changed, changed to the utmost yang. This will counteract the resentful energy.” Chu Caiwei explained. *So this is just a simplified formation… Master of Feng Shui is the precursor to the Master of Formations, or should I say the foundation.* Xu Qi’an’s understanding of the Sitianjian’s system deepened. After about a cup of tea’s time later, Chu Caiwei activated her qi-watching again, and nodded in satisfaction, “It’s gone.” Xu Qi’an smiled, “Thank you, Miss Caiwei.” The two of them tidied up the materials together. Chu Caiwei patted her deerskin pouch, saying proudly, “I’ll come with you to look at the feng-shui of the other houses first, and then, mn, later I want to go to Guiyuelou.” “Sure!” Xu Qi’an agreed without hesitation. The two of them walked side by side, but a few steps later, Chu Caiwei suddenly paused, letting out a surprised “eh?”. She turned around, clear light flashing in her eyes. In view of her qi-watching eyes, those light wisps of black qi rose again from the well mouth. “What’s up?” Xu Qi’an saw that her expression was off. “It’s… it’s not completely gone… no, the black qi is coming up again. There’s something wrong with the well.” Chu Caiwei jogged over, and crouched by the down, staring at the well mouth for a good while. Not believing in trickery, she remade the pure yang feng-shui array again. Yet the result was as before, after a while the black qi rose again. “What do we do about this?” Xu Qi’an didn’t expect the matter to be this troublesome to deal with. “The simplest method would be to ask over a monk from the Qinglong Temple to eliminate the black qi…” Chu Caiwei hadn’t finished speaking before she saw Xu Qi’an run to the well. His expression was serious, as his hands formed an incantation, low mutters on his tongue: “Arrogant evildoers, pretending to be spirits and playing ghosts, *mighty heavenly dragon, revered kshitigarbha, mantra of the great veil, great wisdom of the buddhas, prajna padme hum! Like a dragon in flight, go!*” Absolutely nothing happened, not even a gust of wind. Chu Caiwei looked at him in a daze, “What are you doing?” “Where I come from it’s a spell to expel evil and capture monsters, I thought I’d give it a try,” Xu Qi’an shrugged, “clearly, this spell from my hometown doesn’t really work.” Chu Caiwei said, “I hadn’t finished. Didn’t that agent just say, that the previous owners all invited monks to cleanse the place, but after a bit of time the situation returned to before. “This is in agreement with the earlier situation.” “Then what do we do?” Xu Qi’an said. “I’ve got a hunch, let’s come back at night.” Chu Caiwei made an expression full of confidence, “however, you need to buy more food.” *That’s not an issue, but are you really playing by the book? Don’t forget your academic record, dear Caiwei…* Xu Qi’an said with a smile, “With Miss Caiwei’s help, how could I not but be relieved. If you want more food I’ll buy you more.” Thus the two of them left, and ran around to view all the other houses. For Xu Qi’an, there were many choices, and he was not rushing to make a decision. … The warm sun shone on the balcony. Wei Yuan in full azure robes bathed in the sunlight. His face shone like warm red jade, the whitening hair on his temples reflecting the sunlight shone brighter than silver. “The case of Princess Pingyang brought down the Liang clique, the tax silver case hurt greatly the Wang clique. Currently in court the only factions who are relatively whole are the Yan clique and the Qi clique.” Wei Yuan pulled from his sleeve a secret letter, laughing, “Yet this secret letter, can break one of the Qi clique’s wings.” Nangong Qianrou’s smile was cold, “Father, if we take the opportunity during the official evaluation to get rid of this stumbling block early, then you can extend your power greatly.” “Not so hasty!” Wei Yuan was just about to explain further, when footsteps came from the stairs, as a clerk came in. “Duke Wei, His Majesty has summons.” … The carriage slowly came to a stop outside the palace complex, Nangong Qianrou in its driver’s seat. Wei Yuan descended from the carriage, and with his adoptive son more beautiful than most women in tow, headed towards the imperial study. Emperor Yuanjing very rarely gathered court, but will occasionally have a “mini-court” in the imperial study. In normal times, these mini-courts were rather rare, but as it was the official evaluation, they have become rather frequent. After all, the emperor wasn’t the type to pay no attention to outside matters and cultivate under a rock. Coming to the imperial study door, and stepping over the high threshold, Wei Yuan’s footsteps imperceptibly paused, before returning to normal. “Your servant Wei Yuan greets Your Majesty.” The great eunuch bowed deeply, his gaze in an instant flying over the two great servants at Emperor Yuanjing’s side. He smelled danger. Emperor Yuanjing was expressionless, as he said solemnly, “Wei Yuan, we have asked you to lead the Nightwatchers, why is this?” Wei Yuan replied: “To protect Your Majesty, to protect the capital.” “Well said.” Emperor Yuanjing nodded, before suddenly grabbing a statement on the table, and violently threw it towards Wei Yuan, roaring: “And this is how you protect us? We have placed our utmost confidence in you, and this is how you repay us?” --- [^1]: From Baidu: “Mighty heavenly dragon” is an internet phrase with no real meaning. It comes from the movie “Green Snake”, as part of a curse the antagonist monk Fahai shouts when exterminating Yao, roughly translated into English as: “Mighty heavenly dragon, mantra of the great veil, great wisdom of the buddhas, prajna padme hum!”