# 75. Spear Intent
Jiaofang Si, Reflecting Plum Pavilion
Xu Qi’an lazily slouched on the brocade couch, his Nightwatcher uniform hanging on the back of the chair.
In the spacious room, six dancers were dancing lightly, their slender waists swaying inside their thin gauze skirts.
Behind him, a maid was rubbing his shoulders, while another maid was holding and massaging his legs.
The famous oiran was wearing a gorgeous and delicate long skirt, her head lowered, focused on playing the qin.
Occasionally, she raised her head to glance at Xu Qi'an, who was indulging in pleasure without care.
After a stick of incense, the Qin sounds dissipated, while the dancers withdrew from the room. Fuxiang got up to clean her hands in a copper basin, complaining quietly, "Young Master Yang turned out to be a Nightwatcher."
"Are you disappointed?" Xu Qi'an lowered his head and continued to fiddle with his fingers, replying casually.
The famous oiran put her skirt on the couch, sat on him, pressed his firm chest muscles with both her hands, and smiled charmingly, "I Love it..."
The reason why Xu Qi'an transferred to the Jiaofangsi was mainly because of its proximity. It was not because it would be more expensive to eat and listen to music in the Goulan, compared to the free attention he was being given by Fuxiang.
*How could SIX know about the contents of my conversation with NINE? Mirror Three is sealed, so I can't receive signals from the other Mirror Holders. Can the other Holders see my messages? The Earth Book is too inadequate for an ancient version of QQ...*[^1]
*If I had known by that time, I would have added everyone as friends at the beginning... I was a little scared at that time, and I just wanted to get my hands off this hot potato...*
*Heaven and Earth Society and Earth Sect have some sort of relationship... Did they split from the same sect?*
Xu Qi'an's thought process was interrupted, as he found and looked at the oiran sitting on his waist, twisting her hips. Her beautiful face looked like spring, teasing him implicitly.
She also had a pair of peach-blossom-like eyes that demanded affection from everyone.
"If you continue to move around, the soft seat will turn into a hard seat.", Xu Qi'an said, annoyed.
A few minutes later, the maids guarding the door heard the couch-bed's creaking, as well as the panting of their Lady.
"Aiya, They started in broad daylight."
"Let's get out first, It's probably going to continue until dusk."
Guiyuelou, In the Luanfeng private room.
A man wearing black clothes and holding a knife in hand sat straight near the round table.
The black-clothed man had a two-finger long scar on his cheek, triangular eyes, and a fierce light flashed in his light brown pupils from time to time.
It gave off the impression that he was a murderous lunatic, as if he would draw a knife to cut others at the slightest disagreement. A vicious aura hung around him.
He was a death row prisoner in the constabulary, whose name had been signed by His Majesty, and had an execution scheduled in the next autumn.
Today, he was suddenly taken out of death row by a Golden Gong. The Golden Gong told him that he just needed to complete a task satisfactorily, and then he can return to the Jianghu while another death row prisoner would take his place.
The credibility of this statement was quite high. Being on the list signed by His Majesty usually meant that there was no doubt of his execution and that he couldn't be pardoned. Finding a replacement for him was the right thing to do.
This type of "Redemption through Merit" transactions were not that uncommon in the Nightwatcher Office. Before being arrested, he had heard of it from quite a few seniors.
His task was also very simple. He just needed to perform a transaction.
But the black-clothed man also knew that there must have been great danger hidden. Surely, they wouldn't bother to find a death row prisoner for a simple transaction.
The black-clothed man accepted this mission for two reasons: One, Dying without struggling was worse than taking a chance. Two, this was Guiyuelou in the inner city, one of the liveliest places in the capital.
Who would dare to make trouble in this place?
At that time, he heard two "knock knock" sounds from the door of the private room.
"The door is open. Please come in." The man in black responded with a low voice.
The door of the room was pushed open, as an old man dressed like a Jianghu wanderer came in. He was wearing a grey robe, half of his face was hidden in the cloak, with the lower half being exposed. There was a shallow layer of scarring on his jaw, and he had a black beard that looked freshly shaven.
The two sides looked at each other with vigilance.
*Heh, You definitely can't enter the inner city with this kind of attire. He probably changed in the Guiyuelou secretly... There may be some weapons hidden in his robe...* The black-robed man was disdainful but also vigilant. While he was thinking, the cloaked wanderer asked hoarsely,
"What about the item?"
The man in black stared at him calmly, and said, "I seem to have said that I spent 500 taels of gold for this mirror."
*What kind of mirror needs to be bought for 500 taels* He thought.
The cloaked wanderer grunted, and reached into his bosom with one hand to take out a stack of silver notes. The denomination of the first silver bills looked to be 100 taels.
Although he knew that he had to hand in the silver bills eventually, money touched a person's heart easily, and his eyes began to gleam uncontrollably, glued to the thick pile of silver bills, and couldn't move away from them.
"Mirror!" The cloaked wanderer said hoarsely as he put the bills on the table.
The man in black looked at the mirror carefully, but put it on the table after not seeing anything.
The cloaked wanderer raised his head slightly, revealing a pair of sharp eyes to stare at the mirror on the table for a moment.
"Very well, The deal is done. After exiting the door, we’ll have never seen each other."
He picked up the mirror, while the death row prisoner in black stretched out his hand to the bank notes with shining eyes.
Suddenly the prisoner in black saw the left side of the cloak the wanderer was wearing bulging slightly... *Bad!* His pupils shrank as if he had just been exposed to a strong light. He instinctively tumbled sideways to avoid any future attacks.
*This task wasn't simple... Fortunately, I have always been on guard... This is an expert, I shouldn't conflict with him head-on. I'll just break the window and go out. I don't believe that he dares to kill people on the street of the downtown area in the inner city...* This thought started to flash in a Black-clothed person's mind.
At that time, he observed the place where he had been sitting. A figure was sitting upright, wearing a black cloth and holding a knife with both hands. His neck was cut flat by a sharp blade and the scar was as big as a bowl spurting fresh blood.
A string of question marks appeared in the mind of the death row prisoner wearing black. Then, His consciousness fell into the abyss.
The cloaked wanderer put the silver bills back into his arms, smiled, and turned to walk out of the private room.
After leaving the Guiyuelou, The cloaked man rode the fast horse he had come in and left the inner and outer city leisurely, before racing on the public road, raising a cloud of dust behind.
After galloping for more than an hour, a tea shed appeared in front of him, with three tables set outside.
The tea seller was an old man with grey hair. There were no customers there, and the old man was sitting at the table drinking tea by himself.
The cloaked man reined his horse, after which it neighed and raised its front hooves, then stopped its high-speed movement.
After tying the reins of his horse to a stake on the side of the road, the cloaked man glanced at both sides before walking towards the tea shed.
He took out the small jade mirror and offered it respectfully with both hands, "Master, I didn't fail the mission."
The gray-haired old man took the small jade mirror before speaking in a low voice, "You brought back an enemy."
The cloaked man was taken aback for a moment. Before he had time to formulate a response, he saw the old man wave his hand to knock him away.
The cloaked man who flew up happened to collide with a sharp jet of qi and was blown to pieces on the spot.
Blood splattered across the ground like drops of ink.
The old man squinted his eyes to look towards the end of the public road, from where a tall and upright figure was walking slowly.
When he had initially appeared, he was still quite far, but after a few breaths, he was no more than a hundred meters away from the old man.
"Yang Yan, You are only a dog that Azure Robe has raised." The old man snorted coldly, "Leave, Don't meddle in other people's business."
Facially paralyzed Yang Yan remained as expressionless as ever, "I want to meddle."
The old man flew into a rage, losing control over his mind, and said incisively, "Do not blame this poor Daoist for being impolite to you."
The grey robes of the old man bulged, wisps of black smoke overflowed from his body and began to dance in the air, letting shrill screams out of nowhere.
Yang Yan frowned, "Earth Sect cultivates Meritorious Virtue, When did they start to use these ghostly tricks?"
Cobweb-like black blood vessels protruded from the old man's face, his pupils became scarlet, and he was filled with an evil aura, "Heh, This Daoist will send you to ask Daode Tianzun."
He let out a sharp scream, after which the black smoke in the sky also screamed strangely while rushing towards Yang Yan.
Yang Yan was still expressionless, bringing his left and right fists together.
A raging Qi burst out, and with him at its centre, spread out in all directions. It rolled up grass and dust along the way before finally hitting a layer of the black membrane.
A black light flashed in the sky, giving off a moist slippery appearance similar in form to an upside-down glass bowl.
"It's easy to get in my hundred ghosts formation, but difficult to get out. Even if you are a fourth-rank martial artist, You'll have to leave your life here." The old man spoke hoarsely as if he was a devil from hell.
In the air, the black smoke scattered by Yang Yan's Qi reunited again.
Yang Yan frowned, this formation was very different than Sitianjian's formation.
Sitianjian's formations were based on the power of heaven and earth and could exist for a long period. Dao Sect formations were set up based on human abilities and couldn't last long.
This Hundred Ghosts Formation was very tricky and unusual.
Among the major practice systems, Daoism was the leader in the field of primordial spirit[^2]. Daoist System's Sixth rank was Yin Spirit. Yin Spirits, also called Ghost Messengers in ancient times. They could draw in people's souls at night, and dominate the life and death of mortals.
The Hundred Ghost Formation should be using a similar method.
Although Martial Artists also refined their Primordial Spirit, they only superimposed defence to make their primordial spirit tougher and therefore lacked the means to attack.
"I heard that the eighth rank of the Dao system was called Consuming Qi, and they could drive magic weapons and summon heavenly thunder. Why don't you let me experience them?" Yang Yan was expressionless, his tone filled with contempt.
"Come here!" The old man was enraged again, and two streaks of blood spewed out of his sleeve, like blood-coloured lightning.
Yang Yan didn't dodge, and let the two blood lightning attack him.
The two bloody lightning just managed to tear his clothes before flying out.
Copper Skin and Iron Bones!
"Why aren't you retaliating?" The old man said angrily. His face looked extremely ferocious, being covered with a web made of black blood vessels.
"I'm waiting for my spear." Yang Yan said lightly, "It's here."
As his voice fell, a bright silver meteor pierced the sky.
The thin and moist qi membrane shattered without a sound, and wherever the meteor passed, the black smoke evaporated, giving off screeching sounds.
"If the formation couldn't be broken from the inside, then I'll break it from the outside." Yang Yan stretched out his hand to hold a spear, a silver spear.
After saying this, his figure suddenly disappeared, and as if he had merged with his spear he stabbed at the old man with unstoppable momentum.
The old man's blood-coloured pupils reflected a flash of silver light. Undefendable; it was an invincible Spear Intent.
The spear intent of a fourth-rank martial artist.
"Noo!" The old man opened his mouth and spat out a golden pill that shone with blood and black light, slamming it into the spear.
The golden core was turned into powder by the spear intent, and it tore through the old man without any sign of slowing, turning his body into a bloody pulp. The silver light continued onward for hundreds of feet, only stopping upon piercing a hill.
The figure of the old man condensed in mid-air. Half real and half illusory, He resentfully stared at Yang Yan before turning to black smoke and looking towards the distance.
Yang Yan bent down to pick up the small jade mirror and carried the silver spear. Then, he turned around and headed back to the capital.
The black smoke escaped for hundreds of miles and finally stopped after reaching a village.
The old man's face appeared in the black smoke, as he stared at the village below him.
Yin Spirits couldn't be alive in the daytime for a long time. Also, their strength was greatly reduced without a physical body, making them unable to face crises.
The old man intended to possess a body and devour the souls of the villagers in the village to nourish himself.
After making a plan of action, the black smoke swooped into the village.
The village, still vivid in the previous moment, shattered like water ripples the next moment, revealing a qi cage surrounded by five-coloured meritorious virtue, trapping the black smoke within.
At the centre of the formation was an old Daoist Priest, wearing tattered Daoist robes, and with mystical facial features, sitting cross-legged.
Early in the Morning, Xu Qi'an appeared at the Nightwatchers Constabulary on time.
He was waiting for the follow-up to the "Earth Book" incident.
He would always be uneasy if he didn't know about the result.
Near Noon, a petty official wearing black found him at the side hall next to Spring Breeze hall, and respectfully said, "Master Xu, Duke Wei is calling for you."
*Finally...* Xu Qi'an nodded a little, "Okay!"
[^1]: (Very) Popular Chinese messaging app and social media. Now though I think WeChat beats it slightly, thought that might just be my impression.
[^2]: 元神 Yuanshen, primordial spirit/soul.