Chapter 113 The [Magic Sword] Zhao YuQin Zhen continued, “General Tang was a hero to our empire. But in order to protect me and my younger brother, he was executed for a crime he did not commit. That’s a huge grace he gave us. Now, his widow and children were in trouble. How can I just stay put and watch them be sent to the Musical House and make a living by pleasing the pimps?”
Wang Chen hurriedly advised, “Yeah, the death of General Tang is truly a shame. And we are certainly going to rescue his widow and children. But Your Highness, you cannot do it in person. Have you considered why they will be sent to the Musical House of the Chang’an government? Actually, the reason is plain. Because you have come to Chang’an. They must have already foreseen that you will get involved in the rescue and they probably have laid out many traps there, waiting for Your Highness to fall in. Given that the spring hunting has just finished and the aftermath of that matter has not faded yet, the emperor must still be angry. If Your Highness gets involved in this crime, I’m afraid… the consequences are beyond our imagination.”
Qin Zhen sighed and said, “Of course I know all that.”
“Then why are you…” asked Wang Chen.
“Mr. Wang, do you think I have any other options?” quizzed the princess.
Wang Chen was suddenly at a loss for words.
He certainly knew that after that spring hunting incident loads of experts left the princess, and now she had no suitable person to complete that task except for herself. Since General Tang’s widow and children were felons, rescuing them could not be easy. No matter how detailed and thorough the rescuing plan was, a fierce fight was inevitable. If no super powerful expert who was at or above the Master Realm was on the mission, they would have a fat chance.
“If we can’t find any alternatives, I’ll fill in your shoes and go to Chang’an.” Wang Chen gritted his teeth and promised.
Qin Zhen shot a sharp look at him and then shook her head. “You alone will not do.”
“Er… I can contact some of my old Jianghu friends. They…” offered Wang Chen.
But he broke off when he caught Qin Zhen’s smile.
The smile contained a kind of serene resulted from a thorough understanding of the capriciousness of the world.
In a tone of slight self-mockery, she quietly asked, “Mr. Wang is a wise man. Why are you still deceiving yourself? You surely know the importance of this mission and that it can only be handled to the most trusted men. But if your Jianghu buddies are involved, how can it be kept a secret? Can you guarantee that your old friends are still reliable in such an undesirable situation? Even if they are, can you really bring yourself to ask them to discard their peaceful lives and get drawn into this doomed mission?”
Wang Chen heaved with a sigh and did not know how to respond.
“But if Your Highness goes there yourself, the stakes are too high… Emmm, or we can resort to Li Mu’s power?” He suggested tentatively. “If Li Mu is willing to help us out, considering his horrifying power, we will have a much better chance…”
As he said that, his eyes lit up with excitement.
At first, he was just trying to talk Qin Zhen out of her plan. But when the words were out, he felt that suggestion was pretty viable.
However, Qin Zhen turned it down at once.
“Between persons of differing principles, there is little to cooperate,” said the princess resolutely.
“But…” Wang Chen was still reluctant to give it up.
“There is no ‘but’… Even if that county magistrate has power beyond measure, I will not be in league with him. Let’s just go with my plan. Mr. Wang, please take care of the arrangements. In seven days, we’ll go to the Chang’an government undercover. And Liu Hao and Liu Heng shall be in charge of Zheng’s daily life and security for the time.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Wang Chen breathed another sigh in his mind.
“When could the princess’s wound heal?”
“Time and tide wait for no man.”
“If we miss out on the big help, Li Mu, we will definitely regret it!”
In the depths of the Taibai Mountain…
The ridge of the towering mountains wound forward like wriggling dragons.
The hills were covered by thick woods. Green leaves rippled like a vast sea. The landscape was picturesque, and the natural environment was primitively beautiful.
The Taibai Peak was the main peak in that mountain range. It was 13,700 meters in height, also the highest mountain in Chang’an.
Snowcapped all the year round, the peak looked like a silver-haired old wise man who had been through the vicissitudes of life. It overlooked that sea of mountains and forests around it in silence. From the foot to the side of the peak were carpeted with green trees. When wafts of breeze swept by, the trees happily swung back and forth, which looked full of life.
The gate of the Taibai Sword Faction sat at the elevation of the two-thirds of the full elevation of the Taibai Peak.
With green tiles and red walls, buildings of antique beauty were delicately distributed on the mountain. Looking from a distance, they seemed to be residences of mystical immortals. Morning bells and evening drums could be heard from the mist lingering around, making the place a complete fictitious land of peace.
The outer school of the Taibai Sword Faction was on the side of the mountain.
Every day on the three squares of the outer school several hundred young disciples practiced the swordsmanship and enhanced their internal qi.
When the sun climbed up to the peak, all the disciple would be brandishing their swords to practice new moves. As blades glittered and Sword Qi surged, the place looked quite boisterous.
“Elder Zhou, why do you help Li Mu keep the death of that Supervisor Xu a secret?” Zhang Zhao, a young disciple of the Taibai Sword Faction, came to the Meditation Hall and pose the puzzling question to Zhou Zhenhai. “We can totally take advantage of that matter, use it as a threat to make him release Sister Zhao.”
Several days had passed since Zhou Zhenyue and the group of disciples returned to the Taibai Sword Faction.
But the news that Zhao Ling, the beauty of their faction, was detained by the county magistrate as a maid had not spread widely yet.
That was mainly because those who knew the incident had agreed to keep it among themselves for the moment for the sake of Zhao Ling’s reputation and integrity.
Meanwhile, they also hoped that the authority figures of the Taibai Sword Faction could come forward and get the beauty back from the hands of that devil at the fastest rate.
They had heard that three days ago Elder Zhou already visited the inner school and reported the whole thing to the head of the faction. However, the fury they expected did not emerge, and there was no sign of further actions of the top management, either.
The situation was quite weird. They felt that the high-level elders had already given up on Zhao Ling.
That reaction came as a total surprise and disappointment to those expectant young disciples.
Zhang Zhao was one of them.
He had just been admitted to be the direct disciple of Zhou Zhenyue since he showed remarkable ration and calmness during the trip to Taibai County.
After obtaining the favor of the outer school elder and becoming one of the few lucky disciples, he finally summoned his courage and came to ask Elder Zhou for the answers.
“The faction has its own scruples. The death of Supervisor Xu is supposed to the business of the Supervisory Department. We don’t need to deal with it, and nor do you need to spread the words out.” Zhou Zhenhai replied void of emotion.
He was sitting at the center of the Meditation Hall crosslegged. With his eyes closed, he was exercising his breathing to relax and pacify his mind.
His hair was fully white, and his serene expression made him look like an immortal.
“And as to what happened to Zhao Ling, the head and several senior elders have also come to a final conclusion. None of you is allowed to bring it up in the faction. If someone asks about her whereabouts, you just tell them she has been ordered to go on adventures for one year and will not return before that allotted time.”
Zhou Zhenhai answered him without haste.
Zhang Zhao’s jaw almost dropped at those words.
“Not returning until one year passes by?”
“Does that indicate the faction has accepted that Sister Zhao must stay in Taibai County for a whole year?”
“Why did they make such a decision?”
Astonishment stole over Zhang Zhao.
But seeing that Zhou Zhenyue was obviously unwilling to continue the conversation, he could do nothing but nod in resignation and leave the hall.
Outside the hall…
“How did it go? How did it go?”
“What did Mr. Zhou say?”
A dozens of young disciples who went on that trip to Taibai County had been waiting anxiously out of the hall for quite a while. When they saw Zhang Zhao stepped out from the hall, they hopefully surrounded him right off.
Shaking his head, Zhang Zhao recounted what Zhou Zhenyue just told him.
Upon hearing his remarks, the disciples were all dumbfounded.
“What does this mean?” They could not help wondering.
“Did they simply give up on Sister Zhao?”
“No way! Zhao Ling is not only a beautiful disciple. She also has highly outstanding cultivation in swordsmanship and great gifts in medicine. As one of the few geniuses in that generation of disciples and a promising cultivator the seniors thought highly of, she was absolutely too valuable to be abandoned by the Taibai Sword Faction because of a little county magistrate.”
“If that is not reason, what on earth is?”
Those young swordsmen were baffled.
“If there is no other solution, the only thing we can do is to go to Zhao Yu, the birth brother of Zhao Ling. He is one of the three direct disciples of the head. If he knows that his younger sister has been enslaved, how can he live with it? He won’t turn a deaf ear to us, will he?” A disciple suggested.
“But if we tip Zhao Yu off, we will be disclosing the secret, right? The faction will punish us!” Another disciple vetoed.
“What does that matter? Zhao Ling has been detained by that devil for our safety. Now that she is trapped there, how can we just let her suffer? Even if we will be punished, I think we can take it.”
“Yes, we shall not be so ungrateful.”
“Good. Let’s go to Zhao Yu together. If the faction leaders get angry, we will bear the consequence together as well.”
The indignant young disciples proudly set off along the mountain road and marched towards the inner school.
Zhao Yu, the one they referred to, was Zhao Ling’s birth brother. He was also raised in the Taibai Sword Faction. Graced with more extraordinary martial art talent, Zhao Yu was taken as the last direct disciple of the current head of the Taibai Sword Faction.
He was already a widely recognized A-list swordsman of the younger generation in the Taibai Sword Faction. And as a matter of a fact, this young man was quite famous across the Western Qin Empire. Some nosy people once made a list of the geniuses of the Western Qin Empire in the last ten years. Zhao Yu, who was known for his Magic Sword, was ranked the top 20. Thus, it was easy to tell that he was truly talented.
From the perspectives of those young and reckless disciples, such a unique genius should be able to rescue Zhao Ling out of that dreadful place.
Watching the disciples heading off, Zhou Zhenyue, who already walked to the gate of the Meditation Hall, was standing up straight with his hands behind his back. His expressionless face showed a hint of a smile.
He guessed it right that Zhang Zhao was spurred into inquiring him the questions by those young disciples.
Although at last, the youngsters decided to defy his explicit order, he did not feel upset at all.
Because he saw in those little guys the spirits of cooperation, passion, courage, as well as responsibility. As to the policy of blocking the message… Well, since a lot of people already knew it, he was aware that it was impossible to keep all of their mouths zipped. All he could to do was to buy some time for the county magistrate. That was actually quite a favor.
Since he had done his share, the rest shall depend on the county magistrate himself.