Today, a string of surprising events had occurred, especially what Hua Xiangrong did. Compared with the breakthrough Li Mu made in the Natural Taoist Figure, he was more stunned by Hua Xiangrong, who had defended him when all the others were giving him a hard time and even affronted the two influential academies for him. Her kindness truly warmed Li Mu’s heart.
After deliberating it for a moment, Li Mu took a jade pendant off from his robe.
The pendant happened to be in the shape of a petal, which was dangling from a silver string. On the pendant carved a little magic formation devised for protection and calming the nerves. It was a low-grade Taoist instrument made by Li Mu at an earlier time on that day. It also had the functioned of locating the wearer and could enable the wearer to throw off a full blow of a superb expert in the Master Realm. If it were put on the market, people would certainly scramble for that treasure.
Li Mu spun around and tied the string of the pendant around Hua Xiangrong’s neck in person.
“I nearly forgot to give you the first-encounter gift. I made this jade pendant all by my self. It can protect you and keep your mind peaceful. If you don’t mind, please carry it around all the time.”
Li Mu told the girl affectionately.
Hua Xiangrong’s face suddenly turned scarlet at Li Mu’s sort of domineering action, but she felt a trace of sweetness within.
Xin’er, however, was grumbling inwardly. “If she doesn’t mind? Hum, you put that thing on Miss Hua’s neck already, so how can she refuse you? That is way too dictatorial.”
Despite her complains, this maid had already noticed that Li Mu’s identity and status were absolutely extraordinary. Now, she was not as rejective towards him as before, but she still had some concerns, for she had yet ascertained if Li Mu had the power to fix that matter relevant to Miss Hua.
“Thank you a lot, Young Master.” Hua Xiangrong lowered her head and expressed her appreciation in a soft voice.
Li Mu just smiled.
The blushing face of such a charming girl was so appealing that every man would fall for her.
“I’ll be back.”
Li Mu left behind that remark before turning to head for the outside.
Seeing the young man march out, people in the hall automatically made way for him.
Some perceptive busboy at the doorway of the Holy House already led Li Mu’s dark-maned horse over.
At the door, Li Mu neatly mounted the horse.
The man and the horse strolled forward and a throng of black-armored soldiers parted to both sides to let him pass through. Bathed in the light of many red lanterns on the street, Li Mu headed forward and eventually disappeared in the darkness.
He departed with ease and natural poise.
Not until Li Mu was completely drowned by the night at the far end of the street did those in the hall stop watching him leaving.
For a while, everyone was quiet, because they did not know what to say.
“Guards, carry them out, whether they are dead or not. Send them back to their academy,” commanded Cai Zhijie. After the soldiers hauled the unconscious Lin Qiushui, Liu Muyang, Song Qinfei, and the short and stout scholar out and searched the place, he ordered his men to leave.
That meant the case was closed.
Cai Zhijie’s attitude equaled the attitude of the government.
Accordingly, the government of Chang’an would no longer look into the murder Li Mu committed. If the two academies wanted to avenge themselves, they were on their own.
The onlookers in the hall never knew the incident could develop along this path.
It was basically a crushing blow.
A thorough crushing blow.
Why did it turn out to be like this?
No one could answer that question.
The only possible explanation was that the young man had a startling identity and background.
“Your Honor Cai,” Bai Xuan could not help but ask, “The young man… is what kind of figure on earth?”
She was an old acquaintance of Cai Zhijie, and that was why she dared to consult him.
Having run the Holy House for so many years, Bai Xuan had met numerous high officials and noble lords. Nonetheless, she had never been so curious as she was at present about the background of a boy, who could still leave the place at his will with the security official of the eastern government seeing him off respectfully after killing the guiders of the Hanshan Academy and the Fengming Academy.
All the things that happened tonight were kind of unbelievable.
Cai Zhijie was surprised. He furrowed his brows and said, “You don’t know?”
Then, he added, “How many young and talented Great Master that can create poems at any moment can our city of Chang’an have?”
Bai Xuan’s pupils contracted. She seemed to realize something. “Could it be… the one who made… the Epigraph of My Shack?”
Cai Zhijie nodded. “I thought you already knew… He had remained quiet for eight years. But now, he made his mark at the first shot. Who else could be both accomplished in literature and martial arts and also the youngest literature champion in the imperial tests except for him?”
After finishing that remark, the security official of the eastern government led the troops away without looking back.
He was here to handle the aftermath Li Mu incurred.
Now, with the case ended, he naturally should go back.
His attitude towards this case said everything.
As to the Hanshan Academy and the Fengming Academy… Well, they’d better pray for themselves.
Right now, the hall of the Holy House was filled with hubbub. It was like a dead volcano that had remained quiet for ages had collected sufficient energy and finally erupted. The energy rumbled its way out, bringing out a maddening heat all the way along.
The remark was the only thought that everyone on the scene had at the moment.
“It’s no wonder that he created the ‘beauty poem’ and the ‘Hua Xiangrong poem’ that might be popular for centuries. Turns out that the poet is him!”
Now, it all seemed fit.
“From this perspective, Zhen Yuandao and Jia Zuoren did ask for their doom. They attempted to steal the authorship of the famous adolescent Great Master! They did bark at the wrong tree.”
“Yeah, they took the road to ruin by themselves.”
“Lin Qiushui and Liu Muyang actually sent their masters into fire pits. But they deserved it. The two pairs of masters and disciples were not decent men at all. How unabashed they were! If today’s event happened to any other guy, he might have already been done away with.”
“Claiming others’ poetry works as his own is an outrageous crime!”
“Now, the presidents of the Hanshan Academy and the Fengming Academy can do nothing but cry.”
There was a clamor of comments among the guests in the hall.
Those onlookers’ view instantly flipped. They started to discuss the two academies with sympathy in no time. That was not only because their target turned out to be an intimidating young Great Master, but also because from the start it was the two academies that were at fault.
If by now there was still someone suspecting Li Mu plagiarizing, then, he must get some rock in his head. The work, Epigraph of My Shack, had served as the solid evidence of the young Great Master’s literature talent. For a genius who had great attainments in martial arts, there was no way he would do things like plagiarizing.
By contrast, the scholars of the two academies in the hall were all ashen-faced.
Although they had held their heads high the whole time they were insulting Li Mu, now, each of them was very much unnerved. Like crestfallen dogs, they did not dare utter any retort and just hurried out of the place as if fleeing. What happened tonight was too embarrassing for them. They practically lost the bait along with the fish.
By this point, Bai Xuan had finally come to herself.
“Turns out to be him!”
“The young Great Master is famous for both his martial arts and his literature.”
“His Epigraph of My Shack has already produced signs of overwhelming popularity that will cause a shortage of paper in Chang’an. Tonight, he created two more sensational great poems… There are truly geniuses in the world!”
Madam Bai Xuan, who had the knack of doing business, immediately realized that tonight’s incident had given her a golden promotion opportunity.
For the Holy House, could there be any more eye-catching promotion than spreading the stories like ‘young Great Master’s a new work made out of rage’, ‘the forever-popular beauty poem and Hua Xiangrong poem’, and ‘startling murders, guiders of two academies reaped what they sowed’?
If she did it right, the Holy House would totally outshine the other competitors and become the top one popular branch of the Musical House on the Fragrance Alley.
And Hua Xiangrong would surely be hopeful of contending for the Number One Beauty in Chang’an.
Her chances were good with the two poems that young master made here.
However, at this moment, Hua Xiangrong took no notice of what the others were talking about, because her mind just went blank.
“Turns out to be him!”
“Turns out to be him!”
“Turns out to be him!”
She could ponder over nothing but that thought.
Everything that happened tonight seemed rather surreal to her.
That young Great Master had an excellent aptitude for writing and martial arts. He rose to fame as fast as a shooting star moved. He disrupted the Dafeng chamber of commerce, beat the Heaven Sword Martial Club, and forced that old monster, Heaven-Sword Celestial Being, to come out. Then, he wrote down the Epigraph of My Shack that soon spread across the entire Chang’an…
He was the man of the year!
Personally, Hua Xiangrong was very curious about such a peerless outstanding figure.
She had little interest in martial arts, but that Epigraph of My Shack really won her heart. She had copied it on papers over and over again, and carefully contemplated the meaning between the lines. Also, she had depicted the appearance of such a legendary man in her fantasy. Just like any other girls, Hua Xiangrong had entertained a trace of hope and expectations of falling in love.
However, at that time, that famous Great Master was quite remote to her.
That kind of unconventionally talented figure must be the dream lover of many distinguished women and girls.
However, to her total surprise, soon she met him like this.
Gripping the jade pendant on her chest, she had many more questions coming up and quickly was lost in thoughts.
Her maid, Xin’er, clapped her hands over her mouth, hardly able to hide her joy.
She thought she had guessed wildly before, but she still failed to see the young man was actually Li Mu.
“It’s really unbelievable! That ordinary-looking young man in plain robe turned out to be such a hot figure! If so, Miss Hua has already found herself a reliable backup, hasn’t she? Now, we don’t need to worry about that matter, right?”
“But the thing is… to what degree does that young man love Miss Hua?”
At that thought, the little maid was laden with anxiety again.
“If I had known, I would not show it so distinctly that I want to kick him out when he was in Miss Hua’s room. I really should have let him stay in the room for more time. Even if he hoped to spend, spend the night here, it was not completely off the table. Anyway, if Miss Hua could marry such a great man, she would be able to get out of her misery.”
“Could he be mad with me?”
“Shoot, I sabotaged Miss Hua’s golden opportunity!”
The maid started to blame herself.
By then, a lot of those in the hall, especially the girls and the madames working for the Holy House, flickered envious looks at Hua Xiangrong.
“What a lucky girl!”
It had been years since such a man in headlines appeared in Chang’an. But he soon became the chosen guest to enter her private room and made two amazing poems for her. It was easy to know that in the coming days Hua Xiangrong’s fame would grow at an exponential rate.
Moreover, with such a strong and fierce man around her, who would dare to offend Hua Xiangrong?
Judging by the gesture of giving Hua Xiangrong a jade pendant as a gift before he left, Li Mu was quite serious about the relationship.
As the guests were murmuring, all of a sudden, an acid voice said, “Humph, I figure you all forget one thing. Li Mu has accepted the challenge of our Heaven Sword Celestial Being. He will only be alive for one more day tops. When the sun rises the day after tomorrow, the sword of Heaven Sword Celestial Being will hack his head off.”