Still, he did not want to hurry back.
Sitting cross-legged amid the Leaping Dragon Formation that was shut down for the moment, Li Mu began to review the gains of this secret practice. Bit by bit, all the energy settled down and transformed into real combat ability.
When he took a look inside his body, he made one more discovery.
That wisp of Natural qi, which was as thin as a hair before, now made about 10 of its original width. It seemed that as he practiced the fourth style of the Zhenwu Boxing, the Grasping the Bird’s Tail, his internal qi and Natural qi also circulated automatically inside him and were nurtured and enhanced as well.
“At this rate, in one year tops, I can refine all my internal qi into Natural qi and enter the Celestial Being Realm.”
Li Mu felt more and more confident about his future.
In comparison with yesterday, today his strength had grown by leaps and bounds. If other people knew he had become even more powerful, they would probably be scared out of their wits. With his renewed strength, Li Mu was sure that if he ever encountered an opponent like the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being who suddenly reached the Natural Realm the other day during their duel, he could kill the opponent like chaff instead of wasting a long time to tussle with him.
Another two hours flew by.
“It’s time to go back.”
Li Mu left the military cemetery.
“I’ve been gone for one day and one night. Hua Xiangrong must be worrying about me.”
“Miss Hua, please come with us anyway.”
A young man in flying fish clothing (a uniform for imperial guards with patterns of a python with fins and a fishtail) was standing in front of Hua Xiangrong. The business-like look he cast at the girl was commingled with a hint of ill-disguised lust, because it really took him by surprise that the Hua Xiangrong from the Holy House was so beautiful that her beauty was beyond his imagination.
Xin’er, the maid, had tightly grasped Hua Xiangrong’s hand.
Beside them, Bai Xuan forced a fawning smile and said, “Your Honor, Hua’er did know Young Master Li Mu, but she had no clue on his whereabouts. Nor could she be his accomplice or anything. As you know, our Holy House is a business place. Anyone here is our customer. And Li Mu is merely a customer of Hua’er. So, I think you may have gotten it all wrong, haven’t you?”
But that young man in flying fish clothing laughed coldly. Then, he snapped, “Everyone in the city of Chang’an knows that recently Li Mu has spent all nights at Miss Hua’s place. He favors Miss Hua only. I never say Miss Hua is surely his accomplice, but she has to go to the government with me and accept our investigation. I believe when Li Mu learns that Miss Hua is at the Supervisory Department, he will go there to turn himself in on his own accord.”
“How can you take her away now?” Bai Xuan said anxiously, “Hua’er needs to participate in the Top Beauty Competition that will take place the day after tomorrow…”
“Humph, what Top Beauty Competition? Is it more important than the laws and regulations of the empire?” demanded the young man, whose expression hardened at once. “Who dares to stop the Supervisory Department following a case? Madam Bai Xuan, I know you do have some influence in Chang’an. Nevertheless, I suggest you staying out of this case, which is none of your business in the first place. This case is supervised by Routing Supervisor Lu, who has been sent directly from the headquarters of the Supervisory Department in Qin City. Thus, it is not something you can meddle in.”
Bai Xuan was now so edgy that sweat began beading on her forehead. But if the young man was truly determined to take Hua Xiangrong away, she did have no guts to stop him.
After all, everyone would turn pale at the names of those working in the Supervisory Department. They were more fearful than the officials in the administrative government. Rumors had it that the prison in the Supervisory Department was not better than the Shura Hell. Even men with willpower strong as iron would yield and beg for their mercy once they were jailed. Innumerable great figures that had once overrun the whole world completely vanished from the mortal world after they were arrested by the Supervisory Department.
“Where on earth did Li Mu go? It’s been a whole day and a whole night since we last saw him. Did he really flee away without facing his conviction?”
“If so, he has really left Hua’er in a dreadful situation!”
Bai Xuan’s heart was torn with anxiety.
However, what everyone did not expect was that Hua Xiangrong, a concerned person in this case, looked quite composed at this moment. She shook her head softly and said in a bland but as-a-matter-of-fact tone, “I won’t go anywhere until Brother Mu comes back. If I go with you, when he returns and can’t find me, he will get worried.”
The young man was taken aback by her remark. He never knew a popular prostitute in a brothel could still stay calm when hearing the title of the Supervisory Department. But he soon smiled, then, threatened, “I’m afraid this is not up to you to decide.”
Routing Supervisor Lu had made it clear to everyone that he was going to take Li Mu down. Since this Natural Expert had no strong backing, the Supervisory Department had no fear of him no matter how genius he was. There were already some Natural Experts who died in the prison of the Supervisory Department in the past few years. Accordingly, capturing a prostitute who had wound up in the Musical House by force was far less challenging. Adding that Hua Xiangrong’s beauty was so stunning, so beyond his wildest dream, the greed and desire burning inside the young man spurred him to make the decision that he would take the girl to the Supervisory Department no matter what. And once she was landed in jail, this drop-dead gorgeous woman would be totally at his mercy.
“Do not push me into this!” Hua Xiangrong took a step forward and shielded her maid, Xin’er, behind her back.
She looked resolute to resist. Her eyes were already flashing signals of a desperate fight.
After practicing the simplified Xiantian Skill, Hua Xiangrong’s spiritual force and intuition became incredibly sharp. She had easily picked up that vicious, scorching desire of having her by force in the eyes of that young officer of the Supervisory Department. Plainly, there would be no return once she was really thrown into the prison of the Supervisory Department. She could already picture the horrible things that would happen to her without much thinking.
But her heart, her body, her chastity, and everything she had belonged to her Brother Mu.
If the man simply had to bring her back, she would fight him. Even if she might get killed, she was willing to because she would turn into a ghost belonging to her Brother Mu all the same.
She was determined that in her lifetime, she would not allow anyone else to see her dance or her body.
“Oh?” The young officer was a little astounded. But soon he broke into a roar of laughter. “Haha, want to resist me? You’re merely a hooker. How can you fight me off? Haha, don’t humiliate yourself, girl. Otherwise, when you arrive in the prison of the Supervisory Department, you’ll find 72 terrible ways of tormenting people waiting for you. When that time comes, haha…”
But before his words faded, his cold laughter stopped abruptly.
Because a wave of fierce energy fluctuation of warlock magic surged up in the room.
Hua Xiangrong gently lifted a hand. On her delicate hand as of carved out of a perfect jade was a shining electric ball that was issuing sparks of purple lightning. Slowly, it swelled up. That bursting electric sparks and the vague but quite vigorous fluctuation of magic power all advertised the frightening destructive power inside that electric ball.
“A six-star warlock?”
“No, she is even stronger than that!”
The young man in flying fish clothing gawked at Hua Xiangrong with rounded eyes and wide opened mouth, unable to believe what he saw.
The intelligence the Supervisory Department had obtained never mentioned that the most popular girl in the Holy House was also a powerful warlock who had surpassed the six-star level.
Standing next to them, Bai Xuan went dumbstruck as well.
“This… can’t be!”
The Hua Xiangrong she knew was an absolute powerless woman who had never tapped into the magic arts. But now how could she be… Well, although Bai Xuan had no idea what kind of warlock level the shining electric ball in Hua Xiangrong’s hand represented, from the look of that young officer in flying fish clothing and the sudden suffocating pressure that gripped the whole room, it was obvious that Hua Xiangrong’s supernatural power was definitely not at the beginner phase.
“When did she get to learn this?” Wondered Bai Xuan.
“Hua Xiangrong can’t have been hiding her power all along, because she is never that crafty.”
“So the only plausible explanation is… this is something Li Mu taught her?”
“He has turned this weak, delicate, and sweet Hua Xiangrong into a warlock who is even intimidating to an expert from the Supervisory Department within such a short span?”
“Isn’t that Li Mu an incarnation of God or what?”
Bai Xuan felt this was too much for her to take in.
“You…” Ranted the young man in flying fish clothing, who was now pretending to be menacing but was inwardly shaky. “How dare you resist the arrest? Do you know what consequences your act entails? Your whole family will be destroyed! I’m telling you, going against the Supervisory Department is basically suicide.”
“My family has already been destroyed.” Hua Xiangrong’s mind was all the more clear and unshakable at the moment. Looking totally calm and steadfast, she said, “No matter what happens, I won’t go with you. If I have to, that can only happen until Brother Mu comes back. Only if he approves will I let you take me away.”
The young man in flying fish clothing now looked so sullen that his face was contorted.
He was, needless to say, an expert in martial arts. His cultivation had reached the peak of the Master Realm. Given his young age, such cultivation was quite impressive. Thus, he could sense the formidable power of Hua Xiangrong’s lightning skill. He knew he would be crushed once the energy in that electric ball broke out.
“Really? Oh, right, your Shangguan family has almost died out. But I want to remind you, if you strike, your maid, and this Madam Bai, as well as everyone you know in this Holy House, will die with you.” Insidious enough, the young man immediately pressed upon the sore spot of Hua Xiangrong’s character. Then, he sneered and said, “Do you want so many people to die for nothing but your selfishness?”
Hua Xiangrong’s eyes instantly revealed a trace of hesitation.
But the eyes of the young man in flying fish clothing flashed dangerously.
“This is it!”
He leaped forward with an outstretched hand. With the obscureness of a gliding ghost, he approached Hua Xiangrong in a trice and stuck a finger at the spot between her brows.
He was experienced in dealing with warlocks. All he needed was to get close to them and knock them into a coma, then, all their magic would disperse at once.
“Ah…” Xin’er screamed in terror, “Miss Hua, look out!”
However, before those words died away, the scene suddenly froze, and every movement turned stationary.
The finger of that young man in flying fish clothing was only a centimeter away from the spot between Hua Xiangrong’s brows. However, a transparent light cover that was as thin as a sheet of paper had blocked that finger out. Then, with the young man’s terrified stare, that transparent light cover bulged up and pushed his finger backward inch by inch.
The young man was flung up to the air. He flew across the room before clashing with the tea tables at the back.
A trace of shock flitted across Hua Xiangrong’s face, but in no time, her expression became normal again.
This was her first battle.
Although her Brother Mu had told her repeatedly that the precondition for a warlock to fight was to protect his or her relatively weak body by never allowing the opponent to get near. But she was astonished that this time her opponent still almost stole on her.
Fortunately, she came to her senses at the last second and instantaneously launched the defensive Taoist magic arts, Eternal Glazed Lamp. That’s how she narrowly blocked the young man’s sneak attack.
The young man, however, bounced up from the mess right away. With seething fury written in his face, he roared, “You dare to attack me? You down-trodden whore, you’ve triggered off a terrible disaster! No one in this world or heaven or hell can save you now…” He actually flew into a rage due to humiliation. In truth, he was in utter shock, because such instantaneous defensive Magic Art was not something a six-star warlock could perform.
Hua Xiangrong’s strength had appalled him.
“Oh really? But I figure the one who can’t be saved by anyone is you.” At the very moment, a voice suddenly broke in from the outside.