Chapter 216: A Martial Arts Fanatic
“How distinctive that girl is!” After hearing Liu Chenglong’s report, the second prince’s excessively handsome revealed a hint of a smile. He appeared to be totally fine with Hua Xiangrong’s rejection.
Powerful and dignified as he was, when he was truly tempted by someone or something out of the blue, his tolerance would be brought to a level high as never before.
Liu Chenglong, nevertheless, looked perturbed all the same.
He had failed to keep the little Musical House under perfect control, so how could he continue to believe he was eligible to help His Highness with his great mission?
“When tonight’s event is over, I’ll pick her up by myself,” The second prince said consolingly, “It’s okay, Chenglong, you don’t have to be so harsh on yourself for such trivial… Go and prepare for that thing. It’ll be most satisfying if you can draw a snake out of its hole, catch all the rebels in one action and arrest that man. That’s the ultimate aim of this trip to Chang’an.”
Liu Chenglong’s face turned solemn and he answered, “Yes, I see. Don’t worry, Your Highness.”
Then, he wheeled around and headed out.
Not until he stepped out of the room did Liu Chenglong breathe a sigh of relief.
He scuttled out of the Moon-hugging House. But as he passed the number one private room named with ‘earth’ on the opposite side of the second floor, he suddenly heard an absurd voice fluttering out from that room. The intonation was quite weird. It sounded like some other language he had not heard of. It was not the language of the Qin people but the ethnic groups living on the vast pasture.
“What are the men from ethnic groups doing here?”
Alerted, he made to approach that room to take a look inside.
But just at this point, the door of that room suddenly swung open, and a young man in luxurious clothing who seemed from a wealthy family strutted across it.
At that moment, Liu Chenglong caught a glimpse of the other three or four young men in the room. Wearing silk robes and expensive accessories, which blatantly marked their enormous fortune, they were all talking animatedly about something. Next to those young men stood two brawny men from the pasture, who dressed like servants of a certain family in the Qin Empire. Judging by the respectful posture they maintained by the side, the two were salves.
At the sight of this, Liu Chenglong relaxed at once.
It was not uncommon for young men from rich families to tame some barbaric pasture residents and turn them into their guards or slaves. And after tonight’s Top Beauty Competition, there was an auction of the female slaves from the pasture. Many young masters of the well-off were eyeing the auction items covetously and already picked a few they would bid for and then take home. Thus, it made sense that they brought several pasture slaves here as their translators.
“Turns out that they are just some debauch young masters.”
Liu Chenglong drove his doubts away with a laugh and then swirled around and left the Moon-hugging House.
The instant he took off, the atmosphere in the number one private room named with ‘earth’ altered all of a sudden.
One of the four young men immediately withdraw the big smile no his face, and the rest of the three also sighed with relief. The two pasture men also straightened up and stood bolt upright like two well-cut sculptures, the pretended humbleness nowhere to be seen. In the blink of an eye, they had turned from slaves into intrepid pasture warriors.
“Phew! I think we pulled the trick off. The man who went passed just now is Liu Chenglong, the manager of the Musical House. He is a henchman of that guy and very wily. We shall never underestimate him,” said a young man with fair skin and genial features, whose eyes were flashing a hint of caution.
“Yeah, we’ve pulled it off.” Another young man wearing a ton of gold bracelets and jade pendants from head to foot smiled. “Never mind, we’re here to buy some woman, not taking them away by force, so we don’t need to be so alarmed by those from the Musical House. What we do need to consider is how to tackle the stationing army in the city in case we fail.”
“Anyway, this time it’s all thanks to the generous assistance Young Master Guo provided,” said the young man with genial features.
He was, of course, the Army Advisor of those pasture men on the mission of sneaking into the Chang’an City and rescuing the pasture Martial Goddess and the other girls.
The young man, who was sporting loads of gold and jade accessories, was actually the young master of the Western Qin Empire division of the top chamber of commerce on the Divine Land, whose name was Guo Zhihui. He dressed like an overnight millionaire, as if he worried others might not know he was rich. He had rather mediocre features, and his round face gave him an air of kindness and benignity. In general, his appearance was so bland that you might not be able to locate him if he was blended into a crowd. But his eyes were large, sparkling, and pitch-black, like two bottomless dark lakes.
It was he who threw in 10,000 flower baskets as the reward for Hua Xiangrong without a blink a while ago.
“Don’t mention it. I’m the god of all pretty flowers. How can I just stand and watch all those beautiful girls be reduced to other men’s toys?” Flinging his gilded nine-fold fan, Guo Zhihui wagged his head and said, “I’m resolved to take the protection of flowers as the aim of my life. I won’t allow any fairy-like girl to be driven to prostitution. Hahaha!”
The pasture Army Advisor gave a wry laugh but did not make any reply.
This young master was an unrestrained and frank man. He scattered his gold around as though it were dust and attached great importance on brotherhood. But he seemed a little deranged and often came up with some startling remarks. Although he liked pursuing pretty girls, he claimed to be lustful but not lascivious. He even gave himself the title ‘god of flowers’, for he always wanted to chase after beautiful women once he set eyes upon them. What a quirky talent he was!
“When the auction gets rolling in a moment, it’s all up to you, Young Master. As to all the expenses you paid tonight, when my General goes back to the pasture, we will certainly find a way to repay you.” The pasture Army Advisor promised him as he cupped his fists in respect.
Guo Zhihui broke out laughing before saying, “Brother Fang, I assure you I’ll do all I can.”
In a private room of the Fairy House…
Li Mu slowly opened his eyes.
He did not let go of the practice opportunity when watching Hua Xiangrong’s performance a moment ago. As Hua Xiangrong dedicated all her emotions in the dance, the Taoist Sense of her Taoist Figure flowed wildly under the moon. It propelled the Xiantian Skill inside Li Mu to activate and operate of its own accord and brought him into an inscrutable state, same as what it felt like when he saw Hua Xiangrong dance the first time. Certainly, this practice had had the best effect.
His spiritual force was once again enhanced.
Now, he was only an inch away from accomplishing the first level of the Xiantian Skill. All he needed was the last turning point.
Li Mu had sensed some new changes in his Third Eye.
An idea struck him. He quickly opened his Third Eye and looked at the outside. With a scan of the Third Eye, all the people in and out of the Liufang Street of the Musical House had taken the form of energy lumps in Li Mu’s eyes. Their strength level, lifespan, and stock of vigor were all presented to Li Mu.
The Third Eye could detect one’s vital force at a glance. That was one of its many wonderful functions.
Li Mu had discovered this function for quite a while.
But before, he could not see in such a length and width but only within a radius of several hundred meters. Now, as his strength grew, the power of his Third Eye also increased. It could already see through walls, tiles, and other physical objects as well as observe people behind him.
The brighter the energy lump was, the stronger his or her power was.
Some of the energy lumps Li Mu saw were towering beams of light like surging beacon-fire smoke. That was the energy only an expert in the Master Realm could have.
There were other figures whose energy lumps were shining brightly like the sun. They almost outshone all the light issued by the others around them. Even those experts in the Master Realm were shadowed by them. It looked rather inconceivable.
“They must be experts in the Natural Realm… Em? Seems that tonight there are too many Natural Experts wandering on Liufang Street.”
Li Mu was amazed as he observed the landscape.
At this precise moment, he took a glimpse at the Moon-hugging House a hundred meters away. He was staggered to see a dazzling energy lump that was shining like a huge sun. At first glance, Li Mu almost thought a flash-bomb had exploded before his eyes and what he saw was nothing but a blur of whiteness. A stab of pain also surged up between his brows.
He hurriedly closed his Third Eye.
“What is it?”
Li Mu was in shock.
“Is there a horrible expert lurking in the Moon-hugging House?”
“Perhaps this is really an eventful night.”
This Musical House’s Liufang Street was merely a few kilometers long, but now more than twenty Natural Experts, and several hundred Masters had gathered here, not to mention that mysterious man in the Moon-hugging House. Moreover, at a certain distant place where Li Mu’s Third Eye just swept by, he kind of caught sight of some troops on-call…
“Is something going on tonight?”
Li Mu had smelled the dim eerie aura in the air.
“Are they coming at me?”
“They shouldn’t be.”
As he was absorbed in his thoughts, all of a sudden, someone knocked on his door.
Li Mu looked over his shoulder to stare at Zheng Cunjian, but the latter seemed surprised, too. Plainly, the visitor was not someone he summoned here.
Zheng Cunjian left the room to hail that visitor. A moment later, he came in again and asked, “Young Master, a Mr. Wang is waiting outside. He claims to be your old friend and he says he has a very significant issue to discuss with you, so please let him in.”
“Bring him in.” Li Mu knew who the visitor was already.
Because he sensed the aura at the other side of the door.
When the door opened, a middle-aged warlock in cyan walked in. He was Wang Chen, the Wind Gentleman who had fought the flood dragon on the other day by the deep pool of the Nine-dragons Fall in the mountains at the back of the Taibai government organ.
It came as a complete surprise to Li Mu that he had also come to the city of Chang’an.
“Young Master Li, I’m glad we met again.” Wang Chen made a bow with hands folded in the front and greeted Li Mu with a cordial smile.
Li Mu neither liked nor disliked this man. The reason he let him in was that he wanted to know what the significant issue Wang Chen alluded was.
“Mr. Wang, please take a seat,” said Li Mu with a serene expression.
Wang Chen sat down, grabbed a teacup in front of him and drained it before saying with a bitter smile, “Young Master, you are surely a busy man, always moving around with great elusiveness. I’ve searched for you many times but either got the door shut in my face or returned to my place without a clue. Tonight, finally, I meet you in person.”
Li Mu asked, “So can you inform me what did you try to locate me for?”
Wang Chen smiled and opened his mouth to speak.
Li Mu, however, abruptly waved at him and said, “If Mr. Wang still hopes to persuade me into working for that Her Highness you referred to, you can save your speech.”
“Well, Young Master Li, you’re really straightforward.” Wang Chen forced a laugh and began, “A couple of days ago I was startled when I heard people in Chang’an discuss that you have refused the offer of the current second prince three times. Since you already turned down the second prince, the future crown prince, you have made it clear to me that it’s probably futile to talk you into serving for Her Highness… But what baffles me is why you rejected the second prince? It can’t be that the terms he gives you are not satisfying enough for you, can it?”
Li Mu gave him a mild smile and said, “I can acquire the things I desire by myself. I don’t need anyone else’s offering or rewarding… Plus, the only thing that appeals to me is the martial art. As long as I have my Chinese broadsword, I feel like I own the whole world.”
“It turns out that he is a martial arts fanatic.”
“How did this martial arts fanatic become the youngest champion in the literature imperial exams of the empire who is so knowledgeable in poetry?”
Wang Chen nodded. He understood the mind of those geniuses who were always treading on the borderlines between sanity and madness.
“The purpose of me visiting you tonight is that I wish you can help Her Highness once.” Wang Chen cut to the chase.