“You should beat my magic?” Flame Elder quickly recovered from the shock and bellowed in a way he believed was quite threatening, “Monster, today I will make you show your cloven foot!”
He stuck the wand at his side and rolled up the sleeves, thoroughly losing the demeanor of an old immortal he displayed before. Now, exasperated, he fished out a large mirror framed by gold and silver from his pocket. The mirror was divided into five parts, on one of which the fire mark was shining. He held that part in his palm, compelled his spiritual force to pour directly into the part of the mirror framed by gold and silver with the fire mark. In a trice, dazzling light shot out from that part.
The temperature in the vicinity soared up at once.
The four experts of the Musical House felt every inch of their body was burningly hot as if they were in a furnace. Even their hair curled like withered leaves under scorching sunlight.
Liu Chenglong, too, felt like he was surrounded flames and could not bear the heat. He hurriedly practiced his cultivation method to resist and backed off, keeping a distance of a dozen meters from Flame Elder. He saw that within the radius of five meters from where Flame Elder was standing, dead twigs began to smoke. It did seem to be a zone of fire.
“This is what Flame Elder is really capable of! His scary heating Magic Art…” Liu Chenglong exclaimed inwardly.
This Flame Elder was a rogue cultivator in the Natural Realm living in Chang’an. He surely had an unusual high standing.
Generally, it was very rare and difficult for rogue cultivators to be a Natural Expert. The ones who made it either was highly gifted or extremely lucky. Nevertheless, if they longed for more breakthroughs, they might be disappointed by the result of their trying, unless they had sects or other institutions come to their aid. For that reason, when Liu Chenglong subtly demonstrated the relation between him and the second prince, Flame Elder immediately took his offer and agreed to word for the second prince.
Today, it was Flame Elder who asked to arrest Hua Xiangrong, because he was eager to obtain some credits.
The previous three magic strikes he staged all ended weakly. Although those strikes seemed incredibly powerful, they failed to even let him cross through the door to meet Hua Xiangrong. That was kind of a feeble display of his power. But once the mirror framed by gold and silver came out, the effect was amazing, which proved that he did live up to his reputation as ‘a rogue cultivator in the Natural Realm’.
“Monster, no matter what you are, now that you dare possess other human’s body and lurk in Chang’an, you shall be spirited away! Since Li Mu colludes with you evil beast, he is certainly not a good person. Anyone who encounters him shall kill him!” Yelled Flame Elder.
After activating the mirror framed by gold and silver, his confidence was boosted tremendously. He was even under the impression that he already had no match in the world. As his spiritual force circulated in order, he was almost powerful like a deity. Then, the spiritual force drove the mirror framed by gold and silver to the utmost, and strange purple flames squirted out, shooting straight at Room No. 18.
At this precise moment, a voiced sounded.
“Oh? It’s a low-grade Taoist instrument?”
The moment that voice rang, Flame Elder felt the weight impose upon his hand lessened, and then, the mirror framed by gold and silver was nowhere to be seen.
When he took another look, he saw a tall and lean figure wearing a silver smiley-ghost mask was already at the doorway of Room No. 18. The thing he was grabbing was exactly his mirror framed by gold and silver, and the mysterious man was studying it with an amazed look.
“Who… Who are you? Give my precious mirror back to me!” Flame Elder hastily hollered in alarm.
Liu Chenglong, however, suddenly turned pale and stammered, “Li Mu… You dare come back?”
He knew the man with the silver smiley-ghost mask was precisely Li Mu.
“Why I shouldn’t dare to come back?” Li Mu answered perfunctorily.
He did not look up at all but was still measuring the mirror framed by gold and silver in his hand, which he apparently regarded quite unique. He muttered to himself, “This is odd. How can this Taoist instrument be found in this world?” He could tell that this was an absolute real Taoist instrument that the old faker once described to him, a treasure that could not be created by the magic or alchemy popular in this world.
“Could it be that there is the real Taoist magic arts on this planet?”
Li Mu was puzzled.
Taoist magic arts and Magic Arts were totally two different conceptions. The former was the means developed by the immortals, while the latter was just an art, a shallow comprehension on the Way of the heaven and the earth that could only be called magic.
But a Taoist instrument could only be refined with Taoist magic arts.
For instance, the storage space and ‘bombs’ Li Mu refined were just an elementary manifestation of the Way. They were defective Taoist instruments, for they were incomplete. By contrast, this mirror framed by gold and silver that he snatched from the hand of Flame Elder was a complete Taoist instrument according to Li Mu’s judgment.
Even though it was merely a low-grade Taoist instrument, its power was already breath-taking.
Based on the old faker’s account, only when an expert had reached the Fully Accomplished Rank of the third level of the Xiantian Skill could he refine a complete low-grade Taoist instrument. And from what Li Mu had explored so far, an expert at that level could almost enter the Void-breaking Realm, couldn’t he?
“Where did you get this mirror?” Li Mu looked up and asked.
Anxious and vexed, Flame Elder snapped, “This is the heirloom of my family. Who are you? Give it to me!”
In fact, this mirror was a treasure that he once by chance looted from a Taoist in a deserted old temple. 120 years ago, that poor Taoist rescued Flame Elder by the road who was nearly starved to death. But unexpectedly, Flame Elder repaid the Taoist’s grace with a stab in his back. He then snatched up some gold, food and treasures in that temple, and the mirror was one of those loots.
Back then, he was just a frustrated scholar. When he obtained this mirror, he accidentally discovered that it contained some Magic Arts. He was wildly elated by this finding. Later, he studied the object on his own and started to practice Magic Arts. Step by step, he acquired his current cultivation after 120 years’ hard practicing.
“Heirloom?” Li Mu glanced at him and swiftly knew that the old thing was lying.
But Flame Elder had not yet given a decent play of one percent of the power in this mirror.
A moment ago, he barked that he was going to oppress Shangguan Yuting, and he also wrongly accused Li Mu of colluding with the evil. Adding that he had come here along with Liu Chenglong, Li Mu guessed that he was probably a henchman of the second prince. It was a waste of the treasure that it landed in this old man’s hand. Now that Li Mu had taken it, he saw no reason to return it.
“Merciful Buddha! Benefactor, its Karma that let me meet this object. Why not lend it to me for research for a few centuries… What do you say?” Said Li Mu shamelessly.
At his requirement, Flame Elder instantly lost his temper and showed his true colors. He directly threatened with a savage look and an imposing tone, “Li Mu, quickly return my precious mirror, or I’ll chop you into pieces and kill all that are close to you, kill all your family… Do you know what they call me? I am widely known as the…”
But Li Mu took no notice of him. He just turned around to gaze at Liu Chenglong and said, “Hey, you! You have threatened and picked on Yuting for several times. You should have been thanking the merciful Buddha right now for my not seeking revenge against you so far. But how dare you bring more helpers here… Well, it seems that you won’t behave if I don’t teach you a lesson.”
“What are you up to…” Liu Chenglong sensed that this was not a good omen. He immediately launched his cultivation method and beat a retreat as fast as a hurricane.
Yet, his strength was just at the peak of the Master Realm, which was way bellow Li Mu’s.
Li Mu flipped his palm and grabbed the thin air. His Natural internal qi speedily condensed and materialized into a Chinese broadsword wrapped in ripples of energy. He did a slash casually, and the Chinese broadsword qi raced forward like a flash of lightning. The next second, it ripped the void open as easily as cutting butter with a hot knife, parted the hot air, then disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Liu Chenglong was too slow to escape. All of a sudden, his left arm detached wholely from his shoulder.
“Ow! You…” His face screwed up against the pain. He picked up the broken arm with his right hand, pressed it back to the left shoulder, spun around and took flight by breaking into a run. As he fled, he snarled back, “When His Highness tracks down the remaining evil of the Tang family, it is the end of your life! Li Mu, you can by no means get out of Chang’an alive!”
In an instant, Liu Chenglong galloped out of Li Mu’s reach.
As a smart guy, he was well aware of Li Mu’s unscrupulous style. He knew if he lingered one more second, he was in real peril. Thus, without much thinking, he chose to flee first.
But upon hearing his last threat, Li Mu felt his heart thumped faster.
“The second prince is after Mrs. Tang and her family?”
“They are just a widow and two fatherless girls. Why does the potent second prince insist to hunt them down?”
“This is not normal!”
“I wonder what follow-up plan Wang Chen has and whether he and the others can escape unscathed.”
As Li Mu pondered those matters, he looked over his shoulder to stare at Flame Elder. Then, he said, “So where are we before Lu Chenglong screwed off? Right, you were saying you would kill all my family, weren’t you?”
Flame Elder’s expression changed drastically.
He just witnessed Liu Chenglong, the trusted crone of the second prince, got an arm chopped off, so he could not help but think what Li Mu could do to him… Then, he recalled all the mad things Li Mu had done in Chang’an in the past few weeks as well as the murder of the prince of Lord Zhenxi… After his sanity took over his impulse, he rapidly calmed down.
“Er, Master Li must have misheard it. I never said such things… Now that you are so fond of this mirror, I don’t mind lending it to you. When you’re done with it, you can return it to me then.” Although his heart was almost bleeding, he dared not argue for his rights. After all, this mirror was a ting he robbed the Taoist of, and he had already unearthed all the secrets in it. Aside from keeping it as a weapon, it served no special uses to him. Therefore, despite his reluctance, he still chose to give it up.
After saying that, Flame Elder turned around and left.
“Thanks!” Li Mu waved him goodbye against the moonlight and yelled, “If you discover more nice instruments, feel free to gift them to me!”
At his remark, Flame Elder who was riding the wind with Magic Arts to escape stumbled and nearly fell from the air 10 meters over the earth.
“What a generous man!” Li Mu commented.
Shangguan Yuting and Xin’er pushed the door open and came to the corridor.
Xin’er, still a little staggered, said, “Young Master, you’re finally back. The men who came here were so ferocious!”
Li Mu laughed, “Never mind them. They were just the postmen.”
“Postmen?” Shangguan Yuting asked, totally confounded, “What’s that?”
“It’s… Hmm, just delivery the things kindly to me and don’t charge me.” Li Mu swung the mirror framed by gold and silver in his hand and explained, “Look, this is a very interesting mirror. It might later give many people a jump.” As he studied it a moment ago, Li Mu already grasped some secrets of this mirror. He reckoned it ought to be a Fa-Seal Mirror of Five Elements, which can draw the power of the five elements to attack the opponent. It was able to massively enhance the effect of the performer’s Taoist magic arts.
Li Mu then examined the patterns on the frame with his spiritual force and felt it by his heart. Shortly, a smile of pleasant surprised appeared on his features.
“It is more impeccable than I imagined.”
“This is not a mirror at all but a Five Elements Sky-flipping Seal!”
“This seal contains the patterns of the five elements that can transform the natural power into the ways of the five elements. When confronting the enemy, the effect of its wonderful power all depends on the heart. This is one of the best among the low-grade Taoist instruments, which is both an offensive and defensive weapon.”
Li Mu neatly erased Flame Elder’s spirit remnant in this seal and then pumped in his spiritual force to start trying to manipulate this Taoist instrument.
The Taoist seal began to change. As if it suddenly sprang to life, it took another shape.