With a series of clanks, the green rust crusted the mirror framed by gold and silver and the blots that came into being during its long history as well as the gold and silver threads bounded the mirror all peeled off and fell to the floor.
Meanwhile, layers of Taoist patterns started to tinkle and swirl.
The external form of the mirror changed magnificently.
Eventually, surrounded by the Taoist patterns, the mirror turned into a pentagon seal in five colors. Each of the five angles was marked by one of the colors of gold, wood, water, fire, the earth five elements, which were silver, cyan, blue, red, and yellow respectively. And each of the five divisions was the size of a grow-up palm. As the mirror glinted five divine colors, five streams of obscure but potent power fluctuated, which continuously reinforced and restrained one another. It could be indistinctly seen that they were contracting as well as raging inside the pentagon seal.
At this, a look of ecstasy appeared on Li Mu’s face.
“Haha, my misjudgment! This is no low-grade Taoist instrument but at least a classic medium-grade Taoist instrument!” He could not help but be breathless with excitement. Now, he was getting more and more incredulous. “I just discovered a real medium-grade Taoist instrument in this world. So, is it possible that at some secret place unknown to the masses the wondrous Taoist magic arts have survived and thrived?”
Li Mu let his spiritual force slowly merged with the Five Elements Sky-flipping Seal.
Being a medium-grade Taoist instrument, its power was staggeringly amazing, and the Taoist patterns engraved in it were also abundant and abstruse. Through Li Mu’s examination, there were at least ten thousand Taoist patterns in this object. What was more surprising was that though the Taoist patterns of the five elements were placed in the one seal, they did not repel one another but work together quite orderly…
“Fu*k, did I make another misjudgment? This thing can’t be a high-grade Taoist instrument, can it?”
Li Mu was a little dubious about it.
Anyway, the progress of merging and refining the Way of the seal went much slower than he assumed.
“Seems it will take me a load of time and energy.”
When he went back to Room No. 18, Li Mu wasted no time to launch the Xiantian Skill and start to focus on refining this seal.
And during the whole process, Shangguan Yuting guarded him by his side.
Since she was also practicing the Xiantian Skill and had experienced a boom of spiritual force, she naturally sensed that when Li Mu went ll out the strength of his spiritual force was as huge as the sea, which was numerous times stronger than hers. Still, in the eyes of Shangguan Yuting, it was nothing incredible, because she already knew her Brother Mu was invincible.
Xin’er, her maid, just watched all this with a hazy notion.
In her view, all she perceived was that the air around Li Mu seemed to have thickened and become sticky, as if he was wrapped in a transparent air swamp. As to that ancient seal gleaming five divine colors, it was floating over Li Mu’s head. Wisps of white mist were spilling out of Li Mu’s features and entwining the ancient seal, slowly seeping into it.
In fact, Li Mu’s spiritual force was almost substantialized.
Time ticked by.
Shangguan Yuting, who was now sharp with her senses, clearly heard the unified footsteps approaching Room No. 18. That was the sound of troops besieging the room. Perhaps the forces consisted of several thousand soldiers. By dint of her spiritual force, she also learned that except for Room No. 18, all the other most distinguished rooms on the top floor that were built just for the auction had been removed. At the moment, Room No. 18 was like an islet surrounded by the surging waves constituted by black-armored soldiers.
However, those troops seemed merely intend to besiege them instead of attacking them.
Thus, Shangguan Yuting was not flustered at all.
As long as she was with Li Mu, she was never worried.
Two whole hours later.
The swamp of the spiritual force around Li Mu finally began to disperse.
Wisps of substantialized spiritual force mist also retreated to Li Mu’s features.
He slowly opened his eyes and lifted a hand. In that instant, the seal sparkling five divine colors withdrew its radiance and turned simple and unadorned. The metal-like coarse-textured grains on its surface, which looked quite ordinary, fell to Li Mu’s hands and started spinning swiftly like elves who were unwilling to leave Li Mu.
“What a treasure!”
When he finally finished all the refining, Li Mu unmistakably detected the formidable Taoist power in this seemingly ordinary pentagon seal. He felt that the power it contained was as large as the vast star clusters, and it appeared that there was a boundless universe inside it.
“With this treasure at hand, I can freely travel to any place in the world!”
Sensing the power of the Five Elements Sky-flipping Seal, Li Mu almost could not stifle the impulse of trying it out right away. But considering the potential sensation it might cause in Chang’an, he quickly extinguished that thought.
“I wonder from which place that Flame Elder obtained this seal. It certainly should not belong to this world. Probably, it has come here from another planet. When I have time, I do need to ask that old man about its story, and maybe I’ll make more discoveries as well!”
Li Mu was musing.
He himself was from another planet.
Now that the old faker was able to transport him to this planet, then, those powerful people in the universe could also send the younger generations here. Or else, some mighty ones in the universe had met with misfortune and wandered to this land… Anyway, Li Mu believed that he was not the only one who had traveled to this planet.
That made the whole thing a lot more interesting.
No matter what, with such a precious instrument at hand, Li Mu’s confidence shot to the sky. Now, even if his opponent was strong as those in the Celestial Being Realm, he believed he was able to put up a fight.
According to the old faker, the future leaders of the immortal sects in the universe could challenge men several levels higher than them with the help of the treasures granted by their sects. For immortals, Taoist instrument and fairy instruments were also a part of their combat ability. In some cases, by virtue of a peerless precious instrument, a small faction might also be towering in the forest of sects in the universe.
But, of course, the peerless treasure the faction had might also court disasters.
Li Mu had once considered the option of refining Taoist instruments by himself. But the refining knowledge he acquired from the old faker was not very systematic or complete. Although he had managed to refine the defective wares like the storage space and the disposable grenade, it was still rather challenging for him to produce any well-made Taoist instrument for the time being, even if it was just a low-grade one.
However, to his surprise, he had just got a hold of his first Taoist instrument by sheer luck.
“Let’s leave this place.”
Li Mu leaped to this feet, then, opened his mouth, and the Five Elements Sky-flipping Seal transformed into a ray of light and soared into his mouth.
Xin’er jumped in fright. She cried, “Young, Young Master… You ate it?”
Roaring with laughter, Li Mu said, “Yeah, it’s crispy, chicken-flavor. Do you feel like having a taste of it?”
With a bitter look, Xin’er objected, “Forget it. I’m afraid I’ll have a stomach ache if I take a bit.”
Li Mu then added, “Oh right, Ting’er, you can teach the mental cultivation method you are practicing to Xin’er bit by bit. In the future, you will expect Xin’er to be around all the time. If she doesn’t know any method, when you attain Fully Accomplished Rank in martial art and gain a lifespan of several thousand years, Xin’er might already be an old lady.”
“Eh? Is it okay?” Asked Shangguan Yuting, quite elated.
In truth, she had also thought about teaching Xin’er the method, but she was too timid to ask for Li Mu’s view. After all, she could tell that the Cultivation Method Li Mu imparted to her was extremely awesome and powerful. It must be the top-of-the-range method in the world. She knew she was incredibly blessed to be able to learn it. So, if she further asked Li Mu to give Xin’er the opportunity to study it, she would be too greedy, wouldn’t she?
Yet, Li Mu smiled tenderly, tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear, and answered, “You’re fantastic in every aspect except for one— you’re too polite with me.”
Xin’er, too, rejoiced and exclaimed, “Thank you, Young Master. When I get a hang of the Cultivation Method, I will do my best to protect Miss Hua.”
As they talked, the three of them walked out of the room.
Surely, the corridor was crammed with soldiers in black armors. Their unsheathed broadswords and spears had formed a forest of weapons, and the arrows were all fitted to the strings. Clearly, there was no way to get away.
Li Mu, however, did not bother to tangle with them. He swiftly seized Shangguan Yuting by the arm with one hand and grasped Xin’er by the collar with the other. Next, his figure flickered, and he turned into a flash of light and disappeared into the dark sky.
“Er…” The General of the security official in the west city opened his mouth to speak but eventually failed to utter the order of shooting arrows at the fleeing target.
He knew that it was no use to shoot arrows, for they had no odds to retain a matchless master in the Natural Realm.
“If I insist on chasing after them and vex this lawless Devil Li, this troop of 1,000 soldiers will probably be all killed by Li Mu, won’t they? After all, the force protecting the local government is way less tough compared with the wild field troops stationed out of the city. To deal with an expert like Li Mu, the main battle army is necessary.”
“I and my soldiers are just here on the order to besiege them. We don’t need to risk our lives to go after them.”
After returning to the Holy House and packing some personal articles and valuable objects, Li Mu brought the two girls away from the brothel straight away.
This time, Shangguan Yuting parted with the Holy House forever.
It was also a thorough parting with her previous life.
Once she left, she would go somewhere far away and might not have the opportunity to visit it again in the rest of her lifetime.
Even though Shangguan Yuting was glad that she could get out of the sea of misery, she still could not help shedding tears when she bid goodbye to Madam Bai Xuan and her girlfriends.
Through all these years, it was attributable to Madam Bai’s protection and her friends’ help that she preserved her chastity in this place full of randy men. The atmosphere in the Holy House was always much more relaxing and harmonious than other brothels set up by the Musical House. Thus, now that she had to leave here in haste, how could she not be overwhelmed by sentimental moods.
But she was also clear that since Li Mu had injured Liu Chenglong, the manager of the Musical House, and that second prince, as rumors had it, had a craving for her beauty, if the three of them remained in the Holy House, they would, in turn, cause more trouble. Therefore, they had better leave as soon as possible.
Watching Hua Xiangrong leave with Li Mu, those in the Holy House all felt a rush of emotions.
They knew that, since that moment, Hua Xiangrong’s fate would be a whole lot different from theirs.
Lucky dogs were few in the world. Yet, Hua Xiangrong was definitely the luckiest of them.
At last, the three of them arrived at the yard of the Shack in the Pig-Herding Alley.
The 17 innocent maidens Li Mu bought at the auction had all been sent here.
At the sight of Li Mu, the girls all came out to hail him in soft voices.
It seemed that after spending the past couple of hours they began to get close with each other. And their looked much perked up than they were being auctioned. Plainly, as they learned that their buyer was Li Mu, they appeared to have seen a shred of hope at the most desperate moment in life.
“Li Mu is a whiz in both poetry and martial arts. He is a prominent talent, a reputed man.”
“So, with him as our buyer, we will not be abused or humiliated, right?”
After greeting the girls, Li Mu left Shangguan Yuting to help them settle down.
Fortunately, the place had been extended before. The newly-built rooms on all the sides of the yard were almost adequate to house the girls. In a few days when he was down with the issues in the city of Chang’an, he would send them back to Taibai County, where they would live more comfortably.
Then, Li Mu summoned Zheng Cunjian to the study.
“The four gates of Chang’an are closed shut. The main force at the outside has also blockaded the city. It’s said that the second prince has given the command to arrest the remaining members of the Tang family, and his men have started searching from inside the city. According to my sources, Mrs. Tang and her two daughters, as well as their rescuers, have attempted to force their way through the city gate several times but failed at every try. It appears that they have suffered a great loss and are still hiding within the city.”
Zheng Cunjian broke the news to Li Mu.
“They failed to run away?”
Li Mu stiffened with astonishment.
“That ‘Her Highness’ Wang Chen supports can’t even manage that?”
“By now, they have not gotten out of the city. Well, they are really in deep trouble. If they can’t take advantage of the chaos and escape right now, when the government and the second prince realize what has really happened and join hands to besiege the city… Tut-tut, they will find it difficult to get away even if they sprouted wings.”