Chapter 141: Alliance
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
The sky was overcast with dark and grey clouds as raindrops fell across the vast land. A bolt of lightning flashed before the roar of the thunder could be heard. A group of treasure protecting escorts were travelling along the road. They looked forthright and their steps were light and casual. There were several people following the group of escorts. They wore thick woven raincoats, but had short sleeved undershirts within. Some of them carried weapons as well. These were the runners.
(TN : The job of these escorts was to escort and handle the treasure. The runners jobs was to ensure the safety of the treasures by adding numbers to the group. Also, in olden days, they were supposed to shout and make a racket, informing everyone that their group was crossing. Everyone was supposed to move out of the way.)
On the carriage was a black and yellow flag bearing the symbol of a galloping horse. This group of men belonged to the Celestial Horse Group. Although they were not the most powerful group, or had the most influence, most people on both sides of the law often gave them face and allowed them to proceed with their activities.
"Everyone, encountering such a heavy rain was unavoidable. We just have to move faster. I remember that there's an abandoned temple further up. Everyone can rest there and start a fire." An escort spoke up. All of a sudden, he heard the footsteps of a horse, and jumped in shock. Looking towards the direction of the sound, he could faintly make out the outline of a lone man perched atop a horse, riding fast towards them.
The escort then turned around and gave a hand signal. The runners then jumped into action, as they gathered around the escort.
As the horse approached, the escort looked up and realized that it was a young man. He then gave a sigh of relief, "It isn't them. It's a young master."
As soon as his words were uttered, the horse stopped in front of them. The young man seemed to be smiling, and yet his face was stern. The escort then knew something was not quite right. He held a hand up, "Forgive this humble subject, but what is my friend's magnanimous name?"
He then said, "If my friend lacks money to travel away from here, I have ten taels of silver for you."
This was in accordance with rules of the gangs and how they were supposed to handle an issue like this. Pei Zi Yun scoffed, "I am not here for that."
The lead escort then looked up at Pei Zi Yun and frowned, "Young master. We only have six thousand taels in banknotes. Could it be that in order to acquire this sum of money, you wish to make things difficult for more than ten of us?"
Hearing the words of this escort, Pei Zi Yun creased his brows, "Why do you think I'm here to rob? I will not do anything like that. It's just that I'm here to take someone from you. Please hand him over."
"Young master, we are only escorting these goods, and not protecting anyone. Who shall we hand over?" The escort's expression did not look too good as he spoke to Pei Zi Yun.
"Haha!" Pei Zi Yun laughed out maniacally. Seeing such a scene unfold, a young man beside the escort gave a displeased look, "You bastard thief, what are you laughing at?"
He then whipped out a dagger, "What's the use of speaking to such a person? If we were to hand over the man, our reputation would be finished. There's only one of him. Let's kill him."
As he spoke, he raised his dagger and charged straight at Pei Zi Yun.
"Cast the metal nets, trap him and kill him!" As soon as the young man charged forward, the escort's face turned to one of resignation. He knew that there was no way to prevent as escalation of conflict. He then instructed the rest of them fiercely. Several runners emerged from behind, they were holding onto a single huge net made out of chains. There were several spikes within the net as well.
"You've finally revealed your trickery? Aren't you supposed to be escorts and runners? It seems like you are just the remaining members of the Dagger Clan and several greedy escorts working together. Luckily I uncovered your trickery. To think you can pretend to be a group of escorts." Pei Zi Yun laughed hysterically. With the flash of his sword, the young man was stabbed effortlessly in his chest as he fell to the ground.
The escort then shouted out loudly, "Song'er!"
"Kill, kill this man. Hurry! Throw over the metal net." The escort shouted out angrily as he waved his hands. Two runners then threw the net in the direction of Pei Zi Yun. The net was huge, and anyone who got caught beneath the net would definitely be immobilized.
"Quicksand Technique!" Pei Zi Yun pointed and the ground beneath the pair of runners gave way, and the net drop to the ground.
Seeing a situation like this, the escort's face had a huge change, "Demon, you dare to use such sorcery. Let's attack together. Young master Wu, quick, escape. I shall block his path."
The escort turned around to shout. As soon as he was done, he raised his dagger and rushed forward.
Hearing these words, Pei Zi Yun laughed, "Escort, hand over Wu Chi and I won't hurt you. I have already killed all the households loyal to Meng Luo Gong. The only remaining house is Wu. You should know of what's been happening. Why do you have to die struggling?"
One of the escorts who was within the group of men dashed out towards Pei Zi Yun as a runner shouted, "Protect the young master!"
They all scrambled onto the road in a bid to obstruct Pei Zi Yun. Seeing the people that were running towards him, Pei Zi Yun shook his head, "Is there a need for this?"
"Demon, give me your life." The escort then sped towards Pei Zi Yun. With a single stroke of his sword, the escort fell to the ground, his chest had been stabbed and his internal organs were clearly damaged, as he was spurting out blood from his mouth. Several runners surrounded the fallen escort and shouted, "Master! Master! No! Don't die! Master!"
"I will not die!"
The scene in front of Pei Zi Yun then turned chaotic. Pei Zi Yun then leapt onto his horse, smiling, as he chased after his escaped target. After chasing for just a kilometer, he pulled the reins of the horse to a halt, "This isn't right. The man who escaped was wearing a mask. His built and age did not seem right as well. Furthermore those people allowed me to leave too easily. It's a trap."
At this point, back at the place where the group of people were, the escort gazed upon the face of the young master, "Young master, we've already deceived him. However, this trickery will not last for long. Our decoy has led him in the opposite direction, but he will discover the sham soon. Hurry run, young master. Do not let the demon find you."
"Chen Dou, your contributions to my Wu household, I shall always remember." Young master looked at Chen Dou as he sighed.
Young master Wu then climbed atop his horse and started dashing in the other direction. He could hear the footsteps of another horse fast approaching. The escorts then looked over and saw a man appearing.
"What a good plan to lure the tiger away from his prey. If there weren't so many flaws, I would have been deceived." Pei Zi Yun said coldly, as he drew his sword.
"Young master, run!" The escort shouted loudly.
"Ride!" The young master rode his horse away. Seeing the horse galloping away from them, the escort shouted, "For our young master, we have to block this man from advancing."
"Wu household is doomed. This isn't any of your business, why must you interfere? Most of you have wives and daughters to go back to. Think about it clearly." Pei Zi Yun eyed these bodyguards as he asked.
These bodyguards had initially thought of rushing at Pei Zi Yun. However, hearing the words uttered by him, they hesitated and stood still. Their young master Wu was still near, and they were afraid of being labelled as traitors. However, they did not move towards him.
"Die!" Seeing that Pei Zi Yun's short speech had broken the wills and courage of these men, the injured escort on the ground climbed back up, and stumbled across towards Pei Zi Yun, with his blade raised.
"Ride!" Pei Zi Yun spurred his horse on as he ran past the escort, taking his head off with a clean slash.
"Take revenge for master!" A face of anger was etched upon one of the warriors as he too, ran towards Pei Zi Yun. Pei Zi Yun had not sheathed his sword and flipped his sword over to his other hand and killed the runner on the spot.
He had shown mercy to the first escort, and thus did not kill him. At this point, he decided to end his life.
Seeing Pei Zi Yun spurring his horse onwards, the other guards did not obstruct him. When Pei Zi Yun passed them, he shouted, "If I were you, I would take that six thousand taels of silver and divide it. Anyway, the Wu house have no way of taking revenge against you."
Hearing these words, the guards eyed each other for a fraction of a second. Someone then shouted and all of them ran towards the carriage.
"You bunch of traitorous thieves, to have the audacity to bite the hand that fed you." Young master Wu, who was watching from afar, snarled as his eyes turned red in disbelief. He then used the whip to get the horse to start running again, hitting the horse cruelly.
Pei Zi Yun's horse flew like the wind as he caught up to Wu Chi before long.
Wu Chi was frantically trying to make his horse run faster. All of a sudden, he heard someone laughing. When he turned around to look, all he saw was a flash of white light, a reflection of the sword before his head flew into the air. Blood spurted out of his neck, dyeing the entire area a shade of red.
Pei Zi Yun then laughed out before sighing, "Only by killing every last one of them can I completely cripple his hold within this prefecture."
As soon as he finished speaking, Pei Zi Yun turned around to leave. He had killed all of Meng Luo Gong's men.
Pei Zi Yun walked back to an inn some distance away that he had booked earlier. Since he gave five silver taels for this accommodation, the owner of the inn had braved the rain to welcome him back and even ordered that a banquet be prepared for him.
Apart from chicken, duck and fish, there were other dishes that included vegetables and some seafood.
When he walked through the door he saw a young man waiting for him. Once the young man caught sight of Pei Zi Yun, he bowed, "Master Top Scorer, your humble subject is Shen Zhen. I've been waiting for a long time to finally meet you, and thank you for saving me!"
Shen Zhen had grown out a thick beard in order to conceal his identity and hide from the unrelentless pursuit of Meng Luo Gong. Now he was clean shaven and looked to be no older than twenty years old. He carried a serious and grave look on his face. Pei Zi Yun then nodded, "It's a small matter. Let's go in and speak. Coincidentally there's a banquet being prepared. Shall we speak over some wine?"
The both of them then walked in and saw a screen being placed for their privacy. All the various dishes had been served up. Their rice wine had also been heated up. Pei Zi Yun raised his wine up in invitation. Seeing that Shen Zhen still carried a heavy heart, and did not touch any of the food, Pei Zi Yun laughed, "Brother Shen, is it that the food is not suited to your taste?"
"How can that be. I used to like food like this. However, after being struck with the Thousand Silk Poison, indeed this poison is akin to spinning silk - unending, I've already taken the antidote and recuperated for half a month, and yet I am still unable to completely recover. My apologies for dampening master Top Scorer's mood."
He then bowed deeply, "Thank you Young Master for saving my life. If not for that, I would not have managed to regain control over my Dagger Clan. I've acquired this from my uncle, ten thousand taels of silver. This was his savings."
As he spoke, he pulled out a bundle of notes that came in a hundred taels each. He then pulled out a manual, "This is my house's fiercely guarded Eight Steps to Clarity Manual. Since Young Master wielded Dao arts during our last encounter, I'm sure this will bring you some benefit."
Pei Zi Yun raised a hand, as if he was about to accept it, but instead pushed it away, "Brother Shen, you think too little of me. I did not do any of these for money. The person supporting Meng Luo Gong and I have some conflict. The reason Meng Luo Gong tried to steal your authority and position was because of his influence and advises. After killing him I will continue seeking my revenge towards this person. As long as you don't blame me for killing your uncle, I shall be glad."
"As for this money and the manual, I do not dare to accept." Pei Zi Yun knew that he should not interfere with family affairs. He had seen too much of this in the original owner's life. Regardless of how chaotic a family might seem, even if they made enemies out of each other, once an outsider entered the conflict, everyone might turn against the outsider. Things could potentially get ugly.
Hearing these words, Shen Zhen's eyes gave a look of sorrow. He then replied, "This man killed my parents, and even did such a despicable thing to my sister. He and I have no relation with each other."
"As for this Xie Cheng Dong, he's the main reason for driving a wedge between my uncle's house and my house. I shall never forgive him." Shen Zhen said, his eyes turned red in anger.
When Pei Zi Yun heard this he heaved a sigh of relief deep down and he thought to himself, 'Indeed, no matter how hostile they might seem with each other, he still had feelings for his uncle. Thankfully I rescued his sister, if not we might not even be on good terms with each other.'
Pei Zi Yun paused for some time before speaking, "This Xie Cheng Dong is not an ordinary person. He's one of the future successors of the Dark Altar Sect. As of now, you are no match for him. If you wish to fight alongside me against him, you have to breakthrough the gates of heaven to even stand a chance."
"You and I have a deep hatred for this person. We can join forces and work together." As he spoke, he extended a hand out. Shen Zhen hesitated for a moment before taking his hand firmly. He then said, "In this world, calamities and tribulations are plenty. Master Top Scorer, please accept this money and manual to help you."
Hearing these words, Pei Zi Yun then stopped smiling, "Brother Shen, I'm not refusing out of modesty. I have no need for such items. Please do not insist. Rebuilding your Dagger Clan and Shen mansion would cost money. Please rest well and recuperate properly. Take all these back. If you insist again, I will turn angry."
Seeing Pei Zi Yun's insistence, Shen Zhen sighed, "You are indeed the same gentlemen who composed . I shall recuperate and recover. In future, if young master has any instructions for me, please ask away. This is a gift to you, please accept it."
Shen Zhen then handed a dagger to Pei Zi Yun. He then turned around to leave.
This person had formed an alliance with Pei Zi Yun. Realizing this, Pei Zi Yun beamed in happiness. At this point, he raised up the information interface, as the words appeared on his screen, "What? I haven't completed the mission?"