Chapter 142: Mission Incomplete
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
It was gradually getting late as strong wind blew through the cracks of the wall. It gave a cold and refreshing feeling when the wind brushed against his skin. Shen Zhen took a deep breath and look at the corner, from where a young lady had rushed out to greet her brother.
"Older Brother, what did the Young Master say?" The young lady asked as she gazed at him with anticipation.
Shen Zhen looked at his younger sister and forced a laugh, "Young Sister, Master Top Scorer did not accept the silver and the manual. It looks like we owe him a big favor."
Hearing these words, Shen Wan Lin paused to consider, "Indeed we do owe him a big favor. We've managed to defeat our enemies and avenged the deaths of our parents. We also regained control of our family's businesses and clan matters. This is a good thing and should be celebrated."
"Ai, it's just that the Zhang household will collaborate with the Meng house and plot to ruin us and take over our clan and businesses. Zhang Ping...." Shen Zhen spoke halfway and noticed that Shen Wan Lin's face turned cold, "Older Brother, please do not bring him up again. After doing such an evil thing to us, I have nothing to do with him anymore."
"Sister, after hearing you say this, I am relieved. I was worried that your heart would turn soft, and that you would forgive that asshole." Shen Zhen heaved a sigh of relief after getting her reassurances.
"Brother, do not mention him ever again." Shen Wan Lin's face bore a sorrowful look. Any woman who underwent such betrayal would inevitably feel a no small amount of despair and pain. Furthermore their love had taken such a drastic turn and was severed. The pain was intense.
"Fine, your older brother will always listen to you." Shen Zhen spoke before looking at her sister tenderly and sighing. With such a huge change in her life, and with her ruined reputation, who could she ever fall in love with again? Who would agree to spend the rest of his life with her?
Shen Zhen pondered for some time. He then noticed a lady bowing to someone at the inn, some distance away, "Master Top Scorer take care!"
As soon as she finished, she turned around to leave. Shen Zhen then started running after her. The both of them turned into an alley before disappearing into the night.
Within the inn, Pei Zi Yun was pacing up and down. He was staring dazedly into the fireplace. He was pondering, 'Why didn't the system indicate that my mission was completed? I've already weeded out and eliminated all of Xie Cheng Dong's roots within Ying Prefecture. Why hasn't the mission indicated completion?'
'Meng Luo Gong had been killed by me. I've killed all his henchmen. Every single one died to my sword.'
'Even if one or two shrimps manage to escape my net, it doesn't matter, as they are too insignificant.'
'Unless there's another huge piece within Ying Prefecture that I'm not aware of? No, that's highly unlikely.'
'As with the underworld, most of these information would be kept extremely confidential and secret. Until the matter had been blown over, and the war was won, would the secret piece be revealed and receive the treatment of a hero. A hidden piece main priority was to avoid blowing his cover.'
'Xie Cheng Dong's influence over Ying Prefecture had mostly been eliminated by me. How does this Plum Blossom judge the success criteria?'
The room wasn't big and Pei Zi Yun was fanning himself as he strolled about. His face was downcast and heavy. All of a sudden, an idea struck him and he paused in his tracks, 'Could it be the Shi Mu Zhong whom I encountered recently?'
With this idea in mind, Pei Zi Yun frowned. This man had showed up several times trying to kill him. Could it be that this man was deemed by the system to be the central piece of authority within Ying Prefecture? However, this Mister Shi was supposed to be a highly confidential undercover. 'How can I find and kill him?'
Pei Zi Yun thought as he touched the blade of the sword, 'It seems like I have to return to the sect once more, and borrow the information resources from the sect. Although it was difficult to conduct such research and yield conclusive results, I've already weeded out most of Xie Cheng Dong's men in Ying Prefecture, and thus the scope would be much smaller. Since Ying Prefecture was controlled by Free Cloud Sect, I can conduct a check.'
Pei Zi Yun had a rough outline of actions to execute within his head. He paused in his tracks once more and reaffirmed his conclusion and plans.
'Just like the Evergreen Daoist, Shen family's first generation of formulating their skills and techniques were groundbreaking. Using the dagger techniques to ascend the Dao meant that their Thirty Seven Techniques were extremely advanced.'
'Since the Shen family's fortune was much better than the Evergreen Daoists, they were able to use their authority and wisdom to pave a new way to thread along the Dao. With sons and grandsons to continue their legacy, the second generation then developed the Eight Steps of Clarity.'
'The third generation then managed to pick up where their father had left off and could use the Eight Steps of Clarity to open the gates of heaven. However, after becoming a Yin Master, they would be treading on unknown territory, and would not have much resources or experience, and hence couldn't be regarded as a sect.'
'This Eight Steps of Clarity Manual was not worth it for me to acquire. Besides, I've already learnt the Free Cloud Sect Dao arts. At this point, it was about me increasing in levels and not starting all over on another manual. If I were to learn the Eight Steps of Clarity, it would corrupt my foundation and deem it to be tainted.'
'Of course, the main reason was that it was not a Legacy. If it were, I might not have been able to restraint myself, and reject it. After all, a manual like this is extremely valuable and precious to someone who wants gain a deeper understanding of the Dao.'
After some time, Pei Zi Yun had finalized his thoughts. He then looked far out into the night rain and bore a smile on his face, "The poem I had composed for Ye Su'er, has spread far and wide as well, and everyone has heard about it."
It didn't matter that the sects have all heard of the poem, as words spread like wildfire to every corner of the world and the sects were not an exception. It seemed like Shen Zhen had some sort of connection with Ye Su'er, be in directly or indirectly. This seemed right as well. If he didn't have the support of any sect, even if he had the Eight Steps of Clarity manual, he would not manage to accomplish much.
He had attacked and killed Meng Luo Gong so suddenly that the man didn't even have time to react and defend himself. Killing Xie Cheng Dong's other men wouldn't be as easy. Xie Cheng Dong selected his men in a very predictable fashion. According to the original owner's memories, the people he chose had to be cunning, scheming, outspoken and intelligent. He had selected his men all at once, some time ago. Now that he had struck, they would've been warned and on their guard. It would be harder to eradicate them from here on.
Within a secret room, Shi Mu Zhong sat upright. All of a sudden, he heard a noise and he opened his eyes before coughing violently. He tasted something sweet at the back of his throat and knew that it was blood and did not dare to spit it out.
"Young Master Xie's destiny changed once more. A corner of it has crumbled completely. It seemed like Master's destiny was entwined together with Xie Cheng Dong's. When one was impacted the other would be affected as well. Since it was evident that his destiny has taken a negative swing, it must mean that something huge has happened."
Just as he was about to leave, Qin Gao walked in anxiously. When he saw Shi Mu Zhong leaving, he stepped up to him, "Advisor Shi, something major occurred."
"What major occurrence?" Shi Mu Zhong frowned as he heard Qin Gao's words.
"Meng Luo Gong of Ying Prefecture, First South County has been killed." Qin Gao spoke out in fear, his face was clearly horrified by the piece of news. When Shi Mu Zhong heard this, his expression changed as well. Meng Luo Gong was an important piece to Young Master Xie, and he was supposed to anchor Ying Prefecture. He had considerably good fortunes. Many years ago, Master had taken a look at his fortunes and decided that it was good. That was one of the reasons he was selected as well. How could he die all of a sudden? No wonder he could feel a change in their destinies. This was a huge change.
"Give me the details." Shi Mu Zhong spoke gravely. Qin Gao then hurriedly handed him the file which contained the report of the events. Shi Mu Zhong retrieved the file and returned to his room to read.
Qin Gao followed him into the room. Shi Mu Zhong flipped the pages hurriedly, as beads of sweat formed across his forehead. Qin Gao, who was beside him, then spoke, "Advisor Shi, Pei Zi Yun left very obvious trails. He headed straight for First South County and struck as fast as lightning and killed of Meng Luo Gong. Meng Luo Gong tried to borrow Zhang Ping's connection with Ji Bei Hou on the boat, but it didn't work out."
"According to Ji Bei Hou's son Wei Ang, he asked for Pei Zi Yun to let them go on account of their brotherhood. Pei Zi Yun then compromised and released Zhang Ping, who had an engagement with Shen Wan Lin. The unstable Zhang Ping, who commanded his Pier Gang, decided to completely shift his loyalties to Ji Bei Hou, and is no longer under the control of Young Master Xie. That's not all, Pei Zi Yun even took it a step further and killed off all of Meng Luo Gong's men. In three days he killed fifty-six people, and annexed a total of six houses."
"Young Master's authority in Ying Prefecture had been completely swept away."
Qin Gao spoke as he trembled in fear, "Nobody had expected Pei Zi Yun to display such craftiness and forcefulness. He had been attacked in the Southern Kingdoms and decided to take revenge immediately. The minute he reached Ying Prefecture, Meng Luo Gong and his entire group of men had been killed. None of us had any time to react. It's almost as if Pei Zi Yun knew that Meng Luo Gong was our man. Considering he hit back at us so accurately, and with such force, it's certain that he knew."
When Shi Mu Zhong heard these words, he did not speak for some time. He then stood up after a long time within his small secret room and took several steps. Qin Gao's eyes followed Shi Mu Zhong. Although they had known each other for very long, Qin Gao could tell that this person was extremely decisive and could make good judgement calls. Today however, he looked strangely irresolute and uneasy. Just as Qin Gao was thinking, he heard Shi Mu Zhong mumbled to himself, "Pei Zi Yun knows that we were behind the attack in the Southern Kingdoms, and that's not strange. That's because the Priestess belonged to us, and she had revealed certain details to Pei Zi Yun under interrogation. However, once he found out that Xie Cheng Dong was behind this, he immediately struck back and attacked Meng Luo Gong. This is extremely scary."
"How could he have possibly known that Meng Luo Gong was our man? Does Pei Zi Yun have hidden spies providing him with information?"
"Even if he had a secret web of spies, he could not immediately have dug out a man that we planted so long ago. Could it be that there's someone like Master on his side?"
Shi Mu Zhong was mumbling to himself when Qin Gao spoke out, "Advisor Shi, Meng Luo Gong belonged to the sect. Although his standing wasn't high, he had many men under him. Now that all the roots had been plucked out, we are experiencing a blackout in Ying Prefecture, and it's hard for us to operate."
When Shi Mu Zhong heard this, a forced smiled flashed across his face," It seems like I've disappointed my Master. Young Master handed me a task. Not only did I fail to accomplish it, I've caused more damage to the situation."
"Jin Zhu of the Southern Kingdoms, Meng Luo Gong of Ying Prefecture. Within a short period both of them turned to ashes. I've let the Young Master down!"
As he said this, he looked at Qin Gao before saying coldly, "Arrange for a meet with Song Zhi. We should not worry about alarming Pei Zi Yun anymore. This Song Zhi has high ambitions and has status as well. We can use him!"
"Yes, advisor." Qin Gao then left.
Seeing that Qin Gao had walked out, the calm and composed Shi Mu Zhong then revealed his frustration and exhaustion across his face. After some time, he opened the windows and a gust of cold wind blew in, drying the sweat on his body.
"Troubles are fast approaching. All of these are predictions made by my Master. According to the original fortunes, it's not possible for such changes to take place. At this point, the retaliation of heaven's will has arrived, and annexed Young Master Xie's foundation. I have to inform Master as soon as possible, and tell him of the events and collapse of our Ying Prefecture's network."
He then flipped over the Enchanted Talisman and pressed it in the middle. It started to glow brightly. Within a second, the glow was replaced by a dark cloud of energy that perforated the entire room. He could not hold it any longer and dropped the entire talisman onto the ground.
"Disciple, why have you contacted me." The talisman had dropped to the ground and a shadow emerged from it. It was the shadow of the blind Daoist, "You know that I have been subjected to the punishment of this world, and cannot reveal myself. Even if it's via the Enchanted Talisman, I would suffer backlash from this contact. Could your news really be that important?"
Under the light, the shadow of the blind Daoist looked extremely sickly and wretched. There was even a pungent smell wafting through the air from him. It was almost as if the talisman itself could not handle the stench of the blind Daoist.
When Shi Mu Zhong saw the blind Daoist appear, he hurriedly fell to his knees and reported the news, "Master, this disciple felt a change and noticed that Young Master Xie's fortunes crumbled in one of the corners. According to Qin Gao's reports, Pei Zi Yun had killed Ying Prefecture's Meng Luo Gong. This person had his fortunes calculated by Master. In a chaotic world, he would become a prominent figure. In a prosperous world, he would start off average, but with time, his fortunes would improve as well. That was why we decided to use him. But now, this man has been killed by Pei Zi Yun."
"What? Meng Luo Gong is dead?" The blind Daoist was taken aback and was clearly in shock. He then mumbled under his breath, "When I met him years ago, he was crafty and wise. We saw him conduct a massacre without losing a single man. It was then that I advised the Young Master to recruit him, and use him as a secret chess piece."
"It's strange. Although this person's eventual fortunes were not the best, and his life line was not the longest, once he gained traction and momentum he would be unstoppable. Who would've expected him to be dead now."
"Shi Mu Zhong you know that I've been a target of heaven's wrath. If I wish to calculate fortunes and peek into the will of heavens I would need to sacrifice a mythical tortoise. All these years you've been handling your tasks well. Go and find more on this Pei Zi Yun and kill him if you can."
"Yes, Master." Shi Mu Zhong bowed. When he looked up the shadow had vanished.
'This person killed one of our men. I have to report to the Young Master as well, and find a way to kill him.' Shi Mu Zhong thought to himself as he picked up the amulet once again to report the matter.