Chapter 33: To Flee in Desperation
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
"Is... is this really my beloved son?" the Fifth Master turned around, and asked the Leader of the family in a trembling voice.
"Brother... would I joke about such a thing? These men witnessed Little Tian's death," the Leader said slowly.
The Fifth Master was finally convinced as he heard this, and his face turned ghastly pale. He turned around, and looked down at the body again.
"Fushhh!" was heard.
A gust of wind blew the cloth off Jin Tian's corpse, and revealed his twisted body. His body looked like a frightful ghost. Strangely, the Golden Armor that Jin Tian was supposed to be wearing was no longer there.
"My beloved Tian!"
The Fifth Master cried out as he saw Jin Tian's swollen face and pierced throat. He clenched his fists, and let out a painful cry.
"Fifth Brother, I know you are devastated... I've heard everything from the boys. Jin Wu... tell your uncle what happened," the Leader let out a sigh as he asked the eldest of the boys.
"Yes, Big Uncle. Fifth Uncle, this is how it went - Brother Tian asked us to go hunting in the suburbs this morning..." the young man began to recount the story again even though he was still in a state of shock. However, he had no other option since he was met with the cold eyes of the Fifth Master and the Big Leader.
The Fifth Master remained expressionless throughout the narration; his eyes were vacant. They only changed slightly when he heard that Jin Tian had stolen the Golden Armor from his manor along with the Tube of Flaming Wind.
"Brother, I've heard the entire story now. But, how do you plan to deal with the death of my son?" the Fifth Master asked as he heaved a deep sigh. His voice seemed to be composed.
"That's difficult to decide. You know... it was our Tian who incited the mishap. He even stole the tube..." the Big Leader knit his eyebrows and said slowly.
"I don't care what my beloved Tian did. I only know that I've lost my only son! And he was your nephew by blood as well! I will cut that bastard Shi Mu into pieces so that my poor child can rest in peace. I won't recognise you as my big brother if you don't help me in taking revenge!" the Fifth Master shouted.
"Fifth Brother! Have you lost your mind? You must be respectful when speaking to Big Brother!"
"Fifth Brother, we all know you are in pain. But we are the Jin Clan. We can't afford to lose our manners; no matter how crazy the situation gets... "
All the other Jin leaders tried to dissuade the Fifth Master since they saw that he was losing himself in grief.
"Humph! You all are talking like this because it's not your son who was killed! I know you have reservations because that bastard Shi Mu is Seventh Sister's step-son. But, I don't care who that murderer is! I'll do it myself if you don't help me," the Fifth Master glared at them defiantly. He seemed ready to risk everything.
The Leader's face fell when he saw the malicious look on Fifth Master's. However, just as he opened his mouth and was about to say something - an authoritative voice resounded in the hall.
"Well son. Will you disown your father as well if he stops you?"
The Jin Clan members were filled with respect and awe when they heard the voice. It belonged to the guardian of the Jin Clan - an Advanced Hou Tian Warrior.
The Fifth Master's face had turned awe-stricken. He hurriedly answered, "Father, how could I have such a rebellious thought? It's just that my beloved Tian died so miserably... How can I save my face in front of my family if I don't take revenge for my son's murder? In fact, the other big clans in the city will also laugh at our weakness."
"Humph! You are the one responsible for Little Tian's death! He couldn't have dared to provoke a fight that could cost him his life if you hadn't spoiled him so much," the elderly man snorted disapprovingly; his voice was full of authority.
"Father, I know I was wrong. But please... could you allow me to fulfil my wish and take my revenge? I won't say a word after that; no matter how hard you punish me," the Fifth Master bowed to his father, and knelt to the ground. He banged his head on the ground, and continued to plead in a husky voice. Soon, his forehead began to swell up.
The elderly man pondered in silence for a while. Then, he finally made up his mind, "Eh, as long as you truly repent your folly... Jin Tian may have been wrong... However, he was still an offspring of the Jin Family. We can't let the killer off... what will the other clans think of us otherwise? Eldest Son, send some men with the Fifth Son. Make sure that Shi Mu doesn't see the light of tomorrow's day. I'll deal with his stepmother, my Seventh Daughter. ...I will confine her to the manor for the next few days."
"Yes, Father," the Leader promised.
The Eldest Master didn't say anything else. The others only dared to stand up; one after another.
"It is Father's order. You can name whoever you want, Fifth Brother," the Big Leader told the Fifth Master after he had given it a brief thought.
"Big Brother, I only need the Blood Hunters and the Blue Eagles since they are good at tracking; no other forces," the Fifth Master answered without giving it a moment's thought.
"Indeed, that's appropriate. We don't need Hou Tian warriors to deal with a mere Martial Disciple. I'll lend you the hunters and the eagles," the Leader nodded and promised without hesitation.
"Great! I think that the bastard has half a day's lead on us. I'll set off right now. I will take his life within the next few days," the Fifth Master swore. He seemed quite pleased with the Leader's answer. However, his face was twisted in malice.
Shi Mu was driving a grey carriage pulled by two black horses. He was about ten miles away from the city. He was making his horses run as fast as he could since the road was quite broad. The carriage was leaving trails of heavy dust in its tread.
The 'Sun and Moon Dagger' was secured to his waist. He carried the purple-steel bow and the pack of arrows on his shoulder. There was a trace of anxiety on his face.
"Brother Shi, you don't have to take me with you. You'll have a better chance if you flee by yourself," a melodious voice came from the carriage. Then the curtain was drawn open; it revealed Zhong Xiu's upset face.
"Don't even think about that. If I leave you alone in the city... even if the Wu Clan doesn't harm you... the Jin Clan will surely vent out their anger on you..." Shi Mu answered in a firm voice without turning his head.
"You can still drop me off midway. I can probably hide somewhere," Zhong Xiu offered her suggestion after giving it some thought.
"Don't underestimate the Jin Clan. No place will be safe for you as long as you stay in Quan Zhou. If I decide to drop you somewhere... then, it will be at some place outside Quan Zhou," Shi Mu answered with a bitter smile.
"That's true. But do you have any ideas now? We'll be discovered by the Jin Clan sooner or later if we continue to drive on this main road," Zhong Xiu spoke with a tender sigh.