Chapter 44: The Black Token
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
Ye Hong Yao was very pleased to hear this.
"I will go to the Tian Yin Sect. But, I hope that Madam will allow Big Brother Shi Mu to come with me," Zhong Xiu nodded her head as she said this.
Shi Mu's heart jumped crazily when he heard this.
His heart was overjoyed at the thought of joining this Sect since it was even stronger than the Da Qi Kingdom.
Ye Hong Yao pursed her eyebrows when she heard this. She took her time to answer. She eventually shook her head and said, "Everything else is easy to handle... but I am afraid that this is out of question. If one possesses a bloodline or has an extraordinary talent... then the person is suitable for the Sect's 'merit' rule. Otherwise, the Sect only accepts women... not men. The Elders of the Sect accept a very few male disciples; it is a law. I may be the head of a Cabinet, but I still can't dare to break this rule."
"One needs to possess a bloodline? Brother Shi has a bloodline!" Zhong Xiu hurriedly added when she heard Ye Hong Yao's words.
"What? You too possess a bloodline? What is your bloodline? I will check your bloodline as well." Ye Hong Yao was surprised at first. Then, she became a little sceptical.
"Ma'am, you don't need to check my bloodline. I have the wasted blood of the 'Stone Monkey'. I'm afraid it's a useless bloodline in your eyes," Shi Mu forced a bitter smile.
"Wasted blood of the Stone Monkey...? If it's so... there's no hope for you to enter the Sect," Ye Hong Yao eased-up as she said this in a gloomy tone.
"Then... I won't join the Tian Yin sect either. I want to stay with Brother Shi Mu. Big Brother Shi Mu has saved my life. I can't abandon him midway to join a Sect," Zhong Xiu spoke resolutely.
"Miss Zhong, you don't need to do this," Shi Mu was emotionally moved as he heard Zhong Xiu's words.
Zhong Xiu shook her head. She didn't speak another word. However, she continued to look at Ye Hong Yao with pleading eyes.
Ye Hong Yao started to have a headache when she saw this. Then, an idea crossed her mind. Suddenly, she asked the both of them, "Ah! I almost forgot to ask... Who among the two of you has the Black Turtle Sect's black token?"
"The Black Turtle Sect? The black token?" Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu looked at each. Their gazes soon turned to that of dismay.
"Ah, let it be. I'll try to find out on my own," Ye Hong Yao quickly realized that they didn't know what it was. She then smiled and flipped her hand to reveal a yellow colored talisman. She tossed into the air, and it started to operate with a 'pop' sound.
A strange noise started to emanate from the pit of Shi Mu's stomach. It seemed as if something was shaking inside his clothes.
"Ah... Miss Zhong, please help me in taking this out," Shi Mu looked down at his stomach with a foolish expression on his face. He was confused at first, but he then realized something.
The young maiden beside him hummed in response. She reached into his shirt, and pulled something out.
It was a jet-black token. Its surface was engraved with delicate decorative designs. It seemed to be ancient and had a sense of mystery to it.
Zhong Xiu was astounded when she saw the token.
A peculiar grin appeared on Shi Mu's face.
Shi Mu had obtained this token from the corpse of that zombie he had slayed when he had first met Zhong Xiu and her father in that ancient temple.
This object was exceptionally tough. It had already saved him twice.
Shi Mu had confronted Jin Tian in a field near his manor. This metal token had then saved from him Jin Tian's dagger. The second time was only moments ago... when Fifth Master Jin had kicked Shi Mu... this metal object had absorbed a significant amount of the impact.
Was this the metal token Ye Hong Yao had asked about?
Shi Mu wondered as he looked at the token carefully.
Ye Hong Yao extended her hand and took the token from Shi Mu. She briefly inspected it, nodded her head and said, "Yes. This looks like the token Weird-Old Sun's murdered disciple used to carry. Where did you get this?"
Shi Mu hesitantly told her about how he had killed the zombie.
Zhong Xiu added some minute details from time to time.
"Your story seems to be in order. This disciple was practising the famous Zombie Art as per Weird-Old Sun's communication. This disciple was preparing to breakthrough a bottleneck. So he decided to leave for the mountains... The Spirit Lamp that he had left behind in the Black Turtle Sect went-out shortly after he left. This alerted the Elders of his unfortunate demise. A few days ago, their sect realized that the token had reached the area controlled by our Tian Yin Sect. Thus, they sent me this talisman, and requested me to look for this token. Looks like his disciple failed to make the breakthrough. His attempt must have devoured his body and transformed him into a zombie. This is good news for your brother, Miss Zhong," Ye Hong Yao quickly analysed and explained with a smile. However, her last sentence seemed to carry a hidden meaning.
"Ma'am, the meaning of your words..." Zhong Xiu had vaguely guessed. However, she wasn't sure if she should ask.
Shi Mu's eyes lit up lightly.
"It's quite simple. We don't recruit many male disciples, but the Black Turtle Sect doesn't have such rules. Moreover, their sect has many laws that strengthen one's body. Young brother carries the wasted blood of the Stone Monkey, but his physical strength is indeed extraordinary. I have an idea! You should personally return this token to Weird-Old Sun. That should help you in forming a positive impression on him. In addition, I'll personally write to Weird-Old Sun. I'm sure the Black Turtle Sect will accept you," Ye Hong Yao explained with a smile.
"So, that means that I'll be separated from Brother Shi Mu," Zhong Xiu commented after she had listened to the idea. Her face reflected her heart's disappointment.
Then, Shi Mu said, "Well, youngsters should listen to their elders. I will go to the Black Turtle Sect."
"Well, I'll write a letter for you, and I'll give you a talisman as well. You must go to the Kai Yang City in the Zhao Prefecture. Light-up the Talisman when you reach the ferry-crossing point of the river that flows next to the city. Someone will take you to the Black Turtle Sect from there," Ye Hong Yao instructed. There was a trace of a smile on her face. But she couldn't allow Zhong Xiu to hesitate again. Hence, she immediately turned around and took out a jade talisman. She placed it above her forehead. She then lowered her head as her lips chanted something. She then handed that black token and a talisman to Shi Mu.
Zhong Xiu didn't reconcile, but she didn't oppose either.
"Thank you, Ma'am."
Shi Mu's mouth thanked the woman. However, his face suddenly revealed an expression of embarrassment since his hands weren't able to perform the accompanying gesture.
"Oh! I almost forgot that you can't move your arms. How about this... I'll give you this charm as a present. This should work on your arms," Ye Hong Yao saw this and took out two blue charms. She flicked her wrist and they started to weightlessly float in the air. They then pasted themselves onto Shi Mu's arms.
The two charms began to issue an unpleasant light soon after. The decorative design of seemingly 'living creatures' on the surface of the charm began to wiggle.
Shi Mu felt an unusual heat penetrating into his broken arms. This ultimately turned into an irresistible itch.
"This ah..." Shi Mu gently exercised his finger. An astonished expression was spread across his face.
"I spent a lot of effort over these two charms. But its value is nothing in front of you. Well children, I have some important matters to attend to. Let's start with our respective journeys," Ye Hong Yao was itching to be on her way. But she patiently waited for Zhong Xiu and Shi Mu to say their parting words. Then, they set off on their respective journeys after exchanging brief words.
The name of the Sect is Xuan Wu. Xuan Wu is one of the four symbols of Chinese constellations. It is known as the Black Turtle/Tortoise in English. It can also be referred to as 'Black Warrior', or 'God of the Northern Sky', by some.