Chapter 119: Avoid the Rain
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
The both of them paused, and did not speak. After some time, Xie Cheng Dong laughed icily, "Even if the will of heaven had deviated, it only shifted once. So what if there's a retribution? A person's destiny is fixed. Even a retaliation would not be able to come about just like that. Before this, I've had several reports come in. After hearing your words, I've reached an understanding and could guess the reason for all these change."
Shi Mu Zhong then said, "With all these changes, I'm sure Young Master has an idea of who's behind this. Let's write a single word, and see if we're thinking of the same person."
"Sure!" Xie Cheng Dong then retrieved a pen and started writing. The shadow of Shi Mu Zhong within the Enchanted Talisman started writing as well. When they had finished, they turned their written word to each other. Xie Cheng Dong had written a "Pei" and Shi Mu Zhong had written a "Yun".
The both of them laughed. When they finished laughing, they both returned to their serious attitude.
"Looks like Young Master suspects this person as well. This person's rise to prominence is extremely incredible. He was just an average student who managed to become an Elementary Scholar. Following that he became a Top Scorer. Soon after, this person started becoming proficient with literary skills and even killed countless Black Wind bandits and even managed to kill Daoist Zhang Jie Yu. This was a huge affair."
"Master had calculated the fate of this Zhang Jie Yu, and it seemed like he was supposed to stir up the entire Ying Prefecture. However, he died just like that. I'm sure that must be caused by the retaliation of heaven, a sign of the changing of heaven's will."
Shi Mu Zhong's head was bowed, and thus the expression he had couldn't be known. He then continued, "It's always hard to read the will of heaven accurately. Likewise, it's difficult to tell what the effects of the retaliation are. Pei Zi Yun seems like the product of heaven's retaliation, sent to be a calamity to Young Master, and thus brought so many changes to the initial will. Since we've plundered the will of the heavens, this is our punishment. As for whether Pei Zi Yun is the intentional product of heaven's punishment for our actions, I would need to check it out further.
When Xie Cheng Dong heard this, he stood up and took several steps forward, "I've had my own suspicions from the start that Pei Zi Yun was one of the many deviations from heaven's wills. Now that I've heard you out, I'm worried. It's difficult to predict the will of heavens, and even more difficult to uphold the prestige of heaven's will. Since we've already plundered our fates, we should not return it. Even if there are consequences, we should deal with it by the sword. I just do not believe that we cannot kill off this person, and end our calamity."
"Young Master is right. Since the punishment sent to us came in the form of Pei Zi Yun, we should kill him off. Then, the retaliation by heaven would be much weaker. It's just that we have to thoroughly investigate Free Cloud Sect and Holy Jail Sect. Besides, it's extremely possible that there are other changes and products of changes as well. I urge Young Master to take this matter seriously. Should Young Master make a wrong judgement, we would make an enemy for no reason. Dealing with them would come at the expense of our limited good fortunes."
"Hm, I would not make enemies without first ascertaining the facts. I've ordered people to help you with your investigation. Should he really be sent as a punishment to us, we should kill him as soon as possible."
"Yes, Young Master." Shi Mu Zhong's eyes were dim and blurry as he acknowledged. The Enchanted Talisman started to fade away. Although they were far enough from the city, the Imperial Qi was flourishing, and was a huge interference. Hence, they were not able to keep up such magical communications for long.
"Dong dong!" There was a knock on the doors of the monastery. An ox-cart stopped outside the gates as someone got off. A Daoist went up to receive him before leading him in.
Once they've entered, the Daoist shouted, "Mister Shi, Mister Shi, someone's here."
Shi Mu Zhong came out and saw a forty years old Daoist, with a long face and clean robes. He looked very ordinary. He stretched out a hand and passed him a letter, "Mister Shi, I've been instructed to hand this letter to you."
Shi Mu Zhong eyed the letter for sometime before receiving the letter and an identity tile. Once he had ensured that the identity tile was genuine, he returned it, "This will do. Now that you've delivered the news, you can return."
When he's heard Shi Mu Zhong's words, the forty years old Daoist turned around and left without hesitation. After sometime, the sound of the ox-cart departing could be heard. Shi Mu Zhong ensured that they were far away before turning around.
Shi Mu Zhong held the letter and walked towards his room. At this point, the Daoist looked outside for any suspicious activities before closing the door and standing guard at the entrance.
Shi Mu Zhong ripped open the envelope and read its contents. The letter spoke of some very common family matters. He then retrieved some powder and sprinkled it all over the letter before holding above the fire to heat the powder up. After several seconds, new words started to form in the blank spaces of the letter.
Shi Mu Zhong then started reading it, "Ji Bei Hou had just prepared a group of merchants to start trading at sea. Holy Jail Sect dispatched a member to Ying Prefecture to begin establishing a foothold in that area. They've also acquired a disciple called Ji Ai Guo. She has some incredible innate talents, and is cultivating rapidly."
"Free Cloud Sect's Patriarchs were now True Sovereigns. The immortals and deities were gathered together in celebration within a hundred kilometers radius."
Some of these news, Shi Mu Zhong was already aware, and others he just found out. After reading this letter he hesitated, "There's a Guo in her name, and she cultivates very quickly. And yet there's a deviation in the will of heaven, which means everything might be different from what it once was. This is very confusing."
Shi Mu Zhong paced around as he sighed, "It's a pity that master insisted on rebelling against the will of heaven and altering it. Not only myself, but even master is unable to feel and see anything about the three Ye's and two Guo's any longer. However, this girl deserves to be watched and investigated as well. I shall inform Young Master about this piece of news."
He then continued reading the contents of the letter. The letter also stated that Holy Jail Sect and Ji Bei Hou had a close relationship. When he had finished reading the letter, he tossed it into the fire, and watched it burn completely.
"Since Pei Zi Yun left for the village, I was unable to obtain a report about him. All I've got are small bits of information. Damn it! As of now, the strength of this Ying Prefecture Young Master is still very coarse, and I can't make out much of it." Shi Mu Zhong paced several steps before his face turned cold, "The most important thing as of now was to follow Pei Zi Yun and observe him. I need to see if this person is indeed what we predicted him to be."
It was the monsoon season and there were only a handful of days without rain. It was around noon, and the skies were once again overcast with dark clouds. Pei Zi Yun was dressed in a woven raincoat, and a sword hung from his waist. He was moving slowly in the rain.
He was feeling a sense of confusion within his heart and found an excuse to leave. He had been cooped up in his home for several days in a row, being unproductive. In the meantime, the entire spiritual realm was thrown into havoc. Why should he not want a peaceful realm, where he could take his time to cultivate?
(E/N: Spiritual Realm refers to the Daoist World. The opposite of the Secular World)
And yet there were plenty of obstacles along the way. Now wasn't the time to rest and relax. He then recalled how ,when he left his home, his mother was holding onto Liao Qing Ye, the little girl, her eyes showed how she could not bear to watch him leave once again.
He had sent the little girl, Liao Qing Ye to his own home. This made the house much livelier, with her young bubbly demeanor. His mother was devastated after hearing about her treatment. And the little girl was extremely sensitive to whether a person was good or evil. When she realized that his mother was a kind person, she took a quick liking to Pei Zi Yun's mother. When he left, he saw the expression on the little girl's face, she could not bear to watch Pei Zi Yun leave as well. Pei Zi Yun felt a tinge of sadness when he saw the scene before him.
His mother adored the little girl. Since he could not physically be there to accompany the little girl, his mother would have to make do and accompany her on his behalf.
"Boom!" The thunder roared out in the vast expanse, interrupting Pei Zi Yun's thoughts. The rain was getting heavier. He frowned. The woven raincoat was unable to repel that much water, and it started to soak into his own robe beneath.
From afar, Pei Zi Yun could see a monastery atop a mountain. It was not very far. There was a road nearby leading up to the mountain.
Pei Zi Yun took big strides as he stepped into puddles of water, splashing everywhere as he walked. He had planned to head towards Southern Mountains, and yet the distance was more than a thousand kilometers. He couldn't even hire an ox-cart to take him that far. Besides, he didn't want people to track his whereabouts, and thus had to take the smaller, lesser traveled roads. Only when he was further away where nobody knew him would he start taking the big roads once again. However, the rain had to spoil his plans.
Although Pei Zi Yun had cultivated up to the seventh stage, a person's strength fluctuated occasionally. He didn't wish to test out how strong he was and end up falling sick. He thus picked up speed and started sprinting towards the monastery.
Before long, he reached the monastery. He noticed that this monastery wasn't particularly big. Pei Zi Yun could see a fireplace from outside, and the sounds of chanting could be heard.
He went up and knocked on the door. However, the sounds of rain was quite loud too. It took several knocks before someone finally answered it. A little Daoist opened the door as he carried an umbrella to shield himself from the rain.
Seeing Pei Zi Yun's young age, and his outfit, the little Daoist guessed that he was a travelling student, "Young Master, the rain is heavy outside, please enter."
He then followed the little Daoist and entered the main hall. Pei Zi Yun saw that there was another young man with a young servant within, hiding from the rain as well. They were huddling up, close to the fireplace while the flames were licking the edge of the fireplace. The young man nodded to Pei Zi Yun and he acknowledged it with a nod as well. He headed to a corner behind a pillar and removed his raincoat without speaking much, and hung it beside a fireplace.
The monastery was filled the smell of incense, as thin smoke raised up from the burning incense by the altar. At this point Pei Zi Yun felt as if someone was spying at him. When he turned around, he saw a man dressed in rough tunic looking over at him.
This man's eyes were squinting, and there was no life within the recesses of his pupils, as if he was a blind man. Just as he was thinking about this, the feeling of being watched disappeared. He then thought to himself, "I've been travelling secretly, why would there be a random blind man appearing out of nowhere? Could it be that Holy Jail Sect or Hou Mansion had sent someone after me?"
Pei Zi Yun became alert. Seeing that his clothes were almost dry, he walked forward towards the statue of a deity. He then gave a deep bow, before placing a silver tael in the donation box.
The little Daoist who had led Pei Zi Yun in gave a bow, a smile was etched on his face.
When it rains in the mountains, it came and went very quickly. Now that the rain had passed, the the weather was clear. Pei Zi Yun looked out before deciding to leave. He didn't even bother taking the raincoat. Since it was completely soaked with water, it was not smart to carry it along. Besides, it was worth very little. He would buy a new one the next time.
Seeing Pei Zi Yun leaving through the door and disappearing into the mountains, the blind man then stood up as if he wanted to follow. A sort of hesitation gripped his heart, as he took several paces, deep in thought. A Daoist then walked out and laughed, "What a good time for it to rain. Now all the farmers have enough water for their crops. Where does my Daoist friend Shi wish to go? It's just that it was raining just a moment ago, and the roads are slippery. Accidents can happen if you're not careful."
This man was Shi Mu Zhong. Hearing the Daoist words, Shi Mu Zhong's expression changed, "During the most critical moment, the words that we speak without thinking are words that divulge heaven's will"
"Since my heart is beating abnormally fast, and I've heard such inauspicious words, I better not follow him."
"Having finally seen his face, it seems like his fortunes are indeed slowly changing for the better, although his family's unfortunate past can still be seen. I can also see that he used to come from a background of poverty. However, it's been replaced by the confident air of a High Scholar. There's also a golden glow over him, and his entire body was surrounded by pure and clean Qi. He even has a faint aura of sword skills."
"This is all very normal. According to the reports, this person is a Top Scorer, and his reputation for composing good poems went far and wide. His martial arts and sword techniques are proficient as well. He managed to kill anyone who stood in his way, as he headed towards the capital city, and brought back the title for Free Cloud Sect."
"It can be said that everything seems very ordinary with this person. And yet when I attempt to look further, to understand what change had taken place, I could not see anything. Even for Ji Bei Hou, I could see a faint mark indicating that something was hidden beneath. However, there was no marks on this person at all."
"It's precisely because there are no marks, that I know something fishy is happening."
"This person must be the very reason for the deviation of heaven's will, and is the heart of everything that has happened. I should hurry and report this."
"Luckily Young Master had been prepared for this. Even in the Southern Mountains, he'd planted a pawn there to act on his orders. I can tell the Young Master to activate that person, and settle this issue as soon as possible."
"We can mistakenly kill a thousand, but must not let go of the real target."
"Daoist Leader Chen, please prepare a room for me, I have things to attend to." Shi Mu Zhong thought to himself before smiling. When the Daoist heard this request, he hesitated before smiling as well, "My friend, Daoist Shi, I do have a spare room. This way."
He then led Shi Mu Zhong into a room and closed the door before walking away.
At this point, Pei Zi Yun was hiding within the trees and watching the road from the monastery. After a long time, nobody showed up. Pei Zi Yun then laughed, "Could it be that I was overthinking?"
He then continued on his journey. The weather after the rain was cooling and refreshing. He walked past a stream that had countless of ripples, as the reeds were swaying gently in the wind. The beautiful colors of summer had started to show. Pei Zi Yun could not help but admire the view before him as he walked. He then snapped out of his thoughts and looked ahead, he saw a county far away. He could also see several people walking. He then laughed, "No matter what, I must reach the Southern Mountains before planning what to do next. If this senior uncle Patriarch really has a Legacy, everything else can wait. If he doesn't, I'll have to think of another way."