Green Ox Fort was a small town and a garrison for soldiers, though the locals insisted on calling it “Green Ox City”. They have been using this name for over ten years, and so often that people just kept the name as it was.
Green Ox City was indeed not very big. After all, inside the city there was only one main road connecting everything. There was even only one inn owned by a single family, on the far west side of the city. This being the only inn, if there was an unexpected visitor coming to the town, they had no choice but to stay there.
There was only one road for the carriages to travel to the west part of Green Ox City. From the gates and inn to the Fragrant Spring Restaurant, it was the only other stop that outsiders would make apart from the inn.
The Fragrant Spring Restaurant was not very large, and even more so it was old fashioned. Regardless, it was the only place that had any sort of appeal in the city. It was lunch time and the restaurant was full of guests, a full house.
From the cart’s window a round, fat and bearded face and a small ten year old’s dark face came out. They swaggered out of the cart and into the restaurant. The fat man knew this restaurant’s owner quite well.
“Fat Han, Who is this kid?”
“Old Han, this little dark kid and you look so alike! Don’t go around bringing home a prostitute’s child!” Someone joked.
Hearing this joke, everyone inside the restaurant roared with laughter.
“Pah! This kid is my nephew, so of course we would look alike,” the fat man scoffed. However, he wasn’t angry and instead looked a little proud.
The two of them had just come back from a three day trip into town to take a break, with the two being Han Li and his third uncle, “Fatty Han.”
Fatty Han greeted some of the regulars before directing Han Li to go to the small courtyard at the back of the restaurant. After a while, his uncle came outside to meet up with him.
“Xiao Li, here in this place you can rest well and eat well. You must wait here until the Inner Sect examinations start. I will call you then. For now, I must go out and take care of the customers,” Fatty Han explained as he guided Han Li to one of the courtyard’s side rooms.
Afterwards, Fatty Han rushed back to the restaurant.
Just as he reached the door, he turned around one more time and reassured Han Li.
“Don’t run around irresponsibly, as there are very many important people here and you shouldn’t interrupt them. And don’t get lost! It will be better for you not to leave this area.”
Hearing Han Li’s honest and eager reply, he felt relieved and headed out.
As Han Li watched his third uncle leave, he realized he felt quite tired. He collapsed on top of a bed and immediately started to snore. Surprisingly Han Li had no fear of strangers.
In the evening, a small servant boy came and brought Han Li food. Although it was no lavish meal, it was still very tasty. After he finished eating, the small servant boy returned to take the tray away. Soon afterwards, his third uncle calmly walked into the room.
“How was the food? Was it good? Are you feeling a little homesick?”
“Yes, the food was delicious. I’m only a little homesick, though,” came Han Li’s cute reply.
His third uncle seemed very pleased with this response, and then he sat next to Han Li and excitedly told him about his day. He began to brag about the people he met and the funny things that had happened. Gradually Han Li was infected with his uncle’s cheer and joined in with the laughter.
And just like that, two days passed.
On the third day, like usual Han, Li was eating dinner and was waiting for his uncle to tell him stories of the Martial World. (TL: Jiang Hu) But, outside the restaurant a horse drawn buggy pulled up to the front.
The carriage was colored like jet black lacquer and shined. The horse that was pulling the cart was a rarely seen white horse. This type of appearance attracted a lot of attention, and on top of the buggy was a flag with the word, “Xuan.” It was a three edged flag with a black background and a flickering silver and red character. Nobody could understand the mystery behind the flag’s color.
However, everybody around that knew even a little of the Martial World immediately recognized what the flag meant. A vastly important person from one of the two great sects in the area, the “Seven Mysteries Sect,” had come to such a remote place.
The “Seven Mysteries Sect”, also known as the “Seven Void Sect,” had been founded about two hundred years ago by an ancestor of the Seven Void Technique dominated the country for decades. The sect was immensely powerful, holding enormous sway over the government of the country. Among the state of Yue, they had once been considered brilliant, but after the ancestor of the Seven Mysteries Sect died of sickness their influence took a dive. The remaining members had to cluster together in a city just to survive. But after a hundred years, they were forced to leave the country to a remote place called the Immortal Mountain. From then on, their Sect compared to the outside world was only a third rate power.
But there is a saying that a thin camel is better than a dead camel. Despite its losses, the Seven Mysteries Sect was still once a powerful sect and maintained some influence. Under their jurisdiction were the Green Ox City and other several small villages nearby. The sect still had three to four thousand followers and two great experts.
Only with this power the Seven Mysteries Sect can fight against the Feral Wolf Bandit Group.
The Feral Wolf Bandit Leader is the country’s most infamous criminal. After he had suffered his first defeat, he promised to dissolve the group. But being a very ferocious and treacherous person, he easily broke his promise, continuing to kill and commit arson as well as reform his group. Ever since, the Feral Wolf Bandit Group and the Seven Mysteries Sect have been fighting time and time again.
In truth, the Feral Wolf Gang was in control of only small townships. But they lacked to power to seize the rich townships were under the control of the Seven Mysteries Sect The Feral Wolf Gang truly envied the Seven Mysteries Sect and their prosperity and clash against each other frequently for this reason. The Feral Wolf Gang has recently been even more of a headache for the Seven Mysteries Sect, and thus the Sect decided to expand.
From the chariot, a man in his forties hopped down. Despite his age, the man did not look weak in any way. As if knowing the entire place by heart, he went straight to the Han residence.
Han Li’s Third Uncle, upon seeing this man instantly became subservient and stepped forward bearing a gift.
“Elder Wang HuFa, why is it that you have personally come here?”
“Stop talking!” Wang HuFa coldly and arrogantly declared.
“At this time, the roads are not unsafe, so I had to come myself. Is this the child you are recommending?”
“Yes, yes, this is my brother’s son. I hope that you, Wang HuFa, will be able to take him in.”
Anxiously, Han Li’s Third Uncle swiftly pulled out a sack from his robes and inconspicuously handed it over.
Wang HuFa received and weighed the bag in his hand. His expression softened somewhat.
“Fatty Han, you are a man of integrity! Rest assured, I will take care of your nephew and he will not face danger in my hands. But we must quickly set out.”