Chapter 28 - Guardsman Chen Yong
Edited by Michyrr
Xu Qi scanned the surroundings, and leapt into the institution. In the blink of an eye, he reached the interior. He steadied his steps, then started strutting through the courtyard, looking around.
Not long after, Xu Qi heard sounds of footsteps coming from behind. He smiled inwardly, thinking, Seems like there’s more than one of them.
“Eh, it’s a little beggar? How did he come in? …Hey! Child, how did you get in here? Get out of here now,” a man called out angrily.
Xu Qi slowly turned around with his hands behind him. He looked on smilingly at the three men standing before him: standing in the frontmost was a large tanned man, followed by two other tanned men of similar stature, albeit less brawny. Xu Qi had forgotten all about his appearance right now, looking no different to a beggar on the streets.
“Hey child! I’m asking you, how did you get in here!” the frontmost man demanded again in an annoyed tone. He noticed that the boy before him looked somewhat familiar, but his face was bruised and bloody, and he couldn’t really recognize him.
Xu Qi didn’t bother answering him. Instead, he flipped his palm, and a jade token with a ‘Xu’ character engraved in the middle appeared in his hand. With the token in his hand, he walked over and handed it to the man.
The tanned man took the token and glanced over it. Much to his surprise, he recognized the token. He knew that there were only two of them in existence – one was with Xu Pingfan, while the other belonged to the deceased Xu Clan patriarch, Xu Yingzhou. Why in the world would this boy have this token in his hands? Then, he remembered what Xu Pingfan said to him before sending him here. Could it be…
Something seemed to click in his mind. The man asked Xu Qi gently, “Ar-are you perhaps, our young master?”
The two behind him naturally understood what that meant. They looked in shock at the child standing before them.
Xu Qi smiled lightly, nodding in agreement at the tanned man’s words.
He immediately put away the wooden axe in his hands upon Xu Qi’s confirmation, and greeted in a half-kneeling position, cupping his fists, “This subordinate Chen Yong greets the Young Master.”
The other two followed. “This subordinate greets the Young Master!”
Without warning, Xu Qi activated his movement technique and disappeared from their sights. Following which, the three felt a sensation of something pulling them to their feet. Then, Xu Qi reappeared at the same spot under their stupefied gazes, as if he had never moved to begin with.
“Yo-Yo-Young Master, did you just do that?” The first to react was the man named Chen Yong. Though, it was obvious that he had yet to fully accept what he’d just seen, given that he struggled to squeeze his words out.
Xu Qi maintained his silence. Chen Yong rubbed his eyes, taking a moment to breathe, then said, “Pardon my rudeness, Young Master. I forgot that you couldn’t speak.”
Chen Yong had heard tales of Xu Qi being mute in the past, but when he saw Xu Qi’s techniques, they momentarily slipped his mind. It was only after he took a moment to calm down that he realized he was being rude. He was overcome with a sense of guilt, fearing that he’d hurt his young master’s pride.
“You’re called Chen Yong, right?” Xu Qi suddenly asked smilingly.
“Y-you can speak, Young Master?!” Chen Yong was stunned. A man like him was all brawn and no brains, so seeing such an unexpected scenario unfolding before him caught him unprepared.
“I had never admitted that I’m mute. I just didn’t want to speak, that’s all. That aside, don’t just stand there, the three of you. I didn’t come here to watch you daydream,” Xu Qi scolded.
In response, Chen Yong looked at Xu Qi and respectfully said, “Please pardon our delayed reaction, Young Master. We were stupefied after meeting you today; there’s too much of a difference between what we were told about you and what we saw. We needed some time to adjust.”
Xu Qi noticed Chen Yong’s gaze. He touched the bruises and blood on his face, and immediately realized why Chen Yong kept staring at his face. He cursed inwardly, Damn it. I forgot about the disguise, and didn’t clean myself before coming in here. What a disgrace. Luckily not many have seen me in this state, otherwise I wouldn’t have the face to show myself around here.
Xu Qi felt embarrassed after realizing his messy getup, saying, “That, er… I’m fine. I was disguised like this due to special reasons. Bring me to a secluded area to wash up first.”
“Yes, Young Master. This way, please,” Chen Yong immediately answered. He quickly made his way to Xu Qi, then pointed towards a room on the side and gestured for Xu Qi to head that way.
Following the direction Chen Yong indicated, Xu Qi quickly entered the room. The three of them guarded outside vigilantly, as if in fear of someone approaching them.
After some time, the door creaked open. Chen Yong looked inside, and saw a smart, well-dressed boy coming his way. The blood stains were wiped clean, and what surprised Chen Yong and the other two was that even those bruises were gone. They knew from their years of experience in the field that those bruises weren’t fake. However, they had vanished from Xu Qi’s face after only a short period of time alone in the room. As such, they exchanged glances with each other in puzzlement.
At this moment, Xu Qi looked totally different from the beggar-like appearance from earlier. His smart looks caused Chen Yong and the others to stare at him blankly.
“Alright, stop staring. It’s not like I’m a pretty lady. What’s there to look at?” Xu Qi felt a little unease as he noticed the three grown men staring at him.
“Yes, yes, yes,” the trio answered embarrassedly.
“Chen Yong, bring me to the secret room. Then, gather everyone and bring them to me. I need to speak to them,” Xu Qi said authoritatively, causing them to tense up.
Chen Yong instructed the other two to gather everyone, while he led the way for Xu Qi, bringing him to the main hall of the inner courtyard. In the hall, there was a partition screen, which they went around to the back.
“Please wait for a moment, Young Master,” Chen Yong said, then went over to a carpeted area and squatted down. He lifted the carpet, revealing a wooden board embedded with gemstones. Next, he pressed down onto the gemstones in a certain order before retreating out of the way. Immediately after, the wooden board slowly opened downward, revealing a flight of stairs leading underground.
“Wow, Uncle Mang has found someone with exceptional designs,” Xu Qi praised. His impression of Xu Pingfan improved quite a bit as he saw the hidden door.
Xu Qi stepped forward, making his way down the stairs. Chen Yong followed behind him. Once they reached the bottom, Chen Yong activated a mechanism somewhere, causing the wooden board to slowly shut itself.
The sight of a surprisingly spacious hall entered Xu Qi’s eyes. In the hall, the surrounding walls were filled with many hidden doors.
“Where did you gather them at?” Xu Qi asked Chen Yong, who was by his side as he scanned the surroundings.
“Please wait here, Young Master. They will be here in a moment.” Chen Yong treated Xu Qi prudently. After working under Xu Pingfan for many years, he had learnt to observe others. He had many questions for his young master, but his senses told him that he couldn’t afford to offend Xu Qi.
Not long after, the hidden doors opened one after another. People streamed out from the doors, slowly gathering in the hall. The crowd included Xu Clan guards, as well as the twenty-six orphans.
“What did Brother Yong gather everyone here for?” someone asked.
Chen Yong quickly ran over and shouted, “Everyone, the reason for gathering you is to inform you of some important matters. Though, it’s not me who will be informing you.”
“Are you joking with us, Brother Yong?”
“He’s not messing around with you. I was the one who made him assemble you people.” A handsome, well-dressed boy walked out from behind Chen Yong with his hands behind his back.
The twenty-six orphans who had seen Xu Qi before were stunned for a moment, then knelt down and yelled in unison, “Young Master!”