“Black nightshade, Angelica root, ground-ivy, Chinese iris, skullcaps…”
“Young Master, the medicinal herbs you requested are all here!”
Lu Fan was basking in the sun in the courtyard, engaging in a solo game of chess after having some porridge, when he heard Ni Yu squeal with excitement from outside .
Outside the courtyard…
Ni Yu pushed the door open . She was carrying a big black wok on her back and basketfuls of medicinal herbs in her hands . Huffing and puffing away, she hurried in .
Lu Fan raised his brows . He folded up his sleeves and laid down a pawn .
Ni Yu dumped the wok on the ground as she struggled to catch her breath .
“Young Master, the wok and these medical herbs cost two silver taels and three silver coins altogether,”
Ni Yu said as she wiped the sweat off her forehead .
“That was fast . ” Lu Fan smiled .
Indeed, food was an effective motivation to get the young girl to run errands .
“Fine, let’s go to Lake Island . ”
“Don’t you want to eat as you cultivate? I’ll teach you,”
Lu Fan said .
Ni Yu’s eyes beamed . Picking up the wok and carrying the medicinal herbs, she was huffing and puffing again as she left Lu Manor for Lake Island .
The sound of galloping hoofs ripped through the air .
Clad in armor, Lu Changkong furrowed his brows as he stood watching above the city gate .
From afar, a figure was fast approaching on horseback, leaving a cloud of dust behind as the horse galloped across the plains .
Sometime later, the figure arrived at the gates of Beiluo City .
“Castellan Lu, I came with His Majesty’s edict . ”
On the horse sat a smartly dressed senior official . Cupping his fist in his hand, he announced his arrival to Lu Changkong, who was watching from above . One of his hands held a scroll of Imperial Edict .
Lu Changkong dared not be the least bit disrespectful upon hearing that .
The city gates opened slowly . The senior official rode in .
Lu Changkong recognized him . He was Emperor Yu Wenxiu’s favorite official and also an extremely skillful martial arts practitioner .
“Castellan Lu, may I know where your son is? His Majesty has an edict…for him,”
The senior official said with a smile .
He carried not a trace of arrogance despite his status as the emperor’s favorite official . After all, he was an experienced and sophisticated individual .
“Fan’er is physically impaired and is recuperating at Lake Island . Why don’t you come with me to the island to see him?”
Lu Changkong replied .
“I’ll have to trouble you then, Castellan Lu . ” The senior official let out a piercing chuckle .
Lu Changkong instructed Luo Yue to guard the city walls and asked for Luo Cheng . Together, they left for Lake Island .
Drunken Dragon City .
An armored Jiang Li solemnly received the Imperial Edict .
“Have Yuanchi and Tong’an cities fallen into the enemy’s hands?”
Jiang Li asked with a sigh .
“His Majesty has high expectations of you, Castellan Jiang . He hopes that you won’t disappoint him,”
The official said .
Jiang Li respectfully cupped his fist in his hand . He ordered his servants to give the official some silver pieces before escorting him off to rest for the day .
Shortly after the official left…
An elegant woman appeared behind Jiang Li . With her head bowed low, the woman said,
“Sir, according to the latest news, the Overlord has returned to the West County alive and is rallying his army to destroy the Mohist City of Traps in Eastern Lake . ”
With his hands behind his back, Jiang Li narrowed his eyes .
“Mo Beike managed to strategize for everything but failed when it came to the Overlord . Or perhaps it wasn’t so much a failure . Rather, something completely unforeseen has happened to the Overlord,”
Jiang Li said slowly .
The woman looked up as if a sudden thought had occurred to her . Shock rippled across her beautiful face .
“Sir, if Mo Beike managed to strategize for everything, could he have foreseen that you’d station troops to guard the cities of Yuanchi and Tong’an as well?”
Jiang Li showed an aloof smile .
“Who knows? This is a game between the Mohist and the Imperial Advisor . ”
“However, Mo Beike is one of the few people in the world who knows my weakness . So, Chi Lian, protect Pingnan well,”
Jiang Li said .
Chi Lian was the name of the woman—a woman who was like a raging fire .
A resolute look appeared on her gorgeous face .
“I will, with my life!”
Beiluo Lake Island .
In the gentle lake breeze, the chrysanthemums swayed gently, with their bright blooming flowers smiling at the sun . Some Spirit Qi was consumed .
Under the dancing chrysanthemums…
Mo Liuqi slowly opened his eyes .
Some distance away, the foxy maid of Young Master Lu sat hugging her legs, watching the shimmering waters of the lake . Tears stained her alluring face .
She had sensed the Qi that her Young Master had mentioned .
She had reached the Qi Core Realm, with one wisp of Spirit Qi . She had met Lu Fan’s standards .
“Dad…Mum… I’ve become stronger . ”
Yi Yue continued looking at the lake, her lips trembling slightly .
Mo Liuqi kept quiet . He had encountered way too many embittered, resentful individuals .
He stood up and stretched .
From afar, Jing Yue, the swordsman from Sword Sect was still glowering at him with watchful eyes . How professional, Mo Liuqi mused .
But he was not planning to escape . Nor did he have the guts to . Young Master Lu’s erratic powers had stripped him of any courage to do so .
Those were powers more bizarre than those of the Giant .
Some distance away, Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing got up on their feet .
A faint splash came from across the lake .
Frightened by the splash, schools of fish darted away in the water, creating ripples on the lake surface . The birds on the island too instinctively flapped their wings and took flight .
A wooden boat was approaching, rocking from side to side on the waters .
It slowly drifted to the island, carrying Lu Fan, who was seated in a wheelchair .
“Young Master . ”
Nie Changqing, Ni Yu, Jing Yue, and Yi Yue, who was some distance away, got up and bowed .
Mo Liuqi fixed his gaze on the boat and, after a moment of hesitation, bowed slightly too .
Lu Fan flashed a delightful smile .
“Sister Ning, help me out… Ouch!”
Ni Yu’s feeble voice came from the boat .
Ning Zhao was taken by surprise . She hopped onto the boat and saw an anguished Ni Yu sprawled in front of an overturned black wok .
“This girl…” Ning Zhao thought to herself fondly, the corners of her red lips twitching a little .
She helped Ni Yu off the boat and put the wok and medicinal herbs on the ground .
Lu Fan turned his gaze toward Mo Liuqi .
“Not bad… It’s only been a day, and you’ve reached the Third Stage Qi Core Realm . You’re indeed someone who’s driven by will . ”
Lu Fan praised .
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing were dumfounded . To reach the Third Stage Qi Core Realm in one day was indeed a peculiarly disconcerting talent!
“You’re too kind, Young Master Lu . I wonder if your promise still holds?”
Mo Liuqi said, his eyes shining bright .
“My words always hold . Go then . Go bid farewell to your ‘Zhu,’”
Lu Fan replied with indifference, leaning back on the wheelchair and tapping his fingers lightly on the handle .
“You’re unsuited to be a swordsman . If you go on being one, sooner or later, you’ll die a horrible death,”
He continued, looking at Mo Liuqi .
Swordsmen were supposed to be ruthless, but Mo Liuqi was a compassionate man—and a fiercely compassionate one for that matter . People like him usually would not end up well .
Mo Liuqi kept quiet . Then, he took a step back and knelt down in front of Lu Fan .
“I, Mo Liuqi, am one who can distinguish kindness from malice . I failed in my quest and deserved to die, but you spared my life . That was as good as giving me a new lease on life . My life is yours then,”
Mo Liuqi solemnly declared and kowtowed to Lu Fan .
Lu Fan remained in his wheelchair, his white garment billowing gently in the breeze .
He waved a hand .
“Go then . Also, after you leave the island, go ask for your donkey at Lu Manor . Someone will return it to you . ”
Mo Liuqi was taken aback and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly . The mention of his donkey had left him feeling embarrassed .
Not only did he fail his mission to assassinate, but also he even had to trouble others to take care of that donkey of his . What an assassin he was .
Mo Liuqi left .
He disappeared into the thick mist in a small rowboat .
“Young Master, are you letting him off just like this?”
Nie Changqing frowned .
“Aren’t you afraid he might disappear for good?”
Jing Yue nodded in agreement . “Young Master, shall I go keep an eye on him?”
“No need to .
“He dare not,” Lu Fan answered slowly .
He reached out and flicked his fingers at a chrysanthemum some distance away . A petal instantaneously dropped and drifted toward his palm .
His gaze turned toward the wok and the basketfuls of medicinal herbs .
Ni Yu got herself a wok to refine her Qi Core . What a gourmet indeed .
Strictly speaking, there were dedicated furnaces for Qi refinement .
Nonetheless, it was not specified that woks could not do the job .
In that case, why not whip up a hot meal with the wok first?
The Mohist City of Traps in Eastern Lake was a small city in a lake situated atop the magnificent mountains at the borders of West County .
Waterfalls poured down in torrents around the city, forming a natural barrier .
This was the renowned Mohist City of Traps of the Great Zhou Dynasty .
It was a city jointly built by the Mohist and the Jiguan School and was home and resting place to Mohist voyagers .
Between the mountains, the gushing waterfalls fell like silver curtains .
A long narrow corridor led between the waterfalls, its banisters carved with intricate patterns, and its roof covered with green tiles . The scene was a charming and picturesque one .
In the middle of the corridor…
A solitary figure stood, a long thin sword hanging from his waist .
Tall and imposing, he was smartly dressed, with his hair falling loosely from his forehead .
His countenance was frosty and unbending as if nothing in this world could move him .
Footsteps came from behind but were quickly drowned by the gushing waterfalls .
The man with the frosty face turned around . It was a woman in red, half her face concealed by an ivory mask, revealing only her crimson lips .
“Another quest, Zhu?”
The frosty-faced man said with indifference . Even his voice was icy cold, devoid of any emotion .
The woman in red stood next to him . She was at his shoulder height . Green ribbons fluttered under the powerful jets of gushing waters .
There was a glimmer in her eyes .
“Liuqi accepted the quest, and he’s not coming back,”
She said with a slightly shaky voice .
The frosty-faced man did not say a word .
The atmosphere was awkward . Around them, the waterfalls continued to thunder .
“Giant said the next quest is the last . You can’t run away from it . ”
“Upon completion, if you’re still alive, you’ll be a free man,”
She said gently .
Upon hearing the word “free,” the frosty-faced man’s lips twitched slightly .
“What’s the quest?”
The woman in red gazed at the rushing waters . She could faintly see the young man who would always giggle like a fool whenever he saw her . She gently closed her eyes .
“Guard the Mohist City of Traps…with your life . ”