Chapter 188: Feeling Alarmed
Xiao Chen was now starting to feel grateful to Ye Wen. If it were not for Ye Wen, he might have met with the corpse king. Who knows, he might have become a corpse by now.
There were not many changes in the following days. Xiao Chen still continued to patrol in the day and practice in the night. The only difference now was that there were three of them, rather than two. The day was no longer as boring as it previously was, they chatted a lot amongst the three of them.
Mu Xinya still went out for a long time. Everything she did was the same as the past and she occasionally met up with Supervisor Li. Xiao Chen was still unable to understand what they were saying so he could not do anything but keep his guard up.
Within a dead tunnel, Xiao Chen was in the air. Before he drew the saber, there was a cool breeze that blew already. After the Lunar Shadow Saber was drawn, there was a faint saber light amongst the cool breeze.
The cool wind died off immediately. After Xiao Chen landed, there was an expression of joy on his face. He had finally succeeded in executing the second stage of the Clear Wind Chop.
There was a total of three stages to the Clear Wind Chop. The first stage was to hide his killing Qi; to erase the killing intent of his body and to make it impossible for other to quickly sense the moment he was going to make a move.
Clear Wind Chop, Clear Wind Chop, does the clear wind comes first or the chop comes first? If the clear wind came before the saber, it definitely should be the clear wind coming before the chop. However, if he could not draw the saber and create an air current, how could there be a cool breeze?
Thus, the second stage of the Clear Wind Chop was to practice to the point where the wind came before the saber. After working hard for half a month, Xiao Chen finally succeeded in executing the second stage.
He was about to make a start on the third stage. This was the stage where the attack was practiced to the great perfection. To see only the Clear Wind and not the saber.
If he managed to practice till he completely hid the saber amongst the cool breeze, the opponent would not be able to discover its direction. At this point, the Clear Wind Chop would have been practiced to the great perfection.
“I finally learned it. Looks like my talent is not too bad. I was able to practice this Clear Wind Chop to middle perfection within half a month. Maybe I can practice it to the great perfection by the end of the month,” Xiao Chen said joyfully.
Xiao Chen continued to practice. Like before, When his Essence ran dry, he would start heading back to the stone room.
“Young Master Ye!” a faintly discernible voice could be heard.
Xiao Chen was familiar with this voice. Normally, when the miners and the supervisors met Xiao Chen, they would greet him this way. When he turned around, it was a supervisor he met frequently.
It seemed like he had been waiting in the pitch dark tunnels. Xiao Chen stopped and asked, “Supervisor Zhao, How did you find me?”
Supervisor Zhao said dispiritedly, “I had been meaning to look for Young Master for quite a while already. The miners I am in charge of heard that Young Master frequently comes out at night to practice his saber. So I waited here.”
Xiao Chen nodded. It was no longer a secret he came out at night to practice. “Why are you looking for me? Did you run into a corpse?”
Supervisor Zhao had not seen the sun for a long time so after he washed his face, he looked incredibly pale. When this was coupled with his dull eyes, he seemed quite miserable. “That’s not it. Recently, some of our brothers have been disappearing mysteriously. Initially, I did not notice it as it was normal for people to disappear within the mines.
“However, I heard from the other supervisors that their people were going missing too. Furthermore, this was a complete disappearance. In the past, even if they disappeared, we would eventually find their bodies. Unlike the past, we were unable to find their bodies this time.”
Xiao Chen frowned after he heard Supervisor Zhao’s words. This is clearly a premeditated disappearance. There is definitely someone pulling the strings behind all this. Every supervisor is missing one or two people.
The numbers may not look big but when they are all added up, the numbers are horrifying. There are at least twenty supervisors and each supervisor leads at least a hundred miners.
If all of them occasionally lost one or two, when the numbers are all added up, it would be more than a hundred. What exactly was causing all these miners to disappear with a trace?
Xiao Chen collected his thoughts and said to Supervisor Chao, “Alright, I understand the situation. I will report it to Elder Ye tomorrow.”
Supervisor Zhao hesitated for a while, the expression on his face suggested that he was struggling with something. Finally, he made up his mind and said, “Young Master Ye, I have a few brothers who would finish their five year term at the end of this month. Now that something like this happened, they are all alarmed. They wish to leave early and they are even willing to receive less payment.”
When Xiao Chen heard this, he had an unsightly expression, “There has been no precedent of this before. Furthermore, this matter is not managed by me. My words carry no weight.”
Supervisor Zhao said anxiously, “Young Master Ye, you are a good person, we all know this. In the past, those guarding us did not even bother to look at us miners. They all gave us a cold look, not to mention mockings. Occasionally, they would even beat us up. In the time you have been here, you have never mistreated us. Everybody knows about this.”
Xiao Chen had heard about the thing this supervisor talked about from Ma Chen. Many of the Heavenly Saber Disciples who accepted this mission could not endure the boredom in the mine. They would frequently take out their frustrations on the miners. This was a very common thing.
Xiao Chen smiled bitterly. Even if he did not do anything, he was considered a good person. There were far too few good people in this world.
“Young Master Ye, I will kneel to you. You have to help me to resolve this matter. These people would complete their terms at the end of this month. If there were any accidents, it would not be worth it!”
Seeing Xiao Chen mutter to himself, Supervisor Zhao dropped to his knees and kneeled in front of Xiao Chen. Xiao Chen was startled and quickly helped Supervisor Zhao up. He asked, “I can speak on behalf of you to Martial Uncle Ye. However, I cannot guarantee anything.”
Supervisor Zhao said gratefully, “You saying something is all that I ask for. I thank Young Master Ye in advance. I will take my leave first.”
As Xiao Chen watched Supervisor Zhao leave, Xiao Chen sank into deep thought. He had always been idly watching Mu Xinya’s actions. However, after today, the sense that something was wrong grew stronger.
The next morning, Xiao Chen started to secretly question the other supervisors. He asked them about the situation. Xiao Chen’s methods had always been prudent. The matter that Supervisor Zhao spoke about was quite serious.
Regardless of whether he was lying or not, he would never be able to understand the truth of the situation by speaking to only one person.
Xiao Chen finally managed to finish questioning the twenty-odd supervisors. Indeed, it was as Supervisor Zhao said; almost every supervisor had miners that had disappeared mysteriously.
There were some who lost five or six and at the minimum, they lost one or two. After thinking for a long time, he looked for Supervisor Li and his group of miners behind Mu Xinya’s and Ma Chen’s backs.
“Oh! Young Master Ye. How come you are alone today? Where is the other Young Master and the Young Mistress?” As usual, when Supervisor Li saw Xiao Chen, he would greet him warmheartedly.
Xiao Chen nodded to acknowledge his statement and said, “Supervisor Li, have your subordinates been disappearing without a trace mysteriously?”
Supervisor Le tried to recall before he replied, “I never heard of anything like that at all. All the people I have are not missing? What’s wrong? Young Master, did something happened?”
While Supervisor Li spoke, Xiao Chen carefully observed his expression. Like before, he did not discover anything. Xiao Chen said indifferently, “Nothing, just a casual question. I’ll be taking my leave first.”
Xiao Chen turned around a corner and stopped. He turned his Spiritual Sense into a fine thread and continued observing the supervisor. I don’t believe you can cover yourself for so long.
“Supervisor, what did the guardian ask?” a few miners came over and asked.
Supervisor Li waved his hands and said, “Just do your work. Don’t ask so many questions.”
After observing for a long time, Supervisor Li seemed like his usual self. He led a group of miners and seriously worked on mining. There were no changes to his expression. There were no strange changes as a result of Xiao Chen’s question.
Could it be that the person meeting with Mu Xinya was not Supervisor Li? Xiao Chen had his suspicions as he thought, How could an ordinary person hide himself so deeply?
Xiao Chen withdrew his Spiritual Sense and shook his head. There was something he could not figure out.
After Xiao Chen left and was far away, Supervisor Li tossed aside the pickaxe in his hand. His gaze seemed as though he was able to see through the wall and see Xiao Chen leaving. His eyes revealed a murderous intent.
When Xiao Chen reached the headquarters of this layer, he coincidentally met with Ye Wen. He quickly went over and reported everything he investigated to Ye Wen. When he finished, he told Ye Wen of Supervisor Zhao’s request.
After Ye Wen heard this, he indifferently said, “Alright, I understand the situation. You can go back first.”
When Xiao Chen saw that Ye Wen did not seem to care, he said worriedly, “Martial Uncle Ye, these people’s term are about to come to an end anyway. There should not be any problem in reducing their payments and letting them go early right?”
Ye Wen seemed to be very busy as was already prepared to leave. When he heard Xiao Chen’s words, he stopped and said, “You are only seeing the problem from your angle. There is no problem with fifty miners leaving. After all, their term is almost up.
“However, have you thought about this? There are about two thousand miners in this layer. At this moment, there are already worries in everyone's heart. If a large group of miners left at this moment, have you thought about the consequences?”
If at this moment, there was a large group of people leaving, it would definitely induce a panic in the rest of the miners. After some time, the situation might escalate to a point where it was unresolvable.
Xiao Chen instantly thought of this scenario. Although the logic was sound, Xiao Chen kept feeling that something was wrong.
“You should go first, we already knew about this situation. I will deal with it in a couple of days,” Ye Wen consoled Xiao Chen when he saw that he was silent.
Xiao Chen thought for a while before he said, “Martial Uncle Ye, don’t go yet. I still have something to report.
After thinking for a long time, although he did not have any evidence, Xiao Chen finally still made the decision to tell Ye Wen of the matter of Mu Xinya and Supervisor Li.
After Ye Wen heard this, there was still no changes to his expression, “We are all from the same sect, if there is no evidence, don’t report them.”
Xiao Chen felt unconvinced as he said, “Martial Uncle Ye, I…”
Ye Wen interrupted him and said, “There is no need to speak further. Go back quickly. If you make such reports without evidence again, I will show no mercy.”
On the same night, the eighth layer of the mine, within a dead tunnel:
Supervisor Li said to Mu Xinya, “The fellow who came down with you seemed to have noticed something. He tried to test me once today.”
Mu Xinya did not feel surprised, “Not a problem, he does not have evidence. Furthermore, he is not a nosy person.”
Supervisor Li still felt worried, “Should we silence him? I am still not ready yet. If this fellow ruins things for us, there will be trouble.”
Mu Xinya shook her head, “No need for that. We will just move our operation forward to tomorrow. That will do it.”
When Supervisor Li heard this, his expression changed. He said in shock, “We make our move tomorrow? That’s too rushed. The longer I refine that thing, the stronger it is. It would be safer to do it at the end of the month.”