Chapter 9: Escape
12th suddenly felt his body slightly tighten as he briefly caught Luo Zhan’s eyes and could see him grinning with glee. That was when he knew. He asked, “So, old man, what do you want?”
FuYe Chen said, “Hand over that True Ancient Fu. If you surrender, I can accept you as an attendant, no need for you to be my slave, otherwise…… none of you will get out alive!”
12th said, “Old man, you know full well that destroying this True Ancient Fu is takes just a thought for me. Even though I can’t quickly activate it, I can certainly destroy it easily enough.”
FuYe Chen knows that 12th isn’t bullshitting, but he doesn’t know that 12th doesn’t have the control needed to destroy a True Ancient Fu. 12th just repeated what he was taught as a bluff.
“Alright, what’s your condition?
12th could feel his body tighten more and more, as if something is binding him tightly, without reacting to it, he continued, “I want…… my companions’ safety, you’re not allowed to hurt them! Nor are you allowed to make them slaves!”
FuYe Chen coolly said, “Okay, I give you my word!”
12th grinned and said, “Your word… Hell if I believe it! I want your oath!”
FuYe Chen got angry, “Do you want to die?!”
12th suddenly laughed hilariously, he said, “FuYe Chen! You and your underlings are a bunch of idiots! You’re all stupid! Haha! You’re so old you might as well be dead! How could you not even realise that this was the simplest of stall tactics? You can go to hell…… When I get older I’ll come back here and pay you all back! You stupid old bastard!”
FuYe Chen was stunned, and then he raged. He lurched forward yelling, “I’ll kill you, you little shit!” He thrust his palm forward but something was wrong, the nine people sitting and 12th who was standing suddenly disappeared, as though they dissipated into thin air.
12th’s laughter could still be heard echoing inside the cavern, repeating, ‘Stupid old bastard, old bastard, bastard……tard……ard……’
The ten people completely disappeared. Their time in the Mysterious Land is up and have all been thrown out.
“Argh…… I’m gonna kill you…… You little shit, argh…… grrrrrrrr…… Fuck you all……”
FuYe Chen thrashed about in anger, he’s never been humiliated like this before, practically permanently staying several steps behind 12th, not only is he frustrated but he also felt humiliated. Especially because of 12th’s parting words, they frustrated him even more. Poor him for being so old, it’s the first time in his life that he’s been insulted so severely.
When he finally calmed down, FuYe Chen breathed out several large breaths, turned around and exited the cave. He doesn’t want to stay there a second longer, quickly getting out of there.
FuYe Ah Da forced out a smile and asked, “Elder, should we send people in?”
FuYe Ah Da was on the verge of crying, getting hit just for asking a question? Is the Elder crazy?
FuYe Chen’s face was white with rage, he immediately boarded a chariot and said, “Everyone get the fuck over here, we’re leaving!” And that’s the last thing he said before sitting down pouting in the chariot.
FuYe Ah Da has been beaten multiple times for no reason, now he didn’t dare to ask any more questions, he just waved his hand signalling everyone to leave.
12th and the others all appeared at the place where they first entered the Mysterious Land, in that shallow marsh, as soon as they appeared, they heard, Luo Jie’s cheerful laughter.
12th was also incredibly happy, calling, “Master!”
The ground was filled with bodies, all of the Beast Raising Fu Sect. Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan stood there, saw 12th and the others come out and Luo Jie laughed out loud, calling, “Nan Shan! I knew that 12th would come back!”
12th immediately ran over, and hugged Luo Jie passionately. Now he understood just how much his Master means to him in his heart. Luo Jie smiled, “Good work! 12th, hehe, little did you know, your Grandpa Nan Shan and I killed countless FuYe Clansmen!”
Qi Nan Shan smiled, “We’re apparently barbarians, haha, they took us for uncultured barbarians, people from the lower levels of the FuZhou Land, only suitable to be slaves, haha, we gave them what they deserved!”
12th twisted his head and looked at the bodies, asking, “All these people from the Beast Raising Fu Sect…… Who killed them?”
Qi Nan Shan said, “They also only had these ten survivors, heh, since we bumped into them, we wouldn’t let them go free, conveniently avenging the townsmen that they terrorized.”
Their group of twenty five entered the Mysterious Land, only sixteen successfully made it out, nine of them were captured or killed.
Luo Zhan and the other Fu Masters, saluted Luo Jie, and he said, “Good thing we told you guys to leave, otherwise we would’ve been hard-pressed to escape.”
Yan Ge said, “If it wasn’t for 12th, we wouldn’t be here right now…… We encountered a Great Fu Master, we couldn’t stop him at all.”
Luo Jie put 12th down, surprised, “Great Fu Master?” He knew very well how powerful such a man could be, even if they had five more Fu Masters they would’ve found it hard to hold their ground.
Xiao Feng said, “Let me explain.” He started from when they discovered the chariot, and how everyone entered the cave, and about how 12th instructed everyone to fight, and how they laid traps, and that they had retreated to the last cavern all the way until when 12th beat FuYe Chen in battle. This guy was a great storyteller, his words were dressed beautifully, made 12th seem at least twice as important than he really was.
12th heard it all and slightly shook his head. Luo Jie on the other hand was so proud and emotional that his eyes sparkled, he was shocked at his own disciple’s power. Of course when they mentioned the Fire Bird flying out.
Luo Jie expressed utter amazement and disbelief, asking, “True Ancient Fu? That guy said it was a True Ancient Fu?
Xiao Feng nodded, saying, “That Fire Bird fought FuYe Chen, who initially was talking big non-stop and saying stuff like ‘if they could make him move then he’d lose, in the end not only did he move, he utterly turned tail and ran.”
Luo Jie couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy, he said, “That’s troublesome…… He won’t accept that loss so easily!”
Xiao Feng respectfully said, “Yeah, 12th said that too!”
Luo Jie nodded, he knows how clever his young disciple was, and also wise too. He continued to ask “So he came back right?”
Qi Nan Shan’s face darkened, saying, “If he came back you wouldn’t have been able to escape!”
Xiao Feng said, “Initially we couldn’t escape, haha, that guy wanted 12th’s Fu, so 12th just stalled for time, by that point we all knew that our time in the Mysterious Land was coming to an end, and of course when we started to disappear, 12th insulted that guy a whole lot, haha, when he finally attacked, we all disappeared entirely…… Our luck was truly extraordinary!”
Luo Jie was so excited, he said, “Wow! Did that really happen? Haha, that guy must be frustrated to death, haha, nice going 12th!” He stretched his arm and patted 12th on the head, happily laughing non-stop.
Qi Nan Shan’s face was also filled with laughter, this time entering the Mysterious Lands, although losing quite a few people, they also received a whole lot. The Variant Earth Dragon alone was worth all the effort.
They entered the Mysterious Land at the beginning of summer, spent half a year inside, and now it’s the middle of autumn.
Luo Jie said, “We should find somewhere to restock our supplies, and also we need to find some warhorses.”
Chen Bing asked, “12th, which way do we go? It’s all trees around here, I think we’re lost!”
12th smiled, “We’re going to the Southern Fu Sect, of course we’re gonna head south…… Don’t worry, Master and the others have lots of experience, even if we don’t know the road, it’s nothing to worry about.”
And so the group headed south.
The city of Qin Guang is the property of the Qin clan. They are the Northern Fu Sect’s most outer clan, with over a million people. The city’s location is very suitable, right next to it is the famous Qing Chang Lake, to the south of it is a border, and beyond the border is a vast expanse of grassy fields, which is owned by the Southern Fu Sect.
T/N: The ‘Q’ in mandarin phonetics is pronounced like the ‘ch’ sound but with less emphasis on the ‘h’. Qin is like half way between ‘tin’ and ‘chin’. It’s quite hard to explain because there is no consonant sound in english that is the same so it’s much easier to listen to it. If you really want to know how to pronounce it, you can probably find a voice recording online.
The border is controlled by the people of the Northern Fu Sect, there are about two thousand Northern Fu Sect people living there, there’s also the huge commercial trade area, which is on the Northern Fu Sect’s most southern area.
The city of Qin Guang is a city of cohabitation, there are people from the Southern Fu Sect, but also people from the Eastern and Western Fu Sects, there are of course also people from the Northern Fu Sect since it is still within the Northern Fu Sect borders.
Not long after Luo Jie and the others got out of the forest that they saw the city. That group walked for a full twenty-one days, the few Fu Masters taking turns to carry the children, the whole journey fleet of foot, it was very exhausting to make it out of the forest. Their resources are practically empty, relying on hunting game to fill their stomachs.
The group finally walked out of the forest, seeing the far away city, 12th asked, “Master, where’s that?
Luo Jie’s face revealed a smile as he replied, “We’ve arrived at Qin Guang! Haha, this road is pretty nice, we’ve found ourselves a shortcut, much faster than walking a few months on the usual route, haha, too bad we never came this way in the beginning.”
Qi Nan Shan lamenting said, “Interesting, last time I was here…… Well it’s been a couple of decades at least, that’s right, I remember Elder, you had a disciple who lived there right?
Luo Jie nodded, saying, “I haven’t seen him in over thirty years, not sure if he’s still living there or not……” He carried a bit of sorrow in his words.
12th asked, “A brother? What’s his name?”
Luo Jie said, “He’s called Qin Han, if he’s still alive, he ought to be a hundred and fifty years old by now, wow, if he’s still alive…… then he probably doesn’t have long left.”
Watching his own disciples die of old age or of other reason, the old guy must feel very sorrowful.
12th consoled him saying, “Brother Qin Han would be very happy to see you Master so let’s go into the city.”
The city gates has a few dozen guards, most of whom are Fu Warriors, there were also some Fu Masters and a Zhou Master. This is a city on the borders, so it’s defenses are very strong.
Luo Jie and the others all arrived at the city gates, and were blocked by the city guards. Once they saw clearly the symbols on these people’s chests, each one of them were stunned speechless. Luo Jie wore a special Great FuZhou Master symbol on himself, Qi Nan Shan wore a symbol of being a Great Fu Master, and everyone else was practically a Fu Master, even on the children’s chests were the symbols of FuZhou Warriors.
Two Great Masters, and a bunch of Fu Masters…… These people must be very frightening, not even the Qin clan has such powerful people. Those guards immediately sent people to report to the Qin Clan, and at the same time inviting them into the city.
Luo Jie asked, “Who’s the Clan leader of the Qin clan?”
One of the Fu Masters replied, “It’s that old man Qin Zhuo.”
Luo Jie nodded, “Are you also part of the Qin Clan?”
That Fu Master pridefully answered, “Yes, my name is Qin Yun, I was trained by the clan to be a Fu Master.”
Luo Jie asked, “There’s a man in your family, not sure if you’d know him though……”
Qin Yun said, “That’s okay, go ahead, what’s his name, haha, there are a lot of people in the Qin clan, I probably don’t know them all.”
Luo Jie said, “He’s called Qin Han.”
T/N: the ‘zh’ consonant sound is the same as the ‘j’ sound in english. so ‘zhuo’ would be pronounce ‘jew-or’ except the first syllable is a lot shorter so it would be more like ‘jwor’. The ‘u’ in mandarin is always be an ‘oo’ sound so ‘yun’ would be ‘yewn’. (the ‘oo’ vowel sound is too long)
Qin Yun furrowed his eyebrows, thought for a while then apologetically said, “Sir, I’m afraid I don’t know him, I haven’t heard that name before.”
Luo Jie didn’t find this surprising, the Qin clan has a few million people, direct descendants would number at tens of thousands, not knowing one person is not unusual. He said, “Qin Yun, we want to stay at the best inn possible can you recommend us one?”
Qin Yun said, “Elder, you’re a valued guest, how could we let you stay in an inn? I’ve already sent someone back, someone will be here shortly to tend to your arrangements, haha, please could you wait a while longer.”
After about ten minutes of waiting, the sound of horse hooves could be heard off in the distance, a group of soldiers arrived at the city gates, one muscular man hopped off his horse’s back and called loudly, “Who’s are the guests from the Northern Fu Sect?”
12th asked, “Mister, who are you?”
That guy was stunned, asking, “What? You’re a FuZhou Warrior? How’s that possible?”
12th felt offended, saying, “Why is it not possible? Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s impossible!”
Luo Jie patted 12th on the shoulders signalling him to back up, he walked in front and said, “I am Luo Jie from the Northern Fu Sect, and you are?”
That guy looked carefully at the symbol on Luo Jie’s chest, and immediately fixed his posture and mannerisms, politely saying, “I am a deacon of the Qin clan, it’s my duty to attend to guests, haha, my name is Qin Mu, but I usually just go by Xiao Mu.”
T/N: Xiao means ‘small’. It’s commonly used in conjunction with the last character of a person’s name to serve as a pet name/nickname. It’s gender neutral.
Qin Mu waved his hand, signalling for people to lead the warhorses here, saying, “Please climb on!”
12th’s eyes sparkled, remarking, “These horses aren’t half bad……” He chose a black horse. In his past life he also had a black horse, although she wasn’t as majestic as this one, but in his past life she was still a pretty good horse.
Everyone climbed onto the horses, Qin Mu led the way following the main road.
The Qin clan value Luo Jie and the others’ arrivals very highly, two Great Masters, no matter what they need to be tended to properly, arranging the best lodging and the best attendants.
12th was too lazy to greet everyone with his Master, once they arrived at their lodging, he hid in his room alone reading his book, and then trained Huo Bao and the others, using Blood Fu to train, so he won’t need to bother with refining Light Fu. He has always thought it important to train his four companions, even in the Mysterious Land while they were fleeing, he didn’t neglect it at all.
The grass fields in winter was abnormally cold, the Qin clan brought them many many new clothes, as well as very expensive fur robes and fur hats. Qin Guang is the commercial centre for trading valuable furs, there are mass amounts of businesses here dealing in the trade of fur, therefore all of the items that the Qin clan offered are of the highest quality.
Other than the various furry garments, they also gifted a lot of supplies and food, and also gifted each person three warhorses born and raised in the fields, all of which are brilliant horses of a quality that is rarely seen.
12th especially liked the three warhorses that he was given, after they were gifted, he personally tended to them, fed them, washed them, and grew very close with them. One of the three was the black horse that he chose in the beginning.
Huo Bao and the others also received warhorses, but they didn’t love the horses like 12th did, they all had the servants take care of the horses, and would usually learn different attacks and techniques from Xiao Feng and the other Fu Masters.
Today, as soon as 12th finished packing his Hidden Fu Bag, Huo Bao, Hong Shi, Chen Bing and Chen Hong came in. Huo Bao said, “12th, we’re going shopping!”
12th waved his hands, saying, “You guys go, I’m busy…… No time, I’ve still got a book i need to read.”
Chen Bing cajoled, “Come on! Let’s all go together! It’s not every day that we get to come to Qin Guang, if we don’t go shopping then it would be such a shame, who knows if we’ll get to come back in the future.”
Chen Hong joined in, “12th, there are still things that we need to buy.”
All of them took turns trying to persuade him, and finally 12th smiled and said, “Alright alright alright, I’ll go…… Oh yeah, let’s ask the Qin clan for a guide, that way we can lessen the time wasted trying to find our way around.”
Luo Zhan followed 12th constantly, he’s practically become his personal bodyguard, however he’s glad to do it, after being with him for so long, he’s liking 12th more and more, not only is the little guy very well behaved, more importantly, he’s worth protecting. 12th’s actions in the Mysterious Land, won over the respect and admiration of all of the Fu Warriors.
Other than Luo Zhan, Xiao Feng was also willing to follow 12th. He specifically asked the Elder, saying he wants to train the four other kids, and so, like Luo Zhan, he’s also with 12th.
The Qin clan sent someone, just a normal man, not a practitioner of FuZhou, but he is very familiar with Qin Guang, so it was very suitable for him to be the guide.
The man is called, Qin Zi Lu, he’s a tidy, well-presented middle-aged man. He respectfully saluted 12th, knowing that the kid in front of him was extraordinary, not only was he the disciple of a Great FuZhou Master, he’s also a nine year old FuZhou Warrior, he’s a very respectable person.
Qin Guan was bustling with people and there were countless shops on both sides of the street, there were also large amounts of livestock chariots, especially when the big businesses entered the city, the entire street became densely crowded.
Qin Zi Lu was in front leading the way, occasionally introducing places to everyone, Huo Bao and the other kids listened eagerly, 12th on the other hand didn’t really care all that much, he walked with Luo Zhan and Xiao Feng a few steps behind and spoke quietly.
12th asked, “Uncle Xiao Feng, what’s Master busy with these days?
Xiao Feng replied, “He’s meeting with people everyday, I don’t know what they’re talking about either, although, I don’t think we’ll be staying here for many more days, I’ve heard that we’re going to leave quite soon, going into the grasslands…… Everyone says that the season isn’t suited to go into the grasslands, it’s the season for hunting, not travelling, it’s soon to be very cold.”
Luo Zhan said, “Winter in the grasslands could really freeze you to death.”
12th was very sensitive to cold, sighed and said, “That cold huh? Then we ought to buy a lot of fur clothings.” He lifted his head and asked, “Mister Zi Lu, where can we buy some fur?”
Qin Zi Lu replied, “Young Master, Qin Guang is renowned for its fur, most of the vendors here sell them, let me take you, not far from here there’s a road where they specifically sell fur, all of the shops there are fur shops.”
Chen Hong cheered, not being able to contain her excitement. As a young lady, of course she loves shopping, only ever since she was young, she had to work very hard, she practically didn’t have any time to even leave the house, even when she does she was always with adults, so she never had a say in anything, all she could do was mindlessly follow. This time there are no such constraints, 12th isn’t going to tell them what to do.
Qin Zi Lu said, “Let’s go to this one.”
12th lifted his head to see the shop sign, there were three words inscribed on the board – Zhen Pi Fang. He couldn’t help but laugh and said, “This is the Qin clan’s shop isn’t it?”
Qin Zi Lu proudly said, “In Qin Guang, the Qin clan shops are the best!”
T/N: The name of the shop I kept in the phonetic chinese, but the characters individually mean, ‘Treasure, Fur, Square’.
12th nodded, the Qin clan had home advantage, owning all of the best resources, having the best stores isn’t out of the ordinary either. He smiled and said, “Alright, let’s take a look.”
The store was very big, as soon as 12th entered the store, he could see many wooden shelves, and bars housing various types of fur, they were all so colourful, very beautiful.
Qin Zi Lu said, “These are the fur hides of common wild beasts, the ones further inside are the better furs, haha, we usually don’t bring out the best furs unless we have important guests.”
12th was curious so he asked, “The best fur? Is it the hide of a Fu Beast?”
Qin Zi Lu was dumbfounded, he awkwardly smiled, “Young Master, a Fu Beast’s hide…… Nobody in their right minds would sell that! Our best furs would just be the hides of Variant wild beasts, completely incomparable to Fu Beast hides……” He knew full well how rare and valuable Fu Beasts are.
Little did he know 12th had some Fu Beast hide on his person, he said, “Then let’s go and take a look.”
Qin Zi Lu called a friend and after talking quietly for a bit, the guy looked at 12th and the others and hurriedly ran inside.
Not long after, an old man walked out. Qin Zi Lu hurriedly walked in front, and whispered something.That old man’s face was wide with a smile, he came to 12th’s side and said, “Young Master, I am the owner of this store, haha, welcome! Please! Please take a seat!”
12th said, “It’s an honour!” He could tell straightaway that the Old man is commonfolk.
The shop was even larger deeper inside, what’s different is that here there are no wooden shelves, only very large wooden tables, which were filled with furs, and most of the customers inside were practitioners of FuZhou.
12th felt the fur on the table, nodded and remarked, “This fur is quite nice, very soft nor are there any peculiar smells.
The room was quiet, there were a few customers choosing furs, each one of them had servants following them. Suddenly Chen Hong exclaimed, “Wow! This…… It’s beautiful!”
It was a snowy-white, fox fur scarf, Chen Hong grabbed it and wouldn’t let go, she loved it so much that she continuously stroked it, and then pitifully looked towards 12th. She has no money, even though she’s the one in charge of the little group’s money, it’s not something to spend carelessly, unless 12th agrees to it.
12th said, “Everyone pick what you want, buy what you like, report it to Chen Hong and then pay for it all together.”
In the group, only Chen Hong cared that much about which one she picks, everyone else didn’t really mind, the Qin clan already gifted them a load of expensive furs. As for Luo Zhan and Xiao Feng, are even more uncaring. They had countless hides in their hunts, how could they possibly be interested in these things.
12th brought out a Hidden Fu Bag, retrieved a large piece of hide, it was the hide of a Fu Bear that they hunted in the Mysterious Land, the colour is dark brown. This piece was very big, that Fu Bear was five meters tall. Once he brought out the Fu Bear hide and laid it on the table, the shopkeeper was gobsmacked. He used his shaking hands to feel the needle-like brown fur, warbling, “This…… this…… is a Fu Beast’s hide?”
As soon as the two words ‘Fu Beast’ left his mouth, every customer in the room immediately reacted, each one of them expressing shock and awe in their faces.
Luo Zhan, not understanding his reason, asked, “12th, why did you bring out the Fu Beast hide?”
12th smiled and replied, “I want to use this Fu Beast hide to create a few robes, the grasslands are far too cold, robes made from a Fu Beast’s hide should be able to protect them from the cold.”
Luo Zhan laughed, “That’s far too luxurious!”
12th didn’t care if it was luxurious or not, as long as he doesn’t freeze, he’ll do it no matter how luxurious it is. He asked, “Mister shopkeeper, this piece of hide, can you work on it?”
Before the shopkeeper could answer, someone spoke from behind him.
“Eh? Isn’t that Fu Beast hide? You sell those here? Haha, I’ll take it!”