There was one question the government could not find an answer to no matter what.
Be it Li Suchun and his zombie, Maoshan Sect and its talismans, or even things like the undead insects and snake-controlling, they all came down to one question at the end of the day—what brought such change?
When this modern state was established ninety years ago, reorganizing the Taoist scriptures was among the first things the government carried out in the beginning. The so-called 'men of great virtue and might' of the Taoist community were also summoned at the time, yet all turned out to be nothing but common folks. When the Taoist association was set up later, the government had also let things slide and the organization was as good as non-existent.
To most government personnel, the only thing those Taoist priests were capable of was to bamboozle money out of the government's pockets.
Recently, however, they suddenly discovered that 'Hey, people have actually cultivated something out of those Dan and talisman practices!' and in case anyone wondered how they felt about that, it could be generalized with three letters: WTF!
Following the instructions of their superior, the BIMAUP visited Baiyun Temple in the suburbs of the capital city. Founded in Tang Dynasty, the temple was originally named Tianchang Temple 1 . Later, when Qiu Chuji became the head of the Taoist community of the entire country following the imperial decree, he settled down in the temple and renamed it Changchun Palace 2 , which then became the center of Taoism in the northern China.
It was not until Ming Dynasty when its name was officially changed to Baiyun Temple. After the foundation of the modern state, the temple was also made the site of the Taoist association.
The director of the BIMAUP paid a visit in person, which even startled the current abbot, Li Qing. After summoning a few relevant individuals and studying the matter in private for days, they came to the conclusion that something intangible must have caused the change.
They had come up with a few options and the spiritual essence was one of them. The term 'spiritual essence' wasn't a modern one. According to the "Eulogies on the Paintings of ' Classic of Mountains and Seas 3
'", "The pair of beasts guarded the gate of the emperor, which inhaled and exhaled the spiritual essence, looking vigorous and firm."
The authorities were actually on the right track. They had remained uncertain only because they could not detect it.
And now, when Gu Yu made that claim, even a man as experienced as Mu Kun could not keep his composure. The 'thing' was fundamental to them. Only after they understood the basis could they move onto the superstructure.
Mu Kun knew the value of it too well. He forced himself to calm down before asking, "Are you telling the truth?"
"You'll see when we start talking."
"No, I need proof first."
Mu Kun shook his head. He needed to take precautions, for if this man was lying and he reported it without checking first, he would be blamed as much as these two.
Gu Yu gave him a look and let out an involuntary sigh, which sounded soft and gentle. Mu Kun was at a loss of his reaction and stared at him in return. He then realized that the sigh was extremely long-lasting. It lingered in the air for a very long time.
Gradually, the sigh turned into an exhalation and the breath materialized into something tangible. It was no longer colorless, but was pure white now.
Gu Yu then opened his mouth and exhaled a streak of white steam, which twirled, tumbled and soared in the air like a dancing dragon. Immediately after that, the dragon dived and made its way straight at Mu Kun.
There was no time to dodge. Mu Kun watched as the white steam flew at his face, stopped abruptly before reaching him, then was slurped back like a river flowing backwards.
He swayed. Even his fingertips were shaking. His voice seemed to choke on itself, making him incapable of making a sound.
"Like I said, the thing you want... I'm the only one that can lead you to it."
By playing around with the spiritual essence he exhaled, Gu Yu had successfully had the situation under control. "Director Mu, do you believe me now?"
It took Mu Kun a full five minutes before he regained his composure and replied coldly, "I hope you know the consequences if any of your information turns out untrue!"
No individual was powerful enough to withstand the fury of the giant machine known as the government. He gave them a warning and went on, "I can pass on the message for you. In the next few days, you…"
"We'll be in Urumqi for the next few days. Come find us when your people are here," replied Xiaozhai.
Mu Kun was a decisive man. He gave them both a meaningful look, turned around and called aloud as he left the building, "Attention everyone! We're pulling out!"
Despite hearing the order loud and clear, Old Tong could not help but double-check.
"Everyone, retreat! Now!"
Completely baffled, Old Tond had no other option but to carry out the command and ordered those surrounding the warehouse to return to the unit.
A couple of minutes later, he led a team and broke into the warehouse. Gu Yu and Xiaozhai were long gone by then, leaving behind the pile of turnips crouching in the corner, all shaking and shivering.
Honestly, many people were very steamed up after today's event. They had hurried out there only to lose a dozen of their men as captives. The only thing that came out of their humiliation was that their opponent had left the scene unscratched.
Such a burning shame!
However, the humiliation was not Mu Kun's concern at the moment. Back in his car, he was racking his brain right now.
It was indeed a matter well beyond his pay and he would have to wait for decisions from above—although he doubted they would reply with anything other than a yes. Long Qiu should be closely guarded as well, in case this was a diversion and those two were going to rescue her.
What was more, that streak of Qi was for real! Did that mean that fellow had cultivated to a rather high level?
'Speaking of which, when they grabbed me, why did the gunners all fall to the ground? Those two did not make physical contact. It must be some sort of ability, we need to pay attention to that… Wait a minute?'
All of a sudden, an idea dawned on him. Jiang Xiaozhai had family in Shengtian and if they could round them up as a leverage… no, no. He immediately abandoned that thought.
It was the worst of the worst. Had they done it, it would be openly declaring war. Judging by the characteristics of those two, they would very likely put up a life-and-death struggle, bringing everything and everyone down with them till the end.
The thought brought an involuntary sigh out of him.
To make negotiation feasible, two principles had to be followed: value and strength. The value of their information was apparent. As for their strength, it might not be comparable to that of the state as a whole, but it also depended on the specific circumstances.
Take today as an example. They were capable of killing everything on scene, Mu Kun himself included. They could even fight all the way into the government compound, annihilating the governing body of Urumqi. Yes, the state could afford such loss of manpower, but who would take the responsibility for such a loss? How would the negative effect be remedied?
To the leaders of the highest level, stability was always the first and foremost issue.
Mu Kun returned to the capital city, bringing with him the disturbing news whose effect were yet to take place.
As for Gu Yu and Xiaozhai, they had actually settled down in Urumqi as they promised, spending their days shopping, dining out, and even going to the cinema once. Life was good for them.
They were not worried about Long Qiu, for they believed the authorities were smart enough to keep her safe before reaching an agreement with them.
They had been correct. Long Qiu was in custody for four or five days at most—not even long enough to pass her observation period. Right now, our girl was locked in confinement and spending her gloomy days eating and sleeping.
Her life was not all that miserable if compared to that of Zhao Lei's, who was still in charge of keeping surveillance on Gu Yu and Xiaozhai, in case they decided to cause some scene again.
He had never been assigned to a job as lousy as this one before. He stalked the duo when they were out shopping… and they even ordered his share when they sat down eating.
And you call that surveillance!!!
In the end, he had given up tailing them and exposed himself willingly. The three of them would even sit down and have a chat from time to time.
All in all, the duo had reached a temporary tacit agreement with the authorities. The two sides kept an eye on each other without disturbing either side's daily life. Such a subtle balance was maintained for three days before it was broken and the tension rose again.
For, someone was finally coming down from the capital city.
The person they sent did not seem an official that high-ranking. Even the roads were not closed when the car furtively drove into the compound. However, those with insider information were restless at the person's arrival. The man might not be of a high position, but he had been endowed with much power. With the title of the head of the coordination group, he was solely responsible for the negotiations this time.
In the ancient times, such a person was called... the imperial envoy.TL/N: meaning "everlasting" TL/N: meaning "eternal spring" TL/N: The Classic of Mountains and Seas, or Shan Hai Jing, is a Chinese classic text and a compilation of mythical geography and myth.