Thant Tun had bitten the dust—not done in by some back-alley assassin, but scorched to ashes by a streak of lightning in broad daylight with a streetful of witnesses.
Gao Ling was also wasted. The backfire of Erotic Tame Head had destroyed his mind and he would spend the rest of his life a retarded man.
Therefore, the authorities had to give an official explanation to both the Gao Family and the general public, even if it was plain bullsh*t.
"Yesterday around noontime, a criminal fleeing across provinces was shot down in Taoyuan Estate of Spring City… because the criminal was well-equipped with advanced weaponry, multiple civilians were accidentally injured during the crossfire. The appropriate treatment has been arranged and the emotions of the persons concerned and their families are relatively stable…"
Hence, a piece of news thus blatantly worded appeared on the official print media of Spring City, taking up the tiniest column possible. The common folk who had actually witnessed the event or heard about the rumor of the event probably responded with a shrug: well, whatever you say!
Ever since the bubbling news of "possessed by ghosts" in August, common people of this country had gotten used to the way news traveled around: the official media were forever telling everyone solemnly about the peaceful and quiet life they were enjoying, while the network media criticized about everything and made every effort to reveal the truth.
This stark yet interesting contrast between the two had created plenty of topics for the general public to crow about. They were, of course, finding what was going on somewhat understandable: why, the government had gone this far to cover things up, that should at least count for something, right?
There was no photo or video footage of the event of that day, but almost everyone doubtlessly "knew" and filled in any blanket with their lively imagination.
"I was there. I'm telling you, that man had black cloth wrapped around his head and was a Myanese!"
"A man of Myan should think twice before messing around in Spring City. See what became of him? You do not want to piss off the bosses!"
"Dude, how do you know it was the Taoist priest's doing?"
"There was the lightning! Who else have you seen using them apart from Taoist people?"
"Hahaha! I've written a full season of TV drama in my head already: the southern foreigners snuck in with an evil intention, trying to stir things up; a Taoist priest brought justice by striking down with lightning!"
"Tsk, tsk. I've always thought Tame Head of the Southeast an amazing skill. From the look of it, ours is by far the better one! Why, all of a sudden, I feel much more confident."
"There're so many veterans here and this novice is quivering with his ignorance. I only have one question: where the heck is this Phoenix Mountain?"
"Exactly! I've checked online. There are over twenty mountains with this name—in Yong Town, Qishan, Leqing, Shanhe Village, Putian, Panshui… damn it, even the HK Islands have a Phoenix Mountain! This immortal couldn't have chosen a more common name!"
"Whatever! I've made up my mind! I'm going to search every corner of our country for the real immortals!"
West Diannan, Ruili.
Ruili was a county-level city right next to Muse of Myan. A treaty port had been set up here to support the trade of jade. Every year, nearly 10 million travelling traders and tourists visited the city.
Life in border cities had always been quite interesting. The two cities were separated by nothing but an iron fence at the closest spot, which had a big hole on it—people were going to and fro through it without ever being stopped. On the other side of the fence were some unlicensed motorcycle-taxi ready to take you for a one-day ride around Muse.
The situation was pretty much the same over on this side. Young beggars of the other side would often cross the border and crouch down pitiably by the side of the road. They couldn't speak Chinese and were only here for some food.
"Awwww, poor baby! Can you use our money over there?"
Xiaojin was now handing a bag of food to an unkempt little girl, then gestured with a few notes. The child took out a piece of bread and wolfed it down, making a humming sound and nodding at Xiaojin.
"That's good. Put it away in your pocket and don't let others take it."
She stuffed the money into the little girl's pocket and sighed. "I guess the news 1 was right: our country is prospering and everyone else is suffering in hell!"
The corner of Gu Yu's mouth twitched. 'Had I not known you better, I'd have taken you for Mother Teresa!'
Tao Yu, on the other hand, did not know Xiaojin like Gu Yu did. He was immediately moved by her "kindness". "Fate had brought her here to our doorstep. Let me check with the authorities, see if we can take the kid into our system. That'll at least make my conscience at peace."
"That's great. Your good act will be rewarded. May the force be with you."
Xiaojin cupped her hands solemnly at Tao Yu.
After they took out Thant Tun, the BIMAUP came to visit them at Zhenqing Temple—not to denounce them for what they did, of course, but only to inquire what actually happened.
With the complicated situation at the moment and abnormalities popping up everywhere, the BIMAUP had turned into the ultimate logistic service of the cultivation community, as well as the labor union of the Taoist community, the director of propaganda, and the research institution—among a whole bunch of other functions. Their complaint had changed from lying around with nothing to do to working their a*s off and feeling 24 hours were not enough for a day—let's just call it fate.
Gu Yu was not the patronizing type and told them about the event in details. As for how the Gao Family, Zhenqing Temple, and the public sentiment were to be handled, that was not something he would concern himself with.
After that, the two came to Ruili with Tao Yu.
The Tao Family ran a business in jade locally and was quite affluent. They had a commercial building in the port area which contained hundreds of individual shops. Their mansion was not far, either—just a 15-minute walk to the east of the port.
"Things are quite rough over there in Myan at the moment. Three forces are all trying to take control of the country and fights are breaking out almost everyday. The Kachin Hills are within the strategic region, which is now under the control of Soe Win's army. The other two forces are May Myo and Ge Thantwe. All three are devilish men who slaughter people without so much as batting an eyelid. People over there are all panicky and many have sneaked over to this side." Tao Yu filled them in on the current situation in a low voice as they walked. "My family has some connections on the other side. Let me try if I can contact them and sent you to the Kachin Hills. I know mighty immortals like you two may not care about that, but I still think we should avoid unnecessary fight if it's possible."
"That can wait. Let's go see your uncle first." Gu Yu did not give any definite reply. A moment later, they arrived at a manor.
Yes, it was a manor: tall walls, huge yards, and a three-story white building with a fountain and a lawn. Xiaojin was genuinely surprised as she exclaimed, "Old Tao, I never knew you're such a Tuhao! I've always thought you just another upstart."
"Haha, I'm an upstart all right. My grandfather started the business and it's only the third generation now." Tao Yu was indeed a good-tempered man. After a pause, he said bashfully, "You might think everything is great from the look of this house, but we can barely put up with the appearance. Tao Ran has taken over the company and we only managed to hold on because of the shares my uncle still has. You have ruined his plan back in Spring City and I'm sure he is infuriated. I fear that he might send people to make trouble for us."
With that, the three entered the courtyard.
A demure and beautiful middle-aged woman came out in a hurry to greet them. "Xiao Yu, you're finally back. Is everything ok?"
"It's fine. How is uncle?"
"Very bad. If we can't find a way to save him, we'll have to start planning for his funeral."
"Don't worry. These two masters I brought back will surely dispel the evil energy from him."
He then introduced them to one another. The woman was Tao Yu's aunt. Most of the clansmen had been bought off by Tao Ran and the only ones left behind here were the elderly and the young. The situation looked rather hopeless.
"Mr. Gu, my uncle is just upstairs. Do you want to have a look first?"
"Please take me to him."
They went up to a bedroom on the second floor, where a nanny and two teenagers were looking after the patient. The emaciated man was in his fifties and his breathing was almost too shallow to detect; he could barely be considered a living person.
Gu Yu gave it a look and knew what he was dealing with right away. "He's been infected by evil energy. It's quite easy to treat."
The two children were very smart and immediately saw that he was the honorable guest they had been hoping for. They ran to him desperately. "Please, please save my father!"
"We'll do anything! Just please save dad!"
The aunt was afraid of offending the master and said hastily, "The master will decide that for himself. You shouldn't be disturbing him like this. Come, let's leave them in peace."
After they left, Gu Yu took out his gourd and poured out an Evil-dispelling Dan. He then fed it to the man and activated his spiritual essence to guide the energy around the man's body so that the medicine would take effect.
Xiaojin slouched in her chair on the side playing with her phone, and couldn't care less about what was going on.
Tao Yu watched it with widely open eyes. He had heard about what happened to Thant Tun, who was not that famous himself, but had a master who was notoriously vicious.
Hence Tao Yu's reasoning: the Three Gods were the major masters and their pupil a minor master; someone who could easily terminate a minor master should at least be a major master themselves.
The possibility of his uncle being saved had never looked this promising. He almost felt grateful for the beating Tao Ran gave him, for he would have never met these two otherwise.
"What are you doing? How can you break in like this? This is my house!"
"Get your a*s down here, Tao Yu! That old fool has days to live and you're kicking the bucket first!"
"Waah, don't go in there, waah…"
"Out of my way!"
Just then, a hubbub of crying and screaming came from downstairs. Tao Yu shuddered and turned abruptly towards Gu Yu, who did not even lift his eyelids. Xiaojin put away her phone, got up, and went downstairs.
A minute later, there came another round of hubbub and screaming.
"Sorry! I'm sorry! Please don't hit me!"
The bunch of petty underlings only took Xiaojin one "angry crow takes flight"— 2 they were all over the ground like fallen apples. She then froze these people by blocking their meridians and tossed them into the fountain pool head first.
Struck by her heavenly mightiness, that pair of teenagers admired her with shining eyes, completely forgetting about the fear they had a minute ago.
"You two, keep an eye on them. Drag them out for a breath if they're drowning, then throw them back in."
"Don't worry, they can't move!"
Xiaojin ran happily back upstairs and saw that Gu Yu was almost wrapping up.
The man was probably also affected by a type of Tame Head which could wear his internal organs down until he was dead. It was not done expertly and was easily seen through—possibly the work of some lesser Tame Head master.
Gu Yu put a palm flat on the man's chest and circulated his spiritual essence around so that the medicine was the most effective.
Vapor was rising from all over his body and some detectable faint black air was dissipating. A couple of seconds later, the black air turned white, then turned transparent.
Before long, Gu Yu put down his hand.
Tao Yu could now see that his uncle was breathing evenly and color was back on his cheeks. He was exultant. The Tame Head that almost destroyed his family was removed like crushing an ant… without knowing it, Gu Yu had become a god-like figure to him.
"Thank you, Master! Thank you!"
"Our Tao Family is forever in you debt. From now on, through fire or high water, we'll follow whatever order you give us!"
The aunt was a smart one as well—with what this man could do, they would be idiots if they didn't make the best of this opportunity.
"That's ok. It's not a big deal." Gu Yu was about to end it with some pleasantries when an idea suddenly came to him. "You said you have been in the jade business for three generations. Have you collected any unusual treasure that I may have a look at?"TL/N: the common sarcastic remark netizens give to CCTV (that is, the name of the national TV channel, not closed-circuit television) news.] TL/N: a signature move of the villain Hak Foo in the animated TV series Jackie Chan Adventures