Translator: sophiaxlm Editor: Kurisu
"Master, you are back!"
Wang Ruoxu returned to his temple, where he was greeted by his pupils. Hearing his arrival, the chubby priest went out in a hurry to report to him. "Master, you have two visitors. They wanted you to view Feng Shui for them. They have been here for some time."
"I see. Keep them company for a while longer."
As irritable as he felt right now, he could not turn down a potential business opportunity. He changed into another outfit in the quiet room and reorganized himself, then strode into the guest room with a welcoming laughter.
"I apologize for keeping you waiting this long!"
"That's totally fine. A capable man like Priest Wang is worth waiting for."
While exchanging pleasantries, Gu Yu attentively made a quiet observation of Priest Wang. The man was glowing with health, had a potbelly, and was rolled in fat—in short, a roly-poly sort of figure. Such appearance disappointed Gu Yu greatly. This man was just another damp squib!
All cultivators differed from ordinary men in one way or another. Take Tan Chongdai for an example. Although he could not consume essences, they could still spot on him a unique aura without much problem.
Gu Yu gave Xiaozhai a subtle signal; she responded with a wink, indicating she knew what to do.
"I was told that you are here for Feng Shui inspection?"
"Yes. Our boss wants to start a fur business, breeding animals and processing products with his own factory."
"Fur business? Oh my, that's destruction of a lot of life, a trespass against the law of heaven!"
Wang Ruoxu sighed affectedly and went on, "You have come to the right place. The Feng Shui inspection is not a superstitious concept, but has scientific basis. Everything has mental aura of their own, be it human body, a plant, or a building. The so-called Feng Shui is to seek and point out the auspicious energy that is beneficial for human bodies while avoiding the evil one that is harmful for us. This process is to tend to luck and escape from evil. If you are to produce with your own factories, you would be involved in a lot of killing and the grievance caused in the process itself is a powerful evil energy."
"Oh? How can we resolve it, then?" Xiaozhai asked.
"In Feng Shui, we believe that Qi brings life and without it, there's death. It's very simple, actually. All you need is a place with vital energy. It's called 'taking advantage of Qi and bringing out life'."
Wang Ruoxu appeared to be a vainglorious man who could not restrain himself from showing complacency. "As a matter of fact, I am the best you can find in Shu Zhou in the skill of finding the right site by observing the circumstances."
"Haha, your fame is the reason we've traveled this far."
In order to probe him further, Gu Yu and Xiaozhai put up a lengthy crosstalk performance. Xiaozhai seemed to know one thing or two on Feng Shui and could always find the right question to ask. The priest was so intrigued that he even made an exception to elaborate on his answers.
Wang Ruoxu might know nothing about Taoist skills, but he was indeed quite accomplished in Feng Shui.
After their conversation, Gu Yu and Xiaozhai made the excuse of having to ask for instructions from their boss and said their goodbyes. Wang Ruoxu did not mind all the much. Such business always had an element of randomness to it. He did not expect to close every deal walking into his door.
However, once out of the guest room, before they walked away, Gu Yu's ear twitched suddenly when he
picked up an indistinct conversation from the room.
"Prepare my luggage. I'm leaving early tomorrow morning."
"Where to this time, Master?"
"Nowhere new. I'm only going to Luobi."
"What's the point of going there? Who invited you? I could refuse them on your behalf…"
"Shut up! That's not for you to ask!"
Gu Yu told Xiaozhai what he had heard and while talking to each other, they walked out of the Temple of Spiritual Official. When they were outside, however, they paused for no obvious reason. They were originally supposed to return to the hotel, but turned to walk towards another direction instead.
Gu Yu spoke again only after they were a block away. "Why are those two plainclothes observing the temple? Is it possible that Wang Ruoxu was with the police?"
"Very likely. This thing turns out to be even more fussy than we expected," said Xiaozhai.
"So, tomorrow we…"
"Let's go back first."
After making sure no one was following them, they made a few swift movements and disappeared from the street in a flash.
Meanwhile, standing by a telegraph pole across the temple, those two men were discussing under their breath.
"They are not locals, right? Who are they?"
"I think they're tourists. Their IDs have been checked out."
"Shall we follow them?"
"Nah, let's just focus on the priest, making sure he doesn't give us any trouble."
The current situation was rather complicated. Basically, Li Suchun was in direct confrontation with the authorities. However, at a closer look, the forces also consisted of Wang Ruoxu and his pupil, and our two rubbernecks.
Back in the hotel, Gu Yu and Xiaozhai were collecting their thoughts.
"Everyone has their own objective. The murderer would want to escape, the police needs to catch him. Wang Ruoxu seems to be following orders, probably against his will… as for us, we are just onlookers, so we're out of the equation for the time being," said Gu Yu.
"I agree with you on everything apart from Wang Ruoxu."
Frowning, Xiaozhai said, "He's supposed to have studied in Mao Mountain. That's the birthplace of Shangqing School. After spending so many years there, all he can do is viewing Feng Shui?"
"Are you saying…"
"Anyway, we need to keep an eye on him in case he has something up his sleeves."
"In that case, we need to get up early tomorrow as well. Let's follow Priest Wang around first. Oh, by the way, we'd better rent a car."
"Yeah, we'll do that later. The police probably have not found the murderer yet. Things'll get complicated with them tagging along. We need to find that person before they do."
"And after that?"
"We'll see then. After all, we're just onlookers."
Night. The moonlight was smooth and cool as water.
At the foot of a low hill was a level ground with a tumbledown look. Li Suchun was standing there, gripping a yellow talisman between his fingers while chanting, "By the majestic Yin and Yang and the law of Nine Chapters, once this talisman is carried out by the imperial edict, all Yin energy shall be at my command. Obey at once, go!"
As soon as he finished those words, the talisman burst into flame without being kindled.
Paper in general burnt very fast. The talisman, however, burnt faster. Starting from the head, the flame consumed the entire talisman in the blink of an eye.
The green-and-red flame devoured the talisman paper rapidly without any trace of ashes. When the faint fizzling finally stopped, the talisman was also gone, as if it had disappeared into thin air.
Nothing seemed to have changed. However, had Gu Yu been here, he would doubtlessly sense the rapid converging of Yin energy from all directions. To be more precise, the energy was gathering into the ground in front of Li Suchun.
While confronting the police the other day, the white corpse was shot. Although it was an undead creature, the bullet hole in its chest had decreased its power.
Therefore, he had buried it in this place where the Yin energy was condensed and ignited a Yin-gathering Talisman to help with its recovery. If things went as planned, in another day, the white corpse would be as good as new.
Fumbling out a bag of bread from his pocket, Li Suchun tore open the package and munched on it. With his disheveled hair and ragged clothes, he looked more of genuine beggar than a real beggar. His eyes, though, still shone with unyielding light.
He had barely reached twenty and had already gone through so many hardships. It was amazing that he still managed to hold up.
Actually, he was not all that concerned. Of course he would like to escape, but if not, he would simply fight to death!
The following day, early in the morning.
Ship-shaped Street of the ancient town was deserted. The only shop opened for business was the one selling breakfast. People were shuttling in and out, holding huge food steamer with their hands.
A black car—an outdated model—drove near, stopping outside the Temple of Spiritual Official with a screeching noise. A head stuck out of the car window. "You've had a long night. Go back to catch some sleep!"
"We're ok. You're up!"
The two plainclothes who were on surveillance the whole night waved at them and walked away with fatigued gait.
The man got off the car and tapped at the temple gate, which was opened shortly by a priest, who asked hesitantly, "You are…"
"I'm here for Priest Wang. Is he ready?"
"Oh, he's coming. Please wait a moment."
The priest was obviously informed in advance and received the man with great courtesy. A few minutes after he went in, Wang Ruoxu showed up with his chubby pupil.
"Sorry to disturb you at such early hour, priest."
"That's alright. Let's go."
With that, the three got into the car and headed for the county center right away. Once there, they were joined by quite a few others and the fleet drove towards the suburbs in a line.