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Feng Shui had a long history.

The concept started thriving in Wei-Jin period and consisted of two major schools, namely the Form School established by Yang Yunsong in late Tang Dynasty and the Compass School founded by Wang Ji in Song Dynasty.

The Form School emphasized on searching for the right mountains, observing water, seeking mounds, and selecting sites. The good or bad luck was to be determined by the Qi of the place. The Compass School, on the other hand, took ideas from Bagua and five stars to determine the interactions of the three key positions (the entrance, the main room, and the kitchen) and six matters (doors, corridors, stoves, wells, beds, and toilets) of a dwelling.

In simple terms, the Form School was good at field work, while the Compass School did better job indoors.



Wang Ruoxu might have the appearance of a pudgy businessman, but he was indeed an accomplished Feng Shui expert well-equipped with knowledge of both schools. Right now, he was holding a compass while explaining to the others with a language as plain as possible.

"Mountains stand to the east of Luobi and a hundred steps or so past the mountain peak, the ridge starts to take the form of a dragon. The water is on the west, its source is at a low altitude and of a hollow shape, making it an auspicious sign. Back when the town was built, Feng Shui experts were invited here and designed a ship-shaped street with the bow facing the east and the stern the west, while the body of the ship spanned from the south to the north, enabling the ship to cut through the wind and waves, making the settlement the most prosperous place in the surrounding area.

However, the mining in the eastern mountains has destroyed the terrain and the reservoir happened to be built on the star position of the energies of vitality and prosperity. As the saying goes, the dragon lord on a mountain would not descend into the water and the one in the water would not go up a mountain. Once the dragon-formed ridge goes into the water, the dragon becomes a loach. The Feng Shui setup of this place has been damaged, that's why the county is getting poorer every year…"

"Humph!"

That official from the other day had attached much weight to this operation and even took the trouble to come in person. He snorted coldly at Wang Ruoxu's words. "So according to you, the fact that economy of Luobi is not doing well has nothing to do with the industries or the policies, but is the result of Feng Shui alone?"

"No, no, I wasn't thinking straight. That's not what I meant!"

Wang Ruoxu cringed. He was so busy showing off that he had forgotten who he was dealing with.

"..."

The big boss shot a glance at him and did not haggle over his answer, but asked, "You told us to drive east. Are you saying that the place is on the east?"

"When the ridge of dragon is damaged, a ruin must be left behind. If my deduction is correct, the place we're looking for is in the east," said Wang Ruoxu, as if ill at ease.

"You'd better find it as soon as possible. Our schedule is very tight and we can't afford to waste any time."

"Yes, of course. I'll do my best."

The two were the only passengers in this car; the chubby pupil was on another vehicle. The driver had been driving in silence, but was actually also thinking that the fatso was talking rubbish.

He was from the army and a real soldier. Not only him, all the buddies taking part in this mission were military personnel. The police force appeared to be in charge, but they were in fact pushed aside as the logistic support.

To be honest though, they were all somewhat disgruntled. They considered themselves elite soldiers, yet were now assigned to catch some unknown creature?

Come on!

They were all brought up in a proper atheistic background. There was no way they would believe in such nonsense.

At eight o'clock in the morning, the motorcade stopped somewhere on the east side.

They found themselves at the foot of a mountain of medium height, which occupied a somewhat vast area. Half of the leaves around them was turning yellow and with the pavilions, terraces, and ancient roads scattered around the mountain, there was a dilapidated beauty about it.

A few centuries ago, Luobi had three palaces and five temples, which attracted numerous worshipers. The buildings were later destroyed one after another. It was not until thirty years ago that the locals raised money among themselves and reconstructed one of them, the Guanyin Pavilion, which was right on this mountain.

"Tsk, something's not right!"

Lifting his eyes and looking up to the mountain top, Wang Ruoxu felt a chilly sensation for no obvious reason. He mumbled in bewilderment and suspicion. Seeing this, the official asked, "What have you found?"

"Not yet, I'm still looking…"

He gave an ambiguous reply, then seeing that the center cross lines were fixed, he turned the inner plate with his thumb. As the inner plate rotated, the heaven dial turned with it until the magnetic needle stopped moving and overlapped with the red line in the heaven dial. (TL/N: basically this is a description of how a Feng Shui compass, or Luopan, works. )

He measured the trend of the mountain and the Yin-Yang quality of the ridge before examining the terrain carefully. Only then did he confirmed, "This should be the right place. There must be a dilapidated layout."

"Good. Xiao Wu!" The official bade a man over. "Go get prepared."

"Yes, sir!"

The man withdrew to carry out the order, taking a few people to go up the mountain first. Before long, signal was sent out from above and two vehicles were driven to the intersection. They were going to close the road.

"Let's move out!"

A few men led the way, with Wang Ruoxu and the official walking in the middle and another few people at the rear.

Wang Ruoxu kept his eyes on the compass, growing all the more anxious as they walked on. He felt an uneasiness that he could not pinpoint. It was quite some time when a white jade memorial archway popped up in the front, which had "Iron Mountain" written across it.

'Oh my!'

He almost smacked his own head. How could he forget it?

Iron Mountain was the name of this mountain, whose location was a strategic point that had been fiercely contested over by military forces throughout history. According to an ancient text, "When the county of Ling Zhou was established, Iron Mountain, which produced iron ore, was found 35 km to the southeast of the county. Military Marquise Zhuge Liang used the iron to forge weapons, which were so hard and sharp that they were good enough to be used as articles of tribute."

And about fifty years ago, some villager dug out a stone tablet which was engraved with the words "Zhuge Liang the Military Marquise has refined iron here!"

"Geez!"

Wang Ruoxu broke out with goosebumps, already regretting that he had accepted the task.

Feng Shui contained many notions involving evil auras, such as the Five Yellow, the Two Black, and the Three Azure evil auras, etc. And since all things belonged to the five elements, the evil auras were no exception.

Iron belonged to Metal, which meant it was endowed with the evil aura of Metal.

The kingdom of Shu Han had concentrated the strength of the entire country to refine iron here. Just imagine the scale of that. How many ironwares had they made? Not to mention that those were weapons aiming to take lives on battlefields!

The evil aura should have dissipated after one thousand years, but one never knew. [1]

That was "perfect"—a Yin-gathering spot on top of the evil aura of Metal, this thing was going to be a handful!

"Slow it down! Go slowly! You're freaking me out!"

In an old white car, Gu Yu was gripping the handle while yelling in an exaggerated and frightened tone.

"Oh, shut up! I'm only going at 100 miles per hour!" [ED/N: ~160 km/h]

Behind the wheel, Xiaozhai was stepping on the clutch, shifting gears, then punching the accelerator proficiently. The car swooshed past a truck. She had her own driving license, but never got round to buy a car. Now that she got an opportunity to practice, well, she was free as a bird.

After dashing on like this for quite a while, she found some traffic cameras set up on a pole overhead across the road and slowed down the car, then drove steadily like a lady.

Gu Yu straightened up in his seat and sighed, "I need to take up driving lessons after we go back. I'm not letting you drive again."

"Why didn't you learn it when you were in college? I got mine when I was in uni," asked Xiaozhai.

"I was going to, by got sidetracked when something came up. I thought about learning it when I was selling stuff in the mountain as well, but didn't have time to do it."

After saying that, he suddenly chuckled, "Well, I don't actually have to learn it. We'll probably be able to fly soon. What do I need a car for?"

"..."

Darting a look at the fellow, Xiaozhai also sighed, "Alas! You men change as easily as eels sliding into holes." [2]

"Well…"

Gu Yu was becoming very good at grasping her thoughts. He asked teasingly, "Am I thinking too much or did you just say what I think you said?"

"Nope, you did not overthink it."

The girl admitted it frankly and stepped on the accelerator again, chuckling at the same time, "You are luckier than a lot of people, though. At least you've been where the eel has visited." [3]

"Pfft!"

Turning his head to the other side, Gu Yu was seriously considering jumping off the car.

Following a general direction, they were soon a long way off. Farmlands grew denser on either side of the road and they could make out some villages and houses. A little while later, they saw a low hill rising out of the horizon. They knew they were almost there.

To get to the low hill, they had to turn into a branch road.

However, when they reached the side road, they found it blocked by a barricade and guarded by a police car. A police officer gestured at them, then approached them when they came to a complete stop. "What are you doing here?"

"We, we are tourists. We heard there's the Guanyin Pavilion here," stammered Gu Yu.

"Oh, the road is closed today. Please go back."

"Will it open tomorrow?"

"I'm not sure. We're only following orders."

"Oh, thank you."

Xiaozhai turned the car around and drove away, then stopped at a remote spot.

Exchanging a look, they shrugged in unison: field trip it is, then.

[1] ED/N: While it's "aura", it's not exactly it either... it's pretty hard to explain, but think of something between a ghost and an aura... should be closer to the latter, but I won't be surprised if it turns into or spawns an actual ghost.
[2] TL/N: "鳝变" is a comical variation of "善变", which means "fickle" (the two sound the same). The thing with the eel originated from a piece of real-life news where a female blogger live-streamed herself "playing" with an eel.
[3] TL/N: "At least you're not a virgin any more."

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