Chapter 341 - Patriarch Grass, Silverfold Plum
Just like that, Chu Zhaoyang became a hot topic.
Silver City citizens were broadminded and experienced, so he was merely a topic for them to discuss leisurely over dinner and tea. The majority of the residents agreed that swordsmanship counted for almost nothing when it came to the training system of the Avalon of Five Elements. Sword formations were merely paltry toys made by old fogies who were unwilling to give up on the glory of the ancient swordsmen.
What praise was there for a fellow who rose to fame as a wanted criminal who had made an unexpected mistake?
The Ling residence, Golden Eagle Study Room.
Ling Sheng looked so gloomy that water could be squeezed out of his face. He had just been talking about how there was nothing in Karakorum for them to fear, but in the blink of an eye, reality hit him square in the face. He felt as if someone had just given him a tight slap, and his face still heatedly stung from it.
He clenched his teeth and said, "Those morons actually got intimidated by Chu Zhaoyang!"
Madam Ling was not angry. Instead, it appeared that she had noticed something interesting as her eyes flickered. She picked up the report, which she had already looked over many times, and read it word by word. "Could it be that Chu Zhaoyang knows what Xiao Shuren’s ancient treasure is?
Ling Sheng paused slightly before raising his head abruptly. He asked gloomily, "What do you mean?"
"He previously created a bunch of problems when he rode The Great Wei Enterprise’s Fiery Floating Cloud." Madam Ling waved the piece of paper in her hands, adding, "And now he’s at Karakorum. Xiao Shuren’s there too. Don’t you think it’s too much of a coincidence?"
While Ling Sheng felt moody, he was no fool. On the contrary, in terms of temperament and wisdom, he surpassed most people, especially since he wielded power over the residence.
The fury in his eyes vanished into thin air as he lowered his voice and muttered, "Coincidental indeed. If he knows about the ancient treasure that Xiao Shuren possesses, he is definitely an object that we can exploit."
They had been curious all along. What exactly was this treasure that Dai Gang was so interested in?
If it could offer Grandmasters the chance to become great grandmasters, could it also elevate a Master into a Grandmaster?
There were no Grandmasters in the Ling residence, but there were quite a few Masters. There was only a single word that differed between the two, but in actual fact, they were worlds apart.
The highest a Master could achieve was to become a division leader or the Great Elder of Elders Guild.
A Grandmaster, on the other hand, could rule the a region.
Without a doubt, the Jadeite Forest belonged to Dai Gang. The Avalon of Five Elements belonged to Grandmaster An Muda if An Muda said so.
This was a Grandmaster.
As long as they lived, no one, except another Grandmaster, could defy their will.
If there was a Grandmaster in Ling residence…
Just the thought of this possibility made Ling Sheng ready to pay any price to realize it.
Madam Ling asked, "What’s Chu Zhaoyang’s history?"
Ling Sheng regained his senses and shook his head. "No results yet. He had too minor of a reputation and had been without a fixed residence. He behaved mysteriously, so I reckon it would be difficult to find any useful information. It’s even difficult to judge if this identity of his is real or false. Where do you plan to start?"
"Whatever we can think of, the other families will as well. So you’re right, Chu Zhaoyang is now a target for exploitation." Madam Ling continued, "We can assume that many invitations have been sent to him. No matter what he chooses, the ancient treasure in Xiao Shuren’s hands is the crucial issue in the end. We still have to think of a way to capture him. There’s only one treasure chest, but there might be more than one key."
Ling Sheng wrinkled his brows. "There must be many eyes watching Karakorum right now."
"Don’t be impatient." Madam Ling smiled meaningfully and said, "I have a feeling that Chu Zhaoyang still has a surprise for us."
The Karakorum Sword League.
Chu Zhaoyang was enjoying the supreme treatment. The Silverheel Swordsman had long since become a teacher of the main institution and was given a courtyard of his own. Many teachers visited in an endless stream, hoping to receive guidance and tips, to the point where a queue had formed.
For consecutively destroying five sword formations, Chu Zhaoyang’s popularity within Karakorum skyrocketed.
When a veiled lady appeared by the doorway, the crowd moved aside and bowed.
"You’re finally back, Chief."
The veiled lady slightly nodded her head toward them.
Ai Hui was quite curious. The Karakorum Sword League’s chief was called the "Karakorum Savant". No one knew her name, but judging from her outfit, she appeared angelic and magical.
The ordinary veil on the Karakorum Savant’s face was obviously thin, but it completely concealed her face. She wore a navy and white robe that was loose, yet accentuated her graceful figure.
"Nice to meet you, Mister Chu. I’ve heard of your magnificent feat on my way back. I can only regret that I wasn’t able to witness such a spectacular event."
The Karakorum Savant’s voice was clear, carrying a certain sternness and loftiness.
Ai Hui stood up to bow. "Nice to meet you. You flatter me. I’m still far behind you in terms of attainments. I heard that you want to create the first absolute art for swordsmanship. I have always been interested in swordsmanship ever since I was young, so this grand undertaking is something I simply can not miss. Please forgive me for turning up without an invitation."
"You’re too modest sir." The Karakorum Savant spoke in a clear voice, "Even I am unable to do what you’ve done."
She took out a wooden case and handed it over to Ai Hui. "Inside is my first draft. There are many areas to consider, so please be generous with your advice and comments."
Ai Hui was moved. She had handed over the compilation to him so openly, without the slightest intention to conceal anything. Such breadth of mind and boldness were not qualities most people could possess.
The Karakorum chief had not reached her current level without reason.
Ai Hui respectfully received the case and gravely said, "Many thanks. I will give it my best."
The Karakorum Savant bowed slightly and said in her clear voice, "Then I will not disturb your rest any longer."
The Karakorum Savant left, and upon seeing this, the teachers also started bidding their goodbyes.
In a flash, Ai Hui’s courtyard was back to its peaceful and quiet state.
A voice chimed behind him before Ai Hui could even open the case. "Your performance really shocked me."
Ai Hui’s body stiffened, and the hair on his body stood on end, but he quickly relaxed. "You scared me."
Turning around, he saw Hua Kui laughing at him.
Ai Hui trembled inwardly. He had not been able to judge Hua Kui’s abilities. Now, it seemed that Hua Kui was stronger than Ai Hui had guessed.
Was this a warning?
He asked with his usual expression, "How is that? My mission is already completed, so how about joining the headquarters?"
"Congratulations, it has been approved." Hua Kui grinned. "Your performance was more or less flawless. This is yours."
Ai Hui caught the wooden case Hua Kui threw to him and opened it. Inside was a small glass bottle half-filled with soil. A blade of grass grew within. A very ordinary blade of glass.
"What is this?"
"Patriarch grass." Hua Kui seemed to have predicted Ai Hui’s reaction. Laughing, he said, "It is our token and also a way to stay in touch."
Patriarch grass? Token? Ai Hui was bewildered. He tossed and turned the bottle, but no matter how he looked at it, it was just an ordinary blade of green grass.
Hua Kui was amused by Ai Hui’s movements and burst into laughter once again. "Hahaha, of course it’s not going to work this way. You’ll need to use the Assembly of Patriarchs’ unique fusion elemental energy."
"Fusion elemental energy?" Ai Hui felt dizzy from hearing all the foreign terms that Hua Kui threw at him.
"It is different from any existing type of elemental energy. It’s a unique creation from our Assembly." Hua Kui explained proudly, "Only those who join us will be able to learn it. The method of training fusion elemental energy is inside. You can use the patriarch grass once you’ve learned this, and we will be able to contact each other through it. You can also use it to read books and records that have been accumulated by the organization over hundreds of years. Then, you’ll know how mighty the organization is. Before us, the so called aristocratic families aren’t even worth mentioning."
Finishing his sentence, Hua Kui threw Ai Hui an oddly shaped sword. "You did really well this time. This Silverfold Plum is your reward."
Ai Hui grabbed it. The moment it reached his hand, he felt a vigorous jolt. A good sword!
The Silverfold Plum was silvery white all over and shaped like a chopped section of a plum tree branch. Its body was crooked and strong, while its surface was bumpy like old tree bark. The sword tip was actually made of three vivid, lifelike silver plum flowers. Their stamens trembled, and on the whole, the sword looked splendid and magnificent.
Seeing Ai Hui fondling it with admiration, Hua Kui was pleased as well. "This Silverfold Plum was forged by a master within the organization. It was made directly from artifact remnants fished out from deep within the Silver Mist Sea. Upon completion, it was immediately kept in a Heaven-grade weapons storehouse and has never appeared outside, so you don’t have to worry about its origin."
"This is a Heaven-grade weapon?" Ai Hui was beyond surprised.
"That’s right." Hua Kui nodded. "You will have a lot of time to experience its marvels. The organization will treat you well as long as you’re diligent. Your next mission is to stay in Karakorum, gain the chief’s trust, and keep her safe."
Hua Kui said with a stern face, "I heard that Dai Gang is interested in something that Xiao Shuren has, so evil characters from all over have started to come out one by one. You have to be vigilant as Karakorum is likely to be attacked within these two days, but don’t worry, because organization is prepared. Tsk, else these aristocratic families will think they can hide the truth from the masses."
"Xiao Shuren? The Great Wei Enterprise? Ancient treasure?" Ai Hui’s expression turned strange.
He thought back to the unpleasant experience when he was a wanted criminal.
Hua Kui could not help but laugh. "You should know that in the eyes of these aristocrats, you’re an object for exploitation."
Ai Hui was befuddled. "Why?"
Hua Kui was overjoyed. "You tangled with the Great Wei Enterprise and now you’re here in Karakorum where Xiao Shuren is. Is this a coincidence or not? It would be weird if you did not know any inside information about the ancient treasure, hahaha!"
Hua Kui was totally gloating over Ai Hui’s misfortune.
Chu Zhaoyang fell into that sticky situation with the Great Wei Enterprise precisely because he was on his way to meet Hua Kui. Currently, he entered Karakorum under the direct orders of Hua Kui’s mission. What inside information?
Seeing Chu Zhaoyang’s dumbstruck face, Hua Kui rejoiced even more.