Chapter 495 - Master Shao And Information
The old man was kneading mud in the courtyard.
In his aged and rough hands wet, ordinary looking yellow mud was being kneaded into the shape of a human puppet. The old man’s facial expression was very focused, and he appeared to be lost in his own word.
Hong Rongyan did not say anything and stood silently behind the old man.
He wore a luxurious, ink-black silk robe, making him look as if he was engulfed in a dense shade of darkness. His robe was well-fitted, wrapping closely around his long and slim figure. The glistening, dark-red cinnabar dot in between his eyebrows added an indescribable tinge of charm to his devilishly handsome face.
When he appeared in the courtyard, all the rays of light seemed to focus on him.
The old man was very focused on kneading the mud and Hong Rongyan was also very focused on watching him doing so.
The sunlight shone into the courtyard and onto the old man’s back, making the scene look like a painting.
The servant girl that followed Hong Rongyan did not dare to make any noise. The scene taking place now seemed to contain a mysterious power that could make one quiet down.
The old man straightened his back and placed the mud puppet in his hands down. The humanoid puppet was crudely made, resembling the work of a naughty child. Its limbs were thick and short and it did not have any facial features. However, for some reason, it looked somewhat quick-witted.
"Such a fine piece of work."
Even though it was a word of praise, Hong Rongyan’s voice contained a faint tinge of grief.
When the old man heard his voice, he turned around and said casually, "If you like it, I can give it to you."
"Thank you, Master Shao."
Hong Rongyan gave a bow and carefully took over the mud puppet. The servant girl beside him acted with haste and hurriedly brought over an exquisite wooden box. Hong Rongyan cautiously placed the mud puppet into the wooden box and closed the box gently.
Throughout the whole process, he held his breath with a focused look on his face and his movements were extremely slow. It was as if he was holding a priceless treasure, not a mud puppet.
Master Shao looked at Rong Hongyan with interest and did not make any noise to disturb him.
After closing the box, Hong Rongyan took a pure white handkerchief from the servant girl and wiped his hands clean before passing it back to her.
Following which, he shifted his gaze towards Master Shao and said with distress, "Master Shao, we have some information regarding the issue you mentioned last time around."
Master Shao’s body suddenly tensed up. However, the next moment, he heaved a breath and his body loosened up slowly. He looked at Hong Rongyan and asked, "Where is she now?"
"Your granddaughter indeed used to be in the Assembly of Patriarchs. However, at that time, since you had concealed your identity and we did not know that she was your granddaughter, we thought she was just an ordinary blood elementalist. If we knew your identity at that time, we definitely would have treated you with the highest form of respect."
Hong Rongyan looked sincere and his tone was laden with grief and regret.
"Then you imprison me? Torture me to extort confessions?" Master Shao replied with sarcasm.
Back in the day, he concealed his identity and left Blood of God with his granddaughter. After he evaded Blood of God’s pursuit, he was attacked by the Assembly of Patriarchs unexpectedly. Subsequently, his granddaughter was captured by the Assembly of Patriarchs.
Hong Rongyan shook his head and replied, "You have too many prejudices against the Assembly of Patriarchs. Even though Blood of God and Assembly of Patriarchs have been arch-enemies for many years, our methods are still much more humane than Blood of God’s.
"Where is she now?" Master Shao asked plainly.
After staying silent for a while, Hong Rongyan replied with a stronger apologetic tone, "Fifteen years ago, the headquarters of Assembly of Patriarchs came under a large-scale attack and we suffered heavy losses. Our three orphanages were also affected and your granddaughter was in one of them."
Master Shao froze as the luster in his eyes disappeared. After a while, he asked with a hoarse voice, "So she is dead?"
"I’m very sorry," Hong Rongyan bowed and expressed regret.
His voice sounded very sincere.
Master Shao stood there in a daze. His turbid pupils were emotionless.
"I am really very sorry! I will take my leave now," Hong Rongyan sighed.
After giving a bow, Hong Rongyan left the courtyard with the servant girl.
After they left the courtyard, the servant girl could not help but ask, "Young Master, why are you so courteous towards him?"
Jing Tao’s voice was innocent and bright. Previously, she was being very well-behaved. At this moment there was no one else around so she became much more casual. She had served Young Master since she was very young. Both of them had a very deep relationship and her status was completely different from the other servant girls’.
"God Puppet Palace." Hong Rongyan looked as if he was reminiscing about something. "Back in the day, God Puppet Palace was glorious and mighty. The current master of Beast Venom Temple is his disciple. He is second to none in making puppets."
A doubtful look appeared on Jing Tao’s face. She didn't quite understand what was going on. In her eyes, no matter how formidable the old man was, he couldn’t be stronger than her young master. However, since her young master said so, she quickly nodded her head.
Hong Rongyan suddenly stopped in his tracks.
Jing Tao was shocked. She quickly stopped in her tracks too and looked at her young master.
"The palace master of God Puppet Palace is a supreme individual. Why would he want to escape from Blood of God with his granddaughter? Who is trying to harm him? Who dares to harm him? That could only be the Holy Emperor. Is it possible that he has offended the Holy Emperor?"
Jing Tao remained speechless. She knew that if her young master’s train of thought was disrupted now, he would be very angry.
Hong Rongyan still did not understand what was going on after pondering for quite some time. Master Shao was Holy Emperor’s right-hand man. Even though Holy Emperor was cruel and ruthless, he respected those who were capable very much. He definitely would not have scared Master Shao away from Blood of God over some petty issue.
"Remember to get someone to investigate this issue," Hong Rongyan instructed.
"Yes," Jing Tao replied obediently.
She had been able to serve Young Master for many years because she knew the limits of decorum very well. Young Master could tolerate small tantrums from the servant girls. However, when it came to serious issues, her young master would be extremely serious. He would not be joking around at all.
Her interest was piqued by Hong Rongyan. If the old man was so formidable, why did he want to escape from Blood of God?
Ai Hui woke up in the middle of the night. He could not sleep as his mind was filled with the image of Iron Lady’s helpless look from that day.
In his eyes, Shi Xueman was not really smart or gentle at all. Her spearmanship was powerful and heavy. She had an iron willpower. She was always the one that led the charge. On the battlefield, she would always take on the most powerful enemy. She had never complained about hardships or blamed others for the circumstances she was in.
But that day was first time he’d seen such a helpless look from Iron Lady.
The worst thing was he was severely injured at this point of time.
Ai Hui could not fall asleep. He widened his eyes and looked at the stars above his head. After being in a daze for a while, he forcibly calmed himself down. Being in a daze was useless now.
He got rid of the distracting thoughts in his mind and pondered about the condition of his body.
As time passed, Ai Hui became drowsy, half-asleep.
After an unknown amount of time had passed, he was awakened by Lou Lan.
"Ai Hui, Ai Hui, wake up."
Ai Hui opened his drowsy eyes and Lou’s masked face appeared in his line of sight. Subconsciously, he blurted out, "Lou Lan…"
"Ai Hui can talk!" Lou Lan’s eyes lit up.
Lou Lan’s cheer immediately created an uproar in the camp. Everyone swarmed over, as if they were looking at a rare animal.
"Look at how vigorous he is! He is stronger than a wild boar!"
"Wild boar? Don’t insult Ai Hui! He is a cockroach!"
"He looks like he is going to recover soon. That’s really good. Lou Lan can make more elemental soup for us now."
"Yes, yes! Lou Lan has to take good care of Ai Hui every day, so it means we have less elemental soup to drink."
"Lou Lan, what are we eating tomorrow?"
"Should we come up with a new dish? Lou Lan’s cooking skills… Argh, I’m so hungry!"
Everyone broke into a lively discussion. Initially, they were here to look at Ai Hui. Very soon, they were talking about elemental soup. The word "hunger" was written all over their faces. All of them were talking about what type of elemental soup Lou Lan would make tomorrow. They could not free themselves from the reverie they were lost in.
No one noticed that Lou Lan had already brought Ai Hui away silently.
Ai Hui’s sleepiness was scared away by those unbearable fellows’ repulsive-looking faces. At this moment, he was unusually wide awake.
"Lou Lan, where are we going?"
Carrying Ai Hui on his back, Lou Lan said cheerfully, "Ai Hui, we are going to Central Pine Valley. Master He has already completed his task and he wanted me to bring you there to take a look. He doesn’t know whether or not he did it right."
Ai Hui became energized, "Blind He is really efficient. He is able to finish the task so fast."
"Ai Hui, calling Master He ‘Blind He’ is really rude," Lou Lan said with a solemn tone.
Immediately, Ai Hui reacted to him and chuckled, "Oops, oops. My bad, my bad, I am very respectful to Master He."
Lou Lan’s tone became cheerful once more as he said, "Yes. When Master He was forging it, he was very serious. Lou Lan has a lot to learn from him. When Lou Lan is free, Lou Lan is going to learn the art of smithing from Master He."
Central Pine Valley was not far away from Fishback City. Carrying Ai Hui on his back, Lou Lan reached Central Pine Valley very soon.
The first person Ai Hui saw was Duanmu Huanghun, who was meditating in the bamboo forest.
There was a small wooden box in front of Duanmu Haunghun. It was the wooden box that his family members had requested Mu Lei to bring to him.
Ai Hui did not disturb Duanmu Huanghun.
When Lou Lan brought Ai Hui to the Snow Cluster Flames, his gaze was immediately attracted by something.
He raised his head and looked at the huge metallic casting in front of him.
Its shape was very weird, resembling a metal ladle. It was very difficult for one to link it to a huge sword. The first impression that one had was of its huge size. It was so huge that it looked like an ice-cold, metallic monster. The body of the sword was thick and strong. It looked much more sturdy than Ai Hui’s sword body. It looked boorish and ugly.
However, a huge part of its surface was extremely smooth and sleek, resembling a mirror. Countless, densely-packed elemental traces were carved all over it as well.
"According to your design, the sword is one hundred meters tall and has seven nodes. An iron framework is set up at every node. There will be three to nine levels. At each level of every pagoda framework, there are six positions for people to stand on. The elemental traces that you designed have already been carved onto it."
Blind He’s voice came from behind Ai Hui. His voice contained an unconcealable weariness, along with a tinge of excitement and anticipation as well.
Ai Hui could not shift his gaze off of it. The huge, metallic ladle was an odd Big Dipper shape that pierced through seven pagodas. The seven pagodas did not have any bricks or tiles. They were just made up of thick and strong metallic frameworks.
Even though its shape was odd, ugly and crude, Ai Hui behaved as if he had seen a priceless treasure sword. His eyes were brightly lit.
Blind He’s indifferent voice came from behind Ai Hui.
"Inspect it and see if there’s anything that needs to be changed. If there’s nothing to be changed, then it is completed. Right now, I am very curious about how you are going to make this huge fellow fly."