Chapter 4 : To Spy For Information
To carry a person on the back while traveling a distance of thirty miles made Xu Xingzhi truly exhausted. A mere wrapping of the chain around his arms, a little packing here and there, he was ready to flip in and sleep.
Just with his disabled hand, it was already an exertion to hold a bowl and grasp the chopsticks. Assassination was such a meticulous task, seemed like he would have to search for another opportunity.
After Xu Xingzhi fell into a slumber, the bamboo door opened soundlessly from the outside.
Meng Chongguang ambled from the outside. He had already changed his clothes.
He had donned an unlined hemp head cloth garment that was whiter than the snow. The intersection of the clothes was embroidered with a dragon cloud pattern while the back was decorated with ink painted patterns. The headdress was beautiful, it had been garnished with a misty green long sash which was a contrast against his ink like black hair.
But his outerwear was still the long robe that was stained with blood and dyed in scorched black.
He silently kneeled at the edge of the bedside and he pulled Xu Xingzhi’s right hand and cushioned it beneath his face like a pillow. His vision slanted sideways as he looked upon the sleeping Xu Xingzhi.
Meng Chongguang’s gaze carefully glided onto the tightened lips, the fullness of the throat, and the undulating chest. There was nervousness, apprehension, trepidation, as if he was looking at a vase that might scatter into pieces at any moment.
He did not know how long he had been staring, he simply could not be sure that Xu Xingzhi was alive. His finger slowly traced towards Xu Xingzhi’s body until he reached and opened the layer of thin coat on his body. His fingertip pressed on where the heart was, feeling the strong and powerful heartbeat underneath the skin.
Meng Chongguang unveiled a seam of a satisfactory yet touched smile. He whispered, “Senior Brother, you are back, back to home…”
Accompanying the soft whisper was Meng Chongguang’s breathing gradually becoming unstable.
The corner of his eyes seeped wisp of blood and the original bright and clear pupils were dyed in scarlet. The end of the eyes and the cinnabar at the center of his brows faintly revealed a terrifying ray of sunset light.
Likewise, his fingers were trembling badly and his nails gradually elongated. Looking at how close he was to tearing open Xu Xingzhi’s skin layered above the heart, Meng Chongguang forcibly suppressed down any urge and swiftly pulled his hands back. He clutched tightly at his own wrist.
Five deep to the bone injuries were slashed onto his wrist. It was only after seeing the presence of blood that the blood red color on his eyes gradually faded away.
Xu Xingzhi’s eyelid twitch as if he had sensed something.
Meng Chongguang wasn’t willing to stay at this place any longer and he barely managed to seal his valve. He relied on his last seam of reasoning to remove the outerwear and covered it on Xu Xingzhi’s body before turning around and leaving. Meng Chongguang clashed onto someone as he walked out of the bamboo door.
Zhou Wang frowned and reached out her hands to support him. “Big Brother Meng?”
Meng Chongguang pushed her hands. He took a breather and coldly asked, “What issue do you have?”
Zhou Wang had seen Meng Chongguang fall ill too often. If he was to lose control of his emotions, it was a definite rampage and only blood could calm him down.
The good thing was that Meng Chongguang never crossed any lines. He never once touched any underlings even during times of insane violence. As such Zhou Wang was not fearful of him and she honestly answered, “This is my first time meeting Senior Brother Xu, I wish to talk to him.”
Meng Chongguang controlled the rapidly beating heart and he said: “Senior Brother is still sleeping. You stay outside and wait, wait until he is awake.”
Zhou Wang clasped her folded palm. “Yes.”
Her eyes followed the stumbling Meng Chongguang to the tower’s bronze gate before she turned back and whistled. A push of her hand and she went inside.
Xu Xingzhi was awakened by that push. He sat upwards and the robe that was covering him fell to the ground.
He was born with a cold constitution. It slipped his mind to properly cover himself before sleeping. His outer gown had unknowingly opened up. With this one nap, his feet and arms had become cold.
He sneezed and there was no time to think about who helped to cover his body with this robe. He hugged this outer robe with a body temperature to warm him up first.
Zhou Wang asked, “Are you cold?”
“A little.” Xu Xingzhi was sizing up Zhou Wang as he rubbed his palm.
She had already removed those two huge sabres. Even though she was wearing a set of brown coarse texture, she was born with natural snow white skin, and this really reflected the saying how a bad living condition wouldn’t be able to hide a beauty.
She noticed Xu Xingzhi’s gaze and laughed. “My uncle was right.”
Xu Xingzhi: “???”
Zhou Wang hugged her arms as she smiled: “The one with the surname Xu is impetuous and unrestrained, even more without any slight integrity in personality and speech, a glance at a woman and he will not be able to move.”
Xu Xingzhi: “…What else did he say?”
Zhou Wang said, “He said if you dared to harbor any bad intentions toward me, I am allowed to dig out your eyeballs.”
… Xu Xingzhi felt deeply accused.
While Xu Xingzhi loved the beauties to the point that whenever they were tall or short, fat or thin, he would still look a few more times. However, he had never developed any dally thoughts, not to mention, kids of Zhou Wang’s age.
Xu Xingzhi shrugged his shoulders and magnanimously said, “Beauty is born to the world and is a treasure. To look was to see less. The beauty today and the beauty tomorrow differs, a few more glances will contribute to society. How can it be counted as impetuous?”
Zhou Wang: “…”
In between the silence, she caught sight of the left hand bound to the bedside. Her heart was settled a little, showing a “serve you right” happiness.
Xu Xingzhi was not angry. The left hand grasped the hinge and naturally knocked on her forehead gently. “That’s right, this is what a child should look like instead of pulling a long face and acting like an elderly.”
Zhou Wang was stunned by that knock. She covered her forehead and looked at him.
She abided by the instruction of Zhou Beinan to come and lure some information from Xu Xingzhi, yet this conversation was led by him.
Xu Xingzhi asked her, “Are you called Zhou Wang? Is Zhou Beinan your uncle?”
Zhou Wang found this person to be intriguing and curiosity rose in her heart. She imitated how a guy would sit; with a leg on the kneel, leaning on the wooden carving railing at the head of the bed. “En.”
Xu Xingzhi estimated her age. “You came in together with your uncle?”
Zhou Wang: “Around there. It has been close to thirteen years already.”
If he was in front of other people, Xu Xingzhi would still have to be mindful of his speech and actions. However, it was this girl at his side, so he would not have to specially restrict himself.
Afterall, she had never seen him before, at most she heard from Zhou Beinan mentioning about the stories of himself, she probably only knew half the story.
If there was a possibility, Xu Xingzhi could actually enquire about the wilderness from her.
He asked: “Why were you and the rest thrown into the wilderness?”
Zhou Wang looked at Xu Xing Zh and her eyebrows slightly scrunched: “My uncle said I am young and refused to tell me the details… Moreover, as to how we ended up coming here, is Senior Brother Xu not aware?”
Xu Xingzhi: …Oh no.
She was a relatively smart lady and it was not easy to fool her.
If you want to talk to smart people, you naturally would have to change your tactics. Xu Xingzhi snapped open the fan and fanned himself several times. “I did not think that they would not even let go of a child.”
Zhou Wang’s corner of the mouth turned, she pushed her palm open and fiddled with the cocoon scar on the palm. “I wasn’t born yet when I entered the wilderness. After my mother and uncle were exiled into the wilderness, my uncle lost his life in order to protect my mother. If not my Uncle Lu who stabilized my uncle’s soul in his talisman, then gave him his essence, my uncle’s soul could have long scattered.”
Xu Xingzhi slightly frowned. “How did Zhou Beinan die?”
Zhou Wang answered, “He doesn’t remember.”
Regarding this point, Xu Xingzhi didn’t find it strange.
Ghost cultivation controlled the dead bodies along with the ghost soul as the main force of attack. As the top ghost cultivator, Lu Yujiu clearly belonged to the latter, As for the souls, it could be categorized under Light Ghost and Dark Ghost.
Those who still retain their memories were called “Light Ghost”. Their minds were clear, and their power was no different from that of their lifetime. They were strong before birth and equally powerful after death.
Those ghosts with vague memories were collectively referred to as “Dark Ghost”. When they died, some of their souls had been damaged, lost, or still attached to the remnants of their lives. They were not freed from their damaged shells. Therefore, they left in a disordered and confused manner, and their power was greatly reduced compared to before their death.
And the only reason why a ghost became a “Dark Ghost”, was because their death was horrible that their spirit was broken and split into pieces. It was even painful to reminisce about their death.
Xu Xingzhi found it hard to imagine what had happened back then.
According to the owner’s scattered memories, the four immortal sects each guarded a creation artifact.
The Qingliang alley guarded the “Void Bow 1”, Ying Tianchuan kept the “Parting Grief Mirror”, Danyang Peak guarded the “Clarity Sword”, and Fengling Mountain where the original owner was from guarded the “World Book.”
Meng Chongguang was a spirit demon. He attempted to rob the artifacts and was exiled into the wilderness; that was more than logical. However, Zhou Beinan was the son of Ying Tian Island, why did he and his sister want to steal the artifacts?
And why was it necessary?
While Xu Xingzhi’s thoughts were spinning, Zhou Wang asked, “Senior Brother Xu, what happened to your right hand?”
Xu Xingzhi glanced at the rosewood hand with a hole and pitifully said, “Are you talking about this hole? It was pierced just now.”
Zhou Wang cannot help but chuckled. “Who asked you about the hole? I am asking you why was your hand amputated?”
To be honest, Xu Xingzhi was not clear.
It seemed to be when he was five years old, he was too mischievous. While playing, he accidentally slashed his palm with a knife and blood flowed like a stream. He fell ill and burned for three days. After a month, he woke up to discover that he had become disabled.
Thankfully that heaven still left him another limb, thinking about it didn’t seem so bad.
As such, now that he mentioned his right hand, Xu Xingzhi could not help but remember how his father took care of him during this incident.
Now that he was in the wilderness, he did not know how the time flew outside or how his father and sister were doing outside.
Thinking to this point, Xu Xingzhi was somewhat lost in thoughts and he was unwilling to cut a long story short: “…It’s hard to explain.’
Zhou Wang threw out the second question. “You have been outside for so many years, did you search for your elder brother, Xu Pingsheng?”
With this question, Xu Xingzhi was certain that this little lady was sent by Zhou Beinan to dig out some information from him.
The trickiest thing was that he rummaged through his memory and couldn’t find the memory of the owner’s brother.
After all, whether this person existed or not was a problem, what should he then answer?
If he continued with her words, would he be trapped by her words?
In a few moments, Xu Xingzhi had a solution.
Xu Xingzhi looked at Zhou Wang’s eyes and said one word at a time. “I don’t have a brother.”
This answer made Zhou Wang’s brows wrinkled. “But…”
Xu Xingzhi had a hard time interpreting Zhou Wang’s words. He lay backward and held his head with one hand as he said indifferently: “I don’t have any elder brother.”
Outside the tower, Zhou Beinan, who was controlling his spiritual sense, was listening to the dialogue between the two people. He satirically raised his mouth and said: “Last time, Xu Xingzhi always thought about his brother in a thousand ways whenever they’ve gotten something good. Now he finally knows that his brother is not a good thing.”
The reply ghost mask youth, Lu Yujiu gave was simpler and ruder. “Xu Pingsheng is a bastard. Serve him right that Senior Brother Xu doesn’t want to recognize him.”
Zhou Beinan pressed the ear side and gave an order. “Ah-wang, ask him, why did he come to the wilderness? Who sent him?”
However, Zhou Wang had yet to ask anything out when Zhou Beinan heard Xu Xingzhi’s lazily said, “Zhou Beinan sent you to question me?”
Since she had been seen through, Zhou Wang did not bother to conceal anymore. She asked straightforwardly, “My uncle’s doubt is reasonable. For thirteen years, no one has seen you or located your whereabouts. After so many years, why did you suddenly come to the wilderness?”
Xu Xingzhi glanced at Zhou Wang and hooked his fingers. “Come here, I will tell you secretly.”
Zhou Wang naturally moved her ears towards them.
Xu Xingzhi’s sight was lured to a glimmer that was found on the stone earrings on Zhou Wang’s right side.
His eyes and hand were swift, in one go, he reached out and pinched at the earring.
This earring that was created by Zhou Beinan’s spiritual energy was linked directly to his eardrums. Now that it was pinched, ke a cat that had its tail stepped on, he jumped. He covered his ears and cursed, “The one with the surname Xu, I □□ your uncle!”
Xu Xingzhi: “HAHAHAHAHA.”
Zhou Beinan’s face was blue as he held his head. He then pointed to the round mark. “You wait!”
In a flash, the earrings in Xu Xingzhi’s palm turned into a spider that was big as a compass.
Xu Xingzhi’s smile gradually became sluggish.
When the spider’s thin and furry legs started moving at his palm, he violently swung his hands away, making a terrible scream.
This time it was Zhou Beinan patting his thigh and laughing boisterously. “HAHAHAHAHA.”
Goosebumps stood up all round Xu Xingzhi’s body. He pulled the gold chain straight to the edge of the bed. He was so frightened that he was trembling and from the inside to the outside, his bones were soft as if in between his bones were densely covered with small bugs. It was so uncomfortable that he felt like he was dying.
At this moment, the bamboo door was opened by someone.
Meng Chongguang rushed in a panic. “Senior Brother?? What happened?”
Xu Xingzhi had yet to answer. He only saw the thin limbs of the spider moving, following along the bed’s legs and climbing up.
In his mind was a buzzing sound, he jumped out of the bed and threw himself into Meng Chongguang’s embrace. With both feets leaving the ground and hanging at his neck, his tears were almost dropping. “… Bug!! There’s a bug there!!!”
The author has something to say:
Senior Brother: Who can help me swat these insects to death, this body and life will belong to you.
Chongguang[swat the insects to death]: Senior Brother, you see…
Senior Brother: Go away! Don’t come near me with that hand that touched the insects!!