Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 29
- Black Wind Sect Stronghold
Zhu Wei decided to return to the hall inside the bandit's stronghold as it was getting noisy outside. There were thirty corpses belonging to women and children on the floor and they were piled up on each other as blood covered the ground. Why should he be afraid of dead bodies or vengeful spirits? He did not let them affect him one bit.
He lit a candle and entered the hall, playing with the silver in the chest. All of a sudden, he heard a "woosh" and felt the room turn cold. The flame on the candle and in the fireplace were extinguished as the entire room was thrown into darkness.
"Wooo" the cold wind blew as an indistinguishable shadow formed on the chest. This was followed by the sound of someone wailing, as several shadows of fallen people started taking shape from the smoke emitted from the candles.
"Who is it?"
Even after seeing the shadows of these ghost, Zhu Wei was unperturbed. He whipped out his blade and said indignantly "I am a military official and you are rebels and bandits. It is the will of heaven that I've murdered you. Besides, you have no rights to any justice. I have killed you once and you can be sure I will kill you again."
He slashed down ferociously at the air as soon as he was adone speaking. Strangely, the wailing sounds and shadows dissipated instantaneously. Zhu Wei started laughing maniacally. He was just about to sheath his blade when a black fog welled up and loomed over him for several seconds before rapidly transforming into a huge snake. With a hiss it parted its jaws and bit down hard on Zhu Wei's chest
"Ah!" Zhu Wei shouted, clutching his chest as his body dropped to the ground with a dull thud. His face had turned black as he gritted his teeth in pain, before reaching for his knife and throwing it in the direction of the snake.
The blade sliced through the air before a "pop" was heard, indicating the knife had met its target. A blurry shadow started taking shape as the man bent down, paled face. "This is bad, my disguise has been broken now that I am bleeding."
"Your excellency, your excellency!" The archers outside realized that something untoward had happened and ran in. They glimpsed the shadow of someone escaping and were immediately alerted to the situation. Zhu Wei was spotted, body slumped on the floor.
"Not good, his excellency has been murdered."
Cao San was immediately informed of the situation. With bloodstained clothes, he dropped his meat and wine and ran into the stronghold. He divided his men into groups of three to five and ordered them to search the area thoroughly.
Pei Zi Yun and his village men were looking on with passivity at the commotion unfolding from outside. Pei Zi Yun was the only person among them armed. He slung his hunting bow across his shoulders and looked around intently. He suddenly noticed a shadow from afar. Without any hesitation, he unslung his bow, notched an arrow and aimed.
"Woosh" The arrow flew across and hit something in the darkness. The shadow started to take actual form as he screamed in unbearable pain.
"Who is it, who is it?" The brave village men shouted.
Pei Zi Yun did not advance but watched from where he stood. A man in white revealed himself with an arrow stuck in his shoulder. He was writhing and screaming from the pain coursing through his wound. The bowstring was pulled back once more before the sound of the arrow slicing through the air could be heard once more. This time the arrow connected with its victim squarely in the chest. Another scream could be heard before the man went rigid and fell to the ground dead.
"Fantastic!" The people around were cheering his marksmanship and applauding. Even Zhang Dashan could not help but be amazed by his remarkable accuracy. Who would've expected Elementary Scholar Pei Zi Yun to have such archery skills….
Pei Zi Yun approached the corpse and affirmed that it was indeed the rogue cultivator. He muttered silently under his breath "If only you weren't blinded by rage and turned impulsive, I would not have been able to kill you."
In actuality, this was not true. Even if he had not killed Zhu Wei, Pei Zi Yun would've organized a party to seek out the rouge cultivator. He knelt down and started searching his pockets and the folds of the rogue cultivator's clothes. His hands were trembling as he hoped with all his might "Please let it be there!"
Just as he was searching, his fingertips touched something. In exhilaration, he hurriedly pulled it out. Just by touching it, he felt something and was certain that this was indeed what he had been searching for. He had found the spiritual legacy.
Upon further searching, he had acquired a mountain pearl and a diary. The pages of the diary were still intact as Pei Zi Yun flipped it open and took a look at the contents. It contained many accounts and techniques of his own cultivation experiences. As he was reading through, he felt the plum blossom tingling. This diary was soaked with his feelings and encounters while cultivating the Dao Arts and thus became a legacy in which spiritual knowledge and energy were being stored.
Pei Zi Yun kept the mountain pearl and the diary in his pockets and saw an enraged Cao San approaching. Without a word, he started slashing and stabbing the lifeless corpse on the ground. After his anger had been vented he then asked in between ragged breaths: "Elementary Scholar Pei, what should we do now?"
"What else can we do?" Pei Zi Yun straightened his body and said blankly. "With a problem as big as this we can only wait for the chief patrol officer to come and resolve."
Pei Zi Yun then swept past Cao San indignantly and walked away, completely ignoring his dissatisfied expression.
The next day
As soon as the chief patrol officer had received the letter, he hurriedly made his way to the mountain stronghold. He was greeted with the sight of numerous bodies and blood trails all over the area. There were also several piles of corpses with heads severed from their bodies.
The chief patrol officer noted that most of these bodies were dressed in servant's garb and were soaked in blood. A prominent black wolf marked their clothes in the middle, clearly distinguishing them as members of Black Wind sect. The blood on the floor had dried up and had solidified, yet he paid it no attention.
What's the big deal with soldiers killing some people?
Cao San hastily stepped up and spoke in hushed voices to the chief patrol officer. When he had finished, the chief officer's face turned grim and spoke harshly to the corpse on the floor. "You idiot! You had managed to wipe out the entire Black Wind sect without a single death. This was supposed to be a huge victory. But your greed for money has caused you your life. What a disgrace!"
The chief patrol officer proceeded into the stronghold and walked into the room where the chests lay. Upon laying eyes of the wealth before him he sighed and finally understood the greed that indirectly drove Zhu Wei to his death. These were accumulated by the Black Wind bandits over years. In killing them, they had gained much wealth for themselves.
The patrol officer's heart skipped a beat all of a sudden `and his lips quivered. Laughing he asked "Elementary Scholar Pei, how do you think we should solve this problem?"
Pei Zi Yun glanced back at him and smiled. "Chief officer your excellency, in annihilating this sect and killing their leader, we have done a great service to the county and nation. Cao San was fearless and was the first to rush forward and killed many bandits. And his excellency Zhu led the charge last night, but died in battle."
"As for these…." Pei Zi Yun stepped forward and scooped up a handful of white silver pieces. With the other hand he waved over the chest and said "I've taken my share."
He then spun around and walked away.
Seeing a scene like that before him, the chief officer sighed and said "He is indeed a scholar."
Seeing that Cao San did not understand what was happening and appeared lost, the chief explained to him. "We soldiers are really no match for these scholars. If he did not take some of this money, we would not feel at ease. So he took a small amount from the chest, as a sign that he had taken his share, and left the rest for us as a reward for our hard work."
"He is so young, yet is already so graceful and talented. The only other person I know with such elegance is his excellency Xu Men. Come, bring this chest back. We must also clean up this scene."
Snail Village, Pei Household
Pei Zi Yun made his way home as soon as he could. He reached his destination around noon and made it in time for lunch with his mother. He ate and chatted with her for some time before eventually returning to his room.
His newly refurbished room had a very clean and neat layout to it, with a screen dividing his room into two sections. The inner section contained a bed and the outer section had a bookshelf and a table for his studying efforts. The bookshelf contained more than a thousand books given to him by Zhao Ning. On the table lay his writing materials.
Only after sitting on his bed did his heart eventually settle down. The entire incident that had taken place yesterday left him reeling in fear, yet he did not show it. These patrol officers were really cruel and heartless.
"But I am an Elementary Scholar, and by taking a small part of the money, I should be safe now. In fact, it seems like they owe me a favour even!
He had taken about ten taels of silver worth from the chest. In the past, that would have been a considerable amount for the Pei household, but was small money to him now.
"Actually, with Zhu Wei's death it would've been hard for them to cover the issue up. If I really wanted more, I could've asked for at least two to three hundred taels of silver. But would it be worth it?"
"Although the money I have taken is not much, I managed to exact my revenge on them. Everything that happened there will now be the responsibility of the chief patrol officer, even the death of Zhu Wei. I shall have nothing to do with that scene."
"Moreover, I have gained quite a fair bit from the incident!"
Pei Zi Yun took a drink from the bowl before placing it on the table and giving a sigh. He took out the two objects and took a look at them carefully. He scrutinized the mountain pearl first. The original owner had been a member of a sect and knew something. "This mountain pearl could actually be a spiritual weapon, but was of low quality. The rogue cultivator did not have anything exceptionally good."
"But if I were to sell it, it would be worth at least a thousand silver taels."
"Let me take a look at this diary."
As soon as the diary was flipped open, Pei Zi Yun observed the details meticulously. The words were written in red ink and resembled blood. There were several drawings of Dao Symbols, and of men and women naked which made him giggle out loud. As he flipped on, he noticed there were ancient seals and many lines of notes and annotations written by the rogue cultivator.
Since the original owner did not have much knowledge of magic arts, Pei Zi Yun read on. As he got to the end of the notes, he shivered. It seems like there were details of a certain sect making their moves and this rogue cultivator was just a pawn in action. It was also written that a particular government official was among the masterminds of the sect, and his surname was Zhang. Pei Zi Yun sighed and said "It seems like I now have proof that Zhang Jie Yu is responsible."
As he read on, he felt a sense of curiosity yet was amused. "This rogue cultivator had very shallow roots and practised crooked dark arts. It is very similar to the Dao Arts practised by Holy Jail sect and seems like there is some sort of relation."
"If one were to learn Dao Arts like these, bad endings would be in store for them."
"Thankfully I do not have to learn any of these. All I need is a thread of spiritual root."
As he gathered his thoughts, he picked up the diary and could feel the powers in his hands, the powers invested into the legacy by the rogue cultivator. It was a strong feeling, unshakable that almost seemed to say: "While a mistake had been made in cultivation, and the wrong path had been taken, as long as the pursuit for Dao is still there, it makes no matter."
He placed the diary under his pillow and gently lowered his head onto the pillow and waited for the dream to envelop him. Once the dream phase has passed, he would be able to obtain spiritual wisdom and Dao Arts and everything will change.
Due to his fatigue from the day before, and with the help of the plum blossom, he fell asleep almost instantly.
It was a sunny afternoon, different from the last dream he had. It was late spring and the cold had almost completely dissipated. The sunlight entered the room through the window and Pei Zi Yun woke up.
Pei Zi Yun rolled off the bed and stood before the window. The flowers and lake were glistening under the sun and made for a beautiful sight. He looked up at the sun and realized that he had not been asleep for very long. He did not feel very much of a difference and crinkled his brows.
When he fell asleep, he did dream. But it was different from the previous two dreams. This time it was blurry and very unclear. When he woke up, he could only remember that the dream was about a person's life, but the details could not come to him.
This was not right.
Did the legacy fail to work?
"System!" Without needing to imagine, a small white plum blossom appeared before him. It gradually got bigger until it had become a transparent white interface with faint light perception. As it came into his sight, it vibrated.
"What? My authority now is just a single petal, and in order to absorb Dao Arts, even the most basic Dao Art, I will need to have at least two petals?"
"So in order for the second petal to blossom, will I need to fulfil my family's dream and reach High Scholar?"
As he was deep in thought, there was a change in the information interface. And a line of words appeared before him.
Mission Five : Reach High Scholar to fulfil mother's desire (Incomplete)