Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 85
"Boom!" A fork lightning burst forth from darkness and pierced through the night sky before a thunder rumbled. It was rare sight to see lightning and thunder in winter. Pei Zi Yun was startled awake. He sat up, and from the corner of his eyes he saw a Daoist person walking in stealthily. Without hesitation he reached for his sword and stood up, before shouting, "Who is it?"
His thumb was placed on the blade of the sword, ready to unsheathe it the minute a need arose, and cut this intruder down. The intruder was suddenly aware that Pei Zi Yun was awake. He froze on the spot and raise his head to look at Pei Zi Yun. He looked into Pei Zi Yun's eyes, full of killing intent, before emitting a loud and sharp shriek, "Ahhhhhhh!"
Hearing this scream, Pei Zi Yun reacted and threw his sword over to the side and lit up a candle. Under the brightness of the ember, he looked at his senior sister, the little girl, Chu Xia crying before him. He had frightened her.
Pei Zi Yun hurriedly stepped forward to console her, but she turned around and ran away. In between sobs, she shouted, "Bad person. You are a bad junior brother."
Pei Zi Yun could not help but slap his own forehead. He had a nightmare and was awakened by the lightning. Then he felt the presence of someone in the room, and decided to draw his sword. Who would've expected it to be Chu Xia. This little girl was sure to remember this for a long time.
After sometime, Yu Yun Jun's voice could be heard outside his door, "What've you done, little Xia is scared stiff. She's been crying since, and when I asked her what's happened, she refused to speak."
Pei Zi Yun immediately went to receive his master as he forced a laugh, "Master, I was having a nightmare and was startled awake by the thunder and lightning. I then saw someone crept into my room, hence I drew my sword, I'm afraid I might have scared off senior sister then."
Pei Zi Yun spoke frankly. Hearing his words, Yu Yun Jun waved her hands, "Your senior sister is indeed very playful. It's good that she had been startled. It's a lesson learnt for her."
As she spoke, her smile vanished from her face as she took a few steps back, "As for your policy on Exterminating Pirates, I've already reported it to the higher ups within the sect. It's a brilliant policy which would help the imperial court. You've even made a request to the Governor to confer this sect an additional title. This is the extent of your loyalty. Orders have been dispatched from above as well. This is only just the first step. I hope you'll continuing using your talents to help both country and the sect."
When Pei Zi Yun heard this, he was elated. He knew that doing something like that meant that he has finally appeared on the radars of Free Cloud Sect's upper echelon. He was about to reply.
Yu Yun Jun then continued, "The Governor has decided to make a recommendation to the imperial court to confer the title on our sect. He has ordered Liao Ge to see it through, and the sect already knows about this. According to convention, the Governor will send Liao Ge to the capital, where he will overlook all these matters. The sect wanted to send Song Zhi to accompany Liao Ge on his journey but I rejected that idea. This was all possible because of your contributions. Hence, if anyone decides to say anything about this matter, ignore it and come straight to me."
When Pei Zi Yun heard this, he understood his master's concerns. Song Zhi had been coveting this position for so long that he would grab as much credit as he can, and yet had been flat out rejected by Yu Yun Jun, "Thank you Master for your concern and protection. I understand what you've done and will not be deceived by anyone."
"You've always been bright and thus I'm not too worried. However, you're still young and haven't experienced much, and thus might be be taken advantage of." Yu Yun Jun laughed.
"Thank you for your love and concern." Pei Zi Yun replied, as he felt a warm glow within his heart.
Yu Yun Jun waved her hands and said, "This time, you will escort the official to the capital. It's not a big deal, but the journey is long and there could be problems along the way. I've arranged for someone to bring a magical item from Green Cloud Monastery. You should take it along with you then, and take it as an experience to learn something from."
Pei Zi Yun stepped forward and bowed deeply, "Thank you Master."
The Governor sat perched high up within his chair, Liao Ge walked in and bowed before him, "Your excellency, the memorandum requesting for a title has been completed. Take a look."
The Governor retrieved it and started reading. When he was done, he smiled and nodded his head, "You are rather efficient. This matter requires someone to actively handle it. You will represent me and make the trip to the capital and tell my old friends about this matter and they shall assist you accordingly."
When Liao Ge heard this, he was pleasantly surprised, for this was a cushy task to do. Going to the capital on behalf of one of the highest ranking officials in the nation, talking to his friends and getting acquainted with them was beneficial for his career. In future, people will recognize him and there will hardly be any obstructions when it comes to promotion. He hurriedly fell to his knees, "Thank you for you grace, your excellency, I will not let this fail even if I were to die a thousand deaths. I will do everything in my power to ensure this goes through."
The Governor laughed when he heard this. He picked up a cup of tea and took a sip, "Your excellency Liao, go to the waiting room and wait. There's someone I have to meet. I shall see you again later."
"Yes, your excellency." Liao Ge happily retreated.
"Mister Pei seeks an audience!" Before long, someone reported and the Governor nodded his head and replied, "Enter!"
The sound of footsteps echoed off the walls in the meeting room. The sound of falling snow could also be heard. Within the halls, a pot of tea was boiling and ready for consumption. Before long, a man stepped before the Governor.
Pei Zi Yun was dressed in a grey, immaculate rob and was wearing a red sash across his waist. His footsteps made a soft sound as he bowed, "Respects to the Governor."
"Top Scorer Pei please rise!" Since Pei Zi Yun refused his offer, the Governor thus didn't refer to him as mister. He smiled and said, "You've come at the right time. Please have a sit. We've already drafted the memorandum to be presented to the imperial court regarding the conferring of a title upon your sect. However, you have to know that the approval is up to the discretion of the imperial court and the Emperor, I have no control from here on."
"But according to convention, as long as there is a valid reason, and with recommendation from me, the imperial court would not deny the motion. I shall send Liao Ge to retrieve the documents regarding your sect, and ensure that everything is in order. We will then inform the imperial court of your contribution and humbly request for them to confer the tile. Then, all you have left to do is await the good news."
"Many thanks your excellency. Since your excellency has sent Liao Ge on this trip, I would like to accompany him so that I can explore the city and get to know people. At the same time I am able to ensure his safety on the road."
The Governor laughed hard when he heard Pei Zi Yun and said, "You're really worried about me aren't you. But that's good for you as well. You're a young man, and should be out more. Reading a thousand books, and walking a thousand miles would help to increase your wisdom."
The Governor pondered for sometime before saying, "I have many friends in the capital. I shall write you a letter, so that you can present it should you meet any problems along the way."
Pei Zi Yun smiled, "Many thanks your excellency."
After some small talk, Pei Zi Yun bade farewell and walked him out to the entrance. The Governor watched him leave before a gust of wind blew right at him, causing him to hold himself tight, before turning back in.
Snowflakes fell prettily all over the yard as the wind was howling in the distance, causing the guards outside to shiver in the cold, and yet they endured the cold wordlessly.
"Father, you know my heart's desires. Why is there a need to force me? For matters regarding Hou Mansion, there's big brother. For matters regarding the imperial court, there's second brother. Why would you force me to participate in official affairs? I have no heart for this, and you can't force it out of me." Wei Ang said sheepishly in the study.
The people standing outside the study room all maintained an expressionless face, as if they couldn't hear anything. There were guards standing outside the room, preventing anyone from entering and leaving.
"Since you refuse to participate in official affairs with me, then I forbid you from participating in Free Cloud Sect's affairs. And you have to stop meeting Pei Zi Yun from now." Ji Bei Hou spoke, his face in evident displeasure. He took a few steps forward as he spoke to Wei Ang.
Wei Ang heard this and was shocked, "Father, I refuse participate in official affairs, but what has this got to do with Free Cloud Sect?"
Ji Bei Hou was in bad mood and threw the file he was holding, and it hit Wei Ang right in the face. Wei Ang picked up the file and took a look. It was about Pei Zi Yun helping the Governor with the policy on Exterminating Pirates. He then paused and said, "Father, this policy was cooked up by Pei Zi Yun? He is indeed a genius to have made such a great contribution to society and bring blessing to the people."
When Ji Bei Hou heard this, he lashed out in anger, "Third son, you have always wanted to be free of responsibility. I shipped you off to Free Cloud Sect, and allowed you to do as you pleased. It looks like I've raised you up wrongly, for you to be unable to see what's happening. Now that the pirates are no longer an issue, my military might and authority will be recalled by the imperial court. Then what use am I to the court? I will just be an official used to do chores and run errands. You care about the benefits for the population, but fail to see that Hou Mansion will dissolve? Without Hou Mansion, how can you be free and easy?"
When Wei Ang heard this, he fell into silence for a long time before speaking, "I ask for father's forgiveness, for I am unable to contribute to official matters. Especially this issue that we are speaking of."
When Ji Bei Hou heard these words, he got even angrier, but he suppressed them and spoke through clenched jaws, "Since you are not willing to help me, then you can forget about going to Free Cloud Sect. Now that Pei Zi Yun took the side of the Governor, he has made me an enemy. I have to kill him at all costs. And I shall stop contributing and helping Free Cloud Sect from here on."
"Father, since you've already made your decision, I shall abide, there's nothing left to say." Wei Ang grit his teeth as he spoke.
"Fine, fine. It seems like you have some backbone. Since that's the case, I shall keep you locked up here within this house, and you shall not be permitted to go anywhere." Ji bei Hou's face was stern as he said fiercely.
"Yes, many thanks to father for such an arrangement." Wei Ang took a bow, before turning around and walking further into the room. Seeing his son act this way, Ji Bei Hou couldn't hold his anger in any longer, and threw the teacup he was holding with all his might onto the floor, where it shattered into a thousand fragments, "Disgraceful!"
Shen Zhi was outside waiting when he heard the sound of porcelain smashing on the ground. He knew that this wasn't a good sign. Young Master Hou must've incurred the wrath of Master Hou. Shen Zhi was extremely anxious, when he saw Wei Ang walk out from the other exit of the room. He then walked up to him, "Third Young Master, why must you act like this. Please just agree to whatever Master Hou wants, why must you go against his wishes?"
Wei Ang shook his head as he heard Shen Zhi speaking and looked away. After sometime, he then spoke, "Mister Shen, you've watched me grow up from a little boy to who I am today. You know what I'm like and what my interests are. There's big brother and second brother in the house and there's father handling administrative official affairs, why would I need to be a part of this too!"
"Particularly this matter, where our family wealth is built on blood."
Shen Zhi knew about what Ji Bei Hou was going to say to Wei Ang today. After waiting anxiously for their conversation to be over, he saw Wei Ang and thus decided to advise him, "Third Young Master, I know you are intelligent and you refuse to compete with your brothers. However, when it comes to a dilemma you have to pick what's right….. No matter what, you and Master Hou are father and son. Regardless of what happens, that will never change."
"Ai!" Wei Ang took a deep breath and sighed, interrupting Shen Zhi, he asked, "It's just that I refuse to choose. All I want to be is unfettered and free to do as I wish. Does that mean I am an unfilial and unfair person?"
Shen Zhi looked at Wei Ang, and felt that this was a peculiar thing for him to say, "Young Master, why would you think that way?"
"Between my father, my sect and my good friend, I have to make a choice, ha ha!" Wei Ang stepped across the snow and laughed again, "For my father, I am unable to help in his endeavors. For my sect and friends, I wish to do well and excel by myself. Doesn't that imply that I am unfilial and unfair?"
"Young Master" Shen Zhi called out, his tone was severe, "How can one always have the best of both worlds. Young Master have always been free and at ease, and yet you always had the comforts of Hou Mansion. Now that Hou Mansion is in trouble, shouldn't Young Master reconsider your position? The sect and your friends are outsiders. Hou Mansion is your root. You have to be aware of this, and act accordingly."
Hearing Shen Zhi speak this way, Wei Ang did not reply for a very long time and remained deep in thought.
Looking at Wei Ang, Shen Zhi understood that he was confused, in doubt and in pain. He then added, "Yes, Pei Zi Yun is a genius, but he has used his talents to stab a knife in the body of Hou Mansion. From this, he is able to grow and benefit from the situation we are in. The more he benefits, the worse off we become. Has Young Master considered this?"
Shen Zhi's words were as sharp as a dagger and pierced into the heart of Wei Ang, "An official's career and life is always about moving forward. Once a person's official career stalls, everything is over. Do you wish to see your brothers and father, and mother all be executed for treason?"
Shen Zhi then asked, punctuating every word with a pause, "I have some plans that are extremely sly and vile. Do you remember Ji Guo Gong?"
"Ji Guo Gong fought on behalf of the imperial courts and suffered 11 wounds to his body. However, at the end he had his entire house and possessions confiscated and searched. His entire sect of 111 people were executed. He was a loyal, straightforward and upright subject of the court, and look what happened to him?"
"You care about Pei Zi Yun, but does Pei Zi Yun care about you?"
Wei Ang took a step back, his heart felt as though it had been crushed. A mouthful of blood came up from his throat into his mouth. He turned around, bent over and spat the mouthful of blood out.