The Secret Plan (2)
“Look, ten bottles of top-quality Snow Spirit Dan, the same as last time.” Wuhen took out ten white-jade bottles and lined them up on the desk.
“Oh, This is too much… I haven’t even finished the last task yet.” Qingkuang hypocritically declined, though his eyes were fixated on the bottles. Last time, Ye Ron had taken away four bottles from him, making him grumble at the loss for a long time.
Once a cultivator entered into the Realm of the General, he must accumulate ample amounts of Battle Qi in order to ascend into higher realms. The Battle Qi could be obtained in two general ways, either by diligent cultivation or by absorbing numerous amounts of Dan. In the Ye Family, Dan were available for the younger generation, but they were of comparatively lower quality than those of the Xue Family. As for Ye Qingkuang, though he was of similar age as Wuhen, he was only titled as the first heir, which was quite different from Wuhen’s title as young master. In terms of treatment, this meant that Qingkuang, in contrast to Wuhen, didn’t have much access to top-quality Dan.
Looking at the fervent eyes of Qingkuang, Wuhen continued, “Ah, I hope you won’t laugh at me. That girl… I mean, her appearance looks very much like my first girlfriend. Therefore… (Coughing). Sadly, I received a letter from my family… Tomorrow I must return home. So, if possible, do you think I could take that girl with me tomorrow?”
“Er…” Qingkuang frowned and awkwardly replied, “I understand your concern, but… I don’t think this is going to be easy. You know, the girl is extremely stubborn. She isn’t as tame as she looks like. Given her stubborn personality, I’m afraid, that if we force her to do so, she’ll commit suicide.”
“Look, this is called the three-day intoxication and it’s colorless and odourless. Once she takes a couple of drops of this liquid, she’ll fall into a deep slumber for the next three days. I promise you, that I’ll treat her well in the future. However, I need your help to cope with the aftermath of this event in the Ye Family.” Wuhen rummaged through his pockets and took out a yellow bottle.
“I have to say, this three-day intoxication is amazing. But, there is still one thing I’m concerned about. Her brother, Ye Qinghan, is untamed like a wild horse. I believe you’ve already met him on Cattle-fence Street. If he returns and finds out about our plan, then he’ll report to the Elder Clan and accuse us of abduction.” Qingkuang let out a long sigh, as though he was rather reluctant to cooperate with Wuhen.
“Alright, this is a book describing emperor-level secret combat methods. But it’s only a second-hand account and some of the pages have worn out already. I hope you don’t mind.” Wuhen threw a copper-colored book towards Qingkuang, while stealing a cold glance at him. Since Qinghan had killed the five men he had sent to Wild City, he knew he’d better not underestimate him. Therefore, he planned to give Qingkuang this valuable book, hoping that the latter would help him take care of Qinghan.
“Oh? Emperor-level secret combat methods?” Qingkuang excitedly took the book. When his two eyeballs saw the book, it looked as if they were ready to fall out.
The combat methods could be categorized into four levels: human-level, king-level, emperor-level and saint-level. Despite his identity as the eldest young lord of the Ye Family, Qingkuang hadn’t gotten a chance to learn any emperor-level secret combat methods. Now, the invaluable book Wuhen handed over to him was really a windfall.
Thumbing through the book, Qingkuang suddenly stood up and said in a tone of absolute sincerity, “Tomorrow morning, we’ll meet at the north gate of Grey City.”
Hearing this, Wuhen chuckled to himself, “As the ancient saying goes, any loyalty will collapse in front of overwhelming amounts of benefits. This is so fucking true!”
Qingxie rose up early this morning, even before the roosters’ crowing. Actually, he was woken up by his master.
His master was Qingkuang. Although their names were only slightly nuanced, their status and capabilities differed quite a lot. Qingxie, a collateral descendant of the Ye Family, was enrolled as a key descendant at the age of fifteen. Later, he had joined Qingkuang’s family and gradually won their trust. Now, after he had finished a ton of errands for Qingkuang, he was regarded as the most reliable lackey. By clinging to Qingkuang, Qingxie enjoyed a relatively high status among his collateral peers. Even his father, who was the leader of a small city, was inferior to him in terms of status.
However, Qingxie understood very well, that his own capability alone was far from enough to distinguish himself. He had to work himself to the bone for Qingkuang, so as to raise the possibility of promotion. Therefore, he was more than willing to get up early today.
Accompanied by his two subordinates, Qingxie held a yellow bottle in his hand and left the Drunken-heart Garden. As per Qingkuang’s order, his destination of this task was a shabby house in an eastern courtyard of the Ye Castle.
Indeed, he had visited this house several days ago with a request for the beautiful, effeminate girl, but she had rejected it. When he had returned, he was harshly scolded by his master, which made him lose face. This time, he was determined to give this task a successful ending, so that he would be able to regain his face in front of his master. He had asked his two subordinates to keep watch outside, before he sneaked into the yard.
Eventually, he arrived at a door. Here he removed the bolt, that held the door in place, with his dagger and successfully crept into the room. His quick and accurate movements made himself look like a nimble cat. This room turned out to be a kitchen, rather than a girl’s bedroom. Actually, he had done some investigation before this task and had learned that this girl would cook porridge every morning for breakfast. Without any hesitation, he pushed open the lid of the yellow bottle, and dropped the liquid into the edible oil and water. Afterwards, he quietly left the kitchen and waited outside with his two subordinates.
The reason why Qingxie didn’t knock the girl unconscious and forcefully emptied the bottle in her mouth, was because he thought this was not in conformity with his ways of handling such disgraceful acts. Given the severity of this task, he reckoned that it was more proper to do it as invisible as possible.
– Creak… –
An hour later, it was near dawn, as the first glimmers of sunshine crept into the yard. A girl pushed the kitchen door open and went in to prepare breakfast.
Outside, Qingxie grew more and more anxious. Since this yard was the least frequently-visited place, he wasn’t afraid of being discovered, rather, an unknown feeling had struck him and was making him become increasingly nervous. Maybe, due to the indecent task he was performing, a sense of guilt, that had subconsciously lurked in his mind, had revealed itself.
Qingyu stepped into the kitchen and walked to the rice jar, only to find that the jar was empty. At the sight of the empty jar, Qingyu sobbed. Everytime she encountered one of these small things, she would think of her brother and miss him even more. Previously, it was always Qinghan who had carried a heavy sack of rice home whenever they had run out of food.
“Brother, when will you come back? How can I lift a sack of rice all by myself?” Qingyu pouted, complaining that her brother hadn’t returned home yet.
Suddenly, something occurred to Qingyu, so she touched the fruit knife hid on her chest, to make sure it was still there. About a month ago, she had used this knife to frighten away the man that had announced the marriage proposal. Since then, as long as this knife was on her body, she felt a hint of safety.
Peeping into the cabinet, she found some steamed corn bread lying inside. Finally, she decided to make do with the bread as breakfast today.
She grabbed a cup of water with one hand, and held a piece of steamed corn bread in the other. Routinely, she sat on a stone chair in the yard, facing in the direction of the south. She enjoyed her breakfast, while she lost herself in the twilight…
“Who’s that ?”
The eight heavily-armoured guards were all awakened from their nap by the loud knocking on the gate.
“It’s me. Open the gate!”
Several days’ of traveling had made Qinghan exhausted. Right now, he stood in front of the gate of the Ye Castle, with a pale face. However, the idea of the reunion with his sister had given him a newfound reserve of energy and with this he had managed to pull himself together. He stepped off the carriage, and looked at the eight familiar faces. He was so tempted to shout out loudly, “I’m back again!” However, he refrained himself from being so presumptuous.
Taking out a bag of purple magic coins, Qinghan tossed it to the escorts, “Please take it and buy some wine to warm your bodies.”
“Young lord, you’re so generous.” One of the escorts caught the bag on behalf of all of them and respectfully smiled at Qinghan.
The eight guards were stunned by what had happened in front them. The expensive carriage, as well as the respectful manner of the escorts, all made them believe that their seventh young lord had went through some changes, yet they failed to understand how. Subconsciously, they felt the “gloomy cloud” over Qinghan’s head would probably clear up soon.
“Good morning, seventh young lord.” One of them greeted Qinghan warmly as he opened the gate even wider.
“Hum.” Qinghan just nodded in response. Actually, he wasn’t quite used to the “kindness” of these guards. Without thinking too much, he quickened his pace and dashed towards his own yard.