Chapter 47 – Jia Jin Sheng, I actually did not want to kill you
The rain crashed down heavily.
Grey clouds covered the sky, and the continuous mountains far away blended into a mass of black ink.
The rain curtain interwove the heavens and earth together.
The sky flashed bright abruptly, and a bolt of lightning cut across the sky like a silver snake, then in an instant it was gone.
Summer was approaching, and the end of spring’s heavy rain seemed to bring about a trace of the warmth of summer.
On Qing Mao Mountain, huge expanses of jade green spear bamboo stood tall and straight, resisting the winds and rain, the bodies of the bamboo straight like a spear as ever, the tips of the bamboo pointing towards the blue sky dome.
In the Gu Yue village, row upon row of innumerable tall-pillared houses endured against the great rain’s washing. Outside the village, the caravan had already set out on their journey once again.
“The rain is heavy, take note of the pavement.”
“Don’t fall behind, Gu Masters better pull your Gu properly, especially the fat beetle, don’t block the mountain road anymore!”
“You bunch of mortal martial fighters, better open your eyes wide and pay careful attention. Lose a single thing and you’ll be paying for that!”
There was an endless stream of shouts rising and falling in succession from the merchant caravans.
After stopping over at the Gu Yue village for three days, it was time for this merchant caravan to leave the place and follow the mountain path through Qing Mao Mountain and head for their next destination.
The heavy rain cleansed the heaven and earth, and the roads surrounding the village were paved with cobblestone, this was still alright. However after around five hundred meters the roads would turn into a muddy and narrow mountain path.
The head of the proud ostrich chicken was drooping, its colourful rainbow feathers soaking wet under the rain, sticking into clumps, becoming the example of a drenched and bedraggled chicken.
The fat beetle worm moved its fat huge body, walking extremely slow forward. The rainwater beat upon its black armor, forming streams of water flow, sliding down both sides of its body onto the earth.
The shaggy mountain spider was also drenched, and its green-black coloured fur were adhered together.
On the contrary, the toad Gu were happily calling out, carrying out the load and Gu Masters, hopping forward on the mountain. And the winged snake had already put away its wings, the thick snake’s body cheerfully travelling on the muddy water.
To protect the goods and prevent them from getting drenched wet by the rainwater, the Gu Masters were showing their magical abilities at the moment.
On a few enormous fat beetles stood Gu Masters in the middle. Their two hands were raised high, each of them having a One-stretch Golden Light Worm floating in midair one inch away from their palms.
The green copper primeval essence was like stream evaporating as it concentrated into the One-stretch Golden Light Worm’s bodies. The entire Gu flashed like a golden bean, acting as the heart, supporting a tremendous faint gold coloured bubble dome.
The hemisphere-shaped bubble dome had a rather huge scope. It was able to completely cover one fat beetle worm and still have some leftover space.
As the rain smashed upon the bubble dome, it would bounce away, just like hitting on an umbrella. However this sort of One-stretch Golden Light Worm continuously consumed primeval essence, and in the long run the Rank one Gu Masters would not be able to take it anymore.
As expected, after a while, a Gu Master shouted: “No more, my primeval essence is almost exhausted, who can take over?”
“I can!” Almost simultaneously, a Gu Master rushed forward and replaced his position.
A few Gu Masters pulling the carriages or riding the mountain spiders activated the Green Silk Gu in their bodies.
Under its influence, their hair started to grow furiously.
A normal person’s hair had at least one hundred thousand strands. A hundred thousand strands of hair, each being five to six metres, intertwining and covering the Gu Master’s body along with the steed, formed an impenetrable hair raincoat.
The Green Silk Gu was a Rank one Gu worm, often used for defense. It uses 30% of green copper primeval essence to activate, and was not a continuous expenditure type like the One-stretch Golden Light Worm.
This Green Silk Gu can be combined with the Rank one Black Boar Gu to become the Rank two Black Mane Gu.
The Black Mane Gu when activated would not only involve hair on the head, but also hair on all the pores. Within a few seconds, the Gu Master’s body would gain a black mane protective armor.
The Black Mane Gu’s advancement path was the Rank three famous Gu, Steel Mane Gu.
Other than the One-stretch Golden Light Worm and Green Silk Gu, many of the caravan Gu Masters also chose the Water Spider Gu. It can be seen that there was a thin layer of blue raincoat on their bodies.
On the raincoat’s surface, the water circulated randomly. As the raindrops hit onto the raincoat, it would immediately become part of the raincoat.
Since the Gu Masters were continuously soaking under the rain, the raincoat on their bodies would grow thicker. Every now and then the Gu Masters would have to urge the Water Spider Gu and discharge away the excess water. At this moment the thick raincoats would be reduced to the original thin layer.
As for those mortal warriors, they were constantly on the move, watching over the goods on the muddy road. Most of them wore raincoats made of straw, but in their rush and confusion the straw raincoats had limited effect from avoiding the rain, so they were already drenched wet by the rainwater.
“This accursed weather!” The warriors cursed in their hearts.
In the rainy weather, the mountain trail becomes even harder to walk on.
Under this weather, martial artists might be strong physically but they are still mortals. Once their bodies are drenched by rain and coupled with intensive labour, they would easily catch a cold. Getting a serious illness was the lightest consequence, perhaps they might catch repercussions, and if they catch a certain tough disease, it might cause them to get gravely ill and abandoned on the trip itself.
If they encounter slippery roads on the mountain trails, or encounter wild beasts and Gu worms’ attacks, they might lose their lives.
The caravan may be big, and have many Gu Masters. But every time they went on a journey, there would always be a great decrease in numbers. Mortal martial artists die the most, while Gu Masters also have injuries and casualties.
If the caravan was unlucky enough to encounter large-scale migrating beasts, they might even get wiped out completely.
Other than natural disasters, there were also human-caused problems. Among the villages, there might be those who do not welcome the caravan. Some villages like to rob the outsiders.
“We’re leaving, see you next year!” Some of the Gu Masters sat on the Gu worms and turned their bodies to bid farewell.
At the entrance of the village, many people gathered as they sent the caravan off with their gazes.
“You must come again next year!” Reluctant to see them depart, the children shouted loudly.
The adults had more complicated expressions.
“The road ahead is unforeseen. In these hard times, for those who are able to come to the village next year, how many would still be familiar faces?”
“Be it at the merchant caravan or in the village, it is not easy to earn a living.”
As the caravan left further and further, as the crowd dispersed.
The cheerful and lighthearted market atmosphere had also subsequently disappeared. The original spot that had erected tents and shops was left now with a huge mess. The grass turf had been walked upon continuously by the crowd, grassroots and mud soil trampled out. The rainwater hit on its surface, immediately forming mud and numerous little pot-holes that collected muddy water. In addition to that, there was a lot of garbage left over.
Fang Yuan stood on a secluded hillside, watching the merchant caravan from far away alone. The merchant caravan was like a fat and colourful flower python, snaking through the narrow mountain road under the grey heavy rain, slowly entering the dense mountain forest.
“Ah, the heavens are sending their blessings…” Fang Yuan sighed lightly.
He held a butter yellow paper umbrella, quietly standing in the rain.
Fang Yuan wore the most plain flax cloth garment, his body slim, his skin bringing about the pale whiteness of a fifteen year old teenager, a settled clump of clean and short black hair atop his head. The ends of his hair trembled slightly in the wind under his umbrella.
While others curse the weather, he was lamenting the timely appearance of the rain.
He killed Jia Jin Sheng last night and cleaned up the scene, but because it happened so unexpectedly, there was bound to be areas of neglect. Especially with the bloody smell, because the cave is not ventilated, the smell could not disperse easily.
With this rain, it cleaned up the air and environment, greatly reducing the chances of getting exposed by smell tracking methods. The crack was bound to have a small cascade of water flowing down, and once the fresh water vapour diluted the air, he would not be exposed for the short time being.
Of course, once time passes, the chance of getting exposed increases.
In this world there were all sorts of Gu worms, and investigative methods were abundant, even Fang Yuan only knew a portion of them.
The rain produced pitter patter sounds as it hit on the yellow umbrella. Then following the shape of the umbrella, streams of water flowed down onto the limestones beneath Fang Yuan’s feet, hitting and creating splashes.
Seeing the caravan curve into a corner, completely disappearing into the forests, Fang Yuan did not show a sign of relief, but instead looked grim.
“Although Jia Jin Sheng’s cultivation was weak and had little talent, he had a special status. The caravan’s people are all busy with business, thus no one found out that he’s missing. But once some time passes, it’d definitely be found out. By then, Jia Fu would return to investigate, and the real challenge would be then.”
“The Jia family head intentionally arranged Jia Jin Sheng and Jia Fu to be on the same caravan, he had deep intentions. In terms of cultivation, they are worlds apart. In terms of cunningness, they’re also incomparable. Such an arrangement is to inflict a blow to Jia Jin Sheng and let him be clear of reality, and live life peacefully. At the same time he is testing Jia Fu’s nature, for if he is too overbearing on Jia Jin Sheng, how can he hand the position of clan head to him?”
“Jia Jin Sheng never truly understood his father’s intentions. Although he had some intelligence, he only managed to scratch the surface of a merchant’s wits, what a pity. A pity of such a good pawn piece.”
Fang Yuan felt regrettable in his heart. With five hundred years of experience, he could easily see past the surface and understand the true nature of the situation.
When he saw the dispute between the two that night, he could tell the complicated relationship between Jia Jin Sheng and Jia Fu, and thus he had a vague plan formed in his heart from then on.
In his plan, Jia Jin Sheng was a very suitable pawn. His cultivation was weak but he held a high position in the caravan, and although he had some wits, he had little experience, thus Fang Yuan could easily manipulate him.
Once controlled, this pawn would be extremely useful.
For one, he could build a strong network of smuggling through his relationship, preparing up for usurping treasures from future killings.
Secondly, Fang Yuan could hide in the background and use the image wall to stir up conflict among the Qing Mao mountain’s three families, causing a civil war and enabling him to be able to reap the rewards.
Thirdly, Fang Yuan could rely on him to make his way into the Jia family interior. The future Jia family dispute caused a large scale Gu fighting competition, it will be a huge affair with lots of benefits to gain. Fang Yuan could make use of this to acquire the greatest reward for himself.
“My cultivation is still too low, restraining me greatly in doing things. If there was a pawn for me to use, I can do some things that I cannot attempt myself, it is not only convenient but also lowers the risk of doing so. If I get exposed, I can simply discard the pawn and stay safe myself.”
“The surrounding people know the situation well and are loyal to the family, thus they aren’t good to manipulate. Only an outsider like Jia Jin Sheng can be used more efficiently to execute my plans. Unfortunately, I did not expect the Flower Wine Monk to leave behind his power inheritance.”
The Flower Wine Monk is a Rank five Gu Master, his inheritance is definitely more valuable than this pawn.
Of course, it’d be good if he could get the best of both worlds, but in face of such treasure, Jia Jin Sheng could not longer be controlled, thus he had to be discarded.
“Nothing will go smoothly forever in this world.” Fang Yuan sighed and shook his head.
The Flower Wine Monk’s inheritance appeared and disrupted Fang Yuan’s original plans. In addition, after the changes to the image wall, the videos and images were all gone, only showing a line written in blood, telling Fang Yuan to destroy the image wall and reveal a cavern entrance. Following the trail, he would be able to get the inheritance.
The blood writing only appeared for a few breaths before vanishing, and the image wall also turned back into the most ordinary mountain wall.
Fang Yuan spent the entire night cleaning up the murder scene, and had no time to break the wall.
“Killing Jia Jin Sheng in a hurry, this would leave many problems for me in the future, and I am but only temporarily safe. Although I succeeded in getting rid of the evidence, there is bound to be trouble coming for me in the future. In this case, I would have to change my way of exposing the Liquor worm. I cannot go to the secret cave behind the wall crack either. I have to stay in the mountain village for some time to anticipate investigation in the near future.”
Fang Yuan turned around and held his umbrella, walking in the rain towards the village.
“But this is fine too. I can spend a large amount of primeval stones during this period to refine to middle stage primeval essence. Using it, I can nurture my aperture and break through into the middle stage. Once I reached the middle stage, my power will double, allowing me to get the inheritance more easily and with greater confidence.”
A demonic cultivator’s inheritance was not as mild and gentle as a righteous cultivator’s, for there was often dangerous tests and tasks, and if one cannot get through, they’d have to pay the price with their life.
“The world is hard to predict, but it is precisely this that makes it interesting.” Fang Yuan smiled coldly.
The green mountain beneath the heavy rain extended continuously and unending, its green mixed with grey, appearing stifling and heavy.
A gust of wind blew, and the raindrops inclined a little, hitting onto Fang Yuan’s shoulder and attacking him with a burst of chilliness.
He thought about Jia Jin Sheng again.
Sighing in his heart, he thought, “Jia Jin Sheng, actually I… did not want to kill you.”
What a waste of a good pawn.