Within no time, the middle-aged man was sweating and looked as if he had been running in the rain. His mouth was gaping wide open but he could not even make a sound, let alone say any words.
Chu Li knew that Xhao Qingshan had sealed his voice box through acupuncture.
Zhao Qingshan was leisurely enjoying his meal and barely cared about him.
He did all this just to make the middle-aged man live in despair for a short period of time in hopethat when he did release the acupuncture, the man would spit out any information he knew.
"That's about it, Mr Zhao Qingshan." Hai Qingshan said as he turned and looked at Zhao Qingshan.
He felt as if the man was about to die.
Zhao Qingshan shook his head and said, "Hai Qingshan, you're still too soft-hearted!"
Hai Qingshan could only smile out of embarrassment. He was able to kill people but he could not stand looking at people suffer. He would have definitely ended them in a single strike.
The elder beside him interjected and said, "We have Mr Mulin, we won't die that easily!"
Zhao Qingshan put down his chopsticks, stood up and slapped the middle-aged man's back.
The man screamed in pain. The moans and noises he let out were so intense that it made other people feel the same pain he did.
Hai Qingshan sighed as he stared at the man.
"Out with it. We'll let you go the second you spill. If you don't, we'll just have to kill you."
"Are you guys really going to let me go?" a hoarse voice asked as he stared at Hai Qingshan doubtfully.
If he was going to die anyway, he could only hope to die at ease. He had already prepared for death the moment he decided to come.
"You probably wouldn't dare report your capture even if you made it back alive because The Hu Ren Public House would kill you if you did. It would benefit you more to act like you know nothing, that way, at least you'd have a better chance of staying alive. In fact, it doesn't make much of a difference with someone like you who had no power. They might even attract attention!" scoffed Hai Qingshan.
The middle-aged man rolled his eyes but he felt as if the explanation made sense and he actually had a chance of living.
"Are you still going to stay silent?" Hai Qingshan angrily exclaimed.
"Delay this any longer and your companion is going to start suspecting you"
"Okay, okay! I'll tell you!"
The middle-aged man sighed hard and forcefully pulled his chin up.
"We won't be joining the movement. We're only here to clear the path and it has been rumored that our Lady is with five Grandmasters"
"Five?" Hai Qingshan said with furrowed brows.
"Only five," The middle-aged man swore.
Hai Qingshan frowned as he waved his hand as a sign for the middle-aged man to leave. He got up and ran away into the night without any hesitation.
Chu Li was able to tell if the man was telling the truth or not and indeed he was not lying.
It was unfortunate that their position was relatively low. The information they had gotten could not be completely trusted. Lu Yurong could have been lying to them so that false information would spread if they were caught which therefore made the things the middle-aged man told them of no actual value, real or fake.
Hai Qingshan furrowed his brows and sat in front of the table. He picked up the pair of chopsticks and put a piece of beef into his mouth and chewed slowly as a million thoughts ran through his mind.
"Zhao Qingshan, do you think he was telling the truth?" he asked.
"It doesn't sound like there are any problems with what he said," Zhao Qingshan replied.
"Five Grandmasters. Seems like Lu Yurong did not expect the Second Lady to bring these many people," Hai Qingshan said with a relaxed smile.
Second Lady usually brought four Grandmasters with her but this time, she had more. This was because the Public House used Gu Litong to punish a few of the innate masters from the Hu Ren Public House. They were worried that the Hu Ren Public House would come for revenge.
Chu Li looked at Hai Qingshan.
"Young Lay, do you have something to say?" Zhao Qingshan asked.
"That man may have been fed false information," Chu Li said.
"Do you mean that Lu Yurong lied to her own men?" Zhao Qingshan furrowed his brows and asked.
Chu Li nodded.
Zhao Qingshan thought for a bit and sighed.
"We'd have to avoid it either way. That woman is too smart!" Hai Qingshan smiled in disapproval.
"Elder Zhao Qingshan, one's ability speaks for himself and it does not matter what kind of tricks or intrigue she uses. As long as we're strong enough, we'll just have to fight them face-to-face right there and then. She's nothing to be afraid of!"
"Intrigue and tricks are still quite useful." Zhao Qingshan smiled as he said.
"Very well, it doesn't matter, we'll just have to be extra careful now. Don't give them any opportunities to gain an advantage. If anything goes wrong, we'll just escape with the Lade"
Everyone nodded in agreement and then only needed to accordingly to the situation.
The next day, as they were rushing their way through, there were riders that passed by every now and then in pairs or groups. They glared fearlessly at the group as if a fight was about to break out at any moment. Those who were caught by Zhao Qingshan were not very useful.
Although Zhao Qingshan and people had their own things to worry about, they were not allowed to show that they were weak. If even one of them got captured, they would be immediately crippled.
In two days time, they had already killed eight of them and who were unfortunately only acquired masters. Their deaths made no difference to the overall capability of the Hu Ren Public House.
Chu Li kept riding and did not bother even the slightest bit about the others.
It was estimated that they would arrive at the Grand Secretary Kang's residence. Although there were people who provoked them ever so often, they did not bother and went on their way. Siao Shi didn't have any idea about what was happening outside the carriage and quietly read her books.
In the evening, the sun set and the crowd stopped in front of a small hill where there was an old temple at the peak. They had planned to rest in the temple which sat isolated on the hill. At the time, Buddhism was still thriving and so for a temple to fall into such a decrepit state, it must have been because of its geographical location. There was barely anyone around and with no signs of human civilization nearby, there would be no one to light up incense. Due to this, no matter how great the temple was, it would still fall.
There were two holes on the doors of the temple which allowed wind to pass through. The interior of it was broken and incomplete and the Mad Eye Buddha had only one of his eyes left.
Hai Qingshan and Chu Li quickly cleaned up and placed a light blue felt rug on the ground for Siao Shi to step on. She then took a seat on a round wooden block, looked around and nodded gently.
"Since we're outside, we'll just have to put up with it. There's no need to be so meticulous, Hai Qingsha," said Lady Siao.
"Understood, my Lady," he replied respectfully.
Hai Qingshan took out a wooden box and placed out four dishes. He then distributed the rations, such as stewed meat to the group. Chu Li shot some alpine musk deer and picked up wild mushrooms and vegetables. He then used the pot they brought along to boil the meat soup so that the group could eat with satisfaction.
It was already midnight and the bright moon was hanging strongly in the sky. It was Chu Li's turn to guard the night. He sat down without any movement, as if he has fused his body with the land. His mind was one with the night, feeling the sound of nature. His mind suddenly moved and he immediately activated the Omniscient Mirror where he found seven elders in grey flying towards them, as fast as awhirlwind.
Chu Li opened his eyes and whistled which caused Zhao Qingshan and the rest work up instantly. Siao Shi who was sleeping on the makeshift bed had also been woken up. She furrowed her brows and looked out of the temple.
Hai Qingshan rushed towards Chu Li while Zhao Qingshan and the other three hopped onto the roof of the temple and another two went into the temple and stood next to Siao Shi, guarding her.
Hai Qingshan yelled out to the darkness, "Are there intruders?"
Chu Li stared at the direction where the seven elders in grey were coming from and told brother Hai Qingshan to go with Lady Siao Shi if anything felt wrong.
Hai Qingshan nodded and looked towards the direction Chu Li was looking and asked, "How many are there?"
"Seven," replied Chu Li.
"Only seven?" Hai Qingshan said with a sense of relief.
"They might all be Grandmasters," Chu Li said as he shook his head.
"It seems like they are all well aware of our internal affairs. They are going to attack us now!"
There were seven Grandmasters which was more than enough to pressure the six Grandmasters and the ones left were tasked with dealing with the innate masters. It was sufficient and could even be considered safe. Lu Yurong was ruthless and knew when to strike.
"Seems like they're well aware of our inner affairs. They're actually going engage us now!"
In no time at all, the seven elders in grey had already appeared and rushed into the temple.
Hai Qingshan wanted to face them but Chu LI held onto him because he knew that he would definitely die if he went up to them.
In only a few sentences, the seven elders in grey had already appeared, rushing into the temple.
Hai Qingshan struggled.
"Brother Hai Qingshan, don't act without thinking things through first. They're Grandmasters!" Chu Li reminded Hai Qingshan in an attempt to calm him down.
"They are? How would you know if you've never tried?" Hai Qingshan stopped struggling and furrowed his brows.
"Hold on!" Chu Li said.
Zhao Qingshan and the others approached them. The noises of fists and palms rang out in the air.
Endless waves of sound passed out from the air as if there were hidden weapons everywhere.