Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Chu Li frowned. “They can’t be used?”
“Uh huh.” Ma Kun sighed. Seeing Chu Li’s reaction as he realized his efforts had come to nothing made Ma Kun’s heart flutter. This was the first time that Chu Li had even come close to defeat.
Chu Li was silent for a while before asking, “Did the Commander and the rest say so?”
“The Commander will never speak of this because it would be too disheartening, but everyone else is aware of this. What if somebody used them and encountered a problem? We all go through our assignments in hopes of building merits, not to work as a charity!” Ma Kun shook his head in disappointment.
Chu Li slowly nodded.
Although Ma Kun was ill-natured, he spoke the truth.
These Secret Guardians that were returned would be in an awkward position. They could not be made use of. It was cruel, but in a sense, they would be no better off than if they remained in the Tempest Temple where they were treated reasonably well.
Ma Kun added, “Centurion, it’s impossible to tell if they would betray us. The spread of Buddhism runs deep in the Tempest Temple. They are being nurtured day and night, who knows how many of them can resist it? They may already believe in Buddhism as we speak!”
Chu Li replied, “Believing in Buddhism doesn’t necessarily mean you are betraying the Secret Guardians Hall.”
“Believing wholeheartedly in Buddhism would put them on the Tempest Temple side. Hence, it would be easy for them to open their hearts to the Tempest Temple and unintentionally leak our secrets. The Tempest Temple is quite good at manipulating people.” Ma Kun shook his head.
“Mmm, that makes sense.” Chu Li nodded. He urged his horse to speed up.
Ma Kun revealed a hint of a smile. He had finally found some entertainment. Disturbing Chu Li’s mental state was a piece of cake, what was the point of his martial arts being so mighty!
Ma Kun was filled with glee as he too urged his horse to speed on.
While this happened, Zhou Lingfeng started to twist and turn.
The turn of events had Ma Kun off guard. He was well aware of how powerful Zhou Lingfeng was. He was so deadly that even the entirety of Secret Guardians Hall could not add up to the number of people he had killed. If Zhou Lingfeng were to awaken, then he would be the first to be dispatched.
Ma Kun immediately sealed Zhou Lingfeng’s acupuncture points.
Zhou Lingfeng instantly froze and stopped.
Ma Kun let out a sigh of relief. He lifted his head to look at Chu Li who was far off in the distance. He became annoyed. This Chu Li must be giving him a hard time on purpose, in an attempt to scare him.
However, a moment later, Zhou Lingfeng started to move again.
Thankfully, Ma Kun was very aware of the danger. He quickly sealed Zhou Lingfeng’s acupuncture points once again.
On the way there, he would seal up acupuncture points every few minutes. Each time he would be nervous and fearful that the technique would not work, and the monster in front of him would awaken.
The two exited the East Gate and joined the vast pathway outside.
The south and north gate of Fairy’s Capital was bustling. Outside the East Gate was the Imperial Enclosure. Apart from this, it was also a pathway towards some towns and villages. There were no major cities as the population was scarce so when they exited the area, the pathway was empty.
Chu Li pushed his horse onward for another mile before they arrived at a forest. He raised his voice, “Fa Yuan, come out.”
“Amitabha… Almsgiver Chu, we have been waiting.” Fa Yuan chanted and landed on top of the branches. His grey cowl fluttered with the wind as he pressed his palms together.
Chu Li responded, “I was caught up in some matters. Here is Zhou Lingfeng, where are our people?”
“Please come out, Almsgivers,” Fa Yuan shouted.
Out came twenty horses from the forest. Apart from three middle-aged monks, there were another nine people.
Four of them were elders, one was middle-aged and another were four youths.
Chu Li’s gaze swept past each and every one of them as if trying to peer into their hearts.
Once he had seen all of them, he raised his arm and closed fist saluted. “I am the Centurion of the Secret Guardians Hall. Thank you for waiting so long, welcome back to the House!”
The nine Secret Guardians closed fist saluted and smiled forcefully without saying anything.
They were smart people. They knew that even if they returned to the Secret Guardians Hall, their lives would not be very different from the way it was now. Finding a secluded area to live a peaceful life was not that big of a difference from staying in the mountain village in the Tempest Temple.
Ma Kun closed fist saluted. “Senior Qin, Senior Feng, Senior Zheng, Senior Ouyang, I am Ma Kun.”
“Young Ma? Ma Kun?” a large stern elderly was hesitant.
“Senior Qin, I am young Ma! Do you still remember me?” smiled Ma Kun.
“Hehe, I’m getting old, my memory is betraying me. I almost couldn’t recall you. Young Ma, you haven’t changed at all, of course, I recognize you! Not bad, not bad. Are you now a Centurion?” Qin Jin chuckled.
“Oh no, I am the Second in Command. This is the Centurion.” Ma Kun smiled as he pointed at Chu Li.
Chu Li closed fist saluted. “Senior Qin, is it? Let’s return to the house to talk.”
“Right, right. Didn’t think we would see the day we would return to the House.” Qin Jin smiled as he nodded. He then turned to look at the eight behind him.
Chu Li smiled. “The House has been thinking of ways of getting you home. Fortunately, we have finally come across an opportunity. This time we have captured the one cultivating the Asura Power Technique and are using him to make an exchange with the Tempest Temple.”
“Sigh… who would have thought,” Qin Jin was shaking his head deep in thought. However, his eyes caught sight of Zhou Lingfeng and he frowned.
Sensing the savage aura from Zhou Lingfeng, he knew that this person’s Asura Power Technique was at a high level. He could not be killed, which was why the Tempest Temple was willing to offer so much to get him back.
Chu Li ordered, “Second in Command Ma, bring them back to see the Commander. I need to have a word with Fa Yuan.”
“Yes.” Ma Kun closed fist saluted.
Chu Li smiled and nodded at them.
Once they departed, Chu Li turned and faced Fa Yuan. His face instantly became dark.
Fa Yuan pressed his palms together quickly started to speak before Chu Li could say anything, “Almsgiver Chu, please understand. When they were captured, we had to get rid of their martial arts. If they did not become regular people, then the temple would not be able to afford them an easy life.”
“Humph, what a temple! No wonder that person died. It’s because you dispelled his martial arts!” Chu Li coldly blurted out.
Fa Yuan sighed and shook his head. “We had no choice, Almsgiver Chu should understand.”
Of course, Chu Li understood, but he needed to find an excuse to act frustrated to make them think that he was on the losing end.
“Then what can I do with them without their martial arts? Don’t tell me that you expect me to exchange this monster for regular people. No number of them would equate to Zhou Lingfeng’s release!” Chu Li scoffed.
Fa Yuan shook his head again. “I can’t help it.”
Chu Li continued, “Can’t help it? Fa Yuan, don’t act coy. Your temple has a pill called the Life Returning Pill that can recover martial arts.”
“They can’t use it. If their martial arts were just dispelled and their meridians had yet to stabilize, then the Life Returning Pill could technically recover their cultivation level. But after all these years, their meridians have already… the Life Returning Pill can’t help.” Fa Yuan sighed.
“You don’t have to worry about whether or not it can be used. You still need to hand over the Life Returning Pills. I have my ways to have them recover,” answered Chu Li.
Fa Yuan frowned. “Almsgiver Chu, it really is pointless. Please don’t waste the pills.”
As he spoke, Fa Yuan took out a bottle. “There are only nine pills. If you use one, you lose one. There aren’t many of these in the temple. Spirit medicine is becoming harder and harder to find, it won’t be long before it ceases to exist.”
“I will put them to good use.” Chu Li smiled as he took the bottle.
Fa Yuan was actually being quite generous. Without the Life Returning Pills, Chu Li would be absolutely clueless about how to recover their martial arts.
Fa Yuan shook his head helplessly as he looked at him.
He knew Chu Li’s nature so he had prepared these Life Returning Pills beforehand to ensure the deal did not turn sour. Zhou Lingfeng was important to the Tempest Temple so sacrificing this was well worth it.
Chu Li continued, “The formula of your Life Returning Pill…”
Fa Yuan immediately shook his head. “Impossible.”
Chu Li said, “Nothing is impossible. This is not like other formulas. Once there is no more Spirit Grass, the formula becomes useless.”
Fa Yuan kept on shaking his head.