Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Young Ma, stop messing around.” Qin Jin waved his arm and smiled. “Recovering my Martial Art? Hehe, my Martial Art had been crippled for over fifty years. How am I to recover it now? This pile of old bones is bound to be buried soon enough. I have no hope in recovering anything.”
Ma Kun smiled. “I don’t know about anyone else, but Centurion Chu is a talented youth. He always has some astonishing tricks up his sleeves. There might be a way for him to help you.”
“For real?” Qin Jin frowned.
Ma Kun added, “I wouldn’t believe it if it was anyone else, but since it was Centurion Chu who said so himself, I believe him completely. Think about it, Centurion Chu went from a defenseless ordinary man to a Grandmaster in two years. How amazing is that!”
“Mm, it seems that we’ve met our savior.” Qin Jin grinned.
Even then, the man was doubtful.
He had been alive for almost a lifetime. He knew when he saw Dong Qifei and the other’s expressions that Ma Kun was giving Centurion Chu a hard time.
They had just arrived and were defenseless. They really did not want to get involved in the battle between the centurion and second in command. That would just be asking for trouble themselves.
“It’s a shame for Young Ning, though.” He pointed at Ning Jiyuan before shaking his head and sighing. “However, there’s no rush. Now that he has returned, all he needs to do is to begin his cultivation from the beginning!”
Ning Jiyuan patted his chest and smiled. “Old Qin, don’t worry. I definitely will get my Martial Art back!”
“We old men would be relieved to see you getting your Martial Art back,” Qin Jin said with a smile.
Ma Kun knew that the wise Qin Jin had seen right through his plans. He was not the least bit bothered by the realization, though. He smiled and introduced Dong Qifei and the other three men to them instead.
Everyone soon found a seat by the stone table.
Dong Qifei asked about their experience and their lives all these years in the Tempest Temple. He wondered whether they have suffered.
Qin Jin chuckled. “We are now losers since we’ve lost our Martial Art. The Tempest Temple wouldn’t do anything to us but send us to deep within the mountains to grow crops. We couldn’t escape even if we wanted to. We could only carry on with our lives there. I’m an expert in growing crops now and can’t do anything else anymore.”
Dong Qifei asked curiously, “Old Qin never tried to cultivate again?”
“There’s no point,” answered Qin Jin. “I tried my best to cultivate in the beginning and hoped to be able to escape. However, they knew right away when I had just cultivated back my inner energy, and they crippled it once again. We were only allowed to be ordinary men now. I eventually gave in.”
“This group of monks is so cruel!” Dong Qifei remarked harshly.
Qin Jin shook his head. “It would be the same for anyone else. The Secret Guardians Hall kills all the spies they capture right away. It was kind enough for them to let us live. They definitely did exercised the values of a monk.”
Chu Li suddenly appeared as the rest were conversing. All of them stood to greet him.
Chu Li expressionlessly swept his gaze across the crowd and said in a low voice, “Dong Qifei, Yang Zongwen, Big Ning, Second Ning, you guys go and arrange the accommodation. Old Qin, let’s have chat privately.”
“Yes!” All of them dispersed to execute their tasks enthusiastically.
Ma Kun also left and returned to his house.
Chu Li brought Qin Jin to the main hall. A maid soon brought in tea before excusing herself silently.
Chu Li picked up his cup and gestured for the old man to do the same.
Qin Jin picked up his cup as well.
The two of them took a light sip of their tea and placed the cups down slowly.
The house was so quiet that it was possible to hear the sound of a needle dropping to the floor.
Chu Li took a deep breath before starting, “Old Qin, I didn’t request for you from the commander just to let you waste your days away. It’s to make use of you.”
Qin Jin bowed slightly. “Centurion, I’m but a useless man. I’m afraid…”
“I’ll help you recover your Martial Art. You’re the elites of the Secret Guardians Hall and are rich in experience,” Chu Li interrupted. “Moreover, you all are Grandmasters who would be of great help to us in the Mei Er Courtyard. Please don’t humble yourselves unduly.”
Qin Jin smiled bitterly. “Yes. I’ll do my best to fulfill any orders the centurion has for me!”
Chu Li nodded. “However, there’s one thing you must understand. Not only am I the centurion of the Secret Guardians Hall, but I’m also the head chief of the Imperial Residence of King An and the chief of the High Duke’s Public House. I would require your assistance in other matters as well.”
“Yes,” Qin Jin answered. “We’ll only listen to your orders.”
He felt like he was forced to say what he just did.
Although they had suffered quite a bit for the Secret Guardians Hall, their failure as spies had vilified them. They did not return with any meritorious service gained. Their sufferings were nothing compared to those secret guardians who had lost their lives,
More importantly, everyone would be wary of their loyalty.
Hence, even the commander would not dare use them. They could only be useless men to them. Their situation here was no different from what they had in the Tempest Temple.
They could not blame the Secrest Guardians Hall for this because the same consequences would have been bestowed on literally anyone else.
If Chu Li wanted to use them, then they did not have any other choice but to pledge their loyalty to him.
After many years of oppression, the passion in their hearts was burning more intense than ever. Their longing for fame and fortune did not fade but grew much more prominent than it ever was. They definitely would not be content to live an ordinary life and die of old age. That was why they would still be willing to take on the bet and follow Chu Li down his darkened path even when he was an incredibly unpredictable man.
Chu Li’s lips tugged into a wide smile. “Great, Old Qin is wise! I’ll recover your Martial Art now!”
He took out a box of needles from his sleeve after he said that.
He pierced Qin Jin with the needles and locked him in place without waiting for him to speak.
After he was done, Chu Li picked up a book and flipped through it slowly.
An hour later, Chu Li placed the book down and took out a porcelain bottle. He took a white pill out and stuffed it into Qin Jin’s mouth.
Qin Jin widened his eyes and felt his entire body tingle as if a million ants were crawling on his skin.
Chu Li gestured with a flourish of his hand all of a sudden and the needles flew back into the box.
“Bang!” Qin Jin’s clothes bulged up like a balloon while his hair began fluttering in the air.
“Hehe…” Qin Jin was overjoyed and could not help but laugh out loud. His booming laughter made the whole house quivered, and a cloud of dust descended lightly over them.
The power he had pined for so long had returned to him. He was a Grandmaster once again. He felt like he was in a dream that he never dared to entertain!
Chu Li sat calmly on a chair and smiled. “Congrats.”
Qin Jin stopped laughing and gave a fist salute. He said, “Thank you, centurion.”
Chu Li waved a hand dismissively. “It’s a fair trade. There’s no need for you to thank me. Have the next one come in.”
“Yes!” Qin Jin answered.
He was awestruck by this quiet and distant young man standing before him.
This sort of technique could not be performed by just anybody. He was so young, yet his cultivation level was unfathomable. He really was blessed and definitely worth his loyalty.
Chu Li let out a small smile as he watched Qin Jin leave.
With this group of experienced masters, he would have ample power and resources by his side. It would be much more convenient to proceed with his future operations. He need not attend to every matter personally from here on out.
This process continued on until late at night. By the time Chu Li left Mei Er Courtyard, the nine men had completely recovered their Martial Art.
This night was nothing out of the ordinary for the rest of the people, but it was a day of rebirth for them.
When Chu Li returned to the Imperial Residence of King An, Chief Zhu ran out to welcome him. He handed over an invitation with both hands. “Head Chief, there’s an invitation for you.”
Chu Li took it from him. “Are there any guests here today?”
“Miss Lu had come over to see the princess consort,” reported Chief Zhu.
Chu Li paused for a moment before nodding. He opened the invitation and saw that it was from Han Fei. He wanted to celebrate his new home and his success in taking in Bi Lan as a concubine.
Chu Li smiled and put away the invitation. Then, he returned to the Tianshu Courtyard.