Early the next morning, Ji Yanran stared at the red jade carving hanging around his neck and hesitated, “This is……”
Yun Yifeng replied, “I carved a figure of the Blood Lingzhi according to the description that Your Highness gave as a safety amulet.”
Ji Yanran, “……”
Yun Yifeng continued, “Even though it’s fake, I feel happy wearing it on my body and gazing upon it every day.” When he said this, his tone was gentle and sincere, his smile as warm as the sun in spring, light shining from within a pair of dewy peach flower eyes.
The Ji residence’s attendants still possessed a conscience and could not bear to deceive this seriously ill person. Shrinking their necks, they all ran off faster than even a thief.
Ji Yanran smiled, “That’s good.”
In their subsequent journey, Yun Yifeng hung the ruby coloured Blood Lingzhi in front of his chest all day, really treating it as a treasure. He always treated the attendants kindly and looked attractive when he smiled. Once in a while, he would cover a hand over his heart and cough for an extended period of time, displaying his weak and delicate body. The pressure on the Ji residence’s attendants multiplied and they became more and more uneasy, wishing that they could just immediately head out to the roadside and dig up a Blood Lingzhi, wrap it in fine gold and silver filigree and present it respectfully to this innocent businessman who was being scammed.
The carriage travelled at a smooth and brisk pace. Yun Yifeng leaned against a soft cushion and slept, like a lazy animal in winter. Ji Yanran sat on the opposite, recognizing that the jade seat beneath his body was made of cool jade. In this kind of ghastly weather, an ordinary person would balk at having to approach it, let alone plastering their body to it and sitting down – it seems that this poison was truly severe.
“Master.” An attendant from the Ji residence spoke from outside, “We have reached.”
Yun Yifeng opened his eyes, “Hanwu city?”
“Yes.” Ji Yanran said, “Ah Fu has already gone ahead to the inn first to prepare the things needed for a medicinal bath for the Sect Leader.” Along their journey here, he had gained an understanding of Yun Yifeng’s living habits. To sum it up, every now and then he had to drink his medicine, and once in a while, he needed to take a medicinal bath.
Yun Yifeng lifted an eyebrow, “He went ahead to prepare medicine for me, or to first spread some news to attract the attention of the Yue clan’s members?”
Ji Yanran replied, “It’s both.”
Yun Yifeng did not bother arguing with him and followed him into Hanwu city. Here is a major city in the northeast region and it was always bustling. It also just happened that today was the bazaar, there were so many people that they could barely walk.
There was a stall selling hawthorn sugar on the street. The large iron pot looked quite imposing as it was lifted, and Yun Yifeng who had never seen it before could not help but to give it a few more glances. Unexpectedly, an attendant from the Ji residence had already diligently bought two big packages and delivered it over with a wide smile – since there was no Blood Lingzhi, they could only be more diligent and thoughtful about trivial matters like these so as to feel more at ease.
Ji Yanran, “……”
“What is that?” Yun Yifeng ate the hawthorn, his gaze falling onto a low platform at another corner, “Such a big and garish chair. The crowd there isn’t small.”
The Ji residence’s attendant explained, that chair belonged to a wealthy man in northeast region, Mr Qi. Every year they would bring it out to let people bask in its luck , and as long as people spent five pennies, they could even sit on it for a while. It sounded like a good deal.
Perhaps it was to cooperate with this luck-bringing chair, whenever someone sat on it, there would be people from the Qi residence shouting “may you be blessed with wealth and power”, attracting a lot of applause and jubilation from the surroundings. Yun Yifeng spoke, “To be able to see such a shameful display before the eyes of the crowd for only five pennies, it is indeed value for money.”
Ji Yanran made a noise of amusement, “It’s just the commoners hoping to increase their luck, but Sect Master Yun really has a poisonous tongue.”
“Alright, let’s go back to the inn.” Yun Yifeng’s interest dimmed, “There are too many people here, it’s annoying.”
Ji Yanran used his shoulders to block him from the crowd and swept his gaze across their surroundings. There were many commoners in this bazaar, including a number who wore swords and sabres, but for what reason was unknown. In Hanwu city, only the Yue clan belonged to the martial arts community, he certainly did not want to create any trouble here.
However, after arriving at the inn, his doubts were quickly resolved. The inn’s steward said that the head of the Yue clan’s armed escort bureau was celebrating his 50th birthday this month, so he invited a lot of Dao  friends over for his jubilee.
“Is this the Fengyu Sect’s Sect Leader?” The steward smiled, “Sect Master Yue just sent someone over to invite this Sect Leader to stay at the bureau. The carriage has already been prepared, there is no need to wait at the inn.”
Ji Yanran clicked his tongue, “They sure acted fast.”
“If they didn’t act quickly, it would have been a waste of Your Highness’s painstaking arrangements.” Yun Yifeng brushed the sugary residue off his hands, “After you.”
The Yue clan’s armed escort bureau was located not far off from the inn. When the group of people arrived, the patriarch of the Yue clan, Yue Mingwei, had already sent a person to wait for them at the door. The most important thing when operating an armed escort is to build good relations. The more friends one had, the smoother it will be to operate an armed escort bureau. Yun Yifeng was quite famous in the Jianghu, Yue Mingwei would naturally not neglect him. Once they meet, he would greet him enthusiastically as he would an old friend.
“Who is this?” Yue Mingwei looked at Ji Yanran again.
Yun Yifeng replied, “A guest of Fengyu Sect. I accepted his business request, that’s why I’m accompanying him all the way to the northeast.”
Ji Yanran clasped his hands into a fist in greeting , “This humble person  is surnamed Ji. To suddenly appear on your doorstep, I hope I have not bothered Sect Master Yue?”
“What are you saying?” Yue Mingwei laughed, “One can never have too many friends. Moreover young hero  Ji was able to invite Sect Leader Yun to personally leave the mountains and must also be an extraordinary figure. For you to be willing to condescend to stay in my humble home, it is the blessing of yours truly. The accommodations have already been tidied up. Gentlemen, this way please.”
The Yue clan’s armed escort bureau was an extremely big establishment. The front yard was used for business while the backyard was used as the living quarters. As they were about to hold a jubilee celebration, it was a given that the guestrooms were all filled. Those with loud voices wanted to exchange pleasantries, those with short tempers wanted to incite a quarrel, and then there were those who brought their young children over to feast at the banquet. A baby pointed at her throat, crying and wailing, creating such a big ruckus that it made everyone’s heart hurt.
Yun Yifeng sat down by the table and poured himself a cup of tea, “Now that we’ve infiltrated the Yue clan’s armed escort bureau, what does Your Highness intend to do next?”
Ji Yanran said, “There is a killer named Mu Chengxue within the Jianghu, does Sect Leader Yun know him?”
“I’ve heard of him, but I’m not acquainted with him.” Yun Yifeng continued,
“He does not belong to any clan or sect, his martial arts prowess is strong and his whereabouts are typically uncertain. He does not differentiate between right or wrong, he has no friends and only recognizes silver.”
“He inquired about the relic once.” Ji Yanran said, “And not long after that, it was stolen from the stupa.”
Yun Yifeng made a guess, “So Your Highness suspects that it’s him?”
Ji Yanran said, “At least he is more suspect than any other person. Moreover, he entered the Yue clan’s armed escort bureau three days ago to stay.”
“No wonder Your Highness suddenly wanted to make haste on our journey be it day or night after receiving a secret report a few days back.” Yun Yifeng gently massaged the space between his eyebrows, “It’s just that it was tough for me, this patient. I couldn’t eat or sleep well, and until now I keep coughing so much that my chest still hurts.”
“Then Sect Leader Yun should have a good rest.” Ji Yanran stood up, “As for the rest, I will accomplish it.”
“Hey!” Yun Yifeng called out to him.
“This Prince understands.” Ji Yanran lifted his right hand and made it into the sign of a vow, “I’ll definitely not cause any trouble.”
Outside the door, the Ji residence’s attendants were also feeling dizzy from all the noise. Yun Yifeng had a strong reputation within the Jianghu, naturally there would be many people coming forward to pay their respects. After sending away a wave of people, there would be another wave arriving, it was endless. There were even two different martial art factions who accused each other of cutting the line, almost getting into a fight.
That night during the banquet, Yue Mingwei who had also heard about this matter felt rather guilty about it, “Our greetings were lacking and has caused the Sect Leader alarm.”
“Why is Sect Master Yue so polite?” Yun Yifeng laughed, “These are all trivial matters.”
“The weather in the northeast region is bitterly cold, and the Sect Leader is also suffering from a cough. A quiet rest was needed from the start.” Yue Mingwei continued, “It is truly noisy in the residence. If Sect Leader doesn’t mind it, I have another place, Shangxue Pavilion , which is built at the top of Misty Peaks. It is simple and elegant, the perfect place to have tea and rest.”
Yun Yifeng remained calm, wondering to himself why this person wanted to send him away in one move to the top of the mountains. Could it be that he had discovered something?
However, he had yet to speak when someone said in a teasing manner from beyond the door, “Why, Shangxue Pavilion is such a good place, Uncle Yue is only willing to let Sect Leader Yun reside there alone? Isn’t that too stingy of you, I’ve been meaning to pay there a visit since a while ago.”
The thick curtains were swept open and a strong gust of the cool northern wind blew in. Along with the wind came a young man wearing a brown brocade robe, a seven-star longsword  strapped to his waist and holding a white ferret in his hand. It was the young master of the Jin city’s armed escort bureau, named Jin Huan. The middle-aged man following behind him was the patriarch of the Jin city’s armed escort bureau, Jin Manlin.
Yue Mingwei laughed, “If nephew wants to visit, just say the word. Why bother making fun of your Uncle Yue?”
“Then it’s agreed.” Jin Huan turned around again and said respectfully, “Greetings to Sect Master Yun.”
Yun Yifeng said, “I haven’t seen you in a few years, but Brother Jin’s mischievous temperament has not changed at all.”
“This isn’t about joining in on the fun.” Jin Huan continued, “The beauty of Misty Peaks are akin to an immortal’s dwellings, and Shangxue Pavilion is a masterpiece. In the summer, just by looking at the entire valley blooming with flowers, it’s already a scene of wonder. Not to mention when it’s covered by the white snow in winter. A beautiful scenery coupled with good wine, good food and good music, is truly the happiest the place on earth.”
Jin Manlin scolded, “In the presence of so many guests, you only talk about drinking and playing and feel not the slightest bit of shame!”
“That’s not right, Sect Master Jin.” Someone at the banquet rebutted, “Everyone loves beautiful things, much less the world’s most exquisite scenery. After hearing Brother Jin’s words, I long to widen my horizons as well. I wonder if Sect Leader Yun will be gracious enough?” He was dressed in a moon-white cotton robe and spoke with a soft voice. Looking at him, he didn’t seem to be a person from the Jianghu, but a scholar.
Sure enough, Yue Mingwei said in a worried tone, “The peak is steep, and the road is rugged. Are you sure you can climb up?”
The scholar stubbornly insisted, “I’ll just walk slowly then. If others require a day, I’ll use three or five days to achieve it.”
“If the scenery is that good, why don’t you include me in as well?” A charming young lady also stood up. There was a moon flower ornament hanging between her brows, agile and lively, but that pair of inky black eyes were trained on Yun Yifeng, not moving an inch.
Someone in the banquet snickered, they could all tell that wasn’t her true intention, but thinking about it, this wasn’t surprising. Sect Leader Yun was young and had a promising future, plus he was handsome. It was also said that the amount of silver in Fengyu Sect could be formed into mountains, how could it not attract the attention of young ladies?
Yun Yifeng furrowed his brows, just now he was about to say that he didn’t want to go to that whatever fellow’s whatever peak, but Yue Mingwei said, “It’s better to have a few more people. It’s just that there is already a guest staying at Shangxue Pavilion, and he has a weird temperament. If you are to go, you must not disturb him so as to prevent any disputes.”
Jin Huan asked, “Who lives there?”
Yue Mingwei answered, “Mu Chengxue.“
Hearing this name, Yun Yifeng’s heart jolted and he exchanged glances with Ji Yanran.
Before, he was still trying to come up with an excuse to get close to that weird killer, now it has happened without them having to put in any effort.
Shangxue Pavilion was built to be compact and there were only a few guest rooms, so the guests could only head over there by themselves. As for the rest of their family and their subordinates, they could only continue to reside in the Yue clan’s armed escort bureau.
Ji Yanran’s attendant spoke, “Your Highness, go ahead and meet that Mu Chengxue. We will guard the foot of the mountains, there will not be any lapses.”
“Aren’t you worried?” Yun Yifeng leaned against the corridor and asked Ji Yanran, “What if the relic is no longer in the hands of Mu Chengxue but hidden within the Yue clan’s armed escort bureau?”
Ji Yanran shook his head, “I don’t think so. Given Mu Chengxue’s habit, if the transaction has already been completed, he will not continue staying with the Yue family.”
Yun Yifeng smiled, “Your Highness truly understands the people of the Jianghu quite well.”
“In order to accomplish something, it is necessary to clearly find out the opponent’s character and temper.” Ji Yanran continued, “It’s just that I’ll have to trouble Sect Leader Yun again, to accompany me to the top of those perilous peaks.”
Yun Yifeng habitually stretched out his hand to touch the ruby coloured Blood
Lingzhi on his chest, his expression warm and gentle, “No problem.”
The Ji residence’s attendants, “……”
Ah, what evil.
 Certain “lucky” items are thought to be auspicious, and people believe that being in their presence would bring you greater fortune.
 People of the Dao (道) refers to those who practices martial arts, or more specifically, those who cultivate.
 A greeting that is performed by martial artists toward one another as a sign of courtesy/respect. Basically one hand is fisted (right) and pressed flat against the palm of the other hand (left).
 在下 (Zai Xia) is a polite term used to refer to oneself to indicate a lower status when greeting someone of a higher (social) rank.
 少侠 (Shao Xia) loosely translates to “young hero”, a complimentary term for referring to a young martial artist.
 Shangxue Pavillion (赏雪阁) is literally translated as a pavilion for admiring the snowy landscape
 Seven-star longsword:
dreamxx: And that’s the rest of chapter one ^^ Ahhhh I love the author’s sense of humour. Once again, this is a teaser of something I’m working on, so it’ll be awhile before I begin releasing regular chapters.
Thank you for your support! ( ˘ ³˘)♥
3 thoughts on “Chapter 1.2: Theft in the Palace”
I also feel bad about tricking sect leader Yun. Is this second-hand guilt? You are truly a talented person.
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this looks to be very interesting, thank you for the first chapter!
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I’m looking forward to this!
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