Chapter 8 Part 1: “Listening to gossip in the teahouse.”
The former demonic leader He Huan once said:
The Demon Lord was precisely someone who’s supposed to eat well and drink well while overseeing everything from his nest. Only after all his henchmen were disposed of by the righteous way, should he personally make a move.
Thus, the way He Huan didn’t care about the demonic way’s big cause wasn’t because he was lazy. No, he was just enjoying the privileges associated with being a corrupt yet influential person.
You Jiang was precisely someone who used to be He Huan’s henchmen; after being beaten by the righteous way, he still had to help the demonic lord manage his family affairs.
Thus, You Jiang revolted and became the demonic leader himself.
Unfortunately, from beginning to end, You Jiang didn’t find any useful henchmen who worked hard without complaint like he once did. Even Du Huo, a child he had personally raised, became a thankless white-eyed wolf1. Thus, You Jiang had no other choice but to become a dedicated and hard working demonic leader.
Since this was the case, You Jiang couldn’t help but admit that some people were born to toil hard for their entire life. Just like now; even though You Jiang didn’t want to leave his conspicuous and gorgeous peacock cloak, he still had to disguise himself as a normal cultivator before infiltrating Mingchuan City with Fu Hongye.
Both of them were extremely famous people. Their wanted posters offering bounties had long been circulated among both the righteous and demonic ways. If You Jiang wanted to make some inquiries and gather intelligence, he and Fu Hongye could only wear a veiled hat to cover their faces.
Luckily, it was very rare for cultivators to reveal their real faces when travelling outside in the first place. Using veils to cover their faces or wearing veil hats were a common sight, so the common folk had long become used to it. Thus, they didn’t pay particular attention to either of them.
The moment the top cultivators made a move, even the weather would change. Currently, the people within the city walls were spiritedly discussing their fight, and even the teahouse lobby was bustling with excitement.
The moment You Jiang arrived, he made a beeline to the side room on the second floor. Unfortunately, the most handy Cun Jie was still at the Azure Sky Mansion, and Du Huo had long disappeared. Thus, You Jiang could only make this trip to personally collect intelligence.
Mingchuan relied on their water to become prosperous. Now that the Rain Monarch Cave was sealed, everyone felt like they were in danger.
As he casually ordered some food, You Jiang secretly swept his gaze over to the surrounding tables. He discovered that the majority of the people here had worried expressions, while their discussions about Azure Sky Mansion were full of blame and reproach.
At this rate, after a few more days, there would probably be a rebellion.
Demonic cultivators didn’t really care about the life and death of unrelated people, so You Jiang wasn’t the least concerned about the worries of these people. He only disdainfully pushed away the cheap tea on the table.
However, before he could begin mocking Fu Hongye, the white-robed youth who kept quietly following him suddenly asked with doubt, “You’re inviting me to eat?”
A real sword naturally couldn’t invite someone to dinner and pay the bill. It seemed like currently, You Jiang was still a person in Fu Hongye’s eyes.
When he thought of this, You Jiang, who had accidentally been defeated by Fu Hongye twice in a single day, merely replied in a cold voice, “What, are you afraid this lord will poison you?”
Although Fu Hongye was in a delusional state, he still remembered how he used to write countless invitations to a certain person, all to invite the man to drink with him while watching the flowers.
In the end, before he sent out any of those invitations, Fu Hongye took the initiative to burn all the letters containing his hopes and desires.
Afterwards, every time he met that person, the only thing Fu Hongye would bring with him was his sword.
He could only bring his sword.
From deep within his heart, Fu Hongye had once hoped that one day, the two of them would be able to sit together at a table and drink a cup of tea. Now, due to an unexpected turn of events, his wish was suddenly realized.
Thus, Fu Hongye smiled gently and said, “I’m very happy, many thanks.”
You Jiang completely couldn’t understand Fu Hongye. He was certain that he couldn’t even give his enemy a fake smile, let alone a friendly expression like this.
It had already been a long time since someone treated him so kindly. At the very least, You Jiang didn’t want to argue with the youth about something right now.
Somewhat unused to this, You Jiang replied in a quiet voice, “Heh, sure enough, you’ve been poisoned.”
Fu Hongye’s attitude to him after his qi deviation made You Jiang feel very uneasy. In addition, the doubts about how the youth kept calling him his former name were still a hurdle in his heart.
With this in mind, You Jiang became unable to sit still amid Fu Hongye’s gaze. Thus, he called over the teahouse owner to talk about proper business. “Mister, this lord heard that the tea from Mingchuan is pretty good, and that’s why I specifically came here to collect some. Why was the immortal water sealed off the moment I arrived?”
Throughout time, teahouses and taverns were places where cultivators from the jianghu gathered. This was precisely the place where one could find the best gossip.
The moment the teahouse owner saw the appearances of these two people, he immediately knew they were cultivators. Immortal sects collecting immortal tea always resulted in a big business deal. If he introduced them to the merchants in the city, the teahouse owner himself would also get a big commission.
Unfortunately, Rain Monarch Cave had been sealed. While there were many customers, there wasn’t any product in stock. For no reason at all, he would be losing out on a huge deal.
In the last three months, this wasn’t the first time this had happened. When the teahouse owner recalled this, he couldn’t help but feel heartbroken. Unable to bear it, he began complaining, “This guest must be unaware. This is completely the sin caused by the Azure Sky Mansion ah.”
The way the teahouse owner said this made You Jiang recall how Qiu Yuebai was condemned in the rumours. Raising an eyebrow, he asked, “Oh? But this lord heard that it is because there’s a demonic thing in the Rain Monarch Cave?”
The moment this was mentioned, the teahouse owner was immediately full of bitter complaints. Hearing You Jiang’s words, he angrily said, “Nowadays, the whole world is at peace. The demonic way has already been beaten into a sorry state by the Profound Sect, so how could there be a demonic thing? Truth to be told, the cause behind this entire matter is because a wishing well has appeared in the Rain Monarch Cave.”
F*ck, you’re the one who was beaten into a sorry state! If you have what it takes, don’t bring out Fu Hongye.
Without him, watch the demonic way smash apart the Heavenly Alliance’s old den!
You Jiang didn’t expect he could be angered like this without doing anything at all. But although his hand nearly shattered the teacup he was holding, his expression was still serene.
He merely asked, “What’s the matter with that well?”
When Fu Hongye heard You Jiang’s tone of voice, he immediately knew the was about to make trouble. Drooping his head, the youth stared at the dining table where they finally had a peaceful moment together. In an attempt to ease the mood, Fu Hongye said, “Excuse me, can I order some dishes?”
Unfortunately, it was truly hard for the righteous leader to eat a good meal. The teahouse owner appeared to have many complaints regarding the Azure Sky Mansion. Now that he had a chance to spill them, he enthusiastically said:
“This well is extremely spiritual, and nobody knows where it came from. I think it suddenly appeared in the Rain Monarch Cave three months ago. Everyone said, as long as you write your enemy’s name on a piece of paper and throw it into the well early in the morning, the slip of paper would float to the surface by the second day. Afterwards, the immortals would punish the person written on the paper, and make them disappear forever.”
It was impossible for the immortal realm and the mortal realm to have any intersections. Thus, any immortal who descends to the mortal realm for personal reasons would be subjected to a heavenly tribulation.
You Jiang had never heard of an immortal who liked to court death like this, so he only thought this matter was very strange. He asked in a probing manner, “For you guys to believe in this, I believe the well must be really effective?”
“None of us believed it in the beginning. I don’t know who was the one who gave it a try, but on the second day, a slip of paper really floated to the surface. The person written on the paper was precisely the master of the Zhang family, someone who became prosperous through cruel means.”
“As a result, Master Zhang really disappeared the same day. A hundred of his servants searched everywhere, even the nearby towns and cities, but they still couldn’t find him in the end. Guest, don’t you think it’s magical?”
Naturally nobody believed something like this in the beginning. The reason why the common folk were discussing this so spiritedly, was because in the last three months, a total of twenty-nine people had already disappeared in the city.
Without any exceptions, all of them had been people who were written on a slip of paper thrown into the well. It was already impossible for the people to not believe this evil affair.
When the teahouse owner mentioned this wishing well, he sounded as if he firmly believed in this matter. However, Fu Hongye raised his head in doubt and suddenly asked, “How do you know this wishing well only punishes evil people?”
Sure enough, it was a question righteous cultivators would worry over. However, the shopkeeper didn’t permit other people to question anything about the wishing well.
He immediately replied in a resolute tone, “A housefly wouldn’t target an unbroken egg. If you were truly a good person, why would someone try to harm you? Besides, after this well appeared, there’s already been twenty-nine people who have gone missing. None of them have a good reputation, so it can be seen that the wishing well is really spiritual.”
Twenty-nine missing people already wasn’t a small number. As the local righteous sect, it was impossible for the Azure Sky Mansion to not care about this matter.
However, if Qiu Yuebai already took up this task, but still couldn’t keep the people written on the slips of paper from disappearing, then this demonic thing really wasn’t ordinary.
You Jiang had become alert, but he still pretended he was just curious as he asked, “Since this is the case, why would Azure Sky Mansion want to seal off the Rain Monarch Cave?”
“Either they want to monopolize the wishing well, or it’s for the money.” The teahouse owner replied.
“Those missing people were all wealthy people who each owned a large piece of farmland that grew Mingchuan’s immortal tea plants. Every year, who knows how much silver they offer to the Azure Sky Mansion. Since it’s people like this who had an accident, how could the Azure Sky Mansion not be anxious? In the past, whenever insignificant people like us go missing, I’ve never seen them this nervous before.”
When the teahouse owner thought about the losses he suffered in the past three months, he became more and more emotional as he spoke. Seeing how the two guests still hadn’t reacted, he began talking about another old affair.
“Guest, you’re not aware of something important. Old Li’s daughter was originally a woman who picked tea leaves in the Rain Monarch Cave. For some reason, Master Zhang became very fond of her. The Zhang family sent a betrothal gift, absolutely insisting on marrying her as a concubine. However, Old Li was deathly against it, so this matter was ultimately dropped.”
“Not long after this incident, Old Li’s daughter suddenly disappeared. Because of this, Old Li cried until he was practically handicapped, begging everyone to help him find her. As a result, both the officials and the Azure Sky Mansion said they couldn’t find her.”
“How big is Mingchuan City? How could a living person suddenly disappear like this?”
“Everyone knows that girl was snatched away by the Zhang family. The Azure Sky Mansion was probably bribed by them, so they didn’t really search for her at all. To be honest, I think the slip of paper with Master Zhang’s name was thrown into the well by Old Li, as revenge for his daughter.”
Before the appearance of the strange wishing well, a tea leaf-picking woman working in the Rain Monarch Cave disappeared.
How could this just be a mere coincidence?