Chapter 18 Part 1: “Seeking wealth within Jiangdu City.”
Because he had provoked the major Protector of the demonic way, Mo Pan had been punished by his Master to remain in mandatory seclusion for seven entire days.
However, ever since he was born, Mo Pan has had a restless temper, and today was no different. He hadn’t even meditated for three shichen1 before he snuck out of his room.
Originally, Mo Pan had planned on taking a secret scroll before returning to his room to continue his meditation. In this way, he would be able to solve his boredom and finish his seclusion in one go.
After all, as long as his Master didn’t find out, wouldn’t he still achieve a beautiful ending?
But more often than not, reality was cruel.
Don’t mention how someone had entangled him right after he left his front door. The moment Mo Pan raised his head, he actually caught sight of two evil stars walking toward him!
Before the youth could speak, Bi Qianren had already raised an eyebrow with disdain. “How can we always run into you no matter where we go?”
Mo Pan was the one who wanted to ask this question!
Jiangdu City was so big!
How come he just had to encounter the two most dangerous people every time he tried secretly slipping away?!
Mo Pan knew he was wrong! He should have just listened to his Master and obediently meditated in his room!
While Mo Pan’s expression turned into one of grief and indignation, Zhuge Qingtian curiously took measure of the scene in front of him.
Since Mo Pan was sneaking out of his sect, he naturally didn’t dare to dress up too ostentatiously. He only wore ordinary black robes while his hair had been casually tied up with a ribbon.
At first glance, he looked precisely like a young man who had left home to have some fun. Nothing about him would give away the fact that he was actually the heir to the Sky Master Mansion.
Meanwhile, the person pulling on him and refusing to let go was a thin and weak young man who looked slightly older than Mo Pan. His clothes could be considered neat and clean, with luxurious ornaments decorating his body.
The problem was that this young man looked extremely anxious and distressed, to the point that a single glance at him would make one feel he wasn’t doing too well.
After taking a few looks at this young man, who looked even more ghastly than himself, Zhuge Qingtian finally couldn’t hold back his curiosity.
He immediately asked, “Who is this ah? Did you abandon him after having an affair?”
The ghost’s words made it too obvious that he actually meant, “quickly tell us your troubles and gossip so we can be amused”.
While Mo Pan inwardly disdained these two people, who had come just to watch the chaos, his mouth still firmly defended his dignity as a righteous disciple.
Mo Pan said, “Don’t think everyone is like demonic cultivators, who don’t abstain from sexual affairs. I have resolved to cultivate purely until I am thirty before finding a partner!”
Unlike demonic cultivators who regarded the number of their admirers as their glory, the righteous way has always beautified pure cultivation instead.
To Mo Pan, being able to resist the seduction of his countless junior-apprentice sisters and cultivate purely for thirty years, was already a great show of astonishing willpower.
Upon hearing this, however, Qianren only gave him a sneer of ridicule.
Heh, pardon him.
As a demonic cultivator, Bi Qianren actually cultivated purely for a longer time than a righteous cultivator!
In addition, to demonic cultivators, cut sleeves2 weren’t something shocking.
As a matter of fact, as long as demonic cultivators had a good opinion of their partner, they would dare to dual cultivate with any type of demon or ghost.
However, the righteous way wasn’t nearly as bold or unrestrained. Even if it was their Daoist companion, they had to ask the other’s Sect for permission first before beginning their relationship by sending each other letters. Not giving their elders prior notice before leaving their sects was also absolutely not allowed.
Although Mo Pan was a bit naughty, he ultimately was still a disciple raised by the Sky Master Mansion. It naturally wasn’t possible for him to have an affair with this young man.
As a matter of fact, this was just an ordinary mortal who had commissioned Mo Pan to subdue a poverty ghost.
The young man’s name was Chou Fugui. In the past, the Chou family was a very wealthy family in Jiangdu City.
Grandfather Chou Taiping was originally just a countryside peddlar. In the era where the imperial court hadn’t yet constructed a seagoing vessel, he took the initiative to lead the fishermen of Jiangdu and discovered a trade route by sea.
Thus, Grandfather Chou began to sell the sea salt produced in Jiangdu City all across the world, subsequently becoming the richest in the entire city.
Unfortunately, good things don’t last forever.
Grandfather Chou died from illness, but his son was cowardly and weak. Maintaining the housekeeping was already challenging to him, so he completely didn’t dare to expand their business.
As long as there was just the slightest danger, he definitely wouldn’t try it out. Instead, he was engrossed with appreciating good calligraphy and painting along with poems and books.
The most important aspects of a good businessman was one’s foresight and courage. Thus, by the time the family property and wealth was passed onto grandson Chou Fugui, their prosperity had greatly waned.
If the story stopped here, with the property left behind by Grandfather Chou, the Chou family would still be adequately provided for even if they wouldn’t be able to return to their former glory.
But who would have expected——
Ten years ago, the imperial court finally had the free time to expand their maritime trade route. For this reason, they built a squad of imperial merchant ships before stipulating that private fleets were no longer allowed to transport salt.
This thoroughly killed Chou family’s business and way of living.
Since young, Chou Fugui hadn’t learned any amazing skills. After selling the fleets and maps left by his ancestors to the imperial merchants, he completely began depending on just his savings to pass his days.
But although his family suffered such a reversal of fortune, Chou Fugui still didn’t do anything productive. After he also sold all of the cropland in his family, he merely began burning incense every day to worship the gods. He prayed for his family fortune to return, so he could suddenly begin flourishing like his grandfather.
The problem appeared precisely at this time.
One day, after Chou Fugui woke up from a dream, he suddenly realized that the cupboard storing all the money in the family had vanished without a trace. The entire family searched all over for it, but to no avail.
With no other alternatives, Chou Fugui could only sell the remaining antiques in his family in an attempt to obtain some temporary relief.
But on that very night, he suddenly dreamt of an old ghost, who had sat at the corner of the wall and smiled at him gloomily. The ghost’s thin figure looked as if they were withered and dried up.
After startling awake, heart palpitating with fear, Chou Fugui suddenly realized that the money he had just raised had disappeared once again.
He began thinking over the situation:
The Chou Family had formerly been the richest in the entire Jiangdu City. For it to be reduced to these circumstances, an evil ghost must be causing mischief and affecting their fortune.
This meant, as long as the ghost was removed, they would be able to regain their former glory.
Chou Fugui has always believed in ghosts and gods. In the past, even if he had fallen into dire straits, he would rather live more frugally so he could use his savings to buy peace talismans sold by each of the major sects.
Thus, he found the Sky Master Mansion and claimed there was a poverty ghost making trouble in his home. Chou Fugui began begging the cultivators to undertake his task and save him from his calamity.
Coincidentally, at that time, Mo Pan wanted to practice restraining ghosts. When he heard Chou Fugui’s grievances, he agreed to take on this commission.
This was precisely what led to the scene Bi Qianren and Zhuge Qingtian encountered on the outskirts of the city.
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