Chapter 28 - The Refined Iron
Chapter 28 – The Refined Iron
Xu Yi felt extremely fortunate to have met General Gu. If it wasn’t for him, he wouldn’t have taken the job as a guard, nor would he have had someone to aid him in these troubling times.
“I really, really appreciate your help!” Xu Yi thanked General Gu one more time.
“Don’t worry, it’s not worth mentioning.” General Gu friendly replied. “Hurry up, you’d better immediately make your way to Guanan. I’ve taken the liberties to arrange a carriage, which is already on its way here to pick you three up. Take care, my brother.”
After saying their farewells, Xu Yi, together with Elder Mu and Autumn, rushed towards the gate of the hospital, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the carriage.
Several minutes later, two horses, hauling a large carriage, were approaching the gate. Before the carriage had even come to a complete standstill, Xu Yi, Elder Mu and Autumn had already entered the carriage. It immediately continued and they eventually disappeared into the foggy and dark night.
It was late at night, in the main hall of the White Horse Palace, a subdivision of the Black Dragon Palace, there were flaming furnaces aligned in two rows. A gigantic dragon sculpture on the ceiling, created an ominous atmosphere in the red glaring light of the furnaces.
In the middle of the hall, there was a bronze armchair in the shape of a tiger, reflecting a solemn touch. The man who was quietly sitting in this armchair was named Jiang Shaochuan, the leader of White Horse Palace, as well as the father of the man in black clothing. He blankly stared into the direction of the gate, almost as if he had already passed away. He hadn’t even let out a single word, ever since he was informed about the death of his son.
- Clop! Clop! Clop!-
Suddenly, a series of footsteps, which sounded like the scraping between a steel file and a copper sheet, broke the silence.
A man in soaked clothing ran towards Shaochuan, he seemed to be exceedingly overheated, as if he had just exited from a flaming furnace. He was the adviser of Shaochuan, who seemed to have something urgent to report to his master.
“Master, I… I have some bad news for you. Our young lord is… is… d… dead.” The adviser said in a muffled voice, while sweat kept dropping down from his body.
“I know! My son is dead!” Shaochuan replied in a squeaky voice, which was as cold and filthy as the water in the sewers.
“Master, the refined iron, which was stolen by the young lord, was lost as well!” The adviser raised his voice, as if to emphasize the importance of this matter.
“What? Say that again!” Shaochuan instantly bounced up from the chair, putting his wrinkled face right in front of his adviser, as he held the poor guy by his neck.
“I… I…” The adviser felt choked.
Luckily, Shaochuan released his hand and the adviser could finally repeat his previous words.
Shaochuan felt like he was hit by a bolt of lightning, he rushed into his secret room. After a while, he came back out with an uncontrollable rage. He even kicked down one of the furnaces. However, this was far from enough to express his fury, he immediately grabbed a large sword from behind a folding screen , slashing it in all directions. Several minutes later, the once splendid looking hall, had turned into the aftermath of a battlefield.
“Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch! I will not shed a tear over your death!” He furiously screamed, as he finally stopped his maniacal behavior and put his sword away.
“Master, we have no time to grumble. Right now, to minimize the consequences, we have to regain the refined iron from that guy who killed the young lord. We must find it before the boss from the Black Dragon Palace senses anything unusual.” The adviser anxiously suggested.
Shaochuan replied with a firm nod, trying to pull himself back together.
The refined iron was originally stolen from the Southeastern Business Escort Group three months ago. The group was hired by the Guanan government to carry precious tributes to the Empire. It was a top-confidential task. However, the White Horse Palace had discovered their route, due to the help of an unknown informer and they had, shortly after, assembled a group of well-trained cultivators in the Sky Hawk Cliff. Eventually, they launched a successful ambush and looted the treasures from this business group.
The refined iron was found in a beautifully-decorated cassette. Shaochuan was obsessed with it from the moment, when he first lied his eyes on it. However, as per the rules, anything collected has to be forwarded to the Black Dragon Palace, after which the profits would be divided in a certain ratio.
However, the refined iron was such a gorgeous treasure, that Shaochuan was rather reluctant to submit it to the Black Dragon Palace. The adviser had read his mind at this time and had come up with a good plan. He had killed all the members, who had joined in the sneak attack, to make sure that there were no witnesses who knew about the refined iron.
Looking at his adviser, Shaochuan had understood the purpose of killing these people. He had then shot a wicked smile to his adviser, before he had tucked the refined iron into his pocket.
Shaochuan had then hidden the refined iron in his secret room. Only when it was late at night and no one else was around, would he enter his secret room. So he could open the cassette and stroke and scrutinize the refined iron with great satisfaction.
Unexpectedly, however, his good-for-nothing son had stolen the refined iron and had even lost it. At this moment, Shaochuan’s heart was saturated with horror and fury, leaving him no space to lament on the death of his son.
If the refined iron was in the hands of his enemies, they would certainly bring his ugly behavior to light. Then, he’d definitely be killed by the Black Dragon Palace.
“Master, don’t worry. I heard that all the bystanders were local civilians. They claimed that the guard was hurt by an iron ball, I suppose that must be our refined iron. Since it’s a rare treasure, I bet the guard won’t show it in public.” The adviser explained to relieve some of his master’s anxiety.
“This guard was actually a newcomer in Hibiscus Town and now he, as well as the old man and the girl who were with him, have already travelled to Guanan. It’s obvious that he has prepared himself well, in case we would try and kidnap the old man and the little girl. Right now, the quickest way to kill him is to invite him to a fight in Guanan. Our priority right now should be to write a letter to the Guanan government and investigate his whereabouts.” The adviser continued.
“Priority? Hmmm, our priority right now is to keep this a secret. I would say, the less people that know about the refined iron, the better. What if I am the only who knows about this?” Suddenly, Shaoshan cut off the head of his adviser with his bare hands. Immediately, he kicked the head into the left furnace. Soon after, a disgusting scorching flavor filled the air.
“I swear, I will kill you! I love that refined iron more than I love my own son!” Shaochuan stared at the flames, gritting his teeth.
It was a cloudy morning, the doors and windows were all closed because of the blowing gale. A half burned red candle was flickering in the air. Elder Mu swallowed down a bowl of restoratives. He then put a big hamper in Autumn’s room, in case she would be hungry when she woke up. Meanwhile, Xu Yi was sitting in the main hall, meditating.
This building was not big - the front part was used as an office, while the rear part was used as a living- and bedroom. A kitchen and toilet were also conveniently available. In the middle, there even was a lively yard, where beautifully flourishing banyan  grew on both sides. It was a beautiful summer resort.
It had been years since the Hibiscus government set this building up to accommodate government employees who went to Guanan. It was also the place to receive and send out official letters.
Xu Yi stood up from the chair and collected some official letters. Later, he locked the guest room, attaching a note to the door. He then quietly left.
After going down the hustling street, Xu Yi directly entered a wine workshop, where he spent an ingot of silver to buy a kettle of green bamboo leaf liquor, which was already preserved for ten years. He then inquired about the location of the Iron Cat Alley, before he dashed towards his destination.
Xu Yi knew that the Black Dragon Palace wouldn’t be lenient to him. Even if it wasn’t for the man in black clothing, the mysterious iron ball would definitely stir up some ripples, or even storms in the cultivating world!
: folding screen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding_screen
: banyan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan