The bright moon and stars were shining down on two shadows flitting left and right. When the moonlight finally graced their features, it was apparent enough who they were.
The father and son duo flew at top speed for two months to arrive at Drifting Flowers City.
Sent down memory lane, Zhuo Fan kept on sighing. Funny how the first time he had come was as a thief, no different from this time as well. And for the same item too.
If Yun Xuanji hadn’t told him he was outside fate he’d think heaven was toying with him.
“Dad, isn’t it just an 8th-grade ingredient? We can just punch our way in as we search around. Why wait for the night to sneak around? It’s bad for my glorified image!” Gu Santong grumbled.
Zhuo Fan laughed, “Young Sanzi, you don’t understand. If it were that easy, Regent Estate would’ve already done it. Drifting Flowers Edifices’ women are tough. You’ll never get anything out of them in a million years unless they give it to you.
“Besides, I don’t want to burn bridges with them.” Zhuo Fan sighed, looking at the tall building, lost in his memories.
Rolling his eyes, Gu Santong whispered, “How are you supposed to do that when you’re forcing them to tell you where’s their treasury?”
“He-he-he, you ignorant lad, have you forgotten your dad’s latest trick. Let me refresh your memory.”
Zhuo Fan unfolded the Sea Phantom Wings in the sky, their blue glow shining brighter in the moonlight.
The disciples patrolling the Drifting Flowers Edifices, looked above in shock. Zhuo Fan then flapped and blue rays sprinkled down on the disciples, making them fall unconscious.
Zhuo Fan flew around the Drifting Flowers Edifices, getting every disciple lost in the mesmerizing blue illusion.
The guards outside a door collapsed and Grandmother, who was in cultivation, frowned.
“Xiao Yu, what’s wrong?”
What she saw was a hazy blue glow outside the window.
Grandmother opened the door, on high alert. A buzz entered her ears and she shuddered.
She stepped out and looked around. It was quiet with the exception of the missing Xiao Yu at the door.
[Where did the child run off to?] Grandmother wondered.
A cry and some footsteps approached, “Grandmother, someone stole the Bodhi Root!”
Grandmother froze, watching Iris Overseer rushing with a group of disciples, “Tell me quickly. No one knows where Bodhi Root is hidden. How can someone steal it?”
“Grandmother, it’s true. The person wore a black robe, holding in his hand the Bodhi Root. I was just sending disciples to chase!” Iris Overseer panted.
Grandmother continued, “Calm down. Have you seen it clearly? Are you sure it was the Bodhi Root, or is it just some ploy to dupe us with a fake then steal it? “
“Grandmother, it’s real. I saw it with my own eyes. I also checked its hiding place and it was open!” Iris Overseer was panicking.
Grandmother nodded, “Let’s check it out!”
They all surrounded her to protect as she ran.
Yet there was only a single person behind her. And in his eyes, Grandmother was running by herself, with no disciples and Iris Overseer around.
At the person’s feet however was Xiao Yu, unconscious.
“Dad, is that woman sleepwalking? Why is she monologuing? Can’t she see us?” Gu Santong waved his hand in front of Grandmother.
With three golden halos flashing in his right eye, Zhuo Fan snickered, “This is your dad’s Divine Eye of the Void’s 3rd stage, Mirage World. She is trapped in my illusion without her knowledge. Through the illusion she will lead us to the Bodhi Root. We will just take the ingredient, leave her unconscious and no one will be the wiser. They’ll blame the Regent Estate, of course, and we would be free of charge, still allies, he-he-he…”
“Dad, you’re so devious! Though, that eye of yours is awesome. We haven’t seen each other for so long and it’s already on the 3rd stage!” Gu Santong giggled as he made faces in front of Grandmother.
Zhuo Fan smiled for dumping the trouble on another and added, “Young Sanzi, this hag is more than what meets the eye. She walks behind everyone else, watching everybody’s footsteps and where they’re going, to avoid having some stranger among them wishing to find out their secret.
“But this illusion is built from her mind, containing every person’s conduct and gait. How could there be any gaps? No matter how careful, she won’t find anything. “
Gu Santong nodded next to him, “These people are so cautious. If it were me, I wouldn’t be thinking so much about it.”
“That is precisely why you fell for that promise three hundred years ago. These people are not your match, but each shrewder and wiser than your entire lifetime!” Zhuo Fan spoke at liberty.
Gu Santong fell silent. He had two reliable fists there. Even if he wasn’t subtle, who’d still mess with him?
Grandmother led the two to a clear pond. She made a sign and with a shout, she pointed at the pond.
The water stirred, shirking to the side and revealing a cave. The ten-meter-tall copper gates rumbled open with another special chant.
Zhuo Fan cried.
Not in a million years would he figure out that the Bodhi Root was hidden here. No one would ever think to search here.
The trio walked deeper into the cave, with Grandmother disarming any trap, array or mechanism put in place.
They arrived at a stand in the middle of a small room holding a box.
Opening it revealed the Bodhi Root. Zhuo Fan would never forget the sweet fragrance and green glow.
Zhuo Fan and Gu Santong giggled.
But Grandmother only saw an open case and shuddered back in fright, “I-it’s gone…”
“Dad, knock her out!” Gu Santong nabbed the box. Grandmother still didn’t notice.
Zhuo Fan sighed and nodded.
Before he could, Grandmother wept, “Qingcheng, I’m sorry. You told me to look after Drifting Flowers Edifices before leaving but I couldn’t protect our precious heirloom…”
Zhuo Fan’s palm stopped in doubt.
[Chu Qingcheng isn’t in seclusion? She left?]
“Grandmother, don’t feel sad. Qingcheng will be gone for a short while. She’ll be back soon.” The Iris Overseer’s illusion spoke.
Grandmother shook her head, lamenting, “She won’t come back. To save that Xue girl, she made a deal with Mystical Heaven Sect’s Sect Leader. I know for certain she will not come back. And I couldn’t even fulfill her final wish… “
His brow trembling, Zhuo Fan’s heart tensed.
Now that he thought about it, the Anchoring Soul Bead used to save Ning’er couldn’t have come from Drifting Flowers Edifices, a mere house. Chu Qingcheng had made a pact with the Mystical Heaven Sect to get it.
The same way he made a deal with Demon Scheming Sect’s Xie Wuyue.
[But why did she do it?]
Saving Ning’er had nothing to do with her. [Why sacrifice herself…]
Zhuo Fan felt pain in his heart. His hand trembled but he couldn’t bear to strike.
“Dad, what is it? I’ll do it if you can’t.” Gu Santong saw him just standing there and thought of helping.
Zhuo Fan grabbed Gu Santong’s hand who was now looking at him oddly.
His right eye’s halos vanished and the Mirage World fell apart. Grandmother woke up from the illusion and turned to the two in shock. Seeing the Bodhi Root in his hand she was stunned, “Zhuo Fan, we’re allies. Why…”
“Grandmother, chaos is about to spread across the lands. Take everyone in Drifting Flowers Edifices to the Luo clan. I promise to protect you. As for Bodhi Root, I’ll be taking it.”
He pulled Gu Santong and with a flash of a golden halo, they were gone. Only a distraught Grandmother was left behind.
Gu Santong was even more perplexed, “Dad, why did you show yourself?”
“I didn’t want to lie.” Zhuo Fan sighed, flying with Gu Santong further away.