“The spring breeze rustles the shore’s willow,
I am riding in search of pills.
One does not know the one he is facing,
All because he can’t gaze beyond his nose!”
This was the singing voice of a youth, who was driving his cart slowly on a road. If the Qi clan’s recently departed ghosts were here, they’d be shocked to the core.
Wasn’t this their carriage? Wasn’t the youth Song Yu? Didn’t he die?
However, there was one thing out of place. This youth had a devious grin on his face, enough to scare the most wretched ghosts.
His smile closely resembled that demon who annihilated their entire Qi clan.
The youth reined in the horses as he gazed to the distance, at the three words emblazoned on the gate, Drifting Flowers City!
“I’m here at last. I hope this place has life-saving herbs, or it would be a true waste of time coming here.” The youth grinned as he snapped the reigns.
But a shout delayed him, “Stop!”
Following the yell, six people appeared around him. The youth gave them a once-over and rose an eyebrow, “Hell Valley?”
“Oh, quite perceptive. You recognize us?” The leader scrutinized the youth in amazement, “From the way you look, you seem like some clan’s young master. State your name.”
The youth asked in puzzlement, “Shouldn’t Drifting Flowers City be managed by Drifting Flowers Edifice? Why…”
“Cut the chat!” A cursing voice cut him off, “Hurry it up before I lose my patience. If this place didn’t belong to Drifting Flowers Edifice, I would’ve killed you just from you being so slow on the uptake.”
The youth frowned, his eyes flashing with killing intent before suppressing it, “I am Song Yu and hail from Nightrain City’s Song clan. Father commanded me to participate in the Hundred Pill Meeting, this is my clan’s seal.”
He fished out an engraved jade from his bosom. The leader looked over it and nodded. Meanwhile, his men rummaged through the carriage and they too nodded.
“Fine, you can go. But if you catch sight of this man, notify us at once.” The man gave the youth a sidelong glance as he handed over a roll of paper before leaving. Once the men were out of sight, the youth regarded the unfolded paper with a sneer.
It was the Hell Kill Order on Zhuo Fan along with an impeccable drawing of his features. On the bottom of the paper, rewards were stated. Anyone who provided clues to his whereabouts could become a vassal to Hell Valley, and whoever brings his head could become the foremost among all of Hell Valley’s vassal clans.
“Humph, they really can’t see beyond their nose. How can you find someone you don’t even recognize?” He mocked as he rolled the kill order into a ball before throwing it away.
Indeed, this youth was Zhuo Fan!
After damning the Qi clan, he was aware that everyone in the Tianyu Empire would be privy to his face. So he refined a little pill that turned him into Song Yu and resumed his way to Drifting Flowers City.
This would work wonders in searching for treasures unperturbed by narrow-minded fools. And wearing the Song clan young master’s identity would also leave Hell Valley grasping straws.
As he entered the city he realized how grand it was, a perfect match for the headquarters of Drifting Flowers Edifice. It was a city, true, but it was ten times more expansive than an average city.
By contrast, Windgaze City and Blue Expanse City looked like towns. Especially when it came to the people on the streets. There were many young masters of clans wondering about, but the difference was they were all from first-rate clans. These young heirs were more important than the Clan Head or elders of a third-rate clan.
This made the third-rate young master, whom Zhuo Fan was impersonating, look like a beggar.
With a bitter smile, he snapped the reins for picking up speed. He’d best find lodgings fast or he’d feel dwarfed in this crowd.
He assumed that posing as Song Yu was a walk in the park. But now that he got here, he knew that third-rate clansmen were a rarity as most of the people in the city were from the second and first-rate clans.
[Instead of blending in, I became the odd one out!]
Zhuo Fan’s carriage creaked down the street before finally stopping in front of a tavern.
“Owner, do you have a room available?” Zhuo Fan asked the man at the counter. The man looked up, then returned to counting his profit.
[Hey, now you really aren’t looking beyond your nose!]
Zhuo Fan was getting irate fast and slapped the counter as he roared, “Do you have a room or not? You think I don’t have the coin for it?”
Looking up at him again, the owner said in a laid-back manner, “Show me the clan seal.”
Zhuo Fan was a bit shocked at this. [Even a shop owner asks for it now?] But he still chose to take it out.
The owner got one look at it and jeered, “Yeah, just the Song clan, a third-rate clan.”
“And what’s wrong with that? Didn’t you open this establishment to make money? Are mine unwelcome here?”
Shaking his head, the owner patted Zhuo Fan’s shoulder, and impersonating a wise sage, he counseled, “Young man, there’s a run-down hut three miles out. It won’t charge you a dime!”
Zhuo Fan blinked in shock, then rage burned in his eyes, “Owner, even I know those are the slums. Even if I come from a third-rate clan, I am still a guest in your tavern and should be treated as one.”
The owner sighed but didn’t pay him any more heed.
Then sudden laughter drifted over.
“Ha-ha-ha, Song Yu, you hick! You came for the Hundred Pill Meeting without even knowing the rules of Drifting Flowers City?”
Zhuo Fan’s heart seized, [How come the first place I visit, someone ends up recognizing Song Yu?]
He saw a flashy young master coming down the stairs with four elders in tow, Bone Tempering experts. That person himself was at the 5th layer of Bone Tempering Stage.
On his left was a cute young lady, not a beauty but one worthy of appreciation. But the lady only looked at Zhuo Fan with despise.
Zhuo Fan narrowed his eyes as his mind was going a mile a minute in his curses, [Damn brat, you got what you deserved. I spent half a month traveling with you yet you didn’t say anything about the ones you know here. I should’ve seen this coming.]
In any case, the young master saw Zhuo Fan keyed up and laughed, “Brat, are you still a scaredy-cat? No wonder my little sister doesn’t like you!”
As if on cue, the lady snorted.
Zhuo Fan licked his dry lips in embarrassment and said, “Uh, brother is quite right. Since you do not welcome me, I shall leave.”
Just as Zhuo Fan was planning on leaving, the young master called out to him, his face tinted in suspicion, “Strange, something is off with you today. What brother this and that, why are you calling me in such an odd way?”
Zhuo Fan secretly cursed his bad luck, thinking he was exposed. If that happened Hell Valley would come storming in and his plans would go up in smoke.
All the more reason he was itching to snap this punk’s neck.
“Oh, right.” The young master interrupted his inner cursing by coming up with a seamless explanation, “Don’t tell me you’re still mad that Wan’er turned down your marriage proposal and ruined your self-esteem. Are you so petty to be still brooding over it after all this time?”
When he heard this, Zhuo Fan’s eyes sparkled and his heart leaped. It was as if he was grasping straws while drowning and finally found purchase.
He instantly changed his demeanor and faked anger, “Humph, don’t mention it then! We are done here! I don’t want to see you guys ever again.”
“Sigh, this is where you are wrong. Why are you dragging me into yours and my sister’s problems?”
The young master shook his head, then his eyes shifted as he said in an understanding tone, “Don’t forget, we are close as brothers, lifting our spears together and together… he-he-he…”
This, Zhuo Fan understood perfectly. [The way he looks, he must be a second-rate clan’s young master. How did Song Yu get to befriend him? And by the looks of things, they’re buddy-buddy too.]
[Then again, this might not be so bad.]
Zhuo Fan’s lascivious smile mimicked his, “He-he-he, a real man doesn’t boast about his past glory. You don’t need to say it!”
“What? I last longer than you by far. I can take eight rounds while you only five…” The young master then made an obvious gesture towards Zhuo Fan. If not for his sister’s presence, he’d be going in much more gory details, “Sigh, those three days and three nights were a bliss.”
Zhuo Fan saw his intoxicated face and adjusted accordingly. Though the lady there stated her disagreement with her disgusted reply, “Gross!”
She then proceeded to walk out of the tavern and let the two perverts to their vile imagination…