Chapter 72: Before the Rescue
Mu Yi went back to the city to get some rest for the remainder of the night. His mind strength would be almost refilled after a rest. Nian Nuer was stored in the Ghost King Banner.
Mu Yi felt like he had even better control over the Ghost King Banner. Also, now that Xugui was dead Mu Yi didn’t need to worry about his connection to the banner or anything he may have done to it. Nian Nuer wasn’t worried either and went inside.
If Nian Nuer absorbed the ghosts that were inside the Ghost King Banner, even if she didn’t rise a level, at least, her cultivation would become more stable. In the morning the next day, Xie Miao came back with news from Ghost Village. There had been a huge fire the night before and nothing was left of Ghost Village.
Mu Yi wasn’t confused when he heard that. He already knew it was going to happen. The old woman, the spirit protector, had obviously set Ghost Village on fire. Mu Yi didn’t have much hope for Xie Miao from the beginning. The news wasn’t something outside his deductions.
The problem was that the spirit protector was gone. Where could she be? He didn’t have a deep-seated hatred of the woman. The relationship between the spirit protector and Xugui was shallow as well. They couldn’t have been close to each other, otherwise, she wouldn’t have run away. She would have stayed and done all she could to kill him.
If she had done that, who would have died and who would have won? That was something uncertain. After all, Mu Yi had used up all his mind strength and he was out of charms. Nian Nuer alone couldn’t defeat the old woman.
Nian Nuer wouldn’t have been able to do much if the old woman had wanted to kill Mu Yi. Fortunately, she was scared after realizing Mu Yi had survived. She just ran away. She couldn’t know that Mu Yi was like an arrow at the end of its flight. He didn’t have any more strength at that time.
Maybe she realized it later but by that time Mu Yi and Nian Nuer had already left. They had gone back to the city. She had probably been furious after and set the ghost town on fire. She knew that Mu Yi wasn’t going to let her off easily. Mu Yi had also ruined her plan and stolen her weapon.
Under such circumstances, she would have been really stupid, if she had waited for Mu Yi to come back. Mu Yi would soon reach the second difficulty. It was bound to happen sooner or later. The spirit protector wouldn’t be able to get her revenge then because Mu Yi wouldn’t take her seriously.
Mu Yi wanted to find Su Jinlun more than anything now. If he wasn’t mistaken, Su Jinlun was probably hidden away in Little Frost’s fortified village. Xugui used Su Jinlun as bait to attract Mu Yi. It was different for Little Frost’s fortified village and Li Hu. Su Jinlun was the Su Clan’s descendant. He was an important person in the Su Clan, that was obvious.
Li Hu joined hands with Xugui to steal the wealth of seven families. It proved that they needed lots of money. Looking from the outside, the Su Clan seemed to be hiding something. People who understood a bit about the Su Clan knew that even though they continued to live in Funiu Village they had plans to do other things. It was wise not to underestimate them.
Li Hu was paying close attention to the Su Clan. It was perfectly normal. Li Hu and Xugui captured Su Jinlun. They had already offended the Su Clan by doing so. After they had already offended them, they could put aside all considerations for the Su Clan’s reputation and use the opportunity to become wealthier.
If Xugui was able to destroy the Su Clan, they would have saved some time. However, even if he tried and failed, at least, they still had Su Jinlun as a hostage. Li Hu had those kinds of thoughts so they decided to keep Su Jinlun in the fortified village.
Li Hu wasn’t stupid. He probably already knew what happened to the people they sent to Ghost Village. The old woman hadn’t retreated to Little Frost Mountain. Therefore, he didn’t have anyone to confirm or deny the information. He didn’t know if Mu Yi was dead or alive either.
Mu Yi understood that he couldn’t waste any time, otherwise, they would kill Su Jinlun. He decided to go and see Lin’an County’s Magistrate, Gu Yaosen, before going to rescue him. Mu Yi was sure that, as the leader of the county, he knew about the Ghost Village’s situation. He would be able to tell him more information about what was going on.
He probably knew that Su Jinlun had been captured and that Mu Yi was working the case. If he didn’t know those basic things, then he wasn’t qualified to be the leader of the county. Mu Yi was convinced that Gu Yaosen wasn’t a stupid person. He was doing all he could to rescue Su Jinlun. He was also working hard for the sake of the seven wealthy families who were robbed.
In the county’s yamen, Mu Yi didn’t have to wait, when he arrived someone led him inside. Gu Yaosen had given the staff the order to do so. When Mu Yi was brought to the backyard of the yamen, he noticed Gu Yaosen wasn’t alone. According to basic principles, it was a breach of etiquette.
Mu Yi and the Su Clan had an excellent relationship. Peng Songlai also had to show gratitude to Mu Yi. Mu Yi had come here specifically to help, but he wasn’t the only who needed to see Mu Yi. There were three people in the backyard, one man, and two women.
Mu Yi had seen one of them previously, and he could guess the other’s social status. The man seemed to be around 30-40 years old. His face was fair and clear of blemishes. His eyes were bright and piercing. He stared at Mu Yi after he arrived.
He looked powerful and influential. If he was staring at someone ordinary, that person would have been trembling in fear. Mu Yi wasn’t afraid of him. He looked perfectly calm and serene in the situation. He just continued walking toward them confidently at a steady pace.
People of the newer generation were less strict than the previous, but they still attached importance to principles. This included the Confucian moral injunctions, namely the three obediences and four virtues. When seeing a stranger, especially a man, high officials had to pay attention to their behavior. They also oppressed women. (editor’s note: I’m not too sure what they meant by this last sentence, but I thought I’d leave it in to maintain some of the author’s original writing. If you have any thoughts, reach out to us through discord!)
Gu Yaosen was a scholar. His wife was a well-bred girl. He shouldn’t have made such a careless mistake. Mu Yi’s social status was unique and he was young. Gu Yaosen wasn’t afraid to touch a potential nerve.
At Mu Yi’s age, being a Taoist priest was a privilege. Nobody would really talk about principles when a young Taoist priest was involved, even if there were women.
“You must be Master Mu? As expected, you have an excellent disposition. You don’t look ordinary at all,” Gu Yaosen said.
He was a bit bewildered by Mu Yi, but he still complimented him. He had met Taoist priests in the past but they worked for the government. They were anxious when they saw government officials. They were always hyper-vigilant. Mu Yi had traveled the world, such things wouldn’t influence him.
Mu Yi was the only one who didn’t look afraid when meeting him. It was enough to make Gu Yaosen respect him. After that, the woman next to him took a step forward and greeted him. She had a soft and gentle voice.
“Master, we meet again,” the woman said.
The woman was Peng Song Lai’s daughter, Peng Mi. She was Gu Yaosen’s sister-in-law. The other woman was Gu Yaosen’s wife.