Chapter 178 – The Spy and the Immortal Dawn Mountain
“No. It is different now than compared to the past few years. The larger factions have already begun to pay attention to us. If any other Loose Cultivators disappear, perhaps they really will raise their alert levels. It is better for me to use my real identity to attract a group of Loose Cultivators before causing them to disappear without anyone knowing.” The tall shadow shook his head as he rejected the idea.
“Since there is an even more secure way of resolving this matter, I naturally do not mind. Also, there shouldn’t be any problems with the government, right? How come I hear rumors that there are a few Gold Spirit Tier guests that have also begun to investigate our matters.” The last black shadow spoke seriously after nodding his head.
“Gold Spirit Tier guests, this really is somewhat troublesome. As soon as we touch a single one of those guests of the government, it is like provoking the whole hornet’s nest. Rather than working for the government, the truth is that the Gold Spirit Tier guests belong specifically to the people of the imperial family. However, if the people within the imperial family really paid attention to us, I would hear some rumors. It should just be the personal actions of those guests as of right now. How about this, I’ll find other people to see what they have right now when I get back. Before this, do not provoke those Gold Spirit Tier guests. The imperial family is not the same as the five great sects which are thousands of kilometers away; if they hear anything about our plans, they will take action immediately and be very happy about taking over our operation. As for the strength of the imperial family of the Da Xuan Country, perhaps they have already secretly raised their own Spirit Master and are just unwilling to reveal him.” The tall shadow spoke in such a way.
“What, the imperial family already has a Spirit Master? Where did you get this information from?” Hearing what was said, the second shadow seemed to be in great shock.
“I do not have solid evidence for this just yet, so it is only a guess.” The tall shadow replied while shaking his head.
“Even if it is true, those Spirit Masters of the imperial family are not worth being scared over. Otherwise, as soon as one Spirit Master leaves behind a mark, perhaps the first thing the five great sects would do is exterminate the entire imperial family. How about this, when I return, I will let my underlings avoid the Gold Spirit Tier guests to the best of their ability for now. Luckily, we only need to endure this for half the year and everything will be resolved.” The last shadow stayed silent for a little before speaking with a sneer.
“Yes, we can only do this first.” The second shadow sighed and spoke.
The three shadows continued to talk, during the remaining time, before they all stood up and left the hall one by one.
When Liu Ming returned to Xuanjing again, it was already the afternoon.
As for the current him, he had already transformed into a middle-aged cultivator with a long beard. He walked on one of the streets in Xuanjing as if he was just looking around.
Suddenly, with a movement of his body, he turned into a seemingly normal alleyway.
The alleyway could not be considered long. There were seven or eight stores that had different signs lined up.
After taking a few steps, Liu Ming stopped in front of a coffin store, which had a white banner hanging in front of it, and walked in unhurriedly.
“Customer, are you looking to order a coffin?”
A middle-aged, hunchbacked male was currently painting black paint on a new coffin. Seeing that Liu Ming walked in, he immediately put down what he was doing and walked over. He asked with a slight cough.
Liu Ming glanced at the hunchback a few times and did not say anything. He instead pulled out a silver token from within his sleeve and swiped it in front of him.
Seeing the medallion, the hunchback, who was originally calm, suddenly changed his expression. With a sudden movement of his body, he quickly closed the doors of the shop.
Afterward, he returned to where he had been before, in front of Liu Ming. With a flash, he also produced a black metal token on him.
Looking at just the size and shape by ignoring the color, it was actually extremely similar to the silver token in Liu Ming’s hands.
Liu Ming raised a brow, and with a flick of his wrist, he tossed the silver medallion across.
Seeing this, the hunchback also threw the black metal token seriously.
Liu Ming caught the metal token, glancing over if indifferently before he channeled Fa Li into it.
A layer of black inscriptions immediately appeared after a flash on the metal token. They revealed a few more weird black inscriptions.
Only after looking carefully at the runes did Liu Ming nod and withdraw his Fa Li. The glow around the black metal token dispersed and returned to how it was before.
At this moment, that hunchback took out a small bottle. He poured and rubbed some unknown liquid onto the silver token. Only after looking at the item in his hand for a while did he relax a lot and toss the silver token back.
“The identity of the emissary has been verified. As a reserve spy, I thought that I would not come in contact with anybody from the sect at all for my whole life.”
“I am the new Supervising Disciple for Xuanjing. Do you know about the manner regarding the previous Supervising Disciple’s disappearance?” Liu Ming also returned the black metal token back to the other person and asked without changing his expression.
“There is no need for sir to probe me! As a spy for the sect, my Fa Li has already been crippled, so I do not investigate anything normally or get close to any spirit apostles. I can only live in Xuanjing like a normal person. My only use is that in times of need, I can provide sir with a channel to communicate with the sect. Since sir has found me, it seems that the other communication channel does not exist anymore.” The hunchback spoke slowly.
“Very good, you actually have kept to your part very well. Otherwise, perhaps you wouldn’t live until now.” Hearing what was said, Liu Ming was not angered and instead nodded and praised him.
“Come with me emissary. The formation for communicating with the sect is buried deep under and is inspected once every two years. However, the last time it was used was twenty years ago.” The hunchback breathed in deeply and spoke.
Liu Ming nodded and followed him to the back of the store.
After walking through a small yard, he walked into a normal looking side room.
The room was not big, and other than a bed, a table, and two chairs, there was no other furniture.
The hunchback walked to the bed with a few steps and suddenly used his two hand to powerfully pull some sort of mechanism under the bed.
The wooden bed immediately gave off a “ga beng” sound and split in two to open up. It revealed a dark tunnel and a flight of simple stone stairs that seemed to lead straight down.
The hunchback pulled out a torch and waved it in the wind to light itself. He then followed the stairs down.
Liu Ming’s expression changed slightly before following the hunchback down as well.
Not long after the two walked in, the wooden bed which was originally split once again gave out a mechanical sound and actually joined together by itself.
The two continued to walk down around another three hundred feet before finally arriving in an enormous underground stone room.
In this stone room, which was only a hundred or so feet in length, there was a huge formation that was already set up on the ground. The grooves outside of the formation had already been filled with pieces of white spirit stones.
In the center of the formation, there was a round stone platform ten feet tall. It was covered in numerous spirit inscriptions; surprisingly, it was also a small scale formation.
“This is the Communication Formation. Even though the distance apart is great, it is enough to immediately send information back to the sect. However, the amount of space crystals expended is also extremely shocking. If the circumstances allow it, it is best to shorten the message transferred as much as possible. The emissary must have learned how to use it, so I will not continue to ramble on.” The hunchback spoke from outside the formation.
“Yes, before I came, I indeed learned some ways to use it.” Liu Ming looked at the stone platform and furrowed his brows slightly. Afterward, he replied emotionlessly.
“Since it is like this, I will go out first and guard. After the emissary has finished using it, you can just come up. There is no need to worry about the fluctuations of the formation being detected. This stone room is carved out of a special material. It is enough to absorb the fluctuations.” The hunchback nodded and explained the situation before minding his own business. He returned to the top of the stone steps.
Only after walking around the formation a few times did Liu Ming form a one-handed seal. Many rays of green light shot out and disappeared into the formation with a flash.
That moment, the entire formation began to hum loudly, and the surrounding spirit inscriptions began to flash….
Two hours later, Liu Ming left the coffin shop and walked out of the alleyway. He appeared on the street again.
In the remaining time, he strolled casually around the nearby streets.
Just before the sky grew dark, he once again entered a desolate alley. However, when he walked out from the other end, he had turned into the appearance of the young, twenty-seven or twenty-eight year old scholar again. He walked slowly in the direction of the Qian house.
The morning of the next day, Liu Ming, who had rested for a night, once again left the Qian house from the back door.
This time, he beckoned a carriage on the street. After instructing the coachman, he traveled toward the Immortal Dawn Mountain.
The Immortal Dawn Mountain was different than the other small mountains outside of Xuanjing. Xuanjing itself had a portion of buildings that were built on the mountains and the entire Immortal Dawn Mountain belonged to the government. Not only were a large number of government soldiers garrisoned there year around, it was even a location where Yuan Qi was densest, which was directly given to those Gold Spirit Tier guests that the government had.
The dwellings that were rented out were the locations on the Immortal Dawn Mountain where the Yuan Qi was the least dense.
Even like this, the rent for the dwellings was frighteningly expensive. It was enough for the average Loose Cultivators to feel constant pain. As such, the renting business was not doing very well. There really were not many Loose Cultivators living on the Immortal Dawn Mountain.
When Liu Ming arrived in a hall on the Immortal Dawn Mountain and said that he wanted to rent an intermediate level dwelling for a long time, the middle-aged manager who stood in front of him could not help but beam with joy.
He immediately opened a map in front of Liu Ming, which showed the locations for the various dwellings, allowing him to pick his own dwelling.
Looking at the map, Liu Ming casually asked about a few places that interested him. After a series of nods or shakes, he finally chose a remote location with a small river that just happened to pass outside of the dwelling.
With the manager leading the way, Liu Ming personally went to the dwelling and checked it. Feeling rather satisfied, he immediately paid a year’s rent of several thousand Spirit Stones. Only after that did the beaming manager hand over the token for the dwelling in his hand.
Almost all of these dwellings had a few simple formations cast outside. If someone did not have a token and charged in recklessly, they would alert the patrolling soldiers lower on the mountain. Compared other places, the Immortal Dawn Mountain could be considered an extremely safe place.
Liu Ming, who left the Immortal Dawn Mountain, did not immediately return to the Qian house, and instead continued to roam around Xuanjing for most of the day.
At night, when he returned to the Qian house again, there was actually somebody waiting within his residence.