Book 5 Chapter 22 - The Four Spirits That Hid the Sky
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“Why didn’t you help me? I’m sure that was Han Tianyi.” Lin Lu asked as she tightened the oversized blue shirt around herself. Liu Meng had led her to a hidden corner in an alley and the two put on a new set of clothes.
“Help you do what? Are we going to torture him? He doesn’t seem to remember anything.” Liu Meng pursed her lips. Peeking at a naked man was one thing, but explaining a kidnapping story was something else entirely.
“There’s no mistake. He must have been in the army. Did you notice the scars on his left ribs and on the inner side of his right thigh?” Lin Lu put on her belt and made sure that her pants covered her shoes.
“The scar on his inner thigh?” Lin Lu frowned. ‘Wow, she sure is observant… is that also part of military training?’
“Yes. It was a gunshot wound too. If we really transmigrated, then how is it possible that he has such a scar?” Lin Lu continued on her own, not minding Liu Meng’s expression.
“If he really is Han Tianyi, then it doesn’t matter whether he remembers or not. Surely the rest of the team are also here.” Liu Meng had no doubts that Han Tianyi was one of the people they were looking for. However, he “circumstances” did not exactly allow for his capture.
“I agree. I wanted to capture him for questioning.”
“It’s okay, we’re not in a rush. As long as he stays in this city, we have as much time as we want.”
“So what should we…”
“We should go back and have a look, of course. I’d expect him to stay in contact with his teammates, and that house certainly doesn’t look like it was built for one person.” Liu Meng said. ‘He’s probably dressed by now. A fit body, but I much prefer Yiming’s…’
“Yes.” Lin Lu’s eyes lit up. In fact, she would have been able to produce a much better assessment of the situation than either Li Yiming or Liu Meng, but she had her judgment clouded by the shock of having one supernatural event occur after another.
* * *
“Li Yiming?” Eyeglasses suddenly stopped and looked at the tablet hidden in his basket.
“Li Yiming?” Chen Quan stopped walking as well. By now, only a single thought lingered in his mind: he needed to follow the man in front of him.
“So he also found You Fang? Let’s go have a look.” Eyeglasses had left one of his small insect drones right outside of You Fang’s classroom to monitor him.
Li Yiming stared at the rather innocuous-looking insect by the window. It traced a pattern in the air that made Li Yiming know that Eyeglasses had spotted him. He signaled to Eyeglasses to join him and Sai Gao. ‘More people, more ideas. I need to share the information with Eyeglasses.’
Li Yiming peeked at You Fang once again. ‘He’s not faking it… it’s as if he’s never met me.’
It did not take very long before Eyeglasses and Chen Quan arrived. After a final glance at You Fang, Li Yiming went to meet the two.
“Yiming, he…?” Eyeglasses stared straight at Sai Gao; it was quite to challenge to forget someone who looked like that.
“I’ll tell you about him later. He’s our ally for now. We should talk about what’s going on here.” Li Yiming dismissed Eyeglasses’ question. After all, even in the Shangbei domain, Sai Gao was only a rival due to circumstances, and he could even be partially credited with saving Eyeglasses and the Qing sisters from Ya Yu.
“So…” Eyeglasses nodded at Sai Gao and shared his findings with Li Yiming.
“So you’re telling me that the people here don’t remember their past? But they’re integrating into the city?” Li Yiming looked at Chen Quan. The helplessness and confusion written all over his face was apparent.
“This is even more complicated than I thought…” Li Yiming told his story to Eyeglasses.
“What? Bai Ze has been sealed?” Eyeglasses was bewildered by the revelation.
“Yes. To save her, we need to break this formation. Do you have any ideas?” Sai Gao brushed his hair back and threw a “loving” stare at Eyeglasses, making the latter shiver.
“Wait a second. Let me have a look from above.” Eyeglasses looked away from Sai Gao and started to type on his computer. “The formation with the four beasts… It’s hard to say, but it looks like a “Protection of the Four Cardinals” to me…” Eyeglasses did not seem to be very confident in his observation.
“Why don’t we go ask an expert?” Li Yiming sighed at looked at the classroom; it seemed like class was over as a dozen schoolchildren walked out of the door with their bags.
"You mean You Fang?” Eyeglasses asked.
“Apparently he’s the expert. Let’s go.” Li Yiming led the way into the building.
* * *
Beads of sweat rolled down Shen Jianming’s back as the latter pushed on the quernstone. Li Rong was right beside him, adding more soybeans into the mill as milk dripped into the wooden bucket below.
Xu Yurong watched the two with a smile as she worked on making a straw hat. It was the perfect scene of a happy family. By now, Shen Jianming had forgotten everything about his past, his mission, and his duty. Taking care of the two sisters right in front of his eyes was now his raison d'être.
* * *
Stargaze sat on wooden bench in a small, roofless tea shop. She was dressed in blue clothing that blended perfectly into her surroundings. As she stared at the water in her bowl, without minding the business around her or the antique-looking buildings, only a single thought preoccupied her mind. ‘I can’t see it… Who put this formation? And this domain… It’s starting to blend in with reality, but Heaven’s Laws doesn’t know about it. Who’s behind this? No… this is not powerful to threaten Heaven’s Laws. This is all a fragile dream that can be shattered instantly.’
* * *
Li Huaibei walked on the street barefooted, looking just like one of the farmers who had come back from a hard day at the field. As he looked around, his heart was beyond shocked. A merchant had just given him a five-colored fruit, and one passer-by even offered him his owns shoes upon seeing Li Huaibei’s bare feet. ‘These people... From all walks of life, and yet they live here in perfect harmony.The people who apologize to each other heartfeltly when they graze past each other, this tranquility… I see the will of this domain, it’s ‘kindness’ itself!’
* * *
“You don’t know about the origins of the formation that guards the city?” You Fang tapped on his hand with his ruler as he questioned his visitors.
“I’ve heard my elders talk about it when I was a kid, but I didn’t understand much of what they were saying, so that’s why I’m here…” Li Yiming saluted You Fang politely.
“Well, you’ve come to the right person, young man. It’s good to want to learn new things. I’m happy for you.” You Fang seemed to have forgotten his past, but not his mannerism.
“Please share your wisdom with me.” Li Yiming bowed down once more.
“Well, the Dao has no limits, and it is bred by the Heavens. After it, comes the four spirits and the eight diagrams…” You Fang put down his ruler, sipped on the cup of water on the table and explained slowly.
Li Yiming held his breath and listened, but after twenty minutes, You Fang still spewed vague things, with no signs of getting to the specifics of Lianyun City anytime soon. Chen Quan was still listening, completely absorbed by the tale, but Li Yiming, Eyeglasses and Sai Gao exchanged a glance. ‘Are you serious… is he here to waste our time?’
Cough… You Fang sipped his water once more; it seemed like even he realized himself that he was not being useful at all.
“The formation which guards this city was left by a messenger from the Heavens who visited a long time ago. He thought that we deserved better treatment for all the misery we’ve lived through, so he…” You Fang finally got to the point, and Li Yiming’s attention was aroused once again.
However, twenty minutes later and You Fang was in the midst of describing the beauty of the Heavenly messenger.
“So, what exactly is protecting the city?” Eyeglasses lost his patience and interrupted You Fang’s long speech.
“Oh, this formation?” You Fang seemed a little irritated and drank another mouthful to soothe his throat, which had gone dry after an hour of speaking constantly. “This formation was built over dozens of years by four messengers. It is called ‘The Four Spirits that Hide the Sky’.”
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