LOOG Chapter – 39

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Chapter 39: Wind

The Golden Immortal’s old mansion wasn’t very spacious, but it was better than an inn. Minor renovations were made, and soon the Pure Phoenix Sect had an official headquarters in Daolu. Some of the former followers of Lord Shu chose to part ways, while others remained behind.

Despite Bao’s protestations, her followers insisted that she take the main room, which had previously been occupied by the Golden Immortal himself. She made some minor cosmetic changes to suit her style, and yet, couldn’t shake the feeling that something was odd about the place.

Immediate changes were made to the organization of the Pure Phoenix Sect. They had enough reserve funds to have uniforms tailored for everyone. They also instituted official ranks and duties. It only took a few days for word to spread through the city that a new force comparable to the Golden Dragons was rising up.

Bao even agreed to recruit new followers. However, the best idea came from Li Runfa, who suggested that they teach anyone to fight, as long as they were willing to pay. Bao disagreed initially, but when Li Runfa proceeded to explain how quickly they would run out of money if they didn’t establish a source of income, she gave in.

Her main concern was Sunan and the Golden Dragons. After their initial meeting and exhibition match, she hadn’t had any further dealings or communications, but she was sure that such a stable state of affairs wouldn’t last.

Members of the Pure Phoenix Sect were instructed to not cause any conflicts with the Golden Dragon Sect, and to always defer to them no matter the circumstances.

One of the first things major missions she gave to Li Runfa was to get more information about Sunan. It took him a few days before he was ready to report his findings.

“It’s already difficult to distinguish what is truth, what is fabrication, and what is exaggeration,” he said. “One thing is for sure: nobody knows where Sunan came from. Based on his accent, he’s almost certainly from this general vicinity, the north. As for his specific origin, everyone had a different story and from what I can tell, they are all speculation. Everyone does agree that he wandered into the city from the mountains, and almost immediately befriended Sun Mai, who was nothing more than a down-and-out scholar at the time.

“Sunan made a name for himself fighting in the local platform fights. He defeated a man called ‘the Killer of Daolu’ by cutting his head off, or perhaps by caving his chest in. Stories differ. Later, he killed the local crime lord Iron Awl Hu, although I can’t quite determine why. Some claim that he was avenging a loved one. Some say he was rescuing a maiden. Some are convinced that he simply wanted more power.

“There are even more stories which I can’t verify. Rumor has it that he and Sun Mai killed a squad of Lions of Peace, or maybe just one, depending on who tells the story. That may be possible considering they made that very claim to us when we first met. Some people say that they are Demon hunters, while others are convinced the opposite, that they are building an army of Demons to serve the Demon Emperor.

“I find the latter unlikely. On the very day that we arrived at the city, one of his key advisers was revealed to be a spy. And no ordinary spy at that. The Love General herself.”

Bao gasped. “The Love General?!”

Li Runfa nodded. “Indeed. Do you remember when we crossed the bridge, we saw a woman with red hair? That was her. Apparently, Sunan was furious that she had lied to him. His men wanted to kill her, but instead he banished her and threatened to have her executed if she ever returned.”

“So he’s probably not interested in serving the Demon Emperor.”

Li Runfa shrugged. “It’s hard to say. But if he is, banishing the Love General and threatening to have her executed wouldn’t be a good way to start.”

“We need to find out for sure.” Bao rested her chin on the palm of her hand. “The Bone General will return, and when he does we need to be prepared.”

“Prepared? For…?”

It was Bao’s turn to shrug. “I don’t know. I don’t want to run again, but…. We can’t fight him. Can we…?”

The two of them looked at each other for a long moment.

Shaking her head, she said, “We have time to think about it. Although probably not much. Before the time comes, we absolutely must ascertain Sunan’s stance. If the Bone General demanded that we be handed over, perhaps Sunan would comply, to curry favor.”

“Should I arrange a meeting?” Li Runfa asked.

After a long moment of hesitation. Bao nodded again. “Yes. I need to present him with a gift, though. Do we have anything from the forest stronghold that we could offer?”

“He runs the underworld of an entire city,” Li Runfa replied. “What could we possibly give him that he doesn’t already have access to? Maybe you should use… the Phoenix Crown?”

“I don’t want to use that on people who aren’t truly my enemy. I already affected him with the power of the Phoenix Demon in the past. He won’t take kindly to me trying to manipulate him with it again.”

“Maybe you could give him something… personalized?” The two of them sat there silently for a moment until, suddenly, Li Runfa tilted his head to the side. “How about some calligraphy? You’ve written a few lines of poetry in the past, haven’t you?”

“When I was drunk!” Bao responded, laughing.

Li Runfa chuckled. “You would never be able to tell from the poetry itself. It really is quite beautiful. Why don’t I buy some fine canvas and ink? Considering your background, your calligraphy really is above average.”

That much was true. Having been raised in a noble family, she had trained in calligraphy from an early age.

“Very well, make it happen. Buy the finest materials though.”

Later that night, Bao lay in bed trying to sleep, her mind swirling with countless thoughts. She hated it when she wasn’t in control of a situation, and right now, she felt anything but in control.

Be confident, Bao, she told herself. You’ve gotten this far and you’re not going to stop here…. Where is that gust of wind coming from?

All of a sudden, Bao realized that the room was somehow drafty, even though the windows were sealed tight. Frowning, she climbed out of bed, licked her finger, and tried to determine where the wind was coming from.

It took a few minutes of investigation, but she soon tracked the source to a wardrobe in the corner of the room. Given that it was constructed directly into the wall itself, she’d left it there upon redecorating the room. Upon opening the wardrobe and looking inside, she found that it was completely empty. However, she could definitely detect a faint breeze coming from inside, and could even see the flame of her candle flickering.

She began to run her hands up and down the inside of the wardrobe, and after a moment, found a spot where a knot of wood wobbled slightly when her hand passed over it. She moved her hand back and pushed down, whereupon a clicking sound rang out, and she suddenly felt the entire wardrobe move slightly.

Frowning, she grabbed the edge and pulled, and to her surprise, the entire wardrobe opened like a door, revealing a steep staircase which descended down into the darkness.

Tie Gangwen mentioned that the Golden Immortal disappeared mysteriously. Perhaps this is how he did it.

Grabbing her knives from under her pillow, as well as an extra candle, she entered the doorway and began to climb down the stairs.

The passage descended steeply for quite some distance before she reached a tunnel carved through the bedrock beneath the city. As soon as she set foot onto the tunnel floor, the flickering of her candle grew more pronounced as the wind picked up. Cupping her hand in front of the candle to protect it, she began to walk down the corridor.

Soon, the tunnel veered to the left. At the same time, an iron door appeared. At first, she intended to pass it and find out where the tunnel led to, but as she did, the wind suddenly shifted, very nearly blowing out her candle. Apparently, the wind was coming from behind that iron door!

She turned back toward the iron door which, surprisingly, was not latched, bolted, or locked in anyway. Keeping her hand cupped protectively in front of the candle, she pulled the door open.

Before she could make another move, a blast of wind enveloped her, blowing the candle out in the process.

Despite the lack of a candle, she could still see. Behind the iron door was a small room roughly six paces wide and six paces long. At the far end of the room was a stone altar, atop which could be seen a chunk of ore-like metal that emanated a soft blue light. The blue light filled the room and spilled out into the tunnel, providing just enough illumination to see clearly.

A stiff wind blew about in the room, also emerging out into the corridor.

What is this place?

After a moment of consideration, she thought back to the fallen star which had contained the Phoenix Demon.

Could this be another type of fallen star?

Another moment passed, after which she gritted her teeth and stepped into the room.

The wind immediately slammed into her with such force that she nearly flew off her feet. Not only did it buffet her like a punching giant, it stabbed at her like thousands of needles. At the same time, immense pressure weighed down on her from above. Hunching her shoulders and bending her knees, she took another step.

The forces pummeling her increased dramatically, causing her hair to whip around her wildly, and her clothing to flap back and forth.

She took another step, and she was halfway to the stone. The pressure grew, and she felt almost like her skin was being flayed.

With her fourth and fifth steps, the intensity increased even more so. She felt like she was in the middle of a tornado, and at the same time, at the bottom of the sea. Blood began to leak out of her left nostril, and her ears popped.

And yet, she managed to take the final step, placing her directly in front of the altar, which she gripped with both hands.

Looking down at the stone in front of her, she could tell that it was very different from the fallen star. This rock looked almost like liquid, with blue streaks running through it that emanated soft light.

Remembering her experience with the fallen star, she quickly produced a handkerchief from within her sleeve that she placed over the rock. In that very instant, the wind died down.

Breathing a sigh of relief, she gingerly wrapped the rock up in the handkerchief, and then did her best to straighten her hair. Wiping the blood off of her nose and lips, she began to fumble her way through the darkness back toward her room.

I wonder if a magic wind rock will be enough to impress Sunan.

Get behind the scenes info and material for your Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate session at the Bedrock Blog. The article to go along with this chapter is entitled YAO OF THE CELESTIAL WIND STONE .

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5 thoughts on “LOOG Chapter – 39” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. The story has been very interesting so far.
    Dual MC, good characters development, not almost exclusively lucky-based power-ups, among other details.
    It is just hard to keep attached due to the great interval of updates.
    Thank you.

    1. Was kinda hating on Bao for the ‘mind control’ and her seeming willingness to use it to further her own ends, but glad to see her indicating (at least the intent of) restraint in its use.

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