Chapter 220: Danger with No Forewarning
Upon hearing Jiang Chen’s words, Qiao Baishi felt greatly reassured. His honored master was hinting that he could act however he wanted and that his honored master would be the strong shield behind his back.
Jiang Chen was a god in Qiao Baishi’s heart.
After the banquet was over, Jiang Chen had Qiao Baishi gift a package of pills to Tang Long in return.
Tang Long didn’t even know how he made it out of the door. Today’s banquet had helped him become closer to Jiang Chen’s crew.
However, Tang Long still felt a bit embarrassed.
The presents he’d brought hadn’t been worth much money, but what he’d received in return were all exceptional pills. Some such as the Heavenly Karma Pill were for injuries, and others such as the Vast Ocean Pill were for recovering true qi .
These were all fine items that Tang Long couldn’t afford to buy.
A Dragonteeth Guard often ventured outside for cases, with fighting and killing being inevitable. Bloodshed was also a common thing. These pills would provide timely assistance akin to fuel delivered in a snowstorm.
“Old Tang, come and visit often in the future if you have nothing to do, but don’t bring anything with you next time. Or my house’s young master won’t let you through the door.”
Xue Tong accompanied Tang Long out of the door and down two streets before heading back.
His ears suddenly twitched before he turned into the alleyway of his home and shouted, “Who is it? Show yourself!”
His body moved like a fish through water as he leapt, landing onto the corner of a nearby rooftop, Xue Sha’s bow gripped in his hand. His eyes were like a hawk’s as they scanned the surroundings.
“You’re called Xue Tong?”
A sinister voice suddenly rang out without warning from behind him.
Xue Tong was greatly startled. He’d been practicing the Ear of the Zephyr and his ability to pick up on small sounds was many times more superior than the average person.
But he hadn’t noticed that someone was hiding behind him as he flashed by!
His body tilted as he swept Xue Sha’s bow backwards.
Tremors immediately traveled up his arm, numbing it. Xue Sha’s bow was grasped by a withered hand.
No matter how Xue Tong pulled on the bow and circulated the true qi in his body, it was as if it’d sunk into the ocean like a large rock. He was completely unable to move the bow in the slightest.
“Don’t waste your strength.” The sinister voice said faintly. “It’s all useless.”
With a slight flex of his opponent’s hand, it seemed as though Xue Sha’s bow was being baked in hot flames. It was painfully hot to the touch, cooking Xue Tong’s hand and making it sizzle.
Xue Tong loosened his hand as his left palm formed a fist and crashed down onto his opponent. This had become close combat.
Something that looked like a branch smashed onto the back of Xue Tong’s hand from somewhere in the darkness.
A crack rang out.
In the next second, Xue Tong’s entire arm trailed down limply, as if he’d been electrocuted.
“Now fall down.” The remote voice sounded. Xue Sha’s bow that had fallen into his hands carelessly tapped on Xue Tong’s body, felling the latter where he stood.
Several equally sinister forms emerged out of the darkness, placing Xue Tong into a large cloth sack and hauling him onto their shoulders. They disappeared into the shadows with a few rises and falls.
These moments from the initial attack to Xue Tong’s capture had been completed in almost one smooth motion, within the span of a couple of breaths. It’d been done so surreptitiously that neither the gods nor ghosts would’ve realized something had happened.
Jiang Chen had already entered the secret chamber when an uneasy feeling surged up, thanks his practice of the Psychic’s Head.
“Mm? Has something happened?”
Jiang Chen leapt up and dashed outside, arriving at the mouth of the alleyway.
“This is bad, Xue Tong!”
Jiang Chen’s consciousness was so sensitive that it immediately captured the fact that Xue Tong’s presence had vanished into thin air from this place.
Jiang Chen’s sudden movement also alerted his other personal guards as they all came running out.
“Young master, what happened?”
“Hmm? There seems to be traces of a fight here!”
Jiang Chen’s facial expression was dark as his eyes roved coolly around the area. His tone was frosty, “Xue Tong was taken!”
“Ah? Who dares to do such a thing?”
“To kidnap someone from the doorway of our manor? That is too bold!”
“Young master, who’s the enemy?”
Jiang Chen shook his head. “I don’t know for now, but the opponent is very slippery and exceedingly adept at hiding his presence. The fight took place just a moment prior, but by the time I came out, I could no longer find any traces of their presence.”
“They’re that strong?”
Jiang Chen nodded. Their opponent was indeed strong. The Psychic’s Head that he was practicing was sensitive beyond comparison. To make it so that even his Psychic’s Head couldn’t capture traces of the enemy’s movement, this wasn’t something that an ordinary practitioner could do at all.
In addition, Xue Tong was at the peak of the realm of true qi. The enemy had taken him down so cleanly without even giving him time to cry out for help. Hence, it was apparent that the enemy’s possessed frightening strength and was definitely a spirit realm practitioner.
“Young master, there seems to be a wax ball in this corner.” The attentive Wen Ziqi made a discovery in the corner.
“Don’t you use your hand to pick it up!” Jiang Chen hastened to remind her.
He walked up, put on a pair of glove to avoid poison and crushed the wax ball in his hand. There was a note inside, “Jiang Chen, if you opened this note without dying from the poison inside, continue on to the next note. Select one of your men as the first sacrifice as the next step will be the death of every single person in your Jiang family, one after another!”
“It, it really was poisoned!” Everyone’s hearts were still jittery with fear.
It was a good thing that the young master had been cautious. Otherwise, Wen Ziqi might have died on the spot after using her bare hand to pick up the wax ball.
“This enemy is incredibly crafty, he’s laid traps at every step along the way!”
The corners of Jiang Chen’s twitched. He had to admit that the enemy they’d run into this time was on a different level from the previous ones.
His opponents before had either been arrogant sect disciples or tyrannical noble sons. Although these people could be sinister, none of them could craft a plot of this level.
“Let’s go inside first!”
Jiang Chen knew full well that this matter was tricky. If the enemy had come knocking with weapons and attacks, he wouldn’t have been afraid at all. But this sort of soundless, traceless, and unexpected ambush was much more frightening.
He was in the light and the enemy was in the shadows. This kind of feeling was as though the enemy held all the initiative, and the only thing that they could do was defend, defend, and defend even more!
After they entered the house, Jiang Chen sent a group of people to distribute some antidote pills. “Keep these pills handy. If the enemy dared to attack us once, they’ll dare to attack us twice. It’s easy to defend against blades and spears in the light. What’s more frightening are the continued use of poison-related methods like these. We have to make our own preparations.”
Even a genius at the peak of the true qi realm like Xue Tong had been captured by the enemy. The remaining personal guards were naturally on the alert.
Even the Qiao brothers didn’t clown around for once.
“Damn it, where does this bastard come from? Young master, can it be the remnants of first prince Ye Dai’s influence?”
“The first prince? His influence has long since been wiped out. I think it’s very likely that it’s people from the Northern Palace.”
When the Azure Heaven Northern Palace was mentioned, it immediately resonated with a lot of people.
Considering the grudge they had with the Northern Palace, it was the most reasonable explanation that their old enemies from the Northern Palace had come to create trouble.
But the disciples of the Northern Palace didn’t seem to have this style of intricate crafting and plotting.
The Northern Palace’s style was straightforward — blatant highway robbery.
These bizarre methods and ways weren’t something that the disciples of the Northern Palace could pull off.
“Can it be the disciples of the Precious Tree Sect? Is it because the young master gave offense to Elder Iron the other day so he’s sent people to stir up trouble with us?”
The expressions of the personal guards all became grave when sect disciples were mentioned.
If it really was the sect disciples coming seek revenge, there wasn’t much that the personal guards could do with their current level of strength.
Without Xue Tong, they couldn’t even set up the Eight Trigram Assimilation Formation.
“Young master, should we notify the Dragonteeth Guard first?” Guo Jin proposed an idea.
“Right, we must blow this matter up and make sure that Crown Prince Ye Rong knows of it. This is the capital, the Ye family’s territory. To think such a hidden power exists that it dares to openly kidnap people on the doorstop of a second rank noble!” Another personal guard, Shen Yifan, spoke up.
Jiang Chen nodded, “The numbers of our people are limited in this matter. We will need to borrow the Crown Prince and Dragonteeth Guard’s strength to aid our investigation!”
Crown Prince Ye Rong had been about to rest for the night when he suddenly heard that something had happened in the Jiang family. The captain of the Jiang family personal guard, Xue Tong, had been taken in front of his home’s own door.
This news broke the peace within the capital. It was though the news had grown legs with the speed at which it spread throughout the capital.
Tian Shao led the third troop of the Dragonteeth Guard and personally took charge of this case, commencing in a carpet-style search.
The Crown Prince obtained the decree of martial order from the king, commanding that all city gates, no matter on the ground or in the air, were to be sealed. People were only allowed into the city and weren’t allowed to leave.
The originally peaceful picture within the Skylaurel Kingdom was broken once again, like a wind sweeping in front of a rising storm.
Crown Prince Ye Rong was incensed, not just because something had happened in Jiang Chen’s household or because of his existing friendship with Xue Tong since he had once been part of Ye Rong’s team in the Autumn Hunt. It was more so because he thought he’d had a grasp on the situation within the capital, but hadn’t known that such a lethal loophole exposed the danger lurking beneath the surface.
If they could capture the captain of the Jiang family personal guard from the Jiang manor doorstep today, perhaps these people could come to the East Palace and take him next.
Although the East Palace was under high security, Ye Rong didn’t think that with Jiang Chen’s strength, he’d be unable to protect even the doors of his own house!
This enemy was certainly very strong and very frightening.
Tutor Ye was also greatly taken aback when he received this shocking news. He sighed, “Even I was wrong this time. I had thought that the situation within the capital was at peace. Who would’ve imagined that such danger would be lurking? Little Dan, things are not so simple this time.”
Dan Fei’s slender blows creased slightly. “Lordmaster, can it be the remnants of the other princes rising from the ashes?”
The loadmaster shook his head, “The true core of their power has either been smothered or surrendered. This world is just this realistic. Not that many people would be willing to become martyrs for a few dead princes. Not to mention that Ye Dai and the others didn’t possess such charisma. The enemy must certainly be enemies of the Jiang family.”
“Could it be the Northern Palace?” Dan Fei thought of another potential suspect.
“Little Dan, stop guessing randomly. No possibility can be excluded before the truth has been excavated. I’d like to see how Jiang Chen handles things this time!” Ye Chonglou chuckled.
Although the Crown Prince and Dragonteeth Guard had already started moving, Jiang Chen didn’t pin all his hopes on others. He hastily began making his own preparations as well.
He knew that this time’s challenge would possibly be more difficult than any that had come before.