AST 1051 - Arctic Wolf City，Who’s Acting
When Qing Shui stood on the mountaintop, he could see Northern Sacred Lu Continent in the distance. It was vast and boundless. At the same time, his companions looked at him, each with their own thoughts.
Yiye Jiange, Luan Luan and Lin Zhanhan felt the most conflicted. They had waited for this day yet they couldn’t help feeling uneasy. They were at sixes and and sevens because they wouldn’t be able to accept the outcome if something went wrong.
Di Qing, Hai Dongqing, Yu Ruyan and the others were also worried. However, what concerned them even more was that Qing Shui planned to go the the other four continents but they could not follow him because they were not strong enough. They felt as though they had failed to meet his expectations.
This was the last stop in this continent before they reached Northern Sacred Lu Continent. Qing Shui now felt a heavy burden on his shoulders. This year would be the most difficult year he had experienced so far; it was also a year which would determine a turning point in his life. After this year, he would face brand new situations.
Arctic Wolf City…
Qing Shui and his group found themselves in Arctic Wolf City. It was not as cold and did not snow as often as Cold Ice City, but it was still a snow covered city. Even though the ladies had already covered their faces with their veils, their svelte figures and alluring auras still attracted glances from the many passers-by. In addition, Little Fatty’s appearance was also very eye-catching. He stood tall and sturdy like an iron tower, and was dressed like a monk. There was no way he could even look a tad bit inconspicuous.
Qing Shui was unconcerned about his clothes, so he dressed plainly. However, he exuded the sort of charisma that all experts have. Furthermore, his handsome looks along with the vermilion mark between his brows, gave him a unique aura that was strong yet gentle. Thus, he too caused many heads to turn.
Even though they had already reached Northern Sacred Lu Continent, they were still very far from the Ancient Ruins so they still needed more time to reach their destination. Since it was everyone’s first time visiting Northern Sacred Lu Continent, they decided to go and explore. They could learn more about the local culture and customs as well as find an inn to stay in.
However, something bugged Qing Shui. He had previously killed quite a few people from Bei Ming Clan and Wan Clan which were both Guardian clans belonging to Northern Sacred Lu Continent. Hence, he was worried that Sacred Land of Panacea in Greencloud Continent and people from the other Guardian Clans had also heard news of their arrival. Using their methods and resources, it was easy for them to obtain that information. However, Qing Shui was unsure if they would actually take the initiative to cause him any trouble.
Qing Shui did not want to stir up any issue. He really did not wish to fight with anyone since they just arrived here. After all, they were in a foreign continent and who knows what sort of deep rooted connections the people here have. It wouldn’t do him any good if he accidentally offended some obscure experts hidden here. Even though he wasn’t afraid, he had to protect the people he brought along with him.
Qing Shui did not know if his enemies had any first hand information about him. After all, he travelled here using Nine Continents Steps Effect so it wasn’t that easy to track him down. Even if they wanted to do so, they would need some time.
Suddenly, Qing Shui felt a faint aura heading toward him. He saw a group of people heading in their direction and instinctively felt that they were specifically looking for him.
The faint aura came from a man who looked like he was in his forties. The man appeared upright and righteous, and had a handsome face which gave people a sense of security. Qing Shui also noticed that there were two Elders behind the handsome men. Besides them, there were also four other men who appeared to be guards based on the uniform they wore.
The two Elders hid their own auras, but they were unable to deceive Qing Shui at their level. Qing Shui withheld his reaction. He wanted to see what that handsome man had to say.
“Hi sir, you must not be local!” the man asked in a friendly manner.
“And you are?” Qing Shui did not answer him because it was obvious enough.
“Oh, I’ve forgotten to introduce myself. I’m Wen Jing and I live here in Arctic Wolf City so I do have some influence here. I saw you on the street and found you rather familiar; it is as if we know each other. So, I’d like to befriend you,” the man answered amiably and looked at Qing Shui with sincerity.
Qing Shui laughed. He did not believe that people would extend their friendship for no rhyme or reason. People who appear to be kind to others for no reason usually have an ulterior motive. It was either because that man was attracted to one of his female companions or because that man coveted one of his items. Now, he wondered which item that would be...
Qing Shui observed the man a little more closely. The man did not look suspicious; he looked like a righteous man with clear bright eyes. Yet, Qing Shui could still sense a slightly dangerous aura coming from him. Luckily, Qing Shui had nothing much to worry about. Even if something did happen, he could still keep everything under control, so he smiled and replied, “I am Yan Qing.”
Qing Shui did not reveal his actual name, nor did he introduce his companions. Naturally, he did not appear to be friendly.
“Brother Yan, you and your people must still be looking for a place to stay. Come with me. I have an empty property. It is in quite a good location. If you don’t mind, I will bring all of you there,” Wen Jing said enthusiastically.
“Brother Wen, I don’t think that is appropriate. It’s too troublesome. We will just look for an inn since we are just staying here for a day,” Qing Shui rejected politely. He did not want to act too harsh as he hadn’t really confirmed if Wen Jing meant any harm.
“Look, fate brought us together. Since I have the honor of meeting you and you have already called me ‘brother’, then just come with me. Come on, it is not far. It is very convenient and it is new. It is cleaned everyday and no one has lived in it before.” Wen Jing pulled Qing Shui’s hand eagerly.
Qing Shui quickly moved his Quchi acupoint away. When the man grabbed his hand, the man gripped the exact spot of his Quchi acupoint.
Was this just a coincidence or was this on purpose?
There were all sorts of techniques in this world, thus there were definitely people who focused on sealing acupoints. There are even people who know techniques to sever others’ spiritual energy. Though these were usually rumors, Qing Shui believed them entirely since he himself knew how to seal acupoints.
Qing Shui moved his acupoint away but spotted no change in Wen Jing’s expression. He turned and exchanged a look with the others behind him, then he smiled and said, “Brother Wen, we’ll stay for one day. You don’t have to act like this!”
“It’s nothing. We are friends from now on. You are my brother and we’re one family,” Wen Jing said, sounding very sincere and natural, as if he really meant that.
Such situations only had two possible explanations. The first being that it was true, that the other party really felt like family the first time they met. As it was the case when he first went to look for Qing Qing. However, that was because she was his real sister, so the first explanation usually doesn’t apply.
Thus, Qing Shui could only conclude that it was the second explanation. This was all an act. The man had probably said those same words to many people before, otherwise he wouldn’t be so good at disguising.
“Brother Yan, where are you from? Why did you suddenly decide to come to Arctic Wolf Country?” Wen Jing asked innocuously. From the way they dressed, Qing Shui and his group were clearly foreigners.
“We’re from Greencloud Continent. We came here to visit our relatives.“ Qing Shui smiled. He actually wanted to say that they were from a nearby city but he decided to say that they were from a much further place as it was his first time here and he was unfamiliar with this region.
“Greencloud Continent. That’s really far from here. Since all of you manage to travel through that wasteland, you all must be pretty formidable!” Wen Jing commented in surprise when he heard that Qing Shui was from such a distant place.
“I won’t come here again. It’s really too dangerous. Luckily, we have a small treasure with us. Otherwise, we would have died many times over. It’s so dangerous, I am even a little afraid of making the journey back.” Qing Shui tried his best to imagine a horde of raging demonic beasts, so that he would look like he was frightened.
As they chatted while they walked, Qing Shui noticed that Wen Jing knitted his brows slightly when he saw Qing Shui’s fearful expression. When Qing Shui mentioned the small treasure they had, he also saw a slight change in Wen Jing’s expression. It was so minute that one would miss it if one was not observing him carefully.
They reached Wen Jing’s manor. It was in a peaceful and quiet location but it was still very accessible. A cross junction was just nearby and it provided one of the most convenient routes around Arctic Wolf City.
“Come in. Let’s see if you are satisfied.” Wen Jing beckoned for Qing Shui and his companions.
The manor was very big and everything looked new, but Qing Shui could sense the presence of the people who lived here before. Unlike what Wen Jing said, many people had lived in this manor in the past and their presence lingered here, perhaps forever.
Qing Shui’s spiritual sense was very sensitive. After he practiced Ancient Technique Flames of Yin-Yang (otherwise known as primordial flames), his spiritual sense became amazingly sharp such that he could even sense the last bit of Yin Qi that dead people leave behind. This is why Qing Shui was able to uncover the secret behind this manor. Yet, he was still shocked that the manor did not feel eerie at all; it was as if there was something sealing all the Yin Qi.
Qing Shui understood that he and his companions had been led into a haunted lair which belonged to a few highly skilled bandits. But whether those bandits could prey on what they believed were a bunch of fat lambs, would depend on how powerful they were.
Rock gardens, ponds, bamboo garden and stone bridges...
Qing Shui looked at the ceiling of the main hall and saw a few golden bells hanging from the ceiling. Unless someone intentionally looked at those areas, there was no way to spot the bells. Qing Shui only knew a little about Feng Shui, but when he used his spiritual sense, he could sense where the Yin Qi gathered and the boundaries set by the golden bells.
They definitely won’t have a restful night today. He decided to take action. In the worst case scenario, he would just leave with his group.
Without rousing any suspicion, he flicked his finger. A thread of qi broke the chain holding the golden bells and they fell noisily to the ground.
The abrupt noise was clear to all of them. In a split second, the atmosphere in the entire manor suddenly changed. The air grew cold and a creepy aura surrounded them. Perhaps, this feeling was from all the spirits in the building. According to folklores, people lose their yang energy when they die so they are only left with their Yin Qi. This is especially true for people who were murdered and persecuted. It is said that their spirits will refuse to leave the place where they were killed.
Of course, this is just a theory. Qing Shui did not really care if that was true, but it was undeniable that they could feel a creepy coldness in the manor. Just like in his previous life, old houses which have been empty for a long time tended to make people feel uneasy.
Translator note: Yin Qi is NOT a name. Just like Emperor Qi, it is a type of Qi. Basically, it is the Yin from Yin-Yang. It is usually associated with supernatural phenomenons, ill omens, evil winds, that sort of thing.
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