Housekeeper Hu told Yun Ruoyan that, not only was Pi Batian not dead, his two chopped-off arms had been replaced with Pi Yang’s.
“How could it be?” Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo were both stricken by the news. After all, they had seen Pi Yan’s sword pierce Pi Batian’s chest with their own eyes. With such an injury, how had Pi Batian still lived?
“That day, when I went to find the two of you on my young master’s orders, I also saw Pi Batian getting stabbed. At the time, I thought that he would undoubtedly perish, and I reported what I saw to my young master,” Housekeeper Hu added. “Not a few days later, however, Lord Pi suddenly appeared outside his yard and chopped off my young master’s arms. At the same time, he interrogated him about whether he was the one who revealed where Miss Yun was being kept captive.”
In anger, Pi Yang had divulged how he had helped Li Mo set Pi Batian up. Pi Yan flew into a thunderous rage, beat Pi Yang to within inches of his life, and locked him up. If Pi Batian couldn’t be saved, he threatened to kill Pi Yang.
Three days after Pi Yang was locked up, Pi Yan sent some men to free him. Apparently, Pi Batian had been revived, and Pi Yang was to be exiled from the Pi city. Housekeeper Hu had grown up serving Pi Yang, and he couldn’t bear to see Pi Yang leave the city on his own. As a result, he followed him into exile.
They were chased out of all the towns under the Pi family’s purview, none of which dared to host two refugees so disfavored by Lord Pi himself.
“With nowhere to go, and with my young master’s body still crippled with pain,” Housekeeper Hu continued, peering at Yun Ruoyan, “I suggested that we go to the Feng city, given how frequently he brings you up, hoping that the two of you would bear some goodwill toward him. I know my past actions have been offensive to you, Miss Yun, and also Master Li and your friends. I understand if you wish me to leave, but I beg you again to have clemency for my poor young master.”
When Yun Ruoyan saw Housekeeper Hu’s pleading eyes, she relented. “At least you’re loyal. We’ll let bygones be bygones, and we’ll try our best to save Pi Yang. You should stay to take care of him.”
Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo left Pi Yang’s room to find Lin Qingchen outside.
“What’s the matter, Qingchen?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“I’m here to reclaim a possession from Housekeeper Hu,” she replied.
Lin Qingchen showed Yun Ruoyan her bare hand. “The spatial ring that Grandfather passed down to me.”
“Miss Lin.” Housekeeper Hu had heard Lin Qingchen’s voice. He had come outside and was staring at her in a mystified fashion.
“Good timing, Housekeeper Hu,” Lin Qingchen replied coldly. “Kindly return my spatial ring to me now!”
“Miss Lin, what’s this ring?” Housekeeper Hu appeared rather dazed.
Lin Qingchen frowned. She glanced at Housekeeper Hu’s hands, only to find his hands barren. She explained how her ring, which contained Whitey, had been snatched from her by a servant of the Pi family, and how she had seen it on Housekeeper Hu’s hands.
Housekeeper Hu had to think for quite some time before finally remembering its existence. “Ah, I remember! One of my subordinates handed me that ring as a respectful gesture, but to think it belonged to you, Miss Lin—”
“If you still remember it, then can you give it back now?” Lin Qingxue interrupted, holding out an open palm. Ever since she had lost the ring, she had wanted to get it back, but she never had a chance to do so. When Zhuo Yifeng came to save her and Qin Feng, she didn’t want to delay their escape just to search for the ring.
After arriving in the Feng city, she had refrained from informing Yun Ruoyan about her lost ring, not wanting to cause more trouble for her. When she heard that Housekeeper Hu had made his way to the manor, she could no longer wait any further. To her, the ring itself wasn’t all that precious, heirloom though it might be—what she cared most about was Whitey, still slumbering within.
Faced with Lin Qingchen’s request, Housekeeper Hu made an awkward expression. “The ring… as for the ring, well…”
Yun Ruoyan knew how important Whitey was to Lin Qingchen. “Housekeeper Hu, what happened to the ring? Tell us!”
Housekeeper Hu knelt down once more. “I really wasn’t aware that it was Miss Lin’s possession, only that it was a spatial ring. I was never able to open it up, and I handed it to my young master instead.”
“You mean Pi Yang? You handed the ring to Pi Yang?” Yun Ruoyan pressed, while Lin Qingchen rushed into the room from which Housekeeper Hu had just left.
“Miss Lin, please wait! The ring isn’t on my young master’s hand now, either,” Housekeeper Hu called out. “His arms were chopped off, along with the ring!”
Lin Qingchen turned back around, her tone even colder. “In that case, where exactly is my ring?”
Before Housekeeper Hu could reply, Yun Ruoyan murmured, “It seems like it’d be on Pi Batian’s hand…”
Pi Yang’s arms were grafted onto Pi Batian’s body, so the ring had to be with him.
Lin Qingchen was so agitated that she almost broke down. Yun Ruoyan could only console her and promise that she would find a way to reclaim it for her.
Within the Pi manor, Pi Batian was playing around with a scarlet whip. Although his range of motion still wasn’t great, his motions were relatively smooth. Gradually, as Pi Batian swung the whip faster and faster, the whip formed a miniature cyclone in mid-air—until two jolts of pain left Pi Batian’s arms slack.
Pi Batian groaned in pain. On his forehead, either from his exertion or from the pain, was a light sheen of sweat. “These arms still aren’t under my full control!” He looked at his hands, so familiar yet so foreign. They once belonged to his brother, but were now his to command. For that, he felt no guilt. “Pi Yang, don’t blame me. If you hadn’t set me up with Li Mo, I wouldn’t have lost both my arms and my life,” he mumbled, then suddenly had his attention captured by an ancient ring on his left hand.
Pi Batian had figured out that this was a spatial ring. He’d tried a few techniques to open it, but just like Housekeeper Hu and Pi Yang, his attempts ended in failure. Ordinary spatial rings didn’t have any such restriction at all, so this ring was of particular mystery and allure to him.
“Tian’er.” Suddenly, Pi Yan walked into Pi Batian’s yard.
“Father!” Pi Batian turned toward Pi Yan.
When Pi Yan saw the sweat on his forehead, he noted that Pi Batian had likely been trying to train his arms again. “Tian’er, I know how agitated you are, but your arms won’t heal so quickly. Even the silver dragon clan elder has said that you’ll need at least half a year before you can move them about as naturally as before.”
“Father, are we out of holy water? As long as we have enough holy water, I could even be resurrected once more, let alone have my arms heal immediately!”
“The elder only granted me one bottle, and I used it all to save you,” Pi Yan began. “According to the elder, it’s a precious commodity even for highlanders, and the fact that he granted me one despite my failure was testament to his generosity.”
“Father, didn’t the elder say that he could satisfy your wishes if you were able to capture Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo? In that case, you could easily ask for more bottles of holy water.”
Pi Yan nodded. “Both Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo are being protected by the Feng family, so we’ll have to deal with the Fengs first. Once the Fengs have been eradicated, Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo will have nowhere to hide.”
“Father, haven’t we been winning all the skirmishes against the Fengs? Why agree to a temporary ceasefire now? Aren’t we giving the Fengs time to recover? Why not ignore the ceasefire, attack the Feng city by night, and capture Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo?”
Pi Yan shook his head in exasperation. “It’s not just the Fengs that need the time to rest. We Pis, along with the Wus and Chens, all need time to consolidate our forces. We’ve hurt the Feng family greatly, but we also sustained losses of our own. Luckily, we have enough high-grade spirit crystals to boost the cultivation of our forces now.”
“Are the Lies still unwilling to join us?” Pi Batian continued asking. “Father, why not promise them more spoils?”
“I’ve already proposed doing so, and I even wrote to Lie Fenglan personally. However, he keeps using his daughter’s illness as an excuse.” Pi Yan frowned, then continued, “Perhaps it’s not an excuse, and his daughter’s illness is truly getting more severe.”
“Why do you say that, Father?”
“In one of his most recent letters, he requested for Lie Yun and Pi Yang to get married, saying that once the two families became one, he would surely help out. It looks like Lie Yun doesn’t have long to live, so he’s trying to fulfill her last wishes. If the letter had come two months earlier, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but now that Pi Yang’s missing and crippled—even if Lie Yun were about to die, she surely wouldn’t be willing to marry a cripple!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter