Chapter 137 - The Spiritmartial Marquis, Chen Zheng
Humble Tranquility Cottage.
“Big Sister, are you a fairy” stammered Feng Xiaoran.
Wen Lingxue was only a head taller than Feng Xiaoran, but when the thirteen-year-old saw her slender, graceful figure, she felt as if she were looking at an immortal beauty.
Or at least, she figured this was what a fairy ought to look like.
“Haha, no way!” Wen Lingxue laughed and pinched Feng Xiaoran’s cheek.
“You’re the fairy! Especially those eyes; they shine like the moon.
When you grow up, you’re sure to be prettier than me!”
Feng Xiaoran lit up, smiling so broadly, her bright eyes formed crescent moons.
“Really That’s awesome!”
Wen Lingxue was stunned. Little girl, it seems you don’t know the meaning of the word ‘modesty’!
Huang Qianjun, meanwhile, looked stunned.
“Lingxue, I thought you were pretty before, but I never would have guessed you’d become this pretty.
Is this what they mean when they say a woman transforms at eighteen”
When he saw Su Yi lead Wen Lingxue over, Huang Qianjun almost dared not believe she was the same Wen LIngxue he’d once known.
She was simply too dazzling.
Every inch off her emanated a charming, graceful air; he almost dared not look directly at her.
By comparison, he felt ashamed of his own unseemliness.
Wen Lingxue glared at him irritably.
“What ‘eighteen’ It’ll be another two months before I turn sixteen!”
Huang Qianjun sheepishly lowered his head.
According to the customs of the Great Zhou, when a girl hit fifteen, she was ready for marriage.
But martial artists were different from the common folk.
Regardless of gender, their appearance would change rapidly in accordance with their cultivation.
After all, cultivation tempered the heart, spirit, and qi, as well as the body.
Physical transformation thus typically accompanied increases in strength, like a sort of rebirth.
Take Feng Xiaoran.
She was now fourteen, about two years younger than Wen Lingxue.
In the past, she’d never cultivated before, so despite her outstanding good-looks, her body was visibly frail.
But ever since she started cultivating under Su Yi’s guidance, and thanks to taking spiritual medicines day and night, she now emanated a vibrant, lively energy.
Her skin shone like cream, and her once slightly withered hair was now dark and shiny.
Her deep gaze and bright eyes shone with spirituality.
“Senior Apprentice Brother Su, drink up!” Feng Xiaofeng lifted the jar of wine and filled Su Yi’s cup.
They sat around the courtyard’s stone table, which was already loaded up with a wide array of sumptuous dishes.
Although they couldn’t compete with the rare delicacies of the Snowy Villa, Wen Lingxue found this meal far more relaxed and pleasant.
The flowers and trees were lush and luxuriant.
The silence was interspersed with the chirping of birds and buzzing of insects, adding a layer of tranquility.
More importantly, her brother-in-law was here with her.
She felt as if she’d returned home!
This time, Wen Lingxue had no further reservations.
As she ate, she asked the questions that had been plaguing her all this time.
Huang Qianjun answered most of them, the words flowing out non-stop.
Su Yi only spoke up when Wen Lingxue asked a question only he could answer, but even then, he only said “yes” or “that’s right” or “mmhm.”
Part of this was that he was too lazy to explain in painstaking detail, but part of it was that if he said too much, it would sound like he were bragging.
Wouldn’t that be a bit shallow
For Wen Lingxue, it was one shock after another.
Her beautiful face flitted erratically between different expressions.
Why were the beautiful called “beautiful” It was because, regardless of whether they smiled, frowned, or exclaimed in surprise, every expression and movement had its own charm.
In the end, Wen Lingxue let out a long breath, then batted her eyes.
“Brother-in-Law, can I share this information with my sister”
Instead of answering, Su Yi asked right back, “Lingxue, if the day comes that your sister and I annul our marriage, will you still acknowledge your brother-in-law”
“That….” Wen Lingxue froze for a while.
Finally, she furrowed her delicate brow and sighed.
“Brother-in-Law, I’ve always hoped you two could reconcile.
The thought of you separating never even occurred to me.”
Su Yi said indifferently, “Your sister hates this marriage, and I’m opposed to it as well.
Besides, the two of us are like strangers.
There’s no love between us, nor any other feelings to speak of.
“Besides, you can’t reconcile if there’s no relationship to mend.
You know full well that your sister and I were forced into this.
In that case, annulling the marriage will be a form of release, for both of us.
You ought to be happy for us.”
When she heard this, Wen Lingxue looked troubled.
Su Yi patted her on the shoulder, as if pitying her.
“Alright, this has nothing to do with you.
I don’t care about the rest, but what I can promise is that, so long as you let me, I’ll always be good to you.”
Wen Lingxue felt warmth well up within her heart, and she nodded.
After their meal, the others went off to cultivate, while Su Yi sprawled out in the wicker chair beneath the gazebo and began asking about Wen Lingxue’s cultivation.
He gave her pointers, too.
“Lingxue, bear this in mind: during the early stages of the Qi Accumulation Realm, you have to take it slow.
It’s not enough to open and temper all one hundred and eight spiritual apertures.”
You also have to achieve ‘full spiritual awakening of the acupoints.’ If you do, each acupoint will be like a miniature hidden realm.
Only then can you reach the true pinnacle of the Unblocking Acupoints stage.”
“Then have you managed that”
“I’m still missing that final step.”
….As they chatted away, time slipped past.
When night fell, Wen Lingxue rose and said, “Brother-in-Law, I have to get back to Blueriver Sword Manor, but I’ll visit again another day.”
Su Yi nodded, then passed her a bundle he’d prepared in advance.
“Here are some spiritual medicines.
Take them and put them to good use.
Going forward, I’ll resupply you every so often.”
He was well aware that with the Wen Family’s financial power, they couldn’t possibly provide Wen Lingxue with sufficient cultivation resources.
Especially since she was already in the late-stage Blood Circulation Realm, and she cultivated the Abstruse Spiritual Essence Pearl Incantation.
Her daily expenditure of spiritual medicines was enormous.
Her monthly allotment from Blueriver Sword Manor wouldn’t be enough, either; it was like a drop in the bucket.
Wen Lingxue’s maiden’s heart quivered, and her bright eyes stared intently at Su Yi.
A moment later, a radiant smile blossomed on her face.
“Brother-in-Law, I won’t refuse, but if there’s ever anything I can help you with, you’d better not hold back either.”
As she spoke, she accepted the bundle and waved.
She left, her strides light and airy.
Her slender figure gradually faded into the gentle light of the setting sun.
Su Yi watched for a while before looking away.
Finally, he sighed, sounding a bit emotional.
“Lingxue really has grown up.”
He rose, returned to his room, and started meditation, using the Universal Self-Embodiment Sutra to temper his soul.
Cultivation was a daily task; you had to do it every day.
Su Yi wouldn’t allow himself the slightest negligence.
The river glittered beneath the light of the setting sun.
A single lonely boat rode against the waves and down the vast waters of the Great Azure.
“Yiren, when we get to the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital, I’ll visit Mu Cangtu first to see whether or not Blueriver Sword Manor has picked up any good seedlings lately.
“Meanwhile, I’d like you to help me investigate Young Lord Su’s current whereabouts.
Once I’ve taken care of my other business, I’ll go pay him a visit.”
A tall figure, as upright as a spear, stood atop the boat with his hands behind his back.
He was a man in worn-out armor.
He had a chiseled silhouette and coppery skin.
Every inch of him emanated an imposingly murderous air.
Especially his eyes.
When they opened, they seemed to reflect a sea of blood; they were terrifying as could be.
He was one of the eighteen foreign-surnamed marquises of the Great Zhou, the Spiritmartial Marquis!
His Greenplate Army was stationed beneath the Bloodthistle Yao Mountains year-round, and he’d slain countless spirit beasts in battle.
His battle record was long and glorious.
And he himself was a Martial Dao Grandmaster!
“Yes, sir!” Zang Yiren solemnly acknowledged his orders, but then, he hesitated.
“Your Excellency, Young Lord Su looks calm and indifferent, but deep within his bones, he’s extremely proud.
When you meet him, please don’t take offense.”
Chen Zheng nodded.
“That’s only natural.
The more competent someone is, the deeper their pride runs.
According to your report, this Su Yi can slay a Martial Dao Grandmaster with a single swing of his sword.
He’s undoubtedly an extraordinary character; a little pride is to be expected.
I, Chen Zheng, admire nothing more than competence.
I’ll be certain to treat him with respect.”
His voice was forceful and resonant, and he emanated a neat and tidy yet forceful air.
Zhang Yiren laughed.
“I trust Young Lord Su won’t disappoint you.”
He paused, then asked, “Marquis, the sixth prince was ambushed on our tower ship.
Are we really just going to let this matter go”
Chen Zheng furrowed his brow.
“I detest nothing more than imperial power struggles, and if everything is as I expect, there was another prince behind this assasination attempt.
We’re better off not getting involved.”
As they conversed, their little boat reached the harbor.
“Let’s split up and get to work.” Chen Zheng’s figure blurred as he shot into the distance.
“How many years has it been The marquis has always been this direct and efficient….” Zhang Yiren stood there in a daze before getting to work.
He, too, hurried through the city gates.
Meanwhile, atop a nearby cargo ship, an elder furrowed his brow.
“That looked like the Spiritmartial Marquis, Chen Zheng.
Isn’t he stationed in the Bloodthistle Yao Mountains What’s he doing in the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital”
He wore ragged Daoist robes, and he carried a bundle.
The heavily made-up middle-aged woman beside him stretched lazily and said, “This time, our mission is to capture Weng Yunqi and retrieve that piece of soul jade.
There’s no need to concern yourselves with anything else.”
The man beside them was sallow-faced, gaunt, and disheveled, with waxy skin.
“Are you certain Weng Yunqi is in the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital”
As he spoke, he glanced greedily at the beautiful middle-aged woman’s chest.
It was so ample, it threatened to burst through her clothes, and her curves were eye-catching.
This temptress is getting more and more sumptuous!
The woman glanced at him, her gaze affectedly sweet.
“Old Man Lungrot, want to spend the night in my room”
The disheveled man shuddered, then snapped, “I’m perfectly happy just looking.
I certainly don’t want to wind up a dried-out corpse.”
“Feh! You’ve got the heart of a thief, but none of the courage!” The beautiful middle-aged woman spat coquettishly.
“Weng Yunqi is indeed within the prefectural capital.
The branch leader received word from our informants; apparently, the old man slipped into the city seven days ago.
However, he’s extremely cautious, and his movements are unpredictable.
Our agents have no way of locking onto him.”
The man in the worn-out Daoist robes spoke, then took a blood-colored candle from his sleeves and passed it to the disheveled man.
“This is the ‘Soul-Summoning Candle’ Weng Yunqi used his blood essence to craft upon entering the sect.
I’ll leave locating him up to you.”
The disheveled man accepted the candle and looked it over, then laughed.
“With this, I’ll drag him out of his hiding spot within three days!”
“Xianglan, you go find a place to set up an altar within the city.
If we encounter thorny problems or major threats, it’ll give us an escape route.”
The elder in Daoist robes passed a heavy bundle to the woman.
“These are magic treasures, and all of them are precious.
Don’t waste them.”
“What about you” asked the beautiful middle-aged woman.
The elder’s eyes flashed.
“I’m going to visit an old friend.
With his help, Weng Yunqi will never escape, not even if he sprouts wings!”