Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 62
Chapter 62: Where Did Fang Xing Go?
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
Back when Meng Xuanzhao beat Liu Feng in order to get the name of the Black Market Bandit, Liu Feng had been so certain that Fang Xing framed him, even after physical torture. At the time, Meng Xuanzhao dismissed the idea that it had anything to do with Fang Xing and believed it was Liu Feng who was trying to frame Fang Xing instead, and Meng Xuanzhao had decided to increase the beatings' intensity in the hopes of getting him to reveal the truth as a result. Meng Xuanzhao hadn't expected that Liu Feng wouldn't last for even a couple rounds of these beatings, and left with no other option he had been forced to destroy the corpse and wipe out all traces of Liu Feng from the sect, to make it as though the man had never existed in the first place.
After all, beating an outer court disciple to death was not something honorable or something to be proud of, let alone if it was caused over a private dispute. Such incidents were no small matter within the sect, and even though the sect did not clearly state that it was against the rules for fellow disciples to fight amongst each other, they did not allow the more privileged disciples to abuse their status on those less privileged;such a thing was seen as unfair competition. If Meng Xuanzhao were to be found out by the sect, severe consequences would await him.
Meng Xuanzhao's uncle had decided that the incident had already gone too far and ordered him to immediately stop any investigations;since Meng Xuanzhao had already fallen prey to the mysterious bandit, he could only blame it on his bad luck and admit defeat. If the incident were to escalate any further, it could cause more trouble than there needed to be.
For lack of better options, Meng Xuanzhao had to forcibly contain his anger and let the matter go, albeit unwillingly. This incident had nearly been forgotten until he heard the news about the [Nine Snakes' Sword] Fang Xing had used, which caused him to think....
As for the speculations as to the Black Market Bandit, Meng Xuanzhao only knew that he used a snuff bottle that released a powerful smog and did not actually see the man use the [Nine Snakes' Sword];it had only been Hou Qing who confirmed the sword used by the bandit was indeed the lost weapon. Without any more clues, Meng Xuanzhao could only base his guesses on that.
The [Nine Snakes' Sword], Liu Feng's words against Fang Xing, the first person to know the whereabouts of the Ore Essence Powder after it had been handed off... all of these things pointed to Fang Xing. It had caused Meng Xuanzhao to once again have second thoughts.
Perhaps Liu Feng had been right? The real Black Market Bandit was related to Fang Xing?
Perhaps the source of the leaked information was none other than Fang Xing himself?
Perhaps the purpose behind the Black Market Bandit mentioning Liu Feng by name was precisely to frame Liu Feng on Fang Xing's behalf?
So much inconsistency and evidence caused Meng Xuanzhao to suspect Fang Xing.
Deep down, Meng Xuanzhao didn't think Fang Xing was the Black Market Bandit himself, but he did believe there was a high possibility Fang Xing knew the bandit's true identity. Because of this, he decided he would seize Fang Xing for further questioning, even if it meant he had to use physical punishment to force out the truth. The only problem was that even though his uncle was supporting him from the back within the outer courts he did not dare to literally seize him through the use of force. The only method was to have someone ask him over for a drink;once Fang Xing was there, whatever happened afterwards would be his business.
Besides, for the sake of getting at the Black Market Bandit, Meng Xuanzhao had already killed Liu Feng. It wouldn't matter much anymore even if Fang Xing were to be added as well.
’’Meng Xuanzhao would like to invite me for a drink? I'm too busy right now, maybe another day!’’ Fang Xing naturally would not go, and he laughed as he moved to push open his cottage door.
’’Hey, kid, so you wanna play it the hard way, huh?’’ the other man spoke with an icy tone before both men closed in towards Fang Xing, their arms crossed and gazes cold. They had been ordered to take Fang Xing through coercion if he refused the invite, as refusal meant it was not unlikely he was guilty of something. Both men were in their second tier, and so they believed taking down the first-tiered Fang Xing would be a walk in the park.
Of all the people who witnessed the battle at the Yunyin Summit, no one suspected anything more complicated than what they had seen: Lin Qinxue's Flying Sword against the [Nine Snakes' Sword]. No one had seen their fight inside the wooden cottage, and even the use of [Dragon Catching] had gone undetected, as it was invisible to the naked eye and most outer court disciples would have no idea about such skills. It was only natural that nobody could guess Fang Xing's true cultivation tier. Even Meng Xuanzhao believed Fang Xing would at most be the Black Market Bandit's companion as opposed to the bandit himself.
’’Oh?’’ Fang Xing had a sly smile on his face, as though something had caught his interest. He looked at them both from head to toe.
’’What are you looking at?’’ the same man from before asked in a frigid tone.
With a smirk on his face, Fang Xing unexpectedly landed a loud slap to the man's face. With only thirty percent of Fang Xing's full force, the unsuspecting man was sent to the ground right before Fang Xing jumped back and extended all five of his fingers out in front of him. An invisible force of air wrapped around the other man, pulling him in towards Fang Xing just close enough so he could kick him flying.
In the blink of an eye, both second-tiered men were beaten on the ground. They hadn't even had the time to bring out their Flying Swords.
’’Who the hell forces someone to accept an invite for a drink? You bastards go back and tell Meng Xuanzhao that I his grandfather will go and see him tomorrow!’’
Numerous people within the summit looked on in silence, and some even seemed eager to try their hand at getting Fang Xing as well. Fang Xing swept his glance coldly across them and began to speak, ’’Look at you bunch of trash, who else wants to have a go?’’ Then, he launched the [Nine Snakes' Sword] into the air, making it circle around him. Those that had met Fang Xing's gaze all cowered in fear;although there were those who had originally wanted to help Meng Xuanzhao catch Fang Xing, these were just fleeting thoughts, as it was not worth offending Shijie Linyun for Meng Xuanzhao's sake. It was not a worthwhile trade, so it became a lot easier to simply pretend nothing had happened.
Even Hei San had such thoughts. In fact, even as he watched from within his cottage, Hei San had wanted to stop Fang Xing when the latter began to leave the summit. It wasn't until Fang Xing disappeared into the distance that Hei San released a long, exhausted sigh and sat down upon the floor. ’’Well, as the saying goes: when immortals clash, the insignificant are always the ones to suffer from it. I can't afford to offend either Meng Xuanzhao or Shijie Linyun....’’
When Meng Xuanzhao saw that Fang Xing had beaten his men and ran off overnight, he was infuriated. He smashed a black bamboo next to him and muttered between grinding teeth, ’’That brat actually ran away! This proves that something should be wrong!’’
’’Why not have the sect step in to capture him?’’ one of his men beside him suggested.
Meng Xuanzhao sent a death glare at whoever made the suggestion and began to scold, ’’Do you even have a brain? The Black Market Bandit is called so because he robbed the Black Market! Do you know what the Black Market is? It's not something you can just 'have the sect step in' for! And it just so happens that when he robbed me, he didn't use the [Nine Snakes' Sword], so even I'm not sure if they're the same person. What will the sect say when there is no solid evidence? Besides, even if the sect were to find the bandit through that brat, we would not even get a hint of any of his stolen items! The only choice we have now is to quietly find him on our own.’’
Meng Xuanzhao then clenched his teeth in hatred. ’’Go! We will search every inch of the entire outer sect until we find him!’’ His men scattered in all directions, immediately moving across all of the summits and valleys in search of the boy.
Since he was born a part of the sect's second generation, not many people inside the outer court had the courage to offend Meng Xuanzhao, and all of the department heads were cooperative in his search. Yet, even after they'd searched everywhere including the plump Taoist Yu's cottage they could not find his whereabouts. This all left a large question that weighed heavy on everyone's mind: it was the middle of the night, so where could this kid have gone?
’’Would he be... at Linyun Valley?’’ someone suddenly asked in a quavering voice after remembering something.
Meng Xuanzhao's heart dropped as he heard this. If the kid really had gone into hiding at Xu Linyun's personal valley, even he himself would be left without any options. Xu Linyun was a core disciple;her status was much higher than an ordinary outer court elder like his uncle.
’’Impossible. If that brat was really so close to Shijie Linyun, why does he not have any cultivation resources? Even if she were to give him her leftovers, it would be more than enough for someone at his level. I still feel that the rumor was far too exaggerated, and his relationship with Shijie Linyun is not as good as people say. Plus, even if it is true, none of you need to be afraid of Shijie Linyun. You have to remember that she is a core disciple and these people are usually extremely proud;as long as we can prove the relationship between the brat and the Black Market Bandit, Shijie Linyun is more likely to not interfere than stay involved in the matter. At that point, she may even do her best to stay clear of anything to do with the brat.’’
Meng Xuanzhao cleared his mind before continuing, ’’We will find him no matter what, even if it means flipping the entire outer court over. Also, I'll have someone go fish some information from Shijie Linyun to see if he really is there.’’
Meng Xuanzhao was clearly extremely enraged by all of this, and he was determined to find Fang Xing even after knowing about Shijie Linyun. To him, it was of the highest priority to find the Black Market Bandit.
Soon, Meng Xuanzhao had once again sent all of his men to search for any traces of the boy, yet Fang Xing was still nowhere to be seen. Everyone had the same question: where did Fang Xing go?