Dan Tai Jing’s eyes turned slightly cold, and he lightly opened his lips. “What’s all the noise outside the palace?”
Su Ru Hui was forced to learn Dan Tai Jing’s secret, and couldn’t help feeling a bit guilty. He coughed softly. “I kicked Zhou Xiao Su’s husband. If he comes to seek revenge later, could Uncle help me out?”
“You’re still as reckless as ever,” Dan Tai Jing coldly commented.
“Yes, yes.” Su Ru Hui grinned. “Uncle, you’re still as beautiful and charming as before.”
Dan Tai Jing: “…”
Based on past experience, if Su Ru Hui dared to speak to him like this, Dan Tai Jing would have already been furious and thrown him into the dungeon. But now, Dan Tai Jing only had a slightly cold gaze and seemed to remember something, causing a slight disturbance in his expression. Su Ru Hui waited and waited, but Dan Tai Jing remained silent. He sat upright with a blank expression, like a Buddha without anger or complaint.
Not only Su Ru Hui, but even Sang Chi Yu was confused.
“Uncle, how did you know that I’m Su Ru Hui?” Su Ru Hui asked first.
“Black Street, Heng Tai Bank,” Dan Tai Jing replied.
Oh right, that was the only time Su Ru Hui had acted in his own name. He didn’t expect that in just five short years, Dan Tai Jing already had spies in the Black Street.
“I was careless,” Su Ru Hui regretted. “I shouldn’t have gone to retrieve the hidden gun.”
“Puppet key,” Dan Tai Jing said.
Su Ru Hui was embarrassed. “You still haven’t given up? I really haven’t developed any Super First-Grade Flesh Puppets. You’re such an intelligent person. How can you just listen to rumors and believe them wholeheartedly?”
“Wind and Snow Demon,” Dan Tai Jing said. “You’ve seen it with your own eyes. These demons are rampaging and infiltrating the mortal world. The situation is critical and we’re in danger. Are you going to stand by and do nothing? They keep saying they’re only looking for the Holy Child. Do you believe their lies?”
Su Ru Hui sighed. “Even if they really want to do something, I can’t do anything about it. I’m a useless person who doesn’t even have any spiritual power. Uncle, you really overestimate me. Didn’t you clear out the demons in Kun Lun Snow Mountain quite well? Half of them are dead. The rest dare not even approach the border and only move at night.”
“That’s because their elder hasn’t appeared yet,” Dan Tai Jing said.
“Among all the top cultivators in the 49 provinces of Great Jing. You are undoubtedly the first. In addition to you, the three Star Officials are all first-class experts. The Holy Maiden of the Qu family who lives in seclusion in Kui Men is said to be able to kill ten thousand enemies with one sword. When you were in the Black Street, you two fought once, right? As long as you call for help, everyone will respond and fight together against the demons,” Su Ru Hui suggested. “I’m not needed.”
“Young Master Su Ru Hui’s thoughts are too simplistic,” Mo Tuo Yan interjected by the water pool. “People in the 49 provinces all have different goals, and they will only stand by and watch. They will wait until the Secret Sect is exhausted and then reap the benefits. Unfortunately, the demons are not fools. How could they tolerate them lurking in the background? I’m afraid that when the Secret Sect is destroyed, the demons will settle in the human world, and they will never be driven out of the snow realm again. It’s not the aristocratic families who will suffer, but the common people.”
Su Ru Hui understood the logic, but these old men still didn’t believe that he didn’t have the key.
Su Ru Hui grabbed his head and said, “What do I have to do for you to believe that I’m not lying? Should I be locked up in the Immortal Cave again?”
Bei Chen Palace fell into silence.
Su Ru Hui was taken aback. Did he say something wrong? Why did it suddenly become quiet?
“You do have it. You just forgot,” Dan Tai Jing said. “In that case, let’s make a deal. We’ll let you go and you try to remember. When you recall the answer, tell me. In exchange, I’ll tell you where your father went.”
Su Ru Hui suddenly looked up.
When he was twelve years old, his father went west and never returned. His master and Dan Tai Jing knew where his father went, but kept it a secret. Sometimes he suspected that his father had remarried and didn’t want him anymore. Dan Tai Jing and his master didn’t tell him because they were afraid he would be heartbroken. But his father was not that kind of person.
Su Ru Hui felt that the greater possibility was that his father couldn’t survive the arduous journey of cultivation, and died. Therefore, adults had to tell him the lie of “Your father went to a very faraway place and will come back when you grow up.”
After all, his father had been cultivating for eleven years, and he was always covered in bruises every time he came to visit.
Yes, his father was a guy with a scew loose, who firmly believed that cultivation could awaken spiritual power when he was otherwise an ordinary person. A teacher who only knew how to compose poems wanted to awaken spiritual power. Many people ridiculed and mocked him. He was like a fool, wiping off the saliva that others spat on his face, kneeling three times and kowtowing nine times, traveling thousands of miles, and begging for mercy from heaven.
But Su Ru Hui was his son. Others could ridicule him, but Su Ru Hui couldn’t.
So Su Ru Hui let go of his worries. Whatever, he could live well without his father. He was a domineering figure, a stunning character. Who in the world didn’t know Su Ru Hui? Even three-year-old children knew Su Ru Hui, the world’s number one thug. If his father heard his name in a corner, he could boast to his companions: “This is my son. Isn’t he awesome?”
Su Ru Hui turned around and walked towards the door. “So I really can leave?”
Dan Tai Jing silently looked at him.
Su Ru Hui pushed the door open and tentatively stepped out of the threshold. “I’m really leaving. Uncle, don’t regret it.”
“You can leave,” Dan Tai Jing said.
It was too strange. Su Ru Hui felt puzzled. How could Uncle let him go so easily?
Su Ru Hui was surprised and hesitant for a moment, and asked: “May I ask, what is Sang Chi Yu’s true identity?”
Dan Tai Jing replied, “Once you tell me where the Puppet Key is, I will tell you.”
Su Ru Hui disappointingly said, “Oh.” He pulled Su Yu and walked a few steps out, and then turned back and said, “Oh, Uncle, although I don’t know how Jiang Xue Ya has offended you, we grew up under your care, and she’s just used to being mischievous. You can scold her, but don’t push her too hard. She’s a girl after all…”
Before Su Ru Hui finished speaking, Dan Tai Jing, who was calm like a Bodhisattva, suddenly became angry and sternly rebuked, “Leave!”
As soon as the words were spoken, the ground beneath Dan Tai Jing’s feet froze three feet deep, and frost grew along the ground, making a cracking sound. In an instant, the temperature in Bei Chen Palace plummeted, and the piercing cold wind penetrated everyone’s bones. Dan Tai Jing’s special power was “Blizzard,” a rare offensive-type technique. As soon as the spiritual pressure of his technique was released, everyone was terrified.
“Y-yes, I’ll leave, I’ll leave. You can keep me imprisoned for as long as you want, but that girl must be punished!” Su Ru Hui immediately cowered and took a few steps back, but then remembered something and ran back, risking being frozen by Dan Tai Jing.
“Yun Zhou’s Jiang family has been occupied by demons. Uncle, can you help? And also, can I borrow the demon locked in the iron cage in the ice cellar for questioning?” He was really curious about Sang Chi Yu’s true identity.
Xia Jing was bewildered. “Where did the iron cage in the ice cellar come from? Besides your strange puppet creatures, are there any demons? Are you talking about Su Gou? Didn’t you kill him?”
“No, there’s another live one.” Su Ru Hui frowned.
Dan Tai Jing’s face was cold. “Demons are obstinate and will commit suicide if captured alive. We have never caught a live one.”
In an instant, Su Ru Hui understood what was happening.
What a cunning move by Su Gou. Su Ru Hui was trying to trick him, but Su Gou was also trying to trick him. The Secret Sect was treacherous, and Su Gou knew that he might not be able to pass on the message, so he arranged a pawn just in case.
“This is bad. Sang Chi Yu’s identity has been exposed!” Su Ru Hui gritted his teeth.
The Secret Sect was put on high alert, and the highest level military order was issued from Bei Chen Palace, with all the palace gates sealed. Although this was of no use; the demon had probably already fled. Dan Tai Jing issued a directive to find Sang Chi Yu and secretly bring him back to the border. Sang Chi Yu looked at his former master with a blank expression and handed over the letter of authority, then followed behind Su Ru Hui as they left Bei Chen Palace.
The heavy gates closed, and only Dan Tai Jing and Mo Tuo Yan remained in the cold hall. The other two Star Officials walked out of the shadows and knelt by the pool.
Mo Tuo Yan whispered in admiration, “What a wonderful puppet. He looks no different from a living person, responds calmly, and has quick reflexes, unlike other puppets that are clumsy and inferior. I never thought a puppet could have intelligence and emotions, and could speak and laugh. I never thought he really thought he was Su Ru Hui.”
Mo Tuo Yan dipped his long, fair hands into the water, and a watery curtain appeared, revealing the Secret Sect’s Immortal Cave. Many medical officials wearing white linen robes were busy in the cave, sorting out herbs, brewing thick medicinal juices. Eight furnaces were lit, and smoke curled up to the dome.
In the center of the cave was a Vitality Star Array, with spirit stones inserted into every groove, maintaining its operation for twelve hours without stopping. In the center of the star array was a jade bed, on which lay a man with a wasted body. He was naked from the waist up, and countless veins and arteries made of cowhide were inserted into his chest, connected to the medicinal pot. Thick, black medicinal juice flowed into the man’s body through the veins.
He had been like this day and night, and what flowed through his body was no longer blood, but medicinal juice. Sometimes he coughed, and the sharp edges of his ribs were visible as his chest heaved. He stared blankly at the painted dome, his eyes empty and lifeless. After a while, he closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep. It was hard to believe he was still alive; he didn’t look like a living person, but more like a dead one.
Dan Tai Jing stared at the man in the watery curtain for a long time and asked, “What about his dreams?”
Lang Ya Guamg said, “Since the failed chest biopsy five years ago, he hasn’t been able to dream. He hasn’t spoken a word for five years. Since the day that Sang Chi Yu broke into the Immortal Cave and severed his external veins, his waking time has become shorter and shorter.” He paused for a moment and continued, “Not being able to dream means that this child’s spiritual consciousness is basically gone. He can’t be considered alive, relying on the infusion of medicinal juice through the veins to sustain his life. For the past five years, you have asked me to make him dream, trying to find clues to the Super First-Grade Flesh Puppet in his dreams. But for five years, we haven’t made any progress. Today we finally saw Su Ru Hui’s masterpiece. Why did you let him go?”
Dan Tai Jing’s voice was cold and indifferent, “Su Ru Hui’s flesh puppet is extremely exquisite, unique in the world. Why do you think that is? Is it because the materials are hard to find or the structure is complex? No, it’s because there is no second Su Ru Hui in the world. Even if you catch Su Ru Hui’s puppet, open it up, and observe it, even if you have thirty years, you still won’t find its essence. That puppet inherits Su Ru Hui’s thoughts, memories, and emotions. If Su Ru Hui could develop a Super First-Grade Puppet, maybe it can too. Why not give it the power to roam freely in the borderlands and let it replicate its owner’s miracles?”
“Great Sect Master is wise.” Mo Tuo Yan bowed his head, “What about Su Ru Hui? He is already on his last legs. Li Zhi Bei said he doesn’t have much time left. If he takes the Blood Spirit Pill, he might be able to regain strength for a short time and talk to you.”
The man on the high platform remained silent and did not reply.
After a while, a soft sigh came from the high platform. “The Su Ru Hui created by Su Ru Hui himself, is it still Su Ru Hui?”