Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 429
Chapter 429: Listening In
Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan headed into the manor. Following Feng Yicheng’s intel, they quickly found the prison and snuck in, only to find the sole cell empty and without any trace of Madam Hong.
“What’s the matter? Was something wrong with Feng Yicheng’s information?” Yun Ruoyan turned to Li Mo. If Feng Yicheng’s sources had been misled, it was very likely that a trap had been laid for them.
“It’s best that we not stay here. Let’s go out.” Li Mo immediately left the prison with Yun Ruoyan. Instead of leaving, however, they hid near an unfrequented courtyard in the manor.
“It might not be the informant that’s the problem,” Yun Ruoyan murmured. If that were the case, then the prison would have been the perfect place to lay a trap for them, and they wouldn’t have been able to leave so easily.
Li Mo nodded. “I suspect that Pi Batian and Pi Yan are being careful to avoid leaking information about where Madam Hong is hidden.”
Yun Ruoyan sighed. Although the Yan governor’s manor wasn’t as large as the Pi manor, it was far less familiar to Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo. Although they knew the general layout of the manor, many secret prisons were hidden from the blueprints. With Madam Hong’s whereabouts unknown, their search-and-rescue operation would be considerably delayed.
“Yan’er, don’t get too emotional about this,” Li Mo reminded her. “There’s nothing we can do even if we worry. If Feng Bo and Feng Yicheng succeed with the raid, we’ll soon occupy the town of Yan. At that point, Pi Batian and Pi Yan will surely run away, so we just need to make sure they don’t hurt Madam Hong or bring her with them.
“Yes, you’re right! It would be far simpler to spy on them than to try to find Madam Hong given how things are.”
Although neither Yun Ruoyan nor Li Mo knew where Pi Yan and Pi Batian were staying, they simply had to find the building which was most heavily guarded. Based on their observation, they were quite certain that the house to their east was currently hosting Pi Batian and Pi Yan. It wasn’t a particularly large building, but there were no fewer than a hundred guards on patrol at any given time. They could even see quite a few shadows on the rooftop, and the guards boasted a sufficiently advanced cultivation that Yun Ruoyan’s intoxicating fog might not have been able to control them.
Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan scaled the walls and crouched down by the shadows on the other side. Because there were so many sentries and guards, they didn’t dare make any rash motions. Instead, they silently waited for about an hour until Li Mo suddenly saw a swordsman leave the house on his own. He whispered to Yun Ruoyan, “Here’s our chance.”
They followed the swordsman into a latrine by the corner.
“Wait here for me,” Li Mo instructed, then followed the man in. Mere moments later, Li Mo stepped back outside wearing the uniform of a Pi swordsman. He headed toward the center of the yard alone.
Yun Ruoyan waited alone for about an hour until she saw another swordsman walking toward the latrine, with Li Mo following right behind him. When the swordsman turned around and spotted Li Mo, he frowned. “Who are you? I don’t recognize your face.”
The moment he spoke, a spear of ice penetrated his neck. The swordsman’s eyes widened, as did his mouth, and he fell soundlessly to the ground.
“Li Mo,” Yun Ruoyan whispered, then walked out of her corner. Li Mo dragged the swordsman’s corpse into the corner that Yun Ruoyan had just vacated, then had Yun Ruoyan put on his clothes.
Now dressed like Pi swordsmen, they stood by two empty spots close to the front door of the house. If a fight were to break out, they would easily be able to spy on Pi Yan and Pi Batian’s actions.
The light that was visible through the windows never dimmed. Soon after she and Li Mo had assumed their new positions, Yun Ruoyan heard Pi Yan summoning guards from within his rooms, and one guard opposite Yun Ruoyan replied.
“Send for Young Master Pi,” Pi Yan called out. The swordsman nodded, then turned to leave. Soon, he returned with Pi Batian.
Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo both retracted their auras and silently took a step back, their bodies and faces shrouded by the shadows from the eaves.
Pi Batian seemed to be in a hurry, so he didn’t notice that Yun Ruoyan or Li Mo, two people whom he dreamt of killing, were right before his nose.
“Father,” Pi Batian called out from the entrance to the doors.
Pi Batian entered the house, then began to converse with his father. Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo both took another silent step back, plastering themselves to the doors and windows. They infused spiritual energy into their ears in order to magnify their hearing and make out the conversation.
There were a great deal of sentries and guards posted around the house, but perhaps because of this, the guards themselves were more lax than they usually would be. The guards frequently took a few steps to the left and right, so Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo’s gestures didn’t seem particularly out of the ordinary.
“Tian’er, I’ll introduce you to the elder today.” Pi Yan’s words were clearly heard by Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo.
“Yes, Father,” Pi Batian replied. From within the house came a few strange noises, as though Pi Yan was preparing some chant or incantation, followed by a respectful, “Elder, I’ve brought my son, Pi Batian.”
“Rise,” an aged voice, brimming with authority, replied. Although this was the first time Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo had heard the voice, their hearts went cold. They knew, without a doubt, that this had to be the mysterious backer sponsoring the Pi family, the first elder of the silver dragon clan.
To think that Pi Yan would carry around that mirror artefact with him! Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo couldn’t help but recall what had happened that day at the Pi manor. He had used the mirror against them, combining his lightning summoning technique and the augmentation effect of the mirror. It was only the silver dragon elder’s interference that had saved them and Zhuo Yifeng from dying.
What if Pi Yan were to use the mirror against the Feng swordsmen? Yun Ruoyan dreaded the thought.
“You still haven’t caught Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo?!” the elder didn’t shout, but his voice was chilly and severe. “It’s been over a year since they arrived on the Mingyuan continent. There are only seven great families on the continent, and not much land in which they can hide. Pi Yan, your failure and inability disappoint me.”
“Elder, please punish me for my inability.” Pi Yan bowed, his voice more deferential than they had ever heard it.
“You ought to be punished!” the silver dragon elder exclaimed. A beam of light shot out from the mirror and landed on Pi Yan’s body. Although he instinctively summoned a spiritual membrane to protect himself, he still stumbled back a few steps before spitting out a mouthful of blood.
“Honored Elder, please calm down.” Pi Batian immediately began to beg for mercy on his father’s behalf. “Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo are extraordinary cultivators, and their cultivation has grown tremendously since entering the Mingyuan continent. Even their companions from the Chenyuan continent have become sword saints. Not only has their own power grown, they’re also under the protection of the Feng family, and trying to catch them both won’t be an easy task.”
“And? That’s nothing but an excuse.”
Pi Batian was about to reply when Pi Yan stopped him. Bowing, he said, “Being unable to finish the task you’ve set out for me is a personal failing on my part, Elder, but given the impending war between the Pi and Feng families, please postpone the punishment so that I may defend myself against the Fengs.”
“I will remember this,” the first elder emphasized. “The two of you shall have one last chance at capturing Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo. If you fail, I don’t see any need for either of you, or even the Pi family, to exist on the Mingyuan continent any longer!”
The elder’s words so shook Pi Yan that he again knelt on the ground. “I understand, Elder.”
Pi Batian immediately followed suit. Neither man dared to talk, but their expressions made it clear that they had more to say.
“Are there more news to report?” the silver dragon elder asked impatiently. “There are many things that I have to deal with on the Jiyuan continent, and I don’t have time to waste with you. If there’s anything else, report it immediately!”
“Honored Elder, please permit my use of your mirror in the upcoming battle. The Feng family has allied with the Lies, and their combat strength is a force to be reckoned with. With the mirror’s power, we would easily be able to defeat the Feng family and capture Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo.”
Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo glanced at each other, only then realizing that Pi Yan needed the silver dragon elder’s permission to use the artefact. No wonder he used it so rarely despite its power! The two of them waited for the elder’s reply with bated breath.
“Acceptable, but only for defense, not offense.”
“Honored Elder,” Pi Batian jumped in. “May I ask why it may be used only for defense? The Fengs surely wouldn’t be able to defend against it, and defeating the Fengs would make it far easier to capture Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo.”
“You might not know, but doesn’t your father?” the elder asked.
Pi Yan appeared as confused as his son. “Elder, I don’t understand why either. Would you please explain?”