Book 12: Chapter 66
Master Qi still had reservations about accepting the help, yet Hong Jiu had already relayed everything, including unnecessary details that exaggerated their pursuers, to their tow new allows. If one were to juxtapose his speech speed with a lady selling cabbage at a market, they’d be about the same speed.
Master Qi expected the two to be shaken up, yet she heard, "They’re the long-missing-in-action Fiends’ Genesis? Hahaha, now I’m invested. Miss Wen, this one insists on staying now even if you shoo him off."
"I’m staying! I’m staying! I’m staying! Shifu told me I have to expand my horizons if I want to grow. I remember th-, reading legends of Fiends’ Genesis somewhere. This is a fantastic opportunity."
Master Qi: Am I just growing old? Do the kids of this generation not fear death anymore?
Hong Jiu: "I’m glad to hear your enthusiasm. The future of the pugilistic world is in good hands. The country cherishes you. I will be counting on your assistance to punish the evil fiends."
Guan Ning and Fang Xiaoyu held their hands in salute. "You are too kind. We shall do our absolute best."
They weren’t worried Yan Fuli would return with backup; they needed to keep a low profile because they were being hunted. Guan Ning, who originally planned to lodge at an inn, only had his clothes and weapon, so he was booted out. Fang Xiaoyu loaned one of his friend’s places, so he could provide them with lodging for the meantime. The double-entrance estate wasn’t an extravagant place, but there were enough plants to say it had an elegant aura to it.
Sitting in the courtyard with everyone, Fang Xiaoyu opined, "Among them, Drought Demon is the toughest to deal with."
Drought Demon’s fiends didn’t have the warm body temperatures humans did. They could move almost silently without compromising speed and were sensitive to their target’s presence. Unless they were out of range, they could encroach on their target without being detected. These attributes were one reason Hong Jiu and Master Qi couldn’t shake off the trio from Fiends’ Genesis. For all they knew, a group of Drought Demon’s fiends could’ve been closing on them as they spoke.
"Furthermore, Jiang Chen, leader of the seven Stars, is supposedly Drought Demon’s brother. Not only is Jiang Chen the strongest among them, but he is also clever enough to be their strategist. Lord of Fiends would be the only tougher challenge than him. Prior to Jiang Chen’s disappearance from the pugilistic world two decades ago, he was already a force to be reckoned with. One can only imagine how much stronger he is now twenty years later."
"Yeah, so how much is that?" Hong Jiu asked of Master Qi.
"What are you looking at me for?" responded Master Qi.
"You bring to life the phrase ‘Women are trouble’. Thanks to you, the three of us have come together, yet you haven’t uttered a word. Logically speaking, you should know more about Fiends’ Genesis than us."
Master Qi inlated her cheeks. She had planned to share the secret with Hong Jiu. Nonetheless, owing to Fang Xiaoyu and Guan Ning’s presences, she couldn’t disclose information that could implicate Li Muye.
Guan Ning whispered to Fang Xiaoyu, "Arguments between couples is called flirting, which is love."
Fang Xiaoyu, edified, nodded.
"He wishes. He’s so old that he’s been kicked off the Wyrm rankings. He wishes he could have a girl as nice as me. Stay in reality, old man."
Hong Jiu, ignoring Master Qi’s derision, raised his chin to sniff the air.
Fang Xiaoyu: "Brother Hong, what are you doing?"
"Checking for the enemy’s presence," answered Hong Jiu. "Never be complacent. What if they’ve already located us and are eavesdropping? Better to be safe than sorry."
"Listen to his nonsense! Hong Jiu, come join us!" demanded Master Qi.
Guan Ning proposed, "How about we take the opportunity to calculate when they catch up so that we can spring a trap on them? Plan first and then act, just like the tacticians of old."
Master Qi looked down to engage her calculative mind, revealing the nape of her smooth neck and natural scent. She didn’t use a strong fragrance once she entered the town for she didn’t want to stand out. Unfortunately for Hong Jiu, his internal strength was so potent that he could smell her faint scent.
"The heck is that smell? Smells nice," Hong Jiu commented.
Master Qi looked up and glared at Hong Jiu, which was how she saw his twitching nose. Whatever came to mind compelled her to pull up her collar and hold it stiff while her face adopted a rosy shade.
Hong Jiu shut his eyes whilst continuing to sniff. "Hmm, how… wild. Smells better than Wanhua Brothel."
Hong Jiu’s head sprung back from the whack as he shouted, "Who hit me?!"
Guan Ning and Fang Xiaoyu both took a step backwards.
Master Qi smiled. "At soonest, it’ll take them five days to catch up."
"Five days, my big foot! You hit me, didn’t you?!" thundered Hong Jiu.
Master Qi wore on a stern face. "Yeah, I did. What’s it to you?!"
For whatever reason, Hong Jiu couldn’t bite back in the face of Master Qi’s stern expression.
Hong Jiu: You hit me and then ask me what’s it to me? Shifu and Leader are so right. Women are unreasonable.
"We got lost on the way to the town, making it hard for them to find us. Moreover, we travelled in the opposite direction, while they expended a lot of time and energy advancing toward the capital. By the time they realise their folly and move west, it would take them between five to six days," disputed Master Qi.
Guan Ning and Fang Xiaoyu nodded.
Hong Jiu wagged a hand. "Nonsense. I believe they’ll catch up tomorrow at latest."
"You ‘believe’ again? What proof do you have?"
"None." Hong Jiu pointed to himself. "Just speaking from experience."
"Does it kill you to not say stupid things for one day?!"
Late at night, a group of people walking on all fours encroached upon the town. Their beautiful leader chose to approach the town at night in order to hide the presence of her fiends. She didn’t magically guess her prey’s location. To the contrary, she had no clue where they were. She returned to her base solely because she was peeved. She didn’t expect to find anything; she didn’t think the odds of running into her prey was likely. Upon peering into the distance, though, she saw a group of people prowling. Their leader’s name was Yan Fuli.
Jiang Chen – Not a real mythical figure. You may know the character from the Hong Kong series "My Date with a Vampire" as Cheung San. Same name.