Plundering the Heavens
Chapter 6: Framing
Translator: Myriea_ActiasLuna Editor: celllll, Nou
Everyone—even the two daotongs Yu Sanliang had brought along—was stunned at the sight. The Qing-Yun Sect had never had a daotong beating on an outer court disciple before. Not only was there a strict hierarchy and set of rules in place, but all of the outer court disciples could use Qi to fend them off; with just a single flick of Qi, even the strongest daotong would be sent flying.
The two daotongs were so dazzled by what they were seeing that it took them several seconds before they came back to their senses. “Let go of Shixiong Yu!”
“Don’t you dare!” Fang Xing stood up straight and resonated his Qi, sending a coercive pressure over those two daotongs. One of them even began to shake uncontrollably in terror.
“Wang Zhi, Ghost-Face, Freckle-Boy, go tie those two up,” Fang Xing ordered, grabbing as many magical herbs as he could from the field before throwing them right into the plump Daoist’s arms. “Mousy and Bowlegs, you two go to the Herb Department and tell them we’ve caught three thieves trying to steal from our herb field in broad daylight.”
“Are… are you sure?” Wang Zhi asked, hesitating.
“What are you afraid of? Not only are they not even from the Herb Department, they weren’t ordered to come here, either. How dare they come here and mess around when it’s not even their territory? I bet those shixiongs from the Herb Department won’t be very happy about someone else butting into their business.
“Oh, and— who was it… Mousy! Don’t you have that gold hairpin? That keepsake between you and your fiancée? Pass it to him, too! Just tell them they came here demanding some magical herbs and we refused, so they decided they’d just take it anyway and wanted to extort us!”
“I… okay… but I can still have it back later, right?”
Finally understanding what Fang Xing had up his sleeve, the daotongs didn’t delay in tying them up while Mousy went to grab his gold hairpin. Bowlegs—the fastest of them all—was just getting ready to run off towards the Herb Department before Yu Sanliang let out a sound.
In fact, hearing what Fang Xing’s plans were had caused Yu Sanliang’s heart to sink. Not only did he not belong to the Herb Department, there was no good reason for him to be here at all. Although trying to frame him and his two daotongs as thieves wouldn’t be very believable—nobody was stupid enough to rob from the sect in broad daylight—Yu Sanliang knew extortion between the disciples and daotongs was common.
The rules in the Qing-Yun Sect stipulated there was a chain of command to be followed, and those lower in the hierarchy had to provide for those higher up when ordered. However, this was only within their individual departments or areas of responsibility; one couldn’t throw out an order just because they were higher up in the overall hierarchy.
Even if Yu Sanliang told the truth, would he really be believed? Would they believe a ten-year-old daotong had the brains to think up such a complicated plan, tie him up like a rice dumpling, and then beat him so badly he was covered in blood? Besides, what would those shixiongs from his Miscellaneous Department think of him if they found out?
‘I must not let this turn into a big scene!’
Yu Sanliang had come to their herb field in the first place under the assumption Fang Xing wouldn’t dare to make a big scene out of this, but who would have imagined that not only did Fang Xing not mind making a scene, he’d nearly beat the life out of him as well? And all of those precious magic herbs, Fang Xing hadn’t hesitated at all to pull them out….
‘What a scary kid, he’s definitely way out of my league. Ah well….’ Yu Sanliang knew it was almost impossible to get out of his predicament, and it took only a few minutes for him to completely change his tune. “It was all a misunderstanding! We were only joking around with you. Let’s not worry those shixiongs from the Herb Department; they must all be very busy.”
Everyone—aside from Fang Xing who had been waiting for this—was surprised at what they’d just heard.
Perhaps everything Fang Xing had ordered to the gang earlier had been purposefully aimed at Yu Sanliang. As if he’d already known this was going to happen, Fang Xing suddenly gave a broad smile and untied the plump Daoist, even going so far as to dust him off. “Oh dear, my bad , Shixiong Zhu , I didn’t know you were just playing around! You should have said so earlier! You’re notreally hurt, are you?”
“My name isn’t Zhu, it’s Yu….”
Now seated upright and freed from the ropes, the plump Daoist had a sudden thought: ‘None of my wounds are that bad…. The only reason I lost last time was because of his sneak attack, but if I attack him now….’ While he was thinking such things, Yu Sanliang suddenly heard a bone-chilling murmur in his ear.
“You stupid fat pig, don’t get any funny ideas. If you do, we’ll see who has the last laugh.”
Yu Sanliang suddenly felt a cold, sharp blade press in against his stubby neck.‘This guy is definitely crazy!’ he thought to himself before relenting under his breath, “Fine, you win this time. But if I see you again….”
“Ah, yes, you will see me again, and pretty soon, too. It’s all thanks to you that I know I can definitely become an outer court disciple now.”
Recalling how he couldn’t fend Fang Xing off even with his Qi, the plump Daoist’s heart sank further. “You… you’ve managed to circulate Qi as well?” he carefully asked.
“That’s right, it’s not like it’s hard or anything,” Fang Xing openly boasted. “Tell me, what is considered to be Spirit Stage tier one?”
The plump Daoist bitterly closed his eyes, sighing out his regret shortly after. “How did I get myself into this…? Well, once your Qi has habituated itself to your meridians and you can easily circulate a full cycle without any blockage, you’re considered to have reached the first tier of Spirit Stage.”
” What ?” Fang Xing loudly exclaimed; he’d already reached this well over a month ago!
In fact, the road of cultivation was the most difficult in those periods before actually obtaining Qi and at the so-called “bottlenecks” found in the later stages, where the difficulty would suddenly spike. Once Qi had been obtained and the process was initiated, it was actually much easier than before. As long as someone got used to the movement of Qi, it was only a matter of days before they were able to complete a full cycle.
All daotongs in the past would usually notify the sect as soon as they’d managed to open their pores to Qi, but Fang Xing had seen the strength belonging to a core disciple and overestimated the abilities of someone in only the first tier of Spirit Stage. Unfortunately, his Book of Revelation was of no use here, either—he himself was the only thing it couldn’t appraise.
“Argh, I need to wash my face….” The plump Daoist’s eyes were so swollen he had trouble even just opening them.
As though only now remembering the plump Daoist was there, Fang Xing kicked the nearby Wang Zhi and gave an order: “What are you doing still standing here! Can’t you see Shixiong Zhu is in need of some water to wash his face? Freckle-Boy, don’t just stand there, go and grab some meat for us! Oh, and there should be a few jugs of good wine beneath Wang Zhi’s bed—grab them too. I’m going to celebrate with Shixiong Zhu tonight!”
“My name is Yu… Not Zhu….”
After Wang Zhi returned with water for the plump Daoist, he turned to Fang Xing, confused. “How did you know I had four jugs of wine under my bed?”
“You mean three jugs?” Fang Xing sneered in return, silently thinking, ‘Who in their right mind hides good stuff under his bed?’
Understanding beginning to dawn on him, Wang Zhi cried out before running towards his room to check on his precious collection of wines.
The only thing the plump Daoist wanted to do after washing his face was leave, but Fang Xing and the rest of the daotongs had already prepared all the meat and wine for him. They practically had to force him to take a seat, but it didn’t take too much time before Yu Sanliang gave in to the temptation of all the food and wine laid out in front of him.
The plump Daoist might have been a bully, but he wasn’t stupid; he knew that even though Fang Xing was just a little kid, being capable enough to become boss of this herb field in a matter of days—coupled with the fact he’d completed the first cycle of Qi—meant he would become an outer court disciple anytime now. Since they would be seeing each other more often, there was no meaning in staying on his bad side any longer.
‘Relentless and bold. No one wants an enemy like that….’
With these kinds of thoughts, the plump Daoist had actually decided to take this opportunity to befriend Fang Xing instead. After all three jugs of wine had left the two of them red-faced and cheerful, it even nearly looked as though they’d been best friends since the day they were born. The magic herbs once meant to frame Yu Sanliang were now somehow planted back in the field. Although they looked only half-alive, it wasn’t always unusual to have dead herbs each month; as long as the vast majority were still alive and well, there wouldn’t be a problem.
By nightfall, Fang Xing had learned as much as he needed to know and confirmed it with the plump Daoist once more. “So, as long as I ring that bell at the top of that peak, I’ll be able to become an outer court disciple?”
“That’s right, my brother! Do it first thing tomorrow morning, I’ll be waiting to celebrate it with you right after!”