Chapter 6: Framing
Everyone, including Yu’s two friends, was shocked by the outcome. Plump Taoist Yu was an Inner Sect Disciple, which meant that he had already mastered the first tier of [Spirit Stage]. Fang-Xing, on the other hand, was a Daotong. No matter how physically strong a Daotong could be, without any Qi fluctuation, they would be powerless against those who learned how to feel the Qi fluctuation.
“Let go of Shixiong Yu!” Yu’s two friends were so shocked by what just happened that it took them a few seconds before they came back to their senses.
“Don’t you dare!” Fang-Xing shook his Qi and sent a wave of overbearing pressure to Yu’s two friends. One of them started shaking uncontrollably in horror.
“Wang, Ghost Face, and Freckle Boy. You guys go tie these two up,” ordered Fang Xing as he grabbed as many magical herbs he could from the field. He threw the herbs in Yu’s hands and barked, “Mousy and Bowlegs, you two go to the [Yaosi Department] right now and tell them that we’ve just caught three thieves trying to rob our [Herb Field].”
“Are… Are you sure?” Wang stuttered.
“What are you afraid of? First of all, Yu and his men are not from the [Yaosi Department]. Secondly, there was no order from the [Yaosi Department] to check our [Herb Field] today. How dare they come here and try to mess with us? I bet Shixiongs from the [Yaosi Department] won’t be very happy about someone else butting in their business.
Oh, and Mousy! Don’t you have that gold hairpin for your fiancee? Give it to Yu.
Just explain to the [Yaosi Department] that Yu and his men wouldn’t take no for an answer and wanted us to bribe them with our own stuff.”
“I– I can still have it back later, right?”
After finally understanding what Fang-Xing had planned out, all five of the Daotongs took no delay in tying up Yu and his men while Mousy went back to grab his golden hairpin. Bowlegs, who was the fastest of the group, was already on his way to the [Yaosi Department].
Yu started to fret and worry. He knew that he didn’t belong to the [Yaosi Department] and had no right being in Fang-Xing’s [Herb Field]. While framing Yu and his men to be thieves wouldn’t be so believable, as no one was stupid enough to rob [Qing-Yun Sect] under daylight, Yu knew that bribery was commonplace amongst Shixiongs and Daotongs.
‘That nasty little monkey’ Yu thought to himself.
The rule in [Qing Yun Sect] stipulated that there was a chain of command to be followed: Shixiongs could order around the Daotongs in their own [Herb Field] as they freely wished, but this was restricted to their very own [Herb Field]. They were not allowed to cross their borders and assume an order that wasn’t placed.
Yu couldn’t think of a way out. By telling the truth, his image in the [Zasi Department] would be ruined forever. But also, who would really believe that an 11-year old had the ability to beat up a Shixiong like him so badly that he was covered up in blood like roast pork or that he could think of a complicated plan in such a short time?
‘I must not make a big deal out of this!’ Yu reminded himself.
The reason why he came to the [Herb Field] was all under the presumption that Fang-Xing wouldn’t dare make a big scene out of this. Sadly, not only did Fang-Xing not mind making such a big scene, he also beat the living daylight out of Yu.
‘What a scary kid. He’s definitely out of my league’
Yu knowing that it was almost impossible to get out of his predicament, took only a few minutes to completely change and cried, “ It was all a misunderstanding. We were only joking around! Let’s not worry the Shixiongs from [Yaosi Department]. I’m sure they are busy enough already.
Hey, untie me first and we can talk this out…”
Everyone, except for Fang-Xing, was surprised at what they just heard.
As if greeting an old friend, Fang-Xing smiled broadly and untied Yu and even dusted him off, “Oh dear, my bad. Shixiong Zhu, I didn’t know you were playing around. You should have said so earlier! You’re not really hurt, are you now?”
“My name is Yu, not Zhu…”
Sitting upright and free from the ropes finally, Yu suddenly thought, “none of my wound is life-threatening. I only lost last time cause he sneak-attacked me, but if I attack him right now…”
“You stupid fat pig, don’t get any funny ideas… Otherwise, we’ll see who has the last laugh,” suddenly Yu heard a chilling murmur in his ears.
‘You crazy son of a bitch!’ Yu thought as he felt a cold, sharp blade pressed against his neck. Under his breath, Yu said to Fang-Xing, “Fine, you win this time, but if I ever see you again…”
“Ah yes, don’t worry about that. You’ll see me again, pretty soon, too. It’s all thanks to you that I can now become an Outer Sect Disciple.”
Remembering how he couldn’t fend off Fang-Xing even with his Qi, Yu’s heart sank deeper and carefully asked, “You’ve– You’ve managed Qi fluctuation as well?”
“That’s right. It’s not like it was hard or anything,” boasted Fang-Xing, “tell me, what do you consider as Tier One [Spirit Stage]?”
Bitterly, Yu closed his eyes and sighed, “How did I get myself into this mess?” He continued, “Well, once you start absorbing Qi into your meridians and you can easily circulate a full cycle without any blockage, that is considered as achieving Tier One [Spirit Stage].”
“Shit!” Fang-Xing loudly shouted. This meant that he already reached Tier One over a month ago.
In fact, the hardest part of cultivation was when one first attempts to feel the Qi fluctuation. At the later stages of cultivation, one could also reach bottleneck which could be equally hard as trying to first feel any Qi fluctuation. Imagine a baby trying to walk for the first time, how would he know how to walk if no one teaches him. Once after reaching Tier One [Spirit Stage], cultivation became a lot easier in comparison.
Usually, Daotongs in the past would notify the sect as soon as they managed to open their pores for Qi. However, Fang-Xing, having seen the strengths of those belonging to the Core Disciple, like Xiao-Mahn’s new master, overestimated the abilities of those who mastered the first tier of [Spirit Stage].
Unfortunately, Fang-Xing’s [Book of Revelation] was of no use as it could not appraise his own abilities.
“Argh, I need to wash my face,” Yu’s eyes were so swollen from the beating that he had trouble even opening them.
Fang-Xing kicked Wang who was standing next to him and ordered, “What are you still doing here? Can’t you see our Shixiong Zhu needs some water to wash his face? Freckle Boy! Don’t just stand there. Go grab some meat. Oh, and there should be some jugs of good wine underneath Wang’s bed, grab them while you are at it. Shixiong Zhu and I are going to celebrate tonight!”
“My name is Yu, not Zhu.”
Having just returned from bringing Yu some water, Wang, confused, asked, “How did you know that I had four jugs of wine underneath my bed?!”
“You mean three jugs?” Fang-Xing sneered at Wang thinking, ‘Who in their right mind hides stuff underneath their bed?’
Yu desperately wanted nothing but to leave Fang-Xing’s [Herb Field] as soon as he finished washing his face, but Fang-Xing and the rest of the Daotongs had already prepared the meat and wine for him. They practically forced him to sit down. But, it wasn’t too long afterward that the temptation of meat and good wine took over Yu’s mind.
Yu may be a bully but he wasn’t too stupid. He knew that despite Fang-Xing being a little kid, having the ability to become the Laoda of a [Herb Field] in just a matter of days while reaching Tier One [Spirit Stage[ meant that Fang-Xing was bound to become an Outer Sect Disciple anytime now. This also meant that Yu and Fang-Xing would spend more time with each other.
‘Relentless and bold. No one wants an enemy like that.’
Yu knew that he had to bury the hatchet and took the opportunity to befriend Fang-Xing instead. And after three jugs of wine, the two of them, red-faced and cheerful, almost looked like they had been best friends since they were born.
The magical herbs that were used to frame Yu were now back at the [Herb Field], albeit looking half-alive.
By nightfall, Fang-Xing learned as much as he needed to know and confirmed, once again, with Yu, “So, as long as I ring that bell at the top of the peak, I’ll be able to become an Out Sect Disciple?”
“That’s right, my brother! Do it the first thing tomorrow morning and I will be waiting to celebrate with you afterward!”