“I say, Wuxin, my dear monk, why is it wherever we follow you to we would always end up meeting some master expert? And they all seem to be itching for a fight too.” At this point, Xiao Se’s voice was on the verge betraying the despair he felt.
“Master experts? A fight?” On the other hand, Lei Wujie was practically dancing about on his feet as he glanced at the people in the courtyard.
“The Lei Clan can at least be considered a large aristocratic family in the martial world, so how in the world did they end up with a moron like you…”
“Who’s there?” Asked the figure with his back turned to the three of them.
“Teacher, it’s them. Just like the spies reported, other than that monk, there’s another two teenagers, one clad in red and the other wearing a fur coat.” Ling Jun answered.
“Oh.” The voice answered placidly in a soft voice.
“What do you make of this situation, Xiao Se?” Realizing that the scene seemed a little off, Lei Wujie turned to Xiao Se and asked.
“Clearly, those standing around the sedan are fighting those monks, then in the middle of their fight, we arrived.” Xiao Se answered without much thought, his attention still focused on that sedan.
“Then what?” Lei Wujie asked, clearly still confused.
“Then they discovered our presence and celebrated, oh look, there’s no need to fight any longer because the fish we were waiting for has arrived!” Xiao Se snapped irritably.
“Fish? Us?” Lei Wujie asked, as if he had just realized something.
“Not us!” Xiao Se tugged on Lei Wujie and leaped away to another corner, completely out of the way of Wuxin. “The ‘fish’ refers only to him!”
Faced with this situation, Wuxin merely smiled and flared his sleeves, not at all like an austere monk, but more like an entertainer about to make a flashy entrance. “Truly, what an honor it has been, to have troubled the inner court’s Grand Eunuch of the Incense to make such a long trip, over thousands of miles, just for this humble monk!”
The bodyguard battlemonks both expressed shock at his arrival, simultaneously turning to their abbot to seek his advice. However, that old monk merely shook his head as before. On the other hand, that bearded monk didn’t seem surprised on the surface as he stared mutely at Wuxin.
“So it’s him…” Xiao Se’s brows were as furrowed as they had ever been right now.
“Who is this Grand Eunuch of the Incense?” Familiar with all the heroic tales of the martial world since childhood, here was an expert that Lei Wujie just couldn’t recall.
“During the annual offerings to the heavens ceremony, there would always be four eunuchs standing behind the emperor of Beili. One of them wields the Imperial Sword, another holds the Jade Seal of Succession, another holds the Books of Laws, and the last holds the Incense of Azure Flowers. These four eunuchs, along with the eunuch who grew up learning with the emperor, are collectively known as the Five Grand Eunuchs.”
“The Grand Eunuch of Swords is in charge of the palace’s security. The Grand Eunuch of Seals is in charge handling court documents. The Grand Eunuch of Books is in charge of the archives, and as for the Grand Eunuch of Incense, well, his post is a new one created by this dynasty. He’s in charge of the imperial household’s Buddhist temple. Every one of them holds in their hands a massive amount of authority, not only that, they are all experts of the martial arts.” Xiao Se explained.
“Brother Xiao sure is learned!” This was one of the rare occasions that Lei Wujie truly felt that the honorific of brother was deserved.
“I’m the owner of the Fallen Snow Villa, after all. Whether it’s the gossip of the martial world, or the ancient texts of scholars, there’s nothing I don’t know.” Xiao Se couldn’t help but brag.
“Then what do you have to say about the emperor’s close aides travelling all the way here?” Asked Lei Wujie.
“Officially, the Grand Eunuch of Incense should only be in charge of the imperial household’s Buddhist temple. But the position of head administrator of matters regarding Buddhism and Taoism, the Administrator of the Court of State Ceremonies, has been empty for years, so that duty ended up in his hands for these past few years. As the temporary administrator, there is no Buddhist temple in the world that isn’t governed by him. I just didn’t expect that monk over there to be so important that even the Grand Eunuch of Incense would make the trip here to catch him. Seems like he’s not just some disciple of Wangyou.”
In the interim where Xiao Se was explaining these matters to Lei Wujie, the figure in that sedan finally made his move. Even when faced with the terrifying knife qi of that bearded monk, he saw no need to intervene himself. Yet the moment he heard Wuxin speak, he acted. The instant he did, the hulking man on the right of the sedan acted as well. He immediately prostrated himself on the ground, and soon after, the figure in the sedan, clad in purple shoes, stepped on the back of that hulking man and alighted from the sedan.
Xiao Se let forth a cold hmph.
“What are you hmphing about…” Yet the moment Lei Wujie saw the figure, he immediately understood why. No matter what it was, Xiao Se hated losing, especially when it came to his looks. Here he was, the figure from the sedan, looking so beautiful that it was almost unreasonable! Face as exquisite as the finest jade, and bearing extraordinary, the figure stood there with a pair of upturned almond eyes that bore an unspeakable charm within them. Though the two streaks of white hair on his sides betrayed his age, it also gave the figure a certain otherworldly quality. In one hand, he held a rosary of Buddhist beads which his slender fingers continuously counted. On the other, his fingers rested on a sword hanging around his waist, seemingly ready to strike at a moment’s notice.
“Grand Eunuch.” Wuxin clasped his hands together and slightly lowered his head in a formal greeting.
“Do not address me as Grand Eunuch, only that esteemed person in the palace may do so.” The figure laughed softly before elegantly waving his finger downwards.
“Eunuch Jin Xian.” Though he changed his manner of address, Wuxin still maintained the same level of respect he held previously.
Yet the eunuch in question didn’t seem to buy that as he shook his head and smiled. “That respect of yours is almost disconcerting. Where did that capricious, white robed monk, whom I drank and made merry with all those years ago, go?”
“Drank? Made merry?” Xiao Se and Lei Wujie exchanged a glance with each other. No wonder that Wuxin started chasing after that drunken monk the moment he laid eyes on the man – he had found a fellow comrade!
“Back then, you were out for a drink. This time, you are out to get me. These are two very different circumstances.” Wuxin smiled, eyes frosty cold.
“That esteemed person’s order is one I cannot defy, but if it’s just guaranteeing your life, I can still do that.” Eunuch Jin Xian strode forward, step by step.
“How about you stop right around there.” Wuxin said all of a sudden. In response, Eunuch Jin Xian halted his advance, though he had on a bemused expressed as he looked at Wuxin.
“Throughout this entire journey, whether it’s the Snow Moon City, the Nine Dragons Temple, or the Outheaven faction, all of them had endeavored to capture me. Every single one of them promised not to kill me as well… this benefit of yours really doesn’t seem all that special,” said Wuxin.
“The Outheaven faction as well?” Eunuch Jin Xian’s brows jumped a little.
“The White Haired Immortal, the Violet Duke, both of them old names.” Wuxin stated plainly.
“And you didn’t leave with them?” As he said that, Eunuch Jin Xian still had his hands resting on his sword.
“I still have some matters left undone.” Wuxin peered around the eunuch, seemingly on purpose and yet seemingly out of reflex.
“Seems like I was right to wait for you here.” Eunuch Jin Xian smiled at that point.
“Your choice was correct, but I’m sure you were wrong about my intentions.”
“Oh? So you aren’t here to kill him?” Eunuch Jin Xian turned around to eye the bearded monk.
“By the Buddha’s grace and mercy, men of the cloth do not entertain such violent thoughts frivolously,” said Wuxin without a shred of emotion.
Eunuch Jin Xin sighed at that point, “I do not wish to fight you.”
“Neither do I. The world knows that of the Five Grand Eunuchs, the Grand Eunuch of Incense holds the number two spot in terms of martial arts, a ranking even higher than that of the Grand Eunuch of Swords.” Wuxian explained.
“Unfortunately, there was one part you were wrong about.”
“Wuxin admits his ignorance, exactly which part would that be?”
“Whether it’s the Snow Moon City, the Nine Dragons Temple, or the Outheaven faction, I’m not like any of them. If I can’t bring you back with me this time, then I will, without any hesitation whatsoever, kill you!” Eunuch Jin Xian finally tightened his grip around his sword upon saying that.
“Very well!” Wuxin took to the skies, both sleeves flaring outwards like wings and robes fluttering about like some heavenly being. “Make your move then, Eunuch!”
It was then that Eunuch Jin Xian finally drew out his sword. The instant he did, everyone in the temple could feel a bone-piercing chill run through their body. They could tell that wherever the frosty qi of that sword pointed to, that spot would instantly freeze up!
“I remember now! I heard of him before, he’s…” Lei Wujie suddenly yelled. That’s right, he had heard of that person before. That man wasn’t just a figure of the court. He was once famous within the martial world as well!
“In his right hand, death. With one sword strike, even the cold would wilt. In his left hand, mercy. With a twirl of his Buddhist beads, a soul is destroyed,” Xiao Se nodded as he explained. “All those years ago, the then teenage eunuchs left to make their names known throughout the martial world under the order of their teachers. Each of them earned a name for themselves that resounded across the martial world. That’s right, you have definitely heard of him before – Chen Jingzhou of the Frostwind Sword!”