“Can it be that you are Chen Mo…” Zongzheng Ying’s eyes widened, and his mouth hung agape.
“That fourth young lord of Lord Chang’an?”
“But I heard he was a cripple unable to refine qi and blood? No way, he is Chen Mo?”
“How can his martial arts be so formidable, he’s completely unlike a cripple.”
Everyone was shocked. Chen Mo’s former reputation as a cripple was widespread. All of the Chuan Province warriors here had more or less had heard about the Lord Chang’an’s matters. The current Lord Chang’an Chen Zhangtian could be said to be a man of shocking achievements, unparalleled in the world. Rumor had it that even the imperial family was somewhat afraid of him. Countless people surmised that with Chen Zhangtian’s innate strength and expansive influence, he was sufficient as a replacement.
Anything about Chen Zhangtian was always a hot topic, and his children were also focal points for everyone. The eldest son Chen Qi1 was at the third level of Lesser Thunder Tribulation cultivation, the General of Agile Cavalry and was stationed at the Eastern Sea. Second son Chen Lin2 was an exceptional hero with fifth level Lesser Thunder Tribulation strength; he supperted his father at Chang’an Mansion. The third child, the daughter Chen Luan,3 was also an illustrious and chivalrous beauty. Her original “Flying Luan Sword Chant” once stunned Chang’an, and in the successive generations of Divine Warrior Examinations with the suppressive strength of the imperial family, she wrested the position of top-scorer.
Of these two sons and a daughter, each of them were peerless characters.
This was also a reason why the Great Chong Imperial Family felt increasing trepidation towards Lord Chang’an.
However, fourth son Chen Mo was nevertheless the sole exception. Unable to operate qi and blood and incapable of martial arts, he sunk down to being a cripple. Countless people who envied Lord Chang’an were secretly pleased with this, and there were even some who surmised that Chen Mo was not Chen Zhangtian’s son. Otherwise, why would his given name be “Mo” – word of silence and namelessness.4
But looking at the man before their eyes, his arrogant gaze and boundless might, how was he even the slightest bit like a cripple. Even Thorntree’s number one juren, the Qi Flower warrior Zongzheng Ying, had been lectured like he was a grandson.
Could it be that Chen Zhangtian deliberately allowed everyone to believe that his son was a cripple, then send him to Chuan Province to pull the wool over all their eyes, a diversion of some sort?
“Do you still need me to apologize?” Chen Mo asked.
Zongzheng Ying’s mouth flapped, but no words came out. Who was he kidding. His father was but a subordinate of Chen Mo’s father. With Chen Mo’s identity, if his father came to know of this, he honestly would admit wrongdoing himself.
“An army without vision or discipline behaves unscrupulously.” Chen Mo coldly assessed. “The son of the Supreme General should not be so arrogant. Zongzheng Ying, you must still temper your character.”
“Zongzheng Ying thanks Your Highness for your instruction and engraves it to memory.” Zongzheng Ying’s arrogance thoroughly vanished. He was like a deflated balloon, no longer like he was a moment ago. No matter how overbearing he was, he knew that the propriety between a ruler and his ministers was etiquette that a military family needed to uphold. And in spite of his own status, Chen Mo chose to line up like a normal person. On this basis alone, Zongzheng Ying was already ashamed and unable to show his face.
“Someday, Your Servant will point out when Your Highness has made a mistake. Your Servant shall first excuse himself.” Zongzheng Ying lowered his head. In the face of the warriors’ mockery, he retreated from the Divine Warrior Governor House.
“Why did Good Nephew Chen Mo not send me word of your arrival to Changluo. I could have dispatched people to make arrangements.” Chen Huhao looked helplessly at the dejected Zongzheng Ying and turned his head back to speak to Chen Mo.
“I merely wished to focus on preparing for the metropolitan examination. I did not want any other disturbances.” Chen Mo looked around the place. His identity being exposed was outside of his expectations, but it did not matter.
He had become an overnight celebrity in Azure Dragon Town. Anyone with a bit of attentiveness would naturally have realized it was him. Instead, he hid himself and erased his man’s qi and blood.5
After realizing Chen Mo’s identity, the governor house’s staff very quickly handled the juren procedures.
The copper juren token did not have any particular rewards, just some silver and a Grade Eight Qi And Blood Pill, as well as some healing medicines.
Chen Mo did not place these in his gaze. He said to the stunned Zhuang man: “Brother Zhang Meng, I’ll have to share a drink with you in the future.”
“This Zhang would be honored.” Zhang Meng laughed heartily. He instantly had a super favorable impression of Chen Mo, having not expected this man who was in the queue would surprisingly be the noble heir of Lord Chang’an. He was concealed very well.
When Chen Mo left the Divine Warrior Governor House, Chen Huhao had been waiting respectfully outside. Although he said he did not need a grand showing, some etiquette still needed to be observed. Otherwise, if such information reached Chang’an Mansion, he would have to face the consequences.
“Since Good Nephew wants to cultivate privately, Uncle Hao has specially dispatched people to clean the Ancestral Mansion. Good Nephew can go there.” The Ancestral Mansion was the former official residence of Chen Zhangtian during his tenure in Changluo. After he entered Chang’an, it was unoccupied. Of course, Chen Huhao’ s family did not dare touch it without permission, but they dispatched people to clean it everyday, to make an effort of cleanliness on the surface.
“I’ve troubled Uncle Huhao then.”
Chen Mo just had this idea and did not decline.
Tucked in a corner of Changluo City was a building that did not appear too magnificent. Its thick green bricks alternated, mottled with various marks. The surroundings were full of armored imperial bodyguards standing watch.
The surrounding thirty to forty meters was an empty perimeter.
Chen Mo wrinkled his brow.
“Regardless, this is a place Lord Chang’an once lived in, so there are special orders for people to protect it.” Chen Huhao said: “If Good Nephew does not require these bodyguards, I can withdraw them.”
“En, you can dismiss them. I think things will be quieter by myself.’ Chen Mo said. With his strength, he did not need the protection of these bodyguards.
“Very well then. However, I will arrange for a few servants. If you need anything, feel free to command them.” Chen Huhao smiled and said. “I have some other matters to attend to. I shall take leave of Good Nephew for now.”
“I’ll have to trouble you.”
Looking at Chen Mo’s back, Chen Huhao’s expression suddenly turned serious.
This brat practically did not show his true self, to surprisingly be capable of defeating the Qi Flower young master of the Zongzheng Family. Could it be that this was actually a move Chen Zhangtian deliberately arranged against Changluo, that he was aware of Chen Huhao’s rebellious intentions, and thus evaded the Son of Heaven’s eyes and ears. But did he think that he could avert the situation just by entering the front door? Chen Huhao grumbled inwardly for a long time before finally slightly shaking his head.
No matter how powerful Chen Zhangtian was, he could not escape the fate of having his family be exterminated.
Chen Huhao was a man wise enough to submit to current circumstances.
Chen Mo walked around the room. This was the first time he had come to the ancestral residence his father once lived in. Although he had never come here before, there was a vaguely familiar smell. He went to the underground training room. The inside was a wide-open space with every sort of tool to help train martial arts. Among them, there were several immense copper-colored dummies that were very eye-catching.
These dummies were forged from pure brass. When they struck a warrior’s physical body, the force was able to penetrate straight through bone and disperse qi and blood. The dummies’ joints provided life-like range of motion, able to follow a warrior’s striking movements. The dummies could adopt various counterattacks and responses. Chen Mo could discern the benefits that spars against these dummies provided.
These dummies were left with deep palm imprints, and some of the were even already destroyed, several enormous holes beaten into them, scrapped.
Chen Mo breathed deeply, knowing that now was not the time to be upset. The metropolitan examination was imminent. Right now, he needed to increase his strength as quickly as possible.
Nightfall. After he trained the Northern Dipper Great Overflow on the stone bed, Chen Mo then practiced various other martial arts. His Bagua, the Dark Yang Finger, and Divine Hawk Eyesight were all practiced to proficiency, and he was unable to have further breakthroughs using the One Qi Ring. After the Essence Flower reached a complete Late Stage, the remainder would be Qi Flower. Anyone else would probably need to use several years of time, but Chen Mo had the One Qi Ring and the Nose Locking Art. The speed of his “gather qi into a flower” was a hundred times faster.
The second flower, the Qi Flower, was vaguely taking shape.
After finishing all of these, Chen Mo was not drowsy. He suddenly recalled the Five Scared Mountains Chant he obtained from the bandit stronghold. The Five Sacred Mountains Chant’s front face was easier to train. It was on the back face that the characters became completely unrecognizable. It seemed like these were the characters of some ancient tribe.
Chen Mo searched for materials in the library to see whether or not he could find a pertinent clue.
To be recorded using an ancient writing system, this ability was obviously extraordinary.
Several days later.
After a drizzle, the sun shone brightly, full of spring warmth.
The ancestral residence’s gates opened, and a young man walked out. The servant outside the gate was just about to greet him, when all of a sudden, he only felt that the figure of the youth before his eyes was as towering and suffocating as an immense mountain. Chen Mo took a deep breath of the after-rain earth and stretched his arms. That kind of scent faded without a trace, like an illusion.
“Your Highness, do you have any orders?” The servant returned to his senses.
Chen Mo looked at him. This Chen Huhao had actually dispatched people to monitor him. “I’m going out for a stroll.”
“The Five Sacred Mountains Chant is a Qi Flower Realm-level technique, as expected. I’ve only just started training it, yet it has such power. But I don’t have any way to continue training it since I don’t know any of the characters on the back.” Chen Mo pondered what had just happened as he walked.
These past few days, his progress with the Five Sacred Mountains Chant was honestly pretty good. The Collapsing Mountain Style and Splitting Mountain Style had some foundations in the Bagua, so he more or less had a grasp over them, but he was unable to advance the rest. He did not find any useful clues in the materials either.
Chen Mo was somewhat annoyed, preparing to relieve his worries with a stroll to nicely appreciate Chuan Province’s flourishing city, Changluo. At the same time, he would look for any warriors that recognized these ancient characters.
Changluo was worthy of being called Chuan Province’s most prosperous economic center. There was an endless stream of people and carriages coming and going. On the beautiful street, there were countless stalls, bustling foot traffic, and shouts everywhere haggling for bargains.
Now that the metropolitan examination was here, Changluo had also become even more busy. Many large-scale commercial buildings would use all their power to sell materials and pills that warriors required. The Four Great Sword Sects and the Wanshou Temple also had branches here; this was honestly a thriving place.
Chuan Province had a saying.
Thorntree wielded soldiers, Changluo controlled wealth.
To control two major cities would be to control a majority of Chuan Province, and he who controlled Chuan Province could directly threaten the Chang’an that was closest to the imperial capital’s feet.
Now that he thought about it, the current emperor had transferred his father to Chang’an and conferred him the title Lord Chang’an. Perhaps this was to keep his father’s influence in check.
Chen Mo’s heart suddenly had a terrible thought.
Chang’an was not actually a detriment to his Chen Family, was it?
Throughout history, past generals who were of magnificent accomplishments were all thorns in the emperor’s side, a nail in his eye. However, so long as Chuan Province remained under his father’s control, the emperor would need to be a bit careful if he actually took down his father
Just as he was speculating, all of a sudden, a voice as clear as a bell came from a nearby courtyard and interrupted Chen Mo’s thoughts.
“Overseer Chen, have you not depressed prices too low. This is not the same as what you said last time. The weapons and armor we transported this time are wares that my Ning Family meticulously crafted over the past half year. Each one is Grade Nine.”
The voice of the woman speaking was apparently dissatisfied with the bid of her counterpart.
Chen Mo stopped his pace and listened carefully.
Where had he heard this voice before.
It was her.
- 陳麒 ↩
- 陳麟 ↩
- 陳鸞 ↩
- Something to note is that the first three children are all named after legendary creatures. Chen Mo is the sole exception, with the word “Mo” generally meaning “silence.” Sort of foreshadows that he’d be different among them. ↩
- Just means he was trying to hide what was clearly very mature qi and blood. ↩