“Brother, that man was extremely strong,” said Nian Nuer.
“Yes, I know,” said Mu Yi nodding.
When he was facing the mysterious man, Mu Yi had wanted to attack a few times. He had a bad feeling each time he had thought about it. He was also connected to Nian Nuer in the Bamboo Tree of Life. Mu Yi hadn’t done anything because both of them had the same impression of the man.
He wasn’t worried about his own safety. He just didn’t want the mysterious man to fly into a rage and kill Mister Mo. He was convinced that even if he couldn’t compete with the mysterious man, he could at least escape safely. He had many trump cards.
Mu Yi would feel guilty if Mister Mo died though. The mysterious man had kidnapped Mister Mo just to pressure Mu Yi. Mu Yi couldn’t just leave him to die.
The man didn’t dare show himself so there was definitely something else going on. Mu Yi had managed to get a few clues during their interaction. He would use them to learn who the mysterious man was eventually.
First, he had to find the imperial jade seal and bring it back. Qian Butong was strong enough to injure Mister Mo. He wasn’t someone that would be easy to deal with either.
A shout interrupted Mu Yi’s thoughts. Mo Xiao Yu was reaching out a hand to slap at a flame in front of him. His heart was pounding and he looked terrified. Mu Yi looked at him with a confused expression.
Mo Xiao Yu was stronger than he had thought. He hadn’t hidden anything though. He was really an ordinary person but there was something special about his body. That’s why the meditation body charm didn’t work well on him.
“Master, is my boss alright?” asked Mo Xiao Yu.
He was clearly scared. He had never heard of a piece of paper which could immobilize people. It was incomprehensible for him.
“Yes, he’s fine. Don’t worry,” said Mu Yi.
“Thank you, Master. I will go back then and take care of him,” Mo Xiao Yu said sighing in relief.
“Wait,” said Mu Yi.
“Anything else I can help you with, Master?” said Mo Xiao Yu.
He had already started leaving but stopped. His remained on alert though. He was afraid Mu Yi would throw another piece of paper at him.
“Your boss is not at home,” said Mu Yi straightforwardly.
“Not at home?” said Mo Xiao Yu.
“The enemy was too strong so your boss is hiding. He’ll probably come back in about four days,” said Mu Yi
He had quickly thought up an excuse to give Mo Xiao Yu. He was worried that he would do something stupid if he told him the truth. He was going to bring Mister Mo back as soon as possible anyway.
“He’s hiding?” Mo Xiao Yu said with wide eyes.
“Yes. He told me to tell you not to go back for the time being. If you do you may accidentally bump into the enemy,” said Mu Yi.
Mo Xiao Yu’s worry was evident. His expression turned sad and he started shaking.
“Master, is the manager…” Mo Xiao Yu started.
“Your manager is not dead,” said Mu Yi.
“Really?” Mo Xiao Yu asked hopefully.
“Of course, why would I lie? Mister Mo can also be considered to be my elder. I wouldn’t possibly let him down,” said Mu Yi straightforwardly.
“If the manager is hiding, why didn’t he take me with him?” asked Mo Xiao Yu.
“I don’t know either. You can ask him personally when he comes back,” said Mu Yi.
“Alright, I will,” said Mo Xiao Yu clenching his fists.
“There’s a room next to this one. You can stay there for now,” said Mu Yi.
“Thank you, Master,” said Mo Xiao Yu.
He only believed half of what Mu Yi had just told him. When Mu Yi was gone, Mo Xiao Yu had a lot of time to think about things. He wondered why the manager had sent him to Mu Yi. It probably wasn’t just to save him.
Mu Yi had come back and said that the manager was hiding. The manager wouldn’t have done something like that. Mo Xiao Yu knew that at least. That’s why he was worried.
Mu Yi had said that he would come back though. Since Mu Yi cared about Mister Mo, there was hope. He had seemed quite confident when he said he should be back in a few days. He concluded that if Mu Yi really wanted to lie to him, he would have said a couple of months.
Mu Yi disguised himself the next day and went to see Xie Zheng. He needed help to understand everything about Qian Butong. What Mu Yi didn’t expect was that Xie Zheng wouldn’t need to carry out an investigation. He already had information about Qian Butong.
Mu Yi was shocked when he learned that Ten Li Palace wasn’t an influential group in martial arts circles. They were blacksmiths. They were famous for making the iron lion.
According to legend, on the coast of Cangzhou, a black dragon had wreaked havoc. It made life impossible for the people. They were in a desperate situation. A lion had suddenly appeared and defeated the dragon, thus saving the people’s lives.
The people had looked for the best blacksmith to make a statue of the lion after it disappeared. It had taken him eighty-one days to forge the statue. They took it to the seaport to serve as a guardian preventing the black dragon from coming back.
It was strange because it seemed to work. Since they had put the lion statue at the port, nothing ever happened at the seaport of Cangzhou. The people had a lot of faith in the lion. The blacksmith and his colleagues had settled in the area. Their reputation grew exponentially. Ten Li Palace became their headquarters.
Nobody knew whether the legend was true or not. However, anyone could go look at the gigantic lion statue at the seaport. When people talked about the blacksmiths who had made it, most people mentioned Ten Li Palace.
Apparently, Qian Butong was the descendant of the blacksmith who had forged the lion statue. He was famous for that reason and also because he was a very good blacksmith. Plus, he was the leader of Ten Li Palace.
“He’s just a blacksmith?” Mu Yi asked.
He didn’t believe that Qian Butong was just a blacksmith. The mysterious man wouldn’t have done all of that last night if that was the case. Why would he have captured Mister Mo and blackmailed Mu Yi to fight a blacksmith?
Mu Yi was convinced Qian Butong was more than just a blacksmith. It was like how Xie Zheng wasn’t able to find out Leng Yu’s background. There were some things he wouldn’t be able to find out. Even Mister Mo was just known as a regular papercutting artist..
After Xie Zheng left, Mu Yi didn’t waste any time and walked towards Ten Li Palace. He hoped that Qian Butong hadn’t hidden after obtaining the imperial jade seal. It would be impossible to find him in two days if he had. Mister Mo would be in danger if he didn’t finish this quickly.
Ten Li Palace was huge and there were a lot of blacksmiths. It might not really be ten li wide, but it was at least four li wide which was already quite big.
When Mu Yi entered Ten Li Palace, he listened closely to what the people were saying. He could hear the loud sound of pumping bellows. He raised his head and saw countless chimneys with black smoke coming out of them.
There were many people on the main path. Mu Yi immediately noticed two travelers. They were leaving Ten Li Castle holding swords. They looked rather excited. It seemed that the blacksmiths of Ten Li Castle also forged weapons in addition to statues of lions and ordinary agricultural tools.
Xie Zheng had told Mu Yi that the largest and tallest chimney was where Qian Butong worked. Mu Yi didn’t need to ask for his whereabouts, he could easily find him. It was a bit strange to call the place a smithy when it looked more like a massive factory.
Since the beginning of the Westernization Movement, the Great Qing Dynasty had been absorbing knowledge from the western world. Even the secretaries of the dynasty imitated western methods. That’s why this place had become a gigantic factory, yet people continued calling it a workshop.
QIAN’S WORKSHOP was written on the top of a gigantic gate in front of a building. The building was built around a gigantic chimney. There was a steady stream of people coming in and out.
Mu Yi entered and glanced around. He noticed a lot of weapons and grey armor. A person would feel that Qian Butong was a just and honourable craftsman when seeing such things. It seemed like he was specialized in making weapons and armor for the military.
“Hey, who are you? You can’t just come in here,” someone said.
Since Mu Yi was wearing a plaited bamboo hat, he looked as if he were sneaking about. He was noticed by someone immediately. A burly fellow stepped in front of him. He was carrying a big hammer. He let his hammer fall to the ground not caring as the cement cracked.
“I came to see someone,” said Mu Yi indifferently.
He could tell that the man was putting on a show. However, it wasn’t that easy to scare Mu Yi away.
“Who are you looking for?” said the big fellow.
Once he noticed that Mu Yi didn’t have a weapon and wasn’t a loud person, he puffed his chest out a bit more.