Mu Yi was happy to see that Qian Tieniu had disappeared from the group. He had caused trouble so someone would get Qian Butong. He wouldn’t need to stay in disguise if Qian Butong came. He’d attack without it and become famous in Cangzhou in one move.
“You came here to cause trouble? You’ll see how good the boys of the Qian family are at swordsmanship then. Are they swift or not?” said Qian Buyong.
“Are they swift or not?” The group shouted.
The men raised their blades at the same time. Their voices were loud and sharp, like thunder. Many people turned to look at Ten Li Palace as they passed.
“I don’t want to kill anyone,” said Mu Yi slowly.
“Aren’t you a little bit too confident, Your Excellency?” said Qian Buyong.
Mu Yi didn’t waste time explaining. He threw a charm. Lights moved towards a wall of the workshop. There was an explosion and when the smoke cleared there was a gigantic hole in the wall. Mu Yi also threw a few charms at the pillars and the workshop started collapsing.
The whole room shook violently. Half of the workshop was destroyed in a moment. The whole crowd looked dumbstruck. Was Mu Yi a god? What were those white lights? Explosives?
No matter what they were, they definitely seemed like they could kill humans. Everybody’s expression changed. Most of the group dropped their blades. Their courage had collapsed along with the walls and pillars of half the workshop. Even Qian Buyong was speechless.
“How did the Qian family offend you?” said Qian Buyong breaking the silence.
He knew that Mu Yi had done that to warn them. Qian Buyong was scared so it had worked. He had already seen people who could do such things before. Those people didn’t compare to Mu Yi though. The Qian family couldn’t afford to offend someone like him.
The Qian family had power and influence in Ten Li Palace. Qian Butong had power and influence as the leader of Ten Li Palace. He also knew many important people, but if they offended a powerful group, nobody would back them up anymore.
“It has nothing to do with the Qian family. I came here for Qian Butong,” said Mu Yi straightforwardly.
“You just came to see my brother?” asked Qian Buyong.
“Indeed!” said Mu Yi nodding.
“You really have nothing against the Qian family?” asked Qian Buyong.
“Nothing.” said Mu Yi honestly.
Even if Mu Yi considered Qian Butong as an enemy, it had nothing to do with the Qian family. Mu Yi didn’t want to harm them.
When he heard Mu Yi’s reply, he almost coughed blood. Why had he come to cause trouble if he had nothing against them? Why hadn’t he just said he wanted to see Qian Butong directly? Why did he need to act so fierce?
Qian Buyong had already forgotten that if Mu Yi wasn’t strong enough, he would have never listened to a word he said. He would have never let him see Qian Butong. Qian Buyong was only being flexible now because Mu Yi had proved he was strong enough. Everything was for the sake of the Qian family.
“What are you all doing standing there? Go back and work!” said Qian Buyong.
He didn’t need to turn around to make sure they left. All the blacksmiths ran away when they heard him and went back to work. In front of Mu Yi, Qian Buyong looked like a weakling but he was still a big boss. Their lives were in his hands.
“Your Excellency, you can tell me the purpose of your visit. My nephew went to call my brother already, he will be here soon,” said Qian Buyong respectfully.
“Alright,” said Mu Yi.
Qian Buyong wasn’t stupid. People like him managed to survive all the time, no matter how chaotic the world became. He was exactly the kind of person Mu Yi liked to deal with in situations like this. If he had been a bit more stubborn, he would have made all the men attack Mu Yi. It would have been difficult to talk peacefully after that.
Qian Buyong took Mu Yi to a living room. After they entered the room, Mu Yi didn’t hear the sound of hammers on forges anymore. Such a quiet and peaceful place in a workshop was rare. It was clearly a room they used when inviting partners to talk business.
“What should I call you, Your Excellency? From your accent, I guessed that you’re not from Cangzhou, right?” asked Qian Buyong.
He had already requested that a servant bring some tea before they sat down. Mu Yi’s accent and the plaited bamboo hat made him think Mu Yi wasn’t from Cangzhou. Local people didn’t need to hide their identity.
The Qian family were in business. Many people knew them. Ordinary people knew them as ordinary blacksmiths. They were official blacksmiths for the army behind the scenes. It was a secret but many people still knew about it.
Mu Yi was concealing his identity and he wanted to see Qian Butong. Qian Buyong couldn’t afford to act recklessly. Mu Yi might have a very high standing. Business was all that mattered to them after all.
“When will Qian Butong arrive?” asked Mu Yi.
When he saw Mu Yi looking at him disdainfully, Qian Buyong was upset internally. He didn’t let his expression change though. Just glancing at Mu Yi made him break into a cold sweat.
“If he’s coming on foot, I’d say half an hour.” replied Qian Buyong obediently.
“Alright,” said Mu Yi.
He stopped paying attention to Qian Buyong and closed his eyes. The atmosphere became even more awkward. Qian Buyong didn’t know what to do now. He was afraid he would offend no matter what he did.
He had met many important people in his life but this was the first time he felt so much pressure. Mu Yi wanted to see Qian Butong and Qian Buyong wondered why he couldn’t help.
Half an hour passed and Mu Yi opened his eyes. A few seconds later, he heard footsteps. Qian Buyong stood up and quickly left the room.
“Second brother!” he said.
“Where’s the man?” someone asked.
Even without having seen him, Mu Yi had the impression he was well-educated. He spoke neither too fast nor too slow. A man’s way of speaking said a lot about him.
“He’s seated in the office,” replied Qian Buyong.
“Alright, leave it to me,” he said.
A middle-aged man stepped into the room. He was about forty years old. He looked a bit younger than Qian Buyong. He was wearing a Confucian robe. He looked like a scholar, not a blacksmith. Of course, he was the leader of Ten Li Palace so he could dress as he wished.
“You were looking for me?” said Qian Butong.
He sat down across from Mu Yi. Mu Yi was still wearing the plaited bamboo hat so Qian Butong couldn’t see his face properly.
“Indeed. I came to see you,” said Mu Yi standing up.
“Well, you don’t look like a client,” said Qian Butong.
“What do you think I came here for then?” asked Mu Yi.
“You want to cause trouble,” said Qian Butong impolitely.
“Cause trouble? You’re right,” said Mu Yi smiling.
“So, you harbor a grudge against me and nothing can change that?” said Qian Butong.
“No, actually, whether we’re friends or enemies depends on you,” said Mu Yi.
“Oh, I’m listening then,” said Qian Butong.
“Give me the imperial jade seal and I’ll leave immediately,” said Mu Yi straightforwardly.
It was better to get straight to the point. Was there anything he could really do or say to convince Qian Butong to hand the seal over? Mu Yi didn’t think so but he was convinced that Qian Butong wouldn’t risk his life for the object.
Mu Yi thought of the mysterious man who had told him about the item. The mysterious man probably wasn’t hiding his true identity for fun. There was definitely something going on that he couldn’t tell anyone.
Qian Butong’s expression didn’t change at all at the mention of the seal. However, Mu Yi’s senses were well-trained and he could sense Qian Butong’s nervousness.
“The imperial jade seal? What imperial jade seal?” asked Qian Butong.
He looked surprised. If Mu Yi didn’t already know Qian Butong had the imperial jade seal, he maybe would have believed he didn’t have it.
“You’re very smart. Don’t pretend to be stupid. You can’t fool me,” said Mu Yi shaking his head.
“Who are you?” Qian Butong asked.
“My name is Mu Yi but I don’t think you’ve ever heard of me,” said Mu Yi.
He took off the plaited bamboo hat and showed his face. He wasn’t wearing the skin mask today. He couldn’t show the skin mask to just anyone. It was an important disguise. Mu Yi knew that it wouldn’t be easy to get the imperial jade seal from Qian Butong. If he had to fight, the skin mask would just be a burden.