Zhe Zhi
Zhe Zhi 11.1

The footsteps were neither light nor heavy, landing on the ground with a sound that rustled the fallen leaves. Duan Ling knew at once that it must be an expert who had arrived. Such a skilled individual actually resorts to poison under the cover of night. This undoubtedly indicated a person with a ruthlessly cunning nature, willing to do whatever it took to achieve their goals.

Having just inhaled a considerable amount of Soul Chasing Incense, Duan Ling’s internal energy had completely dissipated. He calculated the time in his mind and realized that he wouldn’t restore his martial arts before daybreak. Escaping was definitely not an option in such a short time, leaving him with only one choice…

With a swift change of mind, Duan Ling turned to the other two and said, “Get off the carriage quickly.”

Liu Yi was also affected by the poison, stumbling and crawling as he came down. Lu Xiuwen, on the other hand, moved as usual. Since he had no internal energy to begin with, he remained unaffected by the Soul Chasing Incense.

The footsteps grew increasingly closer.

Duan Ling made a quick decision and called out, “Liu Xiongdi.”

“Yes?”

“Take your Lu Da’ge to Senior Wei’s place to take cover. Remember, go there quietly, without making a single sound along the way. Do you understand?”

Liu Yi gripped his sword and said, “Understood.”

Then he asked, “And what about you, Duan Da’ge?”

Duan Ling took a deep breath and mounted the horse, he said, “Luckily, it’s only one person who came. I’ll find a way to divert their attention.”

Having also experienced life and death situations, Liu Yi understood the danger involved and said, “Duan Da’ge, you… be careful.”

At this point, Lu Xiuwen didn’t bother to avoid it and called out, “Shidi,” and said, “Don’t forget that you promised to travel through mountains and rivers with me.”

Duan Ling gave him a deep look and said, “Wait for me to come back.”

With that, he raised his sword and gave the horse a fierce jab in its flank. The horse, feeling the pain, let out a long neigh and galloped forward with all its might.

Lu Xiuwen and Liu Yi took the opportunity to hide in the nearby bushes. Both of them held their breath and focused, not making a sound. After a moment passed, as expected, they saw a dark figure darting past them. The person was swiftly chasing after Duan Ling’s carriage. In the night, his appearance was unclear, but his exceptional lightness skill was evident. With a few graceful leaps, he vanished from sight.

If that person caught up to Duan Ling, Duan Ling would undoubtedly be in a life-threatening situation.

Lu Xiuwen understood this well, but he only clenched his fist and signaled to Liu Yi with his eyes. Liu Yi nodded and carefully stood up from the bushes. The two of them supported each other and walked in the other direction.

Divine Doctor Wei resided on the far eastern side of the village.

The path they had taken in the evening now seemed unusually long. Liu Yi kept Duan Ling’s instructions in mind, refraining from uttering a single word. When they reached Divine Doctor Wei’s doorstep, he extended his hand and knocked on the tightly shut door.

The knocking sound “thud thud thud” was particularly clear in the middle of the night.

Liu Yi’s palm was sweaty as he knocked, fearing that a person from the cult might suddenly turn back and hear their sounds.

It felt like an eternity, but finally, the door before them opened, revealing the expressionless face of Divine Doctor Wei. Clearly just awoken from slumber, he was clad in only an outer garment. He asked impatiently, “What’s with the knocking in the middle of the night? Has someone died?”

“Senior Wei, we’ve encountered someone from the cult, if we don’t come to seek your help, someone will truly die.”

“Cult? Is it the Tianjue Cult? How did you provoke that group?” Divine Doctor Wei inquired as he stepped aside, allowing them into his house.

The poison in Liu Yi’s body had taken effect, and he had long since lost his strength. As soon as he entered, he collapsed onto the ground.

Divine Doctor Wei grabbed his wrist to check his pulse, his eyes moved as he said, “Soul Chasing Incense? This is a precious item of the Tianjue Cult, not easily crafted. How did it end up being used on you few?”

He wore an expression that seemed to convey his disapproval of the other wasting such a valuable item.

Since he needed his assistance, Liu Yi briefly recounted the situation to Divine Doctor Wei.

Upon hearing it, Divine Doctor Wei chuckled and said, “So you’re saying that a few days ago, you encountered members of the Tianjue Cult, killed one of them, and injured four?”

“Not bad.”

“Heh, young people are truly naive. You’ve gotten yourselves into such a big mess with the Tianjue Cult, yet you dare to openly seek medical help? Are you afraid they won’t be able to find you for revenge or what?”

“What should we do then? Our Duan Da’ge is still out there.”

Divine Doctor Wei spread his hands and said, “I only know medicine, not martial arts. This place can offer you a temporary refuge, but I can’t be of much help with anything else.”

Even so, that alone entailed a great risk.

Liu Yi quickly expressed his gratitude. When he turned around, he noticed that Lu Xiuwen was standing silently at the door with his ears pricked, listening to the movements outside.

“Lu Da’ge, do you think Duan Da’ge will…”

“He won’t,” Lu Xiuwen said with certainty. “Shidi has never broken a promise he made to me.”

His voice wasn’t loud, yet it carried an undeniable sense of conviction.

Liu Yi breathed a sigh of relief and asked Divine Doctor Wei, “Senior, since you’re a divine doctor, do you know how to detoxify the Soul Chasing Incense?”

“This poison will naturally relieve itself in three hours, so why bother to detoxify it?”

“Three hours… that would mean waiting until daybreak. What if that cultist turns back? It won’t just be us in danger, even you, Senior Wei, could be implicated.”

“That’s why I’m unwilling to treat illnesses and save people anymore. There’s too much enmity in this world. One careless move can lead to trouble, and you might not even know how you died,” Although he spoke this way, he extended his hand and pointed to a stone table in the courtyard. He continued, “There’s a hidden chamber under that stone table. Turning the chessboard on top opens it. It was originally designed as a precaution against my rival, but it looks like you guys are going to be using it first.”

The chessboard was originally fixed on the stone table, but the bottom could be rotated. Liu Yi walked over and gave it a turn. With a series of “clack” sounds, the stone tiles under his feet slowly shifted, revealing a narrow opening.

Such mechanisms are not something ordinary people would expect. No wonder Divine Doctor Wei considered it his life-saving method.

Liu Yi was about to fully activate the mechanism when he heard the sound of trotting hooves outside. He quickly turned the chessboard back and exclaimed, “Lu Da’ge, could it be that Duan Da’ge’s back?”

gumgum[Translator]

if you see any typos, grammar, or translation mistakes, don't hesitate to let me know. thank you for reading!

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