Chapter 608: Zhu Honggong’s Secret
The Divine Capital had stabilized, and peace had been restored to the Imperial city. Who would dare follow Zhu Honggong around?
Lu Zhou said, “Are you sure that someone’s following you?”
Zhu Honggong fell to his knees. Then, he shuffled on his knees. He looked at Ye Tianxin and muttered, “Senior Sister, can you move over slightly? I need some room to kowtow.”
Ye Tianxin. “???”
Zhu Honggong lifted his fingers and said, “Master, you might not know this, but when I was still on Tiger Ridge, I was known for my vigilance.”
Ye Tianxin asked, “Vigilance?”
“Well, you can consider it as my instincts... These few days, I had a feeling that someone’s following me. Then, I noticed that something was off. My stalker always kept an eye on me from a distance. Master, I heard fanatic worshippers will do all sorts of strange things. How am I supposed to deal with this, Master?”
Lu Zhou and Ye Tianxin were speechless.
Ye Tianxin felt that the atmosphere was awkward so she quickly bowed and said, “Master, I’ll be taking my leave.”
“Alright.” After Ye Tianxin left, Lu Zhou looked at the kneeling Zhu Honggong and asked, “Did this happen in the Imperial city or the Divine Capital?”
“Sometimes, it’s in the Divine Capital, and sometimes it’s in the palace,” Zhu Honggong replied.
“You’ll be staying with me tonight,” Lu Zhou said.
“Huh?” Zhu Honggong was taken aback. He had expected his master to praise him for his charm and warn him to not get arrogant and to continue working hard.
“You have a problem with that?” Lu Zhou looked at Zhu Honggong pointedly.
“No, no, no... Thank you, master!” Zhu Honggong was crying inwardly.
Lu Zhou pointed at the rush cushion at the side and said, “Here. You’ll cultivate with me.”
“...” Zhu Honggong felt like crying. He could only steel himself and walked to the rush cushion next to his master before sitting with his legs crossed.
Lu Zhou glanced at Zhu Honggong out of the corners of his eye. He reprimanded him, “Straighten your back. Calm your breathing and focus your mind.”
“Oh.” Zhu Honggong straightened his back, looking as though a plank was tied to his back. After a moment, he said, “Umm, master... I suddenly feel there’s nothing to worry about regarding the stalker. I think I can handle him on my own.”
Lu Zhou did not open his eyes. He said sternly, “Impudent!”
“...” Zhu Honggong shuddered and no longer dared to speak or move.
“Ding! Disciplined Zhu Honggong. Reward: 200 merit points.”
Lu Zhou did not move at all; he was in his meditative state.
Zhu Honggong kept squirming about as he sat on the rush cushion. He felt rather uncomfortable. As the night grew deeper, he finally fell asleep.
Lu Zhou opened his eyes slightly and briefly looked at Zhu Honggong. He shook his head and no longer paid any attention to Zhu Honggong. Then, he entered his meditative state again.
After an entire night had passed, Lu Zhou did not sense anyone approaching or stalking Zhu Honggong.
Lu Zhou opened his eyes when morning arrived. He had more extraordinary power now. He looked to the side.
Zhu Honggong sleeping like a dead log. His snores were deafening, and he was drooling.
Lu Zhou felt annoyed on many levels. ‘Is this how an Evil Sky Pavilion disciple should conduct himself?’
“Huh?!” Zhu Honggong jolted awake. He hastily wiped the drool off his mouth and prostrated himself. “Master! Good morning!”
“Since you’re not interested in cultivating, go stroll around the Divine Capital. If you run into the Other Tribesmen spies, kill them without questions.”
Zhu Honggong was overjoyed. “That’s a brilliant suggestion, master! I’ll surely accomplish this mission.”
After saying this, Lu Zhou waved his sleeve and walked out of the hall with Zhu Honggong trailing after him. He had seen the mark on the back of Zhu Honggong’s collar.
The mark flashed for a moment, but it quickly dimmed. Ordinary marks were directly put on the person. It was easy to notice and get rid off. Higher grade marks such as those used by the Celestial Masters Sect would usually be used on talismans, which were then hidden on the target. Naturally, it was highly possible that it would be exposed. However, placing the mark on the target’s clothes using engraving techniques required remarkable skill. At the very least, the caster had to get close to the target and draw it. Ordinary cultivators could not have done this. This was unlike the marks mastered by ordinary Great Yan cultivators.
“Master, I’ll be taking my leave.” Zhu Honggong bowed.
“Wait.” Lu Zhou stood in front of Zhu Honggong and patted Zhu Honggong’s shoulder. Another faint mark appeared.
“Go,” Lu Zhou said.
Zhu Honggong. Loyalty: +2%
‘Wow! Master is much more considerate than before!’
“I’ll be taking my leave, master!”
After Zhu Honggong left the Imperial city, Lu Zhou waited a while longer before he began to tail Zhu Honggong. The Imperial guards and elites of the palace did not stop him.
When he found a deserted spot outside the Imperial city, Lu Zhou flipped his palm. An Appearance Alteration Card appeared in his palm, and he used it immediately. He instantly felt a crawling sensation all over his skin. After a while, the sensation finally disappeared.
Lu Zhou raised his hand and touched his old face. It was smoother now. It was like a complete makeover. His hair turned much darker even though he was still old.
‘Are the Appearance Alteration Cards changing my looks based on the days of life I’ve reversed?’
Before Lu Zhou had transmigrated, he had been a young man. He would be lying if he said that he did not long for youth. He could live with the fact that he did not have enough Reversal Cards right now. Given time, he would one day be youthful again. There was no need to rush. However, he found it slightly unacceptable that the Appearance Alteration Cards would not even give him a chance to temporarily look youthful. Alas, it was not the time to dwell on such matters.
Lu Zhou leisurely walked on the Divine Capital’s streets. He sensed that the mark on Zhu Honggong was still in effect.
The Divine Capital was being rebuilt at a swift pace. In just a few days, the ruins had been reconstructed.
There were many cultivators hurrying about, clearly busy.
Perhaps, Hua Chongyang’s directive that allowed cultivators to fly in the city while it was being rebuilt made the Divine Capital seem livelier than before.
This reminded Lu Zhou of his hometown. The people there were so hardworking and intelligent that his hometown was labeled as an infrastructure giant.
Shortly after, Lu Zhou sensed that his mark was nearby, and he picked up speed. Finally, he could see Zhu Honggong loitering around the streets, looking listless and bored.
Lu Zhou understood Old Eighth’s temperament. He did not mind it. He looked around at his surroundings, wondering where the mysterious stalker was. He continued following Zhu Honggong.
Technically speaking, the Divine Capital was as huge as a county in the Nine Provinces. After walking for a long time, he was halfway walking through a deserted area of the Divine Capital, but there was still no sign of the stalker.
‘Was I overthinking? But the mark...’
Lu Zhou was still lost in his thoughts when a stooping middle-aged man barred Zhu Honggong’s way.
Zhu Honggong frowned and said, “Get out of my way.”
The middle-aged man said, “I’d like you to follow me.”
Zhu Honggong leaped backward. “Oh... I know, you’re the one who has been stalking me!”
“I had no choice... There are too many people in the Divine Capital. I had to resort to such measures.”
“You’ve been stalking me for many days now. You should know who I am, right?” Zhu Honggong puffed his chest. “If you don’t know, you’ll be frightened to death once I tell you!”
“I’m the Evil Sky Pavilion’s Mister Eighth, Zhu Honggong. Are you scared now? Kneel and kowtow to beg for forgiveness. I might feel merciful enough to forgive you. After all, I can understand worshippers like you,” Zhu Honggong said.
The middle-aged man cast Zhu Honggong a complicated look. He shook his head. It seemed like this man was slightly dumb. “I’m sorry, I’d like you to come with me. You’ll understand when you meet the master.”
“Heh? You’re not afraid?”
The middle-aged man suddenly moved at blinding speed and attacked. A hint of energy could be seen wrapping around two of his fingers. He was clearly an elite. Zhu Honggong was not a match for him.
Lu Zhou held his breath and concealed his aura.
The middle-aged was certain his attack would land when Zhu Honggong suddenly cast his Nine Tribulations Thunderblast!
The middle-aged man staggered three steps back from the impact. A slight frown appeared on his face after he found his footing.
“Hm?” The Nine Tribulations Thunderblast had been instinctively released. Its force was just nice. Lu Zhou did not expect this lazy fellow to have such skills.
Zhu Honggong glared at the middle-aged man. “You dare launch a sneak attack on me?”
The middle-aged man did not make another move. If the battle was escalated, they would certainly attract people’s attention. He lowered his hand and said, “I meant no harm... I just wish for you to meet my master.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m busy.”
“Mister Eighth, won’t you come with me??”
“I’ll shout for help if you keep this up!”
At this moment, Lu Zhou shot forward at lightning speed.
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