Tales of Herding Gods

Tales Of Herding Gods | Chapter 203 - The Cripple That Deserved To Be Trusted

When Qin Mu heard the news, he frowned slightly and took a look at Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor. The man revealed a mournful expression and said, "I'll be offering my condolences to North Garrison King's manor."

Qin Mu asked in a low voice, "Imperial Preceptor, why did North Garrison King rebel?"

"He's not rebelling against the emperor, he's rebelling against me for the empire of his Ling Family," Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor said in a soft voice. "My power is too great, making him feel uneasy. He thinks I will overturn the rule of Ling Family. You're right, it's time for me to start my family. Even with heaven's law in my heart, desires are still needed."

Qin Mu had a weird expression.

Someone like Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor starting a family? It was more or less beyond people's belief, yet it was about to happen.

"I shall return to the manor first to change into robes of quiet colors. North Garrison King had contributed to the empire, and even though he didn't agree with my way of handling things, he was still a person deserving respect. I have to pay my respects to him."

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor then bade farewell to Qin Mu. "Now that we're at the capital, you won't have to trouble yourself with my injuries anymore."

Qin Mu nodded. Since Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor's injuries from the previous ambush had been healed, this meant that he had a divine physician by his side, thus there was no need for Qin Mu to continue treating him.

When Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor returned to his manor, he was vigilant. He didn't walk through the main door but jumped into the manor directly. Looking around at the surroundings, he saw that all the seals were still in their places.

Yet he didn't let his guard down and called out solemnly, "Old Fu? Yuanqing?"

There was no sound in reply; Imperial Preceptor's manor was unusually quiet.

He walked in, and when he reached the hall, he saw his servants and bodyguards tied up and piled together.

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor frowned, then saw Fu Yuanqing. Little Poison King Fu Yuanqing was stripped of all his clothes and trussed up on the ceiling of the hall. His tongue was sticking out, a golden rope tied around it. At the other end of the golden rope was a huge iron weight which was pretty heavy.

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor frown deepened, and the sword light on his fingertips flashed, slicing apart the ropes on his body. Fu Yuanqing crashed heavily to the ground, and only then did Imperial Preceptor discover that all the cultivation in the man's body had been sealed, and as well as his divine treasures. Because of this, he couldn't unleash any bit of cultivation.

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor broke the seals on him and the other servants and bodyguards. With a solemn face, he asked, "What happened?"


"I have no idea." Fu Yuanqing shook his head in shame. "I didn't see anything before I got hung up there. And I didn't see anything even when my tongue was pulled out. A huge iron weight was then tied to it so I couldn't cry for help even if I wanted to!"

"Old master, is our manor haunted?" A few servants looked terrified. One of them said, "I also saw nothing before finding myself in the pile of others, unable to move!"

"Haunted?"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor said, "It's not a ghost. That person's speed was too fast, so fast that you guys could not see him. I know who this person is. He must have barged into my manor to take advantage of me not being around to take back his leg. If I'm not wrong, my treasury should also have been emptied out."

He brought everyone to the treasury only to see the seal on it still there, untouched.

Fu Yuanqing let out a sigh of relief and smiled. "Imperial Preceptor, you have guessed wrong, the seal is still here. I reckon the thief couldn't break your seal so he didn't touch the items inside."

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor sighed. "A phantom has no form, he can pilfer the heavens and switch out the sun, so why would he need to break the seal? He can pass through the seal directly, without touching it in the slightest. The treasury is indeed emptied."

Everyone didn't believe him.

He then opened the seal and pushed the door open, revealing the treasury to be empty, cleaned out to the point it was spick and span.

On the room's opposite wall, a painting had been hanging before. It portrayed the back of Sword God drawn by Heavenly Painting Country's crown prince, but it was gone without a trace now.

In place of it were scribbles that were shocking to read.

"Imperial Preceptor, I took back my leg. Thanks for your treasures as well. Your servants were treated quite well by me, so there's no need to worry. Oh! I also slept on your bed, and after I woke up, I took a dump on it. I even made a pot of fragrant tea for you in your study room. Our grudges are thus cleared, but you don't need to thank me!"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor's expression darkened. He immediately went to his bedroom and lifted the blanket. When the stink permeated the air, he covered his nose and waved his hand. "Old Fu, throw it away, throw it away!"

Old Fu immediately bundled up the blanket along with the bedsheet, but the stink came from the bed as well.. Old Fu asked, "Old master, do you want to throw the bed away as well?"

"Throw it away!"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor waved his hand and went to the study room with quick steps. The entire study room had the smell of urine, and the yellowish liquid in the teapot was clearly not tea.

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor's sleeves swept the teapot out the window along with the teacups, his face black. "Disgraceful! Never mind him taking his leg back, but to even eat, sleep, and poop in my manor to spoil my peace! Old Fu, prepare another tea set and bed."

Old Fu hesitated for a moment before saying, "Old master, there isn't much money left…"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor was slightly stunned. He then mumbled to himself, "The emperor's reward will take a few more days to come. My salary comes once every month, but it will only be given at the start of the month. This month's salary is gone?"

"This time old master had gone out, you took more than half of the salary with you. The rest of it was used to send some meager gifts to the kings, dukes, and ministers for their birthdays. Those that had given birth to a son also had to be sent a gift. A few days ago it was the Empress Dowager's birthday, and the gift I prepared was even disdained for being unpresentable."

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor's head started to ache. "North Garrison King has passed away, so some gifts are needed. Are we really broke? Is there anything we can pawn?"

"This…"

Old Fu hesitated for a moment, then decided not to say anything. Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor looked around, but even though the house wasn't small, there wasn't a lot of furniture around. There wasn't anything that could be pawned."

He always felt that infatuation with fine details prevents one from making progress, so all the stuff he ate and used were simple things, nothing fancy. The things he collected were mostly weird: Cripple's leg, the painting of Heavenly Painting Country's crown prince. Yet even these things were stolen by that thief god.

"Can we ask for the salary in advance?"

Old Fu asked, "Old master, do you still want your face?"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor hesitated. "Could we borrow some?"

Old Fu shook his head. "We recently went to war and the few people that old master is well acquainted with have been deployed and are no longer at home. Who would lend me money when the head of their house is not around? Unless old master went personally..."

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor muttered, "My painting skills aren't bad and could be sold for some cash."

"Is old master going to sign it?"

Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor shook his head. "If I sign my name, the person buying the painting would be bribing me, I won't sign."

Old Fu shook his head. "In that case, old master's painting won't sell."

Those words pissed off Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor. "How do you know it won't sell? I've had the painting of Heavenly Painting Country's crown prince for a long time and copied it countless times. Even though I don't dare to say I'm comparable to Art Saint, but shouldn't that be good enough?"

"Old master, what kind of place is the capital? There are so many famous scholars around that they all look like carps crossing the river. How much do they earn by selling their paintings? More than half of those people are starving to the point they're skin and bones. Old master, how well do you think your skills fair when compared to theirs?"

Old Fu then said, "On the other hand, old master's disciples can lend money to old master."

"Borrow money from my disciples? I can't lower myself to that." Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor suddenly thought of Qin Mu and smiled. "I know who has money that I can borrow. He's liberal with his money and would usually pay when buying herbs for me. Otherwise, with that salary of mine, it would have been long gone. He's also not in the imperial court so it's not embarrassing to borrow from him. I shall go and borrow money, you guys wait for me here."

When Qin Mu returned back to Scholar's Residence, he could smell a medicinal fragrance the moment he entered. It seemed to be coming from his courtyard, which bewildered him.

Although there were odd-job workers cleaning Scholar's Residence, every one of them would often go to the hall to sit for lessons, so their cultivations weren't weak. There were some odd-job workers who were even stronger than the scholars. In the history of Imperial College, there were quite a few odd-jobs workers that had cultivated extraordinary abilities which allowed them to leap into the position of scholars and be promoted to reputable officers.

With odd-job workers guarding Scholar's Residence, almost no one was able to sneak inside.

Qin Mu brought the dragon qilin and Hu Ling'er into his courtyard and saw huge bags of herbs piled up in his courtyard. There was even stuff like a medicinal furnace, medicinal cauldron, et cetera.

The medicinal furnace and medicinal cauldron were extraordinary. The markings on them were extremely extraordinary, which made it clear that they were precious treasures. They weren't inferior to the treasures Qin Mu had taken from Rolan's Golden Palace!

Inside a medicinal cauldron, there was a leg, and there was an arm in the medicinal furnace.

When Qin Mu saw these two limbs, he was slightly stunned. He told Hu Ling'er and the dragon qilin, "Stay guard outside the courtyard and don't let anyone enter."

Hu Ling'er and the dragon qilin got up and walked out of the courtyard. Qin Mu turned his head back to see the dragon qilin squeezing through the creaking door frames and shook his head. "This fellow is getting fatter by the day, very soon he'll probably break my door and I'll have to get a new one again."

He pushed open the door to the main room and saw two men that were old and yet not that old sitting inside. Cripple had tidied himself. His hair was glossy black, while the beard under his chin was also tied up with a dazzling golden thread. The clothes he was wearing were also quite tastefully chosen.

Old Ma sat opposite him and wore green clothing that wasn't as gaudy as Cripple's. One of his sleeves drooped down emptily, and he looked travel-worn. He must have arrived not too long ago, so his sideburns were grizzled and his hair was messy.

When they saw Qin Mu walking in, Cripple revealed a simple smile while Old Ma's cold face brightened up.

"Grandpa Ma, Grandpa Cripple…" Qin Mu felt moved and his eyes grew red. "Are you two here to see me?"

"No," Old Ma replied.

Qin Mu's felt hurt and Cripple smiled, "You are living more comfortably than us, so why do we have to come and see you? You're just someone we picked up so why would we travel thousands of miles just to see you? Don't think too much."

Qin Mu retorted angrily, "You're clearly here to see me!"

Cripple shook his head. "I'm just here to have you reattach my leg. Can you help me see if my leg is still alive?"

"I won't."

Cripple flew into a fury. "You rascal, turning independent? We're certainly not here to see you!"

Old Ma gave a cough and said unhurriedly, "If you're not here to see him, why didn't you bring your leg to Apothecary instead? Stop teasing him, look at him, he's about to cry."

"I'm not crying," Qin Mu said, putting up an act.

"Alright, alright, stop crying, I'm here to see you. I just returned from Imperial Preceptor's manor, having stayed there for quite some time. I also took some items while I'm there as well. Do you see that leg in the cauldron?"

This elder was very proud of himself. "My leg! I took it back from Imperial Preceptor's manor and Imperial Preceptor couldn't do anything about it. He could only look at me helplessly as I took back my leg!"

Qin Mu kept quiet for a moment before letting out a warm smile. "Grandpa Cripple, Imperial Preceptor and I just came back, so what Imperial Preceptor was there in the Imperial Preceptor's manor?"

Cripple stared at him, and Qin Mu didn't give in, staring right back. The smiles on their faces were similarly warm and gave others a feeling that they could be trusted. Even if one was stabbed by them, they would still think they deserved to be trusted.

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