Chapter 50: Before You (Part Two)
“We can’t light a fire… who knows if those people have acute senses. They might jump out after seeing a fire.”
After standing up, Fang Jie shook off some water and said, “Let’s find a place to sleep and travel at night. We can’t go and find Cui Lueshang and others in the city of Guanle. Perhaps it will just be us three who will travel to Chang’an together.”
“That is fine.” Mu Xiaoyao fixed her hair and said lightly, “I didn’t think that those two new friends of yours would help you much.”
Fang Jie smiled and didn’t respond. He changed the subject by saying, “We will need to walk. We are still thousands of kilometers away.”
“Which way should we go?” Da Quan asked, “If we want to travel on the public road, we will need to disguise ourselves.”
Just as Fang Jie frowned and was about to speak, Mu Xiaoyao whispered, “Quiet. Quite a few people are coming from the southeast. There are masters among them!”
Da Quan sniffed and said while shaking his head, “There is no murderous spirit.”
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While Fang Jie and others were trying to avoid the assassins, three fancy and prestigious horse-drawn carriages were traveling northwest on a public road that linked the Yangtze-South Circuit to the Capital.
These three horse-drawn carriages were painted bright red, and some strange lines and patterns could be seen on them. These carriages were each pulled by two horses. The speed wasn’t slow, but it was steady.
The most eye-catching thing about these carriages was that an apricot flag could be seen on both sides of the compartments. A mountain and a daoist temple were drawn on these flags.
A team of 100 people was protecting these three horse-drawn carriages, and the surprising thing was that they were all riding on big horses even though they weren’t members of the military. This was hard to imagine in Great Sui that lacked warhorses.
Warhorses were tightly controlled in Great Sui; even big families were subject to strict regulations on the number of warhorses that they could have.
Great Sui raised horses, but the warhorses that were nurtured were inferior in terms of endurance, speed, and carrying capacity compared to the warhorses raised on the grassland to the west.
This was something that the Emperor of Great Sui was the angriest about. His empire was huge and had many talented people, but top-tier warhorses couldn’t be produced.
The Emperor even sent people to steal some grass from Mongo-Yuan, trying to see if the feed caused the difference. Clearly, he thought too much.
Under such a background, this team of 100 people was extremely eye-catching.
Those 100 people were all daoists in dark-cyan robes that had the Eight-Trigram Pattern embroidered on them, and their hair was tied into man buns with wooden hair sticks through the buns. They looked stern while carrying longswords on their backs, and the red tassels that were tied onto the handles swayed around, adding to the unique dignified presence of this team.
In Great Sui, only one daoist temple could use apricot flags, only one daoist temple could have 300 top-tier warhorses, and only one daoist temple master could travel in those red fancy horse-drawn carriages.
These daoists were from One Qi Daoist Temple on Pure Joy Mountain.
In the compartment of the first horse-drawn carriage, there was the Phoenix-Chirp Daoist. He was Spiritual Master Xiao’s second disciple, and he was in charge of monitoring and motivating all disciples’ cultivation progress. He was cold and rarely talked, and other disciples called him Cold-Faced Yama behind his back.
[TL Note: In Chinese mythology, Yama is the figure in charge of the underworld.]