Chapter 23: Fighting their way into the city of feeder death ghosts (Part One)
Outside Nanzhe City, Ouyang Hongye took out his pipe and lit it with a snap of his fingers. He glanced at Wangyue and asked, “Do you want a drag?”
“No, thanks. I have my wine.” Wangyue sipped wine from his flask with great enjoyment.
Ouyang Hongye chuckled. “Did you steal it from the old man?”
As usual, Wangyue said with great dignity, “Don’t use the world ‘steal’. I don’t like the sound of it. He doesn’t drink his wine anyway. But wine is for drinking, not for display.”
Ouyang Hongye shook his head. Glancing at Fenghuo who was sitting not far from them, Ouyang Hongye winked at Wangyue.
“Hey! Do you like some wine to ease your fatigue?” Wangyue raised his flask and waved it at Fenghuo.
Fenghuo glanced at it and was tempted; but he swallowed and looked away stubbornly.
“Well, he’s not interested.” Wangyue shook his head in resignation and continued drinking. “Anyway, this flask is not even enough for me.”
Ouyang Hongye had wanted to soften Fenghuo’s antagonism toward them before they entered the city. In the capital city, they belonged to two different camps, but now that they had joined hands to find the sky rune, they couldn’t stick with their old grudges. Despite their reluctance, they must put down their disagreements and work together temporarily. But it wasn’t easy. He began to worry that Fenghuo might ruin their plan due to his grudge toward them after entering Nanzhe City. When he talked to Wangyue, he had watched Fenghuo’s face from the corner of his eye; when they mentioned the previous prosperity of Nanzhe, something flashed in Fenghuo’s eyes. Could he make use of it? He decided to have a try.
He asked Fenghuo, “I remember the master of Nanzhe City also came from the puma spirit clan. Is it true?”
“He’s from the most esteemed branch of our puma spirit clan,” Fenghuo blurted out and then regretted his words.
Ouyang Hongye smiled and continued asking, “Like you, he was also a count. I guess he was your good friend, right? What kind of person is the city master?”
Fenghuo had decided not to talk to him, but now that he had begun, he couldn’t help boasting, “Yeah. We both came from the most esteemed branch of the puma spirit clan. He was older than me and I called him my older brother. When Nanzhe was prosperous, he used to invite me to his city to have fun. I think I’m more familiar with this city than you guys.”
Ouyang Hongye agreed immediately, “Right! I only visited this place a few times. We need you as our guide after we enter the city.”
Hearing his praise, Fenghuo couldn’t stop talking. “The city master was very smart. He brought prosperity to the city soon after he became the city master. He was smarter than most people in the world.”
Wangyue joined the conversation, “If he was so smart, why did he fall for Green Cloud’s trick?”
“Alas! He was too obsessed with the idea of turning stone into gold! For hundreds of years, he sent people to search for such a spell but couldn’t find it. Then Green Cloud came to Nanzhe and demonstrated a trick before the city master and many residents of the city. He extracted essence from the so-called five elements including metal, wood, water, fire and earth with spirit power and poured the powder into water; instantly the water turned into gold. He told the city master that he could put this power into any liquid and have gold.”
“The city master was a shrewd man. Didn’t he have any doubt of it?”
“He had craved for such a spell for hundreds of years. When a bowl of water turned into gold before his eyes; how could he resist the temptation?”
“Why did he pour this powder into the river in the city?”
“One of his trusted subordinates was bought by Green Cloud and suggested pouring the powder into the river and turning the entire river into gold to him; if he did that, no other places in the three worlds would be as rich as Nanzhe. The city master bought it and had the powder poured into the river, which brought disaster to the entire city.”
“Is it true that there’s no antidote to the feeder death poison?” Wangyue looked intrigued.
“This poison lays dormant for a few days in the body and shows little symptoms at the beginning. When people began to show obvious symptoms, most of the people in the city had been poisoned. Once the symptoms showed, nothing could detoxify the poison since it had entered the marrow.” Fenghuo’s voice was loud and proud as he talked about the things he was familiar with.
“What happens if one gets bitten by a feeder death ghost?” Wangyue put down his flask and asked.
“The bite won’t kill you. But once the creature smells blood, it’s strength and sense of smell will double in force and draw more of its kind. Then it will be a tough battle.”
“It’s truly horrible. I wonder how many feeder death ghosts are in the city,” Wangyue lamented.
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