Chapter 277: Tight Security

    Chapter 277: Tight Security

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    Half a month later...

    A thunderous sound of horses' hooves was heard. It was followed by hundreds of horse-riders who galloped over while raising layers of smoke and dust in their wake. Then, they stopped in front of a large city.

    These people were Shi Mu and his group members. They had rushed here without taking breaks. They had done so since they had received the transfer order from the Dark Moon Cult's headquarters. And, they had finally arrived at the destination of this trip.

    The large city in front of them was the Capital City of the ancient Xixia Country - the Quyang City.

    Everyone had a look of exhaustion on their faces at this moment. Even the horses under them were constantly gasping for breath.

    Shi Mu stood at the periphery of this crowd. His horse was also very tired... so much so that white foam was seeping out of its body, and its body was trembling slightly.

    Shi Mu's eyes moved and he jumped off the horse. The heavy breathing of the horse calmed and his tremors stopped the next moment.

    Shi Mu patted his horse's neck with his hand. Then, he touched the horse's mouth, and took a moment to stuff a pill in it.

    The horse's eyes brightened up, and it issued a mild neigh. Then, it chewed a couple of times, and the sound of its panting decreased very quickly.

    Shi Mu's gaze then drew toward the city in front of him. The city looked magnificent. In fact, it wasn't inferior to the Heavenly Yu City in any respect.

    However, it could be seen that the city's wall had been in a state of disrepair for a long time. In fact, plenty of cracks could be seen everywhere on the wall. These cracks appeared like the wrinkles on a dusky elderly man's face.

    "Huuf... we've finally arrived," Hou Sai Lei who was in disguise of the grey-robed middle-aged man stood in front of the team. He heaved a sigh of relief since he had reached the destination. Then, he turned and dismounted his horse.

    The hundreds of people also did the same behind him. They turned to dismount their horses one after another. Then, they gazed towards the majestic city in front of them as well as the gigantic meandering mountain range that wasn't far from this city. The mountain was grey in color, and was shrouded in a grey fog.

    These five-hundred people were the disciples of the Dark Moon Cult. However, the majority of them were about to set foot in this city for the first time. Therefore, a trace of excitement could be seen gleaming across their faces.

    "Let's go; let's enter the city," Hou Sai Lei waved his hand. Then, he walked in the direction of the city's gate while leading his horse.

    The city's gate was bustling with people. However, it was also under heavy security. Many grey-armored soldiers of the Xixia Country were stationed at the city's entrance to maintain order.

    Every individual who wanted to enter the city had to pass through a strict examination. Those people who didn't belong to the Dark Moon Cult had to go through an even more strict inspection process... so much so that their bodies were also searched by the guards.

    "Well, it's rather strange," Yu Yi said in a surprised manner as he stood beside Shi Mu.

    "Oh, wasn't such a thing arranged here before?" Shi Mu looked at Yu Yi.

    "I had been here two years ago. But, there wasn't such a strange situation at that time. In fact, no security guards had been stationed at the city's gate back then," Yu Yi shook his head as he replied.

    Shi Mu heard these words, and hummed in response. However, a strange thought had already cropped-up in his mind.

    The two men then advanced toward the city's gate along with the group. Cai remained quiet as it crouched on Shi Mu's shoulders... In fact, it seemed as if he was an ordinary parrot.

    "The parrot is indeed very smart. In fact, it is rare to see a bird that is unafraid of strangers like it is," Yu Yi looked at Cai and said.

    Shi Mu creased into a smile, and stretched out his hand to tease Cai for a moment. After that, he fed Cai a nut.

    Shi Mu had explained to everyone that he had found Cai in the woods in the vicinity of the lake. So, Cai had been pretending to be an ordinary parrot since then. However, his acting skills hadn't left the scope for suspicion so far.

    The group of people gradually arrived near the city's gate. This large group that comprised of five-hundred cream-disciples of the Cult had long drawn the attention of the surrounding people toward them.

    Shi Mu swept his gaze around the city's gate in a casual manner. But, he didn't dare to assign his spirit sense to probe around. Instead, he connected his vision with Cai's vision. And, the clear reflection of everything near the city's gate surfaced in his eyes in a distinct manner the next moment.

    "Four, five, six, altogether six people..." Shi Mu's eyes flickered a few times.

    Shi Mu felt that there were six formidable auras hiding near the city's gate. And, they were either bright or dark. This meant they should be either Star-ranked magicians or Xian Tian martial warriors.

    "Who are these people?" a guard who looked like the Captain of the guards walked over, and cast a keen look at them.

    "We have come from Pi City," there was an unperturbed expression on Hou Sai Lei's face when he replied. After that, he fished out the black jade board from his bosom, and flashed it in front of the captain.

    The captain's facial expression relaxed slightly as he cast a keen glance at the jade board. Then, he nodded, and cupped his hands toward Hou Sai Lei and said, "Respected Senior Envoy, you have had a long and tiring journey; please!"

    "Let them pass!"

    The captain returned the jade board to Hou Sai Lei. He then waved his hand, and the guards at the gate stepped aside to make way for the group.

    "Oh, don't you need to inspect?" Hou Sai Lei asked.

    "Respected Senior Envoy is making fun of us. These inspections are aimed at thwarting the enemy spies who try to sneak into our territory. However, everyone here is an elite disciple of the Dark Moon Cult. So, the inspection is exempted for them," the captain replied.

    Hou Sai Lei was somewhat nervous in his heart at this moment. However, he had become even more skilled at feigning facial expressions... so much so that he hadn't show any flaws so far.

    He nodded to the captain. After that, he entered the city's gate along with the crowd of people behind him.

    The Quyang City deserved to be the Capital City of Xixia Country. It was because the interior of this city didn't even remotely resemble the image of a semi-abandoned city that they had previously seen. The roads were paved with smooth and flat floor tiles. And, the buildings on either side of the road appeared clean and spacious. In addition, the stream of people also looked very dense in this city. All these features constituted an image of a bustling city.

    Shi Mu cast a sweeping glance around the city.

    He had learnt a lot of things about this city on the way from Yu Yi. Quyang City was mainly divided into two districts, east and west. The western district was relatively smaller. But, it was directly under the control of the Dark Moon Cult. In addition, a large-scale stronghold of the Dark Moon Cult was also situated in the western district. It was reported that the next selection competition was scheduled to be held there.

    The eastern district was the residential area for ordinary people. And, it was also considered the commercial and trade hub of the city. Most of the shops were concentrated in the eastern district of the city. This group was in the eastern district of the city at the moment.

    "We will head to the stronghold first since your accommodation has been arranged there. We haven't had proper food or sleep throughout the journey. So, you people can take a proper rest there," Hou Sai Lei turned around and addressed the crowd.

    "Thank you, Special Envoy Li!" the people heard his words, and responded in succession.

    They had been constantly moving throughout the journey. So, they were exhausted, and indeed needed a good rest.

    Shi Mu also followed the crowd. His eyes often drew towards the nearby shops, and a trace of amazement gleamed in his eyes.

    He noticed that the shops here weren't that small. In fact, they didn't appear much inferior to the large-sized shops in the Heavenly Yu City.

    Shi Mu glanced at the blade and stick that he carried on his back, and an idea suddenly crossed his mind.

    "What's wrong? Does Brother Mu intend to purchase something here? I'm very familiar with the shops in this city. I can recommend you a couple of things if you're interested," Yu Yi said.

    "Thank you so much for you help, Brother Yu. But, I'm still thinking over it. I'll definitely come to consult you when the time comes," Shi Mu replied.

    Yu Yi nodded.

    The pedestrians arrived at the western district of the city after half-an-hour, and stopped in front of a lofty grey building.

    The large-scale stronghold of the Dark Moon Cult was located in this district. And perhaps, it was somehow related to the upcoming selection matches since a sea of crowd could be seen here. Also, everyone here seemed like the disciples of the Dark Moon Cult since they were dressed in the grey robes.

    "You people should be the elite disciples who have been selected by Pi City's sub Altar. I had received the news of your arrival in the city," A grey-robed Deacon walked out from inside when these people came outside the large Palace. He was followed by two grey-robed disciples.

    "I am Li Shen. I had been given the responsibility by Green Wolf's Palace Lord to act as the Envoy for the Pi City," Hou Sai Lei said.

    "So, you are Senior Brother Li. You have taken a great trouble to rush over here." The grey-robed Deacon looked into Hou Sai Lei's eyes and took something out of his bosom... as if he wanted to compare something. Then, he nodded to him.

    Hou Sai Lei felt relived in his heart as he saw this.

    "Senior Brother Li, please come along with me. Meanwhile, you two lead these disciples to the dwelling place that has been arranged for them. And, let them take a good rest," the grey-robed man commanded the two grey-robed disciples who stood beside him. Then, he walked toward the Palace behind him.

    Hou Sai Lei cast a glance at Shi Mu, and gave him a brief nod. After that, he walked into the hall along with the grey-robed Deacon.

    "Fellow brothers, please come along with us," the two Dark Moon Cult disciples bore a respectful expression on their faces as they said. Then, they led the crowd toward the front.

    Shi Mu looked at the receding silhouette of Hou Sai Lei from behind. Then, he turned around and walked toward the front together with the crowd. Surprisingly, nobody had noticed that the multi-colored parrot that had been on Shi Mu's shoulder had long disappeared.

    Hou Sai Lei took a few turns in the palace, and arrived at the main hall along with the grey-robed Deacon.

    A white-haired old man was seated behind a long table in this main hall. His chin rested on one of his hands, and he seemed to be dozing off.

    Hou Si Lei was astounded on sensing the white-haired old man's aura.

    The formidable aura around the old man felt as profound as the deep sea. He was a Moon-ranked magician!

    "Elder Fang, the selected disciples from Pi City have arrived. And, this is Li Shen, their commanding envoy," the grey-robed Deacon reverently greeted the white-haired man and said.

    Hou Sai Lei also followed him, and greeted the old man in a respectful manner.

    The white-haired old man opened his eyes as these words surfaced in his ears. He swept his eyes over Hou Sai Lei once. Then, he sat up straight and said, "Oh, you have had a long and exhausting journey."

    "It's all for the sake of our great Sect. Even my subordinates have taken a lot of troubles for their sect," Hou Sai Lei took out the black jade board, and handed it over to the old man with deep veneration.

    The white-haired old man nodded with satisfaction. Then, he received the jade board and erased the order without lifting his head, "Good, your mission is now considered accomplished. You can go to receive rewards for the accomplishment of this mission."

    Hou Sai Lei felt relived after he had heard these words. Then, he made a ceremonious gesture to greet the white-haired old man. After that, he turned around and walked toward the exit door.

    Hou Sai Lei stepped out of the palace, and walked away from the field of vision of the old man. Only then did he heave a sigh of relief. However, a faint trace of fear still lingered on his face. So, he glanced back toward the palace.

    Then, he took a step and started to walk along the road for some time.

    However, Hou Sai Lei couldn't receive the rewards that had been mentioned by the white-haired old man. There were two main reasons for it. First, he would have to show the Dark Moon Order to receive the rewards, and it would be very easy to catch him then. Secondly, he didn't know the place from where he could collect the rewards.

    Hou Sai Lei raised his collar, and covered half of his face. Then, he walked away from the black building at a fast pace.

    He walked quickly all the way, and soon left the place.

    Hou Sai Lei arrived at a remote alley after quarter-of-an-hour. He then exhaled a long breath. His entire body had been covered by a thin layer of sweat by this time.

    "Ha Ha, look at your timid appearance. You are indeed useless," a voice suddenly resounded at this moment.

    Hou Sai Lei was left startled as he heard this voice. And, a black scepter appeared in his hand with a flash of black light. Then, he quickly turned around towards the source of the sound.

    He saw that a multi-colored parrot stood on a nearby wall. It was Cai!

    "Cai, so it was your voice. You scared the hell out of me!" Hou Sai Lei shouted in one breath as he saw Cai in front of him. His voice revealed that he was in a foul mood.

    "Oh, it was Shi Tou who made me come over to you. Otherwise, who wants to come here to scare you!" Cai mumbled as if he was unhappy with something.

    "May I ask what instructions Senior Mu has given you to convey?" Hou Sai Lei's facial expression looked respectful as he asked.

    "Shi Tou has said that it's up to you whether you want to participate in this competition or not. However, you better look for a nearby inn to stay in order to guard against any contingency," Cai conveyed.

    "Yes. I will be more careful during this time. Also, I will find the means to inform him when I find a place to reside. You convey this message to Senior Mu on my behalf," Hou Sai Lei said.

    Cai let out a groan in a sluggish manner. Then, he spread his wings and flew far into the distance.

    Hou Sai Lei stayed in that alley for some time. Meanwhile, he took off the envoy's costume, and put on ordinary clothes. He also took out a conical bamboo hat, and put it on his head. After that, he stepped out of the alley, and headed in a particular direction.
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