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Chapter 375: Leaves

    Chapter 375: Leaves

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    Somewhere in the Eastern Continent... in a private room...

    A fat monk sat cross-legged in meditation. He was a thirty or forty-year-old man, and was clad in a yellow robe.

    His eyes were slightly closed. And, a faint layer of golden light was slowly moving over his entire body... it seemed as if he was bathing in golden brilliance.

    One of his hands was placed next to his chest. And, he was flipping a bead with it. His lips were slightly moving, and he seemed to be mumbling something.

    The fat monk slowly rose upwards as time passed. It rather seemed as if he was sitting in midair. Moreover, the golden radiance around his body had grown even more vigorous by now. And, it was emanating bursts of magnificent rays of light in a constant manner. These rays of light were gradually converging behind his body, and were taking the shape of a cloud of golden halo.

    Suddenly, it seemed as if Miao Kong sensed something since he abruptly opened his eyes. He then flicked his left hand's finger in front of his body, and muttered something to himself. Subsequently, the corners of his mouth curved upwards, and a look of satisfaction peeped through his face.

    He again closed his eyes, and continued to mumble some words.

    ...

    In the Rising Sun city... in the Clay Street's warehouse.

    Shi Mu was walking back-and-forth at various places in the warehouse. He would squat down and stand up every now and then... It seemed as if he was looking for something.

    His coal-like left hand had become unusually heavy. So, it affected his walking posture and made it look somewhat strange. In fact, it seemed like his every step entailed strenuous and exhausting effort.

    It could be clearly seen that Shi Mu was trying to balance his own body. But, it was obvious that he couldn't get habituated to his left hand - that had gained unbelievable weight for no explicit reason.

    Consequently, Shi Mu's body tilted a bit to the right in spite of tilting to the left when he was walking. In addition, he also felt that his left foot was abnormally heavy whenever he would lift it up. But, he didn't pay attention to his condition, and continued to stagger around.

    This kind of strenuous way of walking made his smooth and bare head drench in sweat. Even his body was steaming and emanating intermittent waves of white mist.

    However, none of these things had any effect on him at the moment. It was because Zhong Xiu's disappearance acted like a heavy punch in his heart that rendered him a kind of unspeakable tightness in his chest.

    "Shi Tou, I think this matter is a bit strange. I would've seen it if someone had come in to abduct her. After all, my eyes were very alert that entire time. Still, I didn't catch sight of any shadow. All these points indicate that Sister Zhong hasn't been carried away by an outsider. Maybe, maybe she..." Cai flew in the air. He then looked at Shi Mu below in such a manner as if he wanted to speak something. He hesitated a bit. But then, he brought himself to speak his mind.

    Shi Mu naturally understood what Cai wanted to say. The fact was this kind of thought had already crossed his mind, but he had refused to agree with this assumption.

    Firstly, he knew that Zhong Xiu's body was the source of the sudden occurrence of the raging flames. And, he had clearly seen Zhong Xiu in those luminous blazing flames before he sank into an unconscious state. There was a hint of anguish on her face at that time, but she hadn't received any injury.

    Secondly, it was true that those raging flames were very powerful at that time. But, it was even impossible for those vigorous flames to burn down a living person without leaving any residue. Moreover, some ashes could be seen in the warehouse at present. They did have some sediment of the clothes, but the ashes didn't belong to a living person.

    It was just that Zhong Xiu's disappearance was a fact. And, judging from the prohibition spell he had cast around the warehouse before... it could be said that the flames did cause severe damage to it, but it wasn't completely destroyed.

    Shi Mu's concern for her was in a chaotic state. Hence, he eventually began to worry about her. Could it be possible that the torrent of dreadful raging flames had undergone some kind of unusual change after his unconsciousness, and Zhong Xiu...

    Shi Mu lost interest in starting another discussion with Cai as this thought cropped up in his mind. Instead, he sat down on the ground with deep dejection.

    He stared at a small pile of clothes and other ashes in front of him with a blank expression in his eyes. Then, a string of past events that he and Zhong Xiu had experienced so far began to gush into his mind.

    Starting from young... Zhong Xiu's father... to her lonely beginning... Himself and Zhong Xiu's separation and re-union under the dominance of fate for so many years... Zhong Xiu's selfless dedication and affection for him behind his back... Shi Mu couldn't prevent himself from feeling bursts of painful memories welling up in his heart.

    "No... it's impossible. Miss Xiu won't have any issue!" Shi Mu muttered in a low voice.

    Shi Mu gradually calmed down. After that, Shi Mu couldn't refrain from recalling the details of the matter from the very beginning to the end. And, his eyes brightened as he found that he had missed out some crucial points during his previous analysis.

    "Heavenly Phoenix... counter-attack..." Shi Mu remembered the voice of that mysterious woman when he was in a half-awake and half-asleep state.

    "Don't tell me..." Shi Mu raised an outrageous point in his heart.

    His heart skipped a beat as he felt that a strong spirit sense shrouded the entire warehouse in a flash - like a surging tide.

    The next moment, he sensed a vague fluctuation that still remained in the void above the floor where he and Zhong Xiu laid some time ago.

    This fluctuation was already very weak. On top of that, it was dissipating at a very fast speed. Fortunately, Shi Mu possessed five-degrees in spatial element induction force. Otherwise, it would have been almost impossible to detect it.

    This discovery left Shi Mu profoundly shocked.

    Heavenly Phoenix, counter-attack, that mysterious woman, fluctuation in the void, and the sudden disappearance of Zhong Xiu... all these things seemed to have some kind of connection. But, it also seemed as if none of them was related to the other.

    A string of doubts started to cluster in his heart. But, he found himself caught up in a hopeless tangle for a while. And so, his brows creased without him noticing.

    "Shi Tou, what's wrong with you?" Cai asked.

    "Cai, tell me each and every minute thing you saw at that time in full detail. Remember, don't miss any details!" Shi Mu said after a momentary consideration.

    "You have asked the same thing several times by now. You don't like to trouble others, right? I have to say that I'm so annoyed now... Well, fine, I will tell you everything again." Cai revealed an unbearable and distressed look as he said. But, he still agreed to recount everything that he had seen before when he saw the expression in Shi Mu's eyes.

    "That's right. I was under the impression that the dreadful aura you felt then was the tumultuous blazing flame that had broken out of Zhong Xiu's body. But now, it seems that the aura should've been released by the same mysterious woman. After all, that aura didn't last for a long time. Also, that's woman's words were very fierce. This signifies that she's indeed strong enough to appear here out of the blue and take Zhong Xiu away. It now makes sense." Shi Mu said.

    "Shi Tou, you mean to say that woman has taken Sister Zhong Xiu away?" Cai asked.

    "This seems to be the truth." Shi Mu nodded.

    "Miss Xiu, wait for me. I will find you no matter where you are!" A glimmer of resolute look flashed through Shi Mu's eyes as he said. And, he made a firm resolve inwardly.

    Just then, a burst of rustling sound was heard. Shi Mu felt that his body tilted to the left side. His heart shook up, and he immediately pulled his train of thoughts back in response.

    He then swept his gaze downwards, and received a powerful jolt of shock.

    Shi Mu was swaying in the tide of such thoughts when he clenched his fists firmly and exerted some strength without even noticing. Consequently, his coke-like left hand - that was almost a thousand pounds in weight - got pressed against the ground, and left a fist mark therein.

    This stone-made floor of the warehouse was extremely hard. But, it was similar to a wad of cotton in front of his left fist.

    Shi Mu exerted a great deal of strength and lifted his left fist. But then, he noticed that the surface of the small pit was as neatly truncated as an axe's cut.

    "Shi Tou, what happened to your palm? Something seems to be wrong with it?" Cai looked at the fragments of stone that scattered on the floor, and noticed that Shi Mu's coke-like left hand didn't seem to be burned. So, he asked with astonishment.

    However, Shi Mu didn't pay attention to him. He instead raised his left hand before his eyes with difficulty, and sized it up in a careful manner.

    He clenched his left fist once again. Then, he received his arm's strength, and let it fall to another place near him.

    A muffled "Ping" sound was heard.

    Shi Mu saw that his left fist didn't make an effort as he had expected. But, it was still not a trivial matter as it burst open a large hole in the floor without any difficulty. Also, it left the floor trembling for a moment.

    Shi Mu threw a flabbergasted look at his left hand. But, he hadn't even started to think about it when Cai's voice spread in his ear.

    "Shi Tou, your left hand has incredible strength!"

    Shi Mu shook his head, but didn't speak anything.

    He stood up with the support of his right hand, and walked up to the warehouse's door in a silent manner. He then took out a conical bamboo hat from the Vast Earth Ring, and put it on his head. After that, he opened the door and walked out.

    Cai saw this, and flew behind him without speaking anything.

    "Shi Tou, where are you going?" Cai finally spoke out after a short while.

    Shi Mu gawked and his foot stopped. He then realized that he was advancing towards the place where Zhong Xiu used to live without even noticing. But, Cai's question pulled him out of his trance.

    Shi Mu remembered the time when he had set foot in the Rising Sun City for the first time. He had got close to the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce, and had also participated in the auction process. And, he had done so only for the sake of Zhong Xiu. But now, Zhong Xiu had gone missing. So, it was pointless to stay here any longer.

    Moreover, the fifty-year contract still existed between Zhong Xiu and the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce. On top of that, Zhong Xiu had also been promoted to the rank of the special envoy to the Demon race just recently. And, this designation commanded great responsibilities. Perhaps, her sudden disappeared might give rise to a big storm.

    It was already well-known to everyone that Shi Mu was the closest person in Zhong Xiu's life. Therefore, Zhong Xiu's sudden disappearance would certainly make most of the people of the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce look for him.

    Shi Mu shook his head in a helpless manner, and let out a brief sigh as this thought emerged in his mind. The matter of Zhong Xiu's disappearance was still somewhat unimaginable to him... let alone explaining it to others.

    Moreover, would the other party believe him even if he explained everything?

    So, he thought that it would be better to leave this place instead of inviting trouble. After all, he didn't wish to put himself into the pointless world of right and wrong.

    Shi Mu fished out the map of the Western Continent as this thought crossed his mind.

    ...

    A few days later... in the black pavilion... Wang Rui Kun and the beautiful woman were walking side by side in the corridor with their hands folded behind. They were seemingly discussing something.

    "Vice President Wang, I have an urgent matter to report," a blue-robed young man rushed out of a rear corner of the corridor, and shouted while running the entire way.

    "What's the matter? What's all the fuss about? Why Elder Zhong didn't come with you?" the beautiful woman's brows creased as she asked.

    "Zhong... Elder Zhong... she's missing," the blue-robed man replied.

    "What?" Wang Rui Kun and the beautiful woman looked at each other in shock.

    "Elder Zhong is the newly-promoted special envoy to the Demon race. How can you say that she has gone missing?" the beautiful woman asked, but her voice sounded as if she was taking pleasure in others' misfortune.

    "Don't worry. Speak a bit slower," Wang Rui Kun said.

    "I didn't find Elder Zhong in her courtyard. So, I went to the Welcoming the Immortals Pavilion. However, Manager Ge said that she never returned to the pavilion after the final auction. Even her friend - Senior Mu never showed up there in the past few days. I have made some inquiries around. It seems that he has probably left this place." The blue-robed young man wiped his sweat with his sleeves as he said.

    "That man Shi Mu has also disappeared?" Wang Rui Kun was left stunned for a moment.

    "Yes, I found out that Elder Zhong went missing early this morning. So, I've already told everyone to look for her within the Rising Sun City. But, I haven't received any news so far," the blue-robed young man said.
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