740 Spies from the Golden Ten

    The Shi Clan Citadel wasn't a famous clan that existed for generations. To be precise, it only became so popular today because of an outstanding martial artist like Shi Tianqi. Thus, it lacked a strong foundation and powerful elders. Facing the sudden death of their Fort Master, everyone in the clan was left mortified and helpless. The sudden appearance of Ling Yue became their hope.

    "Does anyone know why your father left today?" Ling Yue was an experienced elder that had been in Jianghu for years. Thus, he swiftly recovered from his initial shock and grief and began asking important questions to Shi Xiaodang and Shi Xiaoxiu.

    Meng Qi kept his weapons inside his Space Ring and lowered both his hands, standing as straight as a pine. He listened without speaking.

    It was unnecessary for him to help since the Shi family had nothing to do with him. However, if he could deduce anything, he would not mind lending a helping hand. After all, everyone in Jianghu knew that Killing Blade was a chivalrous and courageous person.

    Shi Xiaodang and Shi Xiaoxiu looked at each other before shaking their heads in grief. "When night fell, we asked Housekeeper Zhou and my father's servants. They only knew that he left his study in a hurry this evening with a solemn expression."

    Housekeeper Zhou, who stood in the back, nodded to support the two young masters' words.

    Ling Yue sighed and explained, "I was going to have a life-and-death duel with your father tonight in an attempt to reach the second step of the Celestial Ladder, with Young Master Su as the witness. Since your father didn't arrive after a long time, I came to look for him."

    After hearing the first half of the sentence, Shi Xiaoxiu and Shi Xiaodang turned pale for fear that Uncle Ling might have caused their father's death. It would be impossible for them to seek revenge as the outcome of a life-and-death duel was fair and square, with witness present and contract signed.

    After hearing the full sentence, they heaved a sigh of relief and stared at the calm and composed Meng Qi before asking hurriedly, "Could my father have been assassinated on his way to meet you?"

    Since they had seen images of Meng Qi in Changle, they could tell that master in front of them was the real deal. Furthermore, Killing Blade was known for being upright and had Immortal Chuyang's clarification even after the heretical path framed him. With him as the witness, they believed that their father truly did not attend the duel.

    Ling Yue shook his head. "I met Young Master Su by chance today and thus asked him to be our witness. An assassin couldn't have predicted that. It would be much easier for him to attack after our duel as both of us would have been injured."

    The witness' role required one to be respected and possess high credibility in his words. It also required one to prevent any party from using underhanded tactics such as hiring help and preventing others from profiting from the duel itself.

    "Furthermore, your father left no message behind. Had it been about a life-and-death duel, he would have definitely informed you both. So, he must have left for another matter." Ling Yue deduced.

    Speaking of which, he continued solemnly, "I had a deal with your father. If I died during the duel, he would regard my disciple as his and if he died, the Shi Clan Citadel will be left in my care and I will protect it with all my life. Even though the duel didn't happen, I will bear the responsibility nonetheless."

    This sentence stabilized the hearts of many clan members and made Shi Xiaoxiu break down in tears.

    Meng Qi, who was dressed in a blue shirt, spoke calmly in the tone of teaching "Tao Te Ching". "From the situation now, it seems Fort Master Shi did not leave to attend the duel. If it was a prearranged matter, he would not have set the duel date to be today as he would not be in his topmost condition after settling other matters.

    "Which is to say, an unexpected event made him leave the fort. Now, the question is how the message got relayed to him. Following this line of thought, we should be able to find some clues."

    The experienced Ling Yue and Housekeeper Zhou should have long thought of this but they were so flustered with the fact that Shi Tianqi left no message behind that they had overlooked this. Now that Meng Qi was pointing them in another direction, they immediately understood their next course of action.

    Housekeeper Zhou shouted out, "After dinner, I heard birds chirping from the study. I didn't pay much attention then but I believe that it was a secret letter!"

    The two siblings, excited at this news, immediately ran toward the study. Ling Yue and Meng Qi followed closely behind.

    Shi Tianqi's study was clean and tidy, with ink, paper, inkstone, literature, and toys arranged neatly in sections, showing their owner's meticulous character.

    "This kind of person can't stand disorder. The thing we're looking for should be in where it should be..." Meng Qi made the deduction after just one glance.

    Because of this, Shi Xiaoxiu only searched where Shi Tianqi normally kept his notes and letters and did not search other places. She walked towards a bookshelf and opened the secret compartment to read and examine the secret letters, starting with the latest one placed at the bottom.

    That letter couldn't even be called a letter as it was merely a small note the size of a finger. An eagle, a golden camp and a wolf with a broken tail were drawn on it. The three images overlapped upon each other mysteriously in a way that was hard to imitate as if a child doodled them. Only three words were on the note: "Brook of the Fallen Souls."

    "Brook of the Fallen Souls?" Shi Xiaodang turned around with red eyes.

    The Brook of the Fallen Souls was a dangerous place with beautiful scenery. He knew the place as it was merely two to three hundred miles away from their citadel.

    "Wait." Ling Yue stopped him and pointed at the strange image instead. "Is this a secret code?"

    Shi Xiaodang and Shi Xiaoxiu shook their heads blankly but Housekeeper Zhou gasped in shock. "Lone Wolf!"

    "Lone Wolf?" Meng Qi thought of the grassland when he heard that and there were also the eagle and the Golden Camp drawn on the letter.

    Housekeeper Zhou gnashed his teeth. "This is one of the fort secrets known only by me and Fort Master."

    "Fort Master had numerous connections with the Gao family from Changle, Huamei Heights, and other aristocratic families and sects. He always provided secrets of the grasslands to them during trade and had secretly trained an orphan from the grassland for that purpose. He sent the orphan into the Golden Tent to provide us with news. The boy had made many contributions and won Gu Erduo's trust. This symbol here is his secret mark."

    "A trusted spy of the Golden Tent who suddenly returned to the North Zhou Dynasty from the grassland must bore important and urgent news that can't go through the normal process... It's no wonder Shi Tianqi left secretly and silently with a solemn expression!" Meng Qi thought to himself.

    Ling Yue was known for fighting against the grassland and hesitated no further. He pulled Housekeeper Zhou along and flew toward the Brook of the Fallen Souls.

    Meng Qi had been repeatedly helped by Huamei Heights and Pure Sun Sect, with Brother Gao Lan being part of the imperial family of North Zhou Dynasty. Thus, he felt obliged to help and followed along as well.

    However, the Shi siblings had just only opened their apertures and were unable to follow along by themselves. Thus, they had a family elder who was an Exterior master bring them along.

    Meng Qi saw the Brook of the Fallen Souls after flying for awhile as it was not far away. He could see a water stream dividing the mountains. The stream was as fast as a waterfall, splashing water mists everywhere, making the surroundings hazy like a fairyland.

    Using the Penetrating Stare technique, Meng Qi saw traces of a fight after just a glance and then descended immediately.

    In the woods near the stream, there were signs of a large number of dead trees around a center point. Two corpses were lying there.

    "Fort Master!" Housekeeper Zhou shouted in grief after seeing the corpses.

    Ling Yue walked towards a corpse with red eyes that were full of grief. The corpse was lying flat on the ground with a black cloak that was made from a special material, signaling it as a precious protective gear. There was a thin wound at the back of its head.

    Turning the body over, the Shi siblings cried out loud immediately in grief. It was indeed Shi Tianqi, with only one wound at the back of his head!

    While Ling Yue was grappling with grief, he saw Meng Qi walking over and squatting down to examine the corpse. He then asked Meng Qi, "Any deduction?"

    "Death with one blow. The exploding Sword Qi was controlled extremely well, only destroying the Vital Spirit while preventing the brain juice from oozing out. For an assassin, this is the most efficient method against any defensive measures.""With the assassin's ability, if he had chosen to explode his Sword Qi, he could have destroyed the surrounding mountains, not to mention the body. However, he didn't choose to do that. Furthermore, Fort Master Shi's cloak, precious weapon, and Space Ring are all present, showing that the assassin fled immediately after giving him the death strike, doing nothing more," said Meng Qi while examining the corpse.

    "This is the purest type of assassin, an assassin who can overcome his greed."

    Ling Yue's expression changed. "Green Stair or Blue Stair Assassin from Unrelenting Tower! They were here to finish him off."

    "Green Stair or Blue Stair Assassin from the Unrelenting Tower?" Shi Xiaoxiu's body shook and she nearly fainted.

    "To seek revenge from the Unrelenting Tower? No one has ever succeeded in doing that!"

    The corpse next to it was obviously someone from the grassland and should be the spy from the Golden Camp. However, his body had been completely destroyed by Sword Qi and a single touch could have reduced it to dust, leaving no trace behind. If not for the fact that it was windless right now, Meng Qi and co. would not have been able to even see this corpse.

    This was not because the assassin was unprofessional. It must have been the client's request.

    "For someone to hire Green Stair and Blue Stair assassin of the Unrelenting Tower, the information must be of extreme importance." Meng Qi frowned as the clues seemed to have ended here.

    Shi Xiaodang and Shi Xiaoxiu opened their father's Space Ring but found nothing of relevance. They kept their father's precious weapon and carried his body, lamenting with grief, "We don't even know who the client is..."

    "It is most likely Golden Tent, a more dangerous organization than the Unrelenting Tower..." Meng Qi sighed as he pondered the likely schemes brewing in the grassland.

    Unfortunately, there were no more clues left!

    At this moment, Meng Qi had a premonition that made him close his eyes abruptly. He felt that a dark shadow was lying hidden in the depths of the mist. It was hard to accurately ascertain the position of the shadow but Meng Qi was sure that it was quietly peering at himself and the others with a patience and focus that was terrifying.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    "Blue Stair Assassin of the Unrelenting Tower?" The idea popped up in Meng Qi's mind as he focused intensely at the enemy, using his palms as he could not afford to take out his weapons.

    The shadow also seemed to have perceived Meng Qi's perception as it disappeared into the mountains.

    "Young Master Su?" The rest were shocked at Meng Qi's sudden reaction.

    Meng Qi spat out a sigh of relief and said, "The assassins are still nearby."

    He paused and continued solemnly:

    "Which means not all clues have been erased yet!"
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