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Chapter 369: Helpless

    Chapter 369: Helpless

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    Qin Yun walked into a restaurant on a side street and ordered two dishes and a flask of alcohol.

    As he drank, he pondered the situation.

    "Fiendcelestial Quzhong either carries the treasure with him at all times or places it in some important area in his family clan." Qin Yun pondered. "But the Quzhong family manor is in the city and I have already searched through the city. It's definitely not here! It's not on him either! Then the most likely possibility... is that it is already in the hands of another fiendcelestial."

    "He is a third Firmament fiendcelestial. It should not be easy for other experts to just snatch it from him."

    "For the Myriad Temple to not even know of this, it means it must have been a private exchange."

    Qin Yun speculated.

    "Who would he give the gauntlet to?" wondered Qin Yun. "Although the gauntlet itself is very ordinary in strength, it is still a set piece of the Empyrean Lord Divine Armor. Quzhong would not dare sell it to some other faction. Even if he did, he would have to receive the Monarch's approval first."

    "If it was sold to another faction with the Monarch's approval, it can't be a secret. Myriad Temple would likely know of it."

    "In that case, it is highly likely that it was a trade conducted among fiendcelestials under Monarch Thousand Eyes!"

    "It could even be in Monarch Thousand Eyes's hands right now."

    Qin Yun drank silently.

    In fact, he had many options for seeking out the location of the final gauntlet.

    The simplest but most foolish method was to ask Myriad Temple! If Myriad Temple truly wanted to investigate, it could definitely learn the truth. However, he had just killed Fiendcelestials Tantong and Yugu. If he were to ask Myriad Temple about the gauntlet under the guise of Windwolf Yun, it would invite the suspicion of the Myriad Temple if it had any bit of intelligence.

    There were other methods such as deliberately causing a stir while laying a trap, etc...

    However, Qin Yun did not choose any of those methods.

    Having arrived in a world filled with enemies, he had to be careful. Qin Yun chose the most troublesome but safest method.

    "There are only a total of two hundred fiendcelestials in this Great Chu world. Even if I were to search the entire world, it wound only take a month with the Heart-Protecting Mirror," thought Qin Yun. His method was to 'probe' every known fiendcelestial, one by one. After all, there were not many fiendcelestials in this world.

    "Of course, it's highly likely that the gauntlet is within Monarch Thousand Eyes's circle of influence."

    ...

    Monarch Thousand Eyes had a total of twenty-six fiendcelestials under him.

    Taking into account the distance and strength from highest to lowest, Qin Yun marked out a plan as to the order of fiendcelestials to probe. He then began following that plan.

    "That's not right."

    "This fiendcelestial does not have the gauntlet."

    Qin Yun flew amid mountains. One had a cave abode amid it.

    "This one doesn't have it either."

    Qin Yun flew across a city.

    ...

    He eliminated one after another.

    "It's the sixth." Qin Yun looked at the undulating buildings in the distant mountaintop. He rode a black wind and flew through the clouds. As it was a fiendcelestial's sect, he did not dare make too close an approach. If he was flying a thousand feet above the sect, the sect might regard it as an act of provocation! However, it was very common to fly in the clouds.

    The mountain was rather tall and three kilometers separated the clouds from the ground.

    "Whoosh."

    Qin Yun calmly flew on the black wind.

    Suddenly, the Heart-Protecting Mirror by his chest reacted to a force that seemed to pull at it from the mountain range. It trembled slightly with the urge to fly out.

    "Oh?" Qin Yun frowned. He continued flying through the clouds and as he approached the ground beneath him, the attractive force intensifying.

    "It's below. The final gauntlet is in Fiendcelestial Jiwu's hands." There was no joy on Qin Yun's face. "A peak third Firmament fiendcelestial... and in his lair too. How am I to deal with him?"

    ******

    Qin Yun continued flying as he gradually distanced himself from the area.

    After flying for more than five hundred kilometers, Qin Yun landed deep in the mountains. Waving his hand, he released the Two World Picture to envelop the mountain.

    Qin Yun looked into the distant north as the vertical eye flashed with lightning and opened between his brows.

    Hum!

    From a distance of five hundred meters, the Eye of Lightning spied on Fiendcelestial Jiwu's cave abode.

    Fiendcelestial Jiwu was sitting cross-legged in front of a large furnace that roared with a flame burning vehemently beneath it.

    "Good." Noticing that Jiwu did not have any visible change in expression, Qin Yun heaved a sigh of relief. "His perception of the surrounding area is not strong enough. He is unable to notice my spying."

    Although spying with the Eye of Lightning was a lot more brilliant than doing it with a Dao domain, exposure was still possible!

    For example, if one had an extremely strong sense of the world around them, they would have the ability to turn the area around into a Grotto-heaven of sorts. They would naturally be able to sense any spying in such an environment.

    "It makes sense. Most fiendcelestials focus on cultivating their bodies. Their Dao realms are usually weaker than the realms of equivalent Buddhists or Daoists. For instance, Old Master Chu was clearly weaker than me in that aspect," thought Qin Yun. In ancient times, fiendcelestials and Godfiends had much lower Dao realms even if they reached the third Firmament. The fiendcelestials in the Great Chu world were slightly weaker in that aspect compared to the mortal cultivators in Qin Yun's homeworld. The difference was not huge, but it helped.

    "I'm not much stronger than him. Even if I rely on my Grotto-heaven Sword Calabash, I will not be able to kill him quickly." Qin Yun was cognizant of his limits.

    Jiwu was still in his lair and it was very likely that his lair's array formation was very powerful.

    "What do I do?"

    Qin Yun looked on from a distance and was momentarily clueless.

    After watching for a moment, Qin Yun was taken by surprise. "Oh? Fiendcelestial Quzhong?"

    ...

    Quzhong had arrived in Jiwu's lair.

    "Brother Jiwu, why were you looking for me?" inquired Quzhong.

    "Brother Quzhong." A wizened Jiwu said as he sat, "The fiendcelestials under Monarch Plumblossom, Tantong and Yugu, are dead. I'm sure you have heard the news."

    "Yes. The murderer is still at large." Quzhong sighed in response. "Rumor has it that Monarch Plumblossom is in a rage and is bent on hunting down the culprit. She has probably used divination methods... but failed to find any traces of the murderer."

    Jiwu chuckled. "Has anyone sought to buy that Dharma treasure gauntlet from you recently?"

    "The gauntlet?" No." Quzhong shook his head. "Besides, haven't I sold you the gauntlet already?"

    "Our transaction was a secret. Everyone still thinks it's with you," said Jiwu.

    "Brother Jiwu, what are you implying..."

    "The mysterious murderer killed Tantong and Yugu for two possible reasons. One might be because of a grudge. In order to prevent any retaliation, it was done very cleanly," said Jiwu. "The other reason might be because of that Dharma treasure gauntlet."

    "Haha, Brother Jiwu, you might be overthinking things," said Quzhong immediately. "The Empyrean Lord Divine Armor set has many parts to it. Many of them are lost. Even if all of them could be gathered one day, the person who possesses the Empyrean Lord Divine Armor set will at least be a Monarch. If fiendcelestials like us tried to have the entire set in our possession, it would only bring harm to us instead of being a blessing."

    Jiwu shook his head gently.

    "Both Dharma treasure gauntlets are known to everyone," said Quzhong with a smile. "No matter which Monarch gathers the other parts, all it would take is an order to easily force us, as well as Tantong, to hand over the gauntlets. There's no need for any murdering. It would appear too contrived! Besides, if someone did complete Empyrean Lord Divine Armor set and wear it now, wouldn't that immediately expose the murderer's identity?"

    "Yes." Jiwu nodded. "What you say makes sense. Perhaps I was overthinking things."

    "Haha, that's probably because the gauntlet is with you. Furthermore, the rest of the parts have long been lost," said Quzhong. "To obtain even one gauntlet, the murderer has to deal with us third Firmament fiendcelestials. It's not worth it. If any Monarch wants it, I would immediately hand it over with both hands. I wouldn't even resist."

    "Alright. But remember, if anyone tries to buy the gauntlet from you, you have to inform me," said Jiwu.

    "Purchase the gauntlet from me?" Quzhong hesitated. "Then, should I agree to the purchase or not?"

    "Just offer it at the price of half a Numinous treasure," said Jiwu. "If the other party agrees to it, that would be quite telling. We can then inform Monarch."

    "If one actually agrees to the price of half a Numinous treasure, it probably means that they have gathered the rest of the set," said Quzhong. "We naturally have to inform Monarch in that case. But I still think that you are overthinking things."

    "I'm just reminding you. By the way, I have something else to trouble you with," said Jiwu.

    "What is it?" responded Quzhong.

    "I plan to refine Essential Heart Pills. I need you to borrow your Nine Tunes Divine Fire," said Jiwu.

    "For how long?"

    "Three years at most," said Jiwu with a chuckle. "If the pills succeed, I'll give you ten percent."

    "Fifteen percent!" said Quzhong immediately. "My Nine Tunes Divine Fire has achieved an initial level of success by now. The price of using it isn't low."

    Jiwu looked at him and hesitated before saying, "Deal."

    ...

    Qin Yun watched from afar. "I can't even deal with Jiwu, and now there's an addition Quzhong to worry about."

    "If I tried to purchase it outright, no one here is a fool. Not only would they be wary of me, even Myriad Temple would watch me."

    Qin Yun was rendered helpless.

    All the other parts of the set had been gathered! There was only one Dharma treasure gauntlet left but there was no way for him to obtain it.

    ...

    Days passed one by one.

    Qin Yun would watch the stream in a daze in the desolate mountains. At times, he would watch the wind rustle the leaves or spy on Jiwu's cave abode...

    He racked his brains for a solution but none of them were feasible.

    Against the crafty and powerful Jiwu, Qin Yun was helpless. After all, the fiendcelestials ruled the world. He needed to be careful. He even needed to be cautious of Myriad Temple.

    "What do I do? What should I do?"

    "Xiaoxiao..."

    Qin Yun sat on the mountaintop as the mountain winds howled. He held an alcohol flask in his hand and tipped it to drink from it. The alcohol splattered onto his face and clothes but he did not care.

    He threw the alcohol flask to the side.

    Lying beside a boulder, he closed his eyes and prepared to sleep. He muttered softly, "Xiaoxiao, I really can't think of a solution. There's really no solution."

    A teardrop silently rolled out of the corner of his eyes.

    "And that daughter I have never met. Are you born yet? Are you alright? Your father... is truly useless."
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