PROLOGUE

III

Chang Geng struggled to stand on his toes. He looked over the crowd with difficulty and shouted: "Shiliu!"

There was no response. The crowd chasing the Giant Kite began to surge forward all at once. Some cheered, some called out 'It's here!', some yelled 'Stop pushing!' with frustration.

Chang Geng was bumped into by several people at this point; his irritation grew more and more. He shouted as loud as he could: "Yifu!"

The crowd started to rush along the side of the dark river. On one hand, Chang Geng had to struggle to keep himself steady against the flow of people, and on the other, he had to look back and forth for Shiliu. He started to break out in a sweat. The amazement he felt upon seeing the Giant Kite just now had all evaporated.

Having this kind of yifu took years of your life away!

Chang Geng angrily thought to himself: Shen Shiliu truly just monkeys around. On such a hot day like this, having nothing else to do, he really had to run out here to see a crowd of people!

At this moment, someone loudly shouted: "Stop pushing already; someone fell down!"

As Chang Geng was scanning left and right, he looked in the direction of the yelling involuntarily.

A small group of people on the riverside was beginning to fall into confusion.

"My god, how can someone really fall down!"

"Go and find the military officer on duty!"

"Make way! Please make way! Can't move ..."

Chang Geng was about to move out of the way for someone who was desperately trying to get out when he faintly heard: "Lord Shiliu, be careful!"

Chang Geng was stunned. Suspecting that maybe his nerves were getting the best of him, he stepped forward to grab someone who just broke away from the crowd: "Who fell? Was it Shen Shiliu?"

The man may or may not have even caught what Chang Geng said; he absentmindedly nodded: "Seems to be - let me go first."

There was an explosion inside his head. He was standing in the heat of the Giant Kite, yet a cold layer of sweat broke out over his back.

At that moment, he immediately took a deep breath and quickly moved against the flow of people, towards the shore at his fastest speed. His feet stumbled a bit before he could grab hold of the railing to steady himself.

He rushed to look down and saw that there was indeed a person struggling in the water.

The water surface of the underground river was about six or seven feet below the ground; one could not make out its bottom, cold and dark. Large white waves were continuously crashing. The person in the river had nowhere to grab on to - even their struggles could not be heard from where Chang Geng was, and there was no way to figure out who it was down there.

Chang Geng took off his coat: "Let me through! Please make way."

Someone called out: "You can't jump straight in! Someone get the boy a rope!"

It was unclear who quickly stuffed a rope into his hand. Chang Geng grabbed it. He looked up at the Giant Kite that would arrive at any moment now, then jumped into the river without hesitation.


"Tighten up! Hurry! They will be washed away when the Kite gets here!"


The force of the incoming Giant Kite caused a wave taller than a grown person to rise, crashing onto Chang Geng's chest as soon as he jumped in. Water got into his mouth, and he was almost swept away. He quickly grabbed onto the rope hanging from the shore and tried to wipe his face.


The loud sound of the water crashing and the noise of the Giant Kite slowing its speed was deafening; Chang Geng's vision was filled with nothing but white waves. He could vaguely make out the shout of someone on the shore: "Stop letting the rope out any further! The Giant Kite is coming! Pull the boy up quickly before it's too late!"


Chang Geng: "Wait!"


But all the noises in the water were so loud that he couldn't even hear his own shouts.


He motioned his hand to signal for the people on the shore to stop pulling the rope back in, while he struggled to swim towards the place with the most intense waves at the same time.


Amidst the chaos, someone held on to his hand that was frantically searching around, and Chang Geng could not think much in this situation. He quickly grabbed the person's wrist and pulled them into his arms. He still didn't have the chance to see who it was, but the Kite was already rumbling as it moved forward.


The people on the shore did not dare to delay. The rough rope that was tightened around his waist suddenly gave force; his entire body felt heavy as several men on the shore joined together to pull him in.


After emerging from the water, he felt that the weight in his arm was a little off. Chang Geng quickly blinked away the water droplets on his eyelashes and suddenly found that the person he pulled up was not Shen Shiliu. It was the eleven-year-old child, Cao Niangzi.


At this time, a long signaling horn from the Giant Kite pierced through his ears; he could not afford to think anymore. He yelled out and helped the half-conscious Cao Niangzi up first.


The people on the shore shouted and tried their best to pull the two boys up, but they were slightly too slow. Chang Geng's feet were still hanging over the river bank. The Giant Kite's momentum had not stopped, and a flaming fin was about to sweep across his legs. It was still a distance away, yet he could already feel the hot and intense heatwave.


"The flaming fins cannot be touched!"


"Be careful!"


At this moment, a pair of pale hands quickly reached out, passed through all the screaming onlookers, grabbed Chang Geng's arm, and pulled him straight up. The group of people exclaimed and backed away. Chang Geng felt as if he almost flew right out of the crowd, but ended up falling into the arms of a man.


He involuntarily took a deep breath, and a medicinal scent instantly travelled into his nostrils. When Chang Geng jerked his face up, the tip of his nose almost grazed Shen Shiliu's clear-cut jawline.


Shen Shiliu's expression was heavy: "I looked away for a second, and you're already causing trouble!"


Being scolded first, Chang Geng suddenly could not say a word.


Shen Shiliu: "There are so many officers and men on the shore; does anyone need a child like you to come to the rescue?"


Chang Geng: "..."

His heart that was hanging in the air fell back into its place. The blood that gathered in his chest flowed through his numbed limbs like water flushing through a floodgate. At this point, he could finally let out his first breath; there was an uncomfortable feeling inside him, as if his internal organs were turned upside down. His two legs were so soft that he almost could not stand.


Cao Niangzi, who had been carried to the side, coughed a few times, then slowly woke up. Seeing that the child was no longer facing serious problems, Shiliu hauled Chang Geng out of the crowd, a deep scowl visible on his face. Chang Geng, whose legs were still weak and shaky, was being dragged away by Shiliu, who scolded him as they walked, "The temperature of the fin did not subside yet. If you touched it, it would have swept away half of your legs. Do you want to be a cripple for the rest of your life? A young kid who does not know his own limits..."


Chang Geng was still shakily trying to steady himself, but Shiliu, the 'villain', had already stolen the words right out of him before he could say anything. His anger suddenly bubbled up.


He shouted at the top of his lungs: "I thought you fell down!"


Shen Shiliu lifted two long eyebrows: "Stop making excuses! I am already a grown man; how can I fall into the river for no reason?"


Chang Geng: "..."


His heart that was easily worked-up over concern was being cast aside like it was nothing. Burning red heat rushed from his neck to the base of his ears. He couldn't tell if it was from embarrassment or anger, it was just that even water could no longer put away this flame.


"All right, don't stay here anymore," Shen Shiliu reached out and touched Chang Geng's long wet hair. He untied his outer robe and wrapped it around Chang Geng. "This place is too chaotic. I will not argue with you about this matter today. Hurry home and change your clothes, pay attention not to catch a cold."


He was quite generous, too!


Chang Geng violently slapped away Shiliu's hands, his fingers accidentally bumping against something hard inside the sleeve.


Shen Shiliu: "Oh, that is the lip-color that I just bought, remember to bring it back to your mother... Hey, Chang Geng, where are you going?"


Chang Geng did not wait for him to finish; he ran away without saying a word.


Chang Geng knew full well that he was being stubborn. He had purely reacted on impulse upon hearing someone else's words. He did not even see who fell, but he already panicked and jumped in after them. Getting scolded by yifu was perfectly reasonable.


But thinking about the moments before as concern was burning up in him, this man had just casually been picking out lip color! The fire of anger that was now consuming him made his chest hurt so much that he could not suppress it no matter what.


Shen Shiliu, who was suddenly left behind by Chang Geng, awkwardly rubbed his nose. He concluded that every young boy must go through a certain period where they're unpredictable and moody.


First-time-father Shen Shiliu was quite concerned; he thought to himself: If I knew beforehand that something like this would happen... I'd have saved the iron wristband for this situation. He is definitely mad for real this time; how will I coax him now?


He stood near the river with both hands behind his back. The Giant Kite had moved past him, the lights at its tail were flickering. The dark river was slowly closing up behind it.


Shen Shiliu was only concerned for a brief moment, he began to stare in the taillight's direction, but his gaze was not as scattered as it usually was when looking into the distance. Then, his brows slowly crunched together.


Suddenly, his figure disappeared into the crowd like a fish in the water. His footsteps were silent, his movements extremely fast, unlike his usual state where he would search for half a day just to find the doorway.




Chang Geng headed back home. The hot summer wind blew through the cold river water on his body, making him a little calmer, the irritation and the scowl on his eyebrows gradually dissipating.


His eyes resembled Xiu Niang's immensely. The facial contours that had just started to mature were very deep. They were not like the people of Central Plains... but they were not very similar to foreigners either. In short, it was an extraordinary kind of good look.


Chang Geng had just stepped into the house when he immediately saw the old maid standing on her toes and looking out. The old maid was taken aback when she first caught sight of his messy appearance: "Oh no, how did you become like this?"


"It's nothing," Chang Geng said weakly. "Someone fell into the river, I jumped in to help them and got wet."


The old maid took a small step behind him and whispered: "Madam said that we should not serve up the meals yet, I assumed she wanted to wait for the Mayor - Ah yes, Madam had also asked that young master come over to her chamber, she said there were some private matters to discuss between mother and child."


As Chang Geng stepped forward, his shoulders involuntarily tightened, and after a while, he nodded. He first returned to his room to change into dry clothes. Sulky and annoyed, he carefully folded Shen Shiliu's robe, then picked up the box of lip color and went to Xiu Niang's room.


The old maid was curious about Chang Geng and Xiu Niang's strange mother-child relationship but did not dare to inquire about it. So, she followed him, planning to eavesdrop.


Standing in front of Xiu Niang's door, Chang Geng fixed his attire, which was formal, as if he was meeting with a guest. It was only after he looked proper and tidy enough that he lowered his head and knocked:


"Mother."


There was a cold and clear voice of a woman coming from inside: "Come in."


Chang Geng reached out and pushed the door open. After entering, he looked back and saw the old maid peeking at them. She was startled upon meeting his gaze and looked away. When she looked back again after a moment, the doors had been closed, and nothing could be seen anymore.


Xiu Niang's room was very dark. The window on the side of the room that faced the sun had been covered.


It was as if she did not want to see any light; she was sitting alone in a dark corner, facing a mirror.


Chang Geng looked at her figure from behind and frowned slightly.


He did not know what had gone to Xiu Niang's head. She wore a pale yellow dress and her hair was up in the style of an unmarried woman. The years had treated her well, and coupled with the darkness of the room that easily covered the wrinkles around her eyes, she appeared as if she was a woman in her twenties.


As Chang Geng was about to call out to her, Xiu Niang took the lead and spoke first: "With no one else around, do not call me mother - did you bring the lip color back?"


Chang Geng heard this. He swallowed back the second 'mother' that was about to leave his mouth, then walked over and gently dropped the box that had been warmed up by his palm on her makeup table.


"Oh, this color is very lovely. Very bright," Xiu Niang finally showed a rare smile.


She rubbed a little bit of it onto her fingertips, wiped it across her pale lips, and looked at herself in the mirror with enthusiasm. She asked, "Does it look good?"


Chang Geng stood coldly on the side, not making a single sound. His heart felt strangely dark, as he did not understand why she asked him to come here.


While he was thinking about it, one of his eyelids suddenly twitched twice without warning. Chang Geng felt disconcerted; there seemed to be some kind of ominous premonition swelling up in his heart.


At that moment, Xiu Niang opened her mouth: "In the future, you can stop calling me mother in front of outsiders.


"Our path as mother and son ends here today."


She raised her face that had been fully made over, then stretched out a pair of fragile hands like a piece of grass as if intending to adjust Chang Geng's collar.


Chang Geng backed away in surprise: "What do you mean?"


Xiu Niang smiled and withdrew her hand.

Her lips were covered with the lip colour that Shen Shiliu bought. Her pale and dignified face became even more beautiful than before, as if it was a flower that had fully absorbed blood.

"I know that you have been wondering about this matter. As we have this chance today, let's make it clear: you really are not my son," said Xiu Niang. "Did it make you feel better inside after hearing this?"

Chang Geng's eyes twitched a bit; he was still young and had not yet learned how to conceal his emotions.

In this world, no matter how good a friend is or how good a teacher was, no one could replace a mother. Even a father couldn't - it was not that Chang Geng never yearned for a mother, only that sometimes, knowing that your wish could never become true yet refusing to accept your fate would be the most painful of all. Even he would have pitied himself.

Chang Geng had thought countless times that he may not be Xiu Niang's own son. Now, he suddenly got his answer. His heart felt nothing but an emptiness that he himself did not understand.

The foreboding premonition in Chang Geng's heart strengthened, and he was immediately alert: "Why are you telling me this out of nowhere?"

Xiu Niang looked at the reflection of her face in the mirror. It may be that too much powder had made her a little pale, so she carefully scooped a bit of lip coloring and applied it evenly on her cheeks.

"'Chang Geng' is the childhood name I gave to you," Xiu Niang said. "The people of the Central Plains have a saying: 'Qi Ming in the east, Chang Geng in the west.'* It raised at dusk, the warden of carnage, ominous. Flowing in your body is the world's noblest yet filthiest blood. Born to be a disastrous monster, there is no other name more fitting than this."

*东有启明,西有长庚; Dōng yǒu qǐmíng, xī yǒu chánggēng; Chang Geng(长庚; lit. Excellent West One; English name is Lucifer) is how people of ancient China refer to the planet Venus when it raised at dusk(evening Venus), an unlucky star.

Qiming (启明; lit Opener of Brightness) refers to the morning Venus.

Chang Geng replied coldly: "Was I not the result of when you wandered to the western mountains and got captured by bandits? Even all ten fingers cannot count the number of my 'fathers' - the son of a prostitute and a bandit, what is this nobility you spoke of?"

Xiu Niang was stunned for a brief moment. She did not look back.

A hint of pain flashed across her expressive eyes.

However, it quickly subsided, and her gaze fell into calmness.

Chang Geng's earliest memory was inside the mountain hideout of bandits. Xiu Niang always locked him inside a cabinet that reeked of the musty scent of old wood.

Through the small cracks of the rotten wood, a young and tiny Chang Geng could see those drunken mountain bandits barging in.

Those cruel and savage men either beat her, or ravished her, right in front of little Chang Geng's eyes.

In the beginning, the bandits were very strict with guarding Xiu Niang. Slowly, seeing that she was weak and fragile and did not know how to resist or defend herself, they became more relaxed with her. Later, they even let her out and made her serve them the same as the other old servants in their camp. Xiu Niang had poisoned all the wells and the hundreds of altar of wines; even God did not know how she had his much poison on her.

She used a small bowl to fetch some of the poisonous well water for Chang Geng to drink. However, after he actually swallowed it down, she seemed to regret it and desperately dug at his throat to make him vomit it back out.


Xiu Niang put the half-dead Chang Geng into a bamboo basket and carried him on her back, a steel knife in her hand. If they came across someone who was not yet dead, she would move forward to stab them.


Chang Geng remembered that she was wearing a long red dress that was stained with blood. She used the oil and Ziliujin that the head of the bandits secretly stored to burn the place down to the ground, then left with him.


In his short lifespan of more than ten years, Xiu Niang had attempted to kill him repeatedly, gave him poisonous wine, stabbed him with a knife, tied him to a horse, and then dragged him along behind it. There were even countless late nights, where he would be jolted awake, finding that his limbs were powerless, because Xiu Niang had been trying to suffocate him with a quilt...


However, every time, she would always stop right at the edge of the cliff, preserving his puny life in the end.


This also left him with an unrealistic fantasy.


Chang Geng said with as much calmness as he could muster: "You think too much, I have never thought of you as my mother. But I have always felt that the reason you despised me was that I am the stain that the bandits left on you."


Xiu Niang sat in front of the mirror, her face becoming paler and paler. After a long time, she suddenly sighed:


"Little child, I have wronged you."


At that moment, Chang Geng's thousands of layers of defense and resentment almost collapsed; and he realized that this simple sentence was enough to easily resolve the grievances from his childhood until now.


The fourteen-year-old boy used all his strength to hold back his tears, then asked tiredly: "What do you wish to achieve by telling me this now? Has your conscience told you to detoxify me? Or to simply kill me off?"


Xiu Niang looked at him with a strange expression, as if the boy was a valuable artifact: "You knew..."


Chang Geng: "I certainly know that from the day we arrived at Yanhui Town, I haven't been able to sleep without nightmares. Even if it's simply for a daytime nap, I will still, undoubtedly, wake up from bad dreams."


The night before was the only exception - Chang Geng's thoughts ran astray for a brief moment. He suddenly regretted that he got mad at Shiliu.


Chang Geng: "I have never made any grand achievements, but I have never done any immoral deeds either; how can there be so many ghosts that come knocking on my door at midnight? Or is there a strange disease that causes nightmares every night?"


An unusual and wicked smile formed on Xiu Niang's bright red lips, her eyes slowly falling onto the iron wristband exposed on Chang Geng's wrist. There was a sharp glint in her eyes like a pair of poisonous arrowheads: "What else do you know?"


Chang Geng subconsciously withdrew the iron wristband into his sleeve, as if even a glance from her could taint the object.


"I also knew that outside of town two years ago, the wolves that chased after me did not come on their own; they were summoned. That was you warning me that I can't ever run from you, that you have dozens of ways to finish me off, right?"


Chang Geng quietly continued, "Only a barbarian knows how to manipulate wolves. Ever since we arrived in Yanhui Town, you have been in contact with the barbarians. I guess that you are also a barbarian woman. Back then, when you locked me inside a cupboard, I saw a man coming in to tear away your clothes. There was a symbol of a wolf on your chest."

Xiu Niang laughed softly: "Barbarians...you actually call us barbarians..."


Her laughter continued to get louder and louder until she eventually ran out of breath.


Xiu Niang's sharp laughter came to an abrupt end. She grabbed her chest and coughed harshly. Chang Geng instinctively raised his hand as if attempting to help her, but he retracted it upon realizing his action, his fingers balling up into a fist.


A trail of blood flowed through Xiu Niang's fingers, and a drop landed on her soft-yellow dress, its color a shocking purple-black.


Chang Geng was stunned. In the end, he stepped forward: "You..."


Xiu Niang grabbed his arm and tried with all her might to straighten her back, shaking like a withered leaf under the cold wind. She grabbed a half piece of a jade pendant from the bottom of her makeup box and pushed it into Chang Geng's hand, smearing it all over with her blood.


Her face was as white as snow; the blood smeared on her lips was more vivid than the lip color. She glared at Chang Geng with a pair of bloodshot eyes:


"My name is not Xiu Niang, that name is for a woman of your Central Plains.. I am called Hu Ge Er, which means Ziliujin at the heart of the earth..."


She was choked by her own words. After a painful coughing fit, she spurted out blood, dyeing the front of Chang Geng's robe in red.


"Unlucky...Ziliujin." The woman let out an odd cry, her breathing gradually becoming erratic. "My elder sister was the Goddess of Longevity; even the Wolf King worshipped her, you...


"You are the little monstrosity that I raised with my own hands." She gave a dying laugh, "No one will love you; no one will treat you with sincerity..."


She struggled to hold onto Chang Geng's wrist. Her sharp nails pierced his flesh and the iron wristband on the boy's arm: "This is the Yun Pan wristband, a portion of the Black Armor - especially made by those dark demons of the Black Iron Camp, who gave you this? Huh?"


Chang Geng immediately pushed her away as if he had just been burnt.


The woman fell onto the makeup table and curled up, her charming phoenix eyes widening, the whites of which could strike terror into one's heart.


"You have the 'Bone of Impurity' that I personally cast on you. I have given it a name in the Great Liang language as well - 'Chang Geng.'


"Does it... sound good?"


Her face violently twitched, blood and white foam mixed together trickling out of her mouth, her voice was indistinct, but it did not hinder Chang Geng's hearing.


"'Bone of Impurity' is unparalleled; no one can detect it; no one can cure it... One day, you will grow into the world's most powerful warrior and begin to be unable to distinguish between nightmares and reality... You will become a ruthless madman- "


Chang Geng stood frozen; he felt that these incomprehensible words could freeze all the bones in his body.


"The blood of the Goddess is also flowing in my chest. I will bless you with the infinite power of longevity. You... In all your life, you will only have hatred and mistrust in your heart. You will be violent and destructive. Disaster will fall wherever you go... All the people in your life will never...meet...a good..."


The word 'end' slipped out of her lips, and her body spasmed violently. It seemed as if she was struck with something; she slowly turned her head to look at a small scented pouch that hung beside the bed. There was a totem for peace inside. On one occasion, when Xu Baihu came home from duty, he had prayed in a temple outside the city and gave it to her as a gift.


The woman's eyelashes gently trembled, and suddenly seemed to be filled with tears. The tears washed away the malevolence in her eyes; at that moment, they seemed almost gentle. But it was only for a fleeting moment.


Her contracted pupil was like a lamp running out of oil. Death hung in the air. The woman in gorgeous makeup gave her final breath together with the most vicious curse in the world, and then with her very last bit of warmth, she heavily fell down.


No one will love you; no one will treat you with sincerity. In all your life, you will only have hatred and suspicion in your heart. You will be violent and murderous. You will bring disasters everywhere you walk. You are destined to pull all the people you know to their demise.


In the raging fire of the summer evening, Chang Geng stared blankly at the gorgeously dressed body on the makeup table, clutching his blood-covered iron wristband in a daze.


Why did she have to kill herself?


Why did she resent him so much? Why did she have to raise him until now?


... What was the iron wristband of the Black Iron Camp?


In the end, who was Shen Shiliu?


Xiu Niang's curse seemed to have already taken its effect. A child's initial trust for the world came from the love and care of its parents, but this was the one thing that Chang Geng had never experienced.


Even if he was naturally born generous and benevolent, when forced to face doubt and suspicions, again and again, he still only resembled a wounded dog running away with its tail between its legs.


Even if he longed and yearned for that kind of familial warmth, he would still continuously push it away in fear.


Chang Geng was suddenly struck with a strong urge - he had to find Shen Shiliu. He had to ask this yifu face to face, what kind of grand character was he? What intentions did he harbor?


However, before he could step out of the chamber that reeked of the scent of blood, he was already terrified.


That's right, Chang Geng suddenly thought, From the vast knowledge that Teacher Shen sometimes accidentally let slip out, how could he be just some demotivated student who never passed his exams?


Although Shen Shiliu spent day by day idling about, he held the manners of a descendant of noble families. Even if he lodged under another's roof, you would not see the slightest hint of poverty from him... How could he be just an ordinary improper loiterer?


These things should have been clear as day from the beginning, but when he closed his eyes, he inevitably thought of the figure of Shen Shiliu propping his head up with one arm, watching over him when he was ill.


If that was also a false affection 一


The old maid who was trying to peek at them saw that the door had opened. She immediately approached with a smile: "Young master, today..."


Chang Geng looked at her, his eyes red.


The old maid was scared when she saw his eyes. It took a while for her to calm down, and she patted her chest, complaining: "What are you do一."


She hadn't finished her sentence when she noticed the scene inside the chamber.


The old maid froze in place, then she stumbled back three steps and fell flat onto the ground. An inhuman screech immediately left her throat.


At the same time, an ear-piercing warning siren suddenly sounded through the city.


No one knew who had released the alarm in the tower. The two-foot-tall whistle brought with it white smoke that had been dyed with Ziliujin, flying into the sky, its sound resembling water ripples, spreading thirty or forty miles, breaking through the peace and quiet of Yanhui Town that had lasted these fourteen years.



Shen Yi was burying himself into fixing steel armor when suddenly, he heard the Shen family's door being kicked open from the outside. Shen Yi raised his head and immediately grabbed the sword that he had removed from the steel armor.


"It's me," Shen Shiliu whispered.


Shen Yi lowered his voice: "The barbarians have made their move sooner than we thought?"


This sentence was short and low, but the 'half-deaf' Shiliu heard it without missing a word: "There were barbarian spies on board. The people on the returning ship were not ours."


Shen Shiliu spoke while moving into his inner chamber without delay. He raised his hand and cut the bed in half. There was nothing under it.


However, a set of dark iron armor was actually hidden under the wooden board.


Shen Shiliu's hands dexterously opened the dark hidden space on the chest of the steel armor and retrieved a Black Iron emblem, its cold material cast a blue glint over his fingers.


He promptly turned his back, and though it was usually strengthless, it now resembled an iron spear.


The wind blowing outside the wide-open door disturbed his thin, light white robes and only brushed past his shoulder as if intimidated by his killing intent.


Shiliu: "Ji Ping."


'Ji Ping' was the name of Shen Yi that had never been called in front of outsiders before. On usual days, the two often bickered over mundane household matters as close as real brothers. Yet, at this moment, Shen Yi took a step back and quickly moved into a kneeling position:


"Your subordinate is present."


"Since they came so soon, we can take advantage of the confusion and conveniently haul in this net - I am entrusting His Highness the Fourth Prince to you. First, escort him out of the town."


Shen Yi: "Roger."


Shen Shiliu quickly grabbed an outer coat and the sword at his bedside, then immediately turned to leave.