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179 Capture by Force

 On hearing Meng Qi's whisper, Luo Shengyi tilted his head to look toward Evil Prince's back. Puzzled, he said, "The reason for his showing up here is that he wants to fish in troubled waters while the Great Grandmasters are fighting. Or maybe he's contributed to the absence of the Young Lad?"

A group of people had hidden here, but there would always be traces left, such as the amount of rice and vegetables they'd purchased. So they would not be exposed just because of Ba Tu.

"Both are possible. If it's the latter, perhaps Evil Prince already knows the whereabouts of the Demon Venerable, even gotten the treasure." It was Meng Qi's major concern, because it meant that Evil Prince had probably broken through to Great Grandmaster. If that were the case he would be incapable of rivalling Evil Prince, unless he could cooperate with the Sword Emperor or Right Chief Minister.

After thinking for a while, Luo Shengyi said, "I'm leaning towards the former."

If it were the latter, there would be no need for the Evil Prince to show up. Wouldn't it be better to assimilate the relic of the Demon Venerable secretly?

Without many clues, Meng Qi was not about to make wild speculations. Thinking for a while, he said, "I plan to visit Yunyan Mansion at night and capture the 'Grandmaster of Evil', Lu Huasheng."

Smelling a rat in the matter of Jiang Clan's Young Lad, Meng Qi was concerned there might be accidents during the night visit. Thus, he intended to call on Ruan Yushu, and they could cooperate with Luo Shengyi. In this way, even if they encountered the Evil Prince or the Devil Empress, they still had the confidence of a safe retreat.

Surprised, Luo Shengyi considered for a moment. After several breaths, he finally said, "Fine. I will ascertain the conversation between several other Imperial Princes and Western Invaders. Nevertheless, we should keep it secret. If we are exposed, Lu Guan will inevitably be involved with the charge of sabotaging the peace talk."

"I see. Let's make it tonight." Meng Qi thought that they should go forward without delay.

When he returned to the Courier Hostel, Lu Guan, Ba Tu, Zhangsun Jing and Taoist Hu had already been waiting in the hall.

"General Lu, have you picked up the Young Lad?" Meng Qi asked knowingly.

Lu Guan shook his head with a wry smile and said, "We were a little late. He has left with his minions with no trace of a fight."

"Why did he leave? Because he's concerned that Ba Tu will be captured by enemies?" Meng Qi glanced at Ruan Yushu who was intently eating pastries with oily lips.

"I have no idea. But it's certainly not because of his concern about Ba Tu being captured by enemies. Otherwise, they wouldn't have waited till today. They seem like they have found others to rebel with." Lu Guan made his judgment.

Meng Qi was inspired. Lu Guan had made a reasonable judgment. Which Imperial Prince would it be? And how did he know about Jiang Clan's Young Lad?

"I will spread the news of Ba Tu defecting to the Right Chief Minister. Jiang Clan's Young Lad will probably make the right choice." Lu Guan said steadily.

After chatting for a while, Meng Qi motioned for Ruan Yushu to return to the yard.

"Will you go to Yunyan Mansion with me to capture him?" Meng Qi asked her.

Taking a sip of tea, Ruan Yushu nodded gently and said, "Fine."

"Gee, you want to go this time?" Remembering how she'd said "I won't go anyway" last night, Meng Qi was asking her purposely at the moment.

Ruan Yushu stared coolly at him and said, "It's more interesting this time."

Yeah, it was boring to visit the Imperial Prince's residence... Meng Qi felt too feeble to judge her.

On this dark night with the moon covered by dark clouds, it was a good time to commit arson and murder as well as pillage and rob.

Having changed into their black suits, Meng Qi and Ruan Yushu hid in the tree with Luo Shengyi next to them.

"Lu Huasheng lives in the central yard..." He explained the general situation and what he had learned so far.

Meng Qi said, "Do it quickly."

It was an urgent situation. They had to do it tonight instead of waiting for a good opportunity. No one present was good at using poison, so they had to do it by force!

You stay outside for aid, and scare off or mislead enemies with the musical sound if necessary." Meng Qi told Ruan Yushu.

Under such circumstances, Ruan Yushu could be quite reliable. She nodded in agreement without saying much.

Under the cover of darkness, Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi came outside of the side wall of Yunyan Mansion, silently listening to the footsteps of the patrol from inside.

"One... two..." Meng Qi silently counted the footsteps. By the time the last footsteps had faded away but the next footsteps were still far off, he lightly stepped onto the outer wall on tiptoe. He leaped high into the air like a big black bird, and fell behind the trees on which he had settled long ago without making a sound.

Luo Shengyi also seized the opportunity. Pressing with his right hand, he soared into the air, and fell beside Meng Qi after a mid-air diversion.

His Lightness Skill couldn't be considered as good, but there was something special about it... Meng Qi subconsciously estimated Luo Shengyi's Kung Fu.

"This way." He sent the Secret Voice while swiftly moving forward with a stoop.

With his mid-brow pulsating and his spirit projected, Meng Qi could both sense the surroundings and cover himself completely. His silhouette was pale like an intangible ghost in the darkness. He couldn't be discovered by sight, sound or scent.

Moving stealthily ahead, Luo Shengyi suddenly felt something was wrong. Looking back, he almost believed that Meng Qi failed to keep up. If his natural Aperture acupoints like the eyes, ears, mouth and nose hadn't been opened, he would have probably subconsciously neglected Meng Qi who was not far behind him.

Coming outside of the yard where Lu Huasheng lived, the two found that there was obviously extra guarding of the gate. With sentries every few steps, it constituted a guard network which was both overt and covert with no lack of masters. Even for someone like Monk Ruyi, it would be almost impossible for him to sneak into Lu Huasheng's house without making a sound.

Hiding in the shadow, Meng Qi looked up at the layout and sent the Secret Voice to say, "Follow me."

Luo Shengyi was thinking about how to divert the enemies' attention. On hearing Meng Qi's words, he chose to follow him after a slight hesitation. He followed Meng Qi to the corner of the wall close to the house. He climbed up like a gecko and swished up to the roof.

During the process, he vaguely sensed something odd around him, like a rippling of intangible "waves". Several lookout posts which were likely to discover the two of them looked across and then looked away immediately as if no one was here!

If Luo Shengyi didn't know the fact himself, he would almost suspect that they were moles!

They had worked together before, so he had sensed similar situations. But it had never been as clear as tonight, even making his flesh creep as if Meng Qi was the devil!

Meng Qi's mid-brow was pulsating, and his spirit covered both of them. They chose several lookout posts which had the lowest strength and broke through the center one. Then they smoothly climbed up the roof and hid in the shadows.

They almost crawled to avoid the patrol on the roof. Meng Qi found the wing room where Lu Huasheng was supposed to live according to the layout of the house.

With his Ear Apertures fully functioning, Meng Qi listened to the sounds from inside. He heard long breathing in a placid rhythm. It sounded like someone meditating for practice and conveying inner circulation.

"How can we make sure it's Lu Huasheng? " Meng Qi cautiously asked Luo Shengyi. It was the only chance, otherwise he wasn't confident he could capture him without making a sound.

Luo Shengyi said, "I've seen Lu Huasheng and heard his voice. I'll be able to recognize it when he makes a sound."

Actually, in the respect of the special breathing rhythm during meditation, Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi could be sure that the one inside must be a master with great Inner Qi Force. But a master didn't necessarily mean it was Lu Huasheng.

Thinking for a while, Meng Qi quietly moved his position to separate from Luo Shengyi and integrate more into the shadow.

Then, he fully drove the Transformation Strategy. It spread like water. When a roof patrolman with weaker strength walked onto the roof, threads of spirit immediately attached to him like Heaven Trawl and Earth Mesh!

"Overlooking" the gap, the patrolman slipped and crushed the tiles with a loud crack.

"Who?" The one who was meditating inside was awakened.

The patrolman felt remorse. How could he step on the wrong spot in a daze!

He reverently said, "It's me, your subordinate. My foot slipped."

Other nearby patrolmen all testified for him, indicating that there was no interference from anybody else.

"Be careful." After silently sensing the situation on the roof, the one inside cursed a word and continued meditating and harmonizing Qi-circulation.

Luo Shengyi said by Secret Voice-sending, "It's Lu Huasheng"

"I'll make the first move, and you make the last hit," Meng Qi said.

Although Luo Shengyi didn't quite understand why Meng Qi had used the word last hit, he still got the idea. He gently nodded to indicate that he had no problem with it.

Meng Qi began to move. Clinging to the tiles and beam-column like a shadow, he slowly slid down and made his way to the window, hiding in the darkness as much as possible.

Luo Shengyi did the same. With the help of Meng Qi, he hid in the shadow next to the door without making a sound.

Meng Qi took a light breath, concentrating his heart and mind and projecting his will. Through this, he could not only sense the desolateness of the surroundings and experience various hidden natural mystery, but also focus on his heart. Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship was ready to go.

Pressing it with his left palm, he silently crushed the window frame. The person inside noticed immediately. He sprang out of bed only to see a dark shadow standing outside of the window. As if from the Nine Serenities and also belonging to the darkness, the shadow integrated with the surrounding world with a mighty power which oppressed the heart.

Lu Huasheng was attacked by surprise and at an immediate disadvantage.

Then he saw the glow of a blade. It looked ghastly and horrible like the lock of the nether world and the fire of the dead. It made the shadow look taller and taller, burlier and burlier, more and more hideous, more and more terrifying like a demon. Like a Skyscraping Devil!

Fear could also split one's peace and quietude!

Lu Huasheng was completely surrounded by fear like a drowning man. All sorts of horrible legends and hideous enemies seemed to have climbed out of the darkness. He found it so hard to get away from it and breath!

He stepped back again and again. However, for a drowning man, the more he struggled, the deeper he sank. His fear became more and more intense, making him feel as if he was suffocating.

Bang! The back of the blade broke his mental defensive stance and suddenly hit him in the face. He was too dizzy to realize what had just happened.

When Meng Qi was making his move, Luo Shengyi had shattered the built-in lock, opened the door and come in without making a sound. He suddenly rushed to the rear of Lu Huasheng and spread ten fingers like blooming flowers to sweep the key acupuncture points in the center of Lu Huasheng's back.

Lu Huasheng went into an instant coma.

Meng Qi checked the room and found a script. Without enough time to read it carefully, he motioned for Luo Shengyi to carry Lu Huasheng and snuck out.

No one was expecting the enemies to sneak out from the inside. Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi had rich experience in sneaking, plus the help of Transformation Strategy. Thus, they successfully got out of the yard and Yunyan Mansion. They called on Ruan Yushu to leave together.

Once they found a deserted yard in the distance, Meng Qi motioned for Luo Shengyi to awaken Lu Huasheng.

Lu Huasheng slowly woke up and suddenly realized what had just happened. He wanted to exert himself only to find that his Vital Spirit had been banned and he couldn't move!

With his face covered and a weird smile, Meng Qi said, "You can shout out if you want, shout out until your throat is dry, but no one's coming to save you."