Chapter 93 – Harbinger of a harsh winter

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On a rainy night, at the eastern edge of the Imperial Academy, in front of a small courtyard.


Li Ziye responded without hesitation, using the only promise given to him by the Confucian Scholar.




The door of the wooden hut in the courtyard opened, and Kong Qiu stood under the eaves, looking at the drenched youth outside, and calmly said, "Bring him in."


"Thank you, Confucian Scholar!"


Seeing the Confucian Scholar's consent, Li Ziye's attitude immediately became much more respectful, carrying the little red cap as he entered the courtyard.


Outside the courtyard, the four venerable masters of the Confucian School silently withdrew upon seeing this.


Under the eaves of the courtyard, Kong Qiu looked at the youth in front of him, soaked and covered in wounds, his expression softened slightly, and he said, "Come inside."




Li Ziye nodded and stepped into the hut.


The simple wooden hut contained only a desk, a bed, an oil lamp, and some casually placed books. Beyond that, there was nothing more.


The simplicity of the wooden hut was somewhat beyond Li Ziye's expectations.


At the very least, he thought that this old man, despite his simplicity, would have one or two valuable antiques, after all, the old man had lived for over a thousand years.


"Put Wangyu down," Kong Qiu said.


"Put… where?"


Li Ziye looked around, somewhat at a loss. They were both drenched, but the little red cap was so severely injured that it didn't seem right to lay him on the ground.


"Naturally, on the bed," Kong Qiu replied.


"Oh… okay!"


Li Ziye snapped back to reality, took two steps forward, and placed the little red cap on the bed.


Instantly, blood mixed with rainwater stained the pristine bed.


"Do you know why Wangyu is so severely injured?" Kong Qiu asked.


"It's all my fault."


Li Ziye looked at the unconscious little red cap on the bed, his face showing a deep sense of guilt, and said, "I thought, with the little red cap's cultivation, after attracting the attention of that Fahai monk, he could at least escape to the Confucian School without issue. I underestimated the strength of a great cultivator from the Five Realms. This was my miscalculation."


"That's only part of it."


Kong Qiu calmly said, "No one in this world can predict everything, not even this old man. The main reason Wangyu was so gravely injured is not your miscalculation, but rather, he is not adaptable."




Li Ziye frowned and asked, "What do you mean by adaptable?"


"Why were you able to escape into the Imperial Academy?" Kong Qiu asked.


"I ran fast," Li Ziye said.




Kong Qiu shook his head and said, "It's because you are more shameless. In your actions, you do not choose means, and to achieve your goals, you can be utterly unscrupulous."




Li Ziye didn't want to speak. If it weren't for the fact that only this old man could save the little red cap right now, he really wanted to knock the old man out with a club.


"This old man's words are not to mock you, but to praise you," Kong Qiu said earnestly. "In fact, Wangyu was only a step away from the Imperial Academy. However, he chose not to rush in by any means necessary but instead chose to fight hard against Fahai. Apart from not being as clever as you, there was also another reason that stopped him from entering the Imperial Academy. Do you know what it is?"


Li Ziye was taken aback by these words, and after a moment, he spoke softly, "He didn't want to cause trouble for the Confucian School."




Kong Qiu nodded and said, "This is what I mean by not being adaptable. The Confucian School fears no one. His Confucian master and the instructors were all waiting for him to rush in. Unfortunately, in the end, he would rather use the forbidden techniques of the Haoran Chapter than bring trouble to the Confucian School."


"Confucian Scholar, please stop talking. The little red cap is just like that, and he can't change in a short time. Please save him quickly!" Li Ziye began to urge anxiously.




Kong Qiu sighed, stepped forward, and lifted his withered hand to place it on Bai Wangyu's chest.


Immediately, an immense aura spread from the old man's palm, continuously flowing into the unconscious little red cap.


"This old man is so powerful."


Li Ziye stood aside and muttered softly.


Having practiced martial arts up to this point, Li Ziye was no longer the martial arts novice of the past. He could tell who was stronger and who was weaker.


Just from the intensity of the Genuine Qi emerging from the Confucian Scholar's body, Li Ziye knew that this old man was much more powerful than Fahai.


It could even be said that they were not on the same level.


After about a quarter of an hour, Kong Qiu withdrew his hand, and a tired look flashed across his aged face, saying, "Alright, he won't die now. From now on, he can only recuperate in peace. Wangyu's injuries are not light. To fully recover, it will take at least half a year."


"That long?"


Li Ziye said in surprise.


"Reversing the Genuine Qi and using forbidden techniques, his meridians are all damaged. You should know best how difficult it is to heal meridian injuries. Half a year is already the minimum."


Saying this, Kong Qiu looked at the youth in front of him and smiled, "Your Li Family is rich enough to rival nations, and even has more Potent Medicine in stock than the Zhangsun Family who trades in medicinal materials. I've heard that you use these Potent Medicines for medicinal baths every day. Why not use some for my Wangyu each time?"


"They're all used up."


Li Ziye hurriedly shook his head upon hearing this and said, "Moreover, the Li Family has recently been suppressed by various forces, and business is not good. There's no liquidity for silver. Confucian Scholar, it's better to let the little red cap recuperate in the Imperial Academy. I see that your pill room still has a lot of pills, which should last until the little red cap recovers."




Kong Qiu gave a faint smile and said, "My Wangyu got injured helping you. It's not good to cross the river and demolish the bridge."


"Where is that?"


Li Ziye couldn't let this old man fool him, and with a grin, he said, "I just think that with a peerless expert like the Confucian Scholar in the Imperial Academy, the little red cap would be safer here. After all, that Fahai is likely still not giving up and might go to the Li Garden to cause trouble at any time."


The old man was quite cunning. The Li Family was already troubled by raising such a wasteful thing like him. After all, those Potent Medicines were not as plentiful as radishes; they cost a lot of silver. Adding another little red cap, the Li Family would surely go bankrupt.


"Don't worry, Fahai has been severely injured by the Plum Blossom Sword Immortal and won't trouble you again for a while. Besides, the Li Garden also has a Sword Enthusiast. I am very reassured," Kong Qiu said with a smile.


"Old man, don't think I don't know what you're thinking."


Li Ziye stopped pretending and said through gritted teeth, "Do you know how much silver it takes to raise a medicine jar? Unless you give some compensation, I can't explain it to my Elder Sister when I go back. She manages the accounts of the Li Family. With such a big expense, if she doesn't give it to me, I'll have to sell myself to earn it."




Kong Qiu thought for a moment and said, "The Confucian School's profits haven't been too good these years, so there's definitely no silver. There are only so many pills in the pill room, and you've already taken quite a few. If you take more, I'm afraid those old instructors will have opinions. You decide for yourself."




Li Ziye was speechless, gritting his teeth and saying, "So the Confucian Scholar means you don't want to give anything?"


"I didn't say that," Kong Qiu replied with a smile. "How about this, the Imperial Academy recently needs to purchase a batch of Confucian robes. How about ordering from the Li Family to make a big profit?"




Li Ziye said with a smile that was not a smile, "Just a few shabby uniforms, and you're talking about making a big profit? Old man, although I don't manage the accounts, I'm not a fool. It won't work. Unless all the purchases of the Imperial Academy are handled by the Li Family, otherwise, the little red cap might as well stay in the Imperial Academy to recuperate."


Li Ziye also had his own calculations. He knew that as long as the Imperial Academy was tied to the Li Family's ship, even if the court wanted to act against the Li Family in the future, they would have to be cautious.


"Ha ha, you little fellow, you really don't like to suffer any loss."


Kong Qiu could see what the young man in front of him was thinking, laughed out loud, and agreed, "Well, it's the same whoever it's given to. If it's given to your Li Family, in the future, if Wangyu takes over my position, with the relationship between you two, it will be more convenient to cooperate."




Li Ziye gave a thumbs up and said, "Then I'm leaving. I've been tossed about all night and I'm almost falling apart. Luckily, I'm young and can withstand it."


"Go ahead."


Kong Qiu did not retain him and smiled, "Take good care of my Wangyu. The Confucian School will rely on him to revive in the future."


"I know."


At this moment, Li Ziye did not catch the deeper meaning in the Confucian Scholar's words, casually agreed, and immediately stepped forward to carry the little red cap and leave.


"Young man."


As Li Ziye was about to leave the hut, Kong Qiu spoke up from behind, softly saying, "The Extreme Night has begun."


In front of the hut, Li Ziye's body shook, and then he nodded and stepped away.


The old man, always urging him.


He was already trying hard, but there was nothing he could do about his lack of talent.


Inside the hut, Kong Qiu watched the young man's retreating figure, and a deep weariness flashed across his aged face.


The Extreme Night had come, monsters were devouring humans; it was fate.


And in the human world, there needed to be variables!


He had found this variable, but…


It was not strong enough yet.


In the Capital City, on the streets, Li Ziye carried the little red cap, holding an umbrella as he walked. After a night of running around and being injured, his own condition was not too good either.


The heavy rain had been pouring down all night. When Li Ziye returned to the Li Garden, it was almost dawn.


In the east, at the moment when the pale light of dawn appeared, the sky above, the heavy rain also mysteriously began to stop.


In the front yard, Li Youwei had been waiting with an umbrella for most of the night. When she saw her younger brother return, the heart she had been holding was finally put at ease a little.


However, when Li Youwei saw the wounds all over Li Ziye's body, her expression changed immediately. She stepped forward and asked with concern, "Younger Brother, you're injured?"


"It's okay. The little red cap is worse off than me. What's even more tragic is that little bald monk; it's uncertain whether he's still alive."


Li Ziye grinned and said, "Sister Youwei, we've suffered a big loss this time. My two henchmen are gone, and from now on, I can only rely on myself."


"There will be opportunities to find more," Li Youwei said with concern. "Come on, let's go back to the room. Elder Sister will apply medicine for you."




Li Ziye nodded, carrying the little red cap towards the inner courtyard.




In the Desert North, at the boundary between the Extreme Night and daylight.


Night fell, and daylight turned into darkness.


In an instant, the sky was filled with surging black qi, and countless monsters emerged, frantically attacking the soldiers of the four divisions of the Desert North who were prepared to rest.




Screams echoed through the night.


The slaughter began.


When daylight returned, the camp of the four divisions of the Desert North was filled with severed limbs and bones, blood-soaked grounds, a sight of extreme misery.


Monsters devouring humans, the Extreme Night had descended.

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