“It’s strange, and too suspicious!” Shui Yanyu declared immediately when they had returned to their own courtyard.
Ling Han nodded, and exclaimed, “My wife is brilliant!”
Shui Yanyu rolled her eyes at him in annoyance, and asked, “You are showing off your foresight, aren’t you?”
“All my achievements are inevitably linked to the teachings of my wife, you. Aren’t you my teacher?” Ling Han asked, smiling.
Shui Yanyu’s beautiful face involuntarily flushed. She had indeed been Ling Han’s teacher for a while, and in the end, Ling Han was close to dragging her into bed by now. Though the two of them were not master and disciple, but rather teacher and student, the mere thought of it still caused her much embarrassment.
“That Cui De obviously did not want us to go and investigate. According to him, the people here are accustomed to resting early, so how could he possibly be standing guard there at such a late hour at night otherwise? He is obviously monitoring us.”
Ling Han nodded, and said, “Unfortunately, I am, by nature, a curious person. The more you do not want me to know, the more I want to find out.”
This time, Shui Yanyu was supportive of Ling Han, and asked, “Then will we be sneaking out again later?”
“No, we’re sleeping,” Ling Han answered with a grin.
Shui Yanyu was about to be driven mad. ‘Have you begun your huge skips in logical thought process again?’
Ling Han kissed her, and replied, “On this first day, it is both the time when our curiosity is the strongest, as well as the time when the other side is the most guarded. I think the five people on the island should be guarding us. Unless we plan to completely become hostile with them immediately, we could not possibly leave tonight.”
“Tomorrow, then?” Shui Yanyu asked.
“We’ll play it by ear!” Ling Han answered seriously. This valley was easy to guard, but difficult to assault. There was only a single way of entry and exit, and it was a naturally formed place of danger. Since they had already taken the initiative to enter into this trap, they definitely could not be rash or reckless.
“En!” Shui Yanyu nodded. She was gradually leaning more and more towards having Ling Han make the decisions and take the lead in matters.
Just in case, they still entered into the Black Tower. Shui Yanyu began cultivating, whereas Ling Han continued to concoct his Heavenly Pearl Pill. He definitely had to finish concocting this alchemical pill as soon as possible.
Not only would it speed up the advancement of his cultivation level, it would also bring him a high income.
Cultivation was naturally inseparable from money to support it. At the beginning, it had been gold and silver, followed by Origin Crystals, and now, it had become True Origin Stones, but in essence, they were the same.
As the night passed, Ling Han revealed a smile of satisfaction. He was getting closer and closer to success.
The couple exited the Black Tower, and they walked out of their courtyard after having their breakfast.
In the case of Yang Tiecheng and the others, some had had a good night’s sleep, and appeared to be energetic and awake. Others, though, were still looking weary. It was obvious that they had not slept very well the night before. After all, those like Yang Tiecheng, Fan Yong, and the others, who had had a wealth of experience of journeying outside, knew the dangers of the world, and would definitely not trust anyone so easily.
In contrast, Jin Zhihui and the others lacked that kind of alertness in this area, and slept very soundly the night before.
They gathered again. Luo Wu and Fan Yong made no attempt to conceal their killing intent towards Ling Han. However, they were now freeloaders, and added with the fact that Yang Tiecheng was here, they did not dare make a move on Ling Han.
“Everyone, it is really a coincidence. My master just happened to come out of seclusion today, and wishes to see you all.” Guo Xiuwen walked over. Naturally, he was still riding on that puppet tiger, just as if he had no idea how to walk without that toy.
However, on the other hand, puppets could be considered God Tools that could awaken themselves. Since he was riding around on a puppet all day, was he also carefully guarding against them?
“Hehe, then we must definitely visit Lord Island Master,” they all replied, smiling.
“Master is a very brilliant puppeteer, and is skilled at creating various rare and unusual objects. With Master’s help, we will definitely be able to create an excellent, well-built ship which will safely allow you to leave here,” Guo Xiuwen said.
These words immediately moved their hearts. None of them had any plans of living in seclusion in the woods.
With Guo Xiuwen leading the way, they arrived at the main hall of the manor. It was really a great hall. It was over 30 meters wide, and as tall as 15 meters—just like a palace. In the innermost part of the main hall, an old man was seated. He should be the master of Guo Xiuwen and his junior brothers.
The old man had a very tall build. Even if he was seated, he was as tall as an ordinary man who was standing. He could practically match Yang Tiecheng’s size.
“I am Pei Ji.” The old man did not stand up, and merely nodded at them. Then, smiling, he said, “I am not being rude here. I have long since lost my legs, so I cannot stand.”
He lifted his long robes. True enough, the part of his legs beneath the knee was gone, and thinking back on his words, they should have been chopped off by another, or perhaps some accident had happened to cause his handicap. He was not born a cripple.
“It’s all right, it’s fine.” Everyone quickly shook their heads.
Pei Ji said, “I already know what you have gone through. I just so happen to have some materials on hand, so I will spend a few days’ time to build a small ship for all of you. It will take me five days at minimum, and 10 days at most. After I am done, I will inform you. In these few days’ time, you can all take a good rest and enjoy a life of peace.”
“Thank you, Lord Island Master!” They were all very glad.
He was a puppeteer, so he would definitely have a pair of skillful hands.
Pei Ji nodded. “If you are interested in the process of puppet construction, you may chat with my disciples. I, too, hope that this art could be developed and promoted to allow more people to learn it.”
When these words were said, everyone was pleasantly surprised.
Puppetry and ultimate martial arts techniques were the same, and belonged to the category of secret treasures. However, Pei Ji was actually willing to share his knowledge. His generosity was really astonishing.
Even Shui Yanyu was wavering slightly. Had she and Ling Han been overly suspicious? How could this kind of person be a villain?
Pei Ji chatted with them for a while longer, but it was all pointless conventional talk. Soon, he expressed that he did not want to waste any more time, and wanted to begin building the ship.
Everyone was naturally pleased. The faster he got started, the better it would be, so they naturally all excused themselves.
“Everyone, if you are interested in the construction of puppets, you may come seek out myself and my brother disciples. We will take turns to discuss with you all, and as long as you have talent, we will definitely not keep our skill to ourselves,” Guo Xiuwen said, smiling.
Everyone was greatly interested, and indicated that they would be paying them a visit.
Ling Han, on the other hand, was not greedy. He was cultivating both alchemy and martial arts, and following two paths at the same time was enough to make him feel strained, what more when another art of puppetry would be tossed into the mix. Moreover, he was a firm believer in his own strength. No matter how strong puppets were, they were still external objects, unlike alchemy, wherein the alchemical pills he concocted could at least be used to strengthen himself.
Shui Yanyu, though, wanted to take a look and see if she had talent in this area. However, she was soon dissuaded by Ling Han. He had not dismissed his worries just because of this, so to avoid any accidents, it was best if the two of them did not separate.
He pulled Shui Yanyu with him out of the manor. By now, they would not have any reason to keep detaining him in the manor, right?
“Brother Ling and Miss Shui wish to go out?” When they came to the doors of the manor, they saw Bu Zhengyun approach them, riding on a black ape. That made Ling Han even begin to suspect whether these people lost their legs as well, just like Pei Ji.
Otherwise, why would they be riding on puppets all day long?
“That’s right. We’re going out for a walk since it’s so rare to see such beautiful scenery,” Ling Han answered, smiling.
“Hehe, then let me accompany you both.”