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Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 26

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Chapter 26: From Seeking Wool To Being Shorn
Translator: Actias-Myriea

'Hah, trying to con me, a con-artist? Does he really think I have no countermeasures for this?'
Fang Xing sneered while his brows relaxed, as though he no longer attached any importance to
Hou Qing. ’’Don't you try to play games with me. I may not be as far along in cultivation as you
are, but you wouldn't have the guts to touch me even if I gave you the chance for if you do, you
might not live to see the next sunrise! You think you've hidden your identity so well? Hah! I
knew who you were well before all of this, and I've left a letter....’’
Drops of cold sweat trickled down Hou Qing's forehead as he directed his sword to press on
towards Fang Xing. The sword itself was embedded with multiple spells and its silver rays
pierced through everything in its path with a frigid coldness, an overwhelming sense of
spiritual movement surrounding the sword.
’’Answer me, how did you know who I am?’’ While displaying such murderous intent, Hou Qing
almost went for the kill only to stop in a slight panic when Fang Xing exposed his true identity.
Especially by the sound of it, the man had a backup plan already and Hou Qing began to have
second thoughts about the possible consequences.
Fang Xing, on the other hand, had been pressured into revealing Hou Qing's identity in the first
place in the hopes of buying some extra time to come up with a good excuse, just in case Hou
Qing had truly wanted to kill him.
’’Are you really that stupid? How many people do you know that are in the outer court and also
need Ore Essence Powder right now?’’
Stumped for words, Hou Qing swayed on his feet in hesitation. He had believed he was
absolutely safe from being identified, yet without even realizing it, he had overlooked the basics
and left himself exposed.
The entire outer court aside from the new disciples that had joined the sect recently was
composed of those who had worked hard as a daotong or older disciples from the previous
recruitment.
Among the people who had remained in the outer court from the previous recruitment, none
were close to breaking through to the fourth tier. As for those new recruits who had been with
the sect for less than half a year, there would be at most a handful that had reached the levels
where a Poji Pellet would be required.
In fact, Hou Qing knew quite well that among these thousands of disciples, he was the only one
so far.
The reason behind his extraordinary feat was that he had already been tier two before joining
the sect. By the time he had joined, he had met up with an old friend who had been lending their
help by supplying him with an abundance of pills and pellets that boosted his cultivation speed,
all the way up until now where he was at the bottleneck between tiers three and four.
There were quite a few people aware of his tier. It had been instrumental in the result of the
battle between him and three older disciples at the entrance to Danxia Valley, from when he had

wanted to visit Shimei[1] Shu.
Although Hou Qing was quite pleased by this, it was indeed an obvious tell.
'Wait, but even so, he could only guess who I might be. How was he so sure about who I really
am?' Hou Qing suddenly came to his senses and directed his sword towards Fang Xing once
more. With all manner of life experiences under his belt, he wasn't just any ordinary young
master from a wealthy clan.
The situation didn't allow Fang Xing too much time to reorganize his thoughts. ’’I did have a
good dozen suspects at first, but who do you think I your grandfather am? I've practically
grown up in the outer court. Of the dozen suspects, I know half of them personally. Besides,
most people at the Black Market prefer a black veil, yet not only had you worn a white veil, your
robes were even freshly cleaned. This could only mean you really like white or you're just a
clean freak. That leaves only a few suspects left. Oh, and... do you know how heavily you smell
of musk?’’
As if unable to stand the smell, Fang Xing waved his hands in front of his nose. ’’How can I not
know who you are!’’
Dumbfounded, Hou Qing lifted his sleeve closer to his nose before taking an awkward half-step
backwards.
Fang Xing continued, striking while the iron was still hot, ’’So when I got back that day, I had
people looking for someone that fit these descriptions. Don't you think it'd be a bit too
unreasonable if I still couldn't find out who you are when I had all of this evidence? I've checked
you out personally, too; hah, that small mole of yours next to your brow, I knew I wasn't wrong.
Originally, I had only done this for the sake of a safe and smooth transaction. I didn't want to
reveal it to you, but how dare you try to pull a scam on me!’’
Hou Qing felt an uncomfortable chill pass down his spine as he was thrown into another panic.
At first, he had thought of the man as nothing more than a spoiled, incompetent child of
someone who held a position of power within the sect. Hou Qing despised people like these.
Never in his dreams would he have expected the man to be so calculating and cautious,
especially the fact that this man had observed him in advance, all without Hou Qing ever
knowing. In the meantime, Hou Qing had begun to look closely at the man's physical features,
trying to remember if it had been someone he had met in the past nine days.
Fang Xing saw that despite Hou Qing's mixed expressions the sword still hung mid-air. He
knew this could only mean one thing: he needed to add a bit more detail to spice things up a bit
and clear away any remaining doubt.
Fang Xing unexpectedly pulled off his black veil. ’’All I want today is to have a smooth
transaction; I don't want to turn this into a scene. If you're afraid of me taking revenge on you,
the fact you've now seen who I am is more than enough to ensure your own safety. So, give me
the real Demon Pellet as you've promised, and after today we will be total strangers.’’
’’You...’’ shocked at the sight, Hou Qing couldn't help but to take another alarmed step
backwards.
SWOOSH
Along with an eye-blinding flash of gold, a sword flew out of Fang Xing's pocket. A total of nine
snakes danced excitedly around the entire sword, its grandeur ten times greater than Hou

Qing's own silver sword.
Hou Qing was immediately surprised by the sight but still strictly controlled his mind, ’’Are you
going to fight me?’’
Fang Xing sneered once more, ’’Like I said, I only wanted to do business. I will also let you know,
although your tier might be higher than mine, Spirit weapons are the things I lack the least. If
we were to really battle this out, you might not have the upper hand.’’
Hou Qing looked at the golden sword and nodded in agreement. This sword was of extremely
high quality; if they were to fight each other, even if he could win, it would not be without
losing an arm or a leg. Moreover, he could even feel a strong sense of threat from the nine
snakes around the sword.
Unfortunately, the most annoying thing about the children of those in power was the fact they
would usually have a vast selection of high-quality spirit weapons and tools.
’’Since all Shixiong wanted was to do business... please accept my sincere apologies.’’ Hou Qing
slowly but carefully drew back his sword, then bowed towards Fang Xing.
’’Don't give me this bullsh*t! I only want the Demon Pellet!’’ Fang Xing impatiently demanded.
With an awkward smile, Hou Qing dug his hand deeply into his pocket before a small vase was
seen hurled towards Fang Xing.
Once Fang Xing had caught the vase, he pretended to smell the pellet inside after uncorking it,
and upon its confirmation he let out a heartfelt smile. ’’How simple was that? Why did you have
to make it so complicated? Let me tell you something, Shidi, you'll only get yourself in over your
head with troubles if you keep up your little smart-a** attitude. Oh, and let's not see each other
again.’’ Even as Fang Xing continued to speak, his [Nine Snakes' Sword] was still in mid-air.
’’Please, take my apologies once more.’’ Hou Qing again bowed in a polite manner. He did not
wish to get on the bad side of someone like the man before him, and in fact Hou Qing had
already started to regret the fact that this man might use his connections within the sect to
suppress him at a later date.
Those thoughts had vanished quickly once Hou Qing had memorized the physical features of
this man, and now neither of them had any advantage over the other. Besides, he himself had
his own connections within the sect as well, or how else would he have been able to join the sect
after he was already in the second tier? With the last of his doubt cleared away, Hou Qing put
away his sword before leaving the hilltop in a hurry.
A breeze of wind caressed Hou Qing's skin, drying up his cold sweat as he hastily walked away
from the hilltop, his eyebrows still locked as his mind wandered. 'Who is that person? I'm sure
I've never seen that face before. I'll ask Shimei Shu to keep an eye out for someone like that for
me. Hm... he's arrogant, skinny, tall, and has a golden Flying Sword...
'Hold on a minute. A golden Flying Sword, nine snakes...
'Why does that all sound so familiar...?'
Immediately as if something had finally clicked Hou Qing slowed down. He had just
remembered a rumor about a stolen [Nine Snakes' Sword] at one of the previous Black Markets.
Then, acting purely on instinct, he opened his bag of ’’Ore Essence Powder’’.
The closer he looked, the more he felt that something was wrong with it.

Hou Qing noticed some light shade of yellow on his hands. He was sweating so it was only
natural for the powder to be slightly damp, but for it to lose color at the onset of moisture was a
completely different matter.
If the man was who he said he was, then why would he rob the Black Market? Similarly, if he
was the culprit behind the robbery, why would he be who he said he was?
’’I'm going to kill you!’’ It took only a single thought before Hou Qing realized what had really
happened.
Hou Qing was so infuriated that his veins could be seen popping from his neck. After releasing a
howl of anger audible even some four miles away he turned back towards the hilltop in a
mad dash.
Fang Xing, on the other hand, had already left through a less direct path using his fastest speed
possible. Hou Qing stood no chance of catching up.
In a way, all of this had been the result of Hou Qing's own carelessness. If he hadn't wanted to
so desperately swindle Fang Xing, he would have paid more attention in examining the
powders as soon as he'd received them. Unfortunately, he had been too focused on worrying
about the second-rate pellet to closely look and feel these ’’Ore Essence Powders’’.
To put it simply, it was the perfect example of trying to go for wool but coming home shorn.

NOTES
[1]Shimei: 师妹 (shi1 mei4); younger martial sister.



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