“Hold it!” Ma Kun said in a hoarse voice, “Commander, what does this mean? He becomes a centurion right after he had just entered the house?”
“Elder Ma, this was an agreement that I made with Young Chu since the beginning.” Fu Mengshan waved his hand and said, “As long as he performed this meritorious service, he will be promoted as a centurion. Since he has accomplish this task, I have nothing else to say.”
“Commander!” Ma Kun refused to comply, “We fight and work so desperately for years before we get promoted to be a centurion, but he hasn’t even been in the house for a month! He’s already on the same level as all of us, I cannot accept this!”
“If you refuse to accept this, you should’ve brought these three heads to me before he did!” Fu Mengshan laughed out loud and mocked, “You even actually brought the Ning brothers along, but Young Chu did it alone without using any of the secret guardians!”
“Just because he killed a murderer, he gets to be a centurion!?” Ma Kun scoffed, “If he killed a minister counsellor, I have nothing against him being a centurion. But it was merely spies, it’s really unconvincing!”
“If it wasn’t for Young Chu, could you have solved the case? Everyone was still in a state of anxiety!” Fu Mengshan said.
Xu Huande said impatiently, “Elder Ma, shut your speech hole. The commander has already made his orders. How dare you defy him! Enough with your patronizing attitude, the House of Secret Guardians is a meritocracy. Not just by your experience!”
“But…” Ma Kun stared at Chu Li with cruel intentions. He was outraged.
Xu Huande said coldly, “Based on what you’re saying, I can’t be the Deputy Commander either since I haven’t been around as long as you have!”
“… That’s not what I meant!” Ma Kun quickly said.
Xu Huande snapped back at him, “You talk too much! From now onwards, you’re not allowed to talk, or else! You can forget about being a centurion Elder Ma. You can be the second in command under Chu Li instead!”
“… Yes.” Ma Kun said with fury.
He dared not provoke the Deputy Commander as he was known to be violent-tempered man and a man of his words. Being stubborn would certainly result in him being fired. If he really became the second in command under Chu Li, he would rather die. It would personally be extremely shameful for him!
Chu Li smiled at Xu Huande.
Xu Huande scoffed and said, “Since everything has been settled, everyone may disperse!”
The people gave their fist salutes and walked out one after another.
“Dong Qifei, Yang Zongwen, the both of you may leave too. Leave the heads for the house to settle.” Xu Huande said, “You will obviously get your rewards!”
“Yes.” The two of them quickly responded and looked at Chu Li.
Chu Li waved his hand.
The two of them carried the boxes that contained the heads and left.
In their eyes, the wooden box with the heads were not morbid at all. To them, they were supreme treasures as they could trade that for many valuable items!
“Young Chu, tell us about it.” Xu Huande said, “How did you do it?”
Chu Li laughed, “I only collaborated with a friend. What I’m worried of now is that the Holy Church of Light has probably already obtained the Scripture of Great Light!”
He must hide his relationship with Lu Yurong since everybody assumed that they were enemies. It would be good to keep her around for ingenious purposes in military moves.
“That’s huge trouble!” Xu Huande frowned.
Fu Mengshan waved his hand, “Regarding this matter, act as if we know nothing about it. Whatever we discuss today must not be heard outside there halls!”
Chu Li and Xu Huande looked at each other and understood Fu Mengshan’s intention. Indeed, it was inappropriate to publicize the matter as it would just be like exposing their own shortcomings which would not benefit themselves in any way.
“As for the revenge from the Holy Church of Light…” Chu Li sighed and said, “There are quite a number of Grandmasters in the Holy Church of Light. I’m afraid that the House of Secret Guardians is inferior to them in every sense.”
“That’s not an issue.” Fu Mengshan said, “We’re in Fairy’s Capital. They won’t be able to send too many masters.”
Chu Li continued, “Each of them have an individually secret skill that allows them to conceal their true strengths. If they sneak in, who will notice them? If they suddenly cause trouble and besiege the House of Secret Guardians…what can we do?”
“Hmm…, we must defend ourselves against them!” Fu Mengshan frowned.
Xu Huande’s eyebrows were knitted together as well.
Should something like that happen at all, the House of Secret Guardians would become a joke.
If the House of Secret Guardians became a joke, it would ruin the image of the Emperors well. However, in the end, the House of Secret Guardians would suffer from the most from this misfortune.
“Young Chu, do you have any ideas?” Fu Mengshan asked.
Chu Li replied, “We can only reinforce our defenses. We can lay Grandmasters everywhere in case of an ambush. Within half of the year, the Grandmasters must stay put around those areas.”
“Hmm…” Fu Mengshan tapped on the table gently. He was in deep thoughts.
Chu Li continued, “We can buy a residence in each of the four directions and allocate the Grandmasters to the four residences. Should anything happen, they can come over immediately.”
“That will cost us greatly.” Fu Mengshan smiled bitterly, “Residences around this area are extremely pricey. They’re not cheap at all. Even I can’t afford them!”
Chu Li smiled and said nothing.
He could say those words but it would be strange if he could not afford the residences in that area!
Xu Huande said, “Chu Li’s idea is quite good. We can occupy four residences, or even two more, and let Grandmasters to stay in them!”
“Sigh…, I’ll think of a way.” Fu Mengshan said, “I’ll have to report this to the Emperor.”
“Alright, Young Chu, you’re a centurion now. Do you want to transfer anyone under you?”
Chu Li smiled and said, “Can I transfer anyone at my own will?”
“Of course not.” Xu Huande said, “There are twenty four centurions for now. Let them send two men of them.”
“Thanks, but no thanks.” Chu Li shook his head as he smiled and said, “I would then become the public enemy. I don’t wish to have many hands involved. Other than Dong Qifei and Yang Zongwen, I’ll take the Ning brothers too.”
“The Ning brothers!” Fu Mengshan and Xu Huande were shocked. They shook their heads disappointingly.
Oh boy. Either he prefers working alone or he goes all out if he agrees to take in anyone. Of all people, the Ning brothers!
Chu Li asked, “The Ning brothers can’t be a part of my team?”
“The two of them are very hot in the market. Their tracking techniques are remarkable.” Fu Mengshan said, “Young Chu, you’re already a master in tracking techniques. Wouldn’t it be a waste to want the both of them too?”
Chu Li replied, “We can specialize in one skill. My team will be in charge of tracking. What do you think?”
“… That’s actually quite a great idea.” Xu Huande said.
Fu Mengshan thought for a while. He then replied, “Alright, I’ll send them to you!”
Since Chu Li was an exceptional mastermind, the Ning brothers would be much stronger under his command than being under anyone else. It would benefit the House of Secret Guardians greatly.
“Thank you very much, Commanders!” Chu Li thank them with a fist salute.
As he returned to his courtyard in the Imperial Residence of Prince An, Song Sansi was already waiting for him outside. He was listening attentively to sudden shifts in air in the courtyard. He was being cautios.
When he saw Chu Li, he jumped in shock. He immediately did a fist salute and said, “Head Chief, the Royal Highness summons you.”
“Oh, you may leave.”
Chu Li nodded.
As he watched Song Sansi leave, he shook his head and laughed. It seems like Princess Song was worried that he would have improper thought towards the two ladies.
He turned around and walked towards the cultivation courtyard.
Just as he passed through the Moon Door and proceeded towards the cultivation courtyard, he saw Grandmother Dong who was dressed in a plain gown. She was carrying a medical kit out of the Moon Door. Her footsteps were heavy and her eyebrows were knitted together tightly.
Chu Li coughed softly and greeted her with a fist salute.
When Grandmother Dong saw him and gave him a warm smile. She nodded and said, “Head Chief.”
“Grandmother Dong, I’d like to have a word with you.” Chu Li then pointed at the courtyard beside them.
Grandmother Dong looked around them and followed him to the secluded courtyard.
“It’s about the Royal Highness, her injury…” Chu Li said softly, “I’d like to know the details. It’ll be good to have an idea of the nature of the injury.”
Grandmother Dong looked at him hesitantly.
Chu Li continued, “Is it really like what I’ve heard from the outside? He won’t be able to have children?”
Grandmother Dong sighed and did not say a word.
Chu Li did a fist salute, “Thank you.”
Grandmother Dong shook her head and said, “Head Chief, please advise the Royal Highness. I think that the Royal Highness is being stubborn.”
“Alright.” Chu Li said slowly, “I’ll try to persuade the Royal Highness.”
Grandmother Dong curtsied and left in a gentle pace.
Chu Li stood at the Moon Door and pondered.
If Prince An were to really cut off his royal line, he would go mad for sure.
Without a possible heir, he would lose his hope of inheriting the throne.
Under such great pressure, he was afraid that Prince An would be in despair and would abandon himself of all hope. He would then inevitably seek salvage from the Emperor.
Since he had lost hope of inheriting the throne, why not seek help from the Emperor to restore his martial arts or even to restore his body so that he could have children?
In one way or another, he had lost the throne. He would naturally go for the latter.
As long as he remained positive and accepted the reality of losing the throne, he would choose either one.
If Prince An restored his martial art, he would continue to go against him and would look for other ways to assassinate him.