It took two days for Iron Guardian to return to from his sweet dreams. Even though he could give Hong Jiu a run for his money, and no matter how wacky Ming Feizhens Flying Human technique was, Iron Guardian shouldnt have been out for so long. The real reason for him sleeping two entire days was Ming Feizhens Shadow King String manipulation.
Ming Feizhens Shadow King String worked on the premise of forcing his true qi into his targets limbs, empowering him to control their limbs at will and have them exert more force than they were physically capable of. Why was Mountain Monster so taxed when he only had her walk around and speak, yet Zha Pi didnt suffer the same symptoms at Canhu Town In Zha Pis case, Ming Feizhen discharged true qi in a single instant through Zha Pi - a channel for the true qi to reach its designated target.
Iron Guardian had it worse than Mountain Monster since, not only was he controlled, he also went for a flight. The result of knocking him out and making him fly would be the same. Thus, it was clear to see that Ming Feizhen wanted to teach him a lesson.
Iron Guardian was still in the midst of trying to figure out what time it was and where he was when a follower in the faith inquired, “Are you up, Sir”
Xiacang Anxi languages and the village scenery reminded Iron Guardian of the village he grew up in. Having lived on Mount Wanyu for so many years, faking a smile whilst being wary of everyone had become the new ordinary for him. Only when the follower helped him up and served him a mouthful of soup did he regain awareness of his surroundings.
Iron Guardian couldnt believe he heard concern from the followers voice as strong evinces of emotion were prohibited on Mount Wanyu. Anyone caught showing an extreme degree of any emotion would be punished with a hundred canes.
He didnt know how to respond as punishing the follower was beyond the authority he was conferred. Until Shaman Monarch or Great Spirit Shaman was a clear victor, he couldnt afford to get on the bad side of either of them.
Holding the bowl of soup that felt particularly warm, Iron Guardian asked, “Where are we now”
“We are still at the same village. You have been asleep for two days. This is our third morning here.”
His Majesty must have decided to save this village.
Iron Guardian was privy to the connections Gewu had to highwaymen and their joint reaving operations. The question of what would happen to the children if circumstances didnt change for the better plagued always weighed on Iron Guardians mind. A lot of the crises that villagers faced were the product of machinations Gewu engineered to pre-empt anyone or anything that could jeopardise his rule.
If the development trajectory didnt change, they were counting down to violent conflicts. Nevertheless, if Ming Feizhen wanted to alter the plots path, he wasnt challenging just Gewu but the last centurys battles. All those factors could easily crumble a mighty fighter before his crusade bore fruit.
As Iron Guardian exited his thoughts, he noticed followers transporting sacks back and forth. “What are you all doing”
“Giving out porridge, Sir.” The follower taking care of Iron Guardian affably smiled. “His Majesty ordered us to deliver porridge to the villagers three times a day, and we have been working around the clock for the last two days.”
Serving porridge was the most viable means of feeding so many people. The problem was that they distributed the rations they brought along already. As they didnt have enough money to buy more, they could only ask White Cleric for more funds. Even then, there was no way he alone could feed so many mouths.
“Hang on. Youve been working around the clock for two days There are two hundred of you, while there are only a few hundred villagers. That doesnt add up”
Iron Guardian went outside to see the village so packed that water would have trouble squeezing through.
“Everyone, dont crowd around here. Another twelve tents have been set up in the east of the village. Theres more room there. Everyone who just arrived, please go collect your serves. If you have had your serve, please do not ask for second serves. We have enough rice for everyone to have three meals a day, so please do not worry. His Majesty made it clear: you cant just eat and not work, or you will have to give up a meal. Please do not dally in the village. We will be waiting for your return for dinner.” It was Wood Guardian, who was by the steaming pots, speaking, and understandably so because she was the only individual with the internal strength to amplify her voice that loudly.
Villagers either left the village, went to finish their meal or to work at Wood Guardians behest.
The follower behind Iron Guardian told him, “It is not just the local villagers but even villagers from neighbouring villagers and their neighbours who have come over. Five villages came the day before. Thirteen villages visited yesterday. I think every village nearby came today.”
“Doesnt that mean there are thousands of them”
“According to yesterdays count, nine thousand people came. If we include those who have dropped in so far today, it should be around twelve thousand.”
Rather than be impressed with Ming Feizhen, it was more shocking how much Gewu made them suffer. Else, why risk their lives travelling through bandit turf for some rumoured porridge with no guarantees
“But Iron Guardian…”
“Yes, she and Miss Yangyang are leading the tents. They are taking care of procuring ingredients and transportation logistics. His Majesty told everyone else to not help them.”
“But… But…” Iron Guardian felt stupid for nothing made sense to him. “Where are you getting the money from We dont have money.”
“His Majesty is sponsoring this.”
I heard that people in the Central Plain are far wealthier than they look. Could His Majesty be one of those wealthy families that could buy out all of Nanjiang
Interrupted when he saw a follower holding a familiar golden object, Iron Guardian brayed, “Stop right there! Are you in possession of an item from Shaman Monarch Palace!”
“S-Sir, yes, you are right. There are two more carts of gold items behind me.”
Confirming the claim with his own eyes, Iron Guardian questioned, “Whats this about!”
“His Majesty brought them.”
“Yes.” The follower jovially expounded, “His Majesty told us he would perform the miraculous feat of travelling a thousand miles in one trip, and he really did it! He generated a gust of wind as he vanished and then came back within just over two hours with a hoard of treasures from Mount Wanyu. As you know, our gold and jade items are worth an astronomical sum. We were able to afford so much food after selling a few of them.”
“… Are you saying His Majesty fed all the famine victims with Shaman Monarch Palaces valuables!”
“Yes, His Majestys aide, Second, went to the companies in cities to exchange the items for food. I think we have enough food for the villagers here to consume for a month. His Majesty instructed us to exchange the remainder for emergency funds.”
“But…” Iron Guardian didnt even know what he wanted to say. “Wait. But there are bandits between the villages. How did the villagers safely travel here”
“Strangely, the bandits nearby have stopped causing trouble. I heard,” The follower beamed, “His Majesty subdued them on his way out. He truly is amazing.”
Is there anything he cant do!
Finally closing his agape mouth, Iron Guardian wore on a mellow smile. “Where is His Majesty now”
“Uh… I think we went to see Somethingdan Wanqu”
“Its Zuodan Wanqu,” another follower rectified.
“Its Zuowan Wanqu, leader of the eighteen mounted bandit gangs! His Majesty must be insane! Zuowan Wanqu is a blood-thirsty beast and ferocious fighter! How can His Majesty do anything on his own! Where did His Majesty go, specifically Assemble our men! We need to go to his rescue!” Iron Guardian commanded.
“But… we do not have enough men here, either…”
“Thats written on the wall! Go call for help from Mount Wanyu! We dont lack manpower! Nobody will get away with challenging our authority!” Only now did it occur to Iron Guardian that only other people around him had changed. “Dont just stand there! Go!”
An uninvited guest with white hair ambled through a encampment, where over a hundred tents were lined up along the forest path fifty kilometres from the village, and tossed a scowling head onto the ground. Everybody could recognise the face of Nanjiangs tyrant. Their intruder gently shook the blood off his hand and stared down the thousands of bandits surrounding him.
“Is he the best you got”-