Book 1 - What Is A Genius

Chapter 68 - Right Under One's Nose


Note:
9/20

He Yiming obviously selected this time to infiltrate considering the fact that most of the people at this time would be gone for lunch. Thus, the chances of Hong Anzhi being away from home were quite high.

After entering, he unhesitatingly arrived before the bed and bent down.

He swept his vision through deep inside. Although the illumination below was quite low, it wouldn’t be able to conceal anything from his eyes.

All he could see was various pieces of junk scattered around. Nothing seemed to be conspicuous here. However, He Yiming’s vision was attracted by a wooden framework under the plank.

This region evidently had a lot less dust on it as compared to other sections. According to his guess, the reason for it was that it had been frequently touched by someone.

He extended his hand and stroked it a few times before immediately feeling its profoundness.

It turned out that the framework could actually be moved. He pulled out the framework. As expected, the interior had a square book covered in a oilcloth.

A slight smile emerged on He Yiming’s face as he removed the cloth and opened the book. Sure enough, it was the other scripture comparable to the Blaze technique with three words clearly written on its first page, Withered Tree technique.

After collecting the scripture inside his clothes, he felt so delighted that he even felt disinclined to restore the mechanism under the bed.

In any case, once Hong Anzhi saw the broken lock, he would certainly check under the bed. However, He Yiming felt certain that the former would not open his mouth even if his head were to be chopped off.

Unhurriedly leaving, He Yiming closed the entrance and casually walked towards the outer castle.

En-route he encountered two strangers. He Yiming didn’t avoid either of them and instead took the initiative to strike a greeting with a faint smile. Both returned the greeting while wondering since when did they have such a neighbour.

While following the path outside, He Yiming sighed inwardly as he thought of how he was becoming increasingly adept in disguising. Going by this manner, eventually, he would be able to assume any disguise he pleased.

This time he didn’t jump over the wall. Instead, he was walking out of the inner-castle entrance in arrogant steps.

After observing for these few days, he’d discovered an interesting fact.

For a person to enter the inner castle from the outer castle, not only one needed the lead of someone with a high status or written consent, in addition, one must undergo a round of interrogation as well. However, while leaving the inner castle and entering the outer castle, one didn’t have to face any hindrance whatsoever.

Therefore, he didn’t felt the need to cross over the wall.

However, as he arrived at the entrance, He Yiming suddenly started. At his front, the person who had admitted him in the Xu castle- Xu Yuchang- seemed to be discussing with a guard. From their behaviour, they seemed quite close to each other.

Upon seeing He Yiming walking out of the inner castle, Xu Yuchang stopped speaking before an incredulous expression emerged on his face.

A sponger who had the entered outer castle barely ten days ago was actually arrogantly walking out of the inner castle. This seemed inconceivable to him.

He Yiming didn’t avoid his gaze, but cursed inwardly at his misfortune. However, on the exterior, there was no change in his expression as he kept walking and cupped his hands, “Brother Yuchang, what a coincidence.”

Xu Yuchang nodded. However, no matter how he tried to think, he couldn’t have imagined that He Yiming had malicious intents and was inside without permission.

After all, such an affair had not happened once in the recent hundred years. He was naturally incapable of thinking as such.

As he saw He Yiming nodding towards him and walking past him, he hesitated a bit then turned around while hurriedly saying goodbye to the guard before following after the former.

At the same time, the guard was also inwardly astonished, ‘When did this strange face enter the inner castle?’

However, the rules regarding the entry and exit of inner castle had been deeply engraved in the minds of all guards. Thus, he couldn’t stop and ask He Yiming even if he wanted to.

Xu Yuchang quickly caught up to He Yiming and asked in a lowered voice, “Brother Xiao, why were you inside?”

He Yiming mysteriously laughed. The sound of his laughter was filled with elation. However, inwardly, he was quite gloomy. Why on earth would he go to the inner castle?

However, seeing the expectant expression on the counterpart’s face, He Yiming had no option but to talk big, “Brother Yuchang, today, I was training silk palm on the field….” At this point, He Yiming paused to think about how to fabricate the excuse.

However, Xu Yuchang’s eyes shined as he said in a pleasantly surprised manner, “Brother Xiao, could it be that some big-shot has taken fancy to you?”

He Yiming faintly started and blinked his eyes before following up, “That’s right. How does brother Yuchang know this?”

Xu Yuchang laughed and said, “Brother Xiao, the big-shots of the inner castle would often come to the outer castle to take a look at the morning training. If someone manages to catch their eye, he will certainly make huge progress,” He paused before adding, “There has been many such instances. However, as quickly as this…. a case like brother Xiao’s is quite rarely seen.”

He Yiming immediately understood and threw a thankful glance at the former. Unexpectedly, the counterpart himself offered an excuse when he was feeling vexed about what to say.

However, this thankful gaze was misunderstood by Xu Yuchang as he promptly said, “Brother Xiao, this matter lies solely on you, yourself. I don’t have much to do with it. I wonder which big-shot was it, and when will you join the inner castle?”

One could tell by his envious and admiring gaze that this occurance was quite significant.

He Yiming hesitated a bit before saying, “Brother Yuchang, it’s nothing like that. I have only gained a bit of approval, that’s all. Distance to inner castle is still quite large. As for that senior, he doesn’t wish his name to be out.”

Xu Yuchang immediately made an understanding gesture with his hand as he said, “It’s fine. I understand,” He laughed and continued, “If you manage to enter the inner castle in future, don’t forget to take care of your brother.”

He Yiming promptly cupped his hands and said, “Of course, brother Yuchang as well.”

The two laughed facing each other, seeming quite harmonious.

He Yiming suddenly asked, “Brother Yuchang, I wish to make a trip to county town. I wonder whom should I seek permission from?”

“What do you want to do in the county town?” Xu Yuchang asked.

A faint embarrased expression emerged on He Yiming’s face as he said, “This time, I have obtained an opportunity to advance, I naturally don’t want to miss it. So, I was thinking of going to the county town and buy some quality stuff. Uh…”

Xu Yuchang immediately understood as he smilingly said, “Since brother Yuchang has such a wish, there is no need for any permission. You can go without worries.”

He Yiming’s whole face was covered with smiles as he nodded and continued towards the outer castle.

Xu Yuchang hesitated a bit before suddenly asking, “ Brother Xiao, if you plan to go to the county town, I wonder if you have some money problems. If you don’t mind, I have some savings here. If you like, I can bring them to you.”

He Yiming astoundedly looked at the former. He was clear that the counterpart was making an investment in him and even if he were to act greedy, it wouldn’t be a problem. However, his face wasn’t that thick yet. He smiled and said, “Many thanks brother Yuchang, but I have roamed around the world for many years. I actually have some savings of my own.”

After saying these words, he heavily bowed, turned around and left.

Xu Yuchang followed him with his vision up to the outer castle, then waved his hand and left in the opposite direction himself.

He Yiming glanced back at him as he stepped outside the inner castle while sighing inwardly. It was true that members of Xu family were quite flourishing in numbers. However, after a certain limit, one couldn’t avoid partiality.

Xu Yuchang, Xu Yude and Xu Yucai were clearly members of the same generation. However, the treatment of the former and the latter two was as different as heavens and earth.

If the latter two encountered a fourth-layer, outer-castle sponger, they would certainly be full of contempt. They wouldn’t even think of exchanging greetings with him.

However, when Xu Yuchang saw that a big-shot of inner castle had taken a fancy to a sponger of the outer castle, and this sponger was thus likely to make an astonishing progress in the castle, he was willing to throw his status aside and develop a good relationship with him.

Upon seeing such a difference in the treatment of the members of the same generation, He Yiming started to feel gloomy. Even the excitement he felt after obtaining the Withered Tree technique had started to fade away.

This was because he could tell that although He estate was not close to such a transformation yet, under the constant development that was happening, after one or perhaps two generations, such situations would start to arise.

He subconsciously glanced at the imposing and majestic castle surrounded by the mountains, and felt quite emotional.

Eventually, he turned, flicked his sleeves, and calmly left.

This kind of a matter lied far beyond his grasp. Furthermore, to stop the progress due to such matters was also not an option. As such, he decided not to worry over such illusory and unsubstantial matters.

As He Yiming had expected, there was no news of any theft from the inner castle.

However, the next day, Hong Anzhi disappeared from the Xu castle- his whereabouts unknown.

After all, he had a guilty conscience. When he returned back after lunch and found his lock broken, he was immediately scared witless. Under a higher command, their three generations worked their blood and sweat off to obtain the authority of managing the inner storehouse.

It could even be said that they paid the cost of the two special techniques in blood. However, he never expected that one of these two scripture would suddenly disappear. Scared witless, he didn’t dare stay in the Xu castle any longer and immediately escaped.

Hong Anzhi’s sudden disappearance was taken quite seriously by the Xu family. After subsequent investigation and a series of searches, they found some clues. However, by then, the culprits were long gone. Not just Hong Anzhi, even his widowed mother was nowhere to be found. Even the woman at the Xu town- Hehua- feigned complete ignorance, replying ‘don’t know’ to every question.

Eventually, without any better options, Xu family had to leave the matter unsettled. However, the rules of Xu family changed since that day. Since that day, nobody outside the blood-related members of Xu family could assume the responsibility of the inner storehouse.

Xu Yuchang also felt queer since Xiao Qin had also disappeared. He made a few guesses but was never able to gather the courage to look into it, and he also pretended not to know anything.

Tl: The title of this chapter and the previous one makes one complete idiom.