Chapter 51
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"Where is that bamboo forest?"

"It's over in the western suburbs. It's quite close; do you want me to take you there?" Xiao Shitou righteously volunteered, only to get struck in the head by Meng Lingxiao. Then, while holding his head, he complained, "Why do you keep hitting my head?! I won't be able to grow tall anymore!"

"Hmph. So what if I hit you?" Meng Lingxiao said without remorse. Then, he looked toward Jun Zishu and continued, "Do you plan on heading there now, Miss Warrior? Are you here to investigate some kind of incident?"

Subsequently, under Meng Lingxiao's curious gaze, Jun Zishu leaned closer to him, to which he responded by leaning closer to Jun Zishu. However, the next moment, Jun Zishu suddenly stepped back and smiled at him, saying, "Take a guess."

"Guess if I'll take a guess?" Meng Lingxiao said in dissatisfaction.

"Tsk. I want to head to that bamboo forest now. Lead the way."

"You got it! Xiao Shitou, let's go!"

To Jun Zishu's surprise, Meng Lingxiao knew martial arts. Instead of leaving through the front door, he jumped out of the backyard with Xiao Shitou clamped in his arm. Seeing this, Jun Zishu hurriedly chased after them.

"I haven't asked for your name yet, Miss Warrior. Although our initial meeting was somewhat unfavorable, we can now be considered acquaintances, right?"

After jumping out of the backyard, Meng Lingxiao put down Xiao Shitou, and the three of them walked side by side.

"Yan Xi," Jun Zishu said, chuckling at the other party's glib tongue.

"Yan Xi? That's a good name. It fits you very well. My name is Meng Lingxiao; the Ling(令) in token(令牌 - lìng pái) and the Xiao in awareness(知晓 - zhī xiǎo)."

"Meng Lingxiao."


"Me, me, me! My name is Xiao Shitou!" Xiao Shitou said, unwilling to be left out.

"I have one more thing to ask you two about."

"What is it?"

"Who's the richest person in Gui City? And who's the most influential person?"

Since the suspicious man had referred to the mastermind as "master," the mastermind should be either a wealthy or influential person.

"That's…tough to say."

"How so?"

"If we are speaking of wealth, it'll be difficult to judge who's the wealthiest since everyone's financial status is mostly the same. If I have to name a few people, it'd be the owners of the inns and pubs of the city," Meng Lingxiao said. Gui City was a small city, so one could easily tell which establishment made the most profit in the city.

"As for influence… Probably the city's magistrate? But he typically doesn't have much to do."

"What kind of person is your magistrate?"

"An upright and destitute official. The magistrate is a good person."

"Does your magistrate know martial arts?"

"Definitely not. He's an old man already."

Although Meng Lingxiao didn't know why Jun Zishu wanted to know such information, he gladly answered her questions with a smile.

"By the way, you seem to be quite skilled in martial arts," Jun Zishu said as she narrowed her eyes and scrutinized Meng Lingxiao.

"I just know a trick or two. I can't compare to you, Miss Warrior."

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While Jun Zishu was heading to the bamboo forest to look for clues, Shen Zheyan sat in a tea house and listened in on the conversations happening around her.

Shen Zheyan tended to sit close to the street when visiting tea houses. Although this spot was always the noisiest, it allowed her to overhear many conversations. She could also leave at a moment's notice should the situation call for it.

This time was no different as she chose a window seat on the second floor.

While sipping on her tea, Shen Zheyan had her attention attracted to a girl dressed in red walking in the busy street down below. The girl in red was currently chatting merrily with a man as they walked, and there was even a little boy walking between them.

Shen Zheyan frowned at this sight, a strange feeling appearing in her heart. Immediately, she hailed a waiter, paid her bill, and chased after the girl. Then, she called out to the girl, saying, "Yan Xi."

"Hmm? Big Sister Zheyan? You're here as well? What a coincidence," Jun Zishu lied. Little Fairy had already notified her of Shen Zheyan's whereabouts just now, after all. Even so, she still feigned ignorance as she walked past the tea house Shen Zheyan was in.

"Where are you going? Who is this person?"

"We're heading to a small bamboo forest. Xiao Shitou says he made a discovery there. This boy here is Xiao Shitou," Jun Zishu said as she pointed at Xiao Shitou. Then, she walked up to Shen Zheyan and asked, "Do you want to follow us?"

However, even though Jun Zishu was asking a question, she had already linked arms with Shen Zheyan. She wouldn't let Shen Zheyan go even if the latter refused to follow.

"I'll go." Shen Zheyan nodded.

Subsequently, Meng Lingxiao and Xiao Shitou walked in front while Jun Zishu and Shen Zheyan followed half a step behind them. As they walked, Jun Zishu and Shen Zheyan also secretly exchanged voice transmissions with each other.

"Any discoveries?" Shen Zheyan asked.

"That little boy says he once saw a person disappearing in the bamboo forest. I suspect that something strange is happening inside. It might be related to our investigation."

"What about that man?"

"He's with the little boy. He should be the boy's relative."

"That's good. I thought…"

"Thought what?"

Shen Zheyan fell silent and stopped communicating with Jun Zishu.

Realization quickly dawned upon Jun Zishu. Immediately, she tightened her hold over Shen Zheyan's arm and stamped her feet as she glared at the other party. Then, she leaned into Shen Zheyan's ear and whispered, "Did you think I was flirting with him, Big Sister Zheyan? I'm a flower thief! I'm not that type of person!"

"...Is there a difference?"

In Shen Zheyan's opinion, flower thieves were no different from lechers, hooligans, and womanizers. Thus, she had been very distressed when she first found out that her childhood friend had been raised as a flower thief. Fortunately, nothing bad had ever happened to Jun Zishu.

"Of course! For example, I only pick girls," Jun Zishu righteously said.

Shen Zheyan couldn't help but feel that her childhood friend had some very dangerous thoughts.