Immeasurable Misery (Part 1)
Ning Zhuoru hailed from a family of mechanics.
Yan Jiangnan was taught a mental-oriented internal discipline.
Teng had a string skill to pick locks.
Wu Ping had black aurum.
Lang Qing had cold jade.
Tang Clan members were experts in forging stuff out of metal.
Jiang Chen collected a whole team to pick locks and put them all in one place? What… a flipping idiot, ahahaha! What a noob. Recruit more people, you moron. I bet you never thought you’d be your own undoing. This is what you get for being too smart for your own good!
Once I shared my discovery, everyone viewed me in a positive light. Had I not stopped them, they would’ve hugged me.
Elise, Su Qi, stay away! No hugging me!
I told Yuan Kou to search Wu Ping’s belongings.
Lang Qing happily handed me his cold jade.
Teng went to grab threads that were easier to manipulate.
Yan Jiangnan enthusiastically prepared for combat.
When Yuan Kou came back with some black aurum fragments, all of us looked to the last person on the team.
“I… I really can’t!” Ning Zhuoru was ready to break down in tears. “I honestly don’t know how to work contraptions! My dad is great at opening locks, yes, but I never learnt any of his skills!”
Tch, letting us down when it counts. Fine, I’ll get my hands dirty.
“Leave the lock to me,” I said.
Ouyang Xiucai responded, “You know how to, too?”
“I’m not bragging, but a man who can make a lock I can’t open is yet to be born.”
Gu Xianxian: “As expected of Big Bro.”
Yan Jiangnan: “You are a true role model for thieves.”
Yuan Kou: “You are the example we should aspire to become.”
Teng flicked up a thumb.
I proudly ordered, “Elise, lead the way!”
Elise: “Yes, My Lord.”
Due to some of Fiends’ Genesis still be counted as hostiles on the way, we had to take the most convenient approach. After many twists and turns, and dropping a few guards in hiding, we finally arrived at the “Earth Door”. The “Heaven Door”, however, was where the rat hole was.
I questioned, “Hang on a second. If the device is located inside the rat hole, doesn’t that mean we need to open the ‘Earth Door’ first in order for the rat hole to be visible? If we could activate the device, why would we need a key?!”
Elise explained, “Fret not, My Lord. I initially wondered the same thing, so I asked about it.”
“The ‘Earth Door’ can be opened?”
“Although it cannot, please look!”
I followed Elise’s finger to see a tiny dark hole in a corner anyone was unlikely to notice. “Both doors have rat holes?!”
Was the designer born in the year of the rat?! Why must all the contraptions be in rat holes?! You have extra-long arms or something?! We have to unlock Earth Door via Earth Door’s rat hole and then unlock Heaven Door through Heaven Door’s rat hole? What the hell is this design?! If you don’t have descendants, good. You deserve it! If you do have descendants, I swear I’ll find them and smash their faces in!
“Teng, come give me a hand.” I patiently instructed, “First, switch your strings for the thinnest type you have. Then, use your internal strength to shred it so that it’s approximately 30% sharper than it currently is. Actually, reduce it by 30% in consideration of the excess yin qi…”
It didn’t take long for Teng to find what he believed a keyhole following my instructions, but that was where we ran into a problem, as well.
“… There is an obstruction inside… I am unable to navigate the interior,” notified Teng, pinching his brows together.
Elise opined, “It must be the engraving I mentioned.”
Yan Jiangnan: “I have some knowledge in mental disciplines..”
“You? Bugger off. Yuan Kou, come here. Use your internal energy to assist him. Hit his shenmen accupoint first, then press his dazhui accupoint using your yang qi to gradually get in. Slow down. Slow down! You trying to kill him! Still too fast!”
I said to Teng, “Ignore everything and everyone except for me. Concentrate on feedback from the thread. Yan Jiangnan, if he starts looking weird, use ‘Soul Retriever Third Technique’ to consecutively hit his seven accupoints, specifically his shentang, xinyu, daling…”
As I spoke, I pointed out the location of the accupoints. I finished showing him what to do before he could wrap his head around what to do.
“Lang Qing and Ouyang, if Yuan Kou’s internal energy isn’t sufficient, you two aid him. Same method. Remember this theory…”
Lang Qing and Ouyang Xiucai instantly focused on what I recited to memorise the theory.
“Teng, focus on your own job. We’re clearing a path for you, not giving you time to take a break. I can tell whether you’re moving or not even without my internal energy. Keep moving, and memorise every detail. If you can’t give us a proper blueprint, I promise you’ll never be able to return to Dongying.”
Teng immediately refocused.
Ning Zhuoru quietly asked, “Is it safe for me to assume he could escape all on his own?”
Elise proudly answered, “Whenever he pleases!”
Gu Xianxian bobbed his head. “I’m going to give Big Bro a back massage!”
Elise: “I dare you to try stealing my job!”
“First come first serve.”
“Try it. I’ll split your head in two!”
I thundered, “Su Qi!”
Su Qi: “Present.”
“Ready your blade. If anyone gets in the way, execute them on the spot!”
“As you command!”
Gu Xianxian and Ning Zhuoru: “Y-you’re not serious, are you?”
Elise shook her head. “He’s not talking about you,” she clarified before turning to the back.
Gu Xianxian and his wife finally noticed the growing group of people creeping up from behind. We already dropped the spies and moved as fast as we could. Alas, they had a method of contacting each other that we weren’t aware of.
Teng expended an enormous amount of internal energy and mental energy to fulfil his duty whilst battling an engraving that tried to invade his mind. Though Yuan Kou and Yan Jiangnan supported him, if any of them were to let external factors distract them, then they’d suffer grievous injurious, while Teng would lose his support while he was extremely vulnerable. That was the reason I commanded Su Qi and his cohorts to keep watch for us.
Fiends’ Genesis’ members had begun to assemble and found us outsiders crowding around at the exit. However, they didn’t know what we were up to, while we wanted to avoid distractions. Thus, we locked ourselves in a stalemate.