Conspiracy…

  Feng Tian, Zhang Yu and Rong walk down the street lined with food stalls, he stops at one selling candied fruit on a stick. XiXi would like some of those he thinks then orders the vendor to wrap up a few. He is wondering if she has awakened yet, they need to hurry back.

     Zhang Yu is walking slowly thinking about the men he had overheard in the Heavenly Cloud Restaurant. How could that man seem so familiar to him, he had never visited this Kingdom before. He stumbled because he wasn’t watching the flow of people around him, Feng Tian grabbed his arm to straighten him.

     “Zhang Yu, are you all right? This street is busy you need to pay attention”, Feng Tian thought he had seemed strange since they left the restaurant.

     “Yes..yes..let’s hurry to the boat I have something to discuss with you.”

     Feng Tian tells Rong,” I won’t need you until we head back , if you need anything go buy it, return before the sun goes down.”

     They arrive at the boat all the supplies and horses have been loaded down below. The horses they had purchased are naturally calm and they were just eating hay when he inspected them.

     Just to be sure there were no problems on the way he hit their accupoints to immobilize them. When he went up to the deck, Zhang Yu was leaning on the railing looking back at the shore with a concerned look on his face.

     “Feng Tian while you were gone from the restaurant I overheard some suspicious looking men and a scholarly looking gentleman talking down below. I was on the steps, I moved to the side and lingered when I saw the scholar’s face. I was hidden from their view and could only see the profiles of the two rough looking black robed men.

     They had greasy hair and were sweating , but I could clearly see the gentleman. They looked to be unusual dinner companions, and the black clothed men looked nervous. The gentleman was exerting an oppressive aura towards them and they looked frightened.

     I ‘m having trouble remembering where I saw the gentleman before, but he looked very familiar to me.”

     “Did you see him earlier while we were gathering supplies?”

     {Zhang Yu didn’t want to say until he thought it through, it seemed impossible what he was thinking}.

     “No .., I’m not sure where, it is bothering me.”

     “Not just that he looked familiar but, from what I could hear before I was afraid I would be discovered ,seemed to relate to your family.”

     “What do you mean?”{he didn’t want to tell Zhang Yu of the assassination attempt earlier}.

     “They mentioned a Fourth Crown Prince and that their plans were not moving as planned. The mission had failed”. The gentleman with them sounded exceedingly upset, he harshly said “I thought those men were the best at what they do! What did we pay them that gold for…incompetent fools!

     Feng Tian instinctively grabbed Zhang Yu’s arm and turned him to face him, “What did the scholarly looking man look like?”

     Zhang Yu could see the concern in Feng Tian’s eyes they were turning a dark green and the golden specks within seemed to be on fire.

    “ He had a light green robe with a bamboo design..”Feng Tian interrupts..”His face!..What did his face look like?”

     He had a sharp nose, wide lips and brown eyes. His hair was black and he was wearing a hat I assume designated his position in the court. His features had a feminine look about them and he kept fiddling with a ring on his finger.”

     “What did the ring look like?” Feng Tian was getting very agitated.

     “When he raised his hand to his forehead rubbing his temples I saw it clearly. It was white jade with a red stone in the middle carved in the shape of a spider.

     Peng Yihong?

    “As the two men were leaving, I didn’t want to look conspicuous so I continued down the stairs, I heard the gentleman say as he was twisting the ring on his finger, under his breath,” Damn you Feng Che..”

     Feng Tian looks at Zhang Yu angrily. “Why didn’t you tell me before!”

     “I wanted to try to put some pieces together in my mind first, as to where I saw that man before. I’m still not able to..I also didn’t know if anyone would overhear me tell you on the street. This boat seemed the best place to tell you what I saw.

     There appears to be a conspiracy against your brother. Who knows if someone is following you.”

     “I’m sorry Zhang Yu for overreacting, you are right, this is the most secure place. If we were being followed they would have been alerted you witnessed the meeting in the restaurant.”

     “I don’t want to delay our return but I need to return to my home and discuss what you heard with my brother. It shouldn’t take too long.”

     Feng Tian uses his qinggong to rapidly arrive at the palace, he barges through the door his robes and hair hair flying.

     “Where is Che?”

     His father and LingLing are in his study discussing The Immortal Sect’s business when they hear Feng Tian. They both rush out to see Feng Tian looking wild eyed and disturbed.

     Feng Jia grabs Feng Tian’s arm, “What is so important you rush in here disturbing me’”

     Feng Tian quickly bows, “I’m sorry father! Please forgive this unfilial son, I have urgent business with Che.”

     Feng Jia smiles and pats him on the shoulder, “It’s fine, I just worry to see you in such a state. You seemed happy and calm when you left earlier. What could make you return to the palace in such a distressed state?

     Che left awhile ago, he said he had Council business in the outer district he needed to take care of this evening”

     “Excuse me LingLing, I need to talk to father privately”

     LingLing wanted to be included, “Maybe I..she didn’t get to finish her sentence before the two men went into the study, the door slammed.

     She wanted to listen but a eunuch said , “Miss Yun allow me to walk you out”

     Eunuch He was the most dependable of the eunuchs that served the Fengs and he knew the status of LingLing was not held in such high regard to be privy to Feng family matters.

     Reluctantly, she leaves turning her back towards the door. What was so urgent Feng Tian forgot to bow to his father when he arrived..

     Feng Tian could barely get his words out fast enough telling his father what he knew.

      His father did not seem surprised, “Tian, thank you for your concern, but Peng Yihong is merely a pawn in a much bigger game. We are aware of his movements against us but he is backed by someone still in the shadows we need to flush out.

     I can see by your face you are hurt by the fact you were left out, but it was in accordance to your mother’s last wish.

     She never wanted of all her sons, for you to be involved. I needed to respect that, I loved your mother more than life itself. When the gods took her from me I raged and destroyed the people involved. Chunhua didn’t want me to seek revenge but I did and blood flowed in two Kingdoms. Blood staining the mountains to the sea. I didn’t respect that wish because I had to vent my anger at losing her, I couldn’t be consoled.

He recalls the bloody aftermath of her death. They had to pay!

I felt the least I could do for her was respect that you remain distanced in affairs of The High Council

     Feng Tian looks at his father’s face, he was once the most handsome man in Seven Kingdoms. Even now with his hair whitened with age you can see the handsome young man he was. Feng Tian has heard stories how his father pursued his mother, a Princess of the Moon Flower Kingdom.

     Her beauty was unsurpassed, her eyes like Feng Tian’s were green with specks of gold.

      Her marriage was set with a Prince from The Night Sky Kingdom when she met his father while out riding with her friends. His father was there on his way to The Third Demon War, he was going hunting with her second brother.

     They were close friends from young and he had invited him to the palace for some fun before he left to war.

     Feng Jia was on his way to the hunt and Huang Chunhua was going with friends to watch. Her horse suddenly bolted, he saw and quickly caught up, grabbing her and placing her on his saddle.{little did he know at the time she intentionally wanted to gain his attention, she was a martial arts expert }

     The story said they looked into each other’s eyes and never looked at another again.

     It took him winning the Demon War and half his fortune to break the engagement she had with the Prince.

     When they married he never took another wife or a concubine, even after her death.

     But, the jealousy and resentment caused by the broken engagement haunted them throughout their marriage. It ultimately caused her death when she was poisoned in that Spring.

     Feng Tian looked at his father who seems to have aged in the last few years. He respected him and the decisions he made for the family, “I understand, but Feng Che said you agreed to allow me to use my powers now, Is that true?”

     “Yes, you are going on an arduous journey and if you didn’t I don’t know if you would survive. In the past we kept you sheltered but Fate has brought trouble to your door,there is no avoiding it.

     Your mother would not want any harm to come to you, I made this decision.

     “Peng Yihong married Hong Bo’s girl, Zhao Hua did you know that?” Feng Tian thinking of Peng Yihong wants to find him and kill him right now.

     “Yes, she came to me and told me she felt Peng Yihong had something to do with Hong Bo’s disappearance. I advised her not to get involved but she was unwilling to listen. She married him and passes on any information she obtains.”

     “That is too dangerous! “ Feng Tian felt very protective of Zhao Hua.

     “She told me she wanted to join him in the afterlife, but then decided to take revenge by bringing the people to justice. She wants to find out what happened to him, it’s her reason for living. How could I argue with that, when I did far worse to avenge your mother.”

     “Well, I will protect the Dragon and when Feng Che meets me he can fill me in on any developments. I don’t want to be kept in the dark anymore.”

     Feng Jia hugs Feng Tian,“I have always been proud of you Feng Tian, I know it hasn’t been easy for you not being included. You do realize we were following your mother’s wishes.

     One last request before you leave, listen to Yun Tai, he is experienced and also your friend. Your powers you have cultivated are strong, but he is a brilliant strategist. The Beast Hunters and others you will come across are not your ordinary opponents. “

     “I understand and agree with you, in time I will rise to his level but I am aware he is a seasoned warrior.” Feng Tian has a deep understanding of Yun Tai’s abilities and admires his friend.

     “You saying that gives me confidence you will succeed. You have great gifts handed down from your mother to you. She was unparalleled in the use of those techniques but chose to be my wife and a mother setting her past behind her.”

     “Goodbye father, I will send a falcon to you with any news along the way.”

     Feng Tian bows and turns to leave, he is stopped by his father.

     Feng Jia takes a pendant out of his drawer and places it in Feng Tian’s hand, “This was your mother’s”, he hugs him once more tightly.

     The pendant as Feng Tian grips it tightly in his hand begins to glow.

     “Father..”, Feng Tian wants to ask about the pendant, its glow is similar to the glimmering red ore of the bracelet he had made for XiXi.

     Feng Jia cryptically says, “You will know when the time comes.. “

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