After investigating the wraiths, Lu Xun reported to their parents door-to-door that their sons would never come back. Some sobbed aloud; some kicked him off as they could not accept it. Finally, he came to the last one——
“In fact, we knew it, more or less...We lost all trace of him after all…”
“It’s all my fault...I trusted the wrong person…”
“Don’t say that. Your son will be upset if he see you like this. There is a magic circle in the woods. Please, worship him if you have time. So long.” Lu Xun bowed. He heaved a deep sigh as he left. Compared with slaying demons, he was more afraid of meeting the bereaved families, and seeing their sorrowful faces. He was sympathetic over them.
“I told you not to be nosy. Look! We now have lesser time to find that demon.” Armadillo said while lying on his shoulders.
“Those kids are pitiful! They’ve suffered enough already. At least, I can soothe their souls after death.” Lu Xun said helplessly as it reminded him of something.
“...We have to speed up to find Cao Cao! Don’t waste time again!” Armadillo jumped down and ran away; “We’ll meet up here at dusk.”
Zheng left also. Lu Xun took a deep breath; he had to get rid of his past, and get a grip to collect information about Cao Cao.
However, whenever the townspeople heard of Cao Cao’s name, they kept mum about him. As Lu Xun was in puzzlement, Armadillo and Zheng came back and brought him to a burnt shack.
“The demonic energy led us here. Cao Cao is likely to be here before.” Armadillo smiled.
As Lu Xun wanted to look into it, an old man from behind warned suddenly: “Don’t go inside. The house may collapse anytime.” Lu Xun turned around, and saw the old man who he had met on the forked road before! The old man also recognized Lu Xun. He murmured: “I didn’t expect that you are an old friend of Cao Song. Are you his friend’s son?
“Ah…! Yes! My father asked me to pay a visit, but why the house was burnt——” Lu Xun did not know what had happened before, so he pretended to know Cao Song.
The old man said as he patted on his shoulder: “Here is not a good place to talk. Please follow me.”
Lu Xun gave Armadillo and Zheng a wink, then followed the old man to his home. The old man asked Lu Xun to take a seat; he kneeled down opposite, and began to tell things about Cao Song and Cao Cao…
“You’re not the local. No wonder you know nothing about Master Cao Song and Cao Cao,” the old man took a sip of tea. “Master Cao Song was a man of integrity, and Cao Cao was a good kid. But later, Cao Song was bewitched by a cult, even handed over his own son; I heard a rumour that Cao Cao was back, safe and sound. One day, his residence burst into flames suddenly, but only Cao Cao had survived. The screams of the people inside, are still haunting me.”
“What happened to Cao Cao then?”
“You won’t believe it. Now he is the emperor! But he loves wars, and he killed all the dissidents. Everybody is afraid of talking about him, afraid of getting killed. Don’t go deep into it. You better return home.”
As Lu Xun did not want to put the old man in trouble, he left. It was already dark outside; Armadillo, Zheng and he walked on a quiet road. Lu Xun sighed as he gazed at the stars: “What shall we do...Cao Cao is the emperor…”
At this moment, a piece of paper landed on his face from the sky. Lu Xun opened it; it was a recruitment notice of the southern feudatory Sun Quan——“This is it!” He felt excited.
They came to Sun’s main city. Lu Xun showed the notice to the guards and successfully entered. The guards mumbled as he passed: “Here comes a candidate again. But no one could possibly pass the trial.”
“Yeah, in all, though, it’s the shortcut to get rich.” Lu Xun did not took their words seriously. As long as Armadillo and Zheng were with him, he could definitely pass it.
Led by a servant, Lu Xun passed through a hall and saw Sun Quan sit on the throne. Right beside him was his brainman Zhou Yu; Lu Xun kneeled down, showing his courtesy. Sun Quan asked: “So you want to be my brainman, right?”
“Yes. I can help you to confront Cao Cao.”
“Interesting. But first, you have to pass the trial.” Sun Quan nodded to Zhou Yu; he walked towards Lu Xun and said: “There is a gem hidden in this house. The gem looks as regular as a stone, but under the sunlight it shines colorfully. Please find that gem within the limited time.”
Lu Xun pretended to search for the gem, but he already asked Armadillo and Zheng to find it. After a while, Armadillo was back in a flurry: “Oh no! I’ve searched the entire mansion, but I can’t find that bloody gem!”
“So do I.” Zheng was back too.
“How could it be?” Lu Xun was astonished, which drew Zhou Yu’s attention. “Who are you talking to?”
“Ah-hahaha! No, I’m just talking to myself. I’m pondering, pondering…” Lu Xun tried to relieve his doubt.
Zhou Yu seemed to distrust him, but no longer questioned about it. Soon, the time would be up; Lu Xun, Armadillo and Zheng were getting nervous.
“The gem looks like a normal stone, but it shines colorfully under the sunlight…” Lu Xun pondered. The sunlight shone to the hall; he suddenly came up with something, and shouted before the incense burnt to ashes: “I know where it is!”
“Heyhey! Xun, don’t do anything stupid!” Armadillo warned.
“That gem——” Lu Xun came up to Sun Quan and pointed at him confidently: “is you! Master Sun Quan!”
Zhou Yu was stunned. “Why do you say that?” Sun Quan smiled.
“I heard that Master Sun Quan was a useless man, but in fact it’s not the truth. The truth is you pretend to be useless. Now you are a feudatory. If you are not that hidden gem, who will be?”
There was a moment of silence in the hall. Then Sun Quan burst into laughter, and so did Zhou Yu. As Lu Xun wondered what was so funny about his answer, Sun Quan said: “You pass.”
Lu Xun was over the moon at passing the trial.
Zhou Yu asked out of curiosity as he walked towards Lu Xun: “How do you know there is no such gem here? People tend to believe to be true, wasting all of the time to search for it.”
“Well…” Lu Xun paused. “I’m unusually observant. If the gem is as precious as it is, then why will you even tell me? What if somebody finds it and steals it?”
“Indeed! You have strong reasoning and observation skills. From now on, please devote yourself to Master Sun Quan!” Zhou Yu turned around and left; Lu Xun was still thrilled with his pass.
“Honestly! We told him there is no such gem or whatsoever, but he took all the credits again.” Armadillo said coldly as it stared at Lu Xun.
“Forget it. After all, other people can’t see us.” Zheng helplessly.