Suddenly, a hand grabbed the edge of the coffin.
It was slender, pale, and thin, with faint blue veins when exerting force.
"I've been traveling with a dead person all this way, couldn't you lend me a hand?" Ling Shu coughed a few times, and with the help of Old Yuan, he managed to push open the coffin lid and barely stuck his head and shoulders out.
"Ah!" He gasped for breath.
Old Yuan asked, "What's wrong?"
Ling Shu replied, "I think I'm stepping on the chest of the Second Master's wife. I hope I didn't break her sternum."
Old Yuan was speechless.
He had no choice but to pull Ling Shu out forcefully.
"Are you a delicate flower? My grip isn't even that strong. Back when you went three days and nights without food and survived by eating snow, you weren't this fragile. You even said I couldn't do it. Now, who's the one who can't handle it?" Old Yuan couldn't resist taunting him.
Fortunes change, and Old Yuan, who was usually quiet and reserved, was now speaking up.
Others thought he was a mute, but if the Fourth Master and his friends saw him now, they would think he was possessed by a ghost, as he wouldn't stop talking.
But to Ling Shu, this was the Old Yuan he knew.
When he wanted to speak, Old Yuan could talk for three days and nights without stopping.
Clearly, he had no desire to speak when he was at the Guan family's residence, not even after the old master passed away.
"I can compare with you. I have big and small injuries all over my body. On rainy days, my bones ache, and even a small injury can cause me to have a fever and catch a cold. If it weren't for the fact that I had to put in some effort to escape from that Russian guy a few days ago, if we were to fight now, you might not even be my match!"
Ling Shu couldn't speak for too long, coughing intermittently. After crawling out of the coffin and using up his strength, he sat directly on the ground and didn't move.
"Give it up, you're still boasting. If it weren't for me knocking you out with one palm outside the hospital before, you would have run straight into the trap and it would have been a sight to see!"
Old Yuan noticed that as soon as he finished speaking, Ling Shu's face darkened.
When that beautiful face had no smile, it looked quite scary. Old Yuan had seen Ling Shu like this before.
At that time, he had just killed five or six enemies and lost five or six comrades.
He and Old Yuan crawled and fought in a sea of corpses and blood, barely managing to save their lives.
He was covered in the scent of blood and death.
Back then, Ling Shu was a force to be reckoned with.
He could take on gods and demons without hesitation, and even he dared not provoke him.
Ling Shu was young and strong back then. He could carry him for dozens of miles.
Without Ling Shu, he might have become a lonely ghost wandering aimlessly.
When Old Yuan saw Ling Shu again, he almost didn't recognize him at first glance.
Although he looked the same as before, his spirit was clearly much weaker than before.
Walking just a few steps made him gasp for air. He preferred sitting over lying down and laziness over hard work. He was meticulous about his food and would catch a cold if he slept without enough blankets.
Was this the same person as the one with iron bones and scars all over his body, who didn't even flinch when his right hand was almost crippled?
Now, he had lost his laughter and regained some of his former demeanor.
"Do you value Yue Dingtang highly? What is your relationship with him, aren't you just superior and subordinate?"
"After this matter is settled, I want to go back to the city," Ling Shu answered evasively.
Old Yuan frowned, "Have you gone crazy? In the eyes of the Guan family, you are the murderer of the second daughter-in-law. Why do you want to go back and offer yourself up? Is Yue Dingtang that important to you?"
Ling Shu remained silent.
Old Yuan said, "Don't you think this whole thing is suspicious? He leaves and the car explodes right after. Okay, let's say someone wanted to bomb the Japanese but got the wrong car. But then what? He's the only one in the hospital, not with the others. Why would someone still want him dead? He's close with Kagesawa, who works for the municipal government. Could it be that Yue Dingtang has some dealings with the Japanese? Yue Dingtang is related to old master Guan by blood. If he's not even slightly suspicious, then of course I hope he's safe."
Ling Shu sighed, "I know he's hiding something, I know we're always together and he's still keeping secrets from me. I also know that his second brother has a good relationship with the Japanese. I know everything you've said. But every time I close my eyes, I see him blown to pieces in front of me. I can't be at peace until I see him with my own eyes. Don't worry, I know what to do and I'll help you take care of things. But I'm not familiar with Fengtian City, so I may need your help later."
Old Yuan sneered, "Now the whole city is in chaos because of the assassination of that important figure. They're searching everywhere, and he's probably trying to escape. But you want to go back? Are you bored with life?"
Ling Shu laughed.
His laughter was easy and carefree, as if he didn't even consider the problem at hand.
But when the words left his mouth, Old Yuan couldn't find it in himself to laugh.
"My life was already gone back then. Being alive now is a stroke of luck from the heavens. Can't you let me do what I want?"
Old Yuan was momentarily speechless.
He remembered when Ling Shu had taken a bullet for him. His clothes had been open, and blood had gushed out of the wound like it was nothing. It sent shivers down his spine.
But Ling Shu had miraculously survived.
After years of separation, they were supposed to be overjoyed to see each other again.
But instead, he had dragged Ling Shu into another whirlpool.
"I'm sorry," Old Yuan muttered. He fumbled in his pocket for a while before pulling out a pipe and a small amount of tobacco, lighting it up and taking a puff.
"Oh, after knowing you for so many years, this is the first time I've heard you apologize," Ling Shu chuckled. "But don't just talk, let's settle the debt later with ten servings of donkey meat hotpot. You owe me, so cash is also acceptable."
Old Yuan laughed and scolded, "Your obsession with money has never changed!"
Ling Shu replied, "Well, my family is poor, so I had to take charge early."
Taking a break from their banter, the two began to move things outside the coffin.
Not a corpse, but things underneath it.
Old Yuan reached in and pulled out a small yellow cloth bag, carefully placing it by his feet before continuing to search.
Ling Shu followed suit with the same actions.
In the end, the two of them dug out five of these small yellow cloth bags from the coffin.
These bags were buried at the bottom of the coffin, covered with rice, and with the Mrs. He's corpse placed on top, no one could tell anything was amiss.
Old Yuan bent down and opened the small cloth bag, inspecting each item carefully.
"I looked at it yesterday and now again today, but I won't steal from you," teased Ling Shu.
"These things are valuable and cannot be destroyed in my hands," replied Old Yuan without looking up.
Inside the cloth bag were pieces of yellowed ivory and thin sheets of gold, covered in countless carved characters.
Ling Shu and Yue Dingtang had intercepted a carved scripture on the train that was identical to these.
"If they are so valuable, why did the Second Master have them?" asked Ling Shu.
Old Yuan replied, "That was a smoke bomb deliberately released by the old master. He said that not everything could be taken away, and that a little must be left behind to attract attention from others. This is the only way to secretly transport the goods. I think it makes sense."
"So you mean the Buddhist pagoda that Yue Dingtang obtained was also part of the smoke bomb?" Ling Shu asked.
Old Yuan cleared his throat and said, "That was also the old master's idea. The Buddhist pagoda shines brilliantly, and just one look is enough to make people fall in love with it. Only treasures like that can move people's hearts. Otherwise, how could the plan be successfully implemented?"
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Preview: Ling Shu's past will gradually be revealed, and in the next chapter, Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu will reunite~~