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   Chapter 12 Shui Minghan

Fire Phoenix By Yi Jian Zhong Qing Characters: 9856

Updated: 2018-07-22 00:11


Huo Liuyun noticed Yun Canglan's conspiratorial grin, and couldn't help but ask: "Where have you been? Why did it take you so long to wash your hands?"

Yun Canglan sent a stone on the ground flying with a kick and answered: "I saw a cute puppy on the way and couldn't help but play with it."

"Hurry up. I heard that General Yun* is searching for you. You're sure to be punished when you get home!" he said.

(*TN: General Yun is Yun Yajun, father of Yun Canglan.)

Yun Canglan gave him a flattering smile and said, "I know you won't just watch my father beat me without saving me!"

Huo Liuyun sneered and reminded Yun: "Of course I won't watch your father beat you, because I won't go into the house with you."

Yun Canglan immediately looked concerned and begged him: "Liuyun, do you want me to be beaten by my father? It is my sixth birthday in just two days, and I don't want to spend my birthday in bed!"

Huo Liuyun sighed deeply in resignation. He had sworn to protect her. He patted her head comfortingly: "Don't worry, I was only kidding. I won't let your father beat you!"

When they got back to the General's House, Yun Yajun was furious. Huo Liuyun interceded on Yun Canglan's behalf, so out of respect for the Crown Prince, he let her off the hook by merely scolding Yun Canglan after Huo Liuyun left.

That evening was like any other; the busy streets became quiet, the lanterns under the eaves gave off a faint glow for the few passersby. When the night watches sounded, there was silence throughout the streets.

Down a dark alley, galloping at full speed was a short kid, followed closely by a taller figure.

"Young Master, let me carry you!" the taller figure spoke. The short kid kept galloping without reacting to his companion chatting.

"Yun Ri, how is Yun Yu?" Although the voice was that of a young child, it was distinguished.

Yun Ri cherished his master and glanced over admiringly at him. A year ago, his master saved his life, and he swore fealty to Yun Canglan from that day forth. He learned that while others thought Yun to be an ignorant and incompetent one, in reality, his young master was a genius. Yun Canglan hadn't learned kung fu or studied books yet was smarter than anyone else. He admired Yun Canglan considerably.

"Yun Yu is a prospective freshman and has been giving her best to learn kung fu quickly. I would guess she will be a kung fu master in 3 or 4 years."

"What about her scheming?" Yun Canglan asked.

Yun Ri suddenly looked at the back of his young master and didn't know what to say.

"Just be honest with me." Yun Canglan asked.

"Yun Yu is a smart and cunning girl, but she admires you immensely, " he earnestly replied. Yun Canglan was only five years old, but all his companions admired him.

"I plan on establishing an intelligence organization that Yun Yu will head." Yun Canglan's voice was level and steady while kept on walking.

"Master, do you have a job for me?" he felt passed over again. He had been with Yun Canglan for a year, but Yun Canglan had still not assigned him to any missions.

"I have more important things in mind for you, but it isn't time yet!" he reassured his servant.

Chattering away as they were, they didn't realize right away, that they had arrived at their destination - an ancient temple in ruin. The temple lay crumbled on both sides in a heap. Enhancing the eerie atmosphere were the bundles of hay strewn about and spider webs engulfing everything.

Yun Canglan and Yun Ri entered what remained of the temple. Yun Ri approached a Buddha statue. He turned the outreached hand of the statue, and a passageway appeared from nowhere.

A faint light shone their way down to the basement from deep within the narrow tunnel.

The basement was spacious, clean and filled with beds. There were dozens of teenagers crowded on the beds, some of whom were sleeping.

Who could have guessed that this ragtag bunch of teens Yun looked at grew up in such an environment and would grow to one day be known as the best mercenary team? They would be feared across the seven countries, and known as the "72 Best Mercenaries" of Yehuo Liuxing*.

(*TN: The mercenaries were a fighting power. Yehuo Liuxing is the name of this group.)

One of the kids spotted Yun Canglan and Yun Ri as they entered and he immediately told the others to get up. "Good evening, Young Master." the motley crew of teens knelt to greet Yun Canglan.

If you took a good long look at the faces of the kids, you would discover that you had seen them, begging on the streets during the day.

"Stand up!" Yun Canglan demanded and then asked, "Where is the kid?"

"Master, here he is." a kid offered as he dragged an 8 or 9 year old boy to Yun Canglan. When the boy saw Yun, he made a small hissing sound of irritation.

"Are you surprised to see me here?" Yun Canglan mockingly smiled which didn't match the di

sregard of his voice.

The boy stared at him angrily while ranting, "Go ahead, do what you want. I don't care!"

"Oh stop! I'm not here beat you up, I only did that earlier to save you. I liked the stubbornness I saw in your eyes." Yun Canglan paused, before continuing, "What's your name?" Yun Canglan had decided to save him based on the look in his eyes.

The boy was confused by Yun Canglan's actions now and wondered if he was indeed the boy who had been kicking him earlier today?

"My name is Shui Minghan." His response was automatic.

Yun Canglan smiled and asked: "Shui Minghan? You are the sixth prince of Lie Kingdom, are you not?"

Yun Canglan had Shui Minghan's full attention now, he looked up at Yun questioned: "You know me? Who the hell are you?"

Yun Canglan smiled: "I'm Yun Canglan, I'll be your master from now on. Remember that!"

Shui Minghan challenged Yun's claim with a defiant smirk, "Master? You?" Although he had fled to Can Kingdom only a short time ago, he had heard about Yun Canglan's reputation as being the most idiotic in the kingdom, and if that wasn't enough, he was also a wastrel and a playboy.

"Right! So, I can help you avenge your mother's murder and retake all you once possessed. However, first, you must be my subordinate and swear your allegiance to me?" Yun Canglan boasted confidently.

Shui Minghan's eyes narrowed at Yun Canglan's words. He was quite arrogant, but also well informed. Someone indeed had murdered his mother, while he was framed and lost his position as Crown Prince. These events only occured a month ago, so, how did he know? Moreover, he was just a 5-year-old child.

"Who the hell are you?" he asked cautiously. He believed that someone else must be controlling Yun Canglan and feeding him information. Perhaps the General Yun or could it be the Emperor of Can Kingdom?

"I told you already, I am Yun Canglan." he responded, rolling his eyes, "I know what you're wondering, and no, stop guessing, no one is backing me or controlling my actions either." he waved his arm around the room over each teen there, "These are my subordinates." Shui Minghan looked around him, there were dozens of pairs of eyes staring back, all of them ready to do as Yun Canglan commanded.

Shui Minghan believed him but asked, "Why should I believe in you?"

"Well, there is a 50% chance we will succeed, if you have faith in me; if you do not though, you have no chance at all." Yun Canglan stated flatly.

He hesitated for a moment, mulling the offer over seriously, and finally nodded his head: "Okay. I give my oath; I will be loyal to you Master Yun Canglan at all costs!"

Yun Canglan nodded in satisfaction reminding Shui of the most important rule: "Just you take heed and remember well my bottom line! I do not accept betrayal of any kind!" he told each subordinate when they joined, because the thing he hated most in the world was deception and betrayal.

"Got it!" Shui Minghan bowed his head respectfully when he replied, like the members had.

"Have you studied kung fu?" Yun Canglan inquired.

"I've learned a little. I'm just a beginner." he answered. Shui Minghan thought, if he mastered the martial arts, Wu Yunye wouldn't be able to beat him again.

Yun Canglan nodded in agreement but said nothing. Through Shui Minghan's rage, he saw a tattoo on his right wrist.

"What is that?" he was curious, Is it a tattoo?" It looked familiar.

Shui Minghan looked down at his wrist. "My mother used to tell me I have had the mark since my birth. Oddly though, mine is blood red, and the others' who bear it, are dark red only."

"Blood red?" Yun Canglan remembered that he had seen an identical tattoo on Yan Cangyue's collarbone. Was it coincidence?

"Yes, and it grows bigger as I grow. My mother told me the mark was a shrunken feather. She said someday I will meet the girl who belongs to me and the feather will bloom, which will only be seen by my woman." As he spoke of his mother's words, his eyes softened with emotion.

Yun Canglan glimpsed a memory just out of reach; he involuntarily touched his forehead. He understood why he felt strange when he saw Yan Cangyue's mark on his collarbone. Lin Wan'er once said that three days after Yun Canglan had been born, a blood red Phoenix was there on Yun's forehead. There were no feathers on the Phoenix, and then the mark faded to nothing and had not reappeared again.

'Curious, do these feathers belong to me?' Yun Canglan wondered silently.

The Taoist priest had told the truth!

Fire Phoenix landed in the world with seven male birds accompanied. Feathers gathered together as water and fire mingled. Waves roared among heads as the world united into one.

Yun Canglan felt a mix of emotions as she came to realize what this meant; Yun Canglan was the Fire Phoenix. And she had met two of the seven Feathers now, Yan Cangyue and Shui Minghan.

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