Chapter (40): Play the Ghost King

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Ling Wen stood there, frozen. Xie Lian had tricked her, although after saying nonsense after nonsense, he still exposed all her lies.

Ling Wen sighed, "Your Highness, you really are...". After a pause, she said, "Maybe it's just my bad luck that this mission was given to you. Considering the centuries of friendship we hold between us... I think if I pleaded you to keep your eyes closed on this, you probably wouldn't agree to it. You would instead encourage me to turn myself in to the Great Martial Hall, am I right?"

Xie Lian sighed too. He and Ling Wen had known each other for centuries. Even when he was ridiculed as the Rubbish God, Ling Wen never looked down on him. On the contrary, she had given him assistance and took care of him.

Xie Lian replied earnestly, "My luck is bad too."

Ling Wen crossed her arms and shook her head. "Your Highness, someone like you... sometimes you're smart, but sometimes you're not very smart; sometimes you're soft-hearted, but sometimes you're cold-hearted, too."

Having been caught, Ling Wen made no effort to struggle. She let her hands be tied with Ruoye, and as a last request before turning herself in, she asked Xie Lian to let her meet the real Brocade Immortal. Xie Lian promised to take her if she vowed to not run away.

Soon enough, the two arrived back at Puqi Shrine. There was Quan Yizhen sitting outside the shrine while Wei Ying was trying his hardest to untangle his hair. But from looking at the bundles of fallen hair accumulated at their feet, it must not have been going well. Xiu Li on the other hand, was sweeping the fallen hair along with the fallen leaves as usual.

Xie Lian let Ling Wen be alone with the Brocade Immortal behind the Puqi Shrine as per her request. She made a vow and had her hands tied with Ruoye as well, so there was no way she could escape. Xie Lian thought maybe he could cook something using the vegetables and meat the villagers had gifted him. He rolled up his sleeves and prepared to get to work.

In a while, the front door opened and a boy with a broom in his hands entered.

"Xiu Li? Did you sweep the whole front yard?" Xie Lian asked, turning to see him.

"Yeah, I did."

"Thank you for your hard work," Xie Lian said so with a smile, "What are you doing here?"

"Is there anything I can help with?"

"Do you want to help me cook?" Xie Lian asked.

Xiu Li nodded. Xie Lian smiled, and turned back to the boiling wok. Xiu Li then came over and started cutting the vegetables. He was so focused and careful to have thin slices that the radishes he cut had practically turned into paste.

Xie Lian said with a light tone, "Is Xiu Li experienced with cooking? You cut the radishes perfectly."

Xiu Li's hands moved on like a professional, "I've cooked in the Paradise Manor."

"Oh," Xie Lian couldn't help but wonder. Everytime he was at the Paradise Manor, he had never seen the black soldiers cook, let alone the guards. There were more than enough maids to handle the affairs in the kitchen.

"Is it a hobby?"
"Yes. Somewhat." Xiu Li answered

"The Paradise Manor is such a large mansion. How long have you been there?"
"Fifty years."

"How is it like living there?"
"It's fun."

"How are your superiors?"
"Yin... Waning Moon Officer is quiet but he's fine. Hua-Chengzhu is nice and caring too."

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