Chapter 67 A Charlatan
Dongcheng Wudi was really in a hurry.
That was something everyone could sense.
Li Tianlan was almost dragged out of the villa and the yard by him.
Thunder God led the way, walking as if on wings.
The three of them quickly arrived at a vacant lot in the middle of the villa, and Li Tianlan was immediately pushed into a helicopter by Dongcheng Wudi.
After a short while, the helicopter rotors roared higher and higher.
Li Tianlan, who was traveling by helicopter for the second time in his life, was perplexed. Taking a look at Dongcheng, who was sitting opposite him and watching him closely, and then at Thunder God, who was flying the helicopter. He was full of doubts, but he didn’t know where to start.
After a moment’s silence, Li Tianlan still didn’t know what to say to the military Marshal in front of him, so he turned around and called Thunder God.
Thunder God’s thunderous laughter reverberated through the cabin, clearly jarring in the roar of the rotors. “Don’t worry, boy. I don’t have time to catch up with you. Put your mind at ease. Marshal and I won’t hurt you. Uh, don’t you trust us?”
Li Tianlan smiled and said no more, as Thunder God had suggested.
For him, most people in the world could not be fully trusted, including Dongcheng Wudi opposite him now, but Thunder God was an exception.
When Li Tianlan first walked out of the border camp at the age of 17, the man who accompanied him wasn’t his grandfather or any of the veterans at the camp but Thunder God.
As it was today, he was in the cabin, Thunder God flew the helicopter, and it was dark outside.
That year, they traveled together from southwest to northwest, from dense forest to desert.
Thunder God was by his side the whole time Li Tianlan slipped from his peak.
Thunder God knew most of his secrets. If he wanted to go against Li Tianlan, he had countless opportunities to act every day that year.
How could Li Tianlan not trust him now when he had put his life in Thunder God’s hands countless times before?
So, Li Tianlan calmed down. There was a calm look in his eyes.
“Tianlan, Boss Qin and you… ”
Dongcheng Wudi, who sat opposite Li Tianlan, hesitated and finally voiced his doubts, “How did you and Boss Qin know each other?”
Li Tianlan froze at his question before he replied in a low voice, “She was the first person I met when I came to Huating.”
“Was it arranged by Senior Li?”
Dongcheng Wudi’s clean face didn’t show the slightest change, but a complicated look came into his eyes. He seemed a little depressed.
Li Tianlan nodded, not surprised that Dongcheng Wudi knew who he was. Thunder God was Dongcheng Wudi’s bodyguard, and this Marshal should know what he knew.
Dongcheng Wudi pulled out a cigarette, lit it and took a deep breath. He shook his head as he muttered, “Why you and her… ”
Hearing something unpleasant in his tone, Li Tianlan narrowed his eyes and his countenance gradually fell.
Seeming to realize that there was something wrong in his tone, Dongcheng Wudi gave a bitter smile. “Tianlan, come and sit next to me,” he said, looking at Li Tianlan.
“This is just fine. I’m too airsick to move.”
Li Tianlan smiled and refused, sitting still. He had no antipathy to the legendary Marshal of the Zhongzhou State. In the Dark World, Dongcheng Wudi got both praise and blame. Some people thought that his behavior was bold and heroic, while others considered it crazy and heartless. However, Li Tianlan thought that there was no deep meaning in Dongcheng Wudi’s every move. He was just addicted to killing. A man like him would be reckoned as a mass murderer if he killed people on a small scale. When he killed a large number of people, he became a God of Massacre.
Dongcheng Wudi was by no means a good man, but he was very partial to his own people.
As evidenced by Ning Qiancheng’s one phone call that made him skip the meeting of the Decision Making Committee and rush to Huating.
This was also illustrated by the fact that the Border Praetorian Corps had been dead set on following him and gone through thick and thin together with him.
He was not a good man, but he was a real General, a real Commander.
He was strong, tough and domineering.
For the recent two decades, Dongcheng Wudi had kept the Zhongzhou State’s border safe on his own. Whatever his international reputation, he was, at least in the eyes of Zhongzhou State people, a well-deserved hero.
Li Tianlan could not bear to think bad of such a person, but Dongcheng Wudi was now looking at him in such a very strange way that he subconsciously declined when he asked him to sit beside him.
Dongcheng Wudi stared at Li Tianlan for a few seconds, his eyes almost wistful. Then he made a nod, looked away and whispered, “Your dad and I were good friends.”
There was a trace of unutterable bitterness in his tone. “He saved my life, and Old Master’s. It’s hard to imagine what the Dongcheng family would have been like without your father’s help.”
“Although few people know about this matter, but our Dongcheng family will not forget it, nor dare. Our Dongcheng family is willing to pay any price to repay this favor. Tianlan, do you understand?”
Li Tianlan’s mouth twitched. His intuition told him that there was something wrong with Dongcheng Wudi’s statement, but he didn’t know how to say it. He looked up at Dongcheng Wudi carefully. “From where I stand, it’s not a question of whether I understand it or not. We should be grateful for the help from Marshal and the Dongcheng family.” His voice was calm and sincere.
“Where you stand… Hey… Your position.”
Dongcheng Wudi laughed at himself and seemed to lose interest in talking all of a sudden. He shook his head wearily and said in a low voice, “The reason why I took you to Zhongyuan in such a hurry was that Old Master wanted to see you. He used a favor many years ago to invite a miraculous man back, hoping that he can show you the promising way. Tianlan, take this chance.”
Li Tianlan’s heart shook for no reason. Looking at Dongcheng Wudi who had closed his eyes to refresh his spirit, he nodded silently and stopped talking.
The helicopter was still flying through the air.
Outside the window was still dark, only the wind in the rotation of the rotor howling.
Overnight, he found out the Academics’ attitude and got involved in the Dongcheng family, the leader force amongst the Giant Groups.
He felt the darkness ahead of him.
What would happen tomorrow?
Li Tianlan closed his eyes. Footsteps sounded in his mind from far away, echoing in his mind all the time. It sounded very light and fast.
It was the step of fate.
In Zhongyuan Province.
It was nearly four o’clock in the morning when the helicopter landed.
Li Tianlan, who was awake with his eyes closed, got off the helicopter after Dongcheng Wudi and found that they were at the foot of a mountain.
In front of them was a neat two-lane road, extending from the foot of the mountain into the unknown. On both sides of the road stood erect poplar trees, and the road looked dark and mysterious against these trees. In front of the helicopter, there was a fleet of cars parked still. Four black Mercedes surrounded a car that Li Tianlan did not know its brand, and the soft lights illuminated the road ahead.
Around each Mercedes stood four burly men in black suits. They remained silent in the shadow of the lights, their hands on their stomachs, emitting a calm aura that was as dignified as mountains.
These were elite men, and probably none of them were less powerful than an expert at the Ice-condensing Realm.
Li Tianlan watched silently, following Dongcheng Wudi to the stunning motorcade.
In front of the limousine that was unknown to Li Tianlan was an old man. When he saw Dongcheng Wudi walking towards the car, he smiled and came over at once. However, he ignored Dongcheng Wudi and looked at Li Tianlan instead. “Are you Young Master Li?” he asked in a soft tone, still smiling.
The old man was a little fat, with a slicked-back and neat hair. He looked clean in his tang suit and cloth shoes. In addition, his eyes showed his kindness. He was easy to leave a good impression.
“Please don’t call me Young Master Li, call me Li Tianlan.”
Li Tianlan smiled back, and asked, “How should I address you, please?”
“Tianlan, this is Uncle An. He was one of Old Master’s bodyguards and now he is our butler.”
Dongcheng Wudi introduced in a calm tone. The light in front of them shone on his face, so that no one could see his expression.
“Nice to meet you, Senior An.”
Li Tianlan held out his hand and shook the old butler’s hand politely. Because of the mysterious and taboo Dongcheng Huangtu, Li Tianlan was very interested in the Dongcheng family, and he also learned some surface information from Ning Qiancheng.
Before Dongcheng Wudi served as the Commander of the Border Control Corps, it had been the Dongcheng family’s Old Master, Dongcheng Hanguang supported his family. Dongcheng Hanguang was also one of the Marshals of Zhongzhou State in those days and a member of the Decision Making Committee. In terms of status, he was one level above the current Dongcheng Wudi. At his peak, he was the nominal second-in-command of the Zhongzhou State military, but in reality, was the man who ran the military’s daily work. He ranked second only to the President of Zhongzhou State in the military and was a real magnate and big shot.
If this old man had been Dongcheng Hanguang’s bodyguard, he must be a genuine expert.
“Don’t stand on ceremony, Young Master Li. Welcome to the Dongcheng family.”
Senior An smiled and said, looking very kind. “Young Master Li, our Master, and Great Master are waiting for you. Please get in the car.”
Dongcheng Wudi suddenly said, “Give me a car, I have something to do. I won’t go see Old Master now, but I’ll go and have breakfast with him later.”
Senior An agreed with a smile and arranged a Mercedes for Dongcheng Wudi.
Dongcheng Wudi took a deep look at Li Tianlan, strode into the Mercedes with Thunder God and drove away.
Li Tianlan calmly watched the Mercedes go away. Under the guidance of Senior An, he got into the limousine of unknown brand. Senior An drove the limousine all the way up the mountain, followed by the motorcade.
The road winded its way up, deep and peaceful.
Occupying a hill to act as a lord!
The word popped into Li Tianlan’s mind, making him give a wry smile.
According to Ning Qiancheng, the whole Zhongyuan Province was the domain of the Dongcheng family. This was the real top wealthy family in the Zhongzhou State. Now the Dongcheng family just occupied a mountain to be the headquarters. How could this be occupying a hill to act as a lord?
The motorcade gathered speed.
The noise faded away.
The lights were finally visible ahead.
A super large modern villa came into Li Tianlan’s sight.
Above ground, the villa had four floors and was extremely wide. In the quiescent peak, surrounded by lights, the whole villa looked resplendent and magnificent.
In front of the villa was a large yard which had been transformed and planned in a neat and reasonable way. There was a garden, rockeries, pools, and jungles. In this quiet environment, the air was full of fragrance. The night wind ruffled the pool, the flower beds, and the bush. In a daze, Li Tianlan even felt like he was in another world.
He had been to a Garden Party, and the scenery inside was also very attractive, but it was a clubhouse.
This was a private residence.
Looking at everything around him, Li Tianlan was shocked.
“Come on, Master is inside. Take it easy, Young Master Li.”
Senior An got off the car with Li Tianlan and led the way to the villa.
Li Tianlan took a deep breath. He was not nervous, he just felt a little out of place. After all, this was the first time that he stood in front of the top wealthy family of the Zhongzhou State.
Inside the compound, several patrols in black suits were carefully observing the surroundings. On seeing Senior An, they all bowed to him respectfully.
With an indifferent look, Senior An led Li Tianlan all the way forward, pushed open the door of the villa and directly walked in.
The decoration inside the villa was equally magnificent.
But Li Tianlan’s eyes were immediately drawn to the two men sitting in the small reception room.
One was an old man with grey hair.
The other was a kind-looking old monk in a cassock.
The old man was in his seventies and eighties, and very thin; He, though white-haired, looked very vigorous; His eyes carried extreme authority; He had a tough aura of natural majesty; He was fierce and heartless, which was exactly the same as Dongcheng Wudi.
Li Tianlan immediately identified the old man.
He was Dongcheng Hanguang, the Old Master of the Dongcheng family!
Although the old man did not have the title of God of Massacre, he was also decisive, cold-blooded and cruel in his youth. In fact, every generation of the Dongcheng family had been like this from the very beginning. Bloodlust seemed to have been passed down from generation to generation. In Dongcheng Wudi, this trait was at its peak.
As for the monk beside the old man, Li Tianlan had no idea who he was.
“Master, here comes Young Master Li.”
Senior An opened the door and smiled at the white-haired man in the small reception room.
The old man had noticed Li Tianlan behind Senior An. His eyes surprisingly lit up. Then he laughed and said, “Tianlan, come here. Let me have a good look.”
Li Tianlan walked over, tried to say something but didn’t know what to call him. He just bowed slightly and said with a smile, “Nice to see you, Old Master.”
Dongcheng Hanguang glared and pretended to be angry. “Call me grandpa. I have known your grandfather for many years. It should be proper for you to call me grandpa, right?”
Li Tianlan was a little embarrassed. He unconsciously touched his nose but couldn’t say it out.
Dongcheng Hanguang didn’t force him. His bright eyes became softer and softer. Suddenly, he said, “How is your grandpa? In a twinkling of an eye, you are grown-up. I haven’t seen him for a long time.”
“Grandpa is fine.”
Li Tianlan nodded and told the truth without any superfluous words. In the presence of such an old big shot, the more he talked, the more likely he was to make mistakes.
Dongcheng Hanguang nodded and smiled, “Well, let me introduce you to Great Master Wuwei. You may not have heard of him, but I suppose you must have heard of the Great Soaring Temple? Great Master Wuwei is the highest living Buddha in seniority in the temple, and the abbot has to call him Senior Uncle.”
The Great Soaring Temple!
Li Tianlan, of course, had heard of this temple, which was a martial influence with a reputation only slightly lower than Mount Shu and Jade Pool. Their nine words of Buddhist Incantation were really powerful. There were monks and taoists in the Great Soaring Temple. A temple as it was, the current abbot was a Taoist priest, whose Taoist name was Rulai, one of the top ten contemporary experts in the Zhongzhou State.
This monk was the Taoist Rulai’s Senior Uncle.
Then his monk was a real master.
Li Tianlan bent slightly and whispered, “Nice to meet you, Great Master.”
Great Master Wuwei smiled and put his hands together to bow back. Looking at Li Tianlan, he suddenly said with a smile, “Young man, do you believe in destiny and karma?”
Li Tianlan lifted his eyebrows and suddenly remembered Xuan Xuanzi, whose opening words were basically the same as the monk’s.
“Sometimes I believe it, sometimes I don’t.”
Li Tianlan chose his words carefully and said earnestly, “Great Master, can you see my destiny and karma?”
Great Master Wuwei hesitated, his hands clasped in silence, as if embarrassed.
“Great Master, please, just tell me,” Li Tianlan urged.
Dongcheng Wudi had told him on the helicopter that the Dongcheng family had invited a miraculous man to show him the way, so he naturally took advantage of the opportunity.
If Great Master Wuwei was really a master of metaphysics, his word would be invaluable to him in the future.
“Your karma… ”
Great Master Wuwei looked up at Li Tianlan earnestly, and then lowered his head again.
Dongcheng Hanguang frowned slightly and couldn’t help calling out to him.
Again Great Master Wuwei hesitated, lowered his eyes and folded his hands. “You are against the trend, young man. If you force yourself against heaven, you will probably die young in ten years at most! You will have a painful death.”
Ten years at most and having a painful death!
Dongcheng Hanguang’s face changed dramatically, but there was no anger in his eyes, only worry.
Taoist priest Xuan Xuanzi and Monk Wuwei could be said to be the real master of metaphysics in the Zhongzhou State, and because of a little utilitarian, the former was more easily invited.
But the latter had live as a recluse with no fixed abode. If he hadn’t owed the Dongcheng family a favor years ago, he probably wouldn’t have been here at all.
However, he said Tianlan was going to die miserably. “What is this?” Li Tianlan roared in his heart.
His eyebrows slightly rose and his expression didn’t change at all. He just asked calmly, “Great Master, is there any way to change it?”
“Everything depends on providence.”
Great Master Wuwei chanted Amitabha again. “Your fate could not be changed, you were doomed to be miserable. But more than 20 years ago, someone changed your birth destiny. I’m not sure what your fate will be,” he said with a significant look.
Li Tianlan replied with a deadpan look, then stood up and said, “Sorry, I have to go to the bathroom.”
He got up and walked out of the small reception room. Standing in the sitting room, Senior An immediately came out and asked with a smile, “Young Master Li, can I help you?”
Li Tianlan nodded seriously and said, “I know it’s rude, but I still hope the Dongcheng family can kick that old monk out if possible.”
Senior An’s expression became rigid.
“He’s only a charlatan, purposely making a mystery of simple things.”
Li Tianlan shook his head and said in disgust.
“My birth destiny has been changed more than 20 years ago?”
“Nonsense! I am not 20 years old yet. How could my birth destiny be changed?” he swore in his heart.