Chapter 13: Suspicion
Jian Wei’s ship sped its way toward the raft at high speeds. Minutes after the flare had been shot, the ship was towering over the raft. Jian Wei had suggested that he’d go back to his ship first and make some arrangements for Zhang, Yuying, and Ai before inviting them aboard.
Jian Wei smiled at Zhang as he was hoisted up onto his ship while holding onto a rope that his crewmates had tossed down from above.
“Yuying, Ai come here for a second.”, he said in a low tone as he signaled them to go inside the hut.
Once they were in the hut, Zhang pulled out 3 pieces of Lightning eater skin.
“Wrap this around your body underneath your clothes before getting on that ship. We don’t know if these people are friends or foes. It’s best to be on the safe side than to regret it later.”, he whispered
“If they are bad people all we have to do it beat them up, right sister?”, Ai said with a smirk on her face.
“This girl.”, Yuying said while shaking her head.
Zhang had left the hut to let the girls put on the Lightning Eater skin. He himself would put it on after them and as a precaution he took out his canteen of poison.
“This might come in handy”
While holding the canteen in his left hand Zhang flipped his right hand and a tiny vial appeared. It would be too conspicuous to carry around the large canteen all the time, but if it was a small vial he could tuck it in his clothes without anyone noticing. Then he sent some energy into the canteen in his hand and drops of the Lightning Eater’s poison began floating out and entered the vial.
After filling the small vial, Zhang tucked it into his sleeve and sent energy into the canteen both in his hand and in his sack. He had to supply them with enough essence to stay tangible for some time or else they’d disappear and all the poison would spill.
Just when Zhang finished sending energy into the canteens, Yuying and Ai walked out of the hut. This signaled his turn to don the snake’s skin. After a short while, Zhang emerged from the hut and walked towards the two girls.
As he was walking toward the girls, a rope ladder was dropped from the ship.
“Come up, arrangements have been made.”, Jian Wei yelled from above down towards the trio.
Soon tethers were tossed down from above and the trio fastened them to the raft. This was so the ship could tow the raft along instead of abandoning it.
After securing the tethers, they began climbing up the rope ladder. At first, Ai wanted to go first, but Yuying grabbed her shoulder and whispered something in her ear. Ai’s face gradually turned bright red and she no longer wanted to climb up first anymore.
“Bro brother!!!! You go first!!”, Ai said as she pointed to the rope ladder.
Zhang had guessed what Yuying had whispered in Ai so a broad smile appeared on his face.
“Don’t wanna, you can go first and I will go right after you.”, he said with a chuckle.
Ai’s face became even more red.
“Ouch!!” cried Zhang as he felt that the skin on his arm was being twisted.
“Okay okay! I’ll go first” he said as he rubbed his arm, looking at Yuying with a dejected expression
Thus, Zhang began his climb up the ladder. Since the ship was so big it took Zhang sometime to make it to the top. After him, Yuying was the next one to come up and finally it was Ai.
Above the deck of the ship, stood four huge masts that hung four massive sails. There were people running around mopping the decks, moving various things or just lazing around.
Zhang looked to his side and saw Jian Wei smiling at him while standing next to another man. The man next to Jian Wei had an eye patch on his left eye. A large scar ran from his forehead across to his left cheek.
Just from looking at this man one can tell that he was a hardened veteran in combat and could probably hold his own against two men who were on the same level as he was.
“Ah I almost forgot, this is my first mate Yan Li.”
“Nice to meet you my name is Zhou Zhang, this is Yuying and Ai.”, Zhang said.
“Yan Li here will show you guys to your lodgings. Make sure not to get lost, our ship is pretty big. Also, we have a curfew that is not to be broken. Everyone is to return to their room, 3 hours after the sun sets. I will see you guys later for supper.”
After telling Zhang about the curfew, Jian Wei gestured his hand toward a big door and departed.
After Jian Wei departed, Yan Li gave the trio a small tour of the ship as he led them to their rooms. The interior of the ship was like a maze, all the hallways looked similar and it was easy to get lost.
“Ah, here is the room we prepared for these two young ladies.” Yan li said as he opened a door.
The room that was prepared looked very simple but had all the necessities that one would need for a long voyage. A large comfy bed, a dresser, and a table was used to decorate the room.
Yuying and Ai walked into the room and thanked Yan li.
“Lad that will be your room right there down the hall.”
“Oh you shouldn’t have. I going to stay with my two wives anyway.” Zhang said as he walked into the room where Yuying and Ai were.
The two girls stared at Zhang after he had said that they were his wives. Dazed and confused, they did not say a word and simply just stared at him. However, Yuying was the first to snap out of the dazed state and walked up to Zhang and put her arms around his arm.
“Yes there won’t be a need for another room, my husband will be staying with us.”
“Is that so. Then I won’t be bothering you any longer. If you need anything, please come and find me or the captain. I bid you a good day.”
After bidding Yan Li farewell, Zhang shut and latched the door.
The instant the door closed Yuying grabbed Zhang’s collar.
“What’s the big idea huh?!”
“Wait wait wait”, Zhang whispered.
Then he lifted his hand and a large bubble of essence was formed. Xin Tao taught Zhang how to create a separate space from the world around him using the Underworld Heart. In this space, sound would not be transmitted outside and made it a perfect place to talk when one did not want anyone to eavesdrop.
Zhang gestured as he walked into the bubble. And soon Ai and Yuying followed into it.
“I believe it would be best if all three of us stay in the same room. I don’t know why, but I don’t have a good feeling about the captain of this ship. He seems too willing to help. Although it might do him some injustice but we aren’t sure if this ship is safe for us to stay.”
“Brother you could be right, it’s easier to deal with demonic beasts than it is to deal with people. At least you know a demonic beast is out to get you, unlike people who would greet you with a smile but are ready to slit your throat the second you turn your back toward them.”, Yuying said
“If anyone asks, we are married and for our honeymoon, we had gone on a trip but ended up stranded at sea. But it is best not to talk much to these people, at least for now.”, Zhang added
“Ok brother.”, Ai agreed.
After the conversation, the bubble of essence disappeared. The trio began to make themselves at home in the room. The bed was big enough for all three of them to sleep on however, Zhang opted to lay the many furs they had on the ground and sleep there while the two girls slept on the bed.
As a man, he would not allow them to sleep on the ground as he slept on a bed so this was the only solution. Well unless they let him sleep together, however that was not the case.
Just when they had gotten themselves comfy a knock was heard coming from the other side of the door.
“It is time for supper, come to the mess hall down the hall to the right.”, a voice said.
Zhang, Yuying, and Ai had not experienced a true proper meal in months, so they were all excited and departed from the room for the mess hall very quickly.
The ship's mess hall looked very much like a tavern. There were drunk sailors singing and dancing while the other sailors cheered. Although it was a merry environment, Zhang couldn’t help but feel vigilant. All the men in the mess hall gave him this weird feeling. They also all looked somewhat creepy.
Also, because when Yuying and Ai had walked into the room, everyone’s eyes were glued onto them. Some of the men that were dancing on top of tables even tumbled down as they lost their footing due to not watching where they were stepping.
The men on this ship had never seen two beauties that were this beautiful in their entire lives. And being on a ship consists of only men for months on end did not help at all. But now, in front of them was not one but two world class beauties that could make kingdoms go to war for them.
How could they not stare? Some of them looked like hungry wolves who was seeing a pair of lambs in front of them.
Lips were licked, and a few couldn’t walk with their backs straight.
Zhang seeing this put his arms around the waists of Yuying and Ai. After doing so, he walked with them to where the food was being distributed.
When he walked down the rows of tables many hateful glares were locked onto Zhang. However, it would be better for the sailors to hate him than to start hitting on the girls.
The trio were guests on this ship, and Zhang did not want to hurt anyone for being impolite to Yuying or Ai. By showing that they were his, a majority of the sailors would back off and would not come looking for trouble.
After getting a couple dishes, the trio picked an empty table in a corner to have their meal. Yuying and Ai’s faces had hint of pink on them thanks to Zhang.
Before they could start their meal a sailor walked up their table. The man looked around 30 to 40 years old. He had a long black beard, a mustache and stood two heads higher than the rest of the sailors. Various scars could be seen etched on his boulder like arms.
“Why don’t you two ladies ditch that boy and come eat with a real man. And maybe after, papa can show you a good time.”, the man said with a grin on his face.
However, his words were completely ignored. The trio began eating and did not even pay attention to him.
“Yuying say ahhh.”, Zhang said as he picked up some food with his chopsticks and guided it in front of Yuying’s mouth.
Yuying’s face became as red as a beet but she opened her mouth and allowed him to feed her.
“ You too Ai.”, Zhang said with a smile
“Oo-okay.”, Ai said while opening her mouth.
The bearded giant of a man seeing this became irritated and slammed his first into the table causing a loud bang sound.
“Please go away I’m trying to enjoy a meal with my two very very beautiful wives.”, ( >:D ) Zhang sneered at the man.
However, the man was not going to have any of it and with a twist of his hands, he flipped the table that the trio was using to eat dinner.
Food had scattered everywhere on the floor creating a huge mess. Pieces of plates and dishes were also scattered everywhere on the ground.
“Hey kid if you want dinner so bad why don’t you eat it off the ground!! Maybe if you did daddy will let you off. Oh yea I’ll be having a bit of fun with these two beauties later in my room too if you don’t mind. Hahahaha.”, the bearded man said in a menacing voice.
“What did you say? I’m sorry I can’t understand dogs who only knows how to bark!”, Zhang said while glaring at the man.
“Still playing the tough guy aren’t you? Let me teach you a lesson and then we’ll see who’s the tough guy around here!”, the bearded man said as he charged at Zhang.
“You two step to the side and enjoy the show.”, Zhang said to Yuying and Ai and he also charged towards the man.
He was not sure how high the man’s cultivation was but he was fairly confident that as long as the man was not a level 8 or above, he would be completely fine. Even if the man was a level 8 practitioner, he wouldn’t be caught dead on this ship.
That was because those who had reached level 8 would almost all be recruited by the kingdoms or empires they were a part of. Level 8 practitioners would be made into commander in armies or recruited to schools to teach and train disciples. There would be no way they’d be on a ship in the middle of nowhere dressed in shabby looking clothes and picking a fight with a someone of Zhang’s age.
The man swung his fists wildly at Zhang, who was able to dodge them all. In retaliation to the man’s fists, Zhang began jabbing the man with his fingers at various pressure points and meridians.
His memories from his previous life helped him know where all the pressure points on a human’s body was. Paired with the knowledge with his current life about cultivation, he was able to temporarily seal a person’s meridians cutting off their essence supply in their body.
After a few jabs from Zhang, the man could be seen getting weaker and weaker. His punches did not possess the power they had earlier and he began to grow sluggish.
The bearded man started to breathe heavily and as if he was sapped of all his strength, he fell over and slammed his body onto the floor with a hard thump.
Everyone in the room was stunned. A man who was three time bigger than his opponent was lying almost lifeless on the ground while his opponent didn’t even have a scratch.
“Hmph only possessing that much power and you dare to come looking for trouble?”, Zhang said as he stepped over the man’s body and back toward where the food had been distributed.
Zhang once again took some food and began walking back to where Yuying and Ai were.
“Let’s go and eat in our room, else another dog might come and try to bite us.”, he said as he began walking towards the hallway.
But as Zhang was walking out of the room, he felt a cold presence watching him from afar. However, when he turned back to look he could not tell where this presence was so he began walking once more.
Once the trio had returned to their room, Zhang used the Underworld Heart to seal the door. The door would become one with the wall and wouldn’t be able to be opened.
This was a precaution in case any unwanted visitors were to come in at night. One could never be too safe, especially in a ship in the middle of the sea with a group of strangers.
The trio began eating their meal and chatting among themselves late into the night until Yuying and Ai had fallen asleep.
Zhang however, would not go to sleep. He sat on the floor and began meditating, he channeled his essence and circulated it within his body. This was to strengthen his body by soaking it with essence.
As Zhang sat on the floor meditating, he heard what seemed like people running around in the hallway. At first, it was only one or two people but soon Zhang would not be able to tell how many people were running around in the alleyway.
However, after a while he could not hear anymore footsteps from the hallway.
That was when the door to the room began shaking. Someone was trying to get into the room. Luckily Zhang was still awake and the door had been sealed or else who knows what could have happened.
Zhang walked up to the door as it continued to shake. He then placed his hand on the door and released the seal.
That was when the door shot open and a man charged into the room wielding a gleaming sword.
The instant the man saw Zhang he swung his sword.