Liu Sumei gently pressed her hands on the strings, with her soft slender fingers and snow white wrists. With her fingers slightly hooked, the guqin radiated a clear sound, the melody rippled across the room like clear overflowing spring water.
Uncle Li and the Green Hornet observed Liu Sumei cautiously. Uncle Li guarded his entire body with Yuan essence. He lowered his eyelids. With his hand hidden under his sleeve, he made several hand seals, sending the Yuan essence within him travelling throughout his body at high speeds. His body became a turbulent cauldron, his energy pulsating.
But most experienced cultivators knew that, to counter illusionary techniques, it’s most important to guard one’s own spiritual base. One must maintain a clear mind and stable spirit, as to prevent any external forces or disturbances.
Illusionary techniques work best when the target is unaware of the situation or disoriented. Whereas if the target is aware that the caster intends to use such techniques, or if the caster exposes his or her plans with the technique, then the said illusionary techniques would not be very successful.
Uncle Li focused and remained vigilant, only to see Liu Sumei slowly playing the guqin, her crimson lips slightly parted, singing an ancient poem.
“The lady called at night, the man called at dawn. You happily watched the night sky, the golden star shone bright. The birds flew home at dusk, and the wild ducks were aimed at.”
“The shot landed on the prey, and the child looked for a place to cook. We wined and dined, and grew old together. The instrument was played, and all was well.”
The melody for the poem rang out, and Xiaobao was mesmerized by it. It was as if he saw a pair of lovers under the moonlight, by the sea and mountains. And he fantasized himself in there, smiling at the gaze and company of his lover.
As he was stuck in his fantasy, he suddenly felt a hand on his chest. The said hand pressed an acupoint on his chest, and Xiaobao awakened from his fantasy. He looked around him, and found himself back in the hall. Little Bell looked at him with a smile, her eyes somewhat mocking him.
Xiaobao blushed. When he looked towards the centre of the room, he saw Liu Sumei playing the guqin. When she sang, it was as if she was singing her own feelings and thoughts.
The Green Hornets in the room were mesmerised and remained frozen in place. Contrarily, Uncle Li’s face was beetroot red, and a small line of steam rose from his head.
Uncle Li clearly felt and knew his surroundings. Through partially closed eyes, he scanned his surroundings. The Green Hornets were all stuck in their own worlds. He grew increasingly cautious, and increased the circulation of energy throughout his body. He split his focus towards two things. One was to focus on his energy, and the other was to focus on the environment, to counter any changes that may occur.
This was the best measure to counter the effects of an illusionary technique!
However, after three whole circulations in his body, he noticed something was amiss! His own energy began to betray him, and like a wild horse, the energy within rushed to other meridians in his body. No matter how much he tried to control them, it was useless!
This was not normal as it had never happened before! This was kundalini psychosis!
Uncle Li was so shocked he nearly jumped!
Had the technique worked on him?
But there was no such illusionary technique that could induce kundalini psychosis within a conscious cultivator!
Unless, this isn’t an illusionary technique?
By now, Uncle Li’s energy was out of control. His face turned purple, and the veins on his forehead looked as if they’re about to explode any second now.
As for the Green Hornets, blood seeped from their orifices. If one observed carefully, they can see that the Green Hornets’ eyeballs had turned dark red, a gruesome sign of internal bleeding.
Uncle Li roared and quickly used his fingers on his chest. He sealed his own energy and blood, entering a state of rest. In this state, his own energy remained frozen, which temporarily slowed the chaotic situation within him.
Uncle Li struggled and spat, “This isn’t an illusionary technique!”
After Liu Sumei plucked the last note, she looked at him with a mildly puzzled look. “Since when did I say it was an illusionary technique? All I asked was for you to enjoy my song.”
Uncle Li coughed up blood. He stared at Liu Sumei distastefully, and gritted his teeth. “Don’t celebrate too early. If your song could harm me, it would’ve harmed…” He turned to his captives on the floor, but found that they were plastered with a Fulu Seal, which radiated brightly and shrouded them in a protective layer, shielding from the effects of the song.
Uncle Li was enraged. He said, “This is…” but before he could finish, he noticed that a small green snake emerged from under the seal. It bit the seal and tore it off. It heard the clear ringing of a bell, and proceeded to slither towards the noise.
It crawled towards Little Bell’s leg and disappeared into her sleeve. Little Bell smiled with a smug expression.
By now, Uncle Li knew that he had been set up!
And it had happened right in front of him!
Uncle Li forcefully swallowed a mouthful of blood. After staring down Liu Sumei and Little Bell, he bellowed and dashed out of the room. Like a speeding cannonball, he leaped onto a horse and escaped.
Uncle Li tried hard to suppress the agony of his injuries. He dashed out of the city, and approached the city gates, where sleepy guards wanted to check his papers.
After escaping miles from the house, he relaxed and coughed up the blood he held down. The world around him spun and he fell into darkness.
With laboured breathing, Uncle Li slowly came to. He steadied himself and as he looked around him, he was shocked!
He realized he was surrounded by Green Hornets on horses. They looked ahead, like wooden puppets on the back of horses, riding forwards.
Uncle Li felt his body, and looked down, and realized there wasn’t a single blood stain. As for the Green Hornets, they should’ve been dead back at Li Manor, but instead they were unharmed, travelling alongside him!
What the heck is going on?
Uncle Li trembled all over!
Just a second ago, he was running for his life from Li Manor; but now, he was alive and unharmed, travelling on the roads of mountainous roads outside of Cheng’an City.
Was he… stuck in an illusion? Was he witnessing a hallucination?
Suddenly, Uncle Li noticed that the Green Hornet in front of him had a note stuck to his back. It read: I owed Li Manor one, don’t come back ever again. Regards, Liu Sumei!
Uncle Li felt dizzy, and he couldn’t believe his eyes. He had been caught in the illusionary technique!
But, when did it happen?
Was it when she played the guqin? Or was it when she set foot into the hall? Or, did the technique take place before she even entered?
Although Liu Sumei was not the most popular cultivator, this illusionary technique… is indeed frightening!