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Accompanying the Phoenix Chapter 36 Part1

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Chapter 36A: Reunion
[July 22, 2019]
...

Xi's father looked sternly at Xi. "What happened to your mother? Why are you here by yourself?"

Xi pinched her dad's sleeve. She felt really wronged. "Mother suffered a minor injury. She was worried about the miasma affecting her so she didn't dare come with me."

"How willful of you!" He yanked his sleeve away from her grasp. "No fear of the miasma at all! Leave here immediately!"

Xi had overstepped. She looked at Brother Yan and saw he wasn't paying attention to her at all. Her throat tightened and she couldn't speak.

Unexpectedly it was Fu Rongjun who interrupted the silence. He walked to Xi and stuck one hand out between them, creating a s.p.a.ce for himself to step in.

Like a skilled diplomat he said, "The enchantment circle will protect all those inside from the miasma. There is no need to drive your daughter away so soon. Taoist priest, please do not blame her. She was simply worried about your well-being and was eager to see you."

Fu Rongjun turned around and looked at Xi after he finished speaking. The bright s.h.i.+ning way she gazed at him melted his heart. His eyes softened and he unconsciously smiled. The warmth showed through despite his ash smeared face making Xi very grateful someone was on her side.

Xi's father had nothing more to say after Fu Rongjun spoke.

Shen Li crouched in front of the sleeping girl and studied her face. Her lips were nearly black and there were distinct glowing bluish-green lines crisscrossing under her fair skin. They pulsed and gave the impression there were bugs underneath.

"Was the epidemic caused by the miasma?"

Yan glanced at Shen Li, unhappy she would disturb the woman's sleep.

In a rude tone she continued. "What? You don't know? What are you doing with her then? Let someone else who knows what they're doing take care of things." She turned to Xing Zhi. "I'll have to trouble high G.o.d."

Xing Zhi sighed at her behavior. He understood it was her way of getting justice for Xi. No matter the situation Shen Li would always be Shen Li. She couldn't bear to see someone suffering unfairly and not doing something about it. However she felt about something, whether she liked it or not, would rise to the surface and show in her behavior.

With these thoughts in his heart Xing Zhi walked over to the sleeping woman. After observing her carefully he read her pulse. "I will see the other patients now."

His expression was heavy. He circled around the temple checking people before returning. With knitted brow he turned to Fu Rongjun and asked, "Your Highness has been here several days now. Can you tell me which direction has the greatest miasma density."

Fu Rongjun thought about it before replying. "The west side of the city. The southwest is particularly lethal."

Xing Zhi muttered something to himself. "If I'm not wrong the miasma isn't flowing into the city from the outside, but rather is flowing out of the city to the surrounding area, and has been doing so for quite some time."

This surprised everyone within earshot. The Taoist was the first to disagree. "That's impossible. I live a secluded life in the mountains but do come to the city to buy supplies. I was here last month and noticed the miasma clinging to the outside of the city walls. There was no miasma beyond the walls and inside the city then."

"The sickness here isn't an epidemic caused by disease, but the result of blood flow crossing the wrong way. It's symptomatic of too much miasma inhalation." He pulled his sleeve up and showed his arm. Faint bluish-green marks were visible. "I was careless several days ago and allowed the miasma to enter my body. Once inside it will remain for some time. These are the marks of its presence."

Shen Li recognized they were the wounds from the time he was ambushed by the yao shou in the Ruins. Xing Zhi hadn't said anything about them so she hadn't realized his wounds hadn't healed fully.

"This kind of mark, aside from being injured by beings that emit miasma, can also be found in those who inhale the miasma all year long. Physical symptoms appear once it reaches a certain concentration level in the bloodstream."

Xing Zhi pulled his sleeve back down. "The disappearance of immortal beings, the mysterious immortal sect, the profusion of miasma, the answer may lay in the western part of the city."

Shen Li's main concern was the Demon realm. It was possible the cause could implicate her people so she wanted to resolve everything as soon as possible. "Let's going to the west side." To Fu Rongjun she said, "Guard this place well."

The miasma grew increasingly heavy and toxic as she approached the west side of the city. Despite taking precautions against it, Shen Li could barely move. She spoke to Xing Zhi beside her. "If the culprit is from the Demon realm then I will ask you to allow me to deal with that person."

Xing Zhi was silent as he considered her request.

She didn't think there would be an issue with it so his reply was unexpected.

"That won't be possible. This matter involves too many land G.o.ds. Heaven will want to investigate."

Shen Li nearly missed a step at his words. She turned around and looked at him. He still had the same faint smile he usually wore but is eyes were resolute. In that moment Shen Li saw the real Xing Zhi. He was normally carefree, but when it came to heavenly matters he would wasn't going to budge.

"That's fine." Shen Li nodded. "It can be a joint investigation," was her compromise.

To that, Xing Zhi did not reply. By then they had reached the area and the miasma was intense. Breathing was nearly impossible. Even Shen Li, as accustomed as she was from living in the Demon realm, felt unwell, never mind ordinary mortals in the mortal world.

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