A Three Inch Adorable Wife Hidden in the Sleeve of the Chu King

Chapter 30

Dean Gu lingered over a meal at Xie Xun's place.

Originally just simple home-cooked dishes, yet Dean Gu ate heartily, nearly moved to tears.

It was simply too, too, too delicious!

Dean Gu marveled that the Third Prince could possess such exquisite culinary skills, while lamenting that had he not been sent to this impoverished rural area from a young age, without anyone to care for him, how could a noble prince be reduced to such straits?

Dean Gu ate two large bowls with tears in his eyes. When Jiang Xiaoxiao went to wash the dishes, he cleared his throat, sat up straight, and looked at Xie Xun, "Third Prince, about the matter of Luming Academy and the Yin Yang Office, have you given it some thought?"

Xie Xun asked, "You mentioned last time that joining the Yin Yang Office also requires an exam?"

"That's what they say up top."

Dean Gu said, "The entrance exam has task requirements. If you meet them, you can join. Once in the Capital City, there will be more advanced exams set by the Imperial Tutor."

The Imperial Tutor, Bai Cheng?

Xie Xun recalled fourteen years ago when Bai Cheng had said, "If the Third Prince continues to remain in the Capital City, it may bring harm to the nation's fortunes," which had led to his fall from noble prince to the plague star everyone cursed.

It was time to repay that fourteen-year-old grudge!

Seeing Xie Xun's silence, Dean Gu quickly added, "Your Highness, rest assured, this girl is quite capable. The entrance exam will be a piece of cake for her."

Of course, Xie Xun was not worried about Jiang Xiaoxiao passing the entrance exam. He asked again, "What are the conditions to become the Head of the Office?"

"This..." Dean Gu did not expect this question and hesitated, "The Yin Yang Office has not been officially established yet, and the Crown Prince has not been able to recruit disciples from the Heavenly Master's Mansion, so it is said that the Imperial Tutor will temporarily serve as the Head for now."

"Although this old servant understands Your Highness's eagerness to return to the Capital City, this matter must proceed step-by-step. That girl does have some skills, but at her age, at most her talents exceed others slightly. For you to want her to take over the Yin Yang Office, I'm afraid... it will be very difficult, unless..."

Xie Xun looked at him, "Unless what?"

"Unless she is from the Heavenly Master's Mansion."

Dean Gu sighed continuously, "It is said that in the past hundred years, the Heavenly Master's Mansion has only accepted one female disciple, whose talents far surpassed all other disciples. The old Heavenly Master treasured her like the apple of his eye. How could he easily let her descend the mountain?"

Upon hearing this, Xie Xun's lips curved slightly. He had not guessed wrong - for Jiang Xiaoxiao to make the Heavenly Master's Mansion break their hundred-year precedent and accept her must mean she is no ordinary person.

"Your Highness, Miss Jiang..." Up until now, Dean Gu still did not understand what Jiang Xiaoxiao's status was or from which sect she came.

However, Xie Xun said, "It's nothing, just arrange for her entrance exam."

With that said, he had agreed.

Dean Gu finally broke into a smile, "As long as Miss Jiang joins the Yin Yang Office, whether Your Highness goes to Luming Academy or not does not matter."

"I'll go." Xie Xun said, "To enter the Capital City, I should have an identity."

Hearing this, Dean Gu became even more excited, "In fact, I have already thought of a new identity for Your Highness - how about using your previous 'Xie San'?"

Xie Xun nodded and hummed in agreement.

After obtaining the information he wanted, Dean Gu took his leave and walked happily towards the village entrance.

Yang Ershun had been waiting on the ridge. Seeing the old man come out empty-handed, without even a trace of the promised pancakes they had agreed on, he burst out crying.

Dean Gu was at a loss seeing the child cry.

"You lied to me, old man! Wah, my pancakes!" Yang Ershun cried and sobbed in anger.

Dean Gu slapped his forehead, having been too preoccupied with official matters earlier and completely forgotten about this little one.

But now that he was already out, he could hardly go back and ask the Third Prince to make pancakes, could he?

How improper would that be?

Wouldn't the Third Prince lose face?

Oh well.

"Little one, don't cry. You want pancakes, right? I'll give you money, you can buy them yourself." Dean Gu took out about ten copper coins from his money pouch and handed them over.

"I don't want it, I don't want it - I want my pancakes!" Yang Ershun began rolling on the ground.

Money could never compare to the fragrance of pancakes made by Xie Xun.

He did not want money, he wanted pancakes!

Dean Gu, as an educated man, felt regretful for failing to keep his promise. Seeing Yang Ershun's tantrum, he sighed helplessly, "How about I take you to town to buy some?"

Yang Ershun rolled around even more vigorously.

What town pancakes? He did not want those, he only wanted to eat the ones made by Xie Xun!

When the village chief Yang arrived, he saw his youngest son throwing a fit in front of Dean Gu.

He immediately frowned, quickly apologizing to Dean Gu.

Then he dragged his son away.

Dean Gu looked at Yang Ershun and smiled, "Little one, I'll keep a tab this time. The next time I come, I'll make sure to make it up to you."

Yang Ershun grumbled but felt a little better.

Luming Academy's enrollment was in September, so Xie Xun could remain at home for another month.

However, Jiang Xiaoxiao's entrance exam had to be arranged as soon as possible.

Because once the full moon of the Mid-Autumn Festival arrived, her curse would activate and revert her to a child, making her unable to use her abilities.

The first part of the entrance exam was to transcend twenty lonely souls within seven days.

Chen Sixi had been making frequent trips to Shimo Village, practically wearing out his mouth trying to persuade Jiang Xiaoxiao to descend the mountain.

On this day, Chen Sixi came again, with the same familiar opening and lines.

He said that besides the Cheng Family, there were many other wealthy households in the county who had heard of her great abilities and were willing to pay a generous sum to invite a master to survey their mansions' feng shui.

Jiang Xiaoxiao had heard it all before.

After Chen Sixi finished speaking, she nodded, "I accept."

Chen Sixi had expected another futile trip, never imagining Jiang Xiaoxiao would agree so readily.

It left him dumbfounded for quite a while before he recovered, "Master, are you serious?"

"We can set out now."

Chen Sixi was elated, "Alright, Master, where are we going?"

"Chaotic Burial Grounds."

"What?!" Chen Sixi was dumbstruck.

"Didn't you want to see me exorcise ghosts? Where else would we go besides the Chaotic Burial Grounds?"

"But the Chaotic Burial Grounds, it..." Chen Sixi's smile gradually became strained, "Won't that place be too gloomy? We can just exorcise one or two ghosts, no need to go there."

"To save you from nagging me again, let's get it over with and have our fill."

The main reason Jiang Xiaoxiao wanted to go to the Chaotic Burial Grounds was because of the abundance of lonely souls and wild ghosts there.

The reason she wanted to bring Chen Sixi along was because Xie Xun could not go to the Chaotic Burial Grounds.

The Chaotic Burial Grounds was a place teeming with all sorts of ghosts, some having wandered there for who knows how many years.

Xie Xun's sealed aura of calamity would attract ghosts like flies.

If a swarm of ghosts were to attack, Jiang Xiaoxiao alone would have difficulty ensuring his safe return.

Learning that he could not go, Xie Xun's brows furrowed slightly.

"You said before that I am of pure yang constitution, and my blood could make ghosts retreat three steps. Won't that work this time?"

Jiang Xiaoxiao looked at the black ominous aura above his head and shook her head, "Your dragon aura is currently suppressed. Your blood can only affect lower-level minor ghosts. Against powerful vengeful ghosts, even if your blood was drained dry, it would be useless."

Xie Xun understood. If he went, he would only be a burden.

"Then you two should go and return quickly."

Standing at the entrance, Xie Xun watched the two depart.

Today was for transcending souls, so Jiang Xiaoxiao did not bring her cleaver.

On the way, Chen Sixi was particularly lively, driving the mule cart while frequently turning back to look at Jiang Xiaoxiao.

Seeing that she was empty-handed, Chen Sixi could not help but recall the scene of her using bare hands to draw talismans to exorcise spirits in the western town of the county capital.

"Master, are you going to draw talismans barehanded again today?"

Jiang Xiaoxiao said, "Today is for transcending souls."

"Transcending souls?"

Chen Sixi had seen guests at his home invite Taoists to perform rituals to transcend deceased souls, with all the paraphernalia of setting up altars, hanging banners, offerings of flowers, candles, water, fruits, and incense.

"It doesn't seem like we're going to transcend souls!"

Chen Sixi probed, "Could it be that the Master has an even better method?"

"More or less like them," said Jiang Xiaoxiao. "Except that I've brought a living soul-summoning banner to attract some wandering ghosts and spirits. I'll select a few that can be transcended."

Chen Sixi: "..."

No wonder he felt something was off. Jiang Xiaoxiao, who had previously refused to leave the mountains, had agreed so readily today.

It turned out she was using him as a tool!

A living soul-summoning banner...

So how many ghosts would he have to summon?

Chen Sixi's legs trembled. "G-Great Master, can I back out? I don't want to witness exorcisms or transcendences."

"You can," Jiang Xiaoxiao said calmly, looking at him. "But don't come to me if something happens to your family in the future."

Chen Sixi immediately changed his tone. "Actually, I think being a soul-summoning banner is fine. I enjoy being a soul-summoning banner for others!"

When they arrived at the disorderly graveyard, it was still early.

Mist hung thick on the mountain, and the occasional cawing of crows could be heard.

After tying up the mule cart, Chen Sixi stuck close behind Jiang Xiaoxiao, not daring to stray even half a step.

They hadn't gone far when they encountered scattered graves and exposed bones.

A chilling aura assaulted them, as if the wind carried the shrieks and wails of ghosts.

Chen Sixi's legs weren't the only things trembling anymore; his mouth was quivering too.

But remembering Jiang Xiaoxiao's words, he mustered his courage. "Great Master, what should I do?"

Jiang Xiaoxiao raised her hand and touched his forehead.

Then she withdrew her hand. "Go walk around inside for an hour, then come back to me."

Although he couldn't see it, Chen Sixi had the intuition that Jiang Xiaoxiao had placed something on his forehead.

He plucked up his courage to ask, "Will I be torn to shreds by ghosts?"

Jiang Xiaoxiao studied him carefully. "If you can resist the temptation of female ghosts, you should be fine."

"Ah!" Chen Sixi was about to cry.

He could barely resist the allure of ordinary beauties, let alone ghostly ones. Wouldn't he be doomed then?

After instructing him, Jiang Xiaoxiao found a grassy spot at the entrance and sat cross-legged, closing her eyes to meditate.

Chen Sixi called out to her a few times with no response, so he could only venture inside with a mixture of fear and trepidation.

As he walked, he clasped his hands and said, "Dear brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, I mean no offense. I'm just passing through. Please pretend you haven't seen me!"

After speaking, Chen Sixi shut his eyes and ran a good distance.

When he opened them again, he saw a scantily clad female ghost with alluring red lips sitting on a rock in front of him.

"Well, well, what a handsome young man," she purred. "Now that you're here, why not stay and keep me company?"

As the female ghost spoke, her foxy eyes glinted seductively, luring Chen Sixi towards her. In the blink of an eye, she was in front of him, her icy hands caressing his neck as her red lips neared his.

Chen Sixi's breath caught, nearly losing his soul to her charm. But the remaining shred of rationality in his mind reminded him that she was a ghost capable of taking his life.

Chen Sixi quickly shut his eyes. "Amitabha, Amitabha, may the Buddhas protect me..."

After muttering those words, he realized they were inappropriate and spat, changing his chant to: "The Highest Elder Lord, protect my body. The Infinite Heavenly Lord of Bountiful Blessings, protect my body. Please keep me safe as I depart."

After chanting that a couple of times, he dared to crack open an eye.

The female ghost, who had been oozing seduction moments ago, had suddenly been blasted away and was sprawled on the rocks, staring wide-eyed towards something behind Chen Sixi in apparent horror.

Chen Sixi's scalp prickled.

This was a disorderly graveyard. For a ghost to be terrified like that, it could only mean an even more formidable ghost was present.

Oh mother, he was only sixteen this year and didn't want to die so young!

Couldn't ghosts fighting each other just pretend they didn't see him?

His legs gave out, and Chen Sixi knelt without daring to turn around.

The footsteps behind him grew closer, and Chen Sixi tensed up, feeling utterly paralyzed from head to toe.

"I accept your respect. You may rise."

It was Jiang Xiaoxiao's voice!

Chen Sixi's eyes flew open, and he burst into tears. "Wah... Great Master, if you hadn't come, I would have been scared to death."

Jiang Xiaoxiao looked at the female ghost sprawled on the ground. "Is she the only one?"

The female ghost remained frozen in her pained position after being blasted away.

It wasn't that she didn't want to move; she simply couldn't.

Apart from the fluctuations of spiritual power emanating from the young girl before her, there was something else.

The moment the girl had approached earlier, the ghost had felt an overwhelming pressure she couldn't resist.

Yet this girl only appeared to be fifteen or sixteen years old.

What was going on?

Upholding humanitarian principles, Jiang Xiaoxiao looked at the female ghost in a humanitarian way and then asked in a very humanitarian manner, "Are you willing to be transcended by me?"

Here it comes again.

The female ghost's mind was buzzing.

The dark aura flickering around the girl seemed to be suppressed by something, but even the slightest hint of it made the ghost feel as if her soul would be torn apart.

What kind of monster was this girl?

No, if this continued, her soul would scatter.

The female ghost had no choice but to compromise, gritting her teeth. "I... I'm willing."

Without the traditional Taoist altar or offering of fruits, Jiang Xiaoxiao simply sat cross-legged on the ground and began chanting sutras to transcend the ghost.

The female ghost had lingered in this place for many years and had developed some cultivation, but now she was being sent for reincarnation.

Before departing, she looked at Jiang Xiaoxiao resentfully.

After the female ghost left, Chen Sixi's perspective was once again refreshed.

He was about to praise the Great Master's incredible power and omnipotence when he saw Jiang Xiaoxiao suddenly clutching her chest in apparent agony.

Chen Sixi's face changed. "Great Master, Great Master, what's wrong?"

It took Jiang Xiaoxiao a long time to recover, and she shook her head. "There are nineteen left. Go summon them for me. After I transcend them, we'll head back home."

She couldn't explain why, but whenever she came here, she felt as if something was trying to burst forth from her body, causing her great discomfort.

With the previous experience with the female ghost, Chen Sixi now knew that no matter how formidable a ghost was, it would cower before Jiang Xiaoxiao.

So he happily went to summon more souls.