Wang Residence.

In the open field at the residence of the famous retired general Wang, archery practice was being conducted. Four of the men in the military had an apple balanced on their heads, whilst the young general tried to aim and shoot the apple.

Certainly, something like this was natural for soldiers, some might even say it was a rite of passage. But in this scenario, these soldiers were frozen in fear, for the sour faced young general, was attempting this whilst he was blindfolded!

And moreso, for some reason, the young general was pissed off by his frustration of not finding the sly alchemist who had come to the capital on the emperors request.

The four soldiers were tasked not to move at all, lest they wished to remain under the imperial army. When weighed with the possiblity of losing an eye or wounding up with an obvious scar, they decided that being kicked out of the army was far more shameful.

Though that did not lessen the anxiety they felt as the young general pulled on back on his bow string and sent each arrow flying one after the one in swift movements.

Even the experienced soldiers who stood around had not expected the young general to be so precise in his shots. To match words, the cocky brat took off his blindfold and marched into the residence, without stopping to check if he was off the mark.

”The young general really is too fierce. ” One of the soldiers remarked as they watched him stroll past frightened maids and servants who tried to offer him victuals.

He continued in that fashion, till he arrived at the doors of his fathers chambers, where five soldiers mounted his door, refusing to give way to any one else.

”Forgive me general, but we were given strict orders not to allow you enter. ” Said one of the soldiers in black, refusing to disobey the retired old man.

”Whats this? My own subordinates are rebelling? General Wang has forgotten hes retired now. ” And with that, Wang Tengfei used the back of his bow to hit one the soldier in his lower abdomen, whilst he used his free hand to punch the one standing nearest to him.

Without wasting a single second, Wang Tengfei subdued these soldiers and rendered them useless after he finished toying with them. He made a hiss sound under his breath as he walked past them and made his way into the chamber of the old general.

”Who dares to interrupt on my quiet time?! ” The angry old man hollered, in the company of three other men of his age, all playing a game of wéiqí whilst drinking heartily so early in the morning.

Wang Tengfei clasped his hands together and took a humble bow to his elders, ”greetings great generals. ” He said to them showing respect to these three great generals who had formed an unpredicted friendship after their retirement.

General Wang rolled his eyes at his hypocritical son and chewed both his cheeks, as he watched the other generals be swooned by his manly charms.

”Don be so formal, you yourself are now a general, come over here and observe our game. ” Ex general of the East, General Zixuan stated, tapping an available spot where the young general could observe the game.

”I hear that the pay here is lacking, if you were to be transferred to the South, your fame would spread, or are you not a little ambitious? ” General Junjie of the south sheepishly offered the youngster, trying to poach General Wangs son from underneath his nose.

Wang Tengfei decided to sit nearest to the calm mannered general of the north, who was the oldest one in their group of retired generals.

General Guó.

”I see you enjoy breaking the arms of your subordinates, are you so black bellied to lead a band of wounded soldiers into battle? ” His father pried, changing the subject of conversation.

”If they are too weak then I have no need of them. ” The general responded, barely sparing a glance at his father.

”Nicely said. ” General Zixuan said, as he made his move, covering more area on the board, expanding his territories.

Wang Tengfei had grown sick of watching these men while away their remaining years, playing these board games almost every day.

”I suppose you didn come here because you had so much time on your hands. ” General Guó pointed out, as he watched the expression of both generals who were paired up against himself and general Wang.

”No, I have come to seek your wisdom on a consultation. ” He told them, emphasising on the word wisdom.

In other words, he was only referring to General Guó and his father, it was no secret that the generals of the East and south had loose tongued and were only good in combat.

”Do tell us. ” The East General urged him, helping himself to a jug of liquor, which had been sitting idly next to him.

The young general set his bow aside and cleared his throat to speak, ”I have searched the capital in pursuit of the alchemist whom the emperor has invited but luck is yet to shine on me. He is as rare a talent as the rumours say, and finding him has become too much of a challenge for me. I solicit your guidance in tracing his whereabouts. ”

And with that, he took a bow to the four of them, ashamed that this alchemist was so evasive he had to ask for help from these retired generals.

His father, General Wang used this rare opportunity to his advantage and sprouted out laughing uncontrollably at his sons expense.

This did not take the others by surprise, for it was no surprise that Ex General Wang was quite envious of young General Wang Tengfei, who had beaten his record and become the youngest General by an entire day!

”Whats this? Has the great General reached a slump? Surely with all your talent you can utilize your resources, or are you merely good for shooting apples? ” The mocking tone in his fathers voice was unmistakable.

Wang Tengfei curled his fingers into a tight fist, putting up a calm act in front of the other generals, taking deep and steady breaths.

”The Alchemist huh? Why are you busy searching for him anyway? ” General Zixuan asked, having too much liquor than he could handle. If he went on a bit more, he would spill out the empires secrets!

All other generals turned their attention to Tengfei, with the same question in mind, as to what the sour faced general would want with an old alchemist.

”Forget that now, tell me what is your thought on young Miss Yu. ” His father bluntly bud in, hitting the nail on the head on a matter he knew his son had been well avoiding.

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