Chapter 123: Master of the Emperor Armament (1)

Chapter 123: Master of the Emperor Armament (1)

Puk… A bullet accurately launched into Xu Yangyi’s shoulder. At the same time, Liu Shuren seemed to just realize this and uttered not a second word as he jumped behind the sofa.

“How long until it spreads?!” Captain Wang didn’t open the door. The tranquilizer gun still needed ten-odd seconds to take effect. If others saw that the police was arresting someone… They wouldn’t even have to think about ruining their reputation. Taking advantage of Xu Yangyi’s unconsciousness, they could bring him to that sire.

“Ten seconds!” The vice captain looked at his watch and said certainly. However, in the next second, their eyes all stared.

Jingle… It was sweet-sounding, but in their ears, it was like a devil was pressing the doorbell! This… was the sound of the bullet falling onto the floor! Yet it wasn’t a bulletproof vest… Never had there been a bulletproof vest that was capable of bouncing a bullet back with such awesome flexibility. Captain Wang’s mouth was wide open. Looking through the monitoring device from the outside, his expression was terribly shook. 

This is the sound of a bullet rebounding off skin! Is this still fucking human?! No, no! He immediately overruled this preposterous thought. This was fundamentally an impossibility! How was human skin able to block a bullet?!

“Fuck me…” A police officer was already simply incapable of exercising control over his standing, his voice unstable: “A monster… This is a monster!”

Outside the door, Liu Shuren was likewise dumbfounded. This is too anti-scientific! I-is there really such a thing on Earth?

Xu Yangyi sighed softly, rubbing his chin. He really was disinclined to bicker with ordinary people: “Everyone, that’s good enough. I’ll act as if this gun business didn’t happen. If there’s a next time…”

He lightly flicked his thumb, and his gaze casually swept an eye at the door. In the next second, the door transformed into smithereens with a rumble! Pieces went flying about! Behind it, five police officers were revealed, their eyes wide and their tongues tied like wooden carvings.  

It was morbidly quiet, a deathly silence. Everyone was astonished, only a single thought in their minds. How could there be such a human? Wasn’t this a superhuman? Invulnerable to both sword and spear? Was this a Master Zhang movie? Or X-Men?* [1]

What the gun had destroyed wasn’t a door, but rather everyone’s confidence. 

“Got it?” Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes. If the other party still dared to raise their guns, he really wouldn’t mind giving them a few unforgettable lessons.

“Got it…” After several seconds, everyone answered softly, their voices nearly in concert.

Xu Yangyi slightly nodded and smiled as he looked at Liu Shuren: “Right now, I want us to have a nice talk.”

Liu Shuren’s lip trembled, and he soundlessly nodded. The duo walked up stairs. With a crisp snap of the fingers, the surrounding sound was completely isolated. Xu Yangyi prudently undid a shirt button and took out the Emperor Armament that was hanging on his neck. Placing it in his hand, he said heavily: “I don’t want to bother with the matter from before. Right now, I ask, you answer.” 

“Yes…”

In regards to Liu Shuren’s adaptability, Xu Yangyi was quite pleased: “First of all, I know this is an emperor’s item. Moreover, it was an extremely important item to him. The first question is from which dynasty did it originate.”

“The Ming dynasty.” Saying these words, Liu Shuren’s complexion was somewhat flushed, but he firmly restrained himself. He understood a true superhuman stood before him: “However… I’m incapable of judging the specific period and which emperor it belonged to.”

“Why?” Xu Yangyi calmly picked up a teacup, pursed it to his lips, and asked.

“You’re known as China’s most famous Ming history expert. You’re actually unable to distinguish it?”

“Mister!” Liu Shuren gritted his teeth, his temples throbbing a few times. Indeed, he was incapable of imagining that he was surprisingly able to view such an item! The first time he analyzed it, he understood that he had possibly encountered a serious antique! 

“It’s not that I didn’t give it my best, but… this box’s time period is essentially incapable of being exactly determined!” Liu Shuren licked his lips, the hot blood of an archeologist beginning to boil in his heart: “This chest… I was able to infer that it was forged around 1600 to 1627. However… I simply can’t discern its composition!”

Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed: “What’s the meaning of this?”

“It’s precisely this meaning!” Liu Shuren’s breathing was fairly rushed: “The material used to cast this chest doesn’t belong to any metal already known to the human world! It’s not gold, and it’s not silver, copper, or iron either! It doesn’t belong to any known metals! Mister, such a valuable treasure should be handed over to the country…”

His proceeding words left no trace in Xu Yangyi’s apathetic eyes, and he forcibly swallowed.

“Don’t read so many tomb raider fictions, Expert Liu.” Xu Yangyi laughed as he set down his teacup and raised his chin: “Even though the material can’t be ascertained, can who it belonged to not be, as well?”

“It’s hard…” Just as Liu Shuren was bubbling with excitement, he was doused over his head with a basin of cold water. He laughed wryly: “Cutting it down to these thirty years was already my meticulous study of this chest for close to two years; there’s a limit. This is because in these three decades, the Ming dynasty experienced three emperors…”

“Ming Shenzong, Ming Guangzong, and Ming Xizong. In China’s history, this is one of the eras with the most frequent succession of emperors…” His words were interrupted by the frowning of Xu Yangyi’s brows.* 

“I want a result.”

“Sure, Mr. Xu. Sir, you see, this chest, its engraving and casting method is archetypical of the later Imperial Ming Clan style. Apart from these four holes on the chest, there are hidden marks of nine dragons. This moreover indicates that this should be an item personally used by an emperor himself…”

Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. Jadewave’s decryption hadn’t been fully completed and had left behind this riddle. Now, he desired to obtain this final answer for this puzzle! In the end, which emperor did this chest belong to? Who was it that beared a Millennium Grudge to cast this Animus Armament? And furthermore suffered the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s ambush?

“Mister… you look upon history’s first riddle… and also one the grandest puzzles!” Liu Shuren tremblingly picked up the tiny chest, but because he was too nervous and excited, his hand shook a few good times, and he didn’t bring it up.

After he took hold of the small chest, his eyes were somewhat bloodshot. Picking up a cup of warm water, his hand trembled in such a manner that it lacked form, spilling drops of water on the little chest.

Xu Yangyi’s gaze was devoid of the slightest degree of emotion, however, the next moment, his pupils suddenly needled! The chest itself was a gold color and carried a sliver of dark red. It seemed to recount the irreconciliation of this emperor, but after the drop of water fell on its surface, a layer of visible red immediately dispersed as if an invisible veil had been shed!

“You see! Look! This is…” Liu Shuren’s voice yet to fall, a hand was already pressed on top of his. He lifted his head in astonishment and immediately saw Xu Yangyi’s icy gaze.

“Did you tell anyone else?”

Liu Shuren’s Adam’s apple bobbed in difficulty, and he shook his head matter-of-factly. It was then that Xu Yangyi released his hand and used a finger to gently tap the back of his hand: “You’ve done well.”

“Then tell me now, what is this?”

When conversing over a topic of his expertise, Liu Shuren’s gaze couldn’t help but to begin to heat up, and he hissed out: “It’s cinnabar!”** [2]

“In pill concoction, the ancients would all add this thing. No matter whether it’s The Master Who Embraces Simplicity or The Harmony of the Trium, all of them have recorded this in detail! I shaved off a bit and researched it. This is definitely cinnabar, no doubt about it!” Liu Shuren’s gaze carried a wisp of excited zealotry: “In the Ming Palace, the emperor’s personal item that could use cinnabar was between 1620 to 1627. The most famous, unsurpassed…” [3]

“The Red Pills Case!” Before Liu Shuren finished speaking, Xu Yangyi had already blurted out, unable to restrain himself.

It’s him? Ming Guangzong?

The famous “One-Month Emperor”! Rated in history as one of the most sorrowful emperors! He ascended the throne in August of 1620 and met his demise in the the same month! He had died to a pill of immortality! History appelated it as the Red Pills Case, one of the “Three Great Cases of the Ming Palace”!

Even if Xu Yangyi wasn’t familiar with history, the great name of the Red Pills Case was a matter that very few people hadn’t heard of. His thoughts began to cycle at lightning speed, but he felt it to be somewhat incredulous at the same time. 

During the Ming dynasty, emperors who were obsessed with Daoism were no uncommon occurrence, and the number of emperors who took “immortality pills” were many. As for Ming Guangzong, he was the One-Month Emperor who died to “immortality pills”.

Not only this… seven years later, his son Ming Xizong, his personal name Zhu Youxiao, similarly died to “immortality pills”! The Animus Armament, the only one in five thousands years, wasn’t congealed from any illustrious sage or from among the three eternal emperors, Emperor Qin, Emperor Wu. or Tang Taizong. On the contrary, it was condensed from the most tragic emperor in history? Nonetheless… [4]

Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes. What was the matter of the Xuan-Yuan Sword’s sword light? What was this chest telling him? If said the Animus Armament truly was congealed by Ming Guangzong, then… this item involved with the Red Pills Case which was shocking throughout all ages… was far from the simplicity of the records in history books.

There was something… within the book pages quietly continuing to be covered up beneath the stylistic calligraphy of the Spring and Autumn Period… [5]

Was it that Ming Guangzong truly hadn’t died to the Red Pills Case, but rather because he was involved with an ancient cultivator’s secret and his his life cruelly reaped by a slash of the Xuan-Yuan sword? Just as this thought began to ascend, it firmly took root within Xu Yangyi’s brain without due process! 

If that’s how it is… Xu Yangyi mumbled to himself as he stroked his chin. In that case, he roughly had a shred of a conjecture about what this chest wanted to inform him of. The truth of that year… and whatever world-shaking secret Ming Guangzong knew, the truth that was incapable of being recorded in history books and had lead the wielder of an Umbran Armament to slay him in spite of the heavenly law. 

This was merely a guess, and Xu Yangyi forced down his fluctuating emotions. He cautiously looked over at the half a chest. If this chest truly belonged to Ming Guangzong, then wouldn’t it be him speaking…?

“Mr. Gao, if your information is true, this chest… quite possibly played a role in the red pills at the time! Its the red pills chest that caused the death of Ming Guangzong!” Liu Shuren’s eyes radiated light as he stared at Xu Yangyi. This might’ve been the most audacious hypothesis he made in his entire life. He wished to obtain Xu Yangyi’s acknowledgement. 

However, regarding history, Xu Yangyi himself was no fanatic. Currently, the first riddle might’ve been unraveled. At the present, the most conforming master of the Animus Armament was perhaps Ming Guangzong. However, this emperor’s death was perhaps not so simple at all. 

In the long river of history, something was being concealed with the utmost might and effort. A Millennium Grudge has bounded over several centuries to choose him; what did it desire to tell? What was the heaven-shock secret that had delivered an emperor to death?

Not only was it the imperial powers of then… perhaps there were some immortal sects of the Ming dynasty that had likewise participated in this scheme.

Xu Yangyi massaged his area between his brows. The Emperor Armament seemed simple, but it was in fact a colossal riddle. Each time he believed himself to be on the verge of solving the truth, it merely raised another corner of the secret at the same time. 

[1] Two notes here. Master Zhang is referring to the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. In the west, most recent movie he directed was The Great Wall. Fun fact: in Chinese, X-Men is X战警, which literally translates to X-Battle Police. 

[3] Just a reminder that both these books are real life text. The author of the “Master who Embraces Simplicity” was mentioned earlier on the story was said to be a Nascent Soul lord. 

[2] Cinnabar is a real compound. Known as mercury sulfide. 

[4] In China’s history these three are considered the greatest emperors. Too much to get into, but I’ll leave behind their full names for you to research and some info about each of them. Qin Shihuang was the first emperor to unify all of China. It was him that created the Chinese word for “emperor”. Emperor Wu of Han, he was known for his military conquests that captured large swaths of land and expanded China to as far as Kyrgyzstan and Korea and Northern Vietnam. Emperor Tang Taizong is known to have ushered the most prosperous golden age of China. 

[5] Spring and Autumn Period is dated as (770-476 BC)

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XTB's Thoughts

And part of the truth finally reveals itself. When I first read this chapter, it was a pretty mind = blown moment. I usually leave my footnotes to do most of my talking, but what I want to talk about impacts the story and is factually important. I will first state that Ming Guangzong, like most figures talked about in this story, is a real emperor. If you look him up though, be mindful that Ming Guangzong is his "temple name", a name that is given posthumously to an emperor which is based on information such as the name of the dynasty/an adjective used to describe his reign/and whether he is a founder of the dynasty or part of the lineage in general. He was also known as the Taichang Emperor. IF you choose to wikipedia him, you WILL find out a lot more, including the Case of the Red Pills. And quite frankly, based on all the research I do + translating, it's a lot of work to go into/time investment. So please, I invite you to do some reading on your own. 

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