Lin Xi didn’t reply immediately, only starting to undo the chains wrapped around Zhantai Qiantang and himself.
While facing Zhen Kuai, he didn’t suffer much injuries. It was just the intense running and the transferring of soul force that made his body’s rusted flesh start to contract. The numb and itchy feeling in his body seemed to have been completely released in a single go, making it so that his entire body’s cotton robes were also already soaked through. With each breath, there would always be some extravasated blood and chunks of flesh released.
After sensing that his breathing was a bit difficult, Lin Xi shifted the black cloth mask upwards a bit, and only then did he look at Zhantai Qiantang and Zhen Kuai, saying with his brows furrowed, “Great Mang’s people against Great Mang’s people? …Just what kind of identity do you all have?”
When Lin Xi said this, Zhen Kuai and Zhantai Qiantang both immediately entered an extreme state of shock and disbelief.
Zhantai Qiantang looked at Lin Xi, unable to help but ask, “You are someone from Yunqin?”
“You didn’t even know who we were, yet you decided to interfere?” Zhen Kuai originally made preparations to face death, but when he heard Lin Xi’s words, he also couldn’t help but release a light cough of disbelief, asking Lin Xi this.
If Lin Xi was a Sacred Expert, then he could still understand, because the strength of Sacred Experts was too great, already exceeding the realm of ordinary people. Some of the restrictions on this world, for Sacred Experts, weren’t restrictions at all. This was especially the case for Sacred Expert level cultivators from the royal court, when faced with fights between cultivators, they might do things on a whim.
However, regardless of how stunning Lin Xi’s performance was just now, how inconceivable it was, he was still just a State Knight level cultivator in the end. A State Knight level cultivator interfered in this type of matter, and he didn’t even look like a cultivator from Yunqin’s royal court. For Zhen Kuai, this was even more difficult to understand.
“I am a Yunqin citizen.” Lin Xi looked at Zhen Kuai with a slightly cold expression. “I think at this point in time, there is no point in hiding things anymore either.”
Zhen Kuai looked at Lin Xi. After remaining silent for a moment, his mood began to calm. “It seems like you are indeed not someone from Yunqin’s royal court, only a cultivator who isn’t too aware of the major events taking place outside.” He looked at Lin Xi. When he thought about how he was defeated under the hands of this strange cultivator who suddenly appeared, his face produced an indescribable bitter smile. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t need us to explain much at all, you would already be able to guess at who he is, and who we are.”
Lin Xi’s brows furrowed. “I don’t like useless words.”
Zhen Kuai gave Zhantai Qiantang next to Lin Xi a look, and then turned around to look at Lin Xi. “Since you don’t like useless words… then I will do my best to simplify my explanation a bit. Were you aware that this winter, a great change took place in Great Mang? The old Emperor wanted to pass on the throne to his student, but ultimately failed.”
Lin Xi looked at Zhen Kuai, nodding and saying, “I heard a bit.”
Zhen Kuai raised his head, looked at Zhantai Qiantang and said with a chuckle. “He is precisely the late Emperor Zhantai’s student who was given the imperial surname, Zhantai Qiantang.”
Lin Xi’s brows jumped slightly. He didn’t look at Zhantai Qiantang, instead entering a moment of silence.
“I previously thought you were an old subordinate of the late Emperor. Since you are someone from Yunqin, for your Yunqin people, he is naturally an enemy.”
Zhen Kuai instead looked at Lin Xi, continuing to say slowly. “Yunqin’s royal court will quickly guess at who he is from our assassination attempt. Soon, Yunqin’s province’s paths will be extremely difficult to move through… You shouldn’t have saved him, because you will be dragged into the waters as well. This is, unless you take the initiative to hand him over to Yunqin’s royal court.”
Lin Xi raised his head slightly, saying calmly, “Why is he guaranteed to be an enemy of Yunqin? I only know that Yunqin’s greatest enemy is Great Marshal Wenren Cangyue who is currently in control of Great Mang’s seven armies. Since he is the successor of Great Mang’s late Emperor, why can’t Yunqin join up with him to defeat Wenren Cangyue?”
“This is how you think, it isn’t what most people in Yunqin’s royal court will think, what most of Yunqin’s civilians think.” Zhen Kuai shook his head, saying seriously, “This is especially the case for Yunqin Emperor who is determined to start a war against the south. It is because in the past few decades, most of Yunqin’s civilians have already grown accustomed to their own nation’s might. In their eyes, Yunqin Empire is naturally this world’s most powerful empire, so they have an innate sense of superiority and pride. Meanwhile, in the last fifty years, Great Mang has always remained Yunqin’s enemy country. Yunqin carries great hatred towards Great Mang. It didn’t start from when Great General Wenren took over their armies. Most of Yunqin’s people naturally wish for Great Mang to be completely destroyed, so there is no way they will ally with Great Mang to defeat a traitorous general. This is, unless Yunqin Empire suffers a great defeat, everyone suddenly realizing that Yunqin cannot destroy Great Mang, only then will they have a chance of changing their way of thinking.”
“Great General Wenren?” Lin Xi caught something from Zhen Kuai’s words, his expression suddenly becoming a bit colder. “Are you Great Mang’s subordinate, or are you Wenren Cangyue’s subordinate?”
Zhen Kuai also saw something from Lin Xi’s eyes. However, he still nodded, saying, “I am a Yunqin citizen, a subordinate of Great General Wenren.”
Lin Xi slowly exhaled. He raised his head to look at Zhen Kuai. After remaining quiet for a few breaths of time, he calmly said, “If you can tell me more information related to Wenren Cangyue and the rest of you, I can let you live.”
Zhen Kuai shook his head with a bitter smile.
“Then what are you waiting for?” While looking at Zhen Kuai who was shaking his head, a bit of cold mockery appeared at the corners of Lin Xi’s lips. “Could it be that you wanted to waste some saliva, wishing to convince me to hand him over to Yunqin’s military?”
Zhen Kuai’s expression became a bit more pale.
It was because only he understood what exactly he was still waiting for.
He had already served as Wenren Cangyue’s secret spy for a long time, so he naturally didn’t fear death. What he was thinking about right now wasn’t his own life or death, but rather about his ordinary wife and children, as well as that child who he still hadn’t met yet.
“You have worries.”
Zhantai Qiantang was always quietly watching him and Lin Xi. When he heard the conversation reach this point, his expression wasn’t filled with coldness and mockery like Lin Xi’s was, but instead having a bit of sympathy. He looked at Zhen Kuai, able to see through what Zhen Kuai was thinking. “You originally thought that you could calmly face death, but when it truly reached this moment, you still discovered that there are some things that are hard to let go of.”
Zhen Kuai didn’t hide anything either. He released a bitter laugh and said, “Indeed. I am thinking about my wife, as well as my child who I haven’t even met yet.”
“Your wife is in Wenren Cangyue’s hands?” Zhantai Qiantang looked at Zhen Kuai and asked.
Zhen Kuai shook his head. “She is in Yunqin.”
“In that case, it isn’t that you don’t have any choice.” Zhantai Qiantang looked Zhen Kuai in the eyes. “It wasn’t that you weren’t loyal to Wenren Cangyue. You’ve already done everything you could, so you can choose to separate yourself from him and this world’s conflict, become an ordinary person.”
When Zhantai Qiantang and Zhen Kuai were previously talking, Lin Xi never said anything. However, when he heard everything up to this point, he couldn’t help but shake his head. He looked at Zhantai Qiantang, saying with a cold laugh, “You want to let him go? Don’t forget that you almost died under his hands just now. He is Wenren Cangyue’s subordinate, so how can you be sure that he won’t try to deal with you again once you leave? I advise you not to hold onto this type of unnecessary soft-heartedness.”
“I understand what you are trying to say.” Zhantai Qiantang looked at Lin Xi. “But I cannot ignore life.”
“This was precisely the reason why even though you shouldered the fate of a nation, you still couldn’t help but take action to save three Yunqin children?” Lin Xi looked at this Great Mang late Emperor’s student who was currently in a sorry state, slowly saying this.
Zhantai Qiantang spoke in self-mockery, “Isn’t this quite laughable?”
“If I thought it was laughable, I wouldn’t have taken action to save you.” Lin Xi gave Zhantai Qiantang a look, and then looked at Zhen Kuai. “However, to give an enemy who just tried to kill you another chance, this is still too benevolent in my eyes… Right now, in my eyes, you are like Xuanzang, and I am like eldest brother.”
“Who is Xuanzang? Eldest brother?” Zhantai Qiantang looked at Lin Xi in curiosity, finding this hard to understand.
“I don’t want to explain these things to you. The longer we stay here, the more dangerous it is.” Lin Xi gave him and Zhen Kuai a look. “I owe you a favor for those three Yunqin children. If you really want to let him go, I can let him leave, treat this as returning the favor.”
Zhantai Qiantang only thought that those three Yunqin children just happened to have some type of relationship to Lin Xi. When he heard Lin Xi say this, he said with a bitter smile, “Even if that counts as a favor… Since you saved me again today, wouldn’t I owe you another huge favor?”
“You can view it like this as well.” Lin Xi wasn’t too polite either. He gave Zhantai Qiantang a look and said, “You can slowly return it later.”
Zhantai Qiantang laughed, turning around to look at Zhen Kuai. “If you feel like what I said is feasible, then you can leave.”
Zhen Kuai previously only felt that Lin Xi alone was hard to understand, but right now, he felt like both Lin Xi and this Zhantai Qiantang were hard to understand.
While looking at Zhantai Qiantang who he found a bit hard to understand, he suddenly understood a bit why the late Great Mang Emperor Zhantai Mang would pass on the imperial position to him. It was because when Zhantai Mang established the empire, there was something he said before. In this world, the ones who had the greatest authority, what they are most lacking, was oftentimes ‘humanity’.
Zhen Kuai’s body quickly began to tremble.
He stood up. Without saying anything else, he first gave Zhantai Qiantang and Lin Xi a deep bow of respect.
After he got up again, he wanted to ask Lin Xi about his surname. However, when he thought about how since he already made this type of choice, to free himself from the world of slaughter that consumed the previous half of his life, become an ordinary person, then what was the purpose in asking Lin Xi anything more?
As such, he slowly released an exhale, starting to leave along a small alley by the riverside.
“Did Wenren Cangyue’s archery master Xu Qiubai go to Great Mang, or is he still in Yunqin?” When he turned around, Lin Xi asked this.
Zhen Kuai hesitated a bit, but still replied. “Great Mang.”
“His injuries weren’t light. His soul force was also completely exhausted, he needs some time to replenish it. He might not be able to escape the following Yunqin army’s blockade and interrogation.” While looking at Zhen Kuai’s figure that was gradually disappearing, Zhantai Qiantang added this in regret.
Lin Xi couldn’t help but frown. He looked at Zhantai Qiantang. “You are not only a Xuanzang, you are also a badly burned Xuanzang. It would be a bit more realistic if you were considering what you are going to do right now. Even your own life will be hard to preserve, yet you are actually considering this type of thing.”