Zu An clicked his tongue. “Isn’t it normal for me to be hiding things from you? It’s not as if you’re my wife. You sure are nosey for an outsider.”
“…” Qiao Xueying.
You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +666 Rage!
Damn it, I really want to beat this fellow up!
Qiao Xueying summoned her inner nirvana to suppress her rage before asking, “How did you know that he went to look for Wu Guang? It’s almost as if you know what’s going to happen next.”
“Oh? Why are you calling me ‘you’ instead of ‘big brother’?” remarked Zu An in dissatisfaction. “Anyway, regarding your question, it’s simply because I’m smart. In time to come, you’ll realize that I have many more wondrous abilities in store.”
“Look at how gleeful you are acting!” Qiao Xueying harrumphed. Despite her sharp words, she was still in a good mood after how Zu An had stood forward and saved the Chen Village at her request, so she decided not to hold this against him. “I wonder when the seal will be removed.”
“We might need confirmation from the imperial palace’s side first.” Zu An was still a little uneasy about this. He wasn’t sure whether his plan would really work out or not.
Meanwhile, Lord Wang had finished falsifying the crime scene. He activated his Communication Mirror to relay the statements he had prepared beforehand to the imperial court.
A short moment later, the area around Zu An suddenly began to distort as the familiar feeling of weightlessness enveloped him. By the time he snapped out of it, the two of them were already back at the familiar underground palace.
“The two of you are actually unharmed… You were actually able to overcome the Heaven Seal so easily!” Mi Li’s surprised yet delighted voice sounded in Zu An’s ears. It would appear that she had never thought that they would be able to overcome the difficult trials posed by the three seals.
Easy? Was it really easy?
Zu An thought about the process he had gone through in order to overcome the Heaven Seal. To be fair, it was indeed not as difficult as the previous two seals. This trial challenged not one’s cultivation or combat prowess but one’s sharp judgment and… luck.
Zu An was extremely lucky that he chose to help the villagers in the end and was aware of the fact that Chen Sheng mustn’t die there, or else there was no way he could have figured out the only way to survive the ordeal.
Had it been another cultivator who was unaware of the history involved—no, even if it had been another transmigrator who possessed the same knowledge as him—there was an almost certain chance that he would have ended up dying there.
While Zu An was still brooding over this matter, the seal formation on the ground opened up, revealing a pitch-black hole.
“The three seals have been breached. You should be able to head out now, right?” asked Zu An.
“My coffin is in the next level. I need you to pull out the sword on my coffin in order to fully release the seal,” replied Mi Li.
Zu An was just about to head down when Qiao Xueying pulled his hand and warned, “Be careful.”
Zu An nodded in response. “You should wait for me here. If anything happens, lure the black-armored general here right away so as to get those two dogs to bite one another… Ah, that won’t work either, huh? If she really intends to harm us, I reckon that you wouldn’t have time to run away either. Let’s do this instead. For the time being, you should return to Chuyan’s side to stall for some time. If you don’t see me after an incense’s time, you should inform the black-armored general of what’s happening down here.”
Qiao Xueying was reluctant to heed Zu An’s words on this. “No, I’ll accompany you down there. At the very least, we’ll be able to look out for one another.”
“That won’t do. You won’t be a match for her even if you follow me down there. Haven’t you heard of the saying ‘don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’?” said Zu An with a shake of his head.
Qiao Xueying fell silent. She wasn’t a match for Zhang Han at all, let alone Mi Li. If Mi Li really intended to harm them, her presence wouldn’t make a difference at all. The wiser move was indeed to have her stay on top so that they would have a card to deal with Mi Li if the worst-case scenario occurred. “Alright then. Take care of yourself.”
Zu An replied with a nod before carefully jumping down to the next level. It was a small, enclosed area with a luminescent crystal coffin sitting at the center.
He was just about to head over when a cold voice suddenly echoed in his ears, “Who did you say was a dog earlier?”
“Ah, you heard it all?” Zu An’s face heated up in embarrassment. It was always awkward to be caught speaking badly about someone else.
Mi Li sighed deeply and said, “Old people tend to have sharp ears. Somehow, I’m always able to hear it when someone talks bad about me.”
Zu An reverted back to his usual shameless self and rambled, “As expected of Your Majesty, your cultivation has indeed reached an unprecedented level where I can only look up to. Ah, my respect for you gushes like the relentless tides of the Yellow River. I can’t even begin to fathom anyone else coming close to your greatness!”
“…” Mi Li.
“Hmph. Your glib tongue reminds me of Zhao Gao. It’s displeasing,” snorted Mi Li.
Zu An was rendered speechless. He never thought that a day would come where he would be compared to Zhao Gao, and the blow was doubled at the knowledge that the latter was a eunuch.
That’s a low blow, a low blow!
“Enough! Hurry up and retrieve the sword floating in mid-air,” said Mi Li. “That sword is the energy source of the Soul Suppression Seal. Anyone else who approaches the sword would have been pierced by its sword ki before they could even come close, but as you’ve managed to breach the Soul Suppression Formation and obtained its recognition, you won’t face any threat from it.”
“This isn’t another trap, is it?” Zu An was intimidated after hearing how formidable the sword was.
“What do I have to gain from fooling you? I’m hoping to break out of this seal too. Besides, you don’t have time to spare. Zhang Han has already successfully suppressed the dead spirits and would soon be returning to your wife’s side to conduct the blood ritual,” said Mi Li.
Recalling how Chu Chuyan was still lying helplessly on the altar, Zu An gritted his teeth and made his way toward the crystal coffin. He noticed that there were nine ropes made out of some sort of metal coiling around the crystal coffin. These ropes were connected to an ancient sword that was floated, its tip pointing downward at the coffin.
Even before walking close, he could already sense a powerful pressure gushing in his direction, feeling his heart with deference. He gathered his willpower and resisted the urge of kneeling down.
You must be kidding me! As a proud transmigrator, how could I kneel to a mere sword?!
Standing above the immortals, gazing loftily upon the world, I shall dominate heaven with my keyboard in hand. Millions of keyboard warriors there may be in the world, but all shall lower their heads in my presence, for none can hope to match I, the Keyboard Emperor.
Zu An murmured these words to cheer for himself. Perhaps it was a psychological effect, but the pressure weighing down on him actually began lessening, eventually reaching a point where it was neglectable.
“Hm? You’re actually able to withstand the pressure of the Tai’e Sword?” exclaimed Mi Li in surprise.
“Tai’e Sword?” Zu An was surprised by how familiar the name of the sword was. Isn’t this one of the ten most famous swords in history?
“Indeed. The Tai’e Sword is a Sword of Kingship existing since the inception of the world, just that it was formless and unnoticeable. However, its sword ki is already existent all over the world, merely awaiting an opportune moment to gather. At the hands of the right person at the right time in the right place, this sword will be formed. It was in the hands of two master swordsmiths of our Chu Country that this sword was coincidentally forged. One of our kings has once slain thousands of soldiers with this sword in hand…”
Mi Li’s voice reflected her admiration for her ancestors.
“It’s just that when the Chu Country was finally defeated by the Qin Country, this sword ended up falling into Ying Zheng’s hand. Ironically, he ended up using this sword to seal me off.”
Looking at the sword floating above the coffin, Zu An was convinced that the sword before him was different from the one he read about in his previous life. This sword didn’t seem to belong in the mortal world; it felt more like a weapon that had come right out of a legend or a novel.
Instead of retrieving the sword right away, he said, “To be frank with you, Your Majesty, I’m a little hesitant about this. I’m worried that you might renege on your promise to save my wife after I let you out. After all, we have no way to curb you given your cultivation.”
“You don’t have a choice here. Zhang Han is already walking to the altar at this moment. Your wife is going to die if you don’t free me soon,” sneered Mi Li.
“I don’t deny that I’m anxious to save my wife, but aren’t you even more anxious than me? I wonder how long have you been sealed here for. A thousand years? Two thousand years? Or maybe ten thousand years even? When will your next opportunity come if you fail to grasp this one?”
Mi Li fell into a state of silence. She was clearly not as calm as she appeared to be. “Indeed, this is a rare opportunity for me too. What do I have to do in order to earn your trust then?”
It was Zu An’s turn to be put in a spot. He had no idea what he could use to bind Mi Li to her agreement. He recalled the lines he had heard in the novels in his previous life and tried asking, “Why don’t we sign a master-servant contract? You won’t be able to hurt me anymore in the future as long as you acknowledge me as your master.”
“Hahaha!” Mocking laughter echoed in the room for a moment before Mi Li sneered coldly, “Who do you think you are to make me acknowledge you as your master? Even Ying Zheng was unable to make me submit back then, let alone a kid like you!”
Black lines streaked across Zu An’s face as he exclaimed, “Hey, that’s too much over there! You’re the one who told me to suggest something, and now you’re getting angry at me for proposing an idea. What do you say we should do then?”
Mi Li pondered for a moment before replying, “Let’s do this instead. Grab a piece of paper and we’ll seal a contract with our respective terms. In exchange for helping me out of this coffin, I’ll promise to save your wife and not hurt you and the other two women. You should also be aware that contracts have binding power in this world. Not even I am able to renege on it.”
This was not the first time Zu An had heard of that, so he nodded his head in agreement. “Very well! But where am I supposed to find paper here?”
“You fool! There’s no reason why paper is absolutely needed here. Can’t you write on your clothes too? As for ink, you have plenty of wounds on your body. You can just use your blood in replacement,” remarked Mi Li coldly.
Zu An was irritated by her snappish tone.
This old woman sure is cranky. If not for the fact that you’re an elder, I would have…
Unfortunately, he was unable to think of anything significant he could have done to a person far stronger than he was.
Anyway, he quickly penned down the terms of the contract before frowning. “There’s only my palm print here. The contract wouldn’t be binding without yours, right?”
“You just have to bring it over for me to press my palm down on it,” said Mi Li.
“Where are you?” asked Zu An. He searched the area around him, but the voice sounded like it could have come from anywhere.
“You really are a thorough fool. Aren’t I in the crystal coffin right in front of you?!” bellowed Mi Li.
“…” Zu An.
Damn it, it’s all because of this cranky old woman that I’m getting a bit dumb here!
He sullenly walked over to the crystal coffin as he wondered how Mi Li handled her daily needs inside the coffin.
Wouldn’t she need to pee and shit too? Ah, but she’s already dead, right? All that’s left of her is probably just a dried-up corpse. Eesh, I’ve always stayed away from horror stories and films in the past. Damn it, I hope that whatever that’s in the coffin won’t be too scary…
However, he froze up upon walking over to the coffin’s side. He found that what was lying inside the crystal coffin wasn’t a terrifying dried-up corpse but a woman far more beautiful than his wildest imagination.
1. He’s a eunuch especially noted for the great power he wielded after Qin Ershi took over the crown from the deceased Qin Shihuang. He’s known for the saying ‘calling a deer a horse’, where he insolently claims that a deer brought to Qin Ershi is a horse so as to probe the officials to see who is on his side and remove those who stood against him.