The emperor nodded when he saw Zu An trembling in fear. He seemed extremely satisfied with this attitude.
As the emperor, he absolutely loved the sight of his subjects quivering in abject terror, their lives ready to be decided by a mere thought of his.
He returned his mind to the present and said loudly, “Not bad. You did not quibble with me, which is why you aren’t a corpse right now. Very well. Since you still have some loyalty to me, this emperor will grant you a chance to redeem yourself.”
Loyal to you my ass!
He knew that the emperor was merely playing a political trick on him, and he cursed the emperor to hell inside. However, he showed only sincerity on the surface. “If you have a task for me, Your Majesty, I will wade through water and flame to achieve it.”
At the same time, he sighed inwardly. At least hanging onto his life wasn’t going to be an issue.
The emperor seemed more and more satisfied by his attitude. He would have been more than happy to give this brat a good beating if he didn’t act tactfully, but since he seemed to know how to behave, he chose to skip the beating. “Since you and the Devil Sect’s Lady Saint have some connection, use this chance to infiltrate the Devil Sect. Firstly, find out where the Devil Sect’s Yun Jianyue is hiding, and then figure out what the real relationship between the Devil Sect and King Qi is.
If you’re able to gain a firm footing within the Devil Sect, you can be of use to me in that way as well.”
Zu An sighed in relief. At least he doesn’t know where Yun Jianyue is. I can’t let him know about that, or I’d be dead for sure.
He put on a troubled look and said, “The Devil Sect Master is a grandmaster! A nobody like me won’t be able to do anything!”
The emperor said calmly, “I only need you to find out some information. I’m not telling you to fight her. When the time comes to face her, I’ll intervene personally. You don’t need to worry.”
Zu An acted as though he was relieved, then put on a confused expression. “Your Majesty, didn’t you say that the assassination attempt on the crown prince couldn’t have possibly been directed by King Qi? Why are you still investigating their relationship?”
“Just investigate what I tell you,” the emperor snapped. “Don’t ask so many questions.”
A moment later, though, worried that Zu An might not put too much attention to this matter, he said, “Even though the chances of King Qi colluding with the Devil Sect are low, I’m afraid he might predict my deduction and use it against me. That is why I want you to look into it.”
Zu An was stunned. Is this dude crazy? He just said that this has nothing to do with King Qi, yet now he’s saying that it might. Tsk, it’s really hard to please such a paranoid ruler.
I have to be more careful in the future. I can’t ever let myself think that I’ve earned this guy’s trust.
He coughed lightly and said with a troubled tone, “All I have is a personal friendship with Qiu Honglei. It has nothing to do with the Devil Sect as a whole. Many in the sect want me dead, so it’ll be difficult for me to join them. My life is insignificant, but I do not wish to end up ruining His Majesty’s plans.”
That was all Zu An wished to convey. He had nothing to do with the Devil Sect, and he definitely didn’t recognize anyone called Yun Jianyue.
The creases on the emperor’s brow eased. He was pleased by what he was hearing, even though he knew that this brat was merely flattering him. “That’s an easy matter. Aren’t there still a few Devil Sect assassins in prison? Figure out a way to save them. The Devil Sect will appreciate such a gesture. Add that to your connection with Qiu Honglei, and you’ll be able to join up with them easily.”
Zu An was stupefied. Well, would you look at that?
Both Qiu Honglei and Yun Jianyue, had been begging him to help the prisoners, and they were even okay with him ending their lives painlessly if he couldn’t save them.
Now, though, the emperor had given him the green light to actually save them. What did he have to worry about?
The emperor frowned when he noticed him standing there in a daze. “What, can’t you do it?”
“I’ll do my best.” Zu An put on a troubled expression, but he was bursting with laughter inside.
The emperor said, “Don’t think that this is an easy task. The Devil Sect is full of sharp-witted individuals. Yun Jianyue was able to cultivate to grandmaster rank, and even managed to concoct such an elaborate plot. She is clearly intelligent. The most important thing is to ensure that they don’t suspect you in any way. I’ll also inform Guo Zhi to cooperate with you. Rescue them once you are confident in doing so.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty, for your guidance.” Zu An couldn’t help from sneering inwardly. You’re showering Yun Jianyue with praise, yet you saw through her plans so easily. Aren’t you just tooting your own horn?
“That’s all. You may leave.” The emperor waved his hand, clearly about to return to his cultivation.
Zu An gritted his teeth. “Your Majesty, if this subject may make a presumptuous request?”
“What?” The emperor opened his eyes in surprise.
Zu An said, “I’m willing to infiltrate the Devil Sect for your sake, Your Majesty, but Qiu Honglei has saved my life several times, and I want to repay her kindness. Your Majesty, can you spare her life after you destroy the Devil Sect?”
He did his best to play the role he was supposed to be playing. He absolutely could not let the emperor notice how elated he was right now.
The emperor sneered. “Do you call that returning a kindness? Aren’t you just lusting after her?”
Zu An chuckled in embarrassment, pretending as though he was in a bind.
“Fine, fine,” the emperor replied. “As long as you can help me successfully wipe out the Devil Sect, I’m willing to grant you a mere woman. Of course, this can only happen if she renounces all thoughts of rebellion. If not, I’ll have no choice but to be ruthless.”
“Of course, of course,” Zu An said hurriedly.
“Now get lost,” snapped the emperor.
Zu An left the imperial study. Although he did not seem to be any different on the outside, his heart was extremely heavy.
In the emperor’s eyes, he was a mere ant to be squashed at any time. He didn’t care about Zu An at all.
He’d survived a couple of times, but each time, it had been by the skin of his teeth. He knew that there was no way he could be this lucky every time.
Hmph, you shouldn’t look down on me. The tide might just turn sometime in the future!
Despite this thought, he had no choice but to face the harsh reality of the current situation.
Cheng Xiong had targeted him over and over again, and he’d been able to launch a successful counterattack. However, it was now the emperor’s turn to have a go. Did he really possess the ability to defeat him?
After all, he was the strongest cultivator in the world!
His eyes darted about. The first stages of a plan began to take form within his mind.
As he returned to his courtyard, Yun Jianyue pretended to speak in an uncaring fashion. “Hm, are you all right? I thought that the emperor was about to get rid of you.”
Eunuch Wen’s comments clearly hadn’t escaped her ears.
Zu An’s mood lifted considerably when he saw the long-haired beauty in front of him. “If the emperor really wanted me dead, would you sacrifice yourself for me out of love?”
He obviously didn’t tell her about what had transpired within the imperial study. He had just returned from the gates of hell. It would be a terrible waste if he didn’t make use of this to harvest some goodwill from these two Devli Sect beauties.
Yun Jianyue’s expression grew cold. “Damned brat, don’t think I won’t kill you just because you saved me.”
Zu An noticed that he received no accompanying rage points, and so his confidence grew. He sighed audibly then said, “Too many people want me dead. You’re not the only one.”
Yun Jianyue frowned, but she sensed the bleakness in his voice, and did not press him further.
A moment later, she suddenly said, “I might leave soon.”
Zu An immediately panicked. “No! What if I don’t tease you so often anymore? You know that I wasn’t being disrespectful on purpose! It just seemed to me that a glorious sect master getting angry was pretty interesting.”
Yun Jianyue glared at him in annoyance. “I really might not be able to hold myself back from killing you one day.”
After hanging around him for a while, she’d gotten a rough sense of his character, and she knew that he was different from most of the people in this world. He wasn’t held back by many of the social restrictions or conventions that others were. Even though some of the things he said really were annoying, it was precisely this side of him that made him an exceedingly rare specimen.
After all, no one who dared to speak so casually to her or joke around with her after her cultivation had reached its current lofty heights.
“Big sis, despite your sharp tongue, you’re a real softie inside.” Zu An’s smile faded. “However, your injuries haven’t healed yet. Isn’t it too dangerous for you to leave?”
Yun Jianyue shook her head. “The emperor’s back. We’re both in the palace right now. As my condition improves, it will be hard to hide my aura from him. Staying any longer will be dangerous, and it will bring harm to you as well.”
Given her reasons, Zu An naturally did not persuade her to stay. “All right. I’ll try to find a way to get you out of the palace.”
This was definitely going to be a dangerous operation. They had to make sure they did not alarm the emperor if they were to have any hope of helping her escape.
He suddenly thought of an idea.Previous Chapter Next Chapter