Feng Li made the best inscrutable face he could muster after he was done speaking and tried to sit down, but the three seats available were already occupied. Having no other recourse available, he remained standing with both hands behind his back, looking both proud and a little miffed.
The gasps of expected shock didn’t come; Lu Yun and Qing Han were entirely unmoved, while Yuchi Hanxing was as dispassionate as ever. The Nephrite celestial emperor seemed to have nothing to do with her at all.
“His Majesty has been swapped out! The emperor right now isn’t Zhao Shenguang!” Feng Li paused a moment before placing renewed emphasis on the former. “The emperor is an impostor!”
“And?” Qing Han tilted his head in apparent puzzlement. “The Nephrite emperor is an impostor. So what?”
Feng Li didn’t know what to say in his utter bafflement. The things he talked about were enough to astound the entire world. The recently-crowned Nephrite emperor was a fake?! Yet these two… no, these three had barely reacted to the shocking revelation. They seemed to consider it no more interesting than idle mortal gossip!
“This was to be expected,” Lu Yun nodded. “Chen Xiao and Qing Buyi pretty much beat Zhao Shenguang into submission, didn’t they? After being their sidekick for so many years, he wouldn’t possibly dare make any moves against the Chen clan, not to mention so quickly and ruthlessly. He should know how terrifying Chen Xiao truly is.
“Nothing about any of this has been right from the start. If he’s an impostor, well, that makes a lot more sense.”
“Exactly so.” Qing Han gave a long exhale. Zhao Shenguang was a friend of his as well; he would’ve been unhappy to see his kin come to blows with him.
Feng Li nearly fell flat on his face.
“As for you? You don’t have a tenth of the gall needed to betray your own clan.” Lu Yun scrutinized the Feng youth more closely. “Out with it. Who sent you here?”
Feng Li was dazed for quite a while before he managed to recover himself. “A… a girl in men’s clothes tossed me over here. She said it wasn’t a good time for her to show up anywhere, so she wanted me to come invite you to Dusk Province.”
He chuckled helplessly as he said this. He certainly wasn’t here of his own volition! He would much rather have sat comfortably on his throne as the Dusk Lord, even if it was only as a puppet. The province was destined to become a sacred land of cultivation, after all.
Alas, Lu Yun had seen right through him.
“A girl in men’s clothes?” Qing Han’s expression looked a little unnatural.
“Mo Yi? So she’s back, huh?” Lu Yun immediately realized who it was—that unbelievably beautiful girl who had a preference for men’s clothes. Well, she did cut a handsome figure in them!
Li Youcai had said before that the Dusk Lord had deemed her a traitor, to be arrested on sight within Nephrite’s borders. Perhaps some sort of rule was preventing her from appearing regardless?
Feng Li continued to laugh feebly. Who else could it be? Coming back by herself was one thing, but she’d brought along the fake Nephrite emperor to boot!
The capital city was pretty much hers, now, the Feng experts here having been single handedly crushed on her way back. They hadn’t managed to get the news out, either. In fact, Feng Li was here only as an involuntary messenger. The matter of his ‘cooperation’ had been entirely a fabrication to help him save face.
The other three in the room were finally struck speechless by the latest developments. Feng Li was truly thick-skinned, but he was also very good at dealing with people. Someone of his blood and position wouldn’t have survived so long in his clan otherwise.
While the Feng clan remained Dusk capital’s rulers on the surface, Mo Yi controlled the city’s affairs from the shadows. Leaving the others behind in Sword Pavilion, Lu Yun and Qing Han secretly hauled Feng Li back to the provincial capital.
On the way there, Lu Yun burned all the goodwill upon the Sal Tree of Life and Death to revive Feinie and Huangqing. It was rather expensive to revive a golden and august immortal—fully depleting Lu Yun’s stores of goodwill—but strangely enough, Ge Long remained dormant. He could feel the huge seal of life from the old servant, but there was no sign of the old man returning to life.
The anomaly astounded Lu Yun. If three goodwill flowers weren’t enough, it would take a breakthrough in his cultivation that allowed him to release more power from the Tome of Life and Death. His name was the first one to be written in the book, could he be more important than even the envoys?
The young man frankly couldn’t understand it. Ge Long’s cultivation had always been a rather ho-hum golden core realm. Yet he’d beaten the crap out of an august immortal to save Qing Han. A golden core, doing something like that? In some ways, his servant was more incredible than he was!
Ah, forget it. I’ll figure it out after he’s back. Now that Feinie and Huangqing were restored to life, Lu Yun had all five of his envoys once more.
Dusk Province’s waters were still too murky. Although Mo Yi was the shadowy master of the Dusk capital, the other provincial nexus—the seaside citadel—was still in the hands of the imperial court.
Dusk City had undergone significant changes as of late.
The original city had been completely demolished, including every building, formation, and feng shui layout inside. Lu Yun was a formation master who could set up formations without the need for foundations, and him calling upon the city’s formations as soon as he returned was a very valid concern.
Therefore, the old city was no more, and a greater one had been built in its place. The new city was constructed around the inheritance tower, its towers and walls spanning a fifty kilometer radius.
The ancient lord’s tomb beneath the tower was sealed with a freshly created great formation.
This wasn’t an uncommon or taboo practice. Ancient tombs were everywhere in the world of immortals, and many of them could be found beneath modern cities. Even Xiankan, Nephrite’s capital, had an ancient tomb beneath it.
Mo Yi looked the same as she always had: long, black tresses, a slender figure, and a gorgeous complexion untouched by makeup. Though she wore only a casual blue tunic, her beauty wasn’t the least bit lessened by it.
She sat in the great hall of the ‘Dusk Lord’s’ residence, reading from a jade slip. In the center of the floor lay an imperial youth, sealed and immobile.
“A thousand years ago, Chen Xiao sent that old zombie into the ancient Dusk tomb to activate the restriction. Qing Buyi captured the fake Exalted celestial emperor and tossed him alongside soon after. That’s why they can ignore… well, the restriction,” the girl said coolly, having noticed Lu Yun’s arrival.
The young overlord of hell shivered at her words. Chen Xiao and Qing Buyi were responsible for the restriction in Dusk Province? The Exalted emperor in the Sword Barrow had been a fake?
“The real Zhao Shenguang is with those two right now. This ‘Nephrite emperor’ here—who just refined the ‘heavenly mandate’, by the way—must’ve been intentionally left for me,” Mo Yi continued.
Lu Yun swallowed apprehensively, while Qing Han’s eyes widened.
“But the fake emperor has been swapped again. It’s not the guy they originally left for me, I don’t think.” The girl’s expression grew puzzled. “If I throw him in the ancient tomb and feed his heavenly mandate to that old zombie, I’ll be allowed to exercise my actual strength in Dusk Province as well. But… where did this version of the celestial emperor come from?”
“Wait! I-I know where he’s from!” Qing Han’s eyes suddenly fixated upon the ‘Zhao Shenguang’ on the ground in recognition, speaking in slightly horrified tones.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I er, feel really bad for Dusk City residents.. I hope they got enough advance forewarning before their homes were torn down around them.