Chapter 268: Probe

Even if Yue Xianzi could not recall Lu Yin’s true identity, she saw no harm in probing him. Every so often, she would seek him out and chat with him, leaving Lu Yin helpless. He wondered if he should start thinking of a way to get rid of this girl.

However, trouble wasn’t the only thing that Yue Xianzi had brought to Lu Yin. For example, at this moment, Lu Yin was currently situated right behind the private carriage and was only a few meters away from Ming Yan. Yue Xianzi had purposefully arranged this placement for him since Ming Yan treated her extremely well, and she was even allowed to enter the private carriage. She had ultimately declined because of Ming Zhaoshu’s existence and was instead riding alongside the carriage by horseback.

“Is there anyone else in your family?” Yue Xianzi asked Lu Yin as she rode alongside.

Lu Yin’s face twisted into a grimace. “No, there was an epidemic in my hometown, and they all died.”

“Oh... How old are you this year?”

Within the private carriage, Ming Yan occasionally glanced out in astonishment. “Father, it seems that Yue’er treats that coachman pretty well.”

Ming Zhaoshu was going through his scrolls and smiled at his daughter. “Perhaps they were brought together by fate.”

Ming Yan did not really understand what was happening between the two and sneaked another glance at Lu Yin. She blinked; this man seemed quite familiar for some reason.

By this point, Lu Yin was itching to stuff Yue Xianzi’s mouth shut with a smelly sock. They were right next to the private carriage with Ming Zhaoshu inside! Lu Yin would be discovered the instant he answered incorrectly; however, this woman just kept asking questions as if they were on a blind date. She was so nosy, but he could not ignore her. It was nauseating.

“The way you steer the cart seems rather strange. You don’t seem like an ordinary person. Have you cultivated before?” Yue Xianzi asked and stared at Lu Yin.

Lu Yin’s heart dropped. At that moment, Tang Si happened to come over and say, “Your Highness, we’ve reached the Ming River. The boat’s been prepared for us beforehand.”

“There’s no rush. Yue’er, repeat that question again,” Ming Zhaoshu’s voice was heard from within the private carriage. At that moment, Tang Si carefully looked at Lu Yin as well.

Lu Yin’s finger twitched, and Yue Xianzi repeated herself.

All those nearby turned to look at Lu Yin.

Lu Yin calmly replied, “I haven’t cultivated. All that I’ve learned is from Qianshan village. His Majesty once passed through that village, and his entourage demonstrated a few forms to the villagers there, which I learned a bit from later.”

The drapes of the private carriage were drawn back, and Ming Zhaoshu looked at Lu Yin. He was shocked. “You’ve been to Qianshan village?”

Lu Yin bowed respectfully. “Yes, I passed through it in my youth. I learned a few moves under an old tree to better protect myself.”

“What did you learn? Demonstrate the forms that you learned.” Ming Zhaoshu seemed rather intrigued by Lu Yin’s supposed chance encounter. 

Lu Yin did not dare to refuse and immediately displayed it in the open. It was just three simple movements that appeared to be very ordinary, but Ming Zhaoshu took on a reminiscing expression as he watched. This form had been created during Ming Zhaoshu’s youth when he collaborated with Ming Zhaotian. And now, it had spread even to that little village. Ming Zhaoshu looked at Lu Yin with a much warmer gaze after he finished demonstrating the forms. “It must be destiny that you were able to learn these forms. After His Majesty’s birthday celebration, you can remain within my household.”

Lu Yin gratefully replied, “Many thanks, Your Highness, for the offer.”

Ming Zhaoshu nodded in satisfaction. “Let’s cross the Ming River now.”

Ming Yan cast a curious look at Lu Yin with pursed lips before dropping the curtain. 

Yue Xianzi frowned. This person couldn’t be a trialtaker, as why would he know about such a trivial matter if he was? Forget it, this was just a waste of my time. She thought about the matter a bit more, but then shook her head as she had no further interest in Lu Yin.

Lu Yin relaxed. Luckily, Wu Xia had seen Crown Prince Ming Hao practice and demonstrate those forms for Ming Zhaotian before. It was practically monkey see, monkey do; fortunately, he had somehow managed to hoodwink the Reverent King. If not for this, then he had no other way to bring Yue Xianzi’s meddling to an end. He looked at her and decided that she would need to be put in her place one day.

In the depths of the universe, inside the Daynight clan’s prison, a grating sound woke Zhuo Daynight up. She raised her head, her face completely drained of blood.

An elder walked in and looked down at her. “What relationship do you have with Astral-10’s Lu Yin?”

She looked at the elder and shuddered. “None.”

“Why are you helping him?”

“Because he saved me.”

“You should be aware that the Daynight clan will not allow any marriages with an outsider.”

“This junior has no such relationship with Lu Yin. We’ve only met thrice.”

“Very well, I’ll believe you. Still, he was willing to tell us the hidden location of the Third Nightking to save you, so he isn’t completely lacking in feelings for you. From today onwards, you are the disciple of me, Nightking Yuanjing.”

She raised her head, shocked. “The Third… Nightking?”

His lips quirked up in amusement. “That’s right, he provided the Third Nightking’s information to me in exchange for your release, and I agreed.”

Zhuo Daynight was stunned. The Third Nightking…

The Ming River was wide, and its surface was glimmering with light. It was divided in multiple channels, and each held boats made to transport people and goods.

The Reverent King's household alone took up five channels. The military cleared the way as they floated towards the gate of Ming Island: Antai City. 

As the boat crossed the bobbing river, Lu Yin walked across the deck. To his surprise, it was very smooth and steady even as it floated across the water.

Lu Yin was a coachman and technically not important enough to be aboard the same vessel as Reverent King Ming Zhaoshu. However, since it required manual labor to move some of the valuable goods on the boat, Lu Yin had the honor of being selected for the task.

Butler Seven’s attitude towards Lu Yin had completely changed after he had demonstrated those basic forms to Ming Zhaoshu. From initially appreciating Lu Yin, to being friendly, Butler Seven was now even a bit fawning towards Lu Yin.

Lu Yin found it amusing; this was the perk of authority. Ming Zhaoshu had only shown a little kindness to Lu Yin, but just that small amount was enough to cause many in the household to try and get into Lu Yin’s good books. Even the butler was doing the same! Authority was a good thing to have.

Just as the ship was about to set off, a group of riders on giant beasts charged over, kicking up a cloud of dust in their wake.

“Student Bei Qing requests a meeting with the Reverent King.” Lu Yin and the rest all turned around to see a young scholar. He was good-looking, wore a white gown, and carried a fan as he smiled gently at the people aboard the boat.

Bei Qing? Lu Yin vaguely recalled him being the son of someone important.

“So it’s nephew Bei.” Ming Zhaoshu walked out and smiled warmly at the man. He raised his hand, and a giant plank was placed down. “If nephew Bei is also going to the capital, then we can travel together.”

The scholar, Bei Qing, was delighted and bowed. “Thank you, Your Highness.” He then stepped aboard the boat without a second thought.

At the other end of the vessel, Ming Yan frowned within a luxurious cabin, appearing rather unhappy.

“Princess, what’s the matter?” Yue Xianzi asked.

“This Bei Qing once asked my father for my hand in marriage, but I don’t like him.”

“Why not? I recall that you shouldn’t have had much interaction with the outside world since you were young, right?”

Ming Yan tightly clasped her teacup and tightly pursed her lips. “He has a poor reputation—he often visits the red light districts!”

 Yue Xianzi nodded sagely. “Princess, if that’s the case, then let’s not go out in order to avoid bumping into that sort of person.”

Ming Yan agreed and turned to face the river. Suddenly, her eyes were attracted towards some movement in the river. “Yue'er, look over there. Why are there branches on the river?”

Yue Xianzi’s expression immediately shifted. “Not good! There are assassins under the water!” Right at that moment, the entire boat swayed as wave after wave of energy swept up from below the river surface and pierced holes through the bottom of the boat. The white shockwaves even burst out onto the boat’s deck, forcefully sweeping across it.

Ming Zhaoshu’s face changed; he had been too careless. He moved his right leg, causing a majestic martial power to shoot out from his feet and straight into the bottom of the river. There was a dull echo as the entire Ming River began to boil over.

At that moment, Ming Zhaoshu seemed to become a deity with total control over the nearby area. The air grew heavy, and even Bei Qing nearly fainted from the sight.

The surface of the river quickly reddened, and corpses floated up from below like dead face. They had all perished without exception after just a single attack. Ming Zhaoshu was a Martial Emperor and could crush all the present opposition.

Lu Yin looked at the river and saw that there were only about a dozen corpses, although they were widely strewn about, and there was even one in the next channel. They seemed to have wanted to destroy the boat, but they had not been able to do so in time as they had vastly underestimated Ming Zhaoshu’s power.

To a powerhouse like the Reverent King, numbers held no meaning.

“Quickly, go and check if there are any more evil sect members in the other channels,” Ming Zhaoshu ordered. The surrounding troops immediately leaped into action and sealed off the Ming River. Even Antai City’s troops moved out to investigate.

Bei Qing was supporting himself on a railing and let out a relieved breath. He had thought that he was doomed; the pressure had been too intense for him to bear.

“Nephew, are you alright?” Ming Zhaoshu looked at the scholar with concern.

Bei Qing bowed graciously. “With Your Highness around, rabble such as these are mere ants. I am fine.” He then suddenly added, “That’s right, Your Highness, where is the princess? Is she alright?”

Ming Zhaoshu shook his head. “Yan’er is fine, so don’t worry. I’ll arrange for someone to take you to your quarters where you can rest.”

Bei Qing nodded, his face still a little pale.

He was actually not that weak and was actually a Martial King himself. He had used countless resources to climb his way up to the 132nd position on the List of Tempering. However, he was too inexperienced and had not fought many battles throughout his entire life. Being that close to a Martial Emperor and experiencing their strength himself was something that was difficult for him to adapt to.

Ming Yan’s face was also a bit pale within her cabin, where she was being consoled by Yue Xianzi. “Princess, don’t worry. Everything’s fine.”

Ming Yan nodded, although she still felt a lingering fear in her heart. “Thank you, Yue'er. If not for you, I would have been in danger.”

Yue Xianzi smiled brightly. “If not for the princess, Yue'er would have been sold into prostitution. Please don’t be polite, as Yue'er’s life belongs to you.”

Ming Yan forced a smile onto her face and clenched Yue Xianzi’s hand harder.

The ship was slightly damaged by the ambush, but there were no major setbacks since Ming Zhaoshu had acted so quickly, preventing the attackers from causing any real harm. It only took them half a day to repair the boat before they were able to peacefully cross the river.

“These evil sects are unending, and they’ll do anything. They even dared to try to assassinate His Highness.” Butler Seven was still rather nervous about the whole affair since he had almost been killed by the energy wave.

Lu Yin acted as if he was fearful as well. “Bu- Butler Seven, how do you know that they’re from the evil sects?”

Butler Seven angrily replied, “If it weren’t them, who else could it be? A thousand years ago, the empire’s strongest person, Lord Ming Taizhong, founded his dynasty and swept aside all the sects. Since then, there have been no more sects in the entire continent, and all battle and cultivation techniques were handed over to the empire. Although Lord Ming Taizhong perished together with the foreign invaders, His Majesty, the current emperor, is even more powerful than the previous one. Everyone around here acknowledges his superiority, and no one dares to resist the empire. Only the evil sects would continue to hide like mice and still cause destruction.”

“I heard that there are Demon Hunters Society who specialize in dealing with the evil sects, right?” Lu Yin was curious.

Butler Seven nodded. “That’s right, but I don’t know what the Demon Hunters do for a living. They haven’t exterminated these few remaining evil sect members even after all these years. How useless!”

Lu Yin’s eyes twinkled. Useless? Not necessarily... The Demon Hunters Society would be disbanded once they served their purpose. Once the evil sects were completely eradicated, there would be no further use for the Demon Hunters. Hence, they would never go all-out in their assignment unless they were truly foolish.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA