Chapter 608: Probing

Bei Qing’s injuries were not that severe, as Lu Yin had not been overly ruthless. Still, the man had been beaten down, and at this moment, he only managed to look up at Lu Yin with great difficulty. 

During his time as Lu Seven, Lu Yin had changed his looks, so it was normal that they couldn’t recognize him. 

Lu Yin stood up. “Don’t ask anything else. You’ll just invite disaster by doing so.” 

Hua Ying clenched her fists, and a thread of blacksand suddenly appeared and gradually enveloped her. 

Lu Yin frowned, as he felt something strange from this blacksand. Now that he looked at it a bit closer, it seemed even more odd. 

Suddenly, the Corpse King that Lu Yin had been carrying along quietly growled.

Hua Ying looked at Lu Yin’s package, and her sharp eyes glared at Lu Yin. “You’re a kidnapper!”

Lu Yin did not answer her. Instead, he simply studied the blacksand with interest. “Where did you get this toy?” 

Hua Ying leaped towards Lu Yin and pressed down on him. Although she was not an expert at close-ranged combat, she was very confident in the blacksand’s defensive abilities since not even a Martial Sovereign could breach her defensive layer. 

Lu Yin reached out to grab Hua Ying’s hand, and as he did so, he felt the firm and cold nature of the blacksand. His brows furrowed; what sort of thing was this? 

Hua Ying’s other hand slapped at Lu Yin’s abdomen, but it was also easily caught by Lu Yin. He carefully felt the blacksand, and while the sand itself seemed to be normal, there was a gloomy strength stuck to its surface. This strength reminded Lu Yin of a Corpse King, and he suddenly turned around to look at the Corpse King that he had brought with him with flashing eyes. He then snapped back to look at Hua Ying. “Where did this layer of blacksand come from?”  

Hua Ying surprised Lu Yin by kicking at his lower body, and his face changed. Even after cultivating and fighting for six years, this was still his first time encountering such a situation. This woman was too ruthless, and he lifted a knee to slam it straight into Hua Ying’s stomach, causing her to bend over and retch. 

Lu Yin released her. “Tell me! Where is this blacksand from?”

Hua Ying gritted her teeth, and a dagger suddenly appeared in her hands as she stabbed at Lu Yin. The poisonous pollen reappeared around the two of them as well, causing Lu Yin to frown. He grabbed her wrist and twisted it around until it audibly snapped. The dagger fell from her hands, and the layer of blacksand also peeled off and fell to the ground.

“Are you waiting for your poisonous pollen to take effect? It’s useless,” Lu Yin told her before tossing Hua Ying aside. 

This woman was beautiful, but she was completely ruthless and had constantly been on the frontlines, hunting others. Lu Yin had no interest in her. 

He looked over at Bei Qing. “Where did you get this blacksand?”

Bei Qing never imagined that Hua Ying wouldn’t even be able to retaliate, and he was astonished by Lu Yin’s strength. He answered in a deep voice, “It was given to us by Lord Blackgown so that we could fight against enemies who are stronger than us.”

“Lord Blackgown?”

“After the previous head of the Demon Hunters Society disappeared, they became the next leader.”

This wasn’t the first time Lu Yin had encountered the Neohuman Alliance, and he had developed a rather special sensitivity towards them. The layer of blacksand that he had just felt gave him that unique cold feeling, so it was possible that this Lord Blackgown was a Corpse King. 

If even the Demon Hunters Society had been taken over by the Neohuman Alliance, then the Ming Constables were probably in the same situation. These two departments of the Shenwu Empire possessed a majority of the influence, and now, it seemed rather likely that the cooperation between the Neohuman Alliance and the Shenwu Empire ran deep. 

Lu Yin knocked the Demon Hunters unconscious and then brought Arikar and the Corpse King away. 

He arrived at Mingdu only to find that it was very different compared to two years ago, and a great number of places in the city had changed. The land showed traces of having been reinforced, and even the number of soldiers moving about were much higher than before. 

Lu Yin stood outside of Mingdu and stared into the city, stunned. 

On the surface, there was nothing abnormal about Mingdu, but as soon as Lu Yin looked at the rune lines within the city, he could see multiple Cruiser level powerhouses hidden underground. There was one even group of rune lines that nearly matched up to those of Kong Shi, who was a peak Hunter able to rival a freak like Aden and even take a few strikes from an Enlighter. 

Shenwu Continent’s strongest powerhouse in the past had been Ming Zhaotian, but his rune lines had been much fewer than Kong Shi’s. 

Since the individual was underground, Lu Yin’s guess was that they were a terrifying Cruiser from the Neohuman Alliance. 

This assumed Cruiser’s rune lines could rival Kong Shi’s, which meant that they were no regular Realmbreaker. 

The universe’s powerhouses were as numerous as the stars, and the younger generation even had the Ten Arbiters. However, the dazzling powerhouses who were recognized by the universe never included people from the Three Dark Hands, precisely because every one of those three powers had unimaginable freaks who could not be fathomed by most people. 

Lu Yin didn’t dare get any closer to Mingdu out of fear that he would be discovered by that Cruiser realm expert. 

Lu Yin would not be this person’s opponent in a fair match given his current power level. 

He spent two days circling around Mingdu once, and he found that the Neohuman Alliance had concentrated most of their members in this city, or more specifically, beneath the Tower of Resonating Light. 

He was feeling a strong urge to discover just what was under the Tower of Resonating Light. 

After thinking about it, he took Arikar and the Corpse King with him back to Qiong Island.

Ming Zhaoshu had waited for Lu Yin for five days, and during that time, he had discussed things with Tang Si. His conclusion was that Lu Yin was truly unafraid of Enlighters and that he even dared to act against them of his own volition. This was incomprehensible to Ming Zhaoshu, as he had a clear understanding of just how powerful an Enlighter could be, and even he himself could not retaliate against an Enlighter, though Lu Yin could. It was baffling. 

The day before, he had talked to Ming Yan, but he had yet to come to any conclusions. 

After two years of separation, especially since the two youths had developed their feelings for each other over the span of a few short days, it was actually very normal for those former feelings to have faded. If things were the same as in the past, then Ming Zhaoshu would not have paid them any mind, but he could not afford to ignore Lu Yin now. With the strength and naked ambition that Lu Yin currently held, the Reverent King felt that it was necessary to maintain a tight cooperation with this youth, and Ming Yan was exceptionally important to the relationship between the two men. 

However, Ming Yan appeared to be more haggard than usual these last few days. She did not seem to be in a stable state of mind, and she had become prone to falling into long bouts of stupor. Aside from restricting Nightking Changfeng and the others from visiting Ming Yan, there was not much else that Ming Zhaoshu could do, and he was not even able to seek out his daughter for a chat. 

On one day, he approached Ming Yan’s room once again.

“Yan'er, Father wishes to speak with you,” Ming Zhaoshu called out.

Inside the room, Ming Yan had buried her head into both of her arms. “Father, I’m tired and wish to rest.”

Ming Zhaoshu felt helpless. “Could we talk for just a bit?”

Ming Yan acquiesced softly. Ming Zhaoshu stepped into the room and opened the windows to brighten up the room a tad.

Ming Yan had not stepped out from her quarters in a few days, and even her lips had become slightly pale. 

Ming Zhaoshu looked at his daughter and felt his heart lurch. “Yan’er, Father does not wish to force you into anything. If you like Lu Yin, then Father will help you. If not, then Father will rebuff him for you.” 

Ming Yan’s gaze dimmed. “I don’t know. 

“Before he arrived, I believed that I loved him, and I’ve waited for him until now. But the moment I met him, things felt rather foreign.

“We only met each other a few times before, and I admit that he was my everything back then. But now-

“Father, can you tell me what’s happening? Do I like him, or not? I don’t know! I truly don’t know!” Ming Yan looked at Ming Zhaoshu, begging her father. 

Ming Zhaoshu sighed. Nobody could clearly explain the matters of the heart, and many other people had been stuck in the same state as Ming Yan. During the dating phase, they would indeed hold true feelings towards the other person, but those feelings would dissipate as quickly as they had come once the relationship ended. Humans were just too complex with such things. 

Ming Yan was clearly confused. If her father had not cooperated with the outsiders over the course of these two years, then the foreign culture would not have seeped into her life, and her feelings for Lu Yin would still be as pure as they had been two years ago. No, perhaps they might have become even deeper. However, with the influence of the outside cultures, her liberated thinking had given her too many new ideas. 

She had come into frequent contact with people like Nightking Changfeng, and the clash of ideologies had become readily apparent. 

Ming Zhaoshu had hoped that Ming Yan would accept Lu Yin, which would make his cooperation with Lu Yin impregnable. If Lu Yin could truly establish the East Alliance, then Ming Zhaoshu’s position would not just be the master of Shenwu Continent, and his authority would instead advance a step further. However, Lu Yin’s pride would not allow the youth to accept feelings born from pity. The Reverent King could tell that the youth was both proud and arrogant. 

But forcing Ming Yan’s feelings was of no use as well. Ming Zhaoshu was very clever, so he knew that his best bet was to allow these sorts of feelings to develop by themselves while he acted as a guide.

“Yan’er, Father will tell you this clearly. Your feelings for Lu Yin are real,” Ming Zhaoshu said solemnly.  

Ming Yan looked up and appeared to be at a loss. “Then why don’t I want to go with him?”

“Two years has made the two of you feel like strangers to each other, and that’s very normal. With the apprehension that you feel towards a foreign land, you will naturally shrink back. However, your feelings for him have never changed. Trust Father and face your heart honestly: you really do love him.” Ming Zhaoshu patted Ming Yan’s head. He could only guide her like so; fortunately, her feelings had not completely dissipated. As long as Ming Yan was able to verify her feelings for herself, then they would not be fake. 

“Rest well and minimize your interactions with those like Nightking Changfeng,” Ming Zhaoshu suggested as he turned to leave the room.

Ming Yan watched the door close and then buried her head again. Were her feelings true? Really? 

When going from a confined culture to a more open-minded one, any individual would experience a great change in their world view, though the person themselves would not realize that such a change had occurred. Only their closest kin would be able to recognize that change. 

The strand of unfamiliarity that had appeared when the two youths reunited might vanish once they reconnected, and they might bring an unchanging comfort to each other. It was also possible that they could become even more like strangers to one another. 

In Shanhai City, in an unnoticeable corner, a shadow snarled out and ambushed some passing soldiers. A dozen of them finally managed to wrestle the shadow under control after great effort. “What is this thing?” 

“Quick, report this to the lord,” a senior soldier barked.

Before long, Ming Zhaoshu arrived in person, and he felt a little panicked the instant that he saw the shadow. “Hurry up and burn it. This person has been infected, so don’t let him come into contact with anyone else.”

The surrounding soldiers hurriedly took the shadow away.

When Ming Zhaoshu was about to leave the place, his face changed again, and a bitter smile appeared. “Come out.”

In the corner, Lu Yin slowly stepped out, and he looked at Ming Zhaoshu solemnly. “So you did know.” 

Ming Zhaoshu sighed. “Let’s discuss this back at the estate.”

The shadow was the Corpse King that Lu Yin had captured. He had used it to test Ming Zhaoshu and confirm Arikar’s accusations. Ming Zhaoshu had truly recognized the Corpse King for what it was, which meant that he was aware that Ming Zhaotian was working together with the Neohuman Alliance. 

At the Reverent King’s Residence, the study had already been refurnished, and Ming Zhaoshu sat down in silence. After a long while, he spoke up. “Two year ago, that Wen Sansi from your universe’s Ten Arbiters severely injured Royal Brother Ming Zhaotian. I took that opportunity to enter the Tower of Resonating Light and obtain Ming Taizhong’s inheritance. With that, I broke through to the Martial Sovereign realm, but I also found a groundbreaking secret. My brother had also discovered my location, and he wanted to cripple my cultivation. Because of that, I rebelled. 

“My brother’s injuries had not yet fully healed at that time, and I had already comprehended a forcefield, so we were equally matched. With the various arrangements that I had set in place over many years, including even the four Martial Sovereign on the high peaks guarding Mingdu, some of whom belonged to me. In the end, Shenwu Continent was divided into two.”

At this point, Ming Zhaoshu looked at Lu Yin. “You already know all of this.”

Lu Yin stared back at him, waiting for him to continue his explanation.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA