“Oh, that’s right—Patriarch Xueshan, I’m not too clear on what the specific responsibilities of the thirteen captains are. Could you tell me a bit about the specific duties of the Ninth Squadron?” Lu Yin curiously asked in a gentle tone.
These words caused Xueshan Auna to completely panic, as he had a premonition that some great disaster was about to befall his family, and his panic caused him to involuntarily stand up. “Your Highness, has Rocky Auna done something wrong?”
Lu Yin raised a hand and pressed down. He smiled at the older man. “Don’t overthink things, as I’m just asking. Of course, I have my own thoughts.”
Xueshan Auna nervously replied, “When His Majesty, Undying Yushan, originally established the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons in the past, it was with the intention of using them to take control of the thirteen filaments of the empire and to prevent the government officials from growing too ambitious. However, ever since His Majesty died, the empire’s territory has expanded, and there are now also the four ministries. The Thirteen Imperial Squadrons have gradually shifted to the Zenyu Star, and strictly speaking, they no longer have any sort of true mission.”
Lu Yin nodded. “It looks like the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons should be given more specific roles. Does Patriarch Xueshan have any suggestions?”
Xueshan Auna replied, “Your subject wouldn’t dare.”
Not even the four ministries had the authority to meddle with the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons, and there was no way that Xueshan Auna would dare to speak up here, as that would be overstepping his bounds by far.
Lu Yin smiled. “The Second Squadron has developed into an intelligence force while the Twelfth Squadron now specializes in research and technology. However, the other squadrons don’t really have any specific responsibilities at the moment. For the Ninth Squadron, what does Patriarch Xueshan think of having the squadron police the corruption and abuse of power for government officials?”
Xueshan Auna’s eyes flashed, and he was momentarily stumped as he could not determine if this new set of responsibilities would be a good or bad thing.
Investigating corrupt officials meant that the squadron would wield great authority, but Lu Yin did not seem like someone who would hand his authority over to another so casually. So then, what did this proposal mean?
“Patriarch Xueshan, I have decided to appoint the Ninth Squadron to oversee the empire’s bureaucracy and to purge the corruption in its ranks. What do you think?” Lu Yin repeated his question, though a little louder this second time.
Although Xueshan Auna had not had a chance to think this proposal through yet, he still replied, “We will obey Your Highness’s orders.”
Satisfied with the response, Lu Yin nodded. In the end, Rocky Auna was from the Auna family, and without Xueshan Auna’s approval, it would not be a good thing to forcibly order him around. Of course, Lu Yin could also order Xueshan Auna to yield, but he had summoned Xueshan Auna specifically to avoid this option as Lu Yin wanted the Auna patriarch to yield and become someone who would be willing to block arrows for Lu Yin.
“I already have a name list prepared. Here, take a look, Patriarch Xueshan. If you agree to this proposal, then please have Captain Rocky take action.” Lu Yin passed Xueshan Auna the namelist that Gavin had given him earlier in the night. Most of the names had already been removed, as they still had to rely on the merchants to revive the empire’s economy. What Lu Yin currently needed to do was punish a few individuals and have them serve as an example for the rest.
Xueshan Auna glanced over the list of names, and everything suddenly became clear to him. Lu Yin wanted to deal with these corrupt officials, but the Royal Regent did not want to act himself. This was why he had mobilized the Auna family—it was to resolve this predicament. This was the same as setting the Auna family up against all of the other government officials.
This was the same as pushing the Auna family into the depths of hell.
Xueshan Auna instinctively wanted to refuse, but when he saw Lu Yin’s grim expression, the Auna patriarch ultimately did not reject, as he had no leeway to choose. The Auna family had deep roots in the empire and had established many relationships with various parties and officials. This was why Lu Yin was not comfortable leaving them alone. He would only feel at ease after forcing them to investigate various officials for corruption; only then would he reemploy them once again. With the network that the family had built up over the many years, they were the most suited to handle such a task.
Xueshan Auna remembered how the Auna family’s hall had fallen quiet and bleak and the various rumors circulating about his family as well. At that point, Xueshan Auna grew determined to agree to have Rocky Auna handle this project. “This subject understands. Rest assured, Your Highness, your subject knows what to do.”
Lu Yin was happy with this response. “Patriarch Xueshan, rest assured, I will not let the Auna family work for nothing. As long as the Auna family doesn’t make any fundamental mistakes, the Ninth Squadron will always belong to the Auna clan.”
Xueshan Auna was delighted, as this was the promise that he had most wanted to hear. The Thirteen Imperial Squadrons were incredibly influential, and so long as there was someone from the Auna family leading one of the squadrons, their family would never collapse.
After leaving King Zishan's palace, Xueshan Auna took a deep breath. From this time onwards, the previous Auna family would no longer exist, and a new Auna family would be born.
After Xueshan Auna left his home, Lu Yin contacted the beautiful Madam Nalan.
The enchanting figure of Madam Nalan appeared on the screen, but this time, she looked rather exhausted. Even though she had a lethargic expression, a trace of her charm still shone through. Madam Nalan had never once needed to act seductively as her natural charm was already overwhelming. If it wasn’t such an innate characteristic of hers, Lu Yin would not have viewed Madam Nalan as such a temptress. Still, at this moment, the woman’s charm had been magnified ten times, and even Lu Yin felt a little thirsty.
“Your Highness, what’s the matter?” She smiled at Lu Yin as she licked her red lips.
Lu Yin coughed dryly. “Nothing much. I just wanted to check if your joint ventures with the aristocratic families and the Empire are going well.”
She blinked. “My apologies, Your Highness. You will have to ask Lord Gavin about this, as I’ve already handed over all matters of our ventures with the Great Yu Empire to him. Thus, I am not too clear on the details.”
Lu Yin nodded. “So that’s how it is. I’ve seen the symbol of the Nalan family all across Zenyu Star, and I had thought that you were the one giving the orders. Speaking of which, your family’s symbol is quite appealing.”
She smiled. “That’s for sure, since it’s a symbol that’s been passed down through many years.” She suddenly thought of something. “Your Highness, are you planning to go to Sourcepeak Planet?”
“Sourcepeak Planet?” Lu Yin paused. “Are you referring to the Lockbreaker Society’s Outerverse headquarters?”
“Why would I go there?” Lu Yin asked.
Madam Nalan felt puzzled. “Didn’t Your Highness receive news that the Lockbreaker Competition will begin soon?”
Lu Yin shook his head. “No, what Lockbreaker Competition?”
The alluring Madam Nalan then explained, “Every ten years, the Innerverse and Outerverse will organize a Lockbreaker Competition both to raise the position of Lockbreakers in the hearts of the commoners and also to uncover any hidden Lockbreaking geniuses. Didn’t Your Highness receive any notification at all?”
Lu Yin searched through his messages on his gadget and then shook his head.
“That’s strange.” She could not understand this situation.
“I’m sorry to bother Madam Nalan so late at night. Rest well,” Lu Yin said before disconnecting. He wanted to investigate a bit into the situation surrounding this Lockbreaker Competition.
After Lu Yin hung up the call, Madam Nalan’s smile faded, and she activated her gadget. Soon after that, a middle-aged man appeared on her screen who respectfully bowed to her.
Her face remained frozen. “Does every place on Zenyu Star show the symbol of our Nalan family?”
He nodded. “Yes, mistress.”
“Who had you do this?” she asked sternly.
The middle-aged man was puzzled by this. “Mistress, your subordinate didn’t intentionally do this, but there were too many aspects to our various collaborations, and we are cooperating with many different merchants. Thus, the family wants the symbol to be shown whenever we cooperate with someone. So at a glance, it will look like the family’s symbol is everywhere on Zenyu Star.”
She frowned. “Many aspects to the cooperation? Be specific.”
She was similar to Lu Yin, in the fact that she had assigned many tasks to others and then cleanly washed her hands of all related matters. The Nalan family had existed for many years, and it naturally had its own system of management. There was no need for her to directly meddle in most matters. All she had to do was set the general direction for the family.
Initially, she had assumed that the cooperation between them and the empire would be largely geared towards technology, resources, military equipment, and possibly communications. She had not expected that the collaborations would also include food, clothing, and even snacks. It was no wonder why her family’s symbol was plastered everywhere on Zenyu Star.
Lu Yin had not made such a fuss about this matter, but there was a reason to how she had survived in the business world for so long, and she had easily sensed Lu Yin’s displeasure.
“Reduce the amount of cooperation that we have with the Empire. There might be various changes in the Great Yu Empire during this next period,” she said. She understood Lu Yin, and while he had not directly said anything to her, she was able to infer that he would simply take action from the Great Yu Empire’s side. It would seem that these joint ventures had many aspects that did not seek out the Empire’s benefits itself, but were rather benefits for more select individuals.
She answered, “Let’s see how the Great Yu Empire reacts first.”
“Also, have the family show a better attitude towards the Great Yu Empire. Don’t forget—we are indebted to Lu Yin, and without him, our family would have already been devoured by Enlighters,” she ordered.
The middle-aged man immediately acknowledged her instructions. “Your subordinate will send these orders down.”
Lu Yin had only mentioned something to Madam Nalan in passing, but her intelligence and experience allowed her to easily understand the whole situation. Also, she was certain that his focus would switch to the Lockbreaker Competition, as he was already a four star Discerning Elementary Lockbreaker. But strangely, he had not received any notice concerning the competition so far.
Fortunately, Lu Yin was familiar with other Lockbreakers, so he was able to contact them through the Lockbreaker network.
Also, there should be some news related to the competition on the Lockbreaker network. Lu Yin casually entered the network to take a look, and sure enough, there were many announcements about the Lockbreaker Competition. It would begin in twenty six days on Sourcepeak Planet, though the actual rules were still unknown. The reward was True Insight.
This was Lu Yin’s first time hearing of True Insight, and he naturally searched for it on the net next, but nothing came up. He finally had to use the clearance provided by his eleven Honor Points before he managed to find anything.
True Insight was a Lockbreaker’s supreme treasure, though the network did not mention what it was specifically. There was only one sentence in the description, which said that this treasure could only be used by a Lockbreaker at the Boundless Advanced level.
Its value was basically priceless, and it even surpassed the value of the Secret Sidestep Technique or a lockbreaking tool.
There was an incident recorded on the network that was cited as an example; someone had once tried to trade a secret technique for True Insight, but the deal had been rejected by the Lockbreaker Society’s headquarters.
This incident clearly demonstrated the value of True Insight’s value, and it showed that True Insight was in no way inferior to a secret technique.
A secret technique was something that had been created by a Progenitor and each one had the ability to turn the rotten into something miraculous. Lu Yin had comprehended and could use the Yu Secret Art, and he knew full well how helpful that technique was. If True Insight could not be bought even when a secret technique was offered, then its value was unimaginably high.
The reward for the Outerverse Lockbreaker Competition was naturally not the entire True Insight. True Insight was made up of thirty six pages, and the entire copy was stored securely in the Lockbreaker Society’s Neoverse headquarters. The reward for the Outerverse competition was only three pages of True Insight.
Although it was only three pages, it was still enough to attract countless experts. The Lockbreaker Competition was only held once every ten years, and the champion was able to obtain three pages of the True Insight, which could then be sold for extraordinary sums.
Lu Yin studied the information for half an hour and then released a pent up breath. The entrance qualifications for this Lockbreaker Competition was to formally be a one star Discerning Elementary Lockbreaker. As a four star Discerning Elementary Lockbreaker, it was only reasonable that Lu Yin should have been sent notice of the event; however, nobody had contacted him. Could the society have forgotten about him?
He thought about it and then contacted Xi Qi. The two had met up in the Ironblood Weave during the Astral Beast Domain’s invasion.
He tried to call her for a while, but it didn’t go through. Perhaps because it was already too late. Lu Yin set his gadget down and began to silently recite the Stonewall Scriptures.
The next morning, Lu Yin tried to contact Xi Qi again, but he still could not get in touch with the girl. However, Hai Qiqi arrived at his residence instead.
“True Insight? Why are you asking about that?” Hai Qiqi asked. Her visit this time was to urge Lu Yin to take care of Old Gu De, but Lu Yin had asked her something before she could even speak.
“The Lockbreaker Competition is about to begin, and I want to participate,” Lu Yin said.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA