Chapter 759: Smoker

Madam Nalan shook her head. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, Your Highness. If Amethyst Exchange doesn’t know it, then there’s no way I would. I only have some very limited information that I could share with Your Highness.” 

“Then share all of your limited information with me. Rest assured, I only want to know the general situation better. If you could tell me information that would allow me to deal with Aegis, then they would have long since disappeared,” Lu Yin said. 

She thought about it and then helplessly responded, “Very well. Listen closely, Your Highness.” She then paused for a moment before continuing in a serious voice. “Tens of thousands of years ago, a huge extermination operation was launched against the Outerverse. As for who instigated it or why, nobody knows anymore. However, that operation specifically targeted all of the Outerverse’s assassination organizations. This operation wiped out more than half of them, and the ones that were the most powerful and also the most important were naturally taken out as well. However, the masterminds behind those assassination organizations managed to escape. 

“They were the ones who created Aegis afterwards, and this is also the story of how Aegis was started. Those few people were very smart, and they knew that if they recreated those assassination organizations and grew too strong, it would simply lead to another extermination operations. Hence, they established a mercenary company in the open and trained mercenaries to accumulate wealth from wars. The assassins remained secret. 

“These people created Aegis, and they are also the masterminds behind its structure. Nobody knows how many people comprise the original group of founders, only that they take turns in cryostasis. Every hundred years, one of them comes back to life and manages the organization for a hundred years before going back into cryostasis. The next one then takes over, and they take turns managing Aegis like this. They are the true managers of Aegis. 

“These people are very smart, and they did not create Aegis to be a private organization. Instead, they have an external board of directors who are supervisors secondary only to the original founders. These board members might be recruited from large clans or huge corporations, and after so many years, nobody knows how many clans and corporations have joined Aegis. The reason why they join is usually to borrow Aegis’s strength, while also avoiding Aegis’s assassins and the fate of ending up as mere sacrifices. Even my Nalan family is a member of Aegis’s second level management…” 

Lu Yin was surprised as he listened to Madam Nalan describe the development and composition of the colossal company that was Aegis. Its founders had essentially gathered together the strength of many Outerverse families and corporations. When the Innerverse and Outerverse had still been connected, they had not dared reveal too much of their strength out of fear of being struck down by the Innerverse. However, now that the Outerverse was isolated, they had become more unrestrained, and to a certain degree, their strength had burgeoned. 

It was no wonder why so many powers in the Great Eastern Alliance’s territory had been very willing to work with Aegis. The Allied Forces had exterminated no less than 100 groups, and they had all joined Aegis’s second level management. 

“Aegis’s second level management is roughly estimated to consist of thousands of people. They are not able to decide the direction of Aegis, but they are able to influence Aegis in certain other aspects. For example, they can decide which member of a certain family is to be assassinated, or which side should be supported in a war, and so on. More importantly, Aegis is able to borrow the strength and influence of its second level members to complete certain tasks, such as discrediting your Great Yu Empire and the Great Eastern Alliance or finding certain powers to ally with to boycott the Great Eastern Alliance. Such things are rather easy to accomplish for Aegis. 

“So, Alliance Leader Lu, as I’ve told you before, it’s best not to provoke Aegis. Once you irritate them, it’s the same as provoking hundreds or even thousands of powers throughout the Outerverse. After so many years, these powers have already grown accustomed to the existence of Aegis, and they have become used to Aegis helping them with tasks that would normally be considered shameful. If you are enemies with Aegis, then those powers will naturally also oppose you.” 

Lu Yin had a sudden realization. “Oh, so that’s how Aegis has the ability to provide for Lord Egret. They should be very wealthy.” 

She smiled faintly. “Is Your Highness tempted?” 

Lu Yin looked at her. “Who’s the highest administrator of Aegis at the moment?” 

“Starfox, a mastermind from an assassination organization that existed tens of thousands of years ago. For the last 100 years, he’s been the one managing Aegis. All of the plans that were carried out against you were ordered by him. He’s very cunning,” Madam Nalan said. 

“Have you interacted with him?” Lu Yin asked

She shook her head. “Not really, but we’ve chatted a little. After all, our Nalan family is part of the second level management.” 

“If I destroy Aegis, would that cause great losses for your Nalan family?” Lu Yin suddenly asked.

She smiled. “If Your Highness thinks that you can cause Aegis to collapse, then by all means, please try. That loss is one that my Nalan family can withstand. Though, I must warn Your Highness once again: with the enemy in the dark and you in the light, a fight to the death will only result in greater casualties to the legitimate side.” 

Lu Yin nodded and then ended the call. 

No matter how clamorous the outside world became, Lu Yin did not bother with it as he contemplated the information that the beautiful Madam Nalan had just shared with him. He was waiting for Aegis to contact him. 

To Aegis, this raid had been conducted to demonstrate their dominance, and thus, they would be eager to contact Lu Yin and have him admit defeat. And the person to contact him would definitely be the same person as before. 

Lu Yin did not have to wait very long before he received a call from an unknown ID. It was only a voice call. 

Lu Yin answered it. 

“Sir Lu Yin, did you like our gift?” The same gloomy voice from before was heard, and it sounded incredibly cold. 

Lu Yin indifferently answered, “It was alright. The corpses of Feng Zi and Peerless Beauty have some research value.” 

The opposing party fell silent for a moment. “They’re just two useless people, so it’s not a problem for Sir Lu Yin to research them. This is our second time speaking to you—has Sir Lu Yin thought things through? Will you be friends or foes with our Aegis?” 

“I still have the same question as before: why do you guys want to gain control of Northcastle Weave?” Lu Yin asked. 

“I will not answer Sir Lu Yin’s question. I just need your reply: friend or foe?” The sinister voice still sounded extremely arrogant.

Lu Yin laughed. “Does your Aegis wish to be friends or foes with me?” 

“It would seem that Sir Lu Yin still hasn’t recognized the current situation. Zenyu Star may be able to block a surprise attack, but I wonder, can the other planets of the Great Yu Empire withstand such an assault? Has sir heard of Poisonmaster’s previous record?” The sinister voice laughed softly and then ended the call. 

Lu Yin put his hand down. He looked rather depressed. Poisonmaster had poisoned hundreds of billions of people to death in the shortest amount of time on record, and he also held the record for having killed the most people. With such records, even if he wasn’t a peak Hunter, and even if his assassination techniques were not as terrifying as the Magistrate and the others, it made sense that he was ranked second. This was all due to Poisonmaster’s records. 

Aegis was willing to do things by hook or by crook. 

If that was the case, then there was no need for Lu Yin to restrain himself either. If the enemy was in the dark while he was not, then he just had to use someone also in the dark to deal with this hidden enemy. 

“Phantom Sting.”

Phantom Sting appeared behind Lu Yin. “Your Highness.”

“Contact Smoker,” Lu Yin ordered. 

Phantom Sting was taken aback. “Your Highness, Smoker’s price is steep.”

“I know, but I have what he needs. Just initiate contact,” Lu Yin said gravely.

Phantom Sting acknowledged his orders and vanished. 

Smoker. Nobody knew the history behind this name, and nobody knew if this person was male or female. The only known information about Smoker was that they had once attempted to assassinate the Blaze Realm’s master and then escaped unscathed. They were the top assassin in the entire Outerverse. 

The Blaze Realm was the guiding power of Blazing Mist Flowzone, which was one of the Eight Great Flowzones of the Innerverse. Nobody knew how many experts that flowzone possessed, nor what level of strength the Blaze Realm’s master had reached. But one thing was for certain—the Blaze Realm was home to more than just one Enlighter. 

Smoker had been able to sneak deep into the Blaze Realm’s territory and had even attempted to kill its master. Although they had ultimately failed, they had still managed to escape unscathed. 

Back then, this assassination attempt had shaken the entire Outerverse to its core, and this achievement was how Smoker had become the top on the Assassins Ranking. Nobody had been able to pose a challenge to their position throughout the countless years. 

The price Smoker desired could not be paid in star crystals, essence, weapons, battle techniques, or power vessels. Smoker only accepted payment in the form of natural treasures that had reached the degree of instinctively avoiding danger. 

After the initial conflict with Aegis, Lu Yin had checked the Outerverse Assassins Ranking, and that was when he had become especially interested in Smoker, as what Smoker wanted was coincidentally what Lu Yin had. Without any exaggeration, he could say that nobody in the Outerverse was more suitable to hire Smoker, because Lu Yin had numerous natural treasures. 

Hiring an assassin to deal with other assassins was Lu Yin’s bottom line. He had only decided to employ a hitman because Aegis had crossed Lu Yin’s bottom line. He did not plan to let his principles restrain him when acting against them any longer, and he would plunge the Outerverse into the panic caused by the top assassin. 

Not much time passed before Phantom Sting reappeared. “Your Highness, Smoker has agreed to act, and he wishes to discuss things with you personally.”

Lu Yin looked at a screen in front of him. The display was pitch-black with only a faint white smoke that occasionally blew across it. The smoke finally formed a word: “Target.”

“Number two ranked assassin, Poisonmaster,” Lu Yin said.

“Five natural treasures that have reached the level of evading danger.” The white smoke continued to form words.

“Sure, but I must tell you something. The natural treasures that I will give you must be used quickly, as they were all obtained from sourceboxes. Thus, they cannot remain outside for too long, or else they will dissipate.” 

The white smoke wafted across the screen to form more words. “Okay, but if you go back on your word, you will not survive.”

Smoker gave Lu Yin a warning, and then everything on the screen completely disappeared.

Lu Yin looked at the sky. “Tell me, can Smoker kill Poisonmaster? Poisonmaster killed billions of people in the past and threw the Outerverse into a panic. Even the Innerverse sent out experts to kill him, but he still survived.” 

“Yes,” Phantom Sting answered very confidently. 

Lu Yin smiled slightly. “That’s good.” Smoker’s price was indeed exorbitant. For a natural treasure to reach the point of avoiding danger, they had to have lived for at least 100,000 to 200,000 years. These were treasures that nobody would be willing to sell. Obtaining five such treasures was very difficult, and this was why nobody had hired Smoker to act and assassinate Poisonmaster. 

Of course, the various great powers would also not pay such a price for the commoners’ sake, as in their eyes, the world would be alright no matter how many commoners died. 

Lu Yin might not possess much else, but he had an abundance of natural treasures. However, he actually did not have enough even though there were more of them on Bushtree Planet. These natural treasures had to be used quickly, or else they would wither away as soon as they reach ten years of age. 

Lu Yin had twenty two of these kinds of natural treasure in his cosmic ring right now, which should be enough to hire Smoker four or five times. If Aegis wanted to play, then Lu Yin would accompany them and give them a good game. 

“Has Feng Zi’s corpse been checked?” Lu Yin suddenly had a thought.

Phantom Sting replied, “Yes, no abnormalities were found.”

“What about the power vessel that he used to evade detection?” This was what Lu Yin was most concerned about. He needed to know how Aegis’s assassins made their rune lines disappear.

Phantom Sting answered, “Nothing was found.” 

Lu Yin felt that it was a pity, but he was not overly disappointed. If it was that easy to find the power vessels, then the assassins wouldn’t have been ranked among the top ten. 

Days later, the Minister of Finance, Lord Garope, requested an audience.

Garope’s expression did not look too great, as he had been busy handling the aftermath of the attack without any time to rest.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA