Chapter 89 – Heart Surging Like the Tides, a Beautiful Brow Furrows
The purple-robed youth’s expressions were a sight to behold.
There was shock, bewilderment, shame, and awkwardness, all alternating nonstop.
He just stared directly at Su Yi, as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t quite manage it.
Having another man stare at him like that made Su Yi a bit uncomfortable.
He couldn’t help but frown and say, “If you want to apologize, no need.
What you ought to do now is investigate and discover just who sent these people to assassinate you.
I hope you can give me an answer before we arrive at the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital.”
The purple-robed youth hurriedly responded, “Please rest at ease; I can definitely do that.”
Even his tone had become respectful.
“Also, although I don’t fear getting mixed up in all this, what happened tonight is highly likely to implicate others.
I hope you can resolve that too,” said Su Yi flatly.
The purple-robed youth took a deep breath, then made a solemn vow.
“That’s only natural.
This incident arose because of me; I won’t allow any further harm to befall the innocent.”
Yuan Luoxi watched this play out from the sidelines.
Her maiden’s heart trembled slightly, and she felt a wordless, indescribable warmth.
When she next looked at Su Yi, her eyes shone with gratitude.
She wouldn’t have guessed that this man like a fallen immortal would be so thoughtful.
He was looking out for them too, without overlooking the slightest detail.
Su Yi said no more.
He simply closed his eyes in repose.
He wanted to leave earlier because he didn’t want to get swept up in unnecessary trouble.
But it was already too late to avoid incident, so he naturally had to resolve this matter properly.
After all, their foes hailed from a faction that dared assassinate an imperial prince of the Great Zhou.
When they discovered what had happened tonight, they were sure to retaliate in a mad frenzy.
Su Yi wasn’t the least bit concerned, but it would be a problem if this implicated Yuan Luoxi and Huang Qianjun.
Something suddenly occurred to Su Yi, and he turned to the nearby Huang Qianjun.
Go search their belongings and see if you can find any clues.”
Huang Qianjun hurriedly got to work. A moment later, he returned carrying the black short halberd, but he looked baffled.
“He was a glorious Martial Dao Grandmaster, yet he had nothing on him save for his weapon.”
Su Yi accepted the halberd and looked it over.
“He came here determined to die.
The reason his strength shot up earlier is because he traded his life for it.
He used a secret art that destroyed his own life force.”
Huang Qianjun looked enlightened.
“Although this short halberd’s craftsmanship is a bit lacking, the materials themselves are rather decent.
It’s made of Concentrated Profound Iron mixed with a dozen or so spiritual materials, including Pyrophosphate and Jadelight Silver Power.
If I melt it down, it could just barely serve as a base for a spiritual sword.”
After briefly examining it, Su Yi stored the halberd within his jade pendant.
He planned to refine it upon arriving in Cloudriver Prefecture.
Mortal Edge had but the slightest trace of spirituality.
It was just barely good enough to use, but its power was limited.
Once his cultivation broke into the Qi Accumulation Realm, he wouldn’t be able to display his full strength without a better weapon.
Thus, Su Yi had already started considering how to gather enough spiritual materials to forge himself a quality blade.
“Judging by the sounds coming from the lower floors, we should be able to leave without encountering too many problems.
Do you want to leave, or would you rather remain here?” Su Yi rose, then glanced at the nearby Yuan Luoxi and Huang Qianjun.
“We’re coming with you,” they said without even pausing to think.
Su Yi nodded, but as they walked past the purple-robed youth, he suddenly paused.
“Want to hear another suggestion?”
The youth hurriedly clasped his fist.
“Please don’t withhold your wisdom.”
He’d already corrected his attitude.
He no longer dared treat Su Yi as he might an ordinary person.
Su Yi said offhandedly, “After your subordinates return, return to your residence right away.
Don’t visit that Cha Jin girl again before we arrive in the prefectural capital.”
The purple-robed youth was stunned, and he felt a bit awkward.
He assumed that Su Yi was warning him not to wander randomly to prevent any additional assassination attempts.
Su Yi saw through him at a glance, and he couldn’t help but sigh.
Unless I’m mistaken, she has a hidden agenda for you.”
A hidden agenda!
The youth went rigid, and waves of doubt rose within his heart.
But before he could ask any questions, Su Yi led Yuan Luoxi and Huang Qianjun away.
When he reached the stairway, Su Yi’s voice emanated from afar.
“Tell that ‘Martial Aunt Qing Jin’ of yours not to forget what she agreed to tonight.”
The youth was first dazed, then bewildered. This guy… Don’t tell me he’s set his sights on Martial Aunt Qing Jin?
The group proceeded down the stairs, passing evidence of battle.
Corpses littered the ground, and blood splattered the walls and floors.
However, most of the corpses belonged to spirit beasts, which came in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Just walking through the carnage broadened Huang Qianjun’s horizons, but it was as if Su Yi didn’t even see it. These spirit beasts were all tier-one and two, with the odd tier-three yao mixed in.
Even the strongest of them was only on par with a peak Blood Circulation Realm martial artist.
None of them were worthy of Su Yi’s notice.
When they returned to their temporary residence, the ninth pavilion, Su Yi went directly to his room.
His soul was exhausted, and he’d yet to cultivate today.
He had to seize every available moment.
Great willpower revealed itself through the small choices you made in your day-to-day life.
Cultivation was much the same.
It required withstanding the solitude and tedium, but at the same time, it took reflection and self-discipline.
Only then could you persist day after day in perpetuity.
With Su Yi’s temperament, he wouldn’t skip his daily cultivation unless he truly couldn’t extricate himself from his situation. In other words, Su Yi could let most worldly affairs go, but he always gave his cultivation his full attention and effort.
Time slipped by.
It was late at night when the fighting finally died down.
Zhang Yiren was injured in battle, and of his thirty-seven elites, eleven fell, while the others all had varying degrees of injuries.
Of the eight hundred captive beasts, over a hundred died, while some took advantage of the chaos to flee into the river.
In the end, only five hundred were recaptured and returned to their cages.
At the same time, five of the would-be assassins died in battle.
Three were captured alive, and the remaining six escaped into the waters of the Great Azure.
It was only after the curtain fell on tonight’s battle that Zhang Yiren investigated and discovered the reason the tower ship had shaken so violently: they’d collided with massive chains stretched all the way across the river.
The chains went all the way across, and there were around ten of them, each about as thick as a tree trunk.
All were underwater, making them difficult to discover.
From this, Zhang Yiren could determine that their enemies had been preparing this ambush for quite some time! Otherwise, they couldn’t possibly have placed chains large enough to stretch and block the entire river on short notice.
Fortunately, the damage to the boat was minimal.
If the ship sank, their losses would have been unimaginable.
The first pavilion.
The candlelight illuminated Qing Jin’s beautiful but pallid face.
Her skin emanated a faint glow, and her ponytail had come undone.
Her long hair was in disarray, an undercurrent of exhaustion amidst her indolence.
She’d already taken several recovery medicines, and she was currently meditating.
Not far away, the purple-robed youth was listening to his subordinate, Zhang Duo’s report.
His expression changed erratically.
Finally, his eyes glinted with icy light.
“We cannot allow the three assassins we captured alive to die.
Even if they’re the type that values money more than their lives, we have to pry their mouths open and figure out just who they were working for!”
Zhang Duo said solemnly, “Yes, sir!’
“Have Li Mo go investigate the Garden of Blossom’s Cha Jin.
For now, don’t alert her: everything is to happen in secret.”
Zhang Duo was a bit confused, but he nevertheless nodded his assent.
The youth pondered in silence for a moment, then added, “Also, prepare a generous gift.
I’m going to visit Su Yi in the ninth pavilion tomorrow morning.”
This time, Zhang Duo was happy to agree.
“It was Young Lord Su that turned back the tides tonight.
He didn’t just save your life; he saved all of us from certain doom too.
It’s only right that we thank him generously.”
The youth waved him away.
Zhang Duo turned and left.
The youth let out a long breath, then plopped into his chair, looking deeply exhausted. Tonight’s peril left him completely on edge.
It was only after he finally relaxed that exhaustion washed over him, both physically and mentally.
But when he considered how close he’d come to death, he felt irrepressible rage growing within him, and his gaze turned dark and sinister.
“You already suspect someone, don’t you?” said a certain uniquely magnetic voice.
The youth’s heart shook.
He didn’t know when, but the meditating Qing Jin had opened her eyes, and she was staring right at him.
“That’s right.” He nodded, his tone grave and a bit icy.
“Only my third brother knew about this operation.
I suspect that even if he isn’t the one behind this, he’s almost certainly the reason word of our expedition leaked.”
“Haven’t you always had a good relationship with His Third Highness?” asked Qing Jin in confusion.
The purple-robed youth sighed.
“We’re both Imperial Father’s sons.
We might be siblings, but we were born into the imperial family.
Brothers with qualifications to succeed the throne are each other’s greatest enemies.”
When he said this, he shook his head in dejection.
It seemed he was unwilling to discuss this matter any further.
“The mundane world’s squabbles over imperial power are ultimately as immaterial as the passing clouds.
Alas, those directly involved will never understand this,” said Qing Jin with a hint of mockery.
“Allow me to warn you in advance: as soon as this operation is over, I’ll return immediately to my sect.”
The purple-robed youth froze, stunned, then laughed bitterly.
“I’ve long since predicted that with your pure, lofty disposition, you couldn’t possibly remain by my side.
I just didn’t expect that this day would come so quickly.”
Qing Jin’s expression was perfectly tranquil.
“I single-mindedly pursue the Dao.
How could I ingratiate myself to mundane powers for personal profit? And you needn’t act so pitiful; with your status, roping in a few Martial Dao Grandmasters should be easy.”
When he saw her put everything out in the open, the youth got his emotions under control and said no more.
But then, he suddenly recalled something, and his expression went a little strange.
“Martial Aunt, there’s something else I’m afraid I must tell you.”
“What is it?”
“That Su Yi guy told me to remind you not to forget what you said today.”
When she heard that, Qing Jin froze.
Then, her sharp eyes narrowed, her peerlessly beautiful face suddenly rigid.
She felt a wave of discomfort, as well as a thread of something strange and indescribable.
Don’t tell me he’s set his sights on me?
Beneath the candlelight, a beauty’s heart rolled like the tide, and her delicate eyebrows knit together.
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