nd Qing Jin paid them a visit as well.

“Young Lord Su, fortunately, you were there to help us last night.
It’s thanks to you that we averted an enormous crisis.
Here’s a humble gift, a token of my respect.
Please accept it.”

As soon as he stepped through the door, the purple-robed youth proffered a gift box in both hands.

When he saw that Su Yi didn’t object, Huang Qianjun shot to his feet and accepted it.

Cheng Wuyong, meanwhile, smiled and invited the youth and Qing Jin to sit down.

When they faced the sixth prince, even Yuan Luoxi and company were noticeably more reserved than usual.

But Su Yi just sat there leisurely as if none of that had anything to do with him.
“Have you already finished your investigation?”

“I won’t keep it a secret: after last night’s interrogation, we’ve already determined that the assassins all hailed from the ‘Starbane Alliance.’

The youth continued gravely, “They’re an underworld organization lying dormant in the empire’s dark underbelly.
The experts under their command are all heinous evildoers.

“Someone hired them to carry out this operation.
Their client promised ten thousand taels of gold, one hundred stalks of spiritual medicine, ten profound-grade secret tomes, as well as a heaven-grade cultivation technique…..”

When he saw that the youth seemed to have more to say, Su Yi cut him off.
“Who hired them?”

The purple-youth instantly looked a bit awkward.
“They didn’t know either.
They made contact with their client through an anonymous middleman.”

Su Yi had anticipated something like this, so he didn’t find it strange.
“Then who do you think the mastermind who hired them is?”

“That…” The purple-robed youth hesitated, then said, “My guess is that this incident can be traced back to my third brother.”

The third prince!

Yuan Luoxi and Cheng Wuyong looked at each other, shock written on their faces.

“Conflict between princes? I’m afraid it’s yet another inheritance struggle.” Su Yi shook his head.

This was a mundane nation.
Even its martial artists saw imperial authority as the ultimate power, and they went mad over it. 

The purple-robed youth pondered, then suddenly rose and clasped his fist.
“Young Lord Su, there's no need to hide the truth any longer.
My full name is Zhou Zhili, and I am the sixth prince in the direct line of descent.
Last night, I witnessed your peerless bearing, and I…..

Before the prince even finished speaking, Su Yi chuckled.
“You want me to work for you?”

Zhou Zhili’s expression was earnest, his words sincere.
“With your support, I’d be like a tiger granted wings! I can guarantee that, should you aspire to governmental office, I can assist you in becoming a king or minister.

“Or if you single-mindedly pursue the Dao, I can do everything in my power to scour the empire for rare and secret arts!”

He paused, and his eyes shone with determination.
“And if I one day claim the throne, I’ll be certain to name you imperial preceptor!”

Just hearing these words sent waves through Su Yi’s companions’ hearts; they were utterly shaken.

An imperial preceptor!

In the Great Zhou, the position of imperial preceptor was second only to that of the emperor.
Their status was so lofty and their authority so vast that oftentimes, even princes needed to rely on their prestige.

Take the current Imperial Preceptor, Hong Shenshang.

He was the head of one of the Jade Capital’s peak-level clans, as well as the palace head of “Phoenix Pass Academy”, one of the Great Zhou’s ten great academies.

Furthermore, he himself was a long-established Xiantian Martial Ancestor.
The power of his Martial Dao was profound and inscrutable!

“Imperial preceptor?” Against all expectations, Su Yi merely arched his brow and said flatly, “Setting aside the fact that I have no desire for such a title, you’re just the sixth prince; you’ve never held true authority.
Your words are nothing but rhetoric and empty promises.
How pompous!”

Zhou Zhili was dazed, and his cheeks flushed red.
“Master Su, I sincerely hope you can lend me a hand.
I dare swear to the heavens that I meant every word I said.
If I uttered any falsehoods, may I die a terrible death!”

“No need to say more,” said Su Yi indifferently.
What a joke! A mere prince? Was he worthy of Su Xuanjun’s allegiance?

He was off his rocker!

Zhou Zhili instantly fell silent, then slumped dejectedly into a chair.

He felt stifled.
Were Su Yi anyone else, even a Martial Dao Grandmaster, he likely would have agreed by now.

Yet Su Yi stubbornly disdained to lower his head! This inevitably left the prince a bit frustrated.

After witnessing this entire exchange, Yuan Luoxi, Cheng Wuyong, and Huang Qianjun lamented inwardly.

The way they saw it, Zhou Zhili had made an enormous mistake.
He simply didn’t understand that Su Yi was like a fallen immortal wandering the mortal realm.
How could mere mundane wealth and authority buy his loyalty?

Had Zhou Zhili humbled himself, set aside his position as prince, and approached Su Yi as a friend, he might very well have won himself some of Su Yi’s benevolence.

Suddenly, Qing Jin spoke up, her words carrying a hint of rebuke.
“I told you, didn’t I? Those experts whose aspirations are focused on their cultivation disdain the wealth and power of the mundane world.
I told you, but you refused to listen.”

Zhou Zhili smiled bitterly and shook his head. 

How was he supposed to know that this youth with lofty and inscrutable attainments in martial arts already saw wealth and authority as no more important than the passing clouds? 

Zhou Zhili took a deep breath then said lightly, “No matter.
I was fortunate enough to meet you; I’m already pleased.
Besides, you saved my life.
I’ll naturally bear your benevolence in mind.”

He then rose and prepared to leave, but Qing Jin hesitated.
Then, she seemed to steel herself. 

She looked up, turning her beautiful face toward Su Yi, and her sharp eyes bore into him.
“I know what I said last night, and I intend to keep my word.
Tell me: what is it you want me to do?”

Her tone was decisive, like a convict awaiting sentencing and mentally preparing herself for death.

Everyone’s expressions suddenly went strange. 

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