Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian looked at Yue Lingshuang in surprise. How had he not seen the faint emotion in this beautiful woman’s eyes? And she understood his past. She was obviously an attentive woman.
But the two of them had only met a few times, and the first time was at the suggestion of Yue Jiangliu. Ye Futian naturally could not have any feelings towards her. This was not the way that he wanted to obtain the Yue Clan’s power. And if he just pretended in order to gain their favor, and then abandoned her once he had gotten what he needed, that would seem rather mean. Even though she said she didn’t mind, this wasn’t fair to her at all. He was already married. If he said it was all just a game, who would believe him?
He couldn’t stand it if Yue Lingshuang was kicked out due to rumors and suspicion.
So, once a marriage had taken place, it was too hypocritical to say it was all a game. He could only officially take her as a concubine. It was only in the interest of the palace, but it was still a little unfair to Yue Lingshuang.
But it would be a lie if he said he was not tempted. He understood what the palace faced now more than anyone. It could be said to be a stormy situation. A little carelessness could bring about a catastrophe. With Xihua Sacred Mountain, the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, and Saint Zhi, there were six Saint Plane cultivators in total. How could the Village Chief and the Master withstand them all? They could only run. And he did not know how many years it would be before he reached the Saint Plane. Therefore, this marriage would not be about himself. It was about the palace’s benefit and the life and death of many people. He could not be indifferent to their plight. Having the Yue Clan join them would give Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty pause, and they would not dare do anything rash.
When she saw Ye Futian’s expression, Lingshuang bowed her head slightly, and a touch of gloominess flashed in her eyes. She knew that Ye Futian didn’t have any romantic feelings for her, and so she restrained her own emotions. Her beauty was outstanding, but she was not beautiful enough to cause the fall of a city or a nation. She was much less beautiful than Ye Futian’s wife. How could a peerless figure like Ye Futian have feelings for her? After all, she was not some sort of goddess; she was not even the most outstanding in the Yue Clan.
And she knew of Ye Futian’s legendary past. He was indeed a god. It was as if he was destined for greatness from birth. Even among the endless heroic figures of the Nine States he still stood out.
She raised her head and looked at Ye Futian. She smiled and said, “I already know what’s on your mind, Lord Ye. I’m just passing through. Can I stay here and visit for a while?”
“Of course.” Ye Futian saw that Lingshuang had changed the subject. He smiled and nodded.
“Then I’ll ask my family to go back without me.” The two of them went to the Sage Hall, where Yue Lingshuang asked the cultivators of the Yue Clan to leave. A strange light flashed in their eyes. Miss Yue was staying at the palace. What did that mean?
They would go back and report to the family first.
Ye Futian made arrangements for Yue Lingshuang to stay in the Sage Hall. Many seniors came to visit Ye Futian for the real purpose of seeing Yue Lingshuang. This guy had a beautiful woman willing to throw herself into his arms, and he was indifferent to her. However, his restraint also had a certain charm to it. When they thought about it carefully, they realized that he had never lacked for beautiful women beside him, like Yun Shuisheng, the daughter of Ice Temple, Phoenix, the Undying Old Man’s heir, Mu Zhiqiu of Zhaixing House, and even his maid was beautiful, the slim and graceful, yet coquettish, Long Ling’er. The last time he had gone out to train, he had also taken two beautiful women with him. He truly could be called a playboy.
Atop Holy Sage Pavilion sat a beautiful woman gazing at the distant scenery. When she heard footsteps, Hua Jieyu turned and smiled at Ye Futian, saying, “Have you disappointed the beauty again?”
Ye Futian shrugged and walked to Hua Jieyu’s side. He wrapped his arms around her slender waist and rested his head on her shoulder. “I’ve disappointed a few along the way.” He knew that when he was in Divine Sky City, Gu Yunxi had been interested in him, as well as Loulan Xue. He knew how difficult it was to suffer their favor.
Hua Jieyu turned her face, and Ye Futian could feel her breath. Her face that was beautiful enough to bring about the fall of a city was so close it was intoxicating.
“You weren’t like this at Qingzhou Academy,” said Hua Jieyu softly. “Didn’t you really like to flirt with Miss Qin then?”
“You still remember that after all these years.” Ye Futian’s face darkened. When they were cultivating at Qingzhou Academy, they were only 15. At that time, he didn’t know anything about feelings. Many people in the Academy dreamed of Qin Yi. And he had been young, so naturally, he would have been attracted to someone as beautiful, sexy, and kind as her.
“Hmph. I remember it well,” said Hua Jieyu smilingly.
“Ah, unfortunately later I was enchanted by a witch. My one false step has brought me everlasting grief,” said Ye Futian with a sigh.
Hua Jieyu stamped on his foot. She turned around, her eyes revealing her intoxicating beauty. She whispered, “Is that witch really so charming?”
“She is. So charming that I just want to eat her up.” Ye Futian bowed his head and kissed her intoxicating red lips. The witch was charming, but he had her in the palm of his hand. Holding onto her intoxicating body, he led her into the bedroom. It was a wonderful spring night.
With Yue Lingshuang staying in the Holy Sage Pavilion, many people thought that the Lady of the palace would be unhappy. They never would have imagined that Hua Jieyu could often be seen with her all around the palace, chatting and laughing. They seemed to be as close as sisters.
This made the disciples worship Ye Futian even more. He was truly the model of a man. He had a wife who was like a goddess, and she did not mind the presence of another woman. And she could even fight side by side with him. She was perfect.
However, on that day a group of cultivators came to the Holy Zhi Palace. They were actually from the Yue Clan in the Summer State, so Ye Futian went out to greet them, along with Yue Lingshuang. Yue Jiangliu was among them.
“Lord Ye, Lingshuang,” Yue Jiangliu called to the two of them.
“How is it that you have the time to come visit us?” asked Ye Futian. He felt that something was slightly off. Yue Jiangliu and the others looked solemn.
“Lingshuang, where did your uncle and the guards go?” asked Yue Jiangliu.
“After I arrived at the palace, I asked them to return home. What’s wrong?” asked Lingshuang. She also felt that something was going on.
“Your uncle and the others, every one of them was killed,” said Yue Jiangliu. Yue Lingshuang’s face changed in an instant, as did Ye Futian’s.
The people from the Yue Clan had all been killed after they left the palace?
Who… who had done this?
“How could that be?” Yue Lingshuang’s face went pale. She felt guilty. Had she killed them by coming here? And if she had gone back with them, would she have ended up the same way?
“Do you have any leads?” asked Ye Futian.
Yue Jiangliu shook his head and then asked Yue Lingshuang some questions. He speculated they had died on the day that they left the palace, and not too far away from the palace either. In fact, they had still been in the Barren State, in Zhongzhou City.
The Holy Zhi Palace was in the Barren State, but it had obviously not been them who had killed the people from the Yue Clan. They had a good relationship, and so Ye Futian had no reason to do it, otherwise, Yue Jiangliu would not have been so polite when he came to the palace. He knew that this affair was not their doing.
“Lord Ye, are there any forces in the Barren State that bear enmity towards the palace?” asked Yue Jiangliu.
“That can’t be it. Even if there were, they wouldn’t dare to do this.” Ye Futian shook his head. “Given the current situation we’re being watched by everyone, and Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty probably have many informers in Zhongzhou City. But even they don’t seem to have had a good reason to do it.”
“Perhaps they ordered someone to kill them when they saw that we had a desire to form a marriage alliance with you, in the hopes of killing Yue Lingshuang? And since she wasn’t there, they killed the others?” guessed Yue Jiangliu.
“We can’t rule out that possibility.” Ye Futian looked thoughtful. But if Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty had really done this, once they were found out, it would push the Yue Clan and the palace into an alliance, and they would be offending a powerful enemy. Therefore, he wasn’t sure it was them.
The death of the Yue Clan cultivators was quite fishy.
“What about Saint Zhi?” said Yue Jiangliu. Saint Zhi probably now hated the Holy Zhi Palace for the battle at Zhisheng Cliffs, and since Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty were not willing to act, he was probably quite dissatisfied, and so had caused this to happen the Yue Clan cultivators.
“I’m not sure.” Ye Futian shook his head. This was all very confusing. Could it be that this Sacred War and Emperor Xia’s command had drawn out a secret holy land?
If it wasn’t Xihua Sacred Mountain, the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, or Saint Zhi, then this affair was not a simple one. Another holy land must be involved. If so, what was their goal?
“May we stay in the palace while we investigate this matter?” Yue Jiangliu asked Ye Futian.
“Of course, and I will put all the power of the palace to work helping you in your investigation,” said Ye Futian. The people from the Yue Clan had been killed after leaving the Holy Zhi Palace, and it had happened in Zhongzhou City, which was their land. He was partially responsible for what had happened.
“Thank you, Lord Ye.” Yue Jiangliu bowed slightly, then said to Yue Lingshuang, “How are you getting on here at the palace?”
“Lord Ye and his wife have been most considerate,” said Yue Lingshuang.
“Excellent.” Yue Jiangliu finally smiled. Yue Lingshuang looked at Ye Futian. Ye Futian sighed inwardly. Lingshuang’s decision to stay in the palace had helped him and had created an illusion for the people of the Nine States.
The Yue Clan mobilized people from their families to come to the palace and start investigating the deaths of their cultivators. This case quickly attracted the attention of many people from around the Nine States. People from the Yue Clan had been assassinated; this was extremely unusual.
In addition to the clear Sacred War, there were apparently undercurrents in the Nine States!