Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
It was dawn, Chu Li was cultivating in the courtyard of the Secret Guardians Hall. Xu Huande walked in with large strides.
Chu Li took a glance at him before continuing with his cultivation.
Xu Huande sat by the stone table. “Chu Li, you may now exit your seclusion.”
Chu Li smiled. “There’s no rush. I’ve just entered the best shape and would need to go into seclusion for a while longer. This place is more suitable than the Imperial Residence. Very quiet indeed!”
Xu Huande coldly remarked, “Was it you who took down the two Secret Guardians?”
“Which Secret Guardian?” Chu Li was stunned and stopped his movements. He then came to a realization, “Oh, you mean those two who leaked intel to the enemies of the High Duke’s Public House? What happened to them?”
Xu Huande scoffed heavily. “They’ve been dispelled of their cultivation!”
“Only dispelled of their cultivation? The Young Master is too forgiving. If it was up to me, I would kill them and find an isolated plot to bury them. Out of sight out of mind, who can say anything about it.” Chu Li continued with his movements as he shook his head and sighed.
Xu Huande glared sharply at Chu Li as if trying to see through him to validate his words.
Chu Li said, “Commander Xu is suspecting me? But I don’t know who they are. I’ve been here from day to night, how could I possibly have killed someone?”
“Humph! It better not be you, or else…” Xu Huande gnashed his teeth.
Chu Li gently paddled his palms and leisurely responded, “Since you’re allowing me out of seclusion, it must be calm on the outside. What’s the situation like?”
Xu Huande coldly rebutted, “To have the High Duke’s Public House to publicize as such, is not a good thing!”
Chu Li answered, “The High Duke’s Public House publicizing would be on His Majesty’s watch. Anyway, publicizing it or not, His Majesty would have to be on the lookout… How’s the two Secret Guardians?”
“They won’t die.” scoffed Xu Huande.
Xu Huande was pretty annoyed with those two fellas, making their own decisions and mixing in personal agendas. There was too much of a personal vendetta that it had brewed into such a huge deal. Even if they were not dispelled of their cultivation, returning to the Secret Guardians Hall would not do them any good.
Chu Li slowly ended his flow and took a deep breath out.
The white breath that he breathed out shot out ten feet before it dispersed.
Xu Huande frowned.
This person’s inner energy was the purest it could be and was indistinctly topping him by a large margin. It had only been fifteen days yet his advancement was much further than him. If this were to continue on, he would soon be unable to catch up to him!
A young man whose complexion was as clear as jade appeared at the Imperial Residence of King An. He had a remarkable presence, standing there like a tree in the wind, naturally attacking all of the gazes with his elegant bearing.
He arrived at the Imperial Residence and two protectors looked at him warily. They sensed the danger emitting from him.
“May we know if Young Master is looking for anyone?” One of the protectors closed fist saluted and asked solemnly.
“I am Meng Jian, brother of Meng Zhi. I wonder if my brother, Meng Zhi is around?” the handsome young man closed fist saluted and smiled.
“Deputy Commander Meng?” Two of the protectors were momentarily stunned and exchanged glances.
“Did something happen to my brother?” Meng Jian asked.
He became visibly upset and his voice was slow yet forceful. Each word he spoke shook these protectors to the core.
They trembled and immediately waved their arms.
The protector before him immediately answered, “Deputy Commander Meng has left the House and has yet to return.”
“How long has it been?” Meng Jian muttered.
“Over a month.”
“… I wish to see His Royal Highness,” said Meng Jian.
“Young Master Meng, we are not in the position to decide. We can only pass on the message.”
“Alright, go ahead.”
One of the protectors ran into the Imperial Residence.
Chief Zhu quickly came out in large strides and closed fist saluted once he was out the main door. He grinned. “Young Master Meng, please come in quick! Please come in!”
Meng Jian returned the gesture with a closed fist salute of his own and dully smiled.
Chief Zhu replied, “Just call me Elder Zhu, I am the treasurer. Young Master Meng, please come in quick.”
“Chief Zhu.” Meng Jian gently nodded and followed him into the Imperial Residence.
On the way, Meng Jian asked, “I heard that my brother has left the Residence for more than a month and has yet to return. I wonder if he is okay?”
“About this I am not too sure myself. Commander Meng reports directly to His Royal Highness and I have no authority to ask. His Royal Highness is currently in seclusion. I’m not sure if the commander is aware of this, I will have Commander Zheng come over.” Chief Zhu was helpless.
He brought Meng Zhi into the hall and ordered one of the maids to summon Zheng Lide and proceeded to eagerly attend to Meng Jian by brewing a pot of tea.
Zheng Lide entered the hall a short moment later.
“Commander Zheng, this is Commander Meng’s brother, Young Master Meng Jian.” Chief Zhu took the chance to leave after introducing them.
Zheng Lide said, “I have long heard from Commander Meng that Young Master Meng Jian is a disciple at the Amethyst Mountain?”
He sighed internally about Meng Zhi having such a good brother, talented, dignified and no ordinary young man.
“You’re too kind,” Meng Jian closed fist saluted and gently responded.
He was cool and his voice was soothing in a calm demeanor.
“Sigh My condolences on Commander Meng. There’s yet any news on Commander Meng, he most likely met with an accident.” Zheng Lide shook his head and sighed.
Meng Jian frowned. “My brother is dead?”
“There have been no sightings of him nor a body. In these sorts of circumstances, it is hard to say” Zheng Lide mentioned.
Zheng Lide spoke while shaking his head.
“What did my brother go out to do? I want to ask His Royal Highness personally,” Meng Jian said.
“His Royal Highness is currently in seclusion. Young Master Meng, if you could wait a while you can ask once His Royal Highness is out of seclusion,” answered Zheng Lide.
“It seems to me that His Royal Highness is not bothered whether my brother is alive or dead. He has not sent anyone to investigate, huh?” Meng Jian dully responded.
“His Royal Highness is naturally concerned about Commander Meng and has ordered me to investigate. But there are no leads at all as if he has disappeared into thin air,” Zheng Lide quickly said.
Meng Jian asked, “Does my brother have any enemies?”
Zheng Lide was surprised. He seemed to want to say something but stopped short.
Meng Jian spoke placidly, “Commander Zheng is a fellow coworker of my brother. Are you going to sit by and let the killer loose?”
“There have been no sightings of Commander Meng’s corpse so we can’t conclude that he’s dead. Maybe he had a chance encounter and is cultivating in seclusion now,” remarked Zheng Lide.
Meng Jian shook his head. “My brother has indeed passed.”
Meng Jian had sharp senses and the moment he stepped into the Imperial Residence he could finally conclude that his brother was indeed dead. His force was no longer in this world.
“Sigh a shame! I had a good relationship with Elder Meng, how could he I guess this is the fate of being in the martial arts world.” Zheng Lide shook his head.
Meng Jian announced, “I want to see His Royal Highness.”
“About this His Royal Highness is in seclusion and won’t see any guests,” Zheng Lide replied sheepishly.
“I believe that His Royal Highness will want to see me,” answered Meng Jian.
“Alright then, let’s first ask Revered Sir, Xu Ning. Please follow me, Young Master Meng.” Zheng Lide finally gave in.
The two of them walked to the outside of the Cultivation Courtyard.
Xu Ning was dressed in his yellow cowl and his eyes were shut tightly. He was quietly sitting on a cattail hassock outside the Cultivation Courtyard. He was in meditation, not moving an inch.
With the appearance of both them, Xu Ning slowly opened his eyes. His clear eyes landed on Meng Jian’s face. He pressed his palms together. “Almsgiver Meng.”
“From the Tempest Temple?” Meng Jian asked.
Xu Ning answered, “I am Xu Ning. I understand that Almsgiver Meng would like to see His Royal Highness. Please wait two hours.”
“… Alright, I wouldn’t have imagined seeing a monk from the Tempest Temple in the Imperial Residence.” Meng Jian slowly nodded.
Xu Ning smiled and pressed his palms together. He then closed his eyes.
Meng Jian scoffed but remained silent.
Zheng Lide excused himself and left.
The sun was slowly rising and its radiance shone warmth that cast a sleep spell over the residence.