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Chapter 676: Crane King Cave (3)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
During fall, even the trees and flowers shed their leaves.
A servant girl was slowly sweeping the leaves away with a broom.
Lu Sheng did not go far. He merely returned to his own room.
He did not go to the Moon Prince’s bedroom, nor did he go and pack up his things. He sat on a chair and leaned back as he watched the plants swaying in the wind in the courtyard outside.
After waiting for some time, there was a wail from beyond the garden.
Lu Sheng did not budge. He stayed on the chair. Then, he heard the wails of the guards outside.
However, he believed that Little Rong would not let him down.
Soon enough, hurried footsteps closed in on the garden. Just when they approached the door of the garden, the footsteps vanished.
Everything was calm again.
The sweeping servant girl appeared calm. As a servant girl of the prince’s mansion, she was not of run-of-the-mill servant. She had experienced several a.s.sa.s.sination attempts herself.
Although there were not many a.s.sa.s.sins capable of breaking through to this point, it was still possible. Hence, she maintained her composure.
The servant girl stole a glance at Lu Sheng. When she saw his calm face without a trace of anxiousness, she felt more at ease, and continued to sweep the garden.
In no time, another set of hurried footsteps came from the distance.
The guards around the garden seemed to have vanished. There was no sound. However, when the footsteps got close to this garden, they abruptly disappeared, vanishing completely.
There was a long pause after that. There was no third wave of a.s.sa.s.sins.
The edges of Lu Sheng’s lips curved upward slightly.
‘Are they afraid just with that?’ He’d initially thought that they would be powerful elites. However, this seemed to be the best of their ability.
Lu Sheng waited for a while longer, and only stood up slowly when there was no longer any sound. He stretched his limbs, turned around, and walked toward the study.
The door was opened. The Moon Prince was gripping the centipede on his chest with a pair of tongs as he pulled outward.
He heard the sound and raised his head to look. When he saw that it was Lu Sheng, his expression changed drastically. “Why did you come back!?”
“I suddenly feel that there’s no need for me to leave anymore.” Lu Sheng smiled.
The Moon Prince narrowed his eyes. He suddenly felt that he could not see through this only son of his right now.
“A few waves of a.s.sa.s.sins have come just now. However, they were all repelled by the prince mansion’s guards, who fought with their lives on the line. Everything’s fine now,” Lu Sheng consoled him. “Father, you should just tend to your wounds. By the way, while I was cultivating in the mountains, I’ve read some random book which said that the centipede on your body can be removed with a black scorpion exorcism.”
“Black scorpion method? How do you do that?” The Moon Prince increasingly felt that this son of his was not as simple as he seemed. Perhaps he was truly enlightened by some learned person when he went cultivating.
“You’ll have to pound triad flowers, leather tree roots, and a head of a nine-colored toad into a paste and trick the centipede into leaving your body. Then, after the centipede is killed, your wounds can be healed,” Lu Sheng explained in detail.
When he was in charge of the Clear Crane Sect, he had actually come across such materials before.
“…I’ll give it a try,” said the Moon Prince in a deep voice.
“Well then, I’ll take my leave.” Lu Sheng slowly retreated from the study.
The Moon Prince looked on as he left and closed the door. He could not help but remember his good friend, Jiang Rong, inspector general of the Seventh Province.
He became friends with Jiang Rong through chess. He had a different air about him. His comments on current events were usually spot-on.
Also, he seemed to have mysteriously and peculiarly rich experience. The Moon Prince even heard some strange stories during their casual conversations.
There was also the mysterious Clear Prince Mansion. Before he set out this time, he had heard that the Clear Prince had exclaimed how a great torrent would rain down and a storm would strike them while it was perfectly sunny.
He had met the Clear Prince in person before. He was a mysterious and calm middle-aged man.
The feeling he gave off was similar to his only son Huang Jing right now.
The Clear Prince’s mansion could be regarded as the most mysterious land in the entire dynasty. That place was like a giant whirlpool that kept on extending countless tendrils outward.
n.o.body had entered the Clear Prince’s mansion before. n.o.body had seen the members of the prince’s mansion besides the Clear Prince himself. There were the occasional guards and servants who went in and out of the mansion, but they were all silent. They would not say anything recklessly.
In the imperial court, the Clear Prince was always silent, with a composed smile. He was a wallflower there. It was easy to overlook his existence.
However, whenever some faction wanted to lay their hands on a populous and affluent land under the Clear Prince’s mansion, the ringleader of the said faction would always mysteriously disappear.
Once, twice, thrice, four times. When such incidents kept happening, the others started to be afraid.
It was said that even the blood guards sent out by the emperor died in the Clear Prince’s mansion.
Hence, in the imperial court, even the emperor was polite toward the Clear Prince.
When the Moon Prince thought about this, he heaved a long sigh. He was slightly helpless, and he was slightly hopeful as well.
If his own mansion had had a strength similar to the Clear Prince’s, perhaps things would not have progressed to this stage.
He gave it some thought. He quickly stood up and rung the bell to summon the servant girl. He was ready to try the method mentioned by his son.
Lu Sheng exited the study, and summoned a servant girl to fetch him the guard leader An Tenghui.
An Tenghui had worked diligently for decades in the Moon Prince’s mansion. He became more vigorous with age. His spear techniques were mysterious and shockingly powerful. He had set a glorious record of single-handedly killing 13 consecutive mounted soldiers on the battlefield before.
It should be mentioned that this was in a battle between infantry and cavalry.
Currently, An Tenghui had been the leader of the Moon Prince Mansion’s guards for more than a decade. His son and grandson were serving the prince’s mansion as well. He was as loyal as could be.
Soon enough, Lu Sheng met the imposing white-haired An Tenghui at the garden’s alcove.
“Greetings, Crown Prince. What orders do you have for me?” An Tenghui fell to one knee and bowed.
“You’re being too courteous, Uncle An. I was wondering if you’d heard the wails outside just now?” Lu Sheng sized this An Tenghui up carefully.
This person had a steady expression on his square face. His facial features were always in a solemn mode, and he barely smiled. He was an octogenarian, yet his stature was exceptionally strong and tall.
“Crown Prince, are you saying that there were a.s.sa.s.sins just now!?” An Tenghui was immediately stunned. He quickly got up and placed a hand on the hilt of his sword.
“Uncle An, didn’t you hear anything just now?” Lu Sheng asked with half a smile.
“I honestly did not hear anything.” An Tenghui shook his head slightly.
“Is that so? Alright then. You’re dismissed for now.” Lu Sheng said no more, and gave him a casual instruction.
“Understood.” An Tenghui nodded and walked away from the garden.
When he exited the garden, he turned to look in the direction of the alcove.
“Eh?” An Tenghui suddenly exclaimed softly. The alcove in his sight was currently empty. There were no signs of the crown prince or the guards.
Before he snapped back to the present, a white silhouette suddenly shot past behind him.
An Tenghui’s gaze froze, and his body suddenly stiffened. Then, he fell rigidly backward.
“I… I…” In the end, all he could see was a white silhouette flashing past his eyes.
“How could I, Qing Lingzi… die…” Before he could finish his sentence, his aura vanished.
Soon after, An Tenghui’s eye suddenly snapped open.
“Eh? Where am I?” He touched the back of his neck where it was aching, and got up to his feet.
Suddenly, all h.e.l.l went loose in his mind. The scenes of everything that had transpired while he was being controlled replayed quickly in his mind.
An Tenghui’s expression turned ghastly pale instantly. He looked around him and saw no one. Then, he hastily left the place.
As a man as experienced as himself, he knew that he had been dragged into some mystical fight.
The a.s.sa.s.sinations continued for three days.
Throughout the three days, Little Rong had killed at least several dozen a.s.sa.s.sins. There were even two Yin spirit-like ghosts.
The other party seemed to have noticed that carrying on with this was pointless. All it was achieving was adding to the death toll. On the fourth day, no more a.s.sa.s.sins came. Everything became calm again.
A few days later, the Moon Prince’s wounds were healed with the method Lu Sheng had taught him. Once the centipede was drawn out of his body, it became the same as ordinary centipedes. It was easily crushed by foot.
The Moon Prince merely rested for a few days before embarking toward the capital to answer a summons.
Lu Sheng ordered one of his 12 crane demons to accompany the Moon Prince and protect him.
After becoming demons, the crane demons brilliantly made use of the white cranes’ original advantages. Their form and agility was at the rank of phantasms. In a breath, they could circle around a person for dozens of rounds.
Their agility was simply terrifying.
In addition to that, they possessed the ability to fly. Infused with demonic power, their sharp beaks became natural Divine Weapons. They had not met with failure at all in their a.s.sa.s.sination tasks.
A morphed crane demon was enough to handle a mysterious 100-men a.s.sa.s.sin group.
Lu Sheng was also intending to test the strength of the capital by having one crane demon protecting his father.
The capital. The imperial court.
The Moon Prince stood reverently among the rows of officials. He lowered his gaze and said nothing,
The divine general was reading the battle report which had just arrived.
A solemn silence hung over the brilliantly golden imperial court.
“Your Highness Moon Prince, I heard that your mansion was. .h.i.t by a.s.sa.s.sins recently. Is everything alright? Do you need any help?” The Moon Prince was listening intently to the battle report when he suddenly heard a faint voice speaking to him from behind.
“Everything’s fine… My guards repelled the a.s.sa.s.sins, and everything’s alright,” replied the Moon Prince softly with a smile.
“You sure have capable guards in the Moon Prince Mansion. My Mountain Prince Mansion was also hit by a.s.sa.s.sins before this. I’ve lost a dozen guards before we managed to kill the a.s.sa.s.sins,” said the Mountain Prince as he shook his head.
The Moon Prince maintained his expression. He listened carefully to the Mountain Prince’s detailed account.
Nearby, several chancellors noticed the commotion over here as well.
“Heh, the 13 Plum Blossom a.s.sa.s.sins, the Worldly Knights couple, and the dozen grandmasters of the Earth Womb Temple. The three batches of elites have completely gone missing after entering the Moon Prince Mansion. Who’s the Moon Prince putting up the innocent act for?” remarked one of the chancellors.
“Even the Earth Womb Temple sent their men?” asked another chancellor, terrified.
“That’s only natural. I heard that some high monk even unleashed a Black Poison Blood Centipede Art. It was ineffective, in the end.” The chancellor shook his head.
“I’ve never heard of such a peak elite in the Moon Prince Mansion.”
“Who can tell? Perhaps he hired someone from outside?”
“The Three Plum Militia had consecutively killed many chancellors, yet they failed to do the same to the Moon Prince this time. I’m sure they have more tricks up their sleeves. All we have to do is to wait and see.”
Currently, the divine general aside, it was the three princes with their armies who supported the entire empire. The Moon Prince was one of them, and he was highly trusted by the emperor.
If the three princes were still alive, the empire would not fall, and the divine general would be able to prolong the good fortunes of the dynasty.