Translated by Moe
TL Note: Finally the start of a new volume. Things are starting to get intense.
Chapter 1 A Hair’s Breadth!
“Pity! Such a pity! It would have been better if Jun Mo Xie was killed! At least, that would have made his bastard grandfather’s heart ache!” Lady Yue’er said between gritted teeth. Hearing that Jun Mo Xie had unexpectedly escaped death caused her to feel extremely regretful. Under the boat, Jun Mo Xie was wracking his brain but was at a loss as to how he had offended this “Lady Yue’er.” Judging from the bitter resentment in this young lady’s voice, it sounded as if she had been violated a hundred times by Jun Mo Xie!
Lord Liu slowly pondered and said. “Now that this situation has escalated to this point, the mission to assassinate the Princess will be temporarily called off. We are fortunate to have acquired the Xuan beast tendons without a hitch. At this juncture, I can make arrangements for your departure from Tianxiang. Haha…as for the other issues, I’ll personally report to my master and see what the old man has planned. Perhaps we may have to collaborate with your hall once again, and I’ll have to inconvenience everyone to return at that time. Please send greetings to the Blood Sword Hall’s Grandmaster on my behalf and tell him “although this was a failure, Er Ye is still grateful.’”
His voice suddenly became very solemn when he said these last words. Apparently, this sentence was quoting the direct words of this so-called “Er Ye.” Jun Mo Xie was speechless as he twitched his mouth. Who doesn’t know that Er Ye* is the Second Prince at this point? And you still try to be so mysterious!
[*Er Ye, or 二爷, literally translates to second grandpa or elder. It’s not that far of a stretch to put two and two together.]
“Lord Liu, thank you for your generous words. As for our departure, we naturally have our means. We’ll take our leave!” The three men immediately stood up and cupped their fists. “The Xuan beast tendons have been given to Lady Yue’er for safe keeping. Thirty tendons is not a small number so we hope that we will be informed as soon as this matter is resolved. That which belongs to us, we will personally come back to retrieve.”
Lord Liu laughed. “No need to be polite. When you return, please ask the Grandmaster if he had given some thoughts to our request to assassinate an emperor. Regardless of his answer, please inform our side as early as possible!”
“Yes.” The three men filed out and disappeared into the night. Lord Liu did not send them off.
“Lady Yue’er. The palace had already conducted a thorough purge after the incident with the princess and all three sides have lost men. But this does not concern us. What’s more important is that the one behind all this is most likely the eldest brother. Therefore, you need to complete your assignment we’ve discussed earlier as quickly as possible. In case the information leak, do your best to arrange some subordinates to get into the palace! Be vigilant and maintain only a single line of communication!” Lord Liu lowered his voice and spoke urgently.
“Yes. Lord Liu and Er Ye can rest assured. I have already made preparation a long time ago and have selected only virgin maidens.” Lady Yue’er’s gentle and beautiful voice echoed. “If not for Er Ye’s important plans, even Yue’er would want to go to the palace to play for a few days.”
“Haha, Lady Yue’er is one of Tianxiang’s top beauties! Who can resist your charms?” Lord Liu laughed a while before lowering his voice once again to speak. “Er Ye has ordered that we move forward with the plans to create crossbows out of the Xuan beast tendons. They might be needed at any time, so there is not a moment to waste. Since many parties are watching our every move, it would be inconvenient for us to be personally involved. That is why we entrust you with completing this task.”
Lady Yue’er replied uneasily. “I naturally understand, but these strips of Xuan beast tendons are too exceptional. Using ordinary steel would not be able to bring out the full potential of these tendons. Unfortunately, we will not be able to employ Shen Bing Pu, even though his craftsmanship is unrivaled in Tianxiang, since a tall tree attracts the wind—attracts unwanted attention. Our only option is to do business with Jiangnan’s famous Zhao Clan Trading Company. I have already sent messengers to get in touch with them before the auction, but I have not received a response yet.”
“The sooner this issue is resolved, the better. We are even willing to double the payment if that is what it takes.” Lord Liu said cautiously. “These crossbows will be crucial to us in the future. Not only has Er Ye paid an almost prohibitive price, but he is also taking a significant risk to involve himself personally with the representatives from the Blood Sword Hall. Before this business with the Xuan beast tendons is completed, we absolutely cannot have any mishaps.
“This subordinate naturally understands.” Lady Yue’er gently smiled before continuing. “Lord Liu, do you know what came of the matter I asked of Er Ye?”
Lord Liu’s voice became quite solemn. “Lady Yue’er, Jun Zhan Tian is a cornerstone of the Tianxiang Kingdom. Killing him is easier said than done. Even the Blood Sword Hall, who dares to assassinate a princess, will still hesitate and not make their decision so lightly when it comes to Jun Zhan Tian!”
“Er Ye only needs to mobilize a fraction of his manpower! We can frame Jun Zhan Tian for plotting a rebellion by taking advantage of the recent uproar the old man caused in the capital. With anger clouding His Majesty’s mind, the result will be obvious!” Extreme resentment was palpable in Lady Yue’er’s voice. “Even in my sleep, I dream of the death and destruction to that old man’s family. Is Er Ye going to let this decisive opportunity slip away!”
“That’s out of the question!” Lord Liu resolutely rejected this suggestion. “Jun Zhan Tian controls at least half of the power in Tianxiang. We can target Jun Zhan Tian himself but not when it may implicate his entire faction. What Er Ye wants is not a fragmented Tianxiang Kingdom.”
“Jun Zhan Tian left my country in ruins and my family dead or scattered. Listening to your words, don’t tell me…” Despair was evident in Lady Yue’er’s voice. “If Er Ye is not capable of accomplishing this task on my behalf, then why would I continue working with him?”
“Outrageous!” Lord Liu harshly scolded before lowering his voice. “Lady Yue’er, your personal grudge is not a priority. Blood Sword Hall is still hesitant so wait until they have completed their assignment in the Yu Tang Kingdom. At that time, Er Ye will certainly have ways to make them submit. The three masters from the Blood Sword Hall are all at the Sky Xuan cultivation level, and their mysterious leader is even rumored to be a peak level Supreme Divine Xuan expert! Dealing with a trifling Jun Zhan Tian would certainly not be a complicated matter. Besides, Jun Zhan Tian already has one foot in the grave, what’s the harm in letting him struggle at death’s door for a few more months?”
Lady Yue’er snorted angrily but did not say a word.
Jun Mo Xie trembled! They are planning the assassination of his grandfather! Not only were the assassins from “Blood Sword Hall” actually three Sky Xuan level experts but their leader is apparently at the Supreme Divine Xuan cultivation level!
But because the lake surface had been incomparably tranquil, the water had unavoidably made an incredibly slight splash sound when he trembled. Although the sound was almost inaudible, Jun Xie still immediately cursed in his heart.
“Who’s there?!” A voice snapped. “There’s someone under the boat!”
His position has been exposed!
Jun Mo Xie didn’t have time to think before turning his body around and firmly kicking off the bottom of the boat. His body looked like a big swordfish as he violently shot off underwater, quickly swimming far away.
An explosion rocked the pleasure boat as the roof of the cabin disintegrated into a shower of splinters. A figure layered in a bright and dazzling golden radiance, stormed into the air almost five zhangs high! Like a flash of lightning, his two eyes sweep across in all direction to discover Jun Mo Xie’s silhouette escaping underwater at great speed.
With a flash of golden light, the figure returned to the boat to seize the helmsman’s long bamboo pole*. Shua! With a heave, the pole looked like black lightning enveloped in golden Xuan Qi as it flew out from his hands towards Jun Mo Xie’s underwater silhouette. At the same time, the figure launched high up in the sky and flew out in the same direction as the bamboo pole. Gliding over the lake surface with the sleeves of his robe fluttering, this dazzling golden figure appeared as if a god had descended to earth.
[*traditional Chinese river boats, or punts, do not have oars, sails, or motor; it is propelled and directed with a pole.]
This is precisely Lord Liu!
Peak Gold level cultivation and just a half step from Jade Xuan level!
Jun Mo Xie continued to press on and swam toward the distance when he suddenly sensed layer upon layers of heavy pressure pushing down from above. The water surrounding his body felt as if it suddenly froze and a feeling of impending crisis grew within his heart. His blood rapidly ran cold!
Without turning his head, Jun Mo Xie could sense that the trajectory of this attack would penetrate his torso. If he is unable to avoid it, then there would inevitably be a bloody big hole!
Swiftly making up his mind, he instantly circulated the Art of Unlocking Heaven’s Fortune at full strength. Feeling the stress on his body reduced, he exerted all his effort to lean to one side, puff out his chest, stick out his butt, and suck in his waist—his appearance that of an “S” shape. A really, really killer figure with curves in all the right places!
Shua! The four zhang long bamboo pole barely scraped by Jun Mo Xie’s skin, continued past the small of his back, coincidentally threading through his clothes and even through his underwear, before deeply inserted into the lake bed.
Jun Mo Xie felt a chill running down his thigh and a stinging pain as short curly hair suddenly floated around in the water. If the bamboo pole deviated by a hair’s breadth, he feared that Young Master Jun will wait upon His Majesty the Emperor. He immediately burst into a cold sweat!
Standard bamboo poles are only two zhang in length, but the bamboo poles used at Spirit Fog Lake are relatively longer because of the depth of the lake.
Jun Mo Xie struggled to get free. The bamboo pole that was inserted into the space between his clothes and flesh unexpectedly did not budge. A small and exquisite flying dagger appeared with a flip of his right hand before he made a quick backward slash and became free. Two pieces of gown resembling a pair of butterflies parted to either side of him to reveal a stark naked body in between. If this was a young lady, then it actually would have been very alluring.
Up in the sky, the golden figure quickly descended. Before even touching the lake surface, the speed of his descent had caused waves to ripple out and the water under his feet to sink just enough to expose one end of the bamboo pole.
Jun Mo Xie eyes opened wide as he watched the figure sweeping down from the sky. Snorting in his heart, he suddenly straightened himself and rushed up towards the surface.
Hmmph, don’t worry; he would never rush up to fight. As he is now, a Gold Xuan peak expert is still an insurmountable mountain.
As his body shot upwards, his left hand suddenly punched out right as he was about to reach the surface to create a water arrow that exploded toward the falling figure in the sky. Simultaneously, his other hand grabbed the exposed end of the bamboo pole as he rapidly swam back into the lake. Circulating the Art of Unlocking Heaven’s Fortune at full strength, the bamboo pole was unexpectedly pulled into a crescent shape and continued to issue out cracking sounds that cause people’s teeth to sour.
When the pole had been bent as far back as possible, Jun Mo Xie suddenly lets go after exhausting his strength reserves, his naked body swimming away extremely rapidly far away.
The bent bamboo pole straightened out with tremendous energy, and a droning “weng” sound ricochet out.