“For you to be in such a hurry to act as my matchmaker, you were indeed harbouring ill intentions……”
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The surface shook; Xiang Shu wielded the heavy iron sword with both hands and had already rushed out of the hall first, so Feng Qianjun had to follow him out. Thousands of troops had trampled all over the hall entrance in an instant and were currently charging straight towards the main hall!
Feng Qianjun, "……"
“Hold them off!” Xiang Shu shouted, then turned around and grabbed the massive, red lacquer door of the main hall that weighed close to a thousand jin with one hand and forcibly pulled it down.
“Wah! Seizing the door to get out!” Chen Xing cried.
Xiang Shu carried it on his shoulder and pushed the wooden door towards the drill ground in front of the hall!
Even though Feng Qianjun shouted loudly, his voice had been drowned out by the charging troops in an instant. What followed was that the two got completely dispersed by the shadow warriors and could only start fighting their respective battles alone.
Chen Xing, who remained in the palace, had already floated up in the midst of the resentment flames that revolved around him. His left hand pressed against the feeble Heart Lamp in his chest and protected his heart meridians, while his right finger pointed at the top of his head. The Yin Yang Mirror began rotating faster and faster, then spread out. Runes in the air that were bursting with purplish-black light began returning to the mirror one by one.
At the same time, in present Chang’an, within the imperial Study, Fu Jian was discussing matters in detail with Wang Ziye, who had visited him late at night.
“How do I get Shulü Kong to willingly hand over the Purple Scroll?” Fu Jian asked Wang Ziye.
Wang Ziye answered, “Why doesn’t Your Majesty order him to directly? Why beat around the bush? As an official, presenting the Purple Scroll is part of his duty.”
Fu Jian fell silent for a moment before saying, “Zhen has to admit that you’re right. It’s just that……”
Wang Ziye said, “Would he dare, not, hand, it, over?”
Fu Jian smiled, “If Zhen were to do it through forceful means, honestly, he really could be that bold.”
Wang Ziye said, “I remember that not too long ago, Your Majesty would never be lenient on anyone who dares disobey an imperial order, no matter if they were a Hu or Han.”
Fu Jian said, “The Great Chanyu definitely can’t be touched.”
Wang Ziye said, “Can’t be touched? He’s merely an official.”
Fu Jian said, “He’s not an official, he’s the Great Chanyu.”
Wang Ziye, “There cannot be two suns in the sky, just as how there cannot be two kings in one country. All the land under the heavens belongs to the king, and all the people are the king’s servants. If the Great Chanyu is not a subject, then what is he?”
Fu Jian stopped talking, and Wang Ziye smiled, “The Ancient Chi Le Covenant belongs to the past. In my humble opinion, no matter if it’s the ancient covenant, the Great Chanyu, or the Golden Conferment of Purple Scroll, none of these really need to exist anymore. If Your Majesty is bold enough, you can make them go where they should.”
Fu Jian shook his head, “It’s not time yet, at least not now.”
If Wang Meng was still alive, he wouldn’t advise Fu Jian like this. Forget it, Wang Ziye was not Wang Meng after all. Fu Jian just thought all of this seemed dull and wanted to talk a bit more before making Wang Ziye leave.
Within the sleeping chambers, in front of Princess Qinghe, the Yin Yang Mirror on the table started shaking crazily and released bursts of black fog.
In the mirror world, Xiang Shu and Feng Qianjun had already been pushed back until they were outside the hall’s entrance.
“It’s not done yet?!” Xiang Shu shouted, “Hurry up!”
Chen Xing turned a deaf ear to him. His eyes were shut tight as he controlled the Yin Yang Mirror to rotate constantly, and it was spinning faster and faster now. Feng Qianjun roared, “We can’t hold them back any longer!”
Xiang Shu and Feng Qianjun kept guard in front of the hall’s entrance, and they could no longer keep count of how many shadow warriors they had beheaded. However, even after their heads were chopped off, the warriors would just scramble around the ground to find their head and reconnect it, then be as good as new before rushing over to kill them again. Feng Qianjun was already struggling a lot to deal with them, and he finally made up his mind to shout, “Great Chanyu! Enter the hall! Don’t mind me! Both of you should go! As many of us should try to escape as possible!”
The shadow general assembled its troops once again to prepare for the next wave of the assault.
Feng Qianjun gritted his teeth, brandished the Sen Luo sabre, and black flames instantly burst out all over his body.
Xiang Shu uttered in disbelief, “What are you doing?”
Within a split second, Feng Qianjun had already lured the resentment of heaven and earth towards him. The air around him fluctuated, and a bloody glint flashed through his eyes.
“Go back and stop my older brother.” Feng Qianjun slowly said, then his eyes were completely covered with a scarlet colour; black flames that obscured the sky gushed into the Sen Luo sabre!
A gust of Yin wind suddenly stirred and rose from the ground, a black light burst out from the tip of his blade.
Sen Luo Wan Xiang, the stars are shifting!
The sacred sabre that disappeared from the Divine Land and went into hiding for nearly 300 years reappeared right at this very moment, yet it was engulfed in a raging flame of resentment that blazed brightly. The bitingly cold glare that reflected off the blade had been altered; its tip was like a vast and deep water body as cold as ice, and it turned into a darkness that seemed even more profound than that of a long, dark night. The sacred sabre had taken on a completely different form and was now a demonic blade. When Feng Qianjun slashed out with his sabre, its power soaked in death brutally struck a shadow warrior that had charged forth!
The encirclement was broken through in an instant, following which, Feng Qianjun released an angry roar. While wielding the Sen Luo sabre with both hands, he stabbed it into the ground.
A black ring of light emerged from the ground and spread madly in all directions; plants and trees instantly withered wherever the light swept by and turned into a pitch-black patch. Then, the earth swelled up, bricks fell apart, advancing layer by layer as they sent the entire living corpse troop army that had rushed into the drill ground flying!
It was as if a sleeping giant had arched its back upwards; many trees had interlaced roots, and roots as massive as Panlong burst out of the ground, all of them crisscrossing with one another. They rose, danced, and covered the entire drill ground. Meanwhile, in Weiyang Palace, and even in Chang’an City, millions of dead trees were pulled out along with their roots and they launched a large-scale attack on the living corpse army!
Xiang Shu, “Stop! Feng Qianjun!”
Pitch black vines weaved in and out around one another as they began sealing the entrance to the hall. Xiang Shu immediately drew his sword and swung it towards the Sen Luo sabre in Feng Qianjun’s hands. Right at that moment, Chen Xing completed the spell, and the Heart Lamp flashed!
The Yin Yang Mirror stirred up a whirlwind, and a tremendous suction force suddenly erupted from within. Chen Xing regained consciousness. He quickly glimpsed Xiang Shu, and before he could think it through, he pushed both his hands out. Nine of the inscribed runes on Xiang Shu’s heavy sword lit up in an instant, shining with a radiant white light that struck the Sen Luo sabre in Feng Qianjun’s hands with a loud thump that sent it flying!
The bloody glint in Feng Qianjun’s eyes died down, then within a split second, the three of them flew up at the same time and sped backwards into the mirror. Xiang Shu turned around in mid-air, wrapped his arms around Chen Xing, and the two of them rushed in. Feng Qianjun roared and was also swept into the mirror, followed by the Sen Luo sabre that shot into the mirror with a whoosh!
The vines that sealed the entrance lost the resentment that drove them and exploded in mid-air before vanishing without a trace. Only a mess of vines that were strewn all over the ground remained. The black flames of the Yin Yang Mirror were withdrawn, then it fell to the ground with a clang and rolled out of the hall, landing below the steps.
The black armoured general dismounted, walked over slowly, and picked up the Yin Yang Mirror.
Chen Xing buried himself into the front of Xiang Shu and yelled, but Xiang Shu was prepared. This time, when they were ejected from the Yin Yang Mirror, he strode out in mid-air, turned around, bent his left leg, stepped with his right, and set foot on a wall; he crouched down to rid himself of his momentum and somersaulted in the air again, then landed!
“Aaahhhh!” But Chen Xing still shouted.
Immediately afterwards, Feng Qianjun was ejected from the Yin Yang Mirror and crashed harshly onto a pillar, which made a loud noise. He collapsed limply to the ground. The Sen Luo sabre whirled out afterwards and lodged itself into a beam in the hall!
In the imperial study, Fu Jian and Wang Ziye heard this noise at the same time. Fu Jian immediately got up and dashed to the sleeping chambers, while Wang Ziye followed closely behind.
Princess Qinghe held the Yin Yang Mirror and stared at the three of them, her eyes wide.
As soon as Xiang Shu rushed out, he pulled his sword back in a defensive stance, but he breathed a sigh of relief when he realised that it was Princess Qinghe.
Chen Xing’s head was spinning as he said, “Where is this, yi? Why are we here? Princess? You……why do you have the mirror?”
Princess Qinghe answered, “The two of you have been missing for nearly a whole day and night! His Majesty was so anxious that he dispatched people to search everywhere for you two, but they couldn’t find anyone and instead got this mirror from somewhere.”
Princess Qinghe frowned deeply as she looked at the Yin Yang Mirror in her hands, then looked at Chen Xing and Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu sheathed his sword, while Chen Xing gasped for breath and walked towards Princess Qinghe.
Princess Qinghe, “You guys……you guys……”
“Give me the mirror,” Chen Xing said, “I’ll slowly explain it to you later.”
Princess Qinghe approached Chen Xing and handed the mirror to him.
“How did……you guys escape from the mirror?” Princess Qinghe asked.
Chen Xing suddenly sensed that something was amiss. Xiang Shu shouted, “Duck!’
Chen Xing ducked subconsciously, yet Princess Qinghe was faster than him. Her left hand that was holding onto the mirror propped him from under the ribs and encircled him, her arm hooking around his neck.
Chen Xing, "…………………………"
Xiang Shu rushed forward in one step, but he saw that Princess Qinghe’s body wasn’t moving. Black vapour manifested around her body that flew out to strike Xiang Shu’s chest harshly, which hit him so hard that he was sent flying and he fell to the ground.
Feng Qianjun lost consciousness after getting ejected from the mirror. He lay on the ground, while his Sen Luo sabre was firmly lodged into the pillar. The only person who could restrain Princess Qinghe now was Xiang Shu.
Chen Xing could have never expected that Princess Qinghe would do such a thing, and even Xiang Shu wasn’t the least bit prepared. She had struck the old wound on his ribs. He forcibly endured the sharp pain, grabbed his sword, and staggered to stand firm on his feet.
A dagger appeared in Princess Qinghe’s right hand that she pressed against Chen Xing’s neck.
Chen Xing instantly shouted like he had gone mad, “IT’S COLD!! AAAAHHH! This dagger’s so cold!!!”
Princess Qinghe, “……”
Xiang Shu, “……”
Chen Xing, “Couldn’t you have heated it up before placing it against my neck?!”
Princess Qinghe said in a stern voice, “Great Chanyu, keep at least five steps away from me and don’t move, I know you’re strong.” As she spoke, her dagger slightly pierced into Chen Xing’s neck. The dagger had been injected with mana, and its entire blade appeared pitch black. If she exerted just a little effort, Chen Xing would be pierced straight through and blood would gush out of his neck, then he would no longer be able to survive.
“Aiya! AiyaI!” Chen Xing immediately cried out, “It hurts!! Jiejie! Don’t be so rough, we’re all decent people here……”
Princess Qinghe tightened her grip and said coldly, “Shut up!”
Xiang Shu said in a low voice, “You’re the one who reared the living corpses? What are you up to? What’s your relationship with the Feng family?”
Princess Qinghe took a deep breath and said slowly, “Great Chanyu, you’re too much of a busybody. The two of you were the ones who bumped into this yourselves, you can’t blame me. If you hadn’t cared about this kid, you wouldn’t have encountered so much trouble.”
“So you were the one who sent the assassin that night,” Xiang Shu said in a dangerous tone, “And I even spent such a long time wondering in vain why Jian Tou would want to kill an exorcist who he had nothing against.”
Chen Xing was being strangled by Princess Qinghe, and he just thought that her strength was strangely extraordinary. Although it was far inferior to that of Xiang Shu’s, her martial prowess was not to be taken lightly.
“You……I just knew……” Chen Xing could barely breathe anymore, “For you to be in such a hurry to act as my matchmaker, you were indeed harbouring ill intentions……”
Princess Qinghe tightened her grip around his neck and sneered, “You’re already on your deathbed!”
Within an instant, a black vapour erupted from Princess Qinghe’s body that revolved around her and Chen Xing. While she was within the mass of black vapour, she started floating up slowly into the air. Chen Xing’s neck was on the verge of snapping from being strangled, so he couldn’t speak anymore.
“State your conditions.” Xiang Shu said in a deep voice.
Princess Qinghe said, “Put down your sword, raise both your hands and back up until you’re outside the door.”
Xiang Shu turned around. He went to the front of the hall’s entrance, put down his heavy sword, raised both hands, then slowly retreated.
Princess Qinghe’s grip loosened slightly. Chen Xing held onto her arm and said while he was being held hostage, “Protector, be careful not to trip over the threshold behind you.”
Xiang Shu, "......"
When Xiang Shu retreated until he was in front of the door, Princess Qinghe immediately shouted, “Guards! There’s an assassin——! GUARDS!”
Fu Jian has never liked having people guard the door while he slept, so all the guards were patrolling the imperial garden and corridor. At this moment, after hearing her voice, they started gathering outside the sleeping chambers. However, all these unforeseen events had occurred too quickly — only the time taken to say a few sentences had passed since Xiang Shu and Chen Xing flew out of the mirror and Princess Qinghe had suddenly turned hostile.
Chen Xing continued, “Hurry and run, you can come back to save me later……”
Within a very brief moment, multiple thoughts had already flashed through Xiang Shu’s mind: if he left just like this, Princess Qinghe would stab Chen Xing to death immediately. It was already quite clear now; Princess Qinghe, Feng Qianyi, and the ones who secretly planned a conspiracy with the living corpses were all part of the same group, and it was even more likely that the two of them were the masterminds.
Chen Xing immediately used his gaze to signal to Xiang Shu to leave, but right at that moment, the dog that had been sleeping behind the screen rushed out silently, then bit Princess Qinghe’s ankle.
Princess Qinghe shouted at once. Chen Xing immediately struggled to break free, then Xiang Shu lunged to the ground, grabbed his heavy sword and flipped over. Princess Qinghe flung the dog away and stabbed it to death with her dagger, but Xiang Shu’s heavy sword was already right in front of her.
“Break!” Chen Xing saw that Princess Qinghe was holding the Yin Yang Mirror, which meant that she must be able to activate it, so he lit up his Heart Lamp to help Xiang Shu break through the resentment. Within a split second, the heavy sword in Xiang Shu’s hands flashed with a glaring light, and with a “whoosh”, drove the black fog back like it was a scorching flame melting the snow. When the white light flashed in front of Princess Qinghe, dread immediately appeared in her eyes!
Xiang Shu had been caught unprepared before and suffered because of it, so he knew that she couldn’t be slighted. With this attack, either Princess Qinghe died, or Xiang Shu would die, so he exerted all his might in swinging his sword out. Right after the black vapour was broken through, the sword struck Princess Qinghe’s chest first, then another strike landed at a slanted angle. Blood was already gushing from Princess Qinghe’s mouth, who was hovering in the air. All her ribs broke, blood streamed out of her orifices, and she slammed into a wall! The Yin Yang Mirror flew out of her hand and fell to the ground.
At that moment, Fu Jian had rushed to the scene and just so happened to personally witness the scene of Xiang Shu killing Princess Qinghe with his sword.
Everyone was stunned, and even Xiang Shu was shocked too. He already sensed that something was wrong when he unleashed his second strike. Once the black vapour withdrew, the other party had lost all strength to resist, but the third strike was interlinked with the first two and had already blocked off the enemy’s way out, so it was still too late to stop.
“She……she……” Chen Xing rushed forward immediately and shouted, “Wait!”
Princess Qinghe lay on the ground, her lips slightly parted, and her mouth was filled with blood.
“I just wanted……to take revenge……for the Murong clan……”
Chen Xing raised his head with a blank expression and looked at Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu turned around at once, shielding Chen Xing in front of him as he faced Fu Jian, who was standing outside the hall, as well as Tuoba Yan, who had come with a torch and a group of guards.
The dog whimpered and crawled towards Chen Xing, leaving a trail of bloodstains behind it. It struggled to lick his hand. Chen Xing picked the dog up; a chill ran down his spine, and he felt like he had fallen into an ice cave for a moment.
“Xiang Shu?” Chen Xing said and thought that they were in great trouble now. When Fu Jian rushed over, he didn’t know if Fu Jian had seen the scene of Princess Qinghe being enveloped in a mass of black vapour. But even if he had, the lighting within the hall was dim, so it was unlikely for him to have seen it clearly.
After falling into a trance over Qinghe’s death, Xiang Shu immediately snapped out of his trance. He looked at Fu Jian with his guard up.
“Do you want to listen to an explanation, or just get straight to taking revenge?” Xiang Shu said to Fu Jian in a deep voice, “Guwang will take you on till the end.”
It was as if Fu Jian had heard nothing. Torn with grief, he immediately let out a heartrending wail and just rushed straight in barehanded!
Outside the sleeping chambers, Xiang Shu was carrying Chen Xing while Chen Xing carried the dog. They smashed through a wooden window together and fell harshly into the imperial garden along with thousands of pieces of debris.
Arrows were flying everywhere. Fu Jian rushed out of the hole they made and only saw the receding figure of Xiang Shu, who was carrying Chen Xing as they flipped over the palace walls amidst the marble white colour of the dawn sky.
“Shulü Kong——!” Fu Jian was struck with grief and had lost all rationality as he roared madly, “Zhen swears with my life! I will definitely make you pay with your blood——!”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.