"An abrupt mission?"
A surprised expression appeared on Bu Fang's face as the system's voice resounded within his mind. The abrupt mission this time came faster than he expected. He was already given one even though he recently levelled up.
"Proceed with the first ingredient capture… Only one day of preparation time is given." Bu Fang knitted his eyebrows together. "Isn't one day a little too sudden?"
"System, if I am going to capture ingredients in the Wildlands, what's going to happen to my store? Are we closing down?" Bu Fang puzzledly asked.
"The time limit for the host to capture the ingredients is only two days. If a suitable ingredient is not captured within two days, the abrupt mission will be deemed a failure and ten percent of the crystal conversion ratio will be deducted as punishment. During the two days, the store will be temporarily closed for business," the system said in its usual aloof tone.
Bu Fang nodded. He was starting to understand this abrupt mission better. However he was also becoming more nervous since ten percent of the energy conversion ratio would be deducted if he failed… This was no different from gouging flesh from his heart.
The energy conversion ratio was extremely important toward Bu Fang's levelling progress. It was not easy for him to increase the value to fifty percent. If he was deducted ten percent from failing the mission, he would have to cry himself to sleep.
After giving a big yawn, Bu Fang returned to his room and laid down on his bed. After a while, the rhythmic sound of breathing resounded within the room.
The crown prince palace.
The crown prince's expression was gloomy as he tightly clenched his fists. His fingernails were digging into the flesh of his palms. It was clear how angry the crown prince must be feeling at the current moment.
"Ji Chengyu… You actually dare to collude with sects from outside the border! You're courting disaster!" Ji Chengan's face was ashen as he stared at Xushi's mummified corpse with eyes filled with unconcealable sorrow.
Xushi had been following him for many years and had always been his most capable subordinate. However, he was now dead from Ji Chengyu's evil scheme. Even though the crown prince had no proof that King Yu colluded with sects from outside the borders, anyone with a discerning eye would be able to guess that King Yu was the culprit.
"Ji Chengyu… Despite your claims of never making a mistake, you made such a big mistake this time. If even I could guess that you colluded with the sects, do you really think someone as wise as father wouldn't be able to tell? Do you really think father has gone senile?"
A trace of mockery suddenly appeared on the crown prince's gloomy face. The joy in his eyes was becoming more and more apparent.
"Like I've said… You're courting disaster!"
The crown prince's cold laughter, filled with repressed anger and killing intent, resounded within the palace.
King Yu's manor.
King Yu was leaning on the armrest of a sandalwood chair with one leg resting on the other, while lightly hitting his knee with his hand. His eyes were calm as water as he looked into the distance.
His expression was serene and his emotions were indiscernible. However, it was this composure that made him seem even more terrifying.
At the doorway, a stooping figure entered with tottering steps, as if a burst of wind was enough to knock him over.
Hun Qianyun's aura was extremely weakened and had almost fallen to the level of a Battle-King. Evidently, the secret technique he used to escape caused great harm to his body.
"This useless old man… greets King Yu." Hun Qianyun seemed to have become even thinner. He was nothing but skin and bones. The two lumps of spirit within his eye sockets had also become very dim.
"Tsk, tsk tsk. Looks like our Soul Sect head elder's injury isn't light. It's almost as if I could crush you with a single finger." The corner of King Yu's mouth curled up as he mockingly looked down toward Hun Qianyun and lightly gestured with his finger.
The spirit fire within Hun Qianyun's eyes trembled for a moment and his body slightly tensed up. A faint trace of pitch-black energy began to encircle his body.
"King Yu, what's the meaning of this? Even though this useless old man is severely injured… The mission was successfully completed. Is there a need for King Yu to destroy the bridge after crossing the river?"
King Yu glanced at him and indifferently replied, "That's right, you completed the mission. However, you also created a huge problem for me. Do you really not know?"
"I only need you to ruin that Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup. After you kill my brother's men, you just need to destroy that corpses and avoid leaving any evidence. But… Why did you provoke that mysterious store?" King Yu's tone suddenly became cold. As he stood up from his chair, his upright body was releasing an intimidating aura.
The aura of someone belonging to the upper class came crashing down on Hun Qianyun.
Hun Qianyun sighed within his mind. As expected of Emperor Changfeng's son, King Yu was impressive. Even though his strength fell short, his aura was not weaker than Hun Qianyun's in the slightest...
However, Hun Qianyun was actually not too worried. At the current moment, King Yu would not dare to have a falling out with the Soul Sect, so the probability of King Yu planning to kill him was low.
Sure enough, King Yu's aura soon dissipated as he indifferently swept his gaze over Hun Qianyun.
"I'll let you off this time. However, you should know that there's a limit to my patience. If you screw up the next mission, then it won't end with just taking a hike," King Yu indifferently said as he held his hands behind his back, while true energy which nearly tore the air apart encircled his body.
Hun Qianyun took a deep breath. King Yu was already a peak-level fifth grade Battle-King. He was only one step away from becoming a sixth grade Battle-Emperor.
After Hun Qianyun withdrew, King Yu was the only person left within the palace.
He raised his hand and a lump of true energy gathered on his palm. Then, he suddenly crushed it...
"My dear brother, you're probably celebrating right now from discovering my weak point. But… so what? If father really wants to execute me, then this son will just have to… revolt."
Xiao Meng passed through the Gate of Heavenly Mystery. When he turned around and looked at the towering Main Hall, he helplessly sighed.
Even someone as willful and bold as Emperor Changfeng lost to time in the end. After campaigning against the sects for over a hundred years, his own son actually colluded with the sects to destroy his final hope of prolonging his life… It was really ironic.
"As long as you don't become a supreme being, you're still a mortal in the end..." With a solemn expression on his face and his eyebrows knitted together, Xiao Meng lightly sighed as he left.
Within the Main Hall, the elderly emperor was sitting on his throne. As he continued coughing, his aura became even more weaker. A trace of lethargy seemed to have appeared on his face.
Lian Fu's face was filled with worry and sorrow as he watched the emperor.
"Your Majesty… Should I get the imperial physician to have another look?" Lian Fu asked.
The emperor waved him away. His eyes were somewhat cloudy, but the air of superiority around him had not diminished in the slightest.
"My lifelong wish has always been to wipe out the sects and bringing peace to the empire. The existence of the sects will always be a latent danger," the emperor said in a hoarse voice with an indifferent tone. "Now, my wonderful son actually colluded with the sects for the sake of obtaining the throne. Don't you think this is rather ironic?
"This old face of mine is feeling hot from embarrassment."
Lian Fu did not say anything as he respectfully stood on one side with a solemn expression.
The emperor was trembling as he stood up. As he started chuckling, his harsh laughter resounded within the Main Hall.
"I am Emperor Changfeng, the great emperor who wiped out hundreds of sects. Even though I am past my prime, I still can't let my own son embarrass me like this. Sons should give their fathers the fear and respect they deserve… He'll understand this soon enough."
The faint voice, filled with mad arrogance and confidence, resounded within the Main Hall and then gradually dissipated.
Lian Fu's expression became even more respectful as he bowed and watched as the emperor's disappearing figure.
The next day, early morning.
Bu Fang opened up the store as usual. However, he had to tell Xiaoyi that the store will be temporarily closed for two days. Otherwise, she would come to the store as always and find the entrance closed.
Fatty Jin and his buddies arrived and the empty store became a little livelier. With his sharp eyes, Fatty Jin discovered the new dish, Red Braised Meat, and his eyes immediately lit up.
"Owner Bu, this new dish is a bit expensive… It actually costs a hundred crystals. That's not cheap at all." The price of the Red Braised Meat slightly extinguished Fatty Jin's excitement. After all, even a nouveau riche would still feel the pain of spending a few hundred crystals per day.
"The new dish won't disappoint you. Trust me," Bu Fang expressionlessly replied.
Fatty Jin narrowed his eyes and stared at Bu Fang for a long while, before he made a decision and ordered the Red Braised Meat. The corners of Bu Fang's mouth curled up as he turned around and entered the kitchen.
When he walked out of the kitchen with the plate of overwhelmingly fragrant Red Braised Meat, Xiaoyi had already arrived at the store.
At the entrance, an elderly and familiar figure was slowly stepping into the store.
"Owner Bu, the characters on your signboard are not as good as my penmanship," the elderly man said with a chuckle.