Chapter 52 Trapped Birds
Long Chen really never would have imagined that the seventh prince would come to find him like this. They had never had any further interactions after that disagreeable moment in the Imperial College.
But since the seventh prince was Chu Yao's true flesh and blood younger brother, Long Chen also felt a bit apologetic about what happened last time. In the future he would be his brother-in-law.
"Brother Long, you should call me Chu Feng," hastily said the seventh prince respectfully. He acted completely different from his previous bossy and domineering self.
Long Chen had learned from Chu Yao that Chu Feng wasn't actually a bad person and only did his best to act like an arrogant idiot in order to protect himself. Only then could he feel a bit safer.
"I'm sorry about last time." Long Chen nodded and patted Chu Feng on the shoulders.
"It wasn't brother Long's fault." Chu Feng was very modest and unpretentious.
Pouring two cups of tea, Long Chen handed one cup to Chu Feng and asked, "What are you here for?"
This time Chu Feng wasn't wearing his imperial clothing but just some embroidered robes similar to what a noble son would wear.
"Brother Long… this…" Chu Feng opened his mouth a couple times but couldn't say what he wanted.
"Just say it."
Chu Feng hesitated and took a deep breath. "The Empress Dowager announced today that she is marrying my big sister to Xia Changfeng. They set the date for the first of October."
Although Long Chen was already prepared to hear this news, his blood surged and the teacup in his hand shattered, the tea splattering over him.
Not only was killing intent rumbling within his eyes, the entire room immediately turned icy cold. Chu Feng couldn't help shivering.
The current Long Chen looked just like an infuriated savage beast. It was as if any time he might explode and kill someone. His killing intent was a hundred times stronger than it was back in the Imperial College.
"Are you sure?" Long Chen ground his teeth.
Chu Feng nodded. It was difficult for him to even speak under Long Chen's pressure.
Long Chen was incomparably enraged. He had already promised Chu Yao in front of everyone that she was his woman.
He hadn't used his relationship with grandmaster Yun Qi in order to force the proposal with Chu Yao, which could be counted as giving enough face to the Empress Dowager. He had given her an easy way out of a difficult situation since he didn't want to make it to embarrassing for her.
But she actually completely disregarded his good intentions. She also completely ignored grandmaster Yun Qi's face and married off Chu Yao to Xia Changfeng without hesitation.
"Brother Long, my big sister has lived a life of hardship and loneliness. She has always conducted herself properly, but I know about her situation. If she is married to Xia Changfeng, she will definitely die. So Brother Long, I'm begging you to save my big sister." Chu Feng actually started to tear up, and after he said this he slowly knelt down in front of Long Chen.
"Hey, get up already."
Long Chen pulled Chu Feng up. "Since I already made a promise, then even in death I will keep it. Don't worry."
Chu Feng was extremely moved to hear that. Having lived his whole life in the imperial palace, the only thing he had never had was trust in others.
"Chu Yao hasn't left the palace in a while. Is she under house arrest?" asked Long Chen.
Chu Feng nodded. "Yes. Ever since she returned last time she's been confined within the palace. The Empress Dowager refuses to let her take one step out."
Long Chen's face was ashen. It seemed the Empress Dowager didn't give a crap about grandmaster Yun Qi. That old bitch better wait for him.
"Can you go see her?" asked Long Chen.
"I can. The Empress Dowager only forbid her to leave, but she can still see others. As her brother they don't dare block me," answered Chu Feng.
"Then that's good. There's still a month until October. There's still enough time. Three days later will be the Huayun Pavilion's yearly auction. I'll do my best to get the Starfusing Grass to resolve the problem in her body. Tell her to wait for me. Don't let her do anything stupid."
Chu Feng was overjoyed and thanked and apologized to Long Chen a thousand times, something Long Chen was completely unused to.
"Chu Feng, let me see your Dantian."
Long Chen was a bit suspicious and reached out his hand towards Chu Feng's shoulder. He slowly sent his spiritual qi into his Dantian.
As expected, something strange was present!
Although Chu Feng's Dantian hadn't been locked down like Chu Yao's, there was a strange entity on top the Spiritual Root of his Dantian.
It was something so small that it wasn't even visible by the naked eye. If Long Chen hadn't been suspicious then he might have missed it.
"Try to hold on."
Long Chen increased the spiritual qi he sent into Chu Feng's body. Chu Feng felt his stomach hurt for a moment and a small spurt of blood came from it. A small feathered needle appeared in Long Chen's hand.
"The Underworld Feather Pin. How vicious."
This Underworld Feather Pin was actually used to treat a kind of Yang poison. Inside was a Yin poison that could relieve Yang poison. Both poisons would neutralize each other to cure someone.
But when it was placed into a healthy person's Dantian, the Dantian's Spirit Root would be corroded by its Yin poison, making it impossible to cultivate.
Once more examining Chu Feng's Dantian, Long Chen couldn't help sighing. After being corroded for so long by the Yin poison, Chu Feng's Spirit Root had already declined. Otherwise his talent would not be inferior to Chu Yao's by much.
"I've removed this poisonous needle from your body now. You'll be able to cultivate from now on, but you must keep it secret. Here are a couple Aura Concealing Pills. Take one every seven days and no one will notice anything." Long Chen handed Chu Feng a jade bottle.
When Long Chen had some free time he would refine some other random medicinal pills. Such pills had a great assistance to the current him.
But Long Chen couldn't bear to tell Chu Feng that his Spirit Root had been severely eroded. Perhaps the Blood Condensation realm would be his peak.
At the same time as he felt this regret he also became even more disgusted with the imperial household who were just tigers in human clothing.
"I can cultivate now?" Chu Feng couldn't believe this. He had always thought that he was innately crippled. He was wildly overjoyed.
Long Chen could understand this kind of mood. He had also been someone given the name of a cripple who had managed to gain an opportunity.
"Yup. But remember to hide it from everyone," warned Long Chen. Although he knew that he and Chu Yao were already extremely careful, he still wanted to make sure there were no blunders.
After sending off Chu Feng, Long Chen sunk into his own thoughts. Chu Yao and Chu Feng's situation had reminded him of his own predicament.
However he was in an even more tragic situation. His Spirit Root, Spirit Bone, and Spirit Blood had all been stolen away. Although the method wasn't the same, hadn't he also been plotted against as well?
His own father was a peak expert of the Phoenix Cry Empire. Because of his father, he had ended up crippled.
Last time when he had chatted with Chu Yao she had told him a name - Ying Hou.
The three great experts of the Phoenix Cry Empire were Ying Hou, Wu Hou, and Long Chen's father Zhenyuan Hou. They were called Phoenix Cry's three great pillars.
Zhenyuan Hou guarded against the barbarian tribes of the wild border. Wu Hou guarded the southern border. Only Ying Hou always stayed within the capital.
According to Chu Yao, all the princes and princesses were taught martial arts by Ying Hou. Now Long Chen felt that this Ying Hou might actually be a very big problem.
That was because Chu Yao's situation was something that an outsider like him had noticed the very first time they crossed attacks. As a peak expert of the Phoenix Cry Empire, how could Ying Hou fail to notice?
Since he must have known and hadn't said anything, it was likely that he had participated in it. In fact, perhaps he had been the one to do it.
If it had been him who had placed those foreign spiritual energy seeds inside Chu Yao, then was it possible Ying Hou had also been the one to steal his cultivation ability? Why would he do that? Was it just to ruin then? Or was there a bigger reason?
All these questions spun in Long Chen's head, giving him a splitting headache. But there was no way for him to figure it out.
"Whatever. No matter how cunning a fox, they'll have to reveal their tail at some point. What I need is to become a true hunter so that when they do reveal themselves, it won't be me who is prey."
After coming to this conclusion, Long Chen no longer focused on those questions. Returning to his room without even daring to go over to where his mother was, he directly entered seclusion.
But as soon as he began to circulate his cyclone,s he jumped up, almost knocking into the ceiling.
"This is too ridiculous."
Long Chen looked into his Dantian. His ten cyclones had already stopped growing, but each cyclone had already reached a terrifying circumference of a whole meter. It was truly shocking.
They were a completely different size compared to the previous cyclones. Under their slow circulation, heaven and earth's spiritual qi flooded into his FengFu Star. This speed was at least a hundred times greater than before.
He was both shocked and pleased. But after just cultivating for a breath's time, he realized that it wasn't completely suitable.
Those ten cyclones were like ten huge drains that sucked up heaven and earth's spiritual qi. But the surrounding spiritual qi was actually unable to satisfy the demands of the ten cyclones' absorption, causing the spiritual qi in the air to become thinner.
Using ten cyclones now was the same as just using one cyclone since there was only that much spiritual qi around him.
"No, I have to find somewhere else."
On that very night Long Chen covered up his aura and stealthily left the city. Using the Windchasing Steps, he was just like a wisp of smoke that went directly towards Sunset Mountain.
Sunset Mountain was completely quiet at this time of night. The scenery was as it was before, but Long Chen couldn't help feeling somewhat moved upon seeing it again.
The first time he had come here was with Meng Qi. Thinking of her absolutely exceptional face and that gentle gaze of hers, his heart became aroused.
The second time he had come was while trapped in Chu Yao's net. Her revengeful state turned into one of gentle charm.
Now Meng Qi was in some unknown faraway place. He had no idea how she was doing. Perhaps she had already forgotten about him....
There was also that crap brother Qi who had almost killed him. Thinking back to that idiot caused him to become enraged. It was as if that arrogant figure had appeared before him again.
Meng Qi was faraway. Chu Yao was under house arrest. Now all that remained was him alone. That was simply the cruel reality. Without power, life couldn't be called living; it was just barely managing to survive.
If you wanted to live with dignity then you had to have a matching strength. That was reality. Looking at the scenery around him, Long Chen took a deep breath.
Sitting down lotus style on a huge stone, he gently circulated his cyclones. In the time it took for an incense stick to burn, the spiritual qi in this area also became too thin to keep up.
But the spiritual qi here at least twice as dense as at his home so he hadn't wasted his time by coming here.
Two days later when the first ray of light came from the east, Long Chen's body emitted an explosive sound. He slowly opened his eyes, a strange expression appearing on his face.
He had actually once more coalesced a cyclone. Eleven cyclones!
This Nine Star Hegemon Body Art, just how many cyclones did you condense?
Seeing the cyclones in his body once more growing, Long Chen couldn't help feeling both worried and happy.
As he returned home, Long Chen thought about it and decided to make a trip to the alchemist guild to get a couple medicinal ingredients first.
Arriving home, he arranged the medicinal ingredients in front of him. A kind of anticipation filled him. It was time for him to test his new Pill Flame.