Lu Shinan grew serious and a little wary as he stared at the Prince of Shangping. “What else do you have to say, Your Highness?”
The Prince of Shangping smiled wryly, “Don’t worry, I’m not interested in you.”
Lu Shinan spat on the ground, “Are you trying to imply that I’m interested in you?”
The prince waved his hands to show that he wasn’t here to quarrel with Lu Shinan. He answered calmly and without stress, “Daoist Lu, you and I are both emperor realm experts. Therefore, it is understandable that we are wary of each other.”
Lu Shinan snorted softly but didn’t answer. It was obvious that he had his guard up against the other. Lu Shinan frowned, “Just say whatever it is you have to say, Your Highness.”
The Prince of Shangping nodded, but without any anger towards his rudeness. He pondered for a moment, “I have recently stumbled upon a great fortune. I wonder if you are interested in it, Daoist Lu?”
“There are opportunities everywhere across the desolate wildlands, so I’m actually not interested in this fortune of yours, Your Highness. Who knows if it’s a trap you’ve laid down for me to jump into?”
The Prince of Shangping had a somewhat awkward expression on his face. He would’ve killed this offender with a single punch if this had been any other time. However, Lu Shinan’s appearance had given the Prince of Shangping a few ideas. Therefore, he didn’t retort angrily. He said seriously instead, “I can swear a heavenly oath that I have no intentions of targeting you in any way, Daoist Lu.”
Lu Shinan thought for a moment before speaking reluctantly, “Why don’t you tell me about the opportunity you found and let me decide if it’s real first.”
The Prince of Shangping didn’t try to beat around the bush. “Do you still remember that cultivator named Huang in the valley?”
“Are you talking about Daoist Huang? The one with a female companion?” Lu Shinan asked curiously.
“Yes,” the Prince of Shangping nodded. “What do you think of his strength, Brother Lu?”
“His strength? He should be at the sage realm, but he probably possesses the combat strength of an emperor realm cultivator. At the very least, his confidence is likely backed by some measure of ability,” Lu Shinan voiced his own judgment.
“Some measure of ability, you say?” The Prince of Shangping laughed wryly, “He is a monster who fakes weakness to fool others. At the very least, his strength is on par with yours and mine.”
“What do you mean?” Lu Shinan’s eyes moved rapidly.
“I had a bit of a conflict with him earlier and suffered a minor loss because I underestimated him.” The prince purposefully obscured things instead of explaining clearly.
A bit of ridicule dripped into Lu Shinan’s smile. “Are you trying to get me to join you on a revenge excursion? If that’s the case, then I am sorry to say that I’m not available.”
Lu Shinan had figured out the Prince of Shangping’s underlying intentions from his expression. The prince smiled wryly, “Am I that obvious?”
“Cut the nonsense. I’m not idle enough to waste time on your petty revenge.”
The Prince of Shangping suddenly let out a cold laugh. “Why do you think wandering cultivators travel everywhere and seek adventure, Daoist Lu? We search for riches, power, or resources, all of which ultimately contribute to helping us become stronger. Do you agree with this, Daoist Lu?”
“You don’t say.” Lu Shinan seemed to have lost the heart to listen to the prince any longer.
The Prince of Shangping suddenly said, “In that case, let me be frank with you. This person is of extraordinary origin, and if you aid me in defeating him, I will grant you a great fortune.”
“Tut! If there really is such a great fortune, why don’t you claim it for yourself?” Lu Shinan still refused to believe his words.
“Naturally, there are things that I desire from that person as well. But he is valuable—far, far more valuable than you can possibly imagine. Do you still remember that joint bounty offered by the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Great Scarlet Mid Region, Daoist Lu?” The prince asked with the ghost of a smile on his lips.
Lu Shinan finally turned serious as he cried out involuntarily, “Are you speaking of that junior of Regal Pill Palace, Jiang Chen?”
“That’s right. Right now, the bounty on his head has grown several times larger than what it was initially at. Do you think that you can ever earn that much wealth with your own talents, Daoist Lu?”
Lu Shinan thought for a moment before shaking his head honestly, “I don’t think so.”
“What if you have a chance to earn that bounty? To rise to the top in one fell swoop? Are you interested in giving it a go now, Daoist Lu?” The Prince of Shangping asked with a chuckle.
“Are you saying…?” Lu Shinan’s pupils abruptly shrank. “Is that kid the Jiang Chen that the Eternal Celestial Capital is hunting?”
“That’s right. I am at least ninety percent sure that he’s Jiang Chen.” The Prince of Shangping nodded.
“Hmph. That bounty is great, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to split between two people. I don’t understand. Your Highness, why are you willing to share this all with me?” Lu Shinan was a very cautious person.
“It’s very simple. I may not be able to take him down alone.”
“Where’s your aide?” Lu Shinan suddenly asked.
“He’s not strong enough, so he can’t help me with this.” Of course, the Prince of Shangping wouldn’t tell Lu Shinan that his subordinate was already dead.
Lu Shinan pondered for a moment. “The bounty is great, but there are still two of us. If we do go to the end, I may not necessarily be able to gain my fair share of the agreement should you change your mind.”
“The bounty is yours,” the Prince of Shangping said indifferently. “I am a person of some stature, and I don’t particularly need the riches offered by that bounty. Just the same, the amount of land offered and the chance to start a sect are not where my interests lie.”
“Then what do you want?” Lu Shinan looked startled.
“You can have the bounty while I reclaim the eight statues he robbed from me and take some of his equipment for my own. Are you satisfied with this distribution, Daoist Lu?” The Prince of Shangping said suddenly, “Don’t try to bargain with me. I’ve already made some concessions. If it weren’t for revenge, I would never have come to you to make a deal. You know that there are plenty of people who are willing to work with me.”
He had been negotiating from a weaker position all this time, but his tone grew a little forceful now that they were at the final stage of the negotiation.
Lu Shinan thought for a moment before raising his eyebrows. “This split is fair, I suppose. But how do I know that you won’t break your promise?”
“We can swear a heavenly oath. If I am to renege on this split of rewards, may the heavens punish me with death.”
Feeling that the deal was fairly secure now that the heavenly oath was involved, Lu Shinan nodded immediately, “Alright, then I will partake in your revenge.”
The Prince of Shangping was very happy to hear this. “Very good. You and I are at about the same level of strength. If you and I were to fight him two on one, plus utilize some formations and the terrain to our advantage, I’m sure that our victory will be quite certain. Oh right, allow me to inform you of some of his combat characteristics, Daoist Lu. This is so that you won’t be caught off guard by him while in a tight spot.”
The prince looked incredibly sincere and his actions made Lu Shinan feel that he meant well. Thus, he nodded, “That is for the best. If you and I are both aware of what he can do, we can tackle problems properly and come up with the right plan of action.”
“That is correct. You and I must cooperate in good faith and not let a single thing slip by us.” The duo found a hidden corner and muttered to each other for a moment, creating a rough plan.
“First, we must have a formation that can trap him. Moreover, this formation must be concealed by the terrain so that he can’t discover it beforehand.” The Prince of Shangping said.
Lu Shinan thought for a moment before his eyes lit up. “I know of a place that is rather suitable to lay down a formation. However, it’s a little dangerous. At the very least, it’s dangerous enough that even I have to pick my way through it carefully.”
A fierce gleam fleeted past the Prince of Shangping’s eyes, “Dangerous, you say? As long as it doesn’t threaten both you and I, then the greater the better. That’s the best way to keep his attention fixed solely on the terrain around him. But before that, it must be a place that he has to pass through, of course.”
“That’s no problem. We can always try and lure him over,” Lu Shinan smiled. “I’ve communicated with that kid once before. Just leave it to me.”
The Prince of Shangping suddenly frowned, “You won’t suddenly betray me and work together with him later, will you, Daoist Lu?”
Lu Shinan smiled wryly, “I swear by the heavens that I will be smited by thunder and lightning if I were to work together with him.”
There was nothing more convincing than a heavenly oath. Therefore, the Prince of Shangping relaxed upon hearing this. “Please don’t blame me for my cautiousness, Daoist Lu. The human heart is difficult to fathom, and I have no choice but to be on my guard.”
Lu Shinan smiled. “I can understand that.”
Both these people were old foxes who refused to take any losses. But now that they were working together, they had no problems feigning a magnanimous heart. “Where is this place you speak of, Daoist Lu? Take me there to have a look. I’ll put my formation there if the terrain is suitable.” The prince obviously didn’t want to waste anymore time.
Lu Shinan nodded, but the hesitation on his face hadn’t yet faded completely. “I’m still a little worried. That place is somewhat dangerous.”
The Prince of Shangping frowned. “We have the two of us, so what is there to be worried about? If anything is to happen, you and I can always work together to overcome most of the obstacles.”
Lu Shinan finally nodded after thinking for a moment, “Alright. You mustn’t leave me behind if anything were to happen, Your Highness.”
“Two people fighting together is always going to be better than one person fighting alone. So what do I have to gain by discarding you?”
Lu Shinan was already leading the way as they continued talking to each other. The pair ran into a massive grave about fifteen minutes later. White banners were everywhere, hanging on mounds. The Prince of Shangping frowned when he saw the white banners, “Why are these white banners here?”
Lu Shinan smiled wryly. “That’s why I said that this place is eerie. These white banners were likely demonic objects from the ancient times, considering that they’ve remained intact even though a hundred thousand years have passed.”
The prince investigated for a bit with a serious look on his face, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“Will this place work? If it’s not, we can always find someplace else.” Lu Shinan suggested, likely because he was quite wary of this place.
The Prince of Shangping looked around for another moment. “No, this place is perfect. We’ll set our trap here. These white banners contain some subtle demonic aura, so there’s likely something strange beneath these mounds. However, this isn’t a problem to us because I have a particular discerning eye art that allows me to see what’s hidden inside. Although there are definitely some demonic signs around this place, you and I are strong enough to overcome them together. Plus, this is a place that that brat must absolutely pass through.”
Anyone could see that the prince’s mind was completely focused on Jiang Chen right now. “Daoist Lu, you must contribute some effort if you wish to claim the bounty. So why don’t you keep watch while I lay down some formations according to this terrain?”
“Alright.” Lu Shinan might not like this place too much, but he still nodded in agreement. “It’ll be best if the formation blends so evenly into the terrain that he won’t notice anything. Only then will the formations truly be effective.”
“Relax, these are formations we’re talking about. I’m fairly confident in this aspect of my skill set.” The prince smiled coldly. He thought that Lu Shinan’s warning was a little unnecessary.
As he said this, the Prince of Shangping suddenly stopped his hand movements. The white banners erected in front of the mounds had abruptly started to shake violently.
Lu Shinan shivered all over and jumped instantly to the prince’s side, “What’s going on, Your Highness?”
The prince was both worried and furious at Lu Shinan’s cowardice. “What are you worried about? It’s just a bit of movement from some evil air. There’s nothing to be worried about.”
He said this as he stared at the white banners, but he had no idea that the hint of a strange smile had crept into Lu Shinan’s lips. He also didn’t see that Lu Shinan’s arms were raised slightly in a conspiratorial manner.