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After sending away Tie Yuewu, whose heart was burning with anxiety and couldn't wait to rush back to the Lu Kingdom, Wu Qi and the others made their return back into Ji City. Upon arriving at the Duke Mansion, they saw a group of doughty men from Scouting Office clustering outside of the mansion, and moving out lots of clothes, blankets and some other petty items from a few coaches. The chief steward of the mansion, Yan Fu, was standing absentmindedly before the door, staring at how these men were moving their items into the mansion. Yet, he didn't show any intention of stopping them.

It was not only Yan Fu, but all the other servants of the mansion were also keeping a far distance. No one dared to stand too close to these men of Scouting Office.

Lu Chengfeng furrowed his brows. He stepped out from his coach and asked with a loud voice, "Yan Fu, what is going on here?"

Before Yan Fu could come to his master, Yan Bugui suddenly jumped out from nowhere. He bowed respectfully at Lu Chengfeng while saying, "Clan Leader, my grandfather had ordered me to stay with Clan Leader temporarily and serve all your commands. This is why I brought three hundred subordinates here to stay in the mansion for the time being."

Wu Qi was shocked instantly. Yan Bugui would stay beside Lu Chengfeng temporarily and served all his commands? Though this was what Yan Jiuhui had said the night before yesterday, yet, why did he feel something was amiss here? If it was just for the time being, why would they send three hundred men here, and even move all their belongings here? He turned around and looked at those servants of the Duke Mansion who were standing in front of the door. Wu Qi suddenly realized what the thing that he felt amiss since yesterday was.

"Your excellency Yan, do you know why my young master's mansion only has these stewards and servants? Where are all the guards?"

Lu Chengfeng was struck by Wu Qi's question and came to realize the same thing. After all, the Mansion of Duke Yan Le was the residence of a Duke. With Yan Buji's title of nobility and his governmental post, it was perfectly normal to keep a few thousand hanger-ons and an army of ten thousand personal guards. However, at present, besides from stewards, servants and serving ladies, they didn't find even one hanger-on or guard in this mansion. This was something absurd.

Though there was a saying- 'when the tree falls, the monkeys will scatter', but the Mansion of Duke Yan Le hadn't collapsed yet, and was inherited by Lu Chengfeng.

And even though those hanger-ons might seek a new master to serve, but those personal guards, especially those guards whose families were raised by the Duke for generations, they should be still staying in the mansion.

"Yan Fu!" Lu Chengfeng roared at the chief steward, who seemed wanting to come closer to his master, yet hesitated and shrunk away.

Yan Bugui gave Yan Fu a look over his shoulder, sighed, then he pressed down his voice and said, "Clan Leader, please don't blame Yan Fu. They are the stewards whose family were raised by the Duke for generations, and their loyalty was beyond any shadow of doubts. Frankly speaking, the so-called 'Duke Buji was drowned in a river' is just a cover up. The truth is, Duke Bu Ji was thrown into the river by someone. His heart was pierced through by a sharp sword, and even his soul was completely destroyed using some sort of a magical item."

Instantly, Lu Chengfeng's face fell. Wu Qi felt his body hairs standing up instinctively, and it seemed he was once again dragged into a serious trouble.

With a low voice, Yan Bugui continued explaining the current situation of Duke Yan Le Mansion. It was obvious that Yan Buji was assassinated by someone, and according to all the clues they found, someone in the Duke Mansion had colluded with the assassin. This incident had even alerted Emperor Yan, Yan Dan, who was in a secluded cultivation. He personally gave out the imperial edict, ordering all the secret services, including Scouting Office, to investigate the case.

As a result, all the hanger-ons and private guards of Duke Yan Le Mansion were being imprisoned, and were under investigation, causing the massive mansion to lose all its defensive forces. And because of this reason, Yan Jiuhui had simply come out with an excuse, asking Yan Bugui to follow Lu Chengfeng and serve all his commands. It actually served two purposes; firstly, it allowed Yan Bugui to use the force of a Scouting Office in protecting Lu Chengfeng, and secondly, they wanted to use Lu Chengfeng as the bait.

"It is not rare that some members of Imperial Family would be killed in an accident, and it happens dozens of times every year. After all, the Imperial Family currently consists of more than one million members, and all kind of accidents happen. However, when a direct descendant of the Emperor was assassinated, that too Duke Buji, whose bloodline was so close to the Emperor and his title was the Duke of Great Yan Dynasty, the accident had become an unprecedented incident."

Looking at the darkened face Lu Chengfeng, Yan Bugui smiled bitterly and said, "Therefore, no matter what, we have to get to the bottom of this case!"

Lu Chengfeng was pulling a long face and didn't say anything. Regardless of whom, when he knew that he had just stepped into a massive whirlpool, no one could still maintain a good mood.

Wu Qi breathed out a long sigh helplessly. He beckoned at Zhao Chenzui and called him forward. "From now onwards, no matter where young master goes, I need men to guard his surroundings. Let the people from Meng Village wear the heavy armor and protect young master day and night."

Zhao Chenzui's face turned serious and answered quickly, proceeding immediately into the mansion and calling up Le Xiaobai and the others. As Lu Chengfeng was the Duke of Great Yan Dynasty now, everyone had to depend on him for their own prestige, status, and great wealth. Thus, Zhao Chenzui had to carry out the task meticulously and carefully.

Both Luo Kedi and Ma Liang had also hastened beside Lu Chengfeng. They didn't say anything, but tiny threads of gleam could be seen shining out from their eyes as they put up a high vigilance and running their eyes in the surrounding.

Yan Bugui shook his head noncommittally while saying, "In broad daylight like this, no one has the courage to cause any trouble in Ji City. As for the night, Clan Leader just has to put up your array, and as the Scouting Office is paying great attention to this place as well, there isn't anything much to worry about. For the time being, Clan Leader, just try your best in staying in Ji City."

Lu Chengfeng frowned and pondered for some moments, and at last, nodded his head unwillingly.

He didn't know many people in Ji City, and he had yet to start contacting with those influential nobles of the Great Yan Dynasty. Everything was just about to take off. Thus, the current Lu Chengfeng could only face these disturbances passively, and didn't have any means or force to counter them.

Wu Qi turned around and gave the surroundings a glance. He suddenly recalled the City Guards he expanded in the Little Meng City. He pondered for some time, then waved his hand at Zhang Hu and Hu Wei and told them something. He had no other alternatives but to summon some soldiers from Little Meng City. At least, those soldiers from Little Meng City would not have any relationship with the people in Ji City.

They arranged a place for the people of Scouting Office to stay, which was close to the little tower where Lu Chengfeng was staying. After some busy time, before they could sit down and catch some breath, Yan Fu was seen rushing over to them while trembling. Carefully, he passed a Visiting Card [1] over to Lu Chengfeng. The card was weaved from golden silk, and some bamboo leaves were indistinctly woven on the surface of it using silver threads. It was a luxurious visiting card.

"Master, Prince Ci, Yan Heluo is paying you a visit!" Yan Fu said while wearing a shocked expression.

Yan Bugui was sitting beside and drinking his tea. But what he heard made him jump to his feet. He cried, "What? Prince Ci is here? Clan Leader, you have to meet him!"

Prince Ci, Yan Heluo, was one of the eight Princes who was currently governing the national affairs of Great Yan Dynasty.

At present, the Emperor of Great Yan Dynasty was on a perennial secluded cultivation, and the Chief General Jing Ke and the other influential officials also didn't show themselves easily. All of them were in a secluded cultivation, trying their best to make a breakthrough from their current realm so they could possess a stronger power and a longer life. The first generation of their descendant, which was also the generation of Yan Dan's children, were also living a secluded life. They were either cultivating, or doing some other business, and basically, none of them would interfere with the national affairs.

Among the grandchildren of Yan Dan, which was the generation of Yu Xuan, only a few of them showed their enthusiasm in arts of manipulation and enjoying life. Though they controlled the respectable and prestigious Imperial Family Court, they only held a supreme position and didn't have a true power in the government. They only served the purpose of supervising.

The group who truly held the power of Great Yan Dynasty were the eight great grandsons of Yan Dan. They were given the title of Prince, and were usually addressed as 'The Eight Princes of Great Yan Governor'. Prince Ren, Prince Yi, Prince Li, Prince Xin, Prince Zhong, Prince Xiao, Prince Min, and Prince Ci. They were the eight Princes who formed the actual Imperial Court of Great Yan Dynasty.

Prince Ci was the youngest among all eight Princes. Although he was the great grandson of Yan Dan, he was only in his fifties, and was in his prime.

Yan Buji and Yan Heluo were cousins to each other. So, if Lu Chengfeng met Yan Heluo, he would have to address him as uncle obediently.

In the aspect of their title, the title of Eight Princes was supreme as compared to Yu Xuan, who held the power of Imperial Family Court alone. Even though Lu Chengfeng had inherited the title of Duke Yan Le and undertook the governmental post of West Supervisor, when he was faced with Prince Ci, no matter it was his rank in the Imperial Family, title of nobility, or his actual governmental post, he would have to bow his head and obey all of Prince Ci's orders.

"Quick, invite him in!" Lu Chengfeng rose to his feet, brought a group of men and greeted at the main door.

The main entrance of Duke Yan Le Mansion was wide open. Wu Qi followed behind Lu Chengfeng and strode to the entrance, and saw a group of elite armored soldiers clustering around a divine beast. It was a light yellow colored beast, looking like a horse yet had scales all over its body. A pair of spiral horns were found on its head, and its eyes were glowing faintly with a golden gleam.

It was a rare divine beast- the 'Ten-thousand Miles Cloudy Beast of Golden Eyes'. Once it was agitated, it could run wildly for thirty thousand miles without rest in a day and a night, and the speed of its short distance charging was incredible. It was an ultimate mount that one could rarely find under the heaven. In addition to that, the double horns on its head were extremely sharp, comparable to some precious blade. They could cut through steel like a hot knife through butter.

Yan Heluo was sitting on this Golden Eyes Beast. Although he was in his fifties, he looked only thirty years old. His face was fair and beardless, and looked rather thin and long. A faint air of dignity that made one feel oppressed was lingering around him. When he opened his eyes and gave someone an examining look, the vision was sharp, as if he could see through one's internal organs. Judging from the indistinct aura emanating from his body, he was also a Xiantian realm expert, and had the cultivation of at least Energy Concentrating tier.

Upon meeting Yan Heluo, Lu Chengfeng quickly bowed and greeted the man. "Please forgive Chengfeng for not preparing in advance and welcoming Your Highness. Chengfeng had no idea Prince Ci is paying a visit today."

Yan Heluo stepped down from his mount, stretched his arms out and held Lu Chengfeng's arm while saying, "Save the formality. I had a very close relationship with Buji, and since I heard you had inherited his title of nobility and governmental post, that is why I came here purposely and wanted to have a good look at you."

After lifting Lu Chengfeng up, Yan Heluo gave him an examining look from top to bottom, then nodded his head and praised, "You're a man of striking appearance, excellent… Truly a descendant of Yan Clan. Your cultivation is also stronger than your father. If he had your cultivation, he wouldn't have died in that accident."

As the son of Yan Buji, it wasn't convenient for Lu Chengfeng to continue what Yan Heluo just said. What he could do was wear a miserable expression. He welcomed Yan Heluo into the Duke Yan Le Mansion with a respectful manner. The few hundred armored soldiers followed them and came inside the mansion as well, stationing themselves around the meeting hall.

Wu Qi couldn't help but twitch his lips upon looking at the scene. Was this Yan Heluo fearing getting killed or something? By allowing his armored soldiers to enter the mansion, he showed that he never gave any face to Lu Chengfeng. Although he was a senior of Lu Chengfeng and one of the Eight Princes, that couldn't be an excuse for not giving a face to the master of this place.

He shook his head and entered the meeting hall. He saw Yan Bugui bowing and greeting towards Yan Heluo.

Yan Heluo gazed at Yan Bugui from the corner of his eyes and snorted lightly, signaling him to stand up on his feet. Yan Bugui was only the son of a concubine clan, and his rank in the clan hierarchy was way too distant from Yan Heluo. By snorting lightly, Yan Heluo had actually given a huge honor to Yan Bugui.

Yan Bugui rose to his feet obediently and brought himself aside. He narrowed his eyes and kept a watchful eye on those armored soldiers standing outside the hall.

Yan Heluo and Lu Chengfeng sat down according to the position of guest and host. When the serving lady brought them tea, Yan Heluo started to talk on his own.

"Chengfeng, congratulation for inheriting my brother, Buji's title of nobility. Well, I come here to discuss something with you."

Not allowing Lu Chengfeng to say anything, Yan Heluo continued immediately with an indifferent voice, "There are seven iron mountains and five iron-smelting plants in your fief. I'll use five fisheries at the East Sea, three pearl fisheries, and four jade mines in exchange for those iron-smelting plants. Get the paper works of handing over done by tomorrow!"

Using fisheries and pearl fisheries, together with four jade mines that produced luxuries items in exchange for seven iron mountains and five iron-smelting plants?

Before Lu Chengfeng could say anything, Wu Qi interrupted the conversion smilingly, "I'm sorry for interrupting, but can Prince Ci tells us what is the reason for this?"

Yan Heluo raised his head and glared at Wu Qi. He laughed coldly and said, "Who are you? Who gave you the audacity to interrupt us? Somebody, drag this guy out and give him three hundred strokes of flogging!"

Like a pack of fierce wolves and tigers, a team of armored soldiers barged into the hall.

[1] Inviting Card - See this image:

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