Chapter 953: Probe
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Thinking about it, it has only been 12 hours since they entered Ancient Phoenix Mountain. The fact that Wu Ming crushed his bell means that he had no choice but to activate the eighth-grade Xuan formation in it. What has he encountered in such a short frame of time? Where are the others? Chu Liuyue was deep in thought as she silently retracted her gaze and tilted her wrist to hide the bell under her sleeve.
It was a good thing that nobody was paying attention to her since she had been waiting silently at the side, so they didn’t notice the subtle change in her expression.
It was all quiet again.
Based on what was estimated previously, Ancient Phoenix Mountain would be open for about 15 days. After that, the three elements would gather at the top, causing the force accumulated within the mountain over thousands of years to erupt. Once everything was back to normal, Ancient Phoenix Mountain would then enter the next cycle.
In other words, they had to wait outside for about half a month. Of course, this didn’t include the people who had to come out early due to reasons like injuries and inability to withstand the pressure. Everything was dependent on their own ability.
Chu Liuyue took a look at the rainbow barrier that was all sealed up again. It looks like I have to act fast.
Meanwhile, everything was as usual at Lin Zhou Imperial Palace. As Jun Qizhi, Jun Jiuqing, and a few others had gone to Ancient Phoenix Mountain, the palace was cold and empty now, especially since it was just the beginning of dawn.
At the Eastern Palace.
A team of soldiers on patrol had just changed shifts with another team.
“Although His Highness won’t be in the palace for the next few days, we mustn’t let our guard down. We still have to strictly guard the palace and stop random people from coming in. Do you hear me?!” bellowed the man standing at the front.
“Yes! Don’t worry; we all know that. We will naturally pay our utmost attention during work.” The soldiers who were here to take up the next shift seemed to be somewhat afraid of this man, and they all echoed their agreement.
“Glad you know it.” Seeing how obedient they were, the man nodded in satisfaction before lifting his chin toward the soldiers behind him. “Let’s go!”
With that, the group quickly strode off.
Only when they had disappeared into the distance did the rest of the men heave a sigh of relief in unison.
“Brother Qian, that man seems to hold a lot of power. Why does it seem that he’s above everyone else when we’re all on patrol duty?” asked the skinny youth.
“Hmph. Xiao Song, you’re here as Four’s replacement today, so you’re not aware of this since this is your first time here. That man is called Shang Binghe, and he’s not someone we can afford to offend. It’s not just us; most of the people who work in the Eastern Palace are at his mercy!”
“Oh? He has so much authority?” Xiao Song widened his eyes in surprise. “Does he have some sort of background?”
“No. His arrogance stems from him being the Crown Prince’s trusted aide. His Highness brought this man back when he returned from his training two years ago. His Highness trusts him a lot and gives him a lot of important things to do. He even let him take charge of the security in the Eastern Palace.”
“Hey, how could his ego not inflate when he has His Highness backing him up?” someone interjected from the side.
Xiao Song nodded in understanding while murmuring, “I see… In that case, I have to be more careful when I see him in the future…”
“Haha, you don’t have to go to that extent! You’re just here to replace Four for a few days. Once Four is all recovered, you won’t have to report here anymore. Therefore, there’s no need for you to be so worried!” The man known as Brother Qian patted Xiao Song’s shoulder.
Xiao Song couldn’t resist grimacing. “Brother Qian, you’ve also worked here for many years and are much more experienced than he is. By right, your position ought to be higher than his, but now…”
As soon as these words came out, Qian Dehou’s face darkened, and the others fell silent.
It was only then that Xiao Song seemingly realized his mistake, and he hurriedly said, “I’m sorry! That was my bad. Please don’t take it to heart, Brother Qian! It just so happens that I have a flask of good wine here. Why don’t you help me taste it?”
The people close to Qian Dehou all knew that the latter had no other hobbies except for drinking. And sure enough, Qian Dehou’s expression eased up when he heard what Xiao Song was offering. Still, he frowned and said sternly in his deep voice, “What are you saying?! How can I drink on duty?!”
“Don’t be mistaken, Brother Qian. I’m not asking you to drink it now. I’m saying that you should bring the wine back home to sample it. After all, you’re quite the wine connoisseur. Help me see what this wine tastes like. I’m not much of a drinker, so it’s a waste for me to keep it!” With a cheeky smile, Xiao Song took out a flask of wine from his Cosmic Ring.
But some of the wine accidentally spilled out as he did so, and its fragrance immediately permeated the air.
This is a good quality wine! Qian Dehou’s eyes lit up, and his feelings wavered. Under Xiao Song’s insistence, he half-reluctantly accepted that flask of wine.
“Alright, alright! Let’s get to work!” shouted Qian Dehou. “We have to be even more diligent since His Highness isn’t around. Understand?!”
An hour later, Xiao Song found Qian Dehou all wasted and reeking of alcohol at a corner. A grin appeared on his face, making his youthful appearance look a little cunning.
“Heh. Not even a real immortal can withstand the Drunken Immortal, especially after I added some special ingredients to it!” He then moved forward and dragged Qian Dehou to an even more secluded area. “Since you drank my wine, lend me your clothes for a bit.”
Not long after, Qian Dehou appeared at the entrance of the Eastern Palace’s inner courtyard, where he flashed his token. “His Highness has ordered me to collect something from the study.”
What’s Qian Dehou doing here? The guards found it strange to see him here since the guards responsible for guarding the outer courtyard hardly ever came to the inner courtyard. The two guards exchanged baffled looks with each other. “Captain Qian, did you just say that His Highness ordered you to collect something from the study? But His Highness must’ve entered Ancient Phoenix Mountain by now.”
Qian Dehou looked up. “This was what he ordered me to do before he left. What, are you guys doubting me or questioning His Highness’s order?”
“We wouldn’t dare!”
Qian Dehou was considered a veteran in the Eastern Palace, so they had to show him some face no matter what. Besides, Jun Jiuqing had a habit of acting arbitrarily too.
“Please enter. Do you need us to get someone to go with you?”
Qian Dehou gave them a withering look. “This is a secret order, so it’s better that fewer people know about it. Understand?”
Not daring to ask any more questions, the two guards could only answer, “Yes!”
Qian Dehou then adjusted his collar before he made his way further inside..