In the southeast corner of the Lan Yan City Ze Tian Palace, there sat an averagely sized military camp. Body after body clad in the cobalt blue military uniform of the Empire were currently in training, each one with a long rifle in hand for thrusting training. A rapid galloping introduced a member of the cavalry rushing through the camp, his hand clutching a blood-red flag that marked the defense of the city wall patrols. Other than the shouts of the training soldiers, there was no noise outside, an eerie spectral aftermath of the war scene that had ensued.
Military police barracks, the entire Empire’s ruling force and enforcement center of power.
Rushing along on the limestone brick-lined road, a patrolling officer with a feather letter genuflected. “Your Honor Commander, there’s a letter from the Cangnan Province!”
Two lines of military officials were standing to either side of the room, all facing the table. Behind the desk, there was a sharp looking youth intently studying the map on the scroll. He was wearing a high-rank military uniform, three golden stars affixed on to his collar. It was the Empire Military’s Lead Commander.
It was no other than the Empire Military’s Lead Commander: Xiang Yu. At a tender age, he had already wrangled the position of lead commander, with the entire military under his fingertips. His background was also an impressive one, the descendant of the Military God Xiang Wen Tian. It was precisely because of this point that almost everyone in the military was terrified of him to some degree. Of course, what was truly terrifying about Xiang Yu was his mastery of the Bloodbath Spear Technique. Xiang Yu’s mastery of it had allowed him to possess an extinct art that was renowned worldwide.
“Another letter from the Cangnan Province?” Xiang Yu smiled. “Does Uncle still want me to arrest that Lin Mu Yu?”
The patrolling officer shook his head. “Sir, I am not aware, sir!”
Xiang Yu accepted the feather letter, unwrapped it, and scanned the contents. His eyebrows knitted together. “Cangnan Province sent out tens of thousands of soldiers, and were still unable to find him. They suspect that Lin Mu Yu has already managed to infiltrate the Empire. What do those at present think?”
A military official cupped his fist. “Lead Commander, what if we perform a blanket search of the entire Empire?”
TN: blanket search: broad authorization that allows the police to search multiple areas for evidence without specifying what exactly they are looking for.
“Out of the question.”
Xiang Yu waved his hand. “First of, this is an unnecessary use of manpower, as well as causing unnecessary alarm. Were we to alert the Highness of our actions, you can be sure there will be something unpleasant waiting for us. Secondly, even though our military camp has command over the three armed services, we are nonetheless limited to around 2,000 people at most, completely inadequate for a blanket search. Not only will this cause unnecessary alarm, it will also come to nothing.”
TN: three armed services: army, navy, and air force
“Then… what high strategy does the Lead Commander have in mind?”
Xiang Yu’s lips curled up. “Well, whether it’s a high strategy or not I can’t say… come with me, we shall go pay a visit to the Imperial Guard camp… it’s been a while since I’ve seen Lead Commander Feng Ji Xing, heh.... What a coincidence that I’ve been meaning to compare notes with him anyway. Perfect, this matter should be submitted into the hands of the Feng Ji Xing who can command thirty thousand Imperial Guards. We must arrest that Lin Mu Yu as soon as possible, or we’ll never hear the end of it from Uncle.”
All the officials smiled. “Your Honor Lead Commander is truly superior and worthy of our respect!”
At the Temple, the sunset cast a glow at the architectural formations, giving the Xiang Wen Tian statue an especially huge shadow that towered over the rest of the entire Temple’s formations.
Lin Mu Yu strode through the Great Hall, heading straight for the side chamber. From a distance, he could easily spot the red flame that was Tang Xiao Xi. Tang Xiao Xi’s martial spirit was a fire fox, and she was rather partial to the color red, and so, even when she was wearing a snow-white robe, she always had a few buds of red-colored violets as accessories. The Princess had no trouble with money, and so she seemed to don a different dress everyday, inflaming the wealthy ladies of the entire Empire with envy.
Tang Xiao Xi lithely loped over to Lin Mu Yu, her face radiating with a joyful smile. “Why are you only back now? Your Honor Zhang Wei has been out for ages!”
Lin Mu Yu smiled awkwardly. “I had some things I had to take care of. You should have told me you were coming.”
Zhang Wei scratched the back of his head, laughing ruefully. “Princess, I’ve been to the Trading Centers, and even to the weaponry shop, but I was unable to find Your Honor Lin Zhi. I finally found him in the legendary potions department!”
Tang Xiao Xi giggled. “Thank you for your hard work, Your Honor Zhang Wei. You can go and rest now, I’ll take care of him.”
Zhang Wei shot a sly grin at Lin Mu Yu, gently punching him on the chest. “Your Honor Lin Zhi better be on his best behavior for the Princess, or you’ll lose face on behalf of the entire Temple.”
Lin Mu Yu shot him a look as he retreated, laughing merrily.
“Xiao Xi, is something the matter?” Lin Mu Yu asked.
Tang Xiao Xi snorted. “You forgot already? Today’s already the third day of the Upper Sunset Festival, one of the most important festival in the Empire. Didn’t we make plans to spend Upper Sunset Festival together? Don’t tell me you really forgot…”
“Oh, of course not, really I didn’t.”
“Hmph,” Tang Xiao Xi snorted, knowing better than to believe him. “Anyway, you have to go, I already reserved the top floor of the Rain Hall, and I invited a few good friends too, like Imperial Guard Lead Commander Feng Ji Xing, Imperial Defense Chu Huai Sheng, and even Imperial Military Lead Commander Qin Lei ge. You have to go!”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Lin Mu Yu said.
Tang Xiao Xi pouted. “Why don’t you look excited? Hmph, I knew it, you’re worried that the pretty alchemist from the legendary potions department Chu Yao won’t get an invite, is it? You don’t have to worry, I gave Chu Huai Sheng two invites, he’ll pass one along to Chu Yao. This guy… you only have a Chu Yao in your heart, is that it?”
Lin Mu Yu took one look at her, feeling like she was some neighbor girl striving for affection and favor, and couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “Xiao Xi, you’re a princess. Chu Yao jie
“Fine, fine, whatever you say makes sense, etcetera,” Tang Xiao Xi said, crossing her arms across her chest, making her already bountiful cleavage appear even more luxuriously endowed. “Mumu, what have you been so busy with these days? It looks like your training has gone up again. Let me see the fruits of your hard work, what do you say?”
Lin Mu Yu stared at her. “Do you really want to see?”
“Okay, if Xiao Xi wants to watch, I’ll let you watch. I have a few moves that I haven’t named yet, just in time, you can help me name them.”
“Okay, I bought some food. Let’s eat first before you perform,” Tang Xiao Xi chirped.
Tang Xiao Xi bought some fine food and a bottle of good wine. After eating, they headed towards the secret chamber, with Tang Xiao Xi being followed by a group of bodyguards, all muscular warriors around 20-35 years old, everyone of them shooting daggers at Lin Mu Yu as if to say, dare you take away our Princess and we’ll have your life.
At the door of the chamber’s courtyard, Tang Xiao Xi turned around. “Okay, I’m going in with Mu Mu now, you can stay out here and guard the premises.
The bodyguards looked uneasy. “Princess… we’re afraid that would be rather unwise…”
Tang Xiao Xi frowned. “Unwise? Why, it’s not as if Mu Mu will eat me.”
The bodyguards tried hard to keep their expressions neutral, thinking that indeed, they were afraid that this brat would gobble up such a fine dish. But of course, they kept their silence. “Yes, madam. We will wait outside as you wish. If the Princess does not come out, we will not leave.”
Tang Xiao Xi followed Lin Mu Yu into the courtyard, closing the big door behind her shut. In the Empire, it was taboo to secretly observe other people’s training, because of the possibility of plagiarism, but of course, Lei Hong’s secret watching didn’t count. After all, at his age, he was shameless.
The courtyard was vast, with a few manmade mountains and a lotus flower pond.
“Come on, come on, show me!” Tang Xiao Xi was giddily awaiting.
Lin Mu Yu nodded.
A sword appeared in his consciousness. Waving one hand, the Prairie Fire Sword floated up with a Keng!, suspended in mid-air, calmly emitting metallic sounds. This is the basic foundational ability of controlling the sword skill by Heart.
Tang Xiao Xi stared at him. “sword skills? This guy…”
Lin Mu Yu smiled to himself. Who said his ability was limited to sword skills?
At this moment, he let out a low shout, releasing his energy, along with a millions shards of lightning forming a spectral circle between the Prairie Fire Sword and his two palms. Controlling the energy and speed, he commanded the sword to fly through the lightning, bringing it with the blade flying to a distant point.
A huge rock pillar cracked into halves. With a simple jab, Lin Mu Yu could utilize his lightning chop and lightning sword skills to create a thousand, a million sword combinations. The specialty was speed and strength, able to attack within a second, without letting others notice until it was too late. This was a move he’d secretly learned, not even the Sword Master was aware of it.
The Sword Master had been afraid the young one would surpass him, but was unaware that on some certain level, the young boy had already far surpassed him!
Tang Xiao Xi’s mouth was wide open. “Mu Mu, is this Grandpa Qu Chu’s technique?”
“Yes, goes well with Lightning Imperial’s abilities. Xiao Xi, you should give it a name.”
“How about Thunderstorm Rage?” Tang Xiao Xi laughed.
“Great name! Very apt description.”
Lin Mu Yu gently opened a hand, a light breeze circling on his open palm. In a gentle movement, purple streams of energy began burning around the Prairie Fire Sword, turning into small forms of cyclones. “Ha,” he grunted and pushed out his palm. Peng! The cyclone whirled around the sword as its eye and directly caused a huge rock to disintegrate with a crash.
Tang Xiao Xi had inadvertently jumped off where she was sitting, her face wrenched in surprise and a little fear. “That’s a massive destructive force.”
Lin Mu Yu was still surrounded by flowing energy. “After realizing the secret of the sword blade, I’ve tried to harmonize the laws of the wind with the atmosphere, but I didn’t think it would turn out with such a strong force. I call this the Wind Sword Skill, and it’s truly strong, but the only downside is that the time used to collect wind is a bit long. So if I were to use it in a real decisive match in the battlefield, that would be difficult.”
Tang Xiao Xi nodded. “M-hmm, okay let’s call this The Destroying Gale?”
“Okay, good name!”
“Yes, I haven’t even shown you the power of the pressure axis yet.”
Facing the pond, Lin Mu Yu gathered all his mental focus and silently opened his arms. Incorporeal sword forms floated up behind him, and pointing outwards, moved from behind him. Even Tang Xiao Xi could see his energy swords!
The pond water began shaking, creating ripples across the surface. Droplets began rising, as if being absorbed by the air above it, congealing as the temperature surrounding the pond began dropping at a rapid speed, forming ice spears that gleamed an icy blue. If the Sword Master had taught him the extroversion of heart and sword, this was his way of upgrading it!
Raising an arm, a hundred thousand ice spears shot up towards the sky- Pi! Pi! Pa! Pa!- loudly shooting down towards the ground not far away, turning the entire ground into a complete mess.
Translated by: korezmi & lxnuy
Edited by: patrick_the_father_of_dragons