“Do you need help?”
Lin Mu Yu asked with a relaxed voice as he sheathed his sword.
Qin Lei said surprised, “Ah Yu can help? Based on what I know….The progress of refining the spirit beast cannot be interfered by others. Xiao Yin…If you really cannot refine the skill then don’t force it or you might hurt yourself.”
Tang Xiao Xi crossed her arms in her chest. “If Mu Mu can help, then don’t dally!”
Lin Mu Yu stood beside Qin Yin, the faint sweet fragrance of a lady assailed his nose, causing his heart to beat faster, but he quickly mentally chided himself, ‘What are you thinking, indulging in fantasies? This isn’t the time to be doing anything unscrupulous, we must conduct ourselves in a honest and just manner; separate yourself those insatiable lot! Lin Zhi, you must remember, you are an upright youth.’
The more he thought about it the more his face reddened.
He splayed his fingers out to let energy rush forth and his alchemy cauldron took form, quickly enveloping himself and Qin Yin. Qin Lei and Tang Xiao Xi were much occupied by the rare ability exhibited by Lin Mu Yu of forming his energy into an object although they were not able to make out the exact form of the cauldron.
Eyes closed, the alchemy cauldron fired up and began to refine the last strands of the stone beast. Qin Yin was able to feel all the minute changes, her long eyelashes fluttered but she would not dare allow any distractions from the crucial process of refining the beast’s spirit.
Lin Mu Yu’s tone was gentle. "Your Highness need not to give attention to my task, concentrate in absorbing and leave the rest to me."
Within the alchemy cauldron, the last vestiges of the stone howled miserably. Roiling in the turgid heat, it still would not go down even in death, they had been refining it well past five minutes already.
Lin Mu Yu heart hardened and abruptly let out a sigh. He unleashed the alchemy cauldron’s next tier flame - Extreme Fire.
Extreme Fire belongs to the heavens and thus incredibly potent, though ranked only second among the 18 fires of his alchemy cauldron; a relatively low rank it may be, it is still considered powerful. Because Lin Mu Yu presently only knows up to the third level, if even that cannot refine the spirit beast, then there is nothing more that can be done about it.
In the midst of the miserable whine, the Extreme Fire swallowed up the spirit of the stone beast, refining it into star shaped dots, seeping one by one into the body of Qin Yin and was eventually fully absorbed.
Lin Mu Yu let out a sound of relief and cancelled his alchemy cauldron, only to see himself and Qin Yin emit steam. It would seem that the temperatures inside the cauldron transmitted into reality.
Qin Yin softly exhaled, when she opened both her eyes, both Lin Mu Yu and Qin Lei staggered. The shine in Qin Yin eyes were more charming than ever, her gaze held depth. Her new expression was as beautiful as the luminous stars shining and her temperament seemed different as well. She gave the impression of great prestige, exuding the aura of someone in a totally different league.
"Has Xiao Yin reached the Heaven Realm?" Tang Xiao Xi asked with a gentle smile.
Qin Yin smiled, lifting a hand to gently spit out energy. Yet it was not the usual color, but the pure white of battle energy. Once you entered the Heaven Realm, the conversion of energy into battle energy was as easy as breathing, this was a tremendous advancement!
In that instant, Qin Yin was extraordinarily happy, her beautiful eyes looked deeply into Lin Mu Yu’s, "Ah Yu, thank you!"
Lin Mu Yu cupped a fist in his other hand and smiled. "It is my duty to serve Your Highness."
After all, members of the Temple were meant to serve the royal family. Even though the princess held him in her favor, Lin Mu Yu still kept the appropriate behavior, maintaining the difference in their positions. If he were to become so arrogant and become full of himself, he might incur the disaster of horrible execution. This was one of Lin Mu Yu’s better traits, able to be calm, wise, and farsighted at any given time. How else might he climb the steps to the the top of the martial arts world.
"Your Highness, you were successful in refining the skill of the stone beast?" Qin Lei asked from beside her
Qin Yin nodded as she summoned her God Binding Lock martial spirit, gently churning out more Force. There were now stone scales surrounding the golden chains of her martial spirit doubling as a defensive skill to protect oneself from being harmed.
Qin Lei clapped his hands together and smiled, "We have not come to Dragon Seeker Forest in vain this time! Your Highness Yin, since you have already completed your training, why don’t we go back early to Lanyan City. It's too dangerous here in Dragon Seeker Forest and Commander Feng Ji Xing will be looking for us at the borders of the forest. It's been a while since we disappeared from camp..."
Qin Yin wrinkled her elegant eyebrows and shook her head. "No, the real purpose of coming to Dragon Seeker Forest was to help Ah Yu find the Dragon Tomb. If Elder Brother Qin Lei is anxious then you can go back first!"
Meeting with unexpected resistance, Qin Lei couldn’t help but to stare blankly yet not being contradictory either. "Okay, since I promised, I'll listen to your wishes. We will go together and find the Dragon Tomb."
"Okay, that’s great!" Qin Yin’s annoyance turned into happiness.
The group rested for a while to recover their energy and physical strength before continuing on their journey.
Before nightfall, they were able to find a suitable resting place within the forest—a parched cave, the weeds inside had been dry and brittle. The owner of the cave was a 1200 year old spirit bear that was cut down by Qin Lei. Lin Mu Yu had asked for the spirit stone as ones that were more than a 1000 years old are good for blacksmiths, one must not be wasteful .
Jin Xiao Tang of the capital’s trading company was still not aware that she was a good blacksmith otherwise it would have caused a sensation. There is no lack of them in trading companies, they were in need of a good high level sword. Those high officials and wealthy heirs waited everyday for the someone to sell them a good sword and they were willing to pay any price. In fact, spirit blades are in high demand, mysterious blades even more so. If someone were able to make holy items, then the entire trading company will surely go crazy.
Qin Lei grabbed a blanket from the back of the horse and spread it out. “Your Highness, the outskirts are quite rough, we will have to make do. You and Princess Xi can sleep here at night, it will be fine for me and Ah Yu to sleep on the foliage outside.
Qin Yin smiled, "I appreciate the trouble Elder Brother Qin Lei. Uh, where is Ah Yu?"
"He is outside. I don’t know what he is doing."
Qin Yin held up her skirt and gracefully exited the cave only to see Lin Mu Yu holding up Prairie Fire, silently observing their surroundings. With tight eyebrows and his white robe swaying in the wind, he looked completely handsome. All of a sudden, Qin Yin’s heart sped up, beating wildly. Even though Feng Ji Xing and Chu Huai Sheng are good looking men, the Lin Mu Yu in front of her seems to have an extra something they did not have.
"Aaa.... what am I thinking? " Qin Yin stomped on her boots, ashamed and angry at herself, this imperial princess was much to proud to admit anything.
Lin Mu Yu lifted his head in time to see the blushing face of Qin Yin standing by the rocks. He couldn’t help a smile and asked, "Is something wrong, Your Highness?"
Qin Yin stared back blankly, her face turning red all the more. "Ah, no... nothing? Ah Yu, you have been patrolling in the outside for a long time, are you looking for something?"
"Yeah, I suspect that there is an older spirit beast nearby, fire based."
"Why do you say so?"
"When Old Qu, Xiao Xi, and I were training in the Seven Star Forest before, we encountered similar terrain. Grass doesn't grow and withered plants indicate that there is a fire spirit beast nearby, and it’s seems quite old."
"Oh?" Qin Yin stared blankly, "then why could the bear we killed a while a go still live here? If it were a danger, it is reasonable to say that the fire spirit beast would have swallowed the spirit bear already!"
"It is hard to say," Lin Mu Yu mouth twitched upwards, "maybe this beast was fattening up the spirit bear?"
"If that is so, then what do we do?"
"No worries, I will take precautions. In the event that this fire beast really comes after us, then we might as well use the opportunity to kill it. Xiao Xi is just to step into the third level of the Earth Realm and will be in need of a fire beast. If it dares to come, then it's exactly what I'm waiting for!"
In the middle of the night, Qin Yin and Tang Xiao Xi huddled close together in their sleep. The two were very tired after all the events of the day. Qin Lei held onto Thunder Cleaver, vigilantly guarding the rocks of the cave opening, watchful of anything within a three meter radius. Being the Commander of the Imperial Guard, Qin Lei’s biggest responsibility was to protect the heir to the throne. When Qin Lei turned around to look, his sight fell onto the serene face of Qin Yin, his gaze held a myriad of complicated feelings.
He sighed and tightened his hold on Thunder Cleaver.
Outside the cave, a small fire swayed in wind. It was already cold in the late autumn night, especially after rain. Winter was fast approaching.
Lin Mu Yu kept Prairie Fire close to his chest, watching the fire dance distractedly.
I wonder how my father is doing. Is the old man still in good health?
When he lingered on the topic, his eyes would grow moist for an instant. He lifted his head to the sky and murmured, “Dad, brother, are you still okay? I miss you already, but I can't go home now. Brother, please take good care of dad; don't let him work too hard. Now that I'm not around... Brother, you need to carry the entire Long Xin Group...."
At that moment, a hissing sound came from a distance, it carried through the air hotly.
It finally came!
The master of the area has finally come to kill Lin Mu Yu, Qin Yin, Tang Xiao Xi, and what other uninvited guests.
Lin Mu Yu quietly called out, “Brother Qin Lei, wake up Her Highness and Xiao Xi, we have a guest."
Qin Lei was alarmed and quickly turned, but Qin Yin and Tang Xiao Xi were already awake, and two sets of beautiful eyes stared back at him.
"That fire spirit beast came?"
Tang Xiao Xi was growing excited.
Translated by: shogun
Edited by: seriouspotato