Chapter 6: The Empress Is Dead
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Mother, the empress has said that you’re going to be free some time in the near future. While you probably wouldn’t be able to return to your previous concubine status, I figure that you’ll be able to keep your current one nonetheless.”
The prince sounded very excited as they were talking out in the hall.
“Don’t get too excited just yet, little prince. It’s precisely at times like these that we need to be even more careful,” the old court lady advised.
Sigh~ “I never thought that I would end up bothering the empress with my troubles,” Concubine Jing chimed in.
“The empress said that you ended up in this predicament because of her problems all those years ago.”
“I wonder how the crown prince is doing now. Is he still as stubborn as he has always been?” Concubine Jing asked.
She knew next to nothing of what was happening out in the world due to having been confined to Jingning Palace for all these years.
Even the old court lady and Li Mu had been forbidden to venture very far outside.
“The crown prince, eh…well, there’re just too few who support him.”
The Ninth Prince became silent after bringing that up.
The hall was rendered completely silent as well.
Li Mu changed into total black attire that night.
He flipped a window opened and went out through the window.
The window closed automatically as soon as he left.
He murmured as soon as he reached somewhere notable.
“Successfully checked in at the Imperial Garden. Lightness skill, Fleeting Snow and Clouds rewarded.”
“Successfully checked in at the Library Tower. 50 years’ worth of powers rewarded.”
He toured the royal palace carefully.
He evaded everything as soon as he sensed the presence of formidable warriors around.
He had amassed quite a catch after checking in at several places consecutively throughout that one single night.
The 50 years’ worth of powers enabled him to immediately break through to the Spirit Manipulation Realm, and he soon reached the realm of Demi-saints.
Demi-saints were almost nonexistent in the entire kingdom.
Even the ones at the peak of the Spirit Manipulation Realm were few and far between in the kingdom.
However, he was not about to believe that there was no one in the kingdom who had not surged beyond the Spirit Manipulation Realm.
He’d sensed several vague presences when he’d ventured outside into the royal palace complex before.
At the moment, however, he no longer feared anything.
Even if Concubine Jing were to die the very next day, there was simply no one who could stop him from leaving the royal palace.
Why would I want to leave anyway? It would be a waste leaving such a wonderful place for check-ins after all.
He was able to somehow master the Fleeting Snow and Clouds several days later.
Lightness skills were something else altogether. His movements had become a lot faster than what he had accomplished with the Shenfeng Footwork before.
Progress with my training is slowing down.
In the past, 30 years’ worth of powers would have enabled him to grow by one whole realm. At the moment, however, 50 years’ worth of powers were only good for growing one grade in the realms.
The old court lady came to Li Mu one day about two months later.
Her bloodshot eyes unnerved Li Mu.
“The empress has passed away.”
Li Mu was dumbstruck.
Hadn’t the empress been doing well all this time? How could she have just died like that all of a sudden?
He knew that things were probably more complex than they appeared to be.
“Concubine Jing has requested that the Jingning Palace mourn the empress for three months.”
She elaborated as she handed a set of white clothes to Li Mu.
Li Mu took the mourning garb as he perked up his ears to listen to the chatter of the court ladies from the surrounding palaces.
As his powers grew, he had become capable of sensing everything within a three-mile radius.
If he were willing to really exert himself, he would probably be able to sense things happening more than five miles away.
He sat on the palace’s rooftop that night, watching the stars far away.
He wondered just how the empress had managed to die all of a sudden.
He realized that the royal palace was not as safe as he’d initially imagined it to be.
It is said that there were noble clans out there, no? Legend has it that some hidden formidable ones in the clans are every bit equal to those of the royal palace, no? I wonder if the empress’s death had anything to do with those noble clans.
Li Mu had learned a lot from the chatter of the court ladies.
There were many noble clans throughout the entire Kingdom of Great Xia.
Some of the major ones had stockpiled powers in secret that were every bit equal to those of the royal family.
The only reason why Great Xia was able to remain politically stable was due to a grand ancestor of the royal family having killed all of the other formidable ones from the noble clans many years ago.
This sounds like something that resembles the history of the Sui and Tang dynasties.
Li Mu caressed his chin as he pondered all this.
The past several dynastic shifts had been brought about by none other than the noble clans.
It definitely seemed as if the kingdom’s state of affairs remained flighty.
He narrowed his gaze all of a sudden.
He sensed a fast-moving figure zipping past the garden nearby, heading for the Library Tower.
That someone was moving about like a specter in the dark of night.
The figure quickly disappeared into the night.
The guards below hadn’t even realized that someone had been zipping past right above their heads.
The figure had left no trace as he moved. It was as if he had never been around in the first place.
It was apparent that this figure was very strong. He must have been at least at late stages of the Spirit Manipulation Realm.
To his knowledge, that old eunuch from the Imperial Horse Directorate was at grade nine of the Spirit Manipulation Realm. The fact that that figure had dared to trespass into the royal palace meant that he saw that eunuch to be beneath him.
That guy is at least at grade nine of the Spirit Manipulation Realm then.
Li Mu flashed and started to tail right behind the figure, heading toward the Library Tower as well.
He felt lucky to have someone else test the waters around the royal palace in his stead.
He had never checked in any of the places near the Library Tower, due to being wary of the formidable warriors in the palace.
Both of them went inside the Library Tower one after another.
The eunuchs guarding the place never noticed these visitors.
Ding! “50 years’ worth of powers acquired at the Library Tower.”
50 years’ worth again.
That number of years was no longer enough for him in his current state.
It didn’t even allow him to break through a single grade.
He was feeling dissatisfied.
Well, let’s pay attention to what this guy is up to.
He scanned his surroundings meticulously.
He found to his surprise that there was actually someone at the Spirit Manipulation Realm in the Library Tower.
Yet that someone hadn’t even noticed that someone else had gotten into the place.
The topmost floor of the library was pitch-black.
The warrior who had trespassed into the Library Tower before him was flipping through the pages of some books within.
Li Mu watched the other man from behind a pillar for quite a while, yet was still unable to figure out what that person was up to.
Looking for methods?
Doesn’t seem like it.
That guy is already at the peak of the Spirit Manipulation Realm after all. What else could prove more supreme than what he was already training in?
Looking for hidden histories of the royal family then?
Li Mu himself had flipped the pages of that book as well.
He was running out of patience.
He was already finished checking in at the Library Tower, and here he was stuck waiting for that other person to take him elsewhere for check-ins.
It was lucky to have a formidable warrior like this man who could serve as a guinea pig after all.
The opportunity was hard to come by.
“Is that thing on that old fart then?”
The other person murmured something after looking for quite some time.
Li Mu was already yawning behind him.
What’s that guy looking for?
Shouldn’t he be looking elsewhere if he still can’t find it here?
Why does he insist on staying around?
Li Mu had been circling behind the other man for quite some time.
Dawn was approaching.
He decided to stop waiting and give that other man a reminder.
“Hey, you should…”
The figure dressed in black, who was flipping through the pages, was very startled, throwing out a palm attack at Li Mu before he’d even bothered putting down the book he was holding.
Li Mu evaded him right away.
You son of a b*tch!
“Hey…I’m just giving you reminders…here we go again!”
The figure in black continued attacking Li Mu’s vital areas.
Li Mu evaded every single attack.
The other man didn’t even give Li Mu a chance to explain himself.
You really think that I’m gonna take this lying down?
Li Mu threw punches back right away.
The fist and the open hand connected, and the resulting shockwave sent all the books in the place flying.
That other man was sent flying outside the Library Tower by a single punch from Li Mu.
Li Mu then followed right behind him.
“A low-ranked eunuch!”
The man finally was able to get a good look at Li Mu, once they were outside the place.
To his surprise, the other man was a gray-robed eunuch.
His surprise was written all over his face.
Warriors were supposed to be geniuses who had been training for up to a century.
Yet, what he saw was that the other man was actually a good-looking low-ranked eunuch instead.
Could it possibly be an old one who had regained his youth?
All right, that’s ridiculous.
If someone like that is in the ranks of the royal palace, why did the regime allow the clans to develop just like that?
A sharp pain from his midsection came all of a sudden when he was done being startled. Blood spewed out of his mouth.
It was only then that the figure clad in black realized that he had been injured.
“Wait, are you…”