212.2 – Poster Princes
Qin Shiyu narrowed her eyes.
“‘Be a firm shield, not a fierce blade’ — yes?”
— anyone who violates this creed will be punished by the Emperor.
This is the only commandment of the Swordguard Order.
The twelve members of the Swordguard Order shoulder the heavy duty of protecting important members of the royal family, have the duty to eliminate at critical times dangers that befall their protectee by any means necessary, and possess the corresponding authority to fulfil their duty.
However, they also have restrictions placed on them. They cannot be driven by the will of their protectee and become a blade to realize the will of another.
In other words, swordguards can only be shields, not blades — they can’t be driven by their protectee to commit crimes.
Of course, if it’s just to serve tea, run errands, or other minor things, it is not forbidden.
“Yes, it’s the sole creed we cannot violate.”
“Oh, I see. According to intel, it was the doing of the Shadow Gate’s great assassin. It seems to be true.”
“Most likely. Reportedly, in addition to Old Master Gong, the State Guard’s Luo Hong and the Merak Temple’s…”
For some reason, Yinping suddenly hesitated and stopped. Qin Shiyu issued an “um” sound of confusion.
“The Merak Temple’s…?”
Qin Shiyu asked indifferently.
Yinping answered with an awkward expression, “Yes… the Merak Temple’s ancestor.”
“You mean the one who recently became famous — Xue Qilin?”
Yinping answered with a “yes”, confirming Qin Shiyu’s statement.
Qin Shiyu nodded her head and issued two “mhm” sounds, and then said, dissatisfied, “But, I didn’t expect that Xue Qilin would also be there. She should have broken into the Gong Clan.”
After contemplating for a while, Yinping answered, uncertain, “Seems like it.”
“Ah, Xue Qilin, oh Xue Qilin, you’re really brave!”
Qin Shiyu sighed with an enigmatic smile, making it hard to tell if she’s praising Xue Qilin, or mocking her.
“Huh, but this has nothing to do with this princess. As long as this princes doesn’t sets foot in the turmoil, this princess will still be free of worries.”
“Princess doesn’t intend to get involved? Great General Gong is one of the few people in the neutral faction.”
“Well, this princes is not that tactless.”
Qin Shiyu’s gaze passed through the half open window, and she looked in a certain direction — in the direction of the imperial palace.
“After all, royal father is watching with keen interest from the imperial palace.”
Yinping furrowed her brows tightly.
“But, Gong Tianqing is the main candidate for the Merak Temple’s next Temple Master, yet the State Guard and the Shadow Gate took her away one after another. If the Merak Temple learns that the backstage manipulator is the Second Prince, I’m afraid that it will lead to a rift with the Imperial Court. This is detrimental to the relationship between the Imperial Court and the Wulin, which has gradually eased.
As if she heard a funny joke, Qin Shiyu burst out laughing again and slapped the desk violently.
“Ha-ha-ha — Yinping, that’s just on the surface. Since that day five years ago, royal father has never let go of his grudge against the Wulin.”
“Is that so…”
What happened five years ago is still fresh in Yinping’s memory.
— dead bodies scattered everywhere, blood flowing in rivers.
The conflict between the Wulin and the Imperial Court stained the lands of the Hua Dynasty with blood and carved a deep abyss of hatred between the two.
Yinping, you are quite concerned about this issues, is it because of the Merak Temple?”
Qin Shiyu’s voice prompted Yinping to come back to her senses.
While propping her head up, the Poster Princes stared at her with a sarcastic smile in her eyes.
“It seems that you are really concerned about the Merak Temple. What, do you intend to butt in the Merak Temple’s quarrel with Second Brother?”
Yinping was shocked by Qin Shiyu’s gaze. She nearly forgot that there is a formal princess in front of her, a figure who once ordered the massacre of 20,000 troops of the Northern Kingdom, who shows her enemies a cold-blooded side.
Having witnessed the cold-blooded side of the girl in front of her, Yinping has long made up her mind to serve her wholeheartedly, telling herself repeatedly not to become her enemy.
At the beginning, Yinping was just frightened by the Poster Princess’s ruthlessness and didn’t dare to disobey the other party. But, since Qin Shiyu treated her well, treated her as a close relative, and shared any good things with her, she gradually offered her sincere loyalty.
Yinping doesn’t know whether Qin Shiyu’s true self is the playful Ninth Princess full of smiles or the Poster Princess who is cold-blooded and ruthless on the battlefield. But she thinks that as long as she is treated with sincerity, she must reciprocate.
— that’s all.
“Please forgive me for talking too much.”
Yinping bowed and apologized
As a result, Qin Shiyu spurted out laughing.
“Yinping, there’s actually nothing to avoid. This prince’s cultivation method and swordsmanship are the Merak Cultivation Method and the Merak Swordsmanship respectively. In short, this princes can be regarded as half a member of the Merak Temple.”
Qin Shiyu winked playfully at Yinping.
Qin Shiyu also practices martial arts. Furthermore, she is in the Human Realm, and her swordsmanship ranks among the best in the royal family. The one who teaches her martial arts is Yinping. Yinping used to study in the Merak Temple. As far as Qin Shiyu knows, Yinping is an Aunt Teacher of the Merak Temple’s incumbent Temple Master Qi Qiqi and is of the same generation as vice-Temple Master Ye Zhen.
It is this relationship that makes Yinping feel awkward. Aster all, as a member of the Swordguard Orders, she should firmly stick to the position of guard, put the Ninth Princess’s safety in the first place, and cast away the relationship with her sect.
However, she cannot completely not care about the Merak Temple. She unconsciously is concerned about matters relating to the Merak Temple.
“To tell the truth, since you used to learn martial arts from the Merak Temple and your martial arts come from the Merak Temple, to draw a clear line with your sect due to joining the Swordguard Order, that would be really heartless. Besides, this princess knows that your heart is with this princess. Therefore, there’s nothing to avoid.”
Qin Shiyu shook her head and said faintly like an old scholar, “The reason why people are people is nothing more than due to the word ‘heart’. Right, Yinping?”
“Thank you for showing understanding, princess.”
Yinping showed an expression of gratitude and bowed to Qin Shiyu. Consequently, Qin Shiyu revealed a mischievous smile.
“Ai, as you can see, this princess treats you well.”
Yinping revealed an expression of a bad premonition and asked cautiously, “Princess, you want me to buy you a novel?”
“You hit the nail on the head!”
Qin Shiyu snapped her fingers and waved her arm excitedly.
“Recently, there has been a novel called Feng Mo about the Hua Dynasty. This princess heard that Qi Qiqi, who is referred to as a pair of something pearls together with this princess, is also reading it. This princess can’t lose to her no matter what, right? Therefore, you should go buy it tomorrow so that this princess can have a taste of it.”
“Oh dear, can I refuse?”
Yinping rubbed the corners of her eyes.
Despite being a majestic Heaven Realm master, the renowned Sword Ghost, Qi Yixin’s  junior disciple sister, she has to run the errand of buying a novel. She cannot help but feel embarrassed.
However, the Poster Princess Qin Shiyu is mischievous. The more Yinping feels embarrassed, the happier she is. Therefore, Yinping knows that she cannot escape from this errand.
Sure enough —
“It’s quite unfortunate, but you cannot, because it’s an order.”
As long as Qin Shiyu uses the word order, it conveys the meaning of indubitability. Yinping can only agree reluctantly.
“I knew it would be like this… okay, I’ll go tomorrow morning.”
Qin Shiyu grinned with satisfaction.
Then, she suddenly looked out the window and touching her chin, saying, “Okay, this princess’s good younger sister should have come to play with this princess.”
Younger sister? It’s that princess? As Yinping wondered —
The door was knocked.
Qin Shiyu jumped up with a start, and then hurriedly threw the novel on the ground and kicked it into a corner. Next, she quickly took out Three Character Classic  from the bookcase and pretended to read it
As if she was substituted with another person, Qin Shiyu assumed a refined expression, straightened her back, and emanated a noble and elegant air.
Although she has witnessed Qin Shiyu’s miraculous transformation many times already, but Yinping still sighed, unaccustomed.
“Let her in.”
Qin Shiyu winked at Yinping and mouthed silently.
Yinping rolled her eyes, but still did as told and shouted at the door, “Who is it?”
“Older Sister Yinping? It’s this servant Little Piao.”
“Is something the matter?”
“A lady request an audience with Her Highness the princes. This servant was sent by the manager to deliver a greeting card.”
Yinping looked at Qin Shiyu with an expression that conveys, “what now”.
Qin Shiyu curved the corners of her mouth and said, “This younger sister of this princess is the devil !” And then nodded.
After giving a reply, Yinping walked up to the door, opened it, and took the gritting card from the maid outside the door. Then, she returned to the desk and handed the greeting card to Qin Shiyu.
Qin Shiyu looked at the card’s inscription, saw the 水  character, and showed an expression that conveyed, “it’s really her”.
“Princess, did that princess come to visit?”
Qin Shiyu shook her head and replied in an ineffable tone, “She’s not a princess.”
With that, Qin Shiyu assumed a solemn, unquestionable expression.
“Yinping, go pick her up in person. Remember not to let anyone in the mansion see her face.”
“Not to let anyone see the the guest’s face…?”
“Yes, make sure of that.”
Qin Shiyu looked coldly at Yinping and said unreasonably in a somber tone, “If you let people see her face, then you will have to pay with your life. This princess will commit suicide and follow you. Remember, for this princess, her life is heavier than the sum of our lives. This princess doesn’t care how you accomplish it. If someone sees her face, you will kill them immediately, understood?”
Seeing that Qin Shiyu attaches so much importance to this issue, Yinping fell silent for a moment.
She didn’t expect that Qin Shiyu would get serious to such a degree. From this, it can be seen that the identity of the visitor is definitely not simple.
Be that as it may, Yinping has no intention of going to the bottom of it. Since she received instructions from the princess, she must do her best to follow them.
“Yinping will live up the princess’s expectations.”
With that, Yinping turned around and left. Only when her back disappeared outside the door did Qin Shiyu look away.
“Nangong Yunyao, this princess’s good younger sister, it seems that you are doing well. Otherwise, why else would you take such a big risk like meeting this princess?”
Qin Shiyu gazed at the night sky outside the window and sighed with mixed emotions.
“– Qin Yuzhen, oh Qin Yuzhen…”
The girl called someone’s name fondly in a conspicuously meaningful voice. Within the deep blue eyes, ripples known as “melancholy” rose.
 – Qi Yixin is Qi Qiqi’s father
 – Three Character Classic
 – as in speak of the devil
 – 水 is the character for water