Soaring The Heavens Chapter 523
No one said anything; they all knew that shit had hit the fan this time. The situation had already been exacerbated past the point of redemption.
Huyan Taibao continued to ask, "Who else knows about this?"
Chen Yuan replied, "Besides that Su Jinsong of Traversing Water Palace's Suppressing Tenth Hall, no one knows. Should we—"
Huyan Taibao immediately cut him off. "Are you still suggesting we silence them? That Miao Yi is already placed under heavy scrutiny. If something were to happen to any of the people involved with him at this time, it would most likely lead back to us. We mustn't act too hastily!"
As they heard this, Su Yanran and Cao Lu immediately felt the tension in their hearts easing. Now that the situation had become so serious, the thing they were most worried about was being silenced.
"Understood!" Chen Yuan acknowledged.
Huyan Taibao then pointed at the three who were kneeling. "I want the three of you to listen closely. You'd all better take this secret to the grave. Not a single word must be leaked out. Otherwise, there will be no point even if I'm willing to spare you. You know full well what the consequences will be!"
"Yes, sir!" The three of them replied nervously.
Huyan Taibao ground his teeth in annoyance and continued, "Remember! Continue doing what you normally do every day! Don't show a single discrepancy!"
"Yes, sir!" the three answered sheepishly.
"Now get lost!" Huyan Taibao waved his hand in dismissal.
The trio immediately fumbled their way out of the hall.
After they left, Chen Yuan walked up to the side of the high throne and said, "My lord, now that the situation has gone this far, we mustn't leave these people alive lest it spell trouble for us later on."
"For now, we need to ease their worries. To not act is the best course of action for us right now. Otherwise, we risk stirring up an even bigger commotion." Huyan Taibao continued helplessly, "The Celestial Sage has already dispatched another team to investigate this incident. I'm not the only one looking into this. As such, we mustn't do anything that will reveal any clues. As long as there's no substantial evidence, the other team will have a hard time tracing the whole affair back to us!"
Clearly, his information network had high connections to be able to know about the other investigation team that was dispatched. It was evident that none of Mu Fanjun's movements within the Celestial Nation could escape the eyes and ears of her eldest disciple.
Chen Yuan couldn't help his shock. Wouldn't this mean that the Celestial Sage was already beginning to suspect Huyan Taibao? He asked cautiously, "Then are we not going to do anything at all?"
"Of course we're not just going to sit still. We have to continue investigating this incident down the chain of command, and we have to do it perfectly. Even if we know there won't be any conclusion to further investigation, we still have to do it. It's a different matter altogether whether our investigation leads anywhere. Even if we have nothing to show for it, at the very least, we can say that we did our best. Failing a task is still a million times better than committing a crime!"
"I understand, my lord."
"Also, we can't leave those three and that Su Jinsong alive. Otherwise, who knows what will happen in the future? However, we can't make our move now. We need to wait until the whole investigation goes cold, and take care of them one at a time, with a sufficient gap in time in between. We absolutely must not try to strike them all down at once. I want you to deal with this personally. Don't involve anyone else. Remember, kill them discreetly so that no one will be able to notice anything amiss. Understand?" Huyan Taibao turned back and glared straight at Chen Yuan.
As it turned out, he had only told Su Yanran and the others that he wouldn't be silencing anyone just to ease them of their tension. In the end, he was still planning on killing them off.
Chen Yuan immediately cupped his fists. "Yes, my lord."
At the front hall of the tavern, Miao Yi had come out for breakfast again.
Gracefully walking out from the rear courtyard, the alluring Lady Boss's eyes gleamed as she noticed Miao Yi. With a playful smile on her face, she walked over to him, casually wiping down the table with her hand, then sat down and asked, "Niu Er, was it fun to play with those big birds last night?"
Miao Yi had caused a huge commotion in the rear courtyard last night trying to tame those Blue-Feathered Swallows. It was hard not to notice.
The people sitting at the two tables beside Miao Yi's all glanced over to him as they wondered who this 'Niu Er' person was. It seemed to them that he was quite close to the Lady Boss. The white-robed person was also quietly looking over with a curious gaze from the corner of the hall.
"It's definitely more fun than drinking with you. At least I won't get beaten that way," Miao Yi said begrudgingly as he ate.
As she remembered how she'd sent the other party flying with a kick yesterday, the Lady Boss couldn't help letting out a light chuckle. If nothing else, she felt as though her heart had lightened somewhat after that lively banter with Miao Yi yesterday. She playfully twirled her hair with her slender fingers, narrowing her eyes at him as she remarked, "Why are you complaining? Do you know how many people there are who can only wish to have a drink with this Lady Boss? Don't be so oblivious to your own good fortune."
"Good fortune?" Miao Yi scoffed. "Feel free to find someone else to drink with you. This lowly one is unable to indulge in such an honor."
The white-robed person sitting in the corner couldn't help his amazement; he was seeing Miao Yi in a new light now. Never did he imagine that this guy could actually spend time and drink together with the Lady Boss of Tempest Tavern.
"Kid, you really can't tell chalk from cheese…" The scholar circled around the counter and was about to give Miao Yi a talking to, when suddenly, the other party placed down his chopsticks and reached out his hand, saying, "Refund me eight days' worth of accomodation fees!"
The scholar was taken aback. "What's that supposed to mean? You're not going to stay here anymore?"
Miao Yi scoffed, "I've only stayed here for a few days, and I've already been beaten up twice. If this keeps up, my life is going to be in danger. Why the hell should I continue staying then? Now hurry up and give me back my money. You said that you'll only take the specified amount. Nothing more, nothing less. You're not going back on your word, are you?"
"Are you serious?" the scholar asked.
At this moment, the sound of hoofbeats came from outside; it was another group that had come to a stop in front of the tavern.
The Lady Boss and scholar shared a glance, then looked towards Miao Yi, who quickly wiped his mouth and stood up with his hand outstretched. They immediately understood the gist of things; the kid's escorts had probably come again.
What else could they do but refund his money? The scholar walked to the back of the counter and put down a stack of Gold Crystals.
Miao Yi counted everything, and after making sure it was the right amount, he quickly tucked it away. Before the scholar could even say anything, Miao Yi then placed his room plaque down on the counter which shut the former up immediately. He then proudly placed his hands behind his back and walked off. Even though he couldn't hit them back for beating him, he could still do something like this to irritate them.
"Arrogant brat!" The Lady Boss stood up and said mockingly, "Don't get beaten up like a dog and crawl back here again."
Miao Yi didn't even turn around. With his back still facing them, he simply waved his hand as a gesture of farewell.
It was likely that he wouldn't be returning again after this. With two Purple Lotus experts protecting him, there shouldn't be too much trouble anymore. He would either be roaming around in the desert, or be sent back after completing his mission. He figured it would be best for him to refrain from coming to this accursed place too often in the future.
He made his way to the courtyard and released the dragon steed, then hopped on to its back. After fumbling his way with it for a while, he proceeded outside, where he was joined by several dozen other riders. They then promptly left afterward.
"Lady Boss, what do you think he's here for? Given the influence of the person hiding behind him, it's clearly way beyond his Manor Head's pay grade." The scholar transmitted his voice over.
"Who cares what that ungrateful brat is here to do? It's not like it matters to us whether he lives or dies." The Lady Boss huffed, then walked out to the courtyard and watched as Miao Yi and his group departed...
As he galloped through the desert, surrounded by several dozen other riders by his side, Miao Yi constantly turned to look at the two people right beside him. He noticed that they were rather small of stature, and had deadpan expressions on their faces. Even so, they still stuck close to him. It was rather clear that they were indeed trying to protect him.
Eventually, Miao Yi couldn't help asking, "Are you two here for that, umm…"
"We're your bodyguards!" they both replied.
"Seniors, are you really at the Purple Lotus realm?" Miao Yi asked.
"Yes!" they both answered firmly.
"May I have the courtesy of knowing your names?"
"Wu Zhen. Wu Ming."
'Wu Zhen, Wu Ming? No real name?' Miao Yi's expression twisted. Could these names be any more fake? They were even more dubious than his 'Niu Er'. Would it kill these two to think of slightly more believable names?!
The group continued to gallop away from the gathering place in Flowing Clouds Dune Sea, eventually coming to a stop sometime at night. Miao Yi's second-in-command then started assigning the members to the various search areas.
Officially, this second-in-command was the captain this time around; Miao Yi was just another loose cultivator. However, it was true that Miao Yi wouldn't have much to do on this excursion. This time, his most important job was to be the 'bait' to lure out the assassin. Locating the 'Netherdragon Ship' was merely his secondary objective. And after that, he was also to collect the 'Moondawn' spiritual herb.
Once everyone was assigned to their designated search zones, they then agreed on an assembly point afterward. Most of the members immediately spread out after that. The ones that remained were mostly those from the administration.
These people quickly dug up the sand, and when they reached the hard shell underneath, they combined forces and launched a heavy strike against it, stirring up a powerful spurt of water. The shattered pieces of the shell quickly sank to the bottom, revealing the sea encased below. Meanwhile, as the sand around the edges of the hole gradually cascaded down into the pool, it quickly formed a new hard shell, sealing the hole back up bit by bit.
As the captain waved his hand, he then led some of the members down into the water, disappearing into its depths in the blink of an eye as they began their underwater investigation.
Miao Yi also wished to explore the environment in this ocean beneath the desert. However, just as he made a diving stance and was about to plunge headfirst into the water, he was suddenly stopped by a powerful wave of transcendence energy. His head was almost touching the water, but his entire body was just floating in the sky.
'What the heck?' He turned around to look at Wu Zhen, who immediately pulled him back with the wave of a hand.
As he stumbled to the ground, Miao Yi asked in confusion, "What are you doing?"
Wu Zhen said solemnly, "Don't forget what you're here to do. You need to lure the assassin out. What will we do if you dive underwater and they can't find you?"
Miao Yi was speechless. It was a first for him to want someone to come and kill him.
He turned back to look at the pond being slowly sealed up by the cascading sand and couldn't help feeling a tinge of regret. He was curious as to how this subterranean ocean was any different from the one he knew.
Nevermind. As long as he was still alive, there would always be another chance to visit.
He then turned back and noticed Wu Zhen and Wu Ming had already hopped onto their mounts and were each heading off in separate directions. Confused, Miao Yi leaped onto his own dragon steed as well. He wondered, 'Which one should I follow?'
"Seniors? Where are you running off to?" Miao Yi shouted.
When they heard this, Wu Zhen and Wu Ming quickly turned back, both staring daggers at him. Wu Ming then said solemnly, "What are you shouting so loudly for? Are you afraid that the assassin won't know that this is a trap?"
"It was a slip of the tongue. Forgive me, Seniors." Miao Yi cupped his fists apologetically. "When this junior noticed you two leaving separately, I didn't know who to follow, so I just called out for you."
Wu Zhen replied, "Don't follow either of us! Just go on your own. If we're constantly around you, the assassin might grow cautious and won't show up so easily. Don't worry so much. We won't be too far away. As soon as anything happens, we'll rush straight over to rescue you."
'Are you kidding me? The assassins that want this ol' life of mine just keep getting stronger and stronger. If the one they sent out this time is even more powerful than the last... And you want me to walk alone?' Miao Yi grimaced as he asked, "Seniors, are you two really Purple Lotus cultivators? Can you please prove it to me?"
The other party knew what he was concerned about; he was worried that their cultivations weren't high enough and that they wouldn't be able to get to him in time.
Wu Zhen and Wu Ming looked at each other, then got off their mounts and jumped into the sand pit that was previously dug up, avoiding any chance of being noticed by the various eyes and ears around them. They then proceeded to take off the porcelain mask over their faces.
A set of dainty, beautiful faces was revealed under the moonlight, with a Purple Lotus Second Grade mark shining on their foreheads.
Miao Yi was astonished. These two were actually women? What was even more inconceivable was that they looked completely identical. Twins...