Lin Mu had left the town center and was now walking towards his house. He took in the sights and the sounds from the surroundings. Most of the streets had become rather empty except for the guards that would patrol at every few intervals.
Lin Mu knew that this was due to the assassination. Hei Wan had already ordered the guards to take the people to safety, so they were most likely in their homes now. He knew that now that the matter had been resolved on a certain level, the people will most likely get the notice by evening.
Lin Mu looked up at the sky and saw the sun, which was just about to reach the top of his head. He estimated that it should be eleven am right now and knew that he had plenty of daylight left. The days had finally started to get short, and the clouds were starting to get dense.
There were three more months to the end of the winter, and in another month the sun would be completely hidden till the start of spring. That would be the time when the cold would be the harshest and the snow the deepest.
Lin Mu could still remember the last year’s blizzards clearly. The snow was knee deep and people could not open their doors as the snow was piled up against their doors. Lin Mu knew that some people would start to run low on supplies and would have to ration them.
He hoped that this time since Hei Wan was here and the town head was dead, the things would be different.
“And if they are not, I will make them…” Lin Mu muttered to himself as another fluctuation in his aura appeared.
Lin Mu kept on walking and eventually reached the residential district. He could now see some people here discussing with each other. He could hear them gossip about the incident from before and the announcement. Lin Mu understood that they seemed to be slightly more satisfied this time.
‘At least the people have hope this time.’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
Soon Lin Mu reached his house and saw someone standing in front of it. He looked at the man’s attire and understood that it was a guard. But the suspicious thing was that he hadn’t seen the guard before, and he seemed to be someone new.
Lin Mu extended his spirit sense and was surprised to find out that the guard was actually a cultivator. He instantly became alert and ideas started to run in his mind.
‘Is he one of the culprits? Are they disguising as guards now?’ Lin Mu wondered as he withdrew his sword and continued forwards silently.
The guard was facing the other way thus he had not seen Lin Mu yet, and he had not even sensed it when Lin Mu’s spirit sense had probed him.
‘Hmm, it seems like he hasn’t experience spirit sense before. He’s also at the early stage of the qi refining realm, this will be easy. Seems like we will have another culprit to interrogate.’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
Lin Mu looked around one more time and confirmed that no one was watching him. Once he was sure of that, he used blink and appeared right behind the guard. He then put up his short sword against the man’s neck.
“Don’t even try to move. One move and I’ll slice your neck. Now tell me who are you?” Lin Mu spoke in a threatening manner.
The guard who had been carefree this entire time felt as if he was doused with cold water. He had not expected for someone to suddenly seize him. But then the next instant he recognized the voice and his eyes went wide.
“Wait! Sir Lin Mu! It’s me, Hei Ping!” The guard hurriedly spoke.
Lin Mu tilted his head upon hearing the guard and then suddenly recognized the voice. Though he still didn’t move as he was still feeling suspicious. The guard saw this and knew that Lin Mu was still wary of him.
“Sir Lin Mu, I was assigned by leader Hei Wan to guard and serve you. If you needed anything, I was asked to be there for you. I was assigned the position of a guard so that it would be easier for us.” The guard explained.
Only after hearing the man’s explanation did Lin Mu withdrew the sword from the man’s neck. Lin Mu then remembered the man named Hei Ping’s voice. He had seen him before, but because the man was wearing the mask, he could not recognize him. Hei Ping was one of the other members of the Hei Corps that had recently returned to the safe house.
“Hmm, should have informed me before.” Lin Mu spoke.
Hei Ping took a deep breath and touched his neck, ensuring that it was safe.
“That’s what I was here for sir, to inform you.” Hei Ping spoke in a helpless tone.
“Okay then. So where are you going to stay?” Lin Mu questioned.
“Since I’ve been assigned the duty of a guard, I’ll be here most of the time. There are more of my companions who will be patrolling the street and neighborhood too. But if you need anything, just call for me. I will also be informing you of any report that comes from the leader.” Hei Ping explained.
“I understand, for now I’m going to be resting inside.” Lin Mu replied and then unlocked the gate of the courtyard.
He then walked inside and entered the backyard. He came to stand in front of the graves that were situated there. He kneeled down and closed his eyes.
“Father, Mother, please bless me with strength. I know the journey in front of me is long and is going to be difficult, but know this that I will prevail.” Lin Mu muttered with determination.
Lin Mu then stayed there in the same position for a couple of hours before he stood up and returned to the inside of the house. Unknown to Lin Mu, his aura that had become slightly unstable since the morning had finally become calm after visiting the graves of his parents.
Lin Mu could feel his stomach rumble and then realized that he had not eaten anything for a while.
“Hmm, I’ll eat some food before cultivating.” Lin Mu muttered to himself.
He thus took out the spirit beast meat from his spatial ring and started to cook it in the kitchen. Twenty minutes later the roast meat was ready and Lin Mu started devouring it. With his current appetite, it didn’t take long for Lin Mu to completely finish it.
Lin Mu then returned to his bedroom and sat down on his bed cross-legged to cultivate. But just five minutes later, a surprised expression appeared on his face as he was awakened from his session. A wave of energy emanated from his body for a brief moment, and it almost seemed like one could see his bones shining through his flesh.
“I broke through…” Lin Mu muttered.
Indeed, Lin Mu had just broken through to the eleventh stage of the body tempering realm and had entered the peak tier of body tempering stage experts. His vital energy was flowing into his bones and was even touching his bone marrow.
A refreshing feeling washed over his mind as he felt his entire body relax. It was as if his body’s cells were exhilarating in joy and had become extremely active. In fact, a minute later, faint wisps of steam could be seen emanating from his body.
“Wha-What!?” Lin Mu spoke with surprise.
“FOCUS! Feel the vital energy within you and guide it on its path. Let it flow to your bones and wash your marrows.” Xukong guided in a stern tone.
Lin Mu did not speak and just followed the instructions. He continued chanting the calming heart sutra and focused on the flow of the vital energy. He could sense the vital energy that was filling his skin, muscles, and blood.
This vital energy had been at an extremely saturated stage and was close to breaking out at any moment. Lin Mu’s current situation just turned out to be the most suitable, thus it broke through. The vital energy from these three layers started to seep into his bones.
Even though the energy was flowing into his bones, Lin Mu couldn’t actually feel any decrease in the energy from those three layers. It was as if the energy was instantly replaced the moment it flowed away.
This cycle of replenishment and consumption continued for an hour until finally, Lin Mu felt as if his bones were saturated as well. He had just reached the peak of the eleventh stage of the body tempering realm in one attempt.
Lin Mu let out a breath and expelled a wisp of gray gas from his mouth. This gray gas traveled forward and touched the wooden wall of the room. But when it touched it, the wall suddenly started corroding.