The Veiled woman named Hei Wan gestured Lin Mu to take a seat.
“Please be at ease, we’ll just talk casually.” Hei Wan spoke.
Lin Mu nodded and pulled a chair from the side to sit on. Hei Bao too slid a chair forward for Hei Wan to sit on, while he himself stood at the side. Lin Mu saw this and looked at Hei Bao, but he just shook his head. Understanding his intention, Lin Mu didn’t question it.
Hei Wan had many questions that she wanted to ask, but knew that she had to show some restraint and keep to herself, lest she ends up offending the cultivator in front of her. In her first non-verbal interaction with Lin Mu, she had already grasped a part of Lin Mu’s personality and understood that he was rather mild and reserved. Compared to the other young and talented cultivators who were often arrogant and upturned, he was much more reasonable.
Hei Wan could not help but think of the upbringing he must have received for him to be this humble. She had investigated and learned about the situation with Lin Mu’s parents and knew that he was an orphan. She could only attribute Lin Mu’s current standing to a hidden master.
At this point, Hei Wan could only hope that whatever background Lin Mu had was either amicable or at the very least neutral with theirs. Hei Wan was already extremely wary when she heard that the boy in front of her knew about Old man Jing. She could still remember when she and her lord had their first run-in with Old man Jing a few years ago.
A few years ago, in Wu Lim city.
A thin man who had a scholarly aura was sitting on a luxurious-looking chair and was listening to a person speak. He was sitting in a room that looked like a study and was illuminated by softly glowing lights. There were five more people in the room and all of them were dressed in dark blue robes. Of the five people, only one person was not wearing a mask and was instead wearing a veil.
This person was none other than the leader of the Hei corps, Hei Wan and the scholarly man sitting on the luxurious chair was the ‘Lord’ that the Hei corps followed. If one could sense it, then they would find out that the four men who were wearing masks were all Core condensation realm cultivators. Such a lineup wasn’t something that could be seen every day.
Currently, one of the masked Core condensation realm experts was speaking.
“We have completed or initial reconnaissance of the Black dawn kingdom and the Easter Ming dynasty. Most of what we discovered was the same as before, but there were still some abnormalities that we detected.” Said the man who was standing in front of the Lord.
“We think that someone has been manipulating and hiding their involvement. The recent conflict between the royal family of the Black dawn kingdom also seems to be their doing.” Another masked man that was standing to the right spoke.
The Lord stroked his beard a couple of times before replying,
“That’s fine. It is indeed as I expected. We will just need to continue monitoring it further then. For now, just assign a few of the lower members to keep an eye on the situation and if it gets more complicated only then, will we interfere.”
The Lord then looked at the masked men and scanned them before speaking again,
“Anything else of importance?”
One of the Masked men seemed to be hesitating, and this was hidden behind the mask, yet the Lord detected it.
“Do you have something to say?” The Lord asked in a calm voice.
“I do, but I don’t want to waste my Lord’s time.” The masked man answered respectfully.
The Lord then waved his hand and spoke,
“Go on ahead, we still have some time left.”
The masked man then cupped his hands in respect before speaking,
“While returning from the Northern Frontier, this servant passed through the Northern town and took a halt for a brief amount of time. There I sensed something different. I felt as if the flow of spirit qi in the air was abnormal and seemed to be gathering towards a certain area.”
“Thus to investigate this, I went forward towards the area, which was an unassuming and abandoned alley. The first strange thing I found out was that there was no one in the alley, all of the shops in the alley seemed to be old and rundown.” The masked man took a breath before continuing.
“I then sensed the second strange thing, my spirit sense was blocked when I tried to probe the alley. It was as if there was a barrier set up there that was surrounding it. No matter what direction I tried, my spirit sense was always blocked. This Servant then decided to enter the alley himself to see what was the cause for this.
As soon as I entered the alley, I could sense the concentrated spirit qi in the air. I looked around and concluded that there was an illusory formation placed on the area. Then suddenly, I felt as if I saw someone in the sky, but they then disappeared in the next second. And along with this, the formation that was covering the area also disappeared. A few seconds later, the concentration of spirit qi in the air also returned to normal.”
The expression on the Lord’s face was getting sharper by the second.
“How did you leave the alley?” The lord asked with a cold tone.
The other people in the room were currently a little shocked by the masked man’s words, thus did not detect the faint aura that was rising from the Lord’s body.
The masked man, who was speaking, suddenly had a confused expression on his face after hearing his Lord’s question.
He was lost in his thoughts for a few seconds before speaking.
“I… I… I don’t know how? I can’t remember when I left it either.” The masked man uttered while stuttering
An enraged aura suddenly burst out of the scholarly man. An aura that was stronger than the aura’s of all of the people here combined together.
“YOU FOOL! You’ve been under the effect of a confounding formation all this while and you did not realize it.” The Lord shouted with fury bursting out of his eyes.
The veiled woman who was standing to the side suddenly widened her eyes in realization.
“The area had a confounding formation placed on it. What if you’ve been followed all this while?” Hei Wan spoke out loud.
It was at this time that the other members of the Hei corps realized the seriousness of their situation. Suddenly, as if to justify their fears, an imposing aura that was even stronger than the Lord’s descended upon the room.
“WHOO?” The Lord shouted as he struggled to bear the weight of the aura.
The other people in the room were already unable to bear it as they all instantly collapsed onto their knees. Then, in the next moment, the roof of the room was split apart as two people descended from the sky.
The two people that descended into the room were an old man that looked ancient and had a long beard, along with a young woman that was wearing a green-colored Daoist robe and had a wooden hairpin in her hair that was in the shape of a poplar leaf.
These two were none other than the pair of grandfather and granddaughter, Jing Wei and Duan Ke. The pair looked at the people in the room and finally settled their gazes onto the Lord.
~Humph~ “A group of measly Core Condensation realm cultivators.” Duan Ke scoffed.
“Seems like you were right, Ke’er, I was overthinking this. They’re not worth our time.” Jing Wei spoke.
“Should I finish them off?” Duan Ke asked without moving her petrifying gaze from the Lord.
Jing Wei seemed to be thinking as he did not answer right away. Instead, a wave of imposing spirit qi emanated from him and spread around. A few seconds later, he seemed to have reached a conclusion as he spoke,
“No, leave them for now.” Jing Wei spoke while looking at his granddaughter.
He then turned back to the Lord and spoke in a grandiose tone.
“This is your first and last warning. Do not interfere in our matters and don’t intrude our territory either.”
Each and every person could feel these words being carved into their minds. They all then nodded their heads in acceptance, albeit with difficulty.
“Let’s go, grandfather.” Duan Ke spoke and then withdrew a spirit sword from her spatial treasure.
The pair of grandfather and granddaughter were just about to jump on the spirit sword and leave, when the Lord gritted his teeth and spoke out.
“May I have the names of your Excellencies?” The Lord asked while bowing his head.
An annoyed look appeared on Duan Ke’s face after being interrupted. She was just about to speak, when Jing Wei gestured to her and she settled down while letting out a harrumph.
“You can call me Old Man Jing.” Jing Wei answered in his hoarse voice.
“This junior will forever remember the grace that the senior has shown me.” The Lord spoke with a tone that was overflowing with awe and respect.
The Members of the Hei corpse simply kowtowed on the ground, without being prompted to do so, they could not speak anything due to the imposing pressure, anyway. Jing Wei faintly nodded before mounting the spirit sword and flying away.
But a moment after they left, Duan Ke’s voice echoed again.
“You better keep this to yourself.” She spoke in a cold and menacing tone.