Chapter 319: Mute
Neither Deng Wu nor Hui Yue felt like moving, and both were seated in the comfortable silence for quite some time. So long that suddenly when a maid entered the room to clean the dishes, she was shocked to see both lords still present and seated next to one another. They were just sitting there quietly. Although she quickly left, the magical atmosphere which had surrounded the two was broken. After a moment, they finally pick themselves up and sigh deeply as they left their chairs. “What are your plans for the day?” Deng Wu asked curiously as he looked at the young man in front of him. “I need to visit Gao Yan,” Hui Yue said while looking around. The feeling of being observed had vanished while he and Deng Wu had been speaking together, and this sudden change made him even more worried than he had been previously. Regardless he was grateful that whatever it was that was watching him, whether real or imagined, was gone. Now he could get some information from his friend. “I need to get going soon. I am worried that someone might appear and follow me,” He sighed, and with a nod to Deng Wu, Hui Yue left the mansion and walked to the Black Lion.
Now that the feeling of being observed had vanished, Hui Yue could not help but feel that it had been something he himself had made up. That it was just his paranoia and that there truly had been nothing there to being with. “I can’t do anything about it anyway,” The young man sighed as he picked up his pace and almost ran to the poorer area of town where the Black Lion was located.
Moving swiftly, Hui Yue quickly arrived at the Black Lion and just before he entered, he stopped outside the door to catch his breath and soothe his beating heart. He was still paranoid, perhaps even more so now that the feeling of being observed had vanished, but as he had said earlier nothing could be done about it. With a deep breath, he entered the inn. Unlike last time, Hui Yue spent no time in the lower area of the inn and directly headed up the stairs moving towards the floor belonging to Gao Yan. Everyone followed his movements, but no one said anything. Hui Yue continued up the stairs until he opened the door and looked into the room filled with memory stones. Experts stood in front of desks storing information into memory stones. The clerks sorted these memory stones to ensure that the information went to the right place. At the very back of the room was Gao Yan. He was focused on whatever it was that was placed on the desk, and his mouth was constantly moving, but no words were coming out.
Looking at Gao Yan, Hui Yue was not in the mood to interrupt his friend; instead, he stood back waiting patiently for the older man to finish what he was dealing with. The minutes went by slowly, but Hui Yue was not bored as he looked around and saw one expert after another appear. ‘It makes no sense to have mute servants,’ Hui Yue mused to himself as he saw one memory stone being filled with information after another, ‘And the fact they can’t write makes even less sense. As long as the information is within their mind, it can be recorded into a memory stone, but the third prince seemed completely certain that none of them would talk about what happens in the garden. Such certainty in his servants was odd for a man who seemed very thorough in what he did. Therefore, there had to be more to it than just them being illiterate and mute. He probably used some kind of oath combined with the trust; Hui Yue had a hard time seeing how just being mute could earn such a position in Shiu Ye’s inner circle.
While Hui Yue was focusing on these thoughts deep within, Gao Yan had finished what he was working on and now he was the one waiting. Smiling apologetically, the young man left his spot near the wall and sat on the chair opposite Gao Yan, “I visited the third prince yesterday,” He started. “And while I was there I met the people he calls mute servants. He told me that these servants of his could neither write nor speak, but none of these things would matter if he had a memory stone in hand. Still, the third prince seemed sure that they would not betray him. This is something I find odd.”
“Not only that,” He continued. “When I was led to the exit by one of these servants, a mute who was supposedly only a Disciple ranked expert, I could neither hear the person’s breathing, his footsteps, or anything else. Had I not physically seen the person in front of me then I wouldn’t know he was there. That is definitely not something a person of the Disciple rank is capable of. Who are these servants really?”
Gao Yan was quiet for some time, and against Hui Yue’s expectations the older friend did not start to look through specific memory stones; instead, he leaned back in his chair and looked at his young friend with a complicated expression in his eyes.
“These mute servants are famous for only working for the third prince. They are a group of servants, but no one really knows much about them. I once tried to get a person to join this group, but I never saw her again.” The silence once more descended upon the two while Gao Yan had a deep furrow on his forehead. Seeing how focused his friend was, Hui Yue said nothing to interrupt his train of thoughts. He just waited for him to reach the end and speak about what he knew.
“One would think they would have some aggression towards the third prince for forcing them to be silent and not write, but it seems to be quite the opposite instead. Some families offer their children so they can have a chance to join this group and become one of the prince’s most trusted confidants. I imagine that they either have a blood oath with the prince or they some other technique is used to force them to be loyal no matter what happens. Their cultivation… well no one really knows much about them. No one knows how strong they truly are, but whenever you meet them, they have the aura of a lower dantian cultivator. No much stronger apparently than commoners really.”
Another moment of silence appeared while Gao Yan was rubbing his temples; he hated having inadequate information about anything, and these mute servants were one of the few places he had not managed to gain information about. “Back when he assassinated the lover of his older brother, no one knows how he did it. It is mainly because of this that many questions about whether or not it was him still floated around, but I imagine that someone as strong as the third prince has strong forces supporting him. Forces which are far stronger than he himself. These forces are there to protect him but also to wait on his every whim. If these experts are the mute servants, I could imagine they could have easily killed her, but I have absolutely no proof on this matter.”
Hearing the answer from Gao Yan, Hui Yue could not help but frown slightly. Although the mute servant had seemed to be nothing more than a Disciple there had been a dangerous air around him. The fact that he could move around silently made Hui Yue believe that Gao Yan was correct. That these servants were likely his secret force hidden in plain sight. They were close to him at all times yet people whom no one who were used to traveling in the proximity of the prince would fear. They were the perfect fighting force in every way.
“I was wondering,” Hui Yue continued while scratching his chin. “Have you heard anything about Sha Yun? I have not seen her more than once or twice since I returned. It is very unlike her to vanish like this.”
“I think she found a group of friends she trains with,” Gao Yan said with a shrug of his shoulders. “This is the capital of Taiyang Kingdom, and there are quite a few humans with mixed blood. These humans have become good friends with Sha Yun. I think she spends most of her time together with them,” Gao Yan said with a smile and hearing the words Hui Yue suddenly felt a stone lift from his heart. Although he had no romantic feelings for Sha Yun, she was important to him. Hearing that she was doing well with new friends made him incredibly happy for her. “Still, I need to speak with her next time I see her.” He reminded himself, and although he was speaking to himself, his older friend Gao Yan could not help but laugh a little.
“Do you want information about what your golden friend has been doing recently?” He asked, but Hui Yue shook his head. “He is not someone as important as Sha Yun, but he is still a good friend who shares a similar goal as me. It is none of my business what he does just as my actions have nothing to do with him. And if I am not mistaken he is most likely doing something with all the Crusaders in town. He has a distinct hate for Crusaders.” Hui Yue laughed, and his laughter and reaction was something which Gao Yan never would have expected, but he nodded his head in understanding.
“Okay, next up I need to meet up with Ma Kong so I will get going,” Hui Yue excused himself as he stood up from the chair in which he had been seated. “The weapon I use is still Black Blood, and although it has served me well, it is about time that I change it for something new.” He said with a nod as he turned around and left the Black Lion.
‘It is not only a new weapon you need,’ Lan Feng said from within the dantian cave. ‘You have been using the same martial art techniques since you were a child and your spiritual arts are the same. I did not teach you new ones when you were in the Dungeons of the Divine as you needed to focus on surviving, and teaching you while Wan Qiao was dealing with your training would have been counter productive. Even more so, teaching you during a war would have simply been idiotic,’ Lan Feng continued. ‘But now that we are in the capital of a kingdom, we can take the time to learn new techniques, both martial arts and spiritual arts. Also, we can help you more efficiently shape your Wu Wei for attacks, but before that you need to get your hands on a new weapon. I would prefer if chose a sword since I mainly have techniques which work with them.’ Lan Feng ended, and Hui Yue nodded his head. So far he had primarily focused on cultivating. On constantly increasing the internal energy within him, yet now he knew he should focus on this. He needed attacks, and he needed defensive techniques. He needed to increase his strength not just by cultivating but by increasing his attack power. This would make him far deadlier in battle.
Nodding his head, Hui Yue agreed. It had been far too long since he last learned new skills, and he needed to improve. He needed everything Lan Feng could teach him to become strong. He was all too aware that he could not solely rely on his old skills and his beastly transformation to win the coming fights.