Chapter 428 – Opening the Magic Cube Again
Sky Fortune City, Marshal Quarters –
The Marshal Quarters had been surrounded for over a month by the army, and not even servants were allowed to leave. But now, within a quarter of an hour of Yang Zhen’s death, those officials that had realized the vast changes that were about to sweep through the nation instantly lifted the order of house arrest for Qin Xiao.
Undoubtedly, Crown Prince Yang Lin would make a return and ascend to the throne. As for Qin Xiao, he would be restored to his position as one of the highest officials, and his status would be even more terrifying than it was in the past.
During this time, anyone who didn’t try to curry favor with these two would be fools.
Qin Xiao was surrounded by many officials that had come to the Marshal Quarters. They discussed plans to pave the way for a smoother future.
Even those who accompanied Qin Xiao received a high level of respect. Even nobles dared not to disrespect them. These nobles constantly referred to them as ‘little brother’ or ‘old master’ in case they be seen as not paying their due respects.
Especially those nobles that had defected to Yang Zhen’s side before. They were all in absolute fear, and they all wished that they could cut out their hearts and let Qin Xiao know the depths of their newfound loyalty.
It had to be known that in a struggle for authority, the winning side would often engage in a bloody purge. As for all those that had followed Yang Zhen, they might also be exterminated.
In this situation, how could they not be afraid? They all wished to take Qin Xiao as their own father and venerate him in the same way.
As Qin Xiao and the group of nobles that followed him entered past the gates of the Qin residence, they saw a massive Vermillion Bird fly down onto the courtyard. Its brilliant red feathers burned with radiant flames as it sent out a pulsing aura; all of the nobles’ throats twitched as they stared as this magnificent creature.
“Master! Master! Mister Lin has brought the Young Miss back, they are waiting for you in the rear courtyard.” A middle-aged steward said.
“Xingxuan…” Qin Xiao shook, and his heart filled with a surge of emotion. He thought that he would never have the chance to see his precious granddaughter ever again. But who knew that in just one night, the situation would change so much.
Qin Xiao followed the steward to the rear courtyard. The other nobles stayed back. They were aware of their own status. What kind of existence was Lin Ming? How could they possibly have the qualifications to see him? To someone like Lin Ming, nobles, royalty, or even the emperor himself were nothing but clouds of smoke, merely meaningless existences.
Therefore these people very casually greeted the housekeeper and sat down in the lobby, drinking tea and chatting with each other.
As soon as Qin Xiao entered the rear courtyard. Qin Xingxuan gave a loud cry and threw herself into Qin Xiao’s arms. She had anxiously worried over her grandfather’s condition for over a month. Now that she saw her grandfather safe and unharmed, Qin Xingxuan couldn’t suppress all the pain and worry she had been keeping down until now; tears flowed down her cheeks like strings of crystal beads.
“Grandfather is alright.” Qin Xiao patted Qin Xingxuan on the back. At this age, Qin Xiao had already lived through many great storms. In this world, there was very little that could cause Qin Xiao to feel great sorrow or great happiness. Now, what Qin Xiao worried about was only the legacy of his Qin Family, as well as his most precious children and grandchildren.
Qin Xiao looked at Qin Xingxuan, his eyes full of grandfatherly love. To have such an outstanding granddaughter was truly the blessing of the heavens.
Qin Xiao glanced at Lin Ming. Towards this amazing young man in front of him, Qin Xiao wasn’t sure what to feel. Gratitude, happiness, fear, awe… all sorts of emotions intertwined in the same place. Qin Xiao didn’t even know what he should call Lin Ming.
Before this, he had received the news that the current Seven Profound Martial House Master had already been slain by Lin Ming in a single instant.
The young and respectful youth in front of him was a man that even the Seven Profound Valleys’ Valley Master had to pay three points of respect to! This was a level that had already surpassed Qin Xiao’s understanding.
He hoped that he could urge Qin Xingxuan and Lin Ming to wed. But, this sort of matter wasn’t something he could ask. He no longer had the ability to arrange or manage his granddaughter’s life.
“Marshal Qin, please catch up with Xingxuan. I will leave first for a moment.” Lin Ming bowed as a respectful junior would, and then left the room…
Outside of the room, the middle-aged steward was waiting for him.
“Mister Lin, there is someone waiting to see you.”
“See me? I thought I said I didn’t want to see anyone?” Lin Ming didn’t want to see the nobles of Sky Fortune City. All they wanted to do was to kiss up to him and shower him with gifts, he had no interest towards any of this.
“Well… she said she was an old acquaintance of yours.”
“Old acquaintance?” The first one Lin Ming thought of was Lan Yunyue. However, when he saw who it was he was a bit taken aback. The one waiting for him was a young, delicate looking girl who had an air of elegance.
This was… Bai Jingyun.
Bai Jingyun and Murong Zi were called the Seven Profound Proud Pair, and they were also top characters within the Seven Profound Martial House. Lin Ming and Bai Jingyun didn’t have much contact with each other, it was just that he had helped her make several inscription symbols for treasures before. Towards Bai Jingyun, Lin Ming didn’t have a deep impression, and had nearly forgotten who she was.
When Bai Jingyun saw Lin Ming, she faintly smiled and bowed, “Mister Lin.”
Lin Ming was a bit awkward at being called Mister Lin. He said, “Please refer to me as you used to. After all, we used to be fellow disciples.”
“Mm… then I’ll call you Brother Lin.” Bai Jingyun smiled. “To be honest, when I first saw Brother Lin enter the Seven Profound Martial House, I thought that Brother Lin had infinite potential to grow. But, I never thought that in just a few years, Brother Lin would have already reached this point…”
Bai Jingyun couldn’t help but see. The first time that Lin Ming had rushed into the Ten Thousand Killing Array, his rank had been lower than hers. But now, even the Seven Profound Martial House Master had been instantly killed by him.
This was simply like a dream.
“Mm, I’ve obtained some great opportunities. My luck has been too good.”
“Destiny is also a part of talent.” Bai Jingyun shook her head, and then looked unsure, as her eyes flashed with a strange light, “Brother Lin, may I ask you a question?”
Bai Jingyun hesitated, and then slowly asked, “A year and a half ago… were you the one… that killed Ouyang Dihua?”
There were only a few people within the entire Sky Fortune City that knew of the grudge between Lin Ming and Ouyang Dihua. Besides Yang Zhen, the cloaked man, and some others, no one else was aware.
People didn’t even know that Yang Zhen had drawn relations with the cloaked man. They only assumed that Yang Zhen had gained the backing of some great figure within the Seven Profound Valleys. As for who it was, no one knew.
Bai Jingyun naturally didn’t know. However, she was able to trace some clues and make a guess. For instance, in the past before Lin Ming had left the Sky Fortune Kingdom, he had his parents moved away. The new Martial House Master came from the Acacia Faction, Ouyang Boyan had once visited Sky Fortune Kingdom, and after news of Lin Ming’s death spread, Yang Zhen began to move against the Qin Family…
This series of events were all related. Bai Jingyun managed to connect them, and therefore she had come to ask Lin Ming to verify this.
At this moment, Lin Ming didn’t have any reason to hide it. He nodded and said, “I was the one who killed Ouyang Dihua.”
After Bai Jingyun heard Lin Ming’s words, she let out a long breath. Her eyes gently closed, and her eyelashes trembled.
The pressure that had been on her heart and mind for this past year and a half seemed to vanish. Although this matter was now complete, and she had obtained a truth that had no significance behind it, she still felt tired.
As her eyes opened, Bai Jingyun was calm once again, “Thank you, Brother Lin…”
Lin Ming shook his head, “There is no need to thank me. The reason that I killed him was because he had the intention of killing me first.”
Humans were all different. In truth, the Acacia Faction was not so terrible to female disciples. If they could lay down their modesty and pride, then they would be able to obtain many things that they desired from the Acacia Faction. There were even many girls that only had ordinary talent, but were still considered beautiful, that were desperately trying to join the Acacia Faction in order to obtain wealth and longer youth.
Lin Ming sighed, and then took out a pair of pill bottles from his spatial ring. He said, “Senior-apprentice Sister Bai, of these pill bottles, one is for you. As for the other, could you pass it to Lan Yunyue if you see her? These medicines have very mild properties, and if you eat them carefully, it will guarantee that you step into the Pulse Condensation period…”
Bai Jingyun’s talent was considered good within the Seven Profound Martial House. As a martial artist, she also hoped that one day she would be able to break through to the Pulse Condensation period. But now, as she looked at these pill bottles, Bai Jingyun didn’t feel any joy. After experiencing a number of things, it was as if she no longer wished to pursue these things.
Bai Jingyun hesitated and then silently received the pair of pill bottles. She said, “Miss Lan has been managing her fabric shop in the northern end of town for the last few years. About Brother Lin returning, she is probably already aware…”
Bai Jingyun was implying that Lan Yunyue didn’t want to see Lin Ming. Now that things had changed between them, there was no longer any meaning in them seeing each other. It would just make things embarrassing for the both of them.
Lin Ming was silent, and then sighed in his heart. Perhaps these calm and peaceful days were much more suitable for Lan Yunyue… this bottle of pills that he gave to her could be considered the last of their karma. From now on, all that was between them would completely vanish into nothing…
After Lin Ming bid Bai Jingyun farewell, he returned to his room alone. He had already told the steward that no one was to disturb him, not even to deliver meals.
Like this, Lin Ming entered the ethereal martial intent and sat in meditation for three or four hours.
When he opened his eyes, it was already evening.
Lin Ming stood up and then took out a small jar from his spatial ring. There was a thick red liquid within this small jar; this was the blood essence that he had taken from Ouyang Boyan as well as Ouyang Boxu!
From the last time that Lin Ming had touched the Magic Cube with the blood essence of a Houtian master and opened it to today, it had been nearly two years.
In two years, Lin Ming’s strength had reached the extreme Xiantian realm!
What he wanted to know was: could a Xiantian master’s blood essence open the Magic Cube once more?
Lin Ming impatiently wanted to verify this hypothesis.
Lin Ming ruefully smiled and then shook his head, mocking himself, “My mind is too messy. This mentality isn’t suitable for opening the Magic Cube…”
The more valuable something was, the more he needed his heart and mind to be at peace. Otherwise if his heart was spurred by greed, it might expose all sorts of flaws in his mind.
Currently, Lin Ming wasn’t too desperate or desiring of the legacies within the Magic Cube. What he wanted the most was to explore the secrets of the Magic Cube. Where did it come from? Who created it? How was it made? What was it guiding him to do?
Lin Ming always felt that the Magic Cube was sentient. It was only that this Magic Cube seemed to stand at the height of all existence, and looked down on everything with indifferent disdain, including even Lin Ming himself.
This so-called heartless to all of heaven and earth, taking all of existence as nothing but straw dogs; to the Magic Cube, it cared about nothing. It was indifferent to everything, and would stay this way despite any change to the world…
As Lin Ming’s mood calmed down again, he stripped off his clothes, exposing a strange symbol on his left chest. This pattern was the mysterious inscription of the Magic Cube…