The Orange Prince is up to Shit Again
There was a special building at the centre of the Qilin Guards office. It was the Euphorbia royleana Boiss (horn of a unicorn). All four windows there were closed with only a single door. It was the only room in the Qilin Guards’ courtyard which was designed like that.
Their unicorn horn, Liu Shan Men’s flying fish pavilion, and the emperor’s security detail’s yinglong chamber are the same. Only those at the highest ranks in the three respective offices could enter those rooms, and the grounds are usually forbidden from being accessed. They were reserved for discussing highly secretive matters. Trespassers can be killed on the spot, even if they are members of the office.
The unicorn horn room had a guest today.
Long Zaitian allowed another to sit in the seat of the master.
Seated in the captain’s seat of the Qilin Guards was a handsome, upright and domineering looking young man. By his side were two people from the martial world. One was dressed like a scholar with his long sword hanging from his waist. The other had a thick back and was a man with a lot of muscle. The two of them stood still, completely unmoving like mountains. The intervals between their breaths were long, clearly indicating that their internal strength was profound, no less than the Seventeen Hidden Dragons.
People of such calibre were a rare find in the capital, so it was even more surprising that the young man had two by his side.
Long Zaitian revealed a smile which was intended to kiss up to the individual. He personally handed him a cup of tea: “I was able to teach that Song Ou a lesson yesterday thanks to you, your highness. I am sincerely thankful for how much you look after me, your highness!”
The young man sitting in the seat of the unicorn horn was the second son of the current emperor, the orange prince, Li Chengzhi. And the two by his side were none other than the leader of Mount Hua, Jia Yunfeng, and the Cold Temple deserter, Xiang Batian.
The orange prince didn’t take the cup of tea. He instead pointed to the table to indicate to Long Zaitian who obediently placed it onto the table.
“Sure. We’ll humiliate him during the day and then knock on his door at night. We’ll torture them day and night. I’d like to see them act tough after that!” The orange prince had an evil exhilarated look in his eyes like a cat that was toying with a mouse, “Those cowards from Liu Shan Men took advantage of the fact that my father shields them to hit me. Captain Long, you did well. Continue to send men there to beat them up until they stop acting arrogant.”
Long Zaitian laughed in a flattered tone: “You are too kind, your highness. I have always hated Liu Shan Men. I just could not find an opportunity to vent. Your intervention actually helped me a lot, your highness. You did not see how pitiful, sad and wronged that Song Ou bastard looked after the conference ended!”
The two of them looked at each other as they laughed.
However, after a moment, Long Zaitian suddenly hesitantly said: “It is just……”
Seeing Long Zaitian hesitate to speak, the orange prince grumbled: “Do you have speaking issues?”
Long Zaitian chuckled, but didn’t come out with it. He instead took a round-about way: “Your highness, I share your hatred for Liu Shan Men, and we have cooperated many times on minor and major matters, can I consider myself a close friend of yours now?”
The orange prince daggered him quickly, then let out a strange laughed and said: “Captain Long, are you still standing on ceremony when we’re already here where we are? Did you like the girls I gifted you? Hahahaha.”
“Oh, yes, yes, I really liked them.” Long Zaitian laughed and said: “I have settled those girls in my home. I am a lonely man, so I am very thankful for your considerate thoughts, your highness.”
“Why are you acting like we’re strangers? Ministers in the imperial court must know how to carry themselves and read the situation. Name a minister that hasn’t benefited in some way through me? I’ll be sure to reward you handsomely if we succeed! Hahahaha.”
The orange prince laughed cheerfully.
Long Zaitian laughed along with him and then slowly stopped himself: “But… who are the twenty plus warriors you arranged to stay here? You only told me to keep it a secret when you entrusted them to me, your highness. I do not know any more than that which concerns me.
I have kept their presence a secret with my status. However, they come and go freely from our courtyard, leaving early and returning late, sometimes bringing weapons with them when they return. A lot of people have eyes on our office, yet they completely disregard them. It is not viable for them to hide in our courtyard for an extended period of time. I would like you to ask you to get them to leave, your highness.”
“That’s what you were worried about?” The orange prince frowned and grumbled: “Captain Long, my friends in the pugilistic world are in a difficult situation. It’s not hard for you to give a helping hand, is it? Captain Long, you are considered a top-tier individual in the pugilistic world, and yet you can’t do something as simple as this? You’re not much of a friend now, are you?”
“If you had asked me to just host a few struggling friends from the pugilistic world, I would house them even if they were not your friends. I would even house those from the Demon Realm Sky Palace as long as they were men who were loyal to their friends. However, I would say that keeping even just one who’d kill his own friends is one too many.”
Long Zaitian’s tone turned serious as he spoke. He stopped referring to himself as a subordinate and referred to himself less formally.
“Since I have said that much, I would like to ask you something, your highness. Are there those from the Black Winds Thirteen Wings among those twenty plus people? Why is it that since they came here, our men have never had a day of peace? Why is it that our men always seem to be the ones getting the short end of the stick out of the three offices? Why did they coincidentally sneak into the imperial city on the day that we swapped guard duty with Liu Shan Men on that day?”
Long Zaitian slammed his hand on the table with aggression in his eyes, causing the cup of tea to bounce.
“Your highness, allow me to ask you, were my men who died recently killed by them?!”
The cup of tea flew into the orange prince’s forehead this time.
“How dare you!” Xiang Batian who was by the orange prince’s side quickly reacted with his exceptional vision and clear hands. He used two fingers to clamp the cup of tea and glared at Long Zaitian angrily. He then said: “How dare you try and hurt my prince when I, Xiang Batian am here?!”
The two skilled fighters exchanged glares. The visual contest was so intense you could virtually see sparks.
Long Zaitian got a little surprised too. He then scanned Xiang Batian. Xiang Batian isn’t well known in the capital so Long Zaitian wasn’t familiar with him. But the way he reacted without giving off any prior signs was proof that he was skilled.
Jia Yunfeng who stood at the side had his eyes shut and gave no reaction. But you could imagine that if he were to take action, his first sword strike would be aimed at Long Zaitian’s neck. Mount Hua sect is well-known throughout the pugilistic world. Jia Yunfeng’s swift sword skills were well-known even among the young. Trying to defend against his swift sword strikes in such a squishy place would be a huge pain.
The orange prince got frightened, but then revealed an understanding expression and signalled for Xiang Batian who was eager for a fight to stop.
“Captain Long, why must you be like this? If you have a question for me, I shall faithfully answer you. Correct, they are from the Black Winds Thirteen Wings. The others are throw-away substitutes when need-be. Are you happy now?”
“Happy?” Long Zaitian angrily exclaimed: “My men got killed, and yet you are asking me if I am happy?”
“Hah, men are but just people who share benefits with you, with the prerequisite being that you must share resources together.” The orange prince waved his hands like it was no big deal, “They may be your men now, but they soon won’t be. I was just worried that you’d be in a dilemma, so I kindly helped you get rid of them.”
Long Zaitian was outraged by what he heard. He glared and exclaimed: “I do not understand. Please be clear, your highness, what exactly is going on?!”
“Alright, aright, alright. It’s best to be straight-forward. I’m the type of person who has to speak his mind. I find it embarrassing to hide my thoughts.”
The orange prince looked at Long Zaitian and spoke slowly: “Captain Long, everybody has something they desire. What you wanted were accolades, fame and benefits. You now have all of those things, and so you want more. However, you can’t have them because there’s a leader who holds a rank higher than yours, therefore, you will never be able to be the big-wig.”
The prince’s words seemed to speak to Long Zaitian’s heart. He calmed down a little, and then slowly started to listen to the orange prince.
“Who doesn’t want to accomplish great things in their life? Why must you play second-fiddle? I understand that feeling very well. I want to shine, but there’s someone of higher rank than me blocking my path.”
Long Zaitian was shocked by what he heard. Those words were the equivalent of treason.
The orange prince is of the highest rank of royalty as a prince, so who else could be of higher rank and be blocking his path? Do you really need to ask? This is the equivalent of a revolt!
Long Zaitian broke out in a cold sweat after what he heard: “The Black Winds Thirteen Wings are your men… They killed… to… to…”
His words were stuck in his throat. Long Zaitian couldn’t bring the words to his mouth.
The orange prince walked up to him as though he were a student who had lost his way and slowly said: “They’re your subordinates. Their death was worth it. How could I arrange for the Black Winds Thirteen Wings to join the Qilin Guards if they don’t die? How could I get them to replace your subordinates? How could I get them to sneak into the imperial city and participate in the imperial martial arts tournament? On the day of the tournament, Liu Shan Men will be guarding the city gates, while my father’s entourage will be protecting the royal family, and so their fighting power will be diminished. Your Qilin Guards will be in charge of safety at the venue. If we join hands, what could my father do? And then, I will make him pass the throne to… me!”*
He’s nuts! He’s nuts! He’s nuts!
The orange prince is planning to revolt!
When Long Zaitian understood everything, he suddenly realised that he was now in a precarious situation.
He had now heard the orange prince’s plan. If he didn’t approve of it, he’d be killed on the spot. If he agreed to it… Good god, joining a revolt would mean the execution of one’s whole clan. The orange prince was a prince, and the empress’s beloved son, so he wouldn’t die, but the heads of all the family members of Long Zaitian’s family would roll.
“Long Zaitian, I personally came here today. Do you think you have a choice? You accepted the girls I gifted you. Are you not aware that you’re in the same boat as me?”
Long Zaitian’s expression looked painful. He thought the orange prince’s visit was sudden, and admittedly too open and upright. So it was all so that he could force his hand.
“I have experts at disguise in my residence. If you do not join me, I can easily get them to disguise as you. I guarantee nobody will be able to tell.”
Long Zaitian felt like he had fell into the devil’s trap with no chance of resistance. The orange prince then added: “Haven’t you always liked that Shen Yiren?”
Long Zaitian’s chest couldn’t help but fire up after hearing her name. He panicked and replied: “Y-Your highness, you mean…?”
“Song Ou has always been an eyesore to me. A beauty like Shen Yiren should be with a true hero.” The orange prince watched Long Zaitian’s expression and knew that he was captivated by what he heard, “Once your become my minister, you will be like a dragon. You will hold the highest degree of achievements among all in my imperial court. So how could I not gift you with a hot wife?”
Long Zaitian who was forced into participating was now burning with passion. He went down on one knee: “Your subordinate… Your subordinate shall serve you however possible!”
“Hahahaha, I knew you were a man who knew how to choose. This was a most fruitful trip.”
Somebody suddenly knocked on the door while the orange prince was laughing, scaring him so much he went pale in the face and almost jolted: “Who goes there?!”
Jia Yunfeng rushed over with a stride and pointed his sword tip to stab his target. His sword technique was unbelievably swift and exited the door as the door swung open. It was as though a ray of light came from the door. In a flash, the tip of his sword scratched the Qilin Guard’s throat. Luckily, he didn’t thrust it further.
The Qilin Guard went pale from fright. However, he suppressed his terror and said: “R-Reporting, vice-captain, Liu Shan Men has brought many men here to cause trouble. They captured Yi Yixian and intend to take him away, saying they had to take him back to Liu Shan Men to interrogate him.”
“How dare they?! Who’s the son of a bitch who dared to cause trouble at my place?!”
Long Zaitian signalled to the orange prince with his eyes, and then angrily stormed out. Jia Yunfeng knew that the Qilin Guard didn’t hear anything, so he sheathed his sword.
“Let’s go! Take me there!” Long Zaitian ran alongside the Qilin Guard and angrily cussed: “I can’t believe I’ve been bullied twice in a single day! Just you wait, you Liu Shan Men bastards!”
*The “me” he used there was the “me” an emperor uses to refer to himself.