Dark Clouds Loom Over the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament
Ming Feizhen’s plan worked as predicted.
Shen Yiren told the emperor that the warriors weren’t pleased to know that Long Zaitian cut the line like that to go straight to Song Ou, which was received with agreement from most of the military officials. The imperial martial arts tournament is an opportunity for most martial artists to make a name for themselves. So you can’t just create a spot just because you wanted to. Most of the ministers in the hall agreed, plus the emperor was in his silly-daddy mode, so he passed down the order before Long Zaitian even had a chance to object.
Long Zaitian and Song Ou had to start from the semi-finals.
Thus, the semi-finals which the two were now participants of developed into a livelier event. The atmosphere from the crowd was intense, with it growing more intense each round, consequently raising the energy for finals tomorrow to a new level.
Song Ou and Long Zaitian were going to enter the finals after finishing up in the semi-finals. Tomorrow is the last day of the imperial martial arts tournament. The emperor will be bringing the royal family with him to spectate it. That was what the warriors were eagerly waiting for.
The most important day of the imperial martial arts tournament was the last day where they would have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills before the emperor himself.
In regards to safety in the imperial palace, the Black Winds Thirteen Wings didn’t appear again in the imperial city after Shen Yiren formed tight guard structures. Instead, they killed another skilled Qilin Guard, except this time, Long Zaitian didn’t fly off the handle as though he had accepted his face.
The bouts for today were over.
Long Zaitian hurried towards the imperial study. He got forced into the semi-finals today out of the blue. With his skills, it obviously wasn’t hard to win, but it was just a waste of time though.
He wanted to report to the emperor about the orange prince mutiny plan after the conference ended. But instead, Shen Yiren ended up screwing him over and making him fight. It was an easy competition for him. The day had passed and he didn’t know if the emperor was in the study or not. He could only go and try his luck. But the orange prince’s plan to revolt must be reported.
Long Zaitian wasn’t an idiot. While he sports a crude appearance, he’s actually quite smart, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to ensnare Song Ou in his trap the way he did.
He knew that the orange prince’s plan wouldn’t succeed.
The current emperor is a competent emperor. The ministers have no idea how much power he truly wields. Take for example the top three in Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings. All three of them are overwhelmingly powerful characters. The three of them only take orders from the emperor. They won’t give anybody else time of the day.
The orange prince’s plan is too flamboyant. With the Black Winds Thirteen Wings killing a person each day, they’ve already attracted the attention of many. There’s bound to be more than one person or group tracking them in the capital. The orange prince thinks that he’ll be able to get his hands on the emperor’s throat as soon as they spring into action, but that’s just naive thinking.
With the Black Winds Thirteen Wings around in the imperial martial arts tournament grounds, the emperor has definitely set up a trap to with no escape. Maybe those three aforementioned people will show up too.
The orange prince’s plan can’t possibly succeed.
Forget the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, if the emperor were to be on guard, the orange prince might still fail even if he were to order the entirety of the league of assassins.
Long Zaitian was flustered. He wasn’t worried about the orange prince getting screwed, but himself getting screwed! If he doesn’t report the matter beforehand and the orange prince exposes him, there’ll be nothing he can do to wiggle his way out.
As soon as he entered the Forbidden City, Long Zaitian asked a low-ranking eunuch to notify the emperor.
He waited for a long time. And then he was told the emperor was in the study right now reading!!
Long Zaitian followed the eunuch closely. When he entered the study, he knelt down to salute the emperor.
“I have a matter to report!”
After a long silence, the emperor continued to read instead of responding.
Long Zaitian continued to kneel quietly. After a while, Long Zaitian couldn’t stand the silence and added: “It is about his highness, the orange prince and the safety of the nation!”
The emperor finally responded to him. He only heard what sounded like the emperor shutting his book and slowly ask: “Minister Long, what is it?”
When the young voice entered his ears, Long Zaitian felt like he’d been thrown into an ice-bath.
The voice was very clear and extremely familiar. It belonged to none other than the one who blackmailed him yesterday, the orange prince!
Long Zaitian quickly raised his head and saw the orange prince sitting on the emperor’s seat. The orange prince chuckled coldly and asked: “Minister Long, you don’t need to be so rushed to salute me. What did you want to report? Something about the orange prince and the safety of the nation? What might you be referring to?”
Long Zaitian felt a chill run down his spine. Not only did the orange prince read his mind, he was even a step ahead, waiting for him in the study. This place was very deep in the palace. Princes were not permitted to stay here once they grew up. The orange prince seemed to be able to come and go as he pleased. What level of power must he hold to accomplish such a feat?
“Were you going to tell my father that I hired the Black Winds Thirteen Wings and was the mastermind behind the string of murders?” The orange prince looked at Long Zaitian like he was a god-like being, like Long Zaitian’s life was in his hands.
“I don’t understand. You swore allegiance to me yesterday and yet now you are going back on your word.”
“I am not going back on my word. It is just that what you are after is too grand. I am but a normal person. I do not possess the competence to follow your lead.”
“Is there any point in reporting it to my father? Do you have proof?” The orange prince chuckled coldly once again, “You can’t even find a trace of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings. Framing a prince for treason will result in the death penalty.”
Long Zaitian resolutely replied: “That’s still better than actually revolting!”
“Man must try, though the result lies with the heavens. It frankly doesn’t matter if you understand my plan or not. I just want an answer from you. Do you want to keep your life?”
The orange prince glared daggers at Long Zaitian and killing intent came from both sides of the book shelf. It was clear that the orange prince’s men had locked-on to Long Zaitian as their target. If his reply was to the displeasure of the orange prince, he would die on the spot.
Long Zaitian’s attempt at mutiny was stopped. He was aware he was helpless. He lowered his head like a defeated man: “Your highness, you predicted everything very well; I accept defeat. Do as you will with me.”
However, the orange prince replied: “Why would a man mention death so easily? I have always liked you and felt that you were a rare talent. I took a liking to you when you created the Parting Song Fists back then. You’re even more amazing now. Why would I not take such talent under my wing? You’re still just a vice-captain of the Qilin Guards and that is because my father has poor judgement.”
Long Zaitian replied in a puzzled tone: “Your highness, you mean……”
“A man does not desire anything but power and women. As long as you assist me, the captain of the Qilin Guards position will be yours.”
The orange prince’s promise was like that of the devil’s whisper, slowly making its way to Long Zaitian’s heart.
I also heard… that after we parted ways, you went to Liu Shan Men but ended up getting humiliated by Shen Yiren before everybody.”
Long Zaitian couldn’t help but blush: “That… that…..”
“I have one other thing I want you to know. When I was in a pinch, that bitch Shen Yiren who doesn’t know any better resisted. I have plenty of beauties. You could have a harem if you wish.”
Long Zaitian quickly retorted: “No, I can’t do that!!”
“I thought so. Those vulgar women can’t compare to Shen Yiren who I’d capture for you. I’ll strip her naked and send her to your bedroom.”
Long Zaitian’s heart sped up. He saved the image of Shen Yiren sleeping sexily in high-definition and his chest started burning up.
“I-Is that true?”
“Heh. Once I succeed, Shen Yiren will be your wife! And then you can make it true, can’t you?”
Long Zaitian clenched his teeth: “Your highness, what exactly is it that you want me to do?”
The orange prince revealed a friendly smile but his smile sent a cold chill down the back of Long Zaitian: “I want thirteen spots. Thirteen spots in the Qilin Guards’ ranks.”
“Thirteen spots… The Black Winds Thirteen Wings……”
“There’s nothing to think about, Minister Long.”
The orange prince cut off Long Zaitian’s train of thought.
“Yesterday plus today, I’ve killed twelve of your men. I don’t care if I have to continue killing to reach my goal number.” The orange prince’s friendly smile disappeared. A stern look appeared in his eyes, “Minister Long, do you want to be the thirteenth corpse, or do you want glory and riches with a beauty in your arms? Make your mind up right now!”
The second day was the final day of the imperial martial arts tournament.
The last round of the semi-finals would determine the final six contestants.
Then there would be eight finalist bouts with four bouts fought. Then the two winners would square off in a final bout.
The emperor will start spectating from the finalist rounds.
Liu Shan Men was in charge of guarding the imperial city’s main gate inside and out.
The emperor’s security detail was responsible for protecting the relatives of the royal family spectating, the major ministers and their families.
The Qilin Guards took up their posts close to the emperor, and were in charge of guarding the royal family.
And on this day, thirteen unfamiliar people blended in with the Qilin Guards.
The thirteen of them were going to turn the venue into anything but a martial arts tournament.