The Moon Prince listened to the memorial to the emperor as he slowly swept his gaze across the entire imperial court .
There were 100 respectful-looking chancellors gathered here . On the surface, they put on a show of being loyal civil servants; however, many of them were actually demons and devils who shamelessly sought personal gains .
Even the honorable divine general would have died a gruesome death if he had not had shady individuals protecting him from the shadows .
The Moon Prince remembered the threat of that person and his eventual safety . Then, he thought about his only son’s abnormal calmness . He had his own guesses now .
However, he could not be sure yet .
The morning assembly ended soon enough . The emperor appeared exhausted . Perhaps he had one too many concubines sleeping with him last night .
It was said that the emperor had built a Nature Hall in the White Jade Palace . Only beauties with outstanding looks were allowed to enter . If the women who entered were caught by the emperor, there would be an erotic wrestle on the spot .
If it had not been for the divine general’s reprimands, the emperor would have carried out more of such licentious acts .
Even so, he had been stopped by the divine general countless times .
When he thought of this, the Moon Prince could not help but look at the other two princes leading the military . The Writ Prince was not here yet, while the Bright Prince looked tired . His back was hunched, and he appeared emaciated . He was only in his forties, and yet he was in such a decrepit state . It was clear that he was under immense pressure .
The Bright Prince seemed to have noticed the Moon Prince’s gaze . He stroked his beard and nodded toward him .
At this moment, the divine general, Zhu Chengguo, finished reading the memorial, and began his customary advice against licentious acts toward the emperor . He advised the emperor to put more effort into managing the empire’s affairs .
However, he barely spoke two sentences when Imperial Tutor Yang cut him short . He switched the topic of the conversation to the earthquake relief efforts .
The two of them began their customary bickering . Zhu Chengguo flung his sleeves and left, infuriated .
Imperial Tutor Yang, on the other hand, was smiling with his hands behind his back . He clearly had the upper hand again .
The assembly ended . The Moon Prince did not waste any time . The capital was not far from the Moon Prince Mansion . He only needed half a day on horseback .
He brought his guards with him, and they were about to leave the imperial palace .
“Brother,” the mysterious and unpredictable Clear Prince suddenly called out to him .
The Clear Prince wore a genial smile . He appeared to be a harmless middle-aged man . He looked serene with his plump body and huge belly .
However, as time went on, the others would instead be filled with an unexplainable discomfort as they looked at his unchanging gentle smile .
“Do you have any wisdom to impart, brother?” The Moon Prince hastily stopped in his tracks . He waited for the Clear Prince to walk toward him .
The Clear Prince wore a smile and spoke in a gentle tone . “Brother, you have been tiring yourself out for the empire for so long . You must take care of your own body . ”
“Thank you for your concern, brother,” replied the Moon Prince . “You should take care of your own health as well, brother . Now that the empire is shaken and there are disturbances everywhere…”
“It’s precisely because of this that we should keep each other close . ” The Clear Prince suddenly extended an olive branch . “I’m sure our deepest thoughts are similar . As long as we communicate more, it’s not impossible for us to achieve greater things, wouldn’t you say?”
However, the Moon Prince could not understand what he was talking about . His mind was in a mess . He could not tell what the Clear Prince wanted .
When the Clear Prince saw this, he said nothing else . He merely extended a hand and patted the Moon Prince’s right shoulder .
His pat was heavy . As a general who led an army, even though the Moon Prince was not overly skilled in martial prowess himself, he did train his body regularly . However, when the Clear Prince patted his shoulder, he felt half his body go numb .
“Be careful on your way back . ” The Clear Prince ended the conversation with that . He passed by the Clear Prince and left .
The Moon Prince’s expression remained unchanged as he flexed his right shoulder .
“Let’s go,” he ordered softly . He quickly boarded the carriage . His guards hastily followed behind him .
As long as they exited the capital, one of the three great generals of the Moon Prince Mansion, Sun Hai, would be there to escort them back .
However, what surprised the Moon Prince was that the journey back was uneventful .
They reached the prince’s mansion directly .
“The Clear Prince?”
A dozen candlesticks lit up the underground cavern with a bright and warm glow .
Lu Sheng sat cross-legged in the middle of the cavern . Shadows of white fathers appeared and disappeared on his body .
Little Rong, who was more than two meters tall, was kneeling with one knee on the ground before him . He was reporting about his experience in the capital .
“I sense a faint and unexplainable aura on the Moon Prince, but I can’t be sure, that’s why I stayed my hand . Also, there seemed to be someone on the Clear Prince’s side who’s noticed my presence,” Little Rong answered softly .
“I didn’t expect there to be such mystical matters in the imperial court,” Lu Sheng muttered to himself . “I’ll go and meet my father later and check up on him . If he’s fine, we’ll just have to take extra precautions . If something’s happened…” He did not finish his sentence .
Currently, Crane King Cave only had 12 crane demons . It was still considered weak .
“Carry on . Keep protecting the Moon Prince,” Lu Sheng ordered .
“Understood . ” Little Rong retreated slowly, and instantly vanished among the darkness .
Lu Sheng sat upright and mused for a while . ‘Now that I’ve modified the White Feather Mantra, my bodily functions are deteriorating as my cultivation base improved . I’m completely dependent on my White Feather Mantra’s cultivation base to support my daily needs . Unfortunately, I can’t continue to derive this White Feather Mantra . I need more mantras as reference if I want to derive it further . ’
His muyuan meridian point had completely connected with his body right now . It became one of the mysterious meridian points of his body .
It was as if this meridian point had existed from the very beginning . This amazed Lu Sheng to no end .
The White Feather Mantra had also recorded that the muyuan was only one of the external meridian points . There was a total of 108 external meridian points which corresponded with the stars . Every successfully cultivated external meridian point signified that the destiny of a star had been accomplished . The result was a great increase in his lifespan .
However, the White Feather Mantra was only an ordinary mantra of the lowest rank . It did not contain any special powers . The only thing it could cultivate was the most fundamental external muyuan meridian point .
‘If I can’t derive this, it’s too much of a waste to purely improve my competence and cultivation base . Looks like I’ll have to gather more mantras . ’ Lu Sheng made the decision in his mind .
He calmed his spirits and stood up . Then, he levitated out of the cavern along the pitch-black rock path . A few minutes later, he emerged from one of the fake hills of the prince mansion’s garden .
After he left, his men quickly covered the entrance with a rock slab .
This was a safety tunnel which had once been used by the prince’s mansion . It was connected to the underground karst cave . However, it was now used by Lu Sheng to cultivate the mantra .
Lu Sheng stood still in the garden . He patted the dust off his clothes, and strode toward the Moon Prince’s side court .
He walked up to the side court’s door . A troop of guards passed by while doing their rounds . It appeared that the security here was heightened .
Ever since the assassin strike the other day, the guards of the prince’s mansion were affected, although the assassins had been unexplainably repelled .
“Crown Prince . ” The guards saluted him .
“There’s no need for courtesy . I’m going in to meet my father,” Lu Sheng said with a smile .
He went through the door . The Moon Prince was wearing a fox fur coat, and was playing chess with someone in the courtyard . His opponent was Garrison General Yuan, who was also Yuan Jikong’s father .
Huang Jing’s memories did not contain General Yuan’s full name . Perhaps he had forgotten, or perhaps he had never bothered to ask .
This person was big and tall, and his arms hung below his knees . He did not appear strong, but was extremely skilled and experienced . He wore simple, fitting leather armor without a saber . He appeared more like a hunter than a general .
“Jing’er, you’ve come!” When the Moon Prince saw Lu Sheng walking in, he immediately smiled .
“Come here . Your Uncle Yuan has something to tell you as well . ”
“There’s no hurry . ” Lu Sheng glanced at the Moon Prince’s right shoulder . As expected, there was a faint aura slowly emanating from it .
Any Art or method would rely on an external object . As long as it was something that did not belong to a living being, it would emit a disharmonious wavelength .
With a single scan of his unparalleled Spirit Power, Lu Sheng immediately noticed something fishy on the Moon Prince’s shoulder .
The thing on the Moon Prince’s shoulder seemed to be some sort of mark .
Lu Sheng slowly walked up to him . He circulated his White Feather Pure Qi, and instantly suppressed the peculiar aura released by the mark .
He narrowed his eyes, took a few steps closer, and pressed a hand on the Moon Prince’s shoulder .
However, the aura on this mark seemed to be alive . It shrunk to a point, instantly increasing its concentration to the extreme, and suddenly erupted .
“Pchht . ”
His White Feather Pure Qi initially did a perfect job of suppressing it . However, the sudden reaction of the aura completely penetrated the dozen layers of Pure Qi .
The density of his White Feather Pure Qi was like butter against a hot knife before this strange mark . With a single stab, it penetrated deep through the Pure Qi .
Lu Sheng snorted . His immense Spirit Power bore down mercilessly on the mark and crashed into it like a mountain .
The Moon Prince’s shoulder suddenly sank .
A scream came out from the mark . Then, it quieted down, and showed no movements at all .
It was only now that Lu Sheng released his hand from the Moon Prince’s shoulder .
The entire process took no more than a few seconds . The Moon Prince and Garrison General Yuan were waiting for him with puzzled expressions . They did not seem to have heard the sounds just now .
‘Interesting, Clear Prince…’ Lu Sheng felt his own spirit . He had permanently lost some of his volume .
It had only decreased by a little . With this margin, even a million times of such reduction would not harm the core of Lu Sheng’s spirit .
However, this was permanent damage . It should be known that his main body was of the Confusion Realm tier . He was a peak expert who in theory could leave a planet and travel across galaxies . Although he could not compare himself to the ranks of planet-destroying Void Underworld tiers, his martial power was definitely sufficient to rule over a star .
A being of such a level had his Spirit Power permanently damaged .
‘What powerful strength…’ Lu Sheng felt that he might have underestimated this world too much . ‘Although my White Feather Mantra’s competence is profound, its rank is too low, and I can’t derive it yet . If I want to play chess under these skies, I’ll have to rank up as soon as possible . ’
The Moon Prince and Garrison General Yuan were starting to discuss some serious matter now . It was about Garrison General Yuan’s daughters, Yuan Liuliu and Yuan Yuanyuan .
Garrison General Yuan was here to offer their hands in marriage . He was implying his hopes that Lu Sheng would pick one of them as his future princess .
Lu Sheng was not interested in these matters . After responding ambiguously, he applied for a leave of absence from the prince’s mansion . After he obtained the Moon Prince’s approval, he turned around and left .
After he left the courtyard, he looked at his palm .
Some power from the mark remained on his palm . He lifted his palm and inspected it .
There was a dash of black on his palm . It had already spread to his wrist .
‘After losing its activity, it’s still capable of devouring the White Feather Pure Qi and strengthening itself?’ A chill crept into Lu Sheng’s heart .
Currently, a black human face with a round dot between its eyes surfaced from the black patch .
Lu Sheng slowly returned to his bedchamber . He activated the short knife formation on the table .
The black patch had spread onto his forearm, which was now as pitch-black as ink .
He entered the underground karst cave from the entrance underneath his bed .
He quickly sat down with his legs crossed . Yang Essence swiftly surged out of his body and mimicked energy of all kinds of attributes to fight against the black aura .
After trying out more than 30 kinds of energy, the black aura was finally suppressed by a mixture of Yin Chill, Earth Fire, and Essential Soul .
Lu Sheng heaved a long sigh . With a wave of his arm, he immediately severed the black patch on his arm along with the polluted White Feather Pure Qi .
“Splat . ”
A glob of ink-like liquid shot out and splattered on the wall . The rock wall was swiftly dyed black and purple . There was a faint rotten smell in the air .
‘This power… has exhausted nearly 100 years of my White Feather Pure Qi…’ Lu Sheng’s expression was slightly sour . This was his first time incurring such a great loss since his Arrival .
‘I’ll head out and gather major sutras tomorrow to derive a new White Feather Mantra!’ He clearly felt that the current White Feather Mantra was too weak for his liking .
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