Chapter 644: Sailing Through a Sea of Bitterness

Yun Jianyue was startled.

She had been so concerned that she had opened the door rather quickly. This was the last thing she expected.

When she saw his head buried in her chest, killing intent flickered in her eyes. This guy had even taken his mask off beforehand!

Her fingers were like hooks, flying out to take his life, when she suddenly exclaimed in surprise.

Given her cultivation, she could tell at once that his soul had been wounded.

Hm? Could the emperor have made a move? That doesn’t make sense… If the emperor attacked him, how could Zu An still be alive? Yun Jianyue extricated the man from her breasts and carefully examined his condition. Her expression flickered continuously, as if engaged in some intense internal conflict.

...

When Zu An came to, he noticed that he was sitting on his bed. Yun Jianyue was sitting across from him, her beautiful long hair fluttering on its own.

What shocked him more was that they were holding hands. He could clearly feel how soft her hands were.

“Stop thinking random thoughts and focus your mind. Absorb the medicinal force.” Yun Jianyue’s voice was cold. She could immediately sense that he had regained consciousness.

Zu An felt as though he was enveloped in a medicinal aura. He looked down and saw the Five Aggregate Root floating between them, spinning on its own. It was probably being held up by Yun Jianyue’s aura. Its divine radiance slowly drifted towards his nostrils.

Yun Jianyue pulled her hands away. “You fainted just now, so you couldn’t move ki on your own. That was why I lent you a helping hand. Since you are awake now, then you can do it yourself.”

“Do it myself?” Zu An wore a strange expression. I’d love it if I could do it myself. When he saw her ice-cold expression, though, he knew that she wasn’t referring to what he was thinking.

Thus, he started up his inner ki flow, using the medicinal force to nurse his wounded soul.

Sigh, the side effects of ‘Keyboard, come!’ are too strong. I didn’t conjure anything major, yet my soul almost exploded! Do I really have to wait until master rank before I can use it more often?

“Big sis sect master, how do you temper your soul?” he asked.

“Your soul?” Yun Jianyue sneered. “Ask me that question after you reach the master rank.”

Zu An wasn’t willing to let it drop. “So only masters can forge their souls?” 

“Of course.” Yun Jianyue said matter-of-factly. “The first to ninth ranks are for tempering the body. Only when the body is strong enough can it support a more powerful soul. Cultivation is like sailing in a sea of bitterness. The stronger the body, the steadier the boat, so it won’t be torn apart by the tempest. Once the soul is fortified, the boat will have a helm and a sail, allowing you to traverse the sea more quickly…”

Zu An didn’t really understand what she was saying, but it sounded pretty awesome. “Has anyone crossed this sea of bitterness?” he asked.

Yun Jianyue’s breath caught in her throat. Do you know what you’re asking? Her expression gradually eased. “No. There are only people who have sailed a little further than the rest.”

“Oh,” replied Zu An. He had a rough idea of what she meant. It seemed best not to think about forging the soul at his current cultivation rank.

A moment later, Zu An opened his eyes again. He felt compelled to give voice to his thoughts. “By the way, I remember falling into something soft when I came back earlier.” 

Yun Jianyue’s eyelids twitched. “You remember wrongly,” she said coldly.

You have successfully trolled Yun Jianyue for 444… 444… 444…

Zu An was alarmed when he saw the Rage points. Could it be…?

He noticed her expression, and figured it was best if he didn’t pursue the topic any further.

A while later, he suddenly sensed the medicinal aura disappear. When he opened his eyes, he saw that Yun Jianyue was storing away the Five Aggregate Root.

“Come on, I was the one who brought back this thing! Why are you being so stingy?” he whined.

Yun Jianyue arched her eyebrows. “You don’t understand anything! Even though this medicine is good for the soul, too much of it is just as bad as not enough. Once you take in too much of it, it will start to damage your soul. Even I, with my level of cultivation, don’t dare to take in too much of it at once. You can go on if you want to die.”

You have successfully trolled Yun Jianyue for 233… 233… 233…

Zu An laughed apologetically. “I misunderstood, big sis sect master… How about I give you a shoulder massage as a way of saying sorry?”

Something piqued his curiosity. He remembered that the Rage points that he earned in Brightmoon City were mostly one-off, yet now, he often received them in strings. It seems like the stronger the person, the more soul force they can offer…

Yun Jianyue sidestepped his grasping hands. “What shoulder massage? Should I bother exposing your true intentions?”

Zu An laughed awkwardly. “At least my respect and adoration for you are absolutely genuine, big sis sect master.”

Yun Jianyue wasn’t going to entertain him any further. “What happened during your visit with Zhuxie Chixin?” she asked. “Why was your soul wounded?”

Zu An grew serious. “Zhuxie Chixin was suspicious of me as well…”

He roughly recounted what happened.

Yun Jianyue nodded. “Zhuxie Chixin is an old fox. It would be stranger if he wasn’t suspicious. So, how did you deceive him?”

Zu An tried to explain without giving away the details. “I got another set of uniforms from another embroidered envoy…”

How could he tell her about a skill like ‘Keyboard, come!’? She wasn’t even part of his harem.

Yun Jianyue frowned. She clearly did not believe his explanation. “You wear a golden-token envoy uniform, how could you simply pass someone else’s off as yours? Also, you still haven’t explained to me why your soul was wounded.”

Just as Zu An was struggling to find a way to explain matters, Yun Jianyue’s expression changed slightly. “Someone’s here.”

In a flash, she was behind the curtains. It really was a pity how practiced this seemed.

A knocking came from without. “Lord Eleven, are you in?”

Zu An put on his mask again. When he was sure that nothing was wrong, he walked out. He saw a chubby eunuch standing outside and quickly greeted him with a clasped fist. “Eunuch Wen.”

“Lord Eleven is too polite.” Eunuch Wen was beaming. This new golden-token envoy was rather pleasant. He actually knew how to be courteous. “My Lord, His Majesty has invited you to the imperial study.”

Zu An was alarmed. Is he going to demand the results of the investigation? It’s only been a day or so, though. How was I supposed to find out anything so quickly?

Of course, he did not let any of this show. “All right. Let me get my command token first.”

Eunuch Wen nodded. As long as Zu An wasn’t running away, he could wait for him to retrieve an item.

Zu An pretended to be looking for his command token as he spoke with Yun Jianyue.

“I heard everything.” Yun Jianyue paused for a moment then added, “Be careful.”

Zu An’s eyebrows lifted when he heard this, and his eyes brightened. It seems like I didn’t get on her good side for nothing. She’s even starting to show concern for me now. 

After closing the door, he followed Eunuch Wen to the imperial study. Zu An slipped a jade bracelet into his hands along the way, something the crown princess had given him earlier. “I wonder what his majesty needs me for this time?”

Eunuch Wen sighed. “Lord Eleven, you’re encouraging me to stoop to wrongdoing.”

Even so, the bracelet still disappeared up his sleeves. Then, he said, “My Lord, how can we servants carelessly assume what His Majesty wishes to see you for? However, His Majesty seems to be in a rather terrible mood today. Oh, the Left Guard General seems to be in the imperial study as well.”

He was the emperor’s personal eunuch—how could any rumors in the palace escape his ears? Some conflict had broken out between Cheng Xiong and Zu An, and even the crown princess had appeared to bail him out. He knew a little about all of this.

He hadn’t accepted Zu An’s gift merely out of regard for his etiquette. Rather, it was because the crown princess favored him. Furthermore, Cheng Xiong was known to be in King Qi’s faction. He had offered the information to Zu An as a mark of good faith.

“Thank you, Eunuch Wen.” Zu An grew slightly alarmed. Dammit, it’s Cheng Xiong again. I just can’t get rid of that bastard! I wonder what he’s come up with this time.

He even wondered if he would make it out of the study alive this time around. Hmph, I’ll bank it all on ‘Keyboard, come!’ if I have to.

With this in mind, his panic gradually subsided.

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