Third Son Xuan shot to his feet, his eyes bright and his body brimming with energy.
"We did not misjudge you! You truly do have some measure of skill!"
Regardless of how eloquent this mysterious sorcerer from Kunlun was, no argument could gain him the trust of Third Son Xuan so quickly. But if he could help him suppress Li Taiyi, things were entirely different.
With An Yaluoshan's dragon pearl and Master Xuan Ming, he would be able to truly control his body, completely suppress that bastard Li Taiyi, and let him sleep forever!
"We can let you remain, granting you the title of Empire Guardian Heavenly Master, so long as you focus on treating that evil spirit!" Third Son Xuan declared, his dignified voice resounding through Taiji Palace.
"Thank you, Your Majesty!"
Master Xuan Ming immediately bowed, but his expression was extremely calm, and he did not seem very happy.
"This lowly subject can assist Your Majesty in driving out the evil spirit, with sorcery serving as the primary method and alchemy as the secondary, but this will still be far from enough. Besides driving out the evil spirit, this lowly subject is also skilled in observing the stars and divination. This lowly subject has seen that Your Majesty is an imprisoned dragon. This is partially because of the power of the evil spirit, but another aspect is that Your Majesty has a nemesis star in your destiny," Master Xuan Ming sternly said, changing the way he addressed himself from 'lowly one' to 'lowly subject'.
"This nemesis star is near to Your Majesty, and even if I do all I can to help Your Majesty, so long as that nemesis star remains, it will be difficult to settle anything.
"Your Majesty will still be in grave peril!"
"Destiny? Nemesis star?!"
Third Son Xuan's pupils constricted and his face paled.
Master Xuan Ming's words were far too surprising. He was the Sage Emperor and master of the realm. How could he have a nemesis star? And so close!
"What nemesis star?" Third Son Xuan sternly said, his expression turning grave.
When it came to his personal freedom, he was both unwilling to believe and unwilling to disbelieve.
And no matter who this nemesis star was, he would swiftly remove them as soon as he knew who it was.
There was no place under heaven that was not the realm of the sovereign, no person living upon these lands that was not the sovereign's subject. Was there someone who dared to oppose him?
"This lowly subject is coming to the capital for the first time, so he knows nothing about the affairs of the court and cannot immediately answer Your Majesty. However, this lowly subject can say that this person bears the appearance of the white tiger. The white tiger has a savage countenance and signifies war and slaughter. It is an ill omen, and this person's character is extremely similar to the savagery of the white tiger. And someone with the divine visage of the white tiger is certain to wield military power of high authority, so they must be within the Bureau of Military Personnel.
Master Xuan Ming made a hand salute and sternly said, "This lowly subject has calculated that this star is located to the southwest of the Ziwei, and it is connected in a significant way to the evil spirit. For the rest, this lowly subject cannot determine for now. But if Your Majesty wishes to remove the evil spirit, this person must be hindered in every way. When the time comes, there will undoubtedly be many twists and turns, and perhaps all the efforts might be ruined. The threat must be dealt with!"
The divine visage of the white tiger? Wielding military authority? Located in the southwest…
Third Son Xuan said nothing, his eyes narrowing as he began to carefully ponder these dubious words.
A moment later, a figure emerged in his mind, and his heart sank while his face turned cold.
Could it be him?!
The savage countenance of the white tiger, an ill omen of war and slaughter, high authority in the military… in the Great Tang, there was only one person who met all these conditions: the King of Foreign Lands, Wang Chong!
Most importantly, that scoundrel was devoted to the evil spirit and had already opposed him several times in the court. The Peace Pavilion, the selection of women… that traitorous subject had hindered him at every turn. And his residence was located to the southwest of the Imperial Palace, matching the sorcerer’s words.
Third Son Xuan's face chilled even more.
He only knew that this scoundrel was opposing him at every turn, not that he was also his nemesis star!
If that was really the case, he could not allow him to remain!
Third Son Xuan's eyes flashed, and a strong killing intent welled up in his heart!
"In addition, while I was in the Kunlun Mountains, I encountered people searching for the Rainbow Glass Divine Grass. The Rainbow Glass Divine Grass is extremely effective on people who are suffering from the 'disease of the departed soul'. Most importantly, it is also extremely effective on evil spirits, both in the positive sense and negative sense.
"Moreover, those people had luxurious and expensive clothes. I performed a divination and discovered that those people were inextricably connected to that white tiger, Your Majesty's nemesis star. This lowly subject worries that this matter might be harmful to Your Majesty.
"In addition, this lowly subject recalls from ancient records that the Rainbow Glass Divine Grass has miraculous effects on those who failed at reaching the Divine Martial realm. It is able to cure their injuries and strengthen their energy. It can even stop the waning of martial strength!"
Third Son Xuan had not taken Master Xuan Ming's words seriously at first, but the description of the Rainbow Glass Divine Grass's effects on those who failed at reaching the Divine Martial realm made him pale.
Third Son Xuan's face turned savage as he furiously roared.
"Damn thing! Such audacity to dare to assist that evil spirit in opposing Us!"
The hall trembled as a terrifying energy erupted from Third Son Xuan's body.
Third Son Xuan's robes flapped, his hair wildly dancing around him.
The Divine Martial realm!
Across the realm, there was only one person who had ever attempted to reach that realm: the evil spirit in his body!
If he hadn't believed these words at the start, at that moment, he was certain that those people in the Kunlun Mountains were working against him!
"Reckless thing! Not killing you is already an enormous kindness from Us! Yet you dare to betray Us and assist that evil spirit!"
Third Son Xuan was so angry that his entire body was shaking.
If a sovereign demanded a subject's death, the subject had no choice but to die!
He was the Sage Emperor, the ruler of all the people of the realm!
Thus, he did not care for even Wang Chong.
Was he so audacious as to plot rebellion?
But he had never imagined how badly he was underestimating him.
This treasonous scoundrel appeared obedient on the surface, but he had secretly sent men to the Kunlun Mountains to search for the Rainbow Glass Divine Grass to deal with him!
If not for the fortuitous appearance of this Kunlun sorcerer, who had told him about this, not even in death would he have realized that he was being plotted against.
This bastard! He dared!
This was nothing but brazen rebellion!
A stream of Stellar Energy flew out, obliterating the coiling dragon that Master Xuan Ming had 'revived'.
"Master Xuan Ming, stay here. Whatever you want, We will grant your wish!
"As for Wang Chong, for daring to betray Us, We cannot let you remain!"
A cold and sinister voice resounded through the hall.
As time passed, everything continued to proceed smoothly.
But under the surface, the undercurrent raged.
In the night, outside the King of Foreign Lands Residence, a figure dropped their head, cautiously looked around, and entered the estate.
Zhao Changfu entered the hall and followed the familiar path to the main hall. When he saw that majestic and powerful figure, he immediately prostrated, his voice filled with reverence.
"Paying respects to Your Highness!"
"What have you found in these last five days?"
Wang Chong sat on his throne, looking through reports. He spoke without raising his head, unsurprised by Zhao Changfu's visit.
In truth, this piece that An Yaluoshan had gone to great lengths to plant at the 'Sage Emperor''s side had long ago been firmly seized by Wang Chong through threats and promises of power, thus becoming his 'eyes' at Third Son Xuan's side.
It was precisely because of these eyes that Wang Chong could learn of Third Son Xuan's movements in a timely manner without attracting attention.
The court had received no warning when Third Son Xuan appointed an 'Empire Guardian Heavenly Master', but Wang Chong had already known the truth.
"Your Highness, three days ago, the Sage Emperor began issuing orders to gather herbs and metals from across the land. In addition, the Sage Emperor has already constructed a laboratory for that Master Xuan Ming. No one is allowed to approach without a decree, not even the consorts. No one knows what he's doing inside, but His Majesty goes in every day and stays for four hours before leaving.
"I paid a great price to learn this information. Master Xuan Ming is refining pills for the Sage Emperor to drive out an evil spirit!" Zhao Changfu said, dropping his head.
Upon hearing this, Wang Chong frowned.
"I understand. You may leave!
"Xu Keyi, give him one thousand taels of gold!"
"Yes, Your Highness!" Xu Keyi quickly replied.
'An Emperor does not lack for hungry soldiers.' Although Zhao Changfu was a lowly person, lowly persons had their uses. Although Wang Chong could threaten him, threats were not as useful as the allure of gold and silk.
Once Xu Keyi had left with Zhao Changfu, Wang Chong quickly turned to the nearby Zhang Que.
"Zhang Que, what have you found on that Master Xuan Ming?"
Zhang Que lowered his head and respectfully said, "Your Highness, we've learned that Master Xuan Ming truly does originate from the Kunlun Mountains. He is a reclusive sorcerer, and we have yet to find anything suspicious about him. In addition, although we had our suspicions that this Master Xuan Ming might be a man in black, various circumstances indicate that he is probably not.
"The men in black should not be so daring as to appear right in front of the Sage Emperor. However, we cannot rule out Master Xuan Ming being sent by the men in black."
Wang Chong said nothing, but as he raised his head, he had a strange and contemplative look on his face.
Master Xuan Ming!
Wang Chong had heard this name before.
In his previous life, during the final days of the Sage Emperor's reign, this man had appeared and entered the inner palace, but his appearance had been very brief, and without stirring any great waves, he quickly departed.
Even during the calamity, nothing was heard of this man. He had vanished like froth in the ocean.
In the history of the Central Plains, there were countless talented men like this who had offered their services in the hopes of gaining the favor of the sovereign, and the majority of them had not been able to cause much of a stir.