EIF - Book 03 Chapter 108: Strange Stone Steles
In a garden in Mo Yike’s courtyard, Ying Province:
Mo Yike held a fishing pole as he sat at the side of a pond, fishing quietly. Suddenly, an extremely respectful black-clad man appeared behind Mo Yike.
“Mister Mo, I have already investigated it. The spy was not lying. Gu Hai masqueraded as Ao Sheng at Nine-Five Island, causing Ao Shun to seal his cultivation and the dragons to kill each other. Then, he later used some wordplay to repel Crown Prince Ao Sheng,” the black-clad man reported extremely respectfully.
Mo Yike laughed softly as he watched the bobbing float on the water, “Haha! Gu Hai, oh Gu Hai! He caused all the plans that I laid out over the years to go to waste!”
“Mister Mo, His Majesty does not suspect you. Instead, he trusts you even more. He sent all the people who dared to speak badly about you to prison,” the black-clad man said, feeling puzzled.
“The truth of what happened on Nine-Five Island no longer matters. If it is true, so be it. If it is false, so be it. Who can guarantee that our spy is not their spy? Ha!” Mo Yike said with a faint bitter smile.
“Huh? His Majesty definitely believes in Mister Mo’s innocence!”
“However, His Majesty released Lu An?” Mo Yike countered indifferently.
“Is Mister Mo saying that His Majesty no longer trusts you?” the black-clad man asked worriedly.
Mo Yike shook his head and said, “The fourth step? Gu Hai’s fourth step is really effective, driving a wedge between the sovereign and his officials. Ha! Lu An is a good pawn. Gu Hai can use him however Gu Hai wants to.”
“Mister Mo, isn’t Prince Shenwu’s army the one driving a wedge between His Majesty and his subjects? Didn’t Mister Mo say that it was Sima Changkong that day? Furthermore, that spy already proved everything,” the black-clad man said doubtfully.
Mo Yike shook his head and said, “No. Without the matter of Lu An as the foundation, it would not be easy for Sima Changkong to achieve what he wants. It is like a stick. It might be short, but it can trip someone up. Ha! There are already people keeping an eye on me outside my residence.”
“Huh? His Majesty’s men?” the black-clad man exclaimed.
Mo Yike narrowed his eyes slightly and said, “I told His Majesty at the start to do his best to recruit Gu Hai. Even if he failed to recruit Gu Hai, he should not offend Gu Hai. Ha! His Majesty refused to listen. Hah! Thus, today’s troubles.”
“Since His Majesty suspects you, why…”
“He is only suspicious. No one would dare do anything to me. Haha! How unfortunate! The situation was good,” Mo Yike said bitterly.
“His Majesty will not make things difficult for Mister Mo?” The black-clad man immediately lit up in joy.
Mo Yike shook his head and sighed, “If His Majesty had a strong momentum all the way, victories in his battles, he would not blame me. He would just wave off his suspicions with a smile. I would still be His Majesty’s top adviser. However, we have suffered defeat after defeat; His Majesty will execute me to boost the military’s morale.”
“Ah? That can’t be, right?” the black-clad man said anxiously.
Mo Yike continued focusing on fishing. He showed a faint smile and said, “Alright, you can leave. Don’t distract me from fishing.”
“Alright.” The black-clad man nodded with a faint smile.
Shortly after the black-clad man left Mo Yike’s courtyard, he appeared before Lu Yang.
Lu Yang looked coldly at the black-clad man before him in his study.
“Mo Yike really said that?” Lu Yang asked.
“Yes, Your Majesty!” the black-clad man answered respectfully.
Lu Yang took a deep breath and said with a sullen expression, “Mo Yike? Does he think that he can guess everything we think? Humph!”
“Your Majesty sent this subordinate to remain by Mister Mo’s side long ago. This subordinate has observed Mister Mo’s character and believes that he cannot possibly be the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s spy,” that black-clad man said respectfully.
“Humph! Then, what did Mo Yike do in the past? Where did he come from?” Lu Yang said.
“This subordinate does not know. However, Mister Mo has been going to various places for Your Majesty, doing various things and pitting himself against the Qian Heavenly Dynasty.”
Lu Yang remained silent for a while before saying, “Alright. We know what to do with Mo Yike. What has Mo Yike been doing during this period?”
“He spends his day fishing and invites some officials to dinner at night.”
“Invites some officials to dinner?”
Gu Hai still clearly remembered his grudge with Lu Yang over Long Wanqing’s death.
When Long Sanqian asked for Gu Hai’s help in dealing with Army Breaker, he quickly agreed. After leaving some instructions, he brought Gao Xianzhi, Mu Chenfeng, Ensnaring Performance, and two hundred of his previous managers and employees to head to the Divine Continent with Long Sanqian.
After flying for one month, the group arrived at the Divine Continent.
“Young Prince, Army Breaker’s music Dao stopped Prince Shenwu’s vast army?” Gu Hai asked.
“That’s right. It is not just the zither puppets. There was also Army Breaker’s music Dao; he has grasped the ‘Miserable World’ that you heard in Silver Moon City. The moment he played ‘Miserable World,’ it cut off our army’s five senses. This made it difficult for them to come out of our sound barrier. The moment they came out, ‘Miserable World’ would cause them to go blind and deaf. Our army could not advance even a step,” Long Sanqian said bitterly.
At the side, Mu Chenfeng felt puzzled as he asked, “Don’t many people know Hall Master’s ‘Sonata Pathétique’? Why didn’t they use it to resist ‘Miserable World’?”
Long Sanqian smiled bitterly and replied, “We used it. It was useless.”
“While Mister Gu’s ‘Sonata Pathétique’ did break ‘Miserable World’ in the past, how many people played then? Silver Moon City mostly consists of zitherists; there are tens of millions of them. How could we have that many zitherists? Furthermore, Army Breaker played ‘Miserable World’ even more adeptly, so…,” Long Sanqian said with a bitter smile.
Gu Hai frowned.
“Does Mister Gu have a way to deal with this?” Long Sanqian asked.
“I don’t know. We will see when the time comes.” Gu Hai shook his head.
As the flying ship flew quickly, the people aboard suddenly noticed a stone stele on the summit of a distant mountain. The words on the stone stele caused the expression of everyone on the flying ship to change.
“Gu Hai is interred here!”
The flying ship suddenly stopped.
“Everyone, keep your guard up! Keep your guard up!” Long Sanqian ordered with a cold expression.
Suddenly, ritual arrays appeared above the flying ship as everyone looked at that stone stele in horror.
“Who is at the helm today?!” Long Sanqian asked with a cold gaze.
“Young Prince, it’s me! It’s me!” A subordinate stepped forward nervously.
“What’s going on? Why is there this stone stele along our path? Did you expose our route?” Long Sanqian demanded with a cold expression.
“I did not. Absolutely not. Only this subordinate knows about this route. We did not even follow a fixed route previously!” That subordinate immediately knelt as he pleaded for mercy.
Gu Hai looked at that stone stele with constricted pupils.
Why did such a stone stele appear on our journey? Furthermore, it seems to be cursing me to die? Is there an enemy in the surroundings?
“Lu Yang’s assassin?” Mu Chenfeng’s expression changed.
“However, how does he know our movements?” Gao Xianzhi’s expression sank.
Gu Hai’s expression sank as he turned his head to look at Long Sanqian.
Long Sanqian looked back at Gu Hai and said with a bitter smile, “Mister Gu, I did not arrange for this. I did not expect this stone stele to show up, either!”
“Our movements are exposed,” Gu Hai said with a heavy frown.
The world was so big. Who would know that they would take this route otherwise?
Gu Hai stared at Long Sanqian for a while before eventually eliminating Long Sanqian as a possibility.
As everyone stood on the flying ship, they carefully looked at the surrounding mountains and forests. However, the surroundings appeared quiet; no assassin appeared.
Everyone looked back at the strange stone stele after a while.
“Perhaps it was a coincidence?” Gao Xianzhi said something that even he did not believe.
“A coincidence?” Gu Hai’s expression turned sullen. After all, no enemies appeared in the surroundings.
“Go around. Let’s go!” Long Sanqian said.
The flying ship went around, heading in another direction.
The flying ship continued flying. After flying for two hours, it suddenly came to a stop.
A strong gust of wind blew when the flying ship stopped. Everyone aboard suddenly felt a chill.
Another similar stone stele appeared on a distant mountain. There were also words on it.
“Gu Hai, you cannot escape! Today will be the day you die!”
Mu Chenfeng leaped forward and roared, “Who is it?! Show yourself!”
However, the surrounding mountains and forests remained quiet. No one answered.
Gu Hai looked at Ensnaring Performance.
Ensnaring Performance shook his head and said, “None. There is no one around us.”
“Could it be a lifespan cultivator that can travel between the land of the living and the land of the dead? Are they hiding in the nether realm?” Mu Chenfeng suggested with a sullen expression.
“It’s Lu Yang’s assassin?” Gu Hai’s expression turned unsightly.
At the side, Long Sanqian glared at the helmsman and demanded, “What’s going on? Did you bring us here on purpose?”
“Young Prince, please investigate this. This subordinate was just flying without any direction in mind. I did not head here on purpose. I know nothing about it. How could this be so coincidental?!” that helmsman yelled in horror.
“Hall Master, there are no stone steles in the surroundings, just this one. This means that our movements are exposed,” Mu Chenfeng said with an unsightly expression.
Gu Hai looked at Long Sanqian.
Long Sanqian shook his head and said, “I’ll call everyone to the deck. Mister Gu, we’ll let your men take the helm.”
Gu Hai nodded.
After Long Sanqian called everyone to the deck, Gao Xianzhi took the helm. With this, no one else would know the route.
The flying ship stopped again after flying for two hours.
Another stone stele had appeared on another mountaintop.
“Flee? There is nowhere for you to flee! Gu Hai, today is the day of your death! The day of your death! The day of your death!”
Gu Hai’s eyelids twitched wildly as he turned his head to look around.
However, there were no clouds in the surroundings. There was no one at all.
“Master, I listened carefully. There was no one here previously, either!” Ensnaring Performance said with an unsightly expression.
Who was it? No matter where Gu Hai’s group went, they encountered these threatening words.
“Young Prince, let’s head directly to the army camp. Please lead the way!” Gu Hai said.
The flying ship continued flying.
However, the flying ship periodically came across stone steles with words cursing Gu Hai on them.
No matter where Gu Hai’s group went after encountering a stone stele, the stone steles still appeared. It looked like these stone steles had been placed there long ago, causing everyone to feel flustered upon seeing them.
Their movements had been thoroughly exposed. How could it be like that?
In the surroundings, Long Sanqian’s subordinates whispered to each other, pointing at Gu Hai.
However, Gu Hai’s men remained silent. Everyone looked at Gu Hai.
Gu Hai appeared extremely calm as he held the railings. No one could make out what he was thinking.
It seemed that a sinister plot was about to befall Gu Hai. It felt like a pair of eyes stared at Gu Hai at all times; no matter where he fled, he could not hide. That pair of eyes seemed to have chosen its prey, ready to devour Gu Hai at any moment.
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