Grand Border Fortress.
This fortress is Thousand Mount Kingdom’s most crucial stronghold. It is over three hundred miles away from Song Clan Village, and the current commander was the kingdom’s Crown Prince, Gou Zi.
Speaking of Gou Zi, while in the midst of his fight for the throne, he had suddenly volunteered to become a frontier commander, shocking the entire Thousand Mount Kingdom. Many in private would call him a fool who valued pride more than the big picture, but little did they know that between becoming an Emperor and a Star Master, he was more interested in the latter. That’s the reason why he has been staying at the Grand Border Fortress these past few years while keeping a low profile. He has been diligently recruiting star cultivators to become his subordinate or guests, and in a few short years, he amassed a surprisingly large number of experts.
Now, the Grand Border Fortress even has two Nebula cultivators as guests.
Ever since the battle stars had risen up into the sky and the Star Duel began, Gou Zi had successfully broke through and entered the ranks of star cultivators. He had then set up a strict surveillance network in the fort in the hope of catching and defeating a Star Knight, and in turn, becoming a Star Master. At that time, he would be able to ascend Liangshan Maiden Mountain, making his reputation all the more glorious.
Today, like every other day, Gou Zi was standing atop the pavilion balcony observing the distant sky.
The hundred stars were shining brilliantly.
“Yet another Crimson Star.”
Gou Zi mumbled in annoyance. Every time a star turned deep red, his heart felt like it was being cut. It meant that there were yet another Star Master in Liangshan Continent.
“Heavens has no eyes, do I not have the qualification to become a Star Master?”
Gou Zi cursed from the bottom of his heart.
After his small tantrum, Gou Zi resumed reminding his subordinate to pay close attention to all travelling cultivators, hoping to meet a Star Knight.
Suddenly, a soldier came bearing news: “Your Highness, there’s someone who wishes to meet you outside the gate.”
“What kind of person?” Gou Zi asked casually.
“He did not say. He only said that once Your Highness sees this letter, you will understand.” The soldier used both his hand to present a letter.
The cultivator beside him stepped forward to retrieve the letter for Gou Zi.
The moment he opened the letter, Gou Zi’s expression suddenly changed.
“Quickly, summon him here!”
Someone whose entire body was covered in a cloak was guided by the soldier inside. Gou Zi’s eyes followed him closely.
Gou Zi ordered.
Soon, the only people left inside the room were those two.
“Can you really do what you promised?” Gou Zi could not contain himself. “Can you really help me become a Star Master? What’s more, a Heavenly Star Knight’s Master?”
“I do not dare to joke about this matter.” A calm voice rang out from inside the cloak.
Gou Zi paced back and forth, his eyes sharpening, as if wishing to see through the cloaked figure in front of him. “Why won’t you show your face?”
“Once you see my face, you will die!”
The voice continued calmly. Gou Zi’s body suddenly shuddered, an impossibly bad feeling well up inside him.
“What do you want as payment?”
Gou Zi asks coldly.
“The Babel Token.”
Gou Zi was stunned still.
“Can’t you do it?”
The other person casually asked.
Gou Zi hesitated. It had taken a lot of his resources to acquire the Babel Token from another cultivator. Using it, one can enter the “Babel Tomb”, one of the “Seven Ancient Tombs”. Even his two prestigious guests did not know about it, so how did this person find out?
But realistically, if he did not have a Star Knight accompanying him, there wasn’t much hope of surviving even if he entered the Ancient Tomb.
After pondering for sometime, Gou Zi gnashed his teeth and replied determinedly: “As long as you can help me become a Star Master, not only will I give you the token, I will also give you a thousand tael of gold as payment!”
The other person smiled.
“However, I have a requirement. I want to sign a contract with a Heavenly Star. Can you make this happen?” Gou Zi asked anxiously.
“I’ll give you one better…” He smiled. “How about Majestic Star Linchong?”
“Ah?” Gou Zi’s jaws dropped. He thought he must have heard wrongly. “What? Lin… Linchong?”
“The famous Panther Head Linchong!”
“Impossible. Of course I know about the Majestic Star, there has never been anyone who has successfully signed a contract with her!” Gou Zi was shocked.
“You only have to follow my instructions…”
The other person assured the Prince.
Sometime later, Gou Zi finished listening to the plan. At the beginning, he was suspicious, but now he had become somewhat convinced. This plan sounded like it had everything under control, and Gou Zi felt that this was no ordinary matter. Star Maidens were already extremely rare in Liangshan Continent, one would usually revere such a figure when running into them, so don’t even talk about Linchong, who is one of the top ten Star Knights.
If he really could sign a contract with Linchong, Gou Zi believed that the Liangshan Maiden’s prize already belonged to him.
“When everything goes according to plan, do not forget what you must do.”
The other person left behind that casual statement, and by the time Gou Zi had gathered his wits again, the person had already disappeared from the room.
Could that have been a Star Hunter?
Gou Zi’s fist tightened, his heart once again overcoming with a sense of unease. He called out loudly: “Quickly, summon the two elders here, tell them there are important matters that we must discuss!”
In the blink of an eye, a month passed by in Song Clan Village. Ever since their trip to the Mountain Lake Legacy, Shujing’s life has also returned to a peaceful rhythm. Even though the resolution to his solving of the riddle was quite disappointing, Shujing did not let it affect him as he returned to his daily training with the Chaotic Tail Escape Technique. When he wasn’t doing that, he would be sparring with Lin Yingmei or reading books.
As these days of intense training went by, Shujing’s Chaotic Tail Escape Technique broke through to the 13th Gate.
There were 49 Gates in the Chaotic Tail Escape Technique, with every seven gates marking a Stage. Shujing planned to break through the Second Stage of the Chaotic Tail Escape Technique, then he would have no fear even if he ran into Xun Hou.
From outside the village, sounds of galloping horses interrupted Shujing’s training. From several miles away, one could sense a heavy killing intent radiating.
Lin Yingmei who was leaning nearby suddenly became alert: “Master!”
“Let us see what it’s about first.” Shujing decided.
The galloping drew closer and closer, and in a few moment it had approached very close by. Lin Yingmei frowned, her body tensed up in preparation.
The courtyard’s door was blown apart with a single kick, followed by a group of cavalry rushing in.
The cavalryman surrounded the yard and glared at Shujing and Lin Yingmei.
“The crown prince’s servants are waiting. Song Lu, quickly come out here!”
The leading general shouted loudly.
“May I ask the reason why you sirs are looking for this young maiden?” Hearing the loud summon, Song Lu opened her door. Seeing the fierce scene in front of her, her face immediately went pale.
“You are Song Lu?”
“This maiden’s name is indeed Song Lu.” Song Lu quickly replied.
The soldier shouted coldly.
Song Lu’s face looked like it had not a drop of blood left.
Several soldiers followed each other in a line and headed towards Song Lu to catch her.
“What are you doing?!”
Shujing coldy interjected.
The soldiers who were heading for Song Lu were scared stiff by Shujing’s aura. Song Lu quickly hid behind Shujing.
“Brat, who are you? Quickly get out of here, this has nothing to do with you!” A cavalryman casually spoke out.
Just as he finished speaking…
A dark silhouette abruptly leapt forward, causing the loud-mouth cavalryman to immediate cry out in pain before falling straight to the ground. On the horse now was Shujing.
The surrounding soldiers were shocked still. No one would have thought that the young man would attack after just a single line of provocation. Only when the general shouted loudly did they al march forward without hesitation.
Using only a single finger, Shujing shot out Star Qi that promptly pushed all of them back simultaneously.
“A star cultivator!”
“It’s a star cultivator!”
The soldiers called out in shock while running off in all directions. In Liangshan Continent, star cultivators were in the same realm as lesser gods, how could these soldiers dare to continue to fight?
Shujing did not pay them any attention and headed towards the general who was moaning on the ground to collect his loot.
The soldier stood up wanting to run away, but he was promptly pushed down by a single one of Lin Yingmei’s kick, immobilising him completely.
“Great lord, please spare my life. I was only following orders…” The man squealed out like a pig, his demeanour sore to the eyes.
In the blink of an eye, the entire courtyard was emptied of soldiers.
“Such terrible constitutions.” Shujing shook his head.
“Do you want to kill him?” Shujing threw the problem towards Song Lu.
The girl was stunned silent by Shujing’s question that rang like thunder in her ears. She quickly shook her head: “He is crown prince Zi’s man, you cannot kill him.”
“The crown prince? Why is he looking for you?”
Shujing was puzzled about the relationship between a crown prince and a random village girl.
Song Lu hesitate.
“Why does the crown prince want to catch Song Lu?” Shujing slaps the man’s face gently. Seeing the hint from Shujing’s eye, Lin Yingmei’s increased the pressure of her foot on the soldier’s back.
“I really don’t know…” The man yelled in fear.
“Young Master, just let him go.” Song Lu sighed deeply. She looked toward the general and said full of hatred: “Tell the crown prince to give this Song Lu ten days. I will definitely find and give him what he wants.”
“Yes, I will definitely pass on lady Song Lu’s message!” The man acted like he had received some sort of amnesty as he gratefully fled.
Shujing and Lin Yingmei shifted their eyes towards Song Lu, waiting for an explanation. Shujing didn’t treat this as some sort of small problem. As he had relied on Song Lu for some time now, Shujing could feel that even though on the outside, she seemed sly and calculating, her heart could be considered to be good, and he would not mind lending a hand to her.
Coming from someone who’s a guest from another world in this Liangshan Continent, this was a genuine feeling of goodwill.
“Truthfully, on that day when Young Master met me, I was out on a search for a certain rock, unfortunately I had run into the Blossom Tiger.” Song Lu sighs.
“What kind of rock?”
“Relic Blade Stone!”
Shujing shift his eyes towards the Majestic Star. The girl’s expression did indeed light up violently as he expected.
According to Song Lu’s story, her real identity was the Grand Border Fortress’s crown prince Gou Zi’s Scoutmaster. The so called Scoutmaster’s job was to search for precious stones and crystals.
Once, Song Lu managed to find Relic Blade Stone near this area. This caused Prince Gou Zi to became greedy and he sent her out to continuously find more. That time when she ran into Shujing, she was on her search for the stones.
“Crown Prince Gou Zi had taken over Grand Border Fortress for five years now, and he had always relied on the strength of star cultivators. In order to entice them to become his guests, he always send out people to search for precious stones and material.”
Finished listening to her explanation, Shujing fell deep into thought.
This was the first time Shujing had felt like he had some sort of idea of Song Lu’s true nature. If she was raised since young just to do things like this, no wonder she was like how she is.
“Have you never thought about escaping?” Shujing asked.
“Ah, I am just a poor girl with no one to rely on, how can I hide from the Crown Prince’s fangs and claws?”
At that moment, Shujing noticed Lin Yingmei’s eyes looking at him, so he went to comfort Song Lu: “I am also a star cultivator, I will not just stand aside and watch.”
“But…” Song Lu wanted to say something, but she gave up.
Shujing smiled and headed to one side with Lin Yingmei.
“Master, this Relic Blade Stone is the treasure I have been searching for, the Relic Blade Sand.” Lin Yin Mei’s voice was overcome with excitement.
That was certainly so!