The Tenth Prince’s Decision
At this moment, the Tenth Prince noticed Lan Yunyue. He had thought that Lan Yunyue was a maidservant, but after noting the fine clothes Lan Yunyue was wearing, he realised that he had been mistaken. “You are… Lan Yunyue?
Lan Yunyue regained her composure and bowed to the Tenth Prince, “Lan Yunyue greets His Highness the Cloud Prince.”
The Tenth Prince looked up and down at Lan Yunyue. He sneered derisively and said, “Good! What a charmingly pitiful and pathetic appearance. No wonder Lin Ming was so utterly crazy for you. It’s such a pity. If you were still friends with Lin Ming, then I might have been able to find you some value in you. But now… looking at you only makes me sick to my stomach.”
The Tenth Prince spoke mercilessly, disregarding her feelings. Lan Yunyue paled; how could a girl withstand such cruel words being said to her?
“Leave!” The Tenth Prince dismissed Lan Yunyue with a wave of his hand.
Lan Yunyue bit her lip as she fought back the tears that were pooling in her eyes. She bowed, and excused herself.
As Lan Yunyue walked out, the Tenth Prince stepped back. Finally, the only ones left in the room were the Tenth Prince and Zhu Yan.
The Tenth Prince glared at Zhu Yan, and coldly said, “Do you want revenge?”
Zhu Yan remained silent. However the blood that dripped to the ground from the nails that dug into his fist, had already answered the Tenth Prince.
“Very good. You should know that Lin Ming will soon become a core disciple of the Seven Profound Martial House. You also know what sort of status the Seven Profound Martial House has in Sky Fortune Kingdom. There is only the slimmest chance that you will have an opportunity to avenge yourself!
“But no matter how uncertain your chances, there will still be opportunities; It’s impossible for Lin Ming to stay at the Seven Profound Martial House forever. As long as he comes out from there, then there will be a chance to assassinate him! Your strength is insufficient. You will look for a suitable powerhouse that can handle him. I will secretly provide you with money and treasure. As long as the reward is enough, there will always be some wandering powerhouses who will be tempted. These wandering masters are never in the same location, and it is difficult to find out who they are, even for the Seven Profound Valleys.”
“But! From an outsider’s view I will sever all contact with you, and the Zhu Family will expel you from the family! Zhu Yan, I hope you can understand my reasoning. The Zhu Family has already been bound to me. I must inherit the throne; otherwise, not only I, but the entire Zhu Family will suffer complete and utter annihilation!”
Zhu Yan’s heart pumped fiercely. To distance himself from the Tenth Prince and even be expelled from the family!
He knew why the Tenth Prince did what he did. Assassinating Lin Ming carried too high a risk! Once it was found out by the Seven Profound Martial House, then the Tenth Prince and the Zhu Family would be finished!
Therefore he had cut off all relations!
Like this, even if the assassination of Lin Ming failed and became known to the Seven Profound Martial House, it would have nothing to do with the Tenth Prince and the Zhu Family!
What the Tenth Prince and the Zhu Family would do was to show goodwill towards Lin Ming on the surface, while plotting against him. To outsiders, such a ruthless move would simply seem like the Tenth Prince and the Zhu Family were making concessions towards Lin Ming.
In order to show good will towards Lin Ming, a brave soldier had to take the fall, so that Lin Mi
It could even be that the Tenth Prince would manage to win Lin Ming over from the Crown Prince’s side, or at least make it so that Lin Ming was not so heavily invested in the Crown Prince.
A two-pronged approach! This was the best plan!
However, his own political future would be ruined! He would lose his family, lose his power, lose everything he had, and become a wandering avenger with nothing left to lose.
Once he failed, the price would be his life!
But he didn’t have the power to make a choice!
The family would not hesitate to sacrifice their son in exchange for their own benefit.
“Zhu Yan, it’s already come to this point, there’s no turning back. This is the only way! I cannot just give up and admit defeat because of a single Lin Ming. I have to continue fighting, and the Zhu Family has to preserve itself.
“But Lin Ming is just too terrible. If he becomes a Seven Profound Envoy or the Martial House Master, then I have not even a smidgen of hope. I must either win Lin Ming over, or remove him from the equation. About your matter, I have already talked to mother and she has agreed. Either tomorrow or tonight, you will go on your journey and arrange an assassination plan. I hope that you do not disappoint me again!
“If you succeed and don’t leave behind any hints that you were involved, then after I mount the throne and the situation has stabilized, then I will give you what you want!”
‘Give me what I want?’ Zhu Yan sneered in his heart. ‘Indeed, at that time you will silence me so that you can rid yourself of a witness to your crimes!’
Even trusted subordinates would be eliminated once they outlived their usefulness, or be cast aside when they were no longer needed. Much less, the Tenth Prince’s natural disposition was to be overly suspicious and believe nobody. How could he tolerate such a danger by his side? Would he ever have peace eating or sleeping? Assassinate a core disciple of the Seven Profound Martial House? This accusation alone was enough to have the Seven Profound Valleys sentence the Tenth Prince to death!
If I fail, I will die!
If I succeed, I will die!
You deprive me of my wealth, destroy my future, and also want to take my life…
Yang Zhen, you are too ruthless!
And my dear, sweet aunt; you also participated in this idea. To help your son struggle for the throne, you have used such a cruel method on your nephew. Good. Very good!
My Zhu Yan’s fate, I will take in my own hands!
Zhu Yan’s eyes flashed with a cold brightness. At this moment he vowed, that all those people who had worked against him or offended him would all be killed!
I want strength! I want limitless strength! Strength to kill Lin Ming, strength to kill Yang Zhen! To dominate everything and control the life and death of all!
Peng! The Tenth Prince opened the door and left the Zhu Family branch complex with his guards. Lan Yunyue sat in the hall and watched as the Tenth Prince walked away, feeling helpless and lost.
Zhu Yan’s bedroom door was slightly ajar, leaving a small crack open like the jaws of some wild beast lying sideways. Lan Yunyue could not muster up the courage to step into that room, but she was also unable to leave. She could only stand in that empty and vacant hall, waiting.
After a quarter hour passed, Zhu Yan finally emerged from the room. Lan Yunyue reflexively stood up.
Zhu Yan turned around and casually flung a light piece of paper towards Lan Yunyue. Lan Yunyue subconsciously glanced at it. She had been expecting this. It was the contract paper they had signed when they had become engaged to each other.
“Tear it.” Zhu Yan exclaimed.
“What… the… I’m sorry? Lan Yunyue’s hands froze.
“Our engagement is dissolved. From this point on, I am expelled from the Zhu Family.”
“Ex… expelled?” Lan Yunyue was completely shocked. How could this be?
Zhu Yan said, “When you and I were engaged, the only reason you did so was because of my status, power, influence, and money. Now, I no longer have these things. There is no longer a reason for you to stay with me. This engagement contract is now nothing more than a joke.”
After Zhu Yan said this, he flicked his finger and the contract in Lan Yunyue’s hand was torn into fragments by true essence.
At that moment, Lan Yunyue’s mind blanked. In the Sky Fortune Kingdom, it was a shameful matter for a girl to become divorced after she was engaged. It would be difficult to remarry again. When wealthy people looked for a wife they would never settle for such women. If they did, it would only be as a concubine.
“You can go now.” Zhu Yan had completely calmed down. He turned and walked away, not giving Lan Yunyue even a last parting look. His heart was only filled with immeasurable hatred. The Zhu Yan of the past had died in that bedroom; how could he possibly have the thought to consider Lan Yunyue’s feelings?
As Lan Yunyue stepped out of the Zhu Family branch complex, she wandered onto the street in a daze. It was over… Zhu Yan and her were completely over…
She suddenly discovered that she did not feel the sadness and gloomy misery of a young girl that was left by herself. Instead, she felt a kind of peaceful solace as she let out a sigh.
Along with that torn engagement paper, those incomparably depressing and weary days had ended…
The late autumn night wind was thick with moisture, and it was chilly as it blew on the body. Sky Fortune City’s nightlife was as vivid as ever, as happy and buoyant sounds filled the air. Among the wanton and luxurious brothels, the vivid red lanterns hanging high in the air, and the dim lights, Lan Yunyue could hear the sounds of women chatting away.
Looking at the noisy world around her, Lan Yunyue suddenly smiled. It was a bittersweet smile, filled with relief.
She remembered her childhood, when she and Lin Ming would play with bamboo dragonflies on the moist spring grass.
She remembered when they would go out in the rain to pick the small wildflowers together, or step across the slippery stones of a creek and dip their toes into the cool spring. Little fish would come up and nibble on their toes, giving them an itchy feeling… because Lin Ming grew up in a restaurant; he knew how to prepare a delicious meal in a short time. He would catch a pheasant, pick some wild herbs and wild fruits, and bring his own clay pots to cook a variety of tasty foods.
One time when she was sick, he ran several miles in the pouring rain to grab some clear mountain spring water so that he could boil her some nutritious medicinal porridge…
However… she could no longer go back to those days.
Before she had realized it, tears were already streaming down her face.
She regretted. But what she regretted was not that Lin Ming had become Sky Fortune Kingdom’s most dazzling superstar, or that she missed her chance to become the wife of the next state marshal or the Seven Profound envoy. No… what she regretted was that she had discarded that simple, pure happiness for nothing but useless luxury and empty vanity.
She walked aimlessly. Her frail and attractive body was wrapped in a simple blue long dress. Under the shining red lights of the lanterns, she was covered by a misty and lonely shadow. She was like a desolate blue butterfly that flew in the cold autumn wind.
She did not want to return to the Seven Profound Martial House. With her talent, she had already lost the support of precious herbs and medicines. In her life, she could no longer achieve a high martial arts cultivation.
She did not want to return to Green Mulberry City. She did not have the face to go back. She did not know how to face her own parents or how to face her neighbors.
Most importantly, she did not want to see Lin Ming again; she did not want to bid him farewell…
Lin Ming was sitting in a carriage drawn by Snow Dragon horses. He was completely ignorant to how Zhu Yan and Lan Yunyue’s destinies had changed, and how Zhu Yan was completely filled with hatred towards him.
He knew that that Zhu Yan’s enmity towards him had not been resolved. He also guessed correctly that Zhu Yan would wait for an opportunity to retaliate against him in the future. However, he could not kill Zhu Yan. For better or for worse, Zhu Yan was also an official disciple of the Seven Profound Martial House. To kill him would be challenging the authority of the Martial House.
“Mister Lin, please get off.” A servant of the Crown Prince respectfully said as the carriage stopped.
Lin Ming drew back the carriage curtains. He thought that he would meet with the Crown Prince in his palace study. He hadn’t thought that they would have left Sky Fortune City and arrived at the base of Zhou Mountain. This location actually wasn’t too far from the Seven Profound Martial House.
As Lin Ming debarked from the carriage, he saw that they had actually stopped in front of a mansion. The mansion was not luxurious, but the inside was very elegant in its construction. There were small bridges that hung over flowing streams and winding rock corridors. It didn’t look much like a mansion; it was more reminiscent of a garden.
“Haha, Brother Lin, do you like this place?”
“Mm?” Lin Ming slightly hesitated. He already had a dim guess of what Yang Lin wanted to do, and that was to give this residency to him.
If he received this residency, then he would become a person of the Crown Prince.