Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

91 Prime Minister Qiu Ying

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"Long time no see, Prince Yin." The old man giggled as he descended gracefully, his beard swaying beautifully. He had an ethereal and sage-like air to him though his eyes seemed to indicate he was aloof."I didn't think you'd be interested in the Sunken Jade Tower too, Prime Minister." Yin Mengtian maintained a calm composure but his voice had deepened.

Having since joined Yin Mengtian and the troupe a while back, Ye Chen knew the prince somewhat and could tell that he was an honest and direct man. The fact that the prince's expression had changed suggested that he and the prime minister had some ongoing feud between them. 

"My ancestors prided materialistic possession. It's a given that I'd be here considering vast treasure." The prime minister smiled.

"Liu Kan. So, you've come too." Yin Mengtian looked at the man behind the prime minister and scoffed. 

"Looks like you lots are having a great haul, Yin Mengtian." The man by the name of Liu Kan had a lazy eye. He scanned the floor full of beast corpses, most of them were Ninth Level and Tenth Level. They did not care about Ninth Tier Spirit Pills but to say that Tenth Tier Spirit Pills were not of value to them would be a grave lie. He set his sights on the lynx that stood beside Ye Chen and smiled. He wondered where did Yin Mengtian caught a Tenth Level beast as it looked rather obedient. The sight of a Tenth Level lynx was certainly one to envy. After all, he had thirty Tenth Level combatants by his side anyway.

Having eavesdropped on the conversation between the bodyguards, Ye Chen learned that both Prime Minister Qiu Ying and Liu Kan hailed from large, prestigious clans. They also happened to be key talents of a certain royal court. Scanning the two with his Astral Body, Ye Chen found that Qiu Ying's powers were slightly above his lynx, which meant that he was probably a peak Tenth Level. Meanwhile, Liu Kan's power level was on par with the lynx, mid-Tenth Level. There was another member at the back who was low Tenth Level and the rest were peak Ninth Level. 

The Great Emperor Mingwu had recruited large numbers of Tenth Level combatants from the Xiwu Empire to explore forbidden places. Meanwhile, the likes of Qiu Ying, Liu Kan, and the rest belonged to the court where they were truly needed. They would never be sent to a place like this!

Ye Chen's gaze followed the men behind Qiu Ying and Liu Kan. He saw a familiar face, one he had previously seen with Second-rank Prince Liu Zhen. It was Mentor Qin, the man who caused a ruckus back at the Ye Castle!

Mentor Qin was surprised to see Ye Chen in the crowd. He turned to whisper to the Chinese robed middle-aged man standing next to him. The man's gaze toward Ye Chen turned cold. He looked to be a low Tenth Level combatant though it seemed like he lacked a firm cultivation base. 

Ye Chen squinted his eyes. Under the use of his Astral Body, he had heard every word of exchange between Mentor Qin and the man. The robed man was none other than the Second-rank Prince of Donglin - Liu Xun - the man who had humiliated his father and drove him out of the palace. 

Ye Chen clenched his fist. Liu Xun had crossed the line when he messed with his father. No matter the cost, he was going to make Liu Xun pay for it! The enemies had three Tenth Level combatants with one of them being a peak Tenth Level. Ye Chen was still not a match for them and so, he could only patiently wait for the opportune moment to strike!

Noticing something was amiss while they were scavenging for Spirit Pills, Zhan Hu and the rest quickly ran up to Yin Mengtian's side.

"You've been here for quite some time now, haven't you Yin Mengtian? I bet you and your men must've had a great haul. Seeing that we're colleagues, I bet I've got a cut in it too, don't I?" Liu Kan chuckled as he noticed the fury in Yin Mengtian's expression. Once again, his lazy eye scanned Zhan Hu and the rest. The prince's bodyguards were only peak Ninth Level at best.

"What are you? A bunch of thugs?" Yin Mengtian lashed at them. He could tell Liu Kan had intended to steal their Spirit Pills for his own. 

"Careful, Yin Mengtian. Stress is bad for health. Besides, that's a lot of Spirit Pills. You shouldn't be eating all that by yourself." Liu Kan rolled his eyes and made eye contact with Qiu Ying. Yin Mengtian was a stubborn old fart who never really got along with them, so they were not exactly expecting to run into him at a place like this. Death was a common sight in a place like the Sunken Jade Tower. If Yin Mengtian and his men were to perish in here, they would know, even if no one saw it with their own eyes. 

"Watch your mouth, Yin Mengtian. Have I ever said I wanted your Spirit Pills?" Qiu Ying stroke his snow-white beard and smiled ambivalently. His men had a.s.sumed a flanking maneuver. 

Ye Chen had sensed something was amiss when he saw Qiu Ying's smile. If the enemies were to strike now, he and the rest would be in deep trouble. With the help of his lynx and Little Tanuki, he could make a run for it just fine. If he did that, however, Yin Mengtian and his men would be in grave danger.

Aware that Qiu Ying's men meant harm, Yin Mengtian trembled slightly. Qiu Ying and his men were a bunch of barbarians! They did not corner them just so they could steal their loot but to annihilate them too!

"Kid, I apologize for dragging you into this. This doesn't concern you in the first place. If things get physical, the rest and I will cover you. You just focus on running," Ye Mengtian stood in front of Ye Chen and whispered to him while firing up his Celestial Chi.

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Ye Chen looked at Qiu Yang, Liu Kan, and Second-rank Prince Liu Xun. He needed to think of a solution fast. If he ran, Yin Mengtian and his men would die for sure. Even if he stayed, he would not be of much help either. Ye Chen wondered if he could help Yin Mengtian and the rest escape too. 

Liu Xun was using an upper level four martial art technique. His movements were as swift as the wind, imbued with a touch of ice elemental Celestial Chi. It was truly an impressive sight.

"Liu Xun has been training hard for the day that he'd come to face to face with the boy. A boy like him who can advance to Tenth Level at such a young age must be captured and brought to the Exclusion Zone or he'll wreak havoc in the future." Qiu Yang smiled ambivalently. With Liu Xun's power level, he would not have a difficult time defeating a teenage boy. Qiu Yang did not need to intervene in the fight. The most he needed to do was to capture whoever it was on the side trying to escape from the fight. 

Noticing Liu Xun's kick, Ye Chen's gaze turned ruthless. He mustered his breath. "Run, Prince Yin!" His Celestial Chi surrounded his body as a flare combusted. Crimson Cloud Searing Skies!

Waves of inferno burst forth. 

A large explosion ensued. Against Ye Chen's Crimson Cloud Searing Skies, Liu Xun would probably disintegrate in mere seconds. Liu Xun was taken by surprise. Sensing the turn in events, he consolidated his Chi Construct and leaped into the air, hoping to avoid Ye Chen's attacks. Ye Chen pursued ahead. 

Clink, clink, clink. A clash of ice and fire elemental Celestial Chi b.u.t.ted heads. 

While Ye Chen may not have advanced to Tenth Level yet, the Celestial Chi in him remained concentrated. Just Crimson Cloud Searing Skies alone was enough to give Liu Xun a difficult time.

Ye Chen had to kill Liu Xun before Qiu Ying had a chance to respond.

Fury of Shattering Earth!

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