Chapter 346: Failed

    Chapter 346: Failed

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    Hou Sai Lei groaned and swaggered towards the palace along with Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu.

    Meanwhile, the young grey-armored guard cast a glance at Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu... He was about to say something. But, he was gently pulled by the other guard.

    The three people walked into the palace, and the door automatically closed in a slow manner.

    "Who are these two?" the young guard asked after the three people had entered the palace hall.

    "They are important people who have come from the Sub-altar of the Rising Sun City. Minister Hou said that there is some crucial information that they want to report directly to the Altar Lord. To be precise... this matter is something that small people like us shouldn't take interest in," the other guard said.

    The young guard nodded, and heaved a sigh of relief inwardly. He also glanced at the other guard with sincere gratitude.

    He knew that he would've been reprimanded by Minister Hou in a terrible manner if he had spoken anything to make inquiries. After all, they had experienced this kind of situation multiple times.

    The palace hall was quite wide and spacious. A few white stones were inlaid on both of the side walls. These stones were exuding faint brilliance which was illuminating the entire area.

    A grey-robed middle-aged man was seated on the seat-of-honor at the moment; there was a feathered-fan in his hand.

    The slender eyes and short beard of this man portrayed the image of a great scholar since they had been coupled with the feathered-fan in his hand. However, his flat nose and a pair of small eyes didn't look symmetrical to his facial features. In fact, they ruined his overall personality.

    "Subordinate Hou Sai Lei is honored to see the Altar Lord!" Hou Sai Lei extended his greetings to the middle-aged man. Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu followed suit, and bowed to greet him.

    "Minister Hou, you don't have to follow formal courtesy. I've been told that there is some crucial matter that you want to report to me. What is it? Tell me. I'm listening..." the middle-aged man raised his hand, and said. Simultaneously, his gaze hovered over Shi Mu for a moment. Then, his gaze rested on Zhong Xiu's body, and a gleam emerged in his eyes.

    Zhong Xiu's face was covered with a veil, but her exquisite figure was enough to stir-up any man's hidden desires.

    "Who are these two?" he asked, but his eyes didn't leave Zhong Xiu's body for even a second. In fact, his gaze was wandering up and down her body in an unscrupulous way. Meanwhile, his throat twitched as he swallowed saliva.

    Such filthy behavior ticked off Zhong Xiu. But, she still didn't make any rash action.

    "They belong to the same sect of the Rising Sun City. They had said that they want to report an important matter to the Altar Lord," Hou Sai Lei felt as if his scalp had become numb as he noticed the middle-aged man's wandering eyes. So, he hastily said.

    The middle-aged man's facial expression changed, and revealed a look of surprise as he heard these words.

    "So, they are fellow members of the Rising Sun City's Cult. You can speak right away if you have anything to say," He reluctantly retracted his gaze, and straightened his body.

    "Senior, the Honorable Lord of the Rising Sun City's Altar has asked us to deliver this thing to you. Please have a look at it," Shi Mu took out a jade-like pure and delicate green jade box... It was almost the size of a palm. Many exquisite carvings were embossed on the surface of this small jade box. It was apparently not an ordinary thing... Shi Mu handed it over to Hou Sai Lei.

    Hou Sai Lei stared at the small jade box in his hand, and a doubtful look flashed across his eyes. He then moved a few steps forward, and handed the jade box to the middle-aged man.

    The middle-aged man received the jade box. Shi Mu's silhouette flashed and disappeared from his place in this split second.

    Shi Mu appeared on the top of the middle-aged man's head the next moment. Then, the black blade in his hand turned into a black blade-shadow, and hacked down on the man's head.

    The middle-aged man's complexion profoundly changed as he saw this scene. The fact was that Hou Sai Lei had happened to block his vision since he stood right in front of him. Therefore, he hadn't been able to catch sight of Shi Mu's movement. And, this meant that his response had been delayed by half-a-second.

    However, he was a Moon-ranked magician at the end of the day... The feathered-fan in his hand gleamed with brilliant grey radiance. He was about to wave it.

    However, the green jade box in his hand suddenly opened up, and several white chains flew out of it. Then, they wound around the middle-aged man's body like a bolt of lightning... It seemed as if they were being controlled by someone.

    The middle-aged man was caught off guard, and his body got bundled up as if he were a rice dumpling.

    Then, the white chain sunk into his body. Consequently, that feathered-fan fell down from his hand.

    The middle-aged man's facial expression greatly changed. He was about to open his mouth, and give a loud shout. But then, the black blade appeared beside his neck, and the ice-cold blade's edge was stuck to his throat.

    Shi Mu stood beside the middle-aged man. His fingers suddenly moved in a manner that made it seem as if they had changed into a few remnant shadows. Then, they were placed on a few spots on the middle-aged man's chest.

    The layer of grey radiance on the middle-aged man dissipated the moment those fingers touched his chest. Also, his body collapsed back into his seat like a deflated ball.

    Simultaneously, a burst of white light lit up on Zhong Xiu's body. Then, a white soundproof barrier spread from that light, and enveloped the entire palace.

    "Who are you? You've dared to break into the Sub-altar of the Dark Moon Cult?! It is a very important place... The Cult won't let you slip by so easily! Hou Sai Lei, you traitor!" the middle-aged said.

    A fit of uncontrollable tremor took over Hou Sai Lei's body as he heard these words. He didn't dare to look at him. He simply remained standing to one side.

    However, the expression in Shi Mu's eyes turned cold. He bent his finger, and then flicked it... A black light darted out of his finger, and struck the left eye of the middle-aged man.

    Then, a blood-red light suddenly flashed!

    The fact was that the middle-aged man's left eye had been mangled by him. It looked nearly beyond recognition at the moment. The man exuded a shrill agonized scream since the sudden hit in his left eye had rendered him blind.

    "Shut your mouth. This is a punishment for your eyeballs for staring at someone in that arbitrary manner a moment ago!" Shi Mu said.

    The middle-aged man's body was shaken up, and he immediately closed his mouth. He then looked at Shi Mu with his remaining eye, and a petrified look peeped through it.

    A complex look bubbled-up on Zhong Xiu's face as she witnessed this scene. The fact was that this incident had struck her with a sense of happiness and restlessness at the same time. However, she didn't speak anything.

    Shi Mu grabbed that middle-aged man's chest, and single-handedly lifted him up.

    "A woman surnamed Zhen has delivered a fleet of carriages with goods in this city today. Tell me where it is at this time." Shi Mu asked in a lowered voice.

    "In... in the secondary palace's warehouse," the middle-aged man started to cringe with fear as he spoke.

    "What relation do you have with that woman? Where is she now?" Shi Mu asked in a stern voice.

    "That woman is an acquaintance of Vice-President Liu An. I had gotten the chance to meet her only recently. I think she should've left the Hidden Wind Valley by now," the middle-aged man replied.

    "Left..." Shi Mu frowned, and muttered to himself.

    Shi Mu let out a cold snort, and his fingers tightened their grip on the middle-aged man's chest. Then, a mass of totem force gushed out Shi Mu's body, and wrapped around the man's heart.

    The middle-aged man's complexion turned deathly white... He felt as if his heart had suddenly been gripped by an ice-cold big hand. This also made him unable to breathe smoothly.

    Shi Mu then waved his hand, and the white chain loosened its grip on the middle-aged man's body.

    The middle-aged man saw this, and a hint of happiness boomed across his face. He then moved his hands and feet once. Then, he stood up.

    But then, he realized that the magic power in his body had been sealed up by Shi Mu's fingers. Even his heart was being controlled by another restricting spell... He didn't dare to move an inch after he realized this.

    "Take us to the warehouse if you don't want me to crush your heart to bits. Also, don't make a futile attempt to escape," Shi Mu said.

    "Yes..." The middle-aged man nodded a few times. After that, he walked towards the depths of the palace.

    They soon came to the side hall; it was situated in the rear of the main Palace. Then, the middle-aged man patted a few times on the side wall.

    Ka Ka!

    The wall cracked-open in response, and revealed a twenty-or-thirty feet high stone gate. A mass of black light was curling up on the surface of that stone wall... as if the arteries and veins were flowing on it.

    The middle-aged man took out a black order token, and then turned his head to look at Shi Mu.

    "Noble Friend, I'm unable to use this token to open this gate since my magic power has been sealed-up by you," he said.

    Shi Mu's brows creased in response.

    "My life and blood essence are stored in this order token. So, only I can use it," the middle-aged man quickly added a few more words.

    Shi Mu took a look at him once. Then, he wielded his arm, and stroked his fingers on the right arm of the middle-aged man a few times. He had done so to unlock the meridians of this man's right arm that he had just sealed.

    The middle-aged man showed a trace of a smile, and gave a nod to Shi Mu after his meridians were unlocked. Then, a grey light shone on his right hand, and blended into the order token.

    A grey light burst forth on the token the next moment. This light then condensed into the shape of a human skull.

    Then, a grey beam of light flew out of the skull, and hit the stone gate.

    The black veins on that stone gate flashed, and then started to subside in a slow manner... It seemed as if a stream of water was seeping into the stone gate.

    The last wisp of black light also disappeared without a trace in a moment. After that, the stone gate issued a soft "Ka-cha" sound, and a small gap split open in it.

    Hou Sai Lei's eyes brightened up to see this. He then made an effort to push open the gate, and the door opened up in a slow manner.

    They then passed through the door, and reached a big hall; it was almost four or five times bigger than the main hall they had just visited.

    The ceiling of the hall was very high; it was almost seventy-or-eight-feet in height. There were only a few pillars in the hall to support the domed roof. Also, all four walls and floor of the hall were emanating a faint black radiance. This was a clear indication that some kind of barrier had been laid out here as well.

    There was no other decorative item in the hall except for these pillars. The hall was quite big, but it didn't appear spacious. It was so because piles of various kinds of things had been arranged all over the floor.

    There were ores, special woods, demon beast materials, and naturally some piles of spirit stone. All kinds of spirit stones - red, white, yellow, and blue - had been arranged into different categories.

    Furthermore, there were also some wooden racks in the hall. And, plenty of things were arranged on the shelves of these racks. These things were clearly more valuable than the goods that lay on the floor. These precious goods comprised of all kind of spirit grasses, medicinal herbs, ancient books, and so on.

    Hou Sai Lei's eyes beamed with excitement as his eyes fell on the things on the floor... He was so excited that a wisp of saliva flowed out of his mouth.

    However, Shi Mu didn't seem to care about these things a bit. He instead swept his gaze across the room once, and his eyes lit up. He then said, "Over there!"

    Shi Mu's eyes had fallen on the eight Floating Cloud Carriages which had been arranged in a certain side of the hall. However, the black cloth that had been on those carriages before had already been uncovered. Therefore, the goods loaded on those carriages were fully exposed at this time.

    Shi Mu had never seen anything throughout the mission despite being in-charge of escorting these goods.

    He saw that the majority of the things on these carriages were various kinds of spirit grasses and spirit materials. Some demon beast materials could also be seen; most of these demon beast materials were skin and bones of various kinds of pythons.

    In addition, there were some black rock-like things on these carriages which had been cut into many cubes. Each of these cubes was only as big as a palm; they looked like bricks. They had been stacked on those carriages in a very organized manner.

    Zhong Xiu's face got smeared with a hint of happiness. She then walked up to the carriages with quick steps, and started to check the goods in all of the carriages.

    "Is everything there? Or, is something missing?" Shi Mu asked.

    Zhong Xiu stopped by the side of a carriage, and picked up an ordinary wooden box; that box didn't look special or conspicuous from any angle.

    The lid of that small box had already been opened, and there was nothing inside it.

    "Don't tell me it was inside this box?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Yes, the Star Stone had been placed inside this box. But, it has already been taken away by them." Zhong Xiu said.

    Shi Mu's brows tightly creased, and his complexion sank.

    But then, he flashed, and arrived by the side of the middle-aged man who stood nearby. He then grabbed the man, and lifted him up.

    "Tell me... Where is the thing that was inside this box? Are you the one who has taken it?" Shi Mu shouted in a stern voice.

    "Noble Friend, you've misunderstood me. This fleet of carriages has just been transferred here. I didn't even get enough time to check these goods; let alone taking things away. Moreover, there is no way such a common box could've attracted my attention," the middle-aged man's face turned red as he spoke.

    The magic power of the middle-aged man was almost at the point of depletion. On top of that, Shi Mu didn't care about his discretion. This situation made the middle-aged man feel as if his neck was held by an iron hoop in such a manner that he might stop breathing at any moment.

    Shi Mu realized that the middle-aged man wasn't lying to him. So, he snorted, and threw him on the ground.

    The middle-aged man crashed into a pile of spirit stones with a loud "Bang" sound. Then, a stuffy groan spread from his mouth as his body rolled down to the ground.

    He then slowly crawled to his feet. Then, he shot a glance at Shi Mu, and felt a cold shiver running down his spine. He couldn't help but lower his head in response.
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