AST 1914 - There’s a Hidden Knife Behind Your Smiling Eyes

Ancient Strengthening Technique

AST 1914 - There’s a Hidden Knife Behind Your Smiling Eyes

When the ladies, Yi Tong, and Lan Lingfeng came out, they did not ask about the situation because they already knew what this was about. They were suffering more than Qing Shui was during these few days. Of course, had Qing Shui’s power not abruptly improved, he would be suffering the same fate as them right now. However, this was nothing to be too concerned of as it wasn't that big of a deal.

“Everyone, you mustn't take a step out of the Imperial Cuisine Hall.” Qing Shui told them with a smile.

“We can't do that!” Qing Hanye was the first one to protest.

“Brother Shui, Little Sister Yeer and I should be able to protect ourselves. Let us come with you!” Dongfang Zhiqiu added.

This State Master surnamed Dongfang was called Dongfang Zhiqiu. Qing Shui remembered that she didn’t introduce her name to him last time, but only came to learn that she was called Dongfang Zhiqiu recently. (Author’s note: I don’t know if I ever gave her a name. I can’t remember now. From now on, this female State Master will appear in the following chapters as Dongfang Zhiqiu.)

Qing Shui felt that the name ‘Dongfang Zhiqiu’ sounded very weird. However, this name was just a code name, so he couldn’t care less about it. Despite it being a code name, the name sounded average. In this world, people had peculiar names with two characters, three characters, four characters and even characters beyond five and six. Some didn’t even have a surname, which applied to one of his women, Yehuang Guwu. The surname Yehuang didn’t exist in his past life. On the other hand, Mingyue Gelou’s name gave him an impression of a landscape, but hers was a proper name. He wasn’t sure whether Canghai is a surname either. Because of that, Qing Shui would never investigate on these names any further than that.

Qing Shui pondered for a while and smiled, “Alright. But if the first sign of danger shows up, you must return to the Imperial Cuisine Hall immediately. It’s absolutely safe inside.”

The ladies nodded in agreement and did not argue with him this time. Yiye Jiange held Qing Xiu in her arms, said nothing more and only smiled at Qing Shui. She was the one who knew most of Qing Shui’s affairs with exception to the fact that Qing Shui’s spirit wasn’t from this world, as well as the detailed secret of the Realm of the Violet Jade. Besides those facts, other matters were known to her.

Other than those undisclosable facts, Qing Shui would not hide other matters from this woman, who was his teacher, friend, and wife to him. For example, he had already revealed to Yiye Jiange about his exact power without twisting the details. 

If he were to reveal some of the things to them, it would be quite unbelievable. Moreover, there wasn’t any benefit in telling them the truth. The more people knew about the secret of the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal, the worse it would be for him. If the news of that were to spread, it would bring some unknown danger to the ladies.

When Qing Shui saw the people appearing nearby, he could not help but frown. There were a lot of people in that group. Qing Shui could estimate about 30 people coming toward him. Each of them was mounted on a giant ferocious beast of different colors. Their features were different too. The only similar trait these beasts had was the size of their body.

If he counted 30 people as a mere figure, then it wasn’t really that much, but if they possessed the strength akin to the Grand State Master, and if they possessed strength more powerful than that of a Grand State Master, then the amount of 30 people would be considered as populous.

These people seemed old too. Most of them were almost at their elderly stage. Some looked like they were middle-aged men and only a handful looked young. However, there were some who looked older than Qing Shui. This particularly had attracted Qing Shui’s attention.

Qing Shui was only able to notice the youngest and seemingly the oldest amongst the group. The youngest possessed an unfathomable potential that would be considered more dangerous than most. His power would mostly be attributed to the priceless treasures equipped on his body. The reason Qing Shui was focusing on the older one was because he possessed the strongest power among his peers. Moreover, he was also the leader of the group.

The five old men in the foremost line all had white hair, yet they had straight and strong physique. All of them were wearing long robes with the exception of the two old men with slightly plump physique, the remaining three were slim. These three exuded an air of an immortal as they wore the slightly loose robes on their bodies.

They had a straight expression as they exuded Nature Energy and an air of prestige toward their surrounding while standing in mid-air. The Nature Energy formed within their surroundings had connected both the Heaven and Earth. 

Great Confucian!

This was the true Great Confucian!

Qing Shui straightened his expression when he saw these old men. He would not dare to underestimate them. The aura they exuded was undeniable—that was the true Nature Energy that resulted from the cultivation of their arts. One should know that those of dubious nature would never be able to cultivate Nature Energy no matter how much they pour their energy into their cultivation. 

Furthermore, because of this Nature Energy, some of Qing Shui’s outlook toward this Great Confucian Empire had changed. However, after taking a cursory glance at these old men, he realized that only the three in front possessed such strong energy while the others did not, just like the Grand State Master from before, yet that still could not be considered as the true Great Confucian.

Qing Shui’s silhouette shifted and appeared in the air atop the Imperial Cuisine Hall. Basically, he had stepped out of the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation. 

Qing Shui did not utter a word either as he continued to look at the old men in front of him. To be precise, he was only focusing on the one in the middle amongst the five of them.

This old man was moderately tall and had a straight body figure. He had a wide forehead and smelled of scrolls. The Nature Energy emitted from his body was strong too. He had honest, deep eyes that were full of dignity and authority. He seemed like an imperceptible mountain just by standing there.

“May I know what matters motivate the elderlies to come here?” In the end, Qing Shui was the first to break the silence. Since the other party continued their silence, he decided to initiate the conversation first.

Qing Shui’s tone was gentle and respectful. He spoke with absolute calmness, as if undisturbed by the presence of these old people in front of him.

“Young man, are you the master of this Imperial Cuisine Hall?” The old man standing in the middle began to speak with a distinct voice. He sounded benevolent, yet there was some sort of prestige and oppression emanating from his voice. This wasn’t intentional as he was able to sound like that with spontaneity.

“I am. What business does the elderly have with me?” Qing Shui asked with a smile.

“I came here to look for the person who killed the State Master of the Great Confucian Empire. Are you that person, young man?” The old man retained the gentleness in his tone, which still sounded amiable. Despite the amicable tone, there was a sense of righteousness radiated through his persisting prestigious aura. This sort of prestige would not make one feel disgusted as people would be convinced by his words instead. 

“I don’t know about State Masters, but I did kill a scumbag a few days ago. Old man, you have no idea how absurd this scumbag was. He’s already so old yet disrespectful to others by bullying them with his power.” Qing Shui said with a serious expression as he looked at the old man.

“Kid, how dare you say such things after killing the State Master of my Great Confucian Empire. You are the first person to ever do that.” One of the plump elderly beside the old man in the middle said.

This elderly could only be considered as slightly obese, yet his figure was symmetrical from head to toe. Like a column, he looked like he had neither a waist nor a shoulder. Even his legs looked like a pillar while being cladded in a robe.

The old man cracked a sneer, which was more apparent when he narrowed his small eyes akin to that of a poisonous snake.

A murderous intent behind his smile—this was the expression Qing Shui remembered the most when he gazed at this old man. He had an innocent appearance but his heart was cruel. Qing Shui could never understand why the previous wise elderly men would associate themselves with a person like this old fool.

Between the five old men, three of them were considered as wise Masters of Great Confucian. Not only were the features of the remaining two, who were slightly heavier, quite similar to one another, but they also had an appearance of an innocent man with a hidden agenda. Naturally, such people like them would exist. One of them would tell a lie, but the other could not lie through his eyes. Qing Shui could tell the difference just from looking at their eyes.

Could it be that the Great Confucian Empire was also divided into several forces?

The possibility of that was actually high. Where there were people, there would be conflict; where there were people, there would also be an underworld; where there were people, there would be profit.

“Sir, did someone ever tell you that there’s a hidden knife behind your smiling eyes?” Qing Shui felt annoyed when the old man sneered at him. Naturally, he did not show any courtesy toward those two old men. He would only show his respect to those who deserved it.

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