For some people, the older they grew the more crooked they became. For instance, those from the Council of Elders. For some people, the older they grew the wiser and wilier they became. For instance, Moon Praying Shrine’s Lord Priest. Without any communication, he could rely on just his own extrapolations and experience to completely understand the situation. One had no choice but to acknowledge just how sharp his judgment was.
No one disagreed with the Lord Priest’s words; they only expressed their joy and happiness towards the treatment that the Saint Flower would soon receive. Within Moon Praying Shrine, this old priest had a status comparable to that of His Majesty within the capital city. No…it was actually far higher than that. This was because this priest was not only the one who wielded the highest power, but also because he was the spiritual leader and beacon of light who led them forwards.
Two days later, Great Glory Gambling Hall’s great doors were pushed open. Because they had announced their closure earlier, the surroundings were in a rare state of quiet. A carriage was waiting, one that had the emblem representing the full might of Moon Praying Shrine. It was an image of a moon hanging high above the seas, the waves below gently moving with the breeze as numerous moons were reflected in the waters below.
Outside the gambling hall, there were still some people gathered. These were gamblers that hadn’t yet heard the news, and they were turned away. Some of them were angry but they didn’t dare to do anything about it. They cursed and muttered to themselves, but things like this were bound to happen. At this time, they saw the carriage drive out of the gambling hall along with the massive amount of wolf riders that followed on both sides. As long as one wasn’t stubbornly blind, it was easy to tell that a great figure had arrived.
Moreover, there were always those with discerning eyesight. The carriage was covered in complicated textures and there was also that magnificent and dazzling image of a moon high above the sea; this was the most honored and distinguished symbol of Moon Praying Shrine. It was like the imperial dragon robes of the mortal world. Not many had the qualifications to use it; perhaps it was only this Lord Priest.
That great figure who had once led Moon Praying Shrine into direct conflict with the capital city had now come here? As the seafolk watching realized this, all of them gushed out with fervid excitement in their hearts. None of them held any malice or enmity towards Moon Praying Shrine; one could even say that they had a faint and hard-to-describe sense of worship towards that legendary Lord Priest. Thus, as the carriage passed, their eyes filled with awe and respect, as well as a bit of curiosity and hope, as they bowed towards it.
As if sensing their thoughts, the carriage windows were pushed open from within to reveal the warm face of the priest. But on this day, he wore his full priestly regalia. It was sewed in ancient patterns, bright colors, and there were even several long feathers on his hat. But, none of this seemed humorous at all, and instead further enhanced his dignity. While the old priest might have been gently smiling, his honorable and lofty aura still exuded a sense of inexplicable power.
After this, news of Moon Praying Shrine’s Lord Priest arriving in the capital city spread at the fastest speed possible. Wolf riders looked out, their gazes as sharp as blades as they searched for any sign of trouble in the surroundings. If even a tiny accident were to occur, it would welcome a violent reaction.
Xue Zheng sat on his sea wolf, his complexion still pale. It was clear he had yet to recover from the serious injuries he suffered. Even so, no one dared to mock him. He was a formidable existence who had come face-to-face with the Whale Sovereign and still lived.
The carriage drove down the streets. As more and more eyes looked towards them, they headed towards the royal palace.
And at this time, within the royal palace, a final decision was being made on Qin Yu’s fate.
News of Moon Praying Shrine’s Head Priest visiting left many people stunned. They couldn’t imagine why this old opponent of theirs would be so brave as to step into the capital city.
But there were also those that felt something else from Moon Praying Shrine’s actions. Their complexion immediately darkened as their eyes became gloomy.
For instance, the Whale Sovereign.
On that day when Xue Zheng had personally moved to block him, he could determine Moon Praying Shrine’s stance from this. But, he never thought that their Lord Priest would personally make a visit.
These damned barbarians, just what sort of wrong medicine did they take today. Could it be that they came here to…save Qin Yu? During the Day of Ancestral Worship, the Whale Sovereign had chosen to step back because he had full faith that Qin Yu would die. So, he took advantage of that moment to weaken His Majesty’s prestige. After all, that would be advantageous for him when he seized the throne in the future.
But now, other variables had come into play. It seemed as if the situation was slipping beyond his control.
He couldn’t wait any longer. Qin Yu had to die!
His eyes flashed with a severe light. The Whale Sovereign stepped forwards and said, “Your Majesty, it is time that you give us an explanation. I have waited until today, and now we have reached the moment you promised.”
Within the grand hall, several people widened their eyes in amazed surprise. They never thought that the Whale Sovereign, who preferred to remain hidden in the background, would actually jump out on his own initiative and make a demand of His Majesty. There were many smart people here. They thought about how the Lord Priest from Moon Praying Shrine had just arrived and how the wolf rider captain had tried to save Qin Yu that day, and their expressions turned heavy.
The first one to stand up was the Council of Elders’ Great Elder. He had a long scar that traced down his face. The original injury should have been extremely serious, thus even though it had healed, there was still a deep red and purple scar.
“Your Majesty, the Day of Ancestral Worship is the most important festive day of my royal palace. Anyone that affronts the ancestors should be sternly punished. Much less, I also heard that this person is a human?” The Great Elder who had been awakened from seclusion felt his lips twitch, and the scar that ran down his face seemed even fiercer. “I believe he should have been executed on the scene that day, yet matters have been dragged out this long. I really have no idea what Your Majesty is thinking.”
He bowed and lightly said, “I ask Your Majesty to issue an order to execute Qin Yu. Otherwise, please kill me. I only hope that Your Majesty’s blade doesn’t show any more mercy, otherwise if I gain another scar on my face, I will be far too ugly. Not even my little grandson will allow me to hug him.”
In the past when the Council of Elders had been mercilessly cleaned out, while the Great Elder had lived, he had gained a scar on his face. Only a small number of people knew about this, and now that it was publicly revealed in the grand hall, it was no different from a ruthless question. Did His Majesty want to clear out the Council of Elders once more, just for the sake of a single human?
“I ask Your Majesty to issue the order. Execute Qin Yu!”
“I ask Your Majesty to execute Qin Yu!”
“Your Majesty, please pass down the order!”
Within the grand hall, person after person fell to their knees. The air seemed as if it would freeze solid.
In the corners of the grand hall, several figures stood about. Their auras were calm and indifferent. They wore long white robes, and whether it was men or women, they kept their eyes down, as if they didn’t see what was happening in front of them.
The Whale Sovereign frowned. According to their previous agreement, these priests should have started speaking up to nail down Qin Yu. After all, these people might not have any authority, but when it came to worshipping the ancestors, they held an enormous amount of power.
On the Day of Ancestral Worship, the priests had already made their move, so they had no reason to be silent now. Just where had the problem come from?
The Whale Sovereign was lost in thought. At this time, as the Sea Sovereign sat on his dragon throne and faced the waves of suppression, he finally spoke up. “You want to kill Qin Yu, and this Solitude is the same. But since he has been kept alive until today, there is naturally a reason for doing so.” He turned and nodded. “Mister Turtle, please take out that thing.”
The old turtle’s face darkened and he took out a bright crescent-shaped jade pendant from his chest. He said, “On the Day of Ancestral Worship, a special envoy from Moon Praying Shrine secretly arrived at the royal palace to deliver this identification token. It clearly states that Qin Yu is a guest priest of Moon Praying Shrine. His Majesty and I have carefully examined it, and we have determined that the jade pendant’s aura indeed belongs to Qin Yu.” He clenched his teeth, seemingly enraged and peeved. “Otherwise, did you really think that His Majesty would willingly save Qin Yu? To ruin the Day of Ancestral Worship is no different from disturbing the slumber of our ancestors. This is a great crime that cannot be forgiven even with death! But, are you all aware that if he dies, that is the same as the capital city killing off a priest of Moon Praying Shrine? Even if that person is only a guest priest, that is a shame which Moon Praying Shrine will not accept. If that happens, there is bound to be war!”
The old turtle paused. His sharp and fierce eyes swept around the grand hall. “War, this is war! Not those minor quibbles that occur amongst those small regional tribes. Since you all have the qualifications to stand here today, you should all be aware what sort of strength Moon Praying Shine possesses. If there truly is war, then perhaps the capital city may eventually win, but the cost of doing so would be too steep to imagine. You, you, you, and also you, and also me, all of us would have a chance of being buried in this war!”
No one imagined that things would take a sudden turn in this direction. As they saw the frothing-in-anger Turtle Origin and His silent Majesty, countless people groaned inwardly. Hey, with your two statuses, is it really okay to handle things like this?
Moon Praying Shrine’s guest priest? Stop messing around!
Qin Yu was a human. In that tribe which cared about tradition and legacies the most, it would be good enough if he wasn’t immediately killed, so how could he become a guest priest? This was simply the greatest joke in the world! But, the problem was that even if everyone knew that His Majesty was acting along with Turtle Origin, no one could do anything about it, because that status-identifying jade pendant was sure to be real.
What nonsense. The human was in your hands and Moon Praying Shrine was also echoing you from outside. To prepare these things in secret was ridiculously easy. Yet, who would have thought that in order to save Qin Yu’s life, that solemn and dignified ruler of the sea races would actually do something like this and lie with his eyes wide open.
Many of those in the hall didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. But at the same time, they sobered up a bit. It seemed that His Majesty had doubled down on his resolve to guarantee Qin Yu’s life.
“Your Majesty, I cannot fully believe your explanation. How can a human become Moon Praying Shrine’s guest priest?” Cold light surged in the Whale Sovereign’s eyes. “And, even if we draw back a step and say that he is Moon Praying Shrine’s guest priest, since he dared to insult our ancestors on the Day of Ancestral Worship, he still must die!”
The sound of footsteps transmitted from outside the hall. Everyone turned to see the Lord Priest arrive, dressed in his full priestly garb. From his smile, everyone could feel the lofty aura that emanated from him.
“Replying to the Whale Sovereign’s question, who my Moon Praying Shrine chooses as a guest priest is an internal matter; we don’t need to give anyone an explanation or ask anyone for permission. As for killing my Moon Praying Shrine’s guest priest…” The old priest paused for a moment and then faintly said, “The Whale Sovereign may try.”
The Lord Priest looked up and revealed a smile. “Your Majesty, this old man has been disrespectful to you. I greet you.”
He slightly bent his waist in greeting.
This sight left all the high ranking officials in the grand hall stunned. For a moment, they even forgot about what they were discussing before and their overbearing arguments to do so. Moon Praying Shrine had never been easy for the capital city to deal with. They always placed this priest’s status on par with His Majesty, and no one had been able to do anything about it. But now, this old man actually lowered his head to greet His Majesty…in that flash, a feeling of growing glory and triumph grew in the hearts of many officials within the hall.
The Sea Sovereign lifted his hands. “There is no need for Lord Priest to be so polite. Men, give him a seat.” As the smiling old man took a seat, the Sea Sovereign suddenly realized that this bow had been because of Qin Yu and was a way of expressing his gratitude. Although it seemed casual, for someone of his status to do something like that, it was more than enough to show how important Qin Yu was to him.
Just what had occurred within Moon Praying Shrine? Could it be that…a thought suddenly rose up in the Sea Sovereign’s heart. He hesitated for a moment and finally pressed it back down. If his guess was true, then perhaps this might be the best chance to fully wipe out Moon Praying Shrine. But, he would inevitably pay the price for doing so.
At that time, even if he managed to subdue Moon Praying Shrine, he feared that the skies above the capital city would change.