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Chapter 187 – A Silent Choice

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
    

    The priest’s words verified Qin Yu’s thoughts. “This is Moon Praying Shrine’s Saint Flower. In my long life, even now I haven’t been able to master it. Haha, that may sound a bit perplexing. In truth, if I had to simplify it, then even after having lived to such an old age, I still don’t understand the flower that I raised.

    “Of course, to say it is a flower I raised is also inappropriate, but that’s the approximate situation of things. The Saint Flower is like a sun that releases the aura of life. Through some special methods, this aura can be fused into an entire tribe, and this is the reason why Moon Praying Shrine is able to continuously produce powerful warriors and maintain our status. But, in the end it is not a true sun. As it releases more and more vitality, this will only lead to the Saint Flower destroying itself.”

    The priest continued to speak, rambling on and on. He seemed overly verbose and a bit scatterbrained, but Qin Yu listened with an earnest expression, as if he could sense the seriousness hidden beneath the words.

    Moreover, he finally realized why Moon Praying Shrine had disregarded any cost to help him.

    Moon Praying Shrine’s Saint Flower was an incomparably strange sea spirit. It had been found many, many years ago and had been exalted all this time by the tribe. It was unknown where it obtained the strength from, but the life energy it released was able to be used to help strengthen Moon Praying Shrine. Ideally, this release and absorption rate should be at an equilibrium, or just faintly tilted towards one side, in order to allow the Saint Flower to grow.

    But a long time ago, Moon Praying Shrine’s Saint Flower stopped growing. However, the life energy it released grew increasingly rich and potent, as if it truly were on fire. And this didn’t come without a cost. The priests could feel that the Saint Flower was weakening. If this continued, the only result would be that the Saint Flower would wither away.

    “Our tribe has tried numerous ideas to help rebalance the Saint Flower’s strength, but unfortunately, we failed at every turn. It was only then that we heard news about Little Friend Qin Yu. Oh, at that time you were called Honorable Ning. Because of you, the Vice Priest and my daughter personally brought the Saint Flower to the capital city and finally all of this occurred.” The priest’s complexion calmed down. “Now, I want to ask Little Friend Qin Yu – can you save the Saint Flower?”

    Qin Yu’s eyes nearly twitched. He thought that even though this priest had a faint and serene expression, if he said that he couldn’t rescue it then he might immediately turn the tables and go crazy on him. So, he simply pretended to think for a moment and then nodded.

    The priest smiled. “I understand. Then, I’ll have to bother you with this.”

    The Saint Flower’s greatest problem was that the balance in the strength it absorbed using an unknown method and the strength it released had been broken. To put it in other terms, it was drinking two mouthfuls of water and only spitting out one. There were many reasons for why this could be, but no matter what it was, the solution was actually quite simple. All he needed to do was have the Saint Flower become more powerful.

    Its situation was the same as that underground vine’s. Just like how the underground vine needed to become more formidable so it could contain more of that tyrannical strength, the Saint Flower also needed to become stronger so that it could absorb more power. Eventually, the absorption rate would catch up with the release rate, and when it returned to equilibrium, there naturally wouldn’t be any problems with it.

    The carriage returned to the Great Glory Gambling Hall. Qin Yu was escorted into a tightly guarded chamber, where the Vice Priest and old priest from Moon Praying Shrine personally stood guard. Wolf riders surrounded the complex, both inside and out. Throughout the capital city, the various influences seemed to have come to a tacit understanding with each other, and each one of them held back their forces. None of them even approached this region by half a step, lest they create unnecessary misunderstandings.

    As for Qin Yu, after obtaining a short period of freedom, he was placed under house arrest once more. Even if this was only Moon Praying Shrine trying to keep him safe, it wasn’t much different from before.

    Then, time passed, day after day.

    Qin Yu believed he placed a bit too much faith in the little blue lamp. There were always exceptions to the rule. For instance, the Soul Mushroom of before, and now Moon Praying Shrine’s Saint Flower.

    Did the little blue lamp have any effect on it? Of course it did, and he could even feel the Saint Flower’s condition changing for the better, although at a slower pace.

    From his room, Qin Yu contacted Moon Praying Shrine through a white-dressed young woman. It was only afterwards that he learned she was the old priest’s daughter. After careful communication, it was discovered that at this current speed, it would take at least several more years to help the Saint Flower return to balance.

    Of course, the premise of this was that the Saint Flower could last that long. Otherwise, if it were to explode in a giant mess one day, Qin Yu worried he would die a miserable death.

    But, this result alone was enough to excite Moon Praying Shrine. This was because it was the first time they had ever found a method that could save the Saint Flower. Soon after, the old priest came and personally chatted with Qin Yu. He came to say that there was no need for Qin Yu to worry, and Moon Praying Shrine was more than patient enough to wait it out. Moreover, if the Saint Flower’s situation began to spiral out of control, they also had some methods to extend its survival time as long as possible.

    In brief, it was like this. Everything’s fine as long as you continue to treat the Saint Flower. We can wait.

    Qin Yu was originally a bit anxious, but after determining that there was nothing he could do, a sense of calm came over him. He could only force himself to be patient. He comforted himself by saying that he could at least cultivate. With Moon Praying Shrine’s protection, he wouldn’t need to worry about his own safety.

    Thus, time quietly passed.

    During this period of time, ‘Qin Yu’ had already been executed. It was unknown what the royal palace had done, but their actions were more than enough to appease the lower level seafolk. Those that had the qualifications to know the truth could only keep their mouths shut. After all, this wasn’t some glorious event of the sea races and there was also His Majesty’s invisible suppression.

    Ning Qin, Honorable Ning, or perhaps Qin Yu, this name that had caused such a stir in the capital city, soon vanished from sight. People always had short memories. Perhaps there were some that might always remember his name, but for the most part he would disappear in the long memories of the people. At most, years later someone might come and say to a friend, ‘oh, I also know of that person! He was a very fierce human!’

    This was it.

    As for the dwelling that Qin Yu gifted to Leon, some people even had covetous thoughts towards it. After those people were beaten bloody, that large and mostly empty dwelling finally restored itself to peace.

    No, perhaps using quiet was much more appropriate.

    When news spread from the royal palace that Qin Yu had killed Jing Guanjin and the other captive princes on the Day of Ancestral Worship, the Qing Family had allowed Leon to take away Qingqing’s corpse for burial. In that dwelling, from morning until night, there was only Leon now. It seemed that he had also been forgotten. Without incident, he would be like Qin Yu, forever disappearing from the attention of the capital city people.

    The capital city returned to calm, just like it normally was through the countless years once the waves passed. Gradually, Qin Yu also adapted to this tranquility. And this was when the accident occurred.

    In a way, this was a good thing. Because one day in the deep of night, as the Saint Flower bathed in the light of the little blue lamp, it seemed to quietly undergo some vital change.

    Thus, that overbearingly potent life energy, so strong that it shocked the heart, gradually settled down.

    The Saint Flower stopped wildly burning. Its strength had returned to balance.

    All throughout Moon Praying Shrine, everyone fell into joyous revelry. The entire gambling hall was bathed in festive celebration. And once the old priest’s daughter repeatedly determined that the Saint Flower truly was cured, these celebrations reached their peak.

    The fragrance of meat and wine drifted out for over ten miles. The normally serene and restrained Vice Priest drank so much that he nearly fainted. He held onto Qin Yu’s hand and cried and laughed, smacking his chest repeatedly and guaranteeing that Moon Praying Shrine would always be his good friend. Qin Yu could come at any time and receive the best welcome from him.

    After Qin Yu dealt with the Vice Priest for a long time, it was only then that he was able to send him away. But, he was soon replaced by a line of waiting people, each one wailing into his ears. It was only far later into the night once most of the people had left that things quieted down a little. He bitterly smiled several times and shook his head. It was then that he spotted the wolf riders still guarding the perimeter.

    They were equally excited, but they coldly maintained their sobriety. They only ate some food and returned to their respective posts. Perhaps it was only because of the utter devotion and loyalty of these wolf riders that the Vice Priest and the others were able to let themselves go to such an extent.

    The one leading these wolf riders was Xue Zheng.

    Qin Yu walked up with a drink. He smiled. “In truth, I’ve always been wanting to meet you and thank you.”

    Xue Zheng nodded. He turned and left.

    How incredibly cold and callous.

    Qin Yu didn’t pay much attention to it. He returned to his room. He didn’t rest, nor did he cultivate; he simply sat there. This was because he thought that some people would soon come to visit him.

    And as he thought, the old priest came an hour later. As the old man opened the door and found Qin Yu calmly waiting there, he smiled and said with a bit of helplessness. “If possible, I really don’t want to let you leave.”

    Qin Yu reached out a hand, an invitation to sit. “I trust that Lord Priest is someone who abides by his promises.”

    The old priest’s eyes shined a little. “For someone as old as me, things like honoring promises and keeping face don’t really matter much anymore. Perhaps I really would renege on my promise.”

    Qin Yu lightly said, “Then, Lord Priest will discover that the result will not be what you hope for.”

    “For instance?”

    “For instance, if the Saint Flower dies.”

    The room fell quiet. The priest frowned, as if he was dissatisfied that Qin Yu used the Saint Flower as a threat. Then, his heavy expression lifted as if there had been no tension in the room just now. But it was because of this that one couldn’t underestimate him.

    After a long time, the old priest smiled. “Of course I was just playing around. I am a priest of Moon Praying Shrine, so naturally I will keep my word.”

    Qin Yu smiled back. “This junior also believes you will.”

    However, the old priest’s following words were extremely cold and indifferent, even though his expression and tone remained warm. “Moon Praying Shrine saved Little Friend Qin Yu’s life; that isn’t something you can refute. As repayment, little friend treated our Saint Flower. Then, both of our sides are now equal. Moon Praying Shrine can allow little friend to leave, but when little friend does leave the capital city, I will have to announce that you have lost your status as Moon Praying Shrine’s guest priest.”

    After a pause, he continued, “After all, for the sake of a person that is leaving, I cannot allow Moon Praying Shrine to gain such a formidable enemy.”

    The old priest didn’t say who this enemy was, but it wasn’t hard to guess – the Whale Sovereign!

    That powerful existence had vanished ever since the day in the temple when deliberations on Qin Yu’s fate had finished. But, it was clear he wouldn’t give up. The Whale Sovereign had failed to kill Qin Yu several times before and would continue trying until he achieved his goal. The moment that Qin Yu left the capital city and lost the protection of Moon Praying Shrine, he would certainly make his move.

    This was a silent choice that the old man had placed in front of Qin Yu.

    Join Moon Praying Shrine or face the wrath of the Whale Sovereign.

    After all, he didn’t want Qin Yu to leave.