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Chapter 326 – The Wise Hulun Hehe

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
     Soon, the group arrived in front of a cabin.

    An official walked forwards and knocked on the door. When Qin Yu opened it, he was startled for a moment. His first thought was that the secret of the little blue lamp had been exposed.

    But then, he thought about how he hadn’t used it since he entered the competition. So…what was going on here?

    Hulun Hehe’s eyes flashed with a faint light, as if everything was as he expected. He lightly said, “Ning Qin, when you asked about your points, it was indeed that official who improperly managed things. But, your 7 points were personally decided by me. This is because with your alchemy skills, the most you can obtain is 7 points.”

    He waved his hand. The incomparably unlucky official haplessly appeared, a look of shame on his face. He expressed his ‘sincere’ apologies to Qin Yu. Of course, in his heart he wished that he could kill Qin Yu. This was naturally a useless detail so there was no need to worry about it.

    “Ning Qin, I am Hulu Hehe, an official responsible for all affairs that arise in the competition. Do you have any objections towards this matter? If you do, you can raise them now and I will give you an explanation.” Hulun Hehe’s voice was calm and his expression cold.

    Qin Yu was stunned. No one had given him an explanation of what was going on yet.

    After obtaining the seven eternal night demon mushrooms, he had spent all this time deliberating on how to use them to refine the Demon Puppet Pill. Thus, he had no idea of what was occurring on the network.

    This Ning Qin, he could actually put on a decent performance and pretend to be innocent and clueless. However, even if you are an award-winning master, everything is exposed beneath these fiery golden eyes! You can give up any ideas of escaping this!

    “Ning Qin, if you have no objections then I will consider this matter as having been concluded.” Hulun Hehe turned, about to leave. But then he casually asked, “Just what did you want to obtain the eternal night demon mushrooms for?”

    Qin Yu cupped his hands together. “It is for refining pills during the fourth stage.”

    Hulun Hehe’s eyes flashed with a cold sneer. He nodded and walked away with everyone in tow.

    Qin Yu was left bewildered. But, he felt that something wasn’t right.

    It wasn’t a good atmosphere to contemplate the situation with all eyes on him. He closed the door, cutting off all those gazes. But before he even took two steps forwards, he froze in place.

    Ning Qin…

    That Hulun Hehe had called him out using the alias he registered with!

    That bastard…

    Qin Yu was finally clear where that evil intent came from.

    Within the crowd, countless cultivators that were paying attention to the situation relaxed. At the same time, they scratched their heads, a bit perplexed.

    What sort of pill could the eternal night demon mushroom be refined into?

    Luckily for everyone, this matter seemed to only be an understanding, and it seemed to be solved now.

    But suddenly, a cultivator shouted out, “Lord Hulun Hehe seemed to have called that fellow Ning Qin just now, right?”

    “Mm, that’s his name.” To the side, a calm cultivator’s eyes flashed with a dignified look.

    Following that, the field fell silent for a moment. Then, all of these people subconsciously widened their eyes.

    Ning Qin…Ning Qin…

    Several months ago, during the Weather Discussion Channel’s Columnist Weekly, they had appraised a Divine Blood Pill, creating a wonderful amount of advertising for the inn and causing their reputation to rise drastically. The most outstanding figure from the program, besides that Grandmaster 19 who was still an unseen mystery, was that little brother Ning Qin who had used his own body to test the pill and turn the tide!

    The Southshine Nation had millions upon millions of citizens, and it was far too ordinary for people to share the same name. But, in everyone’s hearts, they actually had a faint intuition.

    It was him! It was definitely him!

    Although the two live broadcast streamers had no way to directly stream this, their professional instincts still told them to keep recording.

    So at this time, their two faces both revealed an excited color.

    Once the live streaming began again, they would definitely upload this video and they were both sure it would cause a great uproar.

    They had even thought of the title: In-depth competition news – an exclusive reveal of little brother Ning Qin’s true appearance.

    A big wave of fans and rewards was already on the way.

    Hulun Hehe sat down. He swept his eyes around, “You may leave. Without my permission, no one is allowed to enter.”

    “Yes, my Lord.”

    The subordinates withdrew. The remaining senior officials were left standing there with confused expressions.

    Hulun Hehe clapped his hands. In the corner of the room, a cultivator emerged from the shadows. They were wrapped in black clothes, making it impossible to discern their appearance. “My Lord, the things you requested are here.”

    With the cultivator’s hoarse and scratchy voice, it wasn’t even possible to tell if they were a man or a woman.

    The senior officials all revealed shocked expressions.

    The Dark Night Division!

    This was a secret organization controlled by the Southshine Nation’s royal family. They were assigned to monitor the news and guard the members of the royal family. If a person from the Dark Night Division was sent here, it appeared that things weren’t as simple as they seemed.

    Hulun Hehe nodded. “Allow everyone here to see it.”

    The Dark Night Division cultivator moved his hand and magic power surged out into a jade slip. A curtain of light immediately appeared in midair, playing a video.

    Impressively, it was a variety of monitoring clips of Qin Yu participating in the competition, all merged together.

    There was the matter with the Pill Furnace Pagoda, as well as the handing over of the pill from the second and third stages.

    If one could become a senior official, then disregarding their cultivation, just their intelligence and methods were definitely not poor.

    Otherwise, they would have already been swallowed up by all the behind-the-scenes scheming going on. How could they be calmly and securely sitting here?

    Although these pictures didn’t prove anything, they still noticed something strange from them.

    For instance, Qin Yu would always hand over pills at the final moment, and the quality of the pills just barely satisfied the minimum standard.

    If it were said that there wasn’t something going on here, no one would believe it.

    Hulun Hehe flicked his sleeves and several jade slips flew out, falling in front of each person present. “This is an investigation of Ning Qin’s background sent through an emergency channel of the Dark Night Department. This person’s history is incomparably clean and it is impossible to find anything wrong with it. However, the most suspicious point is that it is far too clean.”

    Next, every senior official carefully looked through the jade slips. They read through a recorded personal history stemming from childhood to adulthood.

    The place of birth was a little village in a volcanic region. He lived there for 16 years. Later, because an earth dragon turned over, he was forced to leave his home and relocate to a tiny town just past the Southern Overwatch Pass. He entered a local family called the Xu Family as an apprentice and officially stepped onto the road of cultivation…until he joined the inn.

    Everything was clearly written, but the things recorded actually couldn’t be investigated. This was because the little village underwent a disaster and was drawn into the earth, where it was reduced to ashes. The number of people who survived could be counted on one hand. After all these years they had disappeared without a trace, and even if they could be found it wouldn’t be strange if they didn’t know who Ning Qin was.

    Then, Ning Qin lived for ten years in that little town. It was originally a beautiful sightseeing area, but because a rainbow peacock that was being raised there suddenly went insane and dove into the demonic path, it eventually evolved into a heaven swallowing earth roc. The entire town was razed to the ground and all things were erased. Naturally, no evidence was left behind.

    All the experiences afterwards were of similar types. It was simply impossible to verify Ning Qin’s identity.

    The senior officials frowned. They withdrew their divine senses and looked over.

    Hulun Hehe had a grave expression. He said, “I suspect that Ning Qin is a spy from another country, sent to my Southshine Nation to weaken our national stability! This was the same several months ago in the struggle between the inn and Philosophy Watch, and is the same now in this competition.”

    “This…Ning Qin’s current behavior is a little suspicious, but when he tried his best to preserve the inn’s reputation, there didn’t seem to be anything to suspect there.”

    “I believe that the initial reason why matters between Philosophy Watch and the inn grew so heated was because someone was secretly pushing things from behind. As for Qin Yu, the only reason he helped the inn should have been in order to obtain a higher status and carry out an even larger plot.”

    Although this theory was a bit forced, when everyone thought about Ning Qin’s overly clean identity that couldn’t be traced back, in addition to his behavior in the competition so far, the senior officials nodded and approved Hulun Hehe’s judgment.

    After all, they all knew how highly the royal family regarded the competition. And if it was for the competition, it wasn’t bad to be a bit more cautious. Moreover, the person who spoke of this was Hulun Hehe. This might be the will of the royal family so naturally no one here spoke out against him.

    “May I ask what Lord Hulun is preparing to do?”

    Hulun Hehe’s eyes shined. “Right now, Ning Qin has already become an extremely famous figure on the network. If we rashly implement some plan to capture him, we will definitely be criticized for it. In fact, some people with ulterior motives might use this chance to retaliate. Ning Qin has likely already planned for this. He has already anticipated that there would be a day when he is found to be suspicious, so he wore an extra layer of protection! Humph, but in front of me, all his plans are useless! To move against him, we don’t need to do it ourselves.”

    “Lord Hulun, what do you mean?”

    Hulun Hehe’s voice was calm and light, as if everything was within his control. “In order to obtain his initial protection of fame as well as the inn’s trust, this Ning Qin actually offended many people, primarily Philosophy Watch. I’ve already investigated the situation. Philosophy Watch has dispatched many cultivators to participate and their actions are strange. Even after being eliminated they still linger around here, not leaving.”

    The eyes of the senior officials brightened, revealing deep acclaim. They had already approximately guessed Hulun Hehe’s plan. Indeed, using the borrowed knife to kill someone wasn’t a bad idea. In fact, there didn’t even need to be murder. As long as Ning Qin came into conflict with others, they would have an excuse to interfere. Then once Ning Qin fell into their hands, they could do with him whatever they pleased.

    Hulun Hehe icily smiled. “Recently, there’s been a great deal of negative news about the competition. We can put out some interesting news to divert everyone’s attention. I wonder if anyone here has an objection to my plans?”

    “Lord Hulun is wise. Everything shall be as you say.”

    The other senior officials nodded.

    Thus, a mere hour later, someone uploaded a video onto the Southshine Nation’s largest gossip forum. The contents of the video included information on the initial Divine Blood Pill appraisal as well as edited clips of Qin Yu participating in the Southshine Nation’s Youth Alchemy Competition.

    Then, the uploader used the identity of being one of Ning Qin’s fans and said that they had finally found their black-robed little brother.

    There was a great deal of excited chatter, and in the end, some confusion. This fan seemed to be confident in Ning Qing’s alchemy skills and firmly believed that there was some hidden plot against him. Otherwise, why would the Southshine Nation official try to suppress Ning Qing, and only relent when the ‘save little brother 9527’ event happened? Even then, they only reluctantly apologized to him afterwards.

    This was Hulun Hehe’s clever plan. He wanted to spray dirt all around and make use of those waves that had yet to disperse. This sort of thing was the best way to attract everyone’s attention.

    And once this video was uploaded, it spread like wildfire after a short period of time.

    Guided by the Southshine Nation officials, news that little brother 9527 was also Ning Qing blew up the network.