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178 "Meet" again

 They were acting too much. Meng Qi could not help but make a silent judgement.

The Third Prince knew that Meng Qi was a Kung Fu master who didn't like to be approached, so he didn't hold his arm, just warmly led him in. "Mr Lu was really lucky to have your assistance so that he could be chivalrous to fight through the difficulties and kill formidable enemies with your escort for thousands of miles. If I had your help, why would I worry about not making great achievements?"

He showed his appreciation and intimacy effusively, and sounded quite comfortable.

"I'm just making my humble effort." Meng Qi said carefully.

The Third Prince did not mind his attitude at all. He smiled and said, "I heard that you went to the mansions of my seventh younger brother and fourth younger brother. I didn't expect to see you so fast. I thought I could rest for a while before meeting you in the afternoon."

It explained why he was wearing his shoes wrong. It was good to make some preparations, but he had done too much. It gave the opposite effect.

"I'm just informing the Imperial Princes about the fraud with the peace negotiations." Meng Qi told the truth.

The Third Prince let Meng Qi sit on the couch beside him, showing his courtesy, "I've heard about this affair, and the only thing I can do is to stop it. Alas, Little Meng, I heard that Shengyi and you are town fellows?"

"Yes." Meng Qi answered. He still didn't waste time on small talk.

"Shengyi has always praised that your sword art is superior to the ordinary and he keeps recommending you. I did not believe him before, but now I know that Shengyi was too modest. You are not just adept at sword art but also good at fighting. No more than five people could fight with you. Your move of drawing the sword can even scare monk Ruyi Sceptre and the Ghost King. You'll be the Sword Emperor in the future..." The Third Prince said this passionately, but Luo Shengyi just smiled and listened.

He didn't quite go beyond the bottom line to reveal that my strength was bladesmanship... Meng Qi nodded slightly and said, "I am overpraised. I wonder if you know which Imperial Prince was colluding with the Western Invaders and discussing peace negotiations?"

The Third Prince was stunned and revealed a solemn expression. "I can't make irresponsible remarks, for there is no real proof. But during this time, my henchmen and Shengyi accidentally found that my big brother, fourth younger brother and seventh younger brother had sent somebody secretly into the Yunyan Mansion. They had no clue about what they talked about, but you can ask Shengyi."

Feeling Meng Qi eyes on him, Luo Shengyi nodded gently, "The Ghost King is the henchman of the seventh prince, but he has given his allegiance to the Devil Empress. The Imperial Prince sent the young apprentice of the Sword Emperor, 'Heaven Sword' Song Ming. The Crown Prince's henchman is the Head Constable of the capital - 'Nine-fingered Super Arrester' Nie Wen. And the most satisfied disciple of the infernal master, 'Grandmanster of Evil' Lu Huasheng is hidden in the henchmen of the Western Invaders. What they specifically talked about is unknown."

The Ghost King was the most powerful one among them according to the standards of Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi. He had opened nine ordinary Apertures. Song Ming, Nie Wen and Lu Huasheng had each opened Eight Apertures, and were considered powerful as well. Luo Shengyi had already opened Eight orifices and accomplished the primary level of fist form, perhaps also reaching the ideal condition. She deserved to have her name on the Ranking List of Young Masters. She might even be a little better than Ghost King in fighting force. So it was not surprising to find their tracks in secret monitoring.

The Third Prince was at a disadvantage in the court and among the military and top masters, but there seemed to be a huge information network... Meng Qi deliberated for a while and said noncommittally, "I'll report it to General Lu."

Anything about this matter must be doubted. He himself would intrude on Yunyan Mansion tonight unexpectedly to capture the "Grandmaster of Evil" and torture him with Transformation Strategy!

Meng Qi was really powerful at present, be it in his appearance or in his real strength. Therefore, even if someone discovered him, the person would have to weigh his own strength before fighting. Of course, it would be best if he could beat the "Grandmaster of Evil" secretly!

Meng Qi's sixth level of Golden Bell Shield was almost at the primary stage. His realm had reached Four Apertures and his original strength reached Six Apertures, so he had to make a big move to kill or beat a master of Seven Apertures. But as his Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords had come to the primary level, his combat force surged at the enlightenment period emphasizing his movements. He could beat an ordinary master of Eight Apertures without using big moves and had not been too shy confronting monk Ruyi Sceptre, Ghost King and other stronger masters who generated Protective Upstanding Qi on their own. It would not be too hard for him to beat the "Grandmaster of Evil".

However, there was a prerequisite for this, which was that the strength of "Grandmaster of Evil" was still as he'd been told, and that he hadn't become stronger.

The Third Prince nodded slightly, "If General Lu assists me here, I can deter the thieves and rascals while Tieshan troops are guarding in the northwest. They won't be able to act rashly such as casually ceding their territory (which may be trapped by Western invaders) and suing for peace."

He looked eagerly at Meng Qi, "I feel like you have been my old friend since our first meeting. I really admire your personality, ethics, martial arts and tolerance. I would like to invite you into my mansion to assist me with my great cause!"

He could not wait to draw Meng Qi over to his side. He might have been the most ardent among the many Imperial Princes.

However, the ardor did not mean sincerity, and the indifference might not mean that he didn't want help from Meng Qi. Meng Qi was not a child, so he took it lightly, "Thank you for your great kindness, but I prefer living idly and only admire General Lu. I will leave as soon as the matter is settled."

The Third Prince was not furious after being refused, but smiled and said, "General Lu is the mainstay of the court and also a nightmare for the Western Invaders. I admire him too, and really hope we can beat the Western Invaders together with him in the future, giving peace to our people and saving the world. Please pass along my words to the General."

His attempt to draw Meng Qi over was a little too obvious. The current situation was out of his control because of his power.

Meng Qi got up to leave. The Third Prince asked Luo Shengyi to see him out.

"The Battle of Stone Bridge that happened yesterday made you well-known in the capital. The Third Prince regards you as a grandmaster who could be comparable to the Evil Prince, and even better than me who can beat the Ghost King." Luo Shengyi said half-jokingly, speaking of his own strength.

Meng Qi was not a fool. He understood what he meant. If he wanted to cooperate with someone, Luo Shengyi, as a teammate with powerful strength, would be more trustworthy than others and better to join hands with.

Good for him to change his attitude... Meng Qi knew that the choice he and Ruan Yushu had made changed Luo Shengyi's attitude. He could realize the error of his previous arbitrariness. He now sought for equal cooperation rather than to instruct teammates or subordinates.

"I came across the Sword Emperor and he gave me some directions on my sword art so that I could imitate his graceful posture and scare off monk Ruyi Sceptre and the Ghost King," Meng Qi replied vaguely.

"Sword Emperor?" Luo Shengyi frowned slightly and asked about the details of the affair.

Meng Qi did not conceal anything and described it roughly. After all, he had to get information about the Devil Empress from Luo Shengyi.

"The strength of the Sword Emperor is on par with that of the Devil Empress, but the Sword Emperor's realm seems to be higher, so he may prevail when it comes to a fight," Luo Shengyi began. "The Devil Empress has realized the essence of being feminine, just like an invisible mesh. The air of feminism can unwittingly invade someone's body, affecting his genuine Qi so as to control him. If he is not alert, he is quite likely to become her puppet, moving with the flow of her genuine Qi. One must be on guard against it the first time he meets her."

This was almost like Half-step Exterior Scenery!

When initially confronted with her feminine air, Luo Shengyi had exerted his Vital Spirit completely and integrated into intent of fist to strike the Devil Empress together with the air of feminine. This was the most powerful punch he had ever thrown to keep himself alive.

Listening to Luo Shengyi's description, Meng Qi attached greater importance to the Great Grandmasters in this world. If they were in the main world, they could have stepped into the Exterior and become a master.

The Sword Emperor has perceived the Sword Principles and the Devil Empress's genuine Qi can control one's body. And how about the Royal Advisor, Living Buddha and Right Chief Minister who have gained similar reputations?

Meng Qi could not help but wonder.

"Let's go and watch the combats among the Great Grandmasters." Luo Shengyi had delight in his eyes. His face was glowing and warm.

Meng Qi was quite surprised for a while, then came to his senses all of a sudden, "Is the Right Chief Minister going to greet Jiang Clan's Young Lad in person?"

"Yes, I just got the message that the Right Chief Minister has set off together with Lu Guan and Ba Tu." Luo Shengyi gently nodded.

Jiang Clan's Young Lad would have an idea about the Demon Venerable's whereabouts, so the Devil Empress would prevent him from falling into the hands of Right Chief Minister. As long as she stayed in the capital, a fight was inevitable.

Meng Qi took a light breath, "Go."

How could they not watch a fight at this level?

It would be better to witness a battle than practice bitterly for a long time.

With the help of the "information network" from the Third Prince, both of them sped up and soon arrived at the estuary, which flowed through the city and into the Pei River. Then, from a distance, they saw Lu Guan, Ba Tu and an old man in wide robes board a boat and head for the house opposite.

The Great Grandmasters of this world were still at the human level. If they were surrounded by other masters, they might come to no good end unless they practiced the Immortal Pressing Art. Of course, with their strength and realm, it was almost impossible for hundreds of top masters to siege them.

Nevertheless, this might reassure the Right Chief Minister to leave the imperial palace. Once all the masters converged in the palace, any Great Grandmaster who wanted to assassinate the emperor had to put themselves at risk or even fail and become notorious. Hence, the Right Chief Minister had enough time to go back and forth even if things went smoothly.

Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi got on another boat and stopped at the center of Waterinfo. They saw the Right Chief Minister, Lu Guan and Ba Tu stop at the back door of a small stone courtyard.

One could see the bustling town and streets in front of the courtyard and behind was the estuary. It was quite a convenient place to hide and run away.

Right Chief Minister was of medium stature and good-looking. He had no beard or senile spots on his smooth skin.

Upon seeing them leave the boat for the courtyard, Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi got their boat closer. They did not want to miss the fight among the Great Grandmasters.

After a while, they saw the Right Chief Minister come out with his hands behind his back. He was followed by Lu Guan and Ba Tu, no one else.

"The Young Lad is not here?"

"Have we come here in vain?"

"There is no fight among the Great Grandmasters?"

Such thoughts came into Meng Qi's mind. The Right Chief Minister and Lu Guan were calm and carried unchanged expressions, while Ba Tu looked slightly panicked and worried.

Meng Qi and Luo Shengyi quickly snuck into the small stone courtyard to look for traces.

"According to the temperature of the hands and the way things are placed, people just left, not long ago." Luo Shengyi made a judgment after checking around.

Meng Qi had come to the same conclusion. He muttered, "If they were hiding somewhere else for the sake of safety, after Ba Tu's one day disappearance, they should have gone last night. Why did they leave shortly before the Right Chief Minister arrived?"

"It's really weird." Luo Shengyi said thoughtfully.

As they went out of the yard, they saw another boat passing by. On the bow stood a middle-aged scholar, wearing a robe with a jade belt. Even with greying temples, he looked charming and confident.

He smiled and looked at Meng Qi, and gently nodded as if greeting him. Then he went downstream and disappeared.

"Evil Prince... " Meng Qi squinted his eyes slightly.