The next day.
In front of the royal palace.
A group of imperial guards stood ready and waiting. Beside them, Zhou Yuan’s gaze constantly swept outwards into the distance as he talked to Zhou Qing and Qin Yu, whom had come to send him off.
The hurried sounds galloping was transmitted from afar as a fiery red horse seemed to fly towards them. It eventually came to a stop a short distance from them with a neigh and lithe figure gracefully dismounted.
The figure naturally turned out to be Su Youwei. Today, she wore a grey shirt and trousers, while her long hair was bundled into a ponytail, making her look relaxed and pretty.
The imperial guards did not stop her, allowing her to pass through and walk to the carriage. Due to having hurried here, her pretty face was a little flushed and beads of sweat dotted her fair forehead.
“Youwei greets his and her majesties.” The first thing Su Youwei did was cup her fists and bow towards Zhou Qing and Qin Yu.
Zhou Qing and Qin Yu responded with warm smiles. They had seen Su Youwei’s performance during the class ranking exam and were quite fond of this strong and independent girl.
“Youwei, treat this trip as a training experience. Also, help me take care of Zhou Yuan and don’t let him cause too much trouble.” Qin Yu smiled.
Zhou Yuan chuckled. Both Yaoyao and Su Youwei were tagging along this time. Yaoyao was coming because she had become rather bored in the palace. As for Su Youwei, he hoped that she would be able to gain different experiences which would be beneficial for her cultivation.
After all, Su Youwei was on the verge of unblocking her eight meridian channel and stepping into the Qi Nourishing stage. Hence, the Great Zhou Institute no longer had much to offer her. So as to not delay her cultivation progress, Zhou Yuan decided to bring her along on this trip to Canglan County.
“It’s about time, prepare to set off.” Zhou Yuan glanced at the sky before turning to Lu Tieshan. “You shall be tasked with protecting them.”
Lu Tieshan replied in solemn voice, “Don’t worry your majesty, I will offer you my head if anything happens to his highness.”
“I do not wish for anything to happen to any one of you.” Zhou Qing waved his hand.
Lu Tieshan nodded, before he stood up and mounted his horse. With a wave of his hand, he loudly shouted, “We’re setting off!”
Zhou Yuan took a step onto the carriage, waving his final goodbye to Zhou Qing and Qin Yu before entering.
The group began their journey, accompanied by rumbling sounds of movement as they passed through various streets, ultimately exiting Great Zhou City and heading straight towards Canglan County.
When Zhou Yuan left Great Zhou City.
In a certain study, Qi Manor’s housekeeper, Qi Ling, respectfully reported, “Master, Lu Tieshan and a thousand imperial guards have accompanied Zhou Yuan out of the city. Their destination should be Canglan County.”
Behind the desk, Qi Yuan nodded with an emotionless face.
“Looks like the royal clan has also heard of the most recent news regarding those ruins.”
An eerie light flickered in Qi Yuan’s eyes as he indifferently said, “Things did not turn out well for us in the Great Zhou Institute matter, but this time, I am determined to get my hands on the Fire Spirit Grain!”
The Fire Spirit Grain was a grade 4 Genesis Food, an item with an inestimable value. With it, Qi Manor would be able to both nurture and gather multitudes of experts.
Just think about it, the royal clan had managed to stabilize their situation with the grade 2 Mysterious Crystal Rice. If Qi Manor obtained the Fire Spirit Grain, Qi Yuan believed that they would be able to completely crush the royal clan in less than a year.
“I will stay in Great Zhou City to keep Zhou Qing in check. You shall set off immediately, head for Canglan County and get in contact with Hao’er. He has after all managed to build up a place for himself there over the past two years. I want the both of you to find a way to pull Wei Canglan to our side!”
Qi Yuan’s eyes hardened as he continued, “As long as Wei Canglang stands with us, there will no longer be anything to fear and we will immediately take action to remove the royal clan.”
“Of course…” Tea cup in hand, Qi Yuan icily said, “If Wei Canglan shows any indications of leaning towards the royal clan, it will be best that you find a way to eliminate him. Once Wei Canglan dies, the Canglan army would be akin to a headless dragon, allowing Hao’er to swiftly take over and use them to attack the royal clan.”
Qi Ling responded, “Understood!”
Qi Yuan’s eyes narrowed like a vicious wolf as he said in a hair-raising voice, “As for Zhou Yuan, tell Hao’er if there is a chance, make sure that the little bastard never returns to Great Zhou City!”
“Canglan County is right next to Blackwater. It will not be strange for anyone to die there, even a prince.”
“Since the little bastard cut off my son’s arm, he shall repay this debt with his life!”
Qi Yuan’s voice was as cold as a malicious spirit that had crawled out from the abyss, dripping with so much venom that hearing it would cause one’s heart to shiver uncontrollably.
Qi Ling immediately acknowledged before turning around and leaving.
Qi Yuan watched Qi Ling leave before he lifted his head and looked in the direction of the royal palace as a cold voice echoed in the study,
“Zhou Qing, don’t be so happy just because you won in the Great Zhou Institute affair. Once the Fire Spirit Grain falls into my hands, your royal clan will never be able to rise again!”
“Qi Manor will definitely win this time! When that happens, I make sure to let both father and son have a taste of what it’s like to be stray dogs!”
Canglan County sat at the southwest border of the Great Zhou Empire and was quite some distance from Great Zhou City. At Zhou Yuan and group’s current pace, it would take several weeks to reach their destination.
Fortunately, there was the company of Yaoyao and Su Youwei. Under the sunlight, those two beautiful faces were a rare treat for Zhou Yuan, making the dull journey rather exhilarating instead.
However, this feast for the eyes was quickly cut short by Yaoyao because she did not want to watch Zhou Yuan pass his days so comfortably.
“Since you look so free and your Spirit has reached the advance Illusory stage, I will teach you a grade 2 Genesis Rune.” In the carriage, Yaoyao threw a jade tablet at Zhou Yuan. The extremely complex rune on the tablet glowed faintly.
“This is a grade 2 Genesis Rune, Gold Ape Moves the Mountain Rune… when drawn on the body, it will amplify the strength of one’s body, greatly increasing one’s power.”
Zhou Yuan joyfully caught the jade tablet. Grade 2 far surpassed grade 1. If he inscribed the Gold Ape Moves the Mountain Rune on his body, the resultanting power would make the previous Rampaging Bull Rune pale in comparison.
“How complicated.” Zhou Yuan shot a look at the complex rune on the jade tablet and could not help but frown. He estimated that the rune was made up of almost a thousand strokes. Without a strong Spirit, a few glances would definitely make one dizzy.
Zhou Yuan shook his head, catching Su Youwei pursing her lips with a smile. She seemed to be amused by his pained look.
“What’s there to see, don’t think that you’ll be let off either.” Zhou Yuan was a little miffed as he rolled his eyes at her. Subsequently, he fished out a jade strip and tossed it at Su Youwei.
Su Youwei hastily caught the jade strip and asked in a puzzled manner, “What is this?”
Zhou Yuan smiled and said, “A low grade Black Genesis technique I took it from the royal treasury, Heavenly Luo Hand. It’s pretty suitable for you.”
Su Youwei grasped the jade strip as she said in a rather hesitant manner, “Your highness, this is too precious.”
She knew the value of a low grade Black Genesis technique. Even the Great Zhou Institute did not own any techniques of this level. It would at the very least cost several tens of thousands Genesis crystals, a price she would not be able to raise even if she sold herself.
Zhou Yuan sternly said, “We’re not on a sightseeing trip. You’re about to unblock your eighth meridian channel and reach the Qi Nourishing stage. If you manage to learn the Heavenly Luo Hand, you will have some battle power if we encounter any enemies.”
Su Youwei gently bit her red lips. She was not an unreasonable person after all and soon tightly gripped the jade strip as she earnestly nodded. “Don’t worry your highness, I will master it as soon as possible!”
Zhou Yuan chuckled and nodded. Before leaving Great Zhou City, Zhou Qing had given him a mid grade Black Genesis technique, Emperor Extreme Seal. Unfortunately, this technique was too adamant and inflexible in nature, hence not suitable for Su Youwei. Therefore, he planned to leave it for himself.
“Looks like we can no longer relax.” Zhou Yuan sighed. He then began to concentrate all his attention on the jade tablet as he slowly copied each stroke.
Thus, the following few weeks were mostly spent studying the Gold Ape Moves the Mountain Rune. If he had any free time, he would use it to practice the Emperor Extreme Seal, making him awfully busy.
As this high intensity studying continued, Zhou Yuan and gang slowly slowly approached Canglan County.
However, before they reached their destination, a certain incident made Zhou Yuan have no choice but to slow their speed.
After almost two months of training, Su Youwei had finally unblocked her eighth channel.
And once all eight channels were unblocked, the Qi Dwelling would emerge.
Su Youwei was about to step into the Qi Nourishing stage.