Chapter 1025 - Ice Wind Treasury
"About that..." Mu Hanyi seemed hesitant. An awkwardly troubled look could be seen on his face.
Yun Che reacted at once upon seeing the other party's response, "That was impudent of me. Since it's considered to be a halidom safeguarding the empire, there's no way it could be easily shown to others. Junior Brother Hanyi, ignore what I just said."
"No, no," Mu Hanyi revealed a terrified expression at Yun Che's words. "How could Hanyi dare to disobey an order from Senior Brother Yun Che? Besides, anyone would want to personally look at an extraordinary thing like a Qilin horn, as long as they heard of its existence. It is just that... because the Qilin horn is a halidom of our Ice Wind Empire, Hanyi doesn't have the right to make a decision on matters related to it. Even Hanyi needs to take direct permission from Royal Father to be able to get a glimpse of the halidom. Otherwise, it's impossible to even get closer to it."
Having finished his words, he took out a Sound Transmission Jade. But he didn't utter a word for long, as his expression changed continuously. It was only after some time passed that he sighed indistinctly and put away the Sound Transmission Jade.
"Junior Brother Hanyi, are you afraid of your Royal Father's refusal?" Yun Che asked, observing his look.
Mu Hanyi was startled when he heard him. Then, he smiled wryly, "Senior Brother Yun Che does indeed possess a great sense of discernment. At the birthday feast today, Royal Father said in presence of everyone that any request from Senior Brother Yun Che would be certainly fulfilled at all costs. Hanyi believes that Royal Father said it from the bottom of his heart. However... although Hanyi doesn't completely believe something like the destiny of a nation, Royal Father has an extremely deep faith in it. Therefore, anything involving the halidom is a great taboo to Royal Father. As such... Hanyi is worried about the possibility of Royal Father tactfully turning down Senior Brother Yun Che's request, or harboring grudge after giving his consent. It would be too awful if Royal Father and Senior Brother Yun Che ended up feeling displeased with each other due to such a thing."
After explaining himself, Mu Hanyi shook his head heavily.
Yun Che appeared calm, with no signs of displeasure. "I'm thankful to Junior Brother Hanyi for being so honest with me. It's only natural for something possibly related with the destiny of a nation to be taken care of with utmost severity. It would be nothing but reasonable if your royal father refuses my request. It's all right, let's drop the matter now."
"No," But Mu Hanyi faintly smiled at this time, "Senior Brother Yun Che is misunderstanding me. Hanyi has decided not to report this matter to Royal Father, but that doesn't mean Hanyi won't take you over to have a look at the Qilin horn."
"Oh?" A look of surprise was visible in Yun Che's eyes.
"Do you see that, Senior Brother Yun Che?" Mu Hanyi turned round and pointed at the ice-covered mountain forest in the north of the imperial palace. "It's brightly lit all around the imperial palace, except for that one side where it remains dusky. That's because it's the largest forbidden area in the entire imperial city. Underneath that area, lies the treasury, the most important place of our Ice Wind Imperial Family. The halidom, the Qilin horn is rightly kept in there."
"Oh!" Yun Che nodded, showing his understanding.
"Obviously, the place is also guarded in the most strict manner. There's a large number of experts stationed outside the treasury day and night. No one could even get closer to it. In addition, the treasury is also full of various mechanisms and profound formations. Even if an expert in the Divine King Realm were to come, it would be almost impossible to forcibly storm in there. Of course, all of it would be simply decoration if it were a peerless expert, like the sect master and Palace Master Bingyun."
"However," Mu Hanyi stretched out his hands to partially cover his face, and said a bit embarrassedly, "Hanyi is a prince of the Ice Wind Imperial Family, after all, and is considerably doted on by Royal Father. So, Hanyi in fact knows about a secret path, only known to Royal Father and the crown prince, which makes it possible to bypass the perception zone of the guards, and directly enter inside the treasury. Moreover, Hanyi is quite familiar with the mechanisms and profound formations in there, so it's definitely possible to deal with them easily, without having to face any risk."
"Though I feel somewhat sorry to Royal Father, but as its the only option left not to let Royal Father feel any sort of unnecessary grudge, as well as fulfill Senior Brother Yun Che's wish, it could be considered an option that can satisfy both sides. It’s just that I feel bad to have Senior Brother Yun Che go out of his way and walk along such a secret path. What opinion do you have Senior Brother Yun Che?"
"I'm naturally fine with it. It's a matter of great fortune to be able to see the legendary thing with my own eyes. But I think... I'd be making things too difficult for you in the process." Yun Che said with a slight hesitation.
"It's no problem at all." Mu Hanyi smiled faintly. "Senior Brother Yun Che has brought utmost glory to our Ice Wind Empire by taking the trouble to come here. Just one thing has been asked by Senior Brother Yun Che after coming here. If Mu Hanyi couldn't help even with this, how would it be possible for me to return back to sect together with Senior Brother Yun Che?"
"So, I'd ask Senior Brother Yun Che to return to the Ice Maiden Palace for now."
"Hmm?" Yun Che said in confusion, "Why? We can't go over right away?"
Mu Hanyi shook his head as he said with a slightly bitter smile, "Despite the fact that there's no one in the Snow Song Realm who would dare to bring any harm to Senior Brother Yun Che, it's not possible for Royal Father to outright ignore your protection. Senior Brother Yun Che might not have sensed it but a good number of experts of the palace who are guarding you from the shadows at all times a thousand steps away. If they were come any closer, they might be able to even clearly hear our conversation. Besides, it's still early at present. Royal Father must be still awake, and there's the possibility of him going to the Ice Maiden Palace to greet Senior Brother Yun Che. If it was discovered that Senior Brother Yun Che is absent, he would surely feel deeply concerned and send people to look around. If by any chance, our plan were to be found out, we would be in an even worse situation.”
"I see." Yun Che nodded in realization. "As expected of Junior Brother Hanyi to have thought it through. Speaking of which, although I'd be sneaking through the imperial palace with Junior Brother Hanyi, not only does it not feel wrong to me, it’s also making me look forward to it a lot, hahahaha!"
"Hahahaha." Mu Hanyi also laughed aloud. "It's an inherent nature of humans to seek stimulation. How can doing a thing following the norms be compared to the stimulation of doing the same sneakily? Tonight, Hanyi will take Senior Brother Yun Che on a fun tour."
"Well then, I'll return to the Ice Maiden Palace. Four hours later, I'll shake off the guards and come here again." His excitement could be made out amidst his expectant look.
"Alright! I believe that Senior Brother Yun Che would feel that the journey has been worthwhile upon seeing our prided Qilin horn!"
Yun Che left, leaving behind Mu Hanyi watching his back for a moment before slowly raising his head. There was still a faint smile on his face, but his eyes reflected an unusual gleam that no one had noticed before.
More than an hour after midnight, in the dead of night.
Yun Che had been resting with closed eyes for a long time, but at this moment, he opened them all of a sudden. Afterwards, he jumped out of the bed and made his way outside.
"Ah... Sir Yun." Feng Hanjin, who had been waiting outside all the while, performed a salutation in a flurry. "Sir Yun is going out?"
"Mn. I'm going out for a walk, so don't bother about me." Yun Che waved his hand.
"Understood." Feng Hanjin bent over to respectfully see him off, not daring to ask anything further.
The Ice Wind Imperial Palace was especially silent in the midnight. Yun Che walked out of the Ice Maiden Palace before abruptly stopping after a short while. He used a pretty low voice to say, "I'm going out to relieve boredom. No one is allowed to follow me!"
The deterrent power of a direct disciple of the Realm King far surpassed that of a monarch. Receiving his order, the people guarding him from the shadows naturally wouldn't dare disobey him.
Furthermore, even they felt that it was quite unnecessary to mobilize so many people just to secretly guard someone as great as a direct disciple of the Great Realm King.
Following the earlier route, Yun Che soon arrived at the place from before. Mu Hanyi was also already waiting for him.
Mu Hanyi released his spiritual sense to perceive the surroundings. Then, he sighed with a smile, "I'd not expect anything less from Senior Brother Yun Che. Your words carry even more weight than Royal Father's. There's really no one who dared to follow you."
"Hehe, Junior Brother Hanyi, you're praising too much. Well, let's go over to that place now. Even if it's just looking from afar, it'd make this journey worthwhile if I could feel the aura of the legendary auspicious beast."
Yun Che might look calm, but he couldn't conceal the urgency in his tone.
"If the halidom has a spirit, it would be certainly overjoyed upon finding out how much someone of Senior Brother Yun Che's identity was yearning for it."
Mu Hanyi took Yun Che to the east of imperial palace. The place they had arrived seemed to be the medicine garden of imperial palace. Various rare and strange herbs were growing all over, and the whole place was completely dark. It was unclear whether Mu Hanyi was deliberately avoiding the places with people, or it had always been the case around here, as they didn't come across a single person ever after walking for a long time.
"This is the imperial palace’s medicine garden. Although there's many kinds of herbs here, the standard of the garden is far inferior to the one in sect. I hope Senior Brother Yun Che doesn't laugh at it." Mu Hanyi said. "Normally, this place is guarded by a profound beasts, which would roar as soon as they notice something wrong. But Senior Brother Yun Che, you don't have to worry at all. With my aura here, they wouldn't show any alarming reaction."
Yun Che released his spirit perception. He truly caught the auras of several profound beasts in different places... And, all of them were quite powerful profound beasts in the divine way.
Upon reaching the end of the medicine garden, Mu Hanyi finally stopped in his tracks. There was an over ten meters high, oddly-shaped boulder before their eyes. It appeared to have experienced the passage of a long time, as it was fully covered with green and black creepers. Yun Che's gaze scanned all over it for a brief moment, then he said frowning, "Are you telling me this is the entrance? But..."
Mu Hanyi smiled lightly in response. The creepers on the boulder got brushed away with a sweep of his palm. Soon after, he pointed out his finger as a bead of blood flew out of the tip and fell right on the boulder.
Like mercury flowing down the ground, the scarlet bead slowly permeated it, and disappeared without a trace.
A light sound reverberated, following which, a small-sized profound formation suddenly glimmered on the boulder that seemed completely ordinary a moment ago.
"Oh!" Yun Che's jaw dropped a bit in a totally surprised expression, "What elaborate planning."
"Usually, this profound formation wouldn't show any signs of its presence, making it impossible to be detected. It could be only opened by the ones bearing the direct bloodline of our Ice Wind Imperial Family. However, this is still my first time opening up the passage, besides that one time when Royal Father told me about the existence of this passage."
"Let me speak the truth, even if it makes Senior Brother Yun Che laugh. This passage was made in preparation of escaping with our life, in case we ever confront a desperate situation. Bringing Yun Che along into the passage, Mu Hanyi slowly explained, "The exit and entrance to this passage use an identical profound formation, extremely well-hidden and difficult to perceive by an outsider. Nothing else other than the blood of Ice Wind Imperial Family members could activate the formations, making it relatively safe to use this place to hide or escape from the enemy."
"I only hope that the day we're truly forced to use this never comes in the future." Mu Hanyi sighed deeply.
In the Illusory Demon Realm, Yun Che had seen such a profound formation which used the bloodline imprint for activation.
"Is the imperial treasury you spoke of at the end of this passage?" Yun Che asked. They had walked within for a long time, but the way ahead was still narrow as before.
"Correct. There's a large number of trap mechanisms and profound formations lying hidden in the treasury. Triggering any one of them would land us in quite a grave situation."
As they were talking, Mu Hanyi abruptly came to a halt. There was a pitch-black wall in the front, without the slightest gap anywhere in between to pass through; they seemed to have reached a dead end. He said with a very cautious look, "Senior Brother Yun Che, the treasury is right before us. You need to make sure to follow closely behind me when we enter inside. No matter what, do not walk around casually. Triggering a profound formation would've been still fine, at worst Royal Father would sense our presence and Hanyi would be punished for letting you in. But if Hanyi let Senior Brother Yun Che be hurt by some mechanism, it'd be difficult to atone for my sin even after dying ten thousand times."
Yun Che nodded to make him feel at ease.
Mu Hanyi stretched out his hand. A blood bead flew out again, and fell on the pitch-black wall in the front.
The wall shone with a faint profound light as a profound formation, exactly similar to the one before, instantly appeared in their line of sight. Then, the pitch-black wall opened into two halves. They saw a spacious place before them, as they felt the extremely dense aura of several things.
It was the aura of spirit medicine, spirit crystal, spirit weapon... the aura of each and every thing in the place was extremely strong. In other words, none of these things emitting such an aura was an ordinary entity of low level!
It was after all, the treasury of the Ice Wind Imperial Family which governed the vast Ice Wind Empire!
Kept in here were the collection and accumulation of the Ice Wind Empire, over the immensely long period of more than eighty thousand years!