Chapter 1026 - Insane
The stone door didn't close even after they entered the treasury. Mu Hanyi, who was leading the way, said with a quite serious look, "Senior Brother Yun Che, follow along my steps, and restrain your aura as much as possible. Make sure not to trigger any mechanism or profound formation. The Qilin horn is at the central area, so we should be able to see it soon."
Yun Che restrained his aura as he followed behind Mu Hanyi. Although he was mentally prepared to see a lot of rare things, he was still pretty shocked at the sight before him. The treasury was so huge that one couldn't even see the end. High level purple crystals and purple jades were piled up into a mountain, the purple light emitting from them was practically blinding. There was a dazzling lineup of all kinds of profound armors and weapons in there, and innumerable auras of spirit medicine could be sensed. Despite the fact that treasures that easily leak their auras were sealed properly in ice-jade boxes, the entire treasury was emanating such a strong aura that it felt almost sticky to the touch.
"It's really worthy of being the longest standing empire in the history of the Snow Song Realm. Taking a look at the treasury is enough in itself to make out the amazing prosperity of the Ice Wind Empire." Yun Che said with emotion.
"Hehe, Senior Brother Yun Che is overpraising us." Mu Hanyi chuckled. "No matter how strong Ice Wind Empire is, it's no more than an insignificant country. Even if our strength and prosperity were to increase ten times more, we would still remain a petty and low existence in contrast to Divine Ice Phoenix Sect. What is the sovereign of a nation considered when compared to Senior Brother Yun Che’s identity?"
"Oh?" Yun Che revealed surprise, "I believe that Junior Brother Hanyi's words were a bit extreme. I can't fully approve of them."
"Haha." Mu Hanyi let out a meaningful and light laugh, but didn't say anything. He continued to walk further as he led Yun Che in for a good while, before he finally came to halt. Yun Che also stopped at almost the same time, as he looked fixedly in the front.
Before their eyes was a huge sealing profound formation. Within it was a giant horn that was as long as ten meters. Half of its shape was similar to a deer's, and the other half a dragon's. It was entirely azure blue in color and was giving off a crystalline glow. However, it didn't have the slightest glitter and translucency of a crystal. Even though it was sealed by the profound formation, Yun Che could still feel its boundless and dense aura.
"Could this be... the Qilin horn?" Yun Che asked, raising his head.
"Correct." Mu Hanyi turned around to look indifferently at Yun Che. "This Qilin horn is from an Ice Qilin. It's far bigger than the size mentioned in the available records on Qilin. Therefore, this horn most likely doesn't belong to an ordinary Ice Qilin, but some high level species of Qilin, like King Qilin."
"There's an extremely strong power contained in this Qilin horn. It’s just that even after using countless ways, our ancestral emperors were never able to draw it out. Later, it was sealed over here, treating it as the halidom safeguarding the empire."
"..." Yun Che nodded, keeping his gaze on the Qilin horn within the profound formation.
Before his eyes was the thing Mu Xuanyin had sent him here for. But, he had no idea what to do about the profound formation the Qilin horn was sealed in.
As Yun Che was looking at the Qilin horn, Mu Hanyi was actually looking at him. His lips unconsciously curved in a strange way, "Speaking of which, once in the past, I proposed to Royal Father that if I could fortunately become a direct disciple of the Sect Master, then we must present this Qilin horn to her."
"Oh?" Surprise emerged in Yun Che's eyes. "But isn't it the halidom of your Ice Wind Empire? Your royal father shouldn't have agreed, right?"
"No," Mu Hanyi smiled calmly. "Royal Father immediately gave his consent. If I could become a direct disciple of the Sect Master, no one in the Snow Song Realm would dare to go against our Ice Wind Empire. Its standing would reach the zenith of the world. Why would we still need some halidom to safeguard the empire by then? In fact, I never believed in something like the destiny of a nation. We might call it a halidom that's safeguarding our empire, but speaking bluntly, it's just a useless, worthless thing, whose sole purpose is to comfort our hearts. Ultimately, we have no means to draw out the power contained within it, but Sect Master is certainly capable of doing that. Having the sect master regard me highly by exchanging such a useless, worthless thing, is it possible for a deal to be any greater than this?! How could Royal Father disagree to such a proposal?!"
"..." Yun Che furrowed his eyebrows. He could clearly sense the change in Mu Hanyi's tone and expression.
"I intentionally disclosed this matter to Master, thinking that the information might be able to reach the ears of Sect Master, and let her know about my sincerity. However, it was you whom the sect master chose in the end, so nothing I do would make a difference." Mu Hanyi slightly raised his head. "It seems this Qilin horn is going to simply lie here as ever. Oh! No, no, no, it'd be still comparatively better to present it to the sect master, just that..."
"You'd not be the one doing so, but I, Mu Hanyi!"
Mu Hanyi raised a corner of his mouth. His eyes suddenly started to emit a gloomy and bizarre light.
"..." Yun Che's eyes jerked up. He started moving backwards without making any sound. "Junior Brother Hanyi, what do you mean by that?"
"What meaning? Heh!" His eternally gentle smile, which looked like a steadily flowing water, had abruptly changed into a particularly eerie one. His eyes looking at Yun Che didn't held the deep respect from before, visibly replaced by blatant ridicule and hatred. "It's not like you don't have the choice to present it to the sect master yourself. As long as you kill me, and then use my blood to deactivate that profound formation, you can fulfill your wish."
He stretched out his finger to slowly beckon to Yun Che, "Come, kill me now. Then, you can bring this Qilin horn back to sect, which would cause the sect master to think more highly of you than before. Come on, hurry up!"
Yun Che's pupils shrank a bit, and continued quietly moving backwards. "Junior Brother Hanyi, are you... joking around with me?"
"What do you think?" The corners of Mu Hanyi's mouth lifted into a smile, revealing his white and dazzling teeth that he would keep hidden, even at the moments of smiling faintly. He flung his arm all of a sudden, as he took out a thing flashing blue light before pinching it into pieces. Subsequently, a profound formation was unleashed, glimmering with blue light.
Instantly, a blue barrier was formed around Yun Che before he could even react. By the time he realized his current situation, he was already trapped within together with Mu Hanyi.
The barrier was only thirty-three meters wide, a distance profound practitioners of divine way could cover in no time. The aura emanating from the barrier brought an abrupt change in Yun Che's expression.
Not only the barrier was extremely resilient, so much so that he was absolutely incapable of tearing it open, it also cut off everything besides light... space, sound, and even sound transmission!
"One needs to be at least at the peak of the Divine Tribulation Realm to be able to forcefully break through this barrier. Even if it's me, it's impossible to force my way out of here." Mu Hanyi lowered his arm as he said in a gloomy mocking tone. Being held within the barrier, Yun Che's present circumstances were no different from a turtle in a jar.
Yun Che kept on retreating with quick steps, till he arrived at the edge of the barrier. "Mu Hanyi, what... are you planning to do?"
"Didn't you say earlier that you've come to the Ice Wind Empire to do something?" Mu Hanyi smiled faintly. If an Ice Phoenix disciple were to see his appearance this time, they would definitely not dare believe that he was the same Senior Brother Hanyi who was revered by everyone. "To offer birthday congratulations? Hah, do you take me for a fool?!"
"..." The look in Yun Che's eyes changed again.
"On my way here, I was always wondering why Sect Master had you come to the Ice Wind Empire. Given the ability of Sect Master, there's no value in conspiring against our empire. Then, at some point in time, I suddenly recalled that I've told Master about the Qilin horn, and immediately realized why you'd be sent here... Right, there can be no other reason other than to get the Qilin horn!"
"A major event will be happening in the God Realm. So to prepare herself, the Sect Master is anxious to have some breakthrough. Her asking Huo Rulie to hand over the Golden Crow's Record of the Burning World during the Great Sect Assembly, is a sufficient proof to support my understanding of the situation. There's no doubt that the Sect Master found out about the Qilin horn from Master, and is thinking that the power contained in it might assist her to breakthrough. However, since she didn't choose me as her direct disciple, and also knows that the Qilin horn is a halidom of our Ice Wind Empire, she didn't feel it right to make a demand for it... Sect Master has to take care of her reputation, after all! Therefore, she sent you over to discreetly inquire the related information! As long as the location of Qilin horn has been searched out, Sect Master can take it away at any time, without letting anyone else know of her presence!"
"Later, when I heard from Royal Sister Hanjin that you asked her a question related to the destiny of our nation, the last bit of doubt in my heart got dispelled right away."
"You..." The surprised look on Yun Che's face grew deeper with every word said by Mu Hanyi. "Why do you know about everythi...?
However, he at once realized something, following which, the surprise and fear on his face disappeared without a trace. This time he actually took a step forward, as the expression in his eyes turned dark and stern, "Since you know it already, that makes things a lot easier. Hand over the Qilin horn obediently to me, got it? Or what... do you want to defy Master's will?"
"Hehe, there's no way I, Mu Hanyi would have the guts to defy Sect Master's will. Didn't I say just now? I'll personally offer the Qilin horn to Master. But you wouldn't be there to see that moment, because you..." Mu Hanyi's tone changed all of a sudden, "Will be dying here very soon!"
Yun Che's pupils shrank, "What did you say? You... you want to kill me? You dare kill me!?"
"No, no, no, how could I dare do such a thing?! Senior Brother Yun Che is a direct disciple of the sect master after all. I wouldn't dare harm a hair of you, even if I had guts big as heaven." Mu Hanyi's eyes narrowed into slits. "Naturally, you wouldn't be killed by me, but... due to unfortunately triggering a mechanism here while vainly attempting to steal the Qilin horn!"
Yun Che was slightly dumbfounded, but it didn't take him long to understand his intention. He looked panicked all of a sudden, "You..."
"Don't be nervous, Senior Brother Yun Che." Enjoying Yun Che's panicked look, an incomparably eerie and elated smile appeared on Mu Hanyi's face. "I'll cover up the whole incident very well. Even if the sect master were to personally come here, it'd be definitely impossible to figure out anything wrong with my story. You can wholeheartedly trust me on that."
"After all, this place you've stepped into yourself... is perfect as your graveyard!!"
"You... have you gone crazy?!" Yun Che yelled. "I-I'm in your Ice Wind Empire at present. Even if Master truly believed that I was killed by some mechanism, given her temper... she will put an end to the lives of you all in anger."
"Oh! You're right, extremely right." Mu Hanyi didn't show any fear in response, and instead nodded in deep agreement. "Even if you died in the process of trying to steal the halidom of our Ice Wind Empire, it'd be completely normal if Sect Master razed the entire imperial city to the ground in anger... But even if Ice Wind Empire were to be eradicated, Sect Master wouldn't kill me for sure!!"
Yun Che, "???"
"Because you would be dead, and Feixue..." Mu Hanyi's body uncontrollably trembled for a good while when he mentioned the name of Mu Feixue. His voice was suddenly filled with hatred, as he said gnashing his teeth, "She has lost her former talent after having her vital yin sullied by you! Hence, Sect Master will certainly select a new direct disciple... which could only be me!"
"There would be no one qualified other than me! So if I were to be killed, Sect Master wouldn't be able to find another suitable direct disciple!!"
"When the time comes, I'll beg Sect Master to forgive me, for being unable to keep safe our respected and loved Senior Brother Yun Che. And, the Sect Master would be most clear about the reason behind you getting killed by the mechanism set up around the Qilin horn. She would know that our Ice Wind Empire is innocent. In addition, if the empire were to be exterminated, she'd have a guilty conscience towards me. Afterwards, I'll personally offer up the Qilin horn to appease her... Every part of my plan is logical and well-reasoned! The things I lost or were snatched away from me, will all return back to my hands one more time!"
"To achieve this aim... you not only want to kill me, but are also willing to put Ice Wind Empire in a greatly perilous situation?" Yun Che said as he panted heavily.
Mu Hanyi opened his arms, saying leisurely, "So long as I can succeed, what does it matter even if the entire Ice Wind Empire is drowned in the flames of wrath and exterminated?"
"..." A deep frown surfaced on Yun Che's face. "You sure are insane."