Even if Lan Chang had said at that moment, “You are the one who killed me,” it wouldn’t have been more shocking than this statement.

Xie Lian was completely stunned on the spot and exclaimed, “Me?!”

Jun Wu’s hand, supporting his forehead from the throne above, seemed to slip for a moment. The divine officials fell into silence for an instant, then all looked at Xie Lian in unison. Jun Wu’s hand regained its position, continuing to support his forehead with a profound posture. The divine officials once again turned their gaze to Xie Lian.

Finally, the highly anticipated third demotion was about to come!

Xie Lian felt as if his heart and the entire world were trembling. He forcibly swallowed the habitual excuse that was about to burst out, “It’s not what it seems.”

It was just a casual pretext and not suitable to bring up at a time like this. Moreover, there was a widely circulated private joke among the divine officials about their attitudes towards women: Feng Xin kept his distance from women; Lang Qianqiu blushed whenever he saw a woman; Mu Qing refused to even look at ugly women; Pei Su didn’t show any expression when he saw women, making it impossible to know what he was thinking; Quan Yizhen simply didn’t have women on his mind; while Pei Ming’s mind was filled with women. If Xie Lian said it, he would probably end up being included in that joke. Xie Lian earnestly said, “Miss Lan Chang, please calm down. This is absolutely not true.”

Lan Chang widened her eyes, even larger than copper bells, and said, “It is true. It’s you, the Crown Prince of Xianle Kingdom!”

“…”

Although the time of her death was after his ascension, roughly matching, did Xie Lian not know if he had seen her or not? Amidst the whispers around him, Xie Lian composed himself and solemnly said, “Miss, although I am not a sage, I do know how to be devoted to one person. If I didn’t truly love someone, I would never cross any boundaries with them. Even if I had to sell everything I own and make a living on the streets, I would never let that person suffer any grievances. This is the Godly Martial Hall, so please don’t speak without evidence.”

Shi Qingxuan also said, “If it were really the Crown Prince who did such a thing, why would he willingly bring this female ghost here to confront her? And why did Miss Lan Chang only recognize him now? It doesn’t make sense.”

Clearly, something was amiss. However, when there was a lively scene to watch, people didn’t care if things made sense or not. Some divine officials even made wild guesses, “Could it be that the Crown Prince has amnesia, so he doesn’t remember what he has done?”

“To be honest, I’m more inclined to believe that he has the audacity to think that after eight hundred years, no one would recognize him.”

Xie Lian had no words to refute and reminded them, “Isn’t it dangerous to create an even more incredible story to prove an unbelievable event?”

On the other side, it seemed like Feng Xin wanted to say something but hesitated as if unsure, and ultimately didn’t speak. Jun Wu lightly coughed and said, “Xianle, how many golden waistbands did you have before?”

Xie Lian covered his forehead and said, “…There were just too many. At least ten…”

Mu Qing calmly said, “More than forty. Each one with different patterns and colors.”

As soon as the words were spoken, he felt that it wasn’t appropriate and stopped, as someone immediately remembered that Mu Qing had been Xie Lian’s personal attendant and was responsible for his daily life, so he knew these details well. The divine officials thought to themselves that there were more than forty golden waistbands alone, and the Crown Prince back then must have been quite extravagant and pampered. Not only others, but even Xie Lian himself felt embarrassed. At that time, he changed into a new set of court attire every day, and the waistbands matched the clothes accordingly. Unlike now, where he wore the same three sets of clothes throughout the year, all identical. Jun Wu continued, “Do you remember where they all went?”

Xie Lian and Feng Xin both choked inwardly.

Xie Lian rubbed his temples and said, “Um, I don’t quite remember. After all, those were things from over eight hundred years ago. I have no idea where they went.”

Aside from being absent-minded and forgetful, the main reason was that he and Feng Xin often resorted to selling things whenever they were in a tight spot. After selling too many things, he genuinely couldn’t remember if there were any waistbands left. Although Feng Xin also felt uncomfortable discussing this topic, he still said, “It’s possible that he obtained those golden waistbands as gifts or found them.”

Jun Wu didn’t really expect Xie Lian to remember and said, “Xianle, I remember that the cultivation method you practice requires you to maintain your virginity. Otherwise, your spiritual power will greatly diminish.”

Xie Lian replied, “That’s correct.”

Shi Qingxuan casually remarked, “Ha, when I saw the Crown Prince, I knew that he must be practicing such a method. Indeed, if that’s the case, I doubt he has ever held hands with a woman.”

Xie Lian was about to say “yes,” but suddenly a pale and slender hand appeared in his mind, adorned with a bright red wedding cloth. It was as cold as jade, with a thin red thread tied around the third finger. This “yes” got stuck in his throat and couldn’t come out. Everyone in the hall was staring at him, and from the hesitation, it was clear that this pause meant “no”!

However, the statement “haven’t held hands” was too low of a standard. Even if he had held hands, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Shi Qingxuan immediately changed his statement, “Even if he held hands, he definitely hasn’t kissed anyone.”

Xie Lian wanted to say “yes” again, but this time, a series of crystal bubbles floated before his eyes, dispersing like shattered crystals, revealing a face with closed eyes and extraordinary beauty. There was a small mole above the forehead, which looked very attractive.

This time, he couldn’t utter a single word and his face turned completely red.

“…”

“…”

“…”

All the divine officials in the hall instantly understood, and a series of coughs broke out. Shi Qingxuan began to regret his words, smacking himself on the head with the fan and quietly communicating with Xie Lian, “Crown Prince, I’m sorry. I just wanted to convince everyone that you are truly pure and without desires, but I didn’t expect this. I didn’t know you had such experiences. It’s hard to tell from your appearance!”

The phrase “I didn’t know you had such experiences” shattered Xie Lian’s composure. He replied with difficulty, “Please, let’s not talk about this. It was… an accident.”

Jun Wu clenched his fist and pressed it against his mouth, coughing even harder, and said, “That’s good. These years, you haven’t violated any taboos, right?”

Xie Lian finally breathed a sigh of relief and said, “No.”

Jun Wu continued, “That makes it easier. I have a sword here called ‘Yan Zhen.’ It has a unique ability: when virgin blood touches its blade, it leaves no trace and becomes even more radiant. If you take a drop of blood and let it fall, you’ll know.”

Although everyone knew about Jun Wu’s hobby of collecting all kinds of exotic swords, they still wondered in their hearts, “Why does he have so many random swords? What does he do with them…”

Xie Lian felt that the situation was inexplicable and just wanted to end it quickly. Ling Wen brought over the graceful sword called “Yan Zhen,” and Xie Lian immediately pricked his finger on the blade. Countless eyes were fixed on him, and Shi Qingxuan clapped his hands and said, “Alright, the case is solved!”

The blood droplet slid across the blade, indeed leaving no trace. The irrefutable evidence forced everyone to disperse, saying, “Ah, so that’s it.” “Then who is it after all?” Their lack of interest was palpable, and they felt somewhat disappointed.

Ling Wen politely said, “Miss, please be honest and tell us which divine official it is. If the fetal spirit in your womb continues to be restless, and you lack the power to calm it, only the father with a blood connection can gently guide it. I…”

Before the words could finish, Lan Chang pointed at Ling Wen and said, “You! It’s you! You’re the one!”

“…”

Ling Wen: “???”

Ling Wen had probably just arrived from the temple to attend the meeting. At this moment, he was in male form and was suddenly accused of being the father of the child by Lan Chang. He looked bewildered and shocked. The divine officials burst into laughter. Pei Ming said, “Jie Qing, have you finished approving your official documents? You went down to find the girl to have a child with? Hahaha…”

This was probably what they called karma. Ling Wen shook his head, declined the kind gesture of red envelopes from Shi Wu Du for his “nephew,” and regained his composure. He said, “I haven’t finished yet, and I’m busy.”

After all the commotion and suspicion falling on several individuals, no one would believe anymore. Even Feng Xin couldn’t bear it and said with an annoyed tone, “I understand now. This female ghost is simply crazy, causing trouble and making baseless accusations here.”

Lan Chang smirked, appearing even more like a madwoman. If this continued, who knew if her next accusation would be directed at him? The divine officials changed their tune, saying, “Yeah, who knows if she stole that golden waistband…”

“Speaking of reason, I have more than one golden waistband. I can’t even be sure how many I have or if I’ve kept them properly.”

However, Lan Chang was relentless, standing with her hands on her hips and saying, “What’s the matter? Now you want to clear your name? It’s too late! It’s you, it’s you, or maybe it’s you!”

With this posture, she brazenly accused everyone without even looking at them. Even Ming Yi, who was silently standing in the corner, chewing on something with an indifferent and focused expression, was forcibly recognized as a father. Chaos erupted in the hall as everyone shouted, “Take her away, take her away!” “Don’t let her spout nonsense!” “This lady, the girl I like isn’t someone like you, stop falsely accusing me!” “This is so improper!”

Jun Wu waved his hand, and a junior divine official came in and took Lan Chang away. She was dragged out of the Godly Martial Hall, still laughing loudly along the way. The divine officials in the hall breathed a sigh of relief and returned to their original positions, feeling a lingering headache. Initially, they thought it had nothing to do with them and just wanted to watch the spectacle. But now, they were worried that they might unexpectedly become the target of accusations. Who knows, next time when they perform their new play in the mortal realm, they might inexplicably gain a heavily made-up ghost lover and a countless number of ghost offspring. They felt a sense of crisis and all exclaimed, “There’s no way to investigate this!”

“I believe she’s simply mentally disturbed. No need to investigate, it’s a waste of time. Just lock her up and be done with it.”

“It’s also possible that the Ghost Realm intentionally sent her to muddy the waters.”

However, Xie Lian disagreed. He said, “On the way here, Lan Chang was perfectly normal and clear-headed. How could she suddenly change like this as soon as she entered the Godly Martial Hall? I’m afraid it can’t be explained by simply saying she went mad.”

So, they divided into two factions again and engaged in a heated debate. The conclusion remained the eternal “let’s see, let’s see.” After the meeting dispersed, Xie Lian bid farewell to Shi Qingxuan and verbally agreed to visit him in a few days. Xie Lian walked out of the Godly Martial Hall and sighed, “It’s said that the efficiency of the Ling Wen Hall is low, but there’s nothing that can be done about it. Every time we discuss matters in the meeting, it becomes scattered and unfocused. The final decisions are usually mediocre and tepid. How can the Ling Wen Hall act swiftly?”

At this moment, he felt someone following him. He turned around and was slightly surprised to see Feng Xin. Before he could greet him, Feng Xin quickly whispered, “Be careful of Mu Qing.”

Xie Lian also lowered his voice and asked, “Mu Qing?”

Feng Xin replied, “When he entered the hall, that female ghost seemed to be afraid of him. I don’t pry into other people’s affairs, but just be cautious.” After speaking, Feng Xin hurriedly walked away. Xie Lian stood still, waiting until he was far away before slowly continuing his steps.

Although it wasn’t easily noticeable on the surface, Xie Lian had been secretly paying attention to the subtle expressions of each divine official and Lan Chang’s reactions. Naturally, he didn’t miss Mu Qing either.

However, he believed that Mu Qing was unlikely to be the father of the fetal spirit. Xie Lian couldn’t imagine Mu Qing doing such a thing. In fact, Mu Qing was completely devoted to martial arts cultivation, expanding his followers, and developing his territory. He followed the same path as Xie Lian and had no interest in women. But Mu Qing did recognize Lan Chang, that much was certain. With too few clues, Xie Lian shook his head and left the Heavenly Court.

Although the fetal spirit had been subdued and Lang Yin and Gu Zi were placed in the home of a wealthy merchant with food and drink, it wasn’t good for him to be away for too long. If the wealthy merchant didn’t see him for an extended period, he would probably start doubting. Therefore, Xie Lian immediately headed to Pu Qi Town. As soon as the wealthy merchant saw him, he tightly held Xie Lian’s hands and exclaimed, “Master! Such a superior being! You slept in my wife’s room last night, and we locked the door. But when we opened it in the morning, we couldn’t believe it, you disappeared out of thin air! You’re truly incredible! So, did you catch that monster?”

Xie Lian replied, “It has been captured. Please rest assured, everything is fine now. How are the two children I brought with me?”

The wealthy merchant was overjoyed and said, “They are well-behaved, very well-behaved! They don’t eat much! Master, where is your Qian Deng Temple? I want to make a donation and offer my thanks! Starting today, I want to become an honorary disciple of your temple, and no one should compete with me!”

Xie Lian didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But it was still the development of followers, and moreover, a wealthy follower. He was very pleased and preached to the wealthy merchant, advising him not to indulge in women, to focus wholeheartedly, and to love and cherish his wife and family. Finally, he asked him to visit Pu Qi Temple another day. Then, Xie Lian, Lang Yin, and Gu Zi floated away.

The three of them returned to Pu Qi Village and arrived at the front of Pu Qi Temple. Xie Lian placed the sign requesting donations for the dilapidated building in a more conspicuous place, secretly hoping that the wealthy merchant would see it at first glance and push the door open. However, the moment he pushed the door open, he felt that something was different inside the room.

As they walked into the temple, indeed, it was completely different. The floor had been swept, the altar and tables had been wiped clean, and the dust in the air had been blown away. It was as if Tian Luo had paid a visit, leaving it excessively clean.

Because even Qi Rong was gone!

The moment he disappeared, the entire room suddenly felt spacious and bright, as if even the air had become fresher. Meanwhile, in Gu Zi’s arms, holding the meat pies Xie Lian had brought from town, she poked her head out, didn’t see anyone, and anxiously asked, “Big brother, where’s my father?”

Xie Lian immediately turned around. Before he could step out of the doorway, he felt a dangerous glint and drew his sword, “Fang Xin.” With a “clang” sound, that glint was instantly deflected and landed tens of zhang away.

He unsheathed his sword with lightning speed, and sheathed it just as swiftly. Fang Xin instantly regained its composure, exhaling a sigh of relief. However, he immediately felt puzzled. Why was there no follow-up move after that glint of cold light?

Looking at the glint, which he had deflected and now lay askew on the ground in the distance, Xie Lian found it increasingly familiar. With the two children in tow, he approached and crouched down, saying, “Isn’t this Ye Ming? What happened to you?”

It was an extremely eerie scene to ask a knife what had happened. The passing farmers also gave Xie Lian strange looks and nudged each other discreetly. “Look, look at this person. He’s talking to a knife…” “Yeah, I see. Let’s not bother and keep going…” However, Xie Lian had no choice but to ask because the entire blade of Ye Ming, as well as the eyes outlined by the silver thread on the hilt, were trembling uncontrollably as if suffering from a terminal illness. Xie Lian involuntarily reached out his hand and said, “Did I hurt you with my strike just now?”