Originally, Xie Lian only intended to keep the suspicious ghost clothes and investigate them himself, but he didn’t expect Ling Wen to casually mention something that exposed a glaring flaw. Xie Lian quickly turned the tables and continued with his deception. In the end, it completely caught Ling Wen off guard.

Ling Wen stood motionless. Xie Lian said, “Of course, you can deny it, but it’s simple to determine the truth. If I take that garment to the Godly Martial Hall right now, in front of the Heavenly Emperor, and make it transform into a different form, then ask you if you can recognize what it has become, everything will be clear.”

The Immortal Robe, having absorbed the blood of over five hundred people when it was lost in the mortal world, was a highly sinister and evil object. If Ling Wen had only trespassed and stolen the Immortal Robe from the Godly Martial Hall without using it to harm anyone, it might not have been an unforgivable offense. However, Ling Wen ascended as a divine official after being appointed. The legend of the Immortal Robe had spread long after Ling Wen’s ascension.

In other words, Ling Wen, in her capacity as a divine official, created the Immortal Robe after entering the Heavenly Realm!

A divine official who should have been safeguarding the safety of mortals ended up luring and killing them instead. This crime needed to be thoroughly investigated and dealt with, especially considering that the mortal being lured and killed was a future divine official. It seemed that this matter couldn’t be easily resolved. Ling Wen sighed and said, “Prince, you really…”

Pausing for a moment, she continued, “Perhaps it’s just my bad luck. I happened to get caught up in this matter with you. Although there are only the two of us in the Ling Wen Hall today, and we’ve known each other for hundreds of years, I think even if I were to ask you, based on our long-standing relationship, to turn a blind eye to this, you probably wouldn’t agree. What follows will probably be you advising me to confess in the Godly Martial Hall, right?”

Xie Lian also sighed. Although he and Ling Wen had known each other for hundreds of years, their relationship had mainly been focused on official business, and they hadn’t formed a deep bond. Yet, Ling Wen had never shown the slightest bit of disrespect towards him, even during his third ascension when everyone mocked him as a shabby immortal. Unfortunately, the task of the Immortal Robe fell into his hands, and the final investigation had revealed the truth. Not reporting it was out of the question.

Xie Lian sincerely said, “I’m also unlucky.”

Ling Wen crossed her arms and shook her head. “Prince, you… sometimes you’re clever, and other times you’re not; sometimes you’re soft-hearted, and other times you’re unyielding.”

After pausing for a moment, she continued, “So, where is that garment now?”

Xie Lian replied, “It’s in my hands. I will personally take it to the Godly Martial Hall later.”

Ling Wen nodded as if she had nothing more to say. Xie Lian added, “So, can you tell me why the Immortal Robe didn’t work when Lang Yin wore it?”

Ling Wen said, “I can probably guess. However, if you want to know the answer, can you grant me a request first?”

Xie Lian asked, “What is it?”

Ling Wen said, “Can I see the Immortal Robe? Just give me a day. After all, if I were to confess in the Godly Martial Hall, I wouldn’t have a chance to see it anymore. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t intend to tamper with it. It’s just that I was genuinely surprised when you mentioned its appearance.”

She shook her head, her gaze slightly unfocused, and said, “For so many years, I’ve never seen the white silk materialize.”

Xie Lian asked, “So, the young soldier’s name is actually Bai Jin?”

Ling Wen seemed to snap out of her thoughts and said, “Oh, yes, but most people call him Xiao Bai.”

Xie Lian remarked, “Xiao Bai? It sounds…” somewhat like calling a dog or a fool. Ling Wen laughed and said, “That’s exactly what you’re thinking. Bai Jin is the name I gave him, but no one else calls him that, so only a few people know that name. But if you call him that, he’ll be very happy.”

In the legend of the Immortal Robe, the way the young woman treated the young man was perceived as cruel and terrifying. It was either due to deep-seated hatred or inherent cold-bloodedness. However, when Ling Wen mentioned the young man, her tone was extremely affable, devoid of tenderness or animosity. She simply said, “Is that alright? If you’re afraid I’ll run away, you can use the Ruo Xie Lock on me. I’m not a Martial God, so I can’t escape.”

For some reason, Xie Lian felt that he should trust Ling Wen. After contemplating for a moment, he slowly nodded and said, “Alright.”

The two of them pretended as if nothing had happened and left the Ling Wen Hall. As they walked on the streets of Xian Jing, they greeted other divine officials passing by as usual. Ling Wen maintained her composure, giving no indication that her hands were already locked by the Ruo Xie Lock hidden in her sleeves. They hadn’t gone far when they bumped into Pei Ming, who had just returned from patrol. They exchanged greetings and stood by the roadside chatting, making small talk. Pei Ming stared directly at Xie Lian, who became slightly wary and asked, “General Pei, why are you looking at me like that?”

Pei Ming rubbed his chin and earnestly said, “I won’t hide it from Your Highness, but whenever I see you, I get a sense of unease as if something might happen when someone stands beside you. So, when I saw you walking with Ling Wen, my heartbeat quickened. Ling Wen, please be careful.”

Ling Wen laughed and said, “How could that be? General Pei, you must be joking.” Xie Lian, however, couldn’t help but smile wryly. In a way, Pei Ming’s intuition was quite accurate.

When they returned to the Pu Ji Temple, they saw Lang Yin leaning against an old tree in front of the temple. He absentmindedly twirled a broom in his left hand, and a pile of swept golden leaves lay at his feet. Xie Lian squinted his eyes and observed for a while before deliberately stepping louder as he approached. Although Lang Yin didn’t turn around, he must have sensed their presence and naturally changed his posture. Upon turning around and seeing Xie Lian and Ling Wen approaching leisurely, it seemed as if he had just noticed their arrival. Xie Lian cleared his throat and said, “Sweeping again?”

Lang Yin nodded. Seeing his response, Xie Lian couldn’t help but reach out and pat his head in an elder-like manner, praising him, “Good child.”

Lang Yin accepted it calmly. Ling Wen glanced at them without commenting, and Xie Lian led her to open the door of the Pu Ji Temple, saying, “It’s right here…”

Unexpectedly, as soon as they opened the door, they saw a figure squatting in front of the merit box, secretly stuffing gold bars inside. Xie Lian hurriedly went over and pulled him away, saying, “Qi Ying, stop stuffing those in. It’s really enough. I haven’t managed to take out the ones you stuffed last time. They’re stuck.”

Ling Wen nodded and said, “Hello, Prince Qi Ying.”

Quan Yizhen also greeted her, “Hello.”

In the center of the Pu Ji Temple stood a wooden frame with a plain linen robe hanging on it. Of course, that was what Xie Lian saw. Ling Wen walked forward, gazing at it for a while, but the robe remained unresponsive. She turned her head slightly and said, “Your Highnesses, I would like to take a look at it alone here. Is that okay?”

Xie Lian replied, “That’s fine.”

With Ling Wen’s hands bound by the Ruo Xie Lock, and considering that she wasn’t a Martial God, there shouldn’t be any trouble. Xie Lian placed his hand on Quan Yizhen’s shoulder and said, “Let’s go.”

It was a bit of a resolution to one matter, and Xie Lian’s mood slightly relaxed. Just then, their neighbors came and brought a variety of fruits and vegetables. Xie Lian took them to the kitchen to prepare a meal. He was persistent. Over the past few days, Quan Yizhen seemed to have treated the Pu Ji Temple like a countryside resort, hopping around, sometimes climbing trees, sometimes stealing melons, sometimes fishing, and sometimes catching frogs. Without realizing it, Xie Lian was pulled into the kitchen and had a sweet potato stolen by Quan Yizhen. When he reached out, he found it empty and turned around to see Quan Yizhen slipping away with the sweet potato, swift as an escaped fish. Xie Lian hurriedly said, “It’s not ready yet, don’t eat it!”

However, precisely because it wasn’t ready, they needed to eat quickly before it got cold. If he finished cooking, they wouldn’t have a chance to eat. Shaking his head, Xie Lian saw Lang Yin approaching and squinted his eyes. He said, “Lang Yin, do you have time? Come and help, chop some vegetables.”

Lang Yin was originally going to snatch back the sweet potato that Quan Yizhen stole. But upon hearing Xie Lian’s request, without a word, he came over to help. He picked up the knife on the chopping board and pressed down on the Chinese cabbage, cutting it carefully. Xie Lian watched him for a while, then turned his head and rinsed the rice, saying casually, “Lang Yin, you’ve witnessed quite a few strange things since you’ve been to our Pu Ji Temple, haven’t you?”

They’re all peculiar. Lang Yin said from behind him, “Mhmm.”

Xie Lian continued, “So, let me ask you a question: among all these strange beings, who do you think is the most handsome?”

Lang Yin pondered while chopping vegetables, seemingly deep in thought. Xie Lian raised an eyebrow and said, “Go on. Just tell me honestly what you think.”

Then, Lang Yin replied, “You.”

Xie Lian smiled and said, “Aside from me.”

Lang Yin responded, “The one in the red robe.”

Xie Lian couldn’t help but suppress his laughter. He said seriously, “Mhmm, I think so too.”

After a pause, Xie Lian asked again, “And who do you think is the most powerful?”

Lang Yin still answered, “The one in the red robe.”

Xie Lian quickly followed up, “Who do you think is the richest?”

“The one in the red robe.”

“Who do you admire the most?”

“The one in the red robe.”

“Who is the most foolish?”

“The one in the green robe.”

The questions came one after another, but he changed his answer very timely, demonstrating his agility of thought and quick reactions. Xie Lian said, “Mhmm, it seems like you really like the brother in the red robe. His name is Hua Cheng, remember it well. So, you think he’s very good, right?”

Unconsciously, Lang Yin’s knife seemed to speed up several times. He replied, “Very good.”

Xie Lian said, “Then, if you have time, do you think we should invite him to visit us again?”

Lang Yin answered, “Mhmm. Of course. It’s necessary.”

Xie Lian said, “I thought the same. However, his subordinates said that he has been very busy lately, must be busy with very serious matters. I think it’s better not to disturb him.”

After this sentence, Lang Yin’s chopping sound suddenly became much heavier, and Xie Lian had to support the stove, trying hard to suppress his laughter. Suddenly, Quan Yizhen’s head appeared from outside the window, took a bite of sweet potato, glanced at it, and said to Lang Yin, “You’ve chopped it too small, it won’t taste good.”

Lang Yin asked, “Huh? What did you say?”

Xie Lian turned around and saw that it wasn’t just small, it was practically minced to crumbs. He cleared his throat and said, “Oh my, it’s true, your knife skills are terrible.”

“…”

Dumping a bunch of miscellaneous ingredients into the pot, Xie Lian clapped his hands and decided to let them simmer for an hour. He left the kitchen, glanced at Ling Wen, who was still obediently staying in the temple, and continued his work. He dug out a slightly larger wooden board from the firewood pile, borrowed ink from the village chief’s house, and sat at the doorway. One hand held the wooden board, while the other held the brush, lost in thought. Lang Yin also walked over, and Xie Lian looked up and said warmly, “Lang Yin, can you read? Can you write?”

Lang Yin replied, “Yes.”

Xie Lian asked, “How is your handwriting?”

Lang Yin answered, “Average.”

Xie Lian said, “It’s okay, as long as it’s legible. Can you do me a favor?”

He handed the wooden board and brush to Lang Yin and smiled, saying, “Our temple has never had a plaque. How about you write one with the word ‘Yu’ (observing) for me?”

“…”

Under Xie Lian’s urging, Lang Yin picked up the brush. That small brush in his hand seemed to weigh a thousand catties, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t wield it.

After a while, he seemed to give up, putting down the brush and wooden board. Then, from behind the bandages, a helpless voice came, “Big brother, I’m sorry.”

That voice clearly wasn’t Lang Yin’s; it was Hua Cheng’s, but it sounded even crisper than before, like a young boy’s voice. Xie Lian leaned against the wall, crossed his arms, and after watching him struggle for so long, finally surrender, unable to hold back any longer, and laughed, falling to the ground, “San Lang, you’re really busy!”