Xie Lian whispered to Hua Cheng, “Mu Qing doesn’t know what’s going on, and Feng Xin is looking for Jian Lan and Tai Ling. Could it be…”

Could it be that they didn’t leave with the other officials and stayed in Xianjing to search for someone, only to encounter this series of catastrophes?

Or worse, perhaps they are both in Jun Wu’s hands now!

At that moment, the State Preceptor approached and said, “Your Highness, there’s no need to search anymore. If he were here, he wouldn’t need to hide. Although there are many people here, there are only a few he would consider worth his attention. If he’s not here, then he must have gone to one place. And he wants you to follow him.”

Xie Lian understood and said, “Tonglu Mountain?”

The State Preceptor nodded and said, “I’m afraid he has used his teleportation ability. Besides Xianjing, that’s his most powerful territory.”

Shi Qingxuan exclaimed, “Ah? Are you going to Tonglu Mountain? That terrifying place???”

Xie Lian replied, “I’ve been there once before, it’s not too terrifying. Perhaps Feng Xin and the others are also there.”

However, the State Preceptor warned, “Don’t take it lightly. This time, when you go, you’ll definitely encounter something different.” He paused and continued, “I will accompany you. It’s best to find a few reliable martial gods as well. We don’t need injured people; if they get hurt, they’ll only be a burden.”

Now Xie Lian had a headache. “Reliable martial gods”? There might have been a few reliable ones before, but now there were hardly any left. Some were dead, some were missing, and some were being hugged by children and crying loudly. Hua Cheng said, “No need to look for other helpers, they’re all useless. My brother and I are enough.”

The State Preceptor said, “That’s definitely not enough.”

Pei Ming protested from a distance, “Blood Rain Tieba, please don’t use such convincing words to say that ’they’re all useless’!”

Shi Qingxuan laughed, “General Pei, you’re so anxious, even mice can’t beat Rain Master. What’s the point of protesting?”

It had been a long time since Pei Ming had seen Shi Qingxuan, and they immediately resorted to mocking him upon their reunion. Pei Ming couldn’t do anything about the pain he caused, which made him even more frustrated. Suddenly, a voice interrupted, “Wait, count me in. I’m going too.”

Everyone turned to look and realized that it was Mu Qing speaking. They didn’t know when he had appeared at the back of the crowd. When Xie Lian saw him, he breathed a sigh of relief and asked, “Mu Qing? When did you come? Where were you just now? I thought you had gone missing too.”

Mu Qing replied calmly, “I’ve been here all along.”

Hua Cheng crossed his arms and glanced at him, saying, “You’ve been here all along, but didn’t say anything or lend a hand?”

Mu Qing calmly replied, “I said I’ve been here all along. I just didn’t talk much, and you didn’t see me.”

But several times before they were short-handed and couldn’t find him. They thought General Xuan Zhen had gone missing. Xie Lian still hoped that Feng Xin might be among the crowd, but they couldn’t find him after searching. Xie Lian had to admit, “Alright. Do you want to help us? That’s great, finally someone we can rely on.”

So Mu Qing joined them. Seeing him come forward, the State Preceptor and Hua Cheng had rare identical expressions. They had both been unfavourable towards Mu Qing for a long time. Although Hua Cheng didn’t mention it, the State Preceptor had never wanted Mu Qing as his disciple. It seemed that they could guess that having one more helper like Mu Qing wasn’t as good as having no helper at all. Mu Qing was aware of their attitude, but he still paid respect to the State Preceptor and whispered, “Master.”

The State Preceptor nodded without saying anything. After all, Mu Qing hadn’t done anything outrageously immoral. Since he wanted to help, there was no reason to send him back. The State Preceptor said to Shi Qingxuan, “The divine statue of His Highness is still here. The resentful spirits will take a few more days to cleanse. Keep a close eye on things here.”

Shi Qingxuan nodded, “Of course! But wait, Elder, I’ve asked you several times, can you please tell me who you really are?”

The State Preceptor didn’t answer. As everyone walked to a large mansion nearby, Hua Cheng absentmindedly rolled a die and was about to open the door when he glanced at it and his expression suddenly changed.

Xie Lian noticed and asked, “What’s wrong, San Lang? Can’t teleport?”

Hua Cheng collected himself and smiled faintly, “No, it’s just that I rarely get this result.”

He opened his palm towards Xie Lian. Xie Lian leaned closer and was also stunned.

In his pale palm, there was only a solitary die, and it showed a single dot.

When Hua Cheng usually rolled the dice, it was always a red six. Seeing only a single dot was extremely rare. Xie Lian’s heart trembled slightly, and he asked, “…What does this result mean? Did you accidentally make a mistake?”

Hua Cheng said, “Based on past experiences, it probably means that something extremely dangerous is waiting for me ahead.”

“…”

@InfiniteGoodNovels, available on Jinjiang Literature City

Xie Lian’s heart fluctuated slightly. The State Preceptor said from behind, “Ah, how many times have I told you young people that gambling is not good? It’s better to quit early! Your Highness, look, he has picked up a bad habit! "

The signs were not good, but Hua Cheng remained calm. He collected the dice and smiled, saying, “Let’s just take a look. The number doesn’t matter. Whether it’s dangerous or not, I’ll be the one to decide.” He opened the door and said, “Let’s go, gege.”

He was about to step inside when Xie Lian instinctively reached out and grabbed him. He wanted to blurt out, “Don’t go,” but he knew it was impossible. In the end, he whispered, “Let’s go. Just don’t leave my side. If anything happens, I’ll protect you.”

Hua Cheng was momentarily stunned.

After a while, he curved his lips and smiled, saying, “Alright. Gege, remember to protect me.”

“… " Mu Qing watched from the side, his gaze filled with either horror or chills. As soon as Hua Cheng opened the door, a scorching wave rushed towards them, extinguishing any odd expression on his face.

Not long ago, there had been a volcanic eruption. The thick ashes still hadn’t dispersed, and where there used to be forests and rocks, there were now flames everywhere, like a furnace in hell, a sea of red. Tonglu Mountain had been completely transformed.

Xie Lian and the others came out from a cave on a relatively high hill. As soon as they emerged, they nearly choked on the ash. Xie Lian asked, “Is he really here?”

Mu Qing replied, “He should be near Tonglu Mountain.”

Xie Lian said, “The volcano has erupted, so there’s probably nowhere to take shelter nearby.”

However, the State Preceptor said, “I know where he is. If that place hasn’t been destroyed, follow me and you’ll find out.”

The group followed him. When they descended from the hill, Hua Cheng walked in front of Xie Lian. He cleared a path through the rocky obstacles and then turned around to extend his hand to help Xie Lian down. Otherwise, Xie Lian would have tumbled down from the highest point of the hill.

Unexpectedly, it was someone else who slipped—Mu Qing was at the back, and his footing was unstable, causing him to sway. Xie Lian, who was closest to him, quickly grabbed him and said, “Be careful!”

Mu Qing had a slight startle and seemed to come to his senses. He replied, “I know.”

Xie Lian let go of his hand and thought that Mu Qing was indeed acting strangely. He turned his head and suddenly remembered something. He took a few quick steps and came to Hua Cheng’s side, whispering, “By the way, San Lang, when Feng Xin and Mu Qing were fighting on the top of the snowy mountain, did you hear what they were saying? Why did you suddenly get angry?”

Hua Cheng’s expression turned cold for a moment, but he quickly concealed it and said, “Oh, that. Those two have loose tongues and said some disrespectful things about gege, nothing more.”

“Ah?” Xie Lian asked, “What did they say?”

Hua Cheng replied, “Gege doesn’t need to hear it. It would taint your ears. Come down.”

The group of four had already descended from the hill and walked for a while when they were blocked by a river. But the liquid flowing in the river was not clear water; it was a red liquid with bubbles popping up — scorching magma!

The heat was so intense that ordinary people wouldn’t even need to fall into it; just getting close would result in being burnt to death. Fortunately, all four of them were not ordinary people, so they managed to withstand it and hadn’t turned into a pool of flesh and bones. The State Preceptor wiped the sweat from his forehead and said, “It should be on the other side, but this used to be the city’s moat. Now, it’s impossible to cross.”

Xie Lian said, “We probably need something to help us cross the river.”