Mu Qing took a deep breath and admitted, “Indeed, I was the one who injured Feng Xin.”

Feng Xin became furious, “I knew it was definitely you!”

Mu Qing turned to Xie Lian and said, “But it was because Xianjing was in ruins! All the divine officials were trying to escape, but he insisted on staying there and refused to leave. If he stayed, he would eventually be burned to death by the calamity fire. So, I decided to knock him unconscious and hand him over to you!”

Xie Lian said, “But you didn’t hand him over to me. Feng Xin went missing and ended up here.”

Mu Qing said, “There was a little accident along the way.”

“What accident?”

Mu Qing explained, “That Fetal Ling suddenly attacked from behind, relentlessly biting and preventing me from taking him with me. I didn’t have time to pull him up, and Xianjing began to collapse and reform. So…”

As a result, Feng Xin ended up on the piece of land beneath him, and no one knew where it was moved to.

If what Mu Qing said was true, it meant that he had intended to do a good deed but accidentally caused trouble, leading to Feng Xin’s predicament. It was quite awkward.

Xie Lian said, “Why didn’t you mention this earlier…” Feng Xin also said, “You wanted me to burn to death in Xianjing? You knocked me out and left me there?”

Mu Qing’s expression stiffened, and he said to Xie Lian, “The Fetal Ling was squatting on his chest, and later, the female ghost sword Lan arrived. I thought she would wake Feng Xin or move him aside, so he wouldn’t be burned to death before our eyes.”

Xie Lian also understood. Mu Qing had come out to save someone probably out of guilt. After all, he was the one who knocked Feng Xin unconscious and lost him. Out of a sense of responsibility, he naturally had to contribute. No wonder he had been so anxious along the way, fearing that Feng Xin might have died…

However, this explanation was hard to believe. Feng Xin grabbed his hair in frustration, “You did such a thing! Don’t you know that I was looking for someone? If you didn’t knock me out, maybe I would have found them!”

Mu Qing calmly said, “The Fetal Ling is one of Bai Wuxiang’s subordinates. Bai Wuxiang wouldn’t harm them. And they didn’t want to leave with you. Staying there would just waste time. No matter how many times you shouted, it wouldn’t work. It was better to leave Xianjing and save your life first. There would be a chance to find them later. Did you really want to establish a parent-child relationship in such a critical moment? I just made the most favorable judgment based on the situation at the time.”

Feng Xin wasn’t as calm as him, “Favorable judgment? What a load of crap! You can say that because they’re not your family! Wait a minute, are you saying that you originally wanted to save me and make me leave?”

But Hua Cheng interjected, “Enough with the useless words. Answer my question: What did Jun Wu say to you?”

Mu Qing closed his mouth, hesitating for a moment.

Hua Cheng stared at him and continued, “Are you currently taking orders from him?”

Mu Qing immediately said, “Absolutely not!”

Hua Cheng said, “Then please explain this cursed shackle.”

After arguing for so long, Mu Qing’s throat felt dry. After a while, he spoke hoarsely, “I told you… you probably won’t believe it.”

Feng Xin said, “You denied it so stubbornly earlier, and now you admit it. It’s naturally hard to believe.”

Mu Qing replied with a touch of anger, “Why should I admit it? Even if I had explained earlier, you wouldn’t have believed me! You would still have this attitude. Who would admit it? Admitting would only leave me defenseless. It’s better not to admit it!” Moreover, it would be embarrassing to talk about this matter later. Given his personality, it was normal for him not to want to admit it. Xie Lian had been patiently listening and said, “Let him finish.”

Mu Qing glanced at Xie Lian and then, after a while, struggled to say, “It’s because… he asked me to do something detrimental to Your Highness, but I refused, so…”

He found it awkward to continue speaking. Hua Cheng said, “So, when he got angry, he put a cursed shackle on you?”

Mu Qing remained silent.

Feng Xin asked, “Is there nothing else?”

Hua Cheng had no particular expression on his face and said, “To be honest, do you believe what you’re saying?”

“… "

Mu Qing felt deeply humiliated and said coldly, “Believe it or not, it’s up to you. I knocked out Feng Xin because there was a misunderstanding, but I don’t take orders from anyone.”

Feng Xin said, “Mu Qing… just tell the truth.”

Seeing Feng Xin’s expression, Mu Qing’s knuckles cracked as he clenched his fists and said, “I am telling the truth! What do you want to hear? That I surrendered to Jun Wu and then betrayed you all? Is that how you see me? Your Highness?!”

He looked at Xie Lian, his gaze filled with intensity. Xie Lian stared at him for a long time, contemplating what to say. However, Hua Cheng crossed his arms and stepped forward, meeting Mu Qing’s gaze. He calmly said, “There’s no need to look at His Highness like that. After all, you already have a precedent.”

Mu Qing said, “I didn’t ask you! What precedent?”

Hua Cheng smiled and said, “What precedent? The heavenly realm you took from His Highness and cultivated successfully?”

He smiled with a hint of chill in his smile, and his tone was menacing. Mu Qing was taken aback, his face turned pale, and he involuntarily took two steps back, saying, “You!…”

Mu Qing knew that what he did to contend for the heavenly realm with Xie Lian was not very honorable, so he was most afraid of it being dug up and pointed out. Although Hua Cheng’s tone carried a smile, there was an implicit aggressiveness.

Mu Qing was shocked, while Xie Lian was also surprised. What surprised him was how Hua Cheng knew about this matter?

Xie Lian and Feng Xin were not gossipy people who liked to gossip about others’ right and wrong or spread rumors behind their backs. Although Mu Qing’s departure had a great impact on them at the time, they had never complained to others about it. As for snatching the heavenly realm, Xie Lian no longer wanted to mention that matter and hadn’t talked about it with anyone. He believed that Feng Xin was the same.

The thirty-plus divine officials naturally wouldn’t voluntarily tell others that they had snatched someone’s spiritual land for cultivation. They either kept their mouths shut or distorted the truth. So Xie Lian never heard anyone outside talking about this matter.

In that case, how did Hua Cheng find out?

Although he had planted a lot of spies in the Heavenly Court, this matter was really too early. It happened over eight hundred years ago, and most of the people involved never mentioned it, so how could such an old debt be traced?

Mu Qing said, “How do you know? Who told you?” He looked at Feng Xin, then at Xie Lian, but ultimately his gaze landed on Xie Lian. Hua Cheng sneered, “You don’t need to look at His Highness. His Highness never tells me these things. It was shouted by you two on the top of Snowy Mountain. Have you forgotten?”

Mu Qing’s face turned even paler. Xie Lian’s confusion eased slightly, but he couldn’t help feeling embarrassed.

When Feng Xin and Mu Qing got into a fight, they would dig up each other’s past and reveal old debts, hurling them at each other relentlessly. No wonder Hua Cheng was so angry at that time. However, he vaguely felt that there was something more to it.

Because Xie Lian remembered another matter—the red-robed ghost fire burning the Wenwu Temple. Hua Cheng became famous after that battle, defeating thirty-three divine officials and setting fire to all the palaces and temples they had in the mortal realm.

Xie Lian had long forgotten how many divine officials he had contended with for the heavenly realm, and he didn’t remember their names, appearances, or what they had said. He only vaguely remembered that there were around thirty of them.

So, exactly how many were there?

Could it be the same thirty-plus divine officials from back then?

If that were the case, did it mean that Hua Cheng had known about this matter long ago?

After a while, Mu Qing reluctantly said, “That was then, and this is now! In any case, I never intended…”

As the group was arguing, suddenly, Xie Lian kicked out and shouted, “Watch out!”

Caught off guard, Mu Qing was kicked and two sharp lights grazed just above him, nailing themselves to the wall. Mu Qing quickly got up, slapped the shoe prints off his chest, and said, “Did you do that on purpose?! You struck first?”

In the midst of the chaos, Xie Lian said hurriedly, “Sorry, sorry, it wasn’t intentional!” If it had been intentional, Mu Qing would probably have left a human-shaped dent in the wall by now. Everyone turned to look at the wall and saw two swords stuck in it. The blades were still trembling, and Feng Xin shouted, “Who?!”

Xie Lian said, “No one. They did it themselves!”

Clang, clang, clang. The killing intent surged from all directions. The weapons hanging on the walls started to move restlessly, shaking violently and causing the whole room to shake with a deafening noise!

Xie Lian said, “Quick, let’s get out!”

But when he ran to where the exit should have been, Feng Xin said, “Why are you running there? There’s no way out! Where’s the door? Isn’t there a door in this room?! How are we supposed to get out?”

Xie Lian said, “There used to be a door! But it’s gone! What’s happening with these weapons? Why is the killing intent suddenly surging?”

Hua Cheng held a sword that flew towards him between his two fingers, without using much force, and the sword snapped into nine pieces, falling to the ground with clattering sounds. He said, “It’s been too long since anyone used them, and they’ve become lonely. They sensed someone coming in and wanted to take lives.”

The others instinctively turned to look at Mu Qing. Mu Qing immediately said, “It’s not my fault!”

Hua Cheng said, “But you’re the one who led us in here.”

Mu Qing said, “I only showed you the way because I saw the Fetal Spirit!”

But Hua Cheng said, “Only you saw it.”

Mu Qing had nothing to say and clenched his fists tightly. Feng Xin asked, “What should we do now? Can’t these weapons quiet down?”

Hua Cheng hadn’t answered yet when Xie Lian suddenly remembered dealing with similar monsters in the past and muttered, “They can! But… we have to let them take lives.”

Feng Xin said, “But we can’t get out of this place now. It’s only the four of us trapped here. How do we make them take lives? What can they kill?”

Just as Xie Lian was about to speak, Hua Cheng suddenly said, “Three.”

Feng Xin asked, “Three what?”

Hua Cheng said, “Let me correct that. There are only three of us trapped here.”

Xie Lian abruptly turned his head. Sure enough, inside the armory, where Mu Qing had been standing just moments ago, he had suddenly vanished!

It was true! The spot where Mu Qing had been standing was now empty. Feng Xin exclaimed in astonishment, “How is this possible?! He was just here!”

Hua Cheng was not surprised. After all, he had encountered a similar situation before. He said, “This is Bai Wuxiang’s territory. Everything follows his orders without any scruples. Naturally, he can make anyone disappear as he pleases.”

“…”

If before, Feng Xin was 80% skeptical and 20% believing of Mu Qing’s provocative words, now he didn’t know what to say. After a moment, he said, “Your Highness, Mu Qing… Could it be that he really…?”

Xie Lian immediately interrupted, “Let’s not talk about that for now. These weapons are about to go wild. Let’s find a way to calm them down, or we’ll be chopped into mincemeat!” As he spoke, he drew out his weapon, Fangxin, from his back. However, Hua Cheng suddenly pressed down on his hand.

Xie Lian was taken aback and looked up. He saw Hua Cheng staring at him, with a hint of blood spreading in one of his eyes.

In a deep voice, Hua Cheng asked, “Gege, what are you trying to do by unsheathing your sword?”