The crown prince's words were taken as truth by Xu Jingming.
This was not blind faith. Young children are naturally sensitive to dangerous creatures.
Every time he got close, Xu Jingming could feel a strong aversion.
The previous National Teacher had said that Xu Jingming had a weak destiny. His mother was afraid he would die young, so she sent him to the National Teacher every few days to ward off evil spirits.
Because of this, Xu Jingming often overheard things he shouldn't have.
For example, conversations between his father, the emperor, and the National Teacher.
The previous National Teacher had said something about his terrifying older brother: "Your Majesty, if this child is not dealt with, he will become a disaster for the country."
From the outcome, it seemed that his father, the emperor, did not listen to him. Shi Jingzhi was lucky enough to survive until today. When his elder brother, Xu Jingxing, ascends the throne, with his dislike of the power held by the National Teacher he would also not obey him.
Xu Jingming considered himself a careful person. After being crowned as a prince, he searched for experts all over the world to calculate Shi Jingzhi's fate.
The answers were all similar - this person was a great disaster. If left unchecked, he would bring calamity.
Dayun was prosperous and the people were wealthy. Xu Jingming lived a comfortable life and had no desire to experience chaos. The words of the National Teacher were like a thorn, piercing his bones and causing occasional pain that kept him from sleeping peacefully.
It would have been better if Shi Jingzhi had died. The emperor seemed to have his own considerations.
Although Shi Jingzhi had no imperial surname, no fiefdom, and not even a mansion, he still had a chance to survive. Xu Jingming wanted to take action openly, but he was afraid of angering the emperor.
But if Shi Jingzhi died in the Ghost Tomb, no one could blame Xu Jingming.
"Kill him," Xu Jingming snapped shut his fan.
Shi Jingzhi gasped for breath and asked, "Don't you want the Buddhist beads?"
"I came to the Ghost Tomb to search for treasure and to find an opportunity to get rid of you, this monster. Even if I can only kill you, this trip is worth it. Our meeting here is fate," Xu Jingming replied.
"As for the Buddhist beads, even if you explain it perfectly, it's just a guess. Am I stupid enough to believe your words? Besides, even if the treasure map is incomplete, the treasure may still be found."
Shi Jingzhi fell silent, his expression gradually revealing a tinge of sorrow.
Xu Jingming sneered, "Don't give me that brotherly love nonsense. You--"
"It's not that," Shi Jingzhi said sadly. "You know about the Blood Rope and can also recognize the Parting Sorrow. Just buying this information would cost you over a thousand taels of silver, and you still had to risk going into a tomb... In the end, you couldn't even get all the Buddhist beads, and only want my life."
As he spoke, he became even more sorrowful. "Why didn't you say so earlier? Even if you halved the price and gave me the silver, I would have been willing to meet you alone and let you try to kill me. Xiao Qi, even though you've had a bad brain for a long time, this is just too..."
Xu Jingming was so angry that his sight nearly went black and the hand holding the fan trembled. "What are you waiting for? Kill him now!"
The four experts rushed forward. Only the best candidates who are carefully trained and have a clean background can become royal guards, and even if they are the ones left over by the emperor, their strength will not be inferior by much.
Standing up, Shi Jingzhi stretched his legs and said, "It's a pity, I was planning to rest a little longer."
He kicked the remaining half of the flagpole on the ground with his toe, rolled up the flag, and held it in his hand like a long sword. The wooden pole was adorned with golden fire, which was somewhat dazzling. The flagpole cut through the air, leaving a trail of light in the darkness.
Shi Jingzhi stopped smiling, and the pressure around him became even stronger.
As one of the top masters approached, he was swept away by the fiery sword wind. Although he managed to avoid the sword energy in time, his clothes were still burnt by a few sparks.
The Yang fire is not an ordinary fire, it is difficult to extinguish. As soon as the man's attention was diverted, Shi Jingzhi flashed behind him and cut him in half.
Then, he grabbed the upper body of the man and turned, blocking the three sharp swords that were coming at him at the same time.
While they still had their swords extended, Shi Jingzhi used a new technique to twist and collect the corpse neatly, throwing it along with the swords into the sacrificial hole.
"Xiao Qi, if you had sent them to chase me along with the Red Hook Sect, I would have been dead for sure." He said, dodging a kick and swiftly smashing another person's head.
"When I left Yi City, there were at least five thousand people in the martial world who could kill me. But now, there are probably only a thousand left. And among that thousand, none of them are the ones by your side."
"Truly a monster." Xu Jingming spat. "You deliberately acted disgracefully all the way just to hide your true strength..."
"I am truly afraid, why should I pretend?" said Shi Jingzhi calmly.
He grabbed the collars of the remaining two men and slammed them together. Then he singled out the one with a face full of muscles and flattened his head with a single palm strike.
"Of course, you can pretend to be calm and hide your true feelings. In the long run, if we meet again, those people will look up to you... but I don't have a long run. You can't even tell what's real or fake, even my little disciple is better than you."
Xu Jingming looked at Shi Jingzhi covered in blood and tried to maintain a calm demeanor: "You are a monster yourself, why are you afraid of ghosts?"
"You don't understand," Shi Jingzhi didn't kill the last person, letting him faint on the ground. "Since creatures like me exist, who knows if ghosts exist. I can kill living beings, demons, and evil spirits, but if I encounter a ghost..."
He took a few steps forward and pressed his blood-soaked palm heavily on Xu Jingming's head. For a moment, Xu Jingming thought his brain was going to splatter. He collapsed to the ground on his knees.
Shi Jingzhi lowered his eyes and smiled again: "...if I encounter a ghost, I will have this kind of 'fear'."
Then he took a step back and said, "Don't worry, if you die here, my big brother will come after me. Look, I even left you a guard."
It took Xu Jingming a while to regain his senses. He gritted his teeth and asked, "Aren't you going to take my Buddhist beads?"
"If I take them now, how can I explain to my disciple later? Remember to act with me later, or else..."
Xu Jingming swallowed his saliva and asked, "Or else what?"
"I haven't decided yet, but you figure it out." Shi Jingzhi waved his hand carelessly, dismantled Xu Jingming's sedan chair into several pieces, and threw them into the sacrificial hole.
This act of Shi Jingzhi was definitely intentional. Xu Jingming looked in pain at the wreckage of the sedan - there were enough corpses on the ground, but Shi insisted on throwing his sedan.
Despite losing the battle, Xu Jingming's mouth was not idle: "Big Brother knows you don't have much time left, so allowed you to leave the palace. I know you have established a sect, but if you dare to secretly raise private soldiers..."
"I'm not that idle. With all the kinds of relationships in the world, you still have time to experience them, but I only have one year left." Shi Jingzhi looked at the slowly descending stone pillar with a calm tone.
"As for family affection, I don't expect it from you. As for love, even if I have good luck and meet my destined one, I won't be able to treat her seriously while struggling to survive. Friendship is not bad, but it takes time to develop a deep relationship with someone... and I don't have time."
"People say that being a teacher for a day is like being a father for a lifetime. Taking on a disciple is a good idea. However, children have poor memory and fragile lives, making it difficult for them to accompany me into dangerous places. But now, this disciple of mine is just perfect. Even if I die a year later, he will remember me for a lifetime."
Xu Jingming was stunned for a moment before he mustered up the courage to say, "If I am willing to follow you into the Ghost Tomb, it's either because I'm foolish or I have ulterior motives."
Shi Jingzhi walked closer and squatted in front of him, with traces of blood still on his face. "So, what is it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Xiao Qi, do you know about the 'Grabbing the Fortune' tradition? When a child turns one year old, they grab something at random, and people believe it's a sign from heaven. I did something similar."
"I ran to the wasteland and randomly picked someone as my disciple. As long as he hasn't already taken a master, whether he is good or evil, I will sincerely be his teacher... Isn't this also fate?"
Xu Jingming was stunned by his words, which seemed so natural. "But what if he wants to cause trouble?"
Shi Jingzhi avoided the question and continued with a smile, "You can rest assured that I will only take in this one disciple. I can't handle any more. Your guard won't wake up for a while, so I'll leave first."
With that, Shi Jingzhi climbed up the stone pillar and prepared to leave.
Xu Jingming was left feeling defeated, and even his words were mocked by Shi Jingzhi. He felt a tightness in his chest and tried to maintain his composure, continuing his sharp-tongued words.
"Sincerely be his teacher? How much sincerity can a monster like you have?"
"I don't know either, that's why I want to give it a try," said Shi Jingzhi, pausing for a moment before disappearing into the cave entrance.
Xu Jingming wiped the sweat from his forehead and surveyed the bloody scene around him, feeling his heart race with anxiety. With the prophecy of the "disaster of the country" looming over Shi Jingzhi, and his clear intention to treat his disciple well...that Yin Ci had better be an honest and upright ordinary person.
At this moment, the "ordinary person" Demon Lord Yin was familiarizing himself with the layout of the exit, waiting for his Ghost Skin Suit to dry.
The "Parting Sorrow" had four exits, connecting to a wide hall. Inside the hall stood two rows of sturdy stone pillars, with symmetrical giant stone carvings between them, finally resembling a proper tomb.
However, he didn't find Yan Qing and had no idea where the poor guy had been thrown by his ancestors. With a loud rumble, the ground trembled slightly. Hearing another pillar falling, Yin Ci held his breath and quickly hid behind it.
He had dug out some smoke bombs from Elder Lu's remains. If it wasn't Shi Jingzhi who came, he could pretend to disappear on the spot, creating more evidence of the existence of a "mysterious expert."
Just in case, Yin Ci walked around the hall beforehand, deliberately smearing blood everywhere. Even if it was really Shi Jingzhi who came, that fox wouldn't be able to sniff out his location.
Unexpectedly, the person came running straight towards his hiding spot.
It was probably too late to jump back into the room now. But this was only the second person to come out, and it shouldn't be his master.
Unfortunately, luck was never on Yin Ci's side. With a cold expression, Shi Jingzhi flashed in front of Yin Ci, the broken flagpole pointing straight at his throat.
"W-What...what are you?" He glanced at Yin Ci's white clothes and confirmed that he was still breathing before asking firmly, "What did you do to my disciple? He's only in his twenties and has no martial arts skills."
Yin Ci raised an eyebrow slightly - Shi Jingzhi was so certain that he had met this "mountain disciple" before, so this kid must have done something. He might as well take the opportunity to tease him a bit.
Looking at Shi Jingzhi, whose hair was standing on end, Yin Ci suddenly felt a bit mischievous.
"Your disciple?" Yin Ci deliberately looked confused, then laughed. "Hmm, he's probably been killed by me."
Fox Shi, meet this Demon Lord Yin best friend (?) + true love + and disciple all in one. Surprised?
When it comes to beauty, seduction is ineffective between two beauties. After all, they have both looked in the mirror!
Yan Qing: Boss, stop flirting and come save me! I'm in a deadly crisis during my probation period. 0(:3)~ (;3_ヽ)_"
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