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Chapter 889 - Masked Man
"It's this world, I've finally returned to this world!" As Lin Ming looked at the dark forest around him, he determined that he had come here once before.
In this Temple of Marvels, every dimensional realm was different. It wasn't just different scenery, but even the frequency of spatial fluctuations was different.
This type of spatial fluctuation was like a person's fingerprints. If one was skilled in the Concept of s.p.a.ce, they could rely on this to judge whether or not they had come to this world before.
"Although I've found a familiar s.p.a.ce here, that doesn't mean I'll be able to find the road out." The Temple of Marvels had a very strange and enigmatic spatial arrangement; it was like a ma.s.sive maze. With Lin Ming's understandings towards the Concept of s.p.a.ce, he would slowly have to feel his way out.
As Lin Ming flew, he also began to quietly refine the spatial ring in his hand. This ring had been named by Jiang Ziji, and it was called the Extreme Violet Ring.
The Extreme Violet Ring was already a masterless object; configuring it for his own use wouldn't be difficult.
"Mm? This ring actually turned into a seal mark."
Lin Ming discovered that the Extreme Violet Ring suddenly vanished as he put his spirit mark on it. It turned into a little purple tattoo on his finger.
"It seems some quasi-Saint or true Saint artifact level treasures can be directly integrated into the body. The Cosmic Melting Furnace is the same."
Lin Ming was overjoyed. If he wore the ring on his hand then it would be easy to damage, but if it turned into a seal tattoo on his body then it would be much more secure as well as hidden.
Each dimensional realm of the Temple of Marvels was only the size of a province of the Sky Fortune Kingdom; they were around 1000-2000 thousand miles wide. Lin Ming was able to quickly fly from one end to the other with his speed.
"After this dark forest dimensional realm, I should arrive at those strange islands. However, I'm afraid the spatial arrangements might have changed, making it more difficult to leave."
As Lin Ming spoke to himself, he was about to leave through the s.p.a.ce barrier of the dark forest world. But at this moment, he was suddenly startled. All of the hairs on his body stood on end as he rapidly drew backwards!
As Lin Ming helplessly watched the scene unfolding in front of him, he felt as if he had fallen into an icy lake. Before him, the s.p.a.ce barrier was torn apart. A man wearing white clothes and a wood spirit jade mask suddenly strolled out from the void.
This person's aura was deep like a fathomless ocean. His strength was impossible to estimate. He might even be more powerful than Old Man Good Fortune!
Without a doubt, this white-clothed masked man was a partner of that strange demon youth. This mysterious influence that was targeting him had likely come from the Sea of Miracles!
As his eyes locked on that wood spirit mask and he looked at its peculiar style and unique shape, Lin Ming was flooded with a horrifying realization.
His heart thumped in his chest. He remembered the model of this mask. He had seen it many times before. It was a design worn by the Nine Furnace Guard, and one that only the most upper level figures could wear.
Could it be…
Lin Ming sucked in a breath of cold air.
The Nine Furnace Guard was a military regiment directly under the political control of the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom. They had authority over all prisons in the nation. Later, they had been thoroughly controlled by Crown Prince Yang Yun and subordinated for his desires. Such a link already caused Lin Ming to correctly guess just who this masked man was.
"Yang Yun! It's you!?!?" Lin Ming's voice was icy cold!
And in front of him, the masked man only faintly smiled as he took off his wood spirit jade mask, revealing a handsome and exquisite face.
This man was Yang Yun!
"Haha, Brother Lin, how have you been?" Yang Yun smiled. It wasn't surprising that Lin Ming had seen through his ident.i.ty, nor had he been planning to conceal his status anyways.
As Lin Ming looked at the Yang Yun in front of him, his eyes flashed with an odd light. He had always felt that Yang Yun was extremely deep and impenetrable, not revealing just what he was hiding. And, what was most peculiar was that he never understood just what Yang Yun's cultivation was.
Lin Ming had first come to know of Yang Yun because of his matters with the Heavencraft Trading Company. Yang Yun had sent forth the Nine Furnace Guard to thoroughly investigate all three trading companies of the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom, as well as the two great banks and the Hundred Treasures Auction House. He had planned to completely control these six great commercial organizations. It had to be known that once an economic organization was grasped in the hands of a nation, it was easy for corruption to multiply there, making it so that all gains and profits would slowly slip away. Thus, doing so was not a wise move. Even so, Yang Yun insisted on doing this, even moving against a tremendous pressure to do so.
This had caused the successor of the Heavencraft Trading Company, Heavencraft Xiaoxiao, to enter his room late at night and beg Lin Ming to request mercy for the Heavencraft Trading Company, using her own body as the price to do so. At the time, Lin Ming had thought something had felt wrong. Yang Yun's actions were simply too abrupt and forceful. Moreover, he had also called Xiaoxiao over to attend the Nine Flowers Banquet. It was likely that Yang Yun had planned to use her as a chip to win him over as a subordinate. Throughout this entire process, Yang Yun had never revealed his hand, and although Lin Ming had some faint suspicions, he still wasn't sure of them.
This had caused Lin Ming to always guard his mind and remain vigilant against him. Although Yang Yun repeatedly sent out great gifts to him, he maintained an appropriate distance throughout.
He had always felt that Yang Yun was simply too deep, with too many secrets.
Lin Ming didn't understand; just why did Yang Yun wish to control such a great portion of the economy? The three trading companies, two great banks, and the Hundred Treasures Auction House accounted for a total of 10% of the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom's economy. In addition, with the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom controlling all natural resource production such as mines, wood spirit jade lodes, medicine gardens and so forth, over half of the nation's economy had fallen into Yang Yun's hands.
Even so, he had managed to smoothly carry out all of his plans with no high level figures from the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom stopping him, or even trying to slow him down. This only showed just how meticulous and perfect Yang Yun's methods were. Regardless of what it was, this proved that Yang Yun's status in the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom was unshakeable!
But no matter how deep Yang Yun's abilities were hidden, Lin Ming never imagined that it would be to this degree. Today, Lin Ming could finally clearly see Yang Yun's cultivation.
He was at the early Divine Sea, but that was actually an eighth stage Life Destruction master's early Divine Sea! In the entire 100,000 year history of the Sky Spill Continent, the number of eighth stage Life Destruction martial artists could be counted on a single hand. The highest under the heavens didn't need to be at the eighth stage of Life Destruction, but every eighth stage Life Destruction martial artist was a.s.sured to become the highest under the heavens!
Yang Yun's early Divine Sea cultivation by itself was already able to sweep away the entire world! That was someone close to the highest under the heavens. After breaking through to the middle Divine Sea, he would truly be the highest under the heavens. This was a matter that could immeasurably raise the prestige of the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom. It was completely different from Situ Yaoyue, who had to fear a.s.sa.s.sination before she grew.
But Yang Yun had hidden all the time until now! He certainly had some scheme he was plotting!
Yang Yun had actually managed to reach the eighth stage of Life Destruction without raising any waves. This was simply unimaginable… he was only 40 years old!
Lin Ming remembered that Yang Yun was a genius that crossed into Life Destruction at 30 years of age. This was a cultivation speed that wasn't too fast for a peak Emperor level talent that aspired to reach the Divine Sea. Even Situ Luosha or Situ Chuan could achieve something like this.
But to first cross Life Destruction at 30 years of age and then reach the eighth stage Life Destruction Divine Sea by 40 years of age, that was simply impossible.
There was only one possibility… that was that the true Yang Yun had already died!
"Who are you?" Lin Ming's guard and mind were concentrated to an unbelievable degree. In the face of such danger, even his own palms were wet with sweat. This was because he couldn't imagine a single scenario in which he could win or escape. If Old Man Good Fortune were here then they might be able to use some tricky means to escape, but now there was absolutely no hope.
"I am truly Yang Yun, that is nothing but the truth!" Yang Yun had already guessed what Lin Ming was thinking.
"Then tell me, just how were you able to reach the Divine Sea after only 10 years in Life Destruction?" Lin Ming's eyes flashed with a cold light as he silently took out the Great Desolate Blood Halberd. Although there was nearly no hope of escape, he still had to struggle with everything he had.
"Haha…" Yang Yun congenially smiled. "The cultivation I showed before was purposely to mislead the public; it was simply an illusion. My cultivation can't really be considered much. Brother Lin is only 23-24 years old, and with your speed you have high hopes of reaching the Divine Sea by the time you are 30 years old. In fact, there is even an extreme chance that you will become a ninth stage Life Destruction Divine Sea master. Ninth stage Life Destruction… in the Sky Spill Continent and the Holy Demon Continent, there had never appeared a ninth stage Life Destruction martial artist since ancient times. It is a concept that only exists in the most ancient of records… once Ninefall appears, the heavens and earth will change. Even in the Divine Realm that is an extraordinary character! But as for me, I only reached the eighth stage Life Destruction Divine Sea by 40 years of age. I cannot even hold a candle to Brother Lin's achievements!"
Yang Yun casually spoke, not even drawing out a weapon. His entire body was relaxed, as if he were speaking to an old friend that he had run into. With his cultivation, he truly had the capital to be confident and lax.
"You entered the Sea of Miracles and came out alive?" Lin Ming suddenly thought of this possibility. Only such a lucky chance could explain everything that was happening now.
"You're half right." Yang Yun deeply sighed. "Brother Lin, your destiny is a rising rainbow. You have the life of an unrivalled Emperor. This is the destiny that you have acc.u.mulated through countless dangerous battles and life or death experiences. I simply cannot be compared to you. All I could do was use some evil methods to betray myself, giving away everything I had in exchange for power!"
As Yang Yun spoke to here, his eyes began to twinkle, causing Lin Ming to be stricken. Lin Ming was able to faintly guess some things. He had been especially shocked upon hearing Yang Yun say that he had given everything away. Yang Yun was burdened with far too many secrets.
"Brother Lin, although we are enemies, I still see you as my close friend. Everyone knows that I, Yang Yun, have a rare heaven-blessed talent, and I began rising to prominence at 12 years of age, never slowing down and finally becoming a once in a thousand year genius of the Nine Furnace Divine Kingdom. But… no one actually knows just what I experienced when I was 12 years old."
As Yang Yun spoke to here, he shook his head as if he didn't wish to remember the events of the past. No matter how deep his secrets were, he still had to pour out his heart to others after binding these secrets within himself for far too long. Otherwise, it would cause psychological problems for him.
"I was born a b.a.s.t.a.r.d to a beautiful woman when my father visited one of his many imperial harems. For a son like me, in my father's several thousand years of life, if there weren't 5000 there were at least 3000 of them. And that didn't even account for all the other b.a.s.t.a.r.ds he sired elsewhere in the world. A common mortal emperor only lives for a few dozen years and has a harem of 3000 beauties. But for a Divine Kingdom's Divine Emperor, as well as the High Prince and all the collateral royal Dukes, Marquises, Princes, and others, the number of imperial concubines is inestimable. There are at least one million possible male heirs. I was nothing but one person in an army of a million."
Yang Yun had a bit of a mocking tone in his voice as he spoke. Describing the royal clan juniors of a Divine Kingdom with an army of a million was truly a joke.
"With so many sons, those without strength were no different than ants. Their status would be no higher than a maid's. My mother was even worse off. Because of my weakness, she had no status, and afterwards she died tragically in the palace harem…"
Yang Yun's nonchalant words sounded as if he wasn't sad at all. But the more calm his expression was, the more Lin Ming was actually able to sense the deeply rooted hatred in his heart, simmering with blazing heat for eternity.