Chapter 1323: Nowhere Left to Run
The pressure shook Zu An’s very soul; clearly, it was something only the legendary Fiend Emperor could have.
Zu An was extremely thankful that the divine sense swept over several small creatures he began controlling first.
Otherwise, if it reached him, he could end up with no way to escape at all.
The Fiend Emperor quickly realized that there was something wrong with the small creatures.
A cold snort rang out in Zu An’s mind, and the creatures instantly exploded into bloody mist.
Zu An cried out in pain and clutched his head with one hand.
Qiao Xueying jumped in fright and asked worriedly, “Ah Zu, what’s wrong”
“It’s nothing,” Zu An replied, firmly shaking his head to get rid of the terrible pain.
Fortunately, he had been controlling the small creatures through the jade badge and not through his own soul; otherwise, he could have ended up injuring his soul, assuming he wasn’t turned into an imbecile on the spot.Something like that could end up being impossible to recover from for the rest of his life.
However, there was no time for him to be happy, because he could sense that the terrifying divine sense was rapidly searching the area.
If it sensed him, he would be done for.
And yet, no matter how fast he was, how could he possibly be faster than an earth immortal’s divine will
Fortunately, there was a large ornamental lake nearby, so he picked up Qiao Xueying and jumped straight in.
He used Blue Mallard’s ability to form a transparent bubble around them, then quickly swam to the very bottom and dug into the sludge.
Fortunately, the water bubble surrounding them kept them from being covered in mud.
Zu An used Blue Mallard to merge their auras into the surrounding water, while simultaneously using the Unshaken Daoist Manual and Mirror Mirage to restrain his own aura.
Qiao Xueying was quick-witted, promptly copying him and hiding her own aura.
Zu An was quite shocked.
If he hadn’t been looking at her, he would have wondered whether there really was someone there.
Snow’s stealth technique really was miraculous.
He suddenly remembered that Snow had actually been a part of Brightmoon Academy as one of the top ten beauties.
However, the other students had only vaguely remembered that that member existed and couldn't even describe her name or appearance.
When he recalled what Kong Qing had said about Princess Snow having her beauty unsealed, he could only sigh in admiration of Snow’s unique concealment technique.
The moment the two properly hid themselves at the bottom of the lake, an ice-cold divine sense swept over where they had just been.
Then, it passed over the lake without leaving even a single ripple across the water’s surface.
However, Blue Mallard was extremely miraculous, allowing one to completely become one with the water.
Together with the Unshakable Daoist Manual, Mirror Mirage, and other outstanding stealth skills, the Fiend Emperor’s divine sense only passed by without detecting them.
When he sensed that the divine sense had left, Zu An sighed in relief.
Only then did he notice that he was pressed against a soft and beautifully fragrant body.
Just then, whether he had been saving her or running away, all of it had happened too quickly.
He’d had no time to take a good look at her at all.
Only now did he have a chance to look at her up close.
Qiao Xueying’s skin was fairer than snow.
Her brows were curved, and her mouth was small.
She was delicate and dainty.
Her eyes were sparkling and crystal clear, giving off an intelligent glint.
Perhaps because of the drug, a sense of charm emanated from those eyes, as if every expression conveyed sweet and gentle messages.
“What, you don’t recognize me anymore” Qiao Xueying remarked with a big smile when she saw Zu An stare at her.
“I heard someone say that Princess Snow had her appearance sealed, but then it was undone when she returned to the fiend races.
At the time, I was worried that my beloved Snow was gone forever, but the changes weren’t as great as I imagined,” Zu An said, sighing in relief.
The difference between this young lady and the Snow he knew wasn’t that great, but it did give her an entirely different demeanor.
Before, Snow had been cute and charming, but because she had spent too long as a maid during her time as a spy, she had come off more like a pretty girl-next-door, like a pretty supporting actress that made other girls look more beautiful.
Other people wouldn’t concentrate their attention on her.
Now, however, she was a dazzling star.
No matter who she was with, she wouldn’t lose out in the slightest.
Otherwise, she wouldn’t have become the famous Princess Snow among the fiend races’ younger generation, nor would she have made the Golden Crow Crown Prince, who had seen many beautiful women, yearn for her day and night.
“Then was I prettier before, or am I prettier now” Qiao Xueying asked.
Zu An replied, “Whether before or now, you are you, my most cherished Snow.”
Only a blockhead would answer such a deadly question incorrectly.
“Hmph, you’ve always been a smooth talker,” Qiao Xueying replied with a smile, clearly pleased with the answer.
However, she still didn’t let him go and asked, “Then which one do you like better”
Zu An was starting to get a headache. That topic isn’t done yet As such, he went on the offensive, saying, “Let me give it a go to find out.”
Then, he kissed her.
Qiao Xueying moaned, her entire body going soft.
When their lips separated, she looked embarrassed, yet expectant.
Zu An pursed his lips and said, “Mmm, your lips are just as spicy as before.
This is exactly the kind of feeling I like.”
“You’re so annoying.
You’re already teasing me right after we meet again,” Qiao Xueying said, sounding mildly annoyed.
Compared to her usual sharp and clear voice, she now sounded sweet and lovely.
“I was thinking about how when we first met, we both fell into a pond too.
Now that we’re on the topic… At the time, you were already a sixth rank cultivator, and yet you almost drowned underwater.
Were you just using that as a pretext to get closer to me on purpose and take advantage of me” Zu An asked.
Because there were Golden Crow Guards everywhere, he wasn’t in a rush to leave the lake.
It would be a bit safer to stay for a bit.
“Who was trying to take advantage of you back then!” Qiao Xueying protested.
When she remembered what had happened, she could no longer hold back her annoyance and bit down on Zu An’s shoulder.
Zu An sucked air through his teeth.
However, his expression quickly became strange.
Qiao Xueying only used a bit of strength at first, but then she used the tip of her tongue to gently lick the wound.
She even looked at him with an ambiguous expression, as if she were sending him a silent invitation.
If someone so beautiful and delicate looked at him in such a way, which man could possibly resist
Zu An was also stirred, his entire body stiffening.
However, he quickly realized that something wasn’t right.
Snow’s body was burning up too much, and her body was giving off an unnatural redness.
She was also much more proactive than usual.
Having been in similar situations so many times, he reacted quickly and asked, “You’ve been poisoned”
Qiao Xueying voiced her confirmation, a hint of embarrassment appearing on her face as she said, “The Golden Crow Crown Prince put a despicable drug in the candle.”
Zu An reached out to check her pulse.
He glowered and cursed, “That damn birdman, I went too easy on him!”
Qiao Xueying quickly covered his hand with hers and said, “Don’t do anything stupid.
He is the fiend races’ crown prince, after all, and this is the Fiend King Court.
Apart from the human emperor, no one is a match for the Fiend Emperor.
I don’t want to become a femme fatale who puts you in danger.”
I’m not that kind of hothead.
I’ll only make a move after I’ve thought things through,” Zu An replied to console her.
“That’s true,” Qiao Xueying said.
She thought about how ever since she had met him in Brightmoon City, Zu An had offended many people who were stronger than him, yet almost none of them had met a pleasant end.
Instead, he had always been the one to remain happy and free.
Zu An was about to help Snow get rid of the poison when his expression changed.
He sensed a group of Golden Crow Guards arriving by the lakeside.
The imperial palace guards were clearly experienced.
Their leader quickly said, “Those who are good at swimming, enter the lake and look around.
Don’t let a single corner remain unsearched! The order this time is absolute.
Even if we have to dig up three feet across this entire place, we have to find that assassin!”
“Understood!” The Golden Crow Guards all accepted the order.
It was clear that the Fiend Emperor was furious that the crown prince had been injured so severely.
No one dared to show any negligence in the matter.
With several splashes, they jumped into the water and quickly began searching the lake.
Zu An was nervous.
Even though he could escape the Fiend Emperor’s detection by hiding at the bottom of the lake, if the experienced Golden Crow Guards investigated up close, he wouldn’t be able to hide from them.
Sure enough, some Golden Crow Guards came close.
Zu An didn’t just wait passively and instead acted suddenly, restraining the nearby Golden Crow Guards.
He then rushed upward with Qiao Xueying in his arms.
The surrounding Golden Crow Guards cried out in alarm, and many of them leaped at them.
However, Zu An didn’t dare to continue fighting zealously.
If he got tangled and caught up in something, even if the Fiend Emperor didn’t act, just the grandmaster and the others in the imperial palace would make sure that he could never leave the place.
He ran with everything he had, carrying Qiao Xueying in his arms and evading round after round of pursuers.
Unfortunately, this was the imperial palace, and so there was more than one direction he had to worry about.
In the end, more and more Golden Crow Guards began to detect the two of them and he was stopped several times along the way.
Zu An didn’t even dare to evade, instead fighting with the intention of exchanging wound for wound.
He seriously injured many of the Golden Crow Guards, but of course, he was soon covered in wounds himself.
At first, Qiao Xueying could still assist him.
After some time, however, the poison within her began flaring up.
She struggled to even hold herself together, let alone let alone try to help fending off the enemies.
Just then, Zu An felt another wave of ice-cold divine sense sweep over him.
This was the Fiend Emperor’s power!
No matter how sturdy Zu An’s will was, he still began to feel despair.
Suddenly, a wonderful figure appeared nearby.
Zu An wondered whether he should seize her as a hostage, but to his surprise, she gave the two of them a cold look and said to them, “Follow me!”