Chen Ming sat astride a fierce tiger, with a bamboo hat, as he read the file the Relentless Tiger Guards brought him on the Murdering Temple. Murdering Temple was an organization of assassins operating from the shadows. The record revealed that they had around three thousand members, including fourteen Dao Initiation realm cultivators. The Murdering Temple’s leader was at the 3rd stage of Dao Initiation realm and trained in a secret killing art. He hunted down over ten cultivators in the Dao Initiation realm, with two of them being at the same stage as him. Their headquarters were at Jing Wang Tomb.
Only one way allowed them to get such exact intelligence. The Regent’s estate had someone inside the Murdering Temple.
Chen Ming looked at the tiger riding Wang Meng and stated, “Wang Meng, tell the spy in the Murdering Temple to assemble all hall masters at the headquarters.”
“Any issue that emerges is for him to handle it. I only want results. I ask you, can it be achieved or not?”
Wang Meng cupped his hands, “Yes it can.”
Chen Ming nodded, “That’s for the best. Also, how many Tiger Army troops can I use?”
Chen Ming thought it through and added, “Make use of the guard change excuse and draw three thousand men from ten cities the Flying Tiger Army is guarding. Bring them through various courses, make sure they aren’t followed then concealed them as merchants, and convene nearby Jing Wang Tomb. Also, make sure you avoid this from reaching the Emperor’s ear. Notify Old Fang to return to Regent’s estate with grand fanfare. Everyone must believe that I came back at the estate. From this moment on, all of my orders are of the highest order. Only father and grandfather have approval.”
Relentless Tiger Guards were cultivators belonging to Regent’s estate. They carried secret missions and each one of them was at the Dao Initiation realm. For this mission, Chen Ming took thirty-six.
If the two side’s strength were measured, then the Murdering Temple stood no chance. But Chen Ming’s mission was to obliterate the Murdering Temple. Not just defeat, but crush them to the extent there would be no chance for the Murdering Temple to recover. He needed to kill all the important leaders of the Murdering Temple. To avoid its revival and to raise the rating of his mission, along with increasing the rewards.
There was a reason the Murdering Temple could, for so many years, thrive in the shadows of the Yan Kingdom.
After taking care of matters, Chen Ming dismounted his fierce tiger since, in the Yan Empire, it was a symbol of the Regent’s estate. After the others dismounted, he and the thirty-six Relentless Tiger Guards disguised as merchants set off to Jing Wang Tomb.
Regent’s estate, the main hall.
Regarding the Regent’s estate, it wasn’t much different from other imperial halls. There were two political assemblies in the Yan Kingdom. One was in the Yan Kingdom’s Imperial Palace where trivial matters were discussed, and the other was at the Regent’s estate were critical cases were debated.
The aged and grizzled Lord had explicit authority, with most of the Yan Kingdom under his rule. His name was Chen Wang, a name incapable of concealing the ambition he had.
He was holding a secret letter. Only two people were in the Regent estate’s main hall, the two who had the highest influence in the Yan Kingdom. One was Regent’s estate old Lord, Chen Wang, and the other was his son, Commander Chen Yuhu.
Chen Yuhu was a middle-aged man with a rectangular face and was wearing official garments, his might formidable. He peered at the letter the Lord was holding and let out a helpless laugher, “This little bastard is using the highest order again! Is he even capable of handling it for serious matters? And not just to declare to the entire kingdom he accepted a disciple. Is he afraid no one will know? He even made Qingshan City change its name to Qingyao City. He must genuinely like his disciple. What chaos is he trying to raise this time, that warrants the use of the highest order?”
The Regent saw the letter and softened his wrinkled eyebrows, “This time it’s genuine.”
Chen Yuhu became serious as he jumped to his feet, “What does the little bastard want to do?”
“Based on Ming’er’s letter, Murdering is Yan Kingdom Emperor’s pawn. They have previously carried out an attempt on Ming’er’s life and he’s planning on ending them.”
Chen Yuhu narrowed his eyes, peering like a tiger, “No wonder we blocked their money and they still held on. So the Emperor helped them. But the Murdering Temple isn’t so simple to get rid of. In a straight battle, I can destroy ten Murdering Temples but they are a bunch of rats, appearing and disappearing on a whim. That’s why we showed no intention of moving against it. Once we alert them, it won’t be easy to follow their movements.”
“So you’re saying that the ostentatious way Ming’er accepted a disciple wasn’t without an aim. He wanted to pull the wool over their eyes, a classic case of misdirection. An excellent move. Since it already started, and without our knowledge, shows that Ming’er had some growth.”
Chen Yuhu smiled, “He doesn’t always act, but when he moves he overwhelms the world. This boy had it easy for so long, who could have imagined that when this bastard acted, the plan was already in motion? We’ll carry our end. Let’s direct the Murdering Temple’s attention on us while Ming’er deals with them!”
Old Regent laughed, “Wiping out Murdering Temple will be the same as cutting off the Emperor’s arm. This chance is not something this King will miss. Guards, deliver the order that I will survey the border! “
Cheng Wang chuckled, “Royal father, while you inspect the borders, I will take up arms against you!”
Old Regent didn’t care, “Make sure you do it with more ardor. You might as well use this chance to tidy your ranks of the Emperor’s spies.”
Three days afterward.
The Regent’s sole son, Chen Yuhu, took advantage of his father’s leaving to survey the border and revolted. In reply, the Regent took charge of a hundred thousand soldiers and was now resting before the Yan Empire’s capital. The word spread like wildfire throughout the whole empire.
“Have you heard? The Commander rebelled against the Regent!”
“Regent’s authority stretched far these days. Who wouldn’t be tempted? And the title of Prince is still on the Regent’s grandson and not the Commander. He won’t allow this!”
“Maybe this father-son pair are giving us a show!”
“What a show! They’re fighting outside, with over ten thousand casualties!”
“What! They’re fighting already? Commander must be serious about rebelling!”
Yan Empire’s Imperial Palace.
The Emperor of the Yan Empire wasn’t a true emperor; he was Cheng Wang’s puppet. His authority extended to the Imperial Palace. An emperor like this was tragic but still had to go along with Chen Wang’s requests.
But today, the emperor was happy from picking up a certain report.
The emperor sat on his throne and laughed, “Chen Wang, you finally get what’s coming to you! I’ve waited years for this day! Send the order to all our hidden units to find information on Chen Wang and Chen Yuhu’s activities. When two tigers fight, one was bound to get hurt. Maybe both parties will suffer. Notify General Bing under Chen Wang to make sure they fight each other! I will wait for them to suffer then will come down and eradicate them both!”
An imperial bodyguard rushed inside the Grand Hall to report, “Thirteen high officials have come at Your Majesty’s request!”
The emperor smiled while his eyes flared, as if the world became his once more, “Tell them I want to debate urgent matters!”
At a tavern in a town nearby Jing Wang Tomb, Chen Ming was wearing a bamboo hat and sipped tea. He heard how his father rebelled and put the teacup down, “These two bags of bones are really going at it!”
He knew them too well and never believed his father rebel. What a joke! Whit a son like the Commander, how could his grandfather not pass on his position. Some might claim whether his father could outlive his grandfather, thus the reason for this conflict for power. There were many cases like these in history, where the crown prince fought against the emperor since they could never become one in their lifetimes. When has there ever been a sixty-year-old crown prince in this world? His father wasn’t the Prince, so could he have lost his marbles and rebelled?
However, his grandfather couldn’t cultivate, while his father was at the Dao Initiation realm, with a lifespan of three hundred years.
Wang Meng came and sat next to Chen Ming, whispering, “Our spy in the Murdering Temple declared that the hall masters convene only when they chose a replacement for this position. But because the spy’s report concerning the present battle for power has gained the temple master’s approval, the temple master ordered all members to return to Jing Wang Tomb.”
Chen Ming smiled, “So this was those two old bastards’ intention. But isn’t it a mere Murdering Temple? Their battle caused ten thousand men to waste their lives, bringing scrutiny on themselves.”
“Prince might be oblivious that they never gave the order for battle. Those who perished are people who didn’t obey orders. They should be the Emperor’s men, that spurred the Commander and Regent into fighting.”
Chen Ming spat, “These old bastards are playing the Emperor for a fool. They have such rotten and broken characters!”
“If the Emperor was shrewd, the Regent wouldn’t have his position. But Murdering Temple has over three thousand men. In the spy’s report, these men all have their own force and could gather a hundred thousand men at the Jing Wang Tomb. It might also include the concealed forces of the Emperor. He will wait for the Commander and the Regent to sustain heavy losses then finish them. The spy has also mentioned a tunnel inside Jing Wang Tomb; they would use it to flee when they’re exposed. With our present strength, we might not be their match. And if we signal the main forces, the Murdering Temple will get wind of it.”
Chen Ming put the teacup down, “How many cultivators are there?”
“Three thousand, give or take. They are the Murdering Temple’s elites.”
“Come, let’s examine the map in my room.”