For a moment, Long Yi raised his head and looked up as if he managed to sense something. His lips curled upwards and a light flashed in his eyes as a meaningful smile appeared on his face.
“Everyone, stop.” Staring at Long Yi’s group, the General instantly shouted in his hoarse voice as he jumped down the city walls together with his bodyguards.
“General.” The soldiers who were surrounding Long Yi immediately saluted the General with respect as they withdrew their weapons.
Long Yi looked at this General in amusement and said with a smile, “We meet again.”
This General nodded his head and his gaze swept past Long Yi. His gaze lingered longer on Leng Youyou and Barbarian Bull compared to the rest.
“You all, come with me.” The General said with indifference. After he finished talking, the General turned around and led Long Yi’s group to the city lord mansion inside the city.
In general, the city lord mansion in a conquered city would be occupied by the highest ranked military officer in command of the troops stationed in the city. Seeing as this General led them to the city lord mansion, Long Yi and his group assumed that he was the highest ranked military officer in this first tier city currently.
The moment he entered the luxurious hall, the General instructed for an attendant to pour tea for Long Yi and the rest. After the attendant left, the General waved his hand, signalling for the rest of the people in the hall to leave as well. Seeing that everyone had left, the General sat on the sofa as he stared at Long Yi.
“What should I call you now?” Long Yi smiled and looked into the eyes of this General.
“When there is no one else around, you may address me as Ha Lei.” When he spoke, a slight fluctuation could be detected by Long Yi in the eyes of this General.
The moment the words ‘Ha Lei’ exited the General’s mouth, Leng Youyou and Barbarian Bull were shocked. At the same time, they raised their guards as they stared at him in alert.
Long Yi laughed heartily and said, “Ha Lei ah Ha Lei, you finally admitted your identity. I’m truly interested in how you managed to escape from Lost City that time…”
Lifting his helmet with one of his hands, Ha Lei revealed his face to the group. Instead of seeing his familiar face, Long Yi only managed to see that his face was covered with a black scarf. Only his eyes and mouth were visible from the outside. Picking up his cup of tea at the side, he raised it to his mouth and slowly took a sip. There was unexpectedly a hint of noble air and gracefulness in his bearing which managed to surprise Long Yi.
“As for how I managed to escape, I have my own methods.” Ha Lei unhurriedly said. Putting down his teacup, he looked up and asked, “The mission of the Lightning God Forbidden Area was completed by you, right?”
“What makes you so sure that it was me?” Long Yi was startled and answered his question with a question of his own. He neither admitted nor denied the accusation made by Ha Lei.
“Among everyone under the heavens, only you, Young Master Ximen, could possibly accomplish this mission.” Ha Lei replied in his hoarse voice with a smile on his face.
“Since you think so highly of me, how about you join me in my adventures?” Long Yi stared at Ha Lei and said. He still had a smile on his face but an invisible pressure instantly enveloped Ha Lei.
The pupils of Ha Lei shrunk and he was struck dumb with amazement. Never in his wildest imagination would he have thought that Long Yi would be able to become so strong in the spans of six months. He had only not seen Long Yi for six months! In this six months, even Ha Lei himself didn’t manage to do much, however, Long Yi was able to increase his strength explosively. Just the aura which spilled out of his body was comparable to the strongest being on this continent. Luckily for Ha Lei, Long Yi immediately retracted his aura which saved Ha Lei from being shamed in front of the whole group of them.
“Young Master Ximen must be joking…” Ha Lei awkwardly smiled, clearly, he hadn’t expected Long Yi to speak such words.
“I’m not joking, you can think about it. You are a wise person, and a wise person should have sufficient insight to think about the future.” Long Yi said with a smile.
“Is there anyone who can foresee the result of this war? The winner and loser of this war are still unknown…” Ha Lei laughed. His eyes showed that he was suspicious of Long Yi.
“Since that is the case, I will not force you. General Ha Lei must have many important matters to attend to. As such, we shall not inconvenient you any longer, I guess this is where we part ways.” Long Yi stood up and stared at Ha Lei.
“Then, I also will not force Young Master Ximen to stay. Young Master Ximen, bon voyage.” Ha Lei stood up to send Long Yi’s group off.
The moment he stepped out of the city lord mansion, the smile on Long Yi’s face vanished. He seemed to be lost in thought as he thought about what just happened inside the city lord mansion. Just a moment ago, the reason why he had tried to attract Ha Lei was merely to prove his doubts. In fact, Long Yi was never thinking of providing Ha Lei with shelter. Thinking about Ha Lei’s character, he was a person who Long Yi would never allow to stay by his side.
After strolling around the city, they found a restaurant and ordered for a private room. After sitting down, Long Yi asked, “Youyou, do you think that Ha Lei is a part of the dark force behind Long Zhan? Isn’t it strange for a person like Ha Lei to be involved with the army?”
“It’s very normal, assigning some people of the dark forces into his army is a justifiable move by Long Zhan.” After thinking for a little while, Leng Youyou replied Long Yi with her analysis of the situation.
“Is that so? Don’t you think that by assigning the dark forces to his army is somewhat questionable? I think it is too excessive for Long Zhan to assign the dark force into his army. Does Long Zhan actually trust them so much? Could it be that he had gone senile? How can he let other people assume the position of military leadership?” Long Yi said as his eyes sparkled as if he found some clues.
“It is reasonable to put it that way too. Does husband mean to say that the dark forces behind Long Zhan aren’t as respectful and submissive to Long Zhan as it appears on the surface?” Leng Youyou said after thinking a bit.
“Yes, if my guess isn’t wrong, then I fear that the Condor Legion also has people from the dark force behind Long Zhan in the position of power. With two major legions out of his hand, Long Zhan’s end could be imagined. There was no good end for the man with none of his power left. Seems like the true enemy of our Ximen Clan isn’t the Long Clan.” Long Yi muttered.
“All of you, wait here for me, I’m going out to settle a matter.” Long Yi stood up and said before opening the door. Without looking back, he directly descended the stairs.
This restaurant wasn’t crowded at all. Most of the customers were traveling merchants who were passing by the area. At this moment, the shopkeeper was listlessly sitting on the counter looking at the account book.
“Shopkeeper, where is the latrine? Lead me there.” Long Yi knocked on the counter table and asked.
Startled by Long Yi’s knock, the shopkeeper looked up and was about to instruct the assistant beside him to lead Long Yi to the latrine. He was just about to open his mouth when he saw that Long Yi made a strange gesture with the hand he used to knock on the table. Even though he was startled, the shopkeeper managed to keep a calm expression on his face as he stood up. The shopkeeper immediately flattered Long Yi as he continued, “Young Master, please follow me, the latrine is in the backyard.”
The shopkeeper led Long Yi to the backyard and after scanning the area to ensure that there was no one, he opened a door which led to a study. After kicking a flower vase left and right, a fan-shaped magic wall which was hidden in plain sight quietly opened.
“Skynet number 3880 greets Young Master.” After entering the secret room, the shopkeeper immediately knelt down to one knee and respectfully greeted him.
“Rise, is there any information for me?” Long Yi asked.
“Yes, please wait a moment, Young Master.” The shopkeeper instantly felt around inside the box that was at the corner of the secret room. After rummaging for a little while, the shopkeeper took out two thick, sealed bamboo scrolls.
Long Yi opened the seal and unfolded the secret letters. One was the letter sent by his father, Ximen Nu. It was sent three months ago. Ximen Nu had asked him to go to the front lines to lead the troops after he completed the mission of the Lightning God Forbidden Area. The second secret letter was from Yin Jian who had established the Skynet Intelligence Branch among beast-man clans in Hengduan Mountains. He talked about the unusual recruitment and transfer of the members in the beast-man clans.
Long Yi was lost in thought after reading the secret letters. From the intelligence he got from Yin Jian, his previous speculation of the beast-man clans ought to be true. However, he was unable to come to a conclusion whether the beast-man clans were in collusion with the Proud Moon Empire. As for Ximen Nu wanting him to go to the battlefield, Long Yi had a bit of a headache. This was not a war which could end in a day or two. If he went to the battlefield, then the matter of going to the Huangmang Plain would be dragged on indefinitely. However, Beitang Yu and already fully grown up and the Unparalleled Battalion was doing just as well in her hands. There was no difference if their commander was Beitang Yu or Long Yi. Besides, the situation in the Unparalleled Battalion was currently stable, and Long Yi had no need to involve himself with the war. As long as they breached the Proud Moon Empire’s Yatesianna defense line, the war would head towards its end. The next step was dividing the cake between the Violent Dragon Empire and the Nalan Empire.
However, breaking the defense line of Yatesianna was another issue by itself. The consumption of military expenditure and army provisions during the war was not small. The longer the delay, the bigger the loss for the Violent Dragon Empire and the Nalan Empire. Moreover, they had already entered the winter season, and since the Proud Moon Empire was located in the North, the weather was getting extremely cold. This weather was certainly not suitable for the soldiers of both the Violent Dragon Empire and Nalan Empire. If the soldiers were to fall ill due to the weather conditions, they would be in great trouble.
After thinking for a bit, Long Yi wrote two secret letters and sealed them before handing them over to the shopkeeper. Long Yi instructed the shopkeeper to send the letter to Soaring Dragon City and Hengduan Mountain respectively. It seemed like he needed to go to the Yatesianna defense line and take a look at the situation. In the best case scenario, Long Yi would be able to break through the defense line and bring the war to a swift closure. However, if they were caught in a deadlock, Long Yi decided to go to the Huangmang Plains first.
After passing the two letters to the shopkeeper, Long Yi left the secret room and returned to the private room of the restaurant. When he reached back, the dishes were already served and the rest of the group was waiting for him so that they could start eating.
After they ate and drank to their heart’s content, Long Yi’s group left the restaurant. By the time they left the restaurant, the sky was already dark and a chilly wind was blowing against their faces. The cold weather was slowly settling in as the war advanced to the later stages.
“It’s late, how about we stay overnight here?” Long Yi said.
There was no objection to his plan as Long Yi was the shot-caller of the group.
After asking around for Phoenix Inn’s address, Long Yi led everybody towards that inn while he thought about Yu Feng’s heroic and pretty face. It had already been a very long time since she went to Flames Mountains with the Phoenix Matriarch. Long Yi didn’t know if they had already returned to Phoenix Inn. It would be good if they had already returned, as Long Yi really missed that girl.
After entering Phoenix Inn, Long Yi asked for three luxurious suites. As this place was considered a war zone, business was not doing too well. Seeing that there was someone who would ask for three luxurious suites, the manager’s face was wreathed in smiles as he welcomed them into the inn.
“Manager, I wonder if your matriarch and eldest Miss returned after taking care of their ‘stuff’.” Long Yi suddenly asked.
This manager was dumbfounded and stared at Long Yi. He immediately ridiculed, “The matters of Matriarch and Eldest Miss, how can we, these servants, get involved with them?”
“Hehe you don’t need to worry, I have a very special relation with your family’s miss.” Long Yi smiled and made a hand gesture secretly taught to him by Yu Feng.
The eyes of this manager shone and his expression changed as he lowered his voice, “Matriarch has already returned several months ago, but there is no news of Miss.”
The eyebrows of Long Yi rose, and he assumed that this manager didn’t lie. After hearing that Yu Feng wasn’t back, he nodded his head and led everyone upstairs.
Phoenix Matriarch returned but not Yu Feng, how could that be? Could it be that something happened to her?
Each luxurious suite had three separate rooms. It went without saying that the first suite belonged to Long Yi and Barbarian Bull. The second was for Leng Youyou and Feng Ling, and the last was for Wushuang, Si Bi, and Nalan Ruyue. However, the person in question was Long Yi, how could he possibly choose to stay with Barbarian Bull and not the girls? The problem was which room was he going to choose and which girl was he going to choose.
When the girls were lost in their own thoughts, Long Yi had soaked himself in the large bathtub in the equally large bathroom in his room. He was resting in the bathtub with his eyes closed. The steam in the room made Long Yi’s handsome face appear very hazy and unclear.
“Since you’re here, come out……” Long Yi suddenly opened his mouth.