Chapter 535: Re-enter The Palace
This time, Officer Yan had paid him a personal visit together with Appraiser Ouyang. Lin Jin subsequently learned about how he had indirectly turned down the emperor’s invitations from Officer Yan.
After realizing how he had rejected the invitation twice without knowledge that he had been summoned by the emperor, Lin Jin started to grow anxious.
He turned to Shang’er and Shu Xiaolou at once. “Why didn’t you girls tell me something so important?”
He seemed genuinely concerned about this.
What did he come to Heavenly Spiral Kingdom for?
Two things. One was to advance his beast appraiser’s rank, a goal that he had already completed. The second reason for coming here was to find a way to borrow Daojun’s Hieroglyphic that was locked inside Heavenly Spiral Kingdom’s royal treasure vault.
To Lin Jin, this was quite an important mission.
Of course, to borrow Daojun’s Hieroglyphic, he must first go through His Majesty. The dignified monarch of a premium country had summoned him twice, and twice he had never shown up at the palace. Anyone else would have been furious had they been in the emperor’s shoes.
Lin Jin would be annoyed too, much less the emperor.
However, it was too late for regrets now. Lin Jin also understood the gravity of the situation he was faced with previously. Even if he was informed that the emperor had summoned him, he wouldn’t have gone to the palace.
Now that he had time, he had to make up for neglecting the emperor.
“Officer Yan, come come, have a seat.” If he were to borrow Daojun’s Hieroglyphic, he had to first befriend the people of the palace.
This old officer was the emperor’s confidante so Lin Jin had to get on his good side.
“It’s alright, it’s alright. I’m here on His Majesty’s order to invite Appraiser Lin into the palace. We must make haste,” said Yan Quan with a chuckle. The old officer stood his ground outside Lin Jin’s yard.
Lin Jin understood where his counterpart was coming from.
As he was still carrying out his duty, it was best not to waste the emperor’s time.
“If that’s the case, let’s go.” Since they didn’t want to waste time, Lin Jin wouldn’t either. Seize the day! After failing to answer both summonses, they had to hurry this time.
“I’m coming too,” said Shu Xiaolou as she emerged from the house. Donning a scarlet dress that contrasted starkly with her snow-white skin, her perfect figure gave her a divine aura, as if she had been pulled out of a painting.
It was unsurprising, given that she was quite literally a painting spirit.
In Shu Xiaolou’s world, there wasn’t anything she couldn’t or didn’t dare to do. She was the type of person who would do whatever came to mind.
After hearing that Lin Jin was being invited to the palace, she wanted to tag along out of curiosity.
Yan Quan was delighted, but he did not let it show on his face.
This young woman in red was the academy’s legendary Senior Shu, someone that even Mr. Zhong had to respect, and an existence that made His Majesty apprehensive.
Having spent decades serving the palace, Yan Quan had learned of Shu Xiaolou’s legends. Some of the tales he heard about her were from decades ago when he first started working at the palace.
Back then, he was still in his teens. In the blink of an eye, sixty years had passed.
Sigh. It was painful to look back in time.
A sense of melancholy rose inside Yan Quan.
It would be great if Senior Shu came along as that had been His Majesty’s wishes too. After all, the first time he invited Lin Jin was mainly because of Senior Shu anyway.
Yan Quan understood the emperor’s intentions. In the previous banquet, State Preceptor Sima Qing had been reprimanded by Senior Shu. Subsequently, he locked himself in his home to reflect on his actions. Be that as it may, the great State Preceptor had responsibilities too. Because of his absence, his work was starting to pile up.
This did not benefit their country in the slightest.
State Preceptor Sima Qing knew that too, but he dared not come out unless Senior Shu expressly allowed him to leave his house.
Hence, His Majesty was trying to talk to Senior Shu about this, with the hope that she would let Sima Qing out.
However, he couldn’t invite Senior Shu directly either. His Majesty had tried before. In fact, all the emperors that preceded him had tried to do the same thing.
And yet, Senior Shu couldn’t be bothered to entertain their requests. As time went on, the imperial palace stopped trying to invite Senior Shu over. Emperors had to maintain their dignity after all. Despite the constant rejection, it wasn’t like they could afford to get angry at Shu Xiaolou either.
This time, the fact that Senior Shu actually participated in a banquet for outsiders greatly startled His Majesty. If the reason for her participation was Lin Jin, then he would try to lure her out using exactly that.
Hence, Yan Quan was overjoyed.
The next instant, he heard Lin Jin say, “You better not come. I’m going to meet the emperor this time so there will be tons of formalities. You don’t even like those, so why come along? I’ll be back soon anyway.”
Yan Quan’s expression darkened at this.
He wanted to speak up but feared shooting himself in the foot instead. Facing such a dilemma, Officer Yan began to sweat buckets.
“Forget it then. I won’t go.” Shu Xiaolou’s answer made Yan Quan shudder.
Were his ears deceiving him?
With just one comment from Lin Jin, Senior Shu changed her mind.
Wasn’t this a little too much?
For a moment there, Yan Quan wanted to rebuke Lin Jin and then invite Senior Shu to the palace. The words rose to his lips but he had to swallow them back down.
He couldn’t say that.
But this trip had not been for naught, nor could it be deemed a failure.
Yan Quan managed to identify one fact about Lin Jin and Senior Shu’s relationship from their interaction.
A legendary figure like Senior Shu tended to act as she pleased. To put it more bluntly, she was a whimsical person.
State Preceptor Sima Qing and the academy’s current magnate, Zhong Zifeng had to be respectful of her and dared not ask anything of her. It was likely that Senior Shu wouldn’t listen to them anyway. What was most peculiar was the fact that she was willing to listen to someone as young as Appraiser Lin!
Was Lin Jin born to restrain Senior Shu?
Yan Quan dared not say such words. However, he knew that Senior Shu’s attendance didn’t mean much now. Knowing her personality, there was no guarantee that her meeting with His Majesty would be a good thing. After all, His Majesty’s authority was nothing in Senior Shu’s eyes. She wouldn’t even hesitate to humiliate him if she felt like doing so.
Compared to her, Lin Jin was a relatively normal person.
They just had to ask Lin Jin to persuade Senior Shu into releasing their State Preceptor, and this actually sounded much more plausible.
While these thoughts ran through Yan Quan’s mind, he made sure to hide them from his face. Every little expression he made was subtle, and his emotions and thoughts were shrouded in mystery, like a deep lake.
“Well then, Appraiser Lin, let us be on our way.” Yan Quan thanked Appraiser Ouyang and then led Lin Jin away.
It was Lin Jin’s second time visiting the palace of Heavenly Spiral Kingdom.
This time, he would be meeting the emperor. This was a premium country’s monarch, with status, authority, and influence that Jade Dragon Kingdom’s emperor, He Qian couldn’t compare to.
The average person would never get a chance to meet the emperor.
Even if they did, they would surely be frightened and start panicking. Lin Jin was a man of experience, so there weren’t many situations that could make him break a sweat. This was a sudden thought that came to his mind when he finally arrived at a spectacular main hall.
Right now, Lin Jin was less than a hundred steps away from that large hall. In between was a stone circle carved from white jade. The area around the circle was vacant. On every single stone slab in this square were intricate relief carvings of different beasts. Most people would think that this was merely a decoration. True connoisseurs, on the other hand, would recognize the artistry behind these reliefs. Just a brief glance and Lin Jin knew something was up with the reliefs.