147 Chapter 147 The Castle
Despite not adhering to her standards, Lin Xulian still drank the draught and assume a meditative position to restore her internal energy. She felt disappointed in herself for the first time when it comes to her strength. Outside the Qiangdu country, her level of martial arts coupled with her knowledge in poisons is more than enough to fend off any enemy. But here, she is like a little kid. Even her attempt to hide her weakness didn't escape Gu Lingdao's eyes.
Feeling that her internal energy is back to normal, Lin Xulian opened her eyes. She found it astonishing that it only took her few hours to restore her strength while it took almost a month in the eldest prince's manor. Knowing that the draught is not that pure, Lin Xulian knows that there is another secret hidden in the Qiangdu country.
Seeing that Lin Xulian already opened her eyes, Gu Lingdao command them to continue. "The castle is already visible from here. It won't take long until we reach our destination." Gu Lingdao said and pointed at the direction of the castle, mainly for Lin Xulian.
Lin Xulian looked towards Gu Lingdao's pointed direction. And true to his words, Lin Xulian can already see the tip of the castle's roof even beyond the towering trees around them. Knowing that they are finally near to their destination, Lin Xulian felt a boost in her stamina.
Lin Xulian then noticed that the more they are getting nearer to the castle, the air seems to change. It is becoming more soothing and energy inducing. She even lasted more than three hours and is even faster than earlier. But she also noticed something odd. They are moving faster yet they still took longer time. And when they finally arrived at the capital's gates, Lin Xulian then understood why. The castle is actually so tall that it almost reached the sky. She bets she can already touch the clouds if she stands on the roof.
It is already dark when Lin Xulian's company arrived at the Qiangdu's capital. But unlike other countries, the place is still bursting with activities. It is also very bright because of multiple lanterns and torches lighting up every stalls and buildings. And everyone's mood and energy makes you feel that it is still early in the morning.
Lin Xulian looked around distractedly while the father and son duo are moving at her pace. From time to time, someone would approach them and greet the clan head. While Lin Xulian remain oblivious to the men's admiring yet curious stares. But the moment they notice her companions, they would immediately behave themselves.
Some ladies would also approach Gu Rin and invite him to hang out but he would politely decline them and said he still have important things to do. The ladies would subconsciously look at the beautiful yet childishly looking around Lin Xulian. They wonder what is her relationship with the handsome young master Gu. But seeing the clan head with them, they decided not to jump into conclusion. But in any case, they can just scare the little girl away since she looks weak anyway.
Lin Xulian wasn't aware of all the turmoil caused by her presence. She is busy checking the stalls and restaurants she wanted to visit later. It's been quite some time since she indulged herself with good food. And she would never miss this chance to taste good food in a completely foreign and mysterious land.
Lin Xulian's jaw almost dropped while looking at the majestic castle with awe. She cannot describe enough how tall the stone building is in her perspective from the castle's entrance. Her sight can't even reach the roof! 'What kind of palace is this? Why does it have to be this tall?!'
"Greetings Clan Head Gu." Lin Xulian heard the guard who is watching the gate greet Gu Lingdao.
"Is the King available?" Gu Lingdao asked after giving a curtesy bow.
"The King is with Clan Master Hu. They are talking about the traitor Liu clan." The guard respectfully answered.
"We came at the right time. We also have new intel about the Liu clan." Gu Lingdao continued. Lin Xulian didn't know what they were talking about. Looks like her matter isn't their main purpose for coming. But she remained optimistic and still thinks that she is lucky enough to be given a chance.
The guard ushered the three of them but he would steal suspicious glances at Lin Xulian every now and then. Noticing his reaction, Gu Rin assured him. "She is with us. Do not worry, I am keeping her in check."
Lin Xulian secretly rolled her eyes. Although she understands why this country is so tight and strict, she still can't help but be annoyed at their suspicious gazes. But she knows there is nothing she can do about it.
Finally arriving at the main hall, Lin Xulian now understands why the castle is so tall. It is actually because of the huge black stone that looks like a tall pillar but with a slightly irregular form. It is placed behind the throne like an altar. Another thing that Lin Xulian noticed is the thick and almost tangible energy that the stone gives off. There is no doubt that this stone is the reason why restoring one's energy in this country is much more efficient.
When the three of them is near the throne, Lin Xulian's attention finally shifted to the three men in front of her. Sitting on the throne is an old man wearing a pure while robes. His long hair and beard is also pure white that made him look like an immortal being. Knowing that the people from Qiangdu country aged slower than normal, Lin Xulian estimated the old man's age.
'He looks like he is in his eighties. It is at most less than half of his real age since Envoy Hu looked like he was in his late twenties when he is actually almost fifty when they met. Probably more than two hundred? Can this be considered as being immortal?' Lin Xulian thought while eyeing the old man.
She also noticed his tacky accessories that are made from the black stone. Now that she knows that the stone gives off a soothing and useful energy, Lin Xulian cannot help but feel envious. 'So he had a lot of those accessories yet he only gave one for Feng Jun Yi. Me on the other hand got an annoying and gluttonous bird!'
The two other men had their backs facing them. One of them is just like how Lin Xulian remembered him. Tall, bulky and intimidating. His eye catching fur coat and odd clothing is also another thing that became his symbol. It is no other than Envoy Hu. She wanted to greet him but she wasn't sure if he could still remember her.
The other man almost has the same odd clothing as Envoy Hu. Fitted sleeveless shirt and pants. But he has waist-long hair. Lin Xulian also noticed the thick bandages around his torso and right shoulder. She assumed that he must have fought with a formidable opponent. Then she remembered the guard mentioning a certain traitor, the Liu clan.
Right before the guard could announce their arrival, Lin Xulian and the father and son duo got startled because the man suddenly kneeled in front of the King and Envoy Hu. "My King, Father, please let me return to the Qiangdu country! I am sure those traitors are still lurking around the palace. I would also want to find young miss's assassin and personally avenge her."
Because the man kneeled to face both the King and his father, Lin Xulian is able to see his side profile. She finds his appearance oddly familiar so she shifted her body so she could see him clearly. Fully registering his face, Lin Xulian is able to connect him to a certain youthful, bubbly and funny guy she knew. Although the him right now looked aggrieved. Her eyes widened and she wasn't able to contain her surprise.
"Hu Hai?!!" Lin Xulian exclaimed in a loud voice that caught the three men's attention. Even the Gu father and son looked behind them since Lin Xulian entered while following closely at their backs.