Cloud fungus. The true reason why Linley was seeking cloud fungus was to use it to produce Bloodrupture poison powder. And the reason why he wanted to produce Bloodrupture poison was because he was going to use it on Clayde.
But in the end, it was Clayde who provided the cloud fungus to him.
“Can it be that hidden deep within the world, there really is such a thing as the cycle of karma?” Linley suddenly thought of the teachings of the Radiant Church, one part of which discussed fate. In the past, Linley had never believed in any religion, but this affair really had developed in a very bizarre way.
Given that the cloud fungus had just been delivered into his hands, how could he not take it?
“Thank you, your Majesty.” Linley smiled, bowing in thanks while accepting the cloud fungus.
But in his heart, Linley was laughing coldly. “Since you’ve given it to me, this means that the heavens themselves desire your death. You can’t blame me.”
Linley had virtually no memories of his mother, but that didn’t stop Linley from deeply desiring to have had a mother’s love. Due to never having known his mother, Linley had always been a bit lonely. Whenever he saw someone else’s mother and felt a bit unhappy, he would think silent, lonely thoughts of his mother.
Upon capturing Clayde, he definitely would be able to discover his mother’s whereabouts!
“Linley, I’ve invited the Right Premier for lunch today. Stay here and have lunch with us, why won’t you.” Clayde beamed at Linley.
“Yes, your Majesty.” Linley’s attitude was very humble.
The Queen nodded gracefully to Linley, then said to Clayde in a gentle voice, “Your Majesty, you and Master Linley can remain here. I’ll go back now.” Clayde nodded calmly as well. In the Kingdom of Fenlai, the King’s authority vastly outstripped that of the Queen’s.
November. The temperature was getting cold.
But Linley and Clayde were both dressed lightly, not afraid of the cold in the slightest. Linley was now a warrior of the seventh rank, while Clayde was an even mightier warrior of the ninth rank.
“Your Majesty, why did you invite Merritt to dine with you?” Linley was chatting naturally and casually with Clayde.
Hearing Linley’s words, a very satisfied smile appeared on Clayde’s face. He glanced at the nearby palace maids, who very obediently left. Only then did Clayde say in a low voice, “Linley, are you aware that Merritt has recently married his thirteenth wife?”
“Thirteenth?” Linley was stunned.
He didn’t know that this apparently serious, solemn judge, the Lord Right Minister, was so fickle in love.
“His new wife is an extremely flavorful woman.” Clayde revealed a smile towards Linley, a type of smile all men understood.
Seeing that expression on Clayde’s face, Linley couldn’t help but be startled.
“Haha…” Clayde patted Linley on the shoulders. “Linley. Next year, you will be eighteen. Don’t tell me you’ve never tasted a woman before.”
Linley couldn’t help but feel awkward.
Clayde sighed, “Merritt, that kid, was actually able to acquire such an intoxicating little vixen. It really does make one jealous. But since I’ve taken a fancy to her, that intoxicating little vixen is mine. Merritt won’t even dare to touch her from now on.”
Clayde openly spoke of such affairs to Linley.
“Your Majesty? Is that…is that appropriate?” Linley was a bit surprised.
She was, after all, the wife of the Right Minister. But from the sound of it, Clayde was going to directly seize her for himself.
“What’s inappropriate about it? Merritt only climbed to his current position through women to begin with. He should know very well what his place is. But Linley, that day when Merritt got married and had his banquet, I think you didn’t attend.” Clayde said questioningly.
During this period of time, Linley had been pondering the question of alchemy and herbal ingredients. He had no inclination to go to a wedding at all. Generally speaking, Linley declined all banquet invitations from nobles.
The wedding banquet of the Right Premier?
Declined all the same!
“Linley, how about today, during lunch, you take a look at Merritt’s new wife, Windsor [Wen’sa]. If you like her, I don’t mind giving her to you. I can guarantee that no matter how daring and audacious Merritt might be, he won’t dare to touch Windsor a single time.” Clayde said confidently.
Clayde possessed absolute authority within the Kingdom of Fenlai.
The day of Merritt’s wedding, Clayde had taken a fancy towards Windsor. That very night, Clayde had sent someone to bring Windsor to a manor outside, and he, Clayde, had thoroughly enjoyed himself.
As for Merritt, he didn’t dare to show any hint of temper.
What’s more, ever since that night, Merritt no longer dared to touch Windsor.
Some of the major ministers in the Kingdom of Fenlai had risen to their ranks through their abilities. Those were truly capable ministers indeed. But some ministers had clawed their way to their current ranks through some unsightly deeds.
Linley was secretly surprised at Clayde’s forcefulness.
But then again, Clayde, the one whom men named the ‘Golden Lion’, had always been as forceful as a lion. One could imagine how despotically he could act if he so chose.
“Your Majesty, Duke Merritt and the Duchess have arrived.” A palace attendant ran over and said respectfully.
“Haha, come, Linley.” Clayde immediately stood up.
Holding the packaged cloud fungus, Linley could only follow Clayde out. But shortly afterwards, they arrived at a very graceful, light red courtyard within the palace.
Merritt and that Madame Windsor were there, waiting at the gate to the courtyard.
Linley couldn’t help but glance at the Madame Windsor who had drawn Clayde’s interest.
Madame Windsor’s body was extremely slender. Although she was dressed very conservatively, her tight clothes accentuated every curve and every line of her slender body. Her waist was so slender, and yet her bosom was so full.
Her dark red hair was so alluring.
In particular, this Madame Windsor’s eyes were soul-beguiling. Anyone who saw her would unconsciously begin to think improper thoughts.
“Your Majesty. Lord Linley.” Merritt said, and that Madame Windsor echoed him in her gentle voice.
“She really is quite an enchanting vixen.” Linley said to himself.
Clayde cast a delighted glance at Linley. In a low voice, he said to Linley, “What do you think? Do you feel a bit a bit of an urge to…?”
“Your Majesty, let’s go in and have lunch.” Linley said in a low voice.
“Haha…” Clayde began to laugh loudly.
That Windsor couldn’t help but turn to stare at Linley with her beguiling eyes, seemingly quite interested in Linley. If Merritt and Clayde hadn’t been there, perhaps she might have gone directly up to Linley and struck up a conversation with him.
“Wow, what a beautiful lady.” Bebe, on Linley’s shoulders the entire time, said, his eyes growing round.
Bebe actually leapt off of Linley’s shoulders, landing directly…on Windsor’s bosom.
“It’s so big…” Bebe’s voice sounded out in Linley’s mind.
Linley was flabbergasted.
“What an adorable mouse!” Windsor excitedly cuddled Bebe, who used his little head to rub himself against her ampleness, seeming to enjoy himself very much.
Bebe in hand, Linley managed to finally leave the palace. This entire time in the palace, that Windsor kept on using her beguiling eyes to stare at him. Even Linley found it hard to endure.
They entered the carriage.
“Return.” Linley snapped an order to his guards, and the carriage immediately began to move. “Hey, Boss, what’s the rush? Right, didn’t that Clayde say he was willing to give Windsor to you? You should accept.” Bebe’s beady little eyes stared at Linley.
Linley couldn’t help but smack Bebe on his head. “You perverted little mouse.”
“Hrmph, I’m about to be of age, y’know.” Bebe said unhappily.
Linley didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
But thinking back to what he had gained from this trip to the palace, Linley couldn’t help but let a hint of a smile appear on his face. He took out the case by his side.
Within this case was a clump of cloud fungus.
“Now that I have the cloud fungus in hand, all eight ingredients are ready. I have what I need to produce the Bloodrupture poison powder.” Linley had already decided that he would immediately start to produce the powder when he got back home.
“Boss, I feel like that Clayde is rather brotherly, stand-up guy. Are you really going to kill him?” Bebe said in a low voice.
Frowning, Linley turned to look at Bebe.
“Bebe, Clayde is the ruler of a country. As long as he has any brains at all, he would naturally try to build a good relationship with me. He is friendly and does right by me, only because of my status and my potential. If I didn’t have potential, then Clayde probably wouldn’t even bother to notice me. Perhaps if I had a beautiful wife, he would directly take her for his own pleasure. Just like with that Merritt.”
Linley understood Clayde quite well.
A person like Clayde was actually quite heartless. But he could still be considered a capable ruler. At least, he was able to distinguish between capable ministers and useless ones.
“In fact, I even am beginning to wonder if, in the past, Clayde saw that my mother was beautiful and therefore wanted her for himself.” Upon seeing Windsor, Linley had thought of this possibility.
Based on Clayde’s personality, this was not impossible.
“Bebe, tell me, how can I spare Clayde?” Linley looked at Bebe. Just thinking about that possibility filled Linley with a boundless desire to kill.
Perhaps because he could feel the killing desire Linley was feeling towards Clayde, Bebe instantly said, “Kill him, kill him. I, Bebe, will be the first to act against him.” Bebe rose to his feet, waving his two paws around while baring his fangs, demonstrating to Linley the deep hatred he, too, felt for Clayde.
“No need for you to act. After finding out about my mother’s whereabouts, I will be the first to act.” Linley said coldly.
Within the secret room in Linley’s manor, under the light of eighteen lanterns, the entire room was bright. Linley was carefully following the procedures for producing Bloodrupture poison powder.
The procedure for producing this powder was extremely complicated. Each step required caution, caution, caution.
If there was even the slightest error, then the ingredients would have been wasted.
Right now, on the table within the secret room, there were alchemist’s tools, and the eight ingredients, all chopped up into many small pieces.
Linley filtered the herbal juice out from the alchemist’s pot, then placed this juice into a new, clean pot and began to boil it. At the same time, Linley began to carefully add the three remaining ingredients to the mixture.
“Can’t get the order wrong. I should put in the Blueheart Grass, then the turmeric, then the cardamon kernels.”
Staring at the alchemy pot, Linley focused all of his concentration onto it, carefully watching it for any reactions. Each step had to be controlled with extreme precision.
An entire night passed.
“I’ve finally produced a single liquid dose.” Linley carefully strained the small amount of clear liquid out of the alchemist’s pot, pouring it into a white tray.
“This translucent liquid seems to be just like clear water. There’s no distinguishable difference at all.” Linley sighed emotionally.
Based on the instructions for producing Bloodrupture poison powder, this final liquid dose could already be considered a form of Bloodrupture poison. However, only allowing it to dry into powder form would it reach its highest level of potency.
By now, this liquid dose had already been boiled once, and not much water remained within it. Most likely, within ten days time, it would totally dry and transform into the Bloodrupture poison powder.
“The first dose was a success. Tomorrow, I’ll make a second dose.” Linley was very careful.
He didn’t dare to use all the materials on a single attempt. After all, if he were to fail, it would be disastrous. By dividing the materials into multiple attempts, at least a single failure wouldn’t be too disastrous.
A single dosage of poison powder should be enough. But, to be cautious, Linley had decided to prepare multiple doses.
Year 9999 of the Yulan calendar. The end of November.
The six doses of Bloodrupture poison which Linley had produced had completely dried into powder form. Just by looking at its translucent, crystalline form, it was hard to imagine something which could so dramatically cripple the power of a warrior of the ninth rank.
“Whew. Although I’ve used up all my ingredients, these six doses of poison powder should be enough.” Looking at the six packets of powder on his table, Linley let out a long breath.
For the sake of this Bloodrupture poison powder, Linley really had expended a great deal of time and effort. And now, he had succeeded.
“Now, the only thing that I am missing is an opportunity to make my move against Clayde.” Linley couldn’t help but begin to ponder a way to poison Clayde and capture him without anyone suspecting that it had been Linley who did it.