Chapter 10: Freedom From Selfish Desires

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

Sky Prison Office.

Zhou Yi pushed the door open and bowed.

“Uncle Niu, were you looking for me?”

Commandant Niu gestured for Zhou Yi to sit down. “Kid, your methods are too crude. Aren’t you afraid of being investigated by the Uniformed Guard?”

After hearing the prison guard’s report, Commandant Niu concluded that it was Zhou Yi who had used underhanded means to kill Assistant Minister Liu. This kind of thing was common in Sky Prison. Officials often sent their political enemies to Sky Prison. In order to prevent their political enemies from making a comeback, they would spend a sum of money to have them killed.

“Uncle Niu, what do you mean? I’m just doing an honest day’s work delivering food.”

Zhou Yi played dumb, being careful not to confirm or deny his involvement.

Assistant Minister Liu and Luo Hu’s corpses were cold. True, the dead could not testify, but that did not eliminate risk. Fengyang Kingdom was not above the law. Guilt and innocence were all determined by the higher-ups, and they could always find a way to force a confession.

Commandant Niu snorted. “No wonder Master Lei told me that you’re the most cunning guard in Sky Prison!”

“Master Lei’s words are too flattering, sir.”

Zhou Yi smiled and said, “Dojo Master Luo has a residence in the capital and has hidden thousands of taels of silver. The silver is all yours, but the martial arts manual goes to me, and the residence goes to the widow.”

“How particular!”

Commandant Niu praised, looking at Zhou Yi with increasing satisfaction.

He would rather give up his own interests to complete what he had promised Luo Hu. Commandant Niu couldn’t have imagined such an act. After all, it was common to bully widows.

“You see, Master Luo and I are indebted to each other.”

Zhou Yi had no desire to be in the limelight, and the nourishing medicine recipe was not the most important thing. What he really wanted was for Assistant Minister Liu to die.

Assistant Minister Liu was a true villain!

This kind of person had no bottom line. If he didn’t wipe him out now, there would be endless trouble. Supposing Liu made the new emperor happy and was reinstated to his position, Zhou Yi could only make a run for it.

Commandant Niu asked curiously, “I know you were obsessed with martial arts. What have you achieved?”

“I’ve been weak since I was young. Practicing martial arts is to strengthen my body.”

Zhou Yi picked up the teacup lid on the table and twisted it in his hand, instantly turning it into powder.

Commandant Niu had also gone to the martial arts school back in the day, but he couldn’t withstand the pain of Body Tempering. He hadn’t even mastered the Skin Membrane Technique, but he still knew how to differentiate between martial arts realms.

“Steel muscles and iron bones. A quiet little guy like you has achieved strength like this?”

“Ten years of ceaseless training, and endless amounts of nourishing medicine. Yet, my talent is still considered inferior.”

Zhou Yi was not being modest. According to Wei Chang, one could train their muscles and bones in seven to eight years in the martial arts world. However, those in the martial arts world did not have the time to cultivate their skills every day.

From a young age, Master Luo’s most beloved disciple bathed in medicinal soup and accumulated his inner qi. At the age of 16 or 17, he had already perfected his muscles and bones and actually stood a chance of becoming a Connate Master in the future.

Zhou Yi was not jealous. After all, that genius disciple had already died in the chaos.

Surviving was all that mattered.

Whoever lived the longest would be a grandmaster of their generation!

Commandant Niu clicked his tongue in admiration. “You’re already a second-rate expert in the martial world. Why don’t you go out and make a living? It’s much better than staying here and delivering food.”

“Second-rate is nothing. The heads of the top ten martial arts schools in the capital are all experts in refining their organs. It’s said that Master Chen of the Golden Saber Martial Arts School has already begun to cleanse his marrow. He has the divine powers strong enough to send cows flying and knock whole buildings down flat.

Zhou Yi shrugged and said, “I can’t possibly live comfortably in a world like that.”

A good, stable living is everything!

That’s all Zhou Yi was looking for. Moreover, the Sky Prison was low and powerful, and the benefits were generous and were not dependent on official struggles. It was simply perfect!

Hearing this, Commandant Niu’s eyes flickered. He suddenly asked, “Kid, tell me, do you think I’ll be promoted to warden?”

Zhou Yi was silent for a moment before shaking his head. “It will be tough!”

“How so?”

Commandant Niu straightened his body. He had asked many people this question, and they all congratulated and flattered him.

Everyone believed that only Commandant Niu could become the warden of the Sky Prison.

Outsiders who dared to enter and wouldn’t know the rules of the Sky Prison. It wouldn’t be long before they were imprisoned themselves!

Zhou Yi deliberated for a moment before saying, “In order to reduce the penalty for crimes, Master Lei will definitely inform the imperial court on what he knows of the Long Rebellion’s plans. How can the new emperor trust prison officials going forward? It’s very likely that a trusted subordinate will be appointed as the warden.”

Zhou Yi had been at Sky Prison for 100 years.

In that time, he had discovered that the staff turnover rate was so low that it was almost strictly hereditary.

Warden Lei’s father was a military officer. Commandant Niu’s grandfather was a former prison guard. Even Zhou Yi’s father and grandfather were prison guards.

The residence of the fourth-rate Censor of the Imperial Court was rented. As a minor official, Zhou Yi’s father bought a residence in the Divine Capital. Of course, the Censor might be pretending to be poor, but it was enough to explain the problem of the Sky Prison.

Commandant Niu snorted indignantly. “We have all kinds of rules here. If someone comes along who doesn’t know what they’re doing, how can they control us?”

“They may not know the rules, but they can get the Uniformed Guard to make arrests. Who can stand being investigated? In the end, everyone will be replaced, and they will set all the rules!”

In the end, it’s not the invaders who suffer, but the invaded.

Seeing his face darken, Zhou Yi hurriedly expressed his loyalty. “Uncle Niu, don’t worry. I’ll definitely support you.”

“What use can a food delivery boy like you be?”

Commandant Niu sighed. “Master Lei also advised me the same way. He joined the Long Rebellion back then, which led to his family being raided and exiled. If he hadn’t done it, the Lei family wouldn’t lack wealth in any dynasty!”

The nobility of the Imperial Court would be reduced from generation to generation. After five lifetimes, their ancestors would be exhausted, and they would be no different from commoners. However, the Sky Prison was a cradle-to-grave job that could be passed on to one’s descendants.

“Uncle Niu, don’t worry. If a new warden comes in, you can help him!”

Zhou Yi consoled him further, saying, “Sky Prison has been here since the previous dynasty. No matter who comes to be the warden, it won’t be long before they become a part of Sky Prison.”

Sky Prison was relatively independent and had little contact with the various government offices. Once the prison door was closed, it became an otherworldly place.

No one who held such great power and benefits would think of changing Sky Prison!

Lieutenant Niu nodded slightly in agreement and changed the topic. “You’re 27 years old this year, right? Why do you still go to Spring Breeze Tower every day? My brother has a daughter who’s dignified…”

“Uncle Niu, I’m meeting Miss Nongyu tonight to discuss the Great Dao. I’d better head out!”

Zhou Yi waved his hand. Even after being transported to this ancient world, he couldn’t escape being urged to get married.

It was acceptable to be a prison guard. In his later years, he would have the joy of teasing his grandchildren. However, the existence of the Dao Fruit of Eternal Life made it impossible for Zhou Yi to stay with anyone.

First of all, he was afraid of exposing his secret. The Dao Fruit of Eternal Life was a treasure that Zhou Yi relied on.

Even with disguises or transformation techniques, it was not completely safe. If one spent too much time with the people around them, things could go wrong at any time.

Then there’s the issue of his wife aging. Decades later, she would no longer be young, and Zhou Yi would not know how to treat her.

On the other hand, the ladies of the Spring Breeze Tower would still be young and beautiful no matter how many years passed. Moreover, they only talked about money, not feelings, and had no attachments!

Lieutenant Niu glanced at Zhou Yi and waved his hand in disdain.

“Get lost. My niece is gentle and virtuous. I can’t let you harm her!”

He went on his way.

Zhou Yi did not go to Spring Breeze Tower. All banquets and entertainment were prohibited during the imperial funeral.

Of course, this did not affect the business of Spring Breeze Tower. They opened a back door to secretly welcome customers, and jacked up the prices.

Instead, he returned home.

Zhou Yi read for a while and thought about what he had done that day.

“I was a bit rash to do that to Young Master Long, but after venting my anger, I feel good!”

Being careful was not the same as being sullen and cowardly. Besides, martial arts cultivation also focused on the state of mind, especially Internal Qi cultivation. If one’s thoughts were not smooth, their progress would be slow, and they might even stagnate.

Since ancient times, few true experts had relied on talent and resources to advance. Most of them had powerful mental states!

Zhou Yi was naturally an exception. As long as he could live forever, the strong would become withered bones in their tombs, nothing more than stories, or even forgotten altogether.

“There’s no harm in revealing your strength to Commandant Niu.”

Zhou Yi had long planned to reveal himself. It was not to fight for power, but to be more comfortable in Sky Prison.

Diminishing his desires was key. No one can control you if you lack ambition.

As long as it didn’t affect anyone’s interests, others would be unwilling to provoke him. Instead, as a rather capable and quick-witted prison guard, his colleagues would be obliged to look after him.

No matter how you look at it, today was a good day!

“Tomorrow, I’ll go see Master Luo’s lover and send her to the countryside to lie low for a while. As for the silver and prescriptions in the residence, I’ll go pick them up after a year or so. By then, she’ll definitely be safe!”

Zhou Yi had the most precious treasure in the world, and everything else was nothing.

Right now, the Divine Capital was at its most chaotic period. The Imperial Guards, Black Knights, and Uniformed Guard were searching everywhere for traitors. What if they had already discovered Master Luo’s residence?

If Zhou Yi went now, he could be walking right into a trap. Then, it would be someone else delivering food the next day.

Even without the Uniformed Guard, there were still Master Luo’s disciples or clansmen. When the time came, there would be a battle… This was all dangerous!

Everything had to wait for a few years. Time was the last thing Zhou Yi lacked.

After thinking about it, Zhou Yi got up and practiced a few times before returning to his room to cultivate the Origin Returning Mantra.

The progress was slow, and he had not even reached the level of a third-rate expert. However, the cultivation method of inner Qi was always achieved later in life. It could not be rushed!

The moon was bright and the stars were few. The night was still.

A thin shadow leaped over the wall and landed in the darkness, clothes blending into the gloomy night.

The figure crept along the base of the wall and snuck into the house.

Just then⁠—

His legs buckled and he plummeted.

The shadow reacted quickly. Inner Qi circulated in his legs. He stepped on his left foot, then right foot and moved horizontally for a few feet to avoid falling into the pit.

“Goddammit, who digs traps in their yard?”

In the moonlight, the shadow saw the spikes shining coldly in the pit, and its heart raced with fear. Its steps were light and silent, and it quickly touched the window frame of the master bedroom. It tapped on the window paper to blow incense inward.

The shadow waited for a moment to confirm that the drug had taken effect. It opened the window and crawled in, rolling to reduce the sound of landing.


There was a shrill scream as the shadow was pierced by a dozen nails on the ground.

The nails were smeared with some kind of drug. The shadow felt numb and could not muster any strength. It circulated its inner Qi to try to detoxify the poison, but it was useless.

“The Secret Drug of the Uniformed Guard. Even top experts are at the mercy of others after being injected with it!”

Zhou Yi’s voice sounded at the window. He had noticed it since the shadow entered the courtyard. Besides, he never meditated in the master bedroom. He always kept a dummy under the blanket of the bed.

“Hero, have mercy…”

The shadow was lying on the ground, pleading. He was about to beg for a softening of heart, but before he could say anything, he saw a few crossbow bolts flying towards him.

An hour passed.

Zhou Yi leveled the ground with a shovel and looked up at the date trees in the courtyard.

“The dates from this tree will definitely taste good next year. I’ll have to share them with my colleagues!”

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