EIF - Book 03 Chapter 004: Averting Disaster
The dark clouds above Nine-Five Island grew thicker. The thickness of the clouds correlated with Miao Chen’s anger, as the Golden Black Tortoise Shell’s aura weakened the closer he got to the Han Royal Dynasty. It even seemed to be fading and disappearing.
The Golden Black Tortoise Shell contained a considerable amount of the Black Tortoise Prime’s aura. What cruel defilement did it go through for the prime’s aura to disappear? Was it refined into an enchanted treasure?
Miao Chen reared his head and roared.
Lightning flashed, and thunder rolled. The terrifying weather horrified countless ordinary people on Nine-Five Island.
Merchant City, not far from the imperial palace:
The Embroidered Uniform Guard’s envoy commander Meng Tai stood in a large courtyard of Merchant City, interrogating a group of corrupt officials.
The bound corrupt officials glared at Meng Tai.
“Meng Tai, how dare you?! How dare you?! My uncle is the current minister of rites. He was a general manager who previously followed His Majesty to conquer the world. How dare you make a move on me?! My uncle will not let you off!” the leader of this group of corrupt officials yelled while spitting out a mouthful of blood and glaring.
Meng Tai held a book in his hand. A troop of the Embroidered Uniform Guard stood at the side and looked at Meng Tai.
“When His Majesty established his nation, he declared amnesty everywhere. There are to be tax exemptions for three years, yet your Merchant City continued charging exorbitant taxes? The people have no way to make a living? Appointing people by favoritism? Selling official positions and noble titles? Monopolizing the disaster relief and not caring about the suffering people? Taking bribes and using official authority for private interests? You caused eight hundred people in Merchant City to die of hunger!” Meng Tai’s eyes turned cold.
“You…what do you want?” that official demanded, scowling.
Meng Tai said coldly, “By decree, I am here to investigate. I have the authority to execute first before making a report. Execute them!”
“What? How dare you execute me?! My uncle will not spare you! He will not spare you!” that official yelled while glaring.
“I’m not executing just you but your entire clan. When the Embroidered Uniform Guard acts, we leave none alive. If we are cutting the weeds, we need to eradicate the roots as well!” Meng Tai said indifferently.
[TL Note: Eradicating the roots when cutting weeds is an idiom for doing a thorough job to tie up all loose ends or eliminating any chance of unexpected situations. However, it is usually used in more grisly situations. In the case of executing the entire clan, one reason is to prevent acts of revenge by the family. Another reason is to function as a deterrent. Of course, such punishments are normally more extreme. Such executions were used in ancient China, albeit rarely. Here is a Wikipedia entry about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_familial_exterminations.]
After speaking, Meng Tai turned and left the courtyard.
That official’s eyes widened in shock and burgeoning fear. Leave none alive? Eradicate the roots?
“No! No! Don’t!” that official yelled in terror.
At Meng Tai’s command, the Embroidered Uniform Guard took quick action.
The officials in the surroundings whose wrongdoings were not discovered shivered. This Embroidered Uniform Guard can exterminate a clan. Everywhere they go, blood flows like a river?
Meng Tai turned his head and looked. The observing officials suddenly shivered, quickly lowered their heads, and left.
After returning, these officials immediately wrote letters to their superiors to get the officials of the imperial assembly to impeach the Embroidered Uniform Guard.
However, what was the point of trying to impeach the Embroidered Uniform Guard? Gu Hai established it to monitor the nation. Furthermore, Gu Hai held full power, able to make arbitrary decisions. If Gu Hai did not care about this, who could do anything to the Embroidered Uniform Guard?
Meng Tai let out a long breath. The feeling of having the power to start a massacre was wonderful. However, could this Han Royal Dynasty truly compare to the dynasties of the Divine Continent?
Suddenly, dark clouds covered the sky, lightning flashed, and thunder roared.
“Huh?” Meng Tai looked up, his expression changing.
He saw countless lightning bolts converging on the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial palace. The thunder was so intense, it seemed to shake the surroundings.
“This…who is this? What is this intense aura?!” Meng Tai’s expression changed.
Meng Tai soared into the air and flew towards the imperial palace.
His Majesty only just started his nation, and he already attracted such a strong enemy?
“This is the aura of a Heavenly Palace cultivator! The Han Royal Dynasty won’t fall just like that, right?” Meng Tai’s eyelids twitched wildly.
Dark clouds covered the sky. This was even more obvious from the imperial palace’s vicinity.
The expressions of the cultivators in the imperial casino holiday villa changed. This was an intense and overwhelming aura. Even from such a distance, they still could feel that ghastly aura?
At Shangguan Hen’s abode:
Shangguan Hen had already cut up the large Golden Black Tortoise Shell, and only one final piece remained.
Suddenly, lightning flashed, thunder roared, and torrential rain fell from the sky. This prompted Shangguan Hen, who was in the middle of eating, to look outside.
“This is the aura of a black tortoise? Miao Chen?” Shangguan Hen raised his eyebrows.
Then, he elegantly picked up the last piece of Golden Black Tortoise Shell and placed it in his mouth.
After that, he stood up, tidied his clothes, and sauntered out.
Miao Chen suddenly appeared outside the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial palace, high winds and rain following in his wake. The downpour engulfed the entire imperial palace when he stopped.
Maio Chen closed his eyes as he stood in the rain, his unsightly expression worsening.
“It’s gone?! It’s gone? The Golden Black Tortoise Shell’s aura is gone?” Miao Chen’s expression grew increasingly more ferocious.
Just at this moment, all the civil and military officials of the imperial assembly rushed to the Soaring Palace Hall’s entrance, showing horrified expressions.
Gu Qin also had an anxious expression. As he had obtained Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance, he naturally recognized the strength of this expert from the berserk aura. Could his ritual array block such strength?
“Your Majesty!” The many officials looked at Gu Hai anxiously as he walked out at a measured pace.
Gu Hai had his crown on his head and wore imperial robes as he walked to the front of the officials. Then, he looked coldly at the distant man showing a ferocious expression in the air.
“Imperial Father, could this be a trap left by Li Shenji?” Gu Qin asked worriedly.
Gu Hai nodded. “This should be because of the Golden Black Tortoise Shell!”
“What an insidious Li Shenji! This person is a Heavenly Palace expert. I’m worried that the ritual array cannot stop him,” Gu Qin said with an increasingly unsightly expression.
“The Golden Black Tortoise Shell! Where is the Golden Black Tortoise Shell?!” Miao Chen suddenly roared.
This roar seemed to form a storm sweeping towards the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial palace. Everywhere the storm passed, rocks and dirt flew up from mountains and forests.
Suddenly, a surging foggy ritual array appeared at the imperial palace, blocking the strong winds.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
A hundred lightning bolts fell from the sky and crashed into the ritual array, shaking it.
“Imperial Father, shall I inform Shangguan Hen and get him to return the Golden Black Tortoise Shell? Otherwise, the ritual array cannot last!” Gu Qin said anxiously.
“Shut up!” Gu Hai shouted coldly.
“Ah?” Gu Qin said, feeling confused.
“The Golden Black Tortoise Shell already belongs to Shangguan Hen. We cannot decide for him!” Gu Hai said seriously.
“Yes!” Gu Qin nodded but still appeared anxious.
At this moment, the officials looked confused.
“We are the master of the Han Royal Dynasty, Gu Hai. Who are you, and why did you barge into our Han Royal Dynasty?” Gu Hai said.
“Dynasty? What nonsense dynasty is this? You don’t even have blessings, and you call yourself a dynasty? Is the Golden Black Tortoise Shell with you? Immediately return it to me. Otherwise, I’ll flatten your insignificant Han Royal Dynasty!” Miao Chen sneered.
As Miao Chen spoke, he stomped ferociously.
A gigantic manifested foot suddenly appeared and slammed into the ground.
The manifested foot instantly flattened a mountain, creating a bottomless pit with water gushing into it.
The pit was three kilometers wide, appalling the countless onlookers.
The officials appeared horrified as they asked, “What should we do, Your Majesty?”
The cultivators at the holiday villa also felt fearful. Was this stomp trying to pierce through Nine-Five Island?
Meng Tai looked at the demon-god-like Miao Chen from afar. His eyelids twitched wildly as well.
“Where did this monster come from?” Meng Tai exclaimed.
This one stomp startled and shocked the entire imperial assembly. Only Gu Hai’s expression remained the same.
As the ruler of the nation, he had to set an example for the world. He had to remain calm at all times.
Gu Hai showed a cold gaze as he shook his head. “Are you declaring war on the Han Royal Dynasty by trying to humiliate the Han Royal Dynasty?”
“Declare war? For you?” Miao Chen sneered with disdain.
“Humph!” Gu Hai snorted coldly.
Just at this moment, Shangguan Hen rushed over from nearby.
“Your Majesty, this matter happened because of me. I ask Your Majesty to leave this matter to me. This subordinate will definitely give an account to Your Majesty!” Shangguan Hen suddenly bowed.
“Huh? Shangguan Hen, there is no need for that. The Han Royal Dynasty will deal with this matter!” Gu Hai comforted.
Shangguan Hen felt warmth in his heart. He knew that Gu Hai was protecting him, using the fate of his nation to protect a person who did not want to submit to him.
“No. Your Majesty, please trust this subordinate. This subordinate is not taking risks. I can indeed deal with this quickly. Please leave this matter to this subordinate!” Shangguan Hen said gravely.
Gu Hai stared at Shangguan Hen for a while. Seeing that Shangguan Hen was speaking the truth, he eventually nodded.
“Many thanks for Your Majesty’s trust!” Shangguan Hen answered.
Gu Qin and the other officials looked at Shangguan Hen in confusion.
Even Meng Tai, who had quickly flown over from afar, appeared confused.
Everyone saw Shangguan Hen turn his head and walk over to Miao Chen with measured steps.
“Ha! Hahahaha! You overestimate yourself. You actually dare to send just one person to deal with me? Humph! I will no longer be surnamed Miao if I do not level your ridiculous dynasty today!” Miao Chen roared.
A berserk aura appeared again. Then, a gigantic tortoise image suddenly appeared behind Miao Chen. When the officials felt the pressure from the horrifying aura, their expressions changed dramatically; they felt like they would collapse to the ground.
“Miao Chen, how audacious!” Shangguan Hen suddenly shouted.
“Huh? You know me?” Miao Chen snarled with a cold stare.
“Look at my eyes!” Shangguan Hen ordered coldly.
Miao Chen immediately looked at Shangguan Hen’s eyes. Then, he extended his hand, preparing to grab Shangguan Hen as he said coldly, “Insignificant thing, how reckless—”
However, Miao Chen’s pupils suddenly constricted in midsentence.
Shangguan Hen continued walking, letting the rain fall on his body. He paid no attention to it as he glared at Miao Chen.
Miao Chen stared into Shangguan Hen’s eyes and saw Shangguan Hen’s ferocious and unyielding expression. Suddenly, a thought occurred to him. This expression seems familiar?
Shangguan Hen, who was walking over, looked incredibly small and insignificant before the gigantic tortoise image. However, his steps seemed extremely heavy to Miao Chen, clashing against the world like drumming.
“This expression…this expression…” The misgivings in Miao Chen’s eyes slowly turned into startlement, then extreme shock.
“This…how can this be possible!” Miao Chen exclaimed in shock.
Miao Chen suddenly scattered the aura around him, and the dark clouds covering the sky scattered as well.
“You are…you are… That’s impossible! You are…” Miao Chen stammered, feeling terrified.
“By standing so high, do you want me to pay my respects to you?” Shangguan Hen asked indifferently.
Miao Chen suddenly shivered.
He quickly descended, feeling some wild joy amid his terror. “No! No! This sub—”
“How audacious!” Shangguan Hen glared.
Miao Chen immediately shut up in midsentence.
“Wait outside the palace!” Shangguan Hen said coldly.
“Yes!” Miao Chen answered.
Miao Chen flew out of the palace and waited quietly.
Far away, Meng Tai felt confused as he looked at the clear sky and the distant expert, who was extremely arrogant earlier but had suddenly become so tame and obedient.
“Where did this Shangguan Hen come from?” Meng Tai’s expression changed dramatically.
“The Han Royal Dynasty? The Han Royal Dynasty? Your Majesty, where did you recruit this person from?” Meng Tai’s heart was a spectacular mess.
After taking a deep breath, Meng Tai turned around and flew back.
Right now, he just needed to do his job.
Shangguan Hen had only rebuked that expert with a few words, and that expert turned meek. This dealt a huge blow to the countless cultivators in the holiday villa, thoroughly shaking them up. Initially, they had been thinking of seeking opportunities to snatch the dragon vein. Although close to one hundred Nascent Soul Realm cultivators had died already, there was still a chance, right? So what if Gu Qin and Gu Hai could set up ritual arrays? What else did the Han Royal Dynasty have?
However, what just happened before them? Who could explain what exactly happened? Just how powerful was the Han Royal Dynasty?
The officials of the imperial assembly goggled as they looked at Shangguan Hen.
Previously, many people mocked Shangguan Hen in their hearts for not accepting an official post. Was this person stupid? However, now they wondered whether they were the stupid ones rather than him.
Shangguan Hen turned his head and looked at Gu Hai. Then, he bowed respectfully and said, “Your Majesty, this subordinate will take his leave first!”
“Alright!” Gu Hai nodded.
Shangguan Hen then rushed out of the palace. After all, Miao Chen was still waiting anxiously over there.
“Imperial Father, where did this Shangguan Hen come from?” A complicated expression flashed across Gu Qin’s face.
“He will say when he wants to. Alright! Dismissed!” Gu Hai said indifferently.
“Yes!” the officials answered.
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