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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 071: Mister Mo Returns

In a quiet valley:

Gu Hai’s group stood in silence before a large grave. There was no grave marker here. If not for everyone solemnly bowing to the large grave, it would be hard to imagine that this small hill was a mass grave.

Long Wanqing, Mu Chenfeng, and the two thousand-odd treants had already stopped crying. However, sorrow still lined their faces.

“Alright. This valley is relatively quiet. Love Flower Valley is destroyed, but this place should allow Granny Qing Hua to rest in peace,” Gu Hai consoled the treants after turning his head to face them.

“Many thanks, Master!” The two thousand-odd treants knelt to Gu Hai.

They acknowledged Gu Hai as their master not only because of Granny Qing Hua’s request but also out of gratitude. There was sincere gratitude. If not for Gu Hai, their entire race would have been destroyed. If not for Gu Hai, Granny could not rest in peace.

“You can get up. It is unfortunate about your dantian,” Gu Hai sighed.

“Master, you don’t have to feel that way. Our dantian might be crippled, but we will have our latter generations. Their dantian will be fine,” a treant said as it shook its head.

“That’s true. Living is the most important thing.” Gu Hai nodded.

“Actually, it might be possible for their dantian to recover,” Mu Chenfeng said while frowning.

“Oh?” Gu Hai gave Mu Chenfeng a puzzled look.

“I saw it before in the valley. Senior Brother, do you remember? Back then, there was a treant whose dantian got crippled. Later on, it got fixed. However, he courted disaster, going out and causing trouble; he ended up dying at the hands of soldiers.” Mu Chenfeng looked at a treant.

“Huangfu Chaoge?” That treant’s eyes lit up.

“Yes. At that time, Huangfu Chaoge used some unknown method to fix that treant’s dantian.” Mu Chenfeng nodded.

“Huangfu Chaoge? Will he help us?” The treants frowned.

“He will. Granny Qing Hua nearly caused the entire race to be exterminated to save him,” Mu Chenfeng said while clenching his fist.

“However, Gu Hai, didn’t you say that Huangfu Chaoge was a scheming person? He even lied to me previously?” Long Wanqing looked at Gu Hai.

However, Gu Hai sighed and shook his head. He said, “Huangfu Chaoge might not have lied to us. I told you that previously because I was worried that you would end up giving things away in front of Duke Lu Yang.”

“What?” Long Wanqing’s expression changed.

Gu Hai nodded with certainty.

“Then…then…then, are you saying that Duke Lu Yang killed my mother, that he is the true culprit?” Long Wanqing showed both sorrow and anger on her face. 

“There is a ninety percent chance.” Gu Hai nodded.

“How could it be like that?” Long Wanqing held her head, appearing confused and distraught.

“Alright. We’ll go look for Huangfu Chaoge. It would be great if he could help the treants recover their dantian. Mu Chenfeng, Granny Qing Hua just passed away. May I trouble you to help take care of them?” Gu Hai looked at Mu Chenfeng.

Mu Chenfeng nodded seriously as he said, “Division Master Gu, even if you did not ask, I would ask to do it. Granny saved me and even nurtured me, took me in as her disciple. Now that the love flower treants are in trouble, how can I stand by without helping?”

“That is great.” Gu Hai nodded.

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In the study of Duke Lu Yang’s newly built official residence in Foundation Destroying City:

Advisors stood in two columns, one on each side. Army Breaker and Chu Chen stood in the center. Duke Lu Yang sat behind his desk, looking at the two coldly.

“Repeat that?!” Duke Lu Yang said coldly.

“Duke, I witnessed Chu Chen trying to kill everyone. He wanted to kill Gu Hai and dig out Gu Hai’s liver. He even ordered his men to kill everyone without mercy,” Army Breaker said respectfully.

“Duke, it was Gu Hai who agitated me into it. This subordinate got tricked. My subordinates...my subordinates…now, only three remain. The others all turned into stone statues. Gu Hai schemed this long ago,” Chu Chen said regretfully as he knelt on one knee. 

Duke Lu Yang knocked on the desk with his knuckles, as though in deep thought, while coldly eyeing the two.

After a while, Duke Lu Yang said, “He probably did agitate you on purpose, so that he would have an excuse to flee.”

After Duke Lu Yang made his judgment on this matter, Army Breaker stopped speaking.

“Yes, yes. Duke is wise!” Chu Chen said excitedly.

“Humph!” Duke Lu Yang snorted coldly.

Chu Chen felt like thunder went off in his mind, causing him to shiver.

“Why did Gu Hai agitate you? While he did not want to come to my official residence, he had no excuse to leave. You gave him that excuse.” Duke Lu Yang looked at Chu Chen coldly.

“I…I…” Chu Chen showed an unsightly expression.

“Had you not made a move, would Gu Hai have dared to refuse to come? By making a move, you gave him a reason to leave. You cost me a master zitherist and a great general.” Duke Lu Yang looked at Chu Chen coldly.

“This subordinate knows his mistake now!” Chu Chen did not dare to raise his head.

Duke Lu Yang continued to look at Chu Chen coldly.

One of the advisers at the side said, “Duke, although Chu Chen was wrong, it is reasonable. Gu Hai’s threat was too frightening. Chu Chen did it to protect himself.”

“Indeed. Duke, that Gu Hai’s heart does not lie with the duke’s official residence. Even if he came, he would leave.”

“Duke, you have many generals and can do without Gu Hai. Although Chu Chen committed a mistake, he has made many contributions. Let his contributions offset his mistakes.”

The advisers spoke up one after another.

Duke Lu Yang took a deep breath and suppressed the anger in his heart. Indeed, Gu Hai’s two pieces were incredible. However, that was all there was to it. Next was the ritual array. He also had many experts who could lay ritual arrays.

Chu Chen had given Duke Lu Yang his loyalty. If Duke Lu Yang punished him, it would chill the hearts of anyone thinking of submitting to Duke Lu Yang.

Duke Lu Yang was about to use this opportunity to forgive Chu Chen on account of Chu Chen’s contributions when a sound suddenly came from outside the study.

An attendant’s voice rang out. “Duke, Mister Mo and Young Master An have returned!”

“Mister Mo returned? Send him over! No! This duke will go and personally welcome him!” Duke Lu Yang’s earlier anger instantly vanished. He even stood up.

Phew! Chu Chen let out his bated breath.

The duke finally stopped being angry. Mister Mo’s return was timely.

“There is no need for the duke to bring everyone to welcome me. This subordinate has returned.” Cheerful laughter immediately rang out from outside the study.

Mo Yike quickly entered the study with Lu An.

No one stopped Mo Yike from entering.

“Greetings, Mister Mo!” The advisors immediately bowed respectfully to Mo Yike.

When Mo Yike entered the study, he bowed respectfully to Duke Lu Yang. “Salutations, Duke!”

“Salutations, Grandfather!” Lu An also bowed respectfully to Duke Lu Yang.

However, Duke Lu Yang paid no attention to his grandson. Instead, he walked around the desk and very respectfully helped Mo Yike up. “Mister Mo, you are too polite. This duke has said there is no need for you to pay your respects to me whenever you see me.”

“Etiquette cannot be dispensed with.” Mo Yike shook his head and smiled.

Lu An shrank back. From how Duke Lu Yang personally came around his desk to help Mo Yike up, it was obvious how much he valued Mo Yike.

“Mister Mo, I have seen the goods. Indeed, with Mister Mo taking action, you managed to obtain them. Did everything go smoothly in Silver Moon City?” Duke Lu Yang asked out of concern. 

“It was reasonably smooth. However, I met a shockingly great talent on this trip to Silver Moon City. If Duke can obtain this person’s aid, it would be like giving a tiger wings. This subordinate strongly recommends that Duke try to obtain this person’s loyalty with all your might,” Mister Mo said with some excitement.

“Oh? A shockingly great talent? This must be someone extraordinary for Mister Mo to give such an evaluation. Might I ask who it is?” Duke Lu Yang asked, feeling curious.

“He is called Gu Hai, Elite Hall’s Water Division Master. He has been traveling with Long Wanqing recently, so I do not know his current location. I wanted to invite him over but was too late. How unfortunate! Oh, how unfortunate! Duke, I believe that he is still in Ying Province. We must find him!” Mo Yike said anxiously.

“Gu Hai?” This slightly startled Duke Lu Yang.

The expressions of all the advisers in the study changed. The advisers that pleaded for Chu Chen earlier shrank back.

On the other hand, Chu Chen gaped.

“What’s wrong? Has Duke met him?” Mo Yike said in surprise.

Duke Lu Yang glared at Chu Chen. Then, he took a deep breath and turned around to face Mo Yike. “Mister Mo, you say that Gu Hai is a shockingly great talent? How shocking? How is he, compared to Mister Mo?”

“Tenfold better than me,” Mo Yike said with certainty.

Chu Chen’s expression turned dark.

However, Duke Lu Yang frowned and countered, “That’s impossible. No one can beat Mister Mo. Mister Mo, are you exaggerating? 

“He is tenfold better than me, possibly even several tenfolds better,” Mo Yike affirmed his stance with certainty.

Although Duke Lu Yang knew that Mo Yike had exaggerated, this underlined the excellence of this person, as a proud person like Mo Yike had actually recommended an outsider in such a manner.

Gu Hai?

He is that capable?

“Duke, have you already met Gu Hai? That is great. Duke, no matter what, you must obtain Gu Hai. If you can get him, Duke will have nothing to worry about in the future. As long as you can obtain Gu Hai’s loyalty, this subordinate is willing to give my position to him. Where is he now?” Mister Mo said with joy on his face.

Chu Chen’s face darkened even further; he wanted to cry but could not.

Duke Lu Yang glared at Chu Chen again hatefully. Then, he shook his head and said, “I missed a great opportunity. Hah…” 

“Ah? What happened?”

One of the advisers at the side stepped forward and respectfully described everything that happened.

“The Twenty-Eight Line-Pair World Ritual Array and ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’? Ah! Mister Gu! This Gu Hai cannot hide his excellence, no matter where he goes!” Mo Yike marveled.

When Mo Yike looked at Chu Chen, some anger flashed in his eyes. However, he held his tongue. After all, he still needed Chu Chen safe and sound to assure the other experts who joined them.

“Mister Mo, could you have exaggerated?” Duke Lu Yang asked again, feeling doubtful.

“Here is the information I collected on Gu Hai. I have summarized it already. Duke, please take a look.” Mo Yike took out a stack of information with a flip of his hand.

Duke Lu Yang received a simplified version of Gu Hai’s background.

Duke Lu Yang read carefully. After reading a page, he would pass it on to the advisers. As everyone read, they started frowning heavily.

Gasp! The advisers in the study inhaled sharply.

Gasp! “The Song Extermination Plan?” Duke Lu Yang’s pupils suddenly constricted.

After reading about Gu Hai’s background, the advisers all felt shocked.

This Gu Hai nearly joined the duke’s official residence. Chu Chen had chased away such a talent?

The people who spoke up for Chu Chen earlier immediately said, “It is all Chu Chen’s fault. Otherwise, things would not have gotten pushed to an irrecoverable point.”

“Hah!” Mo Yike sighed.

“Duke, this Gu Hai is incredibly brilliant. Furthermore, he has met Huangfu Chaoge. I believe he probably has guessed most of the duke’s plans. That’s why he is not willing to join the duke’s official residence. By using Chu Chen, he offered his apologies to you so that you would not chase after him and his family in a rage. Ha! What a rejection! To think that it could be done so politely. Hah. It will be hard to recover from this now that he has left. Hah,” Mo Yike sighed.

“Duke, I…I did not expect that!” Chu Chen immediately shouted in horror.

Bang!

Duke Lu Yang kicked Chu Chen to the floor with a ferocious expression.

The moment Gu Hai came to the duke’s official residence, he would already be on the same ship as them; he would no longer have the opportunity to leave. However, Chu Chen had chased him away. How could Duke Lu Yang not be angry?

The study immediately turned silent.

Duke Lu Yang glared at Chu Chen hatefully. What “contributions offsetting mistakes”? Even one hundred contributions cannot offset such a mistake.

Chu Chen huddled on the ground, not daring to resist.

As an adviser, Mo Yike could only assist in analysis. The final decision still lay with Duke Lu Yang.

Duke Lu Yang managed to suppress his anger for Chu Chen only after a while. However, he still showed an unfriendly expression to Chu Chen.

“Gu Hai? The Song Extermination Plan? Executing a chain of more than ten plans simultaneously, destroying a nation with such speed? If I cannot use such a person, I cannot let others use him,” Duke Lu Yang said with a cold light in his eyes.

“Ah? Duke, what are you planning?” Mo Yike’s expression changed when he guessed the duke’s plan.

“Mister Mo, I got it. There’s no need for you to bother with this,” Duke Lu Yang said.

“Ah? Duke, don’t do that. Talents are hard to come by. Perhaps there might still be a chance,” Mo Yike advised anxiously.

“Mister Mo, I said that you don’t have to bother with this anymore,” Duke Lu Yang said while shaking his head.

“I? I? Hah. Alright.” Mo Yike smiled bitterly.

“Alright. You all can go back. Now that Ao Shun broke through to Divine Foundation City, there are many things to do,” Duke Lu Yang said.

“Yes!” everyone answered, then left slowly.

Duke Lu Yang did not keep anyone, not even Mo Yike or Lu An.

Now, only Duke Lu Yang remained in the study. After a while, he called out to the guards outside, “Send for the Unborn Man!”

“Yes!”

Soon, the Unborn Man arrived at the study.

“Duke, you are seeking me?” The Unborn Man looked at Duke Lu Yang.

“I need you to kill someone for me,” Duke Lu Yang said.

“Oh? Is this Duke’s third request?” The Unborn Man looked at Duke Lu Yang.

“That’s right.”

“That makes three requests already. Should Duke fulfill your promise now and return Long Xiaoyue’s three spiritual souls to me?” the Unborn Man said.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for October: 09 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.