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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 080: Prince Shenwu

Silver Moon City:

Sima Changkong accompanied a middle-aged man out of This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion.

The middle-aged man wore plain clothes and had a broad face. His eyes looked bright and alert. As he walked, a vast air seemed to cloak him. Even Sima Changkong, who stood beside this middle-aged man, could not compare.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion? It is indeed extraordinary. To think such a wise person appeared in the Thousand Islands Sea,” the middle-aged man sighed as he walked.

“Your Highness, our spies sent news that Gu Hai and Long Wanqing’s group went to Love Flower Valley. They fought Duke Lu Yang’s army there. His ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’ defeated Duke Lu Yang’s ‘Breaking a Revolution.’ He is a genius not only at the Go Dao but also at the music Dao. He managed to do that at the age of seventy-one, a rare talent,” Sima Changkong sighed.

The middle-aged man nodded as he narrowed his eyes. “The most marvelous thing is that Song Extermination Plan. Ha! This prince sent so many people all over the world, searching for talent, yet we missed out on such a person. How unfortunate!”

“Indeed,” Sima Changkong sighed.

“The people in charge of the Thousand Islands Sea region all failed in their job; sack them all,” the middle-aged man said solemnly.

“Yes!” Sima Changkong answered.

“Long Wanqing has been searching for her mother’s murderer all these years but to no avail. This time, there is an additional Gu Hai. However, Gu Hai went straight to Ying Province. According to my information, he sought out the previous city lord, He Shikang, before continuing south. Then, he met Huangfu Chaoge at Love Flower Valley. This Gu Hai probably has found something,” Sima Changkong said.

The two climbed onto an immortal crane carriage. Then, the middle-aged man nodded. While narrowing his eyes slightly, he said, “You said that Mo Yike wanted to recruit Gu Hai as well?”

“Yes. At that time, this subordinate had been busy and was late in sending someone over. However, it was the same for Mo Yike. That Gu Hai is incredibly brilliant.” Sima Changkong smiled bitterly.

“It does not matter. It means that Gu Hai does not want to enter Duke Lu Yang’s official residence, either. Furthermore, given that Gu Hai planned his escape at Love Flower Valley, it would be impossible for Duke Lu Yang to subdue him. Perhaps he has already figured out the cause of my younger sister’s death.” The middle-aged man frowned.

“Your Highness, we have an opportunity. I will do my best to bring Gu Hai into my Prince Shenwu’s official residence,” Sima Changkong looked at the middle-aged man.

The middle-aged man before Sima Changkong was the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s third crown prince, Long Shenwu.

“The chances are slim. Elite Hall is a foreign affairs department of the Qian Heavenly Dynasty. More accurately, it is a personal army of His Holy Eminence. Notice how His Holy Eminence doesn’t question many things? Ha! His Holy Eminence grasps the situation thoroughly. Compared to the information we found, His Holy Eminence would have information that is ten times more detailed. This Gu Hai’s background is too clean. How could His Holy Eminence let such a talent slip by?” Prince Shenwu shook his head.

Sima Changkong frowned slightly.

“He is part of His Holy Eminence’s personal army. As subjects, we can only compete over him if His Holy Eminence doesn’t want him. Just like you. Back then, you angered His Holy Eminence, giving me the right to recruit you into my official residence.” Prince Shenwu smiled bitterly.

“Your Highness, do you mean that Long Xiaoyue’s death might have something to do with Duke Lu Yang?” Sima Changkong asked.

Prince Shenwu nodded and said, “A ninety-nine percent chance.”

“Then, His Holy Eminence knows about it as well? However, Long Xiaoyue is the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s princess. To think that His Holy Eminence is indifferent to Duke Lu Yang killing Long Xiaoyue?” Sima Changkong frowned.

“He is not indifferent. His Holy Eminence feels guilty towards Duke Lu Yang. No, I can’t say guilty. Instead, His Holy Eminence needs Duke Lu Yang as an example of his kindness to win over the hearts of others. Duke Lu Yang is not just a subject; he is more a symbol. So, as long as Duke Lu Yang does not rebel, His Holy Eminence will tolerate it. Even my younger sister…” Prince Shenwu frowned.

Sima Changkong immediately understood. “A balancing act? His Holy Eminence did not make a move on Duke Lu Yang to stabilize the hearts of the influential people in the heavenly court. After all, many people defected to the Qian Heavenly Dynasty like Duke Lu Yang did. If His Holy Eminence boldly made a move on Duke Lu Yang, it would cause a revolt in the heavenly court.”

“That’s right. However, Duke Lu Yang has gone overboard this time. That younger sister of mine died a wrongful death. Although His Holy Eminence did not openly say it, he has already made arrangements. At the very least, isn’t Ying Province’s Silver Moon City no longer under Duke Lu Yang’s control?” Prince Shenwu smiled faintly.

“Furthermore, the foreign affairs departments are also making their move. Li Shenji already led his Divine Strategy Battalion south. If Duke Lu Yang remains content, His Holy Eminence will not do anything to him. However, if he dares to rebel… Ha! His Holy Eminence will not be the one suppressing him. Instead, I would be the bad guy,” Prince Shenwu said with a faint bitter smile.

“Duke Lu Yang probably snatched those one million zither puppets. Furthermore, Ying Province seems to have become a nation within a nation. However, he has been hiding it.” Sima Changkong frowned.

“Accumulate resources and wait to declare himself the emperor. Duke Lu Yang has a good adviser. Mo Yike?” Prince Shenwu said with a frown.

“This subordinate sent someone to investigate. However, this Mo Yike seems to have appeared out of nowhere too. We can’t figure him out at all,” Sima Changkong said with a frown.

“If you can’t figure him out, then so be it. We will find out sooner or later.” Prince Shenwu nodded.

------

In a valley outside Foundation Deity City, Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty:

Two months had passed. The treants had not recovered their dantian yet.

Gu Hai had already tidied up the previous wedding hall. Long Wanqing’s hair became Gu Hai’s most treasured possession; he carefully put it away.

Mu Chenfeng’s injuries had completely healed. Ensnaring Performance went somewhere alone to compose.

“Is it hard to recover the treants’ dantian?” Gu Hai looked at Huangfu Chaoge, who was at the side.

“They can be recovered. Didn’t I recover one? However, it is quite difficult to do it for everyone. I do not have enough materials for two thousand-odd treants.

“Oh? The Divine Heptagold Water you used earlier?” Gu Hai asked.

“Yes. There is a sect outside of my Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty called the Heptagold Sect. Elite Hall’s Metal Division Master, Chu Chen, came from the Heptagold Sect. Of course, the sects of your Thousand Islands Sea cannot be compared to this sect. This Heptagold Sect is no weaker than my Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty. They even have eighteen large cities under their control,” Huangfu Chaoge explained.

“The Heptagold Sect?”

“The foundation of the Heptagold Sect is a dead metal-attribute deity. It has been refined and used to protect the Heptagold Sect. Metal births water. The metal deity forms the Divine Heptagold Water. Water births wood. The Divine Heptagold Water can fix the treants’ dantian,” Huangfu Chaoge explained.

“Metal deity?” Gu Hai narrowed his eyes slightly.

Whoosh!

Suddenly, the ground trembled. Then, a gray-robed man came out from the ground. It was the Foundation Rock Deity.

“Your Majesty, there’s news from the frontlines. Duke Lu Yang’s army is pushing very hard. My dynasty lost another three large cities. Now, we only have seventeen left,” the Foundation Rock Deity sighed.

“The Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty had a total of twenty-five large cities. Now, you have already lost eight. Duke Lu Yang’s army is indeed ferocious. Ha!” Gu Hai showed a cold smile.

“He probably thinks that when I lose all my cities, the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty’s blessings will be drained, and I won’t be able to fight back.” Huangfu Chaoge smiled bitterly.

“Surrounded by enemies? That might not be the case. I will cause him to be surrounded by enemies instead.” Gu Hai narrowed his eyes slightly.

“Mister Gu, as per your request, we sent two hundred-odd foundation rock golems to the various cities of Ying Province. Ying Province’s one hundred large cities all have at least two foundation rock golems outside them. However, is there a point to this? With only two foundation rock golems for every city, they won’t be able to break in. All the more would they be unable to deal with the army in the city,” the Foundation Rock Deity said in a deep voice.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m not sending them there to fight. Just wait for two more days. I already gave them instructions, and we will start in two days, officially making our move then,” Gu Hai said.

“Will their making a move ease the danger we are in now?” the Foundation Rock Deity asked, feeling puzzled.

“Not ease. I am sure that Duke Lu Yang will order a retreat soon,” Gu Hai said with certainty.

“Oh?”

“He will have no choice but to retreat. I am igniting a great fire in his Ying Province, right in his backyard. If he does not return to put it out first, his plans will go up in smoke, all burned by the fire.” A ruthless look flashed in Gu Hai’s eyes.

“However, there are only two foundation rock golems at each city. What can they do?” Foundation Rock Deity asked skeptically.

“They are just lighting the fire, so they don’t need to do much,” Gu Hai replied with certainty.

The Foundation Rock Deity looked at Huangfu Chaoge.

“Alright. Just do as Mister Gu says. You control the foundation rock golems’ deity. Just pay careful attention to the situation. Inform them if anything unexpected happens,” Huangfu Chaoge said.

“Alright!” The Foundation Rock Deity nodded.

“Everything depends on the day after tomorrow.” Gu Hai narrowed his eyes as he looked to the north. A cold light flashed in his eyes.

------

Duke Lu Yang’s study, Foundation Destroying City:

Various reports continuously streamed in.

The many advisers in the study showed smiles.

“Duke, the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty had a total of twenty-five large cities. Now, they have already lost eight. At this pace, we can bring the fight to Foundation Deity City soon.”

“It is not just that. Duke, their armies suffered overwhelming defeats. After we conquer another eight cities of the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty, the rest might even surrender on their own initiative.”

The various advisers and commanders reported excitedly.

Duke Lu Yang also nodded, showing a faint smile.

However, Mo Yike remained at the side with a heavy frown, not saying a word.

“What’s wrong, Mister Mo?” Duke Lu Yang looked at Mo Yike with puzzlement.

“Something is not right.” Mo Yike smiled bitterly.

“What is Mister Mo worried about? Right now, the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty is a lone island. The surrounding sects and nations will not help it. The enemy can only wait as we take its cities out one by one.” Duke Lu Yang smiled.

An adviser at the side nodded and said, “Indeed. Mister Mo, when the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty loses all its cities, its blessings will scatter. By then, the duke will not even have personally make a move to break Foundation Deity City. Going against the duke will not lead to a good fate.”

Mo Yike shook his head and said, “Duke, I’m worried about Gu Hai.”

“Huh?” Duke Lu Yang’s expression turned solemn.

“The Unborn Man still has not returned. I’m afraid that Huangfu Chaoge might have already met Gu Hai. If Gu Hai works with the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty, it would be bad,” Mo Yike said worriedly.

One of the advisers felt puzzled and said, “Mister Mo, you are worrying too much. That Gu Hai is only one person. What can he do?”

Mo Yike shook his head and said, “I just have a bad feeling!”

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for October: 18 / 50

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