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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 098: Telling a Story to Prove Ao Sheng’s Identity

Inside a palace hall in the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace, Lu An remained bound, showing a horrified face as Meng Tai stood beside him, staring at him coldly. Meng Tai held a stained sword, which he then placed on Lu An’s shoulder, using Lu An’s clothes to wipe the stained sword.

Lu An gazed at Meng Tai in horror, afraid that Meng Tai’s sword would accidentally slip and cut him in two.

Rumble…!

“Roar! Roar! Roar!”

The dragons outside roared.

“It’s Ao Shun! They are here! Crown Prince Ao Shun and the others are here. This is great!” Lu An suddenly turned excited.

“Huh?” Meng Tai narrowed his eyes. Then, his sword suddenly cut Lu An’s clothes.

“I’ll stop shouting. I’ll stop!” Lu An cried out in horror.

“Humph!” Meng Tai said indifferently.

“You…you are called Meng Tai? Now that Ao Shun brought the dragons here, the Han Royal Dynasty is definitely finished. Let me go, and I will recommend you to my grandfather. I will definitely get you a position with great authority and status. As long as you can rescue me, I will heavily repay you,” Lu An said carefully. 

“Ha! You? You want to repay me? The Ying Royal Dynasty is about to be destroyed, and you are speaking about giving me a high position? Ha!” Meng Tai sneered.

“That’s impossible! My Ying Royal Dynasty is countless times stronger than the Han Royal Dynasty. Furthermore, with Ao Shun here, the Han Royal Dynasty will be leveled soon!” Lu An said skeptically.

“Do you think that Ao Shun can leave alive?” Meng Tai said coldly.

“That’s impossible. You can’t possibly be Ao Shun’s match!” Lu An said with an unsightly expression.

Meng Tai revealed a disdainful smile, but he did not explain.

However, Lu An showed a complicated expression. He could not figure out how Gu Hai could deal with Ao Shun. That is impossible. However, why is Meng Tai so certain? There must be a problem somewhere. There must be a problem. Could it be as I guessed, that Mister Mo is a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy? That’s right. If Mister Mo is a spy, no one can figure it out, not even Grandfather. Could there really be a problem with him?

Once a person started thinking negatively, they would end up in a downwards spiral. This was especially so for people who considered themselves smart, like Lu An. They would end up filling in the gaps with their own imagination.

That’s impossible. If Mister Mo is really a spy, doesn’t that mean he purposely used us as bait to lure out Ao Shun and the dragons to capture all the dragons in one go? In that case, that can only be one possibility. The Qian Heavenly Emperor has sent experts to wait here? Lu An analyzed.

Indeed, Ao Sheng’s voice came from outside the ritual array after some commotion.

Buzz!

Lu An’s mind buzzed when a thought suddenly occurred to him.

Ao Sheng? That’s right. This is Ao Sheng’s voice. I met him with Grandfather previously. It’s true? It’s all true?! Lu An’s horror soared as he verified his wild imagination.

Meng Tai is not afraid because Ao Sheng is here.

It’s true that Mister Mo is a spy? It’s all true?

Lu An felt plunged in horror.

It’s over? It’s all over?!

At the side, Meng Tai revealed a cold smile. Lu An had not noticed that the palm holding the sword was already wet with sweat. Meng Tai also felt very anxious.

When Meng Tai heard the sounds outside, he did as Gu Hai asked, slowly putting away his sword.

The moment Meng Tai sheathed his sword, Lu An suddenly shouted, “Crown Prince Ao Shun, save me!”

------

Outside the Soaring Palace Hall:

Liao Ya’s head flying out gave all the dragons pause.

The dragon race prohibited killing each other. Anyone who did so would be branded a sin dragon. Yet, Liao Ya was killed?

Ao Shun had eight leaders under him. This Liao Ya was one of them. Furthermore, Liao Ya was among the stronger ones. Yet, Ao Sheng killed Liao Ya without hesitation?

Ao Shun narrowed his eyes as he stared at the Soaring Palace Hall. Ao Sheng? Why is he here?

The dragons turned restless. All of them looked at Ao Shun, waiting for his commands.

Suddenly, a yell came from a nearby side palace hall.

“Crown Prince Ao Shun! Save me!”

“Huh?” Ao Shun’s expression changed.

Lu An’s voice? Ao Shun extended a hand and swiped.

Rumble…!

The roof of that nearby palace hall exploded, instantly revealing the anxious Meng Tai with his sword drawn and placed against Lu An’s throat.

“Are you seeking death?” Meng Tai glared.

“My grandfather is in danger! Mo Yike is a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy. He planned this to kill you!” Lu An suddenly shouted.

“You bastard!” Meng Tai knocked Lu An unconscious with a palm strike.

Meng Tai held Lu An and placed his sword against Lu An’s neck.

“How audacious!” the dragons roared furiously.

“Move, and I will kill him!” Meng Tai showed a ferocious expression.

Ao Shun glared. He was about to say something when a voice suddenly came from the Soaring Palace Hall.

“This is a dragon race matter. Let me deal with this. However, the matter of Lu Yang’s rebellion is not something I should be dealing with. I was the one who spared Lu An. Ha! After all, he is Lu Yang’s descendant. I should not be the one killing him!” Ao Sheng’s voice came from the Soaring Palace Hall.

Ao Shun and the dragons stopped. They looked at the nearby Meng Tai, who held Lu An hostage, with complicated expressions. However, they did not do anything. At least Lu An would not die for now.

However, what did Lu An’s earlier words mean?

Down below, Meng Tai broke out in cold sweat as he held Lu An hostage. This felt like walking on a tightrope. Fortunately, the dragons could not move, just like Gu Hai anticipated.

At the Soaring Palace Hall’s entrance, Gu Qin inwardly let out his bated breath when he saw Lu An.

Lu An’s shout was initially not part of Imperial Father’s plans. However, Imperial Father wanted to improve the plan further, perfecting it. That’s why he ended up making this last-minute arrangement, using a lousy teammate to trap the others. This was a risky move. However, Imperial Father made the right choice in choosing Meng Tai.

“Mo Yike is a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy? That’s impossible!” Ao Shun immediately said coldly.

“Crown Prince, something’s not right. Mo Yike did not stop you from bringing us?”

“Mo Yike’s identity has always been a mystery.”

“Mo Yike purposely set this up?”

“Mo Yike arranged this with Ao Sheng?”

“That is the crown heir. He could not possibly intend harm for His Majesty!”

The dragons felt restless.

------

Far away in the imperial casino’s holiday villa, Sima Changkong frowned heavily as he looked at the distant scene. “Mo Yike is His Holy Eminence’s man? He purposely set this up and worked with Ao Sheng to trap Ao Shun? What an obvious reason and logical conclusion! Given this, it explains Ao Sheng’s presence here. This would erase a lot of suspicions. Unfortunately, I am very sure that Mo Yike is definitely not His Holy Eminence’s man. Otherwise, Prince Shenwu would have been aware of it long ago!”

“However, what if His Holy Eminence arranged for this covertly?” a subordinate asked softly.

Sima Changkong frowned slightly and said, “No, that’s not right. Gu Hai is telling a story.”

“Ah?” Sima Changkong’s subordinates revealed confused expressions.

“Gu Hai is telling the dragons a story. The purpose of the story is to prove that the one in the Soaring Palace Hall is Ao Sheng,” Sima Changkong said with narrowed eyes.

“The one in the Soaring Palace Hall is not Ao Sheng?” one of the subordinates asked in confusion.

However, Sima Changkong gently shook his head and said, “The story is not over yet. Don’t make any noise!”

Sima Changkong’s subordinates appeared puzzled. Why were their lord’s words incomprehensible to them?

Ao Shun looked at the Soaring Palace Hall with an unsightly expression. Could Mister Mo really be a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy? Did he trap me, getting Ao Sheng to lie in wait for me here? If that is so, it is too terrifying. The Ying Royal Dynasty is in danger. Are all our plans over these years just a joke?

Is it true? Are Young Master An’s words true?

“Crown Prince, no matter what, Ao Sheng probably has not brought soldiers here. Perhaps we can kill him and eliminate this traitor here!” a red dragon leader said coldly.

Ao Shun suddenly narrowed his eyes slightly. That’s true.

“Haha! Royal Brother, your subordinate is rather humorous. Indeed, I am alone. I did not bring anyone. How about some of you come over and give it a try?” Ao Sheng’s voice rang out.

The dragons froze for a while.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Just at this moment, churning dark clouds suddenly appeared around the surrounding sea regions of Nine-Five Island. However, the dark clouds soon vanished after appearing.

The dragons turned their heads to look.

They saw large dragon tails occasionally come out of the water of a distant sea region, then instantly return into the water.

They could not see dragons above the sea. However, they could vaguely make out the silhouette of a humongous dragon swimming in shallow water. All they could see was a dark shadow. However, that was already sufficient. That was definitely a dragon without mistake.

It was not just one. There were at least ten humongous dark dragon figures swimming around.

However, they were not just ten, either. There were hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands.

When Ao Shun’s dragons aggressively charged into Nine-Five Island, they had not carefully checked the sea. Now that they took a look, they immediately inhaled sharply.

At least ten thousand humongous dragons already surround us?

Nine-Five Island is surrounded by dragons?

“Royal Brother, we are siblings, after all. It is not appropriate for your subordinates to interrupt when we speak!” Ao Sheng’s voice rang out.

The previously ferocious dragons suddenly showed stiff expressions. This was especially so for the red dragon leader who suggested killing Ao Sheng. It gaped for a long time, not knowing what to say.

------

At the same time, at the bottom of the sea in the distance:

A group of treants and black tortoises dragged huge stone dragons around the bottom of the sea.

“Be careful. Sink the stone dragons deeper. They just need to see a black shadow; don’t expose us. Also, your coordination when we black tortoises called on the dark clouds was not tight enough. You were slightly slower. Be careful and don’t make mistakes,” a black tortoise scolded another black tortoise.

“Yes, Grandfather!” the other black tortoise apologized.

On the other side, a treant swam around using tree branches to tow five stone dragons. It frowned at another treant and said, “There was no need to be so polite with that earlier dragon. Back then, they came with Liao Ya to capture the young master and got their cultivations sealed. Just grab their heads and occasionally make their tails come out of the water. Be sure to hold tight. Any dragon wanting to peek its head out of the water is trying to expose us. Just directly kill them if they try to do that.”

“Yes!” a nearby treant answered.

------

At the imperial casino’s holiday villa:

As Sima Changkong’s vantage was not sufficiently high, his range of vision was not vast enough. However, he instantly guessed what happened, his expression suddenly changing. “I understand. I understand now. Stone dragons? A discredited idea returns in another guise? I nearly got fooled!”

“Ah?” Sima Changkong’s subordinates appear puzzled.

“First step: inducing suspicions. Second step: confusing the targets. Third step: showing a superficial appearance. Gu Hai told a great story!” Sima Changkong said in awe while frowning.

“Huh? Milord, are you saying that Ao Shun and the others think the stone dragons are real dragons?” one of the subordinates asked.

“That’s right. Gu Hai used three steps to tell us three things,” Sima Changkong said in awe.

“What?”

“The first step: inducing suspicions. It tells us that what we hear might not be true. The second step: confusing the targets. Even the things that your most trusted person tells you might not be true. The third step: showing a superficial appearance. What you see might not be true, either,” Sima Changkong said.

“Huh? It’s not true? It should be Ao Sheng in the Soaring Palace Hall, right?” a subordinate asked in confusion.

“Indeed, Milord. I feel that it is Ao Sheng in there,” another subordinate said with a frown.

Sima Changkong ignored his subordinates. Instead, he listened to Ao Sheng’s voice, which came from the Soaring Palace Hall.

“Royal Brother, do you remember back then, when I was not the crown prince, and you were not the crown prince? At that time, we did not target each other like now, at least. At that time, you were the elder brother, and I was the younger brother. Those times were great. Hah!” Ao Sheng’s voice rang out again.

“The fourth step: complaints. Gu Hai made so many preparations, telling such a long story, just to prove that Ao Sheng is in the Soaring Palace Hall?” Sima Changkong looked gravely into the distance.

Gu Hai has confused even my subordinates. What more the dragons in the sky?

“Elder brother? Ha! Hahahaha! Do you still see me as your elder brother?” Ao Shun glared, betraying a trace of resentment.

“The past can only be the past. What did you do for me? It is not like I have never done anything for you. Have you forgotten? Or do you remember only your part?” Ao Sheng’s voice rang out.

“Milord, it has to be Ao Sheng in there. Otherwise, how would he know what happened when Ao Shun was young?” one of the subordinates rebutted.

Sima Changkong looked at his subordinates and could not be bothered to explain. Ao Sheng’s voice seemed to be telling stories from when the two brothers were young. However, Ao Sheng’s voice did not actually explain anything. It required the other party to fill in the gaps. This was the magic of speech.

While this voice did not say anything, the other party heard many things from it.

------

“Back then? Do you still remember the past? Back then, when you got bullied by that octopus spirit, I chased after it for five hundred kilometers and nearly got eaten by it. What did you do for me? You only asked our father for an Essence Replenishing Pill. When you wanted to go out and play, I hid it from Father and the others and secretly brought you out. When we returned, I got punished, but nothing happened to you. Do you even still remember this elder brother of yours? You forced me off the crown prince position and snatched my place. This is my excellent younger brother. Truly my excellent younger brother!” Ao Shun roared with a ferocious expression.

The dragons remained quiet.

Ao Sheng’s voice rang out again. “Royal Brother, we all have to grow up eventually. It is no longer the past, right? You were the crown prince, but now you are no longer the crown prince. We are still brothers in the end. I do not want to fight you to the death the moment we meet. I’ll remain in this palace hall and not come out to meet you for now.” 

“Haha! You don’t want to fight to the death, but you laid a trap for me?” Rage flashed in Ao Shun’s eyes.

------

Far in the distance, Sima Changkong sighed, “Ha! He refuses to come out because he does not want to meet Ao Shun? What an excuse using familial ties! After bringing in familial ties, one can cook up all sorts of shameless reasons and still have them be effective. Ha! This makes it seem like Ao Sheng is in the Soaring Palace Hall!”

“Huh? Milord, isn’t it Ao Sheng in there in the first place?” a subordinate asked, feeling puzzled.

Sima Changkong looked at his subordinates and sighed softly. His subordinates had already been tricked. What more the dragons in the sky?

Gu Hai used four steps to tell a story: inducing suspicions, confusing the targets, showing a superficial appearance, and complaints. Now, it no longer mattered who was in the Soaring Palace Hall. To the dragons, it was Ao Sheng.

Gu Hai’s story had already taken effect. He had successfully created an Ao Sheng.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for October: 38 / 50

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