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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 097: Welcoming Dragons with Doors Open Wide

Nine-Five Island:

Sima Changkong arrived silently with his subordinates, smoothly entering the imperial casino’s holiday villa.

He participated in all the gambling activities with his subordinates and marveled after that.

“Lottery? Horse racing? They are indeed fresh and novel. This imperial casino is a great business!” Sima Changkong continued marveling when he returned to his villa to rest.

Sima Changkong tried out foot reflexology, hot springs, pedicures, massages, skin scrapping, and many more services.

“Why did no one report these special businesses in the imperial casino to me previously?” Sima Changkong complained to his subordinates.

“Milord, how could we have had time to enjoy all these back then?” one of the subordinates retorted, feeling wronged.

“Alright. Gu Hai returned yesterday, and Ao Shun should be arriving soon. Have you managed to discover anything while scouting these days?” Sima Changkong asked.

“No, we did not,” the subordinates said bitterly.

“None at all?” Sima Changkong asked, feeling puzzled.

“Yes, yes. Hey, wait. That’s right. There’s one thing. I’m not sure if it is useful,” one of the subordinates said with a frown.

“Oh?”

“We saw many stonemasons and sculptors carving dragons all day and night at the shore of Nine-Five Island,” one of the subordinates said.

“Carving dragons?” Sima Changkong echoed in confusion.

“Yes. They carved many stone dragons. However, these carvings are not very detailed, only having the silhouette of dragons. After they finished carving one, they would immediately toss it into the sea,” that subordinate said.

“Stone dragons?” Sima Changkong frowned as he thought deeply.

------

Inside a ritual array within the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace:

When Gao Xianzhi returned with Ensnaring Performance, cold sweat dotted his forehead as he looked at Ensnaring Performance.

“Lord Gao, you understand the arts. You even listened to two of my songs. However, Master told me to stop singing for you for now. I’ll sing for you again in the future,” Ensnaring Performance said excitedly.

Ensnaring Performance thought he finally found someone who appreciated his songs. Those children who did not understand anything did not count. Gao Xianzhi listened to him sing two songs and even applauded, moving him. 

Gao Xianzhi was pale. At that time, he only clapped to snap Ensnaring Performance out of an intoxicated state. Had Ensnaring Performance continued singing, he would have attacked.

More singing?

“Alright. Ensnaring Performance, you are not to sing to Gao Xianzhi without his permission in the future!” Gu Hai scolded.

“Ah? No, Lord Gao likes my songs!” Ensnaring Performance rebutted.

“Many thanks, Your Majesty!” Gao Xianzhi bowed gratefully to Gu Hai.

Ensnaring Performance: “…”

“Mu Chenfeng, I already gained a rough understanding of the way Ao Sheng speaks and his tone. You also cultivate the music Dao, so you should be very sensitive to sound. Explain the special characteristics of Ao Sheng’s voice to Ensnaring Performance,” Gu Hai instructed.

“Yes!” Mu Chenfeng nodded gravely.

After some description, Ensnaring Performance grasped Ao Sheng’s voice.

“Ensnaring Performance, when the time comes, your job is to amplify my voice and turn it into Ao Sheng’s voice,” Gu Hai said gravely.

“Oh? That is simple.” Ensnaring Performance nodded.

Ensnaring Performance was a heaven-grade zither, so altering sound was extremely easy for him. After a few attempts, he replicated Gu Hai’s tone, inflections, pauses, and cadences in Ao Sheng’s voice while amplifying them.

“That’s right. This is indeed Ao Sheng’s voice. Although I have not heard it for a few centuries, I am sure of it.” Miao Chen nodded.

“That is good.” Gu Hai let out a long breath.

“However, will this work? Ao Shun is not a fool?” Miao Chen asked, still feeling confused.

“That’s why I need all the treants and your hundreds of black tortoise experts to help me. Just follow my arrangements and commands,” Gu Hai said gravely.

“Oh?” Miao Chen said, still confused.

------

Three days later:

“Roar!”

A loud dragon roar rang out above the Thousand Islands Sea.

Outside Nine-Five Island, the dragons left their flying ship and rushed in the direction of the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace on Nine-Five Island.

Ao Shun stood on a dragon’s head, looking coldly at the distant palace. That place was very eye-catching. Surging blessings churned in the sky, making the palace easily identifiable. 

There were many dragons flying in the sky—one thousand dragons and a total of three thousand flood dragons and baxias.

The dragons came en masse, appearing aggressive and exuding a ferocious air.

Dark clouds covered the sky wherever Ao Shun and the dragons went, causing lightning to flash and heavy rain to fall.

“The Han Royal Dynasty’s blessings? Those must have been plundered from the Heptagold Sect. Humph! The Han Royal Dynasty? It is just a small island. To think that they dare to call themselves a royal dynasty?” Ao Shun said with an icy expression.

“Crown Prince, that is the place. Gu Hai’s son and subordinates must be there!”

“Hey? Why do I not see Leader Liao Ya?”

“That’s right. Leader Liao Ya and the others should have arrived before us!”

The dragons appeared confused.

However, Ao Shun showed an icy gaze.

The churning dark clouds headed towards the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace, bringing heavy rain.

“Look! There are so many dragons!”

“Dragons? So many of them?”

“Is that a flood dragon? No, there are humongous dragons as well, true dragons!”

As the rain fell, countless ordinary citizens revealed horrified expressions.

The dragons did not suppress their berserk aura, wantonly unleashing all of it. When the mighty aura spread out, the citizens below grew fearful. This aura made breathing difficult for the citizens, giving them the feeling of the sky falling and terrifying them.

The countless cultivators from the Thousand Islands Sea felt chills at this moment.

“How did the Han Royal Dynasty offend so many dragons?”

“This is an aura resulting from anger. Are these dragons here to destroy the Han Royal Dynasty?”

“It’s over. It’s over for the Han Royal Dynasty!”

Countless cultivators expressed horror. They wanted to flee this calamity, but they also felt curious.

Gu Hai was a legendary character in the Thousand Islands Sea. Such a disturbance was overly exaggerated. The Han Royal Dynasty offended so many experts? With the dragons attacking together, they could sweep through the entire Thousand Islands Sea.

Countless cultivators looked towards the palace curiously. Some of the island masters from the Thousand Islands Sea’s other islands also felt startled and curious. They resisted the mighty pressure and flew towards the palace.

The Han Royal Dynasty had pinned a large number of Thousand Islands Sea Nascent Soul Realm experts to a cliff near the palace.

Was Gu Hai going to suffer retribution after less than a year?

The busybodies were innumerable.

At this moment, the place where the most cultivators gathered in the imperial casino were the horse races.

The horse race had not finished yet, but all the horses started stampeding over the place.

“What’s going on?” Many of the gamblers appeared confused.

Rumble… 

Thunder came from the distance, drawing the gamblers’ attention.

Gasp!

When the gamblers turned their heads, they inhaled sharply.

To the Thousand Islands Sea cultivators, the battle between one flood dragon and one baxia in the past had already been sufficiently shocking. However, these cultivators could see thousands of flood dragons and baxias and one thousand dragons in the distance, all fuming with rage as they charged towards the palace.

What is happening?

Many of the gamblers quickly left out of fear.

However, many busybody gamblers remained out of curiosity.

Sima Changkong and his subordinates already stood at the sky deck of their pavilion, the place with the best view.

“They are finally here. Ha!” A bright gleam flashed in Sima Changkong’s eyes.

“Milord, it is over for Gu Hai’s Han Royal Dynasty. To think that Ao Shun brought such a vast dragon army with him? Three thousand sub-dragons and one thousand dragons!” a subordinate exclaimed in shock.

“Indeed. This makes it interesting.” A bright gleam flashed in Sima Changkong’s eyes.

As Sima Changkong spoke, he turned his head to look at the palace.

The palace appeared extremely calm. Even the foggy ritual array that normally remained activated was off. It was like the doors were left wide open; anyone could barge in.

If it were in the past, some of the scoundrelly people of the Thousand Islands Sea would take this opportunity to sneak in. However, who would dare do so now?

The thousands of dragons seemed to have come to destroy the Han Royal Dynasty. Any intruder would be seeking death if they went.

“Milord, is he not even activating a single ritual array? What else does Gu Hai have to rely on?” One of Sima Changkong’s subordinates appeared puzzled.

Sima Changkong frowned as well.

------

Far in the distance, Ao Shun stood on the head of the frontmost dragon. They had already arrived near the palace.

However, Ao Shun raised his eyebrows when he saw the wide-open palace.

I brought over my dragon army in an aggressive manner. The people in the Han Royal Dynasty’s capital should have seen us long ago. Why is there no reaction at all?

“Roar! Roar! Roar! Roar!”

The dragons roared as they rushed even more aggressively towards the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace.

The palace remained extremely calm. The surrounding guards did not move at all, not showing any fear, either.

Boom!

The dragons arrived noisily somewhere near the palace. However, Ao Shun narrowed his eyes and slowed down. The dragons all felt puzzled.

“Crown Prince, something is not right. To think that the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace did not react to our arrival at all?” the dragon that Ao Shun stood on said.

“That doesn’t matter. Crown Prince, we should just level this palace first. We can capture some people later on and ask where Gu Hai’s son is,” another dragon said with a ferocious expression.

Boom!

Ao Shun was about to nod when a puissant aura surged out abruptly from the palace’s Soaring Palace Hall.

Churning dark clouds suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The new dark clouds clashed with the dark clouds that the dragons summoned.

Boom! Crack!

The two sets of dark clouds clashed with each other. Then, the aura coming from the Soaring Palace Hall immediately withdrew. The dark clouds in the sky suddenly vanished as well.

“A Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator’s aura?” The expression of one of the dragons suddenly changed.

The thousands of dragons and sub-dragons instantly stopped outside the palace, looking coldly at the Soaring Palace Hall in the distance.

The Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator’s aura vanished, and the weather phenomenon vanished as well. This gave the thousands of dragons and sub-dragons pause.

“Dugu Qiubai? Humph!” Ao Shun’s expression turned cold and ferocious.

Ao Shun thought that it was Dugu Qiubai, who had embarrassed him previously.

“Gu Qin! Officials of the Han Royal Dynasty! Get out here!” Ao Shun called out coldly.

The Soaring Palace Hall’s doors opened.

Gu Qin slowly walked out of the Soaring Palace Hall together with the officials.

When all the officials walked out of the hall, they looked up and saw the thousands of dragons and sub-dragons. They suddenly felt chilled but still put on a strong and calm front.

Gu Qin stood at the very front. At this moment, he did not show any panic at all, only a faint smile.

This faint smile startled the dragons.

“Crown Prince, he is the one. He is Gu Qin, Gu Hai’s eldest son. I have seen a portrait of him before!” a humongous dragon called out.

“Crown Prince, shall I go capture him?” a black dragon said.

“Crown Prince? Haha! You dragons are really bold? Who is this dragon crown prince? Are you planning to establish another dragon palace?” Gu Qin sneered.

Ao Shun continued looking around. To think that the palace did not set up any defenses at all. According to Mister Mo’s information, this palace should have ritual arrays surrounding it. Why is there nothing?

“How audacious! Crown Prince, I’ll go capture him. They are just an insignificant nation, and they want to act all mysterious?” That black dragon wanted to charge over, apparently in a rush to claim contributions.

Whoosh!

That dragon charged over. With its gigantic dragon claws, it looked like it would instantly break the Soaring Palace Hall and shred the officials before capturing Gu Qin.

However, Gu Qin just stood in place without moving, not betraying any fear as he watched coldly.

That black dragon that charged over appeared puzzled. Is this person crazy? Is he not afraid of death?

Just as the black dragon was about to arrive at the Soaring Palace Hall, a voice suddenly came from the Soaring Palace Hall.

“Ha! Royal Brother, have your underlings turned muddleheaded from flying for too long, no longer able to remember who the crown prince is?” An extremely calm voice came from the palace hall.

Buzz!

The black dragon’s claw suddenly stopped in midair. Its body also froze there.

Dread struck the black dragon, chills coursing all over its body. It felt like someone instantly choked its neck, giving it goosebumps.

This voice…this voice is…? 

The black dragon instantly thought of a terrifying possibility. It slowly flew back, not daring to land that claw attack.

The voice sounded calm and indifferent. However, despite its calm and indifference, all the dragons’ expressions changed.

Even Ao Shun’s face sank, a ferocious light appearing in his eyes.

The dragons all paused.

Countless cultivators marveled as they looked in the Soaring Palace Hall’s direction. With no ritual arrays activated, they had a clear view. They could make out Gu Qin’s indifference and lack of fear with one look.

“Who is in the Soaring Palace Hall? With just a few words, he scared that black dragon away.”

“No wonder Gu Qin is not afraid. It turns out that he invited an expert over.”

“Who is it? Who is this person who managed to scare all the dragons?”

Countless cultivators appeared curious as they goggled at this scene.

------

In the imperial casino’s holiday villa:

Sima Changkong also raised his eyebrows. “This voice? It’s the dragon crown prince, Ao Sheng?”

“What? Gu Hai invited the dragon crown prince, Ao Sheng, over? No wonder they are so certain of dealing with Ao Shun!” one of the subordinates exclaimed.

“It is that Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator’s aura from earlier. There’s no mistake. It is definitely Ao Sheng!”

“This is going to be interesting. Are Ao Sheng and Ao Shun going to fight again?”

Sima Changkong’s subordinates appeared curious. Only Sima Changlong looked at the distant Soaring Palace Hall with a complicated expression, frowning as he pondered this.

Ao Sheng is the true dragon crown prince. The dragons definitely would have heard his voice before; how could they mistake it? However, why would Crown Prince Ao Sheng be here?

------

The dragons immediately turned restless. While most of the sub-dragons had never met Ao Sheng, some of them had. Once word of this spread, all the sub-dragons also turned restless. The sub-dragons followed Ao Shun so that they could evolve into true dragons. However, the true dragon crown prince was here. Should they attack him?

“Crown Prince, that is just the traitorous Ao Sheng. We can make use of this opportunity today and take him down together!” one of the lawless red dragons said ferociously.

Bang!

A head was suddenly tossed out from a nearby side palace hall.

“Liao Ya’s head?” The earlier ferocious red dragon appeared shocked.

“This dragon went against his superior, showing disrespect for me. This is your subordinate, right, Royal Brother?” Ao Sheng’s voice came from the Soaring Palace Hall again.

This one dragon head shocked the red dragon who wanted to fight earlier into swallowing the words it was about to say.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for October: 37 / 50

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