EIF - Book 03 Chapter 105: Ao Sheng’s True Thoughts
After Ao Shun’s wound stopped bleeding, he was brought away.
The countless observers remained speechless for a long time. They all felt strange as they looked at the distant Gu Hai.
Such a ferocious character had not appeared in the Thousand Islands Sea in eight centuries.
Just one dragon could sweep through nearly all the islands in the Thousand Islands Sea, yet there had been four thousand dragons—and at least one Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator.
No matter which island encountered this, they would not be able to resolve this.
However, the master of Nine-Five Island easily resolved this. The first time might be luck, but what about the second time?
“Master, the Han Royal Dynasty has been recruiting cultivators. This disciple would like to try out!”
“Father, the Han Royal Dynasty is becoming more prosperous with each passing day. The Han Royal Dynasty’s emperor also possesses extraordinary means. This child would like to serve the Han Royal Dynasty. Our clan cannot remain in an impoverished place like the Thousand Islands Sea forever. I would like to follow Gu Hai and accomplish great things!”
“Martial Uncle, please inform my master that I’m not returning. I would like to remain in the Han Royal Dynasty!”
Many cultivators suddenly gained a new yearning for the Han Royal Dynasty. It had been established for only one year and could already repel dragons. What more could it accomplish in the future?
The foggy ritual array slowly encased the palace. However, the eyes of countless cultivators brightened.
As for the Han Royal Dynasty’s danger? Their grudge with the dragons? Some worried but more thought well of Gu Hai’s chances. After all, this was not the only legendary feat that Gu Hai had pulled off.
More than a year ago, Gu Hai already demonstrated his sharpness in the Innate Puzzle World. Later on, he caused a storm, starting intense battles in Nine-Five Island, suppressing countless cultivators by force, and starting the Han Royal Dynasty. Now, the Han Royal Dynasty remained undefeated when facing dragons. Everyone believed that Gu Hai would make the Han Royal Dynasty increasingly stronger.
More importantly, the salary from the Han Royal Dynasty was extremely generous. There was even a spirit spring. What cultivation did the Han Royal Dynasty officials have? They had just been in the Acquired Realm. However, the Han Royal Dynasty was extremely willing to spend money on them over the past year. They got to soak in spirit springs, and most of them had advanced to the Innate Realm.
The Han Royal Dynasty contained boundless hope. However, if these cultivators remained in their sects in the Thousand Islands Sea, they would still be the same even when they died of old age.
After today, Chen Tianshan would have a lot of work, handling the recruitment.
Inside the foggy ritual array:
Sima Changkong stood on the Soaring Palace Hall’s plaza, leading a group of his subordinates.
“Mister Sima, many thanks for earlier!” Gu Hai smiled faintly.
“Mister Gu is too polite. I did not manage to help at all,” Sima Changkong said bitterly.
“Mister Sima’s kind intention was sufficient help. Haha! Mister Sima came from afar. How about you stay at my palace for a while, so I can properly play host to you?” Gu Hai smiled.
“I can’t. Prince Shenwu is fighting a war with Lu Yang. I have already wasted a lot of time coming here. I have to return immediately,” Sima Changkong said while shaking his head.
“Oh? Alright!” Gu Hai nodded with a solemn expression.
Killing the dragons was only Gu Hai’s third step in dealing with Lu Yang. He hoped to eliminate the Ying Royal Dynasty as quickly as possible.
“By the way, how are you going to deal with Ao Shun?” Sima Changkong asked out of curiosity.
Gu Hai looked at the nearby restrained Ao Shun and narrowed his eyes slightly. “Ao Shun? Leave him here with me for now.”
Sima Changkong nodded. “Be careful. This Ao Sheng is an extraordinary person. He was forced to go along only because he did not want to carry the name of killing his brother for the sake of pacifying the other dragons. However, in the future…”
“I know. I got lucky this time. I will be careful. However, if Mister Sima is going back, you’d best be faster,” Gu Hai said gravely.
“I have already released Lu An, letting a sin dragon rescue him. They should be heading for Ying Province right now. He and that sin dragon are bringing back two pieces of bad news: one, the dragon army is destroyed; two, Mo Yike is a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy,” Gu Hai said gravely.
“Huh?” Sima Changkong narrowed his eyes slightly.
“So, you’d best return at your fastest speed and make use of this. As for the effects, I’m not sure how effective it will be. However, isn’t it a good thing to create some chaos for them?” Gu Hai smiled.
“That’s right. Mo Yike? Ha! It’s good to create some trouble for him. He is Lu Yang’s smartest adviser.” Sima Changkong’s eyes lit up.
“I’ll be taking my leave!” Sima Changkong smiled and bowed.
Gu Hai bowed back.
Then, Sima Changkong took out a flying ship and boarded it. After it soared into the sky, it rushed out of the ritual array and headed for the Divine Continent.
Outside Nine-Five Island, a group of dragons surrounded a flying ship headed northwest.
Crown Prince Ao Sheng was on the flying ship.
He stood on the deck, a group of elders in front of him.
The elders looked at Ao Sheng and bowed sincerely.
“Many thanks, Crown Prince!” the elders said earnestly.
“Many thanks, Crown Prince!” The sin dragons flying around the flying ship also looked at Ao Sheng respectfully.
The dragons felt grateful to Ao Sheng for taking a step back. Ao Shun’s survival had depended on Ao Sheng’s retreat.
Among them, Elder Gen and Elder Lin appeared particularly sincere, looking fully convinced of Ao Sheng being the crown prince.
“Everyone, what are you saying? That is my royal brother. How could I bear to see him suffer? However…hah! I was still unable to save him!” Crown Prince Ao Sheng said with a bitter expression.
“Crown Prince, you have already done enough,” Elder Gen said respectfully.
“Indeed. Gu Hai is too crafty. We will return sooner or later!” Elder Lin said through clenched teeth.
“The humiliation of my dragon race is all Gu Hai’s fault!” the dragons said in hatred.
“Hah! It’s my fault for being incapable,” Ao Sheng said bitterly.
Elder Gen shook his head and said, “Crown Prince, you cannot be blamed. It is Ao Shun’s fault for falling for Gu Hai’s trick. Crown Prince only chose to back off for your elder brother’s sake. You cannot be blamed.”
“Indeed. If Ao Shun did not get caught, Crown Prince would not have had to back off.” Elder Lin immediately absolved Ao Sheng of all blame.
Ao Sheng looked at the two and nodded. Then, he said, “That’s fine. Let’s not talk about this for now. When we return, I’ll go to the Qian Heavenly Emperor to get him back. I believe that Gu Hai will not dare harm Royal Brother further.”
The dragons nodded.
After this recounting, everyone left to work on their own things.
However, Ao Sheng walked to the stern and looked to the distant Nine-Five Island.
As Ao Sheng looked at Nine-Five Island, he did not feel angry because of Gu Hai. Instead, he showed a faint smile.
“Gu Hai? Should I blame you or thank you? Ha!” Ao Sheng muttered as he showed a faint smile.
Although Ao Sheng suffered a setback today, he gained the hearts of the entire dragon race because of it. Now, the entire dragon race acknowledged him as the crown prince.
Han Royal Dynasty’s palace, Nine-Five Island:
After dealing with the threat of the dragon race, Gu Hai went on calmly to deal with the government affairs that had piled up in his absence.
Most of this work had been dealt with by Crown Prince Gu Qin already. However, there were some things that the crown prince was not qualified to do and required Gu Hai’s personal handling.
In the study:
Gu Hai sat behind the desk, with a group of important Han Royal Dynasty officials and the crown prince standing in front.
The ones in the left column were the general managers that Gu Hai trusted the most in the past. Now, they were valued officials.
Gu Qin, Gao Xianzhi, Chen Tianshan, Meng Tai, and the others stood in the right column.
During this year, Meng Tai had executed many corrupt officials, many of whom were relatives of these important officials. He stared at these officials. He had already prepared all sorts of evidence in case these important officials complained about him so that he could deal with the complaints.
However, these ex-general managers were people who had followed Gu Hai in the past, all very shrewd people. They understood Gu Hai extremely well. The Embroidered Uniform Guard was set up to deal with corruption. Now that the Han Royal Dynasty was prospering, although their relatives were executed, their relatives had been asking for it. They had already been warned not to take bribes, but they had still done so. Furthermore, the Han Royal Dynasty was just established. The general managers did not just hold high positions but had also all broken into the Innate Realm. They had hope for living a long life. As for those relatives who courted death, let them suffer for their own crimes.
Although Meng Tai felt anxious, the officials only discussed important government affairs. There was not a single mention of the Embroidered Uniform Guard’s bloodbath.
“Your Majesty, over the past year, Nine-Five Island has already been united. Although those mundane nations resisted at first, they soon came to terms with this and went with the flow,” Gao Xianzhi said with a smile.
“Gao Xianzhi, good job!” Gu Hai praised with a smile.
The previous great strategist of the Song Nation was incredible at strategizing for war. Within a short time, he had used the Han Royal Dynasty’s resources and completed his task. This indeed required rewarding.
“This is expected of this official!” Gao Xianzhi smiled.
“Your Majesty, after the dragons left a few days ago, many cultivators came to apply to my Han Royal Dynasty. The numbers are increasing every day. Now, my Han Royal Dynasty is taking in all sorts of talents.”
Gu Hai narrowed his eyes slightly and said, “The Thousand Islands Sea is too impoverished in the end.”
“Huh?” Everyone felt confused.
“However, we cannot leave the Thousand Islands Sea be. Chen Tianshan!” Gu Hai called out.
“This official is present!”
“There are twenty Nascent Soul Realm treants among the two thousand love flower treants. These treants are temporarily assigned to you. Recruit soldiers from all over the Thousand Islands Sea,” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” Chen Tianshan answered, feeling curious.
“The Thousand Islands Sea cultivators are weak and scattered. As a result, the Divine Continent’s factions feel great disdain for them. However, we need them. If they are scattered, then gather them. We need the power of countless cultivators. Recruit from all over the place. It does not matter what means you use; the more soldiers, the better. We want to see a cultivator army as soon as possible,” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” Chen Tianshan answered.
“Imperial Father, do you want to send a military expedition to the Divine Continent?” Gu Qin asked, feeling curious.
“That’s right. Ultimately, the Thousand Islands Sea’s scale is too small. The Han Royal Dynasty needs to grow stronger. The Thousand Islands Sea is far from sufficient. We need to launch a military campaign into the Divine Continent,” Gu Hai said seriously.
“Then, what about our Nine-Five Island?” Gu Qin asked with a frown.
This was where the Han Royal Dynasty started, after all.
“Everything will depend on the future. If there is a need, we can change our capital,” Gu Hai said.
“Actually, we don’t have to change capitals. I have a way,” Gu Qin said with a frown.
“There is a ritual array in Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance, which this child received. It can float the entire Nine-Five Island. However, it is very slow,” Gu Qin explained.
“Oh? There is such a ritual array?” Gu Hai’s eyes lit up.
“Yes. However, it requires too many spirit stones—one billion superior-grade spirit stones a year,” Gu Qin said with a bitter smile.
“One billion superior-grade spirit stones every year?” Gu Hai raised his eyebrows.
The Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty had accumulated two hundred million superior-grade spirit stones only after centuries. Yet, this ritual array would consume one billion superior-grade spirit stones every year?
“Yes. Furthermore, this ritual array will require the shards of the Heavenly Go Stone. The one billion superior-grade spirit stones are not just to make the island float. It is also to form a divine tool for the Han Royal Dynasty. More accurately, nine hundred million of the one billion superior-grade spirit stones would be used to nourish this Han Royal Dynasty divine tool, which is the main support for this ritual array,” Gu Qin said gravely.
“The Heavenly Go Stone’s shards?” Gu Hai raised his eyebrows.
“Yes. I only discovered it after obtaining Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance and searching it thoroughly. It turned out that Old Mister Guan Qi shattered the Heavenly Go Stone into one thousand eighty-nine pieces and infused them into one thousand eighty-nine treasures,” Gu Hai said.
“One thousand eighty-nine? Isn’t that the same number as the islands in the Thousand Islands Sea?” Meng Tai said, feeling curious.
“One thousand eighty-nine, thirty-three multiplied by thirty-three? Could it be the Thirty-Three Line-Pair World…” Gu Hai frowned slightly, entering deep thought.
“Imperial Father, based on my understanding of the inheritance, the five authority tokens of Elite Hall’s five divisions are five of the treasures. They each contain a fragment of the Heavenly Go Stone,” Gu Qin explained.
“Oh?” This slightly startled Gu Hai.
“If we gather the Heavenly Go Stone fragments and forge a Han Nation divine tool, Imperial Father can use this divine tool not just to float an island but also to form a huge ritual array to protect my Nine-Five Island. This was what the Heavenly Go Pavilion did back then. The only regretful thing is that it requires too many spirit stones—one billion superior-grade spirit stones every year,” Gu Qin said bitterly.
Gu Hai rapped on the table gently, pondering this.
The study fell quiet. Everyone waited for Gu Hai to decide. After all, the Han Royal Dynasty was recently established, and it lacked funds. Yet one billion superior-grade spirit stones would last only one year? The Han Royal Dynasty could do a lot of things with one billion superior-grade spirit stones.
After some silence, Gu Hai took a deep breath and said, “Money is not a problem. Quickly make a diagram of this ritual array in detail for us to see.”
“Yes!” Gu Qin answered.
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