EIF - Book 03 Chapter 107: Seven Victories and One Defeat
In the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace, Nine-Five Island:
Gu Hai erected another grave in a small valley next to the valley where Chen Xianer’s grave was. On the grave marker, he wrote, “My beloved wife Long Wanqing’s grave.”
Gu Hai placed a bundle of flowers in front of the grave and revealed a faint smile.
“I know that your mortal soul is not here. However, I still erected a grave here for you. After all, this is your home. Xianer’s grave is in the neighboring valley. While your graves are not next to each other, I want to tell you two that you are both my beloved in my heart. There is a complete set of love for each of you. I only hope that you can come back to life one day and break your grave with your own hands. Hah!” Gu Hai sighed.
Gu Hai remained at Long Wanqing’s grave for a while before going to Chen Xianer’s grave in the next valley.
Gu Hai also placed down a bundle of fresh flowers and sat before the grave marker. He seemed to be muttering something, as though speaking to Chen Xianer.
“I have found Wanqing’s enemy and will deal with him soon. Xianer, I am still searching for your enemy. Right now, I have established the Han Royal Dynasty. If I remain content and stay in the Thousand Islands Sea, I will never be able to help you take revenge, so I am going to invade the Divine Continent. I know it is difficult, but I will do my best,” Gu Hai said with a ferocious expression.
Gu Hai lingered at the two graves for a while before returning to the palace.
When Gu Hai returned, he immediately sent out various orders. The entire Han Royal Dynasty started working very quickly. While Nine-Five Island was already united under one rule, the roads were still very rugged, so they fast-tracked building and widening roads.
Many animal spirits, venomous bugs, poisonous fogs, and various dangerous things could be found in the forests of Nine-Five Island. Gu Hai also sent many cultivators to deal with them.
Cultivators started carrying animal spirits out of the forests from various places in the nation, showing them to the citizens. Many citizens who suffered from the animal spirits’ attacks felt grateful to the Han Royal Dynasty, sending strands of beneficence to gather above the Soaring Palace Hall.
Gu Hai looked around at the Soaring Palace Hall’s plaza, appearing grave.
“Imperial Father, are you still worried about the battle in Ying Province?” Gu Qin frowned.
“There should be an effect from releasing Lu An. As long as Sima Changkong and the others make good use of that, they can make Lu Yang cut out his own support, wronging Mo Yike,” Gu Hai said.
“Oh?” Gu Qin said.
“Huh?” Gu Hai suddenly raised his eyebrows and looked into the distance.
He saw columns of black smoke rising into the air.
“Those are smoke signals. Are there foreign experts barging into my Han Nation again?” Gu Qin’s face sank.
A flying ship shot over from a distance and arrived at the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace in the blink of an eye.
When the flying ship came to an abrupt stop, a strong gust of wind blew.
Gu Hai frowned slightly as he looked coldly at that flying ship.
Many soldiers stood on that flying ship, and the one leading them was an azure-clad youth. That youth appeared pale and sickly as he held a handkerchief in his hand.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Cough! Cough!”
That youth seemed to be severely ill as he continuously coughed.
However, the many soldiers all treated the youth as their leader, following him without question.
“Prince Shenwu’s son, Long Sanqian, greets the Elite Hall Master! Cough! Cough! Cough! Cough!” The sickly youth coughed as he spoke.
“Prince Shenwu’s son?” Gu Hai raised his eyebrows.
Gu Qin could make out Gu Hai’s doubts. He said, “Imperial Father, according to the information collected by This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion, Prince Shenwu does have a son called Long Sanqian. However, Long Sanqian rarely appears in public. Even in the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, he is a mysterious figure, or rather, he is an unremarkable figure.”
Just at this moment, Mu Chenfeng flew over to Gu Hai. He had seen the flying ship arrive as well.
He immediately stepped forward and called out, “Hall Master, he is telling the truth. He is Prince Shenwu’s son, Long Sanqian.”
“Oh? Long Shenwu’s son? Why come to me?” Gu Hai appeared puzzled.
Gu Qin waved.
The surrounding fog suddenly scattered, allowing Long Sanqian, who was on the flying ship, to see Gu Hai.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Mister Gu, I’ve long heard of your great name. Please forgive me for arriving unannounced,” Long Sanqian said while smiling and coughing.
“Young Prince, you are too polite. Gu Hai has failed in receiving you. Please come in, and we can speak inside.” Gu Hai smiled.
The flying ship parked at the Soaring Palace Hall’s plaza, and Long Sanqian slowly disembarked from the flying ship. As he looked at Gu Hai, he smiled faintly and bowed. “Sorry for imposing on Mister Gu!”
“Young Prince is too polite!” Gu Hai responded but still felt puzzled.
“I don’t dare claim to be polite. Unfortunately, I am here to trouble Mister Gu. My noble father sent me here to invite Mister Gu to the battlefield at Ying Province,” Long Sanqian said politely.
“Oh?” Gu Hai said with a slight frown.
“We ran into a difficult problem on the battlefield in Ying Province. It is that heaven-grade zither Army Breaker. We would like to ask Mister Gu to bring Ensnaring Performance there and assist in defeating the enemy. Cough! Cough! Cough!” Long Sanqian explained politely.
“Assist in defeating the enemy? Has Sima Changkong not returned yet?” Gu Hai appeared slightly confused.
“Mister Sima? He has returned. Many thanks to Mister Gu’s setup; it has already shown some effect. That Mo Yike ran into endless trouble, frustrating him. Although Lu Yang does not say it, Lu Yang no longer trusts him as much as before,” Long Sanqian said politely.
“After Mister Gu tricked Lu An, he returned to Lu Yang’s official residence and immediately accused Mo Yike of being a Qian Heavenly Dynasty spy. That incurred Lu Yang’s fury, resulting in him getting thrown in prison. Although Lu Yang stood on Mo Yike’s side, he still harbored some doubts until a spy reported back to prove Mo Yike’s innocence. Cough! Cough! Cough!” Long Sanqian smiled while coughing.
“Although my Han Royal Dynasty is in this remote place and appears to be content to remain here, there must be many spies in our surroundings. Perhaps there are Lu Yang’s spies and even Prince Shenwu’s spies among them?” Gu Hai said indifferently.
From another perspective, the Han Royal Dynasty was just established and sought to grow stronger. Gu Hai had also sent out the Embroidered Uniform Guards to spy on other nations to get first-hand information.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Indeed. That spy reported back, proving Mo Yike’s innocence. Lu Yang even cleared Mo Yike’s name in front of everyone despite Lu An declaring that it was impossible. However, facts remain facts; Mo Yike’s name has been cleared. However, Mister Sima used the stratagem of sowing dissension to turn white into black.” Long Sanqian smiled.
“Mister Sima used a trick to turn that spy who reported into our ‘spy.’” Long Sanqian smiled.
“Spy?” Mu Chenfeng exclaimed.
However, Gu Qin’s expression changed as he said, “You framed that spy, making everyone think that he is your spy? Even if he is not your spy, he would appear to be? You have people in Lu Yang’s royal court?”
Long Sanqian looked at Gu Qin and smiled faintly. “You live up to being the Eighth Young Master. It is indeed as you guessed.”
The Eighth Young Master was one of Guan Qi’s nine inheritors. Gu Qin became the Eighth Young Master by obtaining Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance. However, few people mentioned this. Gu Qin frowned slightly at Long Sanqian’s address.
“That spy turned into our spy, so his words became no longer credible. Likewise, instead of having his name cleared, Mo Yike appears even more suspicious?” Gu Hai frowned.
“That’s right. Our men are continuing to fan the flames. As such, Lu Yang’s attitude towards Mo Yike turned extremely complicated. After all, Mo Yike’s identity remains a mystery. Cough! Cough! Cough!” Long Sanqian said while coughing.
“So, you have spies among Lu Yang’s officials. It looks like my guess was right. The Qian Heavenly Dynasty noticed Lu Yang’s intentions long ago and arranged for spies by Lu Yang’s side?” Gu Hai said.
“If Lu Yang did not rebel, who would dare to touch him? That was just a contingency. Unexpectedly, he really rebelled. Hah!” Long Sanqian sighed.
“Since you knew to insert spies among them, wouldn’t Mo Yike and Lu Yang do the same?” Gu Hai frowned.
“Lu Yang prepared for so many years. How can there not be spies? Many officers in my father’s army were Lu Yang’s spies. However, we used a special method to flush them out. We managed to find all the spies, catching them one by one. Furthermore, only Lu Yang and his most trusted Mo Yike knew about some of the spies,” Long Sanqian said.
“Oh? Spies that only Lu Yang and Mo Yike know about? Now that you found them, it would be hard not to suspect Mo Yike. Furthermore, there were the earlier suspicions. Can Lu Yang still trust Mo Yike after this?” Gu Qin asked.
“Since only Lu Yang and Mo Yike knew about them, how did you find the spies?” Gu Hai wondered.
Long Sanqian showed a bitter smile and said, “Mister Gu, sorry. I can’t speak about that for now. Perhaps you will come to know when you come to our army camp.”
Gu Hai nodded. Indeed, this was a military secret. How could it be revealed so casually?
“We have arranged for many things in Ying Province. During this time, our armies had eight major clashes—seven victories and one defeat,” Long Sanqian said.
“Seven victories and one defeat?”
“Haha! Lu Yang recruited many strange talents. There are Go Dao masters, music Dao masters, calligraphy Dao masters. However, how can we not have them too? Ours can only be stronger. Furthermore, we have many spies sending us information and have also caught their spies. They are operating without information; how can we lose? Also, Mister Sima also used his spies to influence public opinion in Ying Province, leading most of the citizens to oppose Lu Yang’s rebellion. We also have Mister Gu to thank for the initial influence on public opinion, awakening most of the citizens’ patriotism.” Long Sanqian smiled.
“Haha! It looked like I overstepped. It turns out that the Qian Heavenly Dynasty already made so many preparations. You have already pushed Lu Yang into a desperate situation from the inside and outside, right?” Gu Hai said.
“No, Mister Gu has helped us a lot. You awakened the citizens’ patriotism, forcing Lu Yang to rebel in a rush, which resulted in the Ying Imperial Dynasty getting degraded to the Ying Royal Dynasty, destroyed the Heptagold Sect and the dragon army, and caused dissension between Lu Yang and Mo Yike. If not for Mister Gu, we would not be certain of victory over Lu Yang. Even if we won, we would have to pay a heavy price. My father said that Mister Gu takes the most credit in dealing with Lu Yang,” Long Sanqian rebutted while shaking his head.
“There’s no need to mention any credit. You said seven victories and one defeat. This one defeat…,” Gu Hai said, feeling puzzled.
“Army Breaker! The music Dao army that Army Breaker led prevented us from advancing. Cough! Cough! Cough!” Long Sanqian said sullenly.
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