EIF - Book 04 Chapter 001: Chaoge
Book 04: Blood Prison and the Yuan Nation
Lu Yang fell, and his descendants were mostly incapable, unable to take charge of the Ying Royal Dynasty. Thus, the downfall of the Ying Nation was imminent.
The Heavenly Qian Dynasty and the Yuan Imperial Dynasty—two strong nations—mobilized their armies to capture the Ying Royal Dynasty’s territory as fast as possible, fanning the flames of war throughout Ying Province.
Foundation Deity City:
After Gu Hai returned from destroying Lu Yang, the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty citizens in the twelve cities acknowledged him as emperor.
When Gu Hai took over Foundation Deity City, his first command was to change Foundation Deity City’s name.
“Foundation Deity City experienced a great calamity, but Huangfu Chaoge’s spirit will never die. Today, Foundation Deity City will be renamed Chaoge! Chaoge City! Let us always remember Huangfu Chaoge, never to forget him!” Gu Hai’s voice reached all of the Han Royal Dynasty’s cities through the blessings clouds sea.
The countless officials and citizens were startled at first. Unexpectedly, Gu Hai started making big changes the moment he took control of Foundation Deity City. However, when they heard the new name, they all felt moved.
“We obey Your Majesty’s edict!” countless officials responded respectfully.
Some people could tell that Gu Hai was trying to gain the support of the people to better grasp the twelve cities. However, no one rejected this method of gaining support; they only felt gratitude.
Over the past few days, Huangfu Chaoge had described to Gu Hai what the officials of the twelve cities were like. Although the twelve cities had joined the Han Royal Dynasty, Gu Hai understood that Chaoge City was the only one that he had a full grasp on; the other eleven cities might still leave.
As a result, the first step was to implement a change in government right away.
He immediately assigned the two hundred officials that he brought from Nine-Five Island to important positions in the eleven cities. However, he only assigned them to deputy positions, so as to not make the change too abrupt.
For example, each city had only one city lord. However, Gu Hai assigned the twelve most capable ex-managers to be vice city lords. At the same time, he promoted the original officials of those cities to be second vice city lords. Then, he filled the position freed up by the promotion with his own people.
As a result, the authority of the initial officials of the cities did not diminish; some even got promoted. However, Gu Hai managed to ingeniously insert his people.
Gu Hai had a horrifying amount of information about the nation to go through, not something that could be done at short notice. However, time was tight, so he could only utilize a trick.
He spread the information out on his desk, then scanned through it all. Nine thousand-odd consciousness clones were sitting on Go boards in his forehead space; each of them looked at a set of information. This allowed him to understand this vast information in the blink of an eye.
As Gu Hai quickly digested the information, he steadily made arrangements for the twelve cities, endlessly sending out various edicts.
Gu Hai did not stop for a single moment, driven by a strong sense of urgency.
News came one after another of the Yuan Imperial Dynasty swallowing up the territories of the Heptagold Sect, the Ravenous Wolf Sect, the Huang Royal Dynasty, and nearly half of Ying Province. Now, it was clashing with the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s Southern Suppression Army.
The east of Gu Hai’s newly-obtained twelve cities was the sea. However, the territories that the Yuan Imperial Dynasty snatched lay to their south, west, and north.
The Yuan Imperial Dynasty surrounded these twelve cities; they were practically food in the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s mouth. How could the Yuan Imperial Dynasty not try to swallow them? The only reason the Yuan Imperial Dynasty had not sent an army to deal with them yet was that snatching more territory in Ying Province took priority.
Hence, Gu Hai had to act fast. He needed to capture the citizens’ support while they still remembered Huangfu Chaoge. He needed to use their feelings for Huangfu Chaoge to protect and keep these cities.
Foundation Deity City was renamed Chaoge City, and the palace hall previously used for the royal assembly was renamed Huangfu Palace Hall. Gu Hai also arranged for people to erect statues of Huangfu Chaoge quickly in the twelve cities to prevent the citizens and the army from forgetting about Huangfu Chaoge.
Then, Gu Hai sent a foundation rock golem to protect each of the two hundred officials. After all, they came from Nine-Five Island and were too weak.
On this day, Gu Hai finally walked out and released a drawn-out breath after replying to many official documents and issuing decrees.
“Mas…Master!” Ensnaring Performance walked over nervously.
“Huh?” Gu Hai gave Ensnaring Performance a puzzled look.
“Master, I have a thought. I wonder…,” Ensnaring Performance said coyly.
“What is it? Just speak. I am rather busy these days and do not have much time to accompany you,” Gu Hai said, still puzzled.
“Master, I would like to go out and collect material,” Ensnaring Performance said in anticipation.
“Huh?” Gu Hai could not immediately respond.
“I feel that my songs have reached a bottleneck. I would like to go out on experiential training to seek inspiration. When I return, I will be able to compose music that everyone loves,” Ensnaring Performance said in anticipation.
“Bottleneck? Seek inspiration? Compose music?” Gu Hai massaged his temples.
Somehow, when Ensnaring Performance said these words, it sounded like something that goes against peace.
“I know that I should not be doing this. I am only a heaven-grade zither and should be following my master. However, the world is so big. I…I want to see it,” Ensnaring Performance said in anticipation.
Gu Hai stared at the incredibly nervous-looking Ensnaring Performance for a while.
After a while, Gu Hai smiled and said, “Ensnaring Performance, do you know why despite not liking your initial character, I did not think of reconstructing it and altering your thoughts?”
“Huh? I don’t know.” Ensnaring Performance shook his head.
“Lu Yang gave Army Breaker his consciousness. All his thoughts revolved around Lu Yang. Although he had a soul, he did not have his own will. Although I did not like your initial character, that was still you in the end. I will not alter you, and I do not have to change you. Everything of you came from yourself. I only hope that you will continuously seek to improve yourself, working hard for what you like. Then, someday, you will be able to help me,” Gu Hai said gravely.
This slightly startled Ensnaring Performance. “Ah? Master, you are letting me go? But I heard the other day that you might still be facing a threat from the Yuan Imperial Dynasty. Don’t you need my help?”
“There’s no need. I—Gu Hai—have not reached the point where I cannot do without anyone. Go on, before I change my mind.” Gu Hai smiled.
“Yes, Master. You are the best master in the world. I will sing all the songs I composed along the way to you when I return,” Ensnaring Performance said, feeling moved.
Gu Hai’s expression turned dark. “Scram!”
Ensnaring Performance left, and Gu Hai continued to keep himself busy.
Three days later, Gu Hai had already sent out eight hundred decrees to the twelve cities. The rate of issuing decrees flabbergasted the old officials.
This new emperor is ridiculously efficient. In just six days, he already sent out eight hundred decrees?
The various officials suddenly gained an objective understanding of their new emperor.
Although these people did not know much about Gu Hai’s character, his ability to govern was extremely incredible. This earned Gu Hai the old officials’ respect.
A guard came to report. “Reporting to Your Majesty, a flying ship has arrived from Silver Moon City. The leader goes by Shangguan Hen, and he seeks an audience with Your Majesty!”
“Oh? Shangguan Hen? This is good timing!” Gu Hai smiled.
Soon, Shangguan Hen brought the first batch of officials that Gu Hai brought to Silver Moon City into Huangfu Palace Hall and met with Gu Hai.
“Salutations, my emperor. Long live my emperor! May my emperor live for ten thousand years!” these officials said extremely respectfully.
“Greetings, Your Majesty!” Shangguan Hen said with a smile.
After not seeing Shangguan Hen for the better part of the year, Gu Hai found his aura had become more withdrawn. Now, Shangguan Hen looked utterly ordinary. However, Gu Hai saw strong self-confidence in his eyes. Clearly, his cultivation had improved significantly.
“How is Silver Moon City doing?” Gu Hai asked.
“Your Majesty, rest assured. Silver Moon City is being guarded by the Silver Moon Mountain Manor, Mu Chenfeng, and the Wood Division disciples. Everything in This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion is well organized,” one of the officials said respectfully with a smile.
“Tang Chu,” Gu Hai said as he looked at that official.
“Present!” that official said with a solemn expression.
“You have followed us for the longest. Before we established our nation in Nine-Five Island, you were the general manager responsible for a nation. You possess rich experience and have already been with This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion for so long. I believe that you now have a certain understanding of business in the cultivation world?” Gu Hai looked at that official.
“Yes, Your Majesty!” Tang Chu nodded.
“You sixty officials are the first batch of officials assigned to This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion. Here is some information. Take a look when you go back. At the same time, I will send many experts for you to command. With Tang Chu taking charge, open branches for us and carve out new territories,” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” Tang Chu and the officials responded.
Gu Hai handed over a large stack of reports to Tang Chu. Tang Chu gathered the officials and carried the information back to their residence to start reading.
“Silver Moon City is one of our communication nodes. News from Nine-Five Island arrives at Silver Moon City first before coming to you. This is a letter from the crown prince.” Shangguan Hen handed a letter to Gu Hai.
Gu Hai quickly opened the letter and started reading. As he read, his eyes narrowed. “The Great Light Sovereign Deity?”
“I also heard the messenger talk about it. This Great Light Sovereign Deity seemed to be coming to repay a favor?” Shangguan Hen said in confusion.
Gu Hai remained silent for a while. Then, he shook his head, his eyes remaining narrowed. “Repay a favor? Ha! This Great Light Sovereign Deity is coming with hostile intentions!”
“Oh? Coming with hostile intentions?” Shangguan Hen raised his eyebrows.
Gu Hai nodded.
“This is troublesome. This Great Light Sovereign Deity is an annoying character and very strong,” Shangguan Hen said with a frown.
“Oh? Very strong? Heavenly Palace Realm?” Gu Hai asked.
Shangguan Hen nodded.
“How is he compared to Lu Yang?” Gu Hai wondered.
“Lu Yang? Haha! He does not even see Lu Yang as an opponent,” Shangguan Hen said with a bitter smile.
“What do you mean?” Gu Hai asked in puzzlement.
“The Heavenly Palace Realm is just a generalized cultivation level. We have three spiritual souls and seven physical souls. When one cultivates the fifth physical soul—the Fifth Nascent Soul Stage—one can break through to the Heavenly Palace Realm. The so-called heavenly palace is where the three spiritual souls stay,” Shangguan Hen explained.
“The three spiritual souls stay in the heavenly palace? In the head?” Gu Hai said.
“Yes. There are three heavenly palaces, one for each of the three spiritual souls—heavenly, earthly, and mortal. Lu Yang only established the lower heavenly palace, where the mortal soul stays. He might be a peak Lower Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator, but still just in the Lower Heavenly Palace Realm,” Shangguan Hen explained.
“Three heavenly palaces—the upper heavenly palace, the middle heavenly palace, and the lower heavenly palace—where the three spiritual souls—heavenly, earthly, and mortal—stay?”
“Yes. Old Mister Guan Qi had already established all three heavenly palaces before he gained the qualification to face off against heaven in Go, wanting to be immortal. Lu Yang only established his lower heavenly palace, far from comparable to Old Mister Guan Qi.”
“What about the Great Light Sovereign Deity?”
“He has established at least the middle heavenly palace.”
“You said, ‘at least the middle heavenly palace.’ What do you mean by ‘at least’?”
“I am only certain about his middle heavenly palace, but I’m not sure about the upper heavenly palace,” Shangguan Hen said with a bitter smile.
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