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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 004: The Poisoned Chang Ming

“We did not seem to say that we were going over!”

Gu Hai’s words were like thunder on a clear day. Chang Ming, who was listening gracefully, suddenly jumped up after a slight stiffening.

He could no longer be bothered with his five hundred fifty thousand soldiers encased by the fog behind. Instead, he rushed anxiously to Chaoge City.

Boom!

Chang Ming instantly arrived in the sky above Huangfu Palace Hall.

However, there was a ritual array defending the place, isolating Gu Hai and his officials from Chang Ming.

“What did you say? Did you not say that you were coming over? Who was the one who said that he wanted a private chat with me?” Chang Ming glared ferociously at Gu Hai.

Gu Hai stood in Huangfu Plaza and looked indifferently at Chang Ming, who was outside. “What did I say earlier?”

Now, the Han Royal Dynasty officials appeared confused. Since Gu Hai denied saying he was going over, many officials were surprised since everyone heard it as the emperor having a private chat with Chang Ming. How did things change?

What did the emperor say then?

This is a major matter for the nation and cannot be treated carelessly. Battalion Commander Chang, how about having a private chat in the center?

When the officials and citizens recalled what Gu Hai said, they felt slightly startled.

“His Majesty really did not say that he was going over,” one of the officials said, finding this strange.

Outside the ritual array, Chang Ming’s expression turned stiff.

“That’s not right! That’s not right at all! If you won’t chat with me, then why did you build a pavilion?” Chang Ming glared.

“We have already said it clearly. This is a major matter for the nation and cannot be treated carelessly. As the saying goes, every inch of land comes at the cost of blood—fought for and obtained using lives. Yet, you want me to hand over my twelve cities with just a few words? The Han Royal Dynasty had never been despised like this before!” Gu Haid said coldly.

“That means that you are rejecting my recruitment? Why did you build the pavilion, then?” Chang Ming asked coldly.

Gu Hai: “…”

“His Majesty meant ‘go wherever the wind blows.’ He built a pavilion for you to chat with yourself, and you actually went there?” The astounded Shangguan Hen could not help explaining.

[TL Note: There is a wordplay here that does not translate that well. The word for this kind of pavilion means “cooling pavilion.” This kind of pavilion is an open outdoor structure with a roof, as opposed to the other kind of pavilion, which is a building. The wordplay here is basically “go wherever is cooling,” which means “take a hike” or “go away.”]

Chang Ming: “…”

After feeling sullen for a while, he felt frustrated to death. Unexpectedly, he only just arrived here, and he got tricked by Gu Hai.

“Hah! Gu Hai, you are seeking death!” Chang Ming roared.

Boom!

Suddenly, surging black energy appeared behind Chang Ming. After the black energy poured out, it transformed into countless bats flitting around.

Whoosh!

What seemed like tens of millions of bats surrounded the ritual array. All the bats appeared ferocious, their eyes vicious.

This slightly startled Gu Hai.

This also startled Shangguan Hen, who had walked over.

“Your Majesty, is this vampire here as a joke?” Shangguan Hen asked, stunned.

Gu Hai looked at the soldiers trapped in his ritual array in the distance. Chang Ming seemed to have forgotten them entirely, not caring about them at all.

He is a battalion commander, the leader of a battalion! Shouldn’t taking care of his battalion’s safety be his first priority?

While the fog is trapping the soldiers, he can break the ritual array, given his Heavenly Palace Realm strength. Yet, he ignores them just to come and argue with me?

“Gu Hai, I’ll give you one last chance. Otherwise, today will be the day you die!” Chang Ming roared.

Gu Hai: “…”

Shangguan Hen rolled his eyes. If you have the ability, then why waste all that time talking?

Gu Hai simply ignored Chang Ming. Instead, he looked at the foggy ritual array in the distance.

“Break!”

Chang Ming took out a crimson saber and swung it at the defensive ritual array.

Boom!

The ritual array only rippled a little; nothing else happened.

“Ha!” Gu Hai revealed a faint cold smile.

How could the defensive ritual array break so easily? A Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator is strong, but you only just broke through not long ago. No matter how strong you are, you would just be equivalent to one hundred peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivators at most. Even if your saber strike contained the power of ten thousand Nascent Soul Realm cultivators, so what? Back then, it took one million bronze statues a long time to break a similar defensive ritual array.

When Chang Ming failed to break the ritual array with one strike, he waved his hand.

“Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!”

The tens of millions of bats immediately charged down and pressed against the defensive barrier.

“Humph! Do you really think that I can’t break it? Suck! Suck up all the barrier’s energy!” Chang Ming said coldly.

“Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!”

The tens of millions of bats immediately exposed their fangs, stabbed them into the barrier, and slowly sucked the ritual array’s energy. While they could suck only a limited amount, it added up bit by bit.

After getting saturated, the bats flew back to Chang Ming and turned into black energy that returned to him before new hungry bats formed to continue sapping the ritual array’s energy.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

The ritual array started trembling from the bats sucking its energy.

Gu Hai raised his eyebrows and was about to do something when Shangguan Hen smiled faintly and said, “Your Majesty, let me do it.”

“Um?” 

Shangguan Hen extended a finger, and a green beam shot towards where the many bats in the sky were pressing against the barrier.

Buzz!

The green light merged into the ritual array’s barrier and dispersed, then got sucked into the bats’ mouths.

“Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!”

After the bats sucked in the green light, their bodies turned green. Then, their eyes rolled up, and they tumbled down the side of the barrier, falling to the ground.

“Huh?” Chang Ming felt slightly startled.

Why did my bats suddenly turn green and fall?

“This is?” Gu Hai looked at Shangguan Hen.

“Snake venom,” Shangguan Hen explained.

This slightly surprised Gu Hai before he nodded. He could tell that this snake venom was incredible. These bats were not real bats but something similar to the tiny skulls in his Life Ender Saber’s black energy, a manifestation of energy. Yet, this snake venom could poison them.

The black tortoise was made up of the profound tortoise and the profound snake. When Shangguan Hen consumed the snake head of the previous Black Tortoise Prime, he had inherited some kind of ability.

“A Yuan Nation battalion commander? He does not seem impressive at all, right?”

“Indeed. He made me worry for a moment. Those bats fell over when my Han Nation’s official pointed at them. What is the point of them?”

“This Chang Ming does not look capable at all!”

The citizens relaxed, and the officials no longer felt as anxious as before. It seemed like there was nothing to fear.

More bats tumbled down, now falling by the millions.

Chang Ming’s expression turned dark. “That’s impossible. My bats are not physical beings. Why did they fall? Return!”

Chang Ming waved, and the fallen green bats immediately turned back to energy and returned to him. All the energy that the bats absorbed entered Chang Ming’s body.

Shangguan Hen gaped, appearing stunned.

He saw Chang Ming suddenly turn green after taking in the energy from the poisoned bats.

“He got poisoned?” Gu Hai said in shock.

“It…it…it seems so!” Shangguan Hen stammered, feeling conflicted.

Gu Hai: “…”

The Han Nation officials: “…”

“You…you…Gu Hai, you poisoned me?” Chang Ming roared, pointing a finger at Gu Hai, his figure wavering.

Gu Hai: “…”

Shangguan Hen: “…”

No one poisoned you. You were the one who absorbed it. To think that you wanted the energy of those poisoned bats. Who can you blame for getting poisoned?

Whoosh!

Countless bats immediately flew up, screeching at the ritual array. However, they no longer dared to suck the ritual array’s energy.

Chang Ming waved his hand, re-absorbing all the healthy bats. He no longer dared to absorb the remaining one hundred thousand poisoned bats.

Blargh!

Even so, Chang Ming still vomited a mouthful of poisoned blood, horror filling his eyes.

“What poison is this? Gu Hai, you vile person! To think that you poisoned me! I won’t let you off!” Chang Ming roared.

Gu Hai: “…”

Gu Hai turned his head to look at that earlier official. “Are you sure that he is a disciple being heavily nurtured by the Chang Clan?”

That official’s face twitched. “…”

The effects of the snake’s venom were extremely overbearing, weakening Chang Ming. He flew into the distance, no longer daring to attack the city.

At this moment, Chang Ming suddenly recalled something. That’s right. I still have five hundred fifty thousand soldiers.

Chang Ming turned his head to look at the distant foggy ritual array.

“Humph!” Chang Ming immediately flew to the fog.

“Break!”

Chang Ming swung the crimson saber in his hand again.

Boom!

The immense might exploded the foggy ritual array.

“Cough! Cough! Cough!” Chang Ming coughed. He suppressed the poison in his body as he looked around the broken ritual array.

“General, save me! General!” Loud cries came from the smoking ritual array.

Chang Ming looked and saw a group of foundation rock golems dragging ten-odd soldiers into the ground.

“Ah!” 

The foundation rock golems dug into the ground in the blink of an eye.

“General, why did you come only now? Why did you wait until now to break the ritual array? Ah!” the final soldier shouted as a foundation rock golem dragged him underground.

Rumble…!

The ground churned, and the hole disappeared.

Chang Ming was too late.

“You bastard! How can you do this? Break!”

Boom!

Chang Ming swung his saber at the ground while roaring. Boundless dirt flew up, but the foundation rock golems and his five hundred fifty thousand soldiers had already disappeared.

Chang Ming: “…”

How can it be like this?

Chang Ming turned his head to glare at Gu Hai, who was in front of the distant Huangfu Palace Hall, with hatred written across his face.

Gu Hai and Shuangguan Hen fell silent for quite a while.

“Your Majesty, this is the first time in my life to see such a strange general. He actually forgot the soldiers that he brought, losing all of them. Is he really a Yuan Nation battalion commander?” Shangguan Hen said, feeling flabbergasted.

“Where are my soldiers? Gu Hai!” Chang Ming roared while enduring the potent poison.

“Battalion Commander Chang, go back and report this to the Northern Expedition Supreme Commander. Tell him that the eighth battalion will remain in Chaoge City as guests for now. We will not make things difficult for them. When your war with the Qian Heavenly Dynasty ends, we will return these soldiers,” Gu Hai said.

“You?! Who wants to be a guest here?!” Chang Ming snarled while glaring.

“Ha! Battalion Commander Chang, are you still thinking of attacking the city? When Lu Yang came, he died here. Do you think that we have no way of dealing with a Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator? The five hundred fifty thousand soldiers are invaders; calling them guests is already giving you a lot of face. Right now, they are detained as prisoners of war. If you dare to act rashly, we will immediately execute all of them. Do you believe that?” Gu Hai said coldly.

“You! Cough! Cough! Cough!” Chang Ming glared while enduring the poison.

“Battalion Commander Chang, I forgot to tell you this, my snake venom will multiply every three days. If you don’t force it out in time, it will double in three days. Then, it will double again in another three days,” Shangguan Hen said.

Chang Ming’s expression changed.

“You despicable, vile person! Gu Hai, just you wait! I’ll pay you back in the future for poisoning me in secret!” Chang Ming roared with a ferocious expression.

Boom!

Chang Ming immediately shot into the distance.

Chang Ming came in high spirits and left in ignominious defeat. The countless citizens and officials in Chaoge City appeared confused. Even now, many people still could not believe what just happened.

Are those in the Yuan Nation’s army all like that? Have we overestimated them?

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for November: 34 / 50

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