EIF - Book 04 Chapter 008.3: Capturing the City, Part 3
The anxious city lord went to the top of a city gate tower.
Indeed, the city lord saw two foundation rock golems attacking the south city gates.
There was a vast, churning fog in the distance. He could not tell how many soldiers were within the fog, only hear war drums. Inside the city, the eight hundred thousand Yuan Nation soldiers were isolated and had no help. It would be fine if they did not take ruthless actions. However, if they did, the citizens would immediately beat them to death.
Of course, there were many experts that Gu Hai brought from Chaoge City among the citizens. These were previously Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty elites. At the moment, they worked with the citizens, forcing the eight hundred thousand Yuan Nation soldiers to beat a retreat.
The citizens’ rage boiled over. With the citizens in such a state, the number of officials or soldiers would not matter.
At this moment, Gu Hai’s group arrived at the prison.
“Activate the ritual array!” Gu Hai said.
The spirit stones buried in the surroundings immediately formed the Twenty-Eight Line-Pair World Ritual Array around the prison.
“Break!” Gu Hai shouted.
The ritual array manifested the Xiang Yu cloud beast, which then swung his halberd down.
This attack immediately broke the prison open.
“Who is it? How bold of you!” A large number of prison guards rushed out.
Xiang Yu swung his halberd again, instantly chopping down many Nascent Soul Realm Yuan Nation officers. Then, he continued charging forward. As for those with weaker cultivations, the many experts that came with Gu Hai restrained them in the blink of an eye.
Outside, the city lord discovered the fog at the prison.
“Oh no! Someone is attacking the prison! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” the city lord roared.
However, all the Yuan Nation soldiers were fighting the citizens now. Even those that managed to extricate themselves were quickly surrounded again.
There was no way to send reinforcements to the prison.
The Twenty-Eight Line-Pair World Ritual Array? Although some people charged in, they were only a few. Xiang Yu was more than enough to deal with them.
Inside the prison, the numerous prisoners appeared confused. However, the previous Azure Foundation City Lord and officers of the defenders stepped forward.
As they looked at Gu Hai, they showed complicated expressions.
“This is the Han Royal Nation’s Gu Hai. You should be familiar with him, right? Previously, he destroyed the Heptagold Sect with His Majesty, Huangfu Chaoge, rescuing us from our situation. Before His Majesty died, he bequeathed his nation to Gu Hai. Now, Foundation Deity City has been renamed Chaoge City. Everything is the same as it was in the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty. It is Gu Hai coming to save all of you this time. Why are you still not saluting His Majesty?” one of the clan heads called out.
The moment that clan head called out, the defenders that came from these clans immediately shouted, “Salutations, Your Majesty!”
“Salutations, Your Majesty!” A large number of the officers already knew about this, so they hailed Gu Hai as well.
The previous Azure Foundation City Lord frowned, but he also knelt and paid respect. “Salutations, Your Majesty!”
“Azure Foundation City Lord, you may dispense with the formalities.” Gu Hai helped up the Azure Foundation City Lord.
The remaining one million defenders showed shocked expressions.
“Everyone, Gu Hai is incapable. After retaking control of Azure Foundation City, Gu Hai promises everyone here that however it was like for you in the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty, it will be the same in the Han Royal Dynasty. Previously, Huangfu Chaoge kept asking us to save all of you. Today, we are fulfilling our promise to Huangfu Chaoge. We—Gu Hai—guarantee that we will not force anyone into anything. After we rescue you, you will all be reinstated. After ten years, if you feel that we are not capable of ruling Azure Foundation City, we will allow Azure Foundation City to become an independent nation,” Gu Hai shouted.
“His Majesty entrusted us to you? Even on his deathbed, His Majesty did not forget about us?” The eyes of many soldiers turned slightly red.
“Salutations, Your Majesty!” Another large group of soldiers submitted to Gu Hai.
Nearly everyone in Azure Foundation City knew about Gu Hai’s relationship with Huangfu Chaoge. Since Gu Hai had inherited Huangfu Chaoge’s will and rescued everyone, they felt grateful. Thus, many people saluted Gu Hai, and the others followed suit.
“Everyone, Azure Foundation City belongs to its citizens, not to the Yuan Nation’s army. Right now, the Yuan Nation soldiers are humiliating and killing your relatives outside. Everyone, quickly undo the seal and help your relatives. Protect Azure Foundation City’s citizens and beat back the overbearing Yuan Nation soldiers!” Gu Hai shouted.
“What? The Yuan Nation dogs are humiliating and killing Azure Foundation City’s citizens?”
“Those bastards! Hurry! Hurry! Undo my seal! I’ll go and kill them!”
Gu Hai had already set up many electric platforms, so he quickly undid the seals of the Azure Foundation City defenders one after another.
“Kill! Kill the Yuan Nation dogs!”
The one million Azure Foundation City defenders charged out the ritual array and happened to meet a group of Yuan Nation soldiers in sorry states.
The rage of the one million Azure Foundation City defenders boiled over, and they immediately killed the Yuan Nation soldiers they saw. The war drums outside the city and the foundation rock golems’ shouting gave the citizens and defenders boundless confidence, helping them overcome all fear.
The city lord from the Yuan Nation looked at the surroundings at a loss. “It’s over. It’s all over!”
The one million defenders broke out, and countless citizens vented their anger. Many of the eight hundred thousand Yuan Nation soldiers suffered injuries or died before they could board flying ships and flee in fear.
Each of the four city gates had two foundation rock golems attacking the city. After the Yuan Nation city lord fled, he finally got to see what was in the vast foggy region behind.
What army? There are only a few dozen people beating war drums?! Just a small number of people?!
“No!” the city lord cried out in sorrow and grief. However, the flying ship had already sped far away.
After the rebellion, Gu Hai quickly arranged for people to treat the injured. Then, he also gave many spirit stones to the injured citizens and soldiers to placate them and made compensation for the losses the citizens incurred.
The citizens’ resentment eventually faded away, and the foundation rock golems entered the city.
There were not many foundation rock golems, but they provided a familiar sight for the citizens.
The Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty came to take its city back. However, the emperor had already fallen. Countless people felt disappointed again. Then, they turned their heads to look in the direction of the city lord’s official residence.
The Han Royal Dynasty? Gu Hai?
Those are the people who chased away the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s people? We are going to join the Han Royal Dynasty, right?
“Citizens! I—Gu Hai—thank everyone for your earlier bravery. You are as Huangfu Chaoge described you to me, not fearing any difficulties or enemies. You have managed to chase away the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s people. Gu Hai is not capable, but I will take over Azure Foundation City for now. Before Huangfu Chaoge died, I had accompanied him for a period. The thing that plagued his mind during that time was all of you. He felt that he let you all down. He wanted me to do everything I could to help you all escape the palms of the demons. Today, I finally managed to do that. I don’t know whether I can do as well as Huangfu Chaoge, but I will do my best. However Huangfu Chaoge ruled Azure Foundation City—all the rules and laws—will remain the same. Perhaps many people doubt my capabilities and feel suspicious of the Han Royal Dynasty. However, that does not matter. I—Gu Hai—make this promise to everyone. Please give me ten years. After ten years, if my Han Royal Dynasty still fails to win everyone’s acknowledgment, the Han Nation is willing to give Azure Foundation City its freedom. I will not stop you from leaving the Han Nation or make things difficult for you. The word of a sovereign always has to be taken seriously. I hope everyone will remember what I said today!” Gu Hai proclaimed.
[TL Note: Everything that an emperor said had to be taken seriously, even jokes. An emperor had to be careful of what he said, especially in earshot of others, as everything he said held legal power. Part of the reason is that everything an emperor said had to be true; otherwise, he would lose prestige and respect, potentially leading to the downfall of the nation. As an example, if an emperor joked about executing someone, the execution would actually take place; the emperor could not retract this. Do note that this is something that I am unable to verify, but there should be some truth to it, perhaps not as exaggerated. However, the setting the author writes in probably takes the exaggerated view of this.]
This message reached every corner of the city through sound amplification ritual arrays. Furthermore, Gu Hai used the pronoun “I” rather than the royal “we.” He hoped that he could quickly gain the acknowledgment of the citizens.
The entire city broke out in a discussion. Is Gu Hai telling the truth? Will nothing change?
“Today, I will be laying down a new rule for the city—the only one!” Gu Hai said.
“Huh?” Many citizens frowned as they looked at the floating island where the city lord’s official residence was.
You just said that you would not change anything. Yet, you are changing something now?
“All the taxes collected during these ten years will not be handed to the national treasury. They will all be used for improving the citizens’ lives—constructing ritual arrays, building areas for cultivation, improving the environment of the impoverished areas, setting up schools, providing free education for the young, and supporting those who are approaching the end of their lifespan.” Gu Hai issued his first order for the city.
The moment Gu Hai issued that order, the people that still doubted him goggled. All their objections of him instantly vanished, their acknowledgment of the Han Nation increasing significantly.
“All accounts will be made public for everyone to see and inspect at any time!” Gu Hai said.
“Many thanks, Your…Your…Your Majesty!” some of the poor citizens said excitedly.
“Many thanks, Your…Your…Your Majesty!”
“Many thanks, Your Majesty!”
Although the citizens were unaccustomed to this address, countless citizens still responded in gratitude.
The taxes would all be used to improve the lives of the citizens? This was a big boon to the citizens.
Gu Hai said that he would give back to the citizens. Now, he did it.
As Gu Hai stood on the city lord’s official residence’s floating island, he revealed a faint smile. Azure Foundation City finally returned.
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It was not just Azure Foundation City. Gu Hai believed that the other eleven cities should have proceeded similarly, and the plan would be almost completed.
The previous Azure Foundation City Lord stood at the side.
After taking back everything that used to belong to him, he let out a long breath. Now, he felt happy, but he still frowned as he looked at Gu Hai.
“Your Majesty, Azure Foundation City has been returned, but the Yuan Imperial Dynasty won’t let this matter be, right? We should…,” the Azure Foundation City Lord said worriedly.
Gu Hai smiled and said, “Don’t worry. Since Azure Foundation City has already joined the Han Nation, we will not lose it. Not to mention the original defensive ritual array, I still have my First Corps. They have already formed the first line of defense. If the Yuan Nation army comes to take revenge, the First Corps will help me block them.”
“The Han Royal Dynasty’s First Corps? Might I know which general is leading them? Does this subject know him?” the Azure Foundation City Lord asked doubtfully.
“The First Corps commander, Gao Xianzhi!” Gu Hai smiled.
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