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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 175: Long Aotian

After issuing the Yuan Denunciation, Gu Hai led three million soldiers out of the Han Royal Dynasty’s territory.

More than ten million citizens had died—an extremely bitter number. After Gu Hai’s excellent governance over the past few years, the citizens had already come to acknowledge the Han Royal Dynasty. Now that an enemy nation had attacked them, killing their people, the citizens naturally felt furious. Gu Hai held the moral high ground. The citizenry responded, and every city proactively sent soldiers. Initially, they had sent even more soldiers, but Gu Hai picked only three million.

Furthermore, many of the three million soldiers chosen held civil duties rather than military. These soldiers boarded flying ships and followed Gu Hai into the Yuan Nation’s territory.

Leading the foundation rock golems, Ju Lu stayed in Chaoge City, in case any further chaos broke out.

Gu Hai stood on the deck of a flying ship with Venerable Liu Nian and Chang Ming, looking at a distant city.

The city gate tower of that Yuan Nation city had collapsed. There was plenty of blood yet to be washed away on the ground. By now, the guards there were no longer Yuan Nation soldiers but soldiers wearing the Qian Nation’s military uniform.

“Who is it?!” A general immediately flew over, keeping his guard up against these one hundred flying ships that suddenly approached.

When that general saw Gu Hai, his expression relaxed. “Ah! It’s Emperor Gu!”

“You recognize me?” Gu Hai looked at that general with some puzzlement.

“Back when we faced the traitor Lu Yang in Ying Province, this humble one had the fortune to catch a glimpse of Emperor Gu from afar,” that general said with a smile.

“Oh?” Gu Hai nodded.

“The supreme commander already led the army to the frontlines. He left me here to await Emperor Gu. If Emperor Gu wishes, this humble one can direct everyone to gather with the supreme commander. Of course, Emperor Gu can head to Major Metropolitan City as well.”

“Oh? Prince Shenwu said that?” Gu Hai looked at that general.

“Yes!” that general answered.

“I’ll have to trouble you, then!” Gu Hai said seriously.

Shortly after, this general led the way, conducting Gu Hai’s one hundred flying ships deeper into the Yuan Nation.

At the side, Chang Ming frowned as he looked at Gu Hai. “Your Majesty, why are we meeting up with the Qian Nation army? Right now, the Yuan Nation is in decline. Isn’t this the opportunity for the Han Royal Dynasty to develop? Even the Qian Heavenly Emperor permitted an alliance. That is to say, any city we conquer belongs to the Han Nation. How are we going to expand if we join Prince Shenwu?”

Gu Hai looked into the distance. He shook his head and said, “We are here to take revenge, not conquer cities.”

“Ah? Then, we aren’t going to use this opportunity to expand the Han Nation’s territory by capturing Yuan Nation cities?” Chang Ming said, confused.

After that, Chang Ming frowned and said, “That’s not right. Your Majesty, you brought so many soldiers who dealt with civil duties. Isn’t that to manage the cities?”

Gu Hai shook his head and said, “Destroying the Yuan Nation does not mean causing harm to the citizens. This is not the time to capture cities.”

Chang Ming felt confused again.

If it were in the past, Chang Ming would have nodded and left it at that. After all, this matter was above his station. However, now that Gu Hai was guiding him, Chang Ming had to think about many things.

After a while, Chang Ming finally understood. “Your Majesty, is this what you mean? The one who brought disaster to the Han Nation is Imperial Emperor Xi Yu. So, we are only seeking Imperial Emperor Xi Yu for revenge. The citizens are innocent; this is the same no matter where. When attacking the Yuan Nation, we cannot harm the citizens since they might be our Han Nation citizens in the future. We can capture territory and cities only after destroying Imperial Emperor Xi Yu. At that time, my army would have taken revenge and destroyed the Yuan Nation—which would leave these cities masterless. When the Han Nation captures these cities then, it would be easy; the citizens would not resist us?”

Gu Hai looked at Chang Ming in surprise. He is indeed intelligent, getting it with just a small hint.

Gu Hai smiled faintly and did not explain. Instead, he turned his head to look into the distance.

After Chang Ming finished his analysis, some excitement flashed in his eyes. It was like many things became simple after he thought about it.

The flying ships flew quickly, coming across a few more conquered cities with many injured and dead. Blood flowed like rivers.

“The Qian Nation is conquering the cities with violence? Isn’t this too much? We have already come across quite a few cities that were violently conquered.” Chang Ming frowned.

Gu Hai shook his head and said, “Perhaps this is the Qian Nation’s intention.”

“Oh?”

“Sending soldiers to attack the four factions is not just to destroy them. Perhaps it is also a warning to the world not to challenge the Qian Nation’s prestige. So what if they were imperial dynasties or middle-tier sects? The Qian Nation can easily crush any who challenge it. The prestige of a heavenly dynasty must not be profaned in the slightest,” Gu Hai said.

“Ah? The Qian Nation wants to shock the world with rapid strikes?” Chang Ming felt startled.

Gu Hai nodded.

After flying for half a month and seeing the many signs of battle along the way, Gu Hai’s fleet finally caught up with the Qian Nation’s soldiers.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Loud reports came from a distance, and hundreds of flying ships could be seen. These flying ships brandished banners with the character for “Qian” or “Shenwu” on them.

“We have reached the prince’s army. Vacant City is in front!” the general guiding them called out.

“Vacant City?” Gu Hai frowned slightly.

Isn’t this where the Slaughter Heavenly Emperor laid a trap previously? At that time, I used a ritual array to pretend to be Imperial Emperor Xi Yu and tricked the Slaughter Heavenly Emperor into doing something reckless. Eventually, Ba consumed his soul and the souls of his five million soldiers.

The battle in the distance appeared incredibly intense.

Gu Hai’s flying ship approached quickly.

Some soldiers came to stop them, but when they found out it was Gu Hai, they immediately opened up a path, permitting Gu Hai to proceed with a small group.

Gu Hai made arrangements for his flying ships before bringing Chang Ming, Venerable Liu Nian, and a few officials over.

In the distance, Prince Shenwu waited on the largest flying ship with a few generals. There was also a youth wearing embroidered clothes, who looked in Gu Hai’s direction out of curiosity.

Whoosh!

Gu Hai’s group landed on the deck.

“Greetings, Prince Shenwu!” Gu Hai said with a slight bow.

“Mister Gu, we have been waiting for a long time,” Prince Shenwu said.

As Prince Shenwu spoke, the youth at the side showed a faint, sarcastic smile as he said, “Third Uncle, this is the Gu Hai that you mention frequently? Hah! My younger cousin died for him?”

Long Shenwu looked at the youth with a faint smile and nodded.

“Gu Hai, this is the eldest son of my first brother, Long Aotian!” Long Shenwu introduced.

“You are Long Aotian?” Gu Hai suddenly felt startled.

Gu Hai’s startled expression startled Long Shenwu and Long Aotian. Isn’t Gu Hai’s reaction a little too big?

“Mister Gu, you know Aotian?” Long Shenwu asked, feeling confused.

Long Aotian casually smirked, thinking, Don’t think I will be nice to you just because you seem to adore me. Only in your dreams!

“No. This is the first time I’ve heard of him,” Gu Hai said with a faintly bitter smile.

Long Aotian: “…”

Long Aotian? Indeed, this was Gu Hai’s first time hearing this name in this world. However, he had encountered this name several times on Earth. At that time, the main characters of many novels he read were all called Long Aotian.

[TL Note: The name Long Aotian is popular in Chinese novels. This name tends to connote a character that is extremely strong when they first appear. That character usually does things in an unreasonable manner and often acts without thinking. They also can easily dispatch strong enemies. It is a form of satire or mockery and is frequently used as Internet slang to mock such characters’ archetypes in novels.]

Gu Hai showed a strange expression as he looked at Long Aotian. His gaze made Long Aotian very uncomfortable.

“Long Sanqian is not here with Prince?” Gu Hai asked.

“His Holy Eminence decreed that Long Sanqian would follow my first brother. Long Aotian follows me instead,” Prince Shenwu explained.

“The Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s First Crown Prince?” Gu Hai felt slightly startled.

Long Shenwu nodded.

Long Shenwu is the Qian Nation’s third crown prince. The third crown prince’s son follows the first crown prince’s army while the first crown prince’s son follows the third crown prince?

Is the Qian Heavenly Emperor splitting up the crown princes?

“On my way here, I discovered that Prince has already conquered six cities. Furthermore, you did not change your direction along the way. Are you heading straight for Major Metropolitan City?” Gu Hai looked at Long Shenwu.

Long Shenwu nodded. “That’s right. This is the route that His Holy Eminence instructed us to take. We are to head in a straight line and not go around. The first few cities were quite easy, but the Yuan Imperial Dynasty reacted very quickly. Soldiers immediately came over to defend from all sides. By the time we reached Vacant City, the defending soldiers were already more than five times ours. Two days have passed since then.”

“Oh? The other side has a Middle Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator as well?” Gu Hai felt slightly startled.

Gu Hai believed that Long Shenwu just needed to break into the city or kill the other party’s leader to end the battle.

“That’s right. There should be a hidden expert belonging to the Yuan Nation. However, he is an assassin-type cultivator. When I was preparing to attack, he took advantage of an opening to assassinate my subordinates. I fought him once, and he was not my match. However, he remains in hiding,” Long Shenwu said.

“An assassin?” Gu Hai frowned.

Long Shenwu nodded. “I’m keeping an eye out, so he does not dare to appear. However, once I make my move, he will assassinate my men.”

“Given that, you can only let the soldiers fight a war, have the military take center stage?” Gu Hai frowned slightly.

Long Shenwu nodded.

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At the side, Long Aotian smiled coldly. “Over the past two days, several of my Qian Nation soldiers suffered injuries or died. Even so, we failed to break into Vacant City. Mister Gu, your Han Nation army smoothly brought your soldiers here by merits of my Qian Nation army, not losing a single soldier. Isn’t it time for you to use your soldiers?”

Long Shenwu frowned slightly, but he did not object. Instead, he looked at Gu Hai.

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Chang Ming showed anger in his eyes, but Gu Hai just smiled faintly. “I’ll give it a shot.”

“Oh?” This reply slightly startled Long Shenwu.

“I can only try. If the Yuan Nation soldiers see me as an enemy, my Han Nation army can only detour around the city. We have only one target, Imperial Emperor Xi Yu in Major Metropolitan City,” Gu Hai said seriously.

Long Aotian revealed a cold smile.

“Alright. We will have to trouble Mister Gu, then.” Long Shenwu nodded. “Sound the retreat! Withdraw the soldiers.”

Bong!

The loud sound of a gong rang out. The battle between the two armies stopped. Then, the Qian Nation collected their casualties and returned to camp.

The soldiers of Vacant City collected their casualties and reentered the city.

Gu Hai returned to his flying ship with his people and gave instructions to his subordinates.

------

On the next day:

Prince Shenwu, Long Aotian, and others of the Qian Nation stood in the army camp, watching Gu Hai’s one hundred flying ships fly slowly towards Vacant City in the distance. Their flying ships brandished banners with the “Han” character on them.

Countless soldiers and citizens in the city appeared surprised.

“It’s not the Qian Nation’s army?” someone exclaimed.

“It’s him! It’s Mister Gu! It’s Mister Gu!” a citizen immediately shouted.

“Release the arrows!” Gu Hai commanded.

Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!

Many arrows carrying letters shot into the city.

At first, the soldiers in the city kept their guard up. However, they quickly realized that the arrows were not intended as an attack.

After the arrows shot out, Gu Hai’s flying ship remained hovering in the air, not showing any intention to advance and attack. It simply waited there for six hours. Vacant City was also tranquil.

On a nearby flying ship:

Long Aotian sneered, “Back then, Younger Cousin completely ignored me when I tried my best to pursue her. Why did she think highly of him? This Gu Hai is crazy, right? He only fired one volley of arrows, and he expects Vacant City to surrender? To think that I thought that he could really conquer the city. Humph!”

Before Long Shenwu could say anything, Vacant City’s gates suddenly opened—right after Long Aotian snorted coldly.

Creak!

The gates opened, and many officials and soldiers walked out. They all bowed respectfully to Gu Hai’s flying ship. The leader, an old man, shouted, “Vacant City Lord and Vacant City’s citizens all respectfully welcome Emperor Gu! Long live Emperor Gu! May Emperor Gu live for ten thousand years!”

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for March: 09 / 50

Do help support us on Patreon? It helps to pay our bills, and I've been running on savings.

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Hey guys, you all probably have been seeing the occasional message about Patreon and how EIF isn't doing very well financially. So I held out as long as I can, and unfortunately, things are not looking up. In the interest of being able to keep up a sustainable income to pay my bills and pay the team sufficiently, I'm going to have to lower the release rates of EIF in favor of picking up another novel. As of now, I have not found another novel yet, but I will be decreasing the release rates from May onwards so that I have time to search for the next novel. For now, the rates will be lowered to 30 chapters a month, essentially daily chapters.

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