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EIF - Book 05 Chapter 005: Sixty Cities

“If Imperial Father agrees, then this child will arrange for them to meet Imperial Father,” Gu Qin said with a smile.

“No.” Gu Hai frowned slightly.

“Oh?” Gu Qin appeared confused.

“I give Mo Yike full authority to deal with this matter.” Gu Hai shook his head.

“Lord Mo?” Gu Qin said in surprise.

Gu Hai nodded. “There’s no need for you to bother with this matter. Let Mister Mo handle it. Even if he sends away these envoys, rejecting the city lords and petitions, no one is to begrudge him.”

This slightly startled Gu Qin before he said respectfully, “Yes!”

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During the royal assembly the next day, Gu Qin mentioned the envoys. Then, Gu Hai officially assigned the handling of this matter to Mo Yike in front of all the officials.

Many officials saw it as the emperor giving Mo Yike a chance to establish his prestige. However, he only showed a bitter smile; he had been handed a hot potato.

Mo Yike understood that Gu Hai did this in consideration of his feelings. Even if he chased the envoys away, Gu Hai would not blame him. However, could he do that? Not to mention that he was now a Han Nation official. He had to consider the Han Nation’s interests. Furthermore, when those envoys saw Mo Yike, they looked like they had seen their savior, so he could not bear to reject them.

“Hah…,” Mo Yike sighed as he received the citizens’ petitions from the envoys.

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Great Sigh Palace Hall, Major Metropolitan City:

As Long Shenwu looked at the reports coming from all over, his face sank.

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Bang!

Long Shenwu slammed his palm on the table in rage, knocking the scrolls to the floor.

“That bastard, Gu Hai!” Long Shenwu said sullenly.

Long Aotian and Sima Changkong picked up some of the reports and read them.

“Gu Hai? Did he go back on his word? He said that he would not capture any of the Yuan Nation’s fiefs. That vile fellow!” Long Aotian said while glaring furiously.

Long Shenwu showed a sullen expression.

“Prince, are you angry because of that? If that is the case, Prince is wrongly angry,” Sima Changkong said with a bitter smile.

“Huh?” Long Aotian and Long Shenwu looked at Sima Changkong.

“Gu Hai only promised not to send a single soldier to the Yuan Nation’s territory because he wanted to save Qin Zibai. Right now, it is the cities that are requesting to join the Han Nation on their own initiative. Gu Hai has not gone back on his word,” Sima Changkong pointed out with a bitter smile.

Long Shenwu showed a sullen expression.

“In any case, capturing the Yuan Nation territory is wrong. Look, how many cities has he taken? There are already ten. What is the justification? Our soldiers risk their lives, attacking the cities; we sustain countless casualties before managing to capture a city. On the other hand, he does not have to put in any effort at all. Those belong to my Qian Nation!” Long Aotian glared.

Sima Changkong shook his head. “His Holy Eminence permitted the Han Nation to form an alliance with us and attack the Yuan Nation. That means the Han Nation has the right to capture cities too. Gu Hai did not send out a single soldier, so he did fulfill his promise to the prince. What is the justification? It is justified by the Yuan Nation citizens’ support of the Han Nation. We can’t do anything about that.”

“Sima Changkong, whose side are you on?” Long Aotian demanded coldly.

“Aotian, don’t be rude!” Long Shenwu said.

“Humph!” Long Aotian snorted coldly.

“In that case, what does Mister Sima think we should do?” Long Shenwu frowned.

“I advised Prince not to push too hard. Otherwise, the citizens would revolt. Unfortunately…,” Sima Changkong sighed.

Long Shenwu shook his head. “The Ten Thousand Sages Convention is at hand. His Holy Eminence sent urgent orders. Hence, I can only speed up and put off pacifying the citizens for later.”

Sima Changkong nodded. “Time is indeed tight. The Yuan Nation’s two hundred cities are too much in the end. With the Han Nation now accepting cities, that makes things problematic. Clearly, it is impossible to stop the Han Nation from accepting cities. So, all we can do is to reduce what they can accept. We need to capture the cities adjacent to the Han Nation quickly. Once the other cities are separated from the Han Nation, they will not have any chance of joining the Han Nation.”

“Alright,” Long Shenwu answered.

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A study, Borderless Heavenly Capital, Han Royal Dynasty:

Only Gu Hai and Gu Qin were in the study.

“Imperial Father, Mister Mo already accepted fifteen cities. However, Long Shenwu’s army reacted rapidly. They are now attacking the cities that border us,” Gu Qin said worriedly.

“Are they trying to cut the other cities off from the Han Nation? Hah! It is already too late for them to start isolating the Han Nation. They can’t do it. Just leave this to Mister Mo,” Gu Hai said, smiling while shaking his head.

“Yes!” Gu Qin smiled.

Then, Gu Hai took out a scroll and handed it to Gu Qin.

“Imperial Father, what is this?” Gu Qin asked.

As Gu Qin spoke, he unfurled the scroll. He saw many extremely complicated diagrams on the scroll. After studying them for a while, he exclaimed, “Imperial Father, is this a ritual array? However, it’s not a Go Dao ritual array.”

Gu Hai nodded. “This is why the Slaughter Heavenly Dynasty got destroyed.”

“Oh? What is this diagram?” This slightly startled Gu Qin.

“The Asura Secret Realm entrance blueprint!” Gu Hai declared.

“The Asura Secret Realm entrance?” Gu Qin said.

“You shall take charge of building this in secret. Follow the diagrams closely,” Gu Hai said seriously.

Gu Qin studied the diagrams for a while before saying, “Yes. However, the difficulty of this Asura Secret Realm entrance is no less than the ritual array we used to make Borderless Heavenly Capital fly. It will not be completed that quickly. Furthermore, we need all sorts of materials. Collecting them will take quite some time.”

“We will arrange for Chen Tianshan to collect these materials. Just do your best to construct it,” Gu Hai said.

“Yes!”

“Based on the various signs we saw from the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, we feel that something major might happen soon. The Han Royal Dynasty is too weak. If we are not careful, this major matter might wipe us out, so the Han Nation needs to grow strong quickly. This Asura Secret Realm entrance is crucial. Nothing must go wrong with it,” Gu Hai said.

“Imperial Father, rest assured. This child will do my best,” Gu Qin said gravely.

Gu Hai nodded.

“Your cultivation seems to be growing very quickly. You are almost at the Nascent Soul Realm already?” Gu Hai looked at Gu Qin.

Gu Qin nodded. “Yes. There are some secret techniques among Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance that allows me to cultivate quickly. However, I have a bad feeling about them.”

“Oh?” Gu Hai asked, feeling suspicious.

“How should I put it…oh, it seems like the secret techniques that I cultivate left a backdoor? I can’t tell what kind of danger there will be, but I have a strange feeling about it.” Gu Qin frowned.

“A backdoor?” Gu Hai frowned slightly.

Of the nine inheritors of Guan Qi, perhaps Ninth Young Master also discovered this so-called backdoor. That’s why he is searching for a substitute to pass the inheritance to?

A backdoor?

“If it is dangerous, then stop cultivating it. Right now, the Han Royal Dynasty has many cultivation techniques.” Gu Hai frowned.

Gu Qin shook his head and showed a bitter smile. “Other cultivation techniques would not be as fast as the one Old Mister Guan Qi left. Furthermore, there is no stopping after I start. This child also does not want to change it.”

Gu Hai stared at Gu Qin for a while before nodding.

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News of the Yuan Nation cities successfully joining the Han Royal Dynasty seemed to have grown wings, quickly spreading all over the Yuan Nation’s territory.

Although Imperial Emperor Xi Yu received a sovereign’s burial, the citizens did not feel grateful to Long Shenwu for it but to the Han Royal Dynasty.

The Yuan Nation citizens rejected the Qian Nation. Furthermore, Long Shenwu captured cities through military force. When the various cities heard that the Han Royal Dynasty citizens were treated well, more cities wanted to join the Han Nation.

Of course, some did not want to join the Han Royal Dynasty.

This continued until Long Shenwu’s army captured all the cities along the Han Royal Dynasty’s border, isolating the Yuan Nation cities from the Han Nation. The Han Royal Dynasty had taken in a total of thirty-five cities by that point. Adding Vacant City, which the Han Royal Dynasty previously captured, made thirty-six cities.

Now, the Han Royal Dynasty had over sixty cities.

Bang!

In the Great Sigh Palace Hall, Long Shenwu slammed his palm on the desk.

“Thirty-five cities?! Bunch of trash!” Long Shenwu roared while glaring furiously.

At the side, Sima Changkong smiled bitterly as he said, “Prince, the various battalions have already done their best. It is just thirty-five cities. At least we managed to isolate them.”

“The Yuan Imperial Dynasty had two hundred cities. Gu Hai is really lucky. Thirty-five cities. That is even more cities than what his Han Royal Dynasty has.” Long Aotian appeared depressed.

After Long Shenwu vented his anger for a while, he suppressed it.

“Never mind. Thirty-five cities, so be it. Humph!” Long Shenwu felt helpless about this.

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Now, the Han Royal Dynasty had sixty-odd cities, more than doubling its territory.

In a study, Borderless Heavenly Capital:

Gu Hai sat at his desk with the corps commanders standing respectfully at the sides.

“Your Majesty, please forgive me. This official only managed to accept thirty-five cities,” Mo Yike said with a bitter smile.

“No, Mister Mo has already done very well. Mister Mo helped our Han Nation double its territory. What is there for us to blame?” Gu Hai smiled.

Mo Yike shook his head and said, “No. Even without this official, Your Majesty could have accepted these cities as well. This official did not do anything. It is just unfortunate that I could not accept more.”

“More? Haha! Mister Mo, thirty-five cities are already the Han Nation’s limit, right? Only Mister Mo would grasp this point to such an extent. If it were another…haha!” Gu Hai laughed.

At the side, the Second Corps commander, Chen Tianshan, raised his eyebrows. “What? Mister Mo intentionally accepted only this number of cities?”

After some silence, the Third Corps commander, Bing Ji, said, “Mister Mo is wise. Indeed, thirty-five cities are already the limit of my Han Nation. Any more would just induce jealousy in others.”

Gu Hai nodded. “The Han Nation is still developing. Just take things slowly.”

“Yes!” the various corps commanders answered.

As the group discussed, the voice of a guard rang out outside the study.

“Reporting to Your Majesty, the crown prince and Mu Chenfeng are seeking an audience with Your Majesty!” the guard said respectfully.

“Oh? Mu Chenfeng? Wasn’t he in Silver Moon City? Let them in!” Gu Hai frowned.

Mu Chenfeng was Elite Hall’s Wood Division Master. Previously, he started This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion in Silver Moon City with Gu Hai. Later on, he remained there to manage the business in Silver Moon City and take care of corresponding with the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s Manor Lord, Mo Yun.

Soon, Gu Qin entered the study with Mu Chenfeng.

“Imperial Father, Mu Chenfeng sought me out earlier for an urgent matter, so I put aside my official duties and came straight here,” Gu Qin said respectfully.

“Oh?” Gu Hai looked at Mu Chenfeng.

“Mu Chenfeng salutes Hall Master!” Mu Chenfeng said respectfully.

“Mu Chenfeng, did something happen in Silver Moon City?” Gu Hai asked.

Mu Chenfeng frowned as he looked at the people in the room.

“These are all our trusted people. Go ahead and speak,” Gu Hai said.

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Mu Chenfeng nodded. “Hall Master previously sent word to report any news about Shangguan Hen to you. I worried that something might go wrong along the way, so I came myself.”

“Shangguan Hen?” Gu Hai’s expression changed.

“Yes. Manor Lord Yun Mo told me about it. His Silver Moon Mountain Manor saw Shangguan Hen and many black tortoises in the Silver Moon Sea,” Mu Chenfeng said seriously.

“Shangguan Hen worked with you in Silver Moon City for some time. Since Manor Lord Yun Mo said they saw him, it should be right. Silver Moon Sea? Now that we know where he is, it is fine.” Gu Hai nodded.

“I heard Manor Lord Yun Mo mention that a group of people went to meet Shangguan Hen. The leader seemed to be called the Azure Emperor? Yes, the Azure Emperor,” Mu Chenfeng said after thinking back.

“What? The Azure Emperor?” Gu Qin exclaimed, his eyes widening.

Who was the Azure Emperor? Gu Hai had already mentioned the Azure Emperor to Gu Qin. Based on the information Gu Hai had obtained, it was the Azure Emperor who had brought a group of experts to Nine-Five Island and killed Gu Hai’s wife, Chen Xianer, while Gu Hai was still an ordinary person. It was this Azure Emperor who was behind the disappearance of two of Gu Qin’s brothers—Gu Tang and Gu Ming.

The Azure Emperor? A high-ranking expert of the Yan Heavenly Dynasty.

When Gu Qin exclaimed with bloodshot eyes, the corps commanders appeared confused, not knowing what was wrong.

“The Azure Emperor? Hah!” Gu Hai revealed a faint smile.

However, no one noticed that Gu Hai clenched his fist so tightly under the desk that his veins bulged.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for March: 29 / 50

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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.