Book 01 Chapter 004: The Legend of Gu Hai
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Everlasting Immortal Firmament Book 01 Chapter 004: The Legend of Gu Hai

At an isolated mansion known as the Tian Residence in Song City, the Song Nation’s capital:

It was already late in the night, but the main hall of the Tian Residence remained brightly lit.

Only two people could be found in the hall. One was Gu Hai, who had been at the Gu Residence not long ago.

The dust-covered Gu Hai appeared to have rushed over from far away. However, there was one difference: his snow-white hair was now black, without a single strand of white.

The other person was a yellow-robed man about thirty years old. He had a squarish face with thick eyebrows and spirited eyes.

“Adoptive Father, you came very quickly,” the yellow-robed man said with a smile as he handed over a hot hand towel.

Gu Hai received the hand towel and wiped his face and hands before returning it to the yellow-robed man.

“I have aged. In another few more years, I will no longer be able to run like that. This time, nothing can be permitted to go wrong,” Gu Hai said seriously.

The yellow-robed man, Gu Han, immediately brewed a cup of tea and extremely respectfully handed it to Gu Hai.

“Adoptive Father, did the Clear River Sect Master agree?” Gu Han asked with some anticipation.

Gu Hai nodded and said, “That’s right. Otherwise, I would not be here.”

“That’s great. If Adoptive Father can break through to the Innate Realm, my Gu Clan can flourish for another century. No, Adoptive Father only lacked this one opportunity. Once you break through, no one can stop Adoptive Father!” Gu Han exclaimed somewhat excitedly.

“I watched you brothers grow up. Your cultivation talents are excellent. Even without me, you all can enter immortal sects sooner or later,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

“No, First Brother and I trust in Adoptive Father,” Gu Han replied solemnly.

“Alright. Gu Qin is currently overseeing the Chen Nation’s Hulao Pass in my name. Gao Xianzhi’s army might move out at any moment, so time is tight. First, tell me about the Song Nation. I have not come to the Song Nation in ten years already. Is there anything special about the war between the two nations?” Gu Hai asked seriously.

Gu Han appeared solemn as he nodded. “Yes. This time, the Song Emperor designated Gao Xianzhi as the Chen Felling Supreme Commander and gave him full control over the military. However, the Song Emperor also felt worried, so he designated the crown prince as the Vice Supreme Commander. The crown prince follows the army to keep an eye on Gao Xianzhi. However, the crown prince does not have any military authority. This child has been in the Song Nation for eight years already, responsible for all the shops and businesses here. In accordance with Adoptive Father’s request, I changed my name to Tian Han and financially supported the crown prince over the past few years. Our financial support allowed the crown prince to become the heir apparent. Hence, I have gained the crown prince’s trust.”

“The crown prince?” Gu Hai’s expression changed slightly.

“Yes!”

“You had been collecting plenty of information about the Song Nation’s officials, right?” Gu Hai asked.

“Yes, I have already organized them into volumes!” Gu Han nodded.

Gu Hai nodded and ordered, “Bring me all the information on the officials right away. I need to study them and see how we can use that to take down the nation.”

“Adoptive Father, are you not going to rest after rushing all the way here?” Gu Han asked worriedly.

“There’s no need. Time will not wait for me. Quickly!” Gu Hai said seriously.

“Yes!” Gu Han answered.

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Clear River Sect, main hall:

The Clear River Sect Master and the First Song Sect Master continued to accompany that young woman and Venerable Liu Nian.

Everyone looked at the map in the center.

“Venerable Liu Nian, please make your predictions on how the troops of the two nations will move,” the young woman said with a smile.

“Gao Xianzhi’s army is high in morale. At this moment, they should quickly capture Hulao Pass in one fell sweep. As for the Chen Nation, with Emperor Chen’s death, the troops’ morale is in decline. This is the best opportunity for the Song Nation. Furthermore, this Gu Hai is just a merchant. It is not good to change the commander right before the battle. Gao Xianzhi is a brilliant person. He will probably urge his troops on and rush his elite troops over at lightning speed to attack Hulao Pass immediately. The Chen Nation won’t be able to resist, and the war will end,” Venerable Liu Nian said gravely.

“Oh? You don’t think much of this Gu Hai?” the young woman asked, feeling curious.

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“It is useless, as it is already too late. That Gao Xianzhi is not a stupid person. How could he give them a chance to make a counterattack?” Venerable Liu Nian replied with a smile.

“I have a report!”

Suddenly, a loud cry came from outside the large hall.

“Ha! The report is here. Let’s see if Venerable Liu Nian’s predictions are right or not.” The young woman smiled.

Soon, a white-clad man entered the large hall.

“Salutations, Sect Master. Greetings, Hall Master. Greetings, Clear River Sect Master,” the white-clad man said.

[TL Note: The usage of “salutations” as a greeting is for one’s superior; this is in contrast to “greetings,” which is generic and respectful. The latter is initiated by the party with the lower status or out of politeness between equals. The difference between the two greetings get brought out more later in the story to show the attitudes of various characters towards certain people.]

“How is it? Has Gao Xianzhi’s army charged into Hulao Pass yet?” the First Song Sect Master asked.

The white-clad man shook his head and replied, “They did not rush to Hulao Pass. Instead, they stopped and slowly worked on claiming the surrounding cities.”

“Oh?” Venerable Liu Nian paused for a moment.

“What’s going on?” the First Song Sect Master asked while glaring.

“This disciple has been following Gao Xianzhi all the while, obtaining first-hand information at all times and immediately sending them back here. Initially, Gao Xianzhi reorganized his troops after taking the three passes, preparing to leave five hundred thousand soldiers for claiming the surrounding cities and using the remaining three hundred thousand to march on with him to take Hulao Pass. However, he suddenly received news that Gu Hai is helping the Chen Nation and immediately stopped,” the white-clad man reported.

“Oh? Because of Gu Hai?” The Clear River Sect Master’s eyes lit up.

The white-clad man nodded reluctantly.

“How can it be? That Gu Hai is only an old fellow waiting for death. Why would Gao Xianzhi fear him?” the First Song Sect Master asked, scowling.

The white-clad man explained bitterly, “Gao Xianzhi showed an intense reaction. He immediately wrote back to the Song Emperor, telling the Song Emperor to keep a tight rein on all the merchants in the nation. In order to prevent the merchants from causing trouble, the Song Emperor was to take immediate control of shops that sell food and herbs. That way, Gu Hai could not use his business means to cut off the military’s urgent supplies.”

“Gao Xianzhi is being too sensitive. Gu Hai is just an insignificant merchant; how can he affect the war situation? Groceries? Herb shops? Can Gu Hai influence the entire Song Nation?” the First Song Sect Master demanded furiously.

With a bitter smile, the white-clad man replied, “This disciple asked him the same thing, and Gao Xianzhi said yes.”

First Song Sect Master: “…”

“Hahahahahaha!” The Clear River Sect Master felt delighted.

Venerable Liu Nian and the young woman exchanged surprised looks.

“How is the situation now?” the First Song Sect Master asked sullenly.

“I heard that it is already under control. The Song Nation sent sufficient supplies of food and herbs under heavy guard to the frontlines to prevent any accidents,” the white-clad man replied.

“Since there are no problems with food and herbs, why has he not attacked yet?” the First Song Sect Master asked.

“Gao Xianzhi said that claiming the surrounding cities is more important. He had to ensure that the Chen Nation has no means of counterattacking. Hence, he delayed his march to Hulao Pass. He said that claiming three-quarters of the Chen Nation’s territory would inspire fear in the people at Hulao Pass. With every day that passes, this fear will grow further. When they finally arrive at Hulao Pass, they can win without fighting,” the white-clad man explained.

Venerable Liu Nian frowned and said, “Oh? A psychological battle? However, he is delaying too long.”

The First Song Sect Master also said sullenly, “A psychological battle? How long is he going to drag this out? Isn’t he a divine strategist? Does he actually fear an old man who appeared out of nowhere?”

“This disciple also asked that.” The white-clad man smiled bitterly.

“Oh? What did Gao Xianzhi say?” Venerable Liu Nian asked, feeling curious.

Still smiling bitterly, the white-clad man replied, “Gao Xianzhi said that although Gu Hai is a merchant, he is the best military strategist.”

Suddenly, the Clear River Sect Master’s eyes lit up. This was Gao Xianzhi’s evaluation. The best military strategist? How could that be possible? However, he felt happy when he heard about Gao Xianzhi’s evaluation. Perhaps there was still hope for the Chen Nation.

“The best military strategist?” This piqued the young woman’s interest.

That white-clad man immediately laughed, “Hall Master, the ken of ordinary people is limited to the mundane world around them; that is to say, they are aware of only these six mundane nations. You cannot take that seriously.”

“Cut the crap. Why did Gao Xianzhi say that Gu Hai was the best military strategist? Furthermore, based on how he used his troops, he is an incomparably proud and confident person. Why is he so cautious?” the young woman asked.

“Yes! This subordinate asked Gao Xianzhi, and he told me the truth. This Gu Hai commanded an army in the past. Furthermore, he achieved incomparably startling results,” the white-clad man responded.

“Oh? Why were there no reports about this previously? Didn’t you all say that Gu Hai has always been a merchant?” The young woman frowned.

“This matter was kept a tightly guarded secret. We indeed did not know previously. However, Gao Xianzhi knew about it because his father told him. Gu Hai appeared out of nowhere forty years ago. Back then, Gu Hai was thirty years old, and he somehow befriended the late Chen Emperor, Chen Taiji. At that time, there were eight mundane nations in this region. The Chen Nation was the smallest and at risk of elimination. Gu Hai silently became Chen Taiji’s strategist and helped Chen Taiji with the military campaigns. Gu Hai managed to resolve the danger within a short time. In fact, the Chen Nation’s army enjoyed a strong momentum under his command, undefeatable, no matter where.”

“Oh? Undefeatable, no matter where?” the young woman echoed, feeling startled.

“Yes, undefeatable, no matter where. While the other armies grew increasingly smaller with the battles, Gu Hai’s army grew larger as time went by. Gao Xianzhi took out countless military campaign records. There were Village Surrounding the City, Sparrow Battle, Tunnel Warfare, Besieging Enemies to Rescue Allies, Borrowing the Ally’s Resources to Attack the Enemy—those were the names given by Gu Hai. This subordinate failed to understand these names, but Gao Xianzhi treated these records as treasures. Gu Hai used these military strategies to gain many great victories in succession. Despite fighting more than one hundred battles over five years, he never lost. From the verge of destruction, the Chen Nation suddenly showed a strong momentum, destroying a large nation and continuing to face the world. The Chen Nation suddenly eliminated one of the eight nations, startling the other six nations, so they banded together to attack the Chen Nation.”

“He brought a nation on the verge of destruction to victory and even eliminated a nation, then faced an allied army of six nations?” Venerable Liu Nian’s expression changed slightly.

“Yes. Gao Xianzhi said that Gu Hai’s command of the army was simply legendary. Even when facing the six nations’ allied army, Gu Hai toyed with them, having them in the palm of his hand. Their two-million-strong army failed to accomplish anything. Riding the momentum, the Chen Nation gave pursuit and destroyed another nation,” the white-clad man said.

“Destroyed another nation?” the young woman parroted in shock.

“Yes. The army that Gu Hai commanded was like a sea being fed by all rivers. They did not reject anyone that came to them, even dared to take in enemy troops. This resulted in the Chen Nation growing increasingly stronger. Back then, Gao Xianzhi’s father was an incredible and famous general, a member of the allied army. After the battle with Gu Hai, he fully accepted his defeat, losing his confidence to continue fighting, so he retired and returned to his hometown. At that time, Gu Hai’s large army was like a drawn divine sword. Anywhere the divine sword pointed got destroyed, reduced to ashes. At that time, Gu Hai wanted to conquer the other five nations in one fell sweep. However, the various sects interfered, stopping the Chen Nation from prosecuting the war. Even so, the remaining five nations feared the Chen Nation, not daring to attack the Chen Nation for decades,” the white-clad man explained.

The Clear River Sect Master frowned slightly and said, “Back then, the other sects sought me out about this. For the sake of the sects’ benefits, I ordered Chen Taiji to stop fighting. So, it was not Chen Taiji fighting but Gu Hai commanding the army in secret.”

“To think that Gu Hai was this incredible at commanding troops.” A bright light flashed in the young woman’s eyes.

“Gao Xianzhi said that his father discovered that Gu Hai commanded the troops only by coincidence. After retiring and returning to his hometown, he collected records of Gu Hai’s battles and organized them into books. Then, he got Gao Xianzhi to study these military campaign records from childhood. Gao Xianzhi said that he studied all of Gu Hai’s battles for many years and knew how terrifying Gu Hai was. Hence, he wanted to use the most stable method to take Hulao Pass,” the white-clad man explained.

“Earlier, did you say that Gu Hai fought more than one hundred battles undefeated for five years?” Venerable Liu Nian asked, feeling curious.

“He used only five years to fight so many battles?”

“Yes. Gao Xianzhi explained that Gu Hai could run several battles simultaneously. In just five years, the Chen Nation went from the verge of destruction to the strongest of the six nations. However, a conflict occurred between Gu Hai and Chen Taiji for some reason, which resulted in Gu Hai stepping away from politics and the military to become a merchant. However, even as a merchant, he became the wealthiest man of the six nations.”

Everyone in the large hall fell silent. All this sounded too unusual.

Novel Notes

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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