It was a vicious plan through and through!!
In fact, it was vicious to a completely shocking degree, to a level that would leave many people bristling with anger. Chen Haosong felt like his heart was being struck by hundreds of thousands of lightning bolts. Face falling, he actually staggered slightly as he stood there.
“Grand Heavenmaster, you mustn’t do such a thing!!” he said, trembling. He had many heirs, and if this plan were carried out, it could shatter his entire clan!
Furthermore, nobody would be able to revolt against the Grand Heavenmaster because of it. After all, he wouldn’t be the one to take away the resources! The chaos which would result in each and every clan would force them all to do everything in their power just to remain stable!
In the end, it would essentially take all the biggest clans and reduce them to dozens of smaller clans!
With no clans able to maintain a dominant position, it would be hard to even state what the political situation would be in the years to come. Chen Haosong didn’t even dare to think about it.
“This Bai Hao is completely ruthless!” he cursed inwardly. “Why won’t he just go and die already!?!?”
This vicious plan was clearly an extenuation of the shakedowns. However, the ones to be shaking down the clans wouldn’t be Bai Xiaochun, it would be the children in the clans, and those people in the clan who were loyal to them!!
Bai Xiaochun was asking to hand a sharp blade to the bastard sons and the members of the direct bloodlines who had no right of succession. Then he would have them raise that blade up over the heads of the clan as a whole!
It was a very crafty plan. It would sow chaos within all of the nobility and aristocracy by turning the clans on themselves internally. The people who currently held power would be badly burned, and no one else….
After all, all of the children were members of the direct bloodline, and carried the requisite blood of the clan. Short of exterminating all descendents, any given marquis, duke, or king would be incapable of smoothly resolving all of the resulting conflicts.
Contrariwise, it would be a boon to the bastard sons and other children with no right of succession. Although such people normally did get access to better cultivation resources than the average cultivator, it was nothing compared to the true successors. For the most part, they only slightly benefited from the vast wealth of their clans.
But if this plan were to be carried out, everything would change…. Everyone would have equal access to the wealth, successors, non-successors, and bastards alike!
How could people like Chen Haosong not go mad!? How could they not be passionately opposed to it? Of course, unluckiest of all… were the current appointed successors!
They would be suffering catastrophic blows, and their futures would essentially be ruined! One could only imagine how much they would hate Bai Xiaochun. Whatever hatred they already felt would increase exponentially, and would permeate their very marrow.
As for the people currently in power, they would be skating on even thinner ice. All of the wealth they had worked so hard to build up, all of their savings, would be divided up in the clan. It would make it impossible for them to say if they could continue to bask in their previous glory.
On top of that, such people would then be forced to watch helplessly as their chosen successor squabbled and fought with the other children. Their hatred for Bai Xiaochun would reach towering heights, to the point where they would desire nothing more than to drink his blood, dine on his flesh, and crush his bones to bits.
Before, Bai Xiaochun had been a dangerous knife that could be directed at anyone, which was why everyone had wanted him dead. But now, that knife was threatening everyone!
“This is complete insanity!!” the bearded heavenly duke said, chills running up and down his spine. Although he was loyal to the Grand Heavenmaster, the mere thought of how terrifying this plan was left him in utter terror of Bai Xiaochun!
Scalp tingling in fear, he clasped hands toward the Grand Heavenmaster and bowed deeply. “Grand Heavenmaster, you mustn’t do such a thing!”
As for the Grand Heavenmaster, he sat there in his throne, breathing unsteadily, which was a rare thing. As he looked at Bai Xiaochun, his eyes shone with brilliant light.
Never could he have anticipated that Bai Xiaochun would come up with a plan like this. From beginning to end, he had explained everything in perfect detail. As far as the Grand Heavenmaster was concerned, there was no downside. And the upsides… virtually defied description. It was a plot that was tailor-made for him!
Although it wouldn’t necessarily resolve the issues of the military expenditures, it would solve the crux of the issue. The greed of the nobility and aristocracy would be ended. Furthermore, any profits they made in the future would be evenly distributed, which would lead to the overall strengthening of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty as a whole. Plus, everyone who benefited from the new arrangement would be deeply loyal to the Grand Heavenmaster, who would be the source of everything they had gained!
At the same time, it would prevent any one clan from becoming so powerful that they could eventually threaten his position!
The Grand Heavenmaster’s eyes were shining brightly. Before, the only use he had found in Bai Xiaochun was how he caused a big scene, striking fear into the aristocracy, and forcing the Arch-Emperor to go into secluded meditation. He had also pushed the Grand Heavenmaster to the peak of his current power.
But now, he thought back to all of the wealth Bai Xiaochun had sent to him during the clan shakedowns, and immediately understood the main point of the argument. And then, the gears in his head started to turn.
Now that he thought about it, the reserve savings of these clans… really were inappropriately large. He also understood that the very extreme circumstances in which he had exterminated eighteen heavenly marquises recently were very unique. At any other time, they would likely have led to a rebellion.
Furthermore, taking out eighteen heavenly marquises was the limit of what he was capable of. If he continued on with such action, it would lead to complete revolt.
That was another reason why he had been contemplating expelling Bai Xiaochun: to sate the anger of the masses.
But the plan which had just been presented was flawless. He didn’t have to take any risks, and would come out victorious without ever having to fight. He could dismantle the aristocracy with almost no effort.
If the plan were carried out, not only would people be unable to use it as an excuse to revolt, but most people would be delighted by it. Just as Bai Xiaochun had said, their profound gratitude would be given to the person who had given them the biggest chance of their lifetimes, the Grand Heavenmaster! Supporting him would be the same as safeguarding themselves!
As for the possibility of some unknown factors coming into play, the Grand Heavenmaster was confident in being able to handle them.
With such thoughts on his mind, the Grand Heavenmaster looked at Bai Xiaochun, his eyes shining with praise. As of this moment, he realized that his previous plan of getting rid of Bai Xiaochun didn’t make much sense. He was a rare genius!
He could cut down the enemy, handle important matters, and put good plans and ideas forward!
His heart was beginning to pound, and soon, he simply couldn’t cover up his pleasure. He began to laugh uproariously, a laughter which filled the two heavenly dukes with incredible terror.
“Grand Heavenmaster, you mustn’t do such a thing!”
“Please reconsider, Grand Heavenmaster!!”
Bai Xiaochun completely ignored the two heavenly dukes, and focused completely on the Grand Heavenmaster. And when he saw the praise in the man’s eyes, and heard his laughter, he breathed a sigh of relief.
He also knew… that not only had he resolved a major crisis, he had also pushed himself to new heights of power!
And yet, he felt no joy. His heart was still as cold as eyes, and his murderous aura continued to grow stronger.
“Just hold on a little bit longer, Hao’er….”
Laughing, the Grand Heavenmaster ignored the two heavenly dukes and turned to Bai Xiaochun. “A blessing for all living creatures. Divine kindness from above! From the mortals to the nobles, Wildlander clans will no longer be divided by age or bloodline. All wealth will be evenly distributed! Call it a Proclamation of Universal Grace!
“This is a wonderful thing for the Arch-Emperor Dynasty. In fact, I will support the new arrangement myself. Let it begin in Heavenmaster Manor, and spread to fill the entire dynasty. Heavenly marquises. Heavenly dukes. Heavenly kings. All will comply!” Continuing to laugh heartily, the Grand Heavenmaster rose excitedly from his throne.
“Bai Hao, hear my command!” he said, waving his hand dramatically.
“Your humble servant awaits his orders!” Bai Xiaochun said decisively.
“Henceforth, you will command 5,000 troops in your role as inspections commissioner. You will also be responsible for enforcing the Proclamation of Universal Grace. Take your leave and get to work!” With that, he flicked his sleeve, causing Bai Xiaochun and Chen Haosong to fade away from Heavenmaster Hall.
Only the bearded heavenly duke remained behind, frowning and sighing bitterly. He knew that there was no way to change what was happening, and that the plan was actually perfectly suited for the Grand Heavenmaster.
Taking a few steps forward, he clasped hands and bowed.
“Grand Heavenmaster, you can’t leave that kid alive. He’s truly venomous, a clan-reviling brute! First was the matter with the ancestral sacrifices, and now this…. The nobility and aristocracy all hate him! Even I can’t help but feel coldness in my heart!
“Furthermore, there are some questions about his identity. I think there is a strong chance… that he’s actually Bai Xiaochun!! His heart truly knows no bounds when it comes to evil!” Clearly, this bearded heavenly duke had truly been frightened by Bai Xiaochun’s plan.
“There are going to be a lot of people who support this new arrangement. The bastard sons and auxiliary bloodline cultivators are going to go wild with joy. The worst off of all will be the arrogant heirs apparent, and the chosen who already have a problem with him. He’s basically killing them by proxy!”