AST 1919 - Half-Mountain King Lin Clan, Barbarian Emperor
After the others had left, Qing Shui and the gang returned to the Imperial Cuisine Hall. Everyone’s morale was great as Qing Shui’s performance proved that he was able to stand a place in the battle. However, they were a little upset that they could only watch without helping.
Qing Shui knew their thoughts by seeing their expressions. He asked, “What's wrong? Aren't you happy that we chased them away?”
“Qing Shui, we weren't able to do anything. Are we useless?” Lan Lingfeng sounded demotivated.
The others stayed quiet and looked at Qing Shui since Lan Lingfeng had asked the question on behalf of them. After all, Qing Shui had to bear the responsibility alone. It was normal for them to think this way.
“You've been overthinking. Each of you has your identity. Mr. Lan, you're the Battle God Inheritor. This situation was trivial. In the future, you will certainly fight together with me. You can even do so now, although you're lacking in strength.” Qing Shui encouraged.
“I will train hard for sure. I will strive to be alongside with you as soon as possible.” Lan Lingfeng’s eyes rekindled with his fighting spirit as if he had found hope again.
“That will happen for sure, but you still need time.” Qing Shui patted his shoulder while smiling.
“Little Sister Dongfang, how is the Great Confucian Empire? What do you know about the Fox Wolf Immortal Master, the Little Prince, and the third man?” Qing Shui and his men sat in the living room of Imperial Cuisine Hall.
Dongfang Zhiqiu looked at this man, feeling speechless. She knew that Qing Shui was younger than herself now. She had actually sensed it since the beginning. Yet, she preferred to address him as ‘Elder Brother Shui’. Previously, this man had called her ‘Younger Sister Dongfang’, and now it became ‘Little Sister Dongfang’.
Qing Shui gazed at her bitter eyes. Or perhaps, Qing Shui was the one who felt so. Smiling at her, he appeared quite handsome. It was warming as he showed a bright smile.
“I had met the Great Emperor once. He is the chief of the Great Confucian Empire. He looks like a middle-aged man who rarely gets involved in the empire’s affairs. Currently, the Barbarian Emperor is the one in charge. However, he is physically strong but mentally weak, so the Great Emperor ordered his followers to assist him. The three of them stand out among the most, including the youngest son of the Great Emperor. He is smart, witty, and gifted. The Great Emperor likes him a lot. He is known as the Little Prince.”
Dongfang Zhiqiu paused a moment before she continued, “The Crown Prince is another one besides the Little Prince. He is supposed to inherit the crown of the Great Emperor. However, Little Prince is a huge threat to his inheritance. The Fox Wolf Immortal Master is the Crown Prince’s father-in-law.”
Qing Shui had some questions he wanted to ask but he held his tongue, knowing that she had yet to finish her line.
“Also, there's someone who does not belong to the royal family, the Half-Mountain King. That means he owns half of the Great Confucian Empire from the Lin clan. The Great Emperor may look fine now but he already has one foot in the grave. He might not even live for another ten years. Somebody had begun to itch for some actions since more than ten years ago.”
Qing Shui frowned, “Who is the Barbarian Emperor?”
Dongfang Zhiqiu was not surprised as she saw it coming, “The Barbarian Emperor is not from the royal family. He is a follower of the Great Emperor. He had followed the Great Emperor for several hundred years after being saved by the Great Emperor. This man is extremely strong physically. Though he is less witty, his abilities are absolutely powerful. He is very devoted to the Great Emperor.”
“How could someone slow-witted handle the state affairs?” Qing Shui wondered.
“All decisions are results of the discussion of the people below, the three forces.”
Qing Shui had understood by now. The three forces were about the same, pinning down one another. This would not work in the long run, he believed. “Since the Great Emperor is not going to live long, who will he pass his crown to? Who will become the Great Emperor of the Great Confucian Empire?”
“The Half-Mountain King does not own half of the Great Confucian Empire, despite his title says. Still, he is really strong. Even the Great Emperor is afraid of him. The Fox Wolf Immortal Master and the Crown Prince are in an advantageous situation since they are the royal close relatives and the Crown Prince is supposed to be the heir. However, the Crown Prince is treacherous and cruel. Though he appeared cultured and elegant, he is actually deceitful, evil, and brutal. He is also very lascivious. He did countless evil deeds but no one could stop him.”
“Interesting. It seems like internal fights are common everywhere.”
After listening to Qing Shui, Dongfang Zhiqiu continued, “The Little Prince is the Great Emperor’s youngest son and also the most popular among the public. Most importantly, his strength is unrivaled with his royal inheritance. This man is schematic but righteous. He has a lot of powerful followers too. He has the most optimistic prospects and the biggest threat to the Crown Prince.”
“The royal inheritance, interesting.”
Qing Shui knew the royal inheritance was actually about the born-to-be Emperor. This royal inheritance usually happened in the royal family with an immense Royal’s Qi. Qing Shui recalled that he had the Emperor’s Qi. That meant he was even greater than the royals.
However, the Masters of Confucian bothered Qing Shui the most. The Little Prince seemed tough to handle, having these people around him. After all, he must be extraordinary to make Cheng Yuan and others follow him willingly. One question suddenly popped out in Qing Shui’s mind, “Is the Little Prince an adult yet?”
Dongfang Zhiqiu rolled her eyes at Qing Shui, “ Do you think everyone is like you? The Little Prince has already been a centenarian thirty years ago.”
“Little Sister Dongfang, I'm an adult too!” Qing Shui stared at Dongfang Zhiqiu seriously.
The others stiffed their laughs while Lan Lingfeng was impressed by Qing Shui. He self-regarded as a Casanova but he felt the huge gap from Qing Shui now. For example, he would never have the courage to call the Grand State Master Dongfang as ‘Little Sister Dongfang’. It would be good enough to act like his usual self in front of her.
It was not Lan Lingfeng’s fault to feel so. The strength discrepancy brought out his inferiority complex as she gave out an aura subconsciously. That was an awe-inspiring and magnificent charisma, similar to a ferocious man who could frighten someone with a stare.
Everyone stayed up late chatting whereas Qing Shui had a lot of thoughts. He was reluctant to get into the mess of Great Confucian Empire but he was also worried about the affairs here even without getting involved. After all, Lan Lingfeng and the women were here. It would not work unless everyone leaves. That was impossible since the Sunset Sea King Palace and Dragonwolf Palace were based here. Besides, Yu Niang and the rest stayed here as well.
Most importantly, avoidance was not Qing Shui’s practice. One might be able to evade some things safely, but it should be avoided unless in desperate conditions as it could largely influence his temperament.
Otherwise, he would have to choose between the three forces. By joining a camp, he would be against the other two. If he chose not to join, he would be up against all three of them. Moreover, Qing Shui needed to expand his strength by befriending powerful forces. Hence, he planned to assist one of them.
Which one to choose among them was still a question. He could not simply decide after listening to one side. Apart from that, the Heavenly Chess Immortal Palace and Five Poison Immortal Palace were coming soon, so there might be other changes. However, Qing Shui could foresee an upcoming chaos in the Great Confucian Empire soon. This was an irreconcilable internal conflict.