The night sky was cold .
Lu Fan was sitting in his wheelchair . The Thousand Blades Chair, glistening with a brilliant sheen under the moonlight, was as stunning as a top-grade work of art .
Oppressive energy was spreading on the second floor of the pavilion . Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao felt their hearts sank .
Was Young Master irritated by those black shadows they had released from the central palace?
Young Master surprisingly acted in person . Those black shadows could not be good news .
The wheelchair turned . Lu Fan faced Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao .
He waved his sleeve lightly .
The bronze liquor cups filled with the warm green plum wine instantly flew toward Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing from the nanmu table .
“Drink some wine . Relax . ”
“You should have seen the battle between ancient cultivators and those Alien Evil Spirits?”
Xie Yunling, who was studying formations with his eyes shut, suddenly opened his eyes .
“Alien Evil Spirit” had been his cue .
Biting her lip, Ning Zhao nodded .
Nie Changqing took the cup and finished the wine in one gulp . The images on the wall of the corridor were extremely shocking for him .
Cultivators in the Internal Organs Realm died in batches . And many strong people beyond the Internal Organs Realm also died in the sky .
Lu Fan tapped his fingers on the armrest of the wheelchair .
“Young Master… Countless visible but untouchable black shadows ran out of the palace after we killed that ancient Internal Organs Realm cultivator…” Ning Zhao said after taking a deep breath .
“I killed most of them, but there were too many . Some of them still escaped,” Lu Fan replied in a plain voice .
“Now, it will be both of your jobs to handle those who escaped . ”
“What are those?” Nie Changqing asked .
“Souls corrupted by Alien Evil Spirits . The ancient Sovereign deployed a formation to suppress them . However, the formation collapsed at the death of that ancient Internal Organs Realm cultivator, thus allowing the evil spirits to escape . Fortunately, I killed most of them . ”
“Souls corrupted by Alien Evil Spirits?”
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing were puzzled .
They seemed to know little about this .
Beside them, Xie Yunling spoke with his eyes narrowing . He explained to them what had happened to him and what the so-called evil spirits were .
After all, Xie Yunling’s soul was almost corrupted by an Alien Evil Spirit .
“These evil spirits would scatter all over the world . They would possess beasts, plants, and even fishes and affect their evolution . So they could be called demons . ”
Lu Fan tapped his fingers on the wheelchair .
“Since it’s you who released them, you should get rid of them in person . As to how to deal with those demons, it will depend on you,” Lu Fan said .
He obviously did not want to say anything more .
Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao left White Jade City Pavilion after bowing at him .
They went to see Xie Yunling to ask him about the Alien Evil Spirits .
Xie Yunling did not hide anything from them . Under the moonlight, he pointed at Beiluo Lake and told them an Alien Evil Spirit suppressed by the Young Master was imprisoned under the lake .
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing were both shocked .
On the second floor of the pavilion…
Lu Fan was leaning on the back of the wheelchair . The Spirit Pressure Chessboard was placed before him . He was setting up Wind Rain Strategy with chess pieces to recover his Soul Strength and refine Qi .
In fact, Lu Fan had just invented the story about those souls corrupted by Alien Evil Spirits .
A real cultivation world needed the prosperity of the creatures living in it and the diversity of species .
If he had let things develop naturally in this world and evolve at their own pace, he did not know how long it would take until demons with Spirit Intellect or spiritual creatures would appear .
So Lu Fan chose to lend a hand .
Pressure and stimulation were among the benefits the demons could bring to this world .
According to that golden ray of light, the wanderers that would befall in three months were defeated Lords of the Plane, whose Low Level Martial Worlds had been occupied and merged .
And also, according to that golden ray of light, they were like in the Foundation Building Realm . None of them was in the Golden Elixir Realm .
To this world, Foundation Building was the same as Internal Organs .
Initially, Lu Fan had been interested in them, but by then, he totally lost his interest .
If freaks in Golden Elixir Realm came in person, he might be forced to get to his feet from the wheelchair . However, Internal Organs Realm… Lu Fan did not think of them challenging enough .
The night wind was blowing, bringing a slight chill to the evening .
Under the moonlight, Lu Fan, in white clothes, was placing chess pieces on the chessboard . The clear sounds of the chess pieces being put down seemed a little lonely, yet birds lurking in the dark on Lake Island were startled .
Tantai Xuan was sitting in the seat of honor in the tent .
His eyes narrowed . Outside of the tent, the moon spilled its cold light on the ground, much like everywhere else .
In the tent, torches were burning and spluttering .
Mo Beike was sitting, drinking tea, while Mo Ju seemed to be pondering on something .
A shadow wearing a black robe and a black hood left North County’s camp on horseback . He did not look back at North County’s camp until he had had been far away .
He took off the hood slowly, and a handsome face showed up .
This person was exactly the First Young Master of South County, Tang Baiyun .
He did not linger there long enough . Tang Baiyun put on the hood again and left quickly under the cold moonlight .
Inside the tent…
Tantai Xuan shook his head . “Mo Ju was right…”
“Tang Xiansheng’s target turns out to be Jiang Li . He wants to ally with me to get rid of Jiang Li . To the Great Zhou Dynasty, Jiang Li is like a sharp spear . Without him, it will collapse very soon . ”
Tang Xiansheng was bold indeed .
He sent his successor Tang Baiyun to North County’s camp to talk about this .
If Tantai Xuan had had his own plan and arrested Tang Baiyun, the whole of South County would have been handicapped .
However, Tang Xiansheng should have anticipated Tantai Xuan’s reaction .
He knew Tantai Xuan would not arrest Tang Baiyun . After all, that would not do him much good .
Looking at Mo Beike, Tantai Xuan asked with respect, “Giant, do you think Tang Xiansheng’s plan is plausible?”
Waving his feather fan lightly, Mo Ju looked at Mo Beike as well .
Smiling, Mo Beike asked after taking a sip of the hot tea and blowing on it, “Mo Ju, what do you think?”
Tantai Xuan and Mo Ju were both stunned .
Mo Beike threw this question back to Mo Ju again . He had constantly been asking for Mo Ju’s opinions…
Tantai Xuan sensed some unusual hint .
Was Mo Beike going to train Mo Ju?
Maybe he wanted Mo Ju to succeed him as the Mohist giant .
Tantai Xuan wondered . He was wearing a happy expression because it was good news for him .
Mo Ju had been his advisor for a long time . If he could become the next Mohist giant, Tantai Xuan’s power would be strengthened .
Although the current Mohist School seemed to have declined, they were still quite influential in the world . After all, a camel, though dead, is still bigger than a horse where its skeletal frame is concerned .
Mohist School was, after all, a very powerful member of the Hundred Schools of Philosophy .
“Jiang Li is a hero . He inherited the Militarist’s spirit . We can’t be too careful with him . Maybe Tang Xiansheng is scheming against us—luring us out and then handling North County Army together with Jiang Li . ”
“Besides… It’ll be a big pity if a hero like Jiang Li dies,” Mo Ju answered while waving his feather fan .
Mo Beike stopped drinking his tea .
Tantai Xuan also frowned .
Mo Ju’s reply was obviously unexpected .
It was too conservative .
Mo Beike’s old voice echoed in the tent .
This was followed by an eerie silence .
“What do you mean by ‘it’ll be a big pity if a hero like Jiang Li dies’?”
“We are scrambling for the world . Anyone could die . And you shouldn’t feel pity for anyone’s death . ”
“I’ve been competing with Kong Xiu for decades . We respect each other . However, if I’ve got any chance to kill him on the battlefield, or if he has any chance to kill me, then will we not do that just because we feel pity for the other person’s death?”
“There are too many pities in this world . The withering of flowers is a pity . Fishes getting caught is a pity . Can you feel pity for everything?”
“Advisors and politicians shouldn’t be merciful, because if you show mercy to your enemy, that’s being cruel to yourself . ”
Mo Beike said a lot .
Not only were his words sincere, but also they were even a little bit stern .
Sitting there quietly, Tantai Xuan did not speak . He knew Mo Beike was teaching Mo Ju .
After a few minutes of silence…
Mo Ju got to his feet . Holding his feather fan, he bowed at Mo Beike .
“Thank you for your instruction, Giant . ”
Mo Beike nodded . Then he fixed his eyes on Tantai Xuan .
“Mayor, the current world is in a delicate balance because of the eight Dragon Gate Secret Realms . This balance is quite unfavorable for us . South County, West County, and the capital city of the Great Zhou Dynasty all started to study Dragon Gates and train cultivators a long time ago . And North County is lagging behind…”
“Mayor, are you sure you can capture the Dragon Gate Secret Realm at Wentian Peak, Tai Mountains? Don’t forget about the lesson in the Dragon Gate Secret Realm at Buzhou Peak…”
“Now Tang Xiansheng obviously intends to break this delicate balance, because as long as this balance isn’t broken, when all powers have trained a great number of cultivators, then cultivators will be a more unpredictable factor in the future, and things can go out of control even more . This is obviously a concern for Tang Xiansheng . Therefore, he is going to use Jiang Li to break this balance . ”
Mo Beike got to his feet . He, seemingly older, was pacing back and forth in the tent with his hands behind his back .
“Once Jiang Li is gone, half of Great Zhou will be gone . The only concern would be that old Kong Xiu . The dynasty has Jiang Li taking care of foreign affairs and Kong Xiu taking care of internal affairs… If Jiang Li is dead, Kong Xiu won’t be able to hold on for long . ”
Mo Beike stopped speaking then .
It was extremely quiet in the tent .
Outside of the tent, chirping bugs could be heard .
Mo Beike and Mo Ju were both waiting for Tantai Xuan’s decision . They were just advisors . They could give him suggestions, but Tantai Xuan was the one who makes the final decision .
In the seat of honor…
Stroking the armchair, Tantai Xuan was lost in thought .
As the decision-maker, it was hard and a struggle to make every decision .
After quite some time…
Tantai Xuan’s look became sharp .
Closing his fist, he looked out of the tent .
He summoned an armored general .
He gave a military order .
As soon as the order was given, the entire North County camp went into an uproar .
Late in the night…
Mo Ju walked out of the tent . Waving a feather fan and wearing a silk kerchief, he was gazing at the moon . The night sky seemed cold .
Suddenly, a big hand landed on his shoulder .
It was Tantai Xuan . He walked out of the tent and patted Mo Ju on the shoulder .
“Take it easy . The giant did that for your own good . He thinks highly of you . That’s why he is strict with you . ”
“No one knows your talent better than I do . If you ask me whom I trust most in this world, it’s surely you, Ju,” Tantai Xuan said with a smile .
Mo Ju took a step back . He cupped his hands and bowed at Tantai Xuan .
“Thank you for your trust, Mayor . Ju won’t let Mayor down . ”
Tantai Xuan burst out laughing . He patted Mo Ju on the shoulder and then left .
The moonlight spilled down on the ground, looking like liquid silver .
Mo Ju’s shadow, cupping his hands and bowing, was lengthened to a great extent under the moonlight .
Dongyan River, West County .
The Overlord went back to his tent with a black-and-blue face .
He failed to realize the breakthrough to the Internal Organs Realm again during this trip to the central palace . He was a little annoyed . However, besides the annoyance, he was also feeling helpless .
Luo Mingsang, in a gauzy dress, walked in . She took some healing ointment to apply to the Overlord’s skin .
She pointed at the middle of the Overlord’s forehead with her delicate finger to smooth his tightly knitted brows .
“Don’t push yourself too much,” Luo Mingsang said .
Her voice was very gentle .
After applying the healing ointment to the Overlord, she took her instrument, which was a qin . The Overlord was lying on his side, resting his head on Luo Mingsang’s lap . The melodious sound of the qin echoed in the tent .
The Overlord slightly closed his eyes . A smile tugged at the corners of his lips .
The peace was broken very soon .
A soldier called from outside of the tent .
The Overlord put on his clothes and got to his feet . He walked out of the tent to take the secret letter .
“Jiang Li is leading Tang Xiansheng’s a hundred thousand troops from South County to go to the north to suppress Tantai Xuan . ”
The Overlord squinted .
He did not have advisors like Mo Beike and Mo Ju . All of his subordinates were military men .
So he had to analyze the situation himself .
“Tang Xiansheng, this old fox… Is he going to take advantage of Jiang Li to suppress North County and eliminate Western Liang?”
The Overlord frowned .
Jiang Li was Militarist Bai Fentian’s successor . He was a fantastic general, very skilled in leading an army and fighting .
A hundred thousand troops, together with the Great Zhou Dynasty’s army, were a threatening force indeed .
However, the Overlord also sensed something unusual .
He knew by intuition that Tang Xiansheng seemed to intend to rock the boat .
The Overlord held the letter in his hand more tightly . Then he commanded the troop to go back to Western Liang City .
He only left 5,000 soldiers to guard the Dragon Gate Secret Realm in Dongyan River .
Quiet riots seemed to be brewing all over the world .
Jiang Li led the 10,000 troops from Great Zhou to join the 100,000 troops from South County .
Their camp covered ten-odd miles . The sight of a massive troop was quite terrifying .
Jiang Li, donning a full-body silver armor, was checking up on South County’s camp on horseback .
The South County soldiers might not be so valiant as Western Liang’s . Nor were they so tough as North County’s . However, they were equipped with the best weapons . That might be one advantage of being rich .
Making up for not being as valiant nor as tough, South County’s army was as dreadful as the army of Western Liang and North County all thanks to their weaponry .
Jiang Li saw South County’s generals, who were all in awe of him .
And everything seemed peaceful .
Jiang Li felt weird more and more…
Because it was too peaceful .
All of the soldiers were very obedient to him . No matter what orders he gave, he would get a quick response . It did not feel like a new army under his command at all .
Jiang Li had prepared some countermeasures to suppress the generals in case they refused to obey him . However, he did not have to use any of them .
Jiang Li was an experienced commander . What happened here gave him a spooky feeling .
When the two armies had joined…
They spent days marching to the north . Nothing happened on the way .
However, Jiang Li just could not get rid of the strange feeling in him .
Capital city .
Garden, Zijin Palace .
Yuwen Xiu was throwing raw meat into the pond from the wooden barrel he was carrying .
Water tumbled . The Black Dragon was suspended in midair before Yuwen Xiu after swallowing the meat and then wrapped itself around the young emperor’s body .
The Black Dragon had grown a lot . Touching its cold scales, Yuwen Xiu showed a smile .
The old eunuch walked out of the Dragon Gate .
He still had some Qi remaining in his body .
It had been a few days since Jiang Li had gone for the expedition . There was no information coming in yet, but…
The stability and peace in the capital city made Yuwen Xiu feel relieved .
He had been afraid the capital city would fall into chaos as soon as Jiang Li left .
Fortunately, Kong Nanfei was not a simple person . Although he was just a Confucianist student, he brought the capital city’s guard under control without much effort .
In addition, the Black Dragon Guard was even more orderly under his training .
All of a sudden .
On the nine-turn bridge in the garden…
The old eunuch came at a fast pace . He waved his fly-whisk and slightly bowed .
“Your Majesty, Mayor Tang had a secret letter sent here . He caught a bad cold and can’t get off his bed, so he is asking for sick leave . He won’t attend the morning meeting for the next few days…”
Yuwen Xiu’s hands, in the middle of taking raw meat out of the barrel, suddenly came to a stop .
“Is this old fox really sick, or is he just lying?”
“Send some Black Dragon Guards to keep an eye on Tang Xiansheng… We would like to see what on earth this old man is playing,” Yuwen Xiu said .
“Yes,” the old eunuch replied .
But before he was about to leave, frowning, Yuwen Xiu added, “No . You take some Black Dragon Guards in person to spy on Tang Xiansheng . We just have a bad feeling . ”