"Since the day I was enthroned, I have been confident. I assumed that I had the heart of a world dominating king, the determination to take on the world, the ability to shuffle and reorganize destiny, the power to conquer Tianxuan, and the brain to obtain world peace! I – have never been as disappointed as I am today."
The Emperor of Ziyou's indifferent tone turned explosive as he suddenly roared, "Not only am I disappointed, I feel utterly hopeless!"
"Hopeless, do you understand?"
The Emperor of Ziyou's voice resembled that of a fierce beast that had been injured, growling in angered grief.
"For so many years, I've always thought that I wouldn't be found lacking compared to the Empire of Yutang's Emperor Yu Peize – maybe even better! I despised the fact that he still couldn't dominate the world even though he had the strong assistance of the Nine Supremes! If the Nine Supremes were in Ziyou, I would have long conquered Tianxuan!"
"I had always thought that God was unfair! Why did the Nine Heavens Demesne land in Yutang all those years ago? Why not Ziyou?"
"However, today, I finally realized how wrong, how absolutely wrong I was."
The Emperor of Ziyou's voice was quivering; he took in a deep breath to stabilize it and returned to his nonchalant tone, "Today, I see the difference."
"Half of Zilong city's people have been evacuated, a wide dragnet has been set up, there was even a spiritual restraining formation that specifically targets the Nine Supremes' powers! Yet, nothing could capture Supreme Cloud, a handicapped man!"
Emperor of Ziyou asked in a pained voice, "Let me ask all of you. Does Ziyou truly not have the ability to take on Supreme Cloud?"
His gaze lingered on his officials one by one as he enunciated each word carefully, "Zilong City has exerted its combat power in entirety and we still can't lay a finger on Supreme Cloud?"
"Millions of soldiers from the core of the empire, a spiritual restraining formation, and an inescapable dragnet!"
His tone grew increasingly grim, "How is it possible that this man has managed to evade all of these? Are we so inept as to be unable to catch and take down one man? This one man who jumped out to open fire at everyone, taking on the crowd single-handedly and doing battle with tens of thousands of warriors? After all that, he managed to break through the siege!"
"How is it possible that no one was able to catch him?"
The officials were ashen-faced as each of them had their heads lowered, but no one dared utter a word of explanation.
"Good. No one has decided to start arguing and give excuses, stating the reasons that allowed Supreme Cloud to escape. You still have a shred of dignity left after all. Not bad, every man here is a person of honor."
"I'm reluctant to believe in this outcome."
"However, the fact remains that he can't be captured! No one managed to restrain him! He has walked away unscathed from a siege of millions of soldiers and the top-notch forces of Ziyou; he slaughtered his way through the ranks and fled! He comes and goes as he wishes as if he were entering an abandoned city."
"I am humiliated. Still, I understand it well – what's there to feel humiliated about? Didn't we foresee the possibility that this would happen? This is how it should be!"
"From the very beginning, we should have known that if we managed to apprehend Supreme Cloud, it would be an incredible stroke of luck, a one in a million chance. The chances of God going blind would have been higher!"
The Emperor of Ziyou's bellow sounded like a crack of thunder.
Hearing his words, all the officials trembled. They could guess why His Majesty was so enraged; all of them felt a pang of pain in their hearts, but no one dared speak at this moment.
Whatever they said would only make them look weaker in front of the truth.
"I've always thought that the Empire of Ziyou's martial power is the best in the world, the peak forces of military peerless! We are equipped with the capabilities to dominate the world, but because of Yutang's geographical advantage and the birth of great generals, we were unable to expand our territory. Even when we lose our army every year, we attack every year, we come back empty-handed every year. I thought it was because our time has yet to come. God can't continue to bless Yutang forever and allow exceptional generals to guard them eternally!"
"I've always thought that the Empire of Ziyou was made up of noble families with domineering martial powers and generations of heritage. They're the empire's true force, the greatest assistance to the empire! However, the truth has spoken; I have been terribly mistaken. I have taken it for granted. Those aren't the empire's forces nor are they of any help! They are only forces belonging to you noble families!"
"They are only your forces!"
"I have always thought that my capabilities were similar to that of Yutang's Emperor, Yu Peize, but today has only shown me the fact that I'm so far behind him!"
"I was certain that when Supreme Cloud entered the city, he would be a caged bird, a fish in the net, a prisoner. Still, the truth tells me that I'm wrong again! I've taken it for granted yet again!"
"I've been assuming that the Empire of Ziyou is our homeland, a territory we should guard together. The truth once again tells me that I'm still wrong. This is all me! The country belongs only to me; it has nothing to do with you all. You only stand to gain - you have nothing to lose, hence the absolute lack of concern!"
The Emperor of Ziyou's voice grew colder and frighteningly calm.
"The Empire of Ziyou has the king of the spear, king of the sword, king of the saber, king of staff, king of the lance, king of the whip, king of punches, king of hidden weapons… It is full of reputable martial practitioners and legendary cultivators! The Empire of Ziyou possesses ten dominating kings who sit at the top of the world overlook Tianxuan!"
"The Empire of Ziyou even has the saint of the sword, saint of the saber, saint of punches and even the saint of whatever you can think of. So many valiant names! So many tyrannical titles! It f*cking makes me feel awesome! How honored!"
It was the first time in his entire life that the Emperor of Ziyou had used an absolutely resentful and furious vulgar word.
It was crude, so very vulgar without any sense of decorum in it!
"The Empire of Ziyou's kings and saints are what other empires lack! Even if they did have them, they would only have one or two, at most. The Empire of Ziyou? There are at least tens of them! Hundreds, maybe even thousands!"
"We have such mighty forces but why are we yet to assume hegemony?"
"The reason is very simple. It's because of all of you!"
The Emperor of Ziyou stood up; his finger trembled as he pointed it with a loathsome gaze, "You, you, you, you… and you, you, you…"
"Do you all know? Lan Wuxin holds the largest responsibility, but I have yet to punish him. Do you not wish to know why? Why do you think that this is so?"
"Even though Lan Wuxin made a mistake, his true intentions, his heart, is for the empire; he is loyal to the empire without a stray thought! He has contributed all his available combat power in this battle to annihilate Supreme Cloud. Of course, he did it with the intention to redeem himself, but he has done all he can! Furthermore, he did it without any reservations!"
"All of you, on the other hand... where have the kings and saints under all of you gone to? Is there even one left to join the battle?"
"I must have gone foolish. Didn't one sword king join in, in a manner? It wouldn't be fair to say that no one helped. However, that king of the sword has died like an idiot! What help is that? Was he there to be the laughing stock, the joke? To let everyone laugh at him? Only then would the saint of sword make an appearance; He would appear at the last moment to strike – finally, someone adept enough to deal severe damage to Supreme Cloud… but it's too late."
"What the f*ck was he f*cking doing earlier?"
"Why didn't he attack earlier? We had a good chance, even I could see it!"
The Emperor of Ziyou roared in frustration.
"There are still plenty of top-notch experts and superb cultivators who have never shown themselves – and they never will."
"All the top forces of the Empire of Ziyou have been recruited by your families, kept aside once obtained! Even when the country was at a critical stage, you would never have let them go!"
"Even when you saw Supreme Cloud turn rampant and make a joke of Ziyou, even when you saw Supreme Cloud leave unharmed, you were still reluctant to produce your forces!"
"This is because Supreme Cloud is strong! It is because of the fact that if you produce your secret top forces, they might be palace and die! Once those experts die, it's your family's combat power that would be lost – it'll damage your family's overall strength!
"Even if the Empire of Ziyou were to fall, as long as your families were to have these forces with you, you can still triumph in a new dynasty, retain your wealth and honor; your power and influence wouldn't decrease! Am I right?"
"You can all still live happy and peaceful lives!"
"Even when the Empire of Ziyou has indeed fallen, none of you would have to pay! You can get by with bowing, speaking a few words, acknowledge another emperor – you can still be a high-status official, you can still be an eternal noble. Henceforth, the empire has always been mine and mine alone! It has never been yours! Of course, all of you wouldn't be concerned! Today, I have finally figured it out! I've finally understood!"