Jiang Chen had interacted with this woman before. At the time, he had visited Plumscore Retreat and met a young girl called "Nian'er". The girl had left a deep impression on him even to this day. He didn't know why, but she felt naturally familiar to him. It was an extremely peculiar feeling. It was why Jiang Chen immediately recalled his trip to Plumscore Retreat after he heard the monarch's cool voice.
Huang'er smiled when she heard Plumscore Monarch's complaint. "You are right, Plumscore Monarch. However, young lord Zhen rose to fame at a young age, so his foundation is still weak. He travels here and there to solidify his foundations and proclaim to the entire human domain that a person like him exists in Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Speaking of which, didn't young lord Zhen spread his fame throughout the northern human domain and humiliate Pillfire City when he visited Tilted Moon Region some time ago?"
Huang'er disliked speaking in a hasty and harsh manner. Even when she was defending a point, she would respond logically and unhurriedly while remaining utterly calm. Her noble bearing was extraordinary and something unable to be learned. It was a natural quality she was born with.
Plumscore Monarch was still slightly unhappy. "I'm not saying he can't go anywhere he wants. He's the young lord, and his feet are his. Naturally, he has the right to go wherever he wants to. However, he has to have a sense of priority. Veluriyam Capital is in a tumultuous state at the moment and we need him here in order to set things right. Should we consider the possibility that he's evading his responsibilities if he doesn't return soon?"
Chronobalance Monarch chuckled. "Relax, relax, sister. Even I'm aware that our young lord isn't a person like this. If he was afraid of the responsibility, he wouldn't have volunteered himself during the pill battle against Pill King Ji Lang. Everything's that happened during after the Veluriyam Pagoda gathering is also proof that he's a responsible man."
Plumscore Monarch snorted coldly. In truth she agreed with Chronobalance Monarch, but she was a hot-tempered woman and was also holding a grudge. The complaints had spilled out because she couldn't hold them back any longer.
Huang'er had a solid grasp of Plumscore Monarch's behavior herself, so she smiled instead of growing angry. "It's true that things are a bit strange right now, but the sky hasn't fallen in yet, has it?"
Plumscore Monarch's lips moved wordlessly and her expression conveyed her distress clearly. In the end, she simply let out a long sigh and fumed silently.
Suddenly, Wildfox Monarch broke his long silence and spoke with a feminine tone. "We're all very impressed with your ability to manage the young lord residence, Miss Huang'er. However, I don't quite agree with your words. It'll be too late when the sky really falls on our heads. Veluriyam Capital has remained as stable as it was was because Emperor Peafowl was around. But now that he isn't, if another person is to take over, the young lord and Sacred Peafowl Mountain will certainly become the first to fall in the line of fire."
It was no false warning. Although Wildfox Monarch hadn't pointed fingers at Emperor Shura directly, the meaning behind his words was quite clear. Young lord Zhen would be the first to be targeted once Emperor Shura gained control of Veluriyam Capital. The young lord was the only threat to Emperor Shura because Emperor Peafowl's arrangements indicated a clear preference for the young lord to rule.
Huang'er remained as calm as ever. "The young lord residence is new and few in terms of manpower. However, I hardly think that just anyone can take us apart."
There was a natural bearing and confidence in Huang'er's tone that made people trust her without question.
However, Cloudsoar Monarch sighed quietly. "Miss Huang'er, if the times are still the same as before, we wouldn't have arrived here together. The situation is much different this time."
"How so?" Huang'er smiled.
"Emperor Shura has successfully convinced the other great emperors to issue a general summons. This means that the thirteen great nations and eight hundred cities under Veluriyam Capital rule will arrive in half a month to discuss major events and the future of Veluriyam Capital." Cloudsoar Monarch sounded very conflicted. "The fact that the general summons was issued means that Emperor Shura has made all necessary preparations. The only thing left now is the final declaration."
"Do you mean that Emperor Shura is planning to announce himself as the new ruler of Veluriyam Capital?"
"He doesn't even have to. All he needs to do is manipulate the event, and people will automatically nominate him to be the new ruler of Veluriyam Capital. When that happens…" Cloudsoar Monarch was very grave.
"If all thirteen kings, eight hundred city lords, and various feudal vassals are to support him, Emperor Peafowl will literally become the only person who can overturn everything. Otherwise… it will be too late even if young lord Zhen returns." Cloudsoar Monarch decided to lay everything out.
Plumscore Monarch also added, "Miss Huang'er, I've always had a quick temper, but I've never look down on capable people either. Young lord Zhen is one such person, and I have high expectations of him. The situation is rather precarious right now, so if the young lord can come home to turn the tides and resolve our current crisis, I will swear to support him unswervingly. I'll fight anyone who dares challenge his rule to the death!"
She stood and looked at the other three monarchs. "Now, I have something else to do. Please continue the conversation without me."
Plumscore Monarch was as cold and proud as a lone plum in winter. A winter plum chooses to blossom only during winter and feels that it's beneath its stature to compete with the brightness of other flowers in the spring. Plumscore Monarch was a slightly anti-social person, but her promises carried enormous weight.
The other three monarchs didn't seem to be surprised by her sudden departure at all. They were very familiar with how she was.
Chronobalance Monarch also added, "Miss Huang'er, I am but a uncouth man. As Plumscore Monarch had said earlier, I will serve young lord Zhen unequivocally if he is able to resolve this crisis. Even if something really has happened to Emperor Peafowl, I will still support the young lord with all I have."
Wildfox Monarch sighed. "I am so too. When the tree falls, the monkey scatter. None of us wishes to see the long, glorious legacy of Sacred Peafowl Mountain vanish into nothingness."
In general, the four monarchs were of the same opinion. They were slightly disappointed at first that Emperor Peafowl had not selected a successor from within Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Later on, after witnessing Jiang Chen's outstanding talents, they'd swallowed their discomfort and accepted his rise to power with an open heart. After all, Emperor Peafowl had never once groomed them as his successor. Most of the time, they played the role of a ruler's assistant.
As members of Sacred Peafowl Mountain, they naturally didn't want Emperor Shura to rise to power. Their preference wasn't the only thing that was at stake here. Their lives were as well.
Emperor Shura cultivated the dao of Shura, so he was by nature a ruthless and cruel man. If he grasped power, he would assuredly start off his rule by eliminating his competition. Sacred Peafowl Mountain would become his target, and young lord Zhen the very first person he sent to the gallows. The four monarchs would undoubtedly fall under his wrath as well. That was why they were as concerned as they were.
Huang'er pondered for a moment. "I hear that the general summons of Veluriyam Capital can only be issued with the Progenitor Feather Medallion and the Progeny Feather Medallion, isn't that right?"
Cloudsoar Monarch sighed quietly. "There is an exception to every rule. The seven great emperors of Veluriyam Capital have a different agreement where if four out of seven great emperors agree to issue the general summons, it can be done. The vassals must respond to the order issued, or they will be branded traitors."
Huang'er was an outsider, so naturally she didn't know about this clause. She finally understood how this came to be after listening to Cloudsoar Monarch's explanation.
"Do you mean that four of the great emperors have agreed to issue the general summons?"
"It's not just four, actually. Everyone except Emperor Void and Emperor Coiling Dragon has agreed to this." Cloudsoar Monarch sounded a little depressed.
"I'm not surprised to hear Emperor Vastsea's agreement since he's a diehard supporter of Emperor Shura. But Emperor Petalpluck is a man who cares little for fame and profit and normally stays away from power struggles. Also, I remember that Emperor Mountaincrush's relationship with Emperor Shura is ordinary at best. Why would he ever agree to this? Emperor Skysplitter is the second most inexperienced great emperor of Veluriyam Capital after Emperor Coiling Dragon. Did Emperor Shura persuade him too?" Huang'er knew a little about the great emperors of Veluriyam Capital.
"No one here knew exactly what kind of internal agreement they've arrived at, but the important thing is that five great emperors have agreed to issue the general summons. I saw it with my own eyes and confirmed that the signatures of all five great emperors are present."
Emperor Peafowl's strength and vision were very great. He far surpassed the other great emperors. However, he wasn't without his flaws. His methods were never too forceful, or to put it in a different way, he was a gentleman who never demanded by force.
It wasn't that Emperor Peafowl was incapable of doing so, just that he didn't want to do it. He didn't want his forcefulness to stunt the growth of the other great emperors. In reality, he had been planning to choose one of the seven great emperors the successor of Veluriyam Capital. That was another reason why he never applied too much force when ruling.
Unfortunately, his fairness had indirectly nurtured their tempers. Had Emperor Peafowl really tried to cement his individual authority, these great emperors might not have dared to act as impudently as they did. This applied even to Emperor Shura.
Cloudsoar Monarch sighed again. "Miss Huang'er, the situation is precarious right now. If you can contact young lord Zhen, you must tell him to make preparations as soon as possible. We don't have much time left. At best, we have a month, and at worst we only have half a month. Once the Vassal Meeting begins, a new ruler will be chosen. It will be too late to turn things around then."
They had said all that needed to be said, so Cloudsoar Monarch and the other two rose to their feet and left soon after.
Watching the deeply worried monarchs depart, Jiang Chen strode out from his hiding spot with a very complicated look. He knew that a storm was about to strike Veluriyam Capital, and that his real test had finally arrived. Emperor Shura had already drawn his sword. It was time that Jiang Chen show his mettle as well.