Book 9 Chapter 19 Choice
In Huyue County-City, Qingzhou:
Huyue County had originally been the heart of Qingzhou as the base of Xiao Yao Palace had been situated outside Huyue County-City. However, ever since the base of the Xiao Yao Palace had gotten destroyed and the entire mountain had been struck by thunderbolts, the ranking of Hueyue County in the eighteen counties of Qingzhou had dropped. However, the headquarters of the Snowy Lotus Cult had been relocated to Huyue County.
The headquarters of the Snowy Lotus Cult were now located in the northern city region of Huyue County City and occupied an extremely spacious area.
It must be known that many mansions existed in Huyue County-City. In the past, those mansions had been dwelled in by the highly-positioned members of the Xiao Yao Palace. However, those mansions were now taken by the members of the Snowy Lotus Cult.
“Besides Little Jun and the Foreign Dignitary Huhe, everyone else may leave now.”
“Yes, Teacher (High Priestess)!”
In the spacious great hall:
Although the eyes of the Great Saintess and the Second Saintess flickered with bitterness, they still left respectfully with the nine Elders. Teng Qingshan and Li Jun were the only ones who remained in the great hall.
“The High Priestess sure is ruthless. She actually appointed the other two Saintesses as Elders. With that, those two Saintesses will have to give up on their wishful thinking. Now, it is absolutely certain that the next High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult will be Little Jun.” Teng Qingshan flicked a glance at the High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult.
The High Priestess had a ruddy pink complexion, and she had on a pink long cloak, making her look even more charming. By just looking at her appearance, it was impossible to tell that she was over a hundred years old. At this moment, the High Priestess was looking at Teng Qingshan with a radiant smile on her face.
“Foreign Dignitary Huhe.” The High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult said gently, “You hid your strength well. You have attained Emptiness Realm, but you kept it a secret.”
“High Priestess, you never asked,” Teng Qingshan smiled as he responded.
“If I didn’t ask, would you have planned not to tell me at all?” The High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult burst out in laughter and began attempting to persuade him, “Huhe, my Senior Martial Brother invited you to join our Heavenly God Palace and even offered to bestow you the position of the ‘God of Heaven.’ This is an extremely good thing for you. If you become the God of Heaven of the Heavenly God Palace, who will have the audacity to provoke you? If you wish to establish your own sect, you can absolutely establish a sect just like how I established the Snowy Lotus Cult.”
Teng Qingshan smiled and shook his head.
“Stubborn.” The High Priestess’ expression turned frigid. She turned to look at Li Jun and complained, “Little Jun, your husband is a blockhead, a fool.”
Li Jun couldn’t help but giggle.
“I guess a woman is born to leave her family,” the High Priestess commented in a resigned voice while shaking her head. She then ordered, “Alright. You two may leave.”
“Yes, Teacher.” Li Jun bowed hastily.
“Oh, by the way.” The High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult stared at Li Jun with a solemn expression on her face and instructed, “Little Jun, I have already stated that from today onwards, you will be the only Saintess of the Snowy Lotus Cult. During my absence, you shall be the one fully in charge of the Snowy Lotus Cult. Therefore… Little Jun, do not laze around.”
“Yes, Teacher,” Li Jun had no choice but to respond obediently.
“Go,” the High Priestess commanded.
Li Jun then followed Teng Qingshan and left. When they were about to leave, Teng Qingshan bidded the High Priestess farewell with just a smile and a nod.
“This Huhe is horribly stubborn!” The High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult narrowed her beautiful eyes and muttered to herself, “However, your wife is the next High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult of the Heavenly God Palace, and you are a Foreign Dignitary. Even if you refuse to join the Heavenly God Palace, there won’t be much difference.”
Teng Qingshan and Li Jun were currently in their residence, leisurely drinking tea and chatting.
“Qingshan, the Heavenly God Palace is really willing pay a price for you. In order to recruit you, they made my Great Martial Sister and Second Martial Sister into Elders,” Li Jun remarked as she ate the melon seeds.
TLN: LI JUN. DON’T EAT AND TALK
Teng Qingshan stared at Li Jun and said, “In their eyes, I am someone that’s not part of any sect. Thus, it is worth it to rope me in their sect! However, Little Jun… from now on, you will be the Substitute High Priestess of the Snowy Lotus Cult! You will be much busier now.”
“This means I can’t leave with you now,” Li Jun responded with a distressed expression.
“Everything will be settled soon,” Teng Qingshan assured as he reached his hands out to hold Li Jun’s hands.
“Yes.” Li Jun nodded.
“I’ve prepared to depart tomorrow morning.” Teng Qingshan said in a serious tone, “According to the intelligence report, after the Heavenly God Palace destroyed the Xiao Yao Palace, the Land of the Nine Prefectures has become even more chaotic. Now, the large sects of many prefectures are making preparations to eradicate the other forces in their region.”
As the saying went, if the rabbit died, the fox would grieve. After witnessing the destruction of the Xiao Yao Palace, the other large sects, including the Hong Tian City, the Snow Hawk Hall, and the Qing Hu Island, all became worried that some small rebellious sects might emerge in the regions they governed.
The larger sects couldn’t give the smaller sects any chance of expanding!
Almost all the Supreme Sects had a common understanding. In the past, the Xiao Yao Palace had controlled fifteen of the eighteen counties in Qingzhou. They had never cared about the other three counties. Moreover, the counties of Xiao Yao Palace had been governed very loosely. Thus, without their knowledge, the Snowy Lotus Cult had relied on the land of the three counties and developed an army of over two hundred thousand, which led to the destruction of Xiao Yao Palace.
“Now, the Hong Tian City has already begun implementation, planning to eradicate all the small sects and large bandit gangs in the northeast region of Youzhou!”
“I am worried that the Qing Hu Island will also do the same!”
This was common sense!
To the Supreme Sects, it was necessary to maintain internal securities before implementing anything to resist foreign invasion! Take Yangzhou’s Qing Hu Island as an example. The Gui Yuan Sect only occupied the land of one county. So, if the Heavenly God Palace decided to attack Yangzhou, the Heavenly God Palace might make an agreement with the Gui Yuan Sect, promising to give them a land of one county in exchange for their cooperation in Yangzhou.
The Gui Yuan Sect was located in the center of Yangzhou.
With the Gui Yuan Sect on the inside and the Heavenly God Palace on the outside… if the two forces worked together, the Qing Hu Island wouldn’t be able to defend against them! Hence, the best method for the Qing Hu Island was to exert some effort and eradicate the Gui Yuan Sect first. In order to focus entirely on dealing with the probable invasion of the Heavenly God Palace, it was necessary for the Qing Hu Island to conquer all of Yangzhou.
“Therefore, I must make things hard for the Qing Hu Island. I must ensure that the Qing Hu Island will have no energy to deal with the Gui Yuan Sect,” Teng Qingshan said solemnly.
If the Heavenly God Palace did not conquer all of Qingzhou, Teng Qingshan wouldn’t have to deal with the Qing Hu Island this soon. However, this matter was very pressing now.
“Yes, I understand.” Li Jun nodded.
“Little Jun, according to what we planned previously… I need you to gather some information about the ones who harbor great hatred against the Qing Hu Island through the Snowy Lotus Cult’s intelligence agency.” Teng Qingshan instructed.
On the morning of December 6th, Teng Qingshan left Huyue County and arrived at Nanxing County in Yangzhou at noon. Dressed in a white cloak, Teng Qingshan appeared like a confident, carefree, and noble young master.
When the guards standing before the gates of the Li Residence saw Teng Qingshan, they immediately called out respectfully, “Master!”
“Has anyone looked for me during my absence?” Teng Qingshan questioned.
“Master, a few days ago, someone from Jiangning asked to meet Master,” a big bearded guard answered respectfully. “He said he needed to give a letter to you. However, he left the letter here after waiting for half a day.”
Teng Qingshan was struck by a thought.
“Jiangning County? It might be the Gui Yuan Sect.”
“Master, six days ago, Young Master Yang Dong came home,” the big bearded guard reported, “But he left after staying for only a day.”
“Ah Dong came back?” Teng Qingshan’s eyes lit up.
After a while, the housekeeper respectfully handed Teng Qingshan the letter left behind by the person from Jiangning.
While Teng Qingshan paced in the inner court, he unfolded the letter. “A letter from Jiangning County?” He thought to himself.
After he unfolded the letter, he only saw three words in it, ‘Fiery Gilt Success.’
“They did it?” Teng Qingshan grinned.
Even if someone else had gotten this letter, they wouldn’t understand the meaning of the three words, ‘Fiery Gilt Success,’ since no one in the Land of the Nine Prefectures knew about the Fiery Gilt Steel.
“They have successfully forged the first Fiery Gilt Steel Armor. With the Gui Yuan Sect’s speed in forging armory, it will take around one month for the Gui Yuan Sect to forge three thousand Fiery Gilt Steel Armors.” Teng Qingshan let out a sigh of relief and thought to himself, “With the Fiery Gilt Steel Armor, the Qing Hu Island will not be able to use the human wave tactic if they really attacked.”
The best method to fight against the human wave technique was the elite soldiers tactic!
“I really wonder what’s written on the letter that Ah Dong left.”
Teng Qingshan walked through the inner court and soon entered the study room.
In the past, Teng Qingshan had given his two disciples instruction and advice in regards to their mission in Tai Ah Mountain Range. Teng Shou and Yang Dong had been asked to report every two to three months. If Teng Qingshan wasn’t home, then they would leave a letter under a pile of papers in the study room.
In the study room:
Teng Qingshan walked into the study room and immediately noticed a letter amidst the pile of papers on the desk. “It’s here!”
The words on the letter were the words used in Duanmu Continent, ‘To Teacher, from your disciple, Yang Dong.’
Even if outsiders saw this letter, they wouldn’t be able to read it.
“Teacher, Great Martial Brother and I have already established a gang with over a thousand bandits in Tai Ah Mountain Range. I have named this gang as ‘Xiong Shou Gang.’ The men of the Xiong Shou Gang are strong and courageous…” Seeing Yang Dong’s grand, self-praising words, Teng Qingshan burst into laughter.
“This Yang Dong is really good at being a bandit.”
Teng Qingshan grinned and thought to himself, “He actually named the bandit gang as ‘Xiong Shou.’ Did Ah Shou agree to this name?”
The two martial brothers, Teng Shou and Yang Dong, were certainly suited to mingling with bandits.
Teng Qingshan was alone as he cultivated silently in the Li Residence. It was the third day since his return there.
Teng Qingshan held the Reincarnation Spear and was practicing the moves of the spear art. For a moment, the spear was as fast as lightning, and Teng Qingshan’s body was like a swimming dragon. Each and every move he performed contained the concept of ‘Dao.’ This concept of Dao portrayed the eruption of volcanoes. It was as though the heavens and the earth had been split apart by an axe. The performance of Teng Qingshan’s spear art seemed to show a sunlike fireball crashing toward the ground…
The Six Legged Bladelike Chi widened its eyes as it stared fixedly at Teng Qingshan while he cultivated.
“Master, master!” A tinkling voice sounded from afar.
“Hm?” Surprised by the voice, Teng Qingshan stopped.
The Six Legged Bladelike Chi immediately glared with its triangular eyes, furious that Teng Qingshan did not continue with his practice. It was so mad that it huffed gusts of air out of its nostrils.
“They never disturb me unless it’s something major.” Teng Qingshan placed his Reincarnation Spear down and went to the door of the courtyard.
A lovely maid with two side braids stood outside the courtyard door. She stared at Teng Qingshan with her clear and big eyes, and reported in a slightly nervous manner, “Master, there’s a letter for you. It’s from Madame.”
Teng Qingshan took the letter in surprise.
“You may leave,” Teng Qingshan said, waving his hand.
The maid cast a few glances at Teng Qingshan and left hastily like a frightened bunny. In actuality, the maid was thinking to herself, “It’s just as those sisters said. Our master is very handsome.”
On the way back to the training field, Teng Qingshan opened the envelope.
When he opened the envelope, he found a bundle of folded paper. Immediately, a radiant smile emerged on Teng Qingshan’s face.
The first paper stated: “These papers contain the recorded stories of nine people, and these nine people all harbor absolutely irreconcilable hatred against the Qing Hu Island. The first person’s name is Zhang Wei…” Each sheet of paper was entirely covered with words, and it took twelve sheets of paper to record all the information of the nine people.
“Who should I help?” Teng Qingshan pondered.