"The Golden Horse Riders Department is going after King of Hell Chu with all their strength… hahaha..." Tie Long Cheng was delighted. He added, "Reportedly… Diwu Qing Rou's treasury was plundered by King of Hell Chu. In fact, the losses were disastrous; Diwu Qing Rou was extremely angry. So, he dispatched the entire personnel of the Golden Horse Riders Department to find him. Apparently… he's coordinating with all levels of army officials to capture King of Hell Chu… and bring him to justice."
He let out a laugh. "Isn't King of Hell Chu sitting here - safe and sound? Diwu Qing Rou has been tricked..."
Tie Bu Tian shuddered; his complexion changed as he heard these words.
Wu Qian Qian clenched her fists tightly.
However, the deputy generals and advisors burst out laughing - as if they had heard a joke; they were overjoyed.
It was evident that Wu Qian Qian had made a great deal of progress under Chu Yang's influence. Whether it was politics, military strategies or conspiracies… Chu Yang had taught her everything; he had used practical examples to teach her. He had withdrawn his support once she had begun to progress. Then, he had left for Great Zhao.
He had left Wu Qian Qian to take care of all the matters on her own.
Wu Qian Qian had implemented Chu Yang's policies in a perfect manner. Moreover, she had an additional advantage of her feminine nature; she used her gentle and reserved persona to perform tasks in a better and flawless manner.
Therefore, the people of Bu Tian Pavilion had started to admire Minister Chu even more. In fact, even Tie Bu Tian thought that Wu Qian Qian wasn't inferior to Chu Yang in any respect.
Tie Bu Tian had been engaged in overseeing the plans and battle-situation since he had arrived at the southern border; Tie Long Cheng had been busy with the matters of the army. Therefore, all the work related to espionage and weeding-out the traitors had been taken care-of by the Bu Tian Pavilion - under the leadership of Wu Qian Qian. Tie Long Cheng and his squad of old veterans had been amazed by Wu Qian Qian's ideas, well-calculated plans and ruthless cleansing. They were forced to admit that King of Hell Chu was at the peak of his power.
No one had any doubt about her being the real King of Hell Chu.
Therefore, Tie Long Cheng couldn't help but roll around with laughter as he heard about Diwu Qing Rou's plan to organize a nationwide man-hunt for King of Hell Chu.
Tie Long Cheng was sure that Diwu Qing Rou had been tricked. After all, the real King of Hell Chu was sitting with him.
This was great news for Tie Long Cheng; his overtly delighted mood and ability to rejoice in other people's misfortune were indescribable...
[Who can deceive Diwu Qing Rou like that?]
"Minister Chu, what are your thoughts on this matter?" Tie Long Cheng smiled as he asked Wu Qian Qian.
"That... is hard to say." Wu Qian Qian's mental state had got blurred; she was worried about Chu Yang.
Tie Long Cheng had been trying to talk to her since the time she had arrived here; he had been threatening her to fulfil 'the promise'.
[God only knows what kind of a promise Chu Yang has made to him?]
Wu Qian Qian would always reply with 'humph' or 'haha'; she answered in neither positive nor negative. However, the more half-heartedly she answered… the more exhilarated Tie Long Cheng would become. Then, one day she used an indirect approach, and found out that Chu Yang had promised to give him a heavenly weapon.
It was a fact that other people didn't know much about Chu Yang. But, how could Wu Qian Qian not know? Chu Yang never dealt with people in a careless manner. Therefore, Wu Qian Qian couldn't believe that Chu Yang had promised to give a heavenly weapon to Tie Long Cheng.
So, she had refused to fulfil his wish. Tie Long Cheng was furious, but he couldn't displease King of Hell Chu. In fact, he had been left dumbfounded by Wu Qian Qian's domineering stance. Therefore, he had no other option but to drink a lot of wine and rock the table.
But, Wu Qian Qian hadn't yielded.
Therefore, the two of them had become arch-enemies.
Wu Qian Qian was strong. However, she was invisible to the army's high-ranking officials. It was Tie Long Cheng… who had established a position of authority amongst them.
He was regarded as the top-most person in the Iron Cloud army. Even inside the entire Iron Cloud Nation — he was only second to the Emperor in terms of authority.
High-ranking officers and military generals didn't dare to argue with him. They were so afraid of him that they pissed their pants if he stared at them. Even Wu Kuang Yun - one of the top ten great generals of the continent - had been granted severe punishment when he was caught by Tie Long Cheng a couple of days back…
However, King of Hell Chu hadn't been at a disadvantage even though he was shrouded in mystery. His domineering aura had made him as powerful as Tie Long Cheng. Therefore, he had managed to remain calm and composed when Tie Long Cheng had rocked the table in anger.
How could an ordinary person be capable of doing this?
"Why's it hard to say?" Tie Long Cheng asked.
"That's because you aren't revealing the full details about the situation… such as… whether or not Diwu Qing Rou has captured this so-called King of Hell Chu? What's the status of the troops of the Golden Horse Riders Department who had set-out to capture him? Has the Golden Horse Riders Department suffered these losses because of this King of Hell Chu?"
Wu Qian Qian snorted, "You didn't divulge these details. Yet… you expect me to give my thoughts on this matter?"
Tie Bu Tian interposed in her favor, "Indeed! What's going on, Second Uncle? You haven't explained anything clearly. You are making things difficult for the man… you know?"
Tie Long Cheng felt that something was wrong. [Could it be that this matter isn't actually funny? Why did these two not even smile?]
He coughed and started to recount the tale; Tie Bu Tian and Wu Qian Qian straightened-up their backs to listen intently. They started to ponder in their hearts...
Tie Bu Tian's complexion turned pale as he heard that King of Hell Chu was fatally wounded, and was being pursued by the Golden Horse Riders Department while fleeing towards Iron Cloud. Wu Qian Qian trembled as she heard this. Her hands were tightly clenched inside her black robe.
Tie Bu Tian's facial expressions usually conveyed an impression as if he was wearing a special iron mask. His face was usually expressionless. However, his complexion turned deathly pale as he heard Tie Long Cheng's words; the fluctuations in his heart became obvious.
Tie Bu Tian couldn't sleep that night. He paced back-and-forth in his tent the entire night; his thoughts were in chaos.
The loud voice of an Imperial bodyguard was heard from outside the door, "Who is it? ... Oh! It's the Minister..."
Wu Qian Qian stepped inside; she was wearing a black robe.
"Your Majesty, what do you intend to do about this matter?" Wu Qian Qian asked hurriedly. Previously, she had made-up her mind that she wouldn't go to Tie Bu Tian's tent on her own; no matter what. That was because she felt strangely threatened by Tie Bu Tian. Therefore, she had always been on her guard.
Initially, she had thought that Tie Bu Tian held improper ambitions regarding her; she was afraid that he might overstep the bounds. However, she had felt later… that Tie Bu Tian might rob her of something very precious...
This was an incredible feeling. Even Wu Qian Qian wasn't aware about the source and reason behind this feeling. In fact, she didn't know why that thought had crossed her mind… she didn't even know what she was afraid of losing…
However, her heart hadn't been at ease because of Chu Yang's present situation. Therefore, she had gone to look for Tie Bu Tian; this was very unlike-her. It was always Tie Bu Tian who'd come to look for her in the Bu Tian Pavilion.
"What can I do?" Tie Bu Tian snorted.
"En? What do you mean?" Wu Qian Qian retorted furiously, "Why can't you do anything? Tie Bu Tian, you're a scheming monarch… aren't you? You're cruel and filled with toxic filth. Chu Yang has done so much for you. He almost turned the world around for you. But, you aren't the least bit concerned when he's in danger?"
Wu Qian Qian was so angry that she had forgotten that she was standing before the Emperor. She asked out-rightly; without any trace of politeness in her tone.
"Nonsense! Who says that I've given-up?" Tie Bu Tian was breathless. "You damned servant-girl! What have you been thinking in your rotten head?"
"Then you... " Wu Qian Qian was stunned.
[Why is the sound of Tie Bu Tian's words so intense? His tone is entirely different. This is the first time that I've seen him so flustered...]
"I was thinking of an appropriate way to bring back Minister Chu," Tie Bu Tian sighed. He clenched his right palm into a fist, and fiercely hit his left palm with it. It was difficult for him to talk. He was losing his patience even though he was trying his best to control himself.
"Bring him back; we must take immediate action," Wu Qian Qian's eyes shone brightly.
"I wish it was that easy…" Tie Bu Tian sighed, "The distance from here to Continent Centre is 6500 kilometres. We are at the border of Iron Cloud. So, even after crossing 6500 kilometres… one will still be inside the territory of the enemy. Six million troops of Great Zhao have been positioned on the other side of the border. We can't get through.
"But, if Chu Yang uses his strength to come all the way here… then we can rescue him in the last phase of his escape." Tie Bu Tian sounded helpless.
[How will Chu Yang cover a distance of 6500 kilometres on his own? When will he arrive? He'll have to play hide-and-seek with the entire nation of Great Zhao. Moreover, the enemy can easily block his path since they're aware of his destination. How will he be able to go through such a perilous journey?]
[Even a Ninth Grade King Level Master won't be able to crash his way through; he would certainly die.]
[Even an Emperor Level Expert would lose his life if he were to rush all the way here…]
Wu Qian Qian's body swayed in despair. She spoke hatefully, "You mean your plan is that we don't do anything? Just wait for him? Do you think this is a possibility? Tie Bu Tian… you're heartless! You have no intention to save him…"
"Shut your mouth!" Tie Bu Tian scolded. But then, he softened down.
Wu Qian Qian snorted, and took a seat. She didn't realize that she had sat down in Tie Bu Tian's seat. She didn't stand-up to leave either. Her intention was clear, [I won't leave until and unless you give me an answer…]
Tie Bu Tian was burning with impatience; he thought about every little detail related to the matter. He paced back-and-forth for a while, and then finally spoke-up, "If Minister Chu were to return… then he won't walk through towns and cities; he would certainly lose his life if he did. There's only one way for him to escape - by crossing the mountain-forest."
"Mountain-forest?" Wu Qian Qian's spirits seemed to have lifted.
"There's a shortcut to the Qilang Mountains through the mountain-forest. He must enter the 'thousand-layered forest' from there. This forest is spread across 1500 kilometres. After passing through this forest… he'll come across a mountain-pass which will take him to Sun City. From there… he can rush into the Heaven-Reaching forest through the Golden Star mountain-pass. Then, he'll arrive at the submerged marshland. He can enter the Great Mount Ba after crossing the marshland. After that, he can enter the continuous mountain-forests. From here… he will have to cross 4000 kilometres to make his way through the Snow-Capped Mountains and past the ice peaks… until he finally crosses the Jade Snow Mountain-Range. From there… he can enter the continuous mountain-range of Beyond the Heavens Sect. We can help him there. But, we're helpless before that."
Tie Bu Tian had carefully considered and thought-over the details. He had stated the only feasible route through which Chu Yang could escape.
He believed that Chu Yang would choose that route. In fact, Chu Yang had taken the exact-same route. He had been engaging the enemy across the 6500 kilometres as he fled towards them...