It seemed as if her long lost vitality had returned to her body.
She didn’t say anything to Chu Yang; nor did she do anything to express herself. She had taken Chu Yang’s role due his absence. And, she had been playing the role of Chu Yang ever since. In fact, she had become King of Hell Chu. She had continued to deter the entire Iron Cloud dressed in those black clothes. And, she had committed no mistakes in portraying the role!
She had decisively murdered for him. She had dominated the warlords for him. She had spread his dominance and tyranny for thousands of kilometers… again… just for him! For him… she had resorted to the use of all sorts of sinister and ruthless methods! And, she had withstood all this… just for him!
No one was aware that all of this had been done by a woman – who was disguised as a man. One could only imagine what sort of dedication and hard work it must’ve taken to achieve this. This must’ve etched a deep impression in her being… an unforgettable impression had been thoroughly carved in her bones, and had been engraved in her heart…
However, she had suddenly reverted into the Wu Qian Qian who used to quietly accompany him. She had once again become the same Wu Qian Qian who used to quietly watch him from the side, and provided assistance whenever he needed…
She had once again become the type of woman who was reluctant to ask for anything… who just dedicated herself to her beloved, and silently waited for him to reciprocate her love.
She was very smart. She used to observe Chu Yang’s daily behavior. Therefore, she understood that his heart was somewhere else. So, she had never force herself onto him. As a result, she had suffered in the solitude of her silence while she had continued to love him in the secrecy of her heart.
[I love you, and it is my problem. It shouldn’t matter to you. I’ve never said that you must accept me because I love you. I don’t even want to tell you about my feelings… because I don’t want to make you feel awkward...]
[You can go if you want to… but, I’m going stay. And, you can come back whenever you want to… You will still find me here.]
[But, I won’t take the initiative to tell you about my feelings as long as you don’t urge me to declare them… I’ll never tell you that — Chu Yang, I love you!]
[I just can’t tell you!]
[I'm not afraid of rejection, but I'm afraid of waking up from my dream. Because… in my dreams… you are mine!]
She remained silent for a long time. Then, she began to speak in a dull voice, "Chu Yang, I have sorted out Second Elder Martial Uncle Li Jinsong."
"What?" Chu Yang was startled.
"Not just him… I have disposed-off several people of Beyond the Heavens Sect." Wu Qian Qian calmly said, "Keeping these people around would’ve been way too dangerous. They were bound to cause trouble in the future, and it would’ve caused an even bigger mess. So, I weeded them out."
Chu Yang opened his mouth like a fool.
"Why did you sort them out?" Chu Yang closed his mouth after a long time. He noticed that he had almost dislocated his jaw by keeping it lowered for so long. He smacked his lips again and again, [so, this girl is really capable of going so far as to deal with her own Second Elder Martial Uncle and his men... without the fear of being punished by her father…]
"I initially waited for you to come back to sort them out. But then, I thought that you had been expelled from the sect, and that you might find this task somewhat inconvenient." Wu Qian Qian continued in an indifferent tone, "So, I decided to do it in your place."
"Oh..." Chu Yang showed her the ‘thumbs-up’, "You had thought it through."
"Li Jinsong’s wife was poisoned. It was a strange poison called ‘Spring to Autumn Broken Heart Powder’. Only the administration of a wonderful medicine can suppress the poison. Otherwise, a year will pass before the poison takes its real effect. Then, the victim will suffer for three days and three nights… during which their internal organs will rot and fall apart."
"The Second Elder Martial Uncle was very dissatisfied when father became the leader of Beyond the Heavens Sect. Then, the Golden Horse Riders Department had approached him at that time. And, they had said that they can provide him the required medicine. They had also offered to help him become the leader of Beyond the Heavens Sect... That’s how they managed to manipulate him so easily." Wu Qian Qian continued, "He loved his wife very much. This is also a vital reason."
"But, the Golden Horse Riders Department only gave him the medicine to suppress the poison on a temporary basis. They hadn’t given him the medicine named ‘Crystal Mushroom’… that medicine would’ve eliminated this poison. And, they just kept him hanging until his task was over."
"So, that’s what happened." Chu Yang nodded. He recalled that time when he had been eavesdropping, and had seen Li Jinsong approach those other people to get a Crystal Mushroom… but to no avail.
Then, he further recalled the time he had sneaked into the treasure house of the Golden Horse Rider Department. He couldn’t help but smile, [the Golden Horse Riders Department never intended to give him the Crystal Mushroom. That’s because… they never had one!]
"How did you deal with him?" Chu Yang asked.
"Killed." Wu Qian Qian replied with a somewhat sad look on her face, "I don’t know how… but, he had a premonition that I was planning to cope with him. So, he went as far as to sneak in the night like a thief in order to assassinate Tie Long Cheng. He was later besieged by the people of Bu Tian Pavilion, and was killed on the spot. He asked father to let off his wife and child when he was on the verge of death."
"But… his wife committed suicide when she heard of this." Wu Qian Qian sighed and said, "Before her death, she said — it doesn’t matter whether he was loyal or deceitful. I accompanied him when he was alive. He’s dead now… but I will look for him. He had to suffer for many years because of me. But, he’s in the netherworld now. He no longer needs to suffer because of me. Now, I can finally repay him in death..."
This might have seemed like the romantic confession of a faithful wife if someone else had said it. However, Wu Qian Qian had spoken it in a dull and unexciting manner.
However, it still had a serious hinted appeal to it.
Chu Yang heard this, and heaved a sigh.
"Li Jian Yin’s legs were cut off. Then, he was banished. I’m afraid..." Wu Qian Qian continued further, "…the other people were either killed or crippled. In fact, the entire clean-up process has been completed."
Chu Yang was silent.
[Wu Qian Qian spoke this in such a casual manner, but this must have put a serious mental pressure on her.] Chu Yang had merely thought about it, and still couldn’t remain unaffected.
"I have an idea." Wu Qian Qian looked at him and spoke in a soft voice, "When the war ends – and it won’t work if Iron Cloud gets defeated… But, if Iron Cloud wins the war… I’d like Father and the others go back to the Beyond the Heavens Sect in order to re-establish it. I don’t want us to accept a title and recognition in reward from Iron Cloud. I don’t want us to create a faction and serve the imperial court…"
"Great!" Chu Yang found it quite pleasant to hear. He suddenly had a strong feeling of admiration in his heart. [This move is equivalent to making a brave retreat without taking any rewards. In fact, it’s the most brilliant move!]
[We have done a lot of things for you, but we don’t want anything in return. But, you are the Emperor of Iron Cloud, and the future Lord of the world. And now… you owe us one.]
"Moreover, I’m now the same as you. I’m no longer a disciple of Beyond the Heavens Sect!" Wu Qian Qian’s eyes gently hung down. One could no longer see the look in her eyes.
"Why?" Chu Yang was startled.
"Because… you will leave sooner or later… So, I can be... King of Hell Chu for a long time." Wu Qian Qian seemed to smile gently. She then added, "King of Hell Chu for a lifetime."
Her smile gave off a cold and aloof feel. It was as tranquil as stagnant water. She said, "Chu Yang, you are only a passing traveler! So, you can’t be King of Hell Chu. But, I can be King of Hell Chu for a lifetime!"
[King of Hell Chu for a lifetime? For a lifetime? For a lifetime? Such an outstanding beauty and peerless talent is going to spend her entire life hiding herself in this black robe…?]
[Her youthful elegance – that can cause the downfall of a nation – will stay covered-up her entire life!]
Chu Yang's heart was suddenly in a complete mess. He felt very uncomfortable. He stared at her in a daze. And, he just felt a chaos building up in his heart...
Wu Qian Qian gently turned her head. Her fluidity of her glance swept Chu Yang’s face. Chu Yang was experiencing a deeply-ingrained pain when he heard her say, "To use King of Hell Chu’s identity to ensure that Beyond the Heavens Sect stays immortal…! This… wasn’t it your final plan from the very beginning when you had supported me?"
Chu Yang felt a sharp pain in his heart. And, an immense pain engulfed him entirely the very next instant... and… his mind instantly went completely blank...
Iron Cloud was preparing the warhorses for war! Tie Bu Tian had brought back a total of 300,000 soldiers. Moreover, the troops had continued to arrive from various parts of the nation. So, the total strength of Iron Cloud Army was now over 3 million.
Great Zhao Army had close to 6 million soldiers in the beginning. However, they had lost more than a million in the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. Therefore, they were close to 4 million in strength at the moment. In fact, it could be said that the two sides were almost evenly matched as of now. Tie Long Cheng had been worried all this while, but he could finally relax…
The Great Zhao’s side was suddenly drowned in loud cheers the very same night Tie Bu Tian and Chu Yang arrived at the Iron Cloud’s barracks. In fact, the intensity of these shouts was similar to ones people issue when a tsunami comes. The cheers had continued to linger around for a long time. The atmosphere was as lively as it usually is during the New Year’s celebration…
A banner was raised from inside the Great Zhao's military camp soon-after. The flag had a golden dragon on it, and this dragon seemed to be standing on white clouds. The word ‘Diwu’ was printed at the top. The flag swayed in the wind. The strong summer winds howled and made a soughing noise. The flag give off a vigorous aura… it seemed as if it was prepared to proclaim its desire to rule over the entire world!
Diwu Qing Rou had finally arrived!
It didn’t matter whether it was a coincidence… or it had happened deliberately. This was the first time there was going to be an official confrontation between Diwu Qing Rou and the team of Tie Bu Tian and Tie Long Cheng after having fought against each other for several years!
Moreover, King of Hell Chu and Diwu Qing Rou would also get to confront each other. Their clash would be even more magnificent!
This war would decide the ruler of the world!
Diwu Qing Rou had worn a smug look on his face when he had appeared before his army. However, his complexion sank as soon as he walked into the commander’s tent. Then, a fire of rage erupted in his heart.
He had received news about Jin Nankai’s and the others’ annihilation only yesterday.
This news had struck him like a thunderbolt. It had nearly thrown him into confusion even though he was usually very calm and composed. He had expected the destruction of those three army units to be a ‘next to impossible’ scenario!
However, he couldn’t help but sigh after he heard the full report. Then, he went silent and pondered, [landslides and fissures ravaged the slanting valley, and buried hundreds-of-thousands of people alive. Over one million troops were split into two sections… head and tail. The one on the outside couldn’t go inside, and the one of the inside couldn’t come outside. The battle ended instantly.]
[This was divine intervention!]
Diwu Qing Rou felt somewhat heavy in his heart. It might seem like the Great Zhao’s army had more soldiers than the Iron Cloud’s. However, he was aware that there was a significant difference between the combat efficiency of the two sides.
Iron Cloud was located in the north. Their people were usually valiant and sturdy! Almost everyone could ride a horse into a fight. Therefore, they could engage in cavalry battles.
As long as there were enough warhorses — there could be as many cavalry soldiers! Such advantages weren’t present on the Great Zhao’s side. People of the south lived in temperate climate. So, they possessed softer skin, and tender bodies. They weren’t on the same level as the sturdy soldiers of Iron Cloud.
Therefore, Diwu Qing Rou had no choice but to use his own wisdom to make up for these disadvantages!
However, there was another matter that gave Diwu Qing Rou great comfort, [anyway, King of Hell Chu is finally dead! Otherwise, using just my own power to acquire Iron Cloud would’ve become a very difficult task.]
Jing Meng Hun had rushed to Diwu Qing Rou’s side covered in bruises. Diwu Qing Rou hadn’t believed his eyes. An expert at the pinnacle of the Ninth Grade King Level had been dispatched along with tens-of-thousands of people to chase down King of Hell Chu. Yet, Jing Meng Hun had returned with a disability, and was also covered in cuts and bruises. In fact, it seemed like he had barely managed to protect his life!
This was too unexpected.
However, he then heard about the last attack when hundreds of people had attacked King of Hell Chu at once… and Jing Meng Hun had even managed to land a kick on him. So, Diwu Qing Rou thought, [King of Hell Chu is definitely dead!]
Moreover, Jing Meng Hun was also quite sure about it! Even an Emperor Level Expert wouldn’t be able to withstand that kind of an attack!
Diwu Qing Rou sighed the next day, "It’s a pity that I won’t get a chance to have a show-down with a hero like King of Hell Chu on the battlefield. I’ll regret this all my life!"
At this time, his personal soldier came to report, "Prime Minister, a black-robed man in black mask has come out from the Iron Cloud’s side. He’s claiming to be the dead guy. He said that he’s grateful to you for gifting him such a fragrant orchid. He has specially requested to have a face-to-face chat with you."
Diwu Qing Rou was startled… and suddenly raised his head…