Chapter 542 – Conflict Begins
Duke Zhong, who was beside Duke Huai, saw his facial expression change, smiled lightly and said, “I can see that you are truly being cautious about Yun Qinghong, and frankly, I can’t really understand it.”
“This duke will not deny it.” Duke Huai said with a stony expression, “This duke was most at ease during the years he was crippled. But when he healed without any warning, it was like a needle pierced through this duke’s heart… This duke felt that Yun Qinghong sees through what this duke has prepared to do at this Grand Ceremony, and when that moment comes, he would certainly take action.”
“If you fear Yun Qinghong that much, you must know his temper very well. Then, according to your understanding of him, do you think it’s possible for him to fall on our side?” Duke Zhong asked gradually.
Duke Huai’s breathing stuttered, then, he shook his head. “Impossible.”
“If we already know that it’s impossible, then why waste our emotions and hold on to this non-existent chance to try and rope him in?”
Duke Huai didn’t say a word.
“If Duke Huai is really afraid of Yun Qinghong ruining the plan, there is a simple way to take care of the problem.” Duke Zhong said with a sneer, “We could make it so he wouldn’t even be qualified to speak later, wouldn’t that solve the problem?”
The moment Duke Zhong said this, Duke Huai instantly knew what he wanted to do. After a brief silence, he gradually nodded his head.
Duke Zhong smiled, glanced sideways, slightly moved his lips, and sent a profound energy sound conversion to a person sitting on the edge of the seats, and signaled the person.
Yun Che wasn’t interested in the things the lords had to report. After thinking for a long time, he suddenly asked Yun Qinghong, “Father, the people who joined together to provoke the public’s opinion and pressured the Little Demon Empress to punish our Yun Family, were the seven Guardian Families across us, right?”
Yun Qinghong didn’t say a word, and nodded slowly.
Yun Che locked his eyebrows and said, “At the Hundred Year Reign Ceremony, the Guardian Families and each major Duke Palace would perform on stage, there’s even a tradition of a sparring competition, and there would be no exception this time. If I’m not wrong, the dukes across us would definitely find an opportunity to bring this up, and the method of the sparring competition would very likely be the East Wing against the West Wing.”
“That’s what Duke Huai would do,” Yun Qinghong said calmly. “With the Little Demon Empress who could take a great setback, and us who refuse to join his faction, how could he not? Or else, he wouldn’t have deliberately arranged the seats like this.”
“It all comes down to what reason he uses.”
Two hours had passed calmly at the Grand Ceremony. This Grand Ceremony, according to the original plan, would continue for at least three days and three nights. This was just the beginning.
At this moment, King Zhennan, who was stationed in the southern border, had just finished reporting what had happened over the hundred years. As soon as he got down, in the corner of the seats on the East, a young duke whose position was basically on the bottom rung suddenly stood up.
The Little Demon Empress glanced at him, and said faintly, “Duke Chu, is there something you would like to report?”
“Yes!” The person who was called ‘Duke Chu’ quickly moved to the front of the seats. When he spoke, his voice was obviously trembling. “There is an issue that has been bothering this humble duke for a long time. But this is an important issue, and it could possibly upset some of the superior figures here, so I don’t know whether or not I should bring it to light.”
The Little Demon Empress’ dark eyes narrowed, and she said coldly, “If you don’t know whether or not you should speak, then don’t speak. Step down!”
“…” It was as if Duke Chu’s throat was suddenly stabbed with a knife. He prepared for so long, but he couldn’t utter the words that were on the tip of his tongue, and his face was bloated until it was all red… when he said he didn’t know whether or not he should bring it to light, it was only something he said to slow down and foreshadow his next words, but he didn’t expect the Little Demon Empress to shoot him down with just one sentence before having the chance to continue to say it.
His face twitched as he responded ‘yes,’ and stepped down awkwardly.
“This idiot!” In the center of the east wing, Duke Huai scoffed.
At this moment, a person who was not far on the right from where Duke Chu was sitting stood up. From his appearance, he was one of the dukes as well. He cupped his hands, and said in a loud voice, “Reporting to Little Demon Empress, this humble duke has something to say! This issue had been on this humble duke’s mind for a long time. If it were said out loud, it might also upset some of the superior figures or even induce hatred. But this is an issue related to the Illusory Demon Royal Family’s reputation, and even the future of the Illusory Demon Realm. Even if people hold grudges against this humble duke, I have to say it no matter what.”
“Oh, is that so?” The eyes of the Little Demon Empress were like stars dotted in the night sky. “Then this empress shall listen to what Duke Xiang has to say, and see exactly how serious this issue is!”
Duke Xiang slightly gnashed his teeth, and said with a serious expression, “This humble duke earnestly requests Little Demon Empress to remove the Yun Family from the Twelve Guardian Families, and replace them with a force that has the ability and the qualification!”
The entire hall immediately went into an uproar with what Duke Xiang had said. No one had thought that the ‘serious issue’ Duke Xiang was going to address would be this shocking!
The Twelve Guardian Families were the twelve families who followed the First Demon Emperor and ruled the Illusory Demon Realm. Their existences were supreme like a sacred ground, and they were on the top of the Illusory Demon Realm. The Yun Family, in the past ten thousand years, had been the head of the twelve families, and had always been most valued by the Demon Emperor’s Clan. They had only been rapidly declining in the last century because of the Profound Sky Continent incident… Even though this Duke Xiang was also a duke, his position was low in the Royal Clan. Their Duke Palace’s force was not enough to compare with any of the twelve families. Now, in the presence of the Little Demon Empress, the Twelve Families, and all those under heaven, he unexpectedly asked the Yun Family to step down from the Twelve Guardian Families!
This was simply like dropping a clap of thunder from the sky.
The Little Demon Empress suddenly narrowed her eyes, and the top and bottom of the Yun Family were all furious. Yun Qinghong didn’t have much of a reaction, but not everyone was as calm as Yun Qinghong. Great Elder Yun Waitian suddenly stood up, not even caring that this was the Grand Ceremony, and cursed out loud, “You bold maniac, who do you think you are, how dare you speak of such nonsense!”
That Duke Xiang was surprisingly calm as he said softly, “Great Elder Yun, please watch your manners. Don’t let the world know that the Yun Family’s manners are like this.”
Yun Waitian sneered, “My manners are only for people who deserve it. An ungrateful dog who abandons its ancestors for profit and obey to someone else’s orders doesn’t deserve my manners.”
Yun Waitian’s words were so vicious that they made Duke Xiang’s calm face suddenly turn into the color of pig liver, as his lips trembled with rage, “Yun Waitian… you… you… you have gone too far!”
“You were the one who went too far!”
“Enough, the two of you, don’t go into a war of words.” Duke Huai stood up at this moment. The Yun, Mu, Under Heaven, Yan, and Su Family had already been suspicious of the shocking words this Duke Xiang suddenly stood up and said, thinking that it must be an order from Duke Huai. Now that he had stood up, it made it even more unmistakable.
Duke Huai didn’t wait for the Little Demon Empress to speak first, and said while smiling, “Duke Xiang, the Yun Family had been part of the Twelve Guardian Families for all previous generations of Demon Emperors, for ten thousand of years. They could be said to have had many contributions, but you suddenly report to ask the Little Demon Empress to have the Yun Family be removed from the Guardian Families. You should at least give us a reason for it.”
Duke Xiang quickly said, “If this humble duke doesn’t have a sufficient reason, how would I dare to say something about an issue so serious. And removing the Yun Family from the Twelve Guardian Families is not something that was thought of only by this humble duke. Of the people this humble duke knows, eight or nine out of ten agree! The reasons are naturally sufficient, and each and every one of them is known by all.”
Duke Huai stood up with his hands on his waist. It emboldened this Duke Xiang’s confidence, as he said with composure, “As the Demon Emperor’s Twelve Guardian Families, a strong ability is the basic requirement! At least, they should have an unbeatable late stage Monarch! Back in the days, the Yun Family had the most late stage Monarchs among the Twelve Guardian Families, and none of the families could compete with them. But, a hundred years ago, Yun Family’s eleven late stage Monarchs all died in the Profound Sky Continent! The Yun Family now doesn’t even have a late stage Monarch! The strongest of the whole family, Grand Elder Yun Jiang, is only at the sixth level of the Sovereign Profound Realm.”
“The whole world knows, having a late stage Monarch was the symbol of the highest force in the Illusory Demon Realm, but the Yun Family doesn’t have one anymore! A Yun Family like this doesn’t even count as a top force, so how could it be qualified to be one of the Twelve Guardian Families directly under the Little Demon Empress? How could they have the ability to guard the Demon Emperor’s bloodline?”
“Poor remark.” Duke Huai shook his head. “A hundred years ago, the Yun Family faced incredible difficulties. These were the consequences caused the impulse of Yun Canghai. Even if the Yun Family doesn’t have a late stage Monarch now, with Yun Family’s background, and given enough time, there might be one in the future.”
“No! That’s impossible!” Duke Xiang shook his head assuredly, “What decides a family’s future is the ability of the young generation! But, in Demon Imperial City, who doesn’t know how weak the Yun Family’s young generations are! Of those under the age of thirty, less than five are Overlords, and the highest power they have now is at the second level of the Tyrant Profound Realm… Oh, I heard that there was a Yun Xinyue who was passable, but unfortunately, he had already passed away.”
“With a Yun Family like this, what kind of future do they still have? What qualifications do they have to hold on to the title of Guardians? If a family like this can guard the Demon Emperor, wouldn’t it be a disgrace to the Demon Emperor’s bloodline, and be laughed at by the whole world?!”
“Shut up!!” It was as if Yun Waitian’s heart was stabbed when the name “Yun Xinyue” was brought up. He trembled in anger, “The reason the young generation of Yun Family are weak, was because we were plotted against, and were forced to endure the heavy liability. Or else, with the background of the Yun Family, and the power of Profound Handle of the Yun Family, we would never be weaker than anyone!”
Duke Xiang sneered, “Great Elder Yun’s words has just reminded this duke. That’s right, Great Elder Yun’s words is the second reason! And that’s the Yun Family’s misdeed!”
Duke Xiang pointed at where the Yun Family was sitting, and yelled loudly, “The Little Demon Empress has been on the throne for a full hundred years, but still wasn’t able to inherit the Golden Crow in Golden Crow Lightning Flame Valley… and why is that so?! Could it be that your Yun Family don’t know why?!”
“You!!” Yun Waitian’s body shook violently; this was his Yun Family’s greatest weakness. Even though he was furious, he couldn’t say anything about it. Because a hundred years ago, the Demon Emperor’s Seal was lost because of the Yun Family, and the Mirror of Samsara was also lost because of the Yun Family… these were irrefutable facts.
“Your Yun Family lost the Demon Emperor’s Seal, preventing the Little Demon Empress from awakening the Golden Crow’s bloodline, to achieve the highest of powers… it was all thanks to you Yun Family! The Mirror of Samsara was a treasure passed down from the First Demon Emperor. The previous Demon Emperor trusted you Yun Family fully, and let the Yun Family guard it, but you lost it… and even lost it in Profound Sky Continent, the land of our sworn enemy! Not only should you be sorry to the previous Demon Emperor, sorry to the Little Demon Empress… you should be even more sorry to all of the ancestors of the Demon Emperor’s bloodline!”
“With low ability and such heinous crimes that arouses great indignation, the Little Demon Empress showed a lot of mercy by continuing to let you keep the title of Guardian Family for a full hundred years! But you Yun Family should ask yourselves, what capability, what qualifications, and what dignity do you have to remain on the position of Guardian!”
This Duke Xiang’s words were very sharp, and his tone was very furious and agitated; each sentence was straight to the point. The people in the crowd were all moved by what he was saying and were agreeing to it, it was no wonder that Duke Huai let him come forward.
Clap, clap, clap, clap…
A burst of applause sounded, Duke Zhong stood up while clapping, and said with a serious expression, “Duke Xiang, that was on point! The Yun Family is sinful, and their strength has weakened too much. These issues are well-known by everyone, but they are still staying as one of the Guardian Families. At first, this duke didn’t think much about it, but hearing what Duke Xiang had said, this duke felt enlightened by these facts. It’s true that with the Yun Family’s strength now, and the other sins that they’ve committed, they should not continue to carry on the responsibility of Guardian, or else, they really would disgrace and drag down the reputation of the Royal Family, and become a joke for everyone! Because of the Yun Family’s crime, it was too merciful for the Little Demon Empress to only cut off their hundred years resources. It wouldn’t be too much to kick them out of Demon Imperial City right this moment!”