Chapter 121: I’m Telling You That You’re a Frog at the Bottom of a Well
Although Jiang Chen didn’t really want to receive the person from the Darkmoon Kingdom, he wanted to understand the movements of all sides given the current situation. Perhaps he could obtain a bit of intelligence from this Darkmoon envoy?
“Darkmoon Kingdom envoy Qi Can greets young master Jiang.” The Darkmoon Kingdom envoy was short and looked like an ordinary citizen. There was nothing particularly remarkable about him.
This kind of person couldn’t be identified if he was thrown into a crowd.
However, this person’s nose was slightly flat, and his eye sockets were rather sunken. Judging from his appearance, he did indeed have a few traces of the traits from the Darkmoon Kingdom.
“Young master Jiang?” Jiang Chen’s lips curled into a humourless smile.
“Heh heh, I’ve heard that the Jiang family has rejected the appointments and rewards of the Eastern clan and declined the title of first duke. So, if I guess correctly, the Jiang family doesn’t hold any government positions anymore. Calling you young master Jiang seems to be the most fitting, is it not?”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, “You’re a smart man. What I don’t understand however is: When did I, Jiang Chen, have any interaction with your Darkmoon Kingdom worthy of you taking the trouble to come visit me?”
“I’m here as a lobbyist to enlist your support.”
“A lobbyist?” Jiang Chen’s eyebrows creased slightly. “Could it be that you believe my Jiang family will betray the people of my own kingdom?”
“Heh heh! Although you say that, the Eastern clan is already on the decline. What reason is there for you to continue to profess your loyalty? Moreover, I’ve heard that on that day in the capital, Eastern Lu gave up on your Jiang family as though he was discarding a pawn without even the slightest bit of hesitation.
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. How could such a minor character understand the lofty ambitions that he, Jiang Chen possessed?
“My Darkmoon Kingdom is not so, what we value the most are those with true skill and genuine knowledge. The Jiang clan is precisely the type of strong clan that the Darkmoon Kingdom admire the most. Our king is willing to invite the Jiang family over with the title of first duke. The land that the Darkmoon Kingdom will enfeoff is three times the size of your Jiang Han territory. As for gold and beauties, you’ll have as much as you desire.”
“Gold? Beauties?” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“Indeed. The financial power of the Darkmoon Kingdom is something that the Eastern Kingdom can’t even hope to match. With the selection of beauties in the Darkmoon Kingdom, we can find whatever type you can think of, whether coquettish or innocent. They’re certain to be prettier than that Princess Gouyu and that Eastern Zhiruo. Sexier too!”
Jiang Chen found the sight of him waxing eloquently rather funny.
“Do you think that the males of my Jiang family live for wealth and beautiful girls?”
“The fine sons of the Jiang family naturally have their own aspirations. However, in this realm, wealth and beautiful women are the best representation of ability, and the best embellishments of power. Without the adornments of wealth and beauties, so what if one stands at the peak of power?”
“Besides, if your Jiang family continues to stay within the Eastern Kingdom, given the previous example of the Long family, the royal family will never grant you power. You may enjoy wealth and prosperity, but you’ll never grasp much power. The notion of rising to become a very high official will be nothing more than an extravagant hope for you.”
The envoy’s spittle flew with abandon as he brimmed with self confidence.
Qiao Baishi had long since been filled with flames of angry indignation as he stood to the side. Although he’d left the Hall of Healing, he was still a citizen of the Eastern Kingdom at heart.
Perhaps he didn’t have any loyalty to the royal family, but he had an exceedingly deep connection to the country and land that had given birth and nurtured him.
This envoy from the Darkmoon Kingdom dared to so eagerly advocate for a rebellion.
This was the height of humiliation for Qiao Baishi.
In this world, whether one was a practitioner or an average citizen, they all felt a sense of identity when it came to their own country and homeland.
This country could see internal strife, and dynasties could change.
But these were all internal issues for the kingdom.
This absolutely didn’t mean that they would accept the invasion of other kingdoms or humiliation from foreigners.
Although Jiang Chen’s soul was not directly connected to the Eastern Kingdom, he more or less had some feelings for this land after assimilating with the memories of the previous Jiang Chen.
Furthermore, if it were the past Jiang Chen, he would never have accepted such a thing as betrayal.
Therefore, the Darkmoon Kingdom’s planned mutiny was a complete joke to his ears. He hadn’t admonished or rejected this envoy was because he wished to hear what other interesting tidbits this person would reveal.
When he saw the envoy stop, Jiang Chen asked with a smile, “What else? Just this?”
The envoy had an odd expression on his face, “Isn’t this enough?”
Jiang Chen chuckled, “Allow me to summarize. First duke, wealth, and beauties right? But have you thought about the fact that if I so desire, I can also easily obtain these things in the Eastern Kingdom, and probably even more. Wouldn’t you say so?”
“The Eastern Kingdom?” The envoy revealed a trace of mockery in his smile. “Does young master Jiang think there’s still a future for the Eastern Kingdom? The two greatest powers of the royal family and the Duke of Soaring Dragon have almost been completely exterminated in their conflict. This country is now an empty shell. It won’t recover for at least dozens of years.”
“So what?” Jiang Chen asked blandly.
“Heh heh, young master Jiang, you understand the situation but are just feigning the fool, right?” The envoy also laughed. “Then as you wish, I’ll simply speak even more clearly. Your Jiang family will continue to enjoy wealth and prosperity if you flock to the Darkmoon Kingdom. If you remain within the Eastern Kingdom, you may very well be buried with it as well.”
“Oh? Why do you say that?”
“Since things have progressed to this point, there’s nothing to be further concealed. The news of your Eastern Kingdom’s internal conflict has long since made its way back to the Darkmoon Kingdom. The armies of all the dukes within the Darkmoon Kingdom have now gathered and will mobilize their forces to conquer the Eastern Kingdom within ten days. With your Eastern Kingdom’s current strength, just what will you bring out to obstruct the great armies of the Darkmoon Kingdom?”
“Our king has also heard that your Jiang family has a way to compel Swordbirds to battle. This is the reason why our ruler values your Jiang family. In the vast Eastern Kingdom, the only family to catch my king’s attention is your Jiang family.”
“So you are saying that my Jiang family should actually thank your king for his special regards?”
“There’s no need for gratitude and the like. If we can work together in harmony and cooperate in service of my king, then that would be for the best. My king has exceedingly great ambition and his mind encompasses the world. Conquering the Eastern Kingdom is but the first step. His final goal is to unify all sixteen kingdoms. If we can obtain the Jiang family’s aid, it will surely be like giving wings to a tiger for His Majesty’s great plan.”
“At that time, my king will become the great emperor who has unified the lands, and the Jiang family will certainly become a mighty family with your name engraved in glory and strength, remaining immemorial throughout the ages.”
“Young master Jiang, a valiant man aims for lofty goals beneath the heavens. I believe a fine man like yourself should know what to choose? Is it to leave a legacy of eternal glory or be a good-for-nothing and follow a kingdom in decline to be buried alive with the dead? Do you need to give it anymore thought?”
One had to say, this envoy Qi Can was quite a smooth talker. A marvelous persuasiveness permeated his every sentence.
However, his eloquence was completely useless in front of Jiang Chen.
Whether it was unifying the land or having an immortal name throughout history, this was still the ambitions of an ordinary person at the end of the day. Jiang Chen’s ambitions didn’t lie in this realm at all.
“Young master Jiang, I’ve spoken all that I can, why don’t you consider it?” Qi Can chuckled.
“It does sound quite good.”
Jiang Chen chuckled and suddenly walked outside with regular, even steps. “Qi Can was it? Do you see this well outside the door?”
“I do, I saw it before I entered the door.” Qi Can was nonplussed.
“Have you heard of the story of the frog at the bottom of the well?” Jiang Chen asked again.
“Frog at the bottom of the well? It’s a story for educating children, right? How could I have not heard of it?”
Jiang Chen nodded and looked quite gratified. “That’s good. Let me put it this way, you’re currently like the frog at the bottom of the well. You’ve spent quite some time painting a picture, but those blueprints that you think are so magnificent are but a patch of sky as big as an opening of a well.”
“You… young master Jiang, what do you mean by this?” Qi Can’s facial expression changed.
“What does this mean? My house’s young master is calling you a frog at the bottom of a well, do you still don’t understand? If you don’t understand even this, how can you be a lobbyist?” Qiao Baishi smiled coldly as he walked up and berated him.
“A frog at the bottom of a well?” Qi Can couldn’t help but start laughing, “Young master Jiang, you simply think too highly of yourself! Your Jiang family does have some skills to its name, but you’ve only gained some prestige within the Eastern Kingdom. The strength of my Darkmoon Kingdom isn’t someything that your Eastern Kingdom can measure up to.”
“Strength?” Jiang Chen’s tone was a bit melancholy as he recalled the experiences of his past life. He sighed lightly, “I have already seen the strongest existence there is, but the pity was that it was annihilated just like that.”
In his past life, Jiang Chen’s father had been the Celestial Emperor and he had been the son of the Celestial Emperor, ruling over the heavens and various worlds. And even then, so what? Wasn’t it all gone just like that?
The Darkmoon Kingdom was still nothing more than a stronger common kingdom. It was making a fool out of itself blowing its own horn in front of Jiang Chen and showing off its force.
How could Qi Can know that Jiang Chen’s current state of mind had already weathered a reincarnation between his current life and prior life? How would he comprehend the endless sorrow and desolation within Jiang Chen’s tone?
He laughed coldly and said with arms akimbo, “Young master Jiang, I’ve delivered all that I have to say. If you refuse to realize your error and persist in your stubborness, there will be no room for you to negotiate when the great armies of my Darkmoon Kingdom arrive.”
Jiang Chen was recollecting the past events of his previous life and a sentimental air had wrapped itself around his heart when he suddenly heard Qi Can’s spirit dampening threats.
His face darkened, “Qi Can, go back and tell your king that although my Jiang family has nothing to do with the Eastern clan, this land has given birth to my Jiang family and nurtured it. If your Darkmoon Kingdom dares to set one filthy foot on this land, by my hand, you will be unable to return after your visit.”
It wasn’t that Jiang Chen was arrogant, or that he had any feelings of loyalty to the Eastern Kingdom.
It was that there was a type of emotion within Jiang Chen’s bones, an emotion reminiscent of pride, an emotion that evoked memories of old friendships.
This land had nurtured generations of Jiang family ancestors, and the body of him, Jiang Chen, had been nurtured and raised by this land.
At the heart of it all, his flesh and blood had already melded into this land.
Perhaps he would depart not long in the future, but he would never permit the footsteps of evil to trample this land. This wasn’t simply an invasion, but also blasphemy towards the emotions that Jiang Chen felt in his heart!
In addition, this Qi Can’s words were overtly and subtly filled with a sense of threat. This made Jiang Chen incredibly irate. He hadn’t been frightened even when a stronger sect than the Darkmoon Kingdom had sought to suppress him.
Even if this Darkmoon Kingdom was stronger than the Eastern Kingdom, how could Jiang Chen allow himself to feel threatened by them?