Chapter 70: Abroad (1)
The notice was finally sent, and Su Chen sighed in relief.
Yes, he was still at the Zhu Clan.
It was still not the right time for him to go with them.
After the Harpies took away those captives, they would definitely investigate all of the Harpy captives thoroughly to ensure that the Zhu Clan wasn’t up to any tricks.
Of course, they wouldn’t discover anything, and even if they did, the Zhu Clan would have left it behind on purpose in order to satisfy their vain pride.
As for Halcyon Wing Streak, he was merely a former noble whose mind had collapsed after being raped. He was not worth mentioning, and perhaps they would even be able to use his case to protest and obtain some more benefits.
That was exactly what happened.
With Jade Brilliance’s assistance, Scattered Moon Mist and the others very quickly discovered the broodmother’s whereabouts.
When Jade Brilliance saw the broodmother, which had grown quite significantly in size, she let out a long sigh. "We've finally found it."
"This is the thing that we've been looking for?" Purple Forest Stream was taken aback.
"That's right." Scattered Moon Mist walked over and placed her hand on the broodmother.
The broodmother made no signs of retaliating.
Even so, Scattered Moon Mist still probed it momentarily before she nodded. “It has indeed been Soul Stamped…… Tell me, who are you loyal to?”
“My first loyalty is to the Harpies, my second loyalty to the Gentle Voice Nest, and my third loyalty to Flowing Flame Oriole,” the broodmother replied.
Upon hearing these words, Scattered Moon Mist frowned. “How bold of Flowing Flame Oriole, to tamper with the Soul Seal and include herself.”
Soul Stamp’s loyalty content had extremely strict requirements, but Flowing Flame Oriole had never told Su Chen, so Su Chen never knew.
But even if he didn’t know, he could still make things up.
Everyone had some selfishness in them, including Flowing Flame Oriole. Since she was here to carry out the Harpies’ orders, it was difficult for her not to have any selfish desires. As such, the current situation was not actually that strange.
The three loyalty targets Su Chen had provided demonstrated that Flowing Flame Oriole was both aware of the situation as a whole and had some selfish intentions. This was incredibly realistic, so even though Scattered Moon Mist was unhappy, she believed it immediately.
Thankfully, now that Flowing Flame Oriole was dead, Scattered Moon Mist was given an opportunity. She immediately said, “I need to adjust the target of your loyalty. You will be loyal to Eternal Night and the head of the Mother Goddess Sect, Serene Dream Lotus Crown. Only they and their deputies may control you."
The broodmother replied dully, "You are not the owner of this Soul Stamp, so you cannot change my loyalty."
Scattered Moon Mist said, "Flowing Flame Oriole has died, so the chain of command is problematic and needs to be fixed."
"There is nothing to fix. Order rejected."
Scattered Moon Mist's expression changed slightly. "Your first loyalty is to the Harpies. Eternal Night and Serene Dream Lotus Crown are the representatives of the Harpies."
"Order understood and accepted," the broodmother replied woodenly like a puppet.
Scattered Moon Mist sighed with relief.
The remaining issues would be much easier to resolve. Scattered Moon Mist was the Harpy delegate sent here and had been given a tool to control the broodmother temporarily. After a brief conversation with the broodmother, Scattered Moon Mist was able to get a rough understanding of the situation.
"So the Stargold Mine is very important to you?"
The broodmother replied, "More precisely, all of the mines here are important to me. They were formed from the corpse of the Gold-Devouring Ape and come from the same source. Absorbing them will be exceptionally helpful for my growth."
"How do you know?"
"Flowing Flame Oriole told me. She hoped that I could stay here longer, but after she left the last time, she didn't return."
"At least she didn't betray our expectations and managed to send word back to us," Scattered Moon Mist sighed.
"So what should we do? There are many veins of Stargold here, and we won't have any way of extracting them all, not to mention that time doesn't allow for it," Purple Forest Stream asked.
Scattered Moon Mist replied after some thought, "Since the broodmother wants Stargold, we should do our best to satisfy its wants. Haven't we already completed our preliminary negotiations with them? They have given us permission to gather resources from Flat Sky City as we please. Originally, this was just a facade, but now it seems like it is actually very necessary for us. Tell the Zhu Clan that we want all of their Stargold Mines."
"If that's the case, our opponents will probably increase their asking price," Purple Forest Stream said anxiously.
"Then so be it. Any price we have to pay is small in the face of the Floating Point plan."
News very quickly reached the Zhu Clan. Everything unfolded just as expected.
The Zhu Clan ended up agreeing. Even though they did end up asking for more compensation, their demands were not unreasonable.
The Harpies, the Zhu Clan, and Su Chen were all very satisfied.
Scattered Moon Mist was content because she had managed to complete her mission, while Zhu Chenhuan and Su Chen were happy because someone had finally bought the Stargold Mines from them. In theory, this lump sum should have belonged to Su Chen alone, but Su Chen decided to split it evenly with the Zhu Clan as a dowry for Zhu Xianyao.
Not long afterwards, the Harpies prepared to return. Since they had the broodmother in hand, they were worried about any further difficulties if they didn’t leave soon. As for the Stargold, it was enough for the Zhu Clan would just send what they had mined to Sky City once a year.
A few days later, the Harpies officially left.
The diplomatic party departed from Flat Sky City back to Sky Country territory. However, they didn’t leave alone; the Zhu Clan’s diplomatic envoy also went with them.
Yes, this time it was the Zhu Clan’s turn to send a diplomatic group over.
The Zhu Clan’s diplomatic envoy was sent to protect the Stargold shipment, according to their agreement. The Zhu Clan borrowed the opportunity to more fully open up the trade routes between the two countries, helping Scattered Moon Mist and the others render an account to the empire showing that the Harpies had also profited from the exchange. The large amount of Stargold was evidence of this. On the other hand, Liaoye Country’s nobles had made many requests of the Zhu Clan when they were selecting the list of captives to be exchanged for, so this was an opportunity to indebt them. Since the Zhu Clan was part of Liaoye Country, their business with the Sky City needed to be approved by Liaoye Country’s emperor. Those Bloodline Nobility Clans would be able to help the Zhu Clan in this endeavor so that the Zhu Clan wouldn’t need to pay a high price to accomplish this. In any case, political negotiations were always a balancing act. No side could swallow all the benefits. The Zhu Clan still needed to portion out the appropriate benefits.
However, this was merely a superficial reason. The true reason they were being sent was to help deal with some of the barriers Su Chen might face in the future.
This was also an idea that the Zhu Clan’s advisors had proposed.
The Zhu Clan clearly placed an incredible amount of importance on Su Chen. After all, his success or failure was related to obtaining an entire fort.
To ensure that Su Chen would be unhindered, they had thought up all kinds of different tactics. One of these ideas was to similarly send a diplomatic envoy to Sky City. This diplomatic envoy could escort Su Chen; though they wouldn’t be able to guarantee his safety, they would at least be able to support him, unlike how Su Chen had been forced to infiltrate Ravager territory on his own.
Entering Harpy territory as a human was actually much safer than entering while pretending to be a Harpy. Su Chen would be able to use this opportunity to determine whether or not it was still feasible for him to try and impersonate a Harpy.
The matter with Halcyon Wing Streak was merely preparatory.
Zhu Chenhuan hoped that this preparation would never need to be used, while Su Chen was quite eager to give it a try.
The two massive Cloud-Piercing Shuttles flew slowly through the sky.
These shuttles were also powered by Origin Stones and moved by manipulating the air around them. They looked just like dragons slowly meandering across the sky. The increased carrying capacity of these gigantic shuttles came at the cost of movement speed.
Su Chen stood at the head of the boat and watched the scenery pass by below him as he said, “Based on this speed, it will take us at least six or seven days to reach Sky City.”
“It’s actually ten days,” Zhu Yunyan said. “Once we reach Harpy territory, we will first need to pass through the Origin Light Castle and the Chaos Tower before we reach Sky City. They will probably thoroughly search and interrogate us before letting us through, so our progress will probably be quite slow.”
“So that’s how it is. But now that you mention Chaos Tower, there’s one thing I don’t quite understand,” Su Chen said.
“What is it?”
Su Chen said, “Apparently Chaos Tower was constructed on top of a muddled Desolate Beast. But aren’t most Desolate Beasts in hibernation? Why can this Desolate Beast still survive in the outside world?”
Zhu Yunyan replied, “This is indeed an interesting question, one that many people are fascinated by. Unfortunately, this has been kept a secret amongst the Harpies this whole time. Even unto this day, no one really knows.”
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you don’t know the answer either,” Su Chen sighed.
The Harpies had five floating forts in total, but Chaos Tower was the one Su Chen was the most interested in.
A fort established on the back of a Desolate Beast was interesting because, in some sense, a Desolate Beast was even more valuable. Su Chen didn’t know how the Harpies were sustaining that Desolate Beast in this kind of environment, but the answer definitely wouldn’t be simple. He had scoured ancient records before but had not found any information on the Chaos Tower, so his asking Zhu Chenhuan was merely a spur of the moment question. He was not that surprised by Zhu Chenhuan’s reply.
At that moment, a voice spoke from behind him. “So one of your goals in coming to Harpy territory is to investigate the secrets behind powering this Demonic Beast?”
Su Chen turned around in surprise when he heard the voice. Zhu Xianyao was standing right behind him.
“Xianyao? Why are you here?” Zhu Chenhuan was taken aback.
This expedition to Sky Country was incredibly important. Neither Zhu Yunyan nor Su Chen wanted Zhu Xianyao to participate. The original plan was to keep her at home, but somehow she had appeared on this boat.
Zhu Xianyao giggled as she gazed at Su Chen. “If I want to come along, who can stop me?”
Zhu Yunyan stared at the driver of the shuttle, who was standing to the side with a wooden face. Zhu Yunyan and Su Chen both realized that Zhu Xianyao had probably used a bewitching technique to control the shuttle’s driver. That was why he had dared to disobey Zhu Yunyan’s commands and let Zhu Xianyao onto the boat.
Zhu Yunyan’s expression sank. “How bold! You actually dared to use a bewitching technique on a clan member? Get rid of it this instant!”
Zhu Xianyao stuck out her tongue and touched the driver’s head, releasing him from the technique.
The driver immediately fell to his knees after regaining consciousness, pleading for forgiveness.
Zhu Yunyan didn’t blame him and sent him away.
Su Chen was helpless. “Why would you go to such great lengths?”
Zhu Xianyao harrumphed. “I can’t stop you from getting yourself into danger, but don’t even think about leaving me behind. I will go wherever you go. That way, when you are in a dangerous situation, I can be by your side and comfort you.”
Su Chen was rendered speechless for some time.
In that instant, he suddenly thought of Gu Qingluo.
If it weren’t for the fact that her bloodline restricted her, she would probably do the same thing, right?