Chapter 172: Leader
The fifth day after Golden Blaze’s arm had been cut off, Su Chen successfully reached the Spirit Burning Realm. He became the first Spirit Burning Realm cultivator across the entire Primordial Continent without a bloodline.
Unfortunately, no one was present to bear witness to such a tremendous accomplishment. There was no fanfare or wild applause - the only thing that greeted Su Chen was the sight of the setting sun.
Even so, this was reality. Many incredible inventions all disappeared silently.
For some reason, Su Chen felt a trace of worry surface in his heart in the moment that he broke through.
This worry seemed to come out of nowhere.
Seven days later, news came from the Harpies’ northern border.
The Beast Wave had arrived.
The Harpies were immediately thrown into turmoil.
Now, they were fighting a war on two fronts.
Two days later, news from human territory arrived. Empty Mountain and Water Sheen had agreed to mobilize their armies and were preparing to attack. They even officially condemned the Harpies for their actions - unsurprisingly, Zhu Xianyao had been used as an excuse for the humans to attack.
All of the parties involved in this scheme were all extremely excited -
As long as Eternal Night’s brain was normal, he would most likely let Zhu Xianyao go.
Unexpectedly, however, Eternal Night remained motionless.
Another three days passed.
Within Mair’s room.
Su Chen sat alone in the courtyard.
“How are things over at Liaoye Country?” Su Chen asked as he stood in front of a flower, seemingly speaking to himself.
A spectre-like voice replied, “It will take time before the armies can fully mobilize, but the soldiers are already making preparations.”
It was Patelocke’s voice.
Patelocke had already entered Harpy territory, but not the Origin Light Castle. From his position, he was capable of communicating with Zhu Chenhuan, Zhu Xianyao, and Su Chen at the same time.
“But yet he still chose to maintain his position,” Su Chen muttered.
He had a bad feeling that the situation was no longer under his control.
His plan had been a good one.
But the tragic reality was that not every good plan would result in a good outcome.
In a battle between geniuses, it was not a rarity that both sides would be able to see through each others moves beforehand and take steps to prevent their plan from coming to fruition.
It was for this reason that Su Chen had been able to accomplish what he had accomplished in Ravager territory.
It wasn’t just because Su Chen was smart, but also because of Anubi’s impotence.
This time, however, Su Chen knew that he had encountered a powerful opponent.
Eternal Night’s reactions were impossible to fully predict. He didn’t know what Eternal Night was thinking or what he was doing.
This worried him.
After a moment’s thought, Su Chen said, “Keep a close eye on what’s happening over at Zhu Xianyao’s place of residence. I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Got it!” Patelocke replied.
Even though Su Chen had taken so many protective measures, he eventually discovered that all of them appeared to have been meaningless.
Two days later, Su Chen heard back.
Zhu Xianyao had been brought into Sky City.
Under the identity of a criminal!
Su Chen was about to go insane.
Or was Eternal Night the one going insane?
How could he do that?
How could he ignore the impending pressure from the humans and Beasts and insist on dealing with him and Zhu Xianyao?
At that moment, Su Chen finally got a taste of what it felt like to be on the other end of defeat.
Unfortunately, the Origin Bone Scepter wouldn’t give him any predictions about Eternal Night’s actions.
Eternal Night was too powerful, and he was constantly surrounded by a revolving cast of experts. As such, it was impossible for Su Chen to determine what Eternal Night was thinking.
“Su Chen, what do we do now?” Even Patelocke was beginning to grow anxious about the situation. “Zhu Chenhuan also doesn’t know about the situation yet. I haven’t told him.”
Su Chen paced back and forth a few times. “You’re right not to tell him yet. It appears that Eternal Night is determined to have a go at it. I’m putting pressure on him by using two massive armies, while he is using Zhu Xianyao to force my hand. Him sending her to Sky City…… this is definitely aimed at me.”
Patelocke agreed. “This move from Eternal Night is vicious. He’s intent on pressuring this weak spot of yours!”
Su Chen harrumphed, “He might have grasped my weak spot, but what about him? Does he have no weak spot?”
Patelocke was taken aback. “What is his weak spot exactly?”
“His subjects!” Su Chen said with a bone-chilling intent. “Eternal Night, you really are ruthless to ignore the pressure of two armies bearing down on you just so you can play a game of chicken with me. But not every Harpy will be as vicious as you!”
The next day, a rumor began to spread through Sky City.
The content of the rumor was that Eternal Night had fallen for a human woman and forcibly seized her. However, because she was heiress to a Demonic Emperor clan, the humans were preparing to attack, since Eternal Night had turned down their requests to negotiate multiple times. The Beasts were also invading, so the two enemy forces were attacking right when the Harpies were weakest. However, Eternal Night remained smitten with lust and ignored the plight of his country, forcibly bringing this woman to Sky City. This was going to cause war to break out between the humans and the Harpies.
Apart from the fact that Eternal Night fancied Zhu Xianyao, most of this information was true.
This was the most effective kind of rumor - ninety percent true and ten percent false, designed to completely change the narrative. Any Harpy who found out would think that Eternal Night was the one who was responsible for the impending disaster. Yes, even the invasion of the Beasts would become Eternal Night’s responsibility.
At the very beginning, most of the Harpies didn’t dare believe their ears.
Eternal Night had been a king for thousands of years, and his subjects worshipped him for his wisdom. No one believed that he was capable of doing something like this.
However, those who were interested in doing a little more research quickly discovered that there is likely something to those rumors.
There was indeed a human diplomatic envoy that had been arrested in the Origin Light Castle, the humans were preparing a massive invading force, the Beasts were in fact encroaching on the borders of Harpy territory, and their leader was ignoring the Beast invasion, instead sending three Floating Points off to deal with the humans…...
These discoveries all supported the veracity of the rumors.
The thought of another vicious battle loomed over the Harpies.
None of the Harpies wanted to repeat what they had experienced at the hands of the Beasts.
Not to mention that this conflict would probably be twice as intense.
Even though starting a war over a woman sounded romantic, it was actually an idiotic, pointless idea.
There was no way the Harpies would be willing to accept this kind of idiocy. There were even a few officials and nobles who didn’t know the full story that found it unacceptable.
The rumor began to spread with more and more momentum through Sky City, and news of Zhu Xianyao’s arrival spread.
Within three short days, the citizens of Sky City had begun to clamor for Zhu Xianyao’s release.
This fervor reached a climax at the moment Zhu Xianyao entered the city.
When they saw the beautiful, elegant Zhu Xianyao imprisoned, the countless individuals watching were even more stirred up.
“Set her free!”
“Set her free!”
“Set her free!”
The crowd of Harpies clamored and yelled.
This was the first time they had ever been the side of a human.
The Harpies didn’t want a war. At least, they didn’t want to go to war for such a reason!
Because of the dual authority of the religious and political branches of Harpy government, the Harpy civilians actually had quite a bit of authority over the government’s actions, which was manifested through the Mother Goddess Sect.
Within the Perpetual Daylight Palace.
Serene Dream Lotus Crown strode forwards rapidly. “Eternal Night, what are you doing? Why are you so stubborn? Is capturing Zhu Xianyao the only way? Do you not know that news has already spread throughout the entire city that you are dragging the Harpies into a disaster all for a woman?”
She began to tremble in anger as she spoke.
She wasn’t angry merely because of Eternal Night’s decision. It was because…… his affections had been placed on a human female!
Eternal Night’s expression remained as stoic as ever.
This old Harpy’s will was ironclad, as immovable as a mountain.
He could only say indifferently, “Have you ever wondered why the rumors would have started in the first place?”
Serene Dream Lotus Crown was taken aback. “What?”
Eternal Night didn’t wait for her to reply and answered her own question. “The rumors have caused our own countrymen to turn on us…… Our opponent must have his back against the wall.”
Serene Dream Lotus Crown said, “You mean……”
“Such a violent response has never occurred before. All that means is that we have found the right person. Zhu Xianyao is absolutely linked to this fake Halcyon Wing Streak.”
“So what?” Serene Dream Lotus Crown shook her head. “Right now, Halcyon Wing Streak is not the most important, but the battle between us two races. Halcyon Wing Streak is only one person. The amount of damage he can cause is not enough to completely destroy our race. As for the invasion of the other two races……”
“He can’t cause enough damage to destroy our race? Who do you think is responsible for our current situation?” Eternal Night countered.
Serene Dream Lotus Crown froze.
But women sometimes had the inherent ability to ignore logic. A moment later, she shook her head and said, “I don’t care. The most important item of business right now is to extinguish the flames of war that are brewing. Do you know how many civilians are beseeching me right now? They have just gone through a tough battle, and many Harpies have lost family and loved ones. You cannot insist on forcing them into battle again, especially one on two fronts!”
When Eternal NIght heard Serene Dream Lotus Crown utter the words “I don’t care”, he knew that there was no point in continuing to discuss things any longer. He sighed, “Dream Lotus, it’s a good thing to place importance on the cries of the civilians, but don’t be wishy washy as a result. A talented leader knows how to take the opinions of the masses into consideration but doesn’t bow to them. No matter what they think, you need to have your own opinions and thoughts on the situation…… even though I don’t think it would make much of a difference if you did.”
Serene Dream Lotus Crown was infuriated. “Are you looking down on me?”
Eternal Night fell silent, gazing intently at her.
Serene Dream Lotus Crown felt her face flush. “I know that sometimes I don’t reflect enough, but I represent the will of the common Harpies. They, like us, are all subjects of the Mother Goddess, and as such we have the duty to hear their voice! And my responsibility is to keep you in check and make sure that you don’t ruin our country because of your own interests!”
Eternal Night replied calmly, “What we really need to pay attention to is to meeting the needs of the Harpies, not what they want. This way, you can’t push responsibility onto them when the situation gets out of control. Their intelligence is limited, and they cannot possibly see the full picture that we can see. The only thing I am saying is that my primary goal right now is to calm the conflict.”
“Calm the conflict? How?”
Eternal Night replied, “Tomorrow afternoon, Zhu Xianyao will be executed on the palace’s fairgrounds!”