Chapter 7: On the Verge
Ji Hanyan’s insult completely ignored the Crown Prince’s prestige. Her cold, disdainful temperament had once again reared her ugly head.
Even Su Chen was taken aback by her actions.
She was still so vicious even though she was a married woman.
Jiang Shaohong was about to explode when Su Chen suddenly interjected, “Fine, then a hundred years it is.”
Everyone stared at Su Chen in surprise.
Su Chen calmly said, “Since you want to return my debt to me in a hundred years, then fine. I won’t ever bring up the matter of borrowing the navy again. Let’s leave!”
As Su Chen spoke, he turned around to leave.
Jiang Jusheng immediately barked, “Sir Su, please wait a moment!”
Su Chen remained standing with his hands held rigidly behind his back. “Is there anything else you need?”
Jiang Jusheng said, “You have come a long way as our guest. Why not stay here at the imperial palace with me for some time?”
“There’s no need. I have other business to attend to, so I shouldn’t stay for long.” Su Chen straightforwardly rejected his offer.
Jiang Jusheng smiled emotionlessly. “What if I insist?”
Su Chen squinted his eyes. “Your Majesty, are you planning on arresting me in addition to reneging on your debt?”
Jiang Jusheng calmly said, “Worldly Sage Su’s knowledge is vast. Having you is equivalent to having an extra branch of the navy. If I didn’t try to convince you to stay, then that would be letting the citizens of my country down.”
As he spoke, the doors to the hall slowly creaked open, and countless soldiers poured into the room. There were even a number of Spirit Burning Realm experts among them.
“Father!” Jiang Xishui yelled in despair.
“Shut your mouth. Do you have any right to comment on affairs related to the kingdom? I am just looking out for Water Sheen Country is all,” Jiang Jusheng said straightforwardly.
Su Chen sighed regretfully. “I just worry that you will take the wrong path and bring disaster upon your own head instead.”
Jiang Jusheng replied, “That’s exactly why I’d like you to stay! I have never underestimated your strength. You probably weren’t sincere about being willing to wait a hundred years for us to return our debt, were you?”
Jiang Jusheng could tell that Su Chen had only been pretending to agree so that he could escape from a dangerous situation.
This was why he was even more determined to get Su Chen to stay.
He could not allow Su Chen to leave!
Even though he had no idea how powerful the Boundless Sect was right now, Su Chen alone was worth taking very seriously.
Jiang Jusheng didn’t want his kingdom to become the next Ravager or Harpy territory, so he needed to be as prudent as possible.
The pressure he was exerting had clearly increased because of this overt display of force. Even though they were still inside, it felt as if storm clouds were forming around them.
However, Su Chen remained calm, and his expression was as still as water. “Do you really think that this is enough to keep me here?”
Jiang Jusheng chuckled. “I understand, Sir Su. Sir Su possesses the Light Shaking Phantom, and if you want to leave, then no one here will be able to stop you. However, I have nonetheless set up a spatial lockdown formation here, so you might not find it as easy to use Light Shaking Phantom. Of course, you can always leave through the front door. Even if I am at the Ultimate Emperor Realm, I might not be able to stop you. But do you think that your subordinates will be able to escape along with you?”
“So you’re trying to use my subordinates to pressure me?” Su Chen said coldly. “This seems quite familiar.”
Jiang Jusheng said with a smile, “Eternal Night helped expose your weak points. You are a saint, not a tyrant, and certainly not a king. This is why the people around you make you weak.”
Su Chen countered, “So you thought that you could use them to threaten me? Why do you think that I would let something like that to happen a second time after Eternal Night clearly succeeded once?”
Jiang Jusheng was taken aback. “It’s not possible that they also learned the Light Shaking Phantom technique, right? As far as I can tell, that technique touches upon spatial method power, which is impossible to teach.”
“Your knowledge is quite impressive, but reality is not so complicated,” Su Chen replied. “No one can protect the people besides them forever. It’s just that I just made my decision a long time ago. If I’m going to be held back by the people around me, then I would rather fight by their side from the very beginning.”
If he was going to be held back by the people around him, then it was better for him to fight by their side from the very start!
This was Su Chen’s way of learning from his previous losses.
This was also why he had taken Gu Qingluo with him.
From the moment that Eternal Night had entrapped Zhu Xianyao, that was the decision that he had made.
Did Jiang Jusheng really think that he could threaten Su Chen with the lives of his subordinates?
That was far too naive.
Su Chen coldly stated, “There are some things that I would rather not do because I had originally intended to use them for a more important target. However, if there is a person seeking death in front of me, I am not afraid to oblige them. Actually, this is not necessarily a bad thing either, as it’ll give me some extra time.”
As he spoke, he lifted his hand, and a streak of light shot forth from his hand, eventually forming a projection.
The eight dragon boats and large palace that Su Chen had brought with him were currently slowly climbing into the sky, and the palace’s tightly shut doors had begun to open.
What was going to come out of that palace?
No one knew.
Su Chen had used these past five years to consolidate his strength. Even though he had never directly revealed his true motive, he had dropped many hints throughout that time.
His true target was a Sea Beast Sovereign.
Could something that could deal with an existence like that also deal with the imperial palace?
No one knew.
Because the palace was placed so close to the border, it was fully capable of withstanding an attack from a Sea Beast Sovereign despite the fact that it was not as strong as Sky City.
Would the walls be powerful enough to withstand the might that the Boundless Sect had been building up for the past five years?
No one knew.
Put simply, Jiang Jusheng didn’t believe it could.
He didn’t believe that the strength that Su Chen had stored up for five years was capable of defeating the strength that Water Sheen had been accumulating throughout the past few millennia.
However, he did know that Su Chen was no simple opponent, and neither was he an idiot.
If he dared to target a Sea Beast Sovereign, then the might he was about to unleash was definitely at least strong enough to deal with such.
This also meant that the imperial palace would have to consume a large amount of resources even if their defenses did manage to hold.
Just because the imperial palace’s walls could withstand the attack of a Sovereign didn’t mean that it was easy. Sky City had paid a tremendous price to defeat a Desolate Beast, both in terms of resources and manpower. In addition, their resulting weakness had almost tempted three neighboring human countries into attacking them.
Even if the imperial palace was able to withstand Su Chen’s attack, what would happen if a Sovereign showed up soon after?
This was why Jiang Jusheng’s expression also began to sink.
Even so, he wouldn’t give up just because Su Chen had made a few threats.
Jiang Jusheng had made up his mind long ago.
He shook his head. “I believe that Sir Su has brought a powerful group along with him this time. However, it is only possible for you to withstand the might of the Sea Beasts by borrowing the Subdued Sea branch of our navy, while Water Sheen Country needs no such lending! That’s why......”
“That’s why you think that there’s nothing I can do to you, right?” Su Chen chuckled coldly. “That’s a very logical analysis. In your eyes, my needing to borrow troops became evidence of my weakness, and my concession became evidence of my incapability. Emperor Jiang, you must be quite proud.”
His expression suddenly focused. “I already told you that this is not necessarily a bad thing for me. I will have an excuse to delay for another five years once we start this battle. Even though I will have revealed more of my strength than I would have liked, and Eternal Night might get antsy, I will still benefit from this nonetheless.”
As he spoke, he began to clench his fists. The palace and eight dragon boats in the remote image also began to tremble violently.
Just as the Boundless Sect was actually about to demonstrate their full strength, a crisp, clear voice announced, “Oceanid Princess Westminster has arrived!”
When Su Chen heard this, he relaxed his hand, forcibly halting the Boundless Sect’s offensive momentum in its tracks.
Even Jiang Jusheng was taken aback. “Westminster? Why is she here?”
Jiang Shaohong said agitatedly, “Father?”
His expression was filled with anxiety.
Jiang Jusheng’s expression was similarly dark. The two parties were at a tense standoff, and the tension in the air was palpable. It was obvious that a battle could break out at any moment.
Jiang Jusheng let out a long sigh and said, “Open the door and let the guests in.”
The palace doors opened once again.
Another group of people walked into the room.
These people were slightly different in appearance from humans. Their entire body was shrouded in mist, giving them a hazy appearance and a mysterious aura. They were clearly Oceanids.
The Freedom Wind flowed freely around them.
Yes, this was the same Freedom Wind that the Oceanids had obtained from the Arcanists all those years ago.
Strictly speaking, it was not a treasure, but rather a unique Arcana Technique that could only be activated under extremely harsh and complicated circumstances.
It allowed the Oceanids to travel freely on land.
The Oceanids lived in the ocean. That was naturally the most suitable environment for them to live in.
They, like humans, had a head, a body, and two arms. However, they also had a pair of fins on their back. Their skin was smooth and scaleless, but it was covered in a thin fat membrane, which increased their speed in the water.
They had no hair, and they breathed through the pair of gills on either side of their face. Their eyes were covered and protected by a hardened film.
They did bear some resemblance to humans, but their biological functions were also the most different.
This made it hard for them to survive outside of water.
That was, until they obtained the Freedom Wind.
Unlike the other races who had grown stronger from the Arcanists’ treasures, the Oceanids had fought bitterly to obtain the Freedom Wind because they knew from the beginning that they would not be able to change the environment they lived in with just one or two treasures.
That was precisely why they chose a way of retreat as their prize instead, a treasure that would allow them to go onto land in desperate situations.
The Freedom Wind ensured that the Oceanids would not be in danger of extinction no matter what kind of situation they were in.
Throughout the countless millennia afterwards, the Oceanids had encountered countless tough spots, but they were always able to make it through because of their ability to return to land at the most crucial moments.
By relying on the Freedom Wind, not only could the Oceanids leave the water as they pleased, but they could even display the strength that they would normally possess in water. This made them quite adaptable to their environment.
The one leading the envoy was the aforementioned Princess Westminster.
Su Chen had heard of her before. She was an incredibly powerful individual amongst the Oceanids. All Oceanid females were particularly powerful, and she was their main representative.
She was the daughter of the current leader of the Oceanids. At the age of thirteen, she had slaughtered the Sea Beast, the Iron-Barbed Whale, making a name for herself as a powerful warrior. From this point alone, she was an incredibly skilled huntress.
The Oceanids had no strength rankings, only hunter rankings. As long as they were able to hunt a powerful Sea Beasts, even the weaker Oceanids could achieve a high ranking. By the same token, strong Oceanids who weren’t able to achieve any hunting results would never be acknowledged.
Her status was second only to the Divine Sea Warrior, which clearly demonstrated her importance.
And she had somehow decided to appear in this location.
The first thing she said was, “Your Majesty Jiang, aren’t your actions tearing down the harmony between our races?”