Chapter 8: Deep Sea Sorrow (1)
Jiang Jusheng squinted. “Princess Westminster, I should have gone out to personally greet you. Unfortunately, we have an important guest with us today, and I overlooked this matter. Please forgive me.”
Princess Westminster stretched her neck, revealing the glittering scales that lined her neck.
The Oceanids weren’t born with scales, but they could cultivate them for defensive purposes.
“You know that’s not what I’m talking about. Sir Su came this time not for you, but for us Oceanids. Isn’t it a bit inappropriate for you to keep our important guest here confined like this?” Westminster said.
Jiang Jusheng replied with a smile, “You know that he’s here because of the Oceanids, but do you know why he cares so much about the Oceanids? Because of Neptune’s Eye! Even though Su Chen never mentioned it, what he did in Harpy territory couldn’t have escaped my notice. Why would Eternal Night let him go? Why would he contact me and you immediately after being released? The answer should be patently obvious if you think about it. Are you really okay with him having designs on the Neptune’s Eye? I am dealing with him for both of our sake.”
Everyone present was stunned. Jiang Xishui stared at Su Chen in disbelief. “You’re after Neptune’s Eye?”
Su Chen nodded slightly.
“How can that be allowed?”
“The Neptune’s Eye is far too important.”
“If the Harpies get their hands on it, and Sky City regains its freedom of movement, the situation will change drastically.”
“For the sake of all the other races, we cannot let him succeed.”
The members of Water Sheen’s imperial court all began to clamor at the same time.
None of them had mentioned anything about the sake of all the other races when they were planning on forcibly capturing him, but now they had seemingly found an opportunity to justify their actions - since they had sufficient reason, they could renege on their debt as openly as they pleased.
However, Princess Westminster gave them no face.
She said, “I know, but this matter primarily concerns the Oceanids. It’s not up to you to make the decisions for me, is it?”
Everyone was stunned by her answer.
Jiang Jusheng was taken aback. “You know about his plan? Did you guess it?”
“Su Chen never tried to hide it from us from the very beginning,” Westminster replied. “This is also the reason why I am here today.”
How was this possible?
Everyone present had no idea what was going on and turned to stare at Su Chen.
Su Chen calmly said, “Soldiers are incredibly important tools for a country. Under normal circumstances, they would never be lent to other people for them to use. But didn’t Your Majesty agree in the end? And now you are reneging on your debt.”
Jiang Jusheng understood. “You bought it?”
“Well, it’s probably more accurate to call it an exchange,” Su Chen replied.
Yes, an exchange!
Su Chen had never planned on tricking the Oceanids in the first place, or to try and steal Neptune’s Eye from them.
Firstly, the Oceanids weren’t his enemy, so he didn’t want to use the same tactics he had used against the Ravagers or the Harpies against them. Secondly, it would have been very difficult for him to steal Neptune’s Eye in the first place. The Harpies had schemed to try and steal it for millennia but had never succeeded. All they did was ensure that the Oceanids would be even more on guard against these kinds of tactics.
Su Chen considered himself one of the greatest thieves who had ever lived, but even he was totally helpless against these odds.
But just because he couldn’t steal it didn’t mean he couldn’t buy it.
There were very few things in this universe that were totally off-limits. Actually, the Oceanids probably would have sold Su Chen the Freedom Wind if he offered enough, let alone Neptune’s Eye.
Jiang Jusheng stared at Westminster in shock. “How much did he offer you?”
Westminster shook her head. “He offered us something money cannot buy.”
Jiang Jusheng appeared to understand somewhat. “True. Neptune’s Eye is not something you can buy with money alone. What did he promise you?”
Westminster replied, “He will exchange for it with the Deep Sea Sorrow.”
Upon hearing this, everyone was stunned.
It was necessary to mention the Oceanids’ history when talking about the Deep Sea.
The Oceanids’ history began in the 60,000 year of the Ancient Era. Apparently, two massive Sea Origin Beasts had begun to fight with each other.
The battle lasted a full three days and three nights. Finally, one of the Origin Beasts died, sinking to the depths of the ocean floor and attracting a large number of Beasts looking for a quick meal.
A small leatherfish just so happened to ingest a small amount of that Origin Beast’s essence. Under the influence of the Origin Energy contained inside, the fish began to gradually evolve.
After twenty thousand years of evolution, a new Intelligent Race had appeared on the continent.
These were the Oceanids.
As sea-dwelling creatures, the Oceanids were actually quite powerful. In fact, of the five major Intelligent Races, it was probably no exaggeration to say that they were the strongest.
They had an innate affinity for water, and they possessed the brute strength of a Ravager and the perception of a Harpy. They also possessed the potential of a human, but these attributes were all suppressed because of the terrible environment they lived in.
Sea Beasts were more powerful than beasts that lived on the land, which countered the strength of the Oceanids.
During the height of the Arcana Kingdom’s power, the Oceanids had requested the Arcana Kingdom for help, hoping to discover a way to preserve themselves.
Because the Arcana Kingdom was interested in the abundance of resources contained in the sea and happened to need a race to help them gather large quantities of the rare resources in the ocean, they reached an agreement with the Oceanids. This was the origin of the Freedom Wind. If the Oceanids ever came under heavy fire, they would be able to temporarily retreat from the ocean and arrive on the land. At the same time, the Oceanids would also be able to help alleviate some of the pressure the Arcana Kingdom was under by the Demonic Beasts on land.
But in order to ensure that they could keep their leverage over the Oceanids, the Arcanists didn’t give the Freedom Wind to the Oceanids after creating it. Instead, they pretended that they hadn’t yet completed it and kept it for themselves, using it to exploit the Oceanids and their resources.
Unfortunately, no secret lasts forever. The Oceanids eventually discovered the truth and felt that they had been cheated.
During the Chaos Era, the Arcana Kingdom fell into decline.
The Eternal City was under attack from the Ravagers, the Dark Astrals, the Harpies, and the humans at the same time. One of the luckier Arcanist noble families - Imbry and his family - took the Freedom Wind and sought out the Oceanids for asylum.
The Oceanids slaughtered most of the Arcanists after taking the Freedom Wind for themselves as revenge for the deception they had suffered all those years ago.
However, a young Arcanist was able to escape from that slaughter. The Oceanids had no idea how much destruction that Arcanist would wreak upon them in the coming days.
In the 116th year of the New Star Era, the Oceanids established the Azure Kingdom - the first kingdom out of any of the Intelligent Races. They didn’t need to worry about the reactions of any of the other Intelligent Races because they were the only ones living in the sea. The Sea Beasts couldn’t have cared less if the Oceanids created a kingdom or not; they would continue to devour, slaughter, and sleep as they pleased.
During the 262nd year of the New Star Era, Sea Beast Malavis attacked Deep Sea City. Many Oceanid heroes died in defense of the city, but they were eventually able to kill Malavis as well.
During the 313th year of the New Star Era, Sea Beast Grook attacked Deep Sea City. One of the Oceanid heroes sacrificed himself as a diversion to draw off Grook.
During the 355th year of the New Star Era, a Beast Wave assaulted the city. The Oceanids fought bitterly and barely managed to hold on.
From the year 245 to the year 420, a period of less than two hundred years, the Oceanids were attacked four times by Sea Beast Sovereigns and twelve times by Beast Waves. This rate of occurrence was nearly five times the typical rate, and the Oceanids grew suspicious.
Finally, in the year 421, a young Oceanid child named Shang Yue who was on a mischievous adventure stumbled across something. This was how the Oceanids discovered a unique apparatus lodged nearby.
This apparatus could send out unique pulses that attracted the Sea Beasts.
It was obvious that someone had intentionally planted it there.
After discovering the sources of the fluctuations, the two-hundred-year period of intense assault the Oceanids had been forced to endure finally came to an end.
Who exactly had initiated this chain of disasters was unknown, but the Oceanids knew that the Arcanists almost certainly had a hand.
During the 565th year of the New Star Era, the Oceanids suddenly suffered from a shocking plague that wiped out a large group of Oceanids.
Because of the lesson they had learned previously, the Oceanids handled the situation with great prudence, and eventually they discovered that it was in fact linked to the Arcanists.
The Oceanids sent large envoys to the shores in an attempt to find the cure. The young Shang Yue had grown up at this point, and he was yet again the one who had discovered the true nature of the illness. He was also able to discover the mastermind behind this disaster - Daniel Imbry, a remnant of the Imbry family who had managed to survive the massacre.
No one expected this Arcanist kid to be such a talented blacksmith. He was able to use his unique Arcana Techniques to carry out a plan for revenge that spanned centuries. The Oceanids had paid a tremendous price as a result of his actions.
Soon after, the Oceanids entered into a fierce conflict with Imbry.
They were never able to catch him. Instead, they managed to destroy Imbry’s troublemaking organization four separate times. One time, they even managed to gravely wound Imbry himself, but he was still able to escape.
At this point, the little mischievous Shang Yue had grown up to become the leader of the Oceanids. He and Imbry exchanged blows countless times, and of the four times that Imbry found his home destroyed, Shang Yue was responsible for three of those occurrences.
Because of Imbry’s desire for revenge, Shang Yue also had to endure no less than six assassination attempts from him.
In the 2100th year of the New Star Era, Daniel Imbry attempted to assassinate Shang Yue on a routine patrol for the sixth time, seriously wounding him. However, Shang Yue pushed through the pain and continued to manage the Oceanids’ affairs, and didn’t relent in his battle of wits with Imbry. It wasn’t until later, when he received word that Daniel Imbry had passed away from his wounds, that Shang Yue let out a long final sigh and passed away as well.
The storied conflict between two legendary heroes thus came to an end.
However, no one expected the new story that would emerge.
Daniel Imbry had died, but his student, Corniga, was still alive.
This student had inherited Imbry’s talent, wealth, and hatred. He became the next nightmare of the Oceanids.
Unlike Daniel Imbry, Corniga’s personality was much calmer and tenacious. He was never anxious for results; instead, he was the kind of person who could spend an entire lifetime just to achieve one specific goal.
And that was exactly what he did.
Unlike Daniel Imbry, who produced many successful accomplishments, Corniga only ever produced one. Even so, it was this accomplishment that caused the Oceanids to suffer for over twenty thousand years.
This accomplishment was the Deep Sea Sorrow.
Yes, the Deep Sea Sorrow was not a treasure, and it didn’t really have any miraculous application.
It was an instrument of revenge created by an Arcanist remnant with a belly full of hatred that had stolen hundreds of millions of Oceanid lives over the years. The wounds it had left behind cut deep in the hearts of the Oceanid citizens.
The Deep Sea Sorrow was actually the Oceanids’ sorrow.