Bad news always came in waves.
Lin Zuiliu was trying to stir up a rebellion, and now half of the soldiers sent to defeat the Boundless Sect had been killed.
Lin Mengze felt a migraine coming on.
Within the Thousand Hands Hall.
Lin Mengze sat in his throne with a dark expression. “We were just about to attack the Boundless Sect when Lin Zuiliu appeared. Guan Tao was just about to retreat when he was ambushed by an Origin Formation. Their coordination is really quite impeccable.”
Lin Zuiliu heading to the Abyss was no secret. Of course, Su Chen was also there, so everyone immediately realized that Su Chen was likely implicated as soon as Lin Zuiliu had appeared.
However, no one had expected Lin Zuiliu and Lin Shaoxuan to cooperate with each other so well, to the point that half of the soldiers who had been sent to deal with the Ten Thousands Sword Mountain had been wiped out.
“Apparently, Lin Shaoxuan was the one leading this group,” one of the imperial officials said carefully.
Lin Mengze harrumphed. “Wild plants grow from wild seeds no matter how much you cultivate them!”
Very few people knew that Lin Shaoxuan was actually a member of the imperial family as well.
However, his status was not very high, because he was the illegitimate son of Lin Mengze’s older brother, Lin Raoxian. Actually, he would even need to refer to Lin Mengze as his father’s elder brother.
No one had expected the scorned, disdained illegitimate child to become one of the Heavenly Might Battalion’s youngest commanders, and now one of the Boundless Sect’s elders.
When Lin Mengze thought about Lin Shaoxuan, his heart was filled with gloominess.
Unfortunately, no one could tell what he was thinking. The officials could only begin to discuss amongst one another.
“The most important thing to figure out right now is what we should do.”
“The Boundless Sect is just a small thorn in our side. Lin Zuiliu is the real enemy, so we should naturally focus our attention on dealing with Lin Zuiliu instead.”
“But the Boundless Sect’s potential is enormous, and their strength advances in leaps and bounds every day. We have already offended them, so if we continue down this path, we will only be setting ourselves up for failure in the future.”
“What do you mean, offend? We are officials, while they are only citizens. So what if we teach them a lesson? Will they dare to rebel?”
“I’m afraid they might end up teaching us a lesson.”
“What are you talking about? At most, it’ll just be considered an unsuccessful military operation. After all, victory and defeat are common experiences for a soldier.”
“You really know how to cover your own behind.”
The officials jabbered on relentlessly. Some proposed that they should deal with Lin Zuiliu first, while others proposed that they should deal with the Boundless Sect first. All kinds of reasonings and ideas were thrown out there.
Only the Crown Prince, Lin Wenjun, understood his father’s thoughts and said, “Father, since Lin Shaoxuan is the one who came back this time, why don’t we wait a bit longer? Maybe we can......”
He didn’t finish his sentence, but Lin Mengze understood what he was getting at.
He gently rapped his finger on the table in front of him a few times before saying, “We can let the matter of the Boundless Sect be for now. The important task is to kill Lin Zuiliu. Are any of you willing to go and face this rebel?”
Everyone glanced at each other. For once, none of them dared to open their mouths.
What a joke! Lin Zuiliu was also an Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator. Other than an ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator, who could fight him?
There was only one Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator in Long Sang at the moment, and that was Lin Mengze himself.
Lin Mengze was the emperor and didn’t make a move himself often. But without his oversight, who dared to volunteer?
Actually, Lin Mengze should have asked, “which officials”, not “which official.”
Seven or eight Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators should be enough to handle an emperor.
The way he had phrased the question wasn’t articulate enough, so no one was willing to step up to the plate. The hall immediately fell into silence.
Lin Mengze immediately realized the issue. After all, he was the emperor, and he wasn’t an idiot. However, that didn’t mean that his personality was that great. His expression sank as he harrumphed, “You guys all act so powerful normally, but none of you seem to have any bravery in the most critical moments.”
Everyone lowered their heads, wordlessly.
Lin Mengze continued, “Since none of you are willing to take the initiative, I will choose. He Wenle, Chang Jianxin, Liu Yu......”
He named five people, all of whom were at the Thought Manifestation Realm.
Upon hearing these names, everyone sighed with relief.
Even though five-on-one was still not an easy fight, it would be no problem for them to hold out for some time. When paired with enough Spirit Burning and Light Shaking Realm cultivators, it was at least possible to guarantee that they wouldn’t be defeated.
Lin Zuiliu’s biggest issue was that his foundation was too shallow. Even if he had taken control of the southern region, he was still lacking in manpower. If they were to compete in terms of foundational strength, Lin Zuiliu would definitely lose.
As for why Lin Mengze had only picked five......
Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators weren’t cabbages, not to mention that one had just been killed and one had been imprisoned - Guan Tao was the one who had been imprisoned due to his failure as a general. Even though his failure had not been without its reasons, he still needed to be punished as a warning to others.
As such, selecting five was already Lin Mengze’s upper limit. It was obvious how big of a problem Lin Zuiliu was posing.
Now that the generals had been selected, it was time to choose the supporting troops.
That was simple. They could reorganize the troops that had returned from the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain and fill in the gaps with soldiers from other branches instead.
The problem was that it was not always possible to gather those different branches so easily.
After a moment’s thought, Lin Mengze said, “Pull some people from the Flowing Gold Fort.”
Someone said in shock, “Your Majesty, the Flowing Gold Fort is a critical location for defending us against the Ravagers! You cannot weaken the forces there!”
Lin Wenjun said, “The Ravagers are in a chaotic state right now, and Danba is publicly starting a revolt. The two sides are still locked in a bitter struggle with each other. There’s no way they’ll come for us right now.”
“No buts. The matter is decided,” Lin Mengze said.
At that moment, a voice called out, “Your Majesty, I have an urgent military report!”
“Demonic Beasts have invaded us from the north. They are currently wreaking havoc and have razed six cities already.”
Lin Mengze frowned. “It’s just a few Demonic Beasts. Are those cities incapable of suppressing the Beasts themselves?”
“I’m afraid not.”
“It’s a Demonic Emperor.”
Lin Mengze crushed the inscribed dragon jade that he had been holding in his hand.
On Forever Clear Island.
As per usual, Su Chen stood at the top of the palace, gazing out at the sea. No one knew what he was thinking.
This was the time of day he had reserved for his own reflection. This gave his overworked brain some time to rest, as well as an opportunity for all the experience he had accumulated to give him inspiration.
Just as he was quietly enjoying this peaceful moment of solitude, a male completely dressed in iron armor walked over, his armor clanking loudly. It was the fourth head of the Black Flame, Ding Feng.
He walked over to Su Chen and stood still before saying, “You were looking for me?”
“Mhm,” Su Chen replied. “I have some good news.”
Ding Feng didn’t speak.
Su Chen calmly said, “Shaoxuan was victorious and wiped out nearly half of the troops assaulting the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain. He himself was also unharmed...... He really did a good job this time.”
Ding Feng remained silent.
Su Chen didn’t say anything else.
The two of them stared at each other for some time.
After a while, Ding Feng said, “What does this have to do with me?”
Su Chen calmly said, “Don’t you often meet with him secretly? You two have quite a good relationship, right? Is it that strange for me to let you know?”
Ding Feng calmly replied, “Sir Su, you must be mistaken. I and Elder Lin have never secretly met before.”
Su Chen chuckled. “I am the Boundless Sect’s Sect Master. Even though I am primarily responsible for performing research and figuring out how to nullify the Deep Sea Sorrow, whether through medicine or some other means, I have never forgotten my other status - commander of this joint fleet. As such, no matter how mired I appear to be in my research, I have always made a point to be aware of information traveling in the outside world. Luckily, some of the profits I had accidentally stumbled across in the past gave me the ability to handle so many things at once.”
Su Chen tapped his own head as he spoke.
Then, he turned around to glance at Ding Feng. “Perhaps you have never secretly met with him before, but that hasn’t stopped you from secretly communicating with each other before. For instance......”
He raised his hand and made a few hand gestures. They seemed quite casual and lackadaisical, but there was also something different about them.
Ding Feng stayed motionless, but a ray of light flickered across his eyes.
“Your subordinate doesn’t understand,” he said.
“But I do,” Su Chen said. “Do you know why I specifically requested you to come with me from the Thousand Illusions Island?”
Ding Feng remained silent.
Su Chen continued, “Because I knew that you already recognized Shaoxuan. Yes, you kept it hidden quite well, and even now I am having a hard time sensing your emotional fluctuations. But you forgot that Shaoxuan doesn’t have the same talent. I have never seen the same level of excitement and joy coming from his heart as I did in the moment that he saw you. As such, I immediately realized that you were an incredibly important person to him. But since he didn’t say anything about it, I didn’t want to ask more. Actually, I would have preferred for things to remain this way if it had been possible.”
“But you didn’t,” Ding Feng replied.
This time, he finally made no attempts to deny the truth.
“Yes,” Su Chen sighed. “Every person has their own secrets, and forcefully prying them out is not a good thing. But the situation is urgent, so I have no choice.”
“The situation is urgent?”
Su Chen nodded. “Yes. I just got word that Danba’s civil war has reached a critical point, and victory will probably be determined in the next two years. As such, the pressure on the Flowing Gold Fort has greatly decreased. Even though Lin Zuiliu and the Boundless Sect have put Long Sang in between a rock and a hard place, the redeploying of the Flowing Gold Fort is an issue. Even though there are no Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators there, and not even many Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators, the elite of the elites are all stationed there. They are brave and powerful soldiers who cannot be underestimated. If the soldiers in the Flowing Gold Fort are redeployed, they will definitely be a big pain to deal with. I have already sent people to the northern regions to use the illusion medicines I have developed along with the cloning Origin Substances I have extracted to create the fake impression that a Demonic Emperor is invading from the north. This should be enough to delay them momentarily, but it won’t buy us too much time. Half a year would already be quite impressive.”
“What does this have to do with me?”
“I need you to make it so that the Flowing Gold Fort will not be able to send their soldiers out. This way, Lin Zuiliu and Shaoxuan will have more time to set up and prepare.”
Ding Feng fell silent.
After a long time, he said, “Why do you assume that I am capable of preventing the Flowing Gold Fort from sending out troops?”
“Because you are the former vice commander of the Flowing Gold Fort, the bloodline-less hero of the human race, the long-disappeared General Long Pojun!”