Book 10 Chapter 29 - Grand Secretary’s Seclusion, Powerful General Takes Refuge
In this small courtyard that was completely isolated from Yunqin’s royal court and the outside world of cultivation, Lin Xi who remained stunned for a moment understood what kind of changes had taken place.
Previously, when Chen Feirong noticed that he broke through into the State Knight level, she felt admiration towards his cultivation speed, she also told him that breaking through was always a happy thing.
He was also indeed truly happy.
Meanwhile now, when he understood that his ability underwent this type of change, he was even happier.
It was because this type of ability immediately made him feel stronger, as if there was a new wave of power that infused into his still brittle body. He knew that he could now leave this courtyard sooner, do some things he had to do.
He reached out his hand again, starting to write on the smooth tabletop.
Under the infusion of his soul force, the sturdy sandalwood table’s wood shavings flew about, every stroke drawn as if made by a dancing small sword.
“The chivalrous knight wore an undecorated headband, his precious blade bright like frost and snow. He rides on a white steed, on it a silver saddle, the two’s advance like a falling star. With ten steps an enemy would fall, courageous and powerful. After completing his task, he would leave with just a light brush of his clothes, hiding his name and deeds…”
While writing this poem, he quietly said the word ‘return’... This poem ‘Advance of the Chivalrous Knight’ written by Li Taibai, something no one of this world knew about, only had a few words left behind on this table. No one would understand the true meaning of these words, and there wouldn’t be anyone in the future who could understand Lin Xi’s current mood from these few words either.
In Lin Xi’s brain, as he used his unique ability again and again, that ‘green roulette’ finally became dim and still.
However, Lin Xi knew that tomorrow at this time, this ‘green roulette’ would once more rise like the sun.
He also sensed extremely clearly that even though that ten halts of time didn’t change, the ability to use it bit by bit like this meant that he would have more chances… making this an even more powerful ability.
Regardless of how storms brewed about in the royal court, regardless of how tense the border situation was, for most of Yunqin’s civilians, there weren’t many changes to their lives this year. Even things like Wenren Cangyue’s betrayal and the death of the distant Great Mang’s old emperor only gave them some more topics to talk about over some leisure time.
Time passed extremely quickly. Close to a month had already passed since an alliance was made between Heavenly Phoenix Jade Pearl and the other rice business merchant companies. After three more days, it would be the new year.
Within an old house, a middle-aged scholar and several old servants were currently hanging fiery lanterns and stringing up hot peppers, doing these things to add a bit more of a cheerful atmosphere.
Right now, when others saw this middle-aged scholar’s posture, those who didn’t recognize him would only think that he was a scholar who had studied for too long. They definitely wouldn’t know that he was precisely Grand Secretary Zhou whose reputation and prestige among the people were even above the past Wenren Cangyue.
While this middle-aged scholar was personally hanging a string of dried red peppers, a grizzled haired elder dressed in a black leather robes and a tall and straight, black browed middle-aged man directly walked through the main entrance that didn’t have a gate. The moment he saw the current scene, the black leather robed white-haired elder immediately knelt down before Grand Secretary Zhou, crying bitterly, “Sir, you are the great bridge of our nation, the connection between heaven and earth, yet your respected self is in this type of state. Wen Xuanshu was appointed through nepotism. Now that the war against the south has started, the country will inevitably face a great disaster.”
Before he even had time to greet this elder, when he saw how he was sobbing in pain on the ground, Grand Secretary Zhou’s expression changed. He immediately rushed forward to support this elder, advising quietly with a bitter smile, “Elder Sun, with things already like this, why is there a need to add to the sorrow? Moreover, Wen Family controls Government Sector to begin with. Now that he controls Central Continent’s guards, his authority is above all. Elder Sun holds a position in the royal court, if your criticism of Grand Secretary Wen reaches his ears, it will be extremely unfavorable for you.”
This elder was named Sun Yangtao, originally a Justice Sector Imperial Censor, well-known for being upright and honorable. Now, he had already been promoted to Vice Sector Head of Justice Sector. Liu Xueqing, the one who could not stand it any more during Lin Xi’s dispute with the military in East Port Town was precisely someone both him and several others favored, promoted to fill his position. This upright elder had previously knelt outside the throne room without getting up when the emperor mentioned the war against the south, using a letter written with blood to make the emperor change his mind. Now that Dragon Snake Border Pass was finally at peace, they should first raise their nation’s power. However, afterwards, the emperor continuously displayed strength, the situation changing greatly, so they became powerless to change anything. Because he deeply understood Grand Secretary Zhou’s ability and moral conduct, when he saw that he was actually remaining idle at home, wasting away time, he felt infuriated and aggrieved, unable to hold himself back any longer.
“I am already deep within my years, I don’t have many years left to live. Don’t tell me that I am still scared of Wen Xuanshu acting unfavorably against me?” When he heard Grand Secretary Zhou’s warning, this elder who was shedding tears immediately couldn’t help but say this powerfully.
“With elder’s strength of character, worries of life and death have obviously been flung aside.” Grand Secretary Zhou supported this furious elder’s back, saying with a bitter smile, “However, if Yunqin loses elder, then it will lose another protective wall. Even if elder does not worry about yourself, your respected self should still make considerations for Yunqin’s common people.”
Sun Yangtao was touched by these words, immediately starting to cry bitterly in pain.
The tall and straight, thick browed middle-aged man bowed respectfully, only now did he speak out with a heavy voice, “Even though sir has decided to seclude himself here, you still need some people for correspondence. All of us have arrived, but we were scared of disturbing sir, so the others are all only waiting outside.”
“There is no need.”
Grand Secretary Zhou calmly shook his head. He looked at this middle-aged man whose brows gradually stood up, his figure releasing a fierce aura, saying with a light sigh, “I am not in the royal court, so his majesty and Grand Secretary Wen might make you all suffer quite a bit of grievance. If you feel like it is unsuitable, you can leave Central Continent, but do not gather where I am… in this type of situation, it is best if we don’t have a conflict and seclude ourselves from the world, accept the circumstances with good will.”
The thick browed middle-aged man’s face sunk, his voice also gradually becoming angry. “I do not understand sir’s meaning. Could it be that sir wants all of us to retire home, become farmers and fishermen?”
Grand Secretary Zhou revealed a faint bitter smile, explaining quietly, “His majesty has already developed suspicion towards me. Moreover, right now, he is borrowing Wen and Leng Family’s power to suppress Hu and Yuhua Family, right now precisely fully supporting Wen Xuanshu. After the death of the crown prince, his nature has undergone a substantial change. Even if my subordinates are only gathered where I am, not doing anything, he might still suspect that we are discontent with his decision, that we are plotting something. That is why the best thing to do right now is to imitate the ways of some past virtuous predecessors, not ask and not argue, just quietly wait. In my opinion, Elder Sun doesn’t have to be too worried either. Once the war against the south begins next year, not long afterwards, the situation will change somewhat. At that time, the emperor might naturally understand that Green Luan Academy and the senators are not only there to suppress each other and maintain balance, but also to support each other.”
The thick browed middle-aged man who gave off a fierce aura remained silent for a moment and then nodded in the end. He didn’t say anything else, only showing another respectful bow and then released a sigh.
These cultivators and followers who accompanied Grand Secretary Zhou were mostly only worried about Grand Secretary Zhou and their own honor and reputations. However, an old Yunqin subject like Sun Yangtao thought about far more. When he heard Grand Secretary Zhou say this, this elder’s expression became increasingly pale, saying with a trembling voice, “Grand Secretary Zhou, you believe that my Yunqin will inevitably suffer a great defeat in this war against the south?”
“Since the rightful emperor has set his resolution to completely break free from Green Luan Academy and the senators who are above him, the emperor will naturally wish to do his best to not borrow Green Luan Academy or the nine senators’ strength and win this war this way. However, in Jadefall City, Wenren Cangyue already proved that he is far more powerful than what the outside world has believed him to be. He now leads Great Mang’s troops, so he will be far more difficult to deal with than Great Desolate Swamp’s cave barbarians.” Grand Secretary Zhou silently nodded and said, “Moreover, Thousand Devil Nest and Purgatory Mountain are already under one rule. With Purgatory Mountains’ absolute support, Thousand Devil Nest and Great Mang’s royal court’s opposing forces will gradually be purged as well. Under such heavy support, Wenren Cangyue’s chances of victory are extremely high. I expect that Yunqin will inevitably suffer a great defeat in the end, only, I just don’t know how heavy the price of this defeat will be.”
Sun Yangtao previously only felt that it might not be good for Yunqin to send out troops, but he never expected Grand Secretary Zhou would actually be this sure. His mind immediately surged with even more emotions, yet when he opened his mouth, nothing came out.
“If elder truly treats me as a friend, after you leave my place, do not try to exhort the emperor any further. Since he is already determined to do this, going against it any further won’t be of any use.” Grand Secretary Zhou looked at this elder, saying extremely seriously, “Elder absolutely must not mention in front of the emperor that sending troops will result in defeat. Before troops are truly sent down south, if the emperor thinks that your words are decreasing morale, there will be severe punishment. Even if there truly is a great defeat that follows, he might instead fly into a rage out of humiliation and treat you even more unfavorably. In this type of situation, we might as well just wait, wait until the emperor realizes something isn’t right himself, until he asks us to exert ourselves, and then we just have to give everything we have for Yunqin at that time.”
Sun Yangtao could sense the country’s impending calamity, yet he was completely powerless to do anything about it. After thinking about it continuously, he felt that he could only comply with what Grand Secretary Zhou said. In this type of day where it was supposed to be festive and joyful, he was instead still filled with endless sorrow.
In the distant Tangcang Ancient Country, the weather wasn’t as cold as in Yunqin Empire.
Stationed at Tangcang Ancient Country’s north, in the half sand wasteland filled with black trees was a white elephant mounted army.
This army was Tangcang Ancient Country’s most powerful army, but this army was always loyal to Tangcang’s imperial uncle Xiao Xiang who died under Gu Xinyin’s hands.
When some of Grand Secretary Zhou’s subordinates and followers gathered by his hidden old residence, but instead received the orders to return home and go into seclusion, a high-ranking military officer carrying a giant bow case, dressed in a set of bronze armor that continuously released buddha light led a group of followers to this Divine Elephant Army’s camp.
“Great General Geng, why have you come to my Divine Elephant Army?” The highest commanding officer of the Divine General Army was dressed in gold embroidered white robes. This mysterious man was seated on a white elephant that was even larger than a flesh eating giant lizard. He released a loud voice, shouting towards this uninvited guest.
“Feng Xuan and Green Luan Academy have already joined hands… what great general can I still consider myself? I am but a pitiful individual abandoned by Tangcang.” The general dressed in bronze armor revealed a weary bitter smile.
This highest ranking officer of the Divine General Army gave the giant bow case behind this general a look, understanding what was inside this giant csae. After remaining quiet for a bit, he nodded and said, “Divine Elephant Army welcomes your arrival.”
4. Leng Family is the quiet and patient faction who once backed Bai Yulou B6C28