There are countless stories of loyalty and betrayal that happen every day in this world.
Only, sometimes, it is humans choosing their fate, while other times, it is fate that chooses them.
On a mountaintop, Xu Zhenyan stood under the sunset, looking at the not too distant Sanskrit Passage, looking at the side profile of his father in front of him.
All Yunqin people knew that Heavens’ Lens Lake was the most dangerous yet beautiful place in all of Jadefall City. They also knew that Sanskrit Passage was a natural boundary between Yunqin and Tangcang Ancient Country. Many books recorded that the Sanskrit Passage and boundless golden sands behind it formed an extremely spectacular sight.
However, during last year’s midsummer, when Xu Zhenyan entered Jadefall City for the first time, he didn’t even have a chance to look at Heaven’s Lens Lake or Sanskrit passage.
It was because at that time, he was still too weak and small, so he didn’t have the qualifications to participate in that many things.
“Who would have thought that Wenren Cangyue actually didn’t hide the military equipment near his own troops, but rather in Sanskrit Passage.”
Xu Tianwang said this to himself.
Xu Zhenyan saw that the expression on his father’s face was still resolute, confident, unfeeling and powerful. However, he who already understood his father’s emotions extremely well knew that his father was already a bit worried, already feeling a bit bewildered.
A bloodiness suffused the mountain forest and waist high brush below Xu Zhenyan and Xu Tianwang, the smell even stronger than that of a fish market. When one looked down from their current height, they could see that there were corpses everywhere in the forest, some corpses lying on the ground, some actually hanging from trees, some, despite wearing heavy armor, were split up and in pieces, this scene extremely miserable.
More than half of the corpses wore Yunqin standard black armor.
The other half all wore ordinary sackcloth clothes.
Even now, the battle was still continuing.
Several hundred Yunqin soldiers were still fighting against the scattered and hidden enemies within the mountain forest and wild plains at the foot of the mountain. From time to time, arrows would scream through the air, sounds of fierce shouts and blood scattering could be heard.
Jiang Family was determined to win over the large amounts of powerful military equipment and heavy armor Wenren Cangyue hid in Jadefall City, that was why the amount of forces Jiang Family invested this time was also unprecedented.
Not only were there large amounts of followers, deathsworn knights, even a critical figure in Judicial Sector like Xu Tianwang was sent over, all of them transferred to Jadefall City, furthermore, even Jiang Family’s forces in the military were used.
Investigating Wenren Cangyue’s henchmen and hidden supplies was Judicial Sector’s responsibility to begin with.
The things they found would then naturally be transported by Jadefall City’s military.
That was why Jiang Family didn’t need to prepare any loading carriages in Jadefall City first, they only needed their people to arrive in Jadefall City.
Under Jiang Family’s arrangements, the confessions of those former Wenren Cangyue subordinates in Judicial Sector were treated as confidential. Later on, during the military’s involvement process, the things Jiang Family truly needed definitely wouldn’t appear in the accounts either.
Judicial Sector, military, some supervising officials, these three parties, according to normal reasoning, could naturally make a matter extremely transparent and open. However, an existence like Jiang Family could naturally ensure that the conclusion all three parties came to was unanimous.
However, under their eyes, the strength of these assassins who came to stop Jiang Family, even though they all wore ordinary hemp clothes, judging from their fighting styles, they were sure that all of these people were definitely from Yunqin, moreover elite Yunqin soldiers who were all extremely proficient at fighting.
This meant that there was already another great power that intervened in this matter.
Xu Zhenyan and Xu Tianwang had a total of more than thirty people around them. Half of these Jiang Family personnel wore official uniforms just like Xu Tianwang and Xu Zhenyan, respectively holding posts in the various sectors. The other half were Jiang Family’s deathsworn knights and cultivators.
None of these people took action, only calmly watching these soldiers face those who were obstructing them.
They obviously understood that if they joined in, this battle would end faster. However, they also understood clearly that since a great power that could challenge Jiang Family intervened, then the true battles were still yet to come.
Within the mountain forest and wild grasslands, the sounds of arrows and weapons clashing became fewer and fewer.
The ground was littered with corpses, viscous blood everywhere.
The black-armored Yunqin troop completely took down their opponent. After the initial fighting, they now already shifted to an orderly search for any more enemy survivors.
A cotton clothed assassin whose entire body was dripping with blood stood up from a pile of corpses. Before he could make any movements, more than ten arrows already accurately landed on his body. Bursts of blood shot out from that person’s body again, and then he fell down heavily.
After this round of arrow sounds rang out, there were no more arrow sounds or weapons clashing. There were only sounds of footsteps within watery blood.
Xu Tianwang and all of these Jiang Family personnel who had a task to complete began to descend from the mountain, making their way through this mountain forest covered in blood and corpses.
Before the sun completely set, several hundred black-armored soldiers whose bodies were covered in blood after experiencing a bloody battle, entered Sanskrit Passage.
This place was like a heavenly moat made through a miracle, a massive canyon.
An empty feeling wind blew over from above the two cliffs around them and the other end of this seemingly endless canyon.
The precipice facing Jadefall City was covered in lush trees and grassland, the cliff covered in grass that felt like a waterfall. Many fine clear springs also trickled, sprayed or flowed out from the cliffs.
On the yellow sand wasteland’s precipice, under blowing winds, there was only endless yellow sand that poured down from above like waterfalls.
This was definitely a stark contrast.
Meanwhile, when one was in this endless and spacious canyon, anyone would feel that this canyon was a giant path that led into an inexhaustible distance, to who knew what kind of place.
There were some rock caves on the two cliff walls around them that had experienced severe erosion. Some of the dilapidated buddha images embedded within made this place seem even more mysterious.
The sunset still hadn’t gone completely dark, but within Sanskrit Passage, it already became secluded and dim. A low warning sound rang out within Jiang Family’s fleet.
A mounted individual calmly appeared behind them, appearing under Sanskrit Passage’s mysterious and dim lighting.
The horse slowly advanced, its hooves covered in blood as it approached the halted Jiang Family and military personnel. The figure on the horse fluttered about in the wind, aloof like an immortal.
Xu Tianwang saw this person’s appearance clearly, saw this person’s white hair and white beard. A trace of shock appeared within his cold eyes.
This faintly discernible figure, aloof like an immortal, was Zhang Qiuxuan.
Xu Tianwang wasn’t the one who saw the appearance of this person the earliest, nor was he the one with the highest status and position among Jiang Family’s people.
“Zhang Qiuxuan, have you gone mad, or has the emperor completely gone mad?”
A stooped and purple clothed elder looked at Zhang Qiuxuan who wasn’t unfamiliar to him at all. He coldly walked forward, his silver hair fluttering in the wind, and then slowly straightened his figure.
His stooped figure that didn’t seem like it could ever stand still again suddenly stood up straight. With just this simple change, a wave of indescribable aura was released from his figure, spreading in all directions with exceptional majesticness.
This wave of aura was extremely domineering.
It completely exceeded the limits of what an ordinary cultivator could imagine.
That was why this could only be a Sacred Expert.
Zhang Qiuxuan looked at this elder whose body released an exceptionally domineering aura, calmly saying, “Li Zhenshi, the two of us used to be fellow students in cultivation, both of us studied the holy book. You should understand that as Yunqin subjects, criticizing his majesty like this is unfilial and disgraceful behavior.”
“It seems like you all really have gone mad.”
Li Zhenshi looked at Zhang Qiuxuan, his voice exceptionally loud and clear. “Could it be that you all don’t know that all things have bottom lines?”
“Bottom lines?” Zhang Qiuxuan shook his head, saying in a grieved manner, “I only know that the order of the monarch is heaven, everyone in Yunqin is his majesty’s subject, all his majesty’s slaves. Since when could slaves rebel against the son of heaven, criticize the rightful emperor?”
Li Zhenshi remained silent for a moment. He looked at Zhang Qiuxuan and said seriously, “You should understand when this began.”
Zhang Qiuxuan’s gaze dimmed slightly. “That is why there must be change, everything must return to the correct path.”
Li Zhenshi laughed coldly in mockery. “Regardless of how you think, the current Yunqin is already like this. If we want to change it, we must pay the price… Revival Friend Company’s fleet seems to have been plundered by you all. His majesty wishes to establish his own power, establish a private military the outside world doesn’t know about. That is not altogether blameless, but forgivable. However, if these methods are meant to pull out families one after another, regardless of whether you wish to admit it or not, it has already crossed the bottom line.”
Zhang Qiuxuan looked at Li Zhenshi. He remained quiet for a long time, and then said with a sigh, “Previously, I couldn’t win against you in debate, and the two of us have always shared different aspirations, our paths incompatible. That is why I am often on the ruler’s side, while you’ve become a great advisor for Jiang Family. That is why I am merely speaking some words with an old acquaintance, I did not intend to argue with you here.”
“This can be considered seeing me off in your eyes, right? Attacking that Revival Friend Company caravan was precisely to pretend to be Wenren Cangyue’s people. After you killed us, you can say that it was done by Wenren Cangyue’s people. I don’t wish to dispute with you over anything either. I just don’t understand why the older you get, just like me where you are already old to the point of almost dying, yet you instead seem to understand bottom lines less when doing things?” Li Zhenshi laughed coldly, “The emperor wants to kill subjects, yet instead of conspiring openly, he uses this type of dark assassination methods. This really is indeed a bit too pitiful, a bit too laughable.”
“Those like me and you in Central Continent City are just those few. As for the others, if they make a move, they will be noticed by others. Even if the emperor wishes to use sinister methods, he cannot use those people.” Li Zhenshi put away his sneer. He reached out his finger to point at Xu Tianwang, “Right now, we have two people like this, while you only have one. I really am curious, just how much of a foundation has the emperor accumulated over these years, to have so much confidence that he can completely slaughter all of us here.”
This place entered a momentary silence.
Everyone on Jiang Family’s side inwardly produced an incomparably complicated expression, either fear, despair, grief or anxiety… Today, one of Yunqin’s nine great pillars was actually forced to completely stand against the emperor.
Zhang Qiuxuan didn’t say anything more. He only raised his head towards the sky in this spacious and empty Sanskrit Passage.
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