Book 14 Chapter 9 - Already Old, Already White Haired General

There was a great flame burning within Harmony Splendor City.

The corpse of a man named He Baihe[1], was burned to ashes on the streets where he fought.

In East Scenery City, Tangcang lost two swords, while in Harmony Splendor City, Yunqin also lost an exquisite sword that was enough to represent all of Yunqin’s people.

Grand Secretary Zhou and countless soldiers gathered around this flame that burned with greater and greater intensity, and was then gradually extinguished, seeing off this individual who was silent and nameless while in Immortal Academy, yet could be considered a true martial hero, someone who could be considered a great master.

Many people were wondering what it was that made this powerful Sacred Expert who could roam the world unhindered and treat his life like a game still come to this place despite carrying serious injuries, ultimately seriously seriously injure Wenren Cangyue, and then passing away after winning this battle.

This sword broke.

The Celestial Sword hadn’t been passed on. From today onwards, it no longer existed.

However, all of these Yunqin people who survived in Harmony Splendor City deeply remembered the name He Baihe. His sword was deeply engraved into their minds.

At the same time.

A black-armored, haggard, but resolute Yunqin high ranking officer gazed into the distant faintly discernible Thousand Sunset Mountains.

The other Yunqin high ranking officer at his side also gazed towards the distant Thousand Sunset Mountains, saying with a sigh, “I heard Zhen Nanying’s brothers say that one of Great General Gu’s powerful cavalry troops have already crossed Meteor Lake, continuously taking over three forts, seizing an important enemy granary. I believe this time, we can take the opportunity to recapture Thousand Sunset Mountain.”

The haggard, but steady expressioned high ranking Yunqin officer instead shook his head. “I fear that this might not necessarily be the case.”

“Why?” The high ranking officer next to him asked with a frown.

“Wenren Cangyue still hasn’t died after all… Even if it was me in this situation, I would do my best to withdraw all troops behind Thousand Sunset Border Pass. The provisions I couldn’t bring away, I would choose to completely burn it all down.” The haggard looking high ranking officer said with a sullen voice, “Even though my army has achieved a great victory, the rear lines cannot keep up at all, there isn’t enough reserve power… If the domestic situation was at peace, the supply lines fine like before, not only would we be able to take down Thousand Sunset’s border passes in one go, we might even be able to continue pushing south and beat down Great Mang until they are unable to rise up again. However, this great victory has already completely used up the strength of several provinces behind us, this victory killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. If there is no substantial strategic value in taking down Thousand Sunset Mountain, why is there then a need to forcefully recapture Thousand Sunset Border pass in a situation where our preparations aren’t sufficient?”

“Great General Gu isn’t someone who rejoices in grandiose deeds. That is why in the current battle situation, whether we can truly recapture Thousand Sunset Border Pass, when we can make Great Mang admit defeat, the key is no longer in the military, but rather in the state of internal affairs.” The haggard Yunqin high ranking officer shook his head. “If the civil strife does not stop, how can we face outside enemies?”

“Without even a cornerstone… If even the feet are broken, how can the blades in hand land on the bodies of enemies? Our own bodies will immediately collapse.”

When most people’s feet are broken, they naturally couldn’t stand stably, unable to fight against others again.

The analogy made by this ordinary Yunqin South Tomb Province fort high ranking officer wasn’t wrong at all. However, when it came to the most powerful sacred level cultivators who had already exceeded the realm of ordinary people, even without feet, they could still walk, still powerful to an unimaginable degree.

In that Purgatory Mountain black jade palace that represented Great Mang’s true greatest authority, the Purgatory Mountain Patriarch bathed in red radiance gave the secret document in his hands a look, his expression carrying a bit of mockery as he issued the orders to several Purgatory Mountain red robed Divine Adjudicators kneeling outside the palace. “In that case, there is no need to have Shentu Zhongxin head into the unknown lands behind Purgatory Mountain, have him head to Central Continent City. Even though his legs are gone, at the very least, he is still a bit stronger than those with feet in Central Continent City. As for the world behind Purgatory Mountain… send some more people every month.”

These Purgatory Mountain red robed Divine Adjudicators who normally already had extremely high statuses all voiced their acknowledgement, and then respectfully withdrew.

“Cut out South Tomb, South Order and East Forest, these three provinces for me, in exchange for some of my assistance?”

In this palace, Purgatory Mountain Patriarch who was seated on the throne spoke to himself in ridicule, “Wen Xuanshu, seems like you have a bit of guts, daring to discuss this type of price with me? Are you not scared that I will feel like you are looking down on me too much… However, I do not have any interest in this type of price, but I do have a bit of interest in the emperor and True Dragon Mountain. This is also the time for Yunqin’s people to become a bit more acquainted with Purgatory Mountain, even if it is only a broken legged fool.”

Zhantai Qiantang was thinking.

Many times, in his perception, he seemed to be able to sense a large mountain blocking right in front of him.

This large mountain was the distance between himself and the Sacred Expert level.

He could sense the power of the sacred level, but he also knew that he was still far away from this type of strength. This was the situation he faced as someone at the peak of State Master level.

Normally, even after several days of cultivation, he didn’t sense this mountain getting any smaller. It was as if where that mountain stood, it would remain there forever.

However, during these days he led the Great Mang army of more than fifty thousand, he only carried out cultivation when he rested at night, yet he could sense himself taking a great step in crossing this mountain.

Zhantai Qiantang was one of the most intelligent people of this world.

He listened to the heavy footsteps behind him, quickly understanding the reasoning.

It was just because his mind had never experienced pressure as great as what he faced these past few days. Previously, his teacher, Great Mang’s late emperor Zhantai Mang personally handed down the dynasty he seized into his hands, but a dynasty was oftentimes more like an imaginary and vague image in his head, not as real as the fifty thousand Great Mang soldiers behind him right now.

Behind these fifty thousand lives were countless family members.

He was from Great Mang himself. Just like how Lin Xi was a Yunqin citizen, unable to bear seeing Yunqin people die, these Great Mang people and the countless families behind them made him shoulder an unprecedented amount of true pressure.

Spirit, will, these were the dao of cultivators.

The pressure of a single person’s life and death cannot compare to the pressure of countless lives.

However, one had to truly care about these lives themselves in order to feel true pressure.

That was why the military often produced powerful cultivators. It wasn’t only because they experienced more battles, it was also because they shouldered more lives and deaths than others.

Under the footsteps of all of these Great Mang people whose lives were in his hands, his understanding towards the dao of cultivation also advanced deeper.

Shi Qian walked up to his side. He saw Zhantai Qiantang’s brows gradually loosen, and then suddenly obtained a flash of understanding, unable to help but quietly ask, “Since the border army Gu Yunjing grasps is truly willing to grant us a path of life, emptying out all of the people in that fort for us, why do we still have to leave?”

“When others treat you with courtesy, you must return the courtesy. This is something taught in Central Continent City’s private institutions to young students.” Zhantai Qiantang explained, “Gu Yunjing left a path of life for us, so we cannot refuse to grant him a path of life. He is Yunqin’s general, so by doing things this way, if he does it in the dark, others will keep one eye opened and one eyed closed, but if he does it on a grandiose scale, without any restraint, then it will bring him a lot of trouble, leaving him with no way of explaining himself. As such, how can we occupy this guest area… Gu Yunjing will treat that place as a gate. When we pass, his troops will help us watch over that place, stop Wenren Cangyue’s troops.”

Shi Qian nodded. “Then what kind of plans do you have? Right now, we are heading towards Thousand Sunset Mountain, the chances of encountering Wenren Cangyue’s troops are still extremely high. Moreover, it is even harder to find supplies.”

“I am only waiting for one person.” Zhantai Qiantang looked at him and said, “Once she arrives, only then will there be a chance for all of us to live.”

“There is a troop from Dragon Snake’s side who is trying to enter South Tomb Province. That troop doesn’t belong to Yunqin’s military, should we allow it to pass?”

Within a peaceful courtyard full of osmanthus flowers, Gu Yunjing calmly looked at Lin Xi seated on the soft carpet in front of him, asking this.

Lin Xi nodded. “Let it pass.”

Regardless of whether it was Gu Yunjing or Lin Xi, none of them discussed the affiliation or intentions of this army, but with just these two lines, they didn’t discuss this army anymore, instead changing the topic to other matters.

“Nightingale has died, He Baihe has died as well.” Gu Yunjing looked at Lin Xi, saying this.

He didn’t use any flowery words, only calmly recounting the truth. He had already experienced too many matters of life and death, which was why there was no need to hide anything.

Lin Xi’s head hung slightly, becoming silent.

“Tang Chuqing and Zhong Cheng are seriously injured, Grand Secretary Zhou already cannot take action again… Ever since Jiang Yanzhi’s death, our Yunqin’s Sacred Experts have already experienced too many casualties, already not having many left.” Gu Yunjing released a sigh, his expression slowly becoming serious. “Troubled times… Yunqin’s true crisis, its true turbulent age, might only be starting this autumn.”

“I received news that something bad will happen in Central Continent City.” After a slight pause, Gu Yunjing looked at Lin Xi, continuing, “Wen Xuanshu is about to make a move… Too many Yunqin Sacred Experts have died, and among those who are alive, many of them are in South Tomb Province, there is no way they can return in time. This is the time when Central Continent City has the least amount of Sacred Experts. This is his chance, as well as his sole, best opportunity.”

Lin Xi took a deep breath. He raised his head to look at Gu Yunjing, calmly and respectfully saying, “Wen Xuanshu will rebel, this is something I was already aware of when I encountered the Divine Elephant Army in Jadefall City, it is merely a matter of sooner or later. I do not find it strange either, what is strange is merely why the emperor would give him so much time. Senior, your respected self specially had me come here to discuss this matter… I wish to know senior’s thoughts.”

Gu Yunjing revealed a helpless smile. He looked at him, saying seriously, “I only wish to know your attitude, which side you will help, or perhaps I should say, which opponent you will deal with first.”

“Your respected self is worried that I will try to act against the emperor?” Lin Xi thought for a bit. He looked at Gu Yunjing, shaking his head. “Even though the emperor has already become one of Green Luan Academy’s greatest enemies, after experiencing the battles here, it is even harder for me to produce any good intentions towards Wen Xuanshu who has decided to take advantage of this war situation to scheme against Yunqin. If I have a choice, I will not try to use some of Wen Xuanshu’s power to deal with the emperor together with him. I will choose to only watch.”

After a slight pause, Lin Xi looked at Gu Yunjing and said, “After all, the emperor is still Changsun Wujiang’s father[2]. In the end, I do not wish to become your respected self’s enemy. I still have many things I need to take care of, and these things carry more meaning than a power struggle.”

“I have seen tolerance and concession from you, seen the true Green Luan Academy.” Gu Yunjing bowed slightly, showing Lin Xi a bow of respect. He smiled, but inwardly sighed. It was because he understood that all tolerance had a limit. He knew that when Green Luan Academy was going to regain something lost, they would definitely make the enemy pay an even greater price. He also knew that tolerance and concession couldn’t eliminate the ambitions and desires of some people at all.

Working for this already hobbling empire, he already didn’t have much confidence in himself.

He was already old like many others… This empire, in the future, could only depend on these youngsters.

1. Immortal Academy’s sword expert B13C11

2. Crown prince who died under Wenren Cangyue’s strike

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