Book 15 Chapter 25 - Palace Peace Negotiation and Heading East

Ni Henian’s body seemed to have sucked the chilliness of Imperial Palace and Central Continent City dry.

It was unknown if this was the reason, but this Central Continent City early summer was indeed a bit hotter than past years.

Inside the morning light seeped palace, Martial Sector Vice Head Feng Qianhan only felt as if his official uniform felt like a comforter that prevented heat from escaping. Even if the sweat on his body was expelled by soul force, his body would become extremely sticky a moment afterwards, becoming extremely uncomfortable.

Because of the hot and stuffy weather, the bodies of the officials who followed behind him were uncomfortable, they were all lacking vigilance, this making Feng Qianhan’s expression become dark and gloomy. These officials didn’t know much about Purgatory Mountain at all, they were just ordinary officials that couldn’t be considered truly influential in Central Continent City, so their expressions were completely different from Feng Qianhan’s.

The expressions on their faces could be described as excited, or even ecstatic.

It was because they also already knew that Great Mang Emperor already sent out an emissary, formally proposing peace negotiations with Yunqin.

The places where these ordinary officials stood weren’t high enough, so there was no way they could see even higher.

They were completely unaware, and they also had no way of imagining just what kind of background there was behind the peace negotiation. They only knew that ever since Dragon Snake Border Pass first began to fight against the Cave Barbarians on a large scale, Yunqin had already experienced four years of war in total.

For a country, four years of large scale wars was precisely a huge disaster.

This type of disaster caused the deaths of millions of Yunqin people, leaving countless previously affluent families in incredible dire states. Now, this disaster was on the verge of ending, so how could these officials not be happy?

The most crucial part was that Great Mang couldn’t hold on anymore either. Bringing up peace negotiations was precisely acknowledging defeat.

If there were no more large scale battles, Auspicious Virtue’s winter crop in many of Jadefall City’s farms were already close to being harvested, meaning that Auspicious Virtue would have made it through this disaster. From then on, those countless people in the southern provinces would no longer have to remain hungry.

As long as the most basic source of food was no longer an issue, these officials were all filled with confidence towards the rebuilding afterwards.

That was why this stifling hot early summer, in these officials’ minds, was instead the beginning of a peaceful and wonderful future.

Just like what all of the officials inwardly thought, even though the emissary representing Great Mang Emperor had only just formally made contact with South Tomb front lines’ military, proposing peace talks, all of the officials gathered in the throne room today knew that the focal point of today’s discussion could only be on this matter.

As Martial Sector Head Li Chengyu formally reported Great Mang’s desire to negotiate peace, some officials who were originally muddle-headed, already lacking all interest in matters unrelated to themselves were immediately stunned, their ears rising upwards.

“What do you all think? Is this peace negotiation worth discussing?”

“The people are distressed. In this subject’s opinion, we should conduct this peace negotiation as quickly as possible.”

“Us subjects believe that we can make Great Mang give up land in compensation.”

“...”

In this instant, groups of officials spoke up one after another. It was almost as if they were scared that the one on the dragon throne might change his stance, pat the throne and say ‘we aren’t going to negotiate peace anymore, we are going to keep fighting!’.

However, when facing the worked up groups of subjects, their near unanimous opinion, Yunqin Emperor instead revealed a hint of a profound and dignified smile. “If this emperor hasn’t heard wrong, it seems like all of your opinions are the same. Peace negotiations naturally must be discussed, the key lies in what kind of a price Great Mang needs to pay.”

When they heard the faint approval regarding peace talks from Yunqin Emperor, many officials immediately became overjoyed at the unexpected good news, loudly exclaiming ‘your majesty is wise and brilliant’.

“Since all of us share the same opinion, then let’s summon Great Mang’s emissary into Central Continent City for peace negotiation.” Yunqin Emperor said in a calm and dignified manner.

“This subject believes that it is unfavorable for the location of the peace talks to be in Central Continent City, it should instead be by the border pass’ front lines.”

A voice sounded.

When this voice sounded, most of the officials in the palace were horrified. It was because even though this voice conformed with the norms here, it was still as if a large ship that was going along with the current and tailwind was suddenly tugged fiercely, something unexpected happening.

The spacious great hall immediately became absolutely silent. All eyes gathered towards the one who spoke.

The one who spoke was Wu Tianxiang, Martial Sector’s Head Coordinator, a military elder. If he had to be placed in a faction, then he belonged to Gu Yunjing’s sort, someone who represented the voices of the border army.

It was precisely because of this type of identity that the others suddenly felt like the atmosphere wasn’t quite right, suddenly feeling alarm.

Yunqin Emperor slowly turned around. He looked at this minor first ranked military member, pausing between each word as he asked, “Why is that?”

“Great Mang’s people are crafty and cunning. The sudden peace negotiation might merely be to confuse the army. Great General Gu has already sacrificed his life for our country. If Great Mang’s main army suddenly launches another great raid, the front lines’ battle situation will be greatly unfavorable.” Wu Tianxiang said with a sunken voice, “Even if they truly came to negotiate peace, there might be spies and information gatherers. If they pried into military affairs along the way, planting spies along the way, who knows how much disaster there will be in the future. That is why this subject believes that the peace talks must be carried out in Thousand Sunset Border Pass, that Great Mang emissary is not to be permitted one step into Yunqin, in this way cut off future grievances!”

Yunqin Emperor’s brows slowly furrowed. Before he had time to say anything, there were already more than ten military officials who spoke up in support for Wu Tianxiang’s viewpoint.

Many officials couldn’t help but secretly exchange some looks. Even though Wu Tianxiang’s words were reasonable, this type of atmosphere felt more and more strange.

Yunqin Emperor didn’t immediately reply, only sweeping his eyes over the other officials, saying unenthusiastically, “Are there any objections?”

“As long as the personnel is limited and supervision increased, there shouldn’t be any issues with the diplomatic mission. If we carry it out in the border pass front lines, the conditions of the negotiations have to travel back and forth continuously. If this continues, we might end up using too much time.”

“Carrying out this negotiation on the border pass front lines might not be necessary.”

“Even if we are worried that the enemy is trying to confuse our military, traitor Wenren has already died. Under the strict precautions of our border army, the enemy wouldn’t be able to seize any advantages.”

There were immediately officials who disagreed.

Yunqin Emperor only narrowed his eyes slightly as he listened. As the voices of the officials grew more and more, those who were against having the peace talks being carried out in the front lines seemed to increase more and more. The opposition party didn’t seem enough in comparison to Wu Tianxiang regardless of whether it was his rank or prestige, but while everything seemed to completely continue in the direction he wanted, Yunqin Emperor’s body suddenly shook slightly. His eyes couldn’t help but shift to Liu Xueqing and the others who were at the very front of the subjects.

Normally, Liu Xueqing and the various Imperial Censors should be the most vocal. However today, these people were too calm, calm to the point where he felt a strange danger.

It was precisely when his seemingly bottomless gaze landed on Liu Xueqing that Liu Xueqing took a deep breath. Then, he stepped forward, opened his mouth and declared, “This subject believes that the matter of peace negotiation must be carried out in Thousand Sunset Border Pass!”

His voice wasn’t all that loud. However, when he spoke, all of the intensely debating officials also reacted, sensing the abnormal calmness of these upright subjects and Imperial Censors who were normally always in the lead. The entire palace became momentarily silent.

“Peace talks do not only concern military strategy, what is even more important is the country’s national prestige!”

“Thousand Sunset Mountain has been lost, South Tomb Province has been lost, these are all my Yunqin’s shame!”

“This type of shameful thing has already happened. Could it be that when the enemy has admitted defeat first, we have to invite them over like an esteemed guest, welcome them respectfully into Central Continent City?!”

“Even now, Thousand Sunset Mountain is still in Great Mang’s hands.”

“If the peace negotiation isn’t grand, reduced to just a trifling few people in the diplomatic event, wouldn’t this just end up being child’s play?”

“That is why not only must we not limit the numbers for this peace negotiation, we must also restrict the type of people who can appear from the other side during this negotiation! We must let the enemy military’s highest level figures and most respected figures bend their heads in defeat, sign the agreement, and then demand for them to immediately leave Thousand Sunset Mountain!”

“That is why this negotiation not only has to be carried out in Thousand Sunset Mountains, not only does it have to be grand, the news must be bright and glorious, to let all of Yunqin’s people understand the peace talks’ process and exact details!”

The palace became more and more quiet. All of the officials who were opposed to peace talks in the border felt more and more like they couldn’t retort.

“As for the amount of time that will be consumed… while peace talks are being conducted, regardless of how much time must be used, there is no way there will be any great battles, so what does it matter?”

Liu Xueqing continued to hang his head, slowly and clearly saying, “I am a bit fearful that we might be too anxious for quick results, that we will give up more benefits we deserve out of fear of continued fighting, this will instead make Yunqin’s people feel that we have betrayed the country. As for what we ought to receive in return, since the other party has admitted defeat and is pleading for peace, then my Yunqin only has to state the conditions we want. Weighing pros and cons is something they have to consider. Could it be that we still have to continue conceding?”

These words sounded more and more harsh. The officials who were previously opposed to having the peace talks in the border pass shivered, their complexions ashen.

All of the Imperial Censors continued to remain quiet. However, now, the situation was already clear. The side that was opposed to the peace talks being in the border pass already completely lost all momentum.

“This subject is willing to serve as an emissary and head out to Thousand Sunset Mountain for the peace negotiation!”

Liu Xueqing’s voice suddenly became serious, saying these words slowly and clearly.

When they heard these words, many officials’ breaths stopped. They knew that since Liu Xueqing already displayed such righteousness, moreover taking the initiative to help Yunqin expunge its past disgrace, obtain satisfaction for the people, this matter was already pretty much decided.

“Very good!”

A bit of cold radiance flashed past the depths of Yunqin Emperor’s eyes. He looked at Liu Xueqing and said, “In your opinion, what kind of price are we to demand from Great Mang during this peace negotiation?”

Liu Xueqing lowered his head and said, “For them to give up all of the land from Thousand Sunset Mountain to Moon Seizing City’s territory, as well as a compensation of three million silvers.”

boom noise erupted, everyone erupting into commotion.

Many officials found it hard to breathe. They didn’t dare believe that Liu Xueqing could actually propose these types of conditions.

Three million silvers was already a huge sum of money. From Thousand Sunset Mountain to Moon Seizing City, this was even more so equivalent to Great Mang’s entire north, equivalent to several provinces!

Yunqin Emperor’s eyes narrowed. In this instant, the air in the entire palace hall seemed to have become as cold as Ni Henian’s icehouse.

While Central Continent City’s throne room entered a state of silence again, the golden Yunqin phoenix named Ruirui was currently continuously flying east.

Below its feet was a basket, sitting inside were Lin Xi, Chi Xiaoye, and Yunqin’s youngest Sacred Expert Nangong Weiyang.

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