Zu An was surprised, not expecting his words to frighten the other party so much. He made use of this opportunity to ask, “What’s your crime?”
Zhang Han’s face tremored amidst the black mist, as if tears were streaming down his face. “Even though I was able to hold on for a moment, the empire’s elite forces were still wiped out under his leadership. I was the one who ruined the final hope of the empire, resulting in it being destroyed by the remnants of the Six Eastern Countries.”
The history was indeed no different from what Zu An remembered. Fearing that he would agitate Zhang Han, he chose not to probe any further. Instead, he heaved a deep sigh and lamented, “Such is life. There’s little that a man can do before heaven’s will.”
Zhang Han was taken aback. He remembered the emperor he remembered was a strong-willed and austere figure, so the other party’s gentle attitude caught him off guard.
Zu An turned to gaze at the lake and asked, “What’s sealed in there to make you so frightened?”
This was what he was so frightened about. He wasn’t too worried about giving himself away with that question since Zhang Han was mostly active in Qin Ershi’s era, so it was only normal for Qin Shihuang to not know of his affairs.
“It’s the dead spirits of the hundreds of thousands of rebels from the Six Countries. We’ve used the Soul Suppression Seal to seal them in the lake thus far, but I didn’t expect Your Majesty to…”
“Then we have to make sure to seal it well. The armies of the Six Countries bear a great grudge against our Great Qin. It’ll alarm my empress if they rush out.”
Those words made the blue flames in Zhang Han’s eye sockets flicker a bit, but he didn’t say a word.
“My subordinate, is there no other way to suppress these dead spirits?” Zu An gestured toward Chu Chuyan. “She’s a friend I’ve made in this generation. Spare her.”
“Your Majesty, these dead spirits have been sealed using the Evanescent Lotus as the formation core over the past thousands of years. Now that the formation core has disappeared, the Soul Suppression Formation’s collapse is imminent. We have to use her flesh to appease the raging dead spirits before she fully assimilates the medicinal properties of the Evanescent Lotus so that we have more time to think of another way to reinforce the seal!
“The empire should take priority! Your Majesty, please rethink your decision!”
Zu An was frustrated to hear Zhang Han insisting on using Chu Chuyan’s blood as a tribute. He was, after all, not Qin Shihuang, and there was a huge disparity in their strength. There was nothing he could do if the other party insisted on not listening to him.
“However, we can release this woman and have her serve Your Majesty.” Zhang Han pulled Qiao Xueying over with a grasp and pushed her down before Zu An.
Qiao Xueying struggled, but how could she possibly be able to overpower Zhang Han?
Looking at the indignant woman kneeling before him, Zu An was a little amused. “Why don’t you try calling me master?”
“Pui!” Qiao Xueying spat at Zu An, but her saliva was blocked off by Zhang Han.
“How dare you offend Your Majesty? Die!” Zhang Han roared coldly as his black aura intensified.
“Forget it, I’ll spare her life. She’s still somewhat a friend of mine.” Zu An hurriedly stopped him.
“Friend?” There was a hint of disdain in Zhang Han’s voice.
Zu An’s heart skipped a beat. He could sense that the latter’s tone wasn’t as respectful as it was before. Could he be sounding me out? What the hell! Are zombies supposed to be that intelligent?
All of a sudden, effervescence suddenly sounded from the lake. The surface of the water was bubbling furiously, threatening to push through the black mist on the surface. There were numerous blue figures which appeared to be struggling free of the lake.
These blue figures were dressed in armor and wielded sharp sabers. They looked like elite soldiers.
Zhang Han was alarmed. His black steed had silently manifested by his side, and he swiftly hopped onto it and rushed toward the lake.
At the same time, the terracotta soldiers also raised their weapons and charged toward the lake.
In just a few moments, over a hundred translucent blue soldiers had rushed out from the lake. Unlike the zombie soldiers, they didn’t have corporeal bodies. They looked more like just souls.
When they saw Zhang Han, they began howling furiously at them. Even though it was hard to discern their voices, their tones were more than enough to reveal the deep-seated hatred they bore for him.
They swiftly got into formation before charging toward Zhang Han.
“Am I seeing things?” Zu An rubbed his eyes in confusion. He felt that the formations both armies were taking looked oddly similar.
However, he knew that this was no time for his thoughts to be wandering. He quickly rushed toward the stone table at the center of the altar, intending to use this opportunity to save Chu Chuyan and take her away.
Qiao Xueying bit her lips as she ran together with him too, clearly hoping to save Chu Chuyan too.
“You saved me previously, and I’ve returned the favor now. You can call it equals,” said Zu An.
“Thanks,” replied Qiao Xueying softly. But soon after, she harrumphed, “But I saved you twice previously If we really count it carefully, you still owe me once.”
“…” Zu An.
This woman sure doesn’t give in!
Not wanting to bicker with her now, he turned his attention to untying the black rope tying Chu Chuyan down to the stone table. To his astonishment, even though the black rope didn’t appear to be tangible, it was more resilient than any other material he had come by.
He even tried using Poisonous Prick on it, but it was to no avail.
“Step aside!” Qiao Xueying formed a hand seal, and countless green leaves began revolving around her body. With daggerlike sharpness, they darted toward the black rope.
Unfortunately, as soon as the crisp, green leaves came into contact with the black rope, they quickly began to wither. Qiao Xueying tried it for a few more times, but the black rope simply wouldn’t budge. Instead, she only ended up depleting the ki she had barely regained by half.
“This rope is made out of the zombie general’s death aura. There’s too big of a difference between your cultivation ranks, so you won’t be able to sever it,” said Chu Chuyan. “You should hurry up and leave. There’s no need to bother with me.”
However, Zu An shook his head and said, “You’re my wife, so how can I abandon you? Besides, I even fed you the Evanescent Lotus! If I don’t save you here, I’d be making a huge loss!”
Chu Chuyan was rendered speechless. She was still pretty moved a moment ago, but in the next moment, Zu An went back to being Zu An.
“Didn’t that fellow kneel down to you earlier? Hurry up and order him to free the young miss!” exclaimed Qiao Xueying.
Zu An rolled his eyes. “Are you blind? Didn’t you see me ordering him to free her earlier?”
Qiao Xueying turned to look at the lake, where Zhang Han was fighting against the blue warrior spirits, and bit her lips in anxiety. “What do we do then? By the time he finishes dealing with those dead spirits, he would surely return to activate the blood tribute!”
Zu An was also put on a spot. The absolute power difference left him very little room to maneuver in this situation.
“I’ll take a more forceful attitude later on. Hopefully, he’ll be intimidated and back down.” Given the circumstances, he could only try to pull something with his identity as Qin Shihuang,
“Hmph, childish!” a feminine voice suddenly sounded in his mind.
“You’re finally back!” Zu An gritted his teeth in fury. Ultimately, all of this trouble stemmed from this woman.
“Who are you talking to?” Qiao Xueying and Chu Chuyan asked in bewilderment.
Zu An was taken aback to hear those words. Can’t the two of them hear this woman’s voice?
“Did you think that Zhang Han really believes that you’re Ying Zheng? Once he’s done dealing with those dead spirits, not only will that woman die, you won’t fare any better either!” remarked the feminine voice coldly.
1. The Qin Dynasty annexed the Six Countries, which are the main powers of the Central Plains then, but there were still constant revolts, especially when Qin Ershi, the son of Qin Shihuang, took over. He committed a lot of atrocities that forced lots of people to rise up and declare themselves ‘independent states’.