"There are currently two prominent voices in the Dou Spirit Empire, the first of which I just elaborated on. The other side advocates engaging the federal military in direct battle and letting the chips fall where they may. Of course, there's also a minority that proposes negotiating for peace. In reality, if it isn't for the fact that the Dou Spirit Empire is a monarchy, most of the empire would probably be in support of surrender. They're well aware of the disparity between them and the Douluo Federation. This is a fundamental gap that can't be bridged."
Tang Wulin's brows furrowed slightly. "How is our Tang Sect's relationship with the royal family?"
Li Yun replied, "We are the number one arms suppliers to the Dou Spirit Empire. Almost all their high-end weaponry technology was sold to them by our Tang Sect, but in reality, we've been very conservative with the technology that we've been selling them in the past several millennia. This is to limit the rate of their technological development and to prevent them from depleting their resources too quickly. As such, our Tang Sect holds a very lofty status in the Dou Spirit Empire, but the royal family is actually rather dissatisfied with us. They're harboring great hopes that you'll be bringing them sufficient weapons for them to contend with the Douluo Federation. As such, it'll be very easy to give them the weapons, but preventing this war from happening will be nowhere near as simple."
Tang Wulin nodded in response. "I see. Is there a city known as Spirit Wave City near Heaven Dou City?"
"There is. Spirit Wave City is quite a small city, though." Li Yun was rather befuddled by the sudden change in direction this conversation had taken.
"Let's go to Spirit Wave City first," Tang Wulin instructed.
Li Yun's brows furrowed slightly. "Why do you want to go to Spirit Wave City? The Dou Spirit Empire's royal family has already received news of your arrival; shouldn't you be going to see them first?"
Tang Wulin shook his head in response. "No, we'll go to Spirit Wave City first."
Li Yun's brows furrowed even more rightly upon hearing this, and he wanted to say something further, but he repressed the urge to do so in the end and turned to the driver at the front. "Go to Spirit Wave City."
The atmosphere had become rather awkward, and Li Yun turned to Tang Wulin with a contemplative look before asking, "Sect Master, would you be able to tell me your purpose for visiting Spirit Wave City? I believe it would be inadvisable to simply ignore the royal family."
Tang Wulin replied, "I have something I need to do in Spirit Wave City. On top of that, I didn't know that we had to visit the royal family right after arriving here, so they can wait."
Li Yun could tell from Tang Wulin's demeanor that he had already decided everything without discussing the matter with him, and that made him quite displeased. This young man's cultivation rank wasn't anything special, but he sure had a bit of a temper!
A faint smile appeared on Tang Wulin's face. "Sometimes it's good to make people wait, wouldn't you say so, Hall Master Li?"
Li Yun replied in a serious manner, "I think that would be very inadvisable in this current situation. If you're determined to do this and sour our relationship with the Dou Spirit Empire as a result, it'll be very difficult for us to carry out the rest of our mission."
Tang Wulin said, "We shouldn't be the ones clambering to meet them. You just said that the Dou Spirit Empire is a monarchy, and the biggest concern for a monarchy is that the inheritance of their power gets severed. Hence, they won't surrender to the federation no matter what, and they need us far more than the Star Luo Empire does. We are in a position of power here, so why should we be in a rush to meet them? Let them wait."
Li Yun remained silent in response, but cast his gaze out the window to express his displeasure toward this course of action.
Tang Wulin naturally had selfish intentions behind his decision to visit Spirit Wave City first. Saving his parents was extremely high on his list of priorities, but at the same time, it really was a good idea to make the royal family wait for now. If they wanted to gain the upper hand in the negotiation, the first thing that they had to do was place themselves in an advantageous position. In the face of the Dou Spirit Empire and Star Luo Empire, the last thing the Tang Sect wanted to do was to appear overly eager as that would completely ruin the basis for negotiation.
Thus, silence returned to the vehicle, and Tang Wulin closed his eyes to rest. For some reason, ever since he arrived in the Dou Spirit Empire, he had been struck by an indistinct feeling that there was something familiar and intimate nearby.
Was this the feeling of being in close proximity to his parents?
Spirit Wave City was less than 100 kilometers away from the capital of the Dou Spirit Empire, Heaven Dou City, and they arrived at their destination after about four hours.
From a distance, it could be seen that Spirit Wave City was quite a simple city that was rather antiquated in design. The style of the buildings was similar to that of Heaven Dou City on the Douluo Continent, and they had clearly drawn inspiration from the same sources.
What was quite intriguing to Tang Wulin was that Spirit Wave City had city walls. In the Douluo Federation, city walls were almost relics of the past that could only be seen in ancient tomes; who would've thought they would still be in use in the Dou Spirit Empire?
This was a clear indication that the Dou Spirit Empire was still very much fond of the traditions of the Douluo Continent, and many of the buildings here were of the same style as buildings on the Douluo Continent in ancient times.
Spirit Wave City was a small city without any particularly tall buildings, and most of the structures were less than six stories tall. The streets were very clean and sparsely frequented, striking Tang Wulin with the feeling that he had returned to the distant past on the Douluo Continent.
What a beautiful little city! How could he allow a city like this to be ravaged by war?
Father, Mother, are you here?
Tang Wulin turned to Li Yun, whom he had barely spoken to at all during this trip, and asked, "Hall Master Li, would you be able to organize lodging for us near the Spirit Pagoda? I have some matters that I need to take care of."
"You want to stay near the Spirit Pagoda?" Li Yun's brows furrowed upon hearing this.
He was already very displeased with Tang Wulin's decision to visit Spirit Wave City first. After all, he had already arranged a meeting with the royal family of the Dou Spirit Empire, and now that Tang Wulin was asking to stay near the Spirit Pagoda, he finally couldn't hold back any longer.
"Sect Master, I'm sure you're aware of our delicate relationship with the Spirit Pagoda. Is this really appropriate?" His expression had darkened significantly as he spoke.
Tang Wulin replied, "We'll be sure to disguise ourselves properly. I'll leave it to you, Hall Master Li."
Li Yun was silent for a moment before nodding in response. As the supervisor for the Dou Spirit Empire branches of the Tang Sect, he had the courtesy and self-restraint to not argue any further with Tang Wulin.
However, Li Yun's self-restraint wasn't shared by all of his subordinates, and one of the men accompanying him immediately flared up with rage. "Sect Master, are you aware that the Spirit Pagoda is most likely partially responsible for the Shrek City bombing? The Spirit Pagoda is our enemy!"
Tang Wulin turned to the man, and replied, "Of course I'm aware of that."
The middle-aged man continued, "And yet you still insist on staying near the Spirit Pagoda? The Spirit Pagoda is very powerful, and Spirit Wave City is the center of their sphere of influence on this continent. Are you aware of how heavily our plan would be impacted if your covers are blown by them? Shrek Academy was destroyed, as was our Tang Sect headquarters on the Douluo Continent, yet you're still approaching the Spirit Pagoda despite this; are you going to cooperate with them? Even if we set aside the mission, we won't even be able to face all of those who perished alongside Shrek Academy!"
"Oh? Are you from Shrek Academy?" Tang Wulin asked.
"That's right. I graduated from the inner court of the Shrek Academy before joining the Tang Sect here on the Dou Spirit Continent," the middle-aged man replied in a proud manner, displaying a lot of pride for his connection to Shrek Academy.
"In that case, do you know who you're speaking to?" Xie Xie suddenly asked.
The middle-aged man turned toward him. "What do you mean, kid?"
Xie Xie sighed, "It's a shame to see that the alumni of the academy no longer follow the academy's rules."
"What did you say?" the middle-aged man immediately exclaimed, "How dare you slander me?"
Xie Xie rose to his feet before leaning against Tang Wulin's seat as he appraised the man with an indifferent expression. "How is this slander? I also come from Shrek Academy, but unlike you, I'm a member of the current Shrek's Seven Monsters, and I'm also an elder of the Sea God's Pavilion. Are you not disrespecting your superiors here?"
The middle-aged man was a Soul Douluo, and he stared at Xie Xie in an incredulous manner. "You're an elder of the Sea God's Pavilion? The academy really has fallen..." He didn't make this abundantly clear, but it was quite obvious what he was implying.
Xie Xie immediately flared up with rage. "What are you trying to say? These people no longer have any respect for the academy, Boss! How can we gather all of the academy alumni under our banner when even someone like him is disrespecting you? It's truly going to be an arduous task to revive the academy!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter