Chapter 452: Competition
All the generals were shocked. Even those fierce generals who knew nothing but war understood this was greatly inappropriate. They stopped Zhao Weihuang in a hurry and did their best to dissuade him. “Lord Duke, you must not!”
“Lord Duke, please reconsider!”
The generals barely managed to hold back the furious Zhao Weihuang by working together frantically. It was fine no matter what Zhao Weihuang did on the Western Continent, but crossing over to the Qin continent with an army was tantamount to rebellion. It wouldn’t do even if he was only attacking those aristocratic families.
After his anger had subsided, Zhao Weihuang also understood that his methods weren’t feasible. But he still couldn’t swallow his anger no matter what—he immediately picked up a paper, wrote down several names, and tossed it to the generals. “Go and investigate! Dig up information on all members, organizations, and estates belonging to these families on the Western Continent. I want them all wiped out within seven days! This duke must strike their names off from this place.”
The generals glanced at one another.
It was an unwritten rule that the enmity born in the bloody battle stays in the bloody battle. It was also a general rule for similar imperial operations of the past. Even the number one Green Sun Zhang clan only swallowed their anger after suffering huge losses in the Song clan’s hands back then—even Zhang Boqian didn’t stir up trouble after becoming the fifth heavenly monarch.
Presently, Zhao Weihuang’s actions were equal to breaking this unwritten rule, and an unending flow of disputes would surely follow once this example had been set. But this was nothing compared to marching on the Qin continent. As such, the generals accepted their orders and left to attend to them.
The anger on Zhao Weihuang’s countenance faded slightly and turned to gloominess as he paced about the wrecked study with his hands behind his back. The Fire Beacon Corps’ actions would soon enter those people’s ears before long and should at least make them slightly more apprehensive.
“Imperial Party!” A furious Zhao Weihuang uttered these words through clenched teeth, green veins popping on the back of his hand.
There were many new nobles in the Imperial Party who had risen without any background. They were eager to accomplish, and their methods were cruel, extreme, and unpredictable. The major clans still considered their manner and prestige at the very least; they were fairly cautious and rarely burned their bridges or went to the extremes. But these new nobles and their henchmen were different—their policy was to seek fortune amidst danger.
As the bloody battle went on, the descendants invested into it from each family steadily increased. Three out of Zhao Weihuang’s four sons were already on the bloody battlefield, the only exception being the eldest Zhao Junxiao who had already surpassed the origin power limits. The second son, Zhao Junhong—who had just reached the champion rank less than a month ago—had also led his squad into the Iron Curtain in a hurry. Zhao Weihuang, in spite of his anger, couldn’t help but feel some worry.
In a complex region of alternating mountains and rivers within the Dark Nation, a fierce battle had been raging on for many days. Nearly twenty combat units had gathered in this insignificant area to form an incomparably chaotic situation. Battles were raging not only between the dark races and the imperial forces, but also among themselves, and the cruelty of these internal conflicts even exceeded the faction battles.
After several days of chaotic battle, some of the dark race tribal units had started to form an encirclement, blocking off the important passages surrounding the battlefield. What surprised the dark races was that the infighting among the imperials was growing more and more intense despite the unfavorable situation. They were fighting with such ardor that they had even pushed the dark races to the side.
Ten-odd Zhao clan warriors were recuperating within a hidden cave halfway up a mountain. Most of them were injured, while two were immobile and unconscious—it was unknown whether they were dead or alive.
The atmosphere in the cave was fairly oppressive. Some of the Zhao clan warriors were treating their injuries, some with lighter wounds were cultivating, while others were maintaining their armaments—it seemed they had just experienced a bitter fight. However, the warriors in the group were likely elite veterans of a hundred wars. They knew exactly how to preserve their strength despite the disadvantageous situation.
A well-equipped warrior was crouching at the entrance of the cave with his sniper rifle aimed at the distant forest, the scope of which was darting between the trees, valleys, and hills. He suddenly noticed an abnormal movement in the forest and immediately shifted his aim there.
As expected, a group of soldiers walked out from the amidst the trees. Clearly relaxed after seeing their leader, the vigilant sniper turned back and said, “Fourth Young Master as returned.”
It was exactly Zhao Jundu who had walked out from the forest. A fair length of time had passed since he joined the battle, and his appearance was now quite different from the outset. The black hair usually maintained by a famous dresser was now extremely short, having been shaved casually with a combat knife; his handsome, almost flawless face was now covered with thick camouflage paint.
The robe on his body was in tatters, revealing the damaged, black armor underneath. There were blade cuts all over his body along with several unhealed injuries. A strand of fresh blood trickled down from his arms and hands and flowed out of his sleeve—even the Blue Firmament in his hand was stained with blood.
The Zhao Jundu before the bloody battle could be considered cold, detached, and transcendent, but the current him seemed to have returned to the human world and was suffused with the frosty intent of murder.
Only those eyes were as clear and bright as before.
Zhao Jundu was holding a human head in his hand with blood dripping down occasionally from the cut surface of its neck. The person’s eyes were wide open, his expression frozen in that last moment of extreme shock. Meanwhile, there were a dozen-odd Zhao clan soldiers behind Zhao Jundu. It was just that all of them were injured and most of them seriously so—there were even two men with missing arms and legs.
Zhao Jundu walked toward the cave but halted his steps before he had traveled very far. Violet flames erupted from his eyes as he gazed coldly toward the front. The muzzle of the Blue Firmament was also raised slightly and started flickering with origin power.
The scenery in front of Zhao Jundu suddenly distorted as a woman in wide-sleeved robes appeared out of thin air. A flash of lightning flickered through the heaven and earth the moment she opened her eyes, illuminating the miserable mountains and rivers for an instant!
The veteran Zhao clan warriors lost all color as they recognized the lady’s identity!
She was the Bai clan’s hope and the empire’s celebrated legend, Bai Aotu.
Her hands were folded within her sleeves as she glanced at the head in Zhao Jundu’s hand with a frown, “Were you the one who killed Bai Huiyu?”
Zhao Jundu replied coldly, “Correct! This is the only fate for a mere rank-eleven champion who dares attack my Zhao clan.”
Bai Aotu’s indifference remained unchanged as though the eldest son of the clan’s third branch was but an insignificant character. “Then how about the Bai clan’s three units?”
“A total of 96 men have all been killed,” Zhao Jundu’s tone was calm, “it’s a pity I didn’t see that slut Bai Kongzhao. Otherwise, I would’ve killed her too and resolved the enmity from the Blackflow side.”
Bai Aotu finally raised her eyes and gazed at Zhao Jundu. She then said with a cold voice, “Zhao Fourth Young Noble’s killing intent is quite heavy.”
Zhao Jundu pointed toward his men and said calmly, “Only these people remain out of the hundred men from my Zhao clan’s three combat squads. There would be none left if I didn’t have any killing intent. Does the Bai clan eldest miss have any objections?”
Bai Aotu was suffused with a cold killing intent as she said slowly, “What if I do?”
Zhao Jundu pointed the Blue Firmament upward and sneered, “What does it matter if you have any objections under the Iron Curtain? You don’t dare kill me, and you can’t, either!”
These words reflected Zhao Jundu’s pride and aggressiveness as the number one younger generation genius of the empire.
But Bai Aotu wasn’t enraged after hearing this. Instead, she said with a chuckle, “No matter what the reason is for killing you, the Zhao clan will surely gather all of their elites and fight it out to the death with my Bai clan. But that’s not the reason I don’t dare move against you at the moment.”
Bai Aotu continued without waiting for Zhao Jundu to speak, “Perhaps people will blame me for allowing such infighting to occur with the enemy—the dark races—right before us. Isn’t this aggrieving friends to gladden the enemy?
“But these short-sighted people are those who can only cling to morality because they have no power to change the situation. They make no contributions whatsoever while blaming others unscrupulously when things don’t go their way. What kind of person am I? Why would I need to pay attention to the criticism of these scoundrels? I need only to kill with one fist whoever dares comment in front of me!
“As I see it, the Iron Curtain bloody battle is merely a child’s game. In order to deal a grievous blow to the dark races—killing a hundred so-called young geniuses can’t match up to destroying a single marquis. Everything that happens under the Iron Curtain is insignificant and will do nothing to change the bigger picture.
“Even if our Bai clan’s behavior is inappropriate and causes great losses for the empire, I alone can easily make up for it elsewhere. There’s no need to fuss over little things in this children’s game.
“I, Bai Aotu, alone am enough for the Bai clan!”
These words were an undoubted display of Bai Aotu’s heart. She was actually thinking to imitate Lin Xitang and Zhang Boqian in single-handedly shouldering an entire generation of the family’s foundations.
Even someone as arrogant as Zhao Jundu couldn’t help but turn silent and see her in a new light.
Bai Aotu gazed deeply at Zhao Jundu and said, “It’s true that I don’t dare kill you right now. It’s not out of fear for the Zhao clan’s retaliation, but because your fame as the number one younger generation genius of the empire follows your merits. You are not yet mature at this point, and it’ll injure my dao heart if you die in my hands. The time of our big battle is when we are at the same realm. Zhao Jundu, do not make me wait too long.”
Zhao Jundu’s expression of pride had been withdrawn, and there was a trace of respect in his eyes. But he couldn’t help but break out in a laughter after hearing Bai Aotu’s last words. “My cultivation today is bright, consummate, and flawless. My West Pole Violet Qi has reached the greater success stage, and the straight path to divine champion is already open before me. How can you be my match if you and I are at the same realm?”
Bai Aotu smiled brightly and said, “That’s yet to be decided. Speculation without a fight is only artificial.”
“Very well, we shall fight in the future. But what of the present?”
Since Bai Aotu had made an appearance, it was clear that she had a reason. She quickly replied without much thought, “The thing everyone’s fighting for is in your hands, right? Give it to me and we’ll end this case here. I shall not interfere no matter what the other Bai clan members do from here on out. But you must also promise not to slaughter those who did nothing to offend you.”
Zhao Jundu nodded. “Fine.”
He tossed Bai Huiyu’s head to the ground nonchalantly and produced a thumb-sized crystal from his pocket. It was shockingly similar to the void origin crystal in Qianye’s hands, except this one was much smaller.
Zhao Jundu sent the crystal flying toward Bai Aotu with a flick of his fingers. The latter took and examined the item thoroughly before nodding. “It is indeed a void crystal. Very good.”
She put away the void crystal and turned to leave. Her figure turned blurrier with each step, and she soon vanished completely after several strides.Previous Chapter Next Chapter