Chapter 693: Stab in the Back [V7C010 – In Life and In Eternal Rest]
Everyone fell into a state of frowning contemplation. At this point in the discussion, people were actually quite aware of the gap in the quota. The issue lay in the fact that no one knew how many years it would take for the Great Maelstrom to appear again; the last time was several decades ago. Additionally, there were rumors flying about that the Great Maelstrom this time was going to be several times larger than the past. Immediately, all the clans and aristocratic families with enough qualifications began making their move, hell-bent on securing more quotas.
These matters could no longer be kept secret after the battle at Indomitable, and many families began taking action after learning of the reason behind the fight. Hence, there were as many parties expressing their “sincerity” as there were carps in the river. This method definitely wasn’t enough to decide the quotas.
A dignified, burly man said with a snort, “Sincerity? Those who are sincere to me might not be sincere to you. How are we to compare? It’ll just be confusing. If we really do use sincerity as the foundation, don’t you think some of the aristocratic families need to supplement their ‘sincerity’?”
Several people in the conference room broke into a frown. Just as this person had said, sincerity was a vague concept that was hard to measure. If one’s sincerity could be changed, it would add countless more variables to this discussion. Those in the lead naturally didn’t want extra issues, but those who had lagged behind wished to turn the tables.
Everyone’s expression was different as they made rapid calculations. There weren’t many quotas left, so it was time to bring out their hidden aces.
The old man scanned everyone again with his turbid eyes. Even though he had one foot in the grave, people were shaken from his gaze. Their expressions transformed drastically, and even some of their chairs started to crack.
The environment in the conference room changed immediately. Everyone retracted their daggers-drawn attitude and looked toward the old man. The old man’s gaze reminded them that he was a true apical character of the empire. Their authority seemed fairly humble in the presence of the current emperor’s granduncle—one of the two heavenly monarchs of the imperial family—the Longevity Monarch.
Longevity Monarch said in a slow, shaky voice, “The journey to the Great Maelstrom is only to train divine champions. Is it really so important that you people must push aside the war of national fate?”
An old man wearing a marshal’s uniform sneered, “War of national fate? Humph, it’s just Lin Xitang’s slogan. Someone of paltry experience poisoning his majesty all the time. Now, the war has deteriorated to such a state and they’re about to be kicked out of the floating continent. What did the empire gain apart from straining its citizens, coffers, and soldiers?”
The old man sitting across from him said, “Marshal Lu, you can’t say that. Xitang has proven his skills since youth and has rarely been defeated in so many years. His achievements in the divination arts have reached great heights. The war has just begun, and it’s too early to judge.”
Marshal Lu snorted coldly. “Who can turn the tables after reaching such a state?”
The old man across him let out a drawn-out laugh. “You, Lu Jun, might not be able to do it, but that doesn’t mean Lin Xitang can’t. I think it was right before your eyes that Lin Xitang won the war and gained fame on Transcendent Continent, haha!”
Lu Jun was livid and began seething in fury. Back in the year, he was the army commander for the war on Transcendent Continent. Lin Xitang was fairly young back then, with only an auxiliary division under his name. Yet, he had dared to go into battle with his rabble of an army. He had commanded his troops unpredictably in the several battles that followed, winning every fight as though he were aided by the gods themselves. He managed to hold back a dark race army ten times in size, which allowed the imperial army to reorganize and finally drive the enemy out of Transcendent Continent.
That battle established Lin Xitang’s reputation as a divine strategist of the empire and paved a straight path to his rank as a marshal. It could be considered the battle in which he had risen to fame. It was just that the more resounding Li Xitang’s name was, the uglier it was for Lu Jun.
The conference room fell silent once again following a sigh from Longevity Monarch. “The war of national fate has received His Majesty’s recognition, there’s no need for further debate. We’ve spent too much time on the matter regarding quotas, and it is imperative that we reach a conclusion. In any case, we’ve already hammered out most of the candidates, and the remaining slots won’t really affect the bigger picture. It will be midnight in one hour, and our discussions will stop there.”
One hour? The time limit was simply too tight.
Frowning, Lu Jun made up his mind and said, “Regarding the quotas, I have an idea about how we can free up one slot.”
One slot meant one chance to achieve the divine champion rank. That was the reason why these major characters were gathered here. Everyone’s eyes fell onto that man.
Lu Jun said, “We should discuss again the quota of Zhao clan’s Qianye.”
Everyone was shocked. That burly man banged the table and said furiously, “Nonsense! We have so many quotas today because Qianye risked his life to meet the Demoness head on! Now, you have designs on his quota? Do you have no shame? Is that how a marshal should act?”
Lu Jun had long since prepared for this question. He retorted with a calm expression, “With Qianye’s current condition, can he still use that quota? Moreover, the Zhao clan already has Zhao Jundu and Zhao Yuying, must we give them a third slot? Are you sure?”
The imposing man roared with a solemn expression, “That’s your idea, not mine! This will shake all the heroes of the world. Who will be willing to risk their lives for the empire in the future?”
Lu Jun laughed. “It’s not that serious, is it? Qianye can’t use that quota anyway. That’s why we need to discuss it again. Besides, one more quota means one more divine champion. Must I say how beneficial it’ll be for the empire? Duke Yan shouldn’t overthink things.”
At this moment, another old man said while stroking his beard, “There’s also a Storm Pearl in that Qianye’s hands. This object will absorb void origin power once inside the Great Maelstrom and transform into an origin crystal. In terms of value, it is not below a divine champion at all. But the level and power of the crystal produced depend on who carries it into the Great Maelstrom. With Qianye’s current condition, it doesn’t look like he has any use for the Storm Pearl.”
Many people fell into contemplation since the value of an origin crystal was indisputable. A single origin crystal wasn’t inferior to a standard divine champion in its worth. Now that Qianye was in a deep coma, it would seem that the owner of this Storm Pearl was again up for discussion.
Yan Zheng was furious, but he alone couldn’t argue against everyone else. As such, he looked toward the Longevity Monarch, but the old man’s eyes were closed and even his head was lowered. No one knew if he was awake, but it was evident that he had no intention of interfering.
Zhao Jundu gradually opened his eyes as the first light of dawn appeared over Indomitable. He sat there with his hands on his knees, as firm as an unmovable mountain.
That lady appeared behind him and said, “Everything has been prepared. From now on, no one will disturb Young Noble Qianye.”
Zhao Jundu exhaled slowly. “What I fear isn’t the enemy in the light.”
The lady was both startled and puzzled. “You mean…”
Zhao Jundu didn’t give a straight answer. “It’s about time we receive the news.”
The lady didn’t know what he was talking about. At this moment, a guard walked over and said, “Young Master, an urgent report from the military.”
Zhao Jundu didn’t even stand up as he received the urgent report. He didn’t open it in a rush either, and merely said, “Where is that person from the military?”
The guard replied, “He’s waiting in the hall for Young Master’s response.”
With a nod, Zhao Jundu opened the urgent message and read through it. Despite his improving subtlety, Zhao Jundu’s expression changed after reading the report, and his killing intent caused the temperature in the room to plummet.
The report wasn’t long, but Zhao Jundu spent quite a long time to finish reading it. Afterward, he handed the report to the lady and said, “Take a look.”
The woman wasn’t as calm. She only shot a glance at it before flying into a rage. “Outrageous!!!”
Zhao Jundu regained his calm and said indifferently, “This matter is within expectations, but I hadn’t expected them to take things so far.”
“Qianye risked his life to push the Demoness back and bring about a great victory. That was the sole reason we have so many slots! Now Qianye hasn’t even died yet, but they’re all in a rush to snatch his quota and Storm Pearl? Do they have no shame?”
Zhao Jundu shook his head before sighing. “Shame, for some people, is as heavy as the mountains. For a handful of others, however, it’s worth nothing. How can it compare to a quota?”
The woman said through gritted teeth, “Do they really think going into the Great Maelstrom will bring them a divine champion? If it were so easy, won’t there be divine champions all over the empire? They wouldn’t be worth much at all.”
Zhao Jundu had calmed down entirely at this point. “To some people, it’s the difference between hope and despair.”
The woman seemed to have guessed something. She snorted, “Only those useless Song Clan people can be so desperate. The Bai clan isn’t any better, either, their old fellows won't live much longer than Duchess An.”
Zhao Jundu broke into a laugh. “Making absurd comments about the empire and politics isn’t a small crime.”
The lady sneered. “I’ll kill whoever dares to report me!”
Zhao Jundu didn’t continue with this topic. Instead, he asked, “Is Qianye doing well?”
“He’s stable, no changes at all.”
Zhao Jundu nodded. “All is well then. We won’t be getting that quota back, but no one can take away the Storm Pearl.”
“But who will do the infusion?” Apparently, she knew some secrets about the Storm Pearl.
“If he doesn’t wake up, then I will.”
This answer surprised the lady. As someone who knew Zhao Jundu’s character well, she realized that the young master had made a decision no one could change.
All she could do was sigh to herself. “How do we respond to the military?”
Zhao Jundu had long since made preparations. “Summon that messenger.”
Moments later, a brigadier general and a lieutenant stood in front of Zhao Jundu. Dispatching a brigadier general to deliver a letter showed how important this matter was.
This officer was one who held office in the military, and his status was much higher than others of the same rank. Before Zhao Jundu, however, no general could put on airs. He bowed respectfully and said, “Has General Jundu read the urgent report? No matter what your thoughts are, please instruct me so that I can report back.”
Zhao Jundu waved the report in his hand. He then rubbed his hands together with a smile, effectively reducing the missive into fine powder!
“Urgent report? What urgent report? I haven’t seen it.”
The brigadier general’s head went blank.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Lol, this Jundu :P
TL: Legion ED: Moxie