Chapter 685: Path to Heaven
High up in the void, Lin Xitang was offering words of praise, “This child Jundu knows when to advance and retreat. He’s gradually revealing the characteristics of a great general, not bad at all.”
Zhang Boqian snorted. “Protecting his people instead of killing enemies with all his heart, he resembles you quite a bit on this point!“
Lin Xitang smiled faintly. “Will those old fogeys really sit still if he had killed all those little fellows? It’s not like you don’t understand this. What’s the point of bringing it up? If this spreads, people will think you’re narrow-minded.”
Zhang Boqian only gazed at a certain place in the endless void. Lin Xitang also turned and left without further conversation.
At this moment, the dazzling twin paragons of the empire seemed to have forgotten someone, and it seemed more or less intentional.
Although the Twin Paragons made no mention of him, news of this battle spread across the empire at unbelievable speeds. Two dukes observing this battle witnessed and confirmed the Demoness’ icy radiance and Zhao Jundu’s peerless might.
However, the icy radiance was actually broken by Qianye, and the latter had even inflicted injuries on the Demoness. This was inconceivable! Although Qianye did enjoy some fame in the empire, he ultimately couldn’t get into the eyes of those major characters—many people still didn’t know who Qianye was. Before long, news arrived from the Evernight side about how the Demoness had nearly died and her body dissipated. She had no choice but to return to the depths of the void to rest and reform her body anew.
Meanwhile, Qianye was reportedly alive. It could be said that their battle had ended in a draw.
This news sent the empire into an uproar.
At this point, the name Qianye truly entered the eyes of the empire’s highest echelons. Only at this point did people discover that they had no idea what Qianye’s primary cultivation art was, and no one knew what secret art those three earth-shattering luminous feathers belonged to.
On the same day, a well-groomed elderly man without a single hair on his face was bowing before the Pointer Monarch, who happened to be reading a scroll under a tree.
The Pointer Monarch eventually put down the scroll in his hand. “Steward Li has no need to be so formal. You’re Empress Li’s attendant and I am but an old man, no need to be so polite”
Steward Li was a slightly chubby man. His forehead was drenched in sweat after hearing these words. He wiped away the perspiration and said with a wry smile, “Elder Prince, please don’t make fun of me. I was only able to benefit a bit from watching the empress grow up. I’m certainly not that capable. The only thing I can boast of is a bit of diligence and devotion.”
Seeing the eunuch in such a state, the Pointer Monarch stopped putting on airs. “What business does Steward Li have?”
The old man said while bowing deeply, “The empress has obtained some information about the battle on the floating continent that she wishes for you to assess.”
The Pointer Monarch’s brows moved slightly. “I heard there were quite a few surprises in this battle. I’ve been wanting to know more about it, too. Please tell me, Steward Li.”
The old steward recounted the last battle at Indomitable in great detail. His words were soft but also fast and clear. Moreover, he explained all the fine details without missing a single thing, almost as though he had witnessed everything personally.
The Pointer Monarch’s expression became serious. He simply got up and paced about the courtyard after hearing how Qianye had broken through the icy radiance with the three luminous feathers, shattered the flowing light with his body, and heavily injured the Demoness with some unknown method. He exhaled deeply after a good while and said, “Yet another path to the heavens!”
“What!?” The jade plate in Steward Li’s hand fell to the ground and shattered.
Moments later, a frantic Steward Li finally arrived at Empress Li’s residence. A clear voice came through from within the chambers before he had even entered. “Uncle Li, why are you in such a hurry?”
By the time he was standing before the empress, Steward Li was panting and sweating all over. Without waiting to catch his breath, he whispered, “Empress, you can’t blame me for being so anxious! The elder prince’s evaluation is a path to the heavens!”
Empress Li was leaning on the handrest at first and playing with a large snow-white cat, her five fingers even fairer than the creature and almost translucent. After hearing of this, however, she slowly sat up without any change in expression, and that big cat leapt off Empress Li’s arms with a pained cry and ran behind the chair.
Steward Li kept his head lowered. He shot a glance at the snow-white cat but quickly reverted his gaze to the floor in front of him.
“This path to the heavens is referring to Qianye?”
“This servant believes so.”
“How are Qianye’s injuries? Has he awakened?”
Steward Li replied hurriedly, “This… this servant does not know. Qianye was hidden away by Zhao Jundu after that battle, and no one has been allowed near him since. With Zhao Ruoxi watching over him, the place is truly watertight, and no one really knows what his situation is.”
Empress Li said with a frown, “Can’t you make a prediction from that icy radiance?”
“Empress, you might not know this, but the Demoness’ status in the Evernight faction is extremely high. None of our assets on the other side can even approach her. How can they know what kind of art she was using and how powerful it was. This… we really cannot deduce it.”
Empress Li pondered for a moment, her jade-like fingers tapping on the handrest all the while. Seeing this, Steward Li said, “If the Empress thinks this Qianye might be harmful, this servant can arrange some people to… take advantage of this opportunity.”
Empress Li woke up from her reverie. She then shook her head and sighed lightly. “I’m the Empress of Great Qin after all. I have to think more for the empire. Qianye might be a pillar of the empire in the future, so just let him be. We should even give him some help when he really needs it.”
The steward said in astonishment, “But the Zhao clan might very well produce two heavenly monarchs at this rate!”
Empress Li smiled faintly. “So what if they do? They can’t flip the empire over even if they do have two heavenly monarchs. As for our Li family, as long as we forge ahead diligently, there will be a day when we become a major clan. It’s not as if there’s a set limit to the number of major clans. There was much more than four during the empire’s founding.”
The steward replied, “The Empress is wise!”
Seeing Empress Li wave at him, the steward excused himself from the palace hall. He seemed to be thinking about something as he walked through the doors, but eventually, he shook his head and left in a hurry.
Critical news always traveled faster than anticipated. Somehow, the Pointer Monarch’s evaluation of Qianye had spread throughout the empire within a single day.
A path to the heavens—these words shook the empire through and through.
It was different from Zhao Jundu’s “heavenly monarch realm is just beyond the door” in that “path to the heavens” referred to an inheritance. It meant that the secret art Qianye was cultivating could bring him to the heavenly monarch realm. Although it was a mere possibility, that in and of itself would allow Qianye to establish his own family. If he could develop it well, he might even be able to found a major clan. Just by virtue of this evaluation, Qianye would be able to cross over the major-clan threshold which countless aristocratic families could only dream of.
The empire had enjoyed a thousand years of inheritance—arts that could bring one to the heavenly monarch realm weren’t limited to just the imperial family and the four major clans. Many of the high-ranking aristocratic families also possessed them. The only difference was the difficulty level. Nonetheless, Qianye had already proven with this battle that he was fairly capable of such a feat and that he could support an aristocratic clan.
Moreover, Qianye was able to contend with a legendary demonkin genius at such a young age. The inheritance in his hand was definitely of extraordinary value.
In the blink of an eye, countless gazes were cast upon the city of Indomitable.
How could the Zhao clan adopt a nonchalant attitude? That very dawn, Duke You Zhao Xuanji appeared personally at Indomitable to oversee the camp in which Qianye was resting. The Fire Beacon Corps on the Western Continent also made an urgent mobilization. Zhao Weihuang transferred, to the floating continent, two of his four greatest generals along with two of their most powerful legions, all of whom traveled day and night to get there. Such a movement meant that most of the Fire Beacon Corps’ elites were now concentrated on the floating continent. Not to mention the fact that Zhao Ruoxi and her Red Spider Lily was also nearby.
Such a strict defense meant that not even a fly could get close to Qianye.
Within the imperial military department, a handsome man in his thirties was seated at his desk, his head in his hands as he listened to the detailed report about the battle at Indomitable. With regards to time, his report was a tad later than that of the imperial family and the empress. However, his intelligence already included the Pointer Monarch’s evaluation. One could see from this just how high his position in the military was.
He was clad in a lieutenant general’s uniform, but his combat strength was merely that of a brigadier general. Holding powerful office without depending on personal strength could only mean two things—he was either an outstanding strategist or a person of noble birth. From his current position, the former was more likely.
After listening to the report, he said, “Heh, another heavenly monarch? One clan with two heavenly monarchs, how is the empire going to function like this? What’s the point of centralization?”
These words were fairly serious. The subordinate delivering the report held his breath, not daring to speak.
The man wasn’t expecting his subordinate to provide an opinion, either. “Qianye’s injuries are fairly serious, and the key to his recovery very likely lies with Stillwater Rebirth. The closest portion in stock is with the Li family’s Li Tianquan. Send someone to meet the second elder, tell him to resist the Zhao clan’s pressure and not hand over the medicine. We’ll give him all the support he needs as long as we don’t need to show ourselves in public.”
After the subordinate left, this new noble of the imperial military pressed a bell on the table and summoned his aide. “Prepare my car, I shall visit the Minister of the Right.”
It could be said that Li Tianquan was in a state of alternating joy and worry in recent days, so much so that even the worsening battle situation had been thrown to the side.
The Misty Wood had almost become the home ground of the Dark Races. The independent hunters under the Li family’s employ could no longer survive alone in the forest and had no choice but to form combat squads. This had its own disadvantages—the price of increased protection was that they encountered more fierce battles.
With the daily rise in casualties, the aristocratic families who were eyeing the rankings started to sound a retreat—more than one had transferred their fighting power to Indomitable. The defense system there was obviously more mature, and the accumulated forces of the Zhang, Zhao, and Song clans formed a stable defensive force.
But these things had been pushed to the side in Li Tianquan’s heart, and his head was fully occupied by a single name: Qianye.
A faint clinking sound lingered constantly around his office. Li Tianquan looked down to find that the teapot in his hand was jumping about, and the lid was striking the body as it did so. This sound was quite harsh in the old man’s ears, as he could tell from the sound that this pot wasn’t quite at the premium-quality level. But he had already smashed all the good ones, so only such goods remained available to him.
The ringing caused him to become increasingly frustrated, yet he couldn’t get rid of it. That was because the shaking had nothing to do with the pot but his hand. Since Li Tianquan found out about the battle at Indomitable—about the outcome of the battle between Qianye and the Demoness—his hands had been shaking uncontrollably so.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This old man needs to suffer somehow.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie