The Tritalent imperial family was gripped by panic.
Gao Kui had taken half of their elites and the best of the neighboring factions to ambush Imperial Prince Huo.
All twelve of the advanced empyrean cultivators had been killed in one fell swoop. The lesser cultivators hadn’t even been able to get close enough to see how Gao Kui and the others died.
That was the most terrifying.
Powerful enemies were terrifying, but powerful unknown enemies, even more so.
“Everyone, speak your mind,” the emperor said. “Do you have any clues as to how our men were killed? What are your theories?”
He couldn’t maintain his calm. So many elites had been killed so suddenly. If news of this got out, Tritalent morale would plummet. Moreover, the loss of the twelve advanced empyrean cultivators was a serious blow to their collective strength.
That was cause for real panic.
He wasn’t alone in that sentiment. The aristocrats who had been in favor of waging war against Rejuvenation were stunned as well.
“Your Majesty, their deaths are very suspicious. This subordinate suspects they weren’t killed by Rejuvenation.”
“I agree. Everything about this is too outlandish. Rejuvenation doesn’t have the power to do that.”
“That’s right. We’ve been their neighbor for a long time. We know what they’re capable of.”
“How about we conduct an investigation first? I don’t believe that Prince Huo and Chief Warden Ding could kill Gao Kui and the other advanced empyrean experts, especially not when Gao Kui had the initiative.”
The emperor scowled. No one had provided any constructive ideas. All they had was hot air.
“Everyone, I’m asking for your ideas. What do we do next? No matter who killed Gao Kui and his people, Tritalent has suffered a serious blow. Are we still going to wage war against Rejuvenation?” This was what the emperor was debating.
“Of course we are, Your Majesty,” someone piped up immediately. “We’ve worked so hard to get to this point. If we back down now, everything we’ve done will have been in vain!”
“That’s right. If Rejuvenation was capable of killing Gao Kui and his team, they wouldn’t be where they are today. Gao Kui must have encountered some powerful senior and offended them by mistake. That’s how they ended up dead. It has nothing to do with Rejuvenation.”
“Your Majesty, we mustn’t give up. Even if we can’t occupy all of the island, we have to at least lay our hands on half of the profits.”
Despite the unforeseen casualties, a greedy light still shone in the eyes of the Tritalent aristocrats. They felt that the potential gain from occupying the islands was theirs and refused to give it up.
However, there were still some voices of reason at court.
“Your Majesty, the morale is high and this subject shouldn’t rain on everyone’s parade. However, Tritalent’s future is at stake. I must make my point. We can no longer afford to fight with Rejuvenation for the islands. If Gao Kui’s death has something to do with them, we must think about how we’re going to protect ourselves.”
His words attracted immediate backlash.
“That’s ridiculous, Zhao Situ! You’re making our enemies seem more powerful by putting your own people down. No one believes that Rejuvenation can kill Gao Kui! If they’ve always been that powerful, why would they suck up to Polylore Divine Nation? Why would so many of them die at the hands of Polylore’s nobility?”
“Seconded! Rejuvenation can barely protect themselves, let alone bother others. This is the perfect opportunity for us to make a move. It’s now or never!”
They viewed Rejuvenation with utter contempt. Even after the deaths they couldn’t explain, there was still no change of heart. They just didn’t think that Rejuvenation was capable of such a feat.
Zhao Situ laughed ruefully. “You can refute me all you want, but our existence is at stake here. We must be careful.”
“Haha, Zhao Situ, your ambition has wilted in your old age. You’re too timid now to make decisions for our nation.”
It was true that Zhao Situ wasn’t a young man anymore, so he didn’t take the rude remarks personally.
He looked at the emperor with great devotion. “Your Majesty, it is my duty to speak my mind to you. My opinions may not necessarily be the truth, but they’re worth considering.”
Deep down, the emperor agreed with Zhao Situ to some degree.
The ambush had failed spectacularly without so much as a clue to what had happened. It didn’t make sense for it to be a freak accident unrelated to Imperial Prince Huo.
“Your Majesty, why don’t we send a delegate to test Rejuvenation? If they’re willing to share half of the spirit stones with us, we’ll talk.”
The emperor considered the idea. His train of thought was interrupted by footsteps rushing into the palace.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty! Imperial Prince Huo has entered our territory with a group of experts. They are close to our core island and are less than three thousand miles from the imperial city!”
The emperor started. “What?!”
The news exploded like a spontaneous crack of thunder in clear, blue skies. The greedy Tritalent nobles were sent into a frenzy.
They were no fools. They knew what it meant for Imperial Prince Huo to break into Tritalent with his people—he was responsible for Gao Kui’s death! Rejuvenation had gained the power to fight back and turn the tide!
Nerves stretched taut and the atmosphere became tense.
“How many people does he have with him?” The emperor calmed himself enough to ask.
“In response to Your Majesty, according to the scouts, there are only twenty of them, but they’re all elites!”
“What? Twenty?” Their panic gave way to befuddled surprise.
They planned to take revenge with only twenty people? An invasion force of just twenty? Was Imperial Prince Huo alright in the head?
Even if all twenty of them were advanced empyrean cultivators, there was a big limit to what they could do. Besides, it was impossible for Rejuvenation to gather twenty advanced empyrean cultivators!
The emperor relaxed somewhat when he heard this latest update.Previous Chapter Next Chapter