Chapter 584: Fires Of War

The fires of war spanned for nine thousand miles outside of the capital with great battles raging everywhere. Billowing smoke blotted out the sun while the shockwaves made the earth tremble.

It looked like complete destruction before reformation.

This change came so unexpectedly. Peace and prosperity with sweet songs replaced by rivers of blood and the cries of battle.

“What’s happening?” A few cultivators stood on the ancient path to see chariots coming, grinding the paved street. The collapsing walls shocked them to the core.

“Boom!” Two great masters were competing in the sky. A remnant ray was pushed out and killed several cultivators.

This was a battle for authority and the throne. Of course, several other great powers were secretly maneuvering to amplify the chaos.

Though they wanted to destroy and replace Jin, they knew that it was still too powerful and couldn’t collapse overnight.

Thus, no one tried to actually seize power from the royal family. They only fanned the fire to make the war spread, hoping to weaken the foundation of the dynasty. The fiercer the battle, the louder their laughter would be in the shadow.

The best scenario would be a battle of attrition between Princess Luofu and the crown prince where both sides lose. 

***

Inside the Imperial City.

The groom competition had stopped completely. Cultivators began to flee among the chaos. The prodigies were escorted away by their old defenders, hoping to leave the capital.

Orders were nowhere to be found, so staying would only result in death. They couldn’t allow these prodigies to die before maturing. They would become great soldiers in the future to take down Jin.

Alas, regardless of how strong one might be, they seemed defenseless against the entire martial army. Even a Giant could be caught by the numerous spears.

“What’s the situation?” Feiyun went to Princess Luofu first.

She sat inside her aerial palace, seemingly quite calm. A stream of messengers went in to hand her battle reports in the form of jade talismans every minute or so.

In front of her was an eighteen-meter-long blue diagram carved with the capital’s geography and formations. The important and secret bases were marked with special symbols.

After receiving a certain message, the princess threw it back out after modifying the content in the form of an order.

“Not good. The old fox wants to use force this time, one-third of the capital is under their control now. Looks like he has been planning this for a while and had maneuvered his troops a few days prior. If they were to attack the imperial city right now, they could definitely take the Dragon Spirit Stone and Imperial Seal. Do you have the Regal Dragon Robe and letter?”

Feiyun shook his head: “Someone else got ahead of me. Don’t worry, they’re not on the crown prince’s side. I’m sure he is on fire right now, anxious to get those two items.”

The letter represented the orthodox side, allowing one to claim the throne without reproach. The dragon robe represented the position of emperor and absolute power - very necessary as well.

Feiyun said: “Where are the spirit stone and seal then? Why don’t we grab them first to seize the initiative?”

He didn’t reveal that Nangong Hongyan had gotten the two items since the princess would certainly order people to chase her behind his back. That’s why he changed her focus towards the stone and seal.

The Dragon Spirit Stone contained the providence and fate of the entire dynasty so it was considered a sacred treasure. It was connected to the underground dragon vein. Controlling the stone meant controlling the vein.

If the stone were to be destroyed or taken away from the capital, then the vein would go wild and escape deeper into the core. It meant that the capital would no longer be suitable for cultivation, no longer appropriate to be a mecca of civilization. Everyone would leave after the spirit energy here dissipated.

The thick energy was the reason why the city became so prosperous and populated, allowing easier cultivation.  From this, one could see the importance of this dragon stone.

As for the Imperial Seal, it also represented the Jin Emperor, similar to the King and Queen’s Order. They were made from the same material. It contained the power of previous emperors, so even stronger than the King’s Order, making it comparable to a Dominating Armament.

Of course, its power wasn’t the most important thing but rather Its ability to send out orders to the rest of the world.

The princess shook her head: “The dragon stone has been stolen in the past so now, it is placed in the emperor’s resting chamber, protected by six royal ancestors. No one can get close without the emperor’s permission and will be killed on sight. These ancestors are extremely strong. Twenty years ago, someone attempted this. In the end, the criminals’ blood stained the palace. All seven Giants died. So, our strength alone can’t do it.”

Feiyun became disappointed. With the stone, he could control the dragon vein, and that’s the same as controlling the entire capital. This was the most direct method but those six ancestors wouldn’t allow anyone to touch the stone, not even Princess Luofu and the crown prince.

They could allow for these youths to compete for the throne, but never anything that could affect the foundation of the dynasty.

The princess went on: “I have a good guess about the seal. Father must have given it to a powerful confidant, maybe one of the Chief Attendants.”

“What makes you say that?” Feiyun didn’t understand the emperor too well.

She explained: “The emperor is a wise and calculating man who realized that this battle was inevitable. He wished to test the two of us so he gave the robe and seal to his two confidants. Just obtaining one of them would allow us to legitimately claim the throne.”

The royal clan was something else. In an ordinary family, the parents would never allow their children to compete for the inheritance. This wasn’t the case here because too much was on the line. An emperor would rule for several hundred years or even a thousand years. Letting a useless person being the emperor would weaken the dynasty, regardless of how strong it is.

Moreover, the taller the tree, the tougher the wind. The royal clan needed to pick the best descendant even if it meant that the rest would die during the competition.

If they couldn’t even defeat their own siblings, how could they suppress the officials and take down their enemies? How could they exert their reign on the world?

Thus, it was fine for the capital to be destroyed and for the royal clan to be damaged to an extent. As long as the new emperor was alive and capable, then the dynasty would be just fine. Picking a useless trash to be the emperor would mean destruction down the line.

Everyone wanted to be born in the royal family, unaware of how cruel it could be. For the sake of the dynasty, abandoning one’s own children was just fine.

She went on: “The Central Chief Attendant is in charge of the five. He grew up with Father and is the most loyal servant. The emperor is his everything. If the emperor were to die, then he would also commit suicide without any hesitation. If the emperor orders him to die, he would do it without batting an eye.”

“Can someone like that still be considered human?” Feiyun said.

“Of course not! He should be considered a shadow, a breath, or a footstep of the emperor. He doesn’t belong to himself. Everything of his is the emperor’s.” Luofu stressed.

To turn someone else into their shadow? Just how capable would a man like this be? Feiyun became more impressed with the emperor.

“However, do not look down on the Central Attendant. He’s extremely powerful. When I was still young enough to stay in the imperial palace, I saw him bring three heads to the emperor. I took note of these heads and drew it for Mother to see.”

“Her always-calm-and-collected self became startled after seeing the portraits and instantly burned them. She told me with a stern voice, never to reveal this to anyone or it would bring about a calamity. She vaguely said that they were big shots, belonging to the upper echelon of the four great clans.”

“From then on, I realized two things. First, Father wants to deal with the four clans. Second, this attendant is unreasonably strong, a dangerous blade used by the emperor. What the emperor isn’t in the position to do, he will get it done. He won’t hand over that seal unless I seize the throne first.”

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