Chapter 314 - The Alliance’s Decision-Makers

“Ah, the atmosphere feels especially sour. Are young couples not allowed to have a good relationship? Ah, I forgot, that disappointing daughter-in-law of yours abandoned your son for my righteous brother. It’s normal that you’re not used to seeing a couple having a good relationship.” Mei Ying could not help but to taunt when he heard someone insulting Rong Yuan.

Those who knew about the issue between Mao Dingling and Rong Yuan all shut their mouths. Although Rong Yuan had been in the limelight for the past few years and was considered to be the undisputed leader of the younger generation, Mao Dingling was a Demigod. Strictly speaking, those who could enter into the top ranks of the Alliance were basically all Demigods at minimum. The only exception was Rong Yuan, who had managed to become one of the commanders though he was just a peak level Martial Sage.

Faced with such a situation, some were supportive, but some disapproved as well. For various reasons, Mao Dingling did not approve of the Alliance’s support for Rong Yuan. He would always pick at Rong Yuan at every chance. Now that everyone else except Rong Yuan had gathered, how could he pass on this chance? However, he did not expect Mei Ying to embarrass him so thoroughly and rub salt into his wounds. His face turned green as he immediately stood up.

“Old man, are you asking for a fight?”

“If you want to fight, then let’s fight. Who’s scared of you?” Mei Ying dug his ears as he stood up nonchalantly. By his side, Su Ruo stood up as well and glared at Mao Dingling. It was clear that she would act together.

Mao Dingling stiffened. He suddenly remembered that this pair of husband and wife always attacked and retreated together. It did not matter if it was a solo fight or a group fight, they would always disregard their Demigod status and fight together. Mao Dingling had a fighting chance against Mei Ying alone, however if Su Ruo were to be included, he would just be asking for a beating. Hence, he could only snort in response, “Does a simple challenge really require both husband and wife to fight together? Are you scared of losing to me?”

Mei Ying rolled his eyes at Mao Dingling, “Do you think I am as stupid as you? I can obviously beat you with ease in a team fight, so why would I make things difficult for myself and engage in a solo fight with you?”

“You…” Mao Dingling was speechless at Mei Ying’s thick-skinned response. “You are a Demigod, yet you don’t carry the bearing of one at all. This is, is…”

“This is outrageous!” A calm and majestic voice sounded out just as Mao Dingling was still thinking of how to belittle Mei Ying.

Mao Dingling and Mei Ying were both taken aback as the expressions on the faces turned respectful. Everyone else had the same reactions as well, as they looked with admiration at the person who walked calmly into the conference room.

It was a man about 30 years old, with a calm and restrained temperament. He was handsome with a tough body that exuded strength with every movement of his. He was Lord Fashen, the person publicly acknowledged as the strongest Martial Artist in Tianyuan Continent.

He had been called Lord Fashen for such a long time, that people had gradually forgotten his real name. Those who still remembered would always use honorifics. After the war started, Lord Fashen who had been in closed-door cultivation, also reappeared in public. The moment he appeared, he heavily injured two of the Empire’s Demigods thereby successfully closing the gap in the number of powerful Martial Artists between the two sides. This enabled the Alliance to stop being passive.

However, as someone considered to be reclusive, he usually appeared only when a serious event had occurred. Was he already aware of the Empire’s schemes? He had a clear grasp of the current events despite being in closed-door cultivation, he was Tianyuan Continent’s strongest indeed!

When he heard that Lord Fashen’s first words were a rebuke, Mao Dingling regained his senses and stood upright, “Lord Fashen is right, as a Demigod, you don’t have the bearing of one all. Instead, you act like the common gangster who rely on numbers. It is…”

“I was referring to you, not him.” Lord Fashen glanced over at Mao Dingling, then took a seat at the highest position. He nodded at Mei Ying, “What’s outrageous is not utilising your advantages when you can. When fighting someone much stronger than you, are you going to disregard any helpers you have and fight alone just to maintain your reputation? That is not called having the bearing of an expert, it is called being stupid!”

Mao Dingling was shocked. He started to reflect if he was really the one at fault. However, no matter how he thought, he did not find anything wrong with what he said. As a Martial Artist, should one not focus on their own personal strength? Despite that, Lord Fashen’s words had some truth to it as well. Instantly, Mao Dingling’s personal worldviews were thrown into chaos.

Several other people present also started to reflect on themselves. To Martial Artists, was one’s personal strength more important, or were external factors more important?

Lord Fashen coughed lightly, “Let us start on the important matters. I’m sure that everyone has already heard about the rumors. What are your thoughts?”

“Obviously we should chase out the Empire’s troops from our lands!” A Demigod with a bad temper shouted.

“Ah? How do we chase them out?” Lord Fashen tilted his head as though he was truly interested in listening.

That Demigod, Wang Hongliang, was instantly taken by Lord Fashen’s attentiveness to his suggestion.

“It is said that the North Qiu Kingdom’s Crown Prince, Pan Wen, is leading the troops this time. He is just a playboy who doesn’t amount to anything. While the Empire is unaware about this news leak, we can just send a few Demigods to assassinate Pan Wen directly. The Empire’s army will naturally descend into chaos. With the combined strength of the Alliance, we can then eradicate their army!”

“Brother Wang said it well! The Sangna Kingdom and a few other countries have been harbouring wicked intentions and have been hiding amongst the Alliance for so many years. There is no telling how many times they have put us in a disadvantage, we definitely cannot let them off easily! We have to let them know that betraying the Alliance is the worst decision they have ever made!”

Lord Fashen smirked as he silently listened to the discussion that supported Wang Hongliang’s suggestion. When everyone had more or less said what was on their minds, he then spoke up slowly, “Do you all really think that the North Qiu Kingdom would make such a move without sending some Demigods for protection?”

Everyone was stunned. A few moments later, someone suggested hopefully, “Perhaps they believe that victory is already theirs and did not send out many Demigods?”

Lord Fashen did not respond to him and instead, looked towards Rong Huashang, who had been silent the whole time, “Your Highness, convey your news to them.”

“Yes, Lord Fashen.” Rong Huashang answered respectfully. She looked to be about forty years old, yet she did not seem to be old at all. Her eyebrows carried the trace of the age, but it held a certain attraction to it. She embodied her name, exquisite and dignified. She was the Xia Kingdom’s Royal Family’s Demigod. Going by seniority, Rong Yuan would probably have to call her ‘Grand-aunt’.

“According to the information I have on hand, the army that has entered our borders has no trace of any Demigods. However, on the Empire’s eastern side, several tyrannical Divine Senses have swept over the area before. Pan Wen also has protective treasures that were given to him by Demigods. If we cannot capture him within a few moves, I’m afraid it won’t be very beneficial to us.”

“Furthermore, the Sangna Kingdom has lurked within the Alliance for such a long time. They already have a clear understanding of the strength of the Alliance. In addition, they also have troops from the Minglan and Muji Kingdom. If the Alliance were to face them on the eastern borders now, we would be unable to resist them at all. We can only wait for them to attack. Even if we were to send out a few Demigods, they would only be intercepted by the Demigods on their side. There would be almost no impact on the war at all. Also…”

The more Rong Huashang said, the further the faces of everyone present fell. By the time she had finally stopped talking, everyone’s faces were as black as thunder.

They had no way to guess how long the Empire had spent preparing for this fight for them to be this well-prepared. Were they completely helpless to do anything? If they really were to lose the territory on the eastern front, the Alliance’s defeat was assured. After many years of maintaining an unstable balance, the scales of power were going to tip towards the Empire in one swoop.

“Princess Rong, where did you obtain this information from? It seems very precise, but can we trust this source?” Because Rong Huashang had never married, she was still addressed as “Princess”.

“Since I dared to share this information, I have full confidence that it is reliable,” Rong Huashang replied, meeting the questioner’s gaze. Her voice was filled with pride towards her own family’s juniors as she continued, “This information was obtained by our Rong Yuan and his wife, who had risked infiltrating enemy ranks because they noticed something. How could it be false?”

Rong Huashang further stared scornfully at Mao Dingling, commenting, “My grand-nephew is pragmatic and speaks with his actions, unlike somebody who only knows how to use his mouth.”

Hearing this, Mei Ying laughed derisively and added, “Exactly! My brother isn’t like somebody who just uses his status to strut around but doesn’t do anything useful. Pft, and this person still has such a thick skin.”

Mei Ying’s remark was clearly unreserved, and it caused Mao Dingling’s face to flush a deep red. Those who supported Rong Yuan laughed at this.

Mao Dingling wanted to retort but was at a loss for words. In the end, he could only pick at Rong Huashang’s words, questioning, “Just because Rong Yuan brought back the news doesn’t mean we should accept it so easily. Who knows, the Empire has many schemes and preparations, how could it be so easy for anyone to find out their true intentions? Even we have only recently found out about their movements. Also, what’s the point of saying it now? Don’t we know what the Empire is plotting?”

In the face of this twisted logic, Rong Huashang could only sneer at him with sympathy. “If it wasn’t for Rong Yuan, where do you think this information might have come from?”

“Of course from spies…” Mao Dingling began, but choked on his words. Thinking for a moment, he realized that there were no spies who had actually reported anything of the sort. It had started spreading out of nowhere, and it seemed that Rong Yuan was indeed at the source of it.

Hearing this, everyone looked at Rong Huashang with disbelief. Was Rong Yuan really the one responsible for the information? If that were the case, why did he not inform them covertly, but made it known to the whole world? Was it really wise to let the Empire know that its intelligence had been compromised?

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