But how could that be easy? That elite army’s commander was a reputed general of the Dou Ling Empire, and though he had turned his army around when he received accurate intelligence, he didn’t return to Dou Ling City immediately, but temporarily stationed himself in a large southern city after entering the Dou Ling Empire’s territory. On the surface, they claimed that they wouldn’t participate in a conflict within the royal family, and that they’d only accept the most outstanding member of the royal family to command them.
They were clearly trying to wait out the conflict to extract any profits that were left over. If the general had some royal blood running in his veins, perhaps the situation would have been worse.
Xu Sanshi was like a roasted pork on a spit under such circumstances, and the situation that he was facing was extremely difficult.
Two of the imperial family’s clans in the north had already started rebellions in the name of assisting the emperor. The Dou Ling Empire’s inner territories were empty in the first place, so these two armies began pushing toward Dou Ling City as soon as was possible. One army began committing unspeakable misdeeds as they started killing and pillaging along the way. They murdered, stole, and robbed continuously to strengthen themselves.
Xu Sanshi’s army on this side wasn’t small, but because Dou Ling City’s elites had been mobilized away before this, only normal soldiers were left in the city. Their fighting strength could only match one of those rebelling armies, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the kind of pressure that Xu Sanshi was under when both armies began pushing against him at the same time.
Xu Sanshi would never hold onto his throne unreasonably, but he wouldn’t give it away just like that. If he handed the throne over to someone incapable or to the wrong hands, that would spell a calamitous disaster for the entire Dou Ling Empire.
Fortunately, the Sun Moon Empire hadn’t launched any invasions against the Dou Ling Empire over the past month. Otherwise, their situation could be a lot worse.
Xu Sanshi had limited strength under his control, and he didn’t have a good solution under such circumstances.
He had displayed excellent capability when he first gained authority over Dou Ling City, and he swiftly handled the situation. However, he didn’t have enough reputation or influence to control the entire empire. He didn’t share the same surname as the royal family after all, and he wasn’t a true heir to the throne.
His family didn’t come forward to help him, and that was something he hadn’t expected. Only his mother was here, who was a princess of the Dou Ling Empire.
Xu Sanshi’s father had declined to come forward to help him because he didn’t view the Dou Ling Empire’s predicament very optimistically. Further, he couldn’t risk his entire family. He was the leader of his family, so he had to consider his family’s wellbeing.
Xu Sanshi had trouble both from the inside and the outside, so how could he not be flustered? But what could he do? He could deploy some soldiers to fight those two armies who were rebelling against him, but that would only result in his army’s obliteration. The only thing he could do was to give the order for the citizens and civilians who had suffered to evacuate. At the same time, he gave the order to establish a defensive perimeter with Dou Ling City in the center as quickly as possible. He had to defend himself against the two royal family’s rebelling armies before he could negotiate with the Dou Ling Empire’s elite army.
Even though that elite army was sitting it out, the empire’s subjects didn’t give them any more trouble. There was a reason for them to sit this out, because the royal family was gone, and the last remaining few who had royal blood weren’t even directly related.
Xu Sanshi’s bloodline was considered the purest, but his surname was Xu, not Xue, which was the royal family’s surname. That became a big problem. Therefore, whoever was most outstanding would inherit the highest authority under such circumstances. What the Dou Ling Empire needed right now was an excellent leader.
The elite army’s commander was testing Xu Sanshi and those two rebelling armies. Whoever emerged victorious in their conflict meant that person was strong enough to inherit the throne.
The elite army’s location was strategically important, and they swiftly established a defensive perimeter along the borders to prepare against the Sun Moon Empire’s invasion, which could come at any time. Therefore, nobody blamed those commanders and generals even though they didn’t heed Xu Sanshi’s mobilization orders. Those generals and commanders weren’t wrong in the eyes of many of the empire’s subjects.
Xu Sanshi did consider getting himself out of this mess and leaving, but could he really walk away like that? The two royal family’s rebelling armies were definitely inadequate heirs, and the royal family’s blood ran in Xu Sanshi’s veins after all! He didn’t want to see the Dou Ling Empire ruined at the Sun Moon Empire’s hands just like that.
Therefore, he decided to hold on after discussing it with his mother. Even if he had to leave in the future, he had to make sure that the empire’s internal affairs were stabilized before anything else.
Now, Xu Sanshi had dealt with all kinds of administrative matters, and even though he was a Soul Douluo, he still felt spent and fatigued. His civil and military officials were gone, and the royal palace’s hall immediately became as empty as ever.
“Those two fellows shouldn’t have any powerful individuals around them. Why don’t we conduct an assassination operation? We’ll solve all our problems if we kill them both.” Nan Qiuqiu clenched her fists as she suggested to Xu Sanshi.
Nan Qiuqiu had felt extremely stifled over the past few days. Everything went relatively well in the beginning, but ever since the empire’s elite army refused to reinforce the empire’s capital city, and ever since those three forces began vying for the throne, Xu Sanshi’s side had been at a disadvantage. Even Dou Ling City’s civil and military officials’ attitudes were starting to change.
Xu Sanshi shook his head and said, “The Dou Ling royal family blood is already gone. We cannot cause anymore bloodshed. I’m not that keen on protecting my position, but I don’t think that they can do this any better than I can. The empire is in danger, yet they’ve chosen to start a rebellion for the throne at a time like this. They are extremely short-sighted, and they will definitely not make excellent rulers.”
Nan Qiuqiu snapped, “Then what should we do? Do we have to wait until their soldiers arrive at our gates? If we don’t kill them, uncountable innocents will die in war. Have you not heard? Several thousand soldiers defending their city have been massacred. Why should we keep people like that alive?”
Xu Sanshi glanced at Nan Qiuqiu and replied, “Assassination isn’t that easy to accomplish. Those two fellows have dared to start a rebellion, and that means they must have at least one Titled Douluo supporting them. Otherwise, what would they have to fight for the throne? The elite army and the Dou Ling Empire’s formidable individuals are all sitting it out near the borders, and if we make a brash move and we fail, our position will deteriorate.”
Ye Guyi muttered under her breath, “If only Yuhao were here. I really didn’t expect him to become so powerful. He challenged the Sun Moon Empire in a one-versus-ten battle, and he only used seven rounds to force the Sun Moon Empire’s army to retreat. The academy has given him a title: Eye of the Asura, the Spirit Ice Douluo. Wutong has also been titled as the Dragon Butterfly Douluo.”
Xu Sanshi heaved a sigh and said, “There’s too much weight on Yuhao’s shoulders. Eldest senior brother has told us that Wutong was heavily injured to save him, and little junior brother has disappeared with her to get her treated. We can only rely on ourselves at a time like this. Let’s just wait for a little while more. The Tang Sect Soul Engineer Legion is on the way, as long as they can reach us in time, all our problems will be resolved.”
“You’re still too soft, Sanshi.” A gentle voice rang out in this moment, and a tall and slender middle-aged lady walked out from behind him.
She was wearing a luxurious dress. Even though she wasn’t so young anymore, she still had her charms and elegance. She also looked quite similar to Xu Sanshi.
Yes, she was Xu Sanshi’s mother, and also the Dou Ling Empire’s princess, Xue Lingxun.
“Mother, why are you outside? Are you feeling better?” Xue Lingxun had arrived in Dou Ling City not too long ago, and when she witnessed the Dou Ling Empire’s royal palace in a pile of dust and rubble while her relatives were all dead and gone, she fainted from her grief. She only started feeling a little better over the past few days.
Xu Sanshi had asked for his mother to direct things, but judging from the situation, he had no choice but to take the lead himself.
“Son, any fight for the throne will always be cruel and brutal. This is no longer a problem of how important your bloodlines are at a time like this. Those two fellows who are rebelling in the royal palace’s troubling times have very thin royal blood in their veins, and the fact that they can react so quickly means that they’ve already had this idea for a long time. What you need to do in a situation like this is to eradicate all your problems when they first appear as quickly as possible. This girl is right. Your weakness will cause more people to die. If you can accomplish it, you have to take down their leaders and win over their soldiers. You have to stabilize and gain authority over the empire’s internal affairs as quickly as possible, and only then will the Dou Ling Empire have a chance at survival.”
“I’ve already met the minister. If you’re unwilling to change your surname, that’s up to you. But for the Dou Ling Empire, for your mother, I ask that Nannan and you let the Xue family adopt your first son in the future so that he can take over the royal throne. Is that alright? As long as you agree, the capital city’s subjects and officials will fully support you to fight against those two traitors.”
“Uh…” Xue Lingxun’s sudden suggestion stunned Xu Sanshi, while Jiang Nannan blushed from embarrassment.
Xue Lingxun did like her future daughter-in-law quite a lot, but Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan weren’t officially married yet. Her comment breached the topic of having a child, so how could she not feel embarrassed?
Xu Sanshi glanced at Jiang Nannan subconsciously, and Xue Lingxun turned around to face her at the same time. Her eyes instantly turned red, and she actually went down on her knees toward Jiang Nannan.
Jiang Nannan was a Soul Douluo! She reacted once she realized that something wasn’t right, and she took a quick step forward as she supported Xue Lingxun. Jiang Nannan applied strength with her soft and malleable waist as she helped Xue Lingxun back on her feet.
“What are you doing, aunt?” Jiang Nannan began to sweat on her forehead.
Xue Lingxun sniffled and she said, “Please take my kowtow, child. I am doing this for the Dou Ling Empire’s millions of citizens, and I’m doing this for the future of the Dou Ling Empire’s royal family. I am begging you as the Dou Ling Empire’s princess.”
“I promise you, aunt. Please don’t cry.” Jiang Nannan had a kind heart, so how could she reject her in such a situation?
Xue Lingxun was overjoyed as she grasped Jiang Nannan’s hands tightly. “You’re such a good child. Thank you.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter