This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 50: Emperor Assassination
“This Lonely One wants that mountain. This Lonely One wants that mountain.”
Emperor Yuanwu’s voice was very calm, but as his voice echoed through the mountains, carried by the wild wind, it seemed to roar in everyone’s souls.
That mountain, to the Qin lands, was behind Deer Mountain. He wanted that mountain, naturally it included Deer Mountain as well.
Deer Mountain was to the side of Wu Mountain, a point of intersection to the various dynasties. If this place were to belong to the Qin, this was akin to the Qin expanding a hundred miles on this side of the border. Even the Wu Mountain area would land under the control of the Qin Dynasty.
Especially when this place was an immanent strategic point. As such, if a garrison were deployed on the mountains, they could attack or retreat at will, like a dagger that could stab into the other territories at any moment.
Yet, few on the peak of Deer Mountain had time to ponder over Emperor Yuanwu’s ambitions and the profound significance if this place were to belong to the Qin. For their eyes were still fixed on the flattened mountain, reeling in the aftermath of the power they had just witnessed.
At times, one person’s cultivation and strength was insufficient to determine several things, yet, when one person’s cultivation and power was strong to a certain degree, all schemes were rendered meaningless.
How far was Emperor Yuanwu from the Emperor You of the past?
How many realm sevens were needed to kill him?
This was what many around Deer Mountain were considering at this time. And Ding Ning was one such.
With a pale face, he fixated on the flattened mountain. His cultivation was far lesser than the majority of cultivators near Deer Mountain. He could not perceive some of the weaker energy vibrations during battle. But Emperor Yuanwu’s last blow was to the extreme, so he had felt it clearly.
In his eyes, Emperor Yuanwu’s cultivation was no surprise, albeit only a minor level higher than he had expected.
So he had not just entered realm eight, but was already realm eight second class!
Realm eight second class was invincible cultivation.
Your cultivation and the power of that strike does not completely come from you. Since you have chosen a path as such to cultivate such a sword, then there exists a possibility that I can defeat you in the future. Looking at the mountain flattened by one sword swing, Ding Ning thought within.
There were no more lights falling from the sky. The dragon eyes on Emperor Yuanwu’s dragon robe were dim.
The sky also dimmed. After being twisted by the terrifying primal energies, the clouds turned grey-black and then rain started to fall.
These sorrowful cries came from the Qi spectators.
While Emperor Chen of Han had completely disappeared, he did not originally belong to the Chu Dynasty. So the Chu people did not have many feelings towards him. Yan Ying was different. He usually was not present, but he had been the strongest grandmaster of the Qi Dynasty. The cultivators who knew of him and his deeds respected him greatly.
The power in his body had been taken away by Emperor Yuanwu’s blow, and his body had been bisected, unable to even move. But his perception had not dissipated. This saddened the people of Qi even further.
The emperor of Qi had a snow-white face. Looking at Yan Ying’s figure, his thoughts drifted back to Yan Ying’s words on their way here. He took a deep breath, about to order people to preserve Yan Ying’s body well, so it could be transported back to the Qi.
But at this time, a faint thread of black smoke floated out of Yan Ying’s body.
All the people on the peak of Deer Mountain stopped breathing.
While they did not understand Yan Ying’s secret arts, everybody could sense that when this black smoke floated out of Yan Ying’s body, the last thread of humanity left Yan Ying’s body which seemed to have become two pieces of cold and hard dead wood.
Was the last bit of *yin energy formed by Yan Ying’s perception?*
Was this the last move the Qi grandmaster left behind in the world? What did he want to do?
All those present looked closely at this faint thread of smoke, afraid of missing any detail.
But this thread of black smoke did not dissipate. It went along the wild wind and floated towards the flattened mountain peak. Even before it reached that mountain peak, this black smoke took shape a small black infant, and an even thinner stream of smoke floated out of its lower half.
From a distance, it looked like a small black infant peeing on the flattened peak.
For a long moment, the plaintive voices of the people of Qi remained silent, and almost every face from the Qin side evinced anger.
That had all comprehended Yan Ying’s meaning.
What was the use in being so strong?
I still am fearless and look down upon you.
A thread of anger also appeared in Emperor Yuanwu’s eyes, but in the next moment, his gaze became absolutely cold and emotionless.
That black infant dissipated in the wind.
Li Caitian had died.
Emperor Chen of Han had died.
Yan Ying had died.
The world lost three grandmasters.
The three who could threaten him, had all died.
“If you want nine more years of peace, then agree to this Lonely One’s request.” Emperor Yuanwu turned coldly to look first at the emperor of Chu and spoke coldly.
At this time, the Qin had tens of thousands of troops stationed in Yangshan Commandery. They could invade the Chu lands at any moment, conquering the Chu capital. So, he asked the emperor of Chu first.
There were several more wrinkles on the emperor of Chu’s face. Unexpectedly, he did not look at Emperor Yuanwu with much anger. “Exchanging this place for nine years of peace is not an outrageous request.”
Li Lingjun stared in disbelief at the emperor of Chu. He felt that the emperor of Chu would at least consider the Qi and Yan. He had not expected for him to immediately agree.
He had stayed in Changling for a long time. He knew the great humiliation the brave Qin had felt after Yangshan Commandery had been wrested from their grasp, and how much they valued the land. For the Qin, it was easy to give them such a place. But it would not be as simple to claim it back.
The emperor of Yan narrowed his eyes and looked towards the emperor of Qi at his side.
The emperor of Qi was silent for a moment and said, “I have no objections. You decide.”
The emperor of Yan lowered his eyes slightly and said, “If so, then we will meet again on that mountain in nine years.”
This was confirmed?
Other than these four emperors, all those on the mountain almost shook in unison.
They all understood the emperor of Yan’s meaning. They had made an agreement to not invade for nine years. They would have a conference in nine years, but the location of the conference would not be Deer Mountain, but that flattened mountain. None of them had imagined that the three emperors would be so brisk and their opinions so similar.
This conference was ending so simply?
With this pact, the Qin reclaimed Yangshan Commandery, as well as pocketed the area around Wu Mountain. They had established a tactical fortress that could, at any instance, marshal troops towards the three dynasties and infiltrate a hundred miles into the foreign lands.
The Wu Mountain area was equivalent to building an enormous and steep wall for the Qin Dynasty. The benefits of this unprecedented conference were such that not even the blood of millions of Qin swordsmen could deliver such a finale.
Despite his opponents’ concurrence, Emperor Yuanwu did not show much joy. An imperceptible hint of disdain appeared at the corner of his lips. To him, these were just material things.
Since ancient times, the power of agreements stemmed from reputation and trust, and not military force.
When one of the parties to an agreement had outstanding power and could easily break the agreement, it would still lead to many unpredictable consequences. Reputation and trust seemed intangible and ethereal at ordinary times, but sometimes, in a battle, it could be the deciding factor.
For instance the battles between small tribes; oft-times those that were united against their enemy won.
In the world of cultivators, the result of ignoring reputation and trust would make enemies that one could not imagine.
Emperor Yuanwu was well aware of this. His stance was not because he felt he could ignore the agreement, but in disdain for the hypocritical actions of these three emperors.
Rain descended in a strange rhythm. The three emperors were starting to leave after the agreement was made, and there were ceremonial officials who were responsible for the dignified and complicated procedures that were to follow.
Emperor Yuanwu stood motionlessly. He looked with slight disdain across Deer Mountain. The armies and cultivators of the Yan, Chu and Qi were still unmoving.
Having used his own strategy and peerless cultivation to force the three dynasties into such an agreement, Emperor Yuanwu was at the strongest point in his life. But he had used up all of his vital energy, and this was also his weakest moment.
The disdain in his eyes grew, turning into an unspeakable pride and mirth.
As his mirth spread, he looked at the surrounding mountains and shouted scornfully. “Since you have come at this time to kill me, why hide! When have the people of Ba Mountain Sword Field been so cowardly!”
As he shouted, many at the peak of Deer Mountain shook. They sensed something and turned to look at a mountain.
The rain falling through the air suddenly grew heavier. Emperor Yuanwu’s golden dragons on his robe looked dimmer.
An exceptionally sharp and enormous presence charged into the air from the mountain everyone was looking at.
A bolt of lightning lit up the sky.
This lightning did not go from the sky to the ground, but from the ground to the sky. When they discovered the abnormality, many at the peak of Deer Mountain realized that this was a sword light.
Ba Mountain Sword Field!
These four words that Emperor Yuanwu hollered and the sword light caused many people’s blood to freeze. Their ears even rang out.
But the surprises did not stop. An exceptionally violent presence exploded from another mountain, a figure flew up, off the mountain, and dove towards Emperor Yuanwu with the presence of a meteor. All of the raindrops in the sky were attracted to this person, as though this was the immortal who caused the rains in legend!
Two grandmasters who had taken over two different peaks revealed their killing intent at the same time, their target the weak Emperor Yuanwu.
Some people’s hearts beat like drums. They finally understood why the three emperors had reached an agreement so easily, and that Emperor Chen of Han and Yan Ying were just the prelude to this astounding assassination.
But this was not the end!
The moment that figure flew into the air, another sky-piercing presence rose terrifyingly from another mountain.
A mad, and almost oceanic killing intent swept towards Emperor Yuanwu!
Translator Ramblings: Yan Ying might be the most amusing character in the story up until now.
Also, courtesy of larkspur motivating me, there’s now a table of contents page.