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Chapter 54: The World
Deep into spring.
The processions of the Chu, Yan, and Qi dynasties were like three long dragons that left Deer Mountain and went into the wilderness to the rear of the mountain.
Many of the generals and cultivators of these three dynasties felt exceptionally humiliated. They knew that the three dynasties had arrived at different times, but had to leave together because any of the dynasty armies that had come alone would not be safe facing the Qin army alone.
This kind of humiliation was even greater to the Chu generals and officials gathered around the emperor of Chu’s imperial carriage. Nine years ago, they had been victors against the Qin. Now, the situation was completely reversed.
“Time and fate, it is not due to war. Fortune and woes are entwined and can turn into each other. Few can understand this.”
What worried these Chu officials the most was that the emperor of Chu had used up his last energies at Deer Mountain. Right now, even weak cultivators could feel that his body was like a lamp burning the last of its oil. Only the burning wick remained, giving off heat. So while the emperor of Chu was calmly speaking these words of comfort to his most trusted officials, in their ears, he was speaking his last words.
“The Yangshan Commandery originally belonged to them. Giving it back is not much. Giving Yuanwu this Deer Mountain is not much. In order to stop the Qin army from entering, at most we just have to station some armies directed at Deer Mountain. What is most important is harmony.”
Knowing that the people around him could not immediately walk out of Emperor Yuanwu’s shadow, the emperor of Chu smiled. After saying these words, he only kept the most important officials to the Chu Dynasty with him.
“From the previous assassination, I think you must know some things. You should know that I do not favor Consort Zhao Xiang only because of her beauty.”
His gaze landed on these important officials whose hairs were turning white and said gravely, “What I need you to do now is to unconditionally obey all her decisions, no matter what she does.”
Hearing such a sweeping imperial order, these four old officials that understood him greatly, stopped breathing.
“Take this as my last words.”
Yet, before they could speak, the emperor of Chu looked at them and continued to speak softly, “Since these are my last orders, you should know just how much thought and consideration I have put into it. You do not have to worry, or ask more questions. I just need you to carefully remember it. No matter how incorrect you feel something is, act according to my words.”
The four officials understood the significance of his words, knelt down to accept their order.
The emperor of Chu bowed slightly as the carriage continued to advance.
A young cultivator was summoned alone in front of his carriage. Even the old officials that the emperor of Chu trusted the most only knew that this young cultivator was called Li Yunrui. He had been one of the personal bodyguards of the emperor of Chu in recent years.
When this young cultivator came in front of the emperor of Chu’s carriage alone, the countless bronze sparrow seals on the bronze carriage started to glow. These sparrows appeared as if they were about to take flight, pulling along this carriage, towards the ethereal towers in the sky.
Under the light, this young cultivator’s expression was extremely calm and solemn. He knew that the light this bronze carriage gave off right now was to stop anyone from eavesdropping, and also to make the emperor of Chu or any other person to disappear from this place. He knew that there was an extremely important order, one that may even cost his life, waiting for him. He did not speak, and solemnly waited.
“Do not let anyone know of this matter today, including Consort Zhao Xiang and the future emperor of Chu.” As he spoke first amidst the dancing bronze light, the emperor of Chu looked at him gently and apologetically.
Li Yunrui took a deep breath and nodded to show his acknowledgement.
“You will depart for Changling now. There is a Changling youth who followed Fu Su into Wu Mountain. Previously, they followed Forefather Zhou. With your abilities, it would not be hard to find who this person is.” He looked at the other with approval. “Give what I previously gave to you to protect to him.”
When he was told that Consort Zhao Xiang could not be allowed to know of this matter, Li Yunrui had grasped the gravity of the situation but hadn’t shown any shock or puzzlement. Yet, when these words fell, Li Yunrui froze slightly and wanted to voice his query.
However, the emperor of Chu seemed to have read his mind, shaking his head he said, “Do not be worried about anything. You just have to give that item to him.”
Li Yunrui took a deep breath and nodded.
“After my death, only you and that Changling youth will know of this.”
The emperor of Chu still seemed worried. He spoke slowly, but with magnitude. “You cannot allow anyone else to know of this matter. If possible, you cannot let them learn you went to Changling.”
Li Yunrui took a deep breath, but still felt he could not breathe. He felt his body growing heavy. But, in the next moment, countless light spun around him into the air. His body disappeared quickly from in front of the emperor of Chu’s carriage as the lights flew upwards.
The emperor of Chu nodded slightly as he looked silently at the lights that disappeared into the white clouds. He hoped that his guess and intuition was correct without any problems.
Li Yunrui’s body passed through the chaotic primal energies of the universe like a leaf in the turbulent wind. After a dozen breaths, he landed in the forest far away where he could not see the Chu Dynasty’s army.
There were still faint lights circling his body so his body was light and no presence was exposed. Looking around his location, he knelt down in the direction of Chu. Then, kowtowed deeply several times.
Tears streamed down his eyes.
For he knew that hence on, he would never see this admirable emperor again.
In the procession of the Qi Dynasty, there were still eight large men in chainmail carrying that tomb-like black sedan.
Inside this large sedan made with yin jade as brick and bright pearls on the roof, there still were two purple-black wooden chairs in the center.
The emperor of Qi was still sitting in one of the wooden chairs.
Sitting in the wooden chair opposite him was Yan Ying who had changed into new clothes. His eyes were tightly shut. While his vitality had disappeared, his expression was normal as though he was just sleeping.
“Anything, once it reaches a peak, will naturally decline. When the fire is too strong, it cannot last long.”
“Prospect Teacher, this is something you told me.”
“I truly think of you as my teacher, but you feel that I do not qualify to be your student. So I can only call you Prospect Teacher.”
“Based on what you told me, Yuanwu’s victory today is a good thing?”
“He is so strong, he intimidates three dynasties. This must be his strongest moment. If not for this, I think that us three dynasties will not ally against the Qin Dynasty and would be defeated one by one. So how will he decline from his peak? Without you at my side, I do not have much confidence …”
After mumbling all this, the emperor of Qi looked fawningly at Yan Ying and said seriously, “Prospect Teacher, see, I have followed your words and will take your body back to your student, completely whole. You will not suddenly scare me somehow?”
After he said this, the emperor of Qi waited silently.
After a long moment, he sighed. “Prospect Teacher, it appears you have truly left me… without you, I really feel this is dull …”
His sigh was light and echoed through this black sedan.
The atmosphere of the Yan Dynasty was the most depressed.
Because, when they left Deer Mountain, the emperor of Yan’s expression had been the most ugly and furious. Even when he entered his imperial carriage, his eyes burned with unusual fury.
No order had come out from the imperial carriage.
The officials of the Yan Dynasty all thought that the emperor of Yan’s anger had not dissipated.
No one would have never thought that, behind the heavy curtains of the imperial carriage, the emperor of Yan’s eyes showed no fury, and not even much grief.
The half-fish half-bird spirit beast flew high in the sky.
Ding Ning and Fu Su sat together, watching as Deer Mountain and Wu Mountain rapidly disappeared from their sight.
All the enemies had departed, but Emperor Yuanwu was still at the top of Deer Mountain.
All by himself, he stood by the cliff and allowed the mountain wind to blow at his dragon robe and hair.
Few would think that Emperor Yuanwu was waiting for someone to appear.
In Emperor Yuanwu’s mind, there was another person who was the unpredictable factor. Yet, that factor had not appeared. He had won, and won absolutely.
What might have been the likeliest to kill him had not appeared … that person had completely disappeared. Even if the Nine Death Silkworm had appeared, maybe it had nothing to do with him.
Carrier pigeons and hawks flew through the air, spreading the results of the Deer Mountain Conference in all directions and to the entire world.
Looking at the threads of white clouds in the sky, Emperor Yuanwu thought, that person would never appear.
This world, starting now, belongs to this Lonely One.
Translator Ramblings: This chapter really develops the other three emperors in character. Pity one of them is close to death …