Chapter Eight Hundred and Fourteen - Hostage
"He's crazy! He wants to pull us all down with him to the grave!" Xi Xuan Sect Leader's furious shriek echoed in the secret room. He almost could not believe that Zhong De had unexpectedly refused to ally with Tian Huan. He really could not imagine any reason that Zhong De would have!
Didn't he know that he would only live for two more years?
Or because he knew he would not be living for long, he wanted to have everyone die with him? This madman! Yes, this was definitely it!
The sect leader of Xi Xuan was filled with terror. This madman could do anything now. If he wanted everyone to die with him, then he would definitely do it!
The sect leader of Xi Xuan could not understand. But in his eyes, Zhong De was a madman, one that could do anything.
Originally, he had hid his strength and bided his time. All of the things he done, he did not conceal from Zhong De because he knew that Zhong De only had three years left to live. Xi Xuan would end up his in the end. Even if the Tian Huan envoys visited Zhong De first, he was displeased but he kept his calm.
Without Zhong De, Xi Xuan would immediately collapse.
What he was most worried about was not Zhong De's in power, but what would happen to Xi Xuan after Zhong De died? He was furiously searching for young talent. He hoped to find a successor to Zhong De. His fear of death gnawed at his soul day and night, and he woke up countless times from nightmares.
Suddenly, Tian Huan had caused him to see ten years of peace!
A whole ten years!
He did not have to live in fright all the time. Ten years! He would have enough time to slowly search and uncover new geniuses. Xi Xuan was a large sect, how could they not have geniuses? If he had enough time, he could do it.
At that time, he would be the true master of Xi Xuan, the true sect leader of Xi Xuan!
But this hope that came from the hope was smashed ruthlessly by Zhong De, that bloodthirsty madman.
"Sect Leader, this is a rare opportunity!" A confidant of the sect leader, Ban Xia, came forward and said, "Use the death of Mo Cloud Sea to buy ten years of peace for us, what is there to hesitate about? If we form the alliance, we can buy shen equipment from Tian Huan. Tian Huan and us will ally against Kun Lun, this is a true equilibrium of three powers."
Ban Xia was a true confidant who had grown up with him. He had gone to Ban Xia to plot and commit many schemes.
The sect leader said dispiritedly, "The madman will not agree, what is to be done? If we rebel, he will kill us!"
Ban Xia lowered his voice. "We cannot deal with him, but other people can."
"You mean?" The sect leader suddenly raised his head and said in a trembling voice.
"Since Zhong De is the biggest problem, then we will eliminate this problem!" Ban Xia's tone was dark as he made a cutting motion with a vicious expression. "Tian Huan's intentions are clear, they have finally acted. Mo Cloud Sea is their biggest enemy. For Mo Cloud Sea, they are willing to do anything."
"This ... ..." The sect leader's mind shook and his expression wavered.
"We can imply to Tian Huan, they will naturally think of a way. We only need to give them some secret aid. Once the head is cut off, Sect Leader can step forward to take control of the situation and it will stabilize." Ban Xia said gravely, "Also, we can push this onto Mo Cloud Sea."
It had to be said that Ban Xia's plan had a high possibility of success. If Tian Huan sent out a top expert, and with them working from inside, the possibility of success was high.
Hesitation flashed across the sect leader's face. "But if Zhong De is dead, what do we do if Kun Lun and Tian Huan go back on their word and attack us?"
A matter like this could not be written down. If this was leaked, he would be overthrown as sect leader! Also, Zhong De was one of his greatest bargaining chips. Tian Huan and Kun Lun were wary because of Zhong De's existence.
Once Zhong De was gone, Xi Xuan would become a piece of fat meat without any ability to defend itself. It was unknown if Tian Huan would hold to their previous agreement at that time. If Tian Huan did not abide by the agreement, then Xi Xuan would be in danger.
Ban Xia was also flummoxed by this problem. After some thought, his eyes suddenly lit up. "We can have Tian Huan's Li Xian Er be our hostage! Li Xian Er is the granddaughter of Tian Huan's sect leader, and the leader of the younger generation of disciples. She is equivalent to Kun Lun's Lin Qian. Tian Huan will definitely not allow anything to happen to Li Xian Er. If Tian Huan is willing to send us Li Xian Er as a hostage, it means that they are sincere."
The sect leader's expression eased. This was a good plan. But he thought of another problem. Shaking his head, he said, "Which of us can match Li Xian Er's strength? It is too dangerous to have someone like this be a hostage!"
Ban Xia was full of intelligence. He smiled and said, "Sect Leader, you forgot we have a wondrous place."
"What place?" The sect leader stilled.
"Fiend Abyss Jail!" Ban Xia said a term that had long been forgotten.
The sect leader's eyes suddenly lit up.
Receiving the message that the sect leader of Xi Xuan had secretly sent, the higher levels of Tian Huan were stuck in a dilemma.
Xi Xian's demand was simple. They wanted a hostage, and they wanted Li Xian Er. This was not something that they could decide. Li Xian Er was the granddaughter of the Sect Leader, and the most talented disciple of the younger generation. Her future was limitless and it was very likely that she would become the next sect leader.
This was not the only factor. Mu Shuang, one of the ten great battle generals and a significant person in the sect, and Gongye Xiao Rong who was also thought to possess top battle general level strength, opposed this fiercely.
This party could not be dismissed.
But there were those that agreed, for example, one of the ten great battle generals, Mi Nan.
Mi Nan was ranked third among the ten great battle generals, under only Xue Dong and Zhong De. He ranked even above Mu Shuang at seventh. He was one with real and great power in Tian Huan. Also, the Mi Family was a traditionally powerful family within Tian Huan. In almost every generation, they had someone in a position of power.
The Mi Family had a near monopoly on Tian Huan's materials business and was extremely wealthy. Due to this, the Mi Family wanted to kill Mo Cloud Sea more than everyone else. In these years as Mo Cloud Sea had risen, the Mi Family's business had suffered greatly.
Mi Nan was influential within Tian Huan. He was sixty eight this year, at the prime of his life. The battalion he led was the strongest battalion of Tian Huan, the only battalion with [Tian Huan] in the name, the [Heaven Fate Hoop]!
Mi Nan was extremely skilled and a group of able people gathered around him. He could be considered the sect major power inside Tian Huan.
The biggest faction in Tian Huan was, of course, the Tian Huan's Sect Leader's faction. The sect leader was peaceful in personality but fair in his conduct. Everyone respected him. Adding on that he had the support of the Chief Elder, a supreme existence, behind him, no one dared to oppose him.
Mu Shuang was one of the ten great battle generals, but the faction behind him was not as strong as Mi Nan's. Mu Shuang was usually concerned with battles, and didn't have any interest in the affairs of the sect.
Gongye Xiao Rong had influence among the disciples. While he was not as respected as he had been before he had been defeated by Gongsun Cha, he was still respected for struggling and returning from the deadly situation.
So when Mu Shuang and Gongye Xiao Rong were united in opposition, their voices could not be ignored.
The two sides fought fiercely.
Mi Nan's side thought that Xi Xuan would not dare to harm Li Xian Er. Li Xian Er would be a hostage but not in danger. If she could complete Tian Huan's alliance with Xi Xuan, Tian Huan would be in an undefeatable position. Otherwise, with Mo Cloud Sea competing with them in forging, and being weaker offensively than Kun Lun, Tian Huan's future was in danger."
The opposition claimed that Tian Huan had not reached the point that it needed to send a core member of the sect, like Li Xian Er, to act as hostage. It would be good to eliminate Mo Cloud Sea but there was no need to pay such a great price. Also, they thought that Tian Huan was stronger than Mo Cloud Sea and they should not fear competing with Mo Cloud Sea. Like right now, when Tian Huan moved, they had the upper hand. In terms of overall strength, Mo Cloud Sea wasn't on the same level as Tian Huan.
The two sides fought. Because it was concerning his granddaughter, the sect leader could not express an opinion. The chief elder who could make the decision was resting with his eyes closed in silence.
Suddenly, Li Xian Er stepped out and said calmly, "I am willing to go."
The hall immediately quieted.
Gongye Xiao Rong's expression was panicked. He was about to speak when Li Xian Er gave him a comforting expression.
"I'm willing to go. Actually, everyone knows that the risk is not high. Also, even if there is risk, I still think we should agree to Xi Xuan's demand. Because Mo Cloud Sea was more dangerous than Xi Xuan and filled with more life."
Li Xian Er's beautiful face was as calm as water. Her usual mischievousness had disappeared, and her voice echoed in the hall.
"I've seen Zuo Mo, I have interacted with them, I know how strong they are. An opponent like this should not be underestimated. This kind of chance is rare. If we can grab it, we can eliminate a great problem forever. Also, do not forget about Kun Lun."
"We all know that we are a level below Kun Lun in terms of offensive power. If we and Kun Lun are the only ones left, the ones to fall in the end will be us."
The hall was silent. Everyone was stunned by Li Xian Er's words. Mi Nan, Mu Shuang, and Gongye Xiao Rong did not have good expressions. What Li Xian Er was saying were things that people usually discussed in secret but no one had ever talked about it publicly.
"What is our advantage? Money! We are richer than Kun Lun! This is our greatest weapon. We should spread our money to buy and recruit other factions. We need allies. If we have to fight against Kun Lun, we need allies. Xi Xuan is the most suitable ally. They have vast territory, and a great population. Once Zhong De is eliminated, there will not be any person in control with any real power. They can only rely on us. We will provide them with shen equipment, with all kinds of fluff. They can outfit enough battalions to help us fight against Kun Lun. An enormous amount of cannon fodder. This is what Tian Huan needs. Also, Mo Cloud Sea's existence will only weaken us. We have to fight them for materials, for market share. This will make Tian Huan poor. Without money, we cannot recruit other factions. We will lose our greatest weapon, we will be in danger."
Li Xian Er's words were firm.
Chief Elder opened his eyes at this time and showed admiration. He slowly said, "All of you do not think as clearly as a little girl. After returning from this mission, you will become the next sect leader."
The chief elder announced his decision.
For those of you keeping track:
Battle General Ranking:
1st Xue Dong from Kun Lun
2nd Zhong De from Xi Xuan
3rd Mi Nan from Tian Huan
4th Gongsun Cha from Mo Cloud Sea
5th Yang Yuan Hao from Thunder Sound Temple
7th Mu Shuang from Tian Huan
8th Mu Xuan from Kun Lun
10th Bie Han from Mo Cloud Sea
Gongye Xiao Rong from Tian Huan
Gu Liang Dao from Gu Liang Dao Faction
Translator Ramblings: Tian Huan is in favor of the "smash your enemies to death with money" strategy.