AGM 214 - Brothers
News of Mo Qingcheng attracting the attention and favor of an external transcendent power soon spread around Chu. However, the majority of the people cared more for the tussle over authority between the Royal Clan and Qin Rebels. After all, this matter was closer to their lives and had a greater impact to them.
The Qin Rebel troops ran rampant outside the city gates, madly attacking the Royal Capital. Chu Kuo led troops to defend, a role that entailed a strenuous amount of effort on his part, and he was barely managing to hold on.
However, Chu Tianjiao didn't appear to be nervous in the slightest. That day, he stood atop the highest vantage point of the Royal Capital, as he cast his gaze over the horizon. Back then, he also stood in the same spot to welcome the experts from the Nine Mystical Palace. Yet, those from the Nine Mystical Palace had actually passed an order that shook the foundations of his great Chu. In the end, the Chu's Ancestor had died. Even though Diyi was caught and imprisoned, the gain was not worth the loss, and they were unable to mitigate the after-effects of Chu's Ancestor's death.
The Chu's Ancestor was the country's pillar of strength, its foundation, its support. It was beyond imagination how great the impact his death had caused.
However, Chu, who was under the administration of the Nine Mystical Palace, hadn't enough courage to pin the blame on them. Not only that, as a result of this chaotic time of danger, the Royal Clan once again sent out a request for help to the Nine Mystical Palace. After all, they knew that the Nine Mystical Palace had also sent several experts over to the Dark Forest.
Over the horizon, Chu Tianjiao witnessed several experts leisurely flying over, and a hint of glee flickered within his eyes. He knew that with the support of the Nine Mystical Palace, in addition to their hidden trump card, this war with the Qin Rebels would definitely end with their deaths.
"Brother Luo, it has been many moons since we last met, your radiance shines even brighter compared to before."
Chu Tianjiao's gaze landed onto a youth. The youth had an extraordinary bearing, looking like he was one of heaven's chosen. Yet his countenance was icy-cold, giving off a chilly aura, capable of freezing a person's heart. This young man, was none other than Luo Qianqiu.
Luo Qianqiu had returned to Chu. His aura had somehow changed; it was no longer as overbearing compared to the past, but instead it felt many times more cold and sinister. Naturally, his strength had increased significantly, contrasting with the him in the past.
This time around, he returned only for a single reason. To wash clean the shame he had suffered, the humiliation he had endured.
He had no way to forget the results of the Jun Lin Banquet. During this period of time, the disgrace he felt from back then had been his greatest source of motivation.
With his stubbornness, he succeeded in breaking through to Yuanfu and had even condensed an Astral Soul from a higher Heavenly Layer. Under that state of madness, he cultivated in a frenzy, stepping into the second level of Yuanfu, and comprehended the insights of a Mandate.
Mandate of Lightning, which allowed his attacks to be filled with the element of thunder, and thus became even more tyrannical. To comprehend this Mandate, he chose to unceasingly condense a lightning-type Astral Soul for his third Astral Gate. Obviously, he had succeeded.
Currently within his clan, he had defeated not just cultivators at the second level of Yuanfu, but a few at the third level as well. His status within the Nine Mystical Palace soared immensely.
Because of this, the Nine Mystical Palace allowed him to tag along the expedition into the Dark Forest, joining the team investigating the descent of the Demonic Star. The Luo Qianqiu of today, already possessed the qualifications worthy of being held in high regard by the Nine Mystical Palace. This was also why they allowed Luo Qianqiu to be in command of a number of followers to aid him in untying the knot of resentment in his heart, caused by Qin Wentian from back then.
Qin Wentian, had to die.
At the same time that those from the Nine Mystical Palace arrived in Chu, on the rooftop of one of the many inns in the Royal Capital, Qian Mengyu quietly stood listening to an information report by one of her subordinates.
"The Nine Mystical Palace delegates have also arrived?" Qian Mengyu murmured. Earlier, she had heard of a guy named Luo Qianqiu in the Nine Mystical Palace, who cultivated as though possessed by a demon and had comprehended insights into a Mandate. This person was the one defeated by Qin Wentian in the Jun Lin Banquet, and had left Chu in disgrace.
Now that he had returned, it was obvious what his intentions were.
"This matter is somewhat complicated. Aunt had instructed me to recruit Qin Wentian into our Greencloud Pavilion, while also helping him settle his problems in Chu. However, his relationship with Ouyang Kuangsheng seems to be exceptionally good. If he truly wanted to go to the Grand Xia Empire, it's possible he will join the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan," Meng Qianyu silently stated in her heart.
Currently, she had already learnt of what had happened in the past between her Aunt and Gongyang Hong. She also knew that Gongyang Hong was the Heavenly Dipper Sovereign that shielded Qin Wentian during the Jun Lin Banquet. To think that she and Qin Wentian had a faint connection, the workings of fate were marvellous indeed.
She wondered if Qin Wentian would still care about the happenings within the Celestial Lake Palace.
Currently the waters of Chu were truly deep. Even if Qin Wentian didn't agree to join her Greencloud Pavilion, should he really run into trouble, Qian Mengyu had already decided to help him. Leaving aside her Aunt's order, Qian Mengyu had always felt guilt in her heart for their actions towards Qin Wentian back then in the Refinement Grounds. He was willing to split the Stellar Fruits equally, yet they still wanted to take advantage of him. Truly actions of despicable beings.
The whole of the Royal Capital had long been engulfed in turmoil. However, the brewing storm had already reached its apex. As to the country's destiny, as well as the one to wield the Emperor's authority, there was a high possibility that all would be revealed in the next few days...
This stifling pressure permeated the atmosphere of Chu, enveloping the citizens living within it.
Today, another piece of news was abruptly spread throughout Chu. The news reported the disappearances of young females of ages ten and above, yet it didn't cause any outrage or held great import in the hearts of the citizens. With the final decisive battle soon occuring, the story was insignificant and quickly covered over.
However, the next day, news of a similar nature transmitted throughout Chu. This time round, there was even a disappearance of a young girl who had not even reached the age of ten yet. This time around, the story gradually garnered attention.
On the third day, over hundreds of young females had already disappeared, causing many in the Royal Capital to panic. Those with young females within their families hid them securely, not allowing them to take a single step outside of their residence. Nobody knew exactly who or what was causing these disappearances.
The news engendered many rumors and triggered a nationwide condemnation towards the abductors. Who would be so cruel so as to specially target young females. Such actions would truly incur the wrath of the people and the Heavens.
On the fourth day, those that had lost their children or relatives banded together, forming a terrifying group of protestors. With the Royal Clan's information network, there was no way they were unaware of what was happening.
Outside the Tianwu Gate, many soldiers were deployed to keep the mob under control.
Chu Wuwei, who was clad in white, stood atop the roof of an inn. Upon seeing the grievances and resentment of Chu's citizens, an expression of agony flashed through his face, and he closed his eyes to shut away the troubling sight.
To achieve success, would his third brother Chu Tianjiao stop at nothing? Sacrificing the citizens of their country like they were his personal chess pieces. How cold and treacherous then, are the hearts of humans? No one knew that better than him, considering the environment that he grew up in. Did he have no other choice but to take that final step?
When his eyes opened, a sharp glint of determination could be seen within. If that was the case, he would have to betray his father's last wishes.
"Spread the word that I, Chu Wuwei, will contend for the position of Emperor."
Chu Wuwei indifferently commented, but his words caused the hearts of those behind him to tremble briefly, before terrifying sharp glints of light glimmered in their eyes.
A subordinate bowed as he retreated to spread the word. The moment he turned, an incomparable resoluteness could be seen in his eyes, alongside with excitement. Was the day they had all been waiting for finally going to arrive?
"Elder brother, I've been waiting for you to say this for far too long. Only you are the most suitable candidate to inherit the throne of Chu." Chu Mang grinned. In his eyes, there was only his elder brother Chu Wuwei, he didn't hold Chu Tianjiao in high regard.
Chu Wuwei turned, gentleness shone in his eyes as he regarded Chu Mang. "Second Brother, after the storm in Chu blows over, why don't you go and explore the world."
"Why?" Chu Mang's eyes widened, as a lack of comprehension appeared on his face.
"Based on your talent, you should roam the world and temper yourself more. Your elder brother is crippled. I don't wish to be a burden to you for the rest of your life," Chu Wuwei gently replied.
"I'm not leaving, I want to accompany elder brother," Chu Mang replied in a loud voice. In his eyes, only his elder brother would never look down on him.
Chu Mang knew that he was simple-minded. He had been so ever since he was young, with no one bothering to befriend him. Only his elder brother was willing to accompany him, educating him ever so patiently, line by line, explaining their meaning from all the knowledge garnered from the books Chu Wuwei had read. Chu Mang persisted on, learning bit by bit until the time came where more people were willing to associate themselves with him. Some even said that he was a genius, yet he knew that without his elder brother, he was nothing.
Chu Mang couldn't be bothered about those people. In his eyes, there was only his elder brother Chu Wuwei.
He, Chu Mang, had always obeyed the words of his elder brother. But this time around, he was truly unwilling to consent to them.
"Silly big fellow, don't you know how high your cultivation talent is? If you meet a good master, I can tell you there would be no one that could compare in the whole of Chu. At most, only Qin Wentian would hold a candle to you. Listen to me, don't stay here. You will only be wasting your future away if you stay in Chu," Chu Wuwei quietly persuaded, "Not only that, my lifespan isn't as long as yours. When I grow old and die, what's going to happen to you? Who will take care of you?"
"No.....!" Chu Mang unwillingly roared, his saucer-like eyes were filled with wetness. It was very hard to imagine a guy with his mountain-like physique could also be capable of tears.
"Elder brother cannot die, I won't allow you to die. If you die, I shall accompany you in death!" Chu Mang howled.
Chu Wuwei's gentle gaze gradually turned razor-sharp. Underneath his stare, Chu Mang slowly quieted down as Chu Wuwei berated, "You are not to say words like this ever again in the future. After the storm in Chu is concluded, you have to leave. I've already thought of someone that can take care of you. In the future, you shall follow him."
Before Chu Mang could interject, Chu Wuwei spoke, "No more saying no. If you continue to reject, I will no longer have a younger brother."
"ARGHH!" Chu Mang did not speak, only a low-sounding, gravelly scream of unwillingness and agony could be heard issuing from his throat. He didn't dare to go against the words of his elder brother.
Chu Wuwei was still as serene as before. Turning, he cast his gaze over the horizon. The sharp glint of resolution in his eyes never wavered, yet his heart was filled with sorrow at the choices he had to make.
Chu Mang would only waste his talent if he insisted on following Chu Wuwei. He shouldn't be his shadow, but rather, should be a source of light instead.
When news of Chu Wuwei wanting to contend for the position of Emperor was disseminated throughout the Royal Capital, it caused an earth-shattering commotion. The hearts of many noble clans in Chu couldn't help but to tremble at the news.
The illustrious third Prince of Chu hadn't even warmed the seat of the Emperor's throne before being besieged with threats from all sides, both internal and external. Had his reign already reached its end?
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