Chapter Seven Hundred and Forty Eight - The Beginning of Expansion
The re-appearance of Zhong De was akin to an earthquake for all of the Four Realms.
To the young people, this name was unfamiliar. But for those older, they all changed expression when they spoke of him. When people found the life history of this old general from the records, their hearts shook, they stopped breathing, and their lips tasted the thick tang of blood. The heart-shaking battle campaigns, even after fifty years of dust, still caused people's hearts to beat frantically.
The first thing that Zhong De did after returning was to make a great cleansing of Xi Xuan. He killed so many of the upper ranks that it had never happened before in the history of the Four Realms.
Xi Xuan was dyed in blood, and the central region of Xi Xuan, the Central Plains, was soaked in blood.
Countless Xi Xuan battle generals heard of this, and hurriedly fled in the night.
The outside world learned later that in the span of a short moth, the commanders of thirty nine battalions had disappeared. And in the unprecedented cleansing process, the true number of people from Xi Xuan that were executed was thirty thousand, and not seven thousand as previously believed.
Under Zhong De's iron fist, not even one rebellion occurred.
Soon, Zhong De whose hands were covered in blood once again showed the world his cruel and vicious style. He did not wait for the sect to finish reorganizing, did not care about the instability of the sect. He suddenly led the Abyss Prison Battalion to appear on the borders of Xi Xuan.
In a lightning fast campaign, he destroyed three factions.
This was a retaliation. The three factions destroyed were the three factions that had recently defeated Xi Xuan's battalions.
This seemingly normal retaliatory action shocked the world again-
-because the cities were massacred!
Even though fighting had occurred for so many years, massacring everyone was rare, even in battles between the xiuzhe and yaomo.
The seventeen cities of the three jie became a desolate land.
Such cruel actions caused condemnation from the rest of the Four Realms. Crowds of people were furious. They called him cruel, blood-thirsty, savage, and emotionless, butcher and all sorts of other words to describe the old general. But no matter how they criticized, no battalion dared to advance on Xi Xuan. The people were filled with deep terror and fear of this inhuman battle general.
When enough blood had been split, there naturally would be peace.
These became famed words spoken by Zhong De.
All of Xi Xuan trembled. The factions surrounding Xi Xuan trembled.
No one dared to say that Xi Xuan was the second Xuan Kong Temple. Even people who hated Xi Xuan had to admit that Xi Xuan's rise could not be stopped. Even if its rise was by struggling up from the mud and mired in blood.
Sweeping away its decline, Xi Xuan was at peace again.
However, after five years at rest, the major sects that had focused on their own development had now finished their preparations to fight again.
This time, Kun Lun moved first.
Kun Lun had begun to move.
Zuo Mo's expression was grave. In front of him, everyone else was grave as well. They knew that one day, Kun Lun would become an enemy they had to face. The indescribable pressure of Kun Lun always was a stone weighing on their minds.
"Our present holdings are sixty nine jie," Gongsun Cha said calmly. "After digesting Xuan Kong Temple, Kun Lun's dominion is about one thousand and three hundred jie; Tian Huan holds one thousand and one hundred jie; Xi Xuan has not developed much and holds about eight hundred jie; the nine great dhynana sects hold about six hundred jie; Gu Liang Dao's faction controls one hundred and forty two jie. These are the public numbers and the numbers of those jie controlled secretly are hard to calculate. Also, each faction have always been working to take the surround factions to strengthen themselves. If we face them now, we have no chance of victory. What is fortunate is that between us and Kun Kun there are the Nine Great Dhyana Sects, Tian Huan, and Xi Xuan. While Mo Cloud Sea is slightly remote, there are no strong enemies around, this is our advantage.
The jie map on the wall clearly showed Mo Cloud Sea's boundaries. Of the entire Four realms, it was a tiny piece.
While everyone was familiar with these numbers, they still inhaled sharply. The enormity of Kun Lun and Tian Huan was suffocating.
He Ming stood up and then said, "In the past few years, our strength has grown quickly. Abundant resources in addition to our great production abilities, as well as our mature trade channels. Our wealth accumulation has been good. The front line battalions have all completely been refitted with the new [Mo Cloud System] shen equipment. It is one of the top battalion shen raiments on the market and the inventory we have is satisfactory."
When he spoke of this, the battle generals present nodded and were full of confidence.
This was true. While Mo Cloud Sea was not large at present, but its equipment was among the best of the world. As shen power developed, talismans had gradually left the world's stage to be replaced by shen equipment.
Shen equipment was the lesser version of shen devices. It was not as powerful as shen device raiments but it did not strain the user as much as shen device raiments did. Most importantly, it was not as expensive to create as shen device raiments.
Mo Cloud Sea's [Mo Cloud System] shen equipment had always been one of the outstanding shen equipment on the market. Together with [Kun Lun System] and [Tian Huan System] it was ranked as the top tier and collectively were called the three great shen equipment. Even Xi Xuan's [Xi Xuan System] and the nine great dhyana sect's [Dhyana System] were on a lower level.
The level of the shen equipment required understanding of shen power, skill in forging, and rich resources.
In the short term, no one would be able to shake the status of the three great systems.
In reality, while Mo Cloud Sea's territory was not large, there were rarely people who would think of them as a small local power. They produced top level shen equipment, had two top battle generals, they did not have a large territory but had abundant resources. No one dared to look down at them. Inside Mo Cloud Sea were strong beings that were full of confidence and didn't know what fear was.
Everyone turned to look at Zuo Mo. No matter if it was Gongsun Cha's analysis or He Ming's words, the one who would make the final decision would be Zuo Mo.
"We need to expand."
When Zuo Mo spoke, everyone became energized, especially the battle generals. They had fought in the past with Lil' Miss, and felt rusty after being inactive for so many years.
In truth, everyone knew that in the present situation, expansion was their own option.
While Mo Cloud Sea looked as steady as a rock, that was because there was the Nine Great Dhyana Sects in the between them and their enemies. If they waited for Kun Lun and Tian Huan to grow bigger, when the time arrived, they wouldn't even be able to protect themselves. While the jinzhi defense line was strong, but if Kun Lun and Tian Huan disregarded the loss of life, it would not be difficult to overcome.
Mo Cloud Sea could rival them in elite battalions, but was lacking greatly in normal battalions. Just a battle of numbers was enough to destroy Mo Cloud Sea several times over.
Only by expanding Mo Cloud Sea and strengthening itself, could they possess the power to fight back.
Maybe other people were willing to submit to the other powers, but for the core members of Mo Cloud Sea, this was definitely impossible. The first to disagree would be Zuo Mo. He had great grudges to settle with Kun Lun, Tian Huan, and Xi Xuan. He was fated to only have the path of fighting to the end.
The reason they hadn't chosen to expand before was that their foundation was shallow. It was easy to conquer territories, but they didn't have the ability to digest it. Blind expansion would cause internal problems and weaken their defense against other factions. However, after the past several years of development, the present Mo Cloud Sea had the ability to expand now.
"The present question is, which direction do we expand in."
Zuo Mo threw out the problem, and the atmosphere in the room suddenly became fiery.
"Nine Great Dhyana Sects! They look like they have a lot of people, but they definitely cannot fight. Other than Yang Yuan Hao, they don't have anyone else."
"Yes, the Nine Great Dhyana Sects. I heard that they were fighting among themselves, this is a good chance ... ..."
The Nine Great Dhyana Sects were the fourth greatest power in the xiuzhe world but their inner conflicts were fierce. Their system was similar to the Yao Council of Elders. The nine sect leaders formed a sect leader council to govern the entire region together.
Since the Nine Great Dhyana Sects were about the same in power, internal conflict had never stopped since the day they formed. It was only a loose alliance that was not united enough.
What was most fatal was that they lacked top battle generals.
The Nine Great Dhyana Sects only had one top battle general, Yang Yuan Hao. This was not equal to their status as one of the four great xiuzhe powers. In comparison, Mo Cloud Sea possessed two top battle generals. No one dared to underestimate them.
If Xi Xuan hadn't been extremely weak before Zhong De had come back, the Nine Great Dhyana Sects would be the faction that people had the worst outlook on.
Listening to the people chat, Zuo Mo thought inside. He had been pondering this question a long time ago. This kind of strategic decision would directly affect their future development.
"No, we will not fight against the Nine Great Dhyana Sects."
Zuo Mo spoke. Everyone immediately closed their mouths to listen carefully.
"The Nine Great Dhyana Sects are like a shield, as long as this shield is not damaged, we do not need to directly face the superpowers like Kun Lun. We should not attack them, rather, we should support them so they do not have to worry about their rear. The best scenario would be for them to fight against Kun Lun and Tian Huan. That is most beneficial for us."
Gongsun Cha and Bie Han nodded. Zuo Mo's analysis was reasonable.
"Hadn't they always wanted to purchase our [Mo Cloud System] shen equipment? Sell to them! We need to support them as much as we can so they will fight with Kun Lun and Tian Huan. Yang Yuan Hao is very strong, and they will likely be fighting a defensive war on home territory, they the advantage. It will not be easy for Kun Lun and the others to win."
Many people nodded inwardly.
"Then where do we expand?" Someone asked in puzzlement.
Other than the Nine Great Dhyana Sects, the others were all small factions. While it was not costly to fight, the benefits were also small.
After taking down fifty six jie in one go, they did not care about these little pieces. These little factions were small in land and scarce in resources.
"We will expand towards the mo territories." Zuo Mo's answer was unexpected.
Everyone stilled but many people's expressions started to turn existed. The mo territories had vast lands, rich resources. People like A Zha Ge, Shi Dong, and Yi An had desired to expand into the mo territories.
Yet Zuo Mo had always seemed uninterested in the mo territories which had disappointed them.
"Who do we attack first?" Lei Peng's eyes were bright.
"The Mo Marshal Alliance!" Zuo Mo said unhesitatingly.
Gongsun Cha and Bie Han were slightly surprised. In the Hundred Savage Realm, the Mo Shen Temple was the strongest, followed by the Mo Marshal Alliance led by Marshal Di, then the Heroes Alliance at third. Everyone thought that Zuo Mo would first start with the weakest, the Heroes Alliance, but Zuo Mo unexpectedly targeted the Mo Marshal Alliance.
"Our goal is Hundred Energy Jie." Zuo Mo's heated gave was full of desire.
Translator Ramblings: Mo Cloud Sea is a tiny little thing. Bigger than before but still very small in comparison to the major powers.