Chapter 255: Each With His Own Plan
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Wu Qingrou’s tone was like a teacher gently and patiently guiding the student to enlighten him.
On other occasions, regardless of how wary Prince Chong Yun was of Wu Qingrou, if he had used this tone to talk to him, Prince Chong Yun would lose his temper.
However, right now, Prince Chong Yun remained as calm as before, his gaze not leaving Wu Qingrou.
Behind him, the Stellar Holy Man also stared at Wu Qingrou’s projection in the air. His eyes flashed with incomprehensibility, “Is Wu Qingrou really showing his cards, or is this yet another subterfuge?”
“Apart from the Four Great Aristocratic Families and the major sects in the Great Qin, I can’t think of anyone else,” Prince Chong Yun said quietly.
Wu Qingrou nodded, “Yes, you’re right about it. For an empire to flourish, central power must be concentrated, the ruler and his officials must be united as one. The Great Zhou Empire is an emphatic example.”
He sighed softly, “The power of the Great Zhou Empire is still expanding at a fast pace. If the Great Qin continues to be divided internally, it will only be taken over by the Great Zhou.”
Prince Chong Yun’s eyes flashed, but he did not say anything.
As everyone knew, only a hundred years ago, the Great Qin Empire was still the most prosperous empire in the Divine Lands, even more prosperous than the Great Zhou.
However, in only a hundred years, the Great Zhou developed at a rapid rate while the Great Qin stagnated. Eventually, it was overtaken completely by the Great Zhou Empire.
During the Buddha-destroying Battle, the Great Zhou Empire was the biggest winner and reaped the greatest benefit. Its power grew by leaps and bounds, eclipsing the Great Qin entirely.
“Remove the power of the Aristocratic Families, strengthen the central executive power – this will be the second step in your plan,” Prince Chong Yun asked, “So what is the third step?”
Wu Qingrou answered, “The Four Great Aristocratic Families are the leaders, with many other Aristocratic Families supporting them. It will not be easy to remove them from power. The second step, at best, is to suppress and weaken them. Tangible actions will only be taken in the third step.”
“At the same time, the third step will get rid of the greatest obstacle to this plan.”
Prince Chong Yun’s eyes twinkled, “The Shi family, the Man with Polycoria!”
To the royal family of the Great Qin Empire, their relationship with the Shi family was one that was complicated. The Shi family was related to the royal family, and at the same time, it would deal with matters on behalf of the royal family.
However, it was also precisely because the Shi family was related to the royal family that the Great Qin Empire royal family was wary of it. Alas, the Shi family had constantly given birth to the Sons of God. Especially with the recent birth of the Man with Polycoria, the Shi family had once again given birth to another Son of God, thus cementing its position as the greatest Aristocratic Family in the Great Qin.
As the royal descendants were limited, rumors circulated internally regarding Shi Tianyi’s succession were rampant.
Prince Chong Yun said, “I have to admit, among those in my generation, the Man of Polycoria is giving me a huge deal of pressure. As long as he lives, I cannot live in peace.”
He paused for a while, before continuing calmly, “From today onwards, Xiao Yan from the Celestial Sect of Wonders is someone to be reckoned with.”
Wu Qingrou smiled slightly, “There is something I have not told you. A while ago, in your Highness’s name, I put in the effort to nurture and look after the Xiao family in Wuzhou where Xiao Yan was born.”
Prince Chong Yun registered his displeasure but did not say anything.
Wu Qingrou continued to say, “That can be considered part of the first step of the plan. Establishing an amicable relationship with the Celestial Sect of Wonders will ease the implementation of the third step.”
He sniggered, “The youngest disciple of the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Shi Tianhao, I believe Your Highness is aware of his background.”
“Of course I am. That Man of Polycoria can accomplish so much today is at least partially attributed to the assistance and support he received from the little girl,” Prince Chong Yun said, “It’s just that I did not expect that the kid whom we thought was doomed could survive till today.”
“Not only has he lived till today, he has also mastered considerable powers. Having reached the Aurous Core Stage despite being merely more than ten years old, he must be one of the few rare gems since the inception of human history.”
At this point, Prince Chong Yun changed the focus of his conversation, “But at present, his powers are still no match for the Man with Polycoria.”
Wu Qingrou said nonchalantly, “Before today, Your Highness never thought that Xiao Yan would be that difficult to deal with right?”
These words were as good as sprinkling salt at Prince Chong Yun’s wound. His face darkened momentarily, but he did not blow his top. He merely snorted coldly.
Wu Qingrou sighed, his eyes alert, “I wonder how the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders did this. I am not too surprised that he managed to groom such a talent. But his disciples are all devilish and aberrant, now that is quite something.”
“He is definitely not a simple person.”
Prince Chong Yun’s expression returned to normal. He said calmly, “He is also very biased. Judging from how he accompanied Xiao Yan to Xingyun peak for the meeting, we can tell that, in the future, when Shi Tianhao battles the Man with Polycopia, he will not stand aside and do nothing.”
Prince Chong Yun looked at Wu Qingrou, “And this must be part of Prime Minister Wu’s calculations to be used in the implementation of the third step of the plan?”
Wu Qingrou nodded calmly, “That is not definite. We can also rely on the authority of the Four Great Aristocratic Families to give the Celestial Sect of Wonders a difficult time.”
“The Great Zhou Empire wants to establish good relations with the further countries, but attack the neighboring ones. It is forming an alliance with the Mount Shu Sword Sect, Celestial Sect of Wonders and the likes to invade the Great Qin Empire, how can I sit here without doing anything?”
Prince Chong Yun mocked, “If Prime Minister Wu still takes into account the Great Zhou Empire, then you must know that when you are busy implementing your plan, the officials in the Great Zhou will definitely interfere and do something.”
Wu Qingrou smiled slightly, “Your Highness, thank you for your reminder. Your Highness, however, can rest assured that when the time comes, the Great Zhou Empire will struggle to deal with their own problems, much less have the time and effort and disrupt our plan.”
“Oh?” Prince Chong Yun curiosity was piqued, but he did not press him, “Between the political power of the Great Aristocratic Families and the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Prime Minister Wu plans to weaken the power of the former and strengthen the latter. Is that the case?”
Wu Qingrou answered, “Yes, precisely, you are right. If one party completely overpowers the other, this will only increase the power of the stronger party, contrary to my wishes. A pyrrhic outcome will be most beneficial to the Great Qin Empire.”
Prince Chong Yun nodded his head, and examined Wu Qingrou closely, as though he wanted to see through him.
Wu Qingrou looked him in his eyes, his eyes still as unfathomable as the sea.
Only after a long while, Prince Chong Yun averted his stare and said quietly, “Since Prime Minister Wu is so confident of the outcome, I will just wait patiently for good news.” At this instance, he took a step forward, entered the void and vanished into thin air.
The Stellar Holy Man took a look at Wu Qingrou and sighed gently, “Prime Minister Wu’s three steps don’t just involve the Celestial Sect of Wonders and the political power of the Great Aristocratic Families.”
Wu Qingrou smiled slightly, “Thank you for your compliment.”
The Stellar Holy Man shook his head. He transformed into a ball of star light that scattered in the air.”
In the Great Qin Empire’s Jingshi Xiling City, in the North City Prime Minister’s Residence, Wu Qingrou sat in his reading room, looking at the circular communication device as the light above the circular plate disappeared. He rapped the table gently without saying a word.
A young gentleman standing behind him suddenly asked, “Why did you pick Shi Chongyun?”
Wu Qingrou replied indifferently, “Because he is ambitious.”
The gentleman followed up, “But I feel that he is one to cause more problems than succeed.”
“There is a huge flaw in Prince Chong Yun’s character. And it is that he is arrogant and ill-tempered,” Wu Qingrou said nonchalantly, “But unless he does not want to reach the Immortal Soul Stage, he will want to improve himself and rectify this flaw of his character, even without being told by others.”
“Like what I just said, he is an ambitious man, so he will make the necessary changes. After this trip to Xingyun Peak, and after being humiliated by the disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, the process of self-improvement will only be expedited.”
The gentleman was silent for a moment before continuing, “Why didn’t you choose the Man with Polycoria?”
Wu Qingrou chuckled, “He will be of use elsewhere.”
“Even you, my Big Senior, is concerned about the Celestial Sect of Wonders?” the gentleman’s eyes flashed. His calm countenance could no longer conceal his surprise.
Wu Qingrou replied noncommittally, “In the Grand Celestial World, every tribe and living person of the Divine Lands concerns me.”
The finger that was rapping the table stopped, “Go check on him. Even though I have made things clear with Shi Chongyun, I cannot guarantee that his temper won’t get the better of him and that he won’t bother the Xiao family at Wuzhou city.”
“With his identity and status, he needs only to say a few words and show some attitude to make the Xiao family suffer,” a smile appeared on Wu Qingrou’s face, “Naturally, Shi Chongyun will change for the better. But before he reaches the latter levels of the Nascent Soul Stage, he will not truly understand how arduous the mental test is in order to accomplish the Immortal Soul.”
“Meanwhile, before that happens, we just have to put up with it.”
The gentleman nodded, took a step backward, entered the Void, and disappeared completely.
In the royal palace of the Great Zhou Empire situated in Tianjing City, Liang Pan, the Emperor of the Zhou Empire, sat above the rest on his dragon throne. On the ground beneath, Yan Mingyue and Zhu Hongwu sat facing each other while Mei Wulang was standing before Liang Pan to report some recent news.
“… And this is the outcome of the battle,” Mei Wulang finished his report to the emperor.
Liang Pan, the Emperor of the Zhou Empire, nodded and looked towards Mei Wulang, “Wulang, what do you make of this?” he paused before adding, “I am referring to the Celestial Sect of Wonders.”
Mei Wulang quickly bowed and replied respectfully, “Your Majesty, from this incident, we can tell that the Lin Feng, the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, is very protective of his disciples. A while back, I received news from the Celestial Sect of Wonders that Zhu Houye’s son, Zhu Yi, will return to the Great Zhou to take part in this year’s national exam.”
“The Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders might perhaps come along like this time to my Great Zhou.”
Yan Mingyue heard this and smiled but did not say anything.
Meanwhile, Zhu Hongwu sat as still as a wooden statue on his seat, as though the current topic of discussion did not interest him at all.
“Wulang, you might be wrong this time,” Liang Pan shook his head gently, “If I am right, the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders will not come down himself.”
He did not provide an explanation, and Mei Wulang did not dare to ask for one.
Both Yan Mingyue and Zhu Hongwu remained silent throughout but Liang Pan was not bothered about it. He merely sighed, “With the level of Mastery of an Aurous Core, they could, with one blow, destroy a Nascent Soul magic weapon. The disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders are indeed head and shoulders above the rest.”
“From what we can observe, they are still at the stage of learning and growth. When they have full matured, they will indeed be talents that are hard to come by.”
“Lin Feng, the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, is really impressive,” at this point, Liang Pan took a look at Zhu Hongwu, “we must also congratulate Hongwu, your son is one of them.”
Zhu Hongwu rose up, “Thank you, your Majesty.”
Liang Pan then looked at Yan Mingyue and said slowly, “Wishing Yan Xianzi the best in her journey to return to Mount Baiyun.”
Yan Mingyue replied with a smile, “Thank you, Your Majesty, for those auspicious remarks.”
She was slightly distracted, “The Flaming Dragon Celestial Armor… It took him such a short time to refine the Zhuyan Demon Eye into a Magic Treasure?”
Even if it were an Immortal Soul Cultivator refining the Magic Treasure, it would require a huge effort over an extended period of time to succeed. Many Magic Treasures may not be successfully refined even after hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of years.
“Lin Feng, where on earth did you come from?” Yan Mingyue frowned slightly, “And what is it that you intend to achieve?”
Yan Mingyue suddenly chuckled, “Perhaps you do not know this yourself, but you will actually be a helping hand in my return to Mount Baiyun this time. I don’t know why, but it seems like I am suddenly slightly afraid of you.”