Chapter 234: The Lords have Arrived
‘I’m uncomfortable about this too,’ Hui Yue said to the phoenix within his dantian cave as the two of them conversed about what happened. ‘Although I’m worried about his intentions and his plans for us, I don’t think we have any choice. If he truly wishes for me to visit him, he could even come pick us up on his own then both of us would have to follow him.’
‘I know,’ The phoenix said with a sour expression on his face. Admitting that he was too weak was something he had a hard time accepting, but he too was fully aware that if he were to go all out against Zhong Fai, he would not be able to stay alive for long.
‘Even if we do not want to, we have no choice. It’s just as you said,’ Lan Feng mumbled, ‘But even so I don’t trust this Zhong Fai. There is something about him that makes me shiver.’
‘We can easily agree on this, but we cannot afford for him to assist the humans if we go to war. If we are not going to war, then there is no reason for him to mess with our plans and in that case, I can just ignore the offer he gave me.’ Hui Yue said reasonably as a sigh escaped Lan Feng’s lips while he nodded his head. ‘Right, it is only a problem if the lords truly wish to wage war against the humans.’
Seated quietly for some time, both Lan Feng and Hui Yue thought that everything would be simpler if they did not go war, but they knew better. Both of them assumed that not going to war was highly unlikely.
Hui Yue was not aware that Wan Qiao swore to herself that she would ensure that Hui Yue would not meet any trouble when he met the Frozen General again. Had he known then he would feel much more comfortable, but the woman was still seated within the library contemplating what the Frozen General truly wanted from the strange boy Hui Yue.
As the two, the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle and the human boy were seated at their individual places within the castle far away from one another, but thinking about the same things.
Suddenly, as both were focused on the same thing, a loud bell sounded from the castle courtyard. The sound was so loud that it rang throughout the entire castle and city. A sound which called people’s attention, and while Hui Yue was confused about what this sound was, A large smile filled Wan Qiao’s face. Her eyes radiated, and she stood up from the chair so quickly that it fell behind her.
“Finally,” She said as she strode towards the door with steady steps, “Finally, they are all here!”
In the castle courtyard, a massive bell had been placed in the corner and standing in the courtyard was a woman. This woman could not be called beautiful. Her face had been wounded, leaving behind a long scar which ran across her entire face. This woman was standing in the middle of the courtyard, and she too seemed surprised to hear the loud bells which were going on by her side.
Moments before, the woman arrived at the courtyard where two guards saw her, and she announced her arrival to them. As soon as they heard her name, the bell was rung as their faces were filled with excitement and pride for being the ones who saw the woman who just arrived.
“What is the meaning of all this?” The woman asked. Although she was not beautiful, a graceful air was present around her every act, and her voice, although deep, was incredibly comfortable.
“Lady Fu!” Wan Qiao’s voice ran through the entire courtyard, even deafening the bell which still rung; however, as soon as Wan Qiao made an appearance the two guards did everything in their ability to ensure that the bell rang no more. It was clear that something special happened. One could tell, not just from the ringing bell, but also from the smile filled with expectations spread across the face of the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle.
“Lady Fu, I imagine you left your guards to make a camp outside the city walls?” Wan Qiao asked politely as she strode towards the friend in front of her. Hearing the question, the scarred woman nodded her head, “What is the point of this loud bell?” She asked, wanting to know as the loud sound was still ringing in her head; her hearing was far more developed than that of normal beasts. Her real form was that of a Shadow-Wielding Bat, a creature which relied on hearing and nimbleness to be one of the most dangerous beasts around.
“It is a message to all Lords of the Forest who have arrived,” Wan Qiao quickly explained, “A message to let them know that now everyone is present.”
“Oh?” Surprise was visible on the woman’s face. “I am the last? We did not waste any time on our trip here. The others must have really rushed.” Although she said these words, her face showed no expression of really caring about being the last lord to arrive.
“Wan Qiao, find me a nice place to settle down. We can start tomorrow with whatever it is you called us all here for.” Lady Fu said, paying no real mind to what was happening around her, and without waiting for Wan Qiao to speak, the woman walked towards the castle leaving the smiling bird behind her.
Li Meilin was standing in the courtyard, observing everything that was happening. Her eyes narrowed and her focus sharpened. She did not try to hide as she knew that hiding would not work against these Saints; instead, she had positioned herself to the right of the courtyard and observed every single movement.
She was shocked to hear that even the lords were unaware of why they were summoned, but within her, a slight sliver of hope grew. She hoped that maybe, just maybe, the experts were not interested in waging war. Perhaps, it was just something that the lower ranked beasts wanted.
Thinking like this, the woman felt better, calmer, and eventually so relaxed that she went back to her room where she decided to take a small rest before she went to see how Hui Yue was doing with his practice. Her ticket out of Shenyuan fully depended on Hui Yue and his cultivation. Being thick skinned as she was, Li Melin did not care about Hui Yue’s dislike for her. She could easily ignore such behavior, but what she could not ignore was the fact that Wan Qiao said that she would not leave Shenyuan until this young man reached the King rank. With all that was happening within this capital and with all the lords gathering in the same place, Li Meilin was stressed about leaving Shenyuan behind so she could tell the Siban Empire that they were not allowed to send any more delegations to this place. That they needed to stop all their attempts at taking over this part of the world.
While Li Meilin was observing Wan Qiao interact with the lady who went by the name Fu, Hui Yue had at first been curious about the bell, but moments later he quickly ignored it. He knew that if it had something to do with him, he was likely to be notified by the guards. For him to go down and find out what happened could put him in a bad situation. He had not forgotten how some of the guards wished him gone, not to mention it was likely that some of the lords wished him dead as well.
Hui Yue was aware that the likelihood of the lords agreeing with Wan Qiao was rather small. Hui Yue knew that he was the reason that Wan Qiao now took the matter of starting a war to the other Lords. It was obvious that as long as Hui Yue was standing behind Wan Qiao, she had reason on her side. He also knew that Wan Qiao was feeling relieved now that the Frozen General had agreed to stay out of it. If someone wished to stop Wan Qiao, they would have to get rid of Hui Yue.
His safety, so far, hung on the fact that no one else knew about him. Hopefully, not many would know about him before the conclave began. When the conclave began, killing him in front of Wan Qiao would be impossible; however, killing him when he was alone in his room, an assassination such as that, was not such a hard thing to accomplish. Hui Yue hoped that he could prove his worth at the conclave and that the lords would treat him with some respect afterward. If not, he put his faith in Wan Qiao’s ability to protect him
‘Stop being so depressed,’ A voice sounded out from deep within. It was Lan Feng who was grumpy as he spoke to the young man. ‘I know you are in a dangerous situation right now. I mean heck, I’m in a dangerous situation because of your knowledge right now, but I think this is for the best.’
‘As a divine beast I want the world to return to the time where beasts and humans could live together, but if that is impossible, then I would like to see the world at least even out. Take over one of their kingdoms, and the beasts would have two kingdoms same as the humans.’ The logic which Lan Feng was using reminded Hui Yue of Wan Qiao. Both beasts were straight forward, honest, and did not hide anything. A smile appeared on his face as he nodded his head, his eyes growing determined and narrowed as he looked far out into the sky through his window.
As long as he could keep his friends safe then so be it. Fighting against the Siban Empire, Hui Yue did not mind too much. They had already sent multiple delegations into Shenyuan and in their newest delegation, they went so far as to send a Saint. This was clearly a show of testing the strength of Shenyuan itself.
‘The other kingdoms have sent delegations as well, but they have never sent Saints before,’ Hui Yue remarked to the phoenix in his dantian, ‘Although they know it is dangerous they send a delegation every two years, but Siban, they are truly greedy. I guess it is only fair to pay them back. But I do not wish for the innocent to suffer too much,’
‘There is a way,’ Lan Feng said slowly as though he was thinking. ‘That woman, Li Meilin, she is eager to return to her kingdom. Let her know we are planning a war, and she will do everything in her power to warn the kingdom. I swear, many of the citizens will do anything in their power to escape as soon as they hear word of a beast horde that could swallow their land.’
Thinking about it, Hui Yue nodded his head slowly. Making use of Li Meilin would be the best option he could make; however, to do that he needed to get Wan Qiao’s permission. The large One-Honed Jasmine Eagle was not as rational as Hui Yue. She felt no empathy nor pity towards the many humans living within the country she wanted to attack. In her eyes, these humans had been causing her trouble day in and day out. It was only natural for her and her beasts to start feasting upon them.
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue stood up from the bed on which he had been refining essence. Now he had another task, and with swift movements, he left the chamber and rushed towards the private rooms of Wan Qiao.
Reaching his destination he could hear voices from inside, but even so, he still knocked on the door. His face showed a relieved expression as the door opened and inside was Wan Qiao and Lord Pan; the man he had met previously. Hui Yue bowed towards the two lords as he had entered the room.
Without saying a word, Hui Yue leaned against the wall waiting for Wan Qiao to call him over. The conversation between the two lords was so low that Hui Yue could not hear what they were talking about. Looking at them, he was capable of instantly seeing that they were using their power to keep their voices so low that no one could hear what was said. Instead of being impatient, Hui Yue just leaned against the wall standing in the shadows as he kept thinking about his plans.