Chapter 235: Private Chamber Talk
Leaning against the wall, Hui Yue wondered for quite some time whether or not Wan Qiao would let Li Meilin go. Being able to warn the citizens of the Siban Empire and giving them time to flee was something Hui Yue truly wanted to do, but it would probably be hard to convince Wan Qiao of this.
“Hui Yue, come over here,” Wan Qiao finally called for the young man as she turned her head and looked at the young man who had been leaning against the wall for a couple of hours already. Although the wait was long, it went by swiftly as Hui Yue spent the time talking with Lan Feng. The two of them constantly discussing the pros and cons of a war, alongside what could happen if they allowed Li Meilin to return to her home.
It was highly likely that the Emperor of the Siban Empire would refuse to just hand over his kingdom to the beasts, and it was even more likely he would try to force the population to stay within the kingdom as a kingdom without citizens was not worth much. Still, Hui Yue could do nothing but try, and so long as he tried his best he would not feel bad.
“For what reason are you here?” Wan Qiao asked curiously as she looked at the young man who was walking her way.
“I wanted to talk to you about your plans,” He said, intentionally being vague because he did not know how much this Lord Pan knew, nor how much he was supposed to know; however, as these words were spoken Wan Qiao nodded her head and looked at him expectantly.
Seeing this, Hui Yue understood that anything Wan Qiao knew, Lord Pan knew as well, and Hui Yue could go ahead and talk freely.
“Since I am part human, I am not a big fan of hunting humans just for the sake of killing,” He started, his eyes serious as he analyzed the changes in expression on the woman in front of him.
“Although I agree that we need to battle their forces, I would rather that we release the information of the war to Li Meilin, and let her return to the Siban Empire. Let the empire prepare for war. No matter how they prepare, they will not be able to defeat our armies because the Frozen General refuses to assist them.”
Hui Yue had previously been told about the many hidden experts within the continent, and he understood that none of the kingdoms had experts as strong as Wan Qiao and the Frozen General. Although there was bound to be some hidden experts, none of them had any incentive to assist the Siban Empire.
“Even if they were to get assistance from the other kingdoms, they would still not be able to defeat us. This way we will be able to deal with the Siban Empire in one go by fighting them head on. There is one condition I set down for helping you with this war, and that condition is no harming innocent humans. Allow for these humans to migrate out of the country. Should you chose not to listen to me, then I will go and personally invite Zhong Fai to the war, then we will see which side wins.”
Hui Yue knew that threatening Wan Qiao was not the best solution, but he could think of nothing else, and he knew that this showed how serious he was. Wan Qiao and Lord Pan were both quiet for a long time, clearly contemplating what would be the most beneficial to the two sides and eventually the woman nodded her head as she opened her mouth, ready to give a verdict.
“Long ago humans and beasts lived side by side. Humans will be killed by the savage beasts who refuse to take human shape, but that is natural. I do not mind not massacring the villages we go past.” Pondering for a while longer she nodded with a satisfied smile on her face, “I like the idea of letting them prepare. The more time they have to prepare the easier it will be to deal with them. Fighting their army head on is far better than just overrunning their lands and destroying the capital. This way we can keep the citizens out of it, much like you want, and we can still accomplish our goals.”
“The only problem I see with this idea is that the guards are not soldiers,” Lord Pan suddenly broke in, he too had been contemplating the words said by Hui Yue and his only worry was this.
“Although we have far stronger warriors than our opponent, these cultivators are not soldiers. They are inexperienced when it comes to fighting wars. Though, if you were to train them, perhaps with some of Master Sun’s theories, then I see no issue in following your suggestion.” Lord Pan said his eyes gleaming with a strange light which Hui Yue could not see through; it was as though he was thinking about things far ahead in the future.
Considering his words, Hui Yue knew that training soldiers would be no easy task, but he was also aware that all the guards he had to train were highly intelligent beasts, all of whom were King ranked or above. Training them for a war should not be the most challenging thing he had ever done. Pondering back and forth for some time, he finally nodded his head.
‘That was a good decision,’ Lan Feng said from his datian cave. He had been quiet from the start not wishing to sway Hui Yue to one side or the other. He had long since decided that this life belonged to Hui Yue, and as long as he was on the path of cultivation. Lan Feng would let the young man make his own decisions. Well, that is, as long as they were not outright stupid.
Hearing the praise from Lan Feng, a wry smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face. It was obvious that the phoenix was also interested in this war. That Lan Feng was interested in the beasts taking over more territory was natural. He had lived here back when magical beasts were living everywhere and had societies with the humans. Returning to this world, and seeing how no humanoid magical beasts were able to live openly in these lands was something which shocked Lan Feng greatly. Finding Sha Yun and her sisters was one of the few things which brought hope back to the phoenix who had feared that all the beasts he knew, all the humanoid beasts, had been completely exterminated from this world.
Seeing them in Shenyuan, Lan Feng was both relieved and excited, although this excitement dimmed drastically as he feared the reunion with Wan Qiao. This had however turned out not too bad, and now Lan Feng was as eager as the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle to reclaim the lands which had once been theirs.
“We don’t know how many of the lords will agree with our plan,” Lord Pan continued, “However having you on our side is definitely going to improve our chances. We have read through this amazing work the Art of War, and I have to say that sharing this with the others should make them eager to join us. We have everything needed to take down a kingdom. Your suggestion of going after the Siban Empire sounds like the best choice to us. The Siban Empire is right next to us, and they have been sending one delegation after another to our lands. Attacking them should be something everyone can agree on when they have been given time to read through the Art of War. Having this young star Hui Yue training the cultivators into soldiers from Master Sun’s theories should enable us to start the war in half a year.”
“Giving this woman half a year to prepare the Siban Empire for war should be plenty of time. Fighting them in half a year we will decimate their army and take back our kingdom.” Lord Pan’s eyes were turning red and killing intent was radiating outwards as Hui Yue was pushed backwards slightly, His breathing became labored, and his entire body was tingling from the killing intent. He suddenly understood that although Wan Qiao was the Queen of Shenyuan, many of the Lords of the Forest were far stronger than he and Lan Feng combined.
“Lord Pan, no need to be this eager,” Wan Qiao laughed as she saw the labored breathing from Hui Yue, and her aura gently wrapped around the young man. This helped him once more breath without any trouble, and the tingling sensations slowly vanished.
“Well, milady, milord,” Hui Yue nodded to the two experts in front of him. “If there is nothing else then I would like to return to my chambers. I am still far from reaching the level of strength which I wish for.”
Having said this, Hui Yue turned around and was about to leave the room when a hand landed on his shoulder, a gentle pat that surprised him.
“We will pick you up when it is time for the conclave,” Wan Qiao said before she removed her arm. A smile was evident on her face, a smile of satisfaction. She felt that as long as she had Hui Yue by her side, it would be impossible for her to lose this war, and also to not convince the lords that she was right.
Hui Yue left the room and went back to his room where he once more heaved a heavy sigh. He felt how more and more responsibility was being pushed down upon him, but although he felt that he was not completely ready for all this responsibility, he still wanted to live up to the expectations that Wan Qiao was placing on him. He wished to prove that he was worth it, and he knew he could gain something from the experience.
Seated in the room, Hui Yue did not exit to get food, nor did leave to do physical training, the only thing he did was stay within his room and refine the essence of the heavens and the earth. Two days later there was a knock on his door calling him to the Conclave of the Lords.
As Hui Yue stood up, his eyes opened, and his lips curved into a smile. This was the final hurdle he had to get through; this was the time he needed to prove his worth. It was finally time for the Conclave of the Lords. The time for Hui Yue to stand in front of the many Saints and show his worth, to gamble to see how many of them were willing to bet on a Duke who was unlike them; someone who was as human as he was beast.
Opening the door, Hui Yue was surprised to see two guards dressed in ceremonial outfits as they nodded politely towards Hui Yue. Neither of these guards were guards for Wan Qiao, and he could tell that they were definitely Emperor experts. Seeing the two of them, Hui Yue could not help but feel slightly nervous. To be picked up by such experts, it was clear that the conclave was truly important, something which he could not fully grasp before he was there on his own.
Following behind the beast guards, Hui Yue looked around, and all he saw was guards dressed in their finest clothes standing guard in front of every door in the castle. Every door they passed by was being watched, and Hui Yue’s walk through the castle did not go unnoticed. Some guards showed curiosity while others showed jealousy and hate. From the looks and serious atmosphere Hui Yue, a mere Duke ranked expert, finally understood just how strange it was for him to be able to participate in the Conclave of the Lords. But even knowing this the young man did not back down; instead, he straightened his back and looked straight ahead. In his mind, he went through the entire Art of War and after recalling it all, his heart slowed down; he suddenly felt much more comfortable. He was ready for the conclave, willing to give it his all and to step up to the stage Wan Qiao had prepared for him.