Chapter 237: To Wage War or Not
As time went by, the lords roamed through the room. Some of them stayed in specific chairs, letting other lords come to them while some roamed through the entire library speaking with virtually every lord as they assembled information and opinions from the various lords.
During this time, Hui Yue stayed at the long table where the conversation started. He knew none of the lords and felt that he was not suited to talk amongst them. He was not here as a Lord of the Forest; instead he was here to be the bargaining chip for Wan Qiao. As he sat at the table, he started cultivating his inner energies because trying to listen to what the experts were talking about was impossible. Each and every one of the lords were doing everything they could to lower their voices and only allowing for those who should know to know about what was being said.
Being seated at the table, Hui Yue decided that instead of staring at an empty table he might as well cultivate, and his choice of action caused quite a few of the Saints to think highly of him. To be able to cultivate in a room filled with this many Saints, one could tell how strong his willpower was. Most Duke ranked experts would be uncomfortable being in a room with this many high ranked experts, yet here he was, a young man who had not broken into the King rank, doing just that. He managed to stabilize his mind enough to enter meditation. For him to reach such tranquility showed exactly what many of these experts needed to see, that he was not daunted by the pressure of higher ranked experts.
While these experts were all feeling positive towards Hui Yue and his talents, not to mention the Art of War provided by the young man, there was still a fraction that was completely and utterly against the notion of waging war.
“I understand that this young man is a god sent gift to us, and I have to admit that waging war is far more tempting now than it has ever been,” A woman said with a quiet, beautiful voice as she was the middle of a conversation about waging war in one of the many groups formed. “Although this is a hard decision, I still feel like we can not afford to risk this war. Although there is no Zhong Fai, which is an astonishing feat, there is no promise from An He that he will not appear. Four thousand years ago he appeared out of nowhere and oppressed us. Although he has been quiet for over a thousand years, I cannot help but feel that he is just waiting. Waiting for us to make a mistake so he can strike us down. So he can completely annihilate the beasts he did not annihilate before.”
“Your words make sense,” A man said with a low and calm voice, yet his eyes were lit with a burning desire, and his voice slightly trembled as he continued to speak, “But remember, he had the choice to destroy us anytime during the last four thousand years, yet he has done nothing! Do not tell me that he is not aware of our current actions, that he does not know that we are planning a war! If he wished to save the human empire, he would already have appeared to destroy us. It is not something that would require a lot of effort on his part!”
“What Lord Liu said is also correct,” The woman said again, her face slightly flustered, “But perhaps he is testing us. Perhaps, he wants to see whether or not we are greedy enough to wish for more land, and when we start our actions, he will cut us down.”
“That is could be true,” The man nodded his head, but his eyes were feverish as he tried to convince everyone otherwise. “But he could be planning to kill us already. He could plan our deaths at any moment he wishes, why would he wait for us to start a war? It will inconvenience him when he is already able to destroy us. He showed no mercy four thousand years ago, for him to test us now given An He’s personality, I say that he would not wait but strike instantly. Because he has not struck us down yet, I cannot help but feel that he will not take action.”
“Your logic is sound,” The woman sighed, “But there will always be a chance that An He will strike us down. And as long as there is a risk, I for one cannot take that chance. I have many beasts to look after. I cannot afford to risk their lives on something that isn’t guaranteed.”
“Well, there is an easy solution,” Wan Qiao’s voice sounded throughout the entire library, and everyone quieted down as they looked at the beautiful woman who was smirking at the main table. Slowly everyone returned to their seats as they wondered what exactly Wan Qiao meant when she said that there was an easy solution.
Seated in their chairs, not even the slight murmur could be heard as everyone looked to Wan Qiao. They felt that this was not an easy decision, so for her to claim that there was one, everyone was confused.
“This is not an everyone goes to war, or no one goes to war situation.” Wan Qiao said with a gentle smile on her face, “We have sixty-four Saint ranked experts within this room, and that is far more Saints than the Siban Empire has. We can go to war with some of the Saints while others stay within Shenyuan and looks after our kingdom.”
“It is natural not to leave with our entire force. If everyone was to leave, who would be left to protect our borders should another kingdom suddenly feel like attacking? Those who are against the war should be decided to be the ones staying behind and protecting our forest. An He would not destroy both the army who goes to war and the ones remaining behind. This way we can keep Shenyuan safe and ensure that some strong experts survive, should the worst case scenario turn out to be true.”
Hearing her words everyone was taken aback as they understood the fundamental of what she said and how all of them were surprised that no one had thought about it previously. Having all of the lords leaving Shenyuan was definitely not an option, and the chance of An He taking revenge on the beasts who were within Shenyuan was very small. This way some of the lords would survive and be able to deal with their home. Thinking like this, all the lords felt an epiphany, and they could not help but all nod their heads.
“I am not aware how many Saint leveled experts we need for the war,” Wan Qiao continued, “But that is something I will leave for Grand Marshall Hui Yue to decide. We might want to have many Saints with us, but we might not take all the ones who volunteer to go. However firstly, let us find now who would like to enter the war, and who would like to stay at Shenyuan. This way Hui Yue knows what he has to work with and also roughly the number of soldiers he will be dealing with.”
Hearing this, a murmur appeared in the room and all slowly nodded their heads. Somewhere still slightly surprised from the simple solution while others already had their faces filled with grins and expectations.
Doing a simple raising of hands, Hui Yue found that out of the sixty-four, fifty-nine were volunteering to invade while five were certain that they wished to stay within Shenyuan. One of these five was the woman who had spent a lot of time trying to convince the others that there was no way of knowing whether or not An He would participate.
“Seeing the votes, the war will happen,” Wan Qiao said with a clear voice which cut through everything. Even those who had at first been against the war slowly nodded their heads. Their eyes had become feverish, and they seemed to be caught in the moment. They thought of the beasts going to war, of the people doing their best to improve the living quality of the many residents of Shenyuan.
“There is one final thing I wish to make public tonight,” Wan Qiao continued, and everyone stilled. The conversation stopped, and they all looked at Wan Qiao with expectance and confusion in their eyes. They already agreed on going to war, what more was there for them to decide?
“I have already named Hui Yue the Grand Marshall of our war; however, this is just my opinion. I think that no one will be capable of looking after the army and our troops better than he; however, we need to come to an agreement about this. Are we willing to take on Hui Yue and accept his conditions, or do we wish to do this on our own and hope for the least amount of casualties?”
This question at first made all the lords mute. Not one said anything as complicated expressions were shown on their faces. All these lords knew that the man in question was nothing more than a Duke, yet at the same time, he had time and time again astonished them. Not only with his shocking intellect and the knowledge he had shared with them but also from his demeanor and ability to stay unfazed in front of any situation.
However accepting Hui Yue as the Grand Marshall also meant accepting the conditions he set earlier, conditions which they did not wish for. After a moment, Lord Pan stood up and with a clear voice said “I accept Hui Yue as the Grand Marshall. Although I do not entirely agree with his conditions, I can accept them as his human part. Should the humans, however, cause trouble for us beasts, do not expect that we will treat them politely.”
Hearing this, Hui Yue nodded and a “Naturally,” escaped his lips. His voice showed no emotions, nor could one tell he was under any pressure from the Saint, who had just spoken to him. Hearing this, one lord after another stood up, “Young Hui Yue is suited to be the Grand Marshall,” They all agreed. Wan Qiao was secretly elated and felt like jumping up and down in excitement as things were finally going the way that she had been dreaming for years. Ever since they had been forced back to Shenyuan, Wan Qiao wished that it was possible to fight back, to prove that the beasts had not been oppressed, yet she had to wait for four thousand years for it to happen. Now that it was occurring in front of her, she would do anything in her power for it to succeed.
Eventually, every one of the sixty-four Saints around the table stood up. Some of them had bowed slightly towards Hui Yue while others had nodded their heads in approval as a show of respect. Although Hui Yue was not as strong as them, he had other merits which allowed for him to be treated with such respect from the highest group of beasts within Shenyuan.
Seeing this, Hui Yue was quite surprised that everything went as smoothly as it had. He never expected that Wan Qiao would be able to convince so many at the start as she had, nor did he expect that the lords would actually approve of him.
Smiling slightly, Hui Yue knew that now that this was settled, it was time for him to start his plan. His plan which included Li Meilin. A smile appeared on his face as he looked down the table, a feeling of success was rising in his chest, and a strange feeling of pride appeared within. To be trusted like this was a first in Hui Yue’s life, and he wished to prove that he was worth the respect.
Ever so slowly, Hui Yue stood up, and a smile appeared on his face as he started speaking, “Everyone, I thank you for the honor you have shown me. I will retreat to my chambers for now, I need to do a lot of thinking, but I will call you all to an assembly soon. An assembly with all the information needed for us to begin the war.”