Chapter 302: Searching
Cai Jie and Hui Yue, who were sitting in the small library they came across, put one memory stone after another to their foreheads. Silvery blue light constantly shined within the room while the two men would regularly write down anything important they came across.
Cai Jie found out quite a few interesting facts about the City Lord, and Hui Yue learned a great deal about all the many guests who took part in the City Lord’s dinner parties. He started with the guests who appeared at every dinner. The information they obtained from Gao Yan was quite detailed. It stated which faction the person was a member of, everything about their families, about their ranks, about their most used attacks, their highest ranked attacks, and also things about which elemental affinities they had or were known to have. But what Hui Yue could use the most was that Gao Yan included information about whether or not these families were loyal to the factions they were part of. After sorting through four of the twelve memory stones, Hui Yue had already found one person who was not faithful to his faction.
All of them were official members of the City Lord’s faction, yet the person whom Hui Yue found was a nobleman called Dong Liang; the Patriarch of the Dong family. On the surface, he was a part of the City Lord’s faction, but truthfully he was a part of the first prince’s faction. Whether or not the City Lord was aware that this was a big question which Hui Yue was incapable of answering. The information was for sale by Gao Yan so accessing it was not hard.
Within the capital, there were six different factions. One of these was the City Lord’s faction. The second belonged to the first prince, and the third was the second prince. The fourth was the third prince. Apart from these four factions, there were two others. One was led by Zhan Weisheng, a merchant, and the final was the royal faction led by the king and his supporters.
Within the capital, the majority of the merchants followed Zhan Weisheng, which made his faction one of the largest. The merchants and high ranked mercenaries supported this man who was allied with the City Lord.
The current king was old and his faction was quite small. The majority of the nobles were supporting one prince or another while a few of them chose to support the City Lord instead.
Looking through the many memory stones, Hui Yue found that of the twelve steady members of the dinner party, three were loyal to someone other than the City Lord. Of the experts who were invited more than once, half of them were faithful to other lords. Of the ones who had been invited once, the majority were loyal to others.
The three who were unfaithful to the City Lord’s faction were Dong Liang, a nobleman called Huang Zhen, and a merchant named Han Shi. Huang Zhen was the patriarch of the Huang family, and his true allegiance was towards the second prince. The merchant Han Shi was faithful towards Zhan Weisheng. Whether or not these three experts and their true allegiance were known to the City Lord, Hui Yue did not know, but he made a mental note to watch out for them.
Making a list he wrote down the attacks these men were skill at, and he made a mental note to revisit the Black Lion to get some information about the royal family. He needed more than just what he had about the third prince right now.
Looking through the memory stones, Hui Yue found nothing else of interest. While Hui Yue was busy looking into the City Lord’s guests, Cai Jie had searched through all information about the City Lord himself. What he had written down was information about the City Lord’s rank, attacks, and skills. He was an Emperor, and he had been the City Lord for eleven years already. He had taken over the job from his father when he died, and he had been on the seat ever since. He managed to make the merchants support him because he was always fighting for their rights when he met with royals and nobles, while at the same time he did not support anyone specific within the royal family. All the factions from the royal family were trying to gain his support. If they could then they would be capable of claiming the throne after the king died, but so far as they could tell the City Lord had not made a decision concerning the three princes.
After going through the information about the City Lord and his dinner meetings, Hui Yue looked over all the information on the third prince. The third prince was thirty-six years old. He was the youngest of all the princes, but he had the best talent when it came to cultivation. The prince was already a King ranked expert. To Hui Yue, this was not an astonishing speed, but to anyone with no assistance of things like the blue cloud energy, the red mist energy, and all the other phenomena he had knowledge about from his past lives, the third prince’s speed was quite astonishing; he worthy of being called a genius.
This prince was treated with great respect by all, even the City Lord and his two brothers. His faction was the largest of the royal factions, and he was constantly winning more and more noble supporters because of the way he dealt with various problems in the kingdom.
The second prince had the second largest group of followers within the royal family, and followed by him was the king. The first prince had the least amount of followers. His latent talent was lacking, and he focused more on drinking and young women than on leading the country. The memory stones also told him that the reason for this first prince’s dislike of royal matters was because his fiance was assassinated by the third prince. This information was placed in the information about the third prince, but the source was written as dubious. It was not something that could be confirmed, but it was suspected to be the truth. Most of the information about the third prince was open to the public, but the most critical information about his most used attacks, his highest ranking attack, and his preferred Wu Wei creations was nonexistent as no one had seen him use his skills in a real battle so far.
The third prince and the second prince were currently fighting to be the ruler of the kingdom, and to do so they were both doing their best to gain the favor of both the City Lord, Zhan Weisheng, and their father’s faction. These three factions were what would determine who would be the king. Wondering for a moment, Hui Yue and Cai Jie looked at each other, “I guess we should try and make the City Lord favor the second prince. It is bad enough that we are going for the third prince, but taking down the future heir of a kingdom is not a very good idea.” Hui Yue said as a shiver passed down his spine as he imagined how terrible the repercussions would be if they were to kill the third prince now, versus if they were to kill him if he were the king in the future.
“Being part of the City Lord’s faction will be beneficial for us, and the City Lord himself will gain quite a bit of face, alongside quite a few nobles. Knowing that the Grand Marshall of the beast army has joined his faction, I am quite certain that he will have nobles flooding to his side.” Being able to attract so many different nobles, Hui Yue was aware that his opinion would matter greatly. Behind him was the strength of the entire army of Shenyuan. An army which laid the Siban Empire to waste. Even if Hui Yue was not willing to fight over the Taiyang kingdom, he should still be able to call on more than a few Saints and have them commit random assassinations to get rid of those who were against him.
Hui Yue understood the train of thoughts quite well, and although he would never consider actually calling in any of the beasts, he would never tell anyone this; instead he would use their strength to tip the City Lord towards his own opinions.
Having gone through all the information, Hui Yue and Cai Jie ended up spending the majority of the day in the library. Now the sun was setting, and dusk was arriving. Sighing deeply, Hui Yue knew that his friends should be returning soon, and he could not wait to spend time with them. He ate a meal and drank some wine before it was once more time to focus on cultivating. Hui Yue had been so busy that he had not seen Wang Ju Long since the previous day. Xu Piao had done nothing but cultivate, so he had not seen him since morning. Ma Kong came to visit last night, but Hui Yue was unaware of how much work the older man had at his family’s auction house. Therefore he was unable to say whether or not he would appear during the night to celebrate their reunion.
The two twins were both busy at the academy. What exactly they were doing, Hui Yue didn’t know. They were both too old to be students, but as they had already graduated, they must be doing something different. Hui Yue could not wait to hear more about what they were doing. In general, he looked forward to hearing about all his friends. How their lives had been going, and what they were now doing with their time. The previous night had been a great reunion, but none of them had any time to speak with each other. Cai Jie had not had the time to be introduced, and there were so many things they needed to talk about; things that would be perfect to discuss over their evening meal.
“Let’s go,” Hui Yue said as he stood up, and with Cai Jie in tow, he looked through the house until he found the dining room. Within the room was a large table with enough seats for one hundred people. Currently, no one was seated there, but many servants were scurrying back and forth, preparing the room and placing plates and cutlery on the part of the table which was furthest away from them.
Looking around, Cai Jie and Hui Yue were both quite uncertain about what they should do. They were in the way of the servants, but they didn’t know where to go. After looking at the servants for a few moments the two quickly retreated, walking through the house in the hope of running into someone who was living there. Someone whom they could spend some time chatting with.
“We still have almost a full week before the next meet up at the City Lord’s mansion,” Cai Jie suddenly said as he looked around, “Perhaps we could see if we could get invited to some other nobleman’s house to get more interesting information.”
“There is another option,” Hui Yue said slowly while pondering. “At first, I was planning on supporting the City Lord since he has a faction already, but what if we do not support anyone. What if we create our own faction. I am quite certain that the City Lord will support us, much like Zhan Weisheng is currently supporting the City Lord. Making our own faction, we will have far more power than what we currently have.” He continued, and with each word, Cai Jie nodded his head slowly. What Hui Yue said made sense.
“Let’s bring it up at dinner,” Cai Jie said. “If we make our own faction we will need the help of all the friends you have within the capital. If we are backed by a massive auction house and such an information network, not to mention the threat of your beast army, then we should be able to make quite an influential faction.” He continued, and his words caused Hui Yue to grin. He had to admit that he preferred to be in control of how things were done.
“Well, we don’t know if we can do this,” Cai Jie warned as he saw the excitement on Hui Yue’s face. “I don’t know if we can do this, but we should try our best and talk about it with your friends this evening.”