Chapter 27: The Fragile Balance
Time flies past like a song… Alright, it wasn’t that long, I just wanted to use that saying. Truthfully, it has only been two days and Liu Huang Mountain City has regained its peace.
That day, when all the escapees and those villains who made use of the chaos to do as they please were judged, they were either hung in the air by an intangible rope or their heads simply fell off their necks. Those who have yet to bypass the boundary or had intended to test the bottom limit, upon realizing that they were on a formless execution platform, immediately stopped in their tracks.
The chaos didn’t sustain for too long. Once the outsiders were cleared, the 1 Court 4 Halls sent out law enforcers to help maintain order. Very quickly, Liu Huang Mountain City regained the order that it had previously.
A gigantic Red Dragon, whose body was still filled with wounds after a great battle and blood was splattering down during her flight, glide over half a city before crashing into the Holy Light district. When news that Liu Huang Mountain City’s Guardian Deity, Ancient Red Dragon Ein Mezus was injured to the point that she required over hundreds of Holy Knights and Priests to help treat her wounds, the rumor of the 3 heads standing by and watching everything happen was cut immediately.
Rather, under the manipulation of some people, the news that the 3 heads fought a great battle against 2 of the Underground Autarch, which resulted in Ein Mezus’s heavy wounds has already spread through every street and every alley.
Of course, the fact that this reason for all this was because of the seal of the Fire Elemental God would remain a secret, so that the reason for the war on the surface was an invasion for land, an act commonly seen in the underground world.
The existence of a strong enemy outside, the even stronger guardian of our own faction almost died and the citizens who felt glad and pain after surviving through the calamity through the relying on the sacrifice of the guardians. When all of these factors and complex emotions are there, this city of diversity, in the face of a calamity, should be more united then ever.
If there is something that we must find different, it is that all of the tomatoes and smell eggs had all been sold out. The reason? The betrayal of the Public Council has been revealed and those who have been executed by the miraculous judgement serves as evidence. Now, the door to the Council Room is colored with tomatoes and smelly eggs and all of their windows were broken.
When the few more well-known councilors were to want to leave their homes, if they don’t to leave home clean and return home colored, they had to bring a bodyguard and carry a barrier to draw firepower.
The death count in this calamity totals up to more than 300 people but the dead have already passed and the sinner were killed. The victims and their families had to find a target to vent their resentment, so the fruit stores outside the Council Room were sold out in record time. Society is harmonious, banzai, banzai…
Some merchants have even found business opportunities at the doorstep of the Council Room…
“You’re still using the primitive tomatoes and smelly eggs? That is already out of time. Here is a Dwarf Smelly Bomb made specially using the dwarves’ smithing skills. 3 gold coin for one, its smell is concentrated and won’t fade away with time. Also, we have Dwarf Color Bomb, 2 gold coins for one. We have 13 colors to choose from and we give away a color card for each one bought. If you collect the whole set, we will give away a complimentary Dwarf Chicken Machinery! Different from the Gnomes, our Dwarf’s machinery have high quality and definitely will not explode, definitely will not explode!”
“Gnome smoke bombs! Gnome explosives number 1 to 7. We guarantee its might, it will injure and won’t kill, making a necessary good to relieve your hatred. Furthermore, it is cheap!! It only costs half the price of those toys of the sissy dwarves! One gold coin each!”
“Enough, Roren.Jinbi from the Hall of Judgement, I have already tolerated you for a long time! You can insult me, but you cannot insult the product of the intelligence of the Dwarf tribe!”
TL: Jinbi literally means gold coin
“Sissy Miheuer.Suicidestorm from the Hall of Legislator, it is you who first verbally attacked us. To think that you Dwarves had the face to look down on the products of us Gnomes? Yes, the things you do might not explode, but the messy side effects are even more scary than explosions. Touch your heart, do you dare to say you have never been transported to midair by your Dwarf’s transportation device, never been electrocuted by your electrical net and never turned small by your death ray? The product of you Dwarves are just like your name Suicidestorm, professional at committing suicide!”
“It is Magicstorm, Magicstorm!!”
Hearing that, the Dwarf lad with a kid-like figure was enraged.
“Taste this!!” He takes out a machinery tool that resembles a toy gun and fires it. Then…
“Luoluoluoluoluoluoluo!” A small chicken appears on the spot and jumps around, and the chicken-changing machine falls to the ground…
“Hahaha! I have said that you Dwarf sissies’ gadgets aren’t reliable at all!” Laughing crazily while pointing a finger at small chicken. Roren takes out 3 small silver balls out from his body and starts juggling them.
Playing with bombs without the usage of equipment, yet there was not a hint of fear or trembling of his hands. Roren showed the audience the courage the Gnome tribe possesses.
“Look at the miracle work of us Gnomes! We never tried to deny the unpredictability of the divine engineering but as long us, the intelligent Gnomes, continue our research and pass on our inheritance one generation after another, the Gnome’s engineering will become more and more advanced. Even though my father, my grandfather died in an accident, I will continue pursuing my goals and I believe that even if I fail, my sons and grandsons will continue working towards that goal!!”
Ignoring the attack of the angry little chicken by his foot, Roren raises his head, protrudes his chest and declares loudly, as though as he was ready to sacrifice himself anytime.
The Gnome’s self-sacrifice in pursuing the study of engineering unexpectedly won applause and support from the audience.
“Well said!” There were even people who intend to come forward to purchase Roren’s engineering products. But, Roren continues on:
“When my grandfather died, it was only a 13 meter hole. My father accomplished in exploding an entire 30 meter. When I die, I must create a 100 meter big hole! Our Jinbi clan must successfully create a big bomb that could destroy an entire city!!”
Alright, as soon as the Gnome shows his true color, all of those buyers immediately backed off. The audience even immediately take a big step backward, and it was fortunate that they did…
“Ah, what is this bent copper plate for?” The small chicken’s fierce attacks finally attracted his attention. Roren looks at the copper plate that just dropped from his clothes and went into deep thoughts. After that, he started sweating profusely…
“It’s the safety screw!!”
“Peng!” “Peng!” “Peng!”
“This… This is only a small trip, I won’t give it up! I… I will be back!”
Alright, after displaying the courage of the Gnome tribe in not fearing death, he once again exhibited the Gnome tribe’s daily suicidal methods.
Now, after 3 consecutive explosions, our Gnome engineer merchant blasts into the sky, bringing black smoke with him. But from the energetic roar, it seems that this was just the start…
Standing behind the crowd, I witnessed this farce. I turned my head and said to Elisa beside me.
“The internal situation in the city isn’t stable enough for them to cause such trouble. Record down for me, the orders of the Head of Supreme Court: Ban all engineering activities in the next month. Find some excuse, throw all of these troublemaking shorties into detention for them to reflect over their actions for a month. All of the Town Security and Hall of Judgement will be mobilized for this movement.”
“As long as it is an Engineer, capture them before conducting a search. They are definitely guilty. What if we capture the wrong people? I will go and apologize to them upfront then. Don’t worry, it is just like how there isn’t a man in the world without lust, is it possible for there to be a Gnome who doesn’t cause explosion, a Dwarf that doesn’t commit suicide?”
“Oh right, is the Beyar brothers still under detention?”
“Yes, they still have 3 days left in there.”
After receiving confirmation, I nodded my head satisfied.
“Tomorrow, pass some engineering tools to them. They definitely cannot resist the temptation of playing with bombs in the detention barrack. Then, we would have another reason to lock them up for another month. Without the two leading authority on explosions causing trouble outside, those troublesome engineers will lack their leader and the ban would be easier to impose.”
After finished passing down my orders, I turned around to leave. The City Lord’s Residence isn’t too far away but looking at Magicstorm who was exploded black, lying on the floor, I stopped in my steps.
“Right, I almost forgot. When Suicidestorm recovers from him ‘fried chicken’ status, tell him and Roren that ‘You don’t have to collect their wages for the next 2 months. I don’t care what you two do privately, but the next time you all claim that you are a member of the Supreme Court and soil the reputation of the Supreme Court, I will…’”
Right here, I suddenly stopped. These shorties are born with astounding guts, explosions and travelling across dimensions are like daily routine to them. Exactly what kind of punishments could frighten them? I was at a loss.
But Elisa whispers in my ear.
“Make the two of them exchange their engineering tools and products, let the Gnome engineer use the Dwarf’s engineering tools and the Dwarf use the Gnome’s engineering tools. Then, force them to make 10 of the other party’s engineering toys.
Looking at this ice-cold face and hearing this bell-like voice, I was stunned for a moment.
“Making them do this is even worse than killing them outright. Gnome engineering and Dwarf engineering may seem similar, but their principles all the way to their systems are totally different, ten toys? It might actually take them a lifetime. Furthermore, they have to use the tools they hate and study the principles they detest, it really is a cruel punishment. But…”
I showed a thumbs up. “Good idea, your style is becoming more and more similar with mine.”
Cough, back to the main topic. The reason why I chose to walk back to the City Lord’s Residence is because I wanted to see how the restoration of Liu Huang Mountain City was coming along after the storm. Seeing that they have excessive energy to cause such a farce, I am actually quite relieved.
Fine, as the shadow boss the scene, I am quite satisfied with ‘Onlooker’ and the Liu Huang Mountain City’s Thief Guild’s combined power in controlling intelligence. At least, on the surface, nothing has changed.
Yes, only on the surface. Two Underground Autarch allianced together to conduct an attack, but only the Autarch themselves managed to return and their entire armies were destroyed. Such an explosive news, how can there be no changes at all.
“Be direct, the reason why you created Nanxiang Law Academy, digged the walls of the Holy Church and expanding the personnel of the legal system by 3 times, just what are you planning to do?”
In the City Lord’s Residence, Magaret and Adam were already chatting while sipping on tea. Xiao Hong was absent as she was recovering from injury. But, the instant I sat down, Magaret started to interrogate me.
“Hehe, these lasses’ sacrificed themselves, fought on bravely without retreating, just to protect the citizens, I am only giving them a chance to integrate fully into the legal system. It has been their wish for many years, don’t tell me that they aren’t aware of it.”
I carried a bone knife and carefully carved the black-colored wooden scepter.
Ever since the judgement ended, I started to get hooked on wood carving. This is a skill-based chore, requiring me to put all my attention into it.
“It’s too troublesome, I don’t feel like explaining.”
Magaret shakes her head and sits back down. The Lich is scheming something, as usual, but since he is unwilling to speak, then it is impossible to get it out of him.
Guess it? This fellow’s thoughts are weird and unorthodox. Many times he seems to just to playing around but then when the time comes, it turns out to be all intricately well-planned. If he really intends to do something secretly, even the Saint who have been watching the scenes all along would be unable to guess what he is up to.
Magaret used to asked him about it, but in return, she received a baffling reply.
“Your thoughts are too direct. It is just like the Magic War Chess you all love to play. The players scramble over the loss and gain of every piece and try to accumulate these tiny wins to achieve the final victory. It seems to be the correct method but in reality, the weapons that you are pointing at your enemies become very apparent, making it easy for people to see through your thinking. Instead, you are actually on the lower hand. As an expert on Go, I scatter my pieces around the board and wait patiently most of the time. I don’t try to aim for the small wins but aim for the big one from the start.
TL: Go -> A board game, in chinese we call in Wei qi (?? -> Surround chess). I tried learning it a bit before and it is really really complex.
“Go? Is there such a chess in this world? Don’t tell me it is a game that has disappeared in history?” Magaret once asked me but following which, Lich Roland seemed to focus on other stuff and ignore her question.
“Right, I intend to create a branch in the next few days, Supreme Court Chrome Branch
Chrome City’s City Lord Hng Hng had already died under Magaret’s Forbidden Spell during the invasion a few days ago, leaving Chrome City without a leader. My intentions were rather clear.
“No wonder you are increasing the number of personnel, you are intending on taking over Chrome City?”
“Of course, I can accept not leveling up after killing the boss, tolerate being unable to get treasures but if I don’t take over their land and some beautiful ladies, there aren’t any benefits to it, then I will fall on the street.”
TL: Fall on street -> Literal translation, has the meaning of being unlucky
Alright, just like usual, they directly ignored my crazy speech but in reality, my words are the mainstream view of the world and I personally thing that it is sufficient to live happily, like if you’re bored, you can tell a joke and feel happy about it or cause some trouble for everyone so that everyone can have fun together whereas in comparison, it is tiring to go around with a gloomy face and engage in fighting and slaughter all day long just to feel powerful.
Cough, looks I accidentally wrote a long sentence. If one could finish reading it with one breath, he must have amazing lung capacity.
Back to the main topic, I do intend to take over Chrome City but my goal is not to claim supremacy.
“On one hand, the Power of Law requires more believers and faith and on the other, we need more chips on our hand. How do you all intend to deal with the trouble with the Underground Alliance?”
Hearing my words, everyone went silent.
The attack back to the surface by the Underground Alliance is a common wish for a large portion of theunderground tribes, and will pretty much become a reality. The reason why we can defeat the collaboration of 2 Underground Autarchs is because they rushed after hearing that the seal is going to be strengthened. In fact, they might have used teleportation magic and only brought a small portion of their guards with them. The invaders probably isn’t a tenth of their real influence. At the very least, we haven’t seen the powerful experts under their command.
Furthermore, even if we can defeat the Underground Autarchs, but can we defeat the thousands to ten thousands of the Alliance army of the underground city lords. I have already learnt from my lesson that the tide of ‘history’ cannot be blocked. If I were to try stopping it with my weak arms, the only result would be me getting crushed by the tide.
When the 2 Underground Autarch refuses to give up and comes back with their full army, or maybe simply bring 300 to 400 underground city lords to deal with us, Liu Huang Mountain City would become the fool who tries to block the path of the truck, and become a scar on history — rubble.
“Let me propose a solution. Actually, your thoughts are too inflexible. Do we really have to stand on opposite stages with them to oppose them from sending troops to the surface to start a war? If we always sing a different tune with them, it is just a matter of time before we get isolated. You all are sufficiently strong so you all can leave anytime, it doesn’t matter to you all. But when Annie finally takes over, the enemies which you have offended and the resentment that they have built up will explode together, will she be able to take them on?”
“Then what should we do?” Magaret had also thought about this, but she didn’t have any ideas to deal with the situation.
“You know, we could just join them! Yes, join them. Now they have 4 dominant figures within, both of them taking 1 side, thus a fragile balance could be maintained. However, if another Underground Autarch were to join, can you guess what would happen?”
Adam’s face spelt of confusion but Magaret was in deep thoughts.
“Indeed, no matter what, we managed to defeat 2 Underground Autarch and thus, we also have the qualifications to become an Autarch ourselves. Since only 2 Autarchs came, it proves that they weren’t as unified as we thought so if we were to show our support to the other side…”
“Yes, the leadership of the Alliance army is something worth fighting for.”
Somehow, I thought of my faraway home. There was a country which was a new growing faction within 5 old established factions. During its growth, it kept changing sides to lean on and tried frenziedly to get all the benefits. Furthermore, when it comes to decision-making, it used its rights to reject the decision or give up the right to vote which annoyed the other countries. Eventually, it became the leading power of the new generation.
“Furthermore, I have an important present, a present that can drive that subtle balance into an unsolvable chaos.”
“What important present?”
I laughed gleefully as I placed the black wooden scepter on the table.
“God Equipment Yongye Scepter. This is the highest God Equipment that is equivalent to the royal authority of the Empire of Undead Xiluo. Created by Lord Yongye himself, definitely a real product. The goods have been verified and if proven to be fake, we will repay you 10 times the price.