Chapter 27: The Fragile Balance (RT)
Time flies by like a beautiful fleeting melody… 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 villains who made use of the chaos to run amok 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 an invisible 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 full of wounds after a gruesome battle, bleeds profusely as she glides past half of the 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 treat her wounds, the rumor of the 3 Heads standing by one side and watching everything happen falls apart.
Rather, under the manipulation of some people, the news that the 3 Heads fought a great battle against 2 of the Underground Autarchs, which resulted in Ein Mezus’s heavy wounds had already spread through every street and alley.
Of course, the fact that this all originated from the seal of the Fire Elemental God was kept secret, so, on the surface, the reason for that battle was territorial ambitions, a common reason for war in the Underground World.
The existence of a powerful adversary out there that resulted in the near death of the guardians of our faction, despite our guardians being stronger. The citizens who survived the calamity through the sacrificial protection of their guardians gratitude, pain and thankful. When all of these factors and complex emotions are all present, in the presence of such a threat, this city of diversity should be more united then ever.
If there must be something different about the city, then it is that all of the tomatoes and smelly eggs were sold out. The reason? The betrayal of the Public Council has been revealed and the fact that they were sentenced to death by that miraculous judgement serves as evidence. Now, the door to the Council Room is plastered with smashed tomatoes and broken 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.
Even though the death count in this calamity totals up to more than 300 people, the dead have already passed away and the sinners were punished and killed. The victims and their families had to find a target to vent their resentment, resulting in the fruit stores outside the Council Room to sell 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 outdated. Here, try the Dwarf Smelly Bomb made specially using the Dwarves’ smithing skills. Costing only three gold coins, its smell is hyper concentrated and won’t fade away with time. Also, we have the Dwarf Color Bomb which costs a mere two gold coins. We have 13 colors for you to choose from and a color card is given for each one bought. If you collect the whole set, we will be gifted with a complimentary Dwarf Chicken Machinery! Different from the Gnomes, the machineries of us Dwarves are of high quality and definitely will not explode. Definitely will not explode!”
“Gnome Smoke Bombs! Gnome Explosives Number 1 to 7. We guarantee its might, blasting injuries in your target without killing them. It is a necessary good to relieve your hatred! Furthermore, it is cheap!! It only costs half the price of those toys of those sissy Dwarves! Just 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, you are the one who first verbally attacked us. To think that you Dwarves would dare to talk bad about the products of us Gnomes? Yes, the gadgets you make might not explode. But, the messy additional side effects are even scarier than explosions. Touch your heart, do you dare to say you have never been transported to midair by the Dwarf Transportation Device, never been electrocuted by your Dwarf Electrical Net and never been miniaturised by your Dwarf Death Ray? The products of you Dwarves are just like your name, Suicidestorm, professionally made for committing suicide!”
“It is Magicstorm, Magicstorm!!”
Hearing that, the Dwarf lad with a kid-like figure is 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 while the chicken-transforming machine falls to the ground…
“Hahaha! Look, I have said the gadget of you sissy Dwarves aren’t reliable at all!” Laughing crazily while pointing a finger at small chicken, Roren takes out three small silver balls and starts juggling them.
Despite playing with bombs bare-handed, there isn't not a hint of fear or trembling of his hands. Roren shows the audience the courage the Gnome tribe possesses.
“Look at the miracle work of Gnomes! We never tried to deny the unpredictability of the divine engineering but as long as we, the intelligent Gnomes, continue our research and pass on our inheritance one generation to the other, the Gnome’s engineering will become more and more advanced. Even though my father and 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 cheerings 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 also takes a big step backward, and it is fortunate that they did…
“Ah, what is this bent copper plate for?” The fiere attacks of the small chicken finally attracts his attention. Roren looks at the copper plate that just dropped from his clothes and goes into deep thoughts. After that, he started sweating profusely…
“It’s the safety screw!!”
“Peng!” “Peng!” “Peng!”
“This… This is only a small failure, I won’t give it up! I… I will be back!”
Alright, after displaying the courage of the Gnome tribe of not fearing death, he once again exhibits the Gnome race’s daily suicidal actions.
After 3 consecutive explosions, our Gnome Engineer merchant blasts into the sky with a trail of black smoke following him. But from the looks of the energetic roar, it seems like it was just the start…
Standing behind the crowd, I had witnessed this farce. I turn towards Elisa beside me and says to her.
“The internal situation in the city isn’t stable enough for them to cause such trouble. Record it down for me, the orders of the Head of Supreme Court: Ban all engineering activities for the next month. Find some excuses and throw all of these troublemaking shorties into detention so that they would reflect over their actions for a month. All of the Town Security and Hall of Judgement personnel 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, 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, are the Beyar brothers still under detention?”
“Yes, they still have 3 days left in there.”
After receiving confirmation, I nod my head, satisfied.
“Tomorrow, pass some engineering tools to them. They will definitely find it impossible to 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 these two leading authority on explosions causing trouble outside, those troublesome Engineers will be without their leader and the ban would be easier to impose.”
After finish passing down my orders, I turn around to leave. The City Lord Residence isn’t too far away but catching sight of the charred Magicstorm lying on the floor, I stopped.
“Right, I almost forgot. When Suicidestorm recovers from him ‘fried chicken cutlet’ status, tell him and Roren ‘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 members of the Supreme Court and soil its reputation, I will…’”
Right here, I suddenly stopped. These shorties are born with astounding guts. Explosions and travelling across dimensions are a daily routine to them. Exactly what kind of punishment could frighten them? I am at a loss.
But, Elisa whispers in my ear.
“Make the two of them exchange their engineering tools and products. Order the Gnome Engineers use the Dwarf’s engineering tools and the Dwarf Engineers use the Gnome’s engineering tools. Then, force them to make ten of the other party’s engineering toys.
Looking at this ice-cold face and hearing this bell-like voice, I stun 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 even 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 display 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 towards to the City Lord Residence is because I wanted to see how the restoration of Liu Huang Mountain City was coming along after the conflict. Seeing how they still possess excessive energy to cause such a farce, I am actually quite relieved.
As the mastermind, I am quite satisfied with ‘Onlooker’ and the Liu Huang Mountain City’s Thief Guild’s combined ability in manipulating 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 Autarchs themselves managed to return back. Their entire armies were destroyed. Such an explosive news, how can there be no changes at all?
“Say it straightforwardly. The reason why you created Nanxiang Law Academy, poached the members of the Holy Church and expanded the personnel of the legal system by 3 times, just what are you planning to do?”
In the City Lord Residence, Magaret and Adam were already chatting while sipping on tea. Xiao Hong is absent as she is still recovering from injury. But, the instant I sat down, Magaret started to interrogate me.
“Hehe, those lasses fought bravely, sacrificing themselves 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 you aren't aware of it.”
Carrying a bone knife, I carefully carve on a 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 focus my attention into it.
“It’s too troublesome, I don’t feel like explaining.”
Magaret shakes her head and sits back down. As usual, the Lich is scheming something but since he is unwilling to speak, it will be impossible to get it out of him.
Try to guess his thoughts? The mind of this fellow is weird and unorthodox. Many times he seems to just be playing around but 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 figure what he is up to.
Magaret had once questioned 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 every single gain and loss of the pieces to accrue tiny wins so as to achieve the final victory. It may seem like the correct method but in reality, the weapons that you are pointing towards your enemies with become very apparent, making it easy for others to see through your thoughts. Instead of being on the upper hand, you are actually in a disadvantageous position. 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."
“Go? Is there such a chess in this world? Could it be a game that had disappeared in history?” Magaret pushed on further on this topic several times afterwards but Lich Roland seemed to focused on other stuff and ignored her questions.
“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, after killing the boss, I can accept not leveling and I can tolerate not receiving any treasures. But, if I don't conquer their land and get some of their beautiful ladies, then I will on the street from grief.”
Alright, just as usual, they directly ignored my crazy speech but in reality, my words are the mainstream view of the world and I personally think that it is sufficient to just live happily, like when you’re bored, you can tell a joke and feel happy over it or perhaps cause some trouble for everyone so that everyone can have laugh over it 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. Also, 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 Underground Alliance's invasion to the Surface is a common will for a large portion of the residents of the Underground World, and there's a high probability it will be realised. The reason why we can defeat the collaboration of two Underground Autarchs is because they rushed here after hearing that the seal is going to be strengthened. They might have even used Teleportation Magic and brought only a small portion of their guards with them. The invading army probably isn’t even 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, can we defeat the thousands to ten thousands of the Underground City Lord's Alliance Army? I have already learnt from my lesson that the tide of ‘history’ cannot be stopped. If I were to try stopping it with my weak arms, I would only get crushed by the tide.
When the two Underground Autarchs refuse to give up and return back with their full army, or perhaps, bring 300 to 400 Underground City Lords along 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 — ruins.
“Let me propose a solution. Actually, your thoughts are too inflexible. Do we really have to stand on opposite sides with them to oppose the invasion to the Surface? If we were to always sing a different tune with them diplomatically, it is just a matter of time before we get isolated. You all are sufficiently strong, you all can leave anytime so it doesn’t matter to you all. But, when Annie finally takes over, the enemies whom you have offended and when the resentment built up will explodes, 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 solutions to deal with it.
“You know, we could just join them! Yes, join them. In their current state, they have four dominant figures within split into two factions. This allows a fragile balance could be maintained among them. However, if another Underground Autarch were to join, can you guess what would happen?”
Adam’s face spells of confusion but Magaret goes in deep thoughts.
“Indeed, no matter what, we managed to defeat two Underground Autarchs and thus, we should have the qualifications to become an Autarch ourselves. Since only two Autarchs came, it proves that they aren't as unified as we thought they were. 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. Amidst five old established factions, there was a new growing power. During its growth, it kept changing factions and obtain many benefits through such. Furthermore, when it comes to decision-making, it used its rights to reject the decision or give up the right to vote and annoyed the other countries. Eventually, it became the leading power of the new generation.
“Furthermore, I have an important present, a present that could drive that subtle balance into an unresolvable chaos.”
“What important present?”
I laugh gleefully as I place the black wooden scepter on the table.
“God Equipment Yongye Scepter. This is the highest God Equipment equivalent to the royal authority of the Empire of Undead Xiluo. Created by Lord Yongye himself, it is definitely a real product. We accept the authentification of experts and if proven to be fake, we will pay you tenfolds back."
TL: For those unfamiliar, it's like a celebratory phrase. Like if the evil is destroyed, then everyone raises their hand up and shouts banzai
"As an expert on Go, I scatter my pieces around the board and wait patiently most of the time."
TL: Go -> A board game, in chinese we call in Wei Qi (Otherwise known as Go).
"Somehow, I thought of my faraway home. Amidst five old established factions, there was a new growing power. 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."
TL: Just curious, is this referring to the Qin? Anyone?