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By now, Jian Chen had already plundered the entirety of the treasury. The Pingyang Kingdom was not financially unstable now nor had the entire economy halted, and this was better than killing every single high ranking official and able bodied person. After all, these officials were still the strongest in the kingdom and without them, there would be no one to supervise the fallout from the looting. In such a politically, financially, and physically unstable state, it was truly a terrifying situation to be in, especially in a world that revered strength as power.
After taking all of the purple coins, Jian Chen turned around and began to look into every single remaining thing of interest left in the treasury.
Soon enough, Jian Chen left the treasury and walked outside where a large group of strong looking soldiers and officials stood still, not fearing to stand their ground.
“Sire, you’ve cleaned out the treasury and ordered the troops to return from the borders, shouldn’t you release His Majesty?” A general cried out in anger.
Jian Chen smiled, “Who said I would let him go? He has caused millions of people from my Gesun Kingdom to die; if I were to let him go, those who have died in this war would never be able to rest in peace. Those parents who lost their children will never forgive me for this wasted opportunity.”
Jian Chen’s response caused everyone else to instantly go into an uproar. “Do you wish to execute His Majesty then?! Do you not fear the wrath of us all? Or the entire might of the army invading your Gesun Kingdom?!”
Jian Chen’s eyes narrowed dangerously as killing intent began to leak out of him, permeating the area. With an icy voice, he spoke, “Do you wish to see whether or not I will slaughter everyone in this palace down to the last dog?”
At this, the generals froze up, fearing to say anything that could make the matter worse. In their eyes, a hint of fear could be seen as they realized the consequence of their words. If Jian Chen were to truly ma.s.sacre all of the inhabitants of the palace, then there would be no one here able to stop him. After all, he was an individual that had easily killed two Heaven Saint Masters.
Without speaking anymore words, Jian Chen grabbed the king by his shoulder and flew into the air. In an instant, he disappeared into the sky, causing everyone to look at him go with wide eyes, shocked at how their very own king had been taken prisoner. Even worse, they had no power to stop it.
The group of generals stared angrily at the speck that was Jian Chen with their eyes smoldering with hatred. After a long moment, they could only sigh with pessimistic expressions.
Although their Pingyang Kingdom was not considered a superpower, their population of 700 million was not a small amount either. But on this very day, a single youth had been able to storm into the palace and take the king right in front of everyone’s eyes. No matter how much they would try to scrub and wash, this was a mark of humiliation that would never fade.
Jian Chen continued to fly through the air with the king in hand. He had originally planned to kill every single human in the palace, but the words the king had said in the underground labyrinth had resonated with him. They allowed him to remember that even the soldiers had their own children and parents. Although killing him would quite literally only take a moment to think about, this one thought would also lead to many orphans being created, and just as many parents seeing their own children die before them. Because of this and what elder Xiu had spoken to him about, back in the village, Jian Chen had changed his mind. Instead of starting a ma.s.sacre, he had given up on the idea. Furthermore, Jian Chen did not wish to have the blood of innocents on his hands.
Continuing to fly through several villages, it took them another two hours before Jian Chen and the king arrived back at the northern stronghold. Then, in front of the surprised looks of all the soldiers on the stronghold wall, they descended.
As soon as Jian Chen descended, a group of injured soldiers immediately sprung up to surround him with anxious eyes. Each one was afraid that Jian Chen was an enemy.
One of the generals left protecting the stronghold immediately rushed on over to take charge of the anxious situation. All of the experts of the stronghold had just left, and a new Heaven Saint Master suddenly arrived! If this was an enemy, then there would be no way for them to stop this man from overtaking the entire stronghold.
The elder’s eyes swept over Jian Chen for a moment before quickly landing upon the king of the Pingyang Kingdom with a startled look. “The king of the Pingyang Kingdom? Just what reason are you here, state your reason for arrival.” The general’s eyes hardened as he took on an unwelcoming look to the two newcomers.
Knowing that the general was misunderstanding the situation, he waved his hands, “The general misunderstands, I have captured the king of the Pingyang Kingdom. He is nothing more than a prisoner now.”
“What, the king of the Pingyang Kingdom is your prisoner?” The general was confused, but shocked.
“Correct, he is now our prisoner. Where might the five Imperial Advisors from the Qinhuang Kingdom be?”
At the mention of the five Imperial Advisors, the general looked shocked once more before thinking with a panicked hurry, “Could sire know the five Imperial Advisors from the Qinhuang Kingdom?”
“Those five and I came here from the Qinhuang Kingdom together. We only split roads half way here; while they a.s.sisted the kingdom, I went to the neighboring Pingyang Kingdom.” Jian Chen spoke.
The general immediately smiled with a great big smile on his face. “Could you be the youth that killed the four Heaven Saint Masters from the Pingyang Kingdom?”
Jian Chen nodded, “Correct, that is me.”
With this confirmation, the general’s face split into a smile and immediately loosened from his tense state; even the look he was giving Jian Chen changed. When the soldiers realized that this youth was no enemy, they too let out sighs in relief and also smiled. They welcomed any allied Heaven Saint Master since they were extremely crucial in such a moment. It was in a battle that their true worth came out and inspired soldiers with their strength.
The only one with a sour expression was the king of the Pingyang Kingdom. The situation had grown far more dire than he had thought; he had no idea that the Gesun Kingdom had somehow managed to become friends with one of the Eight Great Powers: the Qinhuang Kingdom. For that kingdom to even be willing to dispatch Imperial Advisors to help was already bad news for their enemies. Furthermore, to hear that his four Heaven Saint Masters that were sent here were killed was a devastating blow.
“How many Heaven Saint Masters from the Pingyang Kingdom died?” Despite being a captive, the king of the Pingyang Kingdom couldn’t help but ask still. A Heaven Saint Master was an extremely important factor to a kingdom. A loss of just a single one was already a tremendous blow that the Pingyang Kingdom couldn’t afford to take.
The general of the northern stronghold began to laugh out loud, “My dear king, allow me to explain this to you. Three days ago, senior Chang Wuji was able to kill two of your Heaven Saint Masters with his Heaven Tier Battle Skill. Later, senior Chang Wuji had also been able to come back from the Pingyang Kingdom’s fort with the heads of four more Heaven Saint Masters. Then, he later killed another with his battle skill. The last one had been killed along with the others from the Hidden Dragon Kingdom, thanks to the Imperial Advisors from the Qinhuang Kingdom. Their heads now adorn the stronghold walls!”
Hearing this, the king of the Pingyang Kingdom began to sway slightly before falling to the ground. His Pingyang Kingdom had ten Heaven Saint Masters, and eight of them had been killed as a result of war. If he added the two that died back in the palace, then that meant all ten of his Heaven Saint Masters had been killed. This was a monumental loss for the kingdom, one that the king barely avoided fainted from after hearing the news.
The general’s eyes gleamed as he looked at the king before cupping his hands and bowing to Jian Chen. “Fellow brother, in what way might you suggest punis.h.i.+ng this king here?”
Jian Chen waved his hands and spoke, “Do as you please with him.”
With a great big smile, he called out to several soldiers to tie up the king until further notice with an enthusiastic voice.
Afterward, the general explained the situation to Jian Chen. Despite being treated like a guest, Jian Chen managed to have every single remaining high ranking officer come and greet him. Once they realized that he was the mysterious ent.i.ty that had killed four Heaven Saint Masters and brought back the king of the Pingyang Kingdom as a captive, they all looked at Jian Chen with adoration.
Sitting on a stool, Jian Chen looked at the nearby gates with a complex look. His eyes could reveal a glint of antic.i.p.ation as well as some anxiety.
The general was very good at discerning body language and so he was curious at what caused such a reaction from Jian Chen. Without giving away his curiosity, he smiled, “Fellow brother, might I ask if you are an Imperial Advisor from the Qinhuang Kingdom?”
Absentmindedly, Jian Chen nodded his head before speaking, “General, is there anyone from the Changyang clan here?”
With a confused look, the general shook his head, “I’m afraid to disappoint, but because of the situation in the other three strongholds, the Changyang clan has all been mobilized. Even the two Heaven Saint Masters from this stronghold were relocated to help mediate the problems.”
Hearing this, Jian Chen had a disappointed look. “Then where might the young lord of the Changyang clan be?”
At this question, the general couldn’t help but look at Jian Chen oddly. “The young master of the Changyang clan had his limbs severed. He was escorted back to Lore City to recover with several people this afternoon.”
Jian Chen’s question caused the general to feel skeptical; the Gesun Kingdom and the Qinhuang Kingdom had no relations to each other as far as he knew. But today, the Qinhuang Kingdom’s Imperial Advisors had come by to provide a.s.sistance for them. Furthermore, this youth was also an Imperial Advisor but had also some sort of connection to the Changyang clan. Connecting the two together, the general couldn’t help but think, could this youth in front of him be responsible for the Qinhuang Kingdom coming to the Gesun Kingdom for a.s.sistance?
Although he was skeptical, the general didn’t ask too many questions. He knew it wasn’t his place to ask.
Upon hearing that the Changyang clan had left the area, Jian Chen could barely contain his disappointment. The general could see the range of emotions flas.h.i.+ng through his face and could use that to confirm his suspicions.