Finally, there was nothing left to say between the two of them. Once upon a time, they used to hold deep conversations with each other but today, they merely stared at each other in silence.
It wasn’t just a simple matter of different standpoints but rather they did and saw things in completely opposite fashions. Fan Lingyue were simply too extreme and Ning Chen didn’t like that. Ning Chen tended to overthink things before acting and Fan Lingyue disliked that as well.
Ning Chen wasn’t able to refute Fan Lingyue. In fact, he couldn’t even prove whether what she did was right or wrong.
In this world there weren’t that many right or wrongs, all of the time, the biggest right and wrongs stemmed from the human heart.
Should Fan Lingyue succeed, she would known be as the virtuous official by the masses hundreds of years into the future. Should she fail, then all that would remain would be condemnations.
Too bad for them, she didn’t care about such matters, all she cared about was, as she said, world peace and prosperity for the masses.
Ning Chen never doubted her words for a second despite his scornful attitude. That show of disdain was merely because he disliked her methods.
Finally, the two travellers came to a stop when Ning Chen softly sighed and said, “That’s enough strolling for now.”
“Mhm.” Fan Lingyue nodded her head in agreement, it truly was time to stop.
Though they were similar people, they weren’t travelling down the same road so their journey had to end some time.
“I’m really curious, how exactly do you plan on getting rid of me?” As the cold winds blew, Ning Chen closed his eyes slightly. Even up till the end, he didn’t manage to uncover her trump card.
Right now there were only the two of them. Even though his body was still severely injured, his strength was more than enough to take care of a powerless woman.
He never enjoyed having someone behind him, however Fan Lingyue was an exception to this. One reason was because they truly hit it off and the other was that she didn’t practise the martial path.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
As those words left her mouth, she flipped her palm and activated her Qi, promptly striking out at the back of Ning Chen’s heart. Her boundless True Qi immediately erupted, showing absolutely no mercy as it rushed into the unsuspecting teen.
It was a shocking palm strike that came without any warning. An unimaginable outcome had occurred and even time itself seemed to stop in response to this as the scene froze and refused to proceed onwards.
“How…” He was cut off before he could even finish his sentence. Tens of thousands of calculations couldn’t have prepared him for what he experienced today, no matter how much he strategized, it had never once crossed his mind that she would actually know martial skills.
He initially thought that he had given her a lot of credit already but who knew, in the end, he ended up underestimating her anyway. He underestimated the girl who had even manged to fool the entire world.
Everyone knew that the Lady Strategist wasn’t a martial practitioner. However, now it seems like there was nothing more foolish in this world than those words.
Yet, after that instant of astonishment, Ning Chen still smiled. It was a radiant smile, the kind of grin that stretched from end to end.
An instant later, an earth shattering explosion tore through the silence of the night like a crack of thunder, its radiance instantly pierced through the black pall of night and illuminated an area 100 li(50km) wide.
Hundreds of li away, the faces of the two attendants who had been on constant vigilance since then, immediately paled. With a forceful kick of their legs, they flew off to the epicenter of that explosion.
Within the army camp of Grand Xia…
As Zhang Sun stood outside of her tent, her eyes whipped towards the north and narrowed. At that very moment, her heart was struck by an overwhelming sense of unease.
Illuminated by the glowing moon hanging high above in the night sky, the surroundings of the blast radius seemed that much more intoxicating as the dust and rubble rained from the skies. As if led by some invisible force, the two attendants flew through the night skies like a pair of comets with a speed that would stun anyone watching them.
Around them, the cold winds grew even icier but the two unconsciousness youngsters would never even feel its cold embrace. Scattered all around them was the desolate aftermath of the explosion that quietly recounted the grimness of this night.
Never in his wildest dreams would Ning Chen ever imagine that Fan Lingyue possessed the Scroll of Chaos and could cover up her aura. At the same time, Fan Lingyue never expected that black powder –other than being ignited by fire– could be ignited by powerful impacts.
He couldn’t predict what kind of trump cards she had, thus he loaded his clothes with explosives and even brought a few fire-inch sticks for good measure. Originally, he was planning to use this as an emergency measure during the crucial moment. Who knew that a palm strike from Fan Lingyue would end saving him all this trouble and just blow them both up.
Qing Ning and the young officer both arrived on scene at the same time. Exchanging a brief look with each other, their palms immediately collided with each other in an explosion that stirred up a dust storm after which they both disappeared in a flash of light.
Within the camps of Grand Xia and the Mongols, their respective camps was thrown into chaos a short while later. A furious Zhang Sun and the young officer threatened to throw the entire camp into chaos as they ransacked the stores for all manners of pills and poultices to shove into the mouths of the bedridden youngsters. All they could hope for was that one of these medicines would sustain their life.
Yet, the two of them were simply too injured for these everyday medicines to have any effect. They might as well had been garbage.
One day later, news of the Lady Strategist’s severe injuries spread across the lands, stunning everyone who heard it.
No one expected the Mongol’s Lady Strategist to be injured at such a time; this was a major development that shook even the heavens. Should the Mongols lose their Lady Strategist, the threat of their invasion would decrease by at least half. Grand Xia would be able to gain some relief and perhaps even strike out against the Eternal Night Cult and the Rebellion of the Seven Cities.
Naturally, the seven governors were distressed by this development which threw all their arrangements into disarray. Without the Lady Strategist, there was no one left to tie up the majority of Grand Xia’s attention. Once this empire which dominated for over a thousand years had the chance to recover, the first ones to pay the price would be them.
Within the manor of Prince Yue in the northern regions, its owner had a devastated look on his face right now. He never expected such a turn of events but there was no turning back for him now even if he wanted to. Should the seven governors fail, he would suffer their same fate as well once they rat him out.
He was a member of the royal bloodlines. Now that the Emperor’s status was still an unknown, he still had a chance as long as he played that card.
Half a day later, a battle that rocked the world occurred at Prince Yue’s estate. Under the desperate protection of seven ninth-grade experts and two half-step Xiantains, he finally escaped the confines of Yue Manor.
However, none of his guards survived the battle. In Prince Yan’s hands, the red and blue twin swords were coated with the fresh blood of these traitors. Without any exception, anyone who stood in his way was slaughtered. As of now, all the experts he spent all those years recruiting were dead.
Without wasting a moment, Prince Yue stepped out onto the stage, becoming the monarch of the seven rebelling governors and dispatched the rebel army to assault the Imperial City.
Yet, it was at this moment that the Xia Emperor who had disappeared for so long, finally turned up.
He returned to Revelations Hall and without any explanation whatsoever, reclaimed all the powers of the court and the military after which he promptly ordered Marquis Kaixuan to suppress this rebellion.
Now that the War God had sortied, the winds of war were starting to chance. Once again, the 100 000 strong Blackwater army stunned the world by crushing the 250 000 strong rebel army as if they were tofu. In just a short span of three days, the rebels suffered defeat after defeat.
For the first time ever, the old eunuch who constantly accompanied the Emperor, Eunuch Pei, made his move. Like a horrific windstorm, he swept through the ranks of the Seven Cities’ experts and slaughtered them all, not even leaving a single half-step Xiantian alive. It was then that the world realized, to their great surprise, that the inconspicuous old eunuch beside the Xia Emperor was actually a Xiantian.
No one knew for sure how this old eunuch fooled everyone but without a doubt, he was a bonafide Xiantian.
In the end, from the governors to the ordinary soldiers, all were slaughtered. By using such a cruel method, the Xia Emperor announced his return and thoroughly shocked the world.
For the high crime of treason, Prince Yue had his nose and ears cut off and was hung above the city walls where he screamed for three days and three nights, scaring all the residents within the Imperial City and causing the young to sob in fright at night.
Inside the court of Grand Xia, there was a deathly pall that hung over the proceedings as no one dared to even speak. As of right now, all the officials felt when they looked at the Emperor was fear and even more fear.
It was only now that the people of the world, and even the people of Grand Xia, realized that the weakness shown by Grand Xia was nothing but the Emperor’s ploy to draw out the hidden dangers in his empire. With these dangers removed, it was time for the Emperor to reveal his fangs.
The second day after the rebellion ended, Marquis Kaixuan and his Blackwater army marched eastward towards the front where the Cult’s heavy cavalry were.
In the northern front, a 200 000 strong army gathered from 13 cities rushed off to reinforce the army camp of Marquis Taiping. Their goal, to wipe out the Mongolian army before the Lady Strategist woke up.
Within the camp of Marquis Taiping…
Having been hit by shock after shock, Zhang Sun was more haggard than she had ever been in her life. With letter in hand, a glint of moisture flashed across her beautiful eyes.
It was a letter left behind by Ning Chen in her tent. He couldn’t help but worry about her safety so he left behind this last piece of instruction right before leaving to meet Fan Lingyue.
“Your Majesty, if I do not return, it means I have failed. Please do not forget what I said before, defend and do not leave the camp no matter what. Fan Lingyue isn’t willing to mount a full scale assault so defending is our best option.”
“Also, Fan Lingyue is an extremely brilliant person and definitely has a number of contingency plans on hand. Should the worst ever come to pass, Your Majesty, you must remember to burn down the bridge. Horses aren’t like men in that they won’t willing cross a body of water. Even if she found a boat for them, it won’t work.”
“Lastly, there’s a high chance that the Emperor isn’t dead. Your Majesty just has to hold out till the Emperor resurfaces once more. Your Majesty is his Empress, no matter how ruthless he is, he won’t stand idly by and watch you die. He will definitely send aid.”
“Your faithful servant,
With the black and white of the letter still lingering in her eyes, she finally couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down her eyes with a deafening pitter and patter; Why, why didn’t he ever listen to her.
Standing next to Zhang Sun, Qing Ning was just as distraught but she suppressed the grief in her heart and tried to console the Empress, “Your Majesty, he isn’t dead yet, the letter has already been sent to Prince Yan, I’m sure he’ll arrive very soon.”
The prince was a Xiantian. In this dire situation, there was nothing they could do but bank on that fact and hope that he would be able to save Ning Chen.
Even though both of them knew that the chances were miniscule, even though they both knew that this was merely lying to themselves, they still weren’t willing to believe that he would die off like that.
He was always that difficult to kill, surviving crisis after crisis, this time was definitely the same as well.
A day later, Prince Yan arrived and without saying a word, carried the teen off.
In the princess’ courtyard of the Man dynasty, Ah Man sat on her bed, pale-faced and grasping at her heart. She couldn’t shake off the feeling that something had happened to him. Furthermore, it had to be some extremely dire.
She desperately wanted to find him but she had promised her royal father that she wouldn’t do so for the time being.
Her father had told her before, you must keep to your word. Thus, she mustn’t let him down.
She didn’t want her royal father to worry so she obediently ate her meals, drank her medicine and slept on time. However, this facade was about to crumble…
Within the Mongolian camp, Fan Lingyue laid perfectly still on her bed, face ghastly pale. At her side was the young officer who silently watched over her without rest.
At the very last second, Fan Lingyue managed to erect a barrier of True Qi right in front of her that covered her entire body. The Scroll of Chaos made its appearance as well to protect its master but even so, the blast managed to damage her internal organs and caused her to faint.
The Mongolian army was at its lowest point ever with the loss of their Lady Strategist. No one thought that they would be able to continue.
The 10 000 warriors led by Qing Wuyou had already arrived a few days back and were stationed within the camp where they silently waited for the Lady Strategist to awaken.