Chapter 206: Personally Taking Part (1)
A strange silence had descended.
After a long time, Averigus broke the silence.
“You have a lot of talent, Lontu, even more than I would have expected. Unfortunately, you’re using your talents in the wrong areas……”
“Are you insinuating that amusing the emperor is wrong, my great general?” Anubi said with squinted eyes.
Averigus calmly replied, “I just think that there are better ways for him to put his intelligence to use, Your Majesty.”
Then, he turned to look at Su Chen. “Are you interested in training my subordinates? I can give you a group of soldiers for you to train. If you do a good job, then I can hand over control of the entire army to you.”
Su Chen replied, “Sir Averigus, I think that you said just one thing wrong. The army is not yours; it is His Majesty’s. You are just commanding them with the authority of a deputy of His Majesty’s.”
Averigus’s expression sank.
Anubi clapped his hands and guffawed, “Well said, Lontu! Indeed, you have not betrayed my expectations.”
Averigus, on the other hand, stared at Su Chen deeply. “You have such monstrous talent, but yet you refuse to take the straight path.”
Then, he sighed and shook his head as he left.
Su Chen murmured, “His words make it seem like I have fallen into a pit and that I am totally unaware of it……”
An effective provocation.
Anubi’s expression was dark.
He clenched his hands. “That guy really pisses me off…… Turns our that there’s another annoying guy I have to deal with after Sachar.”
A noble standing to the side commented, “Averigus is a faithful official of the kingdom.”
Anubi angrily said, “Is that a reason for him to ignore me and provoke me again and again? He claims to be loyal but then uses a stick of righteousness to beat me over the head with it? He ignores my prestige, my authority, and my status! Is that a faithful official?”
The appeaser wisely shut his mouth after this outburst.
Anyone knew that continuing to speak up for Averigus would result in a bad outcome for them.
Su Chen said, “Just as Your Majesty said, this general is just putting on a show of loyalty but actually does many disrespectful things. No matter what kinds of contributions he has made in the past, ignoring the emperor like this is definitely lawless and wrong.”
Upon hearing Su Chen’s words, Anubi’s expression softened and became a little more bearable.
“You are indeed my loyal subject, Lontu. As you have said, all loyalty should ultimately be to the monarch. No matter how loyal they are, ignoring the authority of the emperor like that is wrong. This is why I need to test their loyalty. They always put on a show of loyalty, but then stop me from doing this or that. Since I am the emperor, and they are my subjects, then they should listen to me! Why do they have so many contrary opinions?” Anubi howled.
“You’re right, Your Majesty. Any official who isn’t loyal to you should be punished,” said Su Chen emotionlessly.
An incapable ruler really was an incapable ruler. Their biggest issue was often that they could not distinguish between loyalty to themselves and loyalty to the kingdom.
To this incapable ruler, he represented the kingdom, and a true ruler could do as he pleased.
A moment later, however, Anubi said, a bit upset, “The problem is that I can’t do anything to Averigus. Even though I can kill most anybody I want to, there are still some exceptions. I cannot kill Averigus, and I can’t even punish him.”
“Because he is the general responsible for guarding the western border? Because he controls the military?” Su Chen asked.
Anubi replied, “Both.”
“Then seize control of the army back from him,” Su Chen said as he leaned into Anubi’s ear.
“What did you say?” Anubi was stunned.
“It’s as you heard.”
Anubi shook his head. “That is not possible. The western border must have Averigus guarding it.”
Su Chen said, “I know. I’m not telling you to do it right now. There are things that you can do one step at a time.”
Anubi asked, “How would you do it one step at a time?”
Su Chen replied, “Theoretically, I would directly and openly seize any threats to your rule. That way you could displace his control a bit at a time and slowly gain an army that truly belongs to yourself. No one can say anything bad about that, right?”
Anubi was stunned. “What exactly are you trying to say?”
Su Chen smiled furtively. “Do you remember those Beasts?”
Upon hearing about the Beasts, Anubi grew even more confused. “The Beasts that are currently attacking us? What about them?”
“Their strength is almost spent,” Su Chen replied. “We received battle reports yesterday that the Beasts took an entire day just to seize three mountain forts. You know that these three mountain forts were not very heavily guarded, as they were constructed to buy time for those retreating from the front lines. As such, they lacked weapons, Ancestors, and medicines. Yet they were able to hold out for a day each, and two-thirds of the soldiers stationed there were able to safely retreat. Apparently, towards the end of the battle, the Scarlet Heart himself personally made an appearance.”
Anubi somewhat understood. “So in other words, they’ve reached the limits of their strength and have no way of continuing a real fight. I’m not surprised about this outcome, as I and my top aides and officials already anticipated this. Unless two more Demonic Emperors arrive, the Beasts would be driven back sooner or later. But what does that have to do with anything?”
Su Chen shook his head. “Victory is at hand, Your Majesty! You have a chance to put your prestige, reputation, and might on display, as well as obtain the support of all the commoners!”
Anubi was stunned. “You mean……”
“Take the field! Take to the field yourself!” Su Chen struck the nail on the head. “This is the best opportunity. The Beasts have spilled over the border and invaded our territory. If you take to the battlefield yourself and then drive them out, defeat them, and recover our territory, what could possibly be better? When you defeat the Beasts, your prestige will be spread far and wide, and the commoners will worship and adore you. All of your subjects will have no choice but to kneel before you, even Averigus……”
He squinted his eyes. “Your words make a lot of sense. Before this, there have always been Ravagers cursing me for not caring about the plights of the commoners, despite the fact that I don’t really care. I didn’t even pay much attention to the Beast Wave because I knew that they would retreat eventually. But if I were to direct a group of troops and defeat those beasts, then it would be a big boost to my reputation. Even though I don’t really care about my reputation, having a good reputation is better than having a poor one. The only problem is……”
“What, Your Majesty?” Su Chen asked.
Anubi waved his hand. “It’s a pain. Going so far just to fight a boring battle doesn’t sound very interesting.”
“No, that’s not a problem at all. Actually, it would be quite interesting. Your Majesty, don’t you feel stifled, being holed up in the imperial palace like this all the time? The Ravagers control a vast amount of territory, including mountains and rivers that you have never seen before. They all belong to you, but you have never had the chance to see the beautiful scenery or the beautiful women out there even once. Also, you’ll get a chance to fight. How can sitting here in the gladiator arena, watching at most a couple dozen of people kill each other, compare with the thrill of slaughtering thousands or even tens of thousands on the battlefield? This is the true meaning of the Iron and Blood Country — a hot-blooded battle!”
Su Chen’s enticing words caused Anubi’s eyes to light up. “Your words do make a lot of sense.”
Su Chen continued to add fuel onto the fire. “You can also use take this chance to suppress Averigus. His reputation is too high right now, but if you take control of the army at this moment and successfully achieve this great victory, then everything will be different.”
“That’s very true. Yes, that’s absolutely true!” Anubi was obviously growing excited.
He stood and began to pace as he planned. “I can personally lead the troops onto the battlefield. The Beasts are out of strength, so now is the best time to defeat them. Those idiots who thought that I was apathetic towards the Beast Wave’s invasion will see I, the great Anubi, bring them a great victory. I will finish off all of the invading Beasts and use their blood to water the ground! I will become a monarch above all others and receive the praise of the commoners. My subjects will lovingly present me with all their most beautiful women.”
“That’s right, Your Majesty,” Su Chen lathered on.
“But what if they don’t present their women to me?” Anubi asked.
“They will,” Su Chen replied. “You are the hero who wiped out the Beasts, the great emperor who killed the Scarlet Heart.”
“Kill the Scarlet Heart?” Anubi shook his head. “No, no, that’s not possible. The Scarlet Heart is both slippery and powerful. It’s not possible for me to kill him.”
Anubi had had no plans to kill the Scarlet Heart in his grand scene of wiping out the Beasts.
As a Demonic Emperor, it was simply too hard to kill.
Su Chen said, “That might not be the case, Your Majesty. Have you ever wondered why the Beasts started this conflict even if they knew they were going to lose?”
“Because a damned human robbed his palace bare. The Scarlet Heart is attacking the Ravagers in order to make back what it lost. Those damned bastards!” Anubi cursed.
“That is indeed the case. The Scarlet Heart wants to seize back what he lost, but there is no way he can reach his hands all the way into human territory, so he can only attack the Ravagers. And how much has he actually recovered at this point? At this point, I am only aware of one item.” Su Chen raised a single finger. “An Origin Energy Soul refined from Sir Sachar and ten or so powerful generals. The rest is just a pile of worthless junk. They might be able to fill up that empty storehouse of his, but their value is far inferior. Do you think that he would be satisfied with that?”
Anubi shook his head. “If it were me, I would definitely not be satisfied.”
“That’s exactly the case.” Su Chen’s words grew even more alluring. “That’s why killing the Scarlet Heart will not be difficult at all. All you need to do is take out an item it likes, and then the Scarlet Heart will pounce on it like a hungry wolf, ignoring everything else…… That is when we will strike at the Scarlet Heart, firmly establishing Your Majesty’s might and prestige for all eternity.”
Anubi’s eyes lit up. “What treasure do you think we should use as bait?”
Su Chen shrugged. “There are many treasures you can use. For instance, you can use the Three Great Totems or the Origin Bone Staff. Perhaps more would be better.”
As he spoke, Su Chen finally revealed his foxy tail.
However, it had to be said that this suggestion was effective precisely because it had moved Anubi’s heart.
No matter what ulterior motives Su Chen harbored, he had succeeded.
Anubi decided to head out that night.
He was going to personally command the troops, bringing the Inferno Tribe’s army of two hundred thousand or so soldiers into battle against the Beasts.
“History will remember this moment forever!” Anubi declared.