Chapter 19: Conditions (1)
Chu Yuan coldly stared at Su Chen as he said, “No wonder you are able to deconstruct Empty Mountain’s three curses - it’s because you are the Sage Cloud Bat. However, even if you are the Worldly Sage, you cannot steal Empty Mountain’s secret techniques as you please.”
“Hey, I did it with my ability, okay? How can you call that stealing?” Su Chen wasn’t happy about that.
“Regardless of whether you stole it or unlocked it, the three curses can only be used by the Chu Clan!” Chu Jiangyu said.
Su Chen shrugged. “What if I insist on having them?”
Chu Jiangyu stepped forwards. “Then die!”
Chu Yuan stopped his son.
The three Gu Clan emperors were still present. With them there, the situation was not in their favor.
Chu Yuan didn’t know the limitations of Su Chen’s Capricorn Chant, so he just assumed that Su Chen had managed to bypass the necessity of using the Capricorn Staff.
As such, he said, “Please, you three, leave this place so that he cannot use you.”
Gu Xinrong glared intently at Su Chen, then left along with Gu Feihong. In the blink of an eye, they had flown three or four kilometers away, but each of them had left behind consciousness imprints so that they could continue to observe how the situation developed.
Unexpectedly, Su Chen didn’t try to stop the three Emperors from leaving.
Chu Yuan sighed with relief now that Su Chen’s most powerful protection had left.
Chu Yuan said, “How will you resist without the Gu Clan’s members present? Seize him!”
Chu Yuan didn’t hesitate in the slightest to make a move.
A Thought Manifestation expert sprang into action. A massive wave of energy burst forth as three Thought Manifestation experts immediately locked down the surrounding area.
Under this lockdown, Su Chen found it incredibly difficult to even use the Origin Energy in his surrounding environment, not to mention using a skill like Whitetower Teleportation to escape.
This was the most frightening thing about Thought Manifestation Realm experts - their will was linked with the environment, and any thought or utterance from them would influence nature itself. As such, they could utilize the Heavens and the earth to create a natural cage and confine their opponents. One such expert was equivalent to an entire battalion of highly-trained soldiers.
Su Chen, however, didn’t seem to care. He continued to speak, “It won’t matter even if you capture me……”
The Origin Energy in the air had turned into an invisible hand that reached out to grab Su Chen, the torrent of energy rolling at Su Chen like a mighty tempest of wind.
When faced with such a shocking amount of energy, Su Chen’s Lotus Platform began to dim, flickering like a candle in the wind. It seemed as if it would be extinguished at any moment.
Su Chen was still speaking. “If I die or am captured, the methods for controlling the three curses will be spread far and wide……”
Following this harsh yell, the Origin Energy hand stopped centimeters from his forehead and didn’t advance any further.
Chu Yuan stared at Su Chen, his expression ugly. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
“Old Xiang, go and take a look!” Chu Yuan barked loudly.
A Thought Manifestation Expert directly activated his Dreamrealm sigil and entered the Dreamrealm.
“The Dreamrealm,” Su Chen replied. “I have uploaded a document regarding the three curses, along with a hidden message attached. The message will unseal if I don’t enter the Dreamrealm for some time, and it will automatically distribute itself.”
After a moment, Old Xiang reawakened and said, “It is there…… He just uploaded it.”
Chen Yuan felt a chill run down his spine. “And? You just left after looking at it?”
Chu Yuan had sent a Thought Manifestation expert into the Dreamrealm without worrying about the risks naturally for a good reason.
Old Xiang sighed. “It cannot be sealed.”
Chu Yuan’s heart sank. “We must seal it no matter what the price is!”
Old Xiang replied, “It’s not a matter of money, it’s that we simply cannot….. He is already a Dream Monarch.”
“What?” Chu Yuan was stunned.
Su Chen was a Dream Monarch?
Dream Monarch was the highest rank an Origin Qi Scholar could achieve in the Dreamrealm. In other words, no matter what kind of information that individual wanted to distribute, no one else could block its release. This wasn’t a question of lacking too much money - it simply wasn’t permitted. The only one who could stop the information from being announced was Su Chen himself.
The issue was that the cost of obtaining the status of Dream Monarch was simply too high. The majority of Dream Monarchs were at least at the Thought Manifestation Realm, and even many Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators weren’t willing to part with such a large sum, content to remain a Dream Officer. After all, anyone would find it hard to part with hundreds of millions of Origin Stones all at once.
It was completely not worth the price just to gain some additional privileges.
How old was Su Chen? How had he managed to obtain Dream Monarch status?
Chu Yuan stared at Su Chen in shock.
Su Chen faintly replied, “I spent a lot of money.”
The Origin Energy hand shattered.
Chu Yuan stared savagely at Su Chen. “Fine. You win!”
Su Chen smiled slightly. “So can we begin to negotiate now?”
In a forest outside of New Rain City. A table had been set up next to a waterfall.
A few cups of tea were placed on the table, and two people sat on opposite sides of the table - Chu Yuan and Su Chen. Off to the side, Gu Qingluo was skillfully pouring tea for both parties.
Chu Yuan personally passed a teacup over to Su Chen.
“This Blue Snow Stream is a tribute from Jiangzhou, and we only get five or so kilograms of it every year. I don’t usually drink much of it, but I have no qualms sharing it with a talented young man such as yourself,” Chu Yuan chuckled.
Regardless of whether the Chu Clan was willing or not, the fact of the matter was that killing Su Chen was no longer an option.
If force could not resolve the issue, then they could only rely on a discussion to get things done.
This was a principle any important individual understood.
Upon realizing the situation he was in, Chu Yuan’s vengeful attitude had long since disappeared. Now, he was actually referring to Su Chen as a “talented young man.”
It wasn’t that Chu Yuan was too thick-faced. When handling matters that would affect the entire country, any kind of face was not important.
The only thing worth considering was the profits.
Su Chen motioned with his cup. “Then I won’t stand on courtesy.”
He tilted his head back and downed it.
Chu Yuan looked down on Su Chen in his heart for not knowing how to properly drink tea, but on the surface he continued to smile. “How is it?”
“Pretty good. I’m not a big tea drinker, so I couldn’t tell you what’s good or bad about it. But it is quite refreshing to drink, and it leaves behind a pleasant aftertaste.”
“That’s good enough,” Chu Yuan chuckled. “You truly possess the ability to see right into the heart of the matter even at a tender age. No wonder you were able to unravel the secrets of my three curses.”
“I was quite lucky,” Su Chen indifferently replied.
Chu Yuan said, “Some kinds of luck might seem like luck at the moment, but they might become a headache in the future.”
Su Chen nodded. “Your Majesty is correct. If I had realized the consequences of my actions, I probably would have thought twice about whether or not to research the three curses.”
Of course, the end result would’ve been him researching it one way or another, but Su Chen didn’t say that.
Chu Yuan said, “Well, the matter has already happened, so we will need to face it one way or another. You should know that, no matter what, the Chu Clan will not allow these three curses to spread.”
Su Chen indifferently said, “But I also know that, when something unpleasant happens, the first order of business is to mitigate the disastrous consequences as much as possible, not to wishfully believe that things will return to the way they were before.”
Chu Yuan was so angry that he began to laugh. “Good. Very good, kid! You have quite a bit of courage!”
Su Chen calmly drank his tea and replied, “I have already seen through the secrets of the three curses. The truth of the matter cannot be reversed. I believe that Your Majesty will also understand that, no matter what conditions I offer, I will not put my life at risk. As such, I know that there is nothing that can be done about an outsider like me knowing the secret of how to control the three curses. All the Chu Clan can do now is to try and prevent more people from finding out about it.”
Chu Yuan said, “That is indeed the case. The way I see it, as long as Sir Su is willing to take down the notice from the Dreamrealm, then swear an oath that you will never spread the secrets of the three curses nor use them, then I, Chu Yuan, am willing to repay you with billions of Origin Stones or any treasure within the imperial palace. In addition, I swear that I will never harm Sir Su in the slightest.”
The promise Chu Yuan offered sounded quite nice, but Su Chen wasn’t interested in the slightest. He chuckled, “How about this instead? Why don’t we flip the conditions around. I will not remove the notice from the Dreamrealm, and Your Majesty will let me leave. I can immediately swear a vow that I will never spread the secrets concerning the three curses.
“Then what if you die for another reason? Will the Chu Clan be doomed along with you?” Chu Yuan asked directly.
This was the biggest problem they needed to address.
Who could ensure that Su Chen wouldn’t encounter danger or even die in the near future, not to mention thousands of years from now?
If he died, the Chu Clan’s secrets would be exposed. Wouldn’t they be subjected to an unexpected calamity?
That was something Chu Yuan could not accept.
But if Su Chen took down the notice, how could he ensure his safety?
Just based on blind faith in the Chu Clan?
Forget about it. Even the Chu Clan wouldn’t believe that, let alone Su Chen.
If Su Chen took down the notice, Chu Yuan would immediately kill Su Chen. After all, he was the only possible source of the secrets of the three curses spreading.
The billions of Origin Stones or peerless treasures were all just bait. The more Chu Yuan promised, the more Su Chen wouldn’t believe him.
The biggest problem between the two parties was trust.
Neither party could trust the other, which was why they had entered into this stalemate.
Thankfully, long before Chu Yuan came, Su Chen had foreseen this stalemate. At the very least, Su Chen was aware of one way to break this stalemate.
He calmly said, “Why don’t we compromise? I can take down the information, but that must be after I safely leave Empty Mountain.”
Chu Jiangyu couldn’t help but butt in. “Once you leave Empty Mountain, what can we possibly do to you if you don’t take down the notice?”
“Because my wife is still here,” Su Chen replied.
Everyone was stunned. They all glanced at Gu Qingluo.
Gu Qingluo continued to pour tea for the two parties. Her movements were incredibly graceful, and Su Chen’s words didn’t seem to affect her in the slightest. Her beautiful eyes and attractive coloration even caused Chu Jiangyu’s heart to flutter slightly.
“She……” Chu Yuan and his son were both stunned.
“Yes, my wife,” Su Chen said as he continued to calmly drink his tea. “Qingluo is a member of the Gu Clan, and she can never leave Empty Mountain for her entire life. Even I would have no way of taking her out. With her here, you basically have someone you can take hostage.”
At that moment, Su Chen and Gu Qingluo glanced at each other, and faint smiles appeared on their faces.
Su Chen continued, “For Qingluo’s sake, I will take down the notice as soon as I leave Empty Mountain. That way, even if I run into any trouble in the future, no danger will come upon your heads. At the same time, with Qingluo under your control, I will not be able to pass on the secrets of the three curses to anyone. This secret will eventually be taken to the grave with me. Of course, as Qingluo’s husband, I will come to Empty Mountain to visit her from time to time. When I enter the Empty Mountain region, I will put up the notice again. During that period of time, the Chu Clan must ensure my safety. Finally, I would like to request that my wife receives the best care and the most freedom. I am not asking for her to be allowed to leave Empty Mountain, but as long as she remains here, she should receive the best treatment.”
Chu Yuan and his son glanced at each other.
As the party who had an urgent problem that needed to be dealt with, they had to admit that the conditions Su Chen had proposed was indeed the best way to resolve their current standoff.
Chu Jiangyu asked, “Is that all?”
Su Chen rubbed his finger. “I have a final small request. I don’t need anything like billions of Origin Stones or peerless Origin Tools. I just want the Crown Prince’s Origin Ring. Consider it the price of my silence.”