Chapter 50: Alliance (1)
The matter of returning the hive to the Harpies was indeed quite an annoying problem.
The Rong Clan’s betrayal was a big issue, and no one had tried to keep it a secret. As a result, since enough time had passed, news of it had probably spread to all corners of the Seven Kingdoms by this point.
It was impossible for the Harpies not to know what had happened.
“We must think of something,” Su Chen muttered. “What do you think of this?”
As he spoke, his figure morphed into Flowing Flame Oriole’s appearance.
“You want to try and do what you did to the Ravagers?” Patelocke was stunned.
“That’s right. Do you think it’s possible?” Su Chen asked.
“Su Chen, you’d better think this through properly. The Harpies aren’t the Ravagers, and there’s no way they’re as easy to trick. Your transformation technique won’t be able to fool them,” Patelocke analyzed straightforwardly.
Su Chen replied, “You’re right that they aren’t as easy to trick, but I am also not the same person as I was back in Ravager territory.”
Even though it had only been a few years since he had returned from Ravager territory, Su Chen’s strength had been steadily increasing, and he had far surpassed his strength from a few years prior.
“That won’t work either. The most important skill to have when living undercover in a foreign race’s territory is not combat prowess but rather the ability to deceive others. Even the Ravagers wouldn’t have fallen for your disguise if it weren’t for the fact that your physical body had been baptized by the Origin Energy Temple, so how can you possibly trick the Harpies, who have countless Arcana Masters amongst their ranks? They have too many tactics they can use to see through your disguise.”
“That’s why I need to spend some time understanding what tools and methods the Harpies have at their disposal. Don’t worry, Patelocke, I’m not saying that I will definitely infiltrate the Harpies. We still have plenty of time to plan things out carefully. Before then, we first need to better understand the Harpies. What could blow my cover is not only my camouflaging ability, but also the way I speak or act. As you said, the Harpies are not stupid, so even a civilian could see through me.”
Patelocke was speechless when he heard Su Chen’s view of the situation.
Su Chen’s considerations were even more practical and detailed than his own.
After some time, he relented and said, “It seems that we must go and buy another large group of criminals.”
“You’re right.” Su Chen smiled as well.
After placating the broodmother, Su Chen left the strange void realm.
At that moment, Zhu Xianyao and the others arrived on the scene. Upon seeing that Su Chen was fine, Zhu Xianyao sighed with relief and completely tossed away her pride. She ran to Su Chen frantically and kissed him deeply, causing everyone else to avert their gaze.
In terms of audacity, Zhu Xianyao was probably number one.
“So? How was it? What did you discover?” Zhu Xianyao asked.
Zhu Xianyao understood Su Chen’s personality to some degree and was immediately able to discern that Su Chen had discovered something interesting.
“I did find some things. I’ll tell you when we get back,” Su Chen said.
Even though he knew that he could trust Cloud Leopard, the twelve Sword Servants, and Iron Cliff, the broodmother was so important that the fewer people that knew about it, the better.
Upon returning to the Zhu Clan, Su Chen explained everything that he had witnessed.
Zhu Xianyao was gobsmacked when she found out about the Harpies’ plan, and when she heard that Su Chen had managed to Soul Stamp the broodmother, she almost flew into the air with excitement.
A floating palace!
A real floating palace!
The most important thing was that Su Chen hadn’t even told Iron Cliff or Cloud Leopard about such an important matter, but he had told her. This meant that her status in Su Chen’s eyes had gone up.
When Zhu Xianyao realized this, she couldn’t stop herself from bursting into tears.
Su Chen was totally caught off-guard by her tears. All he had done was tell her his plans, but she had actually started to cry? What was happening?
Even the smartest man couldn’t fully understand the thoughts of a woman. He was rendered speechless after Zhu Xianyao finally explained to him why she had started crying.
After indulging in her emotions for some time, she finally looked up from her position in Su Chen’s embrace and asked, “Should we tell my mother and the Ancestors?”
Su Chen thought for a moment, then said, “I want to know what you think.”
He didn’t agree or disagree. Instead, he sincerely asked for Zhu Xianyao’s opinion.
Zhu Xianyao really liked Su Chen’s answer. She rubbed her eyes and said, “Su Chen, you’ve finally accepted me and you sincerely love me. I am very happy. This means more to me than any kind of grand vow. Since that’s the case, then I will tell you my true opinion. Don’t blame me for being biased towards my own mother, but I really do think that you must clearly explain this whole situation to my mother and the Ancestors. This is because this matter is so great that you might not be able to handle it on your own, and you will need people to help you. I know that the Boundless Sect has lots of subordinates, but you must admit that the depth of its roots is far inferior to that of the Zhu Clan’s.”
Su Chen nodded.
The biggest problem the Boundless Sect faced right now was its shallow foundation and shallow pockets. Right now, it was like a sapling with unlimited possibilities. It might become a towering tree someday, but at least at this moment, it was far weaker than a Demonic Emperor Clan.
A single Thought Manifestation cultivator was already a huge problem for them to take on.
“I understand what you’re saying. Keep going,” Su Chen encouraged.
Zhu Xianyao continued, “You will need to prepare quite a bit of resources in order to carry out this plan. For instance, just securing the Stargold Mine and additional Harpy captives will definitely require the cooperation of the Zhu Clan. If you don’t explain things fully, it will be very difficult to get support for your ventures. In addition, there is one more important reason, which is that your transformation technique cannot trick the Harpies’ Arcana Masters, so you will die if you go alone. But with the Ancestor’s support, we might be able to think of something.”
Su Chen was stunned. “The Ancestor has that kind of ability?”
Zhu Xianyao replied, “He himself might not have that ability, but he probably has some friends who do.”
Everybody had their own circle of influence.
And Thought Manifestation cultivators naturally befriended other Thought Manifestation cultivators.
The Zhu Clan’s Ancestor had traveled far and wide and gotten to know countless people. There really was a possibility that he knew someone who could take care of this problem for him.
And it was going to be impossible for him to get the Zhu Clan’s full support without fully explaining the situation to them.
“Fine, then we’ll do it just as you have said!” Su Chen agreed decisively.
With Su Chen’s agreement, everything began to unfold quite smoothly.
That evening, Su Chen met with the Zhu Clan’s Ancestor, Zhu Chenhuan.
Zhu Chenhuan was already four hundred years old, but his appearance was still like that of a handsome youth, full of vigor and vitality. He would have caught the eyes of many maidens if he were to walk along the street.
Zhu Chenhuan sat in the most elevated seat. Zhu Yunyan sat beside him, and Zhu Xianyao obediently massaged him from behind. They looked less like grandfather and granddaughter and more like brother and sister.
When he saw Su Chen, Zhu Chenhuan smiled and graciously said, “Have a seat. I should have come to see you after the battle with the Rong Clan, but since Rong Guluo managed to escape, I had to take care of him and make sure that he wouldn’t harm anyone else. That’s why it’s taken me until now to have an audience with you.”
Zhu Chenhuan hadn’t immediately chased after Rong Guluo in order to prevent Flat Sky City from being destroyed. Once Rong Guluo was outside of Flat Sky City’s territory, however, Zhu Chenhuan didn’t hold back and notified all of the nearby Demonic Emperor Clan Ancestors to jointly chase after Rong Guluo.
However, Rong Guluo was quite talented, and he had somehow managed to escape from the encirclement through an unknown path. Apparently, he had relied on a succession of forbidden techniques to do so, resulting in him paying quite a high price. As a result, he had been quite badly wounded, so he wouldn’t be able to make trouble for anyone for quite some time.
But it also wasn’t exactly true that he had no time to come see Su Chen just because of that. In addition to pursuing Rong Guluo, he also needed to manage the integration of the Rong Clan’s assets. He was also waiting for Su Chen to request an audience with him. However, Su Chen had also been incredibly busy with experimenting on the Rong Clan’s six elders who were to be sent off to the capital, so he had never even thought of going to see Zhu Chenhuan. This made it seem like Su Chen wasn’t placing the old Ancestor in his eyes, and Zhu Chenhuan was right to be somewhat irritated. As a result, he had become even more opposed to voluntarily seeking Su Chen out, so the two had somehow entered an awkward stalemate until now.
Thankfully, this matter was a small one when compared to the matter of the broodmother. The small grudge was laid aside, and any irritation dissipated after a few sentences of casual conversation.
Su Chen then said to Zhu Chenhuan, “It’s all because Ancestor shielded me against the storm that I was able to act out a little bit.”
Zhu Chenhuan chuckled and replied, “You didn’t just act out a little this time. Your plan to stop the Harpies from making a floating fort is commendable. I can see that you are a young man with ambition and style, and it does not surprise me at all that you are the head of a sect even at such a tender age. However, Su Chen, the Moonstone Mine still belongs to the Zhu Clan one way or another. Since you found a treasure on Zhu Clan property, just taking it away like this is a bit inappropriate, no?”
This was the part where he asked for benefits.
The Arcana Technique Pattern had been consumed and the broodmother had already imprinted a master onto its consciousness, so it was impossible for forcibly seize it from him. However, the necessary benefits still needed to be offered. Before, the broodmother technically should have belonged to the Zhu Clan. However, they were merely using it as a bargaining chip. If necessary, they were even willing to include the Gold-Devouring Ape into their calculations and say that it had belonged to them since ancient times.
Su Chen wasn’t surprised by their actions. Since he had decided to openly discuss this matter with the Zhu Clan, it was only natural that he was willing to part with some of the profits.
Of course, how he divvied up those profits was an entirely separate matter. That still needed to be determined through negotiation.
Su Chen chuckled. “Ancestor, that might not be quite right. The Moonstone Mine belongs to the Rong Clan, and I was the one who discovered their secret betrayal. I was also the one who discovered the secrets of the mine from the Harpy captive, who was also mine. Strictly speaking, I didn’t take anything belonging to the Zhu Clan at all…… You wouldn’t say that a person who happened to pass through Flat Sky City belongs to the Zhu Clan as well, would you?”
Su Chen was definitely going to fight over who had the right to possess the broodmother. Even if you were the Su Clan’s Ancestor, you should give up on trying to take this from me.
“But no matter how you look at it, the Moonstone Mine fell into the Zhu Clan’s hands after the Rong Clan was disbanded. The Rong Clan’s mine became ownerless, so saying that it belongs to the Zhu Clan is not excessive,” Zhu Yunyan said with a chuckle. “But if Young Master Su is willing to marry into our clan, everything becomes much easier to discuss. The Moonstone Mine can be the Zhu Clan’s betrothal gift.”
She still wanted to him to marry in.
Su Chen chuckled. “Is it worth negotiating so much just for a depleted mine? The Zhu Clan is really undervaluing their eldest daughter. I think it would be much more fitting for the dowry to be the Stargold Mine.”
Zhu Yunyan laughed lightly with a hand over her mouth. “You have quite the ravenous appetite.”
Su Chen sighed. “It’s not me that has an appetite, but rather the broodmother. It won’t be easy for either the Zhu Clan or the Boundless Sect to raise it, but once we do, we will have our own fort.”
“We……” Zhu Chenhuan emphasized that word. “Is it you? Or me?”
“The Boundless Sect and the Zhu Clan,” Su Chen replied.