Chapter 148: Emperor Eternal Night (1)
A few hundred kilometers away from Sky City, a massive behemoth of a toad was charging at its direction, totally enraged.
It wasn’t very fast, and it was actually so large that it had lost the ability to jump. It could only crawl along the ground, but each step it took propelled its body forward by a thousand feet.
It was even possible to feel the rumbles emanating from this giant toad that was approaching the city. Wherever it placed its feet, mountains would crumble and the ground would crack.
Desolate Beasts could ignore any terrain in their path.
It continued to advance relentlessly, bulldozing anything in its path.
The ground trembled and rumbled violently beneath its feet, and the sky turned a few shades darker due to its humongous figure. Endless waves of poison poured out from its body, constantly diffusing into the surroundings.
If it weren’t for the fact that Su Chen had never been a Harpy from the beginning, his actions would have been considered a grievous sin.
This territory, which belonged to the Harpies, had suddenly became inhospitable. The Desolate Beast trampled recklessly over the ground, killing countless civilians and destroying countless homesteads underfoot. Anyone who reacted too slowly to its advance would be crushed flat without any opportunity to escape.
This was the true nature of war!
In war, there was no room for mercy.
Su Chen knew what the Harpies had done to the humans in the past. They had carried out many unspeakable atrocities to the humans in their own right when the circumstances had been in their favor.
Halcyon Wing Streak himself wasn’t a good person either.
Why had he been captured by the humans in the first place?
It was because he had been pillaging and ransacking human cities near the border.
However, Su Chen hadn’t even questioned Halcyon Wing Streak a single time about his actions.
After entering the Hidden Dragon Institute, Su Chen had taken some time to travel the country. He had witnessed countless atrocities in these border towns.
There was no need for Su Chen to recount the enemy’s crimes to them. Su Chen had already become numb to this kind of thing, and the way he valued and weighed outcomes had changed as a result. For instance, he considered showing mercy to his enemies the same as being hurting himself.
Su Chen would spare neither the Ravagers nor the Harpies.
In that sense, when he had made up his mind to elevate the human race, he had also simultaneously decided to weed out, suppress, or even wipe out.
Otherwise, on what basis could he claim that he was working for the human race’s rise to prominence?
Rising to prominence through peaceful means was virtually impossible. Without a storm of bloodshed and violence, who would give you an opportunity to rise to prominence?
As such, choosing not to take advantage of an opportunity to strike at your opponents was sometimes a great mistake and essentially a betrayal of your race.
At the very least, these were Su Chen’s beliefs.
Clone after clone unleashed a barrage of lightning and thunder at the Thousand Poisons Toad, drawing it toward Sky City. The clones seemed completely immune to the toad’s enraged attacks and howls.
Later on, the clones didn’t even need to personally attack anymore. As long as one flew back and forth in front of the toad like an unkillable pesky bug, the toad would chase after it relentlessly even as it left a large valley in its wake.
When the Harpies flying by saw this, they were enraged.
They pounced at Su Chen’s clone, sending a flurry of attacks in his direction.
But Su Chen’s clone didn’t even care about those attacks and made no attempt to dodge. It merely glanced behind it, motioned at the Thousand Poisons Frog, pointed behind itself, and finally said, “I’m waiting for you over there!”
Even though this sentence was just that, a simple sentence, Su Chen had imbued it with the Seventh-Ring Arcana Technique, Heart Walls.
Su Chen had previously only managed to be able to use this Arcana Technique by improving his mastery with Lifesource Candles. Now, however, a single clone of his was strong enough to use this technique.
And because of Soul Transmission’s effects, the Thousand Poisons Toad was able to understand Su Chen’s meaning.
“ROAR!” it howled angrily.
Its massive tongue flickered through the air dangerously.
This time, Su Chen’s clone made no attempt to dodge. The clone allowed the tongue to strike it, shattering on the spot.
However, the Thousand Poisons Toad knew that this slippery mosquito hadn’t truly died yet.
He was waiting for it in that direction.
It continued to roar with rage, and charged forward at full speed. As for the group of Harpies around it, the toad didn’t even spare them a second glance.
Mosquitos, they were all a bunch of mosquitos!
Within Sky City’s Perpetual Daylight Palace.
The Perpetual Daylight Palace was the imperial palace, and it had been constructed at the city’s initial founding. At this point, it had experienced the rise and fall of a number of dynasties, and had even been torn down and rebuilt multiple times. However, its name had never changed.
Its most tenuous period was probably shortly after Eternal Night took to the throne.
People trying to flatter the newly crowned emperor had told him that its name was too similar to his, which made it inauspicious for him. In addition, the former emperor had lived there, so it was probably a good idea to tear it down and rebuild it.
Thankfully, Eternal Night had vetoed those suggestions.
The Eternal Night clan was known as such because they were formerly a clan of assassins who specialized in carrying out their missions under the cover of night.
Most Harpies weren’t particularly talented assassins. Their typical mindset was like a bird that liked to fly high in the air, above all earthly problems. Being warriors or assassins didn’t really suit them. However, the Harpies as a whole needed to make up for the obvious lacks in those departments, so there was a huge incentive to come up with different ways to promote these otherwise understaffed occupations. The Wingless were one such group, and so was the Eternal Night group.
That was where the clan had taken their name from.
Without the Eternal Night Clan’s sacrifice and willingness to embrace the darkness, how else would Sky Country have managed to maintain a grip on the territory they controlled?
As such, Eternal Night and Perpetual Daylight didn’t really oppose each other. Instead, they complemented each other quite well.
To him, Eternal Night, living in the Perpetual Daylight Palace was a good balance that followed the principles of Yin and Yang.
The relatively dilapidated condition of the palace was also a good thing.
Since the Harpies were surrounded by many enemies and were far from being able to enjoy themselves just yet, Eternal Night had chosen to live an ascetic life to motivate himself to work harder so that the Harpies would one day be able to reclaim the continent.
The Perpetual Daylight Palace remained intact, and Eternal Night’s reputation spread far and wide as a result. Everyone recognized that he was an honest, hardworking ruler.
In the few thousand years since then, Eternal Night had become known for his wisdom, heroism, strength, and resoluteness. Each of these traits were backed up with many trials and tribulations.
Today, this heroic emperor was once again standing at a turning point in Harpy history.
Eternal Night sat quietly on his throne within Perpetual Daylight Palace.
His face was unassuming, his stature quite short, and his skin a bit dark — a unique attribute of the Eternal Night Clan.
Beneath him stood Serene Dream Lotus Crown and her Head Bishops.
Eternal Night was currently deep in thought, but the people beneath him were locked in a heated argument.
“We must capture Halcyon Wing Streak at any cost!”
“Yes, and the Halcyon Wing Clan must also bear a portion of the responsibility!”
“No, the current objective should be to deal with the Thousand Poisons Toad!”
“I support allying with Kelesda.”
“Ally with Fate’s Hands? Why are you so intent on throwing away the Harpies’ prestige? That guy is a remnant of the Arcanists.”
“The Ravagers have allied with the Arcanists in the past.”
“Don’t compare us noble Harpies with those barbarians.”
“Stop arguing with each other. The Thousand Poisons Toad is currently charging in our direction. We should retreat first, in my opinion.”
“Running away just before a war begins?”
“How can you call this running away? Sky City can defend itself against the toad, but not against its poison. If you aren’t interested in allying with Kelesda, then what else can we do?”
“I have an idea.”
“What is it?”
“Why don’t we draw the Thousand Poisons Toad over to the human border?”
“What kind of an idea is that? Do you know how far away the human border is? The Desolate Beast will probably be nearly dead by the time that happens. If that’s the case, then we wouldn’t be dragging them into the water with us — we’d be handing them a great gift!”
“And it would also destroy countless cities in its path. The eastern border is not like the western border. There are many towns and villages there, some of them indispensable!”
The arguing continued. But unlike the Ravagers, who cursed and yelled at each other as if a fight could break out at any time, the Harpies were much more refined. Even if they did fight with each other, they did it with their words.
Of course, the Harpies already viewed this scene as being incredibly uncultured.
At that point, Eternal Night suddenly cleared his throat and motioned for them all to stop.
The hall immediately fell silent.
This was due to the prestige of Emperor Eternal Night, and it was also a particular habit of his.
When Eternal Night remained silent, they were allowed to bicker as they pleased. But as soon as he opened his mouth to speak, their only job was to listen attentively.
Eternal Night glanced at the officials around him and then asked, “Who can tell me why Halcyon Wing Streak would do this?”
Everyone fell silent when they heard this.
That was indeed the critical question.
Halcyon Wing Streak was still a Harpy, after all. Even if he had been maligned in his country and embarrassed amongst his clan members, there was no reason for him to bring such savage retribution upon the heads of everyone in Sky Country.
Eternal Night turned to face Serene Dream Lotus Crown. “You have met Halcyon Wing Streak before. What did you think of him?”
Serene Dream Lotus Crown didn’t expect that Eternal Night would ask about Halcyon Wing Streak and was mildly taken aback.
After a moment’s thought, she replied, “I only exchanged a few sentences with him, so it’s hard for me to make an analysis. However, he spoke to me with assurance and confidence, not something that any Harpy can do.”
Eternal Night didn’t seem to care about that. His only comment was, “So he seemed very sober and clear-minded then, right?”
“That’s right,” Serene Dream Lotus Crown replied, nodding.
Of course he had been calm and collected. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to trick Serene Dream Lotus Crown in the first place.
Eternal Night stated, “So, we can conclude that he hasn’t gone insane. His mind is still very sharp and his perception acute. Also, his courage must be quite great, seeing as he was willing to risk trying to trick Sect Master so that he could steal the divine objects.”
When she heard this, Serene Dream Lotus Crown realized what Eternal Night was getting at. “You mean……”
Eternal Night sighed as he said, “A Harpy who is not mad but treats us Harpies with such madness doesn’t make sense. Halcyon Wing Streak was wronged by the humans, but we were the ones who bought his freedom back. Perhaps the Halcyon Wing Clan did look down on him because of what happened to him, but then he should have attacked the Halcyon Wing Clan or the humans, not all of Sky Country. Most importantly, a person with such a clear, destructive intent shouldn’t care that much about wealth. They would probably end up self-destructing at some point, but Halcyon Wing Streak is clearly an exception. If he’s also very clear on his actions…… Do you all not feel that his goals and motivations are quite strange?”
All of the Harpies present were stunned and glanced at each other with uncertainty.
One of the Head Bishops tentatively asked, “Your Majesty, you mean?”
Eternal Night replied, “I suspect that he’s not really Halcyon Wing Streak.”
“But Kelesda has already confirmed that his wings are real,” Serene Dream Lotus Crown replied.
Eternal Night shook his head. “Kelesda only proved that he has wings, but not that he is Halcyon Wing Streak. Harpies are not the only ones with wings; after all, humans can have wings too.”