Chapter 179: Generosity
The next morning, Su Chen headed for Empty Mountain.
He still needed to convince Chu Yuan.
Zhu Chenhuan personally escorted him along the way.
As they traveled, he didn’t forget to sigh and lament, “This time I really have no words.”
“No words for what?” Su Chen asked innocently.
Zhu Chenhuan shot him a glance. “You dared to kill an imperial prince! How could I not be speechless?”
Li Wuyi’s accusatory question towards Su Chen during the banquet had been overheard by Zhu Chenhuan. At that moment, he had been so scared that his soul had almost left his body. More shockingly, Su Chen had actually admitted to it!
Zhu Chenhuan thought that this would completely disrupt the negotiation process, and that there was even a possibility that Su Chen wouldn’t be able to leave the palace alive.
However, the situation didn’t exactly unfold as he had expected it to.
With but a few sentences from Su Chen’s, Li Wuyi fell silent and said nothing more.
Finally, Zhu Chenhuan could resist it no longer and asked, “What exactly did you say to His Majesty so that he didn’t try to do anything to you even though you killed his son?”
Su Chen laughed. “What would I need to say? His Majesty is extremely clear how hated that son of his was. Li Daohong was probably no longer a son but a burden in his eyes. However, he was unwilling to be the one to personally sever this connection. Even so, he probably couldn’t wait for someone to get rid of this problem for him as soon as possible.”
“Would he ever admit to such a thing?”
Su Chen replied, “Of course not, but I would also not admit that I had killed him.”
Li Wuyi believed that Su Chen had killed Li Daohon not merely because he had researched the Li Clan’s bloodline in the past but also because Li Daohong had died in Jade Clearmist’s treasure store, where Su Chen had eventually emerged victorious.
Suspecting Su Chen under those kinds of circumstances was only natural.
However, just because Su Chen was the victor and had managed to escape with a few vials of medicine didn’t mean that he was the culprit. During that chaotic of a battle, it was entirely possible for anything to happen.
There was no basis on which to firmly believe that it was Su Chen in the first place.
Li Wuyi was merely trying to feel out the situation, and perhaps even frame Su Chen for it.
Yes, frame. Regardless of whether Su Chen had been responsible for killing Li Daohong, Li Wuyi could still pin all the blame on him.
As for the reason, there were many possibilities.
As for the truth......
Throughout history, the truth had been swallowed up by time. Only those present to witness it firsthand would know the truth.
Su Chen had naturally given Li Wuyi a logical explanation for Li Daohong’s death, but Li Wuyi wouldn’t believe him, and he didn’t need to either.
This explanation was merely a way for Su Chen to temporarily extricate himself from the situation.
“I promised to give them a set of cultivation techniques,” Su Chen said. “A prince of Li Daohong’s status only possessed a single cultivation technique. This makes it obvious what kind of an outlook Li Wuyi had about his son.
Li Wuyi wanted to ask for more, but Su Chen refused to offer anything else.
It wasn’t because he couldn’t bear to part with more, but because giving more would indicate that he had a guilty conscience.
This period of negotiation was also a chance to discover the truth.
Li Wuyi was quite impressive with his skill. He first benefitted from Li Daohong’s death, then used that death to feel out Su Chen’s bottom line.
However, after Su Chen’s negotiations with Eternal Night, he had begun to realize just how shrewd these rulers could be. As such, his countenance remained as calm and immovable as ever, making it impossible for Li Wuyi to do much.
Zhu Chenhuan could only sigh in amazement at his calmness.
“Su Chen, who do you think is more impressive? Eternal Night, or our emperor?” Zhu Chenhuan thought for a moment before asking this highly blasphemous question.
Su Chen replied, “Eternal Night won against me, but Li Wuyi did not.”
Zhu Chenhuan was not surprised by this answer. “The Harpies have weaker physical bodies than us humans, so their reproductive and combat abilities are inferior to ours. They should have already been relegated to a declining city, but because of Eternal Night’s appearance, the Harpies managed to come back from the brink of death. However, the strength of an individual is still limited. No matter how long their lifespan may be, they will die one day. Eternal Night is already quite old, and he is not far from death’s door. I once thought that, after Eternal Night’s death, Liaoye Country would finally have its opportunity. I never would have expected this...... situation with Sky City to unfold.”
Su Chen chuckled, “You’re worried that the Harpies will rise to power after I retrieve those treasures for Eternal Night?”
“Will that not happen?” Zhu Chenhuan countered.
“I thought you would be more worried about that granddaughter of yours.”
“You’re not the only one who thinks about the benefit of the country. Also, your decision is not really serving the country anyways.”
“That depends on how you look at it,” Su Chen countered. “Perhaps to you, this looks like a complete and utter failure. But in my eyes, this is only the beginning of a new battle.”
“The beginning of a new battle?” Zhu Chenhuan thought carefully about that statement. “But you’ve already made an agreement with Eternal Night.”
Su Chen said, “That agreement doesn’t mean jack. How many battles have begun to brew after an agreement was reached?”
“But Xianyao......” Zhu Chenhuan’s words suddenly froze in his throat.
Because he saw Su Chen’s eyes.
They burned fiercely, smoldering with intensity.
The flames of sheer will.
Zhu Chenhuan finally understood Su Chen’s intentions. “You’re not planning on fulfilling your end of the agreement?”
“No, I will,” Su Chen shook his head. “I will stop the three countries from attacking, and I will even help Eternal Night gain back the Immortal Soul and Neptune’s Eye. But that doesn’t mean he will definitely be the one to win.”
Zhu Chenhuan was completely caught off-guard.
Su Chen, however, had no intentions of continuing.
There was no need for him to say this much. As long as Zhu Chenhuan understood that his battle with Eternal Night was only beginning, that was good enough.
In a battle between the humans and the Harpies, the loss of a single city or some territory could never be decisive.
Eternal Night had managed to win one round against Su Chen, but that didn’t mean much.
His victory was not complete.
He was too greedy and didn’t have a perfect grasp on the situation, giving Su Chen yet another opportunity.
An opponent like Su Chen was not possible to fully control. It was better just to take advantage of the opportunity to strike him down instead. The consequence of missing this opening would be stormy retribution.
Even so, greed was a factor of every great individual’s personality. Without greed or ambition, they never would have become great in the first place.
Before Eternal Night became emperor, he was totally dissatisfied. His lust for power caused him to take a risk and seize authority that did not rightfully belong to him. The rest of the story was quite obvious.
As such, he needed to be greedy and ambitious.
Until one day, he fell at the feet of his own ambition.
This was the conclusion that Su Chen had dreamed up for him.
However, before that took place, Su Chen would first fully carry out the missives given to him by Eternal Night.
When he saw that there wasn’t much time remaining, Su Chen bid his goodbyes and left.
A few days later, he arrived in Empty Mountain territory.
The first thing he did after entering Empty Mountain was to hang up a notice in the Dreamrealm detailing how to nullify the three curses. This was basically the same as notifying the Chu family that he had arrived.
Two days later, Su Chen arrived at New Rain City.
A massive floating boat hung above the city, which immediately caught Su Chen’s attention.
Chu Jiangyu stood on the boat’s platform.
His expression was stony, and his hands were behind his back, looking as if someone had stolen a few million Origin Stones from him without returning them. Well, Chu Jiangyu would probably rather lose a few million Origin Stones than meet with this person.
Su Chen flew over and cupped his hands in greeting. “Crown Prince.”
Chu Jiangyu’s expression was steely. “We know what you are here for. Our expedition to the Harpies will be put on hold. You may return to where you came from.”
That was it?
But on second thought, that actually made quite a bit of sense.
The Seven Kingdoms probably talked amongst each other due to their relatively amicable relations at the moment. Li Wuyi had probably told the Chu Clan about his conversation with Su Chen after it had taken place.
Even if Su Chen needed to buy out Li Wuyi, there was no need for Su Chen to do the same for the Chu Clan.
As such, Chu Yuan had no interest in meeting with Su Chen, and instead sent Chu Jiangyu to meet with him. He was basically trying to send Su Chen on his way as soon as possible.
Su Chen found this quite amusing. “What are you in such a hurry for? There’s something I need to ask His Majesty about.”
“What is it?”
“I need to meet with Qingluo. She is my wife. It’s not too excessive for me to ask to see her, right?”
“That is permissible,” Chu Jiangyu answered curtly, as if Su Chen was infected and talking with him for any longer would get him sick too.
“I also need some Lifesource Candles.”
Chu Jiangyu’s expression sank. “Su Chen, don’t try and get a mile just because I gave you an inch!”
Su Chen calmly said, “That’s quite the opposite. I have always been meticulous in my requests. I want Lifesource Candles, but I’m not asking for them for free. I will buy them from you. In any case, since Empty Mountain is willing to withdraw their troops, I am willing to show my gratitude, and I will not use the three curses to extort you.”
When Chu Jiangyu heard this, the flames of anger subsided slightly. “How are you planning on showing your gratitude?”
“How about by helping you to increase the power of your bloodline?”
Chu Jiangyu found this quite amusing. “Su Chen, you must think you are being quite generous. You agreed to help Li Wuyi improve the Dream Beauty bloodline, and now you are promising to increase the strength of the Chu Clan’s bloodline. Do you think I can’t tell you’re just trying to get an opportunity to research our blood?”
“I did that a long time ago. Chu Huailiang’s blood was pretty useful to me,” Su Chen replied calmly.
Chu Huailiang, who the Chu Clan had sent to kill him, had died to his hand. It would have been strange if he hadn’t tried to do some research with Chu Huailiang’s corpse in the first place.
Even though he had known for a long time that Chu Huailiang had died to Su Chen, Chu Jiangyu still almost spat out a mouthful of blood when he heard this.
He glared viciously at Su Chen. “Su Chen, what exactly are you trying to pull here?”
“Nothing, I’m just trying to improve the strength of the human race is all,” Su Chen replied calmly. “My research of the bloodlines has always been for this goal, and now is no exception.”
“So why wouldn’t you do it for us earlier?”
“My view before was quite shallow, and I viewed the Bloodline Nobility Clans as my enemies. Now, however, I realize that nobles are also humans. If possible, we should join forces instead of fighting each other,” Su Chen replied sincerely.
When Chu Jiangyu heard this, he couldn’t help but pause in surprise.
After some time, he finally replied, “Are you sure you can do it?”
“Well, you don’t have much hope about it anyways, right? If I do it, you will profit. If I can’t, you won’t lose out. But if you don’t even have that much confidence in me, then there’s no need for me to try and keep this avenue open,” Su Chen replied.
The current Su Chen was very different from before.
He had already pushed the cultivation level achievable by humans without bloodlines to the Light Shaking Realm. His strength was not something that most people could compare with.
For this reason, this kind of research was no longer a question of possibility but of time.
After a long silence, Chu Jiangyu said, “How many Lifesource Candles do you need?”
“The more, the better.”
“I’ll ask my father.”
Chu Jiangyu stepped back into the cabin of the boat.
After some time, Chu Jiangyu returned and said, “At most ten, each one ten million Origin Stones.”
“Fine.” Su Chen didn’t hesitate and tossed out an Origin Ring in response.
Chu Jiangyu felt a bout of envy when he saw that Su Chen was able to make a hundred-million Origin Stone transaction without batting an eye. He smiled and said, “I heard that you made quite a killing while traveling in Harpy territory. How much did you manage to steal anyways?”
“Enough to buy a few hundred of these candles.”
For a moment, Chu Jiangyu even though of killing him and looting him right then and there.
What he didn’t realize was that Su Chen was merely calculating the value of the more common resources. The exact value of those top-tier treasures was impossible to estimate, so Su Chen didn’t even bother including them in his calculations.
And the fact that Su Chen wasn’t planning on using the three curses to extort them actually caused Chu Jiangyu’s impression of Su Chen to become more positive. The intense hatred he held for Su Chen began to subside, and for the first time he suddenly felt that getting to know Su Chen wasn’t so bad after all.