Chapter 1183: Not a single one can compare to Ning Cheng

The southern general’s words were accurate. If Ning Cheng really did take over the Three-Way Battlefield, he could very well declare himself a king with sufficient troops and food. 

Silence fell upon the expansive tent. If Baili Yuanlong hadn’t brought up the issue, nobody else would have dared. After all, Ning Cheng represented the West Qin imperial clan’s power. The person behind him was none other than Han Yunxi, who had just birthed Long Feiye a son.

Long Feiye swept his cold eyes across the crowd and asked, “What about everyone else? What are your views?”

Nobody dared to speak at first. Although some of them disagreed with Baili Yuanlong and the southern general and didn’t think Ning Cheng would revolt now of all times, they couldn’t find any other excuse to explain his present actions.

Long Feiye smiled coldly. “What? Do you all agree with General Baili?”

Everyone was still wondering about his attitude towards Ning Cheng. His smile only cast more doubts into their hearts. After some thought, Baili Yuanlong said, “Your Highness, why not reject Ning Cheng’s proposal first and see his reaction?”

Long Feiye didn’t speak. His fingers tapped lightly against the table as he kept his thoughts a mystery. Baili Yuanlong didn’t go on, leaving the tent to fall into silence again. 

It had to be said that this disappointed Long Feiye! His courtiers, military and civic both, were supposed to help him safeguard his kingdom in the future to leave the most glorious mark upon Cloud Realm Continent’s history books. But not a single one of them could compare to Ning Cheng alone! 

Besides his disappointment, Long Feiye only felt pained at heart! His tapping against the table increased in tempo and strength, making everyone’s heartrate speed up in the silent tent. Nobody knew what Long Feiye was doing, but they could tell he was going to lose his temper.

At last, He Wenqing of the civil officials stepped forward with a respectful bow. “Your Highness, this commoner would like to offer my humble opinions. I don’t agree with the military factions.”

He was a man just past forty who looked like he was in his fifties. He spoke slowly and methodically but was emotive and resourceful. Emperor Tianhui and Emperor Kangcheng had both sent many men to invite him out of the mountains, but failed. 

Long Feiye wanted to do the same, but he was simply too busy. He shelved the matter until after he had set up his kingdom. Unexpectedly, He Wenqing himself had shown up at his army camp a month ago. 

“What are your views? Speak and let us hear,” Long Feiye was still tapping the table.

He Wenqing said seriously, “This commoner believes that Ning Cheng asking for rations now to advance north isn’t to defeat the Northern Li emperor, but to send relief to the people in stricken areas! From what this commoner understands, Northern Li’s winter this year is a once-in-a-century disaster and very severe. The famine and plague combined have left many villages with nothing but corpses, but the Northern Li emperor hasn’t done a thing. If this keeps up for another month, he won’t be able to save his people no matter what he tries.”

At last, Long Feiye stopped tapping the table, making the crowd sigh in relief. All of them were captivated by He Wenqing’s words.

“In the military, the less ideal solution is to win a war through force when one can claim victory without fighting at all. Great General Ning is one such man,” He Wenqing finished, leaving silence behind him.

His words were like a slap in the face for Baili Yuanlong and the southern general! Those who fought with no thought of innocent deaths, just to claim a victory, were considered inferior. The spoken example aligned them with Baili Yuanlong and the southern general. 

Meanwhile, fighting for the sake of peace was superior. That aligned with Ning Cheng. He didn’t ask for food to fight, but to save people! 

Right now, the Northern Li emperor’s graineries meant he couldn’t do a thing no matter what Ning Cheng chose to do on the battlefield. If Ning Cheng went to relieve the people from disaster now, he would definitely win their hearts! The war would be won without a single battle.

The results of the Northern Li chessboard would determine not only the country’s fate, but also Ning Cheng and Long Feiye’s. If Ning Cheng waited until the plague ran its course to deploy his troops, he’d be considered ruthless and trying to wipe everyone out! Conversely, giving relief to the people now would make Northern Li’s civilians view him in a positive light and showcase Long Feiye’s benevolence. After all, the people of Northern Li were horseriding, simple, honest folk and also young tigers at heart. To subjugate these people for the sake of future peace was no easy task. 

Long Feiye was on the verge of becoming emperor, so his aim was the whole Cloud Realm Continent. In the future, all of its people would become his subjects. Did Baili Yuanlong and the southern general want him to leave a bunch of corpses in Northern Li before ascending to the throne? If that was the case, Long Feiye would lose any reputation as a compassionate emperor and even be labeled a despot. 

Ning Cheng had considered all this for him already. Ironically, it was his old allies Baili Yuanlong and the southern general who didn’t think of it. Long Feiye raised his gaze towards them and snapped, “To fight for the sake of fighting is not only inferior, but needlessly cruel!”

After his lecture, he thrust Ning Cheng’s letter right before Baili Yualong’s eyes. “Read it for yourself!”

Baili Yuanlong quickly picked up the letter and read it before his face flushed. In it, Ning Cheng had only written a few lines: If we wait until after the plague to deploy troops, I’ll quit my post as the Great General of the Northern Frontier. I would never deploy troops against a country that just suffered a disaster.

Baili Yuanlong instantly fell to his knees along with the rest of the military faction. 

“Your Highness, this soldier knows my wrongs! I was remiss in my reasoning. May Your Highness spare this soldier once on belief of my sincerity to serve you.”

Long Feiye looked at Baili Yuanlong with eyes filled with disappointment. The southern general’s factions always had their own motives in place, but Baili Yuanlong had followed him the longest! 

General Baili wasn’t like this in the past. Even if he shortchanged someone in the future, he would never shortchange the Baili Clan. So why did this man had to put up walls so quickly for the sake of his own clan’s gains? Why couldn’t he even understand a simple principle like “putting the people first before the state?”

He Wenqing spoke up at this time. “Your Highness, this commoner believes that Your Highness not only needs to provide Ning Cheng with food, but also medicine. You must ask Medical City for aid. Once the weather warms, the spread of plague will quicken and endanger Northern Li’s southern regions.”

“Medical City has already made preparations,” Long Feiye replied. “Baili Yuanlong, you will be in charge of all costs for the food supplies. Redeem yourself with meritorious service!”

This could be considered Long Feiye’s last chance for the old general. If Baili Yuanlong continued to disappoint him like this before his coronation, Long Feiye would probably use him for “killing a chicken to scare the monkeys!”

“My thanks for Your Highness’s grace!” Baili Yuanlong kowtowed repeatedly.

Besides this, everyone present was very interested in the matter of Han Yunxi’s child, but his temper outburst had left them too timid in case they misspoke again. 

Long Feiye didn’t hide the situation in Northern Li from Han Yunxi and told her the whole truth. She admired Ning Cheng’s attitude, but didn’t comment. Instead she said, “Long Feiye, this is a chance! Let Gu Beiyue be in charge of arranging the transport of ingredients and doctors. In the future…” She stopped and knocked herself on the head. “No can do, no can do! Gu Beiyue’s too busy. Have Vice Academy Head Shen do it!”

She and Long Feiye had considered putting Medical and Medicine City under imperial jurisdiction. Northern Li’s plague would need vast amounts of medicine and many doctors. If they could seize this chance to let Gu Beiyue take over management of the materials and physicians and support them with funds and capital, they could establish an independent medical and medicine faction to rule over the medical world in the future with less obstruction. Because the matter involved multiple power factions in Medical and Medicine City, it was difficult to get things done without Gu Beiyue personally taking part.

But right now, Gu Beiyue was busy making medicine for Gu Qishao.

Long Feiye remained silent.

“In seven more days, Qishao should be back at Medical City, right?” Han Yunxi had never stopped asking.

Xu Donglin’s letter clearly stated that Gu Qishao had already found the ingredients he needed and was on his way back. It was the last medicine they lacked for Gu Beiyue to make the antidote. Han Yunxi was confident that they could cure Gu Qishao with the final ingredient here.

“How about this? Have Fourth Young Miss Ren go back to help Vice Academy Head Shen. I’m estimating this plague will last around a year and a half before it dies down. Then we can wait for Gu Qisaho to come back before sending him with Gu Beiyue to Northern Li?” Han Yunxi asked. “In a few days I’ll be able to end my confinement, so just let Fourth Young Miss Ren go!”

Long Feiye didn’t hesitate. “Alright! I’ll have Chu Xifeng make arrangements later.”

Han Yunxi was overjoyed.

Everyone said the confinement period was boring. She hadn’t felt it at first, but now she was getting sick of it. She almost couldn’t sit still for the last few days and wanted to go outside and get some fresh air, or get involved in military and politics. Of course, the one thing she wanted to do most of all was run back to Medical City and watch Gu Beiyue make the antidote with her own eyes to cure Qishao’s undying body.

“Call Fourth Young Miss Ren over later. I want to talk with her about putting together a medical coalition for Northern Li,” Han Yunxi said.

“Alright,” Long Feiye nodded. When he left the tent, Chu Xifeng came with a repot.

“Your Highness, Qishao and Doctor Beiyue are living at the rear mountains.” 

Long Feiye gave a start but didn’t speak. He waved a hand to dismiss him. He didn’t head for the rear mountains immdiately, though he couldn’t tell why. Although he’d never been confused about his choices, he couldn’t figure out what he was afraid of now.

Fourth Young Miss Ren had only left after her meeting with Han Yunxi when two more guests showed up at Rear Camp. They were Ning Jing and Tang Li! The shadow guards hiding around the area had immediately reported them to Long Feiye, who went to personally greet the couple. He landed in front of the carriage from mid-air, startling the horse and driver. Fortunately, the man pulled on the reins in time to stop the carriage. 

As soon as Ning Jing lifted the curtains, Tang Li leaped out and chharged aggressively towards Long Feiye in a form of resistance. He didn’t recognize Long Feiye anymore and only assumed he was a villain blocking their way.

Ning Jing had mentioned as much to Han Yunxi. Apparently, Tang Li had changed: he stopped ignoring her and started protecting and relying on her. Long Feiye knew this, but seeing the hostility in Tang Li’s gaze still made his heart ache.

Ning Jing panicked. “A’Li, that’s your big brother!”

When she prepared to jump off the carriage, Tang Li immediately turned back and extended his hand, ready to carry her down.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Ruyi's Thoughts

It had to be said that this disappointed Long Feiye! His courtiers, military and civic both, were supposed to help him safeguard his kingdom in the future to leave the most glorious mark upon Cloud Realm Continent’s history books. But not a single one of them could compare to Ning Cheng alone! 

Lolol I still stand by what I said in an earlier chapter. LFY's faction ends up looking incompetent more often than not...then again, the guy's so hopelessly cold that I don't think he'd ever succeed in being emphatic to his troops. They only know how to fear and respect him, not love him. 

Theoretically speaking, if he and HYX never fell in love and East and West Qin started warring in earnest, I really think West Qin's side would end up the victor. East Qin just has too many weak courtiers and lack of IQ. Long Feiye himself possessed some glaring weaknesses he's never bothered to master, such as poisons. So! For thIs hypothetical war we would have:

EAST QIN

  • LFY + Perplexing Butterfly Illusion + super kungfu
  • Tang Clan
  • Baili Army + Navy
  • Beauty's Blood (R.I.P. Baili Mingxiang)
  • Celestial Mountain Sword Sect
  • Western Zhou (thanks Duanmu Yao)
  • The richest merchant hall/trade consortiums
  • Various spies in various factions, I'm guessing, but still not as much as the Li Clan

vs.

WEST QIN

  • HYX + poisons
  • Di Clan + Ning Cheng & Ning Jing
  • Tianning imperial clan (Long Tianmo would side with HYX for sure, Tianhui could be manipulated into it by Imperial Consort Ning perhaps)
  • Chu Clan + Su Xiaoyu
  • GBY (Shadow Clan)
  • GQS (Pill Fiend Valley + Poison Human army)
  • Mu Linger (Mu Clan? Medicine City?)
  • The second and third richest merchant halls
  • Bai Yanqing (Wind Clan) + Bai Yuqiao
  • Jun Yixie (Black Clan) + Northern Li imperial clan + Wintercrow Country
  • Poison Sect supporters + Lil Thing
  • Potentially Wolf Sect, to a degree

and

NEUTRAL (?) FACTIONS

  • Pill King
  • Pill Furnace Master (unless he found out about GQS and joined HYX)
  • Medical/Medicine City (unless GBY/MLR helps out and HYX clears up misunderstandings of Poison Sect)
  • City of Daughters
  • Carefree City
  • Li Clan + General Mu (unless he got dragged with Tianning to support HYX. his daughter would definitely go for LFY and screw things up, alas)

Wouldn't that be interesting? With Su Xiaoyu and Bai Yuqiao on the same side, there wouldn't be the guilt of torture. Maybe BYQ would never find out about the ruyi tattoo on her little sister's back...or maybe she'd see it in a place as ordinary as a hot springs and the two would reunite and work together and live for a bit longer as family.

LFY would be Forever Alone and stuck dealing with flies like DMY (lol good luck). Baili MIngxiang would die, sacrificing her life for the East Qin cause. If HYX's faction grew too strong, he would probably set his eyes on the mecenary cIties and win them over by force. He would face opposition in Medicine City because Mu Linger is HYX's cousin and in Medical City because GBY will definitely outshine everyone there and take the lead as its leader when given the chance and necessity. The ones most likely to betray West Qin and go to his side would be a bunch of useless harem fodder like Chu Qingge, Mu Liuyue, and who knows what else. 

HYX would have a bunch of suitors as usual, perhaps even end up marrying Ning Cheng. He is similar to LFY after all, and--he wouldn't hesitate like GBY would, or be too extreme for her tastes like GQS. But it'd be a lot harder for him to dispel GQS than LFY. Sadly, even if she does defeat East Qin, she would have to deal with Bai Yanqing, who just wants to watch the world burn. He might even drag neutral parties like the Li Clan into the fray just to churn up more chaos, while HYX would be left dealing with the guilt of trying to kill her "father." Unless someone like the Wolf Sect stepped in, she wouldn't be equipped to go against him because there's no super strong LFY to hold him down. GQS and GBY combined might try something to trick him, with NC's assistance, but it's likely one of them would perish in the process.

Most likely it'd be GBY, dying willingly in the line of his duty and instructing NC before he left to take care of the princess, their future queen... 

Well, that's gloomy. I guess it's good that our female and male MCs are OP at times, haha.