Although knowing that Han Yuantai could have been exaggerating, Li Yao was still quite shocked by the rise of ‘Heaven Battering King’ Qi Changsheng.
None of the guys who raised a storm of blood in the world were easy to deal with!
“This is about the situation right now. The White Lotus Cult is thriving in the southeast, and the Heaven Battering Army is raging in the northwest. Cloud Qin is also threatening from the north. The Great Qian Dynasty is already shaking despite its ostensible magnificence!
“At such a moment of life and death, the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty still do not change. They are too addicted to their internal strife to join their hands to revive Great Qian!”
“With the great enemies around, are the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty still busy dealing with each other?” Li Yao frowned harder.
“Great enemies?” Holding back his laughter, Han Yuantai asked, “If I may ask you, Master, who do you think the greatest enemy for the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty is?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and replied, “There cannot be two monarchs. If I were the emperor, I would certainly not tolerate the local magnates who develop their sects into independent kingdoms. Therefore, the emperor of the Great Qian Dynasty is the greatest enemy for the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty!”
Han Yuantai shook his head.
“The White Lotus Cult and the Heaven Battering Army are causing trouble in southeast and northwest.” Li Yao tried again. “If they work together, it’s possible that they can split the nation apart. They are the archenemies of the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty!”
Han Yuantai shook his head again.
“Are you saying that Ghost Qin is the greatest enemy for them?” Li Yao asked angrily.
Han Yuantai shook his head and laughed. “Not the emperor, not the White Lotus Cult or the Heaven Battering Army, not Cloud Qin. The greatest enemy for the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty is themselves!”
Li Yao stared at him coldly without blinking.
Han Yuantai found it hard to breathe under Li Yao’s gaze, but he gritted his teeth to explain, “As I recall, Master, you pointed it out earlier that the most important things for a Cultivator are wealth, residence, arts, and partners, or in short, resources!
“One can only train oneself with spiritual energy, crystals, magical equipment, Cultivation arts, and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. Without resources, even the highest aptitude will mean nothing!
“Therefore, for every Cultivation sect, it is their natural instinct to defend the resources that they have and gain as many more resources as possible.
“Then, here comes the question. Where are most of the wealth, residence, arts, and partners concentrated?
“The whole world is the emperor’s domain. Naturally, the royal family has tremendous resources. However, the royal family has been declining for hundreds of years now. All the resources are running dry. Also, the target is too obvious. Whoever dares to rob them may be attacked by everybody else!
“The White Lotus Cult is just a bunch of ghosts who train themselves by absorbing other people’s hatred, which is totally different from the prevailing methodology among the Cultivators. They have also been eliminated dozens of times. How many resources can they have?
“The Heaven Battering Army is a horde of bandits. After every raid, they will consume all the resources on the spot. Then, they will be as poor as before!
“The situation is similar in Cloud Qin. The Dark Cloud Prairies are a bitter cold land with barely any natural paradises. The Cultivators from the Dark Cloud Prairies are best known for their dearth of belongings. Other than the Dragon Wolves, few items here are worth hunting!
“Fighting the White Lotus Cult, the Heaven Battering Army, and Cloud Qin will earn the Cultivation sects little. After fierce battles, even at the risk of sacrificing a few Core Formation Stage Cultivators or Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, they may get nothing in the end. So, why bother?
“Some people do risky businesses, but no one will do unrewarding businesses. Waging a war upon the White Lotus Cult, the Heaven Battering Army, or Cloud Qin is one such unrewarding business. Therefore, the Cultivators from the ‘noble sects’ of the Great Qian Dynasty will never consider us as targets unless we are asking for their trouble.
“You know what I’m getting now, Master, don’t you?
“The majority of the wealth, residences, arts, and partners in the entire Ancient Sages Sector lie in the hands of the noble sects!
“For the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty, eighty sects split the wealth, residences, arts, and partners in the beginning. Naturally, their days were happy and carefree. But right now, almost four thousand sects are splitting the same wealth, residences, arts, and partners. There are more wolves, but there is less meat. It is not hard to imagine what a bad relationship those sects are in!
“Therefore, despite the ostensible peace, the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty are fighting each other in the most brutal way in secret!”
“Since they claim to be noble sects,” Li Yao said solemnly, “how can they fight each other in the most brutal way? They cannot just rob other people of their treasures, can they?”
“Cronyism, vilification, frame-up. There are always approaches!” Han Yuantai smiled. “You may not believe my empty talk, so let me give you a real-life example!
“As you know, Master, I am the leader of the Behemothic Unit, one of the eight units of Cloud Qin. I am also Han Baling’s brother. I’m a famous guy in the Dark Cloud Prairies.
“Then, why was I bold enough to sneak into the southeast crossing such a long way? Was I not worried that the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty would send out a lot of Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators to kill me?”
Li Yao narrowed his eyes. “Right. My appearance was not within your expectations. So, you were confident that you would return safe and sound. Why?”
“Hahaha!” Han Yuantai laughed and said, “Because I knew that nobody else except for the Ling family and the Purple Pole Sword Sect would carry out the appeasing mission, and even the Purple Pole Sword Sect would not deploy all its experts. It would be their best to send out a Cultivator at the peak of the Core Formation Stage and one in the beginning level of the Nascent Soul Stage!
“That’s because many people within the Great Qian Dynasty did not want the mission to succeed, or rather, they intentionally wanted it to fail so that the Ling family would be crushed. Then, the Ling family’s fall would be an opening for them to deal with the Purple Pole Sword Sect, the best sword sect in the world, allowing them to split the wealth, residences, arts, and partners under the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s control!”
“Oh?” Li Yao’s eyes shuddered, and he sniffed heavily. “The Purple Pole Sword Sect has been passed on for almost a thousand years. It is one of the most powerful sects in the world. Why is it hated by so many people? There must be a reason, mustn’t there?”
“Of course there is.” After a mysterious smile, Han Yuantai said, “It is because the Purple Pole Sword Sect, and the noble families under the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s protection including the Ling family, are all the eunuch’s conspirators!”
“The eunuch’s conspirators…” Li Yao’s acting skills were being tested. He felt like vomiting blood.
“It all started with Emperor Qiyuan of the Great Qian Dynasty, who passed away last year,” Han Yuantai said unhurriedly. “As I said just now, if the emperor is too busy handling the complicated national affairs, he will have no time to train himself, and his own strength will decline. Not only will he be unable to intimidate the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators in the major sects, it will also be possible for them to ‘die of natural causes’ without a good reason!
“On the other hand, if the emperor is ambitious enough to grow into a top expert to intimidate the local Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, he will have to entrust national affairs to someone else.
“It is not an option to entrust them to the ministers because most of the ministers originate from the local sects. All they think of is how to earn benefits for their own sect.
“It is not an option to entrust them to the brothers, either. Who can resist the temptation of the emperor’s throne? If he raises his brothers’ ambitions, won’t he be inviting trouble for himself?
“So, with everything in consideration, the emperor can only entrust the national affairs to one group of people—the eunuchs around him!
“Eunuchs do not belong to any sect. They are loyal to the emperor. They do not have offspring. It doesn’t matter at all however ambitious they are. In the eyes of the emperor, they are more trustworthy than ministers and brothers.
“Therefore, of the sixty-six emperors of the Great Qian Dynasty, those who set their life goal as grasping the extraordinary arts have almost all been assisted by the eunuchs, who seized great power!
“It was exactly the case when Emperor Qiyuan was on the throne.
“As a famous training maniac, he dedicated himself to the marvelous techniques. He considered Emperor Wu as his role model and intended to suppress all the sects with unstoppable personal strength by advancing into the Divinity Transformation Stage.
“He would train himself day and night and had no time to deal with national affairs after all. Therefore, he raised a spokesperson for him in the court, Wang Xi, the Lead Eunuch!”
“Wang Xi…” Li Yao chewed on the name silently.
The name sounded rather plain, but since Han Yuantai had brought up the name to waste his time, the guy must have been a formidable man on par with Mother White Lotus Wan Mingzhu and Heaven Battering King Qi Changsheng!
As he expected, Han Yuantai said, “A lot of powerful eunuchs have appeared in the Great Qian Dynasty before. The Cultivation sects knew what the emperor was interested in and could not push him too far. Therefore, they simply conspired with the eunuchs and deceived the emperor together. Not much trouble was ever caused.
“So, after Wang Xi distinguished himself, the Cultivation sects never thought too highly of him and coerced him in the old way, tempting him to stand on their side.
“However, Wang Xi was no ordinary eunuch. His wisdom, determination, planning, and Cultivation were among the best!
“Pretending to be awed by the Cultivation sects and greedy about fame and fortune, Wang Xi agreed to cooperate with them. He informed them of the emperor’s every action and turned a blind eye to their unlawful doings in their territory.
“But in secret, he tried to intensify the conflict among multiple Cultivation sects through his diplomacy skills, leading to quite a few clandestine competitions among the sects!
“He even established an agency of assassination and espionage known as ‘Ghost Character’ under the connivance of many Cultivation sects to help those sects settle the troubles that were best kept a secret.
“Just like that, Wang Xi partly diminished the power of the major sects by forcing them into internal strife and partly built up an underground organization. He also grasped countless secrets of the famous sects. With his broken body, he manipulated the entire world!
“When the time was right and he finally revealed what he really was, the Cultivation sects finally discovered that not only did the inconspicuous, ballless eunuch boast countless loyal subordinates, he was also an incredible swordsman himself with an unbelievably high Cultivation!”
“What!” Li Yao finally could not help it and exclaimed, “A eunuch turned out to be an incredible swordsman?”
“Exactly.” After a bitter smile, Han Yuantai said, “The wretched eunuch was in fact one of the strongest sword Cultivators in the world. Even his enemies had to admit that, however unwillingly. That is the first facet of Wang Xi’s formidability!”