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The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 03, 2023 3 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 93

Chapter 94

After spending about five or six days in Wantong City, Xiao Zhongting finally arrived.

Before departing from Bailu City, they had split into two groups: Gu Fuyou headed straight for Wantong City, while Xiao Zhongting went to rally support from various families and smaller cities allied with Bailu City.

Given the vast territory and population of Nanzhou, the Zuo family, despite their numbers, couldn’t manage every place themselves, hence the need for these families to serve them. These smaller cities and families were restricted by the Zuo family, with limited resources and status, often preventing talented individuals from flourishing.

This was why many had joined Xuan Miao Sect, to seek guidance. Among these people, there were those adept at biding their time, and the families and clans outside the Zuo family, though smaller, formed a considerable force when combined.

Gu Fuyou estimated that Du Pan would soon return to the Thirty-Three Skies. It was time for them to move on to the next city.

They were waiting for Xiao Zhongting that day. In the distance, several figures on flying swords approached, led by Xiao Zhongting riding a golden-fured beast. Along with his subordinates, he brought several distinguished-looking newcomers. Upon landing, a figure eagerly rushed towards him.

“Father!” the figure called.

From the city wall, Gu Fuyou watched. She had intended to send Xiao Zhi back to Xiao City, but when Xiao Zhi heard her father would join them in battling the Zuo family, she requested to stay with Gu Fuyou, who granted her wish.

The father-daughter reunion was emotional; despite years apart, Xiao Zhi recognized Xiao Zhongting at first glance. As she ran to him and attempted to kneel, he dismounted and embraced her tightly.

Tears, which Xiao Zhi had held back when trapped in danger, now freely flowed as she leaned on her father’s chest. “Father, I’ve been unfilial. Forgive me, forgive me…”

Xiao Zhongting’s eyes reddened. “What nonsense are you speaking, child?”

Gu Fuyou, leaning against the wall, suddenly felt a cold wetness on her arm – her own tears. She stood up, only to find Zhong Michu already beside her, gently wiping her cheek with a sleeve, drying her tears.

Gu Fuyou, having been lost in thought and not noticed Zhong Michu’s arrival, hastily turned away and said, “You…” Her voice was hoarse; after clearing her throat, she asked, “Why are you here?”

Zhong Michu softly replied, “I’ve seen you cry before, why hide it?”

Before she died, Gu Fuyou was not one to cry easily, but often shed tears in front of Zhong Michu. After she died, she never cried, regardless of whose company she was in.

Sometimes, Zhong Michu thought it might be good for Gu Fuyou to cry.

Gu Fuyou wiped her tears silently, leaving no trace. She smiled, “The wind got in my eyes.”

Glancing down from the city wall, Zhong Michu saw Xiao Zhongting and his daughter; she opened her mouth to speak and eventually said, “Don’t stand in the wind.”

“Okay, okay,” Gu Fuyou agreed, taking her hand and walking down from the city wall. “Did you come to see me?”

Zhong Michu, playing along with the change of topic, said, “You’ve been giving Yi’er too many sweets.”

Gu Fuyou had promised to reforge Gengchen for Zhong Michu the day before and had sent Feng Sui and others to distract Yi’er with sweets.

Reforging Gengchen required special materials, and Gu Fuyou planned to use the best. While considering materials, she realized she had rare and extraordinary treasures right by her side.

Using dragon scales to reforge Gengchen would surely result in a weapon unparalleled in toughness and sharpness, a rare and powerful weapon in the world.

Sugar helps the dragon race shed their scales, and now, Xinghan follows Yi’er every day, waiting to collect the shed scales.

It would be even better if they could get Yi’er to shed some dragon teeth as well.

Gu Fuyou lifted her hand to show Zhong Michu, saying with a smile, “I’ve been thinking about the best materials to reforge Gengchen, and dragon scales seem like the perfect choice. But considering you’re just reaching the right age, you only lose a couple of scales every few hundred years. It wouldn’t feel right to just take them from you.”

“Yi’er is still pretty young for a Dragon, you know. It’s around this age they usually start shedding scales and teeth. I’m just helping speed up that process a bit.”

Zhong Michu, with a faint smile and lowered eyes, commented, “But it must be hard for her.”

Gu Fuyou laughed, “You’re her mother, and you spoil her so much. Giving her a few extra sweets now isn’t exactly a big deal. And hey, if she starts complaining or doesn’t listen, I’ll spank her.”

They descended from the city wall. Xiao Zhongting and his daughter had calmed down and were bringing the people they had gathered to meet Gu Fuyou, introducing each one.

These individuals were talented people from small cities around Bailu City, influential, well-connected, and acquainted with many figures from Nanzhou’s families and clans.

With Gu Fuyou’s influence and their persuasion, those families in the cities would rise in rebellion, following Qingluan’s lead.

The Zuo family had ruled over Nanzhou for a thousand years, but over time, the loyalty of the people had gradually diminished.

As they were about to leave Wantong City, passing by the city wall, Gu Fuyou ordered, “Bring him down.” A man was brought down by the city guards and taken away.

Xiao Zhongting, looking closely, recognized the man as Zuo Tianlang.

From the air, he had seen someone hanging from the city wall, but the disheveled figure was hard to link with the distinguished young master. Upon closer inspection, he confirmed it was Zuo Tianlang. His heart racing, Xiao Zhongting approached, laughed heartily, and bowed, “Ah, Young Master Zuo, my apologies.”

Everyone was surprised to discover it was indeed Zuo Tianlang.

His anger and shame were palpable as he felt the eyes of others on him, filled with contempt and mockery, piercing like a sharp sword. Unable to speak and now a mere prisoner, he felt utterly disgraced and wanted to hide from those mocking gazes that followed him relentlessly.

Xiao Zhongting asked Gu Fuyou, “What will you do with him?”

Gu Fuyou replied, “Killing him would be too easy. He doesn’t fear death. Let him suffer first.”

Xiao Zhongting coldly looked Zuo Tianlang up and down, then said, “In that case, may I have him for a few days?”

Gu Fuyou glanced at him and nodded, “Just don’t kill him. I still want Zuo Yuezhi to see him one last time, to witness the father and son reunion.”

“Alright.”

By noon, everything was prepared, and the troop left Wantong City, heading southeast.

The Xinyue Pavilion members stayed in the city. Soon, the original residents, seeing the end of the conflict, would gradually return.

The Thirty-Three Skies, upon receiving Du Pan’s news of Wantong City’s collusion with Qingluan, were furious.

When Zuo Yue himself led people to Wantong City, he found an empty city; neither Qingluan nor Zuo Shaode were there, only the returning residents.

Looking at the partially destroyed city, Zuo Yuezhi stood with his hands behind his back, shrouded in gloom, speechless.

The Elder said, “Sect Leader, the young master is still in their hands.”

Du Pan added, “Sect Leader, be cautious. Qingluan is quite cunning, and we have no clue where they are or what they’re up to right now. We’re out in the open while our enemy is lurking in the shadows. We need to stay on our toes.”

Zuo Yuezhi, frowning, asked, “Any news from Bailu City?”

The Elder replied, “We’ve sent people to check, but I fear…”

Zuo Yuezhi shook his head. Hearing Du Pan’s words about the slaves being manipulated by Qingluan, he had a bad premonition and realized he had underestimated Qingluan.

“Is there any news about Qingluan?” he asked.

“They headed north, but their exact location is still being investigated.”

Zuo Yuezhi pondered. The north had many cities, and the area was vast. What exactly were Qingluan and Zuo Shaode planning? Were they aiming to conquer other cities? But none seemed comparable to Bailu City or Wantong City.

While the Zuo family was still searching for Qingluan’s whereabouts, Gu Fuyou had led a large group of cultivators to Lu City, one of the largest cities to the north of the Zuo family’s domain.

The city darkened under the pressure of the approaching army, and the citizens were unaware of the situation.

Xiao Zhongting, leading the cultivators he brought, volunteered to be the vanguard, persuading the smaller cities affiliated with Lu City. At that time, the destruction of Bailu City had not yet been known, allowing them free access to meet with the lords of various cities.

“Brother, think about it. The Zuo family has been holding us back for so long. If we were on another continent, you’d already be at the Nascent Soul stage, not stuck in the Golden Core for centuries and aging before your time. With a Soul Splitting stage cultivator on our side, and her army of thousands that took over both Bailu and Wantong Cities, we’ve got a golden opportunity here. Looks like the Zuo family’s luck has finally dried up. If we don’t make our move now, then when will we?

“Brother Zhongting, think about it. The Zuo family is deeply entrenched with vast resources. What chance do our small cities have against them? No one’s managed to shake their hold over Nanzhou in thousands of years. Just look at what happened to Xuan Miao Sect and Xiaoyao City – they were completely crushed. And we can’t forget the pain of Sister Yuan’s suicide. You’ve worked tirelessly to build Xiao City up for a hundred years. If you throw in with this rebellion, all that hard work could be for nothing.”

Xiao Zhongting slammed his hand down, turning away in disappointment. “I can’t believe it, brother. You’re just content with comfort and safety.”

He spoke with pain, “All these years, we obeyed the Zuo family’s every command. Are you really content being their slave, losing your backbone? I remember our humiliation and Sister Yuan’s death. That’s why I refuse to kneel before the Zuo family my whole life. Brother, believe me, I’m not being impulsive. I wouldn’t make a move unless I was sure there’s at least a fifty percent chance to beat them. And I definitely wouldn’t involve you if I wasn’t completely confident.”

“Today it’s just one or two small cities, but tomorrow three or four families, then five or six clans. Little by little, we can isolate the Zuo family in Nanzhou.”

Xiao Zhongting declared, “Brother, have you heard of the saying, ‘A single spark can start a prairie fire’? Even we, united, can completely isolate the Zuo family in Nanzhou.”

The City Lord’s face reddened at Xiao Zhongting’s initial words, then, felt a surge of passion and determination, “Brother Zhongting, you’ve hit the nail on the head, right at my heart. It’s true, I’ve been subservient to the Zuo family for years, always cautious, afraid of making mistakes. I’ve become hesitant in everything, losing the spirit I once had.”

He sighed again, “Brother Zhongting, forgive my skepticism, but I have one more question.”

Xiao Zhongting nodded, signaling him to speak.

“This Qingluan is of the Azure Phoenix Clan, ultimately a different race from us. Remember, over a hundred thousand years back, they ruled the five continents and we were just their subjects. They’ve always been so full of themselves, looking down on humans. If we start following Qingluan now, what happens if the Azure Phoenix rise again? How would that be any different from being under the Zuo family’s thumb?”

Xiao Zhongting laughed heartily, “That’s not a concern.”

“Brother, if you are worried about her identity, I stake my life that such things will not happen. Her focus is entirely on opposing the Zuo family, and she probably hasn’t thought that far ahead. If I were to reveal her true identity, you would have no choice but to believe me, but due to the circumstances, I cannot disclose it to you just yet. Please understand, brother.”

The City Lord nodded, showing his understanding, “Since Brother Zhongting says so, I trust you completely.”

Xiao Zhongting said, “If you really don’t want your city to be dragged into chaos, you can remain neutral. When the main city signals for support, you can simply pretend not to see it.”

However, the City Lord shook his head firmly, saying, “No, Brother Zhongting, I am willing to stand by your side and follow your lead.”

“Good!” Xiao Zhongting exclaimed, pleased with his response.

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Previous: Chapter 93

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

dadin
dadin
7 months ago

even 700 hundred years passed.. in still wary of traitors.. even how insignificant are you

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

700 years really is an unfathomable period of time. Cultivation novels are crazy…