Monarch of Evernight - Chapter 989
Monarch of Evernight Chapter 989: Three Day Plan
The other two great dark monarchs could accept this restriction, albeit barely. The Eternal Flame was the wielder of a Grand Magnum, and his own strength was head and shoulders above everyone else. The Throne of Blood would still be at a disadvantage against him, even in the neutral lands. Additionally, the Eternal Flame only asked for three days. This demand was fairly easy to grant.
The reasonable request and willingness to accept restraining conditions meant that the Eternal Flame was also cautious of the throne’s power. He himself might not be afraid, but there were numerous demonkin forces operating in the area. If the two parties were to turn hostile, even he might not be able to guarantee the safety of his kin.
Shattered Moment was notoriously lethal. Even if the Eternal Flame were standing nearby, he would have no way to save the target.
Thus, an agreement was reached. The most unacceptable part of this was that Medanzo and Noxus had no idea what the Eternal Flame would be doing during these three days. Although the arachne and vampires had their own squads infiltrating the neutral lands, who other than the two great dark monarchs would have the power to monitor this demonkin bigwig?
It would be all too easy for the demonkin to play tricks on them.
This piqued Medanzo and Noxus’ curiosity even more. Why were the demonkin adamant on the two extra quotas?
With the agreement reached, the three fleets merged into one and entered the depths of the neutral land. Meanwhile, the flagships belonging to the two great dark monarchs remained at the border, awaiting the results of the operation.
News of the Evernight alliance’s arrival spread like wildfire. All of a sudden, all powers big and small returned to their bases and stopped coming out. Some unknown source had spread word that a powerful figure of the demonkin race, the Eternal Flame, had arrived along with the Evernight fleet.
This news shook all the experts of the neutral lands, stopping all those who otherwise had different ideas. No matter how much restraint the demonkin would face in the neutral lands, no matter how familiar these experts were with the neutral lands, they weren’t a match for a magnum-wielding great dark monarch. No Evernight monarch had stepped so brazenly into the neutral lands since the battle a hundred years ago.
Many people who were in hiding started cursing and mocking the Throne of Blood. Repelling heavenly monarchs and great dark monarchs was a rule established by the Throne of Blood. But why was he afraid now that the Eternal Flame was here?
These people had forgotten that it was this very person who had appeared during the darkest moments of the neutral lands when it was almost conquered by Evernight. He had fought the Evernight army until rivers of blood flowed across the land, pushing them back and later establishing the Throne of Blood. That was the only reason the rule came to be.
Regardless of the fear or schadenfreude, the massive Evernight fleet arrived like black clouds covering the sky. It slowly but firmly traversed the neutral lands and flew toward the Eastern Sea.
The news similarly arrived in Tidehark, and the leaders of the Empire gathered around Song Zining to seek a strategy for countermeasures. Only at this point did they truly realize how essential he was. The future god of strategy wasn’t just an empty title—it was sincere praise sung by the masses, proven by his accomplishments in battle. In such desperate times, a future god was also a god, capable of giving everyone a modicum of comfort.
The war room was packed full of people as everyone with some degree of power found a way to squeeze themselves in.
Song Zining arrived fashionably late, about ten minutes after the appointed time. He walked through the crowd and took the leading seat at the table. “The situation is dire. As the commander, this young master will naturally formulate a strategy to push back the enemy. It’s just that… what benefits will I get from this?”
These words ignited a commotion in the crowd.
He was probably the first commander to openly seek benefits before the battle. An old man immediately slammed the table, rebuking, “Preposterous! The empire granted you great power and status, yet you wish to seek benefits!? If every general was like you, how will the empire keep standing? Aren’t you afraid of bringing shame to your Song clan ancestors?”
Among the crowd, some chimed in while others shook their heads. Someone dragged the old man back, saying, “Keep calm and listen to what the seventh young noble has to say. It’s not too late to talk afterward.”
The old man said in rage, “What is there to listen to? This is absolutely wrong! How can such a person remain in such a high position?”
Someone else said coldly, “Elder Lu, your Lu family might not be afraid, but we don’t want to pay with our fortune and lives! Who else can take the seventh young noble’s position? You? Ha! It’s not that I look down on you, but I don’t think anyone will listen with you in that seat.”
Someone else sneered, “Elder Lu, what intentions do you have to stop the seventh young noble from speaking? Your Lu family is so poor that it makes no difference even if you lose everything. Everyone else here has their families and fortunes riding with the seventh young master!”
Elder Lu’s words were caught in his throat. He waved his sleeve in anger, saying, “Fine, my Lu family wants no part in this. I shall return to the empire now!”
But a couple of people stood up and blocked the door. Elder Lu’s expression changed drastically. “Elder Chen, what is the meaning of this?”
The other party was a plump elder. “Little Brother Lu, what’s the rush? If you leave just like that, wouldn’t the blame fall on your head if some secrets were to leak out? Isn’t it better for you to stay one day and leave after everything is settled?”
Elder Lu was livid. “Are you trying to keep me under house arrest?”
Elder Chen laughed loudly, “Nonsense, all of our families work for the empire. We definitely won’t stop Elder Lu if you’re adamant about leaving. I just don’t want any accidents to befall the Lu family.”
The threat was evident—Elder Lu returned to his seat with a snort and no longer said a word thereafter.
Elder Chen cupped his fist at Song Zining. “You must have a reason for seeking benefits, but we also have some misgivings. Won’t you tell us what kind of benefits you’re seeking? As long as it’s reasonable, we won’t hesitate to provide manpower or money.”
Song Zining said with a smile, “Elder Chen understands things well. I’m in a bit of a tight situation after leaving the Song clan, and I need some money and resources. Do you think that’s fine?”
Elder Chen said without hesitation, “Turns out you want to be paid! That’s fine, our Chen family will put forth ten thousand gold coins for the seventh young noble’s current expenditures.”
Elder Chen’s straightforwardness was unexpected. Everyone gave the situation some thought and realized what they should do. “Our Wei family will fork out eight thousand gold coins.”
The Li family elder spoke up all of a sudden, “Our Jingtang Li Clan will offer a hundred thousand gold coins.”
The entire conference room fell into silence. The Li family was a high-ranking aristocratic family, one that had always been eyeing a spot among the major clans. As the commander of the family’s operations in the neutral lands, Elder Li was willing to pay a sizable sum. The meaning behind this move was worth pondering on.
Eunuch Zhang said, “The imperial clan’s finances belong to His Majesty, so I don’t have the right to use it at will. But I have a personal accumulation that I’ve saved up over the decade. At fifty-thousand, It’s far smaller than the Li family’s offer, but I hope the seventh young master will accept the gesture.”
Everyone was surprised that even Eunuch Zhang of the imperial clan would adopt such a stance. Although no one knew what Song Zining needed the money for, they already knew what they should do. All the families fought amongst each other to fork out money, and the ones who had made their offer before started adding more to their numbers as well. In the blink of an eye, a large sum of money, close to a million gold coins, had been accumulated.
Elder Lu was restless in his seat. He had already realized that he had been played as a chess piece to gauge Song Zining’s reaction. The situation had become clear after the Li family and imperial clan had announced their stance. Meanwhile, the Lu family had been cast aside.
His expression was livid as he stood up. “Our Lu family is weak in both money and manpower, but we’re also willing to do our part. We offer twenty thousand!”
Everyone fell silent for a while. Then they began showering the elder with praises, and the atmosphere in the conference room became fairly joyful.
After the wave of delight, everyone’s eyes fell upon Song Zining as they waited silently for his continuation. The seventh young noble was in no rush, however. He turned to Eunuch Zhang and said, “When can I receive the money? If there aren’t enough gold coins, it’s fine to substitute with treasures.”
The families became tongue-tied. Who would’ve thought Song Zining would be so shameless? Eunuch Zhang, however, didn’t mind. “Nobody will carry their wealth everywhere, so we’ll naturally pay with treasures. I have a peerless jade bestowed upon me by the emperor. It’s definitely worth fifty to sixty thousand gold coins. What say you?”
Song Zining smiled with cupped hands. “I’d feel bad about it.”
Eunuch Zhang replied, “If you refuse, that means you think little of yours truly.”
“Sigh, I feel ashamed accepting this!” Song Zining shook his head as he received the treasured jade and put it in his chest pocket. That clean and decisive movement was pretty far off from an ashamed person’s demeanor.
Everyone understood that empty words wouldn’t do if they wanted to avoid making a fool out of themselves. Hence, they clenched their jaws as they searched for treasures that could match their offers. In the blink of an eye, a pile of treasures had appeared in front of Song Zining.
The seventh young master simply couldn’t close his mouth. He accepted everything given to him, and then asked his men to stow them away. Only then did he sit down and open his fan, adopting the posture of a future god of strategy.
Having forked out steep investments, the families looked on with bated breaths. They wanted to know what they would get back after paying such a price.
Song Zining said mysteriously, “The Evernight alliance consists of three races, with the Eternal Flame at the helm. Their lineup is extremely powerful, so we cannot go head-on against them. We must shift our forces back temporarily.”
Many people cursed secretly. Everyone knew this already!
Song Zining waved his folding-fan. “Although the Evernight forces are powerful, they can’t stay very long. As I see it, we should withdraw from Tidehark and camp for three days at a point three hundred kilometers away. Three days later, the Eternal Flame will leave and it’ll be our turn to decide whether to fight or defend.”
Everyone was surprised. “Are you certain the Eternal Flame will return after three days?”
Song Zining said with a smile, “This is heaven’s mystery, something I cannot reveal. You will find out three days later.”