I Am Supreme - Chapter 283
With Jiang Zhong’s second eruption, his ability mounted once more to Tenth Perfection. With a loud crash, those who were attacking him in a besieging pattern were flung back from the force.
Although the inner palace guards had higher cultivation bases than the military and were not lacking in fighting spirit, they lacked the most basic tactical training. The mass of militants could trap ninth peak experts or even strong Tenth Perfection individuals and lead them to their deaths but when these inner palace guards, who had higher cultivation bases, were launching their attacks, loopholes tore their way through the initially perfect siege once the enemy charged through forcefully.
Yun Yang’s tornado was pushed away by the opposing party’s brute force too;he could not block him in time as well. Seeing the sole chance of survival, Jiang Zhong hurled his body into dozens of illusory silhouettes with a growl and fled in every possible direction.
The Deicide Bow archers stationed around had no idea which silhouette was Jiang Zhong’s genuine form. The bows were pulled yet they could not release the string.
In the next moment, the illusory shadows sprung high into the air. Jiang Zhong was escaping!
Although he knew that the chances of success were terribly low and his real persona would easily be exposed and become the singular target of the Deicide Bow archers, Jiang Zhong decided to risk it.
There was only death for him if he were to stay!
The efficacy of Art of Soul Inducement had reached its limit, it was impossible for him to use it for the third time. If he missed the opportunity again, this day next year would be his death anniversary.
A whirlwind soared;Yun Yang ground his teeth and executed all his mystical Qi!
His saber blade shone before the worldly realm, life and death were decided within a thought;his intention would be known with a glimpse at his blade, this saber shall send you to the Yellow Spring – Destiny’s Second Form!
The first style, Saber Laic!
Jiang Zhong had an abstruse feeling like he had fallen into a strange dream, once the saber light flickered.
In his dream was an odd, ethereal realm.
He worked hard to ignore, it felt so real. However, time in this secular world was extremely temporal;within the blink of an eye, he would go from his childhood to youth, adulthood then old age, and death!
Death, it was the eternal theme of all creatures in this profane world;it was the eternal fate!
The saber light was like a dream, like the worldly realm of the profane world;once one was captured by it, they could not struggle their way out.
Hopelessness flashed in Jiang Zhong’s eyes. He exerted the last of his energy for the ultimate retaliation. In spite of this, gentle saber light caressed his body slowly, leaving slits of bloody wounds.
Each cut was not deep but blood came gushing out like a spluttering spring.
Amidst the wind, a large foot came streaking through the air.
The foot stomped right on Jiang Zhong’s chest.
With a cry, Jiang Zhong fell like a meteor as he flew back uncontrollably. As he was still tumbling through the air, a palm landed solidly on his back. As numbness consumed his body, a punch struck his dantian.
All his mystical Qi disappeared instantly.
The energy and force of dantian he had evaporated under that single punch!
Jiang Zhong deflated like a punctured ball, filled with despair.
The green whirlwind came whizzing as an arm stretched out from within and caught Jiang Zhong. It whirred, rolling Jiang Zhong up in the air.
The consequent turn of events had shocked everyone present. What was Supreme Wind doing?
"Your Majesty, the revenge of the Nine Supremes is an affair of the martial arts world!" A low voice rang out from within the tornado. "It has nothing to do with the imperial dynasty and it shouldn’t. I shall take this man back for interrogation;Your Majesty will know if I have any news."
The emperor’s scratchy voice was low, "I only want to know whose wife Cirrus House’s Yun Zuiyue was."
The low voice spoke with great grief. "She was… Supreme Flame’s wife!"
His Majesty sighed, "I – hope to know the result of Jiang Zhong’s interrogation."
"It shall be done."
The tornado soared.
Rising up, the green blast of wind disappeared above the palace instantly and vanished in the sky.
His Majesty said after pondering for some time. He understood Supreme Wind’s words immediately after some thought – affair of the martial arts world!
Supreme Wind had decided the absolute nature of this incident. It also meant that Supreme Wind and Nine Heavens Dictum had taken absolute responsibility for this matter all by themselves.
No matter how enraged the Four Seasons Tower was, however much they wanted revenge, their target could only be the Nine Supremes and Nine Heavens Dictum – this was a slaughter perpetrated by the martial arts world’s grudge!
It was not Yutang’s government that had killed the tower’s man.
No doubt this was a mediation for the Empire of Yutang in shielding the nation from the Four Seasons Tower’s anger.
However, an indescribable sense of despair engulfed the emperor.
As the sovereign of an empire, he had to actually resort to such methods to fend off troubles?
How useless was he?
He had never suspected Supreme Wind nor did he even doubt the truth of Jiang Zhong being a Four Seasons Tower’s spy.
From the moment Jiang Zhong refused to obey his order and refused to give up fighting, His Majesty was certain. Jiang Zhong was definitely a planted Four Seasons Tower’s mole in the inner palace.
He felt a surge of rage and embarrassment!
He did not expect that other than He Hanqing – teacher to three generations of emperors - there was also Jiang Zhong! A Four Seasons Tower’s spy who had lurked beside him for so many years!
Just He Hanqing and Jiang Zhong’s long-hidden identities as plants was enough to tell of the Four Seasons Tower’s foresight;the conspiracy might be even more wide-spread than this!
Then… how many more people could he actually trust within the Yutang palace that he thought he had control over?
Thinking carefully, the eunuchs and maids caught in the palace purging previously were but a corner of a glacier;they were but spies who were the least concealed. So were Eunuch Wu, Mi Kongqun afterward, and Minister of Imperial Household, Jiang Zhong!
His close servants, Inner Court Attendant, and Minister of Imperial Household were all spies of the enemy – planted agents. What was so surprising was that he had been the oblivious victim of a subtle poisoning for over dozens of years...
There were also his concubines, whose families rebelled instantly once they saw that things were askew. The crown prince and other princes were included too – none of them could rest assured since each of them had their own motives and were fighting for their own personal gains.
These were only the inner palace and the central royals;what about the imperial court? His ministers, whether civil or martial, were hauled one by one too, proven to be undercover agents of the Four Seasons Tower…
The emperor was suddenly doubtful of his authority then, of his capability as an emperor. There was a faint sense of decadence – I can’t even manage my palace properly, how can I be a good emperor? An emperor like me, do I really have the qualification to talk about world peace and uniting Tianxuan?
This day, Yu Peize did not attend the morning assembly.
The eunuch on duty informed the civil and military officials that the emperor was not feeling well so the assembly was canceled for the day.
Whatever the civil and military officials gossiped, however urgent the national affairs were, the emperor shut himself in his royal study for the entire day.
Not a sip of water nor a mouthful of food was consumed.
He just stood quietly in his royal study, gazing at his eldest son’s portrait;he stared at it with boundless love.
"I’m old but you are the one who has left…"
"My son, do you know that father has thought it through? If I get a second chance, what I should’ve done?"
"If time can really be rewound… I’d rather the Residence of Nine Supremes not land in Yutang, I would hope that you never became Supreme Earth!"
"I’d rather not have imperial territories, I don’t want to stand over the world, not even to unite Tianxuan. I only want you to live well and long!"
"I shall teach you all the theories of managing an empire, pass you all the ways of being a sovereign and the thinking of an emperor. I would hand over all my effort and wealth to you, as well as all my wishes yet to be completed… I’d even pass this country wholly to you…"
"Father wants to see you manage the country, watch you mature gradually and witness you accomplish eventually what I can’t."
"Father really misses you…"
"My child, how I wish to hear you call me father just once more!"
"I regret it…"
"Your family, your lover, where are they now? My child…"
"I’ve thought that I have the world, everything was within my grasp. It was only in retrospect did I realize that I have nothing at all!"
His Majesty shut his eyes tightly, allowing his tears to course freely.
Supreme Earth in the portrait before him was clad in a royal yellow dragon robe;he looked youthful and handsome, his elegance apparent in his bright eyes as he stared ahead in high spirits.
He did not speak, nor did he move.
It was on that day that he had said he wished to appoint the crown prince and told his favorite, his eldest son, that it was to be him.
Come, my son, wear this outfit and show me.
His son wore the robe of a crown prince and stood before him while he clapped his hands, laughing, "My crown prince indeed!"
He then summoned the painter to paint a portrait of his eldest prince.
How triumphant, how exuberant, and how handsome his eldest son was then! Despite him suppressing his emotions and managing to stay calm, how could he not see his son’s emotional rollercoaster!
It had only been two months when he turned his own son into Supreme Earth!
"Do you hate father?"
"Even if you say you don’t and you understand, was there really not a sliver of resentment each time you woke up at night? If I were you, I would hate me. I don’t think even I can understand!"
The emperor put himself in his son’s shoes, his tears streaming down in torrents.
His only son, who was kind and well-intentioned, had been ruined by his own hands!
At the Residence of Yun, in the secret chamber, Jiang Zhong was a pathetic wreck, not looking the slightest bit human. Yun Yang, who sat opposite him, was calm and indifferent, but a flame flickered dangerously in his orbs.
"Old dog, your bones are hard indeed."