Shen Yin Wang Zuo, Chapter 293: Illusory Paradise (II)
Han Qian then asked with a suspicious look, “How could those demons learn about this matter? The Illusory Paradise is located within our borders, so they shouldn’t be able to investigate near it. And even Elder Ling only discovered its opening recently.”
The white haired elder let out a sigh, “It should be the Star Demon God’s act. As the Great Prophet of the demons, his divining ability is unique and unmatched. He surely sensed the changes that started to happen here.”
Han Qian replied in a flash, “That would not be surprising. For such a military offense to have escaped our scouts, it is surely an order that came from the Demon God Emperor. Since things are like this, I will have to immediately return to the Alliance and increase the number of reinforcements.”
The white haired elder nodded, “The Illusory Heaven is extremely important. It will open irregularly once every century. We cannot let demons get away with it. It’s a good thing that we still have those old Demon God Slayers to threaten the Demon God Emperor. If not for this, the Demon God Emperor would very possibly have come personally for the Illusory Paradise.”
Han Qian wrinkled his brows, “The Star Demon God’s clairvoyance really gives them an advantage and puts them one step ahead of us. Elder Ling, do you have a suggestion?”
After pondering deeply, the white haired elder replied, “Although the Illusory Paradise provides us with a great chance, it is also an extremely dangerous place. Demons only want to enter it, and our casualties were already really too serious. If they keep forcing their way, I’m afraid that the Southern Mountain’s City is going to be completely destroyed. Of course, it will be unthinkable for the demons not to leave a few Demon Gods here at such a time.”
At this point, the white haired elder’s gentle bearing suddenly became a lot more imposing, it was as if he was suppressing all the sounds in the whole assembly.
“Aren’t demons just trying to take a look at the Illusory Paradise? They have always been thinking that we can resist them only because of its existence. Since things are like that, let’s just let them have a good look at it. The Illusory Paradise is certainly good, but how could it be the main reason we are relying on to increase our strength?”
Hearing the white-haired elder’s words, Han Qian and Ying Suifeng were immediately greatly alarmed, crying out simultaneously, “We can’t!”
The white haired elder revealed a smile, “Listen to this old man until the end.”
“The Demons also know that if they go all out against us, we can at worse forcefully close the entrance of the Illusory Paradise. At that time, they won’t be able to gain anything. And the Southern Mountain’s City is very hard to attack from outside, though it wouldn’t be at all hard to besiege it from our side. Even if they manage to somehow occupy it, they would be driven out as soon as the Alliance gathers a huge army. Thus, if we suggest giving the demons a few places for entering the Illusory Paradise, the odds that they would accept a deal are high.”
Han Qian hurriedly cut in, “But, elder Ling, the Illusory Paradise is extremely important to us. How could we let demons….”
The white haired elder placatingly raised his arms, giving a response, “No one understands the Illusory Paradise better than us; it is a place I’ve already entered twice. Inside, danger and extraordinary chances coexist. But if something, the treasures that can be found in the Illusory Paradise are more inclined to be of the light element, and there will never be more than twenty present every century. That said, the Illusory Paradise is of utter importance to us. But even if the representatives they’d send would be even more powerful than we could imagine, I believe that they would not be able to get more than a quarter of all the treasures. If this can avoid hundred of thousands of casualties, this man believes that it’s worth it. Furthermore, wouldn’t it also be possible that we’d let them enter the Illusory Paradise for nothing? Their main purpose is just to enter and research it, but in the same fashion, demons have secrets we would also want to learn. With an exchange of equal worth, no one would be at a disadvantage.”
The old man’s eyes flickered, giving off a wise and farsighted impression. Everyone present pondered deeply over his words, but no one saw that they concealed an ounce of feeling ashamed.
His suggestion was of course feasible, but it was also based on some selfish motives. If the demons really decided to go all out and disregard everything in a fierce attack against the Southern Mountain’s Gate, it would not only cause the destruction of this influential mountain pass, but also the destruction of the Priest Temple.
Situated inside the Southern Mountain’s City was the Priest Temple! It could be said that eight tenths of the whole Priest Temple’s strength was concentrated there. If the Southern Mountain’s City was really destroyed, the Priest Temple would be unable to recover from this. As the chief of the Priest Temple and an auxiliary chief of the Alliance, the elder Ling was naturally unwilling to see this happen. Of course, this wasn’t only for the Priest Temple, but also on account of the whole Alliance.
With a light sigh, the elder Ling continued, “How about letting this old man handle this matter? I will personally explain my acts to the Alliance. Also, none of the benefits gained from the exchange with the demons will be kept by our Priest Temple: it will all be given to the Alliance.”
Even given how efficient and unscrupulous Han Qian could be, after hearing this suggestion from elder Ling, he understood that the matter was already decided, and that he was unable to object anymore. To block the demon’s path, the Southern Mountain’s City and the Priest Temple had paid a far too excessive cost. If the Southern Mountain’s City was really destroyed, the Alliance would inevitably be in a huge commotion.
After muttering to himself irresolutely for a bit, Han Qian nodded with some difficulty, “Okay. Since elder Ling is determined, I will support you unconditionally. But please excuse me, I will have to report this to the higher-ups of the Alliance.”
Elder Ling smiled, “This is a matter of fact. Ling Xiao, send emissaries to get in touch with the demons, to request negotiations from them.”
Long Haochen kept a detached point of view from beginning to end. With his status, being able to attend such a meeting was already an enormous honor.
This was the first time he heard of the Illusory Paradise, but seeing the importance everyone here attached to it, it seemed that it contained some extremely great treasures. At the same time, he took note of elder Ling’s sincere intent of taking responsibility for his acts. Although his face was at first glance beaming with benevolence, this old Saint had really an absolute authority here. Any of his decisions couldn’t possibly be contested by Han Qian and Ying Suifeng who stood for the Alliance. And since he addressed the Demon God Slayers as old guys, it could only mean that he was from the same generation as those legendary powerhouses.
The meeting continued to advance and the rest of their serious discussions pertained the restoration of the Southern Mountain’s City in the shortest amount of time possible. As it was unclear whether the negotiations would turn out successful or not, they had to be prepared for both cases.
An hour later, Ling Xiao proclaimed the meeting to be over.
Elder Ling was the first to stand up, and Long Haochen and Cai’er, who were seated in the back, were the first people he looked at. With a warm smile he said, “The Illusory Paradise is a great chance that happens only once every century. Since these two youngsters are the future successors of the Knight Temple and the Assassin Temple, this old man will present you with these gifts, hoping that you can get some rewards in the Illusory Paradise.”
As he said this, without any visible movement from him, two white rays of light flew before Long Haochen and Cai’er.
Long Haochen unconsciously raised his hands, only to see two white beads appear on them. But what caused him to be amazed was that those two beads emitted traces of the spatial attribute and seemed to be filled with a sort of undulating milk, though each of these was only thumb-sized. It was a very odd sight.
“Many thanks, senior.” Long Haochen rapidly stood along with Cai’er, respectfully bowing before elder Ling.
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng immediately looked pleasantly surprised.
Elder Ling waved his hands, and turned around, whereas in the meanwhile, all the higher-ups from the Southern Mountain’s City and the reinforcement army had faces full of envy.
While the others left in succession from the General Assembly, Han Qian waved to Long Haochen, hinting him and Cai’er to stay.
Long Haochen held Cai’er around the waist, heading towards Han Qian. Han Qian, Ying Suifeng and the auxiliary master of the Priest Temple Ling Xiao stood together, looking at him.
Remembering about Han Qian’s previous words, Long Haochen bowed before Ling Xiao first of all, telling him, “Many thanks for your kind treatment, grandfather Ling.”
Hearing the appellation grandfather Ling, Ling Xiao’s severe expression immediately turned into a smile, and with a nod, he replied, “What are you thanking me for? Rather than you thanking me for treating your wounds, I should rather be the one to thank you for saving the lives of thousands of my soldiers. But in fact, aren’t we all just giving our best to fulfill our duties.”
From the side, Han Qian unhappily said, “Old Ling, it seems that the defects of your smelly mouth will never change in all your life. It looks that the softer your heart is, the more terrible your speech becomes.”
Ling Xiao snorted coldly, giving the reply, “In any case, I broke through to the ninth step, unlike an impatient someone that is still at the eighth step of cultivation.”
Without giving Han Qian the time to reply, the nearby Ying Suifeng immediately reacted, “Hey, old Ling, stop rubbing salt in one’s wounds, you’re really giving us no face at all.”
Ling Xiao finally smiled at him, “Heh, I forgot that the underhanded guy you are has also yet to break through.”
Han Qian remarked to his longtime companion Ying Suifeng, “He’s doing it on purpose.”
Ying Suifeng didn’t fall to this provocation and shrugged his shoulders in reaction, “We can do nothing about it, he’s at the ninth step and I am no match for him. Let’s bear with it.”
Ling Xiao cursed with a smile, “Enough, you unrestrained old guys. Do you want these kids to make fun of you or what? So what if I broke through to the ninth step? My situation is a lot worse off than that of you two.”
At this point, his slightly smiling face immediately turned into a gloomy face.
Han Qian patted his shoulder, “After so many years, you’re still unable to let this matter go! Just tell me what is good in you. Are you just planning on letting the Ling lineage go extinct?”
Ling Xiao revealed a grieved smile, “Then, what can I do about it? In my heart, do you think I could accept someone else than her? Let alone me, even the two of you are unable to forget her.”
Han Qian immediately became angered, “Since you are unable to let the matter go, why haven’t you been looking for her? Is it her or this position of chief of the Priest Temple to whom you are unwilling to let go?”
Ling Xiao shook his head, “I don’t have the face to look for her! In this world, the first person I hate the most is Ye Weiyang夜未央, and the second one is myself. I’m not even trying to obtain her forgiveness. In my life, my last dream would be to take that bastard of Ye Weiyang down with myself.”
Long Haochen stood there, baffled at the unfolding scene. He clearly felt that this touched upon the grieved past of this senior. As for that name of Ye Weiyang that came out from Ling Xiao’s mouth, it was the first time he had heard it.
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng wrinkled their brows, but actually didn’t keep pursuing the matter any further.
Ling Xiao declared, “All right, let’s get this over with and get into serious things. Old Han, what do you think of what my old father gave these two? This is an opportunity that could only appear once a century!”