Chapter 564: Royal Mandate
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The state of Western Zhou.
This was one of the 800 feudal states and sat in the northwest of Shangyi. The lands of Western Zhou were vast and shared borders with the lands of Xiyi and Quanrong.
Generations of Western Zhou Marquises had been ambitious and worked on expanding their lands towards the West. They encouraged population growth and built up the state’s military forces. The combined efforts of these Marquises had turned Western Zhou into the most powerful Shang feudal state.
The current Marquis of Western Zhou was said to be a sage descended from the heavens. According to a legend, his birth was marked by the appearance of colourful clouds that took the forms of tortoise shells and yarrow stalks, sacred items that were used in divination.
The previous Marquis of Western Zhou was said to have been afraid of censure by the Shang and threw his newborn into the river. A large number of golden carps had surrounded the wooden basin that the infant had been placed in, in the formation of a golden lotus.
Upon witnessing this miraculous sight, the old Marquis changed his mind. He named his son Li and saw to it that he was well brought up.
When Li grew up, his genius became apparent. He had the gift of fortune-telling and was extremely accurate in his predictions. He conducted deep research into ancient texts and devised a new art of divination known as the Yi Dao. This had led to the creation of the School of Yi and Li was henceforth known as Sir Yi!
Fang Yuan was impressed with these achievements and had even thought that Li was a son of destiny, a person destined to lead the way out of the chaos.
“Master…once we make it past the mountain ahead of us, we will arrive in Western Zhou!”
Hei Zhong shouted from atop his horse.
“I’ve scouted the road ahead and found that not only have the roads been paved, but the inns are also larger than those found in Shang. It seems like this is a place where the people live and work in peace!”
Fang Yuan chuckled coldly upon hearing Hei Zhong’s words.
Western Zhou was a mere feudal state with a land area smaller than that of Shang. How did it manage to spur on development to such an extent?
Also, by enjoying a high standard of living in Western Zhou and attributing it to the Marquis’s greatness, where would that leave King Shang?
To a unified empire like the Shang Dynasty, the supersedence of regional loyalties over national loyalties was a portent of calamity.
“I’ve heard that the Western Zhou state has moved against the Quanrong and Xiyi states several times in recent years…once powerful, these two barbarian states have fallen into crises after Western Zhou had taken a great deal of food, metal, women from them. Meanwhile, the people of Western Zhou lived in comfort. The Marquis even devised policies such as the criminalisation of infanticide, compulsory marriage at 15 years of age as well as the material incentivisation of childbirths….”
It was Ge Nie who had a good knowledge regarding the affairs of Western Zhou.
“Even within Shangyi, there are people who actively spread the word about the virtuousness and accomplishments of the Marquis!”
War usually began with the spreading of words.
This was a lesson from later history that the people of this era had not yet grasped.
“The Sage Sir Yi?”
As Fang Yuan passed through the border of Western Zhou, his eyes flashed with a new light.
“Alright, let me take a look at what you have achieved!”
The capital city of Western Zhou.
Colourful clouds converged high up in the heavens. The goddess Nuwa stood among the clouds and looked down at the bustling city.
“The heavenly mandate…is with Zhou! There are two obstacles that stand in the way of its ascension!”
Nuwa looked towards the western lands of Western Zhou and saw a violent battle taking place.
“The Quanrong and Xiyi states are the largest threats to Western Zhou’s development. They will have to be destroyed in order for Western Zhou to move on!”
Nuwa pondered for a moment before waving her fair hand and sending some colourful clouds over to bless the Western Zhou troops.
After she was done, she shifted her gaze to the southeast.
‘The military strength of Western Zhou is barely half that of Shang. In order to fulfil Zhou’s destiny of overthrowing the Shang, the Dongyi and Jiumiao states will have to occupy the majority of the Shang army such that the imperial capital will be left undefended. In this way, Western Zhou would have a valuable opportunity!’
Having made sense of the heavenly mandate, Nuwa disappeared into the clouds.
A rock bathed in colourful lights fell out of the skies and descended upon Western Zhou.
In the royal palace.
The Marquis Li of Western Zhou had the look of a gentle old man and was occupied with his tortoise shells and hexagrams at that moment.
He lifted the charred tortoise shells excitedly.
“The frontlines have managed to break the Quanrong army? In such a short time?”
Adrenaline rushed through his veins as he stood up and left the palace.
The skies shook as a strange occurrence took place. With a blinding flash, an object surrounded by colourful lights fell to the earth.
Soldiers standing all around had their mouths agape as they witnessed the sight. The servants fell to their knees in a fearful reverence.
“Isn’t that the direction of…Qi Mountain?!”
The Marquis of Western Zhou stared in the direction of which the rock was heading and passed down an order.
“Get the horse carriages ready…we are going to Qi Mountain now!”
Fang Yuan and company had witnessed the fall of the colourful object as well.
“Could it be that Western Zhou is favoured by the heavens?”
Ge Nie may be knowledgeable but he was still a product of the ancient era. The occurrence of this strange event had dazed him.
Fang Yuan gave him a hard whack with the hilt of his sword.
“What are you waiting for? Go check it out!”
Fang Yuan had arrived at a silent conclusion.
‘My senses can’t be wrong. It must have been Nuwa’s doing. It seems like she has been working hard to propel the rise of the Marquis…’
‘Also…I’m sure that such a sensational event would have caught the attention of the Ancient One!’
A phenomenon of such a scale would definitely lead to repercussions all over the world!
Not only would people around the world see it as an omen, but there would also be a large impact on the Cultivation World. Scholars and sages, hidden cultivators and higher beings, monsters and demons, as well as other authorities, would have noticed Western Zhou as a result. The Western Zhou state would no longer be able to remain out of sight.
There was no escaping the wheels of history.
The three men immediately spurred their horses on and sped towards the landing point of the colourful rock.
“That is the direction of…Qi Mountain?”
“You are too slow. Find somewhere to wait for me at!”
Fang Yuan aimed straight at the direction in which the colourful rock had fallen and stepped into the void. Flames erupted around his body as he flew towards the rock like a comet.
The agglomerated Leaving Fire Sword was not only more stable than before but it also carried with it several special abilities.
It was rather similar to the Sword Flying Technique but of a more basic form.
The colourful rock smashed onto the ground and a deafening sound reverberated in the air.
Fang Yuan had reached there just in time.
When he arrived at Qi Mountain, he saw that the people living around the mountain had prostrated themselves in the direction of the mountain. Additionally, soldiers had encircled the mountain.
A large crater had appeared in the side of the mountain. Colourful lights emanated from it and illuminated the surrounding air.
“A treasure from the heavens for the chosen ones!”
“Take it! There is hope for the Great Dao now!”
Dark energies were converging upon the mountain, carrying with it the figures of monsters and demon. The Western Zhou army, as well as Western Zhou’s more remarkable citizens, kept them from coming closer.
Fang Yuan rose up higher into the air where he got a clearer view.
“It is fortunate that the first arrivals were only made up of petty cultivators or Western Zhou would be in big trouble…this treasure though…is it a Penta-coloured Rock?”
The incredible view allowed him to view the crater in its entirety. Lying right in the middle of it was a crystalline rock that shone in five colours.
A well-dressed old man approached the crater gingerly.
“The Marquis of Western Zhou?! Was this treasure meant for him? Something fishy is going on…”
Fang Yuan was so used to seeing things like this that he could no longer be bothered to complain.
Of course, a Penta-coloured rock was not enough to pique his interest. Fang Yuan found a good hiding spot among the dark clouds and peeled out contentedly.
“Great…I wonder which unlucky unorthodox cultivator will be the one to trigger the explosion!”
The Marquis looked dazed as he stretched out his right hand towards the Penta-coloured rock. He was only a few inches away.
A bone-chilling roar split the air. It was coming from the foot of the mountain.
A strong gale swept across the ground and blocked out the skies.
A large shadow was moving at an incredible speed along with the dark wind. It let out another roar and revealed itself: a huge black bear!
This bear had stretch marks on its face and wings on its back. It was of a strange and wild species found in the ancient era. The bear moved at the speed of lightning and smashed through the human wall in its quest to ascend the mountain.
Upon seeing the Penta-coloured rock, the bear’s eyes became bloodshot. It used its paws to slap the soldiers who attempted to confront it into the ground. Following which, the bear tried to pounce on the Marquis.
‘It will be interesting if the Marquis really dies, but…’
Fan Yuan shook his head lazily. He knew that the Marquis would not die before fulfilling his destiny.
Indeed, help had arrived.
A clear shriek filled the skies. The figure that emerged flapped its mighty purple wings, which sent the bear rolling until a phoenix claw pressed into its body and halted its tumble.
“This is the…Purple Phoenix! Is it heaven’s will that a phoenix is flying around Qi Mountain?”
Even the Marquis, who was well acquainted with the supernatural, had become agitated upon seeing the majestic bird.
The Phoenix before him had purplish-black feathers and had very long tail feathers that were of five colours: black, white, red, yellow and green. Bright tassels hung from them and enhanced the grandness of the bird.
The Marquis had immediately recognised the bird upon first sight. It was definitely a phoenix!
The classics told of five types of Phoenix. The most common species was red in colour but there were the yellow, green, purple and white species as well.
In the presence of the Purple Phoenix, the Marquis no longer hesitated and touched the Penta-coloured rock.
Light burst forth from the pentagon-coloured rock and flowed over the Marquis’s body, eventually solidifying into a colourful armour and a sword!
The Marquis now radiated a mysterious power and the surrounding soldiers fell to their knees in reverence.
“The heavenly mandate!”
The Marquis of Western Zhou raised his sword, accompanied by the fearsome shriek of the Phoenix. The unorthodox presences promptly retreated.
At the moment, a soldier rushed to the Marquis’s side and offered the latest news on his knees.
“Greetings my lord, I have urgent news from the front lines. We have achieved a great victory over the Quanrong and Xiyi armies. The Quanrong King has perished in battle while the Xiyi royals have agreed to become our vassals!”
The combination of these events silenced even the most fervent doubters.
Was the royal mandate really with Western Zhou?
: Henceforth, The Creator shall be referred to by its name, Nuwa.