Book 8: Chapter 67: Cause and Effect
The Qi palace.
When the sun was coming up, a secret message was sent to the Qi emperor’s residential palace. The person who received this secret message in front of the Qi emperor’s residential palace was an imperial censor, Zong Chao Guan. This middle-aged man was not just the leader of the younger faction of the Qi Dynasty court, and he was the best cultivator of the Qi Dynasty Yin Xu Sect in the last hundred years, one of the realm seven grandmasters of the Qi Dynasty.
Such a grandmaster and aristocrat naturally had experienced many things, and would not change his expression even if the mountains were collapsing. But when he opened the message and looked, his expression changed greatly, and his hands uncontrollably shook.
“Senior Sect Brother, what happened?”
The man next to him had skin as dark as his but looked younger. What caught the eye was the pair of eyebrows that were as black as ink, and even had black energy that kept on flowing back. This man was Cai Shi. He was the other realm seven grandmaster of Yin Xu Sect. In the past, he was not an official of the sect. But after the events of the Twelve Shamans, Zong Chao Guan worried about the safety of the Qi emperor. He feared a rebellion and invited the other out of the sect to the imperial palace. So this Cai Shi and Zong Chao Guan did not address each other by position, but as sect brothers.
Zong Chao Guan looked at his junior sect brother and wanted to hand over the secret message for him too look. But because of the trembling of his hands, he could not even hand over this thin parchment.
Cai Shi had never seen his senior sect brother so shaken. He immediately grew nervous. He took the secret message and quickly scanned it. Then he grew stiff and exclaimed, “What!”
Zong Chao Guan struggled to swallow, and the muscles on his face started to twitch. Then, he took a deep breath and let his hands hang down. Though he quickly calmed down, when he turned to look at the residential palace behind him, his gaze was full of pain and worry.
The loss of the Twelve Shamans was a great pain for many people. Not only were the twelve shamans destroyed but all of the powerful inheritances from the founder of the ghostly path was also destroyed. Even the mountain he had created was mostly gone.
Most of the cultivators and officials in the Qi Dynasty understood the Qi emperor’s effects, and knew why the Qi emperor had made a transaction with Zheng Xiu, their dissatisfaction in him had actually lessened. However, the twelve shamans were still destroyed, and because of this, many cultivators silently left the capital, no longer working for the Qi emperor. This was their attitude.
Ever since that day, the Qi Emperor was a bit dazed, his mind and cultivation very unstable. He could not concentrate and manage to govern. It was up to him and others to take care instead.
The blow of the Twelve Shamans to the Qi Emperor was so great it had destroyed this emperor who worked so heart to rule. The message carried news that the Past Saint Hall had been destroyed, and the remains of the saints had been stolen by the people of the Thousand Gravestone Mountain.
The Past Saint Hall was not the ancestral graveyard of the Qi emperor. What kinds of people weren’t buried there!
The Thousand Gravestone Mountain had many stunning methods. Even if Yan Ying’s disciple was not as good as Yan Ying in terms of vital energy, he had learned those methods. Regardless of why he had been discontent and destroyed the Past Saint Hall, he had taken the remains for cultivation, and would not bury them properly.
The Twelve Shamans were important, but they just could make a dynasty stronger. The Past Saint Hall was a symbol, a mental support. The destruction of the Past Saint Hall, from a certain point of view, was more serious than the destruction of the Twelve Shamans.
It should not take a lot of time from discovering that the Past Saint Hall was destroyed until the information reached the imperial palace. But it took many days for the information to arrive. Zong Chao Guan could understand this abnormality — the powers who had passed on the news knew that the Twelve Shamans had given the Qi Emperor a fatal blow. If such news reached the imperial palace, they knew not the consequences.
So when such a secret message arrived, there had been many fights and discussions among powerful people. At this time, he was one of the officials overseeing the court in place of the Qi Emperor. This secret message reaching his hand was the last stop. It was up to him to decide whether to tell the Qi Emperor. The weight of the country and the court was on his hands.
How could he be calm?
Tell or not tell?
If he did not tell, how could he take care of this?
At this time, countless cultivators in the Qi Dynasty were chasing Bai Shanshui. If he announced this, how many cultivators would start to chase Yan Ying’s disciple?
At this moment, Zong Chao Guan’s body felt colder. He felt very helpless.
At this time, a sigh came from the palace.
Zong Chao Guan took a deep breath again, trying to make his expression look calm. He bowed his head slightly, pushed open the doors to the residential palace, and slowly entered.
The Qi Emperor was a bit dazed in these days, frequently having delusions. So he did not allow any palace attendants to enter his palace and was left alone to rest.
But could this emperor truly rest?
The sun had risen. The windows and doors in the palace were closed, so it was as dark as usual. Zong Chao Guan felt that he was walking on a quiet cemetery path.
Deep in the palace, the Qi Emperor was sitting on the bed.
The moment he saw the Qi Emperor, Zong Chao Guan’s body shook minutely.
The Qi Emperor’s eyes were sunken in, his skin dry and contracted. He seemed to have aged decades in the span of three days, and looked like a skeleton.
“What happened?” The Qi Emperor was very calm right now. He stiffly looked up at Zong Chao Guan.
Zong Chao Guan hesitated and did not answer.
“No need to hide from me. The energy vibrations from you and your junior sect brother were too violent. You have followed me for so many years, and I have never seen any matter that caused you to react so violently,” the Qi Emperor sighed and said, “What will come will come, it cannot be avoided.”
Zong Chao Guan finally looked up at his yellowed eyes. He said, “The Past Saint Hall has been destroyed by the heir to the Thousand Gravestone Mountain.”
The Qi Emperor was stunned. A long time later, he inexplicably started to laugh, a very sorrowful laugh.
“People cannot win against the heavens. There will be retribution. In terms of plotting, I cannot compare to Zheng Xiu, but I wanted to vie for the world with her. If I had known of this before, I would have just stayed back and guarded and not caused the Qi to reach such straits.”
“Help me write an edict of crimes. I will announce to the world that I will abdicate.”
Zong Chao Guan could not judge the things that the Qi Emperor said about himself, but at the last words, his breathing stopped, and he opened his mouth to speak.
The Qi Emperor waved his hand, indicating that he did not need to speak. “You and I know that this was the best for the Qi Dynasty.”