Chapter 255: Dragon’s Lair

Gathered within a large decorative hall, hundreds if not thousands of finely dressed individuals could be seen sitting behind small tables brimming with food and drink.
 
The ominous and dreadful aura that had been wrapped around the various officials of Aurora had been wiped clean and replaced with one filled with joy.
 
“To think within so little time, you five were able to become so powerful.” Jian Wei said with a laugh as he drank an entire cup of wine in a single gulp.
 
“I guess in the end it shows how great of an eye I have for people.” Jian Wei chuckled.
 
“If you have such a great eye for people, how come you haven’t found yourself a lady friend yet? If you take too long, you’ll be all old and wrinkling soon.” Ai said in a joking manner while sticking her tongue at Jian Wei.
 
“You little brat, when did it come your turn to make fun of me when you yourself don’t even have a child yet.” Jian Wei said while looking at Ai before glancing at Zhang and the other beauties.
 
“You don’t have to worry about me but if you don’t have a few little ones running around soon, you won’t hear the end of it from your folks. If you need I found this really interesting book…” Jian Wei said to Zhang with a laugh before getting disrupted.
 
“I know, I know we are working on it.” Zhang responded while the beauties all slightly blushed.
 
“Hmph, we are only waiting for you so that our kids won’t end up older than their future aunts and uncles.” Yuying said as she linked arms with Zhang and rested her chin on his shoulder.
 
“Yea, we thought it would be pretty silly for our children to be fully grown while their aunts and uncles are mere infants.” Ling said in a hurry.
 
“Ha, you kiddos better stand by your words because I will wed someone tomorrow and by this time next year I’ll have a dozen aunts and uncles for your kids to look up to.” Jian Wei joked.
 
“We will see in a year.” Lingqi said with a hint of laughter in her tone.
 
“Speaking of matter in a year’s time, I believe that bastard Liu Bang mentioned something about the arrival of his senior brothers. If I recall correctly he said that would be here in two months’ time.” Jian Wei said while putting down his cup of wine and as faint creases appeared on his brow.
 
“He spoke about the appearance of something called the great dimensional rift and supposedly this will allow for a large number of people from his sect to cross over into our world.” Jian Wei added.
 
“If that is true then we will need to make some quick preparations. Without knowledge of the enemy’s numbers I can’t be certain if we will be able to protect the entirety of our empire.” Zhang said as he took a sip of wine.
 
“We should pick out eligible individuals as quickly as possible and further bolster our forces.” Yuying stated.
 
“While I’m not sure if they will be of any use to you kids, feel free to select as many men as you wish from inner palace imperial guards. Of all the soldiers in Aurora’s armies, I can say without a doubt that these men are the most loyal and competent.” Jian Wei said in a proud tone.
 
“If we were not facing saints then my inner palace imperial guards are worth at least a hundred men on the battlefield.” Joan Wei said as he poured and gulped down an entire cup of wine.
 
“After I see what’s left of the elite guard and the imperial academy, I will be sure to go and inspect the inner palace guards.” Zhang said with a smile.
 
“We can save this matter for tomorrow, for now let’s enjoy a few drinks and tell some stories about our trip out to sea.” Ling said as she poured Zhang a cup of wine.
 
While Zhang, his wives, Jian Wei and many of Aurora’s high ranking officials who had been locked away in the dungeons celebrated the revival of their reign, chaos quickly swept through the rest of the capital.
 
Under direct orders from Zhang and the beauties, all of the soldiers and officials in Aurora were to be gathered, had everyone loyalties and intentions been true and pure, nothing would have occurred. However, a large number of Aurora’s officials had openly or covertly defected and willingly served Liu Bang, knowing the nature in which Zhang and his wives acted, many of these officials feared for their lives and thus decided to perform one last gamble.
 
They had gathered their forces and tried to flee the capital, cutting down any opposition that came in their path, sparking what one could call a rebellion.
 
Unlike a standard rebellion, there weren’t two clear sides, dozens of separate forces filled with loyalists, defectors and those who were hoping to wipe their slates clean by gaining substantial merits drew their swords on one another.
 
Luckily before Aurora was razed to the ground due to the warring factions, Zhang’s saint level subordinates swooped in and out an end to things.
 
When facing the might of saints, mortal armies could do nothing but kneel in the face of overwhelming power, quickly extinguishing the embers that were going to engulf Aurora.
 
Ringleaders were executed on the spot for treason while the bulk of the rebel soldiers were apprehended and thrown into the imperial dungeons. Of all of the rebel leaders executed, a familiar elderly man who had once been a part of a large aristocratic family in the New Moon province was the most noticeable, cursing at Zhang and the beauties before his head fell from his shoulders.
 
With Liu Bang was captured and the rest of his subordinates, and supporters in Aurora City put to the sword, the rest of the Aurora Empire was soon purged also.
 
Once Jian Wei and Zhang’s control of the empire was completely reestablished, a large number of policies and imperial decrees were passed. In a flash the bulk of Aurora’s manpower was all gathered in a single place.
 
As far as the eye could see were tens of thousands of campfires were lit as countless people could be seen gathered around a massive hole in the ground.
 
Day and night, a force consisting of nearly all of Aurora’s able-bodied men continued to dig deeper and deeper into the ground with the aid of thousands of saint level experts.
 
As the number of shovels filled with dirt and the number of stones excavated from the ground continued to grow, the closer Zhang was toward getting his hands on an immense power source.
 
“Make sure to have the wind mages and water mages continue their efforts to regulate the heat and breathing conditions down there. We need to make sure our workforce is safe or else if something were to go wrong our progress would be halted.” Ling could be seen talking to a few middle-aged men clad in blood red scaled armor.
 
“I shall make sure everything is in good order madam. We should be able to directly tap into the vein soon. Massive pockets of essence stones have been appearing lately with higher frequency as we dig deeper, it should only be a matter of time before we reach our goal.” A middle-aged man clad in blood red armor said in a respectful manner.
 
“Once we reach the vein, be sure to deploy a protective barrier right away or else the consequences will be dire. The concentration and purity of the essence down there would be so great that it’ll cause everyone’s bodies to burst into bloody clouds if we aren’t careful. Of course, that is to say if they become saints get.” Yuying said as she entered the large tent that Ling was in.
 
“If that’s the case, then how would we use it to bolster our forces, madam?” The middle-aged man clad in red armor asked.
 
“I will personally lay down an array that would hasten the rate at which the essence down there crystallizes. Then it’s is only a matter of sending a few saints down to collect large amounts of essence stones for our use.” Yuying stated with a smile on her face.
 
Hoping to tap into and use the Dragon’s Vein to quickly amass a large number of saints to strengthen his forces and prepare for the battles to come, Zhang had poured in an immeasurable amount of Aurora’s resources and his own personal wealth into what many refer to as the “Dragon’s Lair.”
 
Once excavation was complete, Zhang would have a nearly unlimited supply of essence stones in which he could use to create an army of saints, many of whom could be further strengthened into high saints through the use of the Ethereal Point located on Sea Beast Island.
 
Thus, the day that the excavation “Dragon’s Lair” was completed would be the day that Zhang’s grasp on the Wulin Continent and the Eastern Sea solidifies. At that point if he wished there would be few who would stop him from achieving what many would deem an impossible dream, Zhang would be able to hold the world in his hands.
 
The siwang empire would become insignificant and revenge would be only a mere order’s away while a conqueror’s ultimate goal would lay mere steps away.
 
Alone a single half deity could control a continent with ease, but controlling the world would still be somewhat farfetched. Even if the beauties were to ascend into half deities with only five individuals, world domination would still be an impossible dream, however if there was a nearly endless army of saints to their bidding, everything would come down to whether or not they wished to rule the world.
 
With all of this being said, things such as world conquest was not something currently occupying Zhang’s thoughts, at the moment he was merely preparing for the arrival of an unknown enemy from another world.
 
When one considered how many saints Liu Bang had at his command, and for them to only amount to a scouting party, one could only imagine how large and how powerful this unknown force was.
 
While he was sure of his abilities to deal with saints, Zhang was unsure if they enemy would have half deities or beings who had transcended to a high level altogether mixed in their ranks. At the very least he wished to be prepared in case another half deity appeared. He wanted his forces to be strong enough to contend even without his intervention.
 
The worst situation for someone such as Zhang was having to worry aiding his subordinates when having to face another half deity in battle. At the end of the day he wanted to protect the Aurora Empire and to do this he needed more capable subordinates.
 
“It seems our objective is within reach.” Zhang said as he could be seen sitting on a ledge hanging above the Dragon’s Lair, with Ai and Lingqi sitting beside him, their feet dangling off the cliff.
 
“Mother and father should be arriving in a couple days.” Lingqi said with a gentle smile as she gazed into the seemingly bottomless abyss.
 
“I wonder how they’ll react when we tell them we can allow them to become saints.” Ai said with a curious look on her face that was paired with a gentle smile.
 
“To think we’ve come far enough that we can grant other people the gift of immortality.” Zhang said as he gazed into the horizon, countless thoughts and memories appearing in his mind.
 
“An empire of immortals.” Zhang thought as his gaze shifted toward the countless workers toiling away at the earth, some digging away at the soil while others moved away large baskets of stone.
 
“Maybe I’ll try it out for a bit, however the old man would be a better fit at ruling than I am.” Zhang thought, quickly dispersing any thoughts of governing the Aurora Empire. At the end of the day he felt that spending time with his wives and perhaps traveling to new places would be a better way to pass time, rather than having to go through all of the hardship that Jian Wei was put through.
 

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