Chapter 31: Home

Today in Heilong Kingdom everybody was extremely busy. Earlier in the day an announcement was made that threw everyone into a frenzy.

The king proclaimed that in six months the kingdom will host a tournament. All of the kingdoms and forces in the alliance against the Siwang empire were invited.

This would be a way for the forces to mingle amongst each other and get closer.

Anyone was eligible to enter and the winner would receive a very lavish reward.

Once the news was announced the king declared that the construction of a grand arena would commence.

Many young men eagerly wished to join the tournament. And many more were eager to make some money signed up to join the workforce building the grand arena.

The grand arena would be huge and large enough to hold hundreds of thousands of people. This was a show of power for the Heilong kingdom to the other kingdoms.

By erecting a massive arena such as this they would be able to show their authority over the people and the wealth the kingdom possessed. This was to regain the loss of authority after the Siwang empire invaded.

The Heilong kingdom was one of the kingdoms that sustained the heaviest losses from the invasion and in the eyes of the other forces it was one of the weakest.
Had it not been that the Heilong kingdom was one of the countries that bordered the Siwang empire and could be used as a battlefront then the other forces wouldn’t even bother to ally with it.

The king hoped that the tournament would be a turning point for the kingdom. The construction projects that would go on would help stimulate the economy of the kingdom by creating jobs to those who were displaced by the invasion.

Up until now most of the displaced people were living off of the kingdom. The massive influx of people made it so there were more people than jobs available.

Had it not been for the government then these people would have starved. But feeding people while not recording taxes would soon drain the kingdom’s treasury.

So the king’s minister of finances devised a plan. The minister only had recently come into power and was full of ideas to help boost the kingdom’s economy.

By having the tournament jobs would be created for a while and tourism could add into the economy also. More people would be needed to do certain jobs thanks to the influx of tourists. Business would bring in more revenue and this would allow them to spend more. That would cause a tingling effect and bring stimulate the economy of the kingdom as a whole.

Besides the minister of finances, a new minister of war also came to power.

The minister of war came into power roughly the same time as the minister of finances. The two of them worked closely together one improving the economy while the other expanding the kingdoms small army.

With proper finances the army could be properly funded and expand.

Before the two previous ministers clashed for power and stalled the growth of the kingdom.  The minister of finance would stall funds meant to expand the army while the war ministry created debts by expanding on credit.

However now that the two ministers took their positions the two ministries collaborated and worked in unison.

The two ministers met with each other on a certain hill that overlooked the capital city and conversed almost every day. And today was like any other day two middle aged men could been seen sitting at a stone table chatting.

Guards could be seen a short distance away keeping watch on the two.

“Six months from now will be the day that he died.” One of the ministers dressed in a sky blue robe said with a hint of sorrow in his voice.

“Don’t worry brother after the tournament we will offer blood of the soldiers of the Siwang empire to him.” The other minister who wore a black robe said.

“Had I stopped him then he would still be here. Those useless wastes couldn’t even hold up and fight and help him.” The man said angrily as he threw a cup onto the ground. Once the cup hit the ground it broke into many small pieces.

“What’s happened has already happened brother. Nothing they could have done with such overwhelming odds. How would we have known that that bastard Liu Bei opened the gate and let so many of those soldiers in.” The man in the black robe said also angrily.

If Zhang saw these two men, he would call one of them father and the other father in law.

The minister in the sky blue robe was Zhang’s father. While the man in the black robe was Ling’s father.

Despite Zhang’s death the two family still kept extremely close relations. And they both shared a common goal, revenge.

Ling’s father had always thought of Zhang as his own son and seeing how heartbroken his daughter was he could not bear. And of course Zhang’s father being his father was hell bent on getting revenge for his son.

He felt extreme regret for letting his son stay behind. How could he have known that so many soldiers had entered the city?

Once the two clans entered the capital Zhang’s father and Ling’s father used every connection they had and bribed everyone they could to slowly move up the ladder and gain power.

They knew that without power they could not accomplish their goal. And even if they had complete control of the Heilong kingdom they would still not have enough power to go against the Siwang empire.

So they had to strengthen the alliance and manipulate it to attack the Siwang empire.

The alliance’s goal was on to be able to defend against the Siwang empire so they needed slowly nudge it to be the side on the offensive. And the tournament will be when this will happen.

“How’s the plan coming along.” Zhang’s father asked.

“All the preparations will be complete by the time the tournament happens. I made sure to send out all of the invitations to the tournament. ” Ling’s father replied.

“But are you sure this is what we should do?” Ling’s father asked.

“The alliance is too conservative as it we need to change their views and make them believe that if they don’t’ strike they will be wiped out.” Zhang’s father said.

A voice rang out from a distance away from the two men.

“My lords we have received some replies from the invitations that were sent out.” A soldier said as he kneeled on one leg toward the two men. In his hand was a small stack of letters.

“Bring them here.” Zhang’s father said as he gestured to the man.

After receiving the stack of letters he opened them one by one and read them.

“Most if not all of these are confirmations that they are coming back to the tournament. It seems Aurora city’s ruler is even sending his successor to come attend.” Zhang father said to Ling’s father.

The two men began conversing about their plan for a few hours and then returned home.

When Zhang’s father came home he would go directly to his room. His wife had only recently woken up from her coma and was laying in bed.

She was recovering slowly.

“My lord is Zhang home yet? How come he hasn’t come home to visit me.” She asked her husband.

“How can he visit you when he’s so busy studying at the Royal academy?” Zhang’s father replied.

When she woke up he had hidden the fact that they could not even recover Zhang’s body. He had told his wife that after coming to the capital their son had been admitted to the Royal academy.

He would eventually tell her once her condition stabilized he feared that she would not be able to take the blow if he told her the truth.

Elsewhere in the capital of the Heilong kingdom within the Royal Academy all of the students were training twice as hard. The tournament was an opportunity for them to shine. The winner of this tournament will have an extremely bright future.

As the finest in the kingdom the people at the academy knew that why would be the ones to represent the kingdom.

“What do you think the prize will be?” One person asked.

“Doesn’t matter because you know who will probably get it.” Another person said.

“Your right if that girl joins the tournament none of us will stand a chance.” Yet another person added in.

“Speak of the devil there she it.”

A short distance away from them a girl was walking by. If looks could kill, then she would be a mass murderer.

She had silky smooth looking skin without and blemishes, and long flowing hair that droops pass her waist.

This girl is the genius of the Royal Academy. Also known as Wu Ling daughter of the minister of war.

Being a genius that only appeared once every few hundred years she was able to become a level seven mage at a very young age. Being so talented and beautiful even the prince of the Heilong kingdom repeatedly asked for her hand in marriage.

However, she treated him exactly like everyone else. She shot him down without even a second thought. Whereas most girls would dream about a prince proposing to them Ling declined.

But this did not deter the prince one bit every day he would send her countless gifts so which she would reject. When asked why she rejected something that most only dreamed about she simply told them she was waiting for someone.

Today Ling had just rejected the gifts from the prince once more and was heading toward the academy’s technique hall.

The academy had an extremely vast collection of techniques. Ling would spend most of her free time here absorbing as much as she could.

Her goal in life for now was to grow as strong as she possible could. Because with strength and power no loved ones would have to die, one would not have to stand by as those close to them be slaughtered.

Even after roughly two years she still has not admitted that Zhang was dead. She always had a feeling deep in her heart that he was alive. He might be very injured so he couldn’t come back to her or he ended up somewhere very far but one day he would come back.

Until that day she would wait. And   Until that day she would continue to grow stronger in order to make those who harmed him pay.

Ling was browsing through a restricted area in the library that she had special permission to enter. There were some extremely powerful cultivation techniques here. And spells that totally outclassed everything else in the library were all located here.

Only with a special badge could anyone open the door into this part of the library. Every book and technique in this chamber was a treasure to the academy and not just anyone could browse them.

She picked up an especially dusty book that seemed like no one’s touched it for ages and began reading it once she found a chair to sit in.

“Hmmmm wind god’s demonic scythe…” She said softly as she read the works on the book.

After studying the book and grabbing some other techniques until the sun set. Ling took the books with her and went to her room and to at the stars. When looking at the stars she felt that she was alone.

As she gazed at the stars a voice rang out. The second she heard this voice a frown appeared on her once tranquil face.

“My little goddess I’ve come to see you! If you’re willing to marry me in the future this kingdom will be yours, you sweet!” The voice yelled.

Hearing this Ling walked into her room from her balcony and shut the doors.

“Nothing can stop my love for you!” The voice rang out louder than before. Oddly it was audible even though she shut the door and the Windows were not open.

Under her balcony a young man dressed in golden silk clothing could be seen talking into something in his hand.

It was in the shape of a spiral sea shell. Some people could recognize this as a magical voice amplifier. These magical objects allowed someone to project their voice much louder than it regularly is. They would also recognize this man as the crown prince of the Heilong kingdom Huang Zu.

The sound of doors slowly opening could be heard.

“I knew my love would come through to you my little goddess!”  Huang Zu yelled with a smile on his face. He had been trying to woo Ling for about three weeks now. Ever since he saw her his soul left his body and followed her.

He was determined to make her his.

-Splash-

A thick liquid fell from the balcony and splashed all over him.

“Leave now!” Ling yelled.

“Nothing can make me leave! Nothing can get in the way of my love!!l Huang Zu yelled.

Then a smell suddenly entered into his nostrils. The smell seemed very familiar to him however he was not able to point out what it was.

“If you don’t leave then don’t regret it.” Ling said as a small fireball formed on the tips of her fingers.

That’s when Huang Zu realized what was spilled all over him.

“Is this lamp oil!?” Huang Zu asked in a somewhat frantic voice since he saw the small fire ball floating on the tip of Ling’s finger.

-swoosh-

The fireball shot out from Ling’s finger and landed a bit away from Huang Zu’

“Consider that a warning shot. Leave or I’ll roast you.” Ling said sternly.

“O-okay! I’ll be back tomorrow my little goddess.” Huang Zu said as he sped away into the night.

Once more silence filled the night and Ling’s serenity was restored. Thus she once more gazed at the stars.

The stars twinkled in the night sky shiny on those below them. Like unreachable diamonds.

“Somewhere out there he must be looking at the same stars.” She thought as she silently looked into the distant stars.

“One day we’ll meet again be it in this life or the next I know it.” She murmured.

Elsewhere in the darkness of night a man fully dressed in shining black armor rode a fiery horse under the moonlight. Beside him were three other fully armored people also on to of fiery mounts.

Behind them thousands of horsemen followed. Every soldier in this army wore black armor which helped blend them into the night. A few of them carried banners with a golden dragon on it.

“Faster!!” One of the soldiers yelled.

The sound of hooves echoed through the night as this army advanced into the darkness or night.

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