The moment he opened the package, the Duke of Soaring Dragon turned into a messy disarray. He was petrified.
Long Yinye’s head had a large hole in the forehead and widely staring eyes from an unpeaceful death. Those eyes met Long Zhaofeng’s the instant he opened the package.
“Ah!” A mouthful of blood sprayed out from Long Zhaofeng’s mouth.
“Your Lordship, what’s wrong?” The personal guards around him all ran over.
“Kill him, kill him, kill him!” Long Zhaofeng was like a mad demon as he pointed towards the sky and gave the command over and over again.
Fatty Xuan laughed loudly, “Long Zhaofeng, you allowed your son and daughter to kill other heirs in the Boundless Catacombs. Did you never think this day would arrive? There is karma even in the immediate life and it comes swiftly. Hold your son’s head and go slowly cry in the corner!”
“Kill him!” Long Zhaofeng painfully cried out with all his strength.
However, Fatty Xuan was a person who was afraid of death. How could he ever situate himself in the midst of danger? He patted the back of the Goldwing Swordbird’s head and immediately shot into the clouds.
“Hahaha, Long Zhaofeng. You kill others and should know that there would come a day when someone else kills you! Long Yinye is merely the first step in the destruction of your Long family!”
Fatty Xuan thoroughly enjoyed this verbal interplay, finally turning back happily and leaving in triumph.
Even Long Juxue, who was training being closed doors in the Long manor, was disturbed. Her body flew as it dashed up to the roof, but she soon saw Long Yinye’s head staring back at her with wide eyes.
“Brother!” Long Juxue was also dumbfounded.
So what is she had an azure phoenix constitution? So what if a hidden sect had marked her with their attention?
This wouldn’t change the reality of her elder brother’s decapitation at the hand of others!
Would a strong potential and a powerful background revive Long Yinye?
Long Juxue’s face turned slightly pale and her tone was frosty. She asked, “Who did it?”
The faces of the personal guards were all drained of blood as they shook their head. “We’re not sure. Someone rode a Goldwing Swordbird just now to… to deliver the young duke’s head.”
“That person’s voice was familiar.” Although Long Juxue was grieving, her mind was not engulfed in confusion.
“Could it be Jiang Chen?” A personal guard asked hoarsely.
“It wasn’t Jiang Chen’s voice!” How could Long Juxue fail to discern Jiang Chen’s voice? When Jiang Chen was mentioned, she suddenly thought of someone else. “Right, that voice. I remember now. It’s Fatty Xuan, the heir of Jinshan! One of Jiang Chen’s lackeys.”
“Duke of Jinshan?” A trace of killing intent once again flashed through Long Zhaofeng’s fierce eyes.
He had just now been wallowing in the pain of losing his son and could not break out of it. After a short period of turmoil, he slowly came back to his senses. When he heard the three words ‘Duke of Jinshan’, his desire to kill rose sharply and quickly.
“Yinye, Long Yi, your brave souls must be close. Keep watching! I will be sure to avenge you. Jiang and Xuan family clans, I will exterminate you, piling up your corpses into mountains and making rivers out of your blood!”
Long Zhaofeng wept tears of blood as he swore.
“Long Er, pass along my commands. All those dukes who have flocked to the Long family banner must travel to the Soaring Dragon manor within two hours!”
Long Er’s heart contracted. He knew that the duke was moving up the timetable for the battle!
The elite soldiers of Soaring Dragon finally made it back in twos and threes from the streets outside.
“Your Lordship, terrible things have happened. The young duke he…”
A layer of frost covered Long Zhaofeng’s face as he said to Long Er, “Dispose of these incompetent, deserting buffoons!”
“What? Long Yinye went to punish the Duke of Jiang Han and was shot on the spot from the skies by Jiang Chen? Long Yi was also killed as well? And the heir of Yanmen, Yan Yiming?”
“Jiang Chen came back? He didn’t die? Long Yinye was shot by him?”
The news of Long Yinye being killed, the fall of Long Yi, and Jiang Chen returning with a great vengeance spread throughout the capital in only fifteen minutes.
Those dukes who had already flocked to the Duke of Soaring Dragon’s banner were even more astounded, their mouths full of a bitter taste.
They almost couldn’t believe their ears. With the Duke of Soaring Dragon’s elites and the eleven meridians true qi master Long Yi holding down the fort, how could anyone have been killed by Jiang Chen?
They couldn’t make sense of it!
However, truth as solid as iron forced them to believe this.
“Your Lordship, the Duke of Soaring Dragon has sent an urgent summons for Your Lordship to discuss pressing matters at the Soaring Dragon manor.”
Almost all of the dukes that had sought succor with the Duke of Soaring Dragon received the same piece of news afterwards.
To go or not to go?
Some dukes were a bit hesitant. Jiang Chen returning with a vengeance and the death of Long Yinye had caused some sudden ripples in the plot that was originally a foregone conclusion in the capital.
This turnaround had been entirely out of the blue.
They had to admit, they were wavering. They were beginning to suspect whether or not the Duke of Soaring Dragon would truly be so successful in his coup. Would he really make a clean sweep of obstacles wherever he went?
Except, they already had no other choice. They had long since boarded the Duke of Soaring Dragon’s ship. If they didn’t go now, when the dust settled and everything was reckoned for, those of them tagged with Duke Long’s label would still not end up with pleasant downfalls.
In the moment that they had made their decision, they were destined to be unable to disembark from that ship.
Even if they didn’t want to, they still had to go, .
They had no other choice now. They must unite beside Duke Long’s side and help him in his coup to turn the land of the Eastern Family into the land of the Long family.
Only in this way could they unmake this dangerous situation, and transform themselves into meritorious founding nobles with a shake of their bodies.
If they shrank back and allowed the Duke of Soaring Dragon to be destroyed, then they too would not be far from death.
One had to say, Duke Long’s charisma was still exceedingly strong. Even the fall of Long Yinye was insufficient to shake his charisma and domineering air that was as enduring as the land and sky.
Long Yinye was dead, but Duke Long had many sons. He could always appoint another young duke and spend some more time in cultivating him.
As long as Long Juxue was fine, and as long as the azure phoenix constitution remained, Duke Long’s backer would not disappear. After all, that azure phoenix constitution had caught the attention of the experts of the hidden sects!
The experts of the hidden sects were a legendary existence, and were an absolutely much more domineering force than the forefathers of the Eastern clan.
Although your Eastern family forefather is a spirit dao practitioner, at the end of the day, he is only one person, utterly isolated.
When compared to the strong ones of a sect, you would be alone and helpless!
This was why the Duke of Soaring Dragon could rope in so many dukes.
Out of 108 dukes, there was actually fifty or sixty dukes who had already thoroughly sided with the Duke of Soaring Dragon.
There was still a portion loyal to the royal family, and another portion that was neutral.
“Everyone, under the circumstances, I won’t voice empty blather. Everyone has expressed their attitudes. I, Long Zhaofeng, will also not mince words! The Eastern clan is immoral and favorites sycophants, persecuting the faithful and honest. My son Yinye was killed when he went to punish the Duke of Jiang Han. They say it’s Jiang Chen’s doing, but do you believe that a mere son of the Jiang clan could have such power? The experts from the royal family must have had a hand in this! I, Long family, announce today that I am raising arms to send a punitive expedition against the Eastern clan!”
“Raising arms for a punitive expedition, the Long clan replacing the Eastern clan!”
All the dukes stood up and raised their arms, shouting loudly.
“Very good, my Long family, on this day, will raise an army of justice to suppress an immoral ruler! Everyone present is a duke, please command your troops to raise an army of justice and cooperate in this great cause!”
“We are willing to raise an army of justice and aid the duke of Soaring Dragon in suppressing an immoral ruler, heralding in a new dynasty and age!”
No matter how shameless the act in struggles of power, an excuse both dignified in form but insincere in substance would have to be found. Even someone such as Duke Long was no exception.
It was a coup in actuality, but he still sought to craft himself an image of unparalleled benevolence and justice. It seemed that only in this way would he feel at ease and contented.
“Everyone, I have a suggestion.” The person speaking was the Duke of Yanmen, Yan Jiuzhuang. His son Yan Yiming had been the one that had also been shot by Jiang Chen in front of the Jiang Han manor doors.
“What valued suggestion does Duke Yan have?” Long Zhaofeng exuded a generous air.
“The time needed for all of us to raise our armies and cleave a path to the capital will take anywhere between three to eight days. Even though we have already brought our personal guards with us and laid out our elite troops, compared to the Tiandu army, at best we can say that we’re evenly matched. As opposed to rebelling now, why not wait until the big army arrives.”
“Then we just wait? How can we swallow the events of today?” The person speaking was another duke. His son had also been shot to death, under the same arrow that had killed Yan Yiming. They had been part of the meat skewer.
“Of course we don’t just wait around! I can raise the call of cleaning evil ministers from the king’s side and first lay siege to Jiang Han manor, Jinshan manor, Hubing manor…”
“Duke Yan’s suggestion is quite sound!” Long Zhaofeng’s eyes gleamed.
Although his version was that an expert from the royal family had killed Long Yinye, but many of his personal guards had seen with their own eyes that the person who had killed Long Yinye was Jiang Chen. Who else could it be?
He had said so just now to fabricate a feud with the royal family and find a banner of justice and righteousness for him.
Therefore, the person that Long Zhaofeng actually hated the most at this moment was Jiang Chen. The person he most wanted to delight in killing was Jiang Chen!
Within the palace, Eastern Lu’s complexion was wan and pale, his eyes full of regret and vexation.
He had also received intelligence at the earliest possible timing that Jiang Chen had returned, and returned with a vengeance. In fact, the manner of his return had been sculpted into a legend by the rumormongers in the capital.
Although Eastern Lu didn’t wish to admit it, he had to admit it. He had made a crappy move once again! He had actually given up the Jiang family underneath the pressure from the Duke of Soaring Dragon, and he had given up the strong power that he could have once drawn to his side.
Upon thinking of Princess Gouyu’s words, Eastern Lu practically wanted to slap himself. The ruler of a kingdom didn’t even measure up to his sister, a woman, in generosity and bearing.
“Has the capital fallen into chaos?” Eastern Lu shook his head, calming himself with effort. “Jiang Chen’s return is not necessarily a bad thing! Even though Jiang Chen and I are divided in heart and practice, there’s no fear in that. Now that Jiang Chen has killed Long Yinye and Long Yi, forming a blood feud with Long Zhaofeng, the scene of two tigers battling is unavoidable. If I can provide support from the shadows and add fuel to the flame so that they battle into a state of chaos and darkness, I may yet stand to profit without working for it!”
Eastern Lu started making his calculations, planning on how he would profit from this and how he would set Soaring Dragon and Jiang Han at each other’s throats.
“If Soaring Dragon triumphs, his vitality will still surely be greatly undermined. I will then coordinate with the elder grandfather’s power to make a strong move. I will surely be able to cow the other dukes into submission and oppress the Duke of Soaring Dragon.”
“If Jiang Chen’s side wins, then I will use the strategy of treating him kindly to win his heart. I will use Princess Gouyu or Ruo’er as bait and fence this person into the royal family. If he wants to, I can even give both Gouyu and Ruo’er to him, and have aunt and niece both serve him as well. Except, this matter can’t be known publicly, I must work from the shadows.”
Eastern Lu’s thoughts became more and more random and deviated more and more from the proper path.
When his thoughts traveled here, his brow unknit and he became much more cheery. Jiang Chen’s return made him much more at ease.
Even if Jiang Chen couldn’t win, as long as he could drag out enough time for the elder grandfather to emerge from closed door cultivation, everything would be alright.