Chapter 3 Book 1: 3: Battle to Reverse the Desperate Situation
Chapter 3 Book 1: 3: Battle to Reverse the Desperate Situation
Book 1: Chapter 3: Battle to Reverse the Desperate Situation
Clear River Sect, amid a cluster of mountains outside the Chen Nation:
Twenty-odd people stood within a large hall, clearly split into three factions.
The group that stood on the left side wore azure shirts. All of them frowned heavily as they looked at a large map in the middle of the hall. The leader, an azure-clad, middle-aged man, showed some anger in his eyes.
The group on the right wore white clothes and appeared extremely happy at this moment. The leader, another middle-aged man, suddenly laughed, “Clear River Sect Master, it looks like you have lost this wager. The Chen Nation has already lost three passes and cannot even last a strike. Hahahahaha!”
The group of white-clad people laughed with the white-clad, middle-aged man.
The group of azure-clad people glared at the white-clad group. The leader, the Clear River Sect Master, clenched his fist tightly as he said, “First Song Sect Master, it is not over until it reaches the end. Are you sure that the Chen Nation will definitely fall?”
The white-clad First Song Sect Master sneered, “What’s wrong? The map shows the military forces of the two nations. Right now, the Song Nation is united, displaying strong momentum. Gao Xianzhi already killed six hundred thousand soldiers of the Chen Nation army, leaving only one hundred thousand soldiers at Hulao Pass. There is only an ordinary general to lead the troops, leaving no suspense to the result. Furthermore, Gao Xianzhi’s usage of his troops is exquisite. Just stop resisting and surrender.”
“You!” The Clear River Sect Master glared.
No matter how stupid one was, anyone could tell that the Chen Nation would be eradicated soon.
However, the Clear River Sect Master was not resigned to the loss. It was not just about losing a mundane nation. Instead, it was because of a very important person standing at the center. That person had been following the war situation. By losing so miserably before this personage, he left an impression of incompetence. How could he not feel frustrated?
While the two sect masters bickered, they had been paying attention to the five people in the center.
Although this was the Clear River Sect, these five people took the center position at the north—the position reserved for the host.
The leader of the five, a black-clad young lady dressed like a man, possessed long, slender legs that looked firm and strong yet very elegant, a curvy figure, and a long, snow-white neck. The contrast of her black clothes made her stand out even more, inspiring a wish to take a bite out of her. While she sported a man’s hairstyle, her earlocks gave her a sort of mature beauty. Her male attire could not hide her beauty and even made her look more enticing.
The disciples of the two sects coveted this young woman. However, they understood her identity and suppressed their emotions.
The young woman held a folding fan as she looked at the large map. There were all sorts of marks on the map, depicting the war between the Song Nation and the Chen Nation in detail.
Four people stood behind the young woman, three of whom showed no expression. They appeared to be guards, not saying a word. The fourth was special, a bald monk wearing moon-white monk robes. As he stood there, he had an air of transcending worldly affairs. His face appeared elegant and handsome. Holding a string of eighteen small prayer beads, he studied the map together with the young woman.
“Venerable Liu Nian, what do you think of this?” the young woman asked with a smile as she slapped the folding fan on her other hand.
“Hall Master, you created such a massacre just because you wanted to see a war of the mundane world, resulting in the death of six hundred thousand soldiers. Amitābha!” The bald monk ended his words by reciting Buddha’s name, seemingly sighing over the killed soldiers.
[TL Note: The usage of Amitābha is very common among Buddhist monks and is frequently used in place of simple answers, greetings, expressions of shock or grief, and many other things. It originated from reciting Buddha’s name as frequently as possible to reflect on one’s Buddhist nature.]
“Venerable, I heard that you killed many more people than this before you became a monk. Furthermore, I did not start the massacre; they did it themselves. I may have caused it, but I did not do it,” the young woman rebutted while shaking her head.
Venerable Liu Nian smiled bitterly and said, “The past has faded like smoke.”
“My grandfather once told me to observe a mundane war when I had a chance. Although they are not strong, they occasionally show boundless wisdom. This war is truly interesting. Venerable, what do you think?” the young woman prompted with a smile.
Venerable Liu Nian looked at the map and nodded. “That Chen Taiji is pretty good. Despite the huge military campaign, he could control it freely. He would be considered a pretty good general, even among our ranks. He fights firmly, making steady progress. Initially, it should be the Chen Nation taking an overwhelming victory over the Song Nation. Unexpectedly, a Gao Xianzhi appeared in the Song Nation.”
The young woman nodded and said, “That’s right. This Gao Xianzhi is indeed incredible.”
“Gao Xianzhi is hailed as the divine strategist of the Song Nation. He lives up to his reputation and is even more incredible than Chen Taiji at leading troops. He uses tactics to lead his troops to victory. In a few short months, he set many schemes into motion, using the army in a godlike manner. Even more incredibly, he took a few risks and managed to achieve startling results, dealing Chen Taiji a great defeat. This is actually a psychological battle. At the end, he feinted in the east and attacked the west, conquering three passes in one go. Truly incredible!”
“This Gao Xianzhi is indeed somewhat interesting. What level do you think he is at?” the young woman asked as she looked at Venerable Liu Nian.
“Hall Master is wise. I think you already have an idea. Why ask me?” Venerable Liu Nian retorted with a smile.
“Although he does not have many personal skills, he can use troops as though he is an expert fighter. Truly exquisite, the mark of a superior general!” the young woman said solemnly.
“I agree with Hall Master.” Venerable Liu Nian nodded.
“It looks like we gained something on this trip. At least we met a talent,” the young woman said with a satisfied smile.
However, the young woman’s praise caused the First Song Sect Master to raise his eyebrows.
“Hall Master, that Gao Xianzhi is only an ordinary person! He is only in the Acquired Realm!” the First Song Sect Master protested anxiously.
The young woman looked at the First Song Sect Master indifferently and said, “There’s no need to worry. He will not count among your slots.”
At the young woman’s words, joy immediately appeared on the First Song Sect Master’s face. “Hall Master is wise!”
The young woman focused on talent rather than cultivation. Cultivation could be slowly increased, but the improvement of one’s intellect and wisdom was limited. How could she let such a talent go?
“Venerable Liu Nian, do you think that this Chen Nation can still counterattack?” the young woman asked as she looked at the map.
Venerable Liu Nian remained silent for a while. Then, he shook his head. “Without the assistance of a sect or another nation, the Chen Nation is at the end of its rope. With three passes fallen, only the plains remain. The Song Nation is united at heart and has an army of several hundred thousand soldiers. They will definitely gather at Hulao Pass. Although there are one hundred thousand soldiers at Hulao Pass, they are inexperienced. Not to mention resisting, it would already be very good if they did not surrender. Furthermore, according to previous news, Chen Taiji sustained severe injuries to his heart vessels. The will is there, but not the strength. In another half month, Gao Xianzhi will lead his troops over, and the Chen Nation will be history!”
When Venerable Liu Nian gave this conclusion, the First Song Sect Master appeared joyful. However, the Clear River Sect Master appeared very sullen.
The young woman nodded as well. The Chen Nation could not possibly find a way out of this desperate situation.
“Sect Master!” Suddenly, an anxious cry came from outside the hall.
It was Chen Tianshan, who had rushed back from the Gu Residence.
“Tianshan?” The Clear River Sect Master’s expression turned even more sullen.
He had sent Chen Tianshan to the Chen Nation to help the Chen Nation in secret, yet they had still lost. When he looked at Chen Tianshan now, the Clear River Sect Master appeared somewhat angry.
When Chen Tianshan entered the hall, he was startled to see the First Song Sect’s group and that personage. He had not expected so many people to be here.
“Clear River Sect’s Chen Tianshan greets Hall Master!” Chen Tianshan saluted respectfully.
The young woman just nodded before ignoring Chen Tianshan.
“Tianshan, why are you back now? I heard that Chen Taiji is injured. How is he?” the Clear River Sect Master asked sullenly.
Chen Tianshan replied somewhat bitterly, “That grandnephew of mine died of shattered heart vessels half a month ago.”
The Clear River Sect Master’s face sank.𝚏𝑟𝑒𝑒we𝑏𝙣𝗼v𝐞l.𝑐o𝒎
“Hahahahaha! Chen Taiji died already. In that case, there is no saving the Chen Nation. Clear River Sect Master, you should just take the initiative to concede!” The First Song Sect Master guffawed.
The Clear River Sect Master now showed an extremely unsightly expression.
The black-clad young woman frowned slightly as well. Earlier, she had thought that Chen Taiji could not possibly save this desperate situation. Now that Chen Taiji had already died, the war between these two nations was definitely concluded.
“Hall Master, my Clear River Sect has embarrassed itself.” The Clear River Sect Master gave the young woman a slight bow, feeling bitter.
There was no more hope left.
Before the young woman said anything, Chen Tianshan interjected anxiously, “Sect Master, we have not lost yet. There is still a chance to turn this around!”
“Hahahaha! Chen Tianshan? What did you just say? The situation has already reached this point, yet you think you can still turn it around?” the First Song Sect Master laughed in disbelief.
“Tianshan, shut up! Have we not embarrassed ourselves enough?” the Clear River Sect Master shouted.
“This disciple came because of this matter. We still can win!” Chen Tianshan insisted with certainty.
“Oh?” The black-clad young woman appeared somewhat curious.
With one look, it was clear that the Chen Nation was finished. Was this person who suddenly appeared doing this to sensationalize things?
“Humph! Alright, Chen Tianshan, tell us, how can the Chen Nation win?” the Clear River Sect Master demanded coldly.
Losing to the First Song Sect was already embarrassing enough. Yet, Chen Tianshan did not reflect on that, boasting that they could still turn things around.
Chen Tianshan could only brace himself and say, “Sect Master, before my grandnephew, Chen Taiji, passed away, he recommended a person. He said that this person could save this desperate situation, just like how the Song Nation brought out Gao Xianzhi previously.”
“Oh? Like Gao Xianzhi?” The young woman appeared interested.
“Do you think it really can be the same? At that time, the Song Nation was only starting to show signs of defeat. However, their core strength was not affected. That was why Gao Xianzhi could deal with the situation with strong momentum. However, the Chen Nation is already on the verge of destruction, having lost most of its core force, yet you say that they can turn this defeat into a victory? There is no way to cook porridge without rice. How can this be possible? How could you believe this?” the Clear River Sect Master said skeptically.
However, the young woman smiled faintly and said, “Tell us, who is this person?”
Since the young woman asked, the Clear River Sect Master would not stop Chen Tianshan from answering. However, he continued to glare at Chen Tianshan.
Now, Chen Tianshan felt even more tortured. However, he could only brace himself and answer, “Before Chen Taiji passed away, he recommended this person, saying that this person could save this desperate situation. Furthermore, he did so with absolute certainty. I felt that he was not lying, so I went to look for that person with Crown Prince Chen. That person is called Gu Hai. I believe my various senior brothers and junior brothers have met him before.”
“Gu Hai? That wealthy old fellow?”
“It’s him? That person who foolishly dreamed of joining my sect despite his poor cultivation talent?”
“He only started cultivating at the age of thirty. To think that he dared to dream so big. Perhaps in his next life!”
Everyone immediately reacted. Chen Tianshan was surprised to discover that it was not just his fellow disciples of the Clear River Sect who knew Gu Hai; even the people of the First Song Sect knew him.
“Oh? Is he willing to help the Chen Nation?” the young woman asked out of curiosity.
When the young woman spoke, everyone immediately fell silent.
Chen Tianshan smiled bitterly. “No. He said that he could help the Chen Nation win but on one condition. He wants Sect Master to agree to help him break through into the Innate Realm from the consummation of the Acquired Realm after he saves the Chen Nation from this desperate situation. Furthermore, he wants to be permitted to practice the Clear River Sect’s Innate Realm cultivation technique.”
“What? He reached the consummation of the Acquired Realm?” This news startled everyone in the hall.
The young woman felt somewhat confused, so she looked at Chen Tianshan curiously.
“Hall Master, this person is called Gu Hai. There was no information about this person until forty years ago, when he suddenly appeared out of nowhere. At that time, he had not started cultivating yet and possessed extraordinarily poor cultivation talent. He started cultivating only at the age of thirty but could not cultivate inner energy and chose physical training instead. He trained very hard and wanted to join our sect. Naturally, we did not think much of him. Unexpectedly, he managed to build a huge business empire within forty years and became the wealthiest man of the six nations. Furthermore, he even reached the consummation of the Acquired Realm,” Chen Tianshan explained.
“He reached the consummation of the Acquired Realm by physical training? What strong determination!” Venerable Liu Nian appeared shocked.
“One can reach the consummation of the Acquired Realm through physical training?” The young woman looked at Venerable Liu Nian.
Venerable Liu Nian nodded and said, “It is extremely rare. At the very least, this is only the second time I have heard of this!”
“The second time? Then, who was the first?” the young woman asked in puzzlement.
“Your maternal grandfather!” Venerable Liu Nian replied.
The young woman’s pupils constricted, and she turned solemn.
“Sect Master, Gu Hai said that as long as you make that promise, he will help the Chen Nation turn this desperate situation around. He required that you issue a decree promising this,” Chen Tianshan said.
“How delusional! He is just an Acquired Realm old man, and he wants to save this desperate situation? He must be dreaming!” the First Song Sect Master said in disbelief.
However, the Clear River Sect Master looked at the young woman. When he saw she appeared curious, his disappointed heart started to perk up.
I have already embarrassed myself. At worst, I will just embarrass myself again. Perhaps…?
“Alright! Agree to his request!” the Clear River Sect Master said gravely.
“Yes! Many thanks, Sect Master!” Chen Tianshan said excitedly.
The young woman tapped her other hand with her folding fan and said, “Since that’s the case, let’s watch a little more.”
“Hall Master, we might not have much time left,” Venerable Liu Nian warned somewhat worriedly.
“It’s fine. I would like to see why this Gu Hai dares to make such a claim,” the young woman said with a smile.
“However…” Venerable Liu Nian frowned slightly.
“I know that the result is practically set. However, didn’t you notice? It has now turned interesting,” the young woman said.
“Alright!” Venerable Liu Nian agreed with a bitter smile.