The Steward Demonic Emperor

Chapter 1160: Shoud’ve Known

Chapter 1160: Shoud’ve Known

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Glancing at Bu Xingyun and the rows of spies, Baili Jingwei smiled, “The world war may have been over and the empire’s losses the smallest, but with Sir Zhuo using Serene Shores Trading to fan the flames in our territories, you’ve pushed us close to collapse. I knew then that it would take a hundred years for the empire to recover from the unrest. For that reason I made a deal with those foolish leaders for a century long peace. Oh, I wanted their lands, but I feared their meddling more by bringing more chaos to our empire.”

The Sword Star Empire people sneered, giving a look of scorn at the said leaders turned convicts. 

[These morons fell for our delay tactic and were mighty pleased with it. Ha, the idiots!]

Ling Yuntian was outraged.

[Baili Jingwei is vile and shrewd. Our talks hadn’t been in our favors at all. I should have just made him cede land as reparations!] 

It never occurred to him that taking anything from Baili Jingwei was possible.

“After the war, I noticed the shifting sands beneath the surface in the empire, making another large military campaign like last time impossible. At the very least, half the soldiers had to be stationed to secure the empire and prevent more unrest, or collapse. This was a constraint put on me in facing the four lands, unable to go all out against them.”

Baili Jingwei continued with a glimmer in his eyes as he pointed at Bu Xingyun, “But this time, Sect Leader Bu was a boundless source of inspiration. He’s a spy I placed in the northern lands in time of the last war. His job was simple, to break the Sea Bright Sect’s barrier. But it ended up with him saving the leaders of the four lands. Sea Bright Sect Ling thought so highly of him that he was entrusted with important duties. His power only grew from then on, leaving the northern lands’ defenses in his care. It got me thinking, if the enemy’s defense is controlled by one of my men, it couldn’t be easier. War would become pointless, and it saved loads of time too. All it lacked was a suitable plan to take the enemy lair.”

Ling Yuntian gasped in shame. It was all due to indulging Bu Xingyun that Baili Jingwei had an easy time breaching their defenses and taking his home.

Ignoring Sect Leader Ling’s guilt, Zhuo Fan held a constant smile, “So Prime Minister turned to finding particular spies, yes?” 

“Correct, having spies in the leadership of every land would prove crucial to further my plans.”

Baili Jingwei’s eyes shone, pointing at the said spies, “The war just ended and the lands were in urgent need of making up for their losses, making it the best chance to climb the ranks. I thus chose potential candidates for me to use.

“Starting with eastern lands, I chose Shangguan Yuheng, because she was the mother of Shangguan Yulin, the best disciple in the eastern lands. Shangguan Yulin’s position made me understand her status, but then Shangguan Yulin turned traitor and died, his mother grew petty and hateful. This only helped more. The higher she went the more she loathed the Shangguan clan. Could you ask for a better candidate? Ha-ha-ha…” 

Baili Jingwei laughed, earning a glare from Shangguan Yuheng.

Baili Jingwei shrugged, “Don’t look at me, those aren’t my words, but Sword King Feiyun’s. Though that’s reality. To a person consumed by hatred, nothing matters, not even their clan. They’d want it destroyed just the same. But how could she climb the ranks harboring revenge? I then changed her name to Moniang, to show remorse, for Mo alludes to a mother atoning for her son. And thanks to Shangguan Feixiong going into seclusion, the huge clan only had a little girl leading it.

“Ah, women, ruthless and soft. Feixiong’s daughter actually accepted the apology and considered Moniang a close friend. Uh, maybe even closer.  She was all alone in the clan and then she found the auntie’s shoulder to lean on, becoming practically kin. It’s a gift from heaven, if I do say so myself. Shangguan Moniang used her power alongside the young miss to gain control over the borders and complete the task I had for her.”

Zhuo Fan nodded with a thumb’s up, “Marvelous!”

“Why thank you, Steward Zhuo!”

Baili Jingwei shrugged then, “As for southern lands, Murong clan had few people, left with only foggies enjoying retirement. This made it even easier to get a spy. And now we came to the real issue, western lands. The Luo clan made the best candidate on paper, pulling it in with some promises, but it’s too damn stubborn, unbudging in some areas and it slipped out of my grasp. I didn’t want to deal with them and had no choice but to resort to a little trick to pry them apart and surrender to me.”

“Don’t forget my Devil Palace!” Zhuo Fan reminded him.

Baili Jingwei nodded, “Right, the Devil Palace Steward Zhuo established was a plague to my heart. All because it was rooted deep in the central area. It always made every move of mine tiresome and slow. I had to use the plan of dealing with the four lands to fake an empty central area and draw you out.”


Zhuo Fan praised, “Prime Minister Baili sure is thorough, flawless perhaps. You’ve done marvelously this past century.”

“Steward Zhuo, please, this is what I’ve done these years. Now it’s your turn, how would Steward Zhuo settle this situation?” Baili Jingwei smiled.

Zhuo Fan waved him off, “Prime Minister, come on, I’m calling you flawless and you’re saying I’ll handle it?”

“Steward Zhuo, there’s no need for modesty. As the best minister, I always wanted to compete with the best steward once more. Don’t disappoint.” Baili Jingwei’s eyes shone, his smile sinister.

Zhuo Fan smirked and nodded, “If you insist, I’ll just have to make a fool of myself. Like I said, Prime Minister Baili had done marvelously, taking the lands and solidifying the empire. Attacking and retreating at the right moments. Though what if I saw a crack in the Prime Minister’s plan? Tearing it to reveal a crippling weakness, ha-ha-ha…”


Baili Jingwei’s heart jumped, his smile gone as he cupped his hands, “Enlighten me!”

Zhuo Fan droned on, “The crux of Prime Minister Baili’s plan are spies. But what if these spies were already picked?”

Baili Jingwei shook, his eyes landing on Bu Xingyun and the others.

“Uh, Prime Minister, don’t listen to his nonsense, we check out.” Bu Xingyun panicked and then cursed Zhuo Fan, “Hey Zhuo Fan, stop poisoning the well. We never betrayed the empire!”

Zhuo Fan chuckled, “The world bears witness to Sect Leader Bu’s heart. I know you didn’t betray it. What I meant was…”

“We didn’t either!” Shangguan Moniang and the others announced, sweating buckets.

They saw first hand how Baili Jingwei dealt with traitors, through the Luo clan’s fate. He sentences the whole clan just because of an unsteady heart. Baili Jingwei needed to have but an inkling of doubt and they were deader than dead.

So they declared their stance from the start.

Zhuo Fan chuckled, “Not you either. I meant Prime Minister Baili.”

“Me? How?” Baili Jingwei shook.

Zhuo Fan said, “Prime Minister, if your spies had been exposed from the start, what would you have done?”

Baili Jingwei’s face twitched, turning grave.

“Tell me!”

“Sure, it’s my turn anyway to talk of the hundred year plan.”

Zhuo Fan nodded, “Can a leopard change his spots? Can a shrew turn into a nice auntie at the drop of a hat and take responsibility for her son? Don’t you think it’s a bit of a stretch? Sure, it’s easy for a girl, since women are always flexible, hearing of it reeks of something fishy. That’s why I put a tail on her. I saw her trying only to further her authority and never contacting the central area, but I was certain this was only a matter of time.

“She’s after revenge and alone it’s impossible. As for Sect Leader Bu, I doubted him the moment he got all four lands leaders in the same spot. Then he rose through the ranks and furthered his power while exercising extreme caution. It didn’t fit his wild nature. Recalling Shangguan Moniang, I figured out it was someone’s plan. The Prime Minister avoided all contact the past century to protect them, but they all acted the same, aiming high and staying low. Going for power while avoiding conflicts.”

Baili Jingwei’s face shook, unease festering in his heart. 

[If he found out everything from the start, he has the skills to make it all come crashing down!]

Zhuo Fan read him like a book, “But I didn’t pay attention to any of it, letting you have your fun. If it were so easy to plant spies in the enemy camp why then would you have resorted to an all-out war? It was precisely because of the huge losses after the war that presented this chance. I just couldn’t bear the thought of ruining the Prime Minister’s pet project after all that effort. Speaking of, I have the heart of a girl, quite a softie. Though I’m a… family man.” 


Baili Jingwei faltered, his face twitching.

[If you’re a family man, then the whole world has only cruel monsters!]

The Luo clan looked bleak as they sighed.

[Steward Zhuo hasn’t changed a bit after all these years. Can’t he have just a shred of decency?]

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