Wuxiaworld > Carefree Path of Dreams > Chapter 299: Evildoer

Chapter 299: Evildoer

Chapter 299: Evildoer

Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Half a month later, Quicksand Island.

A stockaded village was on fire and thick clouds of black smoke billowed towards the skies.

Xu Ting gazed at the refugees under his charge and singled out the strong men before rearranging them into new groups. He was satisfied with how it all went smoothly.

With Lu Jia, the spy, by his side, Xu Ting led a sweeping operation across the surrounding islands. There was an overwhelming amount of gold and silver. Most importantly, the ex-pirates of Heiguan Island clashed with members of their old brethren in a bid to prove their new loyalties.

To date, the refugees numbered 2,000 with more than 300 able-bodied men among them.

These men were not in the best of shapes but they were fearless. With enough food and the right amount of training, they could become a formidable force.

Also, having killed a few rebellious refugee leaders, Xu Ting had managed to inspire fear among the men. They would not cause any trouble for now.

"My lord…"

Guo Kuixing stood behind him and spoke gingerly.

"My lord is merciful for sparing the refugees. But we do not have enough supplies to support all of them!"

"I know!"

Xu Ting nodded to himself. He understood that things had reached a limit.

It was indeed a large burden for the Golden Lake Prefecture to support thousands more.

Besides, the goods offered by Lu Jia and his surrendered band of pirate leaders were running out too.

The pirate headquarters was a location of utmost importance. The pirates would not give it up so easily.

Also, the pirates might relocate their headquarters if they receive news of the army invasion. This would make things even more troublesome.

"This operation to wipe out the pirates of the Golden Court Lake might be tedious, but I see it as an opportunity to train my soldiers!"

Xu Ting was exhausted but there was fire in his eyes.

"I am the only commander in this vast lake. I call the shots. I get to decide who lives and who dies….when the purge is complete, my reputation will reach new heights."

Of course, at this point, both the men and equipment were at their breaking points. They all needed rest.

Thus, Xu Ting spoke to his second-in-command.

"Don't worry, I understand the gravity of the situation. Tell the boats to retreat!"

Xu Ting's forces had seized many boats and he had to send them in batches, but the distance they had to travel was not too far. It was all manageable.

Xu Ting noticed that his subordinates still looked worried.

"...Father promised me that he would give us land, housing and supplies. I think it will be enough to help all these people settle down!"

Having heard that the arrangements had received the blessings of the Prefecture Minister, the men were somewhat assuaged.

Who knew that Xu Ting was, in fact, laughing coldly to himself. The families of the surrendered pirates were going to be hostages. He would never have to worry about them going against him.

This military operation had given him a better understanding of the situation. He had also become more well-versed in naval warfare.

The next time, he would definitely put in more effort and request for reinforcements from his clan. He would have to win a watershed victory and gain unparalleled influence in the area!

"Time waits for no man indeed…"

Xu Ting gave a deep sigh and gazed at the setting sun.

...

In the capital city of Da Chu.

An imperial manor.

This was not a prince's manor, but its gates were large and imposing, its gardens vast and deep. Guards patrolled the manor grounds in a solemn manner. It was comparable to any of the princes' manors.

In the whole of Da Chu, only one clan wielded such power. It was the family of the Prime Minister of Chu, Wang Qiao.

Wang Qiao was born to a prominent clan and was bright from a young age. He had joined the civil service as a junior official and in the span of 20 years, rose to his position as the premier official.

The late emperor had been a despot who immersed himself in wine and woman. He had died at a relatively young age, and Wang Qiao became the regent for his successor.

Wang Qiao dropped his image as a loyal subject when he ascended to the regency and had built up a court faction loyal to himself. He had also colluded with the corrupt eunuchs and ladies of the harem so as to secure his grip on power.

At the beginning of the year, the royal court had decreed that Wang Qiao was exempt from the full rites of greeting the emperor and could carry a sword to court. This was an exceptional privilege and was a testament to his unparalleled influence.

"Haha...drink up beauty!"

In the back garden, a band was playing a soothing melody. A lady with skin as fair as white jade and a slim waist was performing a song and dance. It was a very precious sight indeed.

She was draped in only translucent silk, which accentuated her perfect figure. Her features conveyed various expressions of love and longing. Even the serving ladies standing around were intoxicated.

Wang Qiao sat in the prime seat and raised a wine cup.

He looked to be in his fifties and had a graceful and unusual aura about him. His eyes were lit up as he watched the performance.

"Thank you, My Lord!"

The beauty stepped forward elegantly and received the cup with her slender fingers. She then drained the cup in a swift movement. Some of the wine escaped her lips and formed a titillating streak by her mouth.

Wang Qiao was enthralled.

"My life becomes much more colourful with such a beauty like you by my side, Beauty She!"

Wang Qiao was about to continue with his frivolous activities when his housekeeper rushed in.

"My lord!"

Seeing that Wang Qiao's expression had turned unpleasant, the housekeeper fell to the floor in a hurry.

"Sorry for dampening your spirits, My Lord, but there is something very important that I need to report!"

The housekeeper produced a written report.

As Wang Qiao read it, his face turned a turbulent shade and he slammed a fist on the table.

"How dare this Imperial Censor!"

The Imperial Censors had supervisory roles and could report directly to the emperor. The role was officially not a high-ranking one, but in truth, the Imperial Censors had much authority.

This particular Imperial Censor was named Hai Qing and had submitted a report detailing the eight major crimes of Wang Qiao. The accusations were very well substantiated and Wang Qiao was actually afraid. His fear quickly turned into rage.

However, the report would never reach the emperor because Wang Qiao had intercepted it.

Wang Qiao was angry indeed and he thirsted for blood.

Wang Qiao might not be a king, but his wrath was a thing to behold. The servants all fell to the ground and prostrated before him. Even Beauty She was trembling.

"Hehe...Hai Qing? An eloquent writer indeed!"

As Wang Qiao calmed himself down, he broke out into a laugh.

"Men, send my personal guards to detain him and throw him into prison. Cut out his ligaments and tear out his tongue…"

"My Lord!"

The housekeeper was shaken. He was a loyal and fairly capable adviser to Wang Qiao and spoke up.

"Throughout history, the Imperial Censors have never been punished for their reports. If you want to deal with him, you should grant him another appointment and relocate him so that he will no longer enjoy the immunity of his position. When the time comes, you can deal with him any way you want!"

"You have a point, but am I to listen to you?"

Wang Qiao knew that his previous order was an impulsive one and he had intended to correct it. However, hearing the housekeeper offer him the exact plan he had in mind, and being under the gaze of the various ladies surrounding him, he was not about to back down.

The housekeeper broke out into a cold sweat.

"No My Lord! I will carry out your orders!"

'This housekeeper thinks that I will tolerate his insolence just because he is old…'

As he watched the housekeeper retreat into the distance, an idea came into Wang Qiao's mind.

'I could use take this chance to test the waters. I want to know how many would dare to cross me!"

In Fang Yuan's previous life, there was the famous Zhao Gao incident of fact distortion. Throughout history, the strategies of power consolidation remained largely similar to each other. Wang Qiao was planning to use an old trick from the book as well.

After receiving the report, Wang Qiao was no longer in the mood for merrymaking, and he retired to his study.

The musicians had already disbanded and went their separate ways, but Beauty She continued to stroll in the garden. Before long, she arrived at the edge of a lonely bamboo forest.

There was a pavilion made entirely out of bamboo stalks. The workmanship was extremely fine and the pavilion remained cool even with the heat of summer.

However, at this point, the pavilion was cold, and there was no one else in the surrounding area.

Beauty She talked to the air. Her behaviour was secretive.

"You are bold to sneak in here...are you not afraid of the repercussions from people dao and fate energy?"

A soft ghostly voice broke out from nowhere.

"Hehe...Wang Qiao is an unscrupulous person who is running out of luck. Why would I be afraid of him?"

Beauty She laughed when she heard the reply.

"What a stubborn person. If you are not afraid, why don't you reveal yourself?"

The presence in the air was silent for a moment.

"The rise of people dao is a major development. The holy beings of the demon race are beginning to understand the thread of thought...this is why you demons can reincarnate at the cost of their powers and longevity, and infiltrate the countries of men. This is to bring about the fall of humanity and prevent them from taking up the heaven's mandate."

"The previous mission involving the late emperor was a job well done. What about Wang Qiao this time?"

Beauty She replied with a serious look.

"For the sake of the demon race, I am willing to do anything. Wang Qiao is obsessed with wine and women. I think he will end up like the late emperor...it's funny how he isn't content with me alone and went to hook up with the empress...her race is well known for their cosmetics skills and even I am in awe of it!"

"Excellent, but he is still useful and you should keep him alive for now…"

The voice in thin air continued to speak.

"Now we should focus our efforts on goading Wang Qiao to usurp the throne. This would definitely trigger a huge civil war in Chu and lead to the destruction of humanity!!"

"Yes, I know!"

There was a shudder in the air, and the presence was gone. Beauty She sighed in relief.

These days, heaven's will had become more obvious.

The tribulations of the demon race had increased, and the thunderclaps from the skies had grown more powerful. A band of gods from people dao and some traitorous demons were in collusion. It was a difficult time.

The holy beings of the demon race had tried to read the fates and decided that it was unwise to go against them. Resistance was futile. Thus, the beings had come up with this plan to create internal conflict and destroy humanity from within.

When demons reincarnated, they could become human. However, this came at the cost of half their cultivation and they would lose their demonic magic. Their longevity would also suffer.

To achieve their goals and hide from their destiny, even the holy beings from the demon race had sacrificed much of their cultivation.

This was the true master plan of the demon race. Not only in Chu, but Qi and Liang as well!