The Steward Demonic Emperor - BestLightNovel.com
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Chapter 630: Alike
[Is he an exiled disciple? But how did he get in? Any sect would have warned itself against its exiles. That goes double for Double Dragon Manor. ]
Zhuo Fan was filled with questions.
The drunkard chuckled, “Ha-ha-ha, they can try all they like to keep me out but it won’t work. There’s not a place out there I can’t reach.”
Zhuo Fan jerked and even felt respect, but more than anything, on alert. [At best, those words will make him a hero. At worst, a criminal.]
If he lost it, nothing could stop him from doing whatever the h.e.l.l he wanted.
[Back up, why does that sound familiar? It sounds oddly similar to me.]
Wracking his brains he came to one conclusion. [The old man and I are so alike.]
The drunkard had a thin smile, “Lighten up, you’ve given me wine and I find you to my liking so I won’t be hard on you.”
Then he turned a ridiculing smile at the girls.
They shuddered back, tense. His simple presence sent fear deep into their bones.
“Ha-ha-ha, I’m not one to pick on girls.”
He chuckled, “Tianyu’s princess, I take it. Ha-ha-ha, I heard what happened to your empire and what you said. Tell me, do you think your father was right?”
Yun Shuang paused, “He may be my father, but he sold out his nation. He’s no different than letting evil in.”
“Ha-ha-ha, what a just princess. What then if he only ceded the land while no soldiers came in?” The drunkard laughed.
Yongning hesitated, “Isn’t that the same?”
“Not even close!”
The drunkard shook his head, “An enemy invasion means pillaging and slaughter. While ceding some land does not include such cruel actions. Nevertheless, the land is the royal family’s, and the common man has not one stake in it. Regardless of the master, the common people will still be worked to the bones for their lords, so what’s the difference? Win or lose, the populace suffers all the same. That being said, Double Dragon Manor, the sect, and even empires, all they’re doing is raising cattle. So they could suck the blood and marrow from their weary bodies.”
The trio looked at each other with a start and their hearts sank.
Zhuo Fan pondered, “Double Dragon Manor offers stability to western lands’ powers and guarantees growth. A stroke of genius, one might say. Won’t letting western lands grow weaker draw invaders in? The fate of the people then would be far worse.”
The drunkard sneered, “Nothing but a G.o.dd.a.m.n excuse. They’re only after guarding the sacred mines, a cultivator’s interests, and not giving a single lick about some weary n.o.bodies. Let’s say the central area invades, you think they’d go after the people, the ant? No, all they care about is taking the resources. They need these ants to mine the stuff just like Double Dragon Manor does.”
Zhuo Fan chilled and hinted at the girls to not aggravate him further.
The drunkard caught him and flicked his hand, “Sorry, I forgot myself. Every time I talk about this I get riled up. I used to be just like you, thinking the best of the western lands, with hardly any heavy conflicts, filled with peace and prosperity. It all changed from one meeting…”
“A… woman?” Yongning’s eyes lit up.
The drunkard exclaimed, “Girl, how did you know?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Only a woman can change a man.” Yongning stuck out her proud chest.
The drunkard had a cheerful smile, “You girls sure know a lot. Just how many did you change?”
“You can’t slander me. I’m innocent. I didn’t change one…” And she sneaked a peek at Zhuo Fan.
Zhuo Fan said, “Senior, just ignore her, she has her head in the clouds from too many perfect matches stories.”
“Perfect match? Ha-ha-ha, sometimes, that isn’t far from reality either.”
The drunkard sighed, going down memory lane, “I used to be a young man with dignity and elegance traveling the world. But after meeting her one time too many, that foolishly naive princess had trapped me in the secular world.”
“I found her the most pitifully foolish girl. A princess, fond of walking among her people, falling for the most obvious scams yet never regretting it.”
Zhuo Fan muttered, “Senior, such a dopey girl, oblivious to the dangers of human society, will one day die from it. If I were you, I’d cut all ties with her so I’d not fall as well. “
“What’s my intention to you, anyway?” The drunkard raised an eyebrow.
Zhuo Fan shrugged. [He fell for it.]
The drunkard’s face took a softer tone, “Women are like water. Men sometimes need them by their side to comfort them. Though on many occasions, her naive and foolish att.i.tude drove me up the walls and got me in much trouble. Thinking about it, none of it mattered. It’s not my fault I was awesome, wis.h.i.+ng to take her burden.”
On cue, the girls whipped their dewy eyes on Zhuo Fan.
[The drunkard reminds me of someone. Just like Steward Zhuo, who likes taking others’ burdens.]
Scratching his chin, Zhuo Fan remained silent, his eyes avoiding their piercing stare.
“Only to later realize, even all my power had reached its limit. I wanted to fight those scheming geezers so much, yet was unable to.”
The drunkard’s eyes flashed with bloodthirst, “That year, their neighboring kingdom attacked her homeland. The sect in charge of its well-being saw the lands were safe and ignored them. Leaving the people at the border to suffer. She was plagued with worry for them. I even defied Double Dragon Manor’s rule in not interfering many times, only to be accused by the enemy and forced back to the sect to receive my punishment. Our separation would be final.”
“Did something happen to her?” Yongning was absorbed in the story.
Zhuo Fan rolled his eyes, [Girl, you really have read too many stories.]
The drunkard’s face was hard and scary, “With me gone, the masterminds enacted their real plan. While they hara.s.sed the border, a group made contact with the princess. They enticed her into moving the defense a thousand miles inward, at a mountain range, which made it easier to defend. This way both sides’ people would be spared.”
“She fell for it completely. By stealing the emperor’s seal, she signed a ceding agreement. The enemy used it to force the defending general to draw back and take the rich stretch of land. By the time the emperor found out, it was too late. The sects overlooking the empire were outraged, fanning the population’s flames in making the royal family abdicate while condemning the princess to execution for high treason. The news came to me in the last hour, when I could do nothing to help. I reached only to see her corpse and could only hear the mob’s accusations and mockeries…”
“They were clearly plotting against the dope-, uh, princess.”
Zhuo Fan noticed the drunkard’s hard stare and rectified his speech, “Senior, this might not be my place to say this, but if it were me, I’d slaughter a bunch of them to put the fear of me in their hearts and let them know she was under my wing. At worst, I’ll just get punished in the sect. But the result would be different. “
“Finding that no rules will hold you back, they’ll never make a move against the princess. But by obeying the sect’s orders like a good child, they acted regardless of how strong you were. Since the sect’s rules bound you, you could do nothing. Even if you did, they’d just rat you out to Double Dragon Manor. All you had to do was go berserk from the start.”
The drunkard nodded, “I regretted it so much not being a demonic cultivator back then. Having your recklessness, she would’ve still been alive. But I knew it was all but too late, bound by righteous rules while those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds clapped in joy.”
With a bone-deep hatred evident in his eyes, the drunkard relived that day before the trio…