Volume 1 –
Chapter 96: Uniting Yanhaven
It was no surprise that the aristocratic clans would be unhappy about Yang Zhan calling himself a king and appointing them all as vassals and ministers.
By doing that, they would be acknowledging that the Yang Clan was superior to them, and could even execute them if they wanted.
Furthermore, the clans’ military forces would be under the control of the Yang Clan. And the new royal court would control all of the clans’ income, provisions, weapons, medicinal pills, and the like. They would also appoint and dispatch officials to oversee the lands.
In the past, the clans controlled their own territory, and could do whatever they wanted therein. At that time, they were like emperors unto their own. But now, they were being told to be part of a royal court.
The Sage Ancestor Dynasty had little real power, and was also on the decline. City magistrates throughout the Rich-Lush Continent, as well as the various powerful clans, were all independent. Some were declaring their cities to be nations, and setting up their own governments.
And at long last, that was happening here in Yanhaven with the Yang Clan.
The Yan Clan had also attempted such a thing, but had been defeated and driven away.
Now the other clans were being asked to participate in the Yang Clan’s arrangement of military and civil officialdom. Without such a formal hierarchy, there would be little point to ‘establishing’ a nation. Unless the clans agreed to follow governmental decrees, chaos would ensue.
If other powerful forces invaded at that time, the aristocratic clans would be a major weakness.
But, with the clans serving as officials and ministers, with law in place, and with a standing army ready to fight, then it would be a very different story. The newly founded State of Yang would immediately be ten times as powerful as before.
Unfortunately, founding a new nation was no easy task, and the powerful clans would not give in easily.
When Yang Zhan saw that the clan lords were offering such staunch resistance, he sighed inwardly. He had known all along that something like this would happen. After all, if Yan Gufeng had been the one to make an announcement like this, he would have fought back just as fiercely.
“City Magistrate Yang,” one of the clan lords said passionately, “it’s my duty to follow you as a city magistrate. But do you really think you can just declare yourself king over all of us and confiscate our belongings and property? You might as well just execute us all! We absolutely do not agree. This crosses the line! The aristocratic clans will pay you tribute, but will not become your state officials. There is absolutely, positively no way we will give you the power of life or death over us.”
“That’s right, City Magistrate Yang. Your son might be a student at the Demi-Immortal Institute, but our Bai Clan has the backing of the House of the White Dragon. If you push things too far, you’ll be signing your own death warrant!”
“Exactly. If you want to found your own nation, that means you’re our enemy! Besides, what makes you think the Yang Clan can even hold on to the position of city magistrate?!”
Back when the Yan Clan was planning this sort of thing, we didn’t do anything. And we also didn’t do anything when your Yang Clan routed the Yan Clan. But don’t think that we’ll let you just run amok!”
“No matter what happens, we’re not going to let the Yang Clan gain any more power. Found a nation? Really?”
The clan lords were all talking at the same time, and their opposition only seemed to grow stronger by the moment.
In fact, some of the individuals present, chief elders who were Masters of Energy, began to secretly circulate their energy in preparation to attack.
Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong were both starting to sweat a bit at the sight of it all.
Back when they had fought the Yan Clan, they had more than thirty Masters of Energy on their side, plus over a hundred eighth phase experts. Afterward, the State of Yun had stopped expanding territory, and all those experts had returned home. If all of these aristocratic clans joined forces against them now, there was no way they could fight back.
“Well, what are you going to do?” Yang Zhan said coolly. “Don’t tell me you want to maintain the status quo. If we do, and someone invades us, we’ll all end up dead. Even our ancestral shrines will be destroyed.”
One of the chief elders rose to his feet and said, “If there’s an invasion, we can join forces to fight back. But founding a nation means stripping us of our power, and we’d rather die than let that happen. We refuse to accept such an arrangement.”
As the arguing in the hall grew more heated, a whooshing sound could be heard outside the city magistrate’s mansion.
Shocked, the clan lords and chief elders rushed out to see a host of men dressed in black garments, with black masks on their faces.
These men were all Masters of Energy, and from the way they looked at the clan lords and chief elders, they clearly viewed them as nothing more than country yokels.
These were experts from the Sage Ancestor Dynasty’s Capital City, a place that Yanhaven couldn’t even compare to.
Despite that, when they finally caught sight of Yang Zhan, the respect in their eyes was clear for all to see.
One of the black-garbed men tore the mask off his face, stepped forward, and said, “City Magistrate Yang, please, allow me to offer greetings.”
Yang Zhan recognized this man. He was one of the Masters of Energy who had been sent to help deal with the Yan Clan and the State of Yun, an expert from the Hua Clan.
“Well,” he said, “if it isn’t the Goldstone Soulcatcher, Mr. Hua Gang.”
The Hua Clan was a very domineering force back in Capital City, and Yang Qi’s sworn brother Hua Yinhu was a young lord from that very clan. As for this Hua Gang, he was a mere servant from that clan. Despite his status, he was a Master of Energy!
“Why exactly have you come today, Mr. Hua Gang?” Yang Zhan asked, clearly a bit surprised.
“Why, to offer my congratulations, of course, City Magistrate Yang.” With that, he bowed formally at the waist, accompanied by all the other Masters of Energy who had come with him.
Stunned, Yang Zhan said, “P-please, none of that! How could I accept such treatment as this?” He was truly confused as to why these people from Capital City would be acting with such courtesy.
Hua Gang rushed forward to prevent Yang Zhan from bowing in return.
“It’s only natural for a father to derive glory from the accomplishments of his son,” he said. “Last month, your son Yang Qi reached the Lifeseizing level, making him one of the top experts in the land. Furthermore, the Demi-Immortal Institute recognized his accomplishment, tested him, and deemed him fit to become an elite student. Young Lord Hua Yinhu from our Hua Clan is the sworn brother of Yang Qi, and he asked us to come bring the news.”
“What?” Yang Zhan said, so excited that his knees began to tremble. “What did you just say? Qi’er reached the Lifeseizing level and became an elite student?!”
Although he had long since known that Yang Qi had come across some sort of miraculous fortune, and had surpassed him in cultivation, this good news was so shocking that he couldn’t hide his delight.
As for the chief elders and clan lords present, they felt like they were being struck by lightning.
‘What? Lifeseizer? Elite student…?’ That was what everyone was thinking. Perhaps they didn’t know what it meant to be an elite student in the Demi-Immortal Institute, but they definitely knew what the Lifeseizing level was. As far as they were concerned, Lifeseizers were invincible gods, the type of individuals they couldn’t possibly move against. Lifeseizers could destroy cities and exterminate entire armies.
“It’s absolutely true,” Hua Gang continued. “It won’t be long before the Sage Ancestor Dynasty hears of the matter, and issues an official proclamation about the matter. In any case, our clans were notified early, and came here to deliver the news.” Gesturing at the men behind him, he continued, “Our group represents the Hua, Li, He, and Liang Clans. Not only have we brought letters of congratulations, we also have a few meager gifts. Brother Yang Zhan, please, do accept them. Oh, another thing. The clan lords of our respective clans told us to follow any orders you might give us now that we’re here.”
“That’s right,” said another of the black-garbed men. “Young Lord Yang Qi has provided help to the young lords of our own clans, and hopes to propel them all to the Lifeseizing level. If the matter is a success, then all of our clans will owe the Yang Clan a big debt. Therefore, we will do everything we can to make sure your clan is the most domineering force in these parts.”
“Heaven is showering the Yang Clan with blessings….” Yang Zhan murmured.
At this point, Clan Lord Wang stepped forward, dropped to one knee, and saluted Yang Zhan formally. “The Wang Clan is absolutely behind your effort to found a nation.”
‘Dammit, Clan Lord Wang sure reacted quickly. Who could have predicted that?’ That was what the other dissenting clan lords and chief elders were all thinking. At this point, all of them knew that if they didn’t submit to Yang Zhan, it would mean disaster for them, and were cursing Clan Lord Wang for seizing the spotlight. Without hesitation, they all began to rush forward and kneel.
Moments ago, they had been vehemently opposing Yang Zhan, but now they were acting as meekly as sheep.
That was the result of the news of Yang Qi reaching the Lifeseizing level.
After all, a single Lifeseizer could destroy their clans as easily as blowing away some dust.
Some Masters of Energy would work for a hundred years without successfully being able to reach that level.
“Very well, gentlemen,” Yang Zhan said. “Since all of you are willing to acknowledge me as your king, I accept. And considering you’re all here, let’s discuss the important matters of establishing the civil and military officialdom, army structure, finances, land ownership and the like.”
Another month went by as summer approached and the lands began to heat up. Yang Qi stood atop the roof of his temple, enjoying the warm breeze. In his hands was a letter from his father, detailing events in Yanhaven over the past month. Yang Zhan had declared himself king, and had unified the aristocratic clans under his leadership.
Everything for five hundred kilometers surrounding Yanhaven was now controlled by him, including all of the various cities, towns, villages and hamlets.
According to the letter, Yang Zhan planned to formally declare the founding of a nation in a few months, and was interested in Yang Qi’s opinion about what to name it.
The end of the letter contained something else very important, secret matters regarding Yang Qi’s mother that Yang Zhan had long promised to reveal.
Qi’er, as you know, your mother comes from the holy land of the Demonfolk, the Hanging Mountain, which is a divine location beyond the heavens. Your mother is no ordinary person there. She is a holy daughter of the Demonfolk, and truth be told, I don’t even know her true name. I only know her nickname, Greensura. Supposedly, she was connected to me by destiny. I’ll never forget the words she spoke the day we left.
‘The day you become the ruler of the Rich-Lush Continent is the day we will meet again’
. For years, I assumed we would never see each other again. But with a son like you, perhaps there’s hope….