A groan came from the four black masses. What followed was cries of shock as a black chain came out and they returned to their original form.
“Impossible! We’d phased out completely. How could you hit us?” Violent Demon cried.
The other pygmies were shouting as well. They couldn’t believe their prized unity tactic could crumble so easily.
The figure behind the emperor turned solid, taking the shape of a nine-foot-tall armored man and grabbed the incoming rattling chain. He took a bold step forth with a sharp look in his eye, “You four little shits, you may have been from the empire’s three guardian sects once, but it doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want!”
“The fourth pillar, shadow guard’s captain, Shadow King from hell!” Zhuge Changfeng muttered. Dugu Zhantian was also shocked.
They were both part of the Four Pillars, but had only heard rumors of their secretive colleague. Today they found out how dreadful he really was.
The Four Scheming Demons could make mincemeat out of a 6th layer of Radiant Stage expert. Even give a peak Radiant Stage expert a run for his money.
Yet they were now pushed back in one move. Such a rare strength was something only the likes of Zhuo Fan and Gu Santong could display.
Of the Four Pillars, Zhuge Changfeng relied on his infallible mind, Dugu Zhantian on his perfect war record and Yun Xuanji on fate reading, to take office. But Shadow King was the only one reaching the top with pure strength.
The Imperial family had laid low for so long, it had even kept their experts a secret. And now it revealed a true monster of Tianyu.
If not for the balance of power in and outside of court, the imperial family would’ve long since had Tianyu under its iron fist, becoming the greatest clan the likes of Regent Estate and the houses had never seen.
Huangpu Tianyuan squinted, his brow sweaty looking at the emperor.
The Quanrong delegation was groaning. Tianyu just kept on popping one super expert after another. It wasn’t weak at all.
“Elder brother, I can’t accept it. Let’s go again!” Sly Demon stomped, glaring at the Shadow King.
Violent Demon’s eyes were savage and he cursed, “Let’s do it. If we don’t tear that bastard to pieces, we’re not Four Scheming Demons!”
They turned into four black masses again and went for Shadow King.
Shadow King snorted and turned himself into black smoke as well.
The five black clouds got entangled, with one in the middle of the other four, releasing bangs at every clash.
But the center shadow kept letting out a rattling noise.
The chain made its appearance again striking the other four masses.
Shadow King reformed, standing high and mighty over the blood spewing Four Scheming Demons.
“Elder brother, we can’t do it. Let’s bail!” Wimp Demon wailed.
Violent Demon didn’t want to give up like this but nodded in the end. He turned into black smoke and fled, “Humph, the guy’s too thick. We’re outta here! Not to worry, young master Luo, we’re going to find Steward Zhuo to help you!”
“Wait, Four Scheming Demons, weren’t you going to rip me to pieces? Why are you running scared?” Shadow King mocked the fleeing four.
The four black masses stopped and mocked, “He-he-he, what an imbecile. We are the Luo clan’s elders. We no longer have anything to do with the Demon Scheming Sect. As for our title, we can just do without it. It’s not like you’re gonna take it, are ya? He-he-he…”
“Vermin!” Shadow King spat.
The four clouds turned to the out cold imperial guards and tore a Radiant Stage expert apart. Then it spat at Shadow King, “Rotten spade, you haven’t heard the last of us. We’ll let you go this time, but next time you’ll be in pieces!”
The Four Scheming Demons now vanished for good.
Shadow King was outraged, his knuckles popping. He couldn’t chase or he’d leave the emperor’s side.
Everyone saw the Shadow King beat the four demos back, but to still look good in front of the crowd, they killed some royal Radiant Stage expert as a way of putting on a tough front and bragged about it before scampering.
Only that Radiant Stage expert had to suffer in the making of this scene. First his mind went on vacation from Zhuo Fan’s Sea Phantom Wings, then the four demons came to split him before vanishing away; the poor sod.
If his soul would be drifting right now he’d be cursing to high heavens, [You shits are angry with the Shadow King, so why take it out on little old me?]
Who told him to be so weak?
With Zhuo Fan lighting the fuse to blow out between the Luo clan and imperial family, the latter came out on top. Besides its elders, the Luo clan’s young master and miss along with others had ended up in the imperial family’s hands.
The imperial guards assembled, having them surrounded.
Luo Yunchang panicked, looking at the others. Luo Yunhai was still looking in Zhuo Fan’s direction, finding it more than a little bit queer. Like he knew this day would come. So he calmed his jets and said, “Relax, it’ll be fine.”
His calm inspired the others to do the same.
Not even twenty yet the young master maintains a cool head in crucial moments. How could they lose theirs? The emperor nodded inside. [Luo clan’s young clan head has grown into a fine man.]
Dugu Zhantian looked on with pride. The godfather and son were on opposite sides, but he had taught Luo Yunhai. The youth’s calm attitude was a homage to his godfather’s teaching.
“Imperial father, Prosperity Compound’s Luo clan has rebelled. They must be executed to appease the people! Please carry out their sentences!” With everything under control, many showed their true faces, like the second prince barking at the Luo clan.
That lit a fire under the chubby’s ass, “Imperial father, the cause of today’s disturbance falls on the Luo clan’s steward alone. The others are innocent. Imperial father, you mustn’t take it out on the innocents!”
“Yes, imperial father, it had nothing to do with the Luo clan’s young master and miss. Your Majesty’s heart knows no bounds.. Please let them go.” Yongning pleaded.
The emperor eyed the two, then said, “Crown Prince, you are the heir to the throne. How would you handle it?”
[Heir? Humph, did you ever intend to give me anything?]
He was still holding a grudge for what had happened back at the feast. But the Crown Prince did not let it show, hiding it behind a genial smile, “Imperial father, in my humble opinion, Luo clan’s steward, Zhuo Fan had indeed lied and cheated, pushing everyone around. But the Regent of Prosperity could not control him. Letting the Luo clan take the fall for his misconduct would be ill-advised.”
The fatty and Yongning sent looks of gratitude. While the emperor stared at him harder.
Getting his meaning, Crown Prince continued, “However, Zhuo Fan’s vile attitude is due to the Luo clan’s inadequate discipline. They do carry some of the blame. To my eyes, it is best to hold the Luo clan until Zhuo Fan is captured before handing out the sentence to them both.”
Crown Prince was candid, filled with reason and logical deductions. But to the old foxes out there, they could read between the lines.
Taking the Luo clan hostage to draw Zhuo Fan out.
It was a disgusting and degrading plan hidden behind a cleverly articulated sophistry. He was the spitting image of a true imperial family member.
[A vile act done in the name of justice!]
But the proposal was in tune with the emperor’s thoughts. He let out a smile and nodded, “We will do as my son said. Guards take the Luo clan away and watch them closely!”
Zhuge Changfeng laughed inside.
He had seen through the emperor’s ploy already. The two had been in contact for so many years and he could read a little into the emperor’s every action.
The emperor had planned today from the start, as did its ending. He only asked others to speak out to cover up his involvement.
He was in fact putting words in the Crown Prince’s mouth.
While also ending the tripartite stalemate. Zhuo Fan’s ruckus at the Imperial Palace was big and small. Small since it only cost one man’s life and big as it impacted all the houses.
He guessed the emperor was going to use the disruption of Tianyu as an excuse to cleanse the land.
[Your Majesty, I didn’t know you were even more impatient than me.]
Zhuge Changfeng laughed inside.
The emperor looked at him as if in response to his thoughts, showing a snicker.
[My dear Prime Minister, the game has only just begun.]
The emperor toasted to the distant Zhuge Changfeng, while the latter snorted and spilled his cup.
[Your Majesty, I will not lose…]