Keyboard Immortal - Chapter 1547
Chapter 1547: Dancing on the Tightrope of Life and Death
Zu An didn’t really care whether he was a duke or a marquis. After all, he was someone who had even been an emperor before in Yinxu. The difference between those two ranks was negligible to him.
The human side was much more convoluted and elaborate, and promotions all had strict regulations and restrictions. One’s family status and background would also be taken into consideration. Giving him the title of king was definitely impractical, but he had thought that with such a huge contribution, he would at least be a duke, even if it was the lowest level county duke.
In the end, however, he was still reduced to a marquis. Even though the superficial reason was that he killed Yi Zhibing, as long as the emperor wanted to, he could have just investigated the Sang clan first. Considering Yi Zhibing’s actions, not even death would have wiped out his crimes.
And yet, the emperor hadn’t looked into it and had chosen to punish him first. Yi Chun and the others probably felt that the emperor was protecting him, but Zu An understood very clearly that the reason was that the emperor didn’t want to make him a duke.
Previously, when he drank with Sang Hong, they had talked about the emperor. Even though Zhao Han was talented and courageous, he was too ambitious, and he treated his subjects rather coldly. Zhao Han clearly wanted to take the contributions of the Fiend Races’ submission all for himself. If Zu An’s reward was too great, everyone else would think that the contribution belonged to him. That was something Zhao Han absolutely couldn’t tolerate.
But can’t you give me a better title? Phoenix Man, Green Hat, Great Lady Count, and now you’re calling me Deep Throat? What’s next for duke?
When he saw how Zu An’s expression darkened, Zhao Han merely thought that Zu An was unhappy. It actually made him feel a bit proud of himself. No matter how much trouble this brat causes, aren’t his future prospects still completely within my grasp?
King Qi wore a pensive expression. He naturally saw through the emperor’s thoughts. Zu An is definitely unsatisfied with this… It’s not as if I’ve never thought about roping him in. But there’s never been anything good anytime I’ve involved him. He’s the main cause behind the deterioration of my forces. This sort of hateful person deserves this kind of result.
Even Bi Ziang, who was on the same side as Zu An to a certain degree, sighed in relief; so did many others. If Zu An had become a duke, they would suddenly feel really ashamed.
Everyone in the court was satisfied, except Yi Chun. Was his son’s death going to be settled just like that? He tried to say something else, but the emperor frowned. Now, even those who were previously on his side admonished him.
In the eyes of others, a whole duke title had been used as compensation for his son’s life. It seemed to be a bit too much for him to be unsatisfied with that. That was just how the world worked; everything depended on a balance. The idea of lives being priceless was just something people talked about; in reality, they all had their own estimates.
Yi Zhibing’s character was something people all knew about clearly. As such, most people believed what Zu An said, and concluded that Yi Zhibing’s death was fully deserved.
When he sensed the emperor’s dissatisfaction, Yi Chun’s heart felt ice-cold. He knew that the emperor’s mood was currently good and that if he continued to disrupt the emperor’s Feng Shan plans, he could be in danger. Helpless to do anything else, he could only accept his fate. He stared hatefully at Zu An.
You have successfully trolled Yi Chun for +555 +555 +555…
Zu An’s expression remained calm the entire time, as if he had already expected this.
Then, the court began to enthusiastically discuss the Fiend races’ situation. Many people began to ask Zu An about any related information. They were all very excited, because this was the human race’s greatest victory in over a thousand years.
When the morning court session was dismissed, several groups of subjects flocked over to congratulate Zu An. Whether they liked or hated him, they had to admit that he now played a critical role in the court. Zu An responded to all of them politely.
Soon afterward, a lesser eunuch reported that the emperor had summoned Zu An to his study. Zu An shivered, but he followed the eunuch to the Imperial Study. It was called a study, but it had already been modified into a secluded cultivation chamber by Zhao Han. Only a few trusted aides had the qualification to be summoned to it.
Greeting the emperor respectfully, Zu An quickly said, “Your majesty, Sir Sang is innocent. The criticism about colluding with the Fiend races is complete nonsense.”
“I naturally have my own thoughts. I’ve already sent people to look into it,” Zhao Han said casually in passing, then looked at him and asked, “How did the Fiend Emperor really die? Tell me the details.”
The Fiend Emperor had been the only person in this world who was a match for him. If even he had died, didn’t that mean Zhao Han could die from a similar cause?
Zu An was already prepared for this situation. As such, he filled in the various details, things he hadn’t shared openly in the court session. Of course, he removed many details of his participation in the story, instead emphasizing the roles of various powerful immortals in the secret dungeon.
Zhao Han’s eyes shone when he heard what had happened. He couldn’t even sit still anymore and began to pace back and forth across the study. His heaving chest gave away just how stirred up he was as he exclaimed, “I hadn’t expected there to really be immortals in this world!”
The source of this content is n/0v//elbin[.//]net’
Just like the Fiend Emperor, he had been stuck at his current cultivation rank for a long time. Even though he had seen some historical records, as time went on, he had begun to feel that they were just made-up rumors. He had even begun to suspect that there was no path ahead for him. Now that he had learned that there were immortals after all, how could he not be moved?
Zu An quickly said, “At the time, the Fiend Emperor was also really excited, but it was because of his curiosity that he was done in… At some point, the road between heaven and man was severed. That Unknown Region also completely closed. It might not open up again for thousands of years.”
He was worried that Zhao Han would get so worked up that he would insist on visiting personally. The late Fiend Emperor was now dead, so how could the Fiend races stop him?
Of course, if the Committee of Elders worked together with the Fiend King Court’s defensive formations, they would still have a fighting chance. However, after that battle, the casualties would definitely be severe. Zu An had finally established himself a bit over there; he didn’t want all of it to be destroyed just like that.
“Road between heaven and man severed…” Zhao Han muttered, thinking about the Celestial Emperors severing heaven and earth. He continued to himself, “No wonder I wasn’t able to make any progress after so many years… but just how can I repair it and break through?”
As he talked to himself, his expression changed several times; sometimes he was overtaken by happiness, and sometimes he had a worried frown.
Zu An thought, Don’t tell me this guy really thought of a way to break through while the road between heaven and man is severed…
I’ll have really bitten off more than I can chew then.
Fortunately, Zhao Han wasn’t able to come up with any ideas for a long time, so he set aside the thought for now. He asked Zu An, “Right, what happened with the immortal medicine you mentioned?”
“That was just some trick. The only case of immortal medicine I know involved a person who ended up becoming a monster from head to toe. Calling that immortality would really be a bit forced,” Zu An said, thinking inwardly, Sure enough, this guy with one foot in the grave is also interested in this. He told the story of Yayu again. He had already practiced this story with the Fiend races’ Committee of Elders; there were no holes in his delivery.
Sure enough, Zhao Han revealed a look of disappointment and said, “So that was it.”
Then, Zhao Han asked Zu An for some more details about the secret dungeon, especially the parts related to the Fiend Emperor. Fortunately, Zu An was already prepared for all of them.
After a while, Zhao Han suddenly asked, “What happened to your cultivation? Are you really a cripple now?”
“I was injured in the secret dungeon and the Fiend King Court. I should be able to recover if I rest for a period of time,” Zu An replied ambiguously.
Zhao Han nodded. He didn’t care whether or not Zu An’s cultivation returned. In fact, if Zu An really had become a cripple, that would only leave him even more assured. He thus waved his hand, gesturing for Zu An to leave. He was very satisfied with this conversation. Even though he hadn’t really obtained anything, he had found out that there was still a path ahead. For someone like him, that was more important than anything else.
Zu An was suddenly stopped by someone not long after he left the Imperial Study. That person said, “Congratulations, Sir Zu, for being promoted to marquis.”
“So it was Eunuch Lu…” Zu An replied, recognizing the eunuch who was always at the empress’ side. The two exchanged some conventional greetings before he asked, “Huh? Why don’t I see her highness?” This guy always stuck around the empress like the most loyal bootlicker, after all. Zu An almost always saw the empress near him.
“I did not expect Sir Zu to still remember her highness,” Eunuch Lu replied, an expression of suffering mixed with expectation flashing through his eyes. “Her highness has been cultivating in a hot spring by the city outskirts for the past few days. She is waiting for Sir Zu to wish her good health.”
Zu An felt a bit of a headache when he thought of that. Empress Liu Ning was an outstanding beauty, but Zhao Han was still alive! The previous time had only been out of anger and for revenge. Only after he cooled his head had he realized that it was nothing short of dancing on the tightrope of death. One’s shoes couldn’t help but get wet if one walked by the river. Furthermore, the empress was using him for her recovery, so he couldn’t help but feel that he was losing out somehow.
He looked for a chance to refuse, but Eunuch Lu didn’t give him that opportunity, saying, “Her highness has already reminisced about Sir Zu so many times. Her patience is already at its limit. Sir Zu, please do not disappoint her highness. An angry woman is willing to do anything.”
The threat was clear.
Zu An felt as if he were like a fresh and plump Chinese cabbage that a succubus desired. He was about to say something, but Eunuch Lu seemed to have noticed something and quickly flew into the distance.
The clear and melodious sound of rings and ornaments touching each other filled the air. An elegant and refined fragrance wafted through the air, but its owner’s usually sweet-sounding voice seemed a bit cold. “There were no messages at all from Sir Zu all this time, and I thought something happened. So it was because you found something better.”
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