Chapter 80: Elimination
Time flew by. In the blink of an eye, another few months had passed.
Su Chen had already been in Clear River City for over a year.
During this period of time, Su Chen’s reputation as the Knowledge Executor had spread far and wide. Everyone in Clear River City knew exactly who he was.
Correspondingly, the influence of the Bloodline Nobility Clans had been weakened.
The world was just this cruel. The rise of one party was often established on the decline of another. Using the opponent’s corpses as stepping stones for one’s own rise to power was a story that didn’t change for thousands of years.
Of course, the Clear River City Bloodline Nobility Clans weren’t finished yet. Even though they were being frustrated, their foundation hadn’t been destroyed yet and their core was still intact. Even so, their branches and leaves had been pruned by Su Chen to a certain extent.
The best example of this was that whenever people saw Su Chen on the streets, they would all bow to him and pay their respects to him, greeting him as the Bureau Head.
Yes, Su Chen was now the Bureau Head.
This time, An Siyuan didn’t let those Bloodline Nobility Clans succeed in their scheme and snagged the spot of Bureau Head for Su Chen.
In truth, not many people wanted to become Su Chen’s superior anymore – not even a year, and two of them had been killed. Was there anything more threatening than that?
As a result, the situation in Clear River City became quite complex.
Su Chen had ascended, but the Bloodline Nobility Clans had yet to topple. Both sides were locked in a standstill, acting cautiously around each other and restricting each other.
On the water, however, some things could be restrained for so long.
Not long before, the Third River Army had fought another large battle with the Jade Mountain Army.
In fact, they fought with the Jade River Army plus half of the Qingyuan Army – the Black River Army hadn’t been able to keep watch over them and had allowed some of the Qingyuan Army’s individuals for help.
However, both Su Chen and Zhou Juanjia were aware that it wasn’t that the Black River Army couldn’t keep watch over them, but that they had purposefully allowed it to happen to place some pressure on the Third River Army.
In the past half year, the Third River Army had suddenly risen in power, making a lot of people uneasy, including the Black River Army. Even though they had a temporary alliance with the Third River Army, if Jade Mountain and Qingyuan Army were to suddenly collapse, Black River and Third River would probably be next in line.
As such, the Black River Army attempted to incite battles between the Third River Army and Jade Mountain Army while simultaneously allowing Qingyuan to assist in the battle, weakening Third River Army’s influence.
Even though Zhou Juanjia knew that this was their ploy, she still accepted it.
That was because they were about to return to the Hidden Dragon Institute.
Zhou Juanjia and Tang Ming were both students a grade lower than Su Chen.
Now that Su Chen had been in Clear River City for a year, it was time for Zhou Juanjia and Tang Ming to graduate.
For the past half a year, they had been doing “field work” in Clear River City and had obtained a perfect examination paper. Regardless of whether they wanted to or not, it was time for them to return and report on the completion of their mission.
Before they returned to the Institute, Su Chen planned out this final battle with Zhou Juanjia and Tang Ming.
This water battle was extremely bitter.
The Third River Army fought with the Jade Mountain and Qingyuan Armies. The blood of countless pirates dyed the water scarlet. In the end, the Third River Army, with their more powerful combat frigates, the Devilish Crocodile, and the fish-men were victorious.
Before they were even able to recover the spoils, the Black River Army brazenly attacked.
The Third River Army acted like they had fallen victim to the trap and fled in a panic, leaving the Devilish Crocodile behind.
After the matter, the Black River Army captain Shi Duanzhang slayed the Devilish Crocodile personally, causing his prestige to skyrocket.
The Third River Army was defeated shortly after their victory and paid the “tragic” price of the Devilish Crocodile, quietly retreating…… Jade Mountain and Qingyuan Armies were defeated, and the Bloodline Nobility Clans were sure to be infuriated. Let the Black River Army suffer the wrath of those old freaks.
As for the Devilish Crocodile, it truly was too shockingly large for Zhou Juanjia to take it back with her to the Hidden Dragon Institute. In addition, its ability to fight on land was poor, so there was no point in taking it with her anyways. Rather, it could serve as a “price of defeat” that needed to be paid to convince their opponents.
After the massive battle at Lingyuan Marsh, the end result was the downfall of the Jade Mountain, Qingyuan, and Third River Armies, leaving behind the Black River Army as the sole remaining powerful branch of pirates.
On this day, hundreds of Black River Army pirates gathered at the public square in the middle of the Black River Army’s headquarters, River Smoke Island, lighting bonfires and drinking in celebration.
At the very front of the square, Shi Duanzhang sat atop his tiger-skin-covered chair, pouring wine for himself into a cup made out of a cow’s bone. He looked just like a barbarian that had walked out from some forested mountain range. His body was extremely muscular, and his face was densely covered with hair. Beneath his feet was a nine-ringed massive machete. A beautiful woman dressed in embroidered clothes stood behind him, massaging his shoulders for him.
Shi Duanzhang, upon seeing the pirates below him laughing in celebration, yelled, “Let’s drink! Today, we aren’t going to bed until we get drunk!”
A pirate took the opportunity and yelled, “We aren’t going to bed until we get drunk!”
“We aren’t going to bed until we get drunk!” the crowd of pirates chanted in response.
“Long live Black River!”
“Long live Black River!”
“Captain is unrivalled!”
“Captain is unrivalled!”
Every yell from the front of the square resulted in a thunderous echo from below. The square was virtually bubbling with activity.
“Long live Black River, Captain is unrivalled…… Hehe, is it worth getting dizzy with success over just a single victorious battle?” A voice suddenly spoke up at this moment.
The voice wasn’t loud, but it clearly suppressed the clamor within the square, as if there was someone speaking directly into the ears of every person in the square.
Shi Duanzhang’s expression shifted. “Who’s acting all sneakily over there? Come out!”
“You dare say I’m acting sneakily? Good, very good! Indeed, I haven’t been out and about so long that any rascal dares overlook my existence,” an old voice said from above.
The pirates looked up in amazement, only to find an old man floating in the air above them.
He floated above them calmly, dressed in grey robes. His countenance was not particularly eye-catching; actually, it was even a bit vulgar and off-putting.
Even so, this old man with a bit of a vulgar appearance was giving everyone present a huge shock.
“Light Shaking Realm!” Shi Duanzhang yelled in shock.
Only a Light Shaking Realm cultivator could float in midair without the assistance of any other skills or techniques.
The old man stood in midair, staring coldly at Shi Duanzhang.
Shi Duanzhang finally realized something. “Senior, please, before you do anything, listen to me……”
The old man sighed, “What is there for you to say? It’ll just be those excuses anyways. My making a rare excursion out isn’t so I can hear your excuses. Lingyuan Marsh is not a place you can afford to monopolize; since you are already the biggest force yet are unwilling to submit, then you can disappear.”
“No, my ancestor……”
“I know who your clan ancestor is. His name can preserve you alive, but it’s best if the Black River Army disappears.
As the old man spoke, he waved his hand. A massive palm descended from the sky, rushing at the ground.
“RUN!” Everyone present began to flee in disarray, totally losing their composure.
Of course, there were also a few who refused to yield. Even at this moment, they yelled, “Fight the enemy!”
What awaited them was the massive palm descending from heaven, smashing them into paste with a single blow.
The sound of thunderous booms erupted over the island.
The frighteningly massive palm that descended from heaven like it had come from a god was like a plow digging furrows in the ground, totally uprooting the influence of the Black River Army.
In the time it took a stick of incense to burn, not a single person was left on River Smoke Island apart from Shi Duanzhang.
The ground was littered with corpses that had been smashed into bloody bits and pieces.
The existence floating high in the sky, like a god, had easily wiped out everything, fully demonstrating what high-level strength looked like.
After the old man had done this, he disappeared like the wind, leaving Shi Duanzhang all alone.
“They’re all dead…… all dead……” Shi Duanzhang stared blankly at everything in front of him. The words that he had declared before leaving his clan surfaced in his mind.
“I don’t want to rely on my clan’s power. I want to rely on myself to seize a great land for myself!”
“Silly child, you don’t understand. Influence is all vain; only power is truly long-lasting. Influence is just to facilitate our collection of resources so that we can strengthen and serve ourselves. Using influence to increase strength is the right way to do things, but what you want to do is putting the cart before the horse.”
“No, I don’t believe it!”
“Then go and do it, young man. Some things you can only realize once you have suffered a little. But don’t worry, my old face should be able to protect you as long as you don’t go and provoke someone even I wouldn’t dare to provoke. When you have failed in the outside world, come on home.”
The conversation that had taken place in the past now rang clearly in his ears. Shi Duanzhang finally understood and was clear.
What the ancestor said was correct. What he was chasing was merely vanity in the first place.
Now that his dream had been shattered and he was clear, it was time for him to return.
Shi Duanzhang stood on the island for a long time before finally coming to his senses.
He sighed, then turned around to leave.
Just at that moment, a voice floated toward him. “No matter what, they followed you for such a long time. Even if you’re going to give up on your base, you should at least lay their bodies to rest, shouldn’t you?”
“Who is it?” Shi Duanzhang turned around with shock.
A shadow slowly walked out of the darkness.
The demonic mask he was wearing glinted by the light of the fire.
“Demon Face?” Shi Duanzhang was stunned.
Of course he knew who the Third River Army’s Demon Face was. But why would that person appear here?
The visitor placed his right hand on the mask and slowly pulled it off, revealing the face of a youth beneath it.
Shi Duanjiang hadn’t expected the visitor to remove his mask in front of himself. “You……”
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Su Chen, the current Bureau Head of the Clear River City’s Origin Bureau,” Su Chen said.
Of course Shi Duanzhang had heard this name before. He was an enemy of the Bloodline Nobility Clans just like him.
But he wasn’t so naive to believe that Su Chen was his friend because of this. Rather, Su Chen’s act of taking off his mask gave him a sense of imminent danger.
“What are you here for?”
Su Chen sighed. “Naturally, it’s to make sure Sir Shi stays here as well. The Black River Army is already wiped out, so there’s not much point for Sir Shi to remain on his own, is there? After all, a dead Sir Shi is more valuable than an alive one.”
“You think you have the ability?”
“Yes, I do!” Su Chen reached out his left hand. A swath of black flames began to sweep forward……