As Zhou Yuan’s voice resounded within the great hall, Liu Hou became ashen faced and unable to speak for some time. After all, no one would have imagined that Zhou Yuan would actually obtain the support of Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King.
A flash of understanding struck everyone as they recalled Zhou Yuan’s earlier words. No wonder Qi Yuan did not dare to linger in Great Zhou City, he had already known all of this information regarding Zhou Yuan.
It was indeed true that Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King working together was enough to ensure Qi Yuan was unable to leave the city.
Zhou Yuan calmly said, “In Blackwater, Qi Yuan sent Qi Hao to vie with me for the Fire Spirit Grain. They ultimately failed, Qi Hao lost his life at my hands, and I obtained the support of general Wei and the Black Venom King. Qi Yuan was forced to rebel because he knew this.”
Everyone was dumbstruck. After all that had happened, it turned out that king Qi had been forced into rebelling by Zhou Yuan.
But this made sense once one started to think about it. With the aid of Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King, the royal clan’s power had practically multiplied and there was no way that they would continue to tolerate Qi Manor’s existence. If king Qi did not want to sit and wait for death, the only option he had was rebellion.
“But… just how did he do it?”
The hearts of the many ministers and military leaders shook as they looked towards Zhou Yuan’s rather young face. To think that the Wei Canglan issue that had troubled Zhou Qing for numerous years had been so easily resolved by Zhou Yuan.
It was really inconceivable.
Liu Hou’s heart was akin to a churning sea as he gazed at the calm face of the young man. A sliver of regret suddenly arose within him, regret due to the marriage Zhou Qing had proposed between Zhou Yuan and his daughter Liu Xi.
Though nothing had come out of it due to Liu Xi’s vehement disagreement, it must be said that at that point in time, Liu Hou himself was not optimistic about the future of the royal clan and Zhou Yuan.
Thus, he ultimately allowed and made use of Liu Xi’s objection to refuse the marriage.
Yet, the one whom they had not been optimistic about had undergone an almost magical transformation in less than a year. Not only had he defeated Qi Yue, taking the number one spot in the Great Zhou Institute’s class ranking exam, he had now even managed to gain the support of Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King through some unknown method.
How could an ordinary person achieve such feats?
In the great hall, Zhou Qing finally returned to his senses after a period of shock. He immediately looked towards Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King and said, “Please rise. With your help, the Great Zhou Empire will definitely eliminate the rebels!”
The originally low morale that had blanketed the hall soared at this moment as the many military officers began to volunteer themselves one after another. It seemed that their morale would be rather high for some time.
With the support of great general Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King, the Great Zhou Empire’s power now surpassed Qi Manor.
Upon seeing that the morale had recovered, Zhou Qing’s face looked much better. His gaze swept across the great hall as a strong voice rang out, “From today onwards, the Great Zhou Empire begin to prepare for war. The imperial guard will take charge of Great Zhou City and send out scouts to observe every movement of those rebels Qi Manor!”
His eyes fell upon Liu Hou before he continued in an icy voice, “As for Liu Hou, you will not be allowed to leave your residence over this period of time.”
It was obvious that he intended to confine Liu Hou. Moreover, it was easy to imagine how Zhou Qing would begin to purge the Great Zhou Empire of Qi Manor’s spies, some of whom were currently present and would likely not be able to escape.
Liu Hou’s face was deathly pale. He knew that it was all over for the Liu family.
Zhou Qing’s decisiveness and ruthlessness caused the atmosphere in the great hall to become somewhat heavy.
“All other military officers will guard their current allocated areas. We will not allow the Great Zhou Empire’s land to be taken!” Zhou Qing’s solemn voice boomed in the hall.
A series of respectful responses emerged within the hall.
After he had given his instructions, Zhou Qing allowed everyone to leave while making sure to send someone to prepare accomodations for Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King.
The hall suddenly became rather empty. Zhou Qing and Zhou Yuan were the only ones who remained.
Zhou Qing looked at the slender youth in the hall, happiness overflowing in his eyes. He walked towards Zhou Yuan and gently patted the latter’s shoulders. “Yuan’er, I really have to thank you this time.”
If Zhou Yuan had not gained the support of Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King, the only option left would be a battle to the death with king Qi.
Zhou Yuan grinned. “Father has shouldered such a huge burden for so many years, it is only right for me to help ease it a little.”
How could he not know Zhou Qing’s pains. The Great Wu Empire’s rebellion from many years ago had shattered the dignity of the royal clan. Even though they had managed to painstakingly preserve the Great Zhou Empire, it was not so easy to recover the lost dignity.
In such a situation, the royal clan would naturally fall into a decline. If it was not for Zhou Qing’s bitter persistence, their clan would have disappeared long ago.
For the sake of the Great Zhou Empire’s safety, he had given in time and time again to the unreasonable Qi Manor, swallowing all the terrible resultant feelings into the pits of his stomach without even the slightest grumble.
As he gazed at Zhou Yuan, even the eyes of someone like Zhou Qing could not help but turn a little red as he mumbled. “Yuan’er has finally grown up.”
“Father, since Qi Yuan still dares to rebel even after finding out that I have gained the support of Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King, it is likely that he has something to fall back on. We must take precautions against this.” Zhou Yuan expression turned a little grave as he cautioned.
Zhou Qing nodded. “If I am not wrong, I’m afraid that the Great Wu Empire has given him a tremendous amount of support.”
Zhou Yuan’s eyes seemed to turn as deep as the night. “I’ve heard that news of my performance during the class ranking exam has reached the ears of the Great Wu Empire’s crown prince. It is because he cannot be bothered to personally deal with this that he seeks to borrow king Qi’s hand to eliminate me.”
Zhou Qing gnashed his teeth as murder flashed in his eyes. “Don’t worry Yuan’er. With Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King on our side, the royal clan now possess three Alpha-Origin experts, a force powerful enough to control the situation.”
Zhou Yuan chuckled upon hearing this. “It is more accurate to say five.”
Zhou Qing was taken aback.
Thus, Zhou Yuan told Zhou Qing about Yaoyao and Tuntun.
“If not for Yaoyao and Tuntun, I’m afraid that we will not have been able to subdue the Black Venom King and even Wei Canglan might not have bothered with this rebellion.”
Truthfully speaking, subjugating Wei Canglan and the Black Venom King had been done through force. The only difference was that Wei Canglan’s situation had been gentler, while the Black Venom King’s direct and rough.
Zhou Qing sighed. “Yaoyao is truly the benefactor of our Zhou clan. I really do not know how we will be able to repay her.”
Zhou Yuan smiled. “If father wishes to thank big sis Yaoyao, give her all of the good alcohol you have been saving. I’m sure that she will be very happy.”
A small smile emerged on Zhou Qing’s lips. “Okay, they will be given to her.”
Father and son exchanged a look and burst out into laughter.
After laughing for a while, Zhou Yuan raised his head and looked outside the hall into the distance, where black clouds seemed to be gathering as he slowly said, “Don’t worry father, the Great Zhou Empire will be fine.”
“I was too young back then, and could only allow both of you to protect me without being able to do anything myself. But it’s different now…”
“Now, if they still dare to do anything, they will have to first ask if I agree.”
The smile on Zhou Yuan’s face seemed to contain an endless frostiness.
“All that they’ve taken away will sooner or later be taken back by us…”
“And now, we will begin with Qi Manor…”