Chapter 1568: Tough to Even Advance a Single Step
Qin Wentian stared at the butler and continued, “Bring me to the file room.”
“Yes, Governor.” That butler nodded. After that, he led Qin Wentian over. This room was very large and there were many scrolls of information within. Qin Wentian sat down as he quietly read on, his expression growing more and more unsightly as time went by.
Only then did he understand that this governor’s position was just a nice-sounding title but it had no substance to it.
Lifire City didn’t have the position of city lord. There was a grand governor and all the five governors were supposed to report to him. The grand governor was the direct subordinate of the Lifire Empyrean and he held immense authority and power.
The five governors were responsible for everything in their respective regions, including resource management. In Lifire City, every building was recorded as an asset. Even if someone bought it, the new owner still had to pay taxes every ten years as a tribute to the Lifire Palace. For example, the inns, restaurants, transaction grounds, auctions, etc… All of them had to pay even more tribute, and the timing was the same – once every ten years.
The five governors’ main responsibilities are to protect the safety of the city. Nobody can commit crimes within here or the governors had the authority to deal with them according to the strict laws of the city.
In other words, it means that the five governors would be the one to blame if there was trouble in their region. Just the northern city region alone was incomparably vast. Qin Wentian casually flipped through the information scrolls and could already see countless powers formed of experts. In his manor, there were actually only three other people, a butler and two serving girls. There were also merely 3,000 subordinates out there, and the three vice governors weren’t even here. This was simply a terrible mess.
Qin Wentian recalled some of the main cities in the Azure Mystic Immortal Realms. An example was the Southern Phoenix Immortal City, it did share some similarities with Lifire City. These main cities all prohibited killing and safety was their number one priority. This was the reason why many experts would feel at ease to settle their clans here and to establish businesses, causing the city to grow more prosperous, forming a cycle of virtue. The larger a city was, the more people would come to it. Eventually, after some generations, those powerful clans might even become aristocrats.
The Evil Emperor was here as well, he followed Qin Wentian into the file room and was in his human form. His sturdy figure contained an explosive strength. Before the Night Empyrean and Ye Qianyu, he had always appeared in his beast form. But now after the Night Empyrean’s death and Ye Qianyu’s capture, he was no longer subservient to anyone. Hence, he decided to be in human-form as it would be more convenient to move about.
“The Lifire Palace is truly wealthy. Hmph.” The Evil Emperor snorted coldly. Ignoring the fact that the Lifire Palace had numerous stretches of territories under its control, just this Lifire City alone would have to hand over an astronomical amount of tributes every ten years.
The Lifire Palace was already so wealthy. One could very well imagine how rich the Realmlord was. However, as one grows stronger, their need for cultivation resources would also be magnified greatly. The stronger someone is, the more resources they would need. No wonder those supreme characters would contend against each other to gain control of a territory.
If one ascended to the Lifelong Realmlord’s position, they didn’t even need to do anything and simply had to wait for their subordinates to turn in the cultivation resources. That person who became a Realmlord, could just relax and concentrate fully on his cultivation.
“The responsibilities of being the governor are truly not so easy to fulfil. This is especially so for the northern region. I finally understand why Governor Meng was so eager to hand over his position.” Qin Wentian commented faintly.
“How could there be such an easy thing in the world? For all tributes given by the powers in the northern region, you as the governor can retain 10% for your own personal storage, doing what you want to with it. You must know that for the plunder from ordinary bandits, their accumulated wealth from the heists they conducted, is all far inferior to the wealth of a single governor.” The Evil Emperor replied.
“There are too many random and troublesome matters here. This territory is truly in chaos, and as the governor of it, how can I cultivate in peace?” Qin Wentian mumbled. He understood that the most important matter to him currently, was still cultivation. However, the Lifire Empyrean purposely gave him this position. Could it be that he didn’t want Qin Wentian to have any peace and quiet to cultivate?
“That butler earlier seemed to know plenty of things but he is afraid to speak up. Let me ask him for you.” The Evil Emperor cast a glance at the butler who stood outside the door. Qin Wentian knew about the abilities of the Evil Emperor. He nodded, “Sure, please help me to question him. It would be more direct if you do it.”
A demonic gleam flashed in the Evil Emperor’s eyes. Very swiftly, the eyes of the butler flickered with a green demonic light. His gaze turned vacant and the Evil Emperor started to ask questions. Very soon, Qin Wentian learned of many things he wanted to know as the expression on his face grew increasingly heavy.
The Jialan Clan actually had enough wealth to contend against the Lifire Empyrean. In fact, even the empyrean himself might not be as wealthy as them. The Jialan Clan owns countless businesses in the boundlessly vast Lifire City, they were controlling the businesses in the dark. Not only so, other than the north, they also had influence in the other regions, gaining huge amounts of profit through many transaction grounds and shops which they controlled. This resulted in experts being as common as the clouds in the Jialan Clan, they also recruited a countless number of guest elders, building up their strength.
In the northern city region, the Jialan Clan could do anything they wanted and many people in the governor’s manor were long bribed by them. Whoever dares to go against the Jialan Clan, they would surely have many methods to play you to death. Nobody would be able to investigate. Everything in the Lifire Palace would be done according to the rules. Although everyone knows deep in their hearts that the deaths of some governors were done by the Jialan Clan, even the Lifire Empyrean couldn’t touch them if there was no proof.
Also, given that the Jialan Clan were in control of many of the factions of power here, they could constantly hide in the shadows and wouldn’t leave any clues. Sometimes, even if you found the true killer, all further connections would be severed at that stage. There was no way to link the investigation to the Jialan Clan.
But if this was merely the case, what capabilities does the Jialan Clan have to contend against the Lifire Empyrean? They were still within the Lifire Palace’s territories.
According to the old butler, there are some rumors saying that the Jialan Clan even has some supporters who are very close to the Lifelong Realmlord standing behind them. In fact, there was one who once fought against the Lifire Empyrean for the position of the Lifire Palace Lord. Hence, the Jialan Clan and the Lifire Empyrean have always set themselves against each other. This was considered an open secret.
Using rules as a coverage, the Jialan Clan challenged the Lifire Palace countless times. As for the Lifire Palace, they wanted to borrow Qin Wentian and Ye Qianyu’s bandit group to give a harsh lesson to the Jialan Monarch. Naturally, they did everything under the coverage of laws as well. The Lifire Empyrean could not possible openly take the initiative to act against the Jialan Monarch. If not, if his actions were reported to the Realmlord, what would the Realmlord think of him?
Hence, all conflict happened in the darkness, within the scope of the rules.
And now, he Qin Wentian entered this hidden battle, becoming a chess piece for the Lifire Empyrean who gave him the position of the northern governor.
Qin Wentian also understood why there were only three servants left here and all three of them were only at the immortal-foundation realm. Because there were no others who were willing to work for the governor.
After he gave leave for the butler to go, the one of the two serving girls came by to report their news. Qin Wentian summoned her in, “What’s the matter?”
“Governor, there are some info reports from the external manor area saying that there are some people making trouble in the northern region and they are requesting help from our governor’s manor.” The serving girl spoke.
“What’s the matter exactly?” Qin Wentian asked.
“Injury, theft, plunder, creating a disturbance…there are all sorts of issues.” That serving girl lowered her head.
“Is there a need to report these minor matters to me? Don’t the people below me knows how to handle them?” Qin Wentian glanced at the serving girl as he asked. If the people below him couldn’t even handle such matters, why did he need them for? This would be akin to the nine monarchs being unable to handle the matters of their respective territories and told the Lifire Empyrean to handle their problems. If the Lifire Empyrean couldn’t handle it too, does it mean that he would report upwards and let the Lifelong Realmlord handle it?
“They say they don’t dare to act out of their own initiative and wish to consult with sir governor first. Also…”
“Just tell me what they say directly.”
“Also, the time for tax collection is near. If things remain unsettled, those people might use these as excuses to avoid paying the tributes at that time.” The serving girl spoke in a low voice. Qin Wentian nodded, “You can leave first. Help me to relay my command, summon the three vice governors to come and see me.”
“Yes.” That serving girl nodded and left. Coldness flickered in Qin Wentian’s eyes. How fast did they move? He just assumed the governor’s role and there are already so many matters waiting for him to settle. Clearly, his enemies are all well prepared.
“Evil Emperor, can I use the people from the Thousand Feathers Palace?” Qin Wentian glanced at the Evil Emperor beside him as he asked.
“Palace mistress is currently locked up. If it wasn’t for your compromise, the Thousand Feathers Palace would have already been finished. Just give the order on behalf of her. It’s just that, do you really plan to become an effective chess piece for the Lifire Empyrean? If you really think this is useful, I can tell you straight that he would never release palace mistress.” The Evil Emperor spoke.
“But at the very least, as long as we are willing to be used by him, nothing will happen to Qianyu.” Qin Wentian stared into the horizons, his eyes gleaming with coldness. He naturally understood that if he wanted to save Ye Qianyu, he cannot live under the control of the Lifire Empyrean forever. If not, there would forever not be a chance to rescue Ye Qianyu.
In one of the more lavish restaurants in the northern city, inside an ancient-looking hall, a group of females dressed in a provocative style was dancing while exuding elegance. A maiden in the center was robed in translucent white, playing the zither. Her snow-white skin was faintly discernible and the melody was exceptionally beautiful as well. There was a veil covering her face, but that only added to her sense of beauty.
Up ahead, there were many people sitting here, admiring the dance and music. One of them laughed, “Fairy Yu is getting more and more beautiful.”
“Indeed.” Another one laughed. “Oh, did you guys receive the report by our attendants? That new governor is summoning us to meet with him.”
“Yes, I did receive it.” The person next to him nodded. “What do you two plan to do?”
The man in the lead had eyes that glowed with spirit. He was still staring at the beauty playing the zither as a faint smile appeared on his face. It was like he didn’t hear the question.
“Brother Zhao, what is your opinion?” One of the other two asked.
“There’s no need to give a damn.” Vice Governor Zhao laughed, his words causing the eyes of the person who asked to flash as that person continued, “The new governor’s name is called Qin Wentian, he is someone sent here personally by the Lifire Empyrean. I heard that the Jialan Monarch suffered greatly in his hands. His combat prowess is extraordinary, able to kill mid-stage immortal emperors easily. Should we be more cautious? I feel it would be better if we respond to his summons.”
“Vice Governor Lu, the people of the world love to spread rumors, greatly exaggerating the truth of matters. So what even if his combat prowess is high? If the three of us join forces, what can he do to us? Let’s ignore him for a period of time until he really needs us urgently. At that time, he himself would personally come and seek us out. Now, he wants to summon us over with just a sentence? Does he really think that he is a real governor?” Vice Governor Zhao coldly laughed.
The third vice governor who was also the youngest one, had a faint smile on his face. He didn’t say anything. Some things, it was enough for them to have a tacit mutual understanding, there was no need to put it into words. They have long received news from the Jialan Clan about this.