Four Monarchs Convene for the First Time in Ages (Part 1)
I was simultaneously impressed that Black and White Reflection finished translating all the books in a single day and depressed over the fact that I now had another debt. If I wasn’t mistaken, the scratches and creases in the books were a product of previous Kings vandalising the books when they failed to understand the ancient text. I remember Ah Neath roughly scrubbing her head and thumping her desk when she read them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my presumption was correct.
Unlike Black and White Reflection, I couldn’t read ten books in one sitting. Therefore, I started with those related to Shaman Monarch or Shaman Faith. The more I gleaned, the harder it was to resist my urge to smile. Indeed, Gegewu had no reason to be anxious.
Shaman Faith’s rule had always created a rift that clashed with the Kings’ rules. The first Shaman Monarch forced others to submit to him using his godly abilities and immense influence. No matter how many supernatural elements were used to garnish the story, it didn’t change the fact that Shaman Monarch usurped the thrones to institute a supernatural-laden dynasty. Even though Shaman Monarch was uprooted later on, their influence had already taken root in the hearts of the people, which was then passed on for generations.
There were points in the stories that needed further clarification. First off, how did Shaman Monarch suddenly lose influence when the torch was passed on to the next generation? I couldn’t find anything that provided sound justification in quaint books.
Baimu’s old texts noted that Shaman Monarch Dynasty’s downfall took place approximately six centuries ago. According to my knowledge, Xiacang Anxi was united as a single nation at that point in time. The current twelve states were just clones of the twelve states then, albeit being domains with notably different cultures. Beussent replaced the position of authority that Shaman Monarch Dynasty left behind so soon after the latter’s demise that they had to be linked.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet it was Beussent that destroyed Shaman Monarch Dynasty. Going on the assumption that my theory was correct, Shaman Monarch should hate Beussent’s descendants. Considering Gegewu’s attitude toward the twelve states, my hypothesis dovetailed his attitude.
The four monarchs arrived at Sanggongmo within two days and requested an audience with me sooner than I anticipated. Qingqiu, located the farthest away in an area known as “wild mountains” due to it being the harshest and most primitive place, should’ve arrived late, yet they somehow arrived almost at the same time as the other three.
Although the four adepts accompanying the Kings learnt different disciplines, there was no doubt they trained according to Nanjiang’s unique method based on their internal energy. There could only be one class the four belonged if they all arrived nearly at the same time, and the only explanation for why I could hear them moving about was that there were four Sacred Beasts accompanying their Kings.
“Your Majesty,” Iron Guardian called from outside.
I replied without thinking, “They want to see me, correct?”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
That’s not how you’re supposed to react in these kinds of moments! Where’s the gasp?!
I guess Iron Guardian was used to the way I operated after spending time together.
“Their sudden arrival is clearly intended to catch us off guard. Do we need to make any preparations, Your Majesty?”
“Of course not.” I chucked the book in my hand down and stepped outside of the secret room in the inn. “If they try to surprise you with an unexpected strike, use an even more unexpected strike to surprise them back.”
I kicked open the main door, startling the four Kings, who concealed their identities with plain clothing ordinary businessmen would wear, visibly plotting something together. “Hahaha, I apologise for making you wait. Take a seat. Don’t welcome me.”
Two of them quickly recomposed themselves, while the other two needed longer.
Surprisingly, the chubbiest King reacted fastest, jumping out of his seat and coming over to cheerfully shake my hand. “I should be the one apologising for not welcoming you.”
I didn’t need to be a genius to identify him as Feiyi’s King when he was almost the spitting image of their envoy and was even flashier.
I jovially ambled to my seat at the centre of the room and sent off Iron Guardian, leaving just nine of us in the room. Subsequent to some procedural conversation, I said, “I wanted to visit you individually. Unfortunately, I have been too busy. I am thankful you came to visit. Let us discuss our alliance.”
Feiyi’s King conveyed, “Your return is the most important event. We would not dare to oppose Great Spirit Shaman, so we would not dare to disregard your orders.”
“You speak in jest.” I smiled.
“There is no jesting.” The lanky, fifty year old monarch of Cheyou, who coughed yet again, asserted, “We have been victims of your Great Spirit Shaman for decades. If you want to work with us, then his termination must take precedence.”
I acknowledged with my head and then crossed my arms: “It sounds like you do not trust him, but I have quite the opinion.”
Qingqiu’s sovereign, hiding all but her smooth chin behind a mask, responded, “If Great Spirit Shaman cannot be trusted, there is even less reason to trust you.”