Four Dragon Heads and One Human Head
As they came, so they left. The four sovereigns departed without fanfare just as they arrived after the brief meeting. Sanggongmo’s cogs continued to turn as it had been for ages, oblivious to the pivotal day’s involvement in their future.
Iron and Wood Guardians could give rank eleven and twelve on Seventeen Hidden Dragons a run for their money, and they also knew Nanjiang inside and out because Great Spirit Shaman had to rely on them to do his legwork. They didn’t switch allegiance to Ming Feizhen because he was great. They switched sides because Great Spirit Shaman was contemptible. Hence, although they reserved respect for Ming Feizhen, they weren’t remotely loyal.
While Tengji called Ming Feizhen his “Big Bro”, a bandit doesn’t just discard the banditry side of him overnight. The good part about Tengji was that he was a man who could set things down if he could pick them up; he’d turn to whoever held the shiny ball. He and his brothers were closer to partners of Ming Feizhen rather than subordinates.
The one thousand five hundred followers of Shaman Faith were practically Ming Feizhen’s private military; they could be considered Night Fortress’ equivalent when he actively operated it. That being said, nobody could say for certain if they’d hold the same undying loyalty to him once he was no longer Shaman Monarch since they were principally faithful to the faith. As such, he couldn’t establish himself as someone for them to model. Consequently, some news of the day’s event leaked to White Cleric.
By the time White Cleric returned from his task to draft an edited tax system, he found Ming Feizhen had raised his own forces as well as earned the loyalty of Iron and Wood Guardians. White Cleric wasn’t in a position to directly depose of Ming Feizhen or anything of that nature. Therefore, he continued secretly collecting information whilst touching base with Mount Wanyu. Originally, he planned to wait for Great Spirit Shaman to speak up, but news of the four monarchs’ visit sent him sprinting off to Ming Feizhen.
“How could you do that?! Are you trying to turn Xiacang Anxi on its head?!”
Ming Feizhen continued reading one of the books on his lap, disregarding White Cleric’s fuming.
White Cleric didn’t need to be told to know that Ming Feizhen was pulling stunts. Else, how could he have accomplished so much within a month? He just couldn’t stand it anymore when even Shaman Monarch Palace was in jeopardy, yet Ming Feizhen was just lazing in his seat.
“You wretched rapscallion, do you know you just smite four monarchs of four states?! There’s never been such a ruthless, vicious nutcase in all of Xiacang Anxi history! Y-you are now Shaman Faith’s leader! How dare you do something so inane?! You think you’re invincible just because you’ve got some might to swing around? You’re piss!
“You think a state’s fate is tied to its sovereign alone? Ignorant fool! It’s the bureaucracy that runs a state. A sovereign may be at the helm, but they can be replaced. You think it’s up to one person to protect a royal family’s centuries of history? It’d take them less than ten days to elect a new King and then sortie to avenge their former King! Have you any idea what the reprisal for killing a monarch is?! Who can stop an alliance of four states, you crazy imbecile?!”
It went without saying that Shaman Monarch Palace had been having fun with restricting, isolating and removing in every state for the last couple of decades. Otherwise, Great Spirit Shaman wouldn’t wield so much power in spite of never leaving the mountain. Regardless of how much authority they were empowered with, nonetheless, they needed to pull strings behind the scenes if they wanted to change the individual at the top of a state. Should they publicly switch the ruler and the ruler wasn’t useful, then all the effort would’ve been for naught. Ah Neath was a prime example. If she wasn’t easy to manipulate and isolate, would she still be alive?
Ming Feizhen yawned as he rubbed his eyes.
This guy is nuts! Crazy! Insane!
“You! You! Oh, I get it! Y-you think this doesn’t have anything to do with you? You think you can just walk away? That’s the height of naïvety! We have already drawn your portrait. Should any mishap befall us, the four states will stop at nothing to bury you in misery.”
White Cleric started to harbour ill-will as he watched Ming Feizhen continue at his own pace. “You think I’ve been hibernating all this time? Haven’t you or your two Divine Consorts noticed your dinner tastes a little on the sweet side? Great Spirit Shaman was the one who supplied me with the poison that the last Poison Guardian concocted. It’s concocted from the body liquids of a notoriously violent snake species foreign to Xiacang Anxi. The next full moon you see will be your last if you don’t take the antidote.”
Ming Feizhen turned the page.
“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll write an announcement right now, stating you are the sole individual responsible. Else, I’ll destroy the antidote, and you can watch your two Divine Consorts suffer as you die a horrible death.”
Ming Feizhen lifted an arm and flicked a finger.
Thud! Based off the sound alone, it wouldn’t be strange for someone to assume a potato just dropped onto the ground.
Ming Feizhen never took his eyes off the page, but his eyes gradually turned red as the smell of blood from the severed head on the ground permeated the room. At the same time, the corners of his lips crept up.
Reports of Qingqiu, Feiyi, Cheyou and Chiyi’s monarchs passing away successively followed each other. Virtually every state military in Nanjiang marched on Mount Wanyu. The spark that would escalate into an inferno spawned five days later.
Four dragon heads – I know Qingqiu’s monarch is a Queen, but the “dragon” in this context is just being used to denote sovereigns, not gender.