Chapter 1149: You Have no Right
Zhuge Changfeng smiled, “Hilarious, Prime Minister, you would take the head of a prince for the head of our Clan Head? Isn’t that a bit cheap? It’s unlike your glorious style from before.”
“Glorious? Ha-ha-ha, since you know of it, then you understand that after suffering defeat because of it, I’ll never take such a stance again.”
Baili Jingwei mocked, “I’m now very petty in fact, down to the last spirit stone. The prince is nothing, no better than a pig having just above average heritage. The rest is wastage. While Alliance Leader Luo is in the prime of his youth, his order respected, his word revered. I find giving a pig over for a future leader the deal of a lifetime!”
Zhuge Changfeng hesitated and Leng Wuchang stepped in, “Prime Minister, why have you called us here? Isn’t it to negotiate?”
“Sir Leng, yes?”
Baili Jingwei chuckled, “I heard Sir Leng’s Unwonted Contriver title, eyes piercing into the hearts of the enemy. For you to say I called you here for negotiations, then what would my terms be? If you can say what’s on my mind, I might just go with it after all, ha-ha-ha…”
Leng Wuchang frowned then smiled, “How could I fathom Sir Baili’s machinations? Sir can go ahead and say it and let us weigh them.”
“Sir Leng sure is sneaky, probing me like Sir Zhuge did. But I won’t fall for it, he-he-he…” Baili Jingwei snickered, “If Sir Leng can’t guess, then the next one. If none of you three’s answers please me, then I’ve only called you here to inform you of when to pick up the body. Bye!”
Leng Wuchang’s face darkened. Baili Jingwei was toying with them, but they could not just leave, not when Clan Head’s safety was at stake, and they had to humor him.
“Sir Baili, you can’t mean for the entire Luo Alliance to give itself to the empire?”
They all grimaced. It was the same as betraying western lands and leaving it without hope at survival.
“Oh, how interesting!”
Baili Jingwei’s eyes lit up and nodded, showing a queer smile at the grave Leng Wuchang, “Sir Leng, you said it. So tell me, is it high or low?”
Leng Wuchang frowned.
He guessed by now Baili Jingwei’s aim at getting Luo Yunhai, was to make the rest follow his whims, but by doing that, that would mean ruining all the work they had in building Luo Alliance in the western lands over the last century.
Honor and righteousness would vanish into thin air, earning everyone’s scorn as the Luo Alliance moved to the central area. And with the power established in the central area already and them having no Sword King, they would be marginalized, hardly even able to make ends meet. It was no different than setting yourself up. Saving Clan Head was important, but over such a steep condition, they needed to reconsider the rest of the people in the alliance.
Baili Jingwei chuckled at their worries, “Sir Leng, relax, there’s no way the ruination of the clan is worth Luo Yunhai’s life. Moreover, the central area has run out of space, large as it is. Settling the Luo Alliance would only bring more trouble than help, ha-ha-ha.”
Everyone eased a breath in relief. Had Baili Jingwei mentioned this term, even Luo Yunchang would’ve had to abandon Luo Yunhai to keep the family name.
Baili Jingwei smiled, “Sir You Ming is a service man of the Luo clan. Try guessing my intention. Say it right and the deal is sealed!”
You Ming pondered, “Prime Minister wants western lands, but holding Alliance Leader hostage can’t be to have the alliance take such responsibility. Maybe you intend to have our borders slackened?”
“Go on.” Baili Jingwei lit up in excitement.
You Ming continued after a pause, “Luo Alliance has been in charge of defending western lands for years. Prime Minister Baili wants western lands, thus must control its defenses. Alright, I’ll release the defense plans and the arrays’ weakness to the Prime Minister, making it easy to strike. But this deal is a one time thing!”
“Marvelous!” Baili Jingwei shouted and slapped the table.
Luo Yunchang said, “That’s your term?”
Baili Jingwei shouted with the same joy, eying the great minds with scorn, “Just how on earth did you even contend with Zhuo Fan is beyond me? Can’t you see what I want? Like I said, the order is given and all lands know it now. Changing it halfway will question my authority. You have to give me a very good reason to release him for that.”
“Then what do you want?”
“For the Luo Alliance to cooperate in helping take western lands.” Baili Jingwei spoke solemnly.
They all gasped.
[Work together to take western lands? That’s worse than death. That’s a revolt, betrayal, regicide!]
Forget about the Luo Alliance’s righteous name, it could never raise its hands against its old friends in the western lands.
Luo Yunchang’s face twitched, “No, absolutely not. Yunhai would never agree to this. He values honor above all else. Learning the Luo Alliance he nurtured turned into a shiv to stab his friends would break him!”
“Young miss Luo, you’re wrong. In this world, everyone is at each other’s throat. By not killing them, they’ll kill you. You can’t accept striking them, but they would not hesitate to do it.”
Baili Jingwei smiled and worked his charm, “Remember how Alliance Leader Luo ended up in my custody? Discarded, cast out by the whole of western lands. You’re too strong and the leaders disdain you, wanting you out of the picture, missing only an excuse. Sure, I used a cheap trick, but if western lands had protected you, I’d have never gotten Alliance Leader Luo. In other words, casting blame was just the spar, for the ones who truly want the end of the Luo Alliance are those bastards in western lands. Yet you’re still thinking it over?”
Luo Yunchang wavered.
Baili Jingwei straightened and mocked, “Alliance Leader Luo is now with me and everyone knows I have you in my palm. You really think western lands will trust you? Those old bastards know better than anyone just how dangerous any faction whose leader is taken hostage is. But with your clout, they can’t touch you, yet, though they will wear you down, turning you into a shell of your former selves. By then, you’ll be nothing but dead meat.”
“We may lose our power, but we can’t lose our conscience…”
“Do you even have it? Do they have it?”
Baili Jingwei sneered, “I still have Alliance Leader Luo with me, set to die a month from now. And when I up and postpone it, what do you think the western lands will think? They’ll believe we struck a deal and would see you as spies. You could say anything you want at that point, for your old friends would still point their blades at you, the same ones you hate to kill now. Your honor would be stained all the same, turned into wretched traitors.”
All shuddered, looking at Baili Jingwei with hatred and fear.
Baili Jingwei chuckled at their obvious thoughts, “Don’t look at me like that, I’m doing you a favor here. You just have to help me take western lands and you’ll be its rulers. It’s only natural. Alliance Leader Luo doesn’t need to die and I’ll declare it to be an elaborate scheme. We will work together to unify the lands and reach the top. You’ll then be made high officials and not traitors, entering written in history books as winners. In short, your betrayal will be washed away.”
Everyone had long faces.
Luo Yunchang shook all over.
“Prime Minister Baili, would you allow our young miss time to consider a reply?” Zhuge Changfeng proposed, left with no other choice.
Baili Jingwei nodded, “Sure, I’ll be here ten more days, awaiting the good news. Though better work fast, for your Alliance Leader is a goner in a month.”
“We know!” Zhuge Changfeng nodded and helped Luo Yunchang out.
Baili Jingwei had one last thing to say though, “Masterminds, did you really fight with Zhuo Fan?”
“You never had the right.” Baili Jingwei mocked.
The three darkened, opting to leave in oppressive silence…