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The Empress’s Gigolo (Web Novel) - Chapter 764: Nibbling Away

Chapter 764: Nibbling Away

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

How was it possible that nobody realized the disappearance of several thousand people?

Where did these people come from?

Why didn’t the neighboring villages realize that something was amiss?

If Ren Baqian hadn’t brought this matter up, the empress wouldn’t even have thought of it. Upon mentioning it, the empress immediately realized the severity of this problem.

“What is your opinion?” the empress asked while looking gloomy.

“First of all, we have to clear up certain things.” Ren Baqian frowned and pondered before he started voicing out his conjecture.

“Firstly, what is the lifespan of these herdsmen? In those villages that we have been to, the jade-waisted slaves had already entered the villager’s bodies for more than ten years, but they still hadn’t fully matured into their final forms yet. This means that they require at least 20 years of cultivation to fully developed

If so, how long have these herdsmen been cultivating the jade-waisted slaves and forests? 60,000 lives might seem like a lot, but if the cultivation process has already taken 100 years or more, then the number of people who have disappeared each year would be significantly reduced. Even so, the yearly disappearance of 6000 people on average isn’t a small number either.

Secondly, these jade-waisted slaves are food used for consumption. How fast are they being used up? The numbers that I have just mentioned are calculated based on the current total number.

After factoring in more than 100 years of consumption, the numbers would be greater and would total around one million or even two million people.”

At this point in time, the empress was already looking extremely unhappy.

Ren Baqian’s words suddenly made her realize that the aboriginals were like livestock being raised here. Her people were like the fork-horned cows and jumping goats that were herded in the wild.

“Thirdly and most importantly, how many herdsmen are there exactly? There are about 30 of them in this group, but according to what Bor said, they will lose their childhood memories when they become adults. This also means that the herdsmen have a place where they congregate.

There must be a group of them who live there and raise their youth. The others will then leave when they are grown up and search for suitable places to live alone. Where is this place of congregation? How many of them are there? What is their fertility rate and how long is their lifespan?”

After hearing these three questions, the empress continued to stay silent while looking gloomy.

There were too many things that could be derived from these three questions.

With just these 30 herdsmen alone, millions of aboriginals had died at their hands.

If there were more of them…

“However, I feel that there shouldn’t be too many of them,” Ren Baqian said after pondering for a bit. “If there were several hundred herdsmen, then the number of casualties suffered over these years would be at least ten times higher. This would already be close to the total population of the aboriginals.”

After all, the aboriginal population only totaled about ten million people.

“Anything else?” The empress waited for a while. After seeing that Ren Baqian had stopped talking, she looked over at him with a burning look that glowed in the dark.

“I have a thought. The aboriginals that the herdsmen targeted must have been living at the far borders, which was why they weren’t easily detected. However, it’s still impossible to have such a huge number of people disappear without detection.

The only possibility is that all of the neighboring villages are also controlled by the herdsmen.

They moved a portion of the villagers to their secret hideouts and turned them into jade-waisted slaves while leaving the rest in the villages to act as a barrier. This way, even though their actions may seem weird and the other villages may have suspicions, the normal villagers won’t overthink things. Compared to immediately disappearing, this method has helped them to stay under the radar.

After a certain period of time, this barrier will slowly move inward. The herdsmen reduced the number of villagers slowly, nibbling away at the aboriginals.” Ren Baqian drew a circle on the ground and another slightly smaller one within it.

After hearing this, the empress felt her blood run cold as her hair stood on end.

“However, these herdsmen are dangerous because they always stayed hidden with nobody knowing about them. Now that we are aware of their presence, it’ll be easier for us to deal with them.

They aren’t that strong, and just a few of us have already killed three of them. What if we amassed all the aboriginals against them?

It’s possible that they had been previously discovered by experts in the past …” Ren Baqian consoled the empress.

“However, I’m afraid that all of them might have lost by telling the herdsmen their names.” He started looking a little weird.

After careful thought and given the aboriginals’ nature, they would definitely fall for it when the herdsmen asked for their names.

The empress heaved a deep sigh after some time and said to Ren Baqian, “You are pretty smart!”

“Definitely! No doubt about it!” Ren Baqian gave her a thumbs up and a wide grin.

However, his white teeth weren’t that eye-catching due to the radiance of his glowing skin.

“Let’s go back.” The empress stood up.

“I can’t walk anymore—carry me!” Ren Baqian said with his arms wide open.

“Pah!” The empress dragged him back by his neck.

“Come over for a moment, brother,” she called out for Qi Ziting and got Ren Baqian to explain the situation to him.

His expression changed after hearing what Ren Baqian said.

“Is it really like this?”

“Just a conjecture, but it’s highly possible. In the past, haven’t you seen abandoned villages before, elder brother-in-law?” Ren Baqian asked.

With a hazy look on his face, Qi Ziting swung one of his crutches across the tree beside him and caused the tree to immediately snap in half.

He consecutively snapped about eight trees to vent his anger before slowly calming down.

“That’s right! It’s indeed possible!” Qi Ziting replied. “What do you intend to do, Xiao Ya?”

“You understand the Sixty Thousand Mountains better than me. Get some people and check the villages along the borders. Report immediately if they detect any problems and kill once verified!” the empress replied coldly.

“I’m afraid that it’ll take more than a year to cover all the villages along the border,” Qi Ziting responded. Besides, it wasn’t an easy task to transmit information in the Sixty Thousand Mountains. The deeper the location was, the harder it would be.

“We need to exterminate these pests regardless of the amount of time it will take!” The empress was firm.

“What about your wedding?” Qi Ziting asked as he knitted his eyebrows.

The empress fell silent.

At this point, Ren Baqian spoke up and said, “This problem is more important! I’m very thankful for your concern!”

“Pah!” Qi Ziting spat.

Regardless of what would happen, it seemed like their wedding would have to be postponed.

“Even though this matter is important, you don’t have to stay here the entire time, sister. There are still quite a few Cardinal Heaven experts residing in the Sixty Thousand Mountains, and I have seen over 30 of them. As long as we gather these people, we can easily terminate those pests.

Besides, there are also other regions in Dayao apart from the Sixty Thousand Mountains. Our late emperor and many of our ancestors fought hard for these lands. Plus, there are still other nations like Great Xia, the Yun Nation, and the Chen Nation who are eyeing us covetously.

“The Yun Nation is gone!” Ren Baqian suddenly mentioned.

“What?” Qi Ziting was stunned.

“The Yun Nation has fallen. Their emperor is now a guest in Lan City! In the future, you can probably call it the Yun Province, or the Yun Protectorate?” Ren Baqian laughed.

“When did this happen? Why didn’t I know about it?” This was unexpected news for Qi Ziting.

The Yun Nation had fallen? After just a few years, so many things had happened in the outside world?

“It has been a few months… Great Xia will be falling soon as well,” Ren Baqian added.

Great Xia had been in deep trouble lately.

After Xia Bailong died from the stinky odor, Great Xia’s royal family moved out of the palace for three months before moving back in. Afterward, their security naturally increased. For the second batch of stink bombs that Ren Baqian sent over, a very long time was needed before they found a way to get them into the palace.

These bombs were detonated two months ago.

This time around, the empress dowager died… After Xia Baichong’s death, her health hadn’t been good.

The second batch of stink bombs exploded just six months after returning to the palace… She hadn’t been well and was forced to smell this familiar stench again…

She fainted on the spot and died the very next day.

The stink bombs had been detonated in Great Xia’s palace twice. The previous emperor was killed the first time and the empress dowager died the second time. Great Xia, the self-proclaimed number one nation in the world, had taken a slap to the face. Their reputation had gone down the latrine pit.

Like maggots that stuck to their bones, everyone seemed to be able to smell the stench lingering on their souls.

In one go, Great Xia’s emperor gave seven orders to the border stations and urged them to accelerate their offense. The imperial court and royal family wanted to see results in two weeks’ time!

Two weeks later, the empress received a report!

The 20,000 reinforcement soldiers that Hong Wu and Zi Donglai deployed had taken out Great Xia’s 400,000 strong army in one fell swoop, capturing Tiesuo Pass and three border stations.

After that, Hong Wu led his soldiers into Great Xia and plundered over 30 cities before returning from this rewarding journey.

At present, Dayao didn’t have any intention of taking out Great Xia. Conquering the Yun Nation was their priority at the moment.

After capturing the three border stations, Great Xia’s defenses were wide open.

A few days after the empress received the report, all of Great Xia was howling in grief. They subsequently started to increase taxes and levy soldiers again.

However, they suddenly received another piece of news that made things worse in an already bad situation. This made the entire imperial court incessantly furious.

An armed rebellion had concurrently started in Dingzhou, Qingzhou, and Pingzhou.

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