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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Li Tianlan had no reason not to be confident.
After all, in the battlefield of the Special Warfare System, he was not alone in facing the two leviathans—the Wang family of Beihai and Kunlun City.
He had Sigh City, the top assassin organization in Zhongzhou State, to back him.
He had brothers with unlimited potential, such as Li Baitian, Ning Qiancheng, and Xu Chu.
He had a thoroughly clear vision of his Martial Arts.
Most importantly, his grandfather was still alive.
As long as his grandpa was still alive, no one dared to harm him at the risk of provoking the Li family.
Now he had the capital to make a bold move, so why was he not confident?
He preferred the Special Warfare System to the increasingly rule-laden military.
Because he could obtain the freedom he wanted here.
He was a Heavenly Son of Zhongzhou State in the Dark World.
What was a Heavenly Son?
It was a figure in the dark enough to make everyone shudder. Even as an individual, he was enough to be the strongest force in the Dark World and create a time of his own!
He made all the enemies bow their heads in submission and let the mighty bow. He was invincible and dominant.
That was Li Tianlan’s goal.
Throughout the Dark World, only Wang Tianzong could barely reach this height, but a lot of effort was required.
So there was no true Heavenly Son in the Dark World at present.
That was Li Tianlan’s goal. He strived to push the Li family to the peak of the Dark World.
As a result, he would neither go into the military nor become a soldier.
The mission of soldiers was sacred and bright. They were all heroes.
But the meaning behind these nice words also meant that they were bounded by more rules and principles.
“It’s not a big deal.”
Zou Yuanshan stared at Li Tianlan’s calm face, and the white wine swayed in the glass in his hand. He whispered, “The Border Control Corps is special, and soldiers there are laden with combat missions. If you spent years in the Border Control Corps, this experience would make it easier for you to go into the Special Warfare System from the military. Then you have some foundation and can do things better.”
Of course, Li Tianlan understood this, but he shook his head and said flatly, “If that’s the case, then I’m tied to the Dongcheng Clan and even the Giant Group. If I fail one day…”
He did not go on.
But Zou Yuanshan already knew what he meant.
He looked at Li Tianlan with a complicated look in his eyes. After a long while, he gave a self-mocking laugh and said, “I thought you didn’t understand it, but it turns out that you understand it better than anyone else. You don’t want to go into the army merely because you regard us as outsiders.”
“I can’t afford to owe you guys any favor,” said Li Tianlan in a deep voice.
His eyes looked calm and rational.
“How about Sigh City?”
“Can you afford to owe the favor of Sigh City?” asked Zou Yuanshan.
“It’s not the same.”
“Sigh City had a deep relationship with the Li family in those days. And to put it bluntly, no matter how powerful Sigh City is, it is just a force instead of a group composed of different forces,” Li Tianlan added and shook his head.
“Even though Sigh City possesses an Invincible Realm expert, in the final analysis, it is a weak force. In terms of Martial Arts, the Giant Group is inferior to Sigh City. But we’re in Zhongzhou State: a place where power and money matter besides Martial Arts.
“If Sigh City is going to fight a life and death battle with the North Group, the weakest one among The Six in Zhongzhou State, it would be no match for the latter. Most importantly, Sigh City is an assassin organization and part of the Special Warfare System,” continued Li Tianlan as he lifted the corners of his mouth slightly, and there was a hint of self-mockery in his smile.
Zou Yuanshan’s expression changed. He filled Li Tianlan’s wine glass without saying a word.
Li Tianlan emptied his glass at one go and said indifferently, “So I have no choice, neither does Sigh City. The Six of Zhongzhou State are engaged in cruel internal strife. But at the end of the day, no matter how fierce they fight, what they’re looking for is balance and compromise. Whatever it is, it won’t be a matter of survival, because it would be too costly.
“But the forces in the Dark World will face the matter of survival once they are defeated, in particular, Sigh City, a force that is not on the top of a nation’s Special Warfare System but is a great threat to that position. Brother-in-law, you should know that even if I don’t join Sigh City, both Kunlun City and the Wang family of Beihai will not let it go if there is an opportunity in the future.
“Because it’s much easier to destroy a force than to destroy a group. Moreover, relatively, few people will get involved.
“I am honored and grateful to be the Young Governor of Sigh City. But my psychological burden is not heavy. Sigh City will not have too much psychological burden, either.
“It’s different from my joining the Dongcheng Clan and the military. If I join the Giant Group and win later, the group can’t benefit much from my success. But once I fail, it will be doomed eternally. At least the Dongcheng Clan won’t have a good end.
“Brother-in-law, I haven’t regarded you guys as outsiders. I really can’t bear such responsibility.” Li Tianlan looked at Zou Yuanshan seriously.
He patted himself on the shoulder and laughed. “It’s too heavy, and I’m too tired.”
Zou Yuanshan kept silent.
Li Tianlan said a lot.
He sensed the firmness in his words.
So he couldn’t argue with that.
The matter itself was very simple.
Zou Yuanshan was well aware of that.
If Li Tianlan chose to stay in the Special Warfare System to pursue development, even if he married Dongcheng Rushi and was defeated by Kunlun City and the Wang family of Beihai in the end, the Dongcheng Clan and the Giant Group, at worst, would face the result that Dongcheng Wudi resigned voluntarily, but the Dongcheng Clan remained to be a top influential family.
On the contrary, if Li Tianlan chose to join the military, it meant that the Dongcheng Clan would utilize all the military resources to go against Kunlun City in the following game. The impact was so great that if he failed, Dongcheng Wudi would become a sinner instead of just resigning.
Didn’t Zou Yuanshan know it was a gamble?
But his father-in-law insisted, so he had no choice but to support him.
Nevertheless, Li Tianlan rejected his proposal.
Zou Yuanshan had mixed feelings in his heart. He looked at Li Tianlan with both admiration and doubts in his eyes.
“Which party is more interested in the deal with the Border Control Corps?” asked Li Tianlan suddenly.
It was an issue that outsiders knew nothing about, but it was undoubtedly discussed under the table. As a core figure of the Giant Group, Zou Yuanshan must know the inside story.
Zou Yuanshan answered after thinking for a while, “If there is no accident, it will be the Wang family of Beihai.”
Li Tianlan raised his eyebrows.
“Dijiang should be in the position of the army commander. The Wang family of Beihai is determined and ambitious,” said Zou Yuanshan.
Li Tianlan sneered, without uttering a word.
Liu Xiuyuan had spoken of the situation in the south.
Presently, Dijiang led 20,000 elite soldiers who stripped off their military uniforms from the Thunderbolt Battalion of the Border Control Corps and publicly occupied 400 kilometers of the territory of Annan State in the name of the rebels.
Four hundred kilometers.
That was large enough to establish a small province.
The Wang family of Beihai would certainly not let go of this profit.
Wang Tianzong went to the front in the border war and made a deal with the Dongcheng Clan, aiming at gaining the military leadership of 20,000 soldiers in the Thunderbolt Battalion. The price he paid was to support Dongcheng Wudi in going into the Army Headquarters.
From this perspective, the Dongcheng Clan gained more.
But as soon as the Dongcheng Clan left, the Wang family of Beihai began to covet the Border Control Corps. If Dijiang became a new marshal of Zhongzhou State— the Commander of the Border Control Corps, the territory of 400 kilometers that the Wang family of Beihai occupied was linked to the Border Control Corps.
They had a steady supply of reinforcements, and neither Annan State nor the Purgatory of Heaven Capital, which now went toe to toe with them, could stand a chance.
The Wang family of Beihai would take advantage of this opportunity to develop their second base in addition to Beihai Province.
A base that genuinely belonged to them and even had little relation with Zhongzhou State.
The area of a small province.
The Wang family of Beihai felt it worth giving up too much for such interest, and they were determined.
As for what the Dongcheng Clan could obtain…
“What’s the offer of the Wang family of Beihai?” Li Tianlan asked without the slightest change of his expression.
Zou Yuanshan shot him a glance. It was initially something highly confidential, but given the entire Dongcheng Clan’s attitude toward Li Tianlan, Zou Yuanshan had a headache and had to speak frankly, “The positions of two theater commanders, a deputy theater commander, a deputy commander of the air force, a general staff of Ministry of State Security, and many others. I’ve gotten a position as well. If Qiuchi’s working place remains the same, I might come to Huating or go to Wuyue.”
Li Tianlan breathed deeply and remained silent for a long while. Then he smiled and said, “Generous.”
He smiled reluctantly.
Only when he heard of the offer of the Wang family of Beihai could he see its boldness and resources.
“Which two theatres of operations?” asked Li Tianlan.
“The east and the south,” answered Zou Yuanshan.
Li Tianlan frowned.
He didn’t feel surprised when he heard the Southern Theater of Operations because it was the territory of the Prince Group. If the Wang family of Beihai and the Giant Group joined forces, the odds were that they would obtain it. The Wang family of Beihai was robbing Peter to pay Paul, but the Eastern Theater of Operations…
Li Tianlan thought of Ning Qiancheng and asked, “What’s going to happen to Commander Ning?”
“That’s an internal affair of the Southeast Group.”
Zou Yuanshan shook his head and continued after hesitating for a short while, “But recently I’ve heard some rumors. The Wang family of Beihai indeed has hidden danger inside, but recent rumors suggest that the Wang family of Beihai’s internal troubles are starting to get out of hand. Commander Ning… It should be a fixed step for the Southeast Group to start blood exchange.”
Zou Yuanshan added with a smile, “The rumors have existed for years. Zhang Qi, the chief of Southeast Special Warfare Headquarters, is on bad terms with Ning Zhiyuan. Do you know Zhang Qi? He’s from the Zhang family of Huating, but both he and his eldest brother fell in love with Ning Zhiyuan’s sister Ning Xinyi. Ning Xinyi married his eldest brother, so he turned against both his family and the Ning family since then.
“Ning Zhiyuan had a hard time since Zhang Qi became the chief of the Southeast Special Warfare Headquarters. In the beginning, rumor had it that Zhongzhou State and the Wang family of Beihai were suspicious of Ning Zhiyuan’s attitude in the final battle of Heaven Capital. Well, that’s reasonable. Of the hundreds of Fire-flaming Realm experts that Ning Zhiyuan had sent to Heaven Capital, fewer than ten came back. No wonder such a rumor existed. Recently, however, it has been rumored that the Wang family of Beihai no longer trusts Ning Zhiyuan. Three years ago, Zhang Qi got that position, and that was the first step. Now that there is a suitable opportunity, removing Ning Zhiyuan from the office will be the second step. Meanwhile, in order to deal with internal problems, Wang Tianzong has begun to change blood in the southeast faction in advance.
“The Southeast Group and the Wang family of Beihai always take actions step by step. They’re terribly cautious in case any accidents should happen.”
“I heard that Commander Ning was promoted by my grandfather?” Li Tianlan asked in a low voice.
“It seems so. When Commander Ning was going to become a major general, my grandfather seemed to vote against him. Haha, so Commander Ning has been lukewarm to the Zou family for many years.”
Zou Yuanshan added with emotion, “But those who were promoted by Senior Li and Marshal Li had merits.”
He glanced at Li Tianlan and continued with a sigh, “Marshal Li ended up miserably. What a pity! My father used to say there was no right or wrong in this matter. Marshal Li’s treason case would not have happened if someone in Kunlun City had not happened to break through to the Invincible Realm. It’s his fate.”
Marshal Li referred to Li Kuangtu, of course.
An idea flashed through Li Tianlan’s mind.
When his father committed treason, someone in Kunlun City happened to break through to the Invincible Realm?
What did that mean?
Kunlun City now possessed two Invincible Realm experts.
His father had not committed treason when Gu Xingyun entered the Invincible Realm.
It was eight years ago that Gu Qianchuan entered the Invincible Realm.
Who entered the Invincible Realm at the time of the incident?
Why had he not heard of it for so many years?
He thought silently, thinking of the Li family, his grandpa, his father, Ning Zhiyuan, and those who were promoted by the Li family.
“What are you thinking about?”
Zou Yuanshan touched Li Tianlan’s glass with his.
“A lot of.”
Li Tianlan continued with a smile, “Brother-in-law, if Commander Ning is the first step that the Southeast Group takes to change its blood, will some of the old people promoted by the Li family and some of their connections also appear on the list of the southeast faction?”
Zou Yuanshan froze and narrowed his eyes.
“I have no idea.”
“You want to take them in?” he asked slowly.
“How am I qualified to do that?”
“If I take them in, I cannot provide shelter for them now. The previous Li family is really going to disintegrate,” Li Tianlan said with a smile.
It wasn’t until this moment that Li Tianlan really realized that even if he was going to develop in the Special Warfare System, he still needed power.
The power from all parties.
The military-political circles, the business circles, the Special Warfare System…
He needed their power.
He was eager to form a group that was on a par with the Southeast Group and the Special Warfare Group.
Ambition always became more and more concrete in the general trend.
Li Tianlan got more and more thoughts.
Because he was too close to the general trend.
He was now not in the Fire-flaming Realm, but he was not a nonentity, either. He went back to the chessboard, and even if he was still a chess piece, he was no longer a chess piece that anyone could mess with.
Li Tianlan narrowed his eyes tightly.
He touched Zou Yuanshan’s glass with his and said softly, “Drink.”
When Dongcheng Qiuchi and Dongcheng Rushi finished making dinner and walked out of the kitchen, they heard the two men snoring in the living room.
Zou Yuanshan, who claimed to be a winebag in the official circles of Zhongyuan Province, was sleeping soundly on his back on the sofa at this point.
His saliva flowed down as he snored. His handsome, elegant face was flushed, and he was intoxicated.
There were four bottles of Maotai with high alcohol content on the table.
Less than a third of the liquor in the fourth bottle remained.
Li Tianlan sat on the sofa eating peanuts, his eyes as clear as ever.
Dongcheng Qiuchi cast a glance at her husband, feeling both funny and annoying, and did not know what to say.
“My brother-in-law was so happy today that he drank too much.”
“I’ll get him upstairs, and Rushi will lead the way for me,” Li Tianlan said casually and smiled.
“Forget it. Just throw him in the guest room,” Dongcheng Qiuchi spoke angrily.
She walked over and pulled Zou Yuanshan to his feet, whispering, “You want a baby? You must be daydreaming. Leave him alone, Tianlan. I’ll take care of him. Help Rushi with the dishes. Have dinner first and help yourself to the wine. There are cigars in the liquor cabinet.”
The dinner was sumptuous.
The couple seemed to have made a real effort to entertain their brother-in-law Li Tianlan.
But since Li Tianlan’s brother-in-law was too drunk, his sister, who took care of his brother-in-law, never showed up.
After waiting for more than ten minutes with Dongcheng Rushi, Li Tianlan roughly understood what Dongcheng Qiuchi meant. He shook his head with a smile and said, “I bothered Sister Qiuchi. We’ll eat first, and she probably won’t come.”
Even if Dongcheng Qiuchi had intended to leave room for the two at Li Tianlan’s first visit, it would have been disrespectful of her not to appear.
But it also showed that the First Miss of the Dongcheng Clan really didn’t consider him an outsider.
“My sister doesn’t mind you bothering her,” said Dongcheng Rushi softly as she filled Li Tianlan’s bowl with rice.
… “She likes you, too. She says she considers you her biological brother.”
“Sister Qiuchi is indeed nice.”
Li Tianlan smiled and buried himself in his dinner.
The food was tasty. Both Dongcheng Qiuchi and Dongcheng Rushi were standard good wives in every aspect. However, he didn’t have a good time enjoying the meal without the two hosts. After dinner, Dongcheng Qiuchi still didn’t show up.
Dongcheng Rushi simply took Li Tianlan upstairs.
She chose a room farthest from the master bedroom and went in. Then she looked at Li Tianlan and asked, “How about living here?”
Li Tianlan nodded. What he was thinking of was the decisive battle between Li Baitian and Gu Youlan tomorrow. He wanted to see Li Baitian tonight, but his appearance might affect his state, so he gave up.
“The dishes have not been cleared away. I’ll do it. Have a good rest.”
Dongcheng Rushi pinched Li Tianlan’s palm gently. Then she turned and got out of the room.
Li Tianlan sat on the bed, and after he had dined and wined to satiety, he gradually got drunk.
His mind was a mess.
He was thinking about the chaos of the Dark World.
He was thinking about the inside stories of the storms in Zhongzhou State.
He was thinking about tomorrow’s decisive battle between Li Baitian and Gu Youlan.
He was thinking about all the possible reactions to his appearance.
His mind was sharp and yet chaotic, jumping in a tipsy mood.
He wanted to meditate.
Three years after he left Zhongzhou State, he entered Huating again. His heart, however, was never at peace.
He shook his head impatiently. Then he stood up and went straight into the bathroom.
The bedroom door seemed to rattle.
Li Tianlan paid no attention to that and just allowed the cold water to wash over his body.
After gods knew how long, he casually pulled out a towel to dry his body and walked out of the bathroom with the towel around his waist.
The lights over the bedroom had been turned off.
The bedside lamps shone softly.
Dressed in a white bathrobe, Dongcheng Rushi was sitting by the bed, quietly watching TV.
“Have you finished taking a bath?”
“Which bed do you want?” Hearing the sound, Dongcheng Rushi turned to look at Li Tianlan.
Li Tianlan was stunned.
He did not know why Dongcheng Rushi was here or where she had taken her bath.
“Why are you here?” Li Tianlan asked directly.
“You just said that we were going to live here.”
Dongcheng Rushi looked at Li Tianlan blankly.
Li Tianlan frowned, trying to use a more euphemistic expression.
Dongcheng Rushi looked at Li Tianlan quietly.
Her clear eyes grew dim.
Li Tianlan suddenly found himself unable to utter a word.
Dongcheng Rushi got out of bed, came to Li Tianlan’s side, and stared at his eyes.
“You want me out?” she asked softly.
“Don’t get me wrong.”
“We can’t…” Li Tianlan laughed bitterly.
“You touched my legs this afternoon.”
Dongcheng Rushi looked at Li Tianlan with burning eyes.
Li Tianlan had nothing to say.
“I thought you weren’t mad at me anymore,” said Dongcheng Rushi.
“I’m not angry with you.”
Li Tianlan was puzzled.
“Have I done anything wrong in Heaven Capital to make you dislike me?” asked Dongcheng Rushi softly.
Li Tianlan felt helpless. The problem was beyond explanation because he didn’t know what kind of cognition Dongcheng Yueshen had created for Dongcheng Rushi when she appeared.
“Then why did you want me out?”
Dongcheng Rushi took one step forward, and her body almost touched Li Tianlan’s.
The fragrance that the girl had after bathing wafted into Li Tianlan’s nostrils, tenderly occupying his olfactory sense.
Dongcheng Rushi’s expression was calm.
It was a natural sense of calm.
Li Tianlan’s mind became confused again. His breathing began to quicken uncontrollably amidst the wisps of fragrance.
He hadn’t seen many women in three years.
In front of this elegant and attractive face, he didn’t know how evil his desire was.
“We are an unmarried couple,” whispered Dongcheng Rushi.
Her face was red, and her eyes glittered with the most beautiful colors.
“But we’ve only known each other for a few days.”
Li Tianlan was on the verge of a mental breakdown. He admired his will a lot.
They had known each other long ago. After all, he knew Dongcheng Rushi three years ago in Heaven Capital.
But they had only been together for a few days.
“But I’ve known you for years,” said Dongcheng Rushi in a soft voice as she looked at Li Tianlan.
In the blurred light, her eyes were fixed and gentle.
It indeed had been years.
From childhood, she knew Li Tianlan.
For the first time she learned to speak in her life, she didn’t say mom or dad with her tender voice.
What she said was Tianlan.
She was less than a year old that year.
She was twenty-two years old this year.
She was born the same day of the same month of the same year as Li Tianlan was.
How many years had passed?
Dongcheng Rushi reached out and carefully pulled the towel off Li Tianlan’s body.
Her face was as red as if it were burning.
Before she went to Zhongyuan from Youzhou, she had learned about it.
But she still felt a little overwhelmed at this point.
She held out her hands, trembling.
Her hands were small, and her fingers were slender, white, and inviting.
She withdrew her hands soon after holding them out.
She began to unbutton her bathrobe.
She neither knew nor wanted to know how she felt about Li Tianlan. It didn’t matter.
But she knew how she felt.
She got a sense of willingness.
It was something hard to get.
Li Tianlan unconsciously reached out to stop Dongcheng Rushi from taking off her bathrobe.
Dongcheng Rushi looked at Li Tianlan with confusion.
“Use your hands,” Li Tianlan said and swallowed.
Dongcheng Rushi cocked her head and thought for a while.
This position was a little inconvenient.
Therefore, she knelt before Li Tianlan.
It was a very weak gesture of submission.
She was the most remarkable talent of Jade Pool of this generation.
Li Tianlan was almost out of control, and his eyes alternated between calm and lust.
Now he didn’t resist taking Dongcheng Rushi.
But he was afraid of death.
He was afraid of Dongcheng Yueshen, who knew no good and no evil.
He didn’t know what would happen if the two personalities alternated at the most critical moment.
He was really afraid of death.
Dongcheng Rushi knelt before Li Tianlan with a shy look. After a moment’s hesitation, she bit her lip, leaned her face toward him gently, and opened her little mouth.
Her soft lips were like water.
Cool and yet warm.
Li Tianlan shuddered all of a sudden and said, “Don’t use your mouth!”
Dongcheng Rushi remained on her knees, and her beautiful face was as red as a ripe apple. Her whole person seemed to be bathed in the bright and enchanting light. She looked up at Li Tianlan with traces of grievance and shame in her eyes, looking delicate and touching.
“You don’t want to take me. Moreover, you don’t allow me to use hands and… Tianlan, what do you want?”
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