NOTE: If you feel like something is confusing at any point in this chapter or the coming ones, refer to the footnotes at the bottom.***
On a night twenty-two years ago, the sixth prince, who went on to become the blue prince was born.
It was a celebration to have a prince born, but his father, emperor Yuan Sheng sat in his study with knitted brows, refusing to go and see his son. It wasn't because he didn't love his newborn son, but because the implications of his birth were far too significant, causing him to feel helplessly troubled.
Three years ago, which was when the fourth prince, the red prince was born, the emperor had the grand priest prophesise the fate of the nation.
The emperors of this dynasty believe in numerology, and emperor Yuan Sheng isn't the first. Ever since the reign of the founding emperor, whenever the emperors were met with a big matter, they would ask the heavens to see their fate. If the prophecy said that the success of his goal was unlikely, a wise man like the founding emperor would abandon the idea.
It had become a custom for the dynasty. They always tried to seek the will of the heavens whenever something big happened.
Since a prince was born, it was considered the very lucky, and hence the emperor asked the current priest to see what the prophecy was.
It's not a common practice to have the prophecy of the nation's fate read as it was no minor matter. Therefore, the priest responsible for calculating the nation's fate was no common man either.
In terms of martial arts skills, he was in the top ten of the most formidable in the Black and White Reflection. He had reached the peak of martial prowess. In terms of cultivation, he had many aliases, including: "crazy priest", "demi-god", "deity" etc. All of them were praise for his profound level of cultivation. In terms of status, not only was he the grand priest of the nation, he was also bestowed with the power to overwatch all dao sects across the land. All the priests of the land referred to him as the master of Daoism. His surname was Lai, and his name was Jingzhen. People called him "demi-god, Lai Jingzhen."
While Lai Zhenjing was a daoist, he was a heavy drinker, ate meat without concern, and frequented brothels like no tomorrow. He acted casual and unruly, hence why people also called him the crazy priest.
Lai Jingzhen prophesised the nation's fate. His cultivation was profound. He doesn't usually need to prophesise. Simply pinching his finger was enough for him to find out heaven's will. But this time, he locked himself in the royal heavenly office for three full days and yet still couldn't come to a conclusion.
Becoming impatient, the emperor went to hurry him. Lai Jingzhen pleaded for more time, saying that he just needed one more day to find out the result. However, only after seven days had passed did he come out. He placed a book with four words written on it in front of the emperor's study.
On the emperor's table inside his study was a white sheet of paper with seven words written in black ink. Those seven words were: The six dragons shall seal the nation.
After the emperor finished reading, he suddenly thundered: "Crazy Lai, what the hell is this! How dare you joke around with the prophecy of the nation's fate!" He shredded the white sheet of paper and ordered the top three of Liu Shan's Elites Rankings to arrest Lai Jingzhen.
The emperor's rage was reasonable. The words "the six dragons shall seal the nation" were the equivalent of high treason.
Emperor Yuan Sheng was the fifth generation emperor of the dynasty since it was founded.
The founding emperor conquered and the following generations worked to stabilise the nation and worked to expand it. When the founding emperor established the kingdom back then, the nation wasn't stable. To the South was a small country who didn't accept the nation becoming ruled by imperialism and continued to harass the borders. To the West were a number of large countries who were vying for the lands. And to the North were the tribes that had been eyeing the mainland for a long time.
Emperors that came after all made it their mission to eliminate external threats. Emperor Yuan Sheng's grandfather, Emperor Guang Hai reinforced the borders by building iron walls at three borders. The former emperor, Emperor Yuan Sheng's father, Emperor Yu Zong possessed outstanding martial skills that was feared throughout the lands. He signed an alliance agreement with the Northern tribes and defeated the united Western forces, and even conquered the Southern lands. The Southern lands therefore became part of the nation's territory.
Emperor Yuan Sheng was declared emperor at a young age. He was young but he was a good governor, never idling on national affairs. He could be considered a competent young emperor.
In recent years, the West and North have continued with their battles, but not one tribe dared to invade our nation. So as you can see, under the governance of the emperors of this dynasty, tribes from other lands and minsters acknowledge the emperors, and their dominance extends to all corners of the lands. In terms of the nation's military, the army had always been powerful since the formation of the nation. There are countless martial arts masters in the three offices, and while the pugilistic world is quiet, it is not without its own masters.
In Emperor Yuan Sheng's mind, his martial prowess is evidently inferior to the two previous emperors. However, his governing skills are admirable. Children have what they need to be fed, the elderly have something to rely on, and the country is at peace under his governance, thereby making it a much more peaceful time period compared to the time his two predecessors ruled. When he reflects on himself every now and then at night, he can't help but smile, as he knew that his efforts weren't for naught.
But now Lai Jingzhen's prophecy says that the six dragons will seal the nation.
Dragons are obviously a reference to the true dragons, the emperor themselves. And since the founding emperor has passed away, he is obviously the fifth true dragon. What Lai Jingzhen said about the six dragons sealing the nation is basically the equivalent of saying that the dynasty will end with the next generation. That's the same as cursing the all the emperors up until now. That was absolutely unacceptable!
Lai Jingzhen was a top-level master at that point in time, but he'd only be equal to one of the ultimate three, so he couldn't possibly win against the three of them combined. Thus, he was arrested before he could put up a resistance.
He infuriated the emperor, yet when he came before him, he wore a natural look without any surprise or fear.
The emperor thundered: "I respected you as an expert, bestowed you the title of grand priest, let you rule over all the dao sects in the land, and treated you with more favour than any other retainer. So why did you do something lowly like cursing You insulted the previous emperors, cursed my nation and started a rumour about six dragons sealing the nation."
Lai Jingzhen bluntly replied: "That was what I learned from the prophecy. Believe what you will."
He infuriated the emperor to the point that the emperor grinded his teeth. Emperor Yuan Sheng was just over twenty years of age at the time and he was hot-headed. Hearing his response, he almost ignored the difference in martial skill, drew his sword and sliced him!
But then Yan Shisan who was the brains, made a suggestion: "Please calm down, your majesty. Demi-good is a daoist, but he is not the only demi-god who is capable of prophesising the fate of our nation. How about ordering three others to examine demi-god's prophesising methods If there is an issue, the three of them can point it out. That way, we would not falsely accusing demi-god either. If you do not trust those three either, then it is unlikely that there is anyone trustworthy left in the world."
Emperor Yuan Sheng considered Lai Jingzhen's status. Indeed, he couldn't kill him just for those few words. Consequently, he went along with Yan Shisan's suggestion. When the martial arts competition in the martial world took place on Mount Taishan when the four princes were one month old, he invited the three major sects, namely, Shaolin, Wudang and Mount Daluo to view the ceremony with him. While it was to view the ceremony in name, it was actually to get them to prophesise the fate of the nation again.
When the fourth prince turned one month old, Shaolin's abbot, Wudang's leader and Mount Daluo's Hero Shen Zhou came together.
After the ceremony, they went to the royal heavenly office to examine the prophesising process.
The three masters of the time stayed there for half a month. They took longer than Lai Zhenjing. Since the three of them learnt different things, their methods were naturally different. On the last day, they met up to report their findings.
Their conclusion left everyone stupefied. They were the same seven words: The six dragons shall seal the nation.
The emperor was bewildered: "The three of you have always been people I have admired. Why would your prophecy be the same as that insane man And why did it take you twice as long" The leader of Wudang replied: "Your majesty, demi-god Lai Jingzhen is my grand disciple. His daoism was taught to him by my disciple, and he has been taught everything. He knows no less than I. I tried once using his method which took me seven days. I then spent another seven days using my method. I then cross-examined it with Hero Ming and the abbot, thereby taking us fifteen days."
The emperor calmed down a fair bit after hearing the explanation, but his curiosity had amplified.
Lai Jingzhen came from Mount Wudang. The emperor was always aware of that. He was also aware that Priest Shen Fa was his grand teacher. Since that's the case, their calculations were naturally similar. As for the question of accuracy, that's another topic. But at least it was now clear the crazy man wasn't just insulting the previous emperor, or cursing the nation as a joke. Given that he was a retainer of the nation, the emperor was relieved that he was innocent.
But one man's word is not substantial enough. And so the emperor then asked the Shaolin Abbot, Kong Xu.
Abbot Kong Xu replied: "Amitabha. Your majesty, we monks do not believe in numerology. We believe in fate. I did not prophesise the fate of the nation. What I looked at was how the nation looked. It was a long process that took me fourteen days and nights. On the last day, I discussed it with the two others and feel that those seven words are most valid."
The emperor was still bewildered as to why the shape of the nation mattered. But since monks discuss things on a profound level outside the realm of common logic, the emperor didn't think too much of it and then turned his attention to Hero Shen Zhou.
Hero Shen Zhou looked suave and relaxed. He carried the aura of a grand-master. His eyes were narrowed as if the monk was right and didn't speak a word.
"Hero Ming Hero Ming" The emperor pestered him twice. Hero Shen Zhou continued to keep silent. The emperor worried that he wasn't respectful enough and offended him, so he didn't dare to continue pestering him.
But out of the blue, the leader of Wudang then said: "Your majesty, Hero Ming has fallen asleep."
The emperor: "……"
"Senior Ming, his majesty has something he would like to ask you."
Wudang's leader's voice was gentle, but was infused with his pure internal strength. While it didn't ring out, it shook the royal divine palace. The emperor asked himself with surprise: "Is it just because he's a senior teacher His internal strength is stronger than that lunatic."
But it still took Leader Shen Fa a few tries to get Hero Shen Zhou to slowly wake up. His eyes were blurry. As a matter of fact, he didn't even know where he was looking.
"Wh-What is it"
"Senior Ming, his majesty has a question for you."
"Yes, I wanted to ask you what discovery you made in these last fifteen days."
"Oh! Reporting, your majesty!" But once he awoke, Hero Shen Zhou started with saluting, and bowing respectfully, then referring to himself as "this peasant", clasped his fist with one hand before him and said: "This peasant discussed it with Abbot Kong Xu and Leader Shen Fa on the last day, and also concluded with seven words: There is no mistake with those words."
"Oh" The emperor's eyes lit up, "But what sort of research did you conduct during the previous fourteen days to come up to that conclusion. Could I bother you to explain it to me"
Hero Shen Zhou raised his head. He had a refined look in his eyes. What looked like two willows moved without the wind's breeze. He looked old, but his voice was filled with energy. He shifted his qi to his dantian, stood firmly and sternly, stroked his beard and replied: "…… This peasant slept for fourteen days!"
The emperor: FUCKING RETARD!!!
*In the original source language text, it was "four characters". I changed it to "seven words" since it's seven words in English and we use words in English. And at the last part, with the different seven words, it was originally "There is no mistake", I changed it to those seven words to keep the joke.
**To expand on the phrase Six Dragons Shall Seal the Nation: This meant that the prophecy was that six male royal family members (male royal family were referred to as dragons as you learned in this chapter) would cause the nation to fall into ruin, sealing it off from external interactions causing it to suffer. This will make more sense after reading the next chapter. For those who are familiar with Japanese history, it's the same as what Tokugawa Ieyasu did prior to the Meiji era. The simplified and easier to understand translations would be "The Six Dragons Will Ruin the Nation". Would you prefer me to use that translation or would you prefer me to keep the other version with "sealed" in it to keep the tone of the language
Translator Comments: Author supports continued translation of the series! See comments below for conversation with author!
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