577 Be

    "Fang Yuan..."

    Nuwa observed the goings-on of the mortal realm up in the heavenly palace. She muttered to herself.

    "I can feel that the heavenly mandate is still with Zhou. Even though Zhou experienced a decline after conquering Shangyi and forcing King Xin to self-immolate, they are still capable of gaining the submission of the other feudal lords and feeding off the energy of these feudal states. They will live on for about 800 years!"

    As the premier deity, she was aware that the heavenly mandate followed its own laws!

    Heaven and earth were neutral entities. There was no way that a family would be fated to rule the world for 800 years! The fates could never afford to give such a thing.

    Whether it was the witch race, the Shang or Western Zhou, the so-called 'heavenly mandate' was like starting capital that allowed a chosen family to rise quickly and place them in a good position to achieve dominion over the world. Only when they themselves work towards building up infrastructure and gaining popular support would they be able to ensure the longevity of their dynasty. A state that relied entirely on the grace of heaven to survive would be a complete joke!

    The witch race was an example of an entity that failed despite being favoured by the heavens.

    The Shang Dynasty performed better. It rose at a time when the Xia Dynasty was declining. Later, it won overlordship of the world following an epic battle with the Xia and sustained their power for 500 years by absorbing the energy of their vassals.

    Now, it was Western Zhou's turn.

    If external forces had not interfered, Western Zhou would have been able to dominate the other feudal states and create a tributary system that would have kept them nourished for a long time.

    However, things were falling apart.

    In fact, if Western Zhou had lost the heavenly mandate, Nuwa would have washed her hands of their affairs.

    It was because Western Zhou remained in heaven's favours that Nuwa had to stay on.

    Of course, this was a precarious situation.

    'If the heavenly will was still on the side of Western Zhou, I would have been able to destroy King Xin openly when he received the help of external forces...now, however, it seems like I must proceed with caution!'

    Nuwa pondered on. Suddenly, her face took on a shocked expression.

    "Also...his enemy seems to be the Ancient One, which benefits me to some extent. Could it be...that everything that had happened had been part of his plan?"

    If this was the case, it would be truly horrifying.

    This meant that the other party was not only scheming but he also had a firm understanding of the workings of this world and how the heavenly will operated.

    "Most importantly...he is different from the Ancient One, who is easily manipulated. This person's original body isn't in this world. Even if he dies here, his true aura would most likely get away and become a future threat..."

    The current situation had been caused by the accumulation of minor alterations developing into a new trend. Even the goddess Nuwa was at a loss.

    "Be it as it may, I'll have to do something!"

    Nuwa was the premier deity after all. Determined, she waved a hand and sent colourful lights shooting up into the skies.

    "Ding! Ding! Dang! Dang!"

    The soldiers of the retreating Western Zhou army found that layers of colourful lights had enveloped their bodies like suits of armour. They were rapidly regaining their energy.

    "Lady Nuwa is here!"

    The Marquis of Western Zhou and Young Master Wu were overjoyed.

    "Kill them! Counterattack!"


    Fang Yuan exhaled. He knew that even though his methodology had been effective, it was unable to prevent Nuwa from intervening.

    'In truth...even in my original plan, I had expected Nuwa to act anyway. This is already one of the better case scenarios!'

    Fang Yuan waved a hand. Sword essence descended to the ground and carved out a deep gully, putting a halt to the charge of the Western Zhou army.

    "Lady Nuwa, may we request an audience with you!"

    The War God Chi appeared beside Fang Yuan in a flash of flames. They levitated high up in the air and stared at the rich and colourful lights.


    In a flash of light, elegantly-dressed and beautiful goddess Nuwa appeared.

    "Greetings, Lady Nuwa!"

    She was a Sage after all. Fang Yuan and the War God Chi respected her power and they bowed first.

    "Gentlemen, is there a need for this?"

    Nuwa returned their bows and asked in a perfectly neutral voice.

    "The battle between the Shang Dynasty and the Western Zhou state had been destined to happen anyway. Let us leave the mortals to settle it among themselves. What do you say?"

    Fang Yuan smiled. Western Zhou had lost their final chance to overthrow the Shang Dynasty. There was even a huge possibility that they might be defeated. Nuwa would never agree to this arrangement.

    "No way!"

    Fang Yuan had barely finished speaking when Nuwa rejected his suggestion with a frown.

    "In that case, I'll compromise!"

    Fang Yuan could tell that even with her powers, Nuwa was unwilling to involve herself with human military conflicts -- they were rich in blood and hatred!

    Fang Yuan thought for a moment before speaking.

    "You, I and the War God Chi won't intervene. If the Western Zhou army can overcome my array, they would be in a good position to defeat the Shang Dynasty! If not, then we will take it as heaven's will! Whatever follows will be self-determined by the mortals!"

    "In that case...fine!"

    Nuwa rolled her eyes and agreed.

    The War God Chi sighed in relief.

    They would be lucky to survive a clash with Nuwa. This opportunity to settle their differences through a bet was greatly appreciated.

    Of course, Fang Yuan had begun to set this up a long time ago. His little preparations combined to form a major developmental trend!

    After all, even though Fang Yuan might have recovered his peak prowess and was now a higher being, having to face a Sage did not bode well for him.

    Fang Yuan and Nuwa took up their positions in their separate arrays.


    Prince Pan advanced uneasily. Even though he had already gained the upper hand, the prospect of fighting Nuwa was terrifying.

    "Don't panic!"

    Fang Yuan waved his hands and explained the bet with Nuwa.

    "Go get Hei Zhong, Ge Nie, Er and Lian!"

    "With you around, the Shang Dynasty will be safe!"

    Prince Pan calmed himself down and tasked someone to fulfil Fang Yuan's orders.

    "Greetings, teacher!"

    Fang Yuan examined the four men before him who were standing at attention, and spoke in a low voice.

    "I know of an array called the Chaos Sword Array! I will use four divine swords for the eyes of the array. No one beneath the Sage level will even stand a chance of countering the array!"

    "With this array, we will be fine!"

    Lian and Er were excited.

    "Mm, the four of you are worthy of being the wielders of these four swords!"

    Fang Yuan summoned the four swords. They materialised in the air and shimmered brightly.

    "Lian, take the Wind Sword. Er, take the Earth Sword...Hei Zhong and Ge Nie, take the Water and Fire Swords respectively!"

    The four swords had been given out.

    "Yes, teacher!"

    The four sword wielders bowed down with different looks on their faces.

    Ge Nie looked at the Water Sword in his hand. It had disappeared mysteriously and only reappeared now. He could not help but remember Cao Qiu's words.

    'External objects can't be trusted indeed. When will I finally reach the peak of sword dao cultivation?'

    Fang Yuan knew what Ge Nie was thinking about and shook his head.

    The two opposing armies retreated and left a large piece of no man's land between them.

    The four sword wielders appointed by Fang Yuan stepped forward to set up the array.


    In a short while, an imposing sword array appeared. Lights of four colours danced within it and evolved into a green energy. It was definitely not to be underestimated and even the clouds in the skies had been scattered by its power.

    "Very impressive! Very powerful!"

    Even the War God Chi had to take a step back.

    "This array...can be considered the fiercest array of the ancient era!"

    "My lady!"

    The Chaos Sword array had frightened both the Marquis and Young Master Wu. They fell to their knees before the cloud that Nuwa was mounted on.

    "Set your minds at ease. Although I won't intervene personally, I will still help you! This array is based on the power of earth, fire, air and water, and will unleash a chaotic power when activated. To counter it, you will have to break through the four doors at the same time and take down the respective sword wielders!"

    "My lady...Western Zhou is a small and poor state. We don't have many people with special talents!"

    Young Master Wu replied distressedly.

    "Don't worry!"

    Nuwa's eyes were on the four sword wielders that had been appointed by Fang Yuan.

    'These are men who have risen to the occasion. I must take down at least two of them!'

    Nuwa spoke aloud.

    "The four people who will attempt to break into the array will be as follows, the Marquis, whom I have given a special sword and suit of armour to. Two greater demons that I have summoned. As for the last person..."

    She waved her hand and sent colourful lights shooting across the skies.

    The heavenly pillar of Western Zhou had appeared and the Five Elements Purple Phoenix within let out a long wail. It flew down to the ground and spoke.

    "Thank you for saving my life, Lady Nuwa!"

    'Another troublesome fellow!'

    Nuwa's facial expressions did not change.

    "In our attack against the array, you will bring up the rear."

    "Yes, my lady!"

    Although the Ancient One had once coveted the Sage status of Nuwa, he would not have been able to take on a physical form, much less keep his status as a True Divine spiritual knight if not for Nuwa's help!

    He had to revise his plan.

    "Dum! Dum!"

    The war drums had sounded again. The four people tasked with destroying the array led soldiers through the four doors of the sword array.

    "Tsk tsk...it seems like Nuwa has the same idea as we do!"

    There was a gleam in Fang Yuan's eyes as he looked at the men who were attempting to counter his array.

    His mindset had long changed. He now saw himself as a chess player and all the people in the world as his chess pieces.

    The bet with Nuwa had high stakes in the form of human civilisation. In fact, neither of them cared very much about the results.

    If they actually did, Nuwa and Fang Yuan would have battled it out personally and turned things into a bloodbath.

    Nuwa did not mind because as a Sage, she was invincible in this world!

    Fang Yuan did not mind because if he failed, he could always leave this world and come back whenever he felt he was ready.

    Since both of them had misgivings about the whole thing, compromise became a key part of their negotiations.

    Of course, as the weaker side, Fang Yuan did pay some prices. For one...the problem with the Ancient One had been a giant loophole!

    "If I had direct control over this operation, the Ancient One would have been soundly defeated by the Chaos Sword Array. However, things are slightly trickier now..."

    Fan Yuan looked at the Western Zhou army stream into the grounds of the array and chuckled coldly.

    "Of course...this is the only way to destroy this person completely!

    Actually, why did it matter to him whether or not the Shang Dynasty was overthrown? He was only their founder in name and after the aura of the

    Black Bird became severely weakened after 500 years, he had lost his sense of attachment to them.

    Fang Yuan's main objective of coming to this world was still to seek out and kill the Ancient One!
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