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Chapter 219: Meteorological Attack

    Chapter 219: Meteorological Attack

    Translator: Ninetales  Editor: DarkGem

    When he said it, the hall begun to buzz with discussions. It was almost impossible for something like the single cloud covering the entire Eternal Peace Empire to happen, yet it did!

    Eternal Peace Empire had a broad territory spanning ninety thousand miles from east to west and eighty thousand miles from north to south. Now that the entire territory was under snow and even for six-seven continuous days, it was something that should have been impossible!

    Divine arts practitioners had the ability to summon wind and rain, but they could only make the rain descend and the wind blow in a small area. They could never control the kind of spell that could cover the entire Eternal Peace Empire.

    However, this was no natural disaster. It rarely snowed in the south of Gold River, while it was even more impossible to have rainy or cold weather at the south of Surging River. On top of that, when it came to Li River, all four seasons were like summer, so there was no possibility of snow there.

    If that wasn't enough, the snow had descended on the whole empire at the same time!

    Emperor Yanfeng gave a cough and quieted all the ministers. "Minister of Agriculture, there are probably quite a number of ministers who don't understand how scary this snow is, you can explain it to them."

    An old minister stepped out of the ranks. He was the Minister of Agriculture of Eternal Peace Imperial Court and managed the agriculture of the entire empire. He bowed and said, "Your Majesty, ministers, this snow disaster doesn't affect the next years harvest for the villages to the north since they are used to enduring through winter and had made preparations. The crucial point is the south. After this huge snow, the villages of the south will probably be frozen clean. When the next year comes, the south would most likely have no harvest at all."

    The Minister of Revenue immediately asked, "Minister of Agriculture, by the south you mean?"

    "Everything south of Gold River."

    All of the ministers took in a cold breath, and even Qin Mu was shocked.

    He also had a geographic map of Eternal Peace Empire. Gold River originated in the Great Ruins and stretched all the way to the east for tens of thousands of miles before entering the ocean.

    The land south of Gold River was two-thirds of Eternal Peace Empire's land!

    This meant that two-thirds of the empire's land would have no harvest!

    "This... Your Majesty, I think we should channel the rations and fodder from all places to the south, preparing to send relief!" Grand Servant stepped out of the ranks and bowed. "The south just went through a war, so there are many counties that still need require relief. I'm afraid that the rations there have already been depleted, so may Your Majesty channel rations from the north to save those people from the disaster!"

    Minister of Agriculture sighed. "As of now, we can't channel anything. Lords might not know but the war had depleted rations and most of them are gone everywhere. If we channel the rations to the south now, they will only be eaten by the starving people. Once these rations are finished, we won't even have the grains to plant anymore, and there will be nothing to eat when autumn comes. Lord Grand Servant, if the starving people have nothing to eat, they will start eating humans."

    "Are we supposed to just let the people of the south starve?"

    Minister of Agriculture said, "Provisions would have to be transported to the south, but we must provide them in limited quantity. We need to give them just enough to survive. There are actually some granaries in the south, but they all belong to influential families and landlords. If we want to touch their provisions, I'm afraid they would instigate the disaster victims to rebel. Your Majesty..."

    Emperor Yanfeng's expression sunk, and he said, "I will think of something regarding the provisions of the influential families and landlords. Continue."

    "Yes. Other than the south, there's another huge disaster looming over us," said Minister of Agriculture. "The north is usually cold during winter, but it's even colder this year. Walking through a few counties in the north, I discovered farmers chopping down trees to burn them for warmth. This resulted in many forests being cleared out, turning the area bare. For the north, which can endure the cold to resort to chopping trees for warmth, you can imagine the current situation in the south. If the trees in the south are completely cleared out, mountain torrents, landslides, and floods will definitely become endless.

    "A natural disaster can result in a manmade disaster, and a manmade disaster can result in many more natural disasters. However, if we don't let the victims chop down trees for warmth, I'm afraid that countless people will be frozen to death. When that time comes, I'm afraid most of the families will die..."

    Emperor Yanfeng let out a deep breath, and the ministers of the imperial court also became quiet. It was so silent that even the noise of breathing became jarring. If they didn't chop down the trees to burn, the farmers would be frozen to death. Yet if they chopped down the trees, there would be more disasters.

    A snow disaster had made a huge empire like Eternal Peace Empire sink into circumstances in which they had to make a difficult choice.

    Minister of Agriculture continued, "The crucial point is that we don't know how long this cloud will last. If the gloomy cloud disperses in a few days, we can minimize the damage to the lowest. But if it doesn't, the empire will be in danger!"

    "I... understand." Emperor Yanfeng leaned back, looking powerless. "Now, my dear ministers, do you understand how dangerous the situation is, right? Lately, some renegades rebelled, but I was still unworried and didn't pay any attention to it. I knew nothing would come out from what they were doing, and they would be eradicated by Imperial Preceptor and my dear ministers. However, this snow disaster and this cloud is going to break our Eternal Peace's fate! Dear ministers, do you have a way to solve this?"

    All of the civil and military ministers fell silent. Even with their remarkable abilities, they couldn't blow away the cloud or melt the snow.

    Emperor Yanfeng looked at his ministers and felt angry and anxious in his heart. Snow, a single cloud, were they going to tear this empire apart, destroy their hundred years of effort?

    A civil official said, "I think this is because Imperial Preceptor's reform has angered the Heaven..."

    Emperor Yanfeng burst into anger. "Drag him out and execute him!"

    That civil official immediately knelt down and cried out with all his might, "Your Majesty, Heaven has its heavenly law, and Imperial Preceptor's reform is going to change the heavenly law, so Heaven is angered. People will suffer from the anger of Heaven, unable to do anything about it, Your Majesty!"

    "Men!" Emperor Yanfeng was infuriated. "A disaster is upon our empire and you're still eager to delude people with lies. If he's not executed now, will I have to do it myself?"

    The guards inside the emperor's audience hall dragged that civil official away. The cries of the man gradually moved farther away.

    Emperor Yanfeng paced around anxiously, suppressing his anger. "I want ministers that are able to work and are not useless puppets that only know how to slander! This reform is what I want and not what Imperial Preceptor wants! If Heaven is angered, then it should be angry at me and make me suffer! Imperial Preceptor is a capable minister. Not to say five hundred years, it is even rare to find someone like him within one to two thousand years! You all shall think of a solution for me. If you can't think of anything, there's no need for any of you to go home and no need for you to celebrate New Years!"

    "Your Majesty, why not store the cloud away?" a voice asked from the audience hall. "Since you can't chase it away, why not just store it away?"

    All of the ministers looked over at the speaker, and Emperor Yanfeng's gaze also moved on him. "So it's Palace Grandee. What great idea does Palace Grandee have, why not share it with all of us."

    Qin Mu said, "I have seen treasures like the fire bottle gourds in the army which the soldiers use to store their true fire. When it comes time to battle, they would release the fire stored inside. When Hall of Supreme Healing slipped up in refining medicine and paralyzed the entire Imperial College, the former grand chancellor had used a bottle gourd to store away the anesthesia to save Imperial College. I was thinking if we could use treasures like the bottle gourd to also store away this dark cloud?"

    Emperor Yanfeng looked at General of Heavenly Strategies and asked, "General Qin, do you think this can work?"

    General of Heavenly Strategies had the surname Qin and name Jian. He was the head of the generals and also the sect master of the influential Qin Family in the capital city. He stepped out of his ranks and said, "Your Majesty, what Palace Grandee suggested is plausible. However, there aren't this many fire bottle gourds in the army. The ones we use are wisteria bottle gourds which are handed to the Vermillion Bird Troops all around the world. There is a total of one million such bottles in the entire empire, and this amount would only be enough to store away one province worth of dark cloud. With so many provinces in the empire, it isn't possible to rely solely on the fire bottle gourds from the army."

    Qin Mu then spoke up. "Even though there aren't many bottle gourds in the army, the empire has many officials that cultivate spells and influential families with powerful people. There are numerous strong practitioners in the imperial court as well, and with a decree from Your Majesty, you could order all them to create treasures to store away the dark cloud in the sky. With so many people, the county magistrates, young magistrates, and magistrates who are also strong practitioners could take responsibility for the area under their jurisdiction. With the strong practitioners of the army going to help out in each and every area, we could expect to mostly get rid of the dark cloud."

    Emperor Yanfeng pondered it for a moment. "There would be some difficulty in mobilizing the divine arts practitioners of the entire empire to get rid of the cloud. There are some wandering divine arts practitioners in the martial world who don't listen to the orders of the imperial court..."

    "Therefore we will need Your Majesty to do it yourself, showing an example to the whole world," said Qin Mu. "If Your Majesty leaves the capital and goes to each province to store away the dark cloud, the people will naturally follow suit."

    Most of the civil and military officials looked at one another. If the emperor left the capital to store away the dark cloud, the remnants of the sects would probably take advantage of this to assassinate him, since their rebellion had just been quelled.

    Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor went to Great Ruins for battle and got ambushed, which resulted in him returning in failure. If the emperor was to leave the capital, he would definitely have to suffer all kinds of assassination attempts.

    Just as everyone was about to say something, Emperor Yanfeng's eyes lighted up and he smiled. "Right. Minister Qin, do you have any other ideas to handle this snow disaster?"

    "The snow disaster is already here, and I'm helpless to do anything."

    Qin Mu said, "I've heard of a sentence once: The path of a saint is not different than the one of a common person. With so many divine arts practitioners in the world, if the sun came out and melted the snow, you could have these divine arts practitioners personally go down to help clear up the frozen villages. They could help plant the grains again, and there might even be harvest next year. If there's no wind, we can invite the divine arts practitioners to send wind. If weeds grow, invite divine arts practitioners to remove the weeds. If there is insect damage, invite divine arts practitioners to remove the insects. If there is frost damage, invite divine arts practitioners to use fire to get rid of the frost."

    "Your Majesty, these are words of the devil!" A civil official stepped out of from the ranks while trembling with anger. "Your Majesty, what Palace Grandee said are words of the devil, this would damage the country and hurt the people. He should be executed on the spot!"

    Emperor Yanfeng smile. "His sentences were very correct, so why are they words of the devil? Those aren't words that would damage the country and hurt the people, but instead, they are good words that would heal the country and save the people. Your position is revoked, go home and reflect on yourself. Minister Qin, what other good strategies do you have?"

    Qin Mu pondered and said, "Your Majesty can also make Minister of Sky Supervision watch the weather of all area. During flood years, we can store the rainwater into spirit treasures like the bottle gourds. During years of hurricane, we can store the winds inside spirit treasures. We can store tornadoes, hails, lightning-all of them for our own usage. If we meet with years of drought, we can release the rain, and if we fight with other countries, we can release the hails, snow, lightning, and tornadoes. This way, we could deal with our own weather and attack the enemy countries. The snow disaster just now came close to destroying such a glorious empire like Eternal Peace, so if this kind of meteorological divine art was used on an enemy country, which one would be able to withstand it?"

    "You Majesty, controlling the meteorology is defying the heavenly laws, these are words of the devil!" Another civil official stepped out of the ranks and kowtowed repeatedly until his head bled. "These are words of a true devil and will really destroy our empire! Your Majesty, please quickly kill this demon of the devil path!"

    "You're removed from your position."Emperor Yanfeng waved his hand and smiled. "If you don't have any ideas, don't spout rubbish and slander Palace Grandee. What's the point of me giving you a high salary every month? This snow cloud is the one destroying our empire! Men, drag him out. Palace Grandee, talk is easy, action is hard. You shall follow me for the disaster relief."

    Qin Mu hesitated and said with embarrassment, "I still have to go home for New Years... I can recommend some people who could help Your Majesty."

    Emperor Yanfeng laughed out loud and felt that the dark cloud which had shrouded his heart had dispersed. He waved his hand. "Approved. That's fine, I'm in need of people now and if the people you recommend are really useful, I won't leave you wanting."

    Duke Wei's heart trembled slightly. "Heavenly Devil Cult is going to enter the imperial court... Come to say of it, I'm now the heavenly king of Heavenly Devil Cult and have long entered the imperial court. This young cult master really knows how to curry favor. With Imperial Preceptor not in the imperial court these days, he took the chance to plant his men. If Imperial Preceptor were to stay away for a few years, I'm afraid even the emperor would become part of Heavenly Devil Cult! Where exactly did Imperial Preceptor go? He went on such a long tour with his wife and doesn't even bother to come back when such a huge thing has happened..."
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