Then, he asked Meng Qi to elaborate on the new state policy as the new Minister over the Ma.s.ses.
Meng Qi took a light breath and quickly reviewed his responses in the previous discussions. Then, he slowly walked out of the official group and went down the stairs.
Just as he was about to speak, another official walked out—it was none other than Tian Guang.
He bowed to the King of Chen first and then turned to Meng Qi and said, "I have one thing to ask the Grand Minister over the Ma.s.ses."
He did not speak respectfully, like most of the aristocrats present had been.
Meng Qi deliberately turned to the King of Chen, who nodded slightly as a signal to him that he should say what he wanted to. He could try his best to rebut in the same way that he used to persuade the King of Chen. Thus, he smiled and said, "Please, go ahead."
At that moment, there were less than five steps between them. Their breaths wove together.
Tian Guang looked directly at Meng Qi and spoke slowly. "I wonder if you've ever heard about the things that happened in Wu state in the south."
Meng Qi hesitated and said, "Please elaborate on it."
In his senses, the King of Chen was also puzzled. He seemed to get the exclusive news from his family, which was close to Chu state.
Tian Guang smiled gently. "The King of Wu picks talents regardless of their statuses and uses a man called Wu Hao, who abolishes the feudal system, applies the tax system, and gives rewards to soldiers. These things are strongly objected to, and Wu state is now both in internal and external trouble, which the entire world will learn about in a dozen days. What's your opinion on that?"
"My opinion on that?" Meng Qi had no opinions, only curses inside his head. "Have the Legalism Saints appeared? Or a lucky Samsara traveler that received a Legalism task?"
However, he had acted so directly without paving the way first that it was no wonder that he received such a large backlas.h.!.+
Meng Qi, Jiang Zhiwei, and the others exchanged glances. They all thought that Wu Hao was likely a Samsara traveler, behind who was a subsidiary team.
This was not strange, as after the first Death Task, Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms mentioned that they were likely to meet other teams in non-Group-rivaling tasks. It would totally depend on themselves whether they wanted to collaborate, fight, or ignore each other.
There were several big states from Wu state to Chu state and Tang state. Meng Qi did not bother to mess with Wu Hao, and Wu Hao must have felt the same about Meng Qi.
"With such a good card, how he can play it that bad? Horrible..." Meng Qi could not help criticizing. If it were not for the King of Wu being one of the moguls, a Half-step to Dharmakaya with capable Divine Weapons and devoted followers, the policy of Wu Hao's group should have failed long ago. They would not have survived until today nor would they have gradually gained the upper hand.
"Perhaps they did that on purpose because of the King of Wu's strength?
"Did the King of Wu want to find Dharmakaya solidifying humanity to unite the world?"
Hearing this, the King of Chen's countenance slightly changed. Was Tian Guang advising or even warning them of the things in Wu state?
While Meng Qi was having numerous thoughts, Tian Guang stepped forward and asked again in a low voice, "What's your opinion on that?"
He became very aggressive, in contrast to his previous calmness.
As he quickly cleared his mind and was ready to answer, Meng Qi suddenly saw Tian Guang giving out a b.l.o.o.d.y aura. He felt something wrong.
The b.l.o.o.d.y aura was quickly condensed in Tian Guang's right palm, and then it transformed into a palm blade that went directly at Meng Qi!
It happened all too fast. Who could have thought Tian Guang would act like this in front of all these masters? The grandmaster King of Chen could not even respond timely.
"How dare he a.s.sa.s.sinate in front of the a.s.sembly?"
Even if he succeeded, he could not escape and would die under the hands of the King of Chen.
He would bet his life on this. What a resolution!
Tian Guang's body seemed to shrink a little, and his eyes shone like a martyr's. He looked resolute and quickly swung his palm blade. With the flash of the b.l.o.o.d.y aura, his palm hit the left side of Meng Qi's chest.
It was the clash of gold and iron. However, Meng Qi stood as steady as Mount Tai. Golden light rose up from where he was. .h.i.t in the chest. Moreover, he was unharmed!
"Unharmed?" Tian Guang widened his eyes, horrified!
The "Secret b.l.o.o.d.y Divine Saber", which had been imparted by a Dissimilated Man, was useless to Su Mo!
Was it a bladesmans.h.i.+p that could shatter anyone, even the Immortals, to b.l.o.o.d.y pieces?
Tian Guang did not expect to fight against a Peerless Master Pro with his strength. But, what kind of Peerless Master Pro was Su Mo?
Yet, he was a person of resolution. He immediately disregarded his shock, and his Interior s.h.i.+vered and all of his Aperture acupoints closed. He was about to make himself explode so they would all die together.
At that moment, Meng Qi moved his shoulder and utilized the force from his waist. He hit Tian Guang's palm with his chest!
Tian Guang was knocked back meters away with a snapping sound. When he was finally stopped by a reinforced pillar, his right arm was feebly hanging from his shoulder and his chest had been dented in. He spat blood from his mouth as if he had been hit by a big hammer Precious Weapon.
The Eight Nine Mysteries had made every part of his body a Precious Weapon!
In the Third Heaven, Meng Qi only had a few outer weak points, which were his groin and mid-brows. Actually, there was also his Mouth Aperture, because when it was. .h.i.t, the force would easily find its way into the inner organs, which were softer than muscles and skin.
Of course, when Meng Qi finally claimed the immortal Primeval Dharmakaya, his body would be crystal clear and strong both inside and out!
"Unfilial!" Before the King of Chen could act, Tian Heng first hit Tian Guang with his palm. He was very shocked as well.
Tian Guang calmly accepted it, but his eyes were firmly fixed on Meng Qi.
"You ask the immortal descendants to degenerate to ruin the rituals and hierarchy. You shall go to h.e.l.l!"
"You ask the immortal descendants to degenerate to ruin the rituals and hierarchy. You shall go to h.e.l.l!" Tian Guang had died under his father's palms. However, his voice echoed loudly. The voice made Meng Qi's eyelids twitch and made its owner look like a righteous martyr.
"Humph, the ignorant and conservative residue that is crushed by the wheel of history!" Meng Qi thought to himself.
It was so quiet in the hall that you could have heard a pin drop. What happened was way too fast, most of the masters had not cleared up their thoughts yet.
However, the last words that Tian Guang shouted out before he died made them feel sorry for themselves. When the hare dies, the fox grieves!
Tian Heng stepped forward and confessed that he had not taught his son well.
The King of Chen was furious. However, he could not condemn the entire Tian family. Thus, he first dismissed Tian Heng, the Minister of Justice, and then said that he would investigate thoroughly.
Then, he decided to leave Tian Guang's corpse where it was and let Meng Qi continue.
Seeing the body and feeling the anger, the aristocrats' momentum was subdued. They could only listen to Meng Qi's new state policies and look at him strangely.
"Did he use his chest to ward off Tian Guang's palm blade?"
"Tian Guang seemed to be hit by a Precious Weapon!"
"He is a humanoid wild beast!"
In the wake of the incident, Meng Qi raised his momentum, trying to intimidate the aristocrats. He wanted them to shy away in a short period, and when they finally found the policies profitable, things would be easier.
He announced the new state policies one by one, which the aristocrats all had heard before. However, at last, Meng Qi said in a deep voice, "Whoever kills anyone who collects Transit Dues will be innocent of murder!"
"Innocent of murder?" The aristocrats could not even hold back their shock.
"What kind of strange order is that?"
Soon afterward, they regained themselves. Some thought that their little tricks would be to no avail, while others walked out of the a.s.sembly furiously. "The Grand Minister over the Ma.s.ses's policy is bound to throw Chen state into chaos. What if there are evil people who kill the border guards and then frame them for collecting Transit Dues?"
Meng Qi had prepared for this, so he answered loudly, "We'll withdraw the guards at most of the checkpoints and keep them only at the fortress and city gates. They should avoid private contact with merchants. Without private contact, there must be witnesses. And if there aren't, things couldn't be simpler."
He paused and said, "There used to be a law: Kill any bandit you meet. It goes the same with this; we'll solve this just like how we used to."
The way of the world was that there really were many soldier masters who would turn into looting burglars. How they used to distinguish them could totally be applied now.
The opposing officials raised their doubts. However, they were all refuted easily by Meng Qi. Moreover, Tian Guang's death greatly broke down the aristocrats' momentum. Therefore, the new state policies were carried out smoothly. Most of the aristocrats decided to shy away and cancel the checkpoints for a while. After that, they would collude with each other again for chances to cause trouble.
One month later.
A trade caravan from Chu state entered the city of Shangying. They were not a large group, but all of their breaths were strong. Moreover, their carriages left deep ruts in the road, so obviously, they were carrying valuable goods.
Of course, the most valuable items were all stored in the s.p.a.ce Ring. If they were experts of the Exterior, then they would be keeping such items because they could fly and be quick to shy away from incidents. However, the current situation in Shangying was complex, all kinds of people and merchandise could be seen here. Experts of the Exterior would trade here because in the underground markets they could save tax.
"There's been more hustle and bustle in Shangying over the last months." The leader looked around and saw crowds and caravans, as many as in Chu state's capital, Anjiang.
His son laughed. "Most of them come here because there are no Transit Dues. I don't know about the King of Chen... how can he cut off his source of income? Well, it's good for us anyway. We'll save more than half the cost this time."
His father stroked his goatee. "Whoever kills anyone who collects Transit Dues will be innocent of murder... The King of Chen might have an ulterior motive."
Along the way, he discovered that the number of goods traded in Shangying had greatly increased. He suddenly had another speculation about abolis.h.i.+ng the Transit Dues policy.
It looked like Meng Qi was running a business, making small profits but quick turnover; moreover, the King of Chen would gain more than the small profits.
Su Mo of the School of Mo was a real talent!
"Father, all the inns are full!" said his son as he returned.
"Full?" The leader frowned.
His son nodded heavily and said with a sigh, "They say that the number of merchants on this road has increased by several times. How can there be any rooms left?"
"Several times..." The leader thought more and more about the exterior motives of abolis.h.i.+ng the Transit Dues.
An old man approached them as he was about to say something. The man warmly greeted them. "Dear guests, I have a yard where you may stay the night."
"How is that?" The merchants were all surprised that even the normal people started to run inns on the side.
"Thank you very much for your kindness. Shall we take a look at your yard? If it's nice and clean, we'll pay a good fee," the leader said in a low voice.
"Sure," the old man cheerily replied. Then, he led them via a street into a normal house. It was not large and the rooms were not many. However, they were tidy and clean and made everyone feel comfortable.
"The guards will sleep in the yard, the remaining rooms are sufficient..." his son looked around and murmured.
The leader nodded, took out a piece of gold, and handed it to the old man. "It's hard to bring copper coins on the road. Please take this as our pledge; we'll pay the fee properly when we leave."
The old man took the gold and smiled, saying, "Please allow me to have someone check for me."
"Have someone check for him?" To the merchants' surprise, the old man went out to stop a patrolling Enlightened Master Pro to ask him to verify. Moreover, the man did so politely.
The leader behind them was stunned. Generally speaking, most of the officials were aristocrats who already had a spot waiting for them to fill in when they were born. They often would not serve people properly and would just be idle all day. But he had seen something completely different in Shangying—they not only did their jobs, but also went out of their way to help others.
"Is this Honoring the Virtuous and selecting the good?"
After the merchants had settled in, the old man returned to the wood shed, where his family temporarily slept.
The old man's son gaped at the piece of gold and said, "This, this is really working..."
He had been opposed to turning his home into a temporary inn.
The old man said with a laugh, "With the advice of the Grand Minister over the Ma.s.ses, how can it go wrong?"
In order to acc.u.mulate good luck, Meng Qi had been helping people in his spare time. For example, when he was patrolling, he would advise the citizens on how to take the opportunity to make money.
Then, he sighed. "Since the Grand Minister over the Ma.s.ses came here, our lives have been getting better and better. Even the beggar Gao brothers know how to cut gra.s.s in the mountains for the horse inns. At least they won't starve now."
"People in the street say that he's a Saint on earth, and they call him Mozi or Suzi." His daughter-in-law broke in to say.
In a room, Meng Qi and the others were surrounded by the glitter of black, white, and golden lights.
Since the implementation of the new state policies, they started to obtain Merits and Moral Qi around them. It was the good karma by the Heaven Dao!
"There are only a few days until we return," Zhao Heng exclaimed.
"The quiet aristocrats might be colluding with each other and acc.u.mulating their strength for a ma.s.sive counterattack." Meng Qi did not have a relaxed feeling.
It was too much to say that a man died for his intimate friend, but the King of Chen's recognition did make them want to completely carry out the policies before they found an excuse to leave. For instance, they could say that there were some who were critically wounded who needed them, and then make Bai Song the Grand Minister over the Ma.s.ses to continue the new policy.
"My son finally returns home." The Minister of Works, Gongyang Zeng, looked at the person in front of him and smiled. "Have the Immortals in the Golden Light Cave made up their minds?"