Chapter 222: Eastern Sea Alliance
“Young Master Zhou Zhang, I would be delighted if our Scarlet Tide Sect could work together with your Blood Coral Cove.” Sect Master Ming King of the Scarlet Tide Sect said in a cheerful tone after conversing with Zhang for a bit and being offered to form an alliance with the Blood Coral Cove.
“It's good that you willing, Master Ming. We all need to look after each other and help each other whenever we can.” Zhang said with a smile.
After talking to a dozen or so sect masters and leaders of what could only be classified as minor powers, a sudden thought sprang into Zhang’s mind.
“Instead of erecting a single alliance, I should create two of them! An alliance of smaller sects that would work under the banner of the Blood Coral Cove and an alliance of larger powers that would work in cooperation with the Blood Coral on equal terms.” Zhang had thought.
By doing so he would be able to expand the Blood Coral Cove’s influence through the use of many subsidiary sects. Then as the representative of dozens of sects the Blood Coral Cove would have ample authority in the eyes of the other sects and forces that would be a part of the larger alliance.
“After a few more members join we will be able to establish a web of influence across the Eastern Sea.” Sect Master Ming Kong said in a joyful tone.
“In the future perhaps the Dragon God Palace will be replaced by our Eastern Sea Alliance.” Zhang added while nodding in agreement to Sect Master Ming Kong’s words.
“We, of course, would have to set up a proper hierarchy amongst the members of the alliance and a few laws and regulations would also have to be put in place.” Yuying interjected as she arrived beside Zhang.
“I think a minor membership fee should also be required. Those who join the Eastern Sea Alliance would receive numerous benefits and it is only right that they contribute to the alliance as a whole.
Of course, the sects that choose to join early on and form the core of the alliance wouldn't be required to contribute as much as those who choose to join after the alliance is established.” Ling said, bringing to light one of the major reasons as to why Zhang wished to create an alliance with all of these small sects, to begin with.
Through all of these lesser sects, Zhang would gain immense power and influence, but he would also gain another source of income.
While the Blood Coral Cove would shelter, and help these lesser sects prosper, yearly contributions would, in turn, give Zhang a steady and never-ending flow of riches.
Although he would certainly be required to spend a large portion of these contributions for the alliance, a few million essence stones here and a few million essence stones there wouldn't harm anyone.
“Contributions? Wouldn't that deter a large number of sects from joining our alliance?” Sect Master Ming Kong asked with a hint of dissatisfaction in his voice after Ling spoke.
“It certainly would if all we did is was take and not giving back.” Zhang replied with a confident smile as he glanced at the beauties.
“All of the contributions made would be pooled together and after a small sum that is required to maintain the infrastructure of the alliance is taken it, the rest of it would be given to a sect that would be selected at random.” Yuying said while making all sorts of hand gestures to get her point across.
“The sect that ends up receiving the bulk of the contributions made to the alliance would then be able to bolster its forces and strengthen its disciples. This would act as an incentive that would attract more members into the alliance while discouraging members from leaving, in turn strengthening the alliance.” Lingqi explained.
“That's a brilliant idea…” Sect Master Ming Kong muttered after listening to the beauties.
“Yea, only an idiot wouldn't want to receive a lot of money for a little bit of investment.” Ai said with a chuckle.
“Normally with the amount of wealth we would require as a contribution to the alliance, not much could be accomplished. However once that amount it multiplied by a dozen times or perhaps a hundred times, a whole horizon of options would open up.” Zhang said.
“Once a sect is selected to receive the bulk of the contributions that the alliance collects, they naturally would be taken out of the drawing for the following year to make things fair and avoid anyone from possibly using this system for their sole benefit.” Yuying stated, wiping away doubts and worries that popped up in Sect Master Ming Kong’s mind.
“However before we can even get this contribution system started, we need to have sufficient members within the alliance. Sadly, this would fall onto your shoulders, Master Ming Kong. Since we are new faces that have only shown up in the Eastern Sea not too long ago, we connections are few and our reputations are shallow.” Zhang said with a sigh.
“I'm afraid besides you and a few other bright-minded individuals, not many people would be willing to join the alliance. The friends we've managed to make here today are simply only superficial.” Ling said with a sigh like Zhang.
“Sadly you're right, I doubt there aren't many who would jump at an opportunity such as this like myself. Actually, had you not gone to the trouble of explaining the concept to me, after hearing that my sect would have to send in a yearly contribution, I wouldn't be up for it either.” Sect Master Ming Kong said with a sigh.
“How about this. As an initiative, not only will the first ten forces to join our alliance be exempt from having to send in one hundred thousand essence stones as their first year’s contribution, I'll even give them a million essence stones each. Not only that, I will give them senior rank within the alliance which would allow them the ability to command all of the sect's ranked lower than you.” Zhang said with a grin, sparking a surprised expression to appear on Sect Master Ming Kong’s face.
“A million essence stones each?! Ten million essence stones?!” Sect Master Ming Kong said in an astonished tone. To a small sized sect like the Scarlet Tide Sect, a million essence stones more than enough to keep all of its disciples housed, fed and provided with sufficient cultivation materials for at least a year or two, rather it there would be enough excess wealth for them to raise a saint or two on top of things, but here Zhang was going to give away ten million essence stones as if it was not a big deal at all.
Little did Sect Master Ming Kong; ten million essence stones were but a small fraction of what Zhang had made off of the raffle for the Ascending Beauty Painting in a little under an hour’s worth of time.
“We’ll even give you a finder’s fee of a hundred thousand essence stones for every sect you manage to recruit into the alliance.” Ling said with a smile.
“Really?” Sect Master Ming Kong asked Zhang as a hint of excitement became visible on his face.
“Of course, her words are like my words.” Zhang said with a chuckle as he looked at Ling with loving eyes.
“Then I shall go ahead and have a chat with a few of the sect masters whom I happen to be acquainted with.” Sect Mater Ming Kong said as a pile of essence stones was vividly imagined in his imagination.
“Best of luck to you, Master Ming Kong.” Zhang said as he watched Sect Master Ming Kong walk off with brisk steps.
“Now that the initial steps of setting up the Eastern Sea Alliance has been set into motion, should we begin with the other part of your plan?” Yuying asked Zhang as she stood beside him while watching Sect Master Ming Kong depart.
“I’ve already spoken to Master Yu Xui and Master Shan Jin and I think they would have more luck carrying out the second part of the plan then we would. Unlike the small to mid-tier sects, the other top twenty sects would see a million essence stones as a trivial sum, making it hard to entice them with wealth alone. Those types of people can only be influenced by power. Meaning it would be wiser for us to allow those two high saints to do our work for us.” Zhang said in a low voice.
“So rather than taking the initiative and forming the second alliance, we should wait until everything is set up and simply join as a regular member?” Lingqi asked.
“I believe that would be for the best. Since none of the lower to mid-tier forces can compare to us in terms of power and resources we can easily stand at the top of the pack and hold immense sway over them, but when compared to the other top twenty we are very lacking and have no right to take the lead.” Ling explained.
“Yup, all we have to do is sit back and do nothing. I doubt Master Ming Kong would be able to invite any of the larger sects to join, but I’m sure he will be able to round up quite a few lower and mid-tier forces in no time at all. While Master Yu Xui and Master Shan Jin will have more word and influence on the other leaders of the top twenty powers of the Eastern Sea.” Zhang stated as he proceeded to find an empty banquet table for himself and the beauties to sit at.
Before long the banquet officially began and an abundance of steaming hot food was brought out and served to the many guests who were in attendance. An abundance of wine and beverages were also shared, invoking a merry and joyful atmosphere.
Although the dishes prepared by Zhang’s subordinates would be considered quite crude and simplistic compared to similar banquets that were held back in the Aurora Empire, one couldn't really expect nor ask for much when men who were solely skilled in the art of war and death are tasked to cook. Nonetheless, thanks to the fact that Zhang had his people serve the guests various dishes that they would rarely be able to taste so far out at sea, no complaints were heard.
When someone who has been eating fish and other oceanic delicacies for most of their lives, meats such as deer, boar, beef, and bear would prove to be utterly delicious and foreign.
Once the mood was ripe, Master Shan Jin and Master Yu Xui could be seen making their way onto a makeshift circular stage that was situated in the center of the venue. With all eyes and everyone’s attention focused on them, the two high saints proceeded to speak.
“First off we would like to thank our new friend, the young master of the Blood Coral Cove for hosting this banquet and for allowing two old geezers such are ourselves the opportunity to mingle with a few old friends and get to know a few younglings. I would also like to thank you for looking after my foolish grandson.” Master Shan Jin said in a friendly tone that one would use when speaking to friends and family as he gazed at the table where Zhang and the beauties were seated.
“By now a few of you should have already guessed the purpose of this banquet, however before we get to the main points, I would like to offer everyone a small toast. This first cup is in honor of all of you who are present today. To lasting bonds and everlasting friendship!” Master Yu Xui said as he lifted up a small cup filled with wine and drank it all in a single gulp before everyone followed his example and downed a cup of down of their own.
“This second cup will be to celebrate and pray for the eternal peace and prosperity of the Eastern Sea!” Master Yu Xui said as he poured another cup or wine.
“To eternal peace and prosperity!” The crowd said as they raised up their glasses and cheered.
“This third cup would usually be in honor of the Dragon God Palace’s, however after today’s events, I doubt many of you would offer a toast to them. After having been a victim of their nefarious plotting, this old man will probably never look at those bastards the same again...” Master Yu Xui said in a ridiculing manner as he proceeded to pour the contents of his third cup of wine onto the ground below the stage he was standing atop of.
“If their plot succeeded, not only would my Starry Sea Sect, Old Yu Xui’s Golden Pearl Sect and Young Master Zhou Zhang’s the Blood Coral Cove have been utterly destroyed, but I’m sure everyone else present would have met an untimely end also.” Master Shan Jin said in an unhappy voice as a scowl appeared on his face.
“Yea! Had it not been for my young lord’s quick thinking, everyone would have needlessly fought to the bitter end for no reason, only to end up falling prey to those bastards from Dragon God Palace…” Nai Fan roared angrily before lifting up a jug of wine, gulping about half of it and smashing it into the ground, causing countless clay fragments to scatter about.
Using their words and actions as a catalyst, Master Shan Jin. Master Yu Xui and Nai Fan subtly ignited the flurry of emotions and feelings in everyone’s hearts, regarding the events that had happened not too long ago, sparking a wave of unhappy rumbling voices to sound out throughout the crowd, cursing the Dragon God Palace.
“In order to make sure the events that had happened today, never happen again, we would like to forge a force that can content with the Dragon God Palace a force consisting mainly of as many of the other top twenty strongest forces in the Eastern Sea.” Master Yu Xui announced.