HSSB1143: One after another
Even as hidden undercurrents were surging in the World beyond Worlds, a momentous event was taking place on the surface.
The Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion whose fame had spread far and wide as it had already established its status in the World beyond Worlds welcomed its third anniversary.
After the usual sale of treasures to the public, the auction officially began on a greater scale.
Those who could participate in the auction all possessed token plates without exception.
In Yan Zhaoge’s words, this was an auction which only ‘members’ could participate in.
The auction goods did not all belong to the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion as they were acting as intermediaries for over half of them.
Many of them were rare and precious goods that were naturally enticing.
As a result, the auction was very considerably well received.
From the scale to the process, this looked set to be an incomparably successful auction in every aspect.
The black-clothed Brocade Emperor whom those of the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion had previously been concerned about had been very quiet all this time.
Ever since arriving in Yuanzhou City till during the auction itself right now, he had done nothing at all as if he had truly come just to witness this momentous occasion.
Still, Yan Zhaoge and the others increasingly felt that something was wrong.
The Female Emperor Jie Mingkong who had originally agreed to attend the auction this time had failed to show up!
With that, the pressure brought about by the black-clothed Brocade Emperor instantly rose multifold for Wang Pu and the others.
“Could it be that the Female Emperor learnt about you bringing back a message from the Roving Jade Heavens, hence feeling dissatisfied?” Wang Pu asked Yan Zhaoge in private.
Chu Lili’s existence was a big secret as few knew about it even in the World beyond Worlds.
It had not been covered up deliberately like that of the Bright Connection Emperor. Instead, she had seldom interacted with people even when she had been in the World beyond Worlds in the past.
There was almost no one who knew that the Astro Sovereign had another disciple besides the Female Emperor Jie Mingkong.
The Sword Sovereign Yue Zhenbei was naturally in the know as he was on closer terms with Chu Lili. His disciples of Jade Capital Crag knew vaguely of this as well, just not in so much detail.
When Yan Zhaoge had returned to the World beyond Worlds, the Sword Sovereign had still been in extradimensional space. Therefore, he had briefly mentioned this issue to Wang Pu.
Now that the Female Emperor had unexpectedly failed to show up, Wang Pu naturally wondered if it was related to this.
“That should not be the case,” Yan Zhaoge said, “I myself told no one else about this. Even if anyone from the Roving Jade Heavens tried to leak the information, they only know at most that I met with Senior Chu, not knowing what it was that we discussed and the fact that I returned with a letter for her.”
Gao Xuebo, Long Xueji and the others would not intentionally cause him harm.
While Little Gao Qing was a bit talkative, her grandfather Gao Xuebo would definitely have repeatedly reminded her to be careful with her words. Thus, the possibility of her leaking the news was low as well.
The Cloud Conquest Emperor and some others did not like the World beyond Worlds. Still, even if they wished to induce an internal conflict there, they lacked sufficient kindling for such as they would naturally have no way of going about it.
If all Yan Zhaoge had done was merely meet with Chu Lili once, it would be impossible for the Female Emperor to be enraged as a result.
“I guarantee that I did not leak the news too,” Wang Pu forced a smile.
“Therefore, it should not be about me returning with the letter. The possibility of this is very low, at least,” Yan Zhaoge lightly rubbed his temples, “It is probably some other matter which has caused the Female Emperor to fail to show up. Still, there aren’t many things which could potentially do this.”
The Female Emperor Jie Mingkong was famous for not getting involved in the affairs of others, caring not about whatever happened to them.
Most of the time, of the Five Emperors of the World beyond Worlds, she was the one with the lowest sense of existence.
There were very few things which could get her to appear.
It was because of this that everyone had been shocked when she had appeared at Broad Creed Mountain’s opening ceremony.
Even in the rare battle between Emperor-level experts that year when the Brocade Emperor had battled Mars Halberd, the Female Emperor had simply ignored it completely.
The Female Emperor had similarly done nothing when Chen Qianhua had stomped on Ingenious Flying Peak.
When Chen Qianhua had revealed his intention to become the Southern Exalt and clashed with Jade Capital Crag’s Nie Jingshen, as this matter concerned Jade Capital Crag and Broad Creed Mountain, only then had the Female Emperor appeared once more.
It was considerably difficult to get this number one female expert of the World beyond Worlds to make a move.
“Whether it is my Broad Creed Mountain or senior apprentice-uncle Yue’s Jade Capital Crag, the reason for the Female Emperor’s relative closeness to us is actually the relationship of the Astro Sovereign with my grandfather that year.”
“While it is most likely not because of me delivering a letter for Senior Chu…” Yan Zhaoge pondered aloud, “A matter that is most able to move the Female Emperor in the World beyond Worlds would have to be related to the Astro Sovereign.”
Hearing this, Wang Pu nodded slowly.
“Indeed, it is not just a single person who has come looking for trouble,” Yan Zhaoge raised his head slightly, gazing at the ceiling as he promptly said, “The black-clothed Brocade Emperor would not be able to do something so major in his current situation. Someone who can bring together all of this…”
Xiao Ai and the others simultaneously blurted out in realisation, “Southern High Peak’s Qilin Cliff!”
“The white-clothed Brocade Emperor is unable to come, and the Female Emperor cannot make it too…” Yan Zhaoge exhaled lightly, “However one looks at it, these are not unrelated incidents. All this seems planned.”
“Elder Wang must not like how the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion has increased the influence of my Jade Capital Crag, huh?” Wang Pu asked in a heavy tone.
With how the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion had stirred up the World beyond Worlds greatly, as Qiu Jiahai and other disciples of Jade Capital Crag had participated in this, it was indeed unceasingly raising the influence of the Sword Sovereign.
All along, of the Three Sovereigns of the World beyond Worlds, the Concealed Sovereign had been the most low-key and the Sword Sovereign the most inexperienced as the Earthly Sovereign had thus basically been seen as their leader.
The appearance of the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion now was still insufficient to change the situation.
Still, as time passed and its influence grew, there was no guarantee that nothing would crop up as a result.
Public opinion was far less important in the world of martial practitioners than it was in the world of mere mortals.
Still, as the World beyond Worlds had developed over the years, a connection would naturally arise between the higher and lower branches of that figurative growing tree.
While it was the higher levels affecting the lower levels most of the time, when the lower levels gradually formed a collective voice, even the higher levels would have to take this seriously.
When the stance of the higher echelon experts shifted on a widespread scale, it would naturally affect the authority of the peak experts to decide matters.
Of course, the precondition for this was that the gap between their strength was not too great.
As that head steward who governed the World beyond Worlds most of the time, it was really impossible that the Earth Exalt Wang Zhengcheng did not understand this, as Wang Pu saw it.
“Still, there is a precondition,” Qiu Jiahai said, “The Concealed Sovereign has to remain neutral. If the Concealed Sovereign unconditionally supports the Earthly Sovereign, it would require an even longer time for the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion to exert its effects.”
“Based on this, the Earth Exalt should not make a move before the Concealed Sovereign has expressed his stance. This does not correspond with his usual style of handling matters.”
Yan Zhaoge stroked his lower chin, “So, the Earth Exalt should not be in a rush to suppress the Heavenly Mysteries Pavilion, unless he is intentionally going against his usual style of handling affairs.”
While the possibility of this was not zero, it was still on the low side.
“In that case, his goal…” Yan Zhaoge narrowed his eyes, “Ah Hu…”
Before he could finish speaking, a startled look suddenly appeared on the face of Ah Hu beside him as he pulled out a purple ice crystal and shattered it.
Light flickered within the crystal, forming a message.
Reading it, everyone’s faces fell as Yan Zhaoge put a hand to his forehead, “Our helpers are getting held up one after another, while our enemies are arriving one after another.”
The contents of the ice crystal read:
“The Heaven Emperor has arrived in the southeast.”
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