“Why should I listen to him?” The head of the nine-tailed foxes snorted in disdain, and her eyes flashed with resentment. “Back then, I, Su Wan, got to my knees and begged him to find the Five Elements Great Emperor’s soul in the River Styx, but he went into seclusion for three months and refused to see me. Now he has a favor to ask of me? …..why should I help him?”
Ye Zichen wouldn’t have guessed she had such a past with Emperor Hades. After hearing her response, Ye Zichen’s heart sunk.
Had Emperor Hades set him up?
In her shoes, he wouldn’t have helped out either.
“So that’s how it is! Emperor Hades is practically inhuman!” Ye Zichen immediately changed his tone and immediately objected on Su Wan’s behalf. “What was Emperor Hades thinking, sending me to ask you a favor after all of that? Argh! If he’d just told me, I never would have come here and embarrassed myself in front of you!”
He flattered her with all his might, and his eyes brimmed over with disdain for Emperor Hades. This wasn’t just Ye Zichen’s good acting skills, either; he meant absolutely every word, so he was utterly sincere.
It would have been one thing if Emperor Hades had helped Su Wan back then, but since he hadn’t, where did he get the gall to ask her for help now?
“Kid, you seem awfully reasonable.” Su Wan nodded, seemingly gratified. She’d carried the grudge of Emperor Hades refusing her outside his door ever since that day. Although she wouldn’t go so far as to say she hated him, their friendship would never recover, and they’d drifted apart.
“That’s right! We’re both absolutely reasonable people.” Ye Zichen pounded his chest.
“In that case, you might as well leave.” Her words immediately put the brakes on their conversation. Ye Zichen didn’t quite know how to respond.
It’s true; he didn’t think well of Emperor Hades behavior. However, he really did have to descend to the Lower Realms.
Never mind going back to greet his old friends; he absolutely had to retrieve the Xuan-Yuan Sword. Aside from asking the nine-tailed foxes, he didn’t know any other way to descend to the Lower Realms.
His smile froze. Ye Zichen rubbed his nose and his eyes darted back and forth. “Aunty Wan, this… hehe….”
“Hm?” When she heard him call her “Aunty Wan,” she frowned instinctively.
Ye Zichen cast away his shame and said, “Su Liu’er called you that, right? Well, she’s my big sister, so I ought to call you ‘aunty’ too, right? Ha… ha…..”
His laughter was dry and forced. His blatant attempt to curry favor with her only made Su Wan frown, but she said nothing. She simply waited to see his performance.
“That Emperor Hades is no-good, really! No true man would do such a thing. I cannot possibly condone his behavior. But Aunty Wan, I’m innocent!”
Su Wan chuckled and nodded but said nothing. She simply waited for him to continue.
“How about…. If it’s not too much trouble… you just lend a hand and help me descend?”
“What you’re saying really does make a bit of sense.” She laughed and nodded, but just as Ye Zichen’s eyes lit up, her expression darkened. “Scram…. Hurry up and get the hell out of my sight before I lose my temper.”
“Do you want me to attack you?”
Ye Zichen licked his lips, batted his eyes and smiled apologetically. He turned to leave, but before long, he turned back around.
“You still won’t leave?” Su Wan furrowed her brows.
“Hey…. please don’t lose your temper.” Ye Zichen smiled obsequiously. He pointed at the bamboo forest and said, “Can you call someone to help me…? I can’t find my way out…..”
Su Wan glanced at him coolly, waved her hand, and the bamboo forest disappeared, replaced by a grassy plain.
He hadn’t realized that the bamboo forest was actually her magical treasure.
He arched his brows in surprise, but smiled, bowed, and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
“Hmph. It seems that geezer Emperor Hades really has entered a state of decay. Otherwise, there’s no way he’d trouble me over such a trivial matter. But why should I help you? Although we were once dear friends, in my moment of need, you wouldn’t even let me inside. Our friendship is already over.”
She silently rose to her feet, but just as she was about to enter the bamboo building, a woman approached through the bamboo thicket.
“Little Yan, why are you here? Did you make any progress with the dharma body I taught you?”
“Not yet,” said Su Yan timidly.
When Su Wan saw that, she couldn’t help but urge her on. “Little Yan, a pure nine-tailed fox bloodline runs through your veins. Not even your big sister’s bloodline can compare to yours. You’re already a ninth-stage sky supreme. When you break through to diviner, you’ll awaken your bloodline. You can’t delay finishing your supreme dharma body any longer.”
“I understand.” She pursed her lips and nodded, but her fingers fidgeted uncontrollably with the hems of her clothes.
Su Wan noted her unease and said, “Is something on your mind?”
“Aunty Wan, why did Ye Zichen come here?” Su Yan blinked, tugged at her clothes, and asked cautiously.
“He…. Emperor Hades sent him here to ask me to open a gateway to the Lower Three Realms. I imagine Emperor Hades wants him to go retrieve the Xuan-Yuan Sword. All three upper realms sent quite a few people down for that same reason. But how am I obligated to help him? I simply refused.”
“So that’s how it is.” Su Yan furrowed her bows even tighter and fidgeted even more anxiously. After a long while, she took a deep breath, looked up, and met Su Wan’s gaze. “Aunty Wan, there’s something I’d like to ask you.”
The nine-tailed foxes were truly unfriendly to their guests. After leaving the bounds of the bamboo forest, a group of armored white foxes was waiting for him. Each was armed with a sword and shield.
Before Ye Zichen could finish so much as a single sentence, they grabbed him and tossed him off the mountain.
When Ye Zichen got to his feet, he was standing in front of the mountain’s front gate. He tilted his head and looked back at the foxes’ holy land.
Getting thrown out was no big deal, but couldn’t they have at least sent him back to the River Styx?
He was now in the middle of nowhere, all alone with no friends or allies. How could he possibly return to human territory?
“Wah, Emperor Hades really threw me into the fire!” He clenched his blue command medallion, but it looked like it was only usable once. He’d just attempted to use it to return to the River Styx, but it didn’t react at all.
What should he do?
Could he cross the Yao Realm on his own?
After hesitating for a while, Ye Zichen made up his mind. “This is no good. I’ve got to go back and ask again.” If he didn’t, he’d truly perish within this barren wasteland!
However, at that moment, one of the white fox guards appeared overhead. When he looked closely, it was the same one who’d thrown him out.
“Hey! Bro!” Ye Zichen stood and waved at him. He was pondering how best to convince the fox to take him back to see the clan head, but before he could, the guard landed, expressionlessly reached into his pocket, pulled out a jade slip, and tossed it towards Ye Zichen.
“If you want to descend to the Lower Realms, shatter that jade slip. The clan head said to tell you…. Never return to fox clan territory ever again. Also, please pass on a message to Emperor Hades: you’d best watch yourself!”
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