On the Central Divine Mountain, in the Lightning Emperor’s Estates.
A bolt of lightning cut through the sky and fell before a certain residence’s courtyard. The guards currently on duty all noticed, and hurried over practically the instant the lightning landed.
The Xiao Family had a rule. No matter who you were, if you wanted to visit, you had to go in through the front door.
Whatever that flash of lightning was, it had completely ignored the family’s rules. This was the main reason why the guards were now so alert.
Soon, a full six guards rushed over from different parts of the estate. When they arrived, they saw a man drenched in blood, his right arm severed, with a hole the size of a bowl right through his chest. He was currently supporting himself with his remaining arm and half-kneeling before the main gate.
“Who is this?” The guards’ captain looked him over and signaled to the man with his eyes. However, the guards didn’t recklessly approach. Instead, they surrounded him and drew closer as a unit.
The blood-soaked, kneeling man suddenly moved.
He simply straightened his shoulders, but the guards all took out their weapons and looked at him on high alert.
“Send me back to my room,” said the blood-covered man in a raspy voice. He turned around and met the captain of the guard’s eyes.
After a while, the captain put his weapons away and said in astonishment, “Elder Xiao Hu?”
“What? This is Elder Xiao Hu?”
The other guards sheathed their weapons as well and took a closer look…. “It really is him!”
The guards clustered around and looked at the blood covering Xiao Hu’s body. It had yet to congeal. The guards’ eyes filled with undisguised shock and disbelief.
The leader of the punishment division, Elder Xiao Hu. Nevermind the Xiao Family; he was strong even by the standards of the entire God Realm.
“Elder Xiao Hu, you….”
“Send me back to my room.” As he spoke, Xiao Hu coughed up a mouthful of blood. The surrounding guards didn’t dare delay. The captain hurriedly arranged for a few people to the elder to his room, while a few others ran off to alert Xiao Yan and the other elders.
Xiao Hu lay in his room. News of his severe injuries had already spread throughout the lightning emperor’s estates, and everyone save for elders in seclusion had already gathered around Xiao Hu’s room.
Xiao Yan personally treated his wounds with his divine power. “Who on earth attacked you so viciously?”
The elders muttered amongst themselves. Xiao Hu was the lead elder of their punishment division! Everyone in the God Realm knew his title and status.
But that was only the least of it. Outsiders didn’t know Xiao Hu’s full strength, but the elders were well aware…
A few years earlier, Xiao Hu broke through and became a ruler. The number of people even capable of pushing him to the brink of death was small indeed. That narrowed down the pool of suspects to just a few.
“Do you think it was the Northern Divine Mountain? I heard that Xiao Hu and the Sea of Innocence’s Zhao Qianhe got into an argument recently. Although Xiao Hu is a ruler too now, if Zhao Qianhe really was determined to kill him, she might be able to push him this far.”
“That’s not likely,” said another elder. “Zhao Qianhe represents the entire Northern Divine Mountain. If she attacked Xiao Hu, wouldn’t that mean the Sea of Innocence was out to get our Lightning Emperor’s Xiao Family? As fellow citizens of the Divine Mountains, I don’t think the Sea of Innocence would act so irrevocably. Why would the Sea of Innocence want to become our enemy anyway?”
“Then who else could it be? There are only so many rulers in the God Realm, and of them, only a few could hurt Xiao Hu this badly.”
“Don’t limit the pool of suspects too much. Our God Realm has rulers, but are we the only ones? Don’t the yao and demons have them too?”
“Are you saying…”
The elders fell silent. If yao or demons had really injured Xiao Hu, this situation was serious.
“Cough cough….” Xiao Hu, who’d been sitting cross-legged on his bed, hacked up a mouthful of black blood, cutting off their conversation.
Xiao Yan, who’d had his hands pressed to Xiao Hu’s back, retracted his divine power and wiped the sweat from his brow.
“For the next few months, stay within the family estates and recover. Your injuries were severe this time, and they even reached your origin. Furthermore, I can sense some other power lingering in your body. With my abilities, it’ll be hard to get rid of it. I’m afraid that only my father can erase it for you. However, he’s been elusive lately. All I can do is guarantee that whatever that power it is, it won’t spread any further. You have to pay attention and continuously suppress it too.”
“Sorry for troubling you, Family Head.” Xiao Hu struggled weakly for breath. The wound in his chest had already knit back together, but he still looked somewhat wilted.
“Who did this to you, Old Tiger? Did you get a good look at their face?” said one of the elders. “Who would dare do this to a member of the Lightning Emperor’s Estate? Even if she’s from a Holy Land, we’ve got to go press her for an explanation.”
It was clear from his tone that this elder already had a culprit in mind, and that it was almost certainly Zhao Qianhe.
“Don’t overthink things. It wasn’t someone from the God Realm,” said Xiao Hu. He leaned back against the headboard.
“Not from the God Realm? Then…”
“It wasn’t a demon or a yao either,” said Xiao Hu. He paused to catch his breath, then, in the face of everyone’s bewildered expressions, he said, “It was an Outsider.”
“Why did you go Outside?” Everyone, including Xiao Yan, was astonished. “The Outside” referred to the territory outside the God, Yao, and Demon Realms.
The people of the Three Realms had always avoided it because the people who lived there were terrifyingly strong. Select any one of them at random and they could cause an enormous about of trouble in the Three Realms.
Fortunately, it seemed that the Outsiders were under the influence of some sort of Law; they could only wander about the Outside Wastes. They couldn’t ender the Three Realms’ territory.
Furthermore, there was a faction out in the Outside that transcended all three realms: the Lichs!
“What did you go Outside for? Didn’t I send you to go fetch the Xuan-Yuan Sword? What does that have to do with the Outside?” asked Xiao Yan.
“It happened while I was trying to acquire the sword,” said Xiao Hu, looking rather pained. “In the process, I bumped into an Outsider expert. He’s the one who dragged me Outside. I escaped, but in the process, I fought tooth and tail, abandoned half a lifetime of cultivation, and destroyed twenty percent of my soul.”
As he spoke of his tribulations, Xiao Hu’s eyes filled with lingering fear.
Those monsters ate people without so much as leaving their bones behind. He never, ever wanted to see them again.
“However,” said Xiao Hu, “I didn’t make this trip in vain. At the very least, I learned quite a bit of new information.”
Suddenly, Xiao Hu’s pallid face broke into an inexplicable smile. “Also, although I failed to acquire the Xuan-Yuan Sword, I know who has it. I also…. Have news of the Yao-Sealing Pagoda.”
“What?! The Yao-Sealing Pagoda?” Everyone present was astonished.
“Did that Outsider expert have the pagoda on his person?”
“No.” Xiao Hu smiled coolly, a cold glint in his eyes. “The Yao-Sealing Pagoda is in the ends of a brat who only just reached the earth supreme level. If I tell you his name, you might have heard it…. It’s the boy the Lightning Emperor tried to prevent from ascending on multiple occasions, and the person Zhao Qianhe tried to protect a few days ago…. Ye Zichen!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter