“Aunt Xuan Ji, I’ll leave the Yiyuan Soul Pearl to you.” Ye Zichen stood outside the residence, still somewhat down in the dumps. Especially after hearing everything Tenner had to say, his heart ached.
Xuan Ji nodded slightly, glanced at the floating Yiyuan Soul Pearl, and said, “I know that, for the near future, you won’t have any artifact protecting your sea of consciousness. In the upcoming Battle of Geniuses, you have to be careful not to let any of your opponent’s attacks enter your spiritual sea.
“Understood.” Ye Zichen nodded.
“I’ll have Bazi—you know, the guy with the mustache—escort you to the Divine Martial Academy. Don’t say goodbye to your mom. She’s definitely reluctant enough to see you leave as is. If you go say goodbye, I’m afraid she’ll grab onto you and refuse to let you leave.”
She glanced at the mustached man, then pressed her lips into a smile. “Don’t forget: by hook or crook, you’ve got to catch that Liu Qing girl’s heart. That’s your primary mission right now.”
It wouldn’t take too long to reforge the Yiyuan Soul Pearl, so Ye Zichen simply left it behind. Out of consideration for the fact that he still had a competition to compete in, he let the mustached man, who he later learned was named Hu Bazi, lead him to the Divine Martial Academy.
Ye Rong’s eyes brimmed over with reluctance. As Ye Zichen left, a silent struggle appeared in her eyes, but in the end, she just stood there in silence and watched him fade into the distance.
“He’s already gone. There’s nothing left to see.” Xuan Ji called over the soul power, then turned to Ye Rong and laughed.
“Was that Liu Qing you mentioned just now Bi’an’s Seventeenth Highness?” Ye Rong gradually recovered her usual demeanor as the Lord of Seven Stars. She took a seat on a stone chair and glanced calmly at Xuan Ji.
“That’s her! You ought to thank me, don’t you think? I just made her your daughter-in-law!”
“Xuan Ji, was that really necessary?” asked Ye Rong, her gaze concerned. She sighed and shook her head. “You must know there are some karmic ties it’s best not to touch. This had nothing to do with you, so why did you have to get involved?”
“Don’t worry about me. Just now, it seemed you wanted to say something, but you stopped yourself. What was that about?”
“I want to take Zichen back to the Gu Family!”
“What do you want to do that for?” Xuan Ji fired off another question. Ye Rong stood there in a dazed silence but said nothing.
Given their cultivations and positions, they were fully aware of their actions’ impact. Sometimes, it was best to avoid too many karmic stains. If they got involved in things they shouldn’t, the consequences were hard to bear even for rulers.
And yet, they still made those choices, even knowing the consequences. They knew they had to do so.
Xuan Ji smiled and patted her friend on the shoulder, stretched, and walked to the front of the room. “I’m going to help your precious son reforge his treasure. For now, you stay here and protect me, okay? Once I’m done reforging, you should hurry back to the Saint’s Palace. Zhou Wu doesn’t visit me here often, but I can’t guarantee he won’t ever show up out of the blue.”
Now that he knew Ye Zichen’s status, the mustached Hu Bazi treated him with the utmost respect.
Although he, too, was a ruler, not all rulers were the. He wasn’t interested in vying for supremacy. He’d become Xuan Ji’s favored divine general, not because he was the strongest, but because of his keen social skills and ability to put every tool and every moment to good use.
He was a ruler, but he was a highly unusual ruler.
He toadied, flattered, and buttered up his superiors, and went with the flow. There was almost nothing he wouldn’t do.
He brought Ye Zichen to the Divine Martial Academy, but as soon as they reached the gates, a group of guards stepped forth. When he saw them, Ye Zichen couldn’t help but sigh.
The capital sure lived up to its reputation! Even the academy guards were diviners. They were far, far more elite than the guards at Skyspan Academy.
“Who are you? Announce your identities!”
Before Ye Zichen could speak, the mustached man puffed up his chest and strode forth. “This is Young Master Ye of Skyspan Academy, and he’ll be participating in the Battle of Geniuses. As for me, do I really need to introduce myself?”
It was easy to see that the mustached man was well-known in the capital. The guards recognized him as a glance, and from their title, it was clear they treated him with respect.
However, the guard at the forefront’s smile faded. His face was hard, determined, and utterly serious. The guards behind him still held their weapons and blocked Ye Zichen’s way forward.
“Even though Master Hu brought you here, we can’t break the rules. Every participating genius must prove their identities before entering the academy. Student of Skyspan Academy, please cooperate.”
The guards surrounded Ye Zichen, as if intent on searching for him.
Due to the Battle of Geniuses, there were plenty of demons and yao around. Add that to the three races’ ambiguous, tense relationship, and Ye Zichen had no trouble understanding why the Divine Martial Academy wanted to confirm guests’ identities before allowing them inside.
But now they wanted to search him? That was outside the bounds of Ye Zichen’s tolerance.
He had far too many secrets hidden on his person. Besides, there were lots of ways to prove his identity. A body search? There shouldn’t be any need for that!
The instant the guards approached, Ye Zichen formed a protective wall around himself.
His overflowing power shoved the diviner guards away, and he watched them on high alert.
Handlebar mustache was crafty indeed!
He didn’t stop the guards right away out of respect for Divine Martial Academy. Furthermore, he wasn’t sure if Ye Zichen would object or not.
As soon as he saw that Ye Zichen refused to cooperate, he knew it was time to intervene.
“Impudent! Rulers were called rulers because, between their cultivation and their comprehension of heaven and earth, they could already ‘rule’ over all of creation.
Hu Bazi’s roar contained his heavenly dao. It instantly stunned the guards, forcing them to retreat several steps backward.
“Young Master Ye, are you alright?” He appeared by Ye Zichen’s side in an instant. When he saw Ye Zichen nod, he turned back to the guards and snorted, “What are you doing? Young Master Ye is someone I, Hu Bazi, brought here personally. You dare doubt his status? Does that mean you’re doubting me, Hu Bazi?”
His ruler-level aura instantly billowed out. It was so vast that the guards felt suffocated. They struggled to fight back the pressure, gnashed their teeth, and cried out, “Please, Master Hu, calm your fury. It’s not that we doubt you; it’s just that our superiors insisted on this. We must confirm your identities before we can allow you inside.”
“I brought Young Master Ye here in person. Is that really not sufficient proof of his identity?”
Hu Bazi scanned the diviners coldly. Ye Zichen took this in. He couldn’t help but sigh to himself. Who would have thought that this sleek-looking middle-aged man was actually so strong? Although Ye Zichen knew the man was acting like this mostly because of Xuan Ji, his impression of Hu Bazi nevertheless improved dramatically.
If the mustached man knew, he’d definitely shout in his heart, “it was worth it!”
Although the Divine Martial Academy was a powerful faction, compared to the Lord of Seven Stars, it wasn’t even worth a fart!
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