The group gathered here were a series of experts so powerful that a single move could shake the entire Upper Three Realms.
Even so, as Gu Li stood there, he seemed utterly at ease, neither proud nor submissive as he looked right into the crowd. Furthermore, although he greeted them politely, he didn’t greet them as his seniors.
This meant he put them on a level playing field, and that he saw them all as equals. Or perhaps, he saw himself as their superiors, albeit slightly.
He grinned and looked around the cave, then walked right over to the chair beside the campfire and sat down.
When they saw him sit, everyone’s gazes shifted to the Demon Emperor. Gu Li had just taken his seat.
“Gu Li? I remember now! You’re that kid with the Chiyou Sword,” said Kui Lin. He didn’t lose his temper right, instead, he nodded in recognition. It was only afterward that his gaze darkened and he glowered intimidatingly at Gu Li. “You say you’re the Master of the Stars? I… am sixty-percent convinced. But do you know your status? Do you know who the people in this room are? Do you know who you’re talking to? You ought to know that if we wanted to kill you, it’d be like crushing an ant…”
“Shut up, alright?” Gu Li suddenly cut him off.
Kui Lin’s expression darkened, and the atmosphere within the cave suddenly tensed up.
Even the other experts couldn’t help but break into cold sweats, yet Gu Li simply smiled indifferently. Even in the face of the infuriated Demon Emperor, he seemed as at-ease as ever.
“I don’t care who or what you are. There’s no need for me to know that. In fact, I disdain the idea of even thinking about it. All I need to know is that I am this era’s Master of the Stars,” he sneered. “You asked me if I know who I’m talking to? Do you know who you’re talking to? A mere Demon Emperor dares speak to the Master of the Stars in such a way? If you carry on like this, believe me when I say that once I transcend, you’ll be the first to die! Are you worthy of speaking to me with such arrogance?”
Kui Lin’s face was utterly ashen. He seemed on the brink of explosion. The others watched on in wide-eyed silence.
Nevermind the rest; the experts couldn’t help but admire the youth’s guts.
“Know your place,” said Gu Li. “Don’t think you’re special just because you’re the Demon Emperor. In my eyes, you’re nothing. Got it?”
“You’re seeking death, so I’ll give it to you! Who cares if you’re the Master of the Stars?”
He swung his fists at Gu Li with a mighty back. This punch seemed to carry sufficient power to crush mountains and shatter moons, yet it passed right through Gu Li’s body.
Gu Li’s seated figure suddenly distorted. Moments later, it returned to normal.
“A soul body.” The experts froze. They were top experts, but they hadn’t sensed any sign that this wasn’t Gu Li’s real body before this.
Kui Lin knit his brows as well. Until his fist hit nothing but air, he hadn’t sensed it either.
Kui Lin lowered his fist and glowered, his eyes narrowing into slits as he snorted, “No wonder you’re so brazen. You just sent a spiritual body over.”
“Could you tell this was a spiritual body before you attacked? Would you have ever guessed if you hadn’t attacked me?” Gu Li grinned his trademark playful smirk. “I don’t have time to waste talking with you. My purpose in coming here is simple. You all want to live on, while I’m this era’s Master of the Stars. That means we can cooperate.”
What happened before didn’t matter. Gu Li’s words got right to the heart of the matter.
They wanted to live on.
If not for the impending end of the era, they would never have gathered together like this. They all wanted to survive the destruction of their era.
The Demon Emperor’s expression darkened. Gu Li had completely offended him.
The others’ gazes flitted between the two of them. They couldn’t help but try and calm the Demon Emperor. “Brother Kui Lin, we might as well hear what he has to say.”
Even if he was inwardly unwilling, Kui Lin had no choice but to let Gu Li live a little longer. As a survivor of the previous era, he was keenly aware that only the Emperor Star could lead his era into transcendence.
Since everyone gave him an opportunity to back down, he took it with a cold snort. He didn’t agree directly, but his meaning was obvious.
When they saw the Demon Emperor back down, the others sighed in relief.
One of the conspirators, that graceful-looking woman, let out a leisurely laugh. “Then, Little Master of the Stars, what would you have us do? It seems you’re just a diviner, but our era doesn’t have much time left. Are you hoping that we enlighten you and help you become a ruler as fast as possible so that….”
“There’s no need.” Gu Li coldly interrupted her. “Carry on as you were. As for how to transcend, I’ll tell you later. When the time comes, I might need your help, or I might not.”
“This….” They furrowed their brows.
Gu Li’s words were vague, his meaning indistinct. The experts weren’t quite sure what he was trying to say.
“Then the ‘cooperation’ you mentioned?” asked a yao expert hesitantly.
“I’m just here to greet you all. As for whether I cooperate with you or not, well, that depends on the Demon Emperor.”
Everyone looked at Kui Lin, who knit his brows. “What do you want?”
“Release An Lu. So long as you release her, I’ll agree to cooperate with you. Then, once I transcend, I’ll be absolutely sure to reserve a position for you,” said Gu Li, eyes wide and voice low.
Kui Lin smiled coldly, then roared, “Don’t get greedy, you little brat!”
All Gu Li asked was for the Demon Emperor to release a single person, yet he’d provoked such an intense response. The rest of the experts were surprised despite themselves.
They glanced back at Gu Li, who was staring coldly back at Kui Lin, not backing down in the slightest.
They couldn’t help but wonder just who this An Lu person was. Why did both the Demon Emperor and the Master of the Stars value her so highly?
“Release An Lu, and I can stand by your side,” said Gu Li, his gaze not wavering in the slightest.
“Kid, don’t get too full of yourself. Don’t think I don’t know the heavens chose two emperors. You received only half of the Emperor Star’s celestial fate. It’s still unknown whether you can truly become the Master of the Stars or not. Who are you to discuss conditions with me? Are you worthy? Even without you, I can just go find the other…”
“It seems like you know quite a bit,” said Gu Li, not even blinking as Kui Lin exposed his secrets. “Just as I expected, anyone capable of surviving since the last era has to be impressive. Let’s get things out in the open, shall we? You’ve all gathered together, not for god race territory, but for the sake of Zhou Wu’s celestial fate, right?”
Kui Lin fell silent.
“Even if you don’t say anything, I can tell what you’re thinking,” said Gu Li. “It seems that you know that transcending requires the Emperor Star’s celestial fate. Just now, you wanted to kill me. Did you think you could seize my celestial fate and transcend on your own?”
“Your plan sounds reasonable, but it’s too simplistic. Zhou Wu has had his usurped celestial fate for tens of thousands of years, but has he ever taken that final step? Is he any inferior to you, Kui Lin? Have you never considered why he can't take that final step?” Gu Li’s disdainful laughter reverberated through Kui Lin’s airs.
His expression shifted dramatically, and he stared intently at the grinning Gu Li.
Gu Li spoke once more, “Are you going to release An Lu or not? Decide for yourself, but if you don’t, once I transcend…. You’ll be the first to die.”
“Are you threatening me?” Kui Lin glowered back at him. “She’s in my hands. Think carefully.”
“Of course I know that.” Gu Li nodded, not denying it. However, when the Demon Emperor brought up An Lu, his eyes reddened despite himself. “But you ought to know full well whether I’m threatening you or not.”
Gu Li rose to his feet, walked over to the Demon Emperor, and patted him on the shoulder. He looked at Kui Lin with those blood-red eyes and said flatly, “Think it over carefully!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter