The God Emperor had asked about the Outside right off the bat, no beating around the bush at all.
This was an open scheme.
Ye Zichen’s response hid nothing either. He put both the Outside’s situation and the method of obtaining transcendence right out in the open.
This was part of his open scheme too.
It was just, when he gave his response, he left out some key details and important information, but these were tidbits he was sure God Emperor Zhou Wu didn’t know about.
Lies and truths, mixed together!
Thirty percent lies and seventy percent truths! When others heard this combination, it sounded real!
Sure enough, when Zhou Wu heard this information, his expression shifted slightly. Xuan Ji and Pu Jingwan furrowed their brows at Ye Zichen as if to say “How could you tell him all that?”
The God Emperor, however, lived up to his reputation. Even in the face of such shocking news, he quickly regained his cool and plastered on his usual, habitual faint smile. However, when he next spoke, he struggled to sound as natural as he did before. “So, the Outsiders told you that!”
“Huh? Is that really some sort of important information?” Ye Zichen feigned confusion, then sighed. “Perhaps they’re in such a hurry that they’d ask anyone for help. When they told me about the Outside’s imminent destruction, their expressions were awfully unsightly, like their doom was drawing near.”
“Is that so?” Zhou Wu smiled. “But why would they choose to share that information with you specifically, Little Friend Ye?”
Ye Zichen shot to his feet, his gaze shaking as he said, “Your Majesty, surely you don’t think I’m lying to you? I absolutely wouldn’t dare! They came looking for me because of my friend. I actually just went to the Outside to hang out with an old friend, but when the people there heard I was from the Third Era, they dragged me over to talk about all that other stuff. I didn’t really understand it so all I could do was smile and nod, but I didn’t take any of it seriously. After staying with my friend for a few days, I came back.”
Zhou Wu’s gaze never left Ye Zichen; he seemed to be calmly evaluating him.
Despite Ye Zichen’s trembling voice and near-sobs, Zhou Wu never interrupted him. He waited for Ye Zichen to finish, then said, “I’m rather curious about this Outsider friend of yours, Little Friend Ye.”
“Actually, my good brother is also from our Third Era. We come from the same lower plane. He ascended to the Divine Mountains one hundred years earlier than me. As for how he wound up Outside, I don’t know either,” said Ye Zichen without the slightest hesitation.
The atmosphere was extremely tense.
Although the God Emperor showed no outward signs of anger, his tone made this seem like an interrogation. The atmosphere inside was completely oppressive.
Ye Zichen lowered his head, his breathing ragged. Finally, Zhou Wu smiled. “Raise your head.”
Ye Zichen did so without the slightest hesitation. His fear didn’t seem the slightest bit fake, and his hands and legs even trembled slightly. He was playing the part of the terrified victim perfectly, down to the smallest details.
After looking him over, the God Emperor let out another peal of hearty laughter. “I was overthinking things. Please, little friend, don’t take offense.”
As he spoke, a set of silvery white battle armor appeared in Zhou Wu’s hands. “I obtained this by chance while exploring the Outside. Please, accept it as my apology.”
“I’m just happy you aren’t blaming me. This armor is far too precious; I dare not accept it,” said Ye Zichen.
Zhou Wu said nothing. He simply placed the armor on the table. Xuan Ji immediately rose and accepted it on his behalf, then glared at him. “His Majesty gave you a present, so you’d best accept it. Hurry up and thank him.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Ye Zichen bowed deeply.
“You’re too polite. Sit down.” Zhou Wu’s smile had returned. He watched Xuan Ji pull Ye Zichen back into his seat, then continued. “Little Friend Ye, I’m rather curious… You just said that possessing the Emperor Star’s celestial fate made it possible to transcend…. Could you perhaps explain in more detail?”
“I don’t remember the whole thing, since I had no idea what they were saying all that for and didn’t pay too much attention. Roughly speaking, celestial fate is the key to transcendence. Only the one with the Emperor Star’s fate can transcend. Also, transcending isn’t just another part of cultivation, where you go up step by step until you break through. Transcendence is jumping out of that framework and the bounds of cultivation altogether.”
As if afraid that he hadn’t explained clearly enough, Ye Zichen used his divine power to imitate how Han Nan had drawn a diagram, and he used it to explain transcendence to the God Emperor a second time.
“Jump off, like jumping off a ladder….” After hearing Ye Zichen’s explanation, the God Emperor fell into silent contemplation.
Ye Zichen’s divine power diagram still hung in the air. The God Emperor knit his brows, lost in thought. From time to time, he examined the diagram and muttered Ye Zichen’s words to himself.
“Is there a realm above transcendence?” Zhou Wu asked all of a sudden.
“They didn’t say anything about that,” said Ye Zichen. “Probably not though, right?”
“Then how did the First Era’s Master of the Stars die?”
“That… then didn’t say, and I didn’t ask.”
The God Emperor fell silent once more, his eyes like daggers boring deep into the diagram Ye Zichen had drawn for him. He had a lot of different thoughts running through his mind.
He’d never considered “jumping off the ladder” or anything of its ilk. Looking at this diagram, the God Emperor got the vague sense that he’d found the way forward, but he still couldn’t quite reach the door.
“Thank you, my young friend, for clearing up my doubts. I, Zhou Wu, am deeply grateful.” Ye Zichen rose to his feet and bowed at the waist. In response, both Ye Zichen and Xuan Ji hurried to their feet.
“How could I possibly accept such courtesy?” Ye Zichen’s eyes widened with terror.
“Your Majesty, this is too much. My nephew is a member of the god race; you are the leader of his entire race, and our hope of transcending the end of our era. If he helped you, that alone is his good fortune. There is no need for such courtesy,” said Xuan Ji in comparable terror.
“No, when someone helps you, you should thank them. This is true even if you’re the God Emperor,” said Zhou Wu. He pressed his lips into a smile, then summoned two bottles of pills. “Here are two bottles of Pills of Fortune. It seems you gave a bottle away earlier, so please let me reimburse you.”
“So you know about that.” Xuan Ji grimaced.
“I can understand your desire to protect your nephew,” laughed Zhou Wu. “Besides, you did the right thing. If Wang Chen injured him, I would never have heard this news of the Outside and the path to transcendence. Don’t worry about the Wang Family; I’ll send the Divine Arbiter to settle things. That will end the matter for good.
“Thank you for your understanding, Your Majesty.”
“That’s about it, then. You can take your nephew back to the city. After talking things over with him, I feel somewhat enlightened, and want to go into seclusion immediately. I’ll leave the Divine Mountains affairs to you.”
“Please be at ease, sir!” Xuan Ji nodded.
They bade farewell, and Xuan Ji led Ye Zichen away, only for the God Emperor to suddenly speak up once more. “My young friend, I’d rather like to be your older brother. What do you think of that?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter