Meanwhile, in the Central Divine Mountain’s Lightning Emperor’s Estate, Xiao Ting reclaiming his former throne had stirred up quite a few waves. It was similar to when he’d first abdicated to his son Xiao Yan. That had been equally sudden.
Quite a few family clans heard from their informants that the former Lightning Emperor, the master of tribulation lightning, Xiao Yan, hadn’t just been ousted from his throne. Xiao Ting had even erased his name from the family registers, as well as all of his subordinates’ names. .
This was no small revolution. It would be no exaggeration to call it a change in dynasties.
And yet, as great a change as it was, most of the outside world had heard no news of it at all, not until the Xiao Family formerly announced their change in leadership. Only then did they learn that Xiao Ting was at the rudder once more.
But to most other family clans, it didn’t really matter whether Xiao Yan or Xiao Ting was in charge.
Some families came to congratulate Xiao Yan, while others simply carried about business as normal, as this had nothing to do with them.
Inside the Xiao Family’s ancestral mansion.
This was the birthplace of the first Lightning Emperor. After he’d taken the throne, the family had placed a seal around his former home. Only the Xiao Family head was allowed to enter.
Now that he’d reclaimed his throne, Xiao Ting sat inside, sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed atop a giant boulder.
Lightning crackled behind him, like dragons and cobras with deep purple hues. The air and space around him split apart as the lightning passed.
A bent, aged figure stood before him. The elder’s hair was completely white and his face was covered in wrinkles. This old man had lived even longer than Xiao Ting. Of the current generation of the Lightning Emperor’s Estate, all of them, even Xiao Ting, had to call him “Uncle An.”
He was the former Lightning Emperor’s page, and was completely loyal to his master. However, after the prior Lightning Emperor passed away, he no longer minded the family’s affairs and instead found a quiet place to live out his remaining years in peace.
And yet, against all expectations, Xiao Ting had dragged this elderly page out of retirement for his own purposes.
“Why is it so noisy outside?” Xiao Ting’s eyes opened, and the crackling lightning gradually receded and returned to his body. His eyes flashed as they opened, but his tone was indifferent.
“Xuan Ji has sent her Divine General subordinates over. They’re tearing down property as we speak, with plans to rebuild,” said Uncle An.
“What do you mean?” Xiao Ting furrowed his brows.
“Xuan Ji bought all the property facing our estate up. They’re currently tearing up the former inhabitants’ homes and putting in new ones.”
“Wait, you’re saying that she bought all the property facing ours?” Xiao Ting was stunned.
“That’s right.” Uncle An was truly ancient; when he spoke, it seemed he didn’t quite have enough breath to get through a sentence. “The younger clansmen told this old man that Xuan Ji bought all the territory facing our estate, quite a large area.”
“She bought even the Liu and Sun Family estates?”
“They’ve both been bought up, but it’s not just them. She bought the Wu Family’s home, as well as the local Skyspan Trading Company branch, too. We’re the only ones left near the God Statue that haven’t been bought up.”
The God Statue was a gift the Eastern Emperor Taiyi had given Zhou Wu at his coronation.
Living near it could increase cultivators’ ability to comprehend the dao of heaven and earth; it was a rare, high-quality top knotch divine artifact. Its range covered an area of around one hundred thousand meters. Back then, Xiao Ting had achieved great merits on the battlefield, so the God Emperor placed the statue near the Xiao Family Estate. Its range was enough to cover the entire Xiao Family estate.
But since the statue was a gift from the Yao Emperor, it had a deeper meaning and symbolic value.
The God Emperor naturally couldn’t place it directly within Xiao Family territory; that would be no different from giving it to the Xiao Family, which would insult Emperor Taiyi. That’s why he placed it outside the Xiao Family’s gates. The left half of its range covered Xiao Family territory, while property values on the right side of its range had skyrocketed.
Countless family clans wanted to build homes there. Naturally, those that succeeded weren’t truly peak-level factions.
Peak level factions all had their own inheritance, and wouldn’t casually change locations. Even if the God Statue could increase their ability to comprehend heaven and earth a bit, but as tempting as that seemed, it was only really enough to move families that didn’t have perfectly ancient roots or deep foundations.
In the end, three decent but unexceptional families had taken root in the right half of the statue’s range: the Liu, Sun, and Wu Families, as well as one of the Skyspan Trading Company’s branches. There were a few little spaces left, but major powers didn’t take a fancy to such small patches of land, so they all went to smaller families and wealthy merchants.
In ten thousand years, no one had moved in or out.
Now, to hear that Xuan Ji had purchased all the property to the left of their estate was shocking. Back in the day, their former neighbors had gone to great lengths to buy space here. There was no way they’d just sell it.
For Xuan Ji to buy up their homes, she had to have spent a fortune. It must have taken a real dent out of her savings.
“Why would she buy that land?” Xiao Ting frowned. “Isn’t the Profound Pavilion’s location quite good already? Does she want to invite her clansmen back from nine-tailed fox territory or something?”
“I don’t know,” said Uncle An.
Xiao Ting rubbed his lower jaw, but his hands were quivering. He hurriedly pulled something that looked like it had been rolled up out of his pocket, stuffed it into his mouth, and lit it. After taking a few puffs, his hands stilled and he regained his usual calm. Finally, he took a few puffs, savoring the sensation, and got back to considering what Xuan Ji was up to.
The real estate near the God Statue was highly appealing to most factions. It would be no exaggeration to say that, if they stayed here long enough, you could create a powerful faction that lasted for tens of thousands of years. The Liu, Sun, and Wu families undoubtedly thought so. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone to such great lengths to buy territory here in the first place.
To buy their homes from them given all that, Xuan Ji must have offered incredibly tantalizing conditions, something far more valuable than the land itself. Otherwise, they never would have sold it.
Then there was the Skyspan Trading Company.
The Skyspan Trading Company was the work of the Northern Divine Mountain Sea of Innocence’s Xue Family. Theirs was the wealthiest of all the nine Divine Mountains, whether you looked at resources or money. They lacked for nothing. If they sold their territory to her, it must be so that she owed them a favor; there was no other possibility. Furthermore, this favor was a rather heavy one. Otherwise, given that Xuan Ji and the Skyspan Trading Company weren’t exactly close before this, there was no way they would have agreed to sell.
The last thing he needed to consider was Xuan Ji’s motives!
Xuan Ji was a yao, a fox. That was no mere rumor. However, high-ranked figures and top experts knew that her relationship with her clan wasn’t particularly harmonious, and that they rarely interacted.
She’d sent her clan to nine-tailed fox territory, not out of love, but because they were the same race. Furthermore, Xuan Ji’s relationship with Su Wan and Su Yingyan was pretty good, otherwise she wouldn’t have bothered. Given Xuan Ji’s relationship with her clan, it was hard to believe she’d spend so many resources just to buy territory for them.
She’d also deliberately bought territory facing the Xiao Family’s estate. Was she planning to house her clansmen there? Everyone knew the Xiao Family hated nothing more than yao.
Wouldn’t bringing her clansmen here be a deliberate slap in the face?
Despite Xiao Ting’s shrewdness, even after giving it some thought, he had no idea what Xuan Ji was thinking. At around the same time, he found he’d smoked right through his cigar. He knit his brows and said, “Go out and see just what tricks our new neighbors are up to.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter