Chapter 1387 - Laying the groundwork for going undercover

 

Humans cannot outwit fate.

 

That saying had been passed down for countless generations, so naturally, it contained a fair bit of wisdom.

 

For instance, no matter how thoroughly Ye Zichen made his calculations, he couldn’t have anticipated such a perfect opportunity to slip an agent into the Xiao Family, and one that he could trust absolutely at that.

 

He ought to thank the heavens; it seemed they were standing on his side.

 

From the way things were proceeding, it really seemed like the situation was increasingly in his favor, but he didn’t worry about what would happen next. Right now, all he had to worry about was just how to safely, quietly insert Yang Jian into the Xiao Family without making the other /party suspicious. 

 

The group waited for Ye Zichen’s plan, but naturally, Xuan Ji kept her distance.

 

Given her current position, buying this stretch of land for Ye Zichen was already the limit of what she could do. If she helped him plot, that would cross her bottom line.

 

She simply crossed her arms and looked away. From her behavior, Ye Zichen could tell that Xuan Ji didn’t want to get involved in this, but he didn’t mind.

 

The way he saw it, as his aunt, Xuan Ji had already done an awful lot for him. He was already grateful.

 

Now it was time to get Yang Jian into the Xiao family.

 

Ye Zichen stroked his chin and gazed at the towering, dignified Xiao Family estates out of the corner of his eye. This was the Lightning Emperor’s clan, with an inheritance that had been passed down for generations. From the outside, all people could see was the imposing beauty of their estate, but no one knew what went on inside.

 

Especially now, at a time like this. The Xiao Family was secretly cooperating with yao and demons.

 

Ye Zichen wasn’t even sure whether the ordinary Xiao Family members knew about this or not, but he was certain at least some of them did.

 

At a time like this, the Xiao Family was sure to be even more cautious than usual. Even if Xiao Ting took the initiative to try and lure Yang Jian over, it didn’t mean that, should Yang Jian accept, he’d be welcomed without suspicion.

 

Furthermore, the Xiao Family had towered proudly over the God Realm for all these years without falling. If Yang Jian went undercover, he’d undoubtedly encounter danger on all sides. On the surface, if he ran into trouble, Ye Zichen could lead his people in to rescue him. In reality, if something went wrong, who knew if Yang Jian would ever even get the chance to call for help?

 

Whether it was out of concern for Yang Jian’s safety or to ensure their plan succeeded, they couldn’t afford the slightest mistake.

 

“No rush.” After pondering in silence for a while, Ye Zichen’s expression darkened and he said suddenly, “If we sent him over directly, it’ll look too desperate. According to conventional logic, even if we really suspected Yang Jian, we’d take time to investigate him, and it would take time for our differences to reach the boiling point. Seeking refuge with the Xiao Family will be reasonable only after our conflict boils over and we break out into turmoil.” 

 

Next, Ye Zichen’s gaze landed on Yang Jian. He warned him, “In the near future, the Xiao Family might send people to talk things over with you, but you can’t look too eager or desperate. You can seem interested, but not like you’re just longing for them to take you in. If your performance is too over the top, even if they don’t suspect treachery, they’ll think you are too disloyal and not worth roping in.”

 

This was all basic knowledge of human nature.

 

Everyone had their selfish desires, and everyone made decisions for the sake of their future. Birds carefully selected which branches they built their nests on, and cultivators carefully selected which factions they served based on which could help them develop themselves better. There was nothing wrong with this. 

 

But if Yang Jian really made it seem like the moment they offered him superior incentives, he’d happily switch sides….

 

Then wouldn’t the Xiao Family worry that the second someone offered better conditions, Yang Jian would up and leave them too?

 

Of course they would worry!

 

This way, they naturally wouldn’t expose Yang Jian to any of the Xiao Family’s secrets. After all, if they’d lured Yang Jian away from his employers again, he’d take their secrets along with him.

 

If Yang Jian was to obtain their trust, he had to present as loyal, except, since Ye Zichen didn’t treat him loyally in turn, angry and with nowhere left to turn. He had to make it seem that out of anger due to his unjust treatment, he’d turned to the Xiao Family. This was the only possible way to win their regard, or at least, even, not to be treated with distrust and disdain.

 

When Yang Jian heard Ye Zichen’s analysis, he nodded. Ye Zichen continued, “For the new future, don’t act too close to the Great Sage. He’s the source of our apparent conflict, and the reason we’ll have a ‘falling out.’ You have to act like mortal enemies, and the Great Sage has to treat you equally poorly. You can argue with each other throughout this process, or even fight. This will make things seem more realistic.”

 

They both nodded practically at the same time, then glared at each other, as if they were about to fight again. However, because Ye Zichen and Pu Jingwan were there too, they held back. Still, the contempt and anger in their gazes was obvious. 

 

Ye Zichen couldn’t help but nod approvingly. This was the level of “playing the part” needed to make this work.

 

To Ye Zichen’s surprise, Pu Jingwan had a theatrical flair too. He hadn’t arranged a role for her, but of her own volition, she put herself between them and played the part of the anxious peacekeeper trying to keep them calm.

 

This was even better, and more realistic. 

 

A big game started just like that, with Xiao Ting taking a hint of a liking to Yang Jian and Ye Zichen having a sudden burst of inspiration.

 

As for what happened after this, it was out of his control. It was all up to fate!

 

They didn’t keep putting on a show. Yang Jian and the Great Sage stopped for now. If they kept at it, it might seem like they were trying too hard, or that it was deliberate.

 As their alliance leader, Ye Zichen had to maintain tranquility. He made it seem like, because of his low cultivation, he couldn’t maintain control of his subordinates despite his best efforts.

 

He let out an exasperated sigh, then walked up to Xuan Ji’s side. 

 

“Little guy, you really understand human nature, huh?” She laughed without even looking at him. Ye Zichen smiled too.

 

He’d lived for quite a while, and had seen all facets of humanity. Also, back in the Modern Realm, he’d watched quite a few TV dramas, and he’d picked up a few skills from them.

 

“Let’s call it a day, then. Right, Auntie, have you been keeping an eye on the Battle of Geniuses?” asked Ye Zichen.

 

He still remembered how strangely Murong Xue and the others had acted, and was still worried about the Anti-Upheaval Society, so he decided to take this opportunity to ask Xuan Ji and see if she knew anything. 

 

“Why do you ask?”

 

“It’s nothing. I’d just like to know how the rest of Anti-Upheaval is doing. It’s been a long time since I last saw them, and I want to know how they’re faring.” Ye Zichen wasn’t actually all that concerned. It had never occurred to him that the situation could be all that bad.

 

This was Heavenly God City. The way he saw it, nothing too extreme could happen. At worst, someone would take a few minor injuries or they’d wash out of the competition.

 

He asked Xuan Ji simply for reassurance.

 

Against all expectations, when he asked about Anti-Upheaval, Xuan Ji noticeably tensed up and paused for a moment before responding, “They’re…. Doing quite well.”

 

“That’s good, then.”

 

Ye Zichen nodded. Just then, he saw one of Xuan Ji’s Divine Generals destroy a tall building with his hammer. He didn't know why, but for some reason, he had a sudden ill premonition.

 

“Auntie, I asked you to leave me the Skyspan Trading Company. You didn’t forget, did you?”

 

“Do you think I have dementia? You only just said it! Of course I haven’t forgotten!” Xuan Ji rolled her eyes, then pointed. “Isn’t that the Skyspan Trading Association? I left it for you….”

 

Before she could finish her sentence, she saw her hammer-wielding subordinate land right in front of the nine-story building. As he slammed his weapon into the building, a pained smile flashed across her face.

 

“Well, I didn’t forget, but I did forget to tell them.”

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