After entering the city and hearing that Ye Zichen might have gone straight to the local Bai Family branch, Xuan Ji and the other top experts all rushed over.
The Fox Empress Su Qingyan and Bi’an of the Four Directions Palace also arranged for their clansmen to come and suppress the situation in Heavenly God City.
They had to proceed meticulously. At least, from the look of things, everything was proceeding according to plan for now.
Strangely, Zhou Wu wasn’t in his thatched hut by the volcano.
At the moment, he stood, calm and unharmed, in the center of the God Emperor’s Estate’s medicinal garden. He was controlling the Grand Dao of the Five Element’s Dao of Rain to water the herbs.
“Your Excellency, you’re becoming more and more proficient at applying the Five Elements.” The Divine Arbiter chuckled as she stepped into the garden.
“Hmph. I’ve yet to glean any enlightenment into the Dao Heart of the Dao of Fire. Even if I were better at the other four than this, it would be of no use.” Zhou Wu snorted, withdrew the rain, and took a seat on a stump..
“Given your innate talent, it shouldn’t be long before you can condense fire’s Dao Heart oo. Besides, didn’t you learn the method of transcendence from that youth?”
The God Emperor fell silent for a moment, then said, “Yes, I did but…. Even after all this time, transcendence feels so close, yet so far away It’s like I could reach out and grab it at any moment, and yet, when I try, I can’t quite reach.”
“I have faith in you.” The Divine Arbiter smiled.
“Nevermind all that. You’re here, so they must have entered the city,” said Zhou Wu.
“Who showed up?”
“The Profound Pavilion’s Xuan Ji, Xue Yang of the Sea of Innocence, the Jade Pool’s Zhao Qianling, the Four Directions Palace's Bi’an, and Su Qingyan of the foxes. They all entered the city together. The city walls are under the Profound Pavilion’s control, as is the city interior.”
In response, Zhou Wu wouldn’t help but shake his head. “Xuan Ji, oh, Xuan Ji, you’ve really let me down. To think I trusted you!”
Next, he turned to the Divine Arbiter. “You withdrew all your Shen Family members, right?”
“They’ve all been withdrawn, and are currently three hundred miles outside the city. So long as you need it, they can instantly reclaim control over the city,” said the Divine Arbiter solemnly.
“No need. Let them play with the city a while longer. What can they achieve?” Zhou Wu laughed, seemingly not concerned in the slightest. “I just hadn’t expected that Bi’an was part of this. And here I thought he’d stay neutral.”
“Bi’an has always wanted to seize power, even if the Emperor Star never showed him its favor. All these years have passed, though. Now that the Third Era is reaching its end, he’s likely given up on that idea,” said the Divine Arbiter disdainfully. “But don’t you think it’s a bit strange?”
“The Bai Family’s Bai Yulong grievously injured Xue Yang’s daughter, but they held back and didn’t act recklessly. It was only after we arranged for the Holy Maiden of the Nine Li to meet with Ye Zichen that they couldn’t hold back any longer. What on earth is so spe]cial about that youth for people like them to rush all the way to Heavenly God City?”
“I’ve already considered this,” said Zhou Wu. “I’ve wondered about his identity ever since we discussed transcendence. Now, it seems he might really be….”
“Might really be…”
“This era’s Master of the Stars.” Zhou Wu laughed indifferently, but he didn’t explain what the title “Master of the Stars” implied.
Only the people of the First Era knew what the term meant. Zhou Wu was a rare exception, and he’d learned it by chance. However, not even he knew exactly what the Master of the Stars was there for.
But he knew that the Master of the Stars was of the utmost importance to the Third Era, far, far more important than the God Emperor.
Based on the current situation, it seemed that the Profound Pavilion, Sea of Innocence, Four Directions Palace, Jade Pool, and the Fox Clan had also decided to side with the so-called Master of the Stars. Them aside, who knew how many factions had formed alliances?
Zhou Wu had been God Emperor for tens of thousands of years. Was he just supposed to lower his head and submit to the Master of the Stars?
That was absolutely impossible.
He was the man who stood at the very peak of the God Realm. All others ought to lower their heads to him!
“Right, the Nine Li’s Holy Maiden and the others…”
“They’ve left the city, and under our orders, Xuan Ji’s people received no prior warning of their departure.”
“Excellent. Tell the Bai Family that if a youth named Ye Zichen shows up, they are absolutely not to harm him. I want him alive.”
A hint of a smile flashed across Zhou Wu’s face, and he snorted, “Let’s go take a look. It’s about time; they’ll most likely reach my God Emperor’s Estate soon. Let’s go have a chat with our old friends….”
After entering the city, Xuan Ji repeatedly attempted to contact Ye Zichen. However, although she didn’t know why, whether she used her divine sense or her jade transmission slip, she couldn’t get so much as the slightest response. When she considered that Zhou Wu was currently in Heavenly God City, she decided that she couldn’t just use her divine sense to search for Ye Zichen; it was too risky.
Four hours later….
It was already getting dark out, and for some unknown reason, the skies of Heavenly God City were much darker than before.
There wasn’t even the slightest trace of sunlight, and even the radiant moon was blotted out by dense, dark clouds.
“Ye Zichen ought to have reached his destination by now, but the city seems just a bit too quiet, and I don’t sense any disturbances in the surrounding space. The local energy seems stable, too.” Zhao Qianhe brushed her fingers through the air as she spoke.
The others’ expressions grew somewhat solemn, but before they’d taken more than a few steps, the God Emperor and Divine Arbiter appeared before them.
The group on their way to the Bai Family branch stopped in their tracks.
“Everyone, why are you visiting my Heavenly God City out of the blue? Are you here as guests?” Zhou Wu pressed his lips into a grin. “Hmm, no, that doesn't sound right. Why are all the city guards and city patrols Profound Pavilion Soldiers? Xuan Ji…. don’t you think you owe your emperor an explanation?”
Zhou Wu was still striking up a leisurely conversation so naturally, even now. From this alone, it was clear how shrewd he was.
However, one look at his playful grin proved that he’d long since learned of all this.
“What is there to explain? Can’t you tell what’s going on?” asked Xuan Ji.
“Of course I can, but I still want to hear it directly from you. I’d like to know just what’s going on in your heads. Alternatively, if you don’t want to discuss it with me, I can summarize it for you: you’re planning to rebel, no?” said Zhou Wu.
“My Four Directions Palace can’t bear such accusations.” Bi’an took two steps forward. “We’re just weaklings huddling together for warmth and survival. Accusing us of rebelling is no different from beating us to death. Zhou Wu, you’re awfully vicious.”
“Great Emperor Bi’an, what are you saying? Aren’t you the one who seized the capital of the God Realm? How could this be anything but conspiracy and rebellion? Also, you call yourselves pathetic weaklings, but don’t you all reign supreme over your respective Divine Mountains? ‘Weak?’ That word doesn’t hold up to logical scrutiny, now does it?”
“Compared to you, we’re weak indeed,” said Su Qingyan.
“So, Fox Empress, you’re involved in this too. Does the Yao Emperor know of this?” asked Zhou Wu?
“What does it matter if he knows or not?” said Su Qingyan coldly. “You know. Isn’t that enough?”
Zhou Wu’s expression froze.
“You live up to your title, Fox Empress,” said Zhou Wu.
“Don’t flatter me, Zhou Wu. We’ve yet to settle our score.” Su Qingyan narrowed her eyes at him. “Hurry up and step aside while I still have a thread of rationality. Or else, this Heavenly God City… will become your burial ground!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter