There were hundreds of thousands of miles between the actual, aquatic Sea of Innocence and the Xue Family Estate.
As soon as you entered the waters or the air above them, you were within Xue Family territory. Perhaps, directly over the ocean, the Xue Family’s control was rather limited, but it was just as Xue Yang said: this city was occupied by the Xue Family directly. If even so much as an ant wandered in, they’d know about it.
Those inside the room sensed the Seven Star Lock outside. All of them proceeded with the utmost caution to avoid incident, but the Sea of Innocence was vast and limitless. It truly was too hard to keep track of everything that went on there. There were, despite their best efforts, gaps.
As the head of the Xue Family, Xue Yang had never received any news of an intruder.
Just how cautious was this invader? They hadn’t left any hints or evidence behind. Or perhaps, someone in the Xue Family had discovered something, but they didn’t take it seriously. Either way, Xue Yang needed to seriously consider what had gone wrong.
Xuan Ji said all she had to say, and the other great emperors understood the implications.
They all glanced at Xue Yang. His expression was already grave.
“I will carve your reminder into my heart, Lady Providence.” Xue Yang cupped his hands at her respectfully, then relaxed slightly. His gaze landed on the comatose Ye Zichen, and he turned to Ye Rong. When he spoke, his tone was utterly apologetic. “Lord of the Big Dipper, this matter was entirely due to the Sea of Innocence’s negligence. I am deeply sorry. Fortunately, your honorable son’s injuries are not severe, and we received timely word of his condition. How about going forward, we house him inside our family home to prevent any such incidents from happening again?”
“Are you saying that in your house, you can guarantee nothing like this will happen again?”
“I can promise that on his behalf,” Zhao Qianling suddenly interjected. “Within the heart of our estate, security is many times higher than on the perimeter. This sort of incident would have been absolutely impossible there. It won’t happen again.”
“If you stay in the inner part of the estate, I’ll spread out my divine sense and stay on high alert day and night too,” added Zhao Qianhe.
She needed to mend their relationship with Ye Rong, even if it meant suppressing her inner resentment. Otherwise, if Ye Rong decided not to let Ye Zichen infuse Xue Mo with starlight, there’d be nothing she could do.
Although Xue Yang and the Hermit Emperor said there was still one other route left to them, it had a less than ten percent chance of success and would rob Xue Yang of his cultivation. That price, combined with those odds, was truly too much.
“Then I’ll trust you one more time,” snorted Ye Rong.
“We won’t let down your trust,” said Xue Yang hurriedly. Then he continued, “How about we move him now?”
“We ought to at least have the Hermit Emperor come over and examine him first, right?” said Xuan Ji tentatively.
Don’t be fooled; Xue Yang might seem calm even when discussing Xue Mo, but from the moment he heard she still had a chance of survival and that she needed imperial starlight, his heart had been in turmoil.
The uninvolved great emperors’ could sense the change in his emotions, but they could understand what he was feeling.
“Right. We have to wait until the Hermit Emperor gets here and examines him. I wonder where he is now?” said Xue Yang appeasingly.
“Aren’t I right here?” At that moment, the Hermit Emperor’s aged, bitter laughter emanated from the doorway. “I can’t help but regret letting you persuade me to leave my mountain. I haven’t had a day’s rest since I got here.”
“It’s because you’re the best,” laughed Xue Yang. “With you here, how could we trust any other doctor?”
“You’re working this old man to the bone,” said the Hermit Emperor. And yet, despite what he said, he walked right up to Ye Zichen’s bedside.
The others cleared a path, then saw the Hermit Emperor’s palm light up with dense, green light: concentrated life force. He swept his hands across Ye Zichen’s key pressure points and meridians.
“Isn’t he fine? He just fell asleep.” Before long, the Hermit Emperor retracted his hands, then glanced at the other Great Emperors.
“You really don’t value this old man’s time at all, do you? He just fell asleep, yet you called me over to see whether he was sleeping soundly or not. What, do you think he’s sleeping badly?”
“Hermit Emperor, please, calm your fury. We brought you here because we were worried. Someone broke into Zichen’s room not long ago, and although the Lord of Seven Stars and I sensed he was alright, we were concerned, so we thought it best you confirm his condition,” said Xuan Ji.
“Someone snuck inside?” The Hermit Emperor grounded.
“Actually, it was at least three people. The Lord of Seven Stars left a Seven Star Seal outside, but it wasn’t broken, nor did the Xue Family discover anything. By the time the Lord of Seven Stars rushed over, we only vaguely sensed traces of another presence. Whoever it was, they’ve long since disappeared, and we have no way of finding them,” said Xuan Ji.
“Xue Yang, you’ve got to keep a closer eye on your people.” The Hermit Emperor shot Xue Yang a meaningful look. Everyone knew that after sensing the existence of the Seven Star Lock, the intruders would have been extremely careful. And yet, they hadn’t been discovered while crossing the Sea of Innocence or after infiltrating the Xue Family Estate. That was on Xue Yang and the Xue Family.
After learning of the intruder, the Hermit Emperor re-examined Ye Zichen.
“I looked again, and there really isn’t anything wrong. Or at least, aside from some lingering hidden injuries from before, there’s nothing new. Nothing that’s worth paying attention to.”
“You’re saying…..” Xuan Ji frowned.
“If they entered the building without breaking the Seven Star Lock, they must have been star bearers. For them to show up at a time like this, who dares predict their motives?” The Hermit Emperor knit his brows, then placed Ye Zichen’s hand back on the sickbed.
“Arrange for him to stay in the residence beside mine. This way, I can look after them both. When he wakes up, I plan to help him open his Celestial Eye. When that time comes, all will naturally become clear.”
“Open his Celestial Eye!” Ye Rong was instantly stunned, but before she could say anything else, the Hermit Emperor turned and drifted off. Ye Rong could only remain behind, staring intently as she watched him fade into the distance.
She couldn’t help but wonder, just what kind of person is the Hermit Emperor?
Five people shot through the air above the Sea of Innocence.
They were already nearing the end of this stretch of ocean; dry land was just barely coming back into view.
“What was up with that? He clearly hasn’t even opened his Celestial Eye, and there’s no trace of celestial fate or starlight about him, yet the higher-ups say he’s the Emperor Star,” said one of the five. He spat into the sea.
“We didn’t find the key fragment to the former God Emperor’s tomb, either.”
“What was there to even find? It seems to me that the higher-ups just don’t like the look of us and used this whole thing as an excuse to make trouble for us.”
“We couldn’t confirm the presence of a star bearer, nor could we find the key fragment, and we came this close to provoking the Lord of the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper. What we need to worry about most, though, is how we’ll explain coming back empty-handed.”
Just as they were about to cross the borders, an elderly man in black robes appeared before them.
The five of them came to a sudden stop, then shouted on high alert, “Someone from the Xue Family?”
“No.” The old man laughed, then said, “Our Young Miss is relatively interested in a few of those present, and wants to meet them.”
“Your Family’s Young Miss? Who is she?”
“It’s not convenient for me to say. Please, don’t make things difficult for this old man.”
With a boom, a mighty, solemn pressure swept over the five of them. However, it only lasted an instant before the old man smiled warmly and extended his hand. “This way, please!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter