Thunderclouds rumbled over the ocean.
The Hidden Dragon Sword buzzed, and from time to time, lightning came crashing down onto it. Electric runes crackled around the blade.
Bi’an’s went from bright to icy. He lacked Xue Yang’s calm mindset, so he even went this far arguing with the three Yao Kings.
If they wanted to go any further, they’d have to take it up with his sword.
Waves of anger made the waters of the Sea of Innocence flow in reverse. The surface of the sea churned with murderous intent.
The Yao Kings’ expressions shifted dramatically. In the face of Bi’an, one of the renowned top experts of the God Realm, they dared not act recklessly.
“Ocean Emperor.” They were helpless; all they could do was ignore Bi’an and focus on Xue Yang instead.
“The Seventh Dragonborn’s will is my will,” said Xue Yang without another thought.
“It seems we were right,” said King Luoyu, his eyes flashing and a wanton grin tugging at his lips. “There is indeed someone worth visiting at your residence. If the two of you refuse to show us face, well, we’re still Yao Kings. We can’t just back down so easily, now can we?”
“You’re welcome to come and try us,” said Bi’an flatly.
Several imperial-level auras clashed over the water’s surface, until even the sky itself was black and grim. When the “unparalleled” monsters living beneath the waves sensed these auras, they silently tucked in their tales and fled, unwilling to show their faces.
Thunder cracked and boomed overhead and both sides stared each other down.
“Haha, what’s this? I’m so far from home, yet I sense several of my dear old friends.” At that moment, a few others streaked over the water, stopping right in front of them. The Yao Kings, Xue Yang, and Bi’an looked over and saw six people.
Furthermore, the heads of the God Realm’s Northwestern Divine Mountain’s Bian Family, the Northeastern Divine Mountain’s Zheng Family, and the Central Divine Mountain’s Shen Family were here too.
“Oh? It seems quite a few people have arrived, a group from every Upper Realm. All in groups of three. How nice and fair!” said the hornless head of the Beihan Family. He was tall and stalwart and clad entirely in snow bear pelts.
He glanced at the other arrivals, smiled calmly, then turned to Xue Yang and Bi’an. “Ocean Emperor, Seventh Dragonborn, could it be that you’re here…. Surely you’re not waiting here for us? No, no, that’s impossible; we’re not so special as to warrant two great emperors coming out to greet us.”
“The Divine Arbiter!’ Xue Yang ignored him and turned to her. If she was here, it was definitely at Zhou Wu’s orders.
“His Majesty, the God Emperor, sensed a strange fluctuation within the Sea of Innocence and was concerned that something troublesome had happened. He sent me here as reinforcements,” said the Divine Arbiter.
“Then I’d really ought to thank the God Emperor for his concern,” snorted Xue Yang.
The Divine Arbiter merely smiled and nodded, deliberately ignoring his words’ implication.
“It’s been thousands of years since we last had guests, yet now, there’s nine of you all at once,” said Xue Yang with a laugh.
“Heh. Ocean Emperor, surely you’re well aware of why so many people are here to see you?” Compared to the yao and gods, who were both prone to empty pleasantries, the demons got straight to the heart of the matter.
The three demon clan heads were smiling, as were the gods and yao. Even if they hadn’t discussed this privately before arriving, they all knew why the others were here. It was clear as day.
“It seems you’re all determined to force your way in,” said Xue Yang coldly.
“How can you put it like that? Whether we enter as guests or force our way in is ultimately up to you, is it not, Ocean Emperor? If you invite us in for a chat, who would demand an audience through threat of violence? That might very well result in hurting ourselves. At our cultivation boundary, even a tiny scratch takes an enormous amount of resources to heal and requires quite a bit of time, don’t you think….?” The head of the Beihan Clan’s words were full of obvious threats, all of them targeted at Xue Yang.
Xue Yang was alone above the waters save for Bi’an, but the new arrivals knew better than to underestimate them. Still, which of them wasn’t a titled emperor? If they really came to blows, the result would be difficult to predict.
“Divine Arbiter, didn’t Zhou Wu send you as reinforcements. Well, look now: these people are intent on forcing their way into the heart of my Sea of Innocence. Shouldn’t you carry out your duties and stop them?” said Xue Yang.
“The God Emperor said to reinforce you within your family estate, not to get entangled with foreign major powers. All I can do now is refrain from assisting them. However, I also need to take a quick look inside your estate.” The Divine Arbiter smiled flatly and took a step back. For now, she’d help neither side.
“Alright!” Xue Yang had never truly considered requesting her aid. Of the clans under Zhou Wu’s command, the Shen Family was the most loyal to him. Furthermore, the Divine Arbiter’s Grand Dao of Space would prove a real headache to both Xue Yang and Bi’an. If she didn’t get involved, then dealing with the others….
“This is your final warning,” said Xue Yang, his eyes flashing. “I urge you to head back now to prevent injuries and disturbing the peace.”
Bi’an had never been the type to chat with outsiders. If they wanted to get past him, they’d have to ask his sword first!
The waves rose higher and higher, and aside from the Divine Arbiter, the visiting yao, god, and demon experts’ expressions grew solemn. They’d all come at their respective clans’ elders’ orders, their goal, to investigate what was going on inside the Xue Family estate.
That they’d be barred entry here was unexpected.
But Xue Yang and Bi’an had been famous for a long, long time. No one dared act recklessly. Now, all they needed was someone brave enough to make the first move.
“Then please, great emperors, allow me, Beihan Shi, to witness your lofty skills firsthand. Besides, Ocean Emperor, this isn’t your real body, is it?” The head of the Beihan clan stepped forth, and his aura surged forth. Within an instant, the surface of the sea froze over, and the rising waves stopped in mid-air. The ocean had become a world of ice.
His clan was different from other demons; the Beihan Clan lived in the most frigid part of the Demon Realm, all the way in the far north, their home perpetually locked in ice and snow. Naturally, when they cultivated, their techniques were all of the ice element. Their attainments in ice were on par with the Nine-tailed Fox Clan.
The vast, nigh-endless sea had frozen completely. From this alone, it was clear to see how strong Beihan Shi’s skills were, and that he’d been at this level for a long time.
After he led the way, the others suddenly stepped forward as well. Their auras expanded, like vicious primordial beasts, and they prepared to face Bi’an and Xue Yang.
Then, an aura billowed out, cracking the ice-coated, frozen waves into chunks.
“Thunder, hear my call!” Even in the face of multiple imperial-level experts’ combined pressure, Bi’an’s expression didn’t so much as shift. He raised his Hidden Dragon Sword high into the air.
Lighting cracked and thunder boomed overhead. When they saw this, the new arrivals couldn’t help but start. However, to their surprise….
“Bi’an, there’s no need for you to intervene.” Xue Yang took a step forward, pushed against the air, then turned to Beihan Shi and smiled. “You can tell that this isn’t my real body, which tells me you’ve got good eyes. However, there’s something you’ve overlooked. This is the Sea of Innocence, the place where I achieved godhood.”
In the blink of an eye, the ice coating the rest of the sea cracked and shattered.
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