When would they meet again?
When they decided to put on this show they knew that, so long as they truly inserted Yang Jian into the Xiao Family, they could meet or otherwise interact. At least, not until the Xiao Family openly betrayed the god race.
Fortunately, for now, at least, they could still communicate by phone. Thing is, in the near future, Ye Zichen planned to launch cell phones on a larger scale.
He absolutely couldn’t let Xiao Ting know that he was the source of this new development. Otherwise, the old man would definitely be on guard against him.
“Can the Xiao Family sense what we’re doing over here?”
“Almost certainly, yes,” said Xiao Yumei through a transmission. “The Upheaval Alliance has yet to find time to invite a formations grandmaster from the Supreme Hall to place soundproofing formations. As such, we have no way of stopping them from monitoring us.”
She paused. “I found his divine sense.” Xiao Yumei closed her eyes, then shouted, “Who dares snoop in the heart of the Upheaval Alliance?!”
A vast aura surged forth, and Ye Zichen went with the flow, coughing up a few mouthfuls of blood. Xiao Yumei, still visibly furious, reached out and wiped the blood from his lips.
“Help me…. Help me to my rooms…”
Meanwhile, within the Lightning Emperor’s Estate, Xiao Ting sat beside the courtyard’s river. It flowed through the gaps between the stones. He heard the sound of light footsteps, then withdrew his divine sense and admired the plants and birds, his back facing this new arrival.
“I already know.” Xiao Ting kept looking flatly ahead. Some time passed before he said, “Yesterday, you sent people to make contact with him.”
“That’s right, but I had them meet in a covert location. I’m surprised that they were still discovered,” said Uncle An, the elderly page. “I can’t help but doubt…”
“You did well, and I know what you’re concerned about,” said Xiao Ting with the barest hint of a smile. “But I suspect you’re overthinking things. It’s clear that Yang Jian and Ye Zichen have truly severed their bonds…”
Uncle An said nothing in response. Xiao Ting then withdrew the thread of divine sense he had keeping watch for the Upheaval Alliance. “Yumei, that child, has impressed me. She even noticed my divine sense.”
In truth, Xiao Ting hadn’t been keeping an eye on this situation the whole time. After Yang Jian and the Great Sage got back, the first time they fought, Xiao Ting was in a hidden realm, and he had no idea of what was happening outside.
It was only when he got back and Uncle An told him of the situation that he knew of their return. Only then did he begin his surveillance.
The results left him completely, thoroughly satisfied.
Of course, he couldn’t be certain that this was all real. It was possible that Ye Zichen had read him and his plans, and that this was a trap they’d deliberately set for him.
If that were true, if this really was Ye Zichen’s trap, then the young head of the Upheaval Alliance had a frightening disposition indeed. Xiao Ting felt that, even if this were a trap, he couldn’t blame himself for buying it.
“The young lady?” asked the elderly page.
“She’s no longer a member of the Xiao Family,” said Xiao Ting with a cold snort. Then he continued, “There’s no need to question Yang Jian’s relationship with Ye Zichen. I’m ninety percent certain that they’re truly at odds with each other. Otherwise, they couldn’t have put on such a seamless performance. Also, I know those kids, Yumei and Xiao Yan. If they were faking, I’d know it.”
Based on Xiao Yan’s expression, he was truly and completely stunned. As for Xiao Yumei, her final, hysterical scream was proof that her anger was indeed authentic.
It was possible that this was indeed just another part of their strategy. Even now, Xiao Ting couldn’t be certain. Even so, he’d scrupulously watched their every change in expression, and he saw no sign of fakery or deception at all.
The only thing that still provoked his suspicion was that, when Yang Jian first landed behind Ye Zichen, he didn’t attack right away.
Finally, he’d attacked, his eyes bloodshot. Between that and his initial hesitation, Xiao Ting ultimately interpreted this pause as a sign of lingering sentiment; this Yang Jian valued his relationships. That he’d overcome his hesitation and still attacked, and viciously at that, meant that they’d really, truly, severed their friendship.
Severing their brotherhood?
No one would do such a thing lightly. Cutting off the sleeves was an act rife with symbolism. They wouldn’t go so far just to put on a show.
“Where is Special Emissary Yang Jian currently located?” asked Xiao Ting.
“He’s already been chased out of Heavenly God City, but I already sent our people to help him escape,” said Uncle An.
“Excellent. Once he’s in a secure location, send someone to make contact with him. There’s no need to explicitly invite him to our side. At the moment, he’s undoubtedly filled with bitterness, but the Xiao Family is partially to blame for his current state. He undoubtedly bears a grudge against us too. Tell whoever you send to speak carefully and invite him in a roundabout, cautious way. This Yang Jian has the potential to be extremely useful. He not only has insider knowledge of the Upheaval Alliance, but he also knows the secrets of the Outside.”
When Xiao Ting gave his orders, Uncle An nodded. “Your servant understands.”
With that, he left the courtyard. Xiao Ting’s aged, leathery skin shook, as if he were laughing.
He wasn’t the only one who’d watched this play out; the other major powers of Heavenly God City had witnessed it as well.
The God Emperor’s Estate reported the incident to Zhou Wu right away, but after learning that the Emperor Star was in the Xue Family, he lost interest in Ye Zichen.
To the point that, even after the Divine Arbiter came with a report, he was in no mood to hear it. He wanted to hear more about Xue Tie instead.
The news spread through the undercurrents of the city.
No one had expected something like this to happen; one of the upper echelons of the Upheaval Alliance had betrayed them, and even attacked the Alliance Head. However, the way many people saw it, this wasn’t all that surprising.
The alliance hadn’t trained their experts themselves, and their leader’s cultivation was weak.
It was natural that something like this would happen.
They just didn’t know how the Profound Pavilion backing them would respond, but then, speaking of the Profound Pavilion, they hadn’t made an appearance in Heavenly God City in almost a month.
The Profound Pavilion, a group on par with the Xiao Family, seemed to have disappeared. Rumor had it that they’d had a falling out with the God Emperor, but few people knew whether that was true or not!
A full day passed.
Xiao Yumei stayed by Ye Zichen’s side, taking care of him, while Xiao Yan and Xiao Hu led the Outsider rulers in pursuit of Yang Jian.
After Xiao Yumei sensed Xiao Ting’s peeping, Wei Jie recruited close to a hundred formations grandmasters from the Supreme Hall, then spent an enormous amount of money placing tens of thousands of seals around the alliance headquarters.
After they finished, their defenses were airtight; not even Xiao Ting could sense anything.
The way the Xiao Family saw it, it was natural and inevitable that the Upheaval Alliance would put a soundproofing barrier up as soon as possible.
It was ridiculous to let the Xiao Family, who they were openly enemies with, monitor them in secret. Hiring formations grandmasters, even at great cost, was the logical next step.
It was just a pity for the Xiao Family that they could no longer snoop on the Upheaval Alliance’s affairs. Still, they’d already reached their goals.
“Emperor, someone is here to see you.” Uncle An’s decrepit body walked into the hall. In a rare display of finery, the Lightning Emperor was wearing purple imperial robes. He’d received these robes when he first took the throne; his predecessor had given them to him personally.
He only wore them at major events or when greeting truly important guests. Both were rare occasions.
Purple imperial robes and a golden crown. He looked regal and imposing.
He narrowed his eyes, and a hint of a smile tugged at his lips. He sat upright on his throne, pointed to the gates, and said solemnly, “Come in!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter