Outside the palace.
Still covered in blood, Yang Jian frowned and surveyed his surroundings. Without going inside, there was no way to know that the Xiao Family estate was built like a fortress.
Just following Uncle An in, he sensed over a dozen ruler-level auras.
Remember, this was before even reaching the main hall.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Yang Jian stepped lightly against the ground, using his steps to sense his surroundings. Surprised, he retracted his gaze, clutched his still bloodied lance, and looked coldly ahead.
“Special Emissary Yang, the Emperor has invited you in.” The elder page gestured inside and smiled, his back hunched. Yang Jian steeled himself, his expression cold and murderous, then strode into the main hall.
As soon as he stepped inside, Yang Jian felt pressure and authority bear down on him.
He didn’t hesitate in the slightest. His divine power surged forth, billowing out of him, and he stabbed his Erlang Lance into the floor.
It mitigated some of the pressure. At the same time, Yang Jian narrowed his eyes and snorted, “It seems your emperor wants to intimidate me?”
He looked coldly at the great hall. When Xiao Ting heard this, he laughed boisterously and descended from his throne.
“You’ve misunderstood, Special Emissary Yang.” He reached out to pat Yang Jian on the shoulder to indicate that there was no need for such caution, but before his hand even made contact, a wave of divine power pushed it away.
“Don’t try to butter me up. You planned all this, didn’t you? You contacted me, then revealed my location to make the Upheaval Alliance suspect me, all so you could recruit me. Such an old-fashioned method, Lighting Emperor.” From beginning to end, he showed no sign of respect. Rather, he emanated intense enmity. “I suggest you give up on the idea. You appeared out of nowhere to break me out of my encirclement, so I won’t blame you, but if you want me to work for you, you’d best think again.”
Little did he know, acting like this only pleased Xiao Ting even further. Completely disregarding Yang Jian’s rejection, he smiled warmly, then laughed, “Such strong words, Special Emissary Yang. I have no intention of taking you as my subordinate.
“You sent people to help me escape my encirclement, then invited me to your estate. After all that trouble, surely you didn’t just bring me here for a cup of tea?” asked Yang Jian.
“That’s exactly what I want.” He waved his hand, and a square table appeared in the center of the hall. “Emissary Yang, I know you aren’t the type to bow to other people, and I have no desire to force you to submit to me. Rather than take you as a retainer, I’d rather have you as a friend.”
Xiao Ting smiled graciously, then gestured to the table. “Sit, and let’s have a chat.”
Yang Jian glanced at the table. Only then did he notice that there was a third cup and third floor pillow.
“Will someone else be joining us?”
“Yes, there’s also an elite I recruited recently. Speaking of him, you might very well have met already.”
Just as the words left his lips, they heard footsteps near the main gates. Yang Jian turned to look, but the instant he laid eyes on this new arrival, his eyes widened, and his nerves tightened. He clenched his lance with all his might. “It’s you? How is that possible?”
In the face of Yang Jian’s betrayal and Ye Zichen’s wounds, the upper echelons of the Upheaval Alliance were silent.
Xiao Hu was still off leading their rulers in pursuit of Yang Jian, but the first to chase after him, the Great Sage and Pu Jingwan, were already back. They’d currently gathered in his room.
The leaders of the Upheaval Alliance were visibly fraught with worry. Ye Zichen’s injuries were severe, and he’d yet to wake up.
Although they invited a doctor to examine him and were told he’d be fine, he was still asleep even now, and he showed no signs of waking up.
“Don’t just wait around. Let Zichen get a good rest,” said Xiao Yumei. She was seated by Ye Zichen’s bedside.
The various higher-ups nodded, bade her farewell, and left. Before long, only she, the Great Sage, Pu Jingwan, and Ye Zichen were left. As soon as they were alone, the “comatose” Ye Zichen suddenly opened his eyes and sat up.
The Great Sage walked over. Pu Jingwan glanced around the room, then placed a quick seal around the room.
“They’re finally gone.” Ye Zichen let out a long sigh, then glanced at the mostly-empty room.
In truth, he’d been pretending to be in a coma this time. Although his injuries looked severe, they hadn’t so much as scratched his origin. He’d pretended to be in a coma simply because he didn’t want to face his administrators’ concern.
At the end of the day, only the few of them knew that this was an act.
In the eyes of the rest of the higher-ups, Yang Jian was indeed a betrayer.
“Yang Jian, that bastard, used too much force. Even if he had to put on a good show, he didn’t have to cut off your entire arm and injure you so badly.” The Great Sage cursed, his eyes practically spitting fire.
Ye Zichen laughed. “The Hermit Emperor prepared the lotus arm as a one-time-use, expendable product. If Yang Jian hadn’t cut it off, in a few days, it would have lost its functionality anyway. You think he attacked too viciously? I actually think he went too easy on me; the more damage, the less on guard the Xiao Family will be against him. It would have been ideal if he’d pushed me right to the brink of death.”
“If he’d done that, even if I knew it was part of our ploy, I would have chased him to the ends of the earth.” The Great Sage’s eyes were wide with anger.
Ye Zichen laughed, then looked out the window. Although the high walls obscured his view, he could still see the Xiao Family’s main gate and the faint glow of their lanterns.
“Judging by the time, Yang Jian has probably already met with Xiao Ting by now.”
“Probably. If not, he will soon.” Pu Jingwan nodded. “When we chased him, we could clearly sense his position. Someone appeared en route, and unless I’m mistaken, they were from the Xiao Family.”
Ye Zichen chuckled, nodded, and instinctively lit him a cigarette.
Xiao Yumei immediately seized it, glared at him, then stretched out her hand. Ye Zichen naturally knew what she was trying to say. He smiled apologetically, then passed her the rest of the box and rubbed his lips.
“I hope everything goes well for him.”
All of them simultaneously received a notification. They glanced at each other; the only person capable of sending all of them a message at once was Yang Jian. He must have sent them an update.
They all opened the chat group. Indeed, the newest message was from Yang Jian.
However, when they saw the message’s contents….
“Who is Bai Haoyu?” Ye Zichen turned to look at the others, only to see their expressions turn grave.
The Great Sage gnashed his teeth and answered, “Bao Haoyu is Bai Yulong’s father. He’s the one who inflicted your wounds.”
“What?” Ye Zichen sat up, then re-read his message. “How could he possibly be in the Xiao Family estate?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter