The soldiers charged with welcoming ascenders stared, dumbfounded, at the man in black, taking in his diviner aura and the power of the diviners behind him.
The only woman of the group batted her eyes, then glanced at her companions.
“What’s up with you guys. It’s only been a few years. Don’t you remember me?” The black-robed man laughed, then walked up to them and stretched out his hand.
The captain of the soldiers hurriedly stretched out his as well, then bent at the waist. “Brother Ye, no…. Senior Ye.”
Indeed, this new arrival was none other than Ye Zichen. And these soldiers were the very same who’d greeted him when he first ascended to the Northern Divine Mountain.
When he heard Huang Yin greet him as “senior”, Ye Zichen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The guards looked at him, their gazes full of fear.
Everyone in the God Realm knew what it meant to be an absolute talent; it meant an unparalleled, glorious future. Even so, who would have thought that a youth who’d only lived on the Divine Mountains a few years was already a ruler-level expert, and one strong enough to command whole teams of other diviners at that?
“Stop with all that ‘senior Ye’ stuff. It makes me feel old. Just call me ‘Brother Ye’ like when we first met; I’ll feel more comfortable that way.” Ye Zichen laughed and nodded at them, then turned to the only woman among them. “Liu Baihui, flower of the squadron, you look even prettier than last time.”
Liu Baihui blushed. Fan Lu cleared his throat and said, “Who said the absolute talent we welcomed a few years ago wouldn’t remember us? Stand up! See? Doesn’t Brother Ye remember us? He even got our names right!”
“Fan Li.” Huang Yin frowned. In his bones, he was the old-fashioned type. The way he saw it, Ye Zichen’s easy-going approachability was a sign of respect, but at the end of the day, there was a profound difference in their cultivation. It was up to Ye Zichen whether he treated them with respect or not, but they didn’t have that freedom. At least on the surface, they couldn’t be impudent.
As their leader, Huang Yin still had his share of authority. Fan Li rubbed his nose, duly chastised, and fell silent.
Ye Zichen looked them over, then laughed. “What are you all doing here? Weren’t you living on the Northern Divine Mountain?”
“Changing shifts. The teams standing watch over the ascension pools have always changed posts every so often. Rather, we should be asking you. Brother Ye, you’re here because…?”
“I’m here to welcome some friends.”
At the moment, a few people waved to him from the direction of the ascension pool. Ye Zichen smiled at Huang Yin and his subordinates, then headed towards the pool.
The grand procession of diviners followed him. The soldiers could only watch their backs.
“It’s really shocking. He’s already a diviner.” Liu Baihui sighed with emotion. When they’d first met, Ye Zichen had only just ascended, and she was on the brink of becoming a sky supreme. Now, she was still on the verge of breaking through, but had yet to take that final step. He’d left her in the dust.
The others were in roughly the same position. They’d made no improvements to speak of.
“Some people are destined for greatness, to stand above others. Brother Ye is clearly one such person.” Huang Yin gazed at the diviners following Ye Zichen and sighed with deep emotion.
Leading over a dozen diviners? He didn’t dare even imagine it.
Everyone standing outside the ascension pool was a member of the Lower Lands’ Upheaval Alliance. Actually, a few weren’t, but they didn’t know anyone on the Divine Mountains and they were in a strange, foreign environment, so when the alliance extended an olive branch, they took it. They were now officially members of the alliance too.
When they saw Ye Zichen, many of the new arrivals’ gazes were full of curiosity.
Down in the Lower Lands, the Upheaval Alliance had grown quickly, so most of its members had never seen Ye Zichen. Only high-ranked administrators had met him.
Many of these new ascenders didn’t know who Ye Zichen was, but they could tell he was strong.
As everyone watched, Ye Zichen walked up to a woman in a long dress, then smiled gently. “You’re here!”
“I’m here.” Their eyes met, their gazes full of tender sweetness. However, some people just didn’t know how to read the atmosphere.
“Candy!” said a voice, completely ruining the mood. The owner of the voice stretched out her hand, her tone playful.
Ye Zichen didn’t even need to think; he knew who this was. He took several bottles of medicine directly from his spatial ring and placed them into the woman’s outstretched hand. When she saw them, she leaped excitedly back to another new arrival’s side. This new ascender was male, with a distinctive, upright tuft of hair on his head.
“Yuzhuan, Little Lorie, you’re here too!”
“As the Minister of the Right, he ought to be ashamed it took him so long to ascend,” said a voice, disrupting the otherwise harmonious atmosphere.
Ye Zichen turned to see a visibly displeased Yin Shang, then laughed. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Last night, the person he’d asked Xiao Yumei to find was Yin Shang, and the message he received was from Zuo Mo. The message was a notification saying that she planned to ascend the following morning, and that it was up to him whether she went to the Northern Divine Mountain or not. Ye Zichen couldn’t let Xiao Ting take notice of her, and he certainly couldn’t let the Xiao Family learn of their relationship, so he chose a different mountain entirely, the one with the least obvious connections to him, yet one with allies close at hand: the Northwestern Divine Mountain.
This woman in a long dress was, of course, none other than Zuo Mo.
“He’s one of the four great auxiliary stars, and one in charge of warfare, the Minister of the Left, yet his cultivation is so low. In the future, how will he carve out new territories for you?” said Yin Shang without the slightest hint of humor.
“Okay, okay. Don’t be so serious, alright?” said Ye Zichen helplessly. He didn’t want to argue with Yin Shang; after learning of his status as the Minister of the Left, it was as if he’d become a different person. He was always so serious about everything.
Ye Zichen sighed, then turned to Zuo Mo. “I have other business to attend to, so I can’t pave your way forward. From now on, you’ll be following Yin Shang, and you’re no longer a member of the Upheaval Alliance, but rather, a member of the Hundred Treasures Trading Company.
“Fated Star, Your Excellency,” said Yin Shang in greeting.
Zuo Mo nodded, then turned to Ye Zichen and frowned. “Why does it have to be like this?”
“You can ask Yin Shang for a more detailed explanation later, but in short, remember: for all intents and purposes, you don’t know anyone from the Upheaval Alliance,” said Ye Zichen solemnly.
“Alright.” Zuo Mo nodded.
“I’ll arrange all the manpower and resources the Hundred Treasures Trading Company needs, then send them to you in secret. From now on, the Hundred Treasures Trading Company will start business in earnest, with cell phones as its flagship product. I hope that, when I next come back, I can see the social media profiles and information of some of the leading figures of the God Realm,” said Ye Zichen.
In the face of her solemnity, Ye Zichen sighed, hugged her, and gently kissed her forehead. “I’m sorry. You only just got here, but I’m putting such a heavy burden on your shoulders already. I know it’s difficult.”
Then, he turned away. “Yin Shang.”
“I’m here,” said Yin Shang.
“Can you take Zuo Mo and the others to Flowery Fields City?” Once he gave his orders, he turned to the Great Sage. “We should head out too. Are you ready?”
The Great Sage’s hands inexplicably trembled, and his eyes flashed with golden light. “Let’s go!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter