Within the Northern Kingdom, Jadewave City’s Zi Family was insignificant. Even just within Jadewave City, if you were to rank the top ten factions, they most likely wouldn’t make the list.
Whether it came to resources or treasures, they were just too inferior.
Save for a Divine Mausoleum key fragment, Ye Zichen couldn’t imagine a family like this having any treasure capable of provoking Gu Li into taking action personally. It was this exact treasure that Ye Zichen had come to the Northern Kingdom for.
When he heard Ye Zichen’s response, Zi Yun’s expression soured. A long time passed, but he said nothing. However, even as his thoughts were racing, Zi Xia pulled out an object and presented it. It was an exquisitely crafted wooden box.
“This is what they want, isn’t it?” Zi Xia pursed her lips. She’d been kept in the dark this whole time. She’d had no idea of what was going on between her family and the demons. However, as soon as she started thinking about it, she thought of the object hidden in the wooden box.
When Zi Yun first entrusted the box to her care, she’d briefly opened it, but its contents weren’t among the family heirlooms she recognized, nor were they particularly to her liking.
And yet, Zi Yun had chosen to entrust this to her at her wedding, without giving her any sort of explanation.
At the time, she couldn’t figure it out. It was only when the demons arrived and she heard the elders shout, combined with her brother’s desperate pleading, that she understood.
The demons were here for this wooden box, or rather, its contents, but her family didn’t want it to fall into the demons’ hands.
That was why they’d give it to her; they figured it was safest, as she’d been about to become Hui Liu’s daughter-in-law, and would therefore enjoy his protection.
“Zi Xia, you….” When she took out the box, Zi Yun couldn’t help but frown.
Ye Zichen and the Great Sage’s gazes both landed on the box. The Great Sage was curious; what exactly was inside? To think the demons would go to such great lengths, coming all the way to the Yao Realm just to seize a single wooden box!
Ye Zichen, meanwhile, already had a rough sense of its contents. But if it really was a fragment of the key to the DIvine Mausoleum, shouldn’t he have sensed it? How could a mere wooden box block off all traces of its presence?
“Can I open it up and take a look?” asked Ye Zichen.
“Of course.” Zi Xia passed it to him without hesitation. Zi Yun wanted to object, but in the end, he clenched his fists and bit his tongue.
The box was light, as if there was nothing inside it. Ye Zichen took a good look at it, then took in a few deep breaths. He formed another arm from pure divine power, which emerged through his left sleeve, then gently lifted the box’s lid.
At the same time, something in his breast pocket started undulating.
Ye Zichen took it out and saw that his key fragment had lit up with dazzling light. Its light joined with that of the item in the box, making both objects shine even brighter.
The box really did contain another key fragment!
All those years ago, the fragments of the key to the Divine Mausoleum had been spread throughout the Upper Three Realms, but the fragments all responded to each other. The closer they were, the stronger the reaction.
Ye Zichen was shocked that such a small wooden box was enough to disrupt the link between key fragments.
He held both key fragments at once. Based on the shape of their cracks, they didn’t fit together, and there were still at least three other fragments yet to be found.
Zi Xia and Zi Yun watched in astonishment. They’d both opened the box before.
Inside was nothing but an ordinary-looking key fragment. They’d never seen it light up like this before.
Their gazes flitted between Ye Zichen’s fragment and the one in the box. It seemed they’d once been part of the same object.
Suddenly, Zi Yun knit his brows. He had a sudden sense of foreboding. He suddenly stretched out his hand, then swiped their family’s fragment back.
Ye Zichen, who’d just been wondering how many pieces of the key were out there in total, was caught off guard. He froze, stunned, then glanced at Zi Yun. Zi Yun had already placed the fragment back into the box and closed it. The fragments’ glow instantly disappeared.
“It’s just an ordinary key fragment. It’s unworthy of such concern, sir.” A profound look flashed through Zi Yun’s eyes.
Ye Zichen rubbed his hands together, a hint of a smile on his lips. “I suppose so.”
“Big Brother.” Zi Xia looked at Zi Yun in confusion. “What are you doing?”
“My foolish little sister, can’t you tell? Your Supreme Treasure and this friend of his are actually just here for the key fragment. And here I thought Supreme Treasure was a decent sort after all. It turns out he has ulterior motives. I’m truly shocked.” Zi Yun snorted.
“Supreme Treasure isn’t that kind of person.” Xi Zia immediately objected.
“Then why don’t you ask him? Ask him if he wants the fragment or not,” growled Zi Yun.
Zi Xia wanted to keep arguing, only for Ye Zichen to chuckle and cut her off. He nodded, “You’re right. I have to admit it: I really am after that key fragment.”
Although Zi Yun was the one to accuse him, not even he expected Ye Zichen to admit it outright. As soon as he recovered from his shock, he sneered, then narrowed his eyes. “So, you admit it? I must say, you’re an upright fellow. At least you aren’t resorting to trickery.”
Now, both Zi Xia and the Great Sage were stunned. Not even the Great Sage had known Ye Zichen’s goals.
“However,” Ye Zichen continued, “I’d like to say a few words on the Great Sage’s behalf. He had no idea of my goals, and he intervened to save you entirely of his own volition, out of an earnest desire to help. Furthermore, before we arrived, I had no idea the fragment was in the Zi Family’s hands, nor did I know that you specifically were in possession of it. All of this is just a coincidence.”
“Hah? So, ultimately, what you’re saying is that you’re after the key fragment after all,” said Zi Yun.
“Of course. I said as much myself: I want the key fragment,” said Ye Zichen gravely. “I want it, but I won’t invade or attack your clan like the demons did. But, although this might sound rather unfriendly, there is one thing I have in common with them, and that’s that I’m going to use your family to threaten you.”
Zi Yun was instantly stunned. He seemed to not quite understand.
His clan was currently in the demons’ hands. How could Ye Zichen use them to threaten him? Was he referring to the elders lying in this room? Or to Zi Xia…?
Zi Yun instantly pulled Zi Xia closer to him, and his diviner-aura surged forth.
Even though he knew that, in the face of Ye Zichen and the Great Sage, his strength amounted to nothing, Zi Yun was still Zi Xia’s big brother. He was the only person left to stand up for her, so he had to do so, even if it was futile.
“You’re awfully cautious.” Ye Zichen laughed and shook his head. He then looked the bewildered Zi Xia right in the eye. “Threatening you with Zi Xia? Out of consideration for the Great Sage, I can’t do that. Besides, if I did, the stakes would be too low. No, I’m going to threaten you with your entire clan.”
“What exactly do you mean?” asked Zi Yun.
“Give me the key fragment, and I’ll guarantee your clan’s lives, and I can even help you flee to the God Realm and re-establish yourselves somewhere safe. If you refuse? There’s no point discussing this any further!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter