“This way, please.”
“This is clearly my family home, yet you’re inviting me in so politely. What a novel experience.” Zi Yun followed Gu Li’s attendants in through the Zi Family gates. His eyes glinted, and he snorted.
The man leading him didn’t respond in the slightest. He simply scrupulously led the way ahead. Occasionally, he’d even pause to wait for Zi Yun to catch up, as if afraid he’d get lost in his own house.
“It’s not bad at all, this ‘novel experience.’” Zi Xia seemed as optimistic as ever. She really was pretending this was her first time here, and her eyes flitted all over the estate. In truth, she was as familiar with the place as she could possibly be. She’d fled this place countless times, and she’d long since memorized every available shortcut and hidey-hole.
The cobblestone path was long and winding. It led them through a verdant forest, but Zi Yun and Zi Xia saw no signs of any of their clansmen.
They didn’t even see their most ordinary clansmen, their guards and servant girls.
What they did see, or rather, sense, was a demonic energy enveloping the entire residence.
“Holy Lord, they’ve arrived.”
Gu Li was currently facing away from Zi Yun and ZI Xia. When he heard their arrival, his hideous expression disappeared, replaced with a radiant smile. He turned around, then spread his arms….
“Ye Zichen, you’re actually….” Gu Li started, but the words caught in his throat. When he saw who’d arrived, he froze, and his smile gradually faded.
It was just Zi Xia and Zi Yun. Neither the Great Sage nor Ye Zichen were anywhere to be seen.
Gu Li gazed down at the siblings, evaluating them, before returning to the seat he’d had prepared.
“Why is it you two?”
“Of course it’s the two of us. Who did you think would come?” Zi Yun’s eyes flashed coldly. “Were you expecting Ye Zichen and that monkey? I’d rather hoped for that myself, but they were afraid you’d ambush them, so they said they’d have to wait for their subordinates to arrive before they even considered coming here. Unfortunately, Zi Xia and I couldn’t afford to wait that long.”
“That so?” Gu Li crossed his legs and sneered, then hooked his finger, summoning someone from the side of the room.
That person immediately rushed over and whispered in Gu Li’s ear. The two of them exchanged some hush words. Gu Li’s disappointment gradually became increasingly pronounced. “What a pity.”
He sighed, but it wasn’t directed at Zi Xia or Zi Yun. He was sighing to himself.
He’d just heard from his subordinate that Ye Zichen and the Great Sage really hadn’t come. The demons now had everything within a hundred miles of Jadewave City under surveillance. As soon as the Zi siblings entered their range, they were noticed, but there was no sign of anyone else accompanying them.
Gu Li was truly disappointed!
He’d placed this trap for no purpose other than waiting for Ye Zichen to show himself, but now, it seemed his old rival had chosen to retreat.
This was in no way in line with Gu Li’s impression of Ye Zichen; he shouldn’t be this cowardly. It seemed the years had changed his personality. Or perhaps, after opening his celestial eye, the god race experts standing behind him refused to let him risk himself on something like this.
It was just too disappointing!
Gu Li leaned back into his chair and sighed despite himself, but before long, he regained his usual calm.
It was truly a shame that Ye Zichen hadn’t come, but he still had to welcome the Zi Siblings properly. Since they’d come, they were naturally here to save their clansmen.
“Did you bring me what I wanted?”
“Naturally!” Zi Yun reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the wooden box. Then, he opened it just a crack. Gu Li’s eyes lit up.
This was it; he was sure of it. This was the Divine Mausoleum key fragment he was after.
However, Zi Yun quickly put the lid back on, and Gu Li looked away.
“I really ought to thank Ye Zichen’s hypocritical sense of justice. I’m shocked he didn’t just steal that from you. But fine, then. Since you brought me what I asked for, go ahead and hand it over.” Gu Li stretched out his hand, only for Zi Yun to put the box away.
Gu Li couldn’t help but frown. His fingers drummed against a wooden table. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“I want to confirm that my clansmen are safe,” said ZI Yun solemnly.
“You think you get to make conditions?” A soft, yet sinister light flashed through Gu Li’s eyes, and he snorted, “I admire your courage, but don’t you think you’re being awfully reckless?”
Instantly, Zi Yun felt the temperature plummet around him. He felt like he was staring down a poisonous snake.
A chill emerged from the ground and spread through his body, but his expression remained determined, and he didn’t back down in the slightest. “I am, of course, aware that with our cultivation, Zi Xia and I are in no place to make demands. I know how strong you are, and that for you, simply seizing the treasure from us would be as simple as taking candy from a baby. Yet despite knowing all that, I chose to come here. Naturally, I have reason to be assured.”
Gu Li’s air of authority bore down on Zi Yun. It weighed down so heavily on Zi Yun that the blood drained from his face, his legs trembled, and he was drenched in sweat.
Even so, he clenched his teeth and clutched the wooden box. His gaze never left Gu Li’s.’
“Alright, I’ll agree to your request. If Ye Zichen could resist simply stealing it from you, I naturally disdain such petty thievery too.” Gu Li gaved his hands, and the overbearing pressure vanished without a trace.
Zi Yun took a few ragged breaths. Just now, the pressure had almost suffocated him. If even he felt like that, then Zi Xia….
He glanced at her, and saw that she was red-faced and her chest was heaving with exertion.
“As I said earlier, all I want is the Divine Mausoleum key fragment. So long as you offer it to me, there’s naturally no need for me to harm your family. Of course, if you’re still not at ease, there’s no harm in showing them to you first.”
Gu Li twisted his neck, then rose. The Zi Siblings followed him.
They traversed a meandering path, then arrived at the estate’s back mountain.
Before even stepping into the family estate, Zi Yun had sensed a few dozen diviner-level demon presences. It seemed they were all tasked with guarding the Zi clansmen.
“Go on in. I guarantee no one is missing. They might have taken the odd injury here and there, but they’re still alive, if nothing else.” Gu Li smiled and pointed inside. Zi Yun and Zi Xia walked forward, side by side.
Heavily injured Zi clansmen lay scattered across the courtyard, and quite a few were struggling to breathe.
Zi Yun clenched his fists. Gu Li noticed, then smiled faintly. “I didn’t deceive you, did I? They’re all still alive. Sure, they might not be entirely in one piece, but if you hand over the key fragment, I can treat them for you. I can even give your Zi Family enough resources to develop into a first-rate faction.”
“There’s no need for that.” A sudden voice appeared from Zi Yun’s direction, but it definitely wasn’t Zi Yun speaking.
At that moment, the box in Zi Yun’s hands burst into light, then transformed into Ye Zichen, who laughed, “Thanks for leading me here!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter