Chapter 1514 - Prelude

The Upheaval Alliance

 

Dozens of cultivators, their auras vast and grand, stood in the skies. It was forbidden to fly within city limits. 

 

And yet, when the city patrols sensed these presences, nevermind approaching them, they didn’t dare so much as breathe too heavily. Instead, they pretended they’d seen nothing at all and slunk off to other parts of the city. 

 

Just now, they’d sensed it clear and day: every last one of those cultivators was a ruler-level expert.

 

“What are they up to now?” The pedestrians looked up at the skies above and the Upheaval Alliance’s orderly arranged rulers. Quite a few people looked askance at them, while the surrounding street vendors stowed their wares and prepared to leave. 

 

They got the sense that something wasn’t quite right. Furthermore, of late, Heavenly Got City had been somewhat less than peaceful, so the street vendors were already on high alert.

 

“Isn’t it forbidden to fly in the city? They’re…”

 

“Psh! What do you mean, ‘forbidden to fly in the city’? Rules like that only apply to ordinary people like us. Didn’t you see the city patrols pass by just now? One look and they slunk off without so much as a fart!”

 

“From the look of their formation, they’re preparing to fight someone!”

 

“They’re not planning to attack the Lightning Emperor’s Estate, are they? Look which direction they’re facing. One hundred years ago, the Profound Pavilion led a charge on the Xiao Family too, and it seems the Profound Pavilion is backing the Upheaval Alliance from behind the scenes.”

 

The pedestrians went on chatting amongst themselves. Meanwhile, up in the skies above the Upheaval Alliance’s base…

 

“Every Upheaval Alliance ruler currently in Heavenly God City is gathered here. There are still a few out on missions who won’t make it back here on time, though.” Xiao Yumei pointed at their procession of rulers, then reported to Ye Zichen. There were nearly forty of them.

 

Gathering them together like this had been Ye Zichen’s idea. He didn’t know why Yang Jian had suddenly disappeared from the group chat, but he nonetheless felt a vague sense of foreboding. 

 

He’d gathered them up just in case. If Yang Jian really was in danger, then…. The Upheaval Alliance’s rulers would fight their way right into the Lightning Emperor’s Estate!

 

Suddenly, a fierce wind howled.

 Everyone looked into the distance and saw the Great Sage on his magic cloud somersaulting his way over. “What are you doing here?”

 

“I couldn’t quite relax, so I came over to take a look,” said the Great Sage solemnly.

 

“Well, you sure got here quickly,” said Pu Jingwan.

 

“I, Ol’ Sun, can traverse vast distances in a single somersault. I’m a man like the wind.” The Great Sage sneered and snorted, “Yang Jian hasn’t said anything in the group chat in ages. Any side of activity from our neighbors?”  

“Nothing yet.” Ye Zichen glanced at the rulers beside him and said, “But I’ve already readied our forces. At the slightest whiff of trouble, we’ll barge right in.”

 

Then, he turned to Pu Jingwan and said, “Warn the Profound Pavilion. Tell them that we’re prepared to take up arms against the Xiao Family any minute now. Tell them to be careful, too; don’t give Zhou Wu any openings. Right, also, tell them that the yao and demons might very well be up to something, and that they should watch out!” 

 

“Leave it to me.”  

Meanwhile, in the Lightning Emperor’s palace, Xiao Ting grinned up on his throne. Based on his demeanor, you could see the lingering effects of snorting phantom fruit powder; as he spoke, his nostrils twitched involuntarily. 

 

However, his cold, grave gaze was so intense, the temperature throughout the palace seemed to plummet. It felt like the one seated upon the throne was no longer the Lightning Emperor Yun Xiao but rather a vicious, primordial savage beast. 

 

“Hah, I’m just joking.” Xiao Ting's cold aura disappeared as suddenly as it arrived, and he let out a burst of hearty laughter. “I have a fair bit of confidence in Special Emissary Yang, especially since he’s already had a falling out with that Ye Zichen. Their differences are irreconcilable, so why would Special Emissary Yang send him information in secret? Unless he sent Special Emissary Yang in as an undercover agent, but that seems far too risky.” 

 

People said accompanying a monarch was like accompanying a tiger, and it was undoubtedly true.

 

Ordinary people couldn’t fathom a monarch’s moods. Just now, Xiao Ting’s aura had been so suffocating, those present could barely breathe. The next moment, his smile was as warm as a spring breeze.

 

But if you listened carefully, you could sense the meaning hidden within his words. “You’re wise indeed, Lightning Emperor.” Yang Jian bowed deeply, his expression solemn. 

 

The Lightning Emperor burst into laughter, then suddenly paused. “But Special Emissary Yang, I heard that you have one of those new cell phones that have grown so popular lately. I sent my people to buy a few. Cell phones are mysterious indeed, and they can send messages just like transmission slips. I’d like to see just who’ve you been contacting. Might you lend me your phone so I can take a quick look?”

 

Yang Jian’s expression went solemn, as did Bai Haoyu’s.

 

An Bo, the elderly page, suddenly straightened his back, and an aura no weaker than an imperial sovereign spread out around him. With a bang, the palace doors burst open, and a few dozen fully-armed soldiers, all of them rulers, rushed in, blocking every available exit; not even water could slip through such an encirclement. 

 

“What do you mean, Emperor?”

 

As the former top war god of the Heavenly Court and current Special Emissary of the Outside, Yang Jian had, without explanation, experienced just about every kind of turmoil imaginable.

 

Although the situation before him looked perilous as could be, it was far from enough to scare him senseless.

 

This was no time to make his move, not unless he really had no other choice. If he could maintain a pretense of friendliness, he would.

 

“Nothing at all.” Xiao Ting lowered his hand, indicating that the rulers who’d rushed in, fully armed, were to lower their weapons. Then, with a wave of his sleeves, Xiao Ting stepped down from his throne and strolled right up to Yang Jian and Bai Haoyu. “I just wanted to see your phone. So long as you show me your phone, their arrival nature means nothing, and they’ll leave without doing anything.”

 

“You don’t trust us,” said Bai Haoyu suddenly.

 

Finally, the Lightning Emperor glanced at him for the first time, his gaze playful. “I want to trust you, but this is a rather special time, and I can’t afford to be even the slightest bit careless. Long-term success requires the utmost caution. I have no choice but to stay on guard. But I must say, I hadn’t realized you’d grown so close to Special Emissary Yang, to the point that you’d speak up on his behalf.”

 

“You must be joking, emperor. We have no relationship to speak of. It’s just, I’m aware of the saying ‘when a man has eaten every available hare, his dogs are next.’ If he goes, won’t I be next?” asked Bai Haoyu.

 

“How clever. That’s a good saying indeed.” Xiao Ting smiled and nodded, then glanced at Yang Jian. “Whether you die or not is all up to Special Emissary Yang. All you have to do is pass me your phone and let me look through it. Once I’ve proven there’s nothing fishy going on, I not only won’t kill you, I’ll even bow and scrape and beg for your forgiveness.” 

 

“Hah….” Inexplicably, Yang Jian laughed. “Kill me? Lightning Emperor, don’t you think you’re overestimating yourself? With just the bunch of rulers in the palace, a group not yet worthy of being declared emperors? Or with that old man beside you, a geezer with one foot in the grave? Or do you think you can take me yourself?”

 

“Oh? Special Emissary Yang, it seems you refuse to grant me this simple courtesy?” asked Xiao Ting.

 “My cell phone is right here. If you want it, come and take it.” Yang Jian’s eyes flashed with disdain. A three-pronged lance enveloped in rosy light appeared, hovering before his hand. “But I’m afraid…. You don’t have the skill!”                                                                                                                     

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