Why was Ye Zichen so shocked? Naturally, it was because he recognized this new arrival.
The man bowing deeply to the Outsider Gu Li was the same person Ye Zichen had met back in the Outside, the mayor of Bing Cheng, Han Nan.
He was also the First Era’s Minister of the Left’s subordinate, the Secretariat Star.
Han Nan’s expression was solemn and respectful. Clearly, this Gu Li’s status in the Outside was lofty indeed.
But what really piqued Ye Zichen’s interest was what he’d just said: “The Master of the Stars requests you hurry back.” When he visited the Outside, Han Nan said the Master of the Stars was dead, right? That was why they’d entrusted their fates to Ye Zichen.
So why was Han Nan talking about their Master of the Stars as if he were alive?
The Outsider Gu Li stared silently at the golden character in the sky for a long time. Han Nan maintained his deep bow patiently, making no extraneous movements at all.
“I’m extremely interested in this person of the Third Era.” After a lengthy silence, the Outsider Gu Li retracted his gaze. An insincere grin tugged at his lips, and he snorted. “Didn’t he already publicly announce his death? Why is he back all of a sudden? Did he really go into hiding just because he was afraid I’d sever this era’s Master of the Star’s destiny?”
Han Nan said nothing. The Outsider Gu Li could slander the Master of the Stars as he pleased; that was their private business.
Although Han Nan was the Secretariat Star, his status was lower than either of them, and by no small margin.
He wasn’t qualified to object to Gu Li’s slander.
“Return.” The Outsider Gu Li looked up at the character in the sky, his gaze mocking. “He’s ordering me back now? Isn’t he afraid I’ll work with the primordial giant beasts to shatter his era once and for all? Hasn’t he been on guard all these years for fear I’d do just that?”
He fell silent, then waited. After a while, he turned to Han Nan and said, “What, did he send a mute as his emissary? Can’t you talk?”
“Your Excellency Gu Li, the Master of the Stars sent me here on his behalf to request you return. As for the rest, my status is too low; I don’t know how best to answer your questions.” Han Nan smiled, but he still maintained his bow.
The Outsider Gu Li glanced at Han Nan for a while, shook his head, and sighed. “Forget it. There’s no point in holding a grudge against an Auxiliary Star of your level. But I’ll still need you to go back and tell him that I don’t want to go back. If he really wants me there that badly, he should come tell me himself.”
“Gu Li, watch your tongue.” At that moment, four beams of celestial light shone overhead. Before long, Ye Zichen saw four figures bathed in radiant starlight descend from the heavens. All of them glowed with light so intense, it obscured their features.
“Celestial Eye, open!” A flash of gold lit in Ye Zichen’s left eye. This was the first time he’d used his Celestial Eye intentionally since winning the Emperor Star’s good graces.
He was really curious about just who these four were, so he chose to use the eye to confirm his guess.
The Emperor Star was the ruler of the starry sky. Its celestial eye could see through every other star’s light. The instant he activated his celestial eye, the starlight surrounding the four of them really did fade.
“Hm?” The four figures shrouded in starlight sensed what was happening, and they frowned slightly. They waved their hands, and a curtain appeared around them, preventing Ye Zichen from prying.
Still, Ye Zichen could tell that of the four of them, three were male and one was female.
The Third Era’s Four Great Auxiliary Stars were also three men and one woman.
When he saw the four of them, the Outsider Gu Li laughed aloofly and looked at them for a while. Finally, he narrowed his eyes and snorted, “I really wouldn’t have guessed the Four Great Auxiliary Stars would come too. It seems you plan to use force to make me go back?”
“Gu Li, I urge you not to take this too far,” said a bone-chillingly cold male voice. “You usurped the Master of the Star’s celestial fate, making the First Era’s transcendence unstable and casting trillions of lives into peril. The Master of the Stars is merciful, and doesn’t want to pursue this matter, but none of us have such mild tempers.”
Usurped celestial fate?
When Ye Zichen heard that, he knit his brows, and when he looked at the Outsider Gu Li, his gaze was even more solemn.
It seemed Han Nan really hadn’t deceived him, at least, not completely. The First Era’s transcendence really was unstable, and the primordial giant beasts really had left them in unspeakably dire straits.
The Outsider Gu Li just suggested that the Master of the Stars had faked his death, perhaps after this Gu Li usurped his celestial fate. It was entirely possible that not even Han Nan had known the truth.
But now, the Master of the Stars had suddenly left seclusion. It was highly possible that it was specifically to save Ye Zichen from this calamity.
But the First Era’s Master of the Stars had already transcended. How could that era’s Gu Li seize his celestial fate? Did that mean this Gu Li would do the same in the future?
Ye Zichen turned to look at Gu Li, only to realize that Gu Li was looking right back at him.
As they looked at each other, the Outsider Gu Li snorted. “When I usurped his celestial fate, you were there too. Think it over: back then, who was it who gave him the celestial fate he needed to transcend? You say I usurped his celestial fate? I just took back what was rightfully mine is all. Is there anything wrong with that? Besides, don’t tell me you don’t know why I took it back, even if it meant disrupting the era’s transcendence?”
In the face of his harsh rebuke, the Four Great Auxiliary Stars fell silent. Finally, the only woman in the group sighed. “We all share blame for An Lu’s death; it’s not simply the Master of the Star’s fault. Her death was agonizing for him, too. We also know that you usurped celestial fate for the sake of reviving her, but you weren’t destined for transcendence, so you couldn’t do it.”
“Isn’t there still the River of Time?” asked Ye Zichen suddenly. Actually, he didn’t ask on purpose; he’d done it without thinking.
When they heard this, the Four Great Auxiliary Stars glanced at him, and one of them sighed. “The River of Time was destroyed.”
Ye Zichen found it hard to believe.
The River of Time was a treasure refined by generations of Emperors Hades. Rumor had it that it was the first generation Emperor Hades’ God-Given Gift.
That was rather shocking news. “Hmph, don’t bother saying all that. It’s useless. She’s dead! She’s dead! The only way to make her a new body is calling upon the Emperor Star’s imperial starlight, just like how he revived Xue Mo all those years ago. That way, An Lu could live!” The Outsider Gu Li’s eyes contained a hint of madness. “I must take the Third Era’s Master of the Star’s life. If he dies, this era’s An Lu will live, and I can use his starlight to revive my An Lu! All of you, back down! If you back off now, I can pretend none of this ever happened. Otherwise…”
His energy exploded outward like a volcanic eruption, so forceful that Ye Zichen could no longer keep his footing. He was sent flying uncontrollably back.
Fortunately, one of the Four Great Auxiliary Stars reached out to help stabilize him.
The Outsider Gu Li roared in fury, “Leave, or all of you will die here!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter