Chapter 1609 - Seclusion

The Divine Mausoleum.

 

Even if he hadn’t just conversed with Gu Li, Ye Zichen would undoubtedly choose to go inside as soon as possible.

 

Xue Mo was still lying in her sickbed with grievous injuries. The only reason she’d yet to return to the River Styx was Ye Zichen; his status as the Emperor Star and Master of the Stars was the only reasons she still clung to life.

 

The Hermit Emperor had once said that the Divine Mausoleum contained an item capable of granting her true rebirth.

 

The earlier he got his hands on it, the earlier she would awaken.

 

Toward that end, Ye Zichen would spare no effort. 

 

It was too soon to say whether he’d really cooperate with Gu Li, but the key fragments really were split between them. If they wanted to open the Mausoleum, they’d have to piece their fragments together.

 

More importantly, he had to open the final layer of the Yao-Sealing Pagoda and obtain the final key fragment.

 

A ruler.

 

For most people, breaking through to the ruler level was an impossible dream. Doing so in mere weeks was the ravings of a madman. But to Ye Zichen, who had imperial celestial fate at his side, it ought to be as easy as turning over his hand.

 

However, opening the final layer of the Yao-Sealing Pagoda wasn’t just a matter of attaining ruler-level cultivation. 

 

He also needed a certain level of mastery over the Dao of the Five Elements. According to Ye Zichen’s estimates, while he didn’t necessarily need to condense the Five Elements Dao Heart, he at least needed to fully master one element. 

 

This was the truly difficult problem to resolve.

 

The Divine Mausoleum would fully descend in half a month. That meant he had very little time left. 

 

“Great Sage, Yang Jian, Jingwan….” After a few moments of silent contemplation, Ye Zichen turned to his friends. When all of them looked at him, he continued, “I’m going to go into seclusion for a while. No matter what happens, do not let it disturb my cultivation. Yang Jian, please go meet with the Queen Mother on my behalf. Tell her not to worry about the Divine Mausoleum, and that I’ll come as soon as I leave seclusion.” 

 

“Alright.” Yang Jian nodded.

 

Ye Zichen then said solemnly, “Please keep watch for me.” 

 

Time flew by. In the blink of an eye, Ye Zichen had already been in seclusion for several days. 

 

During this process, several of the great emperors came looking for Ye Zichen, but his friends fobbed them off. However, the ambient anxiety in the air was increasing rapidly.

 

The Central Divine Mountain had unified into a single faction.

 

While Ye Zichen was in seclusion, to the inhabitants of the other Divine Mountains’ confusion, the Central Divine Mountain sealed itself off completely, allowing for no contact with outsiders at all. 

 

Looking at it from the outside, all others saw was a light barrier flashing with electricity. The entire mountain had been cordoned off. 

 

No one knew what was going on inside the barrier; no one could enter, and no one could leave. 

 

The war prep chat group lost contact with their only informant on the Central Divine Mountain - the Divine Arbiter.

 

It seemed that the seals around the mountain and Heavenly God City didn’t just block off divine power transmissions; they also blocked off the internet and cell service.

 

When the Hundred Treasures Trading Company’s Zuo Mo sensed that something was blocking the signal, she immediately sent people to stop it.

 

However, they’d yet to achieve good results. The IT team hadn’t given up, though. They were still trying to figure out a way to get a signal to go through.

 

At the same time, their allies sent the Hundred Treasures Trading Company in a massive influx of grandmaster refiners. 

 

It was worth mentioning that the Supreme Hall and its association of spiritual formation masters had joined the Upheaval Alliance, increasing the alliance’s strength manifold. In just a few days, they’d placed tens of thousands of spiritual formations on the Tenth Divine Mountain. If this trend continued, it would soon be the strongest of the ten. 

 

However, the Supreme Hall was sending a constant flow of formations grandmasters to the Hundred Treasures Trading Company too. Who knew their intentions?  

Even more noteworthy was that, while yao, god, and demon relations had been so fraught and tense just half a year ago, there had been no conflict at all as of yet. It was as if they’d agreed to grow on their own and not interfere with each other. 

 

As Ye Zichen neared his breakthrough, he went into seclusion in the Sea of Innocence’s inner sect, outside the dungeons. Due to his special status, the Ocean Emperor ordered all clansmen who’d broken into the ruler level and were currently on the Northern Divine Mountain, regardless of whether they were from the main family or one of its countless branches, to set aside whatever they were doing and come back to stand guard. 

 

As far as the eye could see, the courtyard was packed: there was a sentry every three feet, a guard outpost every ten.

 

A motley assortment of divine powers intercrossed. With such stringent defenses, never mind a person interrupting Ye Zichen’s breakthrough, not even a bug could escape their notice. 

 

By the time Venerate Spirit Treasure returned from the dungeons, Ye Zichen had already entered seclusion. Yang Jian had been on guard against him ever since his return, and Pu Jingwan didn’t talk to him either. Only the Great Sage was talking to him, and from time to time, they’d get together to discuss the finer points of thievery. 

 

“How long has he been in seclusion?” Venerate Spirit Treasure looked at the room Ye Zichen was cultivating in.

 

Yang Jian naturally didn’t answer him, and Pu Jingwan was sitting on a tree trunk eating who-knows-what. The only one who could answer him was the Great Sage.

 

The Great Sage glanced at Ye Zichen’s room, then said, “It’s been almost half a month.”  

“That long?” Venerate Spirit Treasure knit his brows.

 

The Great Sage was confused despite himself. “What do you mean, ‘that long’? At our level, it’s normal to go into seclusion for a hundred years at a time!”

 

“That’s true, but we don’t have that kind of time left!” Venerate Spirit Treasure sighed. He couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “You’d best hurry up. You don’t have much time left.”

 

The sea of consciousness. 

 

Ye Zichen’s sea of consciousness was now an ocean of flame. His consciousness sat cross-legged in the chaotic void, heavenly fire descending around him, turning the emptiness into a world of blazing flame. 

 

However, Ye Zichen’s body, which was seated on the ground, was frowning deeply. Of the five elements, he’d always had the deepest understanding of the Dao of Fire. When he went into seclusion, he figured that would be the best place to start. However, over the past half month, his results had been minimal.

 

He was starting to get frantic.

 

Although he was immersed in his secluded training and didn’t know how much time had passed on the outside, he knew they didn’t have much time left at all. He couldn’t afford to just sit here thinking about the Dao of Fire but not making any progress.

 

The Five Elements Great Emperor had shattered the Dao of the Five Elements’ dao heart, leaving him with no clear path to follow. The road ahead was covered in obstacles. Ye Zichen could only rely on himself and fumble around in the dark. 

 

Although Emperor Hades and the Ocean Emperor had instructed him in the Dao of the Five Elements, they both had their own specialties; they only understood bits and pieces of the Dao of the Five Elements. Earlier, their understanding could help Ye Zichen, but as he neared mastery and condensing the dao heart, he had to rely on himself.

 

“Could it be that I’ve gone down the wrong path?” Ye Zichen muttered to himself.

 

Ye Zichen had never thought himself as any sort of monstrous talent. He couldn’t compare with a monster like Shen Yu, who had mastered three peerless daos. But at the same time, he was no schlub either. His inability to make progress with the Dao of Fire was really starting to frustrate him.

 

“Of course you’re going down the wrong path.”

 

A voice suddenly appeared in his sea of consciousness. Ye Zichen’s eyes popped open, but the world of his sea of consciousness was still an endless sea of flames; there was no trace of any other existence.

 

“This is the Sea of Innocence,” the voice continued. “The power of water flourishes here, yet you’re trying to glean enlightenment into fire? With all this water surrounding you, you choose to contemplate fire and not rain? Of course you’re mistaken!”

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