Xia Yingda received the Dragon God’s command and went to lead the guests to the main hall. By now, Ye Zichen understood: this ought to be the “important business” the Dragon God wanted to discuss with him.
“You should have figured it out by now, right?” asked the ancient Dragon God with a faint smile.
Ye Zichen smiled back and nodded.
Not much time passed before Xia Yingda returned. At least, not much compared to how long Ye Zichen had already waited, that is.
Xia Yingda stopped by the entryway and gestured as if inviting someone inside.
“Senior Dragon God is already waiting inside,” he said softly. As he spoke, a group gradually assembled before the hall’s entryway.
A stocky, imposing man led the group. His white hair was cut short and he wore leopard-print clothing. There was a scar over his left eye; it was most likely blind.
Three attendants followed him, two men and one woman. All three examined their surroundings coldly as if on high alert.
It seemed the man often visited the Dragon Race; he walked right into the main hall, perfectly at home.
“Senior Dragon God, Ol’ Dragon mentioned you a long time ago, but there’s been so much going on in the clan, I’ve yet to find time to pay you a visit,” said the short-haired man. He turned to the Dragon God and bowed deeply.
The Dragon god smiled back and said, “no harm done.”
After finishing his bow, the man’s gaze fell on Ye Zichen. He then proceeded to thoroughly examine Ye Zichen, seemingly fascinated. This was an extremely rude way to treat someone you were meeting for the first time. Ye Zichen frowned in displeasure.
Noticing his expression, the man laughed, “Emperor Ye, I didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just, a certain someone is always talking about you. It’s also my first time meeting you in person so I wanted to get a closer look.”
“Someone told you about me?”
“That’s right. You know him, too. That Wei Chen talks about you every day. Didn’t you notice that we look a lot alike?”
As he spoke, the man stood up straight and let Ye ZIchen get a good look at him.
“Old Wei.” That was the name of an old man Ye Zichen once knew back in the Modern Realm. Hearing the name, Ye Zichen smiled instinctively.
“Then I suppose you're the head of the White Tiger Clan. It’s an honor to meet you at last. How is Old Wei doing?”
“He’s naturally doing well. Otherwise, I couldn’t possibly stand here in such good spirits. You probably didn’t know this, but he’s my worldly incarnation. After leaving him alone for a long time, the brat formed his own soul. I decided to just let him go off and play on his own. Right, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Lei Hu!”
Judging from his appearance and temperament, the head of the White Tiger Clan, Lei Hu, was straightforward and open. He seemed like a warrior.
Not everyone liked this sort of person, but they made absolutely wonderful friends.
The moment you encountered a problem, they’d charge at head-on.
Just then, another ground entered the main hall.
“Tiger Lei, I could hear that loud voice of yours from miles away.”
Their leader was an emaciated middle-aged man. He wore a fur coat despite the hot weather. One of Ye Zichen’s acquaintances, Zhuge Hong, followed him in.
Like Lei Hu, he was followed by three people. Behind Zhuge Hong, Ye Zichen soon saw Zhuge Kongming as well.
When he saw Ye Zichen, Zhuge Kongming smiled gleefully and waved, but resisted the urge to run up to him.
Clearly, this former runaway had grown up a lot in the past few years.
“You old turtle, always hiding in such a thick shell. I truly don’t understand why such a beautiful phoenix is following you. You’re not fit or attractive at all! How embarrassing,” snorted Lei Hu.
“Tch, aren’t you just jealous? How could someone like you possibly understand my charm?” said the gaunt man.
Suddenly Zhuge Hong spoke up. “We met by chance.”
The emaciated man stopped bragging and instantly turned bright red. Seeing this, Lei Hu started laughing uproariously. “That’s what you get!”
He was just about to object when he noticed the Dragon God atop the seat of honor. He hurriedly swallowed his words and greeted him respectfully.
“Senior Dragon God.
“Senior Dragon God.” Zhuge Hong bowed as well.
“Mm.” The Dragon God nodded calmly.
The gaunt man smiled at the Dragon God, then stepped back, lowered his head, and glowered at Lei Hu.
“You knew Senior Dragon God was here and you didn’t tell me? You almost got me into huge trouble!”
“Haha, Senior Dragon God isn’t the type to get hung up on little details like that. Come on then, let me introduce someone,” said Lei Hu, pointing at Ye Zichen. “This is Ye Zichen, Emperor Ye, the reincarnation of the Immortal Region’s Yellow Emperor.
Then he turned to Ye Zichen and said, “This is the current head of the Xuanwu Turtle clan, Tu Bie. You can just call him Old Turtle.”
“‘Tu Bie?’ Are you calling me a beetle? Screw you, you’re the beetle, ” said the emaciated man. He pushed Lei Hu away, then smiled at Ye Zichen. “Emperor Ye, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I’m Tu Biyu, the head of the Xuanwu Turtle Clan.”
“Tu….. Biyu?” When he heard the man’s name, Ye Zichen just barely managed to suppress his laughter. “Clan Head Tu, nice to meet you. I’m Ye Zichen.”
Tu Biyu. (土敝鱼)
How was that different from Tu Bie? (土鳖)
“Ha ha ha! Brother Ye, if you want to laugh, just laugh. No one will object. I have no idea what this old turtle’s parents were thinking, naming him something like that. They just took the characters for ‘ground beetle’ and split them. If you put them back together, he’s still just a beetle, isn’t he?”
Lei Hu let out a burst of exaggerated laughter. Tu Biyu was just about to explode when he remembered: they were standing right in front of the Dragon God.
Helpless, he decided to simply change the subject. “Emperor Ye, this is the head of the Vermillion Bird Clan.”
“We’ve met.” They said at almost the same time. They smiled as their eyes met.
“Emperor Ye,” said Zhuge Hong. “I remember when you were still a child who’d yet to cultivate spiritual energy. To think you’ve already become such a prominent figure in the Three Realms! It’s not just your status- your strength, too, is awe-inspiring.”
“Aunty Zhuge, you must be joking,” said Ye Zichen, using the same form of address as back in the Modern Realm.
“Big Bro,” said Zhuge Kongming with a gleeful smile.
Ye Zichen reached out and patted his head. “Kongming, you’ve grown up too.”
“It seems everyone’s just about finished with the small talk. How about we get to the main topic?” asked the Dragon God. As they heard this, the clan heads immediately took their seats. Their formerly relaxed demeanor instantly turned serious.
When Ye Zichen saw this, he realized: these were the clan heads of the Four Sacred Beast Clans.
One moment they could chatter happily, the next, discuss matters of life and death. In terms of controlling their emotions, they surpassed him by an enormous margin. He sighed inwardly, then realized how serious this matter must be.
The Four Sacred Beast Clans hadn’t assembled in one place in well over ten thousand years. Now, though, all four of them sat together. Whatever the Dragon God wanted to discuss had to be of the utmost importance.
“Alright then, let’s get started.”
“Wait a moment! Please let my clan in too!”
 This is a joke based on the structure of the characters. Tubie, or "ground beetle" is written like this: 土鳖 Tu Biyu is written like this: 土敝鱼. If you look closely, you'll see that the parts are exactly the same: in the longer name, they essentially just stretched it into two characters. If you were reading Chinese vertically, it's possible you'd genuinely confuse them, although in this case, Lei Hu is just making fun of Tu Biyu's (admittedly unusual) name.
There's another layer of humor in here as well: 海龟, or sea-turtle, sounds the same as the word 海归，which means to return from overseas. Sea turtle is slang for people who've been abroad and seen the world. It contains the character "turtle", just like "Xuanwu turtle."
土鳖, or ground beetle, is also slang. It means the exact opposite of "sea turtle", referring instead to someone who's never been abroad. So in addition to calling him an insect (as if that weren't offensive enough) and making fun of his name, Lei Hu is also essentially calling him uncultured.Previous Chapter Next Chapter