Therefore, the Three Saints and Four Rapscallions and all the evils with ill intentions could make as much fuss as they wanted and bring out all their schemes. It was time for all the wicked forces lurking about to show up!
Li Yao believed that no trouble could not be resolved by an expedition fleet of the federation armed with the technology from Kunlun.
If there was, he would ask ten fleets to be dispatched!
After witnessing the pandemonium of the Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector and the suffering of the ordinary folks, he could not wait to completely change the world with his and the federation’s will!
While he was pondering, a common, medium-sized flying boat without any markings drew close from another route in the west and joined the spectacular exploration fleet.
A streak of brightness soared up from the medium-sized carrier. It was Qi Zhongdao, the underappreciated ‘leader of all the Cultivators’.
Qi Zhongdao brought a piece of slightly surprising but rather reasonable news.
“Emperor Phoenix will lead the elites of the Thunderous Qian Sect and participate in the operation to explore the Divine Palace personally!”
In a world without Cultivators, the emperor, with his honorable status, should certainly reside in the capital as a commander. It was rare for them to show up on the frontline.
Those who did lead the charge in battles were often seen as unwise monarchs.
However, in the world of Cultivators, especially one with hundreds of super experts in the Nascent Soul Stage, the royal authority was not a supreme concept that everybody revered.
If every Cultivation sect was compared to a tribe, the ’emperor’ was only the chief of the largest tribe. Nothing more!
In order to completely control the world, it was mandatory that the emperor boasted personal combat ability that far exceeded other people’s!
Since the Cloud Qin Gold Statues, a strategic weapon that could decide the outcome of a battle, possibility existed in the Divine Palace, Emperor Phoenix, who was ambitious enough to purge the world and revive the Great Qian Dynasty, would certainly not stand by while watching other people excavating the treasures.
Otherwise, if every major sect got one or two Cloud Qin Gold Statues in the end, and the emperor had nothing in his hands, would it not be terribly embarrassing?
His declaration to ‘purge the world’ would also be a joke!
Li Yao met Emperor Phoenix on the seemingly plain flying boat that did not have any markings on it.
Before he met the mysterious monarch of the Great Qian Dynasty who had always been a center of gossips, Li Yao had speculated what he looked like in many ways.
Emperor Phoenix was not the previous emperor’s nominated heir. Among the many princes, he was not even one of the popular and well-respected ones.
His birth mother was just a regular concubine in the palace whose position was not very high. She had passed away soon after giving birth to him. As a result, he did not have any force that he could count on in the palace.
It was said that he had been troubled by ailments since childhood. Also, the late emperor had once received the instructions of a deity in his dream, who stated that if he wanted his son to live, he must have him grow up in the Thunder Martial Temple at the north suburb of the Divine Capital, where the Great Emperor of Thunder Martial would suppress the evil inside his body with his might.
The Great Emperor of Thunder Martial was a prehistorical deity worshipped by the Thunderous Qian Sect. After the Thunderous Qian Sect took over the world, naturally, the royal family claimed that they were the blood descendants of the Great Emperor of Thunder Martial. A lot of temples had been established across the country to enshrine their ancestors.
Having his son to grow up in the Thunder Martial Temple and asking him and his descendants to guard the memorial tablets of the ancestors essentially meant banishing him from the center of the conflict of power.
By logic, a weak, unsupported, and unpopular prince stood no chance of a comeback against all the odds at all.
Therefore, the internal strife in the court and the competition between the court and the Cultivation sects had nothing to do with him.
Even during the years when Wang Xi was in power, Emperor Phoenix had always stayed in the Thunder Martial Temple in the north suburbs of the Divine Capital dutifully, like a pebble that had been forgotten by everyone.
Last spring, when the army of the Ghost Qin marched to the Divine Capital and the late emperor passed uncannily, leaving the princes who all had their own plans and the Cultivation sect whose stance was rather obscure, Emperor Phoenix suddenly showed up in the Forbidden City!
Nobody knew exactly what he had learned and done in all his years in the Thunder Martial Temple.
They only knew that the young, unattractive prince who had been lurking in the darkness all the time suppressed his two most supported brothers and the few Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators who endorsed them during his grand entrance!
When he demonstrated his invincible combat ability in the Forbidden City, the imperial guards defending the Divine Capital all pledged loyalty to him.
The forces who struggled to resist in their ignorance were soon suppressed by a brand-new troop of imperial guards with mysterious backgrounds but a high combat ability!
The brand-new imperial guards who had never walked in daylight before were all wearing crimson armor and glamorous helmets that looked like phoenixes. They were known as the Fiery Phoenix Legion!
With the thunderous attacks of the Fiery Phoenix Legion and himself, Emperor Phoenix soon had the entire Divine Capital under his control. He also took the chance to defeat the Ghost Qin’s invasion. After Ghost Qin retreated, he had claimed the whole world, although just nominally!
Li Yao was very interested in Emperor Phoenix’s rise.
The path of the emperor who had once been kicked out of the center of power only to rise and swagger back mysterious later had too many uncanny incidents and traces of external interference.
What Li Yao was doing right now was making the ‘external interference’ hiding back Emperor Phoenix walk into the spotlight so that he could see exactly what they were.
Emperor Phoenix was a young man whose skin was so fair that it was almost pink.
Even his eyes were mixed with stripes of bright redness.
Li Yao suspected that it was a symptom of some sort of albinism.
No wonder the late emperor would feel that the son was so weak that he had to be kept in the Thunder Martial Temple where his ancestors would watch over him.
Li Yao’s first impression of Emperor Phoenix was that his eyes were ridiculously huge. Boundless ambition and vitality were beaming out of his scarlet eyeballs as if his soul had always been burning at the highest intensity, which was too fierce for his body to bear.
In contrast to his glittering eyes, the rest of his body was indeed extremely feeble. He would cough slightly after saying every sentence. It was very difficult to imagine how he dominated the Forbidden City and suppressed the entire world.
Li Yao, however, did not dare underestimate him.
If he was one of those tall, muscular men just like Lei Dong, an expert of the Thunderous Qian Sect who was known to be the strongest expert in the royal palace and the closest one to the Three Saints of the Great Qian Dynasty before Master Spiritual Vulture showed up, it would not have been a big deal at all, no matter how violent and intimidating the guy might have seemed.
The scariest enemies were in fact the seemingly vulnerable guys like Emperor Phoenix who was like a sick cat, especially when they were well-mannered and showed no condescension to Li Yao at all. He was addressing Li Yao as a ‘Master’ exactly like other people did.
Based on Li Yao’s abundant experience in adventures in the past, how could he not be a supervillain with his entrance and his demeanor?
“Master Spiritual Vulture shocked heroes of the world and rose to fame at the Dragon Spring Meeting. You even held an enticing lecture on swords later. I couldn’t help but feel fascinated when I heard people talking about the content of the lecture in the Divine Capital, and I have long yearned to invite you to have a chat in the Divine Capital, Master!”
Emperor Phoenix smiled casually like an obedient student. “But I didn’t know that you were so honorable and selfless besides your amazing Cultivation and your impressive expertise in refining, Master Spiritual Vulture!
“There must be countless treasures in the Divine Palace, and the Cloud Qin Gold Statues are marvelous weapons that can change the world. If other people had information about them, they would certainly plan to swallow the treasures alone. Master Spiritual Vulture, you have set an example for all the Cultivators in the world by revealing the great secret to public!”
Li Yao chuckled in amusement and said, “You are flattering me. I’m a barbarian who grew up in the wilderness, and I don’t know the first thing about honor or selflessness. What I do know is how much food I can take in and how much strength I wield. The Divine Palace is too large a pie for me to eat by myself. As for changing the world, I am not very interested in it. I only hope that I can receive sufficient resources to study the mysterious refining arts in the primeval era!”
The Great Qian Dynasty was governed by both the emperor and the Cultivators. According to the unspoken tradition, the Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage, whether they held any high position in the court or not, boasted many special privileges.
The Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators were on relatively equal terms with the emperor. They were allowed to speak more freely. Li Yao, on the other hand, was born and raised as a barbarian Cultivator. Therefore, Emperor Phoenix was not offended by his lack of respect. Instead, with more appreciation beaming out of his face, he nodded and said, “Rest assured, Master Spiritual Vulture. I will certainly return the great favor that you have done for me. For all the artifacts and magical equipment inside the Divine Palace, they will be given to you for study as a priority no matter how you want to process them. If you are short of any resource, you can always ask me!
Pausing for a moment, he glanced at Li Yao with a thoughtful look before continuing, “I’m told that you came to the central plateaus to gain fame and establish your own sect, right, Master Spiritual Vulture?”
Li Yao rolled his eyes and sighed. “I think I have basically achieved the purpose of gaining fame now. However, establishing a sect does not seem to be as easy as I thought in the beginning.”
“Establishing a sect and stealing the food from the mouths of thousands of Cultivators are certainly not easy, but it might not be as troublesome as you imagine, Master Spiritual Vulture.” Emperor Phoenix smiled. “If you want to build a great sect that will pass on for hundreds of years from scratch on your own, it will certainly be an impossible task.
“However, if you are backed by someone and provided with infinite resources, it is not entirely unlikely that you will be able to found an eminent Spiritual Vulture Sect.
“The world of Cultivators today is like a pool of dead water. It has been still for such a long time that the fish, bugs, shrimps, and crabs inside are already rigid, stinky, and rotten! It is my opinion that only by introducing new, fresh water to the pool can we expect to purge the pool properly!”