“Master Righteous One, Master Bitter Cicada, elders and leaders, there’s no need to worry!” Emperor Phoenix Zhu Zongyou said in a crisp voice. “They are all the Fiery Phoenix bodyguards that I have trained. They have not been revealed before because they were trained exactly for the battle today! Hehe. Han Baling, Qi Changsheng, Wan Mingzhu. All the greatest headaches of the court are here. Fantastic! Masters, elders, and leaders, fight with me and eliminate the evils here, and the world will be at peace!”
“Your Majesty…” Qi Zhongdao was too old and shrewd to be convinced by Emperor Phoenix’s ingenuine persuasion, and the Heaven Flipping Seal, the ‘ultimate treasure of the Ancient Sages Sector’, was still rotating rapidly in the air. He asked suspiciously, “If you have been planning to annihilate Han Baling, Qi Changsheng, and Wan Mingzhu, why were you lurking far away? Also, the armor of the imperial guards here are such a weird style. Not only do they greatly differ from the traditions of the armor of the Great Qian Dynasty, they have nothing similar to the primeval treasures on the ground here. Where did you find them, Your Majesty?”
“Well…” Emperor Phoenix’s eyes were shuddering fast. His cheeks were reddened because of his embarrassment, and he was lost for words for a moment.
“Your emperor is lying. There is definitely something wrong with him!” Han Baling chuckled coldly. “If he was truly of a mind to besiege and annihilate us, he should’ve moved to our rear along the rails. However, he was getting farther and farther away from us in the darkness! Besides, if he did not have ill intentions, he would’ve told you everything in advance so that you could work out a trap to deal with us together!
“He was acting so stealthily, and his bullsh*t is full of loopholes. Who’s going to buy that? Also, the weird-looking armor does not look like something that the Great Qian Dynasty can produce. I have never seen such an eccentric model in the collection of armors from the previous dynasties from the past hundred thousand years, either!
“This little emperor did not ascend to the throne properly in the first place. Who knows what exactly happened in the Forbidden City in the Divine Capital last spring? You all claim that the previous emperor died because he was too angry about me, but I say that he was poisoned by this little emperor! Had he not foreseen that the old emperor was about to die, how could he have made thorough arrangements in the Divine Capital and bought over the few imperial troops and the experts in the palace? How could the other princes, even including the crown prince, have been suppressed when they did not know what was going on? Also, he was just a lone ghost who was exiled to guard the ancestors’ temple. Where did he find the support to help him control everything?
“Have you ever considered such things, fellow Cultivators from the central plateaus?
“The forces behind the little emperor are much more powerful than we can imagine. Today, he has finally decided to reveal them!
“Fellow Cultivator Qi, Fellow Cultivator Ba, Master Bitter Cicada, a word of advice. You must watch your backs carefully! The weapons in my hands are obvious, but the weapons in your little emperor’s hands are invisible and odorless. Chances are that you will not be able to feel it until it is plunged into your stomach!
“Elders and leaders of the six major sects, it is not the time for you to gloat. Hehe. It’s true that your little emperor hates our guts, but does he not hate you? Does he not want to mince you apart and burn you to ashes? The six major sects and even the entire world of Cultivators are as much trouble for the court as me and my companions are! It is especially so in light of your clandestine business during the natural disasters in the southeast. Do you think that any emperor would not be infuriated after he learned that? Your little emperor is smiling at you right now, but who knows what he is thinking in his heart? It will soon be your turn after he eliminates us, and you are still laughing and watching like idiots!”
All the Cultivators began sweating hard after hearing what he said.
It was a publicly known secret that Emperor Phoenix did not claim the crown properly. The contradiction between the court and the Cultivators was apparent even to the blind.
This time, everybody had only teamed up because of the pressure of the ‘Four Rapscallions’ and the temptation of the Divine Palace. They each had their own plans.
Right now, Han Baling had ripped apart their last disguise, which had made everything feel harmonious. Also, Emperor Phoenix’s actions were indeed sneaky. The elders and the leaders of the six major sects were all the most astute people in the world. Now that questions of the past and present had surfaced together, how could they fight for Emperor Phoenix blindly?
Sensing everybody’s reluctance, Emperor Phoenix grew anxious. Red blood spots were bursting out on his face as he roared furiously, “Elders and leaders, do not listen to his aspersions. Go up together and kill them. Kill them all! I will share all the Cloud Qin Gold Statues here with everybody evenly. Evenly!”
“The Cloud Qin Gold Statues are the most important weapons for a country and an army.” Han Baling raised his voice, too. “One Cloud Qin Gold Statue is enough to trample on a city. How can you really mean to divide them with everybody evenly? The better your promise sounds, the more schemes you have planned!
“Masters, elders, and leaders! We did not have any grudges in the past. Many of you have even had very pleasant deals with Cloud Qin! Are we really going to fight each other while letting the little emperor who hates our guts take all the benefits? Do not be swallowed by your greed, or none of us will be able to walk out of this terrible Divine Palace!”
“Kill them! Kill them now! Whoever executes Qi Changsheng and Wan Mingzhu will be rewarded with one Cloud Qin Gold Statue. Two if you kill the barbarian chief Han Baling!” Emperor Phoenix bulged his eyes.
“The Cloud Qin Gold Statues are unowned, and whoever is qualified can claim them freely.” Han Baling wasted no time castigating the enemy! “They are not yours to reward! Moreover, where did you get your armor? How did you bring the imperial guards under your control last year? If you don’t explain that, I will start to wonder which of us is the actual evil!”
All the high-level Cultivators, regardless of their side, were all highly anxious, not knowing what to do in such a situation!
Right then, it was Yan Liren who had been silent the whole time that reacted first. His short sword shook violently, but his attack was aimed at neither Emperor Phoenix nor Han Baling, but a certain point in midair. The sword auras surged out into dozens of raging dragons again, covering the hundred square meters nearby once more!
Zi! Zi! Zi! Zi! Zi! Zi! Zi!
Nothing could be hidden under the illumination of the intense auras and light.
A member of the tactical squad of the Imperium, who had run away from the main force in secret and snuck above the black-skeleton-like Colossus, popped up from nowhere and landed on the shoulder of the Colossus precisely!
“There’s still someone out there!”
Including Li Yao and Long Yangjun, who were observing from the bridge, everybody was suddenly alarmed!
It was not until then that they realized that Emperor Phoenix was not easy to deal with at all despite his young and juvenile appearance.
The reason that Emperor Phoenix had chitchatted and dawdled for so long with Han Baling and Qi Zhongdao, even pretending that he had a weak case, was to buy more time for the last person so that he could jump onto the Colossus!
The guy’s skills were rather impressive, too. Wan Mingzhu’s overwhelming smoke had covered hundreds of square meters nearby, yet the guy had slipped away without a sound and without releasing any spiritual waves!
He must be the core of Emperor Phoenix’s whole plan!
“Get down here!”
A second sword appeared in Yan Liren’s left hand.
The body of the sword was only a foot and a half long, yet the soaring aura from the sword was like a waterfall sprinting from the heavens!
This time, Emperor Phoenix cut in between Yan Liren and the mysterious Exo. A longsword that seemed to be condensed of fire was unsheathed and spraying out waterfall-like auras.
A waterfall against a waterfall!
Deafening noises were echoing in everybody’s ears.
It should have been a crisp noise when two swords crashed. However, when the edges of the swords collided thousands of times in a moment, the sounds were as terrifying as a raging flood that had broken through a dam!
Yan Liren grunted. He leapt backward and rolled hundreds of times like a meatball before he finally got rid of Emperor Phoenix’s sword auras that were haunting him like parasites. There was not any suspicion, hesitation, fear, or frustration on his face, only excitement!
It seemed that, for him, failure was not a problem, and the identity of the enemy was even less of a problem. Anything would be fine as long as he could fully unleash his sword arts!
Emperor Phoenix’s crystal suit, on the other hand, was rippling with light, as if a thin membrane of light had covered the surface of the crystal suit.
A string-light suit! Li Yao thought to himself. Emperor Phoenix’s crystal suit adopted the same technology as the three Immortal Cultivators on the Kunlun relics did. The string theory and the membrane theory had been applied. They could be called the upgraded version of the regular crystal suits and qualified to be known as light suits.
Their performance was a significant improvement compared to that of the regular crystal suits!
The fact that Emperor Phoenix had access to a light suit implied the immeasurable combat ability of the tactical squad of the Imperium!
Yan Liren’s Cultivation, on the other hand, was even more horrifying. He was not wearing any armor and just carrying two short swords, yet he could have a head-on clash with a Nascent Soul Stage expert in the crystal suit!
Insane. It was pure insanity!
Li Yao, for one, would never crash into an enemy of the same level as himself and enhanced by a crystal suit when he was naked!
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
The moment that Emperor Phoenix took action, the Exos around him moved, too, and cut in between the locals of the Ancient Sages Sector and the black-skeleton-like Colossus. Dangerous brilliance was beaming out of the gaps of their crystal suits. The attack units hidden below the shoulder armor and the breastplate were shrieking ear-splittingly without disguising their hostility at all.
“What do you want, Your Majesty?” Qi Zhongdao’s face looked extremely awful.
“I’ve long been told that Elder Yan Liren of the Purple Pole Sword Sect is the best swordsman in the world. Your sword arts are even more extraordinary than the rebellious eunuch Wang Xi. I can tell that the rumors are true after testing you myself today!”
Emperor Phoenix’s Cultivation was not as good as Yan Liren’s, but with the enhancement of his crystal suit, he was able to draw even with Yan Liren. For a moment, the redness on his face was even deeper. He glanced at everyone in satisfaction before he suddenly put on a grave expression and coldly said, “If you are still the loyal subjects of the Great Qian Dynasty, stay where you are! Whoever moves will be traitors of the court and the Great Qian Dynasty!”