Han Baling was still hiding behind the round shield of the Colossus without exposing any part of his body. He shouted without any pause, “Firstly, if you are truly ‘Deity Raincloud’ who has returned from the deities’ realm to support the enterprise of your family, why are you acting so stealthily? Why did you even chose Zhu Zongyou, the least capable one of all the candidates, as your partner?
“The old emperor of the Great Qian Dynasty only died last year. He was your offspring, too. There was also the legitimate crown prince as well as many other royal princes in the palace. You selected none of them but an unsupported prince who was assigned to watch over the ancestors’ temple. What’s your motive?
“If you were truly a deity who had returned, why didn’t you simply show up openly in the court in the Divine Capital to be cheered and worshipped by all. When such a piece of astounding news spread out, even Cloud Qin would have been shaken and forced to admit that the Great Qian Dynasty still had some time. I would’ve been willing to surrender immediately!”
“Han Baling!” Greatly insulted, Emperor Phoenix jumped to his feet as if a bee had stung his bottom. “I—I am the emperor that fate has designated for the renaissance of the Great Qian Dynasty, and I am watched over by the ancestors of the Zhu family. It’s only reasonable that Deity Raincloud supported me after he returned to the mortal world. What’s strange about that?”
“Fate has designated you for the renaissance of your family? Was it him who told you the bullsh*t that can only fool a three-year-old? Only such a naïve, ignorant boy like you would buy it without thinking, not even knowing that he was simply manipulating you like a chess piece, little emperor!” Han Baling snapped.
After a slight pause, he continued coldly. “Secondly, if you are truly a renowned deity who has returned from the deities’ realm, and you are here to sever your connections with the mortal world after preparations, you should’ve brought countless ultimate treasures in the deities’ realm, such as the Cloud Qin Gold Statues. They are the priceless treasures for the Cultivators of the mortal world, but are they precious for the deities, too? Can you not find any of them in your place but have to steal them from here?”
Han Baling’s questioning refreshed a lot of Cultivators.
The actions of ‘Deity Raincloud’ were too weird. If he were really an omnipotent deity, why did he not reveal his identity in the Divine Capital, and why was he fighting over the Cloud Qin Gold Statues with them, the Cultivators of the mortal world?
Was it possible that there was not a single Cloud Qin Gold Statue in the glorious deities’ realm?
Qi Zhongdao looked at Ba Xiaoyu, Yan Liren, and Master Bitter Cicada, hinting at them to slightly move toward Han Baling and focus their attention on Han Baling and Deity Raincloud.
What Han Baling had said was exactly what Qi Zhongdao was suspicious of.
Qi Zhongdao believed almost eighty percent of Han Baling’s words. This Deity Raincloud was ten to one a counterfeit. Whatever he was exactly, they had to take precautions in case he suddenly attacked anyone!
The more he spoke, the more fluent Han Baling became. He chuckled for a moment and continued.
“The real deities must know every detail about places like this ‘Divine Palace’. Also, judging from the fine armor on your body, I don’t think the tempests and snowstorms on the Land of Eternal Land are a problem for you. Why didn’t you come to excavate the Divine Palace earlier on your own but arrived together with us?
“There’s only one possible answer. Before Wang Xi discovered the Divine Palace, you did not even know of the existence of the Divine Palace. Even if you did, you couldn’t determine the specific location of the Divine Palace!
“Can a ‘deity’ who doesn’t even know where the Divine Palace is be a real deity? That’s hilarious!
“If ‘Deity Raincloud’ cannot give satisfactory answers to all three questions, I fear that you can barely convince everybody here. Who knows what kind of evil being is hiding beneath the skin of the so-called ‘deity’? Who can be certain that the so-called deities’ realm is not another way of saying a bloody hell?”
Had it not been for the blockage of the Grand Illusionary Land, Li Yao would have rushed up to Han Baling’s face and applauded the monarch from the prairies.
Li Yao had thought more highly of Han Baling’s Ghost Qin than the murky Great Qian Dynasty in the first place.
However bad the ‘classical militarism’ was, it was still more or less an advancement compared to the decayed and rotten world of the ancient Cultivators!
Han Baling’s head was particularly clear, too, and he had stabbed into the three critical issues with the special agent from the Imperium so quickly, making it impossible for the guy to continue acting. It was truly gratifying!
Emperor Phoenix was shaking in fury. The brilliance on his crystal suit was rising, and the string light was releasing cracking noises. He was almost determined to die together with Han Baling!
“Zhu Zongyou, I suggest you clear your mind and get everything straight!” Han Baling said behind the shield. “Do you not know what you are made of? Even if your ancestor has indeed returned, why should he go through all the trouble to support you? Supporting anybody else would’ve saved him a great amount of time and effort!
“Hehe. I know that you are an ignorant baby who has been dreaming about reviving the Great Qian Dynasty and satisfying your ancestors!
“If that is the case, it is all the more reason for you to figure out whether or not this guy of unknown backgrounds who claims to be ‘Deity Raincloud’ is an ancestor of your family. If you accept a random guy as your ancestor and introduce a wolf into your house, your Great Qian Dynasty may be destroyed in the end. In such a case, all the ancestors of your family will roll in their graves!”
Emperor Phoenix was blushing and stammering. He hesitated for a long time, only to come up with no rebuttal.
Even ‘Deity Raincloud’, who was hiding inside the black-skeleton-like Colossus, was rendered speechless and failed to answer the questions openly after a long silence. However, the flames of spiritual energy spreading out of the gaps of the black feathers were growing more and more fierce!
“Deity Raincloud, I have washed my great neck, waiting for you to behead me!” Han Baling suddenly raised his voice and burst into laughter. Then he declared resolutely, “However, I can be killed, but I will not be fooled like swine before my death! I believe that all the Cultivators here are the same as me!
“Speak, who are you exactly?”
Han Baling last demand contained immense spiritual energy. It exploded in midair and echoed inside the temple for a long time, waking up a lot of Cultivators who were staring at ‘Deity Raincloud’ in a keener and clearer way!
Whispers came over from the high-level Cultivators of the six major sects.
“That was close. I was almost fooled by the guy just now!”
“On second thought, it does not make sense. If he is truly a deity, all the questions will be barely explainable!”
“Why didn’t he reveal his identity a few years earlier but have to steal the Cloud Qin Gold Statues while hiding in the exploration team? Why did he support Zhu Zongyou, a guy without any other help whom he can easily manipulate?”
“If he had revealed his identity in the court a few years ago and demonstrated the remarkable performance of the deities, he would have been acknowledged by the royal family. We certainly would’ve believed him.”
“But right now, he has jumped out of nowhere and asked us to believe that he is an ancestor of the Zhu family without any proof. This is rather imposing!”
The whispers soon evolved in a tide of doubts and suspicions. Some people even emboldened themselves to ask, “If I may ask Lord Deity, we…”
“Han Baling!” Deity Raincloud finally opened his mouth. His voice was solemn and sharp, filled with killing intent. He said, one word after another, “This whole time, I have considered you to be one of the trickiest people of the Ancient Sages Sector, only secondary to Wang Xi. But from what I’ve seen now, you have far exceeded my expectations!
“You are not as reckless as you appear. You are smart. Really smart. No wonder you can compete against the whole world with only the Dark Cloud Prairies!
“However, hehe, I don’t need to explain or prove my identity to you at all. Had it not been for the benevolence of the heavens and my own lenience, I would’ve activated the Cloud Qin Gold Statue and killed all of you!”
“I don’t believe in the benevolence of the heavens or that you are a man of lenience!” Han Baling was truly a tough man who was fearless of death. He was bold enough to sneer before a Colossus more than thirty meters tall. “You haven’t killed us either because you can’t or because you are trying to exploit us more!”
There was another moment of silence in the Colossus. Deity Raincloud seemed to have been choked by Han Baling. It was not until a long time later that he finally said, “Han Baling, if you choose not to go against me, it is not necessary for me to kill you. You, Qi Changsheng, and Wan Mingzhu are the same. You are all deeply connected with the deities’ realm, too. If you can pass my test, I can also consider taking you to the deities’ realm, where you will enjoy infinite benefits and opportunities!”
Han Baling was dazed for a moment after hearing the reply. He did not expect that ‘Deity Raincloud’ would be so friendly.
Before he figured out how he should respond, Emperor Phoenix had already jumped up and shouted in utmost astonishment. “Elder, Master! What—what did you say? Are you planning to pardon Han Baling, Qi Changsheng, Wan Mingzhu, and Wang Xi? That’s not what we agreed upon in the beginning. Didn’t you promise me that you would hand over the ‘Four Rapscallions’ to me, and I would be free to mince them into pieces and crush them into powder?”
The young emperor hated the ‘Four Rapscallions’ who had savaged the Great Qian Dynasty so much that he completely lost his calmness.
Deity Raincloud was silent for a moment before he casually said, “After you ascend to the deities’ realm one day in the future, you will understand that everything in the mortal world is just a hallucination. If you are obsessed with meaningless hatred, your heart will be corrupted, and your level will stagnate forever. Why don’t you just let it go?”
“I—I can’t let it go!” Emperor Phoenix was almost crazy. He screamed while waving his arms and legs. “I don’t care about my Cultivation! I don’t want to ascend to the deities’ realm! I only want to revive the Great Qian Dynasty! I just want to be the greatest emperor in all the dynasties that have been recorded! The greatest emperor of all time! I just want those evils who scourged the Great Qian Dynasty to be demolished! Elder, Master, you promised me that you would mince them into pieces. Each and every one of them!”
“You have gone mad, emperor!” Deity Raincloud’s voice was full of agitation and dissatisfaction. A stream of spiritual waves that had been compressed to the minimum was generated in front of the black-skeleton-like Colossus like a thin, tiny bug and pierced toward Emperor Phoenix brutally!