Celestial Master Zuo's men were mostly highly skilled, with a majority of them having spiritual power at level nine and above. They stood by firmly and were ready to take down anything.
Moreover, Celestial Master Zuo's Kung Fu was incredible. His level must be at least ten and above. Even though Fairy Queen Li had rarely shown her true ability, Gu Xietian knew clearly that her skills were extraordinary.
Some of Celestial Master Zuo's men were even hidden amongst the crowd to as a contingency. Quite a number of them were elites, with their spiritual power at level seven or even eight. There must be at least a hundred of them in the crowd.
Although Gu Canmo's followers all had their spiritual power at level nine, they were outnumbered. There were only 12 of them.
Even if they wanted to draw out prisoners forcefully, how could they possibly save them all while being overwhelmingly surrounded by a heavily armed troop?
After all, Celestial Master Zuo had been controlling the government for quite a while. Both military and political powers were in his hands. There must be at least a few thousand men from the royal army that were currently surrounding the ground. The army would crush them easily, so Gu Xietian was not very hopeful that his family's lives could all be rescued.
Although Gu Canmo's rescue plan might not be entirely fulfilled, Gu Xietian was very grateful for their unparalleled support. Just as what Gu Xietian had expected, the sight of Gu Canmo and his men did not cause any distress to Celestial Master Zuo and Fairy Queen Li.
Celestial Master Zuo responded smilingly, "Principal Gu, it has been a while!" His voice was gentle but sarcastic. He signaled the servants behind him to spread out, closely surrounding Gu Canmo and his men in the middle.
Celestial Master Zuo was well prepared. The rescue plan might not work at all. Also, Gu Canmo and his men might not be able to retreat to safety as well.
Gu Canmo threw the guards a brief look. Then, he turned his icy gaze back to Celestial Master Zuo. "You and I have never met. How dare you say anything like that!"
Indeed, it was the first time for him to meet the fake Celestial Master Zuo. In the past, the fake Celestial Master Zuo had been trying to attack Tianju Hall secretly. However, the presence of the wizardry barrier had forbidden all outsiders to enter. Only the men from the inside could leave the barrier from within. Therefore, Gu Canmo had never really met the fake Celestial Master Zuo.
Celestial Master Zuo squinted his eyes and gave him a shrewd look, "What do you mean by that?"
"I meant it, literally." There was a profound meaning in Gu Canmo's response.
The common people stood gazing at one another in blank dismay. Some of them knew that Celestial Master Zuo had been to Tianju Hall many times and that he was once a teacher. Eight years ago, Celestial Master Zuo and Gu Canmo had even worked together to destroy Long Fan and Mo Zhao's secret base.
Why did Gu Canmo say that they had never met? Was it because Gu Canmo had lost his memory? Was there some mystery that underlay the matter?
Most of the bystanders fixed their eyes on the men on stage. Celestial Master Zuo, who was somehow guilty, decided to play some tricks. "Gu Canmo, wars have been going on for the past few years. People live on the edge of starvation. I have called upon all of you to try and turn the chaos around. You, however, have ignored my command many times and even refused to help. What is your true intention, now that you decided to show up here today to help these betrayers instead?"
Gu Canmo laughed. "You are good at making false accusations. You started these discord times and wars, didn't you? You disregard the people's lives and kill the innocent as you please, creating demons from avenging spirits. You rule by the voice of your own and cruelly oppress anyone with an opinion that is against you. You coerce the king into submission, thus taking over the government. You befoul the lands of Feixing and Haoyue Kingdoms. Voices of grievances can be heard everywhere. They want to fight you back so badly, but they dare not stand up against your ruthless ruling. Your perverse policy leads to no good, so why should I help you? To be your accomplice?"
Gu Canmo made his stand very clearly and loudly by keeping up with a stream of furious abuse against the fake Celestial Master Zuo. His words echoed across the entire plaza.
The common people had been feeling the same way for a long while but dared not voice it out. Now that Gu Canmo finally said the truth out loud, their blood boiled immediately with righteous indignation. They could finally work off their anger.
Even the soldiers of Celestial Master Zuo could feel the same extent of anger. They clenched their fists tightly but showed no expression.
Celestial Master Zuo maintained his poker face while he listened on. He laughed then and again. "How can a common fellow read the mind of a great man? A man of great ambition does not bother about the merest trifles. Haven't you heard about that? The continent has been scattered and disunited for far too long. The common people are too foolish. They only want temporary comfort and are content with the current sovereignty. What I want is to eliminate all wars, once and for all. The only way to do it is to unite all three kingdoms. My methods are a little harsh, but my intention is good for the sake of our future generation. The common people do not understand my intention and accuse me of it, thus creating chaos. I have to use these methods to keep these fools quiet. As the principal of Tianju Hall, you should be able to tell the good and the bad."
Of all ages, whenever these evil politicians did something awful, they would always label themselves as people of high nobility, saying that they only wanted to achieve their noble goals, regardless of the methods they used. Like what Celestial Master did.
He was eloquent and vehemently expressed his words, like what he did was all for the general good, regardless of the criticism. His followers agreed with him. Some common people, who barely understood anything, agreed with him as well.
Gu Canmo answered icily, "It turns out that all that you have done is for the people. I see. Let me ask you this. To build your residence, you recruited ten thousand men. Now that your residence is done, where are the men?"
Celestial Master Zuo hesitated before responding, "They went home."
"Ridiculous! None of the men went home! You killed them most brutally and accumulated the resentment of the avenging spirits so that these spirits will guard the walls for you! The walls appear otherworldly, for it is constantly wreathed with a layer of light mist, but in fact, it is all an illusion caused by Fairy Queen Li's unique way of concealing and beautifying the avenging spirits. "
Celestial Master Zuo sounded ghastly."Where is the proof?"
None of the ten thousand men escaped. They were all killed. The avenging spirits were then refined and lost all knowledge of who they actually were. They became killers based on their instincts. Therefore, Celestial Master Zuo was confident that no one else was aliveto tell the truth. He was not afraid of the accusation.
"The bones are now at the bottom of the pond in your residence. Those are the proof." Gu Canmo punctured the fallacy within a single sentence. "Do you dare to dry out the pond and prove your innocence?"
Celestial Master Zuo did not know what to answer. His expression changed, searching for the right words to answer. Fairy Queen Li interrupted, "Gu Canmo, I am the wife of The Lord. Compassion is my principle. I only want to help the people from their misery. Why would I help a tyrant to do evil and cover up the avenging spirits for him? Your words have not only insulted me, but also The Lord himself."
Gu Canmo threw her a glance. "You keep addressing yourself as the wife of The Lord. Where is the proof?"
"I come from heaven. This is the proof of my celestial status. If I am not married to The Lord, I will not call myself his wife. If I am not the wife of the Lord, why didn't he clarify it and let this go on for so long? Do I still need any other proof?" Fairy Queen Li answered firmly.
Gu Canmo laughed. "Is it true only because there is no denial? The Lord will not usually take part in these trivial affairs. If a lot of women claim that they are all his wives, should he attend to them and clarify the rumors one by one? Maybe he is meditating in isolation. Maybe he never really cared about you. A man like The Lord will make an official announcement to the world if he is married. He will honor his woman with an official status. He will give her an identity and provide her with close protection, unlike you, who has only made the declaration all by yourself. If you are his wife, how is it possible that he lets you live your life with Celestial Master Zuo? How can he accept the blurry lines in your relationship? How can he tolerate with all sorts of your evil doings?"
The crowd nodded in unison.
Furiously, Fairy Queen Li was triggered. "What a lame argument! If I am a fake wife, Celestial Master Zuo will never accept me! He is a follower of The Lord. Both of them are close. If I am a fake, even if I can fool the world, I can never fool him. He will point me out."
The fake Celestial Master Zuo agreed immediately. "I can testify that she is the wife of The Lord. I have personally verified it with The Lord."
Gu Canmo gave them a sarcastic look and smirked. "Of course he will testify for you. Both of you are birds of a feather. It is not only that your self-proclaimed title as The Lord's wife is untrue, but this Celestial Master Zuo is also a fake as well! He is not the real Celestial Master Zuo!"
What a startling realization! The crowd was awestruck. Gu Canmo's words were extraordinarily surprising. Every single person was stunned.
The fake Celestial Master Zuo froze momentarily. Then, he hid his guilty conscience with a smirk. "Are you mad? How can you randomly accuse me of such guilt! In your opinion, I have, too, become a fake."
Gu Canmo answered, "You have always been a fake! The real Celestial Master Zuo went to visit the forbidden place eight years ago, as he had some affairs to attend to. He has not left the place yet! That gives you just the perfect window to impersonate him and commit all sorts of evil doings in the name of Celestial Master Zuo."
Then, he turned to face the crowd. "Think about it, how Celestial Master Zuo was like and how he behaved eight years ago, as compared to this fake Celestial Master Zuo and how he has been for the past two years. In which way do they resemble one another, except for their appearance?"
It was not hard to tell. Celestial Master Zuo had become a completely different man. Everyone agreed. Some shouted out loud, "Totally different! The man right now is different from the real Celestial Master Zuo from eight years ago!"
"Yes! Right! That is right!"
"Is it possible that he is a fake?"
The discussion continued.
The people started to raise a babble of criticism. They began to look at the fake Celestial Master Zuo with eyes full of doubt.
The fake Celestial Master Zuo suddenly looked up and laughed. "Gu Canmo, I never knew that you are so great at manipulating people's emotions, but you have forgotten something. If I am just an impersonator, the four messengers will be able to tell! If I am a fake, the rest of the heaven's gift disciples must be able to tell! Others may have never actually met me, but these people spend most of their time with me on a daily basis. If there is something wrong, they should have noticed it by now! Why should they continue serving me so loyally?"
He turned his attention to the four messengers, who had been standing quietly aside. "Are you going to say that the four messengers are fake as well? Four of you! Come now, step up and tell everyone, am I a fake?" His voice filled with confidence.
Mu Feng responded, "Yes!"
He took a step forward and stood close behind the fake Celestial Master Zuo. With each word loud and clear, he repeated, "The Celestial Master Zuo we see right now is a fake!"
After the clarification, four beams of light could be seen gleaming from the four messengers. All of a sudden, they were pointing their directly at the fake Celestial Master Zuo.
The attack was completely unexpected and the fake Celestial Master Zuo did not see it coming, neither did Fairy Queen Li nor the rest of their guards.
They were standing in very close proximity, so the fake Celestial Master Zuo was could not defend himself. Two strikes cut deeply into his ribs and the other two into the flesh on his shoulders. They held and nailed him still in his seat.
He acted heroically. In times of such a great danger, he disregarded the nail and decided to push his body forward to break free. The sudden change happened too quickly. Everything happened merely in the blink of an eye. When the people finally realized what had just happened, the fake Celestial Master Zuo was already losing gushes of blood from the wounds on his ribs and shoulders.
The strikes from the four messengers were executed with a unique technique. After the fake Celestial Master Zuo was hit, the strikes would not only bring him great pain; he would also lose his spiritual power gradually through every drop of blood.
The death army finally realized the danger and rushed forward to protect him. The fake Celestial Master Zuo looked at the four messengers in great disdain. "You"
Mu Feng smirked. "What about us? Did you think you can control us forever with your venomous spell?"
The fake Celestial Master Zuo was stunned, so was Fairy Queen Li. Immediately, she tried to use her Soul Manipulation Magic and activate the venomous spell that had been long hidden in their bodies. However, there was still no reaction even after she tried a few times.
Fairy Queen Li clenched her fists in frustration. She could no longer sense the venomous spell in their bodies.
Even though the venomous spell was hers to command, it would still take her a lot of spiritual power just to sense and locate the spell. Normally, she would not test its presence on a regular basis. Moreover, the four messengers had been very obedient over the past two years. There was no sign of their escape from the spell.
The bystanders were not expecting the drama to be unfolded so suddenly. All of them stood watching in awe. If the four messengers had always been controlled before, had they returned to their normal form now? Or was it possible that they could no longer tolerate with Celestial Master Zuo's evil plans and decided to fight against him?
All kinds of questions arose.
"You are all betrayers!" The fake Celestial Master Zuo screamed out loud, "Take them down!"
He still had quite some men with him, with dozens of them beyond level nine. These men only managed to achieve such great advancements in their spiritual power because of the medicine that he provided. Therefore, regardless of his identity, they had to keep him safe indefinitely.
Celestial Master Zuo commanded these men to surround the men from Tianju Hall, including the four messengers as well. Not only them, but the hidden men in the crowd were also involved. They answered the command and fought their ways out.
The fake Celestial Master Zuo had enough manpower to seize his enemy. Almost instantaneously, they surrounded the stage, forming circles of men.
Celestial Master Zuo raised his right hand and flashed the military mark on his palm. He read out his command carefully, "To all men of the armed forces, I shall now command for the arrest of these betrayers, dead or alive!"
He was indeed quite influential. He could still give his commands loudly and clearly even when he was severely injured.
"Bang!" All four doors had been smashed open. Four squads of dark knights broke into the plaza.
"The Death Knights!"
"They are the Death Knights!"
The bystanders became panicked.
Recently, the Death Knights had emerged as the most fearful name to the people.
Their Kung Fu was extraordinary. Every one of them was at least level six. The way they fought had no mercy. Everywhere they went to, there would definitely be a massive slaughter. Their presence meant massacre and death.
They were a dark army that rarely held any allegiances beyond those they forged with blood and iron. Also, they were the killers of the fake Celestial Master Zuo. Currently, there were fifty thousand of them. Any aid from any association would not be a match to them.
The army was meant to be placed on the front line in a war, so their presence at the plaza was completely unexpected. Their evil influence was so intense, as though they had just emerged from hell. Quickly, they surrounded every single one in the plaza.
A sense of chill filled the entire atmosphere. Piercingly cold, the people could feel the wind penetrating their bones. The temperature of the plaza went down abruptly. The common people were all in cold sweats.
They could see at least a few thousand soldiers from the Death Knights. They were very well trained, as they were able to stand in position and surround the center stage in a full circle. Each of them held a black and gold bow that was already well equipped with a dark black arrow, aiming directly at Gu Canmo and his men.
There was a layer of powerful poison on the arrowheads. A single scratch would immediately turn the person into a pool of blood, leaving no traces of their body behind. The dead would also be forbidden from reincarnation.
Gu Canmo looked up at the fake Celestial Master Zuo, and their eyes met. "You are well prepared for this! You purposely released the news, saying that you would dismember the entire family of Gu Xietian to lure us into your trap, didn't you?"
With the presence of his Death Knights, the fake Celestial Master Zuo was more relieved. He laughed icily. "You are all treacherous members of the society that should be eradicated at once. Your presence alone is a serious disorder. To lure you out in such desperate times, I surely have to call for desperate measures."
He retreated so that Fairy Queen Li could wrap up his wounds for him. He turned and looked at Gu Canmo and his men. "You have insulted me. For that, you deserve to die. Now that you are here, do not think that you can ever escape. I am Celestial Master Zuo, and I am going to fulfill the heaven's will today by destroying all of you!"
He swept his eyes across the crowd. "These people believed in everything they said and insulted me, too. Kill them all!" Clearly, he was about to put them all to death.
The crowd went wild. There were at least four to five thousand people there. In a state of complete chaos and disorder, all of them struggled to stay alive. They tried to stay safe by running outside.
"Bang! Bang!" A few doors shut. All four doors were soon closed again. All were trapped. None could escape.
All they could see was the Death Knights standing in front of them. Desperately, they prayed for help to come.
While in the chaos, someone protested loudly. "He is fake! He is indeed an impersonation! The real Celestial Master Zuo will never kill the innocent!"
"That is right! He is a fake!"
"All soldiers of the Dark Knights were once common people. You have families, too. Don't risk your life serving an imposter." None of them could hold back their fury any longer. They decided to spit it all out.
The fake Celestial Master Zuo burst into a shrill laugh. "Did you say that I am a fake? Where is the real one, then? Call him out to save your lives now!"
While he was still indulging in his own flattery, a hoarse voice emerged out of thin air. "I am here!"
"Bang!" There was a loud noise. The roof had been ripped open, and a royal blue ship slowly made its entrance. The body of the ship was glimmering, but it was not as eye-catching as the man in purple robes on the ship.
Like brimming waves, his purple robes shone elegantly with wavering light. His long, dark hair swayed along with gusts of gentle winds.
The headpiece with the shape of a fox's eye flickered with dazzling and lustrous brilliance under the sun. For the first time, he did not wear his mask, revealing his peerless and unparalleled looks. He stood tall, like an almighty god who had come for the people's rescue. His aura was unrivaled with a wreath of pure celestial qualities. His presence alone was simply breathtaking. He must be the real Celestial Master Zuo!
In despair, the people were immediately enlightened at the sight of the ship. When they finally saw the familiar silhouette of the man, they began cheering in great pleasure.
The real Celestial Master Zuo had finally appeared. They were safe now. Lights and hopes filled their eyes when they saw him, rejoicing at their salvation. Some even cried.
"Celestial Master Zuo!"
"He really is Celestial Master Zuo!"
"Celestial Master Zuo is coming to save us all!"
"Celestial Master Zuo, you are finally here! You have to help us!"
Di Fuyi was not alone. There were others.
His followers were of different sizes, shapes, and genders, but all of them were equally powerful. They looked very confident, associated with faint circles of halos. Some people knew immediately that these men had obviously achieved a spiritual power of level nine.
The men were all unfamiliar faces. The people had never seen them before. Where did these elites, whose spiritual power was already at level nine, come from all of a sudden?
Doubts started to fill. Gu Canmo started to feel hopeful. Obviously, Gu Xietian was overwhelmed with extreme emotions. He certainly did not expect the drama to unfold before him today. The man behind Celestial Master Zuo caught his attention. The man's face came as a great shock to him.
Who was that man? He was a young man, wearing an all-white robe. His face was a fine appearance with handsome features. He did not seem too old, but he did look like a decent man with high moral character.
His bright, sharp eyes looked down from above. Their eyes met. The man remained emotionless, but Gu Xietian felt as though he had just been struck by lightning. He stared at the man fixedly with his jaw dropped.
The ship looked very cool and futuristic. It was also the ship that the people were most familiar with. Whenever Celestial Master Zuo made his appearance, he would always arrive on his ship.
The one on the ship must be the real Celestial Master Zuo, as the fake one had never shown up in a ship before.
It seemed like the ship was only functional under Celestial Master Zuo's command. The impersonator could never do the same.
Thrilled, the people started cheering in rapturous delight. The fake Celestial Master Zuo was frozen, at loss of what to do. Quietly, he tried to retreat and stay close to his army of Death Knights.
Fairy Queen Li's expression was a little odd. She stared at him fixedly. A sense of fury started to fill her eyes. She slowly clenched her fists in anger.
The ship stopped in mid-air. Di Fuyi looked down from where he stood and said dully, "I have been isolating myself in meditation for the past eight years. I did not expect to see all of you thieves, impersonating me and ruining my name."
The plaza was filled with the loud echo of his words. Everyone could clearly hear him. He rose from his ship and floated down.