The Heavenly Mandate Academy sent out cultivators to investigate. In the meantime, they urgently recalled the disciples of the Academy traveling outside.
Ye Futian naturally received the news as well and didnt go back to cultivate in seclusion.
Many people gathered in the Heavenly Mandate Academy, including Lord Taixuan. He didnt need to worry about most of the things that happened in the Academy these days, but the assassination of the disciples of the Academy was no small matter.
Right now, everyone in attendance was a key figure in the Heavenly Mandate Academy.
"How many disciples have been assassinated outside so far?" Lord Taixuan asked in a cold voice. The Heavenly Mandate Academy was not a clan. The disciples only came to study and cultivate. The assassination of the disciples was meaningless and couldnt weaken the Academy as a whole.
From what he could see, even the enemies of the Heavenly Mandate Academy didnt have to play such dirty tricks. If it were him, he would never do this kind of thing as he valued his dignity and reputation as a cultivator in the Renhuang Plane.
"We counted over 30 people so far." One person responded, "Were calling them back as fast as possible. Besides, quite a few elders have gone out to spread the news in the Heavenly Mandate Realm and bring back the disciples cultivating outside."
"Alright." Lord Taixuan nodded. He said, "Do we have any other clues?"
"Its sudden and unexpected. We dont have any clue right now. We can only wait until the people who went out to investigate come back."
"What do you guys think?" Lord Taixuan asked. They were all central figures of the Academy and should speak their minds freely.
Someone took a guess and said, "Nowadays, an enemy who dares to attack our Heavenly Mandate Academy must be a supreme force rather than an ordinary one. Moreover, it is very likely to be a powerful lord." A powerful lord would be someone esteemed, like Lord Taixuan.
No one else would dare to provoke the Heavenly Mandate Academy as they couldnt bear the consequences once they were exposed.
"What do other people think?" Lord Taixuan continued to ask.
"The Shen clan feuds with our Academy the longest. Beside them, the Golden Divine Nation also has a deep enmity toward Futian. Other forces were our rivalries in the Gods relic. It seems like the Shen clan should be our major suspect. But I dont believe the Shen clan is behind this."
"Why?" Lord Taixuan asked.
"The Shen clan is too proud and overbearing to do something sneaky like this. Besides, if they wanted to fight back, they would certainly make an earth-shattering move to completely overpower the Heavenly Mandate Academy. Its meaningless to them to kill ordinary disciples of the Academy. Judging by the last battle, its apparent that the Shen clan doesnt want to or dare to start a war yet," the person continued to speak.
People nodded in agreement. The person had a point. The Shen clan had no reason to commit such an act.
"If thats the case, the Golden Divine Nation is more likely to act behind our back and stir up trouble. Of course, it may also be other forces that want to start a war," other people suggested.
"Futian, what do you think?" Lord Taixuan looked at Ye Futian and asked.
"I also agree that its less likely to be the Shen clan. I cant say for sure if its the Golden Divine Nation. We should wait for the investigators to come back and see if there are more concrete clues," said Ye Futian.
Lord Taixuan nodded. Even though everyone was eager to know the answer, they had no other choice but to wait for more news for now.
"How is your cultivation going?" Lord Taixuan asked Ye Futian. Ye Futian had been cultivating most of the time in the past few years and only came out very occasionally.
"I advanced to the Divine Wheel Second-Order not too long ago," replied Ye Futian.
People fixed their eyes on Ye Futian. The speed of his cultivation process was indeed amazing.
Cultivators in the Renhuang Plane normally spent hundreds of years to move up a level. It would be quite impressive if someone could advance in several decades. Achieving the Divine Wheel Second Order in on a few years was astonishing and unheard of.
A senior from the Xiao clan said, "You displayed tremendous power in front of the Xiao clan when Muyu was conferring the crown on the Goddess. Now that you have reached the Divine Wheel Second Order, even cultivators in the Divine Wheel Fifth Order may not be able to defeat you if you exert all of your strength."
The Heavenly Mandate Academy nowadays was an alliance of various forces. The top three forces each assigned numerous cultivators to the Academy after the battle with the Shen clan. The Xiao clan certainly had their representatives in the Academy as well.
Ye Futian nodded slightly, said, "I can still protect myself in the middle-level Renhuang Plane. Things will get tricky if I have to fight against cultivators in the high-level Renhuang Plane."
Apart from his ability to fight, he also possessed many valuable tools. Although he gave out a lot of the ritual implements he gained from the Gods relic back in the days, he still kept some of the best implements and had picked several handy ones for himself in the past few years.
Therefore, he was confident to say that he could defend himself against cultivators in the middle-level Renhuang Plane, as long as they didnt have the perfect Divine Wheel.
People nodded in silent wonderment. No one else in the Divine Wheel Second Order in the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path had such confidence.
Nevertheless, they knew how powerful Ye Futians Divine Wheel was. Otherwise, how could he convince the top forces to attack the Shen clan in joint action and establish the Heavenly Mandate Academy?
In fact, many people in the Heavenly Mandate Academy were waiting for Ye Futians time to come.
He was destined to become the best cultivator in the Three Thousand Realms of the Great Path, as long as he had enough time to grow.
"Someone is back." Lord Taixuan stood up and walked outside at once, followed by other people. A Peng bird dived to the ground, landed in front of the great hall, then transformed into a man. He bowed and said, "My Lord."
"Do you have any news?" Lord Taixuan asked.
"Yes," the man nodded and answered, "the killers excel at assassination, and they disappeared without a trace immediately after the attack. They may cultivate the Way of Shadow."
"The Way of Shadow?" Lord Taixuans face changed. People who cultivated the Way of Shadow were extremely rare and were better at covering their tracks than attacking the enemies. Still, they were exceptionally dangerous for being expert assassins.
Ye Futian had a strange look. He vaguely remembered that Xu Que seemed to cultivate like this.
"Which force in the Nine Realms is skillful at the Way of Shadow?" people murmured. An odd look flashed in Lord Taixuans eyes.
"The Hidden Land Realm," Lord Taixuan said. "The Hidden Land Realm has more cultivators who specialize in the Way of Shadow. However, our Heavenly Mandate Academy doesnt have any dispute with the Hidden Land Realm."
Several other people darted across the sky. They were all high-level cultivators who were especially swift.
They landed in front of the great hall and saluted Lord Taixuan. Someone said, "It could be a force in the Hidden Land Realm."
"Hidden Land Realm." Ye Futian recalled that the Clan of the God of Ghost, Prison Fort Clan, and the Fate World in the Hidden Land Realm held some grudges against him in the past. But there was nothing serious enough to trigger a war between the top forces.
These groups didnt seem to have a legitimate reason to do so.
The newly arrived cultivators spoke one by one. They had a similar conclusion based on their investigation.
They all suspected the cultivators from the Hidden Land Realm.
"My Lord," said Hua Qingshan of the Celestial Gate of Vast Heaven. Gu Dongliu was now the clan lord of the Celestial Gate of Vast Heaven with Jiang Chengzi, the legendary cultivator in the Divine Wheel Ninth Order, as his aide. Hua Qingshan, on the other hand, spent most of his time in the Heavenly Mandate Academy.
The Celestial Gate of Vast Heaven had a closer relationship with the Heavenly Mandate Academy than other groups. After all, Ye Futian and Gu Dongliu were brothers who shared a long friendship. The Celestial Gate of Vast Heaven weathered many storms along with Ye Futian.
"What do you think?" Lord Taixuan asked.
"Do you still remember that group?" Hua Qingshan asked, "There was a group that caused turmoil hundreds of years ago then disappeared completely from the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path."
Lord Taixuans face turned stern. He looked at Hua Qingshan and recalled a powerful force hundreds of years ago.
"The Hell!" Lord Taixuan said with a grim expression.
He had lived through many eras and had much more experience than the youngsters. He witnessed the age of the Twin Great Emperors.
How could he not remember the formidable force in the Hidden Land Realm?
Nonetheless, the "Hell" was destroyed at that time and disappeared from the scene. Rumor had it that the rise of the Fate World and Prison Fort Clan later in the days was closely related to the Hells demise.
"Yes." Hua Qingshan nodded. Many people put on a solemn look.
Ye Futian didnt understand. He didnt know anything about the history of that time and had never heard of the "Hell" as a group.
"It was a super force many years ago that was wiped out before the Great Emperor unified the Divine Prefecture. The Hell was the overlord in the Hidden Land Realm and operated inside of the Gate of the Hell," Lord Taixuan explained to Ye Futian. "They were extremely dangerous."
"Why would a group that vanished many years ago suddenly attack the Heavenly Mandate Academy?" Ye Futian asked.
"We dont know for sure yet. But this does seem like something the Hell would do. It could be the remaining evildoers of the Hell, or someone is using the Hell to attack us," Lord Taixuan said. "We didnt capture even one of them?"
People shook their heads.
"If the Hell is really behind this, it wont be easy for us to defeat them," said Hua Qingshan. The Hell mastered the art of concealment. A person probably wouldnt even know that he was targeted before being killed.
"Then, what do you suggest we should do?" Lord Taixuan asked.
People frowned grimly. Everything was speculation at this point. There was nothing they could do as they didnt capture anyone.
"Should we lure them out?" Ye Futian looked at Lord Taixuan and asked.
"It would be risky. It could backfire on us if they were really the Hell from the old days." Lord Taixuans face was somber.
"I will go," said Ye Futian.
Lord Taixuan stared at Ye Futian, who said, "Lets go straight to the Hidden Land Realm. I will be responsible for luring them out. If they want to take on the Heavenly Mandate Academy for real, I will definitely be their biggest target!"