Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Liu Chan, Sage Tianxing, and the group of mighty ones from Zhisheng Cliffs walked into the Holy Zhi Palace, heading for Holy Sage Pavilion. While the group from Zhisheng Cliffs had made their entrance in a rather rude manner, they still hailed from the sacred ground of Yu State and that place had saints. With that said, the foreigners indeed proved superior when compared to the Holy Zhi Palace’s members. As such, Liu Chan had no choice but to let the matter slide and treat them as honorable guests.
“What made you come all the way here to the Barren State?” Liu Chan asked.
“Palace Lord Liu, I’m sure you’ve heard about the incident with the Zhuge family a while ago. I’ve heard that the clan leader of the Zhuge family graduated from the Holy Zhi Palace. If you are willing to lend a hand, the matter will be over soon,” Zhan Xiao said.
“You mean the incident with Gu Dongliu?” Liu Chan asked.
“Indeed.” Zhan Xiao nodded. “I found a saint’s ruins about a year ago. Some of the secret zones proved rather dangerous. As such, a lot of sages were invited to probe the place. Many of them were from renowned clans in Yu State. I saw Gu Dongliu as a dashing and exceptional figure, so I invited him to come along, becoming friends with him, thinking him to be a man of honor. We made a deal that the sacred relic would be made mine when we acquired it as I was the one who found the sacred ground. He was, of course, welcomed to take any of the other treasures found. However, I apparently underestimated how great a person’s greed can be. Gu Dongliu took the relic for himself and deliberately activated the traps there, killing all of the other sages and then ran to the Barren State with that relic with him. Members from various forces from Yu State are after him as we speak, and we from Zhisheng Cliffs have only been pursuing him this far due to having sages with expertise in tracking.
“While that man exuded the air of a man of honor, he was actually vile and despicable, stealing the sacred relic and killing our comrades. As such, even if he agreed to surrender what he stole, I will not just let him go. I made that very clear back when we were in the Zhuge family estate.”
Zhan Xiao continued elaborating, “My uncle and junior have come all the way here to settle the matter as well. But my junior reminded me that we are in the Barren State, and the Holy Zhi Palace is the sacred ground of Barren State. If you are willing to help us get the Zhuge family to hand Gu Dongliu over, the matter will be settled and you will have one less vile person to deal with in the Barren State.”
Liu Chan was unfazed by Zhan Xiao’s words, appearing calm as Zhan Xiao explained his case. If there was one thing that Liu Chan learned from all the years he had been alive, it was to never listen to only one side of the story and believe it to be the entire truth.
Zhan Xiao’s words might have been the truth, but there was no way he would have simply believe it just because Zhan Xiao said so. While he indeed was on rather bad terms with Gu Dongliu over what happened to Bai Luli, from that one battle, he was able to tell that Gu Dongliu was indeed someone worthy of being in legends, sporting incredibly exceptional talents. He had to admit at least that much about the young man.
“Liu Chan, what do you think?” Kong Yao asked, seeing that Liu Chan had not said anything in response.
“The day you mean, I assume, would be the engagement day of Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue. As such, Gu Dongliu is now the son-in-law of the Zhuge family. Zhuge Qingfeng was indeed a student of the Holy Zhi Palace and was my junior. However, it is due to such reasons that if I were to ask Zhuge Qingfeng to hand his son-in-law over, I would be put in a tight spot, as such actions would be rather dishonorable.” Liu Chan then continued calmly, “I’m afraid that it would be rather inconvenient for the Holy Zhi Palace to interfere with the matter you speak of.”
Zhuge Qingfeng had already shown his bias for Gu Dongliu that day, and Liu Chan was very angry about it. However, the two cases were still two separate cases. He deemed it inappropriate to invest his personal feelings into matters when greater rights and wrongs were involved.
The group from Zhisheng Cliffs went there to ask the Zhuge family to hand over who they deemed responsible, and even others like You Chi, who was present, forbade them to simply take Gu Dongliu away. It was a clear statement saying that while Zhisheng Cliffs was indeed a sacred ground of Yu State, even the Son of the place had no business bossing people around in the Zhuge family estate. As such, if the Holy Zhi Palace decided to interfere, problems with morality aside, the people of the Barren State would see the Holy Zhi Palace in an unfavorable light.
“It is due precisely to such reasons that if some vile creature like Gu Dongliu were to be allowed to stay in Zhuge family, he would make a mess of them. There would be dire consequences and it is imperative that you be involved,” Zhan Xiao continued.
Liu Chan waved his hand and said, “Kong Yao, I am obliged to treat you all well as guests coming all the way from the sacred ground of Yu State; however, the Holy Zhi Palace does not meddle with the affairs of the Barren State, and as such, it would be inconvenient for us to get involved in the case you speak of.”
“I understand.” Kong Yao said plainly, “In that case, t Zhisheng Cliffs will not hold you against your will. We will look into it ourselves.”
“Very well then.” Liu Chan nodded. “I will order for a feast to be prepared.”
“There is no need for that. We deemed it necessary to pay a visit here as we all hail from sacred grounds of the nine states. We will not hold you any further as we have that matter to deal with.” Kong Yao’s voice sounded noticeably colder. He stopped walking right afterward and said, “Liu Chan, we will be on our way.”
“In that case, I will not hold you either.” Liu Chan did not say anything further. Kong Yao and his people from Zhisheng Cliffs left shortly after.
Liu Chan and Sage Tianxing stared at the figures leaving the place and felt rather uneasy within. It was especially so for Liu Chan. Kong Yao was known to be invincible to all below the Saint Plane. He had also witnessed firsthand what Kong Yao was capable of. He was ranked ninth on the Sage Ranking, and if Zhuge Qingfeng were to insist on refusing to hand Gu Dongliu over, Kong Yao’s forceful temperament would mean a war between him and the Zhuge family.
“It seems like the Zhuge family will be in deep trouble now,” Sage Tianxing said.
“If the Zhuge family had the gall to refuse Zhisheng Cliff’s request, they will naturally have to deal with the problem. If Zhisheng Cliffs indeed tried to throw their weight around in the Barren State, they will definitely not be getting their wish,” Liu Chan said, knowing well that the true mighty ones of all sacred grounds of the nine states were still the saints.
The Barren State needed saints to emerge as soon as possible. If there were saints among the ranks of the Holy Zhi Palace, Kong Yao and the rest of his group would not have acted as rudely and arrogantly as they did.
On the other hand, Zhan Xiao said when his group had left the Holy Zhi Palace, “With the Barren State in such a rundown state now, I’m surprised that Liu Chan had the gall to be so uncooperative. Even with you here, Uncle, he didn’t bother giving you any face.”
“This is normal. All who hail from sacred grounds have their own pride. What happened back there was within our expectations,” Kong Yao said.
“If you’d known that it’d turn out as such, why did you bother going to them in the first place?” Zhan Xiao asked.
“Zhuge Qingfeng graduated from the Holy Zhi Palace and this is still the Barren State. What we did will at least ensure that they won’t be sticking their noses where they don’t belong,” Kong Yao explained. If the Holy Zhi Palace had interfered and ended up standing against them, things would have gotten even more complicated. As such, he went asking Liu Chan for help. If Liu Chan made sure to stay out of this, they would be allowed to carry on with their own business without interference.
“You are one of the top ten figures on the Sage Ranking. Why do you need to be concerned so much with the now rundown Barren State?” Zhan Xiao asked.
“The Barren State is indeed not what it used to be, but it still bears the lineage of saints. The case is not as simple as you think,” Kong Yao explained. Sacred grounds definitely housed sacred relics. Zhisheng Cliffs had saints. As such, sacred relics were in the hands of the saints instead of being in their control.
“I understand.” Zhan Xiao nodded. The group headed straight for Xuanwu City in the northern region of Zhongzhou City by air.
There had been quite a lot happening in the Barren State. Starting with the incident with the engagement between Bai Luli and Zhuge Mingyue, there were visitors from the sacred ground of Yu State. an assassination attempt at Ye Futian, and golden great apes venturing outside Taihang Mountain. Every single incident shook the Barren State as a whole.
The people of the Barren State somehow felt that there was an undercurrent at work, and something huge would break out at any given moment. However, it was still little more than a hunch, and no one was able to make clear of what would happen next.
Zhuge Qingfeng was caught at the center of the whirlpool, and as such, his awareness of such developments was more acute than most. In truth, when he saw Ye Futian demonstrate who he really was, Zhuge Qingfeng felt that the peaceful days of the Barren State were about to be over. When geniuses of such caliber emerged, shockwaves in the form of multiple great incidents followed in their wake. Furthermore, the pressure from Zhisheng Cliffs never actually disappeared. He knew the mighty ones of Zhisheng Cliffs would soon strike again.
Zhuge Qingfeng was meditating in Wind Residence, and Crouching Dragon Mountain was not any different that day. His eyes opened all of a sudden as he set his gaze far away. What was to come have finally came. He had no idea, however, who it would be this time.
A group of people landed above Crouching Dragon Mountain. In that very instant, an extremely stifling pressure encompassed the entire mountain. Worse still, many in Xuanwu City not far away from the mountain were able to sense the appalling pressure as well. They turned their eyes at the air right above Crouching Dragon Mountain and were able to see figures standing high and mighty in the air. Everyone from the Zhuge family walked outside and looked at the mighty ones in the air.
Gu Dongliu halted his training in Moon Tower and looked at the sky.
What was to come had finally came. He had witnessed Zhan Xiao kill everyone that day and he had been the only survivor. He came to understand that Zhan Xiao would not have stopped until he was no more.
Zhisheng Cliffs was a sacred ground of Yu State, and Zhan Xiao was the Son of the place. Among the many sages that he killed, there were geniuses from renowned clans. If that information were to make it outside, it would have affected Zhisheng Cliff’s reputation and damaged Zhan Xiao’s status as the Son. There was no way he would let Gu Dongliu live. While Gu Dongliu knew that Zhan Xiao would have lied, nothing would have put the villain at ease better than to see him dead.
That was the very reason Gu Dongliu did not elaborate his reasons for running in front of everyone. If it was simply Zhan Xiao as an individual who wanted him dead, there was still wiggle room for Gu Dongliu to free himself. If he was accused of damaging the reputation of Zhisheng Cliffs itself, however, people of the entire place would want his head. As such, he knew that there were things he had to keep to himself no matter what.
Zhuge Mingyue came to him and took his hand, saying, “Don’t worry too much about this. If father has allowed you to stay, he definitely has a way of settling this.”
“Easier said than done,” Gu Dongliu replied. Zhuge Qingfeng was seen in the air shortly afterward.
“I’ll go after father-in-law. It’s best that you stay here, Mingyue.” Gu Dongliu took to the air after saying that. Zhuge Mingyue smiled and went after him nonetheless. They were now finally together. No matter what was going to happen in the future, she deemed it necessary for them to face adversities together.
Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue arrived behind Zhuge Qingfeng in the air shortly. Zhan Xiao glared at Gu Dongliu with cold, murderous intent in his eyes.
“Zhuge Qingfeng,” Kong Yao looked at Zhuge Qingfeng and said, “I believe we have met.”
“We have indeed.” Zhuge Qingfeng nodded. That was more than ten years ago.
“I’ll spare you the chit chat. Gu Dongliu stole a sacred relic from the Son of Zhisheng Cliffs and killed many of Yu State’s sages. I will be taking him away,” Kong Yao said without bothering to beat around the bush. His forceful voice was heard throughout the entire estate.
“I have heard Dongliu talk about this. In the ruins of saints, anyone is free to take sacred relics. If the sacred relic fell into Dongliu’s hands, then they’d naturally be his. As for the sages, the traps of the secret zones are to blame,” Zhuge Qingfeng said. He knew everything that took place through Gu Dongliu, but he did not tell the truth in front of everyone, trying to downplay things and end it without incident instead. If he had simply gone about telling the truth, Kong Yao would have denied it, regardless if he believed it or not, accusing Zhuge Qingfeng of slandering Zhisheng Cliffs instead. Such would have been Kong Yao’s stance on things.