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“You’re just jealous! Naked jealousy! Young man… you won’t grow if you let jealousy cloud your mind and drive you to wrong decisions,” Ying Huo said.
Tianming merely pinched its neck and said, “Weren’t you really impressive just now with a wingspan of a thousand meters? You can be a cool mount now. Why’d you turn back into this dumb form?”
“Mount? In your dreams. I’m the one who’ll mount you, not the other way ‘round,” Ying Huo said, rolling its eyes. “Actually, I’m just more used to this size. It’s far more convenient. If I keep taking my magnificently handsome true form, people will just be jealous of me and try to get back at me for it.”
Tianming almost couldn’t stand how unserious Ying Huo always was. “What other changes are there? What’s your star count now?” Its eyes were so dense with stars that it was hard to count them all unless it took its huge true form.
“Around seven thousand and five hundred I guess. Apart from that, I got a new ability, the one I showed you just now. Not to mention my Infernal Blaze got a whole lot stronger, which also enhanced my other abilities to some extent.”
Tianming had noted that the Infernal Blaze was now black and gold. It seemed even more impressive now. He knew that Ying Huo’s flames and Meow Meow’s lightning had a lot of room to improve. After all, the fire and lightning were part of their powers as Primordial Chaos Beasts. After the briefing, Ying Huo went looking for Meow Meow and the rest to show off. It felt like it was going to marry a princess when all of them expectantly called out to it.
“Once the Dragon Imperials’ six-star universal manna arrives, I’ll let Meow Meow, Lan Huang and Xian Xian evolve together and engage in symbiotic cultivation again. Hopefully the improved bloodlines of the Primordial Chaos Beasts can help me break through!”
Based on Ying Huo’s current strength, he knew that he had made it big with the seven-star universal manna. Not to mention, he still had the grade-eight divine herb and was contemplating how to best use it.
Senluo Mansion at the Second Sword Branch was where Ye Dongliu cultivated. Only the top brass of the Dongye house could enter the building, and not even Gujian Qingshuang regularly went there.
Currently, the Azuresoul Palace was led by the Gujian Clan, with House Dongye being their helpers. However, that hadn’t always been the case. Throughout the history of the sect, there had been times when those from House Dongye took up positions as chief instructors, though they had languished in the past ten millennia and hadn’t risen above the Gujian clan since then. While there was competition between the two sides, neither had ever really tried oppressing the other, for they needed a united front to be able to stand up against the might of the Supracloud Sanctuary. They also had historically good relations with one another.
Currently, Ye Dongliu stood alone in the Senluo Mansion with his arms behind his back, looking out of his window at the distant divine tree. He heard footsteps approaching. It was Ye Buzhiqiu from the Fourth Sword Branch. There was a saying that went ‘one knows autumn’s approach when the leaf falls’. However, Ye Dongliu had named his son with the opposite meaning of ‘not knowing autumn’s approach’, as autumn was a rather melancholic season and he wanted his son to be ignorant of its coming as a sign of hope.
“Dad,” said Ye Buzhiqiu, standing beside his father in a dark yellow robe. The light from the flaming clouds outside illuminated part of his face.
“What is it?” Ye Dongliu turned back and stood ramrod straight.
“I want to do something.”
“Yes, I know what you want to say.”
“Dad understands me best. The Gujian clan’s chief instructor will eventually age. Originally, his younger brother, Gujian Daoyi, was supposed to take over and nurture the chief instructor’s eldest son, Gujian Xuanyuan, but now Gujian Daoyi is dead. With Gujian Xuanyuan still unfit to rule, it looks like I’m the only person of our generation that can fulfill this purpose.”
“There’s still Jiang Qingliu. Even though he’s a little older than Daoyi and you, he still barely qualifies,” Ye Dongliu said.
“Jiang Qingliu, eh… hahaha…”
“Li Wushuang had Gujian Daoyi killed, so your chances are much better. The Empyrean Sword Sect has decided to send us more reinforcements. If we can use them to wipe out the Supracloud Sanctuary, our house will have good days to come,” Ye Dongliu said with hopeful optimism.
“I hope there comes a day when we control the entire continent,” Ye Buzhiqiu said. That was their shared ambition, and with Gujian Daoyi dead, it seemed even closer to being realized. They could push Gujian Qingshuang on the path of dominating the Azurecloud Continent and, eventually, the throne would be passed down to them. Even if they stayed in the background for now, they already mostly controlled how things went.
“We have to be careful of this ‘young mistress’ Li Wushuang, who’s been around for centuries. As long as she continues causing trouble, the Myriad Solar Sects won’t just sit and watch,” Ye Dongliu said.
“It’d be perfect if she really ended up killing Long Wanying. Yan Nuxia and the rest, too.”
“That’s right. Now, tell me what you came to say.”
“Okay. Dad, the Empyrean Sword Sect noticed the close relationship between Li Tianming and Long Wanying, so they’re shifting their assassination target to her. Now they don’t really care too much about killing Jiang Qingliu anymore, but that’s bad for us. We need the Azuresoul Tower to give the chief instructor a push. Otherwise he’ll continue to act indecisively forever and we’ll miss all our opportunities. So I want to kill Jiang Qingliu myself. We’re both in the same sect and have more chances to interact, after all. I just need the chief instructor to put me in the same group as him when we’re deployed during the conflict surrounding the divine tree. I can find an opportunity then,” Ye Buzhiqiu said.
“The problem is that we still don’t know how the decapitator brothers died. Even though you’ve defeated Jiang Qingliu before, it’s still risky. The one better suited to take action is me. It’s a shame that my powers have waned in the past century and my body doesn’t behave the way I want it to anymore. If I was in my prime, killing him would be like slaughtering a chicken.”
“That’s right. As such, I want you to pass the Singularity Atlas to me! There’s a top-grade forest illusion formation in the atlas that can trap Jiang Qingliu within it and stop other people from going to his aid. They won’t even know what happened. Not to mention, my powers will be boosted a few times within the formation, so killing him would be all too easy! I also have someone ready to blame for Jiang Qingliu’s death: Li Wushuang!” He seemed really agitated at that point. “Dad, Li Wushuang already set the stage by killing Gujian Daoyi, so this is a huge opportunity for us.”
Currently, Tianming and Long Wanying had angered Li Wushuang, causing her to kill Gujian Daoyi and making the Gujian Clan lose a powerful elite. If the Azuresoul Palace eventually suppressed the Supracloud Sanctuary with the help of other sects, Ye Buzhiqiu would be the one to enjoy the benefits. He was planning to frame Li Wushuang for the murder of his rival and use the Azuresoul Tower to give Gujian Qingshuang the push he needed. The circumstances were so perfect that it seemed like it must be heaven’s plan for him.
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