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The fat street vendor pointed behind the demon expert and laughed foolishly. The demon didn’t suspect a thing, and really, truly, turned to look behind him.
However, there was nothing there, not even a shadow. Before he realized what had happened, he felt something whack him right in the skull.
“I said he’s behind you, so he’s behind you. How could you possibly be this stupid?”
The dazed demon finally turned back around, only to see that the fat street vendor had already transformed into Ye Zichen.
Before he could spread out his divine awareness and alert his companions, a staff slammed into his skull.
All the demon could do was stretch out his hand, then let it fall. His expression had already gone blank. He collapsed, head askance, onto the ground.
“I just knew you were a dummy. It was really easy to trick you.” Ye Zichen dragged the demon expert into an alleyway, then efficiently stripped him of all his belongings. Before long, an identical demon expert left the alleyway.
“This will be much more convenient.”
Naturally, this person was Ye Zichen in disguise too. It would take far too long to leave the city as a moth.
If he’d turned into one of the locals, given Gu Li’s caution, there was no way he’d be allowed to leave the city. If he tried, they’d interrogate and investigate him.
Transforming into one of Gu Li’s subordinates was the best solution. In this shape, he could display his diviner-level cultivation without causing suspicion.
Ye Zichen glanced at the stripped demon lying in the alleyway, then hooked his fingers, pulling him into the Yao-Sealing Pagoda.
He couldn’t just kill him and destroy his corpse. In the name of caution, it was better not to use his divine power. He’d throw the demon in the pagoda for now, then figure out what to do next after he left the city.
“Really, what a moron.” Ye Zichen couldn’t help but shake his head and laugh. He’d ȧssumed finding someone to impersonate would take a lot of work; he hadn’t guessed it would go this smoothly.
“So, he’s someone of the Nine Li Clan.” Ye Zichen muttered to himself, then retracted his gaze.
Taking Li Ju’s shape was just a start; the hard part came next: he had to test whether this illusion would work even at close quarters, or whether Li Ju’s companions would see right through him.
He drew closer and closer!
Even though Ye Zichen was trying his best to restrain his emotions, it was hard not to feel nervous.
“Li Ju, what are you just standing there for? Did you find him?” A pair of demon experts landed in front of Ye Zichen. Both were diviners, their cultivations roughly on par with Li Ju.
“I didn’t. Come on down and take a break,” said Ye Zichen.
“If you didn’t find him, hurry up and get looking. Do you really have time to rest?” asked a demon expert.
“There’s no harm in taking a bit of a break,” said another demon. “We’ve already been searching for four hours. If the person the Holy Lord wants us to find is really proficient in the Dao of Space, he escaped ages ago. Or even if he hasn’t, anyone capable of wielding the Dao of Space is at least a ruler. If we bump into him, won’t we just die?”
“Shut your mouth!” The taller of the demons glowered. “If the Holy Lord heard you say that, you’d be done for.”
“It’s best to be careful. We can’t delay for too long. Even if we’re just putting on a show, we’d best keep ourselves busy,” said the first demon. “Li Ju, that’s enough resting for now. If the Holy Lord catches you goofing off, you’ll be in for it.”
With that, the demon took to the skies. His shorter companion patted “Li Ju” on the shoulder, then left as well.
“Heh.” Ye Zichen watched them leave. Once they’d disappeared, he couldn’t help but laugh.
The Seventy-Two Transformations was really a divine skill!
Those two demons had stood right in front of him, but neither of them realized he was Ye Zichen, not Li Ju. But then, thinking about it, that was to be expected. Back when he turned into a stone, Gu Li and all his subordinates were right there. None of them noticed then either, right?
As the demons approached, Ye Zichen was awfully nervous, but now it seemed escaping would be rather easy?
Ye Zichen scratched his head and no longer hesitated. He headed straight towards the city gates. On the way, he bumped into multiple demons, but when they saw him, they paid him no heed. They were busy searching all over the city with their divine senses.
An hour passed.
Ye Zichen was running at top speed, and he dimly sensed that he was nearing the city walls. At this rate, in but a hundred breaths of time, he’d be free.
“Li Ju!” At that moment, Ye Zichen heard someone shout from behind him.
Quite a few people had called his name already, but no one had discovered his disguise yet. This time, he wasn’t the least bit concerned. He turned towards the speaker, but…
This time, the one rushing towards him was none other than Gu Li.
“Holy Lord.” In the face of his long-time rival, Ye Zichen didn’t dare be negligent. He bowed and greeted him with a show of deep respect, then averted his gaze and waited for Gu Li to approach.
“Do you have news of Ye Zichen?”
“Not yet,” said Ye Zichen.
“Now news? Then why did you dash over in such a rush? And here I thought you’d heard Ye Zichen already left the city.
So, he’s suspicious of that. Ye Zichen was inwardly stunned; he’d been in such a rush to leave that he’d forgotten to consider that this might happen.
“Holy Lord, we’ve looked for Ye Zichen for so long without finding him; he might very well have left the city. So I thought I’d go search for him outside,” said Ye Zichen.
Ye Zichen hurriedly nodded.
“Alright, then go outside and take a look.” Gu Li smiled and waved him away. Ye Zichen reacted as if Gu Li’s words were divine writ; he nodded respectfully and turned to leave. However, before he’d taken more than a few steps, Gu Li called him back. “Wait! Who was that person you mentioned to me last night? I seem to have forgotten. Might you refresh my memory?”
“…” Ye Zichen instantly stopped mid-flight.
He narrowed his eyes, then slowly turned towards Gu Li, only to realize that his long-time rival was grinning at him.
“I almost let you escape. You’ve really perfected the Seventy-Two Transformations, huh, Ye Zichen?”
“Whoops, I’ve been discovered.” Ye Zichen laughed with a hint of lamentation, then reverted to his usual appearance.
“For a moment there, I really thought you’d learned the Dao of Space,” said Gu Li. “I forgot about your Seventy-Two Transformations. Honestly, Ye Zichen, you’ve sure got guts to play such a trick on me!”
“I almost made it.” Ye Zichen pursed his lips.
“Out of the city? No, that’s not possible. In truth, I placed an inescapable trap around the city walls. The second you made it out, we’d discover you,” said Gu Li.
“Of course.” Gu Li nodded.
“Are you sure? Then how did the Great Sage kill his way inside?”
“The Great Sage? That trick again? Surely you can do better than that.” Gu Li sneered.
“Really! If you don’t believe me, turn around and look. His staff is about to come crashing down. If you don’t get out of the way, I’m afraid your skull will shatter,” said Ye Zichen.
Gu Li’s expression shifted, and he stretched his divine sense behind him. Instantly, he tensed up.
A shout emanated from behind. “Taste my staff!”
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