Xia Qingyuan, Ye Futian and the others had originally planned to cultivate in the Empty Realm for a period of time, at least one year. After all, in one year the spirit stones of the Great Path would be distributed.
However, this sudden incident had made Ye Futian and the others use the grand matrix of space to return to Emperor Xia's Realm earlier. Xia Qingyuan would naturally stay in the Imperial Palace, and the others left individually. Ye Futian and the others returned to the mountain villa to cultivate and heal. This time, many of them were seriously wounded.
But before long, Xia Qingyuan sent a powerful Saint level cultivator who was skilled in the healing arts from the Imperial Palace to cure their wounds, both wounds of the body and wounds of their spiritual willpower.
Because of this chaos that had taken place, any of the cultivators from the top forces of Emperor Xia's Realm returned, and the news quickly spread to all corners of Emperor Xia's Realm.
The news of their victory in the Empty Realm had made it back to Emperor Xia's Realm a long time ago. Now as everyone was returning, many of the details were being passed around as well. Many people marveled at the fact that Ye Futian had helped Xia Qingyuan seize victory all under his own power.
However, this person who had rendered outstanding service had earned the jealousy and hatred of Emperor Li's Realm due to this, and thus had been subjected to an extremely dangerous attack.
The Sword Saint of the Void had reappeared during that attack, and the Swordmaster of Lihen had lent out his sword. This left many people amazed. When Ye Futian and Wang Chuan had fought upon the thirty-third level of Lihen Heaven, what had really happened?
They had thought at first that Wang Chuan of Lihen Heaven had been defeated, and thus had not taken part in the Battle of Empty Realm. But for the swordmaster to lend his sword meant far more than simply participating in the battle.
The Swordmaster of Lihen's skill was forging thirty-three sword wills. He had lent one of them to Ye Wuchen to enhance his perception. He had helped him at the hour of life and death. Was this the attitude of a master personally teaching a disciple?
Even though Ye Wuchen had showed extraordinary talent for swordsmanship at Lihen Heaven, would that really be enough to make the Swordmaster of Lihen do this?
No one knew what the Swordmaster of Lihen was really thinking, but this foremost swordsman of Emperor Xia's Realm had a bearing that made people admire him. Many people thought that Ye Futian had fought his way up to the thirty-third layer of heaven in order to humiliate Lihen Heaven. But he had lent his sword to Ye Wuchen. This kind of bold vision was truly worthy of a top Saint.
Later, more details of the attack came out. At first, Xia Qingyuan had sent people to protect Ye Futian, but they had been ordered to gather together and leave by Xiao Sheng, which had led to Ye Futian coming into grave danger.
Now, it was said that the Princess was investigating the matter.
Was Xiao Sheng really trying to save the Princess, or was he simply trying to kill Ye Futian?
The latter option was probably not true. After all, Ye Futian and Xiao Sheng had no enmity between them, and it could even be said that they had nothing to with each other. Why would Xiao Sheng try to kill him?
But those people from top forces who had gone to the Empty Realm had seen more than anyone else. Xiao Sheng certainly had sufficient reason to want Ye Futian dead.
But on the bright side, Xiao Sheng was also justified. He was indeed thinking of the Princess when he did it.
The core members of the Xiao clan had gathered in the palace of the Xiao clan in Emperor Xia's Realm.
The person sitting at their head was Old Man Xiao. Those around him were all core members of the Xiao Clan: all of his sons.
And sitting before them all was Xiao Sheng.
At that moment Old Man Xiao's face was quite ugly, as if he were quite angry. He gazed coldly at Xiao Sheng and said, "What on earth have you done? You have made Qingyuan order an investigation."
Xia Qingyuan had given the order to investigate this matter, and even to directly investigate the Xiao clan and those beside Xiao Sheng.
He was Xia Qingyuan's grandfather, and the head of her mother's clan. The people in this mansion were all Xia Qingyuan's relatives. Even though she was the Princess, she should still have deep feelings for the Xiao clan.
And yet, at that moment his granddaughter, Princess Xia Qingyuan, had sent people to his household to investigate him. What did this mean?
When outsiders saw this they would think that a rift had formed between the Princess and the Xiao clan. It was obvious that what Xiao Sheng had done had made Xia Qingyuan angry, and that was why she had acted in spite of what Old Man Xiao might want and sent people to investigate him.
At that moment, Xiao Sheng's face was rather pale and his fists were clenched. He knew that Xia Qingyuan thought highly of Ye Futian, but he had underestimated just how much. Had she really launched an investigation into the Xiao clan over an outsider? This now not only implicated her cousin, but all of the Xiao clan.
"I've already said all I have to say. You must know, grandfather, that the situation was very tense. I was worried for the Princess's safety, and so I naturally sent people to protect her," said Xiao Sheng. "Who is the Princess? Who is Ye Futian? Should Ye Futian really have been the one I worried about in that situation?"
The blood of the Xiao clan flowed in Princess Xia Qingyuan's veins.
"Is that all?" Old Man Xiao asked coldly.
"I only did what needed to be done. If the Princess blames me for this, I will have no complaints," answered Xiao Sheng. When he had spoken to Xia Qingyuan he had learned that she regarded Ye Futian far more highly than him.
Ye Futian had lived, so naturally there was no problem. In that case, it was best to try and find an opportunity. The worst possible result was just that he would not have a chance to be at Xia Qingyuan's side. This would not too different from if Ye Futian was alive. In that case he would also have to dampen his ambitions and not think about them anymore. He would have to find another path of cultivation.
So he did not regret doing what he did.
"There is a report for you, Master," came a voice from outside.
"Come in," said Old Man Xiao.
A figure quickly came in from outside. After he had stepped into the hall he bowed slightly and said, "News has come from the outsie world. Master Xiao Sheng has been in contact with people from Emperor Li's Realm."
Everyone was shocked when he said this. They all gasped loudly.
Xiao Sheng had been in contact with people from Emperor Li's Realm?
If that was so, then him transferring people away from Ye Futian's side could absolutely not be explained simply by his concern for the Princess.
That would mean that he had collaborated with the enemy to kill one of his own.
This kind of crime would be enough to finish Xiao Sheng, and would even put a black mark on the entire Xiao clan.
"I have not!" Xiao Sheng's face suddenly chance.d He knew that this crime was not something that he could bear.
In a flash many pairs of ice cold eyes gazed at Xiao Sheng. The members of the Xiao clan looked at him with severe expressions. The atmosphere in the entire hall had changed.
The Xiao family was the family of Emperor Xia's queen, who had given birth to Emperor Xia's favorite daughter, Princess Xia Qingyuan. Thus, they were at the height of their power, and almost stood at the top of Emperor Xia's Realm.
Everything that they did was to make their relationship with Emperor Xia closer, and to go a little farther. Of course, they did not seek to take advantage of this, they just wanted to follow in Xia Qingyuan's footsteps.
If Xiao Sheng was charged with collaborating with the enemy, he would not be the only one who would be unable to bear it. This would put a black mark on the name of the Xiao clan.
After this, it would be impossible for Emperor Xia and Xia Qingyuan to place the Xiao clan in an important position.
"Where did this news come from?" Old Man Xiao asked the man who had come in.
"I don't know the source. It seemed to suddenly appear out of thin air. It seems like someone was spreading it on purpose," the man answered.
"Grandfather, someone is trying to frame me." Xiao Sheng's expression finally changed. If he was accused of collaborating with the enemy, the situation would be far worse than he had anticipated.
Old Man Xiao, who normally seemed so warm, was now cold and stern. His eyes were like knives that seemed to pierce directly into Xiao Sheng's mind.
"Xiao Sheng, there will be traces left behind of anything that you have done. I understand Qingyuan's nature a bit. If she is going to do something, she will do it thoroughly. Don't think that there is any use in hiding anything. If you have done something, your best option is to admit it immediately. Maybe then you will still have a chance. But if you mean to hide it and wait until you are found out, I will have no control over the consequences."
Old Man Xiao's voice pierced Xiao Sheng's ears. In that moment he felt a terrible pressure. It came not only from Old Man Xiao, but from everyone in the hall.
At that moment, he felt like he was suffocating.
His expression changed constantly, like he was struggling with himself. Finally, he lowered his head and bowed, saying, "Grandfather, no matter what, I would not dare to collaborate with the enemy. The blood of the Xiao clan flows in the Princess's veins. How could I dare to help Emperor Li's Realm against her?"
As he said this, everyone was still staring at him. Xiao Sheng broke out in a cold sweat, but he continued, "It's just that I meta female cultivator in the Empty Realm. She told me that Li Yao meant to attack the Princess, and if that happened that I should immediately call cultivators to protect her."
"Is that all?" A cold voice echoed throughout the hall.
"At a single sentence from her you rushed to do her bidding? How close was your relationship with her?" continued Old Man Xiao. How much was Xiao Sheng revealing, and how much was he hiding?
Xiao Sheng knelt to the floor and said, "I admit, everything that you think happened did indeed happen. But I swear I never made any contact with people from Emperor Li's Realm, nor did I ever speak of betraying Emperor Xia's Realm."
"Don't tell me that you didn't suspect that's what you were doing." Old Man Xiao's eyes were sharp. "You were taking advantage of the situation, and taking the opportunity to get rid of Ye Futian."
Xiao Sheng lowered his head and said, "In everything that I did I never committed treachery. All along I was thinking of the clan."
Slap! A crisp sound rang out as Old Man Xiao slammed his hand down on his armrest. His face was cold. "These words might work on me. I believe you, and the people of the Xiao clan believe you too. But how do you intend to explain this to Xia Qingyuan?"
Xiao Sheng lowered his head. "Aunt will understand me."
Everyone in the Xiao clan stared at him with fury in their hearts. This was simply dastardly.
They all understood that once this got out they would have to give up all hope of sending Xiao Sheng to the palace to cultivate. Xia Qingyuan would never trust him again, nor would she ever make use of him.
"Father, Xiao Sheng is guilty. I will take him to the palace to admit his guilt," said Uncle Xiao to Old Man Xiao.
"You are planning to go to your sister, aren't you?" How could Old Man Xiao fail to see what he was thinking? Xiao Sheng had made a terrible mistake, and word of it had reached the outside world. Someone was clearly trying to incite conflict. Under these circumstances, if things deteriorated at all it would be very serious.
Now, the only only who could help Xiao Sheng was Queen Xiao!
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