The relationship between the nine tribes that had once served Emperor Kua was a rather rocky one. Even though they worked together, they were also rivals.
They had all served Emperor Kua before. When the emperor perished, the nine tribes remained separate entities, competing against each other for many years. They all wanted to become the true successors of Emperor Kua and inherit the will of the emperor. Doing so would allow them to unify all nine tribes.
If one among the nine reached the Renhuang Plane, everything would naturally come to a close.
The so-called Renhuang ruins were the ancestral lands of the nine tribes. They had been trying to inherit whatever was left behind by Emperor Kua for many years.
They were the only ones who truly knew where the Flames of the Way came from. Furthermore, the people of the nine tribes knew that every single person who came to possess the flames was somehow destined for the endeavor. However, what happened after they fought was not planned.
However, there was no doubt that people who inherited the flames were definitely from top-notch forces and adept at flame powers. Only such people had the ability and right to do so.
Each of the nine tribes was allowed to cooperate with someone who came with the flames.
As such, the nine tribes only had a single chance to pick their candidates. As such, they were always very careful about it.
It was especially true that many forces who gained the flames showed up. However, there were still others who had yet to show up, so they did not know how capable those who had the flames were.
Under such circumstances, the weaker ones among the nine might have proceeded with the selection process, finding and approaching their candidates. The process was two-sided after all. If they didn't take the initiative, they might be able to do so later.
However, the stronger few would not have extended their invitations without serious consideration.
Ye Futian, lord of Qianye City, had unknown power. In truth, in addition to powers, the people of the nine tribes still needed to consider other factors. While Ye Futian had internalized the flames, he was not a member of any clans of fire powers. They had no idea how capable he was at manipulating flames. It was imperative to find that out, as it concerned their ancestral land.
As such, to the people of the nine tribes, Ye Futian was quite literally a wild card. Extending an invitation to him would be little more than a gamble at best.
On the other hand, Xi Chan and Chang Huai, who were near Ye Futian, despite having lost to Xia Qingyuan before, were nonetheless members of renowned fire clans. The abilities that they were most versed in, or rather, their core powers, were flames.
As such, several tribes extended their invitations right away.
However, the stronger few did not extend their invitations. They needed to wait.
"City Lord Ye, I, a member of the Wu clan, would like to invite you to join us in an expedition into the territory of Emperor Kua. Will you accept the proposal?" a powerful voice asked him. Ye Futian turned his eyes toward the person who'd asked. It was a gray-robed elder. He then nodded and smiled at Ye Futian, appearing rather friendly.
Ye Futian recalled Shen Tianzhan's introduction to the nine tribes. In the era after Emperor Kua's passing, the nine tribes had competed for many years. By remaining separated, the differences in their strengths had become apparent.
For instance, the Zhu clan was one of the strongest among the nine clans, ranking at firmly the very top.
As for the Wu clan, they were actually leaning on the Zhu clan. They had even married their women into the Zhu clan, showing their intention to become an affiliated force. As for the specifics, Shen Tianzhan knew little more than that.
It was, however, clear that the Wu clan was not that great of a choice.
"I'll think about it," Ye Futian replied with a smile. The relationship between the nine tribes and the people who had acquired the flames was that of a partnership. Both sides waited for the right price before bidding. Ye Futian was in no hurry to make his decision. He deemed it entirely fine to wait until the very last moment.
"Very well," the gray-robed elder said, nodding.
"You can stay in Emperor Kua's City, for the time being, Lord Ye. There are still others who have yet to arrive. You are free to make your choice when everyone else is here." The people of the Zhu clan were right beside the people of the Wu clan. The one who spoke was huge and imposing, wearing a fire type robe sporting a crimson beard. He looked very overbearing and stern.
"Sure." Ye Futian smiled and nodded before leaving the place.
Like Ye Futian, Xi Chan and Chang Huai did not make their choices yet. They chose to wait for the right price before bidding. Those who had extended invitations to them were comparatively weak tribes.
In this case, there was simply no need for them to be in a hurry to make their choices.
"You train in fire powers too?" someone behind Ye Futian asked. He turned around and saw Xi Chan. Her voice sounded rather cold.
When the flames that were stolen by the Star Plucking Saint were handed over to Ye Futian, it had cost her clan considerably to get their hands on another wisp of the flames.
"Indeed." Ye Futian nodded.
"We'll see each other in the ruins then," Xi Chan quipped. Chang Huai followed right behind her. Chang Huai smirked and took a look at Ye Futian when he walked past before continuing to move forward.
Ye Futian did not pay the two of them any heed. He returned immediately to see everyone from Qianye City. He told them, "Let's head out."
The group left the place right away. They wanted to find an inn in Emerpor Kua's city to settle down in for the moment.
Mighty beings continued to pour into Emperor Kua's City after that. There were even some people there who did not have flames with them and were simply there for fun.
Of course, there were others who had acquired the flames arriving all the time. Their identities were gradually discovered by others. Unexpectedly, every single one of the people who showed up later was a legendary figure trained in fire powers in the Crimson Dragon Realm.
Those people caused quite a bit of commotion as they arrived at Emperor Kua's City.
People were talking about them all over the city in inns and restaurants.
"Someone from Emperor Dong's Palace of the eastern region is here." Everyone sitting at a table felt rather shocked. Emperor Dong's Palace of the eastern region was a true Renhuang force. It was a place located in the eastern region of the Crimson Dragon Realm. All those within the region submitted to them. They reigned supreme in the eastern region of the Crimson Dragon Realm.
Emperor Dong's Palace of the eastern region and Emperor Kua's Hall in the western region were both of equal legendary status, reigning supreme in their respective regions.
"Emperor Dong's Palace of the eastern region has never interfered with Emperor Kua's ruins in the past. Yet, they now show up with a wisp of the flames. I wonder what they're up to."
They were wondering which of the nine tribes would be willing to work with a force like that from Emperor Dong's Palace.
"The southern regions are like they've always been. The ones who showed up are the descendants of Saint Chiming. Furthermore, they will probably work with the Nanli Tribe if everything goes well," someone added. Everyone in Emperor Kua's City knew that every single expedition into Emperor Kua's ruins would mean one wisp of flames appearing in the other three regions. One member of the forces of the three respective regions would have to come. It was as if things had been set up to work this way.
People serving Saint Chiming were always from the south.
"It is the same in the northern regions. Saint Jiuyou will send someone," someone else said. The descendants of both Saint Chiming and Saint Jiuyou showed up very frequently.
Other than those three forces, any others who had acquired the flames were probably those from the central region of the Crimson Dragon Realm. The area centered around Crimson Dragon City was the strongest. As such, quite a few flames should have emerged there.
However, despite that area being the most powerful one, only the top forces of the other three regions would have sent their representatives to the event. This was due to the central area having the Crimson Dragon Emperor reigning supreme. It was indeed a terrifying lineup.
Many tribes of Emperor Kua's city paid visits and extended invitations when the three forces were there.
"With eight forces having gathered at present, I wonder which force has gotten their hands on the flames and if they'll show up."
During the previous events, there had been situations where people who had obtained the flames had not shown up to the event. They hadn't been interested in entering the ruins and had simply gone on to train with the flames.
"The last force is here." someone announced, attracting the attention of everyone in the restaurant. Everyone turned to look at the speaker.
"Who is it?"
"Unclear, but the mightiest members of the Zhu clan have departed to pay them a visit," the speaker told them. Many were startled by the news.
The Zhu clan was visiting someone personally?
So, the Zhu clan had already decided who they wanted to work with?
They had been waiting all this time?
One figure after another left the restaurant in a flash, heading outside with intense curiosity. They were intrigued by whoever had made the topmost clans of the nine wait.
Few remained in the restaurant after that.
Ye Futian and the rest sat quietly in a corner feeling rather curious. He wondered who could have made the Zhu clan pay them a personal visit. Who could have made the Zhu clan wait?
A group of mighty beings was traveling from the central region of Emperor Kua's City at that moment. The one taking the lead was a woman. She looked legendary, dashing, and very unapproachable.
The mighty beings of the Zhu clan appeared. The one in the lead was the tall man who had made Ye Futian wait for days. He said with a smile, "Welcome, princess."
"Yeah." The woman in charge nodded, startling many. Anyone bearing the title of princess in the Crimson Dragon Realm was definitely a daughter of a Renhuang. Common folk did not dare to use such titles.
"Daughter of Emperor Wu." Someone was perceptive enough to recall who she was. She was the princess of Emperor Wu's Realm. She was training in the Regional Palace and was considered a genius.
So it was she who had come this time.
Emperor Wu was proficient in fire powers and was ranked at the forefront of the Crimson Dragon Region in terms of powers. His powers of fire manipulation were extremely formidable. If they had sent the princess there, it was, without a doubt, the best bet available to the Zhu clan. It was no surprise then, that the Zhu clan had kept waiting. It seemed that everything had been arranged beforehand.
"Who else is here?" the genius woman asked. She'd come from the Regional Palace for the expedition, intending to see Emperor Kua's ruins for herself. If the place had not been Renhuang ruins, she would not have bothered to make the trip.
"Those from Emperor Dong's Palace, Saint Chiming, and Saint Jiuyou. Others are from the central region just like you, princess." One of the powerful members of the Zhu clan added, "Our greatest opponent this time will probably be someone from Emperor Dong's Palace. Of course, the others pose quite a threat as well. But then again, the Wu clan is ours now. I could have them get someone to support you, princess. Who do you think would be up to the task?"
"Ye Futian of Qianye City," the woman answered, seeming to recall something
The Zhu clan member was dumbfounded for a bit when he heard that name. However, he quickly nodded in agreement.
Yu Sheng had entered the Regional Palace to train after the Battle of the Crimson River. The princess was definitely acquainted with him, given that she was also training in the Regional Palace.
Ye Futian's powers were anything but weak. His most proficient power might not be fire, but he would serve as a very suitable aide to the princess of Emperor Wu. However, the powerful member of the Zhu clan was not going to state it that way when the invitation was extended.
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