Ye Futian and other cultivators in the alliance walked back together.
Many people were curious about what Princess Donghuang said to Ye Futian when they were alone. Nevertheless, no one asked such an impertinent question.
Hua Jieyu and Ye Futian walked ahead, holding hands. She slightly turned sideways and looked at Ye Futian with her clear, beautiful eyes. Then she asked in a soft voice, "What did she want you for?"
Hua Jieyu had been innocent and ingenuous ever since she came out of the Brahma's Pure Sky. Little by little, she started to understand certain things now that she had been around Ye Futian for a while.
For example, she became aware of the concept of jealousy.
Princess Donghuang was so stunning. If Hua Jieyu were a man, she probably would be attracted to a woman as beautiful as Princess Donghuang. On top of that, as the daughter of Donghuang the Great Emperor, Princess Donghuang was the most prestigious woman in the entire Divine Prefecture.
Taken by surprise, Ye Futian blinked his eyes. He didn't expect Jieyu to ask him about his conversation with Princess Donghuang. Besides, Ye Futian could sense her honest and genuine emotion when he looked into her bright eyes.
"You really want to know?" Ye Futian asked her with a smile.
"Yes." Hua Jieyu nodded slightly.
"Why?" Ye Futian asked mischievously. He was poking fun at her on purpose. From what he could see, Jieyu seemed more and more lively and spirited nowadays, even though he knew she might never be the same person anymore. He started to feel like she could completely forget about the past and fall in love with him one more time.
"Am I not your wife?" Hua Jieyu said as a matter of course.
Ye Futian was at a loss for words. She was absolutely right!
The wind whipped through Hua Jieyu's long, black hair. Ye Futian smoothed out her hair on her forehead and gazed at her familiar face. He said gently, "There was a Master who treated me very well when I was in the Eastern Barren Territory many years ago. You were in the Eastern Barren Territory too at that time. And you used to visit the Cottage. I told you about this."
"The Master of you and second sister?" Hua Jieyu asked.
"Yes." Ye Futian nodded and continued, "He was taken away later by Princess Donghuang. She said he committed some crimes. That's why she wanted to talk to me."
Hua Jieyu nodded and asked, "Then how is your Master doing now?"
"She said he is not well. But he asked her to check on us and see if we are okay," Ye Futian answered in a low voice. Hua Jieyu was silent for a while. She tried hard to cast her mind back to that time, yet couldn't remember anything. It sounded vaguely familiar to her, but she still felt like her memory was sealed off somewhere.
Lord Taixuan and other people were surprised by Ye Futian's story. They didn't think Ye Futian and Princess Donghuang had such a relationship in the past.
"Futian, who is your Master?" Lord Taixuan asked.
"I just heard from Princess Donghuang that my Master was the Great Emperor's study attendant," said Ye Futian.
"Oh, I see." Lord Taixuan nodded. No wonder Princess Donghuang summoned Ye Futian alone. Regardless, Lord Taixuan never contacted Donghuang the Great Emperor and didn't know much about the people around the Great Emperor.
It appeared that Ye Futian's Master was responsible for some crimes. Such a pity. Otherwise, Ye Futian could have had a connection with the Great Emperor. Being the Great Emperor's study attendant might sound insignificant. Still, the person would have a close relationship with the Great Emperor and might be able to bring Ye Futian directly to the Donghuang Imperial Palace.
"So Gu Dongliu is also his disciple?" Jiang Chengzi from the Celestial Gate of Vast Heaven asked.
"Yes," Ye Futian smiled and nodded. "Third brother Gu was the one who taught me most of the time. Our Master didn't like to run the show."
"He must be a fascinating person," Jiang Chengzi commented in a low voice. Ye Futian and Gu Dongliu were both his disciples and built such a deep friendship with each other. He truly deserved to be the Great Emperor's study attendant.
"Yes, a fascinating person who doesn't know much about cultivation," Ye Futian laughed. Now that he thought about it, his Master only demonstrated his skills once in the end.
He didn't even give his disciples many lessons.
Without any conflict or dispute, cultivators from different forces each returned home. It was almost as if the grudges and animosity between them evaporated all of a sudden.
Nonetheless, everyone in the Nine Realms understood that the world's division was already determined, and at least one group would be eliminated sooner or later.
For instance, the Heavenly Mandate Academy alliance and the partnership between the Golden Divine Nation and the Shen clan were irreconcilable. After the battle of the Divine Palace, they would not quit unless the opponent was annihilated. Although Princess Donghuang set up certain rules, they would try their best to find a way to eliminate each other within the rules.
Also, the four top forces in the Ziwei Realm picked different sides. The future clashes were unavoidable.
The same thing went for the Central Emperor Realm. Unless they could maintain the balance forever, one side would conquer or destroy the other side at some point in the future. The only thing uncertain was the timing.
However, both sides had been holding still since Ye Futian, and the others returned to the Heavenly Mandate Academy. They both knew that the problem had extended far beyond the Heavenly Mandate Academy and the Golden Divine Nation. Even if one group in the Ziwei Realm went to the Empty Imperial Palace and requested to start a war on another group, everyone would be dragged into the mess immediately.
Would the Heavenly Mandate Academy sit idly by if the Dou tribe wanted to launch an attack?
Subsequently, would the Golden Divine Nation watch the Dou tribe destroying the School of the Emperor Star?
After the Divine Palace's battle, the Golden Divine Nation had no choice but to ally their won. Otherwise, they could be overpowered by the Heavenly Mandate Academy and their allies.
Therefore, neither side acted recklessly for now.
The Nine Realms entered another period of peace. In the meantime, the forces from the Divine Prefecture were also weighing their options.
Princess Donghuang dictated a set of rules for them. Any of them involved in the war in the Original Realm would not be allowed to leave the Original Realm for ten years.
While it wasn't too long of a time, nobody knew what would happen in ten years.
The master cultivators especially needed to think it over. Their group couldn't afford to have multiple of them staying in the Original Realm at the same time for ten years. What if something happened in the Divine Prefecture?
The peace didn't last long. A deep undercurrent was surging underneath the surface in the Nine Realms.
On this day, Gai Qiong and Gai Cang were sitting on the thrones in the Golden Divine Nation. Their faces both turned gloomy after hearing a piece of news.
"You can't figure it out?" With a grim expression, Gai Cang asked the person who reported the news.
"Your Majesty, we couldn't find anything," the person replied.
"How many people so far?" Gai Cang's voice was ice cold.
"Eight." The messenger lowered his head.
In recent days, several cultivators from the Golden Divine Nation disappeared and later found dead one after the other. Their investigation yielded zero results, and they had no clue who was targeting them.
Moreover, the victims were all key figures in the Golden Divine Nation. To successfully assassinate them without leaving a trace or drawing any attention, the enemy must be exceptionally powerful and well-prepared.
"Useless!" Gai Cang scolded him, "Keep investigating!"
"Yes, Your Majesty." The man bowed and left. Gai Qiong and Gai Cang exchanged a look. Gai Cang asked, "They have been quiet these days. Could it be them attacking us in secret?"
"Princess Donghuang set the rules herself. I don't think they dare to defy her." Gai Qiong's eyebrows knitted tightly. He served under Donghuang the Great Emperor and believed in Princess Donghuang's authority.
"Ye Futian always does as he pleases with no respect for the rules. We don't know what he and Princess Donghuang talked about when she summoned him alone that day. Perhaps Princess Donghuang was really impressed by him and dropped a hint. Thus, he ignored her rules and assassinated our people secretly?" Gai Cang said suspiciously.
Gai Qiong frowned. No one knew what Princess Donghuang and Ye Futian discussed that day. Everyone waiting outside was speculating.
Did Princess Donghuang look on Ye Futian with favor?
Ye Futian might be bold enough to conduct such operations if Princess Donghuang gave him a hint for real.
"Besides, I asked around. Only people from our Golden Divine Nation were killed." Gai Cang's voice was low and hoarse. He continues, "I think it's necessary to inform the Empty Imperial Palace about these assassinations. We can only put more pressure on our enemies this way."
Actually, the Golden Divine Nation was not the only group that was targeted. Several forces in the Nine Realms had lost a handful of cultivators each in the past few days. Their investigations didn't go anywhere either.
However, it didn't cause an uproar since most of the forces only had one or two people killed. Although those groups didn't publicize the issue, there was plenty of internal speculation and discussion.
For example, the same thing happened in the Ziwei Realm. Many people were wary of each other.
If they made it public and communicated with each other, they might realize that it was somewhat similar to when Hell resurged.
Right now, in the domain of Hell -- the top force that unified the Hidden Land Realm.
Lord of the Underworld sat high in the Throne of the Underworld. His eyes scanned the people around him. There weren't many of them, but they were all extremely powerful, like a circle of black shadows.
"What's going on out there now?" Lord of the Underworld asked.
"They are suspecting each other," one person replied. The Nine Realms were already in a muddle. These assassinations would make them distrust each other even more.
Lord of the Underworld gazed into the distance. The current situation in the Nine Realms provided them an excellent chance.
They went to the Central Emperor Realm last time in the name of meeting Princess Donghuang. While in fact, that was only one of their objects. They also wanted to see how powerful the cultivators who gathered in the Empty Imperial Palace truly were.
They could use that information to plan for their actions.
"What about the Empty Imperial Palace?" Lord of the Underworld asked.
"About the same. Princess Donghuang doesn't seem to be leaving any time soon," the man replied again.
"Let's ignore her. She commands nine realms, yet our Dark Court only controls one. That's not enough," Lord of the Underworld said coldly, "Gather our people. Let's do it!"
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