This grand curtain was not concealed, too massive was its scope that concealment was difficult. The curtain was enough to shroud all of Longsu Province!
This was also the reason why the arcane battles of Core Formation would reach the heavens or seas… because even the Dao Masters themselves were unable to mask the traces of their battle arts. As for the number of airplanes drawn in and fishing boats involved during such occasions, only their poor fate could be blamed.
Buuuzzz… Peals of faint shaking rang out, and azure spiritual light seemed to cut open Longsu!
“What’s that?” In a downtown plaza of Xichuan’s provincial capital, located between the common border of the two provinces, wild crowds held up glow sticks in excitement as they listened to a concert for the coming of a new year. At the same time the azure light soared upwards, they suddenly felt… that the sky behind them had turned bright.
One person turned their head. Just as they caught a glimpse, they covered their mouth in surprise and quickly tugged at the people beside them. These people turned to look and were likewise dumbfounded, their eyes wide and mouths hanging open.
Soon, the celebrity singer fell into a daze, and the band stopped afterwards as well. All that remained was the accompanying sound of music vacuously resonating through the plaza.
One person looked back and a group of ten did the same. In less than ten minutes, the crowd of almost a thousand all looked back behind them, eyes saucering wide.
In a place far, far away from them… there was a screen of azure light! A rainbow that now covered all of Chengdu! Regardless of the amount of high-tech lights employed—including the aurora of lasers or the 3D projection of the city’s tallest TV tower—everything was eclipsed under the illumination of this screen.
This curtain was like the circus of lasers surging out from the ground, a blue that was pure in essence, a blue of utmost extremes. Starting from where Chengdu and Longsu shared border, the region was swiftly dyed by a layer of faint blue! It seemed to spread across the entire city like a virus!
“My god…” The waving glow stick in a young man’s hand was left forgotten, and he looked at the sky blankly. “This New Year… City Hall really spent a fortune, huh…”
“Is this some kind of high-tech gizmo?”
“Isn’t it so cool? I fucking bet that there aren’t such high fireworks like this in the Capital!”
“Those aren’t fireworks, right? Aren’t they lasers?”
Swish… The color blue veiled the heavens and shrouded the earth, ascending thousands of meters high! From the beginning of this little speck, it creeped wildly and embraced all of Longsu! As the tide of blue radiance passed the central plaza of Xichuan’s provincial capital, it was a mystery as to which citizen participating in the New Year dumbly rocked the maracas in their hands.
This noise was like an infection. Less than five minutes later, all spectators were crying out in excitement. Countless glow sticks were vigorously shaken towards the distant location where the screen of blue light came from!
“It’s super awesome!”
“Hot damn! You’re going off!”
“Friggin’ sweet! How much cash did this cost?! The city really is putting in a lot of effort!!!”
Mortals simply couldn’t hear it, but at this moment in the sky, the sound of a melodious bell jingled.
Jingle… This noise was melodic and endless, echoing and lingering through the horizon. Just as this bell rang out… the sockets of each skull on the Bluedawn Winding Corridor burned with netherworldly fire that pierced through the sky!
BOOM!!! Jade-blue flames shined upon the clouds, transforming them into a wretched green expanse. This represented that the Bluedawn Winding Corridor was now completely mobilized! Those who now provoked it would suffer the Nalan Clan’s full power, attacked without any margin left remaining!
Hum… At the same time, all the talismans on the White Tiger Hall and the massive white tiger puppet twinkled endlessly. In less than three minutes, the alternating black and white on the machine’s body transformed into countless lingering white lights, as if it had set foot on immortal clouds.
Swoosh… The shining wings of the Sky Universe Palace’s white crane was no less inferior to the bulk of the White Tiger Hall. The crane shook its wings for the first time, and its tremendous feet left the earth. It faced the sky and screeched piercingly, sweeping away all the clouds before it!
Within the eye sockets of the Bluedawn Winding Corridor’s largest skull, the old woman-spider was now oddly hanging above a skeleton. Her gaze was fiery as she looked towards the direction from where the sound of the bell had drifted. “Come… Come… His Excellency Ruler has arrive…”
“Elder, that was His Excellency Ruler?” In the Kindling Mulberry Wall, a young elite stood together with Zhao Zhiqiu on top of the city’s wall. His eyes were tightly fixed on the clouds.
“That’s right…” Zhao Zhiqiu seemed to be calm, but he had in fact already wrung out the blood in his hands at his back. “Any large scale war of cultivators requires the ruling of a Core Formation ancestor and the addition of the Cultivation Court. They will designate the rules and scope. Even if they do not interfere, they still must be faultless in their defense, so as to avoid the qi ripples spreading and bringing disaster to other cities… and this representative is called the ruler.”
Catching sight of the youth’s inattentive gaze, Zhao Zhiqiu laughed grimly, “Zhao Wuji… what is that expression of yours?”
Zhao Wuji was stunned. Did he not know what was happening?
The clouds in the sky were now akin to a rushing tide. In an instant, everything had come to life!
Swoosh swoosh swoosh… Swathes of black clouds all took off to the surroundings, like waters divided by the Staff of Moses. Rays of faint cold moonlight slowly passed through the clouds, but as the final black cloud retreated, Zhao Wuji’s two legs softened, and cold sweat poured from his forehead. His voice became hoarse, and he yelled out loudly, “Respectful greetings, Ancestor!!!”
“Do you see…” Zhao Zhiqiu’s voice was like a lake, yet his gazed betrayed endless ardor. “This is a ruler.”
“Any ruling… comes from a Dao Master.”
“Respectful greetings, Ancestor!!!” At this moment, all cultivators within the Kindling Mulberry Wall took a knee on the ground! Their hailings were willingly given to the world’s apex.
Zhao Zhiqiu breathed in deeply and also half-kneeled. “Respectful greetings, Ancestor.”
At the same time across the four clan strongholds, these words echoed in chorus, indistinguishable between first or last!
The old woman-spider, Zhao Zhiqiu, the Five Honored Stars, and the Three Tigers all took a knee in the most glamorous areas of their strongholds. Not one person failed to kneel.
That was because in the moonlight… there was an enormous tortoise, a palace that couldn’t be considered very large, yet it was incomparably familiar. Under the moon’s glow, it floated!
The Heavenraiser Palace!
A Core Formation palace!
Daomaster Ancientpine was now the ruler! The ruler for this land! The ruler for this war!
“As expected, it is Daomaster Ancientpine…” The old woman-spider’s eight legs rested on the ground, a thought whirling in her mind. “He… won’t come to save his disciple? If…”
Before her train of thought ended, the jingling sound suddenly echoed again.
This sound was abrupt; graceful and light, like a yellow oriole of the night. However, it caused goosebumps to rise from everyone’s bodies!
“This… This… How…” In the Zhao Clan, an old man with the talisman of a green leaf on his forehead suddenly raised his head. His eyes had no pupils, only his sclera remaining. He looked up at the sky, somewhat incredulous!
A second sound… A second bell!
“TWO rulers?!” The old man gasped sharply. Ancestor Ancientpine was already enough to show how important this matter was… but there was actually a second chime!
“Clan Elder…” Besides Zhao Zhiqiu, Zhao Wuji gazed at the sky in astonishment. The emergence and pause of black clouds hadn’t been because of the Heavenraiser Palace. On the contrary, the clouds’ retreat was even swifter! He gritted his teeth and said, “There are… two rulers?”
“No…” Spellbound, Zhao Zhiqiu also looked at the sky. “I’ve never heard of… never heard of a war with two rulers… Is it because something serious is at hand, so there was no choice but to have two ancestors personally come?”
Rustle… Black clouds soundlessly fell back and dispersed. Three minutes later, another grand golden tent appeared in everyone’s field of view!
Black qi lingered upon Daomaster Ancientpine’s abode. Yet for this grand golden tent, infinite rays of golden light twisted and wound about! It enclosed the four clan strongholds in golden light!
“I pay respects, Ancestor…” The Five Honored Stars of the Lou Clan were the first to come to, immediately kowtowing. Afterwards, all the cultivators of the Lou Clan screamed out in excitement, their faces thoroughly flushed red.
“Respectful greetings, Ancestor!!!”
“The Myriad Beasts Valley…” The old woman inhaled deeply. “Daomaster Titanspirit’s palace…”
“The Northwest King and the Southwest King, both kings have gathered…” She didn’t continue to speak. An airy wisp of doubt streaked through her heart.
There had never been the descent of two ancestors at once. Could it be that this occasion was to be treated so cautiously?
Probably… The light of her eyes flickered, and she recalled the entity below Danxia Temple.
It was only because of this, right… It should be…
The two palaces didn’t conceal their marks whatsoever. All of Chengdu’s cultivators saw it. At this moment, even the cultivators at the city’s fringes bowed deeply towards the sky.
“Xichuan Province, Longsu Province. From this day forth, all contact is isolated from the outside world.” After a brief moment, a god-like voice echoed in the ears all of Chengdu’s cultivators. “Longsu’s door will be closed tomorrow at twelve. Without the imperial order of This Dao Master, there is no entry. Violators will be beheaded.”
“Understood.” Everyone quickly lowered their heads and said. The minds of all who received this notification were shaken.
Tomorrow, huh… Xu Yangyi’s gaze dimly flickered. Another twelve hours.
“Once you enter, you may not leave otherwise, unless you admit defeat. Violators will be beheaded.”
“This time, a total of four great clans and a legion have applied to join. Now, everyone…” As Ancientpine’s voice reached this point, his voice paused. Evidently, he realized a power was missing.
He continued to pause. Everyone merely sensed a formless yet tangible spiritual sense sweep through all of them in a flash.
Zhao Zhiqiu faintly trembled. This was Core Formation… Spiritual sense already nigh solid. Just now… if Daomaster Ancientpine willed it, an untold number of people would’ve died!
Within the Heavenraiser Palace, Ancientpine’s brows deeply furrowed.
The Xingtian Legion was not present.
Why were they not here?
His hand clutched at his armrest in a death grip. The throne’s rest, which was crafted from A-rank materials, immediately groaned and made a cracking noise under taxation of Ancientpine’s heavy pressure. Fine cracks spread rapidly.
“Not here.” Several seconds later, another voice emerged. “This Dao Master has already swept through all of Chengdu. He really isn’t here.”
Ancientpine said nothing, but the black qi that cloaked his entire body was already starting to billow in disturbance.
“It isn’t necessarily so.” The voice said without so much as a ripple of excitement. “Tomorrow at noon marks the end. He is only a detonator… What’s important is whether or not It will come.”
“You didn’t invite it.” Ancientpine fell to silence for a long period of time and then uttered.
The voice chuckled grimly. “Too much work can’t be done. I personally invited it, then left behind traces of a passage carved through. On the contrary, it will be at full alert and on guard.”
“And if it doesn’t come?” Ancientpine said deeply.
“You know…” The voice laughed faintly, “I have met with it in the past few days. It… is already at late Core Formation.”
“Late Core Formation!” The Shadow Emperor clambered up on his feet, yet his eyes suddenly flashed. “It… is already harmonizing with spiritual sense? And the distance left to instill cultivation? I remembered that it was just at the middle stage not long ago!”
“It’ll definitely come.” The voice took on a hard edge, chopping nail and slicing iron. “It cannot bear it… and it also dares not have Danxia Temple come about with any bias.”
“And our battlefield is at Danxia Temple’s door. One might as well ask: does it dare?” The voice chuckled mischievously. “Not to say it doesn’t know… even if she is aware, it is still an open conspiracy. Come or not, it is beyond Its control… hehe, if it keeps on residing in the Capital’s mountain-protector grand array within the Forbidden City, we just won’t have any choice. This time…” 
The voice paused and said calmly. “We must succeed once and for all.”
1. If not obvious, the Forbidden City being talked about is THE Forbidden City. A lot of footing around what the Dao Masters are trying to about “It”, but at this point, things should be pretty obvious. There is only one major character referenced so far that lives in the Forbidden City.
Sometimes, you may see me write "it" as capitalized "It". This is because the nature of how the figure is represented in the text. To be specific (它), which refers to a non-human creature.