Of course, the Ancient Emperor did not leave immediately after receiving the treasures.
This was actually the most nervous time for the Ambassadors of 10,000 Kingdoms.
Because the Ancient Emperor would examine all of the offerings. He did not simply receive them without looking.
Nothing passed his eyes, and he could clearly see what everyone had offered.
Historically, he had seen some people try to cut corners. That was a long time ago, but rumor had it that a terrible fate befell them.
It was said that the Ancient Emperor would criticize them on the spot. The truly overboard ones would be punished.
If one was criticized, then the Ancient Emperor would definitely not take care of them. The next decade would be a nervous time for the criticized powers.
Many were not clear of their exact standing. Therefore, their offering was based on their previous experiences. If they roughly provided the same amount each year, the Ancient Emperor would probably not call them out.
In the last few 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage, there had been only those singled out for praise, but not for criticism. For those praised, no one would dare to touch them, no matter how small they were.
Everyone waited with bated breath, waiting for the Ancient Emperor to speak. The entire Windy Fiery Skies Platform was deathly quiet.
Wu Yu could feel the ultimate domination of the Yan Huang Ancient Emperor.
Finally, the Ancient Emperor spoke.
"This time, there are some with great sincerity. They are the Oriental Flower Immortal Realm, the Green Wind Immortal Kingdom, the Azure Wings Hurricane Valley, the Green Pastures Nation, the Jingqing Nation, the Liuyin Sea Region, and the Nanyin Empire.
"Especially the Nanyin Empire. Phoenix Supreme, it must not have been easy to put together such a generous gift, having just built your nation. I look forward to the future generations of experts from the Nanyin Empire, led by the Phoenix Supreme, and the rise of a new power."
Those that had their names called out had truly worked hard. After being called out, they all broke into gratified smiles. Many of those who felt that they had put in the extra capital felt a little disappointed. They, too, wished for such preferential treatment. And now they knew that it was insufficient.
However, many were just aiming to pass the bar. After all, not everyone was willing to cart up all their hard-won treasures.
Especially the Nanyin Empire. Wu Yu had many questions about the Phoenix Supreme. She had never appeared before, and was rumored to be a well-hidden immortal beast. She was of a mysterious origin, and yet she had grasped the Ancient Emperor's character deftly. This was her first 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage, and already she was being praised by the Ancient Emperor. That was truly beyond Wu Yu's expectations. The Phoenix Supreme seemed to be on good terms with the Ancient Emperor, and the Ancient Emperor had not blamed her in the slightest for her establishment of the Nanyin Empire.
What remained unknown was if they had communicated before today.
Wu Yu saw that the six demon lords were looking pleased as well. They seemed very content in their new service to the Phoenix Supreme.
Ordinarily, the 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage would end here, and the Ancient Emperor would disappear, leaving the rest to the Regent.
Occasionally, the Ancient Emperor might offer some chastisement to keep some of the countries on their toes.
However, this time he immediately continued after dishing out the praise, "Unexpectedly, one faction provided an offering that was completely disproportionate to their ability. A drastic difference from the last time. Clearly, they do not take me seriously."
This caused a huge blow to the Windy Fiery Skies Platform. While there was no clamor, their expressions were horrified. In their memory, the Ancient Emperor had never made such comments at any 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage before.
Hearing this, Wu Yu was thunderstruck as well. He knew the gravity of "do not take me seriously." His main worry was that the Ancient Emperor would call out the mystical dragon tribe. That would be a problem. After all, Luo Pin and the others had arrived late this time.
Over at the Yan Huang Tribe’s side, there was anger as well. Who dared to displease their god? That roused their enmity. In so many years, there had never been any power that dared to disrespect the Ancient Emperor.
Who would it be?
Although many had basically bankrupted themselves at this point, they still began to question themselves. Therefore, many turned green from fright, trembling and clutching their chests, afraid that their name would be called.
Wu Yu's heart was racing as well. He was worried about the mystical dragon tribe. But looking over at Luo Pin, he saw that she was as serene as ever, as were the other mystical dragons. Only then did he feel some relief. After all, they had been in the Jambu Realm for a very long time, so they should have the necessary wits.
While everyone waited in trepidation, the Ancient Emperor's gaze swept past the crowd. Golden flames suddenly erupted from a person, and those around him scattered in fright. Everyone saw that the person was turned to ash within three short breaths of time, wailing in agony. Finally, only black powder was left on the Windy Fiery Skies Platform. The scar did not disappear, but melded into the Windy Fiery Skies Platform, turning into a black patch. This cleansing would serve as a reminder to all future 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimages - everyone would see the black mark and remember what happened today.
"Let the Snow Expanse’s Yin Bingjian serve as a reminder to the rest." The voice of the Ancient Emperor swept out over the Windy Fiery Skies Platform alongside the golden flames.
Just as everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief, the leader of the Snow Expanse, Yin Bingjian, died instantly. Everyone felt relieved but also scared. Such was the power of deterrence. But the Ancient Emperor's harsh and direct killing of a meager offerer had been out of the blue.
And this was only the start. Seeing the fate of the Snow Expanse here, they would probably be subsumed by the larger powers readily. It was only a matter of time.
The silence was deafening. Cold sweat on brows, and the reverence towards the Ancient Emperor only climbed steadily.
Only when the others from the Snow Expanse realized that their leader was dead did the misery and terror break out. A few elders fell to their knees, prostrating themselves. They were clearly shaking from the shock, as though death had already come to them.
"Why.... Why this? We were just unable to produce anything good this time around. We passed all the previous times...." Behind Yin Bingjian was a young man who also fell tearfully to the floor, reeling and numb.
This was the son that Yin Bingjian had spent great effort on. His name was Yin Bingyan, and he had decent talent. He might lead the Snow Expanse to greater glory in the future.
"Why.... Why can you decide whether we live or die? Why are you lord over us? All of us have to bow before you...."
Yin Bingyan was probably driven to madness by the death of his father, and was incoherent. Perhaps they had expected criticism at most this time, not a swift execution.
"Shut up...." The elders before him hushed him urgently.
His words had already offended the Ancient Emperor, and offending the Ancient Emperor was the greatest crime here in Yan Huang. Everyone could imagine that this nonsense-spouting fool would soon join his father.
The Regent was anxious as well. He had already been prepared to silence this person. If he went mad and would not listen, and raved against the Ancient Emperor, then the Ancient Emperor would probably take action. After all, how could a god stand to be scolded by a mortal?
"I am not an unreasonable person. Yin Bingyan, I will give you a chance. Show me what the Snow Expanse can bring at the next 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage. As for this one, you came without sincerity. You are dismissed."
The Ancient Emperor was indeed the Ancient Emperor. He would not let the Ambassadors of 10,000 Kingdoms have any room to resent him. If he had been truly barbaric and callous, there would have been ill-feelings festering against him. While his handling of Yin Bingyan had impressed even Wu Yu, he had killed the father and told the son to come in 10 years. This would be sufficient time for Yin Bingyan to calm down and think clearly about his next tribute.
He was worked up now, but a decade was a long time. He would understand, through his despair, what the Yan Huang Ancient Emperor was.
The Ancient Emperor gave him no chance to be unruly. Yin Bingyan and the others were lifted up into the air and flung out of the Yan Huang Ancient Country's kingdom border spirit design to goodness knows where.
Silence. No one would dream of harboring mutinous thoughts after this incident. Instead, the reverence in their hearts continued to deepen. It was not simply terror without respect.
They looked at the Ancient Emperor hesitantly, largely unaffected. The Regent felt relieved as well. This 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage had ended smoothly.
While the Ancient Emperor would usually have taken his leave by now, there was no rush this time. The Ancient Soul Tower business had yet to begin, and this was probably the highlight for Wu Yu and the others.
Wu Yu guessed that the Ancient Emperor would explain the Ancient Soul Tower. Although he would not go into the details, he would probably open the show.
Everyone waited with bated breath.
The Ancient Emperor finally spoke.
He said, "Luo Pin, the last dao crisis brought you back from the dead. All that is left for you is the Great Trial of the Immortal Dao. The mystical dragons have laid low for a long time, before you finally arrived. Are you confident of reaching immortalhood in 10 years?"
He had surprisingly addressed Luo Pin directly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sometimes I wonder, what really happens to those countries that have been punished? Perhaps people are so fearful of the emperor they hold back, or maybe they get carved up. Who knows!
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