Huang Xiaolong replied, looking at Liu Cheng’s cautious action, “I will welcome Branch Master Du Gen with you later.”
Although he was the Holy Prince, as a Branch Master of the Holy Gate, Du Gen was equivalent to a top minister that governed a territory. Since Du Gen was going there personally for him, Huang Xiaolong wouldn’t put on an act as welcoming Du Gen was a courtesy on his part.
Upon hearing that, both Sun Huage and Liu Cheng inwardly breathed in relief.
The two went on to seek Huang Xiaolong’s opinions in some matters for a while before taking their leave. They would return later to invite Huang Xiaolong to welcome Branch Master Du Gen with them.
Two hours later, Sun Huage and Liu Cheng returned to invite Huang Xiaolong. Huang Xiaolong accompanied them in a carriage to the city gates of Falling Jade Capital City.
Huang Xiaolong also brought Zhang Wenyue, Zhang Haochen, and Prince Qian.
Sun Huage and Liu Cheng felt bitter inside upon seeing this as he was bringing several small Heavenly Monarchs to welcome the Branch Master?! This might be the first time something like this had happened in the Zhuoyuan Holy Grounds.
But this was Huang Xiaolong’s decision, thus neither of them dared to comment on it.
Several hours later, Huang Xiaolong and the rest reached the Falling Jade Capital City’s city gates. When Huang Xiaolong and his group arrived, there was already a large group of people waiting outside the city gates. At a quick glance, there were the Falling Jade Dynasty’s Emperor Bi Liang, the Nine Heavens Gate, Big Dipper Sword Sect, Incineration Valley, and other forces’ experts.
At Huang Xiaolong’s arrival, Emperor Bi Liang and the others hurried forward to salute him.
Huang Xiaolong had everyone stand up from saluting. Then, he waited to welcome the Forceful Heavenly Bull Continent Holy Gate’s Branch Master Du Gen.
Before long, the space in the distance rippled as the bulkhead of a humongous flying ship enshrouded in holy light emerged from the void.
A majestic holy aura came from the flying ship’s ‘Holy’ character, shocking everyone.
When the humongous flying ship fully emerged from the void, the cabin’s door opened, and a group of people stepped out.
The one walking in front of the group was the thick-browed, and big-eyed Du Gen. Behind Du Gen was the white-haired old man, Enforcer Hu Gengyi. Behind Hu Gengyi were the Yang Chunmei and the rest of the branch enforcers and experts. One noteworthy point was, all of them were high-level Venerable experts and above.
“Holy Gate headquarters’ Law Enforcement Custodian Sun Huage greets Lord Branch Master Du Gen!”
“Falling Jade Division Master Liu Cheng greets Lord Branch Master Du Gen, and several Lord Enforcers!”
When Du Gen stepped off the flying ship, Sun Huage, Liu Cheng, Li Junlong, the Nine Heavens Gate’ Chief Du Youze, Big Dipper Sword Sect’s Chief Wang Tian, Incineration Valley Master Qin Zhixu, and the rest all knelt simultaneously in salute.
Other than Sun Huage, who bowed slightly, Liu Cheng, Li Junlong, Du Youze, Wang Tian, and everyone else were kneeling.
In a sea of kneeling figures, only Huang Xiaolong was standing straight.
On the other hand, Du Gen hurried forward a few steps, stopping in front of Huang Xiaolong and knelt on a single knee, “Forceful Heavenly Bull Continent Branch Master Du Gen greets Your Highness Holy Prince!”
Although Du Gen was the Forceful Heavenly Bull Continent Holy Gate’s Branch Master, the top minister of a territory, and he stood in the same ranks as any Holy Gate’s Hall Masters. Even so, he was required to salute to Huang Xiaolong on a single knee.
This was the Holy Gate’s rule. Other than the Holy Gate’s Eminent Elders and above, everyone else was to salute to the Holy Prince on their knees.
“Forceful Heavenly Bull Continent Branch’s Head Enforcer Hu Gengyi greets Your Highness Holy Prince!”
Hu Gengyi behind Du Gen was quick to follow suit, kneeling on his knees in salute to Huang Xiaolong. Subsequently, Yang Chunmei and other experts got off the flying ship.
“Branch Master Du Gen, please stand!” Huang Xiaolong stepped forward, and raised a hand to lightly support Du Gen’s arm, then said to the rest, “Everyone, please rise.”
Du Gen, Hu Gengyi, and everyone thanked Huang Xiaolong before getting up on their feet.
After that, Du Gen had Sun Huage, Liu Cheng, Li Junlong, Falling Jade Dynasty’s Emperor Bi Liang, and the rest to stand up.
When Huang Xiaolong’s hand held Du Gen’s arm, he sensed the robust energy inside Du Gen’s body filled with unfathomable power. Huang Xiaolong’s eyes narrowed. Is this the strength of a late-Tenth Order Venerable Realm?!
According to the Holy Gate’s rules, only late-Tenth Order Venerable Realm experts and above could sit in the position of a branch master.
This was the most basic requirement.
Then, Huang Xiaolong, Sun Huage, Liu Cheng, and the others led Du Gen’s group to the Holy Gate’s division.
A banquet had already been prepared in the division, both in the inner hall and outer hall.
Huang Xiaolong, Sun Huage, Liu Cheng, Emperor Bi Liang, Du Gen, Hu Gengyi, and other branch’s enforcers sat in the inner hall. Liu Junlong, the Nine Heavens Gate’s Chief Du Youze, Big Dipper Sword Sect’s Chief Wang Tian, and the others sat in the outer hall.
As for those from top-ranked forces, they could only wait outside the division respectfully. They had no part in sitting down and sampling a banquet.
After a round of toasting and greetings, Du Gen spoke to Huang Xiaolong about the impending departure to the Holy Gate headquarters, and asked for Huang Xiaolong’s opinion.
Huang Xiaolong pondered the matter and decided to set off half a year later.
In this half a year, he wanted to refine the origin pills the Lingering Fragrance Inn, Emperor Bi Liang, Nine Heavens Gate’s Chief Du Youze, and the others had sent him, and raise his strength a little bit more.
Huang Xiaolong was confident that he would be able to advance to the mid-Ninth Order Sovereign Realm within half a year.
Then, he would set off to the Holy Gate headquarters.
Hearing Huang Xiaolong wanted to leave half a year later, Du Gen hesitated before nodding his head in agreement, complying with Huang Xiaolong’s wishes. One of the Holy Gate’s rules was, a newly promoted Holy Prince was required to report to the Holy Gate headquarters in person for the second stage test within one year. There would be no problem as long as Huang Xiaolong reached the Holy Gate headquarters within the stipulated one year.
With the Holy Gate branch’s flying ship’s speed, it only took three months of traveling to reach the Holy Gate headquarters from the Forceful Heavenly Bull Continent. There was ample time.
Du Gen’s group stayed for two days at the Falling Jade Division, and returned to the Continent City on the third day. They would come to pick up Huang Xiaolong and depart to the Holy Gate headquarters half a year later.
During the two days Du Gen stayed at the division, he and Huang Xiaolong’s interaction could be considered as ‘merry and harmonious.’
Time flowed, and unknowingly, half a year came and went.
As promised, Du Gen came to pick up Huang Xiaolong, and set off to the Holy Gate headquarters.
“Your Highness Holy Prince, you’re only bringing this number of people to the Holy Gate headquarters?” A weird expression flashed across Du Gen’s face as he counted Zhang Wenyue, Zhang Haochen, Prince Qian, and several ice element beasts following behind Huang Xiaolong.
Based on Huang Xiaolong’s current status, only this handful of subordinates was bringing down his status.
According to the Holy Gate’s rules, a Holy Prince was allowed to bring a maximum of one thousand subordinates into the Holy Gate headquarters. In the past, even if a newly promoted Holy Prince did not have one thousand subordinates, there were at least several hundred people following him, and the majority of these people were Venerable Realm experts.
Look at Huang Xiaolong, he actually brought a few Heavenly Monarch Realm cultivators. Although the ice element divine beasts were not bad, they were merely Sovereign Realm divine beasts.
“A few people are enough.” Huang Xiaolong smiled and said to Branch Master Du Gen, “Just subordinates are enough as too many followers are useless.”
Huang Xiaolong’s main focus was to improve his strength in order to advance to the Venerable Realm as soon as possible. It wouldn’t be too late to accept a group of subordinates after that.
Du Gen responded half-jokingly, “If every Holy Prince is like Holy Prince Huang Xiaolong, merely bringing only a few subordinates, the Holy Gate headquarters would be much quieter.”
The two exchanged a meaningful laugh.
Moments later, the flying ship rose into the air, and sped away in the direction of the Holy Gate headquarters.
Along the way, Huang Xiaolong conversed with Du Gen during the day and returned to his room to cultivate at night.
In this half a year, Huang Xiaolong had finally advanced to mid-Ninth Order Sovereign Realm. However, Huang Xiaolong still felt his strength was too low. Thus he continued to cultivate diligently in order to reduce the gap between himself and other Holy Princes.
From Wan Zhuoyuan’s memories, Huang Xiaolong knew the majority of Holy Princes were high-level Venerable experts, the lowest cultivation realm was still mid-level Venerable experts.
p/s: Typos? Please ping autumnlily on Discord.
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