Chapter 1274: The Dou Spirit Royal Palace

"I'm fine, Your Majesty; we have to begin carrying out our mission right away."

The Holy Spirit Douluo didn't say anything further, and everyone heaved a sigh of relief at the sight of the scorching battle intent burning in Tang Wulin's eyes.

Dou Spirit Empire royal palace.

Xue Yuntian was reading the report in his hand with tightly furrowed brows. He was the king of the empire, but his life was far from carefree. The Dou Spirit Empire had been founded before the Star Luo Empire, but during the first 1,000 years since its founding, the entire empire was almost focused wholeheartedly on increasing its own population.

Back then, less than 3,000 people had managed to escape and make it to this continent alive, and such a trifling population made it very difficult to ensure the continuation of the empire's lineage.

In order to increase the birth rate, there were many who married their close relatives, and as a result, there was a period of time in the Dou Spirit Empire's history where many infants had birth deformities. However, not all inbred children suffered from birth deformities; there were normal children being born as well. As such, the population of the Dou Spirit Empire gradually began to increase over time.

In the earliest days, this continent was completely bleak and barren, so everything had to begin from scratch. The soul beasts here were rather similar to those on the Douluo Continent, but aside from them, there weren't even any native humans dwelling on the continent, and that was the main reason behind why it had been so difficult for the empire to develop.

After arriving on this continent, the royal family changed its surname to "Xue" to signify a new beginning. Everything was finally beginning to progress in the right direction.

However, all of the people who had moved to the Dou Spirit Empire had once been the most traditional of Douluo Continent inhabitants. Back when they had left the Douluo Continent, soul technology had already been advancing at a rapid rate, and the Dou Spirit Empire had been destroyed precisely because of their shortcomings when it came to soul technology. After coming here, the Dou Spirit Empire had expended the majority of its efforts to increase its population, engage in reclamation of barren land, and to constantly build up the empire's infrastructure. As such, they still hadn't made any progress when it came to soul technology.

The Douluo Federation had very strict confidentiality measures in place when it came to soul technology, mostly to target the Star Luo Empire, but it was undoubtedly the case that the Dou Spirit Empire was also being restricted by these measures. If it weren't for the soul tools that the Tang Sect had sent to the empire in secret, they would most likely be lagging even further behind.

However, the support that the Dou Spirit Empire received from the Tang Sect was also limited; the sect only sold finished soul tools to the empire, yet never sold any soul technology.

This was a rule that the Tang Sect had always abided by, and the reason for this was very simple: they didn't want to see the emergence of an empire powerful enough to oppose the federation as that would inevitably lead to a war. The Tang Sect only wished to help the Dou Spirit Empire continue to survive on this continent, but they didn't want to instigate a world war.

As such, the soul technology that the Dou Spirit Empire possessed remained extremely limited. Only after the passage of several thousand years did they finally begin to make some progress in this area, but they still couldn't hold a candle to the federation.

Hence, when news spread of the Douluo Federation's intention of starting a war, the royal family instantly became extremely anxious. As the king of the empire, there were often nights where Xue Yuntian wouldn't get even a single wink of sleep. He was well aware that with the disparity between the powers of the Dou Spirit Empire and the Douluo Federation, their empire most likely wouldn't even be able to last 10 days if a war were to break out.

The Star Luo Empire had already forged an alliance with the Dou Spirit Empire, but the two continents were separated by a vast distance, so it would be very difficult for them to reinforce one another. What was even more damning was that the main area of disparity between the federation and the two empires lay in their respective navies. If the federation wanted to cut off the connection between the two empires, it would be a simple task for them.

In this desperate situation, Xue Yuntian could only turn to the two most powerful organizations in existence, the Spirit Pagoda and the Tang Sect, for assistance. The Tang Sect readily agreed, but the Spirit Pagoda's attitude was more ambiguous, and they took advantage of the opportunity to extort the Dou Spirit Empire for resources. The Tang Sect also wanted resources, but they were willing to exchange weapons for those resources. In contrast, the Spirit Pagoda was offering only an empty promise in exchange for resources. They had told the royal family that once they received the requested resources from the Dou Spirit Empire, they would convince the federation to delay the deployment of its troops.

After extensive discussions with the high-ranking officials of the empire, it was decided that the Tang Sect's offer was more viable. At the very least, they were offering something substantial, whereas the Spirit Pagoda was offering something completely intangible. In the context of a war between continents, were promises really reliable? Even with the massive influence that the Spirit Pagoda had on all three continents, Xue Yuntian didn't dare to believe what they were proposing.

However, up to this point, the Tang Sect still hadn't provided an exact list of what they were going to be giving to the Dou Spirit Empire. All they had told the royal family was that the Tang Sect Master would visit them in person and bring them what they needed.

Not long ago, Xue Yuntian had received news that the Eastsea Fleet had been attacked, and that as a result, war was imminent. Ever since then, he had felt like an ant scurrying around on a hot frying pan, yet the reinforcements from the Tang Sect still hadn't arrived.

After a torturous wait, there was finally some good news; the people from the Tang Sect had arrived. However, instead of meeting the royal family at Heaven Dou City as had been agreed upon, the Tang Sect Master traveled to Spirit Wave City instead for some reason.

Xue Yuntian had already prepared himself and was willing to cast aside his pride as the king to go and meet the Tang Sect Master in Spirit Wave City, but just as he was about to set off, he received a piece of news that had his jaw dropping straight onto the ground. The Spirit Pagoda headquarters in Spirit Wave City had been destroyed, and less than a third of the people in the entire headquarters had managed to escape.

Xue Yuntian was naturally aware that there was some conflict between the Spirit Pagoda and the Tang Sect, but at the very core, the two were supposed to be extremely closely connected. After all, the founder of the Spirit Pagoda, Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao, had once been a member of the Tang Sect, as well as one of Shrek’s Seven Monsters. As such, despite their differences, the two organizations had still been exercising restraint.

So what was going on this time? Why was it that as soon as the Tang Sect Master set foot on the Dou Spirit Continent, the Spirit Pagoda headquarters was destroyed?

There was no way that Xue Yuntian would believe that the Tang Sect didn't have anything to do with this. Even if he wanted to destroy the Spirit Pagoda headquarters, he would have to deploy a huge number of troops from the imperial military. Of course, he wouldn't dare to do that anyway.

The Spirit Pagoda was filled with countless powerful beings, yet the Dou Spirit Empire didn't even have a single Limit Douluo or four-word battle armor master among their ranks; the most powerful being they had at their disposal was a rank 98 Hyper Douluo. Even when it came to red mechas, there were only three on the entire Dou Spirit Continent, and that was nowhere near enough to match the high-end offensive forces of the Spirit Pagoda.

What exactly was the Tang Sect doing?

"Your Majesty, we've received news from the Tang Sect." An elderly servant rushed into the palace while holding a report in his hand.

"What is it?" Xue Yuantian immediately stood up to meet him, completely lacking the regal composure that he normally had.

The servant's hands were trembling slightly as he offered the report to Xue Yuntian, who immediately began to read the report. 

"We've discovered Evil Soul Masters of the Holy Spirit Cult inside the Spirit Pagoda branch. On top of that, we have concrete evidence that the Spirit Pagoda is colluding with the Holy Spirit Cult, and that they're developing a secret medicine that will be used to target the Dou Spirit Empire. Hence, we have destroyed the branch.

The Tang Sect takes full responsibility for this incident."

"Clatter!" The report fell to the ground. Xue Yuntian was completely gobsmacked as he murmured to himself, "This world has gone insane!"

It was one thing for him to speculate that the Tang Sect was responsible for the incident, but it was another matter entirely to receive an open admission from the Tang Sect. This meant that they were officially declaring war on the Spirit Pagoda! This was definitely news that could shake all three continents!

The Tang Sect seemed to have gone into a recessive state in the Douluo Federation, but after working with the Tang Sect for so long, Xue Yuntian was naturally aware of just how powerful this super organization was. If there were any organization in this world that could threaten the Spirit Pagoda, then it could only be the Tang Sect. And now, they were declaring war on the Spirit Pagoda in the most brutal fashion imaginable.

Could it be that the Spirit Pagoda really had been colluding with Evil Soul Masters? Furthermore, the medicine that had been mentioned in the report was supposedly being developed in Spirit Wave City, which was virtually a stone's throw away from his royal palace! A chill immediately ran down Xue Yuntian's spine. This was like having an assassin sleeping on his bedside!

The Spirit Pagoda was no less powerful than the Tang Sect, and even more importantly, they currently held greater significance in the world. Almost all Soul Masters had to forge connections with the Spirit Pagoda as they wouldn't be able to progress in their cultivation without the soul spirits provided by the Spirit Pagoda.

The Spirit Pagoda hadn't actively done anything to control these Soul Masters who were dependent on them, but what if they accrued a certain level of power?

The Spirit Pagoda was able to make a promise to delay the deployment of the federation's troops as they held some seats in the federal parliament. Under these circumstances, it wouldn't be strange for the Spirit Pagoda to develop greater ambitions.

If the Tang Sect were telling the truth in this report, and the Spirit Pagoda really was colluding with the Holy Spirit Cult, then that would be downright terrifying! This meant that the Spirit Pagoda would've definitely played a role in the bombing of Shrek Academy and the Tang Sect headquarters, and it would also explain why the Tang Sect was striking back in such an extreme fashion.

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