To activate the Sovereign Stele and enter the central world, heavenly mandates from all twenty-three facets were required. However, the Nephrite, Witherdew, Exalted, and Truespirit celestial emperors had all died in short succession, their heavenly mandates returning to their respective majors.
Faced with this issue, the crowd found themselves at a loss as to how to proceed.
“There is another way!” Qi Hai’s voice rang out again. “It’s not impossible to replace the four missing heavenly mandates. We simply need the masters of the East, West, South, and North Seas to bring forth the essence of the four seas.”
“The masters of the four seas?” Blinks of astonishment were shared amongst the crowd.
“The North Sea court is no longer and the West Sea also seems to be in turmoil...” The one who’d spoken was the Primus celestial emperor. Among the five remaining celestial emperors, he was the strongest, the two origin dao fruits he’d plucked thanks to his mandate setting him apart from the rest.
“Kekeke!” a shrill voice came from the sky, quickly followed by a fetid stench as an obese humanoid creature walked out of the emptiness.
“There will be no problem with the West Sea monster court. The celestial emperor of the West Sea is now Us!” Ge Yanxia proudly announced, baring her massive belly at the crowd. When she used the imperial “Us”, the conceit in her expression grew even more pronounced than usual.
With a light wave of her hand, a golden ball of light appeared above her palm and flared with a sharp metallic aura: essence of the West Sea.
This essence wasn’t strictly comparable to a heavenly mandate from one of the world’s facets. Technically speaking, the four seas weren’t parts of the world itself, just strings wrapped around the world of immortals that prevented it from disassembling. But when it came to strength, they were strong enough to match any heavenly mandate.
The difference was that while heavenly mandates could be refined to wield the power of its facet and augment a celestial emperor’s strength, the essences of the four seas could only be the equivalent of a powerful connate treasure.
That Ge Yanxia had become the master of the West Sea came as a surprise to everyone. Celestial emperors had never addressed the monster emperors of the four seas as “celestial emperors”, and the title of monster emperor suited her even less, since fur seals had been excluded from the monster spirit race since time immemorial.
The crowd looked at one another, unsure of how to address her.
“Why don’t we just call her the West Sea Dog Emperor?” someone offered.
“Who was that?!” When Ge Yanxia heard the words “West Sea Dog Emperor”, her smugness instantly transmuted into outrage. Without further ado, she roused the power of the West Sea’s essence and lashed out with sharp metallic energies in the direction the voice had come from.
Space trembled as a giant silver halo of light exploded out of nothingness and shattered the golden beams. A tall, limber figure came out into view. Most present instantly forgot to breathe upon seeing the apparition.
It was a woman of extraordinary beauty, unmarred by the slightest defect. Every centimeter of her skin seemed to have been lovingly crafted by the hands of the heavens. Long silver hair cascaded down her back like a river of stars that trailed all the way down to her heels, while a silver silk dress clung tightly to her figure and accentuated her perfect curves.
Most men at the scene, including the celestial emperors, swallowed hard.
“Who are you?!” Rippling like waves of flesh, the excess fat on Ge Yanxia’s face and body trembled in stark contrast to the newcomer.
“Silverlight.” Rather than the soft, delicate voice one might expect, the woman sounded unusually spirited and valiant.
“Silverlight… The scarlet ape?!” The crowd inhaled sharply.
A second scarlet ape even more fearsome and powerful than the golden one was in residence on Levitating Island of the North Sea. No one had ever imagined that… in her human shape, she would possess such stunning beauty!
But the crowd stiffened when, with a gentle sweep of her right arm, she conjured a black ball of light in her palm. Inside the ball, one could see endlessly surging violent waves and billows.
The North Sea’s essence.
The North Sea’s essence was in Silverlight’s possession, which implied she’d become the sovereign of the North Sea. While she didn’t call herself a monster spirit emperor, she was one in all but name.
Soon after, the monster emperors of the East and South Seas also arrived.
The East Sea emperor was a transformed xiangliu, an ancient immortal beast. Rather than a divine beast, he was a monster spirit through and through. The South Sea emperor was a bai ze. Bai zes were ancient divine beasts, but even in the current age, they were still among the noblest of divine beasts. 
However, neither emperor was a pureblood immortal beast or divine beast, unlike Third Prince of the East Sea, Xiangliu Hongzhen, a pureblood xiangliu, or Third Prince of the South Sea, Bai Qi, a pureblood bai ze.
With these new arrivals, the masters of all four seas were assembled.
However, the East and South Sea emperors hadn’t come in person. The South Sea emperor was in seclusion, and the East Sea emperor considered himself the direct descendant of the primordial immortal court and was constantly trying to conquer the world. As a result, there was incredible enmity between him and the immortals of the nine majors, ten lands, and four immortal seas.
If he were to visit Destiny City in person at a time like this, he would be promptly swarmed by a host of powerhouses from the world over. Even if he were to grow three heads and six arms, he wouldn’t survive the ordeal.
“Since four celestial emperors from the nine majors are dead, let us masters of the four seas replace them.”
With an indifferent expression, the East Sea monster emperor swept a glance at Ge Yanxia, disapproval flashing through his eyes as he did so. The masters of the four seas titled themselves as either monster spirit emperors or masters of the sea, never celestial emperors.
An unsettled expression playing over her face, Ge Yanxia glowered at Silverlight with extraordinary spite, but didn’t dare act on it. The scarlet ape was unbelievably strong. If she ever decided to attack… even the big fur seal, Ge Yanxia’s father, would have no recourse but to rein in his anger. Her father was a primordial origin dao immortal, while Silverlight’s cultivation far surpassed dao immortal.
Immortal dao was severed in the current era, so contemporary immortals only knew of realms above dao immortal because of legends. But for figures like Silverlight, those levels couldn’t be more commonplace and mundane.
“Let us begin then… We will jointly open the gates to the central world. What happens after will be up to individual ability,” the South Sea emperor declared.
“Not so fast! We must prevent Lu Yun from entering the central world!” Ge Yanxia shrieked with a righteous face.
“Lu Yun’s transformation art is unparalleled in the world. If he wants to go in, will you be able to stop him?” Qi Hai hadn’t joined their gathering, but quite a few people nodded inwardly at his words nevertheless. The last time, Lu Yun had come to Destiny City disguised as “Qing Yu’s Sidekick”, and everyone had been none the wiser.
“It’s simple, we only let our own clansmen into the central world. Everyone else is forbidden from going inside!” Ge Yanxia proposed with a grating cackle.
Quite a few people fell silent.
All of the major powerhouses at the scene were aware of Qi Hai’s identity as the foremost pillmaster of the Primordial Era. No one doubted his words. Since he’d named Lu Yun as the heir chosen by the ancient immortal emperor, there would be no mistake.
Dusk Province was now a name that carried weight. If her governor obtained the supreme treasure of the immortal emperor on top of it, she would rule supreme over all other factions, so there seemed to be a consensus forming about keeping Lu Yun out of the central world.
“Heh...” the East Sea emperor suddenly chuckled. “Are we to deprive everyone else of this opportunity for the sake of a single Lu Yun? Such an opportunity doesn’t belong to us alone… Had the roles been reversed, Lu Yun certainly wouldn’t have stopped everyone else from entering the central world.
“To sin against the entire world for the sake of a single person… If so, allow me to bid you farewell.” Without further ado, the emperor turned around and made his exit.
“We take our leave as well!” The South Sea emperor and the dragon emperor of the Untroubled Sea quickly followed suit.
1. A mythical creature in Japanese and Chinese culture whose body resembles a hand and whose head is human. It was believed that the creature ate bad dreams and evil experiences, and for this reason, people used to hang its picture on the entrance gate or inside the house.
Hey now, the ones who left have heirs in the prodigals' alliance, right? It's nice to see some loyalty from other characters for once.