None of the dynasties that made up the alliance were interested in combining to form a larger empire. It would involve their emperors being demoted, and as mere government officials, their lives would be in the hands of another. No one would willingly debase themselves in such a way.
“Are you people really willing to just stand around and watch Yang Qi destroy you?” Hailan asked, looking around at everyone present. “It's not as though we’ve never encountered someone as strong as Yang Qi before. He's not in the half-Annulled level, but he's close. At the moment, only the High Priestess can keep him in check. The rest of us are useless in that regard. He's definitely gone to assimilate the Halls of Heaven, and if he succeeds, we're all dead. The only shot we have is if we work together. Unite the three dynasties and act as one. We don't have a second option.”
“You want us to take the result of billions of years of effort and just give it to someone else?” Heaven-Defeating Dugu asked. “You think you’re very clever, don’t you, Hailan? If we give all of our hard work to the High Priestess, and she becomes the empress, she’ll use the destiny to finally surpass the Sovereign Lord.”
“It’s the only option we have,” Hailan replied, her eyes glittering with killing intent. “If we remain divided, our fate will be horrific. The High Priestess is already in the half-Annulled level, the same as the old Sovereign Lord. She's the only one who can gain the support of the people, and then command the destiny.”
“Our current alliance is more than enough,” Yang Chiliocosm said. “The Chiliocosm Dynasty is an independent entity, but we support the High Priestess as our league-lord. That’s more than enough respect. If she wants to become an empress, forget it. In fact, don’t even bring it up again. The Chiliocosm Dynasty would rather be destroyed than let someone take advantage of our billions of years of effort.”
“I completely agree,” Proud Heaven said. “An alliance of three dynasties is more than sufficient. What we need to do now is analyze exactly what happened, and where we went wrong. We also need to train in formations. Going forward, there can be no bickering between our three dynasties. We’ll work together in good faith. Considering that, there’s no need for any sort of empire. We take things one step at a time, and make sure our alliance is unified. Considering our combined destiny and population, there’s no way Yang Qi can match up, not even if he makes some progress. In the end, population is the most important thing. When a dynasty lacks people, they can only develop so far. Destiny comes from the masses and is intrinsically connected to the living beings of a dynasty.”
“Alright,” the High Priestess said. “There’s no need to muddy the waters by talking about an empire, Hailan. Besides, I have no interest in being an empress. I just want to prevent Yang Qi from getting too powerful. If that happens, we’ll end up in the same mess we were in during the Sovereign Lord’s Age. We’d be enslaved by the God Legion Seal. I have no plans to interfere in the affairs of the emperors of the three dynasties. For now, we need to go our separate ways and make all the preparations necessary. Gather whatever resources are necessary, train the troops, prepare the formations. I won’t participate in such matters. As the league-lord, I’ll oversee things and make sure the people remain calm and orderly. Incidentally, in short order I plan to head out into the primal-chaos outside the god world and make contact with some old friends from years past, people who weren’t killed by the Sovereign Lord. Although I don’t have any plans to found an empire, I do intend to make this alliance even bigger and stronger than any of your empires could dream of.”
Quite a few people were astonished by her words.
“You’re nothing less than incredible, High Priestess,” Heaven-Defeating Dugu said. “We’ll head back to our dynasties to calm the hearts of the people and revitalize our destiny. Once all of us have taken care of our various responsibilities, we’ll meet back to plan the next step.”
“I’ll be taking my leave now,” Yang Chiliocosm said.
“And I’ll go talk things over with our emperor,” Proud Heaven said, leaving.
Before long, the only people left in the Central God-Temple were the High Priestess, Hailan, and Yang Voidprime.
Seeing that they were alone, Hailan said, “Master, these people don’t know what’s good for them! I can't believe they rejected the suggestion of unification. What do we do now? Why didn’t you just strike a few of them dead? For instance, that one Dugu patriarch, or Yang Chiliocosm. I can’t believe Proud Heaven will yield to force but not coercion.”
“Enough with the melodrama,” the High Priestess said. “It was worth a shot, but we can't force it. At least I'm the league-lord. If we push things too far, it could cause the alliance to fall apart. Remember, although I'm in the half-Annulled level, the emperors of the dynasties all have access to boundless destiny, which means that not even I can deal with them easily. That is the power that comes with being an emperor.”
“High Priestess,” Yang Voidprime said, “although this has nothing to do with me, I'm happy to support you. I’ll head back to my dynasty now. Remember, I have no desire for destiny. I just want that fateless energy from Yang Qi. I need it to become complete and transcend. I already have a cultivation base of two hundred and sixty billion, and no amount of destiny is going to help me get stronger easily. And that damned Yang Qi forced me to open my Fateless Seal, which means that reaching the half-Annulled level is going to be difficult.”
“Don’t worry,” the High Priestess said. “When I promise to do something, I do it. Your cultivation base is impressive, but insufficient. Go back and seize rulership from Yang Chiliocosm, then start advocating for the unification of the three dynasties.”
“No problem. Yang Chiliocosm isn’t a match for me at this point. However, it's going to take careful planning to seize full power of the Chiliocosm Dynasty.”
“Go,” she said, waving her hand dismissively. Yang Voidprime flew away, then the High Priestess vanished with Hailan in tow.
Outside in the primal-chaos beyond the god world, she raised her voice and said, “King of Godmammoths, you've been hiding for long enough. Show your face. That Yang Qi has become a threat to your existence. You should know that raising a tiger is inviting calamity, and if I were you, I’d avoid inviting the wolf into your house. Aren’t you recovered yet? I'm already back in business, what about you? If not, then maybe I’ll take your blood and send the rest of you to hell! I have some good destiny now as a league-lord. Maybe I'm not an empress, but I'm still strong enough to crush you.”
Meanwhile, in the depths of the Central Dynasty, in an odd fold of space-time, white energy pulsed everywhere, and Proud Heaven could sense the fluctuations of the Lord of Righteous Justice.
‘Yang Qi was right,’ he thought. ‘The Lord of Righteous Justice is fighting back, and that’s helping King Immortal-Slayer.’ Then he saw Proud Central, wreathed in flames, struggling mightily.
‘No wonder Proud Central didn’t update me on the situation. He didn't want me to know what a bad situation he’s in.’ All of a sudden, a wicked smile appeared on Proud Heaven’s face.
“My respects, Father!” he said, bowing. “Our Central Dynasty suffered a big loss. The alliance of three dynasties was completely defeated by Yang Qi. It was brutal, Father. Now the High Priestess has shown up, and she wants to combine the three dynasties into an empire. You have to take advantage of this crisis to assimilate the Great Necropolis and King Immortal-Slayer, then reach the Half-Annulled level. That’s the only way you can kill all of our enemies.”
“It’s you, Proud Heaven?” Proud Heaven said. “Get out of here! You don’t need to worry about my affairs. It doesn’t matter what happens out there, as long as you keep the situation under control.”
Proud Central didn’t seem to care at all about the latest turn of events, and in fact, didn't even seem surprised to hear what had played out.
“You already know about what happened, Father?” Much of this is your fault. You fell for Yang Qi’s trickery, and ended up giving him the final piece of the Mahātmā Jade. Now he's combined it with the God Legion Seal, and is immensely powerful. You really screwed up, Father. Ai.”
“Get the fuck out of here, Proud Heaven! What are you complaining about? I don’t need advice from you. Leave. Now!” Even as the words left Proud Central’s mouth, a huge ball of white lightning suddenly appeared and rumbled toward him like a gigantic mountain.
Proud Heaven chuckled. “Old codger. You've been pinned into a corner!”
Suddenly, Proud Heaven unsealed something inside himself. Unexpectedly, he was similar to Yang Voidprime in that he was hiding his full capabilities. However, unlike Yang Voidprime, he didn’t have fateless power within him, but rather the power of ten different universes.
Ten enormous universes appeared behind him, each of which was like an embryonic god world. In the blink of an eye, Proud Heaven reached a level of power vastly superior to Yang Voidprime.
Laughing heartily, he said, “I finally have the chance I've been seeking. Ten Universes!” Bursting with power, he shattered the white ball of lightning, then grinned viciously and said, “Proud Central, you scum. You piece of trash! I'm going to devour you right here and now. I’m going to digest every bit of you, and you're going to make me a true emperor! I’ll devour you, then King Immortal-Slayer, the Great Necropolis, the Lord of Righteous Justice, and finally, I’ll secretly strike the High Priestess as well. This is my ultimate power, the Ten Universes. Understand? Back during the original Big Bang in primal-chaos, there were ten unique universes that struggled for control. The god world was only one of those universes, but it devoured the other nine. However, I found them and turned them into magical treasures, which became my personal dao. With the Ten Universes, I have a consummate art equivalent to ten god worlds! In other words, it represents ten different ways the god world could’ve ended up. Now, Proud Central, prepare to die!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter