Chapter 706: Dog Eat Dog Between First Rank Sects
The Eternal Celestial Capital had locked down the entire city. Almost all of the wandering cultivators were gathered in a five kilometer area east of the city with no means of escape. They were soon driven back into Tai-ah City amid loud objections and complaints. Ling Su and his daughter were no exception as they were also forced to return. However Jiang Chen wasn’t overly worried about them. The difference in gender and age would make it rather easy for them to be ruled out during the interrogation.
The inspection processes had become noticeably more stringent upon their return. Entry was simple, but if one wished to leave, they would have to undergo several rounds of inspections and interrogations. Apparently, the Eternal Celestial Capital had not yet given up on the search for Jiang Chen. The commotion just now had renewed Gong Wuji’s feeling that Jiang Chen was already in Tai-ah City. Moreover, he was likely within the group of a thousand wandering cultivators. How could such fake news have spread otherwise?
It was obviously a programmed diversion to help Jiang Chen slip away during the confusion. This was why they had doubled the severity of their inspections.
Another commotion started to become heard above the noise. Furious curses were being thrown about, “The Eternal Celestial Palace has business here. Everyone else, get the hell away!”
A seemingly effeminate voice was immediately heard afterwards, “Tsk tsk... If I remember correctly, this isn’t your Eternal Celestial Capital’s domain. Does our Ninesuns Sky Sect require your permission to be here?
The Ninesuns Sky Sect? The crowd became somewhat restless. They were stunned by this new and sudden development. One first rank sect within the Swordland Mid Region was terrifying enough already. Now that another group from a first rank sect had appeared—this was beyond odd. Jiang Chen was also astonished as he witnessed this scene from within the crowd. He slowly waded his way forward to get a better look. The two forces in conflict had no shortage of manpower. There were hundreds from the Ninesuns Sky Sect and hundreds from the Eternal Celestial Capital facing each other. They stood to each side like two fighting bulls grunting at each other.
“The Ninesuns Sky Sect has come as well?” Jiang Chen was happy after his initial surprise. He knew that the arrival of the Ninesuns Sky Sect likely had something to do with him. As things stood, Jiang Chen was not afraid of itches when he was already covered in lice. He had already thoroughly offended the Eternal Celestial Capital; adding the Ninesuns Sky Sect to the list made no difference. In fact, his enmity with the Ninesuns Sky Sect had been established much earlier.
But after seeing the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Ninesuns Sky Sect’s hostile attitudes towards each other, Jiang Chen was quite astonished. It appeared that the two first rank sects were really not on the best of terms. They might even have a death feud with each other. It all became clear to him after some pondering.
The two sects had pursued Emperor Featherflight ages ago with limited cooperation. But their relationship had largely been that of competitors in all other scenarios. Two first rank sects erupting in hostilities over the inheritance of an ancient empyrean cultivator was no big surprise. It appeared the Ninesuns Sky Sect had come to deliberately upset the Eternal Celestial Capital’s operations. Jiang Chen was suddenly in a position of cheering them on in secret.
Dogs eating each other will only result in mouthfuls of fur all around. Its best you bite each other even more ferociously! Jiang Chen already had bad impressions of both sects and was filled with disgust and overflowing loathing. It was true that the Eternal Celestial Capital was sinister, but those from the Ninesuns Sky Sect were no saints either. They were the ones who had first spread rumors about the Imperial Jade Seal and the Guardian Dragon Seal, undoubtedly to lure the Great Scarlet Mid Region into dealing with the Myriad Domain. Frankly speaking, they were just getting another to do their dirty work.
However, the crafty Eternal Celestial Capital had beaten them at their own game. They had long since taken control of the Great Scarlet Mid Region, allowing them to stay one step ahead of the opponent and take control of the whole situation. The Ninesuns Sky Sect now could no longer get involved in the affairs of the Myriad Domain.
Gong Wuji strode in with long strides after hearing about the disturbance. He gazed indifferently at the people from the Ninesuns Sky Sect. “It seems that your Ninesuns Sky Sect is so tyrannical that you wish to cause a ruckus in someone else’s domain?”
A mid emperor realm cultivator from the Ninesuns Sky Sect walked out with a laugh. “Holy King Gong, I don’t quite understand. What’s this about the Ninesuns Sky Sect being tyrannical? Is your Eternal Celestial Capital made up of saints? If I remember correctly, the ones who caused an upheaval in the Myriad Domain were your people. Besides, this is the Swordland Mid Region, not your Eternal Celestial Capital’s domain. Why can’t our Ninesuns Sky Sect come over?”
These words stung deep and left Gong Wuji absolutely no face. He was even being mocked for acting wildly in the Myriad Domain and losing his beloved grandson in the process. Gong Wuji’s face turned dark purple as he glared daggers at the cultivator from the Ninesuns Sky Sect. “Elder Hao, have you made up your mind to oppose us?”
Elder Hao laughed. “Holy King Gong, you’re overthinking things. Our Ninesuns Sky Sect is also here in pursuit of an enemy. How could this be considered opposing you?”
“What enemy are you after?” Gong Wuji inquired with fury.
“Some disciples from our Ninesuns Sky Sect have gone missing and all clues point to the Myriad Domain. Now that you lot have annihilated the Myriad Domain, we can’t even find a single shadow. We heard that you captured the palace head of the Regal Pill Palace and thought you might be able to lure out a few survivors that we can interrogate.” Elder Hao’s voice was without the slightest inflection, “We’ve said what we will. Holy King Gong, it isn’t up to your Eternal Celestial Capital to criticize how our Ninesuns Sky Sect operates.”
Gong Wuji had been in a violent rage, but surprisingly, he regained his composure upon hearing Elder Hao’s words. It made no sense to accuse the Ninesuns Sky Sect of being ornery to spite him. Could it be that… the Ninesuns Sky Sect had found some leads regarding Emperor Featherflight?
Not everyone within the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Ninesuns Sky Sect knew about the affair regarding Emperor Featherflight. Only a select few of the upper echelon who were a part of the original operation were privy to this information. As a holy king of the Eternal Celestial Capital, Gong Wuji was also one of its directors. As such, he was very familiar with that operation. In fact, the ultimate goal of taking control of the Great Scarlet Mid Region had been to investigate the fate of Emperor Featherflight. As for how overblown the circumstances had gotten with the Regal Pill Palace and the bounty on Jiang Chen’s head, they were secondary grievances that had been brought about incidentally.
“Since this is the case Elder Hao, why is your Ninesuns Sky Sect sabotaging our search for the enemy?” Gong Wuji had realized the intricacies of this situation and sought a platform to negotiate, suppressing his anger.
“We’re merely spectating. What sabotage were you talking about?” Elder Hao smiled faintly.
Jiang Chen suddenly had an idea after seeing the two sects’ verbal spar. He could clearly sense the undercurrent of hostility between them. He secretly left the crowd, unnoticed by all. He entered a well hidden corner before momentarily walking out with a completely different appearance. He didn’t go toward the hostile area this time, but toward the city gates where he approached a disciple of the Eternal Celestial Capital. “Greetings, senior brother.”
The disciple from the Eternal Celestial Capital glanced at him. Jiang Chen was clad in a disciple’s uniform and appeared just like a citizen of the Great Scarlet Empire.
“Eh? What business do you have?” The people from the Eternal Celestial Capital naturally felt a sense of superiority over those from the Great Scarlet Mid Region. It was a natural arrogance of someone who belonged to a first rank sect.
“Senior brother, I have been tasked by Great Scarlet royalty to return an important item to Master Gong. He forgot it in the palace and thus the Great Scarlet emperor ordered me to travel this vast distance and deliver it with all haste, lest the holy king have need of it. However, a conflict seems to have taken place over there, and us low level disciples are unable to enter. I humbly beseech this senior brother to return this item to Master Gong Wuji in my stead.”
“Is that all?”
“That would be all. I’ll also have to trouble senior brother to explain things personally to Master Gong. Please.” With that, Jiang Chen produced a sword and offered it with both hands.
The disciple received the blade and was full of praises after a single glance. “A good blade indeed.”
“Master Gong’s sword is definitely of supreme quality. I hope the senior brother will deliver it with all due haste. Conflict appears to be brewing even as we speak—Master Gong might require it if a battle breaks out.”
The Eternal Celestial Capital disciple was alarmed after hearing Jiang Chen’s reminder and nodded quickly. “Since that is the case, I’ll complete this mission for you. You’ve done well!”
“Thank you very much. Please convey the Great Scarlet emperor’s greetings to Master Gong,” Jiang Chen left with a bow, turning back to wave repeatedly.
The Eternal Celestial Capital disciple didn’t dare neglect this task. It was indeed a good sword and the unsuspecting disciple had found no traps or mechanisms on it. He promptly carried the sword towards the central area. The disciple was delighted to accept such a task since it was, after all, a good opportunity to present himself to Master Gong. Moreover, he would be able to personally deliver Master Gong’s weapon to him. This should more or less gain him some favor, right?
The ecstatic disciple squeezed through the crowds and met no resistance, swiftly arriving before Master Gong. “Sire Holy King,” the disciple bowed ceremoniously.
Gong Wuji glanced at him. He was wondering why this low level disciple had come to join the excitement and even dared to appear before him! But he found it difficult to berate his sect’s disciple under the current circumstances and merely let out a nasally “hmm” in acknowledgement.
The disciple didn’t mind at all. With his identity, it was normal for the holy king to maintain a dignified air. He would surely be delighted after being presented with the treasured sword. “Sire Holy King, the Great Scarlet emperor dispatched a messenger to deliver the sword you forgot at the Great Scarlet Empire. Please accept it, sir.” The disciple raised both hands as he spoke and presented the treasured sword to Gong Wuji.
Gong Wuji was baffled; when had he ever left his sword at the Great Scarlet Empire? But he noticed that it was an extraordinary blade at first glance. Gong Wuji supposed that the Great Scarlet emperor must have felt that he had let Gong Wuji down and thus had sent this sword as a form of apology. He swept his consciousness over the blade, and after making certain there were no hidden traps, accepted the sword and nodded lightly, “Understood. What is your name?”
“This disciple is called Zhao Neng.” The disciple replied hurriedly, positively bursting with delight.
“Zhao Neng, this seat will remember you. You may withdraw,” Gong Wuji was perplexed by the brief interlude but didn’t comment on it. Since this sword had no problems, why wouldn’t he accept the gift? It was, after all, a true emperor realm weapon. Zhao Neng left in high spirits after hearing Gong Wuji’s words. Gong Wuji raised the sword to examine it once more, and was about to put it away when Elder Hao’s expression changed abruptly, his eyes fixed on the sword, “Hold!”
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