The imperial decree only contained a single sentence!
As King Heavenspan, Bai Xiaochun is hereby formally appointed as the Saint-Emperor Dynasty’s ambassador in Vile-Emperor City!!
Technically speaking, Bai Xiaochun would still be the king of the north in the second immortal domain, but for all intents and purposes, he would no longer serve in that role. He would be the official ambassador stationed in Vile-Emperor City!
Both imperial dynasties had ambassadors in each other’s capital cities. Usually, they were demigods with long records of service, although occasionally celestials would also serve in that role.
Sima Yunhua was the former ambassador, except that he didn’t actually visit the Vile-Emperor Dynasty very often. Most of his time was spent in Saint-Emperor City.
Unfortunately, Sima Yunhua had been wounded in the fight with Celestial Virūpākṣa, so whether he wanted to or not, his responsibilities were being transferred to Bai Xiaochun!
The truth was that the Saint-Emperor had been planning this for a while. As Mistysea Prefecture rose to prominence, the Saint-Emperor soon came to realize how valuable it was, and therefore, Bai Xiaochun’s presence there became a bit of a headache.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun was special, and therefore, the Saint-Emperor had to be very careful about how he treated him. After all, his ultimate goal was to make sure the Heavenspan Realm cultivators had a good opinion of his own dynasty. He didn’t want to do anything to ruin his reputation.
Transferring Bai Xiaochun to a position in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty was essentially eliminating him without having to do so directly. Even if it was only a temporary arrangement, it would conform with his plans.
Besides, Bai Xiaochun had performed meritorious service, and had also improved his relationship with the other celestials. That not only put the Saint-Emperor on guard, it helped him make his decision!
There was nothing threatening about the imperial decree. It merely mentioned his new position and gave him a deadline to accept the appointment. However, Bai Xiaochun could almost see the Saint-Emperor’s cold, hypocritical eyes when reading it.
“There’s definitely a hidden threat here. If I refuse to comply, he can do all sorts of things to me.” Sighing, he summoned the Grand Heavenmaster and Giant Ghost King and shared the imperial decree with them.
“This Saint-Emperor is a complete bully!” the Giant Ghost King said angrily. “Xiaochun, you just performed a great service, and now, only a few months later, he treats you like this?”
Bai Xiaochun was already scowling on the verge of tears. He knew that Vile-Emperor City was a dangerous place, not because people would attack him openly, but because of the intrigue and scheming that went on there.
Even worse, during the incident with the sovereign clone, he had offended virtually all of the top experts in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty.
“I guess as long as I'm extremely careful, it won’t be that dangerous!” That was the only way he could comfort himself. After all, the Saint-Emperor’s unspoken threat was obvious. If he refused, then Mistysea Prefecture, which he had just worked so hard to get back into shape, would be targeted by the Saint-Emperor.
The Giant Ghost King could see Bai Xiaochun hesitating. Snorting coldly, he said, “Xiaochun, if you accept the position, do you think the Saint-Emperor will make a move against Mistysea Prefecture!?”
Up to this point, the Grand Heavenmaster hadn’t spoken. He had been examining the imperial decree the whole time. Now, he looked up and said, “Perhaps… this is a good opportunity!”
The Giant Ghost King and Bai Xiaochun both looked over at him, eyes shining with anticipation. Bai Xiaochun knew that the Grand Heavenmaster was a master of plots and schemes. After all, in the thousands of years that he had practiced cultivation, he had turned into the most ultimate of wily old foxes.
“First of all, although it might seem like going to Vile-Emperor City will put you in danger, it actually won’t. As a celestial, and the ambassador, everyone from the Saint-Emperor Dynasty will be paying attention to what happens to you. If anything bad happens, it would likely result in a war between the two dynasties!
“Therefore, in some respects, your status will strike fear into the hearts of the people of the Vile-Emperor Dynasty!
“The second benefit is that there are many people of Heavenspan in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, more than in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty. After all, the Vile-Emperor Dynasty is huge.
“By going there and getting involved with the government, it will be much easier for you to find them and bring them back!
“Another factor is that, although things seem to be going well here in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, you don’t have much room for growth. But if you could somehow get land of your own in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, then we would be in a much better position!
“In the end, you have few options. If you refuse to comply, then we might as well leave Mistysea Prefecture and defect to the Vile-Emperor Dynasty!
“If you comply, then I vehemently request that you demand the Saint-Emperor give Mistysea Prefecture ten years of full autonomy!” With that, the Grand Heavenmaster clasped hands, bowed to Bai Xiaochun, and waited for an answer.
The Giant Ghost King stood off to the side, staying silent.
Bai Xiaochun looked at the two of them, and then at the imperial decree. Finally, he sighed. Ever since he had come to the Eternal Immortal Domains, he felt less free than he had in the Heavenspan Realm.
He was always under pressure, and always restrained in some way or another. In the past, he had always been able to do whatever he wanted, but not anymore. Eyes bloodshot, he pondered the situation for a short moment, then gritted his teeth and took out a transmission jade slip. Without any hesitation, he sent a message to the Saint-Emperor informing him of some demands!
At this point, he had risen high enough in the world that he qualified to negotiate with an archaean.
Before long, the Saint-Emperor replied, granting his demands. There was no need for pretenses between the two of them now. He directly granted Bai Xiaochun’s request to leave Mistysea Prefecture alone for ten years.
During that time, the Saint-Emperor would not interfere with the prefecture in any way. But after the ten years were up, it would return to the Saint-Emperor Dynasty’s control!
“Ten years. I’ll have ten years to secure land within the Vile-Emperor Dynasty….” Having made his decision, he accepted the position of ambassador!
A few days later, he left. He notified the Grand Heavenmaster and some other important people, but didn’t make a huge fanfare.
Considering his status, he didn’t need to cross the Eternal Sea to reach his destination. He first went to the capital city of the second immortal domain to visit Celestial Aged Spirit. When Aged Spirit learned of the news, he hesitated for a moment, then shook his head.
“Fellow Daoist Bai, I can guarantee you that no matter what the Saint-Emperor does, as far as I'm concerned, Mistysea Prefecture will always belong to you!” Aged Spirit and the Saint-Emperor had their differences, and as such, Aged Spirit was not very happy with this new decree.
When Bai Xiaochun first came to the second immortal domain, there had been a bit of tension between him and Aged Spirit. But things had been smoothed out, and they had lived in harmony ever since. Furthermore, having two celestials in one immortal domain actually made for a much stronger force.
Bai Xiaochun was moved by Celestial Aged Spirit's guarantee. After offering formal thanks, he went to the teleportation portal. Soon, rumbling sounds could be heard, and he faded away from the second immortal domain. When he reappeared… he was no longer in the territory of the Saint-Emperor Dynasty.
He was in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, specifically, the immortal domain where the capital city was located!
Vile-Emperor City was surrounded by five heavenly mountains, atop each of which was a spell formation that connected the city to locations in the other immortal domains. With such teleportation portals, the Eternal Immortal Domains were not so vastly large that travel between them was impossible.
Saint-Emperor City also had such teleportation formations, although they weren’t often used. After all, both parties had to agree to activate the teleportation portals at the same time.
This was Bai Xiaochun’s first time teleporting into the Vile-Emperor Dynasty. As soon as he appeared, he looked around, and saw a dozen or so cultivators from the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, who were to be his subordinates. Two were demigods, with the rest being devas.
When they caught sight of him, they clasped hands in formal greeting.
“Well met, King Heavenspan!”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t respond. He stood there on the spell formation atop the heavenly mountain, feeling the cold air and looking off into the violet clouds, within which he could see the occasional streak of lightning.
It was very different from Saint-Emperor City. Everything was dark and awe-inspiring. There was something bloodthirsty about the whole place.
Beneath the violet clouds, in the middle of the five heavenly mountains, was a valley. Right in the middle of the valley was a massive trident sticking straight up into the sky!
It was fully 300 meters wide, and from what Bai Xiaochun could see, was some sort of magical item. There was something shockingly powerful about it, and most astonishing of all was that coiled around the trident was an enormous bone dragon!!