The nobility and aristocracy in Arch-Emperor City were deeply shaken. Despite the fact that the Grand Heavenmaster and five heavenly dukes had unleashed incredible pressure, there were still other heavenly marquises and dukes who flew out of their clans and headed to the imperial palace to offer formal greetings to the Grand Heavenmaster.
As far as everyone was concerned, this Proclamation of Universal Grace was incredibly malevolent. Furthermore, everyone believed that it mustn’t be allowed to stay in effect for very long. If it did…
The consequences would be unimaginable!
However, even as the heavenly marquises and dukes joined forces to head to the imperial palace, Bai Xiaochun was leading his army of fierce corpse troopers toward the Zhao Clan.
He was in a state of madness, moving at top speed, and thus, it didn’t take long for his 5,000 corpse troopers to descend on the clan, surrounded by a black vortex that was their murderous aura.
Although the Zhao Clan seemed peaceful and quiet, the bastard children and non-successors of the bloodline couldn’t have been more excited. After the Grand Heavenmaster’s Dharmic decree came down, the ambitions they had forced to keep hidden for their entire lives suddenly blossomed, causing their hearts to race!
Everyone was to be treated equally! Everyone was to have fair access to resources!
It was a beautiful prospect that had everyone affected bursting with excitement. The only angry one was Zhao Dongshan, as he realized that the assets that were his inheritance by right would soon be divided up equally among everyone else.
Although he was furious to the point of going crazy, he didn’t dare to go against the orders of the Grand Heavenmaster. All of his hopes rested with his father, who had gone to the imperial palace with the other heavenly marquises.
“This isn’t a Proclamation of Universal Grace! It’s Proclamation of Clan Shakedowns!!” As he stood there gritting his teeth, he glared around angrily at the bastards and auxiliary bloodline cultivators.
He was just starting to get restless from anger when Bai Xiaochun arrived. He hovered in the air above the clan, expression grim and eyes cold. With every moment that ticked by, his anxiety and madness grew stronger. All of the clan members down below who looked up at the black vortex of the corpse troopers’ murderous aura were shocked. However, many of them had actually been waiting for Bai Xiaochun to show up, and were feeling more excited than ever.
They felt very differently from the last time Bai Xiaochun had come. As for Zhao Dongshan, he looked up, expression flickering, and prepared to speak. Before he could, though, Bai Xiaochun’s cold voice rang out to fill the entire Zhao Clan.
“The Grand Heavenmaster has spoken. He has issued the Proclamation of Universal Grace, which all subjects of the dynasty are required to comply with, regardless of rank or status…. I have come here in my role as the inspections commissioner, to represent the Grand Heavenmaster in enforcing the proclamation!”
Numerous soft gasps could be heard in the clan, many of them filled with excitement. The bastard children and non-successors all looked on with brightly shining eyes.
Zhao Dongshan’s face fell even further, and his eyes widened. “It was you!! Dammit. It was you! This vicious plan was yours all along! That's why you were able to consolidate your power with the Grand Heavenmaster!!”
Zhao Dongshan understood everything in an instant. After all, it wasn’t a very difficult puzzle to solve. The recent stir from the Inspections Manor happened right before the Proclamation of Universal Grace was issued. The slightest amount of thought into the matter would reveal the underlying truth.
Zhao Dongshan’s madness, and his previous hatred, made it so that he couldn’t hold back from shouting. “Bai Hao, you’d--”
But he had picked the wrong time to react in such a way. The madness in Bai Xiaochun’s own heart had reached the point that he could erupt with brutal violence at any moment.
“Hmm?” Bai Xiaochun said, a cold light flickering in his eyes. He took a step forward, vanishing and then reappearing right in front of Zhao Dongshan. Without the slightest hesitation, he then clenched his hand into a fist and punched out!
The fist strike seemed to be filled with all the fury that existed in his heart. It caused the air to vibrate and shatter, and although the shocked Zhao Dongshan tried to defend himself, his battle prowess was vastly inferior to Bai Xiaochun’s. Blood sprayed out of his mouth as he was flung backward several hundred meters, where he slammed into a building that then collapsed on top of him.
Although some of the other nearby clan members had instinctually stepped forward to interfere, most of them subsequently stopped in place. Then, they simply watched with glittering eyes as Bai Xiaochun took another step forward, placing him right in the middle of the collapsed building, directly in front of Zhao Dongshan, who had been struggling out of the rubble. Zhao Dongshan’s eyes went wide with terror at the realization that Bai Xiaochun had come after him again, and he immediately tried to back up.
But Bai Xiaochun was too fast. His hand exploded out with lightning speed to grab Zhao Dongshan by the throat and lift him up into the air. Then, he sent some cultivation base power pouring into him to seal him.
“Was it you?!” Bai Xiaochun asked, his eyes as cold as midwinter snow as he stared at Zhao Dongshan. The way his gaze stabbed into Zhao Dongshan’s eyes made it seem like he was capable of seeing all the secrets inside of him. Zhao Dongshan’s heart immediately began to pound, and he started panting.
Without even thinking about it, Zhao Dongshan tried to struggle free, but couldn’t. The strength of Bai Xiaochun’s right hand was completely terrifying. “What are you talking about? Don’t do anything rash….”
That was what he tried to say, but actually couldn’t. The only thing which came out of his mouth were some indistinct gurgling sounds. By this point, a sense of imminent deadly crisis had risen up in his heart.
“He’s crazy!” he thought. “Dammit, this Bai Hao is a madman!!” Zhao Dongshan’s heart pounded in his chest as he realized that he was likely moments away from death.
Bai Xiaochun looked at Zhao Dongshan for a moment, then slowly closed his eyes. Zhao Dongshan’s expression had revealed nothing but fear of death. Considering how hot-headed he was, if he had been involved with the incident with Bai Hao, then the fact that he knew something about it would have shone in his eyes.
“So he’s not in on it…?” he thought, his anxiety mounting. However, he didn’t release Zhao Dongshan. Instead, he turned to look at the young clan members in the area, the ones who were obviously Zhao Dongshan’s siblings.
“The Proclamation of Universal Grace will be enforced, and I’m here to supervise…. All of you should have fair and equal access to the resources of your clan!
“The people to benefit from the proclamation are those of you who never had any hope of becoming the successor of the clan, and those of you who were born bastards. If you refuse to support the proclamation, then the only people you will be hurting are yourselves!
“If you want the proper amount of resources, then I need you to tell me everything you know about your clan. Tell me about your parents, the members of the elder generation, the heavenly marquis…. The extent of the wealth of your clan will determine how much resources you get!
“The more you tell me, the more information I’ll have for my records. That’s the only way to ensure that the resources are distributed evenly. And in the end, you will get the fairest division of the clan assets!
“I have the power to grant rewards during the carrying out of the Proclamation of Universal Grace. Therefore… whoever among you gives me the most information will get the biggest rewards!
“As all of you can tell, this entire thing is for your benefit. That is why… I need to know everything about the Zhao Clan. And sometimes, the clan’s assets are not physical items, but rather information, reports, and secrets. Such things are oftentimes far more valuable than the material assets!!” The other clan members were getting more excited by the moment, and their eyes were already shining with greed.
They were bursting with excitement and ambition, to the point where some were on the verge of going crazy. From what Bai Xiaochun had just said, they could all tell that the Proclamation of Universal Grace really had been issued to benefit them!
If they wanted to get their share of the assets, then it was important to have a true understanding of what the clan possessed…. And when it came to that, no one on the outside could possibly know as much as the people inside the clan itself.
By this point, Zhao Dongshan’s terror had reached the point of panic. On the one hand, he was terrified at the prospect of dying, but on the other hand, if people took the clan assets, they were basically taking away his inheritance.
Although it was driving him into madness, his cultivation base had been tightly sealed, and he was being physically held by Bai Xiaochun. He had no choice but to wait and see what would happen, his heart filled with mixed emotions of all sorts.
Bai Xiaochun could see how excited everyone was. Looking back at Zhao Dongshan for a moment, he then tossed him into another nearby building, which also collapsed on top of him. Then he flew into motion, taking his 5,000 corpse troopers with him as he went on to his next target… the next heavenly marquis clan!
As he left, Zhao Dongshan crawled out of the rubble of the second building, staggering a bit as he looked around at all of the familiar faces around him. These were his siblings, who he had known for many years, but now, they looked like a pack of wolves….
His heart trembled, and suddenly, the sky seemed dark.