Bai Xiaochun took action at the perfect time: the very moment that the Grand Heavenmaster’s Dharmic decree was sent out, shaking Arch-Emperor City and causing all of the heavenly marquises to band together and go to the imperial palace.
It was a time when the nobility and aristocracy were completely unstable, and because of that, Bai Xiaochun swept across them like a windstorm. The successors were struck with fear, and the bastards and direct bloodline non-successors were shown staunch support. For the latter… they now had a justification to be ambitious, as well as something they had never even been able to dream of before: hope!
The truth was that Bai Xiaochun hadn’t planned out his timing at all. He had simply been anxious, and hadn’t dared to delay any longer than necessary. He would have shown up at the clans even if the heavenly marquises hadn’t left. After all, he had two deva corpse troopers, four half-devas, and 5,000 in the Nascent Soul stage. He could even assault the manors belonging to heavenly dukes, much less those of the heavenly marquises.
It was with rapid speed that he began to move out from the Zhao Clan into the other boroughs, toward the other heavenly marquis clans.
There were roughly ninety of them, scattered throughout Arch-Emperor City. Virtually every borough in the city had one, and as soon as Bai Xiaochun arrived, he would immediately take action and grab the appointed successor of the clan.
And he would ask the same question of each one. Was it you?
He accompanied the words with raging killing intent, casting fear into the hearts of the clan successors he grabbed. However, he didn’t turn up any clues, which caused his anxiety to grow, and his voice to grow more filled with rage.
At every clan, he would address bastards and direct bloodline non-successors alike, repeating the words he had first spoken in the Zhao Clan. The only difference was that he began to speak more and more directly.
“Tell me everything about your clan!
“Tell me what assets your clan has!
“Tell me about your clan’s reserve savings!
“And tell me about your clan’s troop movements. Did anyone new show up recently? Was there any suspicious activity among the elder generation? What has your heavenly marquis been up to…? Tell me your clan’s secrets, your hidden resources, your intelligence reports!!
“The more you tell me, the greater your share will be!!
“Whoever tells me the most will receive personal backing from me!!” He spoke such words in clan after clan.
Of course, no matter how quickly he moved, making his way through all ninety of the clans was not something he could accomplish in a short time. Eventually, he split up his force of 5,000 corpse troopers, sending them to other clans with explicit instructions on what to do and say.
Before long, news of what was happening filtered up to the heavenly marquises, who were waiting outside of Heavenmaster Hall to see the Grand Heavenmaster.
They were infuriated, but had no idea what exactly to do. Some stamped their feet and returned to their clans to try to restore order, others remained behind in the hopes of getting an audience with the Grand Heavenmaster.
It didn’t take long before the ambitions in the hearts of the bastards and non-successors began to grow like weeds in a field!
The waiting heavenly marquises began to grow more and more anxious, and were constantly sending and receiving messages to stay up to date on what was happening in their own clans. The fact that their children were all starting to go completely mad had their hearts pounding with anxiety.
“This good-for-nothing Bai Hao!!”
“He was the one that came up with this vicious plan!!”
“Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!!”
Expressions of madness appeared on their faces as they realized that things had already reached the point of no return. The storm had come, and calming it would be no easy task!
Once ambitions arose in the heart, they could not be erased easily. Although it wouldn’t be completely impossible, for all intents and purposes, it was.
None of them had actually met with the Grand Heavenmaster, and yet thanks to Bai Xiaochun, their clans were all descending into chaos. It was already worse than an enemy invasion!
Some clans had it better off. But for those who were truly in pandemonium, their respective heavenly marquises eventually had no choice but to head back to put out the proverbial fires.
By the time the doors of Heavenmaster Hall opened, there were only about twenty heavenly marquises left behind, who then entered the hall with bitterness written on their faces.
It was impossible to say what exactly they talked about, or how the Grand Heavenmaster managed to placate them. But in the end, they all left, unsightly expressions on their faces as they chose to simply hold their tongues on the matter.
By that time it was night, and Bai Xiaochun was waiting anxiously in the Inspections Manor. At a certain point, his transmission jade slip vibrated, and messages began to filter in from some of his most important contacts out in the clans.
After the heavenly marquises had returned, they quelled much of the chaos, and cast fear into the hearts of all their children. Because of that, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t getting a huge amount of news.
However, he wasn’t willing to resign himself to fate. Virtually every day, he would take his army of corpse troopers out to visit the clans, and reinforce the ambitions which had taken root in the hearts of the people there!
Although he experienced some friction with various heavenly marquises, considering he had 5,000 corpse troopers at his command, he didn’t have much trouble dealing with it. Furthermore, he had Zhou Yixing go out and spread more information to boost the confidence of the bastard children.
Things went on like this for three days. The Proclamation of Universal Grace still stood, and the Grand Heavenmaster didn’t seem likely to rescind it. Despite the threats of the heavenly marquises, Bai Xiaochun’s transmission jade slip continued to vibrate as more information and secrets came in.
Another three days passed, and the heavenly marquises continued to quell the chaos in their clans using all sorts of methods. Some used callous techniques, others were more conciliatory. Whatever they did, it was exhausting. After all, they not only had to prepare for what happened if Bai Xiaochun showed up, but they also had to work hard to control internal affairs…. Everyone involved had the blood of the clan in them, which meant that no outsider could be relied upon for help. The marquises had to handle everything personally. Some of them even resorted to executions.
Because of that, more and more people began to act in secret. As a result, Bai Xiaochun’s transmission jade slip vibrated with increasing frequency.
Soon, when word spread that some of the heavenly marquises had brutally killed or imprisoned some of their own children, Bai Xiaochun took his corpse trooper army over and fought them openly as punishment.
The fighting got other heavenly marquises worked up, and they joined in the fighting. However, the bastard sons of the clans, who had been suppressed viciously for more than ten days straight, and who had also been incited into action by Zhou Yixing, finally made a move!
At this point, true chaos erupted in many clans.
Things had reached a boiling point, and all of Arch-Emperor City was being shaken. Eventually, the Grand Heavenmaster took action to stop the fighting. The heavenly marquises couldn’t worry about Bai Xiaochun anymore, and returned to their clans to prevent more chaos from erupting.
Of course, things had only calmed down on the surface. The clans were buzzing with activity. And at the same time, Bai Xiaochun’s transmission jade slip began to vibrate almost nonstop. There were more than 10,000 bastards and other direct bloodline non-successors who were sending him messages.
“My clan has 3,700,000,000 portions of soul medicine!!”
“Exalted Bai Hao, my clan has a secret treasure room. Normally, only the successor is allowed in!”
“I once saw our heavenly marquis with a deva soul! It was metal-type!”
“My clan has a 100,000-man-strong personal army!”
Although the bastards and other direct bloodline non-successors all seemed shaken, they were secretly going crazy, and were beginning to reveal all of their clan secrets to Bai Xiaochun.
By now, Bai Xiaochun basically had spies in all of the clans. And before long, he not only knew everything that was happening in the clans, but could also directly influence the course of events!