Many of the bastard children and direct bloodline non-successors had hated Bai Xiaochun in the past. But now, he stood on their side, and even represented them! As the person enforcing the Proclamation of Universal Grace, they were all on the same team!
It wasn’t that none of the heavenly marquises had thought of defying the order. However, as time progressed, the truly vicious aspects of the Proclamation of Universal Grace only became clearer. Each clan had one successor. However, the heavenly marquises were all people with profound cultivation bases, as well as multiple wives and concubines. It was only natural that they would have many children. Furthermore, all of those children were members of their clans. And now, all of the bastards and direct bloodline non-successors were on the side of the Grand Heavenmaster!
Unless the heavenly marquises completely exterminated their own bloodlines, the unrest inside their clans would never be completely quelled, and there was no way they could defy orders in rebellion!
Furthermore, in the final analysis, the Proclamation of Universal Grace kept all clan resources within the clan itself, and also within the bloodlines of the various heavenly marquises. As such, the Grand Heavenmaster could only be said to be acting reasonably!
Justice and reason were on his side, and thus, everyone supported him. Thus, the truly ferocious nature of the entire plan was revealed. And what was even more terrifying… were the common citizens of Arch-Emperor City!
The nobility and aristocracy were vastly removed from the common people. Therefore, when the Proclamation of Universal Grace was announced, the common people staunchly supported it!
Although it wouldn’t directly benefit them, they were generally envious of the nobility and aristocracy, and especially the successors. Therefore, they were very happy to see everyone within the nobility and aristocracy treated the same.
It would immediately cause very powerful people to fall, and although they would likely rise to prominence again, the disparity between them and the common people would be greatly reduced.
As such, the common citizens in Arch-Emperor Dynasty were all very excited about what was happening.
Furthermore, they supported the Grand Heavenmaster more than ever. Yet again, the Grand Heavenmaster’s prestige rose to a higher level, a level that was completely and utterly unprecedented!
In fact, he was now in the position to smoothly establish his own new dynasty if he wished to!
That filled the heavenly marquises with dread and bitterness. The heavenly marquises were all profound schemers, and therefore, it didn’t take long for them to realize how truly terrifying the Proclamation of Universal Grace was!
And yet… that realization did them no good. Knowing the facts and being able to do something about them… were two very different things.
“If Bai Hao really did come up with this idea… then he's completely terrifying!!”
“His ability to craft and scheme could terrify even ghosts and gods! He’s a complete master at manipulating people!”
“What kind of person do you have to be to come up with a vicious plan like this…? Wait a second…. This Bai Hao was born a bastard! Dammit! I bet he came up with this idea all the way back in Giant Ghost City, in the Bai Clan!!”
And yet, the storm was only just beginning. Things had started in Arch-Emperor City, but they soon spread to other parts of the Wildlands. It wasn’t just the heavenly marquis clans who were affected. Many necromancer clans erupted into pandemonium.
And the person responsible for all of it was Bai Xiaochun, who currently sat cross-legged in the Inspections Manor. He did nothing to cover the exhaustion in his eyes. Up to this point, he still hadn’t rested. Instead, he read each and every message that came his way, analyzing it and hoping to piece together any clues he found.
About half a month had passed since Bai Hao had gone missing, and Bai Xiaochun’s madness had become like a raging sea of fire that threatened to burn both the people around him and himself.
He simply couldn't stop worrying about Bai Hao and his safety. Unfortunately, none of the information he had received up to this point had been of any help. He was deeply worried and sick at heart, to a level he had never experienced before.
The only time he could keep his breathing straight and his aura steady was when he was immersed in looking for clues. Although he had plenty of information stored in his jade slip now, none of it was comprehensive. He knew that any hope of finding Bai Hao rested in getting more clues.
“The wildfire caused by the Proclamation of Universal Grace… needs to burn a bit hotter!!” With that, he looked up, focusing his gaze on a certain direction…. Arch-Emperor City’s Borough 5!
Borough 5 was the location of a heavenly duke clan!
“The time has come to make a move against the heavenly dukes. Not only will I be able to get more good information, I can also instill a bit of confidence in the cowards there!” Gritting his teeth, he flew into the air, and was soon leading his corpse troopers toward Borough 5!
Many, many people were paying attention, and noticed what was happening. Countless eyes tracked the army of corpse troopers as it flew through the sky, and before long, people realized that he was heading to Borough 5, which was the location of a heavenly duke clan. At that point, people began to gasp in excitement.
“A heavenly duke clan!?!?”
“This Bai Hao is too gutsy. He’s actually going to a heavenly duke clan to enforce the Proclamation of Universal Grace!!”
As the conversation buzzed, 5,000 corpse troopers descended on Borough 5, with Bai Xiaochun in the lead position. He was flanked by two corpse troopers who emanated deva fluctuations, one in silver armor and one in black. Next in the procession were nine half-deva corpse troopers in black armor.
They didn’t even pause for a moment after entering Borough 5. They headed right for the heavenly duke clan.
Bai Xiaochun vaguely recalled this heavenly duke as being an old man with whom he had had a few relatively cordial dealings. Unfortunately, he was running out of options at this point. As he neared the clan, a glowing shield of light suddenly appeared to block his path.
A face appeared on the surface of the shield, a middle-aged man who looked at Bai Xiaochun with cold eyes.
“Inspections Commissioner, if you have something to say, go ahead and say it. However, you are not permitted past this point!”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes narrowed as he looked through the shield at the clan, where numerous clan members were staring up at him. Although they all looked calm, he could see glints in the eyes of some that revealed to him that even many people in this heavenly duke clan were looking forward to the effects of the Proclamation of Universal Grace. Unfortunately, they could not act out in any way because of the unbelievable power of the heavenly duke himself.
After a moment of thought, Bai Xiaochun chose not to try to use force. He simply hovered there and projected his voice with his cultivation base so that it passed through the shield.
“I'm here on the orders of the Grand Heavenmaster, to supervise the enforcement of the Proclamation of Universal Grace!
“Heavenly marquis clans and heavenly duke clans alike must comply. Even the four heavenly kings are not exempt!
"Clan resources must be split fairly within the clan. Whether you are bastards, or direct bloodline members with no right of inheritance, all of you….” With that, he proceeded on with his usual speech.
When he was finished, the expressionless middle-aged man looked at him and said, “Finished? Please see yourself out!”
With that, the face of the man faded away, and Bai Xiaochun was left hovering there, a slight frown on his face. After a moment passed, he turned and headed to the second heavenly duke clan.
After that was the third, and the fourth…. Before long, he had visited every clan between Borough 1 and Borough 5. He had visited nine heavenly duke clans, and they had all treated him the same way as the first one he had visited!
Not a single heavenly duke allowed him to enter their clan. They permitted him to speak outside of their spell formation shield, and then unceremoniously asked him to leave.
It was cooperation of a sort, but their attitude left Bai Xiaochun with a very unsightly expression on his face. As for everyone who had gathered to follow him and watch the show, various thoughts ran through their heads.
Furthermore, the children in the various clans were also watching, and it caused their hearts to sink.
“Don’t tell me that the Proclamation of Universal Grace isn’t going to last much longer….” All of them were wondering about the potential profits and losses at hand.
The nobility and aristocracy watched as Bai Xiaochun grimly arrived at the location of the final heavenly duke clan, the Chen Clan!
Chen Haosong’s clan took up nearly half of the entire borough, and had a heavenly duke pagoda that rose up far higher than any of the heavenly marquis pagodas.
Everyone in the clan sat silently waiting. As for all the children of the clan, the events which had played out among the heavenly marquis clans because of the Proclamation of Universal Grace had been very exciting to them.
And yet, none of them had dared to act. After all, the difference between a heavenly marquis clan and a heavenly duke clan was difficult to even put into words!
Back in the initial bloodbath, the Grand Heavenmaster had put an end to eighteen heavenly marquises. However… not a single heavenly duke had been affected. Generally speaking, as long as the heavenly dukes didn’t openly betray the dynasty, their positions were unshakable. They were devas, and whether it was in the Wildlands or the Heavenspan River region, such people existed on a higher level than everyone else!
As Bai Xiaochun arrived at the Chen Clan, the glowing shield sprang up, preventing him from entering. Then, a voice echoed out loud and clear.
“Speak. And when you’re done, get the hell out of here!” The scorn and loathing in that voice couldn’t have been more clear.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes narrowed as he looked through the shield at the heavenly duke pagoda, and then suddenly… he smiled!
It was a cold smile, a smile… filled with unrestrainable madness!