"What's going on?! Why is there someone not following the plan?! Hun Qianduan, how did you educate your subordinates?!"
Within the crowd, the expression of a smiling merchant, who wore an embroidered robe, suddenly changed and became gloomy as he asked the hunchbacked elderly man next to him in a hoarse voice.
The hunchbacked elderly man's face contorted as he straightened his body and cold words drifted out from his mouth as well, "Xiao Yue, don't use that kind of tone with me. I am not your subordinate..."
The elderly man's face continued to contort, then suddenly, it actually peeled off like flowing water and turned into a pale looking face. His eye sockets were deeply sunken and there seemed to be a ghost fire pulsing within.
"Very well! The Soul Sect is indeed formidable… If the plan fails, you'll be assuming responsibility for it." The plump body of the rich merchant suddenly shrunk and as the clothes exploded into pieces, a lean and tall figure was revealed.
A handsome face that was like a piece of ice that did not melt in ten thousand years glanced at Hun Qianduan. With the sonorous cry of a sword, Xiao Yue's body flew into the air as true energy surged out from him. His figure immediately charged toward the execution platform, leaving a contrail at his wake.
Hun Qianduan's expression became sullen and he coldly snorted. The tip of his toes tapped against the ground and he flew into the air. His black robes spread open and soul refinement true energy surged out.
At the center of the execution platform, Xiao Meng's eyes narrowed as he raised his head and looked toward the two figures approaching. He slapped the table and angrily yelled with a voice like rolling thunder as it dispersed into a distance.
"You fiend! I wasn't able to kill you yesterday, but you won't be able to get away today!"
The terrifying aura of a seventh grade Battle-Saint suddenly skyrocketed as Xiao Meng turned into a stream of light and charged toward Xiao Yue and Hun Qianduan.
The corner of Ouyang Zongheng's mouth widened into a smile as he fiercely stomped the ground and charged out. He landed on the execution platform and knocked away two exponents from the sects that were charging toward the platform with a sudden palm strike.
"With I, Ouyang Zongheng, overseeing this execution, who has the audacity to be impudent?!"
Within the crowd, powerful auras continued to appear. The Tiger Guards of the Xiao family had already made contact and were fighting with the exponents from the sects. The sound of battle could be heard throughout the Gate of Heavenly Mystery as it suddenly turned into a field of blood.
Deep within the resplendent imperial palace, an elderly figure was sitting on the imperial throne with a white-haired eunuch in robes standing next to him, with his head lowered.
The elderly figure was wearing a purple crown embedded with gems with his hair tied up and a golden headband embroidered with an illustration of two dragons vying for a pearl. Even though his appearance was old, the domineering aura of an emperor was still present.
"Is the matter of the Gate of Heavenly Mystery proceeding smoothly?" A slightly low voice came from the emperor's mouth.
"Your Majesty, Great General Xiao and General Ouyang have already begun the execution. The exponents from the sects hiding within the imperial city finally lost their patience and made a move," the corner of the white-haired eunuch's mouth curled up as he slightly bowed and uttered with a high-pitched voice.
"They have no choice but to raid the execution grounds. After all, they can't afford to lose six Battle-Emperors… That's why even though they know that this is a trap that I set for them, they would still jump into it… Cough," the emperor faintly smiled with unfathomable eyes and lightly coughed.
"Your Majesty is brilliant. The sects will definitely be destroyed and the Light Wind Empire will regain its peace," the eunuch lightly patted the emperor's back as he softly said.
The emperor waved him away as he lightly sighed, "I know my own body very well. I know that I won't be able to last until all the sects are destroyed, otherwise I wouldn't have laid such a trap for them… Xiao Fu, go help them as well. According to our intelligence, out of the ten great sects, only the old foxes from the Celestial Arcanum Sect aren't participating. The other sects should've dispatched quite a number of exponents. I am afraid that General Xiao won't be able to cope with it."
The white-haired eunuch took a step, slightly bowed and said, "As you command."
The lonesome emperor watched as the eunuch left. He was the only person left in such a big palace.
"With Xiao Fu helping out, this time… should be in the bag. Even if they're not completely destroyed, it should be enough to greatly damage them… Cough, cough, cough."
The battle at the Gate of Heavenly Mystery was extremely harsh. The number of exponents from the sects that infiltrated was slightly out of the expectation of Xiao Meng and the others. The soldier standing guard at the entrance had also been slaughtered as countless exponents charged in.
Xiao Meng was unmatched in indomitability as he faced the Battle-Emperor Xiao Yue along with the peak-level Battle-Emperor Hun Qianduan, and actually managed to suppress both of them to the point where they could only passively defend.
Ouyang Zongheng faced numerous enemies as he aggressively protected the execution platform and prevented anyone from approaching. As the exponents from the sects charged into the fray, the imperial guards joined the battle as well. The two armies started fighting.
There were exponents appearing on both sides of the forces. As the battle became even harsher, warm blood continued to spray onto the tiles of the solemn Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
"Fiends from the sects, it's time for you to die!"
Just when everyone was fighting, a high-pitched angry yell came from the depths of the imperial palace. A white-haired figure flew out, lightly waved a horsetail whisk, and joined the battle.
Xiao Yue's expression changed and he was startled, "Chief Eunuch, Lian Fu! Isn't he always protecting the emperor? He actually made a move as well!"
Hun Qianduan's expression was unsightly as well as he quietly cursed. The cultivation level of the Chief of the Eunuchs was comparable to Xiao Meng. With both of them working together, even though they had more Battle-Emperors on their side, there was still no chance of winning.
"As expected, this is Ji Changfeng's trap! We've been deceived! Let's retreat!"
"Smelly boss, since there's no customers around today, can I go back earlier?" Ouyang Xiaoyi asked Bu Fang, who was curled up on a chair near the entrance, with a pout on her face.
There were indeed less customers than usual. After Fatty Jin and his buddies left, only a few other customers sporadically turned up. His regular customers like Ji Chengxue and the others did not appear at all.
"Alright, you can go back first," Bu Fang expressionlessly replied. It was comfortably warm under the autumn sun and it was making him drowsy.
When Ouyang Xiaoyi heard Bu Fang's reply, her eyes started smiling. She charmingly nodded, then impatiently dashed out of the store and headed for the Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
After hearing the discussion between Fatty Jin and his buddies, she had been feeling restless. After all, her father was one of the people in charge of the execution. If what they said was true, then her father would be in danger.
She lightly sighed as she was about to walk out of the alleyway. However, just as she reached the entrance, she felt a terrifying aura surging toward her.
Ouyang Xiaoyi's expression immediately changed. Without even thinking about anything, her body automatically turned around and headed the way she came from.
However, before she could take a second step, she discovered that a figure had appeared next to her. Then she felt a powerful arm grabbing hold of her and lifting her up.
"Xiao Meng! Stop! Otherwise, I'll kill the young lady of the Ouyang family!"
Xiao Yue hoarsely shouted. He was bleeding all over his body and the smell of blood was even wafting out from his mouth. His eyes were like those of a fierce wolf as he glanced toward his pursuers: Xiao Meng and the white-haired eunuch, Lian Fu.
Hun Qianduan's chest had deeply caved in and there was not even the slightest color on his pale face.
"Retreat into the alleyway. Do you see the store there? Go inside," Xiao Yue indifferently said toward Hun Qianduan while clutching Ouyang Xiaoyi with one hand.
Ouyang Xiaoyi's adorable face was rosy red as she randomly flailed her limbs around. While panting with rage, she angrily scolded, "Xiao Yue! Let me down this instant!"
Xiao Yue did not have the leisure to pay any attention to Ouyang Xiaoyi. His eyes were coldly watching the movements of Xiao Meng and Lian Fu as he retreated toward the entrance of the store with Hun Qianduan.
Bu Fang's eyes had just closed when he heard Ouyang Xiaoyi's unique way of cursing. Immediately, he puzzledly opened his eyes and saw Xiao Yue, who was injured all over and carrying Ouyang Xiaoyi, and a man who looked like a ghost, charging into the store.
Bu Fang was slightly startled. What was going on?
Xiao Yue let go of Ouyang Xiaoyi as he collapsed onto the ground and continuously vomited blood. He hurriedly took out an elixir from his bosoms and swallowed it, stabilizing his injuries.
Only after doing all of this, Xiao Yue smiled at Bu Fang with a pale complexion.
"Owner Bu, someone is causing trouble in your store… Are you going to intervene?"
 Golden headband embroidered with an illustration of two dragons vying for a pearl - This is an accessory that originated from the Spring and Autumn Warring States period. The phrase used by the author was from the Dream of the Red Chamber.