Upon realizing that he was unable to locate Lilia even with his own Sudden Inspiration, Fang Xingjian planned on switching his target to the evil god summoning ritual.
Since the Purple Robed Mages were going to participate in it as well, he would naturally be able to track down the Purple Robed Mages during the ritual and then Lilia's location from there.
The next day, news of Fang Xingjian coming out from his seclusion spread through the entire academy. Fang Xingjian also got to know of the situation in the Great Western Region during his period of absence by listening to Zhou Xingwen's reports.
While Fang Xingjian had been cultivating in seclusion, striving for the next tier of the Nine-Tiered Heavens, a mysterious Divine level expert had infiltrated into the academy.
However, the current state of the academy was unlike before. Almost all of the core members possessed the reinforcements from the ninth level of the mystical prints, and there were also three Divine level experts taking charge—the Fourth Prince, Prince Philip, and Tyrant. Not only did they manage to chase off the intruder, but they also dealt serious injuries onto the intruder.
Other than them, the Governor and the Head of Department had both reached the level of a Demigod with three tiers of perfection. Zhou Xingwen, Robert, Ronan, and Ferdinand had also become level 29 Conferred Knights with the help of the ninth level of the mystical prints.
As such, the academy's power could be said to be at the top within the region. They were fully deserving of being known as a top notch influence in the Empire.
There had also been an unknown Mage who attempted to infiltrate the Xingwu Region. The intruder was then pushed back by the three Divine level experts—Lan Yue, Blue Sacred Moonlight, and Astral Ancestor.
After the Northern Ice Region was suppressed by Fang Xingjian, the Holy Light clan had further developed the region to become as sturdy as a metal barrel. Under the lead of Jacob who was the head of the Holy Light Clan, everyone had pledged their loyalty to Fang Xingjian.
With that, out of the eight regions in the Empire, the Great Western Region, Northern Ice Region, and Xingwu Region were now under the Second Prince's faction, or rather, under Fang Xingjian's control.
Zhou Xingwen stood before Fang Xingjian and said, "Xingjian, the scouts that the Second Prince left in the palace have all been removed. The palace is now under the control of many groups of mysterious experts. There are even unfamiliar Divine level experts entering and leaving the place."
Fang Xingjian raised his brows. "Unfamiliar Divine level experts?"
"That's right," Zhou Xingwen said, "The various great forces in the world have never given up on infiltrating into the palace. There are always various attendants or servants getting bribed."
As the center of the world, the palace would always be a place of concern for all influences and organizations. Regardless of whether it was Prince Philip, the Fourth Prince, the Second Prince, or other top notch influences, they would definitely have their own spies in the palace. It was just that their spies would have varying levels of abilities and would have taken up different positions.
Things like these would always continue to happen despite there being prohibitions throughout the generations. There was simply no way to stop this situation from happening.
Zhou Xingwen continued, "But more than one month ago, His Majesty changed all the people in the palace, so all the spies have been removed. In their places, there are now a big batch of mysterious experts. Even when a Demigod from the northern's Steel Lion Kingdom attempted to infiltrate, the person was immediately killed on the spot by the guards."
Fang Xingjian nodded and thought of the information he had received concerning 'Shang'.
Right now, while he was in possession of two sets of Sudden Inspiration from the mystical prints and from being at tier four of the Divine level, Fang Xingjian's guesses were increasingly accurate. Although he could not state the concrete reason as to why, he guessed that this matter definitely related to 'Shang'. A firm confidence about the past and future grew in his heart.
Zhou Xingwen continued, "The members of the Krieg royal family are not the only ones involved in this evil god summoning ritual. Even the Gold, Red, Black and Purple faction Mages are involved as well. The implications of this ritual are so great that it can affect the trends that can change history.
"It's likely that other than the Church of Universal Truth, there is no one else who can change the fact that this matter will definitely occur."
Fang Xingjian nodded. "Make preparations. I'm going to make a trip to the Imperial Capital."
Zhou Xingwen got a great shock and quickly tried to persuade, "Xingjian, I know that your sword arts are unrivalled in the world, but right now, the waters of the Imperial Capital are deeper than we can imagine. Not only is there Alexander, a tier five Divine level expert, but the Gold, Red, Black and Purple Mage Kings are there as well. Moreover, each of their abilities would be stronger than Alexander's. There are also the mysterious experts who have suddenly appeared in the palace.
"As the sworn enemies of the Mage Association throughout tens of millions of years, the Church of Universal Truth definitely will not sit by and watch as the evil god summoning ritual takes place. This is like a huge vortex and getting involved will only lead to getting smashed into pieces. It's better to wait quietly on the sides and reap the spoils while the others fight it out."
Fang Xingjian shook his head. How could he possibly be unaware that the evil god summoning ritual had already become a great storm that involved even the four great influences—the Ancient Path of Hell, Shang, Mage Association, and the Church of Universal Truth. Even the northern Steel Lion Kingdom and the eastern Sand Country would be unable to sit and watch quietly. It was likely that they were waiting to reap the benefits from this situation.
In this storm, even with his current Celestial Eradication Sword Formation and his cultivation as a tier four Divine level expert, Fang Xingjian would still be at risk of losing his life.
However, he would be able to pick up Lilia's tracks from this. Moreover, the Sudden Inspiration reactions told him that this evil god summoning ritual had great implications, so there was no way that he could hide from it even if he tried.
While Fang Xingjian and Zhou Xingwen were in discussion, Head of Department James suddenly barged in.
James' lifespan had been nearly at its end previously, yet he had been unable to attain any breakthrough despite all the hard work he put in. His appearance had become extremely aged.
However, after obtaining reinforcements from the nine levels of the mystical prints in addition to the endless riches and resources that Fang Xingjian provided, James was now a Demigod with three tiers of perfection. Not only had his lifespan been increased, his black hair had also started to grow out again and his skin had become tighter. James no longer appeared like an aged elderly and had instead regained his appearance of his middle-aged days.
However, right now, his expression was very dark, and fury was flickering in his eyes.
At the sight of this James, Fang Xingjian asked, "What's wrong, Head of Department?"
James said, "Xingjian, I want to make a trip to the Imperial Capital. With you around to take charge of the Imperial Capital, I'm assured now."
Fang Xingjian asked, "Why do you want to head to the Imperial Capital? To be honest, the Imperial Capital is currently filled with dangers. It's deep and unfathomable with many experts from various backgrounds gathered. Even I'm not completely confident that I'll survive if I go. If you were to go with your current abilities..."
James laughed bitterly. How could he not know about the current dangers in the Imperial Capital? However, he had a reason why he definitely had to go.
He said, "The Second Prince's only bloodline is left in the Imperial Capital. But he is being bullied and humiliated, and his life is at risk at well. I have to go."
It turned out that the Second Prince's only son had been left in the Imperial Capital all this while. A few days ago, he had sent out a request for assistance from the Great Western Region.
As a veteran serving in the Second Prince's faction, there was no way that James could sit by and watch as the young master was in danger. However, he was also aware that the current Imperial Capital was a great vortex and that getting involved meant being in danger of getting crushed.
James then said, "Xingjian, the Imperial Capital is now filled with dangers all around but it'll be fine for me to go alone. I'll try to deal with the situation. You better not take the risk.
"You're currently like a thorn in His Majesty's flesh, so it would be too dangerous for you to go. You should stay and take charge of the Great Western Region, and await for the results of this event."
Fang Xingjian stood up and walked over next to James, saying, "Head of Department, I'm indebted to the Second Prince for him recognizing my worth and taking me in. Although his whereabouts are unknown at the moment, how can I possibly just watch as his child gets humiliated?"
Although Fang Xingjian was almost devoid of emotions, he was still aware of some ethics and morals. He used these as the criteria for his actions in case he lost control and just did whatever he wished.
He looked at James seriously and said, "It's inevitable for me to make a trip to the Imperial Capital with the evil god summoning ritual coming up. Leave the Second Prince's matter to me.
"You should take this chance to stay in the Great Western Region. With your current cultivation and the effects of the tenth level of the mystical prints, you'll probably be able to attain the Divine level soon. With that, you'll be able to provide us with greater help."
After Fang Xingjian's persuasions, James finally agreed to his request.
In order to head to the Imperial Capital in a stronger state, Fang Xingjian first made a trip to Wang Xiaoyan's and Fang Qian's location to take a look at the progress they had made in modifying the Panwu Heavenly Raiment.