Chapter 1363 - The Divine Arbiter
Up in the sky.
After confirming that he was to have an audience with Zhou Wu, Xuan Ji led Ye Zichena and Pu Jingwan away from Heavenly God City.
They traveled north, the city fading further and further into the distance. Even with Ye Zichen’s half-step diviner eyesight, he now struggled to see Heavenly God City, the largest city in all the God Realm.
“Doesn’t the God Emperor want to see me? Shouldn’t we head straight to the God Emperor’s Estate?” Ye Zichen couldn’t help but ask as he watched the city fade from view.
“The God Emperor is currently outside of the city,” said Xuan Ji.
“He’s quite confident, then. To think he’d dare leave the city unattended at a time like this! Isn’t this a good opportunity? If the yao and demons attack Heavenly God City all of a sudden, they’ll take over his nest. Wouldn’t that be interesting?”
“The gods are positioned directly between the Yao and Demon Realms, yet the God Realm has stood undefeated for a hundred million years. Is it really that easy for them to invade?” Xuan Ji glanced at him calmly, her gaze full of hidden meaning. Although his question was in part a joke, she answered it, warning him at the same time.
In the face of her intense gaze, Ye Zichen naturally didn’t look her in the eye. After he looked away, Xuan Ji snorted, “It’s not as simple as you think.”
To save time, Xuan Ji enveloped Ye Zichen in her divine power and forged ahead at top speed. Hours passed, yet they still hadn’t reached the God Emperor’s current residence.
Ye Zichen had already lost track of how many mountain ranges they’d passed. At the moment, all he saw was a sea of clouds.
“We’re here.” Xuan Ji stopped and dispersed her divine power.
The instant it disappeared, Ye Zichen couldn’t help but cry out, “It’s so hot here!”
Her divine power hadn’t just increased his speed; it had acted him as a barrier, making the temperatures easier to bear. Now that it was gone, the waves of heat were rather difficult to bear.
A moment later, he noticed that the white clouds were actually white smoke. That meant this was most likely a volcano.
“How could God Emperor Zhou Wu stay in a place like this?” Ye Zichen couldn’t help but mutter to himself.
“You’ll see the God Emperor in a moment. Remember your place. Don’t place yourself too highly. At the end of the day, he stands at the very peak of his realm. He might have placed the Outsiders’ special emissary on an equal level with himself, but that was in part due to their similar cultivations. He did so as a sign of respect. You, meanwhile, aren’t even a diviner yet. Even considering your connection to the Outside, in his eyes, you’re nothing. Remember, this is the Third Era, not the First Era! But at the same time, don’t humble yourself too much, or he’ll look down on you. You’ll just have to find the right balance between excessive pride and excessive humility on your own.”
Xuan Ji sent all that through transmission. She didn’t open her mouth once. They were already within range of the God Emperor’s “Domain.” Not even the slightest blade of grass shaking in the wind could escape his notice.
Ye Zichen nodded. He wasn’t a complete fool. He knew basic rules like adjusting how he spoke based on who he was speaking with.
He naturally wouldn’t act overly arrogantly.
All experts had their pride. Never mind someone like Zhou Wu, who reigned over their entire realm, even Ye Zichen was no exception. If some sky immortal expert got c.o.c.ky and started yelling at him just because he had a backer, he’d definitely give the immortal a few good slaps.
“It’s good so long as you understand,” Xuan Ji transmitted, then turned to Pu Jingwan. “Jingwan, use your divine power to ease the pressure on him. Once we go further in, his current level won’t be enough to endure.”
“Wimp.” Pu Jingwan didn’t pass up the opportunity to tease him, but she still immediately formed a barrier of divine power around him.
Ye Zichen said nothing even though she teased him.
He was the weakest one here. He had nothing to say in his defense. All he could do was inwardly complain that the God Emperor, who ruled over vast swathes of territory, would choose a volcano of all places as their meeting place.
He was doing it on purpose, wasn’t he?
Even as Ye Zichen complained to himself, a woman dressed like a nun floated over from the volcano.
“Lady Providence,” she greeted them softly,” the God Emperor has already waited quite some time. He sent me here to lead you inside.”
“Thank you, Divine Arbiter. We’ve troubled you,” said Xuan Ji.
They followed the nun further in. As they drew closer to the volcano, the surrounding temperatures multiplied, so Pu Jingwan adjusted the barriers protecting Ye Zichen accordingly.
After a little over an hour, they reached the foot of the volcano.
Ye Zichen looked up at the volcano, which towered through the clouds. Lava, the source of the overpowering heat, flowed downhill.
The heat was so oppressive that no plants grew in the surrounding area.
He looked around, but saw nothing but burnt char.
The foot of the volcano even had around a dozen several-meter-deep ditches. Lava flowed through them, gathering at a thatched hut covered in green vines.
Despite the blazing heat of the lava, the vines seemed unaffected.
When the lava flow reached the space ten meters from the hut, it disappeared into thin air. Ye Zichen couldn’t tell where it went.
“Divine Arbiter, your attainments in spatial control truly make me envious,” laughed Xuan Ji.
“Lady Providence, you exaggerate. Your divination skills are enough to make others compliment you without end,” said the Divine Arbiter.
Ye Zichen couldn’t help but frown.
Mastery over space.
He recalled that as she said that, Xuan Ji had looked at the hut. Could it be that the space around the hut was a separate world?
No wonder it remained intact despite the lava. No wonder it could even grow vines.
Also, the lava that reached ten meters from the hut disappeared. Most likely, some sort of spatial art was sending it somewhere else.
This “nun” was extraordinary!
“The people here are really strong! I can’t see through your aunt, nor can I see through this nun,” said Pu Jingwan in a direct transmission to Ye Zichen’s sea of consciousness.
Ye Zichen froze. If the nun was so strong that not even Pu Jingwan could grasp her strength, then….
Just what kind of people had gathered around Zhou Wu? It seemed that Xuan Ji’s mysterious, opaque words really were a warning.
And here he’d thought with Pu Jingwan and Yan Jian’s support, he could do as he pleased and go where he wanted in the Third Era.
It seemed this wouldn’t be as simple as he’d assumed.
After exchanging flattery with Xuan Ji, the Divine Arbiter glanced at Ye Zichen. Sensing her gaze, Ye Zichen felt increasingly on edge.
“So, this is the youth the God Emperor wants to meet. He’s your esteemed nephew, isn’t he?” said the Divine Arbiter in the same warm, gentle tone as before.”
“That’s right. This is my worthless nephew,” said Xuan Ji.
“You must be joking, Lady Providence. He possesses both the Xuan-Yuan Sword and the Yao-Sealing Pagoda. If he’s worthless despite winning the approval of two such peerless treasures, what are my juniors?” The Divine Arbiter shook their head.
Ye Zichen felt a sudden chill. She’d brought up his divine artifacts at a time like this.
Although it sounded like she’d brought them up casually, there was absolutely no way it was that simple.
“How can this kid compare to your juniors? Isn’t your niece a divine general, responsible for defending an entire territory? Your oldest nephew is even strong enough to contend with Xue Yang? Look at my nephew! He’s not even a diviner yet. Obtaining the good graces of such powerful arguments is nothing but dog-sh*t good luck.”
Xuan Ji pulled no punches as she slandered him, but Ye Zichen didn’t mind in the slightest. Rather, he grew increasingly concerned.