“It’s really that simple?”
Was he really offering them the highest seat in the Underworld on a silver platter, and in such a simple way at that?
The Ghost Emperor of the East looked at the Fengdu Emperor of the North, trying to glean hints from his expression. Unfortunately, the Great Emperor had long since learned to mask his emotions. It was far, far too difficult to discern anything from his facial expressions.
“Northern Fengdu.” Ksitigarbha couldn’t help but frown. This was the highest position in the Underworld! It meant absolute authority over the realm’s decision-making!
The way Ksitigarbha saw it, in the entire Underworld, only the Northern Fengdu Emperor was qualified to sit there.
As for the other Ghost Emperors of the Five Directions, he honestly didn’t think particularly highly of them.
Nevermind the rest, their temperaments alone meant they were unsuited for the throne.
The Ghost Emperors of the Five Directions each managed one of the Five Hells. They saw nothing but the ugliest, basest face of the world. Who knew? Their souls might very well have grown twisted after living in such an environment for so long.
When the former Great Emperor ascended and passed his throne to the Fengdu Emperor of the North, Ksitigarbha had approved wholeheartedly.
Yet now, shockingly, the Fengdu Emperor of the North wanted to give the position away, and in such a simple manner at that.
So long as Cai Yulei dared walk up and sit down, the throne would belong to him.
“Ksitigarbha, I’m afraid I might have to disappoint you. I truly have no fondness for this position. The Fengdu Emperor of the North smiled apologetically at the Bodhisattva, then looked at Cal Yulei and gestured at the throne. “Please, go ahead.”
The Ghost Emperor of the East, Cai Yulei, was only thirty meters away from the highest-ranked seat in the Underworld. These thirty meters were to determine his future position.
Would he return to his position as a Ghost Emperor, immersed in the ugliest aspects of human nature?
Or sit atop the highest seat in all the Underworld, managing its life and death, basking in the throne’s limitless glory?
However, Northern Fengdu’s conditions were far too simple. He’d freely abdicate so long as someone dared sit atop the throne? Cai Yulei thought to himself, if he were in Northern Fengdu’s shoes, could he give such a position away so casually? He couldn’t.
There might very well be some sort of catch.
“What is it? I already made space for you. Why aren’t you moving? Didn’t you come here specifically for this throne?” With that, his gaze fell on Du ZIren and the Guardian Gods of the various Heavenly Palaces.
“Cai Yulei won’t take action but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Whoever takes the throne shall be the future ruler of the Underworld. If anyone dares rebel, he’ll have to get through me first. Go on then, the opportunity is right before your eyes. You’d best learn to treasure it.”
“I’ll take it.”
The Ghost Emperor of the South, Du ZIren, gnashed his teeth and strode forth. When Cai Yulei saw this, he couldn’t help but himself in the chest, cursing his excessive caution. He’d let someone else steal the initiative!
With that, he hurtled toward the throne as fast as he possibly could.
This was the highest seat in all the Underworld! He couldn’t let anyone else take it.
When Du Ziren saw Cai Yulei rushing towards him, he increased his speed…..
But then, the instant Du Ziren’s foot touched the stairs, he let out a bitter shriek. White smoke gushed out of his body.
When he saw this, Cai Yulei came to a sudden stop and stared, dumbfounded, as Du Ziren knelt to the ground, roaring in agony. Then he turned, eyes bloodshot, and glared at the Fengdu Emperor of the North.
“Northern Fengdu, you tricked us!”
“I didn’t.” The Fengdu Emperor of the North simply smiled in response. “Did you really think it was so easy to sit upon that throne? These nine stairs each contain one of the Underworld’s Nine Great Punishments. If you want to rule the Underworld, you first need to accept their baptism. I didn’t trick you; when I first sat upon this seat, I, too, had to undergo this baptism. It’s similar to how anyone who takes the throne of the Heavenly Court must first undergo trial by ninety-nine heavenly flames.”
“Bullshit!” roared Cai Yulei. “I’ve lived in the Underworld for so long, why haven’t I ever heard of such a thing?”
“You’ve been in the Underworld for so long but how many times has the throne changed hands? It’s been Great Sacred Emperor Equaling Heaven’s right from the start, hasn’t it? I’ll repeat myself once more: if you want to sit in this highest of seats, you must first endure the nine steps’ trial. Arguing won’t change anything.”
Cai Yulei’s gaze fell on Du Ziren, who lay on the ground, unconscious.
His heart jumped in fear. After a moment, he looked away, expression cold as he snorted, “you’re bluffing. Northern Fengdu, I really almost believed you. You definitely placed some sort of restriction on the throne. Otherwise, how could you possibly hand it over so casually? How sinister of you. But it doesn’t matter. Du Ziren has fallen but I’m still here. So what if you placed a restriction? So long as I defeat you, I’ll be master of the Underworld regardless!”
Intense spiritual energy billowed off Cai Yulei. Before long, a light blue, horse-headed illusory figure manifested behind him.
The horse scraped its feet against the ground, a demonic red light flashing through its eyes.
Violent gusts swept through the hall. All ten Yama Kings paled in the face of such terrifying spiritual pressure.
An immortal king.
He was at least an immortal king level expert.
“So we’re fighting after all?” The Fengdu Emperor of the North sighed helplessly. “That’s fine then. I’ll deal with you as soon as possible. I’ve got other business to attend to do.”
With that, he reached out and drew a circle in the air. Then he reached into the circle and drew a fish.
Fierce torrents of water gushed out of the circle. Before long, the water reached the onlookers’ shoulders.
A grand gate sat on the water’s surface.
Soon, bubbles floated up from the bottom of the river in a non-stop stream.
A carp burst out of the water, leaped over the gate, and transformed into a dragon!
The carp leaped over the dragon’s gate!
A deafening draconic roar reverberated through their ears!
At the same time, the Fengdu Emperor of the North turned to his assailants and beckoned them over.
“Alright then, you can all attack together.”
“He’ll have a hard enough time just saving himself.”
Xie Bi’an faced Leopard Tail. When he heard this, his expression sunk.
Then he narrowed his eyes and roared, “Leopard Tail!”
“Xie Bi’an, do you really think that’ll scare me?” Leopard tail snorted inquisitively. “How about I tell you why I said he’s in trouble? In truth, the Ghost Emperors of the East and North, as well as several of the Northern Fengdu’s subordinates from Mount Luofeng, the guardian deities of the Zhou Jue Yin, Tai Sha Liang, and Zong Ling Seventh Heaven palaces, have all gathered to force the emperor to abdicate. Got it? The Great Emperor you’ve been relying on can’t possibly save you.”
“Are you saying they…..”
“No need to overthink it. How could all of them possibly be colluding with demons? They’re working together briefly is all,” said Leopard Tail through narrowed eyes.
Xie Bi’an’s heart sank. Even the Ghost Emperors were consorting with demons? How was that possible?
“You’d best give up without a fight. That way, we can keep this friendly.”
“It seems we have no other choice.” Xie Bi’an’s expression darkened. Instantly, terrifying spiritual energy burst from his body, so intense, even the heavens themselves changed color.
Xie Bi’an, the mightiest of the Ghost Martials, had made his move.