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Great emperors, especially those of Emperor Pillzenith's level, were extremely sensitive to danger. The restriction inside the palace wasn't meant to be a trap and little effort had been put into keeping it hidden. Thus, it was much easier to notice.  The group remained frozen where they were with dark expressions.

Outside, they were beings that could shake the entire human domain with a single stomp. But inside the palace, they were at a mercy of a sharp blade over their heads, one that could descend at any moment. They had to be cautious.

"Your Majesty, did you find something?" Emperor Tallpeak asked quietly.

Emperor Pillzenith was still observing the restriction with his consciousness. "We can't take a step further." He sighed gently. A dark fear flashed through his eyes.

"Is there something up front?" Alarmed, Emperor Tallpeak asked yet again.

Emperor Pillzenith's expression darkened. He raked the area with a glare and gnashed his teeth. He was almost certain that Jiang Chen had something to do with this residence. Emperor Heartcloud was most likely already dead.

Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do about it. If he entered within range of the frightening restriction, the consequences were unimaginable. He scoured the surroundings again to look for a way to bypass the restriction, but the place was a complete maze. There simply wasn't any viable paths.

"Your Majesty, what do we do?" Emperor Tallpeak quietly inquired.

Emperor Pillzenith pondered deeply and made a sweeping gesture."We mustn't proceed any further. We'll sit here and wait."

The crowd was a little skeptical but didn't dare disobey. Emperor Pillzenith was incredibly wise and knowledgeable. If he believed there was something was wrong, then there must be something wrong.

Moreover, Emperor Heartcloud hadn't returned from his excursion yet. Some began to wonder if Jiang Chen was really inside the palace.

The young lord had seen everything and was rather dejected when Emperor Pillzenith stopped just a few hundred meters out of range. Pillzenith is as patient as a wolf and sly as a fox. He's truly a difficult opponent. 

Jiang Chen was prepared to use the restriction for the final time. After eliminating Emperor Pillzenith, Pillfire City would no longer be the threat it was. Unfortunately, the sly fox had sensed the danger and decided to sit back and wait.  He was clearly planning to set up camp and wait for the hare to fall into the trap.

Jiang Chen would naturally never fall for such a dumb trick. Hmph! You want to guard the entrance? What an idiotic plan! He wasn't threatened at all. He was more than willing to wait it out in the palace as he could cultivate twice as fast in here.

Sitting in here for a decade or two would absolutely be fine. The same couldn't be said about  Emperor Pillzenith. It was a battle of patience now.

The days flew quietly by. Two weeks passed in the blink of an eye. Many of Emperor Pillzenith's companions were growing restless. They would've rioted already if not for his incredible reputation and presence.

Jiang Chen, however, was still relaxed as before. According to his calculations, his parents should now be well within reach of Veluriyam territory. Once they returned to the young lord residence, not even Emperor Pillzenith could do anything to them.

Freed of his worries, hewas even more relaxed and spent his days cultivating and meditating. With the passage of time, he continued to make progress and inch towards third level emperor realm.

Will I break through in the palace? He wasn't really feeling the pressure. The palace was his territory and finding him wasn't going to be easy.

While he cultivated at an extremely relaxed state, the great emperors on Emperor Pillzenith's side were losing their cool, especially the two from the Heavenly Dragon Sect.

Emperor Dragontyrant was fuming. "Emperor Pillzenith! When will we stop this fruitless waiting! What can possibly be in front of us that makes you tremble in your boots?"

The Heavenly Dragon Sect was the only first rank sect that would dare speak to Emperor Pillzenith in such an insolent manner. The latter frowned. He was clearly offended by Emperor Dragontyrant's manner of speech.

"Daoist Baxiang, if you don't believe me, why don't you go and take a look yourself?" Emperor Pillzenith answered indifferently.

He'd only invited the Heavenly Dragon Sect because Jiang Chen had been in the company of many great emperors. Since that group had dispersed, there was no longer a reason to keep the sect around. Thus, he no longer felt the need to accommodate Long Baxiang.

This only made the person in question angrier.

"Take a look myself? Emperor Heartcloud isn't part of my sect. But if he was, I'd be the first to investigate why he's missing!" This was obviously a veiled insult.

"Long Baxiang! What are you implying!" A bearded emperor from Pillfire City flung back furiously. He was one of the top three great emperors in the city, widely known as Emperor Cloudsurge.

"Hmph! Nothing at all!" Emperor Dragontyrant burst into an odd cackle.

Emperor Cloudsurge remained extremely irked. "Emperor Pillzenith naturally has his plans. You may leave if you wish. No one will stop you."

"Heh. You talk as though I volunteered for this! I wouldn't be here if you hadn't sought my sect's help!" Long Baxiang continued being contrary.

"Enough!" Emperor Pillzenith glared at Emperor Dragontyrant coldly. "Long Baxiang! My patience has its limits! Cut the nonsense and scram if you want to leave! Do you think I'm scared to offend you just because you're one of the most eminent sects?"

Pillzenith was still incredibly terrifying when he lost his temper. 

Color drained from Emperor Dragontyrant's face. Allowing his companion to calm him down, he silently huffed back to his seat. However, one could tell from his eyes that he was incredibly aggrieved.

"Your Majesty, I have a plan." Emperor Tallpeak suddenly stated.

"What plan?" A glint appeared in Emperor Pillzenith's eyes. Emperor Tallpeak was Pillfire City's strategist and incredibly resourceful.  

"Didn't that brat go to the Moon God Sect to arrange his parents' marriage?"

"Indeed. Many years ago, the Moon God Sect lost an infant who eventually became Jiang Chen's birth mother." Emperor Pillzenith had only recently received this intelligence.

"I heard that Jiang Chen took his mother on his journey back, but his sister, Holy Maiden Xu Qingxuan was left behind at the Moon God Sect." Emperor Tallpeak smiled faintly.

"Oh? Do you mean to say…" Emperor Pillzenith seemed to have caught the gist of the plan.

"Your Majesty, hasn't Jiang Chen always billed himself as righteous and virtuous? Won't he be forced out of hiding if we take his sister hostage?" 

A sinister smile instantly blossomed out of the gloom on Emperor Pillzenith's face. 

"It's worth a try!" A great emperor beside Emperor Pillzenith exclaimed.

"Agreed! Jiang Chen will give up without a fight if we capture his sister. And if he chooses to be a coward, will his guilt allow him to defeat his inner demons? Once an inner demon manifests, the apex of martial dao will no longer be within his grasp!"

"Your Majesty, the plan sounds good. You can leave the task to me." 

"Me too!"

"Your Majesty, we should also take the Empyrean River Palace and Sublime Chord Temple with us just in case the Moon God Sect doesn't cooperate!" The crowd quickly burst into raucous chatter.

A ruthless expression appeared on Emperor Pillzenith's face after deep contemplation. In for a penny, in for a pound. The Moon God Sect had already crossed his bottom line after interacting so many times with Veluriyam.

He was clearly moved by the opportunity.

He previously had to pay heed to his reputation and status, but such things were no longer of concern since the two factions were at each other's throats. The entire human domain was split into two sides by now. 

One with Veluriyam, the other under Pillfire's banner.

Of course, there were also a few neutral parties, but with the escalation of the enmity, those parties would have to pick a side, sooner or later. Since the situation was beyond redeeming, there was no longer a reason to hold back.

He swept his gaze across the crowd. "There needs to be at least six fellow daoists to put my mind at ease."

The Moon God Sect had three great emperors. When taking home-field advantage into account, any less than six great emperors would be inadequate to contend with the sect itself, much less come away with Xu Qingxuan.

Emperor Cloudsurge was the first to volunteer. "Your Majesty, I wish to join the cause." 

"Me too!" another great emperor exclaimed.

"Count me in as well."

"Me too."

Idling in the palace was too boring. Kidnapping a disciple of the Moon God Sect wasn't exactly glamorous, but it gave them an opportunity to release pent up stress.

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