There were too many consorts and palace maids here in front of the Highest Shrine. There was no end in sight to the crowd. The majority were nobles while the court officials only consisted of less than ten percent.
After all, this was a grand day for the royal clan. The other officials were only here as spectators.
Only the three directors, nine ministers, eighteen marquises, and the Divine King could stand at the front. The other royal members were ten miles in the back to look at the majestic shrine.
Feiyun was only the Divine King's disciple right now so he had to stay in the back as well, waiting to be summoned.
He had zero interest in this type of worshipping ceremony. His eyes darted towards Dongfang Jingyue. Even Jingshui noticed his gaze but Jingyue acted as if he didn't exist. Her pretty eyes were on the Highest Shrine like a proud swan, not paying attention to the frog that is Feiyun.
'This damned woman is very strange today, not even glaring at me. Is her brain broken after fusing with that jade vessel?' Feiyun was tortured by curiosity and secretly made a snowball. He looked around and found no one looking at him so he threw it towards Jingyue's neck with lightning speed.
No one dared to release their divine intents and physical senses at the Highest Shrine so he was able to go unnoticed.
"Boom!" The snowball struck her head. There were snowflakes all over her hair and neck before rolling down her white dress.
Feiyun was quite pleased with himself and quickly turned away to take a dignified pose as if it had nothing to do with him. He stared intensely at the shrine.
He stole a glance at her and found her glaring at him as if wanting to eat him alive. He restrained his laughter and felt much more comfortable being glared at by her than previously.
At this time, nine bells came from the shrine. The leader of the nine ministers, Feng Chang, was in charge of the ceremony. He stood beneath the gigantic cauldron and began to chant the old text of the royal clan.
Everyone withdrew their energy to show respect to the royal ancestors. Meanwhile, Feiyun was yawning and suddenly rolled his eyes in a devious manner, wanting to tease Dongfang Jingyue again. He secretly bent down for another handful of snow but the moment he did so, his head got hit by a huge snowball, issuing a loud bang.
He stood up and looked around. Everyone was standing orderly so he got no clue who ambushed him just now. His sight turned towards Jingyue. This damned woman was also standing very solemnly.
He became quite annoyed. Nothing was worse than planning against someone just to have the plan backfired at you.
Feng Chang was finally finished reciting the worshipping text. He then raised his voice and announced: "Attention, the Seventh Prince, Eighteenth Prince, Seventy-second Prince, and Feng Feiyun. Accept the gift from the Highest Shrine."
An old eunuch had taught Feiyun this particular ceremony last night at the Divine King's mansion.
The three princes were standing in front of the shrine. Only Feiyun was missing.
Feng Chang slightly frowned and shouted again: "Attention, Feng Feiyun, accept the gift from the Highest Shrine."
Before the shrine, people needed to seal their cultivation and divine intents. Even a strong master was just like a mortal right now. Feiyun was more than ten miles away; it would be strange if he were to hear the old man.
He wanted to find his ambusher initially but finally heard the second beckon. He noticed all eyes were on him but he didn't become embarrassed at all. The thick-skinned guy continued perusing the crowd for a bit before finally walking forward with his head held high and chest out.
This was quite a gallant appearance, worthy of being the disciple of the Divine King…
"Bang!" Suddenly, he got tripped by someone and directly dropped to the ground.
Jingyue was standing there nonchalantly without looking at Feiyun dropping next to her. Her almond eyes were on the shrine; she had no intention of helping him up.
Everyone was gloating at his failure. Some even thought to themselves: 'This demon's son is so weak, can't even walk right at a dignified ceremony like this. He's losing all face of the Divine King.'
"Oh the spirits of the royal ancestors, please accept Feng Feiyun's bow." Feiyun stayed on the ground with a solemn and respectful expression. He turned towards the nobles and prodigies with a bright smile: "In accordance to our tradition, we must first bow for the spirits of the ancestors deserve our respect."
"Oh spirits of the royal ancestors, please accept another bow." He maintained this charade.
At this time, he could hear a quiet chortle from Jingyue: "This is the Highest Shrine, worshiping the ancestors' golden avatars, not their graves. How can their spirits be here, idiot."
He blushed after hearing this with lines running across his forehead: 'This damned woman, I'll pay you back double in the future.'
He was certain that she was the one who tripped him. If it wasn't for her, he wouldn't be bowing towards these damned royal ancestors or whatever.
He got up again and stole a glance at Jingyue. She was still dignified like before and wasn't even looking at him, looking arrogant like a peacock.
"Oh golden avatars of the ancestors, please accept my third bow." After completing three bows, he walked proudly towards the Highest Shrine before the crowd without any shame.
Inside the Highest Shrine were eight old men with fully-white beard sitting down. They happily nodded their head.
One should be respectful towards the royal ancestors if they were to become the Divine King. Feng Feiyun's action so far pleased these ancestors. They got quite a good impression of him.
Beiming Moshou lamented quietly: "Divine King, you really have a way with teaching, not bad at all."
"Thanks, you're too kind but Feiyun was already a good kid who understands propriety and respect." The king smiled.
'We'll see.' An indistinct glint flashed in Moshou's eyes. He had made enough preparations for Feiyun to fail and die in the royal sacred ground.
Feiyun couldn't become the successor in his plan. He had already chosen one among the three princes.
Meanwhile, these princes were already waiting at the jade stair beneath the shrine for Feiyun. The four of them finally climbed the thousand-step stair. They cut their wrist and dripped their blood into the cauldron.
Their blood boiled inside the cauldron and turned into red plumes.
"The ceremony is over and so the sacred ground shall be open." Feng Chang shouted.
The clouds above the shrine suddenly trembled. The sky turned into a gigantic mirror reflecting an entirely different world. Four rays fell down, causing the four to disappear from thin air.
From beginning to end, Feiyun never saw the Jin Emperor. The number one of the dynasty was also heading towards the sacred ground.
This was a deep path situated in an endless expanse. There was no end in sight.
The three princes separated; all of them were at the young king level with extraordinary aura.
They released their divine intents and senses after leaving the shrine. They didn't only hate Feiyun but also each other.
This was a cruel competition, no less than the one to be crown prince. The winner would become the next Divine King while the rest could only continue to cultivate in shame. Proud prodigies like them couldn't accept this. If it wasn't for the devilishly talented Long Luofu and Long Shenya, they would have tried for the crown prince position as well.
"So this sacred ground isn't located in the dynasty. Looks like a gap in a secret dimension." Feiyun was walking on the path and could sense the atmosphere of a separate dimension.
Low, intermediate, and high-level realms couldn't produce spirit energy. That's why cultivators who came in cared about their personal energy, not wanting to waste it.
Feng Feiyun wasn't afraid of this. He had enough spirit stones to replenish his body's supply.
After entering, he determined that this was an intermediate-level secret realm. The beast soul realm in the Wanxiang Pagoda was a low-level realm that spans for an impressive one hundred thousand miles.
An intermediate realm was much more stable than a low-level and was ten to a hundred times bigger.
There was no stabilized sky and earth but floating continents have been formed.
Of course, without development, these continents couldn't give birth to life. One wouldn't be able to find a drop of water here.
However, this place has been excavated by the royal clan for many years. More than six thousand years worth of accumulation from their dynasty was located in this place.
There were a total of twelve continents of differing size, quite far away from each other.
The largest one was 80,000 miles long and 48,000 miles wide.
The smallest one was 6,200 miles long and 5,4000 miles wide.
After six thousand years, the royal clan had only excavated four continents. They were working on another one while the other seven were no-man-land. The harsh atmosphere there could kill a first-level Heaven's Mandate cultivator in one day.
The second he made it in, Feiyun felt several monstrous, suffocating auras approaching.
There were several super masters here with cultivation at least on the same level as the Divine King.