Within the great hall of the mansion, Yu Mu and Princess Zhang Le sat on two separate tables that were placed side by side. He did not dare to let this distinguished guest sit in the guest's seat while he sat in the master's. The invisible majesty emanated from the princess' divine soul had overawed him, making him extremely cautious and respectful in everything he said and did.
Princess Zhang Le took a sip of the fragrant tea from a beautiful cup carved of jade, then narrowed her eyes and said in a deep voice, "What's your opinion on my proposal, Clan Master? Join forces with me and kill Yu Miao, then you will have the entire Yu Clan in your hands. It can't be easier than that."
But, Yu Mu felt it difficult to decide. He admitted that he wanted the power of the Yu Clan, and he wanted to kill Yu Miao. But, as things stood, if he initiated an attack against Yu Miao, it would certainly trigger a backlash from the Elders who supported this rival of his. Killing a man for the sake of power was trivial, but it was not in his interest to kill a group of Elders and purge a group of his own people for that purpose.
In Pangu Continent, the strength of a clan depended on the strength of its members. Killing Yu Miao and his sons and relatives would not have much impact on the strength of the clan; but if a group of Elders and about seventy percent of the clan members were killed, Yu Clan in Zhong Province would exist in name only. What was the value of a weak clan even if he were really in charge?
The princess looked coldly at Yu Mu with a faint mocking smile playing on her lips. She sipped her tea in silence, leaving the man to make his own decisions. She was slightly scornful of Yu Mu. 'After hundreds of years as the Clan Master of the Yu Clan in Zhong Province, he couldn't even completely control this small clan. It seems that his diplomatic skills and abilities are really lacking!' thought the princess, 'If any of the ministers of Great Yan were here, and what's more, had his overall strength and the support of the Yu Clan in Liangzhu, he would have cowed the entire clan into obedience in ten years at most!'
She sighed silently and put the cup on the table. It seemed to her that Yu Mu was unworthy of her help. She rose to her feet, then nodded to the man and said, "Since you haven't made up your mind yet, consider it a waste of time for me to come here today."
With her lips tightly pressed together and head held high, Princess Zhang Le started toward the exit of the great hall. Yu Mu frowned as he stood up and said in a deep voice, "Please stay! This matter concerns the rise and fall of the Yu Clan in Zhong Province, and I have to consider carefully before making a decision."
She gave him a look from the corners of her eyes and snorted softly, then walked on. The Clan Master was seized with indignation. He wanted to slap the table and shout to vent his anger, but the enormous pressure emanated from Princess Zhang Le's divine soul swayed his soul and deprived him of the courage to do anything rude to her.
Yu Mu had never felt so depressed before. In those years when he was still in Liangzhu, he was considered one of the best among the geniuses of the Yu Clan. After careful selection, he was chosen by the clan and sent to Zhong Province to replace the Clan Master who had met with an accident, and he managed to seize the power of the clan with the help of the Elders from Liangzhu. For hundreds of years, he had succeeded in suppressing the unwilling Elders here and using his power to gather all kinds of resources, which he sent back to the Yu Clan in Liangzhu.
And not long ago, he had betrayed Feng Lingling at the behest of the Yu Clan in Liangzhu, reaping huge benefits for the clan and elevating the Yu Clan in Zhong Province to a new height. Yu Mu prided himself as one of the most capable subjects of Great Yu, and yet this girl was so contemptuous of him!
He could sense a deep contempt in the girl's cold snort and gaze!
No one ever dared to despise him. Even his arch-rival, Yu Miao, had never taken him lightly. But this girl with the family name of 'Ji'...
All his grievances and anger faded away once again. The girl's family name was 'Ji', and he knew he could not afford to offend someone with such a family name. He lowered his head, then clenched his hands into fists and ground his teeth. 'Fine, fine, I should just give her proposal a careful consideration...Should I really join forces with her and kill Yu Miao, then have the clan completely under my control?
'But, how many people are going to be killed? What would the other noble clans think of me if the notoriety of massacring my own people for power were to spread? Liangzhu certainly wants me to fully control the branch in Zhong Province, but would the Elders have a problem with me if I took the power by killing our own people?'
As utterly confused as he was, when Yu Mu lifted his head and saw Princess Zhang Le already at the door, he almost threw his head back and howled. He felt the day had been bad to him. No sooner had he stopped the massacre in the mansion that this girl came over and gave him a tough question!
Just as he was struggling with his decisions, Yu Miao's ghastly voice suddenly came through the door. "Clan Master, I heard you intend to work hand in glove with a girl and kill me, so that you can take full control of the clan? Is that something you've been planning for years?"
Yu Mu was startled. "I don't know what are you talking about," he dismissed that with a cold snort.
Princess Zhang Le stopped and stood proudly in the doorway, looking coldly at Yu Miao, who hurried over with a dozen or so Elders. It was the first time she had ever seen the old fellow with her own eyes. She pursed her lips and gave a cold snort, then said, "So this is how you look like, a shriveled ugly old twerp? How could a lowly trash who looks so ugly and lacks noble qualities like you be the Elder of a clan?"
After comparing Yu Miao in her mind with those famous ministers of Great Yan, the princess found nothing on the old man that was worth praising. He was no more than an old fool of poor morals and ability, a lucky fellow who held some power in Yu Clan because of his blood and the overall strength he had attained. If a man like him were to scramble for power in Great Yan's imperial court, everything he had would be swallowed up by others within three to five years.
Yu Miao strode to the door as he fixed his eyes on Princess Zhang Le who was standing in the way and snapped, "So, you are that Ji Zixuan? Tan Lang's woman? Demoness! Somebody, take her down for me!"
He had felt the pressure coming from Princess Zhang Le too. In fact, as soon as he got close to her, his heart began racing faster. However, as he had been consumed by a towering rage, which burned so violently and venomously that it made his blood almost boil and drove his mind to a state of near insanity, the pressure did not hold him in awe as it did to Yu Mu.
At the order, an Elder standing behind Yu Miao, who was so tall and thin that he looked almost like a bamboo stick, gave a cold snort. Both of his eyes suddenly popped more than a foot out of their sockets as numerous fine wisps of black light burst out of the pupils, forming into what looked like a fishing net and blanketing toward Princess Zhang Le. It was extremely cold, so much so that white snowflakes were falling out from the air as it flew toward the target. Judging by the incredible coldness it was emanating, even ordinary Gold Immortals would have their immortal souls frozen solid and be rendered completely defenseless.
But, the princess just stood still and looked proudly at the Elder who launched the attack.
Just before the net could touch her body, it suddenly crumbled into pieces while the Elder's eyes exploded into countless icy debris. Blood shot out of his sunken sockets like fountains. He let out a shrill howl and rolled violently about on the ground, his hands covering his eyes. The Elder had relied on his eyes to cast all the magic and divine abilities he had mastered, and as they were now destroyed by Princess Zhang Le, it meant that whole of his cultivation base had gone down the drain.
A five-colored beam of light shot up from the top of Princess Zhang Le's head. The splendid shrine inlaid with gold and jade hovered in the light, and in it sat the golden body of the God of Scourge, looking down quietly at Yu Miao and the others who were aghast.
Ancient Gods were the avatars of the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth, the physical manifestation of the Daos that existed in nature. Any attack against them was no different than attacking the Dao directly, and the attacker would be counterattacked by the relevant Dao. The first golden body of Ancient God Princess Zhang Le had formed was the God of Scourge, the source of all disasters. So, when the Elder attacked her, he was immediately struck by the force of disaster. His eyeballs, with all their magical powers, were but mortal bodies, and had immediately exploded under the counterattack.
She did not even lift her finger, and it did not consume any of her energy; all she did was stand there like a mountain. A man who was foolish enough to run headlong into a mountain would naturally have his head bashed and battered, and it did not require the mountain to do anything.
At the sight of the golden body of the Ancient God, Yu Mu sucked in a cold breath. "The bloodline of the Ancient God? And she has formed her golden body? How many years has it been since Great Yu witnessed the emergence of such an almighty expert who has her Ancient God bloodline fully awakened?" He murmured in surprise, his eyes flickering with a bright gleam.
One of the divisions of Great Yu's Secret Palace was the Temple of the Gods, the members of which were all the descendants of the Ancient Gods who had their bloodlines awakened. But even their First Master, the strongest of them all, had not yet formed his golden body.
If those crazy Masters and Elders of the Secret Palace learned about the existence of Princess Zhang Le, who had her Ancient God bloodline completely awaken and formed her golden body, it was highly possible that they would make her the Master of the Temple of the Gods straightaway!
'If I have the support from the Master of the Temple of the Gods, then...' Yu Mu's eyes flickered with a deep killing intent as he looked at Yu Miao and others.
Yu Miao felt the killing intent, so he gave Yu Mu a cold look, then gritted his teeth and asked Princess Zhang Le, "My sons, they…"
"…are cursed by me, and what are you going to do about it?" The princess admitted bluntly, "It's a capital offense to plot against my husband's territory! I have sworn that I will kill you, your underlings, and all your relatives, sparing none of you!"
Yu Miao was taken aback momentarily, then he bellowed a furious roar. "Spare none of us? Who do you think you are?"
Before his words could fade away, the five-colored light beam above Princess Zhang Le suddenly transformed into five giant swords and struck down toward Yu Miao. Meanwhile, amidst the deep roar let out by the golden body of the God of Scourge, all kinds of viruses, poisonous insects, and savage beasts swarmed out of the shrine and instantly engulfed Yu Miao and his companions.
Yu Mu took a deep breath. Suddenly, he pulled out a knife, which was shrouded in a ghostly aura and crafted from the vertebra of some giant beast, thrusting it toward Yu Miao's chest. "Yu Miao, how dare you assault me?" He cried out in a low voice, "Your crime is unpardonable, and you will atone it with your death! Somebody, Yu Miao has lost his mind and tried to murder me! Kill him and his companions now!"
A monstrous, murderous aura towered into the sky from within the mansion. Yu Mu, who represented the Yu Clan in Liangzhu, and Yu Miao, who represented the Yu Clan in Zhong Province, had officially turned hostile toward each other!