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Chapter 1408: Illusion

36 Respected Elder Ming glanced at her nonchalantly.

His gaze was extremely faint, yet Jiang Zhiyuan felt humiliated. It was an expression that would only be revealed when a strong, long-lived warrior faced a minute and insignificant ant.

Jiang Zhiyuan suddenly felt uncomfortable. Although she didn’t come from a true aristocratic family, with the clan leader doting on her in addition to her pretty appearance and outstanding talent, she had always treated herself as a princess these past few years.

Every time she came to the Sky-Cloud Empire, she was proud, imperious, and mighty. There was never a moment she clearly realized that everything she had was lower than others.

She wasn’t more distinguished compared to other people.

“I’ve already said it before. This kind of small matter shouldn’t affect the Princess Consort. It’s the same with me representing her,” said 36 Respected Elder Ming slowly.

“But…” Jiang Zhiyuan still wanted to defend herself, but she met 36 Respected Elder Ming’s gaze. She suddenly fell silent, and her remaining words were stuck in her throat. She couldn’t voice them.

“In consideration of our reputation, there are some words that I didn’t say directly at first. But if you continue to be stubborn… I won’t have to be polite to you as well.”

It was probably Jiang Zhiyuan’s sentence that offended 36 Respected Elder Ming. His gaze became much lighter, and he said slowly, “Jiang Zhiyuan, the news of you being expelled from Ling Xiao Academy has spread all over like wildfire. As a result, do you really think we don’t know why you came to the Sky-Cloud Empire…?”

Does she treat the other people as fools? Ling Xiao Academy is the top academy in the God Residence Realm. Even though it is hard to be admitted, they rarely expel a student so harshly. All these years, the people who were expelled had all committed unforgivable sins, so they were chased out of the academy. 

Ling Xiao Academy didn’t announce the reason for Jiang Zhiyuan’s expulsion to the public. However, one just has to think to know that it isn’t a small matter! After all, she was thought highly of in Ling Xiao Academy in the past. One just has to think to know what Jiang Zhiyuan has done to cause Ling Xiao Academy to make such a decision. Yet, she still has the cheek to come to the Sky-Cloud Empire to seek protection? 

Jiang Zhiyuan’s body swayed, and the last bit of blood on her lips completely faded.

“36 Respected Elder Ming.” Respected Elder Yu Jing knitted his brows. “It’s normal for young people to make small mistakes occasionally. Besides, she—”

“Small mistake?” 36 Respected Elder Ming laughed out loud and didn’t conceal his mockery. “I coincidentally wanted to ask what exactly is a ‘small mistake?’ One that could get Elder Dan Qing to take the initiative to break their mentor-disciple ties?”

One has to know that he specially took care of Jiang Zhiyuan all these years! Yet, he is willing to do this now… It is hard not to let one’s imagination run wild! 

Jiang Zhiyuan bit her lips, and tears welled up in her eyes before they landed continuously.

It was a pity that she couldn’t rebut at all.

She naturally couldn’t announce the truth! If she did so, her life would be completely ruined!

“This…” Respected Elder Yu Jing was stumped.

“But she’s part of the Jiang family after all, and the clan leader treats her extremely well. If he knows that she’s in such a situation, yet we just watched on… How are we supposed to explain this to him in the future?” After much thinking, he could only bring up the clan leader.

36 Respected Elder Ming laughed. “Of course… they have to explain themselves!”

In this day and age, the people who make mistakes still have reason on their side?

“Besides, isn’t the Jiang family… just one of the division clans under the Sky-Cloud Empire? Since when could they call the shots here? Yu Jing, you’re helping them too excessively today, right?” As he spoke, 36 Respected Elder Ming squinted his eyes and sized him up with scrutiny.

Respected Elder Yu Jing’s body went numb from his gaze, and he hurriedly changed the topic. “Am I not doing this for the Sky-Cloud Empire? The Jiang family is the head of the 28 divisions after all. Now that the clan leader is in seclusion and His Grace isn’t here, if something really happens…”

“Whoever committed the mistake will bear the responsibility.” 36 Respected Elder Ming’s attitude was persistent.

After a temporary silence, the two parties fell into a stalemate.

Jiang Hetian became anxious. 36 Respected Elder Ming’s status is higher than Respected Elder Yu Jing’s. If he insists on not letting us enter the Sky-Cloud Empire, then… There will be no hope even if more venerables come! 

36 Respected Elder Ming turned around and wanted to leave. He didn’t have much time to waste on these few people.

“Lock the barrier. Without my permission, nobody is allowed to enter.”

“Yes!” the guard hurriedly answered.

“36 Respected Elder Ming! Please hold on!” Jiang Zhiyuan suddenly took a step forward. As she spoke, she retrieved something from her neck, clenched her teeth, and said, “I have the clan leader’s token!”

The air froze for a moment.

36 Respected Elder Ming slowly turned around and looked at Jiang Zhiyuan in disbelief. “What did you say?”

Jiang Zhiyuan originally didn’t want to reveal this as it had too many implications after all. However… She really had no choice!

She held that item tightly and said carefully, “I… want to go to Wan Zhong Mountain!”

Ling Xiao Academy.

Fengmin Mountain.

Inside the pagoda, everything was silent.

Time slowly trickled past, and even the soft sound of the wind was hidden. Everything in the surroundings seemed to thicken as a slight change seemingly took place.

At one moment, Chu Liuyue opened her eyes again!

Her black gem-like eyes seemed to be shining with a bright light. It was like the remaining spark that fell into the autumn waters, causing faint ripples. The shards of lights also intersected, charming one’s heart.

She blinked in a daze. Just now… There seemed to be a ray of light that flashed before my ‘eyes.’ This saying isn’t accurate as my eyes were shut previously. However, I did ‘see’ that faint ray of light. It seemed like… something had flashed across my mind! But when I opened my eyes, everything disappeared. 

Chu Liuyue knitted her brows. I’ve never had such a feeling before, but after entering this place this time, I became like this for some reason. Besides… I vaguely feel that Elder Meng doesn’t seem to know about this. 

She tried hard to maintain her expression as her gaze slowly swept across the six doors.

Everything was normal. It seemed like… nothing happened.

Chu Liuyue silently closed her eyes.

In no time, that ray of light surfaced again. This time, Chu Liuyue was finally certain that the light had silently squeezed into her mind!

That ray of light seemed to be a fluttering butterfly, going back and forth before her ‘eyes’ and seemingly drawing something.

Vaguely, Chu Liuyue finally saw the outline of it. Then, her heart skipped a beat. That was because… the ray of light actually outlined a door in her mind!

With just one glance, Chu Liuyue was certain that this was the door she had previously entered!

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