Yet, how would Sect Leader Tongtian allow his disciples be listed just like that? Tongtian couldn't help scoffing as he felt their occasional gazes on him and his killing intent suddenly flared before disappearing. Just then, the Sages were reminded that it was Tongtian who established the Clan of Severity and his God-killing Sword Formation was so strong that only four Sages could break it. It was farfetched to think he would be so easily persuaded. Furthermore, it was his disciples that they were scheming against.
Honored Lord of the Origin lowered his head and considered the issue for a moment. He then asked, "Master, the Investiture of the Gods needs so many that I'm afraid not even all the disciples of my four clans can fill it. How many disciples of each clan should be on the list?" The answer to this question was exactly what the other Sages wanted to know.
Hongjun said calmly, "The 2,000 Vice-Gods and 84,000 divine troops of Heaven will mainly be selected from mortals. The four clans will be responsible for filling up the vacancies for the 365 Gods at the top of the list. You may discuss and decide who will attend the Investiture and write their names on Investiture of the Gods using supernatural power. You should hand over the list in 300 years."
He immediately disappeared after he finished his sentence, returning to the Way of Heaven.
The Sages began to scheme. It was a relief that only 365 Gods would be required of the four clans, but once they attended the Investiture which made them relatively relieved. However, once they attended the Investiture of the Gods, they would be bound by the Heavenly Court. How could they be willing to make their disciples suffer?
Yet Laozi appeared calm. The Clan of Humanity was also involved in this tribulation, but Xuandu was the clan's only one inner disciple. His cultivation was in the Realm of Sage-to-be and he was also equipped with the Spiritual Treasure gifted by Laozi for protection. No one could instantly kill him except for the Sages. Besides, no one could hurt him when he stayed in Mount Shouyang most of the time under Laozi's protection.
If Xuandu was selected to be listed, that meant the end of the Spiritual Inheritance of the Clan of Humanity. Laozi would definitely put up a fierce fight. This was something all the Sages knew, but Laozi wasn't entirely sure they truly understood. He glanced at Minghe, who he had openly offended the last time. If Minghe took action, Xuandu might not live even with his protection.
Minghe burst out laughing when he noticed Laozi's stare. "This has nothing to do with me so I'll excuse myself. You all may discuss it slowly!" He then stepped out of the Zixiao Palace. There wasn't any point staying here. He might as well return to the Untainted Land as soon as possible and make his plans. After all, he intended to seek revenge for the attack he suffered in this tribulation of the God Deification Ceremony.
Since it had nothing to do with Goddess Nyuwa and Pingxin either, they took their leave as well to make room for the Three Pure Ones and Two Sages of the West. After all, the four clans were the main characters in this tribulation. Goddess Nyuwa and Pingxin wouldn't feel at ease if they didn't come to a conclusion. However, the God Deification Ceremony was not a welcome event and concerned the future of their disciples. How could they compromise?
The Investiture of the Gods was a precious treasure and was now in front of them, yet they had no desire to fight for it. After all, it was the God Deification Ceremony of the Heavenly Court and the Investiture of the Gods would later be handed to Haotian. There wasn't any point for them to fight for it. What they should be focused on was selecting the 365 Gods for the Investiture.
But they were, of course, unwilling to offer up any of their disciples so they could only look at the Investiture. No one wanted to be the first to speak and each of them was scheming how to make the other offer up more disciples.
Laozi was the first to break the long silence. "This is an important matter to the tribulation. We need to choose the 365 Gods of the Investiture. I'll start." He wrote down a dozen names on the Investiture using his supernatural power without stopping. What he had written, however, were the listed disciples of the Clan of Humanity alone.
Laozi waved a hand after he finished writing, sending the Investiture to Honoured Lord of the Origin, who followed suit with writing down names using his supernatural power. The names he wrote were of the listed disciples of the Clan of Enlightenment, who had either low cultivation or deficiencies. In short, these disciples were worthless to him. He was reluctant to put down the names of those with good aptitude, even if they were listed disciples.
When he was done, he passed the Investiture onto Sect Leader Tongtian who immediately wrote down the names of more than 30 listed disciples of the Clan of Severity. Some of these disciples slacked in their cultivation while others were bad in conduct and harmed the reputation of the clan. Putting down their names on the list was his way of helping them, also to keep them out of his mind and sight.
Finally, the Investiture ended up with Jieyin and Zhunti who wore depressed faces. They hesitated for a long time before finally writing down six names. They then returned the Investiture to the other Sages again.
There weren't even 70 disciples on the list by the time the Sages were done. That was far less than the required 365 Gods, never mind the 2,000 Vice-Gods and 84,000 divine troops of Heaven left. If this continued, when would this God Deification Ceremony be over?
Lao Zi looked at the Investiture that contained less than 130 names on it. "We don't even have 70 names on it, let alone required 365 Gods. We have to come up with a solution."
Zhunti chimed in and said, "Tongtian, your Clan of Severity is known to be large with tens of thousands of worshipper. Since the Investiture needs more than 200 people, why don't you fill in the rest of the vacancies? It's also a way out to be the Gods of the Heavenly Court. It's not a bad idea for them to enjoy worldly sacrifices."
Tongtian sneered and retorted, "Zhunti, don't make it sound so nice. If you think it's such a good thing, why don't you let your disciples fill those vacancies? I've already put more than 30 names. If we need more, it'll have to come from you all. Though I have many great disciples, I have no more left to offer."
The rest looked displeased to be told they have to submit more names. Jieyin put her palms together and said, "Amitabha. That's wrong, Tongtian. Your clan has tens of thousands of worshippers but the bad are mingled with the good. The God Deification Ceremony is a great chance for you to rid of those with poor aptitude. What's wrong with it?"
Tongtian was about to flare up when Honoured Lord of the Origin interrupted to say, "Jieyin is right. Third brother, you have a large number of disciples, especially in the Demon Tribe, but you don't have a supreme treasure to suppress their Luck. It'll just impede you in the long run. It's better for you to take this chance to filter the bad ones from the good to make the Luck of the Clan of Severity last. You can consider this as killing two birds with one stone."
Tongtian was even more infuriated. It was one thing to hear this from Jieyin and Zhunti, but from his second brother and one of the Three Pure Ones? Though Honoured Lord of the Origin often reproached him, he never took it personally. Yet his second brother was helping Jieyin and Zhunti instead of him. How could he not be angry?