On Mount Kunlun, Honored Lord of the Origin felt confused when looking in the direction of Xiqi. Although Su Daji was just a Golden Immortal and maybe one of the insignificant pawns arranged by a Sage, whoever would play this pawn mattered a lot. Would it be Minghe, Goddess Nvywa, Houtu, Laozi, Tongtian, or the Two Sages of the West?
What worried Honored Lord of the Origin the most was that he knew nothing about Su Daji's background. It was like combat between two powerful cultivators. If one knew his counterpart clearly, he could have a greater chance to win. But if one knew nothing about the skills, purpose, or personality of his counterpart, he would meet with big trouble. Furthermore, the less one knew, the more possibilities there would be.
An unimpressive pawn could even cause the Sages to have various types of guesses. However, since this pawn had been arranged in this battle and was even placed at a special point, it could even affect the Battle of the Gods Investiture. Therefore, all the Sages needed to be alert. In this Cultivation Tribulation, everything might totally change in an instant, as if they had never expected the appearance of Su Daji.
No matter how worried all the Sages were, Xiqi was full of laughter now because the Marquis of the West, who had been imprisoned for seven years, was rescued successfully. Bo Yikao and Shen Gongbao naturally got top honors for that, so their reputations in Xiqi were also promoted. Ji Chang, the Marquis of the West, rewarded them generously and Shen Gongbao happily accepted those rewards.
Actually, wealth meant nothing to Shen Gongbao. He even considered a mountain of gold to be just dirt. However, in consideration of the Western Religious Sect, he had to get Ji Chang's and Bo Yikao's trust. Only in this way could he maintain his status in the Western Religious Sect.
Now, Shen Gongbao had naturally gained Ji Chang's trust for rescuing him. He knew that it was difficult for him to get any achievements in government policy or the military, and he was not likely to show his achievements in these two aspects to gain Ji Chang's trust like Jiang Ziya had. Therefore, he had to seize this chance to distinguish himself and keep his status.
As for Su Daji, Shen Gongbao had reminded Zhunti of this issue, but Zhunti only asked him to keep an eye on her instead of taking any action. Furthermore, Su Daji was Bo Yikao's lover. And since there was no evidence to prove that Su Daji had done something harmful to Bo Yikao or to someone else, Shen Gongbao would not mention this issue, lest someone be unhappy about his words. If that happened, he could lose more than he gained.
However, Shen Gongbao did not discover that Su Daji had any flaws even though he always kept his eyes on her. It seemed that Su Daji's appearance meant nothing. Actually, even though she had proven that she was the real Su Daji, she also knew that she would be doubted by the others because the immortal who had saved her was so mysterious.
Su Daji did not care about people's doubts about her too much because she knew that time would reveal her heart. Although she needed to follow that immortal's order, she would not do anything to endanger Xiqi. What that immortal asked her to do was to urge Bo Yikao to cultivate and suggest to him to continuously focus on his people's lives and state affairs. In Su Daji's eyes, the immortal's order was a little bit unnecessary.
As the eldest son of Ji Chang, the Marquis of the West, Bo Yikao had the same status as the prince of a country. When the day came that Ji Chang passed away, Bo Yikao would become the king. He had a high reputation among his people in Xiqi and nearly all the officers would be on his side. With the support of Shen Gongbao and the Western Religious Sect, the position of Marquis of the West would surely belong to him.
It was strange that Bo Yikao changed when he started to cultivate the transforming exercises that were brought back by Su Daji. He used to be a frail-looking scholar, but since he started to cultivate the Zi Wei Emperor Exercises, he became more and more valiant. This was the real temperament of a king.
The change in Bo Yikao caught the attention of others, especially Ji Chang, who was really happy to see those changes from the bottom of his heart. Bo Yikao was the first successor of the Marquis of the West. If he were to remain gentle and suave, how could he govern the entire Xiqi after Ji Chang had passed away? He had finally become what Ji Chang had wished for in the past, which made Ji Chang excited.
Shen Gongbao was also happy about the change in Bo Yikao. When he met Bo Yikao the first time, he discovered that Bo Yikao was surrounded by the Zi Wei Emperor Aura. But when he met with his brother, Ji Fa, Shen Gongbao was confused about the richer Zi Wei Emperor Aura that was around him. Actually, that was not good news for him and the Western Religious Sect.
Shen Gongbao and the Western Religious Sect had now put all their hopes on Bo Yikao. If he could not succeed the position of Marquis of the West, the preaching of the Western Religious Sect in Xiqi would be greatly influenced. Fortunately, the changes in Bo Yikao were good and Shen Gongbao was pretty satisfied with him. Bo Yikao's Zi Wei Emperor Aura became richer after cultivating the Zi Wei Emperor Exercises, even better than Ji Fa's. His aura was increasing day by day and the end was nowhere in sight.
With the growth of the Zi Wei Emperor Aura, Bo Yikao displayed a little kingly temperament and focused more on Xiqi's official affairs. He always tried to solve problems for Ji Chang, who also placed high expectations on him. Most of the officers in Xiqi were willing to follow his orders. All of these positive changes made Shen Gongbao excited, but not everything was smooth.
The reason why he did not feel smooth was Jiang Ziya, who always chatted and drank liquor with him. At first, Shen Gongbao had planned to introduce Jiang Ziya to Bo Yikao to draw the Clan of Enlightenment over to his side. However, he did not expect that Jiang Ziya could be capable of getting such a high position in Xiqi in such a short time. Unexpectedly, Jiang Ziya was like a Dragon of Flood who was trapped on the beach and Xiqi was like the ocean. If the dragon could only get into the ocean, it could raise storms and arouse waves.
Although Jiang Ziya was much inferior to Shen Gongbao in the Laws of the Tao, he had an unmatched talent for power tactics and training soldiers. Over the last 10 years in Xiqi, Jiang Ziya was promoted from a Senior Grand Master to the prime minister. All the officers admired him, and even Ji Chang, the Marquis of the West, trusted him very much.
But this was not the thing that most worried Shen Gongbao. Even if Jiang Ziya indeed had some capability, he would just be a prime minister after Bo Yikao had succeeded the position of Marquis of the West. Bo Yikao always trusted Shen Gongbao more than he trusted Jiang Ziya. However, he found that Jiang Ziya got along well with Ji Fa recently, which made Shen Gongbao somehow worried.
Ji Chang had 100 sons. Except Leizhenzi, who had been accepted as a disciple by Yun Zhongzi, Shen Gongbao had seen others. And none of them were special, except for Bo Yikao and Ji Fa. The best among them had only a little of the Zi Wei Emperor Aura. Because they did not have any capability or reputation, they could not be threats to Bo Yikao's position.
But Ji Fa was different. He was also surrounded by a rich Zi Wei Emperor Aura and was even better than Bo Yikao at dealing with official and military affairs. Although Bo Yikao had some changes recently, he was still weaker than Ji Fa in these aspects. And Ji Fa also had a good reputation in Xiqi because of his outstanding capacity. People admired him and Ji Chang liked him.
Ji Fa and Jiang Ziya had now become good friends. Whether it was intentional or not, Shen Gongbao considered it a sign of danger. Who was Jiang Ziya? He was the second generation disciple of the Clan of Enlightenment and the disciple of Honored Lord of the Origin. Even if Jiang Ziya was the only Enlightenment clansman in Xiqi, he could represent the entire Clan of Enlightenment.
Shen Gongbao was naturally worried about the relationship between Ji Fa and Jiang Ziya. They both had some achievements in handling official and military affairs, which were his and Bo Yikao's weaknesses. If Ji Fa were to receive the support of the Clan of Enlightenment and Honored Lord of the Origin, he could be a powerful adversary in attaining the position of Marquis of the West after Ji Chang's death.
The government of Xiqi could be divided into two main parties. One was the party of Bo Yikao and Shen Gongbao, supported by the Western Religious Sect. The disciples of the Western Religious Sect along with Shen Gongbao's friends controlled the greater part of Xiqi's army. The other was the group of Ji Fa and Jiang Ziya, supported by the Clan of Enlightenment. They controlled all the new soldiers that they themselves had trained.
Generally speaking, Bo Yikao had the advantage. But Shen Gongbao did not dare to relax. Ji Fa would be much more powerful with the help of Jiang Ziya. A man who was powerful, capable, and even surrounded by the Zi Wei Emperor Aura was really threatening, even though he had no ideas at the moment. Although the two parties seemed to be peaceful and they all devoted themselves to the prosperity of Xiqi, who knew what would happen tomorrow.