The golden color in this Purple Crystal jade bottle was exactly the same as the glittering color that had surrounded Tan Tan. The people that had been present in that dark forest in the Middle Three Heavens would've certainly been amazed to discover this if they had been here.
It was almost the break of dawn. Diwu Qing Rou slowly walked to the front of the window. Then, he pulled it open… He breathed directly into the oncoming twilight breeze. But, his face remained insipid, calm, and collected.
He remained standing still like that for a long time in the face of the blowing wind. After that, he finally turned around, and took the Purple Crystal jade bottle from the desk. Then, he put it into his bosom, and walked out.
Diwu Qing Rou's tall and carefree silhouette appeared outside a small and hidden courtyard after some time. This place was obviously heavily-guarded.
He showed a command token. And, the guarding experts silently retreated, and gave him the way.
Diwu Qing Rou entered. Then, he again put out a command token, and opened a secret way.
He showed nine different command tokens in total, and finally arrived at the end of the pathway. He had arrived in front of a secret chamber.
Four white-clothed old men were sitting in meditation with their eyes closed in front of this secret chamber.
One of them heard the sound of movement, and slowly opened his eyes. He then immediately shot two almost substantial golden lights from his eyes. He wrinkled his brows as he looked at Diwu Qing Rou. He then said, "Qing Rou of Diwu Clan? What brings you here again?"
The three other men didn't say a word. Their eyes also remained closed. They seemed like sculptures made of wood.
"I have come to see that person. I need to confirm something." Diwu Qing Rou respectfully bowed.
"Confirm something?" that white-clothed old man asked.
"Yes." Diwu Qing Rou said. "That refined pill has exploded as anticipated."
"Oh?!" All four white-clothed old men opened their eyes at the same time as these words came out of Diwu Qing Rou's mouth. "So, you mean to say… that matter is done?"
Diwu Qing Rou took out the jade bottle, and showed it in his palm. He then said with a warm and gentle smile, "It should be done if that man hasn't lied to us."
The four old men looked at the sparkling golden color. They couldn't help but look at each other. They were trying very hard to remain calm, but all of them could see the look of being pleasantly surprised in each other's eyes.
"Go in," one of the old men insipidly said.
"Alright." Diwu Qing Rou bowed his head. And, a meaningful look rapidly flashed past his eyes.
He had said 'it's done'… but was it truly 'done'?
Squeaking sound came from the secret chamber. And, a slight door opening was exposed. Diwu Qing Rou quietly waited until the time he could enter inside. Then, he calmly and leisurely went in.
Those four old men outside the chamber again closed their eyes when Diwu Qing Ruo went in. Then, the door closed with a squeaking sound, and they opened their eyes at the same time as if by prior agreement. They then looked at each other with a complicated expression in their eyes.
"It's a pity." The white-clothed old man in the middle took a deep breath.
"It's a great pity." The rest three nodded at the same time.
"It's not without reason why Great Elder regards Diwu Qing Rou as important," that white-clothed old man softly said. "We have an Elder of the Three Stars Divine Clan here. And, Zhuge Clan has been seething with excitement since this news has greatly spread in the clan. The Clan Lord's face becomes flushed when he waits for the time to open the door. And, his pace becomes slightly faster after he has entered. Moreover, he often gets restless to squeeze in near the gate when the gate hasn't yet opened.
"But, Diwu Qing Rou has been waiting very calmly. I've carefully observed... He has come three times. But, his facial expression doesn't change even a bit every time he comes." The white-clothed old man in the middle sighed, "This man has the talent of looking at the bigger picture at just one glimpse. He has genuine talent to look at minute details. There are only a few among the Zhuge Clan's younger generation who can rival Diwu Qing Rou's decision-taking ability and his broad thinking."
"That's right. It's a pity that he isn't a member of the Zhuge Clan…" another white-clothed old man softly said, "However, it is fortunate that Diwu Qing Rou is very loyal to the clan as their retainer."
The vision of the white-clothed man in the middle flashed. He then awe-inspiringly said, "Why would I have kept him alive up until now if it hadn't been so?"
Then, these four closed their eyes at the same time.
Diwu Qing Rou entered the secret chamber. There was a long passage. This passage was sparkling with fluorescence from left to right, and top to bottom. It was completely made of solid Black Mysterious Iron.
The entire passage looked like a long iron coffin!
Diwu Qing Rou proceeded at a moderate pace. Then, he turned a corner, and finally arrived at a relatively spacious secret room.
This secret room's gate was around five feet wide. Starlight was twinkling on the entire gate. It was completely made of Star Iron!
There was a man behind the gate… He was covered in bloodstains. The four limbs of his body as well as his cervical vertebra appeared abnormally twisted. His head was deeply lowered. It seemed that he didn't have any breath left in him… as if he had already died.
Moreover, almost every joint of his body had been penetrated with shackles made of Star Iron. He was firmly locked up in them… He was shackled up very tightly and very cruelly. So, one could well-imagine how important a prisoner he was for the Zhuge Clan!
Diwu Qing Ruo stood in front of the gate for a long time. That man wasn't making the least bit of sound.
A look of admiration lit up in Diwu Qing Rou's eyes. He then gently tapped at the Star Iron door. Then, he softly said, "Third Elder, have you thought over it lately?"
A snapping sound came from that man's neck-joint. Then, he slowly lifted up his head, and looked at Diwu Qing Rou. A light of impatience and longing flashed in his eyes. But, his voice was indifferent and ruthless, "Your Zhuge Clan… is playing with fire. You're courting death!"
However, Diwu Qing Rou didn't get angry. He insipidly said, "Third Elder, our Zhuge Clan is one of the Nine Ruling Clans of the Nine Heavens. Moreover, Zhuge Clan's wise martial art of probing the secrets of the fate is second to none. So, the Divine Clan should cooperate with us. In fact, it would be beneficial for both the parties. I truly don't understand why you're being so rigid."
Third Elder snorted, and weakly said, "My Three Stars Divine Clan would rather become slaves of dragons instead of becoming friends with dogs!"
"That's ambitious!" A faint look of admiration flickered in Diwu Qing Rou's eyes. He said, "But, it's only a pity that your Divine Clan doesn't have any hope now. All of your hopes have already died out."
Third Elder's entire body shook out. Suddenly, radiance flickered in his eyes, and the mark of sun on his forehead glittered and shone… It was clear that his emotions were stirring up. However, the cry that came out of his mouth was filled with anger, "You… what have you done?!"
Diwu Qing Rou chuckled, and said, "Third Elder, let me tell you that you should give up and be at ease in your heart… That's because I've already accomplished that thing."
He had said these words as gently as before. His tone also hadn't changed. It was neither warm nor hot. It was as neutral as yin and yang.
However, the Third Elder suddenly heaved a sigh of relief as if his heart had been unburdened. Then, he lowered his head, and his entire body slightly trembled.
He could feel that Diwu Qing Rou had wanted him to give up while saying these words. However, there had been another meaning in these words that only he had understood…
[You must give up and be at ease. It means… you can rest assured.]
[It's only 'me' who has accomplished that matter… It's not 'us' who have done it.]
The word 'us' was missing from his words.
The Third Elder curled up on the ground. Then, the few strands of hay on the ground issued slight rustling sounds as he fiercely trembled. His breaths had turned very heavy… It seemed as if he was blowing into bellows. Anyone who would see him now would definitely think that he was shivering out of anger and sighing out of hopelessness.
However, only Diwu Qing Rou knew that this man was in fact excited and pleasantly surprised.
"What proof do you have?" Third Elder suddenly lay low on the ground, and said in a hoarse voice, "Do you have anything to prove that what you're saying is true?"
"Proof?" Diwu Qing Rou softly said, "Of course, I have proof. But… Third Elder, what would you give us in exchange of that proof?"
Third Elder gasped, and said, "I won't say anything henceforth if you can provide me the proof."
Diwu Qing Rou showed a faint smile, and said, "You won't say anything… just that? Don't forget that you still need to give an explanation to our Zhuge Clan."
Third Elder took a breath, and said, "You rest assured. I'll give you the explanation as long as you present the proof to me."
Diwu Qing Rou gently smiled, and said, "This being the case…"
He had stretched his words while saying this. It seemed as if he was keeping the listeners in suspense… as if he was waiting for something.
A white-clothed old man had been sitting cross-legged in a very distant place… He finally smiled with satisfaction when Diwu Qing Ruo spoke till here. A hair-like thin tube made of Red Cloud Steel was placed in front of him. The conversation between these two people underground was being clearly transmitted through that pipe.
That man then snapped his fingers. And, a gust of wind rose up above ground.
Then, that white-clothed old man's body started to float lightly as if he was a cloud. He kept sitting cross-legged. But, he was floating like a moving cloud and flowing water. His silhouette disappeared in a flash!
He felt relieved.
That's because there had been nothing unusual in the conversation between Diwu Qing Rou and the Third Elder. It had been entirely in the benefit of the Zhuge Clan. Moreover, it was crushing every bottom line of the enemy.
Things had come to this situation. So, he was convinced that the overall situation was already decided. [The Third Elder might not cooperate… But, our people can always use that awakened being in the Middle Three Heavens to draw in the other members of the Divine Clan!]
[The Three Stars Divine Clan would get split up into factions in that case. Then, at least some of them would be willing to cooperate with the Zhuge Clan.]
[It would be enough even if there are only a few who are willing to cooperate.]
He let go of that Red Cloud Steel pipe, and it suddenly shrank into the ground at a great speed. It quickly disappeared without a trace.
Inside the secret chamber… Diwu Qing Rou was still waiting.
Three gentle taps were soon heard from the outside. Then, there was no sound.
Diwu Qing Rou smiled. He then strolled over the pathway, "Third Elder, look what I have in my hand!"
He turned over his hand as he said this, and revealed that Purple Crystal jade bottle.
He put it forward… A golden color was flickering and issuing light-beams in this deep grey prison. It was illuminating this entire secret chamber which had been built with various strange metals. It was emitting splendid radiance!
Third Elder suddenly raised his head, and foolishly looked at the golden light. Then, he slowly shed two teardrops from his eyes.
He remained in a daze for a long time. Then, he suddenly started to cry in a hoarse voice.
Diwu Qing Rou quietly looked at him. He didn't say a word. He had a look of deep understanding in his eyes.
A long while passed. Then, Diwu Qing Rou said in a soft voice, "Third Elder, don't forget your promise."
He then turned around, and slowly walked away... However, he turned his head to look at the Third Elder after he arrived at the gate. He then said, "We will meet again."
Third Elder sat facing the wall. He lowered his head when he heard this. Then, he turned around, and said, "It's a deal!"