Translation Checker: Silavin
“Whatever. Wait here while I report to my Master. It will be up to my Master whether to see you. We can’t make the decision,” A being, completely silver in colour, said with impatience as he swept his gaze across Chen Ning’er, the Ji siblings and the others.
He entered the palace, and his expression turned from impassive and impatient to deferential in an instant.
“Thank you,” said Ji Yaoxing with a bow. He then muttered “I wonder from which force they are from. Looks like it’ll be harder to obtain the Tower of World Domination.”
Ji Chuyue’s expression couldn’t help turning grave upon hearing her brother’s words. What she worried most now was what their families would do if this mystery group swooped in after the Tower of World Domination emerged. After all, judging from this display, it was obvious that they were from a force that was far from average, and it troubled the Ji siblings.
The Tower of World Domination was linked to the Immortal Palace Treasury, and if their family wanted to regain its former glory, they had to find it. Naturally, they wouldn’t be willing to hand the keys to the Immortal Palace Treasury to someone else so easily.
In the meantime, Chen Ning’er had her eyes glimmering with curiosity. She had a different opinion. To her, the Tower of World Domination was indeed important, but it was just another artifact. Even if it had to do with the Immortal Palace Treasury, one had to gather all Seven Tools of World Domination first, and that would be tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack. It was an indescribably difficult task.
However, the opportunity right before was something she could never dream of in the past. Meeting someone so great. It was a no-brainer which was more probable.
“Young Master, members of the Hidden Ji Family and the Hidden Chen Family are outside the palace and they wish to see you,” reported the silver being after entering the palace.
“Do you want to take a look?” Gu Changge, while sitting, having heard what was going on outside, asked with great interest as he put his teacup down.
“Not interested.” Yue Mingkong shook her head, looking somewhat lazy as she leaned towards one side of the sofa. The fringe hanging in front of her forehead made her less impassive and more aloof and at peace with the world.
Gu Changge smiled at that and headed out of the palace.
Actually, he had Yin Mei look into the Hidden Ji Family some time ago, and the main reason was that he believed Ji Qingxuan was ambitious by nature. She had the goal to never allow the Hidden Ji Family to threaten her ever again.
Thus, he helped plant a seed of ambition, just waiting for the right time for it to sprout. At that time, he expected Ji Qingxuan would never let go of a perfect opportunity he provided. Not when she was so power-hungry.
Coincidentally, the chance to control the Hidden Ji Family had presented itself, and it wouldn’t necessarily be bad to obtain another pawn, either.
After Gu Changge stepped out of the palace, Ji Yaoxing and the others turned grim as their pupils shrank, aghast. “Gu Changge… How can it be him out of all people!? What is he doing here!?”
“I…” Ji Chuyue’s mouth was also agape with incredulity. It was precisely because everyone knew who the young man was that they were shocked.
“I heard you are looking for me?” Gu Changge asked casually with a smile while ignoring everyone’s shock.
“Greetings, Young Master Changge. I am Ji Yaoxing of the Ji Family.” The young man bowed. He, who was normally steady and reserved, was now also behaving deferentially and stiffly.
“Greetings, Young Master Changge. I’m Ji Chuyue.” The young woman, whose gaze was brightly lit, also hurriedly introduced herself after coming to her senses.
None of them had expected to see Gu Changge here. After all, they had all heard he had returned to the Immortal Academy after just having obliterated Purple Mansion.
Gu Changge’s appearance was no secret to the world. Any force with some influence would have seen his portrait even if they had never seen him in person, all to avoid crossing him by accident. Needless to say, after the obliterating Purple Mansion, Gu Changge’s reputation in the Upper Realm had reached an unprecedented peak. Not even the Sky Emperors, Buddha, or Supreme Beings had ever reached such influence when they were young.
On the other hand, Chen Ning’er forced her thumping heart to calm down, then pulled the sweetest smile she could. Or at least she thought she did, and greeted Gu Changge gracefully, “Greetings, Young Master Changge.”
If there was any household name amongst the young prodigies in the Upper Realm, it would be Gu Changge. Thus, Chen Ning’er was so stoked that her voice quivered involuntarily when she saw the man in question standing before her. In the past, she had only ever seen him in portraits and photographic stones, never like this in person. It was no exaggeration to say that he was the perfect husband to many prodigal damsels in the Upper Realm. Be it looks, temperament, prowess, talent, influence, or background, none was flawed, and there was no other man who could match him. Of course, they all knew just where they stood and only dared dream about it, knowing well that they were far from deserving to be his other half.
Gu Changge dipped his head with an amiable smile. “Please, at ease, everyone.”
That said, he had no intentions of inviting them in either.
“So, you have come too, Young Master Changge. I knew it wouldn’t be some average man when there was such a grand display around.” Ji Yaoxing smiled bitterly within, feeling the chances of seizing the Tower of World Domination slipping away. Of course, he would not give up just because Gu Changge was here. Nonetheless, when compared to the latter, he knew he paled in comparison. Furthermore, Gu Changge had so many powerful followers with him.
Now, he could only hope to find the Tower’s location before it emerged. That way, Gu Changge wouldn’t gain much of an upper hand and snatch it from him. Nonetheless, if he could not do so, he also had another plan. If Gu Changge was truly hell-bent on obtaining the Tower of World Domination, he could also make it a gift to him.
Ji Yaoxing was just, not dumb. It hardly needed to be said just how horrifically powerful Gu Changge had become at this point when he could even obliterate Purple Mansion.
The Head of Heavenly Ruin Gate and the others were gobsmacked as well. They were having a hard time believing what they were seeing, thinking this was all a dream. Even though they were provincial, it didn’t mean that they didn’t know who Gu Changge was. But someone like him only lived in legends to people like them.
In the past, they had only ever heard about him in hearsay. But who’d have thought they’d actually get to see the man in all his glory in person?!
Even now, their heads were buzzing, unable to calm down. Their attitude was also servile to the T, for they were even beneath a speckle of dust to great characters like Gu Changge.
“Are all of you also here for the Tower of World Domination?” asked Gu Changge with a smile.
“I’ll be honest with you, Young Master Changge, we have indeed come for the Tower. It’s just that we don’t know where it is even until now,” verified Ji Yaoxing with a wry smile.
“Oh? I had thought you guys would have some clues. If you do, would you mind telling me? I’m willing to pay with a handsome reward,” offered Gu Changge with a smile still, his figure tall and slender, and his robe fluttering, making him look saintly.
“We will most certainly let you know if we find anything, Young Master Changge,” Ji Chuyue spoke up then, sizing the man up with brightly lit eyes. And to leave a good impression on Gu Changge, she even revealed her true facial features. Her small face, fair and flawless; eyes, big and bright; lashes, long; brows, attractively thin. She was like a free elf in the woods, looking like a gift from the world.
“I shall give you my thanks then,” said Gu Changge casually with a smile, not behaving lofty at all. Yet, everyone could sense the stark differences in their status, as such otherworldly mannerisms and innate holiness and nobility couldn’t be fostered without deep, horrific hidden power.
“Rest assured, Young Master Changge. I will inform you as soon as I receive any news or clues,” Chen Ning’er hurriedly promised against her wildly thumping heart. “Since you’re also searching for the Tower of World Domination, Young Master Changge, I shall order my men to search it for you as well.
She was but only in her twenties, and she had a slender figure, fair and flawless skin, and her eyes were clear like the autumn river in contrast to her red lips. A stunning woman. And a shrewd one, too, for she instantly expressed her thoughts and made her stance clear.
She had decided to give up the Tower of World Domination in exchange for obtaining Gu Changge’s favour.
Though she had called the shots without the Chen Family’s approval, Chen Ning’er was certain that they would support her wholly if they knew what she had done.
Meanwhile, the Ji siblings exchanged a glance to find gravity in each other’s eyes after hearing Chen Ning’er’s words.
What the young woman was doing wasn’t problematic from how they saw it. After all, the Hidden Chen Family was different from the Hidden Ji Family. With insufficient might, Chen Ning’er certainly wouldn’t let go of a chance to suck up to Gu Changge.
The Hidden Ji Family, on the other hand, might have fallen from grace, but they were still prideful, especially when the Seven Tools of World Domination was the key for them to regain their former glory. It was a no-brainer to the Ji siblings which was more important.
“Oh?” Chen Ning’er’s words surprised Gu Changge a little, and he answered her with a smile. “Well, thank you very much, Lady Ning’er.”
“You’re too kind, Young Master Changge. It’s my honour to be able to be of assistance,” Chen Ning’er answered with a bowed head and a shaky voice. She could feel her heart racing as a cold sweat gathered in her palms.
The fact that Gu Changge was speaking directly to her put her in a bit of fear and trepidation. Then again, the man was truly as gentlemanly as the rumours described, amiable and mild-mannered.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he was debonair. He didn’t belittle and despise them at all because of their status, and an admiration and a faint aspiration crept up to Chen Ning’er as a result.
But then again, this was a chance for her, wasn’t it?
If she could seize this opportunity, not just her but the entire Hidden Chen Family would also usher in a tremendous change. And Chen Ning’er had utter confidence in her beauty.
She forced herself to calm down at once, and she looked up at Gu Changge while pulling her sweetest smile, or at least she thought so.
“If there’s anything you need, you can let me know, Young Master Changge. My men have already explored the area surrounding Sky Jade Mountain Range, so they know it like the back of their hands. If there are any signs of the Tower of World Domination, I should know almost immediately.” The young woman had a pair of long legs and fair skin. She beamed while speaking, and her eyes were curved into smiling crescents, looking exceptionally sweet.
Ji Chuyue, who was extremely familiar with the real Chen Ning’er, couldn’t help her lips from twitching as she covertly snorted disdainfully.
Other times, that young lady was even loftier than a swan, contemptuous to almost everyone. Only young prodigies like Ji Yaoxing could receive a bit of her attention. Thus, anyone with the right mind could tell what the currently servile Chen Ning’er was trying to achieve.
Then again, which other prodigal damsel would not leap at the chance to suck up to Gu Changge?
Meanwhile, many of the Chen Family disciples behind Chen Ning’er were envious of her. That said, as members of the Chen Family, they’d also be able to ride on her success if Gu Changge took a liking to her.
At that, smugness enveloped their faces as they peeked at the members of the Ji Family, who were all looking somewhat grimly at Ji Chuyue. However, as the Hidden Ji Family’s little princess, Ji Chuyue only revealed her true face to show her respect for Gu Changge and nothing else.
Sure, Gu Changge piqued her curiosity, but it wasn’t to the point that she was willing to drop her pride and butter up to him.
“Well, in that case, I shall give you my thanks in advance,” Gu Changge answered Chen Ning’er with a gentle smile, like a spring breeze blowing by, indescribably pleasant.
Chen Ning’er blushed in response, and she hurriedly waved her hand. “You’re too kind, Young Master Changge. It’s my honour to assist you.”
With that, she snuck a glance at Gu Changge before mustering all her courage to suggest, “I noticed you didn’t bring someone who can look after you on this trip, Young Master Changge. If you don’t mind…”
It was audacious of her to suggest so. In fact, she was already borderline offering herself, and Ji Chuyue widened her eyes in shock, having a hard time believing what was happening.
As the Young Mistress of the Hidden Chen Family, Chen Ning’er was noble in status, and she had plenty of admirers, including the young members of the Chen Family. However, she was normally lofty and condescending, never giving a damn about those so-called young prodigies. Who’d have thought she would be bold enough to suggest herself to Gu Changge here, in front of everyone?!
That said, it could only mean that Chen Ning’er was bold and she did not want to miss out on any possible chances. After all, given her identity, she would never be able to come in contact with Gu Changge.
Nonetheless, Ji Chuyue was impressed with her boldness.
Meanwhile, many of Chen Ning’er’s admirers turned glum. They clenched their fists as deep jealousy and indignation surged within them. However, they dared not let their emotions show. Still, what man could continue watching their crush offer herself to another man in public!?
Gu Changge seemed to also have been caught surprised as a sliver of shock enveloped his face. But before he could say anything, a plain voice came from inside the palace. “No need. He might not mind, but I do.”
Followingly, a tall, slender figure appeared at the palace entrance.
Rraven-black hair fluttered against the snow-white outfit, and the stunning beauty’s facial features were enveloped in a layer of frost, looking absolutely intimidating.
Chen Ning’er’s face turned completely pale as horror enveloped her face. She couldn’t help backing up, feeling a chill running down her spine. Right then, she felt as tiny as an ant being stared down by a being she could not hope to go again.
“Princess Mingkong…” The Ji siblings turned grim as well, having recognised who this newly appeared woman in white was.
“Mingkong, you’re scaring them.” Gu Changge chuckled. “I thought you said you weren’t interested.”
Yue Mingkong said nothing but only shot him a plain glance as though saying, ‘You were going to say yes if I don’t come out, weren’t you?’
Though she knew Gu Changge would never have any feelings for Chen Ning’er, it still bothered her to see him chatting away with other women. In fact, she wanted nothing more than to boot Chen Ning’er down.
However, Gu Changge remained smiling, “Look how terrified you made her.”
Yue Mingkong shot him a dirty glance but still said nothing. However, the horrifically sub-zero air suffocated everyone. None dared say anything and only commented in their heads, [As expected of the future Emperor. Her every move is so intimidating that it’s suffocating. Even her powers are unfathomable.]
Naturally, Chen Ning’er also made out who the lady in white was. “It’s my fault for crossing the line, Princess Mingkong. Please forgive me this once,” she apologised at once.
She was well aware that Yue Mingkong was the future Emperor of the Unrivalled Celestial Dynasty as well as Gu Changge’s fiancée, a status far beyond what she could ever hope to reach. Nonetheless, she never imagined that Yue Mingkong would tag along with Gu Changge, which ruined what she had done.
She had only audaciously offered herself after she was convinced that no personal maid followed Gu Changge on his trip. After all, what maid wouldn’t stay by their Master’s side? Especially when Gu Changge had shown himself. Never would she have expected that he hadn’t brought his maid but his fiancée instead.
“Lady Ning’er’s just being nice. Why not be friendly, Mingkong?” Gu Changge couldn’t help chuckling as he dissuaded.
Yue Mingkong shot him an icy glance, then snorted before reentering the palace, for she knew people would think she was petty if she kept at it. [Why should I bother myself with a mere girl like her!?]
Of course, she had made her presence known only to remind Gu Changge to stay away from other women when she was around.
“I’m sorry you guys have to see this. That’s just how domineering Mingkong is.” Gu Changge smiled.
Everyone hurriedly beckoned with their hands as they pacified.
“No, no, Young Master Changge, you’re too polite…”
“Princess Mingkong’s genuineness impresses us all.”
“Yeah, you and Princess Mingkong are such a perfect match that we’re all envious.”
Everyone spoke up after the other, not daring to say anything disrespectful. And they became even more apprehensive as not only Gu Changge had arrived at Sky Jade Mountain Range, but even Yue Mingkong had come too. Just like that, the fight for the Tower of World Domination became even more difficult.
Subsequently, members of the Ji Family bid Gu Changge goodbye in the Ji siblings’ lead and left one after another, planning to discuss their next plans.
On the other hand, Chen Ning’er was still somewhat traumatised. Nonetheless, she came around pretty quickly and was still feeling hopeful. After all, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How could she let go just like that?!
In her opinion, Gu Changge would most certainly value her if she could help him locate the Tower of World Domination. Thus, the minor setback didn’t completely defeat her. Thus, she returned to her normal lofty self.
[There must be something special about the man by Ji Chuyue’s side earlier, or the Ji siblings wouldn’t pay so much attention to a mere mortal. I’ll have to do something about him when I have the time.] Chen Ning’er narrowed her eyes, having devised her next plan.
After returning to the palace, Gu Changge chuckled as though he hadn’t realised what he had done wrong while looking at Yue Mingkong, who was glancing icily at him. “Is it me, or is someone jealous?”
Yue Mingkong shot him a dirty look. “Don’t you dare be nice to other women when I’m around.”
“You sure are overbearing,” said Gu Changge helplessly as he shook his head. “You’ve scared off a good pawn. She had at least mustered up the courage to offer herself. You should learn from her.”
“Whatever.” She glanced at her fiance and then smirked as a sliver of animosity laced her crisp voice. “I worry I will boot her down if I see it again.”
In the next following days, the vicinity of the Sky Jade Mountain Range grew increasingly noisier, and many divine rainbows appeared in the sky as rumbling Ancient Battle Chariot rolled by.
More and more people rushed over after hearing that the Tower of World Domination would emerge in this location. Apart from youths, many veteran and old experts have also arrived. In fact, some were even in the Sacred Realm.
Many forces had become jumpy as a result, apprehensive. When have these many cultivators ever visited a secluded place like Sky Jade Mountain Range?!
Word of Gu Changge being present in the area had also spread, causing quite an uproar.
Many were speechless, never expecting Gu Changge to have also come to snatch the Tower of World Domination when he had just obliterated Purple Mansion.
Though, there were a few who knew Gu Changge had the Flask of World Domination in his hands. Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising for him to seize the Tower too.
In fact, quite a few had decided to back out after hearing the news, knowing they were no match for Gu Changge.
Of course, it was still only a small fraction of cultivators who had such an idea, as most knew the winner takes all.
Once it came down to a fight, everyone still fought with what they could. Certainly, no one would back down just because their opponent had a horrifying background.
Meanwhile, the Ji siblings didn’t leave Heavenly Ruin Gate after bidding Gu Changge farewell but instead headed to the living quarters of the Handyman Peak to speak with Jiang Chen, who was meditating on a slab of stone in front of his hut when they arrived, sensing the flow of the essence of the universe.
He opened his eyes the second he heard Ji Chuyue’s distant voice, and he smiled while looking in her direction. However, he froze the second he laid his eyes on her. As good as he was at focusing, he was stupefied for a long while after seeing her.