Translation Checker: Silavin
Spiritual energy swirled thickly in the grand palace, while some light glowed faintly. Weapons were hung on the wall, shining with divine light.
Bai Lian’er was wearing clothes made of hemp, yet it did not have an impact on her beauty. Her features were cold and flawless, and she exuded a freezing aura despite her seductive looks.
“Fine. I’ll agree to your terms” Her voice was surprisingly charming yet emotionless, which sounded awkward. Gu Changge stood with his hands behind his back, smiling as he looked at Bai Lian’er and Bai Hua. His shimmering dark ceremonial robes were embroidered with noble and mysterious patterns, which looked to include the stars, sun, and moon, as well as the mountains and the seas.
“I knew Lady Lian’er is an intelligent person. Talking to someone intelligent is so easy.” Gu Changge smiled and spoke to someone outside the palace. “Luoshen, serve tea to Lady Lian’er.”
Jiang Luoshen, who had been curious about the identities of the man and woman Gu Changge had taken here, rolled her eyes. She didn’t care about concealing herself since he had already noticed her and walked in. She had shiny golden hair, a tall curvy figure, bright eyes, and an elegant air to her.
“You are treating me as your maid.” She snorted before walking towards the tea set and began to activate the True Godly Illusion Flame so she could brew it for him. Her movements looked well practised.
Bai Lian’er glanced at her and immediately knew who she was. While she was confused about why Jiang Luoshen was with Gu Changge, she did not ask any questions and gazed coldly at Gu Changge. “I hope you will honour your promise. Besides, I’m much older than you, so you don’t have to call me Lady. Just call me by my name.”
Gu Changge smiled without any concern. “Age doesn’t really matter to cultivators like us. Why are you so fixated on such minor issues, Lady Lian’er? Besides, we are working together now and you don’t have to be so concerned.”
“Hmph, I would never dare let down my guard with you. You have made me suffer enough and I do have some understanding of myself.” Bai Lian’er looked cold and refused to accept anything else.
He didn’t care about her attitude and continued, “I think you can give me the brocade bag now.”
She laughed coldly. “Didn’t you say you weren’t interested in it? I don’t have it now as I have placed it somewhere well concealed.”
She had been extremely careful as she knew it was no simple brocade bag and so didn’t take it everywhere with her. Instead, she chose to hide it somewhere else in fear that she wouldn’t have anything to bargain with Gu Changge once he captured her.
“Is that so? Then you’ll have to go get it for me. I’ll get someone to care for your Junior while you are gone.” He seemed to have suddenly understood and smiled.
“Sister Lian’er.” Bai Hua’s expression shifted as he felt both fear and respect towards Gu Changge. He could never forget the feeling of being close to death, narrowly avoiding such a fate. If Bai Lian’er hadn’t stopped the other man, he would have been killed.
“I already promised you and I will never take back my words so easily. I still have some integrity.” Bai Lian’er knew what he was saying in between the lines since he was worried she would escape.
“I believe in you, of course. But I should take necessary precautions, no?” Gu Changge smiled.
She glared at him. This was a materialistic, cruel and decisive man and she had to prove her worthiness if she wanted him to obey his promise. Otherwise, there would be no room for negotiation.
She walked out of the palace and Gu Changge watched her disappear with a smile, not letting anyone stop her.
“You’re letting her go just like that?” Jiang Luoshen already guessed who Bai Lian’er was and was shocked.
He glanced at her. “Just brew tea just like I asked you to. Why do you have so many questions?”
“Will answering me kill you?” She frowned in annoyance. He was treating her like a slave and now even refused to answer a question from her.
“Do you think everyone is as dumb as you?” Gu Changge shook his head and asked someone to take Bai Hua away so he could be cared for.
Jiang Luoshen glared at him, wanting to throw the boiling hot tea on his face. When he glanced at her though, she bent her head down and made tea as she had been told.
Empress Yao Xi had already sent people to enquire about the Quelling Chaos King’s ambush of the Life Forbidden Area, but Gu Changge hadn’t elaborated much on the subject. He knew she was already suspicious of Jun Fan much more than the other young prodigies. However, there was no use if she knew Jun Fan was Jun Bufan since she had no evidence.
Making a baseless assumption would disappoint many since Jun Fan and his father, the Quelling Chaos King, had performed a heroic deed on the peak of Sacred Mountain by saving Empress Yao Xi. Claiming that Jun Fan was the son of the former Solar Demon Overlord without proof would end up distancing the other court officials from her, as they would think she was worried about the Quelling Chaos King overshadowing her. As of now, the thing Empress Yao Xi most wanted to do was to investigate Jun Fan for proof.
“Your Majesty, from the information we have of that day, Young Master Changge has truly gone to the the Quelling Chaos Kind’s Manor.” Qing Mei reported respectfully to Empress Yao Xi, who was currently reading memorandums.
“Well, the Quelling Chaos King taking the army must be his decision then.” Empress Yao Xi rubbed between her eyebrows, feeling conflicted by the whole thing.
“Except for Young Master Changge, there may not be anyone in the Demon World who could order the Quelling Chaos King around.” Qing Mei answered politely.
Empress Yao Xi nodded and her expression became thoughtful. “Why did he do so? The Life Forbidden Area has already been taken over by Jun Ruoxi six thousand years ago. She even signed a contract with me so we don’t interfere in each other’s affairs.”
She had just unified the Demon World back then and it did not have a stable foundation yet. At that time, Jun Ruoxi was the eldest daughter of the Solar Demon Overlord, who was extremely powerful due to many years of cultivation. Thus, she was someone who Yao Xi could not offend. Very few knew about this and Empress Yao Xi hadn’t announced it to the public before.
Now that the Quelling Chaos King had led his army there, Jun Ruoxi might think Empress Yao Xi had decided to break the agreement. Empress Yao Xi didn’t really mind that, but she was more concerned about why Gu Changge would do that. Because Jun Ruoxi was Jun Bufan’s sister?
“Jun Fan is part of the army as well. Is Gu Changge testing him?” Her slender fingers tapped the tabletop. Her investigations of the young prodigies hadn’t yielded much evidence but she had already eliminated many of the suspects. The one who she was most suspicious of was Jun Fan as well as Zhao Tian, the only son of the military commander. Jun Fan was the greatest suspect, while Zhao Tian gained her attention since he held military power and thus had a lot of contact with Qing Zhu.
The Quelling Chaos King had suddenly sent an army to the Life Forbidden Area in the Demon World while claiming he was obeying an order from her. She had been stunned at first before realising it might have been Gu Changge’s decision and an investigation showed that it to be true.
“It seems that I should pay attention to this for now. If it really is Jun Fan…” Empress Yao Xi’s expression cooled. She hadn’t figured out why Gu Changge had descended to the Demon World; she had thought he was here to help but had been greatly mistaken. It didn’t make any difference to him whether he helped her or not, and there was a change of ruler in the Demon World, None of this would affect him since he didn’t care about the Demon World.
Gu Changge had been extremely purposeful when she became acquainted with him, and while she hadn’t thought it through back then, she now understood everything clearly. She didn’t have anything to complain about since it was a mutual exchange. All she wanted to know was his purpose for coming here.
“Is it because of the Six Demon Overlords who disappeared?” She frowned slightly. Thanks to him, the Demon World had become much more peaceful these days and the riots had decreased. She was still uneasy though, not about Jun Fan’s faked death, but about the missing Six Demon Overlords. [Were they his ultimate motive for coming here?]
Meanwhile, Bai Lian’er had returned. She did not disappoint Gu Changge and handed him the mysterious brocade bag. However, he did not open it before her and chose to discuss another topic. “There’s something else I have to trouble you with, Lady Lian’er.”
“Say it.” She looked at him directly. She was curious about what was inside the brocade bag, but it was disappointing that he hadn’t opened it in front of her.
“Jun Fan, as the remnants of the Five Demon Overlord from six thousand years ago, has always been secretly planning the assassination to topple Empress Yao Xi. I guess as a former member of the Demon World, you wouldn’t want to see that happen.” He was still smiling brightly.
She sneered. “Nope, that is exactly what I want to see.”
“No, you don’t. You are a kind and just person and will never want this to happen. So, I would like to ask you to find proof that Jun Fan was secretly planning to assassinate Empress Yao Xi. I know that you are capable of doing that.” Gu Changge didn’t let her finish, waving a hand to interrupt her while speaking in a firm tone.
“You—I understand.” Bai Lian’er’s expression froze momentarily as she didn’t expect him to say all that with a relaxed expression.
[Do you not have any shame in being so pretentious?] Nonetheless, she knew she couldn’t refuse.
“If so, you can go visit your Junior. He’s being treated well just like your father, so you don’t have to worry.” He dismissed her. He would inform her when the time came. Bai Lian’er was already annoyed as she thought she herself already being so pretentious, yet it didn’t even compare to Gu Changge’s behaviour.
After dismissing everyone in the palace, Gu Changge eventually began to investigate the brocade bag. It looked extremely ordinary, with simple patterns on it, and did not have any runes or arrays around it. The material itself was even something seemingly common. However, he did sense a special aura from it, which felt mysterious, strange, and intensely powerful.
Black and white colours appeared within Gu Changge’s eyes, and the Six Paths of Reincarnation could be faintly seen evolving within his eyes. He planned to fully understand the unique character of the brocade bag since examining the exterior didn’t yield many results. He did know if others opened it forcefully, the bag would self-destruct and release terrifying amounts of energy so it would not reveal its contents.
[Something left just for Jun Bufan? No one else can open this except for him?] He frowned, as the Solar Demon Overlord had truly left plenty of defensive techniques. There was something unimaginable within, which might involve the secrets of the Demon World. If he opened it by force, he might trigger a mechanism within and destroy the contents.
[Is it that only Jun Bufan can open it? I don’t believe it.] Gu Changge made another attempt. A black-coloured light appeared on his palm and he consumed the brocade bag with it.
*Cink! Cink! Cink!*
Light blue smoke emanated from the bag and it shone with blinding light. The patterns became distinct and it was clear that a special technique had been used to write ancient demon runes on the brocade bag. The runes immediately emitted frightening energy as soon as they made contact with the energy from his palm, like they had come alive. Runes transformed into formidable phantom figures of a vermillion bird, azure dragon, white tiger, and black tortoise. All growled so loudly and fiercely into the void that the place nearly exploded.
[Opening it may be troublesome, but there’s still a way.] The Grand Flask appeared in the void, hovering while emitting dark light which enclosed the brocade bag. The brocade bag stopped moving immediately as if confined to space, and a mysterious force and energy field appeared.
Gu Changge began to open it and sensed an all-consuming energy spilling from within. It was as if the weight of the entire world had landed on him. The void began to collapse and formed a dark hole, while a crevice began to form somewhere nearby. This was a much more terrifying energy than Chaos as it was as heavy as the heavens.
*Buzz!* However, with a slight quiver of the Grand Flask, the terrifying force became calm and tame, like stars in the sky.
[This is a strand of World Source, on the verge of evolving to a higher realm of existence.] Gu Changge raised his eyebrows in surprise. He had an Inner World which was incomplete and still in its primal form. Thus the aura of a World Source was extremely familiar to him.
[The Demon World is transforming in an attempt to evolve. This is why the Six Demon Overlords disappeared. Did they want to use that opportunity to break through to the Immortal Realm?]
He immediately guessed the motives of the Six Demon Overlords. They had hidden in the shadows all these years just to make preparations for this. The Demon World would have leaked some energy during the process of evolution but the Immortal Sects and Immortal Families hadn’t noticed and ignored the Demon World.
[They might have secretly concealed the energy as well as the secret. Their levels of cultivation are unknown but based on the Demon World’s Fortuity, six True Daoist cannot be produced. This plan must have been initiated a very long time ago.]
Gu Changge narrowed his eyes as he remembered the Solar Heavenly Blade. That was probably a fake Nirvana Grade Artifact. Judging by the original Fortuity of the Demon World, developing a Nirvana Realm Being was already hard enough, much less melding a Nirvana Grade Artifact. There were plenty of flaws and holes now that he thought about it, which was an issue he wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t come here.
[This is an intense game where the Demon World is the chessboard and those inside of it are the pieces. Jun Bufan and Yao Xi are merely the chess pieces they used to conceal everything. The overthrow of the leaders of the Demon World six thousand years ago was coincidentally used to hide the truth behind the Six Demon Overlords’ disappearance, while making Yao Xi the scapegoat. I thought she got lucky but instead, she was just an unlucky woman. She’s easy to manipulate, though.]
Gu Changge couldn’t help a smile. Now that he had discerned the Six Demon Overlords’ plans, he wasn’t going to ignore them. He already had the feeling that Empress Yao Xi was merely a chess piece since he arrived, and the only way of making a move on the chessboard was to control her. It seemed that he had more power now.
[As far as the outside world is concerned, the Six Demon Overlords have long disappeared and are even considered dead. No one will notice if the six of them have actually died. The Source of the Six Demon Overlords as well as the Demon World’s evolving Source is truly mouthwatering.]
Gu Changge didn’t believe that all six of the Demon Overlords had already attained the Nirvana Realm. The Demon World might be evolving but it hadn’t reached that stage just yet, and this was an amazing opportunity for him.
After that, he used the Grand Flask to consume the strand of World Source . He was somewhat surprised to find that there was a strand of the Solar Demon Overlord’s Dharma Body contained within the World Source . Of course, the Dharma Body had emanated terrifying power within the Grand Flask but it wasn’t of any use as it was consumed as well.
The Solar Demon Overlord hadn’t just left a strand of his Dharma Body for Jun Bufan as a protective measure, as it also contained part of the truth. Gu Changge understood it from the memories gained as soon as he consumed the Dharma Body, and he became intrigued.
[This is supposed to tell Jun Bufan that everything was a misunderstanding. That Yao Xi killed him with poison because the Six of them encouraged it. His father had even advised him to let go of his hatred. There is even a key left by the Solar Demon Overlord to find him. Hmm… So this is the real plotline.] Gu Changge rubbed his chin, feeling that he had underestimated the drama of the entire situation.
Jun Fan, the son of the Solar Demon Overlord, was reincarnated after six thousand years and sought revenge. When he eventually discovered the truth, he would yell to the sky because it had all been a misunderstanding. Empress Yao Xi had poisoned him because the Demon Overlords had set up the whole thing and misdirected them on purpose. The main motive was to create chaos and make it seem as though the top authorities in the Demon World were overthrown. The chaos when Empress Yao Xi took the throne and Jun Bufan’s revenge, would distract the forces of the Upper Realm. That way, they would have time to execute their plans from the shadows.
Gu Changge had to admit that he had underestimated the cunningness of the Six Demon Overlords, especially the Lunar Demon Overlord and the Solar Demon Overlord, as they even planned to manipulate their own daughter and son! He now wanted to know Jun Bufan’s reaction to the truth; would he forgive Yao Xi, or would he painstakingly sever their relationship?
[The key mentioned by the Dharma Body of the Solar Demon Overlord. He said he left it for Jun Bufan, which means I can only use Jun Bufan to get it.]
At that thought, Gu Changge produced a strand of Morphing Demonic Conscience and evolved it based on the aura of the World Source from before to revert the brocade bag to its original form. The aura was similar, but it was still extremely different compared to the real World Source. As for the mechanisms and runes, he only restored part of it based on the original, as he couldn’t ensure a complete recreation.
[Let’s see if Jun Bufan can see through this. Of course, that doesn’t matter since Bai Lian’er will be the one taking this to him. The only person he will suspect is her, and she will have no choice but to bear it since she won’t be brave enough to reveal my presence. After that…]
Gu Changge narrowed his eyes, which sparkled with interest. He didn’t care about that much anymore and summoned someone to get Bai Lianer so he could give the brocade bag to her.
“What’s inside it?” She asked him directly, curious as to what was inside the bag.
“Just give it to Jun Bufan according to your father’s instructions. I don’t know what’s inside as I couldn’t open it.” He shook his head neutrally.
“Really?” Bai Lian’er did not trust him. She had tried to open it as well but found that it contained a terrifying energy which might destroy her if she opened it. Logically, he wouldn’t be able to do it as well but her intuition told her that he knew what was inside. He hadn’t just seen the contents but also restored it. She felt that he definitely had such an ability.
“Why should I lie to you, Lady Lian’er? We’re on the same side.” Gu Changge smiled.
“You sound so fake. Keep it to yourself then.” She laughed coldly and took the brocade bag before disappearing into the void. Jun Fan wasn’t in the capital, having followed his father, the Quelling Chaos King, to attack his former sister, Jun Ruoxi. Bai Lian’er already knew that, so it wouldn’t be hard to find him. Being the Successor of the Killing Emperor, her disguise and concealment abilities were already superior. A normal expert in the Sacred Emperor Realm could never detect her energy.
After watching her leave, Gu Changge put down his teacup and began to consider his other chess piece with a distant look. He already understood the game layout of the Demon World as well as the Six Demon Overlords’ plans. [It’s time for the checkmate.]