Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“The Palace Master of High Heaven Palace!” Li Jiao replied.
The corner of Mi Qi’s eyes twitched at those words. Gnashing his teeth, he muttered, “Why is it him again?”
He had a resentful expression on his face and clearly had no fondness for Yang Kai at all. That was no surprise considering that he had only met Yang Kai once before, and that one meeting caused him to lose a large amount of Full Sky Sect’s Source Crystals. It felt as though knives were cutting into his heart every time he recalled that incident, and he sorely regretted tagging along to join in on the fun back then,
He glanced sideways at Li Jiao and said, “Brother Li, isn’t it enough to be oppressed by him? Why are you turning around and fawning over that bastard instead?” His tone was filled with scorn, anger, and bitterness. He and Li Jiao could be considered friends, and although they were not close friends, their association should still be deeper than whatever relationship Li Jiao might have with Yang Kai. Hence, the fact that Li Jiao came bearing a message from Yang Kai upset him greatly. [Li Jiao is such a coward. What’s more; he even carries the Half-Dragon bloodline in him. What a disgrace!]
Even Li Jiao became a little embarrassed upon hearing those words and a trace of guilt appeared on his face. He couldn’t say that his relationship with Yang Kai had improved tremendously, so much so that Yang Kai had even written off the enormous debts Fire Dragon Palace owed; thus, he could only say bitterly, “I had no choice. He is the creditor after all. Beggars can’t be choosers; I have no choice but to submit to him.”
“Hmph!” Mi Qi slapped the table, a savage light flickering in his eyes, “That despicable villain used lies and trickery to set us up! If not for Grandmaster Ji, why would I even bother with him for all these years!?”
That was the truth. Full Sky Sect was one of the top Sects in the Northern Territory, and Mi Qi was a Third-Order Emperor. Even if he lost a bet against Yang Kai, he could have denied making it and refused to take responsibility. With so many Source Crystals on the line, what was a little embarrassment in comparison? It was just that the incident had occurred right in front of Ji Ying. Also, Mi Qi later heard that Ji Ying had even joined High Heaven Palace and become their Chief Alchemist. Thus, he had no choice but to compromise.
After all, he might upset Ji Ying if he refused to take responsibility for losing the bet. Mi Qi wasn’t scared of Yang Kai, but he was scared of Ji Ying. The statuses Ji Ying held as the disciple of Wondrous Pill Great Emperor and an Emperor Alchemist were not to be underestimated.
Li Jiao retorted in his heart. [It wasn’t lies and trickery, Yang Kai won fair and square with his Alchemy skills.] If not for the various life-and-death situations he had been through with Yang Kai, his thoughts would not have been much different from Mi Qi’s; however, his opinion of Yang Kai had changed greatly during their various excursions and experiences together. He could tell that Yang Kai was a decent person. Naturally, that was on the condition that they did not provoke him first.
Mi Qi picked up his wine glass and gulped down its contents as if to vent his anger. Then, he quickly said, “Brother Li, what is the message you came here to convey?”
Li Jiao had a calm expression on his face as he replied, “Palace Master Yang wants Full Sky Sect to submit to High Heaven Palace.”
“What!?” Mi Qi’s eyes widened, “I seem to have heard you wrongly. What did you say, Brother Li?”
Li Jiao sighed in his heart. How could he not know that Mi Qi was asking him that question knowingly? They were the only two people here, there was no other noise around them, and Mi Qi was a Third-Order Emperor. There was no way Mi Qi had not heard what he said. Feeling exasperated, he could only repeat what he said.
“Hah!” Mi Qi was so furious that he laughed instead. A cold light flashed across his eyes as he toyed with the wine glass in his hand, “How does he want me to submit to him?”
His tone was frosty, and he obviously held some resentment towards Li Jiao too.
[I can’t believe he dared utter such ridiculous conditions!] By extension, Li Jiao was equally as hateful for delivering the message.
Before coming here, Li Jiao knew that what little friendship there was between him and Mi Qi was going to end today, and he became certain after seeing the expression on Mi Qi’s face and felt a little regretful, “Brother Mi, please rest assured. It seems that Palace Master Yang has no intention to seize Full Sky Sect’s territory. It’s just that High Heaven Palace needs a lot of cultivation resources at the moment. What he wants is for Full Sky Sect to offer up some of its annual income to High Heaven Palace every year in the future.”
Mi Qi asked sarcastically, “How much is ‘some’?”
“Half?” Li Jiao asked tentatively. Yang Kai had not mentioned the exact amount, but he knew any less would not satisfy Yang Kai’s appetite.
“Half…” Mi Qi was all smiles as he lifted his wine glass in a toast, “Brother Li, drink!”
Li Jiao looked bewildered. Even so, he raised his wine glass and clinked glasses with Mi Qi. After emptying his glass, he heard something shattering against the ground. Mi Qi had smashed his wine glass to the ground and then slamming his fists down on the table, he roared, “This is bullshit! Does he think Full Sky Sect is powerless!?” Throughout his entire cultivation journey, threats and intimidation had never worked on him before. If he easily gave away half of Full Sky Sect’s income any time a random person came asking, he would not have survived until today.
This was unlike those debts. Although the debts were heavy, there was an end to them, so Mi Qi only needed to spend another thirty years or so to clear that burden away. However, if he submitted to High Heaven Palace like Li Jiao mentioned, he would have to offer up half of their yearly income every year from now on, unless the Full Sky Sect was destroyed one day.
[How can I agree to such outrageous demands!? What will people think of me if I actually agree to those conditions!? What will the disciples of Full Sky Sect think of me!?]
“Brother Mi, please calm down…”
“Silence!” Mi Qi glared at Li Jiao in fury. Then, he smiled contemptuously, “Brother Li, you sure are easy-going. Back then, both you and I were humiliated together. It’s bad enough you don’t have any thoughts of taking revenge after suffering from so many years of exploitation and oppression by High Heaven Palace, but now you are colluding with that evil devil, wearing the skin of a man!? Palace Master Yang… Hahaha… I truly had no idea that you decided to latch onto him and willingly become his lackey for benefits, Brother Li!”
Although Li Jiao was embarrassed by the way Mi Qi worded that, it was simply too harsh so he expressionlessly replied, “It’s hard to explain.”
He could not tell Mi Qi about his experiences with Yang Kai over the years. Putting aside the fact that he and Mi Qi were not that close in the first place, just the secrets involving Dragon Island could not be revealed easily.
“It’s hard to explain!?” Unconcealed contempt shone in Mi Qi’s eyes, “Brother Li, you assessed the situation and decided that this is best for your survival. I don’t blame you for ingratiating yourself to him. To each their own after all. However, I will not stoop to your level!”
The implication behind his words was that Li Jiao was greedy and a coward while he was a courageous person.
Li Jiao’s expression turned ugly, “I am only responsible for delivering the message. Why do you have to speak so harshly, Brother Mi? Whether you agree or not, it has nothing to do with me.”
“It seems we will go our separate ways. Palace Master Li, please leave.”
Mi Qi had changed the way he addressed Li Jiao from ‘Brother Li’ to ‘Palace Master Li’. It was clear that he was drawing a line between them now.
Li Jiao shook his head and stood up, but thinking of what little friendship they used to have, he urged, “Sect Master Mi, please rethink your decision. The Seeking Passion Sect was destroyed before High Heaven Palace even emerged as a force. Now that several dozen years have passed, I’m afraid it has only grown stronger. How do you think Full Sky Sect compares to Seeking Passion Sect? Why must you invite disaster upon yourself?”
Mi Qi sneered, “Palace Master Li, you should take care of your own affairs. You don’t need to worry about the affairs of Full Sky Sect. If Yang Kai wants Full Sky Sect to surrender to him, he might as well come over and talk to me in person. He can see for himself whether Full Sky Sect will acquiesce to his demands!”
“I’ll take my leave then,” Li Jiao nodded lightly, cupped his fists, and turned to leave. [I have delivered the message. What Mi Qi chooses to do is his choice.]
Since Yang Kai decided to use Full Sky Sect as an example to the Northern Territory, he must have known that Full Sky Sect would not agree to such a request so easily. This situation might be exactly what he wanted. Otherwise, how could he display and establish his strength? There were four top Sects in the Northern Territory, out of which two had friendly relations with High Heaven Palace; hence, the only remaining choice for Yang Kai to show off his might was Full Sky Sect.
Inside the great hall, Mi Qi stared in the direction Li Jiao had left with a disdainful sneer. He felt that Li Jiao was being melodramatic. Nevertheless, he had no idea what methods Yang Kai used to make Fire Dragon Palace submit to him, so much so that even Li Jiao came all the way here to deliver a message.
Mi Qi had heard a lot about the destruction of the Seeking Passion Sect back then as it was such a huge affair in the Northern Territory that there was no way to remain ignorant about it. It was true that the strength of Seeking Passion Sect was no less than that of Full Sky Sect. Such a large Sect might have been destroyed easily, but it did not mean that Full Sky Sect would be just as vulnerable.
Mi Qi felt that the reason Seeking Passion Sect was destroyed was that all its Masters had left to attack Ice Heart Valley. As a result, Yang Kai, along with some Masters under his command, worked together with Ice Heart Valley to sweep the Seeking Passion Sect clean. However, Mi Qi had no intention of attacking High Heaven Palace. If Yang Kai really came looking for trouble, Full Sky Sect’s Sect Defending Array and Masters were enough to deal with his forces. If he was lucky, he might even manage to kill Yang Kai.
Proactively attacking a Sect and defending a Sect against external attacks were two different things after all. Still, there was one thing he couldn’t help being wary about. Yang Kai had three Monster Kings under his command, and each of them was equivalent to a Third-Order Emperor Realm Master. It would not be easy to deal with them.
Mi Qi racked his brains for ideas for a time before suddenly clapping his hands. A black-robed man immediately walked in from outside the door. Looking at the man, Mi Qi asked, “Is the Blue Jade Fruit in the medicine garden about to ripen?”
The black-robed man did not know why Mi Qi brought this subject up so suddenly, but even so, he cupped his fists and replied, “It will ripen in one month.”
Mi Qi nodded at that, “Very good. Send a message to Old Tao and invite him over for a taste.”
The black-robed man bowed deeply before leaving to fulfil the given commands.
Turning around, Mi Qi looked in the direction of High Heaven Palace and laughed coldly. [Yang Kai, oh, Yang Kai… You better behave yourself. If you look down on Full Sky Sect again, you will never leave this place alive!]
“Sect Master Ye, the situation is just like this. I’m sure you know the current situation at High Heaven Palace. There are simply way too many disciples. All Spirit Peaks are filled to the brim. Some of the Spirit Peaks even house two thousand or three thousand people at the moment. That’s not just a tight squeeze anymore, it’s practically stuffed to the brim. On the other hand, you are occupying such a large Spirit Peak even though you don’t have that many disciples in Thousand Leaves Sect. Many Peak Masters are complaining about it. After giving it some thought, I had no choice but to come and discuss this matter with you.” Yang Kai looked helpless as the Sect Master of Thousand Leaves Sect, Ye Hen, was sitting opposite him. The table full of wine and food between them remained untouched.
“Palace Master, what are you trying to say?” Ye Hen looked at Yang Kai inquiringly.
“I brought you back to High Heaven Palace for several reasons. Firstly, the cultivation environment here is excellent and there are no disturbances here. It was perfect for you to recover and regain your strength. Secondly, the misfortune Thousand Leaves Sect suffered was my fault, and I felt extremely guilty for that.”
“Palace Master, you are exaggerating. I can only blame Thousand Leaves Sect for being inferior to others. Speaking of which, it’s all thanks to the protection and care that you provide that Thousand Leaves Sect survives to this day.”
“I don’t need your words of gratitude.” Yang Kai raised his hand to stop Ye Hen, “Today, I came here to play the villain.”
“I’d appreciate further details, Palace Master.”
Yang Kai smiled bitterly, “As the saying goes, ‘there cannot be two tigers on the mountain’. It might not be appropriate to say that in this case, but that is how it goes. As the Palace Master, I am not trying to cast Thousand Leaves Sect aside. It is just that… having another Sect, or a group that identifies itself as another Sect, within High Heaven Palace, is truly an inappropriate affair.”