Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Hua Qing Si smiled slightly, “Palace Master, you worry too much. Ice Heart Valley will not refuse such a good opportunity.”
Yang Kai wondered, “What do you mean?”
Hua Qing Si explained, “Ice Heart Valley was suppressed by the Seeking Passion Sect for many years due to the disappearance of Senior Bing Yun; therefore, it does not have many outside industries left and there are currently very few cities, possibly just two or three, under its jurisdiction. Most of its income comes from the spirit flowers and spirit herbs they plant inside the valley; moreover, Ice Heart Valley received a lot of disciples in recent years so I’m afraid times are difficult for them. Why would they refuse the benefits that land in their laps?”
Yang Kai rubbed his chin and pondered for a while, “In that case, we could have always included them in the plan.”
He did not know as much about Ice Heart Valley as Hua Qing Si did, so if she said so much, then that must be the case. If he could pull Heart Valley into his plan, then the top four Sects of the Northern Territory would be joining forces in this undertaking. Who would dare to stop them then?
A few moments later, he made his decision, “Let’s include them.”
Hua Qing Si smiled, “Since this matter is urgent, I will invite someone over now.”
Yang Kai nodded, and Hua Qing Si immediately flew off. Within an hour, Hua Qing Si came back into the hall, accompanied by a woman with an icy temperament.
Yang Kai’s expression instantly went black as he glanced at Hua Qing Si a little resentfully; after all, the woman she brought with her was none other than Ji Yao. After the last two secret encounters he had with Ji Yao, he had now become somewhat afraid to meet her.
On one hand, the secrecy of their encounters was very thrilling. On the other hand, Yang Kai felt like he was betraying Su Yan and the others; therefore, he had been quite conflicted about it. The most important point was that, up until now, he still could not figure out Ji Yao’s intentions.
From beginning to end, Ji Yao had never discussed anything about it with him. It seemed like she didn’t mind letting him do as he pleased, but at the same time, she did not allow him to go past a certain point. It made him feel as though he was being held by his weakness; therefore, it was not difficult to imagine his current mood when Hua Qing Si brought Ji Yao over, out of all the other candidates she could have chosen.
Hua Qing Si had a questioning look on her face, seemingly having noticed something off about Yang Kai’s complexion, but she couldn’t care less at the moment. Cupping her fists, she bowed, “Palace Master, Elder Ji is here.”
Yang Kai squeezed out a smile, “Junior Sister Yao.”
With so many eyes on them, Ji Yao did not reveal any abnormalities in her behaviour either. She simply greeted him in an aloof manner, “Senior Brother Yang.”
Yang Kai coughed lightly, “Junior Sister Yao, I invited you over to discuss something important and I believe Head Manager has already informed Senior Bing Yun, but I don’t know what Senior thinks of the proposal.” If he wanted to drag Ice Heart Valley into this, then Bing Yun’s attitude was key.
Ji Yao promptly replied lightly, “Honoured Master has declared that Ice Heart Valley was saved back then thanks to Senior Brother Yang’s assistance, so now that you are in need of help, Ice Heart Valley will spare no effort to assist you. If you have any instructions for us, Ice Heart Valley will not refuse.”
A light flashed across Yang Kai’s eyes at those words and he smiled, “Good, then I shall trouble you with this matter.” Surveying his surroundings, he continued, “Since everybody is here, let us discuss and come up with a plan. This matter must be resolved as soon as possible.”
Having decided to do this, there was no need to delay matters any further. In any case, the top four Sects of the Northern Territory had joined forces, so there was nobody in the Northern Territory that could contend with them. There was no need for conspiracy or trickery now. They could simply push forward boldly.
The plan was formed rather quickly. All four Sects would move at the same time. With High Heaven Palace as the centre, they would fan out and announce its supremacy to the Northern Territory. Every major Sect and city in the Northern Territory would then have to offer up some cultivation resources to High Heaven Palace every year.
After the discussion was completed, Ji Yao, Li Jiao, and Mi Qi immediately returned to their respective Sects to mobilize their forces.
The next day, numerous groups of people gathered in front of High Heaven Palace’s Sect Defending Array. There was a group of cold but alluring women on the left, each of them extraordinarily beautiful. Just looking at them dazzled the eyes. This group of people were none other than the disciples of Ice Heart Valley.
On the right were the people from Fire Dragon Palace, and at the back were the disciples of Full Sky Sect. Each Sect sent out over a thousand members in total, so there were more than three thousand people gathered here now. That was not a large number, but the ratio of Masters among them was terrifying. Emperor Realm Masters and Dao Source Realm Masters were everywhere, and the weakest among them were still Origin Kings.
Those of High Heaven Palace stood in the middle, led by the three Monster Kings. Ye Hen and a number of Dao Source Realm Masters had been deployed too; however, those that stood behind them were nothing special as most were just Origin Kings, incomparable in number compared to the other three Sects.
Unfortunately, the disciples that came from the Star Field were not up to par yet. They were the reason why the divide between the disciples in High Heaven Palace was so extreme. The strong were incredibly strong while the weak were so weak that it was laughable.
Hua Qing Si summoned Li Jiao, Mi Qi, and Ji Yao. Then, she spread out a map. The map had been marked with numerous red dots, and every red dot represented a city or Sect or Clan of varying size.
After a brief discussion, the thousands of people were divided into groups of eight and scattered in all directions. These eight people consisted of two disciples from each Sect, and every team was headed by a Master in the Dao Source Realm or higher. Needless to say, their goal was the locations marked on the map. The only purpose of this deployment was to make these cities, Sects, and clans recognize the supremacy of High Heaven Palace so that they would pay tribute every year.
Yang Kai had already put the word out, so it would be great if the other parties knew what was best for them and cooperated. If some refused to accept reality, the eight representatives were to defeat them if they could. If they couldn’t defeat the other party, then they were to return and report the matter. A Master would then be sent out to deal with the rebels instead; after all, the Emperor Realm Masters of the top four Sects were not just for show.
Be that as it may, the teams led by the Dao Source Realm Masters were assigned to locations that were easy to deal with. More troublesome places would be dealt with by teams headed by Emperor Realm Masters. As it stood, not many would dare to rebel with the combined power of the top four Sects looming over their heads.
Meanwhile, Yang Kai himself also led a team and headed straight towards the headquarters of the other strong forces in the Northern Territory.
Five days later, the Sect Master of Myriad Founders Sect, Hua Yu, stood in front of the main hall of Myriad Founders Sect’s headquarters. He bowed with cupped fists as he watched Yang Kai and his group depart into the distance. It wasn’t until the figures of those eight people disappeared from sight that he finally let the stiff smile on his face slide off his face and sighed deeply, a vexed expression appearing on his face.
Cheng Da Hai, the Vice Sect Master, walked over and said angrily, “Sect Master, are we really going to send 30% of our income to High Heaven Palace each year!?”
“That’s right! Why should we give away 30% of our resources to High Heaven Palace with just a few words from that brat!? How will other people view the Myriad Founders Sect if they learn of this!?” An Elder shouted through gritted teeth,
Hua Yu murmured sadly, “Then, what do you suggest we do instead?”
“Sect Master, if you want me to, I can bring some men with me to intercept that brat right now and bring the jade slip back with us. Dead men tell no tales, and nobody will know that it was the doing of Myriad Founders Sect.”
“That’s right! That little bastard has already drawn public outrage by doing this, so there are countless people in the Northern Territory who want to kill him right now! Who will know that we are the ones behind it?”
“You?” Turning his head, Hua Yu glanced at the Elders and Protectors standing behind him, shook his head, and sighed, “None of you are his opponent.”
The Elder who spoke up previously added, “We haven’t even tried yet! How do you know that I am not his opponent!? He is merely a Second-Order Emperor. If we all attacked together…”
“There’s no need for you to try as I have already tried,” Hua Yu had an extremely sorrowful expression on his face.
“You’ve already tried?” The Elders and Protectors glanced at each other and finally understood why Hua Yu had taken Yang Kai to a secluded chamber just now. It was to test Yang Kai’s strength. Or rather… Hua Yu wanted to see if there was a chance for him to defeat Yang Kai; after all, nobody was willing to give away their profits to another person for free.
“What was the result?” Everyone looked at Hua Yu expectantly.
“I am completely not his opponent.” Hua Yu smiled bitterly.
The Elder who spoke first asked, “Sect Master, why must you diminish your own light just to increase another person’s prestige? You are also a Second-Order Emperor so the difference between the two of you shouldn’t be that great, right?”
Hua Yu replied, “It’s precisely because our cultivations are the same that I agreed to his demands so readily. He allowed me to attack him ten times while he stood still and did not fight back, but in the end, I never even touched the clothes on his body.”
“What!?” Everybody was shocked by those words. Some even wondered if they had misheard him.
[They are both in the Second-Order Emperor Realm! Yang Kai just stood there motionlessly to receive ten attacks from Sect Master, yet Sect Master couldn’t even land a single hit!? How is that possible!? In other words, Yang Kai stopped the Sect Master’s attack with his Emperor Qi alone!?]
“On the other hand, he defeated me with a single casual attack.” Hua Yu threw another shocking revelation at them, which sent them reeling from the shock as he sighed, “What does Myriad Founders Sect have to fight against such power? If we fail to meet his demands today, Myriad Founders Sect’s ten thousand years of history will surely be destroyed tomorrow.”
“He dares?!” Cheng Da Hai shouted loudly.
Hua Yu glanced at Cheng Da Hai, “I’m certain he would. The top four Sects have joined forces, so what can we do against them if they really wanted to wipe out Myriad Founders Sect? I heard that Full Sky Sect surrendered to High Heaven Palace a few days ago. I initially thought that it was false information, but now, it seems to be the truth.”
Everybody fell silent at those words and looked miserable. Offering up 30% of their annual profits meant that they would lose 30% of their total resources. Nobody would be happy with such an arrangement.
Things were going unexpectedly well. Yang Kai led a team and travelled across the lands of the Northern Territory. With the reputation of having subdued the Full Sky Sect preceding him, there was no need for Yang Kai to do anything much. He easily retrieved jade slips from each Sect or Clan declaring that they would pay a tribute of 30% of their income every year, regardless of where he went. Nobody dared to resist. At most, they would try to test their skills against Yang Kai, like Myriad Founders Sect, before quietly finding an excuse to step down from the fight.
Yang Kai did not just focus on obtaining these jade slips, though, he also arranged Space Arrays whenever he came across a suitable place, connecting that location to High Heaven Palace directly. This way, High Heaven Palace could teach those who failed to keep their word a lesson at any time it chose.
Across the entire Northern Territory, every city, Sect, or clan had to offer up a tribute consisting 30% of their income every year. 30% from one or two forces might not seem like much, but 30% from the entire Northern Territory totalled up to an alarming amount.
It meant that High Heaven Palace would receive 30% of the profits of the Northern Territory, even if they did nothing else. Moreover, Yang Kai could collect even more of the Northern Territory’s specialties through his connection to these subordinate forces. That way, he could increase the variety of things High Heaven Palace traded with the Southern Territory. He could also bring in items from the Southern Territory and sell them across the Northern Territory more easily now. The profits from the sale of these goods were nothing to sneeze at.
After hurrying about for more than twenty days, Yang Kai headed back to High Heaven Palace via a Space Array. He had dealt with all the difficulties that may arise in the Northern Territory. The reason things were going so smoothly was that news of the Full Sky Sect’s surrender had already spread far and wide. Even Full Sky Sect had surrendered, so what choice did others have? Another reason was that the four top Sects had joined hands in this joint endeavour, and their power was so great that nobody dared to resist.