Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
The matters in the Northern Territory had more or less been settled at this point. Although there were still some details to work out, these were not matters that Yang Kai needed to worry about personally. There was Hua Qing Si presiding over the operation now and with the cooperation of the other three top Sects, it would not take much time to solve these issues.
Seeing that it was almost time, Yang Kai informed Hua Qing Si of his departure before bringing Bian Yu Qing to Azure Sun Temple with him through the Space Array. He did not return to Spirit Sword Peak but flew directly to Spirit Jade Peak where Qiu Ran was located instead.
It was Bian Yu Qing’s first time coming to Azure Sun Temple so she couldn’t help glancing about with burning curiosity. Secretly comparing Azure Sun Temple with High Heaven Palace, though, she discovered that the environment at Azure Sun Temple seemed to be inferior, giving her a sense of pride.
She was born in the Southern Territory and Blue Feather Sect, where she used to live, had been nothing more than a small and weak force. It didn’t even have a single Emperor Realm Master. On the other hand, Azure Sun Temple was one of the top Sects in the Southern Territory, innumerable times stronger than Blue Feather Sect. Thus, she had always admired Azure Sun Temple.
If she had still been a Protector of Blue Feather Sect, she would never have had the qualifications to set foot into Azure Sun Temple; however, her current identity as the Second Manager of High Heaven Palace gave her those qualifications. Looking at Azure Sun Temple from another angle naturally gave her a different kind of feeling.
Staring at the back of the brave and heroic figure speeding along in front of her, Bian Yu Qing secretly rejoiced at having met such a noble man. If she had not met Yang Kai, she would never have had the chance to break through to the Emperor Realm. She would have been killed outside of Spirit Lake Palace instead. However, she now wielded great authority, second only to Yang Kai and Hua Qing Si in the entire High Heaven Palace.
[There’s a guest on Spirit Sword Peak.] Qiu Ran woke up from his meditation and met with Yang Kai and Bian Yu Qing in the hall.
After being introduced, Bian Yu Qing bowed neither humbly nor arrogantly, “Greetings, Vice Temple Master Qiu.”
She had heard of Qiu Ran before as he was the Vice Temple Master of Azure Sun Temple, making it natural for him to stand above others in the Southern Territory. Bian Yu Qing had felt very nervous before coming here as the man in front of her was practically somebody who was impossible to meet for ordinary cultivators, and she had over-thought things as a result. It wasn’t until she met the actual person that she realized that he was nothing special. That was also when she suddenly realized that she was no longer the same small woman she had been in the past. She often met with the three Monster Kings now that she lived in High Heaven Palace, so a Second-Order Emperor was no longer capable of giving her much pressure.
“Second Manager,” Qiu Ran cupped his fists, greeting her with due respect.
Yang Kai said, “You can discuss the details regarding the cooperation with Second Manager Bian, Senior Brother Qiu. I will be taking my leave now.”
The main reason he brought Bian Yu Qing over was to formally establish cooperation between High Heaven Palace and Azure Sun Temple. Gao Xue Ting had mentioned this matter before, so Yang Kai had to take it seriously lest she catch hold of his weakness and nag at him non-stop again. Hua Qing Si was coordinating affairs of the Northern Territory at the moment; therefore, the task of negotiating with Azure Sun Temple naturally fell on Bian Yu Qing’s shoulders.
Qiu Ran was stunned, “This is a huge matter, don’t you need to decide on things yourself, Junior Brother Yang?”
The meaning behind his words was clearly ‘can the Second Manager you sent speak on your behalf and represent your will?’ This matter involved a massive amount of benefits, so what if Yang Kai refused to accept the results of the negotiation once they finished working out the details? That would be awkward; after all, Qiu Ran had seen how miserly and petty Yang Kai could be.
Yang Kai, however, just laughed heartily, “Please rest assured, Senior Brother Qiu. I have no opinion on the matter as long as the negotiations are carried out smoothly.”
How could Qiu Ran know about his recent activities in the Northern Territory? Although cooperating with Azure Sun Temple to bring in goods and supplies would bring in considerable profit, it was not something Yang Kai cared much about anymore. Besides, he was also cooperating with Violet Source Chamber of Commerce which was a commercial force that had more wide-ranging connections and understanding of business in the Southern Territory. A trade agreement with Azure Sun Temple was just a bonus for Yang Kai and if not for his position as a High-Rank Guest Elder, he would never have allowed his profits to flow their way.
Turning to leave, Yang Kai advised, “Second Manager, please make some concessions where appropriate. I am an Elder of Azure Sun Temple after all.”
“Yes!” Bian Yu Qing replied respectfully.
Qiu Ran had a pleased expression on his face when he heard this as the words Yang Kai had uttered in front of him had undoubtedly caused a sense of goodwill to sprout in his heart. In the end, it was always better to work with one of your own.
Immediately after that, Qiu Ran began negotiations with Bian Yu Qing.
Meanwhile, Yang Kai went straight to Purple Bamboo Peak where Gao Xue Ting lived. Meeting with Gao Xue Ting, he asked about the Southern Territory Martial Gathering and learnt that there were three more days before they had to depart. There was plenty of time, so he went to visit Murong Xiao Xiao and Xiao Bai Yi to reminisce about the past. The last time he was here, he had been in too much of a rush and didn’t have time to have a proper chat with them.
Murong Xiao Xiao was a relatively friendly person with a warm and welcoming personality. Yang Kai got to know her when they were both in the Dao Source Realm; thus, they chatted away happily about their experiences becoming Elders of Azure Sun Temple.
On the other hand, Xiao Bai Yi was far less sociable. The expression on his face was even colder than Ji Yao’s. Moreover, he always looked as though Yang Kai owed him a great sum of money and tried to chase him away after a few words.
Yang Kai was almost tempted to beat Xiao Bai Yi up as a result; unfortunately, there was nothing he could do if the host refused to be hospitable to the guest, thus he left the place in a huff.
Yang Kai spent the rest of his time making some adjustments to his Spirit Sword Peak, and three days passed in a flash. When early morning came, the sun shone brightly and the world seemed to overflow with vigour. Several dozen figures stood atop a certain Spirit Peak, and the leader stood out conspicuously in a purple robe.
Yang Kai flew over and landed soon after, and when he saw the purple-robed man, he was stunned for a moment before cupping his fists, “Greetings, Temple Master.”
The purple-robed man was none other than the Temple Master of Azure Sun Temple, Wen Zi Shan. He had a gentle smile on his face and stood with his hands behind his back. He had a rather suave air around him and upon hearing Yang Kai’s voice, he turned to look in the latter’s direction with a smile and nodded in greeting, “You’ve worked hard, Elder Yang.”
“Sharing the burdens of the Temple is something I should do,” Yang Kai replied with a serious expression. It couldn’t be helped. He might be the Palace Master of High Heaven Palace in the Northern Territory, but he was simply a High-Rank Guest Elder here so he still had to maintain the necessary etiquette.
“Please wait for a moment longer. Little Xue Ting isn’t here yet. Haaa… Women are just so troublesome. They take so long just to get out of the door.”
The moment those words left Wen Zi Shan’s mouth, many people glared at him furiously. Even Murong Xiao Xiao, who had arrived a long time ago, frowned. It was no surprise that she was upset after being criticized for no apparent reason. Wen Zi Shan seemed to realize this too and, lifting his hand, he stroked his beard and looked up at the sky with an expression filled with the vicissitudes of life, “The wind today is so noisy.”
“Elder Luo, Elder Xiao, and Elder Murong.” Yang Kai greeted the other Emperors present. There was nothing more to be said about Xiao Bai Yi and Murong Xiao Xiao. On the other hand, Luo Chen was a middle-aged man with a cold and indifferent expression.
Yang Kai was not very familiar with Luo Chen because the latter had a relatively cold personality. It was also rare for Yang Kai to be around, so he was lacking interaction with the other Elders of Azure Sun Temple. As such, Yang Kai only knew this person by name but had never really had a conversation with him before.
The three Elders naturally returned his greetings.
“Are these the disciples who are going to participate in the Martial Gathering this time?” Yang Kai lifted his head and looked at the several dozen disciples standing neatly in formation behind them.
Those disciples cupped their fists, “Greetings, Elder Yang.”
These several dozen disciples had varying cultivations. Some were in the Dao Source Realm, while others were Origin Kings, there were even some in the Origin Returning Realm. The Southern Territory Martial Gathering had several categories after all. The Dao Source Realm disciples would compete with other Dao Source Realm disciples; the Origin Kings against Origin Kings; and the Origin Returning Realm Juniors against other Origin Returning Realm Juniors. As expected, the Temple had chosen the best cultivators among each Realm to participate in the Martial Gathering. The dozen or so people standing at the forefront were in the Dao Source Realm, followed by those in the Origin King Realm and the Origin Returning Realm.
Yang Kai smiled and nodded at them. He discovered many familiar faces among these disciples. They had probably participated in the Four Seasons Realm with him back then; unfortunately, they had not interacted much with each other and were simply familiar faces among a crowd of strangers. They had been in the Dao Source Realm back then, and they were still in the Dao Source Realm now. Breaking through to the Emperor Realm was not that easy after all. Most would get stuck in the Third-Order Dao Source Realm for the entirety of their lives.
Xia Sheng, Xiao Bai Yi, and Murong Xiao Xiao could break through to the Emperor Realm due to their excellent aptitude and comprehension abilities. It might also be related to the benefits they received in the Four Seasons Realm and the Shattered Star Sea.
While looking around, Yang Kai’s roving gaze suddenly stopped at a certain point. His gaze had paused on the face of a young man simply because this was somebody he was actually acquainted with. Moreover, he even knew the other party’s name! It was Xue Yi!
Yang Kai first came to Azure Sun Temple with Qin Zhao Yang with the Bustling World Token in his possession to ask for an entry quota to the Four Seasons Realm. The moment the Bustling World Token was brought out, the Temple couldn’t refuse his request and gave him a spot. Unfortunately, the quotas for entering the Four Seasons Realm had already been allocated. Since the Temple gave one spot away, that would mean that they had one spot less in return. The person taken off the list of names at the time was none other than Xue Yi. When the news came out, Xue Yi refused to accept the decision and even picked a fight with Yang Kai, but he turned out to be no match for Yang Kai.
It was something that had happened many years ago, and Yang Kai would not have recalled the incident if he had not met this person again. When their gazes met, Xue Yi’s expression became a little embarrassed. He seemed to experience a momentary sense of shame before collecting himself again. Back then, they had both been in the Dao Source Realm, but now, Yang Kai was already an Emperor Realm Master while he was still stuck in the Dao Source Realm. It was not surprising for him to feel rather complicated about it.
On the other hand, Yang Kai just smiled faintly. It could be seen that Xue Yi had not wasted his time all these years. Although he used to be in the Second-Order Dao Source Realm, he was now a Third-Order Dao Source Realm. Furthermore, he stood far in front of the rest and was clearly one of the candidates that the Temple had high hopes for.
Thinking of some things from the past brought about a slight sense of nostalgia. The two of them retracted their gazes soon after and Xue Yi secretly let out a sigh of relief. He had been afraid that Yang Kai might want to get back at him for what he did before. Their current statuses were very different so there was nothing he could do against Yang Kai if the latter wanted to make things difficult for him.
At that moment, a stream of light rushed over from Purple Bamboo Peak and appeared in front of everyone in an instant.
Wen Zi Shan’s eyes gleamed as he shouted, “Little Xue Ting, you are dressed so beautifully today! Are you planning to get married? It’s really gratifying! En, very gratifying indeed!”
“Shut your damn mouth!” Gao Xue Ting glared at Wen Zi Shan and snapped coldly, not giving him the slightest respect at all.
In response, Wen Zi Shan wore a pained expression and waxed, “Oh, my! Why are you being so fierce? You must be careful Little Xue Ting or no one will dare to marry you in the future. If you don’t get married soon, you’ll turn into a lonely old lady!”
The gaze in Gao Xue Ting’s eyes turned even icier and the impulse to stab this shameless man to death with her sword struck her, but instead she just coldly snorted, “It’s none of your damn business.”
Such a beautiful and elegant woman was so irritated that she even let out a string of curse words. Her mood could not be worse.
The disciples all lowered their eyes with wooden expressions, pretending not to hear the conversation between those two. Similarly, Luo Chen lowered his head to look at the ground, Xiao Bai Yi looked up at the sky, and Murong Xiao Xiao studied her fingers carefully as though wondering if she should tend to her nails. As for Yang Kai, he leaned over and casually complimented her, “Junior Sister, you have such beautiful fingers.”
Murong Xiao Xiao blushed furiously at those words and didn’t know what to do with her hand for a moment. Everybody turned to look at Yang Kai, and he seemed to realize that he had misspoken; thus, his expression twitched a little.
Fortunately, Gao Xue Ting suddenly spoke up, “Is everybody here?”
Xiao Bai Yi nodded in response, “Everyone has assembled.”
“In that case, let’s set off.” After saying that, Gao Xue Ting took the lead and the rest followed after her.
Wen Zi Shan was stunned for a moment as he stood there alone, still rubbing his chin as he murmured, “I’m pretty sure… I’m the Temple Master…”