Translator: Silavin & Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
In the Grand Hall, Yang Kai was seated across from Hua Qing Si as he listened to her report and nodded from time to time.
Everything in High Heaven Territory was running smoothly as the Cave Heavens and Paradises had settled down in the Star Boundary. The Star City in High Heaven Territory was also on the rise.
The development in the New Great Territory was still slow, but it wasn’t a problem that could be resolved in a short time.
However, there was one thing that surprised Yang Kai.
“Many of the High-Rank Masters remained in the Star Boundary?”
Hua Qing Si nodded, “Only about 30% of them have left. The rest are still in the Star Boundary. Moreover, most of them are meditating on the World Tree. I’m not sure if there are any unexpected benefits to be gained by cultivating there.”
Yang Kai arched his brow.
Even though only a few years had passed, everything in High Heaven Territory had stabilised; therefore, it was surprising that the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters from the Cave Heavens and Paradises had remained in this place.
It had to be noted that those High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters were Inner Elders of their respective Sects. Not only did they have noble identities, but they were also very powerful. Furthermore, since they were responsible for handling external affairs, they should be swamped with work.
Yang Kai initially thought that most of them had left, so he was surprised to learn that not only had they stayed, but they were also cultivating on the World Tree.
[What’s going on?]
Seeing that Hua Qing Si appeared hesitant, he demanded, “Just spill it!”
With a frown, Hua Qing Si replied gently, “I’m not sure if this is my misconception, but after years of observation, this Mistress has a feeling that the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters are guarding against something.”
A shocked Yang Kai asked, “Guarding against what?”
Hua Qing Si shook her head, “I have no idea. Perhaps we’ve underestimated the importance of the World Tree to those High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.”
Yang Kai fell silent.
Hua Qing Si went on to say, “Senior Xu said that once you exited retreat, you should head to the World Tree to look for him. It seems that there’s something he needs to discuss with you.”
Yang Kai nodded and got up, “I’m going over now. After meeting Martial Uncle Xu, I’ll be leaving, and I’m not sure when I’ll return.”
Hua Qing Si hurriedly asked, “Do we need to inform Madam Yue He and the others?”
Yang Kai waved his hand, “There’s no need for that. Just tell them to take care of High Heaven Territory and Void Territory. If nothing unexpected happens, I’ll be back within 100 years.”
“Yes,” Hua Qing Si replied respectfully. When she looked up again, the man was nowhere to be seen.
Yang Kai no longer had to worry about anything in High Heaven Territory and Void Territory, and after a few years of cultivation in seclusion, he desperately needed to go out and take a stroll. Moreover, there were really some matters he had to handle.
The next instant, he appeared at the bottom of the World Tree. When he looked up at the gigantic tree that covered the entire sky, he was still awestruck by its magnificence.
He could clearly feel that some hidden and powerful auras were swirling around the branches. They were none other than the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters who were cultivating on the tree.
Besides that, he also realised that there were some traces of an abstruse Grand Array around the World Tree. The way the Grand Array was arranged was ingenious and extremely well-hidden. If it weren’t because he was a Great Emperor who was fully aware of everything that was going on in the Star Boundary, he wouldn’t have noticed it at all.
This prompted him to furrow his brows.
He initially didn’t mind it when Hua Qing Si said that the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters were guarding against something, but now it seemed that she was right.
However, what could possibly make so many High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters act so cautiously? They had even arranged a powerful Grand Array around the World Tree.
Yang Kai directly leaped onto a thick branch without anyone around and sat down with his legs crossed. As he closed his eyes, he started circulating his Secret Art.
A moment later, he opened his eyes while feeling helpless. He initially thought that there were some unexpected benefits to be gained by cultivating on the World Tree that made so many High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters remain here. Nevertheless, after giving it a try, he realised that it wasn’t the case.
There was no doubt that the World Tree was continuously nourishing the Star Boundary, but cultivators were unable to refine that power directly from its source. There were no additional benefits by cultivating in this place.
Then, he looked up and saw Xu Ling Gong beckoning to him with a smile from a higher branch. Qing Kui and Su Ying Xue were also standing behind him.
Yang Kai leaped into the air and landed in front of Xu Ling Gong before cupping his fist, “Martial Uncle Xu.”
“You’ve finally left seclusion.” Xu Ling Gong examined him.
Yang Kai nodded and asked curiously, “Why are all of you here?”
“It’s said that Humans are driven by greed and interests.” There was an inscrutable smile on Xu Ling Gong’s face.
Yang Kai knitted his brows, “What do you mean?”
Xu Ling Gong directly drew a circle in the air, “They’re trying to put the World Tree inside their Small Universes.”
Yang Kai instantly became infuriated. The reason the Star Boundary didn’t fall apart in the past was that he had planted a root of the real World Tree here. The prosperity that the Star Boundary now enjoyed was also thanks to the World Tree. If someone managed to put the World Tree inside his or her Small Universe, the Star Boundary would be doomed.
By then, not only would the Star Boundary lose its stability, but its very existence would also be in question.
Yang Kai couldn’t help but feel that he had been betrayed by these people.
With the continuous nourishment from the World Tree, more talented youths started appearing in the Star Boundary. Although Yang Kai had no other choice, he was still willing to share the benefits with the Cave Heavens and Paradises; however, he had never expected that while he was cultivating in seclusion over the past few years, these people were trying to harm his interests.
That was the reason Yang Kai was incensed. He then summoned his Azure Dragon Spear directly and unleashed Dragon Pressure all around as he roared, “Don’t you all dare cross the line!”
The weather in the Star Boundary changed dramatically since the Great Emperor was furious. Even the World Tree shook. The High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters, who were cultivating with their eyes closed on the branches, were shocked as they opened their eyes and gazed at Yang Kai from all directions.
It was expected that Yang Kai was worried. Even though the World Tree was gargantuan, the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters were still able to put it inside their Small Universes if they insisted on doing that.
Yang Kai was also able to do that in the past, not to mention those High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.
Xu Ling Gong quickly raised his hands and placated him, “Stop being so agitated. It’s not as bad as you think!”
A furious Yang Kai refuted, “It’s still not bad enough? Would it only be considered bad when they finally snatch the tree?”
Xu Ling Gong broke into a fit of laughter, “The World Tree is now connected to the Star Boundary. As a Great Emperor of this place, you must be fully aware of that. The roots of the World Tree have penetrated the cores of the Star Boundary and Demon Realm. In order to obtain the World Tree, one has to put both the Star Boundary and Demon Realm inside their Small Universe. Do you think any one of them can do that?”
Upon hearing that, Yang Kai relaxed slightly.
Just like Xu Ling Gong had said, as a Great Emperor of the Star Boundary, Yang Kai was fully aware of what was going on in this place. Beneath the ground where no one else could see, the roots of the World Tree had spread and penetrated the entire Universe World. It had indeed merged with the Star Boundary and Demon Realm.
In order to take away the World Tree, one had to put both the Star Boundary and Demon Realm inside their Small Universe, which was an extremely difficult task.
Xu Ling Gong went on to say, “Moreover, even if there’s really a person who can do that, it wouldn’t be worth it. The Star Boundary and Demon Realm have their own unique World Forces. Putting them inside their Small Universe is no different from absorbing countless impurities that don’t match their own foundation. That might destabilise their Small Universe and cause their realm to plunge.”
It was only then that Yang Kai lowered his Azure Dragon Spear, “Why did you say they’re trying to put the World Tree then, Martial Uncle Xu?”
Since there were so many downsides to it, why were they still trying to do it?
Xu Ling Gong explained, “It’s not what you think. What I mean by putting the World Tree in their Small Universes is that we’re cultivating here in an attempt to obtain the World Tree’s acknowledgement so that we can transfer a root into our Small Universes. If we can do that, it’ll be immensely beneficial.”
The Star Boundary had been transformed from a desolate place into a prosperous one thanks to the World Tree. If any High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Master was able to plant a root of the World Tree in their Small Universe, they would get tremendous benefits once it started growing.
“Unfortunately, it’s just the subtree of the World Tree, so we can’t guarantee that the root will survive such a transplant. There wouldn’t be such a problem if it was the Mother Tree.” Xu Ling Gong sighed and gazed at Yang Kai, “If you planted the root in your Small Universe instead of putting it in the Star Boundary in the past, you wouldn’t have faced any bottleneck when trying to ascend to the Ninth Order.”
Upon hearing that, Yang Kai was startled for a moment.
“Do you regret it?” Xu Ling Gong stared at him with narrowed eyes.
Yang Kai replied with a smile, “I’ll certainly make it to the Ninth Order sooner or later; however, if the root of the World Tree hadn’t been planted in the Star Boundary in the past, my home would have fallen apart. Despite my loss, the Star Boundary has stabilised and even started thriving. It was worth it, so why would I regret anything?”
Xu Ling Gong stared fixedly at him as though he was trying to look deep into his mind, but Yang Kai’s gaze was clear and calm.
“A decision has been made regarding the matter I had mentioned some time ago,” Xu Ling Gong suddenly changed the topic.
A puzzled Yang Kai asked, “What are you talking about?”
“The Universe Temples. Have you forgotten about it?”
Yang Kai arched his brow, “Have the higher-ups agreed to it?”
Xu Ling Gong replied with a smile, “You’re only going to be given a chance. As for whether you’ll get their acknowledgement, you’ll have to go through a test.”
With a frown, Yang Kai asked, “You said that some of the Universe Temples have broken down. If I can figure out the secrets of the Universe Temples, I might be able to repair them. Since I have to exert myself to do that, why should I go through a test?”
Xu Ling Gong shook his head, “Do not think that it’s unfair to you. The secrets of the Universe Temples have far-reaching implications, so we must not be negligent. I can’t tell you the details, but you just have to know that I won’t harm you.”
“Of course, I trust you, Martial Uncle,” Yang Kai nodded.
“In that case, come with me,” It was then Xu Ling Gong stepped forward, followed by Qing Kui and Su Ying Xue.
After storing the Azure Dragon Spear, Yang Kai hurriedly followed them.
A moment later, Yang Kai suddenly sensed something, and as he turned his head to look, he couldn’t help but narrow his eyes.
That was because the High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters, who were cultivating in hidden places just now, had all appeared in front of the World Tree. Regardless of their age, status, or gender, all these Inner Elders from the various Cave Heavens and Paradises wore solemn expressions.
When Yang Kai turned his head to look, dozens of people suddenly lowered their heads and cupped their fists. Even Zhuo Bu Qun and Yu Huan, who were clearly on bad terms with Xu Ling Gong, were doing so.
These people saluted the four of them in a way as though they would never return.
All of a sudden, Yang Kai felt a sense of solemnity and forlornness in the air.