Clad in a plain unadorned robe, with a head full of white hair, appearing as though he was ready for the grave yet still wanted to dominate the world.
As he walked slowly up the platform, the gazes of the countless people in the Chu Emperor District were riveted on him. Who was this old man?
“Gongyang Hong.” In the spectators’ stand, many people recognised Gongyang Hong with trembling hearts. This was Gongyang Hong. His black hair had actually turned completely white. What happened to him?
“It’s the Grandmaster Divine Inscriptionist, Gongyang Hong. He actually stepped out for Qin Wentian.”
Many people were in shock. Although Gongyang Hong had an extremely high level of attainment in Divine Inscriptions, how could his strength defend against the horde of people who hailed from the Nine Mystical Palace?
Not only that, he seemed to have the intention of making a move on behalf of Qin Wentian. Could they have known each other long ago from the incident with the divine inscription painting?
Luo Yunhai gazed at Gongyang Hong as an expression of ridicule could be seen flickering in his eyes. In the Chu Country, there was actually someone who dared to taunt the Nine Mystical Palace?
Did this old man not know the level of power their Nine Mystical Palace had?
The Yuanfu Realm young man changed his direction, taking a step towards Gongyang Hong while his killing intent gushed out.
Was this old man courting death?
“How unbridled. For tens of years, no one has ever dare spoken to me in this manner.” Gongyang Hong coldly replied. As the Yuanfu Realm young man approached him, his palms slightly waved, and in an instant, an immense explosion of Astral Light occurred as the entire platform was bathed in resplendence radiance. The spectators could see the a gigantic arm manifesting as it absorbed the inexhaustible starlight, it was as though the arm appeared straight from the heavens.
The palm of the arm opened and abruptly grabbed towards the direction of the young man. This celestial arm was as though it was filled with heavenly might, seemingly unable to be defended against.
The countenance of the young man abruptly changed. He punched out a multitude of fist lights. Gongyang Hong’s celestial arm was like a heavenly divine artifact, paying no attentions to the feeble attacks of the Yuanfu cultivator as it directly grabbed hold of the young man.
Buzz. With the speed of a raging wind, the young man was clutched in the palms of the celestial arm, which relocated its position, moving towards the skies. Before the might of this arm, the powerful Yuanfu cultivator was akin to an ant-like existence.
Gongyang Hong extended his hands towards the air. It was as though the celestial arm was an extension of himself, and he was easily able to control it like a part of his own body.
“Didn’t your parents teach you manners?” Gongyang Hong calmly spoke. The Astral Celestial Arm lurched and flung the poor Yuanfu cultivator through the skies.
In that instant, the young man’s body was blasted off to the horizon, and he sailed through the air, his final destination unknown.
Gongyang Hong acted as though he was taking out the garbage, casually tossing a Yuanfu Realm expert around like a plaything.
This display of strength caused everyone to freeze.
“How powerful is he?!”
Their hearts were all trembling violently. How could Gongyang Hong be this strong?
Luo Yunhai’s countenance also paled. Since he was someone at the peak of Yuanfu, how could he not understand what just happened?
That earlier outburst of Astral Light was an indication of someone at the Heavenly Dipper Realm.
Those from the Royal Clan, those from the Emperor Star Academy, and all the experts at the scene felt as though a tremendous wave just arose in their hearts.
Many years ago, Gongyang Hong had also been the champion of the Jun Lin banquet. After he returned to Chu following his disappearance, he had always been immersed in the field of Divine Inscriptions. Who would have thought that right from the start, he was already a hegemonic Heavenly Dipper Realm powerhouse.
“Roll down here for me.” Gongyang Hong spat out the words, targeting them at Luo Yunhai. The tone of his voice was exceptionally tyrannical.
It was as though many black lines appeared on Luo Yunhai’s face as his facial muscles contorted. However, his body gradually descended and landed upon the ground.
How awe-inspiring had Luo Yunhai been earlier? But because of a single sentence from Gongyang Hong, he actually became so obedient as though he was nothing but a little child.
“Your Excellency, you are? Yunhai hopes that Your Excellency wouldn’t interfere with the Nine Mystical Palace’s affairs.” Luo Yunhai’s imposing aura from earlier had already been deflated. This was the Chu Country, not the Nine Mystical Palace. If they were in the Nine Mystical Palace, he wouldn’t have feared Gongyang Hong.
Over here, any Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns could easily annihilate their bunch of Yuanfu cultivators from the Nine Mystical Palace.
“Shut your mouth.”
Gongyang Hong coldly snorted as he continued, “Has the prestige of the Nine Mystical Palace fallen so much that they have to exhibit their might in such a place as Chu to feel good?”
As he spoke, Gongyang Hong slowly ambled forward and stood beside Qin Wentian.
As their gazes met, he smiled. “Little fellow, I didn’t think that you would actually become the champion of the Jun Lin banquet this year. What a pleasant surprise.”
Qin Wentian was also very joyful when he took note of Gongyang Hong’s smile. Back then, he had been very worried about Gongyang Hong, whose heart already seemed dead.
Today, however, Gongyang Hong appeared on the platform and wanted to accompany him to dominate the world. How awe-inspiring was he! This was the aura that should match with someone of Gongyang Hong’s caliber.
“Wasn’t Senior also the champion before? There’s nothing amazing about my achievements.” Qin Wentian laughed.
“That’s different. I obtained the championship with a cultivation base at the peak of Arterial Circulation while you obtained the same accomplishment with merely a cultivation base at the 8th level. From this point alone, you are already many times more outstanding when compared to me.” Gongyang Hong continued smiling. Ever since the day Qin Wentian had spoken this words ‘The past is now past, and the future is too far away. Only the present matters’ to him, he had already felt that he couldn’t be compared to the youth standing before him.
“Luo Qianqiu, Sikong Mingyue, Chu Chen, and Orchon. Although they couldn’t be considered bad, they are still not at your level. What’s laughable is that as a pretext to humiliate you, the Nine Mystical Palace actually tossed a gem like you in the garbage while recruiting the rest of them. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that ridiculous?”
After which, Gongyang Hong turned and shifted his gaze to Luo Yunhai.
“Are you not afraid that the Nine Mystical Palace’s reputation will be smirched by the actions you took today if somehow this matter were to be leaked outside?” Gongyang Hong serenely continued, “And based on the degree of talent Qin Wentian displayed today, he could choose any of the great powers—Misty Peak, Sunset Mountains, or the Phoenix Valley—to join, and they would gladly accept him with open arms. The Nine Mystical Palace have no qualifications to be choosy. Are you sure you understand what you are doing?”
“But just as well. From my perspective, the Nine Mystical Palace isn’t worthy of Qin Wentian’s talent.” Gongyang Hong’s words blasted out like a slap across Luo Yunhai’s face, causing the spectators to involuntarily draw in deep breaths.
Gongyang Hong was Gongyang Hong indeed. Back in his days, after the Jun Lin Banquet, Gongyang Hong left Chu and explored the world. His experience wasn’t limited to merely the Nine Mystical Palace.
Earlier, they had witnessed Luo Yunhai’s haughty and imposing aura, so far above the Heavens. He had invited the elites to join the Nine Mystical Palace, painting the picture of a peerless existence in the minds of the spectators.
However, after a few words from Gongyang Hong, the illusory picture was torn apart.
This time around, Qin Wentian was the champion of the Jun Lin Banquet. What qualifications did the Nine Mystical Palace have to ‘select’ him? Didn’t the power of selection resided in Qin Wentian instead?
Back then, Gongyang Hong had also been the champion but he didn’t choose to join the Nine Mystical Palace. In the end, he also became a peerless existence and returned back to Chu. Why couldn’t Qin Wentian do the same? He might very well be the next Gongyang Hong, or someone even stronger than him!
“If you really wish to depart from Chu, I can send you on your way and refer a few powerful schools for you to join.”
Gongyang Hong turned his head as he smiled at Qin Wentian. Although he was smiling, the words he just spoke were not a joke.
As long as Qin Wentian agreed, he would immediately bring Qin Wentian away. Based on Qin Wentian’s talent, Chu was too small to contain him. He needed to explore the world to find a piece of bigger sky.
Qin Wentian naturally knew that Gongyang Hong wouldn’t lie to him. The Nine Mystical Palace wanted to deal with him via humiliation? Gongyang Hong’s words were informing everyone in Chu, as well as telling Qin Wentian not to be too overly affected by Luo Yunhai’s words. He should broaden his horizons and not allow his perspective to be limited by a mere Nine Mystical Palace.
So what they controlled ten over countries? How immense was this world?
If one were to liken this world to the Nine Heavenly Layers, Chu Country would merely be at situated the lowest Heavenly Layer. Over there, one could never be able to see the entirety of the beautiful fields of stars if they remained only on the lowest layer.
However, Qin Wentian still had some things he had yet to accomplish in Chu. He had still kin and friends here. It wouldn’t be too realistic if he departed straight away.
“Seems like you still have some unfinished business here in Chu. After today, I will depart from Chu, but on your behalf, I will recommend you to some of the powerful schools and sects out there in the world to see if they have any interest in recruiting you. Or maybe, after I finish what I need to do, I will return to Chu once again to look for you.”
Gongyang Hong laughed, after which he shifted his gaze to Chu Tianjiao. “You are the Crown Prince of Chu? What rewards did you prepare for the champion of this year’s Jun Lin Banquet?”
Chu Tianjiao glanced at Gongyang Hong, as an indescribable emotion rose in his heart. The powerful Gongyang Hong had no need to bother about his background or status, and could talk to him like he was talking to a servant. This, indeed, was power.
But before Chu Tianjiao could even reply. Gongyang Hong interjected, “Forget it. Since it’s a reward, let’s just allow Qin Wentian to choose what he want. Qin Wentian, as the champion of the Jun Lin banquet, what rewards do you want?”
“I want my father and grandpa to be released.”
Qin Wentian stared at Chu Tianjiao, his countenance as sharp as a sword.
He came to the Royal Capital of Chu, he got increasingly stronger, and he participated in the Jun Lin Banquet. Everything he did was only for a single reason.
His father, Qin Chuan, and his grandpa, Qin Wu, were still imprisoned within the Black Stronghold of Chu.
“Impossible. They are rebels, so how can I release them?” Chu Tianjiao coldly snorted.
“I said, release.” Gongyang Hong stared at Chu Tianjiao. His attitude was like a hegemon, looking for no further discussion.
Chu Tianjiao’s expression was extremely unsightly. His voice quavered as he replied, “If I have to release, I can only release Qin Chuan alone. Qin Wu will still be imprisoned. This is already my bottom line.”
Gongyang Hong glanced at Qin Wentian, who was staring at Chu Tianjiao. A resolute, cold, and unwavering light could be seen flickering in his eyes.
“Fine.” Qin Wentian nodded. He had already expected that he would be unable to save his father.
“Gongyang Hong, you meddle too much.”
At this moment, a voice filled with the power of a raging storm echoed out from a distance.
Gongyang Hong slightly creased his brows as he gazed off in the horizon, only to see a gigantic palm made from thunder smashing down towards him from the Heavens.
“Hmph.” Gongyang Hong coldly snorted. His Astral Celestial Arm Nova blasted out in rage. In the skies, the two gigantic palms met and exploded simultaneously from the impact amidst a typhoon of roiling, chaotic Qi.
At this moment, a silhouette descended from the skies. This person was clad in skyblue robes, displaying his might with no anger. His facial features also appeared similar to Luo Qianqiu and Luo Yunhai.
Upon seeing this man, back in the direction of the Emperor Star Academy, Ren Qianxing trembled violently as his countenance grew extremely ugly to behold.
Luo Tianya came from the Nine Mystical Palace, but at the same time, he had also previously been a student of the Emperor Star Academy!
He actually came to Chu!