Nanhuang Chanyi’s words had surprised the crowd, but only a little. However, when Nanhuang Mofeng said "level five Divine Kings”, their surprise instantly ballooned into shock and astonishment.
Level five Divine Kings… in the Central Ruins Battle?
What kind of a joke was this!?
Even better, Nanhuang Chanyi was the one who invited them over personally!?
“It’s you two?” The former Southern Phoenix Crown Prince, Nanhuang Jiang, recognized Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er immediately. He frowned and said, “Chanyi, you shouldn’t joke during the Central Ruins Battle.”
“I’m not joking.”
Yun Che had never told Nanhuang Chanyi his profound level, and it was impossible for her to measure his strength accurately due to her cultivation level. However, she looked unusually calm when Nanhuang Mofeng said the words “level five Divine Kings”. “His name is Yun Che. I ran into him by accident on my way here, so I invited him to partic.i.p.ate in the Central Ruins Battle.”
“Accident?” Nanhuang Mofeng’s eyebrows sank even deeper. “The Central Ruins Battle is not a game, and no reinforcements should be hired without careful deliberation! How can you do things so carelessly?”
“We can accommodate him if he’s strong enough, but he’s only a level five Divine King! He simply isn’t qualified to join the Central Ruins Battle!”
Nanhuang Mofeng had seniority over Nanhuang Chanyi, and his strength, status, and prestige were second only to the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign. Considering how ridiculous the circ.u.mstances around Yun Che’s recruitment was, it was his right to reprimand Nanhuang Chanyi a little.
“Uncle Feng,” Nanhuang Jian said, “I’ve met them before myself. Dong Xueci had threatened them, and Chanyi saved them from their predicament. That was the first time we met each other. However, I’m not sure why Chanyi would make this decision out of nowhere. Maybe…”
Nanhuang Mofeng’s eyes suddenly turned cold. “Did you two lie to her about your cultivation level!?”
The Southern Phoenix Divine Country only had four level ten Divine Kings, and they looked very bad compared to the other three realms. If Yun Che had lied to Nanhuang Chanyi and told her that he was a level ten Divine King, there was a high chance the latter would choose to recruit him.
This seemed like the only acceptable explanation.
“...” Yun Che didn’t react to his question at all, and Nanhuang Chanyi didn’t attempt to provide an explanation either. She shot Yun Che an indifferent glance from behind the jeweled ta.s.sels before turning to face the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign, asking, “Royal father, what are your thoughts?”
The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign stared at Yun Che for a bit before asking, “How much do you know about him?”
“Nothing at all,” was Nanhuang Chanyi’s reply.
The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign frowned a little, but his tone was gentle. He said, "In that case, I'd like to hear your reason."
“There is no reason, royal father,” Nanhuang Chanyi said softly. “I invited him purely because I thought that there’s something extraordinary about him.”
“That’s all?” The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign looked surprised by her answer.
“That’s all,.” Nanhuang Chanyi nodded. “Only ten people are allowed to fight in the Central Ruins Battle. There’s no harm in having an extra subst.i.tute to consider.”
“It’s not as simple as that!” Nanhuang Mofeng said in a low tone, “The battle formation we send to partic.i.p.ate in the Central Ruins Battle is the face of the Southern Phoenix Divine Country! We’ve always been the weaker partic.i.p.ant, and our battle formation has always been denounced. Do you know how badly we were ridiculed when we had two level eight Divine Kings in our battle formation last time!?”
“In order to avoid the same humiliation from happening, we paid a huge price just to gather four level ten Divine Kings and eight level nine Divine Kings. But if we allowed a level five Divine King to enter our battle formation…”
“It won’t be long before everyone hears that even a level five Divine King can enter the Southern Phoenix Divine Country’s battle formation! We’ll become a complete laughing stock!”
“We absolutely cannot allow that to happen!!”
Nanhuang Mofeng’s words were laced with weight. Everything he said was entirely reasonable and supported by everyone.
“We were close to the Central Ruins Battle, and Chanyi only made this careless decision because she was overly concerned our well-being. She shouldn’t be blamed for this.” Nanhuang Jian hurriedly defended Nanhuang Chanyi before turning to look at Yun Che, saying, “You two, please put down the Southern Phoenix Token and leave. I don’t know how you influenced Chanyi into making such a mistake, but the Southern Phoenix Divine Country won’t hold you to blame at such an important occasion. Also, you are welcome to visit the South Ruins Realm anytime you like after the Central Ruins Battle is over.”
It was never a bad thing to be able to recruit two level five Divine Kings into one’s fold.
But Nanhuang Chanyi ignored Nanhuang Jian’s words and waved at the duo, saying, “Please take your seats, you two.”
She was actually motioning them to sit beside her!
“I…” Nanhuang Jian stared at her in disbelief and puzzlement.
“Very well,” Yun Che replied with a nod before he and Qianye Ying’er sat right next to Nanhuang Chanyi. They completely ignored the strange looks everyone was showering them with from every direction.
Nanhuang Mofeng’s eyebrows abruptly sank as his features scrunched into a look of anger. “Chanyi, you—”
“Uncle Feng,” her words were soft, but it contained an invisible chill and pressure that cut off Nanhuang Mofeng’s words completely, “Did you forget that I am the Crown Princess right now? If you’re that concerned about the royal family’s face, shouldn’t you address me as Your Highness instead? So why are you addressing me by my name repeatedly?”
“...” Nanhuang Mofeng’s expression froze abruptly.
“Royal father has given me full power to direct how we’ll go about this Central Ruins Battle! My decision is the final decision, and no one is allowed to question it!”
“I’ve decided that Yun Che will be added to the Southern Phoenix battle formation. This matter is settled, and I’ll not tolerate anymore objections!”
The Southern Phoenix battle formation was silent for a moment. Everyone was exchanging glances with each other.
Nanhuang Chanyi wasn’t just gentle, it was almost as if she was born with little emotion. Although her beauty was well known, she very rarely made a public appearance. In fact, this was the first time she partic.i.p.ated in the Central Ruins Battle, and for a reason that was public knowledge no less.
Her tone was imposing and unquestionable. Forget the others, this was the first time Nanhuang Jian and Nanhuang Mofeng saw her like this.
“Settle down.” The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign spoke up while everyone was still dumbfounded. His tone was even and devoid of emotion. “Chanyi is correct. I have given her the authority to command this battle formation, so she has the right to decide everything that goes today. However, don’t forget that you’ll bear all the responsibility that will happen as a result of today, Chanyi.”
“Chanyi understands,” said Nanhuang Chanyi before bowing her head slightly.
“But…” Nanhuang Jian wanted to say something more, but he caught the look in Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign’s eyes and forced himself to swallow whatever he was going to say. The only resistance he could muster at this point was a fierce glare at Yun Che.
Nanhuang Jian was the strongest expert of their battle formation, and even the weakest among them was at least a level nine Divine King. But now, a level five Divine King had suddenly joined their group… Forget Nanhuang Jian, even the other twelve partic.i.p.ants were glaring at Yun Che with unkind looks on their faces.
The overall quality of their group just jumped off the cliff because of Yun Che! It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their last shreds of dignity were stripped right off their faces!
They just couldn't understand what Nanhuang Chanyi was thinking! They could accept her recruiting Yun Che because he had lied about his cultivation level, but why did she stay on this foolish course even after Nanhuang Mofeng revealed that Yun Che was just a level five Divine King?
Worse, the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign actually chose to let her do as she wished!
Nanhuang Mofeng let out a heavy hmph and stopped talking. However, his expression was very ugly.
Uncaring of the looks everyone was giving her, Nanhuang Chanyi leisurely returned to her seat before sending Yun Che a sound transmission. “Don’t disappoint me too much.”
“You won’t regret this,” Yun Che said, “however… I’m curious. As they say, I’m only a level five Divine King. Where is your confidence in me coming from?”
Nanhuang Chanyi shot him a sideways glance before replying, “Confidence in you? Whatever do you mean? I’m just defending my dignity as the Crown Princess. This is the first big thing I’m in charge of since I became the Crown Princess. What dignity would I have if anyone could change my decision as they pleased?”
“Also, I suppose you can see this as me being selfish and abusing my power.”
Yun Che, “...”
Meanwhile, the gazes on the other side of the Central Ruins Battlefield turned contemplative.
“Big brother, that’s Yun Che!” Dong Xuekui said, “He’s joining the Southern Phoenix Divine Country?”
“Hehe.” Dong Xueci chuckled and said, “Interesting, interesting. He must’ve sought out the Southern Phoenix Divine Country for protection after learning what it means to offend me. A level five Divine King is a precious power to the Southern Phoenix Divine Country after all.”
Every word he said was infused with disdain.
“His seat… he can’t have joined the Southern Phoenix battle formation, can he?” Dong Xuekui asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Impossible,” Dong Xueci said uncaringly. “A level five Divine King fighting in the Central Ruins Battle? The Southern Phoenix Divine Country may have no face to speak of, but they aren’t shameless enough to throw away their last shred of dignity.”
Dong Jiukui had already entered at the East Ruins Sect’s battle formation, but he didn’t notice Yun Che was with the Southern Phoenix Divine Country. It was because he and the East Ruins Divine Sovereign were staring at Northern Chill City.
Today’s events might very well change the future and status of the East Ruins Sect.
The four great Divine Sovereigns kept looking to the west as the start of the Central Ruins Battle grew closer and closer. Finally, an aura appeared on the horizon, followed by a candid voice that entered everyone’s ears:
“Beihan Chu, Hidden Sword Palace disciple of the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace has come to attend the Central Ruins Battle.”
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign immediately got up to his feet with a smile. The three realm kings and the profound pract.i.tioners of every sect got to their feet as well. The spectators were holding their breath, raising their heads and staring at the sky with looks of excitement and reverence on their faces.
It was understandable. Who hadn’t heard of Beihan Chu and the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace in the Five Nether Ruins?
Very soon, a small-sized profound ark with two people standing on it entered everyone’s vision. One of them was dressed in black clothes. He had well defined eyebrows, sharp eyes and an extraordinary aura. It was the former Northern Chill Crown Prince and the Hidden Sword Palace chief disciple of the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace, Beihan Chu!
The person next to him was a serious-looking middle-aged man. However, he wasn’t Venerable Hidden Sword. His status was clearly inferior to Beihan Chu’s.
Behind the duo was a square-shaped barrier about as tall as a person. It seemed to be sealing something, but it was impossible to see or sense what was behind the swirling mist of darkness.
Countless people were staring as the profound ark stopped right above of the Central Ruins Battlefield. Beihan Chu jumped down from above, followed by the middle-aged man who kept behind Beihan Chu.
The profound ark didn’t move away, however. It continued to float in the sky while carrying that black barrier.
“You’re here, Chu’er.” Northern Chill Divine Sovereign walked up to meet his son with a smile. His regal pressure was nowhere to be seen.
“Royal father!” Beihan Chu bowed deeply to the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign before doing the same toward all directions. He said, “This one was delayed due to certain businesses. Please forgive me.”
When his gaze reached the Southern Phoenix Divine Country, he clearly stopped to look at Nanhuang Chanyi for a bit. A smile flashed across his face as well.
“Hahahaha.” The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign laughed loudly. “That’s too much, dear nephew. The fact that you’re here adds light to the Central Ruins Battle already. Jian’er, Beihan Chu isn’t even half your age, and the height of his talents need not be mentioned. However, he’s still humble and polite despite his status in the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace. You should learn from him.”
“Yes, father,” Nanhuang Jian replied respectfully, “This child obeys your teachings.”
The fact that the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign was the first one to praise Beihan Chu immediately threw some shade into the atmosphere. That rumor that had spread like wildfire came closer to becoming the truth.
“Chu’er, where is your master? Will he be showing at a later time?” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign asked with a smile while holding Beihan Chu’s hands.
“No, royal father. Master was supposed to accompany me, but something happened in the middle of our trip, and he had to go away to deal with something. He told me to replace him as the supervisor of today’s Central Ruins Battle,” Beihan Chu answered.
Beihan Chu’s reply surprised everyone a little. Venerable Hidden Sword wouldn’t be showing today? What on earth happened while they were on the way here?
Of course, the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign wasn’t going to prod while they were in public. He nodded slowly and said, “I see. It’s a terrible shame, but something that concerns even the Venerable Hidden Sword must be very important. Naturally, that must take priority over this battle. Oh right, who is the person behind you?”
He looked at the middle-aged man standing behind Beihan Chu and raised his eyebrows suddenly. The man lacked glamor, and he looked like a subordinate of Beihan Chu. However, was really as strong as himself, if not stronger!
And he, the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign was the strongest profound pract.i.tioner in the Five Nether Ruins.
“Oh!” Beihan Chu hurriedly introduced the middle-aged man. “Royal father, this senior is Superior Unwhite, Lu Bubai. He’s the third palace master of the Hidden Sword Palace.”
“Wh…” Beihan Chu’s declaration caused everyone’s heart including the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign to skip a bit.
The third palace master of the Hidden Sword Palace was a transcendent existence!
Since he was standing behind Beihan Chu, no one realized who he really was until just now.
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign quickly lowered his upper body as he started in a voice that was tinged with anxiety, “Greetings, Superior Unwhite. This little king is named Beihan Shuo. Please forgive me for my impoliteness earlier…”
“Your words are unnecessary!” Superior Unwhite cut him off indifferently before the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign could finish his sentence. He said, “I’m only here to protect the young palace master. None of this has anything to do with me. You may pretend like I don’t exist.”
Superior Unwhite’s words caused Beihan Shuo to look up abruptly, “Young… palace master?”
That wasn’t the only thing that caught his attention. It made no sense that the third palace master of the Hidden Sword Palace was acting as a bodyguard for Beihan Chu and standing behind him.
“Hmm?” Superior Unwhite shot him a sideways glance. “Haven’t you heard yet? Young palace master has entered the ‘Northern Region Heavenly Sovereign Ranking’.”
The five words erupted in everyone’s eyes like a thunderstorm.
The mind of the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign, the number one profound pract.i.tioner of the Five Nether Ruins turned completely blank. He felt as if every drop of blood in his body was flowing into his head. His face was fully red, and he could barely speak through his excitement, “W-what… did you… say…”