The Central Ruins Battlefield instantly became noisy. It was because Nanhuang Chanyi had just uttered the most ridiculous statement ever in the history of the Central Ruins Battle.
She wants to put the last profound pract.i.tioners of Northern Chill City, East Ruins Realm, and West Ruins Realm against her own!?
Yun Che might’ve put on an astounding performance just now, but the three sects together still had ten profound pract.i.tioners in total! Also, all of them were all peak Divine Kings!
Even if Yun Che won the previous two fights in domineering fas.h.i.+on, even if they a.s.sumed that he had plenty of strength left… it was still utterly stupid to make him fight ten people alone!
Either Nanhuang Chanyi had gone insane, or… she was simply putting up a front.
“Chanyi, what in the world is wrong with you today!!?” Nanhuang Mofeng shouted. If he held in his anger any longer, his lungs might just give up on him.
“Mofeng,” the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign said softly, “Keep your opinions to yourself and watch.”
“...” Nanhuang Mofeng’s gaze swam irregularly between the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign and Nanhuang Chanyi. He might’ve shut up as his lord had commanded, but there was no way he could calm down in this situation.
“Hahahaha!” The West Ruins Divine Sovereign laughed loudly. “Nanhuang, has insanity possessed your daughter?”
It wasn’t completely a sarcastic remark… So far, everything Nanhuang Chanyi had done today was extremely unusual. The way she behaved was completely different from the rumors, and her actions also didn’t match her ident.i.ty or standing at all. In fact, the moment she rejected Beihan Chu’s marriage proposal, a lot of people had arrived at the same suspicion.
“Is that cowardice I sense?” Nanhuang Chanyi whispered softly.
“Of course not. It’s because the Southern Phoenix doesn’t deserve such attention,” the East Ruins Divine Sovereign said. “Our profound pract.i.tioners are n.o.ble beyond measure. Forget ten, even—”
“Ah!" The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign suddenly raised a hand and cut off whatever the East Ruins Divine Sovereign was going to say. Then, he said, “You want the three of us to send all our profound pract.i.tioners against your one representative? I can’t believe you would say something so ridiculous. If this king were to agree to this, it’d bring shame to our profound pract.i.tioners no matter the result.”
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign was correct. Ten on one? How incredibly shameful! It was doubtful that the ten Divine Kings would agree to this fight even if they chose to accept the bet on their behalf.
“Southern Phoenix Crown Princess, you must think that this king will reject your offer, am I right?” Suddenly, the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign smiled dangerously and tauntingly at her. “On the contrary, this king is very, very interested in taking this bet! Oh yes, we simply must accept it!”
The East Ruins Divine Sovereign and West Ruins Divine Sovereign frowned deeply at the same time, but they simply stared at their peer and said nothing. They knew that the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign must be plotting something.
“...” Nanhuang Chanyi suddenly fell silent. She didn’t respond to the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign’s reply at all.
“You said ‘bet’ earlier, didn’t you, Southern Phoenix Crown Princess? If I may ask, what are the stakes involved here?” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign said with a smile.
The East Ruins Divine Sovereign and the West Ruins Divine Sovereign’s eyes lit up at the same time.
“...It looks like the Northern Chill Realm King has figured out his demand already. You may as well say it now,” Nanhuang Chanyi said in the exact same tone as before. However, the crowd could sense that her pressure was less than before, and she hesitated briefly right before she made her reply.
“It’s very simple. If the Southern Phoenix somehow wins this battle…” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign’s smile grew wider as he spoke. “You’ll become the champion of the Central Ruins Battle. Besides the four zones you’ll get as the champion, Northern Chill City will also surrender the four… excuse me, the three zones they get as the runner-up to you as well.”
G.o.d knows how many people had burst out in laughter before the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign could finish his sentence.
Even the West Ruins Divine Sovereign and the East Ruins Divine Sovereign had to control themselves.
One versus ten… ten peak Divine Kings. They wouldn’t mind eating s.h.i.+t if Yun Che could win this!
“But if the Southern Phoenix loses,” said the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign as he narrowed his eyes slightly and a half-smile pa.s.sed over his lips, “we won’t stoop so low as to ask you to surrender that tiny bit of control you have over the Central Ruins Realm, but… you’ll have to return to Nine Lights Heavenly Palace with my son!”
“You won’t be his wife or his concubine. You’ll serve him as his servant for a hundred years!”
A clamor had broken out yet again.
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign wouldn’t have gone so far if Nanhuang Chanyi hadn’t dropped all pretenses earlier, but she did, and there was no way he was going to go soft on her after that.
Nanhuang Chanyi had rejected Beihan Chu’s marriage proposal in public and humiliated Beihan Chu deeply. Thus, the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign used the opportunity Nanhuang Chanyi had delivered into his hands herself and humiliated her right back, demanding she be Beihan Chu’s servant if she loses.
His words were also a declaration of anger to the Southern Phoenix Divine Country! For their crime of offending the Northern Chill City again after foolishly throwing away the olive branch they had extended, he would make Nanhuang Chanyi serve his son as a servant! It was all she was worth after all the offenses she had committed!
He turned to look at Nanhuang Chanyi. He had accepted the impossible bet… and used the opening to state his own terms!
Everyone’s attention was set on Nanhuang Chanyi once more. The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign’s counter attack was an insidious one. If Nanhuang Chanyi accepted the bet, she would become Beihan Chu’s servant after Yun Che’s defeat. But if she refused to accept it, it was the equivalent of slapping herself and throwing the Southern Phoenix Divine Country’s face in the mud.
Nanhuang Chanyi said, “Northern Chill Realm King, don’t you think the stakes you suggested are absolutely ridiculous!?”
It was a reply the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign absolutely saw coming. He looked upward and laughed, “Hahahaha! What’s wrong? Having second thoughts? You’re the one who asked for this bet, so where’s your courage now? Is this the so-called pride and shame of the Southern Phoenix Divine Country?”
“Northern Chill Realm King, you seem to be mistaken about something,” Nanhuang Chanyi said indifferently. “Since when did I say I’m having second thoughts?”
“This is a bet, so you have the right to demand what you want if you win. But what right do you have to determine what I want if I win?”
“Oh, really?” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign said with a smile. “That’s a good point. In that case, please tell me what a hundred years of servitude is worth to you, Nanhuang Chanyi.”
“You wouldn’t be able to afford it even if you surrendered the entire North Ruins Realm,” Nanhuang Chanyi said, “but this is a bet, and there must be a stake. The stake must also be something that the likes of you can afford. This is troubling, but I suppose…”
“If we win, the Southern Phoenix Divine Country will lay claim to the entire Central Ruins Realm! That includes the East Ruins Sect and the West Ruins Sect’s portion!”
“Moreover, the Central Ruins Realm will be ours for five hundred years, not fifty!”
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign’s eyebrows scrunched together for an instant, but quickly relaxed. The moment he heard the first half of Nanhuang Chanyi’s reply, he knew that she was going to demand something huge and impossible to accept such as “kill yourself on the spot”, or “enter the Southern Phoenix Divine Country as a slave”.
Surrendering the entire Central Ruins Realm to the Southern Phoenix Divine Country for five hundred years was definitely no joke. If it came true, the huge boost in resources meant that the Southern Phoenix Divine Country would rise quickly to power, while the rest of them declined.
However, her demand wasn’t even enough to terrify him into hesitation, much less drive him into complete rejection.
In the end, Nanhuang Chanyi proved herself to be a junior with less than three hundred years of experience, one with a screw loose in her head no less.
“No problem! That’s no problem at all!” the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign voiced his agreement so quickly that Nanhuang Chanyi’s voice hadn’t even subsided yet. He then glanced to his left and right at the East Ruins Divine Sovereign and the West Ruins Divine Sovereign and asked, “Brothers of the East and West Ruins, what do you guys think?”
“Well, our profound pract.i.tioners will be involved in this bet, so it makes sense for us to have a stake in this, hehe,” the West Ruins Divine Sovereign said smilingly.
“I have no objection!” The East Ruins Divine Sovereign also replied without hesitation.
It might look like they weren’t getting anything out of this bet, but it was an opportunity to make Northern Chill City, and more importantly Beihan Chu owe them a big favor! There was no way they were going to turn this down.
“Alright!” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign nodded. “Is there anything else you wish to add, Southern Phoenix?”
It was a perfect example of the saying “can’t get off a tiger”. Nanhuang Chanyi was the one who proposed the one versus ten bet in the first place, and the stake she demanded was fully accepted by the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign. This meant that her retreat was completely cut off, not that it was possible in the first place, judging from the eager expressions on the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign, East Ruins Divine Sovereign, and West Ruins Divine Sovereign’s faces… She could toss the Southern Phoenix Divine Sect’s face in the mud, and she would still have to go through the whole bet one way or another.
“Alright!” Nanhuang Chanyi nodded. “The Southern Phoenix doesn’t wish to waste anymore time on this joke of a battle anyway. Realm Kings, you may choose your representatives now.”
The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign smiled and turned around to face his people. His aura landed on five profound pract.i.tioners, and he said, “You five will learn from the Southern Phoenix Divine Country.”
“Yes!” All five peak Divine Kings replied in unison.
If this was just any other battle, their pride would’ve prevented them from partic.i.p.ating in an unfair fight like this. But the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign had twisted this fight into a joke with his words, and once this Southern Phoenix profound pract.i.tioner was dead, they’d get to enjoy the sight of Nanhuang Chanyi becoming Beihan Chu’s servant for one hundred years. Naturally, any reluctance they might’ve felt earlier was completely gone.
But there was one person—a very important person—in this bet whose opinion no one had bothered to consult.
Yun Che slowly turned around to stare at Nanhuang Chanyi before sending her a sound transmission, “Did you just use me as your tool!?”
His voice was stiff, cold, and full of warning.
“I admit that it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I know it’s unfair to not consult you on this before proposing the bet. However… you partic.i.p.ated in this Central Ruins Battle and chose me as your patron because you need something from me, am I right? You’re a capable man, so why not put that ability of yours to good use and benefit yourself even more?”
“What happens if we find out later that my price is beyond your ability to pay?”
“That is impossible!”
“...” By the time Yun Che turned back toward the front, ten powerful auras were standing in front of him already.
All ten auras marked them as peak Divine Kings! There were five from the North Ruins Realm, three from the West Ruins Realm, and two from the East Ruins Realm.
These people were either indispensable to a realm king sect, or the absolute ruler of a realm. Everyone of them was famous across the Five Nether Ruins.
Normally, only peak Divine Kings fought in the Central Ruins Battle, and most of the battles were incredibly intense. Putting aside the Divine Sovereigns, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this was the highest level of combat of the Five Nether Ruins that took place in the Central Ruins Battle.
Therefore, a battle where ten peak Divine Kings were up against a single opponent five levels behind them was...
Forget the Central Ruins Battle, no one had ever seen anything like this in their whole lives.
The way the Southern Phoenix Divine Country had put themselves in this situation was almost praiseworthy.
“Chanyi…” In the end, the Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign couldn’t stop himself from walking up to Nanhuang Chanyi and calling out her name softly.
“Don’t worry, royal father,” Nanhuang Chanyi replied in a voice that only he could hear, “I know this sounds unbelievable, but ten Divine Kings are nothing but a pack of dogs to this man.”
“...” The Southern Phoenix Divine Sovereign’s eyebrows lifted, and his lips kept moving like there were a million things he wanted to ask. In the end though, he managed to maintain his silence.
For a moment, the hilarious scene that was ten peak Divine Kings versus a level five Divine King was frozen on the Central Ruins Battlefield. Then, the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign took a couple of steps forward and declared, “The Southern Phoenix must be pretty confident to dare to propose such a bet. I’m sure that a legendary battle unlike any other will be taking place in no time.”
His sarcastic remark caused countless people to laugh out loud.
“Moreover, this is a battle with stakes in it. If Northern Chill City, East Ruins Sect, and West Ruins Sect lose, then the Central Ruins Realm will fall under the Southern Phoenix Divine Country’s control for five hundred years. No one from the North Ruins Realm, East Ruins Realm, or West Ruins Realm will be allowed to take a single step into that place.”
“However, if we somehow win this battle, then the Southern Phoenix Crown Princess will return to Nine Lights Heavenly Palace and serve the Hidden Sword Palace Young Master Beihan Chu as a servant for a hundred years. She’s not allowed to leave until a hundred years is up. This bet is witnessed by everyone that is present!”
He then turned around and bowed toward Beihan Chu and Superior Unwhite. He said, “Young Palace Master, the stakes of this battle involve the Central Ruins Realm, so I believe it can be considered as part of the Central Ruins Battle. Therefore, we request that you be a witness this battle.”
“Alright,” Beihan Chu said with a nod, “I, Beihan Chu, agree to witness this battle on behalf of Nine Lights Heavenly Palace! Anyone who disobeys the rules or the content of the bet will be punished by Nine Lights Heavenly Palace.”
Beihan Chu had barely spoken a word since the start of the Central Ruins Battle, much less provided any biased suggestions or opinions. He had played his role as a witness perfectly up to this point.
His blessing was the final nail in the coffin. There was no longer any way for the Southern Phoenix Divine Country to back out of this bet.
“Thank you, Young Palace Master.” The Northern Chill Divine Sovereign bowed with a smile before facing toward the Central Ruins Battlefield again. Then, he turned serious and waved his hand, declaring, “Begin!”