AGM 275 - Di Feng, Emperor Azure
During the era of the Azure Emperor, the Azure Emperor Palace was the strongest transcendent power in the whole of Grand Xia. The experts within were as numerous as the clouds.
And among those experts, not everyone had Di as their surname. There were the Azure Emperor's disciples, his loyal guardians, or even his servants. All of them formed the Azure Faction.
After the Azure Emperor Palace narrowly avoided getting destroyed, the majority of this group of people silently left, hiding in places around Grand Xia, to the extent where they changed their surnames and lived incognito. Yet despite staying in hiding, all of them had one mission-to follow once again the successor of the Azure Emperor. He who holds his token would gain control over all the branches of the 'hidden' Azure Faction, allowing them to rise from the ashes to the pinnacle of Grand Xia once more.
These were the ancestral teachings of the White Deer Institute.
However, their wait would stretch on for a long time, lasting over thousands of years. The loyalty of these 'hidden' Azure Faction branches gradually diminished with the passing of time, and now the only thing binding them are the ancestral teachings of their ancestors.
The one with the Azure Emperor Token would naturally be the successor. And back then, some of the Azure Emperor's disciples changed their surname to Di. They were one of the most loyal groups to the Azure Emperor and the task of selecting the successor also fell to them.
The old man standing behind Di Cheng couldn't help but exclaim in anger when he heard Bailu Yi's suspicions. "Impudent."
The snort of anger echoed like the crack of a whip, echoing out loud in the silent courtyard.
Yet Di Cheng merely smiled as he waved his hands. "Little Yi is still young, don't be angry with her. Since Little Yi wishes to hear the truth, I can tell you this. Currently, the person in charge with the safekeeping of the Azure Emperor's Token has already been captured by the Nine Mystical Palace. Perhaps, he has already confessed under torture. If that's the case, your existence and any other branches of the 'hidden' Azure Faction will soon be exposed and all of you will be destroyed by our ancestor's enemies. Hence, I need to act preemptively, uniting all the branches of the 'hidden' Azure Faction."
"Our ancestral teachings stated that only the inheritor of the token would know of our location. Since the Azure Emperor Token is not in your hands, how did you know of us? Or has the main branch already gone against the original ancestral teachings?" It was then that a supreme elder from the White Deer Institute faintly interjected. Although his tone was calm, his words were filled with sharpness.
"I will explain it further to Senior in the future." Di Cheng laughed, "The White Deer Institute is the first branch I wanted to unite, I definitely won't mistreat the Institute. In the future, Little Yi shall be my wife and your White Deer Institute can become one of the leading powers of the 'hidden' faction."
"Who says I wanted to be your wife?" Bailu Yi didn't expect this young man to be so shameless, he actually spoke as though he were giving a great boon to her and the Institute. This level of shamelessness made her take huge breaths to calm herself, resulting in the heaving of her ample chest, causing Di Cheng's eyes to light up.
"We will continue this discussion later, Young Master, why don't you go take a rest first?" Another supreme elder interjected, it was apparent that he had no more interest in continuing the discussion. Di Cheng also understood that it was impossible to subdue the entire Institute just like that, hence, he agreed and left.
After arranging the living quarters for Di Cheng, the upper echelons of the White Deer Institute gathered once again for a discussion.
Within the great hall, the core members of the Institute assembled. The four supreme elders, the nine grand elders, as well as the more powerful ones from the direct line of descent of the younger generations.
The one leading the discussion was none other than Bailu Yi's great-grandfather, who was also the current headmaster of the White Deer Institute.
This old man had a head and beard full of white hair, yet his eyes brimmed with the vitality of tigers and dragons, exuding an imposing aura in each of his movements. "Tell me, what are your thoughts on this matter?" The old man calmly spoke, directing the question to the four supreme elders.
"I disagree with their words, our White Deer Institute has already formed a faction of our own. Why do we still need to be under the control of others? Not only that, Di Cheng didn't even have the token," a supreme elder replied, showing his displeasure.
"Indeed, we have to ponder over this deeply. Our ancestral teachings are one thing, but still, we cannot be sure of Di Cheng's identity."
"I agree with Eldest Brother."
The last supreme elder drummed his fingers on the supports of his seat before he added, "Let's hear the opinions of the younger generations." Bailu Yi silently took note of the attitude of the crowd. What made her astonished was that the supreme elders seemed to disapprove of the matter.
A bitter smile involuntarily appeared on her face when she thought of Qin Wentian. It seemed that the path Qin Wentian had chosen, wouldn't be as smooth as what he had expected.
"Little Yi, what do you think?" One of the elders turned his gaze onto Bailu Yi. This elder was none other than her grandfather.
Bailu Yi pondered for a moment before asking, "I don't presume to know the thoughts of the supreme and grand elders regarding the White Deer Institute. I only hope that our Institute will be the same as before, to remain hidden within the Moon Continent. When the successor truly appears before us, proving his identity and strength, only then should we all follow him in a bid to rise again to the pinnacle of Grand Xia. But of course, if the successor doesn't appear, there's no need for further discussion."
Many of the elders froze for a second, but smiles could be seen on their faces soon after.
"We are all getting old and muddle-headed, seeing as a single sentence from this young lass has summed up the core of this issue. She's right." Bailu Yi's great-grandfather smiled.
"If the successor really has the ability to allow the Azure Emperor Palace to rise again, I have no issues," a supreme elder added. Each of the core members then expressed their thoughts and Bailu Yi discovered that the majority of the core members actually wanted the White Deer Institute to reveal their relations with the Azure Emperor Palace, and to rise once again in Grand Xia.
"Little Yi, you should have heard the opinions of our core members. Tell me more about your thoughts." Bailu Yi's great-grandfather glanced at her, as a gentle smile appeared on his face. "Great-Grandfather, it seems like the majority of our core members are dissatisfied with the status our White Deer Institute has today." Bailu Yi gave a shallow smile.
"In the end, the Grand Xia Empire is still the world of the transcendent powers. Although our White Deer Institute is powerful, in truth, the four transcendent powers of the Moon Continent have been silently putting pressure on us," the old man replied. "Mhm, since the majority of us are dissatisfied, this means that we need to find an opportunity." Bailu Yi nodded.
"You mean, to surrender to Di Cheng?" the old man asked.
"No, but I believe in the true successor of the Azure Emperor. The holder of the Azure Emperor Token, would definitely be someone phenomenal." A sweet smile painted Bailu Yi's face as her eyes lighted up. She discovered that the appearance of Di Cheng, may not be a bad thing for Qin Wentian.
At the very least with Di Cheng's attitude, there was no way he would be able to convince the White Deer Institute to follow him.
Bewilderment shone on the face of Bailu Yi's great-grandfather. Why did this lass have so much trust in a non-existent successor?
"But Di Cheng said that the person in charge of the Azure Emperor Token has been captured by the Nine Mystical Palace. No one knows where the token is now."
"Great-Grandfather, do you believe in his words?" Bailu Yi asked, causing the old man to shake his head with a laugh. "No, I don't." "Enough, we will discuss this further. The younger members can leave first, but remember to be cautious and not let word of this meeting leak out. If not, don't blame the supreme elders from acting accordingly." The old man's voice carried a warning, this matter was too serious and concerned the survival of the White Deer Institute. Even though everyone here was a core member, a reminder wouldn't hurt. It was better to be safe than sorry.
After Bailu Yi and the rest left, the White Deer Institute were still polite to Di Cheng, at least on the surface. They believed that Di Cheng was truly a descendant of the Di Clan. If not, there was no way for him to know so many secrets.
However, despite their hospitality, Di Cheng could clearly tell that the White Deer Institute had no intentions of bowing down to him. He didn't even have the opportunity to meet with any of the supreme elders after that. But Di Cheng was too shameless, he still continued strutting about in the White Deer Institute and would often find opportunities to get close to Bailu Yi.
His actions and attitude caused many of the core members to frown. Even if Di Cheng was a descendant of the Di Clan, how could the Di Clan dare to choose someone like him as a successor? It wasn't until the arrival of another young man, that those from the White Deer Institute discovered that their thoughts were correct.
This new arrival was named Di Feng, and his demeanor and bearing were worlds apart from the pompous Di Cheng. Composed, calm, with the feel of a leader. This man was extraordinary.
Not only that, his combat prowess was many times higher compared to Di Cheng.
After his arrival, Di Cheng toned down his attitude. Di Cheng no longer dared to strut around his identity as successor, which spoke volumes to those from the White Deer Institute.
Di Feng, was the true successor the Di Clan had chosen. And comparing Di Cheng and Di Feng, the core members from the White Deer Institute couldn't help but feel that Di Feng was too outstanding. Maybe, he truly had the capability to lead the Azure Faction to rise up once again.
In the training grounds of the White Deer Institute, several gazes were fixed upon the two young men standing there now. These two, were none other than Di Feng and Bailu Jing.
Bailu Jing was evidently at a disadvantage when he exchanged blows with Di Feng, the impact causing him to retreat without pause. When the force completely dissipated, a sharp glint of light gleamed in his eyes as he stated, "You should have another identity. Am I right?"
Di Feng flicked his sleeves, a cold smile on his face. "Brother Jing has extraordinary strength, I'm sure your ranking will be upgraded during the next refresher. Yes, you are right, I have another title. I'm also known as Emperor Azure.
"Emperor Azure, Azure Emperor," Bailu Jing murmured, "Indeed as I expected, you are truly him. Only today have I fully understood the implicit connotations behind the name of Emperor Azure."
The spectating elders all started, this young man was actually the 'Emperor Azure'.
"Emperor Azure." Bailu Yi was stunned. The 5th ranked on the Heavenly Fate Ranking was exactly named Emperor Azure.
Emperor Azure's name resounded throughout Grand Xia, but how many would have expected that his real name was Di Feng?
"Emperor Azure, Azure Emperor, so this is how it is," Bailu Yi's grandfather mumbled, he understood the unspoken meaning of this name.
It was only that such a grand character as Emperor Azure didn't even receive the inheritance nor authority token of the Azure Emperor. Actually, this was also one of Di Feng's regrets. It wasn't that he didn't have the strength, it was due to the environment he grew up in. When he was young, he followed his master in roaming the world. When he returned, it was already too late. He had already broken through to Yuanfu and hence, was unqualified for the test in the Emperor Star Academy, administered by Di Yi.
But still, Di Feng couldn't care less.
Even without the Azure Emperor Token, he would still be the leader of the Azure Faction. "Little Yi, do you think this young man has the ability to lead the Azure Faction back to its former glory?" Bailu Yi's grandfather smiled at her, his question causing her expression to suddenly falter.
A sudden notion occurred to her. Could all of this be pre-planned? The Di Clan was too smart, they first sent Di Cheng over, causing everyone to have bad impressions of him. After which, they followed up with a Di Feng, ranked #5 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking.
Such a blatant contrast would definitely cause Di Feng to gain the approval of many.
Bailu Yi was contemplating on what to say, but right at this moment, somebody hastily walked in front of her and reported, "Miss Bailu, Qin Wentian, has returned."
Bailu Yi froze, as a smile broke out on her face soon after. That fellow was finally back!