Chapter 2194 Raw 2301 : Initiated into the Heavenly Alliance
In the boundless Starry Heavens and the infinite universe:
A supercontinent floated amid the Starry Heavens. When seen from afar, it appeared to consist of seven discrete golden pieces. This supercontinent looked boundlessly vast in the Starry Heavens, flashing with a glistening golden light. Millions of stars lit its surroundings like lamp flames.
This was a true supercontinent. Even the stars appeared insignificant before it, looking like fireflies.
What appeared even more preposterous was that someone seemed to be refining stars with a cauldron, using the stars’ flames to forge treasures.
Occasionally, huge fireballs flashed by like meteors above the vast supercontinent. While they looked like meteors, they were just the fireballs that shot out when blacksmiths were forging.
Huge cauldrons towered like mountains, the multitude rising and falling, looking like a mountain range.
If one’s eyes were powerful enough, one could count a total of nine thousand eight hundred cauldrons standing above this supercontinent. Together, they looked like an enormous dragon coiling around. The flames that the cauldrons spat out flickered, turning bright and dark like night and day alternating.
However, this was just the tip of the iceberg of this supercontinent.
There were also boundless herb fields dotted with medicine cauldrons. Aside from the two major industries for cultivators—forging and alchemy—there were also all sorts of other businesses, like food, clothing, and inns.
The supercontinent showed a great scene that inspired marvel. Complicated intersecting streets densely occupied this supercontinent.
However, everything seemed orderly; it appeared busy but not chaotic. It was like an invisible hand was controlling everything.
This is the Heavenly Alliance headquarters.
Even though Xiao Chen had seen it once from afar, he still felt extremely shocked when he saw it again from Mu Zifeng’s Alloy warship.
The Alloy warship flew over the Heavenly Alliance continent, heading to the center.
Along the way, Xiao Chen saw many sights that made a deep impression on him.
The Alloy warship moved shockingly fast. After flying for half a day, they arrived at the core of this continent.
That was a cloud sea filled with floating white clouds that appeared solid.
Many buildings were built on the white clouds, looking amazing.
“Heaven Outside of Heaven!”
Xiao Chen followed Mu Zifeng down and arrived on top of the white clouds. Soon, he saw a set of large gates with the words “Heaven Outside of Heaven” written in ancient calligraphy on top.
“When you cross these gates, you will be entering the core of the Heavenly Alliance headquarters. Come, I’ll bring you in.”
Mu Zifeng familiarly led Xiao Chen in. Along the way, silver-armored guards that looked like celestial warriors bowed respectfully with cupped-fist salutes, not daring to question Mu Zifeng.
“The current Heavenly Alliance is a very complicated organization. Its internal factions are very chaotic. However, in simple terms, we, the Heavenly Alliance members, exist to protect the interests of all the merchant associations under the Heavenly Alliance’s banner.
“You should know that the merchant associations under the Heavenly Alliance’s banner span the Great Thousand Realms. As long as there are cultivators, there will be merchant associations controlled by the Heavenly Alliance. However, as long as there are interests and benefits, there will be conflicts. We are responsible for dealing with these conflicts.”
As Mu Zifeng walked, he explained the internal structure of the Heavenly Alliance to Xiao Chen. These were things that one needed to know when entering the Heavenly Alliance.
“However, you have to remember that the Heavenly Alliance is the Heavenly Alliance, and the merchant associations are the merchant associations. We have nothing to do with the merchant associations.”
When Xiao Chen heard that, he felt slightly stunned even though it was similar to what the Peach Blossom Sovereign Emperor said. However, he did not say much.
During the early days, the merchant associations allied and formed the Heavenly Alliance as a combat arm. However, the roles were now reversed.
Even Mu Zifeng felt that he had to emphasize this point to Xiao Chen.
“As for you, I guess that you are similar to the Peach Blossom Sovereign Emperor, not so interested in authority. Who knows how long you will remain in the Heavenly Alliance? In that case, you have even less to worry about.”
Mu Zifeng seemed to be speaking casually. However, Xiao Chen did not acknowledge or deny anything, merely kept silent.
“You probably want to use the Heavenly Alliance’s resources to reach your own Martial Dao. There are many people like you in the Heavenly Alliance, so there is no need to overthink. The Heavenly Alliance will not give you resources for nothing, but it would not make you work for nothing, either. Everyone is just using...mutually benefiting each other.”
Mu Zifeng could not bear to say “using each other,” so he changed it to “mutually benefiting each other.”
Xiao Chen took this in stride, not paying too much mind. In the end, this was a super faction formed by merchant associations.
Compared to the sects, it lacked a spirit of inheritance, making it hard for one to get a sense of belonging.
“What do I need to do in the Heavenly Alliance?” Xiao Chen asked.
He saw many people entering and leaving Heaven Outside of Heaven. However, they would rush on their way and did not stop to chat much. This created a cold atmosphere.
Mu Zifeng laughed and said, “The Heavenly Alliance has an endless amount of trouble to deal with. You are new here, so you will have to work harder. Take out your Heavenly Alliance medallion.”
Xiao Chen did as instructed. The reverse of the medallion showed a vast snowy scene with eight indistinct plum blossom petals. Only one petal was lit up.
Mu Zifeng smiled faintly and extended his hand. Then, another of the eight petals lit up.
“Having one lit petal means you are an intern. Once you become a Sovereign Emperor, you become a formal member, lighting up two plum blossom petals. Within the Heavenly Alliance’s inner circles, you are of the lowest rank. Before you light up three plum blossom petals, you can only remain in Heaven Outside of Heaven, not able to go anywhere else unless on a mission.”
Mu Zifeng’s words caused Xiao Chen’s expression to change slightly in puzzlement.
“How do I light up the third petal?”
“Contributions. You have to work for the Heavenly Alliance, helping the Heavenly Alliance resolve problems. The number of contributions you gain will depend on the problem. After lighting up three plum blossom petals, you can come and go freely within the Heavenly Alliance headquarters. You gain true freedom only after lighting up four plum blossom petals. At that time, you can choose to remain in the Heavenly Alliance or leave.”
Mu Zifeng thought for a while before saying, “Back then, the Peach Blossom Sovereign Emperor entered the Heavenly Alliance together with me. After he lit up four plum blossom petals, he chose to leave and be the Peach Blossom Sovereign Emperor. Now, he is still an 8-Vein Sovereign Emperor. I chose to stay and am now a core Doyen. I have seven plum blossom petals lit up, and am a 9-Vein Sovereign Emperor, a half-God.”
Xiao Chen entered deep thought. Mu Zifeng’s words were a hint to him.
If Xiao Chen chose to stay, he could continue climbing the ranks and enter the Heavenly Alliance’s core, obtaining greater benefits. The Peach Blossom Sovereign Emperor chose to leave but was currently only an 8-Vein Sovereign Emperor; Mu Zifeng had overtaken him as a 9-Vein Sovereign Emperor, a half-God.
The two chatted as they walked. Xiao Chen came to know that members with two lit petals did not have much authority in the Heavenly Alliance. They only had obligations to fulfill.
This place paid strict attention to ranking. The higher-ranking members had a suppressive authority over the lower-ranking members.
This encouraged the Heavenly Alliance members to work hard, resolving problems, to raise their statuses.
As for contributions, those were similar to sect missions. However, one did not have the right to choose or reject in the Heavenly Alliance.
A two-petal member could not choose their missions and had to let the Heavenly Alliance make arrangements.
No matter what the mission, two-petal members did not have the right to reject. If they completed the mission, they would gain rewards. If they failed, they would be punished and have their contributions deducted.
As the two spoke, Xiao Chen suddenly sensed his Divine Energy Sea becoming agitated for some reason.
His Divine Energy Sea surged, bringing an indescribable sense of comfort. A strangely great temptation pulled on him.
“This is...” Xiao Chen muttered as he looked at a tall mountain in front. That temptation came from this mountain.
To think that there was a mountain above the cloud sea.
This was a spiritual mountain filled with a divine nature. The higher one went, the stronger the divine nature. One could even see a faint divine light at the peak. There, one would find the divine light dazzling and piercing.
“That is Heavenly Divine Mountain, a divine mountain made by the Heavenly Alliance using countless resources. A Divine Vein Realm Sovereign Emperor who cultivates on that mountain will receive endless benefits. However, currently, you may stay only at the foot of the mountain and may not climb up,” Mu Zifeng explained softly.
After arriving below the divine mountain, Mu Zifeng got someone to make arrangements for Xiao Chen’s residence. Then, he said, “You should stay here first. When you have free time, you can wander around. There are no forbidden areas in this Heaven Outside of Heaven. I will take my leave first, then.”
“Lord Mu, take care.”
Xiao Chen turned his head and looked at his residence. Then, he nodded slightly, feeling quite satisfied.
“Young Master Xiao, do you have any instructions?”
The old man responsible for receiving people did not dare to be slow, as Mu Zifeng had personally brought Xiao Chen over.
Xiao Chen shook his head and said, “There’s none.”
“Alright. I will go and make arrangements for servers for Young Master Xiao. If you have any instructions in the future, you can come and look for this old man.”
The gray-robed old man performed a cupped-fist salute and left.
Making arrangements for servants is probably also to keep an eye on me, Xiao Chen sighed in his heart. This Heavenly Alliance was colder than he imagined.
However, he could understand this. They were not related in any way. How could it be so easy to obtain resources from them?
After entering the residence, Xiao Chen strolled around. This was of a much higher level than his residence in the Heavenly Dragon Palace back then.
Aside from the necessities for cultivation, there were also all sorts of facilities, even a Spirit Beast Pavilion for raising pets. This was practically a noble’s residence.
When Xiao Chen finished exploring the place, the servants that the old man arranged arrived at the residence’s entrance.
The one leading the group was a pretty maidservant. There were many other servants of both genders behind her. All of the servants knelt respectfully as they carried various items covering every need.
“Young Master, your servant Bao`er will be responsible for Young Master’s daily life in the Heavenly Alliance from today on.”
“What is your name again?”
“This servant’s name is Bao`er,” the pretty maidservant replied softly, appearing somewhat shy.
Xiao Chen felt somewhat bemused when he heard that. Bao`er...it seems like I also had a maidservant called Bao`er very long ago.
Since her, I have not had any other maidservant. What an old memory.
“Young Master?” Bao`er called out when she noticed Xiao Chen staring blankly.
Xiao Chen recovered his wits and said in a neutral tone, “I am older than you; just address me as Big Brother Xiao. There is no need to address me as Master.”
“Very well. Big Brother Xiao, if you require any changes to this residence, I will get the servants to make arrangements.”
Xiao Chen waved his hand and said, “There’s no need. Get them to come in, then. All they have to do normally is clean up.”
Xiao Chen watched as the group of servants poured in, trying to see if he could spot the Heavenly Alliance’s spies.
However, he gave up after thinking about it. So what if he found that person? If he kept his guard up, the outcome might end up the reverse of his intention, pulling more attention to him. At that time, it would be even more problematic.
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