The majestic hall in front of him towered into the sky like an ancient behemoth, and uncountable runes surged around it. The aura of Heaven and Earth surrounded it in worship, and gave it the appearance of a sacred shrine.
Inside the hall, a middle-aged man, with an appearance somewhat similar to Gu Changge’s, sat cross-legged in cultivation. Chaotic Spiritual Qi revolved around him, and the sounds of Heavenly chants and Great Dao rhythms faintly sounded from his surroundings.
His aura surged towards the Heavens, and pressed down on the world around him. He was like an ancient god who could split the sky with a single movement, and no one could estimate his true might.
As soon as he saw Gu Changge enter the hall, he showed a gentle expression which he only ever showed in front of Gu Changge. Before others, he always showed an expression of aloofness, as if he was a lofty deity looking down on all living beings. Even when he passed down his order, he only used his Spiritual Sense. Rarely did he open his mouth to speak.
He was Gu Changge’s father, the current Patriarch of the Ancient Immortal Gu Family!
At the same time, he was also one of the most terrifying people in the Upper Realm, and stood at its very peak. A random order from him could shake the entirety of the Upper Realm, and dictate the life and death of innumerable souls.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Patriarch of the Ancient Immortal Gu Family was an Immortal giant who looked down on the world from high above.
“Father, this son has returned.”
Gu Changge arrived before his father, and stood with a submissive expression.
“Did everything go well? Your trip to the Lower Realm this time dissatisfied a lot of the Elders, and they were continuously asking about your whereabouts, and wouldn’t stop passing certain remarks.”
Gu Lintian said with a gentle smile, without a shred of fallacy in his expression.
The fact that Gu Changge had a Devil Heart wasn’t known by many in the Ancient Immortal Gu Family. Only his parents, and some of the ancestors and very close people in their lineage knew about this matter.
[1: a single family can have multiple lineages. One ancestor has 10 sons, and those sons have their own descendants, so that would make the family have 10 lineages.]
The matter of him having a Devil Heart was a sensitive topic. Since its first appearance in the Upper Realm, Gu Changge was the ninth known person to possess a Devil Heart, and the only one who was still living well.
The first eight holders of the Devil Heart — no matter their backgrounds or might — were known to have turned into evil demons who brought disaster to the world around them.
The people related to them never had good ends either!
The appearance of a Devil Heart was akin to an ominous sign. In the Upper Realm, holders of the Devil Heart were not just treated as the enemies of the world, but they were also avoided by the rest of the world like a plague.
Gu Changge’s birth with a Devil Heart had stunned Gu Lintian for a while. Fortunately, he was quick to respond and immediately suppressed the information in the Family. Right now, only a few of his very close confidants knew about this matter.
Leaving everything else aside, just the fact that Gu Changge possessed a Devil Heart would be enough to invalidate his succession to the Ancient Immortal Gu Family’s position of Patriarch. His talent meant nothing before that fact, and the hostility he would receive in the Family would be no different from what he would receive from the outside world.
The rest of the Gu Family’s members would never allow him to be their successor!
Fortunately, during his early years, Gu Changge found a girl in the Family who possessed the Dao Bones. For Gu Changge’s future, Gu Lintian decisively decided to dig out her Dao Bones to give them to Gu Changge, so as to cover up his Devil Heart.
They had successfully used this cover-up for more than ten years without anyone finding out the truth of the matter [that Gu Changge had a Devil Heart].
The Family Elders and others who knew about the incident [of them digging out the girl’s Dao Bones] had already been exiled from the Gu Family, and even their cultivation bases had been suppressed and sealed.
Their once-prosperous lineage had gradually withered over time, and the matter was buried under the dust of time.
It’s just that when he later tried to find the little girl, he realized that she seemed to have disappeared without a trace. Back then, they hadn’t finished her off, and allowed an Elder from her lineage to take her away. When they inquired about her whereabouts, they realized that she disappeared soon after she left with that Elder.
Even after he investigated her whereabouts multiple times over the years, he came across nothing. After all, it was a shameful act. Although many of the Family’s ancestors had turned a blind eye to the matter, and the girl’s lineage had also slowly declined in the Ancient Immortal Gu Family, who could tell there weren’t one or two ancient monsters from that lineage hidden in the depths of the Family’s Ancestral Lands?
After all, all the ancient monsters of the Ancient Immortal Gu Family were buried in the Ancestral Lands. Unless they dug them out, they wouldn’t know whether the other party was dead or just in seclusion.
Gu Changge responded with a smile, and recalled just how much love and care his parents showered him with.
As was the norm with the various cliches and tropes, the parents of the Favored Children of Heaven either didn’t care about their kids, or thought that their kids weren’t good enough, and ignored them. The parents of the villain, on the other hand, always doted on their villainous kid and showered them with all the love that was possible in the world.
The so-called ‘kill the young and the old shall come' wasn’t all bogus talk. How else would the villain’s entire family accompany them to their grave?
[2: In normal novels, once the Protagonist kills the young villain, the villain’s parents come to avenge him. Once the parents are killed, the grandparents follow. So on and so forth. At one point, the Protagonist gets tired and slaughters the entire family of the villain, and not even their mutts and sows escape the calamity.]
“Take that out so I can have a look. For now, you won’t be able to control the weapon of the former Devil Heart master.”
Gu Lintian said.
Gu Changge responded, and then made a mental command. Immediately, the [Eight Desolate Demon Halberd] disappeared from the System’s Weapon Storage.
The Void trembled, and a terrifying, murderous aura that seemed to desire the destruction of the Heavens and the Earth spread in the surroundings. Out of thin air, the [Eight Desolate Demon Halberd] appeared in front of Gu Changge.
However, right at that moment, its originally terrifying might subsided and turned into a small, flickering flame as if someone had suppressed it. Gu Changge could see it flicker like a candlelight that would go out as soon as it met a gust of wind. The [Eight Desolate Demon Halberd] conveyed it’s terror to him as it trembled in his hands.
“Father, you scared it.”
Gu Changge said helplessly.
At the same time, he released his Spiritual Sense to calm the scared little Halberd. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to erase the Halberd’s fear for an existence as mighty as Gu Lintian. When it’s consciousness was born, the Halberd had thought that it was the mightiest in the world, but after it came across Gu Lintian, it realized that it was like a small boat standing before a surging ocean.
“It seems that you chanced upon another Fortuitous Opportunity down there. I didn’t feel anything when you took it out of thin air. That’s good! Your mother and I can rest assured, and I won’t need to listen to her continuous nagging all day long.”
“It’s also good that this thing doesn’t have any evil intentions towards you, or there would be no need to keep its consciousness. A soulless Artifact is much better and can bring about a lot of peace of mind…”
Gu Lintian nodded with a smile, and then withdrew his Spiritual Sense after probing it enough.
Although the [Eight Desolate Demon Halberd] had an extraordinary origin, and was the weapon of the previous master of the Devil Heart, it was nothing in front of an existence like him. Even if it recovered to its prime, a single thought from him would be enough to suppress it.
But since it was now Gu Changge’s weapon, he couldn’t be bothered about it. Gu Changge had a lot of other secrets as well, but he never asked him about them. He was alright with Gu Changge keeping secrets even from him.
Still, if something threatened his child’s well-being, then he would definitely protect him at all costs, and wouldn’t allow anything or anyone to harm him.
Gu Changge responded with a nod. He wasn’t a heartless man, and understood well how much the people around him cared about him. Although he was a villain, it didn’t mean he would be an unfeeling ingrate — it just meant that he was destined to be against the Favored Children of Heaven.
“Your cultivation has increased by leaps and bounds after this trip to the Lower Realm, so I don’t think any geniuses from other forces will be able to contend against you…”
Gu Lintian couldn’t help but praise after he probed his son’s current cultivation. Back when he was around Gu Changge’s age, he had only just reached the Conferred Lord Realm, but Gu Changge was already at the peak of the Conferred Lord Realm…no, he was half a step into the Conferred King Realm.
There were many Young Supremes in the Upper Realm, but he doubted there were any at the same level as Gu Changge.
“Father, you flatter me!”
Gu Changge responded with a smile, but didn’t refute his father’s words. After all, he had spent 5000 Destiny Points to raise his cultivation to the peak of the Conferred Lord Realm. With his might, he could easily flatten even existences of the False God Realm with a single slap.
Of course, Gu Changge also knew that he had a lot more cards up his sleeve about which his father knew nothing about — Immortal-Devouring Demonic Art was one of those. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his father, but that it was something that was better kept hidden. The less people who knew about it, the safer he would be.
“The [Eight Desolate Demon Halberd] is the weapon of the previous holder of the Devil Heart. Although it isn’t enough to reveal the fact that you also have a Devil Heart, try not to use it unless absolutely necessary, before you have taken charge of the Ancient Immortal Gu Family…”
Gu Lintian advised Gu Changge. He wasn’t worried about someone taking away the weapon from Gu Changge — after all, someone who dared to rob their Gu Family’s stuff wasn’t yet born in this world — but worried that the matter of him having a Devil Heart might come out because of it, and that would lead to Gu Changge receiving a lot of backlash from inside and outside the family. Although Gu Changge was the Ancient Immortal Gu Family’s Young Master, his position as the next Patriarch wasn’t yet set in stone.
The weapon was good, but the identity of the Ancient Immortal Gu Family’s future Patriarch was even more important.
Once that was settled, those old fogies wouldn’t be able to do anything. Even if the fact that Gu Changge was a holder of the Devil Heart came out, they wouldn’t be able to do anything but accept him as their Patriarch.
In fact, Gu Lintian had already developed a step-by-step plan for Gu Changge’s future, and he was now only waiting for him to slowly take reign of the Family.
“Contrary to my thoughts, it seems that you have finally started to see things clearly…”
Suddenly, Gu Lintian noticed the [Spirit Nourishing Jade] on Gu Changge’s person, and instantly felt Yan Ji’s breath from it. Although his face still showed his usual indifference, he felt relief in his heart.
“Father, you are misunderstanding…”
Gu Changge was first stunned, but then he laughed out loud, and explained Yan Ji’s origins to Gu Lintian.
Of course, he didn’t say anything about provoking discord between Ye Chen and Yan Ji. If he hadn’t found the entire thing interesting and needed to squeeze Ye Chen’s fortune dry, he wouldn’t have bothered about her. After all, stealing the Favored Son of Heaven’s Master right in front of his eyes was a matter of great exhilaration.
Now that he had returned to the Upper Realm, he wasn’t in a hurry to decide what to do with Yan Ji. However, there was the fact that she was also from the Upper Realm, so he reckoned that she might know about a lot of hidden opportunities.
“She is from a race that is born from the Innate Flames of Heaven and Earth. I had thought her kind had already perished, but since you like her, there’s no harm in letting her stay by your side.”
Gu Lintian said. He recognized Yan Ji’s origins in a single glance.
Her race born from the Innate Flames of Heaven and Earth was once the strongest race among the many godly races, and their children were born with mighty cultivation right from the get go.
Unfortunately, all of them had long disappeared from the world.
Judging from her appearance, she seemed to be in her twenties, while Gu Changge was also young, so he had no objection in her staying by his side.
“She should have been in the Great Sacred Realm at her peak, so her talent isn’t to be looked down upon…”
Gu Lintian said.
‘No wonder her Fortune Value is so high…she turned out to be at the Great Sacred Realm.’
Gu Changge finally understood her situation to some extent.
When Yan Ji was at her prime, she was a behemoth of the Great Sacred Realm! She was someone who could easily go anywhere in the Upper Realm, crush stars in the palm of her hands, and travel through the Universe with ease.
In the Ancient Immortal Gu Family, God Kings could be said to be many, while Sacred Realm cultivators could be regarded as true masters in the various lineages. As for Great Sacred Realm cultivators? They could easily become Elder-level figures in the Family.
Having said that, he felt that he earned massive profits on this trip down to the Lower Realm.
“Go to the Heavenly Dao Immortal Palace as soon as you are free. The number of people criticizing you for your half-year long disappearance isn’t small over there. Moreover, you also need to settle the matter of becoming their heir…”
As Gu Lintian mentioned this matter, his eyes turned deep, and terrifying scenes flashed past his pupils. It was as if the Universe was about to collapse as all the stars shattered and fell one by one.
At this moment, he resembled a supreme being who could dominate the entire Universe.
“Please rest assured, Father! This child is bound to come out on top in the fight for the Heavenly Immortal Dao Palace’s position of heir.”
Gu Changge assured him.
His father was an ambitious man, and so was he. Sooner or later, the Heavenly Immortal Dao Palace will belong to their father-son pair.