On a warm sunny day in which not a single cloud could be seen in the sky, on an island far out at sea, hundreds of thousands of people could be seen hurriedly scurrying about, some hastily soaring through the sky while many others quickly sped from one place to another on the ground.
Some of these people could be seen hauling carts full of swords, while others could be seen with piles of armor stacked high above their heads. A mountain of talons towered into the sky as the sound of swords being sharpened rang into one’s ears.
From a single glance one could tell that all of these people were busy making preparations for a large-scale battle of some sort.
“Are preparations almost complete?” A familiar looking young woman with reddish hair said as she gazed down upon the hundreds of thousands of people from atop a massive spire.
Garbed in a long red dress inlaid with gold, while giving off an unapproachable aura filled with dignity, Yuying was currently the epitome of beauty.
“We should be ready to depart in an hour or so, madam.” Hai Xing could be seen saying while bowing.
“How many of the teleportation arrays are up and running? How long would it take for our forces to arrive in Aurora?” Yuying asked.
“We’ve managed to complete the construction of five arrays, it will take roughly half a day for our Saint level experts and two days for our regular forces to arrive within the borders of Aurora.
“Good, I need to see for myself how powerful this man who calls himself the emperor of saints really is.” Lingqi said with a chuckle in a tone mixed with a hint of displeasure.
“If anyone deserves to proclaim themselves to be the emperor of saints, it should be our husband.” Ling’s voice could be heard as she arrived hand in hand with a handsome young man.
“I wouldn't go as far as proclaiming myself the emperor of saints.” Zhang said with a yawning.
After being unconscious for nearly two months, Zhang had awoken in the dead of night, finding himself surrounded by his four lovely wives who had fallen asleep at his bedside.
Touched and overflowing with a heartwarming sensation, Zhang had remained quiet and tenderly watched the beauties sleep until the sun rose before giving them a much-welcomed surprise.
Much to his delight once day struck, he found a large trove of treasure awaiting him along with a massive army that would follow his every whim.
Sadly, Zhang’s joy was short lived as news regarding Aurora soon reached his ear, prompting all of the forces of the Blood Coral Cove and a vast portion of the Eastern Sea Alliance to mobilize.
“It's finally time to go back home.” Ai’s voice drifted into everyone’s ear as she could be seen playfully skipping to Zhang’s side and hooking arms with him.
“If the old man is alright then I'll let them off easy with a quick death, however if anything unwanted has occurred to him then they'll wish that they were dead…” Zhang mumbled as he arrived beside Yuying and gazed down toward his amassing army.
Whilst he rarely mentioned it, in Zhang’s heart, Jian Wei always held an important place. Had it not been for that silly middle aged man then he might not have become what had is today, he may have died at sea and never had ascended to become half deity. Thus, from the bottom of his heart, Zhang felt an immense amount of gratitude for Juan Wei, so when news of Aurora being under the control of a different emperor arrived, a raging flame of fury instantly ignited within him.
As the forces of the Blood Coral Cove and Eastern Sea Alliance began their departure, a curtain of stars soon overtook the skies, looming high up above the vast expanse of land that is the Aurora Empire.
Without knowing of Zhang’s approaching fury, within the crown jewel of the Aurora Empire, Aurora City, within what could only be described as a city within a city, countless festivities were underway.
The magnificent imperial city that had been incomplete when Zhang and his wives had set out to sea was now covered with decorative lanterns and red ribbons of celebration. Within the hundreds of pavilions that were scattered throughout the imperial city, one party after the other was currently underway.
“Brother Liu Bang, taking over this place was such a great idea.” A partially bald man with a wild looking mustache said with a laugh while caressing a young woman.
“Haha, enjoy yourself while you can because once the great spatial rift completely opens and our senior brothers arrive, we will have to truly begin our search for the remnants of the fallen god or else those guys from the other higher realms might beat us to it.” A man dressed in golden robes befitting an emperor said before gulping down an entire cup of wine as he sat at the very end of a massive hall brimming with people, most of whom were at least a lesser saint.
“Brother Liu Bang, do you really think we’ll be able to find remnants of the fallen god? I mean it's been about thousand years since the last great spatial rift opened to this plane. I'm are by now some lucky bastards must have already stumbled upon them.” The partially bald man said as his hands wandered into the robes of the young woman sitting on his lap, causing her cheeks to turn scarlet red.
“Brother Fu Wen, you are overthinking things too much, even if someone did stumble upon the remnants of the fallen god, they'd still be somewhere within this realm and if necessary we would only need to extract the remnant from them.” The man referred to as Liu Bang said in a casual tone as his gaze fell upon two rows of beautiful dancers who were filing into the large hall.
“You’re right, unless an Ascended Emperor personally appeared in this realm and ripped open a hole in space for them, no one would be able to leave this realm until the great spatial rift opens.” Fu Wen said with a chuckle while lecherously staring at the large group of dancers performing in front of him.
“Brother Fu Wen, before I forget, have you looked into the deaths of those two rogue lesser saints that had joined us not too long ago?” Liu Bang asked in an uncaring tone, simply asking to have asked.
“I've interrogated the soldiers stationed at the nearby port and from what they've told me, that prince we’ve been hearing so much about is returning.” Fu Wen said with a chuckle.
“The one is supposedly capable of conjuring black colored flames?” Liu Bang asked with an intrigued glint in his eye.
“Yes, that one. The one you had said could very likely possess a remnant of the fallen god.” Fu Wen replied as he drank an entire cup of wine as if it were water.
“Good! When he appears, send out a few full saints to apprehend him and I will personally check whether or not he possesses a remnant of the fallen god. If he does, then we would have benefited without wasting too much effort.” Liu Bang said with a confident smirk on his face.
“If you don't mind me asking, Brother Liu Bang, do you know why the fallen god Cochise to flee to this realm before he met his end?” Fu Wen asked.
“I’m not entirely sure, but affording to what one of the senior brothers told me, apparently, this realm’s border between the world of the living and the world of the dead is especially thin. Unlike all of the other realms, this directly borders the Underworld. Apparently, the fallen god had picked to flee here exactly for that reason, however his true intentions are unknown to me.” Liu Bang explained.
“Heh, regardless of why he picked this place, as long as we manage to gather and absorb the remnants of his power, our ranks within the sect will surely rise exponentially.” Liu Bang added with a chuckle.
As Liu Bang and his underlings continued to feast and drown themselves in pleasure and ecstasy, the wheels of time continued to spin and minutes turned into hours as the moon crept under the horizon and the morning sun slowly rose into the sky.
While the sound of crowing roosters woke the weary and dreary, in a far corner of the imperial city, in a dreadful and ominous place, a glimmer of light shone into a cold and forsaken room, barred with steel and chains.
Locked away in the dark reaches of the imperial city were hundreds if not thousands of familiar faces. The young, the old were all bound in chains and locked away within steel cages.
Of these familiar faces were those belonging to the once celebrated generals of the Aurora Army, past ministers who held the fate of tens of thousands of people at their fingertips, and most importantly of all the former ruler of a vast and powerful empire.
“My lord, a few of the imperial guards who have remained loyal to us, has informed me of news regarding his highness. If it's him, I'm sure it won't be long before we are free.” A young man who had once governed Red Mist City and its surrounding regions, a man who was known throughout the land for his intellect, said as he forced a strained smile onto his face.
This young man of course was Sima Yi, one of Zhang’s most trusted advisors. A man who not long ago held a vast amount of influence and power, a man who was beneath one but above millions. Sadly, when facing the might of a saint, be it a lesser saint or a high saint, the dignity and influence of a regular mortal is slim to none.
Not too long ago, it could be said that Sima Yi was at the peak of his career as a minister within an ever-rising empire that held countless prospect but in a matter of minutes, not even hours, everything had changed.
Descending from the skies, hundreds of saint level experts declared that they were the new masters of the Aurora Empire and anyone who dared to defy them would be made an example of. In an instant, the reigning emperor of the Aurora Empire, Jian Wei was jailed and a vast portion of Aurora’s high ranking ministers along with him.
Powerless and without say, Sima Yi and many others were stripped of their rank and had their worlds flipped upside down.
“Although with every fiber of my being, I’ve wished for freedom and justice, I pray that the lad never returns. I wouldn’t be able to face myself if he were to perish trying to rescue me… While I do not doubt his strength, I fear that our enemy this time is an existence that he and the four girls cannot face alone.” Jian Wei said as he gazed through his cell window with eyes full of sorrow.
“This place isn’t as bad as the cell I was in during my stay in the Black Wind Province, at least we get three meals a day here…” One of Zhang’s generals, Gan Ning, a young man who was once an infamous pirate said.
As Jian Wei and Zhang’s trusted generals and advisors spoke to one another, many miles away from Aurora City, in the far-off shores of the empire, thousands of silhouettes could be seen soaring through the air.
Appearing like a massive flock of birds to those looking up from below, thousands of saints had just entered the borders of the Aurora Empire.
“Anyone who gets in our way is to be killed.” Zhang’s voice echoed into the minds of all of the saints present.
“As you wish, my lord!” The thousands of saints replied in unison.
“Sparky! You lead the way!” Ai said in a cheerful tone, moments before a massive silhouette emitting sparks of lightning swooped down from the heavens.
Unleashing a fear-inducing roar, Zhang’s Lightning Abyssal Dragon responded to Ai’s words and flew ahead of the large congregation of saints, as rings of lightning randomly appeared and traveled across its body.