EIF - Book 05 Chapter 021: Thirty-Three Layers of Heaven
In a small courtyard in the Qian Heavenly Dynasty:
Seven Kills and Gong Tian had fainted, their swollen abdomens looking like mountains. A group of people of both genders surrounded them. The leader, Dan Wang, who shimmered golden all over his body, frowned as he took the pulses of the two.
Suddenly, a white-clad man trembled slightly behind Dan Wang. Then, azure light flashed on his forehead.
“The imperial lord’s will is here,” someone suddenly called out.
Dan Wang immediately stopped taking Seven Kills’s and Gong Tian’s pulses as he looked at that white-clad man respectfully.
Azure light covered the white-clad man’s entire body. The white-clad man trembled violently, and azure light suddenly came out of his eyes. Then, he exuded an intense air of dignity.
“Salutations, Imperial Lord!” everyone said deferentially.
The white-clad man showed a sullen expression as he looked around. Eventually, he fixed his gaze on the two unconscious men.
“He sent them here? Did he say anything?” the Azure Emperor’s will controlling the white-clad man asked.
“Lord Tang just dropped off Lord Seven Kills and Lord Gong, then immediately left. He did not say anything,” Dan Wang replied with a frown.
The Azure Emperor walked forward slowly and looked at the two. Some mild anger flashed in his eyes. “What happened in the Silver Moon Sea? How did their bodies become tainted? They could not have met with much danger in the ritual array. How did they end up in such sorry states?”
“We…we don’t know,” Dan Wang said with a bitter smile.
“Dan Wang, you have examined them. What’s going on with them?” the Azure Emperor asked coldly.
“There are foreign bodies in their abdomens that cannot be ejected, so…” Dan Wang frowned.
“Foreign bodies? What foreign bodies? Can you save them?” the Azure Emperor asked, his voice sinking.
“I do not know what these foreign bodies are, so I do not dare to use medication casually. If I accidentally melt what is in their abdomens and there is a potent poison, it would be dangerous. The only way is to cut them open and carefully extract these foreign bodies, then heal the wound,” Dan Wang replied seriously.
“Begin, then,” the Azure Emperor said in a heavy voice.
Dan Wang gathered some people, who removed Seven Kills’s and Gong Tian’s upper garments. Then, he took out a small knife and started cutting Gong Tian’s abdomen open in front of everyone.
Soon, Dan Wang cut a hole in Gong Tian’s abdomen. To avoid accidents, he even made sure to secure the abdomen area, preventing the thing inside from coming out.
Everyone stared hard at the opening.
“What is in there?”
“How did it get in?”
“What danger is Lord Gong in?”
“We will know soon. Just watch Lord Dan Wang.”
Everyone felt anxious. The Azure Emperor showed a sullen expression.
Dan Wang covered his hand in a layer of golden light before extending it into Gong Tian’s abdomen. Then, he slowly extracted something.
Everyone goggled. When that item came out, everyone in the courtyard gaped.
“What? Umbilical cord? Placenta? A baby? Lord Gong was pregnant?” a man exclaimed in consternation.
The others: “…”
The Azure Emperor’s expression turned stiff.
There was a foreign body in the abdomen. However, who could have expected it to be a baby?
“It’s stillborn,” Dan Wang said, finding it strange. His face twitched.
A subordinate brought a tray over. After Dan Wang placed the stillborn on it, he continued digging around in Gong Tian’s abdomen. Then, everyone goggled again.
Dan Wang soon pulled out something else.
“It’s twins,” Dan Wang said, his face twitching.
The Azure Emperor’s face twitched as well.
“It’s triplets.” Dan Wang took out another baby.
“It’s septuplets,” Dan Wang said as he took out the final one.
Now, Gong Tian’s abdomen was already much smaller. After Dan Wang searched around for one last time and verified that there was nothing else, he turned his head to the Azure Emperor and said, “Imperial Lord, there is no more.”
By now, the Azure Emperor had turned his head away. This was too disgusting.
A man bearing septuplets?
The same went for the others. If not for the imperial lord’s presence, they would have rushed off to wash their eyes. My poor eyes!
Gong Tian slowly regained consciousness. When he woke up, he immediately saw Dan Wang.
Gong Tian cried out excitedly, “Dan Wang, save me! Save me!”
Dan Wang’s face twitched. “Lord Gong, don’t worry. I have delivered your children already.”
“Huh?” Gong Tian felt slightly startled.
Then, Dan Wang’s subordinates showed him seven trays, each bearing a stillborn.
“These came from your abdomen,” Dan Wang said with a strange expression.
Gong Tian’s face twitched. Then, he looked at the surrounding people.
Those people quickly turned their heads away.
Gong Tian: “…”
“Alright. There’s still Seven Kills. Help him. Then, tell them to meet us after they have tidied up,” the Azure Emperor said coldly.
The white-clad man that the Azure Emperor possessed trembled violently. Then, all the azure light retracted into his forehead.
The Azure Emperor could not bear to continue watching.
“Lord Gong, what should we do with your children?” Dan Wang asked with a strange expression.
Gong Tian looked at the seven stillborns on the trays, appearing like his mind had crumbled.
Four hours later:
The Azure Emperor’s will possessed the same white-clad man.
Kneeling before the Azure Emperor, Gong Tian and Seven Kills explained what happened in the Silver Moon Sea.
The Azure Emperor looked at the two coldly. “Trash!”
“Yes. We were wrong. However, we fell for that scoundrel’s—Gu Hai’s—trick!” the two said fearfully.
“Humph! Fell for his tricks. You were the stupid ones. Couldn’t you think? You had an advantage, but you did not use it. Instead, you let Gu Hai lead you by the nose?” the Azure Emperor said coldly.
The two did not dare to rebut.
The Azure Emperor stared coldly at the two. After taking a deep breath, he said, “Gu Hai? Hah! We are currently in Heavenly Court City and have heard a lot about him here. He will be coming to Heavenly Court City soon. Humph! Get yourselves to Heavenly Court City quickly!”
“Yes!” Seven Kills answered.
“Then, Imperial Lord, what about Shangguan Hen?” Gong Tian asked worriedly.
The Azure Emperor looked at Gong Tian coldly. “Feng Yue has summoned all the black tortoises in the world. Humph! Let him enjoy freedom for a while. We will come and capture them all in one go in the future.”
“Yes!” the two answered.
“Gu Hai? Haha! We want to see what kind of remarkable being Gu Hai is. Humph!” the Azure Emperor snorted coldly.
The azure light instantly retracted into the white-clad man’s forehead; the Azure Emperor’s will had left.
After more than a month, Gu Hai and Mu Chenfeng’s flying ship finally reached the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s capital.
“Hall Master, that is Heavenly Court City!” Mu Chenfeng pointed into the distance.
The flying ship stopped. Gu Hai looked and saw the vast Heavenly Court City. Despite preparing himself mentally, he still felt shocked.
Borderless Heavenly Capital was just one large floating city. On the other hand, there were thirty-three here. Some were deeper into the mist, only vaguely visible. From a distance, they looked like thirty-two stars around a radiant sun. However, they were not revolving.
“Hall Master, look. The one in the center shining with golden light is Heavenly Court City, the main city. The heavenly court’s thirty-three cities are also known as the thirty-three layers of heaven,” Mu Chenfeng explained.
Gu Hai looked at the huge city radiating golden light. That city was no smaller than Borderless Heavenly Capital. It shone with a bright golden light because of the churning blessings above it, a blessings cloud sea that surpassed that of the Yuan Imperial Dynasty.
If these blessings were compared to a sea, Borderless Heavenly Capital’s blessings were just a small lake, at best.
There was no golden blessings dragon in the sky above Heavenly Court City. Instead, countless human-shaped blessings stood above the blessings cloud sea. Two columns of these human-shaped blessings respectfully faced a blessings throne with an emperor sitting on it.
“Those are my Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s officials. Once one reaches a certain rank or noble status, one can form a blessings incarnation. The largest one is His Holy Eminence’s incarnation,” Mu Chenfeng explained.
Gu Hai looked at the blessings incarnations filling the sky. An air of dignity from the blessings cloud sea felt solemn and majestic.
“The Qian Heavenly Dynasty and blessings incarnations?” Gu Hai said.
“Heavenly Court City is the main city. The other thirty-two cities are arranged according to Yin, Yang, the eight trigrams, the ten heavenly stems, and the twelve earthly branches. The ones on the left and right are the Heavenly Yin City and Heavenly Yang City. The ring in the middle is the eight trigrams—Heavenly Qian City, Heavenly Kun City, Heavenly Li City, Heavenly Kan City, and so on. As for the ring above, those are the heavenly stems—Heavenly Jia City, Heavenly Yi City, Heavenly Bing City, Heavenly Ding City, and so on. The lowest ring is the twelve earthly branches—Heavenly Zi City, Heavenly Chou City, and so forth,” Mu Chenfeng explained.
“Yinyang? Eight trigrams? Heavenly stems? Earthly branches?” Gu Hai nodded while frowning.
The thirty-three layers of heaven were named and positioned in exceptional detail.
“Hall Master, speaking of which, you have not been to Elite Hall’s headquarters yet, even after becoming the hall master. Should we return to headquarters first?” Mu Chenfeng looked at Gu Hai.
“Elite Hall’s headquarters?” Gu Hai said in a deep voice.
“Indeed. Everything there is allocated to you. Many Elite Hall disciples live there. How about…,” Mu Chenfeng suggested, pointing to a direction.
“Elite Hall’s headquarters is in Heavenly Chen City. It is there. I’ll bring you over!” Mu Chenfeng said excitedly.
[TL Note: Chen is the fifth earthly branch. Time, months, zodiac years, and compass directions are named after the earthly branches. Chen refers to the 7–9 a.m. period, the third solar month, the year of the dragon, and 120 on a compass.]
Like a wanderer returning home, Mu Chenfeng felt very excited, as he had not been back in a long time.
When the flying ship approached, some soldiers soared into the air and stopped the flying ship.
“Who is it? Have you registered your flying ship to enter the heavenly court?” a soldier demanded with a glare.
Gu Hai took out his Elite Hall authority token. That soldier took a look and respectfully returned the authority token to Gu Hai.
“Elite Hall Master, please forgive me. The Ten Thousand Sages Convention is at hand, so security around Heavenly Court City is tight. I have offended you,” that soldier said courteously.
“The ignorant are not guilty,” Gu Hai said with a faint smile.
The soldiers moved aside and let the flying ship continue towards Heavenly Chen City.
Six hours later, in a small courtyard within the thirty-three layers of heaven:
The Divine Strategy Battalion Commander, Li Shenji, narrowed his eyes as he listened to his subordinate’s report.
“Oh? Gu Hai is here?” Li Shenji said.
“Yes. They arrived six hours ago. The soldier who checked them is this humble one’s childhood friend. They seemed to have gone to Heavenly Chen City,” that subordinate said respectfully.
Li Shenji stood upright with his hands behind his back, showing a faint, cold smile. He said, “Heavenly Chen City? Are they going to Elite Hall’s headquarters? Hah! That’s fine. That’s fine. Go and inform that group of bird people. They have been asking when Gu Hai will arrive. Now, everyone already knows about it. Trying to find someone in the thirty-three layers of heaven is like searching for a needle in a haystack. They won’t find him. We can tell them and let them deal with Gu Hai.”
“Inform the angels? Yehua?” That subordinate felt slightly startled.
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“That’s right. Go on,” Li Shenji said coldly.
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