Heavenly Lady Qiang's gaze turned, and she gently asked, "Emperor, do you want to go to my place?"
Qin Mu's gaze flashed as he walked forward. He shook his head and said, "I'm tired. I want to go back to the Hall of Nourishment to nourish myself. I will go to your place another day."
Heavenly Lady Qiang flew into his palm and looked up at Celestial Emperor's face. She smiled charmingly. "Ever since the fall of the ancient Celestial Emperor's corporeal body, the rift between us, the ten Celestial Venerables, has gotten wider. It will be bad if it continues. Do you really believe what Celestial Venerable Mu said?"
'She thinks that I'm one of the ten Celestial Venerables. She doesn't know that I'm Celestial Venerable Mu!'
Qin Mu's heart fluttered, and he walked on, plainly saying, "Everything is said and done for a reason. I know Celestial Venerable Mu is full of tricks and that one can't believe him fully. However, he doesn't have a need to trick us, as Celestial Venerable Huo and Celestial Venerable Xu are returning. We will know whether he's lying by asking them."
Heavenly Lady Qiang raised her eyebrows and whispered, "Then, who do you suspect of being the Grand Emperor?"
Qin Mu vaguely asked, "Celestial Venerable Qiang, are you probing me?"
Heavenly Lady Qiang laid down on her side in his palm, her hand propping up her head. Her figure and curves were elegant and charming as she gently said, "Everyone is panicking in the Heaven Alliance. All the Celestial Venerables are paranoid of one another. The Grand Emperor is causing trouble despite us not having quelled the ancient gods yet. Now, that thief Qin Ye is affecting the situation in the dark from Carefree Village. Whether the celestial heavens live or die rides on this moment. It may seem secure, but it's riddled with weaknesses, which makes me worried. I want to find a friend with the same motive to ally with."
"This friend isn't me."
Qin Mu coldly smiled. "You found the wrong person, Celestial Venerable Qiang. I don't trust you at all. Your origin is peculiar, which makes you most likely to be the Grand Emperor!"
Heavenly Lady Qiang gave a cold humph, stood up, and pressured Celestial Emperor's corporeal body to a stop.
Qin Mu's eyebrows were raised as he plainly asked, "Celestial Venerable Qiang, are you here to look for a friend or an enemy? Do you really want to make me your enemy?"
Heavenly Lady Qiang smiled and flew from his palm, then said, "I'm a Celestial Venerable as well. I'm not weaker than you. If you want to ally with me, I'll give you the chance."
Qin Mu gave a sigh of relief as he continued towards the Hall of Nourishment, thinking, 'D*mn it. The ten Celestial Venerables may be paranoid of one another, but they also want to form secret alliances with other Celestial Venerables too. Now that Heavenly Lady Qiang came for me, the other Celestial Venerables might too. I might not be busted now, but that doesn't mean I won't be in the future! I have to quickly return this corporeal body!'
He couldn't go to the Hall of Fragrance or the Patriarch Creation Palace. Now, he just wanted to return Celestial Emperor's corporeal body before other Celestial Venerables sought him out.
After all, he wasn't one of the ten Celestial Venerables.
He continued walking and got closer to the Hall of Nourishment when a voice rang out. "Where did you come from, Emperor?"
Qin Mu stopped. He was nervous, but he calmly said, "It's my lady, Lady Yan. I just came from Lady Qiang's place."
The one speaking was Heavenly Lady Yan, Celestial Venerable Yan of the ten Celestial Venerables. She was elegant and proper in demeanor, and she carried a white cat with her. She was accompanied by a dozen or so ladies who were serving her.
The white cat's fur was entirely white like snow, and it lazily laid in her embrace. It closed its eyes sleepily while extending its sharp claws to stretch. Then, it looked at Qin Mu.
Heavenly Lady Yan acted pitifully as she said, "You neglected me while you went to be with Sister Qiang. I feel heartbroken."
Qin Mu felt a headache.
Heavenly Lady Yan showed signs of anticipation as she gently said, "Emperor, my Lasting Joy Palace is close, do you want to go there?"
The white cat in her embrace extended its red tongue to lick the fur on its paws. It glanced at Qin Mu, meowed, and arched its body on Heavenly Lady Yan's breasts.
Qin Mu hesitated before saying, "I need to go to the Hall of Nourishment for nourishment, so no thanks."
Heavenly Lady Yan smiled. "Emperor, didn't I nourish you just now?"
Qin Mu was shocked. 'So, the one who summoned me to the Hall of Nourishment was Heavenly Lady Yan! This Celestial Venerable summoned me before the others to question me about the Great Void and Carefree Village. Her news source is quick! She received the news faster than the other Celestial Venerables!'
Heavenly Lady Yan looked at his feet and saw blood stains on them. She smiled and said, "You are all bloody after going to Sister Qiang's place. You truly do need to nourish yourself. I didn't know that she was so fierce, I shall stop disturbing you."
Qin Mu laughed and said, "Relax, I will go to your place in a few days." After he was done, he continued walking towards the Hall of Nourishment.
Heavenly Lady Yan watched him walk away before smiling. "This person is gutsy to trick me. Xiao Qi, which Celestial Venerable was hiding in the corporeal body just now? I want to know what he was doing in Celestial Emperor's ancestral grounds."
The white cat leaped down and walked around. It was a cat, but it walked with a solemn and elegant gait.
A man's voice came from its mouth. It was very deep, and it hesitantly said, "It wasn't one of the Celestial Venerables."
Heavenly Lady Yan was stunned and couldn't help but ask, "Xiao Qi, you are saying that the person inside Celestial Emperor's corporeal body just now wasn't one of the ten Celestial Venerables?"
The cat named Xiao Qi said, "He wasn't. I have never seen him before, so I can't identify him. However, if I see him again, I'll be able to."
Heavenly Lady Yan blinked and thought, 'Could it be that fellow Celestial Venerable Mu? He can't pilot Celestial Emperor's corporeal body, though. If not him, who could it be?'
The white cat's body grew in size before he suddenly became a human general with silver armor and white robs. He was handsome. "I can follow him and find out who he is."
Heavenly Lady Yan extended her hand and smiled. "This person isn't normal. People who can pilot Celestial Emperor's corporeal body are strong. If you follow him, it will be dangerous. Return to my embrace."
That handsome general ran back into her embrace as a white cat. He arched in her embrace before lazily falling asleep.
The maids with Heavenly Lady Yan seemed to be used to it, as they merely followed her back to Lasting Joy Palace.
Qin Mu returned to the Hall of Nourishment, and upon entering, he saw Celestial Venerable Hao with his hands behind his back, waiting for him.
Qin Mu's heart jumped. He ignored him as he walked by him. Although he looked calm, his heart pounded in his chest.
Qin Mu steadily sat down and asked, "Why are you here, Celestial Venerable Hao?"
Celestial Venerable Hao looked up and plainly said, "Ming Ya sought you out, and you took him to the ancestral grounds. You two took a long time to come out. What were you two doing?"
Qin Mu was stunned, and he smiled. 'Ming Ya should be the Crown Prince of the East Palace's name. Now I know.'
He leisurely said, "Crown Prince Ming Ya is the descendant of Celestial Emperor, so it's fine for him to go to the ancestral grounds. Celestial Venerable Hao, we are both Celestial Venerables, do I have to report everything I do to you?"
Celestial Venerable Hao gave a humph and said, "Don't forget how you lot only climbed to your positions with my help! Which one of you could have fought against Celestial Venerable Yun, Celestial Venerable Ling, and Celestial Venerable Yue? It's because of me that you lot could reach the precious position of Celestial Venerable, that you lot could obtain the power you have now!"
Qin Mu smiled. "And it's because of you that the Grand Emperor became one of the ten Celestial Venerables and a great hidden threat. Celestial Venerable Hao, you may be powerful, but I'm not a pushover. Don't talk to me in that arrogant tone!"
Celestial Venerable Hao looked at him while clutching his fists. Qin Mu tried very hard to overcome his fear and look back at him.
Celestial Venerable Hao loosened his fists and plainly said, "You believe Qin Mu about the Grand Emperor being among us? He was trying to divide us, to get us to fight amongst ourselves. While it's indeed unexpected that he came out of the Great Void alive, he's not exactly truthful. He hid a lot of things from us."
Qin Mu leaned on Celestial Emperor's throne and lazily said, "While he's not exactly truthful, Celestial Venerable Huo and Celestial Venerable Xu should be back soon, right? When they get back, we will know whether Qin Mu's words are real or fake."
Celestial Venerable Hao's gaze fell on the injuries on his legs. His pupils contracted as he said, "Did you take Crown Prince Ming Ya there to use his blood to take the precious artifacts in the ancestral grounds? Those are mine and my family's things! You can't take them!"
Qin Mu playfully said, "You seem to be very concerned about Crown Prince Ming Ya. Your relationship seems to go beyond that of brotherhood."
Celestial Venerable Hao brushed his sleeves and left. His voice came from afar, saying, "You better repair this body. Also, Crown Prince Ming Ya is my brother. If you dare do anything against him, I'll kill you regardless of which Celestial Venerable you are!"
Qin Mu gave a furious humph, only relaxing after seeing him leave. He sat on the Emperor's Throne as if he was paralyzed.
'Celestial Venerable Hao's relationship with Crown Prince Ming Ya is abnormal. The latter seems to be more like his son than his brother…'
Celestial Emperor's forehead cracked open, and Qin Mu flew out, visibly perplexed as he thought, 'The relationships in the royal family are chaotic! I can't stay in this corporeal body anymore despite how exciting it was, or I'll eventually get busted! I have to leave this Hall of Nourishment immediately!'
He shook his body and morphed into a maid before walking out of the hall.
As soon as he walked out, he saw Celestial Venerable Hong walking towards him. He was wearing extremely wide robes with large sleeves.
He looked like a kind elder in those white robes of his that had loose sleeves. His facial hair was white too. He treated everyone kindly.
"Little girl, is the emperor inside?" Celestial Venerable Hong smiled.
"To answer Celestial Venerable, he is still inside," Qin Mu submissively said.
Celestial Venerable Hong waved his sleeves and walked inside.
Qin Mu immediately picked up his pace. He went to the corner of the long corridor and changed himself into a swimming snake. He went into the bushes to reach the pool in front. He entered the water and became a large koi, swimming in the river parallel to the chambers of concubines.
He swam to the imperial garden and became a green frog. He went ashore and became a civet cat after reaching the back of a tree. He walked alongside the edges of the palace walls before jumping on them to go through the halls.
Soon, the civet cat that was Qin Mu jumped down into the shadows beneath the wall.
A black figure crept in the shadows of the wall as it kept itself near the ground. Qin Mu only walked out of the shadows to walk towards his residence when he reached the outskirts of the Jade Capital.
In the Hall of Nourishment, Celestial Venerable Hong looked at Celestial Emperor's corporeal body, frowning. It had injuries all over its legs. He couldn't help but shake his head. 'These guys, they don't know how to treat things well. After all, this body is the face of the celestial heavens… Who piloted this corporeal body to the ancestral grounds… Wait! That maid just now had something off about her! There couldn't have been only one maid serving Celestial Emperor's corporeal body!'
His consciousness burst forth and surrounded the Hall of Nourishment to look for clues and inconsistencies to find the maid.
His consciousness was powerful, and it caused a great disturbance. Instantly, other consciousnesses burst forth from far away, collided with his!
Lightning and thunder struck all around the Hall of Nourishment. The thunder rumbled. It was clearly a peculiarity caused by the collision of several Celestial Venerables' consciousnesses!
Celestial Venerable Hong retracted his consciousness and laughed. "My Dao friends, do you all think that I'm the Grand Emperor? Is that why you probe me in such a way? We have always been brothers and sisters. When did we become so paranoid and suspicious of one another?"
The consciousnesses in the air were dispersed, and calmness was restored.
Celestial Venerable Hong frowned and thought, 'That suspicious maid probably escaped due to their delay. She was the one who piloted the corporeal body to the ancestral grounds. Her sneakiness could only suggest that the ancestral grounds are…'
He hastily left the Hall of Nourishment and moved towards Celestial Emperor's birthplace.
When Celestial Venerable Hong got there, he saw Celestial Venerable Hao, Celestial Venerable Gong, Celestial Venerable Qiang, Celestial Venerable Yan, and the others there too.
Their expressions were serious and solemn as they gazed at the bunch of light formed by the Great Dao purple light. In it, one part of the eggshell was gone.
"Who took it?"
Celestial Venerable Hao coldly said, "If you hand it over now, I can forgive you!"
Heavenly Lady Qiang's gaze turned, and she gently asked, "Emperor, do you want to go to my place?"