The Buzhou Immortal Sect and the Six Vassal Sect had a harmonious relationship. It wasn't that the Six Vassal Sects never had any thoughts of leaving the Buzhou Immortal Sect's control, but the Buzhou Immortal Sect was far too strong. The Heaven Continent had four publically acclaimed Immortal Emperor level experts, and three of them belonged to the Buzhou Immortal Sect.
As the sect that claimed to be the orthodox lineage of the Immortal Court from the Primordial Era, their foundation was like a glacier. What others saw was only the tip above the water.
In addition, the Buzhou Immortal Sect was relatively hands-free in their control over the Six Vassal Sects. As long as the Six Vassal Sects did not break the terms given by Buzhou Immortal Sect and offered the annual tributes, the Buzhou Immortal Sect would not overly control their affairs.
Naturally, the Six Vassal Sects were in the lower position and had to respect the authority of their master.
Because of this, the relationships between each individual Vassal Sect and the Buzhou Immortal Sect was surprisingly good. This situation allowed the creation of the Heavenly Connection Gathering.
The same could not be said for the relationship between the Vassal Sects. But they wouldn't bring out their internal conflicts to the Buzhou Immortal Sect.
However, this relationship had a bottom line. And Lovespot went past that line.
The matter could be said to be small, yet not small. It could also be said to be large, yet not large. But there was one certain point. If it was mishandled, then the relationship between the Buzhou Immortal Sect and the Six Vassal Sect will worsen.
Although it was absurd, if Lovespot only harmed the girls within his sect, then the matters would not be as severe.
Elder Redseal felt as if an explosion had gone inside his head and right beside his ears. He recalled the scenes of the past.
The memory was slightly murky, but Elder Redseal still recalled it. His grandson had ventured out to temper himself. When he returned, Lovespot regaled him with the tales of his adventures. When Lovespot mentioned killing the disciple of another sect without provocation, Elder Redseal had warned him not to do it again.
But then it occurred the second time.
This was one of the few rare times that Elder Redseal had punished Lovespot. Afterward, Elder Redseal never heard of Lovespot mentioning again and thought that he had taken those warnings to heart. He had even ordered the secret guards assigned to Lovespot to watch over him and make sure it didn't happen again.
As for the two disciples Lovespot killed, Elder Redseal ignored it. They were just minor figures in his eyes, and their deaths would be attributed to accidents during their mission or tempering journey.
This world followed the law of the strong. It was their fault for being weak.
If you wanted to live and rise above others, you had to be ruthless and accumulate more resources than anyone else. Just the amount of resources the Buzhou Immortal Sect used was already more than all the sects of the Heaven Continent combined.
But never in his wildest imagination would he ever imagine that Lovespot simply stopped revealing that he had continued killing the disciples of the Vassal Sects.
"Is this information true?" One Elder asked, his voice taut with tension.
"Who did he kill? If it is just some minor disciples, we can just give reparation and even hide the evidence." An Elder from the same faction as Elder Redseal said.
"All those names I spoke from before are all elite disciples that have been nurtured by their respective sects. Although not the most outstanding, without accident, they would become core members of the sect." The Elder from the Rites Hall said.
"The situation isn't good. The Vassal Sects might take Lovespot's actions as Buzhou Immortal Sect purposely weakening them. If handled incorrectly, then the Heaven Continent might become the second Earth Continent."
"Hmpf, they are just mere Vassal Sects. They only have Half-Immortal Emperors at best; they can't even compare to a single Cloud Goddess Cult. If they dare to rebel, then we will show them the folly of their ways."
"Foolishness! The Buzhou Immortal Sect hasn't recovered from the battle against the Dragon Emperor, yet now you want us to shed more blood? At this juncture, we should not seek war but peace."
"Then what should we do? Punished Lovespot? The Vassal Sects won't be happy with such a decision. This is planting a calamity for the future. The only way to quench their anger would be to hand over Lovespot to them. But then, where would the face of our Buzhou Immortal Sect go to?"
"Then should we hide the evidence and information?"
"Impossible, this is a ticking bomb. We can hide it for now, but in the future, once they found out, our plans for the future may fall apart. And who says that they don't already suspect something. "
"I think the same. The Buzhou Immortal Sect already lost many Immortals at a critical juncture, forcing us to use our backup plan. If we are forced to divert our attention and manpower, our plan will have a high chance of failing."
"I say we should hand over Lovespot and some reparation to quell their anger. Once our plans come to fruition, it would be not too late to seek retribution."
"But if the plan does succeed, we still have Saintly Scholar School and Anti-Heaven Alliance to worry about. Not speaking of the future, the Anti-Heaven Alliance is already showing signs of wanting to disturb the peace of the Heaven Continent. The disturbances at the edge of the Heaven Continent are showing signs of enlarging, and the invisible hands of the Anti-Heaven Alliance can be seen directing them."
"I'm still more worried about the Saintly Scholar School. Ever since their appearance, we had to change our plan. Over a million years of hard work gone! Then that bastard appeared and caused many of our Immortals to fall. Out of all the forces, we suffered the worst. The only joyous occasion is that Grand Elder Xi emerged."
"Speaking of the Dragon Emperor, Disciple Xi has some facial similarities to him," The Elder speaking suddenly broke out in cold sweat. He felt as if a sword upon his neck, ready to decapitate him should he speak improperly. Without looking, he already knew who was the cause. Without changing his expression, he continued to speak. "But he acts nothing like the other Dragon Emperor clones. Only their appearance has some similarities."
The Elder released a breath when the invisible sword over his neck disappeared. "In contrast -hehehehe- that Lovespot acts more like the Dragon Emperor even though he looks nothing alike."
The Elder once again felt a chill down his back. But this time, it wasn't from Grand Elder Xi but Grand Elder Zhang. What was he thinking? The Elder knew he had a loose mouth, but why did he have to speak those words and agitate the two Grand Elders? In his life, his mouth brought him many calamities.
"Preposterous! I had heard rumors of that Lovespot causing trouble, but I thought it was just exaggerations! What gall, to even attack the disciples of other sects. This is harming Buzhou Immortal Sect's future! He must be punished." Although the speaker seemed to be speaking against Elder Redseal, his words separated Lovespot's actions from Elder Redseal.
"Redseal, did you know about this!?" Another Head Elder demanded, forcefully dragging Elder Redseal into this. His usual calm and peaceful expression had morphed into a livid expression.
It was only now that Elder Redseal broke out of his stupor. His mind went through many twists and turns before he spoke. "Impossible! If Fan'er had done such a thing, I would have known.."
Elder Redseal thought of claiming that he knew, but his earlier reaction proved contrary. Judging from the complete confidence, the evidence laid out was real, so Lovespot was already declared guilty. So if he admitted knowing, it would only worsen the crime by adding a stain to him.
But how could he not know? Elder Redseal thought about the guards he assigned to his precious grandson and felt fury rising within. Why didn't they say anything? Thinking about the unease and worry before, Elder Redseal gave an inward bitter laugh. This was beyond his worst presumptions. If only he had reigned in Lovespot earlier, then this mess would not have popped up.
"Really? I find that hard to believe."
"Everyone has at least heard of how much you dote on your grandson. Even when he leaves the sect, you must have secretly dispatched an Immortal to guard his safety unless you are telling us that you have no idea of any of your grandson's actions. Do not kid us!"
"I will investigate this as soon as possible. Please give me some time to gather evidence. I will give you a satisfying answer." Elder Redseal said as he lowered his head. How long has it been since he had last lowered his head like this?
"No, the matter is too important and concerns the future of the sect." Sect Master Xia said. "Call forth the guards that have accompanied Lovespot whenever he left the sect."
Elder Redseal sent a pleading look towards his old friend, but all he got was the steely eyes. Left with no choice, Elder Redseal summoned the seven Earth Immortals that he had gathered to protect his grandson secretly.
Upon entering, the seven were petrified by the solemn atmosphere and the hostilities emitted by those gathered in the room.
Elder Redseal allowed them to protect Lovespot because he had gifted each of them a True Immortal Artifact. Thus when they worked together and in a formation, not even a True Immortal could defeat them. A True Immortal was too precious to devote themselves to guarding a mere mortal cultivator. Not to mention, no self-respecting True Immortal would lower themselves to secretly guard a mere mortal, even a child of an Immortal Monarch.
Elder Redseal really did dote on his grandson, the Immortal Elders thought. The price of seven True Immortal Artifacts was higher than the average worth of a True Immortal.
The interrogation did not last long at all under the heavy pressure of the True Immortals and above.
The reason Elder Redseal didn't know was laughable and pitiful. Using the resources given to him by his grandfather, Lovespot had bribed the seven Earth Immortal to keep their silence.
Now Lovespot's crimes increased. Not only had he murdered the disciples of the Vassal Sects, but he had directly ignored his grandfather, a Head Elder's order, and continued to commit the crimes even to the point of bribing people.
The Immortal Elders couldn't understand why Lovespot would go to such lengths just to do such a thing. Did he find it too easy to violate his own sect brothers and sister, so he decided to do it to other sects? Did the forbiddance of his grandfather only expound his desires? Did the pleasure of breaking taboos increase the pleasure of his acts?
After the initial shock of the revelation passed, the Immortals within the room began discussing the severity of the situation while deliberating the appropriate punishment in a civilized manner.
"We should give reparation towards the Vassal Sects and handle this matter in the dark. Although Lovespot's actions are worthy of sin, in light of Head Elder Redseal's merit, we should be able to overlook it this once. In the end, Disciple Lovespot is still a member of our sect. Killing him for an outsider is not worth it. As for the dissatisfaction? Let them be. Our prestige should not be lowered to our allies at this time."
"I say we should sacrifice Disciple Lovespot. His actions are the shame of the sect. Even without this incident brought to light, his punishment would arrive. Although it will lower our prestige, that is nothing in the grand plan of the Buzhou Immortal Sect."
"I disagree! Disciple Lovespot became so daring because of Head Elder Redseal. Had Head Elder Redseal not spoiled him and never punished him, he would dare to commit the crimes he did even if he had nine lives. As a Head Elder, Redseal has harmed the core interest of the sect, disregarding his duty. Head Elder Redseal no longer deserves his post."
For, against, even neutral, the arguments from all sides were summed up within those three statements.
The faction opposing Elder Redseal wanted him to lose his position as the Head Elder of the Justice Hall. This included Mengfei. Lovespot was but a bug in her eyes, and only Elder Redseal was worthy of being punished for harming Tianyi.
The faction supporting Elder Redseal wanted him to keep his position, and to do so meant pushing the majority of the blame onto Lovespot. While the neutral faction felt that making Elder Redseal lose his position would cause too many waves within the Buzhou Immortal Sect and wanted to have Elder Redseal punished yet keep his position.
In the end, the verdict was up to Sect Master Xia.
"Disciple Lovespot has harmed the interest of the Buzhou Immortal Sect. His crime, unpardonable. He will have his cultivation crippled and, should the Vassal Sect wish, be handed over for them to deliver the remaining punishment. The seven Earth Immortal guards' sins are only greater, not less. Enjoying the benefits from the sect, but not protecting the sect's interest. Under their greed, they have even harmed the sect's interest. They will be sentenced to death!"
The seven Earth Immortals all cried out and begged for mercy. But their cultivation and ability to communicate were sealed and were dragged out by the Brocade Immortals.
Elder Redseal wanted to speak, not for the guards but his precious grandson. But one look from Sect Master Xia caused him to go silent.
"And Head Elder Redseal, although unknowing of the crimes, he has partial responsibilities. Head Elder Redseal will have his wages sealed for the next ten thousand years."
That punishment towards an Immortal was but a mere slap on the wrist. All the Immortal Elders in the room knew it. But they didn't feel that it was too surprising.
Elder Redseal had become the Head Elder of the Justice Hall for almost the same time as Sect Master Xia, and even before stepping up to the position, he had incredible merits. The Immortals within the Hall, even those against him, didn't truly expect Elder Redseal to be deposed from his position.
How could Elder Redseal not understand Sect Master Xia's intention. He wanted Elder Redseal to keep his position, and all he needed to do was cut off his tail as bait like a lizard, to discard his precious grandson as the sole scapegoat.
"...wait!" Elder Redseal found himself speaking before he could stop himself. Sect Master Xia's eyes conveyed his surprise and disappointment, but Elder Redseal didn't stop. "I beg you to reconsider!"
However, this time, a surprising person spoke.
"Head Elder Redseal," The voice was clear and melodic, but the chill within was detectable by all. Xi Mengfei pointed her frosty gaze towards Elder Redseal. "You have two options. Either your grandson atones for both of your crimes, or you atone for your and your grandson's crimes."
A majestic presence emitted from Mengfei. It was slightly different from her usual pressure as if all the world's essence had begun to congregate upon her, and she was the origin of all things.
The Immortals in the room all felt shocked at Mengfei's aura. It was no longer merely the aura of an Immortal Empress, but one higher than that. Did she gain insight into the next realm, or did she fully break through to the fourth Immortal Realm, the Origin Immortal Realm?
Elder Redseal felt sweat covering his forehead, his clothes damp, and his heartbeat erratic, a sensation he hadn't felt for tens of thousands of years.