Yao Jun stretched out his arm, the entire planet seemingly fitting snuggly into his palm. This wasn't the first time he had seen this exact scenery actually, he had experienced it once in the past.
Back in the past, when he first started to cultivate Crumbling the Nine Heavens, the remnant spirit of Sword Empyrean Heng Jiang had drawn his mind into a pure white space. This planet and the surrounding space had formed inside that space, allowing Heng Jiang to give Yao Jun a lecture on how important a person's state of mind was to their cultivation.
Back then, he had been able to encompass the planet with his hand too, but it had just been an illusion, he was still so weak that most things on the planet could kill him. But now it was no longer an illusion, the entire planet would fit perfectly into his palm, and there was no one that could say anything about it even if he chose to do so. He had grown. He had walked out from this planet as a weak child, but he returned as a demonic god.
He allowed himself to immerse himself in his sentimentality for a moment, Sirius standing half a step behind him with a small smile on his face. When he closed his eyes he could still see the time he had been gifted to Yao Jun, perhaps that may have been the greatest stroke of luck he would ever have.
Yao Jun pulled back his arm after a few moments, closing his eyes as he merged his mind into the surrounding space. He no longer had his instinctual control over space since he had lost his connection with his Demonic beast companions, so he had to rely on his own understanding of the law of space from now on. It required a great deal more concentration, but it wasn't impossible to pull off.
His senses quickly started to spread out, using his merged energy as fuel to spread out across the entire planet. Yao Jun had been able to cover wast swathes of land with his senses even in the past, much less had to be said about now when he had grown even stronger, both mentally and cultivation wise.
He covered the entire planet with his senses and observed every inch of it, there was nothing on it that could hide from his senses. He couldn't get a proper grasp of the three Origin Beasts that lived here, or the castle that the Nine Heavens Soul Emperor was sealed in, but he could easily locate them by finding the places where his senses were repelled.
He instantly located Violet Sky Town, or rather Titan's Nest, which had changed into a massive city. He also immediately discovered Wan Yi, who was in the midst of a meeting with quite a few people, none of them looking too relaxed. But he didn't just check their positions, he also observed the other towns and cities on the planet, taking the people living there and the state of everything. And when he opened his eyes again, a tinge of disappointment flashed across his face.
"Let's go, I want to hear if she thinks that it's been worth it."
Sirius hadn't spread out his senses so he didn't understand the reason behind the sliver of disappointment, but Yao Jun didn't seem like he was planning on elaborating on it. He stretched out his arm and sent out his law of space, connecting their current position with the intended target. Sirius felt space around them twist so he quickly stored the ship into his interspatial ring, he couldn't let it stay here and risk someone stealing his lord's belongings.
The two vanished through space just as the ship disappeared, appearing in front of the gates leading into Titan's Nest. A several tens of metres tall wall surrounded what was once a calm little town, the spires of some tall mansions poking out over the edge of the wall. There wasn't even a single guard posted in front of the large metal gates, which were just swung open in an inviting manner.
Yao Jun could sense the array that covered the entire city, it was of a higher grade than it had any right to be. Comparing it to some defensive arrays he had seen in the past, he guessed that it should be able to completely block any attack that was below the middle-stage of the Heavenly Deity realm. It was far too high level for a planet as weak as this one so Yao Jun guessed that it was likely provided by the World Tree clan.
Of course, he was planning on going in from the front so he didn't really need to break the array, he could just ignore it. And he did just that, calmly walking through the open gates and slowly wandering through the streets. The city was quite large, it would be considered large even for some of the stronger clans in this universe.
But the streets were comparatively bare, it wasn't as bustling as a city like this should be. He could see people from both the demon race and the human race moving about, but they didn't get too close to each other. The buildings all looked quite sturdy, built from solid stone or metal, and there was barely a single open window to be seen.
And above all, it was silent. There was no hustle or bustle, no merchants hawking their wares with all their might, even the children he saw scattered about were keeping their voices down so as to not make a ruckus. As a city, it could only be considered dead, or at least in its death throes.
Looking at the state of Titan's Nest, Sirius felt like he started to understand why Yao Jun had looked a bit disappointed after he observed the planet. The two walked in silence, the sound of whoosing wind sounding throughout the area as a white eagle landed at their side, morphing into Zhuan Yi.
She didn't hide her actions so they were obviously seen by the surrounding citizens, and it was inevitable for such a strange scene to cause a bit of panic in a city like this one. But Yao Jun's group simply didn't pay any heed to it, reaching the centre of the city before long. Standing in front of them was a fenced off palace, seven spires surrounding the rectangular building that was surrounded by a verdant orchard.
"How gaudy and extravagant."
That was the first thought Yao Jun had as he stood in front of the closed fence. The entire mansion was decorated using golden and crimson colours, hints of violet scattered about. The tapestries that hung on the outer walls all looked to be made from silk, a few gems or valuable metals carved into exquisite shapes adorning the space above the entrance. Pointless decorations that only served to display a waste of wealth.
Just like with the city's gates, there were no guards posted in front of the fence. Was it because they didn't fear getting attacked, or was it because the guards would be of no use if they actually did end up getting attacked by someone that could break the defensive array? Yao Jun didn't know, and in truth, he didn't care enough to waste any time thinking it over.
He stepped towards the gate, the metal bars melting as he approached them, leaving a large gap in the fence that his group could easily pass through. The sweet smell of fruits hung heavy in the orchard, but only Zhuan Yi was carefree enough to pick a few of the peach-like fruits and taste them.
The door to the mansion was easily pushed open, revealing a reception room that was filled with a refreshing scent that seemed to come from several fern-like plants scattered about the corners of the room. A golden hallway decorated with a red carpet stretched out beyond the room, Yao Jun heading down it without much emotion.
He guided the group of three through the winding hallways and reception rooms, eventually ending up in a hallway wide enough to accommodate six men at once. The hallway ended in a set of double doors that were entirely violet in colour, and this set of doors actually had people guarding it. But rather than calling them guards, it would be better to call them butlers since they were dressed in clean white suits.
"Please halt, a meeting is underwa..."
Yao Jun didn't even glance at the two people as he walked down the hallway, both of them getting squashed against the ground before they could finish speaking. They could feel their bones creaking under the immense pressure that was bearing down on them, it was as if they had to carry the weight of an entire mountain.
Yao Jun pushed open the double doors, stepping into the circular room that only contained a large oval-shaped table. The table was several metres long, with nearly 30 seats positioned around it, 12 of which were currently occupied. A golden-haired man clad in blue metal armour turned to look at Yao Jun as he entered, his expression sinking slightly.
"It's quite rude to intrude on a mee..."
The man was interrupted before he could finish his sentence, Wan Yi waving her hand casually while speaking over him.
"Enough, there's no need to bother finishing that sentence, he doesn't care."
Wan Yi sat close to one of the ends of the table, lowering her arm after she finished interrupting the man. Her black hair still hung all the way down to her rump, but her blue eyes had turned a bit darker compared to the past. She still wore a sleeveless robe as she did in the past, the clothes custom made so that they had openings for her black-feathered wings and her black-scaled tail. She no longer looked like just a youthful girl, she had gained some of the grace and charm of a mature lady of power.
"Brother Jun, we meet again. It's been a while, hasn't it, so long that you've even returned to the appearance you had when we first met. But don't worry, we've always kept a seat open, Titan's Gate needs its military general after all. Did Brother Yantian and the others return with you? We need to have a proper reunion if they did."
Wan Yi smiled softly at Yao Jun, gesturing towards the empty seat right next to her. And with her speaking, the others around the table realized who the intruder was, he was the actual Nine Heavens Demon God. Yao Jun swept his gaze across the room, Yang Yuhuan's brother, Yang Long, and Lin Ren weren't present in the meeting, they hadn't even been on the planet to begin with. He didn't go over to take a seat, his gaze continuing to roam across the people seated by the table.
"Tell me, who among you is in charge of bearing the name of the Dread Dreamer and the Sword Apocalypse?"
Wan Yi's brows twitched slightly when Yao Jun posed his question, but the others seated there didn't know anything so they answered without much thought. And the moment the three people raised their hands, they died. The law of death surged out from Yao Jun and invaded their bodies, stealing away all their lifeforce. They collapsed onto the table with a dull thud, Yao Jun pulling out one of the masks he had taken from Zhao Shen's group.
"I killed Jue Langye."
He tossed the mask onto the table, his gaze landing on Wan Yi and stabbing directly into her. The other people around the table instantly burst into action when their three comrades died, they were evidently well trained. Their Qi surged as they drew their weapons and launched their attacks, but Wan Yi didn't even have the time to tell them that this was the wrong move.
Yao Jun didn't even have to take action, Sirius did it for him. He waved his hand lightly, a surge of wind rushing into the mouths of the attacking people. The air rushed into their lungs and inflated them beyond capacity, a subdued popping sound echoing through the room as their lungs exploded. The attackers clutched at their chests, but it was already too late, they only managed to struggle for a few more seconds before everything turned dark. Wan Yi was the only one that hadn't moved, her gaze lingering on the mask.
"...So that's why we lost contact with Zhao Shen's group. I take it you've also contacted the World Tree clan, seeing as they've decided to sever all ties with us."
The meeting had actually been about just that, no one knew why the World Tree clan had suddenly cut off the alliance and severed all ties with them. Yao Jun didn't even glance at the people whose lungs had exploded, his gaze was focused squarely on Wan Yi as he asked her his simple question.
He worded it differently, but it was basically the same question he had given Arthurius, why had she decided to smear their names like that. Wan Yi needed a moment to understand what he was asking about, but thinking about the context she quickly understood, leaning back in her chair in a somewhat exasperated manner.
"Why I did it? Come on now, Brother Jun, you have to do a lot of things when you have to single-handedly run a sect as large as this. You left me with all this heavy responsibility so it's only natural that I do my best to strengthen the position of our sect. You're welcome to help me now that you've returned, we can completely change our tactics now that we have our actual frontliner."
Indeed, now that Yao Jun had returned there would be no need to use any other names during their missions. Just his presence alone would be enough, in fact, it would be several hundreds of times more efficient. Yao Jun shook his head lightly, his voice turning a bit colder due to the way Wan Yi answered.
"Left you with it? Wan Yi, I never left you with any sort of heavy responsibility, you were always the one who was most eager to create this sect. You were always the one who most desired to properly rule. And don't try to side-step the question, I want answers, and fast."
Yao Jun had never really been a part of Titan's Gate, he had never even visited the headquarters properly until today. And if her plan was to pin the blame on him, then he could only say that she was deluded.
"You're quite annoyed, huh. But there's no need to put on any theatrics to scare the poor butlers. You're a violent and vicious man, you won't hesitate to sink your fangs into the throats of your enemy, you truly are the perfect person to be the lord of demons. But you're not heartless or without morals, you don't hurt friends, I know that, so you don't need to put on a spiel."
Wan Yi was quite confident as she spoke, she was after all the first person to interact with Yao Jun after he was teleported away from his continent when he first started his cultivation journey. But what a shame, she didn't quite understand the current situation, and she understood even less about Yao Jun's mindset.
His gaze narrowed slightly, and as it did, the wind in front of him gathered into a sharp blade that rushed forward. It moved so fast that Wan Yi could barely see it, she just felt a searing hot sensation as it passed through her shoulder, taking her right arm with it. Her pupils shrank violently and riveted towards the stump that remained of her right arm, Yao Jun's cold voice ringing in her ears.
"You're right, Wan Yi, I don't hurt my friends. So for your sake, I hope you start answering properly real quick."