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Behind the veil, the Hierarch kept quiet. His broken palm was already restored by Haotian. But the shoulder that was injured by one of Ning Quo's Thirteen Primordial Arrows was not as lucky. As He Mingchi just said, there were more and more things they could not be understood in the Divine Halls of West Hill, including the recent silence in the Divine Hall of Judgment.

After the Rite to Light, many people, especially those descendants of the former Divine Priest of Light from the South Sea, questioned Ye Hongyu, the Divine Priest of Judgment, for her behavior during the ceremony. However, due to her honorable position, even the Hierarch could not penalize her without any solid evidence.  

Yet, what He Mingchi just said had put him on alert, both because of something that happened years ago and her frequently looking into the Divine Hall of Light.  

The Divine Hall of Light was distinctively located atop Peach Mountain. Everyone could easily see it at a glance. Ye Hongyu was the Divine Priest of Judgement. No one would have questioned her observing the Divine Hall of Light in the past, not to mention just looking into it from some distance.  

However, the Divine Hall of Light was no longer the same.  

Since this spring, when peach blossoms bloomed again and the eternal lamp died out, the Divine Hall of Light became an off-limits location for everyone.  

After Haotian repeatedly revealed the Divine Manifestation during the Rite to Light, the followers had confirmed their speculation, thus no one dared to disrespect the Divine Hall of Light. They refrained from talking about the figure inside the Divine Hall. It was even a taboo to make wild guesses, not to mention to peek.  

The Divine Priests from the South Sea were settled in the Revelation Institution. Zhao Nanhai and his people had originally came back to reclaim their authority over the Hierarch in Taoism. Now they did not dare to do anything but to prostrate toward the Divine Hall of Light everyday and pray devoutly, hoping to be able to see Haotian in person one day.  

Under such circumstances, Ye Hongyu's looking into the direction of the Divine Hall of Light would definitely put people on alert and cause confusion. What is she looking for? How dare she pry into the Divine Hall?  

Inside the Divine Hall of Judgment, Ye Hongyu sat on the Seat of Heavenly Black Jade and kept quiet. She showed no expression on her face and looked indifferent and cold. She had been sitting there most of the time these days and paid no attention to her subordinates' reports. It seemed she had lost the ability to think. 

It was actually because she had been thinking about and replaying what had happened at the Rite to Light — when Ning Que smashed the Hierarch's sacred sedan, the skinny old dward looked so ridiculous.  

Because of that scene, she had been sleepless recently. A myriad of thoughts crowded in her mind and left her with no peace. She was indeed very depressed as He Mingchi reported. As for her looking into the direction of Divine Hall of Light, it was because she, as the Divine Priest of Judgment, was clearly aware of Ning Que being imprisoned in the Secluded Pavilion. She wondered what that figure in the Divine Hall would do to Ning Que. This would affect her perception on certain things.


Same as people in Peach Mountain, the entire West Hill Divine Kingdom was enveloped in awe and tension.  

Due to the Academy's intrusion, the Rite to Light was not successful at all, with its sacrifice gone and many seriously wounded from the Divine Hall of West Hill. After Liu Bai's death, the Sword Garret was officially broken from Taoism. Several celebrations on the agenda were not carried out. And the Rite ended in a haste.

Many had chosen to stay at the Divine Halls of West Hill. Governors of various kingdoms had to go back to their government. They prostrated devoutly and left their delegations behind. Meanwhile, bands and musicians who had prepared for performances during the ceremony also stayed and so did tens of thousands of followers.  

Haotian was present in the human world, and most probably inside the Divine Halls of West Hill. How could these devout followers leave the West Hill now? Even if someone were to place swords on their necks, they would never leave. Therefore, the front yard of Peach Mountain and the villages around were overpopulated. But none of them dared to say too much.  

The Tang Empire did not sent any delegation to the Rite to Light. Only a dancing team from the House of Red Sleeves were forced to come. If it were not for the insistence of the Divine Halls of West Hill, no one from the Tang Empire would have come, for they knew they would not be treated nicely here.

The dancing team from the House of Red Sleeves was scheduled to perform after the sacrificial ceremony. As Chen Pipi was rescued, the celebration could not carried on. However, the Divine Halls of West Hill forced them to stay afterwards.  

This was a battle between the Tang Empire and West Hill. Since the Rite to Light was jeopardized by the Academy, the coercion to stay behind was frustrating and dangerous.  

Young girls from the House of Red Sleeves were accommodated in an ordinary house in a small town. The house was heavily guarded by the cavalry of Divine Halls. They were scared and did not know their fates.  

Xiaocao was in charge of the team from the House of Red Sleeves. The naive and lovable girl was grown. Though still young, she revealed some remarkable leadership.  

When she learned that the Divine Halls was not letting them go, she immediately sent a message back to Chang'an via certain channels. The day before yesterday an official dispatcher arrived from the Tang Empire. That was the reason why they were not mistreated by the Divine Halls of West Hill thus far.  

Yet, Xiaocao knew that the official dispatcher could only delay their destiny but not send them home. She worried that her girls would not be able to hang on any longer if they were to continue to stay in such a hostile and dangerous situation.  

"Respected Divine Priest, I need a definite answer."  

Xiaocao stared at the Divine Priest of West Hill in front of her and affirmed. "If the Divine Halls still won't let us go, we do need an explanation."  

The Divine Priest of West-Hill squinted at her. "Are you threatening the Divine Halls?"  

Xiaocao slightly lowered her head and replied, "We do not dare to. But you should be reasonable."  

The Divine Priest sneered and thought, After what your people from Tang Empire have done to our Rite to Light and disgraced the Divine Halls, how dare you to ask for an explanation from us? 

"I've told you days ago. You came here to perform. How could you leave without fulfilling your task?"  

Xiaocao replied, "If you want a performance we can do it any time. But when?"  

The Divine Priest frowned and said, "It is a great honor for you to perform for the Divine Halls. You just need to wait with patience. How dare you to ask so many questions? You want to be punished for your impiety?"  

Xiaocao panted and managed to control her anger. "For a good performance, we do need time to prepare. Please, Respected Divine Priest, do let us know when."  

The Divine Priest answered indifferently, "I have no idea."  

Xiaocao questioned, "Then who would know?"  

The Divine Priest looked at her with mockery. "I have no idea either." 

Xiaocao asked calmly, "I want to see the Hierarch. I guess he would know for sure."  

"What makes you think that you can ask to see the Hierarch?" The Divine Priest reprimanded.  

Xiaocao stayed calm and continued, "Then I ask for the Divine Priest of Judgment."  

The Divine Priest looked at Xiaocao with mockery again. "Up until now, you stubborn Tang people still won't accept the reality. Then I will give you a definite answer — you are doomed. You are not leaving this house unless you are dead."  

Since the official dispatcher from Tang imperial court could not make the Divine Halls of West Hill to release them, Xiaocao knew that she and the girls were going to die miserable deaths. Even if the imperial court were willing to go into another war for their sake, they would still be doomed.  

The girls from the House of Red Sleeves were also aware of this. However, they were still clinging to a slimmest chance until it was disclosed by this Divine Priest. Colors were drained from Xiaocao's face, and the girls started weeping back in the house.  

The Divine Priest was satisfied by their grief. When he was about to say something further to add to their misery, the door was pushed open. 

The Divine Priest turned to those divine guards and asked, "What's the matter?"  

One of the divine guards replied, "Someone is asking for these girls from the House of the Red Sleeves."  

The Divine Priest frowned at this request and coldly asked, "Which Divine Priest from which Divine Hall is asking for them? I took the order from the Hierarch to watch these Tang women. No one can ask for them."  

The divine guard reprimanded, "Who do you think you are to ask such questions?"  

Xiaocao found some vent in their conversion. Yet she wondered who dared to disregard the order from the Hierarch. Could it be the Divine Priest of Judgment who was said to be a friend of Ning Que?  

The Divine Priest trembled with rage and cursed to them, "How dare you to disrespect the Hierarch? Are you all courting death?"  

"Who dares to stand in the way when the Divine Hall of Light is asking for them?"  

Upon hearing this cute voice, the divine guards cleared the path for a young girl in a white dress.  

The Divine Priest looked into this young girl in white dress and suddenly realized something. He felt his strength drained immediately and collapsed on the ground.  

The girl in white dress did not spare a single glance at him and proceeded to the courtyard. She looked around the girls dressed up in their performance costumes, slightly frowned and asked, "Who is Xiaocao?"  

Xiaocao took a deep breath, moved one step forward and answered piously, "I am."  

They had been confined in this humble house ever since the commencement of the Rite to Light. She had no idea of what had happened these days or how much the Divine Hall of Light meant to the Taoists right now. Although she did not know the background of this girl in white dress, she could tell from the reaction of the Divine Priest that this girl held an unusually important position in the Divine Halls of West Hill. No matter what would happen next, she had to take her chance.  

The young girl in white dress stared at Xiaocao and could not figure out why her master had asked particularly for this Tang girl. After all, no one, not even the Hierarch, had been allowed to enter the Divine Hall of Light.  

Xiaocao followed the girl in white dress, stepped into the carriage, and left the small town.  

The girls from the House of Red Sleeves poured to the gate and watched the carriage until it disappeared. They could not help but worry for Xiaocao as they had no idea what would happen to her in the Divine Hall of Light.  

The Divine Priest awoke from his panic and seemed lost. He sleepwalked out of the courtyard, and hanged himself in his house that night. 

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