Yang Chen memorized the locations and wondered if he should start searching from the Xiao clan or the Luo clan. At the same time, he was curious as to how the hidden clans looked and what kind of people they had. 

If Xiao Zhiqing is brought back to the illusionary dimension, she could be in the Xiao or Luo clan. How should I find her? If I search around openly and bump into someone with high cultivation, and they sense my divine sense, it’ll be hard for me to bring Xiao Zhiqing home safely. 

“If that’s all, we need to go now,” Zhao Muyang uttered. It seemed like they had to deal with something urgent.

Reminded of the direction they were previously headed in, Yang Chen asked, “May I know where you’re going? And if you don’t mind, can I tag along?”

Zhao Muyang didn’t think much about it. “We’re going to the Xiao clan to run some errands.”

I knew it. Now I have a tour guide with me. Yang Chen asked, “If that’s the case, could you bring me along?” 

The Zhao siblings exchanged glances, surprised by his request. After all, Hongmeng was not on good terms with the hidden clans, people from Hongmeng usually wouldn’t go over.

Zhao Muyang seemed troubled. “Uh, there’s no problem for us to head the Xiao clan because our clan is affiliated with them. But you don’t have a reason to go over. If we do bring you along, the Xiao clan elites will catch you, and it’ll be hard to explain your identity as part of Hongmeng.”

Yang Chen waved his hands and smiled. “You look like a nice person, so I don’t mind telling you the truth. I really do not like staying in Hongmeng. I’ve heard that the hidden clans possessed better cultivation resources, so I want with“

“Hey! You’re seeking refuge with the hidden clans?” Zhao Ting gasped. “I just said you’re bold, but you’re just not afraid of dying! With a cultivation level like yours, the Xiao clan might not accept you, and you’ll be seen as a traitor by Hongmeng. I won’t be surprised if they kill you on the spot!”

Yang Chen shrugged. “Cultivation is all about taking risks to change our fate. Without it, it would be hard to boost our cultivation. Besides, my surname is also Xiao, so I think it’s easier to seek refuge from the Xiao clan.”

Zhao Muyang’s eyes flickered. After some time, he said, “If you insist, I suppose you can tag along.”

“Brother! Have you lost your mind? He’s only in the Soul Forming stage and isn’t familiar with the illusionary dimension. If he betrays Hongmeng, he might not even have the chance to regret it!” Zhao Ting looked at his brother in shock.

Zhao Muyang nodded in acknowledgment. “I know all that. However, since he’s determined to do so, and we do need some help on our way there, it’s a win-win situation for us.”

Zhao Ting was stunned at first, but when she thought of something, she calmed down albeit having a flickering gaze.

Yang Chen wondered if they were up to no good. However, based on his experience of reading people, Zhao Muyang didn’t look like a sinister person to him.

People in the illusionary realm took years to become worldly, and youngsters here weren’t as scheming as ordinary people. 

“We can bring you along. Also, if you do seek refuge from the Xiao clan, we need your help with something,” Zhao Muyang stated. 

“What is it?” Yang Chen asked.

Zhao Muyang sighed. With a sorrowful gaze, he explained the whole incident. 

It turned out that although the Zhao clan had been affiliated to the Xiao clan for years, they were the weakest compared to the others due to the lack of talents.

The only one with impressive cultivation of the pinnacle of Kui Water was their grandfather, Zhao Liangyu, who was undergoing Six Frost Water tribulation.

However, due to his age, he couldn’t get into the Ming Water-stage no matter how hard he tried.

If this went on, he would pass in three years. However, if he advanced into the Ming Water stage, his lifespan could be extended to a hundred years. 

Left with no choice, the Zhao clan could only plead for resources from the Xiao clan, even upper-ranked or middle-ranked pills were good enough. All they needed was a little push that could help Zhao Liangyu reach a breakthrough.

Even though the Zhao clan was affiliated with the Xiao clan, the whole illusionary dimension lacked those pills, including the Xiao clan. 

In other words, the Zhao siblings knew their chances were slim but still wanted to give it a try. 

Yang Chen thought they were pitiful. He had plenty of upper-ranked pills and even better ones in his space ring. Yet, people had to beg the main family for an upper-ranked or some middle-ranked pills.

Rather than calling them affiliated clans, they were more like servants to the Xiao clan who could barely care less about their well-being.

Naturally, it was also associated with the decline of the Zhao clan. If they had plenty of elites, the Xiao clan would try their best to build a relationship with them to strengthen their status as the top hidden clan.

Even if Yang Chen sympathized with them, he wasn’t foolish enough to give them pills. Instead, he asked, “You’ve told me the whole story, but I still don’t know what I’m supposed to help you with.”

Zhao Muyang clenched his teeth. “We’d like to be the referee to send you to the Xiao clan.”

“Referee?”

Yang Chen narrowed his eyes and instantly understood the whole situation.

Since the hidden clans weren’t on good terms with Hongmeng, it was natural for them to scout Hongmeng cultivators to join them.

If the Zhao siblings became the referee, they would gain a new cultivator for the Xiao clan, which would increase their chance to get the medicinal pills.

Yang Chen readily accepted it. “Why not? I’m indebted to you for bringing me over there anyway.”

Zhao Muyang’s and Zhao Ting‘s faces lit up, and they looked at him gratefully. 

“You’re a pretty good person. I hope you can survive longer in the illusionary dimension. I like you, and we can be friends.” Zhao Ting smiled sweetly.

Yang Chen felt relaxed to be with them. He hadn’t expected to bump into two nice people as soon as he entered the illusionary realm. I suppose not all cultivators are materialistic people, who deceive others for their personal benefits. 

Since the Zhao siblings were willing to tell him the whole story and didn’t plan to deceive him, Yang Chen thought he could give them pills if the chance arose.

Once they reached a consensus, they headed to the west. On their way there, Yang Chen learned more about the hidden clans and Hongmeng.

Time flew by, and they were finally out of the snowy mountain range.

Instead, what surrounded them were several intersecting winding rivers. Along the river were forests with towering trees. Most of the trees that had become extinct in the mundane world could be seen here. 

Among the forests was a large group of ancient and majestic buildings.

Yang Chen couldn’t help but marvel at the size. He reckoned it should be around the size of a dozen of Imperial Palace. The distance between each building was rather far apart, and almost all of them were constructed from wood. Some looked older than the others, while some looked like they existed around the era of the Chinese Republic.

Located at the center of the gazebos, ancestral halls and temples was a tower around a hundred stories high. It was also the only building built out of stone. 

Flickering purple-red and golden inscriptions surrounded the tower which seemed to be a protective array. 

Zhao Muyang gave him a brief introduction. “Here’s the main Xiao residence. The three major hidden clans have residences further away from the main one, but most people stay here. Standing in the middle is the Green Emperor Tower, where the Xiao clan stores ancient books and concoct pills. It’s a restricted area, no one is allowed to enter without the patriarch’s permission.”

Ancient books and pills? That’s a good place! Man, I’m tempted to take everything from there, Yang Chen thought to himself.

The Zhao siblings were unaware of the “newbie’s” audacious thoughts and were carefully thinking about a way to bring this up to the Xiao clan.

After some hesitation, Yang Chen didn’t use his divine sense to locate Xiao Zhiqing as it would expose himself easily. Thus, he obediently followed the Zhao siblings to the practice field.

As the Xiao residence was vast, people from the direct and collateral line of descent, guests, and servants were moving about the practice field. However, no one cast them any glances as though they were used to having visitors.