"Brother Xiao Chen, how is your stay, are you comfortable with the place?" Lan Fei's smile was very cheerful, which had nothing to do with his age.

Yang Chen could see that this brawny man didn’t actually take the matter of that day to heart, and smiled with some appreciation, "Brother Lan Fei, how can I help you?"

“Nothing much, just that the Xiao family allows every cultivator that joins the family to enter the Green Emperor Pagoda once a year and to choose a practice or spell that you wish to cultivate. This year is my third year of entering the Xiao family, and I am just about to go pick a practice. I assume that Brother Xiao Chen hasn’t gone there before so I came to bring you along.” Lan Fei explained. 

When Yang Chen heard this, a quick thought flashed through his heart. He already had an idea about the Green Emperor Pagoda, because he heard Zhao Muyang saying that there were many prisoners in the pagoda, most of them were servants of the Xiao family who were against the Xiao family or were punished.

Will Xiao Zhiqing be detained there?

"Thank you, Brother Lan Fei."

Of course, Yang Chen didn't refuse and went to the Green Emperor Pagoda with Lan Fei.

Along the way, Lan Fei seemed to ask carelessly, "Brother Xiao's practice method is amazing, mind sharing which sect are you from?”

Yang Chen secretly smiled in his heart. It turned out that he was curious about this matter, so he made an excuse to ask questions. 

"Brother Lan Fei seems very interested?"

Lan Fei blushed and felt slightly embarrassed. He laughed, "There’s something that Brother Xiao Chen doesn't know. I am actually a martial art freak, when my master took me in back then, he said that I was too impure and had too deep of an obsession so I couldn’t enter the Buddhist Sect. As long as it’s a practice that I am interested in, I will always like to learn more.”

This man is indeed honest. Yang Chen nodded approvingly, "Since Brother Lan Fei is so frank, then I will tell you the truth. In fact, I have an unusual talent without any cultivation techniques. I don't know how I got such a body either.”

Yang Chen lied and couldn't say anything. Obviously, he couldn’t mention things like being shone by the divine light or being tempered by the Tai Qing Heavenly Lightning. 

Lan Fei opened his mouth in astonishment, with a "so that's how it was" expression, but simply believed it.

The two of them slowed down, and the chat was quite speculative. Lan Fei’s only interest was practice, studying martial arts and methods, and Yang Chen happened to have a much deeper understanding than Lan Fei. Lan Fei noticed that talking to him was very interesting and he could always think of new perspectives.

"Talking to Brother Xiao about cultivation methods has benefited me a lot. Lan Fei admires you with such open-minded conversations. I am happy to have you as my friend!" Lan Fei asked seriously, looking at Yang Chen expectantly.

Yang Chen smiled bitterly in his heart. If only he knew that everything about me was fake, even my name. How could he be so naive given that he was already in his forties? Then again, it would make no harm in making friends so he agreed to it.

Lan Fei was overjoyed, "Great! Brother Xiao Chen is my first friend in the illusion realm, and I will never be alone on the road in the future!"

Yang Chen felt a little cringe hearing his words, and he asked suspiciously, "Brother Lan Fei, I...but I like women."

Lan Fei was taken aback, and after understanding his words, he laughed and said, "Brother, you’re overthinking, I don't like men either! I just said that I won’t be alone on the journey of cultivation, that's all! Haha, fortunately, I have just entered the illusion realm from the secular world not many years ago, otherwise, I might not understand the meaning of this."

Yang Chen curiously said, "What? Brother Lan Fei is not from the illusion realm?”

"If I was born in the illusion realm, how can I break away from my own family and enter the Xiao family for no reason? I, like Brother Xiao, left Hongmeng and came here. In fact, most of the cultivators in the three hidden clans were not originally from the family, most of them escaped from Hongmeng, so it’s nothing unusual here.” Lan Fei elaborated. 

"Won't Hongmeng take some measures? Won’t they strengthen the restrictions?" Yang Chen wondered.

Lan Fei disdainfully said, "In Hongmeng there are not many cultivators who came from the outside. Hongmeng is also made up of many families. For example, on Hongmeng Xuantian Island, the Heavenly Realm elder Yan Wuchen, is ranked among the top ten masters. The Yan family under his leadership has a great influence in Hongmeng. Some other masters also formed cliques to exclude dissidents. The Hongmeng now is not the one that the secular world thinks, only after you enter that you will slowly realize it, so it is reasonable for everyone to leave. The cultivation resources in Hongmeng are divided up by those power groups controlled by masters. We, new cultivators, have no resources at all, so how can we improve? People who are not too stupid and loyal will leave Hongmeng. Brother Xiao, you don't have to feel the slightest self-blame for leaving Hongmeng. Hongmeng deserves whatever they are experiencing today. They just pretend to be the guardians of China. But in the illusion realm, they are just the most powerful force with a mixture of different kinds of people. It is not much different from the group composed of the three major hidden clans."

Yang Chen recalled the appearance of the swordsman at the time. He only gave him some spiritual elixirs to bribe him, and he put down his mission as a Hongmeng envoy without hesitation. How ironic. 

The two passed through many cultivation fields along the way, and Yang Chen found that the Xiao family's background was indeed profound. Not to mention those in the Soul Forming Stage, there were at least more than fifty cultivators that were in the Tribulation Passing Stage, and many of them were in the Ming Water period. 

This was just a small area of the entire residence. Expanding to the entire Xiao family, there were probably hundreds of cultivators during the Tribulation Passing Stage, thousands of Soul Forming Stage cultivators, and tonnes of the ones in the Xiantian Stage. 

The Xiao family was still the lowest in terms of battle force among the three hidden clans. One could imagine how powerful the Luo family and the Ning family were.

Yang Chen could kill less than ten cultivators in the Ming Water Period in one go, but if hundreds of cultivators in the Tribulation Passing Stage attacked him together, he could only flee in embarrassment. The peer power was always stronger no matter what, the overwhelming True Yuan combined would still kill him. 

Unless he got promoted to the Shang Qing Heavenly Lightning Stage, and then at least controlled the Tai Qing Heavenly Lightning, only then he could use the horrifying lightning to destroy the group of Tribulation Passing Stage. 

When he came to the Green Emperor Pagoda that seemed to pierce the clouds, Lan Fei led Yang Chen to a red-black mysterious iron gate.

At the gate of the Green Emperor Pagoda, an old woman wearing a gray curly-sleeved gown with gray hair and wrinkled face was sitting cross-legged on a high sycamore wood platform.

It seemed that she had been sitting there for a long time without moving, and the clothes on her body were already dusty. 

Since Lan Fei had permission from the patriarch of the family, Xiao Mengyu, he directly said, "Lan Fei, Xiao Chen, request the grandma to open the door.” 

Yang Chen, who was next to him, didn't care much at first, but after looking at the old woman for quite some time, he finally realized something weird!

I... can't see through the cultivation of this old woman!?

The only possible reason for him to be unable to see through one’s cultivation was that he or she was at least in the Weak Waters Stage or above. This would cause the True Yuan to be deep enough that he couldn’t see through. 

Could it be said that such a seemingly inconspicuous old woman who guards the door was actually a master above the Weak Waters Stage?!

Yang Chen didn't dare to show an over-shocking expression. Thinking about it, he managed to assume the background of the context. The Green Emperor Pagoda seemed to be the most important place of the Xiao family. It stood to reason that a super master was guarding the place...

Then again, I have never heard Xiao Zhiqing mention other Weak Waters Stage masters in the Xiao family except for Patriarch Xiao Mengyu...

The old woman didn't even open her eyes, and a trace of True Yuan was transferred from her to the giant Xuan Iron gate. The door slowly made a "rumbling" sound, opening a gap.

"Thank you, grandma!"

Lan Fei waved to Yang Chen a little excitedly and walked in first.

As soon as they entered the Green Emperor Pagoda, there was a long corridor in front of it, surrounded by blue-gray boulders. On both sides of the corridor were various stone chambers, and the farthest was a vertical passage upstairs.

Yang Chen waited for the back door to close before asking, "Brother Lan Fei, who is the grandma outside?"

Lan Fei didn't seem to understand why Yang Chen asked this. He scratched his head and replied, "I don't know, just I know that grandma’s name is Xiao Tingxu, who is an elder in the Xiao family who is responsible for guarding the Green Emperor Pagoda. Everyone calls her grandma. She seldom speaks. Not only me, but many elderly people who have been here for decades know nothing about her... It is said that grandma's cultivation base is unbelievably strong, but no one has seen her making a move so it’s just a guess.”

Yang Chen thought to himself, it seemed that Xiao Tingxu was undoubtedly above the Weak Waters Stage, otherwise, it was impossible for no one would know about her actual cultivation. 

No one knew if there were actually hidden masters like these in every hidden clan. Xiao Tingxu was known to guard the Green Emperor Pagoda, but if other hidden masters existed, where would they be and what realm would they reach?