The Emperor Island city...
The entire city is mostly divided into two parts.
The area outside the shadow of the Guardian Tree makes up roughly 60% of the city and its nearby villages.
This region is for normal humans and low-level cultivators.
Next, the region is covered by the Guardian Tree's enormous treetop shadow. This makes up roughly 40% of the city's total area.
Those who took up the clan's divine duty live here. They are all cultivators with various achievements in their areas of specialties.
With this boundary in mind, the Guardian clan constructed a tall wall separating the two areas.
The area outside the wall is where most economic and civil activities took place. The area within the wall is the Guardian clan's compound.
The Guardian clan has an internal rule where only those taking up the divine duty of a Guardian may enter the clan's compound, only true Guardians can live in this place.
Low-level cultivators and normal humans who don't have this divine qualification are forbidden from entering this area.
The clan's segregation rules created a hierarchy within the Guardian clan.
In this clan, only those who are strong enough to execute the Guardian's duty can call themselves a Guardian.
Low-level cultivators and normal humans who have the blood of a Guardian coursing through them aren't treated as Guardians.
Thus, the hierarchy in ascending social status is: Normal humans, low-level cultivators, and Guardians.
That's how the populace is divided on this island.
Even their living areas are segregated based on this. It's not hard to imagine the disparity between a Guardian and non-Guardians.
The Guardians also used the Guardian Tree as a reference to divide the city. It's evident that the Guardian clan held the Guardian Tree in high regard.
According to Sylph, the Guardian Tree is a physical object of reverence for the Guardian Clan.
Wu Yan is very astonished to hear this.
The Guardian Tree does more than just protecting the Domain of Gods and the Emperor Island. It also restricts the Guardians from leaving the island.
Although the Guardians stayed here due to the promise their ancestor made with the three founding gods, the Guardian Tree is the true enforcer of this agreement.
Why would the Guardians revere the very thing restricting their freedoms? Why would they believe in something that forced them into a life like that of prisoners?
"The Guardian Clan is on par with the strongest clans from the three empires..."
Sylph told Wu Yan as they entered the inner region where the Guardians lived. She continued patiently explaining the island's operation to Wu Yan.
"The Guardian Clan is structured like the noble clans of the three empires. There is a tier 9 cultivator protecting the clan, the current patriarch."
"The reason why the Guardian Clan can rival the imperial families is none other than the Guardian Tree."
Sylph looked up at the treetop that threatened to cover the sky. She continued narrating the situation.
"There is a demigod protecting the imperial families and the empires. The Guardian Tree protects the Guardians in a similar fashion. Since the Guardian Tree is stronger than all the demigods, the Guardians who enjoy this protection are thus said to be on par with imperial families."
"Because of this, the Guardians revered the Guardian Tree despite having their freedoms restricted by the divine tree."
Wu Yan raised an eyebrow, he glanced up at the tree.
"Put it bluntly, the Guardians are cocky because they have the Guardian Tree protecting them?"
Sylph fell silent for a second.
"The Guardian Tree might be a tree. But, this tree is in a league all its own. Through the countless years, nobody successfully defied the tree's will."
"Perhaps, if gods are still around then the tree might not be so impressive. However, to anyone below the God tier, this Guardian Tree is an insurmountable challenge."
"To anyone well-informed, the Guardian Tree is invincible against any foe under God tier."
"With the gods gone, the Guardian Tree might very well be invincible."
"Alas, though the Guardian Tree is sentient, it lacks the wisdom of a human. It can only protect the Emperor Island. If it could move, the world powers of Silvaria might see a storm of change..."
Wu Yan rubbed his chin as he listened to Sylph's half-schadenfreude half-regretful remark. He looked up at the tree as the System's light flashed in his eyes.
Guardian Tree: Level 98
Wu Yan bitterly laughed while dealing with the awe-inspiring level.
Indeed, the Guardian Tree had the right to be called invincible under god tier.
If Yukari fought this tree, who would come out on top?
Wu Yan is tempted to use Yukari's Red Jade mode to challenge the Guardian Tree.
Wu Yan grabbed Sylph's hand as he stopped her.
Wu Yan said nothing. He cast his steely gaze forward as Sylph followed. She saw something that made her frown.
Some distance away, the empty street slowly filled up with people.
They stood on two sides with chests puffed out. They looked like an organized military squad. Their formation is perfect for checking contrabands on passersby.
But, Wu Yan and Sylph know they are not here for anything like that.
The reason? The squad is looking at the two guests with hostile eyes.
More accurately, the squad is leering daggers into Wu Yan.
Standing between the two lines of Guardians is a man who stared at Wu Yan with disdain and hatred. It's a face they knew, Ensi.
Ensi grinned when he confirmed Wu Yan and Sylph's arrival. He waved his hand and the squad unleashed their douqi all at once. The douqi wave formed a giant miasma that blew towards them.
Sylph felt her skin going cold as breathing became harder than running. A heavy pressure pressed against her chest, her shoulders felt like they weighed a ton.
Sylph's expression paled as her breathing became erratic. Even so, the plucky princess showed incredible composure.
"It seems trouble found us sooner than expected..."
Wu Yan felt nothing despite this heavy outburst of douqi directly assaulting him. His eyes weren't twitching. He stared back with contempt.
The two lines of Guardians were at least peak tier 7 in power. There are even eighth-tier cultivators among their ranks.
This squad lost in numbers compared to the cavalry that assaulted Wu Yan before. However, this squad is made up of elite knights.
Even so, Ensi understands that in a direct confrontation, Wu Yan would still wipe the floor with their sorry butts. In that case, it's wiser to use douqi to harass him.
If Wu Yan attacked then he would lose the war despite winning the battle.
If he harassed Wu Yan with douqi, who can possibly emit a more terrible aura than dozens of elite knights put together?!
Ensi is a good strategist, this plan had a high chance of working.
Too bad, his opponent is Wu Yan...
Against a True Ancestor like him? Hah!