With his mind made up to traverse the Nine Heavens, Tian Yi continued to stroll around Qing Shan City like a tourist.
The streets were bustling with people of all kinds of backgrounds, the stores were packed with needy customers, and the atmosphere made it so Tian Yi would be unable to let go of his bright smile, a smile that was so bright it had attracted plenty of people who thought he was being an oddball.
What could he be possibly smiling about in this rowdy city, the people who have seen his smile wondered.
Before he ran away from home, Tian Yi would always be alone or, at most, have a few servants by his side waiting for his commands. It had never gotten to the point where it'd be like this, where thousands of people walked in every direction like a mass of ants; it was just too exciting for him.
Hours upon hours passed, but Tian Yi did not seem to be getting bored of walking around. In fact, he was getting even more excited with every second passing, his eyes sparkling.
After a few more hours, his behavior eventually got to the point where rumors of an oddball walking around with a scarily happy expression frozen on his face surfaced in the Qing Shan City.
It was not until Tian Yi had arrived at the center of the city did his expression change, where hundreds of people wearing the same white robes were in the kowtowing position with their heads facing a large statue, surrounding it, as if they were worshiping it.
The large statue seemed to be made of some kind of jade with extremely lifelike features, to the point where calling it a masterpiece would be an understatement. The statue was in the form of a human figure. The human statue was wearing robes with stars that seemed surreal engraved on it, and circling around the stars were dragon and phoenixes that seemed to be slightly moving if one paid close attention.
People, mortals and cultivators alike, all have someone they revere and admire— a god they worship. However, this statue they were worshiping forced a weird expression Tian Yi's face.
"That face…. It's me?"
The reason he was dumbfounded was that of the statue that was being worshiped had his face engraved on it.
Why was there a statue of himself in the center of this city? He has never been to this city before, after all.
Tian Yi did not know why, but he did not dislike it. In fact, he actually liked it.
Curious as to why there was a statue of him here and what they were doing, he decided to go to where the worshipers were, but not until they were done with whatever they were doing.
Once the worshipers began standing up, Tian Yi casually walked to one of them.
"Excuse me, what is going on here?" he asked the beautiful young maiden who looked to be in her early twenties.
Turning around to look at the ordinary-looking young man who spoke to her, the young maiden smiled. "This is just a daily routine for us followers of the Sacred Heaven's Temple."
"Sacred Heaven's Temple?" Tian Yi asked, his voice filled with enthusiasm. "Is it a Sect? A place where disciples gather to learn cultivation?"
The young maiden gracefully giggled at his words. "No, you silly. This is a following where we, Heaven's Followers, worship and admire our only god, the true Son of Heaven, His Highness, Tian Yi."
Tian Yi's eyes widened with bafflement. They were worshiping him? What for?
With genuine puzzlement in his eyes, he asked. "Why are you worshiping him?"
The young maiden blinked her eyes a few times at his question, looking somewhat dazed. "Do you not know who His Highness, Tian Yi, is?" she finally opened her mouth to ask him, sounding somewhat dumbfounded.
Tian Yi had to think for a second. Of course, he knew himself, but he couldn't tell her that, or he'd just be giving away his identity.
"No, I do not know him." He finally said.
The young maiden instantly facepalmed upon hearing his answer. "Of course, you are one of those people…" she said in a mumbling, pitying voice.
"Follow me, you poor little thing without light; I shall open a new path of life for you."
Without any chance to open his mouth, Tian Yi was grabbed by the young maiden and was pulled towards the crowd of followers.
"Caiyi, come over here; we have another lost lamb to guide." The young maiden said to the group of people.
A young lady looking to be around the same age as Tian Yi with ordinary features walked out from the crowd. Her hair was long and black, just like Tian Yi, but it flowed down her back like a waterfall. Her black orbs were clear without impurities, and her figure was tall and supple, giving others who look at her the impression of someone gentle and kind.
"Hello. I am called Caiyi; what may your name be, young man?" she said to him with a welcoming smile.
"I am… Shuyi." Tian Yi said.
"Very well, Shuyi. Follow me; I shall tell you all about our Lord and Savior, His Highness, Tian Yi."
Tian Yi was a bit dazed.
Lord and Savior? He does not recall doing anything in his life that would make him a lord of these people let alone a savior. What exactly did he save them from? He was someone who had spent his entire life, literally, inside his home. So what could he have possibly done to make so many people follow him?
Puzzled and curious as the same, Tian Yi decided to follow Caiyi into the cathedral that was only a few blocks away from the statue. And the moment Tian Yi stepped inside the cathedral, he was stumped at what greeted him.
Caiyi smiled upon noticing his reaction. "Did it also capture your heart and mesmerize your soul at glance?" she asked him.
And unsure how to answer, he silently nodded, looking dazed.
"That is a treasure our Majesty, the Empress, had obtained after great difficulty," said Caiyi, her face filled with pride. "There is only three of these paintings that exist in this entire Universe, and Her Majesty, out of her gracious heart, decided to put it here."
Tian Yi cleared his throat. In front of him was a painting of… well, himself. It was a picture of him, Tian Yi.
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