The order to pursue and kill Yun Che once again rang throughout the Eastern Divine Region with utmost urgency and it swiftly spread to the Western Divine Region and Southern Divine Region afterwards.
Now, there was no one in the three divine regions who was still unaware that Yun Che had become a devil and had committed heinous and unforgivable crimes. Furthermore, since he possessed the Heretic G.o.d’s divine power, if they did not kill him as soon as possible, he would definitely become a colossal threat in the future.
The far too violent upheaval during this period seemed to be telling everyone in the G.o.d Realm that exterminating the devil Yun Che was now everyone’s top priority, a matter that surpa.s.sed everything else in importance.
As for what sort of grave and heinous crimes he had actually committed… They were barely mentioned by any of the king realms.
As for the news of the Devil Emperor returning and Yun Che saving the world, not a single word of it was released… Not a single word.
This was limited to the king realms. After they had witnessed the stance a.s.sumed by the king realms, the upper star realms who knew the truth all obediently chose to remain silent without even needing a reminder.
Because right now, the ones who could decide one’s fate were no longer Jie Yuan and Yun Che, but the king realms!
Furthermore, amongst all the king realms, the one who was most fervent in its pursuit of Yun Che was the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm. In the short span of a single day, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor had personally issued six Voices of Eternal Heaven… He had lost a large quant.i.ty of his blood essence during his attempt to destroy the crimson pa.s.sage, he had lost half a hand when battling Mu Xuanyin and after that, he had been heavily injured by Yun Che’s Moon Star Restoration. But he did not seem to have any intention of getting his injuries treated. Not only did he personally give those orders and make the appropriate arrangements, he also personally rushed to any scene where they found even the faintest of clues or traces of Yun Che’s whereabouts… It was as if he needed to personally witness Yun Che’s death before he could finally feel at ease.
The rewards that he was offering up were also exceptionally extravagant. People who provided information were rewarded with a large amount of divine crystals and anyone who a.s.sisted in or performed the act of capturing or killing Yun Che would forever be recognized as disciples of the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm.
No matter how ordinary one’s background was or how lowly one’s status was, if they were able to help capture or kill Yun Che, they would become a member of a king realm overnight.
This enticement was undoubtedly as great as the heavens themselves, and it caused countless profound pract.i.tioners to go into a frenzy… This was especially true for the profound pract.i.tioners belonging to lower or middle star realms. They crazily searched all over the place as they were driven by the beautiful dream of being able to enter a king realm in the span of a single day.
They had practically completely forgotten that… Yun Che, who had placed first in the Conferred G.o.d Battle during the Profound G.o.d Convention, had once been the pride and joy of all of these lower and middle star realms.
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s efforts and determination to kill Yun Che were so resolute and decisive that it shocked everyone who heard of them.
However, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor never revealed that dreadful prophecy to anyone else and he also forbade the Heavenly Mystery Three Elders from announcing it to the public.
Kill Yun Che… For a very long time following this event, these were the three words that would ring out in the G.o.d Realm the most.
In the distant east, on a barren and nearly lifeless lower realm planet.
A man sat curled up on the cracked and withered ground. His white robes were stained with blood and even though the blood had dried long ago, he did not notice… He tightly hugged a woman who was wearing snowy robes in his arms. But the Ice Phoenix sigil that represented the most exalted status within the Snow Song Realm had already been completely dyed in blood.
He tightly hugged the woman. His eyes were vacant and he did not move an inch. He resembled a lifeless statue, a bleak and sorrowful painting.
This world was desolate and silent, so no one would disturb them. Time silently flowed by and he did not know how much time had pa.s.sed. Perhaps it had been a few hours, a few days, or perhaps it had been a few years...
This was until a dry wind started blowing, covering this bleak painting in layers and layers of sand and dust.
He Ling appeared and gently knelt beside Yun Che. She stretched out a hand, but the moment she was about to touch the corner of his robe, she slowly pulled it back instead.
She had clearly witnessed everything that had happened over the last few days. He had been a hero who had saved the world, a G.o.d child feted by the entire universe. But the moment he had finished saving the world, all of this was taken from him in the span of a single night and he had even become a devil who was being chased by the entire universe.
How ironic. How woeful.
She was the person who was closest to Yun Che’s soul and the pain, melancholy, and despair he felt… Even touching a tiny bit of it was enough to cause her excruciating pain, pain which made her feel like her soul was being ripped apart.
In the Wood Spirit’s world, this universe had always been cruel.
This was especially true for He Ling… Her parents and her kinsmen had all died one by one due to the greed of the other races. Even her very last family member, He Lin, who had held the last hopes of her race, had also eternally departed from this universe and she had not even been able to see him one last time.
She had originally thought that there was nothing in the world that could be crueller or more despairing than this. But...
“Master,” she softly said, “let your master properly rest.”
“...” Yun Che did not give any response.
He Ling did not say anything after that. She merely sat quietly by his side.
Back then, Shen Xi had told her that Yun Che was a very special person more than once. If another profound pract.i.tioner possessed Yun Che’s innate talent and good fortune, it definitely would have birthed ambition and a thirst for power in their heart that would have only gotten stronger. But he did not possess those things. Instead, what she had sensed the most from him during his stay in the Forbidden Land of Samsara were cares and concerns.
He valued relations.h.i.+ps more than he valued the pursuit of power or the profound way… and the value that he had placed on relations.h.i.+ps was far higher than the value he had placed on the latter two.
Even though he had become famous throughout the entire G.o.d Realm, he did not have a single thought of abandoning the lower realms and he had even turned away from all of the carrots dangled in front of him by the king realms… Because his family was in the lower realms, he would not stay in the G.o.d Realm.
Moreover, even his motive for coming to the G.o.d Realm had not been to pursue a higher level. It had merely been for the sake of finding a person he cared about.
Yes, even after he had become the G.o.d Child Messiah and he could speak with all the great G.o.d emperors as an equal, the most important things to him were still his family, his wives, his daughter, and his lovers...
But it was also due to this reason that the Heavenly Slaughter Star G.o.d had become the Evil Infant because of him, and was also willing to depart to the lower realms together with him forever. This was also the reason why Mu Xuanyin was willing to abandon the Snow Song Realm and sacrifice her life for him...
However, this was not the repayment that he had wanted...
As someone whose life had been tied to Yun Che for the last few years, the Yun Che that He Ling had observed was exactly as Shen Xi had described.
Yet these things that were the most important to him in his life had all been lost...
An ice cold droplet of water fell and landed on He Ling’s face, causing her to raise her head to look at the sky which had quietly dimmed at some point in time.
As more water droplets started falling, it suddenly started raining in this world which was normally dry and cracked. Furthermore, this rain was growing heavier and heavier, and it turned into a downpour in the blink of an eye.
The violent rain drenched the woman’s snowy robes and soaked her long hair, hair which no longer possessed any of that icy light… The man still remained completely motionless, as if he was just a sh.e.l.l bereft of a soul and a sense of touch...
“Master,” He Ling’s sobbing voice rang out amidst the pouring rain. “Your master has actually always been a very vain person, so she’s never been willing to let her hair get messy… especially when she was in front of Master. So… so…”
“...” Yun Che’s dim and befuddled eyes started to faintly tremble as the hands which tightly grasped Mu Xuanyin started to silently quake. Mu Xuanyin’s figure slowly started to appear in those eyes which had lost their color for the longest time.
Even though she was completely bereft of life, she still looked as beautiful as an unblemished G.o.ddess in a painting. Anyone who looked at her would have her image engraved into their hearts forever and they would never be able to forget it.
No, she wasn’t his master...
Wasn’t the Snow Song Realm King...
It was the person who had kicked him out of the sect, the person who had sacrificed both her life and the Snow Song Realm for his sake… It had been the complete and whole Mu Xuanyin, whose thoughts and intentions were not being influenced by someone else. The Mu Xuanyin who belonged to him alone.
However, why did this beautiful thing only last for such a brief moment? It had been like a brilliant multi-colored bubble that had popped after an instant.
He slowly straightened his body and stood up, his movements incomparably slow and rigid, like a wooden puppet whose strings had been cut.
Profound light briefly flashed before a crystal coffin which shone with a faint l.u.s.ter appeared in front of him… This was the Coffin of Eternity Hong’er had slept in all those years ago.
The rain was growing more and more violent, more and more crazy. Sodden hair blocked his vision and it seemed as if he could not feel the temperature of the rain that was falling on his body. He knelt on the ground and bent his body forward as he very gently and slowly placed Mu Xuanyin’s body into the Coffin of Eternity.
His hand trembled as his pressed down on her body and released pale white light profound energy, cleansing her of all bloodstains and dirt while also getting rid of all the rain and dampness on her body and clothes.
When he raised his hand again, the Coffin Eternity slowly closed up with a gentle ring… Just like Yun Che’s sealed off heart and soul.
“For the sake of the Heavenly Slaughter Star G.o.d, even though you were well aware that you would definitely die, even though you were well aware that you could not even save her, you still raced across a great distance to reach the Star G.o.d Realm and you used the power that you exchanged your own life for so all those people could die together with you. How awe-inspiring and impressive, how deeply moving!”
“Heh! You died happily and terribly, you died a death that was wrought by deep emotions, you did right by your Heavenly Slaughter Star G.o.d! However… do you know how many people have paid the price just to ensure that you lived, how much blood and effort these people extended to preserve your life!? They took great risks and nearly even gambled the future of an entire star realm to give you the opportunity to take refuge in the Dragon G.o.d Realm. Yet you still wanted to rush to your own death despite knowing that you were going to die… Have you done right by them!? Have you done right by yourself!? Have you done right by your wives and family members who were waiting for your return in the lower realm!?”
“Besides the Heavenly Slaughter Star G.o.d, who else have you ever done right by!?”
“You’re not allowed to call me Master!” Mu Xuanyin once again sealed his lips as she shouted, “I took you as my disciple, allowed you to use the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake as you pleased, bestowed upon you the best resources in the entire realm! In order to quickly help you ascend to the Divine Tribulation Realm, I put aside everything related to the sect and personally helped you cultivate, not leaving your side through night and day… But this is how you would repay me!? This is how you would repay the Snow Song Realm!?”
“I, Mu Xuanyin, don’t have a foolish disciple like you!”
That was harshest rebuke Mu Xuanyin had ever given him. The look in her eyes on that day, her anger and the heavy rebuke that lingered in every word she said were things that Yun Che had not dared to forget.
But why… did you...
As a master, you committed the exact same mistake as your disciple… No, you committed an even sillier and graver mistake...
With another flash of profound light, he sent the Coffin of Eternity into the Primordial Profound Ark, because he knew that Mu Xuanyin loved the color blue the most. Inside the world of the Primordial Profound Ark, she would be able to look at a boundless azure sky… and not the eternal moss green light that irradiated the world of the Sky Poison Pearl.
Mu Xuanyin’s existence vanished from his eyes and in that instant, both his eyes and his world suddenly became empty.
He slowly trudged forward as he welcomed the violent rain. His footsteps were stiff and slow, like the steps of an old man who was past his prime. His eyes were so dull and dim that not a trace of light could be seen in them… He did not know where he was, did not know where he should go, or where he could even still go, and he did not know where his future would lead him.
He only knew that he was not allowed to die. Because his life had been bought by Mu Xuanyin’s own, because this was her final wish.
But why was living so painful… so filled with despair...
He Ling trailed behind him as she kept crying out to him but she could not provoke a single response from him.
With a small thud, the tip of his foot tripped over a protruding rock, sending him sprawling heavily to the ground.
His arm heavily smashed into the ground in a contorted position, smacking against the hard stone that had swung out on the cord around his neck… It was the Glazed Sound Stone that he always wore and had never been willing to take off.
“Daddy, Wuxin misses you.”
The tender and sweet voice of young girl rang out amidst the las.h.i.+ng ice-cold rain.
Yun Che’s prostrate body suddenly froze in place. After that, his gloomy eyes and his rigid body started to crazily quiver… and shake...
“Ah… Wuuu…” It was as if someone was tightly gripping his throat as incomparably hoa.r.s.e and painful noises leaked out from his mouth.
“Wuuu… Uwaaa…. Aahhh… AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”
He was like an evil spirit whose soul had been completely shattered and broken down. He wailed loudly as he screamed hoa.r.s.ely in despair… He crazily smashed his head against the ground as his arms beat against his own skull in a frenzy...
Each wail was more shrill and mournful and it was as if his throat had been completely ripped apart. It was impossible for anyone to imagine what sort of pain would actually cause a person to let out a cry that was even more shrill and miserable than an evil spirit’s. Large amounts of blood trailed down his head, arms, and body but he hardly felt any pain as he desperately smashed his head against the ground...
The tears that he thought were already dried up frantically flowed from his eyes like water from a burst dam, and even the pouring rain and splas.h.i.+ng blood could not wash them away...
He Ling did not move forward or try to stop him, she merely closed her eyes and silently wept.
After an indeterminate amount of time had pa.s.sed, his wailing finally stopped. His body lay flat on the ground and he did not move… for a very long time.
The rain continued to pour down, was.h.i.+ng away the bloodstains on Yun Che’s body.
Another long period of time pa.s.sed but he still lay there unmoving.
His homeland, his family, his kinsmen, his wives, his daughter, his lovers, his sect, his friends, his fame, his status, his glory...
All of the most valuable and important things in his life… had been lost to him.
Losing these things had also meant the loss of all of his attachments, warmth, hope, and love...
“Mas… ter?” He Ling gave a soft cry. She was no longer able to hold herself back and she wanted to rush to his side.
But when she finally took a single step forward, she suddenly froze in place… After that, her legs started to move backwards uncontrollably as an indescribable coldness, oppression, and terror a.s.saulted her soul.
“Heh heh… Heh heh heh…”
An incomparably deep and hoa.r.s.e laugh rang out in the air and it sounded like it came from the depths of an incomparably distant purgatory… Within that puddle of blood, the figure that had lain dormant for a long period of time slowly rose to its feet. It was accompanied by dense black energy that gradually built up… before it started to wildly surge.
“Heh heh… He he he… Hahahahahahahaha…”
He firmly gripped his own face with his spread fingers and even though his face was being obscured by his palm, the features that could be seen in between those five fingers were utterly sinister and terrifying. Black energy chaotically curled up around his body like countless wildly dancing, bloodthirsty evil spirits.
“No… I am not left with nothing…”
He spoke in an incomparably deep and gloomy voice. This voice had clearly come from a person that was most familiar to He Ling, but it sounded completely foreign and terrifying to her ears. “I still have my life… I… STILL… HAVE… THIS… HATRED… AAAAAHHH!!”
“Hehehe… Ah… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
A bolt of lightning suddenly fell to the ground without any warning. The deep purple glow of the lightning caused a pitch-black shadow to appear behind Yun Che… The light generated by that bolt of lightning disappeared but that dark shadow still remained. Instead it started to contort and twist sinisterly to the sound of Yun Che’s laughter, like a malicious and violent devil G.o.d who had finally obtained freedom after having been imprisoned for a long time.
“...” He Ling stared at the scene unfolding in front of her for a very long time… After that, she walked forward and enfolded Yun Che in a light and gentle embrace, completely leaning her body and her delicate head against him, allowing her emerald eyes to be dyed with an ever-deepening gloom by the surging black light that danced around his body.