Eastern Divine Region, Snow Song Realm.
The atmosphere in the Snow Song Realm, which had been deified for a period of time because of Yun Che, had undergone a complete and utter change compared to before. This was especially true in the Ice Phoenix Realm, the place where the Ice Phoenix Sect was located. Underneath the falling snow, there was a suffocating silence there that blanketed the entire realm.
The Ice Phoenix Realm was normally quiet throughout the year, but it had never felt so cold and desolate before.
The news of Mu Xuanyin’s death had been conveyed to them a few days ago… A Divine Moon Envoy from the Moon G.o.d Realm had personally conveyed the news to them.
The Ice Phoenix Realm had lost its sect master and the Snow Song Realm had lost its realm king… Even more than that, they had lost the core of what allowed them to stand loftily in the Eastern Region despite their status as middle star realm, the spiritual support of all of the Snow Song profound pract.i.tioners.
No one could predict what the future of the Snow Song Realm would look like. But a pessimistic and gloomy atmosphere silently pervaded every corner of the Snow Song Realm.
Heavenly Netherfrost Lake.
The cold vein within the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake still existed but the Ice Phoenix divine being was gone. Even though the entire region was still overflowing with very high level ice energy, it had lost some of its indescribable divine aura.
It was at this moment that the barrier that had been sealed for a very long time was soundlessly opened and closed.
On the sh.o.r.es of the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake, a man appeared out of thin air. He was dressed all in black and his black hair fell to his waist. For some odd reason, his appearance had caused the air in the entire region around the heavenly lake to become exceptionally heavy and oppressive.
As he arrived in the air above the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake, he silently looked down at the lake water which had remained unfrozen since bygone eras for several breaths… He had a very ordinary face, a face that one might not remember even if one looked at it several more times, and the aura radiating from his body was robust and muddy. His profound strength was approximately in the beginning stages of the Divine Soul Realm and ice energy which was all too common in the Snow Song Realm flowed throughout his body.
No one knew who he was and it was even less likely that anyone would… connect him with Yun Che.
A translucent and flawless crystal coffin that faintly glowed with divine light appeared before him. He lifted the woman slumbering within the coffin out of it, his movements slow and gentle. He expressed no joy or sadness, no rage or grief, and did not allow himself to cling to her. Instead, he slowly lowered his arms before watching her slowly and gently sink into the icy lake below...
Until her body completely vanished from his vision… vanished from his world.
“Xuanyin,” he muttered in a soft voice, “the Primal Chaos is so vast, but the only place that will take me in me is that dark place.”
“I know. That place is definitely the place that you hate the most. After all, your father was killed by people from that place… I won’t allow the aura in that place to disturb your rest. Only this place is the most suitable as your resting grounds.”
The surface of the lake stopped rippling as it became completely still once more. Yun Che cast one last, long gaze at the lake before turning around and muttering to himself, “Xuanyin, if there is a next life, would you still be willing to meet me again…”
As his body blurred, he had already returned to the sh.o.r.es of the heavenly lake. He stretched out an arm and immediately, a distant piece of profound ice was sucked towards him. It tumbled through the air and smashed into the ground.
A curled up human was sealed inside that profound ice. The person inside saw an unfamiliar face through the layer of ice that sealed him in. Immediately, hope and pleading appeared in those dim eyes.
If anyone saw this man, it definitely would not occur to them that he used to be one of the Eastern Region’s four G.o.d emperors, a figure who reigned imperiously over the rest of the G.o.d Realm.
Without saying a word to him, without even sparing him a single glance, Yun Che flicked a flinger and threw that chunk of profound ice into the Primordial Profound Ark.
At this time, a peculiar aura came from outside of the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake. Yun Che’s eyes s.h.i.+fted to the side, but he did not leave or conceal himself. He tapped the Nie Yuan Stone with his finger and restored his original aura before he wiped a hand over his face, restoring his true appearance.
Very quickly, the barrier surrounding the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake was opened and closed once more as a snowy celestial figure appeared in front of him.
Originally, only he and Mu Xuanyin had been allowed to open the barrier around the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake. Now, Mu Bingyun could open it as well. Clearly, Mu Xuanyin had left her sect master’s engraved jade behind before she had departed… She had clearly left with the resolve to die.
Yun Che and Mu Bingyun’s eyes met and even though it had clearly only been a few days, it seemed like it had been a lifetime.
As she looked at Yun Che, the towering bosom beneath her snowy robes violently heaved as emotions that were far too complex shook her icy eyes. “You… still dare to come back!”
“I came to return her here,” Yun Che replied. He walked towards Mu Bingyun while raising up a snow-white longsword in his hand. “This is her beloved sword, and also the symbol of the Ice Phoenix Sect Master… Palace Master Bingyun, please take it.”
As she looked at the Snow Princess Sword that glinted with a flowing icy light, Mu Bingyun’s eyes instantly misted over… The Snow Princess Sword had returned, but the Snow Song Realm no longer had a Mu Xuanyin, and she had also lost her most important and only relative forever.
When her trembling snowy hand stretched out and grasped the Snow Princess Sword, it seemed as if some of her aura still remained on it… and Mu Bingyun’s body swayed. It had already been several days since the news of her death and she thought that she had already accepted it. But at this moment, her heart and soul were in such intense pain that they felt like they were about to tear.
She flung her arm out as she gave Yun Che a fierce backhanded slap with her white jade hand.
Yun Che did not dodge or try to defend himself. He allowed the redness and intense pain to spread across his face.
“...” Mu Bingyun’s hand froze in midair. As she looked at Yun Che’s face, a face that was so calm it was terrifying, a face that did not show a hint of pain, she realized that she had not vented any of her rage or resentment. Instead, she felt the stinging pain in her heart deepen.
In this world, nothing was more painful than loss, but if there was one thing more painful than loss, it would be betrayal.
And he… had experienced all of the loss in the world, the greatest betrayal in this world.
No one felt more pain than him over the departure of Mu Xuanyin, no one felt more resentment… This was especially true in regards to the hatred he held towards himself.
Her hands started to shake and she unconsciously wanted to reach out and touch the red mark on his face… But in the end, her hand still slowly dropped down.
Big Sister, if you could choose again, would you still let him enter your world once more...
If I was able to choose again, would I still… still end up bringing him to the G.o.d Realm...
“Palace Master Bingyun,” Yun Che said in a soft voice, “the Snow Song Realm may very well be implicated in my mess. Even without using me as an excuse, there are many old grievances you have with other star realms, and they will also flare up now that Xuanyin isn’t here anymore… I suggest that you depart from this place as soon as possible too.”
As she tightly gripped the Snow Princess Sword, Mu Bingyun stared at him and said in a low voice, “Even if I die, I will die in the Snow Song Realm.”
Upon receiving that completely expected reply, Yun Che gave a small nod of his head. He did not speak any further and turned around and left.
“Yun Che!” Behind him, Mu Bingyun’s voice rang out from afar. “Remember this, your life was bought using Big Sister’s life, so I won’t allow you to die!”
“Even if it’s for the sake of revenge, you need to continue to live on!”
“If you continue to behave like you did before, always risking your life recklessly for other people… Big Sister won’t forgive you and I also won't forgive you!!”
Yun Che left the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake without replying, his figure and aura completely vanis.h.i.+ng from Mu Bingyun’s sight and senses.
Inside the quiet Heavenly Netherfrost Lake, Mu Bingyun gently hugged the Snow Princess Sword to her chest… Unknowingly, a crystalline tear drop silently fell, leaving a long trail of wetness on the body of the jade white sword.
She stretched out a finger to gently wipe the wetness away and when she raised her delicate head, a cold and determined light filled her icy eyes.
She knew that no matter how hard she worked, she would never be as good as her elder sister.
The Snow Song Realm that was bereft of Mu Xuanyin would now be faced with countless dangers that it definitely would not have faced in the past.
But she would not compromise or run away. Tomorrow, she would succeed the position of Ice Phoenix Sect Master and Snow Song Realm King. As long as she was still breathing, she definitely would not allow the Snow Song Realm to be harmed!
After she put the Snow Princess Sword away, her icy figure floated up in the air as she slowly departed...
But it was at the very instant when she left the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake that a strange icy light suddenly shone from the center of the silent heavenly lake.
That was the complete Ice Phoenix sigil and it was s.h.i.+ning from some unknown place. It was clearly only a projected image, but it was so dense that it practically appeared solid. The icy light coming from it was so bright and radiant that it seemed to be a divine light that should not exist in this world.
But, it only existed for an exceptionally brief period of time and it dissipated after a few breaths, never to appear again.
One month later.
The G.o.d Realm continued its pursuit of Yun Che. As time flowed by, the intensity of this search had not only failed to reduce, it was even increasing with each pa.s.sing day. The scope of the search also swiftly expanded from the three Divine Regions to the lower realms as various types of scrying profound artifacts were set up in the various regions to sniff out Yun Che’s aura.
The array of forces being a.s.sembled to search for him was no less grand than the force a.s.sembled to search for the Evil Infant back then. It was so grand that it caused countless profound pract.i.tioners to be shocked and mystified when they heard of it.
However, even though they were searching for him with such intensity, they were actually unable to even find the smallest trace of Yun Che’s aura.
The Heavenly Slaughter Star G.o.d was already extremely skilled at concealment in the first place, and after she became the Evil Infant, her ability to hide was unrivaled under the heavens. Thus, trying to track down her aura was indeed harder than scaling the heavens. However, even though Yun Che was extremely strong among the younger generation, this was an all-out pursuit being led by the king realms. Given his aura and cultivation, which were both at the Divine King Realm, how could he have hidden from them for such a long time!?
It was as if he had completely vanished from the face of the world. Gradually, more and more people were beginning to suspect whether he had ended his own life due to that immense pressure and despair.
However, never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined that the person they were chasing after with all their might had walked past the spiritual senses and scrying profound artifacts belonging to the powerhouses of the king realms countless times. No matter whether it was a person or a profound artifact, none of their auras had hesitated or stopped when they brushed past his body.
He had stepped out of the Eastern Divine Region, departing from the eastern part of the G.o.d Realm as he made his way north, arriving in a foreign world he had never been in before.
It was also during this period of time that the news of the Brahma Monarch G.o.ddess betraying and fleeing the Brahma Monarch G.o.d Realm had started to swiftly spread, once again causing countless shock and alarm.
One strange thing had happened after the other and even the lowest profound pract.i.tioners with the dullest spiritual senses could faintly sense the change in the air.
In the distant north, in a world enveloped by black energy.
Thud… thud… thud...
It was an exceptionally quiet forest, but when one heard the sound of those footsteps, footsteps which were not heavy at all, it caused one’s hair to stand on end.
The earth here was black and the sky was an oppressive grayish-white color. Even the spa.r.s.e withered trees and vegetation were a dark gray-black color.
Even the air was gloomy and hazy… and this absolutely was not the occasional fog but was something that had existed since time immemorial.
This was not a world that was suitable for normal beings to live in. Even if a divine profound pract.i.tioner came to this place, they would begin feeling an extreme oppressiveness and discomfort very soon. They would also start to imperceptibly turn jittery and panicked. Losing control of their emotions was a possibility as well.
Their lifespan would silently leak away, as if it was being devoured by something. Even their profound energy would feel like it was being bound up by an invisible ghost since it was a lot more strenuous and difficult to circulate it.
As such, there were no profound pract.i.tioners from the Eastern, Western, or Southern Divine Regions who had ever been willing to enter this world.
In this dim and lonely world, a figure slowly strode out from the black mist. His arrival would not bring this world the vitality that it would normally bring. Instead, it caused it to be even more oppressive and ghastly.
Because his eyes and that barely perceptible aura that radiated from his body were even darker and more desolate than this world’s.
It was as if he was a revenant that had managed to return from the depths of h.e.l.l.
“Northern… Divine… Region…”
His feet came to a stop in the heart of this black forest. As he faced this strange and terrifying world, the corners of his mouth slowly curled upwards as his lips curved into a sinister and wicked grin.
In that instant, even the black fog that had existed in that place since time immemorial seemed to have solidified.