The monarchs of Eastern Frost Nation and Heavenly Martial Nation were willing to give up anything—including their pride—to gain Yun Che’s favor.
But no one thought that they were being funny or exaggerating. This was the first time they saw someone powerful enough to crush several divine kings like it was nothing, and Yun Che had appeared out of nowhere like a devil G.o.d straight out of legend.
There was no way their tiny country could afford someone like him, but if they could win even a tiny bit of his favor, the protection it would bring was probably far greater than they could imagine.
“Heh, how ugly,” Yun Che said softly. He sounded like he was sneering, but in reality his face was perfectly blank. It was impossible to tell which monarch he was ridiculing.
“Get out of my face.”
The Heavenly Martial Monarch froze, unable to believe his own ears until a while later. When he recovered from his shock, he got up to his feet shakily and almost ran back to his men on all fours… He didn’t even dare to say a word of thanks.
The five thousand soldiers that came with him went away just like that. Their retreat was spiritless and uncoordinated, a complete contrast from when they first showed up… The Heavenly Martial Monarch didn’t relax despite crossing the Eastern Frost Nation’s borders safely, and he had a hard time believing that he was allowed to return to his country alive.
That Yun Che had actually allowed them to escape! But why? Was it because he wasn’t native to the Eastern Frost Nation, or because he couldn’t be bothered to kill the likes of them at all?
The Heavenly Martial Monarch’s a.s.sumption was correct… He had killed those Divine Kings like they were chickens. To kill someone even lower than that would only dirty his own hands!
At the grounds in front of the Eastern Frost Nation, Yun Che slowly walked toward Ming Xiao.
The world was perfectly silent. No one was saying anything, and some were even wondering if they should hold their breath.
Everyone’s gaze was focused on Yun Che, staring at him in an unprecedented light. The profound pract.i.tioners in the same hall as Yun Che earlier hadn’t stopped trembling on the inside since Yun Che had revealed his power. The fact that they had attended the same feast as him earlier was beyond their wildest dreams already.
The Golden Crow flames on Ming Xiao’s body finally faded. The burn wounds covering his entire body were a shocking sight to see. He might be a level seven Divine King with the backing of a wealthy clan, but it would still take him a long time to regain his strength.
Ming Xiao didn’t try to escape because he knew that Yun Che had left him alive on purpose. Otherwise, the nightmarish flames that ate at his flesh earlier would’ve killed him already.
Ming Xiao shakily lifted his head as the footsteps drew closer. He stared at the black clothed young man in terror, his earlier condescendence and vicious att.i.tude nowhere to be seen.
“...” He opened his mouth with difficulty, wanting to ask about Yun Che’s ident.i.ty. However, he swallowed the question the second it made it to his throat. It was because he knew that he didn’t have the right to ask anything from Yun Che, not even if he was the famous chief of Dark Roc Mountain.
“Do you know why you’re still alive?” Yun Che asked. His soft, chilly voice sounded like the judging tone of a devil.
Ming Xiao did his best to lift his head and put on a submissive and pitiful appearance. He had lived for several thousand years, and he had learned how to be flexible in the face of life’s challenges a long time ago. Right now, preserving his life was far more important than taking revenge for his son. “I will… be of use to you, supreme one…”
“Very good,” Yun Che praised him before looking away. “I see the tallest mountain to the northwest. What is its name?”
“Supreme one…” Ming Xiao continued to lower himself despite being surrounded by countless people from the Eastern Frost Nation, “That is the Cold Cloud Mountain.”
Cold Cloud Mountain was situated at the border of the Eastern Frost Nation. It was both the tallest mountain in sight and the tallest place in the entire country.
“I heard that this realm is ruled by Nine Great Sects,” Yun Che said. “When you get back to your sect, I want you to inform the other eight sects that I’ll be waiting for them at the peak of Cold Cloud Mountain in three days and at this time. Tell them that they must get to Cold Cloud Mountain even if the only option left is to crawl! If someone doesn’t show up…”
“I’ll execute their whole sect!”
His last four words came out cold and slow. It caused a terrible s.h.i.+ver even among the profound pract.i.tioners of the Eastern Frost Nation.
If someone doesn’t show up… their whole sect would be executed!?
This was the Nine Great Sects they were talking about!
Yet not a single person doubted the truth behind Yun Che’s words. Ming Xiao’s condition, the dead Fairy Zixuan, and the three Divine Kings who were utterly annihilated were all the proof they needed.
Ming Xiao’s gaze changed yet again. Not even the Great Realm King of the East Ruins Realm could’ve made such a cruel threat.
“Supreme one, if I may ask…” Despite fearing for his life, Ming Xiao forced himself to ask, “What did the Nine Great Sects do to you… to deserve this?”
What did they do to deserve this?
Ming Xiao’s words triggered a flash of sorrow and malevolence on Yun Che's face.
He had asked this of himself and others many times: what did I do to deserve this?
But now, he finally understood that that was most childish and stupid question in the entire world!
He had never used his power to bully others or harm an innocent life on purpose in not just one, but two lifetimes. He had never done anything for personal gain to the detriment of others either.
It was only after he had lost everything and dropped into the depths of coldness and despair that he realized that his benevolence, his mercy, his pa.s.sive growth, and revenge were a complete joke.
For example, did he do anything to Qianye Ying’er to deserve the Brahma Soul Death-Wis.h.i.+ng Mark? Would she wonder if he deserve such cruel treatment? No! She wouldn’t!
He felt a sudden urge to laugh at Ming Xiao’s question… What a hilarious question it was!
Yun Che abruptly planted his feet on Ming Xiao’s head and elicited a painful groan from his victim. He said in a low tone, “You don’t have the right to ask me anything. Now, return to your sect with my orders!”
This was the first time Ming Xiao had his head stepped on by another person. An ice cold pressure spread throughout his body, but he dared not reveal any anger or signs of struggle at all. Voice trembling, he replied, “Yes… supreme one. I will transmit your orders… immediately. Thank you for not killing me… supreme one.”
Yun Che kicked Ming Xiao and sent him flying several kilometers through the air. The man let out a bloodcurdling scream before he hit the ground. Then, he struggled to his feet and ran away with his tail between his legs, not daring to look back even once.
The crisis of the Eastern Frost Nation was resolved just like that, but the terror Yun Che had inflicted remained in everyone’s heart. No one could stare at Yun Che’s back without their heart beating wildly, and everyone held their breaths in perfect unison when Yun Che finally turned around to face them.
To them, Divine Kings were inviolable and as powerful as G.o.ds. To see them being slaughtered like they were nothing, and the famous Ming Xiao sent packing with his tail between his legs was shocking to say the least.
Yun Che started walking. No one dared to say a word or move a muscle. One person in particular was shaking harder than any other person, and he slowly dropped to his knees out of fear, helplessness or both, as Yun Che walked closer and closer toward him.
“Su… supreme one,” Fang Zhou stuttered through chattering teeth as he forced out a smile that was uglier than a cry with all his might, “You have saved the Eastern Frost Nation… Fang Zhou cannot thank you enough for this… Fang Zhou is willing to serve the supreme one from hereon… P-please use me as you wish.”
The man interrupted himself multiple times because his teeth were simply chattering too hard, but he ultimately managed to finish his own sentence. In the end, he drew a stiff, flattering smile across his face.
Yun Che stopped next to Fang Zhou without looking at him. Everyone watched as he slowly put his palm on top of Fang Zou’s head.
“...” Fang Zhou dared not move a muscle.
A burst of fire exploded from his palm and spread to Fang Zhou’s entire body in an instant. A bloodcurdling scream cut through the air, but vanished immediately in the next instant. The poor man quickly disintegrated into dust after the flames had extinguished themselves.
Fang Zhou, protector, advisor, and strongest profound pract.i.tioner of the Eastern Frost Nation for almost a millennium, had died at Yun Che’s hands like he was nothing.
Yun Che never even looked in his general direction once as the man burned down to dust.
The Eastern Frost Monarch raised his hand, bowed and tried to say something. In the end though, he did not dare to say a single word. Everyone had heard what he told Ming Xiao earlier.
Three days later, the Nine Great Sects would show up and face him… at his behest!
Yun Che said to Dongfang Hanwei, “Go prepare a quiet place for me.”
“Ah…” Dongfang Hanwei looked as pale as ever, but Yun Che’s order shook her out of her trance and caused her to nod repeatedly, saying, “Yes… this junior will fulfill your request right away.”
The Eastern Frost Monarch also reacted and said in a trembling voice, “Quick… Take Venerable Yun to the Eastern Frost Palace quickly… no, wait, this little king will personally… t-this way please, Venerable Yun.”
There was a core cultivation room in the Eastern Frost Palace that was available only to the royal family. It was quiet, and it contained a fairly big pocket world.
Yun Che was seated somewhere in the pocket world with his eyes closed and his profound energy completely still. Even his life force was thinning at a considerable rate… it was just like how he was before he encountered Dongfang Hanwei; a prolonged state of suspended animation.
He was quietly absorbing the Devil Emperor origin blood Jie Yuan had left behind into himself. For some reason, his body didn’t reject the blood of a devil emperor at all despite him being a mere mortal.
Murky darkness circulated inside his soul and his profound veins.
Eternal Calamity of Darkness.
Darkness of Eternal Calamity.
Jie Yuan had told him in her message that he could control every devil in the world if he achieved perfect mastery over the Eternal Calamity of Darkness!
Out of all the words she had said to him, this was the line that had shaken him the most.
If it was true, then he could transform the entire Northern Divine Region into his tool of vengeance!
Before Ming Yang and Dongfang Hanwei had rudely interrupted him, he had been slowly but steadily entering the world of “Eternal Calamity of Darkness”. Although he had to break out of his profound state to deal with the problems, reentering it had come as easy as breathing to him… After all, his greatest strength was his impossible ability to comprehend the profound way.
This silence lasted less than twenty four hours before he opened his eyes again. It was because he felt like he had comprehended something from that murky darkness… it was just a very tiny piece, but it made him feel like he was seeing a completely different world of darkness.
Suddenly, he sensed a presence cautiously approaching his cultivation room from outside. She stood in front of the entrance for a very long time, but she was ultimately too scared to make a sound.
Yun Che looked toward the entrance and said in a reasonably gentle tone, “Come in.”
The figure outside froze for a second and dawdled for a bit. Finally, she opened the door and stepped in carefully with her head bowed. The girl was holding a luxurious-looking jade plate, and there were a couple of sweet and exquisitely shaped pastries on it.
“Senior,” Dongfang Hanwei knelt on one knee and held the plate in front of Yun Che, “These are the most delicious pastries we have. Please have a taste if you think it’s okay. This junior… this junior will be waiting outside. Please summon me if you need me for anything.”
At the time, she had no way to know the kind of monster she brought back to her doorstep in panic.
By now, the entire eastern realm had been turned upside down… The Eastern Frost royal family had been secretly investigating the Nine Great Sects, and they learned that all of them were absolutely furious.
Just what would happen at the peak of Cold Cloud Mountain in two days? ...
Countless eyes were already set on the peak of Cold Cloud Mountain. Innumerable sects and profound pract.i.tioners of the eastern realms were rus.h.i.+ng over from every direction to witness the upcoming meeting as well. After all, the murder of the vice palace chief and the great protector of the Great Yin Immortal Palace, the death of the Dark Roc Great Elder, and the horrific injuries inflicted on the famous Ming Xiao… It had been years since something this big had happened to this realm.
Yun Che looked up and stared at Dongfang Hanwei… The girl had shown up at the perfect time. He might be able to verify his newly acquired learnings on her.
“Take off your top,” Yun Che said softly.