[Heads up: this may be a very strange chapter, info-wise.]
The first month of Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er’s stay at Central Ruins Realm.
Yun Che touched the middle of Yun Shang’s back with his finger, guided her profound energy through a specific cycle, and gently pushed.
A spread of nine lightning bolts appeared in the sky at the same time. The lightning domain was shockingly powerful, considering that it had even disturbed the nearby storms.
Yun Shang’s hands froze in midair, and her mouth widened into an O-shape. She said blankly, “Is… is this really my power? How… how can such a small change make such a big difference?”
“What is this profound art called in your family?” Yun Che asked.
“The Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art,” Yun Shang answered obediently. Nearly everything in the clan had the words “heavenly handle” in their name because it was the pride and symbol of their clan.
Yun Che’s profound handle was called the “Heavenly Handle Divine Power”. However, an outsider would call it a “Devil Handle”.
“Remember what I taught you just now, and recultivate the Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art with it.”
The Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art was called the Purple Cloud Art in the Yun Family. Yun Che had created the incredibly powerful Heavenly Law Tribulation Lightning Art by merging the heavenly law’s tribulation lightning into the Purple Cloud Art.
Yun Shang couldn’t use the heavenly law’s tribulation lightning, but the changes Yun Che made to the profound art still improved the power of the Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art drastically.
“Can… can I teach this to my clansmen?” Yun Shang asked nervously.
“Do as you please,” Yun Che replied.
Any evolution to a profound art was something worthy of celebration by the whole clan, but… it meant nothing to Yun Che. It was something that came to him as easily as breathing.
He could merge even the Heretic G.o.d and the Heavenly Wolf’s techniques together. Improving the Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art was mere child’s play.
“Thank you, senior.” Yun Shang thanked him happily. “You’re so amazing, senior, but… you saved my life, you promise to take me back to my family, and you even taught me a stronger version of the Heavenly Handle Thunder Cloud Art… why have you treated me so well, senior?”
“Because we share the same surname,” Yun Che replied with the same indifference as before.
“You say that, but most people do their best to stay clear of us even though their surname is Yun.” Yun Shang’s voice grew weak when she said this, but she quickly shook her head and smiled once more. “You’re truly a good person, senior.”
“Good person?” Yun Che smiled emotionlessly at her. “I’m not a good person, and I don’t want to be a good person. Don’t insult me with that adjective.”
“Eh?” Yun Shang was confused. She was obviously praising him, so why did he say she was insulting him?
Yun Che suddenly touched Yun Shang in between her eyebrows and injected an incredibly precious drop of Dragon Dawn Jade Nectar into her body. After he was done refining the nectar for her, he activated Eternal Calamity of Darkness and altered her body until it was perfectly compatible with darkness profound energy.
This was the second time Yun Che had used the elementary power of Eternal Calamity of Darkness to alter the body of a “devil person” to be perfectly compatible with darkness profound energy, so he wasn’t worried that he would lose control and trigger a cultivation backlash… the first time was when he experimented with the technique on Dongfang Hanwei.
Yun Shang could sense how her body was changing into something completely different from before. She might be young, but she wasn’t so young that she wasn’t aware that the transformation was nothing short of a miracle. She felt like she was in a dream as she stared at her hands and sensed the darkness profound energy inside of her. It was completely different from before.
A long time later, she broke out of her reverie and tried to get down on her knees, but Yun Che caught her in time before saying, “There’s no need.”
“Ah…” Yun Shang sighed before looking up at Yun Che with eyes full of admiration and excitement. She said seriously, “Yun Shang thanks senior for granting her a second life… Yun Shang will never forget this debt for as long as she lives.”
Yun Che turned his face away to avoid her eyes. He said coldly, “From now on, you have perfect mastery over darkness profound energy. Not many will notice it even outside of the Northern Divine Region unless you expose it yourself… This means you now have the power to leave this prison forever if you wish.”
But Yun Shang shook her head slowly and firmly before saying, “No. I want to go back.”
“Hmph, what a naive and stubborn girl you are.” A cold smile flashed across Yun Che’s face. “You would waste your clansmen’s effort to send you away in the first place?”
He didn’t try to change her mind, however. He said, “If you insist on treading this path, then you'd best cultivate everything I taught you seriously. Don’t be a burden who can only rely on others!”
Yun Shang bit her lips before asking suddenly, “Can I be your disciple, senior?”
“No, you can’t!” Yun Che said before turning around and leaving. He gave her no chance to change his mind.
It had been half a year since the day the bounty for Yun Che’s head was issued across the three Divine Regions. Instead of growing lax as one might expect of a fruitless bounty, the strength and intensity of the pursuit only increased over time.
This was especially true for the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm. Forget the adjudicators, even the guardians were searching Yun Che in full force. It was practically the only thing they did these days.
Naturally, the excessive effort invested into hunting Yun Che drew suspicion and caused rumors among the public, but the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm had ignored all of them.
Eastern Divine Region, Moon G.o.d Realm.
The long sealed barrier opened slowly. A fantastical woman sporting a purple-colored moon dress with a long tail slowly walked out from inside.
The girl who had been standing guard since the beginning of Xia Qingyue’s seclusion lowered herself and said, “Congratulations on finis.h.i.+ng your seclusion, master.”
Xia Qingyue opened her eyes and asked quietly, “Where are Lian Yue and Yao Yue?”
“Master, Lian Yue is still searching for the Dragon Queen in the Dragon G.o.d Realm in secret. As for Yao Yue… she has gone to the Northern Divine Region,” Jin Yue replied before getting back to her feet.
“The Northern Divine Region? Why there? Has there been news of Yun Che already?”
“No,” Jin Yue replied. “Despite not finding Yun Che for a long time, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor refuses to believe that Yun Che is dead. He strongly believes that Yun Che escaped to the Northern Divine Region, and he gathered the representatives of the king realms just a few days ago to discuss a plan to invade the Northern Divine Region by force.”
Xia Qingyue fell silent for a moment before saying coldly, “That is an irrational thought. They won’t dare force their way in. The h.e.l.l Devil’s ‘Tooth and Claw’ and the Devil Queen’s ‘Shadows’ are scattered throughout the Northern Divine Region… and they won’t be forgetting the lesson of that soul stealing incident anytime soon.”
She then moved on to the next topic and asked, “How are things in the Snow Song Realm?”
“Master, it’s public knowledge that the Ice Phoenix Divine Sect was your former sect… Plus, the new realm king of Flame G.o.d Realm, Huo Poyun declared that an act of offense against the Snow Song Realm was the same as an act of offense against the Flame G.o.d Realm. So no one has tried to attack the Snow Song Realm over Yun Che just yet.”
Jin Yue shot Xia Qingyue a glance before asking in a small voice, “Master, there is one thing this servant doesn’t understand. You wanted to kill Yun Che and wipe away all traces of the past, so why are you protecting the Snow Song Realm…”
“That’s not important.” Xia Qingyue cut her off. “Tell the Moon G.o.ds and Moon Divine Envoys to gather at the Moon Spirit Hall nine hours from now.”
“Ok… ah!” Jin Yue suddenly let out an exclamation of surprise. She was staring at Xia Qingyue’s chest.
Xia Qingyue frowned slightly and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Master, your…” Jin Yue pointed. “Your mirror is… cracked.”
Xia Qingyue looked down and lifted the bronze mirror Yue Wugou had left her, the mirror she had never taken off her neck.
There was a long, thin crack on its surface… but she had no idea when the crack had occurred.
Holding the mirror without moving a muscle, Xia Qingyue stared blankly at the bronze mirror for a very, very long time… Jin Yue bit her lip and looked at her master in worry. It was because she knew that the bronze mirror was the treasure she cherished the most. She never took it off even when she was bathing, and she cared for it meticulously.
So why did the crack appear out of nowhere?
The bronze mirror slowly opened in her hands… and Xie Qingyue suddenly froze without warning. The bronze mirror snapped shut weakly as she closed her eyes.
Xia Qingyue’s fingers tightened bit by bit, and a weak flash of purple was accompanied by the crisp noise of something breaking… The crack on the bronze mirror had spread even further.
She let out a quiet, long sigh before throwing the bronze mirror to a frozen Jin Yue. She then said, “Please destroy it for me.”
“Ah!” Jin Yue subconsciously caught the mirror before looking toward her master, but Xia Qingyue was already gone. She looked lost as she held the mirror in her hands.
At the center of the Primal Chaos where the G.o.d Realm of Absolute Beginning was, there was a lifeless land filled with infinite darkness called the “Abyss of Nothingness”. It had been this way since ancient times, be it in memory or record.
But something was different. It was a bit noisier than usual.
Northern Divine Region, Central Ruins Realm.
As usual, the sandstorms were howling like the wails of countless devils.
Half a year had pa.s.sed in the blink of an eye, and Nanhuang Chanyi had forbade everyone, including herself, from disturbing Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er as promised.
He had finally refined the last bit of divine energy the ice phoenix being had imparted him before her pa.s.sing.
Today, two figures walked out of the violent sandstorm.
Yun Che held Yun Shang’s hand as they walked toward the end of the Central Ruins Realm and the deepest part of the storm.
If this was half a year ago, he would’ve needed to raise his defenses to protect himself from the elements at the heart of the sandstorms. But now, they couldn’t even touch his hair or his clothes.
The protective power he applied onto Yun Shang was just as absolute.
“Where are we going, senior?” Yun Shang asked.
“We’re searching for something,” Yun Che said.
“This place is terrifying.” Although Yun Che’s power kept her from being hurt, the natural disaster happening right before her eyes was as real as it was destructive. It was impossible to not be afraid of it, and just walking through the area took a lot of courage out of her.
“Not as terrifying as that woman,” Yun Che said. “She would’ve killed you if I left you behind.”
“Ah? But why?” Yun Shang asked in confusion, “Sister Qianye is a gentle woman, isn’t she?”
“...” Yun Che didn’t give her an explanation.
The terrible storm suddenly ceased, and the sky of sand vanished into nothing in an instant.
Yun Che stopped in his tracks, and Yun Shang’s mouth fell wide open. She couldn’t understand what she was looking at.
The storm was gone, and the world before them was perfectly flat. It was almost as if it was polished to perfection by the storm outside.
At the center of the flat world was a tiny vortex. A green dot was s.h.i.+ning inside it.
“To think it would be in the Northern Divine Region,” Yun Che whispered to himself. “Is this fate?”
Yun Shang turned to look at him, but she didn’t understand his words at all.
Yun Che’s profound energy was boiling out of control. Four colors—black, red, blue and lightning—lit up inside his profound veins, and Yun Che extended his hand toward the dark green star in front of him...
The dark green star immediately leaped into the air and slammed into Yun Che’s solar plexus as if it was drawn by an irresistible force. It then merged soundlessly into his body.
A special vortex appeared in Yun Che’s profound veins, and the instantaneous burst of profound energy caused Yun Che’s clothes and hair to dance in the air. A green world appeared in his profound veins when the vortex was gone.
The Heretic G.o.d Seed of the Storm had finally returned!
[Aang! Ten year anniversary!? Thank you all! Anyway… I was planning to catch up on two days of lost sleep, but this celebration is putting sooooooooooooooo much pressure on me ( ° △ °|||)]