“Great… Great Elder!”
The Yun clansmen blurted in shock at the unexpected scene. Both the second elder Yun Fu and third elder Yun Hua felt their hearts skip a beat when they hurried forward to check Yun Jian’s injury.
The Yun clansmen were unaware of what had happened earlier, but they did. When they recalled what they had said to Yun Che, what Yun Che had said to them, and his relations.h.i.+p with Yun Shang… they felt like a giant stone was sitting inside their hearts. They couldn’t breathe under the pressure at all.
The rest of the elders and the grand elders looked ashen-faced as well, but no one dared to direct their ire at Yun Che.
The Yun clansmen weren’t the only ones who were confused. The shaking Desolate Heaven Devil Dragons and Nine Lights Heavenly Palace profound pract.i.tioners were dumbfounded as well.
What was going on?
Wasn’t he recruited by the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan to save them?
Why was he beating his own people to death?
The old man in blue clothes was clearly surprised as well. The smile on his face grew more amiable as he said, “I understand now, you are neither a member of the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan nor a friend of theirs. It even looks like you hold a grudge against them. I see now that everything is just a misunderstanding.”
Although Yun Che had slaughtered hundreds of Desolate Heaven Devil Dragons, killed the Desolate Heaven Dragon Chief, severely wounded the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign in one strike, and even “sword-slapped” half the life out of the Yun Clan’s great elder, the old man continued to chuckle like nothing had happened at all. For some reason, he didn’t look shocked or afraid in the slightest.
It was a fact that a terrible pressure was hidden behind his graceful, G.o.dlike demeanor.
The old man cast his sight downwards and asked, “Clan Chief Yun, who is this expert you’ve invited to your clan?”
Yun Ting opened his mouth and bowed deeply toward the old man. Only then did he answer with a bit of difficulty, “Venerable Empty Mind, this… expert’s name is Yun Che. He is our… honored guest.”
“Honored guest?” the old man said with a smile. “Your hospitality must be lacking then. It would appear that your honored guest is very unhappy.”
“...” Yun Ting wanted to look at Yun Che, but he was afraid to look him in the eye. He couldn’t say a word for a long time.
Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that Yun Che was this powerful.
The only reason he stayed behind was because of Yun Shang.
Had he successfully gotten into Yun Che’s good graces, the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan’s situation might’ve been a lot less dire.
But they… they...
Regret, self-loathing, and powerlessness tore at his heart and soul like countless devils. He did not dare to even recall what had happened in the ancestral shrine a moment ago.
Unfortunately, there was no such thing as a cure for regret in this world.
Meanwhile, at the ancestral shrine, Qianye Ying’er hadn’t moved an inch since the start of the fight. She was still leaning lazily against the stone pillar with an unconscious Yun Shang right next to her feet.
She shot a glance at the horrific floor of dragon blood and corpses before whispering to herself, “So much hatred… Long Bai probably doesn’t realize that he condemned every dragon in the world to death when he killed Mu Xuanyin.”
She suddenly recalled the few times Yun Che had lost control and taken it out on her. Sometimes, he would cry out the word “master”... She suddenly narrowed her eyes and uttered coldly, “In the end, Snow Song Realm's famous ‘Ice Immortal of the North’ is just a lecherous woman on the inside. What a joke!”
“Fellow cultivator Yun,” Venerable Empty Mind swung his whisk once and said amiably toward Yun Che, “since this is just a misunderstanding, surely we can come to an agreement? The reason the Desolate Heaven Dragon Clan and the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace showed up today is entirely private, and they attacked you only because they mistook you for a member of the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan. You are certainly not their target.”
“The Desolate Heaven Dragon Clan suffered huge losses, and the dragon chief himself has died for his transgressions. I’m sure they have paid a high enough price to quell your anger, haven’t they? Please show mercy now that the misunderstanding is resolved. I’m sure that both Desolate Heaven and Nine Lights won’t forget this. Wouldn’t it be nice if we can drop our enmity and all become allies instead?”
Yun Che examined him for a moment before relaxing visibly, “And who are you?”
This old man’s aura was similar to, no, slightly stronger than the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign. He was obviously another peak Divine Sovereign with incredibly high status. His confidence alone revealed who he belonged to in this Thousand Desolation Realm.
“Hehe,” the old man said, “this humble one is the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect’s chief enforcer, Shen Xuzi. If you don’t think it’s beneath you, you may address me as Devotee Empty Mind.”
“Thousand Desolation Divine Sect”. The words themselves seemed to carry a heavenly weight which intimidated all creation, and that wouldn’t be a mistake in the Thousand Desolation Realm. Here, the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect was the infinite heavens themselves!
Tens of thousands of years ago, when the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect received a king realm mandate from the Burning Moon Realm to replace the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan as the new realm king sect, their position had become absolutely unshakeable. Even the realm’s old name, Heavenly Handle Yun Realm was changed to Thousand Desolation Realm.
Since then, the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect had subjected the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan to countless cruel punishments… even their final fate was up to the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect to decide.
The Thousand Desolation Divine Sect rose, and the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan declined. Now, the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect had grown to the point where they could easily decide the life or death of the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan even without a king realm mandate.
The Heavenly Handle Yun Clan did everything in their power to curry favor with the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect. Their efforts only increased as the day of the deadline drew ever closer.
The Thousand Desolation Divine Sect’s unclear att.i.tude also nurtured that hope further.
The realization that they were facing the chief enforcer of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect made the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan act even more humbly. They did not dare to show even the slightest impoliteness or disobedience.
“The Thousand Desolation Divine Sect?” The corner of Yun Che’s eyes seemed to twitch a bit.
“That is correct,” Devotee Empty Mind stroked his beard before chuckling, “you’ve probably heard of us, I’m sure. If fellow cultivator Yun is displeased with this sinful clan, why not be a guest at the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect? We will certainly give you the treatment a guest of honor deserves.”
“If you’re a member of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect, then why are you here?” Yun Che asked in an indifferent tone. It was difficult to identify the emotion behind his voice, “Surely you aren’t here to fish for a quick profit, are you?”
Devotee Empty Mind smiled and shook his head. He said, “We may have been ordered by the Burning Moon King Realm to punish a sinful clan, but we would never stoop so low. This humble one rushed here simply because he heard that the Desolate Heaven Dragon Clan and the Nine Lights Heavenly Palace had descended upon the sinful region, and was afraid that it might give birth to great chaos. I have come to act as a mediator, so to speak. Still, this one considers it lucky that it resulted in a meeting with fellow cultivator Yun.”
Yun Ting bowed deeply again after hearing this, saying, “Our sinful clan is very grateful that Venerable Empty Mind would travel so far to protect us. Our sinful clan doesn’t know how to repay Venerable Empty Mind’s kindness.”
The rest of the Yun disciples hurriedly performed their own thankful salutes and bows toward Venerable Empty Mind… Although everyone knew that the old man was probably lying through his teeth, they couldn’t wait to prostrate themselves and express their infinite grat.i.tude toward him.
“I see,” Yun Che replied as if placated. He slowly lowered the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor Sword, and the abyssal darkness that surrounded the weapon had even thinned a little.
Yun Che’s reaction was perfectly normal in Devotee Empty Mind and everyone else’s opinion. Yun Che might be bold enough to kill the Desolate Heaven Dragon Chief and the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign, but who would dare offend the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect in their own territory, not to mention that the chief enforcer himself had been nothing but friendly and admiring toward him?
“In that case,” Yun Che said in a leisurely tone, “you may go rest in peace.”
Devotee Empty Mind’s smile froze. By the time his expression changed, a sword beam was already falling toward his face, pitch black darkness devouring all the light in his vision.
Although surprised, Devotee Empty Mind was on his guard from the start. He immediately swung his whisk forward; every strand on the weapon discharging black light powerful enough to shatter mountains and seas.
However, the power he unleashed lasted only an instant before it suddenly vanished like mud in water!
Although Devotee Empty Mind had already witnessed Yun Che’s power before, he didn’t realize how terrifying it really was until he tasted it firsthand.
His reaction was extremely swift. He managed to escape Yun Che’s attack because he gave up his defense and propelled himself several kilometers away with a speed that was almost unnatural. Meanwhile, the location he was at just a moment ago had been engulfed in a terrible whirlpool of darkness.
“Yun Che!” Devotee Empty Mind broke out in a cold sweat as he shouted with a frigid expression. The only reason he was on his guard was because he was cautious by nature. He never thought that Yun Che would dare attack him after learning that he was the chief enforcer of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect, “How dare you… Uuaah!!”
Golden flames suddenly exploded behind his back. The sea of flames parted to reveal Yun Che.
Although Devotee Empty Mind’s decisiveness and speed were impressive, there was simply no way he could be faster than Yun Che.
Devotee Empty Mind screamed as the Golden Crow flames burned him. He detonated his own energy again and again and successfully suppressed over half of the Golden Crow flames that were licking at his body, but Yun Che appeared behind him again like a ghost and smacked scarlet Phoenix flames this time at the exact same spot.
The attack nearly burned through the old man there and then.
“Yun… Che!!” Devotee Empty Mind roared in pain and anger, “You’re making an enemy… out of us… aaaaah!!”
Devotee Empty Mind did everything in his power to suppress the flames and escape… the whole place reeked of dragon blood, and he wasn’t stupid enough to think that he could defeat Yun Che.
Unfortunately, how could he live if Yun Che wanted him dead?
Yun Che didn’t give chase. He simply clenched his hand into a fist.
The Golden Crow flame and the Phoenix flame that were burning Devotee Empty Mind alive immediately started merging into one. They quickly became the much more powerful crimson divine flames.
The only thing scarier than a drastic increase in the enemy’s power was the drastic increase of one’s pain. It was terrible enough to wring out a tearful, despairing howl from even a peak Divine Sovereign.
Devotee Empty Mind struggled in midair before collapsing to the ground abruptly. He rolled back and forth on the ground like a dying larva, but the crimson flames that clung to his bones like termites showed almost no signs of fading at all.
Yun Che dropped down from the sky and stepped on Devotee Empty Mind’s chest with his right foot. The force was so great that the poor man’s chest caved in like it was made of rotten wood.
“Pwah…” Blood spilled out of Devotee Empty Mind’s mouth like a fountain. His confidence and elegant outlook had long since been replaced by pain and fear, “You… you dare…”
At first, he wanted to threaten Yun Che and say, “All those who threaten the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect are digging their own grave!” But he quickly changed his mind halfway and begged, “Fellow cultivator… you and I aren’t enemies… there’s no need for…”
“You didn’t have to die, but then you lied to me. There’s almost nothing I hate more than someone lying to my face.” Yun Che was stepping on Devotee Empty Mind, but his gaze was directed to the front. “You were hiding here from the start, but you lied to me and said that you’re here as a mediator. Since you think I’m an idiot, I have no choice but to relieve you of your life.”
“Mercy… fellow cultivator…” A lie was all it took to drive this ruthless madman to kill him, the chief enforcer of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect? Whatever resistance the old man might’ve mustered crumbled into nothing as he begged in the humblest manner possible, “I, Shen Xuzi… swear to be your friend… no… I swear to be your servant… I will obey your orders absolutely… please… venerable one… mercy…”
“Yun Che… Yun Che!” Yun Ting cried out in panic as he half-crawled towards the young man. The faces of the Yun clansmen following behind him looked just as bloodless. He opened his arms and begged shakily, “Please… please show mercy… please don’t kill him, or the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan will…”
Yun Che stepped on Devotee Empty Mind again, and this time the horrifically burned old man exploded into a black flash. Some of his body parts flew at least several kilometers away.
“Ugh!” Yun Ting staggered and fell on his knees. His face became as pale as death.
Yun Che withdrew his leg slowly before turning to look at him with dark eyes. None of the blood or dust from the explosion touched his upper torso at all. “What the f*ck does the fate of the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan have to do with me?”