Devotee Empty Mind was dead.
Desolate Heaven Dragon Chief and Devotee Empty Mind were peak Divine Sovereigns who were considered invincible unless they were up against a Divine Master. They would be important no matter which upper star realm they belonged to, yet they had died at Yun Che’s hand like ground cabbage.
Their deaths were also absolutely humiliating.
“It’s… it’s over,” Yun Ting murmured unconsciously while slumped on the ground with blank eyes.
The Thousand Desolation Divine Sect was the executor the Burning Moon King Realm had chosen to carry out their punishment. They were the reason the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan had declined this far, but their tormentor was also the one group they couldn’t afford to anger no matter what.
Devotee Empty Mind wasn’t just a member of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect, he was their chief enforcer! In terms of status, he was at least top five within the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect!
And now, he was killed in the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan… even if they weren’t the ones who killed him, the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect was sure to vent their fury on them.
They knew from the start that it was unlikely for them to survive, but now... there was definitely no escaping their destruction.
Every Yun clansman behind Yun Ting shriveled like a scroll. The only color visible on their faces was gray despair.
However, no one dared to scold Yun Che for his mistake… they didn’t even have the courage to look him in the eye.
Divine Sovereigns normally didn’t fight to the death unless they were irreconcilable enemies. But Yun Che… had executed a stranger just because something they said was disagreeable to him.
They had never seen someone so terrifying, ruthless, and brutal until today.
The remaining Desolate Heaven Devil Dragons and Nine Lights Heavenly Palace profound pract.i.tioners moved very slowly and quietly away from Yun Che. Their footsteps were fearful and cowardly. They were afraid to make any noise for fear that this madman would crush them like he had crushed Devotee Empty Mind beneath his foot.
Suddenly, Yun Che halted in his tracks and looked toward the ground. There were still some crimson divine flames licking the ground without a sound, but a nearly invisible layer of darkness seemed to be lurking around the edges. Its presence was slightly different from the crimson flames he had created prior to coming to the Northern Divine Region.
“...” Light pa.s.sed through Yun Che’s pupils several times, and a pitch black flame surged from the depths of his soul.
The ground exploded, and from it emerged the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign. The blood-drenched Divine Sovereign didn’t try to run away with all his might, however. Instead, he pounced straight for Qianye Ying’er… or more accurately, the girl lying by her feet, Yun Shang.
He could’ve come out a long time ago, but he wisely chose to hide himself after Yun Che scared the s.h.i.+t out of him, and Devotee Empty Mind showed up to pacify Yun Che.
At first, he thought that Yun Che would cease his rampage upon hearing the name of the Thousand Desolation Divine Sect. He never thought that Yun Che would go so far as to kill Devotee Empty Mind!
Not even a million “f*ck”s were enough to describe the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign’s feelings right now.
The all-important Venerable Empty Mind had begged for his life like a dog, but Yun Che still killed him without any hesitation. If Yun Che was willing to take things this far, then there was no way he would allow him to live.
However, an idea suddenly pierced through his fear clouded mind. When he saw Yun Che for the first time, the latter had been hugging an unconscious girl.
Yun Che’s method was ruthless and brutal, but he had made sure to cancel out all of the Desolate Heaven Dragon Chief’s attack completely before retaliating. He was obviously trying to protect the girl!
The idea was without a doubt a ray of hope to the cornered Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign. Thus, the moment he was discovered, he immediately pounced toward Yun Shang with his fastest speed… His only hope of escaping this place alive was to use the unconscious girl as his hostage.
Qianye Ying’er’s presence had automatically gone over his head!
After all, what did a peak Divine Sovereign have to worry about from a Divine King?
The eruption of activity drew cries from every direction. However, Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign had acted without warning, and he was too fast for the Yun clansmen to stop anyway.
Yun Che… was still staring at the crimson divine flames that refused to die beneath his feet like a statue. It was impossible to tell what the young man was thinking.
Qianye Ying’er reacted by grabbing Yun Shang with her profound energy and dodging to the side. However, the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign’s pressure combined with her own panicked movement meant that she was off balance the second she made a move.
Of course, the idea that a Divine King could escape with a burden right under the nose of a peak Divine Sovereign like him was nothing more than a pipe dream. Growling, he extended a hand toward Yun Shang and tried to draw her into his palm. He wasn’t even looking at Qianye Ying’er.
However, a blur suddenly overcame his vision, and before he realized it the girls had escaped his aura, his sight, and even his spiritual senses.
At the same time, the sound of something being severed—so soft that he nearly missed it—entered his ears.
Qianye Ying’er reappeared behind the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign like a ghost. She could be seen putting a golden snake back around her astonis.h.i.+ngly delicate waist.
Yun Shang was tossed quite some distance away before cras.h.i.+ng heavily against the ground. The girl let out a soft groan and slowly woke up.
The Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign was still flying forward when he tried to halt his momentum and turn around. However, he quickly discovered that neither his head nor his body were responding to his thoughts, and his vision was fading gradually into a gray and white canvas.
The last image to enter his vision was the symmetrically cut pieces of his body and the golden light that caused it.
Seven rays of golden light neatly split the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign into eight pieces before the chaotic surge of profound energy caused his body parts to become scattered all over the place like calabash.
The Yun clansmen’s barely straightened knees. .h.i.t the ground yet again.
Everyone’s mouth was wide open, but no sound came out. It was almost as if their throats were clogged by some invisible object.
The Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign was… dead!?
He had died in only an instant. It had been so quick that he was gone before he could let out a scream!
Yun Che finally looked up and stared at Qianye Ying’er. A cold, dangerous gleam pa.s.sed through his eyes.
He knew better than anyone the limit of Qianye Ying’er’s power.
Right now she was a level ten Divine Sovereign, and he had no doubt that she could beat Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign in a fair fight due to the devil emperor’s bloodline. However, it wouldn’t have been an easy fight.
Still, it was a fact that she had cut the Nine Lights Heavenly Sovereign into pieces and killed him in an instant.
The Ni Yuan Stone’s main purpose was to alter one’s aura, but she had used it to bait her enemies perfectly.
She was once a peak Divine Master, so it was only natural that she had perfect mastery over her Divine Sovereign profound energy. This advantage might not mean much in a direct fight, but in terms of sheer explosive strength, it wasn’t something any Divine Sovereign at her level could compare to.
Not to mention that she also had the “Divine Oracle”, the Brahma Golden Soft Sword that was connected directly to her soul...
All these factors combined perfectly into the ability to instantly annihilate an opponent at her level.
This was Qianye Ying’er’s deadliest power!
This was also why he had intentionally slowed down Qianye Ying’er’s recovery, never allowing her to exceed his ability to control her.
Her true profound strength was exposed the moment she attacked her enemy. Yun Ting murmured unconsciously, “Peak… Divine Sovereign…”
Finally, Yun Che turned away from Qianye Ying’er and looked at Yun Shang. He appeared next to the girl in an instant and lifted her up to his lap.
Yun Shang batted her eyelids and looked at his with tearful eyes. She said, “Senior… I… I…”
Her voice was as tiny as a mosquito, and tears kept sliding down her cheeks. No profound pract.i.tioner could accept losing all their profound strength in a single day, much less a sixteen year old who was given the absolute highest of expectations.
“Shang’er… woke up,” Yun Ting murmured again as he watched from afar. He looked just as listless as before.
“Chief,” said the elders and clansmen while moving up to Yun Ting with weak legs and dark expressions, “what should we do… what should we…”
Yun Ting couldn’t say anything. He simply got to his feet and dragged his weak legs toward Yun Che and Yun Shang… when he pa.s.sed by Qianye Ying’er, he could feel a clear chill seeping through his entire body.
“Shang’er…” Yun Ting said while bowing his head. He looked nothing like a clan chief should; all that he was right now was a pained old man. “We… did you wrong…”
Yun Che’s sleeves flapped for a second. He himself didn’t move a muscle.
A violent wind instantly threw Yun Ting and all approaching Yun clansmen out of the way. He wasn’t looking at either the Yun clansmen or the escaping Desolate Heaven Devil Dragons and Nine Lights Heavenly Palace profound pract.i.tioners. Just like before, he pressed a palm toward Yun Shang’s chest, drew a strange pattern, and resumed healing her with the Divine Miracle of Life.
Yun Shang’s internal injuries had stabilized, and her shattered profound veins were healed with the Divine Miracle of Life. However, not even he could recover her lost cultivation… she would have to start from the very bottom, the Elementary Profound Realm.
“Senior… you really… came back to save me…” Her words were as soft as a whisper.
“Don’t speak,” Yun Che replied in an equally soft voice. He pressed a finger to her forehead and said, “Sleep... everything will be fine once you wake.”
“Can I… make a selfish wish?”
Yun Che, “...”
“Please… don’t hurt my clansmen…” she begged Yun Che with tearful eyes. “It wasn’t… on purpose…”
Her weak, gentle voice was carried into every Yun clansman’s ears by the cold wind. Yun Ting, Yun Xiang, and the elders all looked down at their feet and shook with shame and regret.
Yun Che’s finger glowed white, and Yun Shang instantly closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Although the Heavenly Handle Yun Clan had decided to refine the Sacred Yun Ancient Pellet for Yun Shang, it definitely wasn’t a choice that was made out of malice. In fact, from the standpoint of their clan, they were absolutely the last people to wish harm upon Yun Shang.
He didn’t doubt them on this.
However, Yun Shang didn’t know that the first thing Yun Ting and the rest of them did after she fell into a coma was to abandon her in the name of preserving her purple profound handle, not save her life.
In fact, the Blood Transfer Formation would’ve ensured a horrible death.
Yun Che carried Yun Shang and entered the room he had been staying in. Qianye Ying’er followed behind him and closed the door.
Everything returned to silence. The Yun clansmen—kneeling, standing, or slumped on the ground—all looked frozen and lost.
The room they were in was surrounded by an invisible barrier that kept all noise from entering, not that anyone would even dare to come close.
When several hours had pa.s.sed, Yun Che finally removed his hand from Yun Shang’s body.
Yun Shang was still sleeping quietly. Right now, her body was enveloped in a fantastical and divine layer of light profound energy. Light profound energy was supposed to be the bane of all darkness profound energy and profound pract.i.tioners, but in Yun Che’s hands it was capable of miraculous recovery. It didn’t leave behind any damage at all.
Her internal injuries were gone, and her shattered profound veins were reborn. However, no one could predict or heal the scars in her heart.
Qianye Ying’er opened her eyes and broke out of her meditative trance. The first thing that came out of her mouth was ridicule. “Her very first thought after regaining consciousness was to protect those clansmen who created her nightmares… how foolish and naive.”
“At least she can still be naive,” Yun Che said slowly. “We can’t be naive even if we want to.”
“...” Qianye Ying’er stopped breathing for a couple of seconds. Finally, she said, “When are you planning to leave? Please don’t tell me you’re going to stay behind again.”
“We’re leaving right away,” Yun Che said.
“Very good.” Qianye Ying’er walked forwards and grabbed him by the wrist. “Let’s go!”
Suddenly, she came to a certain realization and flung Yun Che’s hand away, saying, “What are you waiting for? If you know you have no right to be naive, then you shouldn’t have chosen to stay behind from the start.”
“Hmph!” Yun Che erased the barrier with a wave of his hand.
He was just about to step out when a girl’s murmur rang behind him and froze him in his tracks.
Yun Che looked up at the ceiling and let out a sigh. Despite his conversation with Qianye Ying’er, he ultimately walked back to the bed.
Although Yun Shang had been unconscious for a long time, it was obvious that her sleep wasn’t a peaceful one. Her eyebrows were trembling even now. Yun Che extended a finger and wiped away a tear from her youthful face. Then, Yun Shang slowly opened her eyes.
“Se… nior.” She stared at Yun Che with a dazed expression. It looked like she hadn’t woken up completely.
“Yun Shang,” Yun Che said softly with a smile, “I’m leaving.”
She wasn’t Yun Wuxin, but she always reminded him of his daughter.
He wanted to leave and free himself from this attachment… but he was having a hard time breaking off the connection.
But he had to leave no matter how reluctant he felt. Dreams were transient, and he had no right to be cus.h.i.+oned by them.
To his surprise, Yun Shang didn’t react with excitement, panic, or sorrow. The only visible difference was the added layer of mistiness in her eyes as she said, “Senior, please be safe no matter where you go, and what you do…”
“Mn,” Yun Che replied with a nod. He then stared straight into the girl’s eyes and said seriously but gently, “Yun Shang, life is full of hards.h.i.+p and despair. A weak person may succ.u.mb to them, but a strong person will be able to tear through the darkness and reveal the daylight above their heads.”
Qianye Ying’er curled her lips disdainfully at his statement.
“Stay strong,” Yun Che said. “You may no longer have profound strength, but you can cultivate from the beginning and aim to become even stronger than before. You may have lost your father… but you can make yourself even stronger and more reliable than your father was. That way, he’ll have less to worry about when he watches you from the heavens. Alright?”
“Childish.” Qianye Ying’er’s disdain increased even more.
“Okay,” Yun Shang replied. Yun Che’s attempt to console her had been terrible and frail, but the girl had replied with the utmost seriousness. She stared at Yun Che unblinkingly and continued, “I will listen to Senior. The daughter who lost her father will become stronger for his sake.”
“So… the father who lost his daughter… should also become stronger for her sake… right?”
“...” Yun Shang’s words caused his entire body to tremble. As he stared into her pure, untainted eyes, the emotions that should’ve all been devoured by darkness poured out madly from his heart.
He turned away abruptly and gritted his teeth tightly. However, he couldn’t stop shaking no matter how hard he tried… Finally, he turned his back to Yun Shang and called out, “Qianying… let’s go!”
Yun Che almost stumbled out of the room. His footsteps and breathing were in complete disorder.
Qianye Ying’er followed behind him and shot Yun Shang a glance before she left. For once, her eyes were dyed by a complex emotion that even she didn’t realize instead of the usual indifference.
“Senior…” Although the door was closed, Yun Che’s back remained as clear as day in her blurry vision. She muttered as if she was sleeptalking, “Don’t forget about our promise… when I grow up… when I find you again… I hope that your smile… won’t be as sad as it is now…”