Time flowed on and yet another year had pa.s.sed.
The Eastern Divine Region, which had grown restless for a period of time, was finally starting to quiet down again. The efforts to search for the devil Yun Che were growing more and more muted, and after obtaining no results from these efforts, all the king realms confirmed that he had indeed fled into the Northern Divine Region.
However, they were unaware of one thing. While Yun Che had indeed fled into the Northern Divine Region initially, a year ago, he had left the Northern Divine Region and entered the G.o.d Realm of Absolute Beginning.
It was just that their ability to conceal themselves was simply too great, so even the people in the Northern Divine Region who knew of Yun Che’s existence were unable to detect them, much less the people from the other three divine regions.
Eastern Divine Region, Moon G.o.d Realm.
“The Star G.o.d Realm has started to rebuild itself, but they still haven't found a single trace of Xing Juekong… The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm has recalled most of their Adjudicators, but the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor himself hasn’t made an appearance for a very long time. However, we obtained news of an unconfirmed rumor a few days ago. It was a rumor that the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm seemed to have begun preparing for Zhou Qingchen’s Trial by fire.”
“Trial by fire?” A strange look appeared in Xia Qingyue’s eyes. “Is the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor prepared to allow Zhou Qingchen inherit the position of G.o.d emperor earlier than expected?”
“Zhou Qingchen is still inexperienced…” Lian Yue started to speak but she suddenly realized that her own master was the youngest and most inexperienced G.o.d emperor in the history of the G.o.d Realm, so she hurriedly changed the subject. “Given the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s current status and reputation, there is no reason for him to relinquish his seat. This rumor probably isn’t true.”
“No, there’s a very high chance that it is true,” Xia Qingyue said unhurriedly. “Even as strong as the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor is, it’s hard to endure such a towering sense of guilt.”
“Guilt?” Lian Yue was shocked and puzzled by those words.
“Did we obtain any results regarding the Glazed Light Realm?” Xia Qingyue did not explain any further as she asked a new question.
“Replying to Master,” Lian Yue said as her gaze grew focused, “everything was as Master predicted. During the twenty-four hours in which Yun Che had made his first escape and disappeared into thin air, he had indeed hidden himself in the Glazed Light Realm!”
“As expected…” Purple light appeared in Xia Qingyue’s eyes. “The Glazed Light Realm is truly bold!”
“However, Yun Che did not make it to the Glazed Light Realm on his own back then. After he was sent away by Qianye Ying’er’s Void Illusion Stone, he had already lost consciousness. It was someone else who delivered him to the Glazed Light Realm,” Lian Yue continued.
“Who was it?”
“The new realm king of the Flame G.o.d Realm… Huo Poyun.”
“...” After that, she lapsed into a brief period of silence. Her delicate, crescent moon-like brows knitted together slightly. “Him?”
As she recalled the scene of the a.s.sembled Divine Masters who sent off the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor in front of the Wall of Primal Chaos, she confirmed that Huo Poyun was indeed not present.
“This maidservant has investigated this matter in detail,” Lian Yue said. “On the day the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor was sent off, Huo Poyun did indeed leave the Flame G.o.d Realm. However, he never arrived at the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm. Perhaps, he changed his mind halfway through the journey and when he was returning home, he came across an unconscious Yun Che and sent him to the Glazed Light Realm."
After she thought about it for a brief moment, Xia Qingyue said, “Lian Yue, prepare a sound transmission formation and connect it to all the king realms and upper star realms. Publicly announce the matter of the Glazed Light Realm hiding the devil Yun Che two years ago!”
“...Yes,” Lian Yue was clearly shaken by these instructions, but she immediately agreed to them and she did not ask why she had been given them.
“However, do not mention what happened with Huo Poyun. It would be best for all traces of that story to be erased.”
Xia Qingyue slowly got to her feet and in the time it took her to pace back and forth, an astonis.h.i.+ngly oppressive might caused the s.p.a.ce around her to tremble. “Yao Yue!”
A beautiful woman soundlessly appeared under a beam of faint blue light and slowly knelt down. “Master.”
“Follow me on a trip to the Glazed Light Realm.”
“Yes.” Yao Yue received her orders, but after that, she casually asked, “What does Master intend to do there?”
“Kill Shui Qianheng!” Xia Qingyue’s words were dark and heavy.
“...!?” Lian Yue and Yao Yue were both shocked by those words. The bewildered Yao Yue spoke, “Master, Shui Qianheng is no ordinary higher realm king. The Glazed Light Realm’s power and fame stand at the fore of all the upper star realms, and they have a good relations.h.i.+p with several king realms. Without sufficient reason… Master should carefully think this over.”
“Hmph, hiding and protecting a devil is already a grave crime. Furthermore, Yun Che is no ordinary devil. Now that he has fled into the Northern Divine Region, we have left an incalculable calamity to fester! If not for the fact that the Glazed Light Realm hid him all those years ago, this calamity might have been snuffed out years ago. This is a crime that all creation can be executed for!”
“!?” Yao Yue’s head jerked up.
“If I don’t kill him, someone will definitely come and kill him once this matter has been exposed. Since that’s the case, why should we sit on our hands and wait for someone else to do it!?”
As purple light flashed over her body, her loose and relaxed blue robes had transformed into the intimidating and cold Moon Emperor Robes. “Yao Yue, we will depart for the Glazed Light Realm immediately. Lian Yue, send this sound transmission to the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm immediately… send it out to the rest of the king realms and upper star realms two hours from now.
A purple light shone in the air above the Glazed Light Realm, as it seemingly swallowed up all of the other light in the Glazed Light Realm. It was just that this purple light was far too cold, and every living creature bathed in this purple light silently trembled as their bodies and souls went cold.
“Hahaha!” An exceptionally bright and carefree laugh broke the icy purple silence. Shui Qianheng’s figure zoomed in from afar at breakneck speed as he greeted them from afar. “Purple clouds filled the Glazed Light Realm’s sky today, and that is an exceedingly auspicious omen indeed. But to think that it was actually the Moon G.o.d Emperor and Blue Jade Moon G.o.d paying us a personal visit. This is far more than simple good fortune.”
Shui Qianheng had not come to greet them by himself. Two women followed closely behind him and they were the two daughters he was most proud of.
Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin.
After those three thousand years in the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm, both of his daughters had become Divine Masters. One of them had become a level five Divine Master and the other had become a level seven Divine Master. They were the miracles of the Glazed Light Realm. Furthermore, Shui Meiyin was considered a miracle of the entire Eastern Divine Region and she had even been crowned a G.o.ddess whose name approached Qianye Ying’er.
Amidst Shui Qianheng’s loud laughter, Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin stood at her father’s side and curtsied toward her at the same time.
However, Xia Qingyue’s jade face was like a cold moon. “Shui Qianheng, do you want to take your own life? Or do you want this king to be the one to do it for you!?”
When that purple light flashed into existence over their skies, that bone-piercing cold had caused Shui Qianheng to feel uneasy. Now that Xia Qingyue had said those words, he felt his heart lurch and the expressions on Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin’s faces dramatically changed as well.
Doubt appeared on Shui Qianheng’s face as he asked, “This… This Qianheng is not sure of what crime he committed to have incurred such anger from the Moon G.o.d Emperor?”
Xia Qingyue did not dither with him and cut straight to the chase. Her cold eyes grew focused as she said, “Two years ago, when Yun Che outed himself as a devil, who was the one who hid him away during the twenty-four hours that the entire world was chasing after him!?”
“!!” Shui Qianheng clenched his fists tightly.
“Shui Qianheng, are you going to try to deny it?” Xia Qingyue’s voice grew even icier, and her peerlessly beautiful eyes now pierced through his soul like merciless purple blades.
“Moon G.o.d Emperor,” Shui Yingyue said, “about that…”
“Shut up!” Just as Shui Yingyue spoke, Shui Qianheng already let out a low roar. “There is no room for you to speak here!”
Shui Yingyue, “...”
After he sucked in a heavy breath, a bitter smile formed on Shui Qianheng’s face. “If the evidence were not conclusive, would the n.o.ble and honorable Moon G.o.d Emperor have come all the way here in person? But in front of the Moon G.o.d Realm and the Blue Jade Moon G.o.d, this Qianheng does indeed have no right to make excuses.”
“Daddy…” Shui Meiyin grabbed the corner of her father’s robes, her starry eyes trembling, her lips pale and bloodless. She knew that this day would eventually come, she just never imagined that the first person to come calling would actually be her...
“Very good, at least you still possess some of the bearing of a realm king,” Xia Qingyue said unhurriedly. “Even though it is a grave crime to hide and harbor a devil, given your status as the Glazed Light Realm King, there was perhaps no one who could investigate you. However, hiding the devil Yun Che has ultimately resulted in leaving behind a huge calamity that will plague the entire Eastern Divine Region in the future. Even though you are the Glazed Light Realm King, ten thousand deaths would not be enough to pay for your crimes!”
As her voice fell, purple light suddenly flashed in Xia Qingyue’s hand… Shockingly enough, the Purple Pylon Divine Sword, the symbol of the Moon G.o.d Emperor and the strongest sword in the Moon G.o.d Realm, appeared in her hand.
A purple sword projection exploded out from the tip of the Purple Pylon Divine Sword and shot toward Shui Qianheng… She actually had not even given Shui Qianheng a chance to explain himself or leave behind any last words. She had mercilessly pushed him towards death.
Shui Qianheng did not move an inch.
The color drained from Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin’s faces as they let out great cries of alarm and took action simultaneously… However, in nearly the exact same instance, Shui Qianheng took action as well. However, he did not move to block the Purple Pylon sword projection. Instead, he shot two blasts of energy at his daughters, one from each palm.
s.p.a.ce ruptured and Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin were blasted into the distance. In their violently contracting pupils, they saw the purple pylon sword projection directly pierce Shui Qianheng’s chest… and slide through his body.
“Uagh!” Shui Qianheng’s body stiffened and blood gradually drained from his face. His daughters’ heart-wrenching cries rang in his ears as he looked down and stared at the purple sword projection which transfixed his body. However, he still did not put up a fight… As a level eight Divine Master, as someone who stood at the peak of all upper realm kings, if he were to resist, then even Xia Qingyue would not find it so easy to kill him.
Xia Qingyue gripped the Purple Pylon Divine Sword which had impaled Shui Qianheng and looked down slightly. “Shui Qianheng, you’ve made an intelligent choice. If you had dared to dodge this sword stroke, you would not have been the only one to die! If you and I had fought, countless members of the Glazed Light Realm would have ended up being buried with you!”
“Fa...ther!” As she saw Shui Qianheng get run through by a sword, the light in Shui Yingyue’s eyes shattered and she let out a sorrowful cry, “Moon G.o.d Emperor… I will kill you!!”
The Jade Rivulet Sword appeared and blue light shone in the air as a curtain of water cascaded from the sky and fell toward Xia Qingyue.
Shui Qianheng turned his head back with much difficulty. He waved an arm and forced his body to move, stopping Shui Yingyue’s full power in a single instant and blasting her into distance once more.
Forcing out an attack while the Purple Pylon pierced his heart had undoubtedly aggravated his injuries badly. Blood immediately spurted out from Shui Qianheng’s mouth as he let out a hoa.r.s.e yell, “Do you want my death… to be in vain!!?"
The Jade Rivulet Sword fell from her hands as Shui Yingyue sank to her knees, her eyes dazed and filled with sorrow.
“...” Shui Meiyin did not move.
“Moon... G.o.d... Emperor…” Every word that Shui Qianheng said was accompanied by flecks of blood. “Hiding Yun Che was my idea, no one else was aware of it! Even if they knew, there was no way they could defy my will… If the Moon G.o.d Emperor wants to punish me, I have nothing to say to defend myself. But please… do not implicate the innocent in this.”
Xia Qingyue coldly said, “I said that I would only kill you alone, and I meant what I said! Of course, if anyone still dares to try to stop me…” Her gaze swept over Shui Yingyue and Shui Meiyin. “They will suffer the same fate!”
“Before I came here, this king already announced the matter of you hiding the devil Yun Che to the world. If this king doesn’t kill you, someone else will come to kill you. At the very least, you will still be able to die painlessly at this king’s hands.” Purple light faintly shone in Xia Qingyue’s eyes and the divine light radiating from her sword projection also subtly changed. “So now… you may go to your death in peace!”
This loud roar had not come from Shui Yingyue or Shui Meiyin. Instead, it had rung out in the skies above them, from an incredibly distant location… An aura was rus.h.i.+ng toward their location at breakneck speed and before his body had even appeared, a gigantic pale white hand suddenly descended and firmly grasped the purple sword projection which transfixed Shui Qianheng’s body as it solidly suppressed the Purple Pylon divine power that was about to erupt.
Xia Qingyue’s brow furrowed and her eyes slowly slid to the side as she spoke to the empty air, “Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor, you want to protect him?”
Just as Xia Qingyue’s voice fell, a white-colored figure streaked over at the speed of light. It was the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor.
He had come by himself and there were no auras following after him.
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor extended a hand and grabbed the purple sword projection. The previous pale hand imprint disappeared after that. It was only then that he opened his mouth to say, “Let him off, please.”
His voice sounded powerless and every word was filled with lamentation.
Xia Qingyue’s brow greatly furrowed. “Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor, could it be that you are unaware of the crime he committed a few years ago!?”
“Ai.” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor let out a long sigh and said, “His act of hiding Yun Che was a grave crime indeed. However… this old one has known the Glazed Light Realm King for ten thousand years, so this old one knows him all too well. The person he hid that day was no more than the ‘son-in-law’ that he had acknowledged… He definitely did not have any intention of harboring a devil.”
“Given his personality, this old one does not find it strange at all that he did such a thing.”
“Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor,” Xia Qingyue said with a frown, “Yun Che has successfully fled into the Northern Divine Region. Once he matures in the future and is used by the Northern Divine Region, no one can predict what sort of consequences will result from that. If Shui Qianheng had not hidden Yun Che back then, this festering calamity would not even exist… This king cannot think of a single reason to forgive this grave crime which has caused disaster for the entire Eastern Divine Region, the entire G.o.d Realm.”
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor shook his head. “Given Yun Che’s ability to conceal himself, even if the Glazed Light Realm King had not hidden him, it would have been very hard for us to find him in those twenty-four hours anyway. On that day, you, the Brahma Heaven G.o.d Emperor, the Dragon Monarch, the Southern Sea G.o.d Emperor, and I had all arrived outside the Blue Pole Star. All of the Eastern Region’s realm kings surrounded us, but even though all of us were gathered there, we were unable to keep Yun Che from running away. So why is there a need to so harshly punish the Glazed Light Realm King who indulged in a moment of folly?”
“A moment of folly?” It was almost as if Xia Qingyue had found those words patently absurd. “It could be said that the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm devoted all of its power to hunting down Yun Che, to the point where you even did not hesitate to use methods that your realm previously despised. Your resoluteness and determination to hunt down Yun Che was known to all under heaven. Yet now, you are trying to show a person who hid and harbored the devil Yun Che such mercy?”
“The devil Yun Che must be exterminated,” the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor replied. “However, what’s done is done. The Eastern Divine Region has already lost too much, and this old one truly cannot bear to see anyone else lose their life over this matter.”
“Moon G.o.d Emperor, this old one knows that you are most concerned about any matter connected to the devil Yun Che. But today, can you take it as this old one owing you a favor? Please give this old one some face and spare his life.”
After he finished speaking, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor let out a long sigh… that prophetic line “the carnage of the devil G.o.d” was coming closer and closer to fruition because of him. He did not dare let anyone find out about this fragment of prophecy and he had spent nearly every instant of the last two years wallowing in guilt and shame.
He no longer wanted to see anyone die because of this… Because, at the root of it all, it was all due to his own sin.
Xia Qingyue lapsed into a deep silence and the purple glow radiating from the Purple Pylon Divine Sword finally weakened a little. “Fine. Since this is the will of the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor, it would be equivalent to spitting in your face if this king continues to insist.”
“However, if I were to just let him off like this, it will be hard for the people of the world to feel content even if they all know that it is the will of the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor.” Xia Qingyue’s tone abruptly changed. “This king can spare Shui Qianheng, but the Glazed Light Realm must do two things.”
“The first is this,” Xia Qingyue continued speaking without waiting for the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor to react, “Shui Qianheng has committed such a grave crime that he no longer has the qualifications to continue being the Glazed Light Realm King. This king will cripple his profound strength such that it falls below the Divine Master Realm and within ten days, he must abdicate his position as realm king.”
“Fine.” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor nodded his head. He did not ask for Shui Qianheng’s opinion, because Shui Qianheng did not have any right to speak in front of two great G.o.d emperors. Furthermore, this result was far better than losing his life.
It was at this moment that Xia Qingyue’s gaze suddenly swiveled towards Shui Meiyin. “If I just cripple a Shui Qianheng, I’m afraid that the Glazed Light Realm still won’t learn its lesson! Because the core of the current Glazed Light Realm isn’t Shui Qianheng, it is this G.o.ddess Meiyin!”
“Thus, the second is that… Shui Meiyin will accompany this king back to the Moon G.o.d Realm and she will be imprisoned there for a millennia. For the next thousand years, she won’t be allowed to take half a step outside of my realm!”