“It has only been three years… Is this really possible?” murmured the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor.
He had witnessed Yun Che’s performance during the Conferred G.o.d Battle and his nine stage lightning tribulation… The boy had created so many miracles that he had even started getting used to them.
He once called Yun Che a genius, the miracle of the eastern region, the one true G.o.d child and even a monster… but even a monster that transcended common sense shouldn’t transcend all senses that existed in this world, right?
The G.o.d Realm had existed for several million years. It wasn’t a particularly long or short period of time. Every once in a while geniuses would appear and astound the world, but the marks they left behind were almost nothing compared to Yun Che.
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor could not believe or accept that Yun Che had grown from a Divine King to someone who could kill a grievously wounded Tai Yin in less than three years.
His mind was in chaos, and he found it difficult to think properly. His fingers hadn’t stopped shaking ever since he saw the black energy constantly rising from Zhou Qingchen’s body.
Having followed Zhou Xuzi his entire life, Tai Yu knew very well how much he valued his son. After a moment of hesitation, he said, “Yun Che killed Qu Hui and Tai Yin, but left Qingchen alive. It’s clear he’s…”
Tai Yu wasn’t able to continue further, but the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor clearly knew what he was going to say. To turn his son into a devil person… there was no crueler revenge one could take against him.
Having cultivated his mind for tens of thousands of years, even he wasn’t aware that he was capable of feeling so much pain and helplessness until now.
“Maybe we’re not out of options yet,” Tai Yu said. “Darkness is deathly afraid of light. The Dragon Queen might be able to save Qingchen.”
“No.” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s eyes looked sluggish as he shook his head slowly. “Yun Che saved the world from destruction, but he was hunted by the entire world because he was a devil person, not to mention that we, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm are leading this hunt…”
“My son, Qingchen… If I try to defend and save him from harm, the world will surely criticize me for it. My personal reputation is nothing, but I will not allow Eternal Heaven’s honor to be tarnished.” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor closed his eyes. “Furthermore, it is true that light profound energy is effective against foreign devil aura, but Qingchen’s body, vitality, and even profound energy have changed into a devil’s… If light profound energy could purify them, Yun Che would’ve purified himself back to normal already. Don’t forget that he’s also a wielder of light profound energy.”
“But these two cases are not the same,” Tai Yu said. “Yun Che’s transformation was a natural occurrence, and the threat he represents as he is is unimaginable. No matter how great his achievements were, he’s someone that must be eradicated for the sake of world peace. But Qingchen was artificially changed into a devil person, and he’s your son. I’m sure the world will be understanding even if the truth is revealed. Also, I’m sure that the Dragon Monarch and the Dragon Queen wouldn’t publicize this even if it turned out that there was nothing they could do to save Qingchen.”
“We… cannot…” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor replied in a daze. It was only two words, but the pain and helplessness they carried were as heavy as a million mountains.
Tai Yu inhaled deeply as deep sorrow welled inside his heart.
If Yun Che hadn’t existed, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor wouldn’t have been this stubborn. But Yun Che did save the world, and the payback he got was the whole world hunting for his head just because he had transformed into a devil person. Moreover, the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor was the one who caused Yun Che’s change in the first place, and the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm was the leader of the hunt.
Zhou Qingchen was the Eternal Heaven Crown Prince, but he was incomparable to Yun Che in any other way. That was why Zhou Xuzi and the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm couldn’t defend Zhou Qingchen—if they would hunt down someone as great as Yun Che because he was a devil person, then what right did they have to protect Zhou Qingchen!? The only right course of action here was to carry out the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm’s long standing code and belief by killing the devil person, Zhou Qingchen.
But... Zhou Qingchen was also the crown prince of Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm, the chosen successor of power and will, and his most beloved son.
Suddenly, Zhou Qingchen’s voice rang beside their ears. Neither Zhou Xuzi nor Tai Yu had noticed his awakening because they were too distracted.
Considering Zhou Qingchen’s cultivation and the injuries he had suffered, he should’ve woken up a long time ago. Clearly, the mental damage he suffered was many, many times worse than his actual injuries. He was unconscious because he couldn’t accept his current state at all.
“Qingchen!” Zhou Xuzi appeared before his son immediately.
Although Zhou Qingchen’s eyes were open, they were devoid of any spirit. His voice was especially powerless. “The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Realm’s reputation… cannot be tarnished by me…”
“Royal father… kill me.”
A violent shudder coursed through Zhou Xuzi’s body.
“Qingchen.” Tai Yu tried to keep his voice steady, but he was unable to look Zhou Qingchen in the eye. “You don’t need to act like this. We will find a way. Trust in your father and Eternal Heaven.”
Surprisingly, the comforting words meant for Zhou Qingchen caused Zhou Xuzi’s expression to loosen a little. He let out a small sigh before saying, “That’s right, we will find a way. For now… you should get some sleep.”
He pushed his palm downwards and knocked Zhou Qingchen out again.
Although Zhou Qingchen hadn’t shown signs of irritation or mental breakdown, he was overflowing with suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t suitable for him to be awake right now.
“Tai Yu, I’m taking Qingchen to the Old Ancestor… please stay here and guard this place.”
“I understand,” Tai Yu said with a nod.
The Old Ancestor… really was their last hope.
Beneath the Eternal Heaven Tower, inside a world where only the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor had the right to traverse freely.
It was a pale white world where one couldn’t feel the pa.s.sage of time or s.p.a.ce.
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor could be seen walking through it while holding Zhou Qingchen in his arms. His feet had never felt so heavy until now.
He reached a spot and put down Zhou Qingchen. Then, he knelt on one knee and cried out sorrowfully, “Old Ancestor, please tell me how I can save my son, Qingchen.”
“Qingchen hasn’t known the secular world for long. He has never had any evil thoughts or committed any evil actions. Yun Che should’ve taken it out on me. Qingchen doesn’t deserve this devilish fate.”
The pale white world was silent for a very long time. Finally, an unbelievably old and transient voice entered the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s ears. “It is the Eternal Calamity of Darkness.”
“Eternal Calamity… of Darkness?” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor repeated in a daze.
“Back in the days when G.o.ds and devils still existed, there were many arguments as to who was the strongest of the four devil emperors. But if we evaluate based on the mastery of darkness profound energy alone, then the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor was known to be the best. Since her Eternal Calamity of Darkness represents the pinnacle of the laws of darkness, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to call her the strongest of all four devil emperors if this is the only criteria to be considered.”
“The Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor… left behind the Eternal Calamity of Darkness… to Yun Che?” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor murmured again.
The Eternal Calamity of Darkness was the devil art of a devil emperor!
“Qingchen may be young, but his cultivation level is impressive. It shouldn’t be possible for someone to change a Divine Sovereign like him into a devil by force. From what I know based on the incomplete memories of the ‘Eternal Heaven Pearl’, the only art that can do this is the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor’s Eternal Calamity of Darkness.”
“This proves that the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor must have left behind her core bloodline and her core devil art to Yun Che. It is the only possibility.”
Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor, “...”
“However…” The old voice sounded even more transient. “The profound art of devil emperors and creation G.o.ds belonged exclusively to themselves. No devil emperor can cultivate a creation G.o.d’s profound art, and vice versa. It goes without saying that a mere mortal cannot cultivate either.”
“To progress this far in just a couple of years… just what kind of monster is Yun Che?”
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor was shocked. The Old Ancestor’s words must be the truth because they were pulled from the memory of the Eternal Heaven Pearl itself. Moreover, he didn’t know any other profound art that could forcefully change a Divine Sovereign into a devil person… This meant that Yun Che now possessed the inheritance of the Heretic G.o.d and the Devil Emperor!
His future was unimaginable.
“Old Ancestor… is there a way to save Qingchen?” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor begged. Right now, all of his thoughts were focused on this.
“There are two ways.”
The old voice’s reply caused the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor to look up suddenly.
“The first method is this,” the old voice started. “Shatter his profound veins and wipe clean his profound energy. Then, sever his nerves, extract his marrow, and replace his blood. Finally, when his vitality reaches its lowest point, use light profound energy to purify it by force… if he survives this, he might just be able to free himself from darkness.”
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor couldn’t say anything.
“The chance Qingchen might die during the process is over fifty percent. Even if the treatment is successful, Qingchen will be forever crippled and have to rely on spirit medicines and profound jades to survive. But even then, his lifespan probably won’t exceed a thousand years.”
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor swallowed once before forcing his mouth open. “Please tell me the second method, Old Ancestor.”
There was no way Zhou Qingchen, or any other profound pract.i.tioner for that matter, would accept this. It would be a fate far worse than death.
“The second method… is Yun Che.” The old voice said slowly.
“... !” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s pupils widened. “Old Ancestor, you’re saying…”
“There is no profound art that can control darkness profound energy better than the Eternal Calamity of Darkness. If Yun Che can use it to transform someone into a devil person by force, then he can use it to wipe away all traces of darkness profound energy as well.”
“Yun Che is the only one who can do this.”
“These are the only two methods I know of that can cure Qingchen. I don’t know any other way even with all my knowledge and the Eternal Heaven Pearl’s incomplete memories.”
“...” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor looked up and fell silent for a very long time. The dead silence lasted over an hour before he finally moved and left the pale white world with Qingchen. Somehow, his footsteps were even heavier than before.
Eternal silence returned to the pale white world after Zhou Xuzi’s departure. But it wasn’t long before the transient voice said to itself, “Yun Che… he is obviously a mortal, but why do I feel like he could transcend the impossible limit that blocked even the creation G.o.ds and the devil emperors…”
“Yun Che’s hatred is deep enough to make nine abysses. There is no way to change his mind.”
“Could it be that the anxiety I’ve been feeling for the past years wasn’t caused by Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor, but…”
One look at the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor’s expression told Tai Yu everything he needed to know when the former had returned to the divine palace. Instead of asking about the details of his master’s conversation with the Old Ancestor, Tai Yu said, “Shall we go after Yun Che now, my lord?”
“No,” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor said while shaking his head. “After what he did to Qingchen, it’s clear that he is confident in his own safety. He must have left the G.o.d Realm of Absolute Beginning by now. Moreover, that place is extremely dangerous and not somewhere the average profound pract.i.tioner can enter. If we were to announce this to the public, countless people would barge into the G.o.d Realm of Absolute Beginning recklessly for the reward. The consequences would be unimaginable… not to mention that there is a chance Qingchen may be revealed in the process.”
Honorable Tai Yu nodded slightly before asking, “What should we do then?”
When the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor looked up, it looked like some mettle had finally reentered his dispirited eyes. “Do you still remember the year we fought against the Devil Queen of the Northern Divine Region?”
Honorable Tai Yu replied slowly, “Of course. Chi Wuyao… there will never be a more frightening woman than her, now or ever.”
“But if not for that battle, we wouldn’t have known that a female Divine Master had appeared in the Snow Song Realm, the closest realm to the Northern Divine Region… She’s also the reason why Yun Che managed to escape in the first place.”
They were of course talking about Mu Xuanyin!
Tai Yu abruptly raised his eyebrows when he thought of Mu Xuanyin. He added, “It has been almost ten thousand years since that battle. Mu Xuanyin had only entered Divine Master Realm back then, and it was rumored that she was at level four several dozen years ago. Her progress was already very impressive, but it was nothing compared to the time she rescued Yun Che by force. At that time, she was already a peak Divine Master. If it wasn’t for her, forget escaping, Yun Che would have died in the Moon G.o.d Emperor’s hands already.”
“The cold northern region, a poor middle star realm and a thin inheritance of the ice phoenix… I still don’t understand how she suddenly reached the pinnacle of power.”
“She is gone. There’s no longer any point discussing her,” the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor said. However, his eyes grew darker the more he recalled the memories of the past. He said a little distractedly, “Ten thousand years ago, when the Clear Sky G.o.d Emperor died suddenly, his newly wed wife replaced him and renamed the king realm to ‘Soul Stealing Realm’. The sudden change in leaders.h.i.+p was supposed to result in civil war, but not long after her ascension that woman came to the Eastern Divine Region for some reason.”
“You, me, Qianye Fantian, and Qianye Wubei were planning to end her life then and there, but instead we were fooled by her losing act and lured to the borders of the Northern Divine Region. It was there that she summoned all the devil energy for about five thousand kilometers and executed that terrifying Soul Stealing Demon Art… Even someone as powerful as Qianye Fantian couldn’t speak of Chi Wuyao without feeling afraid on the inside.”
Tai Yu couldn’t stop his eyebrows from twitching in reaction. It had been a long time since that battle, but his heart still clenched every time he recalled the names “Chi Wuyao” and “Soul Stealing”.
That battle was the main reason why the Eastern Divine Region never dared to enter the Northern Divine Region recklessly again.
However, that battle also had some unexpected effects. The impact of that battle reached the inhabited realm closest to the Northern Divine Region… and the recently crowned realm king, Mu Xuanyin.
Of course, it was impressive that Mu Xuanyin managed to become a Divine Master despite cultivating in a middle star realm, but that battle was a battle between the Devil Queen, the G.o.d Emperors, an Eternal Heaven Guardian, and a Brahma G.o.d. A new Divine Master didn’t qualify to partic.i.p.ate in that battle, but she dove in anyway without a care for her own life at all.
After that battle, it was revealed that devil people who tried to leave the Northern Divine Region often stumbled upon the Snow Song Realm because the two realms were too close to each other. Since she was born into a realm king’s bloodline, her family stood at the forefront of the resistance against the devil people. That meant that her ancestors and even her loved ones had died at the hands of northern region devil people.
It was no wonder her hatred for devil people went as deep as the soul.
Qianye Fantian was powerful, but even he had fallen for Chi Wuyao’s tricks and suffered ma.s.sively as a result. The shadow of that battle still lingered in his mind to this day. Naturally, it wasn’t hard to imagine the fate of a new Divine Master like Mu Xuanyin.
Chi Wuyao had captured her after she was knocked out by “Soul Stealing”.
Strangely, Mu Xuanyin was able to escape with her life after that. No one knew how she was able to escape from Chi Wuyao’s clutches… not even herself.
Perhaps it was because Chi Wuyao was on her last legs, or perhaps it was because she didn’t want to spend her final strength killing a random stranger instead of escaping.
“Why are you bringing this up after all these years, my lord?” Tai Yu asked.
He was aware that the Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor hated bringing up that fight. In fact, the public had never even heard of it… It was a battle where a woman from the Northern Divine Region had single-handedly messed up the two strongest G.o.d emperors of the Eastern Divine Region, the strongest Eternal Heaven Guardian, and the strongest Brahma G.o.d. Of course they wouldn’t let anyone hear about it.
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor fell silent for a moment before asking, “The imprint that Chi Wuyao left behind back then… is it still intact?”
Tai Yu was caught off guard by the question. Then, he frowned and said, “My lord, you can’t be planning to…”
The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor closed his eyes and said in a heavy tone, “Qingchen is suffering today because of me. He cannot lose his future because of me… Otherwise, I won’t be able to face my ancestors or her when my time arrives.”
“Chi Wuyao made her ambition as clear as day that day. Her attack was clearly a bold and ambitious examination of our strength.” The Eternal Heaven G.o.d Emperor clenched his fists slowly. “In that case… I will make a trade with her.”