Without Yun Che’s “help”, Yao Die and Qianye Ying’er once again became locked in a stalemate. Their eruptions of power splashed against the barrier erected by the gathered realm kings, causing it to shrink continuously.
However, even if everyone present had nostrils for brains, they still realized that a disaster even more catastrophic than a heavenly calamity was about to befall the Imperial Heaven Realm.
Yao Die’s target was Yun Che and she originally would never have allowed anyone else to interfere with her fight. However, due to Qianye Ying’er’s completely unexpected strength, and bizarre interference that was very likely coming from Yun Che, she did not stop Yan Sangeng from joining. But she still yet again bore witness to a scene that far exceeded her imagination.
Yun Che dodged Yan Sangeng’s attacks twice, but now it was clear that those first two moves had been feints to set up that lightning-quick attack with his sword. This was also the way Yun Che usually fought.
This definitely was not some genius strategy or tactic. It would practically be considered a joke to those powerhouses who had survived many battles. But Yun Che had never failed to pull it off. Even someone like Yan Sangeng, a level seven Divine Master who had tens of thousands of years of experience in the profound way, had fallen for this trick.
This tactic of his did not keep succeeding because of his sublime mastery of this technique. Instead, it was because the nature of his profound energy aura was simply far too deceptive and tricky. In fact, it was something that could be said to have exceeded the knowledge of any profound pract.i.tioner countless times over. To put it bluntly, no matter how strong an ant became, it would never be able to arouse the wariness of a towering beast, much less cause that beast to use all of its power.
Moreover, this ant had been completely restrained and immobilized.
Conversely, no matter how unprepared or careless Yan Sangeng was in approaching Yun Che, he was still a level seven Divine Master in the end! Once a person reached this level, the strength of their body and protective profound energy far exceeded the imagination of any ordinary person.
Yet he had been… run through by Yun Che’s sword!? After a single attack!?
A huge explosion rang out in the air and the black mist and black clouds ruptured simultaneously. It was as if a peerlessly dreadful crack had split open in the sky. Qianye Ying’er whirled around, her body flas.h.i.+ng, and she appeared at Yun Che’s side. Witch Yao Die did not continue to attack her either. Instead, she stared at Yun Che and Yan Sangeng, an extremely rare look of shock forming in her eyes.
When Yun Che’s profound energy had exploded for an instant, it had still exuded the aura of a level seven Divine Sovereign. However, when his aura had gone berserk, it was as if the power of countless level seven Divine Sovereigns had erupted simultaneously. It was so strong and vigorous that it did not feel any weaker than Yan Sangeng’s power, the power of a level seven Divine Master!
What was even more unbelievable than that… was that even if Yun Che could truly raise his power to a level that neared Yan Sangeng’s, there was no way that the unprepared Yan Sangeng should have been so easily run through by Yun Che’s sword.
Yao Die’s eyes fell on the gaping wound in Yan Sangeng’s body. The vermillion light twinkling from the wound was so glaring that it stung her eyes. The image of the Heaven Smiting Devil Slayer Sword floated up in her mind and refused to go away.
This mind-blowing scene had caused the Imperial Heaven Tower to descend into a dreadful silence. Everyone was staring so hard at Yan Sangeng that their eyes were on the verge of rupturing. They could scarcely believe what they were seeing.
Furthermore, Yan Sangeng himself seemed to have been completely shocked by this turn of events. One breath… two breaths… three breaths… He still stood there, rooted to the spot, as he dazedly stared at the hole in his chest.
Finally, his lips trembled and he barely managed to whisper a single word. “You…”
After he uttered the word, his body shuddered slightly before he started descending to the ground. He landed inside the barrier below him, his feet sinking deeply into the ground. After that, he went back to being completely motionless.
“Sen… Senior Ghost King?”
The realm kings that were closest to him moved forward as they all took out the best elixirs they had on their person without even looking at each other. Even though he was the Yama Ghost King, someone who would not even deign to look at their elixirs on a normal day, if they could garner even the teensiest bit of favor from him, it would be something that would have infinite uses in the future.
However, they had only taken a few steps before all of them suddenly froze in place.
Tian Muyi, Huo Tianxing, and the rest of their entourage were rus.h.i.+ng toward Yan Sangeng, but they suddenly froze in place as well. They wore frightened and dazed expressions on their faces and it was as if they had seen a G.o.d or a ghost.
Yan Sangeng’s profound energy and life force were disappearing. Furthermore, his energy was not dissipating because his body had been weakened by injury. Rather, it felt like his energy was draining away… like air gus.h.i.+ng out of a popped balloon, it was disappearing at frighteningly fast speed.
In just a few short breaths, his aura had become unspeakably weak. After that, Yan Sangeng’s crouched figure slowly slumped to the ground like soft mud.
The moment his head struck the ground, his widened pupils slowly shrank back down to normal and never moved again.
Yan Sangeng’s life force had been completely extinguished. Even someone as strong as Yao Die could not sense a shred of life left in him.
Silence, an incomparably dreadful silence.
In the skies far above them, Yao Die’s pupils were trembling.
As a Witch, as someone who cultivated darkness profound energy, she had long ago forgotten what the word “cold” was. But at this moment, she felt as if countless streams of cold air were crazily surging through her entire body. Every single strand of hair on her body was trembling as they stood on end.
As a level nine Divine Master, Yao Die naturally completely outstripped Yan Sangeng, a level seven Divine Master, in every way. However, killing him would be an exceedingly difficult thing for her to do.
Once a person entered the realm of the late stage Divine Masters, it would be extremely difficult for them to die.
In the Yama Realm, the ones who were directly below the Yama Emperor were the Yama Devils, and the ones below the Yama Devils were the Yama Ghosts. Yan Sangeng was the chief of the Yama Ghosts and in the entire Yama Realm, he was a transcendent existence who possessed a power and prestige that was inferior only to the Yama Emperor and the Yama Devils.
As a result, even if Yao Die had the ability to kill him effortlessly, she would still never dare to do such a thing.
In fact, she could not believe that someone in the Northern Divine Region had been able to… had actually dared to kill the Ghost King of the Yama Realm!
However, there was something even more inexplicable than this! How had he even died!?
A Divine Master was so strong that their vitality and healing ability far transcended the domain of mortal beings. They could even perfectly regenerate lost limbs. Getting run through by a sword was not even considered a serious injury to a Divine Master. So there was no way it could be a fatal blow.
But a single blow from Yun Che had actually killed Yan Sangeng!
Those grayish-white orbs were completely devoid of life, proving that this impossible thing had actually come to pa.s.s… After all, the proof of it was lying right before their eyes.
The vermillion light s.h.i.+ning from his wound finally started to slowly fade away. At the same moment it disappeared completely, threads of pitch-black mist started to slowly rise out of his wounds.
Everyone here today had been cultivating darkness profound energy their entire lives. Furthermore, there were many Divine Masters and Divine Sovereigns present, yet none of them had been able to sense any profound energy emanating from this black smoke. It was as if these threads of black mist were merely ordinary wisps of black ash and smoke.
“This… This is…”
Tian Muyi’s outstretched hand froze in midair. He was unable to retract it or lower it. As the strongest realm king in the Northern Divine Region, a level eight Divine Master, he was extremely aware of what being a level seven Divine Master meant. So the shock and disbelief in his heart far exceeded the other people around him.
The Yama Ghost King had died. This was the most unbelievable event that had happened in ten thousand years... since the Clear Sky G.o.d Emperor had died.
“He could have left it well enough alone, but he just had to seek out his own death.”
A cold and disinterested voice rang out in the desolate world. It sounded exactly the same as it did before, but when everyone heard it this time, they felt as if icy needles were being stabbed into their bones, causing them to s.h.i.+ver all over.
“There really are many idiots in the Northern Divine Region,” Yun Che scoffed coldly. “No wonder all of you have been trapped in here forever like a bunch of caged beasts.”
“...” Witch Yao Die slowly turned her eyes toward Yun Che. She said in a deep voice, “Do you know… who he was?”
It was only when she spoke that she discovered, to her shock, that her voice was actually shaking involuntarily.
“Yan Sangeng, the chief of the Yama Realm’s thirty-six Yama Ghosts,” Qianye Yin’er said in a languid voice. “He was really famous but it’s too bad that his brain didn’t work too well. He would still be alive right now and not a single hair on his head would have been touched, but he just had to choose death."
Yao Die’s gaze remained fixed on Yun Che. The eyes of the person who had killed the Yama Ghost King were still as calm and serene as they had been before. She could not see any excitement, smugness, arrogance, or apprehension in those eyes… They were just as calm as they had been when he had defeated Tian Guhu. It was as if he had simply reached out to crush an insect!
This was the Yama Realm’s Ghost King!
Did he really have no emotions at all?
“How… did he… die?” Yao Die spoke through gritted teeth. It sounded as if she had to grind out each word.
Neither Yun Che or Qianye Ying’er deigned to give her a reply. A look of contempt flashed through their eyes, as if they were saying:
“Are you blind? He obviously died from a single stab.”
For the Yama Ghost King to die from a single thrust of a sword… Hehe, what a ridiculous joke.
Yao Die did not pursue this matter any further. She cast a final look at the body of the Yama Ghost King and muttered softly, “No wonder…”
She turned around and black b.u.t.terflies appeared and started to flutter around her. Her body shot far into the distance, and she disappeared into the dusky horizon in the blink of an eye.
“We aren’t going to detain her?” Qianye Ying’er asked. “You did say that you would make her regret it.”
“There’s no need,” Yun Che said. “Allowing her to leave now has given us one additional ‘bargaining chip’.”
Qianye Ying’er paused for a moment before finally understanding what Yun Che meant.
Yun Che raised his hand and a tiny whirlwind of black energy was slowly swirling in the middle of his palm. The instant the Heaven Smiting Devil Slaying Sword had pierced Yan Sangeng’s body, Yun Che had violently poured the power from the Eternal Calamity of Darkness into his body through his sword.
The darkness profound art that came from a Devil Emperor violently raged inside Yan Sangeng’s body like a primordial devil G.o.d, destroying all the darkness in his body.
As he slowly closed his fingers, Yun Che exhaled softly. The Eternal Calamity of Darkness could crush all kinds of darkness, but this was strictly limited to darkness alone. It would have been wonderful if it could have the same effect on the profound pract.i.tioners of the other divine regions.
Yao Die had left. In fact, one could even say that she had fled in defeat. The only person under the heavens who could so thoroughly bewilder and shock a Witch was this monster, Yun Che.
The battle had come to a halt, but the barrier that protected a significant portion of the Imperial Heaven Tower had not been lowered. Many pairs of eyes were trembling incessantly as they looked at Yun Che. Their conception of how things worked had been completely and utterly shattered by Yun Che today.
“Just who exactly are you people?” Tian Muyi said. His hands were tightly clenched and his entire body was as tense as a coiled spring.
A person that would even dare to kill the Yama Ghost King. Even the word “lunatic” would not be enough to describe him anymore.
He had killed a level seven Divine Master with a single strike of his sword, causing Tian Muyi to be filled with utter horror for the first time in his life.
“Let’s go.” Yun Che did not spare anyone else a single glance. He simply turned around and prepared to leave. He had come here because he had wanted to intentionally stir up a commotion in the Heavenly Sovereign a.s.sembly. The arrival of a Witch was something outside of his calculations, and a pleasant surprise.
At this moment, Yun Che repeated those two words again. Everyone suddenly felt as if a load had been taken off their back as they all let out sighs of relief. Tian Muyi’s rigidly tensed body started to relax as well. However, he did not dare to utter a single sound as he was afraid that any unnecessary movements would draw Yun Che’s attention to him.
Previously, he would never have allowed these two people to leave with their lives. But right now, he could only pray that they would leave immediately and never appear before him again. He did not even dare to inquire about their true ident.i.ties.
Furthermore, the act of killing Yan Sangeng had guaranteed that the Yama Realm would launch an all-out hunt for him after this. Because his sword had not only pierced Yan Sangeng’s body, it had also struck at the pride and dignity of the Yama Realm.
“Please wait a moment!”
This sudden outburst caused everyone’s heart to violently thump. They wanted to kill the person who had spoken with a single slap, but the moment they saw who it was, they could only grit their teeth and bear it.
Shockingly enough, the person who had spoken was Fen Jieran. As he stared at Yun Che’s back, he said, “Is your surname Yun?”
Yun Che did not respond to his question. Instead, he swiftly flew into the distance. He had clearly ignored Fen Jieran’s existence.
Fen Jieran silently clenched his teeth, but he did not dare to ask that question a second time.
However, Yun Che suddenly came to an abrupt halt. Just when everyone thought he was going to speak to Fen Jieran, he said in a slow and deliberate manner, “Tian Guhu, I bestowed death on this so-called Ghost King for going against me. Yet you still live. Do you know why that is the case?”
Tian Guhu’s injuries were quite severe, but everything that had happened had been burned into his eyes. After he heard Yun Che’s words, he raised his head with some difficulty. As he looked up at the back of that already distant figure, he could only feel shame and inferiority in his heart.
How ridiculous and comical his previous behavior was… It had simply been far too ridiculous.
“Senior… disdained to kill me,” Tian Guhu said. Even though his voice was weak and dull, it still possessed a modic.u.m of clarity.
He had addressed Yun Che as his senior, but he would never have dreamed that Yun Che’s actual age was not even one-tenth of his own.
“Heh!” Yun Che let out a small laugh before saying, “Many people want to escape from this cage called the Northern Divine Region. Because it is simply far too difficult for them to survive in this cage. However, there are also many people who have never thought of leaving this cage. Because they are strong and hold positions of power. They are the rulers of this Northern Divine Region, so they need never be concerned about the word, ‘survival’. Instead they have exclusive access to things that others would not even dare dream of in ten lifetimes.”
“Change? Escape? Those words are simply a ludicrous joke to them. They have exclusive access to everything they desire, so why would they take the risk and change anything? Why would they brave such danger? The Northern Divine Region isn’t going to completely vanish during their lifetimes, and as for their descendants… Heh, what has that got to do with them?”
“!!” Tian Guhu’s head jerked up and his originally dull and dim eyes started to tremble crazily.
“The ones who have the most power, the ones who should have been at the forefront of this fight against their fates, have never once thought of fighting. It is rare for such people to produce such an eccentric person like you. But it’s simply a pity…” Yun Che said as he gave a cold laugh, “that your actions are so very childish and ridiculous! It’s practically… even more ridiculous than my actions were back then!”
He turned around, his gaze falling on Tian Guhu. “Compa.s.sion? Righteousness? Hahaha… what are those things? If you want to change everything, you need to possess a desperate viciousness and there needs to be enough blood to cover the entire Northern Divine Region. Do you understand!?”
Tian Guhu’s body violently shuddered, as if he had been struck by a bolt of lightning. He stared at Yun Che’s eyes, as his own eyes started to tremble more and more intensely… He suddenly started to struggle to his feet. He endured the pain of his wounds splitting open as he fell heavily to his knees.
“Guhu, you?” Tian Muyi was stunned. In fact, everyone present had been stunned by Tian Guhu’s actions.
His head heavily smacked against the ground as he kowtowed to Yun Che. He had kowtowed with all of his might without protecting himself with profound energy. So his wounds that had just been sealed had been reopened. Blood freely streamed down his forehead and when he raised his head, his face was not only stained by blood, it was also stained by tears. “I beg Senior… to take me as your disciple. Guhu… is willing to follow after Senior and be your servant. I’ll do whatever you ask of me… I just beg that Senior fulfill my wis.h.!.+”
Tian Guhu’s words greatly shocked Tian Muyi and the others present. Tian Muyi practically lunged forward as he grabbed up Tian Guhu’s shoulder and said, “Guhu, what are you even saying!?”
He immediately turned around and said to Yun Che. “Se… Senior Ling Yun, my disgraceful son’s injuries are far too heavy. His mind is clearly addled, so he is spouting nonsense right now. I hope that you won’t take offense.”
Yun Che’s origins were unknown, and his personality was eccentric and vicious. Even if they did not take these things into account, he had just killed the Yama Ghost King, so he would be hotly pursued by the Yama Realm after this. How could he allow Tian Guhu to get involved with him at this juncture?
Tian Guhu would normally never go against his father’s words, but this time, his eyes remained fixed on Yun Che as he spoke in a hoa.r.s.e but resolute voice, "Royal Father, your son sees more clearly now than I ever have in my life."
Tian Muyi was completely stunned.
He had never seen the look that Tian Guhu had in his eyes before. At this moment, cold sorrow flashed in his heart as an incomparably clear and distinct notion sprang up in his head… At this moment, he felt as if he had never truly understood the son he was most proud of.
Guhu… had truly been alone. He was a solitary existence that had excluded even him, his own royal father.
“Take you as my disciple?” Yun Che turned his back towards him. “Right now, you are still far from qualified. However, I still might have some use for your life. And that day… won’t be far off.”
His voice lingered in their ears, but Yun Che had long since flown into the distance. Only Tian Guhu was left staring up into the sky in a completely befuddled manner.