Zhao Ge Chapter 221-230

Chapter 221

Meng Pass, fallen.

Yan Men Prefecture, fallen.

The situation that had been in a stalemate for a long time was finally broken, and a second Heavenly pillar rose up in Yan Men Prefecture. Before this, the northeast territories of South Chen dynasty were always controlled by the immortal sects, but after the Heavenly pillar rose in Yan Men Prefecture, the situation started turning around.

Just like what once happened at Qi Qin dynasty, the prairie-burning fires of war started burning on South Chen dynasty’s northwest areas the immortal sects held with an unstoppable force.

Yan Men Prefecture.

It was the throat of Bing Province at South Chen dynasty, the place one must pass through from South Chen dynasty’s northwest to the east and south regions. It was an existence equivalent to a gateway of a country. When it was controlled by the immortal sects, from Yan Men Prefecture as the central point, the immortal sects could go forward to enter the central area of South Chen dynasty, or move back to reinforce the immortal sects.

It was an extremely important hub of the east region for the immortal sects and dynasties.

What was more important was, this hub was the place one must pass through in the closest road to Tai Shang Sect and Wan Zhen Sect in the northeast area of the twelve dynasties from Jiu Xuan Sect.

After Yan Men Prefecture had fallen to enemy hands, the east and south regions to Yan Men Prefecture of South Chen dynasty started quickly returning to the dynasties’ control. The immortal sects’ wing in the southeast region was cut, and the connection between Jiu Xuan Sect, Tai Shang Sect and Wan Zhen Sect was cut in half. Ever since, the war that had been in stalemate for a long time was broken off.

Before war had completely erupted, Qi Qin dynasty first created sparks on the mainland’s southeast regions neighbouring the sea, and in the first year of war, Jin Tang dynasty assumed the role of directly facing against Jiu Xuan Sect. South Chen dynasty had always been in a lukewarm state, and the provinces and prefectures that pretty much took up two-thirds of the entire country were controlled by the sects.

Now, it was South Chen dynasty’s turn to lead, and unleash the counterattack and turbulence of the stalemate.

The fires that first burned in the southeast, after burning to the east to Jin Tang, finally spread to the east region of Qi Qin dynasty.

The fragile equilibrium that was maintained during the stalemate was quickly broken, and new expeditions quickly started again.

With Yan Men Prefecture as the central point, South Chen dynasty very quickly took back the provinces east and south of Yan Men, and then, the battlefront rapidly pushed towards the northwest, and steadily moved in towards the immortal sects’ core, the place of Jiu Xuan Sect’s main sect.

After Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, that black-armoured cavalry of South Chen dynasty once again had apparent growth in their strength- when they galloped over the broad plains, it was a surging, unstoppable current of iron, where all the places they passed through were taken up by a storm. And following them, were thick layers of clouds covering over from the skies.

The fog raptors that disappeared on the land of the twelve dynasties for almost an entire era appeared on the lands once again.

The ancient legends became a reality. These rulers within the clouds, these beings that ate divine birds in the era of Chaos returned after stillness, and they opened up pale-white bony wings in the skies, where the wing bones that were like giant scythes spread open like fans, narrow and sharp.

The fog raptors came along with thick and dense clouds. In the places they appeared at, heavy dark clouds would cover over the skies, with lightning and thunder within the clouds. They would roam within the high skies, and cast giant shadows on the ground.

Ever since war, Bai Yi Qing, Shen Chang Ge, and Chen Yan Yu continuously uprooted the area’s influential clans at the same time they attacked the immortal sects. Before this, these clans either borrowed the selection of disciples as a part of the immortals sect’s net to increase the immortal sects’ influence to possess large stretches of land, or kept warriors, specifically to kill those without crimes or those who would not be penalized with death[1]; or, they put their own members into the immortal sects, and use the power of the immortal cultivator from the family to obtain a very great prestige in the area.

Before this, six-tenths of the country’s good lands were at the sects, three-tenths belonged to the aristocratic families, while the remaining portion was for good citizens.

South Chen’s emperor, Chen Yan Yu personally burned off the contract the forefather signed with Jiu Xuan Sect back then, and announced, from hereon, the dynasty would no longer give the immortal sects lands of gratitude.

With the ancient contract voided, the soils were once again purged and divided up.

Borrowing the opportunity of attacking the immortal sects, the young dynasty emperors rewashed the ownership of the world’s fields, and at the same time they purged the influential clans, the poor and humble commoner families that represented the three young emperors drew up divisions of farmland, while cultivation-less civil officials established the measurements into books against the scorching sun, and handed out farmland according to each household.

Among these young commoners that walked up to the stage of politics for the first time in this big purge, there were many that were scholars well-read in poems, of which, a very large portion were the learned men gradually maturing within the poetry gatherings Bai Yi Qing hosted. They celebrated the dynasties’ victories to their utmost, and called those fog raptors hovering above the skies an omen.

That was Heaven’s decree, they fought, for the lands, and for the commoners.

Fog raptors hovered in the skies, and hunted the flying vessels crossing within the clouds. Their speed of flight was very quick, and could even borrow the clouds to hide oneself, they were the most outstanding predators and lurkers. The connection between the Qing Ming towers in South Chen’s neighbouring regions were hence cut off due to the appearance of fog raptors.

For the first time since war began, the area in the skies appeared with contention.

The fog raptors fought with flying vessels in the high skies, and at the same time, on the battlefield, the fog raptors would swoop down from the skies several tens of thousands of zhang high, and would bring up stretches of shapeless wind blades from the air. The first time fog raptors appeared on the battlefield on a large scale, was at the battle at Meng Pass. In that battle, among Jiu Xuan Sect’s three outstanding disciples, Li Xin had died in battle, while Jun Wan Bai and Chu Zhi Yuan lead the remaining disciples to retreat back to Jiu Xuan Sect within the singing of beckoning souls.

Between flying vessels and fog raptors, the fog raptors were the natural-born rulers of the clouds. This kind of monster of the clouds would let out hoarse and hideous laughs within the lightning and storm, and use blood to announce their own return.

To go up against fog raptors, the immortal sects had to hurriedly make arrangements. They sent elders to guard over the important cities within the range of where fog raptors would appear at, and at the same time, the Wan Zhen Sect disciples would retreat from battlefront, and instead connect the cities and put down large-scale formations.

The dynasties and immortals sects were intensely contending for each city’s control in bloody battles, and during this time, Jin Tang dynasty that acted as the main force in the beginning of the war stopped fighting for a bit, and compared to the other two dynasties, they entered a resting period, and instead, South Chen and Qi Qin joined hands to be the main force.

And at this time, on the battlefield, a silver-haired woman appeared out from nowhere.

The dynasties called her the “Princess”.

The Princess sat on a white-boned throne suspended in the high skies, and the returned fog raptors listened to her orders. She would indifferently look down on the immortal sects from the skies, just like how the immortals sects once loftily and indifferently looked down at mortals.

As for the Princess’ origins, the opinions were widely divided, but most people felt like she was like those mask-wearing people walking on the battlefield. And what was worth a mention was, this Princess seemed to have some unknown feud with the immortal sects’ leader, that Sect Leader Bai Li whose two arrows shocked the world.

In Meng Pass, to declare war at Sect Leader Bai Li, she specially let go Jun Wan Bai and the others.

And among those people wearing masks, the Princess’ prestige seemed to be just as high.

South Chen dynasty’s Emperor Chen Yan Yu, this young emperor, used an exceeding amount of valour and courage to personally appear on the battlefield.

The storm that underwent a long brewing with the separate governance of the south and north finally began, and the fires of war set up this era’s grandest stage.

◈◈◈

Bing Province, Yan Men Prefecture.

“As expected of the country’s important area, Yan Men Prefecture.”

Bai Yi Qing stood on Yan Men Prefecture’s city tower with hands behind his back, and surveyed the stretching ranges outside the prefecture. He was dressed like an ordinary scholar, and simply from his appearance, nobody would believe this gentle and delicate young man was the Qi Qin emperor who first rose up the flames of war on the land of the twelve dynasties.

He looked to be like an ordinary cultured scholar, not only that, but he always carried a gentle smile, and very easily gave people a good feeling.

No one would think that as Qi Qin dynasty’s emperor, Bai Yi Qing was like he did not care for his own position and safety one bit, and only brought a few guards and secretly came to South Chen’s Yan Men Prefecture that was called the war’s front lines.

Even Chen Yan Yu did not imagine it.

He was also considered a young emperor. Bai Yi Qing’s was younger than him, but long during the time the three dynasties schemed in secret, Chen Yan Yu often turned astonished due to Bai Yi Qing’s various unexpected arrangements. Only, he did not think, the other person would do this kind of thing like going to South Chen all alone.

“Are you not afraid that you would die here, or that someone would steal your throne?”
Chen Yan Yu said, with both hands gathered in his sleeves.

“The throne isn’t anything good.” Bai Yi Qing’s hands held up a jar of wine, however, from how he looked, he did not have the intent of inviting Chen Yan Yu to drink together, “Whether the one who is emperor is of the surname Bai or other surnames, it is no matter. After all, as long as that position is occupied by someone(human), then it’s fine, even if Qi Qin didn’t have me, they could be able to operate just the same.”

Qi Qin dynasty, in this battle, borrowed the opportunity of having many of the aristocratic families in the dynasty purged to carry out bold reforms. The poor commoners were promoted in big numbers, and the imperial examinations that faintly had an early form during Bai Jing Tian’s era but, in the end, due to the aristocratic families relying on the immortal sects’ power adding with intervening with actual results, got limited, was finished once again.

——Before this, though Qi Qin dynasty’s imperial examination system existed, the chosen scholars still received all sorts of exclusions from the aristocratic families, and those with actual authority were very few.

In regards to this, Chen Yan Yu was not that unfamiliar with it.

The circumstances of South Chen dynasty before were pretty much like this. Back then, to send Lou Shi Dao to the important area with true authority, he had to toil and rack his brains, and even had to act crazy and a fool to deceive the aristocratic families.

And after undergoing a series of reforms, Qi Qin dynasty’s three councils and six ministries within mutually contained each other, and the framework for political affairs that operated according to the laws and decrees was already realizing. Just as Bai Yi Qing said, actually, with or without him, Qi Qin dynasty would not miss anything, the politics of the country could still be handled as usual.

“You speak of me, but what about you yourself?” Bai Yi Qing leaned against the wall, and smiled as he looked at Chen Yan Yu, “As South Chen’s emperor, personally leading the soldiers as emperor cannot be any more safe compared to me, right? Are you not worried you would die, and your throne would be gone?”

Chen Yan Yu froze with his counter question, and also laughed, then shook his head.

“Fine, the talents of the Bai clan’s son is known by all beneath the sky, I do not want to debate with you. You are not wrong.” Chen Yan Yu looked at the continuous ranges, “The throne is certainly the most meaningless thing in this world. Actually in the past, I wanted to be a watchman, and slowly walk through all the streets in the night.”

When he was young, he was sent out the palace, and once escaped from calamities along with famine refugees. One time, an old watchman took him in. He followed the old watchman, and walked in the small city’s streets and alleys for the first time. The old watchman recounted each street’s history with him, and during that time, he suddenly felt like the city turned alive, where those streets and alleys were the city’s pulse.

Later on, the old watchman died to sickness.

And he was found by the teacher.

“Watchman?”
Bai Yi Qing gave it some thought, and felt like him being a poet wandering the country was more unrestrained.
“But from hearing it, it’s not bad either.”

A trumpet bird flew down from the skies, then fell onto Chen Yan Yu’s shoulder. Chen Yan Yu took down the secret letter from the trumpet bird, “Jin Tang’s preparations are done.”

“What about Tu Qi and Hu Ji?” Bai Yi Qing asked. Though he brought a few people over, he seemed to still be extremely well-informed.

“They’ve prepared for a while already.”

Chen Yan Yu said, and destroyed the secret letter. He turned his head around to look down the city. Lou Shi Dao’s carriage already stopped beneath the city. The familiar good friend came out from the carriage, and lifted their head up to slightly signal at him.

Chen Yan Yu excused himself from Bai Yi Qing, and walked down the wall.

Bai Yi Qing leaned on the wall, slightly swayed the wine in his hand, and watched Chen Yan Yu walk to Lou Shi Dao’s side. Lou Shi Dao’s face bore a harsh and disagreeing expression, the two spoke of something, and in the end, did not even sit in the carriage, then walked off along the deserted streets shoulder to shoulder.

Bai Yi Qing quietly watched the figures of the two going away shoulder to shoulder, and felt like he saw the epitome of an era.

One was someone who became an emperor, yet did not forget the promise when they were young, one was someone who really realized the commitment they made in their youth, and protected a country’s important area for another person. When privately getting together, they were like the youths back in the classroom getting scolded by the teacher and being punished to stand.

When seeing their figures, one felt like this world seemed to not be that cruel- though it was a time of blood and fire, there were still some things worth making people smile a bit.

“A good friend of the youth, an intimate friend of great trust, is actually quite enviable.”
Bai Yi Qing looked at Chen Yan Yu and Lou Shi Dao’s figures walking far off shoulder-to-shoulder, and lowly spoke to himself.

Though it was very difficult walking on a path spread with thorns, it was not considered that painful. Pain, was that unknown solitude of walking forward all alone.

Actually, after carefully thinking, this world still had one person who was able to understand his thoughts.

If [they] met in another circumstance, in another time, with another identity, perhaps they could become close friends.

However, it wasn’t much now. To say they were friends, it wouldn’t be considered so, it was only a single encounter; but to say they were enemies, was rather a bit belittling. After all, they were joining hands to play chess with the world as the board. Friends, not quite, enemies, too light.

Then, one could say they were acquaintances.

Bai Yi Qing thought, and slightly smiled. He lifted his head up, and drank a mouthful of wine, then rose it up towards Jiu Xuan Sect’s direction, and offered it up distantly.

—— You must succeed, this world’s gamble, in the end, still needs to fall onto your shoulders.

This wine is dedicated to you.

With the jar emptied, he tossed the jar, and also walked down the city. Bei He was waiting for him beneath the city.

[1] (无市死之子) There is a saying this term should be based on that goes, 千金之子,不死于市, the wealthy do not die by execution (for crimes that would typically be punished with death). The laws apply not to the wealthy.

Chapter 222

“Sometimes I would think, things really are just how they are.”

Yi He Ping sat leaning against the gravestone. By He Qing Chuan’s grave, was another new gravestone, with the surface written with “Grave of Jiu Xuan Sect’s Gen Range, Xie Yi”, by his knees was a jar of wine, with two jars by his side already emptied.

“Nothing to fuss over.”
He said, with his tone a bit down.

Birth, old age, sickness, death- in the mortals’ world, these were very normal things, but actually, among immortal cultivators, it was the same too. Even the lofty ancient emperors of the era of Chaos back then all fell one after another, they too, in the end, would die too.

Only, when people one knew from they were young left one by one, that by the end, the only one from the people in the same generation left was themselves, that kind of disappointment could not be rid of no matter how.

Sometimes, Yi He Ping himself would also think, if the one who died at the Mausoleum of Ten Million back then was himself, it would be nice.

“Don’t you not drink wine?”

The sound of footsteps resounded, someone entered this graveyard that very few people came to.

Yi He Ping lifted his eyes, and saw Elder Qin carrying wine walking over here, and sat across from himself.

“When I was the sect leader, I could not drink but now, it’s not like I’m the sect leader anymore.” Yi He Ping laughed slightly.

“This shameless look of yours right now is just like back then.” Elder Qin said, he opened the lid of the jar of wine, “In the past, you would nonsensically go back on your words just like this, pile up heap after heap of bold and noble words.”

His tone lost a bit of the smell of smoke he would normally have.

Yi He Ping slightly turned his head to look at him.

Back then, when Elder Qin went to the Mausoleum of Ten Million, he got injured and injured his vitality, and long was of an old-aged look, but in reality, according to a normal person’s age, they had all lived quite long already. For these many years, Elder Qin had always travelled around the twelve dynasties, draped with black robes, carrying out all sorts of missions- no matter if it was the white hairs or the wrinkles on the face, it was all engraved with the traces of time.

“You really aren’t here to fight with me today?” Yi He Ping asked, “If you are, don’t hit the face, after the day comes, I still need to take care of some things.”

Elder Qin tossed a jar of wine over to Yi he Ping.

Yi He Ping lifted his eyebrows, and caught it.

The jar of wine was still left with half a jar.

This was a tacit agreement they had a very long time ago.

Back then when they just entered Jiu Xuan Sect, everybody was a person of exceptional talent. Geniuses were all arrogant, disputes happening while interacting with each other became a matter no more ordinary. During that time, Guan Zhi Yu was still the eldest disciple. Though Yi He Ping was quite sinister inside, he was also of a juvenile heart.

There were many times of quarrelling and fighting.

After fighting, nobody could put their face down and open their mouths to reconcile. Thus, when the other person was drinking wine, they would bring wine over, and toss the jar of wine over to the other person without a word.

With the wine finished, the events were considered turned over, and also [the two] reconciled.

However, after Yi He Ping became the sect leader, he no longer drank, and Elder Qin no longer tossed a jar of wine to him.

Yi He Ping looked at the wine, then shook it.

He lifted his head up, and poured in a mouthful.

“Before, when I went to see Xie Yi, he would always say I’m obstinate.” Elder Qin took the jar of wine Yi He Ping placed to one side, opened the lid, and also took a drink. “One cannot be stubborn all their lives. Two people whose bodies already half-buried in caskets still brooding over some things at this age, if that brat Xie Yi saw, he would laugh, wouldn’t he?”

“The one brooding over things is only you.”
Yi He Ping leaned on the gravestone, and said.

“Don’t be so shameless[1].”

“Little brother’s just right here, who is it that is so shameless, do you want to ask him?” Yi He Ping appeared a bit drunk. Before Elder Qin came, he already drank quite a bit of wine, and he tapped on the gravestone he was leaning on.

“Never mind, I’m not going to bicker with you that much.” Elder Qin also leaned back on Guan Zhi Yu’s gravestone, held up the wine, and softly said, “I’ve gotten old, when people get old, they no longer want to bicker that much.”

When people get old, they would no longer be the youth back then who could give cold shoulders for several days and not talk to each other with a few quarrels.

The ones with qualifications to be concerned over their face were the finely-dressed and horse-riding youths, them white-haired old folks, actually already long regarded many things as unimportant.

“He is no longer at Jiu Xuan, correct?”
Once the two calmed down, and drank wine for a bit, Elder Qin suddenly asked.

“After these many years, you’ve also progressed, huh.” Yi He Ping leaned on the gravestone, “The brat with the surname Ye that is the next sect leader of Tai Shang Sect, a few days ago, brought a letter from that old fellow from Tai Shang Sect. At that time, they headed towards Tai Shang Sect together.”

“Right now, only Tai Shang Sect’s Heavenly pillar remains, right? Do you think those people wants to raise Tai Shang Sect’s Heavenly pillar as well?”
Elder Qin knocked on the jar of wine with his fingers.

“Hu Ji and Tu Qi, in this period of time, had always been unsteady. After Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, the road we used to head to Tai Shang Sect has been severed. They have no fear of attacks from behind anymore and also have South Chen dynasty’s support, if they had any movements, it should be at this time.” Yi He Ping said, “The Medicine Valley is not far from Tai Shang Sect, I am slightly worried.”

“The Medicine Valley?”
Elder Qin knitted his eyebrows.

“Back then, you killed the Medicine Valley’s valley master. Shouldn’t you have already taken care of the Medicine Valley at that time?”

Yi He Ping could not help but laugh, “Back then, we even killed South Chen, Jin Tang, and Qi Qin’s emperors.”

In the meaning outside those words, right now, South Chen, Jin Tang, and Qi Qin were not raising a large army as they did before.

“In reality, you and I understand, killing one or two people can only suppress things down for a period of time, it is practically of no avail.” Yi He Ping said, his voice a bit low, “Except, for these many years, we were all unresigned was all.”

“Unresigned, what bullshit.”
Elder Qin raised his eyebrows, and his voice got louder.

“We, the immortal sects, have painstakingly suppressed those era’s archaic things, sealed those demons for these many years, these things, are they not things we did?”

“Be it suppressing, sealing, or exterminating oddities and demons, ask [yourself] seriously, is the goal of preserving the Heavenly pillars really only to guarantee everyone to be safe and sound?” Yi He Ping’s voice was very light, rather than speaking with Elder Qin, it was like he was talking to himself, “All this time, we told ourselves after the Heavenly pillars rose up, it would bring great suffering for the people[2], but now that the dynasties rose up the Heavenly pillars, there aren’t many people who died due to this in reality.”

Elder Qin knitted his eyebrows, “Thankfully I’m already old, if we went back a few several ten years, and you say this, I would draw blades on you.”

“But right now, you haven’t drawn your blade, no?”
Yi he Ping said. His voice was very calm, and only subconsciously swayed the jar of wine, showing that his feelings were actually far from being that collected.
“In reality, you have also thought to these things, right?”

Elder Qin did not answer.

Yi He Ping smiled.

“I know you are also thinking about it.” He calmly said, “If you did not, even if time had not reversed ten years, right now, you should draw your blade against me. However, if you did not think about these things, I would not speak about it with you either.”

He let out a long sigh, and lifted his head up to look at the sky.

“Immortals know not of the hardships of commoners, nor do commoners need to seek eternal life.”
Yi He Ping lightly recited this line that was spreading out on South Chen’s lands that everyone knew of.

His voice carried a sort of exhaustion and a kind of helplessness to it.

“Sometimes, I would think, were we actually wrong? Were we actually in the wrong? But at much more times, I would not dare to think, because Jiu Xuan Sect has this many disciples, if I felt like I really was wrong, then they would also become wrong, thus, I can only feel like I am right.”

Elder Qin placed the jar of wine down.

“I know that back then, among us few, you were the one who thought the most. You are just like before right now.” Elder Qin calmly said, “Back then, you would always laugh how I’ve thought of the matter too simply, but I can’t fight over this with you, I can’t win over you. Those things you think of, I don’t want to think of either.”

“I only know of one thing.”
Elder Qin’s gaze suddenly turned sharp.

“The people of the dynasties are reviving the ancient emperors. Other complicated and messy things are not worth a mention compared to those existences. With the ancient emperors revived, the dynasties are our enemies, then we must kill the ancient emperors.”

“Sometimes, those who think simply can still think of some crucial things.”

“I know you are cursing at me in a roundabout way again.” Elder Qin said, “But it’s not like I don’t know anything at all. The one who revived is Sky Emperor, right? Among the Three Emperors, he is one who was at the core of the massacre, from the start of war, weren’t you leaving a lot of things to prepare to face him?”

Yi He Ping clapped his hands with interest.

“Don’t you tell me, you don’t know that in front of that kind of existence, we people are only ants. Do you want to die?”
Elder Qin’s voice carried a bit of anger.

Yi He Ping looked at him, with a hard-to-describe implication in his expression, and he slowly opened his mouth, “Have you ever thought……”

His tone was no longer casual and scattered for the first time tonight.

“In the era of Chaos, era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the one who actually killed those ancient emperors, was always the same person. Why is this?”

His voice was very light, but inside, it instead seemed to hide with a sort of terrifying, fearful thing, a type of thing that had always been ignored by others.

Elder Qin stiffened his body, and felt like there was a hint of cold suddenly seeping into his bones.

From the era of Chaos to Ten Thousand Immortals, the ones who overthrew the ancient emperors’ rule, were certainly the many people of the Eighteen Clans of Old, however…… the one who truly made that finalizing strike on the ancient emperors’ fall, certainly was only ever made by one person.

Cold winds rustled over, and blew by this quiet graveyard.

The gravestones stood still, everything was of a deathly stillness.

Yi He Ping drank wine alone, while Elder Qin quietly sat in place, and in the end, Yi He Ping leaned against the gravestone, drunken over.

When the skies slightly lit up, Elder Qin finally stood up.

“No matter if it was in the past or present, drinking with you is a very meaningless thing as expected.” Elder Qin patted his clothes, then stood up, “I already can’t see what exactly it is you guys want to do.”

He paused.

“I am only a person who draws out their blade.”

Yi He Ping leaned on the gravestone with his eyes closed, and did not move. Elder Qin turned around and slowly walked out of this still graveyard.

Yi He Ping opened his eyes.

With his gaze extremely clear.

[1] 给脸不要脸- to not accept someone’s good will, or face, if you want it literally. Insisting on things to be harder.
[2] 生民涂炭- to plunge the people into suffering, great misery. Or literally, charcoal.

Chapter 223

Ning Province.

Ning Province was a province on the borders of South Chen and Tu Qi dynasty, past Ning Province to the north, one would enter Tu Qi dynasty’s territory. Tai Shang Sect, was in the borders between Tu Qi’s northern region and Hu Ji’s south. No matter if it was Hu Ji or Tu Qi, both were countries on the northeastern snowy lands that belonged to the mainland of the twelve dynasties. After entering Tu Qi, the entire year would have no summer, only a brief spring season. And the even further north Hu Ji only had a winter season all year long.

The archaic snowy ranges stretched, as though a dragon laying over the territory of Tu Qi and Hu Ji.

“Tai Shang Sect is right within the northern ranges, with the Heavenly pillar sunk underneath the main peak.”
Ye Qiu Sheng sat in front of the bonfire, fiddled with the fire, and watched as the tongues of the fire slowly swept up and the light from the fire flicker about.

Bai Li Shu sat right across from him. He did not bring that gold longbow, but instead, brought the longsword he did not see him bring along for a long time already.

After Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, they departed from Jiu Xuan Sect, and rushed towards Tai Shang Sect. Because the fog raptors flew out from underground, the dynasties controlled the eastern skies, the connections between the Qing Ming towers from Tai Shang Sect and Jiu Xuan Sect were cut off. On the other hand, the Heavenly pillar’s power continuously spread out, disturbing this area’s spiritual energy in between [the sects], making them unable to use flying vessels or spatial transmissions to directly reach Tai Shang Sect.

To avoid being discovered by the fog raptors and trumpet birds in the skies, Bai Li Shu and Ye Qiu Sheng could only avoid the cities this entire way, and pass through the wildness, quickly flying with swords.

Ye Qiu Sheng lifted his eyes to look at Bai Li Shu sitting across from him.

Bai Li Shu was watching the burning flames at the moment. The light fell onto his face, and fell into the bottom of his eyes, like a clear lantern fire on top of dark waters. He looked to be also thinking of something.

In Ye Qiu Sheng’s memories, Bai Li Shu was always draped in a snow-like long robe, with his sleeves flying around like cranes. No matter where he stood, he was of an appearance like he did not fit in with others, like an immortal observing commoners on top of a tall snowy peak. The heart hid with many, many things, yet he would not speak about it with another, and others would neither see nor know of it.

Immortal Beyond Heaven, Immortal Beyond Heaven.
Ye Qiu Sheng thought, then suddenly laughed.

Bai Li Shu lifted his eyes up.

“I was thinking……” Ye Qiu Sheng bit on a part of a short blade of grass, and his face carried a bit of a frivolous smile, “In the past, someone called me a fake scholar, they really weren’t wrong, not up to par, unskilled and improper[1].”

Bai Li Shu quietly looked at him.

Ye Qiu Sheng was accustomed to not getting a response to even one in ten sentences from this person, either way, he alone was able to say those nine other sentences that Bai Li Shu would not answer with, and had plenty enough to spare. When others conversed and could not obtain an answer, they would probably feel uninterested and awkward, but he, as someone who would anger someone into a rage due to speaking too much while fighting, probably would not know what was called awkward.

“What Immortal Beyond Heaven, back then, I must have gotten water in my brain to so blindly make this up.” Ye Qiu Sheng bit on the grass, and laughed indolently, “Now that I think about it, an immortal from beyond Heaven should not care for anything.”

And yet, Bai Li Shu’s concerns were so much it made people unable to see it clearly no matter what.

In addition……

When the Eight Immortal Sects’ allied council started, and Ye Qiu Sheng saw Bai Li Shu once again, the other person was already draped with the black robes that symbolized the sect leader’s identity, with complicated gold and silver embroidery on the robes. The elders clustered by his side, and the many people followed behind him, obeying his orders.

However, when Ye Qiu Sheng saw Bai Li Shu draped in black robes sitting in the top seat, with his expression still indifferent, he instead felt that in reality, the other person was still that Bai Li Shu of back then.

Or perhaps it should be said, in reality, Bai Li Shu was always like this.

An immortal from beyond Heaven should not care for the lives of the living on the lands, but he instead seemed to have the entire land, all the people regardless of their identity, and had everything’s destiny taken as his own responsibility. Back at Tong Meng Pass’ battle, Ye Qiu Sheng was also on the field. When the crowd was defeated, he saw Bai Li Shu holding the longbow walking against the flow of the crowd.

He recalled how he countlessly saw the wall drawings appearing with this kind of image, and when he saw the thin young man in black robes going up alone against the crowd, he suddenly felt upset.

Thus, he did not retreat, and pushed aside the crowd and also did his best to walk forward.

Doing this actually seemed to have no use nor meaning, but just by seeing the other person’s back walking forward alone, he simply felt upset, and thus, he also went forward.

Though no one noticed.

After those two arrows were shot out, everyone cheered for Bai Li Shu, and yet he watched from a distance, and saw Bai Li Shu lower the bow, and could not see any happy expression from his face.

—— I am not some good person.

When watching the Bai Li Shu get his black robes get blown by the winds from afar, Ye Qiu Sheng suddenly recalled the words that Bai Li Shu softly said in the Khlajöwwma Desert back then.

In that instance, Ye Qiu Sheng felt, in reality, there were many, many things, that Bai Li Shu cared about.

Except, he would never say it out loud, nor would he express it.

“Actually, back then, I was quite curious about you.”

Ye Qiu Sheng fiddled with the bonfire. When they were on the road, he took the initiative to undertake all the miscellaneous tasks- there was no helping it, you just cannot imagine the appearance of a person like Bai Li Shu indifferently making a fire, right?

“Back then, the shitty old man said, you are fate. I was thinking, fate, what is fate. That bastard, the shitty old man, is quite unreliable, but for a pile of shady secrets, the truth, the false, all sorts of things came from his mouth.”

“Fate?”

Bai Li Shu finally opened his mouth. He was watching the fire, and his voice was faint.

“Not easy, not easy.” Ye Qiu Sheng symbolically clapped for himself, “To be able to make Lord Bai Li open his mouth and say something, it wasn’t wrong for this little scholar to do all these things this entire way.”

“That’s right, fate.”
Ye Qiu Sheng slightly restrained his improper expression.

“In the past, I’ve only heard of the indefinite, abnormalities, the first time I heard fate(fixed number), I felt like it was a bit amusing and funny, but later, I slowly understood that what was much more frightening than impermanence, was actually fate.”

Rise and decline, cycle of reincarnation, grudges, rights and wrongs, all was fate.

Bai Li Shu glanced at him, and after a long time, lowly opened his mouth, “It’s just like that.”

“To be able to receive Lord Bai Li’s approval, really is a matter worthy to be proud of.” Ye Qiu Sheng lifted the corners of his mouth, and lightly laughed.

He was still like he was at Khlajöwwma Desert, calling Bai Li Shu “Lord Bai Li”, with his tone slightly carrying a bit of teasing. In his own words, since the people who called Bai Li Shu Sect Leader, or Family Head were more than enough, it would be fine without him.

As for what he actually thought inside, only he himself knew.

“I say, Lord Bai Li, look upon how we’ve worked together at Bing Province, how we could also be considered to have a very close[2] friendship at Gua Province- and talk about your circumstance for a bit, and let me have a better understanding, yes?” Ye Qiu Sheng leaned against the tree behind him, “Although my strength is not considered the best of the best, but either way, I’m also considered to be a slightly bigger ant, and right now, I can also be considered as peers/companions with Lord Bai Li.”

“I should have an understanding of a peer’s circumstances, no?”
He no longer fiddled with the fire. The tree branches slowly burned, and let out crackling bits of sound.

Bai Li Shu met with his eyes.

“Is your power not stable right now?”
He asked, with a casual tone.

When they were setting out, Ye Qiu Sheng already suspected inside. The Heavenly pillar that rose up in Yan Men Prefecture could disturb the world’s spiritual energy, no doubt, and ordinary people certainly had no way of going through a spacial transmission under the effects of the Heavenly pillar. But Bai Li Shu was not the same.

Ye Qiu Sheng, right now, at any rate, was also Tai Shang Sect’s already-confirmed next sect leader, some secrets, he also knew about.

He knew that Bai Li Shu was still able to transfer Ye Gui and other elders who were in Qi Qin’s borders back to Jiu Xuan Sect before. And yet, at present, Bai Li Shu did not directly use a spacial transfer to reach Tai Shang Sect. At that time, Ye Qiu Sheng then emerged with a suspicion inside, and later on, the observation on the way made him faintly realize, Bai Li Shu’s power right now seemed to be in a very unstable state.

Sometimes, Ye Qiu Sheng would feel a very obscure and heavy pressure from Bai Li Shu, and sometimes, the other person’s aura would be completely contained.

This kind of situation repeated and appeared many times, and Ye Qiu Sheng knew that his own guess should be right.

Bai Li Shu’s current state might certainly be extremely unstable.

Perhaps this was related how he did not directly enter the final black door, but first came out to go to Tai Shang Sect.

“Talk about it for a bit?”
Ye Qiu Sheng fiddled with the fire once again.
“Just think of it as me being a coward and being afraid to die, being worried that due to a typically reliable partner turning abnormal half way through, I would hence lose a life.”

Bai Li Shu turned his head, and looked in Jin Tang’s direction.

Ye Qiu Sheng no longer said anything, and patiently waited.

◈◈◈

Jin Tang.

Above the Heavenly pillar erected within the capital, the number of relieved engravings of many beings turned more and more, and also became more and more refined, with even the most minute of detail emerging. Since Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, the Heavenly pillar towering within Jin Tang’s borders faintly had some changes to it- after the living beings, the top of the Heavenly pillar started gradually appearing with some lines of mountains and rivers.

Just like, the top of the Heavenly pillar, was slowly inscribing with the land of the twelve dynasties.

And within the Heavenly pillar, the originally chaotic space gradually evolved, and appeared with distinct lands, mountains and flowing rivers, and within this space, everything seemed to be the miniature of the area outside Jin Tang dynasty.

Just like this place was forming into a kingdom someone could rule.

Or perhaps it should be said, someone was gradually recovering the control of the kingdom that was miniaturized once again. At this time, the inside of the space emerged with a hazy outline of an imperial city.

The figure draped in blood-red robes already completely solidified, he closed his eyes, with a longsword suspended in front of him.

All of a sudden, the man in blood-red robes opened his eyes, and looked off to a place as though sensing something. His gaze seemed to pass through the Heavenly pillar and directly look towards the distant lands in the northeast.

“As expected, it is you.”
He opened his mouth, as his voice echoed within the gradually-evolving space, carrying a strange overtone to it.

“You want to take back the authority once bestowed [to us]?”

He laughed very icily, and his voice flooded with a swift and fierce killing intent.

[1] 三桶水,半吊子(?)- the original text says three buckets of water hung half-heartedly (then swaying about), but only half of it really makes sense. If you regard the three buckets as half a bucket instead, it implies either being not intelligent or not being skilled at something. Being “half-hung”, is also quite similar to half the bucket, expressing one being unskilled, not well-practised, and improper, either in the way they do things, or in their considerations. Not good, but not bad either, but also refers to how lazy they are.
[2] 过命(交情)- in a friendship where one could do anything for the other, including sacrificing their own life.

Chapter 224

Tai Shang Sect.

The boundless snowy plains of past at this time were no longer a stretch of pure white. The snowy earth had big stretches of bloodstains, warhorses, soldiers, and the sect’s disciples’ corpses.

Tai Shang Sect’s protective formation had already been activated, and an ice-blue light spread over top of Tai Shang Sect’s main peaks.

Yun Zi Mo stood on the peak of the main mountain, and looked down at the situation outside the protective barrier—— an army of black armour was stationed on what was formerly Tai Shang Sect’s territory, and did not continue advancing forward, as though waiting for some person’s arrival.

Tai Shang Sect had already entered a certain period of struggling.

The battle had erupted at the time Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up. When South Chen dynasty’s Heavenly pillar rose up, the Heavenly pillar underneath Tai Shang Sect that was always sealed and was in a slumbering state suddenly had abnormalities to it. When the Heavenly pillar within Jin Tang’s borders rose up, the Heavenly pillar beneath the main peak already had some changes to it.

However, when Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, the resonance seemed to be strengthened to an extreme, and the Heavenly pillar’s power seemed to start breaking through the seal.

—— The other two Heavenly pillars’ rising was gradually awakening it.

To suppress the Heavenly pillar, Tai Shang Sect had to set out a majority of the people staying to guard the main sect to go underneath the main peak, and strengthen the power of the seal.

It was also at this time, that the Medicine Valley’s valley master brought a letter from Tu Qi and Hu Ji dynasty for discussion.

Tu Qi and Hu Ji dynasty tried convincing Tai Shang Sect of surrendering in the letter. It pointed that Tai Shang Sect had already been cut off from the other sects, that Qi Qin dynasty’s army already assembled together with Tu Qi and Hu Ji dynasties’ armies, pressing close to the snowy ranges Tai Shang Sect was located in.

Faced with the letter, the typically reserved and considerably modest Tai Shang Sect Sect Leader Yun Zi Mo swept a look over the lengthy and drawn-out article persuading them to side with the dynasties and surrender the Heavenly pillar, then directly tore the letter apart, drew out his sword, and with one strike, levelled out the top of a snowy peak on the other side.

[Creating] one concise word;

“Fight.”

The battle aimed towards Tai Shang Sect erupted just like this.

When the person from the Medicine Valley brought the letter, the tops of the pure-white snow already had a winding army slowly moving forward. Long while Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar rose up, a most elite army created by Qi Qin dynasty already passed through South Chen dynasty’s territory, headed north the entire way, went by South Chen and Tu Qi dynasty’s borders, and entered the northern plains of snow here.

After rejecting the dynasties’ demands, Tai Shang Sect made preparations for war.

At the same time, Tai Shang Sect tried making contact with Jiu Xuan Sect and other sects, however, the Medicine Valley’s people already moved in advance. Long when Yi He Ping killed Valley Master Tao, the Medicine Valley was already swept into the war between the dynasties and the immortal sects, so the death of Master Tao did not let the Medicine Valley change their position.

They chose to stand at the side of the dynasties.

In truth, this was not some incomprehensible matter- not every sect was able to raise a mighty power, and form a strength able to go against the countries. The Medicine Valley was not strong in battle, and the more weaker the sects were in power, the more stronger their relationship with the dynasties were.

For those immortal-cultivating sects, this actually might not be an insensible decision.

But for Tai Shang Sect, it was definitely one.

Flying snow, hard liquor, blades and swords.

One could actually use these three simple phrases to summarize Tai Shang Sect.

Tai Shang Sect that sat in between Tu Qi’s north and Hu Ji’s south was located within the northern snowy ranges. The archaic snowy mountains towered aloft, stretching for several thousands of miles, like a giant dragon coiled on the lands. On top of the high peaks were frost and snow all year round, in a single year, all twelve months, the heavy snow eternally fell in great amounts.

In the icy-cold lands, they would drink burning hard liquor that was like knives all year round. Once the wine poured down, the chest and stomach would burn with fire, and once drunkenness had come up, with a passing of two or three words between brothers, they would draw up their sleeves and start fighting. Sometimes, there would be an elder passing by, but when they saw, they would not stop it either, and would only scold how they were a bunch of brats, then leave.

After finishing, they would fall towards the snowy earth, then, with the icy-cold snow falling on the face, they would sober up again. At this time, the loser would dejectedly go off to practice their blade or sword, while the victor would hurriedly run off while the patrolling seniors had not yet reached here.

Everyone would be laughing merrily and bustling about just like this. The north’s snow and knife-like winds thus cast the guts of Tai Shang Sect’s people’s bones just like this.

Watching the biggest snow, drinking the strongest liquor, fighting the fiercest battles.

Within the dictionary of this kind of Tai Shang Sect, never had a so-called concession and submission.

“How is it?”

The shitty old man carried wine and also walked to the peak of the main mountain. He was still like usual, dressed in tattered clothing, his hair all messy, full of the scent of wine, like an alcoholic more than an immortal cultivator.

“What are they waiting for?”
Yun Zi Mo said. His gaze was fixed on the army that suddenly stopped advancing today.

The number of hands that were at Tai Shang Sect were mostly transferred away due to the sects uniting originally- and due of suppressing the Heavenly pillar underground, was again separated into another portion. In front of this elite group gathered from Qi Qin dynasty, the defence line constantly retreated, and in the end, had to active the final layer of defence, and rely on the formation to protect Tai Shang Sect’s most important mountains.

However, everyone knew inside, this kind of situation could not be maintained for too long.

In no more than three days, Tai Shang Sect’s big defensive formation would be broken down by those released, gold mask-wearing demons- those formerly out-of-control Eighteen Clans of Old.

And yet, just this morning, those gold-masked people stopped the attack towards the large protective formation.

All the armies orderly stood outside the formation, appearing with a kind of stance like they were preparing to unleash the last, and also strongest attack at any time.

Though the advancement stopped, the atmosphere instead turned more tense than before.

The shitty old man lifted the wine, and similarly looked at those people clearly waiting for something- there was also a not-considerably-good foreboding inside him as well.

“Might as well hurry up and make it fast. Draw blades and just fight, wouldn’t that be great.”
The shitty old man said, his tone improper as always.

However, he put down the jar of wine in his hands, and reached out and made a move like both hands were holding a blade in the air, and in the next moment, he slowly drew out a blade that seemed to be made from ice from the air.

At the time that blade was drawn out of the air, the speed in which the snow fell on top of this mountain suddenly quickened, strong winds roared by, while the surrounding temperature seemed to drop down a lot once again.

Yun Zi Mo watched the shitty old man draw out his blade, and understood this always sloven Uncle of his was not as relaxed inside as he was on the surface.

When the shitty old man drew out his blade, the army outside the barrier also moved.

“On——guard——”
Yun Zi Mo also brandished his own sword as well, and shouted sternly.

His voice transmitted distantly around these remaining few main mountains the Tai Shang Sect disciples were guarding over, shaking down the billowing snow. The disciples that were originally taking turns to rest sprung up, and there were people hurriedly pouring the last drop of wine into their own mouths, and then drawing out their own blades.

Outside the formation, the skies darkened.

The speed in which the snow fell also slowed down.

Chapter 225

The space gradually started warping, and in someone’s astonished cry, everyone lifted their heads up and looked to the sky, only to see that the skies appeared with an enormous apparition at some time ago.

As that apparition emerged, the skies also completely darkened down, like the entire canopy of Heaven could not take that apparition’s power, and was slowly caving in from it, forming into a kind of fearful misconception like the skies were tearing apart. The originally dancing snowflakes falling down slowed down unusually, just like this space was being flooded with a heavy pressure.

That was an apparition of a majestic city.

The city’s apparition was not complete, but it was slowly and gradually turning distinct and complete- that was an incomparably grand imperial city.

“What is that?”
One of Tai Shang Sect’s disciple speechlessly asked.

When the imperial city’s apparition appeared above Tai Shang Sect, an oppressing aura spread out from above the skies. An ancient pressure that made people start shivering pressed down from the heads, and Tai Shang Sect’s defence formation started shaking gradually, while the disciples whose cultivation was comparatively lower already half-knelt onto the ground, and thrust their blades and swords into the rigid ancient layer of ice to support their bodies.

“Not good.”
The shitty old man’s face colour suddenly changed.

He gripped that ice-like blade that was drawn out from the air, then sternly ordered all the elders to follow him, and immediately go out the formation, and stop that imperial city above the skies from completely forming.

That was the projection of an ancient emperor’s imperial city.

With an imperial city’s projection appearing in the place a Heavenly pillar was at, one would know what they other party wanted to do without even thinking about it.

A series of sky-splitting sounds echoed, and the elders hurriedly followed behind the shitty old man, flying out of the formation, and heading towards the slowly forming imperial city above the skies.

And when the elders rushed out of the large defence formation, the army stationed outside also moved. Those people wearing gold masks also soared up as well.

“I’ll block them!”
Yun Zi Mo’s figure paused, and turned to face those gold masks soaring up.

“Zi Mo!”

Someone called out to him.

“I am the sect leader!”
Yun Zi Mo did not even turn his head back and yelled out angrily. It was at this time, that he exhibited the mannerisms of Tai Shang Sect.

—— To hell with that damned profoundness and modesty.

“Tai Shang Sect disciples heed my call——” Yun Zi Mo went from single-handedly holding his sword to holding it with two hands, and his facial colour turned completely red, “Do not go out the formation——”

By the end, he was pretty much hoarsely roaring.

A brilliant light erupted out from the sword in his hands.

He faced against those enemies who wanted to go intercept the other elders.

Once the shitty old man in midair heard Yun Zi Mo’s roar to his back, each wrinkle on his face seemed just like they were carved out at this time.

He understood Yun Zi Mo far too clearly.

What modesty and what understanding the bigger picture, Yun Zi Mo and Jiu Xuan Sect’s Yi He Ping were completely different people from each other! He watched Yun Zi Mo grow up just like he did watching Ye Qiu Sheng- in his heart, Yun Zi Mo and Ye Qiu Sheng were just like his sons. Which father did not understand his own son’s nature?

Yun Zi Mo was a model Tai Shang Sect disciple.

What his blood surged with, filled with, was all impulse and chivalry.

That was why he would directly tear apart the dynasty’s letter, would draw his sword and level a mountaintop, would, after Ye Qiu Sheng’s identity was exposed, immediately appoint Ye Qiu Sheng as Tai Shang Sect’s next sect leader.

For the Tai Shang Sect disciples who grew up within hard liquor and ardour, each muscle of theirs was written with impulsivity and emotion.

Within Yun Zi Mo’s roar, the shitty old man used strength to grip the blade. The strength he used was so strong, that the web of his hands tore, and blood dyed that ice-like blade red.

“Gooooooo———”
He roared, like a lion, like a mad dragon that had its scale touched[1], like an ancient warrior in a violent rage.

And also like a father who was about to lose a son.

◈◈◈

Snow. Ancient, unmelting snow.

A never-ceasing snow.

Fluttering, circling.

The snowy ranges of the north coiled on the lands since the ancient times, and after the severance of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, one day, someone stepped onto this stretch of pure-white snow. The people carrying the destiny of the eighteen surnames found the Heavenly pillar that sunk after the imperial city fell deep underground. They sealed the Heavenly pillar, and stayed on top of the snowy peaks.

They guarded over this place.

Later on, the number of people staying here slowly grew.

A sect was then established here.

The number of people in this sect grew from few to many, and the sect’s disciples walked in the pure-white snow every day, stepping over the archaic ice that had never melted since the ancient times, drinking wine that was like a burning knife.

The sect’s disciples fought and quarrelled, full of endless enthusiasm.

Very quickly, this sect became strong. The sect that was founded on the eighteen surnames possessed an ancient secret, they guarded over the power that was deeply buried underground, and at the same time, also used that power to let themselves turn strong.

This sect became one of the immortal sects.

With fame spread over the entire land of the twelve dynasties.

The Hu Ji and Tu Qi dynasty they were located in showed submission to them, and allowed the sect to establish the lofty Qing Ming towers. The sects’ flying vessels thus flew by above the mortals’ cities, and they became the immortal cultivators that soared above the secular realm.

Later on, the sect had an elder. He drank wine all day, and drunkenly watched the sect’s children grow up. He raised a child, and once that child grew up, they put a straight face on all day, worrying over all sorts of big and small trivial things up and down the sect. That child would buy him good wine with a serious face.

Later on, that elder raised another child.

That child was sensitive, and had very good observation skills. The elder watched that second child also slowly grow in the snow, and become the sect’s eldest disciple brother who would habitually protect the little brothers and sisters behind them.

The elder felt like these kinds of days were quite nice.

The other disciples also felt these days were quite nice too.

Everyone grew up merrily, and laughed loudly within the fierce winds that were like blades. If there was an enemy, they would draw their weapons and face them together.

And then one day, the dynasties that had always offered various things and gave large stretches of land to this sect, their army walked into this stretch of snowy earth from a far distance. These people were tens of thousands of miles away from home, drawing the bowstring towards the sects they revered.

Among them, were many people who were actually still young.

But everyone was very young, everyone had their own people they loved, everyone would not concede.

Thus, war started.

And the pale-white snow started having bloodstains on it.

This sect’s disciples lost their stern-faced but actually motherly sect leader, lost their elders who always sat on the rocks and watched them practice as they drank wine.

The sect leader ordered them to stay within the formation, and did not allow them to go out.

The disciples who typically obeyed the sect leader’s orders went against his orders.

They gripped blades and sword, roared, reddened their eyes, and burst into tears as they rushed out of the formation.

This sect was called:

Tai Shang.

◈◈◈

Pools of blood.

That much blood- the bitter cold of the north’s snowy mountains could not freeze them into pieces of ice at the first moment, because once it formed a thin layer of ice, in the next second, there would be new, hot blood trickling down.

Corpses.

Of people, of warhorses.

Before Tai Shang Sect’s defensive formation, these last few mountains were piled full of corpses, those draped in black armour, those draped in Taoist robes. All sorts.

The people of the south were not accustomed to the northern mountains’ coldness, they instead relied on superior armour and bows and arrows to fight. Relying on numbers to prevail, for every disciple of Tai Shang Sect that fell, ten or so of the black-armoured soldiers would fall. Everyone saw red from the killing, and at this time, there were already no orders whatsoever.

Any command was of no effect.

It was merely war.

When Ye Qiu Sheng arrived, he saw this kind of scene.

Above the skies, was a slowly pressing imperial city, the silhouette of human civilization’s grandest city in history.

Ye Qiu Sheng once saw a similar city to it in the reversal of time. That was during the time when they were at the lowest part of the Qiu Huang tower. He once saw the Unfalling Country cast from black stone within the white clouds, while sky horses grown with wings sped by through the city’s streets and flew into the clouds, with an immortal imperial throne suspended above the city.

Ye Qiu Sheng also personally saw this kind of city before- that was the homeland of Namu. Within the endless void, were giant stone pillars that imitated the eight Heavenly pillars, supporting a black-stoned imperial city. Within the city, the houses and tall towers were like the residences of giants, with headless knights burning with flames eternally patrolling on the streets. Within the divine temple, grew an immortal divine tree.

That majestic, that miraculous.

So shaking it made people want to kowtow and prostrate.

However——

Who the fuck would kowtow, and who the fuck would prostrate! Who cared for those things! Who cared for that ancient prestige!

He saw the faces he was familiar with, those faces that once loudly called out his name within the boundless white snow, fall into the pool of blood. He saw the sect leader’s fragmented sword pierced on top of a cliff. He saw the shitty old man fall down from the skies.

Saw the imperial city no one could resist slowly coming towards Tai Shang Sect.

But no one lifted their heads up.

Everyone was fighting.

Who would care that if the imperial city descended down in the next moment, everyone here would die?!

Ye Qiu Sheng drew his blade out.

His spacious sleeves spread out violently within the air. He would always say he was a scholar, then say that Tai Shang Sect’s disciples were far too unrefined with a teasing voice, but when he roared as he drew his blade and rushed onto the battlefield, he was completely unlike a scholar too. He would turn his body, brandish his blade, and the strike of light would sweep around.

Blood and snow danced within the air together.

All pale-white, bloody-red.

Bai Li Shu’s hand pressed onto his sword hilt, and he rushed straight up, facing that slowly falling imperial city. The intense winds swept around his black robes, his face did not have a sliver of expression, while the deep parts of his pupils had a pale-white phoenix’s apparition spreading its wings flying.

clang——

A very soft sound of a sword.

When the city was falling down and the battlefield was in a deadlock, this sound was that soft.

Light, cold.

An extremely, extremely bright strike of light flew out from the sword sheath, heading towards the apparition of the imperial city slowly pressing down towards Tai Shang Sect’s mountain peak. When the strike of light passed by, everything seemed to turn still.

Snowflakes stopped in the air, and as the crystal-clear snowflakes slowly spun, the light passed by its side, and the snowflakes reflected with bits of light.

The snow-like strike of light was that light, that cold, that thin.

It cut space apart, and soundlessly merged with the falling imperial city above the skies. Thus, an incomparably magnificent, incomparably beautiful scene appeared- in that moment, a thin layer of ice emitting a faint, blue colour overlaid that majestic imperial city in an instant. Just like a sudden extreme cold had come by, it stopped, and froze time and space together.

The frozen imperial city suspended within the air, and no longer fell down.

The skies then suddenly brightened up once again- daylight fell down, and fell onto the frozen imperial city, colliding and refracting, with the rays of light turning into a multi-coloured glazed light.

The world seemed to quiet down in an instant.

The battle on the ground was also stopped by a strong, strange kind of power.

That was a type of invisible restraint.

Just like, this world no longer wanted the battle to continue on, thus, it stopped them, stopped death, and stopped the blood shedding.

Winds flowed once again, and once the winds lightly blew over the heavens and earth, that imperial city that was sealed in ice shattered apart within the clear and melodic sound of ice breaking, turning into a myriad of pale-white ice crumbs, falling down in copious amounts along with the wind, covering over every area of this snowy region.

Covering over the blood, covering over the corpses.

The lands once again returned to a stretch of pure-white, clear, and flawless white.

The flakes of ice fell onto people’s bodies.

Like waking up from a long nightmare, the Tai Shang Sect disciples held their swords and stood in the white snow, with someone crying out first. Very soon, everyone cried their eyes out. Some staggered before kneeling in the snow, burying their faces into the iciness. Similarly, the few remaining troops no longer fought as well.

All of them blankly held their swords standing there- some people dug out corpses from within the snow, and carried their comrades’ icy frozen corpses on their backs.

One of the commanders said to “retreat”.

So they started slowly withdrawing from the mountain, with their warhorses already dead.

The troops carrying their comrades’ corpses hobbled over the snow when they retreated, but as they walked, someone fell down along with the corpse they carried, then no longer stood back up, and was covered over by the drifting snow very quickly. The line of remaining soldiers slowly going far off gradually shortened, and also gradually went into the distance.

The person who let out that one strike went down from the skies, with wind blowing up his robes and sleeves.

Once he descended on top of a tall rock, the situation of the entire battlefield all fell into his eyes.

He quietly stood, holding his longsword.

“What are you guys crying for!”

All of a sudden, someone burst into a rage.

“What are you guys crying for! Stand up!”

Ye Qiu Sheng held his blade, and roared at the Tai Shang Sect disciples kneeling on the ground, with his face slightly twisted.

“I’m not dead yet! Tai Shang Sect still has a sect leader! Tai Shang Sect still has disciples! Tai Shang Sect still has elders! Tai Shang Sect is still here!!”
He howled.
“With a sect leader! With elders! With disciples! Tai Shang Sect will still exist!”

His voice shook the stretches of snow, like a vow, echoing within the stretches of mountains.

“Stand up!!”
“Stand—— up——”

Within the white snow, the crying disciples then stood up one by one.

◈◈◈

The north’s snowy ranges eternally and perpetually coiled on the lands. Here, was a sect. The sect’s disciples grew up on hard liquor and blades, and their blood surged with pride and chivalry.

This sect was eternally undying.

It had a name, called:

Tai Shang.
[1] 逆鳞- said to be located on its neck, a small scale that grows in opposing directions to the rest of the scales. There is a saying that if one touches this scale, the person will be killed. Now usually refers to the tender spot of someone. To strike a nerve, essentially.

Chapter 226

“Done?”

Ye Qiu Sheng leaned against the wall of the mountain covered in layers of ice, and after hearing sounds of footsteps, he looked towards Bai Li Shu who was slowly walking out from the passageway. Once Bai Li Shu walked out from the shadows, the daylight fell to his body, and Ye Qiu Sheng saw him slightly close his eyes.

Bai Li Shu did not answer him, but looked towards the snow-covered peaks, and saw the remaining disciples of Tai Shang Sect orderly waited within the drifting snow. These young disciples’ faces bore a steadiness they never had before.

“Let’s go.”
After slightly going silent for a while, Bai Li Shu spoke up.

Ye Qiu Sheng stood up straight, and walked towards those waiting disciples. Right now, he was Tai Shang Sect’s sect leader. After restraining his regular frivolous nature, he also emerged with a slightly steady and reliable appearance.

Bai Li Shu lowered his eyes, and looked at his own pale-white fingertips.

They stayed at Tai Shang Sect for a period of time, and in this period of time, Bai Li Shu walked into the underground sealed with the Heavenly pillar by himself. Ye Qiu Sheng did not ask what he was doing, and carried his blade leaning by the entrance to go guard for him. As for Tai Shang Sect’s other disciples, they retrieved the sect’s people and elders’ corpses who died in battle, and buried them at Tai Shang Sect’s back mountain during this time.

And this morning, the main peak suddenly shook.

The drifting snow streamed down from the mountaintop, and a sound like muffled thunder seemed to directly spread from the deepest parts of the underground, seeping upwards through the bottom layer. Ye Qiu Sheng who was keeping watch at the Heavenly pillar’s entrance while leaning against the mountain wall was almost buried by the snow.

The tremors continued for a long time.

And then, everybody felt the air vibrate, following which, their bodies turned light all of a sudden, and the surrounding space seemed to have a slight change to it in that instant.

—— The Heavenly pillar was destroyed.

That kind of feeling was an invisible kind of realization, unexplainable, incomprehensible, but yet, they were able to feel it.

Ye Qiu Sheng had everyone gather up, and after Bai Li Shu came out, they would head towards Jiu Xuan Sect. This was a matter that they decided on before Bai Li Shu entered the underground- Bai Li Shu would open up a spacial passageway towards Jiu Xuan Sect.

With the spacial passage open, Tai Shang Sect’s disciples walked into the entrance of the passageway one by one.

Before stepping into the passageway, they turned their heads back to look at the range of mountains covered by pale-white snow one last time.

This place was buried with their brothers and sisters, this place, was the place they grew up in.

“Stop dawdling.”
Ye Qiu Sheng bit on a blade of grass while holding his blade and stood to a side, he expressionlessly scolded.
“You guys think that by going out once, you guys can escape from the errands of sweeping the snow in the future? Hurry up and go.”

It was like he was scolding Tai Shang Sect’s disciples. When the words fell, everyone seemed to lighten up quite a bit.

Except, while Ye Qiu Sheng reprimanded everyone like this, when it remained with him and Bai Li Shu, he himself instead was like those disciples, looking at the mountain ranges absentmindedly. Bai Li Shu did not press him.

“Let’s go, Lord Bai Li.”
After taking a long breath, Ye Qiu Sheng spat out the blade of grass in his mouth, and smiled at Bai Li Shu as he spoke.

Bai Li Shu slightly nodded his head.

Before stepping into the spacial passageway, Bai Li Shu turned his head and looked once.

The north’s snowy ranges sat on this land unchanging since the ancient times, while the snow in the skies boundlessly fell, like it was sending them off, yet like it did not know anything at all.

Bai Li Shu’s pupils imprinted with those slowly falling snowflakes.

Glittering and beautiful.

◈◈◈

Bai Yi Qing held up some wine, and sat on top of Meng Pass, quietly drinking and looking out in the direction of Jin Tang. This young Qi Qin dynasty emperor would certainly always do some things that others would completely not think to, for example, walking around by oneself, or for example, drinking wine all alone late in the middle of the night on top of the walls.

The report from Tai Shang Sect had already been sent to him in the day.

As for those soldiers that who , Bai Yi Qing only simply said a few words- other than those who wanted to stay, he let the others return to their hometowns separately.

Some travellers died after many battles, while some men return in ten years.

Counting from when war started, it had almost been ten years. In these years, no matter if it was the dynasty or the immortal sects, there were people dying.

Perhaps this was the true face of history. The long-standing peace was only there to brew a cycle of mad fires of war. Day after day, year after year, people were eternally trapped within the flames of war, while the lands eternally flowed with rivers formed from blood. People never got tranquility.

Why would the true face of history be this cruel and mad?

If he asked this question to that person, what kind of answer would he give? Bai Yi Qing swayed the wine, and nonchalantly thought.

And then, just like a child who found joy in their own ways, he started laughing by himself.

Nobody knew, but in the battle of Tong Men Pass, Bai Yi Qing was actually present. He personally witnessed those two arrows, with one arrow moving back an army of ten thousand. The others only saw the power in those two arrows, but he instead saw that underneath the weapons being dispelled and the power obtained through the Heavenly pillar disappearing, hid with a hard-to-detect feeling of sorrow.

What that person wanted was an end, not massacre.

Bai Yi Qing hid within Tong Men Pass, and quietly looked at the figure lonesomely standing in the open fields, then suddenly realized something.

As though perceiving his gaze, that person lifted their eyes and looked over in the direction he was at from a distance.

On that night, not one person knew that the leader of the immortal sects and an emperor of the dynasties met.

Bai Li Shu had come alone, and when he came, no one felt it. At that time, Bai Yi Qing was in the room of silence preparing wine, but when he saw the young man draped in black robes walking in, he did not reveal an astonished expression either. He only lifted the cup towards him, said, this is a rare vintage wine, want a cup?

His attitude seemed to be like treating a guest he had been waiting for for a very long time.

Bai Li Shu sat down across from him.

This was the first time Bai Yi Qing saw this leader who, in the immortal sects and within the Eighteen Clans, had a terrifying prestige. However, if one did not recall those two arrows of his at Tong Men Pass, he only looked to be a quiet yet solitary young man, with the bottom of their eyes seeming to eternally hide with many unsolvable concerns.

“You were waiting for me?”
Bai Li Shu asked. Though it was a question, in his tone, it seemed more like a statement.

“Yes, for a very long time.”
Bai Yi Qing smiled.

“In the past, I felt that no one would realize this point.” Bai Li Shu went silent for a while, then said.

His voice was very light.

Yet like a distant wind, slowly whisking over long sand dunes. In the winds, many things would slowly be stripped away.

“Because in this world, the most displeasing thing for people is to face their own insignificance, no?” Bai Yi Qing spoke in a low voice. He observed the cup of wine in his hands, and the smile on his face gradually faded away.

In this world, the truth was eternally mad.

Like a majestic absurdity.

The people who could directly face the truth were very, very few, and most had gone mad.

This indescribable absurdity was discovered by his teacher. When Scholar Fang was compiling the history book of the era, he discovered that the history was just like a wheel slowly being pushed slowly by someone- when the rule of the crude beasts in the Savage Era reached its peak, the ancient emperors appeared, and then cities were built on the lands. When the ancient emperors’ domination reached its peak, the Eighteen Clans of Old appeared. And behind each and every one of those things that seemed like coincidences, appeared a faint silhouette.

All the changes of everything were shrunken and then placed into a single history book, omitting that very long period of time, emerging with an overtone that made people quiver.

Just like, there was a pair of eyes watching over everything on the lands all this time.

Once those eyes discovered the order on the lands already developed into chaos from its appropriate beginning, it would end that era without any hesitation whatsoever.

No matter if it was the crude beasts, ancient emperors, or the Eighteen Clans, they were only a tool used to make history, everything on the lands, develop in an orderly fashion.

After reaching this mad result, Scholar Fang went crazy.

He had no way of accepting that the Savage Era, era of Chaos, Ten Thousand Immortals…… those several tens of thousands of years of time, was actually part of the gears that was steadily, apathetically being pushed on this land.

Including them, everything was placed within a new cycle that was being spun.

“Bai Li is the last among the Eighteen Clans to appear.”

Bai Yi Qing poured wine out for himself, while Bai Li Shu sat across from him, silent, and without a word.

Bai Yi Qing had spent that much time, like how his teacher compiled the history book back then, used that much time, to dig into the matters regarding the era of Ten Thousand Immortals. From those released demons as well as Bei He, Bai Yi Qing managed to obtain enough information.

The Bai Li clan was the last Eighteen Clans to appear back then.

And then, in the shortest amount of time, became the strongest clan among the Eighteen Clans of Old.

The Bai Li clan’s family head became the leader of the Eighteen Clans of Old, and within victory after victory, people followed his footsteps, and viewed him like a god. However, Bai Yi Qing used that much effort, found a lot of information, but in the end, ascertained that no one knew of the origins of Bai Li clan’s family head.

He thought the other person was like himself(?), only coincidentally finding success in seizing an ancient emperor’s power, and then discovering the law from within.

However, in truth——

From the era of Chaos, all the ancient emperors’ falls were made through one person’s hands.

The one who truly killed the ancient emperors, had always been one person.

Just like, that pair of eyes had observed the lands for very long time, and in the end, chose the Eighteen Clans of Old that burned up on the lands, and then, that person came.

“Now that it’s mentioned, it’s a bit funny. After I confirmed it back then, I shut myself in the room of silence for a whole month, and every day, I would ask myself, was the truth actually like this, was everything only a choice.”
Bai Yi Qing spoke of his own fear back then just like that, and didn’t seem embarrassed one bit.

“And then?”
Bai Li Shu asked. He did not make any response to the words Bai Yi Qing said before.

No affirmation.
Nor denial.

“And then, that was it.” Bai Yi Qing smiled, he softly spoke, “I am only a mortal. My lifespan is at most one hundred years. Compared to those endless histories, I am nothing, I am but just an ant. But in this world, ants have an ant’s ways of living, and ants also have an ant’s own joys and sorrows.”

“Not only that, we are already very fortunate.”
“A new order will eventually be established, and we, stand on the side of the new.”

He said, [with his words] carrying the liberty of risking everything into one gamble.

The eyes of this young mortal emperor burned with a mad fire.

The people who directly faced the truth of history would turn mad in the end.

Scholar Fang turned mad, Bai Yi Qing also turned mad.

So let them be mad, this era was originally a mad era to begin with anyways.

Bai Yi Qing thought. He sat on Meng Pass’ walls, then lifted his head and drank another mouthful of wine without a bit of self-importance an emperor should have as a son of Heaven. Instead, he was much more like an unconventional and straightforward poet, one person, one horse, one [jar of] wine, one gust[1].

He recalled that question he asked in the very end. The young man who sat across from him went silent for a long time, and gave out an answer.

—— Order should not have emotion.
—— Heaven does not have it, nor would history have it either.
—— But I would.

Would have love, bear hate, hold sorrow.

—— But I am Order.

The young man draped in black robes lightly said. He turned his head to look outside the window, and his gaze seemed to pass through a very far very far distance. Like it passed through the Savage Era, through Chaos, like the entire land of the twelve dynasties fell into the bottom of his eyes, long, like a sigh.

Bai Yi Qing looked at him, and felt like he saw slowly drifting endless white snow in the bottom of his eyes.

Thus, he also turned silent.

“Heaven, Heaven.”
Bai Yi Qing poured down the final mouthful of wine, then started laughing loudly. He stood up, flung the jar of wine down the city tower, and welcomed in the strong frosty winds, opening up his hands.
“Come [at me]!”

Bei He stood at a very distant place at the bottom of the city walls, and silently looked at the young man on top of the pass lonesomely opening up their arms embracing the winds.

◈◈◈

Jin Tang.

Shen Chang Ge stood in the winds.

Within the skies, clouds surged about, lightning stirred above the blue canopies like mad dragons and ancient pythons, with the world illuminated into a white hazy stretch of brightness by the lightning. High, high up above the skies, so high mortals could only look up, staged an incomparably majestic scene- the lightning formed into a boundless sea, but everything that happened within the lightning, mortals could not see.

What mortals could only see, was that the skies appeared with an abnormal, ghastly white colour when it was filled with countless lightning.

As though a poured out pool of lightning[2].

The Heavenly pillar broke down bit by bit, as though its power was drawn away thoroughly bit by bit. And then, it turned into boundless ashes bit by bit, and fell down from the skies like rain.

Shen Chang Ge watched these things, yet recalled, in another land faraway, were countless stretching mountain ranges, connecting iron chains between the peaks, and those figures stepping down on the iron chains.

And above the skies, above the pool of lightning, a black imperial city was slowly solidifying. That, was a castle that giants and gods resided in, symbolizing a higher power.

Above the imperial city, was a bronze throne forming bit by bit, and on the high throne, was a longsword engraving.

A figure sat on the throne, with the universe’s stars seeming to fall around this figure.

In the distant Bing Province, Bai Yi Qing was opening up his arms at Meng Pass, while the Princess apathetically stood in the night winds. Within Jiu Xuan Sect, the last black door was shut tight, with Yi He Ping standing at the top of the towering Jade Harmony Pavilion, while Elder Qin lowered his head wiping his blade……

Winds indistinctly swept over the lands, while the mountains and rivers made noise at the same time.

—— For the return made within this era after several thousands of years!

Above the throne.

A bloody-red royal robe, a suspending longsword.

The existence on the throne opened his eyes.

He revealed a rejoicing smile, and in his smile, carried the intent of vengeance and madness.

[1] Derived from songs on the solitary nature of venturing in society (江湖)
[2] 雷池- a river in Ancient China. In the idiom, 不敢越雷池一步, the river is a boundary in which one does not dare to cross. Act within the bounds one is prescribed.

Chapter 227

Black armours, gold saddles, tens of thousands of war banners, and millions of strong men. War drums and thunderstorms moved the earth, while the fires of war rose in the daytime. After a long brewing, the fires of wrath that had brewed for that long of a time had gathered up, and the fires of war that had advanced for that long of a time finally completely burst apart.

This was the grandest battle on the land of the twelve dynasties, all the people carrying blades and swords all stepped onto the battlefield.

The black iron cavalry circled and moved beneath the skies. All the armies that were originally at the provinces and the cities, fighting, or resting, all stepped onto the battlefield, and everyone made the most ferocious attack at the same time. The armies moved on the lands, like a black ancient dragon turning over on the lands.

All the people’s fury and roars gathered together, and formed into a world-shaking thunder.

All the war banners rolled up in the winds and fires, and fiercely opened up in the airs, forming a billowing tidal wave.

The dynasties’ emperors stepped onto the battlefield, and roared along with their own subjects, fighting to the bitter end together with their subjects. The people who prostrated beneath the immortal sects for several thousands of years finally stood up, gripped their pikes, their swords, and rushed over to the gods they had normally worshipped.

A towering black imperial city suspended over their heads, they were battling in accordance to the will of Heaven.

This one battle would end everything.

End all the long grudges.

They would no longer kneel on the barren and infertile soils, no longer die outside the large stretches of spiritual fields again. They would no longer shiver due to an immortal’s battle, no longer fear that they would inexplicably die beneath an irresistible power. They would no longer walk over the boundless lands in rags, and would no longer have flocks of crows waiting on corpses hovering over their heads.

Merchants did not need to obtain the approval of the Nine Provinces Private Bank, doctors did not need to contribute to the offerings to enter the mountain, and aristocratic families could not rely on the immortal sects any longer to ruin another person.

Immortals know not of the hardships of commoners.

Nor do commoners—— need—— to seek eternal life!

They did not need immortals, did not need eternal life.

They were mortals.

A mortal’s life spanned for one hundred years, they only wanted sickness and death, spring tills and autumn harvests.

The passing mad winds were like roars, they sang an ancient battle song loudly. Scorch my armour, scorch my clothes, scorch my spear. When the scarlet flames burned, allow us to die on the field, bury our bones on the lands that would at last belong to us.

On the red-soiled lands, fog raptors opened up their pairs of wings, and the clouds and fog madly surged within the skies.

◈◈◈

Jiu Xuan Sect had already turned into a battleground.

Those Eighteen Clans that turned into “demons” during the era of Chaos were originally formed because they accepted the ancient emperors’ power, but could not completely control this power. In the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the Three Emperors previously used this one point, and transmitted their wills inside their spirits.

And at present, the Sky Emperor revived, and that black-stoned imperial city was slowly approaching them.

The Sky Emperor had already completely controlled these Eighteen Clans who lost their senses. A black fog engulfed all the mountains along with their arrival. They did not have their own consciousness, and so, under the orders of that ruler above the skies, made the most lethal and also most mad strikes towards their former comrades’ descendants.

All over the mountains and plains, what also came together, were countless, already contaminated odd beasts.

The innate quality of an ancient emperors’ power was actually a kind of law, thus, they were able to change the power between the world, able to create shapeless reversals—— except, they did not know why, even though the Sky Emperor’s imperial city had already come close, he did not directly change this area’s spiritual power.

All throughout the mountains and plains, was battle, massacre.

The tops of the iron chains that disciples once stepped on and quickly slid down the mountain peaks from coiled with pitch-black-scaled, pale-white bony giant pythons closing in, while a Hui snake contaminated by the Sky Emperor’s power turned into a terrifying appearance. It opened their mouth, and spat out a thick black aura. Ten or so Jiu Xuan Sect disciples sprung high up, and joined hands to cut it down with a brilliant strike.

“Are these things growing at will?”
Ye Qiu Sheng called out loudly. He turned around, brandished his blade, and the strike of light went out several tens of zhang, then cut apart the head of another mutated bird coming down from the skies.

Tai Shang Sect’s disciples spread nearby him, they gripped their blades and roared. These people no longer maintained that taut, lofty image they once had outside at all, and the look of them drawing their blades was like men in the desert of the northwest, barbaric and primitive—— in any case, they were all fighting.

“I have never seen anything more uglier than these things!”
Liao Qian was not far away, and shouted in reply.

He gripped the Xiu Shen Blade, and then sprung high up in midair. That normally extremely gentle-looking white and chubby face, at this time, revealed a furious expression, and emerged with a rarely-seen ferocious side. He cut down from midair, and the strike of light cut down several giant Chi chameleons slowly climbing along the iron chains.

The Chi chameleons’ claws grabbing the iron chains let loose, and the black figures fell down towards the darkness from the iron chains.

Beneath Jiu Xuan Sect’s mountain ranges, a black so deep that one could not see any light was slowly moving upwards, and the ghost realm that once appeared in Bing Province’s city was continuously expanding at this moment. The killed-off odd beasts’ corpses and bones dropped from the iron chains, and then were swallowed by the dark and lightless ghost realm in the blink of an eye.

Overlapping black apparitions slowly walked out from the ghost realm, about to those living people dragged into the deathly still world.

“Just a bunch of unpresentable things.”
Liu Wu Yan held her long sabre, and steadily stood on an iron chain, overlooking this black fog spreading out at the bottom.

“Baldy!”
She shouted.

Clear-hearted Monk gripped a Buddhist relic[1], and a gold light scattered around his body, with the bright gold light sweeping away the spans and spans of continuously appearing black fog. Just like within the Qiu Huang tower, he recited an archaic and verbose scripture, while Liu Wu Yan held a sabre, and then struck sideways, and stood at a place not far from him.

The bunch of snakes drew close, and Liu Wu Yan swung her sabre.

Her strikes fell out copiously, just like a sea of clouds turning over, inside, were countless starlight splendidly shaking about. Within that overturning sea of clouds, a bunch of snakes’ heads were cut off one by one, and a rotten-smelling blood splattered out, falling into the black fog and earth.

The colour of the land could no longer be told apart anymore.

Blood, demonic aura, black fog, flesh.

This was a human hell.

The Sky Emperor, an ancient emperor famed for massacre. With his imperial city approaching, it thus brought the chaos of war, brought death, and brought misfortune.

The disciples fought on top of various mountains with the odd beasts that were attacking like tides, while the elders gathered at the nearby skies over Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak’s Jade Harmony Pavilion. Under the aid of Ye Gui, Grandmaster Pu Du, Bai Yuan Xiu, as well as the other elders, Jun Wan Bai and Chu Zhi Yuan completely opened up the imperial map. The imperial map spread open in the skies, and countered the sea of clouds overturning above the skies. The fog raptors within the sea of clouds flapped their wings, with blades of wind surging forward like tides.

As for the other elders, they were battling with the people wearing gold masks.

They had the same last names as the eighteen surnames.

But on this day, they met each other with blades, pointing weapons at each other.

“At the Mausoleum, I was just thinking……”

Elder Qin shook off the blood on his blade. His pale-white hair scattered around, with half falling to the front of his cheek. There was blood slowly dripping down from the white hair.

In front of him, a person stood in the winds.

That person was draped in a black cloak, but he was strangely thin. The black robes donned over his body, barren and empty. He was like the others, wearing a mask cast from gold, with his hands holding a blade.

“I would definitely——”

Elder Qin’s blade was grey and dusty- this blade that was cast through special methods would not reflect with the sunlight. That was a blade inherently suited for assassination, and it was precisely this kind of blade that cut down a dynasty’s emperor’s head in the night back then. However, at this time, the body of this blade was burning.

A scorching flowing fire was burning up on the body of the blade right now.

Just like back when creating this blade, the flame within the furnace was absorbed into the body, and then stored away. And at this time, this blade was releasing all those hot intense flames from back then once again.

Within the light of the fire, the blade held in Elder Qin’s hands seemed to be slowly flowing.

“—— kill you!!!!!”

He roared, just like all his vitality burst out in this moment. Not long ago, he said he already turned old with Yi He Ping, but at this time, the appearance of him roaring, instead seemed like a male lion at its most youngest and most strongest moment, fierce, surging, inexhaustible, with boundless the fires of wrath and killing intent.

During those years back at Jiu Xuan Sect, those who drank together with him was Guan Zhi Yu, He Qing Chuan, and Xie Yi.

They grew up together, so he thought they would age and die together too.

But in the final moments, he instead could only sit on top of the mountain. Even though he clearly knew a person who he grew up with was dying at the Mausoleum of Ten Million, he himself could not do anything at all.

He had to kill this bastard in front of him for He Qing Chuan!

During the time at the merchant city, he firmly remembered this person’s appearance, he would kill this person!

Scarlet fire.
Scarlet fire on the blade.

The burning blade and the blade formed from black butterflies clashed together, erupting with an ear-piercing and keen sound. An intense current scraped by the face, just like a knife, with the inside the current completely filled with bloodiness and the scent of fire. Elder Qin bit down, and the muscles on his face all twisted.

Just like the fires of hatred beneath inside him.

At the time the two blades collided with each other, the fire burning on the edge of Elder Qin’s blade spread to the black blade, and a strong power erupted out between the two people. By the end, the two separately retreated and flew out due to the impact of that giant power.

Elder Qin spat out a mouthful of blood in midair.

The person wearing the gold mask retreated a good distance, then stopped his figure. The black-stoned imperial city seemed to have given him a much more stronger power than before- the overspreading black butterflies spun and danced, fusing into his figure, thus, his black cloak roused up in the skies, revealing that beneath the cloak, there seemed to be bones without any flesh or blood.

—— Back then, after the people who seized the ancient emperors’ power failed, their bodies appeared with a certain degree of abnormality.

This kind of abnormal change emerged on his body, as though he lost his own body’s flesh, and turned into a living skeleton.

The gold mask already did not have his own thoughts, and could not sense pain. He quickly stabilized himself, and the black fog hovered all around his body. In the next moment, the black fog spread out, and he silently disappeared within the black fog.

Elder Qin stabilized himself in midair.

Before he could even think to that black fog or power, he felt something wrong to his back.

He did not even turn his head back, and the burning blade in his hands rotated, and drew out a fan-shaped arc in midair, sweeping from his front to back.

The sound of blades colliding.

The gold mask reappeared once again from inside the black fog. Shrouded and suffused within the black fog, his figure looked unclear and hazy, and appeared with a kind of warping feeling. After being influenced by an ancient emperor and losing consciousness, he seemed to have already lost all his humanly airs, and completely became an inhuman-like existence.

Elder Qing suppressed the blood bubbling up in his chest.

He hung his blade down.

The tumbling fire on the blade flowed down bit by bit, and fell onto his side, and then sprung up with a “fwoosh”. Elder Qin’s side burned with a raging big fire, and he stood within the fire, with his face cast with a kind of solemn and graveness akin to a bronze statue by the flames.

The black-coloured fog around him was dispelled by the flames.

The blade in his hands turned brighter and brighter.

“Jiu Xuan · Flare.”
Elder Qin paused with every word, and practically spoke with a hoarse sound.

Just like the forbidden arts Clear-hearted Monk used at the merchant city back then, Elder Qin burned his own long blade and used a forbidden technique that belonged to Jiu Xuan Sect.

Jiu Xuan · Flare.

This was a strike that burned even the sun together.

An extremely high temperature rose up by Elder Qin, and everything in the surroundings became warped. This blade of Elder Qin’s was locked onto the person wearing the gold mask. This strike did not have any other power, nor any other tricks to it- it was simply the deepest killing intent held in one’s heart, drawing out the most splendid, and also most searing strike. The point of the blade, was that everything should be burned away.

A wave of heat surged open in the air.

With that thick black fog weakening quite a bit within the overturning flames.

The person wearing the gold mask paused in midair, and he once again borrowed the black fog to conceal himself and draw close, but this time, he failed. That strike of Elder Qin’s was locked onto him.

The long blade was then cast out from Elder Qin, then drew over the space like an encroaching sun, penetrating into [the gold mask’s] chest, nailing into his skeletal frame.That long blade was burning, was melting, and was also melting the gold mask together.

The person wearing the gold mask stood in midair. He lowered his head, and looked at the blade in his chest.

In this final moment of life, he was finally no longer influenced by the Sky Emperor.

“Perhaps…… he is right.”

The gold mask broke away bit by bit on his face, and this former Eighteen Clans’ face emerged with a complicated and yet pale smile.

In the next moment, he fell from the air, and fell into the sunken fog beneath them.

Elder Qin stood in the air, and watched him fall expressionlessly, being swallowed by the black aura.

After a while, his figure also swayed two times, and blood spurted out from his mouth. He staggered, then also fell from the air, and half-knelt on the top of a mountain, with his aura dropping down all of a sudden. After using the forbidden arts, his muscles and vessels all broke- in the past, when Clear-hearted Monk used the forbidden arts, Fan Yin Pavilion used a secret technique to save him back. However, Elder Qin was different.

He burned his own vitality together as well.

He was originally already old.

Elder Qin used his strength to lift his head up, and looked above the skies.

While Yi He Ping stood at the peak of Jade Harmony Pavilion.

[1] 舍利- the remains left after a high-level monk is cremated. The more cultivated that monk was, the more precious/powerful the remains are. Usually refers to the bones.

Chapter 228

Yi He Ping was draped in a black robe similar to the one on the other elders’, and stood at the peak of Jade Harmony Pavilion, while winds blew at his black clothes noisily, and his sleeves turned over.

When draped with this kind of black robe, it meant that the Jiu Xuan Sect elder already made the preparations to fight, and to die.

At this time, all the elders gathered in the skies at the top of the mountain peak to face the enemies wore this kind of black robe.

Yi He Ping did not pay attention to other people’s situations, he was stationed over the entire Jade Harmony Pavilion. Beneath Jade Harmony Pavilion in the underground, Bai Li Shu was inside the final black door. Before Bai Li Shu came out, he would not let any person step beneath Jade Harmony Pavilion.

The winds scraped by noisily, carrying a bloodiness so thick it could not be dispersed no matter how.

Yi He Ping lifted his head up, and looked at the black imperial city suspended above the skies outside Jiu Xuan Sect. He was able to feel the power of the imperial city was still gestating, as though it was in some sort of state of metamorphosis. The black imperial city seemed to have a kind of relationship with Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar, and the Sky Emperor was drawing in Yan Men’s Heavenly pillar’s power to strengthen himself.

The Sky Emperor already perceived that beneath Jiu Xuan Sect, gathered with a familiar power that once killed him. Hence, he would hurriedly start this battle, and even not hesitate to use the power he had not completely finished absorbing from Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar to descend upon the skies outside Jiu Xuan Sect.

Yi He Ping clearly understood, the battle at hand was actually just a prelude.

That true, final battle that would end everything, would only erupt between superior beings.

And both sides were making every minute and second count.

If Jiu Xuan Sect was not able to withstand this battle before that final one came, then everything would be drawn with a period.

Above the skies, the seas of clouds billowed, beneath the obstruction/blocking of the imperial map, the fog raptors made attacks again and again. However, this kind of situation could not be maintained for long. Yi He Ping was clear that the other side was similarly seizing every minute and second.

The originally dark skies suddenly turned even darker, and the fog raptors let out a cry even louder than before in the clouds, as though welcoming something’s arrival. A throne gathered from bones appeared above the skies within pale-white lightning that cut apart the skies, facing right towards Yi He Ping.

A young woman with snow-coloured long hair sat on the throne, and a silver long robe wrapped over her slender and graceful stature.

Her pupils emerged with an icy-silver colour, and her face carried a kind of apathetic expression.

All the things on the entire battlefield was not within her attention- she did not care how many people died in this battle, nor did she care how many of the fog raptors that submitted to her were shot dead. She instead observed the bunch of people battling just like watching a bunch of ants fighting.

The Princess.

Yi He Ping knew the identity of this person.

“You are guarding over him.”
The Princess lowered her head to take a look at the ground beneath Jade Harmony Pavilion, as though her gaze penetrated the thick and heavy layer of stone and saw why Yi He Ping was standing here.

“That’s right.”

Yi He Ping calmly said, his expression unhurried, just like the one he was facing was not this world’s sole descendant of an ancient emperor, just like he did not feel that nearly solidified heavy pressure from the other person.

And yet in reality, the surrounding currents around the top level of the Jade Harmony Pavilion was hurriedly flowing, forming into a vortex that could be seen with the naked eye. At this time, the winds formed into the sharpest weapon in the world, and before this vortex, the blades of wind that the fog raptors brought up were just like comparing a child’s wooden sword to an adult’s blade.

The vortex formed from the powerful air current turned, and shrunk down slowly.

“You guys trust him.”
The Princess’ emotionless gaze watched Yi He Ping.

“That’s right.”
Yi He Ping lightly said.

The shrinking vortex suddenly could not progress any further, and a sword appeared to Yi He Ping’s back. That was a slender sword- it was longer than regular longswords, while the body of the sword had a line of deep-blue in the middle, and the tip reflected with a bit of a faint ice-blue colour.

At the time that sword appeared behind Yi He Ping, all the vapour within the air with the Jade Harmony Pavilion as the starting point condensed into countless compact ice crystals. Those ice crystals quickly tightly combined together, then in the end, formed into a wall of ice from the top to bottom. And after the ice wall formed, the vortex formed from the strong current could no longer go forward even one inch.

—— He was Bai Li Shu’s master.

Though, compared to Bai Li Shu, he wasn’t considered all that much. But at a much earlier time, he had taught Bai Li Shu some things as well.

One strike to frost the Fourteen Provinces.

At the very beginning, this was something that Yi He Ping taught Bai Li Shu.

The ice came down from the top, and formed into an impregnable shield, protecting this space Jade Harmony Pavilion was at.

The Princess looked at the unhurried-looking man standing within the ice wall, and suddenly very coldly laughed. For the first time, her voice carried a bright, distinct emotion.

“You people trust him?”
She pretty much felt like these words were extremely laughable.

“We were once just like you people too, trusting him!”
Her voice turned shrill.
“We were once just like you people too, following him!”

“We were once just like you people too——”
“—— fighting for him!”

The still vortex broke apart all of a sudden, and transformed into a myriad of blades of wind. For the first time ever since the revival of the Princess, she left her white-boned throne on the battlefield. Pale-white wings suddenly spread open from her back, and the wings burned with a raging hot fire.

A pale flame spread out from the wings, and encircled the entirety of Jade Harmony Pavilion.

The mad winds aided the fire, and the air filled with a searing heat.

Yi He Ping gripped the sword hilt.

He was unmoved.

◈◈◈

“What a great big fire.”
Bai Yi Qing said.

This cultivation-less, frail Qi Qin dynasty emperor, Bai Yi Qing, was actually within this battle. He was on top of a mountain that the odd beasts had overtaken, and sat on the craggy rocks, holding a jar of wine, watching this final battle of the war he had personally unleashed.

On this battlefield spread with blood, spread with corpses, with Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples in deadlocks with odd beasts, fog raptors spread over the heavens and earth, sword techniques and formations randomly flying all around, and blades of wind and strikes of light flooding the world, he lifted up the jar of wine, like a unruly poet, and sat around all unhurriedly and leisurely, drinking all alone.

He was practically a lunatic.

When the pale-white fire surrounded Jade Harmony Pavilion, he lamented in a light voice.

Bei He held up his bright-red long blade and stood not far from his back. This mountain was already not the main battleground anymore, but within this kind of chaos, the battle all around would still spread to here from time to time, and occasionally, there would be senseless odd beasts or sect disciples who saw the situation here attacking here from a distance.

Bei He silently blocked off those attacks.

He did not make any warnings in regards this kind of insane conduct of Bai Yi Qing’s. He was only like how he was at Meng Pass, when Bai Yi Qing drank wine on top of the pass in the middle of the night, he carried his blade beneath the wall, distantly watching over him.

It really was a great big fire.

The pale-white flames burned on Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak, and the raging big fires intermingled with the faint blue ice, and blossomed with a flowery and almost unrealistic brilliance on the main peak of Jiu Xuan Sect.

“Scorch my armour, scorch my clothing, scorch my spear.”
Bai Yi Qing crooked his finger and tapped at the jar of wine, and lightly sang within the sounds of battle filling the world.

As he watched the demons wearing golden masks die within the sky, he did not reveal an upset expression, as he watched fog raptors fall down from the skies, he did not reveal an pitiful expression, as he watched the immortal sects’ disciples die in battle, watched the black-robed elders who walked into Qi Qin dynasty’s imperial palace back then fall down, he did not reveal a happy expression either.

He only tapped on the jar of wine, and faintly sang the long-drawn war song.

Watching the Eighteen Clans of Old, watching the demons, watching the immortal sects burn together within the fire, just like the olden order was burning within the raging fires.

And he watched this fire, just like a poet, drinking all alone.

Like a lunatic.

A solitary, lunatic.

Bei He stood to his back, and carried the bright-red long blade that turned even more so due to being dyed in blood.

“Bei He.”
Bai Yi Qing watched the movements in the skies, and called out.
“Prepare.”

◈◈◈

Above the skies.

The Princess was already no longer of the appearance of a snow-haired young woman- the phoenix that disappeared from the lands for a very long time revealed its beautiful figure in the pale-white flames. That was an incomparably magnificent, incomparably glorious being, when its wings spread open in the raging intense fires, each feather, each bone, all emerged with a fluid and graceful arc.

The surface of the feathers, billowed with flames.

This was the divine bird that would undergo nirvana and revive again every time it died in the legends, it was the primeval creation of the ancient past, the history of its birth exceeded any one of the dynasties or sects that existed on this land.

The phoenix spread its wings open in the skies, even the elders who were fighting with the other gold mask-wearers all received the effect of its prestige.

Jun Wan Bai and Chu Zhi Yu’s faces turned pale in the skies.

Their cultivation was originally not as high as the elders, barely maintaining the opening of the imperial map by relying on the power of the Eighteen Clans and the elders’ assistance.

When the phoenix spread its pair of wings and completely released its strength, the impact they received was much stronger than the others.

The gold light spread from the imperial map started faltering within the phoenix’s cries. Jun Wan Bai, with her facial colour pale, lifted her head and looked towards Chu Zhi Yuan, and saw the same kind of decisive and calm expression from the other person’s face.

And yet, at the time Jun Wan Bai and Chu Zhi Yuan just wanted to do something, someone reached out with their hand.

“Us old folks haven’t even died yet.”
Grandmaster Pu Du pressed on Chu Zhi Yuan. That benign chubby face carried a usual, smiling expression, with a slightly transparent flame burning up from his body.

“I have a disciple too, and their temper is just about the same as yours.”
Ye Gui held Jun Wan Bai’s hand, and slightly smiled at her.

“Last-named Ye, my disciple is not up to you to save.”
Bai Yuan Xiu indifferently said.

She reached out and lightly patted Jun Wan Bai’s shoulders.

“I am very happy to have taken you in as my disciple.”
Bai Yuan Xiu who had never praised her disciples spoke up, and her usually stern face revealed a gentle smile towards Jun Wan Bai.

“Tell Bai Li, I am also proud of her.”

A fire ignited from primordial energy burned up from Bai Yuan Xiu’s body, and she looked at her overly-stubborn disciple.

“I am proud of you guys.”

Chapter 229

The phoenix spread its magnificent wings within the blazing fires, soaring into the air. She slowly flapped her pair of wings, with billowing fire surging on the gorgeous plume, watching the people on the other side who, to her, were far too insignificant.

Yi He Ping half-knelt on the top of Jade Harmony Pavilion, with the sword in his hands thrust into the peak of the pavilion. The elders protected their own disciples, burned their own spiritual seas and primordial energies, and supported the imperial map that was in critical danger. On the ground, disciples brandished their blades and swords, and fought with the continuously surging odd beasts.

This was a struggle between ants.

Yet was that familiar.

Over here, right on the lands deeply-buried with the black doors, the former Bai Li Qing Ge followed the man she liked, and fought together with him. At that time, there was no Princess, only Bai Li Qing Ge, only the Bai Li Qing Ge who was just like her husband, believing in the Bai Li family head.

At that time, the Princess who had always resided in the deathly-still imperial city walked into the world of the ants, was received by the ants, and experienced the many emotions of the ants.

At that time, there would be a person who, in the face of their comrades teasing after the battle ended, would reach out and grasp her shoulder, and laugh at the other people, saying, no helping it, if you guys want your wife to protect you, then you first need a wife.

As he said that, he turned his head to slightly smile at her, and said, are you willing to protect me?

She looked at the man’s smile, and thought, during battle, this person would always subconsciously stand to the front of her, and thus, she also smiled, and said she was willing.

Thus, all the people started laughing.

Thus, there was no Princess, nor some ancient phoenix.

She walked into the world of ants, and then willingly became an ant as well.

And then, everything ended.

That person who the clanspeople trusted that much, calmly pulled out a long arrow that once pointed towards the ancient emperors for them, and first killed that clansperson who felt the call of the Sky Emperor’s will. He took the lead in breaking the taboo that everyone was refraining from and evading, and said to “start from Bai Li”.

—— He abandoned those people who followed him.
—— He abandoned those clanspeople who revered him like a god.

She did not understand anything about the bigger picture, or anything about doing something against one’s own will- in her own world, to like was just to like, love was just love, and hate was just hate. That’s why she came to like that young man who smiled towards her in the desert- she liked him extending his hand out to her, thus, she went along with him.

She let herself become one of the members of the ants, and then thought that everything would continue on like this, permanently and eternally.

However, all those things were destroyed by that person.

Because of his decision, the clanspeople who once joked around each other after battle, and put their arms around each other, for the first time, held their blades towards their own brothers and sisters. Big brothers would kill younger brothers, younger sisters would hold up a torch as they watched their big sisters get sealed into the formation that would never be released, and the husband who would subconsciously protect her personally sealed her into a bronze prison suppressed by the Sky Emperor’s personal sword, then sat in the black waters, dying together with her.

Everything was gone.

At that time, all the clanspeople trusted each other, all the clanspeople liked each other.

They were like the present Jiu Xuan Sect.

They were of one body.

However, everything was gone.

“Move out of the way.”
The phoenix with wings burning with a pale-white fire no longer made large-scale attacks. She slowly flapped her magnificent wings, while a low and deep voice transmitted out from the fire, containing a sliver of a hard-to-detect complicated emotion.

Yi He Ping slightly sighed. He lifted his head up, and saw that sliver of intent of conceding coming from the phoenix.

He faintly felt the other party’s complicated and sorrowful emotion.

“Sorry.”
Yi He Ping slowly stood up, and the ice-blue light on the longsword flowed.

Ever since Bai Li Shu went into the black doors, he vividly felt his own disciple was gradually becoming very distant. When he saw Bai Li Shu coming out from the black doors, and the sea of stars to the back of the young man vanishing, Yi He Ping already faintly perceived something. That was a kind of invisible, thing slowly heading towards the end.

If he was a couple ten years younger, Yi He Ping would go find the answer to everything here, and go find that faintly emerging truth that made people tremble.

But he was no longer the vigorous and energetic youth who, at the main peak in Jiu Xuan Sect back then, would fight with the brothers, and give cold shoulders to each other for a few days.

Time had slowly gone by for that long.

He had killed many people for Jiu Xuan Sect and the immortal sects. The few good friends he had in his lifetime had died in his hands, he was unable to save Bing Province’s tower-guarding disciples, he maintained the prestige of Jiu Xuan Sect, suppressed the hidden currents on the dynasties’ lands, while the number of young and aged emperors who died at the sect’s blade did not stop at one.

He did that many things, his hands were stained with that much blood.

By the very end, he did not know if he was right or wrong already. Once too much time passed, and one tangled with too much, everything would lose its initial meaning in the complicated turbulence. All that was left, was only a seemingly endless fatigue.

There should be someone to draw a conclusion to all of this.

That day, Elder Qin said in the end, he already could not understand what was it exactly they wanted to do. However, in reality, Yi He Ping only felt fatigued. He watch Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples fall, watched the dynasties’ army fall, watched blood flow on the lands, fires spread out thousands of miles, people like each other, hate each other, kill each other, like walking in a labyrinth one could not find the exit to.

So, once he hazily perceived Bai Li Shu wanted to end all of this, he remained silent.

He was already old. The young Yi He Ping would send elders to travel in the snowy night to kill the emperors who challenged the immortal sects’ might, but the aged old person would only feel like all of this should be ended.

“I cannot move out of the way.”
Yi He Ping said. The flakes of ice in the surrounding skies floated, drifted about, with a pale-blue light, like a scene of rain that was fixed.

“Then die with him.”
The Princess’ voice icily resounded, and the phoenix in the skies completely spread open its wings, with pale flames instantly sweeping around.

Yi He Ping stood on top of the Jade Harmony Pavilion. When the Princess completely let out her power to attack, the surrounding flames were sharply compressed, but the temperature sharply rose up along with it, and the extremely high temperature made the ice-blue flakes of ice in the skies start to disappear—— not melt, but immediately disappear.

When standing in the very core of this pressure and power, Yi He Ping’s long robes swept around. In his perception, everything in the surroundings was a flames that could go no higher, a solidifying, oppressing power would burn him into nothing, with winds and fires mingling together. The power that Yi He Ping let out belonging to him was rapidly being pressed down along with the disappearance of the ice flakes.

Mad winds.
Burning fire.

Faced against this kind of scary power, Yi He Ping only firmly stood at the top floor of the Jade Harmony Pavilion the entire time, while the already tattered robes noisily fluttered around. His face carried some bloodstains, yet his gaze was calm like a deep lake.

“Jiu Xuan becomes me.”
In the sounds of winds, he lightly spoke.

Yi He Ping held his sword with both hands, with the handle of the sword lifted up to his eye level. The long, long body hung down straight, while ice-blue light sprung around on the body of the blade, and the tip of the sword lit up with a bit of snow, directly pointing at the very center of Jade Harmony Pavilion. Ancient fluctuations spread out with Yi He Ping in the middle, then, this tall tower that stood within Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak’s winds and snow for several thousands of years lit up floor by floor.

Within the earth’s veins, beneath Jiu Xuan Sect’s ranges, that power from the ley lines seemed like it received some sort of calling, and gathered towards Jade Harmony Pavilion on Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak like swimming dragons, and lit up this towering tower story after story.

By the very end, all the power converged into Yi He Ping who was holding his sword with both hands, and was precisely within the encirclement of the winds and fires.

Converging into the longsword in his hands.

Although the position of Jiu Xuan Sect’s sect leader was turned over to Bai Li Shu later on, Yi He Ping still was responsible over many things within the entire Jiu Xuan Sect. He, too, still possessed some powers that only the sect leader could only use—— this was the power that belonged to Jiu Xuan Sect itself!

With Jade Harmony Pavilion as the center, a magnificent light erupted out.

That ice that originally already disappeared emerged in the skies once again, and was even numerous, more magnificent than before. Those were bunches of thin diamond-shaped ice blades. They spun around in the air, and cast a magnificent and wondrous glow with the fires. At this time and moment, the world was as gorgeous as a fantasy, and was as ghastly as a nightmare.

The power that gathered from all the earth veins in Jiu Xuan Sect, the longsword in Yi He Ping’s hands, and the phoenix’s wings clashed together head-on.

An intense wave erupted out from above the skies, and outside the imperial map, the fog raptors above the clouds flapped their wings and flew up to the higher skies like they were startled with this wave, and temporarily stopped attacking.

The pale-white fire and ice-blue blade intertwined.

At this moment, Yi He Ping’s power briefly reached an equilibrium with the phoenix that was the daughter of the White Emperor. Ice and fire corroded each other, and in the places they intermingled, a white and hazy fog started rising up. Yet, the longsword in Yi He Ping’s hands drew out with graceful and yet fierce arcs one after another, colliding with the phoenix’s wings covered with magnificent feathers and sharp bony claws.

He abandoned defence, and chose the fiercest of offence.

This was the essence of a sword cultivator.

What sword cultivators held, was a sword, not a shield.

Defence for a sword cultivator was to be on the offence!

◈◈◈

“As expected of the one who was the world’s number one swordsman back then.”
Bai Yi Qing sat on the mountain stone, and slowly swung the jar of wine, observing the battle in the skies.

Yi He Ping who obtained the power of Jiu Xuan Sect certainly was able to go on face-to-face with the Princess. Very few people remembered, but this person, at a time when he was very young, became the sect leader of Jiu Xuan Sect. Back then, there was no other person whose swordsmanship was more excellent than his within the lands. In the very beginning, the person with a strike able to frost through the Fourteen Provinces, was him.

Bai Li Shu’s otherworldly skill was taught by him.

When he was young, Yi He Ping was like Xie Yi and the others, a prideful genius.

Except, later on, Yi He Ping became Jiu Xuan Sect’s sect leader, and from that time on, he very rarely used his sword in front of people, and also very rarely directly made a move on others. Gradually, people forgot the appearance of him vigorously freezing over a thousand miles with a single strike from back then, and only remembered that Jiu Xuan Sect had a deep-thinking sect leader who looked to be gentle but was actually very meticulous.

After becoming the Jiu Xuan Sect Sect Leader, Yi He Ping restrained all the drive and keenness from back then.

However, that drive and keenness was only being concealed, it had never disappeared.

Right now, it was being let out.

“It’s about to end.”
Bei He said.

Bei He was also watching the battle in the skies- he was one of the very few who had exchanged blows with Yi He Ping before. That was within the hazy winter night, when he stood outside of Qi Qin dynasty’s imperial city, and exchanged a blow in the dark with that person who secretly left Jiu Xuan Sect.

The other person drew a strike from a distance.

After that many years, he could still remember that snow-like strike.

After that one strike, Bei He was defeated, and at that time, Bai Jing Tian’s eldest son, and Bai Yi Qing’s older brother, the new Qi Qin emperor who ascended not long ago, died in the imperial palace.

At that time, Bei He understood, Yi He Ping disappeared for that many years from people’s visions, but his swordsmanship had actually never regressed- quite the opposite, his sword turned even more terrifying.

The battle in today’s skies proved this point.

“Though the dragon had turned old, its teeth are still particularly sharp.”

Bei He stood at a place quite far from Bai Yi Qing, but he heard him lament as such. He looked at Bai Yi Qing, and saw the youth’s face bear an indifferent expression. The young man watched the shocking battle up in the skies, just like he was looking at a performance that had been prepared for a very long time, and he, was only an outsider.

During many times, Bei He had no way of understanding just what Bai Yi Qing was thinking inside.

Bai Yi Qing hated the immortal sects, but within that hate, seemed to be mingled with many things. Sometimes, Bei He felt that Bai Yi Qing was going through the immortal sects to hate another much bigger thing that was so big it made people powerless. Perhaps it was because Bai Yi Qing was really just a poet down to his bones.

Poets always had some things that many others felt was hard to understand against the world.

So those either long or brief poems that they would sing, that they would write, would used obscure metaphors to express their complicated yet also perceptive feelings.

What poets’ hearts filled with, was the entire world.

When Bai Yi Qing was lamenting, the battle up in the skies, as Bei He said, already had an outcome.

The profuse and scattered ice broke into a great number of pale-white scraps, laying over the entire main peak of Jiu Xuan Sect. Just like the seasons had suddenly reversed, and winter descended once again, a big snowstorm came down in a single night. Pale-white flames spread out all over the skies, yet already no longer formed into a overturning sea and vortex.

Yi He Ping was still standing on top of the Jade Harmony Pavilion- the phoenix’s bone claw penetrated his chest, and with a bit more, it would pierce into his heart. Blood seeped out, and the colour on the black clothes deepened.

On the other side, the phoenix’s heart was already pierced by a longsword. Thin, faint-blue ice started rapidly spreading around from the place the longsword nailed into, and by the end, wrapped this ancient divine bird completely within it.

That icy and lofty feeling inside the phoenix’ eyes was slowly fading away.

Then in the next moment, it turned back to the graceful and slender-figured young woman.

The silver robes on the Princess was full of bloodstains at this time- she lowered her head and looked at the longsword that pierced into her own chest, and then lifted her head up to look at the man standing on top of the Jade Harmony Pavilion with a calm expression.

Yi He Ping silently watched the silver-haired woman.

The other person’s breathing was already very weak, however, the blood of the White Emperor and the properties of the phoenix instead made her unable to die off at the first moment. She was still able to make a final attack, and drag Yi He Ping down together. Yi He Ping no longer had a sword in his hand. Although that final attack from the Princess was not lethal, he was already seriously injured too.

Yet, the Princess did not attack.

Some things on the other person were slowly subsiding.

She looked…… not to be like the prestigious daughter of the White Emperor, but like a normal young woman.

The Princess extended her hand out and gripped the handle, pulled the sword out, then tossed it to Yi He Ping. Yi He Ping caught the sword the other person threw back, and looked at her in slight surprise.

“Actually, I like being called Bai Li Qing Ge much more.”
She said.

And then, she fell down from the high skies. When falling down, the winds swept up her long hair, and everything in her silver eyes was slowly subsiding.

Those grudges, that stubbornness, that love and hate.

Everything dispersed at the time life was about to end.

Before sinking into darkness, she looked at the air and softly asked.

“Have you come to pick me up?”

◈◈◈

“Ah, lost as expected.”
Bai Yi Qing watched the Princess falling down from the air—— or perhaps, she should be called Bai Li Qing Ge—— and opened his mouth with very little care, revealing a slightly pondering expression.

“Should we sing a requiem or something for her?”

Without waiting for someone to reply, he spoke to himself again.

“But a phoenix does not need ants to send her off, never mind.”

Is what he said, but his hands instead lightly knocked on the jar of wine, and tapped a long yet dreary melody. Bei He could hear it was the funeral song that that would be sung on the sands along the sea by the family when a fisherman who went out to sea died from Qi Qin dynasty’s southeastern regions right along the sea.

On this battlefield with smoke and ash flying around at this time, Bai Yi Qing crooked his finger and knocked on the jar, tapping this fisherman’s threnody to send off the fallen ancient divine bird.

Like ridiculing, yet also like he was grieving.

And yet, the young man’s face was just like usual- one could not see him in rejoice, nor could one see him in sorrow. He only lifted his head up, and looked at the imperial city above the skies.

“It should be coming by now, right?”
Bai Yi Qing was not the only one watching the imperial city in the skies.

Yi He Ping was also looking at the suspended imperial city.

The imperial city cast from black stone was majestic and grand. When suspended in the air, the surrounding space appeared with a hard-to-bear warping feeling, making the skies faintly dim down too. In the era of Chaos, the imperial city that was supported by Heavenly pillars and stood within the clouds symbolized an ancient emperor’s authority.

In the era of Chaos, the imperial cities cast a thick shadow from the skies, and people prostrated within the shadows.

The people of future generations found it very hard to imagine the might of the ancient emperors of that time, and could only make estimates on the sun-like prestige of the emperors of that time through the gaps of time and one or two words.

And today, the ancient emperor’s prestige descended upon this world once again.

The blue canopies shook along with it, and the winds, the air, the lands, and all the things let out low cries. The fog raptors flying within the skies lost their arrogance and indulgence within the invisible fluctuations spreading from the imperial city, then these pale, giant birds formed from clouds and bones fell from the skies.

They recalled the fear of being killed in the past.

The colour of the skies completely darkened by now.

The blue canopies were as black as ink, while silver lightning drew across the skies like madly dancing giant dragons, with each and every one completely tearing the skies apart. The sky was just like a mirror, while the lightning was the cracks from it breaking. And in the very center of all the cracks, was that lofty and heavy black-stoned imperial city.

Chapter 230

Yan Men Prefecture’s Heavenly pillar completely collapsed in this instant, and turned into countless ashes, falling down from the skies.

The odd beasts tainted with demonic aura prostrated to the ground, not moving a single inch, and the ghost realm that was originally continuously expanding no longer spread out, with the world sunk into a kind of heavy silence. With the intense battle suddenly stopped at this time, receiving a chance to breathe was originally a matter that would make people happy.

But not one person could relax.

Not just the skies at Jiu Xuan Sect darkened.

The skies over the entire twelve dynasties’ lands turned dark. At this time, the world was only left with gloominess. All the battles all over the place entered a lapse, and on the entire vast land of the twelve dynasties, no matter where one was, all the could see that black-stoned imperial city in the skies.

The soldiers donned in black armour uncontrollably knelt onto the ground, prostrated, offering their own reverence towards the ancient emperor who returned after several thousands of years.

In each dynasty, each prefecture, the immortal cultivators of power and position knelt down to the ground in front of the heavy pressure coming from the skies, with the fear and submission the ancestors bore towards the ancient emperors waking up in the deepest parts of their souls. The comparatively stronger immortal cultivators had foreheads full of cold sweat, and thrust their swords into the ground with pale faces, using all their strength to resist this terrifying pressure.

At this time, in their perceptions, the world seemed like it completely changed.

The skies, the lands, the mountains, the rivers.

As though all of this that they were familiar with, that did not have life, suddenly had their own consciousness—— they were being governed by a superior existence at this moment in time.

The returned ancient emperor held control towards this land once again.

Only one place still retained its independence.

In this region with Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak as the centre, the Sky Emperor’s might was subjected to an extremely big impairment- the Sky Emperor controlled the skies and earth, but only this space did not return to his dominion. Though the people standing on top of Jiu Xuan Sect’s mountain ranges also felt that might that made people uneasy and frightened, they were not like the people in other places, needing to prostate and submit.

This space seemed like it belonged to another.

The Sky Emperor did not obtain control of this space.

There was some kind of power contained beneath Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak- the strength wilfully spreading out from the imperial city was obstructed in front of it, and was unable to move forward.

Yi He Ping lowered his head, and looked beneath Jade Harmony Pavilion.

As the former sect leader of Jiu Xuan Sect, though he had already abdicated, he could still faintly maintain a kind of response with the black doors beneath Jade Harmony Pavilion. He was able to feel, the area behind the last door already progressed to the final stage. They still needed that final bit of time.

However, the people who could feel this, was not just Yi He Ping alone.

In the skies, on the throne suspended within the black-stoned imperial city, the existence draped in blood-red robes slowly opened their eyes.

Countless lightning burst forth in that instant, and the heavens and earth turned into a stretch of boundless white by these pale, mad, apocalyptic lightning, just like the sky(Qing Ming) had instantly shattered apart completely. And in this instant, on the land of the twelve dynasties, all of the Qing Ming towers completely collapsed.

Qing Ming towers—— these ninety-nine-floored sky-reaching towers that symbolized the growth of immortal cultivators and the fall of the ancient emperors, in this instant, all broke down.

The destruction of the Qing Ming towers, announced the return of the ancient emperors.

The figure sitting on the throne looked at his own imperial city, and slowly revealed a rejoicing smile.

The smile was full of madness and indifference.

—— It had been far too long.

“I can feel you.”

The Sky Emperor looked down. His gaze seemed to pass through the thick and heavy bottom layer, and directly see the presence of the towering black doors underneath. Within his pupils were a span of iciness, and completely did not notice the crowds of people standing on Jiu Xuan Sect’s ranges—— in the Sky Emperor’s eyes, Yi He Ping and them were only a bunch of ants.

Just some trivial dust.

Would the black dragon notice the existence of ants?

No.

“I still remember you.”
The Sky Emperor slowly said, with his voice carrying a kind of killing intent that was like a slowly flowing river of ice.

In his vision, everything in the world was blank, and what existed, was only the final standing black door underground. Behind the black door, was an existence that he had to kill even if he had to use everything he had.

He remembered that figure.

At the beginning, nobody noticed the raging flames burning on the lands beneath the Heavenly pillars—— it was just some clamouring ants holding their own horns. No matter how much more louder those clamours were, in front of the giant existences that were like ancient dragons, what could the ants do? The ancient emperors did not even need to send their own gazes, the black-armoured imperial guards would pass through the lands, enough to burn them into ashes.

However, the things later suddenly changed.

A person walked out from a place nobody knew of.

Called the family head of the Bai Li clan, called the person who guards over Heaven’s grave.

Once that person appeared, the ancient emperors started falling, and fell to the same person’s hands.

The Sky Emperor remembered those moments this entire time. The ancient emperors who controlled time and whose authorities commanded the heavens and earth, in front of that person, lost their power, and regressed into powerless ants. That person stood inside the imperial cities that belonged to the ancient emperors, stepped over the emperors’ glory and prestige, pulled open their longbow, and shot out an arrow that perished everything.

The figure draped in snow-white robes had a hood that covered over their face, but one could feel that person’s dreary and silent gaze underneath the shadow.

—— He watched over everything, without any emotion, simply end.

“You killed them.”
The Sky Emperor said.

The blood-red robe on him was like it was dyed from the blood of millions, and when he spoke, the robes swept around, and the world was filled with a bloody scent, [like] the prelude to a solemn massacre.

The White Emperor, Tai Yi.

An ancient emperor’s life was long, an ancient emperor’s prestige was of paramount existence, and able to go shoulder-to-shoulder with ancient emperors, were only similar existences. In the several tens of thousands of years, the Sky Emperor, White Emperor, and Tai Yi existed together. That was a bond much more deeper than blood, and deeper than all the emotions in the world.

They were similarly majestic, similarly glorious.

However, the person draped in white with their face covered by a hood, killed the White Emperor and Tai Yi who was together with him.

Within the battle before his slumber, the Sky Emperor could feel, in reality, the first one that the other person wanted to completely kill off, was not the White Emperor nor Tai Yi, but him. He was the king of war, he held the authority on massacre, the one who the other person wanted to kill most was him. Starting from when the White Emperor’s imperial city was deceived into moving into the void, all the schemes all pointed to him by the end.

The White Emperor burned his own undying fire, and died in the most lethal attack in his stead.

“How laughable.”
The Sky Emperor said.

The final street in the imperial city completely formed.

Deep and heavy sounds of horse hooves echoed, then, those terrifying knights that Ye Qiu Sheng previously saw in Namu’s imperial city passed through the streets like a torrential current. In the Sky Emperor’s indifferent gaze, the odd beasts several zhang-high spread their steel-like wings open, while mutant horses donned with bronze armour, clashed, letting out sounds like that of a war song.

Those mutant horses sat with giant-like, similarly-armoured knights. Their hands held long spears- those long spears were formed using an unnamed crude beast’s bones, with the pale-white spears flowing with a primitive aura.

The dynasties’ black-armoured knights, in front of this terrifying cavalry, were just like toys.

The dynasties’ black armour, in front of this cavalry’s several ton heavy bronze armour, was as weak as thin paper.

The frightening cavalry passed through the city like a torrent, their steel-like wings spread open, then rushed down from the skies, making an assault towards everyone in Jiu Xuan Sect that they had never seen before——whirlwinds, endless flowing water, an assault akin to all the turbulent and cruel matters.

And at the same time.

Sounds of thunder resonated all throughout the heavens and earth, and a myriad of lightning shrouded down towards Jiu Xuan Sect, suddenly toppling over like a pool of thunder above the highest of skies, hence, all the thunder tilted down. Silver lightning then gathered into the most brilliant river at this time.

In this long river, the bronze cavalry was wrapped in a force about to cut and destroy everything while rushing down.

Their wings shrouded with a divine-like glow.

Boundless, like a divine judgment.

◈◈◈

“Those of Jiu Xuan Sect.”

When the Sky Emperor opened his eyes and the world sunk into stillness, and all the people turned silent, someone suddenly raised their voice, and called out towards the main peak of Jiu Xuan Sect.

It was Bai Yi Qing.

He stood up from the rock, with one hand holding wine, and the other hand empty. The winds swept up his clothes, and he called out to his own enemies in the wind.

“Catch.”

Along with his words, to Bai Yi Qing’s back, Bei He suddenly tossed a scroll of something in the direction of Jiu Xuan Sect’s main peak. The elders in the skies difficultly supporting the imperial map’s opening turned surprised, yet were powerless to leave and block that thing Bei He threw out. Though the fog raptors already disappeared from the skies, the elders did not have it any easier compared to resisting the fog raptors’ attack from before to open the imperial map, going up against the ancient emperor’s pressure for all the disciples in Jiu Xuan Sect.

Yi He Ping stood on top of Jade Harmony Pavilion, and did not evade.

He reached out and caught the item Bei He threw over.

That was an almost complete Mountain Rivers Scroll.

Yi He Ping lifted his head up and looked at Bai Yi Qing who was standing on top of the rocks. This young man who had his father and older brother killed by Jiu Xuan Sect held up wine and stood there facing the winds. His face carried a faint, hard-to-comprehend smile, and yet, his gaze hid with a fire of madness.

As though asking:
—— The thing’s been given to you people, dare to use it? Oh, the immortal sects who sees protecting secrets as their own duty.

Yi He Ping moved away his gaze, and he opened up the Mountain Rivers Scroll.

The Mountain Rivers Scroll, under Yi He Ping’s movements, suddenly opened up, and flew into midair., then merged together with the imperial map. In that instant, the world seemed to have a low and deep buzz resounding. The imperial map suddenly completely opened up in the skies, and golden rivers and mountains poured out, and tens of thousands of odd beasts that had long already disappeared from the lands all rushed out from the mountains and rivers.

A land map with only mountains and rivers flowing.
An imperial scroll with only birds and beasts.

By combining the two together, it would then form the most complete 《Three Ancient Emperors’ Map》!

This was something that, in the final years of the era of Ten Thousand Immortals, the Three Emperors drew to turn over the fate of falling. However, an incomplete imperial map already needed a majority of the elders to used all their power to completely activate, let alone for this almost-complete imperial map at present.

—— Dare use it?

Inside Bai Yi Qing’s smile, contained this pondering and ridiculing question.

Yi He Ping lifted his head up, and looked at the apocalyptic scene in the skies.

“Jiu Xuan Sect disciples heed my call——”
He suddenly pierced the longsword in his hands into the very middle of Jade Harmony Pavilion’s Eight Diagram design, and a brilliant glow erupted out from the place the longsword sunk into.
“—— Get in position——”

Yi He Ping’s voice echoed all throughout the heavens and the earth.

Countless people responded loudly.

In a short moment, all of Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples stood on various positions they were long already familiar with on the mountains, then with both hands, gripped their handles, and pierced their blades and swords into the ground. A similar glow instantly erupted out on the ground pierced with blades. A magnificent ice-blue glow flashed between the swords, swimming close to the ground, connecting with each other.

The web-like ice-blue light started spreading out on top of all the mountain ranges in Jiu Xuan Sect. Each disciple was small little node, when the lines of light connected together, a giant, intricate, unprecedented formation was outlined on the lands.

The iron chains traversing through the mountains lit up one after another, and in the ground and air, the formation spread open.

But it was not enough.

Too many of Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciples had already fallen to battle!

Above the skies, Elder Ye Gui looked at the scene of the forming spell being far from complete.

She looked at the imperial city in the skies.

“He Huan Sect disciples heed my call——”
This He Huan Sect elder’s red dress was as intense as fire in the winds, and her voice similarly resounded throughout the world.
“Get in position!”

The He Huan Sect disciples stationed at Jiu Xuan Sect shouted in response, and stood in the vacant spots without any hesitation.

“Tai Shang Sect’s disciples heed my call——”

Ye Qiu Sheng thrust his blade into the ground, with blood on his face slowly flowing down.

“Get in position!”

The disciples who followed Ye Qiu Sheng from Tai Shang Sect leapt out, and stood in the vacant spots without any hesitation.

“Fan Yin Sect disciples heed my call——”
“Yu Shou Sect disciples heed my call——”
“Tian Ji Valley disciples heed my call——”
“Wan Zhen Sect disciples heed my call——”

……

One after another, voices echoed throughout the world. The ants in the ancient emperors’ eyes, at this time, erupted with all their power to howl, to roar. Each person’s faces was bore a solemn air, while hot blood rushed forth in each person’s blood vessels, surging around.

The big formation continuously expanded, and in the blink of an eye, spread over every one of Jiu Xuan Sect’s mountains.

“Private Bank disciples heed my call——”

Liao Qian lifted his Xiu Shen Blade up high. The reversed river of stars rotated in the body of the blade, and he fiercely thrust it into the ground.

No one responded.

He lifted his head up, and looked at the scattered hills and mountains. Other than him, there was no longer any figures of the Bank’s disciples standing.

—— The Bank disciples who escaped from Qi Qin dynasty, other than him, had already all died to battle.

“The Bank heeds!”

Just when Liao Qian’s face revealed a brief blank expression, someone shouted in response all of a sudden.

Ye Qiu Sheng stood on a mountain peak, lifted his head up, and responded with a shout.

“The Bank heeds!”
Liu Wu Yan followed with a response.

And then it was followed by Clear-hearted Monk, He Zhou, Jun Wan Bai, Chu Zhi Yuan…… many people, from all over the mountains and hills, by all the people who were dressed in clothes from different sects and different peaks, that by the end, everyone shouted all together, responding to Liao Qian together.

“The Bank heeds!”
“Heed!”

……

The voices were like a sea, colliding to and from between the peaks, all grandiose and majestic.

Liao Qian revealed an expression like he was crying and smiling on his face.

“Get in position!”
He roared loudly.

All the people shouted at the same time.

Everyone was the Bank’s disciple, everyone was Jiu Xuan Sect’s disciple, everyone was Tai Shang Sect’s disciple…… everyone was the disciples of the Eight Immortal Sects! The Eight Immortal Sects, in this moment, transformed into one!

The Nine Provinces Private Bank did not perish!

Tai Shang Sect did not perish!

The Eight Immortal Sects, were one!

The wave of voices came in like tides. Within this world-resounding yell, the big formation completely took shape, light covered over each corner of Jiu Xuan Sect, and the imperial map completely opened up.

Within the river of silver-coloured lightning, the cavalry current rushing down and a gold light completely collided together, then a loud echo stretched through the heavens and earth.

When the imperial map and the cavalry entered a deadlock, Yi He Ping suddenly pulled out the longsword thrust into the Jade Harmony Pavilion, then sprung up, bringing with him all the light from the big formation, and went against the cavalry being tied down by the imperial map.

In the long period of time, the Eight Immortal Sects certainly did many things that could not be considered right.

They once killed many people for the immortal sects’ prestige!

They were once no longer the people who protected the common people!

They made many mistakes!

However, they never forgot their own mission!

The Eight Immortal Sects—— were the Eight Immortal Sects that protected the world!!!

“Immortal sects!!!”

The typically gentle and contained Yi He Ping shouted. Both of his hands held the sword, and drew the most glorious strike in his lifetime in the skies, roaring along with him.

Immortal sects!
Immortal sects!

The strike of light passed through the entire span of the skies, carrying all the immortal sects’ disciples’ pride and glory, coming down from the skies, facing that considerably terrifying cavalry. Within the strike of light, the giant cavalry and mutant horses’ heavy bronze armour broke, then died out. The brilliant strike of light that was similar to the silver lightning tore apart the long river, passed through the entire space, then headed towards that towering imperial city.

They were the immortal sects!

The immortals sects that were founded by the Eighteen Clans back then to protect the era’s secrets.

The immortal sects that existed to make the ancient emperors thoroughly be buried by the times.

They had once also lost themselves due to their own position and power, but in this final moment, everyone remembered their mission and their former most prideful glory.

The river of silver lightning in the skies was no longer in existence, the bronze cavalry was no longer in existence, only the remaining traces of the sword was still brilliant in the gloomy skies. However, when that strike of light headed towards the imperial city, the Sky Emperor lightly lifted his hand up, and casually swung it.

The strike of light broke apart at that instant it drew close to the imperial city.

The faces of everyone who formed the big formation all turned snow-white. That one attack that Yi He Ping let out through the air was gathered with all of everyone’s strength to unleash.

The Sky Emperor lifted his eyes up, and finally looked towards the ants in his eyes.

“Foolish.”
He said.

Silver lightning once again gathered together, and twisted into a black(?) dragon, and the black dragon then headed towards Yi He Ping who was suspended in midair.

Yi He Ping’s pupils cast with the black dragon’s figure.

He severed the connection between him and the formation, then faced it all alone.
Cayce hanya seorang mahasiswa yang kebetulan menyukai cerita silat, kesukaan cayce dengan cerita silat dimulai pada saat saya SMP. Banyak kesan tersendiri buat cayce mengenai cerita silat itu sendiri…

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