Chapter 361: Murdering the Manager
A few figures appeared on top. There were more than ten of them - male and female, each one's body overflowing with immortal Qi. They had an overwhelming aura about them, so that they seemed even stronger than the Celestial Emperors they had met before.
Lonemoon's heart sank. He scanned the group flying in the air and realised that flying beside the man who spoke was the new Demon King who had disappeared earlier. Now, there was no more demonic Qi around his body. Instead, all of it was replaced with immortal Qi. The strange thing was that their immortal Qi seemed different from ordinary immortal Qi that immortals possessed. Theirs looked extraordinarily rich.
Lonemoon's brain began to work. As if finally figuring something out, he said, "You led us here on purpose!"
"That's right," the man tutted. He glanced at each one of the three people standing below, hatred evident in his eyes. "That plane was going to break down sooner or later. You shouldn't still exist! You shouldn't have become the manager!" Lonemoon started. They knew Shen Ying's identity. "What kind of people are you?"
"We're people who are going to kill you," said the man who spoke first. He looked like he had no intention to explain any more to them. His expression hardened as he said, "Don't worry, once you're gone, we will send this entire realm to accompany you in hell."
Once he finished speaking, he waved his hand so that the people who were waiting with swords in hand behind him charged toward the group below. All around, the array brightened. Countless blades appeared in the air, reflecting blinding white light into their eyes. The overwhelming suppressive force now filled every corner of the hall, so that Lonemoon's and Yi Qing's breaths got shallower. This was only immortal Qi, yet it carried with it a force so formidable that it felt stronger than God Power.
Lonemoon subconsciously conjured a seal, summoning his immortal sword in an attempt to fight back. Yet, he found that his body had been drained of immortal Qi. Not only was he unable to summon his immortal sword, even he even lost touch with his intrinsic dharmic artifact. The immortal Qi all around him was so incredibly rich, yet he could not even use one bit of it. It was almost as if someone had taken all of his cultivation away. He watched as the blades in the air fell down toward him, leaving him with multiple wounds.
His heart jumped. Looking over, he found Yi Qing looking as confused as he felt. Yi Qing was attempting to do everything he could with the sword in his hands in order to deflect the blades.
What was going on?!
"What kind of array is this?"
"Are you surprised that you're not able to activate your skills?" The man in the air laughed mirthlessly upon noticing their confusion. "Didn't you realise that you're no longer in your plane? From the moment you entered this hall, we brought the entire palace out of your plane. In other words, you are no longer on your own turf. You may be a manager, but there's nothing you can do to us."
"We left the plane?" Lonemoon exclaimed. "You're invaders!" "Hmph! Invaders?" He laughed once again. The rest of them glared at Lonemoon with even more hatred than before. Sarcastically, the man said, "So in your eyes, we're only invaders?" His expression turned even angrier. Rage began to radiate from his entire body as his eyes turned blood-shot. He emphasised each word as he said, "Even if we did invade and destroy this world, it's what this world, all of you, and the Godfiend owe us!"
The Godfiend? The few of them hesitated. What did that bastard do this time?
The man became even more agitated, so that he was beginning to look crazy. Yet, he spoke no more. Instead, he addressed his companions, "Get the manager first!"
The people who had been fighting with Yi Qing immediately headed for Shen Ying when they heard the man's instructions.
"Master!" Yi Qing panicked. He tried to stop them, but he was too late. What's more, he was no longer as strong as he was before. There was no way he could rush over in time. All he could do was watch as more than ten people ran as fast as lightning to Shen Ying's side. They grabbed Shen Ying's… companion, Father Niu!
Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying, "…"
Lonemoon: "…" Son of a b*tch!
The next moment, Lonemoon was brought into the air, in front of the leader. Something lit up around his body, holding him in place. A purple light flashed in the man's hands. Immediately, a purple blade made of flames appeared. The flames looked like the kind that came out of the lamp earlier on.
"Since you're the manager, you should accompany your plane in destruction!"
After he finished speaking, he raised his hand, pointing the blade at Lonemoon.
Holy shit! Lonemoon's heart stopped. He shouted, "Shen Ying!"
The purple blade made of flames was just about to cut through his body when a hand flashed in front of Lonemoon's eyes. The hand grabbed onto the blade, causing it to stop in mid-air, just four fingers away from Lonemoon.
There was a long sigh. "Hey, you… He's not the manager." Shen Ying, who suddenly appeared in the air next to them, tilted her head. "I am!"
"What…" Before the man could process the fact that he had gotten the wrong person, Shen Ying tightened her grip. There was a clank as the purple blade of flames shattered into pieces in the man's hands. It disappeared into purple specks of light. The man stared blankly at his now empty hands. Then, he saw stars. Everything around him was spinning. There was pain all over his body.
Shen Ying picked the man back up by the collar, and swung him at all of his companions, one by one, as if he was a badminton racket.
The entire hall became filled with loud crashes. More than ten of them fell down like dumplings. Some crashed into the floor, some crashed into the walls, some crashed into the pillars. Suddenly, the hall was covered with human art pieces.
Everything took less than 30 seconds. The array became dark once again. The hall vibrated violently, then collapsed completely.
That's why… it's so difficult to reason with others!
Shen Ying sighed, then she threw the badminton racket - no! - the person in her hand onto the ground. She helped Lonemoon back down, next to Yi Qing. Then, she tore the cursed talisman that was holding Lonemoon still into pieces.
"So… this is the manager!" The man who had earlier been tossed aside struggled to raise his head. The look he gave Shen Ying was mixed with hatred and resentment, and a tinge of admiration. He laughed mirthlessly. "The manager's power comes from the plane he or she manages. I'm sure… I brought you out of your own plane. Yet, you are…"
"Oh." Shen Ying tilted her head, thinking very seriously of a response. "All I can say is - you know nothing about managers?"
Lonemoon pursed his lips. It was not that he knew nothing about managers - he just knew nothing about this cheat. Both Lonemoon and Yi Qing's skills had been suppressed. Only Shen Ying's was not!
"I'm not satisfied!" The man's eyes filled with hatred once again. It was causing his expression to harden by the second. He had a certain crazed determination as he said, "How can all of these lousy planes find managers? How can the Godfiend, that lousy man, have a stable plane to reside in? Why should our resources be taken away from us? Why should we be chased out to the realm beyond realms! I'm indignant! If something must be destroyed… you and your plane should perish!" He used his last breath to shout all of these things at the three of them.
The three of them, however, stared blankly back at him. Before they could process what the man was saying, the purple light in his hand flashed once again. A familiar purple box appeared.
Wasn't this the box Shen Ying used to store the purple gas?
Lonemoon touched his side and realised that it was gone.
When did they take it from them!
His heart sank. "What are you trying to do?"
It was too late. The purple light in the man's hand flashed once more. The purple gas rushed out of the box and headed straight toward the ground.
Chapter 362: The Realm Breaks Down
The next moment, purple cracks appeared all around them, spreading toward them. They covered the heavens and the earth in seconds. It felt like the entire earth was shaking as it crumbled into pieces and fell down around them. The purple faded away, but the cracks remained in the sky.
It reminded Lonemoon of the earlier time with the Godfiend at the divine territory. Everything was breaking down so quickly. Everything only took seconds. It was a wasteland now. The waste auras from outside of the realm slipped in through the cracks in the sky. All forms of life dropped immediately to zero. The chances of living fell rapidly.
"You want to ruin this little plane!" Lonemoon exclaimed, eyes widened in disbelief. The entire plane had just fallen apart before his eyes.
"Your plane should have been destroyed from the beginning." The man looked even crazier than before. It was almost as if he was ready to perish with this plane if he had to. "Not just this plane, but the other 3000 planes should not even be around." "You're crazy!" Lonemoon looked at the rapidly deteriorating plane. "Do you know how many living creatures there are on this plane? If you destroy this place, they'll perish along with it!"
"So what!" He laughed maniacally, turning around to face Shen Ying. He said excitedly, "We should have died earlier! If I kill the manager, your plane will perish along with me."
This man had lost his mind!
"This plane has been completely disconnected. Once I destroy it, even managers would not be able to escape. Go down along with this plane!"
"That's not for sure," Shen Ying suddenly spoke. She did not look in the least bit concerned. She retrieved a box from her robes and tossed it over.
The box looked like the transparent one from before, but it was red. As it flew out, it grew in size, until it threatened to cover the entire sky and swallow the entire plane. The waste auras that seeped into the plane through the crack were forced back out the same way. Although the cracks still remained, the entire plane remained intact. The destruction halted, as if time had stopped.
Lonemoon's body relaxed. The suppressive force he felt from the plane just moments before disappeared. He glanced at the vast sky. The red box had now become a red light that covered the entire sky, separating the sky from the earth. "What… is this?" Where was Shen Ying getting all of these boxes?
"Isolation equipment," Shen Ying replied matter-of-factly. After pondering for a moment, she added, "When my older sister was angry in the past, she would lock me in the little black… red house here."
"Er…" Indeed, this looked like something Shen Jing would do. But this little red house was quite huge. It was big enough to contain the entire plane.
"What did you do?!" The man who had been laughing maniacally just moments before looked around in disbelief. The little plane had been falling apart. Why did it stop? Were managers really this strong? How could she stop this little plane from falling apart even though it is completely disconnected from her own plane?
Shen Ying had no intention of replying to him. She walked over and picked him up by the collar. Very seriously, she said, "We're very reasonable. You can tell your story now."
The man hesitated. Before he could respond, another voice interrupted. "Let go of Saint Hong Meng!" They did not realise when this familiar-looking man climbed out of the pit. It was the fake Demon King who stole Yu Hong's dowry. Maybe Shen Ying did not knock him hard enough. He still had the energy to get to his feet. He glared at Shen Ying, raging and threatening her with his eyes.
Suddenly, he turned around. A purple light flashed once again as another familiar figure appeared beside him. Purple aura surrounded that person, wrapping him up like a dumpling. The man's face became pale, so that he could not move. His aura weakened by the second.
The dumpling looked up at the group, and his eyes brightened. He opened his mouth to whisper, "Boss…" It was the Godfiend, who had disappeared for a long time now. Indeed, he had been kidnapped by these people.
That fake Demon Kil drew an immortal sword and placed it just under the Godfiend's neck. Once again, he shouted, "Let Hong Meng go or I will kill him!"
The three of them exchanged meaningful looks. A moment later, they shouted in unison, "Alright!"
The fake Demon King: "…"
The Godfiend: "…"
"Kill him, kill him. He's of no use, anyway."
"That's right, all he can do is attract trouble. We should have killed him a long time ago!" "Please take our advice - kill him as soon as possible!"
The Godfiend's heart began to hurt. He had been referring to Shen Ying as his Boss for a couple of days after all - was he that unimportant?
"Master, I think it's almost time for dinner." Yi Qing stepped forward to remind Shen Ying after calculating for a second.
"Oh." Shen Ying nodded. She glanced at the rubble around her and said, "This place is too messy. Let's go back for dinner."
She reached out and waved his finger in the air. The air began to twist, and a passage opened up in front of them.
"The plane… passage." The man who was still being held by the collar muttered in disbelief. "How could this be?!" He had already disconnected this little plane from the manager's plane. This plane was half-destroyed. By any standards, this plane would be considered a wasteland. How was it that the manager could still open a plane passage leading them back?
Lonemoon glanced at him and said, "It'll be alright once you get used to it." Why would anyone attempt to use logic on a cheat?
They were just about to enter the passage when the Godfiend gasped in confusion. Wait, were they really not going to try to save the Godfiend?
Shen Ying suddenly recalled something. She paused, turned around and said, "Right, you haven't eaten yet either, have you? Let's eat together!"
She turned back around. The man felt suction coming from an unknown source. A blinding white light flashed before his eyes, then he found himself standing in the middle of a starry sky. Not far from him, on the ground, lay more than ten people than Shen Ying threw into the earth. They were still unconscious. There were big and small light balls all around them. One of them was especially eye catching. It was covered in the red translucent box that Shen Ying took out of her robes earlier on. Inside, he could see a total of 708 broken pieces. It was that little plane that he was just in.
"Master, please hold on for a moment. Dinner will be ready in a moment." Yi Qing pulled out a table and some chairs, along with some cutlery out of habit. Then, he retrieved the leftover roasted dragon meat. There was a flash of light from his sword. The dragon meat was cut into little slices and set on the table. "Master, if you're hungry, eat this first."
"Alright." Shen Ying nodded. She threw the man onto the seat next to her, picked up a slice off meat and put it in her mouth. The spell still worked, so that the meat was still nice and warm.
Chef turned around and disappeared into a star. Specifically, He disappeared into the new kitchen set up on the field in the divine realm.
Shen Ying had already finished more than half of the bowl of dragon's meat when she suddenly thought of something. She glanced at the person next to her and asked, "You want some?" He had to eat to have enough energy to talk.
Hong Meng paused. He tried to figure out exactly what Shen Ying was implying. Why was she offering him food all of a sudden? Yet, he did not think it fit to ask her. His wounds were far too serious. All he could do was sit still and try not to make eye contact with her.
The Godfiend, on the other hand, who was still trapped in a corner, whined. "Boss…" Did she forget about this baby of hers?
Chapter 363: Mutual Help Between Planes
Shen Ying looked up at him, before turning to Lonemoon at the side. "Father Niu, help him out." I'm not free.
Lonemoon's mouth twitched, before he turned to walk in that direction. The fake Demon King who was still holding the man showed a little tightened expression. After a while, his hand fell as though he gave up. They already returned to the range of the plane and the assistant powers of Lonemoon naturally returned. They were completely powerless to resist.
Lonemoon made a slight grab and that purple gas which trapped the Godfiend disappeared immediately. Only then did he walk over holding the man.
In the next moment, the people who were originally fiercely fighting each other already sat around the same table eating dinner. To put it more accurately, Shen Ying was eating alone, while Lonemoon rolled his eyes, and Hong Meng and that fake Demon King watched with a blank expression. Godfiend could only stand, and around a dozen people lay unconscious on the ground. For a time, the sound of Shen Ying's chopsticks, and occasionally the sound of Chef's footsteps as he went about delivering dishes, were the only sounds in the Divine Realm.
And the rest somehow just watched Shen Ying finish her meal in silence, with a blankness in their minds and even a slight hunger in their stomach.
A certain person only stopped with a loud burp when all the dishes on the table had disappeared. Chef had already tidied up the table fast and placed fruit and tea onto it.
With a thought, he changed the rectangular table to a round table with a hand seal, added a chair at the side for himself, and kindly handed over a stool to Godfiend who remained standing.
Godfiend's mouth twitched as he sat down. He appeared much shorter than the rest immediately. The larger half of his body was below the table, and only a miserable head showed above the table.
Godfiend, "…" Yi Qing did this intentionally, right? Absolutely!
"We can start." Shen Ying nibbled at a fruit in her hand and said with a completely casual look. "Tell us about those indescribable anecdotes between Godfiend and all of you?"
Yi Qing: "…"
The Godfiend: "…"
Although he did have some irreconcilable feud with these people, how come he felt that there was something weird about this question of Big Boss?
The other two actually snorted, and their looks towards them were full of disdain. After a long while, that person called Hong Meng said, "As the manager, how can you not be clear about the grievances between us!" "I'm not clear." Shen Ying's head tilted. Just say, okay?
"You…" The other party seemed even angrier. "Kill us if you want to. What do you want with us, with such pretenses?" With that said their looks seemed as if fire was going to emerge from their eyes. They restrained themselves with a few deep breaths, turned around and spoke no more. As though they couldn't bother to say another word.
Shen Ying's mouth twitched. Were they going to start on obsolete plots that couldn't bear listening?
"Believe it or not, we've only just taken charge of this plane." Lonemoon at the side actually couldn't watch it any longer and took over the responsibility of communication. "We are indeed unsure about your businesses. You may choose not to speak, although…" His look went cold. "Miss this chance, and you won't have another even if you want to."
"Master is only giving you an opportunity to explain." Yi Qing's expression chilled as he also spoke. "With the rest, you have no power to resist at all." Talking as if you could beat Master, little bitches! The faces of the two opposite them suddenly paled, and their looks fluttered.
"Big boss." Godfiend beside them actually started speaking weakly with a darkened expression. "Actually, they…"
"We're indeed from another plane." Before he could finish, Hong Meng looked like he suddenly figured out something. With remnant hatred in his eyes but nevertheless being much calmer than he was previously he stared at Godfiend, who was almost retreating under the table. "But… we didn't initiate an invasion this plane. Instead, your Godfiend invited us to come."
The three were shocked, and Hong Meng actually sneered. His eyes closed briefly, and then with an aura of vicissitude and despair overflowing from him, he turned to look towards Shen Ying. His eyes were full of those hard-to-understand emotions. It took him a long time to tell the whole story.
And they heard a completely unexpected story. These people were indeed from a different plane, and it was an immortal plane very similar to this one. The only difference here was the three ancient Gods. They had thirteen sages from the beginning of the world's creation, who were the ones who encircled them from before.
Like this plane, they didn't have a manager as well, and with time, the plane without a manager became ever weaker, vaguely showing the signs of a collapse. Just as they were despairing and going around planes looking for a problem-bearer… uh pui, a Manager, they arrived at this plane. Only then did they realize that there was another place that shared their fate, and the two sides started interaction afterwards.
At the time, the two worlds were both on the verge of collapsing, and the power of either side was totally insufficient to prevent a plane collapse. So the two sides discussed and found a way of combining strengths. They agreed to face the plane crisis together, combine the power of two planes and stabilize situations one by one. As the problem was more severe on Godfiend's side, they decided to start from here.
So Godfiend opened the plane gate and invited them here. Together they spent a great amount of time fixing this plane, pouring out their energies. They even came up with the idea of dividing the plane to three thousand small worlds to temporarily delay the full collapse of the plane. It was also from then that there were the three realms of Heaven, Earth and Men. They also gave the beings of this world the ability to cross over small worlds, which were the cultivations methods later.
The reason that they had immortal qi but that which was apparently different from immortal qi of the Celestial World, was that the methods of cultivation originated from them in the first place. The difference was only from the planes in which they cultivated.
With years of hard work, matters finally progressed in a good manner. The hard work and cooperation between the two sides reaped results and dragged this plane from the edge of collapse. Though it was still unstable, it wasn't as fragile as it was before. Even the remaining plane cracks of the Three Realms were temporarily fixed. So long as a Manager appears within the time limit, this plane could be completely stabilized.
But just as they were feeling happy and relieved for this plane, a heavy blow came to them.
Their own plane collapsed… Because of the planes being extremely fragile, to prevent an accident, they didn't go across planes frequently when fixing this world. They didn't even return to check on the situation back there. When they realized it, it was already too late. Their original plane went back into complete nothingness, with all living beings destroyed.
Trying the best to fix another plane but getting their own plane completely disappearing would be unacceptable with anyone. Therefore, the original mutually helpful relation was completely broken. The only 13 sages left started a terrible hatred towards this whole matter.
And the last straw that crushed the camel was Godfiend's betrayal of them afterwards…
Chapter 364: Godfiend's Conspiracy
"Our biggest fault was trusting you, this villain!" Hong Meng's eyes showed that bone-deep hatred once more, as he stared at Godfiend opposite him, who was almost shrinking below the table. "We used all we had to help stabilize your plane, while ours returned to complete nothingness. And he took that opportunity to rob our original source the purple gas, and to banish us to the outer realm. Shouldn't we revenge such deep grievances?"
His voice grew deeper as he spoke. His heart was full of rage and sorrow for being powerless against the collapse of homeland. It was like he was making his final laments. His whole body was so tense that it seemed like it was going to break in the next moment.
For a time, everyone around the table were silent. Even Lonemoon who had always been eloquent didn't know how to speak.
They had never imagined the truth to be as such. This plane was actually built with their help, and it actually indirectly led to their own world's collapse. Anyone would probably be unable to accept the reality of their circumstances. He suddenly understood those complex emotions when those men looked at them earlier on.
That hatred was probably not towards them, but towards Godfiend, this world, and even themselves for not discovering the problems with their own plane in time.
One had to say that carrying such a past, they were very strong to even not go mad.
And Godfiend was also beyond his expectation…
All three turned together to look at the person beside them.
Godfiend's look deepened. He gave Hong Meng opposite him a look and only started to speak after a long while, "Hong Meng, what happened then was not like you think…"
"Ho, you're still arguing even now!" Hong Meng's eyes grew even redder. Doubtlessly, should not Shen Ying be present, he would have long rushed over to destroy Godfiend. "Who robbed our original source the purple gas? Who banished us to the outer realm forever? And who created the divine world just use the demonic Qi to lock us inside, unable to reincarnate forever?"
"I…" Godfiend's eyes were full of guilt. He looked like he wanted to say something, but with a movement of lips, he eventually didn't speak.
"We only resent the unfairness of the Great Dao! That the plane that such a villain like you belong to can actually find a Manager." He took a deep breath and looked as though he was trying hard to suppress the rage in his heart.
In the next moment, his last strength seemed to be gone, and his whole body collapsed. Death Qi emerged vaguely from all over his body. He looked up at Shen Ying briefly, and after a long while he said, "Indeed, we wanted to kill you and bring the whole plane to destruction with you. Yet our abilities were inferior. Perhaps we should have disappeared long ago together with our own plane."
"You really did all this." Lonemoon turned to look at Godfiend in disbelief. Godfiend's expression changed and something went across his face. Only after a long while did he nod with a blank expression. "Yes."
"You…" Lonemoon even wanted to give him a beating for the other party's sake. Though he had long known that he was evil, he didn't imagine that he would be SO evil. He not only kicked them to the curb after exploiting their usefulness, he even deprived them of their original power source and imprisoned them. Should he feel fortunate that in the past he merely kicked them back to their original planes without killing them directly?
"I'm the God of Creation. For the good of the plane, all methods are worth it." He spoke word by word, as though he had not a single bit of regret.
Lonemoon widened his eyes. He had seen shameless people, but not one so shameless.
"Without what happened then, there would be no Three Realms now." He stood up slowly, and his original kind expression changed to one of bone-deep indifference. "Original source purple gas could help me stabilize this plane, why shouldn't I use it?"
"Holy shit! You are indeed a f*cking scum!"
"Under the situation then, this was my only choice." He glanced Hong Meng and the other opposite him. "My existence was to protect this world in the first place. As for matters of other planes, they have nothing to do with me."
"You…" The two stood up in anger.
"Your plane has already returned to void, whatever else you do is futile! Why bother dragging this place down?"
"Godfiend!" Even Lonemoon couldn't bear hearing it any longer.
Hong Meng sent a fist right towards him. Just as his fist was falling onto Godfiend's face, Shen Ying suddenly grabbed his wrist, and turned to say in a lazy manner, "How about, I return the plane to you on his behalf?"
Yi Qing: "…"
Hong Meng, "…"
The Godfiend: "…"
The place went completely silent in an instant.
In particular, Hong Meng widened his eyes, and those eyes which were originally dead showed a slight glimmer of light. He said with a pressed voice, as if he was afraid to disturb something, "What… do you mean?"
"The literal meaning." Shen Ying scratched her head, her expression irritated. "Though it's a bit troublesome to start a plane, haven't you helped us before? We'd have to give a gift in return or something." Sigh. She had to work right after eating, so tiring!
"You…" The other party's eyes opened even wider, and a hint of joy appeared in them, before dying down again. "Don't make jokes. Our plane has already returned to a void, can you possibly re-open the void?"
Before Shen Ying replied, the three behind her understood and started speaking first.
Lonemoon, "This she indeed can do!"
Yi Qing, "She absolutely can!" Godfiend, "For sure!"
After which, Lonemoon went forward to pat his shoulder, and he gave him a look of unclear meaning.
Hong Meng, "…"
The fake Demon King: "…"
Can't it be, managers are actually so impressive?
A while later…
"You… you can actually return us our plane." The fake Demon King couldn't help but went forward and asked with excitement.
Shen Ying was just about to nod. "What use is it even if the plane can be rebuilt?" Hong Meng laughed bitterly, and the light which just ignited in his eyes died down again. His expression grew even more despairing. "The hundreds and thousands of beings in our world had long turned to void. What use is rebuilding a dead land?"
The fake Demon King's expression darkened, and the hope in his eyes disappeared instantly as well.
"Not to ever return…"
"What if they can?" Shen Ying suddenly spoke.
"What?!" The two both stiffened.
Shen Ying actually pointed directly to the air, and starlight flashed around them. In a moment, the small world that was wrapped with a red cubic box flew to them. "You've been here for so long, didn't you find anything wrong?"
Everyone were stunned. Even Lonemoon and Yi Qing looked toward her with doubt.
Shen Ying sighed, directly enlarged the light ball in front of her and pointed to a fragment in the middle. "That one belongs to you, right?"
The men looked carefully towards the direction she pointed. The whole small world had actually already broken into thousands of pieces, and the point that Shen Ying pointed towards seemed to be a lake. The lake water was crystal clear. In the middle of it, a big tree full of red strips grew on a small island. It looked familiar.
"Isn't this that Fertility Tree!" Lonemoon was shocked. Remembering the past, he burst out, "What's with such superstitious legends…"
Before he finished, Chef interrupted him directly, "Below the tree!"
Chapter 365: Friends
Lonemoon was stunned. Looking down, he saw some vague purple light under that tree. Thousands of thin strings drew directly towards the bottom, and in the bottom of the root, a purple pool of spring water-like thing gathered. It glittered faintly.
"Original source purple gas!" Meng Hong cried out in surprise directly, "How did our original source purple gas… No, no! This isn't original source purple gas." Original source purple gas was the source of their power and was formed during the formation of their plane. It was a most pure power, but just faint strings purple gas. Yet here, it was a purple spring. Its aura was the same as that of the purple gas, but it was much thicker.
What on earth was this? Everyone turned to look towards Godfiend.
Godfiend was stunned, and after a while he nodded. "I did indeed hide your original source purple gas at this outer realm. In any case, this is the most dangerous place, which makes it the safest." Hongyu's hands tightened, and he grew angrier. No wonder after they struggled to escape from outer realm, they couldn't find original source purple gas at all. It was actually hidden right under their eyes.
"But…" Godfiend looked at the purple spring under the tree. "I'm also not sure how it became like such."
"Chef…" Lonemoon actually gave Yi Qing a push and said, "Don't you think this spring water looked a bit like…"
"The Spring of Life from last time!" Yi Qing understood Shen Ying's meaning immediately. No wonder that was a Fertility Tree.
"What spring of life?" Hong Meng was stunned.
Lonemoon exchanged a look with Yi Qing before going forward to explain, "This outer realm was isolated from the Three Realms in the first place. With not even the River of Forgetfulness passing through the place, it shouldn't have any living beings by right. Yet right now there were cultivators all over it, and they could actually cultivate immortal powers. Have you thought about the reason?"
The two looked blank. "You mean… they came out of this purple spring?"
"It should be so." Lonemoon nodded. That was why the locals thought the tree upon the purple spring a Fertility Tree. It might not be superstition after all, but because this tree could actually give babies. Just like the Spring of Life from the other world had demon beasts climbing out of it continuously, the life of this small world came from this purple spring.
"But what's this got to do with our plane?" Hong Meng still didn't understand.
"This purple spring was formed by condensation from your original source purple gas, which came from your plane, and there was no River of Forgetfulness underneath it." Yi Qing continued. Life without souls would be spirit-less like the demon beasts from last time, but it was different for this world. "The bottom of the spring connected only to the void, and in the void, the purple spring could only capture similar auras." "You mean…" The two's eyes opened extremely wide and their faces were full of disbelief. Their whole bodies stiffened, not daring to even breathe strongly.
Only then did Yi Qing say, word by word, "Every person born in the outer realm was from your original plane."
The two's feet gave in and they sat directly on the ground. An ecstasy spread on their faces. All the people in that small world were from their own world. There were… there were actually more than 13 of them left!
And so long as that purple spring was their, their plane… was sure to return completely one day!
Watery light emerged vaguely in their eyes. The hearts which had remained cold in despair for years seemed to finally come back to life like a fire was ignited. Thinking about the past, they had to feel fortunate that they didn't destroy that small world directly for revenge. Fortunately, someone stopped them.
The two exchanged a look, and they suddenly stood up, retreated to one side, and made a serious salute towards Shen Ying's party. "Thank you, thank…" They looked like they wanted to say something, but couldn't make a song for a long while, as though they didn't know how to start.
"Words of thanks can be left for later. Go inside to fetch the purple spring!" Lonemoon pushed Shen Ying. "It has to return to your original plane."
Shen Ying directly raised a hand to draw a line, opening up the passage towards that half-collapsed small world.
"Okay… Okay…" The two nodded, before they walked in rapidly with a face full of excitement and even somewhat unstable footsteps. They disappeared in an instant.
Only then did Shen Ying turn to look at a certain person beside her. "Now… you can speak the truth, right?"
Godfiend stiffened and gave her a surprised look. After a while, his whole body relaxed, and as though some disguise was finally removed, his whole body bent down. He smiled towards her. "it's Big Boss indeed. Nothing can be kept from you."
"What do you mean?" Lonemoon was stunned. "Is there something else wrong with this plane that you didn't mention?"
"No, no…" Godfiend hurried to wave in denial. "I promise that there's nothing else. How would I dare?" He smiled even wider, but his figure swayed, and his body actually collapsed like he could no longer support it.
Yi Qing reached out to support him, but he still sat directly down on the ground. There was even a faint glow upon his body, as if he was going to disappear in the next moment.
"Holy shit! What's up with you?" Lonemoon was shocked. He produced a hand seal subconsciously, but it didn't work at all. The immortal power on his body was dissipating. At this rate… he would die. "What happened? You were hurt by Hong Meng's group?"
"No!" Godfiend shook his head, not caring at all, as if he was welcoming not death but rebirth. "The time has come, that's all." He laughed even more happily. Unlike the previous kind of polite fake smile, this was a genuine smile. "I should have left long ago, but without resolving their matter… I always felt worried. Luckily… Luckily we have the best Manager."
Shen Ying's eyes darkened. She squatted down directly beside him and gave him a glance. "Why not tell the truth? And why deliberately causing hatred?"
"I've got no other way." He shook his head. "They didn't belong to this world in the first place. If I don't isolate them in the outer realm, with time, they are sure to be repelled by the plane. When that happens, they would disappear completely." That's why he made them disconnect from the plane at that small world.
"What about the purple gas?" If isolating the people at outer realm was to prevent plane repelling, what was robbing their power for?
"I heard that all beings originated from the original source of the plane." He said softly. "Their power was a plane original source as well, so I wanted to make a bet on their behalf… And the truth proved that I won that bet." After all these years, those purple gas finally became a purple spring.
Lonemoon frowned, suddenly not understanding Godfiend. That meant all he did was actually just to help those people. "Why don't you tell them straight away?"
"Because… they won't be able to live." Godfiend continued to smile. "Like me, they were born for their plane. I guessed that they would probably go mad knowing that their plane was gone. If hating me can help them live, isn't that quite good? At the end of the day, I owed them."
"So you deliberately looked for abuse?" She tilted her head.
"Hahaha…" He laughed out loud. "It was to wait for you, Big Boss. I can't return their plane to them, but a Manager can! They are all good people. It'd be such a pity if they disappear just like that."
Chapter 366: Goodbye, Friend
The three fell silent, what a time they didn't know what to say. As the God of Creation of this world, he had indeed done his job to the best. Shen Jing once said that they were leftover turbid consciousnesses who were meant to disappear one day. Now was the time for him to disappear.
"Shen Ying, is there no way for him to reload?" Lonemoon couldn't help but ask.
Shen Ying didn't speak, but Godfiend shook his head. "That won't be necessary. I'm just tired, having reached the time for me to rest."
"What other wishes do you have?" Shen Ying asked.
He smiled. After a long while he said, "Big Boss… If it's possible, can you forgive Little Shortie? Unlike me, she's the spirit of the River of Forgetfulness. So long as the River is here, she won't disappear. The matter last time, I forced her to do it. She's the only one left among the three of us now, if you won't speak to her… she'd be too lonely."
He smiled even more happily, and that hint of smile beside his lips didn't go away. "Thank you, Big Boss…"
After he finished saying that, his body disappeared completely in front of the three, and changed into thousands of glittering, starry lights, like the light dots from the Three Realms around them.
Shen Ying's look deepened, and she couldn't help but reaching out with her hands. Immediately, the light dots all around gathered in her palm and in a short while they concentrated into a light ball, falling upon her palm.
In the next moment, the air distorted and Meng Po suddenly appeared in the Divine Realm. She came in a rush and was breathing heavily. As though she had already sensed something, she looked at the three blankly.
"Sect master, he…"
Only then did Shen Ying hand over the light ball in her palm. "Send him on his last journey!"
Meng Po was stunned, looking at the soul in her hand, she only took it trembling after a long while. She held it very carefully with both hands, and after a long moment she said, "… Okay." Although she knew that there would be such a day, she didn't expect it to be so soon. Among the three, he was apparently the one who wished the most for a Manager to be found.
Just as she was turning to return to the Underworld, Shen Ying suddenly spoke out, "Oh yeah, after sending him off, maybe return to Invincible Sect. Roasted Chicken Gal misses you!"
She stiffened for a moment, and some wetness appeared faintly in her eyes. After a long moment she nodded. "Yes." And she disappeared from the Divine Realm.
The three looked at the direction in which Little Shortie disappeared for a long while.
"Shen Ying," Lonemoon asked, "That soul is…" The three ancient Gods were leftover turbid consciousnesses, who by right couldn't enter into Samsara. Disappearing meant disappearing forever.
"The soul I made from his final aura." Shen Ying explained.
Lonemoon nodded and sighed. Godfiend had been working hard for this plane since his birth, and now he could finally rest. The chance to be reborn as an ordinary person was probably what he hoped for.
He looked again at the direction in which Meng Po disappeared. It's just that… even after rebirth, Godfiend would no longer be that Godfiend. ——————
Perhaps being motivated by the prospect of returning to his own plane, Hong Meng worked fast. Within less than an hour, he had returned from the small world with a face full of excitement. In his hands he held that purple spring very carefully.
"Ma-Manger, we're done." His look towards Shen Ying had long been without that bone-deep hatred, which was replaced instead with reverence and lots of excitement.
"Oh." Shen Ying nodded.
"May I know… what we should do next?"
Shen Ying thought about it and didn't answer yet.
Before Lonemoon answered, "Wake the people on the ground first." With that said, he pointed to the 11 on the ground who still lay unconscious and gave Yi Qing a look. Yi Qing nodded, and they walked together towards those people. Hong Meng was stunned, and as though he had just remembered that those on the ground were his peers, he hurried over to help. "Yes, yes."
Those people were injured by Shen Ying and naturally were injured rather severely. But Lonemoon and Yi Qing were assistants in any case, and they were in their own plane. So with their help in breath adjustment, the people finally wakened. It's only that they would probably be unable to use spells within a year or so.
Seeing that most had woken up and Hong Meng had explained everything to them, Lonemoon pushed a certain person who started nibbling on a fruit once more. "You may start."
"Oh." Only then did Shen Ying stand up lazily. Really so troublesome.
She drew out a light screen directly and did some operations. An array-like figure immediately appeared on the ground. Shen Ying gestured for Hong Meng to stand on top of it. In the next moment, a data frame filled with his data emerged beside his body. Shen Ying looked through everything carefully before nodding and saying, "That's it."
She set the position to that of their original plane, before raising her hand to draw a line in the air. Immediately, a plane passage appeared in front of them. But unlike the white passage previously, this plane passage was black, and some unknown aura emerged front within.
"Go!" Shen Ying waved a hand and stepped inside first.
The group was delighted, and without thinking, they hurried to follow.
Yet Lonemoon's heart actually tightened with an unknown sense of foreboding. He instinctively set up a few protective arrays around himself, before walking inside.
The group saw a darkness in front of them, and in the next moment they had reached a dark void with nothing around them, including the ground. Without preparation, the sudden loss of gravity made them all bump into one another. The injuries which were just starting to heal opened up once more with the impact. Many calls of pain rose at the same time. More importantly, there were many turbulences in the void which went straight towards them. Just as the group was about to start defense, they were tripped by their peers beside them and became even more unable to stand up.
The scene fell into chaos. It was extremely embarrassing.
Except for Shen Ying and her disciple in the front, and Lonemoon at the back.
"Oops, I forgot that your plane had already turned into void." Shen Ying who was not at all affected by the turbulence scratched her head, her expression completely innocent.
Lonemoon who had set up a protective array earlier twitched his mouth. Indeed, getting tricked many times gave one experience. He turned to look at the crowd falling all over and his look darkened, but he didn't speak.
Shen Ying obviously did this on purpose. That guy Godfiend was unwilling to speak the truth until his death. He probably didn't intend to tell them after all, and they had to respect his intention. But… he was probably still angry!
"No, it's we who didn't think consider carefully." Hong Meng actually didn't think much of it. After working hard to separate the few who fell into a pile, they took out their protective Dharma artifacts and blocked out the turbulent flow which kept coming all around them.
"Oh, I'm off then." Shen Ying turned to hand the box containing the small world to Father Niu, took two steps forward and breathed in deeply, before hitting downward with a fist.
They heard a crack, and the original completely dark void suddenly showed a white crack, as if the void was directly smashed broken. The crack was very small, only around one meter long, but it was very obvious.
Shen Ying clapped her hands and stood up. She stepped on that crack directly. Others heard a series of crisp cracking sounds. With every step that she took, the crack grew even wider, and it extended underneath her feet to the distance like a long snake. The sides of the crack also extended in all directions like a spider web.
The space which was originally a void changed drastically like a stage curtain was lifted. In the world that was originally turbid, clear substances started rising, and turbid substances started sinking. Material form started to appear underneath everyone's feet. Heaven and earth started forming…
Chapter 367: Formation of Heaven and Earth
Everyone fell silent, looking at the unbelievable scene in front of them. Even Lonemoon and Yi Qing were stunned. Though they had long known the superb abilities of Shen Ying, they were still amazed seeing her open up the void and separate Heaven and Earth. Unlike opening up a small world, this was a whole plane. He suddenly remembered that when Shen Jing opposed her taking charge of the plane, she said that she was completely capable of opening up a new plane. Now it seemed to be true indeed.
Is this… what a Manager whose existence surpassed the plane is?
Everyone was immersed in great shock for a time.
"So hungry!" Shen Ying suddenly stopped and turned to look at the people behind her. "Father Niu, how about I have some snacks first?" "Get lost!" Lonemoon's mouth twitched. Instantly, the look of amazement disappeared like a burst bubble. "You've only walked 50 meters!"
Yi Qing: "…"
Hong Meng, "…"
She was that same foodie indeed!
Shen Ying walked for a total of eight hours before completely separating the Heaven and the Earth. She stopped in the middle to demand a meal. Luckily, Chef had stored food in his storage bag. With him handing over dishes and fruits at the side, a certain lazy thing eventually managed to persist. The apparently grand act of opening up a plane somehow felt like a marathon for her.
At the moment, the plane had mostly been formed. She didn't need to continue walking along that crack anymore as it would continue spreading on its own to separate Heaven and Earth on its own, until the new plane was completely formed.
She also integrated that broken small world with this plane. In any case, the living beings in that small world belonged to this plane to begin with. With that purple spring, Hong Meng also chose to let it dissolve into this plane. This way, living beings of the plane could flourish wherever they were. There would eventually be a day when all the living beings who were once devoured by the void would be able to return her.
Hong Meng looked at the reborn plane with eyes full of emotions. After returning here, that dragging sensation in his body had completely disappeared. The drifting heart also found a sense of belonging immediately. Though this was still a bare world with nothing in it yet, this… was their home.
"Thank… thank you!" Hong Meng turned to kneel known directly towards Shen Ying's direction with eyes full of tears. "Thank you, Manager of the other world!"
Others followed. The same emotions shone in their eyes.
"Oh." Shen Ying waved a hand. "It's nothing. This is what you're supposed to thank."
She was… not overly courteous indeed.
Lonemoon coughed, stepped forward and said, "Your plane is newly born, and has nothing yet." They were immortals, but in this world, immortal and spirit qi weren't born yet. "To return it to the way it used to be is up to yourselves. We won't intervene any further." "Yes. We understand that." Hong Meng nodded emotionally. Never in their dreams had they imagined that they could return here again. This was already too good.
"And, that outer realm is also dissolved into this plane." Lonemoon frowned and continued to explain. "Thought they started off as beings of this plane, they were nevertheless too much affected by those intruders in the past. And coupled with the sudden change of plane and disappearance of immortal and spirit qi, they would probably cause some trouble. You should be prepared."
Hong Meng's look darkened, and he nodded. Those people had always lived in the outer realm and they didn't know yet about the change of plane. "Thanks so much for the reminder, Fellow Daoist Lonemoon. We'll take note of that."
"Hmm." Lonemoon turned to look around the barren surroundings. It was their plane after all. Right now, helping them to rebuild it already served as a return of their previous assistance. With the rest, it would be inconvenient for them to intervene. "Now that the plane is returned to all of you, we'll be going back." Hong Meng was stunned briefly. The corner of his mouth moved. He exchanged a look with the rest and looked as though he didn't know what to say. There was no longer that those gloomy emotions in his eyes, but only genuine gratitude towards them and hope for the newly born plane. The eyes were so bright that it was a little dizzying.
Finally, they bowed towards them once more. "Thank you so much for this rebirth."
Lonemoon sighed, and without further ado, he returned to Invincible Sect with Shen Ying and Chef. Only after returning did they realize that the sun was already rising. They had been extremely busy in the past few days indeed.
Shen Ying fell asleep directly on the bed, and the snoring could be heard even from outside the room. Chef, worrying that someone might disturb her, sat down directly outside the room and started doing breath adjustment.
Thinking about someone's usual anger upon being woken, Lonemoon didn't try to intervene, but turned directly to look for Yu Hong. With the matter of Little Black followed by the problem of the plane, they had yet to take a break from work. Only now did he have the time to re-learn the situation of Invincible Sect. After all, they had left for 3000 years, and Lan Hua who was used to freely dishing out money had been in charge. It was time… to check the accounts!
He turned to fly towards the audience hall. In the back of his mind, he felt that he had forgotten something, but he couldn't remember what it was at the moment. Never mind. It didn't matter!
The Divine Realm at the same time.
A certain Radish who finally woke up to a huge empty starry sky, "…" What the f*ck!
Ever since the departure of Hong Meng's group, the whole plane had completely stabilized, and the plane alert didn't sound for a long time. Shen Ying finally got to live the happy life of alternating between eating and waiting for food. She had no other mission except occasionally being arranged by Father Niu to water Radish.
Radish was only fetched back from the Divine Realm after Lonemoon finished checking the accounts. In the recent years, the production of spirit plants in the sect was far below expectations, and it was obviously the result of a certain plant's bad work attitude.
But to Lonemoon's relief, the financial situation of the sect was not so bad as he had expected. By right, with the ways of a certain money-dispensing kid, after 3000 years, the sect would be lucky to not have to sell their sky palace. Yet the reality was just the opposite. Income of the sect not only didn't drop, but even had small increases as the years went by. It was quite a miracle.
"Boss Lan, what did you do?" He couldn't help but ask.
Lan Hua was stunned, and he directly rolled his eyes. "How do I know? Aren't Yu Hong and others in charge of matters of the sect these years?" "Uh, then you…"
"I did pay the rent!" Lan Hua raised a hand with an innocent look. "Ask Yu Hong if you don't believe me.
Lonemoon, "…" Didn't he misunderstand something?
So after so many years, his position in the sect was still that of a tenant, and one who had to work for free besides. Did you forget that you yourself was at the cultivation of Demon King?
Lonemoon closed the account book in silence and decided to continue this wonderful misunderstanding. "There'll be a raise in rent next month.
Lan Hua, "…" Are you still human?
Lonemoon walked out of the audience hall with a very pleasant mood. He had to say that Yu Hong had done a good job and did not make his years of teaching go to waste. Though none of the disciples of the sect had reached the level of a sword cultivator, they had nevertheless… passed on his knowledge!
He had decided that he would give Yu Hong a red packet of a large amount. In any case, she was going to marry Little Black soon, and the gift money couldn't be missing.
Chapter 368: Deed of Symbiosis
Yu Hong and Little Black were getting married. After the mess caused by Hong Meng and his posse, the two of them finally understood each other's feelings. Yu Hong too was willing to accept Little Black. After confirming their intentions, Lonemoon took it upon himself to help the both of them organise a couple's celebration.
Once news travelled out that the two of them got married, each of the ten continents sent gifts over as congratulations. Maybe in the last few thousands of years, immortals and demons had been living extraordinarily harmoniously. Or maybe Little Black's desires have always been known. Not only did no one make a scene after hearing of their marriage, most people even celebrated the marriage like it was what they had been expecting and hoping for a long time.
Of course… other than the ten Skyfiends of the Demonic Realm!
They should have been the happiest when their Demonic King finally married. Afterall, they were the ones who witnessed Little Black chase someone for thousands of years. Yet, they had not expected that Little Black would drag all of them down with him when he married. Once Yu Hong agreed to him, he immediately wiped his hands off all the thousand demons there were in the Demonic Realm. He cleansed himself and got hitched as soon as he could.
He even used the "new Demonic King" as an excuse not to go back to the Demonic Realm as king. To him, he was now a married man. He could not afford to let work affect his young family. Before he left, he even said: "You single demons will never understand!"
The ten Skyfiends each felt pain in their chest, as if someone had stabbed them. They tried in vain to persuade the Demon King to return. Looking at their directionless demons, they realised they had no choice but to seek help from Invincible Sect.
"What does that have to do with me!" Lan Hua said, addressing the ten Skyfiends who ran to him for help. "Why do you want me to be your king?"
"Among all the demons, only your cultivation level is high enough to be demon king," the ten Skyfiends wailed. Had they really no other choice? "No way!" Lan Hua rejected them immediately. He had not even completely used up the year's worth of rent he paid before Lonemoon inflated the prices! What's more, his good- heartedness, and the rest were back. Now, he was free from even taking care of the sect's business. Why would he give up this relaxed life to clear up somebody else's mess in the demonic realm? Wouldn't it be great if he could just go to the rear garden every day to eat?
The ten Skyfiends were close to tears. They were trying to get someone to become the most powerful and authoritative figure in the Demonic Realm - why was everyone treating the position like it was crap? Seeing that Lan Hua's heart was made of steel, they realised there would be no way of persuading him to take up the role. Without any other choice, they decided to beg Lonemoon.
They couldn't care less. Lonemoon took their Demon King from them - he was responsible for returning one.
Lonemoon was not angry. Instead, he kindly showed the way to the ten Skyfiends. Since they were not able to request for Little Black, the previous Demon King, to return, they could look for the Demon King before him… Like a certain windpipe inflammation with the surname "Zhan". As he guided them, he pulled out a map and charged them for it.
The Skyfiends emptied their pockets of all their immortal stones, took the map, and left Invincible Sect, not knowing whether to fully trust Lonemoon
That was how the Invincible Sect finally got to focus on planning the wedding celebration for Yu Hong and Little Black.
Perhaps it was because in the last few years, Yu Hong had managed the sect particularly well. The ten celestial emperors all turned up for the celebration. What's more, they all came with gifts prepared and their genuine congratulations. After they entered the main hall, they noticed the host of the wedding sitting at a table, chewing on her fruits and looking bored. They nearly tripped on their own feet. All of them paused at the main entrance, not knowing whether to move forward or to retreat.
Exalted… Exalted… Exalted Goddess!
(゚Д゚≡゚Д゚) Were their eyes playing tricks on them? Since when did she return? Why didn't they receive any news of this? It was an illusion, it must have been!
"Hey!" Shen Ying raised the hand that was holding her fruit and waved to the group. "We haven't met in a long time!"
All of them trembled. They stole glances at the person seated right in front. Behind her stood His Majesty Yi Qing, and beside him was Lonemoon, who seemed to be looking at some menu. It was then that they were forced to accept that this was real! Invincible Sect's Sect Master, that living Patriarch, was back. That's… that's scary!
For some strange reason, they began to feel pain all over their bodies again.
'Exalted… Goddess!" They were Celestial Emperors afterall. After recovering from the initial shock, they walked forward and cupped their fists, greeting Shen Ying. Then, they greeted the other two companions by her side. "Don't stand on ceremony, Celestial Emperors." Lonemoon kept the programme sheet he was holding and greeted them with a smile. "We haven't seen each other in several years. All of you are dressed in beautiful colours. Today, my Invincible Sect is celebrating a joyous occasion. There's no need for all of you to be so polite, please take your seats."
Lonemoon led all of them to their respective seats in the hall. He hosted them so warmly and passionately that the few Celestial Emperors forgot the fear they felt toward a certain someone still seated at the front of the hall. Before they knew it, everyone was seated. The initial shock they felt upon seeing Shen Ying was almost gone as well. For some reason, seeing Lonemoon this warm and passionate made them feel like they were about to lose something precious, very soon.
Shen Ying, on the other hand, went back to gnawing on her fruits after greeting them. She scanned the crowd for the nine Celestial Emperors who had since taken their seats. 3000 years had passed for them. But for her, only a few months had passed. She still remembered these people, like the one who was seated on the right.
"Hey, Little Birdie." She tilted her head, looking at Blackbird. "Birdie… Birdie is here!"
"You've gained weight!"
Blackbird, who was just starting to get to his feet, felt his legs turn to jelly. He fell back down on his chair, looking like he was about to burst into tears. "Exalted… Exalted Goddess, you really cannot eat me!" He would go back and start a diet immediately!
"Huh?" She had no intention to eat him!
Seeing that he was not able to get to his feet, Shen Ying turned to face Biao Ting, who was seated on the other side of the room.
"Biao is here!
"You smell like incense today, are you wearing…" a sachet? Thud…
Before she could finish speaking, Biao Ting fell to the ground as well.
"Exalted… Exalted Goddess, my skin is rough and my meat is tough. I'm not delicious at all!"
Shen Ying, who was just trying to catch up with them: ""…"
My friends all sound like they're having calcium deficiencies.
"Master, I made some pastries yesterday. If you're feeling hungry, you can have that first." Yi Qing immediately set down a few plates of pastries next to Shen Ying's cup of tea.
Indeed, he successfully managed to distract Shen Ying. Shen Ying gave up trying to catch up with the other Celestial Emperors and focused instead on the pastries in front of her. Little Birdie and Little Biao heaved a sigh of relief. Both of them shot Yi Qing looks of gratitude.
They did not know that His Majesty Yi Qing was such a kind- hearted person. They were truly thankful!
Yi Qing, who was feeding Shen Ying out of habit: "…"
The wedding celebration for cultivators was different from the ones carried out in the mortal world. In the immortal realm, two cultivators would sign a Deed of Symbiosis so that they would stay together until death. A contract had to be sealed to that effect. Weddings in the mortal world, however, only consisted of welcoming relatives, thanking elders and saying vows.
Since Little Black was marrying into the sect, Yu Hong woke up bright and early to fetch him from his home. There were many immortal guests from the ten different continents, so the main hall was extremely crowded and noisy. Shen Ying and others did not have to wait very long. After finishing just two plates of pastries, Little Black and Yu Hong entered.
The two of them were not dressed in as complicated a manner as in the movies - they were just wearing red dharmic clothing. After bowing to Shen Ying and greeting her as Sect Master, Little Black was accepted into Invincible Sect as a disciple.
They stepped forward to the Deed-Signing Stage and sealed the contract to make them Dao partners.
The Deed-Signing Stage was set up by Invincible Sect's disciples a couple of days ago. Yu Hong was their senior sister after all - she was naturally loved by all her juniors. That was why the stage looked especially beautiful. All around, there were fresh flowers bordering the stage. There were also rare immortal herbs and dandelions in the bouquets. It was obvious who was responsible for those.
When the Invincible Sect's disciples saw them, they pursed their lips. "Go ahead!" Lonemoon stepped aside and looked toward the Deed-Signing Stage.
The two of them nodded and flew up to the stage. They smiled at each other as they locked gazes. In front of the huge audience, they held hands and began to conjure seals. The Deed of Symbiosis array beneath their feet suddenly lit up, causing flowers to rain down from the sky. After they formed the contract, two halves of a red seal appeared in their palms. Each half would join with the other to form a concentric lotus. It signified that the two of them would share in both life and death together.
The seal became clearer and clearer, until it was finally complete!
Little Black looked overcome with emotion. He refused to let go of Yu Hong's hand. "My wife…" He was just about to say something when the ground beneath his feet began to shake. His expression changed immediately. "Be careful!"
He pulled Yu Hong close to him and flew off the stage. There were a series of crashes. The next thing they knew, the Deed-Signing Stage broke into pieces. The fresh flowers on the stage wilted immediately and a grey aura appeared, shooting straight into the sky. The usually bright and clear skies of the Nine-Layered Palace became dark…
Chapter 369: Rage
All of them watched on slightly dazedly as the dark Yin aura began to spread all around. This did not look like demonic Qi, nor did it look like yin Qi. It did look grey and dark, but it brought with it a certain heat, so that the surroundings felt like something was burning. Even the rich immortal Qi that was present was slowly being forced out.
"What is this?"
"Grievous energy!" Lonemoon's expression darkened as he stepped forward. Only grievous energy had such a smooth aura. But grievous energy normally only appeared on individuals in the Underworld. Why was there grievous energy in the immortal realm
Just as he was thinking about this, the grievous energy that had shot up into the sky condensed into a ball. It shot down rapidly toward Shen Ying, causing all of the flowers and structures in its wake to wilt and collapse, respectively.
"Master!" Yi Qing paused. He immediately drew his immortal sword in an attempt to defend Shen Ying, but Shen Ying was much faster than he was. She reached out and caught the ball of grievous energy.
A piercing scream came out of nowhere. It sounded crazed and shrill, so that everybody's ears began to hurt. The ball of energy started to shift and writhe in Shen Ying's palm, but it could not break out. The screaming got even louder and sharper.
Even the Celestial Emperors could not withstand it any longer. They stepped backward, scrunching up their faces. This sound seemed to have the power to wound primordial spirits.
Shen Ying tilted her head and looked at Chef. Very seriously, she asked, "Can I eat this?"
Yi Qing hesitated and shook his head. "No!"
"Oh." That's disappointing.
Yi Qing quickly conjured a seal which flew out of his hands and formed a golden chain. The chain wrapped around the grievous energy, trapping it within. Shen Ying released her grip.
Even so, the grievous energy did not rest. It continued to attack the chains which were containing it.
"Shen Ying, Chef." Lonemoon flew over and glanced at the both of them. Seeing that they were fine, he heaved a sigh of relief. Then, he turned to face the ball of energy. It really was grievous energy - and so rich at that! What exactly happened in this person's life? How could the grievous energy break through the gates of the Underworld and into the immortal realm?
Out of habit, he released his divine perception to scan the ball of energy. Lonemoon started. "There is a soul in this grievous energy!" There was so much grievous energy, yet the soul was kept intact despite being engulfed in it. That was a miracle. He frowned and turned to Chef. "Let's bring it back with us first."
He turned and looked at the grey skies, raising his hands and conjuring a wind seal which blew the surrounding heat away. The skies began to clear up. Thankfully, Little Black and Yu Hong had already signed the deed. Lonemoon was just about to invite all of the immortals back to the main hall. "Everybody…"
"Sect Mater…" Before he could finish speaking, Si Yu suddenly exclaimed. "Senior Sister Yu Hong and the others are gone!"
"What!" Lonemoon shouted. He turned to check the Deed- Signing Stage. Indeed, there was nothing but empty space there. Little Black and Yu Hong were nowhere to be found…
In the rear hall of Invincible Sect.
"I've searched the entire heavenly palace. There's no sign of Little Black or Yu Hong," Lonemoon said to Chef, who was beside him.
"They're not in the demonic palace either." Yi Qing shook his head. Their expressions darkened. Yu Hong and Little Black seemed to disappear into thin air. Even their aura was untraceable.
Lonemoon frowned and turned to look at the ball of grievous energy floating in the air in front of Shen Ying. "Shen Ying, you've been staring at it for half a day now. Have you discovered anything yet?"
"Huh?" Shen Ying paused chewing on her fruit and tilted her head. "Er, it's a little hot."
You freaking stared at it all day just to measure its temperature?
"Forget it, I think we can only ask that ball of energy for Little Black's and Yu Hong's whereabouts." Lonemoon conjured a defensive array to protect themselves. "Chef, undo the chains." Yi QIng nodded curtly. With a flick of his wrist, the golden chains containing the grievous energy disappeared. The grievous exploded at once, expanding to fill the surroundings extremely quickly. A human silhouette appeared in the middle. There was indeed a soul contained inside.
"Who exactly are you?" Lonemoon asked in a low voice.
The ball of grievous energy gave no reply. Instead, it screamed once again - a shrill and piercing scream just like the one before. It rushed toward Lonemoon and Chef, but was stopped by the immortal Qi around them.
"The grievous energy in its body is too rich. Its sanity and consciousness have been overcome by all the grievous energy," Yi Qing said. "I'm afraid it wouldn't understand you even if its soul is still there."
Lonemoon frowned and looked at the crazy figure which was still crazily charging at the two of them. Suddenly, he recalled something and turned to Yi Qing. He said, "Chef, go to where Chengyu is and get Little Shortie over." Yi Qing paused, suddenly understanding what Lonemoon was intending to do. He turned right and flew out. A moment later, he returned with Little Shortie in tow. She was the Meng Po who governed the River of Forgetfulness. She would know best about souls.
"Little Shortie, do you have any way to get rid of all of this grievous energy so that this soul can regain its sanity?" Lonemoon asked, pointing to the ball of grievous energy.
"I could do that," Little Shortie answered, nodding. "But the grievous energy was born out of his own soul. Even if I can remove it for awhile, his soul will continue to produce grievous energy if his grievances have not been resolved."
"I understand that." Lonemoon was more concerned with finding Yu Hong and Little Black. "Just get rid of it for now."
"Alright!" Little Shortie nodded. She stepped forward, reached out and opened her palms toward the grievous energy. A soft golden glow appeared around her hands. Once the glow appeared, the grievous energy around the grey figure began to melt away like ice. Moments later, the grievous energy was completely gone. The figure that was inside the grievous energy became clearer. He was dressed in a green robe and looked no more than 20 years old. A youthful man who looked a bit like a nerd. He looked completely harmless.
The man opened his eyes, looking faintly confused. When he spotted the woman whose hands were glowing, he paled. He screamed, "Ghost!!!!"
As he screamed, he covered his ears and shook his head. In a flash, he ran to the table and hid underneath it, trembling incessantly. All that could be seen was his behind.
Yi Qing: "…"
Meng Po: "…"
Crazy! Who was the real ghost over here! Was he trying to be funny? Even Shen Ying, who had been chewing on her fruits, stopped eating to look underneath her table at the young man trembling there. She dropped her hand holding the fruit, frowning. Then, she grabbed the man by the collar and pushed him onto the table. It was then that she picked up her fruit from the floor.
The man hesitated and glanced at the woman who was wiping the fruit from the floor on her robe. She was about to bite down on the fruit when he asked, "… Miss?" After some thought, he realised that ghosts would not be able to eat. So… "You're not a ghost?"
"Of course we aren't!" Lonemoon replied, frowning. He snatched the fruit from Shen Ying's hand and glared at her. "Get another one!" She didn't even know how to wash her fruit before she ate it - how lazy! Lonemoon tossed the fruit to Yi Qing and turned back to address the male ghost. "You are the ghost." Lonemoon
"What? That's impossible, I'm clearly a…" The ghost started after he looked down at his body. Then, he screamed. "Ah!" He looked as though he had gotten the shock of his lifetime. His eyes rolled back, and his entire body swayed. The man looked like he was going to pass out at any moment. Afterall, he was a soul - there was no way he would actually pass out. All he could do was keep screaming and running around the rear hall in a panic.
Indeed, he was one timid ghost.
Chapter 370: A Ghost with Dementia
Five minutes later…
"I… I'm dead?" The ghost finally had enough of his own panicking and stopped to compose himself. He sat on the floor, helplessly trying to grasp the fact that he was dead.
"Speak - who exactly are you?" Lonemoon asked as he stepped forward, scanning the ghost from head to toe. "Why are you in the immortal realm? And where are Little Black and Yu Hong?"
"What?" The man's eyes widened. He looked even more shocked than before. "This… this is the immortal realm! Your immortals?" He looked around and only just then seemed to realise the thick and rich immortal Qi surrounding him. His eyes were bulging out of his skull. In disbelief, he asked, "Could it be… I rose to heaven after I died?"
His eyes brightened. He became very excited and joyful.
Lonemoon did not think he was acting. Lonemoon frowned even more deeply as he exchanged a meaningful glance with Yi Qing. What's happening? This doesn't look right.
"You don't know how you got to the immortal realm?"
The man paused. He looked at them, no longer fearful. Instead, he looked… respectful. "Didn't immortals bring me up here? I… Am I going to become a god?"
Lonemoon pursed his lips. This ghost indeed had a wild imagination.
"Then how did you generate so much grievous energy in your body?"
"Grievous energy?" He looked confused, as if he had never heard that term before. Awhile later, he cupped his fists and said, "Immortals… your lowly subordinate really has no idea what you are talking about… What's… What's wrong with me?" He lost his memory? That can't be!
Lonemoon's expression darkened. Yi Qing, on the other hand, stepped forward and asked, "Do you still remember how you died?"
The man paused,. He scrunched up his face, like he was using all the willpower in his body to will his memories back. The remnant grievous energy in his body seemed to stir. But a moment later, he said, "I… I really don't know. Am I really dead?"
What was going on? He really was a ghost that lost his memory? But why is his body still producing grievous energy?
"What do you remember?"
The man shook his head and said in a low voice, "I only remember… I'm Song Ren, a citizen of Qing He province. I've studied extremely hard for the last ten years and was planning to go to the palace next year to take the major exams." "You're not a cultivator!"
"What's a cultivator?" He looked confused once again.
"…" He really was a nerd.
Alright, it looked like they were not going to get anything out of him. He was clearly just a mortal who had never trained before. Yet, why was he generating so much grievous energy? And how did he break through the gates of the immortal realm?
The most important thing was, how did a ghost not even remember how he died? How were they going to find out where Yu Hong and Little Black were now?
"Sect Master, Elders…" Just a Lonemoon was thinking, Si Yu walked in and called out anxiously.
"What's the matter?" He asked. "Elder, you told me to watch the Deed-Signing Stage yesterday. There seems to be something happening over there now." She frowned, as if not knowing how to explain herself. "It's…. Elder, just come along with me and you'll understand."
Lonemoon exchanged a meaningful glance with Yi Qing. He pointed to the ghost and said, "Shortie, watch this ghost. We'll be back soon." They turned to leave, but paused and added, "And watch Shen Ying!" He had already lost two people from his sect. He was not about to lose a third.
"Yes, Elder!" Shortie's eyes brightened. She nodded excitedly and looked like she had just won a prize.
It was only then that Lonemoon walked out of the hall with Yi QIng.
Meng Po immediately walked to Shen Ying, both of her eyes twinkling. With an almost child-like expression, she said, "Sect Master, I've planted some especially good crops these days. Since Elder Chef isn't around, would you like to try them now? She turned around and reached for her storage bag. Then, she retrieved a potato as big as a watermelon.
Shen Ying, "…"
Was Shen Ying allowed to fire her just this once?
The Deed-Signing Stage was not far from the rear hall. Lonemoon and Yi Qing arrived there after a few seconds. The grievous energy from before had all dissipated by now. All that was left in the sky was a broken-down stage.
But something looked different. Where the original Deed- Signing Stage stood, immortal Qi was surging. Large amounts of immortal Qi was gathering over there, stirring toward the center. Faintly, they could see the silhouette of something forming. "The Immortal Ascension Stage?" Lonemoon paused. Immediately, he took back his guess. "No, that's not right!" The Immortal Ascension Stage only appeared when cultivators from lower realms were ascending to the immortal realm. It would appear first by light underneath their feet. What's more, the Immortal Ascension Stage was not restricted by space and could appear almost anywhere, but it most likely would not appear in the Heavenly Palace. The immortal Qi here was far too rich - it would affect the way the Immortal Ascension Stage formed.
He looked even more closely and said to Yi Qing, "Chef, don't you feel like the immortal Qi is travelling in-"
"The opposite direction from in Immortal Ascension Stages," Yi Qing finished Lonemoon's sentence.
The two of them started. Lonemoon turned to the person behind him. "Si Yu, get the other disciples and tell them not to come anywhere near this place." He faced Yi Qing and said, "Seal off this entire area! I'll take the right side!"
Yi Qing nodded and flew over. Together, the two of them set up arrays. A moment later, walls of light was formed by each of them travelled toward the center. Soon, a translucent globe was formed, trapping the spot where immortal Qi was in the middle.
The strange immortal Qi that had gathered suddenly stopped moving.
Lonemoon frowned. Indeed that was it.
The Immortal Ascension Stage was formed by the condensation of immortal Qi, but a huge portion of that immortal Qi came from the tribulation that cultivators in the lower realm went through. So the immortal Qi actually burst through the immortal gates from the lower realm. This immortal Qi was completely different. It was the immortal Qi from the heavenly palace that was rushing toward the center.
He and Yi Qing sealed the place up completely, so that the immortal Qi was finally forced to stop surging. They exchanged a meaningful glance and entered the globe they created. The strange thing was the immortal i inside had become much thinner. It was getting weaker and weaker by the second. They followed in the direction that the Immortal Qi seemed to be travelling. That was when they realised that in the middle, a crack the width of one finger had appeared. It was not big. People would easily have missed it if they did not look closely. All around, however, the immortal Qi continued to flow toward that crack.
"A realm gate!" Lonemoon exclaimed. The crack obviously led to the lower realm. That coward had depended on his grievous energy to burst through the realm gates, but the realm gate should have sealed off after leading him here. Why was it still open? From the way the immortal Qi was gathering over here, it looked like it was all escaping to the lower realm.
He used his divine perception to scan the crack. Indeed, there were remnants of the warm grievous energy that Lonemoon witnessed earlier. It was no wonder that the realm gates were still open. It was good that he had reacted quickly and told Yi Qing to seal this area off. Otherwise, all of the immortal Qi from the Heavenly Palace would have been sucked in by the crack.
It looked like Little Black and Yu Hong fell into the lower realm! "Chef, can you sense which little realm this crack will lead to?"
Yi Qing pondered for a moment then shook his head. "No, too much immortal Qi had entered. The realm gate is no longer stable. I have no way of ascertaining."
Lonemoon's expression fell. He waved his hand and conjured a seal, gathering the grievous energy at the crack. The next moment, the crack sealed itself up.
"Let's go back to look for Shen Ying!" They could not tell what this crack was about, but the cheat surely would be able to.