"Those who attempt to forcefully control the powers of darkness, will always have the resentment turn on them eventually."
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
Chang’an of the mirror world.
After the last great battle, the mirror world had already been reduced to fragments; the houses had collapsed in on themselves, and the palace had been scorched by the flames. The entire realm looked like a giant set of ruins.
Chen Xing, holding the mirror within the mirror realm, had reversed the roles, and this time he had become the only exit of the realm.
In front of Taichu Palace, Xiang Shu, Feng Qianjun, and Xiao Shan honed in on the other three positions. Xiang Shu moved his body in front of Chen Xing to shield him as he said darkly, “Exchanging blows here means that your hunpo won’t be able to escape.”
Wang Ziye finally realized, the goal of this group of exorcists was to completely get rid of him today.
“It has been long, very long, since I’ve started to wish for the day I would fully die,” Wang Ziye said lightly. “How unfortunate that the heavens never listen to the wishes of humans. Today, if you all can cause me to truly die here, then it can still be regarded as fulfilling one of my wishes.”
Chen Xing asked, “That door in Yique, what exactly is in it?”
Wang Ziye smiled. “There will come a day where you will know. I just never expected that, with just that single lamp in your heart, you would be able to accomplish so many things. Indeed, without me realizing it, you have forced me into such a dead end. For the Yin Yang Mirror that I snatched from Zhang Liu’s grasp to be used in such a fashion, you all really are very smart.”
“Xiang Shu…” Chen Xing suddenly found that there was something off about him.
Xiang Shu shook his head, before with a single flick of the Acala Blade, he settled into a battle stance, his eyes fixed intently on Wang Ziye’s movements.
That fan had already been taken away by them, and the drought fiend troops were gone. The four armies had surrounded their lair, and very soon now, they’d be able to capture the escaping Fu Jian and Yuwen Xin, so now Wang Ziye really had no roads left to take.
“Wang Ziye,” Chen Xing said. “Dissipate the last of your resentment, and let your hun return to the divine vein. It’s exactly because the heavens want to send you off that they’ve arranged for us to arrive on this earth. This is the true will of heaven.”
“It’s not over yet,” Wang Ziye murmured. “Far from over. Come, I do want to see how long you can last, igniting your own hunpo like this. I imagine that I won’t be the first to collapse. What’s happening outside right now? I am very curious.”
Just as he finished speaking, Wang Ziye once again rose up into the air. Resentment exploded outwards from him, enveloping the entirety of the city of Chang’an like a windstorm, gathering up all of the fallen planks, broken tiles, and bricks, turning into a mighty torrent that swept down upon their heads!
The extent of that resentment was even more powerful than what Chen Xing had imagined, and as the windstorm rose, the illusionary Chang’an seemed like it was undergoing the apocalypse. Xiang Shu shouted, “Keep that lamp safe!”
Chen Xing gathered his hands to his chest, igniting the Heart Lamp right in front of him. Within the dark, wild storm of resentment, that single dot of the Heart Lamp shone unceasingly, and no matter how great the waves of resentment were, they couldn’t shake that light.
Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan pulled out their weapons, both of them rushing forwards as they roared in unison.
Feng Qianjun, “For Qing’er, I’m going to make sure you--”
His blades slashed down.
Xiang Shu lifted the Acala Blade horizontally, gathering light from the Heart Lamp. But he didn’t dare to forcefully take Chen Xing’s energy, only gathering enough for the sword to begin shining with a faint light. As soon as Wang Ziye landed, he would rush up with his sword in tow.
“First is the physical body!” Xiang Shu called.
Wang Ziye’s physical body was instantly pierced through, turning into a messy lump of flesh and blood, before his black hunpo gathered up, letting out an ear-piercing noise as he jeered, “So now what? What else can you all do to me?”
“Back up!” Chen Xing shouted.
Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan immediately backed away, and Xiang Shu retreated behind Chen Xing. Chen Xing pushed the Heart Lamp with both his hands, and its light exploded out, revolving as it rushed towards Wang Ziye.
Wang Ziye floated in the air, laughing strangely and ferociously, before gathering up the resentment and shoving it towards Chen Xing.
The light in Chen Xing’s hands glowed brightly, turning into a pillar of light, and the resentment in Wang Ziye’s hands burned with a dark fire as it condensed into a pillar of energy. The two beams of energy crossed in midair, and as the waves of resentment loomed menacingly, as soon as they touched the light of the Heart Lamp, they suppressed it, pushing the point of intersection towards Chen Xing.
“The power of a not yet twenty-year-old exorcist’s hunpo,” Wang Ziye began to smile, “attempting to defeat my three thousand years of cultivation...”
Xiang Shu stood behind Chen Xing, arms wrapped around his shoulders, hugging him lightly from behind. His large hands made the yin yang seal as they wrapped around the outside of Chen Xing’s, which were still giving off the light of the Heart Lamp. The four hands cast magic at the same time, and the Heart Lamp’s glow rose swiftly, radiating light for thousands of zhang in front of Chen Xing’s body.
In that instant, Chen Xing felt that that patch of bright light on this earth was being enveloped by an expansive, ancient golden flame, and he and Xiang Shu standing behind him seemed to become connected in some mysterious way. Their hunpo turned into two rings of light that linked together, beginning to revolve as they let out waves of resonance!
The light instantly blocked the resentment, equal in power to Wang Ziye’s black fire, and they came to a stalemate in midair.
Wang Ziye exclaimed, “You… Shulü Kong?!”
Xiang Shu didn’t speak. He merely opened his eyes, lifting his gaze towards Wang Ziye standing up high. His eyebrows, hair, and entire body was wrapped in a glimmering, shining golden flame. Chen Xing’s body slowly turned into a glowing silhouette as he was held in Xiang Shu’s embrace.
“Attack,” Xiang Shu said in a deep voice. “Protect that dot of light in your heart.”
Wang Ziye suddenly realized that things weren’t good, but in the next instant, Feng Qianjun turned over the blades in his hand, concentrating hard.
Xiao Shan raised one claw, and he and Feng Qianjun began to suck up the resentment at the same time.
Wang Ziye let out an angry roar as the resentment covering him was instantly sucked away, flowing in an endless stream into Senluo Wanxiang and Cangqiong Yilie. As his resentment weakened, the Heart Lamp’s light rushed in to fill the crevices, holding out against the black flames, pushing rapidly towards where Wang Ziye was!
Wang Ziye struggled, “You all… you all…”
Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan’s expressions were twisted in great pain, their entire bodies wrapped in black fire.
“Save me…” Wang Ziye summoned all of his strength, scrawling out a seal made of black flame as he roared painfully, “Fu Jian… save me!”
The present, the plains on the northern riverbank of the yique.
Fu Jian’s rage was at its peak as Tuoba Yan led the rest of the imperial guards in pursuit to the riverbank. The rest of the involved parties were aware that this was a delicate situation, and they backed up to almost a li away, respecting Xiang Shu’s order that the Qin people should take care of their own family matters.
Tuoba Yan coughed a few times, coughing up a little bit of blood.
Yuwen Xin’s entire head was covered with blood, wretched beyond belief. Fu Jian held his sword at his side, facing Tuoba Yan.
Murong Chong also rushed to the scene, breaking through the outer battle formation, but he couldn’t make it in. Originally, perhaps he would have been able to kill Fu Jian amidst the chaos, but Xiang Shu had anticipated him doing so early on, so he had Tuoba Yan’s faction of the imperial guards arrive on time. With this, Murong Chong had no way to strike the killing blow.
“Yan’er, did you come here to kill me, or to save me?” Fu Jian asked darkly. “You’ve also betrayed Zhen?”
Tuoba Yan panted. “Tuoba Yan has never dared to forget Your Majesty’s kindness, and the imperial guards… would never dare to betray Your Majesty! Our actions today are solely to protect the Great Qin! The evil Wang Ziye has brought disaster upon my Great Qin and bewitched Your Majesty. Imperial guards, hear my orders! Protect His Majesty at all costs!”
“Fools!” Fu Jian thundered suddenly. “Do you know what you all have destroyed?!”
Behind Fu Jian and Yuwen Xin were the last almost one hundred imperial guards, and in front of them were the 10,000 troops led by Tuoba Yan. At this moment, Xie An stepped out of the ranks and spoke. “Your Majesty, come with us ba. With the reputation of our Martial God Shulü Kong, we can guarantee that you won’t be treated discourteously. In a bit, when Wang Ziye is disposed of, we will release you.”
Yuwen Xin teetered. Seeing that Fu Jian was unable to escape this elaborate, encompassing trap, as soon as they were defeated and taken prisoner, Fu Jian was bound to become the ruler of a fallen country and remembered as a hero for the ages. His subordinates, however, would be thrown to the winds, and it all depended on if they laid down their arms and surrendered. But Tuoba Yan said earnestly, “Men of the imperial guard, will you continue to cruelly slaughter each other?!”
The members of the imperial guard were unhappy with Yuwen Xin to begin with, and today, after personally witnessing Wang Ziye’s evil magic and the battle with the drought fiends, they understood that the one who had destroyed Chang’an back then was precisely that guy. Slowly, the thought of leaving sprouted in their hearts, and they all backed up, wanting to return to Tuoba Yan’s side.
In the end, Tuoba Yan bowed towards Fu Jian, saying, “Your Majesty, come with us ba.”
But just then, Fu Jian let out a loud bellow of laughter.
“You really think that Zhen has no way to deal with you all?” Fu Jian said savagely.
And right after, a gust of monstrous resentment billowed from the copse of trees behind him, and a huge wolf rushed out!
“Kill these traitors for Zhen!” Fu Jian roared angrily, leaping onto the back of the huge wolf.
But that huge wolf didn’t listen to Fu Jian’s orders at all. Its eyes locked onto Xie An, and in an instant, Xie An had a flash of realization: the huge wolf’s goal was to obtain the Yin Yang Mirror!
Before he could dodge, the rotten wolf moved, swift as lightning, in front of Xie An. Behind him, Murong Chong shouted, “Be careful!”
Right after, Murong Chong raced forward, using his metal armor to block the huge wolf’s sharp teeth. Xie An took this opportunity to duck and sprint away, while Tuoba Yan’s expression changed, and he shouted, “Protect His Majesty! Protect that Han person!”
Just then, Xie An had narrowly missed having his head bitten off by that huge wolf, and it was actually Murong Chong who saved him in the end; the two of them had both acted unexpectedly. The imperial guards that rushed up had already been bowled over by the rotten wolf that pounced forward, and the space was narrow and not suitable for firing arrows in. Murong Chong shouted, “Don’t mind him! First watch over His Majesty!”
Xie An shouted, “No way! The Yin Yang Mirror is still on me!”
Tuoba Yan dashed over in pursuit, but he hadn’t expected that huge wolf to be so quick. Just as the imperial guards caught up, they were once again left in the dust, and in this life-and-death moment, Xie An called upon hidden strength that he didn’t know he had, ducking and dodging constantly. Murong Chong and Tuoba Yan finally managed to encircle them. Seeing that if he didn’t run now, he would be caught again, Fu Jian finally roared angrily, “Go!”
Xie An was already secured in a circle of imperial guards, still in great shock as he watched Fu Jian, and right after, that huge wolf arched its body. Tuoba Yan glanced over at it, realizing things were not going well. He then trod upon the shields of the imperial guards as he and Murong Chong leapt into the air towards Xie An, launching their rescue attempt.
As expected, that huge wolf leapt off the ground, flying a whole ten zhang away, over the heads of the imperial guards as it pounced at Xie An. It opened its mouth, but just as it was about to snatch Xie An away in its jaws, Murong Chong tossed out his long sword in midair. It pierced through Fu Jian’s shoulder as he rode on the back of that wolf, causing him to fall off.
Tuoba Yan, his long halberd in hand, rushed in from the side. With a thrust, he blocked the huge wolf’s head, stabbing the point into its collar, but the huge wolf bit down hard on Tuoba Yan’s arm, ripping off half of his left arm.
But Tuoba Yan didn’t even let out a shout, nor did he feel pain; he lifted his right fist, and with a shocking amount of strength, he slammed it forcefully onto that wolf’s head. That blow had the wolf rolling around on the ground, before it swiftly rose, leaving behind Fu Jian as it leapt into the air again, crashing through the ranks of the imperial guards as it fled.
“Protect Xie An-daren!” Tuoba Yan pressed down on the part where his arm had broken off, and he said, “We have to be careful, it might return!”
Xie An knew that because he held the Yin Yang Mirror, he had already become the enemy’s main target, and he immediately said, “I need to find a place to hide…”
“Your Majesty.” Tuoba Yan walked over quickly. The armor at Fu Jian’s shoulder had been pierced through, and he sat up with great difficulty, the wound covered with black blood.
“Chong’er…” Fu Jian breathed. “Yan’er…”
“Your Majesty!” Tuoba Yan said anxiously, but just as he was about to help Fu Jian to his feet, he suddenly stopped in his movements.
The shining blade of the emperor’s sword stabbed through Tuoba Yan’s chest, protruding out of his back. Tuoba Yan’s entire body slumped onto Fu Jian as he stared mutely at him. His mouth was filled with blood, and he could no longer speak; that stab had pierced right through his heart, causing the last bit of light in his eyes to slowly dim and vanish, turning into nothingness as his pupils gradually expanded.
Bright blood red filled Fu Jian’s eyes, and he tightly clutched the emperor’s sword in his hand as he said darkly, “Who else wants to use their body to test Zhen’s emperor sword?”
The imperial guards slowly backed away. Xie An muttered, “Fu Jian, do you know what you are doing?”
Fu Jian said darkly, “For the children that I raised to betray me just like this, their lives were granted to them by me, so naturally I should be the one to take them away.”
The imperial guards cleared out an empty space, and in the middle were Fu Jian, emitting resentment non-stop as he stood there. Kneeling in front of him was Tuoba Yan, whose heart had been pierced through by the emperor’s sword.
Murong Chong slowly walked over, stopping ten paces away and staring fixedly at Tuoba Yan, before raising his gaze to Fu Jian. No matter what, he couldn’t believe that Tuoba Yan would meet such an end.
“Of all the people in the Great Qin,” Murong Chong said, “Tuoba Yan was the one most loyal to you. Your Majesty, you’re insane.”
Fu Jian pulled out the emperor’s sword, turning and walking towards Murong Chong, who said, “Capture him, make His Majesty wake up!”
The imperial guards all shouted loudly as they rushed up. Fu Jian swept the emperor’s sword in an arc, and resentment suffused the air, but there were more and more troops, and finally, after waves upon waves, they managed to capture him. Countless ropes and steel nets flew over, pinning him to the ground.
“In this realm… Zhen is… the one true ruler!” Fu Jian roared wildly.
The mirror world, the ruins of Chang’an.
That thundering roar echoed across the horizon, and Chen Xing’s eyes immediately widened.
“Right now!” Xiang Shu, however, didn’t wait for him to ponder over it. He activated the Heart Lamp, and Chen Xing instantly pushed the power of his hunpo to its limits as he ignited them. Wang Ziye let out a despairing howl; his last supporting troops hadn’t come, and all his resentment had been dissipated, revealing his hunpo glowing with a red light.
Wang Ziye let out a sharp shriek, turning and flying into the air. However, he then realized that there was nowhere he could escape to, because the only exit, the yin side of the mirror, was on Chen Xing.
Wang Ziye yelled, “This can’t be my fate --”
Right after, he turned and rushed forward, a pair of claws growing out of his soul as he brought them down hard at Chen Xing!
But Chen Xing lifted a hand, and the light in his hand flashed, revealing the Luohun Bell.
Wang Ziye’s blood-red eyes widened that second, realizing what was going to happen next. Chen Xing put all of his mana into the Luohun Bell, and the bronze body of the bell turned a bright gold, its light diffusing in all directions.
The Luohun Bell sounded, and though Wang Ziye tried ferociously to escape higher, his hunpo were forcefully dragged back by the power of the Luohun Bell, turning into ribbons of light that were connected to the bell.
“I’m not ready --” Wang Ziye’s voice howled.
Chen Xing’s mana was already almost all gone, and he exerted all of his effort in controlling the Luohun Bell as he and Wang Ziye began to struggle. Xiang Shu yelled, “Hold out!”
“The power of his hunpo is… too strong…” Chen Xing roared. “Wang Ziye! It’s over!”
Under the power of the Luohun Bell, Wang Ziye, who was nothing but pure hunpo at this point, began to warp and deform. The power of his hun flowed like water as it was tugged into the Luohun Bell, which let out an earth-shaking chime! But in this instant, in Wang Ziye’s chest, a drop of dark red, gem-like blood flashed.
In an instant, Chen Xing’s vision went black, and he once again saw the scenery of Huanmo Palace.
That huge heart let off a strong glow as it entered the earth veins, and the earth veins were immediately polluted into a patch of blood red!
“Mortal,” a voice resounded by Chen Xing’s ear. “You’re actually able to get to this point.”
The drop of blood shattered, diffusing through Wang Ziye’s hunpo as they were being dragged into the Luohun Bell, buying him one last moment of time.
“Yes,” Chen Xing raised his eyebrows as he responded. “You won’t be able to save your subordinate, Chiyou.”
The Luohun Bell pulled away Wang Ziye’s earth hun, before Chen Xing flicked his wrist again.
“Dang!” With the second chime, Wang Ziye’s ghostly hun left his body, and without these two hun, he had had no more strength to struggle, falling limp. He already had no way to prevent the power of the Luohun Bell and the Heart Lamp from taking effect.
But just at that moment, a speck of red light began to glow in Feng Qianjun’s body, and another speck appeared dimly in Xiao Shan’s heart, flickering in and out of existence.
“You’ve spoken too soon,” Chiyou’s voice resounded. “Let’s see if it’s your Heart Lamp that illuminates the world, or if it’ll be my devil blood that ensnares the humans’ hearts…”
Wang Ziye’s second hun had yet to fully detach, but Xiang Shu had already changed positions, picking up Chen Xing in his embrace as he turned, flipped, and leapt down the stairs! Right after, Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan, still enveloped in resentment, charged in from the two sides. Senluo Wanxiang and Cangqiong Yilie slashed at the same time, completely pulverizing Taichu Palace!
With the boom, it was as if the windstorm rose again. Wang Ziye, still howling, turned into a vague shadow of his former self as he crawled along the ground. Chen Xing, who was still being hugged by Xiang Shu, clambered out of the ruins. He had been interrupted in the middle of casting his magic, and Chen Xing couldn’t muster up a breath as he leaned up against the side of a pillar.
“Just a little more…” Chen Xing said, “Just…”
But Feng Qianjun had already rushed up first, his eyes glowing with a blood-red light as his blades slashed down onto Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu lifted the Acala Blade horizontally, and with an angry roar, he blocked Feng Qianjun’s slash.
“To activate your artifacts,” Chiyou’s voice resounded, “you all used resentment to replace the spiritual qi of the heavens and earth.”
Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan leapt forward at the same time, their bodies wrapped in resentment as they turned into swift shadows that wildly attacked Xiang Shu like a fierce storm. Xiang Shu had to protect Chen Xing behind him, while defeating the exorcist companions that had been taken over by the Devil God’s Blood, and for a while he was laboring strenuously.
“But you didn’t know, those who attempt to forcefully control the powers of darkness, will always have the resentment turn on them eventually. This king told you a long time ago that there will come a day where everyone who trusted you would betray you…”
“Ex… exorcise.” Chen Xing’s mouth was filled with blood as he pushed off the ground laboriously, lifting a hand. His palm glowed with one last bit of light, and he pushed it towards Xiao Shan. With a wild roar, Xiao Shan swung Cangqiong Yilie.
Xiang Shu was being occupied by Feng Qianjun, but he turned, ignoring Feng Qianjun, to save him. He leapt to Chen Xing, trying to gather him up in his arms, but Xiao Shan’s claw had already reached Chen Xing’s chest.
“Die,” Chiyou’s voice spoke. “The era of the exorcists has ended.”
“It’s not yet time,” another youth’s voice suddenly spoke. “Accept it, God of Weapons.”
Xiao Shan’s claw-strike swept towards Chen Xing’s chest, but just as it was about to split him, with a light "ding", the claw of Cangqiong Yilie was blocked by the artifact that Chen Xing had placed at his chest.
His outer robe split apart, and the Yin Yang Mirror that he had in it cracked. With numerous snaps, the cracks grew, and the mirror’s face split into pieces.
The present, the plains of Yique.
Everyone gathered up, eyeing Fu Jian who had been tied down securely in the middle. The soldiers held rags in their hands, but none of them dared to stuff them into Fu Jian’s mouth.
“That…” An assistant general looked around, but he couldn't find a single person who dared to block up Fu Jian’s mouth. Murong Chong was a subordinate, Shi Mokun was on the same level as him, King Onobayashi was an ally, but he couldn’t be counted as an enemy. The only person with the power to stuff a rag into Fu Jian’s mouth was Xiang Shu, but he wasn’t here.
“I’ll do it ba,” Xie An said to the others. “In our Great Jin, things that others don’t want to do are all done by me, Xie Anshi.”
Xie An didn’t care one whit if he was the heavenly king or not, he immediately blocked Fu Jian’s mouth up.
On the plains of the Huai River, the 300,000 drought fiends had already been eliminated, and the danger had finally passed; now, all they were waiting for was news of how the group in the mirror, Chen Xing and the rest, had fared. Murong Chong spoke. “Now what? Are you taking him away?”
Originally, they intended to hand Fu Jian over to Tuoba Yan, who would bring him to Shou County or Luoyang to put him under house arrest, but Tuoba Yan was now dead. Xie An could only say, “Let’s go according to the original plan? It’s not suitable for us to arrest him, there must be someone from your country who goes along with him.”
“Xie-daren,” Murong Chong murmured.
Xie An immediately sensed that something was wrong. He lowered his head to look at his own chest, pulling out the Yin Yang Mirror, only to see cracks propagating rapidly on the surface of the mirror. Everyone backed up.
Xie An grew nervous. Holding the mirror in his hand wouldn’t do, but putting it on the ground wouldn’t do either. Murong Chong said, “Do you want to find a place to hide?”
With the cracking of the mirror, the images inside also began to shatter, before with a "peng", the entire surface shattered. Xie An let out a loud shout. Shi Mokun was the first to react, shouting, “Be careful! Step back!”
In the mirror, the resentment that had been sucked away from Wang Ziye suddenly exploded. Xie An made an instant decision and turned the face of the mirror towards the sky, and this last-minute, crucial decision saved the lives of everyone present. With the destruction of the mirror, the resentment spewed out in all directions from the surface of the Yin Yang Mirror as a storm of black fire burst out. The first thing that rushed out of the mirror was a streak of a blood-red soul, followed by Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan’s shadows, before finally it was Xiang Shu hugging Chen Xing.
The resentment exploded out, almost flattening the plains around for a whole li. As the black fog dissipated, Chiyou’s hideous laughter could be heard from within.
Just as Feng Qianjun landed, he picked up Fu Jian, and together with Xiao Shan they turned into black flames that flew towards the horizon.
Xiang Shu hugged an unconscious Chen Xing as they stood in the middle of the plains. Resentment slowly dissipated, creeping over the ground, and the plants withered as the ground turned pitch black.
Xie An asked, “Martial God?”
Xiang Shu took in his surroundings, covered in blood. He breathed for a moment, looking at Chen Xing in his embrace.
“Fuck,” Xiang Shu said.
the tl team’s reactions to tby’s death:
nam: im here to test zhen’s emperor sword on fu jian
moon: *rubs hands together* it’s just beginning
(rip tuoba yan… and hang in there readers, we’re in the home stretch of the pain)
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.