"Xiang Shu! What are you doing?! Why didn’t you wait for me?!"
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
Murong Chong knitted his brows. "Keep your voice down! Do you want to alert all Jin people here?"
Chen Xing was about to dismount when Murong Chong continued, "Don't. It'll be easier to move about on horse."
Chen Xing could only say in his heart, Fine, whatever you say. The two of them looked at each other for a moment. Murong Chong asked, "Where's the Great Chanyu?"
Chen Xing shrugged; obviously, Murong Chong had also come to find Xiang Shu. They then exchanged information with each other. After Murong Chong left Luoyang, the silver cavalry had been completely incorporated into the army by Fu Jian, and just like that, he stepped into the road of fugitives. He first returned to the Xianbeis' place, trying to persuade the Ancient Chi Le Covenant to once more join him. He had hoped that Shi Mokun could attack Fu Jian's rear during his expedition to the South, but this proposal was declined by the newly-appointed Great Chanyu.
It was plain to see that King Onobayashi wouldn't betray his own reputation either, so Murong Chong once again attempted to get in touch with Murong Chui. He had yet to see his uncle's face when he was betrayed and nearly got assassinated. He had practically experienced rhythmical ups and downs throughout the course of this journey.
"What about you?" Murong Chong eventually asked.
"I was in bed; I was in a coma for three months," Chen Xing finished explaining with just one sentence.
Murong Chong: "......"
Chen Xing: "......"
The two looked at each other in silence. Chen Xing then said, "So, what are you doing here?"
Murong Chong replied, "I'm thinking of taking advantage of the fight between the two Qin and Jin armies to sneak in and assassinate Fu Jian."
Chen Xing probed, "You don't want to live on well ma?"
"I don't," Murong Chong answered. "My purpose of living on, is exactly to do this."
Murong Chong gazed to a faraway place, his eyes carrying an indescribable flavor of loneliness.
"I don't know where my older sister's body has gone to," Murong Chong said. "In the event where you find her…"
Murong Chong turned his horse's direction the other way, wanting to leave, before continuing, "...please help me cremate her. I have no idea where to look for her."
"Wait!" Chen Xing said. "Come with me."
Chen Xing led Murong Chong to go around the backline of the Jin troops, as the Beifu Army started moving to the rear. Xie An had obviously trained them well; even when 100,000 people were pulling back at once, they actually still looked neat and orderly. Chen Xing stopped a man and asked, "What's happening?"
"General Xie Xuan accepted Fu Jian's request," the captain told them. "The whole army is now going to move back 10 li and let the Qin troops cross the river. The winner and loser will be determined in one battle!"
Sitting on their horses, Chen Xing and Murong Chong both turned their sights to the south bank of the Fei River.
Voice faint, Murong Chong said, "How arrogant. If they're attacked midway during the crossing, they will undoubtedly suffer a great loss."
"Very much like him," Chen Xing added.
North Bank of Fei River, Qin Army Battlefront.
Fu Jian, the emperor's armor on his body and the emperor's sword at his waist, was on his horse as he stood by the shore.
Fu Rong asked, "Your Majesty must not believe the Jin people. If we have not yet finished crossing the river when…"
"Look at the great army behind you," Fu Jian didn't wait for Fu Rong to finish speaking as he heartlessly interrupted him. "Now look at this river."
The crowd went solemn and silent.
"This army of Gu’s, even if you just throw a horsewhip into the Yangtze River, you'll still be able to cut off the current!" Fu Jian said no more superfluous words and just shouted in a deep voice, "Cross the river!"
The Qin troops began to cross the river. Right at this moment, a thunderclap resounded all over the horizon, and chill wind billowed through as it swept across the Fei River. The water of the river seemingly transformed into a rapid current in an instant; it vaguely emitted a whiff of black qi that separately rushed towards both sides of the bank!
Black clouds swirled on the skyline, and in just a split second, it concealed the scorching sun and turned the color of the sky dimmer and dimmer. The three commanders of the Jin Army, Xie Xuan, Huan Yi, and Xie Yan all looked up to the sky at the same time.
"It's going to rain," Murong Chong said. "It'll be even more difficult to fight when it starts raining."
"No," Chen Xing muttered. "This isn't rain, this is resentment? Where is it coming from?"
Inside the Huanmo Palace.
Chiyou's voice said, "That Acala Blade, you have no use for it anymore. Just give it to Gu."
Xiang Shu was sitting cross-legged on the altar, the Acala Blade resting horizontally on his knees.
"What's the hurry?" in a deep voice, Xiang Shu replied. "This body will be yours sooner or later. What's the need to be afraid of a sword?"
Chiyou coldly sneered. "That’s true, you're merely afraid of Gu, fearing that Gu won't keep his promise. You will know very soon, once Gu's power has been restored to its original state, Gu shall become a deity that transcends both heaven and earth! Wang Ziye! Ten Thousand Spirits Array!"
Wang Ziye stood in front of the altar. Xiang Shu opened his eyes and looked at him; it actually made Wang Ziye move back a little.
"Initiate the… Ten Thousand Spirits Arrays," Wang Ziye said. "My lord, there's not enough resentment yet. Before, the resentment preserved inside the Tianluo Fan was used to forcefully refine the Canglang Pearl and other things…"
"Make do with it," the voice of Chiyou said. "Start the array."
Wang Ziye released the boundless resentment wrapped around his body and launched it all towards the earth veins; then from within the earth veins, it all flowed away.
Numerous red lights suddenly shot out from the devil's heart!
In just a moment, both the resentment and the devil god's blood had trailed along the earth veins located between the Divine Land. They continued their spread, shooting in a rapid pace towards both ends northward and southward——
Star of Twinkling Brilliance, Northernmost Land, Carosha Peak.
The long scarf around Xiao Shan's neck was fluttering in the violent wind as he held Cangqiong Yilie in his hands. The resentment on the northern lands began to twist before turning into two vortexes that got sucked into each claw of Cangqiong Yilie.
Xiao Shan pointed to the sky with one hand and to the ground with the other. The overflowing resentment following the last big battle that had filled the air of Carosha immediately gathered, transforming into a black pillar of light that soared straight into the horizon!
Star of Opener of Heat, Karakorum.
The stone pagoda seemed to react, and the magical artifact suppressed inside began to buzz. The tall figure of the ghost king went through the pagoda, and ignoring everything, went in the direction of the imperial palace. The Chi Le Covenant inhabitants who had migrated here all shouted loudly; they released arrow after arrow, and Shi Mokun, who was leading the Tiele warriors to block him in front of the palace, denounced him in the Tiele language.
The ghost king held out his hand to activate the Luohun Bell, resentment swirling around it. "Dong!" and at once, one hun of every person in Karakorum was taken away; the hun all turned into butterflies that went inside the bell to be kept.
The ghost king bowed once more, and a sword suddenly manifested, before turning into a black light figure that swept forward and chopped off Shi Mokun's head!
There was only silence now in Karakorum. The ghost king entered the palace and pointed the Luohun Bell towards the horizon.
Immediately after that, a loud bang resounded on top of the Xiongnus' palace; its roof was pierced by a black pillar of light.
Star of Jade Sighting-Tube, Yin Mountains Summit, Obelisk Location.
The rotting, corrupted huge wolf began to transform in the air and gradually turned into a young man with a scar from a sword spanning from the side of his face to the bone of his eyebrow. He held the White Tiger Pennant in his left hand while slowly stroking it with his right. His whole body burst out, producing a black light that shot into the horizon.
Star of Celestial Balance, Luoyang.
Wang Ziye appeared in front of Mt. Longmen and activated the Tianluo Fan. At once, the resentment that hid the sky and covered the earth erupted as it gathered together into a black pillar of light, connecting the horizon above with the earth veins below.
Star of Celestial Shining Pearl, Kuaiji.
Standing at the heights of the city gate, Feng Qianjun held up Senluo Wanxiang. He gathered all the resentment together in front of his body, and the blade shot out a black pillar of light that connected heaven and earth.
Star of Celestial Rotating Jade, Longzhong Mountains.
Sima Wei shook open the Zouyu Pennant, and black light shone out, connecting the sky with the land.
Princess Qinghe shook her sleeves and flew to the sky, her hand holding the Canglang Pearl. The citizens of Chang'an were shaken at once and shouted, "Yaoguai! The yaoguai returns!"
The people of Chang'an had been scarred by the drought fiend outbreak that happened two years ago and were easily frightened by this occurrence; they ran away one after another, looking to escape. Yuwen Xin led the scant few remaining imperial guards, all aiming arrows at the sky in a panic.
Yuwen Xin exclaimed, "Wh-who is that?!"
Princess Qinghe activated the Canglang Pearl and sneered. From the Canglang Pearl, resentment strong enough to topple the mountains and overturn the seas was set free, destroying the imperial palace of Chang'an at once. And then, the resentment was drawn into one place in the center and went to pierce the roof and the ground of Jianzhang Palace with a loud bang; one end shot into the earth veins within the depths while the other shot towards the sky.
In less than a brief moment, great changes visible to the naked eye had occurred throughout heaven and earth; Fei River was only one of many locations affected. Seven huge pillars of light connected to the sky appeared on the ground, and the giant wheel that spun throughout centuries as it revolved all around the world was now hindered. The Divine Land's true essence that had existed since the beginning of the world began to converge into those pillars of light; they transformed into specks of light that were absorbed by the resentment!
As violent storms engulfed the area surrounding the pillars of light, the world gradually darkened. That darkness, which was so deep one couldn't even see the bottom of it, continued to converge, using the earth veins to keep circulating around in a rapid motion from the seven locations of the Ten Thousand Spirits Array into the heart of Chiyou.
The heart suddenly turned pitch-black, blood and qi saturating it.
Sima Yao was in the middle of offering a sacrifice to heaven when the sky changed. Headed by Xie An, all civil and military officials went out in a flurry to observe the sky that had been obstructed by dark clouds.
Xie An’s brow creased. "What's going on?"
Wang Xizhi quietly said, "Don't tell me something is happening in the Fei River ba."
In a deep voice, Sima Yao spoke, "This battle is a matter of life and death. Since these ministers are worried, come and pray together with Zhen ba."
Meanwhile, at the same time, on this battlefield where the light was nowhere to be seen, Fu Jian's grand army was already crossing the river. The raging wind was wreaking havoc, making sand fly and stones shift all over both shores, and the black qi in the Fei River became increasingly stronger and thicker. The soldiers all began to start chatting uneasily.
"Cross the river!" from the backline, a messenger channeled the command. "Speed up the process!"
"The wind is too strong!" Huan Yi shouted. "How do we fight like this?"
Xie Xuan decisively said, "Start the battle!"
In just a short moment, the three commanders reached an agreement. This was their only opportunity —— either fight or die!
The Jin troops beat the war drum, and immediately, three drum beats that shook heaven and earth echoed forth. The stormy wind was shielding the sun as all of the world's accumulated resentment gathered together into a storm that advanced towards the Qin's backline as it converged, and those hundred thousands of cavalry members, who were currently crossing the river, were the ones bearing the brunt of it. They were only able to see this yao wind crazily blowing from the opposite shore; for a moment, they weren't able to distinguish anything in front of them.
At the back of the Jin troops, Chen Xing immediately determined the direction where the resentment was flowing to and said, "It's on the opposite bank! Let's go with them!"
"Don't go and throw your life away." On horseback, Murong Chong suddenly grabbed Chen Xing's collar and softly whispered in his ear, "Unlike me, you have the Great Chanyu. There's no need for you to die. Don't go there."
Murong Chong let go of Chen Xing before continuing, "I'll be going. See you in the next life, if there is one."
The three beats of the drum ended.
"ATTACK——" The Jin troops, each holding a long halberd in their hand, launched an assault into the Fei River. Arrows filled both the sky and the land, the earth shook never-ending, and all other sounds grew muted.
Then, Murong Chong used both legs to squeeze his horse, brandishing a sword as he went inside a surging, powerful current of Jin troops that was caught in a life-or-death battle.
Chen Xing looked at this scene in a daze. The Fei River was suddenly dyed red by blood. In the sky and in the earth, only darkness reigned. On this Divine Land, resentment raged and wreaked havoc; trees crashed down, raging and stormy waves surged up in the river, and shields flew over from afar.
This is very strange. Chen Xing then murmured, "Chiyou, where are you?"
Underground, Huanmo Palace.
The resentment was engulfing everything, similar to an ink dyeing the source of power within the heaven and earth veins, turning it pitch-black. It was flowing unhindered, injecting itself into that giant heart of the devil. Chiyou's voice then resounded.
"I'm going to start refining you, Dinghai Pearl." Chiyou's devil heart released more and more layers of black qi, which surrounded Xiang Shu, and ignited all of his body in black fire. "Exhaust all of your willpower and give your best effort to resist ba… use the dragon power or even the Heart Lamp. At this moment, I am heaven and earth, I am the Dao… I know you're thinking of taking the sword in your hand to kill me when my guard is down. However, as long as I start removing your hun, you won't have the power to struggle anymore——"
Xiang Shu was still sitting upright on the altar with both eyes closed, but when he heard these words, he suddenly opened his eyes. Yet, with a loud bang, both his hun and po were abruptly pierced by Chiyou's soul. In an instant, tendrils made of resentment penetrated deep into his mind, and the only thing he could do was to firmly grip the sword in his hand. In his heart, a spark of brilliance shone, guarding the last of his willpower.
"Xiang Shu?" Chen Xing felt it at once. The sound of the massacre had deafened everything in this world to the point where he couldn't even hear his own words, all except that faint flash of the Heart Lamp in the distance.
"Xiang Shu!" Chen Xing roared. "What are you doing?! Why didn’t you wait for me?!"
Chen Xing galloped down the hill and charged into the Fei River that was littered with corpses. The moment the Jin troops entered the river, they were met with strong resistance by the Qin Army. Xie Xuan knew that this battle was either win or die, and there was absolutely no third possibility. Once the battle began, he pressed on with all available forces he had in hand.
"Chen Xing!" Huan Yi suddenly spotted Chen Xing charging in on his horse. He yelled, "Don't go over there! You're mad!"
Soldiers on both sides had already killed without restraint, their eyes turning bloodshot, while the Fei River had seemingly turned into a huge fiend that constantly swallowed soldiers from both parties. Chen Xing halted his horse in the south bank, only to hear a big rumble from a distance. The earth split open, and inside the whirlpool of black qi, a huge altar was lifted up.
Huanmo Palace appeared on the world!
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