Yun Che abruptly turned towards her.
“How many?” Xia Qingyue asked without any surprise on her face.
“This servant has inspected her surroundings thoroughly, and she can confirm that Qianye Ying’er is the only one who came. No profound arks or people are following her.”
“Excellent.” Xia Qingyue nodded once before saying, “Escort her to the sacred hall and bring her to me yourself, Lian Yue. You don’t need to hide her presence, but try not to attract too much attention either.”
“Understood.” Lian Yue vanished after receiving her orders.
“It looks like everything is going exactly as you wish,” said Yun Che with a complicated look.
The person who came wasn’t Qianye Fantian or the Brahma Kings after all. It was Qianye Ying’er and Qianye Ying’er alone!
Xia Qingyue’s prediction had been perfectly accurate!
“Is there anywhere you need me?” he asked.
“But of course.” Xia Qingyue stretched a hand and wrapped an invisible wisp of profound energy around his arm. “You are the lead of this show! Without you, this wouldn’t be interesting in the slightest… Come with me!”
Xia Qingyue brought Yun Che directly into the sacred hall. Waves of profound energy suddenly washed over him and caused him to suffocate for a split second.
When Yun Che’s eyes cleared up, he was surprised to find dozens of colorful defensive profound formations littered across the grounds of the sacred hall. He asked, “Were these profound formations set up just now?”
“Naturally,” Xia Qingyue said, “I’m the one who arranged them myself. Their reason for being here is to safeguard your life.”
Her figure blurred for a moment, and both of them appeared at the center of the profound formations an instant later. She looked at Yun Che and instructed seriously, “Remember, you’re not allowed to take half a step out of this profound formation! You know full well just how devious Qianye Ying’er is, and you must be on your guard at all times! In the off chance that she tries to attack, these profound formations will become active and protect you from danger.”
“...I understand.” replied Yun Che while sneaking a glance at Xia Qingyue’s cheek. It looked like she had made a lot of preparations during the day she was gone.
The reason she told Lian Yue to bring Qianye Ying’er over in fifteen minutes was so that she could bring him into these profound formations first.
“Qingyue, you can tell me what you’re planning to do with her now, right?” Yun Che asked.
She must have made up her mind before she brought him to the Moon God Realm… no, it must have been even earlier than that.
Instead of answering him directly, Xia Qingyue asked, “In your opinion, what do you think is the one thing Qianye Ying’er cannot lose besides her life?”
Yun Che thought for a moment before answering, “I don’t know her well, but from what I’ve seen and heard, she’s completely different from the average woman. She has an unnatural obsession for the profound way, and everything she does is tied to the pursuit of power one way or another. To the average woman, love, pride, or appearance can sometimes be more important than their life, but her… if I’m not mistaken, the power she has spent her entire life chasing is the one thing she cannot lose besides her life.”
“You’re completely correct.” Xia Qingyue looked outside of the hall with frigid eyes. “If I force her to cripple herself first before backing off from that bottomline… then everything else above that bottomline, even if it was humiliation beyond her wildest dreams would appear acceptable to her, don’t you think?”
“...” Yun Che felt a passing chill as he stared at Xia Qingyue’s back.
It had only been a couple of years since their last meeting. Could a person really change so drastically in such a short time?
Weren’t the mind, nature, and habit the hardest things to change in a person?
Speaking of which, Shen Xi had once said something strange to him. She had told him that Xia Qingyue’s Heart of Glazed Glass was about to awaken… Could her change be related to that?
Suddenly, Xia Qingyue shot him a sideways glance and repeated her instruction again, “Remember, do not step out of the profound formations!”
“I get it already,” Yun Che replied while curling his lips. Out of all the tones she used, this one was the one he hated the most… She almost sounded like her master just now.
Xia Qingyue’s figure blurred again, and this time she was standing at the center of the sacred hall. At the same time, a slender, golden figure finally appeared at the entrance. The dazzling soft armor covering her entire body was a symbol of her noble identity and the highlighter of the dreamiest body in the entire world.
“Master, the Brahma Monarch Goddess has arrived,” Lian Yue said respectfully. Then, she froze on the spot and didn’t say anything until a long time later.
The second Qianye Ying’er and Xia Qingyue’s eyes had met each other, the space between and around them turned so solid that both Lian Yue and Yun Che thought that time itself had come to a standstill.
“Guard outside the entrance and stand by for my orders,” Xia Qingyue said. She didn’t tell Lian Yue to leave, but she didn’t tell her to protect Yun Che either.
“Yes.” Lian Yue accepted the order and moved outside. She never withdrew her aura, and the calm look on her face failed to conceal the tension she was really feeling at all.
As Xia Qingyue’s personal servants, they knew just how much their master hated Qianye Ying’er.
“Xia Qingyue… Moon God Emperor!” Qianye Ying’er’s gaze stopped on Yun Che before returning to impale Xia Qingyue. “I trust you have been well since we last met!”
As the owner of both the Heart of Glazed Glass and the Nine Profound Exquisite Body, Xia Qingyue’s talents were unique enough to make even Qianye Ying’er jealous! It was why she had drawn a huge amount of attention when she had made her first appearance at the ceremony of the Moon God Realm.
Just like Yun Che, no one could predict the limits of her future. But it was supposed to be the future!
Qianye Ying’er had never imagined that she would fall into Xia Qingyue’s hands so quickly and easily.
“This king is well, naturally,” Xia Qingyue replied slowly, “but you on the other hand, don’t look so well. What is your purpose for coming today?”
“Heh, Xia Qingyue!” Qianye Ying’er sneered. Although her face was covered up by a golden mask, every word she spoke was infused with bone chilling iciness, “I must say that the breadth of your courage and the lows you would stoop to has truly opened my eyes!”
“Oh?” Xia Qingyue’s eyes twirled slightly without showing the slightest bit of emotion. “This king is the Moon God Emperor. I would never stoop to despicable acts that would tarnish my reputation. On the other hand… did you seriously think you were worthy of fairness from me, Lady Goddess?”
“Oh right, there was a rumor saying that the Brahma Monarch God Emperor was poisoned alongside his eight Brahma Kings. Apparently, the situation was bad enough that the great Brahma Monarch God Realm had to close itself off. But here you are, visiting the Moon God Realm for fun instead of helping. Your reputation for heartlessness is truly well deserved, Lady Goddess. I am very impressed.”
“Impressed?” Qianye Ying’er let out another sneer as her voice grew colder. “The reason Yun Che and you poisoned my father with the Sky Poison Pearl is to force me to come here. You must be incredibly pleased inside seeing that everything has gone exactly as you wished!”
“Oh? This king doesn’t understand your meaning, Lady Goddess,” Xia Qingyue said leisurely. “It is regretful that the Brahma Heaven God Emperor has succumbed to poison, but how can you be sure that the Sky Poison is the reason? Have you or your retinues witnessed the might of the Sky Poison Pearl with your own eyes before?”
“In addition, this is the Brahma Monarch God Emperor of all people, and Yun Che is just a Divine King. Not even a three year old would believe that he could plant a deadly poison in the Brahma Heaven God Emperor, don’t you think? Your words are truly hilarious today, Lady Goddess.”
Yun Che, “...”
“Xia…Qing…yue!” Qianye Ying’er had come to Moon God Realm with absolute determination in her mind, but Xia Qingyue still managed to infuriate her in just a couple of verbal exchanges. “Cease your attempts to disturb my mind! I wouldn’t be here if I’d wished to escape unscathed!”
She looked up slightly and declared mercilessly, “I, Qianye Ying’er, admit my defeat… Now tell me your condition!”
“Very good.” Xia Qingyue didn’t move or act like a victor in the slightest even though the Lady Goddess herself had admitted defeat. She looked so calm it was almost scary. “This king’s condition is very simple… All you need to do… is to ruin your own power!”
“Heh.” But Xia Qingyue’s demand was met with a scornful sneer. “Xia Qingyue, you should know that I would never agree to that demand. You don’t have to play such a childish game in front of me. I’m sure that you, the Moon God Emperor, have far more to be afraid of from a desperate Brahma Monarch God Realm than the other way around, so just tell me your condition and stop wasting both of our time and patience.”
Yun Che frowned abruptly when he heard this… He wasn’t expecting Qianye Ying’er to see through Xia Qingyue’s ploy immediately. She even used this opportunity to seize the upper hand of the negotiation away from Xia Qingyue.
Both of these women are scary...
“Very good, it’s so much easier to speak with a smart person.” Xia Qingyue shifted her feet slightly so she was able to face Qianye Ying’er and shoot Yun Che a glance at the same time. Then, she asked, “If this king may ask, what do you think the life of your father, strongest god emperor of the Eastern Divine Region, the lives of eight Brahma Kings, and the future of the Brahma Monarch God Realm are worth?”
“I think you’re missing something.” Qianye Ying’er shot right back. “You’re missing the part where we, the Brahma Monarch God Realm, would do everything in our power to destroy the Moon God Realm if we were to lose everything you say!”
“What a joke!” retorted Xia Qingyue with an indifferent smile. “The Brahma Monarch God Realm lost two Brahma Kings during the Evil Infant disaster, and three Brahma Gods during the return of the Devil Emperor. Today, the Brahma Heaven God Emperor and all eight Brahma Kings have even succumbed to a deadly poison. If they are not rescued in time, the Brahma Monarch God Realm would decline from one god emperor and seventeen Brahma Kings to just seven Brahma Kings only! You think a realm that weak can threaten the Moon God Realm in any way?”
“The Brahma Monarch God Realm’s well of power and hidden cards are far deeper than you can ever imagine! It would be child’s play to destroy the Moon God Realm even if we are only seven Brahma Kings strong,” Qianye Ying’er said with a sneer.
Xia Qingyue half-smiled at her and replied, “And how do you know the Moon God Realm doesn’t have a well of power as deep as your own? It is true that both of our realms would lose in a battle like this, but can you say for sure that the Moon God Realm will fall, and a weakened Brahma Monarch God Realm with only seven Brahma Kings left will be the one to survive until the end?”
Qianye Ying’er, “...”
“Also, you haven’t forgotten about the most important thing in the Primal Chaos right now, have you?” Xia Qingyue stared at Qianye Ying’er quietly. “The master of the Sky Poison Pearl is Yun Che, and the person supporting Yun Che is the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor herself. You know that the two of us were once husband and wife. If this king finds a way to bring the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor into this through Yun Che... are you sure that the pyrric victory in your head will happen?”
The space behind Qianye Ying’er vibrated for a moment.
The fact that she had lost control of her profound energy meant that her mind had fallen into chaos.
A tragic curl appeared on Qianye Ying’er’s lips. “I didn’t lose to you, Xiao Qingyue! I lost to the Sky Poison Pearl, the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor… and myself! That is all! Don’t you ever forget that!”
Xia Qingyue only smiled coolly in response.
“Now speak your condition!” Qianye Ying’er’s chest heaved and shuddered slightly beneath the wrappings of her golden armor. “I don’t wish to hear anymore nonsense from you!”
The short verbal exchange had ended with Qianye Ying’er’s complete defeat… Or rather, she had lost from the moment she entered the Moon God Realm.
Xia Qingyue’s biggest reliance had never been the Sky Poison Pearl. It was the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor, even though the woman herself had no idea (probably).
“It’s very simple.” Xia Qingyue stopped wasting her breath as Qianye Ying’er demanded and said evenly, “This king will leave your life and your profound strength alone on one condition!”
She looked towards Yun Che and said, “You’ll allow Yun Che to plant a three thousand year slave imprint inside your soul!”