Chapter 1545 - Stepping Stone

“Ah!” Yun Che’s order caused Dongfang Hanwei’s heart to skip a beat. The girl lowered her head, bit her lip and trembled slightly. Even she couldn’t tell if she was shaking from fear or misery.

There was no escaping this moment after all...

She was aware of her own beauty, and she knew that she had neither the right nor the ability to turn down any such request from Yun Che. Moreover, she was the one who had said that she was willing to give up everything to save the Eastern Frost Nation.

The blood drained away from her face, but she didn’t resist it in terms of movement or speech. With a simple “yes”, she got up to her feet and tugged at the sash of her clothes with trembling fingers.

When her sash was pulled off, her light purple official dress slid down her shoulders. She bit her lip harder and harder until finally, her undershirt and her bodice slid to the ground as well. Her bare, exquisite body which countless men had lusted for, but never seen was revealed in full view to Yun Che.

Cold, she subconsciously hugged her own chest and shut her eyes tightly, submitting to the fate that was to come. However, she sensed no movement even though a long time had passed.

Confused, she opened her eyes and looked at Yun Che. However, she noticed that Yun Che had his eyes closed, and he wasn’t looking at her at all.

“Senior… Yun?” She asked.

“...I told you to take off your top, not everything,” Yun Che said. He hadn’t opened his eyes once, but his spiritual sense told him pretty much everything Dongfang Hanwei was doing.

“...” Surprised, Dongfang Hanwei looked both embarrassed and at a complete loss.

“Never mind. Sit down,” Yun Che said.

“Yes,” Dongfang Hanwei answered obediently, her hands still guarding her chest protectively.

She had just sat down when Yun Che suddenly pointed a finger at her and knocked away her arms completely. Then, he touched her at her solar plexus and sent a flash of profound energy straight into her profound veins.

Dongfang Hanwei trembled once, and she suddenly felt countless streams of unfamiliar energy spreading throughout her entire body. A faint sheen of black profound light appeared on its surface.

The black profound light lasted for several breaths before it faded away swiftly. Then, Yun Che pulled his finger away and dispelled the darkness profound energy in his finger as well, settling back into his hermit state.

On the other side, Dongfang Hanwei’s mouth fell open as she perceived the changes in her profound veins and her body. For a long time, she was lost in her own mind as if she was daydreaming.

A long time later, she raised her hand and circulated her darkness profound energy. A ball of power appeared in her palm, and it was unbelievably completely quiet, stable and as pure as a translucent black crystal.

“Senior…” She looked up at Yun Che with unspeakable emotions. She felt like she was still dreaming even now.

“From here on, you’ll never have to worry about cultivation backlash any longer. The upper limit of your cultivation speed and power has increased dramatically as well,” Yun Che said slowly.

What he did to Dongfang Hanwei was very simple… He had simply corrected her darkness profound energy! More accurately, he had altered her “devil body” and the laws of darkness that it bore.

Naturally, the art he used to make the “correction” was the Eternal Calamity of Darkness!

Yun Che had come into contact with darkness profound energy long before he went to the God Realm. The first darkness profound practitioner he knew was Fen Juechen, and the second Xuanyuan Wentian. Although both people had become far stronger than before after acquiring darkness profound energy, the price they paid was terrible to say the least.

At the time, Yun Che was given the impression that all darkness profound energy cost profound practitioners their lives and humanity.

After he went to the God Realm and learned more and more about darkness profound energy, one of the bits of common knowledge he learned was that all “devil people” became more “violent, murderous, and inhuman” after cultivating darkness profound energy. Their lifespan was also far shorter than a “normal” profound practitioner at the same realm.

So it sounded like darkness profound energy was debilitating to both the cultivator’s physical and mental health.

However, after Yun Che no longer held back his darkness profound energy and studied the Eternal Calamity of Darkness, he suddenly noticed a strange problem.

The darkness profound energy of this world seemed to exist in a distorted state!

Be it Fen Juechen, Xuanyuan Wentian, or all the people he encountered in the Northern Divine Region, the darkness profound energy they circulated was very different from the purest, most primal form of darkness profound energy he had inherited from the Heretic God.

At first, he assumed that the darkness profound energy might’ve undergone a change sometime while it was passed on to the next generation. It had existed since time immemorial after all. However, he rejected that idea immediately because it couldn’t explain the extreme distortion both Fen Juechen and Xuanyuan Wentian had experienced.

This meant that the problem probably didn’t lie in the darkness profound energy itself. It was because this ancient power that used to belong to devil gods and devil beasts wasn’t compatible with the mortals of the current world.

If that was true, then… all those people who had entered the Northern Divine Region to cultivate the ancient power of the devil gods or escape a sudden change in fate were cultivating a power that didn’t suit them from the beginning.

The main attribute of darkness profound energy was “devouring” and “destruction”. When cultivated inside a body that was incompatible, it would only result in a backlash that “devoured” and “destroyed” one’s life and soul.

The greater the incompatibility, the worse the backlash became.

A person’s nature and roots were fixed since they were born, and whether they were compatible with a certain type of profound energy was immediately clear since they started cultivating. They might be able to suppress the problems that arose with the incompatibility to a minimum after their power and control had increased, but they would never be able to eliminate it completely. As a result, these “devil people” even thought that this was the natural state of darkness profound energy and never questioned the anomaly.

However, the Eternal Calamity of Darkness was the devil emperor’s darkness energy with its own unique laws. Yun Che’s mastery of this art was superficial at best, but he already had the power to interfere with another person’s “devil body” directly. He could now “fix” a darkness profound practitioner’s body so that it would fit their cultivated darkness profound energy perfectly.

Naturally, cultivation became a lot smoother and easier when one’s profound energy was perfectly compatible with their body. Yun Che wasn’t lying when he said that the upper limit of Dongfang Hanwei’s cultivation speed and power had increased dramatically.

It was absolutely a terrifying and incomprehensible ability that defied all common sense in this world.

Of course, Dongfang Hanwei was fully aware of this wonderful, dreamlike sensation. Forget her, even a Divine Master who had cultivated darkness profound energy for tens of thousands of years would be shocked to the point of daydreaming if they had undergone the same correction, if not worse.

Dongfang Hanwei had no idea how Yun Che had done it. She couldn’t even perceive the type of energy Yun Che had injected into her. But if there was one thing she was certain of, it would be that her life would never be the same again, literally and figuratively.

When Dongfang Hanwei finally recovered from the long period of excitement and disbelief, she dropped to her knees and bowed deeply to Yun Che. She was so emotional that it almost sounded like she was crying, “Hanwei… thanks senior for granting her a rebirth.”

“There’s no need, I’m just using you for an experiment,” Yun Che replied indifferently before opening his eyes. He stared emotionlessly at Dongfang Hanwei’s naked body before saying, “At first, I wasn’t sure if the art would work without direct contact, but now it seems like I had overcomplicated things in my own head. Forget indirect contact, I can probably do this again without any contact whatsoever.”

Caught off guard by Yun Che’s reply, Dongfang Hanwei suddenly recalled that she was still naked. She let out a cry of embarrassment before covering herself up once more, staring at the ground.

“You may leave,” Yun Che said, “and tell your father to save his thoughts for himself. I will speak to him personally if there’s anything I need.”

Dongfang Hanwei stayed still for a moment before replying softly, “Yes.”

She grabbed her clothes from the floor. A flash of profound light later, her clothes were back on her body… For some reason, even as she let out a sigh of relief, she felt an unexpected and complicated sense of disappointment inside.

It was because Yun Che’s eyes betrayed no emotion whatsoever even though he had a full view of her naked body earlier.

“Senior,” Dongfang Hanwei didn’t leave immediately. She said, “Hanwei dares not question your plans, but… please be careful. You may not be afraid of the Nine Great Sects, but… if things become overblown, it may alert the great realm king.”

Deep seated reverence appeared on Dongfang Hanwei’s face when she said the title “great realm king”. She looked like she was speaking the title of a god.

“That sounds like good news to me,” Yun Che replied coldly. He didn’t even ask who the great realm king of the East Ruins Realm was.

Dongfang was surprised by Yun Che’s reaction, but this time she didn’t say anything. She gave him another deep bow and took several steps backward. Only then did she turn around to leave.

Just as she opened the door and was about to step out, Dongfang Hanwei paused for a moment before turning back to ask a sudden question, “Senior Yun, can Hanwei ask… why did you agree to help me back then?”

At the time, she thought that Yun Che was just a normal Divine King, someone who could save her parents’ life. But the fact that he had killed the Divine Kings of the Nine Great Sects like they were nothing, and gave her a new life in just a couple of breaths’ time, was a sure sign that he was far more amazing that everyone had imagined him to be.

The Eastern Frost Nation should be as small as a speck of dust in his eyes, so why had he followed her here?

She knew that she had asked a dangerous question, and she knew that Yun Che wouldn’t give her an answer. But for some reason, she still wanted to know anyway.

To her surprise, Yun Che gave her an answer. “Because I need a stepping stone, understand?”

“...” She stared at Yun Che silently for a very, very long time. She didn’t know what answer she was hoping to hear, but she knew now that she and Yun Che were living in different worlds.

“Sorry for disturbing you, Senior. Hanwei will take her leave now.”

She closed the door and resealed the barrier. She should be sighing in relief and thanking her lucky stars for her windfall, but for some reason she only felt emptiness in her heart. It was something she had never experienced before, and she had no idea why she was feeling this.

After Dongfang Hanwei had left, Yun Che pulled the plate of pastries closer and smiled gently, saying, “You’er, come try this.”

A girl with colorful pupils appeared and held a red-colored pastry in her hands, eating. She looked incredibly satisfied with the meal.

“I don’t understand. Why does You’er like something so disgusting?” On the side, Hong’er cocked her head and puffed her cheeks in puzzlement.

You’er’s body was apparently different from Hong’er’s. After she slowly regained her sense of taste, sweet things became her favorite food… this wasn’t the first time Hong’er had complained about this.

Yun Che rolled his eyes at Hong’er… You’re the strange one here, okay!?

“Is this really okay, Master? Aren’t we rushing things a bit?”

He Ling’s voice appeared in Yun Che’s mind. There was no one who knew his thoughts better than He Ling.

“No, we’re not.” Something impossibly dark flashed across Yun Che’s pupils. “Swift improvement is only possible with the support of tremendous resources, so we’ll take our first pot of gold from this ‘Five Nether Ruins’!”

“I don’t want to wait even a day longer!”

    ……

The past few days were the most restless the eastern realms of the East Ruins Realm had ever been in several years.

Countless profound practitioners had shown up in this realm after hearing the news, turning the mediocre Eastern Frost Nation into the busiest place of all thirty six countries. Countless eyes turned to look at Cold Cloud Mountain, a mountain at the border of the Eastern Frost Nation as they tried to guess at Yun Che’s origin and objective, and whether the Nine Great Sects would show up.

At the same time, a vague premonition appeared in many people’s hearts… a great change was coming to their realm.

The day the Nine Great Sects were supposed to appear at Cold Cloud Mountain finally arrived.

At the bottom of Cold Cloud Mountain, countless sects and profound practitioners watched the mountain peak closely in hopes of seeing the man who killed the vice palace chief and chief enforcer of the Great Yin Immortal Palace; the young master and the great elder of the Dark Roc Mountain with their own eyes. Finally… they wanted to know if the power structure of their realm would change as a result of today.


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