There was a ring that was soft as a mosquito’s buzz the moment Yun Che’s finger touched the Imperial Heaven Sword. Around the blade, the black light crumbled instantly, and the vicious lightning shrank like a snake that was struck at its weak point. It then vanished in the blink of an eye.
That wasn’t all. Tian Guhu’s sword arm also exploded in a shower of blood.
Tian Guhu’s bones broke clearly and terrifyingly after the ringing ended. Not only did the energy break the Divine Sovereign’s arm into dozens of pieces, it also ravaged his flesh and completely exposed it to the air. Not done yet, it poured into his body and caused the exact same effect—the blood shower, the breaking bones, the ravaging—to his chest and his limbs. His sternum, his ribs, his arms, his legs… everything was cruelly broken into dozens of pieces in an instant.
A terrible scream cut through the air but Tian Guhu neither retreated nor released his grip on the Imperial Heaven Sword. He simply collapsed to the ground like he didn’t have a single intact bone inside his body.
The scream lasted for only half a breath before Tian Guhu silenced it with his amazing willpower. His face was deathly pale and completely distorted by pain. His entire body was shaking violently like he was struggling. His blood and sweat quickly spread into a pool of liquid beneath his body.
Pain actually wasn’t the most dominant emotion in his eyes right now. Shock, disbelief, and a gripping fear that came out of nowhere all held a tighter grip over his mind than pain.
A silent shock filled the Imperial Heaven Tower like a balloon. Everyone was standing on their feet, feeling like someone had punched them in the eye and the heart.
“Ling Yun’s” power had only lasted for a short moment, and they had no doubt that it was the power of a level seven Divine Sovereign. However, the explosiveness of that power was so terrible that even the Divine Masters were feeling trepidation.
There was no one in the Northern Divine Region who hadn’t heard of Tian Guhu, leader of the Heavenly Sovereigns. He was a miracle child who could crush any other profound practitioner at his profound level. Yet Yun Che… had defeated and wounded him severely with only one finger!
“...” Tian Muyi was shocked to say the least. His mind was blank, and he felt like someone had affixed his soul to something immovable with nails. He was the strongest realm king in the Northern Divine Region and an impossibly powerful level eight Divine Master, but he couldn’t believe what was happening right before his eyes.
His lack of reaction lasted several breaths before he finally growled shakily, “Gu… hu!”
The growl also broke the stunned people in the Imperial Heaven Tower out of their shock and caused them to start screaming in confusion.
“Th… th… this is…”
“Ah… Sir Lonely Swan is…”
“Guhu…” Imperial Heaven Great Elder Tian Muhe muttered before his eyes turned sharp. Then, he launched himself toward Tian Guhu and Yun Che like a hawk while screaming angrily, “Die, fiend!”
Having seen the shocking blood showers and the soul wrenching sound of breaking bones, it didn’t take a genius to figure out just how severe Tian Guhu’s wounds were. The Imperial Heaven Realm would never forgive any outsider who hurt a hair on Tian Guhu, the son of the strongest realm king and the greatest pride of the Imperial Heaven Realm, much less injure him to this extent.
Tian Muyi’s fury was no less intense than Tian Muhe’s despite his shock. However, he shouted hastily when he saw Tian Muhe’s reaction. “Stop!”
But it was too late. Tian Muhe had already gotten close to the battlefield and was stretching his arm toward Yun Che. All sense of dignity thrown to the back of his mind, he was clearly determined to kill Yun Che on the spot.
No one was surprised that someone from the Imperial Heaven Realm would lose control and attack Yun Che. Tian Muhe, the Imperial Heaven Great Elder might not be nearly as powerful as Tian Muyi was, but he was still a powerful Divine Master. His aura felt as vast as the sea as he attacked Yun Che in anger.
Yun Che didn’t move a muscle. To an outsider, it might look like he was immobilized by the pressure of a Divine Master. In reality, a closer look would reveal that he wasn’t affected at all by the approaching danger. Tian Muhe’s power had failed to ruffle even Yun Che’s clothes.
The attack had happened in the blink of an eye, and most people hadn’t even come back to their senses yet. By the time they did, Tian Muhe had already gotten to the center of the battlefield, looking like he would kill Yun Che in the next instant. But suddenly, the world faded into black, and the outline of a butterfly flashed across his vision for an instant.
He felt like his power and his strength had slammed into an invisible wall of air. The wall felt incredibly soft and breezy, but somehow it caused cracks to appear all over his internal organs.
There was a strange noise, and Tian Muhe was thrown back to the Imperial Heaven Realm’s seats several times faster than he flew out from them.
Even his energy was somehow reflected back to himself before exploding around him.
Tian Muyi reacted immediately, but he wasn’t able to suppress Tian Muhe’s power completely. Hundreds of Imperial Heaven Realm members were thrown into the air while screaming and bleeding.
Huo Tianxing and the Great Viper Sage joined in to help Tian Muyi, and finally the explosion was dispelled.
Tian Muhe knelt weakly on the ground and threw up blood again and again. Instead of checking his injuries, Tian Muyi turned around to look at the Witch, Yao Die.
No one knew when Yao Die had gotten to her feet, only that she was withdrawing three fingers and saying coldly, “I said that no one is to interfere with this bet. You dare defy me, Imperial Heaven Sect?”
“N-never!” Tian Muyi clenched his fists tightly as his heart clenched with fear, not daring to even check out Tian Guhu’s condition. His soul had never trembled so hard in his life until now.
He was the Imperial Heaven Realm King. He had to control himself and avoid offending a Witch even in a situation like this.
“My lady, Muhe lost control because Guhu was wounded. He deserved the punishment he got,” Tian Muyi hurriedly said before bowing deeply. “Now that the bet is over, please allow me to check Guhu’s condition.”
Although Yao Die was wearing a mask, Tian Muyi could sense that she was calm and seemingly unsurprised by this outcome at all. It made his heart skip a beat.
In contrast to her calmness, Yama Ghost King Yan Sangeng had risen to his feet and was staring at Yun Che with impossible shock. His eyes still looked like a dead person’s, but that only amplified the unusualness of his reaction.
It was likely that not even the denizens of the Yama Realm had ever witnessed such a reaction from him.
Burning Moon Prince Fen Jieran’s reaction was even worse. Before this, his languid behavior made it clear that he was only here to have fun and enjoy a good show. But now, not only was he completely unaware that his sitting posture was ugly, his eyes were bulging like he was seeing a ghost or a god.
“Over?” Yao Die said serenely, “Tian Guhu said that Ling Yun wins if he can't defeat him in three moves. Since that turned out to be a joke, we can forget about it.”
Tian Muyi’s already ugly expression twitched visibly at the jab.
“But Ling Yun said that Tian Guhu wins if he can stand up after enduring three moves from him.” She turned and looked at Tian Guhu. “Ling Yun’s words shall be the foundation of this bet. It’s because the weak don’t have the right to make the rules.”
“Tian Guhu. This means that this bet is your win if you can stand up now.”
The weak don’t have the right to make the rules… Coming from the Witch, the careless line was the biggest insult Tian Guhu had ever heard in his life.
“This bet is your win if you can stand up now”... It sounded like the charity one offered to the weak.
“Ugh… Ah…” Up to now, Tian Guhu had refused to let out even a squeak of pain. But after hearing the words of the Witch, he started screaming hoarsely again and again. No one knew if it was out of pain or shame.
Tian Guhu struggled to get up to his feet, but it was an impossible task. His limbs had been cruelly broken by Yun Che, and his profound energy had suffered a complete breakdown. He felt like a worm wriggling before Yun Che’s lofty gaze, and every moment he spent on the ground was a dose of unprecedented humiliation.
Everyone stared blankly at the center of the battlefield. The arrogant Heavenly Sovereigns who were spurred into anger by Yun Che froze like statues because they never even dreamed of such an outcome.
The members of the Imperial Heaven Sect felt cold and icy. Everyone’s scalp was tingling with fear. In another setting, Tian Muyi would’ve charged forward and already helped his son, but the person standing right next to him was Witch Yao Die, the shadow of the Devil Queen! Her forceful attitude from earlier and her declaration just now pressed against his throat like a poisonous sting, preventing him and everyone else from taking even a step without permission.
“I surrender on behalf of Guhu,” Tian Muyi said.
“I already said that I am a witness to this bet. This means that no one is allowed to interfere until the bet is resolved on its own, even if you’re the Imperial Heaven Realm King himself!” Yao Die didn’t relent in the slightest. “Guhu must be the one to make the declaration of surrender… and who knows, maybe he still has enough strength in him to stand up?”
Tian Muyi felt like his internal organs were turning against themselves, but he dared not allow even the slightest bit of anger to appear on his face. He abruptly turned around and said quietly, “Guhu, you’ve lost… now surrender!”
Tian Muyi hadn’t gotten to his position without going through countless tribulations in his life. However, he was barely able to spit out the word “surrender”.
It was because he knew that his son had never lost a single fight until now, much less surrendered.
Guhu had clenched his teeth so hard that he actually crushed them. Blood instantly poured out of his lips. Although his struggle looked incredibly ugly, he never gave up on getting back up on his feet… Surrender? He couldn’t say it. He could never say it because he was Tian Guhu!
“Tian Guhu.” Yun Che looked indifferently at him from above. “Earlier, you said that my inaction was the same as killing them with my own hands.”
“I have the power to kill you, but I chose not to. Using your own words, doesn’t that mean I saved your life? I’m sure a kind, righteous person like you understands what it means to return a favor many times over, much less a favor as heavy as this.”
“So tell me, how should you repay your benefactor?”
Tian Guhu felt like he was listening to a dream’s murmur. More accurately, Tian Guhu felt like he was trapped in a nightmare even now.
He was famous throughout the Northern Divine Region. He had always been the one to crush his peers, so when someone offered to concede victory if he could withstand three moves… no, it wasn’t even three moves, just one. One move, and he had collapsed to the ground like a dying dog, unable to stand up no matter how he tried. How could he accept this? How could he endure this?
He slowly looked up and met Yun Che’s eyes. Suddenly, his struggles ceased.
It was because he couldn’t see any joy or satisfaction in Yun Che’s eyes or even any expression at all. There was only indifference, and perhaps a bit of ridicule that the man hid away because he found it to be beneath him to show it.
That’s right, Yun Che’s reaction to his success in defying all expectations and stunning everyone was indifference and boredom. It was almost as if… he was stepping on an ant he happened to pass by.
His gaze froze for several breaths, and suddenly his pride, his reluctance, his shock, his shame, his anger… everything except submission and self-derision had faded away into dust.
He thought that “Ling Yun” was a mad clown, but now, he realized that he was the lowly clown dancing foolishly before the man.
No matter how much he struggled, no matter how long he held on, all he really managed to do was wriggle limply on the ground. He didn’t even have the right to obtain scorn from his opponent.
He said the words and it was easier than he had imagined.
He ceased struggling and lay perfectly still on the ground. Although he hadn’t lost consciousness, he looked like all his energy was sucked out of his body. He didn’t wish to lift even a finger.
The words should’ve incited deep humiliation in him, but in that moment Tian Muyi thought that the heavens had spoken to him. He pulled Tian Guhu into his hands and enveloped him in profound energy. Then, his mouth finally caught up with his hands and shouted, “Quick! Bring over the Devil Heaven Powder!”
Everyone from the Imperial Heaven Sect instantly surrounded Tian Guhu. Doses of profound energy were injected hastily but carefully into his body to keep his injuries under control. However, Tian Guhu only stared blankly at the sky like he had lost his soul.
Outside, the people were deadly silent. Almost no one was whispering among themselves. They stared at Yun Che and engraved the name “Ling Yun” into their brains… Both profound practitioners were level seven Divine Sovereigns, but Ling Yun had severely injured Tian Guhu in a single blow. It didn’t take a genius to realize that something big was about to change in the Northern Divine Region forever.
“Is this everything the ‘leader of the Heavenly Sovereigns’ has?” Yun Che turned around and let out a quiet sneer. “Heavenly Sovereign, hah. To call you people trash would already be praising you.”
The Heavenly Sovereigns shook in anger again… but this time, no one said a word, nor put on a display of scorn or ridicule.
He was a Divine Sovereign who had defeated Tian Guhu in one move. He… really did have the right to humiliate all of them.
“This Heavenly Sovereign Assembly turned out to be quite the joke. What a waste of my time.” Yun Che said scornful words that not even the god emperors themselves would’ve used in front of these northern region experts. “Let’s go, Qianying.”
Qianye Ying’er got up and followed behind him.
A lifeless voice that sounded dead enough to freeze even the soul suddenly spoke up. It was Yan Sangeng. “Who are you people, and where do you come from.”
Everyone fell silent when the Yama Ghost King spoke. No one wanted to attract even the slightest bit of attention from him.
At the same time, an invisible aura wrapped around Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er.
But to everyone’s surprise, the Yama Ghost King's question failed to elicit any response from Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er. Not only that, their movement didn’t slow at all.
They were actually ignoring him completely!
The Imperial Heaven Tower was completely silent. The people were even holding their breath.
That was Yan Sangeng, the leader of the thirty-six Yama Ghosts of the Yama Realm! Who would dare ignore his questions!?
Yan Sangeng frowned slightly. That tiny bit of movement caused the temperature in the entire Imperial Heaven Tower to drop several degrees lower.
Just when everyone thought that Yan Sangeng was going to explode, a voice called out.
There was a flash of movement, and a butterfly-like figure appeared in front of Yun Che. It was none other than the Witch, Yao Die.
Yan Sangeng also stopped doing whatever he was planning to do.
Yun Che shot her a glance and said, “What is it?”
Despite facing a Witch, his voice was as cold and arrogant as ever. Everyone’s heart skipped a beat yet again.
But Yao Die didn’t looked offended by his tone in the slightest. She said, “In the name of the Witch, I would like to invite the two of you to join me in the Soul Stealing Realm as honored guests, please.”
Unlike how she spoke to Tian Muyi earlier, her voice was as gentle as a breeze. Her words especially shocked everyone—even Yan Sangeng and Fen Jieran—like a thunderbolt.
Yan Sangeng was the Yama Ghost King, and Fen Jieran was the Burning Moon Prince. They knew better than anyone the meaning behind Yao Die’s invitation.
How many people in the world had had the honor to receive an invitation to the Soul Stealing Realm from a Witch?
But before their shock had a chance to recede, Yun Che’s reply exploded beside their ears like a devilish thunder…
“You want me to visit the Soul Stealing Realm? Acceptable,” Yun Che replied while shooting a glance at Yao Die, but only once. He didn’t look at her at all after that. “But you are not qualified to be my inviter.”
“Go back and tell your master, Chi Wuyao, to invite me herself.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter