Chapter 1640 - The Nine Witches (1)

The sacred region of the Soul Stealing Realm was a place that tolerated no misbehavior at all. It had been the case since its founding until the arrival of Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er. The commotion was so loud that every dark expert within the vicinity had turned their attention toward the gate in alarm.

Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er slowly landed on the ground. Right in front of them was the central gate leading into the sacred region. The four people they attacked just a moment ago were currently lying on the ground and writhing in pain, unable to stand up for a long time.

These guards were only early stage Divine Sovereigns, but this was the central gate to the Soul Stealing sacred ground that they were guarding. They could easily become the realm king of a middle star realm if they so wished.

The guards’ source of pride came from their strength and their sacred duty, so they refused to reveal their shock and fear even though they were rattled by their immediate defeat. The guard in the middle said, “No matter who you are, you have committed an unforgivable sin by attacking the sacred region… you will not walk away from this alive!”

Rumble!

A thunderous detonation of profound energy came from the front right after the guard was finished speaking, and three hundred black figures locked their auras firmly around Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er in just a couple of breaths. The air and even space itself was frozen solid.

Half of these profound practitioners were Divine Sovereigns, and even the weakest among them was at least a middle stage Divine King. The speed at which they organized themselves and gathered around the gates was especially impressive. The commotion reached as far as hundreds of kilometers, scaring away every profound practitioner within the vicinity like headless chickens.

“What’s going on?”

Suddenly, a peaceful voice that didn’t mesh well with the tense atmosphere at all entered everyone’s ears. The voice sounded like it came from far away when it started speaking, but by the end of the short question it sounded like it was right beside them.

A figure slowly manifested to full from behind the barrier before stepping outside. It was a tall, handsome man who looked to be around eighteen or nineteen years old. His aura wasn’t sharp, but it was as quiet and as vast as the sea itself.

More importantly, he was a level six Divine Master!

Both Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er frowned a little. This man was an unusual one; the kind who would attract everyone’s attention no matter where he went. It wasn’t because he was a middle stage Divine Master, however… it was because he looked like a living god.

The young man’s face looked like it was carved out of exquisite jade, and his skin looked white and flawless. His gaze was cold and intimidating, but it did little to hide the fact that his eyes looked like limpid pools of autumn waters. He had vermillion lips that were rarely seen even among most women, and his fingers were long and slender.

In short, he was so beautiful that he could make a woman go mad with jealousy.

The word “beauty” normally didn’t apply to a man, but it did to him. It fitted him as naturally as breathing. It wouldn’t be surprising if some people mistook him as a poorly disguised woman either.

The guards’ faces changed the second they saw the man. The nervous tension that gripped everyone suddenly disappeared without warning as the guards struggled to their feet and bowed respectfully. “Greetings, Spirit Lord. These two intruders have invaded the sacred region and attacked us without warning. We… we will capture them immediately.”

Spirit Lord?

Qianye Ying’er shot the man an interested look. She had an idea who he was now.

“It’s fine,” the man said indifferently. “I am here, so it is no longer necessary for you to take action.”

All the guards looked incredibly shocked by his words. The first four guards said hastily, “You are as precious as the heaven itself, Spirit Lord. You should not have to deign to handle two peasants yourself.”

“Peasants?” The man glanced at Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er. “Anyone who dares hurt a member of the Soul Stealing Realm right before the sacred region is either exceedingly foolish, or secure in the knowledge that they’re safe. Considering that they are both level seven Divine Sovereigns, it is unlikely that they are the former.”

“Did the Devil Queen not recently inform all of us that something big was going to visit the sacred region very soon? We cannot allow anything untoward to happen during this time. So please, retreat and leave this to me.”

He made a pushing motion with his palm, and all the guards behind him were pushed gently back into the barrier. Soon, the beautiful man, Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er were the only ones left in the area.

The Spirit Lord placed his hands behind his back and smiled slightly. The unconscious gesture actually looked surprisingly flirtatious. “Two level seven Divine Sovereigns are strong enough to roam ninety percent of the realms without fear, but I doubt your arrogance has grown enough to overwhelm even your common sense. Now speak. What is your goal?”

“Or should I say…” His eyebrows sank, and his gaze turned penetrating. “Who are your masters!?”

Qianye Ying’er whispered, “That woman isn’t back yet? Heh, is she doing this on purpose?”

Yun Che gave no indication that he heard anything at all.

The beautiful man frowned deeply. He thought that he was unleashing enough aura and soul pressure to crush any level seven Divine Sovereign’s mind, but not only did the two intruders look perfectly unaffected, they were talking among themselves using sound transmissions.

“Speaking of which, this man is quite pretty, isn’t he?” Qianye Ying’er seemed to be comparing the Spirit Lord and Yun Che’s looks very seriously. “At the very least, he’s a lot better looking than you are.”

The beautiful man frowned deeper. There were two reasons he had deigned to handle these two intruders himself. One, he just happened to be around the corner when it happened. Two, he didn’t want any trouble to happen right after the Devil Queen had given an order. However, he was still the Soul Stealing Spirit Lord. No one had ever dared to disrespect him, much less treat him like he was nothing but thin air.

And these intruders were just Divine Sovereigns!

He smiled and dragged out his voice. “Do you know… who you’re talking to?”

This time, Qianye Ying’er favored him with her gaze and observed him from head to toe. Then, she said, “There are nine Witches, twenty-seven Soul Spirits and three thousand six hundred Soul Attendants who serve the Soul Stealing Realm. They call you the Spirit Lord, so I’m assuming that you’re the leader of the twenty-seven Soul Spirits. Unfortunately…”

“Unfortunately?” The beautiful man narrowed his eyes.

Qianye Ying’er turned toward Yun Che and said with a disgusted tone, “Unfortunately, Chi Wuyao needs to reevaluate her taste in boy-toys. I will admit that her nine Witches are impressive, but you… why she would ever favor a girlish boy like you, I will never understand.”

The world fell silent, and the guards behind the barrier turned deathly pale. The beautiful man had been playing it cool so far, but the second Qianye Ying’er completed her taunt, his face distorted as if a million worms were crawling across his face. Fury and killing intent exploded out of him like an active volcano.

“You... are courting death!!”

Boom!

His profound energy exploded like a bomb, and the sacred region turned as dark as the night. “You dare insult the Devil Queen? Not even a million deaths will be enough to redeem you!”

“Heh.” Qianye Ying’er’s golden hair danced as she took in the sight of the enraged man with a wider, more scornful smile. “Are you sure you want to attack us here?”

But Qianye Ying’er’s words did nothing to change the beautiful man’s mind. The woman had touched the one reverse scale she should never have touched, and he was going to make her pay for it no matter what. Without a word, he gathered the darkness around him and acted to swallow both Qianye Ying’er and Yun Che whole.

It was at this moment the cool voice of a woman reached them.

“Stop.”

Her words were as short and as clear as a heaven pool. They were all it took to stop the beautiful man’s body and energy in their tracks.

A jade green light appeared out of nowhere and penetrated the rich darkness the Spirit Lord had gathered. A while later, it slowly diluted its power into nothing.

Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er looked up at the same time. Blue light was dancing all across the sky like quiet fireflies.

A woman with a slender figure was standing amidst the shower of light. Wearing a blue dress and bathing in the light, she looked like a fantastical dream.

The second she showed up, the Spirit Lord withdrew his aura and knelt on one knee without any hesitation. The guards behind the barrier did the same and bowed their heads deeply as well. Not one of them dared to look up or allow their gaze to linger on the woman for any longer than necessary. It was almost as if they were welcoming a god.

“Shiyan greets Lord Qing Ying!”

If it wasn’t clear enough before, the beautiful man’s attitude and words shed light to the woman’s identity completely.

“Another Witch,” Qianye Ying’er whispered.

This was the fourth Witch they had seen after Chanyi, Hua Jin and Yao Die.

Yun Che penetrated the light with his spirit perception and observed the new Witch for a moment.

The nine Witches never showed their true faces in public, and this “Qing Ying” was no exception. She wasn’t covering her face with a mask like Chanyi, but the lifelike lights danced around her and kept her face hidden behind their mysterious glow. All an outsider could see was a hazy shadow.

The woman in a blue dress landed and spread out her consciousness. She immediately figured out what was going on. Although this was the first time she saw Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er, she knew exactly who they were.

After all, they were the reason she returned to the sacred region in the first place.

“You wound our Soul Attendant the moment you visit our realm? Hmph. You are as arrogant and out of control as the rumors say,” Qing Ying said in a chilly tone. She didn’t care to hide the anger in her voice at all.

“They were the ones who attacked us first,” Qianye Ying’er replied coldly. “Is this how the Soul Stealing Realm treats their guests?”

“Lord Qing Ying!” The beautiful man rose to his feet with a deep frown. “Whoever they are and whatever their motives, they have committed crimes they must be punished for! Whatever your judgment may be, please allow Shiyan to capture them first!”

“Capture?” Qing Ying snorted. “They killed Yan Sangeng and injured Yao Die. Do you really think you can ‘capture’ them?”

“Wh… what!?” All of his fury turned into shock. Realization hit him when the beautiful man looked at Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er again. “You mean they’re…”

“Retreat,” Qing Ying said. “This isn’t something you should interfere with.”

“But…” For a moment, the beautiful man looked rattled and shocked. But his anger reignited, and his gaze quickly turned cold once more. “But they insulted our queen! Every Soul Attendant here can attest to this!”

“...” Behind the blue light, Qing Ying furrowed her eyebrows. A while later, she said stiffly, “Retreat.”

The Witch’s words couldn’t be disobeyed. Everyone could sense the boiling anger seething in Qing Ying’s heart, but still she decided to hold herself back. It could only be the will of the Devil Queen.

“I obey.”

Given no choice, the beautiful man took a few steps backward, gritted his teeth and looked away from Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er. He was afraid that he would lose control of himself if he looked at them any longer.

“I am Qing Ying, the fifth Witch of the Soul Stealing Realm.” She introduced herself indifferently. Her eyes were hidden, but it didn’t take a genius to sense the disgust in her gaze. “Yun Che, Brahma Monarch Goddess, I don’t like you at all, but I cannot disobey my master’s will. Come in.”

Qianye Ying’er and Yun Che bullied Chanyi, injured Yao Die, and attacked their Soul Attendants the moment they appeared in the Soul Stealing Realm. Naturally, she didn’t feel any good will toward them.

Unfortunately, goodness and politeness didn’t exist in Qianye Ying’er’s dictionary.

“My name is Yun Qianying.” She corrected Qing Ying. “Don’t make the same mistake again.”

“Hmph!” Qing Ying turned around and walked toward the gate of the sacred region. She waved a hand, and the barrier melted away to admit the guests.

Qianye Ying’er shot Yun Che a look before falling behind Qing Ying with him. They passed through the barrier they could’ve destroyed anytime they wanted to and entered the dark sacred region of the Soul Stealing Realm.

“Where is your master?” Qianye Ying’er asked.

“...” Qing Ying ignored her, but her lips had been moving almost indiscernibly all this time. It looked like she was speaking to someone in secret.

“That pretty face earlier is called the Spirit Lord, isn’t he? Is he the leader of the twenty-seven Soul Spirits?” Qianye Ying’er asked again with a ridiculing smile.

Qing Ying remained expressionless, but when she recalled Chi Wuyao’s instructions she sucked in a deep breath and forced herself to reply without turning around. “His name is Sheng Shiyan. He is the leader of the twenty-seven Soul Spirits and the grand hall master of the twenty-seven Soul Halls.”

“I knew it.” Qianye Ying’er smiled. “It sounds like he’s second only to the Devil Queen and the Witches. Knowing how ‘beautiful’ he is, I’m not surprised by your master’s ‘treatment’ of him.”

Qing Ying frowned deeply before declaring in a chilly tone, “The reason Sheng Shiyan climbed to his current status today is all due to his extraordinary talents and loyalty. It has nothing to do with his appearance!”

Yun Che shot Qianye Ying’er a sidelong glance. He knew what she was thinking.

As Qianye Ying’er had thought earlier, Sheng Shiyan was the leader of the twenty-seven Soul Spirits. This meant that he commanded the twenty-seven Soul Halls, and that he was the highest leader after the Witches.

The Soul Stealing Realm’s administrative structure was very different from the other king realms. Each Soul Hall was responsible for a region in the Soul Stealing Realm and its subordinate star realm. Of course, the leaders of the Soul Hall were the infamous twenty-seven Soul Spirits.

The Witches were directly subordinated under the Devil Queen, and they had no exact responsibilities to speak of. However, they had the power to utilize any Soul Hall’s manpower and resources, meaning that they had basically infinite power and could do whatever they wanted within the confines of the Soul Stealing Realm. Besides having to obey the Devil Queen herself, their authority was basically equal to the Devil Queen’s.

This was an impossible system in any other king realm or star realm.

The only reason the Soul Stealing Realm could exist the way it was was because the Witches could never betray the Devil Queen.

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