It was as if the three Yama Ancestors were possessed by an evil spirit. The ones who should be trying their hardest to protect Yama Realm wanted to give it away to an outsider. Worse than that was when Yan Tianxiao had decided to rebel against them, the first person to betray him was none other than the son he valued the most, the one he titled “Yama Crown Prince” himself. Not even in his wildest dreams could he have seen this coming.
“Crown Prince… have you gone insane?” Ninth Yama Devil Yan Tu bellowed.
Yan Tianxiao rushed to Yan Wu’s side and gathered his powers. After suppressing her wounds in the shortest amount of time possible, he finally turned around to face his own son. But he didn’t say anything. There was no anger in his eyes, only deep disappointment and sorrow.
Yan Wu slowly rose to her feet. Her face was pale, and her body was shaking. When she wiped away the blood at the corner of her lips, she glared at Yan Jie with eyes that looked like they were spitting fire.
This was the first time she addressed her older brother with his name. “You… animal!”
A series of expressions flashed across Yan Jie’s face in an instant. “The ancestors’ orders are as great as the Mandate of Heaven! Without the venerable ancestors, there would be no Yama Devils or us! You are the animal who tried to disobey your ancestors and overthrow them!”
If Yan Jie was panicking when he attacked Yan Wu, then he had calmed down fully after he finished shouting his piece… in fact, he had never been this cool-headed in his whole life.
He was even starting to feel that he had made the boldest, wisest and most ruthless choice he had ever made in his life!
An overcautious and overly compassionate person could never achieve anything big! He would not let this opportunity slip by him due to some misguided sense of compassion!
“Traitorous… son!” Yan Tianxiao muttered before letting out a long sigh.
He understood why Yan Jie had made such a choice.
Yan Jie was incredibly talented, and he was the inheritor of the power of the Yama Devil. He was unanimously chosen as the Crown Prince, and for a time it looked like his future was bright and limitless. No one had any doubt that he would become the next god emperor at the time.
But after Yan Wu was born, she was able to inherit the power of the Yama Devil at a very young age and grow to become a level ten Divine Master in just three thousand years. Her achievements had overshadowed his completely.
Yan Jie was deeply wary and afraid of his overachieving sibling while Yan Tianxiao saw it as a trial for his son to overcome, a motivator that would drive him to greater heights.
If he could endure the pressure coming from Yan Wu and hone himself into a fine blade, he would become a greater crown prince than he already was.
That was why Yan Tianxiao pretended to be partial toward Yan Wu in front of Yan Jie. He even went so far as to spread rumors that he would withdraw Yan Jie’s status and make Yan Wu the Crown Princess instead.
Unfortunately, judging from Yan Jie’s performance for the past couple of years, his son hadn’t lived up to his expectations. He was starting to feel that he had overestimated Yan Jie’s scale of ambition and endurance. But that didn’t mean he had given up on him. On the contrary, he remained optimistic that his son would eventually grow into a man he could be proud of.
What a sorrowful ending this was.
“Good, very good.” Yun Che’s eyes narrowed into dangerous slits as he praised Yan Jie. “You truly are the Yama Crown Prince.”
Yan Jie bowed quickly and said, “Thank you for your praise, Emperor Yun. It is only natural that a descendant obeys his ancestors’ will. Besides, Emperor Yun is the incarnation of the Devil Emperor and the heavenly law’s gift to the Northern Divine Region. Supporting you is the same as supporting the heavenly law!”
After that, he turned around to face his people again and said, “Royal father, sister, everyone. The ancestor’s will should always be obeyed, the heavenly law’s will even more so! Do not stray from the righteous path any longer!”
Both his attitude and his words were clearly harsher than before.
For the past few years, Yan Wu had beaten him in every department. Although he was the Yama Crown Prince, everyone including himself thought that he was vastly inferior compared to Yan Wu. Every time he faced her, he couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of shame.
But now, the chance to escape all of his shackles had arrived!
The invincible Yama Ancestors had thrown in their lot with Yun Che. The Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron had fallen into Yun Che’s hands. And behind Yun Che, there was the Soul Stealing Realm and the Burning Moon Realm he just captured a week or two ago.
Although he couldn’t understand the reason the Three Yama Ancestors were acting the way they were, it didn’t take a genius to figure out who had the advantage here. On Yun Che’s side, there were the Three Yama Ancestors, the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron, the Soul Stealing Realm and the Burning Moon Realm. On the Yama Realm’s side, their three protectors had defected and their lifeline was stolen...
It was clear that Yun Che had the upper hand through and through!
When the Three Yama Ancestors had suppressed Yan Tianxiao in an instant and displayed an unbelievable level of power, Yan Jie’s last vestiges of doubt were completely extinguished.
He knew the importance of being the first person to throw in his lot with his conquerors.
He also knew that the best way to prove his loyalty was to provide or demonstrate an unquestionable proof!
That was why he had attacked the strongest Yama Devil in the realm besides his royal father with all his power… it was both to demonstrate his loyalty and to vent the years of jealousy and frustration he had been secreting deep inside his eyes.
“Thankless dog!” Yan Tianxiao cursed before letting out another sigh. “This king thought that there is no one better than him the art of commanding the hearts of his men, but… even the greatest can miss the most obvious sometimes.”
He raised his spear again after his lamentation ended. This time though, he was pointing his weapon at his own son, not Yun Che.
“Heh. Yan Tianxiao, your son is a lot smarter than you are,” Yun Che ridiculed before adding in a low tone, “Cripple him.”
The anger in his royal father’s eyes and his amazing power caused Yan Jie to tense up like a taut string. However, the ruthless determination in his eyes only grew greater than before.
When Yun Che said the words, “cripple him”, Yan Jie thought for sure that he was ordering the Three Yama Ancestors to cripple his own royal father. That was why he was shocked to find three tremendous pressures enveloping him from behind.
Shocked, he tried to circulate his power and resist. However, the three dark powers behind him were so great that his power was forced back into his profound veins before he even managed to unleash them. His limbs were locked in a vice-like grip, and he couldn’t move even a muscle.
He was a Yama Devil. He was absolutely stronger than the average level nine Divine Master.
However, his opponents were the Three Yama Ancestors!
If Yan Tianxiao was the one who was caught by the three Yama Ancestors, not even he would be able to break free without considerable effort, much less Yan Jie.
“Emperor Yun, what… is the meaning of this!?” Yan Jie gritted his teeth and struggled with all his might, but no matter how much strength he used, he wasn’t able to move even half a finger.
It wasn’t just Yan Jie. Everyone else was caught off guard by the unexpected turn of events as well.
“Heh.” Yun Che let out a sneer but didn’t look in Yan Jie’s direction. “It’s one thing to not defend your people when they are in grave danger, and another to be the first person to betray them and even attack your own sister, especially when you’re the Crown Prince.”
“You really think that a dog like you deserves to serve me!?”
Face twisting, Yan Jie tried to defend himself. But before he could say anything, his pupils suddenly widened in horror. “Wha… what are you doing!”
Yun Che grabbed the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron and circulated his profound energy. When a black energy flew out of the cauldron and wrapped around Yan Jie, his terror immediately grew infinitely greater.
“Stop… stop… stop!” Yan Jie’s eyeballs threatened to fall out of their eye sockets, and his face was as white as a sheet of paper. Shaking from head to toe, he started struggling harder than ever before but no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t break free from the Yama Ancestors’ vice-like grip.
“Emperor Yun… I betrayed my royal father to throw in my lot with you! I was the first one to swear loyalty to you! You cannot do this… Emperor Yun! Emperor Yun! You cannot do this to me!”
All of his fear and begging turned into a scream of despair when the black energy started glowing brightly.
A stream of black power started leaving Yan Jie’s body and returning to the black cauldron.
It was the Yama Devil origin power Yan Jie had inherited from the cauldron. Now, Yun Che was taking it away from him.
“Ah… ahhhhh!” In complete contrast to his weakening, the desperation in Yan Jie’s voice only grew worse and worse. “Yun Che… Yun Che! I curse you to die a horrible death… save me royal father… save me… ahhhhhh…”
No one answered his cry for help. Not Yun Che, not the Yama Ancestors, not even the Yama Devils.
The Yama Ancestors were working together to suppress Yan Jie, and Yun Che was extracting his power using the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron. This was Yama Realm’s best chance to act if they wanted to defeat Yun Che.
But Yan Tianxiao didn’t move. He didn’t feel any joy from watching Yan Jie’s distorted expression and hearing his despairing screams. Instead, there was only deep pain and sorrow… despite Yan Jie’s betrayal, he was the son that he had loved and placed his highest expectations on for tens of thousands of years.
Besides that, he was stunned by the unbelievable sight he was seeing.
While it was true that the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron could withdraw any Yama Devil inheritance it passed on, the user must possess the Yama Devil’s bloodline.
It was the same with all other divine origin artifacts. The Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron should always be useless to an outsider.
But there was no denying the reality in front of him. Yun Che was clearly using the cauldron to extract Yan Jie’s Yama Devil inheritance from him!
Yan Jie’s cries grew weaker and weaker. In the end, he only had enough energy to sob despairingly.
When the dark waves subsided, and the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron stopped shining, Yan Jie’s Yama Devil powers were fully taken away.
To a Yama Devil, there was no crueler nightmare than this.
A pitch black ball of light appeared inside the Yama Devil Nether Crossing Cauldron. It burned quietly like a cold flame.
Yan Jie’s aura had declined all the way to the Divine Sovereign Realm, his original level of power had he not obtained the Yama Devil inheritance. His eyes were blank, and his complexion was deathly gray. He wasn’t even screaming or struggling anymore.
When Yun Che waved his hand again, the Three Yama Ancestors tossed the Crown Prince to the ground in front of Yan Tianxiao and Yan Wu.
“He is yours, Yama Emperor.” Yun Che finally shot Yan Jie a sideways look. “I have no intentions of touching this filth.”
Yan Jie lay on the ground limply like a dying dog. He neither rose to his feet nor begged for mercy. He knew full well what was going to happen to him, and he knew that begging… would only lose him the last bit of pitiful pride he had left.
The only thing sadder than his sealed fate was the fact that no one had approached him while he was lying on the ground. No one even wanted to drag him away.
Did he choose poorly?
Maybe. Maybe not.
He hadn’t acted completely out of rashness. He had at least considered his current standpoint, his future, the goods and the bads.
The only thing he failed to realize was that there was nothing Yun Che hated more than betrayal.
From the Yama Devils’ standpoint, he was a traitor who had betrayed his people during their most dire emergency and damaged one of the most important powers of his realm, Yan Wu, out of treacherous intent. Either offense was unforgivable to Yun Che.
“Very ruthless.” Yan Tianxiao only glanced once at Yan Jie before looking away completely. “But equally as stupid!”
“Oh?” Yun Che raised his eyebrows slightly.
“Hmph!” Yan Tianxiao said, “There’s no one who bites harder than a traitorous dog in this world! You shouldn’t have tossed away such a useful dog this quickly!”
Just ten breaths ago, Yan Jie was the pride of his life. Now, he was only a dog to him, at least verbally.
“Hahahahahaha.” Yun Che laughed loudly before shooting him a condescending look. “Yan Tianxiao, you still don’t understand your situation, do you? Why would I need a traitorous dog to sweep away all those who oppose me?”
Yun Che’s body suddenly flashed with dark light after he was done speaking. His black hair rose into the air, and a terrible storm gathered behind him before rising all the way to the heavens.
At the center of the storm was the entrance to the Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness. One… ten… a thousand… ten thousand… innumerable storms of darkness started surging into the sky like abyssal dragons, howling and screeching until they filled up the sky of the entire Devil Palace of Eternal Darkness, and even the Yama Imperial District itself.
When the sky was completely blocked, all that was left on the ground, was eternal darkness.
In that moment, every living being, every plot of land, and every inch of space in the entire Yama Imperial District was clutched by the invisible, choking, inescapable pressure of death, darkness and despair.
It was as if the apocalypse was just seconds away from destroying them all.
“Ah… ah… ahhhh…” Yan Tianxiao subconsciously walked backward as he stared at the sky. His pupils were stretched about as wide as his eyes would allow. An instant ago, he still looked like the mighty Yama Emperor. Now, he was bending under an overwhelming emotion of shock and terror and whimpering from the bottom of his soul.
“Wh… wh… wha… ahhhh!”
The same screams and terror of despair could be heard throughout the entire Yama Imperial District as well.
It was because the darkness that had blotted out the blue sky itself… contained enough power to annihilate the entire Yama Imperial District instantly!
The familiar sensation informed everyone that the dark aura was the yin energy from the Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness… somehow, Yun Che had summoned it from the depths of hell and blotted out the sky of the entire Yama Imperial District with it!
Forget the Yama Devils, this amount of power was enough to suffocate and terrify even the Three Yama Ancestors.
“Do you understand now?” Yun Che whispered. All he needed to do was wave his arm downward, and the giant sea of power would crash to the ground and bury everything in eternal darkness.Previous Chapter Next Chapter