Yama Realm, Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness.
Jie Xin and Jie Ling, Ye Li, Yao Die, Qing Ying, Lan Ting, Hua Jin, Yu Wu, and Chanyi… all nine Witches were sitting on the ground and circulating profound energy.
Surrounding them was a cyclone of primordial yin energy that had been cooped up for an unknown number of years. Every time it roared, it sounded like a hurricane that couldn’t wait to destroy the world.
Yun Che was floating in the air with his eyes closed. He was the one who was pointing at the Witches and injecting the dark, violent energy into their bodies. But not only were they perfectly unharmed, their strength was merging with the new energy in a way that defied all logic and common sense in this world.
After the three king realms had submitted to Yun Che and crowned him the Devil Master, he could finally use the other impossible ability of the Eternal Calamity of Darkness without any scruples.
The name of the ability was called “Dark Growth”!
It was why his eyes had lit up when Qianye Ying’er had told him about the Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness, the heart of the Northern Divine Region.
Depending on the kind of environment he was in, he could absorb the energy of the elements around him and make them his own power.
The Law of Nothingness could do this. The Heretic God’s power over the elements combined with the absorption ability of the Great Way of the Buddha could also do this.
But none of those powers could compete with the Eternal Calamity of Darkness when the target energy was darkness.
Not only could Yun Che convert darkness profound energy into his own power, he could impart it to another person as well.
Naturally, the person he was imparting his powers to couldn’t absorb them nearly as well as himself… but it was still an impossibly powerful ability!
Besides that, the Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness was absolutely perfect for this project!
By using the Eternal Calamity of Darkness, Yun Che was able to connect the Nine Witches’ bodies and profound veins in one “circuit” and transform the primordial yin energy of this place into their power.
Each session lasted twenty-four hours. After that, they would need ten days at minimum to stabilize and adapt to their new power.
In other words, not even the Witches, Yama Devils, and Moon Eaters could withstand more than twenty four hours of Dark Growth per session before having to take a rest.
But it was absolutely worth it. They gained so much power that even they were frightened by their own progress.
Outside the Bone Sea of Eternal Darkness, Chi Wuyao and Qianye Ying’er were engaged in a casual conversation above the Yama Imperial District.
“Tian Guhu has been calling himself a ‘Devil Child’ as of late. He is gathering more and more young profound practitioners under his banner and using that manpower to maintain order in all the major star realms and help the weak. The actual effectiveness of his methods aside, it is a fact that he has a tremendous amount of influence among the younger generation, and that countless people have responded to his call. On the surface at least, it seems like the Devil Master’s coronation was a positive influence to the entire Northern Divine Region.”
“Our Devil Master has found a gem indeed,” Chi Wuyao praised.
“Hmph, it’s only natural that a devilish beast could smell the devil in another person’s heart.” Suddenly, Qianye Ying’er shot a glance at Chi Wuyao before letting out a chuckle. She said in a strange tone, “I’m honestly surprised you still have your vital yin. If the public were to learn about this—the useless men who fell to your honey trap besides—wouldn’t they suspect that our Devil Master is impotent? Especially considering that you are his empress?”
“Eeeeh?” Chi Wuyao intentionally stretched out her exclamation of surprise before responding with a seductive glance. “Now that you mention it, it is a pretty saddening state. I am the newly wed here, but our heartless Devil Master spent all day and night loving another woman instead.”
Qianye Ying’er raised her eyebrows. “It’s not my fault if you can’t grab his attention.”
Qianye Ying’er was still pretty hostile toward Chi Wuyao.
But unlike before, it was less insidious and more… competitive.
Furthermore, Qianye Ying’er was well aware that it wasn’t that Chi Wuyao was incapable of turning Yun Che’s head in her direction. She was simply too busy to afford any distraction right now.
After the empress coronation ceremony was over, Chi Wuyao had been buried in a mountain of work. Yun Che’s work load didn’t even come close to hers.
Chi Wuyao knew very well why Qianye Ying’er had pushed for her to become Yun Che’s empress, but she had never pointed out the truth or rejected the responsibility.
It was what she wanted.
“Well, of course I’m inferior to you,” Chi Wuyao replied. “I am as pure as a piece of white paper, but you have been watered day and night by the Devil Master himself for years.”
“I’m pretty sure that your beauty isn’t the only thing that is unrivaled under the heavens anymore, ‘Brahma Monarch Goddess’. How can this queen possibly compete against you? Sigh.”
Chi Wuyao sighed sadly.
Qianye Ying’er curled her lips before asking, “So, all the men you ever ‘had’ were puppets?”
“Of course.” Chi Wuyao smiled faintly. “You may not know this, but my view of men was pretty similar to yours.”
“?” Qianye Ying’er turned her face partially toward Chi Wuyao.
“Back when you were still called the ‘Lady Goddess’, you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You found men to be absolutely loathsome creatures, and there were probably only two categories of men to you: useful tools and useless trash.”
“...” Qianye Ying’er didn’t retort. It was a perfect description of her old self, and even her new self. There was just a special exception to that rule, now.
“This queen was born with a wisp of the Nirvana Devil Emperor’s soul inside her. I was nowhere as noble as you, of course, but soul wise I was ‘taught’ to look down on the entire world from the very beginning.”
“Besides that, my soul especially disliked men, you see. Just like you, I view them as useful tools or useless trash only. After all, how could a mortal man ever have the privilege to touch my body? Their only use was to become my faithful puppets and surrender all their power and wealth to me.”
“What about the Clear Sky God Emperor?” Qianye Ying’er asked. “Did you lose control of him?”
“That’s right,” Chi Wuyao said. “The reason I chose him was because he was the weakest and easiest to soul steal.”
“But even the weakest god emperor of them all was still a god emperor. Despite having successfully removed his mental defenses and stolen his soul, his struggle was still so fierce that I could’ve lost control any moment. In the end, I had no choice but to shatter his soul and turn him into a breathing, but soulless puppet.”
She sighed again as if she was regretting the loss even to this day. “It was a shame to lose such an excellent puppet.”
Qianye Ying’er narrowed her eyes slightly before commenting, “Your cruelty and ruthlessness far exceed mine.”
“Hehehehe, indecisiveness is the greatest obstacle to one’s ambition. It is the same for men or women.”
Chi Wuyao’s breasts bounced slightly as she let out a giggle. “A woman’s body is much finer compared to a man’s. Speaking of which, would you like to taste for yourself the fineness of the nine children I raised?”
The Devil Queen’s voice was something that tickled the soul and befuddled the heart. If this was the first time Qianye Ying’er made contact with Chi Wuyao, she would’ve lost the mental battle already. Instead, she replied in an equally sweet and soft voice, “I think I would much rather know how you felt when you, someone who disliked men so much was pushed down in the Flame God Realm.”
As promised, Chi Wuyao had told Qianye Ying’er her true “identity” after the coronation ceremony was over.
She didn’t skimp on the details either.
As a result, the two women had unknowingly become closer to each other.
“Shouldn’t you know that better than anyone in the world?”
The Devil Queen’s counterattack was instantaneous. A kind of unspeakable emotion silently clouded her already bewitching pupils. “It was that day both Mu Xuanyin and I swore to ourselves that we would catch him no matter where he went, and never let him out of our grasp again.”
“Hmm?” A half-smile graced Qianye Ying’er’s lips. “Is that why you’re so set on Yun Che? Because he ‘slept’ with you that time?”
She knew it wasn’t, of course, but she would be a fool to let go of such a wonderful opportunity to mock Chi Wuyao.
“But of course!” Chi Wuyao said. “I, the queen of devils, was sullied by a little brat! How can I not settle my score with him?”
Her laugh in that moment could’ve stunned anyone in the world.
“...” Qianye Ying’er fell silent again.
“Speaking of Mu Xuanyin though, there is something this queen is quite concerned about.” Chi Wuyao suddenly withdrew her smile.
“What? Are you concerned because Yun Che is an animal who would sully his own master?” Qianye Ying’er chided, but she quickly turned serious when she noticed the odd expression on Chi Wuyao’s face.
Staring aimlessly toward the front, Chi Wuyao explained. “When this queen had imbued a wisp of her soul onto Mu Xuanyin, she noticed that the Ice Phoenix’s Divine Soul was also living inside her.”
“At the beginning, the Ice Phoenix Divine Soul only passively observed the world outside through Mu Xuanyin’s eyes. But after Yun Che appeared, she decided to make Mu Xuanyin favor him unconditionally. I didn’t stop her to avoid being detected.”
“After that, the Ice Phoenix Divine Soul’s rule vanished just before the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor left Primal Chaos. Even that divine soul itself… and the soul origin it came from disappeared completely after that.”
“But after the divine soul disappeared, I noticed that it had left behind a strange pool of crystalline, blue light in her soul sea.” 
“And what is that?” Qianye Ying’er asked. Mu Xuanyin had been gone for years. There must be a reason Chi Wuyao was bringing it up now.
But Chi Wuyao shook her head. “I wouldn’t be puzzled to this day if I knew what it was. I even probed it before to no avail, but…”
Her voice grew a bit more distant. “When she passed away outside Blue Pole Star, when my soul parted ways with hers, I think… I saw the blue light wrapping around her soul.”
Qianye Ying’er frowned deeply. “And what does that indicate?”
Chi Wuyao shook her head again. “I don’t know. I went back to verify the truth repeatedly, and I could tell you that Mu Xuanyin was definitely dead. But…”
She stopped talking and stared at Qianye Ying’er. “Don’t tell Yun Che about this. If a miracle really were to happen in the future, he will see it. But if he learns about this, and the miracle turns out to be false hope… the pain would be as bad as the beginning.”
Qianye Ying’er stared fixedly at Chi Wuyao. She couldn’t understand what the latter meant by the word “miracle”.
Qianye Ying’er didn’t know why Yun Che was able to return to the God Realm despite having been “killed” at the Star God Realm. Just like everyone else, she thought that he had used some special method to escape to safety when the Evil Infant broke out.
But Chi Wuyao knew everything.
She knew that he had come back to life thanks to the Nirvana of the Phoenix!
There was a piece of unremarkable knowledge in the incomplete memories of the Nirvana Devil Emperor.
According to that memory, before the god race and the devil race’s conflict devolved into an all-out war, the two divine beasts who were thought to be sworn enemies due to their elements being the complete opposite of the other, the Phoenix and the Ice Phoenix...
Used to belong to the same race.
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