Jun Wuming and Jun Xilei were two of the people who chose not to see off the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor.
When they saw Luo Changsheng and Huo Poyun, they also saw the unconscious Yun Che… and the dark, hateful energy that was emanating from his body.
Huo Poyun finally came to a stop. His path was blocked by the Sword Sovereigns, and his back was cut off by Luo Changsheng. He gritted his teeth tightly, but there was absolutely nothing he could do at this point.
Luo Changsheng quickly caught up to Huo Poyun, but his powerful self-cultivation prevented him from disabling Huo Poyun or snatching Yun Che from Huo Poyun’s hands. Bowing to Jun Wuming respectfully, he said, “Junior Luo Changsheng greets Senior Sword Sovereign.”
Jun Wuming nodded slightly before shooting a glance at Jun Xilei. He could sense her unsteady aura and the conflict inside her mind.
“Lei’er,” Jun Wuming said, “I am very glad to see how far you’ve come after three thousand years of cultivation in the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm, but you haven’t been able to form your ‘heart of sword’ even to this day, have you? It is because it is trapped by the ‘cage’ known as the secular world. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Jun Xilei: “...”
“To obey your heart, is also to obey your heart of sword,” Jun Wuming said quietly.
Jun Xilei slowly raised her hand and gripped the Nameless Sword behind her back.
The moment the Nameless Sword exited its sheath, the surrounding meteorites were immediately ground to dust by its invisible sword aura.
Back at the Conferred God Battle, Jun Xilei had used the Nameless Sword by force and successfully injured Yun Che deeply in two strikes. However, not only was Yun Che able to stop her from unleashing her third strike, he had unknowingly carved his image into her “heart of sword” as well. As a result, she wasn’t able to form her “heart of sword” completely despite three thousand years of cultivation.
Today, Jun Xilei had full control over the Nameless Sword. She was also titled the “Little Sword Sovereign” in the God Realm.
Her sword domain came to life instantly, and tens of thousands of swords appeared all around her… however, her target was Luo Changsheng, not Yun Che.
Besides that, a powerful energy wave slammed into Huo Poyun before he could react and that knocked him far away from Luo Changsheng.
Huo Poyun was stunned for a second, but he quickly came back to himself and dashed away like a meteor.
Shocked, Luo Changsheng was just about to give chase when Jun Xilei trapped him within her sword domain.
He was powerful enough that defeating Jun Xilei was just a matter of time, but the Sword Sovereign was right next to her. He said urgently while he was nullifying Jun Xilei’s attacks, “Senior Sword Sovereign, Fairy Jun, you may not know this because you haven’t been to the edge of the Primal Chaos, but Yun Che has just proven himself to be a devil person! Right now, all the god emperors including the Dragon Monarch himself have ordered Yun Che to be killed at all costs. There will be severe consequences if we don’t end him here!”
But Jin Xilei’s sword aura only became even more violent. At first glance it seemed like Jun Wuming was planning to let his pupil do all the work, but a careful observer would notice three needle-sized sword beams forming behind his old pupils.
Luo Changsheng’s eyes changed slightly. At this point, even a fool would realize that the Sword Sovereigns had chosen to protect Yun Che despite the fact that he was now a devil person.
He dropped all the honorifics and said in a low tone, “Senior Sword Sovereign, you understand the consequences of defending a devil person, don’t you?”
“He is a devil person, true,” Jun Wuming said in an even tone, but there was no mistaking the power behind his voice. “But he is also our benefactor and the man who saved the world. His malice is but a speck of dust compared to the kindness he has done unto this world.”
“Those who wish to kill him aren't doing so because they hate devils or because they want to defend the world. It is because they are driven by jealousy and the ugly desire not to be surpassed forever.”
A bloody hole suddenly appeared between Luo Changsheng’s shoulder blades. An instant later, dozens of identical wounds appeared across his entire body as well.
He had suffered a heavy blow after Huo Poyun ambushed him at close range, and he had ignored it to chase after Huo Poyun with all his power. Now, he was even facing both Jun Xilei and Jun Wuming at once. The latter might not have attacked him yet, but the sheer amount of pressure he was exuding was enough to put him in grave danger.
Luo Changsheng glared hatefully at the duo blocking his way as the Sword Sovereign continued, “For fifty thousand years, this one has experienced many things and saved countless lives throughout his life. He is not exaggerating his self-worth when he calls himself a man of great virtue and prestige, is he? Even the world has decided to honor him with the title ‘Sovereign’ for all the good deeds he has done.”
“Everyone knows that you bear a grudge against Yun Che, and that the Flame God Huo Poyun is a close friend of Yun Che’s. If you were to accuse me and Huo Poyun of defending Yun Che, do you think that the world would choose to believe your words over mine and Huo Poyun’s? If this sovereign were to deny your accusation and clear Huo Poyun from any wrongdoing, how do you think the world would react? Do you think they’ll believe you, or scorn you for your pettiness?”
Savage fury peeked out of Luo Changsheng’s features for an instant.
When he was younger, he was the famous Young Master Changsheng no one in the Eastern Divine Region hadn’t heard of. When he emerged from the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm as a level seven Divine Master, his achievement was crowned as a miracle that shook the entire God Realm.
But even a kid could tell that his reputation was millions of miles behind the Sword Sovereign’s.
If he were to declare that the Sword Sovereigns were defending Yun Che, all he would achieve was slapping his own face—unless he had enough proof.
Making up his mind, Luo Changsheng abruptly tore himself away from Jun Xilei in a burst of lightning.
Panting heavily, he said, “Alright, I’ll admit defeat today. I’ll back off. I swear I won’t tell anyone about your involvement… and of course Huo Poyun’s as well.”
But the pressure pressing down against his body didn’t disappear. Jun Xilei was still pointing the Nameless Sword at his solar plexus.
“Master, I don’t trust him,” Jun Xilei said coldly.
It was just an excuse. Luo Changsheng could accuse Jun Wuming all he liked, but the only person who would be besmirched was himself.
However, they couldn’t let Luo Changsheng go right now. It was very likely that he would try to track down Huo Poyun and Yun Che the second he slipped away from their senses.
Urgency burned inside Luo Changsheng’s heart, but he maintained a calm facade and tried to reassure the duo again. That changed immediately when he sensed three tiny sword beams around him.
All three sword beams were colorless, shapeless, and even auraless, but his wildly beating heart was telling him that they were as real as the blood in his body, and every one of them was pressing a vital point.
“Imagination… Sword,” Luo Changsheng muttered. His voice was clearly trembling.
Even Jun Xilei was staring blankly at the three sword beams.
“You recognize this sword?” Jun Wuming commented indifferently. “It looks like your master truly hides very little from you.”
Barring the king realms, Luo Guxie was supposedly the number one profound practitioner of the Eastern Divine Region, and the Sword Sovereign the second.
No one had ever witnessed a battle between the duo.
At first, the Sword Sovereign was the strongest profound practitioner behind the king realms. He was eventually replaced by Luo Guxie because her aura was clearly stronger after she returned to the Holy Eaves Realm.
But a long time ago, Luo Guxie had told Luo Changsheng personally that she had challenged the Sword Sovereign to a fight before she returned to the Holy Eaves Realm.
However, he had almost killed her with his “Imagination Sword”.
Later on, Luo Guxie was hailed to be the stronger profound practitioner of the two, but the Sword Sovereign didn’t raise an objection. It was because he was nearing the end of his lifespan, and he couldn’t care less about his fame at that point. His biggest desire at that point in time was to find a worthy successor.
The heavens answered his wish and granted him Jun Xilei.
It was why Luo Changsheng had always acted the respectful junior before the Sword Sovereign. It was why the king realms respected the Sword Sovereign more than Luo Guxie.
Seniority? Seniority was but a joke. Strength was the biggest factor in earning one’s respect.
Besides that, the Sword Sovereign’s faction couldn’t be measured by cultivation alone. Their sword arts were even scarier than their cultivation.
“Senior Sword Sovereign… are you going to kill me?” Luo Changsheng asked quietly. He dared not move even a muscle.
Luo Changsheng wasn’t surprised that Jun Wuming hadn’t joined in on Jun Xilei’s attack. He was the Sword Sovereign. He wouldn’t deign to attack a junior.
But he never imagined that he would summon the “Imagination Sword” that put a frightful expression on his master’s face every time she spoke about it.
It was ridiculous. Even he didn’t think that he deserved the “honor” of being killed by this sword technique.
“Hehe.” Jun Wuming chuckled. “Why would I kill you? Your master and I are barely acquaintances, and there is no bad blood between you and I. Taking your life now would only bring endless calamity upon me and my disciple.”
The Sword Sovereign then dashed next to Luo Changsheng before extending an old hand. “Now, please open up your soul so I may wipe away the last hour of your memory.”
“...” Luo Changsheng gritted his teeth and turned as white as a sheet.
It was foolish to allow another person to enter one’s soul. If the other party bore any ill intention toward him at all, they could easily destroy his soul sea.
However, the Sword Sovereign was right. He didn’t have a reason or the courage to kill him because it would harm Jun Xilei’s future... If he agreed, he would lose the initiative completely.
But if he disagreed… the energy pressing against his vital spots was the Imagination Sword that nearly took his master’s life!
“Okay…” In the end, Luo Changsheng had no choice but to submit to the threat. “This junior… obeys his senior’s will.”
The Sword Sovereign nodded and injected a wisp of his soul into Luo Changsheng’s soul sea.
A while later, Luo Changsheng shuddered all over before fainting completely.
The Imagination Sword dissipated after that. However, Jun Wuming’s complexion turned a shade paler.
Jun Wuming turned away and started traveling, going the opposite way from where Huo Poyun had escaped to.
Jun Xilei followed quietly behind him for a while, but she couldn’t hold herself from asking, “Why, Master… why did you use the Imagination Sword?”
Tears were sliding off her cheeks the moment she asked “why”.
Creating the Imagination Sword shaved away at one’s lifespan.
And in Jun Wuming’s case, he barely had any lifespan left to begin with...
But Jun Wuming smiled easily and said, “He is Luo Changsheng after all. He wouldn’t have submitted so quickly if I hadn’t used the Imagination Sword, and time is of the essence considering the circumstances.”
Jun Wuming lifted his hand and caught Jun Xilei’s tear. He felt exhausted because his body was nearing the end of its life, but the smile on his face only grew gladder and gentler. “If it wasn’t for Yun Che, your talent would’ve been damaged past the point of no return.”
“You are the continuation of my heart of sword and my life. Any favor extended toward you may as well be extended toward me. That is why I am glad that I’m able to repay the favor he extended unto me before my final day. You should be happy for my sake, Xilei, not sad.”
“...yes, Master,” Jun Xilei replied, but she couldn’t stop the tears sliding off her chin.
She had lost count of the times she regretted her rashness when she was younger… but the cruelest thing about fate, was that it was impossible to reverse with regret.
“I am glad that you are able to break free from social customs and obey your heart, but…” Jun Wuming stared at the distance and sighed with the weight of fifty thousand years of experience sitting behind his eyes. “There is no place for him in this world anymore, and no one can know what he will become in the future. Sigh…”
Meanwhile, Huo Poyun finally came to a stop again when the Glazed Light Realm appeared in front of him. At the same time, the person he had used all of his strength to send a sound transmission to appeared in front of him.
It was Shui Yingyue.
Shui Yingyue had sensed a dark aura even before Huo Poyun had appeared in her vision. By the time she got close, her gaze was immediately drawn toward the unconscious Yun Che.
Huo Poyun pushed Yun Che toward Shui Yingyue while panting heavily. He asked, “You will keep him safe… right?”
Shui Yingyue immediately wrapped Yun Che’s figure and aura in a thick water barrier before asking, “Was anyone following you?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“...thank you.” Shui Yingyue was about to leave after thanking Huo Poyun, but the latter called out to her.
“Wait,” Huo Poyun shouted before lowering his voice. “Don’t tell him that I was the one who brought him here… also, please give him my message after he wakes up.”
“Run. Run to the Northern Divine Region and never come back!”
That was all she said before she left with Yun Che hurriedly. Every second Yun Che was exposed was a second of added danger to all of them.
Huo Poyun turned away and clenched his fists tightly. Staring at the vast space in front of him, he muttered to himself, “Remember, Yun Che. I… don’t owe you anything anymore!”
“That’s right… I don’t owe you anything anymore!”
Huo Poyun muttered as he finally returned to the present. He unconsciously extended his hand toward an icy branch that was covered in leaves with Yun Che’s name on it. It was a pure and beautiful plant, so why did it hurt his eyes and soul so much?
He was now a devil person...
“Flame God Realm King?”
Just when his palm was about to touch the icy branch, a cool voice suddenly rang out from behind him.
Huo Poyun froze. However, a bit of fire leaked out of his fingertips and melted over half of the icy branch in an instant.