“N… now?” The Xuanyuan Emperor looked up in astonishment, but he hurriedly bowed his head again when he caught Yun Che’s eyes by accident. Hiding a sigh, he opened his palm and manifested a profound jade that was shaped like a sword. A white light burst out of the jade and transformed into a unique profound sound transmission formation.
“Sword Lords, heed my command. The Devil Master has destroyed the Southern Sea Realm, but its survivors are escaping as we speak. If we don’t eliminate them all now, it will come back to bite us in the future. I want the Sword Attendants and Sword Guards to mobilize all the manpower there is to mobilize within the realm to hunt down the remnants of the Southern Sea Realm. Leave not even a single person with a drop of Southern Sea blood in their veins alive!”
“Also, spread the word that the true sinners are those who bear the Southern Sea bloodline. Any Southern Sea cultivator who gives up a sinner’s location will be pardoned. Those who kill a sinner may even receive a handsome reward.”
A long, long silence later, the person on the other side of the profound sound transmission formation uttered in disbelief, “My lord, what… what are you saying?”
The Xuanyuan Emperor gritted his teeth. “By the Xuanyuan sword, I command you to carry out this order unquestioningly! The fate of our realm is literally tied to this task, so go get it done now!”
He then crushed the profound sound transmission formation before the other person could reply.
The Xuanyuan Emperor had taken the lead, so the Purple Micro Emperor saw no reason to hesitate any longer. He too gave the same order to his Purple Micro Realm.
Now that the order was given, there really was no turning back.
The news that the Xuanyuan Realm and Purple Micro Realm were hunting down the remnants of the Southern Sea Realm was sure to spread across the entire God Realm very soon...
“Very good. You may return to your king realms and fulfill your responsibilities now,” Yun Che said indifferently.
For a second, the two god emperors looked up as if they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Then, they responded in unison, “As you command, Your Magnificence.”
They took a few steps away from Yun Che before departing at high speed. Their relief was as palpable as that of a death row prisoner who was pardoned of all crimes at the last second. Their bodies were tattered and bruised, but they didn’t feel the pain, because their minds and souls had been fully flooded by infinite darkness.
The two god emperors didn’t exchange words or glances with each other when they left. They even avoided flying in the same direction. If their differences in views had separated them before, then the ultimate betrayal ensured that their fractured friendship could never be mended.
“Your Magnificence,” Yan Tianxiao asked, “they had to bend their knees when they were before you, but I’m worried that they’ll change their minds the moment they return to their territory. That Xuanyuan Emperor isn’t even restricted by the Brahma Soul Death-wishing Mark.”
“So?” Qianye Ying’er chuckled. “They were never one of us in the first place. As long as they carry out their duties as tools faithfully, I couldn’t care less about their true loyalty. And they will, if they wish to stay alive.”
The best thing to do before the final war was to preserve one’s strength. Once the Dragon God Realm had fallen, the rest of the star realms would naturally fall into their hands.
Caizhi shot Qianye Ying’er a cold look. She didn’t like that the woman had taken Yun Che’s lines.
“Correct. As expected of the Lady Goddess, the master of manipulation!” Cang Shitian praised loudly and reverently. It was almost as if he forgot that he himself was one of the tools Qianye Ying’er spoke of. After walking up to Yun Che and giving him a deep bow, he declared, “Cang Shitian, realm king of the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm, congratulates Your Magnificence for destroying the Southern Sea Realm and crushing Xuanyuan and Purple Micro’s courage effortlessly! Your might is unparalleled, your conquest is unstoppable, and the Southern Divine Region is destined to fall in your hands! And I, Cang Shitian, requests that you use me to conquer the rest of the Southern Divine Region like the pawn I am! I will die a million times if it means carrying out your orders successfully, Your Magnificence!”
The passion and eagerness behind his plea of servitude exceeded even that of the devil people. It was almost as if he was the dark’s truest worshipper; the Devil Master’s most loyal fanatic.
Qianye Ying’er shot him a sideways glance, and for the first time she thought that Cang Shitian might be scarier than even Nan Wansheng himself. At the very least, everything he did today far exceeded her knowledge and expectations of him.
She had met countless so-called “opportunists” in her life, but never had she encountered someone who would go to such extremes before now. Of all the people she might expect to display this behavior, the number two god emperor of the Southern Divine Region was definitely not one of them.
Looking down on Cang Shitian, Yun Che ordered with a blank expression, “Cang Shitian, you will dispatch your men to loot all the resources there are in the Southern Sea God Realm. You will then transfer them to the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm.”
The Southern Sea God Realm had been prosperous for almost a million years. No words were sufficient to describe the sheer amount of wealth and unknown treasures they had accumulated over the years. Moreover, the realm used to be the site of many battles between the gods and devils, so they must have collected a ton of extraordinary devil artifacts as well. The wealth disparity between the Southern Sea God Realm and other realms such as the Xuanyuan God Realm or the Purple Micro God Realm was like night and day.
Even if none of these treasures would fall into the Ten Direction Deep Sea Realm’s pockets, it was an indescribable pleasure to be able to dig them up with their own hands.
Cang Shitian displayed just enough joy on his face before replying seriously, “Don’t worry, Your Magnificence. Shitian will dig up every inch of soil in this realm, scour all its treasures and present them to you. Shitian swears not to take even a single coin.”
“As I’ve mentioned earlier, this is for your men to perform. You have a greater responsibility to fulfill.” Yun Che’s eyebrows sank a little before he continued, “A cause.”
Qianye Ying’er shot Yun Che another glance. This was the kind of tactic Chi Wuyao would use, not him. In other words, as much as he would like to believe otherwise, Yun Che... wasn’t as distant from the Devil Queen as he thought.
Cang Shitian was an extraordinarily intelligent person. He had understood Yun Che’s meaning immediately despite the lack of an explanation.
“Do this well, and you may live after I destroy the Dragon God Realm.”
“Destroy the Dragon God Realm”, he said. Most people would agree that it was as impossible as overturning the heavens themselves, but Yun Che made it sound like it was as easy turning over a finger.
Excitement bloomed on Cang Shitian’s face as he bowed deeper, “Cang Shitian swears on his realm’s lifeline that he’ll not disappoint.”
“Go.” Yun Che finally looked away from the god emperor.
“I will await your arrival at the Deep Sea Realm,” said Cang Shitian while stepping back deferentially. A suitable amount of distance later, he finally turned to the horizon and departed.
Yun Che had ordered him to transfer all the resources he looted from the Southern Sea God Realm to the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm. Indirectly, he was also telling him that the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm would be his base in the Southern Divine Region.
Cang Shitian flew all the way to the border before his two Sea Gods finally caught up to him. They both wore uncertain looks on their faces.
“My lord, are you… are we really going to align ourselves with the devils?” The Sea God to his right side said very, very diplomatically. It was because Cang Shitian’s earlier behavior was something you would expect from a slave.
“Of course not!” the other Sea God retorted, “My lord is just putting on an act to save his realm! Once we’ve returned to our realm, we’ll contact the Dragon God Realm immediately and destroy the devil people with a pincer attack!”
Ashen-faced, Cang Shitian stared at the empty space in front of him and said nothing for a very long time. Then, an eerie smile suddenly sprung onto his face, and he said, “This is a choice, not an act.”
The two Sea Gods almost couldn’t believe their ears.
“After everything you’ve witnessed today, do you still believe that Yun Che absolutely doesn’t possess the strength to fight against the Dragon God Realm?” Cang Shitian continued, “The Yama Ancestors… the two Brahma Heaven Ancestors… the Heavenly Wolf Star God, who is now also in command of the Dragons of Absolute Beginning…”
“Sss…” Cang Shitian sucked in a deep breath, and it felt as cold as ice. “And the most terrifying of them all is the boy himself, Yun Che. The Ash Dragon God was such a monster, and yet a single shout from Yun Che was all it took to fell him from the sky. A shout!”
“Back during the Profound God Convention, I thought it was strange that the Dragon Monarch would want to adopt Yun Che as his son. Then, on the day Blue Pole Star was destroyed, I clearly saw Yun Che’s dragon roar canceling almost half of the Dragon Monarch’s power. I was right next to the Dragon Monarch at the time, so there could be no mistake… it was also why Yun Che was able to escape with the Void Illusion Stone later.”
“Therefore, it’s possible that Yun Che has…”
He didn’t finish his sentence.
With all the evidence that was presented before him, Cang Shitian had no choice but to consider a most terrifying possibility: that Yun Che’s dragon soul surpassed that of the Dragon God’s, or worse, was the bane of the Dragon God Race’s existence.
Ever since Yun Che attacked the Ash Dragon God, Cang Shitian had paid attention to his expression and aura every time the Dragon God Realm was brought up. And yet, he was never able to detect even a hint of fear from the boy. It was as if he truly believed that the Dragon God Realm posed no threat to him at all.
This was the biggest reason he chose to bow his head before Yun Che.
“The Northern Divine Region is terrifying beyond imagination, but I’m sure that the Dragon God Realm has only shown us the tip of the iceberg as well.” A Sea God protested, “The Northern Divine Region may be able to give them a run for their money, but that is all. I just… can’t believe that they can beat the Dragon God Realm.”
“If we support Yun Che, and Yun Che loses, we’ll be disdained by every man and woman in the world. If we support the Dragon Gods, and they lose, we’ll be damned for an eternity in hell. If you can’t understand this…” Cang Shitian looked at his subordinates in the eyes, “Then don’t. All I need you to do is obey!”
“That being said,” Cang Shitian continued, “If it turns out that the Western Divine Region is overwhelmingly stronger than the Northern Divine Region, then I will make the best choice at the best possible time. Hence, there is nothing to worry about, heh.”
Despite their changing expressions, the two Sea Gods kept their silence after that. They could already imagine the craziness that would seize the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm after Cang Shitian’s will was heard by the masses. It was why Yun Che hadn’t descended upon their realm immediately. He was giving Cang Shitian time to… pave the way so to speak.
It shouldn’t be a problem though. Cang Shitian commanded absolute authority in his realm. His decision might cause some resentment, but there was no one who would dare to disobey him.
“One more thing,” Cang Shitian advised his subordinates again, “Yun Che is as cunning as he is strong, so don’t even think of pulling your tricks when he arrives at our realm!”
Yun Che was one of the very few people Cang Shitian admitted that he had misjudged.
This sentiment was especially profound when he received his first assignment as the dog of the Devil Master, “a cause”.
When the Northern Divine Region declared war on the Eastern Divine Region, it was for “vengeance”, not “expansion”. And therein lay a whole world of difference. Cang Shitian was now absolutely certain that Eternal Heaven Realm’s “attack” using the Great Void Cauldron was really something the Northern Divine Region had done unto themselves. It was to create a cause that united their people, and scattered the enemy’s.
It was the first of many factors that led to the devastating defeat of the Eastern Divine Region.
Later on, the revelation of that day’s truth via the Eternal Heaven Projection turned Yun Che’s image from that of a devil god that damned the world, to an avenger who wanted justice and blood for all the wrong that had been done to him. On the other hand, the usually untouchable realm kings and god emperors were painted as hateful ingrates who had stabbed their own savior in the back. It was without a doubt the true reason behind the fall of the divine region.
The impact of that projection was unthinkable to say the least. It had single handedly ripped apart the unity of the three Divine Regions and shattered the wills of countless profound practitioners.
The fact that that projection existed meant that Yun Che was prepared for the worst long before the ultimate betrayal. It was as if he predicted that something like that might happen to him.
The proof of this was that the Profound Imagery Stone used to capture the scene was something so special that it fooled all the god emperors. It also showed that Yun Che knew that it was a critical component to secure his future and had prepared accordingly.
This completely shattered Cang Shitian’s initial assumption that the boy was just that, a “naive” boy. It wasn’t like it was an unfair assumption either. A thirty-year old man was nothing in the eyes of immortals like them.
Of course, he now knew that his judgment had been completely off. Terrified by the extent of Yun Che’s intelligence, he resolved to stay away from all the plotting, trickery, and anything else that might incriminate him and give the Devil Master a reason to destroy him.
But there was one thing he was mistaken about. The Profound Imagery Stone had really been prepared by Shui Meiyin, not Yun Che.
Cang Shitian looked up and stared at a random black cloud. He then said, “If the heavens must change, then it may as well change drastically. But the Deep Sea must have a tallest hill to themselves even if everything turns into lightless blackness!”