As promised, Yun Che stayed at the Glazed Light Realm for a couple of days before bidding Shui Qianheng and Cheng Wanxiao goodbye. After this, he was off to the Snow Song Realm.
To Yun Che’s surprise, Shui Meiyin had decided not to accompany him this time. She was his second most clingy lover after Qianye Ying’er after all.
“The dust has just settled, and there are many things the Glazed Light Realm needs to prepare for the upcoming coronation ceremony, not to mention that the Devil Queen has given me a lot of work to do as well. That is why I need to stay behind and help father and big sis in the meantime.”
Shui Meiyin explained reluctantly while staring into Yun Che’s eyes.
Yun Che cupped her cheeks tenderly. “This is my coronation ceremony, so why am I the only one who seems to be completely free?”
“It’s because Sister Devil Queen couldn’t bear to make you work, of course!” replied Shui Meiyin with a giggle.
The surviving members of the Southern Sea Realm were still being hunted, and the Dragon God Realm was still in the process of being purged and brought under his control. Not only that, someone needed to oversee the Eastern, Western and Southern Divine Regions and make sure that everyone went his way. Naturally, the person carrying out all this work was none other than Chi Wuyao herself. She had refused to let him share even a shred of the burden.
In the past, he had held a grudge against Chi Wuyao for what she did to Mu Xuanyin. Now though? She had done so many things to make up for her past mistakes that all that was left in his heart was regret.
After bidding Yun Che goodbye and watching him departing to the Snow Song Realm, Shui Meiyin didn’t return to the Glazed Light Realm immediately. Instead, she faced toward the southeast, closed her eyes, and stood quietly in the dark and quiet space for a time. Held between her hands in front of her chest was the mini-sized World Piercer.
For a very long time, she didn’t say a thing or move a muscle.
There’s no one in this world who can hurt him anymore.
After everything they had gone through together, his women only wished to pamper him and shield him from all harm. The Northern Divine Region would continue to give him countless generations of absolute loyalty as well.
Everything has gone exactly as you hoped.
But… there is one thing I still don’t understand to this very day. Why have you made that final choice?
This ending could’ve been even better than it currently is… it could’ve been the most perfect ending ever...
Why… just why...
Are you truly happy… with just witnessing this ending from the heavens…?
Eastern Divine Region, Snow Song Realm.
Yun Che sucked in a deep breath upon arriving at the Snow Song Realm. His gaze looked as calm as the air was frigid, but the faint ripples of emotion in his heart suggested otherwise.
Mu Bingyun was the one who brought him, a youngling driven mostly by determination with a small bit of ignorance, to the Snow Song Realm. It was also Mu Bingyun who saw him depart to the Northern Divine Region covered in wounds, pain, and infinite hatred both inside and outside.
Today, his return to the Snow Song Realm again felt like a whole new experience. It was as though the fog of misfortune had cleared, and he had returned to a pure and untainted dreamland.
In order to avoid causing a disturbance and to show that he, a former disciple of the Ice Phoenix Sect still respected his roots, he had informed them of his arrival by sending a sound transmission to the Ice Phoenix Realm while he was still a long distance away.
However, he soon discovered that he had still far underestimated his influence as the “Devil Master”.
He had sensed a ridiculous number of auras the moment he got close to the Ice Phoenix Realm. Nearly everyone with the Ice Phoenix bloodline running in their veins had appeared to receive him.
When he finally appeared in the sky of the Divine Ice Phoenix Sect, it was as if time itself had suddenly stopped for the already frozen world. Then, Mu Huanzhi and Mu Tanzhi rushed over in a hurry, dropped to their knees, and prostrated themselves in the humblest way they could think of before saying, “The Divine Ice Phoenix Sect of the Snow Song Realm welcomes the Devil Master.”
The elders, palace masters, hall masters and disciples behind them were also prostrating themselves before him. They were so afraid that they might slight him somehow that they even went so far as to hold their breath. The air in the area stopped circulating completely, and the atmosphere felt as tense and oppressive as a soup of emotions trapped inside a pot.
That was how infamous the “Devil Master” was.
“Sigh.” Yun Che exhaled a bit before saying in a helpless tone, “You don’t need to act like this, elders. The Divine Ice Phoenix Sect is, and will always be my sect. Rise.”
“Yes, Your Magnificence.”
Mu Huanzhi and Mu Tanzhi rose to their feet as commanded, but they remained as stiff as statues and as silent as the grave.
“Where is the sect master?” Yun Che asked.
“Y-your Magnificence,” Mu Huanzhi hurriedly answered, “the sect master is inside the Sacred Hall right now. She’ll come out and meet you right away.”
“It’s fine, I’ll see her myself. You may retire.”
That was all he said before falling through the wind and snow toward the place he was most familiar with in this realm.
A woman’s gaze followed his figure as he slowly descended in front of the Ice Phoenix Sacred Hall. Despite his black clothes and fiendish aura, she asked him with none of the kneeling or fear the other Ice Phoenix disciples had displayed when meeting him, “Are you the Devil Master, or are you… Senior Brother Yun?”
“...” Yun Che stared at Mu Feixue for a moment instead of answering immediately. He had always felt a strange, indescribable feeling every time he saw her, and today was no exception.
He replied in an indifferent tone, “The Devil Master is your senior brother. Does that disturb you?”
Mu Feixue shook her head lightly before replying, “Not at all. What matters is that both are you.”
Slightly surprised by her answer, Yun Che relaxed into a smile before asking, “Is the sect master inside right now?”
“She is.” Mu Feixue nodded affirmatively. “Please enter, senior brother.”
Yun Che stepped toward the entrance. Right as he was passing by Mu Feixue, he said, “I can no longer see her shadow in you, Feixue.”
“...” Mu Feixue couldn’t say anything for a very long time.
Mu Bingyun was the only one who was present when he entered the Ice Phoenix Sacred Hall. Mu Xuanyin was nowhere to be seen.
“Sect Master Bingyun,” greeted Yun Che before bowing to her slightly.
Mu Bingyun’s cool but most familiar gaze looked him up, down, up, and down again before she finally said, “You realize that you, the Devil Master who’s soon to announce his sovereignty over the world, just bowed to me, right? Aren’t you worried that you would cause my little middle realm king heart to implode?”
Yun Che smiled. “I am the Devil Master and soon-to-be Emperor Yun. But no matter what I become in the future, I will always be your little—”
He was about to say “junior” when he suddenly cut himself off and changed his words, “... Yun Che.”
The reason he corrected himself was because he suddenly remembered that Mu Bingyun would become his sister-in-law after he married Mu Xuanyin. Therefore, to call himself “her little junior” was… inappropriate to say the least.
“You’re my little Yun Che?” Mu Bingyun blinked once before breaking into a smile. “I almost want to let the world hear this just to enjoy the reaction.”
Yun Che: “...”
“My sister said that your darkness was fading rapidly after you destroyed the Dragon God Realm, and it looks like she wasn’t mistaken after all. I am glad that my worries are ultimately unfounded.”
Mu Bingyun sounded relieved when she said this. Now that Yun Che was standing right in front of her, she could sense that he was still the same person he was before. Despite having submerged his hands in three divine regions’ worth of blood, he had not succumbed and transformed into a true devil.
“Still, who would’ve thought that one person, one thought, could’ve changed the fate of the God Realm… and even the Primal Chaos itself?” she said with a sigh that contained countless emotions before continuing. “My sister is praying to the deceased Ice Phoenix Spirit at the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake right now. She may have not detected your presence yet.”
Yun Che nodded. “Thank you, Sect Master Bingyun. I shall head there right away.”
“Wait.” But Mu Bingyun called out to him right as he was about to turn away. “My sister said that you were planning to make the Snow Song Realm a king realm of the Eastern Divine Region. Is that true?”
“Yes,” Yun Che replied. He thought that Mu Bingyun disliked the fate that was imposed upon herself and her realm without warning, so he said in a comforting tone, “You have nothing to worry about. No matter what happens in the future, I will never allow any harm to come to the Snow Song Realm.”
However, Mu Bingyun shook her head and said, “I am not worried. This can only be a good thing for the Snow Song Realm; a great honor that will make both our ancestors and our future generations proud for eternity. Also, there is no one who hasn’t heard of my sister slaying the Crimson Destruction Dragon God in one strike. This feat alone is enough to quell all doubts and noises.”
“What I wanted to say is…” She suddenly averted Yun Che’s gaze and turned away from him. “She was—is—the realm king of the Snow Song Realm, but… she doesn’t have to stay in the Snow Song Realm. I can handle all of her responsibilities now.”
“It is time… she lived for herself. You must want this to happen too, right?”
Yun Che stared at Mu Bingyun’s back for a moment. Although she and Mu Xuanyin shared completely different eyes and presence, some parts of their souls were so similar to one another that it was impossible not to see them as sisters.
“Sect Master Bingyun,” he called out her name instead of answering her question, “do you still remember the day you slapped me at the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake five years ago?”
Mu Bingyun shuddered a little.
She opened her mouth to say something, but Yun Che’s unusually gentle voice had entered her ears first. “I want you to know that there are people whom I can kill a hundred times and still hate them as hot as the burning sun, and then there are people… who can slap me ten thousand times and still not leave a sliver of hatred in my heart.”
“...” Mu Bingyun froze as something she couldn’t comprehend spread inside her heart, and her vision turned blurry all of a sudden.
An unknown amount of time later, when she finally broke out of her reverie and turned around, Yun Che was already nowhere to be seen.
When Mu Feixue stepped into the Ice Phoenix Sacred Hall, she saw Mu Bingyun staring blankly at the endless snow outside with a look she had never seen before in her eyes. She also looked like she hadn’t noticed her presence at all.
At the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake.
“Why have you come here?”
A fairy-like figure rose to her feet and stared at him with eyes cooler than even the icy lake the second Yun Che walked in.
“Because I miss you!” A grinning Yun Che approached her swiftly.
Mu Xuanyin’s eyes instinctively softened a little, but her expression and voice remained as cool as ever. “We are only months away from your coronation ceremony. Do you really think you have the time to fool around?”
Yun Che gave her a helpless shrug. “The Devil Queen wouldn’t give me any work to do or let me help with anything. The only thing she even asked my opinion on was regarding the World Dragon City’s new name. Since I had nothing to do, I decided to come here immediately to—ouch ouch ouch!”
After Mu Xuanyin slapped away the palm he tried to snake around her waist, she said coldly, “Hmph! She’s pampering you way too much! She’d better not regret it when you grow even more undisciplined than you already are!”
Yun Che watched her expression for a bit before asking hesitatingly, “Do you still… hate her, Xuanyin?”
To his surprise, not only did she not look disturbed by his question in the slightest, but she said, “I used to, but that was in the past. Our grudge was settled after I stabbed her once.”
Yun Che exclaimed in shock, “You what!? When!?”
“It was before you traveled to the Southern Divine Region,” Mu Xuanyin replied.
“...” Yun Che couldn’t stop his mouth from twitching. “I should’ve expected this. Even Caizhi knew that you were alive, much less her!”
“The Brahma Monarch Realm had taken Bingyun hostage at the time. I had no choice but to reveal myself prematurely,” Mu Xuanyin responded. “It was necessary… for both Chi Wuyao and I to come to a resolution between us before we faced off against our final and deadliest opponent.”
“Do you… really not hate her at all?” Yun Che said softly as his eyes grew distant.
Mu Xuanyin shot him a glance before saying, “I had learned of Chi Wuyao’s existence and realized that she had stolen my soul for ten thousand years right before I perished. Of course I hated her for what she did.”
It was impossible not to.
“However, she spoke to me right before my consciousness dispersed.” Mu Xuanyin paused for a second before repeating Chi Wuyao’s words. “Don’t worry. I promise you I will protect him until the day I die.”
Yun Che: “...”
“She kept her word,” Mu Xuanyin said softly. “So I no longer hate her.”
Suddenly, she turned around and looked into Yun Che’s eyes. “I’m aware that I’m the reason you weren’t able to open your heart to her completely, even now that I have come back to life.”
Yun Che: “...”
“I’m safe, and I no longer hate her. In fact, she is one of the few people I can exchange my mind with easily because our souls have mingled together for ten thousand years. That is why your worry over our relationship was completely unnecessary.”
“Also… there is one thing I must urge you to stop lying to yourself about,” she continued. “The person who took you as her student and taught you; the one you bullied at the Flame God Realm; and the one who died for you at the Blue Pole Star was both me… and her. Her impatience during my final flight was just as great as mine, if not more so.”
“You worry that I wouldn’t be able to accept her, but she worries far more that you will never be able to accept her. Will you continue tormenting her even though she has made it up to you hundreds and thousands of times over?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter