Chapter 1879: Grand Coronation Ceremony (2)

Shockwaves rippled across the entire God Realm. Nearly every living creature ranging from the upper star realms to the lower star realms could sense the change in the air.

In the past, a grand coronation ceremony only happened when a new king realm god emperor was going to succeed its predecessor. It was a rare occurrence that was celebrated throughout the God Realm because a god emperor was the equivalent of the heavens in the current world.

This particular grand coronation ceremony was very different from all the coronations that had happened in the history of the God Realm. It was because the soon-to-be emperor was going to be coronated not the emperor of a mere king realm, but the entire world.

It was something this universe had never seen, and might never see again until the end of time.

Unusually, the organizers of the grand coronation ceremony hadn’t sent an invitation letter to anyone, much less made a public announcement. The star realms had to learn of it through the ancient way of word-of-mouth.

That wasn’t to say that the news didn’t shake the world. Quite the contrary, the resulting pandemonium was unlike anything the God Realm had ever seen. The upper star realm kings engraved the time and location of the ceremony on their brains and made preparations almost as soon as they learned about it. Nearly every man and woman in the star realms was mobilized to prepare for the ceremony as well.

The grand coronation ceremony was given the utmost attention because it signified not just the birth of the first true emperor of the God Realm, but also the turning point of their very universe. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their attitude toward this grand coronation ceremony directly impacted their new emperor’s attitude toward them, and subsequently their fates under the new order.

No one cared about the middle star realms and lower star realms though... After all, since when did the opinions of the weak truly matter?

From the moment the remaining king realms declared their submission to the Devil Master, the upper star realms’ options had been reduced to just one.

As the fated day grew closer and closer, the restlessness of the people grew as well. More and more profound arks began flying toward the Southern Divine Region at top speed.

………...

This Southern Sea Realm used to be the heart and the strongest king realm of the Southern Divine Region.

However, the king realm had been wiped from the universe, and the magnificent structure that used to be the Southern Sea Capital had been razed to the ground as well. There were practically no traces of the king realm left besides the occasional bit of spirit energy in the air.

On this soil that used to be the soil of the Southern Sea, innumerable profound ships and even more profound practitioners were floating in the sky.

There were all types of auras, and all kinds of attire. If there was one commonality between them all, it would be that they were all staring at the sky in awe, trepidation, and many more complex emotions.

They were staring at the gigantic floating city that was over 150 kilometers long above their heads.

The city was the World Dragon City.

However, they only knew it as “Emperor Yun City”!

The unparalleled city that would soon be elevated to the absolute pinnacle of the God Realm after today’s ceremony!

Everyone knew that the Eastern Divine Region was Yun Che’s starting point. It was also the divine region he had spent most of his time in. That was why they were surprised by his decision to found both his city and his palace in the Southern Divine Region.

No one dared to guess the Devil Master’s thoughts, however.

Everyone who came to this place was either the realm king of a star realm or the ruler of a region. They were all powerful and noble in their own right. Right now though, they could only look up at Emperor Yun City like mortals would look up to their gods. Forget entering the city, they didn’t even dare to get close to it.

The northern region profound practitioners and the king realms were the only ones who were granted entry. Everyone else could only look from below.

Meanwhile, a cold and solemn atmosphere was permeating the air above Emperor Yun City.

To the south stood Cang Shitian, Cang Shuhe, and the members of the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm, Xuanyuan Realm and Purple Micro Realm.

To the west stood the core powers of the Qilin Realm and Blue Dragon Realm, and only them. The representatives of the Hui Dragon Realm, Myriad Manifestation Realm and Emperor Chi Realm were conspicuously missing, and the Dragon God Realm… had its very name changed to “Sinned Dragon Realm” by Chi Wuyao herself.

To the east stood the Brahma Monarch Realm led by Qianye Ying’er, and a star realm no one ever expected to see until recently, the Snow Song Realm.

While Mu Xuanyin and Mu Bingyun looked as unperturbed as ever, the Snow Song Elders and palace masters behind them could only be described as anxious.

Caizhi was nowhere to be seen. The Star God Realm was only a king realm in name after the return of the Evil Infant's Wheel of Myriad Tribulations, but even that was gone after its remaining six Star Gods had perished during the final war against the Western Divine Region. The only reason it was still acknowledged as a king realm today, was because Yun Che had decreed it.

The death of the six Star Gods left a huge impact in Caizhi’s heart and restored her determination to return the Star God Realm to its former glory. However, she neither wanted nor needed Yun Che’s grand coronation ceremony to accomplish her goal.

On the other hand, the Northern Divine Region group was far bigger than all the others. The profound practitioners of the Yama Devil Realm, Burning Moon Realm, Soul Stealing Realm, and every other star realm who had participated in that fate-defying battle were standing together, looking down on the people of the three divine regions with impunity and basking in the sun that had been denied them for a million years.

Time and again, they couldn’t help but look in the direction of the palace with indescribable excitement and feverish emotions. Half a year had passed since the final battle, and still they felt like they were in a dream.

“Finally,” Chi Wuyao murmured with wet eyes. She no longer had any regrets in her life.

“Finally,” Mu Xuanyin murmured the same words at nearly the same time.

“Is the Blue Pole Star… really unharmed?” Mu Bingyun whispered in a nearly imperceptible voice.

“Mn. It is why he set this place to be his capital city. He may not look like it, but the past half a year hasn’t been easy on him,” Mu Xuanyin replied.

“Despite carrying a blessing that even the gods would envy, he has had to spend half his life treading every step like he was on thin ice. Time and again he yielded to the greater good, but the people he saved still pushed him into the deepest abyss… but no longer. Everything has fallen into his control, and all threats big or small have been eliminated. He may finally be able to lead a life without shackles, worries or fear after today.”

A small smile sprang to Mu Bingyun’s face. “You too will finally be able to lay down your worries, sister.”

Unfortunately, her half-joke failed to elicit the response she had expected from Mu Xuanyin. The latter slowly looked at the blue sky above their heads and murmured, “Now that the Dragon God’s lineage has been severed, there should be nothing left in the world that can threaten him anymore.”

“There are some regrets that can never be made up for, but… may the crises and calamities finally come to an eternal end…”

If a new crisis did appear in the future, she would make sure to snuff it out at the first sign of it.

………...

Inside a dark, cold and silent underground space beneath the halls of Emperor Yun City.

Tap… tap… tap...

The footsteps weren’t heavy, but it felt especially loud in this dark, eerie place.

Cling cling cling...

It also caused a weak rustling of chains.

Zhou Xuzi raised his head little by little within the near lightless space. The movement was very simple, but it pained and exhausted him greatly to do so.

His eyes looked like pits of dead water. They only shuddered a little when his gaze met the approaching figure.

His skin was caked with dry blood, his face looked as haunted as a monster’s, and his body was skin and bones. No one would believe that he was once the venerated Eternal Heaven God Emperor if they saw him right now.

His bones were crushed, his veins were severed, and his profound energy was completely dispersed. He should be deader than dead a long time ago, but a few wisps of aura that felt like maggots on his bones kept him alive against his will. It was as cruel as it was chilling.

The chains wrapped around his person were nothing special, but they were enough to trap the former god emperor in this inescapable purgatory.

“Yun… Che…”

He had no profound energy and his murky eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness. However, he would never forget his aura even in death.

His voice was weak, pained and raspy. His body started shivering involuntarily and caused the chains to rustle a bit more. Forget standing though, he didn’t even have enough strength to raise a single arm.

“Do you know why you’re still alive, Zhou Xuzi?”

Yun Che asked slowly and emotionlessly. The former god emperor was in the pits of hell, but still his hatred burned as brightly as the day Jasmine had died.

Even if he had reclaimed everything, even if he had inflicted millions and millions times more punishment upon the man who had started it all… Jasmine still wouldn’t return to his life.

“You will… be punished… by heaven!”

Just like Yun Che could never forgive Zhou Xuzi, Zhou Xuzi could never forgive Yun Che. Instead of begging for Yun Che to let him go or kill him, he spent all his energy cursing him instead.

“Punished by heaven? Hehehe…” Yun Che let out a contemptuous chuckle. “If the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor hadn’t left, the heavenly law would’ve crumbled to her presence a long time ago. You think a thing this weak has any right to punish me!?”

Zhou Xuzi’s facial muscles shuddered as he spat out more hateful words. “The worst… will.. visit... you… one… day… devil!”

“Devil? Hmph. After all the blood and disasters I’ve wrought, you dare to describe me as a mere devil?” Yun Che furrowed his brow in displeasure. “I think the title ‘devil god’ would suit me more.”

He took another step forward, and the cold, dark pressure nearly crushed Zhou Xuzi’s tattered body to pieces. “I have a curious question for you though. Who do you think was the one who made me the devil god I am today, Zhou Xuzi? Wait, I’m going to guess your answer. It’s anyone but you, am I right?”

Zhou Xuzi raised his head higher before roaring, “I’m not wrong… I’m not wrong! My only mistake was failing to recognize who you truly were and not killing you sooner!”

“As expected of the former Eternal Heaven God Emperor, even now you cannot help but speak with sanctimonious righteousness.”

Yun Che smiled a disdainful and pitying smile. He raised his gaze slightly before starting, “You know, not long ago, my people found something curious in the Heavenly Mystery Realm while they were sweeping the Eastern Divine Region.”

“The realm itself is lifeless and empty; its people having escaped to god-knows-where. All that was left behind was the Heavenly Mystery Three Elders and the shattered pieces of the Heavenly Mystery God Canon. However, a single page remained despite its destruction, and written on it were two very interesting lines.”

“Virtue will lead to eternal peace. Evil will bring the carnage of a devil god.”

Clang clang!

The chains rustled loudly, and Zhou Xuzi shuddered harder than ever before.

“It was said that the Heavenly Mystery Realm’s prophecies are never wrong. Now that I think about it, I suppose that there was some truth behind the rumors.” Yun Che suddenly looked down on Zhou Xuzi’s shivering face again before continuing, “During those three years I vanished from the God Realm, I was sunk in a depression so deep that I found myself almost incapable of pulling out from it. However, that changed when I found the person I once thought I had lost forever… and a treasure that made all the hardships, pain and sorrow I had gone through up until that point seem as trivial as a speck of dust.”

Yun Che raised his head again before continuing, “Words couldn’t describe my gratitude toward the heavens at the time. I had felt as if all my hatred and thirst for revenge were no longer meaningful. In fact, I came to hate myself for staining my hands with filth and blood.”

“Later on, the Devil Emperor returned to the Primal Chaos, and the heaven and earth became trapped within a crimson calamity, I made rescuing the world my imperative not only because I wished to atone for all the sins I had committed in the past, but also… because I wished that the achievement would be enough to grant my daughter the gift of eternal blessing and good karma.”

“Heh. Hehehehe…” Yun Che chuckled coldly and disdainfully at himself. “Oh, I had been so good and magnanimous at the time. I had become a saint who made it my life’s mission to save the world.”

“If what had happened in the end hadn’t happened, I would’ve been satisfied with living in the lower realms forever. I would’ve settled for a peaceful, bloodless life and laid down most of my enmities so that my daughter wouldn’t be tainted by my blood-stained hands any longer. I also would’ve done my utmost to help the God Realm with whatever it was they needed me to help with, and if the task happened to be beyond my powers to complete, there was always Jasmine to get things done.”

“‘Virtue will lead to eternal peace’, the prophecy said. It was right. Once a person becomes a parent, they are willing to believe things they used to scoff at if there was even the slimmest chance it might bring good to their children. I was one such example. I had no more regrets at the time, so I was more than willing to believe that all the good deeds I committed would convert into good karma to my daughter. More than anyone else, I hoped for eternal peace after the crimson calamity was over.”

“Unfortunately, that world never happened because of one man.” The chill in Yun Che’s voice abruptly dropped tens of degrees lower. “That man shredded my benevolence and everything I held dear into pieces, and as a result, nearly destroyed the entire God Realm.”

“No! It wasn’t me! I wasn’t wrong… I wasn’t wrong!!” Zhou Xuzi should’ve been too weak to even move a muscle, and yet somehow he found the strength to scream at the top of his lungs. His supposedly dead soul could be seen twisting madly and chaotically behind his gray eyes.

The indifference and darkness behind Yun Che’s voice hadn’t changed in the slightest, and Zhou Xuzi felt like the words were being carved into his broken soul right now. “That one strike changed me from a benevolent man who wished with all my heart for eternal peace, into a devil god who wanted nothing more than to drown the world in blood. That one strike shattered countless star realms and killed even more profound practitioners. That one strike caused the Eternal Heaven Realm to be massacred and your clansmen, your descendants and you—” 

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Zhou Xuzi interrupted Yun Che’s monologue with a fiendish howl. He shook from head to toe like a leaf and spat out every word with blood, “I eliminated the Evil Infant to save the world from its threat! You are the one who brought forth this calamity and killed them all! You!!”

Yun Che let out a soft chuckle before resuming his words, “That cannot be true, for I had promised that Jasmine and I would settle down in the lower realms and never interfere with the affairs of the higher worlds ever again. Moreover, the God Realm would’ve been damned if Jasmine hadn’t appeared to seal the crimson crack. What you did could only be described as ingratitude and treachery.”

“Jasmine and I were the ones who saved the world, but not only did you strike Jasmine out of the Primal Chaos, you did everything in your power to hunt me down. You claimed that you struck Jasmine to remove the threat of the Evil Infant, but what about me? How would killing me at the time ‘save the world’ in any way?” Yun Che side-eyed the Eternal Heaven God Emperor disdainfully. “Not even a dog that had gone completely mad would bark such ridiculous words in your place, Zhou Xuzi.”

“You…”

“At first, you were going to maintain your facade of goodness and grant me your ‘forgiveness’. Then, you suddenly did a 180 degree turn and transformed into the biggest advocate of my death. If I had to venture a guess, it was because you learned the prophecy of the Heavenly Mystery Realm around that time, right? You were afraid that the prophecy would come true, and that you would be accused as the sinner who turned the saint into a devil god. That was why you tried to kill me with everything you had.”

“Sacrificing for the greater good? Saving the world? No, you are just a filthy old dog who wanted nothing more than to cover up his sins!”

“Yun… Che…” Somehow, Zhou Xuzi was able to mix bone-deep hatred into his words despite having crushed all of his teeth to dust. “You may have defeated me, but you will not smear my name—” 

“Today, everyone has witnessed, no, experienced the consequences of your actions.” Yun Che ignored Zhou Xuzi and carried on in his icy voice. “There were two saviors of the world, and one was struck out of the Primal Chaos, and the other was driven to become a devil god. The corpses piled up like mountains, the blood ran like rivers, and the fear spread across the entire universe all because of you.”

“Not only that, the Eternal Heaven Realm’s proud lineage—oh, excuse me, I mean disgraceful lineage—also came to an end in your hands. All that good reputation and karma your ancestors painstakingly built up for hundreds of thousands of years, gone just like that.”

“So I ask you again, who do you think is the one who caused all this?” Yun Che’s dark gaze swept across Zhou Xuzi’s ashen face. “Speak, Zhou Xuzi. Who was the one who destroyed everything?”

Clang clang clang clang clang...

The chains screeched under the sudden strain that was imposed upon them. Shaking until his body looked like it would fall apart at any moment, Zhou Xuzi abruptly opened his mouth and spat out a shower of bloody spittle, “YOU! IT WAS YOU, THE DEVIL WHO DID ALL THIS! I DID NOTHING WRONG! EVERYTHING I DID WAS FOR THE SAKE OF—gkk!” 

Yun Che wagged his finger once, and Zhou Xuzi’s voice was forcefully pushed back into his throat despite the bloody spittle still flying through the air. “Calm down. You still have a very, very long life ahead of you. You have all the time in the world to continue deluding yourself into thinking that you’re perfectly blameless... not that you could convince anyone else to believe it.”

Yun Che slowly turned toward Zhou Xuzi with a dark, eerie smile on his face. “There isn’t anyone in this world who doesn’t know that you, Zhou Xuzi, are the biggest hypocrite in the entire history of the God Realm. There are countless victims who cannot wait to feast on your flesh and drink your blood.”

“You should be thankful that I gifted you my protection and allowed you to hide here like the old, broken dog you are. Otherwise, the world would’ve drowned you in their spittle, devoured your flesh and blood, and even chewed your bones until there was nothing left.”

“If you die and travel to the yellow spring, your father, your grandfather, your ancestors and your descendants… I wonder how they’ll treat you, the sinner who single-handedly brought forth the end of the Eternal Heaven Realm? Would all the punishments in the nine hells be enough to vent their hatred?”

There was a long, long silence before Zhou Xuzi slowly slumped back to the ground once more. In a dazed, shivering voice, he whispered, “Stop… please stop… I wasn’t wrong… I wasn’t wrong… stop… stop…”

Yun Che waved a hand, and a small profound formation a few feet away from them lit up and shone a projection.

The sudden light stabbed into Zhou Xuzi’s gray eyes like knives. In the projection, he could see the profound practitioners of the king realms bowing their heads and waiting respectfully for someone. Beneath them, a seemingly infinite number of profound practitioners could be seen looking up to a floating city with infinite respect as well.

“The God Realm I saved, the God Realm that took everything from me deserves nothing but a lightless hell,” Yun Che said slowly. “That was the oath I swore back when I was still in the Northern Divine Region.”

“As you can see though, I have decided to go back on my oath. I’ve even granted forgiveness to those who were good to me, useful to me, and obeyed me.”

A smile slowly spread across his lips. “Why, you wonder? It was because the Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor left behind her World Piercer before she left the world. Therefore, the Blue Pole Star that was destroyed back then… wasn’t the Blue Pole Star.”

The god emperor that was about to lose consciousness and fall apart completely abruptly raised his head. He looked like a dying worm whose body was suddenly pierced by a thousand arrows.

“What does this mean? It means that my homeworld, my family and my loved ones are all safe and sound, and I am soon to become emperor of the world… but you?”

Zhou Xuzi stared blankly at Yun Che for a very long time. Then, he suddenly crumpled forward and screamed the maddest scream he had screamed all day, “Ah… ahhhhhh… ahh… AHHHHHHHHH…”

His visage was contorted beyond recognition. Blood vessels spread across his eyes until they looked like they would burst on their own. His scream—a mixture of pain, despair, hatred, destruction and many, many more inexplicable emotions—didn’t sound like something a human was capable of at all. All he knew to do was to scream and scream and scream until he could no longer even form a coherent word.

Yun Che turned away and passed through the projection. As he walked away, his cold voice reached Zhou Xuzi again,

“I didn’t want to become a devil, but the heavens just couldn’t help themselves. Open your filthy, sinful eyes and watch as I plant my foot on the world, Zhou Xuzi.”

“Oh right, I almost forgot. I haven’t slain all of your descendants. The son you left in the Dragon Gods’ care, Zhou Qingfeng, is still alive. He is living as well as you are, if you catch my meaning.”

“His fate is not in my hands, however. It is in yours. If you live, he lives. If you die, he dies.”

“Now that you know this, I wonder what you will do next? Will you try everything in your power to kill yourself, or will you suffer a life worse than death for him? I very much look forward to your choice.”

Yun Che’s voice gradually faded, and the only answer he got was a scream that grew more and more despairing and bloody by the second...

“AHHHHH… AHHHHH… AHHHHHHHHHHHH….”

The palace’s gate slowly opened. It wasn’t a loud noise, but it caused everyone to shut their mouths and stifle their breath instantly.

A person slowly stepped out from behind the gate and onto the red carpet that had been laid out for him. From a certain point of view, it would look like he was stepping on everyone’s heads as well.

He wore a golden crown with cyan jade tassels on his head. His white robe was covered in crimson, devilish patterns and bound together by a black belt. His body shone white, but his eyes were full of darkness...

He held darkness in his hands, but he basked in the sun like he was the center and the pinnacle of the entire world. Their eyes trembled. He was stepping on not just their shivering souls, but also all of the common sense and known laws in the entire cosmos.

BOOM!

BANG!!

There was an explosion of profound energy, and countless noble knees bent and hit either energy or the ground with a resounding thump.

“We welcome His Magnificence!”

The god emperors of all realms dropped to their knees and chanted his title. It was an unprecedented sight that could never be properly described by any words.

A heavy pressure that surpassed their body or soul’s ability to withstand pressed down on them.

Feeling as if a million mountains were pressing down on them, all the realm kings and profound practitioners bowed their heads to their future emperor. They wouldn’t even think to lift them until a very long time later.

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