Yuwen Taiji waved and the guardians released the Li Saint Clan members.
"Run, now!" Huangfu Fengyun cried. Only then did they snap out of it and scramble. However, some attempted to flee in the direction of the Grand-Orient Barrier or toward the Cloudmist Sword School. It took quite a bit of effort for the rest to pull them back.
The tragic truth was that the rulers of the Grand-Orient Sect, the Li Saint Clan, no longer had a home. They didn't even know where it was safe to run to. Ye Shaoqing had no choice but to buy as much time as he could, but Yuwen Taiji wouldn't give him that. He summoned his Yangfiend and Yinfiend Taoties and surrounded him. In the middle of the two beasts, Yuwen Taiji drew the Grand-Orient Sword and slowly walked toward Ye Shaoqing. Each step he took shook the ground.
"Ye Shaoqing, I've always admired you, and I even made you an elder so you would support me. However, I don't understand why you choose to oppose me. Did you think you really stood a chance?"
"Help you? You're a ruthless blight that betrayed his own brother! There's no low you won't stoop to in order to achieve your goals! You're unworthy!" Ye Shaoqing charged in with his dragon.
The two taoties roared toward the skies and charged as well. The two strongest people of the sect, both in their forties, clashed. Ye Shaoqing gave ground as he fought; it was his only choice. Otherwise, he would lose more than a finger this time.
A fight on the level of saints was far beyond the league of most Grand-Orient guardians. The saint beasts' abilities covered the battlefield. The Azureflame Dragon's ability, Wrathflame Lotus, caused a gigantic azure lotus to manifest in the skies like a blinding sun. It covered the entire battlefield. At that moment, countless thunderclouds gathered.
"Voidgod Sword Intent!" Ye Shaoqing executed the true form of the ability with his saint beastial weapon that had more than twenty heavenly patterns, the Azureflame Empyrean. Countercurrent! Starfall! Countless beams shot out from Azureflame Empyrean, forming into thousands of sword lights.
The two taoties unleashed their spiritsource abilities. They gathered in a united stream of yin and yang as they drove the azure lotus back, eventually swallowing it whole. Yuwen Taiji's expression was as cool as ice, the Grand-Orient Sword glowing in his hand.
"If you had the Grand-Orient Sword, you might've been able to face off against me! But I am its wielder now! I forced myself to not shed a tear during the Prime Struggle, but today, I will avenge Shendu!"
He had said that he had no tears. So now there was nothing to stop him from tearing the world asunder.
"You shan't run. You can't run." He could tell that Ye Shaoqing didn't want to confront him directly. But there was no way he could run when faced with ultimate power. "Die!"
Boundless sword ki gathered and formed a hellish cage. The Grand-Orient Sword shone blindingly as black and gold sword ki manifested everywhere. The slash was accompanied by the attacks of his lifebound beasts.
With an audible rumble, the Azureflame Dragon's lotus crumbled. The sword had tipped the scales and Ye Shaoqing couldn't hold on. Even with Myriad's Only, the countless azure blades that manifested before were either swallowed by the Yangfiend Taotie or repelled by the Grand-Orient Sword's own sword ki.
Both Ye Shaoqing and his dragon were horribly wounded. Yuwen Taiji knocked Azureflame Empyrean out of Ye Shaoqing's hand and immediately knocked him out cold. In the next moment, he whipped out a chain and wrapped it around Ye Shaoqing and his dragon before slamming them to the ground.
He was so powerful that those who were watching shook in fear. However, Yuwen Taiji surprisingly didn't kill Ye Shaoqing and chose to imprison him instead. What in the world was he planning? The moment he landed, he looked disdainfully at Ye Shaoqing.
"Do you fear death?"
"I do. I fear dying by the hands of a shameless person like you. Your sword will stain my blood!" Ye Shaoqing was covered in cuts and he could barely move thanks to the chain.
"That’s the Grand-Orient Sword you're talking about!"
"It's merely a murder weapon in your hands!”
"Haha, to think that you'd mock the Grand-Orient Sword. To be honest, those elders are spineless and too old. I feel it'd be a shame to kill you today."
"So? What do you have in mind?" Every time Yuwen Taiji said something like that, he already had something planned out. There was definitely a reason he spared Ye Shaoqing.
Yuwen Taiji pressed the sword against his neck at that moment. "Well, Li Tianming is an outsider and doesn't have any sympathy for the Li Saint Clan, right?"
"What are you planning?" He had a bad feeling at the mention of Tianming.
"It's simple. You thought I was luring you out with the Li Saint Clan. In fact, I was luring Li Tianming out!" He knew he couldn't count on the elders to keep Tianming confined. But would he really be able to leave? At the end of the day, the one Yuwen Taiji truly hated was the killer of his son. He knew that even if he exterminated the Li Saint Clan, Tianming might not show up. But it would be different if he had Ye Shaoqing, whose life he now controlled.
"Li Tianming! I know you're watching. Whether your master lives or dies is up to me. Doesn't this seem familiar? It's just like the time with your sister, but now Ye Shaoqing is taking her place. I lost this game the last time I played it. So, I'd like to ask you if you'd like to exchange a life for a life more time!"
Last time, Tianming had managed to kill Yuwen Shendu in a desperate fight for survival, forever changing the status quo in the sect. But his retrieval of the Grand-Orient Sword had allowed Yuwen Taiji to rise back up. This time around, he wanted to exchange Ye Shaoqing's life for Tianming's.
After Yuwen Shendu's death, people thought Yuwen Taiji was cold and unfeeling because of how calm he was. Now, they knew that he truly felt torn from losing his son.
"Do you think the junior sect master will show up?" Many of them looked at the mountains in the surroundings. Where could he be hiding? At the very least, he would have been with Ye Shaoqing just moments ago.
Please don't come back, Shangguan Jingshu and the other elders thought. But would that really be the case?
"He'll be fighting Yuwen Taiji this time, not Yuwen Shendu!"
"If he shows up, Ye Shaoqing might not die, but he certainly will."
"A young person like him wouldn't dare do something so suicidal like this."
"That's right. This is suicidal. He's a pentabane, so he can still grow and avenge Ye Shaoqing."
"He can even take back the Grand-Orient Sword and the sect."
That was what most people were thinking. It wasn't that they didn't believe Tianming had the courage; but making this trade would be nothing but suicidal. However, Tianming now had his eyes closed. In the world of darkness, he wanted to ask if he would give up the chance to have his loved ones spared by exchanging his own life for theirs.
There was only one answer: he couldn't. He couldn't, no matter the consequences—not even if it meant certain death. As much as the others thought that he would be far more valuable than Ye Shaoqing, he didn't look at it that way. His feelings weren’t rationally justifiable; they didn't need to be. He gave it much thought and knew that Ye Shaoqing would certainly die if he didn't go down there. However, there was a chance if he did choose to go down.
"Big Brother!" Qingyu grabbed on to him, but didn’t have the strength to hold him down. Both Tianming and Ye Shaoqing were too precious to her.
Not to mention, the Ye Clan members—Ye Qing and Ye Yuxi included—surely felt more for Ye Shaoqing as family. Yet, they had to muster their courage to stop Tianming and watch Ye Shaoqing die.
"Qingyu, wait for Ling'er to come back for me." He handed her Ling'er's Love.
"Big Brother!" She shook her head and bit her lip.
"Don't worry! I'm immortal. Yuwen Taiji can't kill me."
As he said that, he headed for Yuwen Taiji in an act of suicide. There wasn’t the slightest hint of hesitation in him. People might call him an idiot for it, but that was just how he lived his life.
When he looked up, he saw bloody clouds gathering around Fatepath Peak. When everyone looked at the approaching suicidal white-haired youth, cracks formed all over the ground beneath them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter