Weisheng Cangyuan laughed heartily and said, "Jun Shengxiao, you've never lost even once in your entire life. I bet you didn't think your first loss would be so dire!"
Behind him stood many experts from the Southsky Sect, all of them outside the barrier.
"You’ll never take the Grand-Orient Realm! Who do you think you are to force others to submit to you and use them as cannon fodder? You thought you held fate itself in your hands. Now, I'm sure you just realized what kind of mistake you've made. You deserve all of this for not caring about the people you want to give their lives for you! This is the karmic retribution you've earned after decades of ruthless domination!"
Weisheng Cangyuan was on top of the world. He loved seeing people suffering the punishments they deserved. Who was it that had fanned the flames of war and bullied other sects in the first place? None other than the Elysian Emperor!
"Jun Shengxiao, come fight us! We of the Southsky Sect don't fear you! If you don't plan on coming, don't bother approaching. Stay there like a cowardly mutt! I, Weisheng Cangyuan, look down on you!"
The surroundings rumbled with the laughter of the countless members of Southsky Sect. It cut sharper than any knife ever could have.
"Shut up!" Many people from Heaven's Elysium raged, but that only served to expose their positions. It was the worst shame they had felt ever!
"Heaven's Elysium is nothing but a bunch of cowardly bastards! Why are you on my doorstep? Are you stray dogs begging for food?"
Laughter filled the surroundings once more. Even though Heaven's Elysium's army had twice their number at a hundred and eighty thousand people, their morale was at rock bottom, having suffered the loss of a third of their entire sect. If they were to force an attack on the Southsky Sect now, not only would they fail, but they would pay a heavy price—at least a hundred thousand more deaths! Not to mention, the Southsky Sect's morale was at an all-time high.
"We can't fall for their trap! The moment the other two sects come to reinforce them, we'll lose even more!" Despite saying that, losing seventy thousand was already far beyond what the Elysian Emperor could tolerate.
"Oh? You're not attacking then? Can I assume you're here to beg?" Who could have expected the once-arrogant Heaven's Elysium would suffer such humiliation? Every one of them was fuming with rage. "Those who like to mock are often mocked themselves. Jun Shengxiao, drag your ass back from whence you came! Oh, wait, a cowardly tortoise like you probably already has its ass in its shell! There's nowhere for you to drag it back to!" Weisheng Cangyuan laughed loudly once more.
"Kill the Southsky Sect and Weisheng Cangyuan!"
"Flatten the Southsky Sect!"
The Elysium purifiers were so enraged that their mouths were on the edge of turning into bloody fountains. Everyone turned their gaze to the shamed Elysian Emperor. Would he really swallow the humiliation without retaliation?
The Elysian Emperor raised his head and wiped the trace of blood off of his mouth, having calmed down. Then he raised his hands and announced, "Retreat to Heaven's Elysium!"
"Huh?" All the Elysium purifiers were dumbstruck. While they knew their sect was on the verge of extinction for the first time in a millennium, with the achievements of their forebears nearly all wiped out, were they really going to leave like beaten dogs?
"I didn't think they'd run after having their dignity stomped on. How unseemly."
"Go back home and eat dogshit!"
Mockery and laughter came from the Southsky Sect's side once more as the hundred-and-eighty-thousand-strong army retreated, leaving behind a trail of tears of humiliation. They had come all this way only to leave without doing anything.
Weisheng Cangyuan's words never rang truer than they did now: those who like to mock are often mocked themselves. Heaven's Elysium had always operated like they owned the place and had no regard for others, yet they had forgotten that beasts driven to desperation often bit back. And this time around, the bite tore open their jugulars.
Heaven's Elysium had grown complacent throughout their millennium of supremacy. And now, they were being paid back the debt of pain they had inflicted upon others.
An army of bright white and gold were solemnly retreating. Atop a snow-white divine dragon sat the Elysian Emperor and his son, Jun Niancang, facing each other. The winds blew strongly, causing their long hair to flutter. The two of them seemed calm, as if they had already snapped out of the shock.
"Father, everything will go back to normal, right? We'll slaughter all these pigs, right?" Jun Niancang asked.
"That's right." This was something he had promised his son some time ago. "They were right. All my life I have only lost just this once. This lesson has truly come with an enormous price, but there won't be a second loss."
Jun Shengxiao watched the vast expanse of the realm with a cold gaze; he was the epitome of calm.
"Father, I have someone to introduce to you," Jun Niancang said.
"Yuan Hun of the Earthorigin Sect."
"I was just about to seek him out!" the Elysian Emperor said, his eyes glowing.
"There’s nothing more flattering than to be sought after by the Elysian Emperor himself," someone said as he came onto the white dragon. The figure was dressed in a long, black robe and he seemed so frail and slender that he almost resembled a wraith. He had a pair of green eyes that glowed like wisps in the dark, giving him an eerie appearance.
"Greetings, Elysian Emperor," said the figure with his hands raised in salute. His palms were as bony as his frame suggested.
"Long time no see, Yuan Hun. Why didn't you come visit Heaven's Elysium to rest up, since you were here in the Grand-Orient Realm?" The Elysian Emperor stood with his hands behind his back, seeming far calmer than before. Only those who could resist humiliation and still act casually were fit to aspire to greatness. If it were anybody else, they wouldn't have ordered their troops to retreat, on account of the dignity they would lose, not to mention regaining their rationality in the depths of humiliation.
"You were busy unifying the realm, Elysian Emperor, yet this lowly one was only taking a leisurely trip. I wouldn't dare to impose."
"We lost too horribly this time. I hope it at least made for an entertaining show," Jun Shengxiao replied jokingly.
"My condolences. To be honest, even I never could've imagined Li Wudi would achieve such heights."
"There's no need to bring up the past. Did Yuan Chen tell you what my intentions are?"
"What do you think of it? Or rather, what does the Earthorigin Sect think of it?"
"Shall I be frank?"
"If you’re willing to cede the hundred and thirty countries the Cloudmist Sword Sect controls to the Earthorigin Sect, we’ll send our own to directly occupy the land. We'll also bring a hundred sect elders and a hundred and fifty thousand Earthorigin defenders to your aid until you unify the Grand-Orient Realm!"
"That is a staggering demand indeed, for your side to demand a fifth of the Grand-Orient Realm's territory," Jun Shengxiao said with an intense look.
"Elysian Emperor, that is a reductive way of putting it at best. We’re willing to send so many of our own to fight to their deaths by your side. That entails great risk for us. As such, nobody will come without a reward. Not to mention, with the Cloudmist Sword School crippled, not even you would be able to hold such a large border.
"Considering the fact that they’re located just at the border of Earthorigin Realm, our sect is just next door. As you may know, the Earthorigin Sect is always serious and never haggles. Not to mention, you’re our friend and ally, so we’re willing to take some losses for a friend. I wonder what you think about the points I've highlighted?" Yuan Hun finished with his eyes letting out a glowy pulse.
"Haha...." The Elysian Emperor waved his hand and asked, "When are you sending your troops out?" It was a sign of his agreement.
"Oh, the Elysian Emperor sure is decisive. The ceding of territory has to first be officiated by the Theocracy of the Ancients. Once you notify the Divine Capital about ceding the territory to us and get their authorization, we’ll immediately send out our troops." Yuan Hun seemed well prepared.
"Then it'll be a month, at least. Perhaps even three months."
"Oh? Will the timing be an issue?" Yuan Hun asked.
"Haha, I can't even guess. However, I look forward to the day you unite the Grand-Orient Realm and fulfill your destiny!"
All the while, Jun Niancang watched silently from the sidelines. He knew that the Grand-Orient Realm had never had any territory ceded in the past ten thousand years. Now that his father was the new ruler of the realm, he was forced to rely on the Earthorigin Sect and hand over a fifth of the realm's territory. Was that really what an Elysian Emperor should do? Or was it an act of a traitor of the realm?
Though Jun Niancang had no answer for that, he understood one thing: his father and sect were definitely not in a state of calm. While he still seemed to be able to chat and laugh, the loss he’d suffered had caused his mind to erupt like a volcano.
The battle had ended not long ago. One of the Grand-Orient guardians Ye Shaoqing had sent to Vermillion Bird returned with a letter addressed to Tianming. It looked like his mother's handwriting.
"I was just back at Ignispolis. I wonder why mom's writing to me so soon?"
Upon opening the letter, it read, 'Tianming, after Uncle Yang's lifebound beast evolved into a saint beast, he has considerably grown in power. We want to travel around and see the world with our own eyes. Next time we meet, you'll have to start calling Uncle Yang your dad. P.S. don't miss me too dearly, alright?'
Tianming felt his head spin after he finished reading it. "Gosh, isn't this too abrupt?" His expression was one of total dumbfoundment. "They hooked up? Damn, what about my biological father, Li Muyang? Did he just get cucked? Man, the world of adults sure is messed up!"
It took him quite a while to properly calm down. The guardian told him that Mu Yang and Wei Jing had left after bidding farewell. With him protecting his mother, she should be quite safe, but....
"How can she just hook up with another man like that? She didn't give me any time to get used to it! Well, it's Li Muyang's fault that he left my mom alone for two whole decades! He deserves to wear a green hat!"
He decided he wouldn't stick his hand into his mothers affairs. It was her decision to make, and twenty years was probably plenty long enough for her to move on. As for Li Muyang, Tianming didn't think too much about him, for he hadn't even met him once.
Well, he would let things take their course. At the very least, he trusted Wei Jing to be someone who thought through huge decisions like that.Previous Chapter Next Chapter