"The specters shall heed the orders of the Divine Moon Realm!" Bodhi said respectfully.
"Two hundred thousand years ago, your kind broke the taboo of order and consumed sentient life as food, greatly disturbing the realm of order. You were punished with eternal imprisonment and extermination. After all this time, have you learned the consequences of your actions?" the moon guide asked in a deep voice.
"The specters have definitely changed! We won’t repeat our mistakes!" Bodhi said with his head lowered.
"Very well. The fact that you were able to break out of eternal imprisonment means that the heavens have decided to grant you a chance."
Tianming was completely confused. This was completely different to what he had imagined. It sounded like the moon guide was just going to let the specters off. What did he mean when he said the heavens were giving them a chance? They had only managed to break out because some remnants outside the Ninefold Hell weren't eliminated and had worked to break them out. More crucially, Tianming had a feeling that the folks from the Divine Moon Realm were completely downplaying the role Great Emperor Xuanyuan had played in the events all that time ago. They made it sound like the war to seal the specters was a simple judgment rendered by the Divine Moon Realm.
The events had happened too far back, and many things could easily be distorted. Perhaps not even the descendants of the Divine Moon Realm had a clear picture on what happened back then. Whatever the case, Tianming had seen the murals Great Emperor Xuanyuan left behind. He had a sense that the people from the Divine Moon Realm had also fought dearly in that war. There was no way the truth of the past was something so simple.
The fact that the moon guide had said the realm of order was disturbed meant that it was a tumultuous time. Yet the specters had enslaved humanity for more than a million years! What was the Divine Moon Realm doing back then? Did they not notice it? There were far too many details that were still unclear.
As Tianming continued pondering, the moon guide continued, "The Divine Moon Realm will give you criminals one final chance. From now on, you are to coexist with the Flameyellow humans on the continent. You shall not breach the taboo and treat sentient beings like livestock ever again. Otherwise your entire race will be exterminated!"
"Understood!" Bodhi nodded again. He really did seem obedient, completely unlike the overlord Tianming had imagined him to be.
"I will leave transmission stones behind for the humans. The moment you breach the taboo, the Divine Moon Realm will send forces to wipe you out, understood?" the moon guide said.
"Alright, the matter is settled. Let's return."
Was that really it? Was the specter disaster over just like that? This was completely different from the outcome Tianming had expected.
Right as they were about to leave, Bodhi looked up and asked, "Lord, apart from keeping sentient beings as livestock, normal fights over territory and resources aren’t considered to be breaching the taboo, right? The Flameyellow Continent doesn't belong solely to humans, after all. All lifeforms have the right to fight for their own survival and prosperity. I’m sure this is a core tenet of the laws of the realm of order."
The words completely shocked everyone there. The moon guide turned back with a smile. "Looks like your intelligence is one thing that hasn't suffered after two hundred millennia. There is reason in your words, but the rootbeast race is considered a subdivision of humanity just like us, the divine moonrace. If you cause too much commotion, we will still deal with you."
"I appreciate the warning, Lord," Bodhi said with a look of gratitude.
The one who ended up being the most displeased at how things had been settled was Tianming. While rounding humans up and rearing them like livestock was forbidden, war and slaughter on a reasonable scale was allowed. The former was considered taboo, while the latter was just natural law. In other words, as long as specters didn't eat humans, the Divine Moon Realm wouldn’t interfere in the matters of the Flameyellow Continent at all!
Consuming lifebound beasts was just a vice of the specters. It was more important that they survived. Currently, they could feast on wildbeasts without going for lifebound beasts. In other words, they would still be humanity's enemy and the Divine Moon Realm didn't really care about that fact. Temporarily refraining from breaking the taboo was definitely something the specters were capable of.
Tianming narrowed his eyes and looked at the moon guide's carefree expression with a feeling of distaste. As they were leaving, Bodhi stood up behind them.
"Wait," Huiyue Yin said. He turned to Bodhi and asked, "What’s your cultivation stage?"
"The fourth," Bodhi answered.
In a flash, Huiyue Yin appeared in front of Bodhi and punched. Bodhi immediately reached his hand out to block, only to be sent flying. Blood trickled out from the corner of his mouth.
"Someone at the fourth level can't even take a punch from me at the first level. It's too pathetic. You have hard times ahead of you," Huiyue Yin said with a shake of his head and a scornful look.
"Yes, that appears to be the case," Bodhi said with his head lowered.
Then, the three of them went their way. Tianming and Bodhi exchanged glances. The man's gaze was blank and filled with worry just like a mannequin's, but Tianming could feel the madness within it.
"Li Tianming...." Bodhi smiled.
"You know who I am?"
"Of course." He waved at him and said, "Goodbye."
After going through the passage back to the Flameyellow Continent, Tianming caught up to the moon guide and was just about to speak.
"Shut up and stop troubling us. Otherwise we won't hold back," the moon guide said. He tossed a new moonjade to Tianming. "Remember. Only contact me if they break the taboo. Otherwise, you won’t get another chance. We do things by the book, not sentimentality, understood?"
Tianming caught the moonjade in his hand.
"Let's go!" The moon guide looked at the others and signaled them to go with him.
"Moon Guide, I want to stay here for a bit. It's not every day we get to come to a Welkin continent, after all," Huiye Shi suddenly said.
"Do as you like. But how are you going to leave then?"
"I'll stay back, too," said Huiyue Yin. He was an ascendant, so he would be able to go to the Divine Moon Realm.
"What's so fun about a place like this?" The moon guide smiled helplessly. "Oh well, only young ones like you would find this interesting."
"Moon Guide, my brother's already fifty. He's already an old fart," Huiye Shi said.
"I can't be bothered with you two. Just remember to come back after you've had your fun," the moon guide said before he left.
When he was gone, Huiye Shi blinked cunningly, as if her master plan had worked. Turning to Tianming, she called out, "Hey."
Tianming turned to look at them.
"The Moon Guide is a busy man. He's in a rush to go back to his tens of lovers, so it's impossible to get him to help. However, with us siblings around, that dirty demon down there won't dare to mess around," Huiye Shi said.
Tianming couldn't help but see them in a new light. Had he really misunderstood them?
Huiye Shi said, "Well, if you can show us anything interesting and wondrous, we might be more inclined to stay longer. That way, you'll be worry free, right? It isn’t easy for us to be able to make such a trip, you know."
Apparently he didn't. He laughed inwardly and said, "Yes, that's right."
Nobody was more reliable than himself, after all.
Back at the Abyssal Battlefield, Bodhi returned to the Ninefold Hell. A beautiful woman holding a girl in her arms was waiting for him there. "Are you alright?"
"They haven't changed at all. They're the same arrogant, high-nosed pricks. Looks like their nature isn't something that's changed even after two hundred millennia." Bodhi sat down and laid his head on her thighs, looking up at the boundless dark sky above.
"So, are you confident?" she asked.
"Well, we all need dreams, right? The whole reason we waited two hundred millennia for our escape was to conquer the Flameyellow Continent, right? There’s nothing eternal in the mortal world. What we really need is a proper home.
"That's right, a home of our own. The Ninefold Hell has been dead for a long time. Only the Divine Moon Realm can nurture eternal life and lift this curse of ours. All the way back, if it weren’t for that monster Xuanyuan causing trouble for our ancestors, the pathetic moonrace would never have been able to hold us back! Their forebears probably didn't even dare to write down the true history out of arrogance. How laughable."
Bodhi chuckled coldly as the woman stroked his head. "So our era will eventually come, right?"
"It will. And this time, we’ll grow strong on the Flameyellow Continent. Once we rise to the Divine Moon Realm, we’ll kill all the moonrace and obtain the stellunar source. Then we can reignite the Ninefold Hell! After that, we’ll reenter the realm of chaos! We waited two hundred thousand years for our release. The efforts of our ancestors formed who I am today. I’ll definitely give those people a surprise they can't even fathom!"
Bodhi stood up with his eyes closed and arms open. "Those of us who were forgotten and stomped on will eventually be the ones that drive a stake through the hearts of the arrogant! The day we rebuild our homes and usher in chaos is the day the world will forget our crimes and exile!"
When he opened his eyes, countless specters across the Abyssal Battlefield roared, their cheers shaking the entire place.Previous Chapter Next Chapter