"I... I got it...." Huiye Shi looked at Tianming with her eyes wide open like an idiot. She felt all kinds of chaotic emotions. She never could've imagined that the prey she’d had her eyes on would actually manage to turn the tables on her. It was one thing for them to kill Huiyue Yin, but another for them to be able to push the blame on their nemeses!
Originally, the specters would've attacked and massacred the humans once the siblings left. Yet, a mere mortal was going to make use of gods to kill the demons that plagued them. While it was a bold plan, to say the least, it was detailed and well thought out. The sheer terror of the Latticeheart Curse had also managed to instill fear and obedience into Huiye Shi. Right after that, they floated a much more pleasant alternative to the fate brought by the curse to coax her into cooperating. The carrot was just as important as the stick, and it was one delicious carrot indeed.
All of that had made her mind a little numb from the realization. Who exactly was the prey here? Right now, Tianming and Feiling were traumatizing existences to her. What was even more laughable was how the siblings had even claimed to have released their inner demons after their power trip. Now, Huiye Shi was at rock bottom.
Tianming smiled and asked, "Lady Huiye, mutual cooperation or destruction, which do you choose?"
As he had said, she hadn’t lost much from Huiyue Yin's death. They weren't even that close as siblings, anyway. But if she continued resisting Tianming, everyone may die, but she would suffer a far worse death than they would.
"You didn't give me a choice at all. What else can I do to survive?" she said, still sobbing.
"That's right. It's a really simple affair. Clear cut and no headaches. I won't bully you at all either. Once the Divine Moon Realm is no longer a threat to me, I’ll have this curse dispelled," he said, patting her on the shoulder. "And I mean every word I said. We’re now in the same boat, so that makes us friends, right?"
"Yes, you're right! You're so amazing! Everything you do or say is right! My brother died a horrible death for his foolish mistakes. I'm utterly terrified of you now!" She had completely submitted.
"Alright, Ling'er, release her."
The Trilife Mirror vanished, allowing Huiye Shi to regain movement. She weakly slumped to the ground and cried.
"That's right. Keep this up and remember this state of mind. When your parents come, don't tell them any details. Just focus on your feelings, your hate, and your brother's horrible death. Think well on what you plan to do. If you fail, none of us will have an easy time."
Huiyue Yin's death demanded a culprit. If the blame wasn't put on the specters, it would come to Tianming sooner or later. Failure in this case meant only death, nothing else. The proud divine moonrace would no doubt descend to kill the murderer. When the time of reckoning came, there was nothing Tianming could do or say. All of it hinged on Huiye Shi's performance.
"I know. It's not hard, anyway. Didn't you make sure this plan was already flawless? Not to mention, nobody could possibly know you're capable of killing my brother. Nobody even bothers to come to this backwater. Who else could have murdered my brother but the specters?" Huiye Shi said.
"We won't have a problem, then." Tianming gave her some space to come up with a convincing performance and went back to Feiling's side. "Ling'er, apart from me, nobody else knows you're an ascendant. So you must lay low for now. Don't show yourself, no matter what happens. It's too risky."
"Take care, Big Brother." She held his hand with a worried look, her eyes as clear and beautiful as ever.
"It'll be fine. Everything is under control," he said confidently to alleviate her worries.
"I'll wait for you to come back."
"Alright. See you."
They let each other's hands go. Feiling bit her lip and left immediately, as they didn't know when the divine moonrace would come. Tianming watched as she flew off. "Ling'er...."
This crisis had significantly changed her. She had been growing time and again since coming to the Nine Divine Realms, and he could finally rest assured, knowing she could protect herself. Now they could move forward and grow together, facing all kinds of challenges, no matter how big.
"What else can a man ask for but a partner with which to tread the mortal coil?" Tianming waxed poetic.
"Blergh!" Huiye Shi feigned vomiting. "How shameless! Gross!"
When day broke, the light from the nova source of the sun illuminated the entire Divine Moon Realm, and beyond that, the Flameyellow Continent. The sky was pure white and blindingly bright.
On a snowy plain stood two people and a corpse. Huiye Shi looked blankly at Tianming as he basked in the sunlight.
"What’re you looking at?" he said distastefully.
"Since you dare to strip, I dare to look," she quipped.
Tianming blanked out. What in the world was coursing through her mind this time? "Start cultivating your feelings! You need it for your act! Didn't you say they should be here soon?"
"Ah, how handsome... and you're a bad boy, too. You're just my cup of tea," she lamented.
"You're still saying that? Aren't you afraid of her?" Tianming said, referring to Feiling. She shut up and shuddered at the mention of the demoness. "Huiye Shi, you should know that this plan of mine is riddled with holes and flaws. It all hinges on your act!"
"Don't worry! You don't understand my parents. If my mom is here, I don't even need to talk. I just need to point at the culprit and she'll immediately kill him without another word. Her precious son was killed, after all."
Tianming relaxed a little after seeing how confident she was.
"I'm only in my twenties... I still have centuries or even millennia left to live! I don't want to die!" she emphasized. "Not to mention, Huiyue Yin had been getting on my nerves anyway. I was bullied by him quite a lot, growing up, so he deserved it!"
As she rambled on, the moment of reckoning came. The sharp cry of a woman came from the direction of the bright moon. "Yinyin!"
Hearing that, Huiye Shi immediately put on her act. Her feelings came gushing out as she laid on Huiyue Yin's body and bawled. It seemed really genuine, as if she'd pass out from exhaustion from the sheer effort it took her to cry.
"Dad, Mom!" she cried, looking up.
Three figures slammed into the ground above Tianming. They were rather terrifying and completely renewed Tianming's outlook on ascendants. The power of the stellunar source was densely wafting off their bodies, creating a field that somewhat stifled his breath. The one on the left was the moon guide from before, and the other two were the parents of the siblings.
The man in the middle had a really huge build and a tall ponytail. He was dressed in a broad robe that made him look really domineering. He had a rough, almost barbaric look. For him to be able to have beautiful children the likes of Huiye Shi and Huiyue Yin implied that his wife was a stellar beauty, and that was exactly the case.
The woman looked almost like a sister to Huiye Shi. She had a curvy, alluring figure that even her loose purple dress couldn't hide. Her face was beautiful and charming, much like Huiye Shi's, but more mature. Every movement of her body was imbued with a primal, seductive grace. The moment she saw the mutilated corpse of her son, her face lost color. She wailed in pain and fury, allowing it to contort her beautiful face as she stumbled and leaned on her husband. She scrambled to Huiyue Yin's corpse and gave it a good look, then tears began uncontrollably flowing from her eyes. Her vision blacked out and she almost fainted.
Even knowing that he was dead, seeing it for herself felt much more painful than she had imagined.
"T-t-this... this was beyond my expectations, Huiyue Du." The moon guide was completely stumped. Among them, he was the most culpable for this turn of events.
Huiye Shi's father, Huiyue Du, fumed with rage. His hair seemed to rise as he slapped the moon guide hard. "You... Liu Yizhao! You took my son here and left him while you returned to have fun. Now he's dead!"
"Brother Huiyue, calm your anger. This can't be possible! Let's ask who the culprit is first." His face turned red from the slap, but more from rage than the slap itself; his status was actually not that much lower than Huiyue Du's.
"Shishi, stop crying! Stand up!" Huiyue Du roared.
"Dad! Waaaah! Brother died a horrible death! Those monsters... he only killed a few of them, and they ganged up on him for revenge, those animals!" Huiye Shi cried, kneeling and clutching Huiyue Du's leg. She was smart enough to even give the specters a motive for killing Huiyue Yin that matched how they were perceived. "Dad, you must avenge Brother! They were too cruel! They initially cut off one of his arms, then destroyed his totems! He was terrified and tried to escape, but then they cut off his legs and tortured him to death before casting him into the wilderness! I was hiding far away and couldn’t move an inch. I would've died otherwise!"
She bawled all throughout her explanation and her voice turned coarse.
"So you're saying the specters were the ones who killed Huiyue Yin, right? It started because he killed a few of them to start with?" Moon Guide Liu Yizhao asked.Previous Chapter Next Chapter