A dark, gloomy room. There were many instruments of punishment located in this room. In the center, there was a punishment rack, atop which was bound a terrified, pathetic-looking white-robed youth.
“This, this…” Dong Seven stared at the punishment instruments, face utterly ashen.
“Who is it? Who exactly did I offend?” Dong Seven was absolutely horrified. “They actually annihilated Snowdragon Mountain.” His previous arrogant demeanor had completely vanished, leaving behind nothing but terror.
The soldiers in the corner of the room just watched quietly. Suddenly…
Rumble… the stone door swung open, and a woman walked in alongside a fur-clad youth. This caused Dong Seven to feel even more uneasy. He didn’t recognize these two at all.
“Princess.” The soldier on guard called out with respect.
“You can leave,” Yuchi Xiyue instructed.
“Yes.” The soldier immediately departed, and the stone door once more swung shut.
Yuchi Xiyue and Ji Ning both stared at the terrified, pathetic man bound atop the rack. These two cousins had long ago repeatedly reviewed the intelligence reports regarding Dong Seven. His appearance had been deeply engraved in both their hearts.
“Dong Seven!” Ning’s eyes flashed with coldness.
“It was you. It was you. It was you who destroyed my family, who killed my father and caused my mother to die of depression as well.” Xiyue’s eyes instantly turned red. She picked up a large ladle, filled with a bubbling, hot silver liquid, then flicked it towards Dong Seven.
The blazing silver liquid splattered on Dong Seven’s body. Dong Seven instantly emitted a miserable wail, and his neck stretched out as his agonized cries rang out. His face was as white as paper.
After he somewhat came back to his senses, he pitifully cried out, “Mercy, mercy!”
Ning’s eyes were red as well. Everything… everything had been a result of this wayward, hedonistic wastrel. This detestable person, this vile little creature who he, Ji Ning, now only looked down upon! But this detestable little creature had caused Ning’s parents as well as his cousin’s parents to all die early on. A feud of familicide… he could not live under the same skies with this man!
“It hurts, it hurts! Mercy!” Dong Qi screamed miserably.
“Hurts?” Ning picked up a blazing branding iron-type magic treasure and walked over. “That was just the start. Dong Seven, don’t be in such a rush. Slowly enjoy this.”
“No, no, no no no---!” Dong Seven felt his own heart quiver. He began to scream miserably once more… but protective formations covered this punishment room, and no one outside could hear him at all.
Ning heated up this branding iron-type magic treasure, filling it with his elemental ki. Instantly, a crackling sound could be heard as he pressed it down against the tattered body of Dong Seven. Smoke and steam arose. After he moved the branding iron away, he saw that Dong Seven’s skin now had the diagram of a flame branded into it, a brand which quietly activated the power of the natural world.
“AHHH!! It hurts, it hurts!” Dong Seven’s entire body was quivering. That brand diagram seemed to be causing his entire body to burn, and this sensation of being burned to death repeatedly nearly caused him to mentally collapse.
The nearby Xiyue said coldly, “Don’t worry. These are all instruments of punishment used by the imperial clan of the Grand Xia. You’ve only tasted two types so far. I won’t let you die that easily. I’ve prepared many fine spirit-pills. I’ll heal you repeatedly and let you taste the more than ten thousand types of corporal punishment the Grand Xia Dynasty has to offer. I’ll let you learn what pain is, what regret is!”
Dong Seven, upon hearing this, nearly broke down. Ten thousand types of punishment? The first two had already nearly driven him to insanity.
“How the hell did I offend you two? What the hell did I do? You must have the wrong person!” Dong Seven was almost crying now.
Rumble… the stone door was once more pushed open. From outside padded in a large, snowy white hound. The stone door then shut once more.
“Do you still recognize me?” Savagery was in the eyes of the Whitewater Hound as he stared at Dong Seven.
“Whitewater Hound?” Dong Seven was stunned. Deep in his memories, a scene from decades ago began to replay. A scene with a tall, muscular man and a loving couple; the wife was pregnant and truly beautiful, with a rare and noble aura. Her pregnancy just added a strange mystique to her charm… and Dong Seven had been incredibly aroused.
And so, he had ordered Yu Dong and Shui Yi to make their moves.
“You remember now?” Ning said coldly. “That couple back then… they were my mother and father.”
“The one that was killed by your group back then was my father.” Xiyue began to grow even more crazed. Her father had absolutely doted on her when she was a child. His wide, mountain-like shoulders… his loud laughter… his repeated appearances in her dreams…
He was her most beloved father… and she had been her kind and gentle man…
Ning and Xiyue both stared at Dong Seven.
Dong Seven felt coldness in the bottom of his heart.
“It was you who killed Shui Yi and Yu Dong?” Dong Seven said quaveringly.
“Right.” Ning nodded. “And now, it is time for you. The principal instigator.”
“My cousin was far too gentle; he simply used the Heartburner Art to torment those two.” Xiyue was gnashing her teeth. “Those two died, so that’s that… but as for you, the main culprit? I’m going to let you taste all of the ten thousand-plus punishments the Grand Xia has to offer. When the time comes for you to die, I will absorb your soul into the Furnace of Despair. I am going to torture your soul, every day and every night, for thousands of years…”
Dong Seven’s gaze grew numb as he listened.
Ning looked at his nearby cousin. Although he felt tremendous hatred as well, and also wanted to torture and shatter this man’s soul… compared to his cousin, he was far off.
“Cousin, it’s enough for you to torment his soul for ten days and ten nights,” Ning sent mentally, his eyes red. “There’s no need for you to steep your soul in hatred for thousands of years for the sake of this piece of trash.”
Torturing Dong Seven for thousands of years would also mean that Yuchi Xiyue would be steeped in hatred for thousands of years. Torturing others was a form of tormenting one’s self as well.
“The seeds of my hatred are deep. Little brother, don’t worry about me.” Xiyue’s gaze had become twisted from madness.
As Ning had grown up, he had been taught by his parents for more than ten years, then taught by Immortal Diancai as well. He also had his good friend, Mu Northson; thus, Ning’s inner heart had never become twisted.
As for Xiyue, however… after her parents had died, she had lived by herself and suffered tremendously. She didn’t wish to think back to her days of suffering, but even after being brought back by her maternal grandfather to the imperial capital of the Grand Xia, she remained quite solitary. Only in front of her cousin would her heart feel slightly warm.
Dong Seven died an agonizing death.
After having been tortured for three months and perishing, his soul was indeed drawn into the ‘Furnace of Despair’ and tormented for more than another month. In the end… it had been King Yan who intervened. Although Princess Xiyue kept the Furnace of Despair on her own person at all times, and although there was no way an ordinary person could kill a soul that was located with a magic treasure… King Yan could. He destroyed Dong Seven’s soul.
“Ji Ning, spend more time with Xiyue. She’s given vent to her hatred for nearly half a year now; she should be about done. If she continues like this, then she will completely lose herself to madness. Spend more time with her; this will help her slowly begin to walk out from the grips of hate.” King Yan personally chatted with Ning on this, and Ning naturally memorized these words.
In the deepest reaches of the skies above the imperial capital, there was a hazy gray void. Whoosh… the dim gray void suddenly parted, revealing an enormous corridor which was filled with a hazy golden light. A large number of black soldiers flew out in columns, and behind them there was a group of black-armored warriors that were riding on celestial horses. Behind the riders, there was an enormous coiling black dragon whose incomparably powerful aura filled the skies. It was pulling an enormous Immortal carriage that emanated golden light. There were golden lamps hanging from the Immortal carriage, and seated atop it was a black-robed man.
This black-robed man had a plain, unassuming face. His eyes, however, seemed to hold thunder within them. Wherever his gaze passed, the world itself seemed about ready to split apart.
His might and prestige caused the surrounding soldiers to feel absolute submission in their trembling hearts.
Behind this Immortal carriage, there was a group of black-armored soldiers who were seated obediently within a warship. This warship was three hundred meters long, but it was much smaller than the Immortal carriage. It must be understood that the black dragon was more than thirty kilometers long… and the Immortal carriage was roughly the same size as the black dragon.
The Emperor was out and about, with 999 guards escorting him.
This squad flew downwards, flying directly towards the Skylight Palace. Amidst the clouds at the highest point of the Skylight Palace, a large group of Immortal maidens and soldiers were already waiting. They all fell to their knees. Each of them were at least at the Primal Daoist level… but for them to be able to serve the Grand Xia Emperor was their fortune.
“We bow to you, your Imperial Majesty.” A muscular, two-headed Fiendgod was the first to immediately kneel down and call out the words.
Instantly, the other Immortal maidens and soldiers all knelt down as well. “We bow to you, your Imperial Majesty.”
The black dragon pulled the Immortal carriage downwards. The many black-armored soldiers that were escorting the carriage all quickly separated, moving to stand in different positions.
“Mm.” The black-robed man left the Immortal carriage. With but two steps, he arrived at the nearby imperial throne, then sat down. He looked downwards at them from his position on high, then instructed, “Send an order out to have King Qi come.”
“Yes.” The twin-headed Fiendgod immediately obeyed the order.
The black-robed man continued to sit there on the throne. He swept his gaze forward, seeming to stare through the layers of clouds and be able to inspect everything within the imperial capital.
He sat there on high. This was the Emperor of this major world… the one who had truly, absolutely unified it!
However, he had set his sights on the Three Realms long ago. He rarely came back to spend time in this major world of the Grand Xia.
“A few decades ago, the Netherworld Kingdom of the Three Realms suffered an attack. The Six Paths of Reincarnation were collapsed and destroyed… and then the attackers suddenly vanished without a trace.” The black-robed Emperor mused softly to himself, “The Netherworld… that is where the souls of the Three Realms reside. How important it is! The defenses there are very tight. The Yama-Kings of the Ten Halls and the Lord of Cui Palace are all Pure Yang True Immortals, and each of them are formidable.”
“Kshitigarbha [1. This is the bodhisattva who swore that he would only become a Buddha after emptying out all the hells of their sinners through enlightening mankind.], of the Buddhist schools, stands guard there as well. The Netherworld has some other ancient fellows there as well… it is a place of tremendous power, but upon suffering a sneak attack, it wasn’t able to fight back at all. In a very short period of time, the Six Paths of Reincarnation were destroyed… and they haven’t even been able to find out who caused it or where the attackers came from. Even someone like Master was unable to find out.”
“These forces which lie in the shadows… they are terrifying powerful. And their very first attack was against the Six Paths of Reincarnation.”
“It seems… the Three Realms are about to fall into a state of chaos.” The black-robed Emperor had a look of deep worry within his eyes.
When a tribulation came for the Three Realms as a whole, it would be incredibly terrifying. In the unfathomably ancient past, after Pangu established the world, the first era had been the Primordial era. Afterwards, the Primordial World had been shattered; only then had the three thousand major worlds and the trillions of smaller worlds been created. From this, one could tell how terrifying that storm had been.
“Every single major cataclysm will give birth to some truly supreme heroic figures.” The black-robed Emperor stared downwards towards the imperial capital of the Grand Xia. As the saying went, heroes were born in the midst of chaos. All of the powerful figures of the Three Realms had been born over the course of the truly major tribulations of the past.
“This will be the first Conclave of Immortal Destiny after the destruction of the Six Paths of Reincarnation. Then… most likely, some of those heroic figures that are going to emerge in this era will first appear in this Conclave of Immortal Destiny,” the black-robed Emperor mused to himself…