Su Cheng’an lay on his bed, his face extremely pale. Only the hair on his head was whiter. His entire appearance screamed as if he was about to die at any point in time.
This should have been impossible given his cultivation base, but the knot in his heart had been unresolved for so many years.
But just because he was like this didn’t mean that he had become repentant in his old age.
Admitting fault was a kind of humiliation, which was why it was also a prized virtue - not everyone could do it.
Su Cheng’an lay in his bed, slowly sipping at his tea as he smacked the side of his bed, cursing, “You useless buffoon. How could you go and visit that brothel again? What’s the point in going to that kind of place?”
Su Hao replied carelessly, “Where else am I to go? To the gambling den? That place is no fun at all. I can’t win, and I can’t even lose.”
“You useless bastard. All you can think about is gambling or spending time with whores. How could I have sired a useless son like you?”
Su Hao retorted, “How would you have found my mom if it weren’t for the fact that you frequented brothels yourself? If it weren’t for your lasciviousness, would the Su Clan still be in its current state? Yet you’re telling me off......”
“You!” Su Cheng’an was so infuriated that he almost spat out blood. He picked up the medicinal bowl in his hand and hurled it at Su Hao. “You failure of a son! I can’t believe that I...... for you......”
Su Hao calmly wiped away the medicinal dregs on his face and harrumphed, “You want to say that you gave up on Su Chen for my sake, right? Forget about it. You did that for no one but yourself.”
“Don’t even mention that traitor in my midst!” Su Cheng’an smacked his hand against the bed violently. “I have no knowledge of such an unfilial son.”
“No one is filial in your eyes,” Su Hao muttered as he spun around and ignored him.
“You......” Su Cheng’an pointed his finger at Su Hao for a long time but couldn’t find the words to say. Finally, he spat out a mouthful of blood.
A young man standing by his side hurriedly rushed over to Su Cheng’an’s side. “Father, please, calm down.”
His name was Su Ming, and he was also Su Cheng’an’s son. His physique and cultivation, however, were only so-so.
As he reached out to support Su Cheng’an, however, Su Cheng’an refused his aid. “Get out of my sight! I don’t need your help, you worthless trash. All of you, trash, unfilial sons!”
Su Hao laughed coldly. “Hear that, Second Brother? I already told you that no one is filial in his eyes.”
Su Ming lowered his head. “No matter what, our father is our father. You shouldn’t anger him like this. If you keep doing that, then......”
Su Hao laughed coldly. “Then our bitter days will have come to an end.”
Both Su Ming and Su Cheng’an were stunned by his words.
“You......!” Su Cheng’an stared at his beloved son in disbelief, only to find that his son was staring back at him with eyes full of hatred.
Su Hao replied coldly, “If you die, Su Chen might not hate us anymore, and our relationship with him might be restored. I know you don’t like to hear this, but most of the members of the clan think this way as well.”
Su Cheng’an spat out another mouthful of blood, this time substantially more so than before. It was obvious that these words had wounded him quite greatly.
Su Ming hurriedly rushed forward once more as he cried out, “Third Brother, what are you doing? Are you trying to kill Father?”
Su Hao replied coldly, “I didn’t do anything. How could I kill him? If he dies, he can only blame it on his anger. Actually, all the suspicion would fall on you, since you’re the one holding him. I’m not even touching him right now.”
Su Ming was stunned.
Su Hao glanced at Su Cheng’an. “It seems like he’s not going to be able to hold on for much longer. I’d better leave to avoid suspicion.”
As he spoke, he strode out of the room.
Su Cheng’an was totally speechless. He only lay back down after Su Ming pushed him gently back onto the bed.
Su Cheng’an, Su Ming, and Su Hao were all unaware that there were two other people standing within the same room.
Su Chen and Su Feihu.
They were seemingly transparent. No one could see their presence, nor hear what they were seeing.
As Su Feihu gazed at his elder brother, he let out a sigh. “You see? This is why I say that the Su Clan does not need your support. If you let a useless individual like Su Hao gain such status, what harm do you think he will be capable of causing?”
Even Su Chen was speechless.
All kinds of birds could be found in a large enough forest.
Virtually any clan would possess individuals like Su Cheng’an or Su Hao. Of course, others like Su Ming also existed.
The problem was that one bad apple could spoil the whole bunch, and a single rat could ruin an entire bag of rice.
Su Feihu knew this was the case, which was why he had insisted on the former conditions.
He didn’t want the Su Clan to become a burden on Su Chen. This was the love that should have come from a family member.
As for Su Cheng’an, Su Chen no longer harbored a trace of guilt towards him in the slightest.
The old man still believed that it was Su Chen who was unfilial.
This was not entirely strange.
People were very good at blaming others for their mistakes. Everything was always someone’s fault.
This was a kind of instinctual self-preservation. If a person refused to admit they were wrong, they would continue to do what they felt was right, making it easier for them to live with themselves.
Many people pursued both physical and emotional comfort. Physical comfort was more obvious, while emotional comfort was much more hidden. As such, many people had a harder time figuring out how to face the reasonings of their own heart.
Su Cheng’an was obviously no exception.
The stubbornness of an old man was on full display. Unsurprisingly, this was also the reason that his physical condition had declined to this point.
If everything was Su Chen’s fault, then he, Su Cheng’an, had done nothing wrong.
That was all.
As Su Cheng’an lay on his bed, he continued to mutter, “Unfilial son! Unfilial son!” No one knew if he was cursing Su Hao or Su Chen.
Su Chen calmly observed for a little longer before finally pulling out a vial of medicine and placing it in Su Feihu’s hand. “No matter how you look at it, he’s the one who gave me life in the first place. Give this medicine to him, and he should recover shortly.”
Su Feihu slowly accepted the vial. “You may have helped him recover this time, but what about next time? The longer he lives, the worse his condition will be. Your medicine will not be able to keep him alive forever, right?”
“The rest will be up to the Heavens,” Su Chen calmly replied, “I will do what I can do. The outcome will be whatever it is.”
Su Feihu sighed and nodded. “Yes, we should just let things take their natural course. But while you might be willing to follow the Heavens on this matter, you aren’t on others. Am I right?”
Su Chen was taken aback. “What do you know?”
Su Feihu smiled bitterly. “I don’t know anything, but I do know that you were never willing to meet him until today. There’s definitely a reason for this.”
Su Feihu continued, “Also, there have been strange signs appearing all over the continent. Even though you have developed the bloodlineless cultivation techniques, religious worship only seems to be increasing.”
“Religious worship is increasing......” Su Chen squinted his eyes.
Naturally, he was aware of exactly what was happening.
The Barrier of the Gods was slowly but surely cracking, and divine power was beginning to influence the real world. In simple terms, the gods’ ability to bypass the Barrier was increasing.
In the past, the Mother Goddess could only provide the Harpies with Divine Feathers every so often, and the Lord of the Dreamrealm could control an illusion realm but could not kill anyone. Now, however, the divine power they wielded could cross over, affecting the commoners living in the Origin Realm and allowing the gods to begin harvesting Divine Power from their followers.
The gods’ infiltration of the mortal plane had finally begun.
Even though Su Chen had begun publicly distributing the bloodlineless cultivation techniques, he couldn’t force people to change their ways. Cultivation took hard work, while believing in gods would allow them to obtain power more easily. Also, cultivation required resources, making faith seem like the much simpler option.
Comfortable, simple, and effective were the main selling points of worshipping deities. Even with the Boundless Sect’s suppression, the worship of gods was beginning to secretly spread. Thankfully, these groups were primarily small and underground, and would never see the light of day. But Su Feihu was obviously aware of this.
Even though he didn’t know why the Boundless Sect wanted to restrict the worship of other gods, Su Chen definitely had a reason for doing it.
Su Feihu’s guesses were confirmed somewhat by Su Chen’s visit this time.
After a long moment of thought, Su Chen asked, “How is the religious scene in Northface City?”
Su Feihu replied, “I’m not super clear, but it seems that the Li Clan has some believers amongst their ranks. They’re constantly chanting religious mantras day and night, organizing prayer groups, and offering sacrifices. I’m not clear about the details. Su Chen, why are you trying to suppress religious worship? I heard that they truly exist, and they might return soon. Is this real?”
Su Chen squinted his eyes. “Who did you hear it from?”
“Who else? The members of the Li Clan themselves are constantly harping about when the gods are going to return to reclaim the Origin Realm for themselves. What Origin Realm? Aren’t we the Primordial Continent?”
Su Chen was silent and didn’t answer.
After quite some time, he said, “I’m going to leave.”
“Leave?” Su Feihu was stunned.
Their conversation seemed to be going quite well. Why was he leaving all of a sudden?
“You’re not going to stay a bit longer?”
“I still have a lot of things I need to do,” Su Chen replied.
As he spoke, he turned around and began walking away. Suddenly, he paused, as if he had thought of something, and asked Su Feihu, “If I must kill many people in order to save the human race, am I being hypocritical? Should I do so?”
Su Feihu replied genuinely, “Not at all. A person with grand ambitions has certain things that he must do and certain things that he must not do. Making the necessary sacrifices for the good of the entire human race is a good thing.”
Su Chen nodded his head, then turned around and prepared to leave.
Su Feihu marveled in his heart as he watched Su Chen leave.
As soon as Su Chen had left the Su residence, he clapped his hands. A person appeared behind Su Chen like a ghost.
It was Le Feng.
He was standing on his feet once more, and his strength seemed to have surpassed what it was before.
“Go and investigate the Li Clan to see if they were worshipping gods. They are located in the eastern region of the city. If they are...... kill them.”
“Kill them?” Le Feng was startled.
Even though the Boundless Sect had always forbidden the worship of gods, they had never killed other believers before.
“Yes, kill them,” Su Chen replied very confidently. “From this day onwards, worshipping gods will be equated to worshipping demons. Anyone who continues to hold onto their faith...... will be killed!”
“Understood!” Le Feng loudly replied.
Su Chen spun around and left.
As soon as he stepped out of the Su residence, his final connection with the Su Clan had been severed. From this moment onwards, his only target was the gods.
Since a battle with the gods was about to unfold, and their believers were essentially their capital and ammunition, Su Chen could not afford to give the gods any advantage, no matter how slight.
War had been declared. There was no longer any room to retreat. What needed to be done would be done, even if it meant that his hands would become stained with blood.