Dead silence descended upon the scene!
Everyone wore different expressions; the most anxious ones were led by the Mizar Sword Immortal, bringing with him most of the Sword Sages and the elite forces of the Tianyi Race.
Even Jin Shengshen was saying, "It's obvious enough, there's no way we can hand them that egg. This ordinary mortal kingdom has to be sacrificed. Comparing the destruction of a small country to the complete devastation of the entire divine continent, anyone with a single shred of humanity would know what choice should be made, even if this country is of vital importance to a certain someone."
The Tianyi Race were unfamiliar with Wu Yu, and were also relatively distant to most of the divine continent's immortal sects. As such, there was no chance of them giving in to Wu Yu even if they knew that his kin were trapped within. After all, these lowly beings were of no consequence to them.
"No matter what! We definitely can't give it to them!"
"Wu Yu is too rash, we had better retrieve the egg from him for safekeeping in case he makes any impulsive moves."
Everyone was staring at him, afraid that he would act recklessly.
At this point, the only one who could stand by Wu Yu's side and think from his perspective was probably Jiu Ying. Unfortunately, he was a demon, hated and despised by human cultivators, and therefore had no authority to speak here at all!
The only people who had not expressed their opinions thus far were perhaps the Yan Huang City Lord, the Imperial General, the Taixu Sage Master, the Dubhe Sword Immortal, and the Merak Sword Immortal. They could be said to be the core few of the divine continent's elites.
Wu Yu's entire world was silent.
He could not help but laugh bitterly.
For reasons unknown, Wu Yu felt traces of emotion similar to what he had felt back on the Shushan Immortal Sect's Mortal Arena. The same distrust from the masses, the same doubtful and wary stares. To think that he had just been welcomed as a hero after returning; in the blink of an eye, he had fallen to such a pathetic state!
As if he had been cast down from heaven into hell!
With only Jiu Ying still worrying for him, and fighting for him.
The problem was, even Wu Yu himself was embroiled in a dilemma. He wasn't stupid; he knew how troublesome it would be if the egg fell into the hands of the Necro Lord. There would definitely be many unforeseeable consequences; perhaps it might even result in the actual resurrection of the Heaven Devouring Evil Lord one day, in which case, the annihilation of the entire divine continent would only be a matter of time.
Even if this was so, should he just stand by and watch the Dong Yue Wu Kingdom be crushed mercilessly?
He was now in the sky directly above the Dong Yue Wu Kingdom.
The ground beneath him was where he had been born, his motherland, he had traversed every single inch of it with his men ever since he had entered the army!
In the Heavenly Sword Sect, he had taken his first steps on the path towards immortality!
In the royal palace of Capital Wu, he had taken his vengeance!
This was the place that he cherished most deeply!
How could he consider the big picture at this point, and stand by watching as his elder sister became a casualty in the hands of the ghostly cultivators!
How could he watch as Feng Xueya, Su Yanli, Qing Mang, Mo Shishu, and the rest, who were of utmost importance to him when he was first embarking on the path toward immortality, get killed one by one and even have their souls tormented for eternity by the ghostly cultivators!
Especially Feng Xueya - if not for him, there would be no Wu Yu! He had saved Wu Yu's life on numerous occasions. This debt of gratitude would never be forgotten!
Up till this day, Wu Yu solely recognized Feng Xueya as his one and only master! Even though Wu Yu's cultivation level had surpassed Feng Xueya's, there was a saying: a teacher for a day, a father for life. In his heart, he had undoubtedly already treated Feng Xueya as his own father!
Not to mention his comrades in the Heaven's Equal Camp. They had travelled tens of thousands of miles without complaint just to aid Wu Yu in protecting his homeland and family. Fang Chaoqun, Zhen Yu, Wu Tianyu, and the rest, they were so young, and still had great dreams and ambitions for the future...
As he thought about all these factors seriously, Wu Yu realized he could not bring himself to do it.
He had always been someone who was able to consider the big picture. However, today, the lives of everyone who mattered so much to him were being held in his hands. They were all too precious to him, and he deeply understood that if he allowed them to perish today, at the very least, his entire world would crumble and it would be the biggest emotional hurdle haunting him and obstructing his cultivation path from now on! He might even end up as a handicapped good-for-nothing... Of course, at this juncture, he wasn't considering any of this at all. His only thought was of keeping them all alive.
But if that was the case, he would have to hand over the egg!
Even disregarding the myriad of catastrophes that would arise from handing over the egg, all these elites of the divine continent standing before him would definitely prevent him from doing so. To make things worse, Wu Yu himself couldn't disagree with the logic behind their decision!
They were considering the big picture; this big picture was undeniably much larger than the mere Dong Yue Wu Kingdom. Moreover, if the divine continent was lost, Wu You and the rest would similarly be unable to escape a terrible demise anyway!
This choice was too tough!
Wu Yu had never encountered such a dilemma before. The last time he was faced with a tough decision was in Shushan, where he had chosen to pursue his own dao!
He had no regrets whatsoever regarding that incident, although he had to pay the price and be expelled from Shushan, even losing Nangong Wei. But at the very least there was still some leeway left for him to maneuver, and Nangong Wei was still around as well.
But this time, even the Yan Huang City Lord would probably be at a loss as to what decision to make! Perhaps he would choose the big picture, him being a crucial component of the big picture after all.
However, upon further deliberation, Wu Yu knew that he would disappoint most of the people here. No matter how dire the consequences, he could not do it. He wasn't as righteous or selfless as others might imagine!
He only knew this: "If I can't even protect the people I wish to protect the most, and the people I wish to repay the most, then what am I even cultivating for? Then what kind of dao am I even cultivating?"
The harshness of reality would always be more terrifying than one could ever imagine!
Wu Yu did not wish to give up. He clenched his fists, eyes shot through with blood. He was facing countless stares filled with domineering intent!
The Mizar Sword Immortal, Jin Shengshen, Liu Xuexian, and hundreds of elites!
"Wu Yu, don't do anything stupid and risk being abandoned by the world!"
"You're still young, you don't know how to decide what's truly important! But you must understand that in life, there will always be times of dilemmas and times of sacrifice. I know you're in turmoil, but the reality of the situation is that if you wish to escape this torment now, the ones suffering in the future will be billions of others!"
"If you're willing to sacrifice Dong Yue Wu, then the entire divine continent will be heralding your glorious deeds from now on! You would accumulate boundless merits! I'm sure even the heavens would look upon you favorably, and allow you a greater chance to ascend to immortality! Wu Yu!"
Hundreds of people were talking at the same time, some of them pressuring and intimidating, others nagging with good intentions.
Wu Yu's eyes were bloodshot. These words, no matter how reasonable or logical, were blatantly presumptuous!
The world of dao cultivation was actually this onerous and brutal!
These faces before him included people he had once idolized and respected, as well as some he was familiar with, yet now their expressions were also troubled and their hearts conflicted.
In the crowd, Wu Yu spotted Shen Xingyao. He remained silent. At this time, he could only shake his head helplessly in Wu Yu's direction. This was the consensus of everyone present. He knew Wu Yu was someone who valued his family and friends more than anything, but while he could empathize with Wu Yu's plight, he could not control the opinions of the masses.
In the end, it was Jiu Ying who was the most outraged. He rebuked them furiously. "Shut up, all of you! The whole lot of you can stand here pretending to be all righteous and good, but none of you can empathize with his struggle! Put yourself in his shoes; if you guys were in his place, you wouldn’t say these words so easily! Who doesn't have kin!? Who doesn't have people they want to protect, and who doesn't have people to whom they owe debts!? Wu Yu wants to smash the ghostly cultivators even more than you do, he's already done more than all of you combined! He risked his life going to Emperor Yan's Hall, but what about you guys!? You only know how to stay here and pretend to be saints!"
Under the circumstances, Jiu Ying could still stand against several hundred elites and convey such indignance on his behalf. Wu Yu had indeed made the right choice giving up Shushan for this demon.
Actually, the final decision still lay with the Taixu Sage Master, the Yan Huang City Lord, the Imperial General, and the Dubhe Sword Immortal. They were the core decision-makers of the entire group, and their views could very likely sway the eventual outcome. Even the Tianyi Race did not enjoy the same status as them. Wu Yu was now a member of Yan Huang Imperial City, so the opinions of the Yan Huang City Lord and the Imperial General were all the more crucial.
At this point, Jiu Ying was pretty much standing his ground, debating and arguing with hundreds of people on his own. Wu Yu no longer had to face the world alone. Previously, everyone had been trying to force him to change himself. However, the present situation was even more daunting. It was the pressure originating from morality, righteousness, the big picture, and the lives of the entire world! This was the most terrifying thing. Anyone with a decent moral code, when faced with this kind of pressure, would definitely cave in and succumb to public opinion.
At the most intense moment, the paramount presence in Yan Huang Imperial City, the Yan Huang City Lord, started to speak. Everyone immediately quieted down. The Yan Huang City Lord gazed at Wu Yu, saying, "Wu Yu, what do you think?"
Up till now, Wu Yu had yet to express his own opinions. Everyone was worried that he would act recklessly, so they had just been constantly nagging without giving him the chance to air his views.
What did he think?
Everyone was staring at him now; it was as if a dead calm had suddenly descended upon the whole world as they waited for his reply. However, to Wu Yu, this was not the case as their stares were exerting a tremendous amount of pressure on him. At this moment, everyone's heartstrings were tightly-strung, they couldn't help these feelings of anxiousness for fear that Wu Yu might disregard the bigger picture and make a selfish decision!
After all, Wu Yu was too young and had already pulled off a considerable number of shocking acts that no one could have ever expected. For example, the destruction of Emperor Yan's Hall could only have been done by someone who was absolutely crazy!
In the midst of his fury, Jiu Ying's face was displaying an expression of helplessness. The gaze he turned onto Wu Yu was filled with sympathy. Perhaps he understood Wu Yu better than anyone else here, and therefore clearly knew what a cruel moment this was for him!
A historical decision!
Once the choice was made, it might not only mean the complete annihilation of the Dong Yue Wu Kingdom, but also the destruction of his entire being. Once it reached that stage, what meaning would the dao still have left? Just what choice should he make, in order to resolve this brutal dilemma? The two choices were both likely to mean the devastation of the dao in his heart. This was different from the previous occasion; the choice he made in Shushan had cleared all obstacles along his path to cultivation and allowed his dao to improve at breakneck speeds!
"The big picture, the big picture, the big picture..."
These words were repeatedly bombarding Wu Yu’s mind. The irksome faces of every single person who had spoken those words to him were etched deeply within his heart.
Wu Yu did not hate them. What he was experiencing now was just a part of his destiny! He could only figure out now the right decision to make that would not leave him regretful for the rest of his life.
As all the tension descended on Wu Yu like a nightmare together with the stares of everyone present, Wu Yu seemed to be submerged in a turbulent vortex. He repeatedly visualized the two different possible endings that might occur as a result of his actions. He saw Wu You gazing at him through pain-filled eyes, struggling to survive in the desolate world of the ghostly cultivators. He saw Feng Xueya's disappointed expression, and saw his senior brothers and sisters screaming in agony. He saw his comrades from the Heaven's Equal Camp coming forth to aid him, only to die one by one and have their spirits confined within the ghostly cultivators' immortal treasures, doomed to suffer eternal torment...
He was startled awake from the nightmarish vision.
In this moment, his eyes shone with a sanguine light and words burst forth from his lips.
"I cannot allow them to die!"
The impact of these words seemed to shake the very heavens.Previous Chapter Next Chapter