“You’re all brave warriors of the Qin Dynasty, just that you were betrayed by one of your own and died with grievances,” said Mi Li.
She paused for a moment to check the indignant looks on their faces before carrying on, “You were pillars of the Qin Dynasty, and your demise has left a gaping hole in our empire. Not too long after you fell, our Great Qin was taken over by those barbaric rebels. I am as upset and indignant as the rest of you. We aren’t enemies but allies on the same front! Who is the one who landed all of us in this plight?”
The evil spirits howled in unison as the lake began bubbling furiously. Their eerie voices echoed loudly within this underground hall.
Zu An was deeply impressed by the sight before him. These evil spirits actually weren’t too sentient. They were left with only their instincts, leaving them incapable of speaking. At the very most, they could only release some insignificant howls.
Yet, somehow, they were able to speak Zhang Han’s name out loud. This showed just how much they hated that man, such that his name continued to linger in their minds even after their deaths.
“Indeed, it’s Zhang Han! Our Great Qin has entrusted our hopes to him, but he betrayed our imperial court. For his own safety, he chose to surrender to the rebels and sent out core force to the grave. He deserves to die a thousand times over!” roared Mi Li powerfully.
Zu An frowned a little upon hearing those words. To be honest, he was a little sympathetic toward Zhang Han over here. To the soldiers of the Qin Dynasty, he was indeed a traitor who had backstabbed all of them, but there was no way he wouldn’t choose to become the savior of the Qin Dynasty instead of a backstabbing sinner if he had a choice.
With his previous successes on the battlefield, his political enemies in the imperial court began worrying over his growing influence and attempted to slander him before the emperor. It was already tough enough to deal with the rebels, but he had to keep an eye on his back on top of that. He knew that even if he won the battle against the rebels, it was likely that his political enemies would find a reason to frame him and bring him down. Cornered, he was eventually driven into surrendering to the rebels.
As for killing his 200,000 soldiers, that wasn’t his idea either. As someone who had already surrendered, he wasn’t in a position to stop the rebels either.
A single wrong step was more than enough to drop him into the abyss. There was no longer any turning back anymore.
Of course, even though Zu An sympathized with Zhang Han a little, he wasn’t so dumb as to talk about all of these at a time like this. He simply watched the situation quietly by the side, curious to see how Mi Li would wrap things up.
“Just a moment ago, I’ve already killed the sinner, Zhang Han, and exacted vengeance for the Qin Dynasty and all of you!” Mi Li shot a glance at Zu An, urging him to throw the helmet and spear into the lake. “This is his helmet and weapon!”
Zu An felt a sharp pain in his heart. Both the spear and the helmet had a beautiful luster that hinted they weren’t ordinary items. If he were to put it on auction, it would surely stir a bidding war. It was really a huge pity to throw it away just like that.
However, when he looked into the lake and saw hundreds of thousands of eyes staring back at him, he felt goosebumps rising all over his body. With a deep sigh, he tossed the helmet and spear into the lake with a reluctant look on his face.
As soon as the helmet and spear fell into the water, the evil spirits immediately rushed forward with reddened eyes. Seemingly viewing the two pieces of equipment to be Zhang Han himself, they opened their mouths wide and chomped down on them.
Zu An was dumbfounded.
What the hell? Zhang Han’s spear and helmet look to be of a similar level as the current Tai’e Sword, and yet, the evil spirits are munching down on them with their teeth?
However, what was even more shocking was that the spear and helmet were actually growing smaller at a visible pace, and it didn’t take long before it completely vanished from view.
“…” Zu An.
The wrath of the evil spirits placated a little after devouring Zhang Han’s armor and spear. In fact, some of them even had serene expressions on their faces.
Mi Li made use of this opportunity to ask, “All of you have turned into evil spirits due to your hatred toward Zhang Han. However, now that Zhang Han is dead, are you really content to continue living in such a state, never to be reincarnated?”
Those words made the evil spirits struggle for a moment. Clearly, their inability to find inner peace was torturing them too.
“It’s about time for you to let go of your persistence and reincarnate into a new body,” said Mi Li. “I’ll lend you a helping hand. A Life’s Gate will appear here later on; you’ll be able to be born anew once you pass through the gate.”
Zu An was in the midst of watching the show when a formula suddenly sounded in his ears. It was a ki transmission from Mi Li. “Channel the second rank of your Primordial Origin Sutra and manifest it in this manner corresponding to the Art of Afterlife…”
Zu An immediately did as he was told, channeling the primordial ki from the world together as he muttered, “Dirt to dirt, earth to earth. Those who have departed ought not to linger here…”
As Mi Li’s voice sounded, a white gate suddenly appearing in mid-air. It was initially around the size of a palm, but it gradually grew larger before eventually reaching several meters in height. The gate gave off an air of divinity and majesty.
Zu An widened his eyes in awe. He had never seen such a cool effect before. If I use this to show off in the future, won’t everyone bow down to me in awe?
At the same time, he felt the disparity between him and Mi Li in terms of experience. The latter was clearly much more knowledgeable than him, knowing all kinds of different stuff.
He turned to look at Mi Li, only to be surprised to see that her silhouette had vanished without a trace.
Wait a moment, has she left together with the Life’s Gate? Ah, what a pity. If only I knew in advance, I would have taken my chances with the beautiful big sis empress…
“…” Mi Li.
You have successfully trolled Mi Li for +555 Rage!
“You really are a pervert through and through.”
Zu An was delighted to hear her voice. “Ah, you’re still here! You really scared me earlier! Where did you go to?”
“Of course I’ve returned back to the Tai’e Sword! Why would I remain outside after the Life’s Gate has been opened? I’d be asking to be purified!” replied Mi Li snappishly.
It was only then that Zu An remembered that Mi Li had made a deal with him precisely out of fear of his purification ability. The white gate seemed to possess some sort of mysterious suction power that drew the evil spirits out of the lake and through it. They had peaceful looks on their faces as they passed through the gate, seemingly filled with great expectations for their next life.
There was a thin film in the gateway, and the evil spirits who passed through it would vanish without a trace, as if they had been transported into another mysterious world.
Zu An couldn’t help but ask in wonderment, “Is it the afterlife beyond the Life’s Gate?”
“Of course not,” sneered Mi Li.
“Huh?” Zu An was confused.
“The afterlife is something fleeting and beyond reach. There might be some powerful experts in the world who have the ability to reincarnate, but it’s not something that ordinary mortals can hope for. That Life’s Gate is nothing more than a manifestation of your purification ability. The evil spirits who pass through it will simply be disintegrated into the most fundamental form of ki,” explained Mi Li.
“…” Zu An.
This woman is simply too vicious! Her speech was so impassionate that even I fell for it, but it turned out to be a big fat lie?! Looks like I must really keep my guard up against her in the future, or else I might just get sold one day!
“Of course, this is a fair ending for them too. Evil spirits aren’t entitled to peace even after death,” added Mi Li.
Like hell I would believe that!
But of course, Zu An wasn’t so dumb as to tell the evil spirits the truth of the Life’s Gate.
“Don’t waste this precious opportunity. Hurry up and assimilate the primordial ki emanated by the evil spirits,” reminded Mi Li.
At her reminder, Zu An realized that the primordial ki in the surroundings was growing more and more concentrated along with the disintegration of the evil spirits. So, while maintaining the Life’s Gate, he drove his Primordial Origin Sutra to heal his injuries.
Meanwhile, Chu Chuyan stood by his side to guard him. At the same time, she kept an eye out for Qiao Xueying as well, feeling a bit worried for the latter since she had sustained severe injuries too. While it was not to the extent of being fatal yet, it could possibly pose some danger to her if left untreated for too long.
“Honey, I’ll be fine. You should take care of Snow first,” Zu An opened his eyes and said.
Chu Chuyan responded with a nod before rushing over to Qiao Xueying’s side. She noticed that the latter had already fallen into a semi-conscious state, so she quickly infused her ki into her body. While it was not as pure as primordial ki, it should be enough to slowly heal her injuries up.
Some time later, Qiao Xueying’s eyes slowly fluttered open. Upon seeing that it was Chu Chuyan who was saving her, there was a complicated look on her face for a moment before she whispered softly, “Thank you.”
“There’s no need to thank me. It’s Ah Zu who told me to save you,” replied Chu Chuyan.
Qiao Xueying smiled softly in response. “You’re still the same as always. Despite harboring kind intentions at heart, you simply wouldn’t admit to it.”
Chu Chuyan’s cheeks flushed a little. The relationship between the two of them was a little awkward at the moment. While Qiao Xueying was a spy sent by a hostile power to infiltrate the Chu clan, somehow, Chu Chuyan was unable to bring herself to hate her.
But of course, after all that had been said and done, it was impossible for their relationship to go back to how it was before.
After a moment of hesitation, she changed the topic and asked, “Speaking of which, you were on bad terms with Ah Zu all this while. How did the two of you become so much closer all of a sudden?”
“Don’t misunderstand it. There’s nothing between me and him at all. We’re just two individuals working with the same goal in mind. We happened to share a bit of camaraderie from our shared efforts to save you earlier; there’s nothing else other than that,” replied Qiao Xueying.
Chu Chuyan chuckled softly. “I didn’t say anything. Why are you in such a rush to refute my words?”
Qiao Xueying’s face heated up. She wasn’t saying anything else, but she found her heartbeat hastening. What’s wrong with me? It’s not like I’m lying or anything. Why would I feel so conscience-stricken?
It took a few hours before the 200,000 evil spirits were fully purified. With the disintegration of the final evil spriit, the temperature in the underground hall suddenly seemed to raise by a few degrees. At the same time, the black lake slowly turned clear.
Zu An heaved a sigh of relief. He had managed to recover fully from his terrifying wounds by absorbing the primordial ki, and he felt more spirited than ever.
While he was healing his wounds through the Primordial Origin Sutra, his body underwent a complete tempering session too. He was at least two times more resilient than before. In fact, he had a feeling that he could withstand a full power blow from a fifth rank cultivator without taking much damage as long as the latter didn’t tap into his elemental prowess.
He lowered his head to look at ‘little Zu An’. He couldn’t help but remember how shocked he was when he first heard of the story of Lao Ai using his thing as an axle to turn the wheels of a carriage. However, now that he looked at it once more, it seemed no more than a child’s play to him.
He couldn’t help but notice that he had only absorbed less than half of the primordial ki earlier on. Most of the energy produced by the disintegration of the evil spirits had gone into the Tai’e Sword instead.
Zu An sighed softly and said, “Big sis empress is truly a cunning one. After all the trouble I’ve been through, it turns out that you’re still the biggest victor of all.”
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