This had been the most desperate battle the Dragonblood Legion had ever fought. Their zero casualty legend was shattered.
Now the Dragonblood Legion had twelve thousand five hundred and thirty-seven people left, and that cast a dark shadow on them.
After returning to the Forest of Life, all the lifeforms in the forest prostrated themselves toward them. Even the Spirit Emperor personally prostrated herself to Long Chen.
Long Chen hastily pulled her up. “Spirit Emperor, if it hadn’t been for the Forest of Life’s kindness, I’d have long since died in the Eastern Wasteland. None of us have any regrets over fighting for the Forest of Life today.”
The Dragonblood warriors all cried out united. Even ignoring the Forest of Life’s connection with Long Chen, they were all hot-blooded warriors who wouldn’t just watch as the Forest of Life was annihilated.
Furthermore, the human race had once betrayed these kind spirit women. This could be considered a kind of atonement. Even the ones who had died felt no regret.
The Spirit Emperor was full of gratitude. “I know you don’t like that much courtesy. But your great favor will be forever remembered by the Forest of Life.”
The Spirit Emperor then placed her hands in front of her chest. Her hands took a strange form, looking like a flower blooming. With a sacred light shining on her face, she solemnly said, “Using the name of the Life God Tree, the Forest of Life forms an alliance with Long Chen. As long as Long Chen is alive, the Forest of Life will assist him with our full power. Even if our bodies are burned to ashes, we will not regret it!”
“Even if our bodies are burned to ashes, we will not regret it!”
Following the Spirit Emperor, all the Forest of Life’s creatures swore the same thing. All the Spirit race warriors had the same hand posture as the Spirit Emperor.
“Spirit Emperor…” Long Chen and the rest of the Dragonblood Legion were extremely grateful. All the Forest of Life’s creatures were kind and pure, and they showed a kind of absolute trust to their allies, even entrusting their lives to them. Because of it, the Dragonblood warriors’ grief lessened a bit.
The battle had only just ended, so everyone rested for a few days. Any external injuries were healed by the Life God Tree, but the wounds in their hearts could not be healed even with the best medicinal pills. They could only be healed with time.
All the Dragonblood warriors were resting beneath the Life God Tree. Divine light sprinkled on their bodies, and they quickly fell into slumber.
“Long Chen, you should sleep as well. The Life God Tree’s blessing will make you feel much better,” said the Spirit Emperor. When she looked at Long Chen, she couldn’t help feeling sad.
Everyone was asleep. Only Long Chen didn’t go through this method of healing his wounds. As the leader of the Forest of Life, the Spirit Emperor was connected to the Life God Tree, and she could see the burden on Long Chen’s heart.
Long Chen shook his head. “Some pain should be kept. At the very least, it’ll make me cherish my memories of my brothers more. If the pain fades, I might slowly forget them, so I want to remember them forever. I want to remember their smiles, I want to remember every day I was with them.”
“Long Chen, you’re too tired. If you continue like this, you will be like the wind, never able to stop.” The Spirit Emperor sighed. She was unable to comprehend the human race’s complicated way of thinking.
“You’re right, that’s a good comparison. The wind is unable to stop, because once it does, it vanishes, which signifies death. In the cultivation world, everyone is doing their best to get stronger. They’re all running as fast as they can, because they can’t stop, nor do they dare to stop.” Long Chen nodded in approval of the Spirit Emperor’s words.
“Long Chen, stay in the Forest of Life. The Dark Forest is heavily injured, so we’ll have a long time of peace in the Spirit World,” said the Spirit Emperor.
Long Chen bitterly smiled. “No one who steps into the vortex of the cultivation world can expect a good ending. This world is like a vat of dye, and no one can go through it without being stained. However, you aren’t able to understand this thinking of the human race.
“Although we are like wind, forced to keep going involuntarily, we have our own things that make it worth it. For example, the wind blows through an alley, smelling the buns that have just come out of the oven, hearing the laughter of children playing, seeing the marvels of human civilization. The wind blows across high mountains and great seas, experiencing the magnificence of the world. The wind blows through rivers and fields, experiencing the changes of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, learning the flavors of life.
“As we rush forward, we gain friends, we gain true love, and we journey alongside each other in fortune or disaster. We are like the wind. We don’t know where we came from, we don’t know where we’re going. All we know is that we have to cherish all the scenery of the journey. We have to cherish every companion, every emotion.
“The heavens are heartless. Cultivators look grand and powerful, but if you think about it, you’ll realize the heavens are just playing a cruel game of selecting the best and killing the rest. The heavens act according to their own will. They made the rules to their game, and when they’re bored, they’ll randomly change the rules as they please. Whoever they say dies has to die. They are both the players and the referee.”
Toward the end, Long Chen’s expression became frosty, and his killing intent grew stronger. The Spirit Emperor felt that the current Long Chen was a bit frightening.
Long Chen looked up at the sky. This battle was something he viewed as a loss. He hadn’t lost to Peng Wansheng, he hadn’t lost to Sha Guangyan, and he hadn’t lost to the Undying Willow. What he had lost to were these damn heavens.
He had planned things out and he had used up all his trump cards, but he had still lost. Thinking of the five hundred and thirty-seven brothers of the Dragonblood Legion who had fought to their deaths on the battlefield, Long Chen felt like a knife was stabbing his heart.
Due to the protection of the spirit trees, as long as a Dragonblood warrior wasn’t instantly killed, even heavy injuries could be healed in an instant.
Only warriors that were slain in one attack would die. In this bitter battle, without the protection of the spirit trees, at least half the Dragonblood Legion would have died.
The Dragonblood Legion’s undefeatable legend had been shattered. This gave Long Chen a warning. He was now seeing things clearly. His opponents weren’t people but the heavens.
Ever since he had stepped onto his cultivation path, each step had been thorny and covered in pitfalls. There was nothing that ever went smoothly for him. Essentially, none of his opportunities had been gained through luck. Instead, his bad luck always made things gravely life-threatening.
This time, there was nothing for him to complain about when it came to the Dragonblood Legion’s fighting. Whether it was their arrangement or their individual display, they were all practically perfect. And yet, they had still fallen to this point.
If Leng Yueyan hadn’t appeared at the critical moment and reversed the tides, the Dragonblood Legion might have been completely annihilated today.
Long Chen silently thought to himself. Had he been too brash and made too many enemies?
No. Because if he had endured instead, his enemies would have long since climbed over his head and crushed him.
Had he been too hot-headed and not understood how to act pragmatically? Should he have instead simply slipped away?
No. If he had done that, he would have violated the essence of the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art, as well as betrayed his own principles. Then he wouldn’t be Long Chen.
Yes, he could have pretended not to know about the battle in the Spirit World. Then he could have had more time to focus on getting stronger.
But if he hadn’t been here, and the Forest of Life had been destroyed, it would become a stain on his life that he would never be able to wash away. What would be the point of cultivating if he acted like that?
Cultivation was to get stronger. Getting stronger was to live with dignity, to protect what you loved and believed in.
If he hadn’t come to the Spirit World, forgetting about his past debts and abandoning the beliefs in his heart, then what would he have been cultivating for?
When he thought about it, he felt that he hadn’t taken a single step wrong. What was wrong was this world. What was wrong was the heavens. They were intentionally making things hard on him.
The Spirit Emperor chatted a bit longer with Long Chen, trying to untie the knot in his heart. But she found that his thoughts were wandering, so she didn’t keep bothering him.
Long Chen went to a floating island alone, sitting on a huge leaf seat. He looked at the flow of the waterfall in front of him and felt incomparable pain inside.
Battle was not a game. Sacrifices were inevitable. Upon stepping into the cultivation world, death was just a matter of time. People had to view death indifferently, or they should simply not cultivate.
These were all words Long Chen had lectured to the Dragonblood Legion so that they could fight without being restrained by the fear of death. The Dragonblood warriors had never questioned his words.
He had persuaded them, but now that it was his turn, he found he was unable to convince himself of the same thing.
When he thought of those brothers he had eaten, drunk, and laughed with, when he thought of how he would never see those familiar faces again, he felt like his heart was being ripped out.
Long Chen stared at the waterfall with a blank expression. His head was empty, and time silently passed.
A soft hand gently stroked Long Chen’s cheek. Chu Yao appeared before him.
Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er had also come. The three of them felt their own hearts stabbed with pain when they saw Long Chen like this. Long Chen was a hero of indomitable spirit, but he also had his fatal weakness. He cared too much about his people. But it was because of this that he possessed such charisma that people followed him unswervingly.
“Meng Qi, are your eyes alright?” Long Chen was pleasantly surprised to see that Meng Qi’s eyes had regained their luster. Most likely, the Life God Tree had helped her heal them.
“Long Chen, if you want to cry, you should cry. You might feel a bit more… comfortable.” Meng Qi held Long Chen’s hand. Just seeing him like this, she began to tear up.
Long Chen smiled faintly. “I’m fine. I’m just trying to think about them so I can forever remember them in my heart. I know they wouldn’t want me to be like this, but I’m just doing this to cherish them. Once everyone’s recovered, I’ll also come out of this. We still have a long path to walk. Those people that harmed us will have all their debts dragged out of them.”
The three of them were slightly comforted to hear this, but their eyes were still red. Long Chen was the leader of the Dragonblood Legion, and he couldn’t even vent the feelings he wanted to. He could only keep them to himself.
“That’s right, Meng Qi, did you manage to gather the powerful souls I asked you to gather?” Long Chen asked Meng Qi. At this time, a bit of light began to shine in his eyes. This matter was extremely important.Previous Chapter Next Chapter