“It’s the Undying Willow!”
Long Chen was shocked. A bad feeling rose in his heart. Chu Yao hadn’t refined the Undying Willow? Could it be that the Undying Willow had harmed her?
Seeing the endless willow branches attacking him, Long Chen let out a powerful punch, and his lightning and flame energy exploded.
The branches were blown apart. Long Chen broke the root binding his foot and retreated. He also summoned Evilmoon.
However, before he could slash Evilmoon out, his wrist tightened. It had been bound by countless branches.
“What?!” Long Chen suddenly realized he had fallen for a trap. All the Undying Willow’s previous attacks had been in preparation for this. It had long since established this trap behind him, and when he had instinctively retreated, he had fallen for it.
With his wrist bound, Long Chen couldn’t swing Evilmoon. Suddenly, Long Chen’s divine ring appeared, surging powerfully, and dragon scales covered his body, giving him endless energy. The branches binding him were crumbling one by one.
This was the result of his one month of work. If it had been a month ago, Long Chen wouldn’t have been able to escape from this binding.
Now that he had unleashed his full power, the branches could no longer pose a fatal threat to him.
He had only just destroyed the branches binding him when a slim palm shot into his chest. It was as though a mountain had crashed into him, and he felt like he couldn’t breathe.
His right hand was holding Evilmoon, so he couldn’t use it. He used his left hand to meet the palm.
Long Chen’s body trembled and he shot back. His right arm almost broke. Dragonbone Evilmoon had been bound by countless branches and snatched away.
A translucent figure appeared in front of Long Chen. It actually grabbed Evilmoon and slashed it at Long Chen. Its speed was shocking.
Long Chen clapped his hands together, catching Evilmoon just as it was about to land on him. At the same time, he sent a kick to that figure’s abdomen.
A banging sound rang out as that figure was kicked away. Long Chen snatched back Evilmoon and swung it through the air, shattering all the nearby branches. He then pointed Evilmoon at the sky. A huge saber-image tore into the sky, and boundless killing intent coalesced.
That figure formed rapid hand seals, and countless branches assembled, forming a huge whip in the air. It swung through the air with terrifying power. This was a move that the Undying Willow hadn’t used before.
“Split the Heavens-”
Just as Long Chen and the Undying Willow were preparing to unleash full-power attacks, a startled cry rang out.
Long Chen was startled. That voice belonged to Chu Yao. He had thought that she was in danger thanks to the Undying Willow, so he was delighted that she was fine. However, his saber still pointed toward the sky, ready to unleash his attack at any point. He couldn’t be the slightest bit careless in front of the Undying Willow.
Seeing Long Chen stop his attack, the Undying Willow slowly released its huge whip. The branches slowly descended from the sky.
Only then did Long Chen release his energy and rest Evilmoon on his shoulder.
Chu Yao appeared in front of Long Chen. Not waiting for Long Chen to say anything, she rebuked the Undying Willow, “Ruyan, what are you doing? Didn’t we already discuss this? You can’t randomly kill people!”
“He bullied me. This is simply revenge. I refuse to accept my defeat from last time,” said that translucent figure.
As it spoke, its figure slowly solidified. It transformed into a tall and slim woman wearing black robes.
She had shapely features and long hair, and there was a mark of a black flower on her forehead. Her lips were a bit thin and the corners of her lips turned upward ever so slightly. She looked like an extremely unyielding and opinionated woman.
At this moment, her beautiful eyes were cold. She glared at Long Chen without the slightest friendliness.
“Furthermore, I wasn’t trying to kill him. I was just getting revenge. Only once I defeat him can I wipe out that disgrace,” said that woman. This time, instead of using spiritual fluctuations, she used her actual voice.
Her voice was melodious and a bit similar to Chu Yao’s voice. However, it lacked Chu Yao’s warmth.
“Didn’t I tell you that Long Chen is a good person? We’re all one family now, so you can’t attack him,” scolded Chu Yao.
“Fine, I’ll listen to you.”
After saying that, the woman transformed into willow leaves and vanished from Long Chen’s sight.
“Chu Yao, what just happened?” demanded Long Chen, perplexed.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t listen to you and didn’t refine the Undying Willow. It’s just… she’s very pitiful” said Chu Yao, a bit nervously.
She told him that she originally wanted to act according to his instructions. However, when her soul had entered the Undying Willow’s seed to refine it, she found that even in this seed form, the Undying Willow was extremely tough. It refused to submit and fought back against her.
She failed three times to refine the seed. But although she had failed three times, she managed to peer into the things deep in the soul of the Undying Willow.
It was a seed that came from a demon spirit world. It was planted in the Dark Forest and relied on the life energy of the World Trees to grow.
In truth, in all its life, it was only viewed as a chess piece. It gradually matured in its spot.
However, the Undying Willow also knew that it was nothing more than a chess piece. Once it matured, it would have to return to the demon spirit world and work.
It was full of loneliness. It felt disgust for life, because the fate of its life had already been set in stone without it having a say.
According to reason, the Undying Willow race wouldn’t have such a profound intelligence, spirit, or emotion. Perhaps it was because it had been infected by the aura of the Forest of Life, which led to it feeling more emotions.
When Chu Yao had seen its inner heart, she had suddenly thought of her own fate in the Phoenix Cry Empire. Many parts of her fate were quite similar to the Undying Willow’s.
In the end, Chu Yao hadn’t managed to harden her heart and kill it. Due to seeing the hidden emotions in the Undying Willow’s heart, she ended up feeling sympathy for it. In the end, she promised not to harm it and released it so it could return to the demon spirit world. But due to Chu Yao entering its soul, the Undying Willow also saw through Chu Yao’s heart.
Chu Yao had come out of seclusion a few days ago to release the Undying Willow. But unexpectedly, after obtaining its freedom, the Undying Willow activated an ancient contractual agreement and willingly became her protector.
This protector contract made it so that their souls were connected. The two of them could share each other’s powers and lives.
This move from the Undying Willow caught Chu Yao off guard, but she was also extremely moved. With their souls connected, they both knew what the other was thinking. The two of them were like one person.
The Undying Willow had become Chu Yao’s contractual protector. It rested in Chu Yao’s life space but could come out to the real world whenever it wished.
Instead of returning to the Life God Tree and continuing her seclusion as planned, Chu Yao decided to seclude herself on this floating island. After all, the Undying Willow had been the Forest of Life’s enemy. She didn’t want the Life God Tree to feel bad.
With the Undying Willow as a protector, there was no need to worry about her safety in seclusion. But Chu Yao hadn’t expected Long Chen to come looking for her. As a result, he ended up in a fight with the Undying Willow.
“Long Chen… you don’t blame me, right?” Chu Yao tensed nervously. She felt that what she had done was almost like letting him down.
“Foolish girl, why would I blame you? I’m very happy for you.” Long Chen smiled. Chu Yao had actually subdued that terrifying Undying Willow. Long Chen was almost dancing with joy.
He knew just how terrifying the Undying Willow was. For Chu Yao to have such a terrifying protector, to be able to share its life energy, Chu Yao was now practically in possession of an undying body.
“Really? I just knew you were the best!” Chu Yao hugged Long Chen excitedly, a stone finally falling from her heart.
“Speaking of which, you called her Ruyan? Did you give her a name?” asked Long Chen.
“Yup. She’s from the Undying Willow race, and I gave her the name Ruyan, so she’s Liu Ruyan. What do you think?” Chu Yao smiled as if she had come up with the name of her own child.
Long Chen naturally wouldn’t say it was bad. “An excellent name. Liu Ruyan. Willows like mist, flowers like brocades, it invokes an image of soaking in the sunshine and smelling the flowers of summer.”
But inside, Long Chen thought to himself, “Ruyan? That smoke is probably toxic. Killer smoke.”
“Only my master is allowed to say my name. If others randomly say it, I’ll get angry.” A voice rang out. Liu Ruyan appeared like a phantom in the air.
Clearly, she was very displeased to have her name called by Long Chen. Her hostility was clear as she glared at Long Chen.
Chu Yao immediately felt awkward, and she cast a meaningful glance at Long Chen. As for Long Chen, what kind of person was he? How could he not understand what Chu Yao meant?
“Alright, I admit that my true combat power is lower than yours. I admit defeat,” said Long Chen truthfully.
This was the truth. Although their last exchange had been interrupted, Long Chen knew that if it was a month ago, he wouldn’t have been able to receive such a terrifying attack.
Liu Ruyan had many trump cards that she hadn’t revealed before she had been sealed by the black soil. For her to be irritated by her defeat was only natural.
When Long Chen said this, Liu Ruyan’s expression improved slightly, and she didn’t say anything.
Seeing that, Long Chen said, “Chu Yao, I’m preparing to leave first and see how the Martial Heaven Continent has changed. If anyone asks, just tell them I’ve left and to focus on their cultivation.
 Liu=willow. Ru=like/similar. Yan=smoke, mist. This is referred to in the next few lines by Long Chen.