Dugu Nimou flashed a smile tinged with greed. “It’s not that complicated. Look, I just want to profit a bit off of this situation. The House of the Chiliocosm isn’t going to be stingy, is it?”
“What do you want?” Marquis Three Realms repeated, looked slightly less than pleased.
“Not much. Just national destiny. As you know, Marquis Three Realms, my current situation only provides me with a bit of destiny. The land we're in now is my personal property, but back in the House of the Invincible, the fact that I’m a viceroy of ten lands doesn’t mean much. After all, that land is really the property of the House of the Invincible. I just administer it. So I need destiny. At the very minimum, the same amount that would be provided by thirty lands back home. What do you say? In the end, I want a hundred times what my Crystalline Turtle Shell Kingdom can provide. All you need to do is give me enough slaves, nations, and sects to fill up my personal property here, and boost its destiny.”
“A hundred times what you have here? Thirty lands’ worth of destiny?” Marquis Three Realms smiled. “That’s pretty greedy of you, Dugu Nimou. I myself am only a viceroy of a hundred lands, which means you're essentially asking for thirty percent of what I command back home. That’d be quite a setback for me.”
“Wrong, it wouldn’t be a setback. Your original offer was to make me a peak Paramount God, right? Sadly, I have no way to trust that you can make that happen. So this is my offer. My Crystalline Turtle Shell Kingdom needs to grow a hundred times larger. With that much destiny, I can reach the peak level on my own.”
“Well played,” Marquis Three Realms said, his eyes glittering with killing intent. “Fine. I’ll help you achieve your goals. But if it turns out you’re trying to screw with me, I’ll make sure you die a horrible death.”
“I’m not screwing with you. I want us both to come out of this on top! I need to expand my personal holdings and use the improvement in destiny to bolster my cultivation base. Without destiny, it's impossible to do anything! And unfortunately, the destiny of the House of the Invincible is sealed as tight as can be.
“You’re right,” a voice said. “Destiny is very valuable. Everyone wants to get their hands on more of it. Unfortunately, Dugu Nimou, you're selling out your own sect to get it, and that’s a capital offense. I had evidence of this before, only to be set upon by the House of the Chiliocosm, who stole that evidence. But things are different now. You can't wriggle out of this situation!”
It was Dugu Hong who, to the shock of everyone present, stepped out into the open, flanked by Yang Qi, the Second Devil General, and Yang Qi’s four agents. Of course, the Second Devil General had disguised himself so that he looked exactly like one of the four agents.
“It’s you!” Dugu Nimou growled, and the atmosphere suddenly became extremely tense. “How dare you come here, Dugu Hong. Are you feeling suicidal or something?”
“I'm here to expose you, Dugu Nimou. I can hardly believe you’d sell out our sect for personal gain! Not even pigs or dogs would stoop so low. I'm going to report you to the leaders of the sect, and they’ll take everything from you. This time, you have no way to get rid of the evidence. So get on your knees and admit your crimes! If you don’t, I’ll make sure you’re damned by myriad tribulations!”
Before anything else could happen, Dugu Hong turned to Marquis Three Realms and the others. “You're an important person, Marquis Three Realms. But this is an internal matter pertaining to the House of the Invincible. Please don’t interfere. I’m arresting Dugu Nimou and his rebel followers, then taking them back home to stand trial. I'm also going to tell them all about how you’ve infiltrated our sect. Going forward, it's not going to be easy for you to get more spies to work for you.”
In response, the people from the House of the Chiliocosm burst into laughter.
“What did you just say? Did you catch a mental illness, Dugu Hong? Have you gone completely insane? You think you can just burst in here and take control of the situation. Hilarious! Do you really think you can just tell us to go away and leave your sect alone, and we’ll agree? I had no idea people as stupid as you even existed! Seriously, this is very funny!”
“What, are you saying you intend to continue interfering in our sect’s affairs?” Dugu Hong’s expression flickered. “You were the one who injured me recently, Chiliocosm Hegemon, and now I can prove it. Aren’t you worried about instigating a war between our two sects? Will you people take responsibility if that happens?”
“War?” said Chiliocosm Hegemon, smiling sardonically. “So what if there’s a war? And do you really think killing you is going to be difficult or something? You've walked into a trap here. We can just kill you and give your land to Dugu Nimou to save a bit on what we owe him.”
“Dugu Nimou? How dare you! You still have time to make things right. But if you insist on siding with these people, it’ll prove that you’re a traitor. Word will spread, and even if you kill me, the sect will find out. I'm an imperial censor! My death will affect the destiny of the sect, and they’ll send people to investigate. Did you never consider that?”
Dugu Hong was playing everything according to the rules and was denouncing Dugu Nimou on the record to serve as incontrovertible proof of his treason.
“That’s rubbish. I can subvert the workings of heaven, so of course I can kill you without anyone ever finding out. We're outside of the House of the Invincible, so their law doesn’t apply here. Furthermore, we can make sure you’re accused of colluding with outsiders. We were just working out a business deal here with Dugu Nimou when you barged in and started causing problems. You definitely deserve to die. In fact, if I didn't kill you, heaven and earth would accuse me of misconduct! So, are you ready to die?”
At this point, the Second Devil General suddenly sighed in boredom. “Ai. All of this posturing is really annoying. If you’re going to fight, just fight. Why drag things out?”
With no warning, he thrust his hand out, causing clouds of devil energy to fill the sky, like an army of devils out to defy heaven and subvert reincarnation. In the blink of an eye, Dugu Hong and all the others from the House of the Invincible were locked in place and unable to move.
This was a consummate art from the dao of devils, the Devil-Domain Grand-Emptiness Claw, and once it was unleashed, few people in existence could break out of it.
The wailing of ghosts and weeping of gods could be heard as the devil claw covered everything, removing time, space, fate, movement, and even thought.
The minds of everyone affected went completely blank, as their souls were removed and they became like the walking dead. As for the peak Paramount God, Marquis Three Realms, he stood there with a look of pain on his face, as if he had been thrust into a nightmare.
A pitch-black devilish crystal formed around all of the viceroys from the House of the Invincible, imprisoning them in a way that would last for all eternity unless the Second Devil General released them.
“W-who... who are you?”
When a true expert acts, real skill will be on display. And everyone from the Chiliocosm Dynasty could sense that they were looking at just that. Even Marquis Three Realms seemed to be shaking with fear. Voice trembling, he said, “W-what... what do you think you’re doing?”
Clasping his hands behind his back, the Second Devil General gave a cold harrumph and said, “Your Lord of the Chiliocosm, Yang Chiliocosm, might be able to ask me questions like that. But you think a little brat like you has the right? I'm not inclined to force you to submit to me. I'd rather you do it of your own accord. Join me, and live. Refuse, and die.”
Having sensed the Second Devil General’s mighty devil energy, Marquis Three Realms couldn't stop himself from asking, “Just who exactly are you?! You must be some expert from ancient times. You actually know our founding patriarch, the Lord of the Chiliocosm?” Having reached this level of cultivation, Marquis Three Realms was no fool, therefore, he didn't dare to take any action.
He knew that the Second Devil General was some sort of terrifyingly almighty entity that existed on a higher level than himself.
It was just like when an animal met another animal that was higher on the food chain. It wasn’t just a difference of cultivation base, but rather, of the substructure of their life force. It was like a rat facing an eagle. How could the former even think about trying to fight the latter?
“Allow me to explain, Marquis Three Realms,” Yang Qi said, stepping forward. “This is the Second Devil General, subordinate of the True Devil, who fought the Sovereign Lord himself, and killed the Lord of Radiance and Light. Even your Lord of the Chiliocosm couldn't compare to him. So the question now is... why haven’t you dropped to your knees? Are you really trying to get yourself killed?”
“S-s-second... Second Devil General?!” Marquis Three Realms stammered, his teeth literally chattering from fear.Previous Chapter Next Chapter