The sudden appearance of a devil empress from the Unrestrained Heaven had really thrown the old-timers for a loop, and a lot of discussions were underway.
“She’s a devil empress from the Unrestrained Heaven!?”
“The Unrestrained Heaven is going to join the Dao Defense League?”
“Aren’t they all monsters? Vicious monsters from hell?”
“No, the Unrestrained Heaven is half hell and half immortal world. And they’re not pure monsters. However, when we cultivators achieve breakthroughs, it spawns monsters in the Unrestrained Heaven who take part in our tribulations and try to devilize us. They’re truly terrifying.”
“It looks to me like Devil Empress Wave Charm and Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven already came to some sort of agreement ahead of time. From what I've heard, the lord of the Unrestrained Heaven has a cultivation base no inferior to Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven himself. I wonder why he wants to join our Dao Defense League.”
“They represent the forces of hell, not the forces of immortals.”
“I'm not sure what’s going on, but Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven has his reasons for doing things this way. If the Unrestrained Heaven is in the Dao Defense League, maybe we won’t get attacked by heaven-devils in future breakthroughs. That alone will be a blessing.”
From the look of things, the mysterious Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven had a master plan at work, and the people who had previously been thinking of stepping forward to challenge the devil empress were now having second thoughts.
That said, there were still those who were curious to see exactly how strong she was.
Suddenly, the weeping of ghosts and wailing of gods rose up, along with a powerful aura. An old man appeared, holding a string of prayer beads that appeared to be made from tiny skulls with sharp fangs. It was a terrifying sight. There were a hundred skulls in total, and each of them seemed to contain an entire world of bleached bones.
When this newcomer spoke, it was in the most sinister of voices. “Wave Charm, do you really think a young woman like you should be an emissary of the Dao Defense League, with only one superior and countless subordinates? I think I'm a lot more qualified.”
“Well, if it isn’t Patriarch Hundred-Bones,” Wave Charm replied with a smile. “You, a wretch-devil of a cultivator, want to be the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom? Well, the rules do say that anyone can challenge anyone here, and the winner becomes the emissary. So let’s cut the jibber-jabber and just start fighting.”
Chuckling, she vanished, leaving nothing behind but a rain of black lotus leaves falling down onto the stage.
Patriarch Hundred-Bones hissed and swept his prayer beads out in front of him. The hundred skulls immediately transformed, growing to a huge size. They opened their mouths and unleashed intense, burning flames that contained deathless godliness, instantly melting all of the black lotuses.
Yet Wave Charm was nowhere to be seen.
“Up to some tricks, are we?” he said. Flicking his finger, he unleashed a stream of green flame. “Godly Phosphorescence Pierces the Universe!”
The phosphorescent flame that shot out was something he’d harvested from the corpses of countless devil-gods that were slain by him. Each stream contained the will of such a being that could easily pierce through multiple parallel universes and was virtually impossible to evade. Whether the target was a god or a devil, it would be impossible to flee from such a flame.
As the godly phosphorescent flame shot out, soft laughter rang out and a fair, slender hand appeared, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing. The hand grabbed the flame and crushed it down into an emerald-color ball of fire.
Wave Charm appeared again, the aura of an ancient devil-god erupting from her as a host of heaven-devils appeared behind her, seemingly prepared to exterminate the world of men.
“Grand Heaven-Devil Unrestrained God Destruction!”
She thrust her palm out, and although it was a seemingly casual move it caused the entire Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple to tremble violently. All vital energy was suppressed as the power of heaven-devils weighed down everywhere.
Patriarch Hundred-Bones quickly fought back with a fist technique, but it wasn’t enough. True energy began spurting out of him and his body began to crack and crumble. “Y-you… you have the legacy of the Unrestrained Heaven’s essence…?”
Suddenly, he collapsed into a heap of bones. The bones flew off the stage, then formed back into his previous form. “I concede! I concede! I'm done fighting!”
The other old-timers were visibly shocked. Patriarch Hundred-Bones was widely known to be a very fierce individual and was the founder of the evil Hundred-Bones Basilica, whose faith he benefited from. Many old-timers considered him a mortal enemy, and there had even been a situation in which several thirtieth-ranked immortal worlds joined forces to try to hunt him down and kill him. Obviously, that effort had failed.
The fact that he had been defeated by Wave Charm only went to show how strong she was.
After Patriarch Hundred-Bones, a handful of other old-timers took to the stage to challenge Wave Charm, but she defeated all of them in a single move.
A few hours later, there were no more challengers.
At that point, Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven raised his voice and said, “Miss Wave Charm has crushed all contenders and is now the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom. She will lead the Army of Darkness and Gloom, and has the authority to recruit any evil cultivator in the Dao Defense League to fill its ranks. She has the power to execute anyone under the level of an elder. For elders, the proper protocols must still be followed. Furthermore, it is prohibited for her, or anyone under her command, to cultivate any nefarious arts for the purposes of harming members of the league. After all of our officers have been selected, we’ll formalize the rules and laws so that everyone is aware of how to properly behave. Including myself.”
“Here, here!” many of the old-timers said in obvious approval. None of them were interested in having a monster in charge with no rules in place to protect everyone else.
Wave Charm smiled broadly as she returned to her place and began thinking about what she would do with the Army of Darkness and Gloom.
“Next,” Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven said, “we will select the Emissary of Radiance and Light. This cultivator must be one who pursues a dao of righteousness. Who wishes to step forward?”
Immediately, Daoist Great Void stepped forward. Up to this point he had just been making announcements, but now he was taking things a step further. “The Great Void Heaven is the source of the true dao of righteousness. We use Great Void True Energy to summon the Gate of the Great Void, so it’s only natural that I would compete for the title of Emissary of Radiance and Light!”
Some of the people in the audience seemed surprised. It seemed highly likely that Daoist Great Void was actually a loyal confidante of Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven.
Because Wave Charm was so incredibly strong, and the Unrestrained Heaven was so mysterious, there hadn’t been many people who dared to compete for the position of Emissary of Darkness and Gloom. That was even more the case considering that leading an Army of Darkness and Gloom filled with evil cultivators would be a very complicated, and likely frustrating, task. In contrast, the Emissary of Radiance and Light would be very different. It was obviously an awe-inspiring and righteous position to hold. Cultivators who followed a righteous dao would be much more likely to follow orders and listen to a leader.
Almost instantly, a whole host of figures rushed to the stage, righteous patriarchs whose mere auras could rip apart heaven and earth. All of them were itching to fight Daoist Great Void.
“Your energy arts are average at best, Daoist Great Void,” one of the patriarchs said. “Whoever becomes the Emissary of Radiance and Light needs to be respected by everyone who follows a righteous dao. Songs are sung of the noble spirit of the Righteous Noble Heaven! We follow the truest righteous dao!” 
Snorting coldly, another patriarch said, “The Righteous Noble Heaven? No, our Pure Glory Heaven is where true radiance and light exist!”
“The Righteous Noble Heaven and Pure Glory Heaven are both thirty-third ranked immortal worlds. Our Porcelain Gem Heaven is a thirty-second ranked immortal world, just on the verge of upgrading to the thirty-third rank. Do you two really dare to fight with me? The Porcelain Gem Heaven is the picture of purity and cleanliness. Our radiance and light flows freely to fill all heaven and earth.”
Obviously, whoever led the Army of Radiance and Light would be in a position of unmatchable glory, so all of these patriarchs were willing to pull out all the stops to win the position of emissary.
“Oh?” Daoist Great Void said. “So, you three are patriarchs from the Righteous Noble, Pure Glory, and Porcelain Gem Heavens? And you want to fight me to become the Emissary of Radiance and Light? Well, I won’t waste words with talk. I’ll just send you along your way. After all, the Emissary of Radiance and Light needs to be strong enough to earn the respect of all.”
Sighing, he thrust out his hand.
Boundless radiance and light appeared behind him, a pure white sagelight that seemed like a poem or a psalm that was filled with glory and brilliance.
“What? Is that the legendary fist technique of the God of Radiance and Light? The Grand Radiance and Light Godfist of the Sunlight Glory!?” As the fist strike was released, boundless radiance and light appeared, making Daoist Great Void seem like the most holy of figures, almost like the incarnation of the God of Radiance and Light himself.
Whack. Whack. Whack!
The three patriarchs were hurled off of the stage, blood spraying out of their mouths. After slamming onto the ground, they struggled to their feet, their expressions ashen and their auras in disarray. One move had defeated all of them!
Chuckling, Daoist Great Void said, “Who else would like to compete for the position? I carry on the core teachings and practices of the God of Radiance and Light, and by chance, happen to have the Grand Radiance and Light Godfist of the Sunlight Glory. If I'm not the perfect choice for the Emissary of Radiance and Light, who is? After I take my position, I will restructure the dao of righteousness and ensure that righteous energy fills all of heaven and earth.”
Many of the old-timers were visibly taken aback at how strong Daoist Great Void was, and most present were now thoroughly convinced that he had accepted help from Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven. There were even some people who had known Daoist Great Void for some time and were shocked by what they were seeing.
At the moment, it seemed like both the Emissary of Radiance and Light and the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom had been selected.
“I would really like to face some worthy challengers,” Daoist Great Void said with a smile. Sounding very pleased with himself, he continued, “Anyone? If not, then I suppose I'm the Emissary of Radiance and Light.”
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven looked around for a long moment, and when he saw no one stepping forward, he said, “Since that’s the case, we—”
“Hold on!” someone said. Yang Qi slowly rose to his feet.
1. Trivia point: this heaven shares the same Chinese characters as the “Righteous Noble Sect” we all remember and love from ISSTH.