“Chanyi, do you think that I should have friends?” Yun Che suddenly asked.
“No, you shouldn’t,” Nanhuang Chanyi replied without a single shred of hesitation. After thinking about it for a while, she corrected herself. “You are destined to be a ruler so it isn’t a matter of whether you should have friends or not. Because from my perspective, there isn’t anyone who is fit to be your friend.”
“Oh really?” Yun Che chuckled as he stared at his own hand. After that, he spoke in a low voice, “You aren’t wrong, you know. Just who in the world has the qualifications to be my friend?”
Yun Che had just said something extremely audacious and arrogant, but Nanhuang Chanyi didn’t find it the least bit absurd.
“Continue to keep watch over this place.”
Yun Che prepared to leave after giving that brief command. The main reason he had come to the Snow Song Realm today was to visit Mu Xuanyin. He had only resolved the situation with Huo Poyun because it had been convenient.
“Yes,” Chanyi said before asking, “Your Magnificence, are you going to integrate the Eastern Divine Region’s might with our own now?”
“No,” Yun Che said. “I am going to deal with the Southern Sea.”
“!?” Chanyi was clearly shocked by what he just said. Her brow furrowed slightly as she replied, “Isn’t this a bit too hasty? We still do not know how deep the Southern Divine Region’s power is, so we should be focusing all efforts on preparation at this moment. We should quickly consolidate the forces within the Eastern Divine Region and integrate their forces into our army. After that, we can test their loyalties in battle and use their bodies as paving stones in our conquest of the Southern Divine Region. Would that not be a better alternative?”
However, she immediately followed up those words by saying, “Your Magnificence must have already thought this through by himself. Chanyi is only saying some unnecessary things.”
Yun Che let out a very strange chuckle. “You’re actually absolutely right. So, that also means that the Southern Sea God Realm must be thinking what you’re thinking, correct?”
Chanyi was a little stunned by that response.
“What lies behind being fully prepared is a long delay of one’s plan, a delay that may very well lead to unnecessary trouble. Since the Southern Sea so desperately wants to know my current attitude toward them, what else can I do but comply?”
As he chuckled coldly, Yun Che’s figure had already vanished within the flying snow.
Given the Northern Divine Region’s position, they should choose battles which would result in the most gain with the least loss.
However, his position was different from the Northern Divine Region and that had always been the case. Even though he wasn’t as extreme as he was in the beginning, at the end of the day… everything in the Northern Divine Region was merely a tool for him to use. That had not changed.
He had become the Devil Master of the North for the sole purpose of being able to control this tool even better.
The thing he desired the most has been and still was vengeance! It had never been sovereignty or supremacy!
His own vengeance, He Ling’s vengeance… Returning to the Snow Song Realm today had dug deeply at those painful memories. Now that the Southern Sea had actually invited him into their abode, it was practically impossible for him to restrain the fires of his hatred.
As they were returning to the Eternal Heaven God Realm, Yun Che suddenly asked Chi Wuyao a question. “Do you think that I ruined Huo Poyun’s life?”
Chi Wuyao looked askance at him before her lips curved into a smile. She said, “Hah, you looked so ruthless and heartless on the surface, but it looks like it’s still nagging at you.”
“You’re overthinking this,” Yun Che replied in a cold and impassive voice. “I only found out today that I would have died at Luo Changsheng’s hands back then if not for him, and I don’t want to owe anyone a single thing.”
“You spared his life today, so can’t you call it even?” Chi Wuyao said with a smile that didn’t seem like a smile.
“...I guess.” Yun Che gave a bland reply.
“His name spread far and wide in his youth and he had the good fortune to be transformed inside the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm. Today, he’s already become the Flame God Realm King, so his life will never be marked with the word ‘ruined’.” Chi Wuyao continued, “But it’s a pity that his life has gone far too well. He hasn’t been buffeted by the storms of life and been through as many near-death experiences as you have. His cultivation grew by leaps and bounds during the three thousand years he spent in the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm, but he has never truly been tested and shaped by any hardships or tribulations. As a result, his mind and heart have also not been put through any true tests, any crucibles of fire. Yet he just had to meet you at the most important period of his life.”
As she shook her head, Chi Wuyao smiled and said, “However, you don’t really need to be too worried about him. People will grow up in the end. He won’t ever find another point of comparison like you in this world, so if he is able to emerge from this ‘tribulation’ of the heart, then it will be hard for anything to phase him in the future.”
“Speaking of which…” Her tone suddenly changed. “It seems like you didn’t bring Bingyun along with you.”
“She said no,” Yun Che replied, a cold light flashing in his eyes. “Furthermore, there really isn’t too pressing a need to bring her along with me.”
It had lasted for only an instant, yet Chi Wuyao could still sense the malice that had flashed through the air. Her eyebrows twitched as she said, “I’ll accompany you on your upcoming trip to the Southern Sea.”
“There’s no need.” Yun Che rejected her without any hesitation. “The Dragon Monarch’s absence is an unfathomable mystery and the entire Western Divine Region has gone far too quiet, to the point of it being abnormal. I’ll only be able to leave all my worries behind if you stay in the Eastern Divine Region.”
“Moreover…” Yun Che paused for a moment as a strange light started glowing in his eyes. “”The fewer people on this trip, the better.”
Chi Wuyao thought about it for a moment before she answered with a smile, “Fine.”
Upon returning to the Eternal Heaven God Realm, Yun Che finally decided to summon the six Star Gods.
They had been waiting outside the realm during the time Yun Che had spent in the Snow Song Realm. They hadn’t even moved a single step. They also did not dare make any complaints because they were all keenly aware of what they did in the past. In fact, they were expecting this sort of treatment from the start.
With Heavenly Jade Star God Aster as their leader, all six of the surviving Star Gods: Heavenly Jade, Heavenly Demon, Heavenly Flame, Heavenly Charm, Heavenly Sun, and Heavenly Soul, knelt in front of Yun Che. Given the exalted status of the Star Gods, they had never needed to kneel to Xing Juekong, they had only ever needed to bow. But since they all decided to come here, they knew what sort of attitude and posture they had to show Yun Che given their circumstances.
“To think that you actually had the guts to appear in front of me.” Yun Che’s brows sank as he looked down on all of them. His voice was impassive and cold as he said, “Wouldn’t it have been better to learn from that old dog Eternal Heaven and run to the Western Divine Region like a bunch of defeated dogs?”
Aster bent her head and said, “The root of the Star God Realm lies within the Eastern Divine Region. No matter whether we live or die, we will not abandon our home.”
“Does that mean that you’ve all come here to die?” Yun Che’s eyes flashed with a cold light.
Aster took in a very light breath before saying, “We are willing to devote all our power and loyalty to the Devil Master. Even though the Star God Realm has lost much of its power and we aren’t even comparable to what we were in the past, whatever remains of it can surely help the Devil Master in the future. I hope that the Devil Master will oblige us.”
A dying camel was still bigger than a horse, so even if the Star God Realm had lost most of their power, they still had the six Star Gods and seventeen elders, all of whom were in the Divine Master Realm. It was a power that no one could ignore or belittle. In fact, it was the only thing they could rely on right now.
Aster did not mention anything about obeying the Star God Emperor’s wish to come and surrender. No one else in the universe was aware of how Yun Che died or how Jasmine became the Evil Infant in the Star God Realm all those years ago except for them, and it was a fact that was etched into their hearts.
As a result of this, Yun Che hated Xing Juekong to the bone and there was no way he would truly accept him. The display of obedience that Xing Juekong had put on in the Eternal Heaven Projection had been nothing more than a dog and pony show set up by Yun Che.
Aster also didn’t inquire about Xing Juekong’s location or fate. Since he had already ended up in Yun Che’s hands, they could well imagine what had happened to him.
“It doesn’t sound bad, does it? After all, who wouldn’t want tools that deliver themselves right to your doorstep?” The corner of Yun Che’s lips started to curve up. The words that he said were incredibly harsh and it caused the emotions in the six Star Gods’ eyes to fluctuate a little, but no one said anything.
Aster had already prepared them mentally for this occasion before they made their resolution.
“However, before I do this,” Yun Che said as his tone started to change, “don’t you think that you should give me… a reason not to kill you?”
A wave of killing intent engulfed the six Star Gods before he had even finished speaking, instantly causing them to shudder as a chill spread through their bodies.
Aster replied in a calm voice, “As Star Gods, we had no choice but to carry out the Star God Emperor’s commands, no matter whether they were wrong or right. When we serve under the Devil Master in the future, it will be exactly the same.”
“Since you had no choice but to obey your liege’s commands, then it is also logical that you have to bear responsibility for your liege’s crimes, correct?” Yun Che said as he glanced at them.
“...That is correct,” Aster replied in a soft voice. “If the Devil Master desires our deaths, we can say nothing against it. We won’t even fight back. However, we were hoping that we could use our lives and Star God powers to redeem ourselves.”
“This is not only for the sake of the Devil Master. It is even more for the sake of Princess Jasmine and Princess Caizhi, whom we owe far too much to. They would also definitely not hope for the extinction of the Star God’ lineage. We beg the Devil Master to oblige us.”
After she finished speaking, Aster slowly closed her eyes, as if she was waiting for the final judgement to fall upon her.
After a dreadful and heavy silence, Yun Che finally started to speak, “All of you were already dead at first. Do you know who exactly allowed you to live until now?”
“We do,” Aster replied. After the Northern Divine Region had launched their invasion, the Eternal Heaven God Realm, Moon God Realm, and Brahma Monarch God Realm had all been struck with hellish calamities and only the Star God Realm, the weakest of the four king realms and also a realm that Yun Che bore much hatred toward, had avoided this devilish calamity… It was only after they personally witnessed Qianye Fantian bring along all of the Brahma Kings to beg Yun Che forgiveness that they understood that Caizhi’s sword was meant to save them, not destroy them.
The one who had the biggest reason to hate and resent them had saved them instead. This was what led to Aster’s resolution today.
Even if they all really died here today, she would have no complaints.
“I hope that each and every one of you never forgets the reason I'm leaving you alive today. She is also the person you should live for from now on… Do you understand!?”
Those words meant that they could keep their lives, but Aster showed no excitement or joy. Instead, she prostrated herself before Yun Che and said, “I thank the Devil Master for obliging us.”
“Devil Queen,” Yun Che said, “select someone suitable to govern the Star God Realm.”
“There’s no need for that,” Chi Wuyao replied as she shook her head. “Wait for her return. She is the only one who should be the master of the Star Gods.”
“...” Yun Che raised his head to stare into the distance. The scene of his last meeting with Caizhi played out in front of his mind’s eye.
Caizhi, where are you right now? Why are you not willing to see me even though you’ve clearly returned to the Eastern Divine Region?
Have you still not forgiven me yet...
He silently acknowledged Chi Wuyao’s words and turned around. After that, he suddenly spoke in a low voice, “Tianxiao, have all the preparations been finished?”
Yan Tianxiao stepped forward and bowed as he said, “We completed the preparations a long time ago.”
“Let’s go.” Yun Che looked to the south as he gave that simple, decisive, and rather sudden command.
“Yes!” Yan Tianxiao responded just as firmly. A violent black light suddenly flashed in his eyes. He even felt his own blood starting to boil.
A hand suddenly shot out to grab Yun Che by the wrist. Fingers gently tightened around his arm as Chi Wuyao’s voice softly rang in his ears. “I know that I can’t stop you, but you must return safe and sound, do you understand?”
“Of course,” Yun Che said. “Long Bai and Zhou Xuzi are still alive, so how could I bear to die!?”
A pitch-black profound ark descended from the sky. As Yun Che twirled his body around, he disappeared in front of them and appeared inside the profound ark. Yan One, Yan Two, and Yan Three quickly followed behind him. With the Three Yama Ancestors present, even if Yun Che was a weakling, he could still go wherever he pleased in this universe.
He did not warn either Shui Meiyun or Qianye Ying’er of his departure as the black profound ark Yun Che was on sped off into the distance. It flew toward the distant south, to the Southern Divine Region that he had never visited before.
Chi Wuyao saw Yun Che off as he departed for the Southern Sea God Realm with nary a doubt. She softly muttered under her breath, “Mu Xuanyin, now that I’ve monopolized him for so long, it’s finally your turn to be by his side. Why should I be worried about sending him off to a place you’ve already gone to?”
“Has he left?” Qianye Ying’er suddenly appeared beside her as she stared in the direction where Yun Che had left with sunken brows… Her lips were moving but she did not chase after him.
“Mhmm.” Chi Wuyao gave a nod of her head. “He didn’t let me go with him. Perhaps he’s going to take revenge on the Southern Sea sooner than we think.”
After a long period of silence, Qianye Ying’er suddenly shot off into the distance.
“Where are you going?” Chi Wuyao asked.
“Returning to the Brahma Monarch God Realm,” Qianye Ying’er absent-mindedly replied as she rushed off with Qianye Wugu and Qianye Bingzhu.