There were only a few people inside the large room as Bai Zemin had dismissed the rest telling them that he would be holding a larger meeting tomorrow for them and the other high commanders who had arrived at the base from the different territories under the control of the Transcendent faction.
Temporarily putting aside the matter of the American soul evolvers as they did not seem to be a threat at the moment thanks to their leader, Bai Zemin looked at the few people in the room.
Chen He, Wu Yijun, Kang Lan, Evangeline, and Shangguan Bing Xue.
Of course, there was also Bai Shilin who was now asleep sitting on his lap. As for Kali, the girl was tired so Bai Zemin took her to the room that was meant for him to rest. There was no need to worry about Kali’s safety, this was Shangguan Bing Xue’s house after all.
"Before I tell you about my experiences during the last half year I would like to know what happened." He asked in a deep voice.
Although Bai Zemin’s voice sounded quite calm and although they had all been away from each other for so long, the people present had been with him practically since day 1 with the biggest exception being Evangeline who joined about two months after the world changed. They could feel his anger and sadness burning deep in those red eyes that seemed to be the living representation of rage.
The room was silent for a moment before Shangguan Bing Xue looked him straight in the eyes and said in a firm voice, "Zhong De died. I am sure you already know it and that is the cause of the color of your eyes... I will explain to you what is happening, but let me start from the beginning."
Shangguan Bing Xue remembered that apart from this, there were two other occasions when Bai Zemin’s eyes turned blood red. In fact, she was the only existence in the entire Transcendent faction who knew this about him.
The first time was during the battle against the goblins in the north of China when one of the goblin leaders threatened his family, and the second time was in Oblon World after Shangguan Bing Xue was about to lose her life after being fatally wounded by the giant hawk that was a level 100 beast while she was still in the First Order.
Even knowing practically nothing regarding this peculiar characteristic of Bai Zemin, Shangguan Bing Xue could draw a conclusion or two about it.
"All right, I’m all ears." Bai Zemin nodded as he stroked the girl’s silky hair in his lap in an attempt to cool a little of the boiling blood running through his veins.
He could restrain himself when he was away from the issue at hand, but now that he was close to knowing the truth it was hard to restrain himself. Losing almost 20% of his total rationality was not a matter to scoff at.
Shangguan Bing Xue was silent for a minute, and after clearing her thoughts she began to narrate what happened in a summarized but easy to understand manner.
"After you crossed the portal to another world to take away the nuclear missile fired by Xuanyuan Wentian and save our lives, I admit that I got a little out of control. I ordered the troops to advance instead of retreating and waiting, crushing the two New China bases that same day and killing more than probably needed to be killed."
"Fortunately for us, Xuanyuan Wentian did not launch another nuclear attack again despite the fall of all their bases in Haidian District.... Thanks to my mother and Shilin, I managed to regain some common sense so I did not continue to press forward. Doing so might have alarmed Xuanyuan Wentian even more, and if he had already fired one missile there was no guarantee he wouldn’t fire a second... except that we wouldn’t have you to ward off the danger this time."
Shangguan Bing Xue paused as she got here.
Everyone noticed that she was also a little agitated at the memory of her own helplessness so no one said anything.
After a few seconds, she continued, "About three or four weeks later, while Yijun was making reforms in the government cabinet of the new bases and replacing the upper echelons with more trusted people, a man named Huo Lim requested to meet with me saying he had important information regarding Xuanyuan Wentian, so I agreed to meet with him... and this was one of the big turning points for our faction."
It was then that Bai Zemin learned about the blueprint for building a system to deactivate any nuclear weapons that were not registered in the system. Any nuclear-powered weaponry would be deactivated and become waste after penetrating within the 20-kilometer range.
"After seeing the direction from which the nuclear missile was launched it was not difficult to know where to set up each nuclear nullification device." Shangguan Bing Xue explained as she looked at Bai Zemin firmly. "After a few months of hard work and effort, the different teams of our faction managed to find the materials needed to build the nuclear nullifiers, and thanks to you focusing not only on the search for soul evolvers with classes intended for combat but also for technological development it was not too difficult to build them. After securing each base with at least two nullifiers, I no longer held back and charged with an army towards Xicheng District, taking down one of the New China bases in less than two hours."
"I see." Bai Zemin nodded. He now understood the reason why Xuanyuan Wentian launched more nuclear missiles and could not help but tremble with fear inwardly at what might have happened had it not been for the existence of these devices.
Shangguan Bing Xue hesitated for a moment before slowly saying, "I defeated Xuanyuan Wentian and captured him alive. He is locked in a special ice shell I built myself."
Bai Zemin looked at her in confusion when he heard this.
"Don’t get me wrong, I’m honestly relieved you didn’t kill him.... For better or worse, the fact that he is your father cannot be denied regardless of everything else." He said after a brief pause. "However, may I know why you keep him alive? I don’t think it’s so simple after all."
The hatred Shangguan Bing Xue felt for her father was a hatred she had carried throughout her life from a very young age. Bai Zemin found it strange that she did not kill him to free herself from that hatred she felt.
"During the past months, I have thought many things, and I realized that you are right. Hating someone who contributed to my personality would be the same as hating that part of me.... Besides, during the past half year, I realized something." Shangguan Bing Xue paused as she reached this point. She looked at Wu Yijun and a glint of uneasiness flashed in her blue eyes but no one noticed it, not even Bai Zemin.
"Bing Xue?" He looked at her puzzled at her abrupt pause.
"I..." She hesitated before saying under her breath, "During this half a year that passed, I realized that my hatred for this man seemed to have changed its source... that’s why I decided not to kill him."
"Your hatred changed its source...? Oh."
At first, Bai Zemin was blank as he did not understand what Shangguan Bing Xue meant by those words. However, he soon understood that she was talking about Xuanyuan Wentian sending him away from home.
He sighed and said softly, "I admit that I hate this man too. But, you don’t have to go this far for me..... Bing Xue, remember that we are destined to become eternal existences. Just make sure you don’t let regrets to haunt you forever, that’s enough."
Kang Lan subconsciously shook her head upon hearing Bai Zemin’s reply. She looked at Shangguan Bing Xue and Wu Yijun, noticing that the latter looked at the former with a friendly smile while Shangguan Bing Xue sighed in relief.
Although Evangeline said nothing, the corner of her mouth trembled slightly but the movement was so small that no one noticed it.
"Be that as it may, Xuanyuan Wentian is locked in a jail dungeon under my villa in Xicheng District. You take care of him later, it’s your decision." Shangguan Bing Xue continued quickly.
Bai Zemin nodded in agreement. Xuanyuan Wentian was the least of his worries at the moment; he was nothing but a defeated person, nothing in his eyes.
Shangguan Bing Xue’s expression turned serious again as she resumed, "While I and a small part of the army were in charge of attacking Xuanyuan Wentian’s forces, most of the troops who were not defending our bases moved in different directions and began to conquer different territories."
"You probably already know this but at this moment our faction has taken over almost half of the country, this is because I rushed the conquest process because I am aware that one of your requirements to become a Second Order soul evolver is to become the lord of China." A flash of anger shone in Shangguan Bing Xue’s eyes as she said in a low voice, "Everything was going well except in the north.... Do you remember Liang Peng?"
"Liang Peng?" Bai Zemin frowned in confusion, "You mean the head of security at our university?"
"It’s him." Shangguan Bing Xue nodded. "Liang Peng formed his own faction in Yanqing District but he could only gather a few thousand people, probably no more than 4000 or 5000 so he went to Inner Mongolia. According to our information, Liang Peng managed to build a fairly strong faction there but was still no match for us. That good-for-nothing little scum also knew of your strength and mine, so using the fact that we were a group in the past he managed to convince me from a long distance communication to give him two days time to organize things to hand over his power."
She took a deep breath and said slowly, "However, Liang Peng forged an alliance with another large faction in Inner Mongolia and even managed to join hands with a large goblin faction operating there. As if that wasn’t enough, the Russian army is also sticking its nose in and according to the soldiers we captured Liang Peng and the other human leader promised them a large sum of resources in exchange for military strength."
"... So?" Bai Zemin narrowed his eyes and subconsciously clenched his fist for a moment before remembering that Bai Shilin was sleeping in his lap, forcing himself to remain calm at least on the outside.
"The other side has a great store of power, they even have eight Third Order soul evolvers now. A union of two large human factions plus tens of millions of goblins and the intervention of a large foreign faction is something even we can’t take care of unless we treat it seriously.... That’s why I sent Zhong De, Fu Xuefeng, Cai Jingyi, Nangong Lingxin, and Nangong Yi to lead the troops in the north." Shangguan Bing Xue said.
She looked into his eyes and bit her lips to the point of drawing blood as she said with regret and guilt, "Zhong De was ambushed by three enemy soul evolvers, and according to Cai Jingyi’s report, he fought to the end, killing two of the three Third Order soul evolvers at the cost of his life... It was thanks to him that the army of soul evolvers following him was able to return safely."
Bai Zemin stayed in silence for a long time and his outward expression made it difficult for others to know what he was thinking or feeling.
After what seemed like an eternity, he nodded and said in a surprisingly calm voice, "I see. I understand."
At the same time Bai Zemin was having a conversation with Shangguan Bing Xue and the others, in the room where Kali was supposed to be sleeping.
The girl was sitting on the bed with her back resting on the backrest. Her eyes were closed, her small hands rested in her lap and her emotionless expression in conjunction with the paleness of her face made her look like a doll rather than a living being.
She sat silently for many minutes before an unnatural gust of wind gently caressed her hair.
Kali softly lifted her head and though her eyes could not see she looked straight ahead.
"I knew you were coming."
"... Is that why you lied about being tired?"
"... I see. Thank you."
"It’s early to say thank you... It will depend on your explanation if I tell him what I found out about you."
"... Of course." Lilith smiled bitterly at Kali’s unfiltered words. She looked at her curiously and asked genuinely confused, "Little sis Kali, aren’t you scared of me killing you? Although I will indeed suffer a severe punishment it is not fatal enough to stop me, you know that too right?"
"You won’t hurt me," Kali said without hesitation in her tone of voice.
Lilith walked over to her after blinking a couple of times and sat down next to her on the edge of the bed. She looked at her in silence for almost two minutes before asking in confusion, "and what makes you so confident?"
Kali looked in her direction and said casually, "If you hurt me, Bai Zemin will suffer. That’s not what you want, is it? Not to mention, he is currently emotionally influenced. If he takes another blow now his personality will break forever."
"...Hehe..." Lilith softly grabbed a lock of Kali’s white hair and gently swung it like a flag while saying with a smile, "I bow down to you, you clever little monster."
Kali was silent for several seconds before asking under her breath, "You.... Who are you?"
"Who am I, uh..." Lilith stood up and walked to the window as she said to herself, "That’s a question I’ve asked myself many, many times. Sometimes I’ve even wondered if instead of ’who’ I should use the word ’what’ for that question."
The room was silent for almost ten minutes, neither Kali nor Lilith uttered a word during that time.
Finally, Lilith broke the silence.
"I guess I should start from the beginning to make it easier for you to understand."
She turned with a beautiful smile and said in a playful voice, "Sis Kali, after listening to this you have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone anything. This is a huge, huge secret that even the most powerful ones don’t know after all!"
"That will depend," Kali said devoid of emotion.
"... It seems like everything in your life now turns around him? Oh well, that’s also good for everyone though." Lilith chuckled and added, "But, don’t worry. I can assure you that after you hear my story, you will definitely keep it a secret for me."
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Really thank you very much to all those who send gifts to the novel and support with valuable Golden Tickets. I hope we can all keep it up <3