Book 6, Chapter 49: Return

So that old beggar was involved yet again, huh?

After running into Li Daohong, Su Chen was no longer surprised by this kind of situation.

His own situation was not necessarily unique. He had no idea how many people were affected by the old beggar as well.

The same went for Long Pojun.

However, unlike the suffering that Su Chen and Li Daohong had gone through, he was able to act and move freely as soon as the bone had been transplanted into him. That overpowering strength had become his almost immediately. Even so, there was a price that he needed to pay.

“To outsiders, I look like a valiant, intrepid soldier who tempered his body until it was as strong as iron. However, no one realizes that I am just trying to satisfy its needs. The reason I was so strong was because of the strength that it gave me, and the reason my body was as tough as iron was because of the protection it gave me. My fearlessness in battle and all the slaughter I performed was because the bone needed the flesh of my enemies to survive. The more enemies I had and the more flesh I consumed, the stronger it would become. But at the same time, that would only increase its appetite.”

“So that’s why you kept fighting, and how you were able to eventually carve out a name for yourself as the Flowing Gold Fort’s God of War.”

According to the legends, Long Pojun was famous for his brave and fierce combat style. His bloodthirst led him to always be leading the charge. If there was a situation to be resolved by fighting, he would fight, and if there was no situation he would create one and then fight.

Under his watch, Long Sang and the Ravagers fought with each other the most.

Even if there was no particular reason to, Long Pojun would send out hunting expeditions into the plains.

They would reap the Ravagers’ lives in order to sate the appetite of the Blood Fiend’s Bone.

For this reason, Long Pojun was considered by many Ravagers to be a demon, the kind that was used to coax little Ravagers to bed.

In their hearts, Long Pojun was as immovable as an iron wall.

“So why do you starve it then? Why do you insist on putting yourself in such a sad state?”

Long Pojun smiled slightly. “Why? Because I must starve it! Its appetite grows day by day. At first, I was able to satisfy it just by killing one person, but towards the end it was possible that slaughtering an entire platoon wouldn’t be enough to satisfy its demands. I knew that, sooner or later, I would die because of this. If I want to survive, the only thing I can do is decrease its appetite. But when I do that, the Blood Fiend’s Bone starts to consume me instead. Every time I starve it, it eats a bit of my flesh. Now that I’ve starved it for a long time, its appetite has also decreased, but the result is that I ended up like this.”

“Then you currently……” Su Chen asked.

“I’ve already managed to get it under control. At this point, I only need to feed it a little bit of Sea Beast meat to satisfy it,” Long Pojun said with a slight smile. “All of my strength and courage was fake, but my fight against this thing is real. You wouldn’t understand how much it hurts to be consumed from the inside at every moment. For the sake of eating, it has tormented me constantly, but I was able to endure…… to survive.”

So that’s how it was.

When a person was strong for a long time, even if it wasn’t real, they would eventually adopt that persona and actually become strong.

Long Pojun’s physical strength had come from the Blood Fiend’s Bone, but the strength of enduring the Blood Fiend’s Bone’s torment came from himself.

This endurance demonstrated an impressive side of his character.

“Did you know that my name is actually not Long Pojun?”

“Long Pojun isn’t even a real person in the first place.”

“My real name is Dog, because I crawled out of a cave. I don’t even have a surname.”

“The true Long Pojun is this Blood Fiend’s Bone. I am merely its loyal subject.”

“The name Long Pojun…… was given to me by my foster father. Oh, my foster father was Lin Raoxian.

Long Pojun calmly spoke as he leaned against the palace’s handrail.

“Lin Raoxian is your foster father? Does he know about the Blood Fiend’s Bone?”

“Mhm,” Long Pojun said with a nod. “After the Blood Fiend’s Bone was transplanted in my body, I wasn’t used to its might, and the blood in my body began to boil. I almost burst open then and there. Luckily, there were quite a few small Beasts in the area that I could slake my bloodthirst on. However, at the time I only had the Blood Fiend’s Bone, and my personal strength was also extremely weak. Unfortunately, on the third day after I discovered the Blood Fiend’s Bone, I encountered a powerful Vicious Beast. I couldn’t defeat it, but just as the Beast’s claw was about to kill me, my foster father happened to pass by and saved me.”

“So he knows about the secret of the Blood Fiend’s Bone.”

“Yes. I was small back then, and didn’t know the treachery of the human heart. Thankfully, I was lucky and ran into a good person. Even though my foster father was a member of the imperial family, his temper was even and his behavior relaxed. The only flaw was that he was quite promiscuous with his seed. The day that my foster father saved me, he discovered the Blood Fiend’s Bone…… Because that bone was actually refined from one of the bones of the Dragon Centipede. As such, the Dragon Centipede Bloodline was inherently attractive to the bone.”

Su Chen began to understand what had taken place. “So that’s how it is…… That is probably the reason why Lin Mengze tried to set you up. He wanted that Blood Fiend’s Bone to strengthen his own bloodline. You disappeared probably because you sensed his intentions, allowing you to escape before he was able to do anything about it.”

Long Pojun nodded. “You’ve guessed it completely.”

“However, Lin Raoxian was really a good person. He was both able to deflect suspicion from you about the bone and didn’t absorb the bone for himself either.”

Long Pojun nodded. “Yes. My foster father said that, if he absorbed my Blood Fiend’s Bone, he would reach the Ultimate Emperor Realm, without the bloodthirst. If Lin Mengze absorbed the Blood Fiend’s Bone, it was even possible that he would be able to break out of the Ultimate Emperor Realm and reach even greater heights. But he didn’t want to do so because he didn’t want to be manipulated by the arrangements of fate.”

“Manipulated by the arrangements of fate…… Could it be?” Su Chen’s eyes lit up.

“Yes, my foster father knows that old man. That mysterious old man…… Actually, he isn’t really a mystery. He has existed for millions of years already.”

Millions of years?

Su Chen was stunned.

This mysterious old man had been around for millions of years already?

Long Pojun calmly replied, “This Blood Fiend’s Bone was basically prepared for him. Fate had made it so that I would inherit the Blood Fiend’s Bone, and that he would chance upon me, then extract that bone for his own use. But my foster father didn’t like to be manipulated by fate. He had his own desires and plans, so he refused it…… Not only so, but he even taught me how to refine the bone and bring it under my own control. He also taught me cultivation techniques, and how to read and write. My foster father enjoyed traveling and never stayed in one place for more than half a year. But for me, he remained in a small mountainous village for an entire three years before leaving.”

Su Chen couldn’t help but let out a long sigh when he heard this.

Because of Lin Mengze, Lin Raoxian was not very famous. Everyone thought that he was merely an idle prince.

But no one could have imagined that the idle prince was actually this kind of person.

Didn’t want to be manipulated by the arrangements of fate…...

Interesting!

So was that mysterious old man “fate,” then?

And what was fate’s goal in doing all of these things?

Su Chen didn’t know, so he could only listen to Long Pojun continue to talk.

“Three years later, my foster father left. Before he did, he told me that, since I had the Blood Fiend’s Bone, I was destined to become a dragon amongst men and a powerful military figure. That was why he gave me the name Long Pojun and told me to enlist in the army. Only this way would I be able to satisfy the Blood Fiend’s Bone’s voracious appetite.”

“If that’s the case, then how did Lin Mengze find out that you have the Blood Fiend’s Bone? Hadn’t you completely processed it at that moment?” Su Chen asked.

The Blood Fiend’s Bone was only physically noticeable at this point because Long Pojun had starved himself to the point that he was nothing more than a bag of bones and couldn’t hide it. But it was clear that the Long Pojun of old didn’t have this problem. Otherwise, it would have been discovered a long time ago.

Upon hearing Su Chen’s question, Long Pojun’s face twitched as he grimaced. “It was because of a woman……”

When Su Chen heard this, he understood.

He had been in the prime of his youth, and his bloodthirst had known no bounds. No powerful enemy had been able to get the better of him, but a woman had managed to easily trick him.

Perhaps she had sold him out to Lin Mengze after finding out about the Blood Fiend’s Bone, or perhaps she had been sent to scout him out by Lin Mengze in the first place. After all, it was not strange that someone without a bloodline who was that powerful would attract some attention.

Which one was true was no longer important. This matter had clearly wounded Long Pojun’s heart, and it was especially related to love. As such, Su Chen didn’t ask any further questions.

All he asked was, “Does Lin Mengze know about the relationship between you and Lin Raoxian?”

Long Pojun nodded slightly.

“No wonder he tried to make a move on the Heavenly Might Battalion. So it was for this...... He wanted to use Lin Shaoxuan and the Heavenly Might Battalion to draw you out, and even now......” Su Chen suddenly understood why Long Sang was so intent on attacking him this time.

Lin Mengze still hadn’t given up on discovering the Blood Fiend’s Bone.

He was going to deal with the Boundless Sect, just as he had dealt with the Heavenly Might Battalion in the past.

However, what had transpired earlier was proof that threatening the Heavenly Might Battalion would not be enough to force Long Pojun out into the open. Why would he try the same tactic again?

Because he couldn’t just let the opportunity go to waste like that.

Su Chen could understand that mindset. To people who were unwilling to accept defeat, they would sometimes need to fail multiple times before they were willing to give up.

Politically speaking, however, this was a dumb decision.

The matter had already been laid to rest, but now Lin Mengze was intent on provoking a powerful opponent in a vain attempt to revive this dream of his. That was incredibly unintelligent.

What would make Lin Mengze so desperate to do something like that even if he knew that the chances were extremely slim?

Su Chen’s mind raced as he tried to consider all of the possibilities.

Suddenly, he realized something and said, “Lin Mengze’s body is probably not going to last much longer.”

“What?” Long Pojun was stunned.

“Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so insistent on trying to find you. If he got his hands on the Blood Fiend’s Bone, and he broke into a new cultivation realm, it’s possible that he would be able to extend his lifespan as well.”

“But his vitality shouldn’t have been consumed yet,” Long Pojun said.

Given his Desolate Beast Bloodline and his Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivation base, he should have been able to live around 1000-1800 years. If he had possessed an Origin Beast Bloodline, that number would have been closer to 3000. This was why there had only been a dozen or so emperors across the entire twenty-thousand-year history of the Illustrious Divine Dynasty.

Lin Mengze was only around eight hundred years old, far from reaching that age. Why was his physical condition already beginning to decline?

Then, he suddenly thought of something and cried out loudly, “Could it be that she...... She...... She......”

He stammered and trembled but was unable to say anything in the end. For the first time, however, a smile of true happiness appeared on his face.

Su Chen could tell what he was thinking and calmly said, “I’m not too clear about the things of men and women, but the likelihood that something has happened to Lin Mengze’s body is quite high. That’s why he needed to try one last time even if he knows that you will not appear. It seems that my exposing of you is going to aid him in his intentions instead.”

Unexpectedly, Long Pojun suddenly stood up. “I want to go back!”

“What?” Su Chen was taken aback.

He had originally given up on trying to convince Long Pojun to return, but unexpectedly Long Pojun had volunteered to return on his own.

Long Pojun’s expression was resolute as he said, “I want to go back. I want to know how...... she......”

Su Chen understood.

It was quite apparent that Su Chen’s words had given him new hope.

There was a possibility now that the love that had shattered before could be repaired.

“But your body......” Su Chen frowned as he stared at the emaciated Long Pojun.

Was it even possible for him to return to being a peerless God of War with a physique like this?

Long Pojun, however, laughed proudly, “I just need to feed it until it’s full again. Oh, Blood Demon’s Bone, forgive me for starving you for so many years. It’s time for us to resume our journey.”

As if the Blood Fiend’s Bone could sense Long Pojun’s decisiveness, it began to glow a blood-red color.

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