The severed purple sleeve drifted to the ground. His decisive tone echoed through the skies.
Ye Zichen’s hands trembled. In the face of Yang Jian’s determination and cut robes, his eyes filled with disbelief. Even though this was just an act, and even though Ye Zichen knew what to expect, he was shaken despite himself.
“Are you serious?”
“Since it’s obvious you don’t trust me, there’s no point in being your brother.” Yang Jian snorted coldly, his Erlang Lance glinting with cold light. “From now on, we have nothing to do with each other. You go your way, I’ll go mine. I wish you success in all your endeavors and a glorious future! Hmph. Farewell, then.”
With that, he whipped around and lowered his lance. He waved, still facing away from Ye Zichen and the Great Sage, and dashed off without so much as looking back.
To his surprise, before he’d taken more than a few steps, Ye Zichen called out to him. His hands had stopped trembling, and he seemed to have calmed down. His gaze was filled with undisguised indifference.
When Yang Jian heard that, he stopped, then turned around, his eyes as cold as ice. “Do you have something else to say?”
“It seems our friendship, our brotherhood, never meant much to you at all,” said Ye Zichen with a cold, aloof laugh. He cocked his head, then continued, “If you’re this heartless, you can’t blame me for what I’m about to do. You’ve followed me for this long, and you know far, far too many secrets I can’t afford to let leak.”
“Speak clearly!” said Yang Jian.
“You took the initiative to sever our brotherly ties. In doing so, you cleared up the last of my doubts. You and I are no longer brothers, and there’s no need to take our former friendship into account.” Ye Zichen’s gaze was as cold as ice, and his aura billowed forth.
The Great Stage stood behind him, clenching his staff. Surging divine power formed a fine-meshed net, surrounding Yang Jian completely.
Fierce winds made the clouds overhead flow in reverse. The skies rumbled with non-stop thunder and crackled with lightning.
Howling winds set Ye Zichen, Yang Jian, and the Great Sage’s robes fluttering. They stood there proudly, right in the center of a whirlwind...
As soon as he gave the word, the Great Sage swung his staff without reservation. Yang Jian’s lance, which he’d only just put away, reappeared. Clang! It bounced off the staff, stirring up fierce winds and dispersing the clouds overhead.
The divine power shook the skies, the resulting rumbling so terrifying that even rulers felt their hearts clench involuntarily.
“Why haven’t they stopped yet?”
Back in the Upheaval Alliance’s base, Xiao Yumei and the others looked up at the sky, but the fog was so thick that even with their eyesight, they couldn’t quite discern what was going on.
At that moment, a mighty boom resounded overhead, and their hearts clenched.
“Is that the Alliance Head and the others?” exclaimed Wei Jie.
Pu Jingwan and Xiao Yumei knit their brows. Before long, they glanced at each other, then leaped into the sky. “All of you, wait here. We’ll go up and take a look.”
Meanwhile, up in the sky, Yang Jian had warded off the Great Sage’s attack. His gaze was utterly cold.
He gnashed his teeth, his eyes flickering with resentment and disbelief as he took in Ye Zichen’s cold indifference. His face displayed an indescribable array of emotions, flitting from one extreme to the other.
“Ye-zi, are you trying to get rid of me?”
“Don’t blame me for this, but you know too much. I can’t just let you leave,” said Ye Zichen.
“I swear, I won’t say anything to anyone. Even if our friendship is over, I haven’t sunk so low as to publicize your secrets,” said Yang Jian solemnly.
“I’m truly sorry, but I can’t trust you, and I can’t afford to gamble.” Ye Zichen smiled coldly, then turned to the Great Sage and barked, “Seize him!”
“Ye-zi!” Yang Jian roared.
“Do it!” Ye Zichen threw every last bit of emotion he had into this play. His gaze contained no sign of hesitation. Despite knowing it was an act, Yang Jian really, truly felt what it was like to be let down.
He nodded his head, lips quivering. A long time passed, but he couldn’t manage so much as a single word.
In the face of the Great Sage’s lightning-like attacks, all he could do was defend himself, but his heart wasn’t in it. He took countless blows, but his gaze never left Ye Zichen.
He looked into Ye Zichen’s only exposed eye and took in his aloof indifference.
The Great Sage’s illusory staves filled the air, then slammed into his back. He hacked up a mouthful of fresh blood, but Ye Zichen nevertheless showed not even the slightest hint of emotion. Yang Jian’s heart sank.
“Die!” The Great Sage clutched his staff in both hands, then swung it mercilessly at Yang Jian’s skull.
This time, a hint of a smile flashed through Yang Jian’s eyes. His body blurred, becoming illusory, as he merged with the sky. When he reappeared, he was directly behind Ye Zichen. “It’s time for this to end.”
A hundred meters away, the Great Sage’s pupils constricted. His gaze was frantic as he stretched his hand out towards Ye Zichen.
When Ye Zichen sensed Yang Jian behind him, his eyes filled with terror, but in the bottom of his heart, he sighed in relief.
Yang Jian was just about to end this show, once and for all, but when he raised his lance, his hands trembled.
The person before him was one of his very best friends in the world, yet now, he was supposed to take his blade and slice his arm clean off.
Although he knew this was just to trick the Xiao Family, he….
“What are you waiting for? Do it!” Ye Zichen’s transmission went off like a bomb in Yang Jian’s consciousness. Yang Jian’s hands shook even harder. Then, he visibly steeled himself. His eyes glinted.
Yang Jian sliced the lotus arm the Hermit Emperor made for Ye Zichen clean off. Blood gushed from the stump, dyeing everything in sight deep red. He then reached out and grabbed the severed limb, his gaze hideous. And yet, if you looked closely, the corners of his eyes shimmered with unshed tears.
“Consider this arm your unpaid debt to me. I claim it, here and now! I was truly blind to have called you my brother. Die!” His lance pierced right through Ye Zichen’s clavicle just as Pu Jingwan and Xiao Yumei arrived.
“Yang Jian!” Pu Jingwan’s eyes bulged. She rushed up into the sky after him.
Yang Jian gazed down at her and the others still on the ground, his expression hideously contorted. Then, he turned his head and ran. Pu Jingwan and the Great Sage chased after him, while Xiao Yumei embraced Ye Zichen. She sealed the blood vessels of his severed arm and punctured clavicle, then carried him into the Upheaval Alliance’s base. All the while, she bit down on her lip to keep herself from crying.
Watching this, Wei Jie and the others were visibly stunned. Finally, Xiao Yumei could no longer bear it.
“Yang Jian betrayed the alliance. He tried to kill the Alliance Head! Send someone….. Kill him for me! Kill him!” Xiao Yumei screamed hysterically, as if she were the one who’d been injured. Her acting was on point, both incisive and thorough, and Wei Jie didn’t so much as question her authenticity. He led Xiao Yan, Xiao Yu, and the other leaders off in pursuit.
Xiao Yumei bit her lips, took out a pill, and slipped it into Ye Zichen’s mouth.
“Was it worth taking it this far?” Her voice resounded in Ye Zichen’s sea of consciousness.
He winced, feigning agony, then sighed. “It has to be like this. Otherwise, Yang Jian could never find a reasonable excuse to seek refuge with the Xiao Family. After hurting me, he now stands against me, or at least, that’s how it looks. This will help ensure his safety.”
“There’s no need to say anymore.” Ye Zichen narrowed his eyes and looked up at the distant sky. He recalled the tears in Yang Jian’s eyes as he stabbed him. “I just don’t know how long it’ll be until we can reunite.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter