The Demon Emperor froze, startled, at the sight of Emperor Hades’ sneer. He unwittingly smiled back. “What happened between us is in the past, unimportant. It’s been tens of thousands of years. I’m surprised you even remember.”
When they heard that, the Southern Kingdom’s King Jiao Hai and the Sea of Innocence’s Ocean Emperor instinctively glanced at the two of them. From their conversation, they caught a whiff of a secret, one not even they'd been privy to.
His closed-door disciple?
Was he saying that the Demon Emperor was once Emperor Hades’ closed-door disciple too?
“I didn’t want to bring it up, but you had to go ahead and say that. You left me with no choice but to remind you. Kui Lin, just who did you study with back in the day, before you’d even become a Demon General?”
The Demon Emperor really was Emperor Hades’ disciple!
Just now, their conversation had made it very clear: before becoming famous or rising to power, Kui Lin had been Emperor Hades’ disciple. However, not even the likes of the Ocean Emperor had known about this.
If Emperor Hades hadn’t announced it, the other great emperors would never have known.
To think that the Demon Emperor was once Emperor Hades’ apprentice!
“Alright, before getting famous, I did indeed study with you, but at the time, I wanted to take the former Emperor Hades as my master, not you.”
“A natural born scoundrel like you? How could Master possibly take you under his wing?” Emperor Hades’ eyes flashed with disdain, his expression gradually deepening. “Master told me long ago that you were ambitious and wicked at heart, which was why he refused to teach you. I took pity on you, and saw how much you wanted to learn divine skills, so I accepted you as my apprentice and taught you in secret. In doing so, I granted your desire to learn from Emperor Hades.”
Jiao Hai and Xue Yang were listening from the sidelines. When they heard this, they couldn’t help themselves; their pupils constricted involuntarily. No wonder they hadn’t known any of this. When the former Emperor Hades was still alive, they were merely supreme-level small fry.
Also, it was true….
Emperor Hades was like an evergreen tree, a constant presence in the Upper Three Realms. Aside from the Hermit Emperor and a few members of the prior generation, most of the current imperial-evel experts had grown up looking up to Emperor Hades. When they were still just supremes and diviners, Emperor Hades was already renowned, the unquestioned sovereign of his territory.
Although, on the surface, Jiao Hai and Xue Yang were now on the same level as Emperor Hades, they were far, far, far behind him in terms of experience. That was why, when Emperor Hades faced other great emperors, he called them directly by name, while they had to respectfully address him as “Emperor Hades.”
Before Jiao Hai and Xue Yang could recover from their shock, Emperor Hades continued. He seemed to be mocking himself.
“After Master found out, he warned me against teaching you anything of importance, but I was stubborn and willful. But Master was right about you. You…. Forget it. I’m in no mood to bring up these past grievances. Let me just ask you this: are you the one who leaked word of my cultivation technique’s low ebb to the yao?”
“So what if I did? So what if I didn’t?” asked the Demon Emperor.
Respecting one’s teacher!
A teacher for a day, a father for life!
To Kui Lin, all these platitudes meant nothing at all.
The former Emperor Hades understood him completely. He was indeed ambitious, and for the sake of his desires, he could throw away anything and everything else.
To him, Emperor Hades was nothing but a stepping stone on his path to the throne.
Who cared if he’d learned from Emperor Hades in the past? Now, he was the lofty Demon Emperor, while Emperor Hades had been delegated to the God Realm’s Lower Lands to bitterly watch over the God-Yao Border.
They said he was the top expert beneath the three Realm Emperors.
But Kui Lin was one of said three emperors!
They had long since ceased to be on the same level. He had no interest in dredging up such trifles.
If Emperor Hades wanted to get nostalgic, fine. Kui Lin would play along.
But the past was in the past, and he’d long since ceased to be Emperor Hades’ disciple. He would never call anyone “master,” either.
“Naturally, I have to clean up the sect.” Emperor Hades’ gaze was warm as he said, “I’m the one who made this mess, so naturally, I’m the one who has to clean it up.”
“What a joke,” said the Demon Emperor, his gaze mocking. “I’m the Demon Emperor. Do you really think you can ‘clean me up’ just like that? Don’t tell me you’re counting on your disciple’s eighth-level Spirit-Boosting Foundation? Hurry up and look. I’m afraid your disciple is about to die.”
“There’s no need for you to worry about your junior apprentice brother, but before all that, there’s something I want to ask you. The former Demon Emperor isn’t dead, is he? If someone found him, if he came back all of a sudden, could you keep your hold on the throne?” Emperor Hades narrowed his eyes and laughed.
Kui Lin had been calm this whole time, but now, for the first time, his eyes widened and his pupils constricted. “You…”
“Are you afraid?” Emperor Hades chuckled.
“Hmph.” Demon Emperor Kui Lin quickly got a hold of himself, then snorted, “There’s no more need for words. Let’s fight!”
Meanwhile, down on the main battlefield, Su Yiyun had already drawn over ninety percent of the formation. The yao commanders were as nervous as ants on a hot kettle. They watched, frantic as could be, as each stroke of the brush brought the formations one step closer to completion. They couldn’t wait any longer.
Even though the vicious beast commanders tried their best to hold the yao off, the yao fought with no regard for defense. They fought on, even after enemy swords pierced them right through, desperate to stop Su Yiyun from drawing any more.
Su Yiyun sensed the incoming attack and knit his brows, but he made no effort to dodge. He simply focused even harder on his work, moving the brush faster than ever.
“Stop!” A Yao commander viciously stabbed with his halberd. Su Yiyun glanced over, shook his shoulder, and just barely avoided a fatal blow. The halberd went right through his left shoulder instead. Fresh blood gushed from the wound.
Even so, Su Yiyun went right on drawing. A vicious beast commander cleaved the offending yao right through the back, but the yao commander didn’t resist in the slightest. Instead, he raised his halberd once more. This time, he aimed for Su Yiyun’s left shoulder. He stabbed with all his might.
There was no escape!
The commander, a Yao King, had imbued his halberd with the power of heaven and earth. Furthermore, when he attacked, his halberd sealing the surrounding area. Su Yiyun could only watch helplessly as the weapon pierced right through his left shoulder.
Both arms were gone, severed at the shoulder.
There was no way Su Yiyun could hold a brush anymore. The yao of the Southern Kingdom celebrated, but then….
“Eighth-Level Soul-Locking Formation, Activate!” An indistinct voice rang out, like the call of the reaper. The yao only then realized that, although Su Yiyun had indeed lost both arms, he’d still found a way to hold his brush formed of pure divine power; he was holding it in his mouth. He’d just successfully completed the final stroke.
That wasn’t all; every last brush stroke was utterly perfect.
The commanders’ faces filled with despair. They’d given everything they had to ruin Su Yiyun’s arms, but now…
A beast commander stabbed its claws right through a yao commander’s chest. The victim stared up at the sky, his gaze bitter as he watched the two great formations glittering and flashing over head.
Was the Southern Kingdom going to lose?
The yao commander’s vision gradually blurred. In the moments before his death, he stared up at the two great formations in the sky. He couldn’t help but think of his wife and daughter, who were also among the kingdom’s troops….
“Double eighth-level formations…”
Su Yiyun’s slow chant entered his ears until he hit the ground. The commander’s future ended there. Shortly after, the futures of every yao in the Southern Kingdom ended too!Previous Chapter Next Chapter