The biggest obstacle to crossing the River Styx was Emperor Hades.
As an ever-present figure, Emperor Hades occupied the nightmares of countless yao. His profound cultivation and seemingly endless techniques made countless experts shrink back at the mere sight of him.
So long as he was on the throne, the yao could only plot and scheme and take a long approach in their attempts to cross.
But if he died, the situation would change, completely and utterly.
“Are you certain?” The King of the West sat upright. He rested his hands on his thighs and stared intently at Jiao Hai.
Emperor Hades’ life and death had far, far too great an impact on their future plans. They had to be absolutely certain this news was true before they proceed.
Jiao Hai didn’t nod directly. Instead, he took out his jade slip and contacted the Demon Emperor.
He was keenly aware that Emperor Hades’ death would have just as profound an impact on Kui Lin and the demons
Given how important this information was, they couldn’t afford to be careless. The jade slip flashed as the King of the West and his confidantes waited in silence.
“How certain are you?” Jiao Hai, who’d been in contact with Kui Lin for a while, suddenly said. His jade transmission slip flashed without pause, and their conversation continued without pause. He then turned to the King of the West. “The Demon Emperor just told me that just before the former Emperor Hades disappeared, a similar phenomenon appeared over the River Styx. After the river lit up, he disappeared, and no one’s seen him since. His best guess is that the former Emperor Hades died. Now, the same thing is happening to the current Emperor Hades. The Demon Emperor is about ninety percent certain Emperor Hades has died.”
“Ninety percent.” The King of the West pursed his lips and rubbed his hands together. Although it seemed the odds Emperor Hades had really passed were high, it was still too early to be completely certain.
This war risked the lives of every last yao in his kingdom. It was an enormous gamble indeed.
He had to proceed with the utmost caution.
Thinking carefully about when the former Emperor Hades was still on the throne…
The two kings were relatively old as major powers go, but back in the day, they were still just children, not even earth supremes. Even so, they could still remember that the day the former Emperor Hades had disappeared, the River Styx had lit up with similarly radiant light. And indeed, the former Emperor Hades had never once reappeared since.
When “Emperor Hades” next appeared, it was the current Emperor Hades, not his predecessor.
“Jiao Hai, don’t be so sure. After the former Emperor Hades took his place, his disciple immediately succeeded his position, and he then went on to intimidate us for tens of thousands of years. Even if he’s really gone, who's to say another won’t take his place?”
“You’re saying…” Jiao Hai froze. He’d been so focused on recovering his dignity that he hadn’t even considered this problem. The King of the West’s fears might indeed be realized. But if a new Emperor Hades took the throne, would he be as strong as the old ones?
“Wait a moment.” Jiao Hai contacted the Demon Emperor once more. Before long, he smiled, then said a few quick words to the King of the West. Everyone in his party froze, from the king to his confidantes. Although their eyes flashed with skepticism, they didn’t seem as afraid as before.
“How about it?”
“Let’s… let’s go ahead and try it!”
Emperor Hades’ palace maintained its rosy glow for a full day and night, showing no sign of weakening. At first, it only expelled Xue Yang and the nearby beasts, but by now, no living thing remained in the River Styx; they’d all been forced out. No one knew just what was happening, save for Ye Zichen’s war preparation chat….
Jade Pool Palace Master: I can’t believe it even now. To think Emperor Hades reached the end of his lifespan….
Seventh Dragonborn: Who could believe such a thing? Rulers live as long as heaven and earth; their lives can continue so long as their era survives. And Emperor Hades is exceptional even among rulers. If you went out and said his life ran out, who’d believe you?
Fox Empress: @Lady Providence, are you certain that Emperor Hades’ has reached the end of his lifespan?
Lady Providence: I’m about ninety percent sure.
The group instantly fell so quiet, it was as if they were dead.
None of them had really had too many private interactions with Emperor Hades, but he was an ever present figure, a stable presence in the God Realm. They’d all grown up looking up to him.
Now, to hear out of the blue that he’d reached his limit? It was a bit much for them to accept all at once.
Besides, they were facing a crisis. Emperor Hades would be of the utmost importance in the upcoming war, and his loss would dramatically weaken the River Styx’ power.
Hermit Emperor: Actually, this is to be expected!
Ocean Emperor: Hermit Emperor, what do you mean?
Hermit Emperor: Have you ever considered how old our Third Era is? Don’t you think that, back in its early days, it had ruler-level experts?
Hermit Emperor: Of course it did!
Hermit Emperor: They say rulers’ live as long as the heavens themselves, but has anyone from the first days of our Third Era truly lived to this day?
Hermit Emperor: The former Lightning Emperor and former Demon Emperor were lofty, inestimable seniors, but did either of them live to see the present day?
The chat group suddenly fell silent. It was indeed just as the Hermit Emperor said.
Take the great emperors in the group. The oldest of the lot, the Hermit Emperor, had yet to reach a million years of age. Their era was nearing its end, but the era had already lasted one hundred and twenty million years.
Old as they were, they could be considered a new generation. None of their seniors remained.
Yang Jian and the Great Sage could only stare at their screens. They were just like Ye Zichen in that they hadn’t been in the God Realm long, and they knew little about the past generation of major powers. They had nothing to contribute to this discussion.
Xuan Ji sent a profound look at the River Styx. The light was still dazzling to behold, but her expression was solemn.
Fox Empress: @ Everyone, I have an important announcement.
Fox Empress: The Southern and Western Kingdoms have joined forces. They’re preparing to launch an offensive against the River Styx. Everyone in the area, please prepare for battle. Everyone on the Divine Mountains, please do the same. The demons will likely attack at the same time.
Seventh Dragonborn: Understood. How did you find out about this?
Fox Empress: King Jiao Hai just called all four kings over. Although we’ve never liked the guy, we still had to send a representative.
Jade Pool Palace Master: The King of the East is pitiful indeed; his subordinates are all disobedient, unruly, Sacred Beast clans.
Little princess: The Northern Kingdom isn’t participating either?
Third Dragonborn: They’re not, but that’s actually to be expected. The North has always been on good terms with the God Realm. Why would they get involved?
Fox Empress: @Only Idealism, @Lady Providence, Please be careful over there. If Emperor Hades’ time has come, you’ll have to take over the river’s defenses. But don’t worry; even if they attack, they’ll proceed in constant fear of being surrounded and trapped in the heart of enemy territory.
Only Idealism: Got it.
Ocean Emperor: Hey, do you know who I’m most impressed with right now?
Seventh Dragonborn: Zhou Wu, right?
Ocean Emperor: Hey, you got it!
Ocean Emperor: He’s the Emperor of the God Realm, but we’re currently facing a joint invasion, and he’s yet to so much as fart. We’re the ones rushing about, doing all the work! @Lady Providence, Zhou Wu hasn’t said anything about sending reinforcements to anyone, has he?
Lady Providence: It’s been a long time since we last contacted each other.
Lady Providence: But based on my understanding of him, it’ll be difficult to convince him to send aid. He’d love nothing more than to see every last one of us drop dead.
Jade Pool Palace Master: He’s way too petty. Without us, how would the gods get through this?
Just as the group chat was happily insulting the God Emperor, Chao Feng, who’d been lurking this time, spoke up.
Third Dragonborn: Let me drag someone into the chat.
Ding! Third Dragonborn invited ‘Stranger’ to the chat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter