Against the Gods - Chapter 1790 - The God Emperors’ Choice
Chapter 1790 - The God Emperors’ Choice
“Caizhi, why did you arrive in the Southern Divine Region so long ago?” Yun Che asked. He more or less knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from Caizhi’s own mouth.
Caizhi replied in a soft but indifferent voice. “You’d already beaten the Eastern Divine Region silly, and the huge gulf in information between the two sides meant that you would very likely not need my help during the conquest of the Eastern Divine Region. Furthermore, it was obvious that you would target the Southern Divine Region once you were done with the Eastern Divine Region.”
“However, I had not expected you to act this quickly.” Caizhi said as she glanced at Yun Che. The determined and emotionless mask she wore on her face greatly contrasted with her still-childish face. “I had originally intended to secretly stir up some chaos in the Southern Divine Region, but you… ended up rushing here all by yourself.”
The situation in the Eastern Divine Region hadn’t stabilized yet and the Western Divine Region had also been making some inscrutable moves, so he really had “rushed” over to the Southern Divine Region this time around.
“So you also figured out the Southern Sea’s Phantom Sea Four-Star Formation way before I arrived?” Yun Che asked as his brow suddenly furrowed. It seemed as if he had come to an abrupt realization of sorts.
“It was extremely easy to trace the Phantom Sea Four-Star Formation to its other point using the power of the World Piercer that had been carved into the Heavenly Wolf Sacred Sword,” Caizhi replied in a calm voice. “If the Southern Sea really found itself pushed into the corner, the person who was most likely to use the Phantom Sea Four-Star Formation was Nan Wansheng. However, the moment he used this formation to escape, the only place he could flee to would be his final destination.”
“Who was the person waiting outside the formation to assassinate Nan Wansheng?” Yun Che suddenly asked.
“Of course, it’s the Dragons of Absolute…” Caizhi suddenly broke off mid-sentence. She noticed the strange gleam in Yun Che’s eyes as he looked at her, so she ended up choking on her words.
“The aura exuded by the Dragons of Absolute Beginning is unique. If one of them had made an appearance in the God Realm, they would’ve already been discovered by someone by now,” Yun Che said in a slow and measured voice. “Also, Nan Wansheng was also the strongest person in the Southern Divine Region. Even if he was on the verge of death, the only Dragon of Absolute Beginning who could kill him in such a short period of time is the Dragon Emperor of Absolute Beginning himself.”
“However, you’ve been standing on the head of the Dragon Emperor of Absolute Beginning all this while, so who exactly did the deed?” Yun Che asked as he shot Caizhi a contemplative look.
“Hmph.” Caizhi turned her head away with a soft snort. “You don’t need to know.”
“Err…” Yun Che squeezed Caizhi’s hand softly before he shot her a faint smile and said, “Fine, fine, I won’t ask.”
Nan Guizhong’s expression had turned bleak merely three breaths after Nan Wansheng had used that formation to flee...
To be able to kill a heavily-injured Nan Wansheng in just three breaths… How many people in this world could accomplish such a feat?
Yun Che naturally wouldn’t keep probing Caizhi if she didn’t want to give him the answer, but his mind was currently buzzing with activity as he considered and eliminated the potential candidates.
When he returned to his spot above the ruined capital of the Southern Sea God Realm, he saw that the pitch-black smoke was still swirling all over the place as it continued to swallow up the boundless sea of blood and corpses that surrounded the capital.
Yan Tianxiao had returned by this point. He hurriedly stepped forward and bowed toward Yun Che. “Your Magnificence. The remaining dregs of the Southern Sea God Realm have already fled far away. We were awaiting the Devil Master’s command, so we did not pursue them.”
“Mmm.” Yun Che nodded his head.
The corner of Yan Tianxiao’s lips twitched when he noticed Caizhi, but he stopped himself from asking any questions.
When the Three Yama Ancestors saw Yun Che holding Caizhi’s hand, a litany of groans echoed in their hearts.
We’ve gained yet another master that we must serve with the utmost care...
Qianye Ying’er pursed her lips when she saw that Caizhi had returned with Yun Che, but she refrained from throwing any barbs her way.
Yan One was holding Nan Qianqiu by the head, causing his body to dangle limply in the air.
He hadn’t fallen into complete unconsciousness, so he had witnessed Nan Guizhong’s suicide and the deaths of the other Sea Gods. He had also seen his royal capital collapse amidst a sea of blood...
The malice that radiated from Yan One pierced his every pore like a thousand steel needles, and every instant that passed was a hell of suffering all of its own. Unfortunately for Nan Qianqiu, he was completely helpless. He could not even let out a groan of despair, much less struggle. The only thing he could do was to suffer as his body violently spasmed in terror.
He did not understand why he was still alive… But even someone who feared death like him could only wish for a quick and painless death at this moment. All he wanted right now was an end to this dreadful nightmare.
Cang Shitian, who had been ignored all this while, chose this moment to step forward and drop to his knees in front of Yun Che. He threw away all of his dignity as a god emperor as he prostrated himself in front of Yun Che and yelled, “The Devil Master reigns supreme! The ruler of the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm, Cang Shitian, congratulates the Devil Master on his trampling of the Southern Sea God Realm. I, Cang Shitian, respectfully welcome you to the Southern Divine Region as one of its god emperors. From this moment forth, I swear my complete loyalty to the Devil Master and I desperately hope that the Devil Master will accede to my request.”
Unless they had personally heard it, no one in this universe would believe that those words had actually come out of the mouth of one of the Southern Divine Region’s god emperors.
The jaws of both the Xuanyuan God Emperor and the Purple Micro God Emperor dropped open at the same time as their eyes widened into saucers. Their fingers immediately started trembling after that. As fellow god emperors of the Southern Divine Region, the shame they felt was easily double that of anyone else present.
“Hmmm?” Yun Che casually flicked a look toward Cang Shitian before he lashed out with his right leg.
His foot flew straight toward Cang Shitian’s face… This was an act that flew across the threshold of anything that a self-respecting person could tolerate, so how much worse would it be for a god emperor, a being who was used to looking down on all of creation?
The corner of Cang Shitian’s mouth twitched, but he didn’t move an inch from where he was standing. Instead, he actually forcibly withdrew the profound energy that was surrounding his body.
Yun Che’s foot mercilessly smashed into Cang Shitian’s face, immediately causing his nose to cave in and his front teeth to crack. Two streams of blood immediately started gushing from Cang Shitian’s nostrils.
God Emperor Shitian’s body did several flips in midair, but when he landed, he was still prostrated in front of Yun Che. He ignored the blood streaming down his face as he bowed his head and said, “I thank the Devil Master for his gift.”
“Cang… Cang Shitian!” the Xuanyuan God Emperor gasped as he pointed a finger at Cang Shitian. The muscles in his neck were spasming violently and he couldn’t even muster up the strength to speak.
If a mere mortal were to so cravenly hold on to their life, even the people who despised their actions would still understand them. However, he was God Emperor Shitian, someone whose name shook the very foundations of the universe. For someone of his position to behave in such a pathetic and servile manner… The word “shame” couldn’t even begin to describe it.
“Heh.” Yun Che let out a cold chuckle. “Oh, isn’t this the Southern Divine Region’s God Emperor Shitian? Why are you suddenly acting like a dog?”
However, the grave insult that was just thrown in his face didn’t phase Cang Shitian one iota. He merely replied in a grave and solemn voice, “Since I have resolved myself to serve the Devil Master, I have also naturally resolved myself to serve you in any manner you desire. No matter whether I need to be a dog or a horse.”
“Haah.” A soft but gloomy sigh suddenly rang out in the air. It had, unsurprisingly, come from Qianye Wugu.
As someone who had grown bored of even life, he was still unable to bear seeing a lofty god emperor throw away his dignity in such a manner. He closed his eyes and said, “It is only natural for humans to fear death. However, as the god emperor who is responsible for all the glory and shame of the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm, why is there a need for you to stoop to such a level.”
“Hehe.” Cang Shitian responded to those words with a strange chuckle. He lifted his head to look at Qianye Wugu and his eyes were completely calm. “Living in shame is far better than dying in tragedy. Furthermore… how do you lot know that this king isn’t truly being sincere about serving under the Devil Master?”
“...” Qianye Wugu’s brows knit together as Yun Che’s eyes also started to narrow.
“Cang Shitian!” the Purple Micro God Emperor could no longer tolerate this farce any longer. He roared in anger, “A cowardly person like you who is willing to sacrifice all of his dignity to preserve his own life is no longer fit to be the emperor of the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm. A person who is willing to grovel like a dog in front of another is even less worthy of being a god emperor of our Southern Divine Region… Phooey!”
The Xuanyuan God Emperor swiftly raised a hand to prevent the Purple Micro God Emperor from going any further.
“Heh heh heh.” Cang Shitian immediately started laughing as he replied in a calm and steady voice. “You know, life has truly been far too dull and boring. A hundred years, a thousand years, ten thousand years… It’s been far too long since I’ve experienced a thrill like I did today.”
“A new era is now upon us,” Cang Shitian said as he laughed, and his laughter didn’t contain a single speck of fear or shame. Instead, it seemed to be filled with some sort of perverse and twisted joy. “If I follow the Devil Master, I may very well be able to be part of something that flips the heavens and the earth! Be part of creating a whole new world, one that is entirely different from the last!”
“Is there anything more intriguing than that!?” He swivelled his head to look at his fellow god emperors. His eyes burned with madness as he stared straight at the Xuanyuan God Emperor and the Purple Micro God Emperor. “The God Realm has never ever seen an era like this, has never even had such an opportunity! This is a blessing from the heavens themselves! So how can this king miss out on such a thing!? It’s only by joining in such an endeavor that I can prove that I haven’t lived this dull life in vain! Heh… Heh heh heh heh heh”
“You…” the Xuanyuan God Emperor pointed a trembling finger at Cang Shitian as he gasped, “You truly are… a madman!”
Cang Shitian had always behaved in an erratic and zany manner which defied all logic, so the God Realm had given him the title of “Madman” ten millienia ago. But it was only today that they truly realized the depth of his madness.
No one knew if Cang Shitian truly meant what he said, but after witnessing the destruction of the Southern Sea God Realm in a single day, no one could deny that the Devil Master Yun Che and his Northern Divine Region did indeed have the ability to overturn the heavens and the earth.
And that was in spite of the continued existence of the Dragon God Realm!
“Hehe, so you’re only bowing your head to me because you find it interesting? What an absurd and clumsy answer,” Yun Che said as he gave a cold and dry chuckle. “Cang Shitian, you were also one of the people who attacked my master and I outside the Blue Pole Star back then. Do you really think that I will let you off today?”
Cang Shitian stared straight into Yun Che’s eyes as he replied in a deep voice, “I have never borne any animosity toward the Devil Master. My actions on that fateful day and my actions today have never been anything more than me making the most correct choice in each situation.”
“After the Devil Master tramples over the Southern Divine Region, you will start to turn your attentions toward the Western Divine Region. Even if the Devil Master’s power can cover the heavens, it is still unwise to underestimate the Western Divine Region. As such, you can either choose a god emperor who will struggle to his last breath or a god emperor who has already expressed his willingness to become one of your dogs. If you choose the latter option, you will also gain the entire Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm in one fell swoop… So the magnanimous Devil Master will definitely choose the wisest option, no matter what animosity you bear me.”
Yun Che proudly raised his head as he looked down on Cang Shitian with those cold eyes of his. “Are you teaching me how I should conduct myself?”
“How would I even dare?” Cang Shitian replied. He raised both hands respectfully towards Yun Che as a faint smile formed on his face. “When I chose to hit the Southern Sea God Realm when they were down, the entire world witnessed me dealing a vicious blow to Nan Wansheng. In effect, I have cut off all of my other escape paths and thrown in my lot with you. If the Devil Master truly wishes to kill me, you might as well do it after we have done battle with the Western Divine Region and you have wrung every bit of usefulness from this body of mine. It won’t be too late to kill me then!”
Yun Che’s eyes narrowed even further.
“Since this is the first time the Devil Master has ventured into the Southern Divine Region, this also means that the Northern Divine Region has very little knowledge of us. The Devil Master has indeed destroyed the Southern Sea God Realm today, but it will take you far longer to conquer the vast Southern Divine Region. However, if you would allow me to lead your campaign, it would greatly lessen the amount of time and effort you would need to expend. This would also allow you to easily deal with any sudden movement from the Western Divine Region.”
“...” By the time he finished speaking, the way everyone looked at this madman had subtly changed.
“Sigh.” Qianye Wugu let out another deep sigh of lament before he mumbled to himself. “Perhaps this old one has truly underestimated my junior from the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm.”
A smile that was not a smile formed on Yun Che’s face, but everyone had sensed that his killing intent toward Cang Shitian had suddenly disappeared.
He didn’t bother replying to Cang Shitian after that. He suddenly turned to look at the other two god emperors, his dark and gloomy eyes boring holes into their bodies. “How about the two of you?”
The two god emperors’ faces were troubled and grim. However, the Xuanyuan God Emperor soon took a step forward and replied in a heavy voice, “Xuanyuan bows before the Devil Master’s divine might.”
He sucked in a quick breath before continuing, “As long as the Devil Master does not touch my Xuanyuan Realm, the Xuanyuan Realm will definitely not become enemies of the Devil Master. I am willing to swear it upon my sword.”
The pressure the Purple Micro God Emperor felt greatly lessened the moment he saw the Xuanyuan God Emperor step forward. He also chimed in, “My Purple Micro Realm will never make an enemy of the Northern Divine Region. We won’t even take a single step into its territory!”
The descending darkness had forced their hand, they had no choice but to give concessions to Yun Che. It was already extremely shameful for a god emperor to say what they had just said and it also expressed the incredibly helpless positions that they currently found themselves in… However, they had, at the very least, preserved the final dignity of their titles and their king realms. They had not stooped to Cang Shitian’s level.
“Hoh…” However, Yun Che gave a bone-chillingly cold chuckle in response to both god emperors’ words.
Devilish wind started swirling in the air as they keenly heard the boundless mockery in Yun Che’s low chuckle. The look in his eyes changed and even though Yun Che was looking at two god emperors, it seemed as if he regarded them as nothing more than two incredibly pathetic and ridiculous ants. “Oh? Are both of you actually trying to negotiate with me?”
The look in Yun Che’s eyes and the aura that was radiating from his body caused extreme discomfort to both god emperors. The Xuanyuan God Emperor immediately replied in a grave voice, “Devil Master, the Southern Divine Region is the birthplace of both the Xuanyuan Realm and Purple Micro Realm. It is also a place that we must defend. Even the Devil Master’s arrival has not shaken us from these vows.”
The Purple Micro God Emperor immediately followed up. “The Devil Master will definitely experience heavy pressure from the Western Divine Region after today. Two king realms which will fight to the death versus two king realms which have vowed complete neutrality… I believe someone as wise as the Devil Master will know which is the better choice.”
Their words sounded exactly the same as the words that Cang Shitian had just uttered. However, a scornful smile immediately appeared on Cang Shitian’s face when he heard those words.
“This vast Southern Divine Region turned out to be quite the pathetic place, didn’t it? Even their god emperors ended up being naive idiots of such colossal magnitude.”
Yun Che’s eyes flicked to the left and the right and the skies immediately started to grow dim. The ghastly figures of the Three Yama Ancestors immediately surrounded the two god emperors. They unleashed that dark and devilish aura which seemed to come from the depths of hell at the same time. This dark aura instantly swept over the two god emperors, causing them to shudder uncontrollably as it pierced their souls and seeped into their bones.
“Devil Master, you…” The sword in the Xuanyuan God Emperor’s hand buzzed and hummed, but he did not dare to let it out of his sheath.
“Cang Shitian cut off all his other options and swore to be my loyal dog. Since he has become a loyal dog of this Devil Master, he naturally has the right to ask for a reward.” Yun Che’s eyes narrowed into slits as he continued, “But who the hell do you two think you are? Do you think you’re actually worthy of talking terms with me?”
The Xuanyuan God Emperor and the Purple Micro God Emperor both shuddered at the same time.
“Back then, you repaid my generosity with enmity, and chose to kick me when I was down. Today, you once again aided the Southern Sea against me. However, I refrained from making a single move against you and even left you with your pathetic lives. Yet you think that you actually have the right to bargain with me over your lives?”
“How brazen of you.”
The Xuanyuan God Emperor and Purple Micro God Emperor had both known Yun Che would react in this manner, but their eyes actually grew even more cold and resolute. The Xuanyuan God Emperor replied, “Devil Master, we admit that the Northern Divine Region’s power has far exceeded even our wildest imagination, and it is a power that we have no choice but to fear. However, the Western Divine Region is far different from our Southern Divine Region. You just killed the Ash Dragon God, so the Dragon God Realm will definitely mobilize the entire Western Divine Region to march against you!”
“The concessions that we have made today will allow the Devil Master to rest easy when it comes to the Southern Divine Region. If not… it would be incredibly unwise for the Devil Master to turn his back on an enemy.”
The Purple Micro God Emperor stared straight into Yun Che’s eyes as he released his full might as a god emperor. His voice was filled with righteous indignation as he said, “We have already made incredible concessions for the security of the Xuanyuan Realm and Purple Micro Realm. These concessions are already incredibly shameful for us and incredibly advantageous for the Devil Master. But if you want us to grovel before you, a devil, like Cang Shitian…”
The Purple Micro God Emperor suddenly stopped talking as he began to gather himself. His eyes shone with purple light as profound energy started to swirl around his body. It seemed as if he was preparing to put his life on the line before he continued speaking. “We will never do such a thing, not even if the two of us die here today! Furthermore, when the Devil Master does battle with the Western Divine Region, both of our realms will point at your backs like sharp knives!”
“Very well.” Yun Che replied impassively. After that, he turned away from them and said, “Then you can die.”
“Kill them and slaughter everyone in the Xuanyuan Realm and Purple Micro Realm.”
Once Yun Che gave that cold command, the Three Yama Ancestors didn’t even hesitate for a single second. They roared out like three rabid dogs as three ebon ghost claws tore open three dark abysses in the air which sealed every speck of space surrounding the two god emperors.
Neither god emperor had dreamed that Yun Che would give the order to kill this early! They instantly flew into a panic as they were forced into the domain of darkness that the Three Yama Ancestors had torn open. Yan Tianxiao also started to press in with his Yama Devils, and the Yama Devil power that started to erupt all around the two god emperors formed a web of devilish energy that consumed all light. It was a sealed space that even a god emperor would not be able to escape from.
A sword domain and purple light erupted at the same time as the two great god emperors clashed with the Yama Devils around them. However, they were facing the Three Yama Ancestors and all of the Yama Devils under Yan Tianxiao’s command. They were already at a disadvantage. Furthermore, the two Brahma ancestors, Qianye Ying’er, Gu Zhu, Yun Che, the Heavenly Wolf… and even Cang Shitian, who had sacrificed all of his dignity to join the enemy, had yet to make a move. The moment their movements had been sealed off, they were well and truly doomed.
They gritted their teeth as they forcibly kept their domains open, but the Xuanyuan God Emperor could no longer maintain his previous composure. He yelled in a deep voice, “Devil Master, we have already made the greatest of concessions, do you truly want to… engage in a life and death struggle with us!?”
The news of the Ash Dragon God’s miserable death had already spread far and wide, and the wrathful vengeance of the Dragon God Realm would undoubtedly arrive with a resolute swiftness. In such a situation, they firmly believed that Yun Che would refuse to add another two strong enemies to his list. As such, they were quite confident that their “negotiations” with Yun Che would go swimmingly.
But they had never imagined that...
What awaited them was not Yun Che’s reply, but a wild and shrill laugh which pierced the air.
The person who had started cackling madly had actually been Cang Shitian. The muscles on his face quivered wildly, as if he was witnessing the most ridiculous and pathetic farce in the entire universe.
“Cang Shitian!” Their boundless shame and fear turned into rage as the Purple Micro God Emperor snarled at him through clenched teeth. “Where does a shameless and immoral mad dog like you find the wherewithal to laugh right now!?”
“Ha… Hahahaha… Hahahahaha!” Cang Shitian pressed his hands against his stomach as his body rocked back and forth. His laughter only finally subsided after a few long moments had passed. He unhurriedly turned to cast a pitying look at the Xuanyuan God Emperor and the Purple Micro God Emperor as he said, “What a grand ‘we would rather die than surrender’. What a grand show of your ‘proud and unyielding bones’. Tsk tsk tsk tsk.”
Cang Shitian shook his head as he clucked his tongue towards his fellow god emperors. After that, an incredibly contemptuous smile slowly curved up on his face as he said, “Xuanyuan God Emperor, Purple Micro God Emperor, I know that you have both been god emperors for more than twenty millienia, but your brains haven’t atrophied to the point of memory loss, yes? You can’t have so quickly forgotten about the person who truly saved the God Realm, yes? Furthermore, have you also forgotten the looks on your faces when the entire God Realm was chasing down the Devil Master back in the day?”
The looks on both god emperors faces subtly changed at the same time.
“Your ‘willingness to die rather than surrender’ and your ‘proud and unyielding bones’ may be a good enough act to scare all of those pitiful peasants, but trying to use it to scare the Devil Master… is sad and ridiculous. It’s nothing more than a pitiful act being put on by the world’s most laughable clowns! Hahahaha!”
“Oh! No, no, no, no!” Cang Shitian continued. “Now, nearly everyone in the Southern Divine Region knows the truth about the Devil Master saving the world. So perhaps even these peasants view this as nothing more than a circus act being put on by two clowns! To think that you actually had the nerve to talk terms with the Devil Master. How could you be so shameless… Hahahahaha!”
“CANG… SHI… TIAAAAAAN!” Both the Xuanyuan God Emperor and Purple Micro God Emperor were clenching their teeth hard enough to crack them. Their voices trembled violently as their eyes filled with rage… However, none of them could deny that Cang Shitian’s words had pierced their souls like poisoned needles.
All of the god emperors had chosen to hide the truth of what happened back then. The moment Yun Che exposed his darkness profound energy, they had also used the same convenient excuse to try to get rid of him… They had pushed the savior of this universe to the point of no return, and they had even destroyed his homeworld and everything that he had.
All the betrayals in the world could not compare to what they had done. What they had done to Yun Che had gone completely against every tenet of humanity and righteousness… and they were well aware of that. As a result, they truly had no way of rebutting Cang Shitian’s words, no matter how angry or indignant they were. In front of Yun Che, they truly didn’t have the right to talk about things such as honor or dignity.
At this moment, their “proud and unyielding bones” and “willingness to die rather than surrender” really did look utterly ridiculous.
Yun Che simply turned his back on them. He couldn’t even bother to spare the Xuanyuan God Emperor or Purple Micro God Emperor another look. He merely barked out a single cold and merciless word in his wake. “Kill!”
The expressions of the Three Yama Ancestors warped into sinister glee when he gave that order as the force pressing down on the Xuanyuan God Emperor and Purple Micro God Emperor dramatically increased.
It was at this moment that Cang Shitian chose to speak up once more. He stared admiringly at the incredibly ugly looks on his fellow god emperors’ faces before he said in a languid and relaxed voice, “Xuanyuan God Emperor, Purple Micro God Emperor. The two of you have grown old, so it’s no surprise that you’ve practically gone deaf already. Since it seems like you didn’t hear my warning because of that, I’ll be gracious enough to remind you one last time.”
“If you make an enemy of the Dragon God Realm, even the worst possible outcome will end with them crippling your cultivation and striping your crown away from you. Of course, your bloodline will have to bear the emblem of sin and shame, but their facade of righteousness will prevent them from simply obliterating you off the face of this universe.”
“As for this thing called shame, there are countless methods to slowly scrub it away. We also have more than enough time to do it. No matter how much disgrace our bloodlines have to suffer, we will definitely rise up again as long as we still remain in possession of this divine power.
“However, if you make an enemy of the Devil Master…” Cang Shitian stretched out a hand to point at the ruins below him. “If your ancient eyes haven’t gone blind yet, there is a perfect example right in front of you.”