Against the Gods - Chapter 1884
The rumor was uncertain, and no one saw him with their own eyes. However, news of Yun Che’s return still spread throughout the Profound Sky Continent and Illusory Demon Realm like a storm. In two days, almost no one from the elite force on both continents hadn’t heard the rumor.
The signs were pretty obvious after all. On that day, the entire Divine Phoenix City was in an uproar, the Blue Wind Queen abruptly left in the middle of a talk with the envoys, the weather of the Snow Region of Extreme Ice suddenly turned stormy, the Little Demon Empress cut a black scar of atop the Demon Imperial City as she departed and more…
It could only mean that Yun Che, after five years of absence, had finally returned to the Blue Pole Star.
Naturally, rumors of his demise on the higher planes also vanished like they never were.
Of course, the denizens of the Blue Pole Star could never guess how high Yun Che stood on the totem pole that was the Primal Chaos.
It was because it transcended even their wildest imaginations.
Unlike the previous reunion, this one encompassed life, death, despair, hope, the most painful loss, and the unlikeliest miracle to ever exist in the universe… It was precious beyond what any words could possibly describe.
Xiao Lie, Yun Qinghong, Mu Yurou, Cang Yue, Xiao Lingxi, Su Ling’er, Chu Yuechan, Huan Caiyi, Yun Wuxin… one by one, their images entered his eyes and became engraved on his soul. All the tribulations he had endured, all the blood he had stained his hands with, it was all worth it. Nothing—nothing, would ever steal them away from him again.
Last time, he had told them about the vast world that was the God Realm but had concealed many truths regarding his experiences. He couldn’t be honest because of various worries, unknown dangers, special circumstances and many other factors.
This time though, he told them everything. Every encounter, every tribulation; everything…
The Crimson Calamity, the betrayal right after Jasmine and him saved the world, the blood and dust of the dead when the “Blue Pole Star” was destroyed, the desperate escape to the Northern Divine Region, the realm of the dark after Mu Xuanyin sacrificed herself to save his life…
His ascension to Devil Master, his massacre of the three Divine Regions, his coronation as great emperor of the universe.
That being said, there were tidbits of his story that he obfuscated here and there. For starters, “Xia Qingyue” was never mentioned in his story. There was only the sinful Moon God Emperor, destroyer of the “Blue Pole Star” whom he slew with his own hands…
Profound Sky Continent, Floating Cloud City, Xiao Clan.
The clan was a lot livelier than it was before. The city itself was bustling with cheer and movement.
Countless profound ships could be seen flying toward Floating Cloud City and descending on the outskirts. Their passengers watched the city from afar, but dared not enter it without permission.
One way or another, these people had learned that Yun Che was in Floating Cloud City right now. They also knew that today was his daughter’s twentieth birthday, so they had brought many gifts with them as well.
They were aware that there was almost no chance Yun Che would meet them in person. However, just because he wouldn’t receive them didn’t mean they could skip this visit.
“Daughter-in-law Wuyao of Chi greets her father and mother.”
Empress Chi Wuyao saluted Yun Qinghong and Mu Yurou the way a Blue Wind Nation’s daughter-in-law would salute her elders.
Despite Chi Wuyao’s best efforts to suppress her aura, she couldn’t prevent a wisp of a majestic presence from affecting the surroundings. For the denizens of a lower plane, even a wisp of the presence of the Devil Queen was too much to bear. That was why no one could say a word after she voiced her greeting.
Yun Che shot Chi Wuyao a helpless look before isolating her leaked soul presence with his own power. It was only then the people in the hall regained their minds.
“You are… the empress Che’er spoke of?”
Mu Yurou was on her feet before she knew it. Her gaze was attracted to Chi Wuyao’s person like there was a physical tether between them.
Yun Che’s women were without a doubt the best women ever on the Blue Pole Star. And yet, the black-dressed woman before them made the planet itself seem more insignificant than moss.
“Yes.” Chi Wuyao replied smilingly. She remained respectful and polite even though her age and experience far exceeded both her “parents”. “To be more precise, I married my husband two years ago as the Devil Queen. It has only been since the grand coronation that I have been known as the Empress.
“The first wedding was witnessed by everyone in the Northern Divine Region, but the interference of fate prevented us from having father and mother as our witnesses. It was a matter of great regret to both of us.”
Before Chi Wuyao could say anything else, Mu Yurou strode up to her and pulled her up to her feet. Eyes cloudy with tears even before she began, she said, “Che’er said he might’ve… might’ve… a long time ago if it wasn’t for you. No matter what happens, you will always be Che’er’s empress and our greatest benefactor…”
“You mustn’t call me your benefactor, mother,” Chi Wuyao said with a smile. “Husband and I have been one in body and soul since a long time ago. It is only natural that we do everything in our power for each other…”
“Tch!” Beside Yun Che, Qianye Ying’er looked away as if she couldn’t bear the sight. She felt like her skin would crawl away from her flesh if she watched any longer.
Unlike Chi Wuyao, she loved Yun Che but would never deign to pay her respects to Yun Che’s relatives, not even if they were his own father and mother.
She hadn’t said or done a thing except walking next to Yun Che since she and Chi Wuyao had arrived in Floating Cloud City. It was as if everyone except Yun Che was invisible to her.
Mu Yurou had always been a sentimental woman, so her reaction could only be described as perfectly natural. Her husband, Yun Qinghong, was a different story though. While Mu Yurou was speaking to Chi Wuyao, he had removed his gaze from the empress to let out a soundless sigh.
Although he had mentally prepared himself when Yun Che spoke of the former Devil Queen, his soul still shook like never before the instant he laid his eyes on her. He immediately knew then that this woman was someone who completely transcended his knowledge, common sense and even imagination.
… that someone like her had willingly bowed her head to the likes of them because of Yun Che felt…
A glimmer of something indescribable flashed across Yun Qinghong’s eyes. Then, his cheerful smile returned like it had never disappeared in the first place.
“Wuxin, this is my meeting and birthday gift for you.”
Meanwhile, Chi Wuyao was speaking to Yun Wuxin and sending a globe of black light flying into her hands.
“Thank you, Auntie Chi.”
Yun Wuxin respectfully accepted the gift. When the black light faded, she saw that it was a small Profound Imagery Stone.
The look of surprise made it clear that this wasn’t what she was expecting.
“A Profound Imagery Stone?” Yun Che shot Chi Wuyao a confused look. No matter how he looked at it, it was a perfectly normal Profound Imagery Stone.
Ignoring Yun Che, Chi Wuyao continued with a smile, “Your father is the emperor of all emperors, and knowing how much he loves you, there is nothing too precious in the world that he won’t get for you himself. In the end, I could not find a more fitting gift than this recording…”
Big brother! Big brother!!”
Suddenly, an absolutely ecstatic shout came from afar. The next moment, a figure with a disheveled aura descended and ran straight into the hall.
The corners of Yun Che’s mouth twitched a bit. By the time he turned his gaze, Xiao Yun was already standing in front of him.
“Big… brother!” Xiao Yun sobbed. When he finally saw Yun Che with his own eyes, he lost control of his emotions and hugged him, weeping.
“Long time no see, Xiao Yun.” Yun Che patted Xiao Yun’s shoulder once.
“You’re okay… you’re okay.”
It took a long time before Xiao Yun finally managed to grit his teeth and stop his tears. Then, he recalled something, turned away and pulled a young man to his side. “Yongan, quick—”
The young man dropped to his knees before Xiao Yun could even finish his sentence. A full kowtow later, he said, Yongan greets Uncle Yun.”
The young man was over 2 meters tall. His fortitude shone through his facial features, and his eyes looked as bright as stars. His profound energy was almost at the Sky Profound Realm, and his future could only be equal or brighter than his father’s.
“You’re all grown up, Yongan.” Yun Che let out a deep sigh as he pulled the young man to his feet.
Xiao Yongan’s eyes turned wet as he said in a sincere voice, “I have never forgotten the favor I owe Uncle Yun. All these years, father and I have prayed long and hard for your safe return… although, we never doubted that you would be blessed by the heavens wherever you went.”
“… good boy.” Yun Che nodded lightly.
“Big Brother Yun.” From behind the father and son, a beaming Number Seven Under Heaven stepped out while holding hands with a cute little girl. She looked to be only four to five years old.
Yun Che’s eyes lit up with realization. “Is she…”
“She is Yongning.” Number Seven Under Heaven crouched down and said to the young girl. “This man here is none other than the Uncle Yun from daddy and mommy’s stories. Come on! Say hello to him.”
I thought so. Yun Che’s eyes grew warm as he shot Yongning a gentle smile. Number Seven Under Heaven had been pregnant on the day he left the Blue Pole Star, and Xiao Lie had named her Yongning back then. To see her this big already… it felt as if it had only been yesterday.
“Hello… Uncle Yun.”
The young girl looked a bit scared because Yun Che was an unfamiliar face. After she greeted him, she immediately hid behind her mother before peeking out around her.
Yun Che greeted back quickly but warmly. While delighting at the fact that the Xiao Family had a pigeon pair already, he began thinking about what he should get for the little princess.
Suddenly, a peal of booming laughter shook the entire Floating Cloud City. There was only one guy Yun Che knew whose laughter always reached his destination first.
“Grandfather!” Yun Che stepped toward his maternal grandfather immediately.
However, Mu Feiyan circled around his grandson like he didn’t exist and walked straight toward his great granddaughter. He then said, “Look at what your great grandfather brought you, Wuxin! It’s a once-in-a-thousand-years Purple Dragon Lizard! I caught it fresh from the Lightning Flame Valley, hahahahaha…”
Floating Cloud City shook again, but it didn’t shake up even a speck of dust.
Today was Yun Wuxin’s twentieth birthday. Naturally, it could only represent a clean start and a whole new beginning.
Xuanyuan Wentian… visitors from the God Realm… the fall of the Star Gods… the Crimson Calamity… the demise of the Blue Pole Star… the days of infinite hatred… the western region Dragon Monarch…
Everything… everything was permanently set in the past. All that was left was indestructible peace and harmony.
The racket gradually settled, and the day turned into night.
Yun Qinghong was standing in a courtyard and gazing at the stars into the sky.
A long time ago, this was where Xiao Yun’s deceased father, Xiao Ying, had resided.
He seemed to have been standing here for a very long time, probably reminiscing about the past.
Yun Che walked up beside him and admired the surroundings for a bit. Almost nothing had changed despite the passing of five years. “Are you thinking about the past again?”
Yun Qinghong returned to himself and shot his son a smile. “Yes, and no.”
“I’m just… thinking about something. If you would believe it, it is even more bizarre than the past five years of experiences you’ve told us about,” Yun Qinghong said slowly.
That piqued Yun Che’s curiosity. “What is it?”
“Are you… really my son?”
“Hahahaha!” Yun Che couldn’t help but laugh. “You don’t joke much, but when you do you definitely can catch someone off guard, father!”
He didn’t hear a responding laugh, however. When he looked, he saw that Yun Qinghong was staring at the sky without a smile at all. In fact, he looked unusually conflicted and melancholic.
Yun Che controlled himself and asked in a somewhat baffled tone, “Father, you can’t possibly believe that?”
Yun Qinghong lowered his gaze and chuckled. “You are my and Yurou’s son, and both our blood runs in your veins. The world may turn upside down, but that is one fact that will never change. However…”
A pause later, he continued, “I have never known the world named ‘God Realm’, but knowing that someone from that world can turn the entire Blue Pole Star to dust with a simple wave of their hand, I have no doubt that they are a kind of existence that I fundamentally don’t understand. In fact, I may never understand it for as long as I live.”
“But you… from the time you departed this world, to the time you became emperor of all things in the universe… it hasn’t even been two decades yet.” Yun Qinghong closed his eyes for a bit. “I just can’t help but wonder… if I, Yun Qinghong, truly am capable of sowing a son like you.”
Yun Che replied, “The fact that I am where I am now is proof of your excellence, isn’t it?”
“No.” Yun Qinghong shook his head. “Your father is not an unduly humble man. Even now, some traces of my youthful arrogance still lingers in my body. For example, I have been infinitely proud and delighted when you saved the Yun Family and the Illusory Demon Imperial Family from destruction, defeated Xuanyuan Wentian, and became the highest cultivator to ever live in both the Profound Sky Continent and Illusory Demon Realm. Time and time again, I have taken pride in my superiority for having sown a son like you.”
“A person’s destiny, horizon and limits are often determined by their bloodline and birth. That is a cruel but immutable fact. However, you currently stand at a level neither I nor the entire Yun Clan can ever hope to look up to, Che’er. Can you blame me for thinking what I did? If I am being honest, I feel more melancholic than proud after learning of everything you’ve achieved, son.”
Yun Qinghong then chuckled as if he couldn’t believe himself. “My god, am I actually feeling at a loss because my son is too outstanding? There can’t be many fathers in the world who are in the same position as I am, hahaha.”
“Alright, that’s enough self-induced melancholy for the day.” Yun Qinghong waved his hand before Yun Che could voice a reply. He then looked at his son and said, “Che’er, you must be busy with work now that you’ve become the great emperor of the God Realm, right? Are you going to leave soon?”
“Oh no,” Yun Che said with a smile, “‘Emperor Yun’ is naught but a title to me. Wuyao is far better at ruling the God Realm than me anyway. With her skills, nothing will go wrong even if I disappear for centuries or even millennia.”
“This is my home, not the God Realm.”
“Good.” Yun Qinghong finally cracked a heartfelt smile and said, “You have much to catch up with your wives and especially Wuxin. You have missed her for too long already.”
“… I understand.” Yun Che nodded strongly. “I will do my utmost to make up for everything I missed for the past five years.”
Yun Che continued speaking with his father for a very long time after that. It wasn’t until the moon set and the stars grew sparse that he finally saw his father off.
When Yun Qinghong was gone, Yun Che sat on the roof and fell into a long bout of melancholy just like his father had.
Xuanyuan Wentian had to plot for a thousand years before he was finally able to obtain a broken Divine Way body.
Long Bai had to cultivate nearly a hundred thousand years before he became the once venerated Dragon Monarch of the God Realm, and that was only because he was rescued and aided by Shen Xi herself.
He was only thirty some years old, and he had destroyed all of them and conquered the entire Primal Chaos.
He was a cripple before he was sixteen.
The turning point had been the day he was poisoned to death on his wedding day with Xia Qingyue. He had been “reborn” on the Azure Cloud Continent, then “reborn” back to the very same day…
Later on, he encountered Jasmine and obtained the inheritance of the Heretic God, gained the power of the Rage God, encountered the Phoenix Spirit and the Dragon God’s soul, obtained Hong’er and the Primordial Profound Ark, run into the Golden Crow’s Soul at the Illusory Demon Realm, and You’er when he was facing off the seemingly unbeatable divine way Xuanyuan Wentian…
After he had arrived in the God Realm, he had encountered the Ice Phoenix Divine Soul and the other Phoenix Spirit in the Ancient God Burying Inferno Prison, received special treatment by Shen Xi in the Forbidden Land of Samsara, and even been blessed with many gifts by the returned and ancient Heaven Smiting Devil Emperor herself…
He was carrying four of the seven Heavenly Profound Treasures—the Primordial Seal of Life and Death, the Eternal Heaven Pearl, the Sky Poison Pearl and the Mirror of Samsara—on his person right now. The World Piercer was in the hands of a confidant as well.
Any one of these blessings was something countless people, no, countless lifetimes of people could not even dream of obtaining.
He, however, had obtained them all in just twenty some years.
What did I do to deserve so much fortune? And in such a short time no less.
In fact, variations of this question had flashed across his head many, many times in the past.
Tonight, Yun Qinghong had dragged them all out into the open.
Was it really “destiny”? Could it truly be described by “destiny” alone?
“I never believed in so-called fate until I met you. You… are definitely a person of great destiny!”
Jasmine had said this many times back then.