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The Central Ruins Northern Area was the calmest area in the entire Central Ruins Realm. It was seldom struck by storms, and it was where the Central Ruins Battle would take place.
Four palaces protected by barriers surrounded the Central Ruins Battlefield, and they belonged to the realm king sect of each realm—the East Ruins Sect of the East Ruins Realm, the West Ruins Sect of the West Ruins Realm, the Northern Chill City of the North Ruins Realm, and the Southern Phoenix Divine Country of the South Ruins Realm.
The moment Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er got near the East Ruins Sect, someone immediately stopped them from advancing.
“Halt! This is the East Ruins Sect’s domain. No one is allowed to enter without permission!” the disciple guarding the entrance said loudly.
Yun Che lifted the command token Dong Xueyan had tossed him that day and said, “Tell your sect master that Yun Che has arrived at his invitation!”
Inside the East Ruins Hall.
“Big brother, you’re back.”
Dong Xueyan came out quickly and welcomed him the moment she sensed his aura. Dong Xueci wasn’t just her older brother, he was the eternal pride she was willing to look up to forever. In her eyes, Beihan Chu was the only other person among their peers who had the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Dong Xueci.
Dong Xueci looked around and asked, “Where’s royal father?”
“Royal father has gone away to meet the Northern Chill Divine Sovereign, probably to confirm if the matter between Beihan Chu and Nanhuang Chanyi is true.” Suddenly, Dong Xueyan noticed the unhappy look on Dong Xueci’s face. She asked, “What happened?”
“It’s nothing, I ran into a bastard who wished he was dead,” Dong Xueci said coldly. “At least it won’t be boring after the Central Ruins Battle is over.”
Dong Xueyan stopped prodding further and changed the subject, “Where is Yun Che? Have you tested his strength yet? Surprisingly Elder Jiu thought highly of him, but… to be honest, he was an arrogant and impolite man. Personally, I don’t want to see him in the Central Ruins Battle.”
Dong Xueci’s face darkened even further. “I waited for him a day longer as royal father commanded, but I didn’t even catch a glimpse of his shadow. Heh.”
“What!?” Dong Xueyan’s expression changed as her tone dipped. “He dares disobey our will?”
It was at this moment an East Ruins Sect disciple rushed in and sent a sound transmission from outside the hall, “Your Highnesses, Yun Che requests a meeting.”
The brother and sister turned around at the same time. “Yun Che!?”
“He has the East Ruins Token, and the name Yun Che is engraved on it. There is no mistake,” the East Ruins disciple said.
“Hmph!” Dong Xueyan swung her sleeves once and walked outside quickly. Dong Xueci also followed behind her with a dark look on his face… Although Yun Che had shown up, it was a fact that he had made him wait for a day longer. That alone was already an irredeemable sin.
Dong Xueyan spotted Yun Che and Qianye Ying’er immediately when she walked out of the hall. She immediately frowned and scolded him, “You dare show your face, Yun Che!?”
“The East Ruins Sect is the one who invited me. Why wouldn’t I dare to show my face?” Yun Che countered.
Dong Xueyan was used to being respected and looked up to, so Yun Che’s stiff and utterly disrespectful expression reignited an unknown anger in her heart. She said, “All participants of the Central Ruins Battle must go through a pre-test and pre-preparation! I told you to come to the East Ruins Sect sooner! Who gave you permission to come to the Central Ruins Realm directly?”
Yun Che’s expression still didn’t change in the slightest. He replied, “I promised to participate in the Central Ruins Battle on behalf of the East Ruins Sect, but I never agreed to come to the East Ruins Sect sooner!”
“You!” Dong Xueyan became even angrier. It was at this moment a dark and ridiculing voice came from behind. “He’s Yun Che?”
Dong Xueci slowly made his way over while staring daggers at Yun Che through narrowed eyes. Dong Xueyan raised her eyebrows at his odd expression and asked, “Have you met him already, big brother?”
“But of course,” Dong Xueci said with a chilly smile on his face, “He’s that suicidal bastard I told you about earlier.”
“He dared to disrespect you?” Dong Xueyan’s face immediately darkened. She was already displeased with Yun Che’s clear disrespect toward her, but to disrespect her older brother as well was absolutely unacceptable, not even if he was regarded highly by Elder Jiu.
“Heh, disrespect? If only that was all he did,” Dong Xueci said smilingly. Suddenly, he wasn’t angry anymore when he realized that Yun Che was here to “join” the East Ruins Sect. It was because he was made aware of his higher status. Yun Che could regard himself as highly as he wished, but there was no changing the fact that he was really nothing but an iredeemably stupid clown. He could bark all he wanted like the ignorant clown he was, but he didn’t deserve even a shred of his anger or attention.
“Yun Che,” he said with a wide smile on his face, “Do you dare say what you said to me again?”
“Tell your father to get out here and meet me,” Yun Che said as expressionlessly as ever. “You don’t deserve to speak with me.”
Dong Xueci and Dong Xueyan were speechless for a short while. Then, Dong Xueci started laughing and clapping his hands madly, “Hahahahaha! Wonderful! Just wonderful! Xueyan, how much more fun do you think this world would be if there were a couple more idiots like him? Hahahaha!”
“Yun… Che!” Dong Xueyan wasn’t laughing like her brother. Her expression had darkened to the point where she looked a little unhinged, and her voice was clearly laced with killing intent. “It seems like you’re really looking to die!”
“There’s no need to be angry.” Dong Xueci was still smiling, but he was now looking at Yun Che like he was a fool. Even his voice had become lazy and uncaring, “Withdraw his East Ruins Token. Even if he’s as strong as Elder Jiu thinks he is… an idiot like him will only bring shame to the East Ruins Realm.”
“Very well!” Dong Xueyan didn’t hesitate in the slightest. With one point of the finger, the East Ruins Token in Yun Che’s hands crumbled into tiny dots of light before vanishing completely.
“Big brother, how do you plan to deal with them?”
“Get out,” Dong Xueci said disdainfully. “You should be thankful that we’re in the Central Ruins Realm. Otherwise… Tsk tsk. Oh right, my advice for you is to never return to the East Ruins Realm. You may be able to lead a slightly longer life that way.”
Yun Che stared at the empty space where the East Ruins Token used to be, a pitch black light crossing the back of his pupils. He turned around immediately and said, “Let’s go.”
Qianye Ying’er followed him without a word.
Dong Xueyan’s eyebrows sank deeper as she acted to chase after them. However, she quickly reined herself in and asked, “Big brother, are we letting them go just like that? I’m sure not even father will forgive them after all the humiliation they’ve dealt to our East Ruins Sect.”
“We’re in the Central Ruins Realm right now,” Dong Xueci said indifferently. “I won’t deign to break the rules for a clown like him. Still, what a farce this is. I can’t believe I was made to wait a whole day for a mere level five Divine King… did Elder Jiu go blind or what!?”
“Huh? A level five Divine King?” Dong Xueyan was surprised by his assessment. “But Elder Jiu said that he’s a level one Divine King… although he also said that Yun Che probably used a profound artifact to suppress his aura.”
“Elder Jiu really has gotten old.” Dong Xueci shook his head. “I wouldn’t expect him to commit such a big mistake.”
“Should I tell royal father about this?” Dong Xueyan asked.
“There’s no need,” Dong Xueci said. “Royal father has been troubled by the joint marriage between the Southern Phoenix Divine Country and Northern Chill City. There’s no need to spoil his mood further with a farce like this.”
“Where are we going now?” Qianye Ying’er asked. By now, she already figured out that Yun Che had provoked Dong Xueci on purpose.
“Where do you think?”
“We’re going to meet Nanhuang Chanyi!” Qianye Ying’er said slowly. It was equally obvious that Yun Che had suddenly changed his mind after meeting Nanhuang Chanyi.
“The East Ruins Sect is arrogant and lofty. The last place participant of the Central Ruins Battle, the Southern Phoenix Divine Country is in a weird position right now. Clearly, bringing the latter to the top is going to benefit me more.”
Once upon a time, Yun Che was a man who valued honor above all. Now, his self-interest came before everything.
Moreover, he had intentionally led the other party into tearing up their agreement first!
“Are you sure you’re not motivated by personal curiosity?” Qianye Ying’er shot him a sideways glance and said, “The number one beauty in the Five Nether Ruins. It is an incredibly attractive title, isn’t it? A man’s temperament can change drastically, but they can never change their base nature… am I right?”
For some reason, the Lady Goddess wanted Yun Che to defile any lofty women he met very much, so as to derive some sort of twisted satisfaction and equilibrium from their downfall.
Yun Che didn’t say anything, probably thinking that the question wasn’t worth a reply.
Suddenly, an exceptionally strong gust of wind swept past them.
A tremor rumbled through the air as the sky became filled with sand and stone. Three Glazed Sound Stones strung around Yun Che’s neck were carried into the air, and the voice of a girl replayed itself due to the impact:
“Daddy, Wuxin is thinking about you!”
“Daddy, you absolutely cannot involve yourself in dangerous things!”
“Daddy! You must control your lower self!”
The sound replayed by the Glazed Sound Stones were incredibly weak, and they were covered up by the storm in just an instant… However, Yun Che froze as if someone had cast a spell on him. Although he managed to keep his face perfectly still, his body wouldn’t stop shaking. One breath… five breaths… ten breaths…
When Yun Wuxin was creating the Glazed Sound Stones, the enslaved Qianye Ying’er was the one who had guarded her and perfected her recordings. Therefore, she knew better than anyone what the Glazed Sound Stones represented.
It was also during that period that she witnessed a relationship that transcended even the bond of blood.
Qianye Ying’er stopped in her tracks. At first, she wasn’t planning to say anything, but for some reason she couldn’t bear to see Yun Che the way he was right now, so she looked away and said in an indifferent tone, “Put them away. It won’t hurt if you can’t see or hear them.”
“Mind… your… own… business!” Yun Che uttered coldly… even as a trail of blood crawled down his lips.
Although he had buried himself in unfathomable darkness, every time he recalled that he would never be able to see his daughter or his loved ones again… he would be hit by a fresh wave of pain and despair.
But even then, he could never take off the Glazed Sound Stones.
The storm slowly subsided, and a golden figure appeared rapidly in front of them.
She was adorned in golden robes and a jeweled headdress. She carried herself with an air of indescribable nobility and grace. She was none other than Nanhuang Chanyi!
The Central Ruins Realm was a place of eternal storms. All kinds of profound practitioners were allowed to come in during the Central Ruins Battle. As the Crown Princess of the Southern Phoenix Divine Country, Nanhuang Chanyi should be surrounded by countless guards no matter where she went. Strangely though, she was alone right now.
Nanhuang Chanyi saw them at the same time they saw her, but she didn’t pay them any heed and continued on her own way.
They were looking for Nanhuang Chanyi in the first place, so running into her alone was about as perfect an opportunity as could be. Yun Che executed Extreme Mirage Lightning and appeared in front of Nanhuang Chanyi like lightning. Caught off guard, the woman nearly ran into him.
A normal person would frown if they were suddenly intercepted without warning, much less the Southern Phoenix Crown Princess. But despite the urgency that was evident in her posture, she stopped elegantly without showing a trace of anger on her face at all. A gaze that looked like a bright moon in the sky passed through the jeweled tassels and landed on Yun Che. She asked, “Sir, is there anything you need?”
There was a complete lack of surprise, anger, or panic in her demeanor. Her voice was so gentle that even the storm around them had subsided a little.
“Let’s make a deal,” Yun Che said directly.
“I’m participating in this Central Ruins Battle as a representative of the South Ruins Realm!” Yun Che declared. Despite his earlier sentence, it was clear that he was giving her an order.
Nanhuang Chanyi blinked from behind her jeweled tassels before asking in a gentle voice, “The Southern Phoenix Divine Country has already decided on its ten participants. Your background is unknown, and your cultivation level is lacking. Why are you asking this?”
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