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Did the Divine Light Emperor really die in the end?
Ye Qingyu was a little unsure about this, as he thought about the last image he saw.
From a logical point of view, he should have died. After all, he was in such a bad condition at the very last, seeming to be no different from a normal person. The small World of Light had collapsed after that, and under such circumstances. Even a powerful martial arts expert would find it hard to survive; much less a normal old man who had all his cultivation stripped away.
It's a pity that I can't find any trace of Yu Junhan right now, and I don't know where she went. She should have some insider information, Ye Qingyu thought.
It would be even better if he could find his own biological parents.
Today, as he retraced his thoughts back to that fateful day, he realized that his parents might not have died in the siege. He was afraid that the incident, as well as the movement of their tombs, which sent their caskets into the lake, served a purpose. Ye Qingyu suspected that his parents were not dead, and used such tactics to disappear from public view. Perhaps, like Lan Tian, they were trying to conceal something.
This led him to think about the Clear River Domain and the mysterious fairy he saw at the Underground Moon Immortal Palace. She looked exactly as he remembered his mother to be, and she could very possibly be the founder of the Hundred Flowers Valley. Was there some secret contained within this fact too?
Ye Qingyu suddenly felt that he had to go to the Clear River Domain for a visit.
He still did not know the whereabouts of several old friends, like Nan Tieyi for instance.
His mind was swimming with thoughts and he could not go through all of them.
Eventually, Lan Tian and the mysterious tall and skinny expert left the Immortal God Emperor. They could see that Ye Qingyu needed some time to rearrange his thoughts.
Even though Ye Qingyu did not know why the Divine Light Emperor sent the body of the Sky Emperor to be reincarnated, to him, it was obvious that there was a purpose behind his act of not completely destroying the Sky Emperor's hope of restoring his body. At this present age, the relationship between Lan Tian and the Sky Emperor seemed to have been completely broken. Ye Qingyu treated Lan Tian as a completely independent person deep in his heart, not as the body of the Sky Emperor. As such, he did not harbor any thoughts of annihilating Lan Tian.
Lan Tian remained in the Light Palace for the next few days.
He would go strolling in the Imperial City and other places occasionally, while also under the protection of the mysterious stick-like expert. After being pursued by the Sky Emperor for the first time, the mysterious expert increased his level of protection up till the point where he seldom left Lan Tian's side. He would remain beside Lan Tian even when he went to the red light district with Li Changkong, Ximen Yeshui and the others to party. He took his duty extremely seriously.
It was the dream and envy of many people; even big factions would desire to be protected by an expert of past-Military Emperor-level, but it was extremely frustrating for Lan Tian. He felt that such a lifestyle was even more suffocating when being locked in the Reflection Yard during his time at White Deer Academy.
Ye Qingyu had once asked the mysterious expert about his origin. According to the man, he was a Martial Emperor in the era after the Divine Light Emperor and the leader of a sect known as the Heavenly Support Sect. He had once received grace from the Divine Light Emperor and swore to repay him. Afterward, he was tasked by his benefactor to protect Lan Tian. As time passed, the Heavenly Support Sect was lost to the sands of time and ceased to be remembered, but he still faithfully kept to his promise and secretly protected Lan Tian.
To be honest, Ye Qingyu could tell the difference between truth and lies with one look at his current level of cultivation. As such, he did not doubt the mysterious expert's words or origin, but there was something that did not quite fit—if the Divine Light Emperor was completely destroyed in Lan Tian's memories, how could he possibly have found this person in the future? A person who had died could not reappear, unless...
... Unless the Divine Light Emperor did not die.
Ye Qingyu kept thinking about this matter repeatedly over the next dozens of days, and it made his head ache.
Luckily, news came from the Dark Realm afterward, stating that everything there was peaceful for the moment, and that there was no abnormal activity spotted. Song Xiaojun had brought Li Ying, Li Qi, Jin Ling'er and the other youths back to the Unmoving City of Darkness. Under the cooperation of [Quasi-emperor Xiaofei] and [The Beginning], the Dark Realm was undergoing a transformation and structural change in accordance with the policies that had been discussed and agreed with Ye Qingyu.
In this way, Ye Qingyu could really afford to remain behind in the Vast Thousand Domains for a while longer.
He found the previous Snow Emperor of the Snow Empire from yester year, and talked freely with him about past stories of the peerless God of War from his era. He also read some ancient texts about the imperial family of the Snow Empire; he wanted to find out more about what this God of War had done and descriptions of him, to find some leads from the texts and determine if this person was the same man as the Divine Light Emperor. It was inevitable that Ye Qingyu would think like this. After all, Wen Wan, Gao Diping, Ying Zizhong, Wang Lijin and the rest of the Six Divine Generals had once served the peerless God of War; this was no coincidence.
There could only be two explanations for this.
The first was that the peerless God of War was the Divine Light Emperor reincarnate.
The second was that the God of War was the Destined One that received all of the luck in the world in the later era, the one that the Divine Light Emperor spoke about with his last breath.
There was something slightly illogical about the second theory. It was that the peerless War God had disappeared for some unknown reason after climbing to the top of the Heaven Wasteland Domain. He did not even prove his ability outside of the domain, and even though he was somewhat supported by Wen Wan and the other divine generals, there was still some critical piece lacking in the theory. To a certain degree, the trajectory of the Destined One's life could not be so low key.
After not gleaning much from the imperial family of the Snow Empire, Ye Qingyu decided to head to Deer City.
All of the doubts he had about himself began from this place.
Ye Qingyu appeared in Deer City one day later.
After experiencing the destructive attack of the horde of beasts, Deer City had nearly been completely leveled and turned into a wasteland. Various types of architecture, divine temples and sculptures that had been created over the past centuries were turned into rubble, and countless numbers of innocent victims and martial arts experts who had been killed by ferocious beasts were buried underneath. The entire place looked like a battlefield for Asuras.
After the ordeal, the native residents of Deer City as well as the living beings that had resided there for a long while were nearly decimated. Only a few people managed to escape due to good luck.
The empire had already issued all sorts of edicts and took various measures to rebuild Deer City. After all, this was the place Ye Qingyu rose from, and much emphasis was placed on rebuilding White Deer Academy. When the tragedy happened, a few elite students and outstanding instructors managed to escape with the effort of Hon Kong, the Headmaster, and Qin Ying, the City Lord. The survivors forcibly controlled their grief and were most intent on rebuilding the academy. They swore to create a new sacred academy on the destroyed wasteland.
News of Ye Qingyu's arrival was not concealed. It caused much commotion after it spread.
At this time, the rebuilding process of both city and academy was progressing unimpeded.
Ye Qingyu met his old classmate, Qin Wushuang, at the ruins of the City Lord's residence.
The nobleman's son, who once competed with Ye Qingyu for the title of number one genius among the White Deer Academy freshmen, had long lost his inexperience and rashness. He had become mature and military-like, less outspoken after going through the pain of seeing his family being destroyed. Both of them remained silent noticing each other, and eventually Qin Wushuang cupped his fists as a sign of respect. His eyes were filled with complicated feelings.
Qin Wushuang knew that even though he had looked down on Ye Qingyu once, he did not even have the right to look at him now.
However, after experiencing such a drastic turn in life, his heart was now free. He no longer thought about catching up and surpassing Ye Qingyu, but began instead to give real thought to enjoying life. He already understood that not everyone in the world could soar to such great heights, and not everyone could bask in the limelight. Some were destined to rule, while others were fated to crawl along. It was not important to chase after or surpass anyone; all one had to do was to reach one's peak.
Now, rebuilding the Qin Family was Qin Wushuang's greatest dream.
Not only would it be as glorious as before, he wanted the new Qin Family to reach greater heights.
"Classmate Qin Wushuang, we meet again," Ye Qingyu said, secretly sighing as well.
Eventually, he walked with Qin Wushuang to the tomb of the late City Lord, Qin Ying, where he fought to the death, to pay their respects.
However, he did not expect to see another figure at the Tomb of Valor.
The person had a head of black hair and carried a demonic sword on his back. His figure was thin and tall, and his aura was strong. Who else could it be but Yan Xingtian?
Ye Qingyu already knew from Hon Kong and the others that Yan Xingtian had not died after going missing. He managed to achieve the Emperor level of cultivation by fate, and this made Ye Qingyu secretly happy. After all, Yan Xingtian used to be one of the rare talents in White Deer Academy and came from a poor and humble family. He possessed an iron will and was extremely outstanding. Once, people named Qin Wushuang, Ye Qingyu and Yan Xingtian as the three talents of their era. It was many years ago, and now all three of them were in the destroyed Deer City together.
"It's him," Ye Qingyu managed to determine the origin of Yan Xingtian's martial cultivation the moment he laid eyes on him.
He was the successor of the Heaven Devastator Demon Sect in the Clear River Domain. The sect used to be extremely secretive, and its master was so powerful that it was hard for outsiders to determine his true strength. Ye Qingyu had seen disciples of the sect that kept their true identities hidden. He had not expected that the foundation of the sect was so solid that it could nurture a person of Emperor level strength in the current era.
However, Yan Xingtian had most likely become Emperor in the Dark Realm. This was because the Taoist magic in the Vast Thousand Domains was incomplete and the only opportunity had been obtained by Shui Xiu. As such, Yan Xingtian could not have become Emperor while he was in the Vast Thousand Domains.
"Great Emperor Ye Qingyu!"
Yan Xingtian said as he bowed slightly. Even though he was prideful, he had to pay respects to the Immortal God Emperor, whose might made the people of the Dark Realm tremble.
Qin Wushuang was feeling calm. The other two of the "Three Talents" were already standing at the pinnacle of the martial way, and he, who came from the noblest background, was far behind them. He had been enlightened, however, and did not bother much about such matters anymore. He was feeling undisturbed.
All three looked at each other and eventually grinned.
The grudges they used to have as fellow students had disappeared, and Yan Xingtian, who used to look gloomy, seemed to have brightened up a little with time.
Eventually, all of them bowed, and kneeled before the Tomb of Valor to show their respects.
That disaster had turned many of their common acquaintances into ash. Their past was gone with the wind, and perhaps it signified the end of an era.
Lead Instructor Hon Kong suddenly walked up to them as they finished paying their respects. He had a strange look on his face as he said, "It's really incredible to have found a secret imperial palace underneath the rubble of our White Deer Academy. No one realized that we were sitting right above it in the past, and I'm afraid a great secret is hidden within..."
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