Chapter 888: Punishments After The Battle
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng patiently listened to Wang Lin and the others recount the story as he used his consciousness to feel the grain of sand in his palm.
A stream of green energy was frozen in place inside the grain of sand, like an insect inside amber, yet it was also a line so thin that it was almost undetectable.
Lin Feng started contemplating after a single sweep with his consciousness. “If not for the little girl’s pride, the Bell of Destiny’s Door Of Life Creation, the Change of Life And Death of the Two Elements of Creation Formation, and the three newest pages of the Life and Death Book will be enough to heal anything. We can find a new physical body for her, and even if that’s not possible we can also find some treasure for her to store herself temporarily and plan for the future.”
“However, only this tiny piece of the soul is left. No, it can’t even be called a remnant piece of the soul anymore, it feels more like a single breath, and to heal from a state like this is near impossible. Even the Emperor of the Dead wouldn’t have been confident about this.”
Lin Feng continued to deliberate. “Even if she is reincarnated, there won’t be much of her consciousness or memories left. It wouldn’t be right to say she will be the same person she was.”
“If not for Kang Nanhua’s spell at the expense of his own nascent soul, there won’t even be a remnant soul left at all.”
A thought drifted into his head as he mulled over all the information. “Limited chance of success and an unpredictable outcome.”
He flicked a finger and a light sphere that was half black and half white glimmered in the sky. It was the Life And Death Netherworld Tao Fruit obtained from Xu Anda, the owner of the Hall of the Dead. No evil soul was currently being cultivated within.
Lin Feng sent the grain of sand into the light sphere before the sphere drifted down in front of Yang Qing. Lin Feng said gradually, “After a hundred years, an opportunity will arise. Perhaps you two will be reunited, but my confidence only stands at fifty percent.”
Even though it was a little heartbreaking, Lin Feng insisted on relaying the rationale to Yang Qing and explained all that required explanations.
Yang Qing stared at the light sphere with a crestfallen look before he knelt in front of Lin Feng again. “Thank you for preserving this last inch of hope for me. I am content – as bad as it can get, it can’t get any worse than it is now.”
“I have caused you trouble and inconvenience.”
Lin Feng lifted his hands in the air and Yang Qing was already up on his feet. “I am glad that you’re sure about what you want to do in life and the path you shall walk. If you follow down this path that you have chosen and reflect and introspect once in a while, I am confident that you will have a great future ahead of you.”
Yang Qing nodded his head and said, “I understand, master.”
“But before that, you have to follow me to the Barren Expanses to bring Yuncong back,” Lin Feng passed his instructions and Yang Qing nodded his head again. “Yes, master.”
Lin Feng watched the Yang Qing of today who was standing right before his eyes. Yang Qing was full of unwavering self-confidence and no longer possessed the self-deprecating attitude of his younger self. Lin Feng began to feel a little sentimental as he muttered under his breath, “Everyone’s growing up.”
However, Yang Qing’s growth and maturation came at a great cost.
Lin Feng turned towards Kang Nanhua. Kang Nanhua was impassive and said nothing.
Based on Yang Qing’s personality, suffering such a great loss could only lead to two outcomes. One outcome was that he would grow up emotionally and be ‘reborn’, in a way. The other was that he would have been completely crushed and traumatized as all will and hope would sink into the depths of the abyss.
There was a thin line between these two extreme consequences. It was hard to grasp, and if there was just a little bit of deviation from the right path, the outcome would have been very different.
Lin Feng’s guess was that this ‘thin line’ was the remnant soul that was left inside that grain of sand.
If not for Kang Nanhua’s timely but desperate attempt at protecting the last piece of Fang Ting’s soul, the outcome would probably have been very different.
“However…” Lin Feng relaxed his senses as he made a discreet move that was undetectable by the others and his eyes flitted between Yang Qing and Wang Lin.
“What a strange rhythm,” Lin Feng started to ponder again. “Can the Lonely Star be passed on or transferred from one to another?”
He expelled the irrelevant thoughts from his head as he surveyed his disciples again. “Even though these are only Potential values and not current ones, if they met some unique and special circumstances their Potentials will change.”
“Xiao Yan and the other four have gone through their various processes of transformation. Besides Yang Qing, even Hongyan have already experienced hers. Only Yuanfang and Luo Qingwu have not changed. Perhaps it’s just not yet their time?”
As he continued to debate with himself, Yue Hongyan walked up with a green-black poleaxe and asked Lin Feng for his instructions. It was the Royal Extermination Pole-Ax that she had obtained from Zhang Lie.
“This is yours by right. You can keep it,” Lin Feng smiled at Yue Hongyan. “Follow your path and straighten your heart and you will get there.”
Yue Hongyan was also a lot different from her younger days and her eyes seemed a lot more composed than before. The red-haired young girl used to be like a sharp blade that was drawn time and time again, and between the chilly reflections of the blade, she was easily worn down by time and her experiences. Now, she was like a sheathed blade with a lot more fortitude.
This did not mean that she had lost her edge and her sparkle – when the need arose and the ‘blade’ had to show itself, she was even sharper and far more intimidating.
Yue Hongyan nodded her head and bowed at Lin Feng. “I will bear your advice in mind, master.”
Lin Feng turned back towards Wang Lin and chuckled, “Wang Lin, keep this and study it carefully.” He took out the three and a half pages of the Life and Death Book, kept the half page for himself and gave the rest to Wang Lin.
Wang Lin received the gift and immediately started to feel the profound concepts contained within. His eyes sparkled with revelations as he looked up at his master with gratitude. “Thank you, master!”
Lin Feng continued, “Your Pearl of Styx is back in the Gestation level and has returned to its original status as a magic treasure. Even though it cannot be compared to the time when it was at the Mahayana Level all those years ago, it’s still a relatively powerful magic treasure. However, it’s because of that very reason that you should be careful.”
“If you’re on Mount Yujing or if you’re next to me, then it’s alright, but if you’re exploring the world alone you have to watch out for the Emperor of the Dead and the Life and Death Book.”
Cold light flashed in Wang Lin’s eyes as he nodded his head in acknowledgment. “Yes master, I understand.”
A few years ago, when Lin Feng crossed paths briefly with Xu Anda in the Celestial Wonders World, he had informed them before that the Pearl of Styx originated from the demonic River Styx Sect and was once part of the lineage of the Emperor of the Dead.
Now that he had beaten Xu Anda, he had a far greater understanding of everything.
The Emperor of the Dead had made preparations long before he was usurped and eliminated. He forcefully reversed the process of death and entered a transcendent state where he was neither alive nor dead and passed through the eternity of time in wait for the opportune moment to fully reincarnate himself.
During this time, the Emperor of the Dead was still aware of what was going on in the outside world and had been discreetly making multiple preparations.
Four people had received his teachings and his mantras, and his eldest disciple was the opening ancestor of the Samsara Sect – the Samsara Priest. The latter integrated Buddhist mantras into the lineage of the Emperor of the Dead and established a Samsara Sect that was neither righteous nor evil and had since been active in the Divine Lands. Even to the day when the Samsara Priest met his demise, nobody knew of this connection he had with the Emperor of the Dead. Subsequently, the Samsara Sect fragmented into pieces and branches, and eventually, the Emperor of the Dead and Xu Anda secretly infiltrated and corrupted the Samsara Sect in recent years.
His second disciple was the opening ancestor of the River Styx Sect – the River Styx Priest. He rose and fell with the demonic River Styx Sect during the great battle between the worlds that ended the Middle Ages.
His third disciple, the Nether Priest, was the most mysterious one and nobody knew what happened to him. Even Xu Anda only knew that such a person existed and had no clue about his whereabouts or anything else about him.
His youngest disciple was the owner of the Hall of the Dead, Xu Anda. However, Xu Anda harbored mutinous thoughts and plotted to betray the Emperor of the Dead. He also wanted to take the Life and Death Book for himself.
In the end, Xu Anda wanted to bury Shi Tianfang inside Mount Yujing, and while Shi Tianfang did ‘fall’ into the hole, Xu Anda himself was pushed down by the Emperor of the Dead with as much as a lift of the finger.
Wang Lin started thinking to himself, “The Life and Death Book assimilated the Wheel of the Six Paths and finally became a destiny-level magic item. If it had swallowed the Mahayana-level Pearl of Styx as well, it might have become even stronger.”
Zhu Yi, Shi Tianhao, and the others walked over and Shi Tianhao gritted his teeth. “Master, since you captured the owner of the Hall of the Dead, we will be able to find the lair, right? You are venturing into the Barren Expanses to find the Golden Cicada Master and Yuncong, and we shall head down to the Hall of the Dead to settle our debts.”
Lin Feng explained, “The fact that the Hall of the Dead has existed for so long means that it’s probably not so easy to find it. Xu Anda thought he was the smart one and tricked Shi Tianfang, but he had no clue that he the Emperor of the Dead was plotting against himself at the same time.”
“When the Emperor of the Dead escaped that day, he was quite aware that Xu Anda and Zhang Enrui had fallen into my hands, so he had no choice but to start his preparations early.”
Shi Tianhao continued to grind his teeth. “I’m just afraid that they are still harboring hostile intentions towards my parents and my grandfather.”
Lin Feng smiled faintly and replied, “Don’t worry, he will take the bait eventually. There’s an important lead that we can use, actually.”
Zhu Yi, Wang Lin, and Shi Tianhao exchanged looks as they each had their own moment of epiphany. “Master, are you saying that…”
Lin Feng chuckled and cut them off. “All of you can take some time to rest and recuperate. I will enlighten everyone after I host my guests. We haven’t seen the Flowing Waves Holy Man, the Kui Cow King and the Spiritual Sea Horse King in a long time, so you guys can go ahead and catch up with them. The Flowing Waves Holy Man wishes to join the Celestial Sect of Wonders and I have already agreed – Zhu Yi, you shall arrange his lodgings for him.”
Zhu Yi acknowledged his task and Lin Feng turned towards Yang Qing. “You will have your magic treasures as well, Yang Qing.”
Yang Qing smiled softly and answered, “You must be joking, master.”
Lin Feng’s body shimmered and he was already inside the Grand Heavens Pavilion. He surveyed his guests – Shi Zongtang, the Thunderclouds Holy Man, the Lightning Swordmaster and the Eternal Heavenly Spear and said, “Sorry for the wait, my friends.”
Shi Zongtang was humble and repeatedly expressed that it was unnecessary for him to apologize. The Lightning Swordmaster and the Sun Radiance Swordmaster greeted Lin Feng as well. “With your help and the otherworldly sword, the Saintly Celestial Cataclysm has finally happened.”
Lin Feng wore a calm expression as he shook his head and pushed the credit away from himself. “I have spoken with the Supreme Radiance Swordmaster before. The Saintly Celestial Cataclysm is a result of my sect settling our debts with the Mount Shu Sword Sect, and there is no need for all of you to thank me.”
The group of powerful sword cultivators shook their heads in unison as they insisted on paying their respects to Lin Feng. Nothing much else was said, but one could tell from their expressions that these sword cultivators would remember this favor for a long time.
Lin Feng sat upon the main seat and cast his eyes across his guests and his gaze briefly swept over the Azure Pulse Swordmaster, Prince Yanliang Liang Fu and Shen Qifeng. He said monotonously, “I don’t enjoy taking lives. This is the reason why I haven’t dished out the maximum punishment for those that have yet to set foot on Mount Yujing. However, minor punishments and prices have to be paid – there is no way they can just tuck tail and leave.”
The Azure Pulse Swordmaster and the others nodded their heads and Liang Fu replied, “This is our responsibility and our fault. We will make up for it. Furthermore, your disciple has officially ascended into the immortal soul stage, and the Great Zhou Empire has a gift to congratulate him.”
Lin Feng’s head tilted downwards faintly as he explained again. “However, those who step onto Mount Yujing with ulterior motives will pay the price for his maliciousness. They will stay inside the Heavenly Gods-Sealing Banner.”
Liang Fu felt his heart sink as he heard this remark. He knew that Lin Feng never went back on his word.
It seemed like there was no way he could redeem Shao Dongtian and the East Sea Holy Man.