This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Adnana.
Chapter 89: No Apology
“There is no solution.” The evil cultivator shrunk his neck back, lying on the ground and afraid to lift his head. “This Soul Sacrificing Formation is called Withering of Ten Thousand Bones, created by the most powerful formation master of the evil cultivator realm. It uses the mountains and rivers as the formation and people’s lives as the lure to obtain countless fiendish energy and resentment.”
Huan Zhong, who had been standing silently behind Kong Hou all this time, frowned slightly when hearing “Withering of Ten Thousand Bones.” He walked next to Kong Hou and pulled her wrist.
“Huan Zhong, what is it?” Kong Hou turned to look at Huan Zhong.
“Do not step on him,” Huan Zhong said. “Dirty.”
The evil cultivator: “…”
He was being stepped on like a mat. He didn’t even have the time to dislike the dirtiness of the floor, and people were disliking him for being dirty. These orthodox sects were too shameless in their words and actions. Even their tactics of humiliation were so creative.
Kong Hou moved her foot off the evil cultivator’s back. She rubbed her shoe against the ground and said in realization, “You are right.”
“Killing a person is just the head touching the ground. You fail as orthodox sects by abusing hostages so.” The evil cultivator noticed Kong Hou’s movement and muttered in a quiet voice, “Isn’t that something us evil cultivators do?”
“Master, as an orthodox cultivator, I have decided to satisfy his last wish and let his head touch the ground.” Lin Hu pulled his sword out and walked in front of the evil cultivator.
The evil cultivator begged for mercy. “Spirit Master, spare me. Us evil cultivators’ words do not count—do not take them as truth.”
“You mean that Withering of Ten Thousand Bones is false?” The sword tip touched the evil cultivator’s forehead. The evil cultivator shivered in fear. The threads of cold from the sword seemed to have invaded his mind.
“No, no, no, us evil cultivators are sometimes very honest.” The evil cultivator immediately spoke. “I am unique among the evil cultivators—I like to do good things.”
Lin Hu did not want to waste words with him. He put away his sword and said, “There really is no way to defeat the formation?”
“A formation like this was created to build anger and hatred—why does it need a solution?” The evil cultivator did not dare to speak loudly. He feared the sword cultivator’s sword would accidentally land on him.
Lin Hu turned to look at Huan Zhong with slight worry in his eyes. Once the Withering of Ten Thousand Bones Formation formed, the majority of the mortal world would be pulled in. The anger and hatred at the time would be brought by the evil cultivators to Lingyou World, and Lingyou World would be drowned in negative emotions. What would it be like then?
He did not dare to think about it and could not accept Lingyou World, which had been peaceful for so long, to become chaotic.
Hearing these words, the empress was first shocked and then became furious. She pulled down her heavy phoenix crown and threw it to the ground. She walked and grabbed the evil cultivator’s clothes, yelling furiously, “You immortals are high up—what do you think us mortals are, livestock to be killed at will? Those are people, with flesh and blood, with families, parents, children.”
Her voice cracked and she lost the composure an empress should have. “The useless emperor tormented us, the aloof immortals think we are livestock—what have us mortals done wrong?”
Seeing an ordinary human woman daring to shout at him, the evil cultivator sneered, “What does the life and death of mortals have to do with us?” Just a group of short-lived and useless ordinary people. When they encountered trouble, they only knew to beg the gods and buddhas for help. They deserved to get treated so.
“Us mortals are minuscule and useless, but we will not always be like this.” The empress pushed aside the evil cultivator, her expression calm. “So what if you are an immortal? In front of life and death, how are you any different compared to us mortals?
“Us mortals can be terrified and angry before death. You are the same.” The empress slapped the evil cultivator. The evil cultivator wanted to retaliate, but Kong Hou pulled out Water Frost Sword to point at his throat.
The evil cultivator endured and pulled his hand back.
“See, you are also trash that fears others.” The empress slapped the evil cultivator again. “One day…”
One day, the mortals would rely on themselves to make life better. They would not have to scrape and bow like dogs in front of immortals.
But… would such a day really come?
The empress looked back dazedly. Even she only dared to vent on this evil immortal because Ji Kong Hou was here. If Ji Kong Hou was gone, would she dare? She asked herself. The answer was clear. She would not.
She would not dare to oppose these immortals. She would fear that, if they were unhappy, more people would suffer. So in the end, she would only compromise and do all she was able so the people could live.
“Empress niangniang, go back and rest.” Kong Hou could see the empress’ emotions were not right and spoke. “My friends and I are going to the site of the plague, and will not attend this banquet.”
She only came here to find the hidden evil cultivator, not really for this banquet.
The empress did not understand the Withering of Ten Thousand Bones, but from the words of the evil immortal, she could guess the matter was not simple, and almost unsolvable. She did not know if Ji Kong Hou would be in danger. She could not watch by as the other went into danger.
“You… ” The empress started bitterly. She took a step back and bowed low. “We cannot repay your great favor. Thank you.”
“You do not have to thank me.” Kong Hou rose in the air to stop the empress from bowing any longer. Her usually smiling face was serious. “I once thought if I had been able to prevent my father emperor’s actions in the past, maybe many people would not have suffered.”
The empress was silent. How old was Ji Kong Hou then, five or six? When the patrol had captured her and brought her back, her face was covered in dust the servants had purposefully put on. She looked exceptionally disheveled, but that pair of eyes was both large and bright. She did not know it might be death awaiting her.
Facing such a pair of eyes, her heart softened. She said to His Majesty to leave an imperial daughter as a puppet. It would be more useful than killing her. She and His Majesty were not in love any longer, but he still respected her and accepted her suggestion.
After that, she had the palace attendants constantly observe Kong Hou so she could not interact with members of the previously dynasty. Letting the young girl live was the greatest kindness she gave the survivors of the previous dynasty.
In this moment, she rejoiced for her moment of soft-heartedness back then. Otherwise, when they encountered today’s events, the people of the world would be helpless, their life and death in the hands of these immortals.
“Niangniang, farewell.” Kong Hou turned to look at Kong Hou and pulled the corner of his robe. “Let’s go.”
“All right.” Huan Zhong smiled at Kong Hou brightly.
Kong Hou’s heart shook slightly. Looking at the smiling Huan Zhong, the worry and disappointment in her heart gradually disappeared.
“Please wait a moment.” The grand princess, eyes swollen from crying, stood up. “I committed wrong against you in these years.”
Regardless of how skilled and virtuous her husband had been, regardless of what she had done for the people in these years, it could not cover up the fact she had vented her hate and grievances on a child who knew nothing.
“We are on different sides; there is no benefit in mentioning right and wrong again.” Kong Hou looked at the grand princess again without any emotion. “Water cannot flow backwards, people cannot start over. The past me experienced all this. The present me does not need this apology. From now, we will be in different places. What is the meaning in raising this once again?”
Huan Zhong lightly held Kong Hou’s hand. He looked coldly at the noble and powerful in the hall with their twisted expressions and said, “When she was weak, you bullied her. When she is strong, you finally discover that the past was wrong.”
“Ha.” Huan Zhong rarely laughed, much less so scornfully. His eyes were like winter ice. “So laughable.”
“I…” The grand princess stood dazedly as she watched Kong Hou and the other two immortals fly away.
She looked back at the throne. Her imperial brother had woken up. She did not know if he had heard Ji Kong Hou’s words. He only looked dazedly at her imperial sister-in-law, his expression sad and regretful.
“Your Majesty…” The empress turned to look at him, her expression calm and unperturbed. “Immortal Kong Hou and her friends are travelling towards the plague. I will go to the meditation room to pray for the people.”
Finishing, she straightened and walked out, not waiting for Emperor Jinghong to react.
Emperor Jinghong sighed depressedly. He turned and saw the crown prince had awakened as well. He said, “Crown Prince, accompany zhen to go to the ancestral temple to pray.”
“Yes.” The crown prince stood, looking outside the door where the sunlight was bright.
“Elder Lin, why are you bringing this evil cultivator along?” Kong Hou looked at the evil cultivator Lin Hu held in his hand and released her grip on Huan Zhong’s hand. “What is the use in keeping him?”
“We will take him along when exploring the formation. If we cannot win, we will use him to fill the eye of the formation. If it is defeated, we will let him live.” Lin Hu’s tone was calm, as though he was not stating a threat.
The evil cultivator wanted to cry. The orthodox cultivators he had encountered before cared about the honor and reputation of orthodox sects in their actions; when had he ever encountered people like this? There was no way to damage or stop this formation. He was fated to die in this formation his side had created.
“This is a good idea.” Kong Hou nodded and said to Huan Zhong. “Huan Zhong, let’s speed up.”
The mortal world was much smaller than Lingyou World. From the capital to the infected cities in the southeast, they didn’t even need an hour.
The closer they got, the stronger the fiendish energy, miasma, and hate grew. Ordinary people could not see them but Kong Hou, a cultivator, could. The sky above the southeast was shrouded in black resentment. The resentment energy roiled in the clouds and fell down with the rain.
The rain containing fiendish energy and resentment poured on the trees and flowers. The rain flowed along streams into rivers, the rivers flowing downstream as the fiendish energy spread towards the next city.
Kong Hou inhaled sharply. Downstream of this river was an extremely prosperous city with over two hundred thousand people. If it was infected…
She took out a bottle of spirit medicine that Qing Yuan Shishu had made and poured it into the river. The black energy in the river instantly disappeared.
“It’s useless.” The evil cultivator could not move from being tied up by talismans. He looked at the river which had momentarily become clear. “As long as the rain continues, this river will be infected again.”
Just as he finished, he saw the white-robed sword cultivator take out a seal flashing with golden light from his sleeve. When the seal landed in the water, the fiendish energy in the surroundings retreated, and the golden light devoured even more fiendish energy.
“What is this?” Kong Hou found the fiendish energy within ten miles had disappeared after the golden seal landed in water. The golden light even showed signs of spreading outwards, forcing the fiendish energy to flee.
“Seal of Mountains and Seas.” Huan Zhong explained patiently to Kong Hou. “Can stabilize mountains, protect the waters, and subdue evil.”
“Seal of Mountains and Seas…” Kong Hou seemed to have heard of this before. Seeing the fiendish energy within nearly a hundred miles completely consumed, she exclaimed softly, “I remember now. The Seal of Mountains and Seas is one of the celestial level artifacts that Spirit Master Zhong Xi possesses. One who holds this seal cannot be invaded by evil. Why is one of Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s talismans with you?”
When the evil cultivator heard the words “Spirit Master Zhong Xi,” his shoulders trembled and he felt a wave of cold up his back.
Because the fiendish energy quickly dissipated, Kong Hou finally had the interest to talk. “No wonder…”
“No wonder what?” Huan Zhong looked at Kong Hou with worry, anticipation and slight anxiousness.
“No wonder you were so disinterested when I mentioned Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s rumors to you. It turns out you are close friends with him.” Kong Hou sighed. “If not so, why would he give such an important divine talisman to you?”
Truly, with Huan Zhong’s conduct, he would not like discussing good friends in private.
Lin Hu: “…”
This young girl was most likely stupid.
Translator Ramblings: Each week seems to pass so quickly and I’m back posting. The empress has no patience left for her husband.