This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 25: Ruthless
The enormous presence in the air seemed to come from far away, but it fell like an invisible city wall.
The moment the presence came into contact with the black ball of light, the ball of light shed fragments of light that fell like snow.
The invisible city wall seemed to lack the power to overwhelm and disappeared into the air.
But the black ball of light split in half from the middle, turning into two black curtains of light that swept through the air and dissipated.
An enormous thunder-like roar sounded.
The king of Chu’s expression turned grave. Just based on the distant presence, he knew who the arrival was.
He felt a slight pain. This was not just due to the adverse change to the result he had waited decades for, but true pain.
The moment the black ball of light was split from the middle, rays of golden light fell down around him. Wild energy surged out of the wounds in the trees and grasses alongside true fire that started to burn.
The burning thickets forcefully flooded his consciousness and seemed to ignite all his nerves.
Without any hesitation, his advancing body stopped and then retreated.
At the same time, a wave of pure vital energy shot out of his left hand at a speed unimaginable to ordinary cultivators and entered a string of jade beads on his wrist.
The string of jade beads were rough on the surface, and pure white in color, like it was composed of multiple snowballs. But when his vital energy was added, with a string of explosion, balls of cold energy exploded outside his body. Eighteen balls of snow, taller than him, formed around him and relentlessly revolved around his body.
Countless threads of golden flame were spreading out of the formation door.
These golden flames cut constantly at the balls of snow around him. Wind and snow howled as the flames splashed. The balls of snow dramatically decreased in size. When the snowballs were almost completely gone, the king of Chu managed to finally leave the formation door.
Threads of true fire wrapped around his body. However, the light yellow dragon robe that he wore, made out of an unknown material, had a layer of faint light had stopped the remaining threads of fire from entering.
While his face grew slightly colder, the king of Chu’s his eyes were unusually calm. He took a deep breath and narrowed his eyes to look at the sky.
“How is this possible?”
At this time, Forefather Zhou was also looking in the direction the king of Chu was looking in.
The mist that had covered this mountain valley had merged back together like two great waves crashing together at the formation door in front of the king of Chu. It created countless white waves of energy, and golden swords of true fire.
Under the cover of the white mist, Forefather Zhou could not see the figure of the cultivator who had attacked, but he knew who it was.
In all of Changling, only one cultivator could exert such great power at such a great distance.
Ths cultivator’s identity was not in doubt… but why was he here?
Forefather Zhou was filled with shock and terror. Cold sweat poured down in streams off his body. But he was an old person who possessed great experience. His intuition told him this was his chance.
He trembled all over as he reached out with his right hand towards the formation door. Cold fiendish energy, like black snakes, surged urgently out of his right hand.
The surge in this moment rendered the right side of his body numb. But he knew that Ding Ning was correct. What he needed to do now was to be fast.
The black cold fiendish energy spread through the air, but also reflected white light, like an ink painting of mountains being revealed in the air. The golden pillars of light landed on the inky mountains and rivers, turning the painting golden, but unable to penetrate the image.
Forefather Zhou let out a wild howl like an injured animal. He swept his almost benumbed right hand through the air. With a string of buzzes, multiple white sword energies viciously stabbed into the formation in front of him.
Grass blades flew, not along the sword energies’ advance, but due to the gusts of wind.
Forefather Zhou’s right side and his lower limbs were completely numb now.
With a shock, a black wind wrapped around him, Ding Ning and Fu Su. They crashed into the formation door ahead.
The flora inside the formation door moved slightly with popping sounds, but without material strength.
“I know who that is. The master of the Zhou Family Ink Garden of Changling. I had not expected he is also a lucky person who found this forbidden ground here.”
The king of Chu looked with a hint of disdain at the black and white painting in the air as he spoke slowly.
At this time, the mist above him and to his side was drifting apart. The half-fish half-bird spirit beast had landed.
“Mo Shoucheng … and Pan Ruoye.”
Looking at the old man and the beauty in palace attire on the back of the spirit beast, the king of Chu seemed to hold a glint of gaiety in his old eyes. He seemed to feel this matter had become interesting and amusing.
“Changling has no city walls, but Mo Shoucheng, you are the best at guarding a city. You were always thought of as the invisible city wall outside Changling. And you, you are the master of Endless Palace, one of Zheng Xiu’s most trusted. You two did not stay in Changling, and secretly followed Forefather Zhou and the two youths. What does that mean?” He examined the man who was old like him and the beauty in palace attire. From the emotions deep in the beauty’s eyes, he guessed what had transpired.
Mo Shoucheng, the teacher of the Holy One and a person who people rarely knew the true name of, took a deep breath.
He looked nonchalantly at the king of Chu and said without any disguise, “We cannot conceal from you. One of the two youths is Fu Su.”
“So Forefather Zhou does not know. He took the two youths, wanting to use them. You followed, but didn’t expect a forbidden place like this, and never thought you would encounter me here.” The king of Chu’s gaze turned distant, with only the light of intelligence flashing through his gaze.
“This really is an accident.” Mo Shoucheng grimaced. “I fear that even our Holy One did not expect that the time and location of Deer Mountain Conference is for such an opportunity.”
The king of Chu smiled and said, “Fu Su will be a good monarch in the future because a dynasty at the peak of its strength will not need an emperor that conquers, but one who can stand guard. You will let him die just to stop me, is it worth it?”
Mo Shoucheng glanced at him and said calmly, “Since I have chosen to do so, of course I think it is worthwhile.”
“You believe Emperor Yuanwu and Zheng Xiu think it worthwhile. They will get the greatest benefit from the Deer Mountain Conference at any cost, including sacrificing their son.” The king of Chu laughed. “Just like they sacrificed those people they fought side by side with, and were the utmost loyal to them. I really am beneath Emperor Yuanwu and Zheng Xiu because I cannot be as ruthless as them.”
“Monarchs surpass the limits of ordinary people.” Mo Shoucheng said coolly, his expression unchanged. “Their conduct cannot be measured by the emotions of ordinary people.”
“You were once the principal of many Changling schools, your knowledge and logic is greater than mine, so I will not argue with you.” the king of Chu looked mockingly at Mo Shoucheng and the silent beauty in palace attire. He said with an indescribable authority, “I only know that even the two of you working together cannot keep me here. Also, I cannot kill the two of you. I do not want to fight you.”
Mo Shoucheng bowed his head and said, “This matter is meaningless and unworthy of expending energy upon.”
“Naturally, you will not let me enter. Since you have chosen the Deer Mountain Conference and the present, I will naturally not allow you to enter.” The king of Chu looked calmly at Mo Shoucheng and the beauty in palace attire. “I have waited for the thing inside for decades and want to see the result.”
Mo Shoucheng looked at him and calmly declared. “Then we will wait here to see the final result.”
The beauty in palace attire knew if they truly fought, she, Mo Shoucheng, and the king of Chu would all be injured, and may even be killed by Forefather Zhou once he came out. Even she and Mo Shoucheng had reasons that they could not die here, much less the king of Chu. So, being at a deadlock here was the best choice.
But she and Fu Su were usually very close. Thinking that Fu Su would die inside, she could not control her emotions. She shouted harshly at the king of Chu, “What is inside here?”
The king of Chu smiled slightly, his hands behind his back, and did not answer.
“We choose the present, he chooses the future. In reality, we are the ones at an advantage.” Mo Shoucheng looked at the increasingly furious beauty in palace robes and whispered, “He cannot do anything, and we can still gamble with the future. We can gamble if a miracle can occur, and if that wine shop youth and Imperial Son Fu Su will come out.”
“Is there such a possibility?” the beauty in palace attire said, her chest heaving in rage.
“Even a little is a possibility.” Mo Shoucheng looked at her and said gently, “Also, if you cannot control yourself from attacking first, I cannot guarantee the outcome. We may all die here. Because I am almost certain his cultivation method is related to women.”
Translator Ramblings: Happy Lunar New Year to everyone … and stay healthy.
Mo Shoucheng’s name literally means “city guarding” … so I speculate this is his courtesy name. Otherwise, whoever named him was prophetic.