North County, Tianhan Gate .
The great war had ended, leaving behind nothing but corpses littering the ground .
Tantai Xuan was dressed in his battle gear and the blood on his body had frozen solid because of the ice-cold air . He stood in front of the city gates; Mo Ju and Mo Beike stood beside him quietly as well .
The giant gates to the city opened . Dense snow fluttered down from the sky .
The North County soldiers shivered . As the snow continued flurrying down, they wrapped the corpses in burial sheets and heaved them back to the gate .
Tantai Xuan stood in front of the gate, solemn and respectful . He looked silently at the corpses wrapped in burial sheets .
There was a violent wave of emotions surging behind his eyes . He clenched his fists .
The general beside him had also lapsed into silence .
To die on the battlefield is heroic, their names would go down in history!
But a lot of the men who died today would never leave their mark in history despite their deaths . Yet, they had run out into the battlefield with no complaints or regrets .
Mo Ju was silent .
His crane cloak was draped over his body and he had an exceptionally stern look on his face . It was not his first time seeing something like this . In North County, there was something like this happening every year .
The Xirong people were always stirring up trouble by the borders, and the only ones who could defend the borders were these men .
Although Mo Beike was Mohist giant, this was also his first time experiencing such a war at the frontiers .
He lifted his head and stared up at the sky where snow fell from . After some time, he heaved a long sigh .
“You lot be careful when transporting the bodies back to the gate,” Tantai Xuan said after he raised a hand to signal for a general to come over . “And make sure all of their family members are well taken care of . North County has no shortage of rations for the winter, so hand out more to the families of our fallen brothers . ”
The general left to relay his order to the rest .
Snow fell everywhere, piling on top of the despair .
Mo Ju looked towards Tantai Xuan and he realized that the man seemed to have aged quite a bit .
The doors to Tianhan Gate closed . In the gate tower, soldiers in armor guarded the city solemnly . The flag billowed in the wind .
Inside the city, Tantai Xuan stepped into the warm gate tower . He removed his armor and shook the snow off his body .
Several people were gathered in the hall .
Luo Cheng, Jiang Li, Chi Lian, and the rest had all gathered here .
“Thank you all for helping North County . Words alone cannot convey my gratitude . ”
Tantai Xuan relaxed . There was a smile on his face . He greeted the crowd with a fist and palm salute .
If not for Bai Qingniao, Luo Cheng, and the rest of them, perhaps North County would not have been able to hold out against the attack from the Xirong Army .
That Lord of Xirong… He was so strong, it was terrifying .
Though an army of cultivators was established at the Dragon Gate at Wentian Peak, North County suffered great casualties in this war, mostly due to the insane Xirong warriors who had no concept of pain .
Tantai Xuan had some lingering fear, truth be told .
Had he failed to guard Tianhan Gate, then the consequences would truly have been dire .
“Is Nie Shuang doing okay?” Tantai Xuan probed .
Tantai Xuan quite admired Nie Shuang . Though the other was young, he possessed valor uncommon in others .
He was able to command a terrifying power within that small body of his .
On top of that, he had shown no fear in the face of powerful enemies . It was difficult for Tantai Xuan to not applaud courage like this .
He had already called for the best physician in the gate and instructed for him to properly treat Nie Shuang’s wounds .
“He’s doing fine, just a little overworked . There was damage to his organs . He should be fine with a few days of rest,” Luo Cheng replied, his hands in a fist and palm salute .
Tantai Xuan finally heaved a sigh of relief at this news .
He had someone serve hot alcohol and everyone basked in the warmth .
At that moment, there was a horse speeding through the biting wind .
Through the falling snow came a Black Dragon Guard from the capital city, rushing forward at full speed .
This Black Dragon Guard came bearing a document that he handed over to the guards at Tianhan Gate .
He entered the gate .
“A messenger from the capital requests an audience!”
Tantai Xuan had been sitting in the hall, sipping on hot wine as he chatted with the crowd . Suddenly, he frowned .
Mo Beike and Mo Ju exchanged glances . The two of them seemed to have guessed what was going on .
Mo Ju sighed . Mo Beike, on the other hand, shook his head in disappointment .
A Black Dragon Guard in his black armor stepped through the gate and stood right in front of Tantai Xuan .
The Black Dragon Guard greeted him with a fist and palm salute, but he did not kneel . Instead, he pulled out the emperor’s decree from Yuwen Xiu and handed it over to Tantai Xuan .
Tantai Xuan took the decree, opened the scroll, and skimmed through its contents quickly .
The longer he looked at it, the sterner the expression on his face became .
In the large hall, the crowd seemed to have noticed the change in the atmosphere .
Mo Ju stood up . He looked over at Luo Cheng, Bai Qingniao, and the rest, then motioned for the servants to guide them out of the hall .
Luo Cheng and the rest of detected a weird scent, but they did not say anything .
There were many things they were better off not knowing about .
“Please stay, General Jiang,” Tantai Xuan opened his mouth to say .
Jiang Li, who was on his way out, frowned and stopped in his tracks .
Without hiding anything, Tantai Xuan handed the emperor’s decree to Jiang Li .
Jiang Li took the decree and quickly skimmed through it . He heaved a long sigh of relief when he understood the contents of the decree .
He did not expect Yuwen Xiu to make such a decision .
How could he make such a decision when the country was facing a crisis like this?
The capital city was only dispatching the Black Dragon Guard because they wanted North County to hand Jiang Li over…
This was as good as a deal .
Using a national crisis to make a deal like this—Tantai Xuan could not help but be furious .
Tantai Xuan slammed a fist on the wooden pillar and it caved slightly .
“Taking advantage of our tragedy like this? Does he have no shame?
“There’s no way I’d ask that little emperor for help, not even when I’m down to the last North County soldier!” Tantai Xuan spoke, exhaling roughly .
The emperor’s decree was really vexing .
“The emperor sees this mess with the Five Barbarians as an opportunity to weaken the three counties .
“According to the report from the scout, the West and South Counties had also been attacked by the barbarians .
“Especially West County, where the Guifang and Maurya Empire had joined forces . The entire city had fallen to the war and their cavalry suffered great casualties,” Mo Beike said .
“To a certain extent, the emperor has indeed been the one who gained the most from this mess with the Five Barbarians . ”
Tantai Xuan took in a deep breath, then he turned to look at Jiang Li .
“Return, General Jiang . The little emperor wants you back . I won’t hold you back either, but from now onwards, North County severs its ties with Great Zhou! The next time we meet will be on the battlefield, and neither of us should hold back when we exchange blows!” Tantai Xuan said .
Everyone in the room was shocked as they listened .
What did Tantai Xuan mean?
Tantai Xuan walked to the door and looked out at the snow falling outside the window . Every snowflake seemed to carry a strange sorrow with it . In Tantai Xuan’s eyes, they were stained red with blood .
Mo Ju and Mo Beike exchanged glances . Their eyes were gleaming .
Jiang Li’s gaze hardened as well .
The moment he said that Jiang Li strode right out of the room without a single word, venturing out into the snow .
Capital city .
Yuwen Xiu stood under the falling snow . A maidservant held out an umbrella to shield him from the snow .
An old eunuch stood behind him respectfully .
“Your Majesty… The Imperial Advisor has left the Book Pavilion and is headed east . ”
The shrill and hoarse voice of the old eunuch lingered in the garden because of the winter .
“The Imperial Advisor left the capital city and is heading east . He’s heading to Dongyang County then, no?
“West County, South County, and North County—he didn’t head down to these three counties but he’s adamant about going to Dongyang County . Does he think the other three counties are worry-free?” Yuwen Xiu asked with his hands behind his back .
The layer of ice on the surface of the lake cracked open .
A gigantic black dragon floated up to the surface of the water . Yuwen Xiu raised his hand and placed it on the dragon’s ice-cold scales .
The maidservant holding out the umbrella for Yuwen Xiu began to quake .
The Black Dragon had inspired in her a great pressure and fear . For a mortal like this maidservant, this was extremely terrifying .
Yuwen Xiu stroked the forehead of Black Dragon . The Black Dragon, which had been restless, calmed under his touch .
Yuwen Xiu felt the bond between him and Black Dragon grow deeper still .
He closed his eyes . It seemed like there was an influx of energy flowing from the Black Dragon to Yuwen Xiu, and Yuwen Xiu’s energy also transferred over to the Black Dragon in turn .
He could feel the energy swirling in his body, and Yuwen Xiu could not help the upward turn of his lips . The Black Dragon had transformed, and this sort of transformation was also happening to Yuwen Xiu .
Yuwen Xiu felt rather carefree .
He could feel himself becoming stronger .
The stronger he was, the stronger Great Zhou would become!
Beiluo, Lake Island .
On the surface of the lake that was enshrouded in thick fog, Lu Fan sat in his wheelchair as he looked out at the white flame that had been separated from the soul of the Lord of Xirong .
“What is this?”
Lu Fan opened his mouth .
The soul of the Lord of Xirong was weak beyond compare, and he did not want to speak .
Lu Fan did not mind . This white flame did not actually have that much strong energy, but…it gave Lu Fan a rather weird feeling . This feeling was a rare one .
Very quickly, the system provided him with information for identification .
[Dead Spirit Fire (Heavenly Fire of Heaven and Earth): Produced in a High Level Martial World with Dead Qi as its source, it possesses the power to control dead spirits . ]
Lu Fan stared at the system’s definition and raised a brow . The definition was bare, but every bit of it was exceptionally shocking .
Produced in a High Level Martial World, controlling dead spirits…
Lu Fan could not help but take this more seriously .
“Heavenly Fire of Heaven and Earth . ”
Lu Fan raised a hand to hold up the ball of fire .
Very quickly, this ball of fire morphed into the shape of a skull .
Lu Fan flipped his hand over to extinguish the flame .
A wisp of Spiritual Sense surged forth and entered the ball of white fire in an instant .
In a moment, the fire began to warp .
Lu Fan started analyzing the properties of this ball of fire . With dead Qi as its base, this fire was completely different from regular fires on a fundamental basis .
This fire possessed Spirit Intellect, so much so that it produced a bewitching aura .
This bewitching aura was rather evil .
This was a ball of evil flame .
Of course, Lu Fan had not been bewitched . He was simply researching the properties of this “Dead Spirit Fire” .
“The flame can assist in cultivation, oh…” Lu Fan thought . “Just as well, Earth’s Origin has created the fire element . With this ‘Dead Spirit Fire’ as a blueprint, I can create much more ‘Pseudo Heavenly Fire of Heaven and Earth’ and turn it into a completely new cultivation classification . ”
Of course, Lu Fan was not anxious to begin work on it immediately .
His consciousness twitched .
The white flame was continually suppressed and suppressed further still .
Finally, it turned into a white bead .
Finally, Lu Fan turned to look at the Buddhist Monk, the blond man, and the soul of the Lord of Xirong .
“Every wanderer must have once owned a world and enjoyed a brilliant and splendid civilization . ”
Lu Fan leaned back into his chair, finger tapping lightly on its arm .
These civilizations might have been destroyed, but to Lu Fan, they had high research value .
If he managed to take the best parts of it back with him and tossed away the worst parts of it, he could make Wuhuang Continent even stronger and make civilization much more splendid and diverse .
The Wuhuang Continent today was still at the Low Level Martial World level .
They were not too far from stepping into the Mid Level Martial World, and so Lu Fan had to start making the preparations for the Mid Level Martial World .
The appearance of these wanderers was timely; Lu Fan now had references to work with .
Aside from the wanderers, there was also the Spiritual Sense of the Lord of the Plane from the Mid Level Martial World… That would allow Lu Fan a glimpse into the mysteries of the Mid Level Martial World .
Sometimes, Lu Fan suspected that these wanderers were benefits from the system .
He had always considered the possibility of this being true…
He snapped back from his thoughts .
Lu Fan cast a glance at the soul of the Buddhist Monk .
The Buddhist Monk’s soul trembled and the soul of the blond man kneeling on the ground seemed rather horrified because they detected a bout of rather unfriendly emotion from Lu Fan .
The Buddhist Monk, whose soul was nailed in the air by silver blades, shook his head nonstop .
Lu Fan slowly moved closer and closer towards him in his wheelchair .
“No… Don’t come any closer!” the Buddhist Monk pleaded .
Of course, if pleading had any use, the Lord of Xirong would not have ended up here .
Lu Fan’s pupils morphed into throbbing lines .
He smacked a palm down onto the soul of the Buddhist Monk .
The soul exploded into stars instantly .
Lu Fan clenched his fists, and an innumerable number of stars starting to gather quickly, forming a single shiny Go piece floating in the sky .
Lu Fan had a palm under his chin as he sat in his wheelchair .
The Spirit Pressure Chessboard floated .
Lu Fan retrieved the bowl of black Go pieces, calm as ever .
His consciousness twitched .
He placed the soul of the Buddhist Monk which had morphed into the white Go piece on the chessboard . Lu Fan picked up a black piece and placed it down with his sleeves rolled back .
Every Go piece on the board offered him a glimpse into another world…
The wreckage of the Five Barbarians came to an end with the barbarians’ retreat .
But the major powers did not dare to relax yet . Although the barbarians had retreated, there was no telling whether they would try to stage a comeback immediately .
In West County, Hurao Gate was still heavily guarded .
Overlord had personally stationed himself there .
As for Nie Changqing, Lv Mudui, Mingyue, and the rest of them, they had exchanged their goodbyes with Overlord and left West County after the battle ended . They used the Dragon Gate in Dongyan River to return to Beiluo .
Overlord sent the crowd off with mixed feelings .
When it was time to say goodbye, Overlord looked at Mingyue . The young lady wearing a veil and carrying her pipa had played an unexpectedly instrumental role in this war .
Mo Liuqi did not return to Beiluo .
He took off the soldier’s attire he had worn in an attempt to camouflage .
He put on his bamboo hat and wiped away the traces of blood on the silver scissors .
Dressed in thick robes, he braved the heavy snow falling from the skies and disappeared beneath Hurao Gate . He walked out of West County and headed to an even further place .
He still needed to grow and become stronger .
Because Overlord was strong now, he could not defeat the man .
But Mo Liuqi will not forget the revenge and vengeance he owed him .
This was the enmity and resentment he had with Overlord .
Overlord looked at Mo Liuqi’s figure disappeared in the snowstorm . He made no attempts to stop the other, nor did he speak about this enmity .
Things had come to a conclusion . Overlord raised his head and watched as the snow fell from the sky .
Perhaps he should properly analyze just why that great change in Heaven and Earth had occurred .
A change in Heaven and Earth…
Was it because of…that person in White Jade City?
North County .
In the dark night, Tantai Xuan had finished dealing with quite a few issues .
He blew out the flickering candle flame .
The ashy smoke of the wax wafted upwards and filled the room .
Tantai Xuan took off his robes and lay in bed . Tired, he closed his eyes .
The sight that had appeared in front of him was one of the corpses densely packed outside North County .
It had been a long time since he had last slept well .
After quite some time, Tantai Xuan fell into a deep slumber .
Suddenly, Tantai Xuan opened his eyes .
He discovered icy cold, black scales outside his window, and a heavy rumble .
He leaped out of bed and picked up the sword beside his pillow .
Throwing on his armor, he made his way over to the window in two steps, only to realize there was an enormous black dragon that had surrounded his house so completely it barely left any gaps .
Black Dragon’s eyes were gleaming with a dim radiance . It opened its mouth and growled in Tantai Xuan’s direction, then it charged .
Tantai Xuan glared angrily .
He brandished the sword, unsheathing it from the scabbard .
With one blow, he moved to cut off the dragon’s head…
The huge and savage dragon’s head fell in front of Tantai Xuan .
Dragon blood poured forth, spraying viciously and drenching Tantai Xuan .
He woke from his dream .
In the dark night, Tantai Xuan opened his eyes suddenly and cursed angrily . He sat up, out of breath, panting .