The demon and zombies’ invasion left the continent covered in scars. This was different from their past invasions. This time, war had cost them far too much. There were too many funerals to attend, too many memories to cherish. They needed time to recover before they could begin anew.
One hundred years.
Despite the Sacred Lands’ assistance and support from the leyline, a full hundred years passed before the continent fully recovered its vitality.
In the past hundred years, the Beast Region acknowledged the Half Beastmen’s existence and welcomed them back to the Beast Region. This granted the Beast Region, which had lost its Sacred Beast Clan heads, a new lease on life.
The Immortal Region, Underworld, and Heavenly Court were no longer at odds with each other. Instead, they’d formed an offensive and defensive alliance.
Even so, although the lucky survivors who’d been through it all were grateful they had a future, it was difficult to erase the scars lingering in their hearts.
After Zuo Mo, the head of the Treasure Tower, returned home, she didn’t hesitate to keep her word. She immediately announced the end of all trade with the nine-tailed foxes.
Some of the elders had objected, but she’d struck like lightning, intimidating them into submission.
As expected, Li Jiayi became the Hundred Flowers Gate’s new sect master and Lin Xiyue became the next lord of Hundred Flowers City. Half a year after the war ended, Su Liu’er could no longer repress her divine power and ascended to godhood. The title of clan head fell onto Su Zhu’s shoulders. However, just a few months after Su Liu’er’s ascent, Su Yan disappeared from the Nine-tailed Fox Clan without a trace.
This was a fairly major incident in the Beast Region. The Nine-tailed Fox Clan had pulled out all stops in order to search for her. Even so, they didn’t find her.
It was as if she’d evaporated into thin air.
It wasn’t just Su Yan who’d disappeared. A similar major incident shook the outskirts of the Immortal Region.
Emperor Ye’s child, Tiantian, disappeared just a few months after the battle as well. Her disappearance shook the entire Three Realms. The resulting panic lasted until the Buddha himself arrived and told them not to worry, that all of this happened for a reason. Even so, the
Leisure House Ye Zichen left behind never gave up searching for her.
Zhuge Kongming carried on his mother Zhuge Hong’s legacy and was honored as the next head of the Vermillion Bird Clan. Lil’ White returned to the Tiangou clan and became its next clan head as well. The White Emperor, Bai Di, abdicated, and a few years later, ascended to the Upper Realms. Tu Biyu’s son inherited his position as the next leader of the Xuanwu Tortoise Clan, while Xia Yingda retained his seat as head of the Dragon Clan.
As for the Flying Serpent Clan who’d betrayed the Beast Region? Several peak-level beast clans joined forces and exterminated them. From that moment on, the Flying Serpent Clan ceased to exist.
In order to honor his sacrifice for the greater good, the Three Realms, the Beast Region included, worked together to build a statue in his honor. They placed it on the border of the Beast and Immortal Regions.
However, since far too many others had sacrificed themselves as well, as time passed, the area around it gradually turned into a glorious memorial hall filled with burning incense.
In short, quite a bit had changed in the past hundred years.
Thanks to the leyline, everyone both human and yao, received a qualitative boost to their cultivation rate. Countless new powers rose up, sprouting like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. This newfound strength gradually pushed the continent towards an era of prosperity.
“Hall Master, we’re obviously the ones who discovered that hidden land first, yet they insist they discovered it long ago. They said they didn’t gather the medicinal herbs within in order to avoid damaging the valley. It’s obvious they're just trying to seize all the benefits for themselves. Our envoys weren’t even allowed through the mountain gates before they were flying. Even if they’re peak-level power, our Hall of Slaughter isn’t so easily bullied.”
The Hall of Slaughter was a shining star amongst the newly formed powers. They were currently discussing a hidden valley they’d found that was full of medicinal herbs so numerous, it was enough to give their collective strength a qualitative boost.
However, as soon as they’d found it, the Hundred Flowers Gate ordered them away and told them the secret land belonged to three Hundred Flowers Gate. This was intolerable!
How could they just endure letting such a treasure slip through their fingers?
“That’s right! The Hundred Flowers Gate doesn’t take our Hall of Slaughter seriously at all. We call them a peak-level power, but that’s just out of respect. If you want to talk about actual strength, our boss broke through to the immortal king level not long ago. We’re the true peak-level force! Way I see it, they’re too arrogant. We ought to show them our true power!”
“That’s not such a good idea. No matter how you look at it, the Sect Master of the Hundred Flowers Gate and Emperor Ye were……”
“Emperor Ye? I might call him Emperor Ye when I’m feeling respectful. If I’m not, though, isn’t he just a dead guy? All he’s good for is accepting offerings of incense.”
At that moment, the black-robed man sitting in the hall’s highest seat shouted in fury, “shut your mouth.”
This was none other than the Hall of Slaughter’s hall master, Yun Ting.
Yun Ting was arguably the most dazzlingly talented figure born in the hundred years since the war. He was only forty years old but was already an immortal-king-level expert. Moreover, his instant killing techniques instilled terror in the hearts of the masses.
“If not for Emperor Ye, would you be sitting there right now? No matter how you look at it, he created a future for us. If anyone dares speak ill of him, don’t blame me, Yun Ting, for setting aside our former friendship!”
The man who’d insulted Ye Zichen earlier nodded in terror. Black-robed Yun Ting’s face was indiscernible, but beneath his hood, he was smiling grimly.
“That said, you weren’t entirely wrong. Despite Emperor Ye’s venerable status, he can’t influence our Hall of Slaughter’s development. The Hundred Flowers Gate has long since started borrowing his name to act tougher than they really are. Our Hall of Slaughter has been stuck as a mere second-rate power for far too long. Don’t you think we ought to find a chance to send them a signal?”
“What are your intentions, Hall Master?”
“Tonight, we attack the Hundred Flowers Gate.”
With that, the black-robed man waved his sleeves and left. None of them could see the sinister grin on his lips.
What was he, even?
It was obvious this wasn’t going to be a particularly peaceful night. The news that the Hall of Slaughter intended to wage an offensive against the Hundred Flowers Gate had already spread. Countless powers of the Immortal Region were watching to see how things would play out.
Among them, the Treasure Tower and Leisure House, two other peak-level powers, had already sent reinforcements to assist the Hundred Flowers Gate.
It was fair to say that the moment the Hall of Slaughter sent out their signal, they challenged all three peak-level powers.
The entire Hall of Slaughter was along for the ride. They knew about the Hundred Flower Gate’s reinforcements, but this meant nothing at all to Yun Ting.
All three powers were called “peak-level,” but this was just an empty title. None of them possessed even a single person who’d broken into the immortal king realm.
Everyone beneath the immortal king level was nothing but an ant! Even if all three powers joined forces, they’d achieve nothing at all!
Tonight, they’d trample the Hundred Flowers Gate beneath their feet!
However, at that moment, an old man appeared in the middle of the path. He carried a gourd of alcohol with him as he sat right in the middle of the path. It was as if he hadn’t seen them at all. The man just sat there, gulping down mouthful after mouthful of alcohol.
“Out of the way!” shouted the people of the Hall of Slaughter. That old beggar simply sat there as if he hadn’t heard anything. He didn’t move an inch.
“You’re seeking death!” Someone shouted, then stepped forth as if intent on attacking. Before he could get far, though, Yun Ting pulled him back.
“We’ll walk around him.”
He didn’t know why, but when he looked at the old beggar, Yun Ting’s heart trembled with fear.
His subordinates didn’t understand, but they didn’t dare disobey Yun Ting’s command. They proceeded to walk around the old man. However, at that moment, the man looked up and banged his gourd against the ground.
“Where are you going?”
“Hey, you old beg-.......”
“Shut up!” Yun Ting scolded his subordinate, then greeted the elder politely. “Senior, we’re headed towards the Hundred Flowers Gate.”
“Go back,” replied the old man flatly. “The Hundred Flowers Gate is under my protection.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he retrieved his gourd and continued gulping down wine. The people of the Hall of Slaughter frowned. The way they saw it, this old man was full of crap.
He was protecting it?
Their Hall of Slaughter might not be called a peak-level power, but its hall master was an immortal-king-level expert.
This disreputable-looking old beggar didn’t seem like anybody special. Yet he said he was protecting the Hundred Flowers Gate……
It seemed he’d had too much to drink!
Yun Ting couldn’t help but frown as well. He wasn’t quite sure where this geezer had come from. That, combined with the trembling in his heart meant he dared not act recklessly.
However, he couldn’t just give up and go home. That was absolutely impossible.
He’d already announced his plans to flatten the Hundred Flowers Gate. If he went back on his word now, wouldn’t everyone laugh at his shameful spinelessness?
“There’s no need to say anymore,” the old man coldly interrupted him, then drew a line in the dirt. “If you cross this line, you die!”