“On second thought, you’d better not….”
Ye Zichen had already guessed how this story would end. Gu Zichen had showed up here and called himself a failure. Naturally, his failure had resulted in the deaths of his Auxiliary Stars.
If Yang Jian was an Auxillary Star back in Gu Zichen’s world, then he didn’t even need to think; he knew what must have happened to him.
“Hm? Now you don’t want to know anymore?” said Gu Zichen, smiling at Ye Zichen. Although he smiled, he looked lonely.
Now that Ye Zichen knew how the story ended, he was somewhat hesitant to hear the rest. Even so, he was internally hopeful that he might be able to turn things around with more information.
After an internal struggle, Ye Zichen put the burden of this deeply painful question back on Gu Zichen’s shoulders.
“Can you tell me?”
“Of course,” said Gu Zichen with a faint nod. “This is good timing. You've completely misunderstood me, so I think I ought to take this chance to explain myself properly anyway.”
“Then…. Go on,” said Ye Zichen after some hesitation.
“Alright, then let’s start with what you were saying earlier.” Gu Zichen looked at Ye Zichen, eyes carrying a hint of playfulness. “Earlier, you said that I’m the one who dragged you into this mess, right?”
Ye Zichen nodded.
If he traced everything back to its source, it was indeed Gu Zichen who’d made him encounter the immortals of the Heavenly Court. After that, problems started piling up.
It was just like the butterfly effect. Gu Zichen started it all this, so he couldn’t escape his share of the responsibility.
“Actually, a long time ago, I thought the same way as you,” said Gu Zichen with a sudden burst of laughter. “Honestly, it’s no wonder that the two of us are the same person from different parallel worlds. Even our way of thinking is shockingly similar.”
“What do you mean?”
Ye Zichen frowned. He didn’t know why, but he felt….
“Did you know? Actually, I got mixed up into all of this because I, like you, was dragged into it by someone called Gu Zichen. It’s just, he went about it in a different way is all.”
When he heard this, it was as if Ye Zichen’s consciousness exploded.
His heart suddenly clenched. He looked at Gu Zichen is disbelief.
“This is a big joke, right?” asked Ye Zichen. “You said you were also dragged into this by someone called Gu Zichen? Then why are you two both called Gu Zichen while I’m called Ye Zichen?”
“You think everything I said is just a joke?” Gu Zichen asked, then smiled tightly. “In that case, I can tell you with complete certainty: this is no joke. Everything I said is true. For that matter, back then, I was also named Ye Zichen. As for why you’re called Ye Zichen and I’m called Gu Zichen, you’ll find out on your own once you’ve reached the Divine Realm.”
“Don’t look at me like that,” said Gu Zichen, sensing Ye Zichen’s suspicion.
Then he snorted contemptuously, “actually, what I wanted to say was, the Gu Zichen who roped me into this, he…. In the past, he was also called Ye Zichen. Back then, when he was still Ye Zichen, someone called Gu Zichen dragged him into all this, the same way it happened to us. That Gu Zichen failed in the end as well, and he, too, was originally Ye Zichen, and he…..”
Gu Zichen repeated the same story over and over. It was like an endless cycle of death.
Ye Zichen couldn’t even keep track of how many Ye Zichen’s he’d gone through. All he knew was… it was a lot!
“To tell the truth,” said Gu Zichen, “I didn’t believe it at first either. I thought they were just messing with me. How could there be so many of me? I didn’t fully believe it until I crossed through dimensions and arrived on this plane. Thing is, my newfound belief is backed by unconcealable terror and shattered confidence.”
How could he not be terrified?
How could he not lose confidence?
If everything Gu Zichen said just now was true, Ye Zichen would feel the same way.
All those parallel words had failed in the end. Now that everything was up to him, could he really succeed? If everything Gu Zichen said was true, wouldn’t the end result be the same? He’d fail and, left with no other choice, cross dimensions, arrive at a different plane, and search for its Ye Zichen in an attempt to turn things around.
In other words, he’d fail and entrust everything to the next Ye Zichen.
No, absolutely not.
After zoning out briefly, Ye Zichen internally let out a battle cry.
He definitely wouldn't follow in the steps of those who came before him. He absolutely wouldn't let anything happen to the people around him.
He suddenly clenched his fists, but this did little to increase his confidence. When he'd learned of Gu Zichen's true nature, he felt deeply powerless.
So many people had failed. Could a mere reassuring battle cry solve anything?
He slowly lowered his head, like a rooster that lost its will to fight.
"See? We really are a lot alike," said Gu Zichen. He'd been watching the changes in Ye Zichen's expression.
He shrugged, then grinned. "Back when I was in your shoes, I clenched my fists and let out a battle cry. I told myself that all this would end with me, but in the end, I lost my confidence. That Gu Zichen watched me silently, the same way I just watched you, then said something similar to what I'm saying now."
"That said, do you really want to give up just like that?"
“Of course not!” Ye Zichen's head shot up, eyes seemingly ablaze, and shouted, "I will definitely make sure all of this ends with me."
"That's a good attitude, but in truth, every single one of us thought the same thing. Ye Zichen, I won't deny it. Earlier, when you said all those things to me, I resented you for it. But in truth, you, I, and all those who came before us are all the same type of person."
Gu Zichen looked at Ye Zichen affectionately. In him, he could truly see shadows of his former self.
Back then, just like the current Ye Zichen, he'd been furious, he'd roared inwardly, yet......
Wasn't the end result the same?
A pained smile tugged at Gu Zichen's lips as he said, "Earlier, you said that you were walking down my losing path and that the result would inevitably be yet another failure. I'd like to tell you that you're wrong, the path I arranged for you is completely different from mine."
"We've crossed countless dimensions. This process has allowed 'us' to continuously improve and perfect our strategy. What I'm teaching you now is an improved strategy based on the foundation of my former failure. I've also done some fine-tuning."
"Unfortunately, those of 'us' who've crossed over have a rather limited mindset. We all simply believed that 'we' were the Chosen Son of Heaven and that we would be the one who ended all this. However, we forgot that, in truth, there were two emperors chosen back when we became the 'Chosen Son of Heaven.' None of us incorporated the other chosen one into our plans. This time, I've decided to treat him as an opportunity to reverse the situation."
“I thought we could try working for him instead and see if that changes anything. It’s just, I’d really rather not work with him until I’ve exhausted all other possibilities.”
“Why?” Ye Zichen asked with a frown. “The Heavens chose two emperors, he might….”
“Don’t jump to conclusions. You might feel differently if I tell you his name.”
“Who is he?”