Multiple hands come together to push a wall down. It was a scene of kicking a man on his way down. The imperial clan had ruled for countless years over Great Scarlet. The emperor's word was law and his prestige radiated like the sun.
However, his decisions during this series of momentous events had incurred his subjects' disappointment, causing them to lose all hope. And at this moment, the accumulation of all these negative emotions finally broke the camel's back.
When people lost all hope, they could lash out with a crazed violence difficult to imagine. Unlike some mundane empires, loyalty and patriotism weren't paramount in the world of cultivators. Self interest and benefits reigned supreme.
Great Scarlet's emperor wasn't truly beloved to begin with. Now that his people also blamed him for leading the empire to its ruin, the tensions finally exploded. A stubborn, brainwashed minority tried to stop the crowd's impulsiveness, but was drowned by a human tide in no time at all.
"Capture him, seize that vermin and hand him over to young lord Jiang Chen!"
"House Yan's cruel and unjust rule should have been ended long ago. If not for them, how would Great Scarlet be backed into such a corner today?"
"Indeed, they happily did the Eternal Celestial Capital's bidding and ended up dragging all of us down. Why should we pay for their sins? What gives them that right? Everyone, let's charge together."
Like a tumultuous torrent, the crowd crashed toward the harem, startling the palace guards who shouted in panic, "Protect the emperor, protect the emperor!"
Palace guards were brainwashed from birth. Their whole existence revolved around the emperor. They lived and died for him. Every one of the guards was an elite. Despite their few numbers, each of them was a force to be reckoned with.
Hearing news of the turmoil inside the palace, they had no choice but to abandon the perimeter defense and group together to suppress internal strife. The palace was turned upside down in a hubbub, a chaotic bloodbath in which dogs howled and ghosts wailed before Jiang Chen's forces even stormed the place.
Under siege from civil officials and military officers alike, the emperor's humiliation turned into rage. He shouted like a madman, "Kill them, slaughter all of these deserters!
"Don't leave any of them alive. These renegades are harming our nation, I want all of them butchered! They were dogs in the manger to begin with, and now instead of sharing my burdens in times of life and death, they even dare rebel?"
The emperor bristled with rage. He couldn't win against Jiang Chen out there, but was he also going to let these traitors step on him? His anger instantly turned the palace into a river of blood.
"Your Majesty, it's enough to make an example of some. Who will the empire rely on if we kill everyone?" A vice-captain of the palace guards advised quietly.
The emperor responded with a punch and sent the vice-captain flying through the air.
"You animal, who the hell do you think you are? Do I need you to teach me what to do? Do you have what it takes? The empire? What bloody empire? All of us are dead once the formation breaks!
"Rather than dying to these outsiders, I might as well relieve them of their suffering myself! Hahaha. The food they eat, the water they drink, the wealth they enjoy, everything belongs to me. They live if I say they're to live, they're dead if I say they're to die. All of them is to die!" Gone insane, the emperor looked incomparably malevolent, his messy hair floating in disarray, his head and face covered in bloodstains.
Holding a longsword, he hacked at anyone he saw. Other than House Yan's forefather, almost no one in Great Scarlet was his match cultivation-wise. Now that he had his eyes on slaughter, who was his match?
As the lively massacre took place inside, an enormous rumble suddenly sounded from the formation outside. The entire palace trembled as if struck by an earthquake.
The emperor's body stiffened. He narrowed his eyes, staring fixedly at a direction outside as a despairing thought flashed through his mind. "Is the formation broken?"
He suddenly remembered something and ran madly towards his harem. This was where the imperial family lived. Other than grown princes who had to leave to establish their own princely mansions, all the women and children of the clan lived there.
Of course, with the emperor's advanced age, he had no young sons. As soon as he rushed inside the harem, he chanced upon a group of concubines gathered together, panic and trepidation written all over their faces. Seeing the emperor, the women ran to him shouting, "Your Majesty, Your Majesty, what's going on?"
Insanity glinting in his eyes, the emperor suddenly slashed wildly.
The flash of the naked blade cleaved into two the concubines running at the front, felling them into a pool of blood. Split in two, the women didn't die right away. They propped their hands on the ground in desperation, trying to stand up, only to find there was nothing left below their waist...
Incomprehension and desperation flashed through their eyes.
"Don't blame me! When those vicious bastards storm this place, all of you will be dirtied. I would rather see my women die at my own hands than to let you be tarnished by that scum!" He lifted his sword and charged inside.
There were countless beauties in his harem. The killing moments ago was merely the beginning. When the concubines saw him rushing at them with murderous intent, they shrieked and ran away.
Was this still the emperor they yearned for day and night? No! This was a demon king escaped from hell and bent on massacre!
"His Majesty has gone mad, everyone flee for your life!"
"Your Majesty, one night as husband and wife is worth a hundred years of devotion. Please spare your loving concubine!"
"Your Majesty, don't kill your humble servant. Ah!"
How strong was Great Scarlet's emperor? What could be easier for him than to kill a few defenseless women? In his frenzy, he hacked down the hundreds of concubines with just a few charges, leaving none of them alive.
Studying the ground coated in blood and limbs, the emperor murmured to himself, his eyes rife with madness, "That's right, there's still the descendants of House Yan left. If they have to die, they then should die beneath my sword. I can't let them perish at these bastards' hands."
Insanity had taken hold of his entire being.
Right when he was about to step out of the door, a blinding light flashed in front of him, followed by a voice shouting, "Young lord, I found Great Scarlet's emperor. This old guy's gone mad, he killed all of his women."
Following that voice, countless people quickly rushed in, including the heads of the three great sects.
Great Scarlet's emperor had quite a delinquent streak in him. Realizing he was surrounded, he simply stayed put and dropped his butt onto a chair with a strange giggle.
"Where's Jiang Chen? Have him come and see me!" He looked entirely unfazed in the face of death.
"Tsk tsk, this idiot must still think he's the mighty emperor." Jiao Feng looked at him in disbelief.
"No need for nonsense. Let's cripple him first, then let the young lord handle him. We can't kill this scumbag, we need to wait for the young lord's decision," Jiao Yun reminded.
Just then, Jiang Chen arrived at the scene, accompanied by Emperor Peerless. The Regal Pill Palace's survivors followed in their wake.
Great Scarlet's emperor sat on his chair without the slightest concern in the midst of enemies. Since he knew he couldn't escape from death's clutches, he feigned an undaunted confidence, looking very much like a hooligan. He glanced at Jiang Chen. "You're that little scoundrel Jiang Chen?"
Blazes erupted from Palace Head Dan Chi's eyes. "Yan, you heartless wretch, after invading our Myriad Domain twice and destroying our lives, how dare you still be so insolent with so many crimes on your conscience?"
"Hahaha, who do you think you are?" The emperor laughed heartily as he threw a contemptuous glance at Dan Chi. "If I'm not mistaken, you must be the so-called palace head of the Regal Pill Palace? Why are you running your mouth here? Without Jiang Chen, what could your Regal Pill Palace do against me? What could ten Regal Pill Palaces do against me?"
That was the naked truth, but Dan Chi graced him with a mere grim smile. "Now that things have come so far, what use are your little tricks? Trying to drive a wedge between allies? Correct, my Regal Pill Palace relies on Jiang Chen, just like your Great Scarlet is the Eternal Celestial Capital's lackey. And what of it? All that matters is that your death is at hand. Your bloodline is going to be exterminated, your house eradicated. From today on, Great Scarlet's House Yan will disappear from this world!"
Great Scarlet's emperor's face drained of all color. His gaze swept through the three great sect's sect heads, his whole being burning with anger. "House Yan being erased by Myriad Domain is retribution from the heavens. But what of you three sects? You enjoyed the most honored status in my nation, yet collude with my enemies when push came to shove. Do you have any face left to be standing in front of me?"
"Pfft. Yan, aren't you ashamed to mention this? Great Scarlet was already driven to the brink by your clan. Resources? Correct, our three sects did indeed get some. However, everyone knows that your clan hoards at least more than half of the resources from Great Scarlet. You also offer a portion as tribute to the Eternal Celestial Capital. The sects are only thrown some scraps. Otherwise, why isn't there a single second rank sect in Great Scarlet?"
"That's right. Almost every mid region has a second rank sect. Only Great Scarlet has been monopolized by your House Yan, yet you still want to make us believe you hold sects in high regard. The origin of Great Scarlet's destruction is none other than House Yan!"
"Our region will never see a better tomorrow if House Yan doesn't die!"
For some reason, Jiang Chen felt utter disgust for the bickering between the emperor and the three sect heads.
"Yan, there's only one road left for you no matter what you say today. Will you travel down this road on your own, or will this young lord have to send you off on this journey?" He had no desire to waste time in nonsense.
"Hmph!" the emperor sneered. "You want to send me off? Do you dare fight against me one on one?"
Jiang Chen smiled impassively. "Stop putting up a front. Killing you would be as easy as slaughtering a pig. Do you think you're worth a duel?"
The emperor wanted to goad Jiang Chen into single combat and use that opportunity to seek a lifeline. But seeing Jiang Chen's sheer disdain, he realized how vain his hopes were. He howled with laughter. "So much for that young lord bullshit! Jiang Chen, you might destroy my empire, but the great powers in Upper Eight Regions won't take this lying down!
"Just you wait. Pillfire City, the Eternal Celestial Capital, they won't let you get away with it!" He shouted himself hoarse, as if the anger in his heart could kill Jiang Chen and destroy the entire world.
The final whimpers of a defeated dog was beneath Jiang Chen's contempt. He merely ordered with an indifferent smile, "Jiao Yun, kill him!"
The emperor's face became as pale as death. He suddenly activated an escape glyph in hand, wanting to borrow its power to flee.
However, even House Yan's forefather couldn't run from the inescapable siege. How could a mere emperor realm like him slip away in front of so many great emperors?
Jiao Yun sent the fleeing light crashing down from the sky with a single slap.
Thump! Great Scarlet's emperor dropped on the ground like a dead dog. When he opened his eyes, his vision chanced upon the face of a concubine he'd cut in half. Her eyes full of bitter rancor seemed to be cursing and mocking him.