Chapter 499 - Heater In Snow, Heart of God
Heavy snow was drifting down from the sky. The heat-emitting Blackfish Mouth Volcano was like an enormous heater, providing warmth in this cold winter.
Two figures were sitting side by side on a protruding cliff that hung in the air on the volcano peak. Cirrus, which was stuck onto a rock behind the two figures, stayed motionless in the drifting snow, looking as if it did not want to disturb their peace.
Shi Xueman’s hands were propped against the rocks on her two sides, while her legs were dangling in the air. Her head was swaying faintly, making her ponytail look like a swing. She looked at the distant mountain range that was adorned with white snow. The sea-like green forests had disappeared.
A smile would appear on her face whenever she turned around and looked at the mummy-like Ai Hui, whose body was completely covered with bandages. She felt that Ai Hui’s appearance was a great contrast to the current scenery. Ai Hui had yet to recover from his injuries and more than half of his entire body was still rigid. Shi Xueman was the one who’d carried him up to the peak.
When Ai Hui saw Iron Lady like this, he felt as if his heart was being pricked by needles. He wanted to tell her not to feel sad, but he couldn’t say it. How could she not be sad when this kind of thing had happened? Then he wanted to tell her that the future would be much better, but realized she was going to the battlefield soon and her life would be at risk. Saying these words would make him sound as if he was comforting her out of courtesy.
Deep down, he was panicking, but he did not want to show it. The distress he suffered from was nothing compared to what Iron Lady had gone through.
Iron Lady was smiling. Ai Hui knew the best thing he could do now was to smile back at her.
Luckily his face was covered with bandages.
Ai Hui tried his best to make his tone sound casual as he said, "Don’t die too early, at least not before I come and find you."
Shi Xueman turned around and looked at Ai Hui and replied, "Okay."
"Don’t listen to other people’s commands. Retreat immediately when you realize something is not right," Ai Hui continued.
"Okay," Shi Xueman nodded her head.
"Don’t fight inflexibly, be adaptable. You have seen how a wolf pack hunts before, right? Be like them," Ai Hui continued.
"Okay," Shi Xueman nodded her head once more.
Ai Hui opened his mouth but no words came out. He felt that he was being too naggy, saying all these superfluous words. Mysteriously, a wisp of blazing rage arose in his heart. He was angry at himself for being useless.
Suddenly, a slim and snow-white hand extended towards him from his side and touched his face.
The wisp of rage in Ai Hui’s heart disappeared without a trace instantly. Even with bandages covering his face, he could sense the warmth of the hand.
"Hey…" Ai Hui panicked.
The snow-white hand turned his head around. Ai Hui felt like he was a wooden puppet when he heard the sound of bones cracking in his neck.
After his head was turned around, Ai Hui saw Shi Xueman’s face getting closer and closer to him.
Ai Hui was stunned. Shi Xueman closed her eyes as her long eyelashes fluttered lightly in the chilly wind. The shy blush on her face was as beautiful as the rose-red clouds in the sky during sunset.
Their lips touched.
Even though Ai Hui’s lips were covered by a layer of bandages, he could still feel the tenderness and warmth of Shi Xueman’s lips clearly. He was breathing erratically into the layer of bandages that covered his face and his face was burning all of a sudden.
His entire body was frozen. He widened his eyes and looked at Shi Xueman’s cute eyelashes that were flickering like water ripples.
She opened her eyes.
Their eyes met each other. Time seemed to stop at this moment.
Shi Xueman’s limpid eyes contained a tinge of shyness and water-like gentleness that came along with a determination that made one feel sorry for her.
Their lips separated. Shi Xueman sat up straight. The blush on her face had yet to disappear, looking like a sunset glow that refused to leave the sky.
"You have to survive," Ai Hui blurted out.
Shi Xueman somehow became cheerful. Even the snowy weather looked adorable to her at this point of time. She gave Ai Hui a wink as her lips curled into a sly smile, "Of course I have to survive, someone still owes me eighty million yuan."
Ai Hui’s mind, which had just regained its senses, was dealt a huge blow all of sudden. He was utterly shocked. He stuttered incoherently, "You, you, you… are Eighty Million Yuan…"
Shi Xueman stretched her back and loosened up her body. She propped her hands against the rocks to push herself up and pulled out her Cirrus from the rock behind her.
When she turned around and saw Ai Hui’s flabbergasted look, a naughty thought arose in her mind. She then did something extremely daring.
She squatted down beside Ai Hui and used her index finger to lift up his chin that was covered with bandages. She winked her eyes at Ai Hui’s stunned face and said, "I have kept this secret for a very long time."
After she finished her sentence, she stood up and straightened out her armor. Following which, she jumped down from cliff. Like a huge, nimble bird, she flew and disappeared into the drifting snow. A carefree voice resounded through the air from far away, "I am leaving."
All Ai Hui could see was drifting snow. He couldn’t see the beautiful figure of Shi Xueman at all.
He was stunned for quite a while before he could react.
An indescribable melancholy engulfed his heart. Then, he returned to his senses and cried, "Hey, hey, hey, how do I get down? How can you ditch me after you have your way with me? Ungrateful woman! Quickly, bring me down..."
Filled with uncertainty, Ai Hui thought he heard a chime-like laughter resounding through the drifting snow.
The mountain ridge was covered entirely by snow.
Nangong Wulian stood on the flight of stairs with his head lowered. An authoritative voice came from above him.
"How is the progress of Heavenly God? If I remember, the project has been ongoing for nearly twenty years, right?"
Today was the first time Holy Emperor had shown himself since the day An Muda walked across the sky and created the elemental energy storm.
Being summoned by Holy Emperor at this point of time naturally made him feel worried. He had followed Holy Emperor for a very long time, even longer than Bei Shuisheng. However, he had never dared to exploit this fact in front of Holy Emperor before.
Even though Bei Shuisheng might appear arrogant and domineering to some, he was very loyal to Holy Emperor.
When Bei Shuisheng was a child, his life was saved by Holy Emperor. As his life was full of trouble and misfortunes, Holy Emperor had always taken pity on him and took good care of him. Sometimes, Nangong Wulian felt that both of them were like father and son.
It was extremely rare to see Holy Emperor in such a relationship, as he was an individual that was completely devoid of all emotions.
When Nangong Wulian’s superior, Master Shao, escaped from Blood of God, it was mainly due to Holy Emperor’s support that allowed him to become the palace master of Beast Venom Temple. Nangong Wulian was fully aware that he wasn’t really talented. He was chosen by His Majesty only because he was obedient.
After he took over the position of palace master, he did not dare to slack off and was always cautious and conscientious. Finally, he was able to get His Majesty’s approval and even the name of the palace was changed to Beast Venom Temple.
No matter how arrogant and despotic he was, he would do anything that His Majesty instructed with prudence.
But ever since God Nation was established, His Majesty seldom summoned for him specifically.
Upon hearing Holy Emperor’s words, Nangong Wulian heaved a sigh of relief in his heart. Without changing his facial expression, he bowed and reported with utter respect, "I was about to report this issue to Your Majesty. Before Master Shao left, he destroyed almost all the information about Heavenly God. Luckily, we were able to find some remnants of his experiment reports. According to these remnant reports, God Puppet Palace was just starting on the project of Heavenly God. At that point of time, Master Shao had merely completed the design plan for Heavenly God and had yet to implement it…"
"I don’t want to hear about these insignificant details. Let me ask you, how is the progress now?" Holy Emperor interrupted Nangong Wulian impatiently.
Nangong Wulian hurriedly replied, "There is progress, there is progress. Previously, I have been trying to restore the project, but the progress is very slow. It wasn’t until the birth of Red Devil, and his feat of enduring through an unprecedented level of blood refinement, that things started to change for the better. I have recorded all the changes in the entire process and finally came up with the structure of Heart of God. Thanks to the great blessing from Your Majesty, the first Heart of God has been completed! I was about to present it to Your Majesty."
"Oh? I want to see it," Holy Emperor looked slightly interested.
Nangong Wulian hurriedly ordered one of the guards to bring it over. Very soon, a transparent ice coffin was brought in.
When the ice coffin was placed on the ground, the temperature of the palace hall suddenly decreased, making everyone feel as if winter had arrived. The ice coffin was filled with a transparent, red-colored liquid that resembled blood. Within the red liquid, there was a heart that was palpitating slowly. There were a lot of tentacles that were of different lengths growing out of the heart, making it look like a jellyfish swimming in a pool of blood.
Thump, thump, thump.
The faintly discernible sound of the heart beating echoed in everyone’s minds.
The facial expressions of all the guards present changed drastically. They stared at the ice coffin with a terrified look on their faces.
Holy Emperor let out a gasp of surprise, releasing a pressurizing aura throughout the palace hall. Everyone felt suffocated in that instant. Nangong Wulian felt the most pressure. He could not help but bend his back and bow down. His Majesty’s gaze pierced through him like a sharp sword.
"Not bad, this is an extraordinary object."
Holy Emperor’s voice expressed approval.
Nangong Wulian heaved a sigh of relief. Only a short amount of time had passed and his back was already drenched in sweat. Nowadays, Holy Emperor was authoritative and imposing. He was truly unpredictable.
"It’s all thanks to Your Majesty’s wisdom. Everyone in Beast Venom Temple and I will not dare to claim the credit for ourselves."
"What’s yours will be yours. Do you think I will deny you of your credit?" Holy Emperor seemed to be smiling. Clearly, he was in a good mood. Then, he continued, "All of your subordinates will be rewarded."
Nangong Wulian immediately kneeled down and thanked Holy Emperor, "Thank you, Your Majesty!"
"Who do you intend to use the first Heart of God on?" Holy Emperor changed the topic.
"Ordinary individuals will not be able to bear the might of Heart of God. Right now, I am looking for people who have an outstanding body constitution. Your Majesty, do you have any suggestions?" Nangong Wulian asked.
"Use it on Ye Baiyi then," Holy Emperor replied plainly.
Nangong Wulian was overwhelmed with shock.
He’d already anticipated that His Majesty had a candidate but he didn’t expect it to be Ye Baiyi. In God Nation, Ye Baiyi was of the same rank as him… Could it be that the situation on the front line had worsened?
His Majesty was unhappy with Ye Baiyi? However, if he was unhappy with Ye Baiyi, why would he use such an important object on him? Even so, it also did not seem like His Majesty was was rewarding Ye Baiyi. Heart of God was still in the development stage. It had never been planted into a human body and its effects were unpredictable. Even Nangong Wulian, who was its creator, was unsure of its effects.
Nangong Wulian did not know what His Majesty’s attitude towards Ye Baiyi was.
He did not dare to interrupt His Majesty.
Holy Emperor continued to speak, looking as if he was talking to himself, "Ye Bai is severely injured and his life is in danger. Reasonably speaking, he has done a meritorious service by taking down the Wall of North Sea. However, he has failed to seize Shi Beihai and the God-subduing Peaks. He himself is severely injured and our army has sustained heavy losses. I don’t know whether I should reward him or punish him. It will have to depend on his fate then."
Nangong Wulian seemed to understand what the Holy Emperor meant and replied softly, "Understood."
"Do you still remember Master Shao?" Holy Emperor suddenly asked.
Nangong Wulian did not quite understand what was going on and replied, "I still remember him."
"That’s right, you should remember him since you were his subordinate for over ten years. Even though you were not highly valued by him, you worked for him the longest," Holy Emperor sounded as if he was reminiscing about the past. Suddenly, his voice turned cold, "Master Shao has re-appeared recently."
Nangong Wulian felt as if his mind was struck by a lightning bolt. He began to stammer incoherently, "Master… Master Shao appeared…"
"Do you want to guess where he has gone to?" Holy Emperor chuckled.
"Where has Master Shao gone to?" Nangong Wulian was at a loss.
"Haha, he has gone to the Assembly of Patriarchs," Holy Emperor replied with a sinister laugh.
His laughter was piercingly cold. However, this could not be compared to the shock Nangong Wulian received when he heard the three words "Assembly of Patriarchs". With a blank look on his face, he muttered, "Assembly of Patriarchs…"
Holy Emperor stopped laughing and he returned to his usual self. Then, he asked casually, "Are you thinking about the master-disciple relationship between you and him?"
"I don’t dare! Traitor Shao deserves to be punished and killed for betraying Your Majesty! Please let me take on the task of capturing this traitor!" Nangong Wulian was terrified.
"Capture him?" Holy Emperor chuckled and shook his head. Following which, his facial expression turned cold and he continued, "No, why should I capture him? I want to see what shady business Master Shao and the Assembly of Patriarchs are up to! I also want to know why Master Shao wants to betray me. I can swear that I have never mistreated him before!"
"Master Shao, Master Shao… Is it because you have something to tell me and that’s why you haven't died?" Holy Emperor muttered, looking as if he was smiling.
Nangong Wulian’s face turned pale-white as a cold shiver went down his spine.