The palace was as silent as a grave. Many star guards raised their heads in shock, looking at Rock Dragon old man. Some star guards had been transcribing secret texts in this place for almost all their lives; they could perfectly control the muscles of their hands. But at the moment, their fingers twitched slightly, leaving ugly marks on those dragon-skin scrolls, wasting thousands of sheets for no reason.
Human beings were born with all kinds of desire. Power, wealth, territory…However, the fear of death and the thirst for living could generate the ultimate desire of a human being.
Rock dragon old man had lived for many years; he had served at least five human emperors. In his long life, he memorized countless secret texts, learned a wide range of knowledge; you could even see him as a walking thesaurus of the human civilization.
He knew all the secrets of the humankind, even including those deepest, darkest ones. He also knew many secrets about Pan Gu world, which were dug up by generations of human beings with solid efforts.
Rock Dragon old man was way too important to the humankind. He failed to step into the level of Supreme Magi. Therefore, every human emperor would spare no effort to prolong his life. With all kinds of treasure collected from every corner of the world, his life was extended year after year.
However, Rock dragon old man was too old. Unlike Candle Dragon Gui, who was gifted with a long span of life because of his candle dragon bloodline, Rock Dragon old man was only a human being after all. He was stuck at the level of Divine Magus and couldn’t make any progress, no matter how hard he tried. No matter how many life-extending magic medicines he took, his body was still withering as the time passed by. Now, he was already dying.
"I thought that a wise man like you should have seen through life and death already." After a long while, Emperor Shun started talking. He still didn’t want to believe this. "After all, even many of the most ordinary human warriors see it clearly."
Taking a deep breath, Emperor Shun raised his head, looking at the dark-cyan dome, and those light streams pouring down from it, then murmured, "At least, those warriors had no fear of death when they put on armors and raised weapons to face the non-humankind in Chi Ban Mountain."
Shaking his head, Emperor Shun lowered his head, looking at those deeply shocked star guards, and continued, "At least, facing the flood and those water-kind creatures, warriors in our flood-control troops are fighting with their lives."
"They are not as smart as you… Some of them are even silly and confused. For many young people, even learning to write can be a torture in their eyes. They don’t know much, they really don’t."
"But non-humankind beings were killing their parents, raping their sisters, invading their territories passed down from their ancestors through generations. So, they puffed out their chests and risked their own lives to fight those non-humankind beings. Led by Gong Gong, the water-kind raised a flood and attempted to bring down the entire humankind, to enslave us. So, those young warriors stood out again and risked their lives, fighting the enemies."
Shaking his head slightly, Emperor Shun carried on, "Among us, many had no fear of death."
Smiling bitterly, Emperor Shun looked at Rock Dragon old man, and continued with a dry voice, "But I never thought, you, the wisest human being…"
"I am afraid of death… Is this shameful?" Rock Dragon old man smiled. His smile was simple and honest, water-clear, without any hesitation. He had deeply sunken eyes, yet those eyes were pure as the eyes of a newborn baby.
Looking at Rock Dragon old man’s eyes, Ji Hao knew that Rock Dragon old man had ‘figured it out’ already.
He was indeed a wise man. Rock Dragon old man had seen through everything and solved every puzzle. Even though he was wrong, he was determined, with no regrets.
"I am afraid of death, because I have lived too long, and I know too much. I am afraid of death because I understand how to appreciate life and the beauty of the world the most."
"I want to live, so I can see all mountains and oceans in this world; I want to live, so I can watch the sunrise and sunset in every part of the world. I want to live, so I can watch the clouds drifting, the snow falling, the flowers blooming, and the rivers flowing."
"I know too much, and I realized that the more I know, the more I am confused…Emperor Shun, do you know how many types of stones exist in this world? What about bugs? Fishes?"
"This is only one world, Pan Gu world, yet this one world took me so much time to study about it. But with all the time I have spent, I failed to dig up all secrets of this world! Then someone told me that, Pan Gu world was just one of countless worlds in the vast Chaos."
"I want to visit the other worlds. I want to see the flowers, the snowflakes of those worlds. I want to drink wine and read a book under towering trees of those worlds; I want to ramble under the starry skies of those worlds…I want to be with beautiful women in those worlds, then spread my bloodline all over the universe!"
"I can’t stand it… I can’t die. There is so much wonderfulness I have yet to see and live through, so much knowledge I have yet to learn…I can’t become a decayed corpse, a puff of ash…Maybe, thousands of descendants will worship me as their ancestor’s soul after I die. But so what?"
"So, you betrayed me…betrayed the humankind!" Emperor Shun nodded with a bitter smile and responded, "I should have figured it out long ago. You’re the only one who knows so well about the weaknesses of my six treasures and the ‘People and Motherland’ painting, the only one among all human beings! The only one! I just didn’t want to believe it."
Rock Dragon old man calmly looked at Emperor Shun, then slowly stood up from the bronze board. His tangled long hair and beard loosened themselves, wisp by wisp, gently swaying around his body.
"Didn’t you want to believe it?" Rock Dragon old man grinned, quite carelessly and relaxedly, as he said with a bland tone, "Let me do something that might make you believe…"
"It seems that Ying Zun, Se Zun, and Yuu Zun have all failed. Is there any bigger secret about the human emperor that I don’t know yet? But,, this is what you’ve been looking forward to, isn’t it?" He turned around and said to the two young men behind him.
The two young men curved up their mouth corners, nodded and laughed, "Good, let’s see which one of us can have the soul of your emperor!"
Rock Dragon old man chuckled, then clapped his hands loudly. Countless pearls inlaid in the dome suddenly shone with a dazzling light, while a strong wave of power descended. Countless heavily armored warriors showed up all of a sudden.
At least ten-thousand warriors appeared with their eyes sparkling with the five-colored light, gripping sharp blades as they silently launched attacks on Emperor Shun’s warriors and Ji Hao.