In the wilderness, a dead tree stood by a slowly flowing winding river.
Emperor Shun sat on a rock by the river, under the tree. His body was stooping, looking like an old withered tree which had lost its tree heart. Strands of dark mist had been rising from his eyes. He fixed those eyes on the water, on the few foot-long fishes which stayed on the bottom of the river, and stayed motionless.
A golden light had been shining out of his body. That was the light of natural reward power. Every gleam of natural reward light was wrapped in a dense dark mist. The dark mist was generated from the great evil power of Pan Yu's brain, which was a pre-world supreme treasure, and controlled by Yu Huo. Because of Pan Yu's brain, Emperor Shun let Emperor Xun take his place and brought a disastrous thunderstorm to the humankind.
The golden light of natural rewards had been flowing out of his body in streams. Emperor Shun's face was twitching, his eyes filled with pain.
He was trying his best to fight against the power of Pan Yu's brain by consuming his natural reward power that he accumulated over most of his lifetime. Yu Huo was still trapped in the defensive great formation in Priest Mu and Priest Hua' peaceful world, and had no spare energy to control Emperor Shun. Therefore, the evil power inside Emperor Shun's body was shaken slightly. By consuming his natural rewards power, Emperor Shun managed to keep himself half awake and half sleep.
"The non-humankind...Monsters...I wish I could...kill all of you..." Emperor Shun isolated himself from the crowd and crouched in the desolate wilderness, quietly enduring the pain and silently struggling.
He was not only suffering from the evil power of Pan Yu's brain. As his heart was shaken, the seed of devil had sprouted in his heart. He bit his tongue over and over again to stimulate his spirit with an unbearable pain, and to forcibly suppress the devil seed which was roaring inside his heart.
"Devil? I'm a human being, not a devil." Emperor Shun showed a faint, simple, and honest smile on his twitching face. "I'd rather die than become a devil. So, stop murmuring...I'll definitely die before I become a devil!"
Suddenly, a faint man-shaped silhouette flashed across Emperor Shun's forehead. Next, all kinds of desires and emotions were aroused in his heart, growing like weeds. Aside from the Sky Devil, another strong force was quietly generated when Emperor Shun's heart was unbalanced. Emperor Shun snorted in pain, then a stream of blood flew out of his mouth corner.
"Not Pan Yu's brain, not Original Devil...Ah, you..." Emperor Shun closed his eyes while enduring the pain inside him, which was as strong as a boiling lava. "We human beings, how calamitous our life is? Can't we just live peacefully without worry?"
"We, human beings don't have sharp teeth and claws. We walk upright; we can't run as fast as the wild beasts. We don't have wings, so we can't fly. Our eyes can only see what's in front of us, but some wild beasts can look around at the surrounding environments without turning their necks. In forests, we're the best prey that can be attacked from the back so easily."
"We were born so weak. Our life was never easy. We don't have much ambition. Generation after generation, led by the wise ones among us, we just wanted our bloodline to pass on and our culture to continue developing."
"We respect the heaven and earth, gods and ghosts; we worship the souls of our ancestors with reverence...We follow laws and rules; we talk carefully, and work cautiously. With our fragile bodies, we fought against hurricanes, floods, and diseases."
"We don't pursue immoral lives. After we die, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We're created by nature, so we will return to nature after death. We came to the world to appreciate the beauties of this world and to develop our bloodlines, then we would leave with no regrets."
"We're so weak and insignificant, but why won't you leave us alone? Why are you forcing us to start wars, to fight each other? Why do you want us to grow discord? Why do you want our brothers and sisters to become enemies?"
Emperor Shun curled up on the rock, his eyes closed while mumbling to himself, "I am an old man. I have never lived an extravagant life. I have no wild wishes about delicate food; I only drink the cheapest grain liquor. I'm so old, yet you leeched on me, disturbed my soul and body."
"You, have pushed us too far..." Took a deep breath, Emperor Shun squeezed a few words out of his tightly clenched teeth. "We, human beings, are weak indeed, but how can you trample over us? I wish I could pull out my sword and kill every one of you."
An evil voice chuckled inside Emperor Shun's body. That was the voice of Original Devil. "Kill every one of us? Can you still do that? Emperor Shun, just follow your heart. Fall, let yourself fall. Why're you fighting back? Does your skin feel comfortable under coarse clothes? Is steamed brown rice tasty? Is the flavorless grain liquor good? You're still with the old lady in your house, but why don't you look at all those beautiful young human girls who have been waiting for you?"
"You're the human emperor! You should release your desires and emotions. But look at you… You cast all your desires and emotions away from your souls. You made yourself live like a puppet with flesh and blood...Is living such a life fair to yourself?"
Emperor Shun's body twitched intensely. He smiled faintly and responded, "Me living this simple life is fair to all human beings!"
A bright light suddenly shone from the edge of this wild area. Wherever the warm light shone upon, all plants thrived. Abruptly, colorful wild flowers bloomed all over this wild land. When the light landed on the dead tree by Emperor Shun's side, the tree was brought back to life. Leaves grew out from the withered branches, and the tree quickly turned vigorous.
Surrounded by the light, a tall figure slowly moved to Emperor Shun.
It was a godlike man who had a human body and a snake tail, with a xylophone carried on the back and a long ruler held in the left hand. The warm light was emitted from his body. This man with a majestic face moved across the wildland and came to Emperor Shun.
"Shun, I spent quite some time to find you. You do know where to hide!" The man smiled and pressed a hand on Emperor Shun's shoulder. A warm and natural force flooded into Emperor Shun's body. Inside Emperor Shun's body, Original Devil, who had just arisen from Emperor Shun's heart, cursed with extremely nasty languages before the warm force instantly destroyed him.
Next, a faintly audible howl could be heard from Emperor Shun's body. The power of Pan Yu's brain that lingered in his body was suddenly gone, turning strands of grey mist that dissipated in the air.
A strange light sparkled simultaneously on Emperor Shun's forehead, heart, and lower abdomen. Next, three beams of light flew out of his body, flashing into the sky. But, as the snake-tailed man gently wielded the ruler in his left hand, a shrill scream could be heard, and the three light beams were dimmed.
Emperor Shun opened his eyes and blinked, looking at the snake-tailed man. He was stunned.
"You...are back!" Emperor Shun stood up, then solemnly kneeled and kowtowed to the snake-tailed man. "How have you been?"
The man smilingly looked at Emperor Shun, then gently patted his head and responded, "Everything is good...Not only me, but the ones who should be back are also all back. The Praying and Sanctification altar is finished. We should start working."