Chu Yang felt so pained, as though a knife was twisting about in his heart .
“From what I know, after the Nine Tribulations have nourished the Heavens, the Nine Tribulations Sword Master would still be alive . And he would stay alive for a few months or even longer before he would mysteriously disappear… What’s up with that?” asked Chu Yang in a low voice .
“After the Nine Tribulations have entered the passage, although their grudge acts as a protective barrier around them, the passage remains unstable . It is necessary to wait for a period of time until they’ve all been baptized by the gales before the blood, flesh and soul of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master would come into use . ” Xue Leihan went on, “Therefore, after the Nine Tribulations Sword Master has killed his brothers, he would still need to wait for some time . ”
There was a bitter smile on Chu Yang’s face . He felt like his heart was being shredded by a knife .
No wonder the Nine Tribulations were rumored to have been used to nourish the Heavens . No wonder every Nine Tribulations Sword Master disappeared mysteriously after the Nine Tribulations Nourishing the Heavens… No wonder!
He himself was the Nine Tribulations Sword Master .
And the very last Nine Tribulations Sword Master, too . Although he didn’t need to make such a decision anymore, he could deeply empathize with the feelings of resignation and helplessness those seven Nine Tribulations Sword Masters had .
As well as the pain and sorrow in their hearts .
They had gone through a lifetime of trials and tribulations with their brothers and come this far, yet they had to make such a cruel decision .
It wasn’t a difficult choice; one could easily decide to sacrifice themselves and fulfill their brothers . Even if they had to bear a bad name, they were still happy to do so .
But the biggest problem laid in… having to destroy their brothers’ bodies and lives with their own hands .
Although they knew very clearly that their brothers would be reborn on the other side and would enjoy great benefits from their sacrifice, they didn’t get to see it with their own eyes after all . And after all, it was with their own hands that the bodies of the brothers whom they had overcome countless difficulties with in their lives were ripped apart!
The cruelest thing was that after killing their brothers, the Nine Tribulations Sword Masters still had to continue living for a period of time before he would be destroyed . How were they supposed to pass this time?
Their hearts had probably been shattered into a million pieces long ago? Yet he still had to hang in there until the time of need of those brothers who hated him with a vengeance . Only then could he offer up everything of his and die in peace .
Who could understand their pain?
Chu Yang tried to imagine going through that himself . If one day, he had to use his own hands to kill Gu Duxing, Dong Wushang, Mo Tianji and the others in the most heartless and cruelest way possible… How would he feel?
If he still had to hang in there for a period of time after killing his brothers…
Chills suddenly ran down Chu Yang’s spine .
“Because the first generation of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master didn’t do so, you sealed him in the Lake of Despair?” asked Chu Yang passively as he forcefully suppressed his churning emotions .
“Yes . That is also a test for the Nine Tribulations Sword Master . ” Xue Leihan did not deny it, admitting to it straightforwardly .
“That test… How many people passed?” Chu Yang closed his eyes . There were tears in his eyes, close to streaming down his cheeks .
“Three . Four others chose the Path of Heartlessness . ” Xue Leihan sighed and said, “Although they had chosen the Path of Heartlessness in the beginning, when it reached the critical moment, they chose to walk the Path of Sentiment instead . ”
Chu Yang let out a tragic laugh . “How can a mere Path of Sentiment or Heartlessness divide human emotions and human nature? And erase them?”
“Indeed . ” Xue Leihan agreed .
“Later on, the Nine Tribulations Sword Masters who had chosen the Path of Heartlessness were full of regrets . ” Xue Leihan continued dispassionately, “They regretted choosing the Path of Heartlessness at the Lake of Despair back then . If they had chosen the Path of Sentiment, then in the long days to come, they could still enjoy a lot more happy times with their brothers . ”
“If it had been me, I would have regretted it too,” said Chu Yang quietly .
He suddenly thought of Wu Juecheng .
Wu Juecheng had never been able to let go of this matter . Even after several tens of thousands of years!
If he knew the truth… was actually like this…
Chu Yang dared to bet his life on it — Once Wu Juecheng knew the truth, the first thing he would do was definitely to slit his own throat in shame!
Chu Yang heaved a sigh in his heart .
Looks like I should just bury this matter within the depths of my heart…
“I want to know the names of each generation of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master . ” Chu Yang took a deep breath and exhaled lightly . He was so overcome with shock that waves of dizziness wracked his brain .
“The first Nine Tribulations Sword Master’s name is Lei Jian! The second’s name is Feng Bao . ” Xue Leihan went on tirelessly, every name coming to him naturally as though etched in his mind, “All these years, I’ve thought of these names frequently . Although I’ve never associated with any of them… They were indeed all good men! Except for the first, of course . ”
“The third Nine Tribulations Sword Master was Meng Cang; the fourth Duan Tian . The fifth was called Yun Dong, the sixth Qin Fang . The seventh Nine Tribulations Sword Master was Lin Zun and the eighth Jun Lie! …”
Xue Leihan spoke with great familiarity . After he listed all eight names, he looked at Chu Yang and spoke in a heavy tone, as though he had not given full expression to his views . “The ninth Nine Tribulations Sword Master’s name is Chu Yang!”
Chu Yang took a deep breath and murmured, “Lei Jian, Feng Bao, Meng Cang, Duan Tian, Yun Dong, Qin Fang, Lin Zun and Jun Lie… Such good men! And great heroes! Commendable!”
Xue Leihan also heaved a long sigh . “I must say, there are innumerous good men in this world . Perhaps in the eyes of many, they are all fools; but it is precisely these fools that can create an everlasting legend! And become the spiritual pillars of the human world since ancient times! While those so-called wise men have all vanished into the long history, unable to even leave their names behind . ”
“Humans are lovable because they are foolish!” Chu Yang said in a low voice .
“Indeed . ” Xue Leihan sighed and asked, “Have you noticed that the names of the nine Nine Tribulations Sword Masters are all in two characters?”
Chu Yang gave him a wry smile . “Of course I did . ”
Xue Leihan said, “However, there is one thing that you did not notice, while I only finally realized after you’ve gotten the Nine Tribulations Sword in your past life . It made me realize deeply just how frightening heaven’s will is . ”
Chu Yang frowned . “Oh? The abnormality is in the names?”
Xue Leihan gave him a slight smile and replied, “Look at the last character of every name in chronological order, starting from the first Nine Tribulations Sword Master, all the way until yours, and see if you discover anything?”
Chu Yang muttered, “The first, Lei Jian’s ‘jian’; the second, Feng Bao’s ‘bao’; the third, Meng Cang’s ‘cang’, the fourth, Duan Tian’s ‘tian’…”
He suddenly jolted in shock . “These four people’s names are exactly ‘The Sword Ruptures the Heavens’?! Then, including me, the latter five…”
He continued with the names . All of a sudden, he was struck dumb into a dazed stupor .
As though a wooden sculpture .
The ones at the back — Yun Dong, Qin Fang, Lin Zun and Jun Lie — after adding his own name Chu Yang, made up exactly ‘The East Reveres the Blazing Sun’!
And when put together, they made up exactly nine characters and one sentence .
Jian, Bao, Cang, Tian, Dong, Fang, Zun, Lie, Yang1 .
“The sword ruptures the Heavens, the East reveres the blazing sun…” As though sleep-talking in a dream, Chu Yang murmured, “What does that mean? ‘The sword ruptures the Heavens, the East reveres the blazing sun’? Or ‘the sword ruptures the East Heavens, so that the blazing sun can be revered’? Or ‘the sword ruptures the east of the Heavens to revere the blazing sun’?”
Xue Leihan gave him a wry smile . “Don’t ask me, I don’t know either . This mystery can only be solved by you in the future . However, the fact that this is a complete sentence and that it signifies something is indisputable . ”
“Well, duh!” Chu Yang retorted unceremoniously, “Of course it signifies something . What’s the point of doing this if it doesn’t?”
Xue Leihan rubbed his nose, only able to offer him a wry smile .
How many tens of thousands of years has it been since someone has scolded me?
This is certainly new . Someone actually dares to insult the Emperor of the Imperial Court to his face now . There’s even saliva sprayed all over my face . And I can’t even lose my temper…
If those few fellows in the Nine Heavens Imperial Court knew, it would probably shock off all the old teeth of that bunch of ancient things that had been around for god knows how many tens of thousands of years!
“There’s nothing else you don’t understand anymore, right?” Xue Leihan snorted .
“There is . ” Chu Yang hurriedly declared, “I want to know, who exactly is the Dharma Supreme?”
“Asking this so directly?” Xue Leihan gazed at him in amusement . “Do you also want me to tell you where the other fragments, other than the fifth, of the Nine Tribulations Sword are? Or should I just directly retrieve them all and give them to you?”
Chu Yang rubbed his nose . “Cough, actually, I don’t mind . I also don’t mind if you don’t tell me . Of course, if you were to tell me everything, all the more I won’t mind . If you directly gift them all to me… Well, to accept your kindness embarrasses me but to refuse it is unmannerly of me . ”
“Get lost!” Xue Leihan blasted him . “Where did you learn to be so thick-skinned? You weren’t like this in your past life . ”
Chu Yang laughed in embarrassment . “Aren’t I more handsome in this life compared to my previous…”
A speechless Xue Leihan rose to his feet . “If there’s nothing else you want to ask, I’m going to leave . I’ll await your arrival in the Nine Heavens Imperial Court . ”
“Wait . ” Chu Yang stopped him hastily . “Didn’t they say that the Nine Tribulations Sword Master has a one-time privilege of being able to freely enter and leave the three Heavens after the heavens and earth have been locked? How come I don’t have it?”
Xue Leihan snorted and replied, “When you’ve found the fifth fragment of the sword, you’ll have one chance to enter and leave at will . You have to come back within three months! This is the only privilege you have; the others will have to wait till you’ve found the sixth fragment to be unlocked . ”
“I see . ” Chu Yang’s mind was set at ease . He looked in the direction of the Wind Thunder Platform miles away, the itch in his heart unbearable .
It would be in his hands soon . Didn’t that mean that he would be able to go down soon?
He thought of Gu Duxing, Mo Tianji, Ao Xieyun and the others, a sense of agitation in his heart . He thought of Tie Butian… and a wave of complex emotions rocked Chu Yang’s heart . He thought of the son that he had never met…
Chu Yang thought of how he had become sworn brothers with his own father, Chu Feiling… Damn it, he had to get his son no matter what . If not, if he were to become sworn brothers with his own son too in ten or twenty-plus years… That would truly be embarrassing beyond belief .
“Nothing else now, right?” Xue Leihan was a little resigned .
“Of course there is . ” Chu Yang asserted very eloquently . “This wine is pretty delicious, why don’t leave it for me? Tell me how to dilute it…”
“You’re eyeing it? And the original concoction at that? The undiluted alcohol paste?” Xue Leihan looked at the thick-skinned fellow in front of him in genuine shock .
“Of course . ” Chu Yang was very upright and self-righteous . “You said that we’re friends, right? Friends share their wealth with each other, what more a mere few cups of wine? What, are you such a petty person? Are you going to give it to me? If you don’t, I’m going to snatch it!”
As he spoke, he started to glare and glower at him, pushing his sleeves up . It looked like he really was prepared to snatch it .
It seemed like this guy completely didn’t take into consideration whether he could actually snatch it successfully or not .
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