By the Lake of Death. Chu Yang's tent.
Mo Tian Ji, Gu Du Xing, Ji Mo, Luo Ke Di, Ao Xie Yun, Xie Dan Qiong, Tan Tan, Xie Dan Feng, and Huyan Aobo were all seated.
Their faces brimmed with worry.
Since Mo Tian Ji had guessed what Chu Yang wanted to do, how could he allow him to take the risk? Hence, after he brought the band of brothers down from the mountain, he issued a secret order for everyone to reassemble.
Then, right when night came, he quietly returned to the Heavenly Sword Peak and hid among the snow and ice.
After everyone had seen the odd occurrences in the sky, they then saw Chu Yang jumping into the Lake of Death like a moth flying into the flames!
This scene struck everyone's heart like a hammer!
Ji Mo and Luo Ke Di almost exclaimed loudly in shock but Gu Du Xing and Mo Tian Ji clamped their mouths shut with their hands. The two of them struggled but they did not succeed for long. When they could finally speak, Chu Yang's body had sunk completely into the water.
"What are you doing?" Ji Mo was enraged.
"Why are you stopping me?!" Luo Ke Di almost jumped. "Can you not see that I'm on the verge of jumping inside?"
"A bunch of retards!" Gu Du Xing cursed. "Sit down!"
"That's his own fight!" Mo Tian Ji said slowly as he looked at where Chu Yang had leaped in. "Once he goes down, he won't drown! However, if we go, we'll drown!"
"Why won't he drown?" Luo Ke Di asked as he strained his neck.
"Because his name is Chu Yang! And not a dumb pig like Luo Ke Di!" Mo Tian Ji said coldly.
"All we can do is to trust him and wait for him to resurface here!"
Mo Tian Ji's voice was firm as he said, "If anyone wants to do anything rash and ruin our big brother's plan, you can scram now!"
All of the brothers fell silent.
Tan Tan lowered his head. As he looked at the word 'come' in the air, he sank into deep thought. He did not move for a long time.
Xie Dan Feng accompanied him quietly.
It was noon already.
The surface of the Lake of Death was as clear as a mirror. Not a single wave could be seen.
However, a strange atmosphere hung over them. The air seemed to be vibrating.
Everyone, who had already fallen into deep thought, knew that something was going to happen. In their hearts, an indescribable sensation rose.
It was as if something dangerous was about to come.
It was as if something important was slowly leaving them…
Mo Tian Ji's eyes flew wide open as he looked at the calm water of the Lake of Death. In his heart, he prayed, "Chu Yang! You must… must come back!"
In the sky, a tornado suddenly descended.
Right now, Chu Yang did not make any progress. Other than using all his strength to maintain his clarity as he thought over and over again and doubted himself over and over again, there was nothing else he could do.
In his heart, however, he slowly calmed down.
He clearly knew that everything that had just happened was fake. An illusion!
However, this illusion was so real. He could not escape from him. However, in the end, he was still able to recognize it.
Most importantly, how could he return from this illusion into reality?
Chu Yang panicked for a while as he grabbed wildly about. Then, he forced himself to calm down.
He had already realized what he lacked the most!
His godly soul!
This was a result of him failing to let the sword spirit control his body!
Right now, no matter how dangerous the situation was, he could not escape if his godly soul remained damaged! This was akin to having a destroyed godly soul.
However, he felt joy in his heart. As long they were not dead… it's fine!
"You still refuse to acknowledge your mistake!" An exasperated voice suddenly rang out from his heart.
Chu Yang opened his eyes and looked at the water in front of him. There, a white ray of light appeared and then, an illusory human figure, which seemed to have come from another dimension, appeared before him.
Even when it was right in front of Chu Yang, he could not identify his face.
This illusory human figure seemed to something real.
"Who are you?" Chu Yang asked calmly.
"I…" The shadow chuckled. "It doesn't matter who I am. Importantly, I can bring you out."
"Bring me out?" Chu Yang was shocked. However, he quickly calmed down and said, "What price do I have to pay to get out?"
The illusory figure smiled and said, "You are very smart."
Chu Yang snorted.
"Nonsense, since you are here, you definitely want something from me. There's no such thing as a free lunch!" Chu Yang thought.
"Master of the Nine Tribulations Sword!" The illusory figure sat patiently down in front of Chu Yang. "Do you know what does it mean? How does one become the master of the Nine Tribulations Sword?"
Chu Yang said plainly, "I'm waiting for your explanation."
"Do you know why you can't get out?" The illusory figure said plainly. "The sword spirit must have told you that your godly soul lacks one part. Hence, in this fourth part, both its form and its substance will be destroyed! Is that right?"
Chu Yang was speechless.
"I'm here to tell you that it's wrong!" The figure shouted.
Chu Yang looked up.
"Your godly soul does not lack anything! The sword spirit has just occupied one bit of it and hence, it has lost its own consciousness. However, this part will return one day and hence, it's not lost!"
"Thus, the reason your form and substance are destroyed is not because of your godly soul," said the illusory figure slowly.
"What's the reason then?" Chu Yang asked with a frown.
"It's because… you can't let go!" The illusory figure said with a smile. "If you can let go, you can leave!"
"Let go?" Chu Yang mumbled to himself.
"Master of the Nine Tribulations Sword is a strange being. He cannot be emotionless because if he is, he won't obtain the nine tribulations! He can't gather the major pillars of the Nine Heavens! However, he can't possess emotions too because if he does, he can't cut them off. Likewise, he can't be the Master of the Nine Tribulations Sword!"
The illusory shadow said slowly, "Every single Master of the Nine Tribulations Sword has nine great helpers! One of them masters the sword point, someone else masters the sword spine, someone else masters the sword guard, another one masters the sword tassel, another one masters the sword hilt, another one masters the sword base, another one masters the sword handle, another one masters the sword spirit…"
"Only when all nine of them are present will be the Nine Tribulations Sword be formed! The sword shall control heaven and earth!"
"This is where the Nine Great Clans come from, right?" Chu Yang asked quietly.
"That's right! The existence of the Nine Great Clans is a compensation by the heaven and earth to the nine tribulations!" The figure's voice was very plain and slow.
"As long as the master of the Nine Tribulation Sword exists, he has to lead to the nine tribulations and complete the destiny of the Nine Tribulations Sword!"
"Compensation? Why is it needed?" Chu Yang was shocked.
"This is because they will ultimately be sacrificed!" The figure smiled. "However, the sacrifice of a single person shall earn his clan success for ten thousand years. It's a compensation! An extremely valuable one!"
"They will be sacrificed?" Chu Yang's face turned cold as he chuckled coldly, "Why?"
The shadow smiled and said, "Because the heaven and earth require their sacrifices! Their sacrifices will be your doing!"
"I will be why they sacrifice themselves?" Chu Yang chuckled coldly.
"Yes!" The figure said. "You have already led them into the nine tribulations! Hence, you have to personally deliver them into the Nine Heavens!"
Chu Yang started to chuckle coldly.
"Hence, you have to let go," said the figure. "The nine of them are just your tools! They are not your real brothers! They are tools in your hands and hence, you should use them as you see fit! As long as they create value for you, who cares?"
"Only if you let go can you leave immediately! Furthermore, you will receive the fourth part of the Nine Tribulations Sword! You can then rush into the Upper Three Heavens and establish your hegemony!"
"Abandon your familial ties! Abandon your brotherhood! Abandon love!" The figure said word-by-word. Each word was like a bomb which went off in Chu Yang's heart. "This round of the Nine Tribulations Sword is called 'shattering emotions'.
"Cutting off ties! Shattering your emotions! Letting go of all restraints! Only then can you reach the other side!" The figure's voice turned cold and cruel. "If you can't let it go, if you can't see past it, you will never escape!"
"You have done enough for them!" The shadow said. "You gave them wings to fly. You brought them to their peaks. You will bring ten thousand years of success to their families. You brought them…"
"What they gave me is no less than what I have given them."
Chu Yang interrupted the shadow and said, "I don't want to continue this question! I don't want to discuss it. It doesn't matter who gives more to whom so please, disappear!"
The shadow smiled faintly and said, "But you will regret it!"
"Regret…" Chu Yang smiled faintly and said, "Since you know it all, you should know that I have died once before!"
"So what?" The shadow said. "Right now, you're still alive, and that is what matters!"
"I want to say… actually… in this life, I am content!" Chu Yang said with a smile. "So what if I can never leave? All I would have done is to return what I have taken. Furthermore… I still stand to gain."
The figure smiled and said, "Do you think that your brothers can live just because you refuse to shatter your emotions, submit, and sacrifice yourself for them?"
"The Master of the Nine Tribulations Sword and the other nine tribulations are one entity. Once the master dies, even if the others don't die, their lives will be mediocre and full of problems!" The shadow smiled coldly. "Likewise, they can't live too."
"That's after I die!" Chu Yang said, "As long as I'm alive, I can't let them die! No one, including myself, can hurt them. After I die… none of this matters! This is because I can't see it and hence, I can't do anything."
"For things I can't care about, I shan't bother myself with them. However, as long as I am alive, I won't let them die!"
Chu Yang's voice was soft but he was resolute.
The shadow sighed and said, "If you insist on your way, the destiny of the Nine Tribulations Sword will never be completed. At that time, the Nine Heavens Continent will be reduced to ruins by you. Everyone in this world shall turn to dust!"
He asked seriously, "Will you really disregard the lives of all creations for just a few?"
Chu Yang said plainly, "If I can use the lives of all creations to exchange for their lives, I will do it! However, if I use their lives to exchange for peace under the heavens…"
He rolled his eyes and said coldly, "What do all creations under heavens have to do with me!"
The figure said indignantly, "You!"