Chapter 720 – The Avenue of Blood (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
(TN: Way of Choices will be on break from December 25th, 2017 – January 7, 2018)
"I have no suggestions, but I have an explanation."
Zhou Tong gasped for a few breaths of air, then continued, "My explanations have no meaning to anybody else, but I think that you are different. After all, both of our situations have been rather similar in these past few years. My so-called betrayal was out of fear and self-defense, while you have done many things for similar reasons."
This referred to how Mo Yu had kept the Divine Empress in the dark and obeyed the wishes of the Pope, secretly arranging for Chen Changsheng to enter the Orthodox Academy.
Mo Yu shook her head and refuted, "My fear and self-defense that arose from the world after the Empress have nothing to do with the Empress."
"No matter what you say, in my view, since the Empress had never once cared about our eventual fates, why did we have to live for her sake? On that night, Chen Changsheng came to the alley of the Northern Military Department to kill me and I nearly died, but what did the Empress do?"
Zhou Tong jeered, "She simply didn't care about my circumstances, only about how she could acknowledge her son. It's pity that she went blind, even mistaking someone else for her own son."
As he sneered, his black and purple gums contrasting with his pale face presented a ghastly sight.
Mo Yu somewhat proudly said, "The Empress cared about me; she had me and Yourong leave the capital beforehand."
Zhou Tong fell silent for quite some time, then suddenly said, "You don't actually think that since you've poisoned me, you can just easily kill me?"
Mo Yu gave no explanation, only declared, "I will kill you."
"The greatest difficulty stands before you: you are simply too young."
Zhou Tong expounded, "To be young means that you have not accumulated enough years. No matter how talented you are, there isn't enough to bring your cultivation level too high. Moreover, your patience is poor. You should have appeared a bit later, letting the poison in my body dig deeper. In addition, you should not have chosen this place. This place is my home, and to kill someone in their home is always a more challenging task."
To the vast majority of people, their home was the place they were most familiar with, their final fort, their true home court.
Zhou Tong had placed all his treasures and his most precious serenity in this small courtyard, so he had naturally made the appropriate arrangements, installing all sorts of mechanisms and arrays here.
As he spoke, the sounds of many gears springing into action could be heard from outside the window. The sunlight coming in from the sky well dimmed as the energies from several powerful arrays sprang from the earth.
Those two precious pills had already been digested into their essence in his stomach. Their medicinal power circulated throughout his body along his meridians and temporarily restrained any further corrosion from the poison, allowing him to gain back a portion of his strength.
The sun in the sky brought no real warmth, and the gentle breeze was somewhat chilly. Together with the arrays, a stench of blood enveloped the courtyard.
Without hesitation, he used his Great Crimson Gown technique. If someone were to observe this sight with their spiritual sense, they would discover that this courtyard was already immersed in a sea of blood.
The Great Crimson Gown was his most powerful technique and had correspondingly vicious demands on his spiritual sense and true essence. Given that he now had two fierce poisons coursing through his body, he was even less able to keep up the technique for long. However, Mo Yu could also not remain in this sea of blood. If she did not want to die together with Zhou Tong, she would have to retreat for a moment.
He just needed to take the chance offered by her temporary retreat to escape this courtyard. As long as he could get to the street, he could preserve his life.
This was the most effective method Zhou Tong had come up with as the shadow of death lingered over him.
The small courtyard seemed very ordinary, but the street on which it sat was home to many extraordinary figures of great importance. This had been one of his considerations when he first chose this place.
What happened next exceeded Zhou Tong's expectations. To be more precise, it exceeded his understanding and knowledge of Mo Yu.
Mo Yu did not leave. She stood next to the door, letting the invisible sea of blood paint her palace dress a most frightening color.
She was very calm and focused, the exhaustion on her face completely supplanted by a deathly stillness.
Starlight twinkled in her dress, penetrating through the blood in a beautiful spectacle.
A slender sword, outwardly delicate yet containing the tribulations of time, pierced through the sea of blood, a condensed stream of starlight.
With a squelch, this delicate sword pierced through Zhou Tong's belly, the edge poking out from his waist, dyed with black blood.
Zhou Tong did not give a wretched yowl or painful howl, only stared at her, his face brimming with incredulous shock.
Mo Yu's sword had pierced through his body.
His sea of blood had also swallowed Mo Yu's spiritual sense.
Let alone the fact that Mo Yu was only at the middle level of Star Condensation, even if she suddenly broke through into the peak of Star Condensation, she still would not be able to leave this sea of blood and this courtyard.
To put it another way, her death was assured.
Why? Zhou Tong very quickly understood: she had never planned on surviving.
He had wanted to use the threat of bringing her down with him to make her retreat, but that was what she had intended in the first place.
Her return to the capital had always been a path to death; she just wanted to bring him along.
Whether they were falling into an abyss or entering the sea of stars, she wanted to bring him along and bring him before the Divine Empress.
Zhou Tong's face became exceptionally pale.
He did not want to die together with her.
This courtyard was still under his control; there were still mechanisms and arrays that he had not activated. He still wanted to put up one last struggle.
However, he did not succeed. His failure was not because of the sword running through his body, but because his body had turned stiff.
A pair of hands fell on his shoulders.
These hands were thin and withered like tree branches. They were white as if they had not seen sunlight for many days. The nails were pointed, long, sharp, and covered in dirt.
It was a pair of wolf claws, their sharp nails digging deep under Zhou Tong's shoulder bones, stabbing holes through which black blood surged out.
Zhou Tong knew that his injuries were about to get even worse. His shoulder bones were already showing signs of cracking.
His body felt an absolute cold, a horrifying fear. He did not dare turn his head to look.
He had already guessed the identity of that person who had appeared behind him as noiselessly as a ghost.
He had seen the cases concerning the people that this person had killed on the snowy plains. He knew that if he turned his head, this person would absolutely bite through his neck.
At the border of life and death, Zhou Tong no longer cared about those two poisons in his body, and squeezed out every last drop of his true essence.
A massive wave rose up in the sea of blood that enveloped the room.
With a howl, he transformed into a bloody streak of light that charged out the door.
With a crack, the delicate sword stabbed through his body was snapped in half by his charge.
That ghostly person behind him had no time to break his neck. There was only the sound of several tears as several gouts of blood shot into the air.
Countless mechanisms activated at once and several arrays displayed their final use, exploding like fireworks. The fake mountains and screen wall of the courtyard were knocked over, followed closely by the house itself. Dust filled the air, the green bamboo became kindling, the flagstones shattered, and even the sunlight seemed to shatter.
Zhou Tong lay collapsed in the remnants of the bamboo.
He immediately pushed at a fake bamboo shoot, causing what remained of the wall to collapse.
He was pushed out of the courtyard by a wave of Qi and heavily fell onto the snow.
His blood-drenched body against the pure white snow produced no beautiful sight, nor did it imbue him with a sense of heroism.
His blood was black and infused with an awful stench as it flowed out of the wound in his belly.
His back was a wretched sight, with his clothes in tatters, his flesh mangled, and ten scratches so deep that one could see bone.
Zhou Tong had lived many years and this was his most miserable hour.
But his eyes brimming with fear and pain finally saw some hope, causing him to feel ecstasy.
He had finally reached the street.
Dust filled the air and stone shards flew everywhere. In a very short amount of time, this small courtyard had become a ruin.
Mo Yu was not surprised by this. She knew that a person like Zhou Tong would assuredly cause a massive ruckus before he died, and this place truly had been his home court. What somewhat surprised her was that there was actually someone able to follow Zhou Tong through the tunnels. Even though she had a detailed map of the tunnels of Zhou Prison, she had never thought about going down there. However, when she saw that this person was Zhexiu, the unexpected became the expected. She knew that this wolf cub was an expert at tracking and concealing, followed by murder.
She and Zhexiu exchanged glances, then walked out of the courtyard. They were both injured, but not too seriously.
Zhou Tong's cultivation level was much higher than Mo Yu's and Zhexiu's. Under normal circumstances, even Mo Yu and Zhexiu together might not have stood a chance.
Mo Yu and Zhexiu were the two people in the world who most wanted Zhou Tong dead, and so they had made ample preparations. Without even speaking with each other, they had both chosen to use poison.
Even under these circumstances, Zhou Tong had survived and escaped the courtyard.
But Mo Yu and Zhexiu were in no rush. Zhou Tong was barely alive and his death was not far.
By the time they walked onto the street, Zhou Tong was just a little way ahead of them.
Zhou Tong had already become a person of blood. Let alone using a movement technique to charge forward, he couldn't even walk very fast, and staggered to and fro as he forged ahead.
Blood constantly dripped onto the snow, its shade so dark as to seem like ink.
Zhexiu had vanished, but the shadows of the street seemed to slightly deform.
Mo Yu arrived behind him, her hair a little disorderly, brushing against her slightly pale face.
She said nothing, but gazed expressionlessly at his back.
She had returned to the capital for the exact purpose of dying together with Zhou Tong. She had not expected to be alive right now.
She did not care if anyone else discovered that she had returned to the capital, did not care if anyone saw.
Zhou Tong knew that she had come, and put his all into walking faster, yet it was impossible.
The snowy street was very quiet, the only sound his panting gasps.
Mo Yu gripped her broken sword and slashed down.
With a plop, Zhou Tong fell to the snow, a wound on his left thigh.
He still did not turn his head. Gasping, he struggled up and continued forward.
On the side of the street was an estate with a cinnabar gate. Sticking up from the corner of the wall was a white banner, somewhat tattered.
With a creak, the gate of this estate opened and a person walked out.
Zhou Tong knew who this estate belonged to. His bloodstained face displayed no change in emotion as he continued forward.
With another flashing sword glow, another wound appeared on his body, and he fell once more into the snow.
A cry of shock rose from the stone steps.
Zhou Tong lay collapsed in the snow, painfully coughing, blood flying everywhere.
After some time, he dragged himself up once more, an anguished wail of some beast bursting from his lips.
Mo Yu was right behind him, hand wielding sword, sword covered in his blood.
He did not turn around, only looked forward, hurriedly and painfully gasping.
The snowy street ahead was deserted, with not a single person in sight, so where did he want to go?