Chapter 768 – A Demon Lord Since Time Immemorial
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Tonight, this sort of sigh had occurred several times.
When Zhu Ye's group had been standing by the lake shore and realized that the master of the Cinnabar Pill was Chen Changsheng, they had given a similar sigh.
In the snowy mountains, when Zhu Ye's feet were cut off by the sound of the zither and he looked up at the stars to await his death, he had given a deep sigh.
Now, when Chen Changsheng saw the middle-aged scholar, he also could not help but sigh.
The gap between the two sides was too vast. Even if he used all his methods and possessed a boundless intelligence, even if he was willing to sacrifice his life, he would find it impossible to reverse the situation.
Of course, he would be reluctant, but would find himself utterly helpless. All his emotions would ultimately intersect and transform into a single sigh.
What shocked and confused Chen Changsheng the most was that everyone said that the abyss was endless, so why was he still alive and standing right in front of him?
As he thought of these things, he shot a silent glance at Hai Di.
From the moment he heard that chilling strum of the zither and turned to look, Hai Di had ceased to move. His gaze remained fixed on the direction from which the sound of the zither had arisen, precisely where the scholar was standing now.
This powerful demon was currently stiff in both body and mind, but Chen Changsheng was very sure that the demon had noticed his glance.
This glance was a question.
'Do you want to work together?'
The humans and demons had fought for many years, both sides suffering grievous casualties and developing the deepest of grudges, especially after the accord between Emperor Taizong and the Demon Lord was torn up one thousand years ago. Except in extreme circumstances, like the unforgettable grudge of the Liang clan after their clan was almost completely exterminated, or the old matter regarding Zhou Dufu, the experts of the two sides had never worked together. When Shang Xingzhou was secretly supervising the coup of the Mausoleum of Books, he had only come to a silent agreement with the powerful figures of Xuelao City that neither side would involve themselves in the other's affairs, but neither side would ever directly borrow the other's strength.
No one could bear such eternal infamy.
But Chen Changsheng would not have to worry about this problem when working together with Hai Di, because the identity of this middle-aged scholar would have the entire continent agree with his plan.
And this alliance was certainly feasible. Hai Di was highly likely to agree to this alliance.
Two years ago, after the rebellion in Xuelao City, the Demon Lord had died and Nanke had disappeared, and countless ministers and members of the Imperial clan loyal to the old government were executed, but Hai Di had survived, and his influence was even greater than before. Now, he was imbued with the weighty authority of the frontlines of the Demon Army. It was an absolute certainty that he had been one of the members of the rebellion.
If he wanted to live past this night, he had to ally himself with Chen Changsheng.
The temptation of killing Chen Changsheng, the Pope of the Human race, was truly enormous, but to Hai Di, killing this scholar was clearly a matter that surpassed everything else in the world.
Hai Di did not return Chen Changsheng's questioning glance. He continued to stare, warily and fearfully, at the scholar, his grip tightening on the broken monolith.
The ruined courtyard was very quiet. Everyone was well aware of what this silence signified.
Nanke's eyes turned colder and colder, the luster of her wings turning darker and darker, and even more enchanting and monstrous.
It was at this point that the middle-aged scholar spoke.
"I'm about to die."
His voice was very ordinary.
An ordinary indifference, an ordinary dignity, an ordinary supremacy—there was nothing special about this voice.
But if one were to carefully examine this man's face, they would notice some very extraordinary aspects.
The scholar's face seemed to be enveloped in an eternal layer of faint darkness.
Countless golden inscriptions seemed to float on the surface on this darkness, and beneath these golden inscriptions were paintings of landscapes. One moment it was a desert, and then a sea. With the arch of his brow or the curve of his lip, waves would rise from the sea, the sand would flow. The landscapes were incomparably lively, yet also abnormally cold and still, because there was not a single person amongst these myriad landscapes.
And when he said that he was about to die, this grand universe greatly dimmed as if all was on the verge of returning to extinction.
Thus, Chen Changsheng knew that he spoke the truth.
He thought of how, many years ago in that room in the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education covered with all sorts of plum blossoms, he had heard Mei Lisha say similar words.
Two years ago, he had heard his martial uncle the Pope also say these words, though he could not remember if it was in the Li Palace or the Orthodox Academy.
He pondered all this, then said to the scholar, "As long as one lives, one must die."
The scholar answered, "The fourth marvelous phrase from the Essay on the Origin of the Dao."
Chen Changsheng did not ask what the first three phrases were, as every person had their own understandings and enlightenments when studying the Daoist Canon. Of course, he would also not be shocked that this scholar had so easily recognized that this phrase was from the Essay on the Origin of the Dao. This was because everyone knew that this person was incredibly well-read, an extraordinary scholar second only to Tungus in Xuelao City.
"But who is truly willing to die? Tianhai, Yin, or those old friends from even earlier—no matter how calm they seemed on the surface, just how could they be willing to deferentially walk into that darkness? I am also unwilling, so I climbed out of that terrifying darkness and came here to meet you."
As he slowly spoke, the darkness covering the scholar's face grew heavier and heavier, increasingly difficult to look at directly.
From his tone, Zhizhi was able to guess at his identity, but she didn't dare believe it, and her voice shook slightly.
"You…just what does Sir want to do?"
"Your father said to me that you didn't like to study, that your personality is foolish and naive. Tonight, I see that this is truly the case."
The middle-aged scholar had a gentle expression, speaking to her like an elder. "Relax; for the sake of your father, I naturally will not make things difficult for you."
Through these words, Zhizhi confirmed this man's identity and was so shocked that she couldn't speak. She subconsciously turned to Chen Changsheng, her eyes bewildered and helpless.
Countless years ago, a mighty Black Frost Dragon was not willing to take the position of Patriarch of the Dragon race and traveled to the distant continent.
In the continent, it met many similarly mighty existences and then died in the Garden of Zhou.
That dragon was her father.
Of those mighty existences, only one had been her father's friend. To put it another way, her father only admired that existence.
With the passing of time, the Great Zhou had gone through several emperors, the Mount Li Sword Sect had gone through three Sect Masters, and even the Tang clan had changed its heads twice. Only that person remained forever seated on the highest point of the Divine Palace. It was such that many people fell under the mistaken assumption that since time immemorial, in the heavens above and the earth below, the Demon race only ever had one…Demon Lord.
Yes, the middle-aged scholar was the Demon Lord.
He was the most powerful and most talented monarch in the history of Xuelao City, His Majesty that all of the Demon race prostrated themselves in worship to, the most feared foe of the Human race.
If not for the fact that countless geniuses had suddenly appeared in the Human race during his reign, the Demon race would have already occupied the entire continent under his leadership.
But whether it was Zhou Dufu, Chen Xuanba, Emperor Taizong, and Wang Zhice a thousand years ago or Tianhai, Yin, and Shang a thousand years after, none of them had been able to truly defeat him.
Confronting those human experts surging forward like the countless stars in the night sky, he still led the demons in the northern reaches of the continent, towering and unbowed, just like the eternal darkness over Xuelao City.
In every aspect, he was the mightiest Demon Lord.
Whether it was since time immemorial, or in the heavens above and earth below.