Joy of Life - Chapter 531 - A Great Journey[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:41]
Chapter 531: A Great Journey
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
No wonder a Great Grandmaster is a Great Grandmaster. Even when they’re cursing up a storm, they can still manage to curse out a Great Grandmaster from thin air.
Wang Qinian was hidden behind Ren Shao’an, whose face was filled with terror, and habitually made a joke in his mind. His mind began to spin. While no one was paying attention, he silently began to move backward. He and Zong Zhui were equally known as the two wings of the Overwatch Council. When it came to skills relating to escaping and going into hiding, there was no one who could match them. At this moment, everyone’s attention at the top of Dong Mountain was completely focused on the third man in a straw hat that had suddenly appeared. No one would notice if one person disappeared in the crowd.
Wang Qinian thought to himself that this was probably the advantage of being a minor character. Much like Gao Da who had worked hard to save his own life in the middle of the mountain, they had stayed for a long time beside Fan Xian and were not quite the same as the other loyal and filial officials in the world. Survival was the most important thing. Even if the Emperor was about to kick the bucket, they had to survive.
Wang Qinian’s disappearance could escape the notice of everyone in the world, but it could not escape the notice of the Great Grandmasters. However, they were watching each other and the Emperor. They did not spare any thought to watch a dry and nameless old man.
The layers of dark clouds gathered without reason. Hovering in the sky high above the summit of Dong Mountain, they covered a good half of the blazing sunlight. The summit of the mountain was again enveloped in gloom and sea breeze.
The Minister of Rites was a fearful elder. He should have stood out and harshly criticized the despicable assassination scene in front of him. But, he couldn’t say a word. Ren Shao’an, an official of the Taichang Temple, was not old. He should have stood at the Emperor’s side and helped the Emperor block the powerful air of murder coming from within and foreign countries. But, he didn’t dare.
No one dared to move. No one dared to speak. Boundless complicated emotions rose in everyone’s hearts. It was trepidation, fear, excitement, hopelessness, respect, or sorrow.
Too many things had happened on this mountaintop today. Too many major figures had come. It caused the ancient temples in picturesque disorder to begin shaking in the sea breeze. The copper bells on the corner of the eaves rang out to give their greetings to these major figures.
Ye Liuyun, Sigu Jian, and Ku He were three Great Grandmasters that the people of three countries bowed down to. The three Great Grandmasters all lived in various corners of the world. Ku He was an Imperial Advisor in Northern Qi. Sigu Jian protected Dongyi with a single sword. Ye Liuyun floated on the ocean and was difficult to find. In this world, there was not a single person who could make all three of them appear at the same place at the same time. This was a conscientious choice as one at the apex of the mortal world.
However, now, they had come to Dong Mountain for one person: the Emperor of the most powerful country in the world and the person with the greatest power in the world.
At the Emperor’s side stood Eunuch Hong, who had never left the capital.
The Great Grandmasters met on Dong Mountain to assassinate the Qing Emperor.
The peak of martial arts in the mortal world and the peak of power gathered here. Such a miraculous sight had never appeared before in the history of this land. It would never happen again in the endless years to come. Such a sight could usually only exist in people’s imaginations or in the stories of a Northern Qi novel.
The Qing Emperor, who was the target, and the three Great Grandmasters would never forget that in front of the door to the old temple still stood a blind man with a piece of black cloth tied around his eyes.
“Greetings, Your Highness.” The last Great Grandmaster, who had ascended the mountain, also wore hemp clothing. His feet were bare. The hemp cloth pants hung straight to his ankles and did not hide the feet that were not touched by dust or dirt.
The Emperor bowed slightly in greeting. “It’s been a year since I saw you. You seem more energetic.”
Ku He slowly took off the hat on his head and revealed his bald head. An air of calmness exuded from the wrinkles on his forehead. In a quiet voice, he said, “Your Highness also seems very energetic.”
The Emperor had already shaken off his earlier shock. Since Lao Wu and Sigu Jian could be here, then Ku He could be here. He laughed bitterly. He seemed to sigh in admiration that the sister he had purposely spared could be able to create something of such a scale.
“I truly do not understand how Yunrui managed to convince all of you.”
In less than a moment, the bitterness completely disappeared from the Qing Emperor’s smile. Upright and unafraid, he said, “You are not mere mortals. I am a son of heaven and also not a mere mortal. If you kill me, do you have the courage to shoulder the chaos in the world after I die?”
There were no lies in these words. Once the Qing Emperor was assassinated, no matter how the Eldest Princess twisted the situation in Jingdou, Qing Kingdom would take a large hit. The assassination of the Emperor would not just tear a large wound on the hearts of the people. Once the always stable Qing court took such a large hit, if they wanted to maintain internal balance, they would have to find an external avenue of venting their anger.
The Qing Emperor’s calm came from his judgement of the present situation. If he were assassinated on Dong Mountain with the participation by powers of foreign countries, regardless of whether officials in court were loyal or not, under the powerful pressure of a newly passed monarch, they would have to send out troops.
Given the Qing Kingdom’s powerful military strength and bloodthirstiness bred into the people, once they raised the battle flag of vengeance for the Emperor, how could Northern Qi and Dongyi stand against their overflowing murderous rage? Even if the other side had a Great Grandmaster, there was certain to be chaos in the world.
“Once I die, tens of millions of people will die.” The Emperor smiled contemptuously and looked at the three Great Grandmasters. “The three of you have always liked to consider yourselves protectors of the common people. Ku He, you protect Northern Qi. Sigu Jian, you protect Dongyi. However, because of my death, it will cause your people to die, suffer hunger, be humiliated, fall into destitution and lose their homes. They will be unable to take a breather for a hundred years. Is this exchange worth it?”
Ku He smiled slightly. “If Your Highness does not die, will you not send out troops? Will a great battle not happen?”
The Emperor said slowly, “In these 20 years, there has not been a great battle. You all know why that is so.”
Ku He sighed. “Your Highness directs troops like a god. Qing Kingdom grows in power each day. The reason Your Highness pities the millions of common people and has not declared battle is for no other reason than the fact that us old men are still alive. Otherwise, even if you unite the world, it would be one that has been pushed to the edge of breaking. Naturally, Your Highness does not want this result.”
“Correct. I am waiting for you all to grow old, waiting for you all to die.” The Emperor’s eyelids lowered slightly. “I am younger than you, I can wait.”
“We cannot wait anymore.” Ku He sighed again. “Otherwise, after we die, who will maintain peace in the world?”
The Qing Emperor’s sword-like brows gradually knitted together. The small wrinkle between his brows contained a glimmer of coldness and tyranny. “Peace? Only I can give this world peace! Can the three of you, who have no understanding of the times and are savages that only know how to fight and kill, give the people of this world peace and prosperity?”
The Northern Qi Imperial Advisor who had ascended the mountain last smiled warmly and said quietly to the Qing Emperor, “How the history books in a thousand years describe today’s matter on Dong Mountain is not something that we mortals can control. No one in the world can be responsible for the distant future. What we want to see is nothing more than a presently peaceful world.”
Ku He’s palms came together slightly. “We have to at least take responsibility in this world before we are old or die.”
“Thus, I must die?” The Qing Emperor smiled slightly and turned his head to gaze at Ye Liuyun. “Uncle, you are a person of the Qing Kingdom. You float on the ocean and are carefree. If you want me to die, is it also for the peace of the world? Don’t forget, Qing Kingdom has killed countless people in Northern expedition battles. Your Ye family takes up at least 30 percent!”
Without waiting for Ye Liuyun to reply, the Emperor turned to Sigu Jian and smiled coldly. “What about you? A sword-struck man who kills people like mowing down grass, yet you dare to say that you cherish the world? Perhaps you killed everyone in your family for peace in Dongyi?”
In the end, the Qing Emperor looked at Ku He with disdain and said, “Tianyi Dao is very popular among Ascetic Monks, but you monks are not involved in production. You are completely supported by the people. So, what are you? Nothing more than a bunch of vermin.”
“Zhan Mingyue”, The Qing Emperor said coldly. “Don’t think that you can wash all the blood from your hands by shaving your head.”
“Uncle, you are only doing this for the survival of your family. Of course, I had originally planned to kill you here. If you want to kill me, I won’t have any resentment.”
“Sigu Jian, you’ve protected Dongyi for many years. I want to destroy Dongyi, so it is logical that you would come to assassinate me.”
“Ku He, you are the Imperial Advisor to the Emperors. I want to swallow Northern Qi whole. With the benefits there, there is no need to speak of your crude behavior.”
“These three people all have reasons to kill me, as well as the right to kill me, but…” He looked at the three Great Grandmasters, who each had a shocking cultivation, and could no longer hold back in his disdain. “You all have various kinds of agendas up your sleeve. Why squander time in making another excuse to bully the world?”
“Do you think wearing three straw hats and three pieces of hemp clothing makes you common people? Wrong! You have always been strange creatures that shouldn’t exist in this world.” The Qing Emperor stared coldly at the three Great Grandmasters. “Are you worthy to beg for the lives of millions?”
The Qing Emperor gently shook his sleeves and laughed for a long time. The laughter was full of contempt and ridicule. Perhaps he was ridiculing the Great Grandmasters who stood at the peak of the mortal world or himself for the fact that calculations were, in the end, no match for the will of heaven’s feelings of predestination.
“Fine, fine, fine. The way of heaven is never fair. Three ignorant people want to ruin my great plan. In these 20 years, I often ask the heavens why you strange old creatures were not born a thousand, or a hundred, years ago. Why must you be born while I am alive?”
The most powerful middle-aged man in the world suddenly drew back his smile and coldly said, “Now that everyone has arrived, what are you all waiting for?”
Ever since Eunuch Hong had pulled back his aura, the Qing Emperor had stood at his side with his head raised surrounded by the Great Grandmasters. He smiled and talk without fear. How self-confident and spirited was this? If it had been any other noble in the world in his present situation, even if their state of mind remained clear, they would still sink into some kind of difficult-to-endure emotion.
Only the Qing Emperor continued to speak frankly and with composure. Between his eyes and pupils, there was not a glimmer of fear. There was only a calm after the astonishment. After the calm, there was a faint glimmer of melancholy and helplessness.
He coldly talked and asked questions toward each of the three Great Grandmasters. The overly arrogant attitude did not grow any weaker at all in the dangerous situation. His powerful breathing techniques he had used for many years allowed him to naturally exude a ruler’s supreme might, even when surrounded by those who were at the peak of human power.
Given the Qing Emperor’s methods, courage, and determination, there were already signs of a great unification 20 years ago. He had the power to complete this massive task. Since the beginning of Wei Kingdom, there would be another country for 10,000 mornings. The Qing Emperor would become a true collective master of the world.
However, 20 years ago, Qing Kingdom’s plan to unify the world was forced to slow down. In the process of Qing Kingdom taking over from Wei Kingdom and becoming the most powerful and prosperous country in the world, there was a sudden leap in the martial arts’ realms in the mortal world. From 30 years ago, there gradually appeared a few Great Grandmasters in the mortal world. In this history of mankind, there had never appeared such a strange creature who could resist the machinery of a country with one man’s power.
Once such a terrifying Great Grandmaster appeared. Even someone whose nature was as strong as that of the Qing Emperor’s still had to temporarily withdraw the vanguard of their troops to seek a temporary balance on land.
“What else are you waiting for?” The Emperor used a mocking tone to ask once again. “Are the Great Grandmasters also afraid of me? Zhang Mingyue, you have long hidden your tracks and have not come out. Are you worried that this situation on Dong Mountain is a set up by myself and Yunrui?”
The Qing Emperor had the power to hit on one’s thoughts with a single sentence, even if the other person was an unfathomable Great Grandmaster.
Ku He smiled slightly. The top of his head reflected the faint light below the grey clouds. He seemed to have already become one with this part of the summit. In an even voice, he replied, “When all is said and done, Northern Qi and Dongyi are the two places that have been hurt the most by Your Highness and the Eldest Princess these years.”
For such a great opportunity on Dong Mountain, the three Great Grandmasters all wondered whether the Eldest Princess’ suddenly loss of power and the sudden deposition of the Crown Prince was a great conspiracy created by Qing Kingdom. Thus, they had to see true problems within Qing Kingdom.
Everything before them now, Yan Xiaoyi’s rebel army and the changing of commanders right before the battle, already proved all of this.
Something strange was happening on the ocean. The layers of grey clouds above the summit of Dong Mountain grew until they connected to the horizon between the sea and sky. The entire dome of the sky was covered by dark clouds. The day gradually became darker. The rolling and squeezing in the clouds seemed to be very clear, as if some unnamed power was gathering in the changing and struggling layers of cloud.
The wind whistled. There were hidden rumbles of thunder from between the clouds. It was as if they were the pained groans of the heaven and earth. Suddenly, a drop of rain fell.
In the patch of sky where the layers of grey clouds were the thickest, the summit of Dong Mountain had already entered a very mysterious realm. When the first drop of rain fell, it just happened to land on the dragon embroidered in gold thread on the Qing Emperor’s bright yellow dragon robe.
The rain hit the right eye of the coiled dragon. The yellow cloth became darker, making the dragon appear darker and more sorrowful.
The four unusually strong paths to power appeared at the same time on the summit of Dong Mountain enveloped by grey clouds. They interfered with each other, feared each other, clashed with each other, and gradually flowed together and shot straight into the sky. They crossed swords with the thick clouds hiding the might of thunder up in the sky above the summit.
The four paths to power contained real power and were perfectly joined together, entering a mysterious realm. When the first drop of rain landed, it gained control of everything on the summit of Dong Mountain. All the life completely integrated into the realm of truth and power began to lose control of their own spirit.
The officials of Qing Kingdom and the priests of the Temple did not fall to the ground because of the pressure of the terrifying atmosphere. They remained standing except their entire body was frozen without any chance of movement. They were terrified, but their pupils were unable to constrict. They lost control of their bowels, but their urine was unable to wet their clothing. They wanted to scream but were unable to open their mouths.
The long green grass all around the summit fell down like swords, pointing toward the center of the field like they were worshipping the ruler of the mortal world.
The copper bells on the eaves of the temple swayed. However, the metal clapper inside followed the movement harmoniously and did not make any sound. The yellow dirt moved at a speed visible to the naked eye slowly toward the cracks in the stones. It shrunk into a line, a timid and trembling line, hiding from this boundless power.
There was not a single sound. All the sound had been sealed behind a thick protective screen made of truth, power, and fear. The clashing of thunder amongst the layers of cloud and the light sound of rain falling on dirt had all become subtitles. One could see but was unable to hear.
Truth beyond the ninth-level and power beyond the ninth-level. People always wondered what would happen if such power was completely demonstrated. On Dong Mountain, the top aces in the world had taken action at the same time. This wave of might may be faintly surpassed by the boundaries of humankind. It was beginning to move endlessly closer to the nothingness of the way of heaven.
A big wind picked up without sound. Heavy rain fell without anyone hearing a drop.
The rain fell against Master Ku He’s pale old face and was not turned into rain powder by the pure zhenqi in his body. It slid down gently and naturally, wetting the front of his robes, hemp clothing, and bare feet. The gale at the top of the mountain flew his clothing backward while he was like a mountain, calmly standing on the summit welcoming the raging wind and lashing rain. He didn’t purposely try to resist it. He only gently and naturally mixed with the wind and rain.
He was borrowing power from the mountain, wind, and rain to calmly face the extremely Tyrannical zhenqi.
Eunuch Hong held onto the Emperor with one hand. His entire body had straightened and released all of the Tyrannical zhenqi in his body without reserve. His hair and beard expanded and split open the court eunuch’s hat on his head. His clothes danced against the direction of the wind. His entire body exuded a Tyrannical aura that even spirits recoiled from. It seemed he was going crush the mountain, the wind, and the rain.
A wicked light suddenly flashed through Master Ku He’s eyes, a wickedness that was completely at odds with Tianyi Dao’s intentions of peace. He began to chant something, but it was impossible to hear what he was chanting. It caused his body to sway without support in the wind and rain. Not a glimmer of baldness could be seen.
Of the four powers present, only Eunuch Hong had released all his power. His aura shot into the sky, shocking the rainwater around him and the Emperor into a cloud of powder that filled the air and blurred the surroundings.
The Tyrannical way could not be sustained, particularly one that was so earthshaking and in defiance of the natural order. Eunuch Hong’s eyes shone with a strange light like he had become 10 years younger. Was he burning through the essence of his own life to delay these three Great Grandmasters for a moment and give Wu Zhu a chance to save the Emperor?
However, Wu Zhu stood in the rain and allowed it to soak through the black cloth. He didn’t move at all.
He didn’t move but that didn’t mean that he would never move. Thus, Sigu Jian moved like rainwater that had changed directions. He streaked past a black shadow and moved like a spirit to stand between Wu Zhu and the Qing Emperor.
Sigu Jian also didn’t move. He only gathered his power. He lowered his head and the straw hat covered his face. The sky full of rain seemed about to completely swallow the short man wearing hemp clothing.
No wind or rain was powerful enough to be able to swallow the sword he held upside down in his hand.
Wu Zhu glanced at the sword in Sigu Jian’s hand through the black cloth.
The sword continued to glow with an icy light and blood-lust. The storm seemed to suddenly dim for an instant.
Sigu Jian still did not move. The Unreasonable zhenqi in his body began to force its way out through the hundreds of small and large holes in his clothing.
These hundreds of tears were the price this Great Grandmaster paid for killing over a hundred Tiger Guards in one go.
Sigu Jian’s zhenqi was just like essence and shot out from the tears in his clothing. Although there was no noise, looking at the rapid swaying of the clothing near the tears, one could feel it unusually clearly. After these pieces of zhenqi forced their way out of his body, they did not dissolve into the air. They drew a mournful arc and danced around his body..
The rainwater became pieces of blades, dancing soundlessly and completely clear. It appeared incomparably magical.
Wu Zhu slowly lowered his head and turned his hand to grasp the metal drill at his waist as his brows furrowed.
In an instant, the rainwater blades around Sigu Jian’s body danced with more excitement. They severed all life around him and enveloped the entire summit of the mountain in an aura of hopelessness and death.
Sigu Jian had not yet pulled out his sword because he himself was a stupid and stubborn sword.
Ye Liuyun also didn’t pull out his sword because he had already pierced it into the stone precipice at the foot of the mountain. Of the ]Great Grandmaster aces present, only he appeared to be somewhat desolate.
He was a person of the Qing Kingdom. He was the Ye family’s guardian angel. He was referred to as an uncle by the Qing Emperor. He wanted to kill the Emperor of the Qing Kingdom.
His hands that could break gold and snap jade, collapse the clouds, and catch the winds, remained steadily and gently in his sleeves. He still had not brought them out.
Suddenly, Ku He made the first move. He only moved one foot. He only took a light step toward Eunuch Hong’s side.
Eunuch Hong seemed to feel that a mountain was pressing down on him. His brow twitched. The middle finger of his left hand extended out slightly. Leaping out like thunder, his pure Tyrannical zhenqi broke through the other person’s integrated power.
Mountains split.. The rain stopped.
Ku He brought his hands together. The sky full of rain and wind changed directions in an instant, crashing toward Eunuch Hong’s face.
When the rainwater touched Eunuch Hong’s face, it did not leave any marks. However, there seemed to be a few extra lines on Eunuch Hong’s smooth face. He had become a little older.
The rainwater immediately evaporated away. Eunuch Hong once again raised his index finger and pointed it toward the empty space in front of him. Although there was no sound, it forced the rainwater to split. It cracked open the top inch of the stone path, revealing the cowering yellow dirt underneath. Even the yellow dirt could not endure such ruthlessness. Countless particles rolled and twisted together, squeezing out the moist water vapor.
Ku He was like a falling leaf, floating back without touching the rainwater. The piece of stone slab he had stepped on earlier suddenly disappeared. Because of the dryness in the thunderstorm, it revealed a cracked skin like yellow sand.
He felt sympathy in his heart. He knew that this colleague of his that had hidden in the Qing Palace for dozens of years had thoughts of leaving today. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have chosen such a forceful way. This was a powerful Tyrannical zhenqi. For such powerful zhenqi to released, even a Great Grandmaster’s body wouldn’t be able to support it.
However, he floated forward again like a falling leaf, grabbing onto Eunuch Hong’s left hand. Eunuch Hong’s brows rose up. Ku He’s clothing began to move.
The air between the two of them changed endlessly, startling the rain and wind that passed through into becoming calm. There was still not a glimmer of sound.
The rainwater ran down the straw hat and formed a waterfall, covering Sigu Jian’s face. He lowered his head and gently released his fist, letting go of the sword hilt. In the storm, he put two fingers together and pointed it to the horizon in an unknown direction.
He drew a line with his fingers. The storm around him immediately became chaotic. The sword intent swelled.
The long sword slowly slid down from his hand. It stopped in midair and refused to fall further. In a moment, it regained its brilliance. A streak of light pierced through the tip of the sword. The sword intent pointed directly at the ground and then back to the sky. Pressing forward, it could not be stopped.
A bottomless black hole appeared seemingly without reason on the ground.
Wu Zhu lowered his head and gripped the metal drill tightly in a reverse grip. His thumb pressed down on his index finger until the joint turned slightly white.
Ye Liuyun knew he had to take action now. This last attack had to be completed by him. This was the most important part of the deal.
He slowly opened his eyes. His gaze was calm. From inside his sleeves, he extended out his white-like jade hands.
Ye Liuyun activated all of his power. The balance in power was immediately broken. Eunuch Hong’s Tyrannical aura could no longer stand against the combined attacks of three Great Grandmasters. A small tear was immediately made in the mysterious realm.
A small tear on a bubble can destroy everything.
Sound returned to the world.
A muffled boom sounded between Master Ku He and Eunuch Hong. When the two different zhenqi natures had clashed together earlier, the sound had delayed until now. The muffled boom was like thunder, wind, and clouds.
The shoulders of Ku He’s clothing had been completely shattered, revealing a pair of old shoulders filled with bloody marks. His gaze remained calm and peaceful. His hands were still gently wrapped around Eunuch Hong’s right hand. The falling leaf was once again blown by the mountain breeze, floating in a strange but also natural path upward.
The Imperial Advisor’s right hand lay gently on Eunuch Hong’s chest.
Eunuch Hong’s appearance grew even older. His chest suddenly swelled out explosively. It shook off Imperial Advisor Ku He’s gentle and close palm, which contained the power of heaven and earth.
Ku He’s face was pale. He gently pressed on a second palm.
The Emperor sighed and let go of Eunuch Hong’s hand he had been holding. The sigh rang out in the mountaintop that had long been silent. It appeared mournful and peaceful.
“Waves only bloom for a moment. Compared to a rock of a thousand years, there is little difference. It is like this for passing clouds. It is like this for Your Highness.”
Ye Liuyun finished chanting this Buddhist verse expressionlessly and came to stand in front of the Qing Emperor. At this moment, Ku He was with Eunuch Hong, and Wu Zhu was with Sigu Jian. There was no one else left in the world that had the right to stop him from completing the last strike to kill the Emperor.
A flash of lightning in the sky finally arrived at the mountain top. The sound of rain also grew heavier.
The lightning flashed and disappeared. It only provided illumination for an instant. It was truly a lightning moment. It was in this instant that Sigu Jian saw Wu Zhu, across from him, let go with the hand holding the metal drill.
Sigu Jian’s mouth split open in a smile. One of the two fingers placed together stuck out. Rainwater dripped down from the tip. The sword that had been hovering at his side the entire time flew out with a whoosh. It drew a half-circle around his body and pierced straight toward the Qing Emperor’s back.
In front was Ye Liuyun, while Sigu Jian pressed forward from behind, gathering all the zhenqi in his body into one strike. Even a Great Grandmaster would not be able to handle this. Matters had finally reached the final moment.
The Qing Emperor had already let go of Eunuch Hong’s hand. He didn’t want this old eunuch to die in the Grandmaster’s battle because of him. His right hand shook, but his face was calm. He was already prepared to welcome death.
People eventually had to die. Rainwater entered the Emperor’s lips. It had a slightly bitter taste. The dragon on his dragon robe was soaked with rainwater and struggled in the clouds, appearing particularly dissatisfied.
After the flash of lightning, the sound of thunder finally arrived at the top of the mountain. With a crash, loud booms rang out one after another.
The Qing Emperor stood proudly on the mountaintop waiting for death.
The Qing officials and priests had already fallen to the ground in the water. Looking at this heartrending scene, they knelt on the ground and cried, “Your Highness!”