Yun Che was going to meet the Ice Phoenix divine being immediately after his return to the Snow Song Realm, but Xia Qingyue had dragged him away right after he sent off the realm kings who came to visit after hearing of his arrival.
With Xia Qingyue’s power, it would take her only half a day’s time to fly back to the Moon God Realm, but since she had to carry a burden named Yun Che with her, the process took a lot longer than usual.
Inside an average-sized profound ark cutting through space like a ray of moonlight, Xia Qingyue and Yun Che stood alone with only each other as company.
Although the Moon God Realm no longer had the Vanishing Moon Celestial Palace, they still had plenty of high grade profound arks and profound ships. Of course, they were much slower and more fragile compared to the Vanishing Moon Celestial Palace, but Xia Qingyue showed no intentions of taking it back from Yun Che thus far.
“What are you planning to do with me, Qingyue?” asked Yun Che while admiring Xia Qingyue’s flawless back. “Last time you left without saying a word, and this time you dragged me away with you by force. You women are so strange, I swear. Anyways… there’s nothing to worry about. If the worst case scenario is inevitable, I’ll ask Senior Jie Yuan to protect the Moon God Realm.”
“That’s not it,” replied Xia Qingyue softly.
“You’re… not going to show off to me your imperial might when we reach the Moon God Realm, are you?”
“We’re not heading to the Moon God Realm.”
“Huh?” Yun Che raised an eyebrow. “Where are we going then?”
Xia Qingyue slowly turned around to face Yun Che. The lighting inside the profound ark was a little poor, but she seemed to glow on her own like she was bathed in moonlight. She was so beautiful that it was almost disturbing.
Instead of answering Yun Che’s question, she said, “So, you did die three years ago.”
“Did Master tell you?” asked Yun Che after a moment of surprise.
“Mn. She told me a lot of things, including your relationship with the Heavenly Slaughter Star God.” Xia Qingyue’s eyes twirled slightly. “Since the news that you bear the divine power of the Heretic God has broken out, many people figured out that your relationship with the Heavenly Slaughter Star God might not be as simple as it seemed. After all, she was the one who had gotten the Heretic God’s Indestructible Blood at the Southern Divine Region before vanishing for eight years straight.”
“Moreover, you surprised everyone by going to Star God Realm at the end of the Profound God Convention. It would be harder not to suspect that your relationship with her was anything but normal.”
Yun Che curled his lips a little. “Strange. Master is a cold-natured, asocial, and distrustful person. Why would she trust you so much? Not only did she tell you all that, she even let you to take me out without any hesitation… When did you get so close with each other? Did you visit Master frequently during the past few years?”
“No. Not only are we not close with each other, we have barely met each other a couple of times. In fact, the two of us only met once before you returned to the Snow Song Realm.”
That time, Mu Xuanyin had slipped into the Moon God Realm and questioned her about Yun Che’s whereabouts after she had left Yun Che behind at the Dragon God Realm.
“Why would my master trust you this much?” Yun Che couldn’t understand this, and he was probably the closest person to Mu Xuanyin.
“I suppose it’s due to woman’s intuition,” answered Xia Qingyue.
Yun Che, “...?”
“There’s one thing about the Heavenly Slaughter Star God that you probably didn’t know.” Xia Qingyue said quietly, “When you and I had fallen into Qianye Ying’er’s hands at the God Realm of Absolute Beginning back then, the reason we were able to escape is all thanks to the Heavenly Slaughter Star God and the Heavenly Wolf Star God. They were the ones who stopped her while we ran.”
“!!” Yun Che’s eyes grew focused when he heard this.
“She probably noticed something with her spiritual perception. That was why she had followed behind Qianye and Gu Zhu. It looks like she cares about you a lot. No wonder you went to see her even though you knew you would die in the Star God Realm as a result.”
“...” Yun Che’s heart sank when he thought of Jasmine, but when he recalled that she was still alive and well, not even the “Evil Infant” could cast a shadow in his heart.
“Also, I think you remember that Qianye wasn’t the only one who was chasing after us back then. There was also an old man in gray who was as powerful as any Brahma God of the Brahma Monarch God Realm. The Heavenly Slaughter and Heavenly Wolf were the ones who had stopped Qianye, but your master… was the one who had stopped that old man.”
“What!?” Yun Che was shocked once more.
He had blacked out because the torture was too much for him, so he hadn’t seen Jasmine, Caizhi, or the mysterious blue figure.
“She had sealed away her aura using ice profound energy and avoided using any profound art when fighting against that old man, but her concealment clearly isn’t foolproof. This means that she risked losing the Snow Song Realm just to save you back then.” Xia Qingyue shot a glance at Yun Che’s face before continuing, “Unfortunately, Qianye and that old man must know that the mysterious culprit who had impeded them back then was her by now.”
“...” Yun Che couldn’t say anything for a long time.
“Heh! You died a tragic but satisfying death for love! No one could say that you have failed the Heavenly Slaughter Star God! But… did you ever wonder how many people sacrificed their heart’s blood just to keep you alive at the Dragon God Realm? Did you know that they even went so far as to risk the future of their entire star realms? You did, but you went ahead to your death anyway…”
“Tell me, who else except the Heavenly Slaughter Star God did you do right by?”
He recalled Mu Xuanyin’s fury when he had returned to the Snow Song Realm. His emotions were a jumbled mess right now.
“She treats you very well,” said Xia Qingyue.
“Ah… Mn!” Yun Che came back to earth and nodded strongly, “Master has always treated me very well.”
“I can’t remember a single master who treated their disciple this well even though I have the entire history of the Moon God Realm in my head. No one has ever gone so far as to risk even the star realm they ruled.” She looked at Yun Che and asked quietly, “You and Senior Mu are just master and disciple, aren’t you?”
“Well… of course.” Yun Che loved staring into Xia Qingyue’s eyes, but this time he broke eye contact with her somewhat guiltily and looked outside. “Qingyue, you still haven’t told me where you’re taking me, and what you’re planning to do.”
Xia Qingyue stopped prodding and held her hands together slightly. “I’ll tell you later, but answer my question first… and you best be honest with me.”
“What is it?”
“You…” Xia Qingyue paused for a second before parting her soft lips, “can control darkness profound energy, can’t you?”
“... !!” Yun Che abruptly turned back to stare at her in astonishment.
“You may relax. Remember that neither you nor I were born in the God Realm. Our aversion for darkness profound energy isn’t nearly as strong as the denizens here,” said Xia Qingyue indifferently.
Yun Che’s first reaction was to deny this completely, but he couldn’t force the words out of his throat as he stared into her eyes and listened to her words. He exclaimed in astonishment, “How did you know… did Master tell you about this?”
“No! Impossible! Master would never tell you this.”
“Oh?” This time, it was Xia Qingyue who was surprised. “So Senior Mu knows about this as well.”
Yun Che, “...”
“I thought so. You do have darkness profound energy in you.” Although she was almost certain that Yun Che possessed darkness profound energy since a long while ago, this confirmation still filled her with complicated feelings.
She was a lower realm denizen, so her aversion for darkness profound energy wasn’t as deep as a local, but the common sense here and the memories of the Moon God Emperors before her still informed her more than she wanted to just how hated a “devil person” was in the God Realm.
“How did you know?” Yun Che asked with his eyes wide open. He had only used darkness profound energy twice in the past few years; once when he was spotted by Mu Xuanyin while he was repairing the darkness barrier in the world of darkness, and once more when Jie Yuan had asked him to show her proof of his darkness profound energy.
Besides that, he had controlled his darkness profound energy perfectly. Not even accidental leakage was a possibility.
Jie Yuan couldn’t possibly have told her, could she?
“A month ago at the Eternal Heaven God Realm, I had sensed some restlessness from you multiple times while you were purifying Qianye Fantian’s Evil Infant devilish energy. At the time, you told me that you were planning to poison him. Now that I think of it, you were planning to poison him using the Sky Poison Pearl, weren’t you?”
“What does that have to do with my darkness profound energy?” Yun Che grew even more confused.
“At the time, you let something slip.” Xia Qingyue shot him a glance before saying, “You had said that you could hide the ‘poison’ inside his devilish aura without him noticing at all. You may not realize this, but this implies that you are able to control darkness devilish energy to a certain extent.”
“This means that you are capable of utilizing darkness profound energy! Not only that, the level of darkness profound energy you can control should be quite high.”
“...” Yun Che was completely and utterly dumbfounded by her explanation. “That… that’s it? Is that it?”
“Isn’t that enough?” Xia Qingyue countered while shooting a sidelong glance at him.
“I’m not talking about that.” Both Yun Che’s eyes and mouth were twitching uncontrollably. “It was a completely offhand comment! I wouldn’t even remember it now if you hadn’t mentioned it! But somehow you were able to guess from this that I have darkness profound energy in me? I… I… No, seriously, don’t you think you’re a little too sensitive!?”
“I’m not overly sensitive, you’re the one who’s too casual.” But Xia Qingyue shook her head slightly and said, “No, maybe you were defenseless because of me.”
“Why should I put my guard up in front of you!? You may be the Moon God Emperor to everyone else, but you will always be my official wife Xia Qingyue! Besides, you’re the only ‘old friend’ I have in the entire God Realm. Why in the world should I speak or act cautiously around you?”
Yun Che suddenly erupted with indignity.
Xia Qingyue replied indifferently, “Have you forgotten? We were already…”
“Tch!” Yun Che curled his lips and cut off Xia Qingyue with a derisive snort. “Going to bring up our torn marriage contract again, aren’t you? I’m telling you it’s useless! Our marriage record is still preserved nicely at Floating Cloud City, and our wedding witnesses are alive and well.”
“According to the laws of Floating Cloud City, you and I are husband and wife unless I’ve divorced you, or if you bring proof of my failure to fulfill my husbandly responsibilities to the court and sit through a convoluted marriage cancellation process! Otherwise, we’ll always be husband and wife! You think tearing up a marriage contract counts as an official cancellation of marriage? Hmph! The new god emperor of the Moon God Realm is so childish.”
“...” Xia Qingyue couldn’t say anything for a while.
“Speaking of which, it’s your job as a wife to fill your head with wifely responsibilities and romance when you’re speaking to your husband, but you—”
“That’s enough. Let’s talk business, shall we?” interrupted Xia Qingyue in a soft tone that somehow sounded both cool and gentle at once.
Yun Che “obediently” stopped his rant and shot her a quiet glance.
Xia Qingyue’s change was so great that he could lose himself in thought.
Xia Qingyue had always had a cool temperament, but even before they had gotten married, or when they had encountered each other for the first time at the God Realm, she was still capable of guilt and bewilderment when she had kidnapped him on the Vanishing Moon Celestial Palace, shame and anger when he had taken advantage of her, fear and panic when Qianye was hunting them down, hatred and even tears...
But now, it was as if her mind had been tempered by several thousands, no, tens of thousands of years of time. She was so cool and calm today that it was almost scary.
Not only was she shockingly meticulous, she hadn’t reacted visibly or invisibly to his words at all. All she said was, “That’s enough. Let’s talk business, shall we?”...
“What I’m about to make you do is related to your ‘darkness profound energy’. It would’ve been worth trying even if you had no darkness profound energy, but the success rate of my plans would’ve gone down by a lot. It’s good that the best case scenario is available,” said Xia Qingyue.
Knocked down a peg by a soft reprimand, Yun Che had no choice but to cool himself down and talk business, “What exactly are we trying to do?”
“We’re looking for a protective talisman for you.” Xia Qingyue’s voice was as gentle as the wind as usual. “Right now, you’re still in great danger.”
Yun Che absolutely didn’t agree with her statement, however. He frowned and said, “Qingyue, this may sound a lot like boasting, but I’m pretty sure I’m the safest person in the entire God Realm right now, am I not?”
Yun Che wasn’t boasting in the slightest. Jie Yuan’s arrival had changed the laws of survival in this world completely, and all those who once stood at the top of the food chain had no choice but to curry favor with Yun Che to live in peace.
Even if those devil gods returned and slaughtered every living being in the entire world, Yun Che would still be safe and sound. It wasn’t even about his Heretic God divine power. His life was tied to Hong’er, and Jie Yuan would never allow those devil gods to hurt a hair on him.
Talisman? Was there a stronger talisman than Jie Yuan in the entire world?