Chapter 726 - The True Reason
Black Moon Merchant Guild, Seventh Floor.
“Master, it was indeed the Divine Phoenix Ark that had just left Phoenix City. After much investigation, we have confirmed that there are only three people onboard the Divine Phoenix Ark… Yun Che, Feng Hengkong and Princess Snow, Feng Xue’er. They are traveling in the direction of the Blue Wind Nation. If they are truly headed towards Blue Wind Nation, then they will arrive at Blue Wind Imperial City before tomorrow evening.”
“...Can we find out what exactly happened just now?” Zi Ji asked with sunken brows.
“Feng Tianwei is still here, so we do not dare to go closer, but we should be able to acquire all the information before tomorrow.”
Zi Ji let out a long and deep sigh before he continued, “The events that took place this day truly had many twists and turns.”
It could be said that every development that took place over the course of this entire affair was completely out of his expectations. For Zi Ji, who had an extremely good insight and could normally grasp any situation, this was a rather heavy blow.
“Master, this subordinate also has one more thing to report. A century ago, we sent eleven people to infiltrate the Illusory Demon Realm. We had already lost eight of them, but the last three soul imprints just vanished… not more than fifteen minutes ago. It is very likely that their identities have been exposed, and after that, their souls were searched before they were executed.”
“...” Zi Ji lapsed into a heavy silence.
“Master, you actually don’t need to be too concerned over this matter. One hundred years ago, the people we sent to infiltrate the Illusory Demon Realm only brought along seven sound transmission stones with them. One year ago, the news that they transmitted back to us just so happened to be the seventh time they have done so as well. This also means that all seven of the sound transmission stones have been used. So even if they managed to survive, they would be unable to send any more messages back to us. Although they have already lost their lives, at least they have already fulfilled their mission.”
The “sound transmission stone” he was talking about was naturally not the normal sound transmission stones that were commonly used. Instead, it was a special kind of sound transmission stones which could transmit messages over five hundred thousand kilometers; it could be used to send messages from the Illusory Demon Realm back to the Profound Sky Continent. In the entire Profound Sky Continent, only the Four Sacred Grounds who had enormous and incomparable resources possessed these sound transmission stones, and even then, there were still an extremely small amount of them in existence.
“...Before this, they had been safe and sound for all this while, but it was only recently that they were rooted out one after the other. It looks like something huge must have happened in the Illusory Demon Realm.” Zi Ji said gently, “However, rather than their exposure and survival, what I am even more concerned about is the last piece of news that they had sent back one year ago.”
“One year ago?”
“That report detailed the current status of the Twelve Guardian Families which resided within Demon Imperial City, and when it came to the Yun Family, it was mentioned that the crippled Yun Qinghong had adopted a foster son called ‘Yun Che’...”
Zi Ji’s words stopped here. The blue-clothed man beside Zi Ji immediately furrowed his brows as he responded with a voice filled with doubt and suspicion, “Could it be that Master believes that this foster child has something to do with Yun Che? It should only be a coincidence that their names sound similar. After all…”
“At that time, I hadn’t even paid any notice to this fact, but now….”
Zi Ji did not continue speaking. In his mind appeared an image that he had seen within the Profound Imagery Stone; one of two wings spread wide open at daybreak… and also the turbulent green-colored storm that had gathered beneath those wings.
And also… the Yun Che who had managed to return alive.
“Master, could it be that….”
Zi Ji faintly shook his head and refused to make any further comment. But after that, his tone changed as he spoke in a rather gloomy manner, “A century ago, when we were attacking Demon Imperial City, we were not the only ones who took advantage of the chaos to send in an infiltration squad… Mighty Heavenly Sword Region did so as well. I wonder if they have also finished using all of their sound transmission stones…”
Divine Phoenix Ark; it was the highest-grade profound ark possessed by the Divine Phoenix Sect, and it was a national symbol of the Divine Phoenix Empire. Its appearance definitely meant that the emperor himself had come.
As the curtain of night began to fall across the sky, the Divine Phoenix Ark had already neared the borders of Divine Phoenix. As it flew past, there was not a single citizen of Divine Phoenix Nation who did not kneel from afar.
The huge Divine Phoenix Ark currently housed only three people. Yun Che, Feng Xue’er and Feng Hengkong whose expression had undergone several changes.
“Royal father said that given the speed of the Divine Phoenix Ark, by this time tomorrow, we should have already reached Blue Wind Imperial City.” Feng Xue’er sat by Yun Che’s side and her body was in very close proximity to his. When she spoke, her face had a rosy color, and it was clear that she was very excited. After all, this was the very first time she had left the Divine Phoenix Nation ever since she was born; she had been dreaming of this day ever since she was a child.
Feng Hengkong’s face uncontrollably twitched as he observed how Feng Xue’er not only lacked the slightest inhibitions towards Yun Che, but she even seemed to naturally draw close to him as she looked at him with a gaze filled with intimacy. However, the only thing Feng Hengkong could do was to silently let out a melancholic sigh… In the few hours they had inside the Divine Phoenix Ark, he had already given the exact same sigh countless of times.
He had naturally protected Feng Xue’er as much as he possibly could; even her own blood brothers were not able to come within three steps of her, much less outsiders. If a disciple within the sect managed to see Feng Xue’er even once, it could be counted as great fortune.
But just like this…
Feng Hengkong extended a hand to grab the top of his head, and his fingers tightened up in such a way that it seemed as if he simply wanted to seize all the hair on his head… He would rather have Yun Che bring about a disaster that would smash the Divine Phoenix Sect to the ground than to see him bring disaster to Feng Xue’er.
“Were you the one who killed Feng Chihuo as well?” Feng Hengkong, who had been grabbing his head, abruptly asked Yun Che a question.
“Yes.” Yun Che did not even hesitate in delivering his succinct reply.
“Haah!” Feng Hengkong did not continue after that; now that things had come to this point, nothing more was left to be said. Right now, he could only hope that Feng Xue’er’s feelings towards Yun Che had not grown to the point where he wouldn’t dare think to.
“I also have a question to ask you.” Yun Che’s eyes locked onto Feng Hengkong’s, “The real reason behind the invasion of Blue Wind Nation… what exactly is it!?”
Feng Hengkong’s entire body stiffened, but he did not reply.
“Royal father, Xue’er wishes to know as well.” Feng Xue’er softly said, “Because the royal father I know is definitely not a cruel and merciless person, so the decision that royal father made three years ago, there must… there must be an extremely special reason for it. Can you… tell Big Brother Yun and I about it? And perhaps after knowing the reason, Big Brother Yun might soften his stance towards my royal father… even if it’s just by a little bit.”
Feng Hengkong’s hand slowly lowered. He had no ability to reject Feng Xue’er’s soft and gentle request, and he had also remembered that Yun Che clearly knew the truth of the Phoenix God’s passing…. He release a feeble sigh before he began to speak, “Four years ago, as our sect’s Spirit Earth Hall began to make preparations for the appearance of the Primordial Profound Ark, we had coincidentally discovered a very faint and weak reaction of a Purple Crystal mine to the extreme east of Blue Wind Nation. Never in our history had we ever recorded such a reaction to a Purple Crystal mine that was located so far away from us. So we secretly dispatched some of Spirit Earth Hall’s protectorates to go investigate this occurrence, and they discovered that a extremely huge and powerful Purple Crystal mine lies deep beneath the lands to the east of a small city that was known as Floating Cloud City… If we were able to extract and refine all the crystals in this mine, we would be able to obtain a whole fifty kilograms of Purple Veined….”
“Ah!” Feng Xue’er let out a cry of surprise. Just the notion of having fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Heaven Crystal was enough shake the heavens… much less having fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal!
Even the Four Great Sacred Grounds would regard fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal as incomparably huge resources.
One must know that it required at least five hundred years for a Sacred Ground to accumulate fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal! So if the Divine Phoenix Sect were able to completely obtain all of these Purple Veined Divine Crystals, it would be equivalent to gaining five centuries worth of accumulation of a Sacred Ground!
This kind of temptation was enough to entice the Divine Phoenix Sect… It was enough to even entice any power that existed within the Profound Sky Continent to go after it at all costs, even if they had to behave unscrupulously!
“So that… was the case!!” Yun Che raised his head because Feng Hengkong’s words had cleared up nearly all the suspicions and doubt in his mind.
“Big Brother Yun, did you figure out everything already?” Yun Che’s words caused Feng Xue’er to look at him with a puzzled expression.
“I have more or less understood the gist of it.” Yun Che stood up; his brow furrowed as he stared at Feng Hengkong, “But I’ll let your royal father finish his story.”
Feng Hengkong faintly squeezed his eyes shut before continuing his tale once more, “In the years after our Ancestral Phoenix God had passed away, the ones who were aware of this fact were seized with an intense sense of crisis. Because the moment this matter got out, Divine Phoenix Sect would definitely be suppressed by the Four Great Sacred Grounds… and there was even a possibility that we would be wiped out altogether. So while we fiercely protected the secret that the Phoenix God had already passed away, we were also desperately looking for a method to protect the sect in the event that the secret got exposed… or at the very least, a method to ensure Xue’er’s safety.”
“And the discovery of this gigantic Purple Crystal mine caused great joy to spring up in the hearts of us and our royal father. If we could really obtain fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal, we would be able to birth several supreme powerhouses within a short period of time, and from then on, we would have yet another layer of security.”
“It was… just for this? All of it just for the sake of obtaining the Purple Crystal mine within Blue Wind Nation?” Feng Xue’er was mystified as she shook her head in confusion, “But what does this have to do with royal father’s order to invade Blue Wind Nation… and the terrible and cruel way in which it was conducted!?”
“Of course it was for the sake of keeping everything absolutely confidential, so that the Four Sacred Grounds would not notice what they were really doing.” Yun Che said, but his eyes held a faint glimmer of mockery as well, “At all times, the Four Great Sacred Grounds always have people secretly observing the movements of Divine Phoenix Sect. The existence of this Purple Crystal mine was known only to the few core members of the sect, and it was natural that these very members would be at the heart of any spying on the Divine Phoenix Sect, so no matter how covert their actions were, there was still a huge risk that they would be discovered. The moment the existence of this Purple Crystal mine was exposed, it would no longer belong to Divine Phoenix Sect.”
“So the real motive behind your war with the Blue Wind Nation was to cover your true intentions and divert the attention of the Four Great Sacred Grounds! In order to make this diversion as convincing and realistic as possible, you did not hesitate to slaughter innocents and raze cities. All to make it seem as if you were anxious to conquer Blue Wind Nation in the shortest amount of time possible, so that you could give the impression that you were venting your anger on Blue Wind Nation because of the loss of prestige that Divine Phoenix Sect had suffered at my hands during the Seven Nations Ranking Tournament!”
“Yes.” Feng Hengkong said as he nodded with a dull expression on his face.
“All for the sake of fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal? Heh…” Looking at Feng Hengkong’s expression, Yun Che gave a cold laugh, “Looking at you right now, it seems like you believe that you have done nothing wrong?”
“To Blue Wind Nation, we should indeed suffer the wrath of the heaven! But we are the emperor of Divine Phoenix and also the sect master of Divine Phoenix Sect!” Feng Hengkong raised his head to stare directly at Yun Che, “These fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal may just be a huge resource to other people, but to our Divine Phoenix Nation who had lost its ancestral Phoenix God, it was our last sliver of hope! The results of what happened has indeed caused us great regret… but our decision was definitely not wrong!”
“How naive! Did you really think that a meager fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal would be enough to protect your Divine Phoenix Sect once the Phoenix God’s passing was exposed to the world!?” Yun Che coldly asked.
“...At the very least, It would have given us a bit more power to protect Xue’er! As long as we can protect Xue’er for one hundred years, even if our sect was completely obliterated, we would still have boundless hope for what would happen after!” Feng Hengkong yelled back in a low voice.
“Royal father, please stop speaking already!” The moment Feng Xue’er saw Yun Che and Feng Hengkong begin to clash once more, she hurriedly threw herself in the middle of the two of them, “Royal father, no matter what the reason was, causing the death and suffering of so many innocent people is still a grave sin. Xue’er’s Phoenix Soul was awoken with help from Big Brother Yun, and I am already able to protect our Divine Phoenix Sect. Royal father does not need to continue to worry about Xue’er anymore. The only thing Xue’er wants is for royal father and I to make amends for the sins that we have committed, so that we can obtain the forgiveness of Blue Wind Nation and also the forgiveness of the spirit of Lord Phoenix God who rests in heaven.”
“Xue’er…” Feng Hengkong looked at his daughter as his eyes gradually began to mist over.
“Now that I think about it, you instructed Feng Xichen to personally come to Blue Wind Imperial City to deliver the invitation for the Seven Nations Ranking Tournament all those years ago. However, that was all a pretense. The real motive was to use his status as a Divine Phoenix Prince to pick a fight with me over the matter of my bloodline, and from there, to create a reason to start a conflict, correct?” Yun Che said with narrowed eyes.
“Yes.” Feng Hengkong did not even try to deny it.
Yun Che continued to speak, “And once the war had lasted for more than two years and the Four Great Sacred Grounds slackened their watch over you, you began preparations to excavate the Purple Crystal mine. When you were extracting the Purple Crystals, even if it was deep below the ground, there would definitely be a large amount of noise. So the purpose of making that area a training ground and instructing the two hundred thousand troops stationed at Floating Cloud City to pound the earth everyday was to completely conceal what was really going on.”
“...You are completely correct.” Feng Hengkong gave Yun Che a deep and profound look. He had only just revealed the existence of the Purple Crystal mine, yet Yun Che was able to piece together each and every piece of the puzzle flawlessly… that was just how terrifying his mind was.
“So right now, how much have you accomplished in achieving your goal?” Yun Che asked coldly. Never in his life did he imagine that such a huge Purple Crystal mine would be hidden near Floating Cloud City where he had spent more than a decade living in. A Purple Crystal mine that caused the Divine Phoenix Sect to go after it despite the enormous cost; a Purple Crystal mine that even he himself wanted.
The region around Floating Cloud City was vast and barren, and only a few of the lowest-grade profound beasts lived there. If someone had told him that a huge mineral deposit that could produce fifty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal was hidden in the area before, even he would never believe it.
“One hundred percent.”
“ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!?” Feng Hengkong’s words caused Yun Che’s brows to sink deeply.