Chapter 613 - Illusory Demon’s New Sovereign
Illusory Demon Realm, north of Demon Imperial City, entrance of Golden Crow Lightning Flame Valley.
At this time, the long-silent protective profound formation suddenly flashed with a scarlet-golden light, and following that, it started to slowly and gently rotate as two human figures appeared under the light of the Golden Crow profound formation.
“We’re finally out.” Yun Che deeply inhaled the air that was no longer scorching. It had only been three short months, but it seemed like a lifetime had past.
By his side stood a exquisite and petite girl, who only came up to his shoulder and was swathed in grey robes. She looked only twelve or thirteen years old and had an extremely beautiful face which could overshadow the beauty of the heaven and earth and the luster of the sun and moon. But her look and gaze was completely covered with a limitless cold detachment and it was nearly impossible to detect any trace of emotion that a living being ought to possess. And what was most eye-catching, was a mark of scarlet-golden flames glowing in the middle of her brows.
A Demon Emperor who had awakened his Golden Crow bloodline would have the Golden Crow Imprint appear in between his eyebrows to signify his status. All the former Demon Emperor’s Golden Crow Imprint was a dull golden color and it could be hidden at any time... But the imprint that was in the middle of her eyebrows was an eye-scorching scarlet-golden color that could never concealed.
Because this mark was burning her very life. The moment this mark faded away, it would mean that her life energy had been exhausted.
Her entire aura had undergone an earth-shaking transformation. Originally, her aura made Yun Che felt an unbearably heavy feeling of pressure. But right now, even though she was by his side, just half a step away, when Yun Che tried to use his spiritual perception to sense her, he could not detect her presence at all…
Yun Che vaguely knew what this feeling meant. It meant that the Little Demon Empress by his side had become so strong that she might have already broken through the boundaries of this world… becoming so strong that her strength became illusory.
“To think that not even a single person came here, that’s rather odd.” Yun Che surveyed his surroundings but he did not see the figure of a single person nor did he feel the presence of any living creatures. He gave a heavy sigh and said, “Could it be that something big is happening in Demon Imperial City?”
“Also… Little Demon Empress, which level have you attained in your cultivation of the Golden Crow’s Record of the Burning World?” Yun Che turned his body and asked. Even though the relationship between him and the Little Demon Empress had become completely different from what it used to be, her aura that was nearly non-existent caused him to feel an uncontrollable sense of suffocation when he faced her.
“Third level.” The Little Demon Empress looked straight ahead, her voice as apathetic as still water, and not a single ripple could be detected.
“Oh… I reached the seventh level half a month ago.” Yun Che said in all seriousness, with a dull expression… At the same time, he quickly shot a glance at the Little Demon Empress as he waited for shock and surprise to appear on her face… Mn, or even an expression of admiration.
However, he was left disappointed as there was not even a slight change in the Little Demon Empress’ expression. Her dark and gloomy eyes were still fixed in the direction of Demon Imperial City, unperturbed and emotionless… he did not even receive any form of reply.
Although taking into account the fact that he possessed the super cheat code that was the Heretic God’s bloodline, cultivating to the seventh level of the Golden Crow’s Record of the Burning World within two months was not such a big deal.
“....” After the Little Demon Empress bloodline had been completely awakened and they had exited the Golden Crow Secret Realm, he felt her aura undergo a huge change…. No, this change might have come even earlier than that… Perhaps, it was during the moment she forcefully pushed him to the ground….
For the sake of achieving her vengeance and her desire for power, she seemed to have annihilated herself completely… including her own feelings and life.
The power that she had desired for had been attained, however, her emotions had also been sealed and even her life was quickly slipping away… She silently stood there, without making a single sound or taking a single breath, as though she was the most beautiful and life-like doll in the world.
Just as Yun Che was about to make a desperate attempt to provoke her, he saw a grey figure flash by in the corner of his eyes. In an instant, the Little Demon Empress had traveled three hundred and fifty meters from their location.
“Ah…. Wait for me!!”
Yun Che hurriedly activated Extreme Mirage Lightning and desperately chased after her. After obtaining the Golden Crow’s bloodline, the Heretic God’s Lightning seed, cultivating the Golden Crow’s Record of the Burning World and absorbing the powerful flame energy from the Sea of Death continuously for several months, Yun Che’s current profound strength had undergone a tremendous change from what it was four months ago.
He opened the gate of Purgatory at this instant, and the aura of the Emperor Profound Realm surged and roiled as his maximum speed increased by several times…. But he was still trailing further and further behind the Little Demon Empress. Fortunately for him, after a short while, the Little Demon Empress slowed down and Yun Che finally managed to catch up to her. Looking at her delicate back, Yun Che silently sighed in his heart. From the moment he had entered Golden Crow Lightning Flame Valley till now, four months had passed. Too many things could have happened in the span of these four months, so she was definitely incomparably worried about what the situation was like in Demon Imperial City right now...
Just like how he had been constantly worried about whether his parents, Xiao Yun, the entire Yun Family and the Mu Family were still safe and sound….
She had only three years left to live….
Just as Yun Che had guessed, there was indeed something big happening today in Demon Imperial City.
Because today was the day that Duke Huai… would ascend the emperor’s throne!
Four months ago, the heroes of the realm who had gathered in Demon Imperial City to attend the Demon Empress Grand Ceremony were all still in the city and had yet to depart. Because after the Demon Empress Grand Ceremony was abruptly stopped, before they received news that the ceremony was going to reconvene, they received the world-shaking news that the Little Demon Empress had died within Golden Crow Lightning Flame Valley. They bitterly waited for a month, but there was still no further news of the Little Demon Empress and this had extinguished the last embers of hope within the hearts of those who were simply unwilling to believe it.
For a period, the entire Imperial City was greatly shaken and everyone descended into mourning. Even though they had not yet seen the Little Demon Empress’ body, but for the Demon Emperor… the very last Monarch of Illusory Demon Realm, the funeral processions had to go on. The Little Demon Empress’ funeral lasted for an entire month, but after that, one question hung in the air. After the Little Demon Empress, who would take up the reins and become the Emperor of the Illusory Demon Realm?
After all, if there was no Emperor, then the land would definitely descend into chaos before long.
But following the Little Demon Empress’ ‘death’, there was no one from the Demon Emperor’s bloodline in the world. There was only the Illusory Demon Royal Family whose bloodline was the closest to the Demon Emperor’s. Amongst the Illusory Demon Royal Family, the one who held the most prestige, power and qualifications… was undoubtedly Duke Huai of Duke Huai Palace.
Moreover, in the months after the Little Demon Empress’ “death”, Duke Huai Palace had taken charge of all the major and minor events within Demon Imperial City. Even the Little Demon Empress’ entire funeral proceedings had been arranged by Duke Huai Palace.
Within four months, Duke Huai Palace’s influence had spread at a voracious pace as they sank their claws into the entire Demon Imperial City at an alarming rate. Nearly all the territories had been brought under the complete control of Duke Huai Palace. Many years ago, the denizens of Demon Imperial City were deeply aware that the power of Duke Huai Palace had already surpassed that of the Little Demon Empress. But it was only when Duke Huai Palace truly bared their fangs that the people truly knew just how strong Duke Huai Palace had already become….
Following the news of the Little Demon Empress’ death, those factions who were originally undecided now strove tooth and nail to capitulate to Duke Huai Palace as only the fear of being one step too late dominated their thoughts. A few of the factions who were originally loyal to the Demon Emperor’s clan chose to defect towards the Duke Huai Palace in order to protect themselves. And those who had previously thrown their lot in with the Duke Huai Palace were now filled with pride and rejoicing.
The factions who were still loyal to the “extinct” line of the Demon Emperor had shrunk down to a pitiful few…. And more and more powers continued to distance themselves, isolate them, or even view them as enemies.
From two months ago, the words ‘The Illusory Demon Realm cannot be left rudderless for a day” had been resonating throughout the entire Demon Imperial City. These words spread with blazing speed throughout the entire Illusory Demon Realm as the loyalty and reputation of Duke Huai was praised across the land, and these phrases were so effulgent that they flooded the entire realm. More than ninety percent of the powers within Demon Imperial City announced their support one after the other for Duke Huai to be named the next emperor, and for a time, all praise for Duke Huai spread across all four corners of the Illusory Demon Realm; the praise was so extravagant that he had not only been named the most eminent sage within the realm, but was also the only choice for the title of the Illusory Demon Realm’s new sovereign. Furthermore, he was praised as a great sovereign who could usher in a period of prosperity that would exceed that of the Demon Emperor… while at the same time, he was still the person who had the closest blood relation the line of the Demon Emperor.
Now that it had reached this point, if anyone still objected to Duke Huai being made emperor, that person was practically begging for universal condemnation.
Presently the Demon Imperial Hall was at maximum capacity and the splendor of the occasion even eclipsed that of the Demon Empress Grand Ceremony. All the various mayors, regional lords, sect masters and various other heroes of the realm had never in their wildest dreams imagined that after merely having come to participate in the Demon Empress Grand Ceremony; that they would still stay here for four more months and bear witness to these momentous events, from the passing of the Little Demon Empress to the ascension of the new Emperor.
All the heroes of the realm were squeezed together in the Demon Imperial Hall and every single one of them were cornerstones of the realm; well qualified to represent the entire Illusory Demon Realm. Right now, the time had come for the coronation of the new emperor, the ascension of Duke Huai to the seat of the emperor, and there was only less than fifteen minutes left before this event would begin. The coronation ceremony was almost at hand.
The Guardian Families and the various Duke Palaces occupied the core seats within the Demon Imperial Hall and the seating arrangements were exactly the same as four months ago. The Yun Family and the Mu Family were shockingly in attendance as well.
Yun Qinghong was seated in the seat designated for the head of the Yun Family and his face was fixed with an unnatural calm. Mu Yurou sat by his side and both of them tightly held each other’s hands without loosening their grip. In contrast to the enduring and ceaseless noise within the Demon Imperial Hall, the place where the Yun Family and the neighboring Mu Family were seated was filled with a lifeless and heavy atmosphere. For a full hour, no one spoke.
“Duke Huai Palace... has arrived!”
Following the sharp and long proclamation, the Demon Imperial Hall instantly descended into silence as all eyes turned towards the doors of the great hall.
The great scarlet-golden doors were slowly pushed apart. Duke Huai, dressed in golden finery, as the members of Duke Huai Palace orbited him like stars orbiting the sun, slowly stepped into the Demon Imperial Hall. His expression was calm and he wore an easy smile as his clearly smoothed out brows seemed to be filled with a formless dignity…. He was astonishingly already exuding an emperor’s majesty from every pore of his body.
Without the Little Demon Empress around, he had impressively assumed the role of the Illusory Demon Realm’s Emperor.
“We respectfully welcome Emperor Huai!!”
A resoundingly loud yell rang out from the location of the core seats as the Helian Family’s Patriarch, Helian Kuang left his seat and knelt down on the ground. He prostrated himself completely on the ground and his posture was deferential and humble in the extreme…. Even when the previous Demon Emperor and Little Demon Empress were in power, he had never completely prostrated himself like this before.
This loud yell had roused the audience from their slumber and in the next instant, they were scrambling to leave their seats and kneel on the ground, to welcome and pay their respects to Duke Huai:
“We respectfully welcome Emperor Huai!!”
Nearly one hundred thousand of the top-notch powerhouses of the Illusory Demon Realm yelled these words out in unison and the sound was so loud that it caused the entire Demon Imperial Hall to shake for a long period of time. Duke Huai unhurriedly swept his gaze across the great hall and he committed to memory those people and forces who had not knelt to welcome him. After that, he slowly raised his head and said in a polite and modest manner, “Everyone, please rise. Even though this duke has received your undeserved kindness and has been elected to be the new sovereign of the Illusory Demon Realm, the coronation ceremony has not yet taken place, so I am still undeserving of the appellation ‘Emperor Huai.’ And this manner of obeisance is something that I cannot accept as well.”
“Allow this humble duke to be so bold as to say this… Emperor Huai, your words are in error!” Duke Zhong loudly said as he cupped his hands, “Emperor Huai, you assuming the seat of the emperor is something approved by all those present and something desired by all under heaven. So how can you label it as ‘undeserving kindness?!’ After the demise of the Little Demon Empress, Emperor Huai has held the realm together, pacified the chaos within the realm and ensured peace reigned in the heart of all its citizens. If not for the sagacious wisdom and high virtues of Emperor Huai, Demon Imperial City and even the entire Illusory Demon Realm would definitely still be in chaos. So in our hearts, even though the coronation ceremony has yet to begin, you have long ago become the Emperor that we will follow and pledge our loyalty to till the end of our days. Today’s coronation… pardon this humble duke for speaking nonsense, is merely a formality to announce your exaltation to the rest of the world!”
“That is right! Duke Zhong’s words are simply spot on!”
“What Duke Zhong just expressed were the thoughts that this humble duke harbored in his heart all along!”
“Emperor Huai unifies the Illusory Demon Realm, may he reign for as long as heaven stands!!”
“We pledge our lives and loyalty to Emperor Huai!!”
The coronation ceremony for the new emperor had yet to begin and Duke Huai had merely made his appearance, yet pledges of loyalty flooded the entire Demon Imperial Hall as everyone strove to outdo one another. This was undoubtedly a manifestation of how astonishing the power and coercion displayed by Duke Huai after the demise of the Little Demon Empress really was…. Not a single person suspected that there was nothing in the Illusory Demon Realm that could impede Duke Huai from taking the throne. The wisest decision that one could take would be to declare loyalty to Duke Huai; some may even argue that it was actually the only option left.
If not, it was no different from digging one's own grave.
“Hahahaha.” Duke Huai let his arm drop and a great smile was plastered on his face, he did not need to say anything else, so he boldly strode towards the seat of the emperor that was at the end of the great hall, and as he passed by the area where the Yun Family was seated, he carelessly swept his eyes over Yun Qinghong, the corner of his mouth faintly curving upwards.
In these past four months, before he officially became emperor, it was naturally not good to extend his wicked hands towards the Yun Family as they were one of the Guardian Families.
But from today onwards, anyone could come to the conclusion that Duke Huai would deal with the Yun Family first! When the time came, the best outcome for the Yun Family would be that they would once more fall into great decline and the worst outcome was complete and total destruction!
Yun Qinghong did not pay his respects to Duke Huai and neither did the entire Yun Family. He coldly observed the events in the great hall unfold. His expression and gaze were so cold and detached that not a single ripple could be seen. From the moment Duke Huai entered to the moment he took the emperor’s seat, the only action he took was to tighten his grip on Mu Yurou’s hand.
Mu Yurou’s hand also tightened around his, the hearts and minds of this couple had long ago become tightly entangled together.
It was now impossible to stop Duke Huai from ascending the throne… even if they bet the lives of all the members of the Yun Family in one desperate gamble, they still would not be able to prevent it. But, the one who had killed the Little Demon Empress and who had killed their son stood before their very eyes…. So how could they let him do as he pleased?
The married couple had not attended today for the Demon Emperor’s clan nor was it for the dignity and determination of the Yun Family…. It was as parents, for they prepared to use their own lives to recover what had previously been lost. To allow the son that filled them with love, pride, gratitude, joy and sorrow… recover the debt of blood that was owed!