Chapter 629 - Unforgivable Crime
Seven days after the Little Demon Empress’ return, the Reign Ceremony, which had been cut short four months ago, was scheduled to continue. The Demon Imperial Great Hall, which was mostly destroyed, also received sufficient repairs during the seven days.
Compared to the endless murmurs in the great hall four months ago, amidst the two powers vying for control, today, the number of people in the great hall was much greater. However, it was deathly still, silent to the point where even breathing could not be heard. The core seating arrangement had also received a very noticeable change. A large “Yun” character was written at the head position of the Guardian Families, and the Helian clan which held the position of the head clan… headed by Helian Kuang, all of the top members of the clan were kneeling in the middle of the great hall. They did not even have seats. The experts who had defected to Duke Huai Palace, regardless of whether they were from Guardian Families, Duke Palaces, other forces, or were peerless experts, all kneeled there obediently while trembling in fear, bearing the Little Demon Empress’ icy might.
“How has the preparation of Xiao Yun’s Kingship Bestowment Ceremony been proceeding?”
“Reporting to the Little Demon Empress, everything has been appropriately prepared. The Kingship Bestowment Ceremony can proceed tomorrow. Only… the Little Demon Empress has to choose the location of King Xiao Palace.”
“Of course as close to the Yun Family as possible.”
“Yes… your humble subject understands.”
“King Xiao, Xiao Yun, is twenty-two this year and has yet to be married. After becoming a King, the issue of a Queen should be considered soon.” The Little Demon Empress’ gaze turned towards the Under Heaven Clan. “The Under Heaven Patriarch's beloved daughter, Number Seven Under Heaven, will turn twenty this year. She is beautiful, has exceptional talent, and has yet to marry. This empress has heard that she and King Xiao have an affinity for each other, both reciprocate each other’s feelings, and are a match made in heaven. Due to this, this empress intends to marry Number Seven Under Heaven to King Xiao, what are Patriarch Under Heaven’s thoughts on this?”
The Little Demon Empress’ words made Xiao Yun’s jaws drop, unable to recover for a long time. Number Seven Under Heaven, in similar shock, made an “ah” sound, her hands tightly covering her lips, her face red with excitement and happiness. Greatest Ambition Under Heaven hurriedly left his seat. “The Little Demon Empress personally matchmaking is the greatest fortune in my daughter’s life. Greatest Ambition naturally has absolutely no objections… Greatest Ambition thanks the Little Demon Empress for her grace on his daughter’s behalf.”
“Number Seven Under Heaven thanks the Little Demon Empress for her grace.” Number Seven Under Heaven kneeled and bowed, the redness on her face, which did not disperse for a long time, revealed the immense joy in her heart.
“Hey… Old Seven, be more reserved… reserved!” Number Five Under Heaven pulled on the edge of Number Seven Under Heaven’s shirt, saying powerlessly.
“Reserved your sister!” Number Seven Under Heaven said in a low voice, viciously saying, “I have paid you guys back for bullying my Brother Yun in the past, hmph!”
“Aren’t you my sister,” Number Five Under Heaven whispered carefully, his heart even more confused… Who would have thought that the one who was initially humiliated by everyone in Demon Imperial City as the “Profound Sky Bastard” would become… Sigh, the world was really fickle… but based on the punk Xiao Yun’s personality, he would not go as far as to bear a grudge for how we treated him in the past… Uh, most likely he will not… after all, ignoring his past identity, his personality as well as how he treats Old Seven is very good.
Xiao Yun also promptly left his seat and excitedly responded, “Xiao Yun thanks the Little Demon Empress ten thousand times for granting this marriage, Xiao Yun will not let Seventh Sister down in this lifetime.”
Saying that, he could not help but to look towards Number Seven Under Heaven. Their gazes met, and Number Seven Under Heaven stuck her tongue out at him, making a comical face. Even under everyone’s gazes, her smiling face was as brilliant as a hundred blooming flowers.
The Little Demon Empress slightly nodded. “The situation cannot be any better. Patriarch Yun, Number Seven Under Heaven is the Under Heaven family’s most precious pearl, your Yun Family’s betrothal gift cannot be small.”
Yun Qinghong stood up and replied with a smile, “Naturally. This Yun has always been fond of the Under Heaven family’s princess. Now that the task has been accomplished, there are two simultaneous happy event in the Yun family. When we have picked an auspicious date, this Yun will bring a heavy gift and personally propose on Xiao’er’s behalf.”
Pairs of envious looks landed on Greatest Ambition Under Heaven. Although Greatest Ambition Under Heaven was sitting upright and properly, he could not hide his happiness. His heart was churning… initially, when he thought about the matter of his daughter and Yun Xiao, his brain almost exploded, yet today, his daughter was to be married to Xiao Yun, and it was good luck for all of the Under Heaven family. That was because the current Xiao Yun could not be compared to the him of the past. Even moreso, the current Yun Family even more could not be compared to how they were in the past.
Four hours passed by very quickly in the palace. The bunch of people in cahoots with Duke Huai knelt there for four hours, kneeling there without a single movement. Not to even mention interrupting, they did not even dare to let out a fart, as if they were criminals awaiting their sentence… no, they were exactly criminals!
At this moment, the Little Demon Empress’ gaze turned towards the center of the great hall. Her originally gentle look became cold in a split second.
Even though the people who were kneeling there did not raise their heads, the Little Demon Empress’ pressure was like the coldest knife blade pressing against their throats, causing their whole bodies to quiver. This pressure forced them to lower their heads even more, not even daring to take a deep breath.
“This empress wanted you to put Duke Huai’s nine clans to death within ten days! Seven days have passed, how is the progress?”
The tone which the Little Demon Empress used to speak to them compared to when she spoke to the Yun family and the Under Heaven family was completely different; it was downcast to the point that it suffocated them.
The Little Demon Empress did not ask anybody in particular, and the few Patriarchs who were kneeling at the front fought to be first to reply. “Re… reporting to the Little Demon Empress. Of the four clans under Duke Huai’s father, three clans under his mother and two clans under his wife, they have all been put to death, not a single one was left…”
“Those who were stationed outside the capital have all been eliminated, may... may the Little Demon Empress be at ease.”
“The corpses, as the Little Demon Empress has instructed, have all been publicly burned in front of the city gates… not even an inch of grass was left.”
“The Little Demon Empress’ orders, we naturally would not dare to dally…”
Helian Kuang flusteredly took out a bundle of jade strips, raising both hands. “Underneath Duke Huai Palace was a secret room which has yet to be destroyed, this jade strip was found inside… Duke Huai Palace’s ‘Fallen Flame Devil Art’ is inscribed in it… the Little Demon Empress bears divine powers, so this Fallen Flame Devil Art naturally does not have the qualifications to be in your eyes. Only, it records some kind of blood escaping technique… most likely, Duke Ming used it to escape that day.”
The Little Demon Empress’ brows twitched, and when she reached out, the jade strip in Helian Kuang’s hands flew into hers. Yun Che, who was sitting beside Yun Qinghong, also cast his gaze towards that bundle of jade strips which contained ominous energy. The blood escaping technique that Duke Ming used that day was extremely strange, and based on the Little Demon Empress’ capabilities, she could not tell where he had escaped to. However, if the blood escaping technique that Duke Ming had used was figured out, the next time he landed in the Little Demon Empress’ hands, he would not be able to escape.
The Little Demon Empress immediately spread open the jade strip, and surely enough, a strange blood escaping technique was displayed. She glanced through it indifferently, then closed it.
“Little Demon Empress, this Bai made a discovery while cleaning up Duke Huai’s surviving members,” Bai Yi hurried forward, raising an even larger jade strip in his hands, “this jade strip was obtained from a secret room beneath Duke Huai’s palace. On it is engraved all… all…” speaking till this point, Bai Yi resolutely swallowed his saliva, then continued, “all of the names of those who defected to Duke Huai Palace. May… may the Little Demon Empress take a look.”
The hearts of many people present shuddered, cold sweat pouring from their entire bodies.
“No need to look at it!” The Little Demon Empress, however, did not even take a look at the jade strip and said with a low voice, “Hand the name list to Duke Xing Palace. Then, send a command down, within three days, for all those whose names are on the list to use their own blood to write a letter pleading guilty. Then, put it up at the northern city wall to be publicly displayed for three years! If so, this Empress will let them off just this once and not pursue the matter. However, if after three days, anyone on the list who has not displayed their blood letter on the city wall will be treated like Duke Huai’s kin… to be exterminated without mercy!”
Another bloody asura-like order was issued from the Little Demon Empress’ mouth, it made the entire great hall suddenly become cold.
Yun Che’s eyes suddenly brightened. That was because the Little Demon Empress’ order was very brilliant. Apart from Bai Yi, no one else ought to have seen whose names were really on the list. Although the jade strip was very big, it could not be complete. However, the order to “kill without any mercy” would end all wishful thinking that anyone who had been in cahoots with Duke Huai Palace had. They would obediently plead guilty, using their own blood to confess on the city walls.
That way, those who had defected to Duke Huai Palace, but were still unknown, would all be clearly exposed.
However, those from the Guardian Families and Duke Palaces sighed a huge breath of relief. To be pardoned with just a blood letter was simply a joyous turn of events. But just when they sighed a huge breath, the Little Demon Empress’ next sentence made their hearts jump ferociously.
“As for those from the Guardian Families and Duke Palaces on the list, forget about writing a blood letter.” The Little Demon Empress suddenly became severe. “Other people following Duke Huai’s orders can be seen as just blindly following the crowd. Yet as the pillars and beams of the Illusory Demon Realm, for you to rebel against the Demon Emperor, that is simply traitorous! It is simply an unpardonable crime! If you were to be forgiven so easily, how would this Empress be worthy of the Illusory Demon citizens! How would she be worthy of the ancestors who brought the peace of today’s Illusory Demon Realm!”
As if having water from an icy purgatory poured on them, the seven Patriarchs and Dukes became ice-cold from their heads all the way to their toes. An aged Monarch yelled in tears, “Little Demon Empress, this little duke knows his sins, but these accumulated crimes of Duke Huai Palace, this duke was not aware…”
“No need to say anymore.” The Little Demon Empress coldly cut off his words, stood up, and slapped her hand on her imperial chair. Suddenly, with a rumbling sound, the imperial chair moved to the right, and a concealed stone door slowly opened. Behind the stone door was a spacious but dark stone room.
This stone room was seldom opened; it was only occasionally utilized when discussing major secrets.
“The great ceremony shall come to an end, this empress has nothing else.” The Little Demon Empress turned to the side and expressionlessly said, “Everyone may disperse, the guests from afar can return this afternoon.” After a momentary pause, her voice became icy cold. “Guilty Guardian Families and Dukes stay behind!”
When her speech ended, the Little Demon Empress turned around and walked into the stone room with a breeze of cold air.
The Little Demon Empress announced the end of the great ceremony as abruptly as last time. Some people still had things to say, but when they heard the Little Demon Empress’ last sentence, they all immediately shut their mouths, not daring to say another word. Carefully, they left their seats, moved their bodies, and departed from the Demon Imperial Great Hall in a tidy manner.
“Big brother, aren’t you preparing to… leave?” Looking at Yun Che, who was sitting upright and not moving for half a day, Xiao Yun inquisitively asked.
“Oh, I still have some small matters to discuss with the Little Demon Empress in private, no need to care about me.” Yun Che propped his chin up with his hand and said that with a mysterious expression.
“But…” thinking about the three words “Little Demon Empress” just now, Xiao Yun, like most people, would involuntarily shiver. The Little Demon Empress evidently did not want other people to stay behind, wanting to specifically deal with the issue of the Guardian Families and Duke Palaces. He was afraid that if Yun Che provocated the Little Demon Empress...
“I’ve already said to not care about me. Hurry and go find your Seventh Sister!” Yun Che waved his arms. “When she left, she at least looked in your direction about seven or eight times. If you do not chase after her, she may become angry and not marry you.”
“Hoho,” Yun Qinghong laughed faintly. “Xiao’er, let’s leave. Your big brother would definitely have his reasons for staying behind, no need to worry. Take care of yourself first. Many people are waiting around precisely to talk to this new king.”
“Ah?” Xiao Yun turned around, and surely enough, he saw that, at the entrance of the great hall, many people were deliberately moving slowly, constantly looking in his direction.
“Go.” Yun Qinghong pulled Xiao Yun along, then smiled faintly towards Yun Che, not asking anything as he slowly left.
Very quickly, the crowd dispersed. Only the Guardian Families and Dukes kneeling on the ground were left. Without the Little Demon Empress’ orders, nobody dared to rise. All of their foreheads were filled with cold sweat, and they constantly used their shivering hands to wipe it away, but just as they had wiped some away, more quickly flowed out to replace it.
Yun Che swept his gaze across them, not a single bit of pity in his eyes. He then rose and walked towards the stone room which the Little Demon Empress had entered, neither slowly nor with haste.