Chapter 877 - A Will That Hovered Between Life and Death
The aura of death hurtled down from below and blanketed the area. The fleeing disciples of the Grandwake Clan screamed in pain and terror as they felt like they had suddenly been thrown into a blazing furnace.
Just as a raging Yun Che was about to burn them all to ashes, Su Hengshan’s hurried shout rang out behind him, “Yun Che! Don’t hurt them!”
Yun Che’s movements stopped for a moment but he only stopped for just that moment. After that, he immediately flipped his palms as the flames that were hovering in the sky mercilessly exploded downwards.
Those loud yells nearly tore Su Hengshan’s throat… In an instant, the flames which filled the sky stopped in place while Yun Che’s expression fluctuated. Amid the stifling fear which had seized everyone’s heart, he finally took in a deep breath and withdrew his palms.
The flames in the air had all been extinguished as well, immediately allowing the gathered members of the Grandwake Clan to escape that terrifying and hellish furnace. After that, all of them sank to the ground limply, their bodies shaking in fear.
Su Hengshan’s lips trembled before he spoke in an agonised voice, “Spare them. Seven Stars Divine Palace. These four words are far too terrifying, so they had no choice but to go along. It was not even for their own lives but for the lives of all of their family members… Their sin is not worthy of death.”
“Their sin isn’t worthy of death?” Yun Che asked in a deep voice, “Then could it be that you committed a sin that was worthy of death? Or could it be that those other clan members, whose bodies litter the bamboo forest, deserved death?”
“The ones who were truly loyal to the Grandwake Clan have all died a terrible death but these vile things who have betrayed their clan, renounced their ancestors, harmed their fellow clan members and clan master and willingly became someone else’s lapdog deserve to live instead?”
As he thought of his fellow clan members who had thrown their bodies in front of him and collapsed one by one in their own blood, Su Hengshan’s heart was filled with agony. Tears streamed from his eyes as he spoke, “The result of today’s events is mainly due to the uselessness of this clan master and my incompetence in educating my own children. They meant to do me harm but I am unable to watch them suffer injustice. Too many people from the Grandwake Clan have died already… Let them go…”
Yun Che’s words caused all the disciples of the Grandwake Clan to bow their heads in shame but Su Hengshan’s words caused all of them to tremble violently. They felt so ashamed that they wished for death and they were unable to lift their heads.
Since Yun Che had already withdrawn his Golden Crow flames, he was not planning on wiping all of them out anymore. His eyes coldly swept across the surrounding area as his spoke in an incredibly dark and grave tone, “Sincerely kowtow ten times to Clan Master Su. After that is done, all of you are to disappear from my sight immediately! Also, you are never to call yourselves members of the Grandwake Clan ever again!”
Yun Che’s words were undoubtedly a special pardon for all of them. The gathered disciples of the Grandwake Clan collapsed to their knees in panic as they heavily banged their heads against the ground as they faced Su Hengshan… Their kowtows were especially deep and heavy and it was not only due to their desire to live, it was also because of the gratitude and shame that burned in their hearts.
“Clan Master, it is we who have wronged you. We are not even worthy to be called dogs or pigs. We will never have the face to ever see you again, we wish you… all the best!”
“Clan Master, in our next lives, we will definitely work like cows and horses for you in order to repay your great magnanimity…”
Tears streamed down the faces of some of the Grandwake Clan disciples who had finished performing their kowtows. There were others who kowtowed tens of times, smashing their heads against the ground until their heads bled and there were still others who bid farewell to Su Hengshan while kowtowing; they were too ashamed to look him in the eye.
They made their retreat swiftly, before all of them finally dispersed. Yun Che observed their flight coldly but he did not block their retreat.
Su Haoran, Su Hengyue, and Su Wangji were huddled together. All of them were planning on quiety creeping away but a heavy, icy-cold aura suddenly pressed down on them, causing all of them to freeze in place.
“Did I say the three of you could leave?” Yun Che’s bone-piercingly dark voice rang out from behind them.
All of three men trembled as they turned around. Their legs had grown weak and they were on the verge of sinking to their knees. Their lips moved continuously but not a single sound came from their throats.
“Su Hengyue, Su Wangji,” Yun Che said, his dark and tyrannical gaze piercing the two pale-faced men, “Six years ago, the both of you teamed up together with Black Wood Stronghold in order to intimidate and threaten Clan Master Su. Those actions were already equivalent to betraying your clan and even if the both of you had been killed on the spot, it would not have been unjustified. But on account of your relationship with the clan, Clan Master Su not only did not seize the opportunity to severely punish you, he even directly overlooked your actions, deciding not to pursue the matter any further. But the two of you were not only not grateful towards him in the slightest, you actually even conspired to commit such an ungrateful and ugly act!”
“And as for you, Su Haoran,” Yun Che said as he gritted his teeth lightly. “As the Young Clan Master of the Grandwake Clan, you terribly harmed your own clan members and your own father for the sake of personal gain! You destroyed the foundation that the Grandwake Clan had built up for hundreds of years in a single day! You are simply completely devoid of conscience, not even worthy to be called a dog or a pig, a person who deserves to be struck by lightning! So are you shameless enough to still think you deserve to live!!?”
Su Haoran’s entire body trembled uncontrollably before he suddenly knelt to the ground and started kowtowing towards Su Hengshan without stopping, “Father, I was wrong… I’m truly repentant, save me… Save me please… Father!!”
“You still have the face to call him father?” Yun Che said as he slowly advanced towards them, his mind flashing with the most terrible and cruel ways to ensure that they died in great agony. “The fact that Clan Master Su has a son like you and the fact that Ling’er has a elder brother like you is truly the greatest shame of their entire lives.”
“All of you can go as well,” Su Hengshan’s disappointed voice rang out from behind Yun Che, causing their bodies to jump.
“Never ever appear before me again… I have no desire to see any of you again.” Su Hengshan’s eyes were downcast, his voice drifting, it was as if he was talking to himself.
“...” Yun Che’s feet ground to a halt, his face a cold and frigid mask.
Su Haoran and the other two people could barely believe their own ears after they had heard Su Hengshan’s words. All three of them widened their eyes as they climbed to their feet while shaking in fear. They tried to see if they could retreat a few steps… and after that, they practically bowled themselves over as they scrambled to flee like three dogs that had their tails snipped off.
Yun Che stood at his original spot and did not pursue them. It was only after a long period of time that he finally turned around and arrived in front of Su Hengshan.
Su Hengshan sank to the ground limply, his head drooping low amidst his unkempt hair. He muttered to himself, “Yun Che, my present state is definitely something that you despise… Heh heh heh…” He gave a miserable laugh before continuing, “If it was any other clan master, they would have long ago leaped at the chance to personally tear them to shreds but I… I was not able to do so…”
“These past few years, I have always remembered our relationship as a clan and a family. As a result, I kept compromising and giving way to them, thinking that this would definitely be able to correct everything. But in the end, I… am simply not fit to be a clan master. If not for my indecisiveness, compassion and soft-hearted ways, the Grandwake Clan would not have walked this path under my supervision…”
Su Hengshan’s shoulders were heaving as hot tears flowed down his face.
“...” Yun Che did not deny Su Hengshan’s words because six years ago, he had already seen Su Hengshan’s soft-heartedness and compassion.
“Clan Master Su, perhaps you were indeed unfit to be the leader of a clan but at the very least, you are someone worthy of respect and everything you have done in your lifetime has been done with a clear conscience and is above all reproach,” Yun Che said sincerely.
Su Hengshan’s shoulders stopped heaving at those words. He raised his head and steadily looked at Yun Che, “Yun Che, did you come this time for Ling’er? Does the current you still… still remember the words you said six years ago? Are you still willing… to take care of Ling’er?”
The Yun Che six years ago had given him a far too distant and hollow feeling. The current Yun Che had grown strong to the point where Su Hengshan believed that he would never be able to fathom his strength. During these six long years, he had never truly dared to believe that this kind of person would still be willing to marry his ordinary daughter.
“I remember, of course I remember.” Yun Che nodded with incredible vigor, “All of these years, I was not able to return because… because of circumstances that I could not control. But during the past six years, Ling’er has always been on my mind. Don’t worry, I will immediately go and find Ling’er. I will definitely bring Ling’er back safe and sound, no matter what, even if I have to bet my own life.”
“Good… Good!” Su Hengshan’s eyes once again flowed with tears. He could sense the pure sincerity and concern in Yun Che’s voice and eyes… From the moment Yun Che had killed all of the people from Seven Stars Divine Palace for his and Ling’er’s sake, he had no reason to not believe him.
Su Hengshan stretched out a hand and retrieved a small and exquisite crystal. It was shaped like a rhombus and radiated a weak purple light.
“This is?” Yun Che unconsciously spoke.
“This is Ling’er’s soul crystal,” Su Hengshan said softly. After that, he carefully and gently placed it in Yun Che’s hand. Su Hengshan’s solemn and dignified attitude made it seem like he was entrusting his entire world to Yun Che, “As long as this soul crystal does not shatter, it means that Ling’er is still alive. If Ling’er is in the vicinity, its light will grow stronger… I beg you please, definitely find Ling’er.”
Ling’er’s… soul crystal!
Yun Che held it softly in his hand before gravely nodding his head, “Alright. Don’t you worry, I will definitely bring Ling’er back safely.”
“Good, good.” Su Hengshan said with a light nod of his head, a small and relieved smile finally showing on his face, “Then I will entrust… Ling’er to your care.”
Just as he was about to agree, he suddenly sensed that there was something wrong with Su Hengshan’s words.
Just as he had sensed this, Su Hengshan’s entire body shook before his eyes lost their luster. His body slowly toppled to the side, a bright stream of blood running down the side of his mouth.
“Clan Master Su!!”
Yun Che was so startled that the color drained from his face. He rushed to Su Hengshan’s side at lightning speed, extending a hand to catch his body. But he discovered that his life force was swiftly flowing away like a stream of flowing water.
This was… the severing of one’s own life veins!
Yun Che instantly understood what was happening. Su Hengshan wanted him to be able to rescue Su Ling’er without anything distracting him and he was afraid that if he still lived, he would only become a burden on Yun Che which would cause him to delay his rescue of Su Ling’er.
Besides that, he let off those disciples of the Grandwake Clan while feeling like he had let down those fellow clan members who had died for him and acknowledging that today’s result had all been his responsibility.
Therefore, he chose to commit suicide by severing his own life veins once he had entrusted Su Ling’er’s safety to Yun Che.
“Clan Master Su… Clan Master Su!!”
Yun Che continued to shout but Su Hengshan gave no response. This caused Yun Che to immediately recall what had happened all those years ago under the Heavenly Sword Villa’s Sword Management Terrace. His grandfather Yun Canghai had chosen to sever his own lifeline so that Yun Che could see the light of day again...
Yun Canghai had done it for him.
Su Hengshan had done it for Su Ling’er.
He was indeed not qualified as a clan master but he definitely was a great father.
He could not save his grandfather all those years ago, the only thing he could do was kneel on the ground and weep...
Today, while facing another such situation, how could he sit back and allow the same sequence of events to play out right before his eyes!!?
Yun Che firmly gritted his teeth as he activated the Great Way of the Buddha with all of his strength. Instantly, a golden pagoda appeared over his head. Yun Che pressed one hand to Su Hengshan’s brow and the other hand to his heart as he started to pour pure energy of heaven and earth into his body. He firmly sealed the last bit of life force Su Hengshan had as he tried to slowly repair his severed life veins.
“Clan Master Su… Don’t die! Ling’er is still waiting for you! Don’t die!” Yun Che yelled in a low voice as sweat cascaded down his forehead.
The eyes of the Ling’er who had zealously defended him during their past lives was forever clouded by melancholy that could not be dispelled.
So how could he allow the Ling’er who had miraculously been given back to him to return to that previous condition!
Fifteen minutes passed and under the miraculous power of the Rage God, Su Hengshan’s life force stopped slipping away and even started to slowly recover. Su Hengshan’s eyes cracked open, his dull pupils slowly regaining focus. His lips trembled as he croaked in a hoarse voice, “Don’t… bother with me.. Go save Ling’er… Go and save Ling’er quickly…”
“I will definitely find Ling’er and bring her back!” Yun Che yelled loudly as his brows sunk, “But you definitely can’t die either! If you die, then what will Ling’er do!? Do you want her to be parentless from now on!? Do you want her to live a cold and lonely existence with no one that she can rely on!!?”
“I…” Su Hengshan muttered with a face filled with pain.
Yun Che was already someone destined for death so he would not be able to take care of Ling’er for life… Yun Che knew this well but Su Hengshan did not. If Su Hengshan died as well, then Su Ling’er would truly be alone and without support.
“Clan Master Su, if you really mean well for Ling’er, then you must live properly as well! Do you think that you are being very magnanimous if you do such a thing!? Bullshit! Could it be that you want to deprive Ling’er of her father at such a young age? Could it be that you want her to live a pain-filled life, suffering under the dark shadow left behind by the fact that her own father severed his own life veins because of her? You’re just being selfish right now! It’s utterly foolish!”
“Even if you don’t want to be reunited with your daughter, Ling’er definitely… she definitely wants to be reunited with you!!”
Yun Che’s roars caused the pupils of Su Hengshan’s eyes to continuously contract. As they contracted, his eyes gradually grew hazy and after that his eyes closed as he fell unconscious once more.
But Yun Che could clearly sense that the will to die had completely vanished from his body. What replaced it was an incredibly fierce will to survive.